Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Great news!

One of my PhD students is taking the kitties for the two years! Finally, a solution and everyone is happy that Saffie and Chloe will have a home till their parents get back from England!

Monday, September 29, 2008

One of my students finished his PhD and he was offered a prestigious opportunity to teach and do research at a University in England for about to years and it's a chance he can't pass up. He and his new wife are moving there next week. He's got two adorable cats, one is 10 and one is 6 whom he's had for several years and it's just breaking their hearts they can't take them. It costs $2,000 per cat plus they will be in quarantime for six months each wary. I am trying to help them find someone to foster them for two years and then they'll take them back when they return to the US.

So far no takers...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

One of the strangest dreams yet....though not the strangest.

The dream....

I worked late and was heading to my parents house when I noticed traffic on the lonely country highway was backed up quite a bit. Apparently men had stopped traffic both ways and were robbing people. A man got out of his vehicle and I guess wouldn't submit to the robbery and he was shot in the head. Somehow I keep thinking "I have to protect my money" but I have nowhere to hide it. Eventually I am walking that road, near the woods though so I am not seen. There's a woman walking and she is sick and I tell her to come with me. I remember very clearly I terrified of being murdered by these perps. I think that at one point I had a gun to my head but I don't remember too well. I do remember I was angry that these men were threatening people so.

Next thing I know I am at my parents house, it is quiet, lights are on. This woman there tells me she will let me live if I pay her. But I get away from her, I want to kill her. I go into their bedroom and both of my parents are dead. No blood, but there's what appears to be a small hole in each of their right temples. They are laying there not moving. I am sobbing, I go to my dad's nightstand to find his gun but I can't seem to get the damn thing to fire. Finally I go over to my parents and leaning over and dad opens one eye, he's alive. He shows me where his .357 Magnum is. I go over to the nightstand, get it out, it's got this big barrel that I have to hold (it's a flexible barrel, imagine that??) and I am holding it and I begin shooting, it's an automatic and I'm shooting holes in all the walls because there are three bad guys there, two men and a woman and I am doing everything I can to kill them. My mom and dad both wake up, they are not injured, the bullets do not hit their brain, so they are ok. They are up now.

I run outside and am shooting everything in sight and hitting it too. I see their next door neighbor Butch and I yell to him to call the police. He does then he comes over and helps me figure out what happend. I think I killed the perps though I can't find their bodies.

Next thing I know my parents are ok, my sister is there. Then I am in the town near where my parents live, I am on the street with my hands full and need a ride. I see the sheriff and ask him for a ride but he says "we're sending a car for your family to take them home" (but they were already home!) and so I began walking. I knew they would want to talk to me about what happened.

Next thing I remember, I am talking to a friend, whom I work with. We're walking down the street and he tells me about this invasion from Granada and some other place and I said yes that happened at my house. And he's listening to this story as we're walking down the street. He's mortified over what I told him. Then this Asian girl we're walking with is pulled up into the trees by these guys and they are going to beat her and murder her. We eventually pull her out of the tree. Next thing I know we're at a ceremony honoring someone because there are a bunch of police there. They're missing this "medal of valor" they want to give to someone in the general public, though I don't know who and I ask this girl I know, she was younger than me back in high school, if she would drive home and get the medal.

This was a horrible dream. My parents murdered? Then alive? I was terrified of being murdered by these thugs? I take my dad's gun and play "Dirty Harriet??"

I didn't eat or drink anything unusual. But I have dreams like this all the time. I'll tell people who know me best "I had the strangest dream last night" and their answer is always "so what else is new".

Friday, September 26, 2008

RIP...

Paul Newman was a great actor, a genuine person and a very caring humanitarian, he will be greatly missed by all of us.

They were so good together...



















Thursday, September 25, 2008

Legally blonde...

Ok, I'm fessin' up, last Saturday night I forced DH to play on his computer in the office while I stayed in the living room and watched Legally Blonde & Legally Blonde 2 and I laughed my ass off during both films. I love Reese Witherspoon, she is so funny.

Now DH refused to watch it, maybe it was the chihuahua in a pink skirt that got to him, I don't know but the movies were so funny, I was laughing out loud. He just kept shaking his head.

I'm sorry but I thought the movies were hilarious!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not in this lifetime!

I'm going to say it publicly, I am NOT in favor of the government handing the former Chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs (Henry Paulson--did you know his net worth is some $700 million??) a check for $700 billion to do with it whatever he wants, with no legal recourse or accountability. Especially when Goldman Sachs (among other companies) stands to reap huge rewards from this.

There has to be another way. McCain is attempting to scare the American people by saying there will be no money for banks to lend, homeowners will no longer be able to get loans.

Well, that may be true, for a time anyway but I believe we will survive. This is capitalism, it has its good points and its bad points. We have to let the market dive and clean itself up.

Section Eight of Paulson's bailout plan states:

“Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

Hell NO!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Are you kidding?

My thoughts on education...

I believe that higher education is extremely important. That said, not everyone is graduate school material. If you want someone to hold your hand, "give" you grades rather than you earning them, and generally do the work for you, then you don't belong there.

It irritates me to no end when a student whines about graduate school being difficult. HELLO? It's supposed to be!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

$1 trillion of taxpayers money a "significant amount?" Really Mr. President?

Circle Of Debt: The Banking Bailout Explained

(WCCO) The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared almost 368 points Friday. The NASDAQ rose almost 75 points. Investors liked hearing about the biggest government intervention in financial markets since the Great Depresssion.

"We must address the root cause behind much of the instability in our markets: mortgage assets that have lost value during the housing decline and are now restricting the flow of credit. America's economy is facing unprecedented challenges, and we are responding with unprecedented action," said President Bush.

The Bush Administration Friday outlined a plan to buy up bad mortgages from banks so they can start lending again.

In addition, the government will use up to $50 billion from a Depression-era fund to temporarily guarantee money market mutual funds.

The bailout could cost taxpayers $1 trillion.

"We don't want to have what happened back in the Great Depression. We don't want to have people standing in line and losing money," said financial analyst Nicole Middendorf.

That's why the government is planning on spending hundreds of billions of dollars to buy out bad loans. It's the fallout from the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

"Now we have investments are worth nothing and we have to come up with cash to keep the system afloat," said Middendorf.

But just how is the government coming up with that cash?

Middendorf explained.

"I give you some of what I have, and then go to someone else and get money to pay you. That 'someone else' is other countries," she said.

But that foreign lender will want to be paid back with interest, which means Uncle Sam goes back to the taxpayer for the cash.

"We really need to be conscious and aware of where our dollars are going, but we also are going to unfortunately have, probably, taxes increase because we need to have more money coming in to pay for all this," said Middendorf.

President Bush acknowledged that the programs will put a "significant amount of taxpayers' money on the line," but also said he expects the money will eventually be paid back.

Friday, September 19, 2008

So what's a few billion in the whole scheme of things?

Since the bailout is going to cost approximately $2,000 per every man, woman and child in America, let's just all hand over our paychecks for this month and call it even. How's that?

I mean it's not like it's our money anyway right?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Take it, it's yours...

You know what? I'm thinking of just giving my entire paycheck to the federal government so they can do with it what they want. I mean, shit, I don't need it, right?

I'll just hand it over to them and they can give back to me what they think I need to live on. I mean they're already giving my hard-earned tax dollars away to corporate America and the rest of the world, why don't I just save them the time of deducting it and giving me what's left and I'll just hand it over.

Here Unca Sam, have fun, enjoy, hope all the little people near and far, all the big fat corporate blockheads, and the rest of the world enjoy my little piece of the American Dream.

Friday, September 12, 2008

More mudslinging at Palin...

Ok, I have read through the entire 120 page report and I can't find ANYTHING that supports the story during her term as Mayor, specifically in 1998, Sarah Palin forced rape victims in Wasilla Alaska to pay for their own rape kits.

According to the hundreds of reports out there, Police Chief Duwayne Charles Fannon, halved the budget request in 1997-1998, with a request of $7,298, spending $3,454. However, it seems he began the "victim pays" policy in the 1998-1999 fiscal year. That year, he requested $3,000 but spent only $205.


Well, according to the City of Wasilla's Crime Statistics website at http://www.cityofwasilla.com/index.aspx?page=103

In 1994 there were 8 sexual assaults, in 95 there were 5, in 96 there were 3, in 97 there were 0, in 98 there was 1 and in 99 there was 1.

This would explain the reduction in the budget for services for rape victims. Based on the reduced number of rapes over a period of the years prior to 1998, when estimating their need it would have been only natural to believe they would not need as much money as in previous years. Given there was only one rape, (and not knowing exactly what work was done or what a rape kit costs), that could explain why only $205 was spent that year.

Sarah Palin has plenty of faults but I'm not jumping on the bandwagon and pinning this on her, no way.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Machiavelli

Nicolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was a political theorist, author, humanist. He wrote a book titled "The Prince" which became a classic in political thought. In that book he wrote of the importance that a Prince be a moral person but that he might also come upon situations where he might need to act what would be percieved as immoral in order to protect the interests of his state. He believed that "necessity" instrumented political decisions which went against normal morality. As leader of the state the prince was responsible for preserving the existence of the state first.

And so it had me thinking...about how that applies in America today. Machiavelli was right. Sometimes leaders are forced to make decisions that may harm the citizens but preserve the existence of the state. Very interesting. Any thoughts?

Also....Machiavelli wrote about liberty and he believed that liberty stemmed directly from the conflict between the classes.

Which makes me wonder, if all citizens were equal, and there were no classes, would there still be liberty?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Just do your job...

It is so damn annoying when I bust my ass to go above and beyond for my students and someone else in another part of campus whose job is to HELP students can't do the same thing. I had a student with a financial aid problem and her counselor sent her back to me saying it was MY error. But I had done NOTHING to her record, I don't even work with financial aid. But twice her counselor blamed it on the student's department.

All this did was waste the student's time and mine.

Fortunately there are many people on campus who work with students, who are more than willing to go the extra mile, I am one of those people. Not everyone one who works with students has that same attitude. Not saying we all don't have bad days occasionally but there are those who do this sort of thing regularly.

I say if you don't want to help students, get a job where you're not in a position that requires you to help them. There are plenty of good people out there who can fill your shoes and nobody will miss you.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Oh please...

Because they just can't find anything else to bitch about and because they are so upset that such a strong woman with a set of standards who is by the way actually likeable and more in tune with the common folks than oh say their choice for VP (that being Hillary perhaps?), they're still trying to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin. Oh hell who doesn't have skeletons?

First it was her pregnant teenage daughter, then it was her husband's DUI when he was 21, now it's the non-issue that the luxury jet she spoke about in her speech, in which she put on EBAY, never actually sold on EBAY, although McCain had made a statement in passing that it did.

In reality, the jet was placed on Ebay but did not sell, so they pulled it off Ebay, sold it elsewhere. No, no profit was made off of it but if you factor in the depreciation, it might have just made a profit or at least come out even. What is being overlooked by some is the fact that the Governor sold the jet as part of a mucher larger effort to get rid of corruption and unnecessary spending.

And as to McCain's remarks, who knows why he said it was sold on Ebay? Maybe he figured it was and did make a profit?

The people who are pulling this crap out of a hat must be so desperate.

Friday, September 05, 2008

RIP Coasties...

This is a terrible story about a Coast Guard helo which crashed near the Coast Guard Base at Sand Island last night, killing three crew and with a fourth missing. They were conducting maneuvers with one of the patrol boats from the small boat station located at Base Honolulu.

I was stationed at the Base at Sand Island some 21 years ago and it was typical to take the 41's out several times a month for training with the helos from CG Air Station Barbers Point. We'd practice search and rescue maneuvers with the helo crew for several hours, usually at night.

These practice maneuvers are important for they help Coasties fine tune their SAR procedures so that others may be saved.

And now the ones who save lives have lost theirs. So sad.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Key points of McCain speech...

  • I understand who I work for. I don't work for a party.
  • We were elected to change Washington, and we let Washington change us.
  • We believe in low taxes; spending discipline, and open markets. We believe in rewarding hard work and risk takers and letting people keep the fruits of their labor.
  • I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.
  • His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.
  • We will drill new wells offshore, and we'll drill them now
  • My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination.
  • The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause, it's a symptom. It's what happens when people go to Washington to work for themselves and not you.
  • Russia's leaders, rich with oil wealth and corrupt with power, have rejected democratic ideals and the obligations of a responsible power. They invaded a small, democratic neighbor to gain more control over the world's oil supply, intimidate other neighbors, and further their ambitions of reassembling the Russian empire.
  • I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need. My country saved me. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Flashback to Zell Miller...

Do you remember this? Click on part 1 and then part 2 to watch former Georgia Governor & Senator Zell Miller battle with Chris Matthews on Hardball at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Every time I see this video, I just laugh my ass off!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Michael Savage pissed me off...

...with his remarks about Sarah Palin. He said she was an insult to women everywhere. He talked about her lack of experience and said American women want a woman (in that position) they can look up to, for instance a woman like Kay Bailey Hutchison. (No offense to Mrs. Hutchison but I prefer a new younger crowd in office). Michael Savage's callers, many of them women, made rude remarks about how Palin should be at home with her children and asking "how will she take care of her children if she is elected?" One woman even called her husband a wimp. Why? Because his wife is governor and he's not? Please! What? Women can't multitask?

HELLO! WOMEN HAVE BEEN MULTITASKING SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME!!! Hell, in the old days women who were widowed or abandoned took control of the childrearing, children's education, family finances and even the family business. So don't tell ME women can't do both. They have been doing both since the beginning.

Let's not forget, Sarah Palin isn't the only parent in that family, her husband Todd shares in the parenting responsibilities too. How about some talk about that? In this day and age where we encourage men to be an active part of their children's upbringing, where we encourage a fair sharing of responsibilities in parenting, where more and more men are spending more and more quality time with their children, it seems outrageous that so many are suddenly chastising a woman for her choices to have a career outside the home. Isn't this what we as women have fought for all these years? The chance to have the opportunity to do both, or at least try it?

This outrage about Sarah Palin having children and possibly being VP has me thinking about another VP...Al Gore.....who was just 45 when he was elected Vice President. At that time, his children were 20, 16, 14, and 11. Not once did we hear a peep about that. Why is that you ask? Oh that's because Tipper was at home caring for the children. Actually who really cared for the children? Did the school age children have a nanny? Did Tipper sit down and help them with their homework? Clean the house? Iron their clothes for school? Who knows? And is it our business? No. For the most part, the Gore children have turned out pretty good and it's none of our business how that happened.

I think some of the angst about Sarah Palin neglecting her children to run for office comes from the fact that traditionalists still feel that the woman is responsible for the children and should be at home taking care of them. I say if that's the way you want it fine, but don't sit there and make the claim that a woman cannot be a mother AND Vice President of the United States.

The bitching and whining about Governor Palin is getting old now. On one hand we've got Dems whining about Governor Palin's daughter being pregnant at 17 (whose business is it of ours and how is it even relevent to the campaign?) and on the other hand we've got Republicans complaining that either she doesn't have enough experience or that she should be home with her children instead. I'm tired of hearing that, talk about setting women back a few centuries? Home with the children? Sure, if that's what you want. But if Sarah Palin can do both, I say good for her.

How much experience do we want? Being a senator or representative does not automatically make one a good candidate for Vice President or even President. If anyone has the qualifications for the those offices I would say a Governor does. A Governor has the executive experience, the leadership abilities and the know-how to lead people, to make decisions that get the job done. Now Sarah Palin has only been Governor for a year and nine months but apparently the people of Alaska like her, and for a reason. I don't know what kind of Vice President she will make, but like Governor Palin, I too am asking the question "what does the Vice President do?" considering that in eight years we haven't seen much of Cheney and prior to that what in hell did Al Gore do for eight years?

It takes time to groom a person for the Presidency. No position in the world is like that of the US President and I don't think you can adequately prepare anyone for the office. Even John McCain, should he be elected, with all his years experience in the Senate won't prepare him for what lies ahead. So why are we worried about Sarah Palin? Are we really concerned that something might happen to John McCain if he's elected and she won't have enough experience to take over for him? How many Vice Presidents in this country have had to take over after something happened to the President? Plenty of them.

Despite what Michael Savage says about women wanting to vote for someone they can look up to, I don't think that's important. What we women want is what men want, someone honest with integrity and values, with America's best interests at heart, someone who is firm but fair, tough when necessary, a good negotiator, listener and not afraid to entertain new ideas and not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, even if it costs them.

I feel that Sarah Palin, being just a few years older than me, probably represents my generation more than anyone else who is running for office and frankly, it's my generation that is going to have to figure out how to solve the problems set before us. With our baby boomer parents retiring, it's now up to their children to take over. And right now, what we have is a mess.

Governor Palin is young, fresh and vibrant, she's what we NEED. Forget the two major things you disagree with her on for a moment (which for many is her stance on abortion and gay marriage). She's educated and smart, she has a strong marriage, a large family, a special needs child, a pregnant teenage daughter, and a soldier son (meaning...she's just like any other American). She didn't grow up with a silver spoon in her mouth, she went from small town mayor to Governor, which is NOT easy for someone without years of experience in the political arena. She is smart and likeable a good negotiator but not afraid to tangle with the big boys when necessary. She's also not a Washington insider, which in my opinion should be a HUGE plus on her part. When you take away the fact that she hasn't spent half her life in Congress like everyone else, you sort of have to ask yourself what's the problem here?

Sure I disagree with her stance on a few things but hell I can't remember one single politician in all my years of voting that didn't have some stance I disagreed with. I'm not a single issue voter, I vote for the overall package and in my book, Sarah Palin is the real deal. I only wish she were running for President and not McCain but hopefully if he wins, she will balance him out, they will run a good, honest and fiscally responsible administration keeping America's best interests at heart.