Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Multiculti Madness!

An institution of higher education is having a Multicultural Awards Ceremony which honors
"students of African-American, Hispanic-Latino, Native-American, Asian-American, and multi-racial heritage as well as other minority groups including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students in a university-wide ceremony. "

Well they pretty much have every group under the sun covered, except one.

Would a white heterosexual male student with a 4.0 GPA with an Italian, Romanian, Polish, and German background be included?

Of course not!!

I am of Romanian, Italian, Sicilian, English, Scottish, German, Irish, and Cherokee descent. My dad's heritage is English, Scottish, German, Irish and Cherokee. I'd consider that a variety of cultures. But he wouldn't be considered multicultural by any stretch of the imagination by anyone else because he's not in a "minority" or "underrepresented" group. He's just your average middle-aged white guy. And as we know that being white, male and heterosexual in America doesn't get you very far these days does it?

And what on earth is this about gay, lesbian and transgendered being considered multicultural? I'd like to poll the gay people I know and ask them if they think they are multicultural. My guess is they'd laugh and emphatically deny that being gay suddenly makes you top of the list of multiculti in America.

In fact, I am seriously doubting that most of the people on the above list are even close to multicultural. If you were born in America, you are not African, Asian, Latin American, Native American. You are American. You can however have a long line of African, Latin American, Asian, Native American and other ancestry and that's just fine. But having that heritage doesn't make you any more multicultural than someone like my dad.

This is yet another in a long list of university political correctness gone absolutely mad. But it makes everyone "feel good" from the special interest groups to the politicians on down to the parents of the so-called multicultis and nobody wants to sue for discrimination as long as their child is recognized. It's the standard once a year thing that has to be done. Nobody questions it because OH MY GOD it would be RACIST to do so.

It is a real damn shame that an institution of higher learning is allowed to discriminate in such a way and put on such a bullshit sham of an event just to appease certain groups. A University has the responsibility of treating all students equal and offering all students a quality education. And if they want to recognize the achievements of outstanding students, they must recognize the achievements of all outstanding students, not just a few based on their heritage because that my friends is called discrimination and it's not just immoral, but it's also illegal too.

Monday, February 27, 2006

you guys really have cajones

A group of Georgia State University students decide to test the reactions of Atlanta motorists on a busy freeway when they are forced to drive the speed limit. I know the Atlanta freeways all too well, and it's lucky for them they came out unscathed! This is really hilarious and a bit enlightening too!

Casa-de-Maryland vs. Minutemen

There's a battle a-brewin' in Takoma Park Maryland between the Minutemen and Casa de Maryland.

The Minutemen are taking covert photographs of day laborer companies who are recruiting day labor off the streets. Most of this day labor is believed to be illegal immigrants. The Minutemen haven't approached or harassed anyone in Takoma Park and there have been no complaints against them. And contrary to what radical organizations like Casa de Maryland would have you believe, the Minutemen are a NON-violent organization working to curb illegal immigration. They are not anti-immigration, they are anti-illegal immigration and there is a difference.

Now in opposition of the Minutemen, Casa de Maryland plans a pretty disgusting approach:

‘‘We are going to target them in a specific way,” said Executive Director Gustavo Torres. Casa representatives will go out with cameras and video cameras to record the Minutemen, but that will only be the first step, he said.

‘‘Then we are going to picket their houses, and the schools of their kids,and go to their work,” Torres said. ‘‘If they are going to do this to us, we are going to respond in the same way, to let people know their neighbors are extremists, that they are anti-immigrant. They are going to hear from us.”

I watched Fox News this morning and Thomas Perez, President of the Montgomery County Council , was asked "do you agree with this?" and he repeatedly dodged the question.

Hell yeah he agrees with it. That's why he didn't want to admit it on national television.

Targeting these people's homes? Their children's schools? Their places of work? That amounts to stalking in my opinion. And I think it's wrong. Just because someone has a difference of opinion with you doesn't give you the right to target their private lives.

An organization which receives half of its funding from government sources should not be allowed to use those funds to harass and stalk law abiding citizens.

Casa de Maryland’s annual report states that it is a non-profit group which receiveds 51.3% or $1,421,173 in taxpayer funds in FY 2004-2005 to support its mission.

Montgomery County itself committed $114,779 of taxpayer funds to first-year operations of an employment center in the city of Wheaton. The county also paid for the leasing paid for the renovation of the 1,863 square-foot space.

Prince George County committed $91,961 for the "Prince George's Worker Center" which operates under CASA.

In fact, here's some of the sources of public funding:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Latino Health Initiative of Montgomery County
Maryland AIDS Administration
Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund
Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission
Montgomery County Community Development Block Grants
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affair
Montgomery County Office of County Executive
Prince George’s County Community Development Block Grants
Prince George’s County Council – Special Appropriations Funds
City of Takoma Park

Casa de Maryland might have a good idea in mind, certainly any organization that exists to help people get ahead is a good thing. But the problem is that Casa de Maryland promotes illegal immigration and that is wrong. And to further their cause they attempt to convince us that people who are anti-illegal immigration are also anti-immigration period. And that is VERY misleading but it's how they work.

The fact of the matter is that while in many areas illegal immigrants provide necessary labor, they also are breaking the law and draining local communities of resources, in education, health care and law enforcement just to name a few. They also bring illnesses and major diseases with them. Tuberculosis is on the rise in states and cities with high illegal immigrant populations. Gee, no surprise there. When my Romanian, Italian and Sicilian immigrant ancestors came over near the turn of the old century, their health was checked as best it could be back then. Anyone with illness was turned back. But with illegal immigration there is no control and as such, diseases are being spread throughout towns and cities in the US, especially in the Southwest where it is out of control.

If Casa de Maryland goes after the Minutemen and their families, there's going to be trouble, big trouble and when it goes down they deserve to lose every bit of their public funding. If they want to harass and stalk law abiding people whose opinions differ from theirs, whose only motivation is to protect America from illegal immigration, then they deserve to lose every penny of public funding. If they want to use bullshit tactics, let them do it on private donations, not my money, or yours.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

My hatred for pork

Some of you know that dad had to go out on disability back in July. After nearly 30 years with the phone company and some 7 years in a second career as a correctional officer who eventually became sergeant and lieutenant and was on his way to captain, he had to leave his job. He had bypass surgery in December 2004 and was recovering ok but when he went back to work a few months later, it was too much for him. His job required him to run after incompetent officers and inmates who were running amok, add to that working double shifts and being on his feet constantly. He was always out of breath, couldn't stand up, lie down or sit too long and his many health problems finally forced him to do what he never thought he'd have to do---go out on disability. It's been hard for him as he loves to work and really enjoyed his job.

When he left his job on short term disability he had to begin the process of applying for long-term. His doctors told him that he just couldn't do his old jobs anymore. And so the process began. He did EVERYTHING Aetna asked him to and still he had a hard time getting anyone to help him. He couldn't get his caseworker to return calls, they had screwed up his information, and they delayed his weekly checks. I mean this was his life they were screwing with, and mom and dad relied on his disability checks to help pay their bills. It was hard ya know, being on 2/3 of your regular pay, and what made it worse was when they screwed up sending him his checks. It was like nobody gave a damn. When he approached them about something he had heard about Aetna having representatives who help their LTD recipients in obtaining SSDI, they suddenly didn't know what he was talking about. Eventually someone got a clue. It took hours of me and dad on the phone, him from his house and me from my work, trying to get someone who gave a damn enough to help him. Eventually he received his approval for long term disability which is valid for five years. But once he FINALLY got it, he encountered more problems trying to apply for social security disability. The man has almost a dozen doctors in all different specialities (diabetes, heart, lung, orthopaedic, podiatry, and eye doc) who have all attested to his limited capacities, and he was turned down not once, but twice now.

His only course of action now is to go to the Administrative Law Judge. This ALJ is an attorney appointed by Social Security to act as a Judge in these non adversarial matters. So dad needs a lawyer. He said that Aetna's representative was there to see him through this process so he'll be contacting them to find out what's next. I hope they are as good as a regular disability lawyer. You would think they would have to be, if dad wins his case, Aetna won't have to pay him LTD anymore and that saves them a lot of money. But a lawyer on the outside is fighting for his or her 18 percent of your year's worth of Social Security Disability that you're owed. So....

I gotta tell ya, with all this bullshit he's encountered since July, dad pondered whether or not to keep going with this SSDI case. It's really heartbreaking to see a grown man at his wit's end feeling like the world is working against him. There was a point in time where he had to make a choice to either go back to work and forget about it or continue fighting and allow his employer to officially terminate his position so they could replace him. If he'd gone back to work he would have been WORSE off and his disability process would terminate and all this work was for nothing. We reminded him how much pain he was in at work and that going back would kill him. So he realized that it just wouldn't work. He had to stick this out and fight it.

SSDI's recent later of denial states that they know he is disabled but he doesn't meet their criteria for LTD. They mentioned they talked to three doctors, he has at least six doctors. ALL of his physicians have attested to his disabilities and have shown proof. In fact, he caught a simple cold a few months back and had to be HOSPITALIZED. His doctors told him it is likely that every time he gets a cold this will happen! I mean what the hell people? His heart isn't functioning near what it should, he has circulatory problems, diabetes neuropathy, pinched nerves, herniated disks, COPD, congestive heart failure, a serious hip problem, carpal tunnal and a whole host of problems. Social Security wanted to know if his condition was terminal. His doctors told them it is, eventually it may be one of those things that does it for him.

I know he never expected his life to be like this. He has worked hard since he was just 14 years old. Dad grew up poor in a very proud and hardworking Georgia family. He worked when he was a kid, joined the Air Force later on, and when he got out he worked his way up through the same company for 27 years, in a job that caused his carpal tunnel and most of his arthritis. Dad has ALWAYS worked. I don't ever recall him taking many vacation days or calling in sick. In fact, dad received recognition for perfect attendance over the period of 26 of 27 years of service.

How many people can boast that?

You might think I'm pretty protective of dad. Well hell YES I am, we all are. Dad worked when he was sick, he worked in the rain, in the snow, in the sleet, he worked for 12 hours at a time on top of telephone poles, he worked all day in nasty, damp, vermin filled manholes. He wired telephone cables for so many years, eventually it caused his hands to hurt all the time. And when he wasn't at work, but at home with his family, he worked too. He was NEVER sitting down, he was always fixing things, building things, keeping things going on the outside while mom did the inside. My dad has always sacrificed for his family many times he went without for us. He and mom always took care of us, always paid their bills, paid their taxes, and God knows that the government took more than its fair share of taxes from them in the very plentiful days.

And now, after all these years of paying into the system, they're giving him the finger and the good old fuck you. Sorry for the language folks, but I'm just angry. I'm tired of my dad being treated like he's a second class citizen who doesn't matter.

He does matter.

This situation is just one more example of yet another in a very long list of corrupt, mismanaged, taxpayer funded government agencies staffed by morons and managed by a bunch of equally incompetent jackasses. I am just sick and tired of paying into government programs that trip over their own feet in an effort to give away our hard earned tax dollars to the "poor, unfortunate, disadvantaged" people in this country while at the same time saying "fuck you" to the law abiding, decent, hardworking, middle class people like my parents who have NEVER taken a single dime from any government program, but whose tax dollars sure as hell are sucked into them every payday.

I've had it.

What is the loud BOOM?

If anyone out there in bloggerville has any ideas what causes a loud "boom!" noise which woke me up at 4 am this morning, let me know.


It's not outside or inside the house, so it has to be in my head. It's happened before. I'll be sleeping, dreaming and the boom! happens and then I wake up, just like that.

I've got to know. It's bugging the hell out of me. It hasn't happened in some time but it's happened to me many times in my life.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Kitty update...

I found out that Frank is a girl, so I just now call her "kitty kitty" anyway, she's still hanging around. She likes to sleep under this nice pleasant overgrown azalea tree that has a nice thick bed of leaves under it, and she just stays there all day long. Sometimes I get a little itchy after I pet her. I don't know if it's just chiggers outside biting me or if it's the cat.....anyway, let's hope she's already spayed so there are no kittens running around here one of these days!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Retro Casual Friday:

I remember when this song came out, we were all singing and dancing to it.
I am not going to give you even one hint, except that the year was 1978, the rest is up to you, all you have to do is just "click" and crank up the volume!

All Hail the B-52's

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Why didn't someone tell me?

Well isn't this refreshing?

I just found out that after nearly 37 years of life I am a racist.

Who would have thought such a thing was possible? After all I have never judged people for their skin color, culture, or religion. If you're nice to me, I like you. If you respect me, I respect you. For me, it's that simple.

So imagine my surprise when my professor tells me that some "expert" in the field determined that people who don't have "people different from them" in their inner circle of friends are racists.

In my circle of ten closest friends, there are no muslims, blacks, or asians. This doesn't mean I don't like muslims, blacks or asians. It's just that I don't have many close friends but the people I care about the most are Susan, Jeanette, Deb, Jenn, Kaley, Val, Gina, Diana, Mike, Elizabeth and Connie. Though we don't keep in touch every single day and some I haven't seen in many years, we're still connected. These are people who make my life so wonderful and richer in knowing them. They are all wonderful people and diverse too in their backgrounds including careers, education, economic status, and heritage. There's even diversity in our ages.

I don't like my circle of trusted people to be too big and the only criteria is what I mentioned earlier. How you treat me and how you treat others means more than your skin color. I find that it's really time consuming to tell more than a couple of people my life story, and well, I just have a hard time making really close friends because I have a hard time committing to spending a lot of time with them. My closest friend Deb will tell you that, we've known each other 10 years now and while we are good friends we just don't spend enough time together, what with working full time, being married and all that goes with just "life".

For me, when I make a friend, I don't feel like checking off boxes when getting to know someone. I don't say "Oh wait, I choose you to be my friend because you meet all the criteria that would take me off the list of racist white chicks" or "sorry I can't be your friend because you're just too damned white" .

Give me a break. Yes, it's cool to have a diverse group of friends but diversity comes in ALL forms. I don't look at people's color, religion or any of that when I am someone's friend, it just happens.

Something bugs me about this whole diversity thing. Some would say I have too many "white" friends. But..what if one of them is Jewish? What if one ofthem is a white South African? What really does skin color have to do with diversity?

One word: Nothing.

The DNA made me do it!

Well again I'm following the herd LOL and now I can officially blame it ALL on my DNA.

Thanks to JY Biscuit I have once again caved and involved myself in yet another personality test which you can view here. The results don't surprise me one bit. Every time I take one of these tests, the results are always the same.

On the flip side of things, I am extremely tired. I finally finished reading the section of my text titled "Obedience to Authority" which discussed among other things, the Milgram Experiment which was basically an experiment of social psychology. The experiment measured the willingness of participants to obey instructions requiring them to do something that would conflict with their conscience, in this case, inflicting harm in the form of volts of electricity on another person who did not answer questions truthfully or in a timely manner. The study involved actors portraying the "learners" (aka victims) who were not actually being shocked or tortured, and their "teachers" (aka the individuals inflicting the pain), who had absolutely no knowledge that the learners weren't being harmed. These "teachers" were your average, law abiding people. They had to be this way in order for the experiment to play out. It had to be proven that average, law abiding people could in fact go against their conscience and perform heinous acts in the quest to obey authority.

The trial of Adolph Eichmann was a year prior to the experiments and Milgram's conclusions led to his theory that perhaps those involved in torture and murder in the Holocaust weren't evil at all but just following orders. As you can guess, many folks just didn't like that. And of course his theories were countered by others in the field. There was in fact a big difference in the two situations which led to the idea that perhaps maybe it's not what kind of person one is that is causing them to inflict the pain, but the situation that surrounds them.

I mean we all know people who are otherwise relatively normal and easygoing who have engaged in pathetic and abnormal behavior and we tell ourselves how unusual it was for them to act in such a manner considering it's just not like them. In fact, I myself did just that very thing. When I was part of a small group of friends, or people I thought were my friends, I did in fact, go with the group and was mean to some other folks. It was against my conscience and my personality but I did it anyway, because belonging to the group made me feel secure and like I belonged. We were like a mob sometimes, getting out of control. Was it obedience to authority? Nobody told me to act that way. Or was it the need to be a part of a group, the need to conform? Once I realized my behavior was not at all like the "real me", I stopped it, distanced myself permanently from the so-called friends (they couldn't have been friends if they thought that behavior was acceptable in the first place) and since that time I have been my old self.

It is a bit frightening that decent, good people could possibly go against their conscience to do anything that would harm others.

Anyway, I had to read the text and then consider some discussion questions. I wrote the questions down and it took me an hour to ponder the answers.

And now I'm beginning to panic because I have the topic of my research but I can't narrow down my thesis. I need to write about an ethical issue in my career or major. Well my major is History and there are so many topics out there I could touch on. I particularly like the subject is rewriting of American history for the sake of political correctness, and I hope that this one will outshine the rather awesome paper I wrote two semesters ago on "Eminent Domain" . Now I am not sure if I want to do a general overview and cite some examples or pick a specific situation and focus on that. I

Some of my thesis possibilities include:

Movies: Oliver Stone's JFK: Most folks who saw this movie came away with a new sense of urgency in finding out what really happened behind the assassination. I know that it fascinated me to the point where I read volumes and have much information stored at my house in regards to the event. The problem is that careful scrutinization of the movie shows that Stone took a lot of liberties in distorting the truth for the sake of making a movie which entertained, which was in fact his priority.

Holiday PC: Washington and Lincoln's birthdays lumped into one because they were white, Columbus Day protests, and the forcing of states to adopt MLK birthday as a national holiday. For the sake of PC, the contributions by men of certain races cannot be officially recognized.

Public school textbooks: rewriting the texts to downplay American contributions to history and focusing more on the tolerance of things like say---Islam.

The Eradication of Civil War History in the South: we all know that in the south, monuments to Civil War heroes are being torn down, schools and municipal buildings are being renamed, and the confederate flag is being banned in all forms.

and finally while it's not "American History" which is what I want to focus on, a law professor acquaintance of mine brought this up this morning and I find it fascinating...the whole PC issue regarding the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the flap last year with the Smithsonian, I have to check into that more, but our discussion of it had me very interested.

There are so many things that could be covered. I want to narrow it down to just one. So if like one of these or you have any suggestions now is the time. This damn thing is due end of April. This happens every time I write a research paper, I have so many thoughts and ideas, I can't narrow down my focus.

As my mother would say.... OY VEY!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

If this were your daughter....

Would you want the man who raped and brutally murdered her to be executed? It takes a hell of a strong person to turn the other cheek and forgive and be ok with life in prison. While I am positive that innocent people have been executed in the long history of executions in this country, this just isn't one of those cases.

Terri Winchell would have been 42 years old this year. But she never made it. She never had the chance to go to college, get married, have children, buy her first home, interview for her dream job, send her kids off for their first day of kindergarten, attend their high school graduation and play with her grandchildren.

Michael Morales, the brutal bastard who, in 1981 when she was just 17, beat her with a hammer repeatedly and with great force, until he disfigured her, then raped and stabbed her to death, could face life in prison instead of execution.

Morales was set to die but two anesthesiologists appointed to make sure that Morales was unconscious before the lethal injection withdrew from the execution because the court ruling mandated that they would hve to be an active part of the execution by adjusting the dosages if Morales didn't die the first time around. Officials are attempting to proceed using sodium pentothal instead of the three drug sequence usually used, but the Judge as added yet another condition-that the drug must be injected by someone licensed to inject intravenous medicines and the injection must go directly into Morales and not an IV.

And so because officials are having trouble finding medical persons who are licensed and willing, Morales might just get life in prison because it's rumored Judge Fogel will not issue another death warrant after this one expires.

Terri's family is being robbed of justice. It seems such a shame.

You know how all this started? The bastard's attorneys argued the state's lethal injection procedure may cause him excruciating pain.

After what he did to Terri Winchell, there's a problem with that?

You mean all along it wasn't ME?

Elementary schools in Santa Monica California and Washington State have banned the game of tag out of concerns for physical and emotional injuries.

School officials are concerned that students might be roughed up or worse, their self-esteem might be harmed.

Well damn!

I'm feeling left out now and I'm somewhat angry. How could my parents and teachers put my emotional and physical well-being in harm's way by allowing me to play tag in school?

I mean oh my GOD do you know what kind of damage was probably done? All my adult life I have wondered "what's wrong with me?" I am not rich, I don't have the job of my dreams, haven't finished my college education, married late, don't have kids, and I am insecure about all kinds of things. I paid decent money to a psychologist to find out what my problem is and still we haven't figured out why I can't "get it together". I was beginning to think that my problems stemmed from the way I dealt with life and that I was just going about it all wrong. I had heard that happy people are the ones who take responsibility for their own lives and create their own destiny. So figured what the hell? Maybe that's the ticket!

Well imagine my surprise today when I found out that I really am not responsible for my own destiny, that the reason I am lacking in life is because my parents and teachers let me play tag in school.

Now the question is, who can I sue and how much can I get?

Monday, February 20, 2006

This whole "President's Day" sham...

Not to be a bitch or anything but I don't like the idea of "President's Day" to honor all our past Presidents. I don't even like all our past Presidents. I mean why should I honor a bunch of rich white men I didn't like?

It's all about PC. We're not allowed to honor a white man's contributions because it was white men who screwed things up for everyone else.

I say bring back Washington's Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday and add Thomas Jefferson too while you're at it. After all the man authored the Declaration of Independence for crying out loud. Doesn't he get any recognition?

No official act called for it but somehow Washington's Birthday and Lincoln's Birthday were lumped together and are honored by the Feds taking yet another day off, and the rest of us working stiffs going to work, which is probably what Washington and Lincoln would have wanted us to do. I highly doubt they would have wanted the taxpayers footing the entire federal payroll taking off on their birthdays.

On the flip side of this birthday thing, I recall states were asked (some were forced) to adopt Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a holiday and on this day damn near everyone is required to shut down. Now don't think I don't appreciate Dr. King's contributions, because in fact, I do. He was a good and decent man who worked peacefully for real change. He wasn't perfect he had his faults, but I have no problem honoring him. On the day we celebrate his birthday, people come out in mass numbers to put on plays and marches and speak in honor of his contribution to society.

How come I don't see marches and speeches on "President's Day?"

It's because nobody cares about the sacrifice of one white man who was perhaps one of the great military Generals of all time, a man who put his own life on the line and fought for freedom from tyranny and oppression.

It's because nobody cares about the rich white man who wrote the Declaration of Independence, donated his own personal library collection to begin the Library of Congress, was responsible for the adoption of the "dollar" as our primary monetary unit, and who devoted his entire life to public service.

It's because nobody cares about the poor, white, illiterate midwestern farmboy who rose against the odds to become a lawyer, legislator, and then President and was leader of this nation during the most turbulent time in American history.

Just like Dr. King, all three of these men had personal faults and weaknesses. That's what man is, he is fallible, he makes mistakes, he is not perfect. Surely we can see the past the mistakes of these men and realize the much greater issue is the extraordinary contributions they made to America. Surely we can look past the color of their skin and (as Dr. King once said) judge them for the content of their character. For when we do, we will find that they deserve no less than our respect and their rightful honorable place in this country's history.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My school daze...

Kelly's post about finding old classmates got me thinking about something....my school days...

Growing up in Miami, my sis, bro and I had lots of friends and played all the time, life was good. But then a certain bad element began infiltrating the nice neighborhoods and the day that this asshole named Ricky Alford beat me up in the schoolyard because he said I cheated on the spelling test, a test which would decide which student would attend the Dade County SPelling Bee. Let me just interject that if there's anyone who doesn't need to cheat in spelling it's me. Been like that my whole life. Spelling comes as naturally as eating or going to the bathroom. Yep it's that easy, so you can see that I was pretty freaked out when RA and RM both from my sixth grade class, threatened to beat me up after school because they said I cheated. I should have known that was a world to come....those who can't blaming their inadequacies on those who can. Anyway, RA had me face down in the dirt pounding on me (yeah I know it takes such a real an to beat up on women doesn't it?) and my sister ran down the block to our house which was only 5 minutes away. And then RA let me up and here comes mom, barreling down the street in my dad's pickup truck and aiming straight for the group of kids coming down the street, one of them being that son of a bitch who had beat me up.

After that my parents realized that we might not survive high school, so they decided to move us out of the city and into the country. They moved us to a small town in North Florida, and we attended a small school whose population at that time in 1980 was about 600 kids from K-12th grade. My parents had talked to the principal of the school and was told that bright kids get to skip grades (not once did I ever see that happen), and we were told that it was a really nice town in a nice rural area. It would help that my mom's folks had retired from Miami to Ocala, which is just an hour or so away, a year earlier and we were glad they would be nearby again, as an hour was probably the farthest they'd ever been from us.

So we moved. Two parents, three pre-teen kids, two dogs, a bird, two vehicles, and a very large Jartran moving truck containing all of our worldly possessions. We landed at our six acres of pure heaven in November 1980 and have been here ever since.

Let me just say that the first thing that happened when we started school was people called us "refugees" you see back then in the country, everyone was related to everyone else and strangers just weren't welcome. In fact, our being from Miami automatically labeled us Cuban. Strange though because even though we three kids had to learn spanish in elementary school, nobody in our family was Hispanic and the closest we'd come to Cuba was that we had lived some 190 miles from it and our best friends in Miami were a Cuban family. That was the extent of our ties. But it didn't matter. The kids in school who did this (and their parents who allowed it to happen) were just ignorant of anything outside this small town.

I recall the time one of the local rednecks talked about the "new Jew in town" and my father was in the store when this happened, proudly displaying his Star of David (symbolizing mom's Jewish heritage) with a cross in the middle (to symbolize his own heritage). There were a lot of people in that town who hated blacks, Jews, hispanics, and basically anyone not like them. You can't convince me the KKK didn't run rampant in some wild rural areas of that part of the country. So it seemed that my parents traded one sordid sort of people for another. But at least we kids would live through this, our future wasn't so sure staying in Miami. And overall looking back I'd say that while there were some great folks we left in Miami, the quality of the people overall and the environment made the move a wise one.

As we kids grew up in this small town, it was hard to make friends. Some kids were really critical and mean to us, some were really nice, and some were undecided. Once they figured out we weren't anything "special" we were pretty much just left alone. I don't recall anyone just jumping at the bit to get to know us. I tried so hard to be liked, I tried to fit in, I really cared about what others thought of me. Truth be told though, I was just a regular person, ordinary but not extraordinary, except for the fact I could kick the entire county's ass in spelling, and that helped gain me a few short-term friends. I mean I can honestly say the only time I had everyone in the school rooting for me was the two years in a row I kicked our county rival's ass in the county spelling bee. Before I came along, it hadn't been done in years. But other than that, I was really an unknown.

I'll interject here and say that when I was in the 6th or 7th grade, I used to stay after school and watch the older cheerleaders practice. Would you believe I still remember all their names? They graduated in 1980-82, nice girls too. Two of them were cousins, M and M and they even drove me home after practice. They knew how much I wanted to be a cheerleader. I think I wanted to be a cheerleader though so I could be popular. In a small town like this, if you were a cheerleader, everyone respected you.

As I got older, I got into trouble, mostly because I wanted things my mother wouldn't give me and then also because I wanted attention. We had a principal who frankly was more interested in punishing me than finding out why I was behaving like I did. I wasn't a bad kid, never did drugs, or hurt anyone or anything like that, I just did stupid things. If the kids in school were using that as an excuse not to like me, it was crap, pure crap. They never liked me in the first place. I suffered through the most miserable junior high school years, wishing it all would end. What made it bearable was well I don't know. Looking back my home life wasn't as bad as I thought it was, maybe that's what got me through it. That and just the grace of God, I think.

Anyway, it wasn't till I hit the 11th grade things began picking up. My folks were almost forty and going out on Friday and Sat nights occasionally. My sister and I would go skating those nights, I was living with grams next door to mom and dad so I had more freedom, it was getting better. But school itself, well it still sucked. I'd had a few teachers along the way who cared about me, well let's see, there were two--Mrs. J who taught me to share my feelings in our private class journals, Mrs. A, who taught me how to express myself through art (when I wasn't even an artist), and Mrs. B who helped me express myself through journalism. I hate to say it, but throughout my entire high school career, four years 9-12 grade, these are the only three teachers who gave a damn.

I was a smart kid but hating my teachers and many of the students didn't make me exactly excel in school. My teachers labeled me and that was that. I hated PE because my teacher was a bitch, I hated regular math because our teacher used to preach I was going to hell and he treated me like a second-class citizen, I hated home economics because the teacher was a bitch, I hated biology because the teacher was a bitch, and I hated algebra because I couldn't understand it, though Mr. P really tried to explain it. I hated the teachers and the students. I hated the way some girls pretended to be my friend and then turned on me, I hated the way the boys wouldn't be nice to me. It was j

My parents frowned upon too many extracurriculars. My sister and brother played in band but I didn't have any extracurriculars---except for journalism my junior and senior year. Fortunately for me, I was made an editor of the high school paper in 12th grade. I was the news editor and I wrote editorials that were really progressive and really enlightening. Looking back, they needed work but not many seniors were writing about the things I wrote about. I also wrote a few sports editorials, and I even did the play-by-play of the 1986 WorldSeries in the post series edition. I had finally found a way to express myself. And it made me popular. People read my stuff, finally I had a way of making other people hear me.

I also worked on the yearbook, I was the editor of the clubs and organizations section. It was an outstanding yearbook and I know my old pal "ST" here who comments frequently on my blog will recall the long hours we all put into it. It was by all means, SUPERB. And when we sent it to print, it was like this big overwhelming feeling of accomplishment.

So imagine my sadness when I received a letter from my journalism teacher/yearbook advisor Mrs. B, while I was in boot camp, telling me that the damn yearbook company LOST the original we sent them. They lost it, it was gone forever. Mrs. B and her current class had to recreate a new yearbook for us but it didn't matter, it could never be the same, and it wasn't. The photos were blurry, outdated, things were misspelled, the layout sucked. It was horrible. I don't think I ever got over that. Those of us in that class had created a work of art, that could have been up for big recognition, and it never came to be. My big moment was sitting in a warehouse somewhere collecting dust because it didn't get delivered to the right place.

That still just chaps my hide!

Once I joined the military I left town and kept in touch with only one person who claimed to be a friend but had really been two-faced towards me. Her mother didn't like me and had forbidden her from being around me, like I was some sort of plague. Like HER daughter was an angel?


Later on when I returned to the area I made friends with a couple of the people I had known in school but not hung out with. I got in touch with ST ( I just can't remember how it all came about) who I had known in school and we got along but we weren't friends. She was quiet, had a boyfriend (RT), and kept to herself. She was on homecoming court and was popular but she wasn't a cheerleader and she didn't play sports. Everyone liked her though. Then there was her boyfriend, now darling husband RT and his brother RT who I had gotten along with in school but geez Louise those boys loved to argue--about ANYTHING. I used to watch the way they picked on one another!! I enjoyed becoming friends with them. There was JJ, who was also from Miami and had moved here a few years after me, and even though our dads worked together, we hadn't been good friends in school, now we keep in touch and it's nice. And then there was JB who I had really just disliked in school and later on when I ran into her she was so nice and pleasant, a real genuinely nice person and we became friendly. Sadly she died in December so I never got a chance to say I really appreciated getting to know her. There is one more person too, MK who like me, wasn't well liked in school, but they disliked her for different reasons. She never got into trouble, in fact she was a straight A student, and a nice girl, a little bit of a thing, but she was different, dressed different, acted different, and the popular girls made fun of her. Oh when they needed help on tests, they asked her but other than that they could give a shit less. The boys were the same. Later on I found her, we corresponded and she was happily married to a police officer and has two beautiful children. She's really an awesome person and it was nice to see what I missed out on not knowing her. I do know the alienation she felt in school, I should have been her friend.

At the ten year reunion in 1997 things became interesting. Now I had sworn I wasn't going but my mother said "you should go and show them all how smart and gorgeous you are!" Yeah yeah yeah. Now of course years later mom and I were so damn tight and finally I decided to listen to her LOL. And so I showed up at the afternoon picnic and had fun, people kept saing "wow you look great" they asked about my military duty, college, all that stuff. Wow, most of the were interested in me and I could care less about most of them (except the few I mentioned previously). I felt like I was in a foreign world. They were all married with kids and there I was single and living it up. Later on we all went to dinner and I noticed that all the same old groups gravitated towards one another. For whatever reason I could not bring myself to sit with the popular people in a closed setting. All I could remember is what bitches most of them were, . The funniest thing about that day was that the guys really talked to me, they were just real friendly. A guy who had called me names, terrible names in school and publicly degraded me was there with his wife, his much younger wife, and he was being nice as if nothing ever happened. And then one of the guys who had been popular, played sports and was more a well-liked guy than anyone other guy in the class (always the mister nice guy, was nice to me in school but never really got to know me), was being his same old very nice self.

ST and I have often discussed this, about how people change when they get older and it's true. And it's important not to hate or hold grudges for stupid things people did long ago. When I look back at my school days now I am not angry,and I do recall more of the fun times I had. Weird isn't it? There were actually good times in school, I just didn't see them back then because the hurt was so blinding. It's like now I remember that much of my life back then in school and at home was really good, it makes me feel warm now to recall it, but living it back then was hell.

But isn't it like that for all everyone? It always seems worse when you're living it.

Long ago I did finally forgive those who were mean to me and treated me like crap, that goes for the teachers and the students. I would not go out of my way to be nice to the people who were mean, but I certainly don't wish them harm. I know that kids do stupid things but the thing is that they made a conscious choice when they clearly knew better. It makes me wonder...did their parents act this way? And do these people still act this way? I hope not.

I will admit, the town changed, people got older, it's a nicer place now. And looking back, I am sure that things appeared much worse than they might have been. That's what retrospect is when you're an adult, when you look back you realize it wasn't that bad. But there are some things that were, and you can never forget them.

Our experiences make us who we are. Had it not been for the experiences of my school days, I may not be the person I am today. And what kind of person am I? Well I am a good, decent, honest, hardworking and sincere person. I love my family and I am devoted to the few good friends I have. I am fair and balanced, I believe in equal justice for all. I am opinionated, outspoken, and sometimes so very insecure. I am well-liked by most, disliked by a few, and I'm sure the jury is still out on everyone else.

And yes, I still care what people think of me. I might talk tough and say "oh screw 'em" but really I do still care.

I guess some things never change.

Skip my blog will ya?

You know I read a reply to one of my recent posts and as usual I checked out the person's blog and well...turns out he's got a half dozen blogs all devoted to porn, kinky sex, showing of his "hot" wife, etc etc.

Now it's a free America, so if you want to have a porn blog, show off your hot wife or whatever, that's fine.

But leave me out of it.

It's common knowledge that when you comment on a blog, not only is the person who owns that blog probably going to return the favor and visit your site but so will everyone who reads the blog you commented on.

What pisses me off is that people who run these porn blogs comment all over the rest of the non-porn blogging world for free advertising. I don't appreciate clicking on the blog of someone who commented on mine, and being subjected to disgusting photos.

You can show nude pictures of yourself and your spouse all over the internet for all I care but don't be trying to suck me and the rest of the normal blogging world into having to view them.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Update on Frank...

Well Jenn was here and gone, and Frank never showed up. He must have known. In talking to Jenn and DH I think we all decided it would be best to begin feeding Frank less and less and hope he goes on his way. He's been gone all day, I think he has a home somewhere. He appears to love the outdoors and so I hate for him to be stuck in a cage for three days and then stuck in that cathouse they have at the Animal Shelter, I mean he wouldn't be caged there, he could roam in the house but still.....he appears to love being outside. So he got a reprieve this week. I hope he goes back home soon though. He seems well-fed and he's not eating much here. Jenn thinks if he begins looking sickly that might be a sign he doesn't have a home, but chances are that he does and is ok. We'll see. So for now, he remains, maybe he just picked here to hang out on a temporary basis. The one thing is I hope it's not a female who isn't spayed...we don't need kittens around here...

Today's the day...

Today my friend Jenn comes over with her cat carrier and we load up Frank the wonderful cat and take him to the county's Animal Services. Now before you get all upset, I did my homework to be sure he wouldn't face chance of being euthanized. Animal Services will scan Frank for a chip, then do an evaluation on health and temperament. They will hold him for three days and then I will call the Humane Society in three days and they will go pick up Frank and bring him back to their shelter. Thank goodness it is a "no kill" shelter. They said they house animals for life if need be. (Can you imagine those poor babies in a shelter their entire lives? I just can't fathom it). I believe Frank will be adopted because he is so sweet.

Frank has been with us a week now, at least at our house. I still say it's a possibility that this is the same cat that's been lurking this entire area for a few years now but I can't be sure. It doesn't matter though, he deserves a home where he doesn't wander.

I finally got him into the house. We have a screen door and when we had him in the house the other day and he ran out through the screen it tore the screen out from the bottom. Well he kept meowing at the door so I'd sit in the house and call him in and now he knows to come in through the small flap of the broken screen.

Some things are eating at me like what if Frank has a real home and he just likes to hang here? What if he doesn't get into a better home? Should we have kept him?

I have slight cat allergies, I have to be careful not to touch my face with my hands after petting any animal, because the dander will make my eyes water, my throat scratchy and my nose stuffy. I notice though even after taking precautions, sometimes after petting Frank I get just slightly a stuffy nose, but see I am usually out ther with him early in the morning and in the early evening when it's cool so I'm not sure Frank's causing it.

DH and I just aren't ready for the responsibility but you know I'll admit last night I thought I heard meowing, and checked the door several times to see if he was out there. I guess I am used to him. This morning we played, he finally came into the house through the screen several times to be petted and didn't seem to mind the screen door being closed (unlike the other night when he was anxious to get out!). I think he's finally becoming used to us. I have things to do so I closed the front door so he can't come in through the screen (I worry if he might have fleas although I didn't notice any). And I looked out a bit ago and he's still standing right next to the door.

I have to wonder if I am doing the right thing.

And wouldn't you know it? This morning DH goes out to the laundry room to put some clothes in the washer and when he opens the door a gray cat comes running out! Now he doesn't recall if this is the same gray cat we've seen lurking the area in the past few years but I have to wonder. Because the only two cats we've ever seen were gray and the one that looks like Frank. And that makes me wonder, am I being too hasty in taking Frank in? I'm so confused. I don't want to get too attached because it'll be hard for Frank but at the same time, am I doing a better thing fo rhim by sending him away to a better home?

By the way I have been wanting to try and fit some volunteer work into my schedule and I wanted to do something for people and something for animals. I think that I will try and volunteer some time at the Humane Society helping with the animals. The local PetSmart also has a program where volunteers can walk and play with homeless animals, I am guessing maybe the Humane Society transports them over there. DH and I contribute quite a bit to the Humane Society by bringing things to their thrift store every few weeks. Thanks to donations of goods to the Humane Society thrift store, they raised over $100,000 last year, isn't that amazing?

I'll let you know how it goes today...

Friday, February 17, 2006

Retro Casual Friday: Do you remember?

"Mister McGee, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry"

"I'm gonna cuff ya an' stuff ya!"

"Go to bed Sue Ellen, there's nothing uglier than a woman who can't handle her liquor!"

Hint (as if you needed it!) -- CBS Friday night lineup, TV season 1979!

Ok ok, the answer is:

Incredible Hulk
Dukes of Hazzard

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

When justice just seems so perfect...

Let's face it, there are some real assholes in the world, people who think they know everything, who make threats, make fun of others, call them vile, dirty, disgraceful names, things that would make most adults turn red. Gee, you'd think a "mature" (and I use the term loosely) woman in her thirties would have more decency. Guess again. There are a lot of people like this in the world.

I find that behavior repulsive and it really does show you a lot about that person. They'll tell you they aren't insecure and that they don't care what others think. Yeah whatever. Trust me, they care. They had a screwed up life and they make up for their insecurity by taking it out on other people. Yeah they might attempt to convince others that their shit doesn't stink but oh yeah it does, it reeks!

I'll be honest, I'm not a mean person by nature but I got caught up in a little of that behavior occasionally, for the sake of friendship, and I didn't like who I was becoming, not one bit. So, I decided to go back to being the real Jess people knew and loved, and I dropped everything and everyone that was a part of me becoming that way. I just realized I don't have to impress anyone by being someone I'm not and there is no friendship that is worth sacrificing one's own morals , values, and soul.

But in my quest to be a better person maybe I'm still deranged just a teeny bit because I recently had that feeling of satisfaction when I learned that someone who is a really cruel, nasty and spiteful bitch is now getting it thrown back at her.

Maybe it's not nice to think that way but then again I am a Libra and by nature we have an extreme sense of justice.

Ignorance running rampant

Before I get started, yes I know that not all college students are ignorant morons. Unfortunately though you and I know there is a significant number of ass-backwards, ignorant, uninformed, and unappreciative college students out there running amok spewing all kinds of assinine crap. I don't know what made them that way, I blame their parents, socialist professors, but who really knows? All I know is that I'm just sick and tired of their bullshit.

Gregory "Pappy" Boyington was an graduate of aeronautical engineering at the University of Washington. He was also a Medal of Honor and Navy Cross recipient who served as a combat pilot in World War II in a squadron was known as the Flying Tigers of China and as a combat pilot in the Marine Corps. During WWII he shot down some 26 Japanese aircraft and he spent almost two years in a Japanese POW camp. His WWII squadron served as the model for the squadron portrayed in the series "Baa Baa Black Sheep". He died in 1988 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Recently it was proposed that Pappy be honored with a memorial at UW, in fact the idea went all the way to the Student Senate. Here's the resolution:

"Be it resolved … [t]hat we consider Col. Gregory Boyington, United States Marine Corps, to be a prime example of the excellence that this university represents and strives to impart upon its students, and, That we desire for a memorial for Col. Boyington be commenced by the University of Washington by 11 January 2008, the twentieth anniversary of his death, which will be publicly displayed, so that all who come here in future years will know that the University of Washington produced one of this country's bravest men, and that we as a community hold this fact in the highest esteem."

From the minutes of that meeting:

Jill Edwards questioned whether it was appropriate to honor a person
who killed other people
She said she didn’t’ believe a member of the Marine Corps was an
example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce.

Ashley Miller commented that many monuments at UW already
commemorate rich white men.

These women are ignorant morons. How did they get into college? Well of course I know common sense isn't exactly a prerequisite now is it? Before Ashley shot her mouth off and showed her ignorance maybe she should have checked Pappy's background. He was not rich, his parents both had to work hard, and he also a Sioux Indian. He was by NO means a rich white man. And so what if he had been? He would still have been a hero. And how dare we deny honors to a hero because of the color of his skin or how much money he has?

Since when do we not honor exceptionally brave men and women who have fought to keep our nation free? The very freedom Ashley and Jill express every single day of their lives exists because of people like Pappy Boyington. I have to wonder what Ashley and Jill's parents taught them about freedom and liberty or whether they taught them at all.

I checked and Jill and Ashley's email addresses are a matter of public info on UW's site. They may not want the publicity but they certainly asked for it. Now they will have to reap what they have sown.

I'm angry at these women. I am angry at their ignorance and stupidity. And I am not just angry at them because I am a veteran but because I am an American first and foremost. Unlike these women, I appreciate the sacrifices so many millions have made so that I could do something as simple as expressing my opinion on this very blog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Maybe Cheney was just a cover story...

One has to wonder if Dick's open season on hunting buddies is merely a cover for the real story that few are talking about. The deal has been finalized and shame on us, because I'm quite sure I'm not the only one who was clueless.

You would think our government would want us to know that six of this country's major ports are slated to be taken over by a company in Saudi Arabia.

You would think.

I'll admit I had no idea that an English firm P&O Ports owned six major ports in this country. After learning it I felt rather embarassed that I never knew. But honestly why would I know something like this? Like any other average, red-blooded American, I always thought that that US government agencies and/or US owned companies owned and operated US ports. I mean I though that was just a given. So imagine my surprise when I found out I was wrong (I think misled is a better word) and also that there is no requirement mandating US ownership of these ports. Once I got past my embarassment at my lack of knowledge in this area, I was outraged that our government, which works so hard to meddle in the individual lives of its citizens, does not care that that a foreign nation, especially the UAE will soon be in control of six of our ports, including one in New York City.

I have a hard time believing that there is no American company that can take over managing the six ports in question. If there isn't a company, one should be created. And if one can't be created, then damnit put them under government control. Yeah I know, just what we need, more government control right. After all we see how successful the government is in the area of airport security. But really we have no choice. Government control of our ports is a hell of a lot more viable option than foreign control. The ports are penetrable, they are a source of irritation in the area of national security and since our government's first and foremost duty is to provide for the safety and security of this nation and its people, it would seem only natural they take over this venture.

I have to ask myself why a foreign nation? Certainly giving foreign ownership our ports isn't for the purpose of saving our government money because God knows our federal government officials don't give a shit about that, not with a $2 trillion dollar proposed budget and a federal deficit of $8,213,765,145,378.46. And I have a hard time believing that this deal is just to show solidarity with the Saudis. No, some folks higher up somewhere in this government are getting something big out of this. Look, it took me a long time to accept the possibility that Haliburton could be one of many reasons we went to war in Iraq and if I accept that possibility, I have to accept that there's something fishy behind this deal.

I'm not surprised the media is more interested in Dick than the Saudis. I mean if you weigh the two stories, it's so obvious......you know....."Arab nation which funds terrorists plans to take over US ports" against "Dick accidentally shoots lawyer buddy with birdshot" of course the latter would be the most important, I mean a bunch of old bald guys accidentally shooting each other while hunting poor defenseless little birds is certainly an issue of national security now isn't it?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dear Al Gore...

Dear Al Gore,

I am not ashamed to say I voted for you and Bill in the first election. I was young, energetic, a Democrat and full of vision for my future. Your energy inspired me, I thought you two could really take this country in a new direction. I was excited to cast my vote for you.

That was in fact, the first and last time I ever voted for you.

It's no secret to my friends and family that I detest you. The sound of your whining voice makes me cringe. The sight of your pale, vampire-like face on the news forces me switch channels. Your pathetic childish behavior infuriates me. Your inability to put what is best for this country above your own selfish personal goals and need for retribution disgusts me.

Ok I'll give you this--I believe you love your family, your friends, and your status. I'll even go so far to say I believe you love the freedom that comes with being an American. But that's where it ends because other than that I think you're a big fat pompous ass.

Right now I'm torn on whether you are an imbecile or just stupid, but since an imbecile is one whose has "moderate to severe mental retardation having a mental age of from three to seven years and generally able to communicate somewhat and perform simple tasks under supervision", and stupid means one who is "obtuse or tends to make poor decision or makes careless mistakes", I am going with the latter.

Al Gore, I am angry at your serious lack of judgment. You attended the Jeddah Economic Forum, a forum whose purpose is to discuss economic development issues among Middle Eastern and other nations, and you turned it pathetic attempt to gain attention, diss the Bush administration, and the American people.

You said that Arabs in the US had been "indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable” and “Unfortunately there have been terrible abuses and it’s wrong. I do want you to know that it does not represent the desires or wishes or feelings of the majority of the citizens of my country.”

Who are you to tell the Saudis you speak for me? You don't speak for me, in fact you stopped speaking for me the day you left office. You have no official position in this country which allows you to speak for me, and so I am angry that you would sit there and tell the Saudi audience that the majority of the American people agree with your statmeents. I think you owe us an apology.

Contrary to what you choose to believe, the American people do in fact want our government to actually put its powers to good use for once, by ensuring that everything is being done to prevent the entry of people into this country who might want to do us harm. We do not want a relaxed, open-door policy, we do not want an expediated system that will process visas so quickly there are possibilities for serious error. We do not want our national security compromised by trading favoritism towards the Saudis for oil.

Al Gore I don't appreciate you insulting the American people when you talked about the abuse Saudis suffered here after 9/11. For the most part the "abuse" you speak of never took place. What did take place was a very real feeling of fear instilled in Americans after learning the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. Well duh, what the hell did you expect us to feel? Are you going to sit there and tell the American people that you had no concerns? You have a wife, four children, and two grandchildren. Are you going to say that you were not at all concerned? Are you saying you were not in fear? Are you saying you did not support more careful scrutinization of our visa process?

I don't buy it.

Al Gore I am angry that you had the audacity to try and convince your Saudi audience that the fear of Saudis after 9/11 was merely Republican paranoia but the truth is that the fear was held by Americans from all walks of life. After 9/11 we were all scared that more Saudi-funded terrorists were going to strike again. At least of course everyone was scared except you. While we were in fear of repeat attacks you were planning ways to encourage an even broader open-door policy towards the Saudis.

Al Gore, you might think that your comments at the Saudi economic forum were an act of free speech but they were not. Your protection of free speech in the US Constitution does not extend to foreign soil, outside the embassy. When you blasted our President, his administration and our country, you were not expressing free speech, you were seeking retribution in a place where you were safely nestled, in a foreign country among people, many of whom hold some form of anti-Bush, anti-American sentiment.

Al Gore, please understand that I'm all for freedom of speech. You can say whatever the heck you want while you're in America and while I might not agree with you, I will support your right to say it. But if you go abroad and diss this country, make a mockery of our institution of government, our leader, and the American people, then that sir, is unacceptable and I cannot defend that. I'm not saying you have to agree with the policies of the Bush administration, but I am saying that you, having been Vice President and still having enough influence to serve as a representative of this country and its people, have a responsibility to show American solidarity abroad, to represent our country abroad in a professional and courteous manner. You sir did not do that which makes you, in my book, a big fat scumbag.

So in the future, if you can't do something as simple as respect your country abroad then do us all a favor and shut the hell up.

Sincerely yours....

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dumb & Dumber

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 /U.S. Newswire/ -- James and Sarah Brady made comments today related to Vice President Cheney's reportedly accidental shooting yesterday in Texas.

"Now I understand why Dick Cheney keeps asking me to go hunting with him," said Jim Brady. "I had a friend once who accidentally shot pellets into his dog - and I thought he was an idiot."

"I've thought Cheney was scary for a long time," Sarah Brady said. "Now I know I was right to be nervous."

You know some things really speak for themselves......

Since I'm up late, I might as well...

LDiablo really got me thinking in his post that growing old is mandatory but growing up is not.

But first if you're wondering "why the hell is she up at 2 am?" well I'm up late, because DH woke up coughing, choking a little and then puking, about 1 am. I'm pretty sure it was his acid reflux. My guess is the chili with meatloaf and salad on the side for dinner, the 8 beers, and the entire jar of peanuts he snacked on later finally got to him. Sometimes prevacid just isn't enough to keep this thing at bay. Poor thing, I knew something was wrong from his cough and jumped out of bed faster than lightning. DH was amazed later on at how fast I moved. Well shit, I worried that he was choking and as it turns out, when he was coughing while lying down, food was coming out, so he could have choked. So he spent some time puking up, I felt bad for him, like a mom watching her child be sick and not know what to do. DH used to do this once a month sometimes less frequent, for a few years after we got married and I worried. That kind of violent vomiting, hearing how hard it was for him to catch is breath (I'd say "breathe hon, remember to breathe" to help him get through it). Anyway, when someone you love is sick like that, you really worry.

While we're at it, he does take Prevacid but when the GI doc told him he had acid reflux, it was after they did an endoscopy to be sure there was nothing more serious. She prescribed Prevacid and I asked her "is there anything he can do in regards to diet?" I mean I am one of those proactive types who, when there's a medical problem, does research online to help get educated and find out more about it. Well I had read over and over that diet is a big part of it. But this Doc, we'll call her Doc W, looked at me like I was dumb and said "no, he just needs to take the meds". And I told her "I read that changing one's diet and eliminating or merely reducing foods that cause the problem, really helps" and she repeated "no, he just needs to take the meds" . Yeah ok.

She's a good doc but I thought it highly inappropriate for her to just throw Prevacid at him without even the slightest recommendation that he alter his diet.

Now getting back to LDiablo, he's got me thinking about growing up and growing older. I don't want to grow old, because when I do, my parents do, my brother and sister do, my aunt, my grandparents, all the people I love grow old with me. Every year we all grow old, is another year we come closer to death. And I have a problem, I cannot deal with aging and death. I fear my own mortality.

I love my family so much, that it actually hurts to think someday they'll be gone. I mean I feel this empty hole in my heart just thinking about it. I usually think about it when I am lying in bed at night trying to sleep. And what comforts me is when I begin thinking of memories from my youth, growing up with my family, and all the fun times. I have a hard time letting go of the past, although I have to wonder if we are supposed to let it go, I mean our past is part of who we are, why do we have to give it up? I don't live in the past, but I often recall memories of my life and they make me smile. Thinking about my past keeps the people I love young too.

I cannot imagine my life without DH and my family. My folks are married forty years and they are nearing sixty this year, I will be forty in four years. I haven't finished my education, haven't had children, still have debt to pay off, and I think about what I haven't accomplished in my life. I don't know if that sets me off in thoughts of the past or if my thoughts of the past set off my fear of growing old. Some call my fear gerontophobia but that word includes a fear of old people and I'm far from that, I love old people. I tell DH that if we could I would be happy living in a retiremtn community playing shuffleboard with old people. I feel secure, comfortable with them. They can teach us so much, they have a story to tell.

Mom will probably have a fit reading this but don't worry mom I'm ok. I needed to get this out, I need to know I am not alone in my feelings. I know there are thirtysomethings out there at this point in life too, and we must all share the same fears. I know I can't be alone in this...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Well this is interesting...

Now doesn't this beat all? I always figured my life was closer to 1940's screwball comedy but damn this is so close. Now if mom reads this and she takes the test, I bet you 10 to 1 she'll wind up with the same answer. And then we'll know exactly where I got it from won't we MOTHER?? LOL

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Black Comedy

In your life, things are so twisted that you just have to laugh.
You may end up insane, but you'll have fun on the way to the asylum.

Your best movie matches: Being John Malkovich, The Royal Tenenbaums, American Psycho

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The end of an era...

My great-grand aunt Andreé died in her sleep a couple of days ago. She would have turned 100 this year. Auntie Andreé was born in 1906 in Paris, France. Her father was a French Lieutenant, Aerial Photographer during WWI and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. She moved to NYC in 1923 and married my great grand Uncle Douglas Sanna, the youngest son of Sicilian immigrants, in NY in 1925. They lived in New York and Connecticut and we saw them quite a bit when we were growing up. Uncle Doug died in 1982 and afterwards, Auntie Andreé remained in Connecticut until 1995 when she moved to the Keys to be near her children.

My grams who is 88, spent a lot of time with her favorite aunt when she was a young girl and during their adult years. They were only eleven years apart and Andreé was like a second mother to my grams. Auntie Andreé and Uncle Doug lived in a gorgeous cottage in the Connecticut countryside. In 1985 when grams was 68 and widowed just a year, she drove herself up to Connecticut just to spend the summer with her aunt Andreé in the country. They had the best time together, just like when they were younger. Auntie Andreé had a beautiful garden and they liked to spend a lot of time in it.

Auntie Andreé was a very nice lady, full of life, graceful, kind, and very intelligent. She drank fine wine and was sophisticated yet warm and personable. She also had beautiful hair and skin and looked far younger than her age.

Auntie Andreé was the last remaining family member from my great grandmother's generation and now with her passing, they are all gone. Yes, I knew Auntie Auntie Andreé would leave us sometime, I just didn't know it would be so soon.

"Au revoir ma chere tante, jusqu'à ce que nous rencontrons encore."

"Goodbye my dear aunt, until we meet again"

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

While you're at it, get a spine...


...that CNN thinks it's perfectly ok show on-air the painting of the Virgin Mary illustrated with images of female genitalia and elephant shit (which has been defended as an expression of free speech) but out of "respect" for Islam CNN will not air the editorial cartoon (also defended as an expression of free speech) which has caused thousands of militant radical Muslims to wreak havoc upon the rest of the world.

Gutless bastards.


Who am I referring to?

Reverend Joseph Lowery, Former President Jimmy Carter, and all the lemmings who applauded their Bush-bashing at Coretta King's funeral service.

You'd think for one day the racist hate mongerers could put aside their political diatribes and stay focused on the task at hand, which was to be no more , no less than a eulogy.

But no, they caved and turned their part of the funeral service into an anti-Bush, anti-Republican hate-fest. Now I hate to say this but the remarks from outspoken, bigoted and far-from-esteemed Reverend Lowrey don't surprise me though but I would have thought surely that Mr. Carter, a gentleman and former world leader would have had more grace and dignity than to participate in such detestable behavior.

I was wrong!

Thank goodness for former President Clinton, who gave the longest of the speeches, which eventually droned on towards the end, was respectful of the event and President George W. Bush and his father George H. W. Bush (who lost a page of his speech!) were such class acts.

The whole scene with Lowery and Carter was just pathetic, hell it even made my face turn red with embarassment when I heard their remarks. What made it all worse were the hordes of people attending the funeral who applauded both men, including a two-minute standing ovation for Reverend Lowrey.

It's simply disgusting but alas, it's not surprising.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pimp my daddy...

I admire Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because of the ideas he stood for and because he was willing to put his own life on the line for them. It takes great courage and sacrifice to do such a thing. He wasn't perfect but I'll forgive his weaknesses in favor of what he did for the greater good. While I admire Dr. King, I am not a fan of Coretta Scott King or her children. Sure Mrs. King supported civil rights in her own way and she inspired many but unfortunately in my eyes, her greediness and that of her children overshadow for me any good they might have done. I just don't care for their exploitation of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King.

A few years ago Congress made an offer of $20 million to the family to purchase a large collection of Dr. King's papers for the Library of Congress but when the family insisted they retain the copyrights after the sale, the government rescinded its offer. The family then contacted Sotheby's and is still waiting for an offer from someone....anyone.

Many years ago CBS introduced a video collection titled "The 20th Century with Mike Wallace," which of course included a piece from the "I have a dream" speech. The family, who has spent the better part of their lifetime making a lot of money from the death of their husband and father, was appalled and Dexter Scott King was quoted as saying "It has to do with the principle that if you make a dollar, I should make a dime." CBS and the family of MLK finally settled on an agreement which included CBS making a tax-deductible contribution to the King Center in Atlanta. Frankly I agreed with CBS' stance on the issue and was angered they were strong-armed into a settlement. CBS has every right to make use of their own news footage. The King family does NOT own the rights to that.

In another case, the King family sued Boston University in 1993 in an attempt to take back thousands of documents that the Reverend had donated from the earlier years of his career. Thankfully, the King family lost their suit.

In 1985, a journalist named Leonard Pitts asked the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta for an interview with Mrs. King and for permission to use an old audio of Dr. King for a radio program. He was told to pay $5,000 or no interview.

In 1993 the King family sued USA TODAY for reprinting the infamous "I Have a Dream" speech when they did a piece commemorating Dr. King's birthday.

The King family allowed a cell phone comapny to use Dr. King's famous speech in television ads and then informed news agencies they would be required to pay to use clips of Dr. King's speech.

The King family fought a proposal by the National Park Service to build a visitor's center near the King Center in Atlanta because the family wanted to build a for-profit museum of their own. Fortunately the family lost the fight and the visitor's center was built.

The King family also demanded they should receive payment to allow construction of a memorial monument to Dr. King on the Washington Mall.

Dexter King once met with the people who manage the Elvis Presley estate to get an idea of how to market their own father's estate.

The King Center in Atlanta is in dire need of about $11 million in serious repairs. And isn't it interesting that in the last five years, about $4 million of that "repair" money has been paid to a company owned by none other than Dexter King. Meanwhile the King sons earn six-figure salaries in their positions at the King Center. Former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, a friend of the late Dr. King and his family once said" "A lot of money needs to go into maintenance, and that can't be the responsibility of the family."

And by the way, the King Center receives more than a million dollars in taxpayer funded federal grants every year.

The King children are notorious for fighting amongst themselves in the matter of how business should be handled. It even got to the point where one brother changed the locks on the King Center's administration building so the other brother could not get in.

All this while the blue "eternal flame" that lights the tomb of Dr. King, just suddenly one day, extinguished on its own, to the astonishment of visitors who simply watched in amazement.

Dr. King was not a merchant with a product to be sold for profit. He was an ordinary man with an extraordinary vision that meant so much to him he was willing to die for it. Dr. King did not invent the vision, nor did he own a patent or copyright to it because it belonged to all of us. His vision for America was shared by millions.

And so it has always appalled and disgusted me that the family of Dr. King exploits his memory by commercializing his vision instead of freely and openly giving it the people, where it belongs, where Dr. King wanted it to be.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Forcing the pledge...

Today I was reviewing bills that are before the Florida House and Senate and I discovered that the powers-that-be have thrown into the Class size amendment a bit about mandatory reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.

Both HJR 307 and SJR 534 call for an amendment to s. 1, Art. IX of the State Constitution, which would require public school students in all grades to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag and that they should be excused only if the parent provides a written excuse.

When I was a kid I didn't have a problem with the Pledge in school but then again no one forced me to say it but I certainly would have expected that if I had chosen not to say it, I would not have been required to obtain my parents permission. I think that my parents would have thought that ridiculous. We teach schoolchildren to be good citizens yet we do not allow them to decide for themselves whether or not they want to participate in reciting the pledge. Let's let these kids be good citizens--if they want to stand up and say the Pledge, let them go for it, if not fine, leave them be. Is the child who refuses the pledge any less patriotic? I think not. Instead of doing the thinking for them, let's teach these kids to stand up for themselves and decide in what way they want to express their appreciation for being an American.

You know it's really quite amazing....right now in America we have politicians pushing for legislation that would ensure parents have no right to be notified if their underage daughter seeks an abortion and yet we have politicians want to pass laws which require a child to obtain written consent from the parent before refraining from reciting the Pledge. This is forced patriotism. A flag in every classroom, every child reciting the Pledge. Sounds more like a socialist nation than a free and democratic republic.

Our politicans are going about this patriotic thing ass backwards. It is the act of standing up for freedom and liberty, not reciting mere words, which makes one a true patriot.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

No big deal on the cartoon

Here's what the fuss is all about.

At first I thought that drawing the cartoons was probably just a dumb idea, then I realized that maybe the cartoon artists were trying to get out their own personal frustrations at the radical Muslim wave trying to take over our planet. Little did these cartoonists know their expression of free speech would turn their cities and embassies abroad into flames. One thing is for sure, I'll be continuing to support the Danish and their right to free speech.

Thanks to my pal at the thought-provoking Tales of a Wandering Mind for commenting on all this and bringing it to the forefront. I've been thinking about it all weekend and wasn't sure how to approach it so I just did it.

In checking out the infamous Radio Islam which is a pro-Muslim, anti-semitic, hate mongering Swedish radio channel turned website, I was appalled that the morons there have the audacity to use two of America's beloved founding fathers George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in their anti-semitic cause. The title on one of their webpages "What Washington and Franklin said about the Jews" and then posted:
"They (the Jews) work more effectively against us, than the enemy's armies. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties and the great cause we are engaged in... It is much to be lamented that each state, long ago, has not hunted them down as pest to society and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America." .....George Washington
What Washington actually said or what Maxims of George Washington claims he said, was really about currency speculators who wanted to profit from soldiers and others during the Revolutionary War. The actual quote:
This tribe of black gentry work more effectually against us, than the enemy's arms. They are a hundred times more dangerous to our liberties, and the great cause we are engaged in. It is much to be lamented that each State, long ere this, has not hunted them down as pests to society, and the greatest enemies we have to the happiness of America.

There's no evidence whatsoever that George Washington was anti-semitic. In fact, in response to a goodwill address given to him by the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, he responded by writing and I quote: "the first presidential declaration of the free and equal status of Jewish-American citizens"

and then there's this alleged quote by Benjamin Franklin:
"I fully agree with General Washington, that we must protect this young nation from an insidious influence and impenetration. The menace, gentlemen, is the Jews.

In whatever country Jews have settled in any great number, they have lowered its moral tone; depreciated its commercial integrity; have segregated themselves and have not been assimilated; have sneered at and tried to undermine the Christian religion upon which that nation is founded, by objecting to its restrictions; have built up a state within the state; and when opposed have tried to strangle that country to death financially, as in the case of Spain and Portugal.

For over 1,700 years, the Jews have been bewailing their sad fate in that they have been exiled from their homeland, as they call Palestine. But gentlemen, did the world give it to them in fee simple, they would at once find some reason for not returning. Why? Because they are vampires, and vampires do not live on vampires. They cannot live only among themselves. They must subsist on Christians and other people not of their race.

If you do not exclude them from these United States, in their Constitution, in less than 200 years they will have swarmed here in such great numbers that they will dominate and devour the land and change our form of government, for which we Americans have shed our blood, given our lives our substance and jeopardized our liberty.

If you do not exclude them, in less than 200 years our descendants will be working in the fields to furnish them substance, while they will be in the counting houses rubbing their hands. I warn you, gentlemen, if you do not exclude Jews for all time, your children will curse you in your graves.

Jews, gentlemen, are Asiatics, let them be born where they will nor how many generations they are away from Asia, they will never be otherwise. Their ideas do not conform to an American's, and will not even thou they live among us ten generations. A leopard cannot change its spots. Jews are Asiatics, are a menace to this country if permitted entrance, and should be excluded by this Constitutional Convention."

But according to the Anti-Defamation League no such speech was ever made, it was in fact a hoax:
Of course, no such speech was ever made. But the hoaxers sought to impart an aura of historical credibility to the fake by claiming that the speech is quoted in a "private diary" of Charles Pinckney, Revolutionary leader who was delegate from South Carolina to the Constitutional Convention. They also maintain that the diary is now in the possession of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, a bald lie which Henry Butler Allen, director of the Institute, has often refuted. Allen says that "historians and librarians have not been able to find [the diary] or any record of it having existed."

A copy of the forgery was anonymously circulated through the mails this month [May 1954] on stationery captioned WAR DEPARTMENT, OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF STAFF. The envelope bore a May 3 postmark from Atlanta, Ga. This is the latest in a series of recent incidents that suggest another revival of the Prophecy. A copy was picked up earlier this year at a Tampa, Fla., bus stop, and there have been recent distributions of it in Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Alabama.

If you do an internet search of pieces of the alleged speeches by Washington and Franklin you will find that they appear as fact on every white supremacist, radical Muslim, and anti-Jew website. These morons are so stupid, that they have taken false quotations and used them on their websites to further their racist, bigoted cause.

You know I was checking out some of the cartoons drawn my Muslims on Radio Islam's site and was pretty appalled at what I saw.

It's just another wave of anti-Jew propaganda. Millions of people around the world are too stupid to do their own homework on the history of the world, and are too lazy to take responsibility for their own lives and destinies so they choose to blame all their problems and problems of the world on one people. It's easy to blame everything on the Jews. You know I have to wonder what my great grandparents Yetta and Isaac, who were Romanian Orthodox Jews, faced when they came to America. I wonder when they emigrated to Brooklyn were they met with this kind of hate and bigotry? Or were people open and accepting of them? They lived in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood but they owned their own businesses, including a habadashery and a restaurant and I am quite sure that especially given the city they lived in, their customers were people from all religions, races and ethnic backgrounds. I knew my great grandmother Yetta, she lived to age 103 and died in 1979. She was a good and decent woman and I am quite sure that she and Isaac treated people as they themselves want to be treated, with kindness, respect and decency.

Given what they and their families endured in Europe, they would not at all be as shocked as we are to see what's going on in the world today. Much has changed yet much has remained the same. Many have no desire to learn from history.