Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Flat Tuesday

What a way to begin the day. I went out to start up the car so the heat would warm it up and I noticed a flat tire. Blech. Fortunately, hub was just about to leave for work so he was still home. He and son took care of removing the flat and putting on the small faux tire that was the spare. Hub diagnosed it as a nail in the tire that caused the flat. So, after taking son to school I went by to get that taken care of.

Samuel Alito is a new associate justice on the Supreme Court now, as the vote was just taken. For the first time in our nation's history, the opposition party, the democrats, voted solely on political reasoning, not as it was meant to be. So, now that this procedure has been taken to a new low, the democrats will remain the minority party for some time to come. They are not worthy of leading the nation and the voters have certainly seen Charles Schumer's strategy of making judgeships all about ideology. He represents the state of New York.. I guess he still doesn't get it that the regular Americans don't want judges making law. That is what the legislators are suppose to do.

Teddy Kennedy's meltdown over the realization that he wasn't being taken seriously with his filibuster was grand entertainment. His mind is missing too many brain cells from the alcohol abuse all these years. He thinks he is still important.

As long as the far left remains in the 1970's mindset, they will continue to lose elections in this modern world. Those like Kennedy, who are so beholden to the special interest groups for campaign money are afraid to say no to their destructive ways in today's political arena.

Changing subjects, the jury has been selected for the trial of Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling from the Enron scandel. The judge picked the jury in about 6 hours. About 100 potential jurors were called to the court house and from that 16 were chosen. Twelve jurors will hear the case with 4 alternates. The breakdown is 10 women and 6 men. Of the jurors chosen, 13 are white, 2 Hispanic and 1 Asian American. Texas is not California. Jury selection doesn't take a month, even for a trial of this magnitude. It is estimated the trial will take 4 months. The circus has begun.

I am disgusted that "Walk the Line" wasn't nominated for Best Picture for the Oscars. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It's a true story of the life and love of two music legends as opposed to the popular gay romance story or the humanizing of terrorists. There I go again...

State of the Union speech tonight.

"The man who has no imagination has no wings". - Muhammad Ali

Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday Moments

One year ago today, we saw the first tape of proud Iraqi voters showing off their purple fingers. Quite a year.

It is the Chinese Year of the Dog. I love our Max, but some days there are moments I question my fondness for him. Like this morning when I came home from depositing son at school and stopping at the grocery store for a few items. I walk in the house and greet the tail wagging welcome wagon, as usual. I make my way to the kitchen with bags and give Max a morning treat. Then as I round the corner to exit the room, I notice Max's handiwork. Yes, he tore open a trash bag that was waiting to be completely filled before taking it out to the trash can. Bless his heart.

I feel bad about ABC news anchor, Bob Woodruff and his camera man. People being injured by IEDs or other attacks is a tragedy. But what I worry about is the constant coverage of newsmen when they are hurt, killed or taken hostage. What about the other civilian casualities and hostages? If they are working for the government or for a company doing yeoman's work on contract in Iraq, does it make it any less newsworthy? Where are the hourly updates for them?

I do so hope the Democrats try to filibuster, against all reasonable odds, today in the Senate before the vote for Sam Alito. It's going to be a great fundraising tool in the upcoming mid-term elections. Thank you, Teddy, John Kerry, Diane Fienstein (after feeling pressure and changing her mind) and Harry Reid (ditto, same Diane). What a gift.

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop". -Mother Teresa

Saturday, January 28, 2006

As the Clouds Move In

It's a dark and glum" looking day here in paradise. We are expecting afternoon thunderstorms. Blech. Son and hubby have gone to the museum district so that son can view the exhibits for an art class assignment. He needs to go to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and to the Glassell School of Art. The latter is to view a children's art exhibit. Good day to do something creative indoors.

I just heard on the cable news channel that Cindy Sheehan is challenging Diane Fienstein's senate seat in the primary if Diane doesn't support the filibuster of Sam Alito. Wow. I'm telling you, this woman is off the cliff big time. I know Cindy has beaucoup bucks behind her now but I don't think that would match Fienstein's husband's money and connections. Plus, Fienstein is popular in California on her own.

"The students are working very hard, their attitude is very good," said Superintendent Rick Summers, of the Deweyville Elementary School students. In the small rural community of Deweyville, about 15 miles north of Orange, Texas along the Louisiana border, the students have been attending classes in the cafeteria and playing on a barren playground druing recess due to the visit of Hurricane Rita. The students were out of school completely for 6 weeks after the storm.

This past week, Czech Ambassador Petr Kolar and his wife, Jaroslava, visited the school and presented the superintendent with a check for the amount of $100,000. The government of Czechoslavakia and the Czech people are donating to the United States in gratitude for the U.S. support of Pague after that city was hit by floods in 2002. They want to return the gesture of friendship, according to Petr Chalupecky, political officer for the embassy.

Texas has the nation's largest Czech-American population and the visit was coordinated by the governor's office. The Ambassador continued on to Austin for meetings after touring the school and enjoying the pictures the children drew as thank you notes to the Czechs. The superintendent thought the donation may be for about $50,000 as that is what was originally indictated to him. Imagine his surprise as he was presented with a check for twice what he expected.

The money will be used to buy library books and pay expenses not covered by insurance. The school serves 740 students. Very grateful students.

"With one day's reading, a man have the key in his hands". - Ezra Pound

Friday, January 27, 2006

Fool of the Week

The drumroll, please...
This week's title goes to Cindy Sheehan. I know, it's too easy, but she still deserves the title.

Cindy Sheehan, grieving mom of Casey Sheehan, Iraqi war veteran/hero, has made a cottage industry out of the loss of her son. Initially, Cindy had the support of the majority of the American public as far as voicing her grief publicly went. Who could fault a mother grieving the loss of her son? However due to a shortage of fresh news over the summer vacation and a bored national press, Cindy vaulted to national celebrity status at "Camp Casey" in Crawford, Tx just down the road from the President's ranch. Claiming she just wanted a meeting with the President to voice her opinions of the war in Iraq, even though she had already met with the President several months before, every warmed over hippie baby boomer anti war activist flocked to her side. Photo ops were in abundance, media interviews were arranged by professional handlers and her pearls of wisdom could not be reported fast enough.

As a nouveau celeb, she signed on with a public relations firm to get her on the speaking circuit for a nifty fee. Her family begged her to just come home. Her husband filed for divorce. Nothing was going to stop Cindy's 15 minutes of fame.

Now that summer is long over and she is has to resort to being arrested at protests in front of the White House for publicity, she has taken her show to the international level. She was in Caracus, Venezuela with 10,000 other anti-globalization activists praising Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.

"I admire him for his resolve against my government and its meddling, " said Sheehan. She said she hoped to meet President Chavez while there. Of course the irony here is that if she were one of her new best friend's, Chavez, citizens, she would be jailed for speaking out about his government. She would never be allowed to treat him as she has treated her own President with the personal insults and stunts she has pulled for the cameras.

Casey's memory is not honored by his mother's public meltdown.

"We have faced and we are facing today enemies who hate us, who hate our country, who hate the liberties for which we stand. They dwell in the shadows, wear no uniform, have no regard for the laws of warfare, and feel unconstrained by any standard of morality. We've never had a fight like this. And those of us in positions of responsibility have a duty to wage a broad-scale effort for the sake of this nation's safety and security". - Vice President Dick Cheney speaking at the Manhattan Institute, January 19, 2006

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A Fork In The Road

The Palestinian people appear to have elected HAMAS as the new governing party in their fledging statehood. To say this is a disturbing development is an understatement. The road map to peace in the region is now seriously in doubt. The U.S. doesn't recognize HAMAS and doesn't negotiate with them as long as they do not renounce terrorism and as long as they keep the elimination of Israel in their charter. So far HAMAS has done neither. Interesting times ahead.

The President had a press conference in the White House briefing room and Helen Thomas, despite a front row seat, was not called on by the President. I don't think she should even have a front row seat. Enough is enough.

My new PDA comes complete with Bluetooth technology. My son was surprised that I even knew the terminology. I was rather insulted by that attitude.

Last night on one of the talking heads television programs, a former second in command of Saddam's army was interviewed. He is in this country now and has a recently released book published about the facts on the ground prior to the war. He said he witnessed the moving of chemical weapons - weapons of mass destruction - by air and by land, to Syria with full cooperation in Demascus, when Saddam realized that "America was coming". I won't be surprised if this book isn't given the fawning reviews of the traditional media that the books critical of the administration and the war are given. Gee, that would mean the moonbats would have to come up with a new slogan, other than "Bush lied". As clever as that is...

I think it was the previous President who was known for deficits of truth. I guess character does matter, after all, not solely the number of the Dow Jones Average at the end of the day when it comes to protecting the country. Remember when shallow American voters would justify voting for Clinton's second term by saying while they really didn't care for him, gosh, the stock market was doing so darn good. I don't remember anyone questioning the policy of rendition under the previous administration. They were the ones who put countries like Egypt into the mix of that exercise.

Even Oprah is discovering a little honesty - she now regrets supporting the bogus James Frey memoir she previously pimped for her book club. All those nodding sheep in her daily audience I'm sure will continue to follow the Queen of daytime anyway. No one pats herself on the back better than Oprah.

"People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you'll know exactly what to do". - Michelle Ventor

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wandering Wednesday

My mind is wandering here and there today. Mostly I am disturbed by the situation between the Mexican government and our border state, Texas. I was watching on the news this morning confirmation of a story I began reading about yesterday. It involves 3 military style Hummers, not the current SUV knock-offs used in suburbia, roaring across the border into Texas, escorted by Mexican military personnel. Eventually they were turned back by our American border patrol, after travelling more than 12 miles into Texas. Rather than turning over assets to the border patrol, the Mexicans set one of the humvees, carrying more than 1400 lbs. of marijuana, on fire. The Mexicans were armed with assault weapons and handled them with the ease of professionals. So, our country was invaded by a neighboring country using the neighboring country's militia, endangering the lives of the border patrol, and the director of Homeland Security claims it was only a "navigation error". This is why Republicans initially opposed the formation of a Dept of Homeland Security. Republicans knew it would be just another government bureaucracy not a part of the solution, but an added part of the problem. Big surprise.

Time to finish building the big ole fence sealing off the southern border with Mexico.

Yesterday Attorney General Alberto Gonzales gave a speech about the NSA's terrorist surveillance program. To disrupt the speech, several Georgetown University students held up a protest banner. The banner read: "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither". The quote was attributed to Ben Franklin. OK, so they wanted to be rude to the Attorney General and disrupt his speech because we know free speech only applies to those who agree with you, but the really disturbing part is that the quote is incorrect. These students at an elite institute of higher learning got the quote wrong. The correct quote is: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve niether Liberty nor Safety". Kind of brings a new meaning to the quote, doesn't it. I don't think Ben Franklin would have a problem with long term national security.

As Michelle Malkin p0ints out in her blog, another version of the quote appears on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety".

Helen Thomas needs to be denied access to White House briefings/press conferences with Scott McClelland. She contines to embarrass herself by not being embarrassed about her clueless questions. I read her autobiography several years ago so I know she is a proud liberal, of Middle Eastern descent, so no big deal. But after 100 years as a White House reporter for newspapers, she is now an opinion columnist. I think that it is more important to have "real" journalists for print and tv asking questions of the press secretary. You don't see Maureen Dowd or Ellen Goodman in there.

My husband smokes cigars. Yes, it is disgusting. I was reading the tins he brought back from his recent trip out of the country. The anti-smoking warnings are really in your face, as opposed to the timid, I- don't- want- to- offend- you, warnings on packaging here in this country. Examples: Smoking kills. Smoking causes ageing of the skin (OK so they misspelled). Smoking seriously harms you and others around you. And my favorite: Smoking may reduce the blood flow and causes impotence. Wowzers! That ought to get the attention of every male of earth.

"Good and evil do not befall men without reason. Heaven sends them happiness or misery according to their conduct". - Confucius

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

If I've Said It Once

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times, to say you don't support the war in Iraq, yet you support the troops is a lie. I invite you to go to the L.A. Times (www.latimes.com) and read the op ed by Joel Stein titled "Warriors and wusses.

"And being against the war and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the pacifists have ever taken - and they're wussy by definition", writes Mr. Stein. In his opinion, those who show support publicly by wearing ribbons or putting magnetic ribbons on a car's bumper are merely trying to ease the guilt of the war.

"But blaming the president is a little too easy. The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they're following orders or not. An army of people making individual moral choices may be ineffiecient, but an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying".

"But when you volunteer for the U.S. military, you pretty much know you're not going to be fending off invasions from Mexico and Canada. So you're willingly signing up to be a fighting tool of American imperialism, for better or worse". Ah, yes, Mr. Stein. American Imperialism at play again. How original. I believe the country is still called Iraq, not Iraq, American territory, like say Puerto Rico.

And the closing thought from Mr. Stein: "I'm not advocating that we spit on returning veterans like they did after the Vietnam War, but we shouldn't be celebrating people for doing something we don't think was a good idea. All I'm asking is that we give our returning soldiers what they need: hospitals, pensions, mental health and a safe, immediate return. But, please, no parades". Well, "we" think the removal of Saddam was a good idea. And "we" think it is so generous of you to not call for spitting on vets.

How terribly liberal of you.

Today's Vote

This morning the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on sending Sam Alito's nomination to the Senate floor. It will be a party line vote, with 8 Democrats voting against, 10 Republicans voting for the nomination. No vote could better illustrate a major difference in the political thoughts of conservatives versus liberals.

Advise and consent to the Executive branch is the responsibility of the Senate concerning judicial nominations. Nowhere does it say the nominee must think as either side thinks. The judicial philosophy of a nominee is reflected by the President nominating him or her. What could be more basic of common sense - a conservative president will nominate a conservative judge to the Supreme Court, given the opportunity. The same goes to liberal presidents and nominees. President Bush said he would nominate conservatives to the bench and, as is his character, he has kept this word on this campaign promise.

In previous days, when the political atmosphere was not so toxic, nominees were voted into judgeships based on qualifications and personal integrity. This is how it should be. When Charles Schumer, D-NY, came onto the Judicial Committee as a freshman Senator after years in the House of Representatives, he made it his mission to pressure the other members on his side of the aisle to make personal philosophy the main consideration. Shame on him for turning the committee into a bunch of political hacks.

Judge Alito has been more forthcoming about answering the committee's questions than any recent nominee to the Supreme Court. To state that he didn't answer the questions is nonsense. It just means the committee member didn't like the answer.

To say that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor must be replaced with another moderate judge is silly. Since when was this the standard? Ruth Bader Ginsburg replaced Byron White and the two could not have been further apart in philosophy. Status quo is not a requirement for the Supreme Court, unless maybe you are a part of the minority party feeling a little pain.

Elections have consequences.

Women will die if Sam Alito is on the Supreme Court. This is a rallying cry from the abortion lobby. This has been the cry since Souter was nominated and for each justice nominated by a Republican president since. I am a pro-choice conservative and I find it utterly unbelievable that one political party in this country is so beholden to one special interest group that they have been rendered submissive in hopes of votes for re-election. It is the same old tired argument proven wrong again and again. No Democrat in today's political atmosphere on the judicial committee will vote for Alito, even though 3 did vote in committee for John Roberts, for fear of angering the far left.

So far, only one Democrat, Ben Nelson D-Neb, has stated publicly that he will vote for Judge Alito in the Senate floor vote. During the Roberts Senate floor vote, 22 Democrats voted to place him on the Supreme Court. I don't think anywhere near that number will be honest enough to vote for Alito. Says a lot about today's liberals.

With liberals out of power in Washington, D.C., the judicial system is all they have left. They claim they are the watchdogs of separation of power among the three branches of government yet insist the judicial branch legislate from the bench.

"Joy is the feeling of grinning on the inside". - Dr.Melba Colgrove

Monday, January 23, 2006

National Pie Day

Happy National Pie Day! I like pie. I like fruit pie, cream pie, ice box pie, pizza pie. Pie is good.

This last weekend flew by. Here it is Monday already. Hubby arrived home safe and sound from the record breaking freezing cold of the former Soviet Union. After a month of that fun, he was ready to be home. He was able to relax and catch up Saturday and Sunday. I won't be serving cabbage anytime soon around here!

Son and I went to the Theatre District Saturday afternoon and watched a local high school's production of "South Pacific". A friend of son's was in the cast. A good time was had by all but that was one loooong production. For the second act, sailor caps were distributed for audience participation. Nice touch. Seems it is the school production season around here. Next weekend I am committed to go to my girlfriend's son's production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and son was promised a friend he will go to her school's play Sunday afternoon as she has directed a one act play.

Anyhoo, remember that 16 year old kid from Fort Lauderdale who decided he would further his journalistic dreams by going to Iraq and reporting first hand, on his own? The media here went gaga over the story. What a strange, yet brave young man. Didn't you think something was funny, and not in the good way, about that story? Well, seems it isn't really as the press would have you think it is. The boy, Farris Hassan, was not enrolled in a journalism class at Pine Crest School, as was claimed. And he was never given an "immersion journalism" assignment. His father, Dr. Redha Hassan, not only knew of his son's travel plans, but also authorized his absence.

Dr. Hassan not only knew of his son's travel plans, but he arranged for the flight into Baghdad through political connections. Further investigation into this family shows that Dr. Hassan was arrested by the FBI in 1985 for forging 2000 Iraqi passports and military ID cards and he was seeking to forge 2,000 more. Dr. Hassan asked his next door neighbor, a print store owner, to make the documents. Hassan claimed they were for family in Iraq. So, the print store owner reported this to the FBI and worked with them on the case. Two of the boy's uncles and an activist labeled "pro-Khomeini" were also arrested with his father. Under the name of Redha K. Alsawaf, Dr. Hassan was the President of a Florida non-profit, now defunct, World Orphanage and Refugee Relief Foundation.

The boy spent 10 days in Beirut after being turned away at the Iraqi border due to the upcoming elections. While in Beirut, he met with a media relations officer of Hezbollah at their Central Press Office. The meeting was arranged through his family's friends.

Perhaps now this family's association with Hezbollah will be investigated. No mention in the media after glamorizing this kid's journey. Hezbollah is a Shiite Muslim organizaton based in Lebanon and tied to Iran. With a large presence in Iraq, its army's mission is to drive Americans out of Iraq. Hmmm...

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend". - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Fool of the Week

Drumroll, please...
The Fool of the Week designation goes to New Orleans Mayor, Ray Naquin.

During the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in New Orleans, Mayor Naquin decided to prove to his audience just how black he is truly. He chose to use the race baiting term of "chocolate city" when describing New Orleans.

Orginally the mayor claimed that the hurricanes of the past season were brought on by the wrath of God. New Orleans was hit because God is mad that we are at war in Iraq and God wants New Orleans to be a black city. Nothing like a speech laced with touches of venim to celebrate a man who appealed to our greater angels.

When challenged about the fact that God wants New Orleans to be an African American city, he quickly backpedaled and stated that New Orleans would be a chocolate city again. You know, you get chocolate by blending dark chocolate and vanilla together and the result is a delicious drink.

Mayor Naquin stated that he didn't care what the people of Uptown New Orleans wanted, a predominantly white population, New Orleans would again be an African American city. I guess Mayor Naquin forgot the people of Uptown New Orleans voted 90% in favor of the mayor in his election. Naquin received less than half of the black vote in the city.

The African American population has voiced concerns about the sincerity of the mayor to return the city to its previous ways. When he appointed the Bring New Orleans Back Commission it brought disapproval from some sections because the people appointed to the commission are mostly wealthy white men. You know, the mayor is dancing with the ones who brung him.

A political novice, the mayorial race was Naquin's first run for office. His lack of experience in civic leadership was saddly all too apparent as film coverage of the poor, the black, the elderly, and the sick populations of New Orleans exposed the lack of rounding up resources in a timely manner to survive Hurricane Katrina.

God doesn't care what the color of New Orleans looks like.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Today I am hoping hubby's travel plans are in motion and he is making his way back home. He plans to be here tomorrow afternoon. He's been gone a month so it is time.

Today's calendar includes lunch with my friend. My favorite activity. We'll be getting together Saturday afternoon, too, to watch another friend's daughter in a school production of "South Pacific". Son will be joining us as the daughter is a former classmate and still good friend. Monday was the one year anniversary of the death of my friend's only child, a former classmate of my son's, who would now be a 16 year old Sophomore in high school.

Haven't seen a lot of coverage of Laura Bush's trip to West Africa this week. Also along on the trip was her daughter, Barbara. Remember when Hilary and Chelsea broke the previous national record on traveling and expenditures for foreign adventures and all the glowing coverage they got? Interesting. Barbara Bush has been active in African issues such as HIV/AIDS vaccine distribution on the continent and hopes to do something in country career-wise. Jenna Bush is a teacher in Washington, D.C. now at a charter school. Chelsea Clinton, now back from Oxford in England and partying with Madonna and Gwenyth, works for a Wall Street brokerage firm and lives in Manhattan. Her starting salary was well over $100,000.

It seems the Democrats (the good government party) held a private retreat in April 2001 with 42 or the 50 Senate Democrats in attendance. The purpose was to hear from experts and discuss ways to fight a Bush administration's effort to remake the judiciary. What? Encouraging cheap political tricks to undermine the nomination process to place judges on the bench? This information came to light in, you guessed it, The New York Times earlier this week in an article by Adam Nagourney. Again, the newspaper choses to release the information in their possession since 2001 at this time, now that the Alito hearings are over and it looks as though it will be some time before another Supreme Court nomination is needed.

Perhaps the GOP should have a hearing about the continuing collusion between the New York Times and the Democrats. When did Nagourney know this info and what is the extent of the knowledge? After the reincarnation of Joe McCarthy by the Senate Democrats during the Alito hearings, brought on out of desperation towards questioning a more than qualified nominee, the aides to the Democrats were shocked that Mrs. Alito's breakdown was covered instead of the camera hogging of the likes of Ted Kennedy. Shocking, indeed.

Earth to Democrats: as long as you continue to smear good people and vamp for the camera, the people of this country will continue to show a true disconnect with you. Elections have consequences.

"If instead of a gem, or even a flower, we should cast the gift of a loving thought into the heart of a friend, that would be giving as the angels give". - George MacDonald

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


All throughout the 9/11 Commission's hearings, the American public was incessantly told how important it is to connect the dots in deciphering intelligence reports concerning national security. We were told the previous administration, Clinton and company, did not connect the dots. We were told the newly inaugurated Bush administration did not connect the dots. It was a recurring theme.

After the attacks on our shore on 9/11, intelligence reports took on a whole new importance. The country was united in the effort to hold those responsible who killed our fellow citizens and visitors. The Patroit Act was passed as a tool for those protecting this country to keep us safe from future attacks. We are told a future attack is not "if" but "when".

The popular mode of attack of the deranged Bush haters now is to belittle the administration for using the tools available to protect our country from incoming threats. FISA was enacted under Jimmy Carter's administration and was never meant to be the only standard in today's times. Under the Clinton administration, Jamie Gorelick, the assistant Attorney General under Janet Reno and a member of the 9/11 Commission, argued that the administration was entitled to do warrantless searches if the situation called for it. The usual case brought as an example of this is the Aldrich Ames case where his home was searched without a warrant with the blessing of the Reno Justice Department. No outrage then.

So, under the auspices of the public's right to know, the New York Times published an article about the wiretapping of people in foreign lands speaking to people in this country. Not necessarily even American citizens, just people in this country on a telephone. No abuses can be pointed to from any of the critics but organizations such as the ACLU, Greenpeace, and journalists have filed a lawsuit against the Bush administration claiming they were unduly monitored. Again, no one has been able to point to any abuse of freedom but who needs anything other than anger for the administration to do anything in this political climate?

Instead of being outraged that treasonist acts, like what occurred at the New York Times, is happening, the administration comes under fire. Much like the hand wringing over the renewal of the Patriot Act, those claiming loss of civil rights without any proof to substantiate this claim forge on. No civil rights have been lost from any citizen. Not even racial profiling at the airport screening stations is allowed and our country has not been attacked on our soil.

Recently reported on ABC News was a story about the FBI monitoring bulk purchases of cell phone like the ones typically used in terrorist attacks. These cell phones are the disposable kind that can be purchased without the customer giving out any personal information. Use and toss away. In Midland, Texas 6 men of Middle Eastern origin were attempting to purchase a large quantity of these cell phones and at least one of the suspects was identified as being from Iraq and another from Pakistan. Police were able to identify the men as linked to a terror cell. Was this a coincidence that the attempted purchase occurred just days after the New York Times article was published with details of wiretapping? Of course the bad guys would change patterns of operation and switch to non-traceable disposable cell phones.

We are at war. The bad guys still want to kill as many of us as possible and destroy our country. We know who they are, for the most part, and we know where they come from.

Connect the dots.

"Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can". - John Wesley

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Today is Ben Franklin's 300th birthday.

Benjamin Franklin, a wise and steadfast founding father of our country, would not think that President Bush has overreached his Constitutional authority in using wiretaps on phone calls between people in America and people overseas suspected of links to terrorism. In 1776 he and 4 colleagues on the Continental Congress's foreign affairs committee said it was not possible to tell the American congress about help France was giving to the American Revolution. The committee was concerned about leaks, yes, even back then, and knew that Congress was too large to be free of the leaks. Franklin viewed the leaks as a fatal experience for the country.

In yet another example of why The New York Times no longer is deserving of the trust of the American people, a photo appeared on its website, which has since been taken down, showing among the ruins of a home, a sad faced little boy and a turbaned man, in Afghanistan, with a long cylindrical part with a conical tip. The caption references the failed attempt to take out al-Qadea's number two man, al Zawahiri. Bad American soldiers not getting the job done. Problem is that the picture was outted as a posed picture. The military artillery put in the photo is not what would have come from the drone that launched the attack. I love the blogosphere.

So, now that the opinions disguising as news stories have been noticed by the country, the newspaper moves to staging photos. Freedom of the press? And this is the same newspaper that claims the Bush administration promotes propaganda. All righty.

This is the same newspaper that published the "secret" wiretapping by the administration. They claim it is in violation of the FISA law. The newspaper was asked by the administration to not publish their report as it endangers American lives. They sat on it for a year and then went public, again while the administration asked them not to, so that one of the newspaper's reporters could publicize his new book about the program. That's some kind of ethics, I'll tell you.

As I have said before, Senator Leahy's staff is known for dirty tricks. Now the agreement he and Senator Spector, the Chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee,had has been broken as to when the committee vote on Samuel Alito will take place. The democrats, according to committee rules, had the option of delaying the vote for one week. They chose to take the week's delay before the hearings began to postpone the beginnings of the hearings. This was done. Now, however, they have decided to not honor this agreement and demand another week's delay. The vote will not take place as scheduled this week and it will now occur next week. Again, new lows in behavior.

Senator Hilary Clinton said in a speech at a African American church yesterday, during a MLK tribute, that the Bush administration treats the citizens of this country as if it were running a plantation, "and you know what I mean". Gee, think that would be lauded as a fine speech if Trent Lott had said it? Low even for a Clinton. But, hey, it's an election year. Anything for Hilary's career. And Harry Belafonte was a speaker at this tribute/rally, too.

Son is in a new session of acting classes. He is excited about this production. It is "Victor Hugo In Rehearsal". He plays a bishop. It's good to see his enthusiasm.

"Condoleezza Rice is a very cruel, offended woman who lacks men's attention, " he added. "Such women are very rough. They can be happy only when they are talked and written about everywhere." - Vladimir, leader of Russia's Liberal and Democratic Party.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King Day

I have been thinking today about what Martin Luther King, Jr. would say about some of the people claiming to represent the civil rights movement in our society. Would he be proud? I think Dr. King would be saddened by the divide brought on by the likes of Jesse Jackson, Jr. who was a young man in Dr. King's entourage. Jackson is no more than a race baiter now and it is a tired old schtick. Same with Al Sharpton, Charlie Rangel, et.al.

The AARP needs a good talking to...the organization has named Harry Belafonte as a person of the year. BET cable network has named Louis Farrakhan as their person of the year. Both choices are offensive.

Mayor Ray Naquin claims that God told him that New Orleans must rebuild and remain with an African American majority. Well, Mayor Naquin, if God is tight enough with you to give you this information, where was the help and wisdom during Hurricane Katrina from this relationship you have?

I think Dr. King would demand much better from all these prominent African Americans.

"The ulitmate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ghetto to Gold

She was born in a Brooklyn ghetto 85 years ago. She died Saturday in Beverly Hill, California. Shelley Winters as a two-time Academy Award winning actress for more than five decades.

She received her first Oscar for best supporting actress in The Diary of Anne Frank, in 1959. Her second best supporting actress Oscar was in 1965 for her role as the vicious mother of a blind girl in A Patch of Blue.

Off screen Winters admitted to a hearty appetite for men and food. She named such actors as Sean Connery, Errol Flynn, Farley Granger, Sterling Hayden, William Holden and Burt Lancaster among those with whom she had affairs.

Shelley Winters died Saturday of heart failure at the Heart Rehabilitation Centre of Beverly Hills. She had been hospitalized in October after a heart attack.

Rest in Peace.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Some Thoughts

Son tried to go back to school yesterday but called at 10:30 and needed to be picked up. Poor boy. He slept all day and went to bed at a reasonable hour (for Mom). He was to do the Boy Scout troop's service project, tree planting, but I nixed that outing. I expect him to stay in and catch up on schoolwork.

I read an article by Robin Givhan of the Washington Post yesterday concerning the attire of Judge Samuel Alito and his wife, Martha-Ann, for the Senate hearings. You'll remember this is the same writer that criticized Judge John Roberts wife and small children for looking like a Leave It To Beaver fifties-style family. In other words, they were appropriately dressed for the occasion.

Ms. Givhens noted that the Alito's did not look like the typical political married couple. Mrs. Alito did not always have the best posture sitting in her chair, did not do the fawning face of a political wife and wore wire rimmed glasses similar to her husband of 21 years. She mentioned they were somewhat coordinated in color as though they were off to Sears for a family portrait. I guess this is a dig at the common person.

Frankly I find it refreshing that this couple doesn't feel the need to comply with typical behavior within the beltway. They are not a political couple, he is a lawyer turned judge and she is a former teacher and librarian. Sounds plenty respectable to me. I am relieved Mrs. Alito didn't show up in a St. Johns knit suit and do the Nancy Reagan smile for the cameras. The elites are full of hypocrisy - every day kind of people are not really good enough but the rulings of Judge Alito are criticised by the moonbats that claim he doesn't give the common man a fair shake. Both thoughts were soundly proven false and the chorus looks nothing but foolish.

I have been thinking about the process of becoming a judge in this country, or sometimes just a local politican for that matter. The scrutiny of one's personal life overrides professional capabilities when political agendas get in the way. If the opposition party is determined to keep you off the bench or out of office it seems now acceptable to go after the nominee by way of personal defamation. Both sides have been guilty of this practice but it seems to have reached new levels.

When former President Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg to the Supreme Court, the Republicans knew they were too liberal in judicial philosophy for their taste. So what? The President of the United States is charged with nominating candidates to the bench and the Senate is to hold hearings speaking to the capability of the candidate. If nothing in the candidate's background is found to be so extraordinary to disqualify the candidate, then the vote moves to the Senate floor. To vote against the candidate for purely political reasons - say because the special interest groups that give your campaigns contributions tell you to vote against the candidate - is dishonest in the most basic way. Ruth Bader Ginsberg, for instance, received a vote of 96 in the affirmative. She was a former lawyer for the ACLU and known for quite out of the mainstream judicial opinions but she received a fair vote based on her legal qualifications, not how the opposition guessed her future opinions on the bench would be.

How would the members of the Senate Judicial Committee stack up if nominated for the screening process in use today?
Ted Kennedy - obvious personal problems of alcohol abuse, womanizing, cheating in college on a Spanish exam, allowing a young woman to drown after a car accident and leaving the scene while not reporting it for 8 hours while consulting lawyers and advisors, divorced, and to this day a member of a club at Harvard called the Owl Club which has a reputation as sexist and elitist and even booted off the campus in 1984 for violating federal anti-discrimination laws.
Joe Biden - caught up in plagerism charges during 2 political campaigns and during a previous presidential run.
Dianne Feinstein - a problem concerning a Guatemalan housekeeper. She was fined $190,000 in 1992 for failing to properly report $3.5 million in campaign expenditures. Her husband's company scored a $600 million Iraq war contract.
Charles Shumer - As head of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, two employees of this committee are being investigated for illegally obtaining Michael Steele's credit report last. Mr. Steele, a Republican lt. governor of Maryland, is African American and running for the governorship. Shumer narrowly escaped indictment for misusing state funds in his 1980 Congressional race.
Dick Durbin - Previously pro-life on record in the 1980's as saying "he believed that Roe v. Wade was incorrectly decided" and that "the right to an abortion is not guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution".
Patrick Leahy - Caught leaking confidential information in 1987 while on the Senate Intelligence Committee. His staff has the reputation for dirty tricks.

Double standards abound.

"The judiciary should do what it is supposed to do, but it has to have respect for the political process. And the judiciary's role is confined to enforcing the Constitution, and enforcing the laws, and not going beyond that". - Judge Samuel Alito, Jr.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Fool of the Week

Drum roll, please....
The winner is Harry Belefonte, of course. Several Americans were strong runners up to this title, but Harry "Day-O" Belefonte is the winner.

Harry Belafonte, age 78, travelled recently to Caracas, Venezuela on behalf of UNICEF, as a goodwill ambassador. During a speech at a gathering, Belafonte referred to President Bush as "the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world". Hate speech by an American citizen towards the President of the United States on foreign soil brings treasonous acts to mind. Perhaps Toyko Rose is a heroine of his from an earlier time.

I almost decided to ignore this spectacle and award this week's honor to another but then I read yesterday's Houston Chronicle. In yesterday's newspaper, an editorial appeared denouncing Belafonte's speech. Now, the Houston Chronicle is a big city newspaper with a decidedly left of center outlook on reporting news. So, when the editorial board decides to denounce someone of their political leaning, I take notice.

Belafonte was in Venezuela leading a group of American activists. The group included the actor Danny Glover and Princeton University professor Cornel West. Belafonte spoke glowingly about Hugo Chavez, the socialist leader of the country. Chavez is a willing protege of Fidel Castro.

The editorial ended with the following quote: "Belafonte seems to take himself very seriously. No one else should". I agree. Yesterday when questioned about the sincerity of his remarks about President Bush, Belafonte affirmed the sincerity of his remarks and said "Stay tuned".

Someone who needs to get a life: Sean Penn. While appearing as a surprise speaker at an anti-war rally featuring Cindy Sheehan, Penn remarked of his difficulty with quitting smoking. He blamed anxiety associated with the Presidency of George Bush as the culprit. I can't make this stuff up.

"Courage is fear that has said its prayers". - Karl Barth

Thursday, January 12, 2006

They Got Nuthin'

The democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee responsible for questioning Samuel Alito, Jr. for the position of Supreme Court Justice, are so frustrated by lack of anything negative with this nominee that they now look like bitter, silly, nasty people. This good man continues to daily prove he is a man of high intellect, personal integrity, and a strong work ethic. Boy does that irritate those on the opposition side.

John Podhoretz, a political commentator, notes, "A Kennedy who has never known a moment's worry about money is now grilling a lifelong middle-class public servant with no family fortune from New Jersey about the public servant's mutual fund -- which memory serves, was and is the world's most popular mutual fund, currently serving more than 18 million investors. Kennedy, by contrast, is showered with money from his family trust. Have you no shame, Senator, at long last?".

My son is home yet again today. I expect him to make a go of it tomorrow and go to school. Monday is a no school day for MLK Day so he will have a long weekend to make up missed class work and assignments. His blood work came back good, according to the doctor, so I guess it is just one of those winter stomach bugs.

Still don't know definitively when husband will be home. Soon, just not sure when exactly. I know he is ready to get back home by now.

Planning on continuing with the hearings today. I have some things around the house to attend to during their breaks. It's a quiet day.

"Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best". - Henry Van Dyke

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Totally Tuesday

Son still home today. Took him to the doctor so he could get the once over from her. He woke me up at 12:30 last night asking for help with his bed. He threw up on the comforter but fortunately not on the sheets underneath. So I washed that before going back to bed. Today the doctor gave him a prescription for nausea. And told him to stay home tomorrow, too. Poor guy.

Been watching the Alito hearings today. The usual suspects are making themselves further inconsequencial. These old white men just don't know when to quit. The senior senator from Massachusetts is even getting snickers from the press corps now so that's a new development. The big line of questioning from him to Alito was about Alito not ruling in favor of the little guy or in favor of minorities. This was of course, rapidly disputed by the other side and by the ABA itself. Kennedy sited a study he asked his old friend Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago Law School to conduct on dissenting opinions written by Alito. Even Sunstein made frequent reference to the fact that Alito is a fair and reasoned judge. Kennedy didn't bother to make mention of that when referencing the study. Teddy better get back on his meds.

Also, I see in the newspaper that Ted Kennedy is authoring a childrens' book about the life in the day of a Senator and how a bill is made into law. He uses his Portugese Water dog, Splash, as a central character. Splash accompanies the senator to his office on a regular basis. Senator Kennedy has a dog named SPLASH! Hello? Is that you, irony, calling?

"My mind is a garden. My thoughts are the seeds. My harvest will be either flower or weeds". - Mel Weldon

Monday, January 09, 2006


Here it is Monday and not much to say today. Son is home not feeling well so not much for me to do but hang out and hope he feels better this evening.

Today the hearings begin in the Senate Judicial Committee for Judge Sam Alito, Jr. I am not paying much attention to it today as it is mostly the individual Senators and their opening remarks - 10 minutes each, and there are 18 of them - so I am channel surfing. Not much on for daytime tv if you aren't watching the news. I did see a good show on scrapbooking, though earlier on the DIY network. I have begun gathering supplies for this hobby and hope to delve into it this year. Lord knows I have photos out the wazoo that need attention.

So, I guess I'll go read more of the newspapers and see what I can learn.

"A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak". - Michael Garrett Marino

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dear Husband, Happy Birthday To You!

Last night, about 10:00 our time, dear husband calls. I was just relaxing, catching up on some reading. After answering on this end, I hear husband's voice saying, "Wish me a happy birthday"! I do and state for the record it is not his birthday officially here yet. Then I asked him if he felt older yet. I always do that, I'm just obnoxious like that.

Husband is still freezing in the former Soviet Union and hopes to begin his journey home this week. Still on the lookout for a good Russian hat to bring home. He said he found one made of wolf fur with the tail attached in the back, like the coon skin hats of Daniel Boone times here. It joked it would be Boris Boone there. Yeah, I'm hilarious.

Took son for haircut yesterday afternoon. He has been going to my stylist since I highly recommended her. She is great. She is Vietnamese/American and her husband is Romanian. Welcome to Houston. One of these days I'm going to splurge and get a pedicure in that salon. Can you believe I am 50 years old and never had a professional pedicure? I just always do that stuff myself. I used to get manicures when the spirit moved me but that is long gone, too. I'd rather spend the money on books or Starbucks!

In honor of my husband's birthday I will share tips on aging gracefully I noted in an article by Andrew Weil, M.D. :

* Pay attention to your breath. Minding the breath is a way of expanding consciousness beyond the ego.
* Connect with nature.
* Make a list of people in you life in whose company you feel more alive, happy and optimistic. Spend more time with them.
* Bring flowers into your home and enjoy the beauty.
* Listen to music that you find inspirational and uplifting.
* Admire a work of art that raises your spirits.
* Reach out and try to resume connection with someone from whom you are estranged; practice forgiveness.
* Do some sort of service work. Do not just write a check to charity.

"One of the most valuable things we can do to heal one another is listen to each other's stories". - Rebecca Falls

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Cookie Ordering Time

Happy Saturday! Our day began with a ringing doorbell at 9:30 this morning. The house was very, very quiet with son still asleep and Max the dog and me watching tv in bed. The sound was magnified by the silence. Dressed in my flannel nightgown, hey, it was cold last night!, I race Max to the door. I was all prepared to lecture whomever it was that the hour was a tad early for sales calls on a weekend morning. I open the door and there stands a sweet little eager face shining back at me. Drats. So much for indignation. It was a little neighbor girl and her daddy selling Girl Scout cookies.

I calmly asked her to come back in just a bit and I would be ready to place an order. She and her daddy politely thanked me and I shut the door, muttering to Max as I head to the shower.

I shower, dress, and dry my hair in record time. I gulp half a cup of coffee while waiting for the little girl to return. She was back in less than an hour, order form in hand. I made an order - two thin mints, one peanut butter, one shortbread - and prepared to write the $14.00 check. She says they are to be paid at delivery. That's unusual these days but I did as she said. Checkbook closed, pleasantries exchanged, and off she went down the block.

As I was a Girl Scout, back in the dark ages when a box cost 50 cents, I know the work that goes into cookie sales. I am a good customer to each kiddo that hits me up from the neighborhood. Last year only two girls caught me. We'll see how full the pantry will be of cookies this year.

Last night I watched "The Book of Daniel" on NBC. I admit the hype, both good and bad, got my attention. I don't understand what the hubbub was all about. I loved the show. It was a two hour introduction to all the characters and I thought it was really entertaining and well-written. Especially for network tv. Who can resist Aiden Quinn's absolutely beautiful blue eyes? I have always been a sucker for blue eyes. The two men in my life (calm down, now!), hubby and son, both have blue eyes.

Anyway, the theme of the show, I think, is that every human is only human. Doesn't matter if they are an Episcopalian minister or kid. The show incorporates all the subjects of debate in our society - religion, sex, drugs, marital fidelity, same sex partners, even Alzeheimers disease. Like I said, I really enjoyed it and was certainly not bored!

"Kindness is wisdom". - Philip James Bailey

Friday, January 06, 2006

Who Takes The Fool of the Week?

Though there were many contending for this week's Fool of the Week honor, this is a fairly easy decision. Drum roll, please... Rep. Jack Murtha, D-PA is our winner.

Rep. Murtha, a veteran of two wars and 37 years of service in the U.S. Marines, you remember, is responsible for the end of the year tantrum calling for the immediate withdrawal of our military from Iraq. Later, after this was put to a vote in the House of Representatives, even Murtha did not vote to make it the recommended policy of Congress. Anyhoo, ever since then he has been the darling of the mainstream media and an embarassment for regular people.

Seems at the core of his distress is the real or imagined snub from the White House staff of a letter he sent to President Bush voicing concerns with how this war in Iraq was going. Since the president did not either see the letter or did not respond to it, Murtha had his feelings hurt and took off the gloves. He has been the subject of numerous interviews in print and on the air and runs to the cameras for press conferences at every opportunity.

The most recent example of his mouth running at the expense of our military was on the tv program, "Nightline". I didn't realize this program was still on, but I digress.

Murtha was asked, "Would you join the military today"? Murtha replied, "no". "Let me tell you, war is a nasty business. It sears the soul," he said. Well, that's a real insight, isn't it. How deep.

Yesterday during my channel surfing, I found a news conference with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Peter Pace and the Pentagon press corps. Pace was asked about this and said the following: "It's damaging to morale of the troops who are deployed, and it's damaging to the morale of their families who believe in what they are doing to serve this country". General Pace is a veteran of the Vietnam War and the first war in Iraq. He is the first Marine serving as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He is a no nonsense New Yorker who maintains a professional attitude throughout what is at times completely inane questioning.

Despite the current rash of bed wetting and hand wringing from the moonbats, recruitment goals are again being met and in some cases, such as the Army, exceeding goals. This is good news for our country.

We are at war. This is a world war. Some view the war on terror as World War III. It is ugly and it is hard. All wars are this way. God bless those who put on the uniform and protect our way of life every day, at home and abroad. Our military is all volunteer and the rest of us, even during this time of war, have sacrificed very little. Other than showing support to the troops by sending care packages and cards in the mail, nothing much has been asked of us. No rationing like during World War II, and our dependence on oil from the Middle East continues despite rising prices at the pump.

All veterans of the Armed Forces deserve our thanks. Our love of freedom binds us all together as Americans. When this respect is twisted by bitter politicians for benefit at the ballot box in an upcoming election it is time to demand better behavior. The world is watching. The enemy is watching. The woulda, coulda, shouda conversation is for another day. The matter at hand is victory. Anything less is defeat.

"We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same". - Carlos Castaneda

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Today's Phrase

The phrase of the day: Hook 'em, Horns! Yeah, that's right. University of Texas beat USC in the Rose Bowl last night. I couldn't care less, as I am an alumni of neither, but you know, I live in Texas. What can you do? Go with the floe, as a penguin would say.

The news of Ariel Sharon's massive stroke is troubling. If he survives, and that is a big if at this point, he'll not be the same and won't be governing Israel. So much for the road map to peace in that area of the world. He has been a part of the history of Israel since it's conception and now the time has come for others to rise up to lead the peace process.

Hubby called Tuesday night and said he's still cold. He's being held over for some more testing on the oil rig. I guess after the drilling company gets someone of expertise there, on site, it is hard to let him go! He'll probably miss his birthday here on Sunday. It'll all keep until he arrives home.

The Jack Abramoff scandal will be the political story of the year. It is an equal opportunity scandal for both parties and that is where the entertainment lies, my friends. Yes, probably more Republicans are listed as recipents of money but that is to be expected of the majority party. What was surprising to me of the Democrats listed initially was the entry of Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island. He is listed as having received $139,000. What? I must have missed something along the way about the importance of that Kennedy.

I'm feeling full of random thoughts today. My body is a chemical kettle of different meds. I hope my body can sort it all out and everything goes to the right place. I take my usual blood pressure and thyroid meds first thing in the morning, per instructions, then I have to move on to Advil for my knee pain, another round of antibiotics for the head congestion, Travist and nasal spray on the recommendation of my physician and on it goes. Yuk.

I now fully understand why Leno has overtaken Letterman for so long in the ratings race. I rarely watch either but Letterman continues to show himself as just another angry moonbat. Leno is mature and usually funny, which is what he is paid to do. Leno has proven to be the right choice to replace Johnny Carson. Carson was funny with a biting edge but never abusive of guests. Letterman was just ugly with Bill O'Reilly the other night. I'm no big supporter of O'Reilly but it seems beyond the pale to me that Letterman criticises O'Reilly, saying he thinks 60% of what O'Reilly says is "crap", and in the next breath says he never watches the show. And the stooopid stunt of stirring the guest mug of water with a pencil just before O'Reilly comes on so the audience will laugh when he takes a drink? You see why he is a graduate of Ball State University, don't you?! Oops, how elitist of me.

So, today I am heading out to check out what kind of Mardi Gras decorations I can find at the party store. My mantle is clean and mostly bare after undecorating from Christmas.

"A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." - Hugh Downs

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wednesday is Full of Woe

Such a sad start to the new year. Prayers and thoughts going out to the families of those West Virginia miners who so tragically died Monday morning while starting into the coal mine for their work shift. Plus the added grief of misinformation about the recovery of the bodies. First the families were told the miners were alive, which turned out to be false information, as a result of party line style rumor. Remember the old party line telephone service? Or the childhood game of telephone where a person would whisper in the ear of another and this would continue until the last person would say outloud what she had been told? It was never right.

So, after 3 hours of thinking their loved ones were alive, the families and friends learned this was not the case. Only one survivor was to be pulled out of the mine. Everyone wishes him well.

Equally disturbing to me was the rush to start questioning the mining company on the safety of the mine. I kept thinking, please, let's get the men out and then the other stuff can go on. If it were my husband down there, finger pointing would be the last thing I would want to waste energy on. First things first.

I suppose the media is suffering from post-hurricane fatigue but did they learn nothing from it? Even the major newspapers, such as The New York Times and USA Today ran with the survivor story to meet the deadlines for the papers. It wasn't confirmed information from the mining company or even the governor of the state, but the deadline must be met so they rushed to print it as the truth. Just like the false information about the behavior of some in the New Orleans Superdome and the reaction by the chain of command, it just wasn't correct.

The governor of West Virginia, Governor Manchin, has been a rock through it all. Very interesting perspective from him as he lost an uncle in the 1968 mining tragedy nearby. It had been the worst disaster up until Monday for the mining community in West Virginia. His emotion is genuine and it comes through the camera lens that way. He doesn't appear to be just another politician putting it on for the press conference.

Such a dangerous way to make a living. Doesn't get more real than that.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Three Kings Day

It is fast approaching Three Kings Day, January 6. Just when you thought you had safely made it through the holiday season! As the Wise Men on the legendary journey arrived a little late to the stable, the festivities in some communities continue. Commonly known as The Epiphany, or The Feast of the Epiphany, January 6 is the official end of the twelve days of Christmas.

But, for those of us with a life history associated with south Louisiana, Three Kings Day is the first day of the season ending with the celebration of Mardi Gras. And you know what the favorite eating ritual of the season is, don't you? King Cake, of course! Now we are talking about a sweet treat! I am placing my order for a King Cake to be mailed from my favorite bakery in Lafayette, our old stomping grounds. My only concern is choosing from the delicious fillings now available. I do lean toward the classic pecan praline filling, though.

I notice the availability of King Cakes in the grocery stores here in Houston in recent years, but unfortunately, they do not compare with the ones from our neighbors to the east. And, due to the over cautious approach in the food industry to avoid lawsuits, I'm sure, the baby, representing the infant Jesus, is placed outside the cake. I assume the purchaser is to hide the baby on her own. Bah humbug.

The tradition is that the person who gets the baby in their piece of cake is to purchase the next King Cake. The cakes are glazed with a white icing glaze and sprinkled with colored sugar. The colors of Mardi Gras, gold, purple and green, are arranged in a festive stripe pattern in the glaze. The cakes are particulary tasty with morning coffee.

So, today I will be looking up the phone number of "my" bakery and soon a King Cake will be on the way. I hope hubby makes it home to enjoy a piece. Once that cake hits the front door, all bets are off!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!