Thursday, November 30, 2006

Dept. Of Homeland Security Report:
RE: Illegal Immigration

I'll say it for the 9,354th time --being strongly against ILLEGAL immigration has NOTHING to do with a dislike for Hispanic people. As a matter of fact two of my very best friends are first generation Americans from Columbia... It has to do with dislike for lawlessness and a strong desire for National Security:


"Half of the 91,516 illegal aliens from terror-sponsoring countries and those of "special interest" apprehended at the border between 2001 and 2005 were released into the U.S. population, according to a report by the inspector general's office of the Department of Homeland Security.

The report, "Detention and Removal of Illegal Aliens," released earlier this year with little fanfare or attention, suggests about 85 percent of those aliens – potentially the most dangerous – would abscond and likely never be seen by authorities again.

In addition to the release of these high-risk aliens, 27,947 known criminals were also released between 2001 and 2004 – including 20, 967 "from countries where the notorious Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang members are know to be active."

Given that only one in four aliens attempting to enter the U.S. during this period was caught, that would suggest some 350,000 from high-risk nations entered the country through this five-year period. An additional 400,000 criminal aliens would also have made it into the country between 2001 and 2004, according to the report.

That's a total of 750,000 aliens who would be either known criminals before entering the country illegally or who originated from a terror-sponsoring nation or one in which terrorists are known to operate...
(Read the entire article)

Engaging in the "they do jobs Americans don't want to do" and "it's too hard to get here legally" arguments embrace the presumption that we are dealing with only Hispanic illegals... We need to change the discussion to include the reality of the situation.

This becomes crystal clear when we read about two men in Houston (in this country illegally) who trained at terror camps in Pakistan and have admitted to trying to help the Taliban...

"In court, Williams admitted that he viewed coalition forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as invaders. He had expressed a desire to travel to the Middle East to help the Taliban. Williams also admitted to handing over money that was supposed to help Taliban fighters and their families...

...And though the pair may not seem to have posed a threat of the magnitude of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the arrests point to the U.S. Justice Department's goal to prevent terrorism, DeGabrielle said.

The indictments, which were unsealed today after both men appeared in court, allege that during the past 1 1/2 years both men participated in firearms and reconnaissance training in Harris County and surrounding areas.

According to the indictment, the two decided last year to travel to the Middle East to engage in "battlefield jihad.'' (source)

Or if that wasn't enough, how about this story:

"About 30,000 applications from immigrants seeking citizenship were processed by the government even though thousands of background files used to determine eligibility were missing, congressional investigators found..." (Rea the article)

San Diego Bans Wal-Mart

...actually they voted 5-3 to ban all superstores (so I guess that includes BJ's, Sam’s and Target too).

"The council voted 5-3 to ban the building of retail establishments within city limits that are larger than 90,000 square feet and generate more than 10 percent of revenue from non-taxable goods, like groceries.

Touting the importance of consumer choice, Councilmen Kevin Faulconer, Brian Maienschein and Jim Madaffer cast the dissenting votes.
Click here to find out more!

"I do not think it is the role of the City Council to dictate where families buy their groceries," Faulconer said." (source)

The Mayor says he'll veto the ban and the council would need all five votes to overturn the Mayoral veto.

I have to tell all the anti-Walmarties out there --your antics have given Wal-Mart my business. I had never been in a Wal-Mart until all this hoopla started and all the anti-Wal-Mart websites started cropping up. And, as I previously posted, I decided to go when I realized it all really boiled down to unions being mad they were being excluded from this money machine.

So I have to thank all you End-Wal-Mart's evil reign advocates for an experience and savings I was missing out on. Just the other day I got Children's nighttime Cough and Cold Triaminic for $4.84 (I pay over $8 at the grocery store and drug store) --and for the new Hamilton Beech Brew Station that is $90 elsewhere and we got for under $50! Thanks, you've made a Wal-Mart convert out of me! ;)

Sharia Law Spreading in the UK -Are We next?

Everyone claims it could never happen here... But where is "here"? In Texas...I agree, no way. But the East and Left Coast...who knows... If we keep pandering to radicals thinly guised as "civil rights advocates" --like CAIR and the ACLU, how long until Sharia sneaks onto our land?

I'm quite sure if you had asked any Manchester United fan in a pub five years ago if Sharia could ever happen in the UK, there would have been a resounding "no"...But...

"...Sharia, derived from several sources including the Koran, is applied to varying degrees in predominantly Muslim countries but it has no binding status in Britain.

However, the BBC Radio 4 programme Law in Action produced evidence yesterday that it was being used by some Muslims as an alternative to English criminal law. Aydarus Yusuf, 29, a youth worker from Somalia, recalled a stabbing case that was decided by an unofficial Somali "court" sitting in Woolwich, south-east London.

Mr Yusuf said a group of Somali youths were arrested on suspicion of stabbing another Somali teenager. The victim's family told the police it would be settled out of court and the suspects were released on bail.

A hearing was convened and elders ordered the assailants to compensate their victim. "All their uncles and their fathers were there," said Mr Yusuf. "So they all put something towards that and apologised for the wrongdoing."

Although Scotland Yard had no information about that case yesterday, a spokesman said it was common for the police not to proceed with assault cases if the victims decided not to press charges.

However, the spokesman said cases of domestic violence, including rape, might go to trial regardless of the victim's wishes.

Mr Yusuf told the programme he felt more bound by the traditional law of his birth than by the laws of his adopted country. "Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law," he said. "It's not sharia, it's not religious — it's just a cultural thing."

Sharia's great strength was the effectiveness of its penalties, he said. Those who appeared before religious courts would avoid re-offending so as not to bring shame on their families.

Some lawyers welcomed the advance of what has become known as "legal pluralism".

Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, a barrister and principal of Hijaz College Islamic University, near Nuneaton, Warwicks, said this type of court had advantages for Muslims. "It operates on a low budget, it operates on very small timescales and the process and the laws of evidence are far more lenient and it's less awesome an environment than the English courts," he said.

Mr Siddiqi predicted that there would be a formal network of Muslim courts within a decade." (source)

Wake up America!

(There is a novel that I read that explores what an America under Sharia law would 'look' like: Prayers for the Assassin)

FBI Readers?

Is anyone out there an FBI employee? If so...I have some questions.

The FBI age-cutoff is in two years for me. I filled out an application when I first got married, but procrastinated until I finished my degree and by that time I was pregnant. I want to know if support staff (computers, research, etc.) still has to do three (?) months at Quantico and be a cop first...

I realize I'm small which is why I never pursued my desire to be a cop/detective, but the FBI seems to be more brains than brawn. I feel like I should at least ask the questions before it's too late and I have to add another regret to the list...

If all else fails, I guess I could just buy a t-shirt... ;)

Caption It...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Statute of Limitations?!

The other night The Man and I were watching A&E's "Cold Case Files" (the real show, not the drama set in Philly) and the case involved a serial rapist that wasn't in CODIS (the FBI's Combined DNA Index System) --to avoid the perpetrator dodging charges due to an expiring statute of limitations, the prosecutor succeeded in having a warrant issued against the DNA of the rapist (there was a Law & Order SVU based on this case). While we were watching I couldn't help but wonder why there was a statute of limitations on rape --then the obvious train of thought --why any statute of limitations on any crime?

Here is Wikipedia's explanation:

"One reason for statutes of limitations is fairness; that is, over time memories fade, evidence is lost or never found, and people prefer to get on with their lives without legal intrusions from the past." (source)

..."and people prefer to get on with their lives without legal intrusions from the past"?!

Well, we wouldn't want to inconvenience them or anything. I mean I know if I got away with robbing some little old lady's house, I certainly wouldn't want someone coming around years later and calling me on it.

I never put much thought into it before, but the idea of a cap on the time someone can be prosecuted for a crime seems VERY wrong...especially when it concerns rape and/or molestation.

HERE is a website that lists statutes state-by-state. Wrongful death is only two years in Pennsylvania... So glad to hear those wrongful death causers won't be "legal intrusions from the past".

Newsflash: Women Talk More Than Men...

Whenever I ask my boys (or The Man for that matter) to tell me about something, I always start with "Tell it the way *I* would...not like a boy would". Probably the thing that frustrates me most about being the only source of estrogen in my house is ongoing struggle to attain decent communication.

ALa: Did CJM's little girl like the gift I sent over?

Wrong Response:
The Man
: Yeah.

Correct Response:
The Man
: She loved it. She ripped the wrapping right off and when she saw all the instruments she gave me a big smile and asked if I could help her open them. Her mom said you were really sweet and wonderful to remember her birthday and they all think you are such a great person. They all said to tell you thank you and that you picked the perfect gift.

Is that too much to ask? A few adjectives?

"...Dr Luan Brizendine of the University of California, who's published her shock findings in The Female Brain, says the average woman works her way through 20,000 words per day, compared with just 7,000 for the average bloke. She says "women devote more brain cells to talking than men", and cites fundamental differences between male and female brains as the cause.

Brizendine - whose findings are based on her own clinical work and the findings of more than 1,000 studies - reluctantly admitted: "I know it is not politically correct to say this but I've been torn for years between my politics and what science is telling us. I believe women actually perceive the world differently from men.

"Girls arrive already wired as girls, and boys arrive already wired as boys. Their brains are different by the time they're born, and their brains are what drive their impulses, values, and their very reality."

Indeed, Brizendine says said differences "can be traced back to the womb, where the sex hormone testosterone moulds the developing male brain". Specifically, "the areas responsible for communication, emotion and memory are all pared back the unborn baby boy". Accordingly, males "chat less than their female counterparts and struggle to express their emotions to the same extent" - which is hardly news to long-suffering females.

Brizendine elaborated: "Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road."

And when they're not cruising their eight-lane superhighway of emotion, women are getting a quick fix of verbals because "the simple act of talking triggers a flood of brain chemicals which give women a rush similar to that felt by heroin addicts when they get a high"..." (source)

I've only met a select few than can out-talk me... ;)

More on WMD from "Inside CENTCOM"

General Michael DeLong, General Tommy Franks' deputy, says "intel showed Saddam moved WMD before the invasion"...

Listen to a short interview HERE where DeLong discusses his new book "Inside CENTCOM: The Unvarnished Truth About the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq".

Iraqi general, Georges Sada, said WMD were moved to Syria before the war in his book: Saddam's Secrets --and Israeli officer, Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon, also maintains that WMDs were "spirited from Iraq on the eve of the war".

There is an entire blog dedicated to Democrat Quotes about WMD's ...are the stories in these books true, or could all these Dems have been lying to the American people?

Philly's Mayor's Brother Could Get 90 Years

Milton Street, a prominent member of Philadelphia's "Pay-to-Play" corruption ring and brother of the infamous Philly mayor, has been indicted for fraud... This comes as no shock. Last I heard he was being paid 300,000 a year for some meaningless job of nepotism... and he doesn't even live in Philly, or Pennsylvania for that matter --he's a Jersey boy. Based on the charges he could get up to 90 years in jail and fines exceeding 1.2 million dollars.

"The older brother of Mayor John F. Street used his last name to obtain lucrative "no-work" city contracts and failed to pay taxes on more than $2 million in income, federal authorities charged Tuesday.

Soon after Street took office in 2000, T. Milton Street Sr. began hiring himself out as a high-priced consultant to companies that thought he could help them get city contracts, the indictment charged. One firm paid Milton Street, who is a longtime hot dog vendor, a $30,000-a-month consulting fee, authorities said..." (source)

"Milton Street wanted the IRS to believe he was a humble street vendor selling hot dogs and soda. What he didn't tell them was that he was making millions on nothing more than his last name." (source)

Anyway, I searched all over online to find what (if any) qualifications this man has. Did he go to college? If so, did he default on his student loans like his brother? Has he ever had a real job that he got all on his own? I can't find anything about him. The PAWiki page says -and I quote "Philadelphia Mayor John Street's brother". Maybe that's it...older brother overshadowed by younger brother complex.

Philly's next mayoral race should be a hoot -- regardless of all the crime (370+ homicides and counting), all the corruption and the general disarray of a city under Democrat rule for 30+ years, and it will all come down to one thing...race.

Caption It...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New Poll Gives John Kerry Some Tough Love...

In a new poll of how Americans "like" current political figures...John Kerry came in dead last out of 20 contenders. Many of the Dems I'm friends with were overjoyed over the "botched joke debacle" because to them it sealed the deal that he wouldn't run again. He's still exploring his options...so I guess it didn't seal that deal in his mind.

..."This is bad bad news for Kerry," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Connecticut, which conducted the survey.

"Americans know who he is, and have pretty much decided they don't like him," said Brown. He noted the poll found that 95 percent of respondents said they had heard enough about Kerry, who lost the 2004 White House race to
President Bush, to rate the Massachusetts Democrat..." (source)

Taking the Gold, Silver and Bronze were:
1) Rudy Giuliani
2) Barack Obama (though 41 percent said they had not heard enough about the first-term senator to offer an opinion)
3) John McCain

Then:
4) Condoleezza Rice
5) Bill Clinton
6) Joe Lieberman
7) Michael Bloomberg
8) John Edwards
9) Hillary Clinton
10) Bill Richardson (Two in three respondents said they did not know enough about him to form an opinion.)
11) Joe Biden
12) Nancy Pelosi
13) Mitt Romney
14) Al Gore
15) President Bush
16) Evan Bayh
17) Newt Gingrich
18) Bill Frist
19) Harry Reid
20) John Kerry

I'm sure Hillary wasn't happy to see she was 9th with 4 Dems above her... There is a new book out about her that won't help her cause --as it will give conservatives a treasure-trove of her own words to slam her with should she be the nominee:

I've Always Been a Yankees Fan: Hillary Clinton in Her Own Words

"From claiming to be named after a famed mountaineer (Sir Edmund Hillary actually scaled Mt. Everest years after she was born), to bragging about being a lifelong Yankees fan (although she grew up in Chicago rooting for the Cubs), Hillary shows that there’s no tall tale that she won’t tell.

Whether it’s yelling at her Secret Service guards, grumbling about photo ops with young children, or arguing that taxpayers should buy her a pool, Hillary is never short on ambition -- and sometimes salty enough to make a sailor blush!


This is the order *my* list of “Likeability” would be in:
1) Joe Lieberman 2) Rudy Giuliani 3) President Bush 4) Newt Gingrich 5) Barack Obama 6) John McCain 7) Bill Richardson 8) Mitt Romney 9) Condoleezza Rice …that’s it, none of the others are very likeable to me at all…

No Peace Signs Allowed...

A woman in one of those "dictate everything you do with your own property" housing associations has been told to remove her Peace-sign shaped Christmas wreath. The Association says it is an "Anti-Iraq war message"...

If wreaths are allowed by this community, I don't see how they can dictate this woman remover hers. They have said they will fine her $25/day until it's removed.

"...Some residents who have complained have children serving in Iraq, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He said some residents have also believed it was a symbol of Satan. Three or four residents complained, he said.

"Somebody could put up signs that say drop bombs on Iraq. If you let one go up you have to let them all go up," he said in a telephone interview Sunday.

Lisa Jensen said she wasn't thinking of the war when she hung the wreath. She said, "Peace is way bigger than not being at war. This is a spiritual thing."

Jensen, a past association president, calculates the fines will cost her about $1,000, and doubts they will be able to make her pay. But she said she's not going to take it down until after Christmas." (source)

I once lived in a condo and woke up to a $150 fine on my door because apparently someone had puked over my balcony during a party the night before. A friend of mine now lives somewhere she is not allowed to have a clothes line. As much as my neighborhood can be a giant eye-soar (as the popularity of those giant blow-up lawn ornaments grows), I still prefer it to Gestapo living...

What struck me when I read this story is how the peace sign has indeed been perverted. I think "peace" (whatever that actually is) is everyone's intangible ideal, but the far-left has hijacked the symbol and somehow dirtied it and made it political. It's sad that I cringe at the sign or the word peace now --not that it isn't a wistful aspiration --but now the word-association is sour...

So, though I strongly believe that Ms. Jensen should be allowed to keep her wreath (as homely as it may be) right where it is, I understand the visceral reaction from the military families.

(H/T: Nate)

Memory-Blocker Pill for PTSD Sufferers?

James McGaugh, a professor of neurobiology at the University of California, claims that memories are pliable at first and take time to solidify in our brains (he likens them to Jello). An ongoing study with a blood pressure medicine (that has been unofficially used to quell stage fright), Propranolol, is trying to prove that traumatic memories can be expelled from the mind...

This could have huge implications for redeployed military personnel, rape victims and maybe most importantly child victims of sexual abuse...

The large study is being funded by the National Institutes of Health...but of course it's not without its critics:

"...The President’s Council on Bioethics condemned the study in a report that said our memories make us who we are and that "re-writing" memories pharmacologically … risks "undermining our true identity." "It risks making shameful acts seem less shameful or terrible acts less terrible than they really are".

David Magnus, director of Stanford University’s Center for Biomedical Ethics, says he worries that it won't be just trauma victims trying to dull painful memories.

"From the point of view of a pharmaceutical industry, they're going to have every interest in having as many people as possible diagnosed with this condition and have it used as broadly as possible. That's the reality of how drugs get introduced and utilized," Magnus argues.

He’s concerned it will be used for trivial reasons. "If I embarrass myself at a party Friday night and instead of feeling bad about it I could take a pill then I'm going to avoid – not have to avoid making a fool of myself at parties," Magnus says. "Our breakups, our relationships, as painful as they are, we learn from some of those painful experiences. They make us better people."

But while the ethicists debate the issue, the science is moving forward. Researchers have shown in rat studies that propranolol can also blunt old memories.(source)

There was a time Prozac was given out like candy --should the people that actually suffer from acute depression have been deprived of the drug because doctors decided to write scripts for anyone having a down day? The fact that there is a possibility the drug will be overused or used frivolously should be addressed with the prescription-happy docs... Depriving those who have suffered debilitating traumatic events the chance to function normally seems unthinkable to me...

Read the entire article

Columbia University...S&M Good, Love Letters Bad.

One of my brothers, currently earning his PhD at Rutgers University, called me the other day...

J: ALa, I don't think you'll ever be able to get your doctorate in English Lit.

(We have a very lovingly-competitive relationship, so I thought he was implying it would be too demanding...)

ALa: Gee, thanks...

J: No, I don't mean it that way --the classes are SO far left that sometimes I'm offended. I mean really far left and they assume everyone there is too.

...And this from a New York liberal.

The scene is no different at prestigious Columbia University... Marine reservist Matt Sanchez has been called a "baby killer" and Chris Kulawik, head of the College Republicans, reports there is a slide in science class comparing President Bush with a monkey.

Now the NY Daily News reports that this $33,246 a year university offers a lot more than liberal politics...

"...Columbia University students doff their clothes at naked parties, flock to sex toys workshops, broadcast porn on campus TV, bake anatomically correct pies for the "Erotic Cake-Baking Contest" and heat up the steps of the Low Library in a mass makeout session called the "Big Kiss."

And of course, there's always the stimulating game, "Guess the Number of Condoms in the Jelly-Bean Jar."

Others volunteer for the bullwhip at Conversio Virium, the university-sanctioned S&M club that means "exchange of power" in Latin. It calls itself a "discussion group" that provides "education and peer support" and promotes "safe, sane and consensual play." But the club doesn't just talk.

Late on the night of Nov. 13, a Daily News reporter sat in room 303 of Hamilton Hall, a venerable classroom building where Columbia students have studied Poe, Plato and Plutarch for nearly 100 years.

As a female student volunteer stood facing the blackboard, and two dozen Columbians watched, a lecturer who identified himself only as Dov flogged her repeatedly with leather whips, rubber hoses - and a cat-o'-nine-tails..." (Read the whole article)

So what is forbidden at Columbia University? Brace yourselves, in a school that has "Sex Toys 101", "Sexhibition" and "Smut TV"...LOVE LETTERS are a no-no. According the school's Health Services website, love letters are a form of nonphysical sexual harassment...

UPDATE: Ann Coulter said something on John Gibson's show that I said to The Man last night --what loser has to join a club to get laid in college?!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Novelist's Book Cancelled Because of Muslim Antagonist

Australlian author John Dale, winner of the "Ned Kelly Crime Writing Award for best first novel", found out that his publisher dumped his latest novel (commissioned by Scholastic Australia) because book stores and librarians have said they won't stock the book... Why you ask...? Is he a member of NAMBLA detailing his exploits? No, they'll stock that. A drug addict and criminal imparting his personal tale? No, they'll stock that too.

The "villain" of his latest thriller is a Muslim terrorist. Full stop.

"...A LEADING children's publisher has dumped a novel because of political sensitivity over Islamic issues.

Scholastic Australia pulled the plug on the Army of the Pure after booksellers and librarians said they would not stock the adventure thriller for younger readers because the "baddie" was a Muslim terrorist.

A prominent literary agent has slammed the move as "gutless", while the book's author, award-winning novelist John Dale, said the decision was "disturbing because it's the book's content they are censoring".

"There are no guns, no bad language, no sex, no drugs, no violence that is seen or on the page," Dale said, but because two characters are Arabic-speaking and the plot involves a mujaheddin extremist group, Scholastic's decision is based "100 per cent (on) the Muslim issue".

This decision is at odds with the recent publication of Richard Flanagan's bestselling The Unknown Terrorist and Andrew McGahan's Underground in which terrorists are portrayed as victims driven to extreme acts by the failings of the West.

The Unknown Terrorist is dedicated to David Hicks and describes Jesus Christ as "history's first ... suicide bomber".

In McGahan's Underground, Muslims are executed en masse or herded into ghettos in an Australia rendered unrecognisable by the war on terror.

Scholastic's general manager, publishing, Andrew Berkhut, said the company had canvassed "a broad range of booksellers and library suppliers", who expressed concern that the book featured a Muslim terrorist.

"They all said they would not stock it," he said, "and the reality is if the gatekeepers won't support it, it can't be published." (source)

The past twenty years have yielded thousands of Muslim terrorists and homicide bombers...but somehow it's rude to bring it up?

If I find a place to purchase this online, I'll let you all know.

Two Terrible Stories...

1) Imagine you're just 20 years old, you've been Iraq for three days and get a call to return stateside because your wife suffered childbirth complications and you must make the decision to remove her from life-support...leaving you with a 15 month old and a newborn.

That's what happened to Lance Cpl. Robert Quiroz. Three months later that newborn was dead and the Marine charged with "assault on a child causing death and corporal injury to a child". (source)

I am not in any way trying to justify the murder of a newborn...I am just wondering what went wrong. I was under the impression that military bases were strong on support systems for troops. Anyone that heard this story would have to know how hard this Lance Cpl. was going to have it...instantly becoming a single parent and simultaneously grieving the death of his wife. Where were his parents? Her parents? This is just so tragic...

2)Stop the ACLU is highlighting a story that just makes me sick:

"A Democrat community leader who would “offer a homily during worship services” and facilitated his congregation’s “opening our doors to all people regardless of sexual orientation” has been given a slap on the hand after pleading guilty to extensive child pornography offenses involving children as young as six.

However, instead of the 967 months in jail – nearly 81 years – for which he was liable, Judge Robert Lewis, another Democrat, gave him, in a plea bargain with the office of District Attorney Ron Moore, who was elected as a Democrat, a 10-12 month sentence.

And even that seemed regrettable, according to a number of letters of recommendation offered by other Democrat leaders of the community to the court on his behalf." (source)

As Jay pointed out...I could care less what his political affiliation is (as ironic as it may be after the whole Foley thing)...I just DON'T GET how someone can ruin children's lives and get 10 MONTHS in jail...?! Pedophiles should be labeled domestic terrorists and treated as such.

Iranian Ultimatum & M.E. Question

From Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

"The Iranian nation is ready to help you get out of that swamp (in Iraq) on one condition ... you should pledge to correct your attitude. Go back and take your forces to behind your borders and serve your own nations." (source)

I mean, this guy is so trustworthy and all...maybe we should all let him baby-sit out kids too.

Speaking of the Middle East, I've been doing a lot of reading about the "Palestinian Issue" --mainly the arguments that there was no such thing as the "Palestinian people"...as there was no "Palestine". I would love to have a guest post from someone that is well-versed in this land issue.

Sorry for the Interruption...

As you may have noticed, I took a much-needed blog-break.

I've been busying myself with a bunch of home improvement type stuff...way too much painting, new window treatments, rearranging furniture --and doing my Christmas cards (I make it much more complicated than it need be). We're also switching one room from a playroom to a "study room" for the boys.

I'm a bit nomadic by nature and The Man has always indulged my need to move every three-or-so years...we fix up a place and a soon as it's how we want it I'm ready to go. But now that we have kids in school we can't do that anymore. I still look at houses for sale online all the time and do drivebys to fantasize, but it hit me last week that we're staying here for a while (it's already been five years). To quell my need to leave I have to redo everything and trick my wanderlust into thinking it's a new space.

Must.learn.to.stay.put.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Days Gone By...

I came across this 1929 ad for Lucky Strike cigarettes and couldn't help but find it priceless... No wonder tobacco companies had to agree to those big class-action payouts...



The ad reads: (*paragraph 3 is the real gem)

"Instead of eating between meals...instead of fattening sweets...beautiful women keep youthful slenderness these days by smoking Luckies. The smartest loveliest women of the modern stage take this means of keeping slender...when others nibble fattening sweets, they light a Lucky!

Lucky Strike is a delightful blend of the world's finest tobacoo. The tobaccos are toasted, a costly extra process which develops and improves the flavor. That's why Luckies are a delightful alternative for fattening sweets. That's why there's real health in Lucky Strike. That's why folks say: "It's good to smoke Luckies."

For years this has been no secret to those men who keep fit and trim They know that Luckies steady thier nerves and do not harm thier physical condition. They know that Lucky Strike is the favorite cigarette of many prominent athletes who must keep in good shape. They respect the opinions of 20,679 physicians who maintain that Luckies are less irritating to the throat than other cigarettes.

A reasonable proportion of sugar in the diet is recommended, but the authorities are overwhelming that too many too many fattening sweets are harmful and that too many such are eaten by the American people. So, for moderation's sake we say: --

"Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet."

I didn't find this online so I can't really source it for you (yes, I did type all that out from the actual paper ad) other than to say the copyright is 1929 The American Tobacco Co Manufacturing.

What struck me as more bizarre than the actual content of the ad, was how long it was. I wonder how many of you will read the entire thing when it's showcased as nostalgia...let alone if it was just some random ad among many in a magazine you picked up to read on the train. I guess attention spans have significantly shortened over the last 78 years...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Heartwarming Happenings This Thanksgiving...

"May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!"
-Author Unknown

Civilian Turkey Day Hospitality:
Hundreds of civilian families have invited deploying military members to their homes this Thanksgiving for some Texas hospitality...

"About 1,000 trainees in the Army's 32nd Medical Brigade at Fort Sam Houston will take part in "Mission Thanksgiving," spending the holiday eating and relaxing in the homes of 500 or so local volunteers.

Thousands of other soldiers across the country will participate in similar programs, but the one at Fort Sam Houston — which has been in place about 20 years — is one of the largest.

"At first, some soldiers aren't sure if they want to do it," said the brigade's chaplain, Jonathan Etterbeek. "They thought they wouldn't like it, but they really enjoyed it." (source)

Soldiers in the Sandbox get something to be Thankful for:
In Iraq Senior Commission officers and NCOs are standing guard while the rank and file feast.

"It’s part of a long-standing Thanksgiving tradition in the U.S. Army where senior leaders serve junior soldiers.

Before and after the meal, there will be special religious services. There will be downtime to watch DVDs and e-mail family members back home. And there will be at least two big in-country competitions. “Thanksgiving is the ‘Super Bowl’ for our cooks,” Major Jay Adams, an Army spokesman based at Camp Anaconda (in the Iraqi city of Balad), tells National Review Online. “There will be patriotic ice sculptures and other displays, and the commanding general will recognize the top dining facility and individual cooks in various categories.”

The highlight of the day will be the big “Turkey Bowl” football game played between the Army and the Air Force at Camp Anaconda." (source)

Iraqi That Saved Americans Gets his Thanksgiving Wish:
Iraqi interpreter learns he can stay in the U.S. and gives thanks...

"The first Thanksgiving was about a new beginning in a new country and that's very much Ismael's story.

The brave Iraqi interpreter saved American soldiers and they returned the favor by rescuing Ismael from his native country where he was targeted for death by insurgents.

Ismael longed to become an American citizen; the only true guarantee he would be safe and never had to return.

Now as Thanksgiving approaches, the young war hero has gotten his wish." (source)

Six year old saves his Mother's life on Thanksgiving Eve:
"During an afternoon walk, Isaac's mom fell unconscious. Isaac, without missing a beat, called for help. This is part of the 911 call.

Operator: Colorado Springs 911, what's the address of your emergency?
Caller: Yes, I'm at Venetucci Park. My mom can't breathe.
Operator: Okay. What's your name?
Caller: Isaac.
Operator: Alright, Isaac, how old are you?
Caller: 5

Well, actually, Little Isaac Kubik shows us on his fingers that he’s six years old. But, getting that number right wasn't important the day his mother was lying unconscious on the ground.

Operator: And you said her eyes are open. Is she talking to you at all?
Caller: She's quiet right now.
Operator: Can you have her lay on her back for me, Isaac?
Caller: Mom, lay on her back... She won't." (source)

The 911 operator says she will nominate Isaac for the "Little Heroes" award.

Policeman Saves Baby from Burning Building:
A baby was saved from a burning house by a Des Moines police officer on Thanksgiving eve despite orders never to enter a burning building.

It is Thanksgiving eve and no one is more thankful than a Des Moines mother whose baby was trapped inside the family's burning home. The fire happened on the south side of Des Moines at 4040 Southeast 16th street. Two Des Moines police officers, first on the scene, are credited with saving the child. However the officers say they are just thankful they were able to do their job.

"We held her back and she started screaming my baby is in there and I said ‘Where' and she said way in the back." You might call officer Jeremy Britto a hero. He would disagree, but we'll let you be the judge.

"I crawled in took a look couldn't see anything about 12 inches off the ground." The smoke was so thick inside the burning home that it forced Officer Britto back. Meanwhile, another officer was working the opposite side of the home trying to get in the back door. As soon as that officer punched through a window, the baby started crying. Like a beacon on a dark night...the crying lead Officer Britto to the baby. He grabbed the baby and quickly made it outside.

As family members consoled the baby's mother, paramedics checked out minor burns to the boy. For Officer Britto, this is all in a days work. "This is basically what I do...it's part of the job." (source)

Wishing each of you and your families a very happy and filling Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What Degree of Killing Warrants U.S. Intervention?

I am sure this question has been asked 9,000 different ways over the past 3 years, but let's give it another go...



How do people that supported sending American troops to Bosnia, Somalia and are now urging for military intervention in Darfur justify being against the war in Iraq?

Bosnia:
"Our destiny in America is still linked to Europe, and what we're seeing in Bosnia is an affront to the conscience of human beings everywhere, right in the heart of Europe. The Bosnian people need the help of the international community to realize the promise of peace." -President Clinton (source)

Somalia:
"President Clinton Thursday ordered 5,300 new combat troops and an aircraft carrier to Somalia "to protect our troops and to complete our mission," and at the same time he announced that he would bring all American combat forces home by March 31.

In his first public explanation of why American troops were in that lawless land and when they would be getting out, Clinton said he had rejected calls from Congress and elsewhere to "cut and run" from Somalia because he believed that both Somali lives and American credibility were at stake.

"We face a choice," the president said. "Do we leave when the job gets tough or when the job is well done? Do we invite the return of mass suffering or do we leave in a way that gives the Somalis a decent chance to survive?" "We started this mission for the right reasons and we're going to finish it in the right way," Clinton said." -President Clinton (source)

Darfur:
George Clooney (major OIF critic):
"Mr Clooney said that if UN forces were not sent in, aid workers would leave and 2.5 million refugees would die.

He said: "The United States has called it genocide, for you it's called ethnic cleansing. But make no mistake - it is the first genocide of the 21st century. And if it continues unchecked it will not be the last." (source)

*Side note: Liberals always said we weren't invading Darfur because "they didn't have oil" -that argument didn't work because indeed they do (I posted about it in January of 2005). Amazingly, now the argument is "Zionists" are finally getting involved because Darfur has oil!! OMG, these people never cease to amaze me!

So what makes Saddam's rape rooms, gassing, hanging and imprisoning of little children and mass killings of Iraq any less worthy of intervention than those in Bosnia, Somalia and Darfur?

There is even video of these atrocities...funny, I haven't seen them on CNN (or FNC for that matter):

  • Photographs of actual live castrations of Kurds.

  • Video tapes of two beheadings, with one featuring the executioners singing "Happy Birthday, Saddam" in Arabic as they carry out the grisly murder.

  • More video of a detainee whose hand his tied to a board while his fingers are cut off one by one.

  • People being thrown off four-story buildings, including one who was forced to wear a Superman costume.

  • A man scourged ninety-nine times.

  • Videos of babies being gassed to death.

  • And in case you don't remember this, know that sick violence didn't end with Saddam --just last year Powerline reported:

    "The Iraqi army said on Thursday it had seized a number of booby-trapped children's dolls, accusing insurgents of using the explosive-filled toys to target children.

    The dolls were found in a car, each one containing a grenade or other explosive, said an army statement. The government said that two men driving the car had been arrested in the western Baghdad district of Abu Ghraib.

    "This is the same type of doll as that handed out on several occasions by US soldiers to children," said government spokesperson Leith Kubba." (source)

    Remind yourself what we are fighting for and who we are fighting against:
    Saddam's Torture: But be warned, this is graphic ACTUAL torture...not panties, dog collars and cold rooms!!!

    I don't know what I think about being the "policeman of the world" (and since I don't have children in the military, I don't feel like it's my right to say)...but I don't get how one instance of mass murder/genocide deserves intervention while another doesn't...

    Rangel's Latest Gaffe

    Charlie Rangel was on Neil Cavuto's show yesterday answering questions about his phoenix draft proposal... He said his justification for wanting a draft was:

    [The military shouldn't be recruiting only where there is little or no alternatives]

    He can't even claim "botched joke" because he's made comments like this before. Personally, I think he's watched Fahrenheit 9/11 one too many times...

    How is this any different than Kerry saying [if you don't have ambition and study, you'll get stuck in Iraq]? Rangel is implying our military is comprised of dolts that had no other employment option than to sign the dotted line?

    Wasn't the whole argument in the '70's that "the rich" got out of the draft anyway? So how would that solve the "volunteer army of the poor and the black and the brown" (What John Kerry called it in 1972)?

    About this time last year, before the John Kerry debacle and before it was journalism chic, I posted about the Brains and Breeding of the U.S. Military. I should email the post to the DNC...as they seem to be the last to know.

    Troops Losing Custody Due to Service...?!

    Worse than the Tennessee teacher that lost his job due to his service in Iraq are the men (and now women) that are losing custody of their children for "abandoning them" for military deployment. Yes, you read that right.

    This tragic phenomenon first came to the attention of the blogosphere with the story of three year old little Kelsey Briggs whose father was fighting for justice and answers in her abuse and death at the hands of her mother and stepfather while he was deployed in Iraq. This story still upsets me and I hope that anyone out there facing what Kelsey's grandparents were (knowing there was abuse but having no one listening) would send the plea through the blogosphere. You can read an update about Kelsey at Lost in Lima.

    Glenn Sacks is working to bring other stories to the forefront:

    1) Gary S., a San Diego-based US Navy SEAL, was deployed to Afghanistan after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and served in the Tora Bora region as US forces attacked Taliban and Al Qaeda strongholds. While away, Gary's little son was permanently moved out of the country, with the complicity of a California family court. The 19-year Navy veteran with an unblemished military record has seen his son only a few times since he returned from Afghanistan, and has been pushed near bankruptcy by legal fees and stiff child and spousal support obligations."

    2) National Guardsman Joe McNeilly of Grand Ledge lost custody of his 10-year-old son after serving in Iraq for 15 months. Before deploying, McNeilly agreed to cede temporary full custody to his son’s mother. Upon his return, however, the court refused to restore the shared custody arrangement McNeilly and his son enjoyed before his deployment, citing McNeilly’s absence.

    3) Lieutenant Scott Keenan, an intelligence officer in the Naval Reserves, deployed overseas for three weeks around September 11 as part of the government's extra security measures. Because of his deployment, Keenan wasn't able to exercise all of his allotted parenting time with his elementary school-age boys. Ignoring Keenan's special circumstances, Superior Court Judge F. Lee Forrester permanently reduced his parenting time by 20%.

    4) Regina Ellis lost custody of her son to her ex-husband after she spent a year serving in Iraq, and can now only see her son every other weekend. (I posted about Regina) and this problem with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003 in March)

    " The federal government needs to update the Act to specifically apply to family courts. This will ensure that courts stay any long range legal action until after the servicemember has returned from deployment and has had a fair opportunity to assert his or her parental rights. The SCRA update must also specifically prohibit children from being permanently relocated long distances.

    Some progress is being made. Widespread sympathy for McNeilly led to a bill signed by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm in December which prevents changes of custody while a military service member is deployed, and prohibits family courts from using servicemembers' service against them when determining custody. Outrage over Gary S.'s case led to a California military parents' bill which Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law last September.

    Gary says that he and others he serves with have been shocked by how little has been done to protect military parents. He says:

    “Washington’s indifference to this situation is disgraceful. No parent should ever be pushed out of his child's life because he served his country.” (Read the entire story)

    Deployment is abandonment?! Unbelievable...

    (H/T: Baley)

    Same-Sex School Proposals

    "For the first time in a generation, public schools have won broad freedom to teach boys and girls separately, stirring a new debate about equality in the classroom.

    The Education Department on Tuesday announced rules that will make it easier to create single-sex classes or schools, a plan that's been expected for almost three years. The move comes as the value of same-sex education is in doubt. Research shows mixed results, as even the department's own review says.

    Yet Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said more parents deserve to have the option. The push began not with the White House, but rather with female senators of both parties.

    "Research shows that some students may learn better in single-sex education environments," Spellings said, careful not to offer an outright endorsement. "The Department of Education is committed to giving communities more choices in how they go about offering varied learning environments," she said.

    The new federal rules may change how schools will look in the future..." (source)

    Should Public Schools Separate Sexes?
    No.
    Yes.
    Maybe for some classes.
      
    Free polls from Pollhost.com

    Personally, I would never choose this option for my boys...for three reasons.
    1) We don't go through life separated and school is the foundation for the 'real world'. Learn to overcome 'distractions' before you enter college and the workplace.
    2) Growing up in a heavily Catholic area exposed me to many boys that attended all-boy Catholic High Schools --they were still pulling the hair of girls they liked at 19.
    3) It was the lure of seeing some boy I liked that got me to school through most of my high school days.

    This seems like one of those "school uniforms" issues...parents would've balked over wearing them, but want them for their kids because it's easier/cheaper for them...so they tell themselves it's a better option. I can't think of anything that would have turned me off to school more than being in classes with 30 catty girls...

    Yankee Candles...

    I love candles. I buy lots of candles. I used to buy a lot of Yankee candles, but lately I can only buy their "MacIntosh Apple".

    I am convinced they have started a drug addict outreach program without the public's knowledge and are solely hiring crack and meth heads...maybe some heroin addicts too. What other explanation could there be for every new scented Yankee candle I smell making want to hurl? They are $23... $23 for a jar of wax, so it better smell damn good.

    To be fair, amongst the over 20 putrid candles I smelled the other day, I did find one that was absolutely wonderful -Holiday Bayberry. It smells like the holidays. A gem amongst the floral spew.

    I may have to ignore the anosmiacs currently employed at Yankee and get this candle for the boys' teachers...

    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Muslim Dissident Silenced at Brown University

    UPDATE: Nonie Darwish is LIVE on 96.9 FM Talk (Boston) -Go There and Listen Listen Live! -8:12 pm EST, Michael Graham's show. It seems Brown Uni has "re-invited" her to speak...

    "Muslims are often accused of not speaking out sufficiently against terrorism. Nonie Darwish knows one reason why: Their fellow Muslims won't let them.

    Darwish, who comes from Egypt and was born and raised a Muslim, was set to tell students at Brown University about the twisted hatred and radicalism she grew to despise in her own culture. A campus Jewish group, Hillel, had contacted her to speak there Thursday.

    But the event was just called off.

    Muslim students had complained that Darwish was "too controversial." They insisted she be denied a platform at Brown, and after contentious debate Hillel agreed.

    Weird: No one had said boo about such Brown events as a patently anti-Israel "Palestinian Solidarity Week." But Hillel said her "offensive" statements about Islam "alarmed" the Muslim Student Association, and Hillel didn't want to upset its "beautiful relationship" with the Muslim community.*

    Plus, Brown's women's center backed out of co-sponsoring the event, even though it shares Darwish's concerns about the treatment of women. Reportedly, part of the problem was that Darwish had no plans to condemn Israel for shooting Arab women used by terrorists as human shields, or for insufficiently protecting Israeli Arab wives from their husbands.

    In plugging their ears to Darwish, Brown's Muslim students proved her very point: Muslims who attempt constructive self-criticism are quickly and soundly squelched - by other Muslims." (Read the Entire Article) (*my emphasis)

    Nonie Darwish is the founder of "Arabs for Israel". Lest you think she is a “poseur Muslim”...She is the Egyptian born daughter of the former commander of the Egyptian Army Intelligence in Gaza, and founder of the Fedayeen who eventually became a "martyr" for the cause. Her mission is to promote a "peaceful and diverse Middle East" and to prompt "constructive self-criticism and reform" in the Islamic world.

    ...But I guess the free-speech-unless-we-don’t-agree-with-you crowd at Brown will never know that.

    363 Murders Prompts Calls for Cut & Run From Philadelphia

    I found this priceless post by Doc Savage over at Free Republic:

    "The announcement that Philadelphia recorded its 363rd murder today brought calls from both city and state Republicans for an immediate police and citizen pullout from the embattled city.

    Former Senator Rick Santorum called on Mayor John Street, (Democrat-Philadelphia) to resign or face impeachment. Calling Street's policy toward criminals "...a failed liberal policy resulting in massive daily deaths on the city's streets" Santorum urged an immediate withdraw of beleaguered police and citizens.

    Santorum stated that Street's lies and malfeasance have led to an ever increasing escalation of a civil war between criminals and law abiding citizens.

    Congressman John Murtha,(Democrat-Pennsylvania) downplayed the casualties saying in his opinion the police have acted like crazed Nazi's by trampling on murderer's civil rights.

    Gov. Ed )Fast-Eddy) Rendell, when contacted for a response indicated that 363 dead was a minor inconvenience to Philadelphia's trash pickup crews and he personally hoped that Pennsylvania would set a new record death toll by year's end.
    "

    Three Hundred and sixty three murders since January in the City of Brotherly Love --a city that has been run by Democrats for the last 35+ years. We seriously need to bring "crime" back into the National Debate. We have to get rid of liberal activist judges that let criminals back on the streets because of some misfortune in their pasts... This is beyond unacceptable.

    (Another senseless Philly Murder: Alan Iverson will pay for the funeral of a 22 year old who was killed because he wouldn't hand over his AI Jersey.)

    Techies Triumph Over Liberal Lawyer Group

    Apparently Craig's List had some rental ads posted that were "discriminatory" (making it clear what kind of tenants they were looking for). A Chicago-based civil rights group called "Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law" filed charges citing the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

    Craig's List, supported in this case by Amazon, Google, Yahoo and eBay, contended they were not responsible for content of posts by their users.

    "A federal judge in U.S. District Court in Chicago has ruled that Craigslist is not responsible for openly discriminatory housing ads placed on its site by users. In the case of Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Inc. v. Craigslist Inc., No. 06C-0657 (N.D. Ill.), Judge Amy St. Eve upheld Craigslist's argument that it is not a "publisher" of housing ads, but merely a provider of online "interactive services," and therefore is not liable for the content of users' posts under the 1996 Communications Decency Act." (source)

    Like the State being able to ban smoking in a building that I purchased...I don't get the "Fair Housing Act". Not saying that discrimination is a good thing, but if someone paid for duplex with their hard-earned cash and must rent the units to pay the mortgage--why can't they fill those units at thier own discretion?

    Most landlords don't post "no scientologists" in their ads --they just screen calls to get the desirable tenants... Have you ever had someone actually pick up when you called about a rental...? Not in Philly.

    Jules Crittenden posts about a California case in which the courts ruled Bloggers will not be held to libel laws--and he's wondering if this is "free speech or a diaper for Bloggers".

    Homeschooler Dissed at the Dance...

    I read this story twice trying in vain to think of any justification for actions taken by a principal against this homeschooled high school student...

    "...Steven Goforth says he spent $140 in clothes and tickets to the homecoming dance. His friend, Samantha Kelley, a freshman at Citrus High School, had invited him to come along.

    The dance, held in the school's cafeteria on Oct. 13, was supposed to be a semiformal event. The theme was "Disco Like a Hurricane."

    Steven bought new boots and a pair of blue jeans. He couldn't make up his mind on a dress shirt so he bought two. He filled the gas tank on his Buick. Everything was set and ready to go.

    But the night before the dance, Samantha's mom, Theresa, got a call from the school.

    Her daughter was not allowed to take Steven to the dance because he was not a student at Citrus High. Steven, who is 16, is homeschooled." (source)

    Now, before you buy into the hype that this kid was turned away because "he wasn't a student"...don't. The girl ended up taking her cousin -also not a student -who was admitted no questions asked. Many other students has dates that didn't attend the school.

    The homeschooled kid's father even went above and beyond and sent paperwork documenting the fact that he had no criminal record in case that was the worry of the Principal. This is really odd (not to mention quite shady). Those parents pay school taxes too... What could be the principal's bias against Homeschoolers...? He gets the money without the kid.

    Holiday Shopping Begins...

    Yesterday The Man and I decided to see what all the hype was about and went to check out "Big Lots". We found a few good deals (Clorox wipes for $1.25), but for the most part it was a glorified dollar store with lots of crap... While perusing through the Christmas (Did you notice all the stores are saying and writing CHRISTMAS this year?) ornaments, I came across these...



    Can someone please tell me what the one on the left is?

    The Man was mad at me because I wouldn't take a picture of an old woman with a Mullet Gone Wild. She was looking right at me... Come on, I love a great candid as much as the next girl, but I'm not that mean.

    Monday, November 20, 2006

    Charlie Rangel's Draft...Again

    The incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charlie Rangel, introduced a bill that would re-instate the draft right before the 2004 election --he then used the bill to induce a "GOP Draft" scare among the MTVers. It was surreal.

    He's now proposing a similar bill --the stated reason being a mandatory draft would give politicians pause before committing troops to war:

    "There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded
    Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.

    Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, has said the all-volunteer military disproportionately puts the burden of war on minorities and lower-income families.

    Rangel said he will propose a measure early next year. While he said he is serious about the proposal, there is little evident support among the public or lawmakers for it...." (source)

    Here's a shocker...I agree with Rangel...sort of. I know that in many discussions here Veterans and active members of the military have strongly bucked this idea and I really get the "I want someone in the foxhole next to me who wants to be there" argument.

    But the constant "you haven't served" arguments and the "hollow support" yellow ribbon accusations --in addition to the disdain or dismissal of the Armed Services by the general public, leads me to believe we need a change.

    I believe that a one or two year military conscription could be the answer. Now key to this proposal is that Americans be used in whatever capacity they could serve most effectively...design, accounting, advertising, research, etc. This would mean that the various branches wouldn't have to lower their physical/endurance/skill standards due to this mandatory service --those conscripted wouldn't necessarily be "in the foxhole", but they would be serving in whatever area they could excel and be a productive asset.

    This might just instill a bit of pride and cohesion in the country --sentiments that have been waning since Vietnam.

    Race-Based Quotas

    I keep seeing commercials for a newspaper called the Philadelphia Sunday Sun. The ad claims the paper is "the most trusted news source in the African American community". I wrote myself a note to check the paper out (no one I asked has heard of it--so I'm not sure if it's new or I just live in the wrong neighborhood to come across it...) and I am so glad that I did.

    I noticed an editorial about race-based quotas and couldn't wait to read what a newspaper written by and for the African-American community would say... The article was written by Deneen Moore who is a senior fellow and National Advisory Council member of the black leadership network Project 21. This is BY FAR one of the best commentaries about quotas I have ever read -- It's long, but I really want to post the entire thing:

    Michigan voters quit quotas
    "The MCRI, also known as Proposal 2, "amend[s] the state constitution to ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes." On Election Day, almost 58 percent of Michigan voters voted for it.

    While racial preference policies are intended to rectify past racial injustices, Proposal 2 provides a timely opportunity to evaluate the long-term consequences of affirmative action on minorities and society as a whole.
    Racial preferences always run the risk of placing unqualified candidates in positions beyond their abilities, thereby harming both the employee and employer. An individual hired or promoted based on their skin color, for example, might be frustrated if they cannot meet expectations, which could lead to a sense of failure, disillusionment, and low self-esteem. Employers, on the other hand, face economic consequences of addressing an unproductive employee as well as possibly dealing with the morale of other workers. Replacing an unproductive employee or hiring an additional worker to meet business needs can lead to added expenses such as training, background checks, relocation fees, and additional paperwork.

    Preferential treatment can foster an entitlement mentality to the detriment of principles such as hard work, independence, and self-esteem. Individuals indoctrinated with a government-sanctioned entitlement mentality may acquire a false sense of security and little motivation to work and improve themselves. Knowing that opportunities are assured can lead to greater reliance on government and stifle independent thought.
    Preferential treatment is also unjust because it creates more racism. It's simply unfair for unqualified individuals to benefit from opportunities they have not earned. Such entitlements are detrimental to those who have worked hard to accomplish their goals, and can result in feelings of resentment and anger towards minorities.
    To meaningfully address racism, awarding jobs, contracts and college admission should be based on objective evaluation and qualifications. When individuals are treated fairly based on capability and personal contributions, the rewards are a win-win for all parties involved.

    Granting preferential treatment based on skin color, race, ethnicity, sex, or national origin is immoral. Individuals, who gain opportunities based on superficial and subjective standards instead of experience or objective accomplishments, may falsely interpret their gains as a personal achievement. Consequently, denying qualified individuals of opportunities because they are not of a certain skin color is discriminatory and creates a form of state-sanctioned reverse racism.

    Clearly, government-enforced racial preferences are not the answer for minorities to achieve opportunities in modern society. The road to success lies in replacing preferential treatment with fundamental values - standards to guide actions and behavior.

    A strong set of personal values will provide direction in life for any individual, regardless of race. Independent thinking is the key to making rational decisions, and self-esteem stems from doing a job well.

    Hard work and self-reliance - not dependency on government-sanctioned affirmative action policies - are the only sure ways to break the cycle of despair and inspire hope. Increased awareness of pro-growth economic policies and limited government also helps liberate minorities from the false promises of Big Government and can be a motivating factor to strive for a successful and productive life.

    Short-term gains from preferential treatment can have long-term negative consequences. In Michigan, this misguided notion now has a chance of being remedied to benefit everyone." (Philadelphia Sunday Sun)

    (*Photo credit: Pigazette.com: POLITICALLY INCORRECT GRAPHICS)

    Islamofascists in our Publics Schools?

    How many teachers out there are imparting hidden messages of hate to our children? With our fear of insulting anyone or appearing 'insensitive'...I guess we won't know until it's too late.

    In North Carolina, Khalid Chahhou was a first year Spanish teacher that recently resigned when his student's found fundamentalist messages in an assignment he had given the class:

    "[He] gave students a worksheet in which they were to translate words and find them within a word-search puzzle. Some students started uncovering strange words in the process.

    "There were words like 'kill,' then I saw it said 'destroy America,'" Eric Herrera said.

    As they read on, students found the puzzle contained a paragraph that contained the following phrases:

    "Sharon killed a lot of innocent people," a possible reference to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

    "Palestine is not a terrorist group."

    "Allah help destroy this body of evil making humanity miserable."

    "It was kind of scary at first to think about, you know, your own teacher in your own school that is teaching you," Herrera said.

    School administrators said they confronted Chahhou about an unidentified concern Wednesday and he resigned...." (source)

    I'm sure he isn't the only terrorist-sympathizer teaching our kids.

    I never thought I'd say we should be more like the Netherlands...but their tough integration laws and now their new outlaw on Burqas makes me long for emulation. (Germany also has a law banning teachers from donning the burqa.) Anything that causes protests in the Arab Street sounds like a good idea to me. And I say that as a feminist more than as an American-loving Conservative...

    Oh, and it looks like Russians dislike Muslims too. Maybe if the walls keep closing in they'll consider actually adding the "Peace" part to the religion...

    Lib Quiz

    I know I've gone a little hog-wild with the quizzes, but this was just too comical not to share -- Can you find three clues this "measure of Christianity" was written by a lib? LOL Yeah, I guess God loves the fact that he was expelled from every school in the country... I guess he's digging all the moral and religious ambiguity too...

    You are 30% Christian

    You own the Bible, but it's soley for looks.You are probably a suppoter of war and blowing up abortion clinics. You have too much anger and are too naive to ever be a true christian.

    How Christian Are You?
    Create MySpace Quizzes

    Sunday, November 19, 2006

    Atlantic City: A Little Depressing...

    Last night, The Man and I did something out of character and went on a 'party bus' with some people from my dojo down to Atlantic City. The 1 1/2 hour ride was chock-full of gambling games (bingo and horse racing), "jungle juice", and karaoke.

    Neither of us gamble and neither of us were drinking (I rarely drink and he just had a wisdom tooth removed), but they gave us $20 each to play the slots and $8 each for the buffet. On The Man's first $.25 he won $100 and then $2.00 later another $110. Bastard. I won a grand total of $36.

    Anyway, I found the experience to be quite depressing. All of my other trips to AC were in my single days when I was quite self-absorbed...I never really actually looked around at the "casino population" --it looked like a bunch of very poor old people that were spinning away there meager income on the off chance they'd hit it big. I couldn’t help but think that many of them were spending food and utility money that would be acutely felt once the dream of fortune was crushed. I could picture one woman in particular eating cat food for the next month...

    The atmosphere, being as such, drove us to the buffet with another couple were we had dessert and coffee and chatted about the ills of Philadelphia -both social and political.

    I don't get the whole gambling thing --I will gladly play with someone else's money...but to feed my own into the machine? Not so much. Then again, non-smokers don't understand nicotine addiction. I guess we all have our destructive vices to contend with...

    Playing bingo on a bus to AC and using coupons for the buffet...oh God, we're officially old. ;)

    You Are 57% New Jersey!

    You've definitely got some Jersey in you. Congratulations, it's a great thing to be. However you're score could certainly be a lot higher!

    How New Jersey Are You?
    Create a Quiz

    Saturday, November 18, 2006

    Pennsylvania Election Aftermath

    For the life of me, I still can't understand the amount of people that voted to keep incumbent PA Governor Ed Rendell... Clueless sheep? Name recognition? Union drones? All of the above?

    What happens when you elect Democrats? -Why they raise taxes of course.

    What will Governor Fast Eddie's first edict as the Governor re-elect likely to be? I just told you...raise taxes.

    Not only is there a proposal to raise gas tax by 12.5 cents a gallon, but also to raise the motor registration fee by $15 (I think it's already $35 and The Man's is $186 for his work truck) --among other "hidden" increases.

    I resent having to pay for the mismanagement of a public transportation system that I have used maybe 3 times in the past 15 years.

    Gee, I have a novel idea...Sell the public transit system and the highways to private companies that actually know how to run a business without incurring a $31.5 million dollar deficit.

    Should I be like the left and make a "Not My Governor" bumper sticker and refuse to pay the taxes under the "no taxation without representation" premise? ...Cause that Union lap-boy hardly represents me and mine...

    Thanks to all you out there that voted Rendell...brilliant move.

    Do You Deserve Your HS Diploma?

    You paid attention during 91% of high school!

    85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

    Do you deserve your high school diploma?
    Create a Quiz



    I wish these quizzes told you which ones you got wrong...

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    Let's Talk About McCain...

    Well, a lot of us are very skeptical of him, but he's running so what better place to start vetting him than here. What are his pros and cons...? What are his official stands on the issues...? Do the positives (his appeal to the middle) outweigh the negatives (campaign finance & immigration)...? If it's McCain vs. Giuliani who gets the vote...?

    (BTW, I have planted the seed about Fred Thompson to an RNC insider. I know it's far-fetched, but the possibility should at least be looked at...)

    McCain knows full well that he has alienated many conservatives. He went straight to the heart of the Conservative movement and spoke to the Federalist Society (the group that vets conservative judicial nominees):

    "...McCain assured the group that despite last week’s sobering election returns for Republicans, “the election was not an affirmation of the other party’s program. Try as hard as I could, I couldn’t find much evidence that my Democratic friends were offering anything that resembled a coherent platform.”

    McCain asserted that “the majority of Americas still consider themselves conservatives, or right of center.”

    He spoke of the importance of judges who would strictly interpret the Constitution. “They should be people who respect the limited scope afforded federal judges under the Constitution,” he said.

    The reaction from the Federalists was polite, but not overwhelming..." (source)

    As the far left kvetches over premature-pullout "Murtha's Mugging", Kucinich adds it's better [to cut and run than to stay and pay] (isn't he witty? he likes rhyming -remember when he was a 2004 nominee he was on MTV and said "You can't rock the boat if you don't rock the vote"...), but McCain has offered a suggestion I like: Re-invade Iraq.

    This from the Huffington Post:

    "...Tim Russert pointed out the painfully obvious fact that McCain's position to send additional troops into Iraq was, according to the latest Newsweek poll, opposed in some form by 82 percent of the people.
    Not only did McCain stand by his position, he attempted to honorably defend it.

    "I believe that a lot of Americans trust my judgment on issues such as this because of the experience and background that I have," McCain said. He added, "I can only do what I think is best for these young men and women who are in the military. To do otherwise would be immoral and dishonorable."

    It is rare to find a politician who would take a stand that is opposed by so many, especially one contemplating the Oval Office. For this, McCain should be commended. But his valor notwithstanding, McCain is dead wrong about sending in more troops." (source)

    McCain may be our only hope as the Congressional Democrats are meeting with George McGovern about his plans for Iraq... But we still have to make him grovel for the support...

    Check Companies' Hiring Practices...

    ...Aside from the politicians catering to the Hispanic vote, the ACLU and the limousine liberals-- illegal immigration seems to be the one subject most Americans agree on. Finally, a subject that's not red or blue --but red, white and blue (wow, that was corny...but you get the point).

    Now there is a website where you can report companies that are hiring illegals and check companies/contractors before you hire them to make sure they aren't partaking of illegal labor: We Hire Aliens.com.

    I'm wondering if companies/businesses can use this as a selling point. Advertise right on their trucks: "No illegal labor" or "Legal Labour Only". Can't you see it? Jimmy's Masonry - Pure American Labor. Actually, the word labor creates a word-association to Unions in my head. Jimmy's Masonry - American Workers for American Consumers. Okay, so I'm no marketing expert...but once again, you get the point.

    Speaking of Unions... UnionFacts.com has some great new commercials:

    John Edwards Wants PS3

    As some of you know, I'm a little bit of a gaming geek but as the country has been anticipating (and camping out) for the new Play Station 3... I could care less. Also out this week (Sunday) is Nintendo's Wii with the long awaited newest installment of the Legend of Zelda game (Twilight Princess)...and that is what I must have. Don't be surprised if there are no posts for a few days when I get it --when the last Zelda game came out (Windwaker), I would have 70+ messages on my answering machine at the end of the day "Put down the controller and answer the phone!" LOL

    Anyway, the PS3 thing is way out of hand --worse than housewives beating each other up for a $30 Cabbage Patch Kid...there were people shot in line this morning, people robbed, fights over butting in line and I just read there are some up on eBay for $9,000!!!

    Former Senator (and Vice Presidential loser) John Edwards wanted to avoid all this unpleasantness, but wanted that PS3...an aid of his called Wal-Mart to see if some good old fashioned name-dropping could secure Edwards a game. Now, the problem with that is Edwards has lent both voice and money to an anti-Wal-Mart site (Wake Up Wal-Mart) and has whined about Wal-Mart's (commendable) refusal to Unionize. Wal-Mart told Edward's guy to take a hike...no PS3 for him! Loving that...and I think I'll go buy something at Wal-Mart this weekend...

    So you guys have fun with your PlayStations (or in Edward's case not so much)...I'll be off somewhere gathering pieces of tri-force and defeating Gannon.

    Hollywood: Movie Recommendation and Pollution Irony

    Thank You for Smoking was a GREAT movie. This satire of America's PC culture could not have come at a better time. On the Charlie Rose Show Jason Reitman, the director, made a point I hadn't thought of before...the generation that is in college right now has been born and bred in PC America. He said this was the first generation that has been PC from the cradle, but that it was well-received (even on campuses like Berkeley).

    Of course it goes without saying that I'm going to love any movie that makes the liberal Congressman from Vermont (wearing Birkenstocks with a suit) more ridiculous than the big tobacco lobbyist... And of course it was written by Christopher Buckley (son of William F. Buckley Jr.) --Can you believe this film even got made?

    Speaking of Hollywood, isn't it amazing that with all the hype about Global Warming et al from movie stars (which we already knew was shite because of their limousine, private jet and mansion energy use) we now learn that the second biggest cause of California pollution is Hollywood. And, this is priceless; the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" (a Global Warming scare movie) produced 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide in the filming...

    "Although Hollywood seems environmentally conscious thanks to celebrities who lend their names to various causes, the industry created more pollution than individually produced by aerospace manufacturing, apparel, hotels and semiconductor manufacturing, the study found.
    Part of Hollywood's problem is that unlike other industries, film and television work is often done by short-term production companies, in some cases making it difficult to apply environmentally friendly practices, the study said..." (source)

    I guess they better hire Nick Naylor to spin that one...

    Thursday, November 16, 2006

    Impeachment Papers...?

    ...I doubt it. Not that I trust Pelosi's word, but they know full well we could have a witch-hunt of our own:



    John Murtha's shady past that even has a Soros-funded liberal group (CREW) squawking at his appointment. His involvement in ABSCAM:

    "...only a brief, 13-second snippet of a tape of the FBI's undercover meeting with Murtha is widely available. The agent tells him, "I went out, I got the $50,000. OK? So what you're telling me, OK, you're telling me that that's not what you know...." Murtha replies, "I'm not interested. I'm sorry. At this point [emphasis Murtha's]."

    In his column, Novak hinted at the content of the tape. "The videotape showed Murtha declining to take cash but expressing interest in further negotiations, while bragging about his political influence." We have seen him declining the cash and expressing interest, but not the bragging. What is on the rest of the tape?..." (source)

    UPDATE: In a Hardball interview with Chris Matthews, Murtha said it "was crap" having to talk about ethics when there were more important things going on in the world.

    UPDATE II: Steny Hoyer has beat out John Murtha for the House leadership position. As I said, when you read Hoyer's voting record, I'm not sure this is a good thing. I do wonder how Pelosi and Hoyer can possibly work together now...

    Nancy Pelosi's "role in the controversial, $280-million, federal-funded Hunters Point Shipyard affair--in relation to her alleged role as an investor in a real estate investment entity called PRESIDIO PARTNERS.

    Look past the fact that the 936-acre site, of which about 443 acres are not polluted and that Hunter Point Shipyard is the largest tract of undeveloped land in San Francisco.

    Roll Call has stated that in early 2004, John Murtha “reportedly leaned on U.S. Navy officials to sign a contract to transfer the Hunters Point Shipyard to the City of San Francisco” and that “Laurence Pelosi, nephew of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, at the time was an executive of the company which owned the rights of the land.”

    But the truth is Pelosi’s alleged involvement in the Hunters Point Shipyard fiasco goes well beyond what shows on the surface. For Pelosi it’s a well trodden trail that goes all the way to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the Presidio’s most famous tenant." (Read the entire story)

    And Harry Reid's involvement with Jack Abramoff.

    "As convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff reported to federal prison today, a source close to the investigation surrounding his activities told ABC News that Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was one of the members of Congress Abramoff had allegedly implicated in his cooperation with federal prosecutors.

    A source close to the investigation says Abramoff told prosecutors that more than $30,000 in campaign contributions to Reid from Abramoff's clients "were no accident and were in fact requested by Reid."

    Abramoff has reportedly claimed the Nevada senator agreed to help him on matters related to Indian gambling.

    The Associated Press reported earlier this year that Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to the tribes that had contributed money to his campaign." (source)

    And they had the audacity to use "corruption" as a reason to oust Republicans? Maybe Ms. Sheehan and the far-lefties should read these articles to understand why there is no rush to judgment about President Bush by the new liberal leadership.

    (Jules Crittenden has a great article (on his new blog!) today: Murtha vs. Hoyer: Sit Back and Enjoy ... and while you're at it, you should check out a post over at Little Green Footballs: Congressmen Conyers and Islam)

    How OJ Would Have Killed Nicole...

    I know you've all read/heard about this by now, but I just had to say...WTF?

    I was listening to a local talk show host last night and there were actually people (both white and black) calling in to defend OJ...people that actually think he's innocent! Now I know people that were glad he got off -people that said things like [Enough innocent black men are in prison, if one guilty one gets off it's still not even]--or [It's payback to White America for Rodney King] and other shite like that... But those people still knew he was guilty as sin.

    Now he's hawking a book.

    Here's a legal question... Since the Civil Court did find him guilty (even though the Criminal Court didn't) wouldn't this book fall under the "profiting from a crime" description? Not only did Nicole and Ron's families have to deal with their horrific deaths, but now they have to watch Simpson on a book tour touting a "hypothetical" murder scenario..?

    I always think of their kids --being raised by the man that killed thier mother. Now this.

    Clearing the Way for Hillary...

    When Howard Dean was named chair of the DNC I posted about how confused I was... It's no political secret that the Clintons have no love for Dean. Then in March 2005, Hillary Clinton and Howard Ickes sowed the seeds of removal by publicly saying they had "no confidence" in Dean.

    Now, in preparation to continue the DNC's "move to the center", the Clintons' top boy is calling for Dean's removal and many top Dems agree:

    "Democratic strategist James Carville says his party should dump Howard Dean as chairman of the Democratic Party because of incompetence.

    Carville, during coffee and rolls with political reporters today, said Democrats could have picked up as many as 50 House seats, instead of the nearly 30 they have so far. Asked by a reporter whether Dean should be dumped, Carville replied, “In a word, do I think? Yes.” He added, “I think he should be held accountable.” He added, “I would describe his leadership as Rumsfeldian in its competence.” (source)

    It would be virtually impossible for the party to don the facade of centrists with the far-left's beloved Dean at the helm. Make no mistake, Hillary wants him nixed so off he will go. I'll miss him...he certainly provided a wealth of Blogging fodder.

    We should do a Farwell Caption It...

    Oh, and speaking of kooks from the 2004 race...he's another brilliant plan for Iraq:

    "I want to say that there's one solution here, and it's not to engage in a debate with the President, who has taken us down a path of disaster in Iraq, but it's for Congress to assume the full power that it has under the Constitution to cut off funds. We don't need to keep indulging in this debate about what to do, because as long as we keep temporizing, the situation gets worse in Iraq.

    "We have to determine that the time has come to cut off funds. There’s enough money in the pipeline to achieve the orderly withdrawal that Senator McGovern is talking about. But cut off funds, we must. That's the ultimate power of the Congress, the power of the purse. That's how we'll end this war, and that’s the only way we’re going to end this war." -Dennis Kucinich, Nov. 15,2006 (source)