Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another day, another letter to the editor...

The Alligator published my letter. I've been getting phone calls and emails all day from folks giving me the thumbs up. The editor told me that it's refreshing to get feedback from staff and faculty, it doesn't happen often but it does present another point of view, one that is definitely needed.

Someone who was concerned about me being called on the carpet for my opinion asked "weren't you afraid to sign your name to it?"

My response was simply: "I never even gave it a second thought"

And that's the truth. I didn't.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

If only this were the most pressing issue in this nation...

Everything I've ever heard, seen or read about Roger Clemens has led me to believe he's a respectable man.

Everything I've ever heard, seen or read about most of our Congress in Washington has led me to believe they are not.

With all the corruption and hypocrisy that goes on in Washington it just irks me to no end that they have no more pressing business than Roger Clemens. What we have is basically a he said-he said. And can I just add in for a moment my amazement at the former trainer who says he kept bandages and syringes used when injecting Clemens? Yuk! But hey, if Congress is going to waste their time on this, let's get some DNA evidence. We could put this whole sorry story behind us with a little DNA testing.

Congress wants the Justice Department to investigate Roger Clemens for perjury. Uh hey--are there any Dems on this committee? Gee, where was their outrage when Clinton was in the hotseat for perjury?

They were crying foul.

But now it's ok to investigate Roger Clemens when there is no other evidence but hearsay.

In any case, I don't like Congress getting involved in this. It stinks. Let the professional sports associations police themselves, why do our lawmakers have to stick their noses in it? Maybe it's because there's no real lobbying of professional teams in Congress, lawmakers aren't making any money or getting any kickbacks from professional sports so why let them alone? Perhaps after this sordid mess is all over and Roger Clemens has lost his career and reputation over an issue which may never be resolved one way or the other, the MLB, NFL, and NBA will hire powerful lobbyists in Washington to pad the pockets of certain Congressmen so they'll look the other way---whichhappens so much of the time.

There are a million more pressing issues going on in America right now than whether or not Roger Clemens or any other athlete took steroids or HGH. It's about priorities. In our daily lives, you and I have to constantly prioritize because we just don't have time to handle every single little issue that comes our way. Right now we try and deal with the real important items and then when we're a bit more relaxed and have more time, then we tend to the smaller, more insignificant things. This should hold true for our government, the government who is wasting our tax dollars daily on this sham. If and when Congress solves this nation's most critical problems, then perhaps, if they are really bored and sitting there collecting a few hundred thousand per year twiddling thumbs because there's nothing for them to do, then maybe, just maybe they can probe professional sports.

Until then, they should suck it up and get to the real business of government.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

The flu? What flu?

Finally, 8 days of being sick is officially over. And I must say that the "lingering effects" I thought would be there aren't and I couldn't be happier. Other than an occasional cough, which doesn't hurt and is quite productive in loosening mucus, I am officially over it. Normally when I get sick, it's not so much the illness itself that I hate, it's the recovery time which seems to linger for weeks. This time though, I took care of myself. I stayed home from work six days, had a weekend before and after and I rested all the time. I hardly ate anything but broth, drank LOTS of water, took warm soothing eucalyptus and peppermint baths with lavender to ease the muscle and joint pain and clear my nasal passages, and I even used vitamin E on my the outside of my nose to avoid that cracking and dryness that comes with blowing one's nose endlessly. All in all, this has been one of the quickest recovery periods I've ever had.

I am very thankful.

I've resigned myself to the fact that no matter the precautions we take to avoid illness, sometimes it can't be helped. I wash my hands before preparing food and before eating it, I wash them after returning home from a public place, after shaking hands with someone, and I sneeze into my arm and not my hands. I also am careful about NOT touching my face at work, especially the eyes, nose or mouth.

I know, I know it sounds silly doesn't it? Trust me I'm no germaphobe and I do know that our bodies have to have some contact with them. But...I try to do my best to have good hygiene to avoid illness. I do think it works too. This time, something hit me which I had no defense against and that's fine, it's over and I feel much better.

If you find yourself with the flu, just follow my regimen if you can--- REST, DRINK, WARM BATHS (make sure someone's home when you're in the tub!), and STAY HOME FROM SCHOOL and WORK!

No sense in prolonging your own illness or giving it to someone else, right?




Oh and one more thing--HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEORGE WASHINGTON!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Who got me sick?

Would the person who gave me the flu please stand up so I can punch you in the face?

Thursday afternoon I started getting this awful cough and Friday morning I couldn't even move.
For three days I lay in bed covered in blankets sweating one minute and enduring chills the next. One of my coworkers felt bad because he had been sick and thought he brought it in but I tell ya I could have picked it up anywhere.

I feel much better today but still...it was awful. This is exactly why I am careful about washing my hands at home and work AND I don't like shaking people's hands at work or using other people's computers or telephones (and I don't like them using mine!). It's not because I don't like them but it's too easy to pick up each other's germs.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Let me first remove my brain so we'll be equals....

...is kinda what I would say to the dog-squeeze known as Code Pink.

The hateful Code Pink spokesmoron named Medea Benjamin was quoted as saying "Berkeley is a city of peace, and a recruiting station does not fit Berkeley's values."

Values?

What values?

Without a military to defend our God-given freedoms, Medea Benjamin and her merry band of feminazis wouldn't even be able to talk about values, hell they wouldn't even be able to talk about peace. Without a military to defend us, our country would be overrun with terrorists and others around the world who would love nothing better than to subdue and conquer the American people and every single good thing we stand for. And despite the troubles which face our nation, we have a lot of good things going for us, things that endure because we believe in them.

How quickly the anti-military radicals forget the great numbers of men and women who have fought and died for freedom in this country since before there was a United States! Thanks to millions of brave soldiers and sailors, Code Pink can march and protest in public. Thanks to millions of brave soldiers and sailors I can write this blog. Thanks to millions of brave soldiers and sailors, I can get the education I want, work in the kind of job I want, speak my mind without fear of retribution, practice my own chosen faith, enjoy financial success, and live the kind of life I CHOOSE.

It would be nice if the world was populated with nothing but good and decent people, but sadly it just isn't that way. There are some very bad, evil people out there who live for making other people suffer. Without an armed force to protect us, we would be overrun, we would be subdued, we would be conquered. And if that were to happen, it is highly likely the women of Code Pink would be among the many innocent women who would either be raped, beaten, forced into slavery, or murdered---just because they are women.

Code Pink would be better to march on Washington and attack the policymakers, not the men and women whose jobs it is to carry out that policy. Nobody likes war, but nobody dislikes it more than the soldier or sailor who has to leave their loved ones and their homes to fight it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Surgeon General's Warning: "Living beyond your means may cause you to commit murder"

Ok well it's not an official Surgeon General's Warning but how long before it becomes one?

According to this pathetic piece called news by Thomas Lake of the St. Pete Times, Leon Davis Jr. went on a mass murder spree because he lived a lavish lifestyle and bought a house he couldn't afford. That's got to be one of the most despicable pieces of dog-squeeze to be emitted from the print media in quite some time. Here's the problem, Mr. Lake would like us to think that Leon Davis was a seemingly normal person who went on a horrific crime spree because he was trying to keep up with the Joneses.

From the story:

Someone glancing at headlines then might have pictured Davis as a violent career criminal. A closer look at his history, however -- an examination of hundreds of records, public and private, as well as interviews with people close to him -- suggests something far more complex.

Uh yep, he's violent, no question about that. And complex? Hardly. He murdered FIVE innocent people without batting an eye. Two of his victims were shot in the head at point blank range, he doused two innocent women (one of them pregnant) on fire and as they burned he poured even more gasoline on them, and the fifth victim was the premature-born child of the pregnant burn victim.

Thomas Lake wants us to believe that Leon Davis's need for living a life of luxury caused him to commit crimes, I say that the guy was a mentally unstable (you'd have to be to set someone on fire!) and a menace to society LONG before he bought his $196,000 home.

I'm not buying it. Not one bit!!

I know a lot of people who at one time or another have found themselves in financial straits. (Who of us doesn't know someone in that position?) Some of these folks were able to work their way out of it, some of them are still working on it, some of them haven't done anything and are still there. Some folks took extra jobs, some sold the home they couldn't afford and moved into a smaller one or even an apartment, some sold off things they didn't need, some went back to school for an education to make more money. There are ways to get out of debt that don't include murder. There is absolutely NO excuse for what Leon Davis did and because he's a psychopath with an obvious history of instability he pay with his life.

Leon Davis Jr. has plead not guilty and it'll be interesting to see WHY he thinks he isn't guilty. Diminished capacity perhaps? Come on, he knew what he was doing. He once posted on his blog he wanted to begin living a clean life, well it's too late for that but at least he could stand up and be a real man for once in his life and accept responsibility for his actions and face the consequences.

But as long as people like Thomas Lake keep making excuses for this kind of behavior, it will never happen.

And as far as the title of Thomas Lake's piece "How Debt Led one man to an American Nightmare"....

no no no...that is all wrong!!

Leon Davis didn't experience the American nightmare, Leon Davis is the American nightmare. His victims experienced it firsthand, their families will live with it for the rest of their lives.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My "Roy Scheider" story...

Everybody's got a celebrity story right? Well I have a few, this one is about Roy Scheider, a great actor who will be missed!

The year was 1990 and I was working in sales and marketing at an upscale local hotel. I was walking out of my office one day into the main hall when I saw this man, somewhat small in stature, coming in from the pool with a towel around him, a book, and sunglasses on. I knew who it was, it was Roy Scheider. He and his cast and crew were staying in town filming a movie. I thought "I love this man, my mother loves this man, I have to get his autograph!"

I mean really now-WHO hasn't seen Jaws? My parents took us to see it when it first came out!

And of course "We're gonna need a bigger boat" pretty much sums up my life.

Anyway, thinking quick (as always), I ran back in my office and looked around quickly for something to write with and write on. The first thing I could get my hands on was a blank sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 printer paper and a sharpie!

I quickly went back to where he was near the elevator ready to go to his room, approached him and said,

"Mr. Scheider! Mr. Scheider! My mom just loves your work, could I please have your autograph?"

and sure enough he stopped and smiled and we talked a bit while he autographed that paper which my mom STILL has hanging on her wall today!

And that's my celebrity story for today. Maybe if you're good, someday, I'll tell you about the time I yelled to Bill Clinton at a rally during his first run for office, "hey Bill remember me!"

LOL!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

There is no good reason...

why anyone should have to sweep the kitchen floor SIX times in one day because someone keeps dragging dirt into the house.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I did something I don't normally do...

I actually had fun!

DH and I left work about 2:00 and ran some errands. Actually all he needed to do was go to Home Depot and get one thing and we wound up in the garden section where I bought a concrete birdbath, four Mexican heathers, some tarragon, parsley, basil and lavender plants, some pots and planters and potting soil. It was really a lot of fun. When we got home, I potted the herbs, repotted my amaryllis, and put some granules around my azaleas, gardenias and some other plants, then watered everything. The weather was great and it was nice to be outside.

It was a lot of work but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think working with plants is very relaxing. What do you think?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

NO NO NO NO NO!!!

I said it once, I'll say it again!

It is ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT that Congress is giving our hard-earned tax dollars to people who have ZERO TAX LIABILITY!!

It is ABSOLUTE BULLSHIT that Congress is denying a specific group of taxpayers the rebate even though they pay more taxes!!!

I disagree with the rebate anyway but if the government is going to give us back some of our money it should go to those who pay taxes, not those who don't.

There are more than forty million "zero-tax" filers! They are mostly low income earning less than $20,000 per year. These folks can eliminate their tax liability through earned income and child tax credits combined with the personal exemption and standard deductions.

Let's see, the child tax credit gives you $1,000 per child under 17 and is REFUNDABLE meaning you get the money even if you owe no income tax. And then the earned income credit allows for a payment of up to $428 for people who either worked full time or part-time, have no children but have a household income of less than $12,590 for a single person and $14,590 for married couples, and a payment up to $2,853 for those individuals who have one child with a household income less than $33,241 for singles and $35,241 for married couples, and a payment of $4,716 if you have two more more children with a household income less than $37,783 for singles and $39,783 for married couples.

So basically a person making $3,000 per year, has no tax liability anyway but add to that, $428 per child for two children plus up to $4716. That's over $5,100 in cash paid to people who never had any tax liability!!

And now we're giving them MORE money?

The new legislation calls for $600 rebate checks for people making at least $3,000 per year OR who file federal income tax. And oh yes, those with children will get an additional $300 per child.

I disagree with discriminating against individuals who have higher incomes, I also disagree with discriminating against people who have no children.

But who cares? Not my representatives or senators.

Oh and here's a thought....instead of mailing checks, why doesn't the government just say "ok folks, for the month of ______ we're going to adjust withholding and allow everyone a ___% reduction in taxes over that period. "

That leaves the responsibility to the payroll folks and no need to send out checks.

It's very likely the US government is borrowing the money (probably from CHINA) and they encourage everyone to go out and spend it (not save it!). So once you get your check from the US government, courtesy of the People's Republic of Communists---I mean China, you can go to your nearest Wal Mart and go apeshit on as many "Made in China" items as will fit into your basket.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

I hate this class!

I took my first algebra test last night. It was challenging. I wound up taking nearly the entire two hours. I don't know that I did that well on it, there were fifteen questions of which I'm sure I got at least a half dozen right, then there was one question I left half-answered and another I didn't answer at all.

And another WebCT quiz is due this afternoon by 4 pm. I really wish she would change her deadline to midnight to submit these online because damn--we've all been preparing for this test which covered us through Chapter 2.5, why would we want to go too far beyond that chapter's homework and distract ourselves? But no, the next chapter's quiz is due this afternoon and I've only got my lunch hour to read the chapter and figure it out.

I'm really hating this class. It's consuming me and taking valuable time away from my other course--my major course---History.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What is wrong with people?

I'm not in a bad mood, I'm not depressed but just so you know, the rant I'm about to go on is because I'm just disgusted.

This story about a bald eagle found with a broken wing and bullet fragments in her windpipe. Thank goodness vets were able to save her and she is now recovering.

This story about people abandoning animals at an unoccupied rental home in South Florida.

This story about two teenage bitches who robbed a girl scout selling cookies, then go on the record saying they are pissed they have to give the money back and are pissed because they got caught.

Parents murdering their children? Children murdering parents?

What is going ON here?

What is WRONG with people?

Mississippi House Bill would prohibit restaurants from serving obese people...

I can't believe this---Mississipppi House Bill #282

House Bill 282

AN ACT TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS FROM SERVING FOOD TO ANY PERSON WHO IS OBESE, BASED ON CRITERIA PRESCRIBED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH; TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO PREPARE WRITTEN MATERIALS THAT DESCRIBE AND EXPLAIN THE CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A PERSON IS OBESE AND TO PROVIDE THOSE MATERIALS TO THE FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS; TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT TO MONITOR THE FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. (1) The provisions of this section shall apply to any food establishment that is required to obtain a permit from the State Department of Health under Section 41-3-15(4)(f), that operates primarily in an enclosed facility and that has five (5) or more seats for customers.

(2) Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management established under Section 41-101-1 or its successor. The State Department of Health shall prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese, and shall provide those materials to all food establishments to which this section applies. A food establishment shall be entitled to rely on the criteria for obesity in those written materials when determining whether or not it is allowed to serve food to any person.

(3) The State Department of Health shall monitor the food establishments to which this section applies for compliance with the provisions of this section, and may revoke the permit of any food establishment that repeatedly violates the provisions of this section.

SECTION 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2008.



Apparently the authors--Representatives W.T. Mayhall Jr., John Read, and Bobby Shows must have nothing else to do. There must be no more pressing issues going on in Mississippi.

Yep, must be nothing else pressing...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Who's flying the plane?

Nobody's flying the plane!

Ok that's an old line from "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" and if you haven't seen it, you should.

Which brings me to my next rant....

For the past several months, Anderson-Columbia has been performing road construction at US Highway 129 and County Road 340 just a few miles from where my parents live. This is part of a larger $10,588,800.65 job which extends from the area where they live to the county line.

The only reasonable way to get to town (and towns beyond that) from their house is through that intersection. All those years we've traveled that area, I've never had an accident there, neither has any member of my family nor any of my friends, or most people I've known.

And yet, the state is spending money to adjust the height and slope of hills to provide better sight distance. That's because some people don't know how to drive. You see, there's a red flashing light on the east and west sides of the intersection and a constant yellow flashing caution light on the north and south sides. On the south side of the intersection is a hill. It's simple, if you are proceeding east or west, you STOP at the red flashing light, look both ways, take precaution and then proceed. If you're heading north or south, you proceed but you still look just in case some idiot pulls out in front of you. Most of us have been doing it for years with no problem.

Back in April 2002, a local deputy in his squad car with lights flashing was headed in the north or southbound lane when he slammed into a pickup truck carrying four teenagers which had run through the flashing red light at the intersection. Three teens died at the scene, the fourth died at the hospital and the deputy was injured. None of the individuals in either vehicle was wearing a seat belt, all were ejected. I believe marijuana was found in the truck but I can't remember at this time. As I do recall though the accident happened late at night when one would think the underage teens should have been in bed sleeping.

I recall after that incident many parents were complaining the intersection was dangerous.

Hate to say it but as of right now, the road construction going on seems to be far more dangerous than the intersection was pre-construction. The road crew is not doing their jobs and could cost someone their life! For instance, my dad and brother were on Hwy 129 a few days ago and when they reached the worker with the stop sign, they of course, stopped. The road worker then gave them the signal to proceed and that's what they did and when they got over the hill, they were headed right into oncoming traffic!! The idiot on the other end had apparently let his drivers go at the same time!

My dad and my brother could have been seriously injured or worse, they could have been killed because of the workers inability to do pay attention to detail.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

If Wesley Snipes can do it...

...why can't the rest of us? Hell I'd love to tell the IRS to go to hell but after I felt the initial good feeling from doing that, I'd still have to pay my taxes.

Wesley Snipes claims the IRS has no legal authority to collect income taxes so that's one of the reasons he didn't pay them. But after his trial his attorney says he's ready to make amends with the government. Hmm....

The IRS is very specific on the penalities for tax cheats...


Civil and Criminal Enforcement against Tax Cheats On the Rise

IR-2004-48, April 6, 2004

WASHINGTON D.C. — The Department of Justice, working closely with the Internal Revenue Service, has stepped up efforts to identify, investigate and punish tax cheats. Of particular note are the government’s efforts to enhance criminal enforcement, use civil injunctions to stop abusive tax schemes, and investigate promoters and users of tax shelters.

“Working with the Justice Department, the IRS is ramping up its enforcement efforts, particularly for high-income individuals and corporations, so that Americans know that when they pay taxes, their neighbors and competitors are doing the same,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson.

“We have arrested the decline in enforcement actions that began in the early nineties.”

“People who engage in, facilitate or promote tax fraud are increasingly likely to be on the receiving end not only of civil enforcement actions, but also of criminal prosecution,” said Eileen J. O’Connor, Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division. “If you participate in a scheme to defraud the IRS, you can wind up in federal prison, and you will still have to pay taxes, along with interest and penalties.”

Criminal Prosecutions of Tax Violations

The Justice Department’s Tax Division referred 1,129 defendants to U.S. Attorneys for criminal tax prosecution in 2003, an increase of 35 percent over the year 2000. Criminal tax charges were filed in 2003 against 1,036 defendants investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division. The Tax Division's criminal enforcement priorities include investigating and prosecuting schemes that involve:

-Using bogus trusts to conceal control over income and assets
-Shifting assets and income to hidden offshore accounts
-Claiming fictitious deductions
-Using frivolous justifications for not filing truthful tax returns
-Failing to withhold, report and pay payroll and income taxes
-Failing to report income
-Failing to file tax returns


So what I'm wondering is how did Wesley Snipes escape a prison sentence? Simple. The yahoos on the jury bought into him.

Do I hate income taxes? Oh hell yeah. I hate the idea we are penalized for our hard work. But that doesn't mean I don't think that until something better comes along (FairTax-ahem!) we don't have to pay them. We do have to pay them--all of us.

If it's one thing I loathe is people who use their celebrity status to get their way. But once again it worked. Oh sure Wesley will have to pay millions in back taxes but he gets to avoid prison and who wouldn't willingly pay to stay out of prison?