Cleveland's Diner, the longtime Madison breakfast institution on East Wilson Street, will soon be able to stay up late.Well Ok, but will the breakfast taste Greek? What do the Greeks eat for Breakfast? Can I still get an egg and cheese sandwich?
Telly and Beth Fatsis, who have owned Cleveland's for 13 years, will continue serving breakfast six days a week (Tuesday through Sunday), but will begin serving dinners with a Greek flavor on the same days from about 4 p.m. through 11 p.m.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
A poll released Monday suggests Wisconsin will continue to be a so-called “swing state” in November’s presidential election, regardless of which Democrat gets the nomination.Way to go Sara, voice of the UW-CRs.
The poll, conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center, found that in a match-up between U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., 48 percent currently support Obama to McCain’s 41 percent.
If Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., won the nomination, 47 percent of Wisconsinites would choose McCain, and 44 percent would vote for Clinton.
Sara Mikolajczak, chair of the University of Wisconsin College Republicans, said the results of the McCain-Clinton matchup reflect the electorate’s desire for a more experienced candidate.You know what I say though, to the snotty little liberal "green" campuses across America who are so "hungry for Obama's hope"?
“I’m not surprised that he beat Hillary,” she said. “I’m a little surprised about the Obama and McCain numbers, but I think people eventually will want someone with experience and who isn’t too extreme.”
Mikolajczak added she was confident McCain would beat Obama in Wisconsin in the general election, despite the results of the poll.
Let 'em have it! Ask and you shall receive. And then wake up in January of 2010 when President Obama still hasn't ended the war and you're paying way more in taxes than you'd like so every other loser can head to the hospital on your dime.
GARDINER, Mont. (April 29) -- More than half of Yellowstone National Park's bison herd has died since last fall, forcing the government to suspend its annual slaughter program.The debate on this is past my expertise. However, some bison are being slaughtered because of brucellosis, but I'd say the slaughter to "reduce competition for food" could be handled another way.
More than 700 of the iconic animals starved or otherwise died on the mountainsides during an unusually harsh winter, and more than 1,600 were shot by hunters or sent to slaughterhouses in a disease-control effort, according to National Park Service figures.
As a result, the park estimates its bison herd has dropped from 4,700 in November to about 2,300 today, prompting the government to halt the culling program early.
Monday, April 28, 2008
WASHINGTON - States can require voters to produce photo identification, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, upholding a Republican-inspired law that Democrats say will keep some poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots.Next session, folks. No excuses.
Twenty-five states require some form of ID, and the court's 6-3 decision rejecting a challenge to Indiana's strict voter ID law could encourage others to adopt their own measures. Oklahoma legislators said the decision should help them get a version approved.
Could it be any less regarded as a sport? That's too bad, because Lacrosse is one of the most exciting sports to play and watch.
And a shout-out to the Virginia women for their quality performance and win against Maryland's turtles, I mean "terps," for their third ACC Championship.
The Cavaliers stormed back from a five-goal deficit — a near-carbon copy of the Cavaliers’ comeback victory over Duke in Friday’s semifinal.Read the rest.
Once again Virginia went down 8-3, this time early in the second half. And once again, the Cavaliers ripped off a six-goal run to take a 9-8 lead late in regulation that Maryland, like Duke, quickly evened at 9-9.
Miley Cyrus faces her second round of embarrassing snapshots in the past seven days. This time, she says that she is upset by how a photo shoot for Vanity Fair turned out.What a load of crap. She's no longer the little girl everyone pegged her as.
Photos in the magazine show Cyrus in a provocative state. It was apparently too much for the 'Hannah Montana' star, who saw images of herself flashing her bra and posing suggestively pop up across the Internet just days ago.
"I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed," the teen superstar says in a statement to OK! about the Vanity Fair spread. "I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about."
If she had any concerns, she shouldn't have posed naked! Doesn't take a 15 year old to figure that one.
I suppose it's just some more material for her "memoirs" .
A 73-year-old man has confessed to holding his daughter captive in his home cellar for nearly 24 years and fathering seven children by her, Austrian police say.It gets worse.
Mr. F. has confessed to imprisoning his daughter for 24 years and having seven children with her.
1 of 3 Austrian police spokesman Franz Polzer told CNN, the man, known as Mr. F., admitted holding his daughter hostage in a windowless cell in the basement of his home for more than two decades.
Mr. F. told police that one of the children he fathered with his daughter Elisabeth F. was a twin who died. Mr. F. also admitted he burned the body of the dead child in an oven inside the house, according to Polzer.
Further DNA tests will now be carried out to confirm fatherhood, Polzer said.
Elisabeth F. gave police a "psychologically and physically disturbed impression," police said in a statement.I thought I was pretty good at believing the lies of men, but this takes the cake. How could the wife NOT know this was happening?
She said her father began sexually abusing her at age 11. On August 8, 1984 -- weeks before she was reported missing -- her father enticed her into the basement, where he drugged her, put her in handcuffs and locked her in a room, she told police.
For the next 24 years, she was constantly raped by her father, resulting in the six surviving children, she said, according to the police statement.
She also told police she gave birth to twins in 1996, but one of the babies died a few days later as a result of neglect, and Mr. F. removed the infant's body and burned it.
She told police that only her father supplied her and her children with food and clothing, and that she did not think his wife knew anything about their situation
Mr. F. lived upstairs with his wife, Rosemarie F., who police said had no idea about her husband's other family living in the cellar.
Mr. F. and Rosemarie F. had adopted three of the children that he had with his daughter, according to police. He told his wife that his missing daughter had dropped the unwanted children off at the house because she could not take care of them, police said.
When Kerstin fell ill earlier this month, Mr. F. apparently told his wife and the hospital that his "missing" daughter had dropped off the sick girl on his doorstep.
Does Austria believe in torture? I think it's appropriate here.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems
Better put them in quotations
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead
If you could only
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for giving over
You better know that in the end
It’s better to say too much
Than never to say what you need to say again
Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Miley Cyrus has reportedly inked a seven-figure deal to pen her memoirs. And none too soon. At 15, she's achieved the maturity and distance needed to reflect on her life's lessons. Although the book won't hit stores until 2009, Celebritology has obtained (wink wink) an incomplete outline of the book's proposed chapters, complete with handy descriptions.Excuse me while I die of laughter.
She's 15!! What is this for- so the 7th graders can read it?
I suppose as long as they are actually reading, it's a good thing. And not the memoirs of a crack-whore crazy like Britney or Lindsay.
But honestly, don't feed me the bull about her maturity level. I'm almost 24 and no where near able to "reflect on my life's lessons." I'm still living it!!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
At the end, President Shepherd finally takes a stance, and fires back. The speech is more than inspiring (despite a somewhat liberal political agenda ;-)), but I'd like to use it as the basis for my own diatribe this morning.
I have a high school friend who loves to debate me on the current election, the Iraq war, and Obama being our "next chosen candidate" in his eyes. But I'm starting to get fed up with the one-liners. So forgive me Hollywood, for my copy-cat nature.
For the last couple of months, Senator Obama has suggested that to be president of this country, you have to tug at the peoples' heartstrings with words like HOPE and CHANGE and THE TIME IS NOW. And although we have yet to see him up against a Republican in a real debate, John McCain is now the nominee and he can tell you from his own 25 years of experience in Congress and with multiple presidents: Being President of this country is and has already been entirely about hope and change and the time is now. For the record: John McCain is an upstanding citizen, a former POW and war hero, and a credible senator in our Nation's Congress. What is Barack Obama in comparison? Isn't the argument of leadership and the ability to bring change brought about by time and experience in a governing body, of which he has very little? Where have the words Liberty and Freedom gone in the debate for the Democratic nominee? Why would a senator, a state's leader and spokesman to the national government, and candidate for President, dismiss protecting our liberty and freedom as relevant issues by refusing to wear the American Flag, the symbol of all this nation is for- hope and change- on his lapel? If you can answer that question, folks, then you're smarter than I am, because I don't understand it.
America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then you can't just argue that all Americans should have healthcare at the expense of other Americans' time and energy; you have to recognize that Americans want to keep the money they make and determine their own investments, not pay in more tax dollars to support the lazy welfare-dependent. They want to invest themselves and make strong choices for their families, without worrying how much more money the government will take from them.
You want to say America is the "home of the brave"? Let's see you stand up in the face of the War on Terror and vow to defend our nation so it never settles on our soil again; not slink down in your chair claiming you can negotiate with terrorists and hold up a sign that says "End the War!" so the hippies will cheer and let you hold another rally . American soldiers are dying so you can fly from city to city without the fear of being hijacked, or you can drink the water without fear of contamination. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free" and the "home of the brave."
We've seen Barack Obama now since 2004 on the national scale, and we've been operating under the assumption that the reason Barack devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply doesn't get it. Well, we were wrong. Obama's problem isn't that he doesn't get it. Obama's problem is that he can't sell it! We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Barack Obama is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you pay for it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about affordable universal health care, "better education," and ending the war. You draw upon the liberal leaning campuses and gullible students who still don't worry about jobs and home ownership and insurance policies, who think you're glamorous and will fix the world. And you point your finger at a picture of President Bush and you tell them, he's to blame for their lot in life, and you go on television and you criticize Americans saying they are bitter and clinging to religion and guns.
President Bush is not what the 2008 presidential debate is about, Barack. HE has nothing to do with how you will lead the country going forward, or how your lack of experience will jeopardize our security. You want to be Commander in Chief, Senator Obama? You better have something better to say then "End the War." Because inspiring and carrying out TRUE Hope and Change - yes, with actual substance, ideas and plans, underneath those words? Well, that's way out of your league.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
In Philadelphia, Clinton appeared with her husband, the former president, and their daughter, Chelsea, before a crowd at the University of Pennsylvania.
"It's not enough to say 'Yes we can.' We have to say how we can," Clinton told the crowd, putting a twist on Obama's popular slogan of hope.
The Obama campaign moved quickly to counter the message, airing a response ad within hours that challenged Clinton's 2002 vote authorizing the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Obama addressed the matter himself at the Pittsburgh rally.
"My job as commander in chief is to keep you safe. That will be my number one task," adding, "The war in Iraq was unwise."
Um, it's a draw? Both are completely unfit to govern. But I'll give Hillary this round.
Yes, after the first bad snap in game #1 of next season, I'll probably break down crying and storm out of the room.
I miss him already.
But I think Ted Thompson is an ass and I do not appreciate Mike McCarthy being looped into the same category:
"that Thompson and McCarthy couldn't wait for Favre to call it a career so they could move on to the future of the franchise."Even if it were true, and it's not, let me have my fantasy that no one wanted to see him go (except the ass).
Alas, we'll all say goodbye to Favre - and his jersey- on opening day. Sigh.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Each time I watch, I have new feelings. I catch new funny lines, and yet the issue of teen pregnancy is more highlighted in my mind. Does Juno feel like it was filmed in the 80s to anyone else? Obviously the lingo is mod and it's a 2007 movie, but when I was in high school, I never saw a 9-months pregnant girl. There were a few, even not at my high school, but they disappeared. Where is it that those girls aren't shipped away, or hidden in the back yard trailer? Juno's pregnancy just seems too accepted in the film.
Today I conversed with a friend about the movie, and what we both respect is that all the "right" or best choices were made. Juno keeps the baby, despite her original decision to have an abortion. She decides to give it up for adoption, rejecting the idea of teen mother-hood, knowing full well her own limitations. That's a maturity level few in high school have. Yes, it's just a movie, but this is hollywood too -go with me...
The movie shows that it's "tough" for teenage mothers- from Juno's decision to leave the abortion clinic, to telling her father and stepmom, to being "a planet" at school. She's obviously dealing with things way beyond her maturity level, as she freely admits near the end. But what is this movie's message to young girls?
That it's ok to be pregnant in high school if you give the baby up and don't rat out the guy who knocked you up? Seems a tad harsh, but even I've gotten all teary eyed that Juno finds love and Vanessa's character gets her dream baby, and not thought about the whole "she's 16 and pregnant" thing.
I read today, "The number of teenagers having babies is on ther ise- for the first time in 14 years. The birthrate among girls ages 15 to 19 jumped 3 percent in 2006, according to the CDC. The consequences are grave: Teen parents are less likely to finish school, and their infants are at risk for serious developmental problems" (Redbook Magazine).
So what now? I'm clearly not going to take back the movie. I love it too much and simply adore Bleeker's character. But I certainly hope the young girls watching get the big picture -
The interview switches to Jenna's impending marriage- and this literally brought tears to my eyes.
Good Housekeeping: Mrs. Bush, if you could give your daughter any intangible wedding gift, what would it be?Bingo. Screw the political legacy. George W. Bush and his wife have set an amazing example for marriage and love for not only their kids, but millions of others.
Laura Bush: Well, I hope her daddy and I have already given her that, and that is both unconditional love and a good example in marriage.
Jenna Bush: They have given me that.
Locks of Love? or Pantene Beautiful Lengths?
It's 75 degrees and looking sunny for the week, which usually cues my "Chop it!" moment. I wake up and shower, shampooing my hair and deciding it's time for the summer haircut - yes, chin length bob and all. But not this year.
I've already been growing my hair for what feels like forever, but my hair has a mind of it's own. It refuses to grow. I have a good 4-5 inches if I were to go short, and I advise myself against the "pixie cut," so we're looking at another 4-5 inches left to grow.
GROAN. I know it's not that big of a deal and who really cares. But humor me. That's an inch a month (carry the five, plus one, doot doot doot doot doot), yes, 4-5 more MONTHS to grow, I mean go. Well it's a good cause and an easy way to give a little something back, even if it is only hair. If Hilary Swank can do it and still be a glamorous movie star, I can do it, right?
I'm going to need a little motivation as the heat of summer kicks in. Anyone care to join me? Or at least feel free to post cute ponytail suggestions...
Friday, April 18, 2008
Master Sgt. Morris Hill is serving his country in Iraq, a long way away from his beloved sons back in Texas. Luckily...we have cell phones.I am the last person to advocate for cell phones in classrooms - pack them away in bookbags or lockers - but this is ridiculous.
Unfortunately, the only time Hill could call his son Brandon was during the school day -- a time when students are generally forbidden from using their cell phones. It would seem, however, that this situation would count as extraordinary circumstances and an exception could be made, but administrators disagree. Brandon was suspended for taking the call.
"He called me during class, because that's the only time that he could," Brandon said. "I answered the call as I was walking out of class. The teacher followed me out and said, 'Oh what are you doing?' I said my dad was calling from Iraq, and I know he needs to talk to me." Brandon was sent to the office and given a two-day suspension.
The odd part is that the father had apparently made an arrangement in advance with the assistant principal to allow his sons to receive calls from him. "He had spoken with Mr. Fletcher," said Pat Hill, the boys' mother. "He thought there was an agreement understood that if he called either Joshua or Brandon at school, that everything was fine."
Would the teacher have taken the call if it were her husband or father?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I was fortunate enough to have a friend show me her TiVo of the American Idol Gives Back show - and shockingly enough, they sang this song to close the show. They sang it AGAIN on elimination night.
Is anyone else speechless at the idea of a Worship Song on a national TV network where millions are watching?
It gave me chills.
Amen, Fox. Amen.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
But it's not just a fictional novel, it's happening to our north in Canada, and it's reality.
Pam and Michael Obadia are hoping for a miracle.I have a lot of questions regarding how the other child will feel, even amounts of love, etc., etc.
At 47 years old, Pam Obadia knows her chances for conceiving a baby are slim, but "there are such things as miracles, so we are going to hope for that," she told CBC News on Monday.
The British Columbia, Canada, couple are trying to conceive a child so they can use the umbilical cord’s stem cells to save their son Ben, 8, who is battling leukemia, CBC News reported.
Fertility clinics in Vancouver, however, do not want to do the procedure, saying Pam Obadia is too old, she said. So the couple is planning to go to Chicago and will pay $25,000 of their own money to have the procedure since their health plan won't cover the expense.
Said Michael Obadia: "There are a few ethical questions, but when you are trying to save another child, to us, anyway, there is not a question."
But one question is more pressing: what if it doesn't work to save Ben?
Monday, April 14, 2008
Israel's top officials continued to brush off Jimmy Carter on Monday as he prepared to meet with Hamas chief Khaled Meshal, the first time a current or former U.S. president will have met with a recognized terrorist organization's leader.Did Obama put you up to this, to prove the US can have discourse with terrorist leaders?
At a later press event, Carter said he hoped to help open talks between Hamas and U.S. leaders, saying Washington's policy of not meeting with people it labeled terrorists was counterproductive.Was he ever good at communicating with foreign leaders?
Carter said he wanted to become a "communicator" between Hamas and the United States.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
About two weeks after he was released from prison, Freddie Johnson boarded a crowded subway train during morning rush hour in Manhattan, squeezed in behind a woman and ground his pelvis into her backside, authorities said.After 53 times, he hasn't been sent away for life already? What more does it take, people?
It is a fairly common crime on subways in New York. But this was no common criminal.
Johnson has been arrested a staggering 53 times — the majority for groping women on the subway, police and prosecutors said.
He was charged with persistent sexual abuse, and if convicted this time, he could be sent away for life.
Johnson, a registered sex offender, has been convicted at least twice of persistent sexual abuse within the last decade, prosecutors said. And he has a lengthy rap sheet, with 30 arrests for sex abuse, 13 for jostling and two for grand larceny, police said.And dare I ask, what the heck did they do with this guy while he was in prison the first time?
He was released from prison on March 25 after serving four years for persistent sexual abuse, according to correctional records.
I understand not being able to "deal" with all offenders - particularly lewd jerks who just want to cop a feel in the subway - and that pursuing the child abusers and rapists is most important, something is amiss when the system that "commits, treats, monitors, and eventually discharges" sex offenders fails 53 times!
As of this weekend, I am an official graduate of Wisconsin's Hunter's Safety Class.
Now, for some blaze orange and the big guns...
Friday, April 11, 2008
The city's welcoming attitude has attracted more homeless people, and some beggars are becoming increasingly aggressive, police Lt. Joe Balles told The Associated Press.In a way? No offense Lieutenant, but they ARE and HAVE BEEN taking advantage of impressionable, empathetic students and compassionate Madisonians (BLECH!).
"We've kind of institutionalized an enabling environment downtown for this transient population to grow unchecked," Balles said. "They are downtown preying largely off of that student population and really preying off a lot of our good compassion as Madisonians. In a way, they are taking advantage of us."
When the weather really warms, I feel for those students braving the swarms of shaking change cups.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Universal Music Group Nashville artist Hough also will perform songs from her upcoming, country music debut album, “Julianne Hough,” during pre-race ceremonies. The album will be released May 20, and she will begin a national tour with country superstar Brad Paisley on June 11.Though she is absolutely gorgeous and an amazing dancer, I'm not so sure how I feel about it, despite my love for country music. Let's just pluck all the blondes who succeed in some other field, or are just ridiculously pretty, out of the TV and give them each a record deal. It doesn't matter if they can sing!! (See: Miley Cyrus, Hillary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, you catch my drift.)
I sure hope Julianne can, or her stand as my fave on DWTS may come to a grinding halt.
DALLAS — A teenager who took a sign reading "If you love our nation, stop illegal immigration" to school said she was hurt after being swarmed by angry classmates, and administrators said Tuesday they have suspended three students involved in the scuffle.
"It's disappointing that it happened," Athens school district superintendent Fred Hayes said. "It does not surprise me with the political nature of this issue."
Melanie Bowers, 13, brought the sign to Athens Middle School on Friday as part of a class project on political activism. Each child was assigned to pick an issue and prepare a poster supporting a position.
It's disappointing but not surprising? Way to go, Superintendent Hayes. That's real apologetic. It's absolutely wrong and those responsible for the behavior should be punished. Hayes said she was showing the sign in the hallway when a group of students tried wresting it away.How's that for a lesson in free speech at school? And if it had been "Amnesty for All Illegals," or something to that effect, I'm sure she would have been praised. Instead, this poor girl was attacked for making a political statement in school, simply because it may be out of the norm.
J.R. Bowers, the girl's father, said Melanie suffered scratch marks along her neck, face and arms. He said she also had a swollen jaw.
Bowers said as many as 20 students surrounded his daughter in the hallway, and Hayes said others may have hurled verbal insults. The poster was ultimately destroyed by other students.
Not only was she abused physically, her school assignment was destroyed- no doubt, putting her in a precarious position with her teacher. She is now missing school for a week, her father thought it was a "bad idea," and this has sparked controversy over the racial divide in the school.
Does anyone else see how this one girl, and her attackers, are not learning, because of this incident? How her father agrees with the masses that to make a political statement - even though her teacher assigned this to her - is too dangerous or off the beaten path to risk?
I would like to see an assembly and classroom discussions about anger management as a result of this incident, not hushing political speech. How do we take teenagers' rage and channel it away from their peers and into constructive behavior?
This, and the pointless beating of the high schooler previously have me questioning just exactly what is happening in our schools and what parents are doing to reinforce basic lessons of human decency.
WASHINGTON (April 8) - Navy SEAL Michael A. Monsoor had fast thinking to do when a live grenade came out of nowhere to bounce off his chest: Take the clear path to safety that he had but his comrades didn't, try to toss it safely away, or throw himself on top of it.I know no one who would do that.
With barely an instant's hesitation on that Iraqi rooftop, Monsoor took the last course, sacrificing his life to save the men around him. For that, President Bush on Tuesday awarded him the Medal of Honor.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Two girls confronted Lindsay when she walked in, yelling and threatening her, an arrest report showed. Another girl struck her in the head several times and then slammed her head into the bedroom wall, knocking her unconscious.That teenage girls would plot to kidnap and beat one of their peers, knocking her unconscious- and then post it on YouTube - is unconscionable.
"That is animalistic behavior. It's pack mentality. They lured her there to beat her," Sheriff Grady Judd said.
When she woke up, she was on the couch in the living room surrounded by the six girls. The teens blocked the door, held Lindsay down and began beating her, the report said. Two teenage boys waited outside the home as lookouts.
I can not even comment further, I'm so disgusted and disappointed.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Whose hands can strike with such abandon
That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living
Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness
That the haughty neck is happy to bow
And the proud back is glad to bend
Out of such chaos, of such contradiction
We learn that we are neither devils nor divines
When we come to it
We, this people, on this wayward, floating body
Created on this earth, of this earth
Have the power to fashion for this earth
A climate where every man and every woman
Can live freely without sanctimonious piety
Without crippling fear
When we come to it
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.
You can use your cell phone in the skies over Europe as early as this summer under new European Union rules — allowing travelers to stay in touch but also raising the cringe-inducing prospect of being stuck next to a chatterbox at 30,000 feet.I think there are several arguments that can made and should be acknowledged.
Announcing the guidelines Monday, EU officials said they expect several Europe-based airlines to move within the next few months to launch services, effectively making the 27-nation bloc the first region in the world to scrap bans on the use of cell phones in the sky.
Allowing the use of cell phones in emergency situations should most definitely be allowed. As 9-11 shows, and in case of crashes or mechanical malfunctions, God forbid, people should be allowed to make their calls to loved ones.
However, I believe that this lax approach to air-communication simply provides another excuse for annoyances in small spaces. Is the idea of someone annoyingly chatting on their cell phone enough to ban it? Perhaps not. Larger people that lop over onto my seat are annoying. Talkers in general who want to introduce themselves and know your life story are beyong irritating. People who insist on leaning over you to look out the window when you land, though they likely had the chance to get the damn window seat themselves, are annoying. There is no rule banning these people.
Children can be annoying, and they're allowed on planes... ok, I went too far. (But you know it's true.)
Anyway, we all have a right to peace and quiet, or to space, or to be left alone. I look at airplanes as a means to an end- getting me to a new destination. I do not look at them as social, business, or even speed-dating opportunities. Would you, sitting in a small airplane- perhaps in the middle of a 3-seat row, desire someone next to you chatting away with their best friend, spouse, or even mother-in-law? I usually ask that the person next to me let me be- to read, sleep, listen to my headphones, etc. And I vocally request, if flying Midwest, to save me my cookies should I sleep through their delivery.
But that's just me. Perhaps the tables were turned and I needed to make a call. You claim your right to free speech - to chatter all you want on your cell phone. But where do we draw the line? What if I have a work item that needs to be taken care of before my vacation officially starts when I hit the ground in 2 hours? Or a family member has an emergency. Where do we distinguish between those emergency calls or the calls that could still wait a few more hours. It's a tough call - and who decides who makes it?
In a world of increasing online and technological communication, we must cherish our phone calls and re-connect times with our loved ones and friends. But we also have lost that face-to-face, eye-to-eye communication skill and our connections are shallow, though we may refuse to admit it. Perhaps you email your coworker 24 times a day, but if you consider a coworker a friend, do you really know how he or she is?
Will being allowed to make phone calls on an airplane really make a difference to your life? Oh sure, if you have a blackberry, now you can e-mail in the sky!! Whoopeee! (Crackberries!)
Maybe use that time instead to organize your thoughts, write them down, think about your day, unwind, sleep, rest, pray, practice a skill, etc. Think about the gift of airplane time.
And now think about how cellphones could kill it.
"Iraq violence up as troop levels drop"
WASHINGTON - Since the US military began reducing its troop presence in Iraq three months ago, several key indicators of violence in the troubled nation have risen, according to new military figures released this weekend, sparking fears that security gains hailed by the White House are already eroding.I believe the withdrawal speaks for itself, independent of the surge. If we withdraw before Iraq is stable, we lose. We admit defeat (yes, even though Harry Reid did it ages ago for us!). If we believe that we are "postponing the inevitable deadly chaos" of a tumultuous region, we again lose. That is an admission that there is no hope, there is no forseeable solution to the fight.
The rise in violence - blamed on both Shi'ite militants and Sunni extremists allied with Al Qaeda - has prompted war critics to argue that President Bush's surge of 30,000 more troops last year, designed to stabilize the nation, merely postponed the inevitable deadly chaos that will follow an eventual US withdrawal.
It's not rocket science, people.
If we pull out- and I fear if Hillary or Barack are President, when we pull out- the war will come back to our soil faster than you can say "end the war."
The surge was working. Why can't we just let it.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
ELDORADO, Texas — Child Protective Services and law enforcement on Sunday were still trying to locate and remove all the children living at a West Texas compound founded by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs.The thought is truly more than I can handle.
Meisner said CPS officials are having difficulty locating the 16-year-old girl who phoned authorities to complain of abuse last week. Many of the girls are young mothers, and they share similar names — or are changing them, she said. Authorities are also having difficulty determining the girls' ages.
State troopers armed with a search warrant raided the compound to look for evidence of a marriage between the girl who complained and 50-year-old Dale Barlow.
Under Texas law, girls younger than 16 cannot marry, even with parental approval. The girl allegedly had a baby at 15. Her call was the first in Texas complaining of possible abuse, though Jeffs, Barlow and other members of the sect have faced prosecution in Arizona and Utah.
Jeffs is jailed in Kingman, Ariz., where he awaits trial for four counts each of incest and sexual conduct with a minor stemming from two arranged marriages between teenage girls and their older male relatives.
In November, he was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of five years to life in prison in Utah for being an accomplice to the rape of a 14-year-old girl who wed her cousin in an arranged marriage in 2001..
"Stone has said he wants to draw a fair-minded portrait of the polarizing figure. Sources familiar with the script say Bush is depicted as an easily distracted figure predisposed to personal agendas, though they say the script occasionally shows a more sympathetic side."Perhaps the old term for movie will apply - this certainly will be a show!
And bad choice for Condi... bad choice.
Friday, April 4, 2008
CHICAGO (April 3) - A transgender man who is six months pregnant said in an interview aired by Oprah Winfrey on Thursday that he always wanted to have a child and considers it a miracle.Didn't we already realize this was a bad idea in the just as bad Arnold Schwarzenegger movie?
"It's not a male or female desire to have a child. It's a human desire," a thinly bearded Thomas Beatie said. "I have a very stable male identity," he added, saying that pregnancy neither defines him nor makes him feel feminine.
I cannot imagine the therapy bills for this child...
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
At last, New Kids on the Block are getting back together. A person involved in planning the long-rumored reunion told us yesterday that the mega-selling boy band will make their comeback official with an announcement Friday on the "Today" show.I particularly am a fan of Donnie dancer-turned-actor.
According to our source, all five original New Kids - Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood, and Jordan and Jonathan Knight - have committed to the reunion, which comes on the 20th anniversary of the Boston band's biggest-selling LP, "Hangin' Tough." A tour is planned, the details of which will be announced soon on the group's newly redesigned website nkotb.com.
I suppose I can turn from GMA to the Today Show for just this once.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that the United States still has trouble dealing with race because of a national "birth defect" that denied black Americans the opportunities given to whites at the country's very founding.Agreed, Secretary Rice. However, is it not the continued dwelling on this fact that continues to set us back in our "graying" of the divide between black and white skin colors in our communities?
"Black Americans were a founding population," she said. "Africans and Europeans came here and founded this country together — Europeans by choice and Africans in chains. That's not a very pretty reality of our founding."
She continued: As a result, Miss Rice told editors and reporters at The Washington Times, "descendants of slaves did not get much of a head start, and I think you continue to see some of the effects of that."
"That particular birth defect makes it hard for us to confront it, hard for us to talk about it, and hard for us to realize that it has continuing relevance for who we are today," she said. Why is it so hard for us? We all know our history and the impact of slavery and divisions between skin colors and how that is still impacting America. Why can we not move past it?
Even last week in the Wisconsin Supreme Court contest's first debate, Justice Louis Butler called upon his own skin color- proudly marking it as an honorable distinction. He is proud "to have been the first African American Justice on the Supreme Court." Later he claimed he was a child of the civil rights movement, that people died for his rights, etc. While it is true, why does it have to be highlighted? Why is it part of the conversation, or something that should impact an election?
If you don't vote for the black man, are you racist? If you do, does that mean you are more accepting of skin color and ready to move out of the past? OR, as black person would you be racist because you are voting solely on skin color?
I believe it is up to all of us- old and young, political figures and everday Joes, to recognize our history for what it is and to move forward from that.
The more we tip-toe around politically correct phraseology and allow politicians to bring the discussion back to race, the longer we will dwell on that negative history and continue to pit black against white.
Talk about it. Talk about race and differences and societal stigmas in school when it's taught in history class. Bring the white and black cliques together. They already "know they are all humans, just with different skin pigmentations" and roll their eyes - because we're just not allowing them to accept that and recognize their common human attributes. We keep bringing the discussion back to race and re-dividing. Teachers and politicians, members of the media and I'm sorry to say - more black people than white- are drawing the attention to skin color differences.
When's it going to change, if not now?