Tuesday, November 30, 2004

RU486- The Misconceptions…

‘The Morning After Pill’…a great idea in theory that even has the hesitant OK of many conservatives. You have sex and take the pill the next day…bam…no conception. That’s how it works right? Wrong.

RU486 has been in the news lately because of the FDA’s unusually rushed approval of the drug and the (4) American and (1) Canadian deaths that have resulted…along with reports of severe hemorrhaging, bacterial infections and possible need for blood transfusions.

Aside from these more well-known concerns, there may be some things about this little French-born pill that you didn’t know…

First and foremost this is NOT the ‘morning after pill’…the fabled ‘morning after pill’ is just a high dose of birth control pills that can be given the day after unprotected sex in an effort to prevent conception…RU486 (commonly mistaken for the aforementioned ‘remedy’) can only be taken for conformed pregnancies AFTER the fetus has attached to the uterine wall. It is given to ‘stimulate non-surgical abortion’ up until 9 weeks after conception –over two months pregnant.

RU486 is a steroid that suppresses progesterone –the hormone which feeds the uterine wall that eventually nourishes the child. Progesterone also stops the normal contractions that a uterus experiences when it is not pregnant. “The child, deprived of necessary nutrients, starves to death. The baby detaches and is swept out of the body along with the decayed uterine lining.” RU486 is also not a pill you pop and go home…it is given in conjunction with a prostaglandin (usually Cytotec) that induces strong uterine contractions….without this additional drug RU486’s ‘success rate’ is only 64 -85%. The typical scenario takes 3 -4 doctor visits over the span of two weeks…the 'expulsion' of the fetus can take up to two weeks. In more than 5% of attempts no abortion occurs…

This confusion by the American public over the difference between the ‘morning after pill’ and RU486 has never been clarified by the press nor by the pro-choice crowd… the general misconception (literally) seems to serve their purpose. As the number of doctors/nurses willing to perform abortions diminishes and the aversion to abortion grows among the public…this method has/will become more prevalent.

UNITED STATES:
Abortions per year: 1.37 Million
Abortions per day: Approximately 3,700
Who's having abortions (age)?
-52% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25
-Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions
-Teenagers obtain 20% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.
Who's having abortions (race)?
-While white women obtain 60% of all abortions, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women.
-Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion -Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.
Who's having abortions (marital status)?
-64.4% of all abortions are performed on never-married women
-Married women account for 18.4% of all abortions
-Divorced women obtain 9.4%.
Who's having abortions (income)?
-Women with family incomes less than $15,000 obtain 28.7% of all abortions
-Women with family incomes between $15,000 and $29,999 obtain 19.5%
-Women with family incomes between $30,000 and $59,999 obtain 38.0%
-Women with family incomes over $60,000 obtain 13.8%.
Why women have abortions:
-1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest
-6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems regarding either the mother or child.
-93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).
Likelihood of abortion:
An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old.
47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.

Monday, November 29, 2004

A Rainy Moment of Clarity...

I think I can FINALLY pinpoint it… It came to me on Thanksgiving as I was driving around in a downpour looking for a store that was open... (aside: Thank you Kmart and Martha Stewart for coming through on a holiday and supplying the half-way decent table cloth that had completely slipped my mind until two hours before people were set to arrive…)

Oh yeah… ‘It’, is what turns me off to ‘progressive politics’ and ‘liberalism’ as a whole. It is entitlement.
Ok, everyone has a family member or friend that ‘expects’ things right… no matter how much you do for them they are never grateful, never thankful and are often even dismissive of your efforts… (If you do not have ‘one of these’ in your life, then I regret to inform you that it is probably YOU!)… Anyway, I decided that ‘entitlement’ is what I deem as the biggest character flaw that a person can possess. It leads to various other detrimental flaws –such as lack of empathy, narcissism, arrogance and rudeness in general. I have two people in my life who possess this sense of entitlement and seem to have been born with it (If you know me well enough to know that I have this site and are reading it…don’t worry –it’s not you). I find this sense of prerogative maddening. I have spent hours doing painstaking and personally inconveniencing favors for these people without so much as a pat on the back in return...like MY time was owed to them or earned by them somehow…

I believe that ‘liberal/progressive’ policies promote this unwarranted sense of entitlement. I am poor…someone should help me. I don’t have enough…someone should help me. I need more…someone should help me. Why? Who the hell are you and what have you done to deserve anything from anyone?

It can’t be a socioeconomic factor that determines the ‘entitlement factor’ because I have known afflicted from all walks of life (though it seems to be most prevalent in the very rich and the very poor). It is a foreign concept to me and one that I abhor. The Democratic policies of enablement are also foreign to me and to how I was raised. You work = you get rewarded… You don’t work = you get nothing. You study = you get an A. You don’t study = you fail. It seems like good old fashioned common sense. This ties in with the whole ‘rewarding bad behavior’ American phenomenon too (also an embodiment of progressive ideals and a practice that leads to the aforementioned entitlement). If you stay out of trouble, go to college, get married and have a baby (in that order) you will be rewarded with $50K of student loan debt …BUT if you get knocked up right out of high school and don’t get married –Bam! Free college for you! (and free day care while you’re in college, WIC, free health care for the baby)-- All this as the girl that ‘did the right thing’ struggles to work full time as she goes to school full time and busts her ass just to graduate and find that most jobs won’t cover her student loan debt –so alas, so must acquire more debt to get a higher degree to pay for the first one…Why didn’t she just have a kid? That would have solved all the problems…right?

Anyway, this was a bit more cohesive in my head, that day in the rain –but you get the idea. I am not saying that these are the ultimate goals of the progressives and I am not implying that all these ultimately-enabling government programs did not begin with altruistic intentions… What I am saying is that, in my humble opinion, a monster has been created… A ‘governmental-my-kid-can-do-no-wrong-Mother’ who bails out her citizen-children time and time again -giving them the unrealistic notion that there are no negative consequences for poor behavior/bad choices. The enabling mother who ruins the child in her efforts to ‘save’ them --the guilt-ridden mother. The mother who creates the child that thinks it can do no wrong and that thinks it deserves everything…the child that is inevitably the last one to be picked in dodge ball.
The “Not my Joey…” mother….

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Friday, November 26, 2004

ALa71 & Justrose's Adventures in Co-Blogging...

Go HERE to see what happens after too many years as 'lonely housewives'....

Vital Charity

You may have noticed the list of 'vital charities' that I have linked in the sidebar. I think all of these are wonderful and am sure there are a thousand out there just as great, but I thought today I would elaborate on one of them (on this Black Friday -when the focus is normally on what we can get for ourselves...)

Women For Women International.
This is how it works: You apply to be a sponsor and pick the area that you would like your 'sister' to be from. (Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo, Rwanda, or Nigeria) You send $25/mo per sponsor. But that's not it...it is strongly encouraged that you correspond monthly with your 'sister'. This money enrolls her in a program that will teach her valuable skills (either crafts/handiworks that can be sold or teaching women to pool the money to say -buy a goat together). Many of these women live in places where (until US involvement) they were not allowed to work or contribute to their families. Many are single mothers struggling to survive with multiple children. Your letters are translated for her and when you receive her letters they will be written in her hand and there will be a translation stapled to the original letter.
If you are not able to make the $25/mo. commitment, there are also ‘one time’ donations AND a new feature that is great is the WFW Virtual Bazaar -where the actual crafts made by these women are sold on line. Last Christmas all my closest girlfriends received beautiful beaded Afghan bracelets. This year the selection is larger --and seriously...how cool is it to give someone wool slippers knitted by hand in Bosnia...or a necklace from Afghanistan? You can go here to Shop the Bazaar.

I will tell you that the letters coming from Afghanistan are rare as most of the women can't read and write- which means they must dictate to the over-worked staff. I believe that in almost three years I have only received two letters (the women are only in the program for 6 months, but the longer you remain a sponsor the more women they can admit to the programs). However, my 'sister' from Bosnia has been out of the program for two years and we still write at least every month (luckily she has a neighbor that can translate letters for her and he just got a computer so we can now email!) I wanted to show you one of the first letters I received from her...this beautiful women who has yet to be able to return to her home...and somehow her letters are so full of hope...and kindness.

"Dear friend and sister A_______,
How are you and your family? I know I can call you my sister and my friend as you have nice heart and soul and you care for people in Bosnia after that terrible war. What you and other women from American do means that you have much love in your heart, much humane honor and other nice things. I can not find right words to thank you and your family and other women of your beautiful country for sponsoring women in Bosnia. I can feel inner happiness and I know that your noble heart beats for me and helps me to overcome this difficult period of my life.
I believe that the great distance, big ocean or big mountains cannot stop people to be together. I would like to live a dignified life as you do.
We live in a town called B_______/Middle Bosnia. My husband has been unemployed since the war started. I do handiworks and we are trying to survive somehow.
Dear A_____, there are so many things in my and my husband's life to write about, the town that we live in, but I leave it for next letters. I hope that you will write about you and your family and other things that happen in the world.
I will close now. I wish you and your family much happiness and joy. God bless you all. Many greetings and kisses from your sister and friend N____ and her husband A____."

Do you see what I mean...how sweet is she?! I have stacks of letters like this one, and no matter how many times I read them -they always make me smile.

So, if N____'s plight, kind words and gentle heart has moved you....you can sponsor one of these wonderful women too...start by going HERE.
If you can only commit to a one time donation -Go HERE.
OR, if you want to give some great and very meaningful Christmas gifts this year Shop the Bazaar!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

What I'm Thankful For....

Being that tomorrow is Thanksgiving (and somehow my post this morning was erroneously perceived as controversial?), I thought I would post what I have been thankful for over the past year.

1) The continued health of my family. This has been a hard year for our little family (with The Man's accident and all that ensued in the aftermath), but we have almost made it through...mostly intact. (My immediate family also --even though they are scattered from Japan to California this year).

2) All the wonderful women that I have in my life: To name just a few...My Mom, my sister, Rose, Nora and Louise...what would I do without all of you?

3) The Re-election of George W. Bush. No, this is not meant to be political...it is one of the things I am truly thankful (and grateful) for.

4) The fall of the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein (thanks to our incredible military) and the abrupt end to the rape and torture rooms that where his mandate.

5)The fact that my University finally got all my information transferred to the new computer system and promises I am set to resume graduate classes in January!

6) That Justice loves Kindergarten (and is doing so well), and that Mason is making major strides in Speech (and has yet to rebel against it like so many his age in speech therapy do).

7) All the wonderful friends and adversaries that I have met here...especially Jen, BigandMean, Tammi, Kat, Bonnie, Ghost, Free, Redleg, Butterfly, Tom, Cig, Jericho, AF Sister, Keystone and Frater (I truly have enjoyed meeting ALL of you).

I hope that everyone has an enjoyable holiday...remember to take the giblets OUT of the turkey before you cook it...Boys, help clear the table BEFORE you plant yourself in front of the football game...try not to stress out over the 'little' things...
Happy Thanksgiving!

Post-script: I must tell you that not ten minutes after posting "try not to stress over the little things'...(Seriously...10 minutes...) I went upstairs to hang with the boys for a bit. We heard a downpour and Justice was like, 'Mom, it's raining so hard!" I was surprised too, it was crappy here all day -but this was a full fledged down pour...
Then, as I realized the noise was coming from INSIDE the house, I ran to the upstairs bathroom to find there was water to my ANKLES...Ran back down the steps to find my dining room completely FLOODED... the area rug DESTROYED and the dog's crate FLOATING....
This is the first Thanksgiving to be held at my house, you see... The first time I am cooking everything and having people here...
I called The Man (he seemed concerned that I was 'so calm'...I inform him it's that or go lay in the middle of the street -which is what I felt like doing....). I tell him to stop somewhere...anywhere and get a new rug on the way home (mind you it was almost 10 pm the night before a holiday...)
Plumbers came...replaced the toilet (sounds crazy, but their shop is next door...) We now are the proud owners of a pressure assisted toilet (commercial) -that's all they had....and a new rug...
Don't stress over the little things.
BUT the stuffing is made and the pumpkin pie is cooling on the counter...
Happy Friggin' Thanksgiving!

Compassionate?

~Jen~ who runs Fair-haired, yet strangely unbalanced has often blogged on that exclamation of surprise, "But you're so nice...how can you be a Republican", that is all too familiar to the conservative voter. Many have tried to dispel the 'greedy uncaring Republican' myth by explaining that we all want the same things --we just have very different ideas on how we should achieve them...

It is my view that it is the responsibility of individuals to take care of the less fortunate among us. That the government should be running the government and not engineering society. I believe that as a conservative it would be wrong and hypocritical if I did not donate to charity and volunteer my time to those less fortunate. If I don't want the government to do it --it becomes MY responsibility. This is a well-known conservative concept...but one that is foreign to most on the left. "You volunteer at a soup kitchen?...but your a Republican..." I HATE that. But then you get..."well if all republicans were like you...maybe I could understand the thinking..." But they are! My conservative friends do & give way more than my liberal friends. Most Dems take an AIDS walk once a year and call it a day. See, the difference is they think the government should solve all life’s woes and we think that it is our responsibility. I HATE when the WWJD argument is thrown up by the left...Jesus said take care of the lesser of your brothers.... Exactly...he didn't say, "Let Caesar take care of them"...He said YOU do it. YOU...not Caesar...

As I was thinking about this today, I looked around to see if there was any data that would back up my belief that Republicans give more to charity...that Republicans truly are (on average) the more compassionate party. I found plenty...

This was an article from the Wall Street Journal based on the 2003 report from the Catalogue For Philanthropy:

"RED STATES CARE: In news sure to depress those for whom Republican stinginess and antipathy for the less fortunate is an article of faith, the Massachusetts Catalogue for Philanthropy has just released its Generosity Index 2003, which ranks states not just by how much their residents give per capita but also by how much they give relative to what they earn. As OpinionJournal.com reader Gabriel Openshaw pointed out to us, the resulting index shows that the top 20 states all went for George W. Bush in the 2000 election--while 15 of the 20 least generous went for Al Gore. Maybe, he suggests, the difference is that those in red states are more generous with their own money while those in blue states are more likely to be generous with other people's money."

Also 2003 tax return for the Bush's, the Kerry's and the Cheney's:
Cheney's: $321,141 (included all Mrs. Cheney book precedes)
Bush's: $95,043
Kerry’s: $43,735

The piece de resistance was this:
VIEW CHART

"This year's findings reveal that 80 percent of the red states rank higher in generosity than any of the blue states and that all the blue states are in the lower half of the list.
Also, some of the red states with the lowest generosity ratings are those that voted for Bush most narrowly."

These findings/charts are based on the percentage of what is earned against what is given.

So, stop with all the unabashed shock and awe at the thought of altruism at the hands of the GOP rank and file. The numbers are there...Compassionate conservatism is not a myth. We don't want Senate to pass a bill to send 20 cases of chicken noodle soup to a shelter in North Philly...we want to take it there and dish it out ourselves.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Find of the Week...

Football 101

OK...bear with me for a moment as this is going somewhere...

In my narcissistic twenties I had a list of 'can't do's' when it came to picking a husband:
1) No one in a band
2) No one in the military
3) No one that watches sports/plays sports

The reason, you ask? Simple, I could not fathom coming second to anything. (Little did I know that I should have added 'owning your own business' to that list...)

Anyway, considering that I have since given birth to two boys...I believe that I now have reason to regret the third stipulation. The Man is as ambivalent to sports as a human being can be and I have two little guys that LOVE anything to do with a ball. The dilemma is that it is now me who has been allotted the job of watching games with them. I watched some football when I was younger (mainly just to have something to talk to my Dad about), but the only sport I ever really cared about was hockey. In elementary school I had a wicked crush on Bobby Clarke (but only with his teeth out!)

So, if the Flyers were playing it would be OK...but when it comes to football I'm pretty lost. Here are some of the questions that came up yesterday that I couldn't answer:

1) Why did Chris Samuels (Redskins) have that 'giant thing' sticking out of his back?
Ok, good question right, because it sure looked like a back brace and, in my humble estimation, it would seem if you need a back brace you damn well shouldn't be playing football.

2) Why does Donovan always keep the ball and get tackled when he should have thrown it?
I was actually thinking the same thing...he seems a bit of a ball hog.

3) Is #11 a good player? (Re: Patrick Ramsey -Redskins)
Idon't know, but he's cute...

4) Who is the guy with the blonde hair and why does the coach look mad at him?
(I am not sure who they meant...did another QB come in? Maybe it was Koy Detmer? and why was Andy Reid mad at him...)

You see my dilemma... I have to study up quick -as Mom is never allowed to 'not know' answers... So, to all the single girls out there making lists about what you want in a mate, think beyond the here and now...or you may end up watching football on Sundays & Mondays -unable to answer the simple questions asked of you....

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Secret Service

The juxtaposition:

"The president dove into the crowd, where people were arguing and pushing one another, and pulled the agent through the door of center.

After the successful rescue, Bush turned around, cocked his head proudly at his maneuver and began to greet his hosts." http://www.cnn.com

-vs.-

"On Thursday, Mr. Kerry snowboarded down the mountain before a Secret Service agent who was supposed to be protecting him accidentally ran into him. Asked about the tumble moments later, an angry Mr. Kerry reportedly used an expletive to describe the agent "who knocked me over" and said: "I don't fall down." www.wahingtontimes.com

The Accusation

Someone on the left recently accused me of being the equivalent of Mr. R. Limbaugh. Yes, I admit readily that Rush tows the party line...and I would too if offered a seat at the proverbial table. But, as yet, my panache has gone widely unnoticed by the GOP brass...so I am free to disagree on policy with some in the party & the Administration.

Many on the right have tried to express the diversity in this party --did we dwell on it before the election?...of course not...it was not the time for family in-fighting.
Here are some of the areas where I don't 'tow the party line' or where I just don't agree with the administration (though it is usually in instances where they aren't being conservative enough):

1) I will be beyond distressed if this 'Fallujah Marine' is offered up unjustly to appease the 'Arab street'. There is a petition available on line that will be sent to Congress -I urge all of you to read and sign it. Sign Petition...

2) I am very unhappy about the proposed 'Temporary Worker' Program that Bush is proposing for ILLEGAL aliens. There are people trying to get into this country LEGALLY and I think it is a mistake to reward illegal behavior. Let the people with current visa applications fill any jobs that "Americans don't want' and send those who came here illegally home. -OR- Vicente Fox can start sending a barrel of oil with each alien that passes the border.

3) This is a hypothetical, BUT I will be angry (and feeling betrayed) if Bush caves to the left and nominates "Sandra Day O'Connor" judges to the bench. As I have said before -Clinton sent up the Pro-Choice leader for the ACLU, Ruth Bader Ginsberg...and he didn't receive as many popular votes as Bush did. Clinton didn't pick a moderate and neither should Bush. This is not an area to reach across the aisle.

4) I think that is very wrong to include bans on Civil Unions in places that are looking to ban gay marriage on the State level. Each State should vote about gay marriage (as should they about abortion) and if Bush wants to amend the Constitution it should be to allow all the same LEGAL rights. Neither marriage nor abortion should be decided by the courts...but by the people.

5) I am angry that this Administration has done nothing to educate the American public on the realities of Partial Birth Abortion and Live Birth Abortion...actually on abortion in general. A poll taken within the year showed that over 70% of Americans believed that it was illegal to have an abortion after 3 months. And recently an avid lefty said that if more people realized what both practices were all about Democrats would be just as against them as Republicans.

6) I think that we should re-visit our trade policies with China -whose human rights record is appalling(it was Planned Parenthood who help to broker and set up the mandatory abortions in China...bravo to that great organization)...and toughen our trade with all countries who are not adhereing to the same standards we are.

So, now that the election is over, and until I am offered the aforementioned seat of honor, I will not hesitate to mention anything I think the Powers that Be are doing wrong. It will not be to bring everyone together -it will be because no one agrees with everything set out by their party all the time.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

A Flashback

About a week ago a paper came home in Justice's packet saying that Friday, November 19th was "Teacher Student Switch Day". The teachers were going to dress like students and the students like teachers. Justice was really excited about this as he would get to wear one of The Man's ties. Yesterday morning he got up early and eagerly got ready with dress shirt and cool tie intact.

I dropped him off with a kiss and promise to see him soon, as I would be returning at 10:40 to sit in on Math lab (for National Education Week). As I walked into his class, I saw him there at his little desk-- with his giant tie and his hair sprayed to the side as a teacher might have-- and quickly realized that he was the ONLY kid in the class dressed this way. My heart sunk...

Flashback 1981 -I am 10 years old and invited to a 'Skating Party' for a friend's birthday. This was a big deal as it was the 'Cool Teenagers' hang-out and I was normally never allowed to go there (USA Skating Rink, now defunct, -for the Philly Bloggers out there). My mom told me about the skating parties she had gone to and all about the little skating skirts that you HAD to wear to said parties. I was skeptical, but trusted my mom. She spent the week before the party sewing me a navy blue skating skirt -complete with pleats and rhinestone buttons...only to be outdone by the mother-of-pearl shiny white tights. I arrived at the rink only to walk in and see nothing but a vast sea of denim...not a skate skirt to be found. I swear everyone stopped what they were doing to look at me...somehow I held my head high and walked to the table with my jean-clad friends -all the while dying inside.

...All this instantly went through my mind as I saw my little man sitting there in his dress shirt and blue-striped tie....in a sea of sweat pants and Eagles jerseys. I whispered to the Mom next to me, "Wasn't today the day they were dressing up like teachers?"
"Oh, yeah, but Kindergarteners never do it."
Well, wouldn't it have been nice if the flyer they sent home MENTIONED that helpful tidbit!

On the way home, I asked Justice if he was upset that he was the only one who dressed up. Obviously confused he answered, "Why Mom? Everyone told me how handsome I was all day..." Yeah, that's my kid!
...And....psychiatrist couch narrowly avoided once again.
Does everyone get those moments that catapult you right back in time and make you feel all those 'little kid' embarrassments so tangibly again?
I informed my mother last night that I have yet to forgive her for the Skate skirt fiasco...to which she laughed a little too hard...

This Should Make You Lefties Laugh...

...I'm Slick Willy! LOL
What Famous Leader Are You?

Friday, November 19, 2004

The "Fallujah Marine"

Doesn't it seem like the Main Stream Media and the far-left bloggers were salivating at the story of the Fallujah Marine -ready to pounce on their new Abu Gharib. This marine was seen on an NBC tape shooting a man in Iraq who had hours before been shooting at our troops. This man was shooting from a Mosque and not in uniform -both Geneva Convention violations, and pretending to be dead.

"Have our Marines not earned the benefit of the doubt, at least that...I'm going to give him that." Joe Lieberman.

This Marine had been wounded in the face just the day before the incident and the practice of booby-trapping dead and wounded fighters is common practice in Iraq. When you view the entire tape you see that another man who is lying across the room clearly identifies himself -and he was not harmed. The Marine yells frantically, "He's faking he's dead", but doesn't shoot until the man makes a sudden move (after just pretending to be dead)-to me, a clear indication that he was warning his fellow Marines and felt there was a real danger.

"When in doubt, take OUR side...When in doubt attack the enemy." Bill O'Reilly

Why does the left always jump to take the side of the opposition? I want to understand. I can understand that the Arab media is playing this tape ad nauseum-though they are not playing the execution of Margaret Hassan (the long-time aid worker to Iraq who was shot in the face by her Muslim captors); but I can't understand why the LA Times would have a headline reading, "Marine kills unarmed fighter" before all the details have emerged.

Over on Free Republic the Freepers have pointed out an interesting point...should the Marine be punished for 'pulling a Kerry'?

"Not so fast, say the folks at FreeRepublic.com, who point out that John Kerry got a Silver Star with Combat V [for valor] for committing the same sort of "atrocity."
In fact, the February 1969 incident was considered by Kerry supporters to be his finest hour.
Patrolling the Bay Hap River, Kerry and his crew discovered they were about to be ambushed by a Viet Cong soldier who had just popped up at the shoreline with a loaded rocket launcher in his hands. With the VC about to fire, Kerry crew mate Thomas Bellodeau shot and wounded the attacker, saving the entire boat.
Only then did Kerry leap to the shore to chase the wounded enemy down - finishing him off behind a hootch.
When critics suggested that Kerry's actions that day were something less than heroic, they were hooted down by the press.
Certainly the as-yet-unnamed Marine in Fallujah deserves, if not the Silver Star, the same slack the press cut Kerry." NewsMaxx.com

I would hope that the Brass does not punish this marine to appease the public...to calm the Arab world. That would be tragic...almost as tragic as those who claim to support the troops as they jump all over each story that is meant to denigrate them. Let the facts come out -and don't be so quick to condemn our guys...they are doing daily what most of us will do never.

If you are interested: Here is a letter written by a Marine regaurding this incident...thank you BigandMean for bringing it to my attention...
Click here to READ THE LETTER
Please visit TWD to read his great post about this @ Buggie Boy...I meant to link this when I first put it up -thank you Free for reminding me.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Hey Girls....

Thank you to AF Sister who scanned and emailed this to me right away!!!
Here is the picture of CBFTW from the new Esquire Magazine, December 2004 issue.
(We went from 'an eye' to half a face...we're getting there).



In honor of CBFTW and all the troops I direct your attention to THIS VIDEO. It has "bad words" -though they aren't that audible. Thanks to Tammi at Road Warrior Survival for linking this -I had never seen it before.

Things I Need to Research More...

I am sure you are all aware of the bill, introduced by Orrin Hatch, to allow individuals not born in the United States to run for the highest office in the land (once they have been citizens for 20 years). I wanted to look into whether any other countries allow foreign born Presidents/Prime Ministers. This proved to be a problem due to my lack of geographical prowess...for instance:
Malaysia: The Prime Minster is Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi...and he was born in Kampung Perlis, Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang...now is that in Malaysia? I have NO idea. Yes, I could do more research and find out...but for every country? Believe it or not people, I do have a life...
I'm not quite sure what I think about this. Should we really be opening the door to foreign white men when we have yet to have a Black President, a Jewish President or a Woman President? In a country with a population of 294,778,412 that has a birth every 8 seconds...do we really need to look outside to find a President? ...not to mention the added consideration from the threat of Al Qaeda 'sleeper cells'...
Forget about foreign-born, Can you be the President of the United States of America with pictures like THIS out there?

The second thing is the recent treatment of Condoleezza Rice. Actually, not just Condi, but all minorities in the Bush Administration. Why is that horrible little troll, Al Sharpton, elevated as some Black icon while Colin Powell is called Uncle Tom? Do people not remember Tawana Brawley? The feces spread all over her...that HE did? I want to research if ANY other Secretary of States have experienced this much scrutiny from the press. Where is Whoopi Goldberg, Gloria Steinem and Rosie O’Donnell? Why aren't they extolling Condi for being the first female African American Secretary of State? She is no 'Uncle Tom' -she was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She was in the same kindergarten class as those four little girls that burned in that infamous church bombing of the 60's. President Bush has put more minorities and women in positions of power than any President in history...including the 'first Black President', Slick Willy. Why is that? Compare what the parties have to offer...Jesse Jackson vs. Colin Powell - Al Sharpton vs. Condoleezza Rice - Louis Farrakhan vs. J.C. Watts...not really a contest is it...? How can the 'party of the minority' be letting the GOP strip them of this title so handily...and in DEED not in WORD?

These are the two of the many things that I want more information about and collaborating statistics for...but like the ever-growing stacks of 'policy' books accumulating around my house --I am not sure there will ever be the time...

Carnival of Recipes #14

This week's carnival is being hosted by Boudicca. Go check it out!

COVETED PUMPKIN BREAD



INGREDIENTS:

Flour (3 cups)
Sugar (2 cups)
Baking Soda (2 tsp.)
Cinnamon (2 tsp.)*
Nutmeg (1 tsp.)*
Baking Powder (1/2 tsp.)*
Ground Cloves (1/4 tsp.)*
Salt (dash)
Eggs (2)
Vegetable Oil (2/3 cup)
Pumpkin -100% Pure (15 oz. can)
Raisins (optional)
Powdered Sugar (1 tbs –optional)

*I usually don’t level off the spices.

DIRECTIONS:

-Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Mix together all dry ingredients: Flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, ground cloves & salt.
In a separate bowl lightly beat eggs then stir in oil & pumpkin.
Add wet ingredients to dry and stir (just enough to combine).
If you are going to use raisins –boil water and remove from heat…put the raisins in for about a minute then strain them. Add them to the mixture.
Pour mixture into bread pans (about 3/4 full)
Bake for approximately one hour (check @ 45 minutes –if toothpick pulls out clean they’re done).
Sprinkle loaves with powdered sugar.
This will make two loaves regular size loaves or four mini-loaves* (I use these on my Christmas cookie trays).
*If using mini-loaf pans - check loaves @ 30 minutes.
*These freeze really well.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles...

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things..."

This song has been stuck in my head for two days....I was thinking about the lyrics of the song this morning and wishing life was this simple--to be able to be cheered by a blue satin sash... But this is not Austria and it is not 1938... When I think of my 'favorite things' they seem to be much more capitalistic than Maria's.
Since I truly need a small sabbatical from politics...I decided on a mindless post today. Instead of snokeflakes on my nose and eyelashes, I am thinking about my favorite things. Things that make my life easier or just make me happy.

Here are some things I love -practical and impractical:

My Jeep (Grand Cherokee Laredo). I don't think I'll ever get another make/model of vehicle. I can drive eight hours to NC and remain comfortable the entire time and I get good gas mileage. I LOVE my Jeep.

Fudge 'One Shot' (leave in conditioner). You have to get this at a salon, but it is worth the outlay. Mix it up and spray it on and no matter what abuse you subject your hair too...it will be healed. I swear I have no split ends!

Caller ID. How did I live without this? I never even check my voicemail because I can see who called... You never need to talk to someone you don't want to again! I mention this because I actually have friends that DON'T have it!

High Speed Internet (Cable modem): A must. I wouldn't be blogging without it.

Snackwell's Devil's Food cookies (Fat Free!). All fat free stuff is terrible -except these. The only problem is since they are fat free...you feel free to eat the entire bx.

Jersey T-shirt Sheets. Not glamorous, but soooo comfortable.

Coach Bags (any variety). Ok, so some of you already know this is my weakness, BUT it's not just a fashion thing. These bags last forever and the leather is such that it gets better as it ages. The oils from your hands enhance the leather...WELL worth the investment! A girl NEEDS a good handbag (or 5...or 24...)

James Perse T-shirts. Pricey, yes...but also well worth the investment. Soft as butter and cut very flattering. They are like wearing your man's softest, oldest t-shirt but looking good in it instead of like you are wearing a tent and cleaning the garage.

Suavitel Dryer Sheets (hard to find). For some reason they are only marketed/sold in Spanish-speaking areas. A friend works for the company and gets me cases of them --but if you can find them...buy! I have never smelled anything better and not a bit of static.

Marlboro Light Menthol. My smokes. This is the ONLY cigarette that I will smoke. I will not bum smokes --nor will I buy something else if they don't have THIS brand.

Tiffany Silver. I know it's overpriced, but I don't care. I love it...especially the 1837 collection and anything by Elsa Peretti. They do charge to clean it now...which is annoying.

Fox News. My sanity in the swarm of MSM liberal BS....

and, last but not least...

Tootsie rolls. I guess this is self explanatory. MMMmmmmmmm....

What couldn't you live without...or, on the flip side, what would you advise we never buy....?

*Also, I wanted to say "Thank you" to Justrose...who wrote THIS yesterday...

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Death Spree Has Ended!

I used to have a Nissan Pulsar...it was nicknamed the 'Death Mobile'...due to the fact that throughout it's existence it managed to kill every animal indigenous to South-Eastern Pennsylvania...at least once. Cat, dog, squirrel, birds, groundhog, skunks and a deer....well, actually it didn't KILL the deer...

Preface: Now, you have to understand that I am a HUGE animal nut. I worked at a vet (at working-at-a-vets very minimal pay) for nine years. I have been known to swerve to avoid squirrels and almost kill Richard Simmons silky-shorts joggers. JustRose and I went out this weekend and I sat in the road for a good 4 or 5 minutes honking at the stupidest Pheasant alive -as it sat there and looked at me with a blank stare... and cars honked and tried to weave around me...

Coming home from the bank other day I almost hit a deer...which took me back to a most unpleasant memory...
It was Halloween night 1994...It was a dark and stormy night, and the moon...oh, wrong story. Anyway, I was coming home from an Educational Psych class and "Anyway You Want It" was playing. I was on 'Kill-A-Deer' Road...
...Suddenly she shot out from between two parked cars. There was a lot of traffic. I tried to swerve, but there was no where to go. She made the sickest noise as she slammed into my little car, slid up the hood and crashed into my windshield. A crunchy thud. She slid back off and onto the road. I got out of the car to see her (two broken legs protruding awkwardly...one North the other South) trying to propel herself across the street into the traffic speeding by the other way. I stood in the middle of the road with my arms out like a crossing guard, crying and pleading with her to stop. Yes, I was talking to the deer in the middle of a very busy street during rush hour. And?!

It would seem that most people are NOT animal lovers in rush hour and a million people proceeded to beep, scowl and scream really 'not-nice' words at the top of their lungs. Then I did something really stupid. I knelt down and held the maimed deer so she wouldn't move. How I didn't get hoofed to death is beyond me. I vaguely remember a giant Bronco pull up behind my car and then there was a giant 'Paul Bunyan' guy beside me. I was trying to tell him what happened...
"She ran right out...there was nothing I could do...she won't stop trying to move...everyone's screaming at me...she's going to get hit again...She...Aghhhhh! WTF? What did you just do? Oh My God! You F'ing lunatic...I'm going to kill you...."
Paul had taken out a giant hunting knife and slit her throat...right there...in my lap...before I had a clue what was going on.
"She was in pain."
Screaming at the top of my lungs, "You could have warned me you freak, you (many, many expletives)..."
Paul walked away shaking his head (like I was the one that needed help?!), got into his monster truck and left. Just like that. Kill and leave.
Anyway, the cops showed up and when I asked what was going to happen to my deer they informed me that there was a WAITING LIST for dead deer road kill...uhm, Ewwww....
I got back into my car...of course the damn pop-up lights were destroyed and I had to drive home through little back streets on Halloween night with no lights. The annoyed motorists where promptly replaced with parents of small children chastising me, cursing me and screaming for me to turn on my "f'ing lights..."

Fast-forward to 1996 when my boyfriend-from-that-time C started bouncing at a bar near my house. He is sitting at the bar with a fellow Harley dude and they start talking about hunting. Harley dude begins to relay a story about a deer and a lunatic little blonde in a silver car... C tells him that I was his girl at the time and that he scarred me for life...they laugh, at my expense, and do some more shots...

So the other day, as I was once again driving down 'Kill-A-Deer' Road with both boys in tow, and I saw three deer run into the road, my heart sank...no, not again. I slowed down, swerved a bit to the right and the deer ran past the Jeep in plenty of time. Until then I hadn't thought about the fact that not one animal had died by my wheels since that horrible October night. I would like to think that this was a sign that my death spree ended the day that damn Pulsar was towed to the junkyard...the curse has been lifted and I shall kill no more...

*Note to hunters/throat slitters: I understand this may be a hobby (a skill even) and I realize that it's terrible when animals are in pain...BUT please, do not skin your kill OR dramatically kill anything in front of me...EVER...some of us just can't handle it. Also, if it's possible, try not to drive down I-95 with a carcass bound to the top of your wood-grain Suburban...its head bobbing at each bump and looking at me... that really freaks me out too. Thank you for your consideration.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Culprit

Yes...THIS is the evil computer that tried (once again) to die last week. This weekend it was summarily dumped of ALL offending GATEWAY software... Reloaded with a freshly purchased XP and Works package...and for now, running fabulously!

Riceburner has kindly offered me a 17" Monitor...so, soon, ALL vestiges of the EVIL Gateway will be gone!

I offer this as testiment to my good mood in having smashed all the discs that came with the damn computer (that began having problems before the first payment was ever made)!

Those of you in the millblog circle may recognize my wallpaper... :)

Really Not Getting (and Missing) the Point

The speculation continues on 'what went wrong' for the Kerry campaign and the Democrats in general. The advice from one lefty to another has been amusing..."Isn't feeding the poor a value?!"..."Isn't world peace a moral virtue?"...

They just don't get it --and why would they...it's the blind leading the blind. If they KNEW what to do to reach 'middle America' they would have won! Some on the left have asked us not to speculate on their loss --or to offer up reasons why because it's 'annoying and condescending'... THAT'S why you lost. Who better to give you advice than the other side! If your party had half a clue they would hire Sean, Rush, Laura or Ann... Don't scoff, how do you think Clinton won two terms...he hired Dick Morris -a Republican! The inspiration won't come in the group think bubble...think outside the progressive box people!

Clinton's Democratic 'think tank' does not agree with all the on-line lefties about the reason for the defeat. Al Fromm heads up New Democrats Online and gives a detailed account of the DNC shortcomings. (Saying, "We got our clocks cleaned up and down the ballot" seems like they even think the President has a mandate...) To their credit, Fromm doesn't blame 'scare tactics, or 'Jesus freaks' or 'bigotry'...he says, "We didn't effectively make the case for firing the incumbents and replacing them with Democrats." Simple.
Some of their 'findings':
* "But while [Kerry] convinced Americans we would be smarter on national security, he could not overcome the party's reputation for being weaker, and that was a deal-breaker for many voters who didn't want to take any chances with their security.
* "Democrats often reinforced the idea that the GOP was the "reform" party by trying to scare voters about every bad or deceptive Republican idea for changing government programs, instead of offering our own alternatives for reform."
* "The third "trust gap" that hurt Democrats was another hardy perennial: values and culture. And here the evidence of a Democratic handicap is overwhelming."
Their conclusion:
"It's time for Democrats to clearly stand for values, principles, and ideas that will earn us the opportunity to become the majority party of the future."

We can monitor their play book & talking points here. We also need to 'lay off' on Hillary. I know that may seem strange coming from me -who predicted a Bush win because that's what the Clintonistas wanted (so Hillary would have the coronation in '08). BUT...let's not ruin her before that. Let's have them believe she has mainstream appeal-- so they don't run someone like Evan Bayh. Hold your arsenal people. If we monitor the talking points, amass the goods on Hillary and stay true to the ideals we believe...'08 will be ours too -and I don't know if they could ever recover after that...

*post title 'borrowed' from 'LeftyJones'....

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Interesting Stats...

For those of you out there slamming the 'red states' (and the freaky Evangelicals) for producing tons of homophobes and bigots that came out in scores for Bush because of the gay marriage amendments that were on ballots in 11 States...

Voting FOR bans on gay marriage:
45% of registered Democrats
60% of new Democratic registrants
60% of African Americans

*Looks like you'll start having to add your own base to your tongue lashings and lectures...

Broken Trends: (Not Really)

1) Undecideds always break for the challanger:
I watched a Presidential Election historian on C-Span (before the election) who said that he didn't understand why all the pundits and talking heads kept saying this, because (he said) that it had never been born out in history, nor in data. He said that (especially during a war) undecideds almost always go with the incumbent.

2) No incumbent can be re-elected when more than 49% of the people believe that the 'country is headed in the wrong direction':
Can I just say...damn I'm good. I said ages ago that Bush will win precisely because the country was headed in the wrong direction. Silly Zogby, I emailed and told you you were asking the question wrong. Yes, they thought it was going in the wrong direction -but not because of President Bush...because of the ACLU, NOW, NARAL, MOVEON, ACTUP, ANSWER and their ilk.

3) John Kerry is a great closer:
Well, he did seem to close the door to politics on John Edwards...

Saturday, November 13, 2004

My Penance

PA Primaries...2004...I stood inside the booth for way-too-long...wrestling with myself...vote strategically?...or vote my conscience?

Arlen Specter or Pat Toomey.

Arlen Specter is a RINO plain and simple (Republican in name only). He is more liberal than many of the Democrats in Congress. He is pro-choice and anti-tort reform. He was one of the very few Senators that voted FOR having our servicemen & women stand before an international criminal court! He is bound to the lawyers lobbies and even worse...to organized labor. The PA unions actually asked members to change party affiliation before the primaries so they could vote for Specter (that's a BAD sign to a conservative voter). But no one said the man is dumb, he votes conservatively whenever an election is on the horizon. He voted for the war, for the ban on partial birth abortion and for the unborn victims of violence act...because he was up for re-election.

I pushed the button for Specter...felt sick in my stomach...Toomey was a far better candidate...BUT I didn't think Toomey could beat Mr. Moveon.org Hoeffel in the General election...for the first time in my life I opted to vote against my conscience...and I am already regretting it (as are many in PA who wrestled with the same issues in the booth that day).

Specter is now set to become the Chairman of the Judicial Committee. EeeK! The man that would have our military judged before foreign courts! The man who recently 'threatened' the President to be careful about who he put up for nomination to the bench... and the man who would threaten the Patriot Act (and this I don't understand...what seems to be the only worthwhile thing to come out of the 9/11 Commission is that BOTH sides of the aisle reinforced the need and benefit of the Patriot Act).

This would be as much of a disaster as Sandra Day O'Connor has been on the Supreme Court. Now some on the left may say...good, Bush shouldn't be putting up ultra conservatives anyway...BUT can we take a look at Ruth Bader Ginsberg --ultra left-wing and former lead council for the ACLU (Pro-choice ACLU's Women's Rights Project) and nominated by Clinton...not exactly a 'middle of the road' appointment... (and Clinton didn't even get 50% of the popular vote).

There should be no litmus test in choosing judges...for federal courts or the Supreme Court. Abortion IS NOT a constitutional right and should not be determined by a group of un-elected judges. Just as the left argues against a 'gay marriage amendment'....let them not be hypocritical. These things are NOT constitutional rights and should be determined BY THE PEOPLE at the State level. The courts job is to adhere to the Constitution...not bend it to their whims.

In my act of penance for silencing my conscience and voting in the very liberal Specter...I ask my fellow conservatives to write your Senators and ask them to block this important appointment. It is not written in stone.

The following link will walk you through the process of contacting them. This nomination could shape the future of our courts...Specter is a 'lame duck' Senator...this is his last term and he has no reason to bend to constituent pressure. This is dangerous in today's political climate. Don't allow all good judges to be gored by the RINO (like Judge Robert Bork was)...help stop Specter today!


**************************************************
On a completely un-related and shallow note:
How friggin' hot is he?

Friday, November 12, 2004

GUILTY -1st DEGREE!!!

Scott Peterson found GUILTY and can be sentenced to the DEATH PENALTY...

Justice has (almost) been served!

WHY?!

If I have to see one more second of news coverage devoted to Arafat's funeral I'm going to puke. Would we be doing this for Bin Laden? There are those on the 'Muslim Street' that think he is a hero too, but that doesn't make him one... Arafat's legacy is one of blood (do we forget he killed 21 children?), this man is the father of homicide bombings (there are records up to a month ago of his orders to pay $800 per bombing...cheap bastard -Saddam paid $35,000), this man squandered an opportunity to actually make life better for the Palestinian people that he claims to love, this man has billions stashed in French and Swiss banks -while his people live in squalor...The proof is in the head-dress...which he wore in a shape that he saw as a representation of Palestine...after the destruction of the Jews. This was not a Statesman --this a murderer and a terrorist...


"Without the terrorism, liberals would hate Muslims." Ann Coulter

You're shocked right...Oh my God, she is implying that liberals are pro-terror!
That's the thing about Ann...she throws it right out there and people react to the shock of hearing things so bluntly...but let's think about what she meant. The nuance lefties, you guys love that.
What have we been hearing in the almost-two-weeks since the election?
This country is going to hell in a handbasket because of fundamentalists...kooks that want to overturn Roe V. Wade...freaks that think that gay marriage is wrong...yahoos that think that religion has a place in government...These people are ruining all the strides we've made...they are too backwards to grasp 'progressive ideals' and their ignorance will be the downfall of this country...in deed and in the eyes of the world.
Is that accurate? This is what I've been hearing.
BUT...then the terrorists killing Americans are 'insurgents' and 'freedom fighters' and 'resistance'...

Matt Laurer: "Let me talk about this idea that a rag-tag group, not well-fed, not well-clothed, completely under-equipped as compared to this great British army and the Hessian could accomplish this. And let me ask you to think about what is going on in Iraq today. Where the insurgents not well equipped, smaller in numbers, the greatest army in the world is their opposition. What's, what's the lesson?"
Lynn Cheney: "Well, the difference of course is who's fighting on the side of freedom. Ideas motivate people. And the idea of freedom is such a mighty one. There's a very good book by a man named David Hackett Fischer has written a book called Washington's Crossing. And I spent a good deal of time talking to him. He talks about how this is an entirely new thing. These are people who are fighting not because they had to, they could walk off. At one point Washington had to convince many of them to stay."
Lauer: "I think he promised them more pay, actually."
Cheney: "He did. But he also told them they were fighting for a mighty idea. And I think the same has been true. The same advantage has been at the back of Americans forever. We have a mighty cause in which we're fighting."
Lauer: "I'm just saying, but the insurgents believe they're fighting for a cause as well. They don't believe any less than we believe. And yet—"
Cheney: "Well, but Matt, you're being awfully relativistic here. I mean, the insurgents are killing Iraqis by the hundreds, Iraqis by the thousands. It's not as though this is a matter between just 'on the one hand on the other hand.' We are on the side of freedom. We are on the side that I think that idea is so powerful and does give us wind at our back."

Chris Matthews did the same thing when he asked Jimmy Carter if the 'Iraqi insurgents' were like the historical U.S. 'Minute Men'... "Do you see any parallels between the, the fighting that we did on our side and the fighting that is going on in Iraq today?"

So, the liberal media will elevate terrorists to the likes of George Washington. They will defend Arafat and condemn Sharon, they will blame 9/11 on the US Israel/Palestinian policy, they will empathize with Chechen 'rebels', they will continue to use the term 'suicide bomber'...all in the same breathe with the condemnation of 'Christian fundametalism' and it's threat to this country.

OK...Muslims HATE homosexuality, you would be stoned for having an abortion, religion is a part of all facets of life...
So Evangelicals are similar to radical Muslims MINUS the terrorism --and they hate all that we stand for...
...so why defend the radical Islamists...the liberal media or left wing bloggers would never defend us...They would dance in the streets if Jerry Falwell died...and he never killed anyone -YET Katie Couric wears black for Arafat. Of course, there are still old-skool Democrats who will call terror 'terror' ...like Joe Lieberman. It's ashame your party dismissed the 'Joe-mentum'.

"If it weren't for the terrorism, liberals would hate Muslims." Ann Coulter
Am I missing something?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Carnival of Recipes #13

BACON-WRAP FETA CHICKEN

Go to the Carnival at The Common Virtue.



Ingredients:
Boneless breast of chicken (makes 6)
Spinach (10 oz thawed.)
Feta Cheese (8 oz- crumbled)
Mayonnaise (1/2 cup)
Garlic (to taste)
Flour (1/4 cup)
Paprika (1/2 tsp.)
Bacon (12 strips)
*baking rack*

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

Wash chicken and cut a pocket in one side of each breast (salt and pepper)
Drain all liquid from spinach
Combine Feta, thawed (not cooked) spinach, mayonnaise and garlic.
Lightly coat breasts with flour/paprika mixture
Mix well and use mixture to stuff the chicken pockets
Wrap 2 or 3 pieces of bacon around each stuffed breast.
Place finished chicken on a baking rack in baking dish (if you don’t have one you can use the one that came in your toaster oven).
Bake uncovered for one hour (check @ 45 minutes if breasts are small)

Enjoy!

If you want to be a part of this week’s ‘Carnival of Recipes’. Please post a recipe on your site (on Thursday) then send the direct link to recipe.carnival@gmail.com.

THANK YOU G-MAN!!!

Can I just say that I am officially in love with G-man who runs The Pickle... He told me what to do with the old gray mare and I am up and running and back ON LINE!!!!!

Thank You G-Man...You saved my sad internet-addicted life!

Veterans Day

This morning as I was driving back from dropping Justice off at school, I couldn't help but think about the fact that Yasser Arafat will have a grand funeral, he will lie in state, he will inspire wailing in the streets...and he was a terrorist. Yet, in America today approximately 1,400 WWII vets will die and will be quietly grieved by a few or maybe none...and they were heroes.

Freedom Isn't Free -author unknown

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stood out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil
How many mothers’ tears.
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom isn’t free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still,
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant “Amen,”
When a flag had draped a coffin,
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington,
No, freedom isn’t free.

Enjoy Your Freedom
and God Bless Our Troops.

No politics today, no divisiveness...Just a very heartfelt thank you to all the men and women that have said goodbye to family and friends to fight on our behalf. ...and to the family and friends of those who never returned...

A special thanks to all the vets that visit this site!
92Alpha, 91Ghost, Free0352, CigaretteSmokingManFromtheX-Files, G-Man, ThisWe'llDefend, Mr. Nimbus, The Oracle, Paul (and my Pop & ~jen~'s hubsand S !)
Also, Redleg is back in Afghanistan & Keystone Soldier's son recently left for Iraq...keep them in your prayers... & Shon, I hope your NOT on your way back to Afghanistan, and CBFTW --I hope your on your way home!

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
--Patrick Henry March 23,1775

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Technical Difficulties...again and again and again...

Our computer seems to have chosen November 10, 2004 to die. We had the whole thing rebuilt less then a year ago...so I am at a loss. Currently I am at my Mom's on her computer...typing up some invoices for The Man's business and getting my daily fix (here).
We have had trouble with the computer since the day after its purchase...from Gateway...note to self: you should have listened to computer-geek-friend who said 'Gateways suck, don't buy it'...

Operator: This is Gateway, how can I help you today?
The Man: Yeah, unfortunately I have a Gateway and I am having some trouble with it...
Operator: What seems to be the problem Sir?
The Man: I'd like to throw it out of the F***ing window.

The scenario: Turn on computer -loading -user screen appears -Click on ALa's user name -begins to load-entire machine turns off. Message displayed before implosion: userinit.exe -Application error. Application failed to initiate properly (0xc0000142). G-Man help!

I tried 'system restore' twice to no avail... To scream or to cry?

I had a great post planned about my visit with my Grandfather yesterday --
He is a WWII vet who was in the pacific for three years on the USS Sigourney. He just had his yearly reunion (which they combined a while back with the Korean War guys from the same ship) and there are only nine of them left. NINE! He is a bit younger because he lied about his age to enlist...the Navy was better than the orphanage in those days...
He has great stories...
Shipmates who siphoned alcohol from the torpedoes that would be taken to the engineering room and distilled --and drank. Worse, drinking 'Vitalis' (hair stuff? -thanks Oracle...I had no idea) when all else failed.
Poppy seeds in the bread...that weren't poppy seeds at all.
The long-awaited, but cancelled, R & R to Sidney --so an officer could get his last stripe.
Hours granted on 'conquered' islands --that boasted nothing but shot up trees.

I am grateful that my boys have had the opportunity to meet both of my Grandparents on my Mother's side...

Hopefully I can resolve my technical difficulties and resume life as usual...
Please don't take it personally if it is taking me longer to respond to emails!
Calgon!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Stereotype Shattered...again and again and again...

Apparently my previous list of why Bush supporters don't fit into the DNC stereotype wasn't good enough because I am a die-hard partisan.
The model pictured above is not. She thinks my obsession with politics is, well...obsessive.
She:
Does not attend church.
Lives 'in sin' with her man...LOL!
Has been a vegetarian for almost 10 years.
Hates guns and hunting.
Doesn't care about gay marriage.
Is VERY pro-life.
Lives in Philly.
and is Part of the 'single working women' that supposedly 'all' voted for Kerry

...and was another Bush voter...

Blogger ate my real post (liberal conspiracy?)… so I offer this up as more proof to the left that Bush voters are not religious zealots that were ‘scared’ into voting for him…but individual thinking people with their own issues that were not handed to them in a 60 second TV spot...

Please read the thinly veiled wish in the NYT for the assassination of the President...and the horror over at the Democtratic Underground where they are contemplating the question: 'What was more depressing...the election or 9/11'...
I think a bit of tough love is in order...
Denial, Anger, Bereavement, Depression, Acceptance...
What phase are they in and how much longer will it be?...experts say 6 months grieving for each year of a relationship...so what is the allowed grieving time for one day?
Empathy fades fast when you read stuff like this...

Blogger...I HATE you...

I just lost an entire post...Can I just express my dislike for Blogger at this moment... *lots of bad words*

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Scapegoat SATIRE*...

The Democrats seem to have found their scapegoat...San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. They spent the weekend pontificating on the various woes of him being responsible for bringing gay marriage into the 'public eye'... by allowing scores of same-sex marriages in San Fran. They speculate that without this 'wedge issue' Kerry may have won. They may be right --but what they are forgetting is that there was no discernible difference between Bush & Kerry's stance on gay marriage...both are against it. Both are open to civil unions.
(A story released this week disclosed that Slick Willy told Kerry to come out stronger against gay marriage and to embrace the ballot amendments in the eleven states that were debating them. Another story this weeks describes a campaign Kerry meltdown-- after his pre-surgery chat with Clinton became public knowledge. He did not want people to think he was looking to Mr. Lewinski for help...The odds are overwhelming that Clinton leaked it...)
Kerry avoided the gay marriage issue. He was not for it, but he didn't want to be against it...

So anyway, back to Gavin... When all the San Fran shenanigans began to unfold I said to The Man, "This is a free campaign commercial for Bush! Let the weddings commence!"...
Not because I am a homophobe or because I think the rest of the US is either...but because I am a typical shallow American. Let me explain...we are a country that enjoys aesthetically pleasing sights. Have you ever watched a British Soap Opera? All normal people...all people you could see in your local mall. If I wanted to see that I would just go to the mall. I want to see beauty --and so do most Americans...we are programmed to expect it. Rosie O'Donell making out with her new 'wife' is not pretty...it's downright disturbing. Not because they are both women...disturbing in the same way that watching Riki Lake make out with Jack Black would be disturbing. Ewww.

Each time the camera panned the couples waiting to partake in marital bliss, the country was reminded that lesbians don't usually look like this:

Picture of 'lipstick lesbians' was here...

We watched all the couples emerging...clutching their new wedding licenses and we saw the harsh reality over and over...They usually look like this:

Picture of 'man-lesbians' was here...

and like this:

Picture of 'man like lesbians' here too... (Pics removed to help out the dial-up folks)

The reality was not quite the fantasy we have all been programmed to expect... This was NOT 'Real Sex' on HBO, or Playboy, or Maxim... This was reality (and we don't even like our 'reality shows' real). Watching all those large gym-teacherish women groping each other on national television was a stark reminder to Americans that all lesbians don't look like Pamela Anderson or Carmen Electra...but many look more like 'Pat' from Saturday Night Live. (on the flip side...many gay men are quite attractive... I will have to ponder more on the discrepancy...) A very good friend of mine, J, is a lesbian and she is quite beautiful (a healthy-looking Maria Shriver)...and even she gets distressed about her prospects of finding a suitable mate...)

So... was it a gay thing or an ugly thing that hurt John Kerry? Is the country really opposed to gay marriage or are they just opposed to the disillusion of their fantasies? Remember, this is the country that made Paris Hilton Famous... Many conservatives I know are pro-civil union. If Mayor Newsom would have packed the lines with lipstick-lesbians, would the outcome have been different...? The Democrats may want to rethink why they are mad at the Mayor --because he let gays marry...or because he let unattractive gays marry while the National press had cameras running...

*i know the libs are a bit raw these days...so i feel i must re-direct your attention to the word 'satire' in the title...

Sunday, November 07, 2004

You're Wrong!...again...

So, the word in the press (Slate, NYT, etc), and the Blogosphere, is...the reason Kerry lost is because the people that voted for him fit a certain stereotype that Dems can't (or don't want) to reach out to. They are looking into how to 'speak' to this person.

This is why that theory is SO wrong: (please add the obligatory-"not that there's anything wrong with that" after each line...thank you)

I am not a member of any church

I have not attended church services in almost 8 years

I have a college degree and am in the process of getting my Master's degree

I have a Passport...that has been used

I have lived in another country

I believe that being gay is not always a choice

I live in a Metropolitan area of a 'Blue State'

I do not, nor have I ever, lived in a portable home

I support civil unions

I have never watched Nascar

I don't listen to Country music

I have tattoos

I have peircings

I curse & smoke

I read...a lot

I do not own a single farm animal

I do not own a gun

I have never, and will never go hunting

I am not rich

I do not own stocks, bonds or money markets

I think any SUV bigger than a Jeep is ridiculous

I don't own a banjo...or a harmonica

I give to numerous charities faithfully

I do not live in the South or the Midwest

I prefer organic foods

I never litter

I don't say 'pop', 'sub' or 'sucker'

I don't particularly like eating meat

I have never skinned a rabbit

I recycle

I do not have any relatives that married each other

I do not own overalls

I have never spoken in tongues, nor have I charmed a snake...

...and I voted for George W. Bush.

...and I am quite sure each and every 'Bush voter' has a list of things that wouldn't fit into your God, gays and guns file. Do you all fit in THIS typical liberal file?

...Back to the drawing board Mr. McAuliffe................................

(well, I have charmed many snakes, but not of the reptilian persuasion) ....

Kat also addressed this issue in her latest post...An Open Letter to the Democrats...her pre-9/11 party.

(Completely off-topic, I had NO idea that Anderson Cooper (CNN) was Gloria Vanderbilt's son!)

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Name Your Dream Team

There has been a lot of W2 advise bandied about today, on news shows, by the 'weekend talking heads'. One of the themes that we continue to hear is that the President needs to 'reach across the isle'. (Michael Savage agreed...to SLAP the other side). I agree with both sides on this issue (I must have Kerryitis).
On one hand I want to gloat, to stick my tongue out (it's pierced ya know) at all the naysayers and haters, to put the 'L' up to anyone that said Kerry was a guaranteed win. BigandMean is right...for the past four years we 'righties' have had to hear lots of crap...the popular vote...stole Florida...he betrayed this country...targeting civilians...time to moveon...blah blah blah. So why shouldn't we feel vindicated? It wasn't a popular vote win of 5K, but almost 4Million...and that's a sign that the people have spoken. That means he brought people out that hadn't voted before, that he got votes from Gore voters, that he got 44% of the 18--24 MTV Vote-or-Die crowd that was supposedly Kerry's for the taking and it means the independents broke for him and not the challenger. So I get it...
BUT, I also really want all this crap to end, and I realize that 48% of Americans voted against him. I want things to get done. I don't want another four years of fantasy voter-fraud conspiracies. There was no conspiracy...many Bush voters were telling friends they were voting Kerry...telling pollsters the same thing...it just wasn't PC in metropolitan areas to admit you were pulling the lever for Bush. He got a higher Jewish vote, a higher Catholic vote, a higher Black vote and a higher gay vote than he did in 2000. Deal. (It's what GayPatriot recognized as the Frank Rizzo Factor). Dead on!
So here's the deal...some want to gloat, some to sulk and scheme and some actually want to come together and deal with the stuff that is on our collective plate. ...
Back to the 'talking heads'...their suggestion was that Bush reach out and put some Dems on the Administration (let's pretend he didn't already learn his lesson with Norman Manetta). Today's question is to name the Administration you would love to see... I haven't thought of mine yet, but I will ponder how magnanimous I would be willing to be today...
To the Republicans...who seriously would you like to see & is there room for some moderate Democrats in the cabinet?
To the Democrats...who are realistic Democratic candidates AND would it help to ease some of your distrust of this President if he included these people...?


P.S. Yes, I finally gave in to technology and am now using Haloscan comments. Don't Worry!...All previous comments can be found by clicking 'archives' before the 'defenses presented'...
Have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The ‘Purple Peace’ Saga that Won’t End…

OK…you all read about the ‘Wear Purple for Peace Day’ at Bustas’ school. Well, I decided that since a 5 year old was involved that I wouldn’t make a big stink –and just a personal ‘silent protest’ by keeping him home from school that day. I thought that would be the end of the story. Wrong. Today he came home with a Kid’s Creating Peace Pledge that is supposed to be signed and returned. It was authored by a woman named Dr. Cheryl Landy..now keep in mind that this is for grades K-6. I believe that Dr. Phil’s son has a program about ‘bullying’ that would be much more appropriate and germane to the experiences of this age range. Now I am forced to confront the situation head-on. I have never been good at keeping my mouth shut or at social conformity…I try, I really do.

…When you are presenting something that a child doesn’t have the capability to understand, it is not teaching …its indoctrination.

This is the letter I intend to send in his folder tomorrow:

Dear Mrs. B,
I am returning this pledge unsigned on Bustas's behalf.
I do not disagree with the notion of a peace pledge. However, I feel
this pledge is not age-appropriate and furthers a political and
sociological agenda that dishonors our military and therefore my family.
We espouse the notion that everyone should be treated fairly and equally
and champion the ideals of a non-violent world, however, this material
does not address the very real necessity for security in a world such as
ours. These are selfless positions of sacrifice that are undertaken by the
members of our military and domestic law enforcement with the ultimate
goal of peace in our midst.
Our country is currently at war and it is my belief that we need to stand
firmly behind our troops.
I have read the author of this pledge's work and while I appreciate the
notions that you are trying to further in school children, I disagree with
the fundamental ideological tenets of the author's position. This is not
kindergarten-level material and should not presented as such.
I am available to discuss this further at your convenience.
As Always, 
ALa71
 Any thoughts?  Am I branding my child as the ‘kid with the kooky mom’?  
Will he be ‘punished’ for my outspokenness? Should I send the letter to
his teacher or just make an appointment with the principle –or both. Or
should I just not send the pledge and not say anything? …help!

It Was a Strong Message...


You can see from the map above -courtesy of USA Today- that there are no red states and blue states anymore...there are progressive pockets in an America that wants to return to some semblance of traditional values. This election was a strong message to the George Soros', the Eli Parisers' and most important to Hollywood. George Clooney's dad even lost his bid for Senate seat...which says a lot because if Georgey knocked on my door I might promise to vote for Satan himself...
I believe the American people were saying 'stop speaking for us...you have no idea what 'real' life is about'. Do most Americans want a Jerry Falwell-run radical right? -No, I think most Americans are Centrists or just to the right of that...BUT I think they would rather the right than the too-progressive left...judging by the map.

But the Democratic operatives just don't get it. They were all over TV this morning saying how they have to reassess strategy...and find a candidate they can run that appeals to people who want 'moral values'...someone who can win some red states. Here's a tip: No one with 'true faith' or 'moral values' would vote against banning partial birth abortion. It's not a strategy -its fact. Barrack Obama -their new 'rising star' voted against banning LIVE-birth abortion...this is leaving a baby (that was meant to die in a late-term abortion, but ooops was born alive) in a KFC bucket in a utility closet until it dies. The life isn't 'viable'...then again, I don't think that my boys would have faired to well in those circumstances either. Mr. Obama...good luck with your Presidential ambitions, as you claim to be a Christian, while you voted against banning this act of barbarism. It was your man, Kerry, who kept saying that a man with words and no deeds is dead...but he failed to follow his own mantra. He told us that he believed that life began at conception -yet he wouldn't legislate that way. So, I believe it's a life but that someone should still have the legal authority to end it?...but wait...Dr. Kavorcian is in jail, isn't he?

This isn't indicative of a country over-run with snake charmers and people who speak in tongues. This means we don’t want to be Europe…that’s why we fought and died to be America. This means that many of us are 'traditional'...we aren't ready for our Kindergarteners to be assigned 'Heather has two Mommies'-that doesn't mean we hate gays...it just means that it's our responsibility to teach our kids about it in our time...not the schools or the governments. We can't understand screaming "My mom didn't have a choice!" in a voice dripping with hate, or saying you work for the good of children when you are a major abortion advocate -that doesn't mean we would shoot an abortion doctor or blow up a clinic. We can't fathom the problem with the Ten Commandments sitting in a public place or saying 'Under God' in the pledge -this doesn't mean we want mandatory tent revivals on every corner. We don't get 'pacifism & appeasement' --this doesn't mean we don't long for peace...we differ on how it is achieved and that difference is born out in history. We are not radicals...we are realists.

Many Democrats in this country are social conservatives --and are only Democrats because of Union affiliations or race-not progressive ideals. The more progressive the party becomes -the more of these one-issue-oriented voters you will lose. Maybe this will be the beginning of a Centrist Party...

Just some random thoughts after listening to the seeming shock and utter confusion of the Washington elite today... (and reading the self-induced hysteria on the left side of the blogosphere...)

Carnival of Recipes #12

Real & Easy Pot Pie

Ingredients:

Boneless breast of chicken (approx. 2 large breasts…Yeah, well there was no other way to say it!)

Pilsbury pie crusts (1 pkg.=2 crusts)

Broccoli (fresh or frozen)

Carrots (fresh or frozen)

Horseradish (2-3 tablespoons –depending on strength-may sound strange, but this is the key ingredient!)

Cream of Mushroom soup (1 can)

Light cream (enough to fill soup can)

Pie dish

1 egg yolk

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Boil chicken for approx. 15 minutes

Cut cooked chicken into cubes

Cut & steam carrots and broccoli (or not if you like the veggies a bit crunchy)

Combine Cream of Mushroom soup, 1 can of light cream, horseradish and heat in saucepan. Add chicken and vegetables. Mix well.

Spread (1) crust in the bottom of pie dish (un-greased). Pour mixture into crust. Use second crust to cover mixture and pinch together top and bottom crust.

Mix (1) egg yolk and (2) teaspoons of water and paint the top of pie crust with yolk mixture. Use a knife to make slices in the top of crust.

Cover pot-pie with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 30 more minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Enjoy!


All recipes will be posted Friday, 11/5/04, at The Glittering Eye.


If you want to participate : Post & send a recipe link from your blog on Thursdays (to be posted Fridays) to:
recipe.carnival@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

It's Over...

Last night, before any results were in but the misleading exit polls, I started to write a 'victory' post and a 'concession' post...but then I realized they should be one in the same. That should be the American way...one in the same.

It's over. Thank God. It's over and it's time to put the blame-shifting, the hate, the 527s and the bickering to rest. It's over and it's time for the Democrats, Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals to come together on as many issues possible. Our enemy has never been John Kerry and nor has it been George Bush...but it is, and has been for the last 15 or so years, Al Qaeda and fanatics who believe and practice fundamentalist Islam.

It's over. It's over and it's time to stop arguing whether we should be in Iraq. Instead lets unify behind our troops and win in Iraq. Let's unite and deal with Iran and north Korea. Let's unite and find Saddam's Weapons of mass destruction in Syria. Let's unite to continue to rebuild our economy that Bin Laden thought would collapse after 9/11 but is steadily on the mend. Let's unite to find a way to make sure all Americans have health care through medical liability reform. Let's unite to keep jobs from going overseas by making our allies adhere to trade laws. Let's unite to heal the wounds that a pro-longed political season has inevitable inflicted.

It's over --so let's begin to faze out all the terrible things that have been said about both candidates and come together to defeat a common enemy. Let us humbly accept the will of the people regardless of the result...and be thankful we have the opportunity to be heard even when we don't prevail.

It's over and let us hope that a concession comes from the side that loses...that the election doesn't needlessly draw out in frivolous lawsuits and partisan contention. We are the greatest country in the world...with the most opportunity, the best military, the most legal dissent, the most diversity...and hopefully -soon -the strongest unity...

1:22am

DRUDGE SAYS "BUSH WINS"

OMG!~

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

11:31pm

OK...shower didn't help...except my hair smells terrific...
The Man and I are opening a bottle of Los Vascos at 11:30 at night...so bad...and I don't even drink--No, I don't have a problem...I just don't like it --except tonight...
It looks like Bush will take Florida...BUT I'm not getting over confident.
He's ahead in OH too, but too many presincts haven't reported...
No red states have gone blue or vice versa...
Yuck...wine sucks...yes tesco, even if it's from Chili...(he won't drink Left-Coast or French wine-LOL)
Obviously I'm not going to be taking Justice to 'Purple Peace Day' tomorrow if the wine is opened this late...
More later...

10:30pm

It's driving me crazy that they're not calling any of the key states...is everyone as tense as I am? My pen cap is a mangled piece of plastic...good thing I'm not a nail biter!
Maybe I'll go take a hot shower...Unfortunately, I must reveal that I have a portable TV in there too--I can't escape!
If everything holds the way it is now I will be a happy girl...why are the damn precincts taking so long to get their data in? aghhhh!
Cup of hot apple cider was nice...my poor pen...
I'm tired but I'll never sleep...
I wonder how many soldiers are watching the returns in Iraq and Afghanistan...it's probably early morning there...Wonder what channel they are watching...
Ok...I'm babbling, so I'm going for now.

Post-Election Pledge: 7:55pm

I found this over at Gay Patriot -The Musings of a Gay Conservative. A site recently brought to my attention by Justrose.
I will attempt to uphold this pledge regardless of the results...

The Post-Election Peace Pledge

As inspired by Jeff Jarvis, and modified by Joe at Dartmouth.

After the election results are in, I promise to:
: Support the President, even if I didn't vote for him.
: Criticize the President, even if I did vote for him.
: Uphold standards of civilized discourse in blogs and in media while pushing both to be better.
: Unite as a nation, putting country over party, even as we work together to make America better.

I hereby pledge the above, with the following qualifier:

If there is enough evidence of Democrat voter fraud, I shall strike the first statement if I, in conjunction with said evidence of fraud, believe that John Kerry is running the country poorly.

If there is voter fraud but I like what Kerry is doing, I won't have any compunction about supporting him. That, however, is unlikely.

ALa71 addition:
I also add that I will not gloat should GWB win (at least in public) and I will try not to sulk too much if John Kerry wins.