Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Current Rules of Engagement in Iraq (i.e. Why We Could Lose)

The current ROE's in Iraq:

(1) You must feel a direct threat to you or your team.
(2) You must clearly see a threat.
(3) That threat must be identified.
(4) The team leader must concur that there is an identified threat.
(5) The team leader must feel that the situation is one of life or death.
(6) There must be minimal or no collateral risk.
(7) Only then can the team leader clear the engagement.

That is all fine and well for someone sitting at a desk in Berkeley, but I can only imagine the reality of completing all seven requirements will bullets whizzing or a car refusing to stop at a check point, etc is terrifying and impossible.

As I and many have said to the President before: What is the point of sending in more troops if they remain shackled with the same PC rules? If they have to risk their lives for logistics? If each Marine and Soldier needs a lawyer at their side before they engage a terrorist?

"... If our soldiers or Marines see someone about to level an AK-47 in their direction or start to are receive hostile fire from a rooftop or mosque, there is no time to go through a seven-point checklist before reacting. Indeed, the very fact that they see a weapon, or begin to receive hostile fire should be sufficient justification to respond with deadly force.

We do not need to identify the threat as Sunni, Shia, al Qaeda or Mahdi Army. The "who" is immaterial. The danger is not. The threat of imminent attack must be immediately suppressed. And while we must always respect the lives of the innocent, the requirement of minimal or no collateral damage cannot preempt an appropriate response...

The insurgents, be they Sunni or Shia, are well aware of our restrictive ROEs and they use them to their advantage...

We cannot, therefore, afford to keep our combat troops shackled by a naive, legalistic disadvantage that takes no note of the real world, or the real battlefield. Moreover, our combat forces are currently fighting a two-front war: a literal battlefield in Iraq, and a virtual front in Washington, where politicians snipe at our troops with words, threats of budget cuts, and unrealistic strictures on our warriors' behavior...

Our combat forces have never lost an engagement in Iraq. Let's make sure they don't lose the war in Washington. Unshackle the military and let our soldiers and Marines do their job. This will quickly silence the critics, as well as the insurgents and radical Islamist fundamentalists." (Read the entire article)

D.C. Anti-War Protest

This weekend the protest didn't bring the crowds Vietnam drew...but Jane Fonda was there with her kids. (The protestor's say "hundreds of thousands" showed up, but official numbers are about 30,000)

“Silence is no longer an option,” Fonda said to cheers from the stage on the National Mall. (source)

I thought this was interesting:
"What do you think about what happened to the three million Vietnamese and Cambodians who died after the U.S. troops left Vietnam?"

FONDA: "It’s too bad that we caused it to happen by going in there in the first place." (source)

And all the other usual suspects were in tow...

Sean Penn had a warning for politicians on the ballot in 2008. "If they don't stand up and make a resolution as binding as the death toll, we are not going to be behind those politicians."

"This past November the American people sent a resounding signal to Washington, D.C., and the world. We want change. We want this war to end. And how did Bush respond? Twenty-one thousand, five hundred more will risk their lives for his misguided war. Is impeachment still off the table? Let's get him out of office," Robbins said.

The crowd responded, "Impeach Bush, impeach Bush, impeach Bush!" (source)

I would love nothing more than to sit face to face with any of these celebs and make them think about the long-term ramifications of the rhetoric. I wrote CNN once and begged Crossfire to let me debate Jeanine Garofalo (pre-Air America days). No response of course.

Someone, who by request shall remain nameless, emailed me to say that you couldn't bomb someone into Democracy. I said that Japan may beg to differ... I don't know if Democracy can work in Iraq (it is contrary to the teaching of the Qur'an) but I do know that we need something other than a cesspool for terrorists in training...and leaving in the heat of it doesn't seem the way to achieve that. But I'm just a Blogger and not an actor, so what do I know?

Though I do like this "celebrity" quote:
"Any speech Jane Fonda gave after 1972 in my opinion should have been posthumously." -Danny Bonaduce (source)

Also in attendance to protest the protestors was Joshua Sparling...remember him? He was the Soldier at Walter Reed that got that "Die Infidel" card:

SPARLING: "What we are doing, actually, is doing the anti-protest protest. And we were there with our flags. And all that happened I was — a fellow saw me wear my 82nd Airborne sweater, and I noticed he also had an 82nd patch on his own sleeve.

And he said I was a disgrace, basically, and that I was — that I had blood on my hands and that I had no right wearing the uniform. And he spit at me." (Read the entire transcript)

Smoking, Insurance and A Journey Continued...

So, needless to say, I went off the horrid Wellbutrin. It has worked for a lot of people I know, but all of those people could be on Wellbutrin anyway if you know what I mean. It made me so bitchy and I was having crying jags...terrible.

Now the journey begins again. No, I DO NOT have the willpower to do it on my save the finger power from typing that ;) Truthfully I don’t want to quit. I mean I want to quit in the sense that I'd like to live for my boys and not walk around with an oxygen tank, and I spend too much on perfume to smell like smoke... But I enjoy smoking. It's my stress relief. Some people have a beer, some a joint, some a piece of cake or a Big Mac... we all have our things. So, therein lies the problem. Since everyone says "You have to quit" but in the next breath says "you have to WANT to quit for Yourself and no one else" how do you remedy those two things?...

The point of this been-there-done-that post? I am exploring the new drug Chantix with my doc. It works the way the nicotine vaccine would if the tobacco lobby would let it get FDA approval. It works like methadone does for heroine addicts. It blocks the receptors in the brain that derive enjoyment from nicotine -so if you do smoke it does absolutely nothing for you...

Sounds good right? Well, no insurance covers it.
"Why?" I asked my doc "Isn't it cheaper to pay for the drug than to treat lung cancer?"
"No" the shocking answer, "the average American only stays with their health insurance company for 18 months, so the company won't benefit from you quitting."

The drug is $120 a month and most people stay on it for 3 months. $360. Smoking for 3 months $401.52 (would only be $210 if I lived down south...) and insomnia, constipation and nausea are common side effects. Lovely.

Has anyone tried this drug or know of anyone that has? Any success stories? Failures? This looks like it will be a long, bumpy journey; but I am committed to staying on the road...

Adoption Aspirations

Despite the overwhelming lack of encouragement, I have not given up on the idea of foreign adoption. I also just found out there is often a $12,000 adoption tax credit. My father said he'd made the trip with me to Cambodia or Vietnam (right dad?)...

Why not adopt an American baby?
A few reasons...first being the waiting list is LONG. Second being that American babies are most often put up for adoption because there is something (or many things wrong with them). A friend of mine just went through the adoption process here and turned down approximately 15 babies before she adopted one with "minimal problems".

Why not have a baby of your own?
I hate being pregnant -and considering I haven't gotten pregnant in the 6 years since Mason I am assuming I can't get pregnant.

So, as soon as I find a way to convince The Man that we need a little Vietnamese girl... Look at that face! Could she be cuter?

What is that saying? A son is your son until he finds a wife, but a daughter will be there for the rest of your life... something like that.

Adding an 8th Deadly Sin...

Even though I'm not Catholic, I'd like to apply to add an 8th deadly sin to the current list...

Wearing white sneakers with black jeans. Should I email the Vatican or what?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

GOP: Banal Prospects for '08

This is an excerpt from a piece by Jonathan Martin at The Politico:

"...What for much of the past year has been an undercurrent of grumbling on the right about the top tier of Republican contenders -- Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani -- is lately on the rise in both frequency and volume. Limbaugh's sour note is the most striking of examples.

From consultants to bloggers to talk show hosts, there is a climate of suspicion -- at times bordering on contempt -- among conservative activists about their 2008 choices.

McCain is courting social and economic conservatives this year, but still faces grave doubts because of his past attacks on conservative religious leaders and his frequent willingness to make common cause with Democrats. Romney, who is positioning himself as the true conservative alternative, faces charges of opportunism because of his recent past as a social moderate. Giuliani's potential candidacy would test whether a leader with liberal views on abortion and gay rights could prosper in a party whose activists are steadfastly opposed to both..." (Read the entire article)

This article sums out how almost every conservative I know feels about '08...nothing. The choices are shite and we are sick of picking the "lesser of two evils". Can we just say DOLE? If people aren't excited about the candidate they won't come out to vote. Can we say KERRY? Hoping that people will come out to vote against the other candidate instead of for yours doesn't work either.

Can SOMEONE down at GOP headquarters at least entertain my idea of getting FRED THOMPSON to throw his hat in the ring...?! PLEASE. ...tap, tap, tap...Is this thing on...?

(P.S. I'm not alone...I just found a Draft Fred Thompson site.

And...another Call for Thompson to run)

Update: Jailed Border Agents
(Now In Solitary Confinement 23 hours a Day)

This from WND:

"...Ballistics reports, used in the trial of Ignacio "Nacho" Ramos, one of two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting fleeing drug dealer Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila, do not support the prosecution's claim the bullet was fired from Ramos' gun, according to documents provided to WND from Andy Ramirez, chairman of the Friends of the Border Patrol.

Despite the conclusion of a laboratory criminalist that he could not conclusively link the bullet removed from Aldrete-Davila with Ramos' service weapon, a Department of Homeland Security agent swore, in an affidavit of complaint filed against Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, that Aldrete-Davila was hit by a round fired by Ramos.

"Johnny Sutton and his assistants are guilty of malicious prosecution," Ramirez charged to WND. "The prosecutors lied to the jury and he twisted evidence to make it fit his case. And when he couldn't twist the evidence, the government demanded that the court seal evidence which would have been exculpatory to the defense."

Nearly two years after the conclusion of the trial, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas has yet to release a transcript of the trial. (Read the Entire Article)

Say this is all true --what would the American government have to gain by arresting two border agents for shooting a drug dealer and throwing then into jail for 11 years despite public outrage? What is the upside? Showing the Hispanic community we'll protect Mexicans in an attempt to garner their votes for '08?

"...The Department of Homeland Security's assertions that two El Paso Border Patrol agents knowingly shot an unarmed suspect appear to be countered by the department's own documents..." Yet the Dept. of Homeland Security refuses to hand the documents over. (source)

Here is an excerpt of a letter from Monica Ramos to the founder of

"Thank you very much for all your help...

[My husband] is VERY grateful for all that you and your team have done and continue to do on his and Jose's behalf. I will have the opportunity to see him tomorrow for about an hour to share my experiences in Washington. So much is going on, and the
momentum continues to build. PLEASE DO NOT LET THIS DIE!!!

Both of our families are suffering tremendously from the void of our spouses and the children are the innocent ones here. They simply cannot grasp what has happened to their fathers. My children are anxious to see their daddy, but
I am hesitant to take them because words cannot adequately prepare them for what they will see... him shackled--like a hardcore criminal. It is sickening, Ron.

Your support is a godsend to us, and WE ARE ALL SO APPRECIATIVE. Please continue fighting for my husband. He is a good and honorable man.

Thank you again.
Monica Ramos

You can also GO HERE to hear about Monica Ramos' visit to Congress in her own words. She says she has heard she may get a phone call from President Bush about a pardon.

( is working to independently verify WND's story about the ballistics)

Please sign the petition using the button at the top of the post and/or call the White House Comments line: 202-456-1111.

(Read a similar story -this border control agent's verdict was overturned, but the drug smuggler was paid $80,000...)

Guest Post: Irish Diablo


Meet "Agata," who's name is derived from the Greek Agathé, feminine form of the adjective agathòs or "good." Agata is is so good at her job that she has a $10,000 USD ($14,290 NZ) bounty on her head. You see, Agata is a 5-year old Golden Labrador and one of Columbia's best drug-sniffing dogs in service. Since she started working in 2003, Agata has helped Columbian authorities confiscate 300 kilos of Cocaine and 20 kilos of Heroine.

Though Agata remains in active service (most drug-sniffing dogs serve up to seven years), she is kept under maximum security at all times. An armed guard is posted on her 24-hours a day to keep her safe and monitor her food for poisoning. Yes, Agata even has her own personal food taster. How would you like to be the one boasting around the water cooler that you taste-test dog food for poison for a living. (source)

(You can read Irish Diablo daily at Violent Day Dreams)

Job, Curse God and Die.

I feel like Job. For you atheists, he's the one that horrible things kept happening to as God tested his faithfulness...

First Ninja gets the Little Women fever, then Busta gets strep, my dad has been sick, my dog was deathly ill and now I find out I have: Cough-Variant Asthma. Which could explain the dizziness at karate on Saturday morning...oxygen is probably crucial to working out...

But, something good did happen. When I went to the pharmacy to pick up my meds the Pharmacist gasped when she typed the first thing into the computer. Not a good sign.

"Your insurance company will barely cover any of this."
"How much is it?" I naively ask
"Holy Shit! What is barely?"

No, the medicine is not liquid's that new little inhaler disc: Advair. Before the despair could fully sink in (between both boys and the dog I have spent a mint on RX's this week) the cute, little cashier says, "I never usually buy the Sunday Inquirer, but this week I did and I swear I saw a coupon in the Arts Section for a free prescription of Advair if it was your first time."


I called my mom and she still had Sunday's paper. Low and behold the coupon was there, so I sped over to her house got the coupon and got the $140 prescription for free! yeah! Thank you Philadelphia Inquirer! And the steroids were only $9.99. I have more to add about a conversation with the doctor and pharmacist about that new smoking pill, but that can wait until tomorrow...

Caption It...

Monday, January 29, 2007

"The Wrong Button to Push, No Friend of Bush..."

University of Penn professor of geology and climate change studies, Bob Giegengack, is no Republican and certainly no friend of Bush. He voted for Al Gore in 2000 and says "he'd probably vote for him again if he ran." He's a typical left-wing, Ivy League professor in seemingly all aspects save one --he's actually studied the environment for the last 50 years and scoffs at the idea of man-made Global Warming.

Apparently this UofP Professor is not part of the 100% consensus of scientists out there that we are told elitists-and certainly not working for the oil companies as is normally said of the naysayers.

Though Giegengack may have pulled the lever for Gore, he is not shy about dismissing Gore's activism and says that his movie, An Inconvenient Truth is nothing more than "a political statement timed to present him as a presidential candidate in 2008. The glossy production is replete with inaccuracies and misrepresentations and appeals to public fears as shamelessly as any other political statement that hopes to unite the public behind a certain ideology. What he's doing is no less than the scare tactics used by people like Karl Rove."

Some other quotes of interest from Philadelphia Magazine's piece on Giegengack entitled, "Al Gore is a Greenhouse Gasbag":

  • "We don't know that polar bears haven't drowned in every interglacial period. Nobody was watching back then."

  • "Sea level is rising, but it's been rising ever since warming set in 18,000 years ago...the Earth's global ocean is only going up 1.8 millimeters per year. That's less than the thickness of one nickel. At the present rate pf sea level rise it's going to take 3,500 years to get up there. So if for some reason this warming process that melts ice is cutting loose and accelerating, sea level doesn't know it. And sea level, we think, is the best indicator of global warming."

  • "The thing [Gore] doesn't mention is that there are 2.4 billion people in India and China who have launched a campaign that will increase their energy consumption by a factor of 10. No matter what we do. If we somehow cut our CO2 emissions in half, you wouldn't be able to measure the difference because of the role played by India and China. It's over. If CO2 is the problem, we've already lost."

  • There's all this stuff about saving the planet. The Earth is fine. The Earth was fine before we got here and it'll be fine long after we're gone."

  • At the University of Penn, Giegengack’s "Environmental Analysis" course often attracts "students who want to be environmental activists and carry picket signs outside the offices of the bad guys in the military-industrial complex" --I'd love to see their looks of disappointment after the first lecture...

    I’ve been posting about this issue a lot because it’s all we will be hearing in the run-up to the ‘08 election. Republican candidates will feel the pressure and jump right into the fray. I have never been firmly in one camp or another, but the latest batch of articles has helped shed some light -especially this one.

    Sucks to be a Kid...

    "...A Roman Catholic elementary school (Principal Jeannine Fuller) adopted new lunchroom rules this week requiring students to remain silent while eating. The move comes after three recent choking incidents in the cafeteria.

    No one was hurt, but the principal of St. Rose of Lima School explained in a letter to parents that if the lunchroom is loud, staff members cannot hear a child choking.

    Christine Lamoureux, whose 12-year-old is a sixth-grader at the school, said she respects the safety issue but thinks the rule is a bad idea. "They are silent all day," she said. "They have to get some type of release." She suggested quiet conversation be allowed during lunch." (source)

    With each new inane rule imposed on our kids -no tag, no dodgeball, no Pokemon cards at recess, mandatory uniforms, no peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, no honor roll, and the calamity of full inclusion -I am so glad that I was a kid then and not now. Back when you were allowed to laugh and stick up for yourself and were encouraged to do better than everyone else with no fear of hurting feelings...Before everyone got a trophy and before gym teachers said "It's not about winning, it's about having fun!" My retort? "...Is it fun to lose?!"

    What will happen to these kids in the real world? After the kid with two left feet got his soccer trophy every year, what will he do when he receives his first college rejection letter...or doesn't get the job he wanted? What will he do when he learns the harsh truth that we weren't all created equal? That some are smarter, faster, better artists, prettier, thinner, wittier and more creative than others? That the real world doesn't exist on the socialist plane that public schools do? Will that be the kid that sticks a gun in his mouth? I wonder.

    Silly String Saves Lives...

    "The boys' finally came home with something in their PTA packets that I didn't have to write letters to the Principal to complain about. Amidst the "Purple For Peace Day" and the "Anti-Violence Program" that utilizes some woman speaker that discourages any play as an "Army guy" or a "policeman" (because they carry guns) --they finally had something worthwhile. The student council is collecting cans of Silly String to send over to Iraq -the idea came from this Time Magazine article:

    "...American troops in Iraq have become masters of improvisation, like bolting jury-rigged armor to humvees to shield themselves from sniper fire and shrapnel. Lately, an even more novel item has joined their battle kits. Stratford, N.J., mom Marcelle Shriver recently got a call from her son Todd requesting ... Silly String. Marines working with his unit in Iraq had shown the Army combat engineer how it can be used to detect trip wires. Before searching buildings, for example, personnel spray doorways from at least 10 ft. away with streams of foam--and see if they're snagged by barely visible wires, which are often affixed to bombs. The Army acknowledges the off-label use, and Marine spokesman Captain Jay Delarosa says, "We force Marine trainees to improvise." Shriver is raising money to mail string to Iraq (aerosol cans are haz-mat and costly to ship). So the next time you waste string at a party, remember it could save a life..." (source)

    You can buy it by the case for $39.99 HERE.

    Foiled By Baggy Pants...

    This is the greatest story...

    "...Police said they caught a 16-year-old robbery suspect who had eluded authorities on several previous occasions when his baggy pants fell down, causing him to stumble as officers chased him.

    "We literally caught him with his pants down," Lt. Jack West of Covington police said.

    Suspected of robbing a man at gunpoint and stealing another man's car after beating him with a brick, the teenager had run away from police several times in recent weeks, West said.

    An officer spotted the teen standing on a street corner Monday, called for two backup officers, then tried to make an arrest.

    "They all converged on him from different directions," West said. "He started to run, but his low-riding pants fell down and he stumbled to his knees." (source)

    (H/T: JustRose)

    Not Actually News, But...

    ...I am now a Purple Belt.

    And the Martial Arts' Gi (gee) may just be the single most unflattering piece of clothing ever invented... Maybe I can combine two loves and design a Gi that flatters a woman.

    Purple Belt Pledge: I hold the art of Kenpo sacred and freely take upon myself the obligation and responsibility that I shall never misuse my skill to hurt or make afraid. I shall fight only if forced to defend myself and shall be slow to anger, loath to take offense, quick to forgive, and to forget personal affront.

    Sunday, January 28, 2007

    Mayoral Race: Philly Politics

    I wrote two posts yesterday that both disappeared. The fault of my new tower? Blogger? Netscape? Whoever the culprit, it's amazing there is still a blog today... I was going to walk away for the duration of the weekend, but then I end up getting backlogged with stories I want to talk about.

    I don't write too much about local politics, but Philly's mayoral race should prove to be a pretty interesting one this time. We'll finally be getting rid of our rendition of Marion Barry. Hallelujah!

    First off, you have to come to terms with the fact that there are two things about Philly that will never change: the elections will always be race-based and the city wouldn't elect a Republican even if he could prove he was Martin Luther King, Jr. reincarnated. (That being said, there was a white Democrat that could have pulled off a win --Joe Dougherty, Union boss. Terrible I know, but thankfully there is illness or something in his family and he won't be in the race.) However, in his stead there is also an Ed Rendell lackey, a Mumia apologist, a rich white businessman who hired Joe Trippi to run his campaign (because he did such a good job for Kerry) and a John Street friend-turned-rival in the race thus far. As of yet, the republicans haven't even wasting time offering up a candidate.

    If you're curious about Philly's demographics, this is what the count was at the 2000 consensus:
    45% White
    43% Black
    8% Hispanic
    4% Asian
    BUT the Center City liberals all suffer from White Guilt and will vote for a Black candidate purely because they're Black (Hence John Street)...

    There is someone in the race that offers a glimmer of hope -a best of the worse type of thing I guess. He's a Democrat, but he's taking a really tough stand on crime and he takes major issue with the Teacher's Union (always a worthy cause in my eyes). Now this may seem obvious, but it's a radical idea here in Philadelphia: "He also believes that raising children is a parental responsibility." (How crazy that that is on a campaign website --gives you a little glimpse at the mindset here doesn't it). This candidate also promised that on the first day in office he will add 500 new police officers to the Philly PD...and that while the Police Commissioner is firmly planted in denial saying that "Philadelphia is safer than it was 6 years ago" (I believe we had more homicides here than in Iraq last year).

    So, it's early and I'm sure that not all candidates have even made their intentions clear, but from where I sit Dwight Evans looks like the best bet Philly voters have right now.

    Saturday, January 27, 2007

    What is Your Emotional Age?

    You Are 31 Years Old

    Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

    13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

    20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

    30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

    40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

    Friday, January 26, 2007

    "Who is Behind the Smear Machine?"

    That was the question asked by ABC News last night in reference to the story that Barack Obama attended a Madrassa in Indonesia. The newswoman (Cynthia McFadden I believe) said a "smear campaign" had already begun against presidential hopeful Barack Obama. She went on to say this story was an out and out lie.

    I don't know that I'd say it was an out and out lie. Maybe an embellishment, but there is some basis to how the story began. Obama was raised by his Muslim stepfather in Indonesia. At the first school he attended documents show he was registered as a Muslim. The school in question does seem to be a public school -though the headmaster readily admits that "most of the students are Muslim." (source)

    Funny, I didn't even know until last night that Hillary was being credited for starting the story and I said to The Man that we were seeing Hillary's first campaign action...Dick Morris told us months ago that she would bury anyone that attempted to get between her and the Oval Office.

    This from Insight Magazine -the first to report the story:

    "...We at Insight commend CNN for at least showing the initiative to follow-up on the story and send a correspondent to check it out. But, contrary to their claims, CNN didn’t debunk anything about our story. For the record, Insight never—not once—in its article claims that Obama went to a Madrassa. We didn’t claim it; Hillary’s people did. We reported—and we fully stand by our story—that the Hillary Clinton camp had conducted their own opposition research on Obama’s Muslim past, and that the Clinton investigators had concluded Obama had attended a Madrassa. This is what Hillary’s camp was saying and desperately trying to prove—not Insight. Our sources also confirmed to us that the Clinton camp had come to the conclusion that not only had Obama been raised and educated as a Muslim, but that he had been deliberately concealing it. Moreover, our sources also said that Clinton’s people were seeking to find out about the possible radical Wahhabi angle, and then peddle their information to their media allies later this year—prior to the January 2008 primaries.

    More to the point, we are a magazine that focuses on political intelligence. Our stated mission is to provide our readers with credible, reliable, cutting-edge information on what is really happening behind the scenes in the corridors of power. We did that in this case: we revealed what is truly going on in the Clinton camp..." (Read the Entire Article)

    Hillary 1, Obama 0.

    School Safety... Who is Legally Responsible?

    Remember the other day when I posted about laws preventing parents from being notified of pedophiles that are minors...? Well, in Allentown Pennsylvania FOUR first grade (6 year old) boys were sexually abused by a mentally disabled 12 year old (one boy actually raped) in an elementary school there and now that the community has found out they are calling for the school superintendent’s resignation.

    The school district responded (you're not going to believe this) that [the school district is not responsible for student's safety while they are at school""]. No?????? Then who is?!

    But wait, it gets better...

    "The solicitor for the Allentown School District said officials at Central Elementary weren't ''legally required'' to contact police after a first-grader had been raped. As a technical legal matter, when it's child on child, there is no requirement to call the police." (source)

    Not legally required to notify police about the commission of a violent crime?

    "The school district is seeking to dismiss the federal lawsuit, filed in August 2006, which alleges school officials knew that the 12-year-old with a lengthy history of behavioral and psychological problems raped a first-grader yet failed to take any action against the boy, which subsequently led to the rapes of three other first-graders.

    In each case, teachers told school officials of the assaults, but the officials allegedly failed to contact law enforcement or child protective services, the suit says." (source)

    This story is beyond appalling on a few different levels -first, the fact that this even happened and that the school district there seems to be acting like this was a incident where one child pushed another one on the playground. This is sodomy for Christ's sake. Second, the fact that a school district is claiming they don't bear the burden of safety when our children are in their care!? This is a statement that needs some serious vetting...

    "The American People"

    I admit that I have no idea what that means..."The American people." I guess I unconsciously assume that most people are pretty much the same --like me I guess. That was until yesterday when I inadvertently left Fox (as in the network, not the news channel) on while I was cleaning and absorbed an entire day of talk shows/judge shows. Holy crap. These people couldn't be more unlike me...

    First, if I heard one more person say "seen" instead of "saw" my head was going to explode...but here's my question: Is the 'daytime tv' contingent the minority or the majority? Have most people been arrested? Been to jail and/or prison? Had children raised by a relative or taken by some child protection agency? Let men they barely knew move in with them and have access to their children? Gotten in a accident and arrested for driving drunk in your husband's truck with your lover in the car? Romanced prisoners in internet chat rooms? These people relay these instances as if they're commonplace.

    I looked around a bit for statistics of some sort to shed some light on the question. How many Americans have done time? How many have been arrested for DUI? Arrested for spousal abuse? Child abuse? Drugs? How many have had children removed from their custody at some time during their lives?

    What I found is depressing. I think the people we see on daytime tv are the MAJORITY. According to the Department of Justice one in every 15 people will go to State or Federal prison. At the end of 2001 5.6 million Americans had served time in prison -and if rates remain the same 6.6% of the babies born in 2001 will be incarcerated some time in their lives. One of every four males living in a big city will be arrested for a felony crime. When misdemeanors are factored in the percentage could be as high as 90%. (source1, source2, source3)

    So sadly enough, a day of Judge Joe brown, Judge Judy, Geraldo At Large and Judge Alex led me to the conclusion that the majority of the country is criminally prone and undereducated. The argument that I kept seeing all over as I read through tons of criminal statistic pages...["the government will spend an average of $7000 a year on educating a child, but over $30,000 a year to incarcerate one"] --this doesn't fly as my private school spent WAY less per student than any public school and instead of being arrested, I got a full academic scholarship...

    Continuing to Document the Lunacy...

    "At issue is freedom of opinion, one of the central tenets of the Enlightenment and democracy. And whether respect, consideration and tolerance are the right approach to dealing with cultures that, for their part, behave without respect, consideration or tolerance when it comes to anything they view as decadent, provocative and unworthy -- from women in short skirts to cartoons they deem provocative without even having seen them." (Read the entire article)

  • French Muslim Attacks Doctor for Treating His Wife:
    "Fouad ben Moussa burst into the delivery room at a Paris hospital last November and shoved, slapped and insulted Dr Jean-Francois Oury as he examined the [man's wife] after a complicated birth, the prosecution said in court on Wednesday. Police had to intervene to remove him.

    Ben Moussa, a 23-year-old lorry driver, said he had requested a female doctor.

    French media have reported cases in recent years of Muslim men barring male doctors from treating their wives, sometimes resorting to violence, but legal cases against them are rare.

    France's five million Muslims make up eight percent of the French population, Europe's largest Islamic minority." (source)

  • Father Distrusts Medical Exam and Kills Daughter for Not being a Virgin:
    (I am beginning to wonder if this phenomenon of "honor killing" is to cover up incest...)
    "A Jordanian man fatally shot his 17-year-old daughter whom he suspected of having sex despite a medical exam that proved her chastity, an official said Thursday. The man surrendered to police hours after the killing, saying he had done it for family honor.

    "The tests proved that she was a virgin," the pathologist said. The girl returned home only after her father signed a statement promising not to harm her, he added.

    The father shot the girl four times in the head on Tuesday. On Wednesday, an autopsy was performed that again showed "she was still a virgin," the pathologist said.

    Authorities have not disclosed the names of the father or the daughter or even their hometown, saying only that they lived in a southern province." (source)

  • Pig Ads Banned Due to "Muslim Sensitivity":

  • "Companies looking to reach China's consumer market with pig images during Year of the Pig celebrations next month will have to adjust after a national television network adopted a policy to be sensitive to the country's small Muslim population, according to published reports.

    China Central Television said it would ban all verbal and visual pork references from advertisements during Lunar New Year celebrations next month, the Wall Street Journal reported. This week, the network banned a TV ad from Nestle SA featuring a smiling cartoon pig and the message, "Happy new pig year."

    CCTV's ad department said the regulations are intended to avoid offending Muslims, who consider pigs unclean animals. China's 20 million Muslims comprise less than 2 percent of the population, the Journal reported.

    "China is a multiethnic country," the network said in a notice. "To show respect for Islam, and upon guidance from higher levels of the government, CCTV will keep any pig images off the screen." (source)

  • "Get Out Of Iraq" Email:
    ...And, Of course by now you've heard of the response from a Mulsim owned internet business to the purchase inquiry of a Soldier in Iraq:
    "An American GI in Iraq who emailed a Muslim-owned United States-based company to ask for a shipment of floor mats was told that he and his fellow soldiers should leave Iraq.

    In an email dated Jan 16, Sgt Jason Hess asked about getting floor mats from a Wisconsin-based company, Bargain Suppliers.

    A response emailed the same day said the company did not.

    “And even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq,” said the email, which was signed “Bargain Suppliers”. The two-line email response quickly circulated on the Internet and has led to threats against the Muslim-owned business and demands for a boycott, with at least one site including a link to a photograph of the home of co-owner Faisal Khetani, a Muslim from Pakistan.

    Bargain Suppliers, an online retailer based in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, shut down its Web site Monday and fired the unidentified employee who sent the email, WTMJ-TV reported. It also said that Khetani had received threatening telephone calls.

    Talking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the company’s vice president, Sajid Nasir, said: “It’s really getting out of control. Our main concern is for the safety of the (Khetani) family. That’s more important than the business.”

    Islamic Society of Milwaukee President Othman Atta described the employee’s response as inappropriate, adding that he feared a backlash against Muslims." (source)
  • Kennedy, Venezuela & 40% Off Oil

    Have you seen this commercial (or the few variations like it)?

    It was on non-cable TV ad nauseum yesterday. Literally like every other commercial break all day. "Our good friends in Venezuela"?

    Here is what Joe Kennedy wrote in defense of his alliance:

    "Criticism of our program isn't about cheap heating oil. It's all about Hugo. While conservative interests in this country don't like him, US businesses don't mind his money and his marketplace.

    Even though doing business with Venezuela has been very good for capitalists, the issue at hand is Chávez and his politics of socialism. Before we accept the characterizations of him as a socialist threat to our way of life, we ought to look at our own country -- ironically, a system of socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.

    he fact is that many of the bluest of our blue chip corporations may actually be wearing a shade of Hugo Chávez red beneath their suspenders -- with one major difference: They're fine with socializing the risks of capitalism, so long as they can privatize the profits. As for the poor? They're decidedly on their own.

    Meanwhile, in Venezuela, the president is socializing his nation's oil profits. Poverty has dropped by 25 percent. State-sponsored provision of basic needs like food and healthcare has expanded.

    So, sure, we'll distribute Hugo's oil. Doing so is called compassionate capitalism. Right now, our country's vulnerable families fend for themselves, while the well-to-do can afford to throw snowballs at our program from the security of their warm homes and offices." (source)

    Isn't it odd that a Kennedy is an oil man --shouldn't he be listening to his brother and be distributing alternative fuel to the downtrodden?

    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    Muslims Call For Media Censorship

    "Rather than portray the Arab culture and Islamic religion in a positive or neutral light, the [Disney] producers associate it with harsh punishments and oppressive practices."

    Do I even need to write anything after that? "Harsh punishments and oppressive practices" in Islam? You're kidding...If I hadn't seen Aladdin I never would have guessed!

    It didn't stop with Fox's "24" --Once again Muslims are calling for censoring when it comes to Islam being portrayed on the big (and small) screen.

    "...A report by the Islamic Human Rights Commission argues that films as diverse as The Siege, a portrayal of a terrorist attack on New York starring Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis, the Disney film Aladdin and the British comedy East is East have helped demonise Muslims as violent, dangerous and threatening, and reinforce prejudices.

    The study, titled The British media and Muslim representation: the ideology of demonisation, argues that Hollywood has a crucial role in influencing how the public views Muslims.

    A survey conducted as part of the research revealed that Muslims in Britain felt negative images of their faith on the big and small screen had consequences in their daily lives. Those interviewed "found a direct correlation between media portrayal and their social experiences of exclusion, hatred, discrimination and violence".

    The authors call for more power for cinema censors to be able to curtail or even decline certification of "objectionable material", as well as more effective media watchdogs and increased responsibility in coverage of issues involving Muslims on the part of newspapers and television." (source)

    If I were them I'd be worrying more about censoring the actual news (Iran realizes that -that's why blogs are illegal) than fretting over a movie starring a flying carpet.

    I searched for random attacks on Muslims because they're Muslim and couldn't find a thing... (and I don't mean a vandalized school in Canada, the report said "violence").

    To be fair, I asked myself if I would censor movies like "Zoo" (a film at the Sundance Film Festival about Man-Horse love) or the new Dakota Fanning movie "Hounddog" (where the 12 year old is raped on screen) if I had the power to do so. But it's not a fair comparison... this isn't about depicting someone unkindly -it's about not glorifying illegal acts. I didn't protest or even pen one letter over "Saved" and I'm someone that went to Christian school from 1st to 12th grade.

    The best way I can think for them to improve their image at this juncture of time is to stop talking. Shhhh! Each time you whine, light something on fire, cut someone's head off or sue, you only fuel the disdain.

    Military Nurse Fired Over Deployment Orders

    "You had news for me on Tuesday, now I have news for you," Muhl recalled Gray saying. "You will not have a job when you return from the desert."

    Believe it or not that was what Richard Gray (cardiac program medical director at Sutter Health) had to say to 30 year combat veteran nurse after learning of her new deployment to Iraq.

    The company claims that (despite this comment and the fact that she was told two days after relaying her deployment orders) this was an economic decision and had nothing to do with her service.

    "..."Colonel Muhl is an honest-to-goodness war hero," Lowe said. "She has treated thousands of wounded individuals and service members ... We felt this was an important case that required intervention by the courts."

    Muhl, 56, said she worked at Sutter from 2002 to 2006, most recently as administrative director of the joint cardiac program. She was called up to active duty status several times during that period, including in March 2003 for 10 months and twice in 2005 for military training.

    In her complaint, Muhl alleges that her supervisor, Richard Gray, the cardiac program's medical director, found her deployments frustrating, at one point instructing her to file a complaint with Congress seeking to get out of the military. As a compromise, Muhl said, she requested a transfer to a unit with fewer deployments..." (source)

    I was distressed to see the case was filed in San Francisco...isn't this the city that voted to have all military vestiges removed?

    No Kerry in '08?!

    Isn't John Kerry announcing he won't run in 2008 sorta like me saying I won't audition for American Idol?

    "...An emotional Senator John F. Kerry today said he will not run in the 2008 presidential race and vowed to use his Senate perch to hasten an end to the war in Iraq, saying he would work with lawmakers from both parties to reverse President Bush's troop "surge" and force him to withdraw virtually all troops from Iraq by early next year.

    Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, used the unusual forum of the Senate floor to announce his political ambitions. Choking up as he harkened back to his service in Vietnam, Kerry said he would work to make sure the next president doesn't have to cope with the consequences of a "wider war" sparked by the failed policy in Iraq.

    "Two years ago I sought the presidency to lead us on a different course. I'm proud of the campaign that we ran," Kerry said. "We came close, Mr. President, certainly close enough to be tempted to try again," he continued. "There are powerful reasons to want to continue that fight now. But I've concluded that this isn't the time for me to mount a presidential campaign. It is the time to put my energy to work as part of the majority in the Senate, to do all I can to end this war and strengthen our security." (source)

    Did you hear the collective left'o'sphere breathe a sigh of relief?

    ...And speaking of American Idol, why haven't these people that wait in the elements for three days for a chance at fame get it that you could sing Aretha under the table...but if you look like her you aint getting in...

    More Frivolous Legislation

    Though I enjoy coming home to my pooch's wagging little butt (she has no tail to speak of), dogs seem to be akin to children in the fact that you normally like yours and everyone elses annoy you...

    Now Washington lawmakers have enough time on their schedules to propose a law that would allow dogs to accompany owners in establishments that have a liquor license. Lawmakers are basically encouraging the new Paris Hilton carry your Chihuahua fad...?

    "..."There's all sorts of places you can bring animals now," said Jacobsen, who doesn't own a dog. "You can take dogs into hotels. My God, some people are carrying dogs in their purses. Why can't we have them in the bars?"

    The Seattle Democrat's bill would allow bars and restaurants with liquor licenses to welcome dogs, as long as they accompany their owners and remain well-behaved and leashed. Establishments wouldn't be required to allow dogs, except for service animals.

    Health officials said the ban on pets in restaurants and bars is based on Food and Drug Administration regulations.

    "Animals don't use the toilet and they shed and they sometimes drool, and those are potential issues with food," said Joe Graham, public health adviser for the Washington state Department of Health.

    Lisa Owens would like the bill to pass so she could bring her 112-pound Rottweiler, Ida, with her when meeting friends at bars in Olympia.

    "If people were asking me to go somewhere and I could bring my dog, I might be more likely to go," she said." (source)

    Call me persnickety, but if I actually procure a babysitter and get all dolled up to go out the last thing I want is Fido's slobber and hair on my black pants... Not to mention the fact that people have no will the law stipulate friendly dogs only?

    Animal lovers may also want to keep an eye on the PETA kills animals trial.

    Caption It...

    ...possibly the only thing my kids could do to rebel that would really freak me "tweeners" in my house please...

    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    The Diagnosis

    ...I called the doctor's office (again) yesterday and the over-the-phone diagnosis was Roseola. I knew it wasn't Roseola because with that the rash appears 2-3 days after the fever breaks and the little man's fever was still going strong (that and he's a bit old for that).

    Last night I got really fed up, put in yet another call to the doctor's emergency call service and then set about to do a bit of research. By the time the doc had called back I had decided the diagnosis was most definitely Scarlet Fever. Doc agreed.

    We just got back from the office where that diagnosis was not only verified, but another virus that is causing the chest cold was added. I didn't even know people got Scarlet Fever anymore and this poor kid not only gets it, but it's coupled with some other horrible thing that will require nebulizer treatments four times a day because he's starting to wheeze... Not to mention that he just threw up the first dose of antibiotic. Why would she prescribe a chewable antibiotic to someone spitting up mucus?

    Thank you so much to everyone that has emailed their well-wishes. It means a lot.

    From The State of the Union...Healthcare Proposal

    "Tonight, I propose two new initiatives to help more Americans afford their own insurance. First, I propose a standard tax deduction for health insurance that will be like the standard tax deduction for dependents. Families with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $15,000 of their income. Single Americans with health insurance will pay no income or payroll taxes on $7,500 of their income. With this reform, more than 100 million men, women, and children who are now covered by employer-provided insurance will benefit from lower tax bills.

    At the same time, this reform will level the playing field for those who do not get health insurance through their job. For Americans who now purchase health insurance on their own, my proposal would mean a substantial tax savings – $4,500 for a family of four making $60,000 a year. And for the millions of other Americans who have no health insurance at all, this deduction would help put a basic private health insurance plan within their reach. Changing the tax code is a vital and necessary step to making healthcare affordable for more Americans. "
    -President George W. Bush, January 22,2007 (source)

    Apparently the Dems are saying this proposal is already DOA. Assholes. Finally something that would benefit me and mine from our piece of crap government that only rewards the drug-addicted, knocked up and non-working "victims"... Screw the self-sufficient, pro-active middle class...

    We have been paying for our own health care for YEARS. First we were stupid enough to COBRA The Man's insurance when he left his job to start his own business. We were paying close to $700 a month. Then we wised up and shopped around and bought an HMO from Aetna -that was a little less, about $630/mo. Recently we switched to a PPO with higher deductibles, but we're down to $435/mo.

    Considering big business (and Congressmen I'm sure) can write off golf outings and $30 Evian’s...It would be nice to be able to take this as a deduction considering we own our own business... So why "dead on arrival"? They're afraid more people will shop insurance and take control? They think it may snowball into taking socialized medicine off the table?

    So what have the Dems done in their infamous first 100 hours? Raise minimum wage and taxes? What a shock. (source)

    (Disclaimer: For those that were unsure, the picture above is Photoshopped and just meant to be funny --not to prove any political point. I don't think Nancy Pelosi actually has horns and a tail, but I could be wrong...)

    Global Warming: 100% Scientific Consensus?

    From what I've been reading that consensus number (that was obviously never 100% among scientists as it is often touted) is continually dropping...

    Those scientists who do not believe that climate change is man-made claim they are being shut out and censored.

    "...At issue is a report issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) earlier this month accusing ExxonMobil-funded "contrarian scientists" and "ideological advocacy groups" of a "disinformation campaign" aimed at deceiving and "confusing" the public about the connection between human activity and climate change.

    It also criticized media organizations for quoting scientists who the USC views as being out of step with mainstream opinion."

    The UCS report took aim at "climate contrarians" affiliated with the Independent Institute such as Fred Singer, David Legates and Frederick Seitz, accusing them of bucking the scientific consensus.

    But Ebell said the notion of consensus was a "game" political activists use to discredit skeptics who raise legitimate questions.

    Ebell argued that the weight of scientific evidence has in fact shifted against "alarmist projections" that envisage potential catastrophe.

    Singer, an environmental scientist at the University of Virginia, told Cybercast News Service that proponents of global warming models that see a significant correlation between human activity and rising temperatures are "afraid they might lose the debate" because their data is unlikely to withstand scrutiny.

    "The facts and the data are pretty convincing now," he said. "Any warming taking place is largely due to natural variability, not human activity. The way we can tell is by comparing the pattern of warming with what greenhouse warming models predict. They don't agree."

    Although he describes himself as a "believer in the greenhouse effect," Singer said the fundamental question centers around the role of human activity.

    "The human influence is small," he asserted. "Not zero - but small compared to natural effects."

    Singer's findings are the subject of a new book entitled "Hot Talk, Cold Science," published by the Independent Institute..." (source)

    As I have said in the past, I am not solidly in one camp or another. I believe that we could be more efficient with out use of natural resources and more conscientious about energy use --but I also believe that there was massive climate changes before a human every used anything but fire which makes the likelihood of human error seem a bit narcissistic. I never expect Global Warming scare tactics to cease (even if there were irrefutable evidence to the contrary) because aside from socialized nationalized's a huge Dem talking point.

    G-Man has his own pictures to argue global warming.

    The Job Possibilities Just Keep On Coming...

    We've already talked about "professional" air guitarists, "professional" Pokemon card players and now the profession that may just top them all..."professional" pillow fighters...fighting for the Toronto-based "Pillow Fight League" (the PFL).

    Believe it or not, the league has been around for three years and already they are about to embark on an international tour: "...So far, they have sold out a venue in Brooklyn, N.Y., and added events to accommodate the demand."

    "...The PFL is an entertainment sport, but don't brush it off as some fake, powder-puff version of the World Wrestling Entertainment.

    There are no smoke and mirrors, phantom punches or scripted wins, but there are rules: no men, no hair-pulling, eye-gouging, lewd behavior or "pillow-loading," a PFL term for stuffing your pillow with hard objects like books or bricks. "Every attack must incorporate the pillow somehow," Bellum said.

    With this month's PFL international tour and championship match on Jan. 19, Bellum hopes Americans will embrace professional pillow fighting like Canadians have." (source)

    I won't embarrass myself with any predictions about the popularity of this sport in the US...when I was in England I told all the Brits the Spice Girls would never be tolerated here and my fellow Americans made a fool of me...

    Finally, Not Guilty!

    There is one parenting blunder being highlighted in the news that I am NOT GUILTY of -that's always a good feeling isn’t it...?

    Over-indulgent birthday parties.

    Now, we aren't just talking about MTV's "My Super Sweet Sixteen" (a show that disgusts me, but I watch like a deer caught in headlights), but hundreds and even thousand of dollars being spent on parties for children as young as a year old. This has to be born of some strange parental guilt, don’t you think? I can't think of any other reason to spend and plan a party that will not only stress the kid out--but that they'll never remember anyway.

    My older one says his friends "think I'm mean" because I don't do the "Soccer Zone", "Chuck E Cheese", "Roller Fun" parties. Birthday parties consist of my immediate family, maybe a friend or two, good food, a fun cake and presents. Not only am I "mean" about not hosting ostentatious bashes, but I don't let my kids go to the 3,000 parties they get invited to each year. They can pick ONE -their best friends'. I am not paying $35 every other week for presents for kids that mine are barely friends with just because their mom and dad are trying to make up for whatever they're trying to make up for... So yes, I'm a “mean mom” that prefers small, intimate parties where I can spend my money on presents for my kids instead of 30 goodie bags for someone else's kids.

    There's a quiz to see if you are guilty of party overindulgence...

    Here are some examples from the Parties Without Pressure website of Parents gone wild...
  • A one year old’s party in a Minnesota community has 60 guests. The gift opening takes two hours; the party infant sleeps through most of it.

  • A three year old’s parents in the same community rent a fire station for party #1, and a private club with a pool for party #2.

  • A six year old girl and her friends in St. Paul get makeovers and dance in public as part of a “starlet” package at a party business.

  • A six year old guest who is disappointed by a St. Paul party without gift bags, declares, “This is a rip off!”

  • Seven year olds in rural Minnesota get picked up by stretch limos to transport them to a friend’s party.

  • An otherwise balanced mother in St. Paul obsesses for two months about a two year old’s birthday party and works solid for a week to prepare.

  • Twin Cities parents who dread at-home parties gladly spend $450 for a build-a-bear party at a mall.

  • A Minneapolis mother switches away from a “pirate theme” for her nine year old’s party because another parent has recently used the same theme.

  • A wealthy New York father throws a $10 million party for his 13 year old daughter’s birthday, including the band Aerosmith and $10,000 gift bags.
  • Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    How Will The Revisionists Respond...?

    Really, I'd love to hear from some of the United Nations/Hugo Chavez defenders after you read these two stories...

    The first is another UN scandal that could be bigger than the Oil for Food scandal (it was big- even though the MSM buried it). United Nations money could have funded Kim Jong-il's secret nuclear bomb program.

    "...The new head of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, has ordered an emergency external review of all UN expenditure after claims that up to $100 million meant for development aid was channelled into the hands of North Korean officials.

    The allegation, made by US officials, prompted fears that the money from the agency may have helped fund Pyongyang's secret nuclear bomb programme. Mr Ban's rapid response to the US claim is a sign that he wants to avoid being dragged down by the sort of UN scandals that dogged his predecessor as secretary general, Kofi Annan. The organisation's former chief was widely criticised for his handling of the Iraqi oil-for-food affair, under which Saddam Hussein skimmed off an estimated $10 billion from the UN programme.

    In the latest "dollars-for-dictators" controversy to embroil the UN, officials at its Development Programme (UNDP) acknowledged that since 1998 it had employed North Korean staff, hand-picked by the Stalinist regime of Kim Jong-il, and paid their salaries and other expenses in hard currency into a fund controlled by Pyongyang.

    American officials made clear their alarm in a series of letters to the UN..." (source)

    What could we really expect from an organization that had Kurt Waldheim as a Secretary General and Syria on the security council...It should be interesting to watch this one get buried too.

    And then we move on to Hugo Chavez...I can't tell you how many sites I've read throughout the left'o'sphere that defends him by saying, "He was elected, Venuzuela is a Democracy."

    "...- Venezuelan lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill granting President Hugo Chavez the power to rule by decree for 18 months so that he can impose sweeping economic, social and political change.

    Emboldened by his landslide re-election last month, the leftist leader has called for 'revolutionary laws' to accelerate the country's transformation into a full socialist state.

    'This process is unstoppable,' lawmaker Juan Montenegro Nunez told the National Assembly Thursday. 'This process is a historic necessity.' The vote was unanimous as the National Assembly has been entirely filled with Chavez's allies since opposition parties boycotted 2005 elections.

    Chavez began his third term last week by announcing his intent to nationalize key sectors of the economy, rewrite the country's constitution to eliminate presidential term limits, and strip the Central Bank of its autonomy.

    Among the changes, Chavez is seeking an end to presidential term limits, which would allow him to run again for the presidency in December 2012.

    Chavez says he is crafting a new sort of '21st century socialism' for Venezuela. Critics say it is starting to look like old-fashioned totalitarianism by a leader obsessed with power." (source)

    Ruling by decree and no term limits...not really my definition of democracy...but what do I know, I'm just a gringo.

    Hillary's Bid For Prez

    Can I just say out loud how depressing it is that the first woman to throw their hat in the Presidential ring is Hillary Clinton...I wonder how many other women are feeling the same way. I'd LOVE to vote for the first woman to run for the Oval Office. I'd love to be a part of that history, but I won't. I don't vote based on race or gender or even party. Except for Arlen Specter, I have always and will always vote my conscience.

    I do wonder who the real Hillary Clinton is though? Is she the extreme leftist? The Goldwater girl? The Centrist? The hawk? The dove? The staunch feminist? The forgiving wife? The sucker? The backstabber? She has donned too many masks for the public to ever be able to decide which one was the real face.

    Blatantly ripping off Barack Obama (and trying to steal some of his 15 minutes), Hillary released a video announcement of her intent to run in '08. She actually looks very pretty in it (was David Blane the producer I wonder?)

    They say Bushy is unable to admit his mistakes and "change course", but what about her? I'm pretty sure I don't want a "stand-by-your-man" gal as the first President of the United States of America. Almost every Dem I know said she wouldn't run...and said she'd "never get the nomination". I've always given her way more credit than that. '08 is the only reason she stayed with Bill -and as I have said in the past...I don't know if that makes her driven or pathetic.

    Statistics say that the 2008 electorate will be comprised of 54% women voters...

    Philly's Foot Fetish Robber...

    Do any of you old-heads remember the time I was solicited outside WaWa to be in a foot-porn? I can't find the post to save my life... I think I had successfully blocked the memory from my conscience until I read about the pervy foot-fetish freak in Philly that is robbing women and then fondling their feet and shoes... They are calling him the "Toe-struck sucker".

    "...Police said a 32-year-old woman was walking east on Aspen Street in Fairmount when a man placed a gun to her head and forced her to walk less than a mile to 22nd and Brown streets.

    That was where "he told the woman to unfasten her jeans and made her take off her shoes," said the investigator, who declined to be named.

    Then the attacker robbed the woman of about $40 before fleeing on foot, the cop said.

    The man was described as black, mid-30s, about 5 feet 8 and 140 pounds. "He was also clean-shaven and was wearing a green jacket and black gloves," the investigator said.

    Police have been trying to track down the attacker since the beginning of November, when he began terrorizing Center City..." (source)

    This brings the robbery and foot fondling to seven incidents. Another incident occurred yesterday after I wrote this...bringing the total to eight women. There is now a $1,000 reward for information.

    Why doesn't he just get a job in the shoe section at Bloomingdale's...?

    Trials and Tribulations of Parenthood

    I hate that I have read so much about meningitis and encephalitis. I hate that the symptoms are "flu like" and could also be 97 other things. I hate that the only way they can test is with a spinal tap.

    I hate that the 15 year old across the street from us died from meningitis. I hate that her father said to us "It's not like she had cancer and we got to say goodbye, she had the flu one day and was gone the next."

    I hate that my little one was so sick yesterday I was debating taking him to the emergency room. I hate that I hesitated for fear they would do a spinal tap as a CYA precaution. I hate that had he had meningitis my hesitation could have cost him his life.

    I hate that doctors are no help here and just say, "If you're concerned take him to the emergency room, but know they will do a spinal tap and it's very painful." I hate that kids don't come with a manual.

    Sometimes it's just way too much responsibility.

    Caption It...

    Chuck Schumer...who says he likes to "noodle on difficult problems"... (source)

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    Reduction in Enlistment Standards

    A new report out alludes (actually it outright says) that military recruiters are
    a)not trained to spot gang members that are looking to enlist
    b)overlooking gang activity and crimes to meet recruitment goals.

    It seems though the military isn't keeping track, the FBI reports that many of the OIF veterans and some currently deployed are gang members (including a member of the Latin Kings that was awaiting his trial for assaulting a NYC cop).

    "... The FBI described the gang presence as a "growing threat," the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

    "The military enlistment of gang members could ultimately lead to the worldwide expansion of U.S.-based gangs," the report said.

    The Defense Department does not track gang membership in the military. But FBI investigators believe the reduction in enlistment standards -- due to recruitment pressure related to the Iraq War -- has brought more gang members in.

    The FBI said some gangs recruit veterans or serving members of the military because of their experience with explosives and firearms. Other gang members may join up to get access to weapons and equipment." (source)

    Aside from the possible "worldwide expansion of U.S.-based gangs", what about the safety of the other troops? And the possibility of misconduct that could further resentment toward the US Military?

    (Picture depicts U.S. gang graffiti in Iraq)

    This on top of the fact that recruiters are "considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks -- including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and putting more immigrants on a faster track to US citizenship if they volunteer -- according to Pentagon officials.

    Foreign citizens serving in the US military is a highly charged issue, which could expose the Pentagon to criticism that it is essentially using mercenaries to defend the country. Other analysts voice concern that a large contingent of noncitizens under arms could jeopardize national security or reflect badly on Americans' willingness to serve in uniform.

    The idea of signing up foreigners who are seeking US citizenship is gaining traction as a way to address a critical need for the Pentagon, while fully absorbing some of the roughly one million immigrants that enter the United States legally each year.

    The proposal to induct more noncitizens, which is still largely on the drawing board, has to clear a number of hurdles. So far, the Pentagon has been quiet about specifics -- including who would be eligible to join, where the recruiting stations would be, and what the minimum standards might involve, including English proficiency. In the meantime, the Pentagon and immigration authorities have expanded a program that accelerates citizenship for legal residents who volunteer for the military..." (source)

    I guess my first reaction to this is if they can't even vet potential recruits well enough to weed out gang members (who don't normally work hard to conceal their affiliations) --how can they guarantee no Islamic militants will infiltrate our Armed Forces?!

    GITMO: Detainees Not the Innocent Boys The ACLU Says They Are?!

    Everytime the US buckles to protestor/international pressure, it turns out the original hard-line stance was the right one...

    The ACLU tries to sell us on the innocence of "many" of the GITMO detainees. Making the fact that there aren't any formal charges seem as if these are nice upstanding boys caught at the wrong place and the wrong time.

    "...Nearly three years after his release, an Afghan teen who was among three youths from his country held here has been recaptured in Afghanistan for fighting against U.S. forces, a senior camp official says.

    The Afghan, who was about 15 when he was swept up along with hundreds of others and taken to Guantánamo Bay, is among a few former prisoners who have been killed or recaptured following their release by U.S. authorities, said Paul Rester, director of the Joint Intelligence Group at the detention center.

    The former detainee would now be about 19.

    He was captured more than a year ago after a shootout with U.S. troops, according to Rester, who said in an interview that there are no plans to bring him back to Guantánamo Bay, where the military holds nearly 400 men on suspicion of links to al Qaeda or the Taliban.

    ''He's not been brought back here,'' he said. ``We're not bringing anybody here.'" (source)

    I guess it's his humanitarian right to shoot at American troops.

    Australian Flag Banned in Australia

    Wow, and I thought WE were kooky...I don't even think the ACLU would have the balls to try to pull this off...

    "...THE Australian flag has been banned from this year's Big Day Out in Sydney after organisers branded it a "gang colour" and symbol of hate.

    Organisers of the Aussie rock festival at Homebush will confiscate any flag or bandana bearing the national symbol at the gate.

    Labelling Sydney a hot bed of racism, producers of the Sydney Showground event said it will be the only city in the nationwide event to be subject to the draconian action.

    Promoters have already moved the event from the traditional Australia Day gig to a day earlier to avoid nationalistic overtones.

    Spooked by last year's event, which came only weeks after the Cronulla riots, organisers will outlaw flags being brandished as a "gang colour".

    Prime Minister John Howard said the Big Day Out should be cancelled unless organisers reversed their decision to ban the flag. Big Day Out patrons were intimidated and harassed at the Sydney event on Australia Day 2006 by bigoted fans brandishing flags and demanding people pledge their allegiance." (source)

    Here in the US we have protestors that will hang the Mexican flag above the upside-down American flag (which is infuriating enough), but to actually label the flag of their own country as a "symbol of hate"...?

    Liberal VS. Conservative: Part 75

    I was playing around with the timer on my camera last night and I thought I'd take a picture of what I'd probably walk around life looking like if I were a lib...and then what a little MAC can do...

    In many cases doesn't the definition of the words defy the labels themselves. The Conservative girls I know normally dress in lower cut and more form-fitting clothes than our left-leaning sisters, and as AG has said...Conservatives are much more liberal about sexual expression. ;)

    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    Sex Offender Awareness

    A conversation with Liz yesterday reminded me that I haven't been spending near enough time highlighting the seemingly ever-growing epidemic of child predators --a genre of crime that is absolutely unforgivable in my eyes, but one in which the perpetrator gets much more consideration/"rights" than his/her victims... I think I will use Sundays to elucidate the problem...

  • Can Convicted Sex Offenders Get Custody?!:

  • There is a story out of Little Rock, Arkansas about their House unanimously approving a proposal that would prohibit sex offenders from being awarded custody and/or visitation rights.

    "...The proposal, by Rep. Dawn Creekmore, D-East End, says there is a "rebuttable presumption" that it is not in the best interest of a child to be placed with a sex offender. The House voted 98-0 in favor of the measure.

    "This will give the court the discretion to see if that sex offender is a harm to that child," Creekmore told reporters after the vote. "There are sex offenders who are not a danger to their children, but this will give the court a tool to use to make that determination."

    Little Rock criminal defense lawyer Jeff Rosenzweig said he didn't think the bill would have too great of an impact because judges already have the discretion to decide whether a sex offender is a danger to a child in custody proceedings.

    "I think to some extent it's an unfortunate incursion on the discretion of the courts," Rosenzweig said." (source)

    This got me pedophiles currently retain custody in some states? I would have thought NOT being around children was a forgone conclusion, but it seems that isn't always the case. I have to find a way to look into state-by-state laws regarding this matter.

  • Child Predator With Previous Offences Gets Deal With NO Jail Time:

  • Remember this case? The guy in Vermont that got a deal by the prosecutor for probation because the State was worried about the disabled accuser having to testify? Well, I guess this is another of those INANE instances where "prior bad acts" can't be admitted...(Why is that EVER the case when it comes to crimes against children?!):

    "...Andrew C. James of Manchester, who has attracted national attention because his sentence for sexually assaulting a now-5-year-old boy allows him to avoid jail, has two previous convictions for violent crimes that in some way involved children.

    A woman James was convicted of assaulting in 2000 told police that during the attack James threatened to kill both her and a 1-year-old child she was holding.

    And in 2003, James was convicted of using a screwdriver to assault a different woman who was a passenger in his car. Two very young children were in the back seat, one of them the child James had threatened to kill three years earlier and the other the now-5-year-old boy James recently admitted sexually assaulting. Neither child was reported injured.

    James, 37, was convicted of domestic assault following both incidents, and served 30 days in prison of a two- to four-year prison sentence in connection with the 2003 assault. Both female victims told police James had been prescribed medication for mental illness and that when he didn't take the medicine he became violent. They said they were afraid he could kill them, according to Vermont State Police..." (source)

    But hey, at least this guy's civil rights weren't violated...because, ya know, that's the most important thing here.

  • Sex Offender Registers for School as a 12 year Old Boy:

  • This may just be one of the most insane stories I've read in a long time... Two men were living (and having sexual relations) with what they thought was a 12 year old boy -and they attempted to register him in school as such. He was actually 29 year old convicted sex offender Neil Havens Rodreick II.

    "...This is the weirdest case I've seen in 18 years," sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Quayle said. "If it wasn't so sad it would be funny."

    A total of four men were in custody in the case Friday on various charges, including fraud, forgery, identity theft, and failure to register as a sex offender.

    Officials at the charter school in Chino Valley, about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix, told deputies that papers the "grandfather" presented appeared to be fake and that "boy" looked much older than 12. Stiffler and Robert James Snow, 43, "were very upset when the detectives told them they had been having a sexual relationship with a 29-year-old man and not a pre-teen boy," Quayle said.

    Detectives have evidence that Stiffler and Snow enrolled Rodreick in other Arizona schools, and have notified law enforcement in those jurisdictions, Quayle said. It was unclear whether Rodreick had actually attended any schools, but Quayle said, "I think what we're looking at is that he's being used to troll for other kids." (source)

  • Laws Prohibit You From Knowing if There's a Sex Offender in Your Child's School:

  • ...regardless of the severity of the offences if that offender is a minor.

    "...Parents at Nisqually Middle School were angry to learn that a 13-year-old level 2 sex offender was attending school with their children and had been recently re-arrested from more crimes.

    According to prosecutors, the 13-year-old boy allegedly molested three young girls at his Lacey home. When the teen moved into the neighborhood authorities did notify neighbors that he was a sex offender, neighbors told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.

    Officials at the North Thurston school district told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News the school principal and other employees were notified the teen was attending classes but state law prevents them from alerting parents." (source)

  • Would 3 1/2 years Be Enough If It Were Your Boy?!:

  • "...A Saskatchewan judge has sentenced a Prince Albert man convicted of a number of sex offences involving young teenage boys to serve 3½ years in prison.

    Following a trial last year, Justice Grant Currie convicted James Michael Bomek, 57, of sexual assault, possession of child pornography and other offences.

    The charges stemmed from a series of sexual relationships Bomek had in 2004 and 2005 with teenage boys as young as thirteen.

    Bomek, a disbarred lawyer from Flin Flon, Man., who had once practiced law in that city and in several communities in Saskatchewan, was sentenced in Prince Albert on Friday morning.

    Crown prosecutor Peter Hryhorchuk wanted five years, but said he was satisfied with the sentence." (source)

    You may have noticed a new link button in the sidebar (under the Grotto) -Use this link often to check sex offenders in your area. Stay aware and proactive, even if you don't have kids. Family Watchdog is the best website of its nature to date: