Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Free Speech - A Fading Paragon

Everyone claims there should be free speech for everyone -and everyone definitely wants it for themselves, but the truth is...most Americans abhor it regardless of the lip service they pay the ideal. Free Speech means FREE speech. It means not only being able to say anything you want, but also listening to MANY things that make you sick. I know that seems like I'm stating the obvious, but I think it needs to be said.

You can't consider yourself brave for speaking out against the war and the Administration and then spit on those that support it. You can't scream that you have a right to assemble and rip the signs of the other side. You can't push for talk of God in schools while you lobby to get Howard Stern off the air. It just doesn't work that way.

I hate that the PC culture has made it so everyone is so limited in what they can say... Writing about what you think and feel is now paramount to making threats.

An Asian American writer is under fire in San Francisco for his column in the weekly paper "The Voice of Asian America". His article entitled "Why I Hate Blacks" has been pulled from the website and apologies from the paper have been made. The author also wrote pieces called "Proof That Whites Inherently Hate Us" and "Why I Hate Asians".

Some the 'reasons' given why Asians should hate Blacks:
-- "Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us."

-- "Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years."

-- "Blacks are easy to coerce. This is proven by the fact that so many of them, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, tend to be Christians." (source)

Rather than dismiss the sentiments and pull articles Kremlin-style --someone in SF had a rational thought:

"David Lee of the Chinese American Voters Education Committee said Eng's statement echoes the feelings of some Asian Americans. He said that rather than condemning the paper, black and Asian people should participate in a town hall-style meeting to address tension he said exists between the two communities.

"There is a segment that feels the way Eng does, but the sentiment is underground and not brought to the surface," Lee said. "If you don't have a discussion, then I think it allows these types of views to fester and turn into something much more negative. Rather than refute and bury this, we should be calling for a community dialogue to address this." (source)

You either have Free Speech or you don't...but all this Free Speech until you say something that offends me stuff is just tiring. As for me...you could write an article outlining the 100 reasons to hate ALa --and I'll blog for your right to say it...

(Photo Credit: Someone named tejana's Flickr page)

Why All Liberals Should Watch '24'...

This isn't a review of the TV series -or a claim that '24' is a right-wing show...it's not (Remember, it was a faction of the American government that started a war for oil in the second season) But, it does illustrate poignantly the fact that there is a huge scope of gray area involved in governing a country.

It's the Right-wing that is always accused of seeing everything in black and white, but yesterday as I watched HBO's Abu Ghraib documentary (The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib) it was clear that those on the left saw no shades of gray. Torture is equivalent to anything that isn't breakfast in bed --secrecy is always wrong --etc. But it's just not that easy.

Jack Bauer is the embodiment of that gray area. He is willing to break rules and overstep bounds, but always for the higher purpose of protecting the larger population and the greater good of mankind...he will even sacrifice himself for that goal. He loves his country, but doesn't judge the hard (and sometimes revolting) decisions that must be made. I think that's why the show is appealing to the right. Jack Bauer is everything we would want in someone fighting terrorism. I hope we have people that are really like that...

Do I want the average car thief in Abu Ghraib raped with a broom stick? Of course not. Do I care if they torture one of Osama's daughters in front of him to get the location of a cell that is about to launch an attack? Of course not. GRAY AREAS. There is never one right answer...each situation calls for it's own unique solution. Our "policy" should be no torture (though I do believe we need to define that word), but the "reality" should be --if there is imminent danger that could cause the deaths of many...anything goes.

It's easy to talk about in the abstract --and seeing some of those photos from Abu Ghraib was very uncomfortable (mainly because it looked like a freaky sex party instead of a serious interrogation attempt) --but watching '24' (though predicable and at times a little cheesy) you do get a chance to feel how those unpopular and covert decisions are a real necessity...

That being said, Kiefer Sutherland has been asked to talk to cadets at West Point to offset his character's use of torture.

Tennessee Exposes Gore's Inconvenient Truth...

So, the man that invented the internet can now add an Oscar to his accomplishments....BUT, folks in Tennessee are wondering if the Academy award was for hypocrisy:

"Gore’s mansion, located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006." (Tennessee Center for Policy Research)

Not to mention that everyone that cheered their little Hollywood heads off undoubtedly came in private jets and limos...

Texas Taxpayers...

...funded the use of a Special Operations Unit to raid and close down a Chippendale's show. Chippendale's leave their clothes on. How many T&A bars are in Texas I wonder --and how many get raided and shut down by Special Operations Units?

Those SOU boys are pretty brave...I wouldn't want to be responsible for arresting 8 gyrating men ten minutes into the show in front of 1,000 desperate housewives that paid good cash to see their G-strings...

"Officers raided Jake's Sports Cafe about 30 minutes after the show started and the venue was closed. They arrested the venue's manager, the show's promoter and the dancers' manager along with the dancers in front of a disgruntled crowd of women.

Shortly after, several hundred women began chanting, "Bring them back, bring them back" and "the City Council sucks, the City Council sucks." (source)

Now, I don’t want to start a Yankee/Dixie thang, but you can see the dancer's at The Smoking Gun --and our boys are much cuter! ;)

There are no more illegals in Texas I guess? The Prosecutors there have nothing to do but arrest male dancers...?\

The "Skater Look"

Can you believe The Boy's hair has gotten this long...? Apparently he "wants pimples" so he really looks like a skater... :|



I'm not one to regulate appearances...I told him he can have his hair however he wants it as long as it's clean and brushed...

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mexican Wives Call for Immigration Enforcement

This from a website called Wetback Wives...

"TO THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT - CLOSE THE BORDER SEND OUR MEN HOME TO US, EVEN IF YOU MUST DEPORT THEM (only treat them in a humane manner - please do not hurt them)

The work is in the United States that is why the men left.

Leaving millions of broken families in the villages now our men are running from the police, But now we have organized our village cottage industry around the traditional handcraft jewelry of our region of Mexico.

Our village of Tecalpulco was very successful in the 1980s when our parents were the creators of the abalone shell jewelry.

Ours is a beautiful place to live and since we have formed our womens artisans cooperative and begun to have some success our hope is that the Mexican men who have gone to the US return." (source)

There are also heartbreaking letters to the absentee husbands posted.

"Mexican officials are aware of the social and economic consequences to their towns and villages. But businesses and government officials on both sides of the border also acknowledge a sort of grand bargain -- the U.S. gets cheap labor, while Mexico has an outlet for its unemployed, who in turn send cash back home." (source)

I have the solution --better than the fence, better than closing the border and better than attempting to catch all the illegals that have infiltrated the country to date...

We make Mexico a "United States unincorporated territory with Commonwealth status" --the same a Puerto Rico. If they want the benefits the US has to offer...fine, but pay into it and we will share in their tourism and natural resources that they obviously have no ability to handle efficiently themselves.

There are also Mexican-Americans calling for immigration enforcement and joining with the Minutemen.

Shhhh... Don't Tell Anyone He's A Muslim.

The Muslim taxi driver that ran down two Christian boys over "a heated religious debate" (the driver that has also been involved in a high speed chase with police), Ibrahim Sheikh Ahmed, is scheduled for a hearing today on charges of criminal homicide. Funny, a few articles are now saying "his religion is unknown"...

"Jeremie Invus [the incident left him with a broken bone in his face and broken bones in his pelvis and right leg] said the cabbie, Ibrahim Ahmed, said Adolph Hitler did the right thing.

He said that triggered their argument.

He said Ahmed, a driver for United Cab, launched into a speech, saying that Hitler had some good ideas.

Invus' testimony was corroborated by his fellow passenger, Andrew Nelson who said two things stuck out about what Ahmed said, “That he hated Jewish people and he thought Hitler was a good man.” (source)

If you Google the name of this hate-crime-committer and this one lonely story is all that comes up. Can you imagine if a Protestant and a Catholic boy jumped a curb to run over a Muslim after a religious argument?!

It's One of Those Days...

One of those minimal posting days I warned you about...

I have a job interview today. My first job interview in 10 years. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit nervous. I'm not really nervous about the actual interview --I'm fine at that sort of thing. But I'm a Stay-At-Home-Mom, so the 'business clothes' wardrobe is on the sparse side. And, since there seems to be such a war between the working moms and the SAHMs (which I never knew existed until the blogs), I have this fear that the women hiring will begrudge my eight years at home with my kids and not hire me...

Anyway, it's for substitute teaching...so truthfully they'd probably hire me even if I went in reeking of curry and had a full beard... I guess we'll see.

I just hope they don't throw me right into the high school and let me do elementary for a while first...

(10 points to whoever gets the picture reference...)

Where's the Pardon?

Caption It...

What Would the Sign Say?



..And you have to love how those anti-war protestors treat the enviroment--

Monday, February 26, 2007

Iraqi Death Toll

"...The number of Iraqis killed, however, is much harder to pin down, and that uncertainty is perhaps reflected in Americans' tendency to lowball the Iraqi death toll by tens of thousands.

Iraqi civilian deaths are estimated at more than 54,000 and could be much higher; some unofficial estimates range into the hundreds of thousands. The U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq reports more than 34,000 deaths in 2006 alone.

Among those polled for the AP survey, however, the median estimate of Iraqi deaths was 9,890. The median is the point at which half the estimates were higher and half lower." (source)

The article basically goes on to say that according to a new AP poll Americans are well aware of the number of our troops that have been killed in Iraq, but we are way off when it comes to estimating Iraqi deaths.

I have a couple of questions about these numbers...

First, and most obvious, since there is no "army" we are fighting in Iraq-- everyone is a civilian. For me, that makes the numbers from the UN a little suspect right there. How are they determining who is a "civilian"? Is the guy that screws up while planting an IED and gets blown up himself a "civilian casualty"?

Second, who is killing the civilians? When people tout the "civilian death toll" they are normally implying American forces were the catalyst of the deaths...but how many of this number were killed by fellow "civilians"? IEDs, car bombs, suicide bombers...

I am not aiming to minimize the loss of life of anyone that truly was an innocent bystander, but it seems that attempting to calculate civilian deaths in a war where only one side has a uniformed force is a bit futile.

African Americans & Islam

"...Islam is growing fast among African Americans, who are undeterred by increased scrutiny of Muslims in the United States since the September 11 attacks, according to imams and experts.

Converts within the black community say they are attracted to the disciplines of prayer, the emphasis within Islam on submission to God and the religion's affinity with people who are oppressed.

Some blacks are also suspicious of U.S. government warnings about the emergence of new enemies since the 2001 attacks because of memories of how the establishment demonized civil rights leaders Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. As a result, they are willing to view Islam as a legitimate alternative to Christianity, the majority religion among U.S. blacks.

"It is one of the fastest-growing religions in America," said Lawrence Mamiya, professor of religion at Vassar College, speaking of Islam among black Americans.

He said there were up to 2 million black U.S. Muslims but acknowledged there are no precise figures..." (source)

Liz and I were discussing this a few weeks ago --wondering, once again, why any woman would willingly subjugate herself to this religion... And eventually we vetted out the answer. It keeps their men in the home, married, presumably faithful and drug and alcohol free. That's a pretty good incentive. If I came from a community where a higher percentage of the men where in prison (41%) than in college (4%), that had the highest number of children living with either the mother alone or neither parent, where the HIV infection rate is 43% (though African Americans make up roughly 12% of the population) I may be willing to don the Hijab too. (source1, source2)

So I will begrudge these women from my feminist high horse no longer. I get it now.

A mid-east newspaper is reporting that Michael Jackson has converted to Islam:

"The Arab-Israeli newspaper Panorama claims Jackson has announced the move and revealed plans to move to Bahrain, where he has bought property.

The singer's Muslim brother Jermaine yesterday claimed the Thriller hitmaker had taken interest in the religion since he converted in 1989 - and had been considering converting himself following his acquittal on child abuse charges in 2005." (source)

The Kos Kids...They Really Are KIDS!

Yesterday as I was looking through some stories on Little Green Footballs, I came across one I must have missed during my painful perusing of the left'o'sphere. A contributor over at Kos' site that wrote a long, long post entitled:
"On Supporting The Iraqi Resistance"

Needless to say, as I began to read I was getting pretty pissed off... What a little prat this writer was. This is the summation of the never-ending piece:

"...The issue of "supporting the troops" is a sensitive one - families who have sons or daughters serving in Iraq do not want to hear that attacks on them may be justified. That is completely understandable - the soldiers serving in Iraq are just kids, often from a deprived background, who trusted and were let down by their governments who sent them into an illegal and immoral war of choice. Indeed, the wish to shield the troops from further harm is a major factor in the movement to bring them home. But we must not let the Bush administration’s hijack of our strong, emotional desire to protect the troops convince us that an attack on Iran would be justified in order to defend them." (by heathlander at Kos)

I don't know who started it, but most of us on the right side of the blogosphere refer to the "Daily Kos" posters and commenters as "Kos Kids"...but I never knew just how true that nickname was until I decided to read a bit about the author of this diatribe.

Here is the author:



I swear. The photo is from his Flickr page that's linked to his website.

I guess Kos isn't doing background checks...I'm not saying this kid isn't a good writer for being, like what, 12? But is he even old enough to vote?

Monday Distractions...

...Because I thought it was funny:



For those of us who don't watch football and missed the Superbowl, the K-Fed commercial was the one thing we shouldn't have missed.

And instead of moping over the snow and ice, get off your bum and dance. ;)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Academy Awards Alternative

If you are dreading all the political propaganda that is bound to be oozing from the celebrities at the Oscars tonight --there IS an alternative.

Tonight at 10:30 pm (EST) on Fox News Channel, Michelle Malkin and Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers will be hosting "It's Out There" --a special about "the most explosive blogs on the web."

"Who's being named?

What's being said?

Which secrets will rock politics?

This weekend, join hosts Kirsten Powers and Michelle Malkin as FOX News takes you inside the most explosive blogs on the Web!

We'll examine John Edwards' virtual campaign HQ and break down how candidates are using networking sites like Facebook and MySpace to reach young voters." (source)

I'm interested to see if they talk about some of the lesser known blogs or if they play it safe and keep to bigger blogs... If they are talking "explosive" and Rotti, or Jawa Report aren't on there (or Pat Dollard for that matter)...well...it'll be bogus...

Former ACLU President Charged With Possessing Child Rape Porn!

Be wary of anyone that would align themselves to an organization that defends NAMBLA...that's what I always say...

"...Federal authorities yesterday charged the former president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, who serves as a leader of youth sports organizations in the state, with receiving and possessing child pornography.

Charles Rust-Tierney, 51, of Arlington, was named in a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria and was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and Arlington County police.

Mr. Rust-Tierney, a former public defender in the District, was identified in court documents as having coached various youth sport teams in and around Arlington County.

Speaking for the ACLU, Mr. Rust-Tierney was a leading proponent in the late 1990s for unrestricted access to the Internet, arguing before the Loudoun County Library Board that people would "continue to behave responsibly and appropriately while in the library" and that "maximum, unrestricted access to the valuable resources of the Internet" should be allowed.

Mr. Rust-Tierney also argued that parents should have the primary responsibility for setting rules for their children regarding Internet access, and that "older minors should have access to resources appropriate for their age group, even if such materials may be considered by some parents to be unsuitable for younger minors."

Mr. Rust-Tierney's wife, Diann Rust-Tierney, is executive director of the D.C.-based National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
(source)

"...Rust-Tierney admitted to investigators that he had downloaded videos and images from child pornography websites onto CD-ROMs, according to the complaint.

The videos described in the complaint depict graphic forcible intercourse with prepubescent females. One if the girls is described in court documents as being "seen and heard crying", another is described as being "bound by rope." (source)

I'm betting his wife would like to kill him right about now...

How many news outlets are reporting this story you wonder? Only FOURTEEN sites come up when you type this man's name into Google news (and a few of those are blogs). No liberal bias indeed... Speaking of the liberal media" --this story broke on Thursday or Friday and I can not find one picture of this man online (and I'm pretty good at that). Not one. The guy was the President of the ACLU in Virginia and not one picture...anywhere? or was there an efficient cleanup team deployed? Or have I been watching too much '24'?

Remembering 9/11...Too Republican?!

Shirley Jones (the mom on the Partridge Family) and her husband purchased a piece of land in Fawnskin, California - Fawn Park. They purchased the land to preserve it (beating out two commercial developers in the bidding).

They decided to dedicate an area of the park to a 9/11 Memorial:

"More work is being done on the special area designed for the 911 remembrance.
The memorial contains a piece of steel from the World Trade Center's Twin Towers." (source

Ms. Jones said that she has gotten negative feedback about the project and that people (Hollywood?) have told her "it's just too Republican."

What would be a proper memorial for Democrats to support...one for the "courageous" hijackers?

Transgendered?

Oh well, aside from my pocketbook obsession I've always been a bit of a tomboy...

You Are 47% Feminine, 53% Masculine

You are in touch with both your feminine and masculine sides.
You're sensitive at the right times, but you don't let your emotions overwhelm you.
You're not a eunuch, just the best of both genders.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Artwork Samples

Yesterday, Rickvid asked if I could post some of my artwork to show my "style". The thing is, I don't really have a style... I can pretty much morph into any style required. Though, I should say I don't enjoy drawing "happy" things. I like darker stuff. If you want a butterfly, I'm probably not your gal...unless it is mechanical with razor wings ;)

So here's a few things that will give you an idea of how I draw... of course this won't help you much because the book I'm working on is a children's picture book and is VERY different than any of this...









And one I did today of The Man:

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bank Of America Continued...

"Bank of America does not deliberately market financial products and services to illegal immigrants from any country." Bank of America CEO Kenneth D. Lewis wrote. Instead, the bank chief said that the program was created to help consumers who lack certain financial tools.

"We believe we have an obligation to serve all those in our country who are legally eligible to receive services. To do less would be discriminatory and unfair."
(source)

On the website Boycott Bank of America there is a list that has been complied of all banks that offer programs that accept the "Matricula Consular Card" in liu of a United States Social Security number. (So far they found 214 DON'T accept it and 241 DO accept it)

Though many on the left have argued that this isn't specifically for illegals (it is, when I was living in England I was able to get my bank account there with a student VISA --if someone has a VISA here, I have no objection to them receiving a bank account/credit card) Bank of America IS a member of the Open Borders Lobby (OBL).

"After September 11, we were told that money was the lifeblood of terrorists, and that we should do everything possible to block their access to financial resources," Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., said in a statement last week. "Today we are hearing a far different message: Bank of America, it's everywhere terrorists want to be." (source)

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says that a border fence doesn't make sense.

"...Senators and lobbyists are putting the final touches on a comprehensive immigration-reform bill that includes an easier citizenship path for illegal aliens and weaker enforcement provisions than were in the highly criticized legislation that the Senate approved last year." (source)

"...U.S. agents arrested about 195 people in more than a dozen states in a crackdown on illegal immigrants involving a maintenance business for theme restaurants like Hard Rock Cafe, officials said on Thursday." (source)

(Photo Credit: David Yeagley. An illegal with a platinum card?)

Post Script: I would like someone to do a guest post that is pro-illegal alien so I can understand the argument. NOT pro-immigration, because that’s NOT the issue here. Phillybits maybe? You seem to get ruffled at the illegals stories...

Hillary VS. Obama: Round Two

What started the current showdown between the Clinton and Obama camps? David Geffen. The Hollywood mogul that once raised 18 million dollars for Bill Clinton and got to spend the night in the Lincoln bedroom. To follow are his quotes from Maureen Dowd's column (since the NYT makes you pay for story access now):

  • “Not since the Vietnam War has there been this level of disappointment in the behavior of America throughout the world, and I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together."


  • “It’s not a very big thing to say, ‘I made a mistake’ on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can’t,” Mr. Geffen says. “She’s so advised by so many smart advisers who are covering every base. I think that America was better served when the candidates were chosen in smoke-filled rooms.”...

  • Did Mr. Spielberg get in trouble with the Clintons for helping Senator Obama? “Yes,” Mr. Geffen replies, slyly. Can Obama stand up to Clinton Inc.? “I hope so,” he says, “because that machine is going to be very unpleasant and unattractive and effective.”

  • Once, David Geffen and Bill Clinton were tight as ticks. Mr. Geffen helped raise some $18 million for Bill and slept in the Lincoln Bedroom twice. Bill chilled at Chateau Geffen. Now, the Dreamworks co-chairman calls the former president “a reckless guy” who “gave his enemies a lot of ammunition to hurt him and to distract the country.”

  • “Marc Rich getting pardoned? An oil-profiteer expatriate who left the country rather than pay taxes or face justice?” Mr. Geffen says. “Yet another time when the Clintons were unwilling to stand for the things that they genuinely believe in. Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling.” (source)

  • So Hollywood throws Obama a party, Geffen (who probably knows the Clintons a lot better than Barack does) makes some statements that are his opinion of people he knows personally) and now Hillary's camp is calling on Obama to apologize? Why? I'm so confused... Even more confused when Bill Richards chimed in agreeing that Obama should apologize.

    Slash and burn politics don’t bother me at all…but whiny politics turn my stomach.

    School District Sued Over Jesus Costume

    Schools around the country have Halloween parades where children dress as everything from robots to Michael Myers...but in Abington School District (right outside of Philly) they can't dress as Jesus Christ. Male teachers can dress as female cheerleaders, but Jesus? That would just be downright offensive.

    "...An Abington Township woman and her 10-year old son have sued the Abington School District, saying that the principal at the Willow Hill Elementary School there would not allow the boy to wear a Jesus costume, complete with a paper-and-twig crown of thorns, during a Halloween parade there last fall.

    Instead, the suit says, he was told that he could wear only his white robe, without the crown, and should say he was a Roman emperor. Other children were allowed to dress as devils and goblins, the suit says.

    The district, which was the subject of a landmark 1963 Supreme Court Decision forbidding the reading of Bible verses to students by school officials, has an extensive policy on religion in public schools. "There is nothing in the board policy that would have prevented him, in a Jesus costume, from participating in the parade," he said." (source)

    I think the boy's mother should have gotten the ACLU to represent her--to see if they would. You can tell my eight-year-old is a product of this 'new America'... When I read him the story he said, "Mom, why would he even wear that?! It's public school. They hate Jesus."

    What Are Your Kids Eating At School?

    Recently, I was surprised to hear that most of the kids at 'Stepford Elementary' (my kids' school) bring their lunch instead of buying it. My kids but their lunch every day. The reason is it only costs $2.15 and they get a choice of four entrees, one fruit, one vegetable and milk. You couldn't do that for 2 bucks a day (especially when you take peanut butter and jelly out of the possibilities of a packed lunch).

    Here's a sample day:
    BBQ Rib Sandwich
    Corn on the cob
    Tropical fruit salad
    Chocolate, Strawberry or plain milk

    But then Liz sent me this story about a lunch lady in Philly that was suspended for throwing out rotten oranges...

    "...Officials said Allen threw away four cases totaling approximately 500 oranges. After disposing of the fruit, she said she was shocked by the principal’s actions.

    "She (the principal) told me that I shouldn't have done it and I showed her…what the oranges looked like. I guess it didn’t matter to her, so she went into the dumpster and took she the oranges out," said Allen.

    After sorting through the produce and removing the damaged items, the principal served the undamaged oranges to the children..." (source)

    She fed the oranges that had been in the dumpster to the kids?! And the lunch lady is the one that's in trouble. Good Lord.

    Am I in the minority not packing a lunch for my kids?

    Keeping You in the Loop...

    In the weeks to come I may be posting a little less (have I already been?), answering email less (is that possible?), and generally being a bit distracted (will you even notice the difference?)... I am apologizing in advance.

    I'm not sure if I've ever talked about it here, but in addition to the bi-weekly newspaper column I write --I've also been working on a children's book. The manuscript has been done for a while, but now I am working (almost constantly) on the illustration. It's finally in the closing stages and am REALLY happy with the (almost) finished result.

    Now comes the hard part. Publishing is one of the most nepotistical industries out there. A publisher won't look at your stuff if you don't have an agent, but you can't get an agent without a referral... and so on. I am sure this stems from the fact that everyone and their best friend thinks they're going to be the next Maurice Sendak...

    I digress. I just wanted you all to kknow that I am completely engrossed with this project. It's been my baby for quite a while and (unlike the blog) it's going to be really hard not to be crushed when the inevitable rejections start rolling in --that is if I can even get far enough to warrant rejections...

    Thursday, February 22, 2007

    Hope for America?

    "...A U.S. appeals court Tuesday threw out the legal claims brought on behalf of the hundreds of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay and ruled that they did not have a right to plead their innocence in an American court.

    In a 2-1 decision, the judges said the Constitution did not extend the right of habeas corpus to noncitizens held outside the sovereign territory of this country. "Cuba — not the United States — has sovereignty over Guantanamo Bay," Judge A. Raymond Randolph wrote.

    The ruling sets the stage for a historic showdown in the Supreme Court over whether the White House and Congress can deny habeas corpus — the right to go before a judge and ask to be released — to terrorism suspects, some of whom have been held for years without charges.

    Tuesday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington vindicates, at least for now, a tactical move made by White House lawyers shortly after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in 2002. The Bush administration wanted the military to be able to indefinitely hold and intensively interrogate foreign fighters and suspected terrorists without interference from the federal courts. They chose the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, because it was close but outside U.S. territory." (source)

    And you would NEVER know this by watching the MSM or listening to Hollywood, but a new poll indicates that only a small 17% of Americans favor immediate pullout of Iraq.

    "Strong majorities also say victory is vital to the War on Terror and that Americans should support President Bush even if they have concerns about the way the war is being handled"

    57% believe we should "finish the job in Iraq"
    53% believe victory over the insurgents is possible
    74% disagreed with the statement : ""I don't really care what happens in Iraq after the U.S. leaves, I just want the troops brought home." Seventy-four percent disagreed."
    53% Believed Democrats were 'going too far" calling for a withdraw.
    (source)

    (Photo: Sign from a Freeper Rally)

    So Much for the "Poor and Uneducated"

    The left always blames Islamic fundamentalism on poverty and lack of education...If they had more money and better books they wouldn't want to blow us up. Wrong. They want to blow us up because they think that's what the Qur'an has commanded of them...

    And a new study seems to show just that:

    "Gallup’s Centre for Muslim Studies in New York carried out surveys of 10,000 Muslims in ten predominantly Muslim countries. One finding was that the wealthier and better-educated the Muslim was, the more likely he was to be radicalized.

    Seven per cent believe that the events of 9/11 were “completely justified”. In Saudi Arabia, 79 per cent had an “unfavourable view” of the US.

    Foreign policy experts tend to believe that victory will come when the Islamic world rejects radicalism. “Every politician has a theory: radicals are religious fundamentalists; they are poor; they are full of hopeless-ness and hate. But those theories are wrong,” the researchers reported.

    “We find that Muslim radicals have more in common with their moderate brethren than is often assumed. If the West wants to reach the extremists, and empower the moderate majority, it must first recognise who it’s up against.”

    In fact, the surveys found that the radicals were more satisfied with their finances and quality of life than moderates." (source)

    UK To Pull 1600+ Troops

    "...Some 1,600 British troops serving in Iraq are to return home within months, the prime minister has said today.

    Tony Blair announced in the Commons this afternoon that the British force in the troubled country would be reduced from 7,100 troops to "roughly 5,500 in the coming months".

    He added that "over time and dependent naturally on progress" that number may drop below 5,000 but he reiterated that UK troops will remain in Iraq "as long as we are wanted and have a job to do".

    Mr Blair's announcement was widely trailed in the media, but he stopped short of pledging to bring 3,000 UK troops home by Christmas, as some reports had suggested..." (source)

    Why is the UK really pulling their troops? If the South of Iraq really is in perfect shape, couldn't the troops head on up tp Baghdad?

    Tony Blair is out in July, so why cave to political/gen pop pressure now? Is it so Prince Harry doesn't have to go...but saves face...?

    Are There Any Ugly Babies?

    I feel terrible telling this story because even if a baby is "Seinfeld" ugly, that doesn't mean it won't be cute as it gets older...or that it doesn't do things that are cute...

    But I was in Sears one day and they were having a contest where you could submit your baby for a "Most Precious Angel". There was this young kid there with his mom and his daughter (15 months?). She was honestly one of the most unattractive children I had ever seen. As I was sitting there wondering if he knew how un-cute she was he turned to his mom and said, "It wouldn't even be fair to enter her in this." (And I'm thinking, that's true...) But he went on to say, "She would win so easily it wouldn't even be fair to the other little girls" !!! He had NO idea.

    That's when it hit me. No one knows if they have an ugly kid because even if the child looks like Marty Feldman to everyone else...they're beautiful in their parents eyes. Anyone of us could have been walking around with a baby so ugly someone is writing a blog post about it right now. I see it all the time on the "Mommy Blogs"...unaware "mommy bloggers" putting up tons of pics of their not-so-cute babies...and people telling them how cute they are because what else can you say...?

    I think this is a pretty cool biological function though... Interesting if it truly is a biological function -and how does adoption work into that...?

    Airport Security

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007

    Political Cliff Notes

    Hillary is miffed at the thought that people think she's "buying the Black vote":

    "Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday denied that her campaign traded money for an endorsement from one of South Carolina's most influential black politicians.
    Senator Jackson was someone who was involved in my husband's campaigns. He was someone we turned to for political advice and counsel and I'm proud to have him on my team," Clinton told the AP.
    Soon after the endorsement, Jackson acknowledged that his media consulting firm had negotiated a $10,000 per month contract with Clinton's campaign. Jackson has said he turned down more lucrative contracts from other candidates." (source)

    At a recent fundraiser, John Edwards said "Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, was the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities." (source) But now Edwards is denying he said this: "John Edwards' presidential campaign wants to make it clear that he doesn't consider Israel a threat to world peace." (source)
    There is also an interesting story about how the internet could be getting Edwards into some trouble:
    "The Edwards campaign recently hired two liberal feminists to help with his quest for the White House. The bloggers were popular enough to get the Edwards camp to notice them, but they were followed by cybertrails of "out there" comments on their personal blogs about sex, politics and religion. Cybertrails Edwards staff didn't care to follow." (source)

    Barack Obama is looking to steal some of the Hollywood Libs from Hillary:

    "Checks from Hollywood's A-list stars such as George Clooney, Eddie Murphy and Barbra Streisand added up to an expected, one-night take of $1 million for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who wowed an audience of thousands during a campaign stop here Tuesday.
    He had already captivated many in Hollywood's cash-rich entertainment industry before even arriving in Los Angeles.
    Three of the industry's biggest names -- DreamWorks studio founders Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen -- planned a private, Beverly Hills fundraiser for him. The lineup of celebrities writing checks reads like a red carpet's who's who -- Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and Ben Stiller among others." (source)

    Mitt Romney was heckled by the Senior Citizen crowd (I am assuming that because the stop was at "The Villages" in FL, which from the commercials I assume is one of those 55 and older retirement communities) on his first campaign stop:

    "And you sir....you're a pretender...you do not know the lord...you're a Mormon," the heckler cried out.

    Romney answered back saying, "I'm convinced that the nation does need to have people of different faiths, but we need to have a person of faith lead the country."

    Polls already show a number of Americans won't vote for a Mormon -- a religion viewed with suspicion by conservative Christians vital to Romney's base. (source)

    I'm one of them, sorry...(Coming Soon: a post explaining why).

    Bill O'Reilly on Oprah Today

    Say what you will about O'Reilly, but he's a tireless crusader when it comes to protecting children from pedophiles. I believe his tirades and public outings of judges that impose minimum sentences to sex offenders has struck fear in the judicial community. So amen to that.

    Bill will be making his second appearance on Oprah today (4 pm EST) and discussing this very subject. O'Reilly want every state to adopt Florida's "Jessica's Law". Amen to that too.

    And just so we aren't lulled into a false sense of security thinking that pedophiles and sex offenders are all men (and not just "pretty" teachers) --read this gem of a story...

    "...An 84-year-old woman who confessed to having sex with an 11-year-old boy in her foster care reached a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty Thursday to attempted sex abuse, officials said.

    Georgie Audean Buoy will serve 36 months in prison, said Leslie Wolf, chief deputy district attorney for Wasco County. She was originally charged with six counts, including attempted rape, for which she faced eight years in prison, Wolf said.

    In a taped confession, Buoy admitted to having sex with the boy while he was in her care in 2004, Wolf said. Her age and lack of prior criminal convictions played a role in the plea deal..." (source)

    What can I even say about that...?

    (For those that need to be told: The Oprah picture is PhotoShopped)

    When A Cause Goes Too Far...

    Of course I completely understand gays and lesbians wanting to live their lives free of discrimination and wanting the same legal rights we "breeders" have... But, sometimes what one group perceives as "a step forward" takes them 50 steps back in the public's perception. Then, was it a gain at all? I can never understand why leaders of (most) activist groups don't foresee these gaffes...

    "...Nurses and other health care professionals should avoid using the terms ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ to refer to family relationships since the terms could be offensive to homosexual couples with children, a new directive published by Scotland’s National Health Service recommends.

    Issued in conjunction with the country’s leading homosexual activist organization Stonewall Scotland, the publication is entitled Fair For All - The Wider Challenge: Good LGBT Practice in the NHS. Americans for Truth reported Feb.11 on the publication’s release.

    The booklet calls for a “zero-tolerance policy to discriminatory language” among Scotland’s health care system. Included in discriminatory language is the use of terms that assume a traditional family structure of mother, father and children, according to the NHS directive.

    “LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered] people can and do have children, sexual orientation or gender identity has nothing to do with good parenting or good child care,” the booklet states.

    “Individual circumstances lead to varied family structures and parenting arrangements. It is important to be aware of this. When talking to children, consider using ‘parents‘, ‘careers’ or ‘guardians’ rather than ‘mother’ or ‘father‘.

    Along the same lines, the directive points out, use of the terms ‘husband’, ‘wife’ and ‘marriage’ is not acceptable since such terms exclude lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Instead, health care workers should use the terms ‘partners’ and ‘next of kin’. Since ‘next of kin’ is often understood to mean nearest blood relative, however, the booklet recommends that it may be preferable to use ‘partner, close friend or close relative’ to avoid confusion.

    “This allows the patient to identify and choose who is important to them.” (source)

    Postcard Delivered 92 Years Late

    About two weeks ago one of the Christmas cards I sent out in December 7th was returned to me with a yellow sticker that said "address unknown" (yet no post office stamp). Obviously some postal worker found my beautifully addressed card under a box or machine and just sent it back to me in a CYA move. I was pissed. It was for The Man's MOST important customer. Our business guardian angel.

    But once I read this story I didn't feel so bad...

    "A British soldier's postcard to his sweetheart has finally arrived - 92 years after he sent it from the trenches of World War I.

    Pvt. Walter Butler wrote to Amy Hicks in 1915 telling her he was alive and well - but the army issued postcard never made it to her home in Wiltshire, 60 miles west of London. Butler survived the war, and the couple went on to marry.

    The postcard turned up in a postal sorting office, which sent it along last week to the post office near Hicks' address. A local postman called the home of the couple's daughter, Joyce Hulbert, to announce the discovery.

    Hulbert, 86, a grandmother of three, said her late parents rarely discussed the war, and that the relic of the past had little meaning for her. She wondered what the fuss was all about.

    "I think it's rather excessive," Hulbert told The Associated Press. "There's lots more interesting things going on than a postcard arriving 92 years late." (source)

    Okay, now was it just me or did you want to slap the daughter after reading that? How cool would that be to have --especially after your parents had passed away...?

    Caption It...

    Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    21 Weeks is "Viable"



    "...Born only 21 weeks and six days after conception, Amillia Taylor weighed just under 10oz and was only 91/2 inches long.

    Medical staff, however, were given a clue to her fighting spirit when the tiny scrap tried to cry and breathe on her own.

    And now, four months later and weighing 4lb, she has been allowed home – the world's most premature baby to have survived..." (source)

    Amillia goes home from the hospital today. And the "viability" debate will rage on...

    Shocker: Muslim Clerics Choose Propaganda Over Children

    Mulsim clerics in Pakistan are saying that the polio vaccine is just an American plot to sterilize Muslim youth...as a direct result of this scare campaign, the genius parents of 24,000 children have refused to allow the vaccination.

    "...The disinformation - spread by extremist clerics using mosque loudspeakers and illegal radio stations, and by word of mouth - has caused a sharp jump in polio cases in Pakistan and hit global efforts to eradicate the debilitating disease.

    The scaremongering and appeals to Islam echoed a similar campaign in the Nigerian state of Kano in 2003, where the disease then spread to 12 polio-free countries over the following 18 months. Pakistan is one of just four countries where polio remains endemic. The others are Nigeria, India and Afghanistan..." (source)

    Even "health care workers" are boycotting the vaccine.

    It is being dubbed the "infidel vaccine"...and the end result? I'll just call it Darwinism.

    "Sexualizing" Children

    Wondering how or if this new report by the American Psychological Association fits into the ongoing discussion about pedophiles and sexual predators...

    "The American Psychological Association's report says inappropriate marketing is leading to the sexualisation of children by a consumer society. Apart from clothing for five- and six-year-olds, with old-fashioned frilly frocks replaced by mini skirts, plunging necklines and sequined crop tops, the report specifically criticises "Bratz dolls".

    "The consequences of the sexualisation of girls in media today are very real and are likely to be a negative influence on girls' healthy development," said Eileen Zurbriggen, the APA's task force chairman. "As a society, we need to replace all these sexualised images with ones showing girls in positive settings. The goal should be to deliver messages to all adolescents — boys and girls — that lead to healthy sexual development."

    Her comments were endorsed by Dr Jean Kilbourne, the co-author of a forthcoming book So Sexy, So Soon: The Sexualisation Of Childhood, who said clothing, toys and adverts were shaping a child's gender identity and values in the wrong way.

    She saw a direct link between what was happening and the rise in under-age sex." (source)

    Neither the article or the study make the leap to pedophilia, but I am wondering if it plays a role. Ever since my kids were born, my mom has always said "you don't want them to look too cute...and I found myself discouraging my sister from buying her baby girl a two-piece bathing suit. Why take any chances?

    IBM Sued for "Porn Addiction"

    Fifty-eight year old James Pacenza says he was fired from IBM after 19 years of employment for being addicted to internet porn. He claims that had he been an alcoholic or a drug addict the company would have paid for rehab...but since he was caught with "lewd" chat on his monitor he was promptly canned.

    Pointing out the discrepancy between this addiction and other addictions seems to be smart move from a legal standpoint. And, truthfully, the other addictions are much more detrimental. If you look at porn and then drive you're not going to kill anyone, etc. But, Pacenza seems to be all over the place with his excuses/justifications -leaving one with the impression that he's insincere and just looking for a way to salvage his retirement (he was eligible in a year).

    He also blames his experience in Vietnam and his time as a combat lawyer in Iraq.

    IBM claims this was his second offense and was warned before that he would be fired if he was caught surfing sex sites again.

    "If it goes to trial, the case could affect how employers regulate Internet use that is not work-related, or how Internet overuse is categorized medically. Stanford University issued a nationwide study last year that found that up to 14 percent of computer users reported neglecting work, school, families, food and sleep to use the Internet.

    The study's director, Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, said then that he was most concerned about the numbers of people who hid their nonessential Internet use or used the Internet to escape a negative mood, much in the same way that alcoholics might."
    (source)