Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Right Direction or Wrong Direction

I know, I know...I have complained about this before, but I believe that it warrants repeating.
I have now been contacted to participate in four Zogby polls. In each I have been asked the question, 'Do you think the country is headed in the right direction or in the wrong direction?' Each time I answered the same way...'The wrong direction.'
Until hearing the pollsters and talking heads scratch their heads about the apparent discrepancy between the popularity polls and this 'wrong direction' poll, I never equated this question with the actions of George W. Bush. The right or wrong direction, at least at this juncture of time, has nothing to do with the President. I am sure I am not the only one that answered the question in this matter...yet, it has never occurred to the pollsters that this is what accounts for the discrepancy.
This is why I answered 'the WRONG direction'...

--ACLU to Represent NAMBLA (Charles Jaynes case)
10 yr. old boy killed by two men that possessed NAMBLA literature and had viewed website right before murder. NAMBLA blocks member lists to check for registered sex offenders.
NAMBLA fights to get 'age of consent' abolished so grown men can legally have sex with little boys.

--ACLU fights for the right for women to have LIVE BIRTH ABORTIONS. This is when a baby that has been aborted is born alive and put in a utility closet until it dies. Also fights against PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION ban. This is when a late-term baby is delivered up until it's head and the doctor inserts scissors into the base of the skull and sucks out the brain. Doctor's have testified (Supreme Court) that limbs are often pulled off during this procedure and baby's have been fully delivered before PROCEDURE is performed. This PROCEDURE is to help ensure that a mother will not danger her chances of future pregnancys.

--ACLU fights against Parent Notification bill. You need a parent's written permission to be given an aspirin in a public school, but NO parental consent to have the invasive PROCEDURE more commonly referred to as abortion.

--ACLU sues South Dakota library for blocking sexually explicit websites from public viewing.

--ACLU challenges the ban on teen nude camps.

--ACLU (Supreme Court) fights to overturn the 1998 Child Online Protection Act -which was set in place to keep children from viewing internet pornography.

--ACLU lobbies to get F*** word taken off 'forbidden' list for television.

--ACLU sues teacher after-school prayer group in Louisiana.

--US District Court Judge, Phyllis Hamilton, in one day overturned the Partial Birth Abortion Act and and OK'd Muslim prayer in a California public school.

I could go on and on...but I won't. You get the point. This is why the country is headed in the wrong direction -not GWB!

I already know that some of you believe that the ACLU is a wonderful organization..I believe it is the headquarters of the Anti-Christ. I believe that they are taking the country down a scary path. I believe that they don't understand the fact that they can bring a million lawsuits to separate church and State, but they will never separate God and State...(at least not while the electoral college remains intact).

Monday, August 30, 2004

Fair & Balanced VS. Liberal & Biased

The moniker ‘Fair and Balanced’ has been much debated by the detractors of the Fox News Channel. As I explained in a very early post, I was always a CNN girl –until some MAJOR faux-pas forced my resignation from the ‘News that American Trusts’. I switched to FNC about a year ago and haven’t looked back. Do I believe that it deserves to use ‘Fair and Balanced’? Absolutely.

The American people have had news that leans to the left for so long that a channel that actually presents both sides is deemed to be ‘right’. What prompted me to write about this came in the form of a glaring example that illustrates that very point. I saw John Glenn on three different networks –one major, one cable and Fox. He had the same talking points on each and was saying that Ginsburg leaving the Bush campaign was proof to the American people that the Bush Administration was behind the SBVFT ads (this is accusing them of a crime BTW), and that since Bush’s lawyer was counseling the vets it proves coordination. CNN and the major network ended the report there. Full stop. The average American who is not following this controversy would, understandably, be rattled…wow, I guess it does prove that Bush put these guys up to it! Why would they think any different –that is all that was presented to them…the reporter did a disservice to the folks. BUT Fox continued the story by pointing out that 3 or more of the Kerry campaign lawyers are advising various ‘Bush Bashing’ 527 groups along with prominent members of the party sitting on the boards of these groups. That is not right-leaning. That is doing your job and reporting the WHOLE story –not skewing it to your advantage. It is a journalist/reporter’s job to report ALL the facts to their audience...it’s what they’re paid to do.

A new Zogby poll listed the statistics (or profile) of the ‘undecided voter’. This voter gets his (% of men is significantly higher) news from Fox News more than any other channel (40% of the undecideds -as opposed to 13% CNN and even less for the other channels). If Fox was the whore for the GOP that it is proclaimed to be --why the undecided voters? If Fox presents such a rosy view of this administration –why the undecided voters? Both Geraldo and Bill O’Reilly have dismissed the SBVFT with a broad stroke. Sheppard Smith could hardly be considered ‘right-wing’. Hannity & Bones is the same as Crossfire –two different views presented. I have never seen a report on Fox where they present one side without the other (Unless of course the other chooses not to come… “We asked the Kerry campaign if they wanted to be here tonight, but they declined”.

Anchors are supposed to be non-biased and non-partisan…

Tom Brokaw was being considered as a VP for Kerry

Christiane Amanpour’s husband is a KERRY ADVISOR!

Dan Rather has made his views of the President clear in no uncertain terms

…and if you saw Chris Matthews on Bill Maher this week you have no doubt who he wants to win this election. “If you want no health coverage and no middle class then you know who to vote for”…OMG!

Barbara Walters has been at Moveon.org events –as a guest.

Katie Couric is a close friend of Hillary Clinton

Britt Hume has even been quite lenient regarding Kerry (they have known each other since they were boys).

(Must I go on?)

A poll taken a few months ago illuminated what we all knew…34% of journalists consider themselves liberal (percentages were higher in the Washington Press core)–and only 7% consider themselves conservative. Compare this to the population where 33% consider themselves conservative and 20% liberal. Is that fair or balanced?

If the country is so evenly divided and Fox is a right-wing outlet…why are Fox’s ratings so high?

Don’t say that the mainstream media isn’t biased and left-leaning –that’s ridiculous.

Don’t fault Fox for filling a void and being wildly successful at doing so. And don’t fool yourself into thinking that 93% of journalists can make editorial and story decisions without falling into a ‘group think’ of the liberal agenda and a supposed idea of what the general public ‘really thinks’ or wants to know.

...also, on a more shallow note, Fox has the best-looking anchors/reporters...

I have backed up my opinions with a definitive example –John Glenn, polls from 1996 until the present and a run-down of the various anchors and their glaring conflicts of interest…don’t argue if you are not going to address these blatant truths.

Sunday, August 29, 2004


Back in April of 2002, Alan Keyes talked extensively about the proposal of reparations for the descendants of slaves. He was against this idea. He said that it would further tax the public for sins they had not committed. His main point centered around the idea that reparations had already been made…in blood. Keyes said that what most people leave out of the discussion of slavery is how many white lives were sacrificed on behalf of the slaves…and that saying nothing has been paid is leaving the Civil War out of the equation.

Recently, a reporter stated that he knew that Keyes was against reparations. Keyes became a bit indignant and claimed that he had never said that. He said that he was for affirmative action, but strongly against quotas. He said that he was against reparations in the form of monies paid by tax payers to certain African Americans. Keyes stated that an injustice that spanned generations could not be ‘paid for’, but proposed and idea that would absolve all Blacks from paying any federal taxes for one or two generations. This would allow for an opportunity to ‘catch up’…to save, invest and start businesses.

At first I viewed this as a Kerryism…but the more I thought about it, I realized that I agree with most of what he said. I guess being a ‘Yank’ I have always felt that lives lost during the Civil War have been forgotten or discounted. Boys enlisted not only to preserve the Union, but to fight for the freedom of the slaves. I also believe that if reparations were ever to be paid they should be paid by the South –like Keyes said, the North already paid with the blood of their sons. I do believe in equal opportunity employment (or consideration)— that aspect of Affirmative Action. I even believe (like Chris Rock said in ‘Head of State’) that if it comes down to two equally qualified people –it should be given to the African American. I do believe that the affects of slavery still has tangible repercussion in the African American community. I also know that my family came here from Italy and Ireland after the days of slavery –and gained nothing from the ownership of another. I am against quotas with every fiber of my being. Not only does this belittle the beneficiary, but it unjustly disqualifies the more skilled/knowledgeable candidates. It also creates a stigma for the Black employees/students that earned the spot they hold.

I thought about Keyes most recent proposal of the absolution of federal taxes for one or two generations and I think I am OK with that --if we agree to finally make the past the past. No more blame for generational sins and no more quotas. Could this begin to heal the wounds –even up the playing field –or would things remain the same?

This is a hard subject because the problem is more systemic than money. Recently Bill Cosby took a lot of heat for verbalizing what many have been thinking. A culture with ‘50 Cent’ or ‘Ludacris’ as role models can not thrive. A culture where it is no longer a stigma to have multiple children from multiple men can not succeed. A culture with 75% of its male population incarcerated can not overcome. A culture where 87% of children grow up with no father in the house can not rise up.

I get extremely sad when I hear these kinds of statistics. I am glad there are people like Bill Cosby willing to stand up to the NAACP and say the things that need to be said. I am troubled when I hear any successful African American (besides rappers) deemed and ‘Uncle Toms’ by the Black community. I do not know what (if anything) can heal the wounds that run so deep in this country. Reparations may cause further resentment from whites (especially whose families never owned slaves or came to America after the Civil War). Ignoring the problem may cause the statistics above to climb higher, and the divide between Blacks and Whites to grow wider.

I put this out there –not as a dissertation or a statement, but as a thought…as a question –one that many Caucasians are afraid to talk about lest they be called racist. These statistics are part of our country and therefore still our responsibility to consider…

Saturday, August 28, 2004

I said…NO Politics on the Weekend!

Here at ‘Tempers ‘R’ Us’ we have a new ‘no politics* on the weekend’ rule.

If you want to read a REALLY funny (no politics allowed) blog go to:

  • Straight White Guy's Page

  • He has a story about a boil entitled “Friendship…” that was just too funny.

    *Monday we will return to our regularly scheduled Swift Boat Controversy…

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    Friday, August 27, 2004

    CB, Pop-Pop & GI Joe

    What is it about GI Joe that entices little boys with every fiber of their being? My house is full of them. Barbie-sized ones with full paraphernalia, small action-figure sized ones that fit in the Chinook with the jeep in the hatch, some with parachutes that my boys keep throwing out the second floor bathroom window and the DVDs…with women drawn in Marvel Comic fashion with…well, quite endowed. They want fatigues for back-to-school, camouflage underwear and ‘army boots’. Mason had a mohawk for 3 months because that’s what his favorite Joe had…now he’s ‘bald’ because that’s what his new favorite GI has.

    I was marveling at the obsession as I cleaned the playroom earlier...putting each Joe back into his respective vehicle with his respective weapon cache. Is this true of all little boys, or are these the boys that end up enlisting one day? As I hung parachute Joe from his special hook I remembered something I hadn’t thought about in years. When we were young, Justrose and I would sneak into my parent’s bedroom, put on a Bill Cosby record (usually ‘To my Brother Russell Whom I Slept With’) and look through my Dad’s Vietnam photos. This was something I did quite often. I don’t know why, but I was drawn to those pictures. I was also drawn to his medals, which I pinned to his field jacket along with his braids and wore all through high school (ignoring his protests that you would never put these things on a field jacket)…along with his dog tags on a hoop earring-- after Janet Jackson started wearing a key on hers. I lost almost every one…the medals…gone.

    Aside… (About the time that Operation Iraqi Freedom started, I started thinking about those medals. How horrible that I had treated something that was earned with sweat and blood in such a careless manner. I was on a mission to recover each and every one. I began a 14 month campaign of calling, emailing, faxing and begging to retrieve what I had lost. In the end I was able to get all but three. Three of the medals had been awarded by the Republic of Vietnam and could not be re-issued by the U.S. Army. I gave them to my Dad for Father’s Day in a black velvet shadow box with his standard-issue Army photograph and one of him and some buddies in the barracks. Of course, I put a poem on the back politely stating that I expected them back upon his demise…)

    A fellow blogger stated that we were ‘using’ CB. I thought a lot about that statement today. I know that he meant we were using him to justify our position on the War in Iraq, but that wasn’t it –at least not for me. I was using him for information. His posts were like a daily fix and I always wanted to know more. This is the ultimate test of man –what will you do under fire? What will you do when faced with your own mortality? Do you think only about survival? Your family? Your girl? I have never had my moral fiber truly tested and I am often amazed to see what can emerge under these conditions.

    A few days ago in Philly two firemen were killed. They went into a basement where a guy was growing pot plants and because of the heat lamps and bad wiring –it was ripe for a fire. The story that has been released is that one of the firemen got his pack tangled in the electrical cords and couldn’t free himself as his oxygen ran low. He was in the basement with a Captain and a rookie. The Captain told the rookie to follow the hoses out and he stayed there with his man that was trapped…and died there with his man that was trapped.

    Is this the root of the GI Joe obsession? Is Joe the embodiment of all those good qualities that enable men to fight for those they have never met, to steel themselves against the things that no one should ever see and to die beside their men?

    Army men littering the playroom floor… little girls sneaking to look at the shiny medals from a war they never knew… strangers flocking to the website of a poetic soldier in the heart of Mosul… hundreds crowding into funeral homes to salute two firemen who shouldn’t have died...

    Justice and Mason were awed to learn that their Pop-Pop was “an ARMY man before he was a FIREMAN…” (Whispered by Justice in a reverent tone)

    We’re not using them –we respect them, we are in awe of them. Most of all we don’t understand them…and we want to –we want to know that we also would rise to the occasion if it was asked of us.

    To all the GI Joes that read this blog –thank you for all you have done, all that you would have done…and for the squeals of delight you give my boys when you salute them as you drive by in your massive canvas covered trucks.

    Thursday, August 26, 2004

    The New Soldier

    Last night I saw Col. Ollie North say that he was awarded five Purple Hearts, but he would only accept two-to ensure he could ‘stay with his men’. I started thinking about S.H. at Walter Reed and how he will soon be on his way back to Afghanistan with a metal rod in his arm because ‘he can’t leave his men’. I remember my dad telling me stories of the two weeks before a soldier was set to leave Vietnam and how he would part from the unit a bit –guilt because he had to leave his brothers…this is dedication and devotion that I can only hope that I would posses in a similar situation. This loyalty seems to be the common bond that forms the much talked about ‘band of brothers’. This is the reason that the discussion regarding John Kerry’s Purple Hearts is so very important…

    Now that the first Purple Heart is seriously in question –due to Kerry’s own words, we have to examine the type of man that would request his own awards and leave. He spent not one night in a medical facility and not a stitch was sewn and he left his ‘band of brothers’. This is not a “smear” or a “slime” (words the DNC has ‘audience-tested’ –how sick is that!) –this is a legitimate CHARACTER DEBATE. News outlets interview soldiers nightly who have taken fire and hits in Iraq and the statements from them are all the same –“Yes sir, I could probably go home for this, but I wouldn’t leave my men.” Is this what Kerry meant by the ‘New Soldier’? The one that leaves? The one that feels no guilt over abandoning his ‘band of brothers’ for self-inflicted wounds and self-requested awards?

    An old interview that Kerry did has resurfaced to shed more light on the Senator…he says, “I thought that it would be doubly advantageous to serve and then to protest”. I don’t know why this would surprise me as that is precisely what the “I voted for the 87 billion before I voted against it” was about. Pacify all –commit to none. This pacifist/appeaser quality is not one for a Commander in Chief. This is a bad character trait –not a positive one…This does not make him nuanced or open-minded –this makes him a wishy-washy flip flopper. This makes him a politician in the worst connotation of the word.

    Kerry has criticized Bush for sitting in a classroom for seven minutes after Andy Card whispered, ‘America is under attack”. Seven minutes to process information that only one President before has had to process. Seven minutes to let the children finish their book with out panicking a group of seven year olds. Seven minutes. John Kerry said a few days after 9/11 that him and a few other Senators were in a room in the Capitol Building and watched the second plane hit on TV. ‘They sat there and realized that no one could think –and eventually heard a loud crash’. The Pentagon had been hit –FORTY THREE minutes later –they sat there ‘not thinking’ for forty three minutes. When the Pentagon was hit the first instinct of the Secretary of Defense was to roll up his sleeves and help carry people out of the rubble. This was Don Rumsfeld’s FIRST instinct –the guy that Kerry wants to resign.

    The other side can call this SBVFT debate ‘slime’ and ‘smear’ (those audience tested and approved words). They can talk about Ginsburg and rich GOP donors, but they know that the debate is relevant and that’s why their screams are so loud. They know that it will be virtually impossible for any vet to vote for a man who requested a Purple Heart when there was no enemy fire –and used it to leave his ‘brothers’ after four short months. They know that it will be hard for Americans to take criticism of the President over seven minutes to heart, when he sat dumbfounded for forty-three. They know that watching video footage of the man that Kerry has called to resign dragging survivors from the Pentagon while it was still in flames –will only serve as a stark contrast to the man who left the Capitol and left on a plane from Vietnam. They know that the term flip-flopper has stuck because it’s true and not because the GOP has more money. Kerry has neither resolve nor loyalty. He has presented no agenda –other than ‘anything you can do I can do better’. He has put forth nothing of substance from his twenty years taking up a Senate seat. And his worst offence is that he is a man that has sucked off women his entire life. If the President doesn’t get re-elected, it won’t be Kerry that wins –it will be anybody but Bush.

    Also -I want to thank CB for maintaining 'My War' as long as he did. I am sure I speak for everyone when I say that we are ALL sorry to see him go. I am quite confident that he will have many opportunities waiting for him stateside!

    Sorry for the Momentary Self-Indulgence…

    I must exit the political arena for a brief moment and solicit some advise from the wise souls that browse this site. As September 10th draws near, I am faced with the dilemma of whether to put my youngest, Mason 3 ¾, into pre-school. The program is two days a week for three hours. What’s the big decision, you ask?

    Mason has been diagnosed with a severe articulation disorder. (First thought to be apraxia, but now because of the progress that he has made in two years of speech therapy they are backing away from this opinion). He has a wonderful vocabulary (often referring to his older brother as a ‘liberal wiener’), a great sense of humor, and a desire to tell us so many things –but other than Justice, me, sometimes his dad (and a very few close friends)…no one can understand him. This frustrates the hell out of him. This comes in handy sometimes for me –like when he was pointing to a strange-looking old man in the supermarket asking, “Why ‘e so uggy?” “That’s not a buggy honey….”

    Many kids with apraxia have only one or two (but often no) words. I always say, “For a kid that can’t talk –he never seems to shut up” (not in front of him of course). I have talked with his SLP (speech/language pathologist) about the possibility of beginning pre-school. She informed me that there are two schools of thought:

    1) Some children benefit greatly from the interaction with others their age, and subsequently that interaction prompts ‘regular speech’ –or—

    2) Some children get so frustrated in an environment where no one understands them that they totally withdraw and completely stop talking.

    Now, Mason is quite aware that his speech is unintelligible (which they tell us is a major plus as some children have no idea). He is fully cognizant when he is saying something wrong and it seems to be a neurological/motor delay that keeps his mouth from moving the way his brain wants it to. This leads me to the conclusion that hearing other children talk isn’t going to change anything for him.

    I was never a big believer in pre-school and used to just think it was an excuse for parents to slough off their kids for a few hours a day. However, Justice begged to go and really enjoyed the ‘social’ aspect of it. Mason also asks to go –some days, but others he says that ‘no one un-stand me mom’. I just want to cry –because they won’t understand him --and they will be frustrated and legally they won’t be able to tell me (he would be covered by the Children with Disabilities Act which seems to scare the hell out of teachers). Thus my dilemma…if there could be a ‘trial period’, and they could tell me if they were miserable and if he was miserable, I would give it a try. They won’t tell me though because legally they can’t. I want to show him that I have confidence in him and the major strides that he has made (one example: ‘T’ was boy or toy…now he says ‘b-o-u-y’ and ‘t-o-u-y’ –I know it seems small but was a MAJOR thing!) and let him have this experience.

    Is it worth the chance if it erodes the self-confidence that speech therapy has built? I don’t have much longer to decide & I would love to hear some opinions!

    Sorry for the momentary self-indulgence…

    Wednesday, August 25, 2004

    They Played the Disability Card!

    I am so disgusted. As I type this I am watching Kerry’s campaign roll out the torso of Max Cleland as a sympathy ploy and the nastiest of all nasty campaigning. This is the lowest thing I have seen during this campaign season-–no doubt. The other side can defend it in whatever way they see fit, but this is low…

    Cleland sits there espousing lie after lie to the press –making more evident with every word his bitterness at losing his Senate seat in 2002. He blames the President for the campaign against him…saying that he was another vet that the President attacked –which of course is not only using reverse discrimination to play the disability card –but total bullshit. Max Cleland lost because the voters didn’t like his voting record. The campaign against him pointed out that voting record. Cleland would not sign the Homeland Security act because provisions were not made for –you guessed it –labor unions…once again a Democrat putting union interest above the safety of Americans. I am not looking to disparage Max Cleland, but being perfectly honest, many Americans do not know how the former Senator sustained his limb losses in Vietnam. Cleland lost three limbs on a non-combat mission when he picked up a grenade –and Cleland himself has said that the circumstances were certainly not heroic. I am not saying that, but he said that. He went to Vietnam and he served –but he shouldn’t sully his service now by using his disabilities to distract the debate at hand.

    Cleland goes on with his slander and untruths claiming that the Bush campaign is behind the SBVFT ads (which they have absolutely no proof of and which Karl Rove, whatever you may think of him, would never allow –he is way too savvy for that). Howard Dean also made these accusations. I hope that the President finally becomes pro-active and sues the hell out of Cleland and Dean for both slander and libel. As I have stated before –there is proof of coordination between the Democratic 527s (such as Moveon.org with a direct link to the DNC website on their page and JK and THK being in attendance at their functions) and the Kerry campaign. Top Democrats sit in the boards of these groups (as previously mentioned)…Harold Ickes (The Media Fund/ACT) and Bill Richardson (The Center for Public Integrity).

    Making poor sweaty Max Cleland roll all the way up to the ranch just to be turned around in the hot Texas sun…John Kerry…doust thou protest too much? Senator Kerry I believe that you are a sick sick man who will do anything and use anyone for your own ambition. You have lived off other’s fame and claimed it as your own. You have lived off other’s wealth and used it as your own. You have buried your book and your Senate record in favor of four short months of your life –and now you are playing the disability card…you and your alleged piece of shrapnel in your butt. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised –now that John Edwards is your VP –as he often played the disability card using junk science and children with cerebral palsy wheeled into court rooms to win millions of dollars, drive up health care costs and drive doctors out of business. Congratulations…today you win the political cheat shot of my life-time!

    Tuesday, August 24, 2004

    Picking a President -Is Anyone Actually Qualified?

    Who would ever want to be President? It opens your entire life to the ultimate scrutiny. Your family must endure the hurt of personal attacks. You have to make decisions that can truly affect million of lives. If you do something well you rarely get the credit. When anything goes wrong you always get the blame. You have to give up your ideals to become what the party accepts. You have to compromise goals and beliefs to keep your base happy. You have to try to please and entire country (not to mention the rest of the world). You may be asked to give the approval to shoot down a civilian airplane. You have to be ready to send soldiers to war –and quite possibly to their death.

    Who is truly qualified to hold this office? Whose past is error or sin free and able to withstand the vetting? Who is morally qualified to make life and death decisions? As November 2nd approaches, these questions swirl through my mind. I came across a blog the other day of a Christian man stating that he believes that it is wrong to vote at all because whomever you vote for will inevitably the Commander in Chief (he doesn’t believe in a military because he doesn’t think Jesus would). Others don’t vote because they don’t believe their vote really counts. Some abstain because they just don’t care. Many people that I have met stay away from the voting booth to avoid getting jury duty (a widely believed urban legend). Still others say they won’t subscribe to the concept of the ‘lesser of two evils’.

    Is it right to choose the most important job in the world from two choices? My brother has been preaching the benefits of a run-off voting system. In this system you would number your choices. If you voted for Nader and he wasn’t going to win your vote would go to the second person on your list –this way smaller parties would have a chance and your vote would never ‘be wasted’. It does seem that this may be the only solution to our current two-party system. I can’t see the powers that be ever letting it happen.

    Another thing that I often think about is how we REALLY know who we are voting for. In ‘All’s Fair’ by Mary Matilin & James Carville they both talk about Ross Perot extensively. They both say that neither party took his candidacy seriously because everyone that really knew him was aware that he was a certified nutcase –and apparently that was obvious to anyone who had met him more than once. The Clinton camp and the Bush camp were amazed as he began to rise in the polls. Americans rail against ‘negative campaigning’ but according to Carville and Matilin many Americans voted for a lunatic in 1992 –how were they to know? Should negative campaigning be seen as a positive aspect of the vetting process?

    I would love to be a part of the political system and it wouldn’t be for personal gain. I would love to effect change. I would love to have people call for help and actually be able to make a difference. Is this how all politicians start out --and then the system changes them? Do you need to lie to get ahead -- sell your soul to ascend? You need a lot of money to run for anything, and to get that money I am sure you have to compromise many of the principals that prompted you to enter the race in the first place. If I ever decided to throw my hat in the ring I would obviously be running as a Republican –the problem with that would be that much GOP money comes from the NRA... and I believe strongly in gun-control. This would leave me in a moral dilemma. Would I take the money knowing I was going against what I feel is important and justify it with the fact that if I ' got in' I could do good in other places? Does the end justify the means?

    The Presidency is appealing to many for the power that it bestows, but at the end of the day I believe that the cons surely outweigh the pros. I had trouble making the decision to put my dog to sleep as he suffered from a brain tumor. Who am I to end a life? I have trouble saying no to any and all who come to my door asking for a check to one good cause or another –Clean Air Council, SPCA, College for Inter-City Children…etc. Who am I to limit someone’s potential? As the election approaches and foibles and missteps are exposed…I think that we are lucky that anyone chooses to run and that we have people who are willing to expose themselves to the expectations and the inspection. Regardless of what I think of each candidate’s policies –they are both brave men just to embark on this undertaking. I am rarely able to make decisions that please the four people in my family…let alone the entire world…

    May the best man win.

    First Purple Heart

    OK..I stayed up to re-watch the report (to verify that I didn't imagine it in the fog of pain).

    August 23, 2004

    Special Report with Brit Hume

    Reporting: Major Garrett

    The first Purple Heart was awarded for taking hostile fire on December 2, 1968.

    Kerry's own journal entry (which is recorded in his book by David Brinkley) states on December 11, 1968 (9 days after the 'incident') that they had yet to take any enemy fire.

    Garrett goes on to say that the "Kerry campaign now says it is possible that this Purple Heart was awarded for an inadvertently self-inflicted wound"

    ****(I am sure that no one is accusing him of shooting himself -I would think this may be that incident where he threw a grenade into a barrel and a piece flew up and hit him)****

    OK, now I feel better and can go to bed. I didn't want to present false information -I wrote it down word-for-word this time...

    Monday, August 23, 2004

    The Battle Has Begun --Two Separate Fronts…

    Before I ‘take it to the mattresses’ as promised, I must put forward this disclaimer: I have a terrible ear infection—it feels as if someone is hammering an ice pick into my ear. I haven’t eaten since yesterday morning because it hurts too much to move my jaw –talking hurts too, but I can always manage to do that. I say this not to preface my content, but my writing in general and thought cohesion…Thank you for your patience.

    Theater 1: Anarchists vs. the Law

    Last night I received and email that said it was from Kfir, who is the co-founder of Protest Warrior. It looked to be a typical list-serve e-mail about updates for upcoming events planned. It wasn’t. It was a message from an Anarchist group that had hacked into Protest Warrior’s website and claimed to have taken everyone’s personal information. I spoke with the FBI this morning and forwarded them ‘said email’. I was glad to see that they were interested in this—(the email also gave instructions how to hack into other sites –such as the RNC, the President’s re-election site, and all venues involved with the upcoming convention --for those on the left: it had just as many disparaging words about Senator Kerry and his affiliates also). This email was wrought with threatening language that claimed members were ‘surrounded’ and that they will ‘lash out and shut the convention down’ etc. I don’t care if this group feels as if this type of behavior is in their ‘scope of rights’ and that they consider it to be an acceptable form of civil disobedience…and ‘not an act of terrorism’ –obviously they know that there is terroristic language in the letter or they wouldn’t have felt the need to say there wasn’t. Telling people that you possess all of their personal information and that they are surrounded is a terroristic threat as far as I am concerned and –it would seem- as far as the FBI is concerned also….

    Theater 2: Judicial Watch vs. John Kerry

    Kat had the scoop on Drudge! She was the first to report over the weekend that the group ‘Judicial Watch’ had filed a formal complaint concerning John Kerry’s 'awards and post-service activities'. Do you remember when this very group filed a complaint against Dick Cheney to make public those involved in energy consultation? –it was ALL OVER the news… Have you heard a peep about this new complaint against Kerry –even on Fox?

    Here is a small excerpt from Judicial Watch’s page regarding this matter:

    “…Judicial Watch notes that unresolved allegations against Kerry include: false official reports and statements; dishonorable conduct; aiding the enemy; dereliction of duty; misuse and abuse of U.S. government equipment and property; war crimes; and multiple violations of U.S. Navy regulations and directives, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the U.S. Code.”

    Judicial Watch also is requesting an investigation of Kerry’s anti-war activities. After he was released from active duty but while he was a commissioned officer in the inactive Naval Reserve, Kerry joined the anti-war group Vietnam Veterans Against the War and traveled to Paris to meet with delegations from North Vietnam and the Communist Viet Cong. He held a press conference in Washington, D.C., following the meeting and advocated the “peace proposal,” which included war damage reparations, put forth by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong.”

    “The allegations concerning Kerry’s conduct during the Vietnam War are credible, serious and shocking,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The sooner an investigation begins, the better.”

    To read the entire complaint you can go to Judicial Watch

    This time there can be no cries about a ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ or ‘republican smear campaign’ as this group has proven its non-partisan nature in the past. I am trying to predict the ‘spin’ that will be placed on this new development (if it ever makes it to the mainstream news). My guess is that they will just stick to the “swift boat veterans are liars’ and ‘this investigation is being embarked upon unjustly as it was prompted by Republican shills’ and ‘lying swift boat bastards’ defense.

    Many vets have believed for years that Kerry should have been prosecuted for his anti-war activities –not his personal right to protest, but the fact that he met with the Viet Cong when he was still in the Naval Reserve and that his picture still hangs in the ‘War Remnants’ museum in Ho Chi Minh City…symbolizing the aiding and abetting of ‘the enemy’. To follow are some details of that charge:

    (Above) John Kerry being greeted by the general secretary of the Communist Party, Comrade Do Muoi.

    Photo taken by Bill Lupetti (a Swift Boat Veteran visiting Vietnam that came across this display).

    The picture hangs in the ‘American protesters' section of the “War Crimes Museum" (now called War Remnants Museum) in Ho Chi Minh City (former Saigon). The room in which the picture hangs is dedicated to 'foreign activists who contributed to the Communist Victory in the Vietnam War'. There is no word on whether Jane Fonda is featured in this collection.

    "The Vietnamese communists clearly recognize John Kerry's contributions to their victory," Jeffrey Epstein said. "This find can be compared to the discovery of a painting of Neville Chamberlain hanging in a place of honor in Hitler's Eagle's Nest in 1945." (Epstein is a Vietnam Vet against Kerry).

    The DNC and its ‘Kerry-kool-aid-drinkers’ can keep claiming that none of this is true –or relevant. But when Senator Kerry ‘Reported for Duty’, at the DNC Buyer’s Remorse Convention, he not only made this investigation relevant, but imperative for someone who is campaigning to be the Commander in Chief –and thankfully, Judicial Watch feels the same.

    For one of the best pieces, on why Vietnam is now relevant to this debate, that I have read thus far, please visit Adeimantus at http://adeimantus.blogspot.com
    It's worth the trip!

    Sunday, August 22, 2004

    Vote For "My War" !

    The Washington Post is having a "Best Blog 2004" Contest. Nominations have to be in by September 27th and voting begins that day. Winners will be announced October 25th.
    Of course, I have nominated CB: www.cbftw.blogspot.com for Most Original -and Protein Wisdom for Class Clown: http://www.celluloid-wisdom.com/pw/index.php/weblog/
    If you haven't checked this site out you should!
    I may have even nominated some of you! Anyway, I thought it would be really awesome of CB won!
    Here's the link:


    Saturday, August 21, 2004

    Weekend Diversion

    I think we all need a break from the stress…I just have two quick political things to get out of the way...

    1) I went to three different book stores looking for “Unfit for Command” and the story is that it is sold out everywhere…so, is it a conspiracy to keep people from reading the book –or did the publisher underestimate the demand that much…..?!

    2) Is it true that John Kerry couldn’t get into Harvard Law and that it why he went to Boston College Law School instead?–(I got accepted at BC!) I thought Kerry was so much smarter than Bush –but Bush got into Harvard …and I think Forbes is a better name connection than Bush…Read this-not sure if it is true....

    Ok, OK…No more politics for the rest of the weekend. I will now attempt to be a uniter and not a divider. I found this on line and we all deserve a bit of fun. You take the quiz and find out what Greek god you would have been –then you come back and you put your results in the comments with a description of who you were. Could prove interesting...on Monday -when politics resume we can see who the stronger gods are.....haha.

    Here are my results:


    ?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
    brought to you by Quizilla

    (If quiz page somes up "Temporarily Unavailable" just refresh the page)

    Also, for those of you who are having a hard time renting movies or buying CDs since Hollywood decided to be the DNC II (oops sorry...repeat to self -no politics, no politics)
    –Here is a list of Republican/Pro-Bush Celebs that I have complied –:

    Lara Flynn Boyle.......................................... Brittney Spears

    Jessica Simpson............................................ Nick Lachey

    Johnny Ramone............................................ Stephen Tyler (Aerosmith)

    Martina McBride.......................................... Danny Aiello

    Ted Nugent.................................................... Kid Rock

    Daryl Worley.................................................. Lee Ann Womack

    Adam Sandler................................................ Fred Thompson

    Dennis Hopper............................................... Rob Lowe

    Dennis Miller.................................................. Bruce Willis

    Bo Derek.......................................................... Kelsey Grammar

    The Rock......................................................... Shannon Dougherty

    Angie Harmon................................................ Jason Priestly

    Freddie Prince Jr........................................... Vincent Gallo

    Lynyrd Skynyrd............................................ Ron Silver

    Steven Baldwin............................................... Gary Sinise

    Don King......................................................... Jay Leno (?)

    Jean Claude Van Dam................................... Tom Cruise (?)

    Marilyn Monroe (Ok you'll have to trust me on this one)

    Have a great weekend!

    P.S. Does 'not talking about politics' still apply if I just link something and say nothing more....
    Judicial Watch

    Friday, August 20, 2004

    The Left's Continuing Attempts to Squash Dissent

    If memory serves me, it has always been the Democrats that have called for campaign finance reform. Two years ago they finally got their wish when President Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law. Since ‘free speech’ is usually thought of as a liberal cause, I can only assume that the cry for this law came from the perception that the Democrats would never match Republican money –one of those ‘do what I say not what I do’ kinda things…(like talking about the environment and having five mansions and two private jets). I digress…

    Anyway, they left a loop-hole –and , surprise surprise…it has been the Democrats that have capitalized on this blip in the law (I guess they feel since they fought for it they can exploit it). 527s. The list of 527s (tax exempt –non party affiliated groups) is endless and both the left and the right have them (ACT, Sierra Club, Right to Life, Moveon, etc.). Would you be surprised to know that the bulk of the money raised through these groups has been spent by the left in an all-out offensive against the President…87% to be exact –that means that only 13% has been used for conservative causes. No one complained when Moveon.org was raising and spending money hand over fist –or when Michael Moore’s movie came out –or when Paul O’Neill/Joe Wilson/Richard Clarke’s books were released. There was a lot of press coverage from the main steam media for each happening. This was all Ok…freedom of speech…the right of the people to have their voices heard –and I agree. It would be nice if it ended there right, but it doesn’t.

    Enter Swift Boat Vets for Truth and all hell breaks loose...

    Accusations of:

    *‘Rich Republican donors’- Ok a Republican guy in Texas gave $100,000 (chump change in the 527 business) –How much money has George Soros given? I’ll tell you. 15 MILLION because his “only cause in life is to make sure that George Bush is defeated”.

    *‘Ties to the White House’: This law does not say that the contributors can’t be (D)’s or (R)s –it says that they can’t coordinate with the campaign. They can be against a candidate but just can’t endorse one –do you think there are any conservatives donating to ACT or Moveon? Let’s go into that a bit more…Harold Ikes was a super-delegate at the DNC convention and sits on the board of a 527. Bill Richardson is the head of Kerry’s NM election campaign and sits on the board of a 527. Where is the report in the NYT about that? Also, isn’t it an amazing coincidence that the day the Kerry campaign announced that they had decided to stop running ads to conserve money, the 527s started running their ads for him…that wasn’t coordinated? Please.

    Today Kerry’s campaign stooped to an all time low when they files a suit against SBVT with the FEC trying to get ads pulled and trying to get the publisher of "Unfit for Command" to pull it from the shelves. Wow. So much for Freedom of Speech. A representative from Kerry’s campaign today referred to these 254 veterans, who fought and bled for their country, as ‘so called swiftvets’. ..'so-called'-- That, my friends, is repugnant. It did, however, get the mainstream media involved -finally– because this wasn’t big news before today (sarcasm).

    The SBVT opened a new chapter of their effort to expose JK today with a new ad that features POWs. I am anxious to see if the POWs are disparaged and denigrated as the decorated veterans have been. Paul Galanti is one of those POWs in the ad (a native of Philadelphia). He was held in Viet Nam for seven years and was played tapes of John Kerry’s speech and told by his captors, “You will never leave here –do you hear that your own Naval Officer says you are a war criminal”. Galanti goes on to describe events prior to JK’s testimony: they were starved, beaten and tortured to get them to say this –that they were war criminals…and they held out. He says that beatings and torture increased after that 1971 testimony. John McCain has made many of the same accusations against Kerry in the past.

    So the party of the ACLU, the party heralded for championing the rights of the people to ensure free speech is not only suing to stop free speech, but suing to stop the free speech of the very men that fought and bled to protect it-- and suing to prevent the loop-hole that they have so efficiently utilized (Wasn’t it also the left that put protesters in a cage in Boston?) They sat by as 87% of the 527 money was spent to hurt Bush (so far 63 million), but as soon as the tables are turned they are screaming foul play (swift vets have spent 1 million). Whether you find yourself on the left or the right, you will have to admit that this is more than disingenuous –it is fascist and repugnant.

    …or, just another flip-flop.

    Protesting the Protesters

    I’ve never really understood the whole ‘protesting’ thing. I mean, of course, there have been times that I have felt like I should do it (that urge to be 'heard')—but then I remember what an absolute public-annoying-waste-of-time it is. I really appreciate why conservatives are called the ‘silent majority’.

    I am sure that most of these people truly believe in the cause behind their protest, but I think that the average protester (who is usually the ‘professional protester' hanging on from the sixties –The parents from Dharma and Greg…) just ends up hurting their cause with the inconvenience they bring about on the general public, their primal screams and their visible hate.

    When I was 21, I was doing a paper for an English class and our crappy computer was down so I was using a type writer (shudder). The ribbon ran out 2 hours before I had to turn in the paper. I raced to Sears to get the replacement ribbon and, alas, hundreds of Teamsters were blocking the door. I went to walk by and one burly man (with a mustache like the dad in Orange County Choppers) grabbed my arm (hard!) and said, “Sears hires non-union truck drivers”. I gave him a blank look and attempted to free myself of his vice grip. “Did you hear me (his voice went up 2 or 3 octaves), you can’t go in there, they aren’t using union truckers.” My sassy but probably-very-stupid-considering-the-situation reply was“ I have a paper due in an hour and a half and I need typewriter ribbon –I don’t care if Sears just killed the President.” (Well, in my defense… it was just Clinton at the time).

    I thought he was going to punch me, but another shaggy fellow touched his shoulder and he finally let me pass. Did this protest draw me closer to the Union cause –or was it the origin of my deep-rooted distaste for all unions? Did it make me less or more likely to shop at Sears? (Hint: More) Does the average person give a shit that Sears isn’t hiring Teamsters or are they smart enough to know that’s why Sears can keep their prices down…

    My form of personal protesting (protesting the protesters) is crossing any and all union picket lines that I see –even if I originally had no intention of going to the store they are in front of. It’s fun and I revel in telling the picketer that, ‘The need for unions is extinct’ and that ‘I will shop [at said store/business] more knowing that it doesn’t subscribe to union b.s. and doesn’t raise my cost to support Democratic candidates’. (Now that I have kids I can’t do this as much because I wouldn’t put them in harm’s way).

    My husband owns an independent HVAC company and he has to work an hour out of Philly everyday to avoid being harassed, having his tires slashed or worse. The Union problem in Philadelphia is out-of-hand…and they are constantly protesting/picketing something with their big giant inflatable rat (God, I want a dart gun).

    As we await the RNC convention in NY –the debate about protesting regains relevance. I think it’s great that we have the freedom to do this –to an extent. As I hear 'the plans' that ‘anarchist’ groups are proposing, it makes me shudder. Roll giant bags of marbles under the mounted officers…go to a shooting range for an hour ahead of the protest to throw off bomb-sniffing dogs, bring BB guns to shoot at the police horses…If this comes to fruition and there is an attack –what accountability will these ‘protestors’ have? Will they be charged with treason? I guess not if John Walker Lynn didn’t even get that charge…or Fonda…Do we still have a treason charge?

    This isn’t about the left or the right. Democrat or Republican (the terrorists won't descriminate) This is about safety and common sense. This is about the fact that most people could care less about protestors –they don’t see your message, they only see the ways you are inconveniencing them (traffic detours, litter, harassment). So why risk lives in NYC –during a heightened terror watch - for a message that falls on deaf ears anyway? If American’s want to keep their constitutional rights intact, (which, to my limited understanding of Constitutional Law, are not guaranteed in a time of war) –they need to respect the safety of their fellow citizens first and foremost.

    Thursday, August 19, 2004

    From Another Blog

    I found this over at
    Man-Sized Target

    "I've always found it puzzling that the left recognizes the importance of small changes to the physical environment and urges caution in altering it--lest we face some kind of world-destroying ecological catastrophe--but suggests that our moral and cultural environment can be changed at will, that altering its core institutions (like marriage)will have no negative consequences, and that those who urge restraint about these matters are being alarmist. This is more puzzling when one considers that civilizations, religions, ways of life, and entire peoples have disappeared because of some mistake in policy or moral decline".

    The Bi-Partisan Dance Ends -An Open Letter to John Kerry

    Dear Senator Kerry:

    I consider myself a reasonable person (capable of reasoning). I know that it has been said that us ‘regular’ folks may have trouble gleaning the full meaning of your words as you are so much more nuanced than we are. As I watched your speech to the VFW, I realized that this may be true-- as I found myself searching for clarity in many of your statements…maybe you could help to clear a few things up.

    First, I was surprised that you chose to speak in front of this group as you once referred to them as a “parliamentary, pro-war organization that is out of touch with young soldiers”, but we’ll put that aside for now.

    You spent much of the beginning of your speech heralding the idea of supporting troops that are returning from war –giving them the respect they deserve. I believe your exact words were, “It is a sacred promise that we keep faith with those who have served.” Later in the speech you also said that in Vietnam the “Warriors were confused with the war”, that this was wrong and that we “should always say thank you”. Now Senator, I am an animal lover and don’t want to be accused of beating a dead horse, but was this an apology to the Vets of Foreign Wars? It would seem to me that you were an instigating cause of many of the things that you were preaching about. Wasn’t it you that confused the Warriors with the war? Wasn’t it you that helped give birth to the chants of ‘baby killer’ with your testimony? Wasn’t it your 1971 speech the VC read to Senator McCain as he sat in a cell in an effort to demoralize him further? Didn’t you just say in this speech that “The facts should never get distorted by politics”? So nuanced…the many layers do appear as flip-flops, but I am sure you will clarify.

    Ok, I have to admit that there were parts of the speech that I didn’t get to hear (due to the constant yells and hecklers in the background –but I am sure I misunderstood and they were hollers of support from the vets because so many that I have met admire you so much). So, I apologize if I am leaving out key elements that already answered some of my questions.

    You went on (astutely acting as if you didn’t hear the yells) to talk about veterans benefits—what Bush hasn’t done and what you would do…because, ya know, you have been known to do right by the vets. You said that it is “our duty to protect those that have risked their lives” which I agree with wholeheartedly. Unfortunately for you, so does President Bush. A military publication that I stumbled upon stated that in 2002 our troops were given the largest pay increase in twenty years (that’s how long you’ve been a Senator right?). The increase was an average of 6.8% which was higher than both inflation and the average 4.1% given in the private sector. 2002 also boasted the largest housing increase in 10 years. The President has also given the highest allowance for amputee patient care and research for new prosthetics. You stated that we need to “keep faith with vets” and note that thousands drop out of the system each year…um, Senator Kerry…I think that I heard somewhere that 1,400 WWII vets are dying each day –maybe it’s just me, but might that explain the people that are ‘dropping out of the system’? Just a thought.

    You stayed away from the ‘inventing weapons that don’t kill thing’ (which was good as I think the number of Trekkies in that crowd was probably low) and you didn’t bring up the ‘sensitive war’ thing…but you did say that you would “never send [soldiers] into battle without a plan to win the peace”….Don’t kill, sensitive, peace….may I be so bold as to say that in a time of an increased incidence of the sacred Muslim practice of be-headings these words may not inspire the soldiers or comfort the folks…maybe it’s just me…wait, to be fair, you did go on to say that “there is a right and wrong way to be strong and it’s more than just tough words”…Hmmm. The President may have already coined this phrase when he decided to back up the ‘tough words’ of UN resolution 1441 with action…your party is anti-war so you may want to ush-hay on the ar-way…

    You say that you will “wage war with the lessons that you learned in war”…if this means that you will cut off heads, ears, and that you will put radio wires on genitals, kill babies and burn down villages (which are the only things I’ve heard you say about your four month tour) we might have a small problem with the NYT. They ran 49 front page stories an Abu Gareab –so though you may get a bit more of the Republican vote –you’ll probably loose your base. You say that you will add $40,000 new troops, double the Army’s special forces and end stop-loss all while you strengthen homeland security –oh, and while getting rid of the deficit. Impressive –is this in conjunction with more funding for ‘No child left behind’ (the highest funded education program ever), providing college education and health care for all and personally checking all cargo ships yourself?). Cool. You said that we shouldn’t politicize the war, but then you said that “90% of the coffins returning are draped with the American flag.” Maybe I am wrong, but I believe that it was higher than 90% in the first Gulf War with the coalition you keep reminiscing about.

    I won’t go into your speech on the importance of intelligence because I can look up your Senate record (or lack thereof) to clarify this for me. Lastly though I did want to talk a bit more about the ‘lack of allies’ we have in this coalition. Now we all know why France, Germany and Russia didn’t go in –and wouldn’t have for all the catsup in the world, but you bring up the Arab states. You said, “Arab countries have a stake in seeing that we do not fail in Iraq, yet they are not at the table”. I have done a bit a research on this too Senator and I would have to respectfully disagree. You know that peaceful book –the Qu’ran? Well, there is this sticky little teaching in there that says that a democracy is against Allah –as it also said that servants of Allah are commanded to commit terrorist acts. Maybe you too should read these quotes explaining the peaceful religion of Islam before you continue on the campaign trail:

    “Whoever says that Islam is free from terrorism or

    wants to differentiate between Islam and terrorism is committing Al Juhoud (sin) and that is Kufr Akbar (enemy) – and will take them out of the fold of Islam.

    The one who says ‘we should fight against terrorism’, he is fighting against Islam. We know very well that USA meant no one else by the term ‘terrorists’ but Islam and Muslims and the one who wants to avoid terrorism, is avoiding Islam.

    Whosoever denies that terrorism is part of Islam, he is kafir (dirty/unholy).

    Voting for Democracy is pure baatil (falsehood) and has no place in Islam; unfortunately some so called Muslim organizations have been duped by the fancy packaging of democratic elections, and even rally behind kuffar (disbelievers in Allah and Islam) propagating this FALSE system. Organizations such as MCB (Mushrik Council of Britain) and Al-Muntada have even attempted to justifying voting as a religious duty. These groups have taken it upon their own shoulders to become the voices of Iblees (Shaytaan), they are fulfilling the pledge Shaytaan (the Devil) made to Allah; that is to take as many sons of Adam to the pits of Jahannam (hellfire) as possible, hence why Allah (swt) warned “O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaytaan. And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytaan, then, verily he commands Al-Fahshaa' [to commit indecency], & Al-Munkar [disbelief].” [EMQ 24:21)]”

    http://www.muhajiroun.com/ (I can not guarantee that you will not be put on a terror-watch list for going to this site –after reading it I would hope that it is being watched).


    ALa71 –American, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend and Concerned Citizen.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    A Bi-Partisan Dance

    In the personal interest of beating a fellow blogger to the punch....

    In this heated political season where tensions are running high, I thought it would be good to demonstrate a bit a of bi-partisanship --

    Leftyjones takes ALa71 to the Prom in 1988...

    (Can we get a collective -'Thank God the '80's are over!--whose hair is bigger his or mine?)

    -Lefty is now happily married to a fellow lib -and I am happily married to a fellow sane person (aka: Conservative) --so all ended well!

    Sunday, August 15, 2004

    Changed My Mind...

    I decided to remove this post as I am feeling a bit raw lately...Drained, Tired, Disillusioned...
    Someone called to tell me that this was not a good picture of me --said I look like Melanie Griffith in it. I think Mason was peeing on me as the photographer snapped the picture -which could explain a lot. It's virtually impossible to have me in a picture anymore. I took a bunch of photography classes and ever since then I am always behind the camera...I miss the darkroom -it is one of my dreams to build one in the house. For those of you who have never been -it is a wonderful stress reliever...
    In the meantime maybe I should buy some Calgon?!

    Looking for a little Sunday night fun...go to http://www.fundrace.org and type in your address...you can see if any of your neighbors donated any money to Bush, Kerry, the RNC or the DNC....you can also type in specific names to see if and what people gave.

    Friday, August 13, 2004

    A Double Take at the Taboo

    I have breast implants. This was not really information that I envisioned myself discussing in this forum –though I am quite open about it in my ‘real life’. I only release this for discussion at this point because I hope that it will educate people to think before they speak –or judge…

    It was 1992 and a typical Thursday night of good friends, junk food and 90210. In this particular episode Brenda, Kelly and Donna were all having a ‘sleep over’ and were reading material about self breast exams (because that’s what us girls do at sleep-overs…not!). They all began to examine their breasts (which I am sure was more for the pleasure of the adolescent boy viewers than the education of the female viewers). My friends and I followed suit –mocking the silliness of the unrealistic scenario. As I jokingly ran my hand under my right breast I found a sizable lump. As each of my friends verified its existence the laughing faded away...

    Thee short days later I was being wheeled into an Operating Room of a Philadelphia hospital, at the tender age of 21, with the possibility of cancer tangible in the air. It was supposed to be a quick surgery –two hours at the most, so when I woke up almost seven hours later I began to worry. They eventually shipped me off and told me the doctor would call…oh yeah, and the biopsy would take TWO WEEKS!

    I endured the two weeks and was finally called to go into his office --to have the bandages and sutures removed and to hear the verdict.

    Benign. BENIGN!

    As the bandages began to come off, I thought I would die on the spot…my breast was virtually non-existent....gone!

    “Yes, well we had to take much of the breast tissue as the growth must be encapsulated.”


    Fast forward nine years and two kids later…

    In 2002 I finally decided to have reconstructive surgery. I had looked into it many times before, but all the pictures I saw showed women with bigger breasts that were still lopsided –I didn’t care about bigger, I wanted even. I also wanted to make sure that I would be able to breast-feed when I eventually had children (which I did for 16 months each).

    A breakthrough from Monitor saved my life (well, maybe not my life but definitely my self image) New implants complete with valves that remain out of your body after the surgery. When the swelling goes down, they stay in as long as adjustments are necessary to provide the best chance at symmetrical breasts.

    I was so torn over whether to go through with it. I had two small children and I kept envisioning my funeral if I died under anesthesia:

    “I can’t believe she was so vain.”

    “I know and with those precious boys left with no mother so she could have boobs.”

    My husband intervened and said that it was ridiculous that I was only 30 years old and so miserable and insecure about my body.

    “You should not want to cry every time that you look in the mirror!” (I'm sure it didn’t hurt that he has always been an implant man).

    Anyway, I went to a great surgeon –not a stripper 'Sal Calabro' doctor that makes each breast identical to a submarine torpedo. I don't mind mirrors anymore --and it was wonderful to throw away the padded bras that hid my secret for so long.

    Lately I have been hearing a lot of talk (mostly on the right –but also from feminist groups) about the evils of plastic surgery and what a terrible indictment it is on our society. I hear people’s conversations about the vanity that must be involved with anyone that could do this to their body (I actually laugh to myself when this happens in front of me- like today with two checkers at the grocery store which inspired this post). I have heard church leaders denounce it and talk show hosts disdain it…

    We are all taught that we shouldn’t judge people on their looks or their clothes, job or wealth… but plastic surgery –especially breast implants is fair game –judge away! This procedure has been a God-send to many cancer patients and has helped to restore their self-confidence and their femininity. So the moral of this story is the next time you want to talk about the vain girl that paid $7,500 for big boobs –stop yourself and think about the reasons that she may have done it.

    Thursday, August 12, 2004

    The Plot Thickens for Governor McGreedy

    Wow! I haven’t EVER seen a press conference like that! New Jersey Governor Jim McGreedy emerges –docile, smiling, Stepford wife in tow- rambles on about how he has tried to “fit into the mold of a traditional life” and my mind was racing…what’s he gonna say? Hookers? Strippers? Call girls? Under-age Girls? I lean towards the TV in anticipation –his nervous preamble alerting me to the fact that the disclosure was going to be big!

    “I am a gay American” (as opposed to a gay Frenchman or a gay Australian I suppose)

    Once again, Wow! That I didn’t expect ---in a million years! I know that I shouldn’t be reveling in someone else’s pain –and I’m not really, it’s just that it’s SO juicy and I know there is a giant scandal behind it that has yet to unravel (and yes, I will be the first to admit that I love a good political scandal). I mean why resign for ‘coming out’ and admitting that you were having a consensual affair with another dude?

    I will get to why this story is relevant to the rest of the country in a minute…

    Anyway, it has been reported that Magical Me himself (Clinton) flew into NJ to talk to McGreedy last night…why? To tell him to resign –to tell him not to resign? I want to know! It has also been reported that there will be a law suit filed by a man that worked in the Governor’s office charging him with sexual harassment. The man was made head of McGreedy’s security team after 9/11-- with NO previous security experience…hmmm….

    Before you go thinking it was brave and honorable of him to disclose this information –the man that he was having the affair with (also a government official) –was basically blackmailing him…asking for a large amount of money to make it go away. He had no choice. For those of you who may not know –there has also been a big financial scandal brewing –having to do with his campaign finances. This man is also driving businesses from NJ by the truckloads with the Liberal method of tax the hell out of the ‘rich’. This resignation shouldn’t/doesn’t have to do with the fact that he is gay –just a seemingly corrupt person (but that didn’t stop John Street or Marian Barry from multiple wins).

    Anyway, here’s how this is relevant to you in other states. There is a NJ state law that says if a resignation is 60 days before a general election the people of NJ get to vote on the new Governor, BUT if it is after that the Lt. Gov. takes the position. Today is 82 days until the election, but McGreedy said that his resignation would be effective as of November 15th…how convenient! Is it all starting to come clear –Clinton’s visit…

    The person that would most likely be elected is a Republican (not the Democrat Lt. Gov.) –which means higher GOP turn out on election day –which means NJ is back in play as a swing state and Bush gets a real shot at winning it.

    How shady is it to say ‘I resign’ –but not until 13 days after the election. I am quite sure that as the plot thickens and the real story unfolds, there will be lawsuits filed regarding the timing of the resignation (as there should be). Most people that I know from Jersey (Republicans & Democrats) had a low opinion of their Governor anyway and would welcome this chance to vote in someone else. So, thanks to McGreedy and his pesky little secrets…Bush may just have a shot at the 15 electoral votes from New Jersey after all! Those of you in NJ have 22 days to demand your right to an elected –not appointed- governor! Get going!


    On a completely seperate subject I would like to take a moment to say Happy Birthday to BigandMean!
    In breathy, wispy Marilyn Monroe Voice: "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you....Happy Birth day Mr. Big and Mean....Happy Birthday to you!"

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004

    Humid Summer Night Musing...

    I have been feeling angry lately. I try not to, don't want to and it's just not 'me' to feel this way. I am drained and a big part of me just wants this election to be over. I don't really want to talk to my liberal friends until after November 2nd...Maybe they feel the same way. My husband is worse --he has now arrived at the conclusion that any vote for Kerry is a vote to kill his kids (wow-I've created a monster!) .
    It's not just politics --my husband owns a business and this too has diminished my opinion of the human race as well. I can not believe how many people screw you. The worst thing is that 'friends' are the worst offenders. How do you have work done and just not pay for it? I am baffled. I was really supportive in this whole 'I want to work for myself and leave my job with a pension and benefits when we have two kids and you are a stay-at-home mom' thing. SO supportive...who am I to stand in the way of someone's dream for monetary reasons? I was under the false impression that it would be fine because when you do work for someone they pay you --WRONG! So very very wrong...
    This is frustrating for me because I was always the 'happy one' -the joking one and I don't want to be the angry one. I want to be able to agree to disagree --but when you TRULY believe in your ideals how do you do that? If the Dems had nominated Joe Lieberman I would feel a bit better --he is socially very liberal but consistently strong on defense. I would feel more secure with him running...As far as saftey goes -we would be OK either way.
    A new fear presented itself today amidst the swiftboat vets accusations...I have heard numerous military personnel calling various radio shows saying that they will not re-enlist should Kerry be elected (and people thinking of joining that are waiting until after the election to do so). This is attributed to 2 things -their feeling that he betrayed the military with his Jane Fonda/Vietnam Vets Against the War alliance and the rustling among the enlisted about the sweeping cuts that were sustained during the Clinton administration. I do not know about the second point as I was not in the military then -nor am I now. If re-ups and new enlisting drops in the midst of the 'War on Fundamentalist Islam' will the draft have to be re-instated? I have read a few anti-war sites lately that strongly advocate a draft(?). They claim that it will even out the fact that it is 'only poor uneducated people in the military'.
    So this is where I am at tonight...mad at dead-beats with no regard for other people and mad at the prospect of a weak-on-defense President.
    I want to be happy again ---it would be a great help if everyone could just pay their bills and re-elect Bush in the fall. Thank you.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2004

    Through the Eyes of a Yank

    I love the drive to North Carolina. It is almost a tangible feeling when the 'south begins', and it happens closer than most Notherners would think. I can almost pinpoint it to somewhere around Smyrna, Delaware.
    Beyond Smyrna the business signs are mostly hand-painted.
    "Jackie's Hair Hut" (complete with silver stars that dot the i's)
    "Melvin's Pool Room"
    "Salisbury Beauty Supply"
    The types of restaurants change from "Fridays" to "Fomy's Barbecue Pit"
    The businesses even change as John Deere stores and Harley shops begin to line the road.
    The thing that stands out the most for me is the unabashed declarations of faith:
    "Redemption Auto Repair"
    "Christ's Cleaners"
    "Christian Diner"
    Actual Billboards that proclaim:
    "Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Light"
    "One Nation Under God"
    "Trust in God Alone"
    These are not urban images...God does not live openly in Philadelphia...
    Another image that is plain for all to see, but that is virtually non-existent in Philadelphia is the amount of Bush/Cheney, W '04 and various other pro-Bush signs and stickers ...so strange -refreshing, but strange...
    Nature takes on new meaning as stretches of land grow larger -and greener. Corn fields pepper the large expanses -all equipped with giant sprinkler systems...
    I love watching this transformation. I have been making this journey for over 15 years and it never ceases to amaze me.
    Traveling down Route 13S, you almost have to believe John Edwards' proclamation about the reality of two Americas. In Virginia there seems to be only two living situations. Sprawling plantation-style homes on rolling acres complete with wrap-around porches and silos --or --small mobile/modular homes that are barley larger than the sheds that many in Philly have in their back yards to store lawn mowers. (Though in defense of the 'plantation' owners --we looked at a house while we were in NC that was on ELEVEN acres and was going for $199,000...so it would seem that you don't have to be rich to own that much land).
    The Outer Banks itself is probably not indicative of inland Southern living --OBX benefits immensely from 'renter taxes' and boasts some of the best schools in the south. The homes are all big, beautiful and outrageously overpriced. I love the surf shops, the HUSH PUPPIES, the giant sand dunes, the shells that you can find on the beach before dawn and the 'realness' of the locals.
    My stress fades away there --it's not just the fuschia sunsets over the Currituck Sound, or the dolphins and pelicans racing over the waves in Corolla...it's the pace of life there...Slower and laid back. Road rage virtually non-existent. It is hard to get used to at first and sometimes I catch myself in big-city-mode wanting everyone to hurry up. It was also hard to get used to the fact that everyone talks to you -at first you awkwardly say hello back and unconsciously grip your purse. Now I love meeting the variety of people that North Carolina has to offer, and look forward to conversations that quickly lead to each person's 'story'.
    I know many Northerners snub the south --I have had the rare pleasure of being able to love both worlds... This trip was too quick and I can't wait until the end of September when we go back for a week or two.
    When I am here- I can't imagine living anywhere else, but as soon as I cross the Wright Memorial Bridge-I wonder what keeps me in the urban jungle...