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December 28, 2007

Considering definitions

Screen shot of Yahoo homepage
I don't consider the Wright/Penn splitsville "news" but I do find the headline curious enough to circle and bring to your attention.

Their marriage was "longstanding"? By whose definition?

Charlton and Lydia Heston, married in 1944 are "longstanding." Bob and Dolores Hope (married 69 years) were "longstanding". Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, married in 1958 are "longstanding."

Eleven years? Not so much.

Posted by Darleen at 10:50 AM | Comments (2)

December 24, 2007

But don't question his patriotism

Unamerican Girl DollDavid Curran of the San Francisco Chronicle writes

December arrives, and like clockwork a certain catalogue shows up in our mailbox. And within seconds of seeing it, amnesia hits my daughter, and the list of items she has dreamed about for months -- roller blades, goalie shirt, jeans, hula hoop -- vanish from her mind. She now wants one thing only: An American Girl doll. [...]

I know, American Girl makes a doll from San Francisco. As you'd guess she's from the 1970s -- that apparently is our place in history -- and has long hair, bell bottoms and a peasant blouse. But let's hazard a wild guess that the generic, unadventurous doll named Julie Albright didn't spend much time turning on and tuning out in the Haight.

On the other hand, the historic San Francisco doll I'm planning to create was a lifelong radical. She grew up in North Beach, and came of age during the labor tumult of the mid-21st century. She was a union leader and a member of the Communist Party who was then called before the House Un-American Activities Commission in San Francisco in 1957. [...]

She will be called the Un-American Girl. [...]

I do realize the Un-American Girl will be a little different experience for her than Nellie O'Malley. There's the political aspect - not too common in a doll -- but also, one of my daughter's favorite activities is getting her dolls ready for bed. So I will have to break it to her that the Un-American Girl has one true passion: To stay up late and argue about world affairs.

"Forget putting her in pajamas," I'll have to tell her. "Prop your new doll up on your bed. Give her a newspaper, a little chianti and a companion to argue the big issues of the day. Maybe not Malibu Barbie. But yes, your American Girl, Nellie O'Malley, would be fine. Even Velvet the Bear might want to chime in about animal rights. Your room will be livelier than ever. And as your friends are all gathered around your pillow, you can yell out stuff like, 'Dolls of the world unite!' and 'Don't fall off the bed, comrades!"

I'm sure the Curran household is a fun place to be ... sitting around the holiday tree, decorated in low energy bulbs, dining on tofu turkey and organic local-grown greens, singing 'give peace a chance' and making paper mache puppets in anticipation of the next rally against the next Blue Angel flight show. Daughter Curran will be soooo delighted with the Little Red Book in her union-made holiday stocking.

Merry Winter Holiday that will go unnamed least we encourage the xtianists!

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

Posted by Darleen at 10:00 AM | Comments (7)

December 19, 2007

We pause a moment ...

... for a bit of parental pride.

Number one daughter received her degree in nursing tonight.

She'll be starting as an ICU nurse next month.

Posted by Darleen at 01:32 PM | Comments (11)

December 18, 2007

God, I miss the Soviets!

One thing about growing up during the Cold War, other than duck-and-cover drills, was having few illusions about the enemy, due in no small part their own honesty in declaring themselves as such. When Hollywood gave the villain a Russian accent, no Council on American-Soviet Relations was threatening lawsuits or boycotts.

The collapse of the USSR and the humiliation of communism in the face of liberty and capitalism didn't mean all those Marxist True Believers and camp followers gave up. It just meant they decided to pursue their interests in a different venue. AGW quoteThough, they seem to find being circumspect no longer necessary

The media obsession has been on the efforts of delegates at the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change conference to craft an agreement for a climate treaty that would take effect after the Kyoto Treaty expires in 2011. [...]

A day earlier, however, a panel at the IPCC conference titled "A Global CO2 Tax" took a step that will have a more lasting impact than an empty agreement. It urged the U.N. to adopt taxes on carbon dioxide emissions that would be "legally binding to all nations."

And guess who would be hit the hardest? That's right, the tax, if levied, would put an especially high burden on the U.S.

"Finally, someone will pay for these costs" related to global warming, Othmar Schwank, a global warming busybody from Switzerland, told Sen. James Inhofe's office. [...]

The driving force of the environmental movement is not a cleaner planet — or a world that doesn't get too hot, in the case of the global warming issue — but a leftist, egalitarian urge to redistribute wealth. A CO2 tax does this and more, choking economic growth in the U.S. and punishing Americans for being the voracious consumers that we are.

Eco-activists have been so successful in distracting the public from their real intentions that they're becoming less guarded in discussing their ultimate goal.

"A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources," Emma Brindal, a "climate justice campaign coordinator" for Friends of the Earth Australia, wrote Wednesday on the Climate Action Network's blog.

We could easily dismiss li'l Miss Emma as a retread of the Castro/Che groupies of years gone by -- emotionally invested in showing their solidarity with the exotic Other. Then there's Mayer Hillman, a senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute, who makes no bones about controlling people's lives
Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at the Policy Studies Institute, says carbon rationing is the only way to ensure that the world avoids the worst effects of climate change. And he says that the problems caused by burning fossil fuels are so serious that governments might have to implement rationing against the will of the people.

"When the chips are down I think democracy is a less important goal than is the protection of the planet from the death of life, the end of life on it," he says. "This has got to be imposed on people whether they like it or not."

Scrape away some of the high-flown rhetoric of the acolytes of the Church of Anthropogenic Global warming and it is easy to see a coterie of fashionistas, retooled Marxists, doe-eyed relativists, unrepetant misanthropes and pragmatic authoritarians. Some wax poetically of "food sovereignty" and others are quite blatant in their hatred of modernity
Ultimately, the world’s population must be reduced - by 5.9 billion. But the 100million left, devoid of cars, planes, heaters and fertilisers will be a much smaller burden on the planet. What a happy place it will be!

The "Greens" are no more interested in clean air and water today than the Soviets were in liberty when they rolled tanks into Prague in 1968. We dismiss them as "silly" at our own peril.

(h/t DRJ at Patterico)

Posted by Darleen at 12:53 AM | Comments (9)

December 17, 2007


The body of an elderly woman was discovered Sunday in the front passenger side of a crumpled car in a San Fernando Valley towing company's yard -- a day after paramedics had removed her son from the same vehicle after a crash, authorities said.

Posted by Darleen at 08:07 AM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2007

Contrast: Punish the 'extra' kids

Only in Western society can someone spend long years in obtaining an education and come out so mean and stupid

COUPLES who have more than two children should be charged a lifelong tax to offset their extra offspring's carbon dioxide emissions, a medical expert says.The report in an Australian medical journal called for parents to be charged $5000 a head for every child after their second, and an annual tax of up to $800.

And couples who were sterilised would be eligible for carbon credits under the controversial proposal.

Perth specialist Professor Barry Walters was heavily critical of the $4000 baby bonus, saying that paying new parents extra for every baby fuelled more children, more emissions and "greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour".

Instead, it should be replaced with a "baby levy" in the form of a carbon tax in line with the "polluter pays" principle, he wrote in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.

The man is an obstetrician. I think his patients ought to be very wary.

Posted by Darleen at 06:38 AM | Comments (3)

Compare: Hipster kid club

For the harried, two-career urban parents nothing quite says loving-your-preschool child as purchasing a $2000/year membership at Peekadoodle Kidsclub.

At the Peekadoodle Kidsclub, little Jonnie can get a haircut while sitting in a barber chair fashioned like a shiny red Mercedes at the same time Mom breaks a sweat in her yoga class down the hall. Afterward, while Jonnie learns how to clean and sprinkle spinach over a pizza in his cooking class, Mom can grab a latte at the cafe and hit the Wi-Fi-equipped business center to get some work done.

Of course, Jonnie's family must have a Peekadoodle membership - which starts at $2,000 annually - and he can't be any older than 5, the club's age limit. But once in, the family is privy to all the services offered in the 10,000-square-foot building: the padded playground with the replica Golden Gate Bridge and Victorian homes, the hip clothing store for kids, the adult fitness gym and the partially organic dining hall. The toddler development courses in cooking, music and photography cost extra (the 12-week pizza-making class, for example, is $500).

Certainly, if the market is there then this business will be successful. However, is it really about need or narcisism? Or, perhaps, cluelessness:
"There's certainly a cultural need right now to have a place where kids and parents can both have their needs met," said Arlie Hochschild, a sociology professor emeritus at UC Berkeley who has written extensively on work-family balance. "This kind of business answers the time bind that busy moms and dads feel today."

But, said Hochschild, "This reminds us that those with money get in, those who don't, don't. Our culture needs to imagine unpaid ways of meeting these same needs."

Because, like us parents of old, we never thought of socializing with our neighbors, forming kid play groups, accompanying kids on fieldtrips through school, etc. But I guess the missing element to all that was the "hip" component.
Kurnit said one trend that Peekadoodle represents is the new relationship between parents and kids, who are now much closer in "hip sensibility" than Baby Boomers were with their children."

The idea of parents being cool, being connected and being with their kids is center stage nowadays," Kurnit said. "These places feed into all of that."

Yes, it is all about teh coool.

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

December 03, 2007

Racial Politics in America: Heads I win ...

Tails, you lose.

A firefighter who reported finding a knotted rope and a threatening note with a drawing of a noose in an East Baltimore station house last month had placed the items there himself, city officials said yesterday. [...]

Officials identified the firefighter who they say acknowledged writing the note as Donald Maynard, a firefighter-paramedic apprentice who is black. Maynard could not be reached for comment. [...]

On Nov. 21, a handwritten note and a rope were discovered about 1:30 a.m. by two Fire Department employees - one black and one white. It read, "We cant [sic] hang the cheaters but we can hang the failures. NO EMT-I, NO JOB." A small stick figure with a noose and the word "Stop" were drawn below the message. [...]

In a written statement yesterday, Fire Chief William J. Goodwin Jr. said Maynard had admitted to "conducting a scheme meant to create the perception that members within our department were acting in a discriminatory and unprofessional manner." [...]

Yesterday, the leaders of the two city fire unions denounced [Mayor Shelia] Dixon, whose initial reaction to the reported incident was to deplore what she called "an act of hatred and intimidation."

Stephan G. Fugate, head of the city fire officers union, said Dixon's reaction contributed to racial tensions. He said members of the community became hostile toward firefighters after the mayor "came out and, in effect, said racism is running rampant."

Union leaders also criticized the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Vulcan Blazers, a group that represents black firefighters, saying they, too, provoked racial tension by rushing to judgment. [...]

But Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham, president of the NAACP's Baltimore chapter, said the fact that such an incident could occur shows that pervasive racial problems persist in the department.

"It really saddens us to hear that evidently things have reached a stage that even an African-American does an injustice to himself and his own people as a result of a negative culture in that department," Cheatham said when asked to respond to the unions.

The hoaxer as victim,


Posted by Darleen at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

December 02, 2007

Paging Dr. IRS ...


John Edwards makes clear that he's handing over mandatory medical enforcement to them as soon as he is inaugurated.

Under the Edwards plan, when Americans file their income taxes, they would be required to submit a letter from an insurance provider confirming coverage for themselves and their dependents.If someone did not submit proof of coverage, the Internal Revenue Service would notify a newly established regional or state-based health-care agency (which Edwards has dubbed a Health Care Market[sic]).

Those regional agencies would then evaluate whether the uninsured individual was eligible for Medicare (which covers those over 65), Medicaid (which covers the indigent), or S-CHIP (the State Children's Health Insurance Program which targets the working poor).

If the individual was not eligible for either of those existing public programs, the regional-health care agency would enroll the individual into the lowest cost health-care plan available in that area. The lowest-cost option could be a new Medicare-like public option or a private insurance plan.

The newly covered individual would not only have access to health benefits but would also be responsible for making monthly payments with the help of a tax credit.

The exact size of the financial obligation would vary according to a person's income (lower-income Americans would receive larger tax credits).

If a person did not meet his or her monthly financial obligation for a set period of time (perhaps a year, perhaps longer) the Edwards plan would empower the federal government to garnish an individual's wages for purposes of collecting "back premiums with interest and collection costs."

Isn't that special?

(h/t Jay Tea)

Posted by Darleen at 04:51 PM | Comments (4)

December 01, 2007

Dead laptop

Sorry for the long absense. My old (six+ years) laptop died ingloriously a few days ago. I'm on a "loaner" right now as I'm ordering a new one and trying to remember all my old passwords, etc.

Doncha know something expensive fails right when you're trying to figure out how to buy Christmas presents!!!


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