Friday, September 30, 2005

GUEST POST: by Free0352

Just about every regular reader of this site knows I’m part of the Marine Corps, serving 5 years of active duty continuing as a reservist. Some of you know that my day job is at a Deputy Sheriff’s Department in an average sized town in an average county in Michigan.

When I was hired by the Sheriff’s Department in late 2003, I was lucky enough to be assigned to Circuit Court. New deputies generally aren’t initially assigned to patrol. They have to prove themselves either as Court Officers (what I do) or as Corrections Officers in the jail, and court sure beats the jail.

My job is to act as the enforcement arm of the Family Court to which I am assigned. I often handle common things like divorces and child support enforcement by hauling dead beat dads who don’t pay support or other money due in front of my assigned judge to face the music. Most of the time however, I spend on child abuse and neglect litigation. That means I see half the child abuse cases in my county which go through Child Protective Services. That includes pedophiles that molest children whose rights to their own children are being formally terminated, and mother’s (or fathers) being investigated for failure to protect their children.

Essentially my judge decides weather or not to terminate a parent’s parental rights or restrict their access to their children in any way. This gives me direct familiarity with half of all Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) cases with a minor in my county, as regular law enforcement and Protective Services refer all CSC cases to our court as well as initially investigate all parents of abused children for failure to protect. What this means is, I interview, listen to testimony from, and arrest what from a law enforcement point of view is an incredible number of pedophiles. Far more than the average officer. To give you an example, myself and the other family court officer are consistently the top arresting officers in our department for CSC cases. Of all the arrests I made last year, 63% of them were CSC cases involving children.

I hear testimony in court from pedophiles or experts on them and read expert reports about pedophile related cases about half of every day, five days a week. Thousands and thousands of cases a year. I think all this experience makes me sort of a lay expert on the subject. As I write this in fact, I’m ignoring the testimony of a pedophile because I’m sick of hearing what these scum bags have to say.

In fact, I’m sick of them entirely. Even more so than the average citizen, who doesn’t have to deal with them day in and day out.

We as a society unfortunately will never get rid of these people, but I have often thought if more parents knew what I know, maybe we’d see less of these cases. So here is nearly three years of my observations of sex offenders. Please, all of you with kids take it to heart.

We’ve all heard that rape is about power; it’s not about sex. With child molesters, it’s different. It is about sex.

What’s sick is that often we pick up that these people genuinely love kids. It may sound perverted to say this, but they genuinely love kids. A lot of people get upset by that notion. “How can somebody love a kid and do that?” they ask.

You can’t deny that. And that’s why when you see the person who operates the day-care center or the beloved Pop Warner football coach accused of CSC with a minor, there’s almost always an out pouring of sympathy for the defendant. Letters to the editor of the local paper in support, nasty letters to the prosecutor and the police about how unjust we are. People see someone who genuinely appears to love children and they say “Someone like this who really likes kids couldn’t possibly do this.” People get confused by that. But let me tell you, Pedophiles genuinely love kids… and they have a sexual desire for kids. Take the Michael Jackson case in California as a great example of this phenomenon, public support for a molester because of the molester’s love for children. Some people are fooled by that love. Don’t be.

Whenever I hear somebody say, “Wow, did you hear about that schoolteacher, that priest, that camp counselor, who abused the kid?” it doesn’t surprise me. It doesn’t surprise me a bit. I’d expect it.

Why? These people learn at an early age, usually at the onset of puberty, that they like children. Everybody else is getting excited by their peers, but they get excited by little boys or girls.

If they know then, they have a career choice to make. Now you could be a lumberjack or a schoolteacher. They put themselves in a position where they’ll have contact with kids. If they’re smart, they’ll become a teacher, a priest, a youth counselor. If they’re not smart, they might become the school janitor, or the groundskeeper at camp. Both will try to marry dependant women who already have children of ideal age for them to molest.

So it never surprises me when a teacher, a priest, or the Boy Scout leader is arrested and charged with abusing a child. They knew about it, and they picked the profession deliberately.

The vast majority, the utter vast majority of people we arrest are people who have gained legal access to the child through vocational, volunteer, or family contact. That’s the problem. People think if it’s a teacher in school, the piano or karate instructor, or the youth minister, he’s okay. I’ve arrested a Boy Scout leader for molesting kids in his Scout troop.

My department has arrested college professors, priests (NOT JUST CATHOLICS!) Boy Scout leaders, child counselors, social workers (That counseled sexually abused children no less!) day-care workers, teachers, and family members, and most often-- step-fathers. I don’t want to imply that all people in child related fields are pedophiles, but some of these people aren’t working with kids out of the goodness of their hearts.

This is something we in Law Enforcement go insane trying to tell parents and kids. When I was a kid all you heard about was the “Dangerous Stranger,” the outrageous, scary-looking guy that would kidnap you from K-Mart. Mr. Dangerous Stranger is out there. There are individuals who pick up children, torture them, and murder them, they do exist. They are also less than one percent of all CSC cases.

Let me tell you, sex offenders are very normal looking. I arrested a [large car company] VIP for child porn once. Most have “normal” families, children, and jobs. It’s usually not the weird looking dude in the trench coat outside the school yard with a hand in his pants. It’s usually is the basketball coach at the Y. I tell my daughter to look out for the one you know.

Pedophiles take their time in the seduction process of not only the child, but the child’s parents. Half of what gets them off is tricking mom into giving him access. To them it’s just like a man dating a woman. They’re not going to go home that first night and jump into bed. He’s gonna kind of feel the kid out and gain his trust before he makes a move on him. That’s the worst part for me to see. When a kid has trusted someone and he gets abused, now he doesn’t trust anybody. That’s so sad to see, a little kid’s innocence violated like that. That’s one of the things I struggle with in my job actually. Some days I just feel like quitting so I don’t have to see it anymore. I almost ran off to Black Water after a while. The disgust comes in waves. Some months and some cases are just worse than others. It’s horrible. It really is like looking into the face of pure evil.

But anyway, a pedophile will make a few moves on the kid, and if he’s rejected he’ll back off for a couple of months. Usually he has time to wait, as it seems they ever have just one kid going at a time.

That’s something Law Enforcement has been slow to catch on to. They NEVER abuse just one kid. I always keep investigating, because often I come up with an average of three of four kids he’s molesting at that moment and many more in the pedophile’s past. I’ve head of child sex offenders who’ve molested hundreds of kids. I’ve heard of these guys caught with computer listings of kids; they computerize the kids and rate them with different things the kids can do.

Pedophiles target certain types of kids. They place themselves in a position, they might use work, or they might be a step-father, friend of the family, or relative, to target the type of kid they’re after. They separate that kid like a wolf separates sheep, to weaken the target. They go after the kid with “problems.”

I heard a story once out of Colorado where a teacher went so far as to pass out a questionnaire about home life to figure out which kids were weak. Then he’d separate that kid and do a little one-on-one counseling with him to set up the abuse.

Remember these people are not raping these children in the classical sense of the word rape. They are trying to con these children, guilt these children, trick these children into performing varying levels of sexual activity with them (Those that abuse infants aside.) To do this, it is critical that the pedophile gain the trust of the child before actually perpetrating the crime.

I remember a Baptist minister I arrested after the mother’s boy friend was initially suspected and cleared, who would ask the other kids – “Oh, so and so is having trouble at home right? Didn’t his mom and dad break up? How’s he taking it?” They’re like wolves looking for sick antelope. They know these kids are looking for love and support, and they capitalize on that need. Often we have victims attempting to cover for the molester, because they genuinely love the offender and don’t want the relationship severed. They are so desperate for love and affection, they are willing to trade the pain of abuse for the affection they feel they receive. It’s enough to make you want to vomit.

In my experience, step-fathers and live-in boy friends are the most common CSC offenders. They prey on down and out young mothers with financial woes. They wine and dine the mom to start a co-habitation to gain access to her children. More often this is a case where it’s very difficult to get information out of the victim, because the suspect acts as a father figure. Often the only one the victim has ever had.

Sometimes the mother knows about the abuse and tolerates it or doesn’t consider it a serious problem, because the abuser is her cash cow. Her meal ticket.

More often the mother is simply oblivious, to scared to act on her suspicions because she doesn’t want to believe her knight in shining armor is a child molester. You wouldn’t believe how much reality some of these mother’s ignore. I’ve seen mothers genuinely unaware of OBVIOUS abuse. Often they just can’t come to terms with the idea that they exposed their kids to a pedophile, and stick their heads in the sand and hope it goes away.

That’s the biggest frustration in investigating these cases. What do you do with the kid once they’ve told you what happened? You get a kid that tells you “My step-dad abused me,” and there is credible evidence to support the claim. Mom’s head was so obviously in the sand you’ve no choice to charge her with failure to protect and then what is the officer left with? Foster care or hopefully placement with a suitable relative.

If a kid tells, his family life is basically over. He can never be with the abuser (Who he/she often loves.), and they’ve lost all they have left, the mother. For the victim it’s always a no-win situation. What’s sick is kids always feel they did something wrong. They blame themselves for the breakdown of the family. And the damn pedophiles set this up before we get them, the bastards.

Worse yet is Pedophilia is a cycle. Most experts will tell you that pedophiles were sexually abused when they were children. Many that I’ve arrested and I’ve often heard this from more experienced deputies and cops, is that a pedophile will get fixated on children of a certain age. Often the age they were abused.

So a pedophile will start grooming his intended victim before he/she reaches that age. After the child gets to old for the molester, he often wants nothing more to do with the victim. Also common, is that pedophile passing off the child to another pedophile.

These assholes are experts at seduction. Both adults and kids. They love to trick the parents almost as much as the kids.

They work at seduction, almost like a guy at a singles bar develops his technique. He’ll try something, and if it works it goes into his little bag of tricks. If it fails, he’ll never try it again.

The real slick ones will pick a kid that’s about thirteen with no sexual experience and has nothing to base his/her judgment on. They’ll ply the kid with marijuana and beer, and maybe some porn to sexually arouse the child. And then they strike while the kids intoxicated and horny. These kids are young and have no experience with what they should or shouldn’t be doing. The drugs and booze are another plus for the pedophile. It can taint the credibility of the kid, and they love that.

They love their porn collections. That’s another interesting thing about them. Their collections are their whole life. I’ve seen child pornographers hit who’ve never been hit before, and we end up spending weeks printing the pictures off the computer for evidence. Over 10,000 pictures is very common. Some times you need a truck to carry out all the Polaroid’s or digital prints.

Sometimes they’ll keep souvenirs from kids. They love to keep diaries and scrap books of what they’ve done. Often they’ll be a million legitimate pictures of kids around the house. Kids everywhere on the walls… often kids the pedophile has victimized.

It’s amazing how they communicate with each other. This is something we’re catching on to, they seldom operate alone. By looking at each other… they know. I think they read each other by watching how another one reads other people. If you’re standing on the same corner as some other guy, and ever time a kid comes by, his eyes start following a kid, every time a woman or man comes by, nothing… They can detect that spark in the other pervert’s eye.

I’ve gotten so I can pick up on them. I saw a guy with his daughter walk into court today. He was dressed business casual and the daughter had on a nice dress. I read the kid. She was holding on to a teddy bear… and had a “look” that you have to see every day for three years to recognize. I followed the guy to his traffic hearing and got his name off the docket sheet and ran his record. Guilty of CSC 3rd degree. I arrested him on the spot, he isn’t supposed to be with children.

All these guys are into kiddie-porn. I mean all of them. The pornographers are all child molesters too. It’s a cottage industry in this country, but the money isn’t important to them. They do it because they’re sick freaks.

These guys will often tell you they’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. Child molesters and pornographers always seem to be shocked we’re arresting them. Like “What, for this? I love kids!”

They’ll tell you the kid asked for it. Child molesters don’t think they inflict damage. They’ll tell you the four year old was being provocative and leading them on. That they just couldn’t resist. If you talk to an offender and a victim, you’ll get two radically different stories. The offender will describe this very loving, tender relationship in which the kid was a willing participant, while the child will tell you about how they put on four pairs of pajamas when they went to bed so that Daddy wouldn’t come and bother them. Or brother, or mom’s boyfriend, or uncle, or cousin.

They rationalize the whole thing: They love this child. They wouldn’t hurt the child. That’s why they can lie so well, they believe it. They don’t want to admit it to themselves they’re victimizing these children and that it is absolutely wrong.

So that’s why when you talk to a convicted sex offender, they’re enraged, incensed. They couldn’t possibly do something that terrible! They didn’t rape or trick a kid… THE KID WANTED IT!

Have you guys figured out yet why I’m pissed off all the time?

If you want to put these scum bags away, you get right up next to them and put your arm around them… shed a tear or two. You tell them what they did isn’t quite legal, but if they just tell the truth you think the prosecutor will understand and plea way down. Keep them off the sex offender list. If you slap them around and beat them, you’re not going to get anywhere. But if you bold face lie to them that you understand… you get the confession. That’s why so many cops won’t do this kind of work, it’s too ugly for them, or they can’t keep from beating defendants.

I’m one who believes that the sexual abuse of children isn’t new or on the rise. It’s always been around. It just gets reported more now. Statistically this is an under reported crime. Often children don’t report for many different reasons. They love the pedophile and don’t want to see him in jail. Pedophiles often tell their victims this will happen if they tell. Second, the child is often very embarrassed, and doesn’t want anyone to know. Last, some parents for financial or just plain sick reasons… or blatant stupidity don’t encourage their children to come forward.

There are a few female pedophiles… but mostly they are technically statutory rapists… and not child molesters. Still CSC criminal’s, but their own breed. Recognize though, how many female teachers have been in the news. The common pedophile act of gaining access to kids?

If you take any one thing from this post, it should be this. The profile of a typical pedophile is a white male. That’s it. They can look like anyone. Somewhere between one in fifty to one in ten white males are pedophiles. That means right now, statistically someone you know, in all likely hood someone you love… is a child molester.

This knowledge affects me a lot, and so I don’t often speak of it. Maybe I’m overly protective. I watch people all the time. When I look at people and see how some people act in certain situations, from what I know from my experience, I wouldn’t let my kid go anywhere near them for any reason. I wouldn’t have any evidence, it’s nothing I can pin point; it’s an instinct. You have it too. If you feel funny about a person at all, don’t let them near your kids. Better safe than sorry. Don’t be the one with your head in the sand. Better to hurt someone’s feelings than to have your child molested out of politeness.

With me it could be a teacher (I’ve had my daughter change classes.) or someone she’s on a field trip with. When my alarm system goes off, I trust it every time. It’s not paranoia, that’s not it. But I watch people.

(Added by ALa: Please contact your Governors & Senators to urge them to pass Jessica's Law!)

Update: Part two of Free's post will be up on Monday.

Delay Judgement

A few people have wondered why I haven't posted on Tom Delay. I thought it would be obvious...
Democratic District Attorney
No specific charge or evidence in the indictment
Past anger at Delay for re-districting Texas and bumping Democratic seats

...and would this obscure DA have ever been on 60Minutes or had anyone know his name?

Do I have any great love for Tom Delay? Not particularly, but this really does seem like nothing but a trumped up (as evidenced by its vague nature) charge. A political vendetta if you will. I know that all is fair in politics, so he will need to fight it.

I am actually more interested in the fact that within hours after the indictment was handed down --people were receiving phone bank letters from Democrats about this. How much contact was there between Ronnie Earle and Washington Democrats?

I haven't posted about it because I didn't feel like being part of the spin machine -regardless of what side it was on...

....but you have to admit that Ronnie Earle seems like a pretty slimy guy. Definitely no Fred Thompson.

Judith Miller...

...has now said that she would testify. Apparently her source is Lewis "Scooter" Libby. "Scooter" Libby released her of any confidentiality expectations long ago.
I was behind Judith before -but this new development makes you wonder... Why would she spend three months in jail when her source had no expectation of confidentiality....only to cave in and testify?

1) to make the Bush Administration look bad
2) to get fodder for more stories
3) she has a martyr complex
4) she really believed what she was doing, but then just couldn't take being Trixie's girlfriend

I'm just not sure...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

WooooHoooooooo!!!!!

The Hate America Museum International Freedom Center HAS BEEN SCRAPPED from the World Trade Center Memorial design!!!!

"New York Gov. George Pataki said there had been too much opposition and controversy over the site where terrorists brought down the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001."

"The center was proposed to be a museum featuring exhibits not only on the attacks, but also on U.S. values -- from the Revolution to the civil rights movement, CNN said.

Hundreds of victims' families protested the plan in recent weeks, claiming the freedom center would detract from the necessary, singular focus on the attacks that claimed 2,749 lives." (source)

First the Flight 93 victory and now this... GREAT NEWS!

Mistrusting the Media...

A new Gallup poll has good and bad news for the media. More people trust the media now than they did last year. The bad news is that more than 50% of Americans still distrust them to report the news "fully, accurately, and fairly." "A plurality of Americans describe the news media as too liberal, while one in six say they are too conservative." (source)

Could this mistrust by a majority of Americans account for the ever-growing amount of newspaper layoffs that are happening all over the country? More and more people are looking for alternative news sources, but the papers don't seem to be taking the hint... This poll was taken before the Katrina debacle where reports of over 10,000 dead (actual number now put at about 896), reports of "widespread rape in the Super Dome" (now 2 confirmed) and widespread death in the same Dome (now 10 confirmed, none being homicide). I think if the poll was taken now those numbers would go back down...

Little Green Footballs had a great example of the little things that happen everyday to chip away at the public's trust. Zombie (who seems to be the Blogosphere photojournalist of the right) took pictures at the same rally that the photo above was taken at. The one above is the picture that appeared on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle's website -nice and cropped. Now, check out Zombie's full cache of pictures that tell the whole story.
(I will give credence to the argument that this may be more about selling a product than a political bias...)

Everyone understands that news is a bought and sold product, but unlike toilet paper this product affects people's lives. Without past "storm hype" that never panned out --would more New Orlinians have left? Without the constant stream of bad news stories from Iraq would support have dwindled? The Main Stream Media needs to understand that it can't all be about selling papers or advertising --as the self-proclaimed "fourth branch of government" they have an ethical responsibility to the public.

Things that make you want to scratch out your own eyes:

  • Do you remember the story about the woman that was taken hostage by Brian Nichols (the man that shot up the Atlanta courtroom)? Her name was Ashley Smith and she was said to be an "Unlikely Angel" (the name of her new book) for talking this violent man down with talk of God and Jesus. Turns out that it was some crystal meth that she had lying around that did the trick... Oprah had her on -no shocker there. I hope no one buys this woman's book.


  • Just another tidbit of proof that our country has become so Politically Correct that I often wonder how it actually manages to function... Firefighters that signed up to go help on the front lines in the Gulf (Katrina/Rita Relief) were instead rerouted to a conference room where the underwent sexual harassment and sensitivity training...through FEMA on the taxpayer's dime.


  • Dr. Jerry Edwards, from Little Rock, Arkansas, is offering Katrina victims free abortions. "Doctor Edwards is doing a humanitarian relief service in his field. Whether you are a homebuilder or a transportation provider, he is among those providing an important function and I commend him for doing so," said Marvin Schwartz, spokesman for Arkansas-Oklahoma Planned Parenthood. So, I guess this is tax-deductible?


  • Those defending al Jazeera as a legitimate news organization may be interested to hear that not only is their reporting sympathetic to Al Qaeda...they actually hire members of the mass-murdering terrorist organization. One of their reporters was found guilty of "collaboration with a terrorist organization"...but al Jazeera is standing beside him. Surprise, surprise...


  • Mother Sheehan has claimed that 9/11 was "not and act of war, but a crime"... She is now charging for her appearances. Please, someone get this woman a voice coach so I don't have to listen to her mousy, shaky little voice any more!
  • The ACLU's Campaign Against the Military

    The New York Chapter of the ACLU has begun its "major campaign” against military recruiting...or, in their words: "against unwanted, abusive and intrusive military recruitment..."

    I try to tell myself that these civil liberties groups are a necessary evil --an extreme check and balance. The problem is that even if that is rooted somewhere in truth, the ACLU continues to dance on the dark side. NAMBLA, murdering terrorists and now anti-military in the midst of a global war against those that would kill them as quick as they would kill me...

    "In the nearly three years since the mass murder of 3,000 innocent people on American soil but fanatic Muslim terrorists, there is not a single law or policy that the ACLU has supported that would help prevent a bloody repeat of September 11". -Michelle Malkin (source)
    On the contrary, ACLU National Director Anthony Romero stated that the ACLU's post-9/11 goal was to "defend ourselves against John Ashcroft and a government that tramples on the Constitution in the name of national Security" (source). (This seems like a good place to insert that to this day there is not one documented abuse of the Patriot Act on record). Instead of working to make American's safer, the ACLU continues to champion causes that would chip away at any safety we have gained.

    The NYCLU has begun targeting the military. Why? It's simple...they are anti-military. Precisely why I don't believe this "I support the troops and not the war" BS. If you don't believe in the war, you think the troops are over there murdering innocents...so how could you support that? There has not been one complaint to the ACLU from school parents about recruiting...which means this is a rogue mission to punish an institution the intelligencia disdains.

    The NYCLU's press brief reads as if the military members are evil -something that children need "protection" from. But, NAMBLA, actual threats to children...they go to court for. A military career is a great thing for many children. It may be their only "way out" of a bad neighborhood and a life of crime and drugs.

    "As part of its campaign, the NYCLU will begin distributing a new pamphlet "No Student Left Unrecruited" outside high schools in New York City today. The pamphlet outlines student rights and provides a tear-off form that students can submit to their schools to remove their name from the recruiting lists sent to the military." (source)

    You have to wonder what's next...

    This was a production of Stop The ACLU blogburst. Over 100 blogs are already on board. If you want to join us, just register through our portal. We will add you to our mailing list, and send you the info on how to get aboard and fight the ACLU.
    Boards already on board.

    In the Sandbox...

    Mother, Son Serve Together at Navistar

    CAMP NAVISTAR, Kuwait - Many servicemembers keep in touch with their family, especially their mothers, whenever they can during a deployment to keep them from worrying. Whether it’s a letter, photograph, package or telephone call, just hearing from them is important.

    One mother and son are able to not only communicate but see each other whenever they want ever since deploying together to Kuwait in January with the 172nd Military Police Battalion, Task Force Green Mountain.

    With two separate missions at Camp Navistar, Cpl. Julie Robertson, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 172nd MP Bn. unit armorer, and Sgt. Ryan Brown, Company A, 172nd MP Bn. security forces, keep an eye on each other as often as they can. “We are very fortunate to be in the same unit and to be at the same camp in theater,” Brown said. “I feel better that I’m here and not somewhere else while she is deployed … so I know what’s going on.”

    This isn’t the first deployment for Brown, a former active-duty Army ranger who deployed with the 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division to Afghanistan for Operation Anaconda from 2001 to 2002. Now he is protecting Navistar with the security force team, which houses not only his military family but his mother as well. “I feel really safe that he is on camp with me,” Robertson said. But it’s not like Robertson is new to the Army and needs her son to survive.

    Though this is her first deployment, Robertson spent four years in active duty before joining the National Guard, where she has accumulated almost six more years of service. Though at times some people lightly tease them at the fact that they are at the same camp, they both enjoy the laughs and each others’ friendship. “He harasses me … he pulls rank on me,” Robertson said jokingly. “We are not in the same chain of command … so we don’t have to worry about that.” The fun doesn’t stop there between the two.

    Brown usually gives his mom a card on holidays, but not your usual ones. For Christmas, he gave her a card that had Happy Thanksgiving crossed out and Merry Christmas written in its place, Robertson said. Though there isn’t much for a mother and son to do together at Navistar, the two get the chance to eat meals together whenever their missions have them on downtime at the same time. “It is nice to know that he is on camp and that we can share a meal together,” Robertson said.
    -by Spc. Robert Adams
    CFLCC PAO/11th PAD

    ...the women Officers...
    1, 2 (UK Army), 3, 4

    Wednesday, September 28, 2005

    How Did You Score on Parenting?

    Saturday's post listed 16 factors that may or may not have an effect on your child's academic success or failure (according to findings from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study -ECLS which was used for regression analysis on that data).

    To follow please find the information derived from all this data:

    1) The child has highly educated parents - YES
    Family that is educated places a high value in education. People with higher IQs tend to be those that continue on to higher education and IQs are hereditary.
    2) The child's family is intact - NO
    This didn't seem to have effect on children's academic abilities
    3) The child's parents have high socio-economic status -YES
    This is strongly correlated to test scores. Successful parents are more likely to have successful children.
    4) The child's parents recently moved to a better neighborhood -NO
    The move may actually be disruptive force, and showed not improve a child's chances in school.
    5) The child's mother was 30 or older at the time of the birth of her first child-YES
    The reasoning is this is a women that took time to get advanced education before she had children (doesn't mean she is a better mother, but has put herself in a more advantageous position)
    6) The Child's mother didn't work in between birth and Kindergarten. -NO
    This choice had no effect on children's grades -daycare kids and SAHM kids tested the same.
    7) The Child had low birth weight. -YES
    This has a negative effect on future grades. "Low birth weight babies tend to do poorly in school"
    8) The Child attended Head Start. -NO
    (We can talk at a later date if this should continue to receive federal funding in light of this information) "Head Start does nothing for a child's future test scores". The Reason: "Instead of spending the day with his own undereducated, overworked mother, he spends the day with someone else's overworked, undereducated mother." *Fewer than 30% of Head Start teachers even have a Bachelor's degree.
    9) The Child's parents speak English in the home. -YES
    10) The Child's parents regularly take him to museums. -NO
    "Broadening your child's cultural horizons" has no effect on later grades.
    11) The Child is adopted. -YES
    Like low birth weight, there is a strong correlation between adopted children and low test scores. Why? IQ is hereditary. Women who give up their babies "tend to have lower IQs". Also women who are planning to adopt tend to be very lax with pre-natal care.
    12) The child is regularly spanked. -NO
    (Remember -this says spanked, not beat) This has no negative effect on tests and success.
    13) The Child's parents are involved in the PTA. -YES (Damn!)
    "A child whose parents are involved in the PTA tend to do well in school"
    14) The Child frequently watches television. -NO
    Despite conventional wisdom, watching a lot of TV doesn't lower grades or intelligence.
    15) The child has many books in the home. -YES
    16) The child's parents read to him nearly every day. -NO

    It would seem that what parents ARE makes a difference and what parent's DO does not.

    All this information is from the very comprehensive, very informative book Freakonomics. I now have a love-hate relationship with this book as it has guilt-tripped me into joining the PTA...Which is about as appealing as voting Dem...

    (Next time I'll do how your name does/doesn't effect your life success)

    Who's Your Baby Daddy?

    Recently I have heard many on the right chastising Maury and Montel for being as "bad as Jerry Springer". Personally, I have no problem with any of them. I think Springer's show is silly because, much like the Osbourne's, you can't even follow what the people are saying with all the beeps. If you're going to have a show like that, it should be on HBO. As far as the "morality" of it (or lack there of) --it's not my business and I subscribe to the "if you don't like it, turn the channel" theory.

    I don't watch daytime talk shows (Oprah lost me when she let Cameron Diaz say that if Bush got elected "Rape would be legal" without correcting her), BUT I would watch the "Paternity" shows all day long. I know, it's terrible, but OMG! Can you imagine four men come out on the stage and are all paternity tested and NONE of them are the baby's father? What are these women doing out there?!

    I always figured the reason that women would subject themselves to that humiliation was because they couldn't afford to do DNA testing themselves (will the state pay for it if you don't know who to put on the birth certificate or who to sue for support? I have no idea). Some industrious person, probably sitting at home watching Mr. Connie Chung all day, has created a Home DNA Testing Kit. Can you believe we now live in a world that has a large enough market for this?! It's $375 for the DNA analysis and all results are "documented, notarized and admissible in a court of law". I couldn't find if they give a discount if multiple tests are needed...

    Tougher than "America's Favorite Pastime"...

    ...That would be HOCKEY. Last night was a Pre-Season game and the arena was almost full. (Oh yeah, and the Flyers won against NY 5-3).

    Baseball still hasn't recovered the fans from their strike. Correct me if I'm wrong (since I find baseball the only thing more mind-numbing than when I was studying for GREs or watching a school play), but baseball didn't even strike the whole season. The hockey fans forgave and came out in droves to welcome them back. One guy had "GREEDY" written where a player's name should be on his jersey and a "$" sign crafted from duct tape where the number should be. I was going to point out to him that his little protest lost its impact considering HE WAS AT THE GAME...but, since I was with the little man I decided to keep my mouth shut for once.

    I have to say that the whole not-playing-for-a-year was pretty evident. The first period was like watching a high school hockey game and the puck was alone on open ice most of the time. Thankfully it picked up in the second period (thanks to the two players pictured above: Johnsson & Brashear)

    It's been a long time since I've been to a game...and the advertising is borderline nauseating. The plays are even bought... "The Flyers have another PECO power play" --"That was a Temple University Replay". The Zambonis were "Bud Light" and "US Air force". The Chik-fil-a "Eat more chicken" cows danced around distracting you from plays. (We won't even get into the fact that the first floor is basically a mall)

    Justice loved it. He was scared to death at first because of the 90% angle the seats are on (he told me he was "struggling" with sitting there), but by the end he was dancing with his giant #1 Styrofoam ($9!!!) hand trying to get on camera.

    I love hockey crowds. Maybe it's a Philly thing because Philadelphians aren't the most gregarious people...but at the game it's all of us against them (made better when it's NY). There is a tangible feeling of comradery that doesn't really exist in any other setting...

    Being a girl and liking hockey gets you a bad rap in Philly, but I could care less. I love my Flyers and I don't have big hair, wear scrunchy socks, or black eyeliner under my eyes and no white Keds for me...so there.

    Caption It...

    "Internship initiation exercise at the Clinton Camp" -Aunt Bitchy

    Keep it clean kids ;)

    In the Sandbox...

    Senior al-Qaida Leader Killed in Iraq

    BAGHDAD, Iraq Sep 27, 2005 — U.S. and Iraqi authorities said Tuesday their forces had killed the No. 2 official in the al-Qaida in Iraq organization in a weekend raid in Baghdad, claiming to have struck a "painful blow" to the country's most feared insurgent group.

    Abdullah Abu Azzam led al-Qaida's operations in Baghdad, planning a brutal wave of suicide bombings in the capital since April, killing hundreds of people including police, army recruits and day laborers, officials said. According to an Associated Press tally, 698 people have been killed and 1,579 have been wounded since April 1 in suicide attacks in Baghdad.

    He also controlled the finances for foreign fighters that flowed into Iraq to join the insurgency.

    Abu Azzam, who a government spokesman said was an Iraqi, was the top deputy to Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Abu Azzam was on a list of Iraq's 29 most-wanted insurgents issued by the U.S. military in February and had a bounty of $50,000 on his head. (source)

    ...girls of the Armed forces...
    One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    More Farrakhan...

    The man may be a kook in most people's eyes, but he has done something quite ingenious... He has managed to play the ever-successful "race-card" and divert the attention of Black America from the abject poverty uncovered in Democratic-controlled New Orleans to a "kill all the poor black people" conspiracy theory.

    When the truth began emerging that death tolls were highly exaggerated and the shock of the terrible events began to wear off --people may have started to ask questions. Why is New Orleans so poor? Why are SO many people there living off the government? How could a city have such staggering poverty levels? The Democratic governor and the Democratic mayor may have had to start answering those very poignant questions. The dependant voter base could have been swayed to make a much-needed change. Farrakhan saw that possibility and headed it off at the pass.

    He now claims that people don't have to take the word of the "mother ship" to realize that this was a plot to rid America of thousands of poor Blacks with one brilliant plan. The government would go in right after Katrina hit and set off a series of explosives that would breech the levies-- and the American public would believe that it was the work of the storm. Farrakhan claims he has found the proof to substantiate these claims. He has proof of explosives. Brilliant!

    "Farrakhan demanded an investigation into the Bush administration's levee plot. If true, he insisted: "somebody is guilty, then not only of mass destruction of property, but of mass murder."

    Farrakhan predicted that when New Orleans is rebuilt, it will be "a white city." (source)

    Now, of course, 90% of Americans don't think race had anything to do with this...but over 70% of Blacks believe that it did. That's all Farrakhan needed. Dependant voter base remains intact.

    I May Just Be Paranoid...

    ...but I find myself looking through this site more and more.

    You saw what happened in New Orleans in a disaster. Looting, raping, shooting... What if there was a huge terrorist attack? How fast would the "every man to himself" attitude take hold?

    I hate the thought of having a gun in the house, but is it safe not to? I have been thinking of cleaning out the basement and storing water, sleeping bags, etc. down there... Is this rash...or is it way too sane?

    Al Qaeda has stated their goal to kill 4 million Americans on numerous occasions. After the 1993 WTC bombing they promised that "the next time the towers would come down" and they fulfilled that promise. Are we naive not to be more paranoid about an impending attack?

    Yesterday...

    ...was a lovely little sabbatical. For those that emailed, thanks for the concern, but nothing terrible happened. I just was feeling a little under the weather. I feel MUCH better today because:

    1)My soul mate is finally in my possession.

    2) I am taking Justice to his first Flyers game tonight. We are playing the NY Islanders.

    In the Sandbox...

    Nawroz Boys School Receives Supplies
    "FOB WARRIOR, Iraq – Soldiers from the 116th Brigade Combat Team delivered donated school supplies to a Kirkuk boys’ school September 11 while assessing possible polling sites.

    A team of 451st Civil Affairs Battalion, Task Force 2-116 Armor and 324th Psychological Operations Soldiers delivered privately-donated markers, pencils and writing tablets to Principal Fasal Amin of the Nawroz Boys’ Primary School.

    The supplies, donated by individuals from the United States, were delivered during a stop at the school while the team was assessing five local schools for possible use as referendum or elections polling sites. The supplies were assembled by the coalition force’s Operation Provide School Supplies program operating on Forward Operating Base Warrior.

    “The visit was very positive,” said Capt. Alex Carter, a 451st Civil Affairs officer. “The children at the Nawroz Boys’ Primary School told us, ‘George Bush – A Ok.’”

    Supporting the efforts of Operation Provide School Supplies is part of the 116th Brigade Combat Team’s mission while deployed in Kirkuk Province, Iraq. The unit’s mission also includes developing and augmenting local Iraqi security forces, assisting Iraq’s new government, supporting economic development and facilitating communications.

    The 116th BCT is comprised of headquarters and staff sections, two armor battalions, a mechanized infantry battalion, a support battalion, a field artillery battalion, an engineer battalion, and various intelligence, signal, and specialized units. The 116th BCT is one of several Army National Guard units deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III."
    -by dmccormick

    ...girls of the Army...
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

    Sunday, September 25, 2005

    Red Light Traffic Cameras

    A couple of weeks ago my brother got a large sheet of paper in the mail that displayed a picture of the tail end of his car and explanation saying he had run a red light and a $100 fine. He had been snagged by a Red Light Camera. He was livid, and swore he never runs a red. He could only surmise the light must have turned red while he was 1/2 or 3/4 of the way through the intersection.

    Yesterday I was thinking about the case where DAs were attempting to allow small children to give abuse testimonies through closed circuit TVs or on video tape so they would not have to be traumatized again by sitting in a court room with their abuser. The argument against this was that according to the Constitution every American has the 6th Amendment right to confront their accuser.

    If you dispute the picture from the traffic light camera, who do you confront? Technology malfunctions all the time. I called my brother and asked if he had already paid the ticket and told him I think we could fight it. He said that he had called and they told him there was a person that calibrates the equipment and checks for malfunctions. That's the guy! If that guy doesn't show up in court --you should get out of the ticket.

    Unfortunately, my brother had already paid his ticket. I am almost tempted to get one to see what argument the court would use to counter mine. If that right to confront your accuser is so sacred that they would make a small child sit in front of a man that raped them instead of back in the judge’s chambers... that means it's heaped in precedent right?

    Russ told me that people have fought this using the 6th Amendment and won --so the question is...why are more of these cameras popping up every day? The Man thinks I am ridiculous for being obsessed with this. He thinks it's well worth a few responsible drivers being ticketed to stop the blatant traffic abuses that occur daily and threaten people's lives (especially on the road where my brother was ticketed). I realize this is the Libertarian in me shining through. What do you think?

    RUSS!!!

    Yes, I finally got to meet my House Contributor...RUSS FROM WINTERSET! I really want to tell you all about it, but I am going to let Russ disclose the details of his adventure. It'll be worth the wait...

    Hope you made it home OK!

    That Dude Makes Philadelphia Magazine...

    ...and I bet he doesn't even know it...;) This article is from the October 2005 edition of Philadelphia Magazine. Who ever said Philadelphians have an inferiority complex when it comes to New Yorkers?!



    *Thanks to JR for ripping this from her magazine ;)

    Saturday, September 24, 2005

    What Makes A Perfect Parent?

    Or "What do we do as parents that actually makes a difference according to the cold hard facts and statistics"?

    I truly believe that all of us here (because it has been shown that Bloggers are the higher IQ holders in society) are making our choices in the best interest of our families. Whether we work or stay at home, let our kids watch TV or don't or are obsessive parents or laid back ones... We make the decisions because we believe it's what's best...

    ...But, what do the numbers say? How many of our efforts are in vain or misguided? I was fascinated with this. What will truly make a difference in your child's academic health? (We can discuss social health at a later date)

    I promised a while ago that I would blog about the book Freakonomics. (Can I tell you how much I love this book?) So here goes--

    Here are 16 factors: Eight of them have a strong correlation with children's test scores (either positive or negative)and eight have no effect. Can you guess which things make a difference in your child's school career and later career success?

  • The child has highly educated parents

  • The child's family is intact

  • The child's parents have high socioeconomic status

  • The child's parents recently moved to a better neighborhood

  • The child's mother was 30 or older at the time of her first child's birth

  • The child's mother didn't work between birth and kindergarten

  • The child had low birth weight

  • The child attended Head Start

  • The child's parents speak English in the home

  • The child's parents regularly take him to museums

  • The child is adopted

  • The child is regularly spanked

  • The child's parents are involved in the PTA

  • The child frequently watches television

  • The child has many books in his home

  • The child's parents read to him nearly every day


  • This post will be continued Monday... and the answers revealed. I guessed most of them wrong. I'm interested to see what you all think...

    Can We All Agree on These Two?

    I am loving these two and wondering if their panache is crossing the aisle...


    Vice Admiral Thad W. Allen
    , Chief of Staff, United States Coast Guard
    First reason to be impressed -he has a Masters from MIT.
    -Three-star admiral
    -Led the Atlantic forces in Coast Guard response after September 11th when every US port was considered a target.
    -Has Overseen about 15,000 search and rescue operations in south-eastern US and the Caribbean.

    His best quality in my eyes: He is known for cutting through red tape and bureaucracy when it would hinder what needs to get done!
    (source1, source2)

    Lieutenant General Russell L. Honore, Commanding General in the First United States Army.
    -Head of the Joint Task Force directing the military presence facilitating relief efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
    -He also has a Masters and an honorary doctorate.
    -The general came to rescue of one young mother trying to carry her twin babies down the street in the terrible heat and humidity of New Orleans, Starr reported. The mother was so exhausted the children were almost falling out of her arms.
    The general went up to the woman and took both of her babies, handing them off to soldiers to carry, as he promised the mother that they were going to get her some help. The troops helped the three hurricane victims to a Coast Guard ship, where they were treated for exhaustion and dehydration.

    Best quality: He's there to get a job done and doesn't care about his "image" or being PC. He told a reporter they were "stuck on stupid". I think I'm in love. Read the transcript and you'll have to agree. I gotta say... Honore in '08?

    (source1, source2)

    Friday, September 23, 2005

    Bush's Speech

    I don't know how many of you saw Bush's Hurricane/War on Terror Speech/Press Briefing yesterday, but I really thought it was a good one. I don't normally comment on the President's speeches because all Presidents have professional speech writers...so basically they are all good.

    Anyway, there has been a lot of talk over the past two years about how much a former President should comment/criticize the sitting President. Nixon never did it, neither did Ford or Bush Sr. --Carter was the exception to the rule until this past weekend when Clinton jumped into the fray (though he kind of has to as his wife is going to run in '08). After Carter's countless tirades and Clinton's little ABC interview, Bush has finally answered back...with a little dig of his own. Thank God, it's nice to see some backbone.

    "...Listen, there are differences of opinion about the way forward; I understand that. Some Americans want us to withdraw our troops so that we can escape the violence. I recognize their good intentions, but their position is wrong. Withdrawing our troops would make the world more dangerous, and make America less safe. To leave Iraq now would be to repeat the costly mistakes of the past that led to the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. The terrorists saw our response to the hostage crisis in Iran, the bombings in the Marine barracks in Lebanon, the first World Trade Center attack, the killing of American soldiers in Somalia, the destruction of two U.S. embassies in Africa, and the attack on the USS Cole. The terrorists concluded that we lacked the courage and character to defend ourselves, and so they attacked us. (emphasis mine)

    Now the terrorists are testing our will and resolve in Iraq. If we fail that test, the consequences for the safety and security of the American people would be enormous. Our withdrawal from Iraq would allow the terrorists to claim an historic victory over the United States. It would leave our enemies emboldened and allow men like Zarqawi and bin Laden to dominate the Middle East and launch more attacks on America and other free nations. The battle lines are drawn, and there is no middle ground: either we defeat the terrorists and help the Iraqis build a working democracy, or the terrorists will impose their dark ideology on the Iraqi people and make that country a source of terror and instability to come for decades.

    The only way the terrorists can win is if we lose our nerve and abandon the mission. For the security of the American people, that's not going to happen on my watch. We'll do our duty. We'll defeat our enemies in Iraq and other fronts in the war on terror. We'll lay the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren." (source)

    ...I couldn't have said it better myself ;) Personally, I think this was also aimed at all of you loons (sorry to the ones I know, but you know how I feel about "protesters") heading down to Washington this weekend. March and sweat all you want, but it's not going to change anything... If it was up to all of you Auschwitz would still be open for business...



    Should former Presidents publicly criticize sitting Presidents?
    Never, it seems petty and it cheapens the office
    Of course, that's what freedom of speech is all about
    Only if it's something really serious and not politically motivated
    Whatever it takes to win the next election -that's politics



    (Remember when you answer that it could be Bush taking stabs at Hillary (God forbid) in '08).

    Would you have sex with a Clinton?

    ...or a Lewinsky? They are already doing it in China...
    Can you believe that in the race to market the best-selling condoms in China the Guangzhou Haojian Bio-science company has registered the brand names "Clinton" and "Lewinsky" with the government's trade mark office. This week 100,000 free Clintons have been passed out to promote the new condoms that will sell for $4.80 a pack.

    “We chose the name because we think Clinton is a symbol of success and a man of responsibility. And Lewinsky is a woman who dares to love and dares to hate." (source)

    So now safe sex in China starts with Clinton and Lewinsky...
    Do you think he's flattered?

    You Gotta Love Sitemeter...

    ...because without it I would have never known that I had made someone's "Most Bangable Blog Babe List"... LOL

    It's funny 'cause it's true...

    A florist walks in to a barber shop to get a hair cut and the barber says "I have to do community service so your haircut today is free". The florist says thank you and the next day the barber receives a dozen roses.

    A policeman walks into the same barber shop to get a haircut and the barbers tells him the same thing. The next day the barber receives a dozen donuts.

    That same day a Republican walks in to barber shop for a hair cut. The barber tells him the same thing. The Republican says thank you. The next day the barber receives a dozen books on how to get ahead in business.

    A Democrat walks into the barber shop. The barber also tells him the cut is free. The next day a dozen Democrats show up for free hair cuts.

    (*Thanks to Liz for this joke --and I hope you are feeling better and recovering from surgery!)

    In the Sandbox...

    Vets say there is no comparison between Iraq and Vietnam wars
    By: Stacy Neumann & Web Staff

    "Too different to even compare, that's what the Bush Administration says when asked to put Vietnam and the Iraq War side by side.

    But the analogy has been making its way into mainstream America. The Hope Mills Veteran’s Commission is sponsoring "The Moving Wall" Vietnam Veterans Memorial for six days.

    It is 252 feet long and has more than 58,000. The wall is in Hope Mills to pay tribute and provide closure.

    Anthony Ross, a veteran, said, "Feeling in the heart. How the soldiers on this wall sacrificed."

    The Vietnam Memorial replica is designed to help people come to terms with the past, even as folks continue to debate the Iraq War and the present.

    Some said the growing vocal opposition to the war and President Bush's rhetoric remind them of the Vietnam Era but veterans said there's simply no comparison.

    "Ho Chi Minh was in charge in Vietnam,” Frank Orians, a Vietnam veteran explained. “That was a national movement. There isn't one in the Middle East. They're just a group of insurgents. Most of them come from a foreign county."

    Vets said there's a different feeling among the rank and file about this war.

    Ross stated, "The soldiers now are loved and they know the effort they're putting in to make our country great and the world better."

    Soldiers said, comparisons aside, there is one legacy left behind by Vietnam. That is, no matter what your political views are you can support a soldier and welcome them home proudly.

    "I think that's a very critical different between what happened in a previous generation and what's happening now...and the folks you can thank for that are of the vietnam era." Al Aycock of the 18th Airborne Corps added.

    The "The Moving Wall" Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be the Hope Mills Municipal park for the next week.

    Volunteers are on hand to help you find names. There are 54 names of Cumberland County veterans included on the wall." (source)

    ...girls of the USMC...
    One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Well, she says she likes marines...

    Thursday, September 22, 2005

    Hurricane Rita

    We are thinking of our friends in Texas today. Some are in the line of fire. Hurricane RITA's path is affecting Big and Mean, Mrs. Big and Mean, ~Jen~ and her hubby S. We are thinking of you today and hoping this somehow misses you.

    I am not sure if Zelda and Jethro and G-Man and BlueWolfess are in jeopardy also. Praying for our friends in the Longhorn State today!

    I hope none of you are stuck in those traffic jams!

    Nation of Islam and the Mother Ship

    After hearing of Louis Farrakhan's "trip to the mother ship that circles above the earth" where the inhabitants of the mother ship (?) told him that Bush breeched the levees purposefully to kill all the Blacks, I decided to do a bit of reading about the Nation of Islam.

    I was intrigued to find that in the beginning its teachings are not actually that of the Qur'an but a mix of Islam, influence from the Jehovah's Witness' teachings, "Gnosticism and heretical Christian teachings". Another interesting fact is that though NOI founder Wallace Dodd Fard's teachings revolved around the evils of "white America", fingerprints showed his actual identity to be "Wallie D. Ford, a white ex-convict from San Quentin, born in Portland, Oregon, in 1891." There had been speculation that he was of mixed parentage, but it seems he may have been a white man that "passed" as Black. He is now known as "Allah" in the NOI movement.

    Some Wallace Fard/Loius Farrakhan (real name: Louis Eugene Walcott) teachings:

  • Black people are Gods (some "special Gods" will live for 100 years each)

  • There is an aircraft, built by black scientists in Japan thousands of years ago, that can not be detected by radar and circles the earth with weapons that will be used to kill white people if the nation of Islam is harmed or threatened.

  • “Allah has taught that blueprints of a plane which carries bombs was given to the Japanese from the Holy City of Mecca, and that these blueprints had been there for thousands of years. These bombs would go into the earth for at least a mile and would throw up the earth to a distance of one mile, so that it would make a mountain. I have reminded registered Moslems of this [sic] teachings.”

  • "The mountains" are the "governments of the Caucasians"

  • "All Moslem [sic] will murder the devil (white people) because they know he is a snake and also if he be allowed to live, he would sting someone else." (From the Nation of Islam "Secret Ritual I"


  • Other interesting facts:
  • Louis Farrakhan (then Louis X) published this after Malcolm X left the NOI:
    "...only those who wish to be led to hell, or to their doom, will follow Malcolm... Such a man as Malcolm is worthy of death..."
  • It wasn't until 1985 that the NOI fully embraces traditional Islamic teachings

  • The NOI owns thousands of acres of farmland in Georgia


  • What does the Nation of Islam want?:
    -Reparations (a large tract of land set apart from the United States and given to black people, plus “our former slave masters are obligated to maintain and supply our needs in this separate territory for the next 20 to 25 years”.
    -The release of all black Muslims convicted of any federal crimes, and the release of all black people convicted of any capital crime requiring the death sentence.
    -The end of racial integration and interracial marriage or race mixing.
    (source1, source2, source3, source4)

    No More taxpayer Dollars! -by Jay

    *This is crossposted from Jay @ Stop the ACLU*

    On 1, Oct. 19, 1976 Congress passed an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which gave the Courts the power to award attorney's fees in civil rights cases to the prevailing party. 'The Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Awards Act of 1976' was passed with high hopes, and the good intentions that it would help provide relief for individuals that might not otherwise be able to afford the expenses of defending their civil liberties if they were violated. The ACLU, and other judicial activitist have completely turned the intentions of this amendment on its head.

    Whenever the ACLU fights voluntary prayer in school, a war memorial because it's in the shape of a cross, ten commandment displays, or keeping the boyscouts from military sponsorship, and they win, you pay for their attorney's fees.

    What was intended to protect people from having their civil rights violated has been twisted by the ACLU to use as leverage when they threaten small schools and communities that can't afford to defend themselves from the well funded, and well staffed ACLU bully. Yes, legislation intended to protect civil liberties is often used to supress religious expression by the likes of the ACLU.

    There is currently legislation in the House introduced by Representive Hostettler that hopes to remedy its abuse. It is an amendment that limits the attorney fees in Establishment Clause cases to injuctive relief only. In other words, if the ACLU wants to pick a fight over someone praying in public, or a ten commandments display that offends one sensitive athiest, they'll have to dig into their own deep pockets, and it will not come from yours.

    We want your voice to be heard in D.C. supporting this legislation. It's really simple, all we need is your autograph.

    SIGN THE PETITION TO GET THE ACLU OFF THE TAXPAYER'S DOLE

    This was a production of Stop The ACLU blogburst. If you would like to join our efforts to fight the ACLU, it's very simple. Just register at our portal. We will add you to our mailing list, and send you the info you will need. Over 100 blogs already on board. Join us!

    WaWa Girl...

    ...is only 17 years old. Ha!
    Apparently all WaWa employees that are under 18 wear black aprons. Just so you boys know...
    (If you don't get this, it's not important...)

    Happy Birthday The Man!!!! I love you even though you're a perv! ;)

    MetaBlogging Meme

    MEME from Perverted Republican's site:

    1. Do you try to look hot when you go to the grocery store just in case someone recognizes you from your blog?

    I don't believe in leaving the house looking like I was cleaning the garage, so it's not a problem.

    2. Are the photos you post Photoshopped or otherwise altered?

    Only to take out someone that may not want to be in the picture or remove things that could identify location (street signs, license plates, etc.)

    3. Do you like it when creeps or dorks email you?

    I don't really mind, the worse the email the funnier it is to post later.

    4. Do you lie in your blog?

    Well, Paul would say I do, but no. Not intentionally anyway.

    5. Are you passive-aggressive in your blog?

    Uh, wait do I have to answer right now. I mean, why are you picking on me? I can't really answer right now, but I have a good reason for that. It's all your fault...you all put too much pressure on me to perform... ;)

    6. Do you ever threaten to quit writing so people will tell you not to stop?

    I think about stopping a lot, but I don't need anyone to tell me not to...my own ego does a fine job of that.

    7. Are you in therapy? If not, should you be? If so, is it helping?
    No. I went when I was in my twenties to figure out why I always dated such crappy emotionally-parasitic men. I loved it...when you pay someone they have to listen to you...

    8. Do you delete mean comments? Do you fake nice ones?

    I never delete comments. I have altered some to take out someone's real name or location, but I don't censor.

    9. Have you ever rubbed one out while reading a blog? How about after?
    I have no idea what that means...

    10. If your readers knew you in person, would they like you more or like you less?

    I think they would like me a lot more. Many things that people take seriously here were written while I was laughing. I think I come across much more hard-core than I am.

    11. Do you have a job?

    Many.

    12. If someone offered you a decent salary to blog full-time without restrictions, would you do it?

    Without restrictions? Of course I would.

    13. Which blogger do you want to meet in real life?
    I want to meet everyone, but I REALLY want to meet 91Ghost, ~Jen~, and Free0352 (Russ would be on the list too, but I think I AM meeting him TODAY!) 'cause they are from the original crew.

    14. Which bloggers have you made out with?
    Just tesco

    15. Do you usually act like you have more money or less money than you really have? People may think we have more because we buy extravagant things, but we will be living in a box after we retire. We are Ghetto fabulous! :)

    16. Does your family read your blog?
    Yes, everyone.

    17. How old is your blog?

    One year and two months.

    18. Do you get more than 1000 page views per day? Do you care?

    I get almost 1,000/day. Interesting Link tidbit - I got WAY more hits when Blackfive linked me than when Instapundit did... strange. And yes, I care...there are so few conservative blogs in Philly and I need to represent! ;)

    19. Do you have another secret blog in which you write about being depressed, slutty, or a liar?
    No, JustRose and I had one for a few months, but it was too hard to maintain.

    20. Have you ever given another blogger money for his/her writing?
    No.

    21. Do you report the money you earn from your blog on your taxes?

    I would if I did.

    22. Is blogging narcissistic?

    I think it is. You have to somewhat narcissistic to put yourself out there everyday...and for free.

    23. Do you feel guilty when you don't post for a long time?
    Yes, it feels like and obligation.

    24. Do you like John Mayer?

    Wow, that's random. I don't really know his work.

    25. Do you have enemies?

    In real life -no... On the blogs -yes...

    26. Are you lonely?

    I don't have time to be lonely.

    27. Why bother?

    It's rewarding and it keeps my head from exploding when I need to rant.

    TAGGING:
    Sean, AlexC, Courtney and JustRose

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    I hope there are no hidden cameras...

    ...in my tanning salon. I go to one that has stand up booths and this morning THIS SONG came on while I was in there.
    I haven't heard it in so long and I was dancing my little heart out...

    ...and I don't believe in tan lines...

    Gotta Keep on Rockin'! ;)

    An End to the Mommy Wars for the Next Generation?

    OK, sit down for this. Yesterday morning I read one of the best newspaper articles that I have come across in a long time...and it was in the New York Times! The article was straight forward with an equal presentation from both sides --maybe a slight undertone of surprise, but all-in-all a great read.

    The article, written by Louise Story, details the growing trend in Ivy League schools of women that are already planning to postpone their careers or put them on hold to stay at home and raise their children.

    "Staying at home with your children isn't as polarizing of an issue as I envision it is for women who are in their 30's now." said Sandra Currie, Harvard Senior.

    (Amen -it is a VERY polarizing issue for my generation -as has been evidenced right here on this site).

    "Much attention has been focused on career women who leave the work force to rear children. What seems to be changing is that while many women in college two or three decades ago expected to have full-time careers, their daughters, while still in college, say they have already decided to suspend or end their careers when they have children.

    "At the height of the women's movement and shortly thereafter, women were much more firm in their expectation that they could somehow combine full-time work with child rearing," said Cynthia E. Russett, a professor of American history who has taught at Yale since 1967. "The women today are, in effect, turning realistic." (source)

    The only person mentioned, in the three page article, that seemed to view the choices of these young women as misguided was the Dean of Yale College, Peter Salovey, who said, "What does concern me is that so few students seem to be able to think outside the box; so few students seem to be able to imagine a life for themselves that isn't constructed along traditional gender roles."

    I would disagree and say (especially in the mindset of academia today)...putting your children before your own ambitions is definitely thinking out of the box! I would also say that it's not a "traditional gender role" but a biological one.

    Bravo to the NYT for this article and much respect to the next generation of women, who realize that the world has enough lawyers and what is really needed are more fully engaged mothers...

    Spotlight on the Left - Part II

    Dr. Martin Haskell
    Doctor Martin Haskell wasn't working toward curing cancer, eradicating childhood diabetes or making HIV obsolete...he was the pioneer of the late-term abortion practice appropriately known as partial birth abortion. I'm sure his parents are proud.
    Now, (even if I don't agree) I *GET* the argument for first trimester abortions. I understand the importance many women put on Roe, but I don't know why partial-birth abortion is even a debate. We worry about the baby seals, beached whales, terrorists rights and police brutality while viable babies fetuses are having their skulls collapsed with no anesthesia. Who are we to criticize China, Sudan and Syria when this practice is accepted as a "medical procedure"?
    It was hard to pick what Haskell quotes I would share with you --the search provided a sickening smorgasbord of information:

    "In his 1992 paper, Dr. Martin Haskell, who has performed over 1,000 partial-birth abortions, described the procedure as "a quick, surgical outpatient method that can be performed on a scheduled basis under local anesthesia." Dr. Haskell, a family practitioner who operates three abortion clinics, wrote that he "routinely performs this procedure on all patients 20 through 24 weeks" (4 1/2 to 5 1/2 months) pregnant, except on women who are more than 20 pounds overweight, have twins, or have certain other complicating factors." (source)

    For information on why Dr. Haskell adopted the method, the 1993 interview in Cincinnati Medicine is very instructive. Dr. Haskell explained that he had been performing dismemberment abortions (D&Es) to 24 weeks:

    "But they were very tough. Sometimes it was a 45-minute operation. I noticed that some of the later D&Es were very, very easy. So I asked myself why can't they all happen this way. You see the easy ones would have a foot length presentation, you'd reach up and grab the foot of the fetus, pull the fetus down and the head would hang up and then you would collapse the head and take it out. It was easy. . . . Then I said, "Well gee, if I just put the ultrasound up there I could see it all and I wouldn't have to feel around for it." I did that and sure enough, I found it 99 percent of the time. Kind of serendipity."

    "...And I'll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range. . . . In my particular case, probably 20% [of this procedure] are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective." (source)

    This procedure is pawned onto the public as a "form of late term abortion" and is said to have "medical necessity" --but by the pioneer's own words is an elective surgery more than 75% of the time. There is NO medical justification that would be better served with a THREE DAY INDUCTION when a C-section can be performed in less than 2 minutes.

    Anyone that fights for the availability of the barbaric practice is an accomplice to murder in my eyes and any other human or animal right they champion is nullified.

    Dr. Haskell has earned his place in hell, right next to Dr. George Tiller.

    Caption It...

    "Teresa, gracious in this photo, later had to be restrained from killing her husband when John brought cameras into the marital bedroom." -LongTabSigo

    Photo Credit: Lisa Bressler

    In the Sandbox...

    Awards Given Like Candy
    "I, too, feel as if the Army has lost sight of what true honor and dedication are (“Bronze Star Medal tainted,” letter, Sept. 1). I see awards handed out as if they were candy with no regard to what they mean or what they stand for.

    Wearing the uniform of a soldier used to reflect the Army values and the warrior ethos, but I do not see that reflected in today’s Army.

    What happened to selfless service? I see the noncommissioned officer creed trodden under foot every day. What used to be “I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety” has turned into “Serve me, private! Because I am an NCO and you are my slave.”

    What of honor? Lying on a form to get an award, or embellishing what you have done to justify getting that award throws honor right out the window and discredits those who have actually earned it.

    The Army is losing the backbone that made it so strong. With each new set of privates, there are fewer who salute the flag; fewer who are here to serve; fewer willing to go to battle and lay down their lives for America. Just showing up in a foreign country breathing and sober does not constitute a medal.

    For me, it is still an honor to wear the uniform and I am sure there are still many who feel the same. I salute those who have gone before me and died and have earned the right to wear the medals of the U.S. Army.

    If you were put on the stand in a court of law for serving your country, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

    Let us return to the days of earning our medals for more than just something else to put on our dress uniform."

    -Staff Sgt. Peter K. Towse
    Forward Operating Base Danger, Iraq (Stars & Stripes: Letters to the Editor

    ...girls of the US Armed Forces...
    One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

    Tuesday, September 20, 2005

    Katrina-Abuse

    We knew it was coming... It was inevitable. Cradle to grave welfare breeds a terrible kind of entitlement in men of all colors, shapes and sizes. I have seen it first hand and now we watch it unfold in real time on the nightly news.

    What is a sampling of things being purchased with the $2,000 debit cards? Louis Vuitton bags (*I*, the bag Princess, don't even have a Louie --which run $800+), Flat screen TVs, DVD players, Playstation2 and PSPs... to name a few. I KNOW IT'S NOT EVERYONE, but it's not "just a few people" either. Thank God there are stores that are putting their morals and country ahead of their profits and refusing to sell luxury items to those looking to purchase them with federal money that was meant to sustain needs.

    "Retailer Vicki Haniford said she has begun refusing the cards at her store in Illinois. "[Last] Saturday, I had 14 transactions go through from about six different people totaling a little over $1,000," she E-mailed. "They purchased jewelry and a TV with a DVD player. I called the Red Cross and they said unfortunately these people made bad choices when purchasing, but there was nothing they could do.

    "This is totally and morally wrong," she says. "Many hard-working Americans donated money to the disaster victims so they could have food and clothing, not buy outrageous items."

    "A Louis Vuitton spokeswoman did not respond to a question about whether their chain would continue to accept the distinctive white debit cards."(source)

    I am not someone that balks at the idea of rebuilding New Orleans. I want the Big Easy back, but I want it to be done honestly. What does that mean? That means NO tax hikes --funding should come from cutting back PORK (HERE is a list of some of the pork that needs to go). There needs to be a real penny-pincher that is put in place to oversee the entire project. There also needs to be NO prevailing wage paid (where helpers make $27/hr).

    This project should be run like Habitat for Humanity...all of the displaced people should be the ones building the houses. Build pride with each brick -neighbors helping neighbors and maybe learning a trade in the process.

    ...And anyone caught buying Louie bags and Polo jeans needs to be kicked to the curb -with nothing...

    (Doc in the Box has a Great Post about the second coming of New Orleans...)

    In the Blogosphere, both the LEFT and THE RIGHT pitched in to help Katrina victims… End tallies show that the Left raised: $180,000 while the Right raised: $1,347,493

    IT’S AMAZING WHAT YOU CAN STUMBLE ACROSS: by Russ

    I bought a 1 gig MP3 player to keep me company on the big bike trip from Iowa to New York which begins tonight, so I’ve been busy lately burning tracks onto it. I’m trying to cover all my "sing along to the radio" faves, and the variety has me darn near embarrassed.

    I’ve got a big ‘ol heapin’ helpin’ of Johnny Cash, a smattering of Social Distortion (who do a DAMM fine job of covering the Man in Black, IMHO), some Richard Thompson, and even half the tracks on the Violent Femmes’ debut album. Of course, there’s the usual suspects (Stones tunes from the "Exile on Main St."/"Sticky Fingers" era, CCR, Van Halen), but I enjoy mixing in a little "who the HELL are those guys" with my music. Groups like SAVE FERRIS, HOUND DOG TAYLOR & THE HOUSEROCKERS or THE HOODOO GURUS. One of my guilty pleasures is THE DEAD MILKMEN, a punk group from Philly that one of my dearly departed college roomies turned me onto during Reagan’s second term. I was going through my Milkmen discs and found a song that should have been plastered all over the blogosphere in July and August with all the focus on "Mother" Sheehan and her merry band of retards. If you can forgive me the tardiness, I’d like to share it with you now:

    THE THING THAT ONLY EATS HIPPIES


    "Wendell brought it to life, in the guest room bathtub
    It was a special project, for the 4H club … but
    It broke loose, out in the middle of the night
    And now it’s eatin’ flower children, left & right!
    All the punks are gonna scream YIPPEE!
    Cuz it’s the Thing That Only Eats Hippies!

    First, it cruised on out to, Malibu
    And ate a couple of surfers who were, too tough to chew
    So it slithered its way, up to old Irvine
    And ate a couple of hippies, and they tasted JUST FINE!
    Now it’s got a sweet tooth for long hair
    So Bob and Craig and Grant you should beware.

    (falsetto) Followin’ the Dead is how it….gets it’s kicks
    (growl) Shame it wasn’t born in nineteen…….sixty six
    (falsetto) Listens to the music and……begins to sway
    (growl) Dreamin’ acid dreams of a ……hippie soufflĂ©
    HEY HEY HEY!

    What do they taste like? Some kind of treat?
    How many hippies can this monster eat?
    It ate Stills and Nash, before they could shout
    And then it chewed on David Crosby but it … SPIT HIM OUT!
    All the punks are gonna scream YIPPEE!
    Cuz it’s the Thing That Only Eats Hippies!"

    (There it goes...gonna send ‘em all to that big folk festival in the sky... SO LONG SUCKERS!)
    -The Dead Milkmen ("EAT YOUR PAISLEY", 1986)

    You can also find this track on the ’97 greatest hits collection "DEATH RIDES A PALE COW", which is a good way to get to know The Milkmen. Their first full length LP, "BIG LIZARD IN MY BACKYARD", from ’85, is another lo-fi classic, which might still be found in stores due to the cult popularity of the single "BITCHIN’ CAMARO" from this disc.

    I’ve included an MP3 of the song in question for your enjoyment (I’m not sure of the bandwidth ramifications of this, so I’ll let ALa make the final call, as usual).

    I’ll be incommunicado for a couple of days once I get rolling tonight, so I’ll catch y’all when I get back.

    -by Russ from Winterset, House Contributor

    The Reverend Jackson

    Jesse Jackson, while visiting a primary school class, found himself in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asks the Rev. Jackson if he would like to lead the discussion on the word "tragedy". So the illustrious leader asks the class for an example of a "tragedy".

    One little boy stood up and offered: "If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a runaway tractor comes along and knocks him dead, that would be a tragedy."

    "No," says the Great Jesse Jackson, "that would be an accident."

    A little girl raised her hand: "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy."

    "I'm afraid not," explains the exalted spiritual leader. "That's what we would call a great loss."

    The room goes silent. No other children volunteer. Rev. Jackson searches the room. "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"

    Finally at the back of the room a small boy raises his hand. In a quiet voice he says: "If a plane carrying the Rev. Jackson were struck by a missile and blown to smithereens that would be a tragedy."

    "Fantastic!" exclaims Jackson, "That's right. And can you tell me why that would be a tragedy?"

    "Well," says the boy, "because it sure as hell wouldn't be a great loss, and it probably wouldn't be an accident either."

    -Originally posted @ Free Republic by Former Fetus.