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May 31, 2005

Excuse our regularly scheduled prattling

while we indulge in some shameless bragging.

First off, it looks like The Cotillion has had a spectacular debut. The inestimable Michelle Malkin and the always lovely K.J. Lopez of NRO's The Corner have taken notice, and Beth has received an email telling her were we even mentioned on CNN's Inside Politics.


Early on I tossed my garter into the ring to host one of The Cotillion dances, so stay tuned as we figure out the details.

On another note, I've been having a great deal of fun reading and participating at the fiction blog, 100 Words or Les.... As a lifelong theater geek, doing improv was always one of my favorite activities and I look to the daily theme word/pic as the written fiction counterpart. Today I was happily surprised my entry was promoted from the comments to the frontpage!

They liked me! They really liked me!!

Posted by Darleen at 06:04 PM | Comments (1)

The Cotillion

You may have noticed last week a new blog category on my side bar ... The Cotillion I was honored to be asked to join by Beth at My Vast Rightwing Conspiracy. She, along with Jody at Steal the Bandwagon and Janette at Common Sense Runs Wild have decided to showcase the Women of the Blogsphere that sometimes get lost in the shuffle of BoysClub.

Today was the inauguration of The Cotillion and I hope you check out what the sisters have to say between sips of iced sweet tea and finger sandwiches, here, here, and here.

Pay no attention to the silver flasks in the thigh high garters or what they pour into that iced sweet tea.

Posted by Darleen at 04:26 PM | Comments (2)

May 30, 2005

Memorial Day 2005

A Girl Scout places flags at Los Angeles National Cemetary - AP Photo

"Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is the least to be cheap and is never free of cost."

-Robert A. Heinlein

Posted by Darleen at 11:53 AM | Comments (1)

May 28, 2005

California jurisprudence meets Oliver Stone

I know I shouldn't really be gleeful, but this just tickles me.

Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone was arrested on suspicion of drug possession and driving while intoxicated, police said Saturday. Stone, 58, was arrested Friday night at a police checkpoint on Sunset Boulevard after showing signs of alcohol intoxication, police Sgt. John Edmundson said. A search of his Mercedes turned up drugs, Edmundson said. He did not specify what kind, but Lt. Micaela Garland said police confiscated pills that were being analyzed at a lab.

Stone was released Saturday morning after posting $15,000 bail.

Well, he won't be sitting in jail all weekend waiting for a video arraignment on Wednesday morning. The privilege of $$$ still holds. HOWEVER
In 1999, the filmmaker pleaded guilty to drug possession and no contest to driving under the influence and was ordered into a rehabilitation program.
If this arrest shows a BAC over CA's limit of 0.08, then Stone is going to do 45 days county jail -- mandatory for a second DUI, as part of his sentencing. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Of course, he will might be serving it on weekends, or even might qualify (per Probation) to home electronic monitoring, but 45 days are his.

I'm amused that the someone that can cough up a $15,000 bail bond on a moment's notice didn't have the brains to be either in a limo or taxi if he was high and needed to get from here to there.

Posted by Darleen at 09:36 PM | Comments (3)

Saturday morning musings ...

By two o'clock yesterday I could have rollerbladed up and down the hallways outside the courtrooms. The judges, like everyone else, wanted out early at the start of the Memorial Day weekend so they pretty much cleared their calendars for the afternoon.

Of course, I15 out of the So. Cal basin was bumper-to-bumper for the all points desert ... river rats, Vegas bound ... I'm just hoping like hell most of the partiers stay out that way because my in-custody paperwork is bad enough after a long weekend, let alone the one that officially kicks off the summer season. Sheesh, let the Needles DA office handle this stuff!

This morning is soft and gray, typical LA basin June gloom a few days early. I've got my flag out, we are going to meet with our realtor in a couple of hours and later I have grad annoucements to mail and yet more paperwork for Frisco State U to fill out.

The last several mornings I've been having fun with a site I just added to my blogroll, 100 words or Les Nesman. Each day the host puts a one-word theme or a photograph and challenges the regular contributers and commenters to write a piece of fiction around the theme with the proviso that it is exactly 100 words. I am delighted to see how varied all the stories are and across several genres even within the same theme. Yesterday's issue was a bit different, it was actually to write specifically within the sci-fi genre (but nada to anything to do with aliens). Again, the stories ranged wide.

Personally, I've always been more attracted to character-driven sci-fi rather than tech-driven. I'll take Heinlein's Time Enough for Love over Delany's Dhalgren in a heartbeat.

Zenna Henderson. Does anybody read her anymore? I got to thinking about her with the death of Eddie Albert, who had starred in Escape to Witch Mountain. Henderson's name is no where to be found in the credits, but many have pointed out the film so closely resembles her books that anyone at all familiar with The People would easily believe the film is based on her work.

Tucked away, I still have the paperbacks of her work I bought in the 70's, now yellowed but still beloved. The short stories have great depth and dignity in their simplicity. The characters are alien but accessible, with all the yearnings, flaws and honor of the humans they resemble and yet, these people are ones you'd love to meet, to live with, to swap stories with. This year a full collection of her work was published. I've just ordered it and look forward to being reacquainted with her definitive style.

No, she's not Samuel Delany. But then I prefer Shaker or Mission-style furniture rather than Baroque.

Posted by Darleen at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

May 27, 2005

CA state Sen. McClintock - comedy gold

I grit my teeth some mornings when I'm subjected to the whiney-ass ads on the radio from the 800-pound gorilla, as known as the California Teachers Association. They are absolutely incensed that Gov Schwarzenegger does not properly genuflect in their direction each morning. Zero tolerance, abysmal scores, students brawling and the shopworn cry of the CTA is "Gimme more money! Gimme gimmee gimme!"

Standing ovation to Tom McClintock for finding the humor in the CTA's surly histrionics.

The multimillion-dollar campaign paid by starving teachers unions has finally placed our sadly neglected schools at the center of the budget debate.

Across California, children are bringing home notes warning of dire consequences if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's scorched-earth budget is approved -- a budget that slashes Proposition 98 public-school spending from $42.2 billion this year all the way down to $44.7 billion next year.

That should be proof enough that our math programs are suffering.

As a public-school parent, I have given this crisis a great deal of thought and have a modest suggestion to help weather these dark days.

Maybe -- as a temporary measure only -- we should spend our school dollars on our schools. I realize that this is a radical departure from current practice, but desperate times require desperate measures.

I'm almost sorry my youngest graduates high school June 10th. I'll be out of the immediate loop for k-12 debacles to relate.

However, she's going to be attending San Francisco State University. Fertile blogging ground, I'm sure.

hattip Justin at Classical Values

Posted by Darleen at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)

'Ten reasons not to kill Bush'

Interesting column from Oregon student Jennifer McBride

Recently in Georgia, the president gave a speech only to have someone chuck a hand grenade at him. Lucky for all, the blast cap did not explode. Though originally thought to be a dud, the FBI later revealed the weapon was far from safe.

I can't possibly guess the assassin's reasoning, but I've heard enough people on campus proclaiming their hatred of George W. Bush to know that some wouldn't have shed many tears.

Miss McBride brings up, from her self-proclaimed liberal POV, reasons for leftists to cool their jets and stop advocating assassination. I find it amazing that such a column even needs to be written. Her column (do read the whole thing) is fairly well reasoned, though I wonder why, on earth, she makes the moral argument against assassination her LAST point.

hattip Michael Medved

Posted by Darleen at 01:28 PM | Comments (1)

May 26, 2005

'Orders must be obeyed at any cost'

Just when I think it's just the USA in the grip of PC bureaucracy -- the kind that sucks common sense out of the very air with a deafening sound -- I read of things like the plight of John Booth of England, a modest, hardworking business man who has run afoul of Britain's own Disability Rights Commission (DRC). Irony, too, is that Mr. Booth is disabled himself. He runs a "caravan site" (American translation: RV camping site) and a wheelchair-bound couple had a snit fit because he couldn't book them in April, instead he offered booking them in June. Enter the DRC, who dismissed in total all of Mr. Booth's explanations of delay

[The DRC] wrote to Booth warning him that, following a complaint from the couple, he would be taken to court unless he made a formal apology and gave them £2,000 in compensation for ‘the injury to their feelings they have suffered caused by your discriminatory behaviour’. Booth was understandably outraged by this monetary demand, given that the actual cost for a two-week stay at the site is only £120. The DRC had therefore ordered him to pay the couple more than 15 times the sum he would have received from their booking.
Of course, besides the monetary hit the DRC was imposing on Mr. Booth, they demanded he take a "Disability Awareness Training" class and provide proof to the commission.
As a disabled man himself, Booth found the mixture of threats, indoctrination and extortion intolerable. ‘It was nothing more than emotional and financial blackmail. I felt so robbed, so bullied,’
Sue 'em? His own lawyer told him it would be a losing proposition. The power, time and money was with the system, not a disabled business owner at the mercy of the Easily.Offended.

These petty dictators grow and flourish like the mold under a leaky sink.

One of the greatest crimes of modern Britain is to fail to show full obeisance to the doctrine of equality. John Booth has led an honourable business life, but now, because of the new culture of rights and victimhood, he has been fined a four-figure sum.
Mr. Booth now thinks of quitting his business after finding himself shackled, silenced and fined for the the crime of being a business owner. Then there will be no camping, for either the abled or disabled.

But "equality" has never been what people like those of the DRC are really after.

Posted by Darleen at 06:31 PM | Comments (0)

Amnesty International: not just morally bankrupt

The increasingly shrill and mendacious Amnesty International moves into the realm of moral evil.

Amnesty International branded the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay a human rights failure Wednesday, calling it "the gulag of our time" as it released a report that offers stinging criticism of the United States and its detention centers around the world.
I'm aghast, even if I'm not surprised. Organizations such as AI, ICRC and "A"CLU have moved themselves squarely into the Leftist cult camp and for them the United States and Israel must be defeated.

Why do I label the gulag charge, "evil"? Let me start by asking if someone tells you today, "I was raped", how do you react? Does the word horrify you or is your first reaction to wonder and ask, "What do you mean?"

At one point, we knew what "rape" was and were properly horrified by the penultimate act of personal violation the word represented. But after decades of listening to gender-feminists dilute the word, to twist it into a political charge that could mean anything from hearing a dirty joke to morningafter regret, the word has lost its power.

Gulag has a specific definition. More importantly, it was a singular and hideous institution of the Soviet Union. Click through these pictures. Peruse some of the history here.

"Guantanamo has become the gulag of our time," Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan said.
I dare that simpering, sanctimonious, arrogant bitch to face Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and repeat that.

Posted by Darleen at 12:31 PM | Comments (1)

May 25, 2005

... or are you just happy to see me? Part Deux

Stamford, Conn

A former Stamford police officer has been sentenced to 20 days in jail for lewd conduct involving a toy banana. Arthur Bertana, 63, was ordered to serve a 4 1/2 year prison term suspended after 20 days and one year of probation.

Bertana, who had been on probation for lewd conduct in Stamford more than four years ago, was arrested in March after police said he placed a toy banana in his pants and flashed people on a main Greenwich Ave.

Police said he would place a shopping bag in front of his pants, exposing a bulge to women in a sexually offensive manner.

"It was a yellow, plush, child's toy banana," Sgt. Roger Petrone Jr. said at the time of Bertana's arrest. "It had a smiley face on it."

Posted by Darleen at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

Can we now stop pretending that the far-Left

... is anything but rabidly Un-American?

This July 4th is Flag Burning Day!

July 4th has only ever symbolized the independence of the New World royalty. So on this Fourth of July we call on you to express your feelings on their “Independence Day” by burning a flag in a nationally coordinated action. Together we will show the elite that we are everywhere and that we completely reject the false principals(sic) this holiday is based on.

hattip Michelle Malkin

Oh... and let's stop pretending about the "A"CLU and yet another mendacious cartoonist:

Shat by Nick Anderson

Posted by Darleen at 12:26 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2005

... or are you just happy to see me?

Who needs to make stuff up when there's this?

The “suspicious package” that caused Interstate 75 and Daniels Parkway to be shut for more than an hour Monday was not an explosive pipe bomb — but rather wrapped-up plastic foot-long penis.

“Someone took construction-grade plastic, molded it into a penis and wrapped it with duct tape,” said Lee County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Charles Ferrante.

“They wrote ‘Happy Father’s Day’ on the duct tape.”

You gotta wonder what kind of kid gives his/her dad a foot long dildo for Father's Day.

Posted by Darleen at 10:16 PM | Comments (1)

Will the 'compromise' help or hinder ...

... the decades long move of American judiciary from a deliberative body into a legislative one? No one honestly acquainted with judicial decisions of this same period cannot but describe the judiciary as acting as a super-legislature.

How did this happen? How is this justified? As Lino A. Graglia, A. Dalton Cross Professor of Law, University of Texas, states:

The essential irrelevance of the Constitution to contemporary constitutional law should be clear enough from the fact that the great majority of Supreme Court rulings of unconstitutionality involve state, not federal, law; and nearly all of them purport to be based on a single constitutional provision, the 14th Amendment--in fact, on only four words in one sentence of the Amendment, "due process" and "equal protection." The 14th Amendment has to a large extent become a second constitution, replacing the original.

It does not require jurisprudential sophistication to realize that the justices do not decide controversial issues of social policy by studying those four words. No question of interpretation is involved in any of the court's controversial constitutional rulings, because there is nothing to interpret. The states did not lose the power to regulate abortion in 1973 in Roe v. Wade because Justice Harry Blackmun discovered in the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, the purported basis of the decision, something no one noticed before. The problem is that the Supreme Court justices have made the due process and equal protection clauses empty vessels into which they can pour any meaning. This converts the clauses into simple transferences of policy-making power from elected legislators to the justices, authorizing a court majority to remove any policy issue from the ordinary political process and assign it to themselves for decision. This fundamentally changes the system of government created by the Constitution.

Posted by Darleen at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2005

No comment necessary

Just enjoy.

Posted by Darleen at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2005

When truth is stranger than Photoshop

Via LGF comes this Newsweek cover of the Japanese edition.

A LGF reader thoughtfully translates:

The red text at the left just above the “Newsweek” logo says:

“America forsaken.”

The big white and yellow text says:

“The Day America Died — The ideal of ‘freedom’ falls to the ground due to Bush continuing in office.”

Ahhhh, what a sweet touch -- putting the word freedom in scare quotes.

It is possible one of reasons why the rest the so-called MSM is rushing to Newsweek's defense over Flushgate may have to do with why they, too, are publishing overseas out of the immediate range of American eyes?

Someone clue them in about the internet, eh?

Posted by Darleen at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

Leaving the Left - no longer abiding the simpering voices of self-styled progressives

A must read from Keith Thompson

Nightfall, Jan. 30. Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.

I'm leaving the left -- more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.

I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere -- reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.

My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom.

Welcome to the reality side, Keith. And as pointed out later in the piece, it's not just GW they hate, but anyone politically right of them, especially elected officials (it seems to stick in their craw that the unwashed masses aren't listening close enough to Leftist Revealed Truth to vote "correctly").

Keith also has his own blog, Sane Nation and his website features a Q&A exploring in depth the theme presented in his SFGate column.

hattip Michelle Malkin

Posted by Darleen at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2005

'How do they do it?' -- Some answers

Sometimes I troll the leftist blogs for snorts and giggles...then there's the vanity blog, HuffingtonPost, that brings new meaning to inanity. This morning it caught my attention when Arianna committed a blogetiquette faux pas of "hotlinking" an image off Redstate.org. And in looking over the other "bloggers" there (are you really a blogger when you offer no means of comment?) I spied Naomi Foner's little screed about the dreaded "they".

How do they explain "a culture of life" that supports the death penalty? Freedom that denies "choice"? "Free elections" in Iraq where not everyone gets to vote? An American culture that allows for prison torture and spying on its own populace? Cut backs in Social Security and health care. Compliments for vigilantes at the border. Add it up.
Naomi, doncha know, not only is a screenwriter but "has an interest in progressive politics."

Excuse me while I take a break to laugh at "progressive." Has there been a more abused euphemism for far-left causes then progressive?

I'm sure I'm one of Naomi's "Dreaded They" (DT) seeing that I would describe myself as a libertarian-leaning conservative grounded with an examined morality and appreciation of reality and history.

How do they explain "a culture of life" that supports the death penalty? Freedom that denies "choice"?

Look at her two first examples of fearful tenets of the DT -- That a "culture of life" is belied when one supports the death penality for convicted murderers AND supports the protection of unborn innocents. What does it say about her values that she supports the opposite ... allowing some of the most evil creatures among us keep what they so wantonly have taken from others, while concurrently allowing - without question, indeed without criticism or debate - the termination of innocent, nascent human life, even unto killing during birth?

It is reasonable to argue that there are flaws with the death penalty, that the appeals process is either too short/long/expensive, that reforms should be considered. There is gravitas to the argument that the DP should be either restricted to those cases in which the guilt is never in doubt or be suspended indefinitely. However, the kind of "moral absolutism" that declares state executions are not morally different from the murderer's own predations betrays the declarant's own moral ignorance or foolishness. A singular act, as in this case the taking of one human life at the hands of another, cannot be judged berift of the context in which it happens. It is context that determines the morality of singular instance. Morality demands we use our brains to render judgment. There is no morality to the statements "All killing is wrong" or "All war is wrong" because the absolutist stance precludes context and precludes judgment.

"Free elections" in Iraq where not everyone gets to vote?

Naomi dismisses the historic election in Iraq where voters defied threats against their lives, where women proudly showed off their purple fingers because "not everyone voted." She, again, refuses to consider context, where Sunni voters chose to boycott the vote. (Funny how Naomi doesn't find their "choice" a legitimate one after declaring an American woman's "choice" is sacrosanct.) Since Naomi believes the legitimacy of a vote is dependant on the percentage of voter participation, I suppose she wants Saddam back in power since he received close to 100% of the vote before liberation.

Inconvenient thing, context is, eh?

An American culture that allows for prison torture and spying on its own populace?

Naomi floats this out like a SBD flatulance event in a crowded room. Islamists videotape the slow death of sawing off an Western infidel's head while the person is screaming. "Honor" killings are tolerated in Iran and Jordan. In Saudia Arabia school girls are allowed to burn to death in a school rather than be seen outside the school with their hair showing. And American culture allows for torture? Where? When? How is this "torture" defined? What "spying" is Naomi blathering about? The survellience of Aryan supremacist groups? The tracking of criminal enterprises?

Naomi, the "progressive", ignores context yet again.

Cut backs in Social Security and health care.

Spoken like a true "progressive" who believes when reality doesn't rise as fast and far as wishful thinking, it's reality's fault.

Compliments for vigilantes at the border.

Not one, not one incident that can be remotely construed as "vigilantism" happened during the Minuteman operation in Arizona during April. They were effective in the way they said they would conduct themselves -- as a neighborhood watch operation. Where is that absolute Freedom of choice Naomi holds dear when it comes to the voluntary freedom of association of US citizens to watch for and report illegal activity?

Let's sum up Naomi's "progressive" values and views of Americans.

The "moral" perspective of "progressives," with its absolutism and its values based on the rights of the collective over the rights of the individual puts it outside the traditional values of Western Civilization and America.

Is it any wonder they tacitly support Islamists today as they supported Communists yesterday?

Posted by Darleen at 12:50 PM | Comments (5)

Saturday morning -- groveling and linkie goodness

Please forgive the spotting blogging. A myriad of stuff going on, not the least of which I've had the most horrendous of sinus headaches the last few days as the So Cal weather has warmed up and the pollen count has gone through the roof. I'm really sensitive to all sorts of medication, Benedryl knocks me out and Sudafed will have friends and co-workers looking for a net to toss over me once they peel me from the ceiling, so I'm kind of stuck with just trying to take something for pain and suffering with 'em. Then there's just my attitude lately when reading the news What? This sh*t, AGAIN?

One-Bill-Gil Cedillo is at it again in trying to get driver's licenses for illegal aliens (you'll never catch me using the PC euphemisms in order to obfuscate the fact these people are criminals). This one on the heels of his trying to have illegal aliens treated BETTER than US citizens by exempting them from having their cars impounded when they are caught driving without a license. If Cedillo wants to be the representative of illegals and NOT of US citizens, may I suggest he emigrate to Mexico. And Gil? Don't let the border gate hit you on the ass as you leave, schmuck.

Looks like the ICRC is really really upset over Saddam photos in his underwear. While it looks as if the photos might be over a year old and the source of them is unknown, the ICRC doesn't allow that to stand in the way of sniffing that the US military is to blame. Not surprising as this "neutral" group has been nurturing a grudge against the US for sometime. They are peeved that the US didn't declare the Gitmo detainees as POWs (as they clearly are not) and rail against such "torture" as having female interrogators for moslem male detainees.

Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl could not be reached for comment.

Of course, that comes on the heels of Newsweek's Flushgate. Jeff Harrell has Best.Newspaper.Photoshop.Ever on this subject. "Unholy toilet" and Bat Boy .... omigawd!

On a serious note, don't miss Victor Davis Hanson's latest on Flushgate and moslems.

There is not a necessary connection in the Middle East — or anywhere else — between the occasional appearance of technological sophistication and what we might call humanism, or the commitment to explain phenomena through reason and empiricism. We forget that far too often as we kow-tow to extremists and seek to apologize or fathom the holy protocols surrounding a religious text.

In the West, the wonder of a cell phone in some sense is the ultimate expression of a long struggle for the primacy of scientific reason, tolerance, critical consciousness, and free expression. That intellectual journey goes back to Galileo, Newton, and Socrates.
That long odyssey is not so in the world of bin Laden or an Iranian theocrat — or the ignorant who stream out of the madrassas and Friday fundamentalist harangues along the Afghan-Pakistani border. These fist-shaking, flag-burning Islamic fascists all came late to the Western tradition and now cherry-pick its technology. As classic parasites, a Zawahiri or al-Zarqawi wants Western sophisticated weapons and playthings — without the bothersome foundations that made them all possible.

VDH sums up eloquently why I have a great deal of trouble when people preach that we must respect moslems -- because they are referring to the definition of the word as in "hold in esteem" rather than the "just be cognizant of". Let me make myself clear. There is no, none, NADA, moral/ethical/cultural equivalency between Western Civilization and the world of Islamism. I refuse to pretend there is. I am not a self-loathing Leftist. As VDH also observes
Abroad, we battle Islamic fascists who hate us for our success and want to kill us with the tools of the modern world they despise. But at home, we are also at odds with our own privileged guilt-ridden aristocracy, whose very munificence has made them misunderstand why they are hated.
Yet another example of this cultural gulf can be found at The Jawa Report about an Afghan woman who angered fundie moslems when she was a "Veejay" -- first she was fired from her job, now she's been murdered.

It looks like Mary Kay Letourneau has married Villi, who she raped when he was a sixth grader. Guess she just was following the Woody Allen example of picking 'em out young and raising 'em to one's own liking.

One last note, I find it interesting that my October '04 posting on California's Three Strikes Law still attracts comment. Last one was just yesterday and I find it amusing that Karla somehow doesn't see any correlation between and drop in crime and an increase in prison population.

Posted by Darleen at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2005

Gender differences -- heard in passing

One of my attorneys -- a sharp, dedicated, passionate young woman -- was on the phone making plans for lunch. She was trying to get the person she was meeting to give her directions to the restaurant, one she had never been to before, very very slowly.

"I'm just awful at directions. Ask me which way is 'north' and nine times out of ten, I just won't know."

She was just so upfront about it I started to laugh. Do you recall the movie, Finding Nemo? With the twins over regularly, I've seen some of their fave movies over and over again. Great writing -- in a scene where dad, Marlin, is getting frantic because he's convinced they've been swimming in circles, Dorie tries to get him to "ask for directions." When he balks, her almost throw away line is "what is it about men and asking for directions?"
I admit, if I'm outside, or driving, I'm pretty good at figuring out the n/s/e/w thingy. Stick me in a building with lots of similar halls and few windows and I had better have a pocket full of breadcrumbs or someone will find me cowering and whimpering in a corner somewhere. On the other hand, my husband seems to have an internal compass and is able to n/s/e/w orient himself in almost any setting. It's uncanny.

Obviously, this trait varies from individual to individual. However, if men usually are better at the internal compass thing than women, it may go to explaining the stereotypical exchange of the Dorie variety.

Women are not expected to be good, so we, like the attorney above, have no problem admitting we can be easily lost. But is it that men feel that trail blazing is somehow encoded in their genes and each failure to lead the wagon train to the next waterhole is an aspersion on their masculine nature?

Come on, guys. Fess up. When you have been lost, what did you do? How did it make you feel? AND how would you like us, the woman at your side, react in such a situation?

Posted by Darleen at 12:29 PM | Comments (1)

May 18, 2005

Cry for Bill Moyers ...

... he is just so incensed that MSM has lost its stranglehold over the dissemination of information its own high priests feel the unwashed masses need to hear that he's totally lost it.

Of course, he couches his screed in the conspiratoral tones that the MSM is not to blame for this loss of power, but that it's nothing but a Rightwing Conspiracy hatched in the Bush White House. (cue the screaming horses)

Money line that Moyers has gone around the bend:

flag's been hijacked and turned into a logo — the trademark of a monopoly on patriotism. On those Sunday morning talk shows, official chests appear adorned with the flag as if it is the good housekeeping seal of approval. During the State of the Union, did you notice Bush and Cheney wearing the flag? How come? No administration's patriotism is ever in doubt, only its policies. And the flag bestows no immunity from error. When I see flags sprouting on official lapels, I think of the time in China when I saw Mao's little red book on every official's desk, omnipresent and unread.
Geez, understand, rubes? American flags = Communist propaganda. Pride in America and its values as expressed in the Constitution, Federalist papers, Declaration of Independence, et al, is no different than the cult of personality that led to some of the bloodiest genocidal policies of the last century and supports the contention that the individual exists at the pleasure of the collective.

Funny how Moyers lectures on and on about the "sins" of the right when he, himself (while press secretary for LBJ), is responsible for one of the most infamous political commercials in the history of American poltics -- the anti-Goldwater "Daisy" ad.

Posted by Darleen at 06:49 AM | Comments (3)

What's George smoking?

I think Lucas has a lot more stuff than pine trees growing on Skywalker Ranch.

I was 23 when SW first came out and was immediately taken with it. I saw it 14 times that first summer and read everything I could get my hands on, including every interview Lucas did. He never ... NEVER ... said anything about SW being a political parable, let alone one where America is the "evil empire." His rationale for writing SW was to give kids a fantastical world with villians and heros to hiss and cheer. His concern was by the 70's kids didn't have such movies like he had when he was a kid going to Saturday matinees and watching Westerns, etc.

Amazing how Lucas, just like he has gone back and revised his original movie, has revised his reasons for writing them in the first place.

Posted by Darleen at 06:33 AM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2005

Developing ... UPDATED

The cases that cross my desk in an never-ending flood can be depressing. The behavior of some of our fellow citizens towards others runs from small transgressions (shoplifting) to pure evil (rape/murder/child molestation). I'm almost inured to most of it (though I find anything where children are victims has never lost its emotional impact with me. These cases stay with me.)

But just before lunchtime I read a new case that really made my hair stand on end. I have to describe it in the most general terms so bear with me because it may be that it is a case of one lone nutjob, or ...

Picture a young woman going about her daily errands. She leaves a local business, crosses the parking lot to her vehicle, unlocks it and slips in, but suddenly she can't close the door. A man has slipped up the side of her vehicle and shoved a Bible into the doorjamb to prevent her from closing the door. Obviously startled, she looks at this man who has noticed her husband's dogtags hanging from her rearview mirror. He asks her if they are hers. Her apprehension grows as this man speaks with a heavy Middle-Eastern accent. She tells him they belong to her husband. He glares at her, "He has killed people in my country" and starts mumbling to her in a foreign language. She is now terrified because she can't close the door and leave and she can't exit her car without hitting him with her door. She tries to squeeze out and he suddenly chucks the Bible at her, striking her saying "You're going to need that."

She flees into a nearby business and calls the local police. They arrive, take her statement (she's shaking and crying so bad she can hardly sign the paperwork), locate and arrest the man. They cannot question him because he refuses to even say he understands his Miranda rights.

He is currently in custody and other agencies are being called in.

He obviously targeted this woman because of her connection to the US military and this happened yesterday.

Nutjob? Coincidence (with the Newsweek irresponsibility)? This is one of those cases I'm going to try and follow.

UPDATE 5:57 pm I'm sorry to say that this afternoon my issuing DDA (even after consulting with the Supervising DDA) turned down this case for prosecution. While no one doubts this military wife was scared, in the assessment of the DDA the man never made a direct enough threat to rise to a clear conviction of PC422 (criminal threat) and she didn't have any injuries from being hit by the Bible so even the minor PC242 would have a tough time being prosecuted.

I don't necessarily agree. Yes, it can be argued that he was just exercising his First Amendment right to be a total jerkoff in scaring the crap out of this woman, but personally I'd have loved to have filed at least misdemeanor charges and cause him some measure of aggravation in coming to court.

:::sigh::: Not my call.

I will take a small measure of comfort that even if this man's egregious/suspicious behavior did not rise to criminal prosecution status, I'm certainly glad he gets to spend tonight in jail and earlier today the Feds paid him a little visit. Maybe it will startle him off from harassing military personnel and their families.

Posted by Darleen at 12:28 PM | Comments (1)

The new MSM rationale

From ABC to the Today Show, Newsweek should get a pass because, doncha know, who needs proof when the story is so believable? We all know that Americans never do anything good, especially the American soldier.

There have been stories from former detainees about lack of respect for Islam on the part of guards.
There you go. Former detainees feed the moslem rumor mill of manufactured outrage against the kaffir and the "MSM" gives more credence to those would happily slit the throats of any Western reporter they could get their hands on (Daniel Pearl, anyone?) than vetting the story through channels in the US itself.

Let's also remember that moslems believe Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a "real" book and that shaking hands with Jews and other kaffir will cause a moslem's penis to disappear.

Yes, credibility just abounds in the moslem world.

Posted by Darleen at 07:28 AM | Comments (3)

May 15, 2005

'Newsweek Lied, People Died'

I can say with almost 100% certainty you won't be seeing such a sign at any Leftwing "peace march" ... regardless of the truth of it.

Of course, I don't want to let the Islamo-fascists off the hook either. They hear but a rumor of a Koran being "desecrated" and it causes riots, killings and demands that the culprits be turned over to an Islamic country or else!

Then we witness the so-called Arab "Palestinians" declaring, on the 57th anniversary of Israel's independence, their continued dedication to the annihilation of Israel and Jews.

Hamas, the largest Palestinian militant group, released a statement referring to Israel as a "cancer" and promising to continue fighting "until the liberation of the last inch of our land and the last refugee heads back to his home."
Meanwhile, all those "moderate" moslems I keep hearing about .. you know, the ones who decry the radical Islamo-fascists and their jihad ... DID turn out at the Free Muslim March Against Terror demonstration yesterday in Washington, DC.

All 50 of 'em.

I hope I never meet Ridley Scott in person. I'd slap the dhimmi silly.

Posted by Darleen at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2005

Fiction - Pacific Sunset & a Date with Death

My ex-mother-in-law was buried Friday. And it was a milestone of sorts, in ending an era where I need never deal with my ex-husband again. I've tried several times to start writing about the soap opera that is my ex, his family and my former marriage. Strangely, if we were still married, it would be our 25th anniversary on May 24th.

But, I don't think I would have survived it.

I think a good place to start is with a short story I wrote about four months into our separation. It is not really autobiographical, but it is pretty raw in showing the emotional turmoil I was going through. I've always been tempted to go back and rewrite it...smooth out the rough edges. But I back away because as it stands it shows me where I was at that time, how far I have come, and just how my ex never learned from our breakup.

Over the jump you'll find the story ...

Joy could see her own death. She sat on the edge of the bluff, knees under her chin, her bare feet resting by the heels, toes in the air. She'd wiggle her feet and small bits of the bluff would crumble and fall, tumbling and skidding over the steep drop to the sand pounded by the ocean.

The Pacific was particularly nasty today. A hurricane off Cabo San Lucas had left Southern California enduring jagged and silvered ten-foot waves lined up like rows of shark's teeth gnawing away at the beaches. Unlike the warm, caressing touch of the ocean breeze of summer, the storm driven wind punched and plucked at the thin challis skirt she wore. It whipped and slapped at her bare legs, but she ignored the stings.

Her eyes continued to follow the rocks that tumbled down into the cove. Were that her body! To stand and launch herself from the edge. A cliff diver! Legs thrusting her out into space, the wind rushing to meet her, whipping her skirt out like pennants to be welcomed by the sand below. But, no. No glorious dive for Joy. No. Like the rocks, she would tumble down the side, broken shoulder here, torn knee ligaments there. She'd go . . . what was her grandmother's expression? Ass over teacup? . . . and end up a bloody mess for someone to sickup over. And pain! Joy sighed. Such a coward about pain.

Such a coward about life.


"Larry? Are you ready yet? We have to leave in a few minutes or we'll be late," Joy leaned close to the mirror and checked her makeup. Ok.

She turned and looked back over her shoulder. Mistake. She couldn't believe how big her butt looked. She knew she shouldn't have had that piece of cake last night. Or the night before.

I might as well have just rubbed it on my thighs, she thought, that's where it all goes.

And now her last good dress was starting to fit too tight. She felt tears gather at the corners of her eyes. Not now! Not now! Joy turned her face from the traitorous reflection, left the bathroom and walked down the hall to the living room.

"Larry? Sweetheart, did you hear me? We've got to get going and . . ."

She froze just inside the doorway. The volume on the television had been turned way down. That was what fooled her. No screaming announcers, no cheering fans. Joy had let herself hope Larry was getting ready without her constantly nagging him. He sat in his chair, tee-shirt and jogging pants, bare feet crossed on top of the ottoman. She could feel the blood draining from her face as she counted, one, two, three, empty beer cans on the table. She tried to clear her throat against the gathering tightness. Larry didn't turn his head at the sound, but continued to stare at the t.v. and sip his beer.

"Larry," she grimaced as her voice squeaked. This would not do. She had to be soft, placating. "Could you please change. My parents expect us at one."

His head swiveled toward her. His eyes traveled over her, up, down, then stared into her eyes. There was no anger in his dark eyes, no boredom. There was . . . nothing. He remained silent; just continued stare. Joy fought not to squirm, and lost. Emotion finally showed in his eyes, it was satisfaction.


The sun was higher and Joy could feel its warmth on her shoulders. She raised her face from her knees. There were no tears on her skirt. Not this time. There were no tears left in her. Joy dropped her arms to her sides, letting her fingers dig into the sun warmed soil. It was dry and coarse. She scooped a handful, raising it up high, tilting her palm and letting it drift over the edge. The wind caught the lighter dust, puffing it out in a dun colored cloud. Then it was gone and she rubbed her hands together getting rid of the grit. Joy paused, arms outstretched. Whose arms were these? Slender, muscles lightly defined. The hands she recognized. Nails chipped and chewed; cuticles a mess. The wind changed direction and her skirt billowed up over her knees, settling high on her thighs. She looked down at legs she hadn't seen since college. But were they hers? Her body was like the grit, herself, the dust.


"Hi, everyone! Sorry we're late," Joy could feel her lips stretching over her teeth. She hoped it resembled a smile.

Her family crowded around her, hugging, kissing, making jokes on how she could never get anywhere on time. Joy made herself laugh right along with them.

"Sissy!" her younger brother, Ted, hugged her close, "It's so good to see you."

She heard a small snort behind her. Joy didn't have to look back, she could see in her mind's eye Larry leaned up against the doorframe, arms crossed over his chest, the corners of his mouth lifted up in derision at her family's demonstrative behavior. Ted leaned back from Joy and stared over her shoulder, "Hello, Lawrence. You wanted to say something?"

"Hello, Theodore. No, just clearing my throat," Larry came to Joy's side, "In town for long?" His smile widened, but Joy noticed it never reached his eyes.

"As a matter of fact, yes," Larry's smile slipped a notch, "Seems my boss is worried about local accounts and wants me closer to home for the time being."

"Well, that's nice," Larry grabbed Joy's hand, "Come on, let's go get something to eat. I'm starved. Talk to you later, Ted."

Larry pulled her away. Joy looked back at Ted and tried to shrug her shoulders, no big deal. They were seated at the table across from her great aunt, Judith, when Larry leaned toward her, put his hand on her knee and slid his hand up her thigh under her dress. Joy was so startled she almost dropped the fork that was halfway to her mouth. She turned to stare at him. Larry smiled and she tried to respond in kind.

"You want to know why I made that noise at your brother's greeting?" His voice was soft, like a lover's voice whispering endearments. Joy could see from the corner of her eye Judith's head nodding in approval at them. See? Ten years married and still like newly weds! "He hasn't seen you in quite a while, and there's now so much more of you to see! Get it?" His hand tightened on her thigh, grabbing a fold of flesh between his thumb and index finger. Joy felt blood rushing to her face in humiliation and opened her mouth to protest. Larry pinched harder and started to twist. Joy clamped her mouth shut and he eased up.

She recognized the routine, this was just a variation on a theme. "Just a joke, sweetheart. Just a joke." He let go, leaning forward to brush her lips with his, "Can't you take a joke? I thought you prided yourself on your sense of humor." Larry got up and smiled down at her, his voice now loud enough for others at the table to hear, "Are you sure I can't get you anything, honey? How about some dessert? No?" Joy could only shake her head, not trusting her voice. Larry turned and left the room, humming happily to himself.

Her cheeks burned. She pressed her legs together, a dull pain where Larry had pinched her. She tried to lift the fork to her mouth, hoping the mundane act of eating would calm the seething emotions that threatened to boil over. She couldn't make a scene. But the fork was too heavy. And Joy knew she wouldn't be able to swallow past the huge lump in her throat. She gently set the fork down and dropped her hands into her lap where, out of sight of others, they attacked her napkin.

A hand on her shoulder and she almost fell out of her seat. It was Ted. He slid into the chair next to her, put his hand under her chin and turned her face towards his. "Sissy," he began, "Joy. Tell me what's wrong."

Her eyes widened. Automatically she smiled, mask firmly in place, "Ted, everything is fine."

"Bull. You act all bright and bubbly but you jump like a frightened rabbit when I touch you. Lawrence is wandering through this family soiree smiling and glad-handing everyone. Never a good sign."

"You've never liked Larry."

"Don't you dare go all defensive. I'm so tired of all this damn pretending! You're walking around under a cloud but won't say anything to anyone. Everyone else is waiting around for you to open up. In the meantime, they play your game. I see it more because I've been away. Joy! You've got to talk to me, let me help you. You deserve to be happy."

"Joy!" Larry was suddenly next to her, his voice in that not-to-be-denied tone.

She jumped up as if yanked by strings, and stared in mute horror as a hundred tiny bits of shredded napkin drifted off her lap in a gentle cloud.


Joy had no concept of the passage of time. She lay on her back, her eyes closed against the sun, unmindful of the dirt smudging her thin, white blouse. Her mind was on the waiting sand below. She opened her eyes a slit. The sky was a bright shimmery blue. It was a bottomless pool above her. God, couldn't she fall that way?

Her body was separate, alien, and the earth pulled at it. It yanked at the shoulder blades and elbows. It pulled at the back of her legs and heels. Joy wanted to soar. To be free. To leave the heaviness on her chest behind. One hand crept away from her and dangled over the edge.

When? Now? No, not yet. The air was sweet and the sun was warm. Joy felt herself drifting off to sleep.


Joy reached up and rubbed her cheeks. Her face hurt from having to spend the evening falsely smiling at everyone while keeping her distance from Larry. It was almost a relief to be at home. His attentiveness at the party belied the fact that for the past six months they had slept in the same bed, but never touched. She had even taken to changing in the guest room, ashamed of her body.

Could she blame Larry for rejecting her? She finished slipping on her nightgown, smoothing down the front and adjusting the sleeves. She turned to leave when the door crashed open, the doorknob denting the wall. Larry stood in the doorway dressed in his pajama bottoms, swaying, eyes narrowed and bloodshot.

Oh, God, he's drunk. Joy clutched at the front of her gown, panic telling her to flee. But where? Larry walked to her, reaching out with his right hand and hooking her around the back of the neck. He pulled her to him, covering her mouth with his, trying to thrust his tongue past her closed lips.

"Come on, baby," he whispered. She closed her eyes and tried not to breathe. He grabbed her hand and placed it on his crotch, "Come on, baby, make me hard. Isn't this what you've been wanting?"

He wrapped his arms around her, thrusting his hips against her. Joy couldn't catch her breath, blood roared in her ears. It felt like she was drowning.

Larry suddenly pushed her away, "What's the matter. Suddenly got a headache?"

A small flicker of anger, Joy lifted up the edge of her gown and showed him the two round, purple bruises on her thigh, "You did this to me."

His lips curled up in a sneer. Larry slapped her hand away and the gown's edge fell below her knees. He grabbed her by the shoulders, his fingers digging in and shook her. "If I had wanted to hurt you, really hurt you, I could. You know I could break you in two with just my hands," Larry let go of her shoulders and grabbed her breasts and squeezed. Joy went rigid, a sharp intake of breath the only betrayal of pain. "What was I thinking anyway? Look at you." He moved his hands to her hips and squeezed. "Sloppy. Lazy. Can't discipline yourself about food, for Christ's sake. If I don't want you, who would?"

He turned quickly and fell into the wall. He straightened up and lurched out of the door. Joy heard him stumble to the living room and fall into his chair. When she heard the television click on, she crept
down the hall to the bedroom. But Larry must have heard her, because he yelled out one more phrase that rang in her ears until, curled up and crying, she fell asleep.

"Fat, fucking bitch."


Joy woke with a start. She blinked up at a sky starting to purple as the sun dipped toward the ocean. She didn't like that dream, that memory. To be reminded of what she was. How unlovable, undesirable.

Then. Now.

Joy rolled to her side, back to the ocean, and brought her knees up. Small rocks dug into her shoulder and hip. She sneezed as dust laden hair fell across her face. She was a thing of the earth, to be walked
upon while eyes focused on the sky. She ducked her head and drifted back to sleep.


Was it one thing or a combination? That morning Joy stood looking at the bruises that covered her body. Larry had gone off to work without a word. That small flicker of anger came back and started to bank coals deep in her soul.

Ted stopped by for coffee and listened at her first tentative efforts at talking about herself. "Joy, I know it's more than you just being unhappy. Something is going on with Larry. Look, you don't have to explain. At least not now. When you are comfortable with telling me, I'll be here. I just know it's gotten bad because you're now willing to talk about it. But let's do something else in the meantime. Something for you."

"Something" turned out to be meeting Ted everyday after work at the beach. They began by jogging. The first few days Joy almost threw-up after each session. And she woke with more aches and pains than she knew she had muscles. After two weeks, Ted's girlfriend, Sara, joined them.

Joy took Ted aside, "How could you, Ted? Look at her!"

"Believe me, I do," Ted grinned.

Joy slapped him on the arm, "That's not what I meant. I feel like Shamu next to her."

But Sara didn't laugh at her, or pity her. She talked with Joy. She listened to Joy. The three of them would jog, run, bike and skate. Sara turned into a good friend. Joy realized she had next to none. She never felt comfortable having anyone to her home. Larry chased off any friend she ever made. And couples only went out with them a few times and were never heard from again. Sara dragged Joy shopping. The smaller Joy got, the more daring the clothes Sara talked her into buying.

"Joy, you look great!" she twirled in front of Ted showing off the bright biking outfit Sara had picked out for her. Two months and Joy almost didn't recognize herself.

"Joy, I want you to meet a friend of mine from work. He's joining our little group." Joy froze.

The young man took her hand and shook it warmly, "Hi. I'm Rick. I've heard so much about you from Ted."

She shot a piercing glance at Ted who stood with Sara, the two of them grinning and elbowing each other in the ribs. They soon became fast friends. The "Four Musketeers"! There card nights at Ted's apartment. Movie nights. And just nights where popcorn, Pepsi and conversation were the order of things.

This was not lost on Larry. "Where are you going?"


"Hanging out with Ted again, huh?"

"As a matter of fact, yes."

"What about my dinner?" Joy turned to stare at him. This time she didn't flinch or drop her eyes. "There's food in the fridge. More in the cupboards. And if you can't figure out how to throw together a sandwich, there's always the phone. Call for pizza."

Joy was already sleeping in the guest room when Larry tried his next tactic. He bought boxes of fancy chocolates. He kept trying to press food on her. He left roses on her bed with notes that read "I don't know what I did wrong. But whatever it was, I'm sorry."

"You don't get it do you," Joy said. "I don't play those games anymore. You keep looking for the response you've always gotten from me. But I'm different now. I don't react the same way."

"You're my wife."

"No, I'm not. Not really. You haven't wanted me as your wife for a long time. Just because you've decided you want it today doesn't mean my thoughts have changed. I don't love you anymore."

Joy couldn't remember if she ever saw Larry as stunned as he was at that moment. Then he shook it off, like a dog does water.

"You think losing weight has changed you? Different clothes? Hanging out with your baby brother? You think any of his friends will want you? You may not be fat right now. And I stress the right now, because I don't believe for a moment you can keep it off. You'll always be damaged goods. You'll always be a fucking bitch."

They stood staring at each other in a thickening silence. Larry's eyes narrowed and he leaned forward, fists clenched. Joy could feel her heart beating against her ribs, but she didn't move, didn't drop her eyes, didn't squirm.

Her voice low, "I want you out of this house, out of my life."

Joy was in Ted's living room, sitting with Rick and Sara. Ted was standing across the room. She was relating the latest with Larry with what she hoped was dispassion. Joy suddenly felt her heart give way, the layers of scar tissues rending away, all the frustration, the fear, the anger, flooding her system. She started to cry, deep gut wrenching sobs. Someone came up and put arms around her and held tight.

It was Rick.


Joy came instantly awake and sat up. She could feel Rick's arms around her. She looked out at the ocean. The sun was almost at the horizon, the water now a molten orange flecked with gold. She looked down at herself; even she glowed golden bathed in the rays of the setting sun. The sand below had grown dark. It beckoned to her, pleaded for her decision.

She thought her breakdown would be cathartic. The loosening bands on her heart hope for the future. But it was if all the weight she lost off her body had settled in her soul. Larry stood in her mind. Was he right? Joy couldn't take the chance, to let anyone (Rick?) get close, to find out that she really was damaged goods. The feel of those arms was too tempting. She couldn't get lost again.

What was beyond the sand below? Another life? Oblivion? She wasn't looking for an answer. Joy just wanted the pain gone. Joy looked at the sun. As soon as it hit the ocean, she'd be gone.

She heard a voice, shouting. Her name? Joy looked away from the ocean into the gathering purple haze. A figure running towards her; arms waving. She stood, poised in the trembling sunset, release pulling her toward the sand, hope pulling her toward the approaching figure. Joy flung back her head throwing her hands toward the sky in supplication, a dying ray of sunlight turning them into glowing torches.

And the bluff began to crumble under her right foot.


© 1996 Darleen Click

Posted by Darleen at 05:57 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2005

Unadulterated politics in service of lawbreakers

From the WTF?? category:

U.S. Border Patrol agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens along the section of the Arizona border where protesters patrolled last month because an increase in apprehensions there would prove the effectiveness of Minuteman volunteers, The Washington Times has learned.

More than a dozen agents, all of whom asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said orders relayed by Border Patrol supervisors at the Naco, Ariz., station made it clear that arrests were "not to go up" along the 23-mile section of border that the volunteers monitored to protest illegal immigration.

Of course, Washington DC disputes:
Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar at the agency's Washington headquarters called the accusations "outright wrong," saying that supervisors at the Naco station had not blocked agents from making arrests and that the station's 350 agents were being "supported in carrying out" their duties.
However, I think I'll take the word of someone who has been involved closely in issue -- the chairman of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus
But Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, yesterday said "credible sources" within the Border Patrol also had told him of the decision by Naco supervisors to keep new arrests to a minimum, saying he was angry but not surprised.

Posted by Darleen at 06:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2005

Watch the nannystaters yawn ...

This is just plain wrong, but I don't expect any of the usual "civil rights" crowd to do more than shrug:

More companies are taking action against employees who smoke off-duty, and, in an extreme trend that some call troubling, some are now firing or banning the hiring of workers who light up even on their own time.

The outright bans raise new questions about how far companies can go in regulating workers' behavior when they are off the clock.

Last I looked, tobacco is not illegal. While a business has a legitimate interest in what happens at the workplace, the strict burden of if they have, or should have any say, in what a worker does when away from the work place (as long as the activity is legal) is with the employer.

Just imagine the hew and cry if an employer fired or refused to hire gays because of "health concerns."

Posted by Darleen at 06:43 AM | Comments (6)

This tears it ... ANY Dem who signs

on with Larry Flynt's attack on John Bolton should be immediately targeted for electoral defeat.

Mr. Flynt has obtained information from numerous sources that Mr. Bolton participated in paid visits to Plato’s Retreat, the popular swingers club that operated in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Sleaze just doesn't even begin to describe the latest of a long string of indecencies from the thoroughly corrupt purveyor of social pollution, Larry Flynt.

Posted by Darleen at 06:19 AM | Comments (1)

May 11, 2005

Sheesh...only May

And this year has already been a roller-coaster ... triumphs and tragedies.

In the latter category, my ex-mother-in-law just passed away. I'm getting very tired of seeing people in my life getting buried. Although, that in itself is not what bothers me most. She was old and had been ill for a long time and had come to some peace on her imminent passing (she didn't die of her illness, just did what so many elderly do...slipped quietly out of the backdoor while asleep). And I'm glad, too, that I'm here in California while the viewing and funeral are in New Jersey. Why?


Thankfully he's in the air right now due to land in Newark in the next hour or so...otherwise y'all might be reading about me on the evening news because I so wanted to get into my car, go to his place of abode and beat the living crap out of him.

Long, gossipy story I haven't shared yet. However, I look at what he's become and I wonder what happened to the man I married long ago and had many good years with. I don't recognize the self-centered, mean-spirited, deadbeatdad, con artist that has inhabited his body for the last ten years.

One tid-bit of the latest? He just got $124,000 (another long story) but did he even offer to have his girls accompany him to Jersey for their grandmother's funeral? No, because he doesn't want them there. And what the girls don't know yet, but I do, he's planning on never coming back to California. Even for Siobhan's graduation.

Seething doesn't make for coherent writing, so more later.

Posted by Darleen at 12:58 PM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2005

Sorry, I'm with the 'religious whackos' on this one ...

via Seattle Times

Girls who wrestled for several Puget Sound-area middle schools this year easily won their matches against boys from two private schools.

The girls stepped onto the mat. Their opponents from Tacoma Baptist and Cascade Christian stayed in their seats. The referee then raised the girls' hands to signal they'd won by forfeit.

But the easy victories didn't sit well with the girls, including Meaghan Connors, a seventh-grader at McMurray Middle School on Vashon Island. Her father, Jerry, is prepared to go to court over what he considers a clear case of sex discrimination.

And why not go to court? I mean, if you can't get your way because people reasonably disagree with you, hit 'em over the head with a judge!
For years, schools in the Rainier Valley League, including McMurray, have honored the ability of the two private schools to forfeit matches rather than have a boy wrestle one of the handful of girls on the public-school teams. ...

Tacoma Baptist's superintendent did not return phone calls about the policy and the reasons for it. At Cascade Christian in Puyallup, Superintendent Don Johnson said the school "does not want to put our young men in a situation where they would be inappropriately touching a young lady."

Imagine that. In a world of secular gender-feminism that automatically deems all males potential rapists and studies their every word/joke/hand gesture for all crimes and misdemeanors of sexism, here comes the women-hating, keep-em-barefoot-and-pregnant brigade Xtians demonstrating they actually try sending a consistent message on how males should respect females and they are going to get sued for it.

Bizzarro world, indeed.

Posted by Darleen at 11:00 AM | Comments (9)

Ouch ...

... Michelle Malkin on Ariana Huffington's newest vanity project.

Arianna is very good at what she does, which is to collect people like curios and throw sprawling house parties for them--parties that attract never-ending hordes of looky-loos simultaneously bemused and repulsed by the grand spectacle of obsequiousness and megalomania dressed up as political dialogue. ...

In the blogosphere, looky-loos equal traffic. And Arianna will get it. Despite ourselves. Face it: Many of us will go to the site and crane our necks to see who's making an ass of himself in Huffington's virtual living room, who's passed out in the powder room, who's plotting in the library, and who's kissy-kissing in the foyer. Much of the time it will be stultifyingly boring, but some of us will keep going back in hopes that we'll get to see Walter Cronkite trip or Ellen DeGeneres belch or Maggie Gyllenhall start dancing on the blog table in a drunken stupor.

The blog equivalent of the 70's Studio 54.


Posted by Darleen at 10:48 AM | Comments (1)

Heard in passing ...

... on the Dennis Prager show. I didn't catch who this quote is from, but I found it as stunning as Prager has:

Those that believe in God have to account for the existence of unjust suffering; those that do not believe in God have to account for the existence of everything else.

Posted by Darleen at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2005

No no no no no!! ARGH!! Gag!!

Ms. President gets ready to entertain foreign dignitaries in the Lincoln bedroom.
via Drudge

The new fall schedule will not be announced until later this month, but the DRUDGE REPORT has learned that ABC has picked up COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, a drama following the challenges facing the first female President of the United States. ...

Actress Geena Davis, a Democrat political activist, will play the president.

Geena Davis? GEENA DAVIS???!!? As President of the United States?

Well, when I think of an actress with the stature to portray the first woman President, someone who can easily convey intelligence, grace, maturity, steadiness, wry humor, and a core of internal fortitude consisting of 22-gauge steel...well the name "Geena Davis" immediately springs to mind.

Does for you, too, eh?

And one wonders why commercial TV is down the sh*tter.


Posted by Darleen at 07:44 PM | Comments (1)

Happy Mother's Day

My mom and me, 1954It's a job that is celebrated and denigrated. It's a life choice venerated for its importance while its practioners are the butt of jokes.

It's the strange cultural schizophrenia of our time that demands mothers uphold strict ideals to raise healthy children and tells women if they are stay-at-home moms they are "cheating" themselves of being full human beings by not having a career outside of the home.

And all of this plays on the psyche of the woman who stands in the bathroom holding up a little tube with a window with a plus sign.

Mothers, moms, mommies. Planned, adopted or oopsey, when that first child comes into our lives, the world changes.


What do I wish this Mother's Day? After all the cards, flowers, brunches, long distance phone calls and visits the children of all ages make to their moms, grandmas and nanas? I want it to last more than a day. I want women to try and come to grips with how they want motherhood to be viewed the other 363 days of the year.

It is the most important life choice a woman can make. Another human being's fate is in our hands. I remember when I got pregnant for the first time, I was scared and thrilled. I went diligently to the doctor, watched what I ate and couldn't wait to get into maternity clothes. However, it was when we took that tiny little being, Jennifer, home after three days and laid her in her crib and hovered over her, making sure she was breathing, that it hit me. I almost couldn't breathe with the realization that Jennifer was a little person completely separate from me and completely dependent on me. Food? She needed me. She couldn't anymore than lay in her crib and wave her arms and legs without me. And the fearsome, intense love I felt for this tiny being was overwhelming.

And as the years have rolled by, even after she has grown and moved from home, it doesn't end.

Indeed, it has expanded with the arrival of my grandsons. Though, I confess I'm enjoying a more relaxed relationship with them because I can play with them, spoil them a little, then send them home!

So sisters, where do you see the Career of Mom going over the next generation? There are a lot of women, women who spent years of education and career building that have decided to stay home full-time with their young children. Are such women doing the right thing? What should we teach our daughters and sons about motherhood and fatherhood? What values do we want see acknowleged and supported in the public square?

More than just a celebration of mothers, let today be one of open discussion about where we are and where we want to go in our American culture.

Posted by Darleen at 08:35 AM | Comments (1)

May 07, 2005

It's been a #$@%! week

My apologies for the light posting. Work has been dense, I've been fielding phone calls from realtors and mortgage brokers, Siobhan has been prepping for both prom today plus early morning testing for college english/math placement ... and it's not like I have nothing to write about, but too much. It's as if all the words, sentences and paragraphs are jammed up behind my eyes, jostling and squabbling for position and attention.

And I'm having a tough time finding the calm in which to sort them out and give them the time they deserve. Short summary of things that have caught my eye:

Building on my previous post where I wonder about the canonisation of breastfeeding, Michele posts about some British mom who thought her fussy baby who wanted her breast rather than a bottle constitutes an emergency and the airline should pay for her flight.

Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities follows up on his post about Kingdom of Heaven, Ridley Scott's epic loveletter to moslems with a comprehensive roundup of reviewer links. Some of the gushings by the historically ignorant are startling in their embrace of the "Christian=bad, moslem=good" meme. Are people really that ignorant, or are we experiencing yet another cycle of revisionism? It's as if Ridley Scott decided to make a film of the Warsaw ghetto uprising and never explains WHY the Jews are fighting the Nazis only making the Jews out to be the ones basically at fault for the violence.

Think that analogy is too harsh? Well, via LGF comes this link to the lengthy but historically accurate article, Jihad begot the Crusades. A must read! I'm so fed up with the grotesque claim that moslems were the best thing to happen to the middle east and Spain and all lived in gentle harmony, fluffy clouds and pink bunnies, until those nasty Christians had to ruin it all I'm ready to slap the next effing idiot that tries that line on me. Islam was established as a religion with the core tenet "Submit, convert or be put to death" and it hasn't changed.

Along with such revisionism being pumped as ass-kissing propaganda presented as a major sword-n-shield Hollywood epic, is the continuing weirdness from leftists who, ostensibly in the name of "freedom of speech", attempt to shut down the speech of those they disagree with. In a brilliant analogy of this phenomenom, Jeff Harrell compares the antics of the disrupters at Ann Coulter's speech (including the KosKiddie who thought sneering a profanity laced question about sexual practices was the height of intellectualism) to DOS (denial of service) attacks. Perfect analogy! It was a great follow up to his earlier post about how the word "homophobe" is being used, not to accurately describe a psychological state, but to shutdown those people who disagree with any particular leftist tenet where it concerns anything about gays.

BTW, Jeff has been on a real writing roll lately! If you haven't already done so, make him a daily read.

And I know I shouldn't go looking for aggravation, but sometimes I can't help myself. Once in a while, I do have to look in on the KosKiddie alternative reality and, geez, there have been a couple of real winners lately. There's the whacko claiming Reagan caused 9/11 by removing the solar panels off the White House, the always nasty Armando (who loves to drool over every report of killings committed by the Saddamites in Iraq), and the revealing post of Plutonium Page who experiences "cringing embarrassment" because the American President has the audicity to talk about the human aspirations to freedom. PP (what an apt acronym) has an aversion to the word "freedom." That's the Left in a nutshell. Politics is sado-masocism to them. Either be the dictator or the dictated to ... individuals are too stupid to be allowed to have much say in their own destiny.

No wonder that the Left is so enamored of (and are apologists for) jihadists.

Well, guys and gals, we've got househunting on today's agenda. Catch y'all later!

Posted by Darleen at 08:15 AM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2005

Hey, I support breast feeding ...

... been there, done that, had the wet t-shirt to prove it.

But hey, is this really necessary?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dozens of mothers and babies held a pre-Mother's Day "nurse-in" near the U.S. Capitol on Thursday to support legislation to make it easier for working women to breast-feed or pump milk for their babies on the job. ...

Her bill would expand the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act so a woman could not be fired or discriminated against in the workplace for pumping or nursing on breaks.

Really? Women get fired for pumping on breaks? When? Where? What was the context?

Geez, I almost feel like this is one of those keep the lawyers in business bills.

Posted by Darleen at 05:11 PM | Comments (2)

May 04, 2005

Illegal alliens - guilty of 'trespass'

Jay Tea at Wizbang brings to our attention to a New Hampshire town that gets it when dealing with illegal alliens

JAFFREY – In a case that has drawn national attention because of a police chief’s unusual approach to dealing with illegal immigrants, a Mexican national pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminal trespass, a minor state law, because he is in the United States illegally.
Jay has muses his hope that this tactic will spread.

However, don't bet on it in places like Los Angeles that still has Special Order 40 in effect.

Sanctuary laws, present in such cities as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Austin, Houston, and San Francisco, generally forbid local police officers from inquiring into a suspect’s immigration status or reporting it to federal authorities. Such laws place a higher priority on protecting illegal aliens from deportation than on protecting legal immigrants and citizens from assault, rape, arson, and other crimes.

Let’s say a Los Angeles police officer sees a member of Mara Salvatrucha hanging out at Hollywood and Vine. The gang member has previously been deported for aggravated assault; his mere presence back in the country following deportation is a federal felony. Under the prevailing understanding of Los Angeles’s sanctuary law (special order 40), if that officer merely inquires into the gangbanger’s immigration status, the officer will face departmental punishment.

Street cops, especially those in gang details, are well aware of the players in the neighborhood. The gangbanger culture operates just below the radar of law-abiding citizens, but it is real, pervasive and very, very dangerous. Most of the Hispanic gangs have strong ties to the Mexican Mafia, which also has a high profile existence in the prison system.

And S.O. 40 and similar codes that forbid officers from even inquiring about a person's immigration status allow for the criminals to move with relative ease between the US and Mexico.

The argument from those who support such instruments as SO 40 is that they want illegals who are victims of crime not to feel afraid of cooperating with the police. However, what has actually happened is that these victims have been delivered up to the gangs as easy prey to exploit and intimidate directly due to the ease the criminals have in moving through the community. When the Black Angel who lives down the hall lets you know if he sees you talking to the cops he'll just come back and take care of you, you know you are not going to be "cooperative" with the police no matter what assurance of non-deportation they offer. You still have to live within the same community that is dominated by the gangbanger ... where are you going to go?

Take these legal handcuffs off the cops and let them do their jobs. Obviously the Feds are NOT doing theirs.

Posted by Darleen at 06:37 AM | Comments (1)

May 03, 2005

Adventures in Parenting -- Mom curses

You may remember my post from January about "bad words" and how my daughter, Erin, became acquainted with the taste of soap. Well, Erin is the mom of 29 month-old twins, Sean and Nikolas.

Sunday Eric and I entertained the boys for a few hours in the afternoon. Erin came by to pick them up and we spent a bit of time gathering up all the stuff she packs and carries whenever they go out. The one thing the boys love to do as soon as they get into our house is shed their shoes and socks (and recently, when you aren't looking, Sean is shedding his clothes..but that's another story). Erin is sitting on the couch chatting with me as she automatically is putting back on their shoes and socks. Sean picks up one of his shoes to hand to her, looks at the bottom, then holds it up to his mom to say "Mom, mom. Ewwww. Icky." Erin snags the shoe from him, studying a mess embedded in the sole of his shoe. Her brow is furrowed and she takes a cautious sniff and then looks up annoyed, "Don't tell me he stepped in dog shit!"

You'd have thought someone handed Sean an ice cream cone. His eyes twinkled, a large smile spread across his little face bracketed by dimples.

"Dog chit!" he exclaimed as he started running through the house, "Dog chit! Dog chit! Dog chit!"

The look on Erin's face was priceless and it took all I had not to fall on the floor in laughter.

Proof positive of a humorous God Who listens to moms when they say "I hope you have children just like you!"

Posted by Darleen at 12:46 PM | Comments (1)

Random thoughts

It's fun to watch the delight and confusion that First Lady Laura Bush's standup comedy routine has engendered. Let me offer a clue -- only couples thoroughly secure in the love and loyality they have for each other can pull off a roast.

Would someone tell Gloria Allred to shut up? I heard some of her inane ramblings defending the so-called Runaway Bride. Oh...and as long as I'm pointing out people who can't open their mouth without inserting their foot, let's include the Desperate Preacher, Pat Robertson who loves to hand reporters of the MSM golden quotes so they can puff out their chests and tell their friends "See? See? I told you all conservatives are radical wingnuts!"

Gov. Jeb Bush signs what I consider a reasonable bill that will track convicted child molesters via GPS monitoring rather than trying to rely on child molesters registering at their local police station. It should come as no surprise that many molesters "forget" to register, or use false addresses. However, never let a good law be supported if the "wrong" person signs it...the true extremists at the democraticunderground spent sometime waxing how its just the first step in a conspiracy to track us all.

In the "be careful what you wish for" category, the "ethics" shotgun aimed at Delay has sprayed wide and has started hitting Democrats who have had their trips paid for by lobbiests. Ha.

Hey! A billboard in Los Angeles I can really get behind! (hattip Michelle Malkin)

And it looks like Abbas is channeling the (Thank God!) dead Arafat in lying to the world about his "tough" stance against islamo-terrorists while instituting a revolving door. 'Course, those that get their news from the Frisco bay area MSM will find its really those wiley Jews coming up with "new" demands on hard-working Abbas...heavens, disarm Hamas? How unreasonable!

Posted by Darleen at 06:27 AM | Comments (1)

May 02, 2005

OOooo! A challenge from Michele!

But you know, ya gotta love the movie list thing. So here are my "against type" lists

"Guy" movies that I, as a woman, love

"Chick" flicks I can't stand

And the movies that reduce me to a boneless pile of weeping protoplasm ...

Posted by Darleen at 05:49 PM | Comments (2)

Taking back Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA, Mexico, USA
Saying NO to 'reconquista'
via Michelle Malkin and ALIPAC

Of course, this billboard flap is getting zip in coverage from most of the MSM. It does make a fleeting mention in the snarking at Gov. Arnold from the usual LA Times hacks along the lines that Arnold is just desperate for media coverage so ignore anything he says about illegal aliens. Or we get the not-so-veiled charges that this is just about nasty, white, racist hypocrits getting their hoods in a knot.

Sorry, Ruben, I was born in Los Angeles (St. Vincent hospital) and grew up with a pride in the many layered cultural background of the area, but if I wanted to live in Mexico, I'd emigrate. I have little more sympathy for law-breaking "migrants" than I do for tagging, assaulting gang-bangers.

What is it about the word illegal that open-border advocates are not getting?

Posted by Darleen at 06:04 AM | Comments (7)