This article, which I found in my morning google, is all about these two guys who intend to break a bunch of laws this summer. Why? Well, because they think the laws are dumb.
They must have been interviewed, but I can't figure one thing out.
Why would you go on record listing the dumb laws you intend to break? Do you want to get caught in Baltimore taking a lion to a movie? Is that where you pray that the cops get you before the lion does?
So, these twoarticles seem to suggest that Russian President Putin is unclear on the concept of democracy.
When Bush confronted his Russian counterpart about the freedom of the press in Russia, Putin shot back with an attack of his own: "We didn't criticize you when you fired those reporters at CBS."
Indicating, clearly that Putin seems to think that the US government is in the News business. Which of course, it most certainly and emphatically is not. Hey, Vlad, we don't run things like that! President Bush didn't fire those reporters, CBS did. As a matter of fact, I've not even seen anything where the President even responded to the fake documents.
And that's another thing, Vlad. They weren't fired for telling the truth, but for perpetrating a fraud on the public, for failing to do their due diligence and authenticate documents whose chain of custody was incredibly sloppy. The chain of custody had holes big enough to drive an aircraft carrier through. That whole business about "fake but accurate" is akin to calling Paris Hilton idiotic but smart, or Russia free but restrictive.
In my morning surf, I came across this article, via Drudge, all about the increase in Dutch Emigration in light of the influx of Muslim immigrants to that country.
The article brings up the slayings of Pim Fortuyn, a populist politician with anti-immigrant leanings, and filmmaker Theo van Gogh as being instrumental in the tide turning. Prior to Fortuyn's assassination, the article contends, the Dutch people were content and could not concieve of violence taking hold in their peaceful country.
Van Gogh's murder by an Islamic militant certainly has made the Dutch nervous. Immediately following van Gogh's murder, mosques were burned. In retaliation, Christian churches were burned.
And now, Dutch families are leaving en masse, for the relative peace and safety of such countries as New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. But, there is an entirely different aspect to this problem as well:
To Mr. Hiltemann, the emigration consultant, what is remarkable is not only the surge of interest among the Dutch in leaving, but also the type of people involved. "They are successful people, I mean, urban professionals, managers, physiotherapists, computer specialists," he said. Five years ago, he said, most of his clients were farmers looking for more land.
Could this become a professional drain, a sort of intellectual exodus, that would negatively impact the country's economic survival? If this goes on too long, is it possible that the rot will go too far and they won't be able to fix it? I don't know. I do know that a little more vigilance and backbone are required. For heaven's sake, how dumb do you have to be to let your bicycle be stolen FIVE times?
Well, for those of you who didn't watch the press conference, BTK has been arrested. The Wichita PD, Mayor, et al, were practically shouting with glee. The suspect is described as "a churchgoing family man and Cub Scout leader." In the press conference, the DA was adamant that everyone understand that, while there is no statute of limitations on homicide, these crimes were comitted prior to Kansas's adoption of the death penalty.
A source close to the investigation told the Associated Press on Sunday that Rader had confessed to at least six slayings.
“The guy is telling us about the murders,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
Investigators also are looking into whether he was responsible for another three killings — including at least one that occurred after the restoration of the Kansas’ death penalty in 1994, the source said.
If they can give him the death penalty, I expect they will.
Big News tonite from Kansas. It seems the Wichita PD and the KBI have arrested a "Person of Interest" in the BTK case. This is the serial killer who plagued Wichita beginning in 1974 and has killed at least 8 people. "BTK" stands for Bind, Torture, Kill, or...the killer's modus operandi. The Wichita PD has called a press conference for tomorrow morning at 10 am. Maybe this time they've finally got the bad guy.
From Fox News, I have learned that the WPD took a DNA sample from the person and DNA testing is being conducted to match the DNA from the crime scenes. Fox is also reporting that this individual is married with adult children, is high up in his church leadership, and is one of the two dog catchers of Park City, KS. They are searching his residence.
Stay tuned! It is high time they captured this killer and brought him to justice.
A few moments ago, on Fox News's "Special Report with Brit Hume," I learned that several members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have it in their teeny tiny brains to repeal the twenty-second amendment to the Constitution.
For those of you who can't pick out the 22nd, that is the one enacted because of FDR, limiting any President to two terms of office. It seems the Dems would like another era of Slick Willy and the Republicans would like to extend the era of President Bush.
I think this would be incredibly unwise. We are not an elected monarchy. I want the President to be a moderate in his term or terms, seeking to please the consensus of Americans. I want the President to have the courage of his convictions. However, I don't want him to be a lifer, or for it to be impossible to remove him. I think this would lead to more assassinations and take the power of choosing a leader away from the people. I think it would be foolish. As it is, a first term President, if he likes his job, has to worry about getting things done and doing what is best for Americans. A second term President, as it is, can relax somewhat on his concerns of politics and have more leverage to do what he sees is right, concentrate on his legacy. However, power is corrupting (case in point, William Jefferson Clinton) and it is supremely stupid to give any branch of the government too much power. Without the term limits, I'm afraid an American President could become an American King. I want him tethered on a leash, not roaming all over the place biting others.
Look, I like President Bush, but I don't think he is perfect. Times change. It is a good idea to keep fresh ideas coming into the seat of power in this nation. A man who is not concerned about his end of days does not necessarily see the importance of seeking compromise. He can wait the others out.
Something else concerns me. Since I've been blogging, I've come across a great many people that I admire and respect for their well-reasoned points of view, their open-mindedness, and their thirst for the truth and solutions. In my non-blogging life, I've come across a great many bubble-headed idiots.
While I feel comfortable with the first group choosing a leader using all of their faculties, I'm afraid I've met too many of the latter group who choose a candidate based on sex appeal, charisma, t.v.q., or some other ridiculous reason. My point is, at least half of the electorate is blithering idiots I wouldn't let babysit my pet rock. I'm afraid it would be far too easy to get stuck for far too long with a King Bill.
A blind man has been arrested in Scotland after witnesses reported he sank his teeth into his guide dog’s head and then kicked the Labrador-retriever mix after it apparently wouldn’t help him across a busy street.
A witness who said he saw the attack outside a busy shopping center in the Scottish capital Edinburgh reported the incident to police.
I am prone to over-reacting. What can I say? It is who I am. Passion makes the vanquishing of villains all the more...venomous.
So here are two tales in which most of you will think I am just being bitchy and taking offense where none is intended.
My husband's mother is scheduled to be the recipient of a surprise birthday party in March. I don't know how much of a "surprise" it will be though, as there have already been 2 surprise parties for this bunch in the past 5 months. Nevertheless, we must attend. So, being the good wife that I am, I called up Prince Charming's sister and offered to bring the baked goods. (I am famous for my baked goodies! They all chow down like I've brought the last food on Earth.) However, I was brutally rebuffed. I was told - "Oh. No. We're going to do a birthday cake." No shit, Sherlock. So, I let it slide on by and left it alone.
Last night however, I learn that it will be our job to pick up the cake, transport it, and fetch the veggies for the veggie tray. (I say "our" job, but really it is MY job, because Prince Charming delegates all such tasks to me.)
My issues are as follows: first, if I was going to have to be the one to pick up the damned cake, why the hell did they have to choose a bakery on the west side of Madison, a damn hour from my house? Second, if I was going to have to be the one to pick up the damn cake, why didn't I get to choose the bakery (seeing as how I know I'll be the one paying for it)? Hmm? Third Issue, why the fuck did they have to choose a bakery that is 3 hours from the party venue? Do you know what can happen in a three hour car ride to a large sheet cake? Fourth, seeing as how they don't live on the outerbanks of Fucking Nowhere, why the hell do I have to buy carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli here when they can damn well get it at their own grocery stores?
It is true, I offered to help. I was also told that my assistance was not needed. And now? Now I get to haul my ass all over greater Madison is search of what will likely be some dry sheet cake that is far inferior to anything I could build. I, the one with the highest of standards when it comes to baked goods, get to show up (and pay for) what will likely be as tasty as frosted styrofoam. Not only is it insulting to me...but my reputation suffers! How can I be the favorite Auntie, the one with the delicious kitchen, if they make me bring pure crap?
So, I am extremely annoyed (in case you couldn't tell).
I am not attending a function this weekend because I am in a snit. You see, this group had scheduled for everyone and their families to go to that winter haven that is the Wisconsin Dells. However, because of a certain person's failure to plan, I was informed yesterday that Prince Charming and I had been bumped to different (and significantly lesser) accomodations. "You don't have kids, and you never use the waterpark, so we're putting you at *****." Gee, thanks, I feel so second-class.
So, I was insulted. You are right. We don't go swimming in toddler urine, but we do go down to the bar, order room service, etc. Taking this step down was going to be severely unfun, if you know what I mean.
What is most insulting is the "you don't have kids...." That's right. As of yet, there are no royal heirs to Prince Charming's Kingdom. Yet, when I was hired, the almighty was mighty concerned with how soon we would be spawning. I was led to believe that our waiting was decidedly preferred in the almighty's grand scheme. So now, to be penalized for something that was originally a selling point...I'm pissed off. I am not going to take it! We will not be treated in this callous manner.
Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters has a post this morning about how DNC Chairman "Crazy Screamer" Howard Dean was treated while in Kansas. It seems the lady governor, a democrat, snubbed the visit by avoiding Deano altogether.
I'm a Kansas girl, for those of you who are new readers, lost here in the wilds of Wisconsin. Moreover, I'm from Southwestern Kansas. A democratic governor in Kansas only gets elected by the population centers of Kansas City and Wichita. They don't vote democrat much in the rest of the state. So, to me, it is no surprise that this lady could smell the crap she nearly stepped in. There is absolutely no doubt that hitching her wagon to Dean's train would be political suicide. She might as well host bin Laden himself in the governor's mansion.
That ain't gonna happen either, Deano.
Come on! This is a state where the Southwestern corner of the state tried to secede and become the 51st State of the Union. These aren't the sort of people to buy what Dean is vomitting.
But still, I'm laughing at the insult she handed him!
Kathy and the Right Thinking Girl are both discussing the fact that Yeslam bin Laden (brother to the big bad Terrorist goat-lover) has trademarked the family name.
To be quite frank about this, I think it is f***ing stupid. The brother wants to prevent others from using it to bad effect.
You mean like your brother the mass murderer who pimps jihad like it is a buy one get 72 virgins for free sale in the red light district? If ever there was someone using the name to bad effect, it is your horrendous, madman of a brother.
Furthermore, if someone were to use the name as a brand, just who the hell is going to buy anything with the bin Laden name on it? I mean, besides those bent on world destruction? For example, bin Laden-branded do-it-yourself suicide bomber kits might fly off of the shelves, along with the bin Laden-branded Rocket Propelled Grenade, but bin Laden Soda? Not in this lifetime. People would suspect the soda of being poisoned with some chemical or biological agent.
Well, I watched/listened to last night's Law & Order episode. It was the "ripped from the headlines" story that meshed with the hunting massacre here in Wisconsin. I've posted on this before here and here, when it was breaking news.
In typical liberal fashion, the screenwriters took a tragic story and bastardized it, making the victims into the bad guys again. In last night's episode, the hunting incident was only discovered after a car chase in downtown Manhattan led to the death of a man in a SUV. He plowed into a restaurant, hurting the customers. A boy was injured in the crash while the driver was killed. It seems that the SUV was being chased by another non-descript sedan. The detectives detected a weapon in the SUV and came to the conclusion that the SUV had traveled to Manhattan from upstate New York. The vehicle belonged to a man who was supposed to be hunting with his son in the woods.
The detectives come upon several dead bodies in the woods. They then discover that the mad gunman had murdered the hunters in a dispute over a treestand, then stolen the SUV of one of his victims. In taking the vehicle, he realizes he has stolen an occupied vehicle. The hunter's son was asleep in the SUV and woke when the vehicle began to move. Bad guy threatens kid.
Meanwhile, another hunter preparing to join the crowd hears gunshots and screams, then sees the bad guy fleeing the scene in the SUV. He decides to follow the fleeing car and calls 9-1-1 from his cell phone. Unfortunately, his reception is poor and the operator can't make out what he is saying before his cell phone goes dead.
(Aside: I don't know about y'all, but in the woods in lots of places cell phone reception is bad. Presumably he could have thought ahead and charged his battery, but if I can't get my husband to do it, it really is too much to ask of a fictional character.)
The cops don't respond, because they don't know there is a problem.
(Further aside: I've lived in the country. It can be 45 minutes before the fire department shows up, let alone the cops. I've even lived in urban areas, upscale snooty urban areas, where it took the police department of the village an hour to show up to a burglary. So, I'm not the type that waits around for the police.)
The guy following the bad guy, whom McCoy later calls a 'vigilante', flees the accident scene when the car crashes into the restaurant. Although, technically, I'm not certain that he caused the accident. When the bad guy stops for gas, the good guy doesn't alert anyone because he doesn't want the guy to see him. He doesn't stop along the road or alert the folks at the toll booths.
So, naturally, since the bad guy died in the car crash and since the good guy lied to the cops and didn't do enough to stop the guy...McCoy prosecutes him. The judge throws out the first case, saying essentially, that hindsight is 20-20, and that unless you were in your shoes you can't blame the 'vigilante' for not doing more. But, then the abducted kid dies of complications, so McCoy files new charges.
My point is, once again the Left, through entertainment, has chosen to back the bad guy, the mad gunmen, instead of the guy who was at least trying to do good. It really makes me mad! Could the guy do more? Maybe. But in an emergency, few people think perfectly clearly and rationally.
Here's another thing: if you are going to abdicate responsibility for your own personal safety and well-being, that's your thing. But not all people are willing to do that. Faced with the same circumstances, we all would have done something different. Some would have done nothing. They would have walked away. But hunters, being do-it-yourself kinds of guys, normally aren't of that breed. They are the go-to guys. The guys that get it done.
For heaven's sake, you can't say that your only line of defense is the police force. That's like telling the bad guy, "Go ahead and rape and/or kill me. The cops won't show up for at least 30 minutes once they are informed of a disturbance. You are going to let me call 9-1-1, so if you also don't let me scream, we're on your timeline. Do your damnedest!" I'm simply not comfortable with that. You try to rape me, you get the cold hard steel of my Walther PPK in your nether regions.
In England, as I understand it, you aren't entitled to protect your life and property with deadly force. For heaven's sake, there have been cases where the Subjects of Britain have defended their property with force and only injured the perpetrator. What do they get? Hauled into court, of course, and sued for damages. Britain: Where crime really does pay.
Look, the story offended me because it was ripped from the headlines. And, seeing as how the story was only "inspired" by actual events, the non-news-junkie, non-Wisconsinite may not see the alterations in the story. They may take this story to mean that all hunters/gun-owners are wackadoo serial killer wannabes. They may think that this story is straight from the headlines, when in fact, I believe the real victims only fired after being fired upon.
Gun owners, I have found, are overly polite sorts. They work very hard not to offend. Just go to a gun show sometime and you'll see what I mean. Most gunowners are not psychopaths. Most Catholic priests are not child molestors. Same thing. For the Law & Order franchise to depict the story in this manner, wrongly portrays the victims as the aggressors and misleads the public on the realities of actual events.
It turns out, he really doesn't have American Indian heritage. I'm SHOCKED, I tell you. SHOCKED. I may have to take the rest of the week off.
Churchill did address the issue of his ethnicity, admitting that he is not Native American.
Now, that is breaking news: He lied! Again I am SHOCKED! What is that often chanted lefty rant? Oh yeah, to give it a new spin I humbly submit this replacement ditty: Churchill lied, He's on the terrorist's side.
He wins the Villains Vanquished "Poor Suffering Bastard" title because he "is the target of a right-wing strategy to attack academia." And because...
"I never wanted to be a poster boy for academic freedom," Churchill said. "You can't give an inch. If you let this one down, you've lost it all."
Much of Churchill's speech was devoted to explaining and expanding on his essay written on Sept. 11, 2001, that called 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns."
Yes, Ward, you are a villain. You have defiled the memories of the victims of 9/11, revealed yourself to be a liar, and have turned the cart around and claimed victim status for yourself.
You deserve a good ol' fashioned ass-kickin'. You Poor Suffering Bastard. You are an ASS of the first class! Get bent! You give human beings a bad name. You are SCUM!
That's all I have to say about that. Villains Vanquished!
UPDATE: Via Bryan at Sanity in Mad City, this news that he may not have actually claimed to not have American Indian heritage. Apparently, he's still claiming "associate member" status in the Keetoowah tribe. Yeah, right. And I'm 1/2 Kansas Mafia Royalty. Hoo-hah.
We, here at Villains Vanquished, are choosing not to rescind Churchill's recently honored title of Poor Suffering Bastard. In point of fact, this just furthers the proof of the right-wing conspiracy by which he is being victimized. We are also going to let him keep the title of "villain". We hand these out pretty regularly. Lacking proof of the title "liar" however, we are going to rescind that one and simply say he wins (loses?) the "poorest dressed and least-well coiffed" of all of our recent villains. We didn't want to take away one award without replacing it.
MOUNT ST. HELENS, Washington -- Mount St. Helens has shown an upswing in volcanic activity over the past two days, U.S. volcano scientists reported.
About 3 a.m. Tuesday, scientists said they detected a seismic signal and witnessed a bright glow inside the crater that persisted for about 15 minutes. The glow apparently resulted from the collapse of material at the top of the lava dome, which for that brief time exposed hot rock from deeper inside the mountain.
The French have always been strong contenders in this category, and equally strong in the "Stubborn & Disloyal tug-o-war", but apparently they are going for a hat trick.
Last evening, Fancy-pants Jacques Chirac snubbed the most powerful man on Earth by speaking French at a dinner instead of English, despite being fluent in that language. Apparently he still had his panties in a twist over George's insistence that Nato was a "cornerstone" in US-Euro relations and integral to defense.
Apparently, Fancy-pants and his stubborn German bulldog Schroeder want the EU to handle the defense.
Winning team: France & Germany
Maybe a winning team in the beer and wine drinking olympics. I can see it now...Fancy-pants with a cigarette dangling precariously out of his mouth while he drinks from a bottle of wine and throws his beret in the air and bounces on his tippy-toes while the bulldog dances in lederhosen and simultaneously downs 6 steins of beer while shouting "nein" over and over.
That's me: bringing you all the mental images that make you want to claw your brain out.
The palace is urging people to understand that this is not a snub (riiight) but that the Queen is merely trying to honor the couple's wishes for a low-key ceremony.
So, let me get this straight. They are not eloping. They are not having a church wedding (still frowned upon for divorcees) and still, the mother of the groom will not be attending because she wants to keep the thing low-key.
Nope. I don't buy it. She's the Queen for heaven's sake! If she wanted to attend, she has it in her power to move heaven and earth to do so. But it seems she doesn't want to. Fair enough.
But don't tell me that she is only concerned with the blessing of the union by the Archbishop of Canterbury. If she were that religious, she'd find a way to work her progeny like she has in the past. Not concerned with the "civil bit" but only with the blessing. Talk about mixed messages.
However, when she called Sensenbrenner's office for clarification on the nuts and bolts of the bill, but she couldn't get any answers to her very pertinent questions.
The man I spoke with didn't know. He said there wasn't anyone else available in the office who would know, either. Finally, he took my address and said that Rep. Sensenbrenner would write to me, "In about two weeks or so".
So, it seems that Sensenbrenner's own staff doesn't have any real knowledge of the bill. That's comforting.
She goes on:
I told him that was too long, since I wanted to blog about it before a vote comes up in the Senate. He gave me a couple links to find the bill online, but then suggested I not blog about the issue until I got the letter from Rep. Sensenbrenner.
That just stinks of censorship. I mean really! Mr. Sensenbrenner can't be freakin' bothered to pick up a damn phone and call a constituent? What the HELL! I'd fire that staffer! If you don't know the answers, get a damn phone number and promise a prompt reply within 2 days by someone who does have the freakin' answers! UN-freakin' believable! It has been a while since I've been this outraged (it feels good), so I've got a full head of steam. Imagine! The house has already passed this bill...so PRESUMABLY all 435 members have read the document and the details. (I refuse to budge on the expectation that if you are going to vote you know what you are voting for or against.) I swear, Wisconsin just sucks!
When in Illinois, my rep was John Shimkus and he ALWAYS got back to me promptly. For heaven's sake, my parents in Kansas are on first-name terms with their representation. Why the hell....ERAGLHLUTUPFFF!
So, now I have to ask: if the people working in the governmental office of a bill's sponsor don't know the answers to basic questions about the bill, who does know? And how is an average citizen supposed to find out?
Mary Eileen, I'd call another member of Congress and see if they aren't more accomodating. I may try myself. I'm just not trying Tammy Baldwin. I don't trust her to tell me the truth.
I took my little sister to the University of Illinois this weekend to check out the campus. Mostly, my goal was to demystify college life and trim her anxiety on the subject. 'Cause it can be really scary when everybody keeps bringing it up as though it is the end-all and be-all of existence.
She's 14 years younger than me and for all intents and purposes is an only child. All of her assorted siblings were out of the house by the time she was in school. So, a bit of anxiety is normal. And, I hate to say it, but she can be a little high-strung (some would say a normal reaction to living in our mother's world) and so the effect is amplified.
That's why I, the older, married, and pretty un-cool sister took her to see UofI instead of Mom. The hope was that however un-cool I might be, I'm still cooler than Mom, and have more personal experience with the campus...blah, blah, blah, and she could get a better feel for the campus. She could ask me questions and I would tell her the truth without the vague platitudes.
I am happy to report that the mission was a complete success! She was a bit nervous in the beginning, but by the end of the day, she was excited and asking questions. We took lots of pictures, went on a driving tour of the campus, checked out private housing, and walked the quad. But the highlight of the day, and I must admit the real reason for the success, was the freshman member of my sorority whom I had arranged to give us a tour of the house and her dorm room. I tell you, she's going to be a star rusher next fall. She pulled my shy little rebel of a sister out of her shell and they actually talked about the process of rushing. They were chattering like little birds, I kid you not!
My sorority sister earned my undying gratitude for that. I expected cordial politeness. But I certainly didn't expect her to give up several hours of her Saturday, leading us around, then going to lunch and to buy my sister a sweatshirt.
Which is why my sorority is so cool. Unpretentious, friendly, and plain old girl-next-door nice.
Kathy is looking for a sexy little avatar for the corner of her blog. She's looking for something representative of herself...and I quote:
She should be luscious and wearing glasses. And be a brunette. Because I am luscious, wear glasses and am a brunette.
I admit, after seeing the othersexyavatars, I would like one too. Although, I think mine should be wearing those great pirate boots with the turn down tops, fishnet stockings, and an off the shoulder blouse and short-shorts (in black). Her hair should be long and dark brown with a wild bit of curl. She should have those sexy cat eyes and a pert little nose and be thrusting a cutlass while swinging from a rope, in full pirate mode, so as to be in line with our "putting them to the sword" theme.
If anyone knows somebody who could set me up, please let me know. Or, if ya'll have other ideas of what would be appropriate, please let me know.
Many are now arguing that terrorists that have been captured overseas deserve to be treated like US citizens who have been arrested. How can we fight and win a war if the people we capture on the battlefield have to be treated like drunk drivers, drug dealers, and shoplifters?
He makes a really good point. Read it all.
War is ugly and mean and dirty and not to be fought by little girls with pink parasols. Emily Post didn't lay down guidelines for the correct way to engage the enemy. Martha Stewart's annual cookbook is not going to stop terrorism. To suggest that there should be any such thing as a "kinder and gentler" way to wage war is ridiculous.
The very nature of war is what leads to the cessation of hostilities. Death, destruction, and disease make a man very lonely for his wife, children, and home. If war were really a just a good time, a frat party on wheels, they would never stop! If we soften our approach to the enemy, do we not embolden them?
Total war is the ONLY way to wage a successful war. Those who linger over every single body coming home to tears and point to them as justification for such kinder and gentler methodologies assume too much at our peril. For, if we impose such niceties on our own fighting forces, we can have no honest or reasonable or realistic expectation that the enemy will do so in kind. But...some would suggest it were so.
I ask you...if a group of people has already demonstrated the extent of the evil means they are going to go to, such as flying multiple jet airliners into highrises, do we really think they are going to soften the thrust of the jihad simply because we softened the blow of our daisycutters?
I DON'T THINK SO!
Every attempt to soften our approach emboldens the enemy and unfairly burdens our troops. We ask so much of them already. Isn't it reasonable to give them the space to do their jobs? I mean, as large an organization as the US Military is, do we really need 18 more layers of bureacracy at the hands of attorneys?
Now, I don't mean to apologize for war criminals. But, I would point out that men are only men and war is hell. If you put a man in hell, you can't expect him to act like he's at the Queen's annual tea party/birthday.
If a man is standing a post to preserve my liberty, my way of life, my country, and my world, I want him to have the tool of his choice. I don't want to hamper him with hurdles.
Yesterday after work I went to a large national chain store that sells electronic goods. They consider themselves the best. Anyhoo, I was in the market for a digital camera. I had done some research online and vaguely knew what I wanted.
This sales girl approached me and asked if I needed help. I explained my needs and wants. She answered my questions and gave me a few other things to think about. She really knew her stuff and really impressed me. So I bought a camera and a few accessories.
However, she had to order one item for me and took me to the Customer Service desk. She completed the order request and left me there to pay my way out.
There were no less than 8 people behind the Customer Service desk. There were only two people waiting to be helped. Me and some other guy who was picking up an order.
Despite these statistics, I waited for 15 minutes to check out. There was only one guy behind the desk who was actually working. The other 7 were all occupied with chatting to each other. Is the Customer Service Desk the company break room? I saw no such sign. Three of the chatty birds were manager types, as identified by their employee nametags. Not a damn one of them felt inclined to pick up the phone that rang for 15 straight minutes.
This really annoyed me. My salesgirl was excellent, but the Customer Service staff sucked! You would think that three managers would be better on top of this sort of thing. For heaven's sake, there was no training going on...it was just non-work. If you must play hooky at work, have the decency not to do it in full view of the irritable customers who have already put in their 91/2 hours of work. Thank you.
First, one must note that the sorority girl is the closest the modern world has come to human cloning. Each one of these young things looks exactly alike. They all have the Official Wardrobe of the Sorority Chick: Designer sweat pants; designer T-shirt; expensive puffy winter coat; clunky designer sunglasses; oodles of makeup; &c. ... If the automaton-esque quality of the sorority girl weren’t enough to drive one crazy, one need only turn to her habits. Nary a minute goes by, dear reader, in which the sorority gal isn’t immersed in sub-literate conversation on her cellular ‘phone. As far as she’s concerned, the J. Crew catalog is so, like, awesome, and she’s, like, got to tell Amber all about it.
All of this, dear reader, has naturally compelled us to rethink our position on the War on Terrorism: As far as we’re concerned, if you allow your daughter to become a sorority girl, the terrorists have won.
So, I must laugh, and always also come to the defense of sorority girls the world over.
Because, back in the day...I was a sorority girl. I still am. Sisterhood is for life. I am an Alpha Phi. So is my real life sister. On Saturday, I'm going to show my little 17-year-old sister our sorority house.
Sorority girls are just girls like any other. They have chosen each other as friends. They help each other study and provide a shoulder to cry on or a pal to go out with. The things that non-Greek folk see are the things that make it easy to poke fun: parties, bow-heads, common wardrobes and speech patterns. What you don't see though is the emphasis on scholastic achievement and mental health. You don't see the comfort one sister offers another upon learning of a death in the family, or the complete support of 200 girls all cheering for a sister in recognition of some achievement. Sororities have important philanthropies that they work tirelessly for and donate much time to excellent causes.
It is true that sorority life is not for everyone, but it certainly has much to recommend it. For one, the house is invariably nicer than your dorm and the food is considerably better!
The parties were nice, but the sisterhood was better.
I suggest that the common wardrobes, cellphone chattiness, and commonspeak is not singular to sorority girls. I believe you would find these things common to a wide ranging group of college girls nationwide, irrespective of Greek affiliation.
And I am absolutely certain that Terrorists are against sororities.
Today, she points out the freedom and honor among bloggers. You should read the whole thing, but here are a few prime tidbits: ... When you hear name-calling like what we've been hearing from the elite media this week, you know someone must be doing something right. The hysterical edge makes you wonder if writers for newspapers and magazines and professors in J-schools don't have a serious case of freedom envy.
The bloggers have that freedom. They have the still pent-up energy of a liberated citizenry, too. The MSM doesn't. It has lost its old monopoly on information. It is angry. ... The blogosphere isn't some mindless eruption of wild opinion. That isn't their power. This is their power:
...They look for the telling quote, the ignored statistic, the data that have been submerged. What they are looking for is information that is true. When they get it they post it and include it in the debate. This is a public service. ... They are not, and do not have to be, governed by mainstream thinking. Nor do they have to accept the directives of an editor pushing an ideology or a publisher protecting his friends. ... Bloggers have an institutional advantage in terms of technology and form. They can post immediately. The items they post can be as long or short as they judge to be necessary. ... Bloggers are also selling the smartest take on a story. They're selling an original insight, a new area of inquiry. ... And they're doing it free. That is, the Times costs me a dollar and so does the Journal, but Kausfiles doesn't cost a dime. This too is a public service. Some blogs get their money from yearly fund-raising, some from advertisers, some from a combination, some from a salary provided by Slate or National Review. Most are labors of love. Some bloggers--a lot, I think--are addicted to digging, posting, coming up with the bright phrase. ... It is intellectual commerce. Bloggers give you information and point of view. In return you give them your attention and intellectual energy. They gain influence by drawing your eyes; you gain information by lending your eyes. They become well-known and influential; you become entertained or informed. They get something from it and so do you. ... What governs members of the blogosphere is what governs to some degree members of the MSM, and that is the desire for status and respect. In the blogosphere you lose both if you put forward as fact information that is incorrect, specious or cooked. You lose status and respect if your take on a story that is patently stupid. You lose status and respect if you are unprofessional or deliberately misleading. And once you've lost a sufficient amount of status and respect, none of the other bloggers link to you anymore or raise your name in their arguments. And you're over. The great correcting mechanism for people on the Web is people on the Web.
It continues on from there. Read it, it is great. I say again: Peggy, thanks for understanding.
No doubt this will be flying around the blogosphere all day.
What with the Talon News Service thing and all of the people getting sacked for blogging, it seems some full disclosure is in order.
First off, my real name is not "Phoenix". It is something altogether different, and yet, in my case I am not Just Another Jenny. My name is unusal enough that it sticks in the mind and people who have never met me claim to "know me" because they have heard of me, or other weirdness. Oftentimes they only know my first name, putting me in the ranks of Cher and Madonna. (I am neither of those, in case you might be wondering.)
I do not post under my real name because anonymity allows me to be more truthful in my opinions. I am not ashamed of my opinions, nor do I have anything to hide. I merely treasure my privacy. Somepeople know my real name of course. It isn't like my identity is a state secret, rather that it is a mechanism to protect myself from trolls. (I've been stalked and almost raped in real life, so forgive me if I err on the side of caution.)
Who am I? What is my purpose here? I don't really consider myself a "citizen journalist". I am more in the way of an "opinion leader" or "talking head." Except nobody pays me to do this. My husband dislikes talking about politics with me. So, I blog. Is blog a verb? Anyway, I do this thing to give me a place to discuss stuff. A lot of times this means politics, but it can cover any number of subjects. I do not lie to my readers, except to protect the identities of the people who I bring up in discussion. Public figures they are not, so they deserve their anonymity. And, in some cases, it is a matter of national security.
I hope to bring things to your attention and make you think. I'd like to hope that sometimes I make you laugh. In any case, I am not here to bring you a "fair and balanced" view of anything. This is all-opinion, all mine, all the time (come to think of it, so are CNN, al-reuters, and al-jazeera).
I am not highbrow like Powerline, INDC, or Belmont Club. I don't have the pulse on culture like the Llama Butchers. I am not military like Noble Eagle or Armor Geddon or Smash. I do not blog about work because that would be unethical. What you get here is Mrs. Citizen's unadulterated opinions. Sort of a smackdown on the stupid of Wisconsin and the nation and the world.
A select group of people know about my blogging, but everybody else is in the dark. I am not as good at it as some are (Blogmama), but I am faithful, which has to count for something.
So, there you go: Full Disclosure, at least as much as you are going to get.
I know, I know, I've been boring you. My posts have not been quite up to par. Simply put, I have too much going on.
I have that thing called work. And I'm also involved in the remodel and redecorating of the office. I'm prepping a trip to Chambana this weekend and another to DC in March. I'm sewing two fully-lined oriental jackets together and making matching hats. I'm shopping for a camera, I can't decide whether or not to go digital, and trying to finish our taxes. All the while cleaning house, feeding my husband, and trying to keep sane.
I'll try to post as time allows. I'll try to bring you more interesting stuff too.
I'm back in the Captain's Chair, charting a course for...I don't know.
Yesterday was just crazy! But after the craziness, Prince Charming took me out to see Hitch. Okay, as far as anniversary celebrations go it was a bit tame...but nice nonetheless. We didn't get to eat dinner because of a situation involving keys locked in a car but I shall not linger on that topic. Men have fragile egos, you know.
Hitch, for those that are unaware, is the new Will Smith vehicle that also features Kevin James. It is a romantic comedy about a man who helps other men traverse the turbulent waters of dating. The Date Doctor, played by Smith, is driven by his own traumatic experience with one woman from his college years. The geeky college guy (presumably the experience led him to his personal makeover and new GQ attitude) falls desperately in love with a young lady who plays him false. He's whining in the rain as she's behaving badly in the front seat of some fella's car. Smith's character is hurt and uses this experience to build himself a career.
He helps men who need help with women socially. As far as I can tell, he merely gave them a small makeover and a boost in confidence. He tells himself that he does more...but it is clear by the end of the movie that this isn't true. I could deconstruct all of the negative messages in this movie all day, but I won't.
It was a romantic comedy, not an historical biopic, therefore we shall take some things as givens. However, I will say that the story seemed to ramble there in the middle a bit, that Eva Mendes's portrayal was...boring, and that it was only a so-so performance from Will Smith. I have come to expect more from Smith than what I saw last night. Far and away the best parts of the film were those featuring Kevin James. He stole the show! I couldn't help wishing that there were more scenes with him. In my opinion, they should have rewritten the screenplay and stuck in a third date for James's character and his lady love. James and Smith are excellent together and James playing his quirky clumsy accountant is a real pleasure to watch.
Via MSNBC, comes this article about a really cool website (Called the Baby Name Wizard) where you can check to see how common your name was when you were born. Find out how much like sheep your parents were. Dude! Check it out! Much fun and excellent time-wasting possibilities.
MSNBC is reporting in this article that a Sutter, California school is requiring radio-beaconed ids to be worn by all students. And imagine this...not everybody is happy about it!
SUTTER, Calif. - The only grade school in this rural town is requiring students to wear radio frequency identification badges that can track their every move. Some parents are outraged, fearing it will rob their children of privacy.
The badges introduced at Brittan Elementary School on Jan. 18 rely on the same radio frequency and scanner technology that companies use to track livestock and product inventory.
Which is insulting, at the very least!
While similar devices are being tested at several schools in Japan so parents can know when their children arrive and leave, Brittan appears to be the first U.S. school district to embrace such a monitoring system.
The system was imposed, without parental input, by the school as a way to simplify attendance-taking and potentially reduce vandalism and improve student safety. Principal Earnie Graham hopes to eventually add bar codes to the existing ID’s so that students can use them to pay for cafeteria meals and check out library books.
You know, because it is so hard to take attendance. All of that calling of names and listening for the "here", and then making a checkmark in a book. It takes all of two minutes. Lazy bastards! And who out there thinks that making kids wear an ugly billboard around their necks is going to make them respect their environs more? Isn't it more likely to lead to rebellion and further desecration of the walls of learning? Sometimes Technology isn't the answer!
But some parents see a system that can monitor their children’s movements on campus as something straight out of Orwell.
Well no shit, Sherlock!
“There is a way to make kids safer without making them feel like a piece of inventory,” said Michael Cantrall, one of several angry parents who complained. “Are we trying to bring them up with respect and trust, or tell them that you can’t trust anyone, you are always going to be monitored and someone is always going to be watching you?”
Yes, yes, I think that is EXACTLY what you are telling them.
Cantrall said he told his children, in the 5th and 7th grades, not to wear the badges. He also filed a protest letter with the board and alerted the ACLU.
Good for him! I wouldn't let my kids wear them either!
Graham, who also serves as the superintendent of the single-school district, told the parents that their children could be disciplined for boycotting the badges — and that he doesn’t understand what all their angst is about.
Apparently this school district is run by the dumbest asshat in the world. How obtuse can you get?
“Sometimes when you are on the cutting edge, you get caught,” Graham said, recounting the angry phone calls and notes he has received from parents.
Sometimes when you attempt to treat children as though they are your own little jews to be rounded up, marked, and imprisoned in this manner, some people will call you a dictating, ignorant, asshat.
Each student is required to wear identification cards around their necks with their picture, name and grade and a wireless transmitter that beams their ID number to a teacher’s handheld computer when the child passes under an antenna posted above a classroom door.
Welcome to the feedlot. You will now be known as inmate # 758425.
Does anybody else see this leading to kids running black markets where they carry your id to class so that you can go smoke crack on the sidewalk in front of the 7-11? Why can't the teachers of this nation take a personal interest in their pupils? Learn their names? Notice when they aren't in class instead of relying on what some handheld device tells you? Suppose one kid shows up with 29 ids in his backpack...are those kids absent if the computer doesn't say so? Then, of course, there is the matter of framing some gradeschool enemy. Suppose some 6th grader talks to your boyfriend. Then, you get your friend to steal her id and frame her for cutting class, graffiti in the Teacher's Lounge, and stealing donuts from the lunchroom.
Graham also asked to have a chip reader installed in locker room bathrooms to reduce vandalism, although that reader is not functional yet. And while he has ordered everyone on campus to wear the badges, he said only the 7th- and 8th-grade classrooms are being monitored thus far.
Because the school system needs to know when you pee or insert a tampon.
In addition to the privacy concerns, parents are worried that the information from the badges could wind up in the wrong hands and endanger their children, and that radio frequency technology might carry health risks.
Graham dismisses each objection, arguing that the devices do not emit any cancer-causing radioactivity, and that for now, they merely confirm that each child is in his or her classroom, rather than track them around the school like a global-positioning device.
You see, it can't be that bad. Besides, it is wrong to question the Supreme Emperor.
The 15-digit ID number that confirms attendance is encrypted, he said, and not linked to other personal information such as an address or telephone number.
Yeah, 'cause that's what's bothering people, not your systematic attempts to turn our children into nameless zombies who eat whatever you feed their brains and regurgitate it upon command. If they won't regurgitate, or won't wear their badges, send them to the gas chambers. This guy really is a Nazi.
What’s more, he says that it is within his power to set rules that promote a positive school environment: If he thinks ID badges will improve things, he says, then badges there will be.
“You know what it comes down to? I believe junior high students want to be stylish. This is not stylish,” he said.
Well, they are ugly...but fashion falls way low on the list when it comes to personal privacy, safety, and I don't know...individuality and self-esteem and respect. What an idiot! We aren't talking about parachute pants...we're talking about putting a tracking system on our kids, turning them into little automatons. Am I completely alone in my outrage? Shout out! Tell them that this vile practice is the same as having to wear a star on your coat!
This latest adaptation of radio frequency ID technology was developed by InCom Corp., a local company co-founded by the parent of a former Brittan student, and some parents are suspicious about the financial relationship between the school and the company. InCom plans to promote the technology at a national convention of school administrators next month.
You know, some of my issues with this would be addressed if the superintendent and the teachers would consent to having a similar device inserted into their bowels. After all...we need to know where the teachers and administrators are at all times too. How do I know some sex-starved teacher isn't attempting to molest my 12-year-old? How do I know the administrator isn't playing peeping tom in the girl's locker room? Fair is fair!
InCom has paid the school several thousand dollars for agreeing to the experiment, and has promised a royalty from each sale if the system takes off, said the company’s co-founder, Michael Dobson, who works as a technology specialist in the town’s high school. Brittan’s technology aide also works part-time for InCom.
Ah...so now we learn the Superintendent is getting a kick-back. I still vote that he get his own receiver inserted into his nether regions!
Not everyone in this close-knit farming town northwest of Sacramento is against the system. Some said they welcomed the IDs as a security measure.
“This is not Mayberry. This is Sutter, California. Bad things can happen here,” said Tim Crabtree, an area parent.
I didn't realize that Sutter was a veritable South Central. I'm still opposed, do you hear me? I am pissed off! Not enough is being said about this! SCUMBAG! HITLER! NAAAZZZIIIII!
So, Prince Charlie the Cheat announced this morning that fallen woman and hussy extraordinaire, Camilla Parker Bowles will wed him on April 8.
However, to please the public, the scarlett lady shall never be queen, instead gaining the title of "Princess Consort" if Charlie ever gets to the throne and "Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall" upon their nuptials.
This woman is vile. She looks like a tree frog and has the morals of an alley cat. I don't like her.
Of course, it really isn't up to me. But still, I don't like her.
Proving once again that Hamas bows to no President or authority,
Palestinian Hamas militants fired dozens of mortars and rockets into
Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip early Thursday, causing some damage,
but no casualties. The attack violates a cease-fire, declared two days ago
and is likely to increase pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to
take further steps against the militants.
To quote Good Morning, Vietnam,
Yes, I'll take an order of Obvious with a side of Irony, heavy on the Sarcasm Sauce.
North Korea on Thursday announced for the first time that it has nuclear
arms and rejected moves to restart disarmament talks anytime soon, saying it
needs the weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United
Can't we get somebody in there to just kill this SOB? You know, a little black bag regime change? This guy makes me want to throw rocks at his ugly mug. Yeah, like your pitiful self is actually going to scare the President of the United States. The United States will not be blackmailed, we will not be held hostage!
I have written before about the sloppy and downright stupid way elections are monitored here in the frozen tundra, but today's google search produces a deluge of proof to offer up to my curious readers.
MILWAUKEE - Election records show that a man who was listed as living at the address of the St. Catherine Residence, which has allowed only women to live there for 110 years, voted in the Nov. 2 election, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
A Milwaukee newspaper said the records also show that someone with an identical name and middle initial also registered at the polls that day and voted from another address, which does not even exist.
The newspaper said driver’s license records list a man with that name living next door to the second address, but his name is not on a directory of residents at that apartment building and messages left by the newspaper at that apartment were not answered.
But the newspaper said that, using computer records provided under an earlier request, it has attempted to track down some cases in which people with identical names and initials are listed as voting from different addresses.
The newspaper said that it had also found a woman listed as having voted from an address where she says she has lived and voted for six years and another house where she said she has never lived and from which she did not vote.
There's something rotten in Milwaukee, and it is blowing this way. You can find more here, like this little gem:
There are college students listed as voting on campus and at home; people recorded as voting at old addresses and their new ones; identical names listed as registering at different addresses on election day; and even a woman who is listed as voting somewhere she says she never lived.
Then, of course, there are these startling statistics in this article:
More than 1,200 ballots cast in the Nov. 2 presidential election came from bad addresses in the city of Milwaukee, including playgrounds, vacant lots and baseball diamonds, according to an analysis published in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that verifies concerns raised by the Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW) prior to the election.
RPW uncovered some 37,000 non-existent or highly suspect addresses on the city’s voter rolls prior to the election. The revelation prompted the city to order poll workers to double-check some of those addresses if prospective voters attempted to use them.
Today’s revelation is just the latest in a series of troubling developments surrounding Milwaukee’s mishandling of the November election:
The city Election Commission admitted it was unable to send out registration cards to some 10,000 voters who registered on election day because the information on the cards was either illegible or incomplete. The cards are used to confirm the identities of those who voted.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported that about 8,300 more votes were cast than the number of people recorded by the city as voting. It is unclear whether this number is directly connected to the 10,000 unprocessed registration cards. According to Election Commission Executive Director Lisa Artison, ‘several hundred’ of the registration cards that the city was able to send out have since been returned as undeliverable. (MJS, 1/25/05)
“Time and time again, the Milwaukee Election Commission has failed to answer questions and concerns in a timely manner, which raises even more red flags. And considering today’s revelations, it’s not surprising that the city wanted to delay the release of this information for as long as possible,” Graber observed. “Whether this is a case of rank incompetence, widespread fraud or a combination of the two, we are talking about a number of suspect votes large enough to possibly throw the Wisconsin results of the 2004 presidential election into question.”
And these are just the issues we know about! What else could it be but widespread, systematic, election fraud?
A former College Republican from Illinois has been charged with illegal voting in Brown County, but a prosecutor said Wednesday the case is no longer as clear-cut as when a College Democrat first turned him in.
Illinoisan Marc P. Lacher had bragged about voting in a "swing state" when casting his ballot in De Pere on Nov. 2, according to a felony criminal complaint. He used the address where he lived before graduating from St. Norbert College last spring, the complaint says.
Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski said Tuesday, following Lacher's initial court appearance in the case, that he has learned Lacher may have lived in Green Bay and Illinois in the months leading up to the election. Lacher apparently believed he could simply vote using his last permanent address, in De Pere, which raises questions about whether he intended to commit fraud, Zakowski said.
Idiots! All of them are Idiots! How dumb do you have to be to not know your address (assuming of course that all of these voters were legitimate)? I suggest to the world at large that if you don't know your own address...you are too ill-informed to vote! And who in the heck is under the impression you can vote anywhere you've ever lived before? Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Of course it is fraud! Which is why we need election reform in Wisconsin! Either that or we need to change the state's motto to "Wisconsin: Where everybody gets to vote at least once!"
So, this news, that the FBI is joining the investigation into voter fraud in Milwaukee is most welcome. But still, if it waddles, quacks, swims, eats bread crumbs, and hatches ducklings...it is probably a duck! The problem will be catching and prosecuting the offenders. What we need are real election controls. Like requiring registrations to be in at least 60 days before an election. Like requiring photo ids at the polls, something that is not unreasonable. For heaven's sake, the lady at the grocery store asks to see a photo id everytime you write a check or use a credit card! What is so offensive about asking for id? It does not disenfranchise anyone! If you don't have a driver's license you can get a state id card!
And, could we open the polls at 6 am...when working folk have a chance of voting before their workday begins? I mean, really! Not opening the polls until 9 am is like having a diner only serve lunch between the hours of 2 and 3 pm.
Is it just me, or was the finale to the Amazing Race last night very unsatisfying?
Since the beginning of the season I have been rooting for Kris & Jon, the couple who was dating long-distance. I thought they worked well as a team, played fair, and never went wackadoo. They never got crazy or mean to each other...generally they were pleasant to watch. I wanted them to win, if only to prove that normal nice people could do it.
But no...Crazy Freddy and Whining Kendra had to win. She was so freakin' annoying! This show is about 3 cm from getting added to the list of reality shows I won't watch which now includes:
Survivor, The Apprentice, all Bachelor & Bachelorette incarnations, Wife swapping, dog swapping, laundry swapping.
You get the drift.
Speaking of drifts, more snow last night. whoopee. getting really tired of the wet, cold, white stuff here in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin.
LONDON (Reuters) - A Welsh rugby fan cut off his own testicles to celebrate Wales beating England at rugby, the Daily Mirror has reported.
Geoff Huish, 26, was so convinced England would win Saturday's match he told fellow drinkers at a social club, "If Wales win I'll cut my balls off", the paper said on Tuesday. Friends at the club in Caerphilly, south Wales, thought he was joking.
But after the game Huish went home, severed his testicles with a knife, and walked 200 metres back to the bar with the testicles to show the shocked drinkers what he had done. Huish was taken to hospital where he remained in a seriously ill condition, the paper said. Police told the paper he had a history of mental problems.
Dude...this was just dumb! I'm sorry if my male readers are offended or felt twinges of pain in reading this. How drunk do you have to be guys? I would think too drunk to walk home, but what do I know?
Check out this article, via Drudge & My Way News, stating that the French want to thaw relations with the US.
French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier had this to say:
"The question is not to know what we can bring to the United States, or what they can bring us. The question is what we can do together to solve problems," Barnier said, citing problems including terrorism, hunger and the situation in Afghanistan.
Barnier, who like Rice was visiting the Middle East on Monday for talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, defended negotiations by Britain, France and Germany over Iran's nuclear program but called for U.S. support.
"We have no illusions and are moving forward with open eyes with the Iranians. But to succeed we need American support. I have the impression listening to President Bush, who has strongly criticized Tehran, that he would wish to have confidence in Europe (over the talks)," he said.
Emphasis mine. At least he's under no delusions as to where the real power resides, and if military action is required, who will be doing the heavy lifting. It isn't everyday you see the American-hating French a)admit they can't do something on their own, b)recognize they need help, or c)appeal to America for anything. Damn, but it must be so emasculating to be a Frenchman.
In the spirit of renewing relations and tightening alliances, I will observe a moment of silence, french-bashing-free, ...
Good, that' over. Seriously, do you think he had to eat his shoe after those words? I doubt it. I mean, he got in his hits with that "alliance doesn't signify allegiance" statement.
Yesterday was my daddy's birthday. I called him last night to wish him a happy one. I love my daddy, and yes, I still call him 'Daddy'.
He has taught me so much. Not the least of which was how to shoot, a love of history, a thirst for knowledge, and respect for our armed forces. He has a very real love for this country and he passed that on to me too.
It was very bizarre growing up as we did. My father is a bit of a contradiction. He only had my sister and I for children, so the boy-type stuff didn't always interest us barbie-girls. It wasn't his fault we were girlie-girls. It was just who we were. But, he must have made some inroads because I went to being the type of girl who would scream bloody murder at the mere presence of a stink bug, to taking several Entomology courses in my pursuit of a degree in Agronomy. (As a matter of fact, I have developed a highly tuned skill in drawing insects free hand - well enough in fact that a faxed copy of said drawing can be used in identifications.)
Anyway, I was going to talk about my daddy's contradictions. See, Dad insisted that my sister and I learn all of these survival skills and other sorts of men-type activities. Shooting, changing oil, greasing machinery, pulling on a wrench, welding...etc. However, because we were girls, he also insisted that we be able to "feed our future husbands real food." So, the macho guy insisted we learn cooking and sewing and the domestic arts as well. It turns out, he didn't want us to ever have to rely on a man...but also wanted us to be able to really take care of one. It still makes me laugh because the inherent message there is that women are more capable than men. My sister and I can do the work of man...and we can provide a domestic heaven for a man. But I doubt that most men could say the same.
And, if my father had had just one son...I doubt he would have been schooled in the domestic arts, if you know what I mean.
But, I love him for all of his quirks. After all, I am who I am because of him. Which really means, I'm a self-sufficient woman who drives my husband insane. And my husband has my father to thank.
There is good news this morning on the Israeli-Palestinian front. It seems Sharon & Abbas have agreed on a cease fire. This from ABC News:
Israel is willing to go very far and we're going to introduce today a package of
confidence-building measures, incentives, to the Palestinians so that they could
start this long journey on the road to peace," said Raanan Gissin, a top Sharon
adviser. "But there's one thing that must be made very clear … there will be no
flexibility whatsoever, no compromise whatsoever on fighting terrorism."
Gissin said that as part of Israel's halting of military operations, it would
stop its controversial targeted killing operations against wanted Palestinians,
as long as the Palestinians kept militants under control. Gissin noted Israeli
flags, flying outside the summit convention center alongside the flags of Arab
countries, calling it a sign of more hopeful times.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called the summit a "beginning" and said
talks might continue in Israel as soon as Wednesday.
Perhaps I am cynical, but I have my doubts as to whether or not this latest attempt at peace can work. There is so much hatred...it will be difficult. Certainly there is one major change in this latest effort and that is the absence of Yasser Arafat. The Palestinians can put themselves on the map this time I think (literally & figuratively) if only Mahmoud Abbas turns out to be a leader for peace. Imagine if Abbas were really determined to end the violence and negotiate the Palestinian right to be a separate state that is self-determining. For one thing, it would stop the wholesale destruction of entire generations of Palestinian youth and lead to economic revival for the Palestinians. It is likely to be an uneasy peace at first, of course, as all initial measures usually are. And in this case, where peace has broken down so many times before, it will be no different. But if Abbas could really control all of the militant rabble bent on the destruction of Israel...that would really be something. Let's put it this way, it would be more deserving of a Nobel Peace Prize than some of the previous winners (coughArafatcough).
The interesting thing about real peace in the Israel - Palestinian conflict is that it would de-legitimize the Middle East's big gripe, remove the thorn from their paw, and thereby require the lion to either get with the program or prove what a beast it really is. Of course it is a legitimate gripe, I don't mean to suggest otherwise. But, so many times they have proven their disinterest in real peace...prefering to demand the destruction of Israel at any cost, including the lives of their children. This is not a reasonable position, nor is it a responsible one. What is needed is for everyone to get sick to death of the smell of blood and willing to compromise. I do not have some naive dream that peace between Israel and Palestine would rid the world of Al Qaeda. I do not believe it would because these people feed on hatred. I do think, however, that it would eventually slow the recruiting down to nearly nothing. Why?
Because peace would also lead to prosperity. Prosperity means jobs. And a steady job for all of those young men would mean they were less likely to volunteer for suicide missions, being more interested in having a family and being a part of the growing economy.
But I have my doubts. Old habits are hard to break, the animosity runs deep, and I'm not sure it serves the purposes of other Arab states to lose the Palestinian issue as their major beef.
But still, maybe someday one of these attempts at peace will actually stick.
So, last nite as my husband snored, I was flipping through the channels and landed on Fox News for a minute. Somebody was on talking about the Italian antiwar journalist who was kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents. This individual was going on and on about how the insurgents were so uninformed, they had kidnapped a sympathizer, a kindred spirit. He talked about how she had been so antiwar this and that.
Phhbbbt! First of all, the term "insurgent" paints them a bit pretty. Really, these people don't care who they victimize. They have proven this time and time again, and if you still insist on calling them "insurgents" when really they are terrorists, you prove how little you really understand the problem. An insurgent would not kidnap a collaborator, they would treat the collaborator well in the hopes that she would give them more good press. A terrorist, on the other hand, is only concerned with inciting fear. Therefore, he would take any hostage/victim he can get his hands on. The ones that get the most press (duh...like members of the media) will be milked for everything they are worth. Have those French journalists ever been released? There is no conscience to appeal to. There is no morality. There is no respect for the presumably neutral "monitors" of the war. As far as the so-called insurgency is concerned, these are just potential victims. Why else would they blow up bombs mostly in-sight of where the journalists sleep? Duhr...are the journalists just dumb, or what?
I hate Mondays. I despise them. I honestly believe I would be more productive if the work week began Monday at noon and ended Friday at noon. If ever I own my own company, this is how it shall be.
I mean, this weekend was so short as to be a figment of my imagination. Prince Charming worked Friday night, so I was alone. Worked on our taxes. Saturday morning he woke me up. I got up to spend some time on the treadmill while he took a nap. An hour and a half later, I woke him up and we had breakfast. Then I went grocery shopping. That was hell. Dumb people don't know how to drive their friggin' baskets in the supermarket. Generally speaking, folks, the rules of the road apply in the Super Wal-Mart aisles. Don't just dart out into traffic, you fools!
Ah, but then I came home and finished my book while he watched the Wisconsin Badgers play b-ball. Then he grilled steaks. He had to go to bed early though, being over-tired from Friday night, so that he could go back to work Sunday morning. Why? Naturally, so that everyone who usually works Sunday nite could watch the Superbowl. He got home Sunday around 2 pm. By which time I had treadmilled, completed laundry, cleaned bedroom, and...that's about it. He came home then went back out. To Mike's house. It is apparently much more satisfying to drink beer at Mike's. He came home. I made tacos. He fell asleep on the couch. This is typical. I put in a movie for us to watch, in this case Friday Night Lights, and invariably he falls asleep within the first 15 minutes. So at the end of the movie I had to pry him off the couch (there isn't a spatula made that could achieve this...ice water torture is the only thing that works) to get him to come up to bed. He was so tired that he barely even noticed the change in venue.
Did he make me breakfast? No. He went back to work at 5 am this morning...and will return again tonite at 9 pm.
So, don't ask me how my weekend was. It sucked, thank you very much!
In early March, I am visiting Washington, DC. The last time I was there I was in the 8th grade. I'm really looking forward to visiting the International Spy Museum. I doubt we'll be able to visit the White House, because we don't have 6 months to give notice. Which is really too bad, because that is one place I'd really like to visit. I'm going with my sister, the spy. We are having a girlie weekend since we see so little of each other these days. We'll do a little shopping, a few tours, see the sites, and generally be silly. So, if anybody has any suggestions for really good eats, leave it in the comments.
In two weeks, I will be returning to my Alma Mater, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana (UIUC). I'm taking my 17 year old sister to see if she is interested in going to school there. I'm going instead of my mom because I can give her more insight (a better tour), she'll have more fun with me than with her parents, I'm quasi-cool (and therefore not as uncool as the parental units), and because...I told my mom I would do it. So, I'm going to show her the Quad, and the engineering campus, the ag campus, the Morrow Plots and the Undergrad Library (built underground so as not to throw shade on the Morrow Plots). I want to show her my sorority house and what the dorms are like. I want to show her where the mall is and where the movie theaters are, take her to the student union, the stadium, and generally make her feel like she is moving into an exciting phase of her life. Of course, I also intend to temper the excitement with the realities of real school work and campus social life's ugly side.
In April, I will show her around the University of Wisconsin at Madison. I don't have any real knowledge of the campus (other than traffic is hell and one-way streets make driving it a nightmare). But I have resources and time to investigate. In particular, if anybody has a list of don't-miss spots for a UW tour, please leave them in the comments. The same goes for UofI, but I'll be surprised if you can come up with something not already on my list.
The Llamas bring this to my attention, who found it at Ace's place. Shamelessly reproduced here in its entirety 'cause its that funny.
Top Ten Other Terrorist Announcements
10. "If the UN does not immediately withdraw support for the US occupation of Iraq, the Jihad Brotherhood will cut off one of Papa Smurf's three fingers"
9. "We have captured Rainbow Brite, and we will hang her as an infidel at dawn"
8. "Al-Zarqawi is pleased to announce his new lieutenants, following last week's captures-- COBRA Commander and Megatron of the Decepticons (also, we may get that completely-useless robot who can turn into a fuckin' camera)"
7. "If the American infidels do not depart Iraq immediately, the streets will run black with the ink of a thousand Etch-a-Sketches"
6. "I swear to Allah, if you do not release our brave warriors held in captivity, by next week Garfield the cat will have a whole new reason to hate Mondays"
5. "You have no chance of defeating us in Iraq, in Afghanistan, or in high-stakes games of Hungry Hungry Hippos"
4. "We have Jarts and we're not afraid to use them"
3. "By Allah the Great, if our demands are not met immediately, we will begin pestering your female soldiers with our great stockpiles of Mr. Microphones; they will not be able to sleep, for our constant utterances of Hey good-looking, be back to pick you up later!"
2. "Deliver Donald Rumsfeld to us as a war criminal for trial or we will take our collection of Muppets and pose them in the most insidiously-sexual of manners; verily, your children will weep bitter tears when they witness Elmo being sodomized by the deviant Gonzo and his pansexual chickens"
... and the Number One Other New Terrorist Announcement...
1. "A thousand explosive Chia Pets will thunder in the streets of Bagh... oh, fuck it, we're a bunch of buffoonish wankers everybody knows it"
The old saying is that 'Birds of a Feather Flock Together'. Well, that's certainly true of the UN!
I have expounded frequently in the past (and in recent days) on what a bunch of thieving crooks I believe the idiots at the UN to be. And now they go and prove that not only are they crooks, but that they like to do business with other crooks (like Saddam), and will take any opportunity to show the US and President George Bush in as negative a light as possible. They believe that this gives them cachet.
So what do they do? They name Slick Willy as Tsunami Czar. All I can think of is those poor UN pages and interns who will soon be facing the onslaught. Seriously...what were they thinking!?! The man has proven again and again and again and again that he can't be faithful to his wife, his administration was clouded by scandal on top of scandal, and his wife may soon be funding a run for the White House. Do you really think it is a good idea to put him in charge of all that money?
I don't. I think it is a pretty cheap way for the UN to say, "These are the kinds of guys we like, the kinds of guys WE think should be President of the United States of America." It is a backhand to Bush and the American people. Screw 'em, I say. Stop funding the theives and send them to some other country to host their august body of nattering nabobs of negativity.
I have always said that I have a difficult time expecting a man who can't be faithful to his wife to be faithful to his country. Loyalty to a country being so much more nebulous and distant than the woman who shares your home and your sheets. I think it was a good idea to put Slick Willy in charge of raising funds; afterall, they say he can charm the panties off anybody. But, I think it is dangerous to put him in charge of spending the money...for all of the obvious reasons.
But then again, I never liked the crook in the first place, so perhaps I am biased.
Caution: Traumatic and Deeply Disturbing Story Ahead
I wanted to share with you all the story of the second weekend of my marriage. I was still somewhat naive, and slammed pretty fast into the realities of family obligations. It was culture shock, to say the least, and the bright and shiny rubbed off of me really fast. Anyway, the events described took place three weeks short of two years ago.
I feel sure that you will be able to laugh at my pain. So, in the spirit of entertainment, allow me to fill you in on all of the gory details.
Have you ever had this much fun?
Friday: Go to work. Work 8 hours. Come straight home. Load the car. Drive 2 hours, eating grease-burgers en route, until you reach the far end of the state. Walk up the driveway and down into the storm cellar/basement. Where 10 people are actively cutting, hacking, and otherwise strewing bovine carcass everywhere. And I do mean everywhere. Pant legs, belly fronts, floor, walls, hair, on kids, EVERYWHERE.
Say hello. Walk up the stairs. Take the out offered and refuse a knife of your very own. Arrive upstairs where "processed" meat is being packaged. Or more accurately articulated, where the newly hacked bovine carcass pieces have been taken.
You know those buckets you can get motor oil and other toxic chemicals in? Imagine bucket after bucket after bucket filled with hamburger. Fatty-er hamburger I've never seen, mind you. It was definately several percentage points (say 25%) off of the 95% lean I try to buy in the grocery store.
Imagine filling ziplock freezer bag after ziplock freezer bag with the aforementioned carcass pieces. Do you have any idea how hard it can be to drive all of the air out of a ziplock bag full (way too full) of ground meat? Did I mention that these were the cheap ziplocks (generic brand) that don't seal very well? F-U-N. Anyway.
Once you've done 3 or 4 or 5 of these big ass buckets of meat, then it is time to do steaks. So, they bring up bucket after bucket of steak. And you put those in cling wrap and further wrap them in butcher's paper.
Here's a laugh-inducer. Watch a tired Phoenix with hamburger-fatty hands try to work a box of cling wrap. I'm telling you...it was probably hysterically funny to watch, but I was ready to pull out my hair (IF only my hands weren't so gross!) So you do several buckets of steaks, then go back to hamburgers. Throw several dozen roasts in for laughs.
Now for the stomach turner: Thank God Phoenix had dinner on the road. At about 11:00 pm they decide its time to eat. So they get out some of that fresh hamburger and they make patties, and they grill.
Here's the problem: I'm the only person (besides the kids) that I ever saw wash her hands. We took breaks. We all did. Bathroom breaks, cigarette breaks, play with the kiddie breaks, snack breaks. The flu's going round. Everybody has a cold of some sort. There is no sink in the basement/cellar. I looked. I don't think of myself as squeamish, ordinarily. I've spent plenty of time on the farm. BUT--how about a little hygiene, people? To me, you should wash your hands at every opportunity, or everytime you despoil your hands.
But maybe that's just me being neurotic. I couldn't eat. First, I wasn't hungry. Second -- I'm no fool. I was once sick in Mexico. I took Microbiology in college. We DID an experiment on hamburger from GROCERY STORES. Ain't no way I'm going to eat that shit from somebody's basement. ICKY POO.
So, go back to your mother in law's house. Too late to shower, fall into the too short, too cold bed and sleep like the dead. Get up in the morning. No time to shower. Go back and do it all again. Six or Seven more beef quarters to go. More pressing air out of plastic hamburger packages. More fatty hands fighting the cling wrap. More alarming lack of hygiene. Exhausted, moody, un-showered Phoenix keeps a smile on the whole time. I'm no piker!
But I nearly lost it at the end of day two. When I was offered something they call appealingly "RAW DOG". Catchy name, huh? This is Fresh ground hamburger with raw egg, worcestshire, steak sauce, salt & pepper (and only god knows what else, including the microscopic buggies). No thank you, I said politely. Really, you can have my share. No thank you. More for you. No, I haven't tried it. No thanks. Someone save me from the raw-meat pushers!
Finally, you've had enough fun. Tired, moody, dirty, grossed out, pushed to the breaking point with no outlet, with strained smile on your face you leave. Thank god. Begin to wonder if you'll ever feel that euphoric happy that is supposed to define newly-wed. Cry in the shower. Tired of doing things on other people's schedule. I don't care how much goddamn meat they give us, it costs toooooo much. Need a romantic weekend, or some sleep, SEX? yeah. That too. Explain to your husband. He is supportive. But don't say all of the ugly things in your head. He says its okay, we'll leave by 8:30 Sunday morning.
A little while later Prince Charming's mother comes home. He tells her our plans to leave early in the morning. We have things to do, he says. "Bullshit" she says. "What could you possibly have to do?" Phoenix thinks to herself: 5 loads laundry, grocery shopping for week, clean house, pay bills, make 3 batches cookies for debts owed, and oh yeah, how about a little time for the newly-weds?
So you know what happened? I got up at 7:00 am Sunday morning and guess who was planning a huge f*&%ing breakfast? The menu included Bacon, French toast, eggs, cereal, hashbrowns, sausage. She's not a woman, she's a short order cook. Struggle through a breakfast with more food than most restaurant dinners. Clear off table for annoying mother-in-law while she frets over what meat we are taking home with us. I want to tell her to keep it all for herself. I don't want the crap. Finally pull out of the driveway at 10:30 am. Only two hours late. NOTE TO SELF: Next time, plan to leave at 6:30 am so you can leave by 8:30. Unf*&%ingbelievable. She really torqued me with that "Bullshit" comment.
How dare she suggest we have nothing to do? We left right after work on Friday. We are trying to line up a mortgage, build a house. She knows this.
Married life isn't all its cracked up to be so far.
What do you think is next? Torture by Saddam?
Hope you got a laugh or two in there somewhere at my expense.