Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve - An Ode to Bread and Cheese


New Years Eve is fondue night at the Lula O household.

Cheese fondue is our favorite:

2 tsp. dried mustard, 1/3 cup flour (Mix these two together in your fondue pot). Add -- 2 cups half n' half, slowly until smooth, 2-3 tsp Worcestershire, and 2-3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar.

Stir until melted. Keep on low heat. Serve with diced french bread, cubed cheese, cauliflower, broccoli, sliced apples, more bread....Just about anything - except for maybe my son's old shoe - is good with cheese on it.

We also have another pot of peanut oil for diced chicken and steak, served with a variety of whatever sauces you carnivores eat...

I always feel like a beached whale after eating this stuff, because I eat mostly the bread.

Bread and cheese.....Hmmm....Is there anything better?

Happy New Year...Try not to drink too much, you party animals.


Welcome to the World - Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston!
Since the Palins like to name their male family members after parts of speech words that start with the letter T, here’s some other more common names for the Palin heir that were rejected.

- Trace - Trey - Ty (Could have confused many a teacher and spelled it Thai! Double points!) - Treb - Trek - Tipper
-
Names the new parents considered until the last moment
- Techh - Tundraa - Tempp - Tickk - Tonsill - Tatterr - Traderr - Trainerr - Trailerr
- Tripp (Whoops! They picked that one. I wonder how many times his name will be misspelled. Like a Gazillion!)

I can already hear the phrases written in the back of his yearbook every May -
Don’t ‘tripp’. Have a nice fall!”
Did I ‘tripp’ ya too much this year?”
Are you leaving on a ‘tripp’ this summer?”
Watch out for that ‘tripp’taphen. Those turkey’s make you tired.”
**
My name means Celtic fortress so what do I know, and my two boys are named Saxon and Nash.... so I probably shouldn’t tease. Funky names are definitely on the rise with this new generation of kids. Last names are now first names. (Remember Linda Tripp? Anyone?) School teacher’s are no longer the ones that cringe.
Poor school teachers...
And it could've been worse. He could've been named Zamboni.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dave Barry's Year in Review - Bailing out of 2008

How weird a year was it?
Here's how weird:
O.J. actually got convicted of something.

Gasoline hit $4 a gallon -- and those were the good times.
-
• On several occasions, Saturday Night Live was funny.
-
• There were a few days there in October when you could not completely rule out the possibility that the next Treasury Secretary would be Joe the Plumber.
-
• Finally, and most weirdly, for the first time in history, the voters elected a president who -- despite the skeptics who said such a thing would never happen in the United States -- was neither a Bush NOR a Clinton.

Of course not all the events of 2008 were weird. Some were depressing. The only U.S. industries that had a good year were campaign consultants and foreclosure lawyers. Everybody else got financially whacked. Millions of people started out the year with enough money in their 401(k)'s to think about retiring on, and ended up with maybe enough for a medium Slurpee.
-
So we can be grateful that 2008 is almost over. But before we leave it behind, let's take a few minutes to look back and see if we can find some small nuggets of amusement. Why not? We paid for it, starting with . .
****
For the rest of the article click here.

What makes Bush sweat


While reading the current People magazine I came across this question in
an interview with President Bush.

Interviewer: "Which moments from the last eight years do you revisit most often?"

Bush: "I definitely think about the familes I've met of the fallen soldiers-about the compassion, love and determination of the families, to make sure that the Commander-in-Chief hears their stories and knows their pride.

I think about throwing out that pitch at the World Series in 2001. My heart was racing when I got to the mound. Didn't want to bounce it. Didn't want to let the fans down. My heart was pumping so hard, I wasn't sure if I could lift my arm. I never felt that anxious any other time during my presidency, curiously enough."

Really? That is what made you the most anxious and one of the things you revisit most often? Not visiting the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? Not the moment you found out about 911? Not when you declared war or when they captured Hussein? Am I surprised he said this? At first yes, until I remembered this is President Bush.

Monday, December 29, 2008

"The Politics of Prayer"


This guy (not Obama) keeps appearing in the newspapers like Brittany Spears appears in traffic court. Nobody understands why either keeps happening.

Who is Rick Warren and why is it such a big deal Obama 'saddled' him with the job of giving the invocation at his inauguration in a few weeks?

The Reverend Rick Warren is the founder of the Saddleback Church in California. Some people compare him to Billy Graham in that he's immensely popular and appeals to a wide range of people. The only other time I've heard of him is when he held that 'friendly' forum for both McCain and Obama before the election, in which he asked supposedly unscripted faith-based questions to each of the two candidates separately. (Unscripted means McCain answered the questions so well - and he went second on the program - I was sure he got to hear them first.)

Warren supported California's Proposition 8, not very well according to some conservative Christians, who from what I've read continually complain he's is not 'conservative' enough, whatever that means. They say he's not made these hot topics the cornerstone of his ministry. He apparently tithes 90 percent of his considerable income to charitable causes. (So he gets 10 million instead of 100 million. Hmmm...) I wonder how much he gave to the Prop 8 campaign?

He says he's against gay marriage. But wasn't Obama as well? What did Biden say in the VP debate, that they - meaning he and Obama - are for civil unions but not gay 'marriage'? During his campaign Obama said that he believed marriage to be the union “between one man and one woman,” but when Prop 8 passed didn't he say he was disappointed? Ah, typical politician.

By inviting Rev. Warren to be part of his inauguration, he's trying to have it both ways, and that's what all the hullabaloo is about. Some of his ardent supporters aren't happy about it.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen accused Obama of condoning a man who “dehumanizes” homosexuals. NPR talk-show host Diane Rehm called some of Warren’s comments on gays “ugly.”

In light of some of these reactions, what exactly is Obama's motive in selecting Warren I wonder? Is Obama just trying to build bridges to a greater good? Or is it a calculated political move to further his rockstar status?

Perhaps he is trying to compile an inauguration that embodies the diversity that is America today. His choice for closing prayer, or final blessing, in some religious traditions the most important prayer of all, is the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery. An African-American, 87 years old, a Methodist well-known for his civil rights work with Martin Luther King. A gay rights supporter and some say a "lifelong champion of equality for all."

In all honesty, I think it's both. A calculated move and an olive branch. So I will add my words to what's already been said, brilliant move Obama.

*****A side note - in the picture above, which one is cute as a button?? Ah....no contest I'm afraid.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Just an unrelated side note -


If anybody's interested - some friends and I have started a book review, reading/writing blog called Strictly Letters. We're looking to add people who would be willing to participate. If you or someone you know is interested, check out the What's up for 2009 post, leave a comment with your blog name, email and url and we'll make you an author so you can post reviews of what you've read in 2009.
This is a fun way to increase your reading volume, find out what people like or don't like, and if you're interested in writing, a way to practice and get some feedback.
Hope to see you there ladies!!

Not too far into the future...


And we thought the photographer that built a fire under it for just the perfect shot was bad.
Thanks Steve Benson

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve!! A deep thought....

Did you know?
-Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means they can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes.
- Every acre of Christmas trees grown produces the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people.
- Fake Christmas trees were invented by a company who made toilet bowl brushes...
So those of you that have a fake tree, when you see this -
My Charlie Brown real Christmas tree


Try not to think of this -


Happy Holidays
From the National Christmas Tree Association

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Great Deregulator or Great Despoiler"


It's no secret I'm not a fan of our current president but seriously, what is this guy doing??
This editorial appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

George W. Bush may be the undisputed champion when it comes to presidential vacations, but his staff is working overtime. As the clock ticks down to Inauguration Day, the Bush administration is working feverishly to dismantle at least 10 major safeguards of the nation's air, water, endangered species and national parks.

Most of the damage took place before Nov. 15, 60 days before Inauguration Day. That's because most new federal rules take effect 60 days after being published in the Federal Register. Once in effect, they are more difficult and time-consuming to undo.
In recent weeks, the Bush administration has:

Opened up 2 million acres of Western land to the development of oil shale, one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet. Another 360,000 acres - including large swaths of public land near Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park in Utah and Dinosaur National Monument on the border of Utah and Colorado - were opened to oil drilling.

Exempted large factory farms and mountaintop mining operations from parts of the Clean Water Act. The prohibition against dumping mining waste into rivers and streams dates back to the administration of President Ronald Reagan, who was not exactly an environmental radical.

Loosened clean-air rules to make it easier to build power plants, refineries and chemical plants near national parks. It also changed rules to make it easier for coal-fired power plants to avoid installing pollution controls or clean up soot and smog emissions.

Changed rules to prevent Congress from blocking uranium mining on claims filed near the Grand Canyon. Higher prices for uranium have prompted hundreds of new mining claims on federal land. In June, a House committee ordered that about 1 million acres of land near the Grand Canyon be exempt from mining. The rule change would block that.

And several days ago, the Washington Post reported that a new rule that is close to being finalized would prevent federal agencies from taking climate change into consideration when they make decisions about imperiled animals and plants. That's apparently being done because polar bears were added earlier this year to the list of species in jeopardy. The administration reportedly believes that the move could serve as a pretext for imposing a cap on carbon emissions.

The Bush administration previously had eliminated rules that require independent scientific reviews of federal agency decisions that could harm protected plants and animals. The effect of that change, for all intents and purposes, is to institutionalize conflict of interest by allowing agencies that propose new projects to avoid the complications that would ensue if other federal agencies asserted that those projects would harm endangered animals or plants.

Many of the proposed rules changes, such as the Clean Air Act rule on coal-fired power plants, would accomplish things the administration tried and failed to win in Congress.

Bush seems determined to cement his place in history as the Great Deregulator. Given the amount of damage he's doing to popular environmental protections, it seems more likely he'll be remembered as the Great Despoiler.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sweet Caroline, New York Senator, A scene from "All in the Family"?



Who is this woman, I wonder?

We all know of her public persona - born to privilege into our American version of Camelot, quiet, attentive, and soft spoken mother, author, behind-the-scenes social activist.

Shall we add politician to that now as well?

Over the last week, while letting her intentions be known that she is interested in filling Hillary Clinton's vacated senate seat, she's almost changed overnight, leaving her quiet life behind for a more public one. Traveling the state of New York, hiring consultants, camera's are following her every move, and in taking more questions from reporters, even filled out a short questionnaire done by the NY Times in which she detailed some of her as yet unknown political beliefs. A few are -

- She's pro-choice, for equal rights for gay and lesbian couples, and gun-control.

- Supports withdrawal from Iraq, the path to citizenship for undocumented workers, and the auto bail-out.

Locally, her views are slightly more controversial in that she's a past supporter of Republican Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg and state Democrats want someone in the senate seat who will support upcoming candidates for that election. (Bloomberg is apparently trying to change the law so he can run for a third term.)

People are asking, even Democrats, do we really want another Kennedy in public office, on the national stage? Does her name, her "family heirloom" thereby ensure that she should be given a free pass into political office, this time only needing to convince one voter, New York Governor Paterson, that she is up to the job, even though she has little experience in the political arena?

I don't buy the 'do we want another family heirloom' argument because politics runs in the family all the time. They are hardly the first. Current Attorney General of NY, Andrew Cuomo is also up for the job - his father is Mario Cuomo, the Governor of NY. There's Beau Biden whose being considered to replace his father Joe in DE. Hillary Clinton rode the coattails of a famous family member. In Utah, the Bennett senate seats went from father to son, the Romneys, and heaven forbid the Bush's. And in the farther past, the Adams, the Harrison's. The list goes on and on.

My concern would fall more along the lines in that she has little experience in politics. For a person who obviously guards her privacy, will she be able to handle the scrutiny of public office? So far, she still seems gunshy.

Unlike Hillary Clinton - who only moved to NY the required amount of time to run for office there - Caroline is actually from that state, but Hillary spent alot of time campaigning for months ahead of time, letting the voters get to know her, not just her famous name. Caroline is only now beginning, and it's starting off shakily.

But then again, she only has to convince one voter while Hillary had to convince a whole state.

So, should people be given a free pass just for having a famous name, or in all fairness, should it be earned? Should the little girl pictured below follow in the foot steps of her iconic father?

Somehow, I hope she can.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Letterman's Top Ten Bush Moments - Ah, music, sweet music...



I thought #5 - the confused stare, was pretty good. Anybody have a favorite? I know it's hard to narrow down. There are so many.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Too Funny...

OK, I will try to post and see what kind of backlash I get:) I saw this article and it made me laugh (I am not sure why, it isn't a laughing matter at all).

Levi Johnston's mom arrested on drug charges
Johnston is the father of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's future grandson
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28313509/?GT1=43001

(That was a really roundabout headline to say that the mom of Bristol Palin's boyfriend was arrested)

Now, this goes back to the Moms question about coverage: why on earth is THIS being reported, and not the church bombing? Granted, it will not make national nightly news I am sure, but it was on MSNBC.COM on the front page.

Anyway, I don't want to get into a battle of liberal media- we've hashed that to death. BUT, my husband and I were talking about why the church might not want the vandalism and violence taking place on the news. We thought that, perhaps, by putting them on the news it gives them power. Like the Columbine shooters- they became infamous for a heinous act, and now others copy what they did because they also want to be on the news- and, hey, if you are going to commit suicide anyway, why not be famous all over the country? So, we thought maybe it is good that the church bombings (Governor Palin's church- I don't think any of ours have been targeted) and such are not being broadcast, because that would then give power to the movement, not the church. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I am curious to see what others think.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let's not look at theories, let's look at facts...




Anybody else see that extremely high rate of growth (CO2 concentration is the atmosphere) that began in about the 20's? Anyone? Bueller?


What happened that would cause such an increase I wonder. Hmm..

Option A: It's the cows and their methane-filled bowels. They just started pooping more during the Depression. (You know that was a stressful time, even for cows.)

Option B: Al Gore was born and God wanted him to have a mission in life.

Option C: Hell (and the North and South Poles) stopped freezing over when the Democrats took power.

Option D: The world population exploded, cutting down more trees than ever before; the burning of fossil fuels increased; millions upon millions of combustible engines produced more fumes than a Grateful Dead concert.

I'm going with Option A, no I mean D. But don't take my word for it. How about a group of scientists from around the world.

On Feb. 2, 2007, the United Nations scientific panel studying climate change declared that the evidence of a warming trend is "unequivocal," and that human activity has "very likely" been the driving force in that change over the last 50 years. The last report by the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in 2001, had found that humanity had "likely" played a role.


Christmas Quiz


How much do you really know about Christmas?

1. The name of the mother of Jesus was:
a. Martha
b. Mary
c. Eve
d. Deborah
-
2. Jesus was born in what town?
a. Jerusalem
b. Nazareth
c. Bethlehem
d. New York
-
3. Joseph was a:
a. Carpenter
b. Doctor
c. Engineer
d. Fisherman
-
4. Why didn’t Joseph and Mary stay at the inn?
a. It was too expensive
b. There was no inn
c. There was no room
d. None of the above
-
5. How did Joseph and Mary get to Bethlehem?
a. Colt
b. Mary rode a donkey and Joseph walked
c. Wagon
d. Who knows?
-
6. After being born, Jesus was placed in a:
a. Basket
b. Manger
c. Pile of hay
d. On the back of a donkey
-
7. A manger is a:
a. Stable
b. Feeding trough
c. Wooden table
d. Barn
-
8. Which animals does the Bible say were housed in the stable?
a. Cows, donkeys, sheep
b. Lions, tigers and bears
c. Goats, sheep and cows
d. The Bible doesn’t say.
-
9. What sign were the shepherds told to look for by the angel?
a. A lion and a sheep together in peace
b. A tree with a star on top
c. A star over Bethlehem
d. None of the above
-
10. With what words did the heavenly host of angels praise God?
a. "Joy to the World, the Lord is Come"
b. "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah”
c. “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”
d. "Glory to God in the highest,"
-
11. What is frankincense?
a. a form of gold
b. an incense from a tree
c. a jewel
d. none of the above.
-
12. What is myrrh?
a. a musical instrument
b. a spice used for burial
c. a valuable wine
d. none of the above
-
13. How many wise men came to see Jesus?
a. One
b. Two
c. Three
d. The Bible doesn’t say
-
14. What does "wise men" most likely refer to?
a. lawyers
b. star gazers.
c. priests
d. doctors
-
15. The wise men met Jesus in a:
a. manger.
b. castle.
c. stable.
d. house.
-
16. Who told Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem?
a. an angel
b. Caesar Augustus.
c. Herod
d. No one told them to go.
-
17. The child Jesus went to Egypt:
a. to meet pharaoh
b. because Joseph was told in a dream to take him
c. Joseph did not take Jesus to Egypt
d. none of the above
-
18. According to the Bible, the little drummer boy met Jesus:
a. when Jesus was in the manger
b. at a house
c. When Jesus was about two years old
d. none of the above
-
19. In which books do we find the story of Jesus’ birth
a. Matthew
b. Mark
c. Luke
d. John
-
20. December 25th has been celebrated as Christmas since the Bible was written.
a. True
b. False
==============
ANSWERS:
1. B
2. C
3. A - Matthew 13:55 “Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary,…”
4. C
5. D - The Bible doesn't say. Some suppose that she rode something since she was so far along in her pregnancy.
6. B
7. B
8. D
9. D - Luke 2:12 "And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
10. D
11. B
12. B
13. D - Some SUPPOSE that there were three since there were three gifts, but that is just a guess.
14. B
15. D - Matthew 2:11 "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother,..."
16. B
17. B
18. D
19. A & C
20. B

How did you do? I found this quiz at http://www.ebibleteacher.com/christmas/christmasquiz.txt. I was planning my lesson for Primary and I couldn’t find in the Bible where it talked about Mary being on a donkey. I guess I know why now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Injured Iranian woman wins "an eye for an eye". Literally.


Four years ago an Iranian woman, Ameneh Bahrami, was attacked by a stalking suitor with a bucket of acid. This incident left her blind and permanently disfigured all because she had refused to marry him.

Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker's eyes, acceding to Bahrami's demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.

"At an age at which I should be putting on a wedding dress, I am asking for someone's eyes to be dripped with acid," she said in a recent interview. "I am doing that because I don't want this to happen to any other women."

In a part of the world where spouse or family ‘honor’ killings and corporal punishments allowed under Islamic law are not uncommon, I will no less be surprised if this sentence is actually carried out. The Middle East is a man’s world after all. Women have few, if any rights, but this particular case has sparked much interest within the country.

Perhaps if carried out, it will send a clear message. What message will that be I wonder? Attack a woman who is not related to you and suffer like consequence. Abuse, maim or kill your sister or wife for making a bad decision, like marrying someone she loves or daring to look at another man, and receive only a slap on the wrist.

Like I said, justice is a fickle bedmate in these parts of the world.

Do I think this man deserves his sentence? It’s not for me to say. I believe it should be up to the victim. And she has spoken.

An eye for an eye.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Christmas! Day 8


I can't tell who's more frightened in this picture, the kids or Santa.
I bet he's thinking,
"They sure don't pay me enough."
For more gems see Sacred of Santa.

The Ultimate Babysitter

Why do parents bring their sick kids to church? Can someone please explain this to me? They keep them home from school, why should church be any different? And I am not talking about the cold they have had for a week or the lingering cough they are nursing. I am talking about the big contagious illnesses. I don’t think I will ever understand it (just like I don’t understand why parents bring babies to movie theaters).

About a month ago my husband and I went in to teach our class of 7-8 year olds. One of them had a bloodshot eye, and I thought to myself, “Wow, his eye is red. I hope it isn’t pink eye. No, it can’t be. Who would bring their kid to church with the HIGHLY contagious pink eye?” He later said something about staying up late that night playing video games so I assumed that was the cause of the red eye.

Well, later in another class I overheard him tell a friend he had pink eye. Ugh! Thanks for the warning. Well, guess what happened? Two days later I woke up with two sore, gooey eyes. One swelled shut the next day. It lasted for over a week and then after it went away I got it again, 2 days later!!! My question is, why bring your child with pink eye to church? Even I know it is extremely contagious and this is coming from someone who had never had it before.

Then this past Sunday one of the kids was telling us about her week and she said, “Well, I was sick Thursday, Friday and Saturday throwing up.” Ahhh! Why are you here?! I don’t know about your families but the stomach flu is considered the modern day plague in my family. Maybe I just don’t understand yet because my child isn’t old enough. Maybe at some point when he gets older I will morph into the woman that brings her very contagious kids to church. I can only hope not!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Christmas! Day 9 ~ Enough with Santa already~

A woman I know once told me that when her kids questioned whether Santa Claus existed, she would reply,

"If you don't believe you won't receive."
What???



That phrase and the picture from my last Christmas post got me thinking about a problem I've been having the last couple of years with my older children and Santa Claus. Call me Scrooge, call me a Bah Humbugger, but enough already with that charade. It's one thing when the children are little - they really get into it and it's not hard to fool them - but it's quite another when they're pre-teen and teenagers.

I feel like I need to train with the Secret Service specializing in:

~~the careful selection of different kinds of wrapping paper

~~how to disguise handwriting (I write with my LEFT HAND, duh)

~~making sure the gifts are hidden in Fort Knox- like places

Good grief it's a lot of work!

I was ten when I finally recognized the words, From Santa, in my mother's handwriting. I asked her about it, she gave me the skinny. Simple as that. She was probably relieved, like I would be that the circus of disguise could finally end.

I however, have one older son who refuses to get the hint - that Santa doesn't exist. Aren't they supposed to figure it out on their own? Aren't they supposed to put two and two together and finally ask?

So my problem is thus: Should we tell them the truth when they ask about the big Elf, or should we prolong it with a phrase like the one above? When they reach a certain age, is it just time to tell them?

One of the joys of parenting is bearing the heavy hand of truth.
Just one more thing no one tells us about before we reproduce..

That eventually we'll have to, in essence, kill Santa.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

"My corpse is still warm, you know?"

The headline today read:

McCain declines to back Palin for 2012

Full article here (I can barely contain my glee, hee hee)

Er, Happy Christmas?? Day 10


Had to change the naked Santa. I could only look at that so long before I started to see similarities to my own body. This one is a better fit. It's probably a stunt I'd pull...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Good bye Mr. Polar Bear! Oh, how we loved thee...


Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and his department finalized rules last Thursday changing the way it administers the Endangered Species Act, enabling other government agencies to decide on their own whether a project would harm an imperiled species without an independent scientific review.

They will eliminate some of the mandatory, independent reviews that government scientists have performed for 35 years on dams, power plants, timber sales and other projects, a step that developers and other federal agencies have blamed for delays and cost increases.

Opponents say the move destroys the checks and balances that have helped the government save hundreds of species from extinction under the 1973 law.

"As the Bush Administration fades off into the sunset, it continues to take brazen pot shots at everything in sight, including America's landmark conservation law, the Endangered Species Act," said the House Resources Committee Chairman, Nick Rahall.

~~My question to Kempthorne who says, "Nothing in the regulation relieves a federal agency of its responsibilities to ensure that species are not harmed," is thus, who will now provide the unbiased view? The unbiased, unaffiliated opinion?

Hours after Thursday's announcement, three environmental groups, Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife and Center for Biological Diversity, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco seeking to halt regulations that they say are inconsistent with the act.

The regulations don't require federal agencies to seek consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service before approving projects, the lawsuit said.

So, in other words, under the new regulations, the federal agencies would have the discretion of deciding whether or not to ask for a consultation and opinion. They can do what they want, basically, so more logging, powerplants, dams, condos, and freeways, can be put up alot quicker and with alot less RED TAPE. (Red tape = polar bear habitat, wetlands, rivers, etc. You know that stuff in the way of the paved parking lot they want to put in.)

So once again, the tally widens. Bush - 4500, animals and their habitat - 0

How long until he leaves again??



Happy Christmas! Day 11


~~How to keep your house filled with sweet holiday smells instead of little boy, ah... odors.~~

Heat in a small pan on the stove:

2 cups water
1 tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tsp whole allspice
orange rinds

Keep on low heat. Remember to check periodically throughout the day as the liquid will burn away eventually. I just keep adding water. The spices should last two - three days and keep your house smelling of gingerbread.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Christmas!! Day 12

~The Jesus and Virgin Mary World Tour~
~ For the Holidays~


First stop - High Ridge, Missouri - The Divine Cheeto

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Books I read in 2008

Whew, I'm tired. I had a busy year reading -
My favorite was Katherine. Excellent, super romantic, historical fiction.
Least favorite - Wicked. Green hermaphrodite. Yeech..
About half of these I read for my neighborhood book club.
How about a little contest for 2009?? Who can read the most? Post a review here and we'll keep track on the side.
I'm trying for 50. (Impossible you say? I laugh at impossibility)
Anybody interested?

1. Jane Eyre - by Charlotte Bronte
2. Twilight - Stephanie Meyer
3. New Moon - Stephanie Meyer
4. Eclipse - Stephanie Meyer
5. The Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
6. The Pretties -Scott Westerfeld
7. The Specials - Scott Westerfeld
8. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter -Kim Edwards
9. Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
10. Standing in the Rainbow - Fannie Flagg
11. Katherine - Anya Seton
12. The Green Darkness - Anya Seton
13. To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee
14. Austenland - Shannon Hale
15. Wicked - Gregory Maguire
16. Fearless Fourteen -Janet Evanovich
17. The Woods - Harlen Cobin
18. Book of a Thousand Days - Shannon Hale
19. The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim
20. Where Memories Lie - Deborah Crombie
21. Live to Tell- Surviving the Rwanda Holocaust - Immaculee Ilibagiza
22. The Time Travelers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
23. Mudbound - Hillary Jordan
24. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
25. The Duchess - Amanda Foreman

William Ayers- The Unrepentant Terrorist??


"Demonization, guilt by association, and the politics of fear did not triumph, not this time. Let's hope they never will again. And let's hope we might now assert that in our wildly diverse society, talking and listening to the widest range of people is not a sin, but a virtue."

William Ayers, NY Times article Dec 6, 2008.

I've never heard such wild, radical 'terrorist' thinking in my life.

I find it interesting that those of us who profess to be religious, non-judgemental and kind to those who have made mistakes, will allow no other's to do the same. That Obama has been held accountable and tainted for just talking to someone who has made mistakes in his past, or who preaches from a pulpit in his church, reeks of hypocrisy.

Is that what its come to in life? If I want to run for public office must I always perform a background check on everybody that's in the same room with me from the beginnings of my adult life? Must I choose which city I'm from carefully lest its torrid political history be held against me?

I find it sad, and silly, and just plain dumb. (Oh sorry, can I say that word??)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Obama stirs controversy -

Obama's Use of Complete Sentences Stirs Controversy - Stunning Break with Last Eight Years
by Andy Borowitz

In the first two weeks since the election, President-elect Barack Obama has broken with a tradition established over the past eight years through his controversial use of complete sentences, political observers say.

Millions of Americans who watched Mr. Obama's appearance on CBS' "Sixty Minutes" on Sunday witnessed the president-elect's unorthodox verbal tic, which had Mr. Obama employing grammatically correct sentences virtually every time he opened his mouth.

But Mr. Obama's decision to use complete sentences in his public pronouncements carries with it certain risks, since after the last eight years many Americans may find his odd speaking style jarring.

According to presidential historian Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota , some Americans might find it "alienating" to have a President who speaks English as if it were his first language.

"Every time Obama opens his mouth, his subjects and verbs are in agreement," says Mr. Logsdon. "If he keeps it up, he is running the risk of sounding like an elitist."


The historian said that if Mr. Obama insists on using complete sentences in his speeches, the public may find itself saying, "Okay, subject, predicate, subject predicate - we get it, stop showing off."

The President-elect's stubborn insistence on using complete sentences has already attracted a rebuke from one of his harshest critics, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska . "Talking with complete sentences there and also too talking in a way that ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Tito the Builder can't really do there, I think needing to do that isn't tapping into what Americans are needing also," she said.

The Amazing Race Update - "Nyet, Nyet, Nyet!"


Last Sunday's episode was by far one of the funniest ever on The Amazing Race. I tried so hard to find a picture of Dan trying to march with the soldiers in Russia. It was so embarrassing, he probably bought up all the rights.

If you didn't see it, think Jerry Lewis in "The Nutty Professor" or Elaine trying to dance on Seinfeld. It's an understatement to say the guy struggled and hopefully his 'babe' stock didn't plummet off the charts like it did when he said he's never ironed anything before.

Andrew held his tongue pretty well considering, of course, he's the one that held them up because he couldn't put on a foot wrap. A foot wrap? Huh...You just can't write this stuff. I'm glad they're still in the picture, as the show would be as interesting as bland, butterless toast without them.

I'm also glad the dominating siblings hit a few stumbling blocks in the form of inept taxi drivers. There is justice in the world...

Sarah Palin wishes us a Happy Thanksgiving....I think.



Oh, how prophetic Mike Luchovich was. Beware this video is about three minutes long and is a little graphic. It might make you became a vegetarian like me. It's not a SNL parody. It's totally real and it happened last week.
(****Last comment deleted for fear it might offend someone in the universe....Heaven forbid I say what I want about Sarah Palin on my own blog. We'll unless I use words like 'deplorable' or 'he makes me sick to my stomach'. Apparently those are okay to call Obama, just not anyone else.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Time Traveler's Wife - A Book Review


By Audrey Niffenegger
But don't you think...that it's better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?
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A truly original and moving story, The Time Traveler's Wife is a tale about love, life, and loss; the story of Henry and Clare, and their unconventional passionate relationship. His life, one of inconsistency, change and regret. Her's the harbor he anchors himself in, the tether to normal. I felt a myriad of emotions while reading this book. It gripped me, sucked me in, and held me fast to the end, until I was released not lost, but found again.
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Isn't that what a good story does? It tastes your skin, chews you up and if done well, spits you out again whole, with a new perspective.
An excellent read.
(Disclaimer: There are a few..descriptive words)

A Step in the Right Direction...


Two trade groups, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, announced their support last week for guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions, in conjunction with an enforceable mandate for individual coverage. In the absence of such a mandate, insurers said, many people will wait until they become sick before they buy insurance.

Members of Congress said Wednesday that they wanted to pass legislation next year, as proposed by Mr. Obama, to expand coverage and rein in health care costs.

The new position taken by the insurance industry — the industry that helped sink the Clinton's plan for universal health coverage in 1994 — could ease the way for passage of such legislation.
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This news and that Senator Tom Daschle could be our new Secretary of Health and Human Services is a step in the right direction towards health care accessibility for all in the coming years.
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In the October issue of Archives of Surgery, a study done by a John Hopkins trauma surgeon found that overall, uninsured patients were 50% more likely to die from their injuries than insured patients.
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I find that to be an alarming statistic. So, now if you don't have insurance you #1) have to pay more if you go to the ER (because you don't get the I HAVE INSURANCE DISCOUNT) and #2) if you're a minority or don't have insurance at all, you're pushed to the back of the emergency treatment line, or worse you receive biased treatment.
I thought emergency care was the great equalizer in our health care system. Apparently not.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Are we really that woefully ignorant?

For the third straight year, the Inter-collegiate Studies Institute has found that a large number of Americans (they surveyed 2,508 from a variety of backgrounds) cannot pass a basic 33 question test on civil literacy that include questions on their country's history and institutions. The average score on the test was 49%. An F.
The test is available online, here. It took about five minutes and I scored a 73%. I will admit, I found some of the questions a little tough. Must be watching too much television, the number one reason American's are dumber these days.

Twilight - makes you want to have s-e-x cake - Recipe of the Week

Although I'm not particularly gaga over the saga, I hear the movie puts you in the mood for a little titillating circus play. So, those of you that have seen it, is that true??? I'm always looking for an excuse to engage my mind...elsewhere, and I guess if I'm not willing to see the movie, I can just rely on this Better than S-E-X Cake recipe. Nothing like chocolate passionately attached to caramel and whipping cream to stir one's blood. If it's not drained from your body that is...

Ingredients -
Chocolate cake mix
Jar of caramel
1 can sweetened condensed milk
A couple of cups of whipped cream
A bag of toffee crumbles

Make the cake as instructed and cool 15 minutes. Poke holes in the top with a fork until it's covered. Mix together the jar of caramel and can of condensed milk. Pour over the cake and completely cool. Top with whipped cream and toffee crumbles.

Pure gooey bliss!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

So,THIS is forward thinking? Give me a break!

An unspoiled landmark so iconic it's on Utah's license plates - could one day include a drilling platform under a proposal that environmentalists call a Bush administration "fire sale" for the oil and gas industry.

Late on Election Day, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced a Dec. 19 auction of more than 50,000 acres of oil and gas parcels alongside or within view of Arches National Park and two other redrock national parks in Utah: Dinosaur and Canyonlands. The National Park Service's top official in the state calls it "shocking and disturbing" and says his agency wasn't properly notified. Environmentalists call it a "fire sale" for the oil and gas industry by a departing administration.

Officials of the BLM, which oversees millions of acres of public land in the West, say the sale is nothing unusual, and one is "puzzled" that the Park Service is upset. "We find it shocking and disturbing," said Cordell Roy, the chief Park Service administrator in Utah. "They added 51,000 acres of tracts near Arches, Dinosaur and Canyonlands without telling us about it. That's 40 tracts within four miles of these parks."
To read this entire article click here.



Some of the most beautiful places in the country are now under siege. A final gift is being given to the oil and gas industry from their king, President Bush. Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dinosaur National Monument contain some of the most spectacular natural wonders ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, and he means to give away to the highest bidder land for drilling that is within site of the Delicate Arch. I am disgusted! Ah, wouldn’t it be the greatest shock of all if we actually had a president who cared about the West.

The geology of this part of the United States is ancient and in some places EXTREMELY DELICATE AND FRAGILE. Let’s take Arches for example. Did you know that to release the gas from the Earth requires a process called HYDRAULIC FRACTURING. It’s a process by which they pump highly pressurized fluids, like diesel fuel, acids, all kinds of toxic stuff (that gets in the groundwater by the way, you know because the arid West needs another problem with their groundwater)in the ground, actually shaking the substrate in order to release the gases. SHAKING THE EARTH. I wonder how all the arches in the parks will handle the below ground earth quakes! Click here to read about the health affects and the process of drilling for natural gas. It’s extremely interesting.


How many places are we going to permanently destroy all in the name of oil independence. Idiocy! Does know one care about what we leave for our ancestors! Apparently not.
I would like to be able to take my grandchildren to one of my favorite places on Earth. Instead of just showing them pictures of what the arches, delicate Indian ruins, dinosaur tracks, looked like (because by then they’ll all just be piles of rubble), I want them to see the real things without the permanent blights and scars left by the drilling fields, who where there for probably a year and left nothing but their toxic waste and destruction in the dirt.

I call that not being selfish and looking ahead. I call that forward thinking. I call that actually caring about something bigger and more important than yourself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Amazing Race Update - So who doesn't want to eat a sheep's bum?


Ah, we must say goodbye to my favorite manic depressive on TV. Terrence and Sarah were eliminated on Sunday night. Things I'll miss about him: his thoughtful nagging, his always wanting to be touched, his psycho hair, his whining. Hmm, what else.
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Did you notice what a stoic his girlfriend was? When he screwed up and practically lost the thing for them, did you hear her whining to him about it, like he would have done to her? The woman is a saint.
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And so in short, I just don't know if the show will be as entertaining to watch now. If the Superbad boys, Dan and Andrew get eliminated next it might have a hard time maintaining my attention through to the end. Especially if the brother/sister team continue to win. I'm so sick of them. Just a theory...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Stem Cell Debate - Finding a Life-Saving Cure





President-elect Barack Obama could reignite an emotional national debate over the promise and the perils of medical research using cells taken from human embryos. Like previous presidents, Obama is expected to issue a flurry of executive orders after he takes office Jan. 20. Some could reverse Bush administration policies; others could promote his own.

Ending a ban on government funding for research using embryonic stem cells would be among the most controversial. Scientists say cells taken from human embryos offer the most promise of being used to develop therapies for Parkinson's, diabetes and other diseases. Some scientists have found cells taken from adults also have lifesaving potential.

If Obama issues an order reversing the ban, Congress will have to act again — and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has suggested it will. A law on the books since 1996 bans funding of research that harms embryos and would prevent funding for research even on cells from embryos slated to be discarded by fertility clinics.

In the early 1990’s when this proposed ban was being debated on Capital Hill, "Before the U.S. government condones with federal funding research that results in the destruction of living human embryos, we have the moral obligation to explore and exhaust every ethical alternative," Rep. Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican, said at a House subcommittee hearing on the issue.

But the lines aren’t clearing drawn. Anti-abortion politicians such as Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Gordon Smith of Oregon wanted Bush to permit federal funding for research because of the embryonic cells' potential in fighting disease.

Hatch said he decided to support embryonic stem cell research only after studying the legal, medical, religious and ethical issues involved. He has said, "The reality today is that each year thousands of embryos are routinely destroyed. Why shouldn't embryos slated for destruction be used for the benefit of mankind?"

Having a family member with diabetes makes me so inclined to agree with Senator Orrin Hatch for probably the only time in my adult life. I have been weighing this issue for some time and I know that adult stem cells have showed promise, but we cannot say embryonic stem cells have not, even with existing research on old stem cell lines, when more specific and vast research has been stymied by the government.

In the meantime, other countries, like Iran, make headway in these areas while we fall behind. The United States should be leading the way, by example, on how to do this research ethically and responsibly. Why not put back in place a law similar to one by the Clinton administration that allowed federal money for stem-cell research using embryos if the work is funded by private money and the embryos come from fertility clinics and would otherwise be discarded?

I believe we should be doing something life-affirming with these fertilized eggs that otherwise, will just end up in a landfill. If you had a family member, a child with diabetes, Parkinson’s, a spinal cord injury, or other disease that could be treated, what would you say? I say yes. I hope Obama does too.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Search for the Dog that will dig up the White House lawn continues...

What exactly is a "goldendoodle"?



An insult to the breed of Golden Retreiver


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Keep Your Enemies Closer....

Secretary of State Clinton?
All seems to be evening out on the Democratic political playground. Surprise, surprise, the Alpha male and female are playing nice on the jungle gym. Everyone has probably heard that Senator Clinton has made a secret trip to Chicago and refuses to discuss what went on there. Hmm...

I think it's probably safe to say she has the job, in that I'd be very surprised her name would be leaked for no reason other than to embarrass her when she doesn't get the job. That wouldn't please too many of her 18 million supporters Obama is continually trying to woo. But I guess you never know.

Obama seems to be adhering to the old adage, Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer. Unlike the the Bush Administration's policy which was, Keep your friends close and your extremely best, brown nosing friends who only tell you what you want to hear even closer.

As for me, I think she'd do well at it, and her choice might please some conservatives because her position is sometimes in contrast to his on foreign policy, i.e., during her primary campaign, she refused to discuss a timeline on withdrawal from Iraq, and let's face it, the two really don't appear to like each other much.

There's someone else who might be pleased if she gets the job. How often is the Secretary of State out of the country?



Friday, November 14, 2008

Halloween and Thanksgiving - May You Rest In Peace


Like this poor turkey is about to be killed off , so are the holiday's of Thanksgiving and Halloween. Instead of the Christmas holiday gluttony beginning on December 1st, or of years late on November 1st. This year I noticed the decorations, the music playing in stores, the general merriment before Halloween. One place I frequented a week before that spookiest of holidays, had already replaced their Halloween ghosts, goblins, and witches with Santa's, reindeer, and snowmen. I looked out the window at the red and yellow leaves still clinging to their branches, the hazy, warm weather, and wondered if a splinter had just occurred in the space time continuum and I'd been fast forward to somewhere further ahead of myself.
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Pretty soon we'll be shopping for our Santa's and Christmas gingerbread houses in September and our Halloween costumes in July. And what about that great American holiday wedged in between the celebration's of birth and death? Thanksgiving; the heavenly aroma's, the inevitable leftovers, the turkey soup, the turkey sandwiches, the casseroles and creamy mashed potatoes that feed our families for weeks on end?
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I only know that I plan on wearing earplugs in Walmart to deafen Santa Claus in coming to town while I shop for my turkey. If I can even afford one that is...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Easily Recognizable Political Satire


Democrats versus Republicans
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1. Democrats buy most of the books that have been banned somewhere. Republicans form censorship committees and read them as a group.

2. Republicans consume three-fourths of all the rutabaga produced in this country. The remainder is thrown out.

3. Republicans usually wear hats and always clean their paint brushes.

4. Democrats give their worn-out clothes to those less fortunate. Republicans wear theirs.

5. Republicans employ exterminators. Democrats step on the bugs.

6. Democrats name their children after currently-popular sports figures, politicians, and entertainers. Republican children are named after their parents or grandparents, according to where the money is.

7. Democrats keep trying to cut down on smoking but are not successful. Neither are Republicans.

8. Republicans tend to keep their shades drawn, although there is seldom any reason why they should. Democrats ought to, but don't.

9. Republicans study the financial pages of the newspaper. Democrats put them in the bottom of the bird cage.

10. Most of the stuff alongside the road has been thrown out of car windows by Democrats.

11. Republicans raise dahlias, Dalmatians, and eyebrows. Democrats raise Airedales, kids, and taxes.

12. Democrats eat the fish they catch. Republicans hang them on the wall.

13. Republican boys date Democratic girls. They plan to marry Republican girls, but feel that they're entitled to a little fun first.

14. Democrats make plans and then do something else. Republicans follow the plans their grandfathers made.

15. Republicans sleep in twin beds--some even in separate rooms. That is why there are more Democrats.

"If there's an open door in '12 or 4 years later..."


I can't believe I'm talking about this woman one more time. She refuses to go away. Initially I was going to call this post Republican Cannibalism at its Finest because I felt Sarah Palin was getting a bad rap this last week from John McCain's camp. Leaking probably untruthful information about her, complaining about her, what's the point of doing all that now, when she's home doing all she can for her "great State of Alaska" other than to pass blame for the loss in her direction?
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We'll she stayed in her governor's office for about half a day and is now back on the mainland already campaigning for 2012, with unashamed personal promotion. This with her 43 percent unapproval rating. Every day, in every interview, her outlook on her political future changes.
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She said at the Republican Governor's meeting this week how she thought a woman would be good for the next ticket, but denied self-promoting. Ya. Right. "I don't think it's me personally, I think it's what I represent. Everyday hardworking American families - a woman on the ticket perhaps represents that. It would be good for the ticket. It would be good for the party. I would be happy to get to do whatever is asked of me to help progress this nation."
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First, she's Governor of Alaska only, then she's governor running for the Senate, then she's governor who nominates herself as Senator, then if it's the presidential nomination, she'll "plow through that door," even though she say's she doesn't mean her personally.
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The election's over. They lost. Yet she's still running for office. What do the "great people of Alaska" say about all this I wonder? Hasn't she been away since August? Doesn't she need to be doing some governing of her great state? Saying you're going to get back to work and actually doing it are two different things. Someone should explain that to her. Perhaps she'll make a good president after all. She's definitely got the skills.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama's Real Birthplace Haystacks - Recipe of the Week

Normally I would call these Hawaiian Haystacks in honor of President-Elect Obama's birthplace, but I hear conservative talk radio is on the prowl for his REAL birthplace (outerspace) because they believe his birth certificate from Hawaii is a forgery. What? The likes of Rush and Hannity think there's a conspiracy? How odd. I'm so surprised.

Apparently it matter's not that his mother, Ann Dunham is a naturally born American citizen, and the law could be interpreted as such that technically she could give birth on Mars and he'd still be an American.
So, whether you call them Hawaiian or Martian Haystacks, they are definitely a family fav.

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups cooked chicken, cut up
4 cups cooked rice
1 can chow mein noodles
3 med tomatoes, diced
2 cups grated cheese
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup coconut

Combine soup and broth in medium saucepan to make gravy. Stir to blend. Simmer. Then it's time to pile all the other ingredients in a haystack fashion starting with the rice, then the gravy onto your plate. Use your imagination to fill in the rest. Makes about 8 servings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A War's Legacy



A special thanks to my grandfather who fought in WWI, my uncle who earned a Purple Heart in Vietnam, and to those that have given everything, their health, their homes, their jobs, precious time away from family, even their very lives for this country. We've asked a lot of you, and apparently offer very little in return. We hope you can be with your families again soon.

I Can Eat A Whole Box....


I finally found one of my all time favorite cookies in Walmart yesterday. Limited Edition Candy Cane Oreos. Seriously, I love these, and they are only around for two months. Dipping them in milk or mixing them crushed with vanilla bean ice cream, is I don't know (almost as good as S-E-X) but don't tell anybody. They run out quickly. So if you see them, buy more than one. You'll thank me later. Trust me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some Interesting Factoids....



In case you don't know who this is, his name is Adam Smith - still don't have a clue? Neither did I. He was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneer of the political economy (whatever that means but it sounds good) that lived towards the end of the 1700's. Since I've been feeling somewhat outclassed in the quotes from the founding father's department, I found a a good one from Mr. Smith on the blogsite, ThinkingorSitting, that I found interesting.

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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Sounds like Obama wasn't the first to want to 'spread the dreaded wealth'.... Hmm.

Also from a post on that site, a dcmagoo, no relation to a mrmagoo, offered up a statistic containing some interesting breakdowns of exit polls. Those who reported an income of over $200,000 (basically those who will pay more under Obama's intended tax plan) voted for him 52-48. Apparently, those who make the money aren't as worried about paying a bit more in taxes as those who wish they made that much money.

Ka-ching.

Left To Tell - Let's Not Repeat History



Left toTell
Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust
by Immaculee Ilibagiza

I tried to swallow, but my throat closed up. I had no saliva, and my mouth was drier than sand. I closed my eyes and tried to make myself disappear, but their voices grew louder. I knew that they would show no mercy, and my mind echoed one thought: If they catch me me, they will kill me. If they catch me, they will kill me...


I don't normally read autobiographies, but this one, although sad and gut-wrenching to read, was an inspiring first person account of one refugee's struggle to survive and through the will of God, did.

In 1994, in the country of Rwanda one ethnic group, the Hutus, went about cleansing the country of the Tutsi minority, neighbors turned on neighbors, in a six month rash of such brutal killings, such debauchery, that I can't believe this all went on the year my first son was born. The United States, and many other countries looked the other way. Finally the French helped them but not before 100's of thousands of Tutsi were killed. Families completely wiped off the face of the Earth.

Immaculee's family was one of them. Before the genocide, as she calls it, their family did well. They had their own house, a car, a motorcycle. Her father owned land, was a farmer and businessman. She and her three brothers all went to university, were all educated and were doing well when this began. She was nineteen. Her story is an inspiring one of undaunted courage and faith in God. I recommend it to anyone interested in obtaining a world view of how an abuse of power can lead to the justified annihilation of almost an entire race and how even one person can defy the odds.

Racism and hate is still alive and well in the world, festering in the sores of the disenchanted; the angry. It even lives in our own country. While I am proud that our next president is an African American (according to some that's the only reason I voted for him), I am concerned for his safety. Even the editor of our local paper discussed it yesterday.

Some conservative blogs have compared Obama to Osama bin Laden, a Nazi, Hitler, even. He's not my President, they say. One site was encouraging people to hang their flags upside down in response to his winning. Text messages were sent telling everyone to wear black to signify the death of our nation. I found the horrific picture below.


All this from people who probably claim to love our country. It disgusts me. If McCain had won, while I would have been disappointed, I would still be proud of the great country we live in. A country that allows free speech even in the form of what I consider racist, anti-American rants from sore losers, who if they aren't careful, are going to incite just enough rage to fuel another skinhead out there with a plan.

In the 1830's, Andrew Jackson meant to squelch an uprising by an unruly state of South Carolina who meant to nullify some federal laws. "Disunion by armed force is treason," he said. "Are you really ready to incur its guilt?"

And so, to some of you out there I ask, Are you?


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bloggers Anonymous


The top 10 list of "symptoms" that you are addicted to blogging
In the "spirit" of education and awareness, we must tackle this issue head on. The first step to self help is acknowledging you have a problem. Personally, I refuse to acknowledge it! Where does that leave me I wonder? Hmm...
10. You check your blog stats a LOT. You occasionally get up in the middle of the night and sneak a peak.

9. Your significant other suspects you are having an affair with your blog. Even when you’re alone with your special person, you do find yourself thinking what your blog might be doing right then…

8. You “mental blog” while driving or on the train, and sometimes even when you are alone in the shower.

7. You filter everything through your post-writing. You can’t watch a movie, see a play, read an article, or share a sweet moment with your child without thinking of whether it’s blog-worthy.

6. You suffer from “blog envy” when another blogger posts something juicy before you do. You suffer “comment envy” when said post gets 40-something comments – the jerk!

5. You “binge blog” 3 or 4 posts at once—only to feel guilty and empty afterward.

4. You ditched all your real friends for blog friends, because, well, “they understand.”

3. You think, “I can stop at any time.”

2. Your lunch hour has become your “blog hour.” You keep a few posts tucked in your desk in case you need them during the day.

1. After 5 minutes of meeting someone really interesting you ask, “So - do you blog?”
How many got all 10? = A Blogger Maniac, probably needs an intervention soon from her non computer friends.
5-8? = Seriously neglecting the children by this stage
3-5? = Probably only neglecting the housework, the laundry is piling up, the dishes lay undone.
1-3? = Scrapbooking is still your favorite hobby.
How many did you check off ladies???

Friday, November 7, 2008

Amazing Race Update - "Please hold while I singe my skull."


Dallas wanted to make the moves on Starr, but found it difficult. He explained, "Starr's a cool girl, but to find that alone time just to be able to hang out…it's tough. My mom's with me. My mom’s the worst wingman ever." Starr added, "Dallas and I have a great friendship that has formed which will probably continue after the race. There is an attraction there."
Eewwww! Head band, Rocky Balboa kid is falling for the evil twin sister! Nothing like looking in on young love in action. You, me, and that kid's mother.
Double eewww!
But hey, it's made for some great television. I enjoyed this last episode immensely. Ken and Tina finally came in last. And he cried! I swear does it get any better than this? So is their relationship still headed down the porcelain potty? Do we really care?
Terrence and Sarah - newly dating couple - were also in rare form. While she tried to quickly paint the yellow auto rickshaw green, he definitely offered words of encouragement. Let me paraphrase, "Nag, nag, naggedy-nag, let me me please nag you some more, because boy it's really working." As much as I hate to say it, he's almost like a woman. Even the frat boys called him on it. If I was her, I'd be heading for the hills.
The frat boys, Andrew and Dan definitely had the most depressing line of the episode. He joked, “I’ve never ironed in my life. That’s my mom’s department. There was never any ironing going on in the frat house."
Scary.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yard Sale Sali Takes a Hit - Hallelujah!


Just have to give a shout out to Walt Minnick, our new Idaho Congressman who happens to be a Democrat (38 of the last 42 years have been held by a Republican).
Minnick, a former board member of the Wilderness Society and the Idaho Conservation League will hopefully use his connections to bridge the gap between Western Democrats and national environmentalists, especially with the upcoming vote for Southern Idaho Owyhee Canyonlands legislation that protects wilderness, wild rivers and ranchers.
He beat out incumbent Republican Bill Sali, who as far as I'm concerned is a fruitcake. I think I'm more happy that he lost than I am that Obama won!
So how did Sali lose is such a GOP friendly environment as Idaho? Oh, let me have a fantastic time telling you the ways. The guys is nuts! While serving in the Legislature for 16 years and Congress for the past two he's alienated so many Republican's by, here I will list: claimed abortion caused breast cancer, was in a tiny minority on some embarrassing votes, made national news when he said the founding fathers never imagined laying your hand to swear oaths on the Koran.
After a ridiculously mean Republican primary two years ago, in which he barely won, instead of mending fences he led the way in ousting the current GOP Chairman. It's no wonder rank-and-file Republicans are saying "I voted against Bill Sali because I think he's an idiot and I think he's ineffective."
In this race with Minnick, he has come across as nothing but a cocky, arrogant, jack @#$@#. (Can you tell which one he is in the picture? Which one looks like a jerk? It's not hard to tell.)
During their debate last month, he pulled faces while Minnick talked and at one time used his fingers as bunny ears behind his opponents head. After all the precincts reported in yesterday morning, he refused to concede, then refused to talk to reporters. Huh?
Will someone please tell this guy he wasn't running for president of his senior class, but for a seat in the Congress of the United States of America. Let's act like it please.
Good luck Walt!