Friday, August 31, 2007

Mommy went to Jail

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Yeah, kid, she should have gone to jail.

Now does anyone disagree with me that some people are simply unfit to be parents?!


In anticipation of what looks to be a great weekend, I leave you with a little Dave Matthews:

Best of What's Around
Hey, my friend
It seems your eyes are troubled
Care to share your time with me
Would you say you're feeling low and so
A good idea would be to get it off of your mind

See, you and me
Have a better time than most can dream
Have it better than the best
And so can pull on through
Whatever tears at us
Whatever holds us down
And if nothing can be done
We'll make the Best of What's Around

Turns out not where but who you're with
That really matters
That really matters
And hurts not much when you're around
When you're around

And if you hold on tight
To what you think is your thing
You may find you're missing all the rest
She ran up into the light surprised
Her arms are open
Her mind's eye is...

Seeing things from a
Better side than most can dream
On a better road I feel
So you could say she's safe
Whatever tears at her
Whatever holds her down
And if nothing can be done
She'll make the best of what's around

Turns out not where but what you think
That really matters
That really matters
That really matters

See, you and me
Have a better time than most can dream
Have it better than the best
And so can pull on through
Whatever tears at us
Whatever holds us down
And if nothing can be done
We'll make the Best of What's Around

Turns out not where but who you're with
That really matters
That really matters
That really matters
And hurts not much when you're around
When you're around

Oh Boo Hoo

Airports have now begun asking those wearing turbans to take off their head-wear for security purposes. The Sikhs are angry about this.
(CBS) NEW YORK The new federal policy of checking hats when going through airport security is causing a serious controversy, with many now asking: Is it a necessary security measure or another act of religious or racial profiling?

Perhaps after the national embarrassment of a monkey getting through Transportation Security Administration agents under a man's hat and ending up on a plane departing Peru and bound for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and then onto another plane bound for New York City on Aug. 8, officials decided to make changes in policies regarding hats.

Even if you made it through airport security, federal TSA screeners can now search or pat down a passenger's hat in search of illegal items or weapons. Seems fair enough for many passengers, even those with hats...

Others see where the system is skewed, however.

One group in particular -- Sikhs -- agrees, saying the new TSA hat policy is focused on those who wear turbans is in effect a form of racial profiling.
Enough already. Some guy got a monkey on a plane because of his 'hat.' Others could have guns or knives or bombs under their turbans. I say we should have been uncovering all headgear - baseball caps, helmets, turbans, yarmulkes, scarves, etc., a long long time ago. It is incredibly feasible that someone would have a weapon under one of those -just like I could have a boxcutter in my flip flop.

The TSA does not- and should not care about whether or not a Sikh is upset with their new rules. I don't like that I have to carry toiletries in a plastic bag, but you don't see airport security bending the rules for me. (Not to mention, I don't exactly fit the profile of an Islamic terrorist- sorry to "profile.") We all have to take off our jackets and shoes. Why should those with turbans be exempt?

Now this really gets me going:
Prablyit Singh, a Sikh who wears his turban as part of his religion, was stopped recently when he flew out of his home airport in Washington D.C.

He objected to having his turban patted down after he had passed the metal detector, and says TSA agents gave him a hard time afterward, yelling at him.

"What I had to go through was not only humiliating, but a demeaning situation to get onto this flight," Singh says.

Singh finally agreed to the pat down, but as is required by his religion, asked it be done in private.
A message to the Sikhs- you are not the victims here. Pardon the detail, but everytime my underwire bra sets off the metal detector or I refuse to take my shoes off, they pull me aside between the little glass dividers and pat me down all over. And if a large wand between your legs and around your breasts isn't uncomfortable and humiliating, I don't know what else is. Objecting to the pat-down is NOT an option.

So go cry to your momma, but I want to be sure the airports have checked your turban for weapons of terrorism.

And if you don't have to take your turban off, I'm not taking off my shoes!

Has Fred Thompson lost the mojo?

Fred Thompson is evidently going to announce his intent to run for President on September 6th. Despite the previous rumors about the Fourth of July and Jay Leno's show, I'm inclined to believe this is it, as he was quoted saying he'd like to run a more traditional campaign, announcing the fall before the election and he needs to start building a presence in Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire.

That- and they just flat out told me in an email:
Dear Friends,

On September 6, 2007, Fred Thompson will be announcing his intention to run for President of the United States with a webcast available to millions at The launch of the video will be followed by a five-day campaign tour through Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. On the evening of the 6th, there will also be a National House Party, during which there will be a conference call with Fred.
Yawn. Same stuff everytime.

So what does this mean for the GOP? Frankly, I've lost the Fred-zy. I'm not sure it matters. I don't know that he's got enough mojo now...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Edwards' Escape from the SUV argument

Hippocrite [hippo-crit] noun
[origin: 2007, Little Miss Sunshine, circa August]

1. A massive thick-skinned person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

2. a Hypocrite of gargantuan proportion

3. John Edwards


They've banned Tag in Colorado- you know, the game where "you're it" and then the slow kids get laughed at because they can't catch up to anyone fast enough to tag them back? Oh good memories...

All joking aside,
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - An elementary school has banned tag on its playground after some children complained they were harassed or chased against their will.

"It causes a lot of conflict on the playground," said Cindy Fesgen, assistant principal of the Discovery Canyon Campus school.

Running games are still allowed as long as students don't chase each other, she said.

Fesgen said two parents complained to her about the ban but most parents and children didn't object.

In 2005, two elementary schools in the nearby Falcon School District did away with tag and similar games in favor of alternatives with less physical contact. School officials said the move encouraged more students to play games and helped reduce playground squabbles.
Do you think these children were complaining, or perhaps, their parents? running, no hugging, no tag... Let's just BAN ALL FUN from school!

I suppose I'm not as upset about TAG, since it is pretty meaningless and torturesome to the slow chunky kids who like to read, or the little girls who would rather gossip about their new lipgloss on the tires. But, does that mean Duck-Duck-Goose is out too? Now that is something we could consider suing the school for!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Too funny!

Check out Check Engine Soon to brighten your day!

We're #1, Hey!

This just in:
GENEVA (Aug. 28) - The United States has 90 guns for every 100 citizens, making it the most heavily armed society in the world, a report released on Tuesday said.

U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.

About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.
If you read this story, you'll get a kick out of the comments. I'm actually quite proud of this statistic. To me, it proves we are a society, in some ways, of personal responsibility. AND, we take our freedoms seriously (See Second Amendment, US Constitution). I recognize that some individuals abuse their freedom and use guns for the wrong purpose. It's those stories that make the news and turn all the gun-control freaks to crying "take them away!"

But if I want a gun, and as a sane individual have no plans to use it except for hunting, shooting as sport, or personal protection where it would lie locked in a safe place away from my children, who is to tell me I can't have one?

Now we just have to convince the legislature here in WI to pass conceal-carry. Who's with me?

Oh, did I mention, girls like 'em big?

I'm so over Katrina

My more-conservative Good Morning America sincerely disappointed me today with yet another segment on "Katrina: 2 years later."

WHY do we consider people waiting for the government to pull them up out of sinking sand to be NEWS?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Farmer's Almanac forgot Global Warming

The Farmer's Almanac is predicting a "two-faced" winter for the Northeast in 2008.
"The almanac's 2008 edition, which goes on sale Tuesday, foresees plenty of snow across the Northeast, temperatures averaging as much as 3 degrees below normal along most of the Atlantic Coast, and four major frosts as far south as Florida. The Great Lakes region will also take a pounding."
HA! Take that, all you oh-no-global-warming-the-ice-is-melting whiners!
"The outlook is tamer for the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the desert Southwest and the Pacific Coast, but Geiger said snow in Colorado will be more than adequate for skiing.

Other predictions include a cool, wet spring in many places, active tornado and hurricane seasons and a warmer-than-normal summer in much of the country."
Maybe it's just as goofy to believe the almanac as it is to believe in global warming. BUT,
"The forecasts are prepared two years in advance by the almanac's reclusive prognosticator, who goes by the pseudonym Caleb Weatherbee and uses a secret formula based on sunspots, the position of the planets and the tidal action of the moon. Weatherbee has already completed his 2009 forecast, Geiger said."
That is pretty high-tech stuff right there.
"The 191-year-old almanac's winter forecast is at odds with the federal government's outlook, which is based largely on statistical trends. For the coming winter, those trends point to above normal temperatures in the East and the Southwest, with drier than average weather along the southern tier of states and up the East Coast into Virginia."
We shall see, friends.

Besides, what is more important- that people in New England might have two winters or that the brides throughout the nation with outdoor wedding plans avoid the rain?

Sidenote: did the Almanac predict our crazy rainy August?

Vick asks for forgiveness...

I suppose we should all think about forgiving eachother when mistakes are made. Today, Michael Vick called to the public for forgiveness, and made it clear he has found Jesus.
"I'm upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that's the right thing to do as of right now."
However, I think he should have called upon St. Francis of Assisi, my favorite Patron Saint of Animals. Then maybe we'd believe him.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Isn't it odd...

..that with all of the 9+ counties in a state of distaster in Ohio, disaster areas in Minnesota, flooding in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, I hear less complaining about people's hardships there than I do about New Orleans, even 2 years after Katrina?
At Fox Lake, in northern Illinois, residents were busy stacking sandbags to protect their houses from the rising Fox River, said Ami McEwan, assistant administrator for Lake County.

"Most of them are sandbagging and keeping it at bay," she said.
Thankfully FEMA and state governments are coming to aid- but in the meantime, midwesterners underwater just keep on sandbagging.
The river topped its banks at noon and was flowing over a riverfront park, said Joy Hanson, who owns the Mason House Inn & Caboose Cottage, a bed and breakfast at Bentonsport. She said there wasn't time to start sandbagging.

"It's like a panic," she said. "There are a lot of people here from other towns helping out."
Their Christmas ornaments are gone, but they're not crying for the federal government to buy new ones, because after all, the weather isn't under the federal government's control. Hmmmmm....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Iowa State Fair Kernel Poll Results are in!

Clinton wins Dem vote- 33% of 21,438 kernels

Romney wins the GOP vote - 36% of 14,010 kernels.

Interesting there were 7,000 more Democrat votes than Republican votes....Hm.

Monday, August 20, 2007

What will the Atlanta Falcons do?

Oh, don't we all feel sad for Michael Vick? .... NOT!
RICHMOND, Va. (Aug. 20) - Michael Vick agreed Monday to plead guilty to federal dogfighting conspiracy charges, a deal that leaves the Atlanta Falcons quarterback facing up to 18 months in prison and puts his NFL career in jeopardy.

Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend Vick be sentenced to between a year and 18 months in prison, according to a government official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the terms have not yet been made final.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Impeach the Dane County Board!

Does anyone in the Green Bay-Fox Cities area give a flying HOOT about what the Dane County Board votes on?

Why was their vote to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney on Green Bay news last night?
MADISON, Wis. -- The Dane County Board of Supervisors passed a controversial resolution early Friday morning to ask Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The resolution was approved by a 20-3 margin with two board members abstaining and 12 others were absent. The vote took place after 1 a.m. and many board members had left, WISC-TV reported.

Earlier in the evening as the board took up the resolution and others, supporters of the measure held a rally outside. Some wore armbands to show solidarity for impeachment. Impeachment supporters wore the color orange, and organizers said that the demonstration was part of the new "orange for change" movement going on across the nation.

The Impeachment Coalition of Dane County organized a mock funeral at the rally, complete with caskets labeled "Democracy" and "The Constitution." Organizers said that while they support the resolution, they're pushing more for accountability than actual impeachment.

"In the overall scheme of things, the vote isn't all that important," said rally organizer Dennis Coyier of the Impeachment Coalition of Dane County. "What's important is that we're here showing solidarity. We want to take our country back and bring it back to what it was, the principles we founded it upon, which are being destroyed."
Thoughts: Has anyone ever heard of this "orange for change" theme?

Let's hold a mock funeral for patriotism and freedom, how about that?
No, Dennis, your vote wasn't important at all. The fact that it took place after 1:00 am shows how pathetic it was, that members of the council left before weighing in because they knew how insignificant the vote would be and were probably disappointed that you would even waste their time on something so trivial.
Lonny Raymond, of Stoughton, said that he opposes the resolution.

"I'm pretty much totally against it, because we did re-elect him as a president," Raymond said.

Jennie Lien, of Stoughton, said she thought the vote was a waste of time.

"I think they should forget about it. They should have forgotten about it when it started, because there are more important things for the people of this county to think about," Lien said. "I think it should just go by the wayside, but they're going to do what they want to do anyway."
We did re-elect him. His numbers will rebound, just you watch. And thank you for some common sense, Ms. Lien. It is sad the Dane County Board is known as a body that is going to do what they want and act politically against our nation's leaders, despite the more important things the people of Dane County could think about.

Packer football

The Green Bay Packers gave their home fans plenty to be excited about on Saturday as the 2007 regular season approaches.

It wasn't just that the Packers blew out a shorthanded Seattle Seahawks team 48-13 in front of 69,761 fans who braved a rainy night at Lambeau Field. It was that the contributions came in every phase of the game and answered a few of the questions that have lingered during training camp.
Defense was on fire. We are going to surprise a lot of people, I just know it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Proper locker room etiquette

A plea to the 40-some year old woman at the Y: Would you please refrain from parading around the women's locker room naked? We all know women's locker rooms are a safe space for showering, dressing, changing, what have you. It is not a space of judgment or insecurity, but a female haven where we can feel good about ourselves for our effort to better our own bodies. We might even feel the same bond that men do - you know how they smack each other's butts with towels. Heck, I'm good with throwing out the occasional "you go, girl!" as well.

But for the sake of my own insecurity and uncomfortablness in experiencing this woman's pride in her appearance, and for allowing others to enjoy the safe space of the locker room - I have to ask, what is proper locker room etiquette these days?

Vick's dog-saga continues

Smoking Gun says it all: Cohorts Say Vick's A Dog Killer.
In nearly identical fact summaries, both Phillips and Peace stated that the dogfighting ring's "operation and gambling monies were almost exclusively funded by Vick." Additionally, both men fingered Vick in the execution earlier this year of about eight dogs that performed poorly in test fighting sessions. Phillips and Peace each told investigators that Vick participated in killing the dogs, which were hung or drowned, and that the animals "died as a result of the collective efforts" of the trio.
Wow, Michael, you're a model citizen and pet owner. Jackass.

Defending arguments

I'm afraid Mrs. Bucher loses a little credibility when she blogs so bitterly about the Attorney General who defeated her husband in a primary race. I guess old grudges die hard.

I'm not chastising Ms. McBride for criticizing or challenging Republican leaders like JB, nor do I wish to start a fight between two conservative lady bloggers in the Cheddarsphere. I simply disagree with the tad-bit-sarcastic critique and think we should look at it a little differently:

In the 8 months JB has been in office, crime lab efficiency has increased 50% when compared with the first six months of Lautenschlager's term. That is quite impressive considering the 31 new analysts are not trained and online yet. Let's give the guy a chance to do the things he promised to do.

JB has changed the focus of the office from political activism to law enforcement, not to mention restoring integrity (No ditches for this AG!). While keeping a campaign promise to review and dismiss frivolous lawsuits (the infamous cranberry grower case), DOJ reviewed the case and because JB's law firm represented the grower JB recused himself. (Thinking back to Judge Ziegler contraversy on recusals, didn't we learn a lesson there?) The office still dismissed the case. Now THAT is integrity!

Again, it's only been 8 months, and we all know the speed of litigation...

Finally, I'd like to mention JB's relationships with local law enforcement, another promise he is fulfilling. JB received rave reviews for his regional listening session in La Crosse a few weeks ago. On the campaign trail, Van Hollen promised to listen to local leaders in law enforcement, discuss their problems, and seek a solution. This will not be a one time thing, I can assure you.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More NEWT!

"Roosevelt again addressed the nation by radio as war became ever more inevitable, to express to Americans the threat Nazism posed to our democratic and religious freedoms. On October 27, 1941, he described a German document outlining Hitler's plan to 'abolish all existing religions' in which 'the property of all churches will be seized by the Reich and its puppets. The cross and all other symbols of religion are to be place of the cross of Christ will be put two symbols -the swastika and the naked sword.' Roosevelt then concluded with the pledge to the Nazis that 'We stand ready in defense of our nation and the faith of our fathers to do what God has given us the pwer to see as our full duty.'

"Franklin Roosevelt was a man of deep religious belief who understood, just as powerfully as Washington before him, that religion and morality were indispensable supports to the preservation of our liberties and our country."

What liberal bias?

Now, that's mature!
Joe Scarborough has pulled back the curtain on the liberal bias at MSNBC, describing an incident in which people in its newsroom ceaselessly booed President Bush during a State of the Union address.

The revelation came on "Morning Joe" today at 6:02 A.M. EDT. Joe was discussing a recent episode at the Seattle Times in which reporters and editors cheered the news that Karl Rove had resigned. Scarborough applauded Seattle Times Executive Editor Dave Boardman for issuing a memorandum reproving his colleagues.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another Newt quote

At a White House dinner during the [civil] war, the clergyman who gave the benediction closed with a thought: "The Lord is on the Union's side," to which [Abraham] Lincoln responded: "I am not at all concerned about that, for I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side" (54).
Is it not applicable to the war against terrorism and Islamic fascists? Let US all be o nthe Lord's side.

She really bothers me

Elizabeth Edwards opens her mouth quite often, and yet, I learn little about her and the character of her husband, only that she is the mouthpiece of attacks on John Edwards' behalf. And not articulate at that...
Mrs. Edwards praised her husband for apologizing for his vote in favor of the Iraq War, and questioned Senator Hillary Clinton's, D-N.Y., for not doing the same.

"She even, in the New Hampshire debate said, 'I made a mistake.' People are looking for a mea culpa from her. And when she buried a line like that –- I give her credit for saying that –- but when she buries that line... we're electing a leader of the free world, and just like the votes on this last funding bill, we're looking for a leader," Edwards contended.
Praise for apologizing and taking back one's vote?

Leadership is about making a decision and not wavering or apologizing, despite public opinion and popularity. Leadership is about governing with the best interest of your constituents in mind. If you do that, there is nothing to apologize for -war included. Mea Culpas are for spilled milk, not for political officials who have chosen to vote or take a step one way, and then learning that they may not get re-elected, backtracking from that step.

I'm at a loss for why Mrs. Edwards is the mouthpiece of her husband's campaign.

Monday, August 13, 2007

secular Left makes an unGodly threat

I'm reading Newt Gingrich's Rediscovering God in America. Along with the profound genius of the man come a few quotes I find incredibly pressing:

"...the secular Left cannot accurately teach American history without addressing America's religious character and its religious heritage, so it simply ignores the topic. If you don't teach about the Founding Fathers, you don't have to teach about our Creator. If you don't teach about Abraham Lincoln, you don't have to deal with fourteen references to God and two Bible verses in his 703-word second inaugural address. That speech is actually carved into the wall of the Lincoln Memorial in a permanent affront to every radical secularist who visits this public building. You have to wonder how soon there will be a lawsuit to scrape the references of God and the Bible off the monument so as not to offend those who hate or despise religious expression" (14).

Stay tuned, or read excerpts.

Thoughts on an Iowa Straw Poll experience

Overall - I was truly fascinated by the Iowa Straw Poll- the effort made by over 14,000 Iowa Republicans to brave the 102 degree heat index, sit through speeches by all the candidates (some very boring), and shamelessly stuff themselves silly at the expense of those who expect nothing more from them than a check mark next to their name in over a year. It wasn't a lack of enthusiasm

Mike Huckabee
- Huckabee truly WAS the guy to see. Coming in second place, Iowans were right to punish Giuliani, Thompson, and McCain by giving their votes elsewhere. Huckabee, the dark horse, came out with likely one of the least expensive displays (Sam Brownback's air conditioned tent was $30,000 alone!), using his own band -and playing a mean bass for all to see and hear, and providing little more than water and the Hope Watermelon to satisfy the voters' hunger and thirst. I missed his speech inside, but appreciated his accessibility after the excitement passed and the long wait of the afternoon dawned. His ease in working the crowd, despite two handlers, resembled that of a minister among his congregation after a particularly inspiring Sunday sermon. As a Baptist minister, it's not surprising, but his ability to connect in just a few seconds of eye contact allow for the political move-on to the next person without offense. In his own words, "David did pretty well against Golliath with one smooth stone."

Re-reading an older Politico story from before this weekend, I catch this quote:
“The only reason people talk about me for vice president instead of president is because of money,” he said. “Add money to my campaign, and I am a top presidential contender. It is like Kool-Aid: All you have to do is add water. Well, just add money to my campaign and I am ready to go. And Ames will provide the momentum.”
I'm drinking the Kool-Aid.

In the risk of this not being an op-ed in favor of Huckabee(ha! nice try!), I found this equally as amusing:
Mike Huckabee yesterday noted that he managed to snare 18 percent of the vote despite investing much less in the event than his top rivals. "It wasn't just that we surprised people with a second showing, it's that we did it with so few resources," he said. "This really was feeding the 5,000 with two fish and five loaves."
No, Democratic critics, Huckabee doesn't think he's Jesus here, but he can talk that talk as a Baptist minister and believe in feeding many with very little. He didn't bring in a single bus. He got more votes than he bought.

It's his demeanor, his slight southern drawl barely detected through a slight chuckle. Huckabee is the funny guy, he's the average Joe. While his candidacy may be a long shot, a "footnote" in your child's next history book, he shows he is human. He's bound to make a mistake with his tongue, but he doesn't shy away from talking about creation and realizing that people have faults, but that's what makes them worth knowing and growing along side- worth governing and leading. It also makes him less afraid to be himself, his fat old self, faults and all.
“In the very best people I have ever met, there is a secret side that nobody else knows, a dark side that make us all very fragile and human and real,” he said. “And in some of the worst people I have ever encountered I have also found that you can’t completely write them off as unredeemable.”
The real Mike Huckabee shows himself on the campaign trail. He's less scripted and more vulnerable, but it's endearing and captivating at the same time.
Read the rest.

Mitt Romney
- Romney surprised me with something I'd been waiting to hear from at least one of the GOP bunch. During his speech, the first of the panel, Romney said that "President Bush has kept us safe for the last 6 and a half years - and that's been a tough job." He ran away from that same answer the next morning though, I was not pleased.

The other struggle I have with Governor Romney is his polish. He's scripted and each answer feels like he's wearing a mask, mouth corners turned up just enough. He knows what he's going to say long before the question is asked. But if he doesn't, he changes his answer a tad and throws me off again. Is he too perfect? The man never has a hair out of place, and his Ken doll appearance sometimes outweighs the power of thought in his answers. I like his answers- but where have we seen him off-the-cuff?

Ann Romney, darling lady, looks the part, but her answers to Chris Wallace on FoxNews were less than impressive. Perhaps the campaign advisors could take a break on scripting Mitt and give Ann a few more words. Though, I suppose I can't compare everyone to Laura Bush...

Governor Romney did have quite a spread, I will admit. His staff has worked incredibly hard thus far, and it shows. We should expect this level throughout.

And the Fair - The Iowa State Fair truly IS a state fair on steroids. Talk about turkey legs.

Mitt Romney Iowa Straw poll

Clip of Mitt Romney speech at Straw Poll

Black to basics

I'm going to agree that Obama started out right on this one:
When asked, "What gives Obama hope that America is ready for a black president?",
Obama took the opportunity to get at what he considers the heart of the matter, actually demanding that black journalists themselves are to blame for missing the point. Skin color, his record in public service, the issues – none of this suggests he’s not ‘black enough’ and yet questions over his blackness persist, he put to the crowd of black journalists.

It’s “puzzling,” he said. Why is this?...
I appreciate that he's turned the question of "is Obama black enough?" back to the journalists, wondering why they are the ones persistent in making color an issue.

The rest of his remarks slightly err on the side of the race card, by appealing to the black man's self-inflicted status 'under the white man' still to this day.
“What it really does is really lay bare, I think, that we’re still locked in this notion that if you appeal to white folks then there must be something wrong,” he said, adding it’s the same sort of suspicion many blacks face when they attend a predominately white Ivy League institution.

And that’s when he issued this provocative challenge: Instead of asking Obama if he’s black enough, black journalists should dig deeper, and ask why there exists this mistrust in black America of a black man like Obama running for office?
Here's where he loses me and could have knocked it out of the park.

Politics is not about appealing to white folks. If that's what you think, you're the wrong kind of politician. Perhaps the U.S. is predominantly white, but the diversity and makeup of our great nation is changing every day. It shouldn't be a question of why a black politician is mistrusted or can't appeal to voters, white, black, brown or whatever. The question should be why a man or woman- no matter their color or ethnicity- as a citizen and politician is either qualified for the position they seek, or not.

So much for English as the official language

I can't quite understand why we are punishing Americans for speaking the language of the land:
STUART, Fla. - A Stuart businessman said he is being evicted because he does not speak Spanish. Tom McKenna said he and his business, Seacoast Water, must be out of the building in less than a month on the property owner's orders.

McKenna said the property owner of the complex sent him a letter last month indicating that he only wanted tenants who would serve the Spanish community, WPBF News 25 reported.

McKenna, who only speaks English, has rented the corner storefront on Dixie Highway for almost a decade.
If only I knew some Spanish profanity...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

People in Racine, speak up so we can all hear you!!

The idea is universal health care in Wisconsin. It's almost a relief to hear two critics speak up.

Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds:
"I don’t even know if they know what they’ve proposed," McReynolds said. "There’s just so many unanswered questions, I’m not comfortable putting out figures yet."
and Jerry Ryder, president of In-Sink-Erator in Racine:
The idea of universal health coverage sounds wonderful, he said. "Who in the world could intellectually oppose that? But, boy, it is not without consequences. It is not without implications."
Who in the world? Wisconsin Dems, that's who.

Read the rest.

Another reason to love Grey's Anatomy

Just as the Britney Spears media coverage has become overly nauseating, Ellen Pompeo takes one to the pop-tarts!
Ellen Pompeo says Hollywood socialites "who are rich and famous for nothing" set a bad example.

"I just think the media should take this country in a different direction," the 37-year-old actress tells the new issue of Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, on newsstands Aug. 15.

"We're so focused on the wrong things. We're teaching young girls that this is what they should be focusing on: rich and famous girls who are rich and famous for nothing."

In an apparent reference to coverage of Paris Hilton and her ilk, Pompeo says: "What are we doing to this younger generation? It's not very responsible."

I'm ready for Season IV!

A gift for the President

To: White House.
From: Little Miss Sunshine
Note: Please be careful, Sir.


Naked man in Green Bay area! Close the blinds and lock your doors!
A naked male wearing only a ski mask was on the loose overnight, exposing himself outside an Allouez home and running through yards on Green Bay's east side, police reported.

A 29-year-old woman was sitting in her living room working on her laptop when she noticed a naked man outside her window. She went to see whether her door was locked and the man took off running. The man was described as white and thin.
This is wrong, but I'm laughing. I love that the Press Gazette has named him "the Serial Flasher".
Police are investigating whether the case is related to a similar incident reported late Wednesday night in Allouez.

In that case, three 12-year-old girls in a home on Custer Court reported seeing a man wearing only a black ski mask walk up and expose himself outside a glass patio door about 11 p.m.

The man was described as being white and about 5-foot-5, but no weight or age description was available.
How come we can guess weight and age when a suspect is fully clothed, but fail to find words for those in the nude?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Why don't we roll out the red carpet for the terrorists while we're at it!

This moron should never be published again.
If You Were a Terrorist, How Would You Attack? he asks.
I'd like to see the federal government take him into questioning. When he's in a dark room, handcuffed and questioned, go Jack Bauer style on him until he wets himself and cries like a baby for his momma.


Playing the race card

I don't think she's the most eloquent woman, but Elizabeth Edwards has a point.
"In some ways, it's the way we have to go," Edwards says. "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars. Now it's nice to get on the news, but not the be all and end all."
The author of the article responded:
The implication that Obama and Hillary consider getting attention for being black or a woman "the be all and end all" is, of course, completely absurd, especially given how much black-on-black racism the Obama campaign has faced, and how dizzy everyone got when Hillary showed the tiniest bit of cleavage.
I disagree.
Barack Obama gets a lot of press because he is a black man. If elected to the Presidency, he would be the first African American president in US History. Hillary Clinton gets press because she is a woman and would be the first female president in US History if elected.

John Edwards is a "middle-class" (um, upper class...) white guy. A real first for us.

Just touching on the race card, I was surprised to be hit with this for the second time in one day. Waiting at the doctor's office earlier this morning, I read an article in Time Magazine about "Is Obama black enough?" He was questioned by one of his own advisors on how he'll deal with having called America a "magical place" to his father, even with the days of Jim Crow laws lurking in the past.

Black enough? First of all, Obama is biracial; of an African father and a white mother from Kansas. What defines black enough? If the elections were on race only, by this standard no 100% black people should be voting for him, only biracial voters. Still, some have argued "he isn't black like me." Why, because he's an articulate senator and not the product of a gang in the ghetto? Pardon my political incorrectness, but that is what they mean. He isn't black enough because he's not "authentic."
Black, in our political and social vocabulary, means those descended from West African slaves," wrote Debra Dickerson on the liberal website Salon.
Well guess what, children of slavery: In almost every cycle since 1984, at least one African American has run for President. Your past of your race is not your destiny, nor is it an excuse for not working hard to make something of yourself.

I know that race is still a prevalent issue in our society. Obama is still going to talk about the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. and America's history of slavery. He's going to relate to his African father, appeal to the hardships of the black voter. But it's our media that is going to make his race THE issue that frames him. It's not going to be about his education, or his rise in politics, or even his plan for America on most days. It'll be his name, followed by a discussion of how his skin color impacts the race for president.

I find it difficult to see our world moving past the racial divide anytime soon, only because its on the front-page everyday. In January for the Superbowl, how many times did I hear that Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith were the first African American coaches to ever be a head coach in a superbowl game. Countless!! That's great and all, but I wasn't even thinking about their race. I was thinking they did a damn good job coaching their teams that year. Isn't that why they were there anyhow? Dungy and Smith didn't make it there because they're black.

And in Wisconsin in our own upcoming 2008 Supreme Court race, it will be the challenger conservative candidate against Justice Louis Butler, Wisconsin's first African American Supreme Court Justice. Mark my words, that is how the news media will almost always describe him.

So until the news media stops asking "when are we going to move past the race card" and actually does-stops pointing it out, Elizabeth Edwards is correct. Calhoun writes,
"Elizabeth Edwards' comments are Theresa-Heinz-Kerry-grade reckless, certainly, and they are deeply cynical about the way sex and race function in American politics."
So what if she's cynical? Only because our news media and our society are too!

Do I think Elizabeth Edwards could have kept this thought to herself? Maybe. But it doesn't make her point any less valid. Let's cut political correctness out because the world isn't right or wrong, or black and white.

Better than the Vick chew toy?

Hillary Clinton Nutcracker.

I'm taking votes!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Rising, hiking, what other action verbs are the board of Regents good at?

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents approved a 5.5 percent tuition hike for students today as part of the 2007-08 budget.

With lawmakers still wrangling over the budget and school set to begin next month, regents voted 14-3 to approve the plan, which was based off the Joint Finance Committee's version of the budget. The plan increases tuition by $330 at UW-Madison, $323 at UW-Milwaukee and $251 at the 11 other four-year UW campuses. The two-year UW Colleges will see no tuition increase.

UW System President Kevin Reilly called the tuition hikes "the lowest increases in years." Regent Tom Loftus expressed hope that the budget process would foster a "new beginning" for the relationship between the UW and the Legislature.

"We are presenting to them, the leaders ... our best judgment as to what the University needs," Loftus said.
Just when I've been thinking about going back for a higher degree. Even if tuition wasn't raised for me, I wouldn't want to contribute. ROBBERS!

Huckabee's the guy to see

I'm looking forward to my first trip to Iowa to experience my first Straw Poll this weekend. I'm sure it won't be quite the regular Iowa voter's experience, um, because I can't vote, but alas I'm going to take it all in and report back next week.

Secretly, I'm looking forward to seeing Huckabee, and thanks to Daniel at GOP3- I'm even more intrigued!

Let kittens be kittens

This kitten may not exactly be little, but he's still cuddly!

In terms of our pet's weight, I think there's a lot to consider but nothing to worry about -a lot like life in general. If they balloon, obviously cut back on treats, buy some ribbons to play with them, and toss a few ringing balls around your house.

I'm certainly not going to advocate for forcing an indoor cat outside, especially when lurking evil neighbor cats can attack and cause a fight which may leave your cat minced for dog food. Ok, dogs don't eat cats, but you know what I mean. Not to mention we all don't live in beautiful houses with big back yards with fences protecting them from the street. (Side note, apartments suck.)
Professor Gunn-Moore said: "Cats are now the number one pet, they are more popular than dogs. People get in late and they don't want to walk the dog.

"They want the cat there as a companion..."
And what is better than a lap cat? Rock on. Cats Rule and Dogs, well, I want a dog too...

So what if your cat is a little heavy? What else is it going to do, get on a treadmill? Unless your cat is performing on America's Got Talent, it's unlikely. So let it enjoy the lazy life, lounging in the sun and hunting mice in the basement, or toy mice in the kitchen. It will die a happy pet. And let's not point the finger so fast at our feline friends:
Cats are not the only pets to be losing the battle of the bulge. A quarter of dogs are clinically obese and overweight rabbits and even hamsters are also a common sight in vets' surgeries.
Now a fat hamster? That is something to definitely consider going Old Yeller style on.

Monday, August 6, 2007

If she wins, will we call her Billary?

Is it too early to be believing the polls? Or planning the code names? (Thinking back to Bennifer, TomKat, etc.)

Hillary's up 22 points... even with the margin of error, that's 17 points.
"People are seeing her as the one ready to be president," Mark Penn, Clinton's chief strategist, told Susan. Bill Burton, Obama’s spokesman, dismissed the findings. "National polls may go up and down before people actually start voting, but their irrelevance will not," he said.
Sadly, I believe "people" are right. Obama is not ready. And Hillary's already "been President," right?

I'm starting to give in to the notion she'll have the nomination...sigh.

The surge is working

The title of this AP article says it all: Analysis: Military Shows Gains in Iraq
BAGHDAD (AP) - AP Video The new U.S. military strategy in Iraq, unveiled six months ago to little acclaim, is working.

In two weeks of observing the U.S. military on the ground and interviewing commanders, strategists and intelligence officers, it's apparent that the war has entered a new phase in its fifth year.

Commanders are encouraged by signs that more Iraqis are growing fed up with violence. They are also counting on improvements in the Iraqi army and police, which are burdened by religious rivalries and are not ready to take over national defense duties from U.S. troops this year.

U.S. military leaders want Congress and President Bush to give them more time to keep trying—to reach a point, perhaps in 2009, when the Iraqis will be closer to reconciliation and ready to provide much of their own security.
Let's listen to our military leaders. They know best.

Vick Chew Toy

This is so great, I'm buying one for my cat!


Suing over uniforms, the latest fad

I never had to wear uniforms to my public schools, but often wished I had. And the kids I knew who did, had parents who were maybe a little more grateful for the rules than parents these days.
As the new school year approaches, more schools are requiring students to wear uniforms or otherwise restricting what they may wear — and parents are objecting.

Their complaint: The policies trample students' right of expression and parents' right to raise children without government interference, says Vickie Crager, founder of Asserting Parental Rights — it's Our Duty, a parents rights group that opposes school uniforms.
So parents have banded together against uniforms? There are so many other things I can think of that parents could oppose, that would improve their child's educational experience. Uniforms falls far from the top of my list.
Here's one that baffles me:
"As a parent, we felt our rights were being violated," says Laura Bell. They have five children, ages 5 to 17.

The Bells' suit makes two claims: that the uniform requirement violates their children's constitutional right of free expression and that it violates the guarantee of a free public education. The Bells would have to pay $641 for five sets of pants and shirts required by the policy, Laura Bell says.
Think about how much they'd have to pay for enough clothes for at least a week for all their children instead of uniforms. And uniforms can be worn has hand-me-downs, which I'm sure a family of five is well-aware of.

I guess I am unopposed to uniforms and think they have a poor argument. If that's how the school can best keep their students, I support their decision to enforce and require uniforms. Last time I checked, school was not a fashion show and the hallways were not runways. School is a place for learning.
Others who object to uniforms and strict dress codes make their case outside the courtroom. Nashville parents created Metro Parents Against Standard School Attire after the school board announced plans for uniforms this spring.

"We perceive it as an educational fad," says Ashley Crownover, the group's spokeswoman. She says research does not support claims that uniforms increase safety or improve academic performance.
A fad? Like high tops, tight rolling, and big hair were? Those all contributed to increased educational performance and higher test scores. Why else do we have No Child Left Behind?

Where is the outrage over freshmen in mini-skirts and 8th graders in eye-liner?
Some members of the group are considering suing or encouraging their children not to wear uniforms when school starts Aug. 13, Crownover says.
Good comeback. Maybe they'll get detention and you can take the teachers to court!

Dumbest quote ever

"If every congressman had to go to bed hungry, we'd solve the hunger problem," he said. "We need to work just as hard to solve the health-care problem."

No we wouldn't, Steve Kagen.

Enough said.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Since when did politics get so sexy?

Reading an LA Times article about sexuality in the '08 elections, I am feeling extremely uncomfortable. From the photo gallery featuring the infamous Al & Tipper kiss to a photo of the Clinton's that should only be in their private albums, where did the issues go?

Obviously, this isn't the kind of thing that will take the lead story on nightly news, but it's not going to go away any time before November, 2008. We've all seen the email chains comparing the ugliest pictures of democratic women against glowing photos of Ann Coulter and Laura Bush in prime lighting, so it's nothing new to note the sexuality of political women and wives.
In this long, hot (interesting choice of word) campaign season, intimations of sexuality are sprouting like wildflowers along the road to the White House. Not that the commingling of sex and politics is anything new, but for what seems to be the first time in memory, voters are being confronted with questions that don't usually break the surface: Just how sexy is a first lady allowed to be? And what constitutes an appropriate display of affection between candidates and their spouses?
Why are we thinking about how sexy the first lady should or shouldn't be? Is that relevant to the voter's choice?
With a nominating field full of older men and younger wives, experts say that a youthful, even sexy wife offers a none-too-subtle message about the vitality of the candidate.
Interestingly enough, this is really the first time I've put the line-up together. On their own, you hone in on the obvious age gap b/t Jeri and Fred Thompson, and probably don't even realize who Cindy McCain is because we never see her.
But honestly, I have only looked at the male candidates and thought of their age individually -questioning their stamina for the office, only an afterthought. President Bush obviously does as a man in his 60's, but he's a special case and the picture of health. Some of these men just look haggard. I hadn't considered their wives...
"What's going on reflects what's happening in the larger culture, a culture increasingly focused on young, attractive women and blatant sexuality, on display for all to appreciate," said Elizabeth Sherman, a political sociologist and Democrat who is married to former Republican Rep. Mickey Edwards of Oklahoma. "The candidate's wife is a strategic asset. How are you going to deploy that asset?"
Alright, back it up. Asset like Laura Bush's approval rating stays high despite her husbands. Asset like Eleanor Roosevelt was in promoting the New Deal. Asset like the projects and focus of the First Lady only increase the positive attention and reputation of the federal government's most powerful office -and add to our society as a whole. But as a sexual object asset? I hope no male candidate is thinking of "deploying his sexy-wife asset."
McCain is 18 years older than Cindy, Giuliani 11 years older than Judith. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, a Democratic hopeful, is 18 years older than his wife, Jackie. The prize for greatest age gap, however, goes to Democratic contender Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio, who is 31 years older than his 29-year-old wife, Elizabeth.
Has anyone ever seen Elizabeth Kucinich? Anyone? Also, notice who isn't mentioned? The focus here, though the article tries to be independent, is on the older Republican panel of candidates: Giuliani, Thompson, McCain. (Hmmm, thinking about such conflicts among the traditional, conservative GOP base...)
But in a world obsessed with appearance and sexuality, even presidential campaigns are offering something to sate our national appetite for the superficial. To paraphrase the old Jell-O campaign, there's always room for cleavage.
Cleavage, really? Does the public notice the cleavage aspect, and more importantly, how do the voters perceive these marital unions? Candidates like O'Bama, Edwards, Huckabee, and Romney appear to have(I believe they actually do) a deep love and respect for their closer-in-age wives who also appear to have their own hidden sexuality, confidence, and supportive intelligence in the girl-next-door way. (That's not to say the other candidates don't love their wives, it's just a different image that's presented.)

At the polling place, does a voter look at the candidate as a couple- as a "we" making promises to America? I have only thought about their spouses when watching TV ads, or in the subconscious up until this point.
Politics experts often say that a candidate's spouse is a negligible factor in helping voters choose a president. But that may be changing, said Sherman. "A candidate's spouse has to be a positive enhancement. If not, at least do no harm. The way things are sliced today, 1% here, 2% there can make a big difference. One false move can destroy your whole campaign."
I would hope the candidates' wives would desire not to be 1 or 2% if it's based on their sexuality and the vitality they help their man to possess. But who am I to judge? Maybe Republicans don't care about age difference in spouses or age in their presidential candidates. My grandparents are 10 years apart, and marriages within my family range from 1 month to 18 years difference to younger women. But what about those with multiple past marriages, new younger wives, and these hot, sexual first lady candidates? Does the GOP scoff at men who leave their wives for younger women? I bet some women do, as the ultimate fear come to life on the pedestal of our nation's leader - being left in older age for young chickies.

But female issues aside, I prefer the picture of a solid supportive First Lady in sharp women like Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Jacqueline Kennedy - oozing class -women who I'm sure influence(d) their husbands in the bedroom too. But more in the "put down your book, let me tell you what I think about all this" kind of way. I prefer my first ladies in a nice suit or ballgown for a state dinner, not stilettos and low-cut lingerie-showing attire for the latest Harper's Bazaar interview. I guess I'm just old school.

Thoughts on a lazy weekend

Movie: Hairspray - Fantastic.
Movie: No Reservations - Cute chick-flick, although may appeal to 65 year old men (evident by the other movie-goer in my row).
Seeing a movie by yourself when you're in the mood for a popcorn, a small Icee and a good cry or laugh - join the club.
Rent movie: Rocky III - ultimate favorite of the series.
August cleaning of the house & closet - a must do.
Selling lightly used belongings in Ebay -(Singing) Money, money, money, money. Money!
Sleeping in - necessary.
Gas prices - unnecessary.
Cuddling with your pet on the couch with the threat of rainy skies outside - nothing better.
Lazy weekend - Priceless!

A stampede of woolly mammoths is imminent!

We all know about global warming, and some blogs, including mine have mentioned the "global cooling" crisis of the 70's as a counter argument, hinting that the media and politicians have blown global warming out of proportion simply to rile the public. This is another article discussing the topic and past Newsweek articles about global temperatures.
In April, 1975, in an issue mostly taken up with stories about the collapse of the American-backed government of South Vietnam, NEWSWEEK published a small back-page article about a very different kind of disaster...well, if you had been following the climate-change debates at the time, you'd have known that the threat was: global cooling.

But in any case, climatologists now are mostly agreed that human impacts will swamp the effects of the Milankovitch cycles (the earth's heating and cooling). The question has been, which specific impacts?

In the mid-1970s, scientists were focusing on an increase of dust and "aerosols" (suspended droplets of liquid, mostly sulfuric acid) in the atmosphere. These, the result of increased agriculture and burning of coal in power plants, lower the Earth's temperature by reflecting sunlight back into space.
Hmmm, farmers and power plants were to blame in the '70s. Did we stop our agricultural way of life? Hardly.
Ironically, clean-air laws in North America and Europe had the effect of reducing aerosols (which cause acid rain), so the predominant influence on climate now is the buildup of carbon dioxide—which traps the Earth's heat in the lower atmosphere and contributes to global warming.
And CO2 also eats away at the ozone, allowing more sun to get in, burn us all and damage our Earth. Yeah yeah. Smoking is bad for you too.
The point to remember, says Connolley, is that predictions of global cooling never approached the kind of widespread scientific consensus that supports the greenhouse effect today. And for good reason: the tools scientists have at their disposal now—vastly more data, incomparably faster computers and infinitely more sophisticated mathematical models—render any forecasts from 1975 as inoperative as the predictions being made around the same time about the inevitable triumph of communism.
So who's to say that in 10, or even 30 more years, we won't have more advanced instruments and incredibly different data in the opposing direction, once again? I agree with Senator Imhof:
The implication he draws is that if you're not worried about being trampled by a stampede of woolly mammoths through downtown Chicago, you don't have to believe what the media is saying about global warming, either.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

On, Wisconsin, On!

From one Badger to another- Scott Van Pelt gets it RIGHT!


Friday, August 3, 2007

Lady gets pissed when Romney doesn't buy pie

Not quite what happened, but this interesting video shows Governor Mitt Romney on the campaign trail, stopping at a diner, making some jokes, and talking about health care.

I have a few qualms- the first being with the woman this report features at the beginning.

The husband's got two jobs and she's got three kids with problems, her youngest son has ADD. (Well, does he really need to be shot up with meds for that? I'll save my posting on unnecessarily medicating children for later.) But don't talk to me about copayments and medicine Rx bills. My job doesn't provide health insurance for me either, lady. I'm 23 years old and getting started. I pay my own premiums and a co-pay everytime I see the doctor. And I pay over $160 for 9 little pills for migraine headaches. Do you think anybody has pity on me? No. And guess what else? I pay that every time I refill. I may not work at a diner for little more than tips, but believe it or not that's actually a considerable chunk of change out of my monthly check.

I like Romney's mood here and how he handles her practically berating him- in fact, I may be slightly impressed. In MA, healthcare he explains-
"They're Private. And we get to choose the policy we like... You get to pay for the policy you want."
He continues and it's almost absorbing - especially his quick-on-his-heels thinking to explain income levels and help people do receive from the government. I appreciate the
"Is it perfect? No. Could it be better?...probably."
He's right to say MA could be a model for others and they'll work to make it better. (I also think he's right to tell her to shut up and let him finish his answer!)

Can you believe they found in Massachusetts that it cost more to hand out healthcare for free? Mitt, you don't say!!

Secondly, I appreciate Romney's quick answer to "Hillary's plan":
"I didn't like her plan, you see it was a government plan."
Thank you, Governor. I don't like her plan either.

The sob story at the end? Incredibly pathetic. "He was in here for what, an hour...that's money off my tables," she whines. I bet she made more that hour- or the hour after I should say- from all the folks that showed up to see Romney and actually stayed for coffee, a slice of pie or a cup of soup.

So in answer to her question to all the candidates, "what are you gonna do for me?" I have a suggestion. Quit crying over what the government isn't giving you and figure out what you can do to help yourself! Your sick kids will thank you in the end.

Still a waffler

If you've read this blog you know that when Democrats (or Republicans for that matter) do the wrong thing I ridicule them for it. Conversly, when they do the right thing I believe they should be recognized. Today John Kerry did the right thing.

Mark Green is well qualified for the ambassadorship. Even Russ Feingold agreed. Despite Feingold's recommendation, a well as that of Wisconsin's Congressional delegation, John Kerry put a hold on the nomination. That was the wrong thing to do. Lifting the hold and allowing Mark Green to further serve his country as the ambassador to Tanzania is the right thing to do.

John Kerry...a flip-flopper 'til the end.

My latest public service announcement

Thinking about the 35-W bridge collapse in Minnesota, we've heard news reports on the list of bridges similar to it that need reinspection, the stories of how few deaths there have been and narrow escapes that were made, but nothing to educate the public if this ever happens to them.

I did some research and hope others will too - What to do to escape a sinking car:
There are lots of points, but these seem the most important:
1. Stay Calm
2. Open the window(s)
3. Unfasten your seatbelt
4. Exit through the window
5. Swim to safety

1. If your car suddenly goes into water, open your windows. You may only have seconds to do this, so it should be first priority.

2. It is unlikely you'll be able to open a car door once in water. The pressure will make this next to impossible. If the vehicle tips or turns, stay in your seated position.

3. If you are unable to open a window by handle or electronically, you have an other option. Break the window. Head toward the rear window or side windows- the front is not a viable option with it's laminate. Use a sharp pointed object, aim for a corner of the window, and strike it with as much force as possible. A metal flashlight, knife, screw driver, seatbelt buckle, even a pen may break the glass.

4. Finally, as a last option, you may be able to open the door. Wait until the car fills with water so the pressure on both sides of the door will be equal. Make sure your door is unlocked. As the car becomes completely filled, take a deep breath and hold it. Once the car is full, the door should be able to be opened. Exit from there.

Never go back in to a sinking vehicle, for any reason.

I hope some folks will learn the steps that could save their life.

Hey, I found a big submersible vessel over here...

A "bizarre submersible vessel" found....
New York authorities were questioning three men found in a bizarre submersible vessel floating just off Manhattan on Friday, according to local reports.

The men were discovered early Friday near the cruise terminal in Brooklyn where the massive ocean liner The Queen Mary II is moored, ABC television reported on its website.

When asked about the incident, a police spokeswoman declined to confirm the report or provide any further information, saying only that officers were at the scene.

What the three men were doing in the vessel -- which appeared to be spherical with a circular hatch on top -- was not immediately clear.

According to ABC, there was no indication that the discovery was terror-related -- a constant fear in New York following the September 11 Al-Qaeda attacks on New York.
Bizarre indeed. Worrisome, even more so.

Michael Bublé - Everything

Is that Bono?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Joining the book club

At Barnes & Noble this evening I was verbally accosted by the cashier, harping on me to get a Member Card. She first asked when I approached the counter to pay, if I had one. I said no, thanks, that's alright. She asked again, reminding me I would save on each purchase if I applied for a Member Card. I said no thanks. Then, she berated me with questions about what I read, how often I buy books there, and tried to explain how much I'd save if I only had a Member Card. As she handed me my receipt, I learned that of my $73.14 purchase, I have 30 days in which I can still get a Member Card and save those $7.00. I just gave your store $73 lady! What more do you want?
People of the retail/service/sales industry- no means no! Though, perhaps now I'll consider getting a Crown Books member card.

What are we teaching our children?

We may not have Mickey Mouse teaching children to become radical suicide bombers as they do in the Middle East, but children's books like this are only furthering the divide between Blue and Red America. Is anyone else alarmed?

Why is Mommy a Democrat? According to Zilber, "Democrats make sure everyone always has enough to eat, just like Mommy does." And Republicans want people to starve, obviously!

Do we consider the opposing messages that can be inferred from lines as simple as these? From a well-versed children's book reader, a poet, and a former student of classical children's literature, I find this appalling. I find both sides - writing either Why Mommy is a Dem or Eek, there are Liberals Under my Bed (whichever it is)- extremely polarizing and leading the young impressionable minds of future generations away from reason and finding common ground with their peers.

What has happened to Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, The Berenstain Bears, Ramona Quimby series, Mark Twain's books, Dr. Suess, Beatrix Potter, all the classics with their moral stories? Even the younger picture books -Where the Wild Things Are, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Bedtime for Frances, and the Hungry Little Caterpillar are just some favorites that come to mind. Heaven forbid you have to read aloud to a child these days.

Think about the first grader sharing with his friend that his mom is a democrat because she wants to give people universal health care? The kid probably infers his mom wants to take care of people when they are sick, and everyone else's mom would rather see them die of their illness. This may be an exaggeration, but that's how kids' minds are. They go in directions we can't even follow sometimes, and it's all about "why".

What's this all for, anyway? Is it because in 2004, George W. Bush won the polls of 3rd graders in private schools when asked who should be President? A silly book like this isn't going to sway young tots toward a political party if their parents have anything to say about it, anyway. So why worry, right? Political persuasion and parenting choices will decide at the end of the day- and we'll see Republicans and conservatives leaning away from these books while the liberals and Democrats stock pile them for all their kids, cousins, and play group families. I'm afraid we'll further polarize parents when their child's -and their own -greatest worries shouldn't be the politics of their house, it should be their spelling test, math homework, play time, and getting to baseball or swim team practice on time.
[Zilber] also rejects claims that he's adding to a poisonous political culture. The word "Republican" is never mentioned in the book, although an elephant -- the symbol of the Republican party -- does squash a homeless man's park bench. He calls that "a little background mischief" for the adults to enjoy.
Interesting... a children's book written for adults. Maybe he's actually on to something. Maybe we need to spell out politics for the adults these days, who've all lost track of original thought and let political rhetoric fall down a sewer drain.

What about the other side? Is that going to be left up to Republicans?
Given his prior success, some people have suggested he sell out and work the other side of the aisle with "Why Mommy is a Republican."

That's not going to happen, Zilber said. "As a Democrat, I don't do things just for the money."
Hmmmmm....not for the money. So this is for....?

So, in the name of rising above a petty political argument, I'd like to propose other book titles, for all the children's authors out there, and some explanation for those of you without imagination:
Why I Am a Patriot
The American Flag, How the Stars got their Stripes
My Favorite Song- God Bless the USA - the lyrics matched to pretty pictures
My Friends are Red, White, and Blue - celebrating differences, but togetherness as Americans
What Happened at Church on Sunday - fun, mischevious look at kids on Sundays
The Great Midwest- An illustrated depiction of the plain states and the glory of America's farmers
and perhaps some politically motivated...
How Mommy and Daddy Came in Legally
Working Hard for the Money
No Food Stamps for US
Elephants are my Favorite Animal
Why Mommy won't name my baby sister Hillary

We've got to type fast, folks, or Kindergartners might start thinking their parents actually believe in God, country, personal responsibility, sanctity of marriage, legal immigration, and working instead of taking government handouts. They might not fit in with the kids who have Democrats for mommies.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Please pray

I'd like to put a call out for prayers for those in Minneapolis and elsewhere directly effected by the collapse of the 35W bridge there.

As I recall the emotions and worries of my day, as petty as they seem, I think we can all be reminded of the more important things in life in this time of unexpected tragedy.