December 30, 2004
Funniest line of the day
Sometimes you can read something that is so laughable you look over the article several times thinking this just has to be a parody. However, it looks like this story is a straight news story, not something from Scrappleface.
United States President George Bush was tonight accused of trying to undermine the United Nations by setting up a rival coalition to coordinate relief following the Asian tsunami disaster.
The president has announced that the US, Japan, India and Australia would coordinate the world’s response.
But former International Development Secretary Clare Short said that role should be left to the UN.
“I think this initiative from America to set up four countries claiming to coordinate sounds like yet another attempt to undermine the UN when it is the best system we have got and the one that needs building up,” she said.
“Only really the UN can do that job,” she told BBC Radio Four’s PM programme.
“It is the only body that has the moral authority."
UN is the only body with moral authority?
December 29, 2004
If anything will help jump start the writing juices, a good dose of Carnival of the Vanities is what I need. Please don't miss some excellent writing being showcased this week at The Radical Centrist.
December 27, 2004
A Kitty's Tale
I wasn't looking for a kitten. I had gone into my local pet store, a small non-chain place that was a business of love run by middle-aged couple, to pick up shampoo and chew treats for my German Shepherd, Misty, and fish food for the aquarium. There in the middle of the store was a roomy, fenced in area, with a couple of inches of cedar shavings, litter box and eight balls of fluff that were bouncing, wrestling, and clamboring over a carpeted kitty-cube. A sign hung on the fence, "Free Kittens - 6 weeks old." I watched the antics for a couple of minutes then I walked on to the counter and laid my items to be purchased. I was determined no kitten. As I waited to be rung up, I kept looking over my shoulder at the kittens. Mrs. B at the register smiled at me, "They're free."
I cleared my throat, "I have a dog and fish and kids."
Mrs. B's smile grew "They need a good home. How about a free box of kitten chow to go with one?"
"Umm" I gritted my teeth, eyes stealing back to the pen. I hadn't had a cat in four years, "Well, it's not like I don't miss having a cat ... "
I went home with my doggie shampoo, chew treats, fish food ...
and a kitten and box of kitten chow and litter and litter box and cat toys ...
She was a tiny thing. All grey and white with a few spots of orange. She had impressed me with her kitty bravery, launching herself off the kitten-cube onto her brothers and sisters, straight legged and tiny tail held straight up, a flag proudly waved. She had bright green eyes, a pink nose and huge ears tufted at the tips, twitching to and fro trying not to miss anything.
My girls were immediately impressed, Jennifer taking seriously her duties as oldest sister and admonishing the younger two on being careful on petting. The ball of fluff found Jenn's lap a perfect napping place.
"What shall we call her?" I asked.
After much consultation, Jennifer announced, "Feathers, because she's so tiny and light she's like a ball of feathers."
And so, Feathers became a part of our family.
Not only a member of the family, but her giant-sized personality encased in a couple of handfuls of fluff soon had her running the house. Children would run at her meows to fulfill her wishes. Misty turned into Marc Anthony, the Looney Tunes dog who both protected and indulged Pussyfoot. Misty would allow Feathers to "stalk" and "attack" her. Feathers was the only one that was allowed near Misty's foodbowl when Misty was eating. There would be times I'd walk through the family room and see Misty laying on the floor, wide awake, but not getting up and moving because Feathers was curled up against her, sound asleep.
Feathers went from pampered princess to benevolent queen within a year or so. An indoor cat, she was perfectly content with a window sill, a square of sun and people to worship her. Though, with kids about the house, she did get outside a couple of times.
And then there were more kittens.
Luckily, I knew enough adults through my girls' schools that finding homes for the kitties wasn't difficult. But we did keep one of the kittens, Tiger, a long-haired orange-striped devil-may-care guy. Where Feathers was royality, who could get what she wanted merely through her presence ... such as sitting by your chair during dinner and staring at you until you gave in and gave her an offering ... Tiger was the court jester. He was a chicken fiend, and if chicken was on the menu for dinner, heaven forfend you having to get up from the table for any reason. Tiger would park himself under the table and you'd see him raise his head, ears held horizontally, just enough so his nose and eyes were just above the edge of the table, surveying. Then he'd duck back down and the next thing you'd see is a questing paw come up over the edge of the table trying to snag a piece of chicken.
About the only one who totally dominated Tiger was his mom, Feathers. She wasn't as big as he was, but she could rock him back on his haunches with a quick slap or two on his nose with her paw. Chagrinned, he would glance around to see if anyone was watching such humiliation.
Even though he was fixed, he still demanded to get out of the house once in a while and would disappear for a week or two, returning fatter and sassier than ever.
Bigamist. He had another family.
The years rolled by. Misty passed away from old age and Feathers and Tiger went around the house for weeks, crying for their old friend. Tiger spent more and more time away from the house until he made the decision to stay with his other family. Feathers became the only queen in the house.
She took her position as her proper due.
She followed the sun throughout the house during the day, starting in the master bedroom in the morning (and complaining loudly on cloudy days). Evenings, as soon as we sat down for dinner we would hear the thump overhead as Feathers jumped down from our bed and came downstairs for her worship, sitting quietly by either my or Eric's chair until we gave a piece from our plate.
Earlier this year, Feathers went deaf. It didn't seem to bother her, as her eyes and nose were still keen and it meant she never missed dinner time. Then it got harder and harder for her to get up and down the stairs, so we moved food and litter box upstairs so she could just stay on the second floor. She would sleep on our bed or curl up underneath my desk as I wrote.
And she would still loudly complain on cloudy days.
She stopped eating her kibbles a month ago. Eric and I tempted her with canned food, something she had rarely eaten in the past. She took to sitting next to the bed, staring, and we realized then she needed help getting up on it and she was making her wishes known as she always did, with a royal gesture.
We indulged the dowager.
She was losing weight, walking ever more gingerly, sleeping so soundly I'd catch my breath watching to see if she was breathing at all.
I got up the morning of Christmas eve and couldn't find her. She wasn't upstairs.
Memories must have motivated her to challenge the stairs. I found her curled under the Christmas tree, a favorite spot of years past. She barely moved. I picked up her and she curled in my arms, eyes bright and opened her mouth to meow.
Only a small sigh escaped.
We were losing her. Her time had come.
I called the vet, she made room to see us that morning.
Eric and I did real good, going into the lobby, signing in. Feathers didn't even react to the cacaphony of barks, meows and people chatter. I carried her like a newborn and she just laid her head against my chest and she felt almost as light as she did the first time I carried her home.
We knew this time had been coming, but it didn't make the goodbyes easier. It didn't keep the tears from streaming down my face as we left the vet without Feathers for the last time. Eric and I sat in the car, hugging, crying, trying to tell each other that Feathers was now in a better place where deafness and hunger and cold were banished.
Feathers was gone.
Even this morning, as I slipped into my chair I automatically checked under my desk for her. Even today, I'm weeping as I finish up this post.
Yes, she was just a cat. But she had been a member of the family. A member when Jennifer was seven years old and Siobhan hadn't even been a twinkle in my eye. She had the force of her own unique personality and filled a niche in the ebb and flow of our family dynamics and stories.
Thank you, Feathers, for gracing our lives for almost 19 years.
Feathers ... January 1986 to December 2004.
December 26, 2004
Happy Boxing Day
It's the day after Christmas and, again, yet another day on my list of times I refuse to leave the house, especially for the mall. Here I sit, hair sleep mussed, slippers, my second cup of coffee and feeling quite comfy and satisfied that yesterday was a happy success.
I hope, gentle reader, you too had a wonderful day.
December 24, 2004
Yummy Wassail --
This is a family tradition that I've gotten all my office co-workers hooked on, too. It's easy, family friendly and lends itself to kickin' it up a notch as an adult beverage. The trick, as it were, is to put it into a crockpot hours ahead of time (I set it up before going to bed Christmas eve) so as it warms and the spices blend, your home is filled with the heady scent of it.
Into a crockpot put:
3 qts apple juice or cider
1 qt cranberry juice
1/2 to 1 cup sugar (to taste), stir to dissolve
1 teaspoon aromatic bitters (found in the liquor section of the market)
2 Tablespoons whole allspice
1 med to large whole orange, generously studded with whole cloves
4-5 whole cinnamon sticks
Let simmer on low overnight, or 4 hours on high
For the adults .. add a shot or two of rum to a mug before ladling in the wassail.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
December 22, 2004
Catching up ... and a story
Sheesh ... short week so every friggin' case was on calendar just to be continued. One judge is pissed that the court has to be open tomorrow (but the county offices - District Atty, Public Defender, Probation - are technically closed) he has scheduled a full pre-lim calendar because if he has to be there, so does everyone else.
We field a skelton crew tomorrow and next Thursday.
And I have a sea of boxes, a pile of wrapping paper rolls, and various ribbons and bows and no wrapping fairies have shown up to do the task. :::sigh::: guess what I'm going to be doing for the next several hours?
I'll try some catching up on this blog as I can...in the meantime, here is a funny Christmas story I got via email. Over the jump and enjoy!
This is an article submitted to a 1999 Louisville Sentinel contest to find out who had the wildest Christmas dinners. This won first prize:
Christmas With Louise
As a joke, my brother used to hang a pair of panty hose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings were overflowed, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.
One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at the Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown. If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go. You'll only confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, "What does this do? You're kidding me! Who would buy that?"
Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section. I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane during rush hour. Finding what I wanted was difficult. Love Dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for Lovable Louise. She was at the bottom of the price scale. To call Louise a doll took a huge leap of imagination.
On Christmas Eve and with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life. My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home and giggled for a couple of hours.
The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more. We all agreed that Louise should remain in her panty hose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner.
My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door.
"What the hell is that?" she asked.
My brother quickly explained, "It's a doll."
"Who would play with something like that?" Granny snapped.
I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut.
"Where are her clothes?" Granny continued.
"Boy, that turkey sure smells nice Gran" Jay said, to steer her into the dining room. But Granny was relentless. "Why doesn't she have any teeth?"
Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, "Hang on Granny, hang on!"
My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, "Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?"
I told him she was Jay's friend. A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.
The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the pantyhose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants. Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.
It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.
Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health!
December 21, 2004
There are bodies downstairs ...
I have no idea how much energy is going to last me today. Yesterday was Heather's work's Christmas party and she had asked if she could have a "few friends" from work here after it ended.
I said 'yes.' Eric said 'sure.'
I keep forgetting these twenty-somethings are on a different time-clock from husband and me. We awoke around 2 am and there was a full party going on downstairs. It didn't start winding down until about 4 am.
So, here it is, a little after 6 am ... I'm getting ready for work, Eric left for his work (he has the killer commute) about 30 minutes ago and the remaining youngin's were munching on Del Taco and starting to sack out wherever they are comfortable ... couch, chair, floor.
I think I'll try and catch at nap at lunchtime.
December 19, 2004
Time's tip to GW and blogs
Rathergate (aka Killian Memo Affair) is what lit the blogsphere on fire. From Powerline to Charles Johnson to Bill's INDC Journal and their thousands of readers who hit the ground running to gather evidence and expertise, the power of widespread, grassroots, almost instantaneous communication that allowed for the pooling of information and almost simultaneous vetting of it garnered so much attention the Mainstream Media could not longer ignore it (even as they still try to dismiss it.)
Congratulations to all of you!
Of course, this GW and Powerline thing does not sit well with you-know-who. At dKos the usual Bu$Hitler schtick has been rolled out, and over at Moonbat Central - aka democraticunderground - they are taking exception to Time's stating GW won the election (they live in an altered state where Kerry has won).
Moonbats? Go to Canada already.
December 18, 2004
Peeved at PC
I'm sure by now you all have heard of the gruesome story of the woman who was murdered and her baby was cut out of her body and stolen. Thank God the murderer left a trail of clues that the authorities were able to track in such a timely manner and the baby was rescued alive and in apparently good health.
What annoyed me about much of the media reporting was they couldn't bring themselves to use the word "baby". It was "Amber Alert for Fetus" and later "Fetus Found Alive."
Sorry, guys, but when a "fetus" is eight-months term and now outside of mom's body ... it is a BABY.
What, have you becomed so cowed by the histrionics from the NOW and NARAL crowd you can't even utter the word "baby" in these gruesome circumstances??
The mind doth boggle.
UPDATE: Sara (in the comments) believes it is 'rightwing' media that is using the term fetus while the 'leftwing' media uses baby.
Washington Post today - Fetus
CNN just changed the article headline to "baby", but if you hover over the link you'll see the article is saved as 'fetus.found.alive'
Los Angeles Times -- 'baby'
NYTimes -- 'baby'
Kansas City Star -- 'fetus'
I've also noticed that many of the newsites I had visited yesterday, had almost universally used 'fetus'... but their stories today are using 'baby' and old articles have updated headlines. I had first just gone to google news with 'stinnett' in the search term. Then I used 'stinnett, fetus' and even while the link used 'fetus' the headlines on the linked articles had been changed to 'baby.'
Notice above I never used 'right' or 'left' wing to describe the media that was using the term 'fetus' because both sides in the spectrum are just as liable to use Politically Correct terms.
December 17, 2004
And lo, they came home from school
and saw that Christmas vacation had begun and they rejoiced. Behold the rolling of eyes and pursing of lips of the parents who are of the knowledge that such rejoicing will, like wine into vinegar, soon turn to lamentations "We are bored."
Yes, gentle reader, I hear your pain. I will not rub it in that my children are almost all grown, but I had many years of gradeschoolers bouncing off the walls during Christmas (in no small part from mainlining sugar). And as the end of the year draws near, 'tis the Season of Lists. What you'll find over the jump is my own personal recommendations of family films that both kids and adults can enjoy (I once got stuck into taking the girls to a Care Bears movie and it's a wonder I held myself together and therefore not sent to state prison for 15 years). Take the opportunity of making some memories as a family of piling on the couch and floor in front of the tv with popcorn and drinks and watching some shows you ALL can enjoy.
Ten Recommendations for families with little kids (no particular order)
1. Mary Poppins
2. Wizard of Oz
3. Dark Crystal
4. Miracle on 34th Street (original)
5. Bishop's Wife (original)
6. Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
7. Brave Little Toaster
8. The Black Stallion
9. Little Women (1994)
10. Toy Story
I could easily list more. What would you recommend?
'The usual platoon of annoying pettifoggers'
With every story I read on yet another petty, mean-spirited Grinch banning Christmas trees/candy/carols/greetings the less I want to write a persuasive argument -- I just want to slap 'em silly!
So, I'll just let Charles Krauthammer pick up the verbal slapdown -- Just Leave Christmas Alone
It is Christmastime, and what would Christmas be without the usual platoon of annoying pettifoggers rising annually to strip Christmas of any Christian content? With some success:
School districts in New Jersey and Florida ban Christmas carols. The mayor of Somerville, Mass., apologizes for "mistakenly" referring to the town's "holiday party" as a "Christmas party." The Broward and Fashion malls in South Florida put up a Hanukah menorah but no nativity scene. The manager of one of the malls explains: Hanukah commemorates a battle and not a religious event, though he hastens to add, "I really don't know a lot about it." He does not. Hanukah commemorates a miracle, and there is no event more "religious" than a miracle.
The attempts to de-Christianize Christmas are as absurd as they are relentless. The United States today is the most tolerant and diverse society in history. It celebrates all faiths with an open heart and open-mindedness that, compared to even the most advanced countries in Europe, are unique.
Some Americans get angry at parents who want to ban carols because they tremble that their kids might feel "different" and "uncomfortable" should they, God forbid, hear Christian music sung at their school. I feel pity. What kind of fragile religious identity have they bequeathed their children that it should be threatened by exposure to carols?
I'm struck by the fact that you almost never find Orthodox Jews complaining about a Christmas creche in the public square. That is because their children, steeped in the richness of their own religious tradition, know who they are and are not threatened by Christians celebrating their religion in public. They are enlarged by it.
America transcended the idea of mere toleration in 1790 in Washington's letter to the Newport synagogue, one of the lesser known glories of the Founding: "It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights."
More than two centuries later, it is time that members of religious (and anti-religious) minorities, as full citizens of this miraculous republic, transcend something too: petty defensiveness.
Merry Christmas. To all.
Good news - tree worshippers have been banned
... at Pasco County, FL buildings. Skyward realm knows who might be offended by such obviously pagan religiousity
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Pasco County (search) officials have banned Christmas trees from public buildings after their county attorney decided they were religious symbols. ...
The last of the Christmas trees was removed Wednesday, said Dan Johnson, assistant county administrator for Public Services. Trees in "semiprivate" areas, such as personal offices, were allowed to remain.
What? You thought Christians worshipped trees? Obviously, since they don't, this must be aimed at Druids, right? Right?
Goody! Maybe the food police ...
Can leave Americans alone for a bit and go harass the Scottish.
PARIS (AFP) - The deep-fried Mars bar, a nutritionist's nightmare that surfaced in Scotland about a decade ago, is now an established part of the Scottish culinary scene, according to a letter published in The Lancet.
Dipped in batter and then cooked in hot oil, the Mars bar is now on sale in more than a fifth of Scotland's 627 fish-and-chip shops, it says.
The Los Angeles County Fair has its share of stands offering deep-fried Snickers Bars, but that's five weeks out of the year and, well, going to the fair means it is mandatory to eat things you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Personally I don't like much in the way of fried foods anyways, so my food sin is the homemade fudge.
Seems fondue is making a comeback and that 70's fad has now migrated to restaurants ... all that cheese, oil, and rich sauces. Nutrionists must be close to nervous breakdowns.
December 16, 2004
Compare - contrast
FALLUJAH, Iraq (Dec. 2, 2004) -- "You’re still here, don’t forget that. Tell your kids, your grandkids, what Sgt. Peralta did for you and the other Marines today."
The word came, and we started what we had done since the operation began – clear the city of insurgents, building by building.
As an attachment to the unit, I had been placed as the third man in a six-man group, or what Marines call a 'stack.' Two stacks of Marines were used to clear a house. Moving quickly from the third house to the fourth, our order in the stack changed. I found Sgt. Rafael Peralta in my spot, so I fell in behind him as we moved toward the house.
A Mexican-American who lived in San Diego, Peralta earned his citizenship after he joined the Marine Corps. He was a platoon scout, which meant he could have stayed back in safety while the squads of 1st Platoon went into the danger filled streets, but he was constantly asking to help out by giving them an extra Marine. I learned by speaking with him and other Marines the night before that he frequently put his safety, reputation and career on the line for the needs and morale of the junior Marines around him.
When we reached the fourth house, we breached the gate and swiftly approached the building. The first Marine in the stack kicked in the front door, revealing a locked door to their front and another at the right.
Kicking in the doors simultaneously, one stack filed swiftly into the room to the front as the other group of Marines darted off to the right.
"Clear!" screamed the Marines in one of the rooms followed only seconds later by another shout of "clear!" from the second room. One word told us all we wanted to know about the rooms: there was no one in there to shoot at us.
We found that the two rooms were adjoined and we had another closed door in front of us. We spread ourselves throughout the rooms to avoid a cluster going through the next door.
Two Marines stacked to the left of the door as Peralta, rifle in hand, tested the handle. I watched from the middle, slightly off to the right of the room as the handle turned with ease.
Ready to rush into the rear part of the house, Peralta threw open the door.
‘POP! POP! POP!’ Multiple bursts of cap-gun-like sounding AK-47 fire rang throughout the house.
Three insurgents with AK-47s were waiting for us behind the door.
Peralta was hit several times in his upper torso and face at point-blank range by the fully-automatic 7.62mm weapons employed by three terrorists.
Mortally wounded, he jumped into the already cleared, adjoining room, giving the rest of us a clear line of fire through the doorway to the rear of the house.
We opened fire, adding the bangs of M-16A2 service rifles, and the deafening, rolling cracks of a Squad Automatic Weapon, or “SAW,” to the already nerve-racking sound of the AKs. One Marine was shot through the forearm and continued to fire at the enemy.
I fired until Marines closer to the door began to maneuver into better firing positions, blocking my line of fire. Not being an infantryman, I watched to see what those with more extensive training were doing.
I saw four Marines firing from the adjoining room when a yellow, foreign-made, oval-shaped grenade bounced into the room, rolling to a stop close to Peralta’s nearly lifeless body.
In an act living up to the heroes of the Marine Corps’ past, such as Medal of Honor recipients Pfc. James LaBelle and Lance Cpl. Richard Anderson, Peralta – in his last fleeting moments of consciousness- reached out and pulled the grenade into his body. LaBelle fought on Iwo Jima and Anderson in Vietnam, both died saving their fellow Marines by smothering the blast of enemy grenades.
Peralta did the same for all of us in those rooms.
I watched in fear and horror as the other four Marines scrambled to the corners of the room and the majority of the blast was absorbed by Peralta’s now lifeless body. His selflessness left four other Marines with only minor injuries from smaller fragments of the grenade.
There is nothing I can add to express the mixture of awe, pride and sorrow I felt reading about Sgt. Peralta's last act of love for his fellow Marines.
However, in contrast is the attempt by an "anti-war" group to support the deserter Pablo Paredes. Smash has been following and posting of the antics of the indecent Paredes for a while now. And while Pablo, himself, is still whining from whatever spiderhole he's hiding in, Smash presents some letters that give a background that Pablo doesn't want you to know.
This bothers me ...
As I do from time to time, I scroll through the Yahoo slide shows, which feature mostly Reuters and AP photos.
I came back to these three, by the same AP photographer, Bilal Hussein.
From left to right, the first two are supposed "insurgents" who kidnapped and then executed an Italian civilian. The right picture is captioned thusly:
Insurgents, using small arms and mortars, launch an attack on U.S. forces in Fallujah, Iraq (news - web sites), in this Nov. 8, 2004 file photo.
I have trouble with how cozy this AP photographer is with the terrorists. I realize he's a Hussein from Fallujah so his own personal feelings and associations may be on display here, but did the Associated Press, which has been around since 1848, employ Nazis to get photos showing attacks on the Allies and the execution of Jews? If not, why? Or why do they do it now?
December 15, 2004
In praise of Christmas tradition
Michele writes both longingly about her wishes for what a family tree-trimming should be like and about how her family falls short of her dreams. She concludes, though, that the day has become a family tradition and she's not sure she'd trade it or give it up to someone else's tradition.
As we've become more modern, hip and sophisticated, we have tended to downplay or dismiss the importance of tradition and ritual in our lives. We've lost touch with the ebb and flow of life at its most basic. Our ancestors, by want of modern conveniences, were part of the seasonal change of the world around them, taking cues from the cyclical changes to mark them with celebration and ritual. Whatever else may happen, the time of planting and growing and harvesting would still come around.
As parents, we learn early the value of ritual to the sense of security our children experience. A set bedtime, a routine of washing face, brushing teeth, pjs, favorite blankey, bedtime story.
So it is with Christmas traditions and expressions. Whatever traditions you establish doesn't matter as much as actually having some tradition, some sort of continuity in one's life.
Dennis Prager even makes the argument that traditions have a societal benefit.
We have lost an appreciation for the monumental significance of public ritual in maintaining our national identity and values. We have also greatly overstated the ability of feelings to be maintained without public expression of those feelings.
As much as we make fun of the neighborhoods that get ... well... a little crazy, it's more than a little sad at this time of year to go down streets where only a handful of homes have any lights at all. Dennis makes the analogy:
Ask your wife if she would feel equally loved and appreciated if you never gave her a card or gift on her birthday, your wedding anniversary or Mother's Day. After all, if you really believe that feelings need not be manifested in any formal, ritualistic way, why bother with a card or gift on her birthday? Presumably you love her just as much on that day as any other, so why engage in card waving?
The reason is that for the vast majority of people, their birthday is a significant day, and its significance should be publicly manifested and even celebrated, not just internally felt.
So if you haven't put out any lights yet, there's still time! White or colored, a string or two around the door or draped along the fence will lend a festive and celebratory air to your neighborhood, engender a few smiles and help continue a tradition that, if only for a short time each year, we really try to be civil with one another.
Carnival of the Vanities #117 is up at The Pryhills. Loads of offerings, some in fun and some very very serious.
December 14, 2004
I have a hard time believing people of good will, who know the facts involved, cannot fathom the danger of Islamism. The ideology is theocratic fascism -- gynophobic, anti-democratic, anti-individual -- and every sermon, every writing, every seminar held points to this fact.
Read that flier at the link (if it has been "disappeared", Charles Johnson has saved a screenshot.) What is it about the establishment of worldwide Islam, with no other religion/ideology allowed that Leftist apologists for Islamofascism continue to ignore?
More later, but in the meantime have a look at the comments in the last two posts. Hunter offers up a plethora of information that Islamist apologists continue to deliberately ignore.
December 13, 2004
I've noted before the unholy alliance between Leftists like A.N.S.W.E.R. and Islamist organizations. No "anti-war" march would be complete without the Islamists called for the annihilation of Israel and the Leftists apologizing for them saying they are just "venting" because as we all know Israel is at fault for the trouble in the Middle East. If only Israel wouldn't [antagonize, humiliate, 'oppress'] poor "Palestinians", then all would be butterflies, kittens and balloons throughout the world.
Of course, I don't think the Islamist who was sawing off Theo Van Gogh's head in the middle of the street as he screamed was thinking about "poor Palestinians." I don't think the Islamists thwarted in their effort to blow up Amsterdam's redlight district were thinking about the Israeli "violations of non-Jew rights."
Blaming Israel for the attacks against them is like blaming a woman for being raped. Though, for Islamists, that is the "logic" of their ideology. Women are to blame when they are attacked by males. Women are not even really people in Islamist theocracies. The Islamist male is so scared of females, and especially female sexuality, they set up ever more elaborate ways to subjugate half their population into property -- mere sperm-receiving vessels. Azar Nafisi's memoir Reading Lolita in Tehran is a poignant and chilling read on the devolution of a modern society into the worst aspects of the 6th century. And illustrative of this woman-hating ideology and its effect on women in it can be found with this account
Sexual harassment doesn’t happen to modest proper young women; it happens to girls who are asking for it. Provoking it. Being provocative. Covering yourself up completely is an indication that you do not welcome such advances.
“The chador protects women from harm,” reads a massive mural on the sidewall of a state building. On it is a painting of a woman covered in a black veil, the chador, with heavenly light covering her face and surrounding her, white doves circling her. ...
I’m walking down Enqelab Street, covered from head to toe in the black chador. Both of my hands are preoccupied in trying to hold it and keep it from falling. I have no shape inside it; I’m just a black blob. Black makes you invisible: a part of space, a lack of matter. That’s why the chador is black. ...
I am walking, wrapped inside the protective blackness of invisibility. A man walking past me ‘accidentally’ hits me in the chest with his elbow. A few minutes later, another man walking by commits the same ‘accident.’ Trying to convince myself of the accidental nature of these occurrences while I stop to buy some green lettuce, I suddenly feel grabbed from behind.
This is the barbaric culture we are told we must accomodate? That we must turn our backs on Israel in order to keep them happy?
[hattip to Fay who posted the link here]
December 12, 2004
When anti-Israel = anti-Semite
I am happy to add That Liberal Media to my blogroll. I was particularly interested in this post where Brian Crouch thoroughly fisks an article by Rick Steves for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Can we fight terrorism constructively? Which basically ignores the basis of terrorism and indulges in the usual blame America and Israel mendacity.
What happens in the post's comments is interesting. A poster by the handle of "Tom Murphy" pretty much lets it all hang out. He lays the blame for 9/11 squarely at the feet of American support of Israel. He claims that when the rights of "non-Jews in Israel" are so violated, what can we expect? For "Tom" Israel, not the Arabs, are the transgressors. Israel is the villain and the Arabs are the victims. He ignores and twists history to suit his dogma.
Is Israel perfect? A utopia? No. But to be Churchillian, it is a damn sight better than the countries around it dedicated to its annihiliation.
There comes a time when such Israel-hating rhetoric as "Tom" spews needs to be called for what it is. A figleaf for anti-Semitism.
As Natan Sharansky so movingly wrote in November 2003
Obviously, the state of Israel cannot be the cause of a phenomenon that predates it by over 2,000 years. But might it be properly regarded as the cause of contemporary anti-Semitism? What is certain is that, everywhere one looks, the Jewish state does appear to be at the center of the anti-Semitic storm--and nowhere more so, of course, than in the Middle East.
The rise in viciously anti-Semitic content disseminated through state-run Arab media is quite staggering, and has been thoroughly documented. Arab propagandists, journalists, and scholars now regularly employ the methods and the vocabulary used to demonize European Jews for centuries--calling Jews Christ-killers, charging them with poisoning non-Jews, fabricating blood libels, and the like. In a region where the Christian faith has few adherents, a lurid and time-worn Christian anti-Semitism boasts an enormous following.
The centrality of Israel to the revival of a more generalized anti-Semitism is also evident in the international arena. Almost a year after the current round of Palestinian violence began, and after hundreds of Israelis had already been killed in buses, discos and pizzerias, a so-called World Conference against Racism was held under the auspices of the United Nations in Durban, South Africa. It turned into an anti-Semitic circus, with the Jewish state being accused of everything from racism and apartheid to crimes against humanity and genocide. In this theater of the absurd, the Jews themselves were turned into perpetrators of anti-Semitism, as Israel was denounced for its "Zionist practices against Semitism"--the Semitism, that is to say, of the Palestinian Arabs.
Naturally, then, in searching for the "root cause" of anti-Semitism, the Jewish state would appear to be the prime suspect. But Israel, it should be clear, is not guilty. The Jewish state is no more the cause of anti-Semitism today than the absence of a Jewish state was its cause a century ago.
To see why, we must first appreciate that the always specious line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism has now become completely blurred: Israel has effectively become the world's Jew. From Middle Eastern mosques, the bloodcurdling cry is not "Death to the Israelis," but "Death to the Jews." In more civilized circles, a columnist for the London Observer proudly announces that he does not read published letters in support of Israel that are signed by Jews. (That the complaints commission for the British press found nothing amiss in this statement only goes to show how far things have changed since Orwell wrote of Britain in 1945 that "it is not at present possible, indeed, that anti-Semitism should become respectable.") When discussion at fashionable European dinner parties turns to the Middle East, the air, we have been reliably informed, turns blue with old-fashioned anti-Semitism.
I don't expect to change the minds of the "Tom Murphy" ilk. However, I will bear witness, whenever wherever I can, that such Jew-hatred and support of Judenrein motives as operate in the Middle East and elsewheres will not go unchallenged.
Starting Sunday ...
The Christmas tree is up and decorated, sitting pristine and beautiful in its own corner of the livingroom ... the rest of the house is a disaster.
And I'm going to have another cup o'coffee before I even think about doing anything about it.
Yvonne writes a hilarious piece about "sauce policy" at MickeyD's. Extra sauce will be charged for? God lord, just another reason why I won't go there.
BEIJING (Reuters) - China will soon host the finals of the country's first beauty contest in which every contestant has gone under the knife.Ewwww.
Twenty "man-made" beauties will parade their surgical nips and tucks next Saturday in the hope of taking home the country's first Miss Artificial Beauty crown.
In a "Ya think?" moment -- when members of Congress are squabbling about a highly classified intelligence program, the best way of handling it is to go public with detail OF the program!
Some current and former government officials expressed concern that the disclosure of the existence of the highly classified program might be harmful to national security. They said Congressional Republicans were questioning whether the public hints first dropped by four Senate Democrats opposed to the program, including John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, might have represented a violation of Congressional rules.And Dems wonder why a majority of Americans don't trust Democrats on matters of national security.
Then there's the Dems in serious need of psychological help.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Clifford Arnebeck won't let it go. He can't let it go. Not, he says, while America refuses to recognize that John F. Kerry was elected president Nov. 2.Does Ohio have the equivalent of California's 5150?
Arnebeck, a Democratic lawyer here and co-chairman of a self-styled national populist alliance, is petitioning the state's highest court to throw out official results that favor President Bush and instead hand Ohio's 20 electoral votes — and thus the White House — to Kerry. Or, at least, order a revote.
Oh...and poor misunderstood, not-so-bad guy Saddam is on a hunger strike
"We have reliable information that Saddam Hussein and 11 other prisoners began a hunger strike on Friday to protest ill-treatment," Badiaa Aref Ezzat, the Iraqi lawyer of former deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz, said.Hmmm.. I bet the ill treatment has something to do with Saddam's not getting a golden throne in his cell, or being able to pick out at random which females he gets to rape and murder. The ICRC should get right on these blatant violations.
Personally, I think US guards should be outside his cell munching on BBQ ribs and pork chops and washing it down with beer. But that would be humiliation of an Islamist, which is an even worse crime than terrorists sawing off the heads of American and Jewish hostages.
December 11, 2004
I hate colds -- and other ramblings
I never seem to get a good night's sleep, which leaves me a bit cranky [crankier?] when waking. Not to mention at 4 am our smoke alarm went off. That was disorienting and unnerving. Checked over the whole house, into the attic space ... nothing.
Time for new smoke detector.
And I'm gearing up for a day of chores starting with hunting down a Christmas tree. I cannot bring myself to buy a fake one. I love the smell of a Noble fir and that creative challenge each year in finding one just the right size and shape and then decorating it.
So here's some links with reading I'll get back to:
LA Times predictably runs an opinion whine from someone who got pulled out for questioning entitled "Guilty of 'Flying While Muslim'". Sheesh, get over yourself already. If it were Beserker Baptists who were running around the world blowing up buses of school children, flying planes into skyscrapers and beheading people on video tape while screaming "God is Great" and demanding a worldwide Baptist theocracy, I'd damned well hope random Baptists would be under much more scrutiny at airports. Too bad this dad didn't take time to explain it to his twelve year old.
An Illinois school district has ordered school bus drivers to turn off the radio, least the screaming kiddies hear evil Christmas music.
Arafat is still dead and conspiracy theories about it just went up a notch as PLO Foreign Minister Kadoumi is spewing oout that it was Israel and the United States who "poisoned Arafat." This is right up there with the Islamist male paranoia about shaking a Jewish hand and having his penis disappear. My bet is still that Arafat died of AIDS. Too bad there isn't a courageous French medical staff member to leak the real story. [hattip LGF]
Is ill-treatment torture? I just don't see anything in this Guardian story that justifies the headline. I mean, how about if I a wrote a story with the headline "Female Secretaries Complain about on going Rape and Humiliation" and then the body of the story contained complaints about obnoxious men who asked for dates too many times, slapped them on the tush or cornered them in an intimidating manner.
Am I the only one that worries about this bastardization of the language? If we call humilitating behavior "torture", what are we going to call real torture? You know, like slowing sawing a civilian's head off? Just where are the crowds of "human rights activists" protesting outside of Islamists mosques demanding an end to that...er... really real torture?
December 10, 2004
Well, just haul me off to jail
More total idiocy from the usual suspects:
SEATTLE -- In a victory for rebellious teenagers everywhere, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a mother violated Washington's privacy act by eavesdropping on her daughter's phone conversation. ...
The mother, however, was unrepentant.
"It's ridiculous! Kids have more rights than parents these days," said mom Carmen Dixon, 47, of Friday Harbor. "My daughter was out of control, and that was the only way I could get information and keep track of her. I did it all the time."
The Supreme Court ruled that Dixon's testimony against a friend of her daughter should not have been admitted in court because it was based on the intercepted conversation. The justices unanimously ordered a new trial for Oliver Christensen, who had been convicted of second-degree robbery in part due to Dixon's testimony. ...
"I don't think the state should be in the position of encouraging parents to act surreptitiously and eavesdrop on their children," agreed attorney Douglas Klunder, who filed a brief supporting Christensen on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union.
AND the attorney for the purse-snatching boyfriend was heard this morning talking about how the mom, Carmen Dixon, was the one that should be in jail.
Minors have no right to privacy in their parents' home. Period. Parents have the obligation to monitor their kids... including snooping when they find it necessary, be it reading diaries, putting spyware on their kids computers, or eavesdropping on their kids conversations. I've done it, I've recommended it and I'd still do it regardless of maleficence of the ACLU.
This decision and the total sh*t being spewed by the ACLU and this thug's attorney is just more of the same of anti-family, anti-parent...hell, ANTI-WESTERN philosophy.
Wow ... I don't know how I missed it
I just saw the Ford Mustang ad featuring Steve McQueen. Yeah, he's been dead for 24 years, but there he is, walking out of a corn field in a jacket and turtle neck, his eyes as blue as the sky behind him. He catches the keys the farmer tosses at him, slips behind the wheel of the Mustang and speeds off ...
Evidently, there has been buzz about this ad for almost two months. I'm torn about using images of long gone people for ads ... I remember Humphrey Bogart's image in something, but I can't recall the product.
But McQueen was cool and after Bullitt he was tied to Mustangs. I do like the ad, I have to admit. One of the cars I learned to drive on was a 65 Mustang Coupe, and for a few years I owned my mom's 72 Mach I. God how I hated to sell THAT car.
Heather has a nice shiney silver Mustang. :::sigh::: She actually lets me drive it now and then.
December 09, 2004
Let it not be said that I'm a flirt (or tease) for discussing boobies while offering up nothing more than an illustration ...
Ahem ..... across the jump is some pictorial evidence, so to speak.
(I'm probably going to hell for this, but what did Mark Twain say? "Heaven for the weather, hell for the company"?)
Christmas Party December 2003 --
Husband Eric and me
On a more serious note
No man is an island, Pablo. Your actions will have consequences far beyond what you intended. Did you think about that? Is all of this really worth screwing over your fellow sailors? Are you really so self-absorbed? What part of "One Team, One Fight" did you not understand?
As Smash ends his open letter, it really is about being a man, not just a male. Pablo has chosen not to be a man.
"Man" is a title earned. Some earn it early, some never do.
hattip to my always-first-read-of-the-morning, Jeff Harrell
Oh, cool, as always I'm the last one to get the cold my family has been so generous to pass around. And I can't take the day off because my partner is off this week... So here I sit, with a handful of Vit C and a cup o'coffee with no more - ahem - weightier thought on my mind than boobs.
I was at the gym at lunch yesterday (yea! second week and I'm still with it!) and noticed this woman from the day before. I really don't know how anyone could not notice her. She was petite, probably all of 5'1" or 5'2" wearing tight exercise pants that more resembled cycler pants, bare midriff and two layered cropped sports tops. She had the very deep and even tan of a tanning bed, with long dark hair with an expensive weave pulled up with various clips. Her makeup was expertly applied. In street clothes she probably wore a size 0 jeans; however, it appeared she was working out after she had shoved two casaba melons into those sports bras. Come on! Some sort of physics was being defied as she was working out with free weights and wasn't toppling forward. She could do the backstroke in the gym pool and never worry about drowning.
Exotic dancer or trophy wife, some surgeon somewhere made a nice tidy sum on those tits.
As a woman who has always been on the plus side of the boob column since 6th grade (and who, at 5'8" spent jr. high years knowing that any boy who talked to me never knew the color of my eyes) I really don't understand why any woman would purposely pay to put herself so out of proportion (oooo...almost an alliteration!). Sure it draws attention and definitely the attention of men and that brings up another question.
Why do many of you guys like the fake ones? I mean, you know they're fake ... they don't look or move like the real ones. As Jack Lemmon said in Some Like It Hot "It's gotta be jelly, 'cause jam don't move like that." Or my husband, a 'natural' advocate, has explained his taste in typical electronics geek fashion pointing out there is a mathematical formula that exactly predicts the oscilation rate of a natural boob wobble.
Natural or fake? Proportional or Jessica Rabbit?
December 08, 2004
Carnival of the Vanities #116
What I love about the COTV is the opportunity to read new blogs as well as catch up with some great writing I may have missed.
Do check it out! (and yes, your hostess has an entry, too!)
December 07, 2004
Racism at Yale - a sophmore confesses
I think what saddens me most about the author of this piece is here we have a young woman raised in a society where every opportunity is open to her, where she finds herself in a privileged position at a historic university and she then so easily and enthusiastically wraps herself in "acceptable" racism. Right from the start, she parrots the rank personal dismissiveness of sixties' dogma and slogans.
Is Condoleezza Rice really a black woman?Gloria Steinem, uber feminist, was once asked her opinion of the appointment of Jeanne Kirkpatrick as the first woman ambassador to the United Nations. Ms. Steinem's response "Who said she was a woman?"
While she may appear on the outside to share the color and therefore sentiments of black people ...
Dayo engages in the same stale gender-feminist rhetoric. When "the personal is the political" then the authenticity of a person is solely dependant on their belief system and whether or not it hews to the proper Leftist orthodoxy.
This Leftist orthodoxy has long turned racism on its head. Simply put, racism is the belief that a person's melanin level is indicative of their talents, morals and ethics. This base form of collectivism works both inward and outward. The German who believes that belonging to the same "race" as Beethoven gives him a natural advantage in music is as racist as the "white" person who believes all blacks are "shiftless."
Ironically, Leftists are promiscuous with their charges of racism against others while maintaining that, indeed, melanin level is indicative of talents, morals, ethics and, most importantly, politics.
The Republican agenda has not and likely will not take the interests of blacks in America to heart.An unsubstantiated charge to start a paragraph breathless in its generalities, Dayo neither details the policies she finds in the disinterest of blacks nor contrasts those with policies she would prefer. It is enough for her to ring the Pavlovian "Republican agenda" bell and link it to
The criminal justice system, public schools based on property tax, and economic and social barriers to health care, home ownership, and higher education ...so all correct thinking collectivists will nod in wise agreement. "Ah! Republican agenda. Bar the door, Sally, the Klan will be riding tonight!"
the fact remains that Republicans offer little more than lip service, and in a fresh tactic, face service, to blacks today.No, Dayo. That is not a fact. It may be your opinion but when you cannot source it, you cannot use the word "fact." It certainly weakens your "argument" even further when statistics show, for instance, that home ownership has never been higher among blacks and it continues to grow even at an increase in rate higher than that for whites.
It is yet another Leftist orthodoxy that non-Leftists do not merely disagree on policy, or have different means to achieve worthy goals; such non-Leftists have ulterior motives and evil goals. They do not care about minorities, Dayo charges. They do not care about children or the elderly or the sick. Protestations from non-Leftists, be they libertarians or conservatives, that they do, indeed, care but disagree with Leftist prescriptions falls on ideologically deafened ears. For Leftists, people are incapable of taking care of themselves and anyone that suggests differently is merely "talking in code" and is really advocating the oppression, or worse, of said people. For Leftists, the government is the only way of achieving "egalitarianism." (Leaving aside for now that that is even a worthy goal)
As fundamentalist as any Iranian mullah issuing a fatwa against a person "insulting" Islam, Leftists are context-phobic. If person "A" has no health insurance, if person "B" is homeless, if child "C" falls asleep in school and gets bad grades ... it is the fault of non-Leftists in the government. In a particularly vicious Leftist rhetorical tactic, as government has made policy concessions to Leftists, any individual achievement that occurs in the same time frame, regardless of context, is beholden to such policy --
As mentioned on a recent edition of CNN's "Crossfire," Gonzales' remarkable success story was likely aided by policy with unmistakable and historic Democratic backing. Ideas like Pell grants, literacy education, Head Start and affirmative action undoubtedly contributed to Gonzales' success. To a lesser extent, the good Dr. Rice may also have made it where she is as a direct result of these policies. But oh, how quick these minority defectors are to jump onto the Republican bandwagon, neatly pulling the ladder up after them.It would be helpful if Dayo recognized that handing someone a hammer doesn't make him or her an architect.
Just as people from impoverished backgrounds succeed there are people from privileged backgrounds who crash and burn. A Leftist dictator (almost a redundant phrase) could tomorrow make all education, housing, medical care, food, clothing, et al, free and it would solve little. Because the major factor in success or failure is individual responsibility. Tools, be they hammers, Pell Grants, GI bill, loans, et al, only contribute to success for people who are already committed to success. How did children learn to read before pre-schools and Head Start? How did immigrant kids learn English before bi-lingual education?
And isn't it a little fishy that Condi, clearly past her expiration date in terms of international knowledge, is still the leader of U.S. foreign policy?Ah, the hubris of youth! Youngsters are fully engaged in thinking that they are the nadir of contemporary knowledge and culture. There isn't a teenager alive who is not shaken upon realization that their parents still have sex. Dayo clearly exhibits the same mindset -- that somehow Dr. Rice is a like a moth trapped in amber, a 50 year-old suspended in time who has never read a book, done research, attended a conference, consulted with experts since she left grad school. Never mind that Russia is still a world player, they are just so yesterday, kind of like The Beatles and nehru jackets.
didn't slip when I referred to dear Condi as a right-hand man.Back to reactionary gender-feminism, delegitimize a woman's feminity because of your perception of her unacceptable politics.
Her blank-eyed compliance with W's first term misogynist agenda.And there's that Pavlovian bell again! Not only are Republicans women haters, they have a women-hating agenda! Examples? Dayo offers nary a one. All us orthodox Leftists don't need anything so old-fashioned as cites. We feel Republicans are women haters and that is enough.
We won't see the woman part of this secretary of state ... the booming voice, crazy hair ... we will find, lurking beneath the cold, shiny Condi mask, a tiny, angry white man,Is this the Leftist orthodox's equivalent of female genital mutilation? Comply with our politics or we strip you of being a woman?
Is it any wonder that the Left is enamored of, and apologists for, Islamism?
as a black woman with no interest in posing as anything butAND that is exactly what Dayo is doing -- POSING. She has internalized each Leftist orthodox tenet of what a "proper" black female needs to be to be consider "authentic" within the church. She wiggles with delight in being able to attack the apostate, Dr. Rice. She marshalls her considerable vocabulary to scrawl emotional graffiti little different than the writings on a cultist hideout wall. What she hasn't done is be herself, where her melanin content is as relevant to her thinking and being as her eye color or her shoe size.
However, she is young and I suspect not of little intelligence. I have a small hope for a future epiphany on her part -- maybe scenario where she is in the midst of an interview for a job she really really wants and as she proudly shows off her newly minted Yale degree the interviewer frowns slightly and looks Dayo directly in the eye and says "You know, this is nice. But we interviewed a Yale graduate earlier today with the same resume and degree. He's a Japanese boy, so I think we know he earned his degree." And in that moment, Dayo realizes she, herself, in her devotion to her Leftist orthodoxy, has contributed to that evaluation of her "success."
crossposted at tacitus.org
Racism at Yale ... who knew?
Late last night I ran across an article that I have to take my time in writing about. I know it's kind of a "dog bites man" to see yet another article where the author is actually proud of her racism but she pretties up her language so well and she's so young that I feel I really need to go through it point by point. I'm almost at a "tsk tsk" moment that someone with obvious brains has let herself be willingly shackled to the shibboleth of "the personal is the political" by professors who have never grown out of the sixties.
I ran across that article at Power Line where a reader writes about what I can only call the Sovietization of the American University system.
Oops... maybe that's the wrong analogy ... Dayo would sneer at anything so "rusty" ... So how about the mullahocracy that controls the classroom?
The reader at Power Line found the article fisked by Jamie Kirchick (a non-leftist gay man at Yale... who lets himself in for quite a few brickbats with that.
December 06, 2004
What this gal needs is a good, hard ...
It's late ... I'm getting sleepy and I'm waiting until daughter gets home from work (it's a mom thing). I don't usually read The Dowd because I gave up brittle, worthless cotton candy years ago. But careless clicking on the NYTimes site brought up her column and one line popped out that made sense, in a strange and sad way.
I've never said this out loud before, but I can't stand Christmas.Of course, she can't even own her own animosity. In typical uber liberal fashion, her stress is the fault of her mother and sister who love the holiday. And it's the fault of yuppies who buy too much.
Then Pan-dowdy gets to the heart of why other people are to blame for her wanting to target practice on the ornaments on her neighbors tree ...
I think of all the money I've spent on lavishing boyfriends with presents over the years, guys who are now living with other women who are enjoying my lovingly picked out presents which I'm no doubt still paying for in credit card interest charges.Poor girl, she still doesn't get it about men ... or from them, either, as the case may be.
And what would her column be without a gratuitous political snark
So now, on top of all the stress related to having a president and vice president who scared us to death about terrorists to get re-electedNaw, no terrorists here! All a made up fairy tale just to stampede the sheep.
Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg could not be reached for comment.
Yeah ... it's other people's fault .. her family, her ex-boyfriends, hell, even the President of the United States ... that Maurose is so sad and lonely.
That's the ticket.
Newsflash -- Arafat is still dead
Psychologists are standing by with emergency therapy for distraught moonbats.
Spirit of America -- and the left is MIA
I've been getting this charity's newsletters from their beginning. They started small and in direct response to the need to cut through redtape and get needed things to Iraqi people. Everything from medical supplies to sewing machines.
Now is Spirit of America's Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge. People are being asked to donate in the name of individual blogs or as part of teams. So far over $45,000 dollars have been raised and in the individual category, Charles Johnson's LGF leads the challenge with over $10,000 donated! Way to go LGFers!
Read down the list and see what is missing by glaring omission.
Where are the lefty blogs? Where are the people who paint any one to the right of Michael al-Moore as "fascist"? Weren't we treated to months of unquestioned statements about the "hard-hearted, miserly rightwingers?"
Could it be the name of the charity that puts lefties off their Caramel Macchiato? A little too patrio...er, jingoistic for them? Or maybe because the charity was started by a [horrors] business man and it actually has military personnel helping distribute the goods? Or is it because the lefties just refuse to get behind any effort that might reflect nicely on America (since they'd really rather be in more enlightened France, Belguim or Sweden).
Actually, what we see a lot of these days is the big-mouthed, small-brained breed of leftious pomposisaurus. They maintain they "gave at the office" but would rather cheat to win a free and fun poll. [Kevin at Wizbang throws a fun party and was gracious enough to send out invites to the prone to ill-manners lefty blogs and how do they behave? By pissing in the punchbowl.]
KosKiddies brag they are part of the largest "blog community" but cannot scrape even a dollar towards a real measure of blogger community spirit.
Yeah ... Lefties as penurious diddlers ... what.a.shock.
December 05, 2004
And I'm pissed off enough ...
... I just went ahead and opened my own store with the "Get over it" sentiment I proposed in my last post.
I have no idea if anyone will see it or buy it, but hell, it made me feel good (and gave hubby a great chuckle.)
Pathetically pitiful people
I'm moving slow this morning, gentle reader. I have my fuzzy slippers on, first cup o'coffee in hand, hair sleep-mussed enough to scare small children. Time was when I'd heft an 8 lb. Sunday LA Times onto the dining table and section it out to peruse at a leisurely pace, letting the kidlets ooo-aah over the funnies and slick advertisments for every toy imaginable to add to their Christmas wish list. Now, I boot the 'puter and start surfing around from newsites to fave bloggers having no idea what might inspire me (I don't miss fingers blackened by newsprint, but I've learned the hard way what spilled coffee does to keyboards).
This morning as I visited Glenn Reynolds I took a moment to look at the blogads on the site. The fifth one down is advertising "Anti-Bush Gifts and Gear" and for a moment I paused thinking someone erred by forgetting to cancel the marketing of pre-election stuff, since the ad links to BeatBushGear.com.
But, noooooo. The animated ad makes it clear that the BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) is alive and well and taking credit cards.
At the site, one is treated to a plethora of proud Bushate ...
- 51% is not a mandate
- He's still not my president
- The Smart 48%
- Asses of Evil (GW, Cheney and Rumsfeld)
Well, I have something to say to anti-Bushites ... rant alert
Fuck you. Fuck your anti-Bush gear and the hack it rode in on. I don't usually swear, I was brought up in a different era, but you fucking crybaby spoiled asswipes have gotten on my last nerve. What, it's now 30 days past the election and you've got your foilhats reinforced (gads, I should buy some extra shares of Reynolds)? What in Satan's buttfucking, firelicking, nightmares of hell name is rattling around in the sucking blackhole between your ears? It ain't reality, that's for sure.
I've taken some entertainment value from your psychotic breaks, I admit it. I find it hilarious that so many of your numbnutz are seeking professional therapy to deal with a regularly scheduled political event. Weren't you the glue-sniffers that swore GW would never let the election happen in the first place? Aren't you the conspiracy obsessed tweakers that alternately blame GW or Jews for 9/11 when you aren't blaming Halliburton?
This election not only happened, it happened under the microscope of international observers and a GOP/GW hostile "Mainstream Media."
Jesusland? Jesus-freaks? Rednecks? Stupid? God knows how much I want to take a huge clue bat to your insufferably bigotted self-important twits who so blindly and dogmatically think only YOU have "The Truth" (cue sound of trumpets). The sixties are OVER. The personal is NOT the political. Being an "authentic" Black, Hispanic, Woman, et al, is NOT dependent on one's political views. There comes a time when the slogan "question authority" is no longer about factchecking but about self-destruction.
This election wasn't about "your message" not being clear. It was about 51% of the people hearing YOU HAVE NO MESSAGE outside of the old hackneyed phrases redolent of the anti-Americanism of the Vietnam era. No amount of shirt-rending, ass-kissing, teeth gnashing, ulullating self-hatred has made America "more loved" or "popular" with those dedicated anti-Westerners abroad, whether they simper in the salons of France or are beheading hostages in Iraq. The UN is not a road to anything any longer but is a cesspool of delight for dictators and their syphocants. They are the problem, NOT the solution.
And, finally, if you can't come to grips with your fellow Americans who voted for Bush, if you can't accept him as President, if you only want to wallow in self-pity and nurture your hatred for all those aspects of America and American culture you might find 50 feet outside of downtown NYC, LA or Frisco ...
Leave. Just get the fuck out and don't let the door hit you on the ass.
ALHS Band update
Note all pics are thumbnails, please click for larger image. Pics are from Heather's digital. Hubby's film pics have to be developed and scanned.
It took hubby and I about two hours to drive to Mira Mesa HS in San Diego. We had driven down the 15 freeway, into and out of rainstorms, keeping fingers crossed we'd find sunshine at our destination.
We did. Dark clouds were still in evidence, but the streets were drying. We slipped on heavy coats (our thin California blood deems the 50's *freezing* weather). I grabbed a stadium blanket for the metal bleachers and hubby toted his trusty Canon SLR camera. The air was crisp and the breeze off the ocean not too strong. The front of MMHS is a wide expanse of grass and pine trees and knots of young band members were scattered across it, playing snippets of music, practicing moves, tucking stray hairs under caps, listening to band directors. Waves of sound washed over us as we walked into the school ... the high breathiness of flutes, the pulse of drumlines, the brightness of brass. The excitement and tenseness that radiated off these kids physically overwhelmed me.
We paid for our tickets for the 3A division, spread the blanket and waited.
Field shows are choreographed even in how the bands enter and exit. When the announcer gives the band the permission to "Enter the field" a band has four minutes to get into place...including all props and pit equipment. This is where booster parents earn their stripes. They have to hustle the stuff into place and be off the field by the time the announcer says "The judges are ready."
Shows are to be between 7 and 11 minutes in length. No more, no less.
Siobhan's school, Alta Loma HS, was 4th in the program, stepping off at 2:15. They had a musically challenging show, music of Leonard Bernstein. And as Heather observed (she and Jenn also came to watch), this was some "hardcore" conducting by Siobhan, with lots of time changes.
Ten schools competed in the division. During a break after the 5th band, hubby and I slipped out to a local coffee shop to sit in comfy chairs and warm up with hot chocolate.
All the bands we saw had great shows. It was going to be a tough competition.
Prior to the awards you look across the field into the bleachers where the band members sit. They are laughing and doing call and response cheers with their competitors. Then comes the time where all the drum majors with the drumline and guard leaders gather at the end of the field while the judges meet with the band directors to give them the score sheets. A moment of final pagentry as the Drum Major groups are introduced and they march down the 50 yard line to stand and salute the audience.
Finally, the time came. Alta Loma placed 4th. I know at first the band was disappointed. They had put on a difficult show and performed beautifully. The score spread between 1st place (Santa Margarita Catholic HS) and 4th was only two points. And as with any subjective competition, one judge had put ALHS second and another had placed them sixth (this judge, it is reported, had a particular distaste for Bernstein music). However, their initial disappointment would give way, to the congrats and hugs from parents and friends ...
and a few words of "you was robbed" by members of other bands who watched!
Nothing like that peer reinforcement.
Of course, I figure that the MMHS announcer of the event was, or had been, a band parent. He acknowledged something we all knew (and chuckles and nods of agreement rippled through the audience) ... come Sunday these kids no longer had any excuse not to clean their rooms.
December 04, 2004
The fall of the ICRC
Cox and Forkum visually capture the situation of a politically corrupted International Committee of the Red Cross. As the editorial at Opinion Journal states:
Once upon a time, the International Committee of the Red Cross was a humanitarian outfit doing the Lord's work to reduce the horrors of war. So it is a special tragedy to see that it has increasingly become an ideological organization unable to distinguish between good guys and bad.
That's the unfortunate conclusion suggested by three years of open ICRC hostility toward U.S. conduct in the war on terror. The latest salvo was Tuesday's front page story in the New York Times quoting from an ICRC report complaining about the detention conditions and interrogation practices used on Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The POW concept is certainly a great humanitarian advance, since the slaughter of captured enemies used to be routine and since it provides some incentive to fair battlefield conduct. But it is a concept in jeopardy thanks to its ostensible guardians at the ICRC. By demanding POW status for un-uniformed combatants who target civilians--in contravention of the plain language of the Geneva Conventions--the ICRC started the fight over Guantanamo by attempting to remove one of the few carrots we have to encourage humane behavior in war.
Now it goes further and demands that these combatants get even more privileges than legitimate POWs.
Do read the whole thing. Also understand that the ICRC has refused for years to accept Israel's Magen David Adom and has refused to take seriously the reports of that Red Crescent ambulances have been used by Palestinian terrorists to transport arms and terrorists.
I did good. I finally put all my excuses aside and went back to working out at lunch time during the week. I went Thursday and Friday and plan on trying to do it all next week.
I refuse to waddle at Christmas and I figure it is best not to wait until the New Years to get back in the groove.
I'm a bit sore, but I figure that is a good thing.
I've invited Y to join me. She's in the midst of arranging childcare for her cutie.
I figure confessing to you all here will keep me on the straight and narrow. God knows I need it!
Conflicted feelings for this Band Mom
In a few hours we'll be down in San Diego at the So. Cal championships. Siobhan's band is one of ten competing in the 3A division. They have worked sooo hard to get to this point. They came in second last year, losing first place by less than one whole point and it looks like, again, they'll be going head to head with the high school that came in first last year. I'm really looking forward to the show.
And I know I'm going to cry, too. Because this ends a long chapter in my life. My eldest daughter, Jenn, turns 26 in January and she was the first of the girls to start learning a musical instrument -- the flute in the third grade. Then Erin started alto sax, Heather clarinet and Siobhan flute. All the girls had piano lessons (though it was Jenn that stuck with them the longest). Jenn also plays piccolo and guitar. Siobhan started playing tenor sax in high school and was section leader before becoming Drum Major this year. Heather was Drum Major of her Jr High band and her high school band.
This is the last competition of twelve years of high school band shows for all my girls. When I was a full-time mom I also was very active in Band Boosters ... traveling on the buses to help set up equipment. Writing press releases and fund raising. Running the snackbar at football games. Organizing and booking out-of-state tours (I chaperoned the year we went to Disney World).
And it's over today. This afternoon when Siobhan directs her band off the field part of my life is over. Band has been wonderful for the girls. They've learned to both excell as individuals and as leaders while realizing the wonders and rewards of team work and cooperation.
Band has been a life for them, and for me. There have been sad times, too. Jenn was a junior when a beloved member of her band finally succumbed to Hodgkins disease. About a year after that, one young man lost his older brother to a random act of violence. And there have been other deaths due to car accidents. In each, the term "Band family" saw its true expression in the face of tragedy. We all pulled together for these families, helping them as we all mourned together.
I love these kids, their enthusiasm and their quirkiness. It has tempted me, from time to time, to get a teaching certification and teach high school. Not that I think kids will actually listen to any wisdom I might try to pass their way. I'm an old fart to them. They don't realize their mantra "You don't understand! Things today are different than in your day" is something I said, and my parents said, and their parents said, back back ad nauseum. Teaching teens is really delayed gratification because whatever seeds you place in them will not sprout until long after they've left high school.
The last show of my youngest child. What will I do next fall?
Hmmmm.... the twins will be 3 ... how soon can I start them on piano lessons???
December 03, 2004
What's in a name?
Note: I wrote this earlier today, but could not post it due to (as I just said) f**king, a**wipes Adelphia
We all know them or heard of them -- people with names that make us pause. Sometimes it's the juxtaposition of the name with the person's career or we wonder what the heck their parents were thinking.
I once worked with a Mary Lamb. A friend of mine went to school with twin girls named Candi and Cookie Jarr -- and it would be a shame if they didn't become strippers in Vegas.
At my work I'm exposed to hundreds of names and it provides for some great comic relief. There's the criminal with the last name of Law contrasting with the Sheriff's Deputy Outlaw. Or how about a gal with the unfortunate name Penny Cash? Spot the really unimaginative parents who tagged their kids as Adam Adams, Richard Richardson and Shirlee Shirley (don't call me ...).
Which brings me to the laugh of the day. Here are the real first and middle names of four sisters that came across my desk yesterday ...
- Conciousness Omega
- Unity Oneness
- Reality Maru
- Spirit Salome
Can we all guess what era (or what planet) their parents live in??
ARGH!! @#%#!! Adelphia
I love cable modem except when my provider, Adelphia, has an issue with actually WORKING!
For us, it went out sometime last night and just now came back up.
I really wanna swear a blue streak ...
December 02, 2004
Until later today. I'm not coming home for lunch, I'm going ...
To the gym
I've realized I'm paying for a membership that I haven't used in months and I really feel (and see!) the difference. Argh. And the habit of going on a regular basis is sooo easy to break and drop.
In the meantime, if you haven't seen these moonbats take a look. I only link to them now as the guy, James, who developed the site was on Michael Medveds show yesterday. Distilled, his idea on why Kerry and the Democrats lost had not a damned thing to do with their message but with the people who didn't see it their way. For James, if people were properly educated and the Main Stream Media properly covered the issues, people would easily have voted for the Democratic message. The EU's get it, so the problem with those Jesusland inhabitants is their own refusal to see The Truth.
Yep. Looking at James gallery, I really see the intellectual creme de la creme of Leftist intellectsia.
Thank you, guys ... Keep thinking it was how your message was presented instead of the message itself. I see a filibuster proof Senate in 2006.
I'll be back later!
December 01, 2004
Someone tell me why ...
... so-called "Palestinians" are such darlings of most EU's and the Left? Egyption terrorist Arafat is finally dead, his piggish widow off the world stage and there just might be an opportunity for "moderate" Arab-Pals to change the course of the dealthcult their "culture" has become. However, this story about allowing a convicted murderer serving life for his murders run for "Palestinian President" and his popularity illustrates, yet again, that morality depravity of "Palestinian" politics.
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Jailed Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti declared his candidacy for president Wednesday, a stunning last-minute reversal that shook up Palestinian politics ahead of the Jan. 9 vote for Yasser Arafat's replacement.
Adding to the uncertainty, the militant group Hamas said it would boycott the election. It was the first sign of open divisions between the interim Palestinian leadership and the Islamic opposition group since Arafat's death Nov. 11. ...
Cheered by supporters who shouted "With our blood and souls, we will redeem you, Marwan," Barghouti's wife, Fadwa, dropped off his registration documents at the Palestinian election headquarters ahead of a midnight deadline. "I officially registered Marwan," she told reporters. Earlier, the campaign paid a $3,000 deposit, associates said.
The cheers are familiar ... they signal yet another group of Islamists poised to use terror to get their way.
Wow. Let's give these people a country!
Magpies and whores
Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but if every kiss begins with a bauble from Kay, then you're either dating, or married to, a whore.I'd rather the ads not run quite so much ... I can't even read the tagline without hearing the jingle in my head (which ranks right up there with It's A Small World in the annoyance factor) ... I don't think the ads, either from Kay or the Diamond Council are trying to get men to fork over $$$ for grasping women who won't put out unless a piece of ice is the latest offering laid at the altar on the end of the bed.
Now while Marilyn sang about diamonds being a girl's best friend, the ads are aimed at couples either just about to get married or long term couples celebrating an anniversary.
And, let's face it, they are playing to a male audience that abhors shopping. Most men would rather be stuck in the middle of Oprah's audience during a series devoted to difficult pregnancies and labor gone wrong then having to brave the mall and buy a gift for the special woman in their life. How much easier to swing into a story filled with sparkly stuff and not worry about sizes, fabric, fashion or a bored teener salesclerk with tattoos and a nose ring who only got the job for the holidays because she finds her parents one step more boring than the waiting on you.
May I make a suggestion about gift giving, especially between couples?
Just plain talk to each other. Guys, you may indeed find your lady is a magpie, dazzled and ecstatic when receiving bright, shiny things she can wear. But if your lady has not taken the last gift of jewelry out of the box since last Christmas, ask her what she'd prefer. Some women are just not into jewelry, some just have no opportunities to wear the good stuff. Maybe what makes her heart skip a beat is the table saw aisle at Home Depot.
AND WOMEN? When your guy asks you what you prefer, give him an answer! Grandma may have told you it was impolite to ask for things, but when you say "Oh, Honey! Whatever you get me, I'll love it" -- That.Is.A.Lie. What did Grandma say about lying?
Picking out gifts for others is never going to be fraught-free, but we shouldn't go out of our way to make it difficult by trying to channel Carnak the Magnificent.
That said, a couple of words about Christmas whores (regardless of gender). You'll recognize them from jr. or sr. high school. The girl who bugs the crap out of her boyfriend to spring for a gift way beyond his budget only to breakup with him on New Year's Eve. The guy who picks a fight with his girlfriend at Thanksgiving so he won't have to buy her any present.
Unfortunately, this game playing follows a lot of people into adulthood ... its just the coveted gifts get bigger. When the person you've been sleeping with for six months starts asking for a piece of real estate ........