Thursday, August 31, 2006


Son: "Mom, did you buy anything sweet today?"
Me: "There's a box of Lil'Debbie brownies over there."
Son: "Lil'Debbie Cosmic Brownies?"
Me: "Yeah, they were on special."
Son: "Dude, Lil'Debbie is a stoner!".

Boys are weird.

Then There's This

I'm still not used to the schedule of son's classes this year. The high school doesn't begin first period classes until 9:30 on Thursdays this year. The late start is for the benefit of the teachers and their ability to do planning and paperwork in the extra time before school begins. Don't even get me started.

With the news that the State Department has granted a limited visa to the former murdering dictator from Iran today, I am reminded of Abu Danny's words about the people we are allowing to come into this country of ours. We are taken as fools. We continue to prove that perception to be true. And who will be playing host and discussion leader for this visit? Why Jimmy Carter, of course. What kind of reverse universe are we living in? The failed former president who ushered in this current mess we are in with Iran is now the escort of choice? Jimmy, a legend in his own mind, thinks he is going to work everything out? Unbelievable. It is unprecedented that he has been on the world stage criticizing this president and his administration. And Clinton, never known for decency, has followed to a certain degree with this behavior. Neither are good men. And don't give me the kudos for Jimmy about his Habitat for Humanity work. At some point the charity work and publicity for it is overshadowed by the irresponsible behavior. He has forgotten to put country before self.

I lived in Atlanta during Carter's term as Governor of Georgia. He was a terrible leader of the state. He is not a politician capable of leading government. Then he went on to prove it at a national level. My husband and I bought our first house during the Carter reign. Our mortgage interest rate was 16%. We waited in gas lines to fill up our tanks. We were told to put on a sweater in cold weather and not run the heating and cooling systems to conserve. Inflation was off the charts and so was unemployment. Yeah, those were the good old days with Jimmah.

Vote: The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country. - Ambrose Bierce

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Abu Danny

This week my husband and another engineer are doing some updating of technical training for an Iraqi engineer, known as Abu Danny. Abu, by the way, means "father of" so there's your cocktail party trivia when you need an icebreaker.

A little background is in order. My husband is an engineer in the evil oil business. He travels the world disguised as Superman, bringing oil drilling rigs back on line to produce the world's fossil fuel products. He's been to locales good and bad. He deals with people around the world, good and bad. In 2003, just weeks before the beginning of the Iraq invasion, he was sent to Iraq to help some engineers working in Iraq's oil industry. Abu Danny was among those with whom he worked. My husband was in Baghdad, Tikrit and Basrah. He saw all three sections of the country.

Most Iraqis were welcoming but a bit standoffish towards the American among them. After decades under the thumb of Saddam, this is completely understandable. In Baghdad he was the sole American at his hotel and viewed through curious eyes of the locals. Was he a spy for the CIA? What was he doing there? He was spoken to with soft voices and out of the view of watchful cameras installed in the hotel.

Abu Danny took my husband under his wing and played host to him. Abu Danny welcomed my husband into his home and made my husband a special guest at the birthday party and dinner for his son on the occasion of his birthday celebration. He was treated to good food, conversations, and warm hospitality.

Abu Danny is an Armenian Christian Iraqi. He is neither Arab nor Muslim. He is among the smallest of minorites in Iraq. The commonly referred to groups, the Sunni, Shiite, and Kurds, all accept this minority of fellow Iraqis. So far so good, anyway. This would make sense as Saddam was not a fanatic in the Islamo facist mold.

Abu Danny suffered the loss of his wife of 30 years about 6 months ago. She died of cancer. His married daughter has moved to the Detroit area. His married son lives in a nearby apartment in Baghdad. Most of his family has moved to Jordan. Abu Danny continues on in his work. He is a busy man. He is also going through the process to obtain a green card to live in our country.

Abu Danny says the situation in Baghdad is very bad. He thinks the country will just divide up into the three state solution, especially since the Kurds in the north are living in their own country now anyway. The Kurds have their own flag and government set up. Abu Danny says our American soldiers are magnificent. They are young and scared but kind and courteous to the people. He worries about them. He worries for his country. He worries.

Abu Danny was in a car and shot by American soldiers at the beginning of the war. He bears no grudge. He said he was dealing with bad guys due to his work and knows the soldiers could not distinguish him from the others. When Abu Danny went to get his visa to come here he was appalled at the Muslims that were being issued visas by the Americans. He said to my husband and another engineer during a lunch time conversation Monday: "Don't you have any sense about the people you are allowing into your country?"

As I said, he is not a Muslim. He has no love for Muslims. He is astonished that Americans are not wising up to the dangers we face.

He will leave Houston at the end of the week and go to Michigan to visit his daughter. My husband and the other engineer are hoping to finish the training today rather than tomorrow so that Abu Danny can head out a day early.

As an aside: My husband and the other engineer take Abu Danny out for meals and at breakfast yesterday bacon was Abu Danny's food of choice! He couldn't get enough of it. Pork, of course, not readily available in Iraq and much too expensive for the people if it is found.

You would be proud to call Abu Danny friend.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Waiting for Godot

Today marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on the calendar. As you know, New Orleans is a city that has been woven into my life's story and held a special place in my heart. That is gone and I am angry. The Mississippi Gulf coast is the place of my birth and holds a special place in my heart. That is still there and I am thankful. The re-building of the two areas highlight a contrast of human character like no other.

Today on a morning show I heard a remarkable story that lifts me up about New Orleans and the people there. A school principal, Mardele Simmons Early of Lake Forest Elementary School in New Orleans East is a hero. Under her leadership, last November a group of teachers and she returned to New Orleans to bring back their school. Pre-Katrina, Lake Forest Elementary School was one of several elementary and middle schools in the area. It was completely destroyed in the storm. Under Ms. Early's leadership, the school received available government monies to rebuild and open on time for the new school year, August 16. It is now a charter school. It received $1.4 million in federal monies. Pre-Katrina the school population of Lake Forest Elementary consisted of 372 students. The population of the school now is 345 students. It is the only school open in her New Orleans East district. A core value she teaches to her students is self-reliance. All students are required to do community service.

Waiting for Godot is a famous play, in the category of the Theatre of the Absurd, by Samuel Beckett. The main characters are waiting for something to alleviate their boredom. The theme of waiting.

The political leadership in Louisiana and, more importantly in New Orleans, are waiting. Waiting to focus in on a clear plan for reconstruction of a unique American city. The mayor of Chocolate City hasn't cobbled together a cohesive plan for the infastructure of the city to be restored. How are people to come home if the water isn't running and the lights aren't on? How are they to bring their families back home if the schools aren't open and the neighborhood grocery stores and the hospitals aren't up and running? How are they to trust a local government that doesn't bother to follow an emergency disaster plan when one has been in place for years? How are they to trust a mayor who wouldn't evacuate his city when the president of the United States personally called him and advised him to do it and then the day before the storm hit was called by the Hurricane Center's director, Max Mayfield, who pleaded for the mayor to act? Sunday the president of the city's council missed a meeting on Hurricane Ernesto readiness because he overslept, according to his own staff. Nothing has changed.

The democrats are trying to make hay out of this anniversary. Go ahead. New Orleans is a city completely dominated by the democratic party. By deciding they were Democrats above being Americans the state and city leadership decided to ignore the federal administration's guidance and go it on their own. Until the storm hit and the city washed away, that is. Mistakes were made all around, to be sure, but to lay it all at the federal level is dishonest and absurd.

The state of Mississippi handled things a little differently. The people evacuated and then came back and rolled up their sleeves. Mississippi is the poorest of the states in this country so don't fall victim to the excuses that the poor people of New Orleans had no way to survive. Mississippi's coast was completely leveled. Parts of New Orleans remained intact and were operating in a matter of days, such as the French Quarter which is the oldest part of the city and on higher ground.

You know what destroyed New Orleans? It was the exposure of the culture of corruption and governmental dependence of the city's poor. The city has been allotted an unprecedented amount of federal funds and a large part of the funds remain in limbo, waiting for the mayor and the governor to simply do the paperwork. The paperwork involves plans and ideas, though, so there lies the problem. To continue to throw money at corrupt leadership is an excercise in futility.

The mayor of New Orleans is an idiot and the governor of Louisiana is incompetent. The fact that the mayor was recently re-elected tells me that nothing has changed. Too bad they are not wise enough to look to the state next to them and take a page from the Republican governor's book, if they just want to play politics.

"It is better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life." - Elizabeth Kenny

Monday, August 28, 2006

Second Attempt

For some reason Blogger was acting up this morning as I was attempting to post my blogging. I hate it when that happens. Sometimes it will show up later, magically, but not this time it seems.

Hubby was off to the office this morning feeling back to normal after catching up on eating real meals over the weekend. He received an e-mail from a company in Hong Kong about some consulting needs they have and after answering them he was off. He was expecting the arrival of Abu Danny today. He and another engineer will train Abu Danny for a few days. Hubby knows him from his trip to Iraq in 2003 just before the war began. The citizens were more tense than usual with the war on the horizon so it was especially gracious of Abu Danny to extend his hand in personal friendship outside of professional friendship. He was taking a risk, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. He invited hubby to a birthday party and dinner for his child and hubby experienced a little of an Iraqi's life. Abu Danny is a Christian, not a Muslim and among the minority in the country. It will be interesting to hear from him how things are on the ground in Baghdad, where he still lives. I get an American perspective from my friend's husband there who is working, non-military, around Baghdad so this will undoubtedly be a different perspective.

Looks like we will escape Hurricane Ernesto but I'm thinking of folks in Florida and up the south east coast. Just Friday the forecasters (guessers) were predicting it would come our way. My supplies are in the pantry and we are about as ready as we get for the rest of the season. This year we have a generator. That was a big purchase after our scare over Hurricane Rita last year.

Preparing meatloaf tonight. I have a craving for it. I put cheese in the middle of it and it is so yummy. Tonight I'm using a 4 cheese blend, Mexican style. That and some baked potatoes and broccoli and rolls and we're talking good.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Fish in the Tank

It has been a lazy, quiet weekend, just as I like it. Since hubby's return Friday afternoon, I have been cooking and puttering around the house. He didn't have much in the way of decent meals up in the panhandle of the state, out in the middle of nowhere and keeping the odd hours he has to keep for his work, so he's being fed now.

While there in the little town by Amarillo, he met some interesting people. Authentic cowboys. He particularly likes talking about the saddlemaker/cowboy poet he met. The guy was the same age as hubby and had some good stories. He participated on the Great American Cattle Drive in 1995 from Texas to Montana and was the only cowboy to ride the entire way. It took 6 months to finish. He makes beautiful saddles selling for thousands of dollars. Hubby was interested in the cowboy poetry.

Never know who you will meet out there in the world. Hubby, who never met a stranger, has a knack for zeroing in on people with good stories. He also visited with a flint maker.

Did you hear about the college student who was arrested and thrown in the slammer here Friday? He was on his way back to begin the new college year and had been working in South America for the summer break. He thought he'd bring a piece of a stick of dynamite back from a mine in Bolivia as a souvenir, you see. In his suitcase at Bush Intercontinental Airport. Yeah, there's a bright one to lead the next generation. His parents in New Jersey, upon hearing the news, were less than proud. His last name is Fish. Fish in the tank, being questioned by the FBI and waiting for the folks to bail him out.

Funny, my husband was in Bolivia not long ago and he didn't think to bring dynamite in his stash of souvenirs.

Friday, August 25, 2006


This morning I am sipping Private Selection's Kona Blend and feeling happy it is Friday. Hubby is on the way home from Amarillo. It is the end of the second week of school for son. Life is moving along.

I see on the internet that Maynard Ferguson has passed away. Pity. He was a jazz trumpeter extraordinare and most famous to the general public, probably, for his "Gonna Fly Now" from the "Rocky" movies. Hubby and I were fortunate enough to go to a concert of his in Bloomington, Indiana in the mid 1980's. His back up band was known as the Thundering Herd and he put on a great show. We were in a private club, a gay bar actually, on invitation from one of the owners whom I worked with on our day jobs for a national college textbook company. As I have said before, I definately prefer the smaller venues for concerts and performances, for the intimacy of the experience. We sat at small bistro style tables and sipped cocktails while listening to some great jazz, live, from a legend. Doesn't get much better than that.

Yesterday was the 14th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew. Andrew used to be the reference point to a devastating hurricane until Katrina came along. We lived in Lafayette, LA for Andrew and didn't evacuate. It struck Homestead and southern Florida then went back out into the Gulf of Mexico and came up the Vermilion Bay to the southern Louisiana area. Communities to the south of Lafayette, like New Iberia where Tabasco sauce is made, were hit really hard. Lafayette survived fairly well, all things considered. Our neighbors across the street had a tree uprooted and downed in their front yard. That was scary. We had a large picture window in the front room of the house and I was nervous about that from all the high winds we endured. Our son, a 2 1/2 year old little guy, sleep through the storm all night. Amazing. We were lucky that we had no damage to our property but we did lose power for 5 days. Five days in south Louisiana in the end of August with no power is not pleasant. But we were prepared ahead of time, as all folks living in hurricane country have to be during the season, and though it was a nasty experience I don't remember people screaming for FEMA or blaming the president for a natural disaster. Ah, those were the days.

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

Thursday, August 24, 2006


I would like to remind anyone even remotely interested in participating in Project 2,996 to check out the website and sign up. It is a worthy cause for the blogosphere and it's easy. A name will be provided to you and all you have to do is do a remembrance on your blog about that person on 9/11. Several hundred bloggers are still needed.

Put a name and face on the crime.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Different Attitudes

The demands have finally been made for the release of the two journalists, working for Fox News, in Gaza. The tape was shown this morning and they look ok. I pray for them and their families.

It is hard to imagine your loved one in the hands of strangers solely on circumstance. This kidnapping business happens more than you might think around the world. And, if you are carrying an American passport, you are a prime target. A good catch, so to speak. International companies worry about kidnapping scenarios on a daily basis. My husband, being in the oil business and travelling overseas so frequently, has been taken hostage three separate times on oil driling rigs in foreign waters. He has been held on a rig off the coast of Angola, and off the coast of Nigeria. Africa, in particular, is very dangerous. The people are so poor and the governments are so corrupt that it happens frequently. My husband is among scores of oil drilling personnel with hostage stories. Typically the bad guys go out in boats and board the rigs, armed, and demand money from the oil company. When their money demands are met, the situation is over. They leave, the rig carries on with business. It terrifies me, frankly, and isn't anything but unnerving to the workers, either. So far, I haven't known about my husband's adventures until he is home and tells me in person. It's better that way. He's been lucky in the outcomes.

On a different kind of story, I am thinking about the upcoming anniversary of Katrina. Living here in Houston, it is something we deal with on a daily basis. We have seen the good and the bad in this situation. We enjoy the stories in the newspaper about successful transitioning to a new and much larger city and we shake our collective heads over the stories that tell a different story. Our crime rate in the city has risen 17% over the past year. In my subdivision crime is up 13% over the past year. We are experiencing armed robberies and recently a murder over a robbery. A large apartment complex borders our subdivision and many evacuees live there now. As I have written before, the evacuees receive free rent and utilites from the City of Houston, reimbursed by FEMA. The FEMA money has been extended from orginal deadlines and now has been extended yet again to next March. We continue to wait to see how many will remain after the money runs out.

I don't mean to sound harsh. I know there will always be a segment of society that will not or can not take care of themselves. And the culture of dependency was more than alive and well in New Orleans. The population of New Orleans, the majority of the minority population, was encouraged to rely on the local, state and federal governments. The politicans relied on the dependency for votes. It's the reality there, as well as many other places in this country. This culture, however, is not so dominant here in Houston. This city is too large and too diverse to be too widespread. A couple of nights ago I watched the local news before going to bed and heard a story about the police department and city utilities. In two weeks, the city will discontinue the free utilities program for evacuees and they will partner with the police department during disconnects at the area apartment complexes. The city does not want the utility employees to be in harm's way while performing their jobs. The reporter covering this story did a couple of interviews with evacuees and both people interviewed said they didn't know what they would do. They said it was terrible how they were being treated. Yeah, that's hard to swallow for me after all this city has done for them.

I watched a little photo op with President Bush and a Katrina survivor this morning. His name is Rocky and he is from St. Charles parish in Louisiana. He lost everything in the storm and yet he has chosen a different path. He lives in a travel trailor provided by FEMA. He is grateful for it, too. He is going around the country reminding people not to forget much is still needed on the Gulf coast. He thanks people for past support and is thankful to the government's attention. He thanks President Bush for what has been done and for the meeting with him today. He also said he reminded the president of what still needs to be done. It was a welcome change for me to see. I'm guessing his story won't get much play in the media, though. He doesn't have the victim mentality and he is moving on with his life.

I remember making a list of my top five favorite cities in the world not long before Katrina. New Orleans was my number one choice of cities. It has been my whole life. No matter where I have been fortunate enough to travel, there was no other city like New Orleans for me. It has been a part of my life since birth and I am still mourning the loss of it on a personal level. My husband has a personal connection with the city, too. His connection goes back to his mother attending college there and meeting his dad during World War II there when he was on leave from the service. My husband proposed marriage to me at Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter. So many memories connected with that city.

I was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. I guess my original birth certificate is on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico now. Our home was in Ocean Springs when it was still a one stop light town. That house was taken out by Hurricane Camille in 1969. I was born in Biloxi because Ocean Springs didn't have things like a hospital then. That little bit of the world, from New Orleans to Biloxi will always be in my heart.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song." - Maya Angelou

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

August 22

Sipping the last of the bag of Cinnamon Hazelnut coffee beans this morning. Hubby arrived home from the Gulf of Mexico Sunday afternoon, and then off yesterday early afternoon for Amarillo. I have been taking a break from around the clock news coverage for the past couple of days as I can take it no longer. Over the past 48 hours I watched "Two for the Money" with Matthew McConaughey and Al Pacino. I watched "Ladder 49" with Joaquim Pheonix and John Travolta. Both good while very different movies. I can pretty much watch Matthew McConaughey and Joaquim Pheonix do anything and enjoy it, though.

I watched "Vanished" last night. It was the debut show and I mostly liked it. It moves fairly quickly and kept me interested.

I am distracting my brain by learning about my new Treo and how to do things with it. It's a challenge that keeps me busy.

Today is August 22. It is the date that the maniac in Iran said he would give the world his answer about continuing on with his development of nuclear weapons. Why would anyone even doubt what the answer is to be today? It is a date held in high esteem in the Islamic religion. The U.N. will continue to look the other way. Kofi Annan has scheduled a trip to Tehran at the end of this month. He is corrupt, his people in the upper levels at the U.N. are corrupt and the whole of the U.N. leadership process is corrupt. Nothing will be done regardless of Iran's response. Kofi Annan's term as president is over on Dec. 31 and he is just waiting out the clock at this point. And going to places like Tehran, on the U.N.'s dime to make his deals for when he is out in the real world again. He'll have to be able to support his lifestyle, you know.

I am so sick of the non-stop coverage of the JonBenet Ramsey alleged killer. I don't think he did it. I am sorry for the murder of a beautiful little 6 year old child. However, while the world is blowing up around us and a rogue state in the mid east continues to threaten to end the existance of the state of Israel, then the U.S., is this story really the best use of news coverage time? This story was the main reason I had to turn away from the news last weekend. It's ridiculous.

"Not all who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The King

Hubby is on his way back home this morning. I'm sipping Private Collection's Cinnamon Hazelnut with Southern Butter Pecan creamer to get me going in this quiet house.

The anniversary of Elvis' death has come and gone again. Thinking back to August 16, 1977, when it came over the radio that he was found dead in his bathroom, it seems forever ago. I was working at an auto dealership in the office, my first full time job out in the adult world. Out of school and learning to make a living. Granted, Elvis was way past his prime but still, it was such a shock. And the event of his death with the drug overdose reality was so very sad.

My father worked in a world that often had him rubbing shoulders with celebs and other well-knowns and he had a sweet Elvis story. Back in the day, when Elvis was just beginning to make it on the national stage, he purchased the first of his pink Cadillacs. Still hanging around the Gulf coast of Mississippi, he was a frequent visitor to the beach. One day he drove the new Caddy to the beach and several teenagers recognized him. They ran over and while he was visiting with them, a couple of girls took sea shells and wrote their names and phone numbers on the car with the sea shells. Someone with Elvis started to stop them but Elvis told him to hang back. He said, "They paid for it", and my father said from that time on he had no doubt that Elvis would never forget where he came from. Nice story.

And here's a tip: Ladies, steer clear of car salesmen. They are a different breed. I'm just sayin'...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday Night

Survived the first week back to school and that routine. Son was able to change the two classes like he wanted to - he moved into Pre AP Chemistry from regular class and into AP Psychology while dropping Art. So, he's cooking now.

I went to the dermotologist for the first time in my life this morning. I have been blessed with a really good complexion all of my life, even through the teen years. Genetics. My two sisters are the same. Well, here I am in the truly lovely menopause years now and wierd things happen to your facial skin. Now I am being treated for rosacea. Taking both pill and topical treatment. Dietary changes to prevent flare ups. I have to go back in two weeks so the demotologist can tell me if it is clearing up quickly enough to avoid steroid treatment. Yeah, good times.

Hubby left this afternoon for an assignment out in the Gulf of Mexico. He called when he was stopped in Vinton, just 6 miles into the state of Louisiana. He was picking up his usual supply of beef jerky for the drive across the state. He is a creature of habit, if he finds a place with something he likes, he'll make it his routine. The man appreciates a good beef jerky. He bought a food dehydrator several years back to make his own.

Only one week away from the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Ray Naguin, the mayor of New Orleans attended the Association of Black Journalists convention and blames racism and red tape for the woes of Katrina. He is the mayor of the city so is he the racist? Is the corrupt government of the state of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans that downright encouraged dependency on "government" by the poorer citizens racist? Is the huge national government that begged the mayor to call for mandatory evacuation racist? Was the trial run drill called Hurricane Pam that the city employees performed just a matter of months before Katrina and proved the city and it's plan would not survive a major hurricane event racist? The U.S. taxpayer has provided billions of dollars now for the re-building of New Orleans. Not much progress bang for those bucks.

How about the Mississippi coast and the Alabama coast? How about the western Louisiana coast and Texas coast that are still devastated from Hurricane Rita? I don't see them screaming names to place blame. I see them working one day at a time to bring their areas back. Hey, there's a thought. Hurricane Rita victims have been completely ignored.

I watched a show on the WE network tonight that was very moving. It is called "Vietnam Nurses" and hosted by Dana Delaney of the old series "China Beach" fame. It was the story of 8 women who "battled to save the wounded and comfort the dying" as nurses in the Vietnam war. All signed up for service thinking they would be sent to other places like Germany or California or Hawaii and they ended up assigned to Vietnam. Officially it was the country's policy that women were not to be in harm's way but that wasn't the reality. Their stories brought me to tears. They are truly unsung heroes. The show ended by showing the monument dedicated to the nurses who served in Vietnam in DC. It was dedicated, finally, on November 2, 1993. It took over 10 years of effort to get approval and the monument erected. That's a real shame. As one nurse said, if caring for 350,000 wounded soldiers and the deaths of 59,000 is not worthy of a monument on the mall in DC, then what is?

The nurses echoed stories like the combat soldiers told about the reaction to them once they came home from the war. All of them wanted the war to end quickly, of course, but they didn't understand why the anti war people would think it justified to take out their attitudes on them. I never understood it either. I was in high school and college as the war was winding down and was as anti war as the next person but I never understood blaming the soldier for the war then, either.

I have always held the U.S. military in high regard. We owe everything to them. I didn't understand how people could vote a man like Bill Clinton into the presidency after he used tools like letters to his state's politicans voicing his disgust and contempt, his words, for the military as his way of getting a deferment from the draft. Or where was the outrage, outside of the military personnel assigned there, to the Clintons, mostly Hillary, using the uniformed military at the White House as butlers at their dinners? Using uniformed military as butlers for the Arkansas grifters.

I am encouraged that the returning soldiers from our current wars are being treated with much more respect and thanks now. My Vietnam veteran husband appreciates it, too.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Horray for Hollywood

Finally, some good news from the theatre of the absurd, the west coast of this country of ours. According to an article in today's Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), actress Nicole Kidman and 83 other Hollywood folks have taken out a full page ad in the LA Times to speak out against terrorism.

"We the undersigned are pained and devastated by the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist actions initiated by terrorist organisations such as Hizbollah and Hamas" is how the ad reads, according to the article.

It continues, "If we do not succeed in stopping terrorism around the world, chaos will rule and innocent people will continue to die. We need to support democratic societies and stop terrorism at all costs."


The signers of the ad are described as a who's who of Hollywood such as : Michael Douglas, Dennis Hopper, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Danny De Vito, Don Johnson, James Woods, Kelly Preston, Patricia Heaton and William Hurt. Representing directors are: Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Dick Donner and Sam Raimi.
Sumner Redstone, chairman and majority owner of Paramount Pictures, and Haim Saban, creator of shows like "Power Rangers".

It is a huge step forward for people to come together, regardless of political philosophy or nationality, and say, enough all ready. It is time to stand up and acknowledge that terrorists want to kill us all, whether you are a Republican or Democrat or American or Aussie. You can bury your head and think if we just all stay put and don't do anything to offend anyone else, then we will be safe here at home. Who were we at war with on 9/11?

The anger towards President Bush is so twisted by some that some would have you believe that the danger in this world is over-hyped for political reasons. Some would have you believe that we are an imperialist nation. Some would have you believe it's all about oil. Some would have you believe our civil liberties are being eroded in a power grab by this administration.

I am cheering that the signers of the ad named the enemy as Hizbollah and Hamas. I am cheering that recently the president finally used the term "IslamoFacists" in a speech. As much as the media and academia want to blame America or Israel, it is not people living in democracy demanding everyone on the face of the earth to submit to their religious and political will. You can thank Jimmy Carter for the uprise of IslamoFacisism in Iran and the falling of the dominoes since his presidency. And to this day he is blaming Israel for such nonsense as "overreacting" to attacks. He is not a good man.

And now, the far left in this country is oh so happy that a judge, appointed by Jimmy Carter by the way, has claimed the warrantless wiretapping of overseas to domestic calls is unconstitutional. The decision is being appealed. Playing politics with this war on terror will be the end of us all.

Horray for Hollywood. These 84 anyway. You will notice the group includes liberal and conservative alike.

It's a start.


A photo is in a regional newspaper in the area my sister lives in with her family. The photo shows the Harley and truck after the wreck. is the website and the photo can be seen by going to the sidebar and clicking Photo Gallery. The photo is headed 8-16 norman hill wreck.

Good News

Sipping Starbucks, French Roast, with Southern Butter Pecan creamer, and feeling good. No complaints today after the phone call received last night. My niece called last night with the news of my sister's condition, as well as the condition of my brother in law. Both are alive and recovering, so that is the important part. It is a miracle that they survived at all. Neither were wearing helmuts when their Harley collided with the truck in the curve of the road in southern Indiana. My sister has a broken left femur and the CAT scan results aren't back yet. She came to yesterday morning about 10:30 and as you can imagine, doesn't remember what happened and isn't answering questions correctly. She thinks it is 1997 and that she is 16 years old. She wakes from sleep screaming and calling for her husband. We have to wait to see what kind of brain damage she may have suffered from the trauma of the accident. She had surgery on her leg and has a rod and 4 pins in it now. They expect her to be in the hospital for about a week.

Brother in law suffered a more serious broken leg. His femur is broken, too, as well as his kneecap and some bones in his foot. His bones were exposed through the breaks so it is a wonder that they could save the leg at all. The doctor said 9 out of 10 can't be saved. He is expected to be in the hospital for about 3 weeks.

So, yeah, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief and sleep last night.

Today son has late start to school day. On Thursdays they start with first class at 9:30. They are on some kind of block schedule with the late start on Thursdays so that teachers can plan and do paperwork. I'm just going with the flow at this point.

The new electronic upgrades arrived yesterday via FedEx. I'm learning how to operate the Treo and son is dealing with his Razr. It's going to take me a while to get mine down, I can tell. It'll be cool though once I know what I'm doing.

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." - Lady Bird Johnson

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sleepless in Houston

I received a phone call from my niece, early this evening, with the news that my youngest sister, her mom, was in an accident. She told me that my brother in law and sister were going around a curve in the road on his Harley and an oncoming truck collided with them. Apparently my brother in law was too much into the curve to avoid the hit.

Happened in southern Indiana and they were both transported via helicopter to the University of Louisville hospital. My niece said the EMT on the scene told her my sister suffered head injuries and was in really bad shape.

My niece was getting into her car to drive down as she called me. Haven't heard from her yet so I don't know if that's good or bad news.

Any prayers and good energy will be greatly appreciated.

Monday, August 14, 2006

School Days

Today was the first day of my son's Junior year of high school. Good Lord, where has the time gone? It was just the other day he was in kindergarten and thought I ruled the world.

Over the weekend we upgraded my cell phone, to a Treo, so it's combined with the PDA and email capabilities, etc. Son upgraded to a Motorola Razr so he's all jazzed.

Also this weekend, Son went with hubby to get an exchange for hubby's iPod, as it wasn't working properly and the iPod store will change it out for you, so they took that opportunity to purchase son's birthday present early. His birthday is Labor Day weekend. So now he has a new iPod. They bought an iPulse at Sharper Image. It serves as a docking station for the iPod and has speakers and it lights up in different colors as the music plays. Son's digging it. So his big gift is taken care of now. Of course you know this means he'll get a few little gifts on the actual day of his birth as there is no way I won't have something for him to open!

That's enough geek shopping for a while, I'd say.

The Indianapolis Zoo is remodeling and the penguins were being transported to the Moody Gardens aquarium in Galveston when a tragic accident occurred. Twenty one penguins survived but four were killed when the refrigerated truck overturned, three of which were killed by motorists. What a sad story. Several were injured and are recovering. They are all being isolated until everyone is in good shape and then they can be viewed by the public.

Hubby and I have visited the Indianapolis a couple of times. We're zoo people and enjoy checking out the zoo in any city we may be visiting. We were big supporters of the little zoo created in Lafayette when we lived there.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday, Too Tired to Think

Today as I glanced out of the kitchen window I noticed the mail carrier approaching the house. He was wiping his face with a towel. I felt so bad for him, I went to the fridge, grabbed a bottle of water and ran to the front door. OK, walked briskly. I startled the poor man when I opened the front door as he was about to open the mail box. Avoiding the heart attack, he handed me our mail and I handed him the water. We're even.

I paid good money for son and I to see Blue Man Group at the St. Charles Theatre in Boston a couple of years ago and now I see a performance of theirs is free on cable.

I was thinking about the cool souvenirs hubby has brought back from traveling the world. From this last trip he brought back two hats to add to the ever growing collection he and son so treasure. These hats are in the style of skull caps but cover most of the scalp. One is forest green velvet with gold bracade designs and the other is white cotton with a pale green and yellow design. Winter and summer hats. Last trip from Kazakastan, he brought back a large wool hat that is their version of a cowboy hat.

We also have Mao's little red book from China, which really creeps me out, a gold painted goat's head from Iraq - they used goat heads for soccer and also creepy, a large jade penguin from China, large unpolished hunks of amythest from Brazil, porcelein chopsticks with enamel cloisenne embellishment, a very large polished shell from the beaches of Rio de Janerio. Just lots of cool stuff, I think. We have foreign currency out the wazoo.

I see Diahann Carroll is joining the cast of "Grey's Anatomy" this fall. I love her. What a class act. Remember her show, "Julia" and that little boy who played her son?

There was a ceremony swearing in 1200 new citizens of our country yesterday in our fair city. One man was from Sudan and the newspaper interviewed him a bit. Five years ago he was escaping his homeland out of fear and despair and now he is an American. His big joy yesterday? An American passport that he said represented freedom. Another cool story was the 98 year old Mexican woman who has been here since 1916 and just now a citizen. More block squares in our national quilt.

My favorite quote from yesterday's terror story:
"That's not a pain in the butt if I don't get killed on an airplane." A woman interviewed about the extra security restrictions at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Yeah, she's a Texan.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Good Thing Indeed

Late last night I was thinking about going to bed. It was around midnight. Hubby woke up, having gone to bed right after dinner to shake off the lingering weakness and exhaustion from the recent bout of food poisoning. We were watching the news and there it came on - the breaking story of the terror attack foiled by the Brits. Wow.

Hubby, having only returned home 24 hours before from the European continent turned to me and said, "I guess I left Europe just in time." Thank God for the working alliance between the MI-5, Scotland Yard, Prime Minister Blair, President Bush and the FBI. The facts coming out are that this has been under investigation for several months. The people arrested so far are all second and third generation British citizens of Pakistani descent. The government of Pakistan cooperated with information.

The tools used in fighting the war on terror worked. I was not aware that the British system of collecting information on citizens is quite a bit more lax than the standards we use in America. Turns out the Patriot Act was written using the British system as a working model. Money tracking and NSA wiretapping practices are what stopped this attempt to bring down 3 airplanes every hour for 3 hours. Midair between London or Manchester and America. They were going for NYC, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. That's a lot of murdered flyers.

Today is a day and a month from the 5th year anniversary of September 11 and the tragedies of that horrible day. Have you noticed the build up of reported incidents, for lack of a better word, lately in the news?

About two weeks ago the son of the founder of a mosque in Seattle shouted ethnic slurs about Jews and stormed a Jewish Federation building downtown, shooting 5 women, one 13 weeks pregnant, killing a 58 year old Federation stalwart.

Last week one man was arrested on board a plane from London on its way to America and returned to London.

Twelve Egyptian exchange students in a program with Montana State University in Bozeman were suppose to show up last week. Only one did. The university followed protocol and reported the others. So far, two have turned themselves in from New Jersey and one was arrested in Minneapolis. All of them have had their student visas revoked and will be deported.

Two men were arrested in Ohio from Dearborn, Mi on a traffic violation that led to charges of money laundering in support of terrorism. In the car flights documents, $11,000 in cash and 12 cell phones were found.

All righty then.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Join In

As summer was getting into full swing, I discovered a website via a blog I frequently read. The site is asking for volunteers to sign up and do a tribute to a victim of 9/11. I signed up in June and received the person's name that I will pay tribute to on the upcoming anniversary of that day.

Go to: and you will read a description of this worthy project. She provides the name of someone for you to write about. I googled the person assigned to me and learned a great deal about his life. He was a waiter in the World Trade Center's restaurant, Windows on the World. He was a Muslim.

The hope is to have 2,996 bloggers participate, one for each victim. More are still needed. That is why I am talking about it now and encouraging you to go check out the site.

It doesn't matter if you routinely blog about world events or on everyday life. On this day all bloggers will just be Americans paying tribute to the fallen. For just one day let the blogosphere unite without agendas and honor those victims.

On September 11, 2001 our world was forever changed. A global war was launched and we had to choose a side. Like it or not we are left to deal with a new type of war on an old enemy:

Those who hate western ideals of freedom for all people more than they love their own people.

Those cheering, dancing, clapping hands and passing out candies to their children in celebration of the attacks on our soil.

Those who say Hezbollah must live on and Israel must be destroyed.

When we put a name and human story to victims we honor them instead of their killers. I can relate a bit to it through my husband's previous travels to Iraq pre-war and the friendships he forged with collegues there. Supporting the making of democracy in Iraq will give them the freedom they, too, deserve in this world. All people long to be free. It is hard, painful work, to be sure, but we are their only hope.

Encouraging freedom as an antidote to hatred is a wise choice.

"Your joy comes from how you think, the choices that we make in life." - Joyce Meyer


It's a special joy, isn't it, to have a sick man in the house? Hubby arrived home about 4:30 yesterday afternoon and was showing signs of potential food poisoning. Seems the culprit may be the fish he ate on the plane on the way home. Poor guy. And, yeah, he's playing it for all it's worth! He brought cavier back this trip. I don't think, however, he'll be enjoying that any time soon.

Son went to Junior class orientation at the high school yesterday afternoon. My baby is half way through his high school days. It's all going too fast. And as usual, he has to make class changes on his schedule.

A friend sent a photo slide show of her trip to Europe last month. Sigh. She took her 16 year old daughter, a good friend of my son's all the back to the days of 4th grade. They hit England, Switzerland and France.

The Dixie Chicks cancelled their concert here in Houston due to lack of ticket sales. Snort.

How about those primaries last night, huh. Cynthia McKinney finally gets the boot. She lost big and it definately sends the right message. Her supporters at her rally last night were caught on tape screaming racial slurs and all that stuff. But, remember now, she's the one beaten down by racism.

Joe Leiberman, defeated in his primary by 3 or 4 percentage points will now run as an Independent. He'll win. Ned Lamont was proudly displaying his big name supporters on stage last night - Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Just guys from the 'hood. The whole race was really interesting between Ned and Joe. Ned was a big supporter of Joe's until he decided to be a senator himself. He contributed to Joe's coffers as recently as last spring. But with no political experience and mega millions in the bank from old family money, well, time for a senate seat.

Ned Lamont, from Greenwich, Ct, the wealthiest community in the country, is all about the will of the people. It's ok with me as it's not my party. If the party of FDR thinks now it is time to fully expose the anti-American defeatist isolationist leanings to the world, well, so be it. And this time out George Bush isn't running. Ned Lamont joins with the whopping 13 senators who voted for immediate cut and running from Iraq and all the usual rhetoric. The dems can't rush to voice public support of Ned fast enough - with John Edwards, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton winning the foot race so far. All of them voted to go into Iraq, as Joe has been punished for now, so there they are. Politicians of principle all.

Four of the kidnappers of Jill Carroll, the reporter from the Christian Scientist Monitor, have now been captured in Iraq. Jill was a big supporter of the insurgents, calling them freedom fighters and all, so it will be interesting to hear of her reaction to their capture. The military she snarled about was responsible for their capture, not to mention her release from her own captivity.

"There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press." - Mark Twain

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday Evening in Paradise

"They want the grand finale in your country ", said Walid Shoebat, author of a new book out, "Why I Left Jihad". Well, that's a pleasant thought rambling around in my head to end the day with, don't you think? He was on a talking heads tv show and explaining how it is in Islamo Facist societies, the raising of children to hate Jews and westerners.

How about that blogosphere, huh? Taking down another lying journalist shoving his world view/agenda on an unsuspecting public. Reuters, no real friend of democracy, had to apologize for its photographer, a Lebanese man caught in his tricks yet again, and fired his sorry butt today. Adnan Hajj thought using photoshop was a legitimate journalistic tool apparently in reporting the crisis in Lebanon and Israel.

Remember it is Reuters that refuses to use the word "terrorist" in its news stories.

Cindy Sheehan, an anti-Semite according to remarks credited to her speeches blasting Jews with "cabals" and trying to run the world, is doing her thing in Crawford now. Doesn't look like that whole fasting thing resulted in weight loss. Hey, there's a photographer who could take care of that for her...

James Meigs, an editor with Popular Science magazine, has written a book "Debunking 9/11 Myths" and discredits all the wacky conspiracy theorists enjoying some spotlight now. A poll was taken and over 30% of the American public thinks it's true that our government staged the whole 9/11 tragedy and the evil Bush administration wanted the war on terror. It's incredible, I know. This scientist takes argument after argument and scientifically disclaims it all. The first clue should have been when Charlie Sheen was interviewed on the radio and brought up the whole thing as facts he'll swear by.

The scientist pointed out that facts don't have politics. Kevin Barrett, University of WI lecturer on the history of Islam and devoting a week to the conspiracy theories as he is a believer, is in the forefront of the group. Among his claims are that cell phones don't work on airplanes so the passengers on the jets couldn't have possibly made calls as the jets were being hijacked. Even I know this is ridiculous. I am far from a scientist but I have been on the receiving end of calls from planes and I am fairly certain I wasn't hallucinating.

Hubby should arrive back home tomorrow night. I have dry beans soaking overnight, as the man loves a pot of beans with rice or cornbread. I'm making both. I like to make stuff like that which will keep for whenever he gets home. Also baking a chicken, same theory. I won't be serving cabbage in the near future! As an old Soviet country, the folks in Kazakhastan serve it pretty much every day there, so he will have had more than his fill of that vegetable!

I highly recommend you check out a blog I list on my blogroll, Atlas Shrugs, if you want a first hand view of the struggles in Israel now. Pamela, the blogger, is there and writing lots of what she sees and her experiences on her trip there.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


The e-mail overnight from hubby says he'll be home in the middle or towards the end of the upcoming work week. Sounds good. His company seems to have made some personnel changes while he's been gone. Rumor is, from another engineer there, that he has a raise coming now. That'll be nice, especially since he hasn't had one since he went to work for them 3 years ago.

My hubby works for a section of a very large international company. The section he is in isn't a big part of the company and it was recently sold. The new owner is an interesting man, according to his biography. He is of Iranian background but became a citizen here years ago. He is very wealthy, naturally, and has lots of ties to world leaders and all that. He is a former diplomat for the U.S. and currently lives here in Houston. It'll be interesting to see what all happens. The deal was finalized a couple of months ago so he's the man now. All ready the secretary that helped the engineers is gone and the guy in engineering who dealt with coordination of assignments is gone.

It's always the office personnel that are the first to go, isn't it? I worked in offices most of my working life and office workers are the ones making the world turn, in my humble opinion. Without office personnel doing the day in and day out of the most mundane of tasks, whether it is time cards for payroll or office memos for bosses, the world of commerce would come to a screaming halt. It's just a fact. The faces you see working in the company office are viewed by management as necessary baggage. Baggage, I say, because management doesn't really want the expense of good office workers and office workers don't produce in a concrete way for the bottom line of the financial statement. A manager can't look at a monthly statement and see profits made by office workers but can for sales personnel, for instance. But try running that company without anyone in the office.

If you are an outside sales person or a potential job applicant, do you know who is the most powerful person in the company? The front desk secretary or the receptionist, depending on the set up of the office. If that person doesn't connect you with the appropriate person within the company, you don't exist. I learned many years ago while I was running the front desk for a Fortune 500 company in Dallas that this position is a maker or breaker for outsiders.

It's an interesting dynamic.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Say It Right

I was watching HBO, catching up on a favorite series - Entourage- and I saw a preview of an upcoming miniseries. Spike Lee, a legend in his own mind, has an upcoming miniseries about Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath. You would think this man, being so smart and all, would know how to pronounce the name New Orleans, wouldn't you? This hits on a quirk of mine - the mispronouncation of New Orleans sets my teeth on edge.

There are two ways of saying it - either say New Or-le-ahns or say N'awlins, like the natives do. Please, for the love of God, it is NOT New Orrleenzs!

And yes, according to Spike, it is all the federal government's fault. And it's all about racism because without that, Spike has no movie ideas. If he has a solution to hurricane-proof the coasts of this country and make folks smarter with the whole self-reliance/evacuation thing, then I sure wish he'd let us in the hurricane prone zones know what it is.

So, my question is this - is it only racism if black people are on the offended end of a remark? Where's the coverage about the racism portrayed by California Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata? Thursday he called opponents to illegal immigration in San Diego the enlightened term of "cracker". Now, as a Southern gal, I know all too well this term of reference by those thinking themselves to be superior in either intellect or just in general existance. The term "redneck" or "poor white trash" is a step up from "cracker". Any outcries? Anyone taking out full page ads in California newspapers voicing indignation like they are against Mel Gibson and his vile remarks?

Not holding my breath.

The Ned Lamont campaign used a blogger/supporter to do a blackface cartoon of Joe Lieberman. Yet it is racial opportunists Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who are campaigning for Lamont. His campaign commecial shows him sitting next to the Daily Kos blogger. The one who was blogging "screw them" about the deaths of four Americans in Fallujah. They were civilian contractors so Kos refers to them as "merceneries" and making war profits. Not that they were there to support their families or to help the people of Iraq. No, they deserved to die. Charming man.

If the far left was any more tolerant or open-minded...


I think son and I have decided to catch the new Will Ferrell movie this weekend while everyone else is battling it out in the malls for no sales tax weekend shopping. It's too hot and I don't have the energy to do much else.

I do, however, feel guilty complaining about the temperature when I remember those serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. My husband was in Iraq on business, pre-war, and was there to experience the joy of 120 degree weather in the desert. And the servicemen and women carry around 50 - 100 pounds of gear on their backs. Yeah, good times.

Fool of the Week: Representative Katherine Harris, R-FL.
What in the world is going on in her mind? I was aggravated enough with her when she decided to run for the Senate against Senator Bill Nelson, who I would enjoy seeing defeated, but she never really stood much of a chance of victory in the race. Now she is involved in some kind of grand jury investigation concerning a defense contractor who has pleaded guilty to bribing another congressman. Her staff has been abandoning ship, rightly so, and now I read Harris hid a grand jury subpoena from her staffers and top advisors.

What is the woman thinking? I know she is fabuously wealthy from old Florida citrus money and has pledged millions of her own money to buy, er, win the seat, but good Lord. Allegedly Harris sought federal money for the defense contractor's company to set up a Navy counterintelligence program in her district. The request was denied.

This is a race that never should have been.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday Thoughts

Sipping Starbucks French Roast, extra bold. It is kicked up a notch with chocolate caramel, with Hershey's chocolate, flavored creamer. Seriously good stuff.

I'm about to monitor a Senate Armed Forces committee with testimony from Secretary Rumsfeld and General Pace. Yesterday at a committee hearing leading up to his one, with the Attorney General, Senator Clinton expressed her disappointment that Rumsfeld wouldn't be able to make the hearing. Yet, here he is, I see. She of course made it her business to claim the old canard of how dare he not be able to change his calendar to make the meeting. You know with the Clinton administration's record of disceit, it takes some nerve to accuse others of dodging committees. I expect no less from her, though. I'll watch the anti war bunch make their political speeches for the folks back home and the big dollar donors, like Teddy Kennedy. He's always good entertainment. He always leaves out the part about supporting the reports of the Saddam atrocities and our national policy of regime change, established under President Clinton. Alcohol makes one forget stuff, what with the dead brain cells, I read.

Yesterday was the last White House press briefing in the old room there in the White House. A big remodeling will begin today so they are being moved for the duration. It'll take about 9 months or so. At the end of yesterday's briefing, Tony Snow brought out press secretaries from administrations going back to the days of Nixon. It was so cool to see them all up there and everyone being so civil, like they are supposed to be as adults. Dee Dee Myers and Joe Lockhart were there from the Clinton administration. Then President Bush and Laura made an appearance and the president spoke a bit. Good vibes all around.

Are we sick enough yet about re-living Mel Gibson's DUI arrest and his anti-Semitic remarks? Good Lord. Put the man into treatment and go on to more pressing matters in the news.

Hubby sent an e-mail overnight. He may be heading home towards the end of next week. He sent his report to me to edit it for him. I don't mind checking spelling and sentences for him. Sometimes, though, it is like reading a foreign language with all the technical language. May as well tell me to go find a cure for cancer.

This weekend is the big no-tax shopping weekend for back to school. I sit this out as the $8 or $9 I would save per $100 spent on the eligible items is not enough savings to deal with wall to wall people in the stores. I began picking up stuff for the son last month as everything was going out on shelves. And, being a boy with no interest in fashion, he could care less about new clothes to start school. I bought him a couple of new t-shirts and fresh socks, so he's good to go! Boys are easy like that.

"Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin." - John Lubbock

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Wednesday Wanderings

Moving slowly this morning. Taking full advantage of a week without much going on. Next week we'll be easing into school mode. Son has Junior class orientation next week. It goes so fast.

I was watching VH-1 a bit over the weekend, specifically a show on the year 1975. Whoohoo. Brought back lots of fun memories. The same year that brought us Springsteen's Thunder Road also brought us Patti LaBelle's Lady Marmalade. Both great. In movies it went from "Shampoo" with Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn to "Pink Panther" with the ultimate comic, Peter Sellers. And then there were my boys, the Cincinnati Reds. I loved watching them play ball on tv. I had a huge crush on Johnny Bench, he could do no wrong in my eyes. And when they were World Champs, it was all so exciting.

Days gone by.

I watched some of the debating on S.3711 yesterday in the Senate. It's the Gulf Coast Drilling Bill and they passed it 71-25, but not before we heard all about evil big oil. This bill has to do with leasing and royalty funds going to the Gulf coast states for coastal restoration. The 8.3 million acres in eastern Gulf of Mexico it entails is a drop in the bucket but it's a start. Unless you like being under the thumb of others overseas who would like to see you wiped off the face of the earth. Or if you enjoy paying more at the pump. The oil drilling off the Gulf coast is light years from where it began, and there is no excuse for such hand wringing about it. Especially on the environmental front. How often is a spill reported? Even after Hurricane Katrina, it wasn't devastation from oil drilling rigs causing problems.

Now if some oil refineries would be built, we'd be in pretty good shape on the fossil fuel thing.

Castro dead yet? Just askin'.

"One of the key things for people as far as joy is concerned is not living a selfish, self-centered lifestyle where we live our lives expecting everybody else to do something for us." - Joyce Meyer

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mojitos All Around!

Hot enough for ya? Sorry.

Deathwatch in Miami's Little Havana - Fidel turns dictatorial powers over to younger bro, Raul, in hopes he survives his abdominal surgery. Cubans in Miami hope otherwise. Who would blame them? Someone close to our family and his current wife, who shall both remain nameless here, went to Cuba for a little vaca a couple of years ago. In some quarters this is considered a cool thing to do, all defiant of the policy of America and all, and a fun way to flip your country the bird. So, they go and visit with a family whose friendship was shared with a family they knew in their U.S. hometown. The two close to our family were so surprised to learn of the complete ban on personal freedom in Cuba. No public free speech, no freedom of religion, ban on bibles in homes, etc. The male of these two was talking to me about it upon arrival back home and all I could say to him was "and this surprised you?" I truly was flabbergasted at the naive attitude.

These two were of the belief that the dethroning of Saddam was not something in which America should get involved. Some refuse to learn the lessons of history.

Where's all the civil rights activists denouncing the hideous cartoons of Secretary of State Rice in the Arab world? The racist reporting of her trip to the region and the racist cartooning of her likeness? Is the message racism is ok if it is against someone with whom you don't politically agree? This disagreement earlier emboldened them to call Secretary Rice a few racist slurs themselves so it's business as usual, I suppose.

And dear Jimmy Carter. Bless his heart. A humanitarian, to be sure. A failed presidency, to be sure. The first of former presidents to publicly criticize a sitting president, he now wants to be the voice of reason on foreign policy. It's a joke, a cruel joke, for anyone to take the man seriously, particularly in regards to the middle eastern mess today. Were it not for him propping up the Ayatollah in Iran and running out the Shah during his administration, the early Islamo Facist terror activity against our country and citizens would not have taken hold. This fact of our lives is especially personal to me as I live in a city reported to have a Hezbollah cell. Appeasement doesn't work. Appeasement is a nice photo op and a feel good story on the evening news. Appeasement is not a long term solution to anything. The Islmo Facists view appeasors as weak.

Appeasement in the current situation between Israel and Lebanon/Hezbollah is an immediate ceasefire. It will be viewed as a victory to Hezbollah. The truth is that Hezbollah is winning right now and has been underestimated by Israel. The attack in Quan a few days ago was a staged event by Hezbollah, with the facts about the story coming out now, and it further illistrates just how barbaric Hezbollah is towards the people of Lebanon. Would they be any different to Israelis? The time is now for Israel to take off the gloves and clean out Hezbollah in Lebanon.

There is no reasoning with those who kidnap soldiers with the expectation of a prisoner swap. There is no reasoning with those who hide behind women and children, expecting them to live with weaponry in private homes. There is no reasoning with those lacking respect for human life.

Bring on the international force for enforcing peace in the region. The only movement I've seen is the minister in France running to Lebanon as soon as Secretary Rice was in the air, winging her way back home. Stabbing us in the back once again, France is not about to lose the oil supply it receives from Lebanon. France certainly is not going to stand with Israel. Anti-Semitism is rampant in Europe, its root deep in France. And now Palestineans in Gaza are jumping up and down for an international force to secure its territory. These peace - seeking folks were the ones who kidnapped the Israeli soldier and set off all the current situation. They want hundreds of Palestinean prisoners released in exchange for the soldier, and the soldier to be taken to Egypt until a ceasefire is enforced. Unbelievable.

Something is mentioned of Jimmy Carter's dislike of Jews in his autobiography. I haven't read it so I can't verify this claim.

Maybe there is a Habitat for Humanity project in Gaza...