Monday, April 30, 2007

For Today

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Just Kidding

I was grating the Parmisano Reggiano cheese for the top of the baked polenta this morning thinking what a great stress reliever that task turned out to be. Standing there grating hard cheese, by hand not machine, really did the trick.

I must remember that.

So, here's a question I have been pondering this weekend. In the local newspaper Friday morning I read about eleven Houston Independent School District teachers who have as of yet returned their bonus from earlier in the year. Turns out there were ninety-nine, yes, 99, employees who got a bigger bonus than the school officials said they deserved. Three teachers have hired an attorney to keep the bonuses.

The superintendent of the district says the staff miscalculated the bonuses of part-time employees. But, by the time the request came out, a month had passed. Some had already spent the bonus money.

"They gave them a bonus, It was a gift. Nobody stole anything." That's what the attorney representing the Houston Federation of Teachers.

Keep in mind the sheer size of the school district. With over 30,000 employees, HISD is one of Houston's largest employers. HISD is the largest public school system in Texas, the seventh largest in the country. So, mistakes are bound to be made from time to time. I'm thinking the bonuses aren't too large to begin with, on an individual basis. The newspaper article states the amount as $73,700 being asked to be returned from the total ninety-nine employees. So, it would appear to be well under $1,000 a piece.

This isn't big money. Of course the people have spent it. I'm sure they paid off credit cards, paid college tuition of children, or maybe enjoyed their Spring Break. Who knows? I'd have done the same.

The rub is that it is taxpayer monies. My tax money, as a matter of fact. I have a child in a high school in HISD. The superintendent says he's looking into deducting the money out of the paychecks of the teachers who haven't voluntarily returned the money. The catch is that he has to have the teacher's written permission to take money out of the paycheck.

This whole can of worms was opened in January. HISD had a big cheerleader style of news conference to announce the award of more than $14 million in performance bonuses to about 8,000 teachers, librarians, nurses, and other employees. Teachers complained that they didn't like the formulation of the bonuses based on student improvement on standardized tests.

Union members don't like merit raises it seems. They just feel entitled to the money for everyone.

Socialism doesn't work so well in a republic. Different amounts were distributed to teachers determined by merit.

The real losers will be the students, of course. Teachers will be thinking of leaving. There is a turnover every year due to retirements and transfers, sure, but I can't help but think this whole new bonus thing will end up causing more problems. According to my son's high school principal, he anticipates filling at least 35 slots in their school alone for next year.

I'm just thinking if I received a bonus, and already spent it, I'm not so sure I'd be rushing to pay it back. Since it is taxpayer money, though, I hope I would.

Friday, April 27, 2007


I am struck by the abundance of silly behavior by people who should conduct themselves as adults. Maybe it's just me.

Yesterday's 'debate' of democrat candidates? I didn't tune in but I have read about it from different sources and seen a few clips on tv today. Wow. Who among those people inspires confidence? Nonsensical answers, dumbed down thoughts, pandering to the minority audience, and still acting as though George W. Bush is running again.

Note to all: let it go.

Now is the time each of these candidates should come forward with one or two big ideas. Whether it is domestic policy or foreign policy that they wish to concentrate on, get to it. More of the same is not going to get voters to the booth.

Hillary Clinton is just strange. She is still the front runner and I fully expect her to be the candidate nominated to run against whoever the Republicans end up with. I just find it sad that a woman her age, 60 years old, still doesn't know who she is. I was born under the astrological sign of Gemini so I understand having more than one personality to others, but, come on. She claims her fake southern accent, that she only trots out before predominantly black audiences, insulting as that should be to them, is a sign of her 'diversity of language'. Oh my Lord. She has been trying to please everyone for so long she doesn't even seem to think anything unusual about her behavior. She's no stand by your man woman, but was humiliated on the world stage by an adulterous husband using the Oval Office as a chick magnet, and she stays with him for a raw grab of power. So early the deception began of her public persona that she only recently admitted the myth that she was named for Edmund Hillary, the noted mountain climber, was just that. A myth. She's too old to be named for him. And she said the Republicans use the war on terror as a political football. What? She was one of the first to go to the floor of the Senate after 9/11 and hold up the NY newspaper, not the Times by the way, stating in headline fashion, what did Bush know and when did he know it? Yeah, Hillary. The same is asked of your husband's administration. I guess she didn't plan on the 9/11 Commission showing her husband's administration's responsibility. Sandy Berger couldn't steal all the evidence from everywhere.

John Edwards was stumped when asked about a moral example he followed in his life. Crickets were chirping in the background as he pondered that question. Then he falls back into 'my father worked in a mill' mode. Wow.

All are so concerned with the urgency of global warming, as if the Republicans aren't concerned with the environment, and yet they all traveled to the 'debate' on private jets. Alone. No jet pooling. Then Obama wants to talk about light bulbs and tree planting? That stuff has been around since the first Earth Day, 30 years ago. I do all the stuff they want in the small ways each of us can do, as do everyone I know. No new ideas. It's good for the earth and the family budget. My husband, the engineer and science geek, has been screwing in florescent light bulbs in our home every chance he gets for years. Duh.

Did you read where one of the original Earth Day co-founders is disclaiming any endorsement of Al Gore's current hysteria for global warming? He sees most of it appears to be for financial gain by the celeb set and the politicians wanting to tax us for new programs. President Bush signed into effect alternative energy research in much more exuberance than Clinton even thought about. His mind was elsewhere...

Those bashing the 'far right' as ignorant about global warming? George Bush's ranch in Crawford has been shown to be much more earth friendly than for instance, Gore's residences. And you know what a far right neanderthal George W. Bush is, don't you? We need Al Gore to show us the way. Maybe he can instruct us on how we buy our way out of polluting the earth. Hillary Clinton actually said last night that the Republicans are too beholden to Big Oil (cue the evil music) to be interested in environmental issues. I guess she forgot Al Gore, Sr. made his first millions off Occidental Oil back in the day. Oops.

Chris Matthews kicked off the 'debate' with a question to Elizabeth Edwards. As it was held at a historically black college, she took the bait. He asked the audience if they noticed President Bush went to Virginia Tech much quicker than to New Orleans after Katrina? Elizabeth went into the usual racial talk and bashing Republicans. As a lawyer herself, she should be intelligent enough to stop the hateful cracks about Republicans and raise the level of discourse. Al Gore, Sr. and those like Robert "KKK" Byrd were Dems filibustering the Civil Rights Act back in the day and it would have never passed without strong Republican support. Never mind.

I read complimentary opinions as to how the NBC anchor, Brian Williams, conducted the questioning. In a week or two, the Republicans will debate. Chris Matthews is the moderator. Irony anyone? The Dems are too insecure to debate on Fox News yet the Republicans agree to Chris Matthews. Matthews was in the Jimma Carter administration, in a staff position and then he was the chief of staff for Tip O'Neill while he was Democrat majority leader of the House. He blasts hateful speech on the current administration on a nightly basis. The only bonus is that Maththews show is on MSNBC and no one watches that network. Fox, however, has double the viewership of the Dems beloved CNN. Never mind.

That's what the serious people do, they face opposition and state their position.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Breaking News

After two days of messy weather, rain and tornado alerts, the sun is out today and it is a magnificent looking day.

So, do you ever ponder about who it is that thinks breaking news is actually important enough for a specific news alert to the audience? After yesterday's spectacle of the earth stopping news that Rosie O'Donnell is leaving The View, well, what could have been more important than that piece of news?

A small town in south Texas that was destroyed by a tornado? A house on fire in New York after shots were fired from within? General Petraeus briefing Congress on the progress in Iraq? Silly me.

The fact that Barbara Walters and ABC kept Rosie on for as long as they did speaks volumes about the debasing of American culture. She is a nasty woman consumed with anger and bitterness. And, who are these women watching this show anyway? I saw a clip of the audience applauding Rosie as she defended her pal Alec Baldwin and his tirade on his 11 year old daughter. They actually laughed and applauded as she said she yells at her kids and curses at them when she loses her temper.

What a role model, huh? And the sheep that follow. It made me proud to say I have only seen the show a couple of times and only because I was at someone else's house.

Grandma MiMi didn't have time in her busy schedule, being Rosie the Riveter, after all, to meet with General Petraeus yesterday. She did manage, however, to speak with him on the phone. All the Dems yesterday came away from their briefings with the General declaring no military solution was possible. All the Republicans came away from their briefings with the General declaring there is some progress in Iraq.

General Petraeus declared there is progress in Iraq, even with only half of the troops committed to the new strategy in place. Civil violence is down by half. al-Sadr is marginalized now. The Sunni clerics are demanding their people work with the new government. All of this is good news, except to the Dems so deeply committed to defeat.

Harry Reid declares the war is lost. Senator Lindsey Graham asked a good question yesterday on the Senate floor. So, who won? Do we declare al-Queda victorious? The Sunnis? The Shiites? Iran and Syria?

Creepy voice Harry didn't say who the winner was but he did say this: "We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding", just so we know exactly where he is coming from. Keep your eye on that prize, Harry.

Party before country.

A little bit of comforting news from Iraq that wasn't widely reported, because it was good news: After the tragedy at Virginia Tech last week, students in Baghdad hung a banner of support at Baghdad Technology University. It read:

"We, the students of Technology University, denounce the attack at Virginia Tech. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims who faced a situation as bad as Iraq's universities do. The sanctity of campuses must be protected around the world."

Nicely done. They referred to the Virginia Tech student body as their brothers in humanity and in pursuing knowledge.

Hope springs eternal, despite the efforts of the party of surrender.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lessons Learned

Sheryl Crow tried a little stand up comedy and declared everyone should go to using only one square of paper in the bathroom. It wasn't taken as a joke, though, as she has been making a fool of herself lately, tagging along with Laurie David and all the cool kids out west. She's been shallacked by everyone for her silliness and now she says, hey, it was only a joke.

Was the line of clothing she was coming up with from the 'great' ideas her brother gave her a joke, too? For example, the 'dining sleeve' used instead of paper napkins. Not sanitary, not funny, just gross.

Laurie David is a zealot for the global warming crowd, involved in the production of Al Gore's powerpoint show which earned his Hollywood awards. She's a Hollywood multimillionare like the rest. They discover a cause to live for and go about demanding everyone follow their instructions. Problem is that they don't feel the need to take their own instructions. Another Gulfstream liberal. I read about her recently in a magazine article and was completely turned off by her aggressive behavior. She was actually bragging about tailgating SUV's in LA in her hybrid car and yelling at the driver at stoplights. How dare they drive a SUV.

Who in the world is she to lecture anyone?

Being entertainment business savvy, these two women went to the White House Coorespondents Dinner in D.C. on Saturday night. They deliberately stalked Karl Rove, rudely stated their position on their cause du jour, then, when he defended the administration's work on the issue and its scientists, they became more shrill and rude, with Crow jabbing Rove in the chest with her bony finger. When he tried to walk away, she grabbed his arm and told him he worked for her. This was all relayed by someone at the table, which was the New York Times table, by the way.

Then after they got the attention they came for, they rushed to the computer and blogged about how rude Rove was to them. How dare he.

How dare they. It was a ham handed publicity stunt.

This is why regular Americans do not take seriously people like this and their issues. No one respects boorish behavior and it is certainly not the way to get things done. All the zealots who demand compliance in the extreme before all the facts are in are just silly and deserve the ridicule. If you are demanding the stage for your voice, you should at least have all sides of the argument. Oh,yeah, wait. If you only go on the standard news outlets then you don't have to have but one view of an issue. As long as it is the fashionable liberal take on the issue, you're good as gold.

Scientists argue for both extremes of the global issue. Most are in the middle, as are the American people. Just 30 years ago when the first Earth Day was held, the common thought was that we were afraid of an ice age returning.

People like Al Gore are making money, quite handsomely, from inciting fear and worry to Americans. He is not a deep thinker, to say the least. He can get up there and point to his presentation and get all worked up like a preacher, even though he flunked out of Divinity School at Vanderbilt, the alma mater of his mother, and the far left laps it up.

Laurie David ain't doing so bad, herself.

Sheryl Crow is on a college tour now, in her biodiesal bus, spreading her thoughts on the global warming issue. She and David have the ever popular 'political advisors' like so many of the celebs employ. Crow told David they had to concentrate on the South, as that was the part of the country that needed the education the most.

How elitist of her. Stereotype, anyone?

According to the website, The Smoking Gun, Sheryl Crow is quite the energy hog as she tours the country. She has quite the carbon footprint with traveling with three tractor trailers, four buses, and six cars.

In her backstage demands, which all the entertainers have in their contracts to perform, she has some very specific liquor demands for herself and her entourage. She wants 12 bottles of Grolsch beer, 6 bottles of 'local' beer, and a bottle of a good Australian Cabernet and a good bottle of Merlot. Each day brings a different hard liquor request. Some days it's bourbon, some days it's vodka, and some days it's tequila.

Maybe she should sober up a bit.

Back in the 1980's I was very involved in the recycling efforts of an environmental group in the Louisiana city in which we lived. The city provided recycling bins to all homeowners and picked up recyclable waste once a week. We were tasked with trying to get this service on a parish (county) wide scale from just city wide. The rural areas were a tough sale, especially when they learned it would cost them money like all services do from government. I learned lots from the experience and the main lesson learned is how to approach people to get your message out.

Laurie David and Sheryl Crow have much to learn.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Fresh Air

Showing the quiet dignity and grace we have come to expect of her, First Lady Laura Bush visited the city of New Orleans last week. It was her 17th visit to the city since Hurricane Katrina. Did you know she had been there so often in the past months? No, of course you didn't as is her nature.

The Laura Bush Foundation has been a sponsor of the Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative. Her foundation has contributed to 54 schools, providing books for libraries.

According to studies, it takes $50,000 to stock an elementary school library and about $100,000 for a high school library.

In her talks with the young people around the country, she challenges them to come and make a career of teaching in New Orleans. Teach for America will designate 100 new teachers for New Orleans next year.

She is such a breath of fresh air. She shows a true love of children and of learning. When she says it's for the children, it is sincere. She's not looking for political points down the road.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What a Week

What a week this one has been. I'm exhausted. I think we all are around here. Our son had a week of standardized testing at school. Everyone dealing with the tragedies around the country, from Virginia to Texas and beyond. Too many crazy people out there. The husband is a bit stressed over the current project at work. Plus, his precious tablet computer won't work on the battery and so he's waiting for the new one he ordered to get here.

Yada yada yada.

I'm pretty much disgusted with everyone in Washington, D.C. tonight. Both parties. I'm ready to start my own party - who's with me?

We have the spectacle of the 'hearings' or as I call it, the lynch mob, for Alberto Gonzales and the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. The Dems are particularly upset over Carol Lam, a Clinton appointee held over in the San Francisco district, and David Ignacious, who was the first to cry to the press and flip on the administration. He made all the talk shows and they all ate it up. The very Dems having a hissy fit are the ones who didn't vote to confirm him in the first place. And the claim of it's all politics? Well, duh. Of course it is. It's so stupid that Gonzales continues to deny it. He should just say it and get on with it. There is nothing illegal here. Even Chuckie Schumer said there is no smoking gun here, much to his complete disappointment. Whoever is advising Gonzales needs to be fired.

Remember that Clinton fired 93 U.S. Attorneys at once when he came into office. At Hillary's insistence. No holdovers for that administration. Leahy and Schumer continue to rue the 'mass' firings of the 8 recently.

And, no, at this point I don't think he should resign. He's done nothing wrong legally. His management style is greatly lacking but that's all that's been uncovered. And the references to Watergate and this? Again, crime versus no crime.

The Dems say that they are appalled over how political the Department of Justice is now. Are you kidding me? Let's go back to JFK and Bobby Kennedy, shall we?

Then, yesterday we have smarmy Harry Reid flat out saying the war is lost. At a speech. Then denied it when the feces hit the ventilation system. It's on tape so that won't work. Then his staff said that's not what he really meant. Oh. Ok. The leader of the majority party in the Senate of the U.S. Government declares our war efforts in Iraq as lost and he really didn't mean it. He didn't say it in private to a fellow Senator. He didn't say it to the President, as he claimed to in their meeting the day before and that little whopper was discredited by others in the room. He didn't say it to the wife during pillow talk. No, he said it in front of an audience during a speech. And, to top it all off, he flat out stated that the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense know it's lost. Sure. Drag others not there into your treasonous talk.

Harry is so desperate to have the power that he has allowed himself to be neutered by the likes of and the Soros crowd. The party of McGovern rises.

How do you think those serving in Iraq felt about ole dirty Harry after that speech hit the airwaves? Well, they'll tell you on the Internet. There are several sites sending notes from the members of the armed forces to Senator Reid. And, they aren't asking how they can make such fabulous returns off land deals in Nevada as he and his lobbyist sons have made.

He deserves to be impeached. Tomorrow.


If he truly believes his speech, he should submit the paperwork to begin the immediate de-funding of the war. Anything less and he should be held accountable, personally, for any injuries suffered by the military and deaths, too. Why would he vote to send money to the war budget if it's over?

Reid, with the creepy girly voice, says the horrific violence of the past few days means the surge is not working. The problem is that small signs say the opposite, cautiously, and the Dems who are so invested in the failure to succeed in Iraq that they can't have that. They are actually afraid of success. It's all pure politics to them, not the security of our nation. Just power grabs and disgracing the world's greatest country.

General Petraeus predicted the violence happening now. The troops committed to the surge are only about half in theatre right now. The soldiers report progress and they are mad as hell that their voice isn't heard. They hate Reid and his ilk. Reid's not getting their vote anyway so he may as well continue on the road of surrender monkeys and isolationists.

General Petraeus is coming back to D.C. next week to brief congress on what he's done and seen in Iraq these past few weeks. Guess who said she was too busy to meet with the general? Yeah. Grandma Nancy Pelosi. The same grandma who went to Iraq when she was installed as Speaker of the House, the third in line to the Presidency, and came back to declare the new strategy in Iraq a complete failure and waste of time. Before it even began. Well, when word got out to Roll Call, a D.C. publication reporting on the goings on in the world of politics, they asked the staff of Grandma MiMi what the hell was going on, her being too busy to meet with the general for a briefing? They decided she had time after all.

Need any more examples why Democrats, especially the current crop on The Hill, must never, ever, occupy the Oval Office as long as the war on terror exists? As President Bush said after 9/11, it will be a long, long time to conquer the forces of evil trying to destroy us and other democracies.

The very over-the-top liberals demanding such craziness as surrendering to the evil and announcing exactly when that date certain will be, are the ones who the enemy will come after first. No more separation of church and state the loud ones are always complaining about. No tolerance for gays or the rights of women. No jury of peers for trials. Hell, no trials.

Yeah, sounds like paradise, huh. No one said these haters, those shouting for peace at any cost, were intellectual giants.

This war very well may be lost. I don't know. We have a small window of opportunity. There is hope. I'm still struggling to be a half-full, not half-empty kind of person about life as we know it. Soon enough the writing will be on the wall. For once, is it too much to ask that the country come together and pull for victory?

Yeah, I suppose it is.

Already the predictable over the top nonsense is happening about the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Did you know it's President Bush's fault? Yeah, his foreign policy did it.


Now we wait for the spitting on war vets to begin. Other than at the 'peace' rallies. That's already happening. Next those 'truth to power' folks can stand in an air-conditioned airport and do it, drawing their non-existent parallel to Vietnam further.

We are a nation that inspires success, not racing to defeat. The dumbing down of America continues.

Friday Fun

You Are 56% Bitchy

Generally, you're an average woman, with average moods. But sometimes... well, watch out!
Sometimes, you let your mean side get the better of you. And you enjoy every minute of it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Watching and Listening

I think the various reactions to the memorial service and how the whole situation on campus at Virginia Tech has been handled is so interesting. I've read lots of criticism of the cheerleading chanting of the students. The way I look at it, it is the way of young people to bond together. The common bond is their school. School pride is huge at Virginia Tech and the atmosphere, from what I have learned is one of family and camaraderie. I wasn't surprised about spontaneous school chanting breaking out at these large gatherings.

Now, the Muslim representative and his behavior on the stage? I still feel offended by that. Doesn't matter to me if I am the only one, if I'm not being sensitive enough to some kind of cultural behavior. Diversity and various ideas and expressions of faith are good. I don't happen to believe, however, that one culture is entitled to special behavior. The service wasn't a funeral. The religious speakers were not delivering prayers or eulogies. They were offering words of condolence. The service was in a large arena, not a religious building. It was public and for everyone. A common courtesy among all of the clergy would have been a good show of unity.

I sure don't need lectures on diversity and tolerance. I've lived around this country and out of it. I live in a very large city. This city is surpassed in diverse populations only by New York City. Maybe. Anyone here for any length of time knows that. My son goes to a large public high school. His group of friends are like a rainbow coalition. I think that is a good thing. It is a reason we sent him there. It is the real world. It is America. There is no other country like us in the world. In times of stress, in good times, my son's teachers end announcements with the phrase, "Go, Wolves!". And, they do that for parents messages on the phone, too. It's the bond, the connection.

I'm turning off the news today. I will not endure any more of the blatant ratings grabs by the networks showing this killer's videos over and over again. NBC decided to air the 'edited' versions of some. The others followed. Law enforcement in Virginia said they are sorry for that editorial decision. They feel the families deserve to have their raw emotions better respected. I see where AP has gone after the killer's sister, a contract employee at the State Department. They are hounding her for interviews. That is despicable behavior.

The back and forth of the gun control issue will continue. The spewing of rhetoric from those wishing to alter the Second Amendment is too much for me to listen to anymore. If it's ok for the celebs to have armed bodyguards for themselves and their loved ones, like Rosie O'Donnell, a woman so filled with hate I feel sorry for her, then they are not to be acknowledged when they purport to deny the same to others. There is no amount of gun control that would have averted this killer from the campus that day. His plan was made well in advance. He was not going to be stopped. He chose a gun free zone, a campus, as he knew the others would not be able to defend themselves. That's what cowards do.

Don't misunderstand. I'm not a gun person. I don't know how to use one and don't plan to learn. I will, however, stand with anyone wanting to own them. It is a basic right established by the founding fathers. Our country was founded by men wanting to break away from royal rule. Europeans do not have our second amendment rights as they were never allowed to bear arms. The royal ruling class were far too scared of its people to allow that. Comparing America and Europe in this instance is comparing apples and oranges. The reaction in European press about this tragedy was predictably obnoxious. Blame the idiot Americans and their love of guns, they do. Let's not forget who they turn to when times are tough. Who saves their ass? The Americans.

Another timely example of the problems with gun control? The mayor of Nagasaki Japan was murdered two days ago at the hands of a gunman. A mobster, the killer was described as in news reports. Japan has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. They are simply not allowed in private hands.

The bad guys will always find a way to get them. And use them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Amazing Grace

The husband called this morning to tell me I should call into the Laura Ingraham radio show. Why? Laura was discussing the memorial service yesterday at Virginia Tech. She was frustrated at the lack of any Christian references during the part of the service when the clergy members spoke. There were representatives from the Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish and Protestant communities. What struck me at the time, and I later told my husband about when he came home last night, was that of all the speakers on the stage, the Muslim was the only person who never applauded any of the other speakers. No one. He didn't applaud the President of the university, the President of the U.S., the Governor of the state of VA, or any of the other speakers and clergy. Everyone else was very respectful and welcoming. Everyone else stood at the appropriate times and applauded as new speakers rose to speak and when they finished. Not him. It was as if he was making a point to be rude and disrespectful.

I'm a girl raised in the South. I notice these things. Manners are important in society. There was no excuse for his behavior. If we are to be respectful to Muslims and accepting of their ways, they have to show the same courtesy. He sat slouched on the stage in his chair, which was directly behind the podium so there was no overlooking him, and his chin rested on his hand throughout the service. It was as though he was bored.

I don't think Virginia Tech is predominantly Muslim in student population. I don't know why he was the first of the clergy to speak. I suppose it was to make the standard point of diversity on campus but it was inappropriate nonetheless.

It was fun to talk to Laura Ingraham! The husband heard it over his computer at work.

The memorial service for the Virginia Tech victims and families and the students yesterday was quite moving, as it would be. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Governor Tim Kaine. As we are of different political parties, I wasn't sure about him. He was very respectful and thoughtful. He thanked President Bush for helping him get back to Virginia for the service from Tokyo. Later, after being asked about those trying to make a political statement about gun control on the back of this tragedy, the governor very clearly said, " to someone who wants to make this into some little personal political crusade, I say don't bring that here." He went on to say it was disrespectful to the grieving families and students, to not let them have their time.

Are you listening, Rosie?

The star of the service? Nikki Giovanni, the poet in residence at Virginia Tech. She was awesome. She spoke at the end of the service and uplifted the crowd like a rock star:

"We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid. We are better than we think, not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness. We are the Hokies! We will prevail, we will prevail! We are Virginia Tech!"

Nikki Giovanni, born in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1946. She graduated from Fisk University in 1967 and began her own publishing company. She is self-published and some of her poems are set to gospel music. She has been honored with awards from the NAACP and other groups honoring her poems on social issues.

After the speakers were finished, and Amazing Grace was softly played, the silence was broken with students chanting with school spirit.

Amazing Grace.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"My heart sank down to my toes".

Our country is in shock this morning as more details emerge of yesterday's agonizing day. A lone gunman took the lives of 32 Virginia Tech students and teachers. And he took his own life so we will never know definitive answers to the questions of why.

The campus looks quite beautiful from the live shots of it on the television. It is hard to comprehend such ugliness there. Yesterday morning was a pivotal time in the lives of the student population, whatever innocence of youth possessed is now lost forever.

Professor Liviu Librescu, a Romanian by birth, a Holocaust survivor, surfaces as a true hero. A professor in the engineering school, he held the classroom door shut and yelled for his students to flee to safety. The students opened the windows and jumped from the second floor classroom. The 76 year old professor was shot and killed.

Yesterday was Holocaust Survivor Day.

Cho Seung-Hui is named as the killer today. His weapons of choice were a 9mm pistol and a .22 calibre handgun. He carried the receipt from the purchase of the weapons in his backpack.

Cho Seung-Hui was a South Korean born 23 year old Senior at Virginia Tech. He was an English major and he was a resident alien from Centreville, Virginia. So, how was a resident alien able to purchase guns?

The usual knee jerk reaction was heard, almost as soon as the story began unfolding on television yesterday, that the government must step up tougher gun control legislation. The people proposing tougher laws don't understand that laws don't keep guns out of the hands of the bad guys. If it did, Washington, D.C. wouldn't have such a high murder rate. All guns are illegal there, except for the police.

The second amendment gives Americans the right to bear arms. To many Americans the second amendment is as sacred as the first amendment is to those spouting hateful speech and brandishing their right to do so. This freedom stuff is tricky, isn't it? Guns are not to blame. People are to blame.

I would like to see stricter enforcement of background checks. I would like to see the loophole at the gun shows brought to an end.

I don't think this is the time to point fingers and accuse anyone of not doing what could be done to protect the students. I do think there are many questions to be answered. My heart is broken for the families shattered. My heart is heavy for the parents of this troubled young man and the burden they will carry the rest of their lives.

I would like to know why there aren't surveillance cameras in use on campus, especially at the entrances to buildings. I have questions as to why I saw so many police standing around yesterday and not doing something, anything, as it all unfolded.

I don't blame the initial reaction of the university administration to treat the first two victims at the residence hall as a controlled situation. I do think the time has come to stop with the politically correct language used by administrators to students. Do not send out e-mails declaring an 'unfortunate incident' happened. Tell them someone shot and killed two people in their dorm and to protect themselves.

From what I understand from news reports, many of the campus security guards were not armed. That is insane. From a personal perspective, my son attends a large, urban public high school. Houston Independent School District employs their police force to protect the schools. My son's school has a continuous shift of armed HISD police every day. They patrol on bikes. They are in uniform, armed, and immediately recognizable. Yes, they have guns. They also have tasers and night sticks. I wouldn't have it any other way. It is the times in which we live.

My son's school holds drills for emergency situations. The drills are announced in advance to the parents in the form of the weekly newsletter from the school and by taped telephone message to the parents delivered in the evening when parents are usually home. When a lockdown is to be practiced, everyone knows what to do.

The college student said, "My heart sank down to my toes" as she learned of the events on campus that morning.

Mine, too.

Monday, April 16, 2007


I enjoyed my weekend break from the computer. Didn't even fire it up. Ahh.

The weekend brought some cooler weather so I did some easy but good cooking. Baked blueberry muffins. Made lamb and couscous last night for the guys. I'm not a big fan of lamb but they love it.

The U.S. Clay Courts tournament was held at the tennis club only about 6 blocks away from my house this weekend, as it is every year. All the big names participate. Agassi won last year before he retired. Andy Roddick, a resident of Austin, had to cancel at the last minute due to injury. So, the traffic was not fun last week around here. Not that it ever is in Houston, but more so in my little area of town. Agassi and his wife Steffi Graf were in town to watch the tournament activity and did some fund raising for a needy school. Somehow Agassi hit Graf with a tennis racquet and busted her lip, requiring stitches. Yeah. Good times.

The husband and I went to Whole Foods yesterday. Together. This rarely happens. The husband is banned from grocery shopping for the family. He's the guy who goes in for something simple, like some favorite fresh vegetables and ends up roaming the aisles tossing in all the tiny jars of stuff with the big prices on them. I try to be as frugal as possible in the grocery store so his style of shopping sets my teeth on edge.

I'm also the one around here turning off lights not being used. Like in empty rooms. It's just my nature.

There's a commercial for a major airline that shows a father taking his little girl on a business trip. It's so sweet. The airline employee asks the little girl where she is off to and she says they are going to a business meeting in London. Too cute. Recently I read an article about the growing trend of the businessmen taking along family members on trips when it's possible. We've done that a bit. It's not so easy when your child is in school, though. I went on a trip with the husband before we were parents and it was to Galveston when we lived in south Louisiana. He was working on an oil drilling rig that was in dry dock in the shipyard there. So, I got to go on a drilling rig as they tested it. I was on it as it 'jacked up' and that was a bit unnerving for me, a first time visitor. But, it was a cool thing.

The best trip, so far, was the one about 3 summers ago when the husband was on assignment in Portland Maine. He was at a shipyard there, too, and the son and I went up for about a month during the end of June and the first of July. Celebrated the 4th of July there. The son and I flew to Boston, spent the night there, then took Amtrak to Portland so the son could experience some train travel. Then we did the reverse route back to Houston. We saw the Blue Man Group in Boston. We visited the New England Aquarium in Boston, too. We saw where the Boston Tea Party happened and some of the historical landmarks. Lots more to see the next time we get to go there, though. Our two stopover days weren't enough. And, lots more fresh lobster to eat, too.

Last year for Spring Break we were able to go to San Antonio with the husband. He had a meeting with some Mexican oil people so we tagged along and made a long weekend of it. We were there for Good Friday and saw the Stations of the Cross re-enacted in a town square there. We stayed on the Riverwalk, one of my favorite places ever, and it was the first time our son visited the Alamo. His first trip to San Antonio was when he was three years old and we went to Sea World, which had just opened there. The first trip I can remember that I made to San Antonio was as a pre-teen and my family went for HemisFair. It was like a Worlds Fair and lots of fun. I remember how very hot and humid the weather was and it was in August.

The husband's company is switching insurance companies so he was filling out the forms Friday. He told the Human Resources person to wait a minute, he had to call me to verify my birth date. It's a running joke we have. My birth date is in June and our wedding anniversary is in July and he tends to get them switched around. The woman asked, "How long have you been married?" Laughter and head shaking occurred as he replied, "almost 24 years!".

Good times.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday the 13th

Like everyone, I have some superstitions. Friday the 13th isn't one of them. Just another day. I choose to be happy it's Friday.

I've had Senator John McCain on my mind this week. It started with the 60 Minutes failed hit piece on him by 'reporter' Scott Pelley. I tuned in to watch the show long enough to see the interview with McCain. The only way I view the show anymore is for specific segments. There is no way I will subject myself to an entire show these days.

Pelley was speaking to McCain about the war in Iraq. The line of distinction between the media types and those who love their country and its freedom could not have been clearer. Yes, McCain has the audacity to love his country. His father loved his country and served it, too. And now McCain's sons, two of them, are in the military, too. Imagine that.

Pelley, much to my disgust, asked McCain, "Your son Jimmy volunteered to serve. Why?"
McCain responded, "Cause he's a fine, he's a patriotic American." Pelley: "Did you try to talk him out of it?" McCain answered: "No." He went on to say he doesn't make a habit of talking about his children and that they are no different than thousands of other young people in America.

Note to Pelley: All of the members in the military now, since the dismemberment of the draft in 1970's, are volunteers. The difference is, now, though, since September 11, 2001, young people are signing up out of a sense of duty to country, not just for the benefits like education and medical care provided by the government. Or, joining the Reserves for weekend warrior adventures and a little extra money in the bank.

John McCain is a national hero, a former POW in Hanoi for 5 years, remaining with his fellow POW's after he was offered early release when his captors discovered him to be the son of a military officer. And, no, his time as a POW definitely did not fall within the boundaries of the Geneva Conventions. He is more than well-qualified to speak about war and peace. His son, Jimmy, is on his way to Iraq. He has another son at the Naval Academy.

So much for Charlie Rangel's racist, class warfare stance that we need to call back the draft for the military because if politicians had children in the war, well, we wouldn't be in a war. What an idiot. Duncan Hunter, also running for president, is a former Marine and his son is on his way back to Iraq shortly, for the third tour of duty there. There are others.

The 60 Minutes nonsense was Sunday night. Wednesday brought McCain to the Virginia Military Institute to present a speech with his idea on how the war in Iraq can be successful. He is fully in support of seeing the surge through and letting the military do the job. This means, too, that he speaks of the integrity of the steadfastness of President Bush as we are a nation at war. The nerve of him, huh. He is a rare breed in Washington. McCain goes with what he thinks is right, not what today's poll results show. He supports the war, not just in the successful times. Like when the path to Baghdad was made in record time, one week's time. Like when the military was welcomed as liberators by the people in Iraq. Like when the people of Iraq showed their strongest sign of insult, the slapping of their shoes on pictures of Saddam, like when the statue of Saddam was brought down. Like when Saddam was pulled from a hole in the ground and humanely examined and incarcerated.

Let's remember some of that, shall we?

In his speech, McCain said of the applause that broke out at the end of the vote passing, thanks to the loading up of pork bribery, by a mere 6 votes, with a date certain for withdrawal in Iraq," What were they celebrating? Defeat? Surrender?" Yes. Yes, they were. So beholden to a loud, obnoxious anti-American base of the Democrat party, they have no choice but to root for failure of their country in a war. They offer no solution, mind you, of what to do when the war is over and the troops are brought home.

Then what? Will the world be suddenly sunshine and lollipops? Everyone will 'like' us? As if they did before?

The applause, yes I was watching C-SPAN for the vote, brought back the image of Hillary Clinton and her ilk wildly applauding and laughing it up over successfully blocking the legislation for Social Security reform. Really proud, she was. Sure, she's a millionaire with no particular need to worry about the little people and future Social Security payments.

I know the war is tough. Mistake after mistake has been made. I have a strange range of opinions on John McCain. Some days he's my hero. Some days I don't what to know him. I always have respect for him. If not for him, then who?

He's been correct in his assessment of the war planning and execution. It's a shame those higher up wouldn't understand his ideas. The price has been paid. We go from there.

I read blogs of Iraqis in country and this is a way of understanding the whole picture. The media in this country has proven themselves untrustworthy over and over again. Their agenda is crystal clear. A good example of a blog is Iraq the Model, written by two men, Omar and Mohammed. It's on my blogroll.

Think the war on terror is overblown? Think it is just a power grab by the neocons and the evil Halliburton? How terribly pre 9/11 of you. How'd that work out for you?

An American citizen, living in Ohio, was arrested just yesterday on charges of training and plotting with al-Qaeda to attack tourist spots in Europe and Federal buildings here in America.

Alert Scott Pelley.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thinking Out Loud

Am I the only person left in America that does not, repeat, does not care one whip about Don Imus and his disgusting remarks about the Rutgers women basketball players? Imus has been doing his shtick on radio for 30 years now and he is disgusting about everyone. Now we have everyone and his brother telling how Imus must be fired.

Answer me this, Batman. Who died and made Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson the official voices of all black Americans? Do all black Americans think alike? As long as Sharpton and Jackson perpetuate the myth of victimhood on the black community, these charlatans with continue to make a living off it. Those living in glass houses should not throw stones. Sharpton and Jackson are some of the most racist of Americans. Sharpton has the legacy of the Twana Brawley episode, as well as calling Jews the 'diamond hunters' and bragging about spitting in white peoples' food when he was a waiter. Jackson said he'd give a scholarship to college for the nasty hooker/exotic dancer who falsely accused the Duke lacrosse players of rape. Now that the charges are being dropped, finally, where is the statement of apology from Jackson? Those three young men have been scarred for life but somehow they deserved it? What was their crime? When did a bad decision, like drinking and hiring hookers to come to an off campus college party, become worthy of false rape accusations? Nifong, riding his own racist behavior of playing the race card solely to get re-elected, comes off the worst in the rape case that isn't. He is the lowest of the low, a political bottom feeder. He should be disbarred. He is the one who should be fired.

Imus apologized. He's doing the media tour to apologize. He's been suspended for two weeks. Sponsors are cancelling advertising on his show. He is no worse than a lot of 'entertainment' going on out there. Doesn't make it right but it is his exercising free speech, isn't it?

People say outrageous statements every day on air. Are they all to be fired? No. Let the free market handle it. Contact sponsors of those who are offensive to you and voice your opinion.

And exactly who gets to decide what is acceptable and what is not acceptable?

I do. It's the American way. I'm the American consumer.

And speaking of offensive, how about those Democrats refusing to debate on the Fox News network? The Black caucus worked out a deal, as they did in 2004 when all the Dems agreed to participate in the debate in Baltimore, with a format of a panel of three asking questions of the candidates. The panelists are not Fox personalities. Don't be afraid, I say. First Edwards said no, as he did in Nevada, under pressure from his friends at and the cool Hollywood kids. Then it was Obama, not wanting to be out of step with Edwards. Then Hillary, as she is a good little follower. So, there we are.

The interesting thing is that the audience of Fox News is about 50% comprised of Dems and Independents. They forget the moonbats vote in the primaries but the big draw in the national election is the vote of Independents. No one is elected without the Independent vote and those crossing party lines. I guess they'll find out the hard way. And, Obama, who wanted to raise the tone, reach out to everyone, Mr. Touchy-Feely. I guess not so much after all.

How are any of these three to be considered a potential leader of the American people if they can't handle going to participate in a debate co-sponsored by Fox News? Will they only consider themselves president of the far left in this country and the rest of the population is on their own? And, what does it say about CNN, where they have agreed to participate?

Oh yeah, never mind.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award

This is the second post of mine for today, something out of the ordinary. It's fun, though, and light before the more serious post below!

My blogging friend Roxanne, over at Melange, has tagged me with a "Thinking Blogger Award", much to my surprise. A very pleasant surprise. Here's the idea:

The participation rules of the award are simple:
1) If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2) Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3) Optional: Proudly display the "Thinking Blogger Award" with a link to the post that you wrote.
So, I have copied the rules from Roxanne's post and had a devil of a time deciding whom to throw into this mix. Roxanne used some of my selections!

Jennifer at Open Book,, is currently on a bit of a hiatus. I am hoping it won't last too long. Jennifer is a creative, talented and hard-working woman. Her husband is the love of her life, her daughter is her joy, and her son is about to go into the Navy! She'll be quite a young empty nester very soon. She is a truly gifted writer. Her posts have made me laugh out loud, cry, nod my head in agreement and never disappoint.

Janie, at Sounding Forth,, is out in West Texas, in Midland. She is in the oil biz, as is my husband, so her life is quite hectic, too. She loves her husband, her kids, and her dog, Zach (the wonder dog!). Her faith in God runs deep and she maintains a positive outlook on life.

Karen, at Thoughts by Seawitch,, is a talented photographer and lives in Gulfport, Mississippi. I was born in Biloxi and her photos and stories tug at my heart. Hurricane Katrina was quite cruel to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the people there are still working hard to put their lives back together. Karen also blogs about her journey of studying to become a Jew. She puts her thoughts out there without worrying about polishing them up for political correctness and I admire that a lot.

Wordnerd, over at Do I Have to Call It A Blog?,, is a new blogging friend. I am truly enjoying getting to know her. She lives in south Louisiana, as I did for many years, and I feel the kinship! I know exactly what she is talking about.

SuZan and Sheri, over at Celebrating Women,, are two Houston women. They are long time best friends and are wives, mothers, and working women. I relate on raising boys, as they both have a son a year older than mine, and SuZan's son achieved Eagle Scout, as my son is now working on himself. Gotta cheer for the home team!

I thank Roxanne for the very kind words she used to describe my blog on her post. I hope I have done justice to those of whom I have written.

John Edwards' Two Americas

John Edwards, the multimillionaire trial lawyer from North Carolina, does a fairly decent routine of aw shucks, I'm just like you routine. Did you know his father was a mill worker? And Elizabeth is a military kid?

John Edwards is fond of class warfare within the country that made him a multimillionaire. He says there are two Americas. One America is for the wealthy and one America is for the poor. There is no middle class. It's all black and white with John. Funny, that black and white vision of the world is something he likes to criticize the administration over, that they don't understand the gray areas.

New light is being shined on John Edwards' two Americas. For Edwards, his America gets to tell the country who gets to exercise free speech. His America gets to tell the country who gets to own a gun, too.

Edwards refused to commit to a presidential candidates debate in Nevada, hosted by Fox News. He doesn't consider himself a fan of Fox News, so he stomped his foot and said no. Next thing you know, the debate in Nevada, sponsored by Fox News is cancelled. Senator Harry Reid smacked his lips over this delicious development and high fived Edwards over his courage to fight off the evil Fox News.

Fox News and the Congressional Black Caucus have arranged for a debate in Michigan. It is just like the one they co-sponsored in 2004 in Baltimore. John Edwards participated in that one. So did all the Democrat candidates.

Edwards and now, also, Obama have declined the invitation to the debate. They think CNN will be a better venue.

This leads me to one question. What are these two smoking? Of course conservatives are well aware of the bias the left has towards Fox News. It's the only network on air that doesn't spout the same old same old. Fox News dares to air both sides of an argument and they will not stand for that. Freedom of speech? Bah!

Who are they to be taken seriously as leaders of the entire country is they will not appear on the cable network with the largest audience, with numbers twice of CNN's, and act as though they want to lead all of the country, not just the MoveOn crowd? Or the Hollywood, Bill Maher crowd? If they are too afraid to even appear on a network, how are they to be perceived as strong on leaderships? Do they only talk to friendly audiences? No, wait, I thought that was just the president who did that. Besides, Fox News isn't asking questions, heaven forbid, the standard panel of questioners, approved by all, would ask the questions. Fox News is only airing it on tv.

I thought Obama was all about a new civility in politics. I thought he was man enough to reach out to all voters.

Elizabeth Edwards is quoted as labeling her neighbor a "rabid, rabid Republican" who lives across the street from her new multimillion palace in the country. She says he refuses to clean up his "slummy" property. It's making her 28,000 square foot estate on 102 wooded acres look bad. He owns a gun and carries it to check out strangers on his property. Elizabeth will not have this so she is very happy that the neighbor, whose family has owned the 42 acres since before the Great Depression, has now put the property up for sale. He is tired of her harassment. Never mind it is her political family bringing the interest of strangers to the neighbor's property.

Can you imagine if the scenario was reversed?

He is a regular working class American, not a nouveau riche trial lawyer, so I guess he is in the poor America, not welcome in Edwards' rich America.

And, no free speech on his own property, either. He has a Guiliani for President sign on his property.

A comrade in arms for Edwards in the free speech department, John Kerry, has been foiled again by that stupid George Bush. Bush appointed on a recess appointment Sam Fox to be Ambassador to Belgium to overrule Kerry's block of the appointment. He'll not take a salary for the appointment, as is the rule on recess appointments. Fox was a contributor to the Swift Boat Vets campaign and Kerry brow beat Fox over it during committee hearings. How dare Fox use his money for political contributions against Kerry.

And to wrap things up, Edwards wants the IRS to do your tax return when he is President. Under his plan, the IRS will calculate your tax bill and mail a final report to you. You sign it and send it back. The IRS will do the pesky information gathering for you, for up to 50 million Americans, and you just sign on the dotted line.

Wow, if Bush was behind this grand scheme, why, imagine the cries of loss of privacy then!

Two Americas.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter 2007

Happy Easter!

I grew up in a house about two blocks away from Centenary College of Louisiana. Founded in 1825, it is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It is a small, private college with beautifully maintained grounds.

Each Easter, my father would drive my mother, myself and two sisters to the grounds of Centenary College for the Easter photo sessions. The blooming azaleas and dogwood were excellent background for the photos. Along the walks around campus, there was a little walker's bridge where many photos were also taken.

When I was growing up, Easter outfits were very important. Every year we were treated to new outfits - new dresses, shoes and matching purses, and many years the purchases even included hats and gloves. Go to Easter services at church in last year's Easter apparel? Please.

The day began early. My youngest sister is seven years younger than me so even as I was old enough to be happy to sleep in a bit and not be so excited about rummaging through an Easter basket, in my teenage years, we were still awaken at the crack of dawn by the youngest.

We were members of the First Presbyterian Church. It was very old, very large and very ornate in decor. This church is the reason I do not feel comfortable in small and plain churches. I crave the pomp and ceremony. The performances of worship. The music from old pipe organs at the front of the church, behind the pulpit area, not stuck off in the back of the church where it is heard but not seen.

And stained glass? Yes, much stained glass.

We were regulars at the church. We attended the 11:00 service every Sunday morning. Sunday school class before the service. And, choir practice for the children's choir every Thursday afternoon after school. My father was asked on a yearly basis to become a deacon of the church but always politely declined the invitation as he traveled three, sometimes four weeks a month, Monday through Friday, and weekends were prime family time. His community service was through the Kiwanis Club and school support.

After church, while we were still dressed and clean, the trip to Centenary College took place. My father was the photographer. He always possessed the latest in camera technology. We have very few pictures of him as he was always the photographer.

Finally, after many pictures were taken, in many different groupings, some with all four of us and some of just his daughters, he would feel enough 'good' shots were taken. Then we were off to my parents favorite restaurant for Sunday lunch.

The restaurant was an Italian restaurant, very old world style, with male waitstaff dressed in black trousers and tie, white starched shirts and dress shoes. The restaurant was a customer of my father's. The adults sipped martinis out of coffee cups, as it was done in those days. So discreet, their indulgence.

Our Easter egg hunts were enjoyed after lunch. Some years it was a neighborhood kids kind of event, other years if the weather was rainy, just my sisters and me around the house or the back yard.

Easter dinner was served around 5:00 in the evening. The meal was always the traditional ham with the side dishes and bread. Easter cake of some kind for dessert.

Always, it was a very full day.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday 2007

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Sake of Talking

"Talking for the sake of talking really doesn't accomplish much", said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates yesterday. He was asked his opinion of the grand tour of the middle east by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Do you understand what he said?

Pelosi has done nothing but prove herself a fool, a tool of propaganda by members of the axis of evil. With visions of grandeur, showing she will not listen to the administration of this country, her country, she jets off to the middle east. She is shown in the traditional head gear of the subservient women of Muslim nations. Any reaction of her constituents in San Francisco, the liberal feminist constituency?

Pelosi goes to Israel and meets with Olmert. She goes from there to Syria, a state sponsor of terror, a nation without a relationship with this country, her country, while they are killing our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and says she delivered a message of peace from Olmert. She holds the press conference and declares Syria is ready for peace talks with Israel. There is a problem, though, Pelosi delivered the wrong message from Olmert and he chastised her in no time at all, publicly, in the press.

The road to peace does not go through Damascus. The road to humiliation and capitulation does though.

To be clear, I am not furious that Pelosi has betrayed her country in such a in-your-face-manner simply because of her political party. I am ashamed of the Republicans going to bow at the feet of Assad, too. For Pelosi, though, the stakes are higher. She is the first to tell you how important she is now, the most powerful woman in Washington, D.C., and the third in line for the office of President. This position of hers is what makes her trip even more disgraceful than the other politicians going to Syria. And, yes, the Syrian dictator totally gets that.

All of this is playing out as England, our allie in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, in the global war on terror that the Dems now refuse to acknowledge in their legislation, is dealing with the hostage-taking of 15 of its sailors and Royal Marines. Pelosi is there, smiling and yukking it up with those wishing to kill us over their bastardization of a religion, as Great Britain is being humiliated. Doesn't she understand how completely idiotic she looks declaring Assad wants to talk about peace with Israel, but only if they first declare they will relinquish the Golan Heights? And, today, as the hostages are released, four soldiers in Basra are killed, fellow Brits, no doubt at the hands of terrorists using Iranian supplied IEDs.

Pelosi is a life-long political creature. She comes from a well-connected political family. She knows exactly what she is doing.

She knows better.

A side note to Roxanne: Oreo and I have been trying to tell Miss Scarlett we wish her a speedy recovery but I haven't been able to publish comments on your site for a couple of days now!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Mad Men and Englishmen

Good news for the Brits that the Royal Marines and sailors are to be released today by the madmen in Iran. Ahmadinejad gave out medals to his men who captured the Brits, said it was a sign of weakness that the British government wouldn't apologize for committing the error of going into Iranian waters, then announced he would release the captive Brits as a special gift on the birthday of the prophet Mohammad. Yeah, he is quite the schizo.

I'm sure Tony Blair did the best he could. I'm glad he refused to acknowledge intrusion into Iranian waters when obviously that was not the case. I still think he blinked. This sort of episode will continue as Ahmadinejad wants the world to see him as a player.

Schools in England are now refusing to teach about the Holocaust and the Crusades, out of fear of 'offending' students. Unbelievable, isn't it? History is history. Soon England will be treated the same as France by the Muslims, as we see beginning already. Assimilation by immigrants is the only way to insure peaceful co-existence among people. This is how America became the great melting pot. This is why today people are still trying to get into America, not out of America.

If lessons are not learned from history, they will be repeated. Appeasement does not work. Short term results are for narrow visioned leaders. The easy way out no longer works in difficult circumstances. In recent history, we have the build up to the attacks of 9/11 as a reminder. Isolationism and turning a blind eye to growing threats don't work. What did Ahmadinejad say in his speech while releasing the hostages? He said Iran wants to work with all nations, except Israel.

Ahmadinejad is a holocaust denier. He was a young up and coming leader in Iran during the 444 day American hostage nightmare that Jimma Carter allowed. One of the hostages now lives in the town in Indiana where my mother in law lives, the hometown of my husband. He can tell you about the failures of appeasement from a very personal standpoint. He recognized the face of Ahmadinejad from the previous

And no, it is not America's fault that these hostages were taken. The blame rests on Ahmadinejad. Him alone. The canard that somehow this was retaliation for American soldiers taking prisoner the Iranians killing American soldiers in Iraq is laughable.

Cool heads and clear minds will be needed now more than ever.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Daughter of Mesopotamia

"Her triumph will show the world that Iraqis will still sing despite their wounds." So said Israa Tariq, a homemaker in Baghdad.

Gunfire was heard in Baghdad Friday night, the celebratory kind. Why? How could there possibly be anything joyful in Baghdad? For those with electricity to watch their tv sets, a moment of pride was found as Shadha Hassoun was surrounded by her fans as she won the Arab version of American Idol. She triumphed over three other finalists, a man from Egypt, a man from Lebanon and a woman from Tunisia.

Hassoun wrapped herself in the flag of Iraq and burst into tears. It is the Arab world's most watched tv show and it was a ray of hope amidst a week of a series of suicide bombings in marketplaces and sectarian cleansing exercises of insurgents shooting innocent men, execution style, after dragging them out of their homes.

Her people have dubbed her the "Daughter of Mesopotamia" and they are grateful for the distraction her ascent in the competition has provided. She is a 25 year old young woman born in Casablanca, Morocco. Her father is her connection with Iraq. He is a native of a tribe of southern Iraq. Some say part of her success is due to the fact that no one knows if she is Sunni or Shiite, so everyone is comfortable claiming her as their own. She is Paris educated and does not live in Iraq. She has embraced the country and the people as her own.

She is a symbol of hope. She is accomplishing a great feat to inspire others as a message to abandon the violence and pull together, to do something constructive for their country. Ziad al-Qaisi, 31 years old, of Baghdad said "Iraqis should focus on art, music and sports where they can find love, beauty and tranquility."

It is easy to be critical, to be shrill and hateful against those wanting to help the Iraqi people have a better life. It is easy to surrender in times of trial. Those doing the hard work, the necessary work, can use all the inspiration they can get.

It's not such a difficult choice.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Nothin' But Blue Skies Do I See

OK, it's cloudy here with a promising chance of rain, but a girl can hope.

Opening Day here - Go Astros!

Sunset tonight - Happy Passover.

Did you see the photo of the chocolate Jesus on display as 'art' on this, the Holy Week for Christians? Nice. I guess if we were the more obnoxious or dangerous Muslims, we'd be issuing death threats to the artist.

Rather than stay and work out the funding for the troops situation, the congress has set out on their 2 week Spring Break. Since Grandma MiMi went off to her excellent adventure to the Middle East, including a stop in Syria despite the White House asking her not to, she admits the House doesn't have the votes to override a presidential veto of her pork laden, bribery to the hilt, 'emergency' appropriations bill for the troops. She's leavin' on a jet plane...

But, remember, the Democrat lead congress is harder working and ending the earmarks.

Once again, still, political party over country. It would be refreshing to have the parties united against the enemy, who, by the way, is not the president. All those nonsensical people saying we've lost credibility in the world? When did we have it? We have always been mocked, feared, envied, and scorned. Until foreign countries need help. Then, who is asked to come forward?

Those blaming our country and siding with ruthless dictators and religious zealots wanting their own world dominance are foolish and short-sighted. They will be shamed by history.

When will CNN try to regain credibility and fire Michael Ware? They probably won't since I'm certain the higher ups agree with his reporting. He refers to the war as "Bush's War", he heckles Senator McCain at a press conference during his last visit to Baghdad this past weekend, and he phones in to the Bill Maher show talking about how he stays drunk in Iraq. He roots for failure in the middle east and is truly outraged when anything other than his talking points comes out. Yeah, he's quite a winner. And so professional.

He makes the reporting of Richard Engel look fair. Time to tell Ware to bugger off.

Speaking of petty and unprofessional, Senator John Kerry put a hold on the nomination of Mr. Sam Fox, of St. Louis, to be ambassador to Belgium. The White House has pulled the nomination as they realize it is a losing battle. Mr. Fox is a 77 year old businessman who contributed to the Swift Boat Vets in the last election against Kerry. So, even though Kerry lost by more than 3 million votes and can't accept that he isn't in the Oval Office, he refuses to move on. He made a spectacle of himself in the C-Span coverage of the committee questioning of Mr. Fox not long ago. I watched in amazement as Kerry went on and on, lecturing this man about political donations, as if it were not his right to support the candidate of his choice, as if the president wasn't like every other president and nominating generous supporters to ambassadorships. Never mind anything else, it's all about John Kerry.

Several months ago I blogged about the corrupt dealings of Senator Feinstein and her husband, Richard Blum, profiting mightily from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while she publicly denounces our war efforts. Feinstein has finally resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, where she was chairperson and ranking member over the last 6 years. Her hubby owns two major defense contractors and they have been awarded billions of dollars in projects all approved by Dianne. What's been reported is that Feinstein has enjoyed all her travel junkets to military bases around the world, many with hubby's projects ongoing. She enjoys the micromanagement of them.

What isn't reported much is that Feinstein's committee, was tasked with overseeing quality of life issues for veterans, like housing for military families and operating hospitals and clinics for the wounded also as a mandate. Maybe it was just getting a little too difficult to feign distress over conditions at Walter Reed, as if it's all a shocking surprise to her. As if it's all GW Bush's fault. Again, party is put before country in today's Democrat world.