Friday, March 30, 2007

Well, That's Not Something You See Every Day!

This afternoon, after picking up the boy at school and running an errand, I went into the house to get a grocery bag to toss trash into from my car. I opened the front door to go back out to the car, bag in hand, and with my first step onto the front walk, what did I see? A 30ish man, attired in shorts and t-shirt, iPod in his ear, pedaling a unicycle down the sidewalk. Yes, a unicycle! I was so surprised I stood still as he passed. I probably had my mouth open as I stared. I looked around to see if maybe a neighbor had seen this sight, too, but no. I wanted to say hello, thinking this might be an interesting neighbor to chat with but I didn't want to intrude into his world, his 'zone'.

You just never know. Our subdivision is a very active one with people walking, running, all the time. Biking is popular, too. I don't know. It just amused me.

I was cleaning out the car so the husband and son could use it tomorrow on their trip up to College Station and the Texas A & M campus with a few other members of the Boy Scout troop. They are working on a veterarian badge and the university is having a big open house at the College of Veternarian Medicine. They leave at 6:00AM and return in the evening. It's a day jam packed with all kinds of activities, the first of which is a photo taken with Reveille, the campus mascot. Reveille is a legendary mascot, a beautiful Collie dog. Who knows which generation the current one is from the lineage. They will get to do and see some really cool things.

My son participated in his very first blood drive today at school. The Junior National Honor Society was sponsoring it for community service. No, he's not a member but some of his friends were signing up and he did, too. He said he got a little dizzy and sick when the technician forgot to dilute the plasma with saline. Bummer. He recovered and had the juice and sugar cookie afterwards. I told him not to forget the juice and cookie so his blood sugar would be normal. I didn't think of a potential problem with the plasma. Geez.

So, what do I have in common with the librarian at Guantanamo Bay? We both have pre-ordered the upcoming Harry Potter book. Seems the terrorists love Harry and are anxiously awaiting the last installment in the series, due out in July. Hey, I thought they were being abused down there.

Bono, my man, was knighted by the Queen. He can't be called by the title Sir, though, as he's Irish, not English. I think it's great. He's a huge liberal, of course, but he gets it. He knows you need to work with everyone and be respectful of all to get big things done. Washington could take a clue. Remember the first Super Bowl after 9/11 and Bono was the halftime performer? He was singing "Beautiful Day" and opened his leather jacket to reveal the pattern of the American flag of the jacket lining. I've completely loved him ever since.

Harvard University only accepts 9% of its applicants. I knew it was tough to be admitted but that's really tough. A friend of mine and her ex-husband are both grads of Harvard and their son wasn't accepted a couple of years ago. This kid has never received anything but A's, participated in sports and community service and the supposed advantage of alumni parents, yet, no go.

I'm happy to see the trend is to do away with school fundraisers requiring the kiddos to sell junk no one wants. This year the son's high school did a great fundraiser. The PTO asked the parents to write a check for the amount they were comfortable with donating to the school's Fund for Excellence, a scholarship program for graduating seniors, instead of the standard fundraiser dinner/auction kind of events of the past. It makes so much more sense. I'll be happy to write a check any day and forget the whole bit of using the kids as salespeople thing.

Ah, Friday.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Some Cheese and Crackers with that Whine?

The true result of the Scooter Libby trial? Lots more on Capitol Hill will be taking advantage of their constitutional right to claiming use of the Fifth Amendment. I can't agree more strongly. Any personnel in the upper levels of today's political hierarchy, in particular, would simply be foolish to appear before one of these congressional committees hellbent on a witch hunt for Karl Rove and say anything at all. Scooter was convicted for a bad memory. I know I wouldn't stand a chance up there if I had to rely on memory and my life is nowhere near as stressful as his and his former position.

The firing of the U.S. attorneys, only 8 out of 93, whose terms were ending anyway, has given a reason to live to the Senate and House judiciary committees. The Democrat members are trying their level best to gin up a scandal where none exists. No 'crimes' were committed and the Dems don't even make that accusation. To hear the charges flying around Capitol Hill, though, you would think a trial had already been conducted and the Attorney General and his people were guilty, on their way to the pokey.

The judiciary committees are made up mostly of lawyers. It's no surprise, of course, that there is no shortage of lawyers in office. Where the problem arises, though, is when these lawyers go down the road of pre-judging testimony of potential witnesses to the committees. Why bother with the chirade of bringing someone up for questioning? The answer is to try to criminalize the political process. Long ago, the gameplan for the Democrats became using the court system to produce their desired results when it was apparent they were not able to win elections. Now that they have been successful in claiming the majority rule in both houses, the plan continues.

Patrick Leahy, D-VT, is the chairman of the Senate judicial committee. He issued a press release stating Alberto Gonzales and his deputy, Mr. McNulty "failed to tell Congress the whole truth about this matter under oath."

Charles Schumer, D-NY, and Diane Fienstein, D-CA, held a joint press conference and stated, "misleading statement after misleading statement -- deliberately misleading statements" were spoken by Alberto Gonzales.

Is there a conflict of interest, maybe, with Schumer, by the way, as he is the chair of the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee? During the 2006 election cycle the committee had paid staffers obtain and release financial records of then Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, running for the Senate seat of that state. Two female staffers were charged and convicted with the offense but were merely given probation and community service. How's that for violations of rights? Oh, nevermind. He's Republican and black, too. You remember, the one pelted with Oreos during campaign speeches by the haters.

Representative Linda Sanchez, D-CA, stated "attempts to mislead the public on this issue" were already a foregone conclusion.

So, we get to Monica Goodling, the Justice Department's liaison to the White House. The Democrats would like to question Ms. Goodling about her communications with other Justice officials. Ms. Goodling has told the committees she intends to exercise her constitutional right to the Fifth Amendment.

Ms. Goodling explained to the committees: "I have read public remarks by members of both the House and Senate Committees on the Judiciary in which those members have drawn conclusions about the subject matter and the testimony now under investigation by the Committee." Hard to argue with that, given the statements on record.

Senator Leahy and his fellow judiciary committee members today questioned Kyle Sampson, the former Chief of Staff to the Attorney General. He has since resigned due to the handling of the firings and the public spectacle it has become. He is there voluntarily and we will soon learn if he will now face jail time for cooperating. Not for any scandal or crimes committed in the process, simply for anything the committee may come up with to accuse the man of perjury.

The U.S. attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President. The President appoints them to the job. Yes, it is political. Yes, they can be let go at any time for any reason, political or not. Now the Senate has stripped the part of the Patriot Act that states the U.S. attorneys can serve without senate confirmation.

Today Sampson explained in detail the process of determining performance levels of the attorneys. Various documents backed up his statements. One attorney claiming foul after being let go, Carol Lam of California, had complaints in her file two years before the current process ever began.

Why would anyone not use the Fifth Amendment now?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesday Wrap Up

How much does an endorsement for the Democratic nomination for President cost? In the case of the endorsement televised Monday of Tom Vilsack and his wife Christie of Senator Clinton the price is $400,000. That's the debt his now abandoned campaign for the same office is strapped with and since she has such an abundance of money in her coffers, I guess it's no big deal to her. Word is that Obama's campaign only offered Vilsack the paltry amount of $5,000. Obama is going to have to step up into the majors to keep up with Hill.

John McCain stopped campaigning in Florida to make it back for the Senate vote to surrender yesterday. He told his crowd that the surge strategy is beginning to show good signs of success and "is working far better than even the most optimistic supporter had predicted. Progress is tangible in many key areas dspite the fact that only 40% of the planned forces are in Iraq." No wonder the Dems in the Senate were so strident in forcing the vote - can't let success get in the way of surrender.

History will not look kindly on today's Democrat party.

With friends like Senator Jim Webb, his old friend and former Marine Phillip Thompson doesn't need any enemies. Webb allowed Thompson to sit in jail overnight on the charges brought against him for carrying the Senator's loaded, unwrapped pistol into the Russell building, along with two loaded magazines, in his briefcase. Monday was Thompson's 45th birthday. Now Webb denies having any part of the episode, even though the pistol is his. He goes off on a tangent about how the president is protected and the senators aren't whenever he is asked about carrying a gun. A member of the Capitol Hill press corps yelled "duck" as Webb came around a corner at noon to speak to reporters! Webb doesn't seem like a real stable character to me. What with the exaggerated serious voice, the macho stride in his walk and the penchant for outbursts of temper. He thinks he's a little more important than he really is, I think.

There was a photo in an online column I read of a woman in Iraq doing a dramatic oration to celebrate "International Theatre Day" at the Iraqi National Theatre in Baghdad. What? Theatre in Baghdad? A signal of success not being focused on here at home? Shocking, I know. You'd think now that Brian Williams of NBC has gone and come back astonished of the progress being made there, and admitting it on air, that others might pick up on the thread. Nope. Still got the likes of Richard Engel talking of utter defeat and those that join in the chorus.

Do they think the military personnel will forget in later years how their mission was portrayed?

Houston has a truly fine Halocaust Museum. I've been there twice and have learned so much each time from the exhibits. Each year they present an award of courage to a worthy person, connected with the Jewish community. Former receipients have included Stephen Speilberg. This year the award will be presented to Daniel Pearl, the beheaded Wall Street Journal reporter stationed in Pakistan. His parents will accept the award at the dinner here for him in May.

What a story. His last words to his killers? "I am a Jew". He wouldn't submit. A lesson can be learned there.

His parents must be so proud.

To Our Americans Serving in Iraq

This man says it all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Date Certain For Surrender Act

When the Democrats were voted the majority in the House and the Senate last November, the leadership of both houses declared it was a new day in Washington, D.C.. They would have no part of corruption, earmarks for pork projects back home, and we're getting out of Iraq right now. You could almost hear them stomping their collective feet as they made their speeches and took their victory laps. Grandma MiMi brought all the children up to the podium with her to show she can, in fact, do it all. She can be a grandma and run the country at the same time. She is woman, hear her roar. She channeled Rosie the Riveter from the days of World War II.

So far, the Democrats are 1 for 3. Corruption still runs through both houses of Congress. Members under a cloud still head committees. Grandma MiMi demanded a jumbo jet for her journeys back and forth to the west coast and one big enough to bring all her family and staff with her, along with others of the California delegation. Democrats only, though. Grandma was denied special treatment and immediately threw the gender card. Hey, she can do it all - she's the toughest woman in the country and a victim at the same time.

The Democrats are doing exactly what they pouted about under Republican rules - they deny allowing amendments to be offered on 'their' bills for voting. They hold votes open for close counts, and they use pork projects as bribes for votes from those hesitating to hold the party line.

Usually, a bunch of multi million dollar projects tacked onto legislation is considered politics as usual. We are, for now, a country at war. Part of their responsibility is to fund the war. Now, however, they claim to have a mandate from the American people to stop the war. Right this minute, disguised by benchmarks and readiness tests. They get to name those, not the military on the ground. They are the commanders in chief, not the President, in their world.

What they don't tell you is the vote for Dems in November was to change course in the war, not immediate withdrawal. The polls still show the majority of the American people do not immediate withdrawal.

In order to appease the enemy and Code Pink, the Democrats have been cowed to pass a bill that is loaded with more than $20 billion in new spending for lots and lots of members' projects back home in order to pass a slow bleed of funding for the war in Iraq. It also contains a date certain for surrender. For all the wheeling and dealing, the bill passed by only 6 votes. There's the $25 million grant to spinach farmers in California, $75 million to store peanuts in Georgia, $15 million to protect Louisiana rice fields from saltwater, $120 million for shrimp and menhaden fishermen, $250 million in milk subsidies, $500 million for wildfire suppression and $1.3 billion to build New Orleans levees. What's menhaden?

And, oh yeah, no tax break extensions when they come due. You'll be paying Clinton administration level taxes in no time.

Even the Washington Post was disgusted with the House. The Post hates the President and his administration, sure, and they blame America for the woes of the world, too, but I don't think they are in full surrender mode yet. Interestingly enough, neither are the LA Times or USA Today. All have run editorials condemning the House legislation.

The House Democrats have chosen to be led by MoveOn.Org and not the commanders on the ground in Iraq. MoveOn.Org people will not be in Iraq when the mass ethnic cleansing escalates upon our withdrawal before the Iraqis are able to take over their own security in the Baghdad area as they already have over most of the country.

Two weeks ago the Senate voted on a trial kind of bill using their own date certain to be out of Iraq. It failed. Two who voted against it were the two Senators from Nebraska, one Republican and one Democrat. Hagel, the Republican, has seen himself in the Oval Office for some years now and may decide to run this time around. He recently had a press conference to say he'll have a press conference when he makes up his mind. The Democrat Senator, Ben Nelson, is a moderate and thoughtful Democrat. He usually doesn't follow the moonbats.

Today, in the Senate, both Nebraska Senators decided to surrender to IslamoFacists in Iraq and voted with all the Democrats to set a date certain for withdrawal. I hope they both toss and turn a whole lot tonight instead of getting a good night's sleep. Shame on them.

I want this war to be over as soon as humanly possible. Mistakes have been made. We are on a new course and even some of the newspaper accounts of the war are admitting hints of optimism about recent successes. I want the Iraqi people to continue to step up and take control of their country. That is why the President has to veto the bills with a date certain for withdrawal. Then it will go back to Congress and the funding requests will start again. In the meantime the military will be left high and dry if the funding is not met by April 16. The House is in recess the first two weeks of April. Hmmm. Not much time there. Grandma MiMi also has not lived up to her pledge of 5 day work weeks, either.

If you were an Iraqi, would you feel secure enough to step up with the news of the surrender party here? If you were a young American soldier would you feel supported by the 'we support the troops but not the war' crowd? If you were a family member of an American soldier would you vote for any politican that put your loved one in jeopardy thanks to surrender mentality?

Our magnificent military is 100% voluntary. They do not need politicans 'protecting' them by putting them in the position of surrendering to the enemy. They are trained warriors. They protect us, not the other way around. Recent interviews with soldiers in the battle state clearly that they do not feel supported by those mouthing support for them and not of their mission. What the surrender supporters don't understand is that a soldier doesn't distinguish himself from his mission.

All along we have been bellowed at by those not supporting the war that this is Vietnam. Wrong. The enemy was not going to follow us home from Vietnam. This time the enemy knew all along that all they had to do was wait out the people who don't understand the big picture.

The name of this post is what Senator John McCain calls the bill that was passed, by two votes, in the Senate today. As a POW during the Vietnam War, he's entitled to state his opinion, loudly and often. Let the world hear that.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Banned UN Speech:

Well, so much for freedom of speech at the U.N.
Unless, you don't support Israel.

Senator Webb is Packing Heat!

A breaking story that amused me is the one of Senator Webb's aide being held by Capitol Police for carrying the senator's loaded gun into the Senate building in a briefcase. Can you imagine if it was a Republican doing that? Not long ago the Roanoke Times ran a list of all concealed weapon permitted citizens in the state complete with their addresses, if memory serves, even though the editor knew some of the information was no longer valid. It was Sunshine Week and the reporter doing the hit piece wanted to use the purpose of the week, to spotlight public records and their access to citizens, for his own agenda. Shocking, I know. Wonder if Senator Webb appeared on the list. If not, why not. The aide was charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possessing an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition. Well, now. Let's see if this makes headlines anywhere.

To do a little follow up on my previous post, yes, there were some truly vile comments on some liberal websites concerning Tony Snow's medical procedures today. For such peace loving, compassionate, feel good folks, they sure are vile.

What I saw of the 60 minutes interview with John and Elizabeth Edwards truly irritated me. Katie Couric resorted to using the faux journalistic technique of 'some say' and 'some wonder' in prefacing her questions. Who are 'some' anyway? It's Katie, of course. She was badgering over and over these two people over his decision, her decision, to continue on the campaign trail. Too bad they didn't ask her why she didn't give up her career and tend solely to her husband and young children when her husband was diagnosed and dying of colon cancer. Her children were even younger than the two youngest Edwards children. Hypocrisy? Projection? You decide.

Whatever you do, do not tell my husband about this item on E-Bay: a studioflat in the small town of Hinckley in Leicestershire decorated by the interior designer/Star Trek fan owner as the interiors of the Enterprise and Voyager starships. And I thought my husband was a freak about Star Trek. This guy, Tony Alleyne, separated in 1995 from his wife and decided to have his way in his own place. It doesn't have a bedroom, though is does have a transporter room. It can be yours for $200,000 US.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Elizabeth's Way

Presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth held a press conference Thursday to announce the re-emergence of cancer in Elizabeth, a breast cancer survivor. The cancer has moved to her bones. In a calm, uplifting, almost joyful, press conference, John Edwards reassured his supporters the campaign goes on.

First, my thoughts were of their united front to battle cancer, again, and how terrifying it must be for Elizabeth, a wife and mother of three, two children still young ones. Her upbringing as a child of a military dad shined through, the picture of serenity.

All of us, sometime in our lives, whether personally or through family, friends, dear ones, will struggle with cancer. The first recollection I have of the disease affecting my family was as a girl when my aunt was diagnosed with brain cancer. She was my father's only sibling and a single mom of two young children. Her husband divorced her rather than deal with a sick wife and two young children. I was 14 when she died and her children, my cousins, came to live with us for about a year while their dad mustered up the maturity to accept custody of them. My mother, not exactly a Carol Brady kind of mom, handled the additional two children to her own three with the mother's helpers of the day - martinis and valium. She would retire to her bedroom for a 'nap' in the afternoons after we came in from school.

My mother in law is a breast cancer survivor. It was caught very early and surgery was performed. She is still cancer-free and completely independent and active, at the age of 84. She tried retirement for a few months and didn't like it last year, so she's back working part time in real estate.

Friends have battled cancer, too. Old friends have dealt with liver cancer, requiring a transplant, lung cancer, requiring the removal of a lung. Newer friends and acquaintances have battled breast cancer. There is no escape. And, make no mistake, it is a battle requiring warrior determination.

I am struck with John Edwards' way of dealing with the challenge head-on and with determination to be there for Elizabeth. I am inspired by their desire to get on with it. The campaign continues. It will keep them very busy and focused, instead of home brooding and depressed.

Theirs doesn't appear to be one of fakery and political convienence, as is so common anymore. Refreshing. How sad, though, that now he will be on the receiving end of people, strangers, feeling compelled to let them know what they think should be done. People who know nothing of these two people will condemn him for not stepping aside and staying home with her. What they have missed in this whole story is that it is Elizabeth who is demanding life go on as planned, not him. She is the one wanting to get right back out there. She is a fighter.

Good for her.

Some things transcend politics. It is hard to tell these days, but most have rallied around the Edwards' during this time. People of all political sides realize this is not the time for nonsense. I understand campaign donations are up in light of people taking a second look at the candidate. That will be encouraging to the campaign staff and candidate alike.

I have no use for the politics of John Edwards. He is a liberal trial lawyer and sees the problems of this country in an entirely different light than me. I will not forget, however, when conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham was diagnoised with breast cancer and was treated for it last year. It was Elizabeth Edwards that went on the liberal websites and told all those moonbats gloating over Ingraham's life threatening disease to stop it. She said it was completely unacceptable for anyone to gloat over someone else's health issues.

Too bad no one on the left felt so inclined when the moonbats struck again on their sites over what a shame it was that Dick Cheney's blood clot medicine was working. This seems to be something the far left feels entitled to do with impunity, this wishing death to those they disagree with. Conservatives have been some of the most vocally supportive of Elizabeth Edwards and I am encouraged by that.

Tony Snow, press secretary for President Bush, is a colon cancer survivor. Diagnosed two years ago and treated with chemotherapy, he will be undergoing surgery Monday for removal of a small, non-cancerous growth in his lower abdomen. I wish him well. Tony said Friday that he spoke with Elizabeth and John Edwards for about 10 minutes to offer support and prayers.

Well done.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Happy World Water Day

I don't know. I read today was World Water Day. Whatever.

I was the kid who read the cereal box at the breakfast table because I was told bringing a book to the table was rude.

Southern people are many things, but rude is not one of them.

Some sad news from the blogging world yesterday. Cathy Seipp, a writer from Los Angeles, died. She fought lung cancer for the last 5 years, although she was never a smoker. I stumbled upon her blog a couple of years ago and only commented a couple of times. I felt she was light years ahead of me intellectually and was too intimidated to do so. She was known for being a media critic and her zeal in taking on the LA Times. She was described as a conservative by choice, not birth. She wrote for National Review Online and Independent Women's Forum most recently.

She was a devoted single mom to Maia, now a freshman in college. Cathy was 49.

Michelle Eckerle is one of 21 new recruits in the AIDS Corps. She is a pediatrician from Cincinnati, the 30 year old mother of five. She is taking her family to Botswana this summer. Her husband, Andrew, is an art professor at Northern Kentucky University. Wanting to give their children a unique, unforgettable life experience, they focused on searching for work in international health. Andrew plans to focus on caring for the children and doing photography and drawing. She was pregnant with twins last year when she was awarded a slot in the first Pediatric AIDS Corps. She will have medical school loan reimbursement and a stipend.

The Pediatric AIDS Corps is funded by Baylor and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. Texas Children's Hospital is one of Baylor's teaching hospitals. The hospital has made global AIDS an area of emphasis.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mr. Gore Goes to Washington

I avoided the whole Al Gore goes to Washington spectacle today but I confess. This afternoon I did switch over to C-SPAN for a few minutes to check in on what was going on. It was the Senate committee's turn with Al and sitting behind him was Tipper, who from her appearance thinks she is still much younger than she is. Her long blonde hair, parted in the center, and makeup looked more like one of her daughter's, but whatever. I kind of feel sorry for her. She glared at Hillary, softly, as Hillary asked questions of Al. Not surprising. But, the funny thing was the guy sitting behind Tipper. He was doing that head bobbing thing, trying not to look like he was falling asleep. He was entertaining.

I had two problems with Al's performance, and believe me it is all about the performance, with just the brief time I watched. First, the audience was allowed to burst into applause for their hero without any calls for decorum. The chair of the committee is Barbara Boxer, so I suppose it's to be expected. Also, Al has this annoying habit of exaggeration. He admitted in an interview not long ago that exaggerating points was the most effective way to come across to an audience.

Everything is a planetary emergency, a catastrophic event just about to happen. Reminds one of the old Clinton days. Remember when every issue du jour was a 'crisis' and had to be dealt with yesterday? It turned out to be the justification of taxing our brains out. This is Al's grand plan, too, according to what he was telling Hillary. Complete across the board conformity from everyone and all companies is the only solution acceptable to Her Highness and Al agreed.

As I see the issue, most everyone agrees that the planet is warming. One degree warmer over the past century, according to what I have read. However, there is great differing of opinions among the scientific community as to cause and reasons. I think that most is cyclical and only a fraction man made through out the world. Yes, we can all make adjustments in personal consumptions, but those out there like Al Gore also must be held accountable to walk the walk. Simply buying carbon offsets is not the answer. To a limousine liberal like Al, all he has to do to combat his imprint on earth is throw money at it. One expert said there is no way he funds enough offsets to make up for his energy consumption at the one mansion in Tennessee alone, much less his other homes.

See, you can find people to acknowledge just about any point of view at this stage of the debate. Remember, 30 years ago it was the next ice age coming.

Exaggerating and theatrics, while entertaining, serve no useful purpose to people truly trying to get the message out.

Some years ago I was living in south Louisiana and joined a group forming to figure out how to get our parish (county) to have recycling and home pickup of the recycled goods as the city provided to those living within the city limits. We did tons of environmental research and I did lots of reading on my own for my own interests. All of this is nothing new. Just because Al Gore, a politician, has found his niche in spreading the word doesn't mean he is the 'prophet' he was proclaimed to be by a congressman today. Yes, a prophet.

Maybe I should go into the prophet business. Al's being rewarded handsomely.

Yesterday the committees heard testimony from others on the subject of global warming, leading up to Al's big day. One was a man named Hansen from NASA. He claimed the evil administration and NASA were silencing him on his findings on global warming. This from a man who has conducted 1500 interviews to date, 15 in the month after saying he was being muzzled by the evil White House alone. Oh yeah, he admitted to Congress he violated NASA policy about notifying them of press interviews. That's quite a lot of talking for someone claiming to be muzzled.

Some statements said to gin up the crowd during speeches on the severity of global warming are just irresponsible. John Edwards said that potential global warming in the next 75 years "will make world war look like heaven." Really? World War? And Ellen Goodman, in a recent column, linked global warming skeptics to the Holocaust deniers. Is that a productive way to present an opinion?

It is possible to elevate the discussion and disagree without simply being disagreeable. Name calling isn't mature or an intelligent way to debate. The politicians continue to show us that.

There are more pressing issues than global warming, I think.

My husband's former Iraqi colleague called last night and thanked the husband for his letter of recommendation for residency in this country and they chatted for a bit. Today he was to learn if his application to stay here and go for residency in America, in Michigan, is successful or not.

There are more pressing issues than global warming, I think.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Survivor, Real Time

I've been following the disappearance of the Boy Scout in the woods of North Carolina over the weekend. The anguish of those parents is palpable. I hold him in my prayers.

Last night, after listening to an update on the story, I called to my son and asked him to come to me. I asked him what he would do if he wandered off into unknown woods and not able to find his way back. I was relieved to hear him recite some good basic survival techniques - stay put, light a fire if you can, use a whistle if you have it, cover up in leaves for warmth, etc.

But this child missing is only 12 and a First Class scout, which means he is a rookie in the ranks of the older scouts. I hope he makes it.

For two consecutive summers, my son put me through panicky situations as his mom. The first was due to dehydration from the hot Texas sun in June which lead to a trip to the medic cabin and an IV administered for fluids.

The following summer was far worse and lead to me not particularly encouraging him to go to summer camp anymore, certainly not if his dad is not going, too. He was stung multiple times by wasps. His reaction was so severe that it was a medical emergency requiring ambulance transport to the nearby town's hospital. His blood pressure and pulse plummeted. Let's just say it's still a phone call I can't get out of my head. He stayed there and stabilized then went back to the camp medic's cabin until the next morning. The scout leaders were terrific about calling me every so often to update me and try to keep me calm. The EMT at the medic cabin called me twice that night to update me and tell me how to handle future camping trips - son has to have the ole EpiPen on him and an extra for an adult camper. With the accumulation of venom in his system, to be stung is now a life-threatening situation with him.

Turns out he stomped on a wasp he thought was dead in the ground. It wasn't and attacked his leg. Then another one did, too. The build up was what did him in. And since he didn't speak up to a leader since he knew he did an asinine thing...


The husband is planning to attend this summer's camping trip. He's a co-leader in the troop and is able to be more active since he is office bound now. He was always good about camping with the troop throughout the years whenever he was home, it was just him being home and available that was the catch.

This year they are going to West Texas, into Big Bend country and the mountainous area of Texas. He likes it out there, everyone does for the beauty of nature. He camped there with his school class in 8th grade.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Gathering of Eagles

Back to Normal

Spring break is over and the daily routine is back to normal now. The break was a good one, but the best is still the year we went to Hawaii.

Saturday we received a phone call from some dear friends telling us they had gone off to Chicago and gotten married! Being of Irish descent, they thought after 9 years of being engaged, it was a fun idea. They left their home in Indiana and went to Chicago for the weekend. They got married on St. Patrick's Day at City Hall and celebrated in the city. Good times.

Good news is more than welcomed from them after the last three or four years they've had. They've dealt with a liver transplant, lung cancer and the removal of one lung, and a couple of heart attacks, too, between them.

Saturday night we went to see the play version of "Of Mice and Men". So good. Not a dry eye in the place at the end.

The husband went into the kitchen after we came back home to get a drink and discovered water leaking out from under the kitchen sink. The dishwasher was running and he thought it was backed up. I went in and noticed the water coming right out of a hole in the pipe. So, yesterday his job was to head out to the home improvement store and fix the pipe. He replaced a segment of it but had to improvise on some of the leak coming from a piece not changeable. He was successful.

I took a break from the news over the weekend, until late last night. I knew what it would hold and I didn't feel like being irritated. Did you see the coverage of the rallies held over the war? I'm sure you did of the one held by the anti-war group, ANSWER. I knew the socialist/communist sponsored rally would rate the headlines and cameras.

Interesting contrast not being publicized, though - Organizing for a year and headlining a screaming, cursing Cindy Sheehan, the ANSWER rally only brought a crowd estimated at 5,000 - 10,000. The tv coverage on the network news never gave the park police estimates, though, they only referred to them as in the thousands. Why? Well, maybe because if they highlighted the small turnout, when the organizers had been promising crowds of 100,000 marchers, they would have had to give an accurate count on the pro-troops supporters who had gathered.

The Gathering of Eagles organization pulled together a turnout of 40,000 supporters in a 6 week time frame. The Gathering of Eagles has a 10 point mission statement on their website; . In the second point, it reads "Our focus is guarding our memorials and their grounds." In point three, "We believe that the war memorials are sacred ground; as such we will not allow them to be desecrated..."
They were concentrating on protecting the Vietnam memorial.

With the kooks storming the steps of the Capitol building during recent protests and spray painting the building and other spots in D.C., who could blame them for concern over the past weekend? They demand peaceful, respectful behavior from everyone but themselves.

So, who do you think would be the most effective of the protestors? The group without celebs, profanity, a year to devote to planning the event? Or the noticeably smaller group using the opposite approach? That's why the Gathering of Eagles weren't given the coverage they deserved.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Kissing the Stone

"There is a stone there,/That whoever kisses,/Oh! He never misses,/To grow eloquent/'Tis he may clamber/To a lady's chamber,/Or become a member/Of Parliament." - Francis Sylvester Mahony

Lately I've been doing some research on traveling to Ireland. After the husband accepted this new job and his mostly office bound position, events like a real vacation for the family became a possibility. In the past, vacations could not really be planned in advance as we never knew when something would come up that required the husband to be available.

I have purchased a good travel guide written by a travel authority I trust. Good reading and dreaming there. Last weekend our local PBS station was begging for bucks as it was pledge week so they included in the lineup a show on traveling to Ireland with a travel show host. One segment dealt with the Blarney Stone. Who hasn't heard of the Blarney Stone, right? I was totally taken aback, though, to learn that in order to kiss the stone, one has to be do it while laying on his/her back and upside down. Oh dear. That pretty much sealed the decision for me.

I was willing to deal with the germ accumulation factor in such an activity. However, the thought of laying down on my back and someone holding my legs securely to the ground while I go head first, upside down, to kiss the stone? Well, forget it.

Back in 1998 I broke my tibia. It was a nasty break, requiring surgery and a steel rod and bolts. The leg healed quite well but since then I am very protective, so to speak, of the leg. I walk just fine. I don't, however, get down on the ground much. Or, for that matter, allow any grabbing of the leg. I have to baby the knee as it is prone to have a problem with the kneecap popping out of place if it is stressed by jerky moves and such. Nice,huh? I take an over the counter supplement to counter the arthritis pain and I am usually pain free so that's not a problem. Just some stiffness.

It's the price I pay for being a klutz.

I will plan to visit Blarney Castle if we get to Cork. My guys can kiss the stone!

More Banned Fun

Over at Basil's Blog I came across this concerning the banning of blogs in China. As you may remember, I did a post some months back while the husband was in China on a business trip. He told me my blog was banned and I admit, I got a bit of a kick out of that. Not that the government was censoring free speech to its people but that I would be banned at all.

You, too, can go on over to and find out if your blog is banned, too. He has a website to use. Interesting.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sucking Head and Pinching Tail

Crawfish season is in full tilt boogie now. The 2006 season was disappointing but this year shows great promise of a big, flavorful harvest. The crawfish season typically begins in January or February, depending on weather conditions, peaks in mid-March to mid-May, and finishes in June or July.

Some southern locales such as Lafayette, Louisiana, report the biggest consumption of crawfish is for Good Friday, the last meatless Friday before Easter Sunday for the Catholic population.

Crawfish are freshwater crustaceans who do not bite in cold weather. Hurricane Katrina pushed so much saltwater inland that the 2006 crawfish harvest suffered. The crawfish were smaller, had less tail meat and were not so tasty.

The favorite way of eating crawfish is to boil them in spicy seasoned water along with new potatoes and corn on the cob, then empty the pot on a newspaper covered picnic table, outdoors with lots of cold soda or beer. The seasonings from the boiling water concentrate in the head of the crawfish, which contains the body fat, and it is considered an important element in crawfish consumption.

Eating crawfish is a five step process. First the head is pulled off by twisting the tail one way the then the other to break it off. Next you peel the crawfish by crushing and peeling two or three segments of the shell from the tail to get to the meat. Then, with your teeth, you grab the meat and pull it out. The next step is to pick up the head and such the fat out. Finally, if the claws are big enough, pull the largest segment and eat the meat using your teeth to pull it out.

The most famous of the crawfish festivals in south Louisiana is the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival. Breaux Bridge is a small town outside of Lafayette. This year the festival is May 4-6. The website is

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Into the Looking Glass

We woke to more rain this morning. It began Sunday night and tornado warnings dotted the area. You may have read of a tragic accident on my blogging friend's site, about her son's horrifying experience Sunday night. So sad. We hope it all pushes out of the area today.

Things are getting downright strange out there this week. First I heard Brian Williams reporting from Iraq for NBC that the surge seems to be working. Of course, his collegue Richard Engel continues to deny that, but what else is new? It was good for an old school network to catch up with reality.

Next, I see on You Tube that Don Imus, of radio show fame, takes Chuckie Schumer to task for calling the situation at Walter Reed Hospital, the "Katrina of 2007", blaming the Bush administration for it all. Even Imus, no fan of President Bush and the Iraq war, said Schumer was way out of line. He asked Chuckie if he had bothered to visit the soldiers at Walter Reed, as he was one who voted for the war, and of course the answer was no, he has not. The deterioration at Walter Reed is coming to light with the number of casualities now coming to the facility, as we are a nation at war. The Defense Department, in charge of the facility, is showing the effects of all the department budget cuts from the 1990's when the cuts grew greater each year so that Clinton could brag about his economic policy.

Then I read editorials in both the LA Times and the Washington Post chastising Speaker Pelosi for her micromanagement of the Iraq war and trying to de-fund the war under the radar. They point out the country has one commander in chief and she's not it. More proof of the fallacy of the statement 'we support the troops' from the far left. She is trying to force votes of really bad public policy. Personally, I say go ahead. I love it when she speaks.

Code Pinko is picketing Pelosi's house in San Francisco. They say they know it is an invasion of privacy but they don't care. Still all about them, you know. Medea Benjamin, a self-proclaimed member of the Communist party, instructs her members to sit in the street to block traffic. This tactic was not effective this time, though, as the police had already blocked off the street to traffic. They didn't get the publicity of being arrested after all. Pelosi is getting a little taste of how members of this administration have been treated at their homes with their families there. Not to mention the protesting out in front of Walter Reed this groups does without respect to the military families there.

Yesterday the New York Times rebuted some of Al Gore's hysteria, in power point form, about global warming. The Dems have taken it up as the cause du jour even though there clearly is no concensus in the scientific community as to the extent global warming is happening. Most Americans do believe it is occuring but certainly not at the panic levels bellowed by Gore. My husband, a scientist at heart, explains the subject to me in a reasoned way. But, he's not out to make money off it as old Al is. I never understood how a politician who grew up in the penthouse of a 5 star Washington D.C. hotel, whose family fortune was made off Big Oil, namely Occidental Oil, whose family grew tobacco as a cash crop then decried tobacco sales after his sister died of lung cancer, whose wife lead the censoring of the music industry efforts in the late 1980's but is the darling of Hollywierd now, who has more than one large family residence, and who originally flunked out of divinity school at Vanderbilt University but imitates Southern preachers could be taken seriously in the science arena. Sure, he's studied the subject. That's good. But, come on.

And last, yesterday Attorney General Alberto Gonzales held a press conference to say he is not resigning, despite Chuck Schumer's ginned up outrage over the firing of 7 U.S. Attorneys. Chuckie didn't vote for the confirmation of Gonzales in the first place but we aren't suppose to realize it is all politics all the time with Chuck. Nevermind the best interests of the country or that the President is entitled to the people he wants in these positions. They all serve at the pleasure of the President. He appoints them. The Justice Department monitors and manages them.

When Clinton came into office in 1992, he had Janet Reno fire all 93 U.S. Attorneys all at once and the positions were replaced with his people. Gonzales was counseled by Harriet Miers at the start of Bush's second term that the department needed 'fresh blood' and she recommended mass replacements. Gonzales thought that would be too disruptive so he instructed his chief of staff to make suggestions of some who would be replaced most effectively. The chief of staff has now resigned after it came to light that the process wasn't handled as well as it could have been. Gonzales apologized yesterday for that and reinterated that he will continue to work with the Congress about the workings of the department. Schumer will not stop there, of course, and will hold more hearings for the press coverage but it won't amount to anything. Again, they serve at the pleasure of the president and he can fire any or all of them at any time. They are political appointments and yes, politics are a part of the game. Gonzales had nothing to apologize about.

Gonzales said the President never recommended any firings.

There are 110,000 employees at the Department of Justice.

And to wrap up the strange happenings yesterday, Hillary Clinton trotted out the old 'vast right wing conspiracy' theory from her White House days. Poor Hillary. No wonder she is sinking in the polls. Her old style brand of war room mentality and angry rhetoric is so last century. The reason so many in the Democratic party are inspired by Obama is that he brings a positive message. No substance, but a positive, feel good brand of speeches. And whatever Hill was referring to in New Hampshire, she says she'll make it illegal. Ok then.

The Darfur commercials? The ones demanding Bush and Condi Rice do something 'now'? What is it they want done? We're working with the U.N. and the African Union. Bush was the first to call it genocide on the international stage and start the process in the U.N. I thought the libs wanted the U.N. to be in charge of all things international. We aren't suppose to be saving humans in Iraq, see the You Tube in my previous post, but we have to act 'now' in Darfur? Iraq wasn't suppose to have anything to do with us, according to the anti war populace. What does Darfur have to do with us? Just curious. One genocide at a time. Surely the left who hates our military and its actions to keep their freedoms in place doesn't advocate military action in Darfur. This president has done more for the peoples of the continent of Africa than any other. One of the Bush twins devotes herself to the AIDS crisis in Africa. The other twin has written a book about people she's met and been moved by battling AIDS in Central and South America.

But, nevermind.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Pam Hess Reporter for Iraq

She sums it up really well.

Squirrels, Squirrels Everywhere

If you live in Santa Monica California, you'll be interested in knowing your taxpayer dollars will be spent on injecting contraceptives into squirrels. Berkeley has already done it. Seems there is an overpopulation problem with the rodents and the old way of euthanasia methods angered the animal lovers.

And, speaking of squirrels, for once I am in agreement with Dennis Kucinich, the congressman from Ohio running for President. Again. He is in full tilt hissy fit over the Dems move to fore go debating in Nevada on a televised forum sponsored by Fox News and the Nevada Dem Party. Seems the camp of John Edwards succumbed to the demands of the Daily Kos website and to ignore Fox News, under the pretext that Fox News is solely a Republican/conservative venue. It's crap, of course, but nothing new for dribble from these two intellectually challenged sites.

Seems the party who claims to be superior in the pursuit of human rights is all calm and happy as long as it is all going their way. Fox News, run by Roger Ailes, is kicking the ass of CNN in the ratings after ten years on the air and there is a reason for that. The majority of Americans continue to claim to be Democrats, so it cannot be that there are more Republican/conservatives in the country. Roger Ailes is a former political consultant for Republicans, true, but so are a considerable amount of reporters/commentators/newsroom bosses/heads of networks/, etc. They are everywhere, like it or not. The others are from liberal administrations or party platforms, though, so we are suppose to believe there is no bias there. Move along, nothing to see here.

On September 9, 2003 Fox News and the Congressional Black Caucus co-hosted a presidential debate in Baltimore. Brit Hume was the moderator, asking no questions. The three member panel of questioners were Juan Williams from NPR and Fox News, and two other black journalists/news personalities, all liberals. The Dems didn't have a problem with any of that. So, what changed?

The concept of fair and balanced had long gone missing when Fox News launched ten years ago. I was a CNN viewer as that was the only real 24 hour cable news outlet. When I moved to a place that offered Fox News, I tuned in and was pleasantly surprised. During the daytime programming, both sides of an argument are presented. They go out of their way to present both sides with the guests booked. This is not something CNN even pretends to do. In the evening, the programming switches to commentary and opinion shows. Even at that, Alan Colmes is liberal to Hannity's conservative commentary, and then Greta Van Sustern's show is on. So, they start with O'Reilly, a conservative leaning show, then go to conservative and liberal opinions with Hannity and Colmes, then to Greta for liberal thoughts. Sounds balanced to me. By contrast on CNN at night, it is all liberal shows. Paula Zahn, Larry King and then Cooper Anderson. No conservatives represented.

So, what's the big deal? I thought we were all for diversity. I thought we were all about the right of free speech. I thought we were all about the debate of ideas.

Remember when politics was all about ideas? As recently as 12 years ago, the 'Republican Revolution' was ushered into congress. Newt Gingrich, love him or hate him, was a big idea man. The voters were desperate for it and the majority was overwhelming. Then it spiralled down to the politics of personal destruction throughout the Clinton years. That's how the Clintons operate. Hillary, along with her pals Carville and Begala, had the idea of the War Room (you may have watched the documentary) and ran it full tilt. Still do. But to hear the libs speak, it's those mean-spirited Republicans who slime people. It's all about raw power grabs now and we can reflect back to see the clear path the current situation took. Still today Hillary is quoted as saying she will go for the throat of her opponents, she'll stomp them. She uses physical metaphors. And it's not just Republicans she's talking about...

Back in the day, people in Congress could argue all day, passionately, for their causes and legislation. Then they were able to socialize at night together. Political partisanship with social civility. No more.

Our loss.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Ok, he's not a babe anymore, but my son will always be my babe.

I'd like to call your attention to the comments section of my post on March 8, last Thursday, entitled 'Take Her, She's Ours'. My son has shed some light on the Captain America comics. I should have known to ask him to clear it up for me.

That's my boy.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I Stole This From Jennifer!

This One's for the Girls

It's the weekend and I've gotten my girl on.

A little update on the Houston Livestock and Rodeo: a young woman, Mackenzi Lea Dorsey, age 16 and her steer, Ernie, took the grand prize Friday night at the Livestock Show. Ernie is a Maine-Anjou weighing 1278 pounds. Ernie is now the Grand Champion Steer, the top honor among ranching families in the great state of Texas.

Micah, MacKenzi's older brother at age 19, is her biggest supporter. "We've been trying for a long time," he said on their victory. "We've finally got it", he was quoted in the Houston Chronicle. The secret of her success? "Rinsing him and brushing him and just working with him every day," she said. Ernie was auctioned off this afternoon and he brought $300,000. MacKenzi will come into about $85,000 for her payout with the grand champion steer.

The record amount for such a steer was in 2002, at $600,000.

MacKenzi wore her lucky red shirt for the competition. "I've never been so proud of her in my life," her brother said. She just smiled.

Made me smile, too.

I listened to a lecture by Dr. Christiane Northrup this afternoon on PBS. They are begging for bucks so they put on a variety of shows to appeal to everyone for money. Too bad they aren't so interesting most of the time. Anyway, I so enjoy her. She is an expert on the trials and tribulations of the menopause years, beginning at perimenopause and going forward. I have several of her books. She is very down to earth and funny, too.

I just like her attitude. She stresses we can choose to be positive and send out those vibes or go the other way and be miserable. As women, we are taught to be the caregivers of everyone except ourselves. We have to learn to put ourselves in the equation.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Take Her, She's Ours

NASA, unable to handle the situation revolving around astronaut Lisa Nowak, has asked the Navy to take back Ms. Nowak. This is the first time the Navy has been asked to take back an astronaut in NASA history, a 49 year history. So, she'll return to Navy duty while awaiting her day in court.

Captain America, dead at the age of 66. Who knew the cartoon hero would become political fodder. Sad, but true. "It's a hell of a time fo him to go. We really need him now," said co-creator Joe Simon, 93, after being informed of is brainchild's death, according to the Houston Chronicle. Captain America was originally an adversary for Hitler. His adventures are sold in 75 countries. The son of a naval intelligence officer stationed on Guantanamo Bay as a child, Ed Brubaker the series writer express his difficulty with killing off the Captain. The now 40 year old writer wants to "explore what the hero meant to the country in these polarized times." What a crock.

The President and First Lady have gone to South America for a weeks tour. The House and Senate Dem leaders wasted no time to pronounce their latest legislation attempts to end funding to the war. Pelosi announced the time table of bringing home the troops by fall 2008 would be tied to the appropriations bill pending to provide funding for the troops. The Senate is pushing legislation to demand troops back by March 2008. All this on the day of Gen. Petraeus' first press conference where he spoke to the fact that while there is no military solution alone to this war, the new strategies are showing signs of success and progress is being made. Determined for complete devastation to the Iraqi people, the Dems forge on.

I say let's get these legislations brought to the floors of the House and the Senate and get it all recorded on voice roll call votes. Bring it.

Another Muslim traitor in the armed services is being charged now on terrorism charges. He was determined to provide the enemy with locales of ships and how best to attack them. He is said to have celebrated when he originally heard of the attack on the U.S. Cole. His partner is the Muslim charged with attempting to attack the shopping mall around Christmas time with all the grenades. This traitor in today's paper, though, is never described as Muslim. The article tells his birth name and then his current name and that's as far as they go. Cowards.

My husband sent off a letter of recommendation for an Iraqi friend and colleague a few days ago. The man is trying to become a permanent resident here now. He lives in Michigan now and is working. He needs letters from Americans who can vouch for him as part of the process. My husband worked with him during his trip to Iraq in late 2002.

We wish him well.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

"He's retarded and a little bit crazy", the reporter said.

Now granted, some things strike me as amusing that may not the next person, but that statement made me stop and chuckle. The reporter made the statement during a report from the trial about the abduction and murder of the little girl, Jessica, in Florida. That is the description of the murderer being used in court. His defense team is hoping to get him off on the grounds of insanity, no doubt.

I tried to post earlier this morning and blogger failed me. Again.

So, here's why I think a pardon for Scooter Libby should be coming down the pike before he ever sets foot into prison. It was a trial without a crime. What we have is a trial criminalizing political philosophy. Scooter Libby didn't remember conversations as part of his unbelievably busy, stressful position as Chief of Staff to the VP, so, ill advised, he told the Grand Jury about the conversations as best as he could, instead of saying, "I don't remember", as he should have been advised to do. Don't you remember how many times Bill and Hillary said they did remember things? There's a reason for that.

The prosecutor barreled on after it was determined who the leaker was of the name of Joe Wilson's wife and her occupation - Richard Armitage, no friend of this administrations. It was determined Joe Wilson outed is own wife by listing her in his bio in Who's Who, and then again in his opinion piece coming out against invading Iraq. Wilson, a loud critic of this administration, was sent to Niger by his wife at the CIA and his findings contradict truth. He was completely discredited by not one but two bi-partisan panels investigating the lead up to the war. He is no victim here. Neither is Valerie.

So, even after Armitage comes forth as the blabber, Libby is indicted by the Grand Jury and stands trial. The jury is picked in D.C., with huge Democractic majority, and the juror running to the cameras yesterday after the verdict was read was a journalist and author named Denis Collins, "That's Denis with one n", he told reporters so as not to have his name misspelled in his 15 minutes. Turns out Collins is a reporter for the Washington Post, a newspaper linked to the trial and also the author of a book on spying and the CIA, also linked to the trial. Interesting but it doesn't stop there. He says to reporters that the jury, including him, wondered outloud why Libby was on trial and where was Rove and 'the others'. Yeah, no political agenda there.

Look for Libby to be pardoned after sentencing and the appeal. Not nearly soon enough for this travesty but there is a process in place that he will have to adhere to.

Contrast this with, say, Sandy,the Burglar, Berger. He was the NSA for Albright in the Clinton administration. Upon learning he would testify before the 9/11 commission, he goes to the National Achieves and steals documents. Stuffs said documents down his pants and into his socks then buries some at a construction site. He originally lies about it then confesses. Never mind he's covering up the whole capturing bin Laden deals offered to Clinton during 1998 and beyond. What was his punishment? Community service and a small (for a millionaire like him) fine.

Libby cannot be pardoned soon enough for me.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Whole Lot of Nonsense Going On

What a travesty of justice. Scooter Libby is found guilty on 4 of 5 counts in the faux leak case. What's he guilty of? He's guilty of working for Dick Cheney. He's guilty of not remembering exact conversations and recounting them properly. He's stuck with a prosecutor who knew the name of the true leaker, Richard Armitage, all along and yet continued to prosecute Libby. The jury was confused as to what the charges and trial was all about, as exhibited by their questions to the judge. It's all a huge travesty and now Scooter Libby will be sentenced and has to appeal. Fitzgerald should be ashamed of himself.

Pardon Scooter Libby immediately, President Bush.

The wishing-Cheney-dead crowd must be collectively crossing their fingers this morning, hoping the blood clotting meds don't work for his clot discovered in his leg yesterday. I imagine Bill Maher is licking his chops today.

Al Sharpton visited a cemetery in South Carolina yesterday. He wanted to see the grave of Julia Thurmond, whose grandfather was the great-great-grandfather of Strom Thurmond, who owned Sharpton's slave great-grandfather, Coleman Sharpton. Ok, then. Sharpton is shocked about the info pulled up for him by the website, Maybe he would have been happier with the info if it was related to the family of Robert "KKK" Byrd, the beacon of the Dem party and former bigwig in the KKK. Back then, the Thurmond's were Dems, too, though. Oh well.

Al Gore, Sr. voted against the Civil Rights Act. So did Clinton's mentors in Arkansas.

Now that Sharpton's ancestry is out there, it is being reported that Obama's white mother's family owned slaves. His great-great-great-great-grandfather and great-great-great-great-great-grandmother owned slaves.

A security guard was shot to death at a FEMA trailer park in New Orleans Monday. A few hours earlier another man was shot and killed in a public housing complex. The number of homicides in New Orleans this year is 34 now. FEMA had to relocate residents of a trailer park after sewage problems were discovered. This, of course, produced complaints from those being relocated. Nevermind they are still being housed by FEMA after almost 2 years.

Yesterday I was surprised to see the name of the town in southern Indiana where my mother's family is from. A man and his 8 year old daughter aboard a Cessna airplane crashed into his mother-in-law's house. Apparently it is said today that the man did it intentionally after taking the child without permission from his ex-wife, who had a restraining order against him. Geez. My youngest sister lives in the area.

Does anyone else find the humor in the statements from John Edwards that Jesus would be angry with Americans for their greed and excluding prayer from school? He's a millionare trial lawyer moving into the largest estate in North Carolina. His wife is quoted as saying, "Everyone knows we have money". Yeah, class acts, both.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I enjoyed my break from the land o'computers over the weekend. My guys were participating in their Boy Scout troop camp out and working on a fellow scout's Eagle project so Max and Oreo and I had the place to ourselves from Friday evening to Sunday noon. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Have you heard of Hannah Montana and the Cheetah Girls? If you live with a pre-teen girl you probably have. I don't so I hadn't. These girls now hold the record for selling out a live music show in a shortest amount of time for the Houston Rodeo. Their show was last night and unfortunately some of the arena's speakers went out during the performance. Lots of disappointed young girls. Lots of ticked off parents for spending all that money and not stellar results in that section. I heard the t-shirts were selling for $30.

The speakers I noticed yesterday were Senators Obama and Clinton speaking during the Selma Alabama Voting Rights March Commemoration in the Brown Chapel AME Church. Lots of political speechifying in a church again. Obama was introduced as the next president of the United States. All kinds of politicians in the show. I didn't see Dr. Condi Rice, Secretary of State as an invited guest, though. Her parents were active in the Civil Rights movement in Birmingham. Must have just been an oversight.

Bill Clinton received induction into the Civil Rights whatever in a later gathering where Hillary spoke. I am always amused when Bill is held up in such high esteem in the black community. What did he ever do for black Americans? Take their votes for granted? None of his upper eschelon in his administration were black Americans. He was good at the fake lower lip bite and Hillary is good at the fake Southern accent when she speaks below the Mason Dixon line, but so what? They are the king and queen of all symbolism and no substance.

Under this president, minority home ownership is at record levels. More has been spent in education on the federal level. More aid to Africa than any other administration. Positions at the highest levels have been filled by black Americans. And women. Interesting.

Did you read or hear on a newscast about Laura Bush's visit to Biloxi and New Orleans last week? It was a few days ahead of the president's trip. No? Interesting. The Katrina cottages are being highlighted in coastal Mississippi. The residents and government there have stepped up and formed a plan to bring homes and people back there. You'll notice the contrast to the residents and government in south Louisiana. You'll notice the contrast in the first ladies, too.

Or, maybe it's just me.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Teddy Bear, the Holocaust and Darfur

Yesterday I was under the weather. All I wanted to do was sleep. After taking the son to school, I retreated to the bedroom, inviting Max the dog to join me, and stayed there until noon. After picking up the son, I rested again and then prepared a fine supper for the guys: baked salmon, bay scallops in linguine, at the son's request. I wasn't into eating - alarming in itself - so after they went off to Scouts, I shared a couple of pieces of toast with Max.

This morning I am fairly back to normal, thankfully. No queasy stomach or sleepiness. I just had a morning nosh of fresh out of the oven soft breadsticks and queso, caving into a cheesy craving. So far so good.

Sophie Turner-Zaretsky of New York is a Holocaust survivor. She donated a tiny teddy bear, named Refugee, to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The bear was given to her by her mother when she was a child in Poland, during the war. The museum made a replica of the bear and allowed Mark Polansky, a NASA space shuttle commander, to take it into space aboard Discovery in December. Polansky wanted to use the gesture as a tribute to his father, Irving, who died in 2001. He also wanted to raise awareness about the current genocide happening in Darfur.

"It's probably the strangest phone call the museum ever got," Polansky said in the Washington museum Tuesday, according to an article in the Houston Chronicle. The museum made a call to Turner-Zaretsky and she happily, gratefully, complied with the request. "He hasn't got a Jewish mother," Turner-Zaretsky joked about Polansky, whose mother, Edith, is a native Hawaiian of Korean descent, according to the article.

Turner-Zaretsky spoke to Polansky for the first time Tuesday as Polansky returned the bear to the museum, attending a ceremony marking the occasion. She said she nervously monitored the Discovery trip into space on the NASA web site each day to make sure all were ok.

Turner-Zaretsky was born in Poland in 1937. Nazis forced her family into living in a ghetto in 1941, with her father then dying in 1942. She escaped with her mother, pretending to be Catholic and moved to England in 1948. She came to believe she was a Christian. She was traumatized to learn from her mother later in life that they were, in fact, Jews. So, in 1963 she started a new life as a medical student in the U.S.

Refugee, the teddy bear, accompanied Turner-Zaretsky on her journey.

"Traveled 5,330,398 miles," Polansky read from a certificate he gave Turner-Zaretsky. "In space 12 days, 20 hours, 45 minutes."

"Not bad for a bear."

Not bad at all.