Click here to email me.

Write to Kathy

Visit my Facebook page.

All we can do now is wait.

Dan and I voted around 1:30 this afternoon. We were told by a poll worker that 1200 people are registered to vote in our precinct and 600 had already voted, including 150 who were waiting in line when the building opened this morning. What does that mean? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. We shall see.

Election 2012.

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I don't understand why Jews will vote for Obama.

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Do you have to be stupid to work at CNN ...

... or is it just considered a plus?

What is the point of writing "SPOILER ALERT" below the winner's name -- especially when his picture is also included at the top of the article?

WSOP Main Event 2010 Winner

iTunes is currently playing: The Name Of The Game from the album Mamma Mia! by Amanda Seyfried & Stellan Skarsgard.

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Road Signs (AKA "Our tax dollars at work!")

Money wasted on Obama Handout Signs

As the midterm election season approaches, new road signs are popping up everywhere – millions of dollars worth of signs touting "The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act" and reminding passers-by that the program is "Putting America Back to Work."

On the road leading to Dulles Airport outside Washington, DC there's a 10' x 11' road sign touting a runway improvement project funded by the federal stimulus. The project cost nearly $15 million and has created 17 jobs, according to recovery.gov. However, there's another number that caught the eye of ABC News: $10,000. That's how much money the Washington Airports Authority tells ABC News it spent to make and install the sign – a single sign – announcing that the project is "Funded by The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act" and is "Putting America Back to Work." The money for the sign was taken out of the budget for the runway improvement project.

ABC News has reached out to a number of states about spending on stimulus signs and learned the state of Illinois has spent $650,000 on about 950 signs and Pennsylvania has spent $157,000 on 70 signs. Jill Zuckman of the Department of Transportation said, "The best estimate is that states have spent about $5 million of the $28 billion spent on road projects on signs.

Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) has joined the chorus of Republican outrage over stimulus signs and claims at least $20 million has been spent on them. He told ABC News, "I think it's a bit of an oxymoron to spend tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, borrowed money, on a bunch of signs to tell them how we are spending their taxpayer money."

iTunes is currently playing: Give It Away from the album Also Known As Mary by Quincy Coleman.

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Only in L.A. ...

... would people be upset that the government wants to kill feral bees.

Santa Monica activist upset that feral bees are being exterminated.

iTunes is currently playing: Honey For The Bees from the album Alf by Alison Moyet.

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I am woman! Hear me ROAR!

And watch me make the earth move!

Iranian cleric: Women who wear revealing clothing cause earthquakes

From an article by MAIL FOREIGN SERVICE
Last updated at 3:39 PM on 19th April 2010
A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.

'Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,' Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media.

Women in the Islamic Republic are required by law to cover from head to toe, but many, especially the young, ignore some of the more strict codes and wear tight coats and scarves pulled back that show much of the hair.

Iran is one of the world's most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric's unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.

Seismologists have warned for at least two decades that it is likely the sprawling capital will be struck by a catastrophic quake in the near future. Some experts have even suggested Iran should move its capital to a less seismically active location. Tehran straddles scores of fault lines, including one more than 50 miles (80 kilometres) long, though it has not suffered a major quake since 1830.

iTunes is currently playing: I Feel The Earth Move from the album Tapestry by Carole King.
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Time to book a cruise.

It started about 5 p.m. yesterday. Still coming down at noon.

This is our back deck. Our estimate: at least 20" on the patio table.

Open the front door and this is what you see.

Looking out the front window. Our poor little cars. But at least we have learned to move our cars up toward the top of the driveway (near the street) when snow is predicted.

iTunes is currently playing: Snow Is Lightly Falling from the album Winter Solstice On Ice by Nightnoise.

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The man needs a teleprompter ...

... to speak to a bunch of grade school kids?? OMG ...

Obama and his teleprompter.

iTunes is currently playing: Speak Like A Child from the album The Singular Adventures Of The Style Council by The Style Council.

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How to ensure that the travel industry ...

... never recovers from the recession:

How to destroy the travel industry.

Does this make you want to jump on a plane?

iTunes is currently playing: Outbound Plane from the album Aces by Suzy Bogguss.

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The Brits get it.

They understand we've been sold a bill of goods by the global warming folks. When are we going to wise up?







iTunes is currently playing: Prelude To The End Of The Game from the album Brand New Day by Sting.

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Disturbing Hoosier News

According to NWI.COM (online version of The [Hammond] Times), Indiana has the second highest smoking rate in the country. It is difficult to believe that in this day and age, more than a quarter of adults in Hoosierville smoke. Even worse, the percentage has gone up in the last couple of years (unlike most other states, where fewer people are smoking).

What's up, Hoosiers? Do you all not get that smoking is bad for your health??

iTunes is currently playing: Save Yourself from the album Aces by Suzy Bogguss.

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Makes us ex-pats wanna cry.

From the [Gary] Post-Tribune:

The fiancee of Gary's latest homicide victim said she asked him not to visit the Brunswick neighborhood where he was shot and killed Wednesday. Terry Flournoy Jr., 36, became the fifth person in six days to be killed in Gary when he failed to heed that warning. Witnesses said they heard several gunshots before Flournoy was found dead in a purple Pontiac Sunfire in the 700 block of Hovey Street. "People have been getting killed left and right over here," Mya Gauldin, ... said.

From GoogleMaps:

iTunes is currently playing: Lonesome For A Place I Know from the album "Idlewild" by Everything But The Girl.

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The drive to LAX just won't be the same.

Nude club near LAX to be torn down.

iTunes is currently playing: Don't Stop The Dance from the album Boys And Girls by Bryan Ferry.

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Now where did I put those Rollerblades?



iTunes is currently playing: Keep On Movin' from the album Angels In The Crowd by Wendy Woo.

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Offensive? You be the judge.

NBC was happy to take money from the makers of Doritos to show us an ad during the Super Bowl in which a man takes a bite out of a Dorito and a woman's clothes fly off of her body.

Crunch and the clothes disappear.

They also took money for a GoDaddy.com ad in which a woman with huge, fake breasts rips her sweater open to show us what she paid for.

GoDaddy ad.

But NBC apparently felt that the following ad was too offensive for television.



iTunes is currently playing: That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be from the album The Best Of Carly Simon by Carly Simon.

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I know ... bad hacker! bad!

... but I still laughed my @** off when I saw this!

You gotta love Austin!



iTunes is currently playing: Shame from the album Bad Love by Randy Newman.

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Is the honeymoon over?

From Politico.com:

Now that he’s in office, Obama’s approval ratings are starting to normalize, as partisan back-and-forth picks up.

Just a week ago [prior to his inauguration], Gallup found an astonishing 83 percent approval of how he has handled his transition, showing he had even won over most Republicans.

The Gallup Poll on Saturday released the first job-approval rating for President Obama, based on interviews during his first three full days in office: 68 percent.

The new job-approval figure puts him at the upper end of opening poll numbers for presidents, but doesn’t set a record.


iTunes is currently playing: Somebody (Changed Your Mind) from the album All True Man by Alexander O'Neal.

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Evidence that the NAACP ...

... has outlived any usefulness it ever had ...



iTunes is currently playing: The Fences from the soundtrack album Alexei and the Spring by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

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I totally get this.

In fact, I'm thinking Dan and I should fly to Vegas and renew our vows ... at the In-n-Out Burger on Tropicana.

Couple weds in fast-food style ... in Taco Bell.
Customers continue to order tacos and burritos as vows are exchanged.


Taco Bell Wedding

iTunes is currently playing: I Love To See You Smile from the album Guilty: 30 Years Of Randy Newman (Disc 4) by Randy Newman.

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Laugh of the Day

From the L.A.Times:

Porn mogul Larry Flynt sues nephews over use of family name

By Victoria Kim and Andrew Blankstein
January 7, 2009

Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt has been called a lot of things over the years. But he insists that the Flynt name still stands for quality when it comes to adult entertainment.

So this week, he filed suit against two nephews who are using the family name for their own line of adult films. Flynt said he is going to court to protect his good name, saying that he is concerned that Jimmy Flynt II and Dustin Flynt might tarnish the Flynt franchise by producing lower-quality porn that the lawsuit calls "inferior products" and "knock-off goods."

"To come into the adult entertainment business and use my name not only confuses people who buy my products, but if they're not maintaining a certain quality, it could also hurt my name," Larry Flynt told The Times on Tuesday.

iTunes is currently playing: Family Tree from the album Right Down The Line: The Best Of Gerry Rafferty by Gerry Rafferty.

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IT'S THE ETIQUETTE POLICE!!

Being Annoying Now Illegal In Michigan Town

BRIGHTON, Mich. -- Since when did being annoying become a crime? Since Brighton City Council approved a public conduct code Monday night, which includes fining someone up to $500 for being annoying.

One section of the bill reads, "It shall be unlawful for a person to engage in a course of conduct or repeatedly commit acts that alarm or seriously annoy another person and that serve no legitimate purpose."

The bill also states it's unlawful for anyone to insult, accost, molest or otherwise annoy any person in public.

The ordinance was modeled after one in Royal Oak, where the Brighton police chief previously worked.

The Livingston Daily Press & Argus reported that two council members expressed concerns for the language of the ordinance, but voted for it anyway.

Brighton officials said the ordinance would be subjective and the call will be made by police officers.

The amended ordinance takes effect Jan. 17, 2009.

iTunes is currently playing: I Really Didn't Mean It from the album Give Me The Reason by Luther Vandross.

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busy week for obit writers

R.I.P. Van Johnson, Bettie Page, and Beverly Garland.

iTunes is currently playing: Another Place from the album Another Place by Hiroshima.

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Why not wait until the guy ...

... actually accomplishes something.

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. -- One South Florida city is planning to honor the president-elect with his own street.

Opa-locka plans to rename Perviz Avenue to Barack Obama Avenue on President's Day in February.

The city commission voted on the name change last week and officials say it is expected to finalize the approval next month. Opa-locka is a predominantly heavily African-American community north of downtown Miami.



iTunes is currently playing: Road To Nowhere from the album Little Creatures by Talking Heads.
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Laugh of the Day

I just heard on the radio (sorry, I can't provide a link) that 64% of respondents in a new poll are pleased with Obama's performance since the election [emphasis mine].

And during the last 7 days he has done what, exactly??

iTunes is currently playing: Where Do I Go From Here from the album Even Now by Barry Manilow.

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An honest mistake ...

... or an indication of things to come? You be the judge.

Warner Todd Huston writes today on NewsBusters.com:

The co-chair of Barack Obama's Transition Team, Valerie Jarrett, appeared on Meet the Press this weekend and used, shall we say, an interesting word to described what she thinks Barack Obama will be doing in January when he's officially sworn into office. She told Tom Brokaw that Obama will be ready to "rule" on day one. It's a word that reflects the worst fears that people have for Obama the "arrogant," the "messiah," that imagines he's here to "rule" instead of govern.

Jarret told Brokaw that "given the daunting challenges that we face, it's important that president elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one."

Someone needs to get to Jarrett and inform her that American politicians are not Kings and do not "rule" from office. But if this is the attitude of Obama's transition team, what does The One himself imagine he is about to unleash? Could the fears that Obama thinks he is being anointed America's King be far off with this sort of talk flying about?


It sounds like something Biden would say.

iTunes is currently playing: I Really Didn't Mean It from the album Give Me the Reason by Luther Vandross.

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The back-peddling begins ...

From the WashingtonTimes.com web site:
Over the weekend President-elect Barack Obama scrubbed Change.gov, his transition Web site, deleting most of what had been a massive agenda copied directly from his campaign Web site.

Gone are the promises on how an Obama administration would handle 25 different agenda items - everything from Iraq and immigration to taxes and urban policy - all items laid out on his campaign Web site, www.BarackObama.com.

Instead, the official agenda on Change.gov has been boiled down to one vague paragraph proclaiming a plan “to revive the economy, to fix our health care, education, and social security systems, to define a clear path to energy independence, to end the war in Iraq responsibly and finish our mission in Afghanistan, and to work with our allies to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, among many other domestic and foreign policy objectives.”

“We are currently retooling the Web site,” said Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro.

The Kool-Aid should start to wear off soon.


iTunes is currently playing: I Was Only Telling A Lie from the album Dad Loves His Work by James Taylor.
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QUICK! Get me the smelling salts!

A columnist with the Washington Post has admitted and detailed the lack of balance in her paper's coverage of the recent election!

The Post provided a lot of good campaign coverage, but readers have been consistently critical of the lack of probing issues coverage and what they saw as a tilt toward Democrat Barack Obama. My surveys, which ended on Election Day, show that they are right on both counts.


The count was lopsided, with 1,295 horse-race stories and 594 issues stories. The Post was deficient in stories that reported more than the two candidates trading jabs; readers needed articles, going back to the primaries, comparing their positions with outside experts' views. There were no broad stories on energy or science policy, and there were few on religion issues.


The op-ed page ran far more laudatory opinion pieces on Obama, 32, than on Sen. John McCain, 13. There were far more negative pieces (58) about McCain than there were about Obama (32), and Obama got the editorial board's endorsement.


Stories and photos about Obama in the news pages outnumbered those devoted to McCain. Post reporters, photographers and editors -- like most of the national news media -- found the candidacy of Obama, the first African American major-party nominee, more newsworthy and historic. Journalists love the new; McCain, 25 years older than Obama, was already well known and had more scars from his longer career in politics.

The number of Obama stories since Nov. 11 was 946, compared with McCain's 786.


Obama deserved tougher scrutiny than he got, especially of his undergraduate years, his start in Chicago and his relationship with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, who was convicted this year of influence-peddling in Chicago. The Post did nothing on Obama's acknowledged drug use as a teenager.


One gaping hole in coverage involved Joe Biden, Obama's running mate. When Gov. Sarah Palin was nominated for vice president, reporters were booking the next flight to Alaska. Some readers thought The Post went over Palin with a fine-tooth comb and neglected Biden. They are right; it was a serious omission.


Will any other papers follow suit??

iTunes is currently playing: It's Not Abnormal At All from the album BBC1 John Peel Session by Yazoo.

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Charlie Rose & Tom Brokaw: "Who is Obama?"

ROSE: I don't know what Barack Obama's worldview is.

BROKAW: No, I don't, either.

ROSE: I don't know how he really sees where China is.

BROKAW: We don't know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy.

ROSE: I don't really know. And do we know anything about the people who are advising him?

BROKAW: Yeah, it's an interesting question.

ROSE: He is principally known through his autobiography and through very aspirational (sic) speeches.

BROKAW: Two of them! I don't know what books he's read.

ROSE: What do we know about the heroes of Barack Obama?

BROKAW: There's a lot about him we don't know.

[Transcript from RushLimbaugh.com.]

iTunes is currently playing: Who Am I from the album Ultimate Petula Clark by Petula Clark.

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Understanding the Presidential Election

Newsweek has a lengthy (7 chapter) piece on the recent presidential election called Secrets of the 2008 Campaign. The article includes the following paragraph that totally sums up the phenomenon of Obamamania:
Obama understood that he had become a giant screen upon which Americans projected their hopes and fears, dreams and frustrations. Maybe such a person never really existed, couldn't exist, but people wanted a savior nonetheless. As a bestselling memoirist he had created a mythic figure [emphasis mine], a man named Barack Obama who had searched and quested and overcome travails, who had found an identity and a calling in public service. Obama recalled that he often joked with his team, "This Barack Obama sounds like a great guy. Now I'm not sure that I am Barack Obama, right?" He added, pointedly, "It wasn't entirely a joke."

If this information had been released prior to the election, do you think the headlines would have read "OBAMA ADMITS TO BEING A FRAUD"? Nah, I don't think so, either.



iTunes is currently playing: BEHIND THE MASK from the album Faker Holic - YMO World Tour Live by Yellow Magic Orchestra.
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Brainless ObamaHead ...

... who is in for a rude awakening when she has to pay her own mortgage in January.



iTunes is currently playing: Outta Mind from the album Angels In The Crowd by Wendy Woo.

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Hey, Barry, call off your THUGS in Philly!!!





iTunes is currently playing: Go Where You Wanna Go from the album Up-Up And Away by The 5th Dimension.
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Fun-loving liberals celebrate Halloween in West Hollywood ...

... by hanging Sarah Palin in effigy.

Sarah Palin is hung in effigy.



WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) ― A Halloween decoration showing a mannequin dressed as vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hanging by a noose from the roof of a West Hollywood home is drawing giggles from some passers-by and gasps of outrage from others. The mannequin is dressed in brunet wig, glasses and a red business suit. Another mannequin dressed as John McCain emerges from a flaming chimney.

Chad Michael Morisette, who lives in the house, told CBS 2 News that drivers and bus passengers have been stopping to snap pictures of the macabre scene. Morisette says the effigy would be out of bounds at any other time of year, but it's within the spirit of Halloween.

He says "it should be seen as art [emphasis mine], and as within the month of October. It's Halloween, it's time to be scary it's time to be spooky."


If I were to "celebrate" Halloween by hanging Obama in effigy in my front yard, I believe I would be arrested for a hate crime. I guess those laws don't apply when the hate is directed toward a white woman instead of a black man.

I'm waiting for Senator Obama to express his outrage ... and waiting ... and waiting ...

iTunes is currently playing: Gone Too Far from the album Windows and Walls by Dan Fogelberg.

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a few hundred billion here ... a few hundred billion there ...

Today's L.A.Times has a[nother] story about how the "downturn" in the economy is hurting average Americans. In this piece they focus on a few families who live on Candlewood Street in Lakewood, California. A week after Congress promises $700 billion to banks and mortgage companies in a misguided attempt at fixing the mess they created over the last 30 years, the Times tells me about Barbara Booth and how worried she is about her retirement.

Barbara Booth is right to be worried. She is 57 years old and she is deeply in debt. But what jumps out at me as I read this story is not simply the fact that she is struggling financially but that the situation is, to a great extent, of her own making.

Booth inherited her house from her parents, but she took out a loan to fix it up, put on a new roof and add a room. Every month, she pays about $2,000 on that loan, in addition to credit card bills and payments toward a $42,000 balance on the Minnie Winnie Winnebago the family bought in 2003. It's parked in the driveway now, with only 13,000 miles on it. A "For sale" sign is taped to the window.


It took me about two minutes of Internet searching to find her exact address and pull up the real estate records for her home. Her parents purchased the house when it was built in the 50's, when new homes in the area were going for $12,000 to $15,000. Ms. Booth apparently inherited the house free and clear.

It is currently assessed at $86,000 and her property taxes are less than $100 per month. Homeowners insurance is probably, at most, $50 a month. Had Ms. Booth not decided to mortgage her house to the hilt in order to "fix it up" and "add a room" (and, probably, to put money down on a motorhome), she would have a modest 3 bedroom, 2 bath home that she could live in for about $150 per month plus utilities. Instead, she is paying on a mortgage that consumes almost 50% of her current gross income and she is upside-down on a 5 year old Winnebago. And both of our presidential candidates want the taxpayers to save her financial ass so she doesn't lose her house.

What the hell are they thinking??

iTunes is currently playing: House Of Cards from the album Stones In The Road by Mary Chapin Carpenter.

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One man's trash ...

Bobcats take advantage of foreclosed house.

iTunes is currently playing: Feels Like Home from the album Randy Newman's Faust by Bonnie Raitt.

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RE: Sarah Palin: YOU GO, GIRL!!!

Sarah Palin, VP candidate.

iTunes is currently playing: This One's for the Girls from the album Martina by Martina McBride.

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It must be boring as hell ...

... to be the person who sends out "Breaking News" emails on a slow news day. How else to explain this email from CNN:

-- Sen. Hillary Clinton tells convention delegates: "Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president."

Never let it be said that CNN passed up an opportunity to shove Obama down our throats.

iTunes is currently playing: History Will Teach Us Nothing from the album Nothing Like The Sun by Sting.

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Sorry, Barry ...

Obama thinks we are dying to know who his sidekick will be.

... but most of us really don't care all that much who you pick. The mainstream media is dying to know, but the rest of us are like ... yeah, whatever. And so when you say stuff like this, you sound like a pompous ass. Or a five year old with a secret. ("I know something you don't know. Nah nah nah nah nah!")

Not terribly presidential, dude.

iTunes is currently playing: Secret Secrets from the album Secret Secrets by Joan Armatrading.

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Tired of paying $4.00 per gallon for gas?



Watch this video and then visit PickensPlan.com.



Richie Havens ... is currently playing: Drivin' from the album Simple Things by Richie Havens.

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In some families she would be considered a black sheep.

The L.A.Times ran a story the other day about a 77 year old woman named Doris Payne who spent 50+ years stealing jewelry from retail stores.
Her formula was simple: Pick a nice store and look like you belong there. Make sure your well-cut outfit has deep pockets.

She was good, but not good enough to never get caught. In fact, she has been convicted of grand theft several times and has spent most of the last decade in prison. She should be free by the time she is 81, if she lives that long.

Her story is interesting and would probably make a good movie. But the most interesting paragraph in the lengthy article (IMO) is this:
"It took me a while to become proud of her," said Ronald, of Louisiana. Now 61, he was born when his mother was a teenager. He was raised partly by his grandparents. "I realized she was very good at what she does and had fun doing it."

So Ronald is proud of his convicted felon mother who was so busy stealing what probably amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stuff that she couldn't be bothered to raise him because, after all, SHE WAS A GOOD THIEF and she ENJOYED HERSELF while she was stealing.

Loving her in spite of her flaws would be one thing. But being proud of her?

What a world.



Alison Moyet - Alf ... is currently playing: Steal Me Blind from the album Alf by Alison Moyet.
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I ***LOVE*** Hello Kitty ...

... I really do ... but I must admit that they is something really creepy/scary about a six foot tall person in a Hello Kitty costume.

Hello Kitty Ambassador

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Hey, Vermont, Boulder, and Berkeley! You made the list!

Sometimes a person (or a group of people, on behalf of a city or state) says or does something so stupid and/or classless that I tell myself, "You are never going to get a dime of my money." This has happened so many times lately that I decided to make a list, lest I forget some idiotic statement or action and end up sending money in a direction where I don't want it to go. So here goes.

VERMONT:

At first I thought it was just one city that voted to impeach Bush and Cheney, but apparently city after city in Vermont voted to do so. F**ing morons.

Ever since we moved to the East Coast, I have wanted to go up to Vermont in the Fall to see the leaves. Well, there are a bunch of other states that have pretty red leaves in October. I will give them my money instead of the bozos in Vermont.

BOULDER, CO:

More f***ing morons talking about impeaching the President.

I have only been to Colorado once and I wasn't terribly impressed. And since I hate to be cold, it isn't on the top of my boy-I-can't-wait-to-go-there list. But my adorable niece, Tracie, and her new hubby moved to Denver, so it is not inconceivable that I could find myself in Boulder someday, itching to spend some money. And THAT is why I need this list -- to remind me why we shouldn't go there, even if we are in the vicinity visiting family.

BERKELEY, CA:

Even though our friend, Robert Gaustad, owns a great restaurant in that city (Bobby G's Pizzeria), I won't be spending a dime within the borders of Berkeley after the stunt they pulled regarding our Marines:

In a move reminiscent of Berkeley's 1960s antiwar protests, the City Council ignited a national firestorm last month by issuing a strongly worded declaration that blasted military recruiting techniques and labeled the Marine Corps as "uninvited and unwelcome intruders." One council member said U.S. troops were responsible for "horrible karma," and Mayor Tom Bates offered to help the Marines evacuate.

The return fire was swift. Several Republican senators sponsored a bill to reroute $2.3 million in federal funding from Berkeley to the Marines. In the last 10 days, city officials have received 26,000 e-mails, mostly from irate people who called the declaration irresponsible. Several council members have received death threats.

Many critics said that although they were opposed to the war in Iraq, they believed the council had crossed the line, going beyond protesting the nation's foreign policy to demonizing men and women in uniform.

"The e-mails are running 15 to 1 in favor of the Marines," said Councilman Gordon Wozniak, one of the dissenters in the 6-3 vote on the declaration. "They've run the gamut from being very thoughtful to dismissing Berkeley citizens as liberal scum."

In recent days, Berkeley officials have backpedaled and Bates issued a public apology. Tonight, the council will consider a motion to remove the criticism about recruiting and express the community's support for U.S. troops fighting abroad.


Even if said motion to "undo" the damage is passed, it is too little, too late as far as I'm concerned. It's clear what the majority of them think of our military. So no money for you guys either!!

Johnny Mathis - The Essential Johnny Mathis - Too Much, Too Little, Too Late ... is currently playing: Too Much, Too Little, Too Late from the album The Essential Johnny Mathis by Johnny Mathis.
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Hey, Arnold! A tax by any other name ...

... is still a friggin' tax!!

From the L.A. Times:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will propose hiking the cost of insurance for millions of California homes and businesses in the budget he unveils Thursday, with the money to be used for firefighting efforts.

The proposal, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, calls for new charges to be tacked onto the insurance bill for every residential and commercial property in the state. Administration officials call the charges fees and defend them as consistent with the governor's pledge, repeated in his State of the State address Tuesday, to not raise taxes. The plan, which the insurance industry has agreed to support, would cost California property owners and renters $12.50 for every $1,000 in insurance premiums, for a projected $125 million.

"I don't know how you avoid calling it a tax," Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, said of the assessment. "The ability of government officials to figure out new ways to tax us is limitless, no matter what their nomenclature."

The levy [emphasis mine] is the latest to be championed by the governor. Last fall, Schwarzenegger signed a bill that raised California drivers' registration payments by as much as $11 to pay for research on alternative fuels. And his healthcare plan relies on new taxes on tobacco users, hospitals and employers.

Administration officials acknowledged that some of the money raised could be used to balance the budget. They declined to be precise about how much.

The charge would be added to an existing 2.35% premium tax on property insurance policies. That tax, which is not earmarked for any particular program, generated $216 million for the state budget in 2006, according to the Department of Insurance.


Marc Cohn - Marc Cohn - Dig Down Deep
... is currently playing: Dig Down Deep from the album Marc Cohn by Marc Cohn.
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From Peggy Noonan's Lips to God's Ear!

On John Edwards:

" ... we can't have a president who spent two minutes on YouTube staring in a mirror and poofing his hair. Really, we just can't."


Marni Nixon, Yvonne Othon, Suzie Kaye & Joanne Miya - West Side Story - I Feel Pretty
... is currently playing: I Feel Pretty from the album West Side Story by Carol Lawrence and Marilyn Cooper.
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WOO HOO!!!!

Apple, one of my two favorite companies, hits $200 a share, a new high. (Yeah, TiVo is my other favorite...)

Apple stock hits a new high!


Spiral Starecase - Pop Classics of the 60's - More Today Than Yesterday
... is currently playing: More Today Than Yesterday from the album More Today Than Yesterday: Complete Columbia Recordings by Spiral Starecase.
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Happy Obit

Really. I dare you not to smile.

From the L.A.Times (Dec. 21, 2007):

Beverly Allen, dancing in her 80's.

Beverly Allen, a longtime professional dancer who joined the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies late in life and at 87 was the oldest showgirl regularly performing in a chorus, according to the 2005 Guinness World Records, has died. She was 90.

"Beverly Allen was . . . a bright and sparkling gem of a dancer," Riff Markowitz, producer of the Palm Springs Follies, said in a statement Wednesday.

The [Follies] dancers are 55 or older. Allen joined the company at 80 and retired at 87. During that time, "she reigned supremely over nine three-hour performances a week," Markowitz said.

"At 82 she was cartwheeling across the stage and being tossed from the arms of a 60-year-old male dancer to another who was 70," [her daughter Lora] Le Maire recalled of her mother. "I said, 'Mom, are you sure these guys are going to catch you?' She said, 'Sure, honey. They're kids.' "


Bryan Ferry - More Than This - The Best of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music - Don't Stop the Dance ... is currently playing: Don't Stop The Dance from the album Boys and Girls by Bryan Ferry.
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Dick Morris wrote an interesting piece ...

... for NewsMax.com in which he refutes Bill and Hillary's claims that she was "deeply involved" in the Irish peace process, something that Bill and Hill site as evidence of her qualifications to be president. Morris points out that while both of the Clintons discuss this issue at length in their memoirs, neither book even suggests that Hillary had anything to do with resolving the situation in Ireland. If she had played a significant role in bringing about peace in that country, you would certainly expect her book to say so, wouldn't you.

Morris makes a strong case that her claimed experience in foreign affairs is much ado about nothing. His essay reminds us that the Clintons wouldn't recognize the truth if it jumped up and hit them in the nose AND that she has no experience that qualifies her to be President. (If she did, they wouldn't have to make stuff up, would they?)

But the passage that really stands out in my mind is this:

Hillary does recall that in her meetings with women in Ireland, she'd spoken with them about the troubles [ongoing violence in the region] and how to find a way to "achieve peace and reconciliation." But she turns that into a discussion of her own personal problems with Bill and Monica, "Now that's what I had to try to do in the midst of my own heartbreaking troubles."


So Hillary Clinton compares her "heartbreaking" situation (which is to say, her choosing to stay with her womanizing husband after he publicly humiliated her and Chelsea) to what these Irish women experienced while living in a war zone? Holy moly.

I know that Hillary is very popular with Democratic women. I'm sorry, but I just DO NOT GET IT.

Styx - Styx: Greatest Hits - The Grand Illusion
... is currently playing: The Grand Illusion from the album The Grand Illusion by Styx.
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Sometimes all you can do …

... is laugh to keep from crying.

No more termites!  (Or house, either!)


Alison Moyet - Alf - All Cried Out
... is currently playing: All Cried Out from the album Alf by Alison Moyet.
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Remember that episode of the Dick Van Dyke Show …

... where he buys Laura the "Empress Carlotta Necklace" ??

I think this can safely be filed under "What the %#& was she thinking?"

Drew Barrymore models the Empress Carlotta Necklace.


Marni Nixon, Yvonne Othon, Suzie Kaye & Joanne Miya - West Side Story - I Feel Pretty
... is currently playing: I Feel Pretty from the album West Side Story- Original Broadway Cast with Carol Lawrence and Marilyn Cooper.
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Poll from today’s Asbury Park Press

A small sample but it still speaks volumes ...

When are you leaving NJ?


Pat Metheny Group - Offramp - Are You Going With Me?
iTunes is currently playing: Are You Going With Me? from the album Offramp by Pat Metheny Group.
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Cats get blamed for everything!!

What about the idiot homeowner who went to sleep with a kerosene lantern burning with pets in the house??

Dog Saves Family From Fire Blamed on Cat

GREENVILLE, Maine - Thumper, a black Labrador retriever, is getting credit for saving a Greenville man when a fire swept through his home. Roland Cote said his wife and their 7-year-old grandson were away when the blaze started early Sunday in a converted two-story garage. He said Thumper grabbed him by the arm to wake him, leaving just enough time for him to dial 911 before fleeing the fast-moving fire.

While the dog is the hero, a cat is the bad guy in this story.

Cote said the fire marshal investigator believes the blaze was started when Princess, the family cat, tipped over a kerosene lantern. Cote says he and his pets escaped safely, but he says Princess did get her tail singed by the flames.


Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense - Burning Down the House
iTunes is currently playing: Burning Down The House from the album Stop Making Sense: Special New Edition (1984 Film) by Talking Heads.
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Al Gore: “Do as I say, not as I do.”




Randy Newman - Land of Dreams - Dixie Flyer
iTunes is currently playing: Dixie Flyer from the album Land of Dreams by Randy Newman.
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Yes, I am glad she was deported …

... and I don't mind admitting that publicly, even though I will probably get another email message from a certain relative reminding me that I am a racist.

Meanwhile, the OPEN BORDERS folks might want to look for a better spokesperson than someone who says moronic stuff like this:

In speaking to the Mexican Congress about her deportation from the United States, Elvira Arellano claims that "the United States is the one who broke the law first by letting people cross over without documents. By letting people pay taxes."


Carole King - Tapestry - Home Again
iTunes is currently playing: Home Again from the album Tapestry by Carole King.
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Comments made to the media by black activists and football fans …

... about dog killer Michael Vick:

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (7/29/07): About 200 people braved rain and thunderclaps outside the Georgia Dome on Sunday to condemn the country, the media, Nike and, most of all, the Atlanta Falcons for treating Michael Vick like a dog. "We Support Vick a Human Being Over Dogs," was the message of one placard to honking passing cars on Northside Drive. Other supporters said they believed Vick should be given the benefit of the doubt until his day in court.

"Look at what he has done for this city — he's made this city a ton of money every Sunday," said Hiram Melvin, 50 of Decatur. "This dogfighting has been going on for years. It's not something that just started. It's not a big deal." [Emphasis mine. kh]

Charles Steele, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said that the SCLC "prefers to focus on Vick's redemption and plans to honor him for his community contributions at its convention [in August] in Atlanta." "We need to support him no matter what the evidence reveals," Steele said.

Citizens of Atlanta support the dog killer.

Anisa Wright, holding dog DJ, her mother Charita Wright, and Imani Wright show their support for Michael Vick.

[Dressing the dog up in a #7 jersey is a particularly classy touch, don't you think?]

The same article goes on to say that The New Order National Human Rights Organization, a non-profit group purportedly established to deal with human rights violations experienced by people of any "race, creed, color, or religion" but which appears to have only black members (based on the photos displayed on its web site), "is calling for a boycott and protest of Falcons games until Vick returns to the field — and season-ticket holders in the crowd plan to demand their money back." New Order President Gerald Rose says, "This is still his dome. This is still his house."

----------------

From CNN.com (8/22/07): Atlanta NACCP President R.L. White says that Michael Vick's "mistakes" should not cost him his football career and that "he didn't understand the uproar over dogfighting, when hunting deer and other animals is perfectly acceptable."

---------------

From Breitbart.com (8/22/07): New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury defended Michael Vick, calling dogfighting a sport and comparing it to hunting. "I think it's tough," Marbury said, according to Albany TV station Capital News 9. "I think, you know, we don't say anything about people who shoot deer or shoot other animals. You know, from what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors .... I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down," Marbury said. "I think he's one of the superb athletes, and he's a good human being. I just think that he fell into a bad situation." [Again, emphasis is mine. kh]

----------------

And let's not forget Deion Sanders, former NFL player/current NFL Network analyst/part-owner of the Austin Wranglers (of the Arena Football League), who offered this take on the situation in a piece he wrote for the Florida News-Press on 7/02/07 (and who has since been silenced by the NFL based on the terms of a contract he signed, a situation that the News-Press is NOT happy about).

The potential impact [of the indictment] could be devastating.

This is all the result of perspective.

What a dog means to Vick might be a lot different than what he means to you or I. Hold on, don’t start shaking your head just yet. Listen to me.

Some people kiss their dogs on the mouth. Some people let their dogs eat from their plate. Some people dress their dogs in suits more expensive than mine, if you can believe that.

And some people enjoy proving they have the biggest, toughest dog on the street. You’re probably not going to believe this, but I bet Vick loves the dogs that were the biggest and the baddest. Maybe, he identified with them in some way.

Why are we indicting him? Was he the ringleader? Is he the big fish? Or is there someone else? The fights allegedly occurred at a property that he purchased for a family member. They apparently found carcasses on the property, but I must ask you again, is he the ringleader?

Are we using Vick to get to the ringleader? Are we using him to bring an end to dogfighting in the United States?

The only thing I can gather from this situation is that we’re using Vick.

I believe Vick had a passion for dogfighting. I know many athletes who share his passion. The allure is the intensity and the challenge of a dog fighting to the death. It’s like ultimate fighting, but the dog doesn’t tap out when he knows he can’t win.

It reminds me of when I wore a lot of jewelry back in the day because I always wanted to have the biggest chain or the biggest, baddest car. It gives you status.

The reason this is turning into a three-ring circus is that baseball is boring, basketball is months away, football is around the corner and we in the media don’t have a thing interesting to write about.

-----------------

The population in general seems to have strong negative feelings about Michael Vick and his behavior. However, I have spent a significant amount of time searching the Internet for examples of black individuals (prominent or otherwise) who have publicly condemned Michael Vick's behavior (even if the condemnation came after the announcement of his plea deal) and I have been unable to find a single example.

Is the media reporting on this situation in a way that makes it appear that most blacks are supportive of Vick when this is not the case? (And if so, why would they do that?)

OR

Do most blacks think that this is all much ado about nothing and Vick should be at training camp right now? (And if so, how do people grow up in the same country, surrounded by animals that are, to most of us, like members of the family, and end up with such different opinions about this issue, with those opinions split evenly along racial lines?)

OR something else???

What do you think? And why?

[I bet this is my longest blog post ever!]


Billie Holiday - The Essence of Billie Holiday - How Could You?
iTunes is currently playing: How Could You? from the album Billie Holiday: Portrait by Billie Holiday.
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I never understood why people would install …

... a doggie door in their house. Doesn't it occur to them that if their pet can go in and out through the opening, other animals can do the same??

Pit Bulls Break Into Home, Maul Woman

GIG HARBOR, Wash. (AP) - Two pit bull terriers broke into a house through a pet door Tuesday and attacked a woman in her bed, mauling her badly, a Pierce County sheriff's spokesman said. The pit bulls also killed a neighbor's Jack Russell terrier, which entered the house during the attack, Troyer said.


Jim Brickman - No Words - Open Doors
iTunes is currently playing: Open Doors from the album No Words by Jim Brickman.
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How many pregnant women …

... want to drive 325 miles to a hospital in another country in order to give birth? Ladies, count your blessings that you don't live in Canada with their great health care system.

Rare identical quadruplets born in Montana

HELENA, Montana (AP) -- A 35-year-old Canadian woman has given birth to rare identical quadruplets, hospital officials said. Karen Jepp of Calgary, Canada, delivered Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia by Caesarian section Sunday afternoon at Benefis Healthcare hospital in Great Falls, Montana.

The Jepps drove 325 miles to Great Falls for the births because hospitals in Calgary were at capacity, Key said.


Carole King - Tapestry - So Far Away
iTunes is currently playing: Home Again from the album Tapestry by Carole King.
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Why is this guy not in jail??

eBay auto scammer told to repay victims

August 17, 2007
Post-Tribune staff report

A Chicago man who ran an auto online auction scam from a Highland apartment was sentenced Thursday to 18 months of probation and ordered to pay $12,000 restitution.

Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez told Donald J. Hicks, 27, he is a scammer, manipulator and thief. "If you do this again in this county and you are convicted, you will go to prison," the judge said.

Hicks pleaded guilty June 12 to theft.

In 2004, Hicks operated D Executive Motors in Highland. Hicks advertised cars for sale on eBay, but kept money from unsuspecting bidders and either didn't ship the cars or sent much cheaper vehicles than had been advertised.

Hicks is ordered to pay restitution to victims in Champlin, Minn.; Mesa, Ariz.; Spring Mills, Pa.; and Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.


Alexander O'Neal - Hearsay - When the Party's Over
iTunes is currently playing: When The Party's Over from the album Hearsay
by Alexander O'Neal.
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Call me, CNN!

You clearly need a writer who has read every issue of People Magazine ever published.

Priscilla Presley, widow of Elvis NOT!

UPDATE 8/14/07:

And they didn't even write back to thank me!

Priscilla Presley, EX-WIFE of Elvis.


Natalie Merchant - Tigerlily - Beloved Wife
iTunes is currently playing: Beloved Wife from the album Tigerlily by Natalie Merchant.
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There is a reason why murder mysteries ask “who done it?” …

... and not "to whom was it done?"

Breitbart.com has an AFP story today with the headline "Nearly half US murder victims are black: report". The article starts out by telling us:

"African-Americans are victims of nearly half the murders committed in the United States despite making up only 13 percent of the population ... Around 8,000 of nearly 16,500 murder victims in 2005, or 49 percent, were black Americans, according to the report released by the statistics bureau of the Department of Justice."

The article then gives a bunch of other statistics about murder victims, including this tidbit:

"Most murder victims -- 93 percent of blacks and 85 percent of whites -- were killed by someone of their own race."

If these statistics are accurate, blacks were responsible for 93% of murders committed in 2005 in which the victim was black (7,440) and 15% of murders in which the victim was white (1,275), or 8,715 out of 16,500 murders. That means that blacks, who make up 13% of the population, committed 53% of U.S. murders in 2005.

It is unfortunate that blacks make up 49% of murder victims in this country, but I am more interested in the fact that they commit 53% of the murders. After all, if I want to avoid being murdered, isn't it more important to know who is doing the killing (so I can avoid those people) then to know who the last victim was?

Of course the media would rather describe blacks as victims of violent crime than perpetrators of violent crime. It is so much more PC, don't you know.


Randy Newman - Little Criminals - Little Criminals
iTunes is currently playing: Little Criminals from the album Little Criminals by Randy Newman.
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Why I sometimes miss the place

From the L.A.Times:

Los Angeles' favorite cat seems to have nine lives.

The three-sided "Felix" automobile dealership sign near downtown that has survived earthquakes, fires, riots and recession escaped another close call Thursday as the city's Cultural Heritage Commission voted to declare it a historic-cultural monument.

Commissioners rejected recommendations by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and downtown-area City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who favor redevelopment of the South Figueroa Street corner where the cartoon cat figure has loomed large for half a century.

"It is literally a modern totem pole," said sign preservation advocate Jim Childs. "It really explains the evolution of the automobile and Los Angeles."

Felix Chevrolet Sign Saved
(Gary Friedman / LAT)
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The EU wants to criminalize stupidity

EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial

Laws that make denying or trivialising the Holocaust a criminal offence punishable by jail sentences will be introduced across the European Union, according to a proposal expecting to win backing from ministers Thursday. Offenders will face up to three years in jail under the proposed legislation, which will also apply to inciting violence against ethnic, religious or national groups.

...

Diplomats stressed the provision had been carefully worded to include only denial of the Holocaust – the Nazi mass murder of Jews during the second world war – and the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

...

Holocaust denial is already a criminal offence in several European countries, including Germany and Austria. It is not a specific crime in Britain, though UK officials said it could already be tackled under existing legislation.

...

In an attempt to assuage Turkish fears, several EU diplomats said the provisions would not penalise the denial of mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman troops in the aftermath of the 1915 collapse of the Ottoman empire. Turkey strongly rejects claims that this episode amounted to genocide.

iTunes is currently playing: No Such Thing from the album Any Given Thursday by John Mayer.
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Video is better than a still image

I came across this video of the self-described "anarchists" in Portland who burned a U.S. soldier in effigy during the recent anti-war protest discussed below.  Note that the brave anarchists are all wearing masks.  (Maybe they are afraid if their parents see what they are doing, they will be cut off financially and have to get a job or something.)  Note, too, the OH SO CLEVER lyrics they are singing:

"Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put the soldiers on the top. Put the fascists in the middle and we'll burn the fucking lot."

But don't forget. They support the troops. They just don't support the war.







iTunes is currently playing: You're Just A No Account from the album Billie Holiday - CD2 The Man I Love - Past Perfect, Disc 7 by Billie Holiday.
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How the anti-war folks support the troops

An AP story describes an anti-war protest that took place in Portland, Oregon, on March 19th. Interestingly, the article makes no mention of the fact that these protestors burned a U.S. soldier in effigy.

Yet we are to believe that the anti-war folks support the troops, they just don't support the war. (I'm sure that any member of our military who saw these pictures truly feels the love!!)

Oh, and the mainstream media is balanced and objective, of course.

(Click here for more pics.)





iTunes is currently playing: Life During Wartime from the album Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads.

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Hoosiers LOVE their death penalty!

From the [Hammond] Times Online:


Yes, I am embarrassed.

iTunes is currently playing: Cold, Cold Heart from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.

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25 to 50 million people in this country play poker …

... and they all blame the Republican Party for the stupid anti-gambling legislation that was attached to the port security bill signed by Bush a few months ago.

Poker  players, unite!





iTunes is currently playing: History Repeating from the album Decksandrumsandrockandroll by Propellerheads & Miss Shirley Bassey.
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I wonder if Down Syndrome activists will argue …

... that there is nothing wrong with being mentally retarded (along the same lines as deaf "activists" who argue against cochlear implants for hearing-impaired children).

Down syndrome researchers see promise in PTZ, or pentylenetetrazole.
By Denise Gellene, L.A. Times Staff Writer

Lab mice with the mental retardation of Down syndrome got smarter after being fed a drug that strengthened brain circuits involved in learning and memory, researchers reported Sunday.

After receiving once-daily doses of pentylenetetrazole, or PTZ, for 17 days, the mice could recognize objects and navigate mazes as well as normal mice did, researchers said. The improvements lasted up to two months after the drug was discontinued, according to the report in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Scientists said the study opened a promising avenue for research in a field that had seen little success.

"These mice are essentially restored to normal, which I haven't seen before," said David Patterson, a Down syndrome researcher at the University of Denver, who was not involved in the study. "And the treatment seems to be long-lasting, which is a pretty surprising observation all by itself."

Senior study author Craig C. Garner, a Stanford School of Medicine professor, said his lab was preparing to conduct human trials of the drug, although he said it would take time to complete more preliminary studies and procure a supply of purified PTZ.

People with Down syndrome should not be given the drug until it has been studied further, he cautioned, because PTZ can induce seizures at high doses and might have other serious side effects.

More than 300,000 Americans have Down syndrome, making it the leading cause of mental retardation. There is no approved drug to improve cognition in people with Down syndrome.


iTunes is currently playing: Things We've Handed Down from the album The Rainy Season by Marc Cohn.

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Perfection? No …

... but how about "expected to live to adulthood"?

Pope speaks out against "designer babies"

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Saturday condemned genetic engineering and other scientific practices that allow people to select so-called "designer babies" by screening them for defects.

In a speech to the Pontifical Academy for Life, a Church body of experts, the Pope also attacked artificial insemination and the widespread use of medical tests that can detect diseases and inherited disorders in embryos.

"In developed countries, there is a growing interest for the most sophisticated biotechnological research to introduce subtle and extensive eugenics methods in the obsessive search for the 'perfect child'," the Pope said.


iTunes is currently playing: Lost Child (String Quartet Remix) from the album Moto.Tronic by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

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Some things are sacred …

... and should NOT be tampered with.

We're talking about something you can only buy once a year, after all!

BOO HISS!!!!!!!!

Girl Scouts Cut Trans Fats From Cookies

The Girl Scouts have marked their 90th year in the cookie business by getting most of the artificial fat out of all varieties of their iconic treats, which had been under attack by a few health-focused consumer groups.

[USA Vice President Denise] Pessich said she was confident fans would notice few differences. The recipe changes have also given troop leaders an opportunity to talk more about the importance of eating right, Pessich said.


iTunes is currently playing: Mind Your Own Business from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.

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And who is surprised by this …

... after her four-day coronation?

The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressing the Bush administration for routine access to military aircraft for domestic flights, such as trips back to her San Francisco district, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

The sources, who include those in Congress and in the administration, said the Democrat is seeking regular military flights not only for herself and her staff, but also for relatives and for other members of the California delegation. A knowledgeable source called the request "carte blanche for an aircraft any time."

Sources said Mrs. Pelosi's request goes beyond what [former speaker Dennis] Hastert received [following heightened security after 9/11].

iTunes is currently playing: Why Walk When You Can Fly from the album Stones In The Road by Mary Chapin Carpenter.


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What kind of idiot thinks this is a bomb?



iTunes is currently playing: I Feel The Earth Move from the album Tapestry by Carole King.

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R.I.P. Barbaro.



We'll never know what might have been.

iTunes is currently playing: Fragile from the album Flyer by Nanci Griffith.

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There is a reason why people wear t-shirts that say …

... "I SURVIVED CATHOLIC SCHOOL."

As kids, we were taught primarily by nuns, many of whom were clueless about the emotional needs of children. Most of us can recall incidents in which some child was singled out and publicly humiliated during class in a way that would be considered borderline-abusive today.

I like to think that those days are gone and that children who attend contemporary Catholic schools are being educated by people who understand children. Then I read something like this.

Sigh ... Why not just send your kid to reform school ...

From the Associated Press
January 26, 2007

WARWICK, R.I. — A Roman Catholic elementary school adopted rules this week requiring students to remain silent while eating. The move comes after three recent choking incidents in the cafeteria.

No one was hurt, but the principal of St. Rose of Lima School explained in a letter to parents that if the lunchroom is loud, staff members cannot hear a child choking.

Christine Lamoureux, whose 12-year-old is a sixth-grader at the school, said she respected the safety issue but thought the rule was a bad idea.

"They are silent all day," she said. "They have to get some type of release."


iTunes is currently playing: Don't Talk from the album MTV Unplugged by 10,000 Maniacs.

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More on the discriminatory practices of Congress

From the Associated Press
January 26, 2007

WASHINGTON — Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), a White House hopeful, said Thursday that the existence of the Congressional Black Caucus and other race-based groups of lawmakers amounted to segregation and should be abolished.

"It is utterly hypocritical for Congress to extol the virtues of a colorblind society while officially sanctioning caucuses that are based on race," said Tancredo, who is most widely known as a vocal critic of illegal immigration.

"If we are serious about achieving the goal of a colorblind society, Congress should lead by example and end these divisive race-based caucuses," he said in a letter to Administration Committee Chairwoman Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Carson).


Amen!

iTunes is currently playing: The Fences from the album Alexei and the Spring by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

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Apparently racism is ok …

... if blacks are the ones doing the discriminating...

Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed

By: Josephine Hearn
January 22, 2007 08:33 PM EST

Freshman Rep. Stephen I. Cohen, D-Tenn., is not joining the Congressional Black Caucus after several current and former members made it clear that a white lawmaker was not welcome.

The bylaws of the caucus do not make race a prerequisite for membership, a House aide said, but no non-black member has ever joined.

Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., who is white, tried in 1975 when he was a sophomore representative and the group was only 6 years old.

"Half my Democratic constituents were African-American. I felt we had interests in common as far as helping people in poverty," Stark said. "They had a vote, and I lost. They said the issue was that I was white, and they felt it was important that the group be limited to African-Americans."


iTunes is currently playing: The World Isn't Fair from the album Bad Love by Randy Newman.

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Maybe it’s time for them …

... to leave the reservation and assimilate into American society ...

Tribe banking on bird's-eye view of Grand Canyon

HUALAPAI INDIAN RESERVATION, Arizona (AP) -- A struggling Indian tribe is hoping to change its fortunes by luring tourists out over the edge of the Grand Canyon on a glass-bottom observation deck 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. It's called the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped walkway that will jut from the canyon's lip and offer the kind of straight-down, vertigo-inducing views that had previously been available only to the likes of Wile E. Coyote.

"We have to do something, and this is something spectacular," said Sheri Yellowhawk, a former tribal councilwoman overseeing the project.



But the $30 million Skywalk, financed by a Las Vegas businessman and set to open in March, has also ignited a debate among Hualapai elders who question whether the prospect of riches is worth disturbing sacred ground. The Hualapai (pronounced WALL-uh-pie) believe their ancestors emerged from the earth of the Grand Canyon, and the area surrounding the project is scattered with the tribe's sacred archaeological and burial sites.

"We have disturbed the ground," said Dolores Honga, a 70-year-old tribal elder who regularly travels to the rim to perform traditional dances. She said workers on the Skywalk site often complain to her about nightmares. Our people, they died right along the land there. Their blood, their bones were shattered. They blend into the ground. It's spiritual ground. This is why you're awakened," Honga said.

But other elders say the Hualapai have to do something to end the despair and joblessness that plague the tribe's 2,200 members, more than a third of whom live below the poverty line.

In 1995, the tribe's only casino folded after foundering for seven months. Tourists were in no mood to travel 21 miles over an unpaved road to gamble on the reservation -- especially not when Las Vegas is just 2 1/2 hours away by car.

iTunes is currently playing: Lost You In The Canyon from the album Burning The Daze by Marc Cohn.
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Edwards switches gears

John Edwards' attempt to pit one socio-economic group against another didn't work out in '04, so he apparently has decided to take the opposite approach and talk about "unity" this time around. Don't you love it when someone knows what he thinks and stands his ground!

WASHINGTON - Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards intends to enter the 2008 race for the White House, two Democratic officials said Saturday.

Edwards, who represented North Carolina in the Senate for six years, plans to make the campaign announcement late this month from the New Orleans neighborhood hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina last year and slow to recover from the storm. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt Edwards’ announcement.

Edwards chose a stark backdrop for a campaign expected to focus on ways to build “One America” and bridge the economic inequality clearly evident in the still devastated Lower Ninth Ward. His campaign is likely to emphasize ways to unite the country and would mark an evolution from his 2004 campaign stump speech that focused on the “Two Americas” of haves and have-nots.

iTunes is currently playing: Make Up Your Mind from the album Guilty: 30 Years Of Randy Newman (Disc 4) by Randy Newman.

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Reason #487 why the government should NOT be in the education business

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The mother of a high school senior who posed in chain mail and held a medieval sword for his yearbook picture sued after the school rejected the photo because of its "zero-tolerance" policy against weapons.

Patrick Agin, 17, belongs to the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international organization that researches and recreates medieval history. He submitted the photo in September for the Portsmouth High School yearbook.

But the school's principal refused to allow the portrait as Agin's official yearbook photo because he said it violated a policy against weapons and violence in schools, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by the Rhode Island branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

The complaint says there is nothing in the weapons policy that would apply to the picture Agin submitted. It also says the weapons policy is arbitrarily enforced, noting theatrical plays at the school have included prop weapons and that the mascot — a patriot — is depicted on school grounds and publications as carrying a weapon.



iTunes is currently playing: Teach Your Children from the [bootleg] album Greenpeace Benefit Disc2 by Crosby Stills Nash & Young.
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Look at this flag. What do you see?



Apparently, some idiots in Chappaqua, NY, look at the flags that a very generous local business owner purchased for their town and they see DREIDELS covered with Stars of David. (I won't even get into the issue of why it would matter if the flag did include those images, because it so obviously DOES NOT.)

What a world.

iTunes is currently playing: Stars To Share from the album Winter Solstice On Ice by Samite.
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So I should live forever …



(c) AARP Magazine 2006.

iTunes is currently playing: Candy Everybody Wants from the album MTV Unplugged by 10,000 Maniacs.
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Sometimes the best strategy is to say nothing.

EASTON, Pennsylvania (AP) -- A man who pleaded guilty to molesting two girls told a judge he did it because of his wife's excessive bingo playing.

"My wife was never home," Floyd Kinney Jr. said during his plea hearing Friday.

Kinney's explanation did not sit well with Northampton County Judge F.P. Kimberly McFadden. "Some people, when their wives are not home, decide to do other things, like clean their living rooms," McFadden said.

Defense attorney Richard Yetter said his client was not articulate and may not have been doing a good job of conveying his rationale to the judge. But McFadden said she found Kinney capable of explaining himself. "I think he is telling me exactly what was going on," the judge said.


iTunes is currently playing: Don't Talk from the album MTV Unplugged by 10,000 Maniacs.

Comments

What do you do with …

... an $800,000 dress???

(AP) -- The black Givenchy gown worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" sold at auction Tuesday for $807,000.

The price, paid by a telephone bidder, was almost six times the highest pre-sale estimate. The iconic garment had been expected to fetch between $98,000 and $138,000 as part of a sale of film and television memorabilia at Christie's auction house in London.

Proceeds from the sale will go to the charity City of Joy Aid, which helps India's poor.

iTunes is currently playing: That Girl Belongs To Yesterday from the album Anthology 1961-1968 by Gene Pitney.
Comments

NEWS FLASH! Hil wants to be PREZ!

Sen. Clinton asks Dems for help with ’08 bid
Former first lady ‘actively considering a presidential run,’ aide says

ALBANY, N.Y. - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has begun active consideration of a 2008 run for president and has personally asked some fellow top New York Democrats for their support in the event she goes ahead with such a campaign, a top adviser said Sunday.

"As Senator Clinton said, she was going to begin actively considering a presidential run after the election. That process has begun," said Howard Wolfson.

© 2006 The Associated Press.

iTunes is currently playing: Left of Center from the bootleg album Live - Warfield Theatre (San Francisco) by Suzanne Vega.

Comments

remember this the next time …

... Ms. Paltrow is starring in a movie at your neighborhood Cineplex:

Oscar-winning US actress Gwyneth Paltrow feels dinner talk is far more interesting in her adopted homeland Britain than back in her native country.

"I love the English lifestyle, it's not as capitalistic as America. People don't talk about work and money, they talk about interesting things at dinner," she told "NS," the weekend magazine supplement of daily Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias on Saturday.

"I like living here because I don't fit into the bad side of American psychology. The British are much more intelligent and civilized than the Americans," the 34-year-old added.

iTunes is currently playing: America from the album West Side Story- Original Broadway Cast by Chita Rivera & Marilyn Cooper.
Comments (1)

PEEKABOO! THEY SEE YOU!

Phoenix airport to test X-ray screening



PHOENIX (AP) -- Sky Harbor International Airport here will test a new federal screening system that takes X-rays of passenger's bodies to detect concealed explosives and other weapons. The technology, called backscatter, has been around for several years but has not been widely used in the U.S. as an anti-terrorism tool because of privacy concerns.

The Transportation Security Administration said it has found a way to refine the machine's images so that the normally graphic pictures can be blurred in certain areas while still being effective in detecting bombs and other threats.

The agency is expected to provide more information about the technology later this month but said one machine will be up and running at Sky Harbor's Terminal 4 by Christmas.

The security agency's Web site indicates that the technology will be used initially as a secondary screening measure, meaning that only those passengers who first fail the standard screening process will be directed to the X-ray area. Even then, passengers will have the option of choosing the backscatter or a traditional pat-down search.

A handful of other U.S. airports will have the X-rays machines in place by early 2007 as part of a nationwide pilot program, TSA officials said.

iTunes is currently playing: You're Gonna See A Lot Of Me from the album Past Perfect, Disc Six by Billie Holiday.
Comments

Someone call PETA!!!

US military trains 'air force' of bomb-sniffing bees

US military defense scientists have found a way to train the common honey bee to smell explosives used in bombs, a skill they say could help protect American troops abroad.

Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico said in an online statement published Monday they had developed a method to harness the bee's exceptional olfactory sense.

"The new techniques could become a leading tool in the fight against the use of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which present a critical vulnerability for American military troops abroad and is an emerging danger for civilians worldwide," the research laboratory said.

iTunes is currently playing: Just Like Honey from the album Lost In Translation by The Jesus & Mary Chain.

Comments

I guess this dress would make it easy for her …

... to nurse her new baby. Of course I doubt that she takes the new baby along when she hits the clubs with Paris ...



iTunes is currently playing: Two Hot Girls (On A Hot Summer Night) from the album Coming Around Again by Carly Simon.

Comments

So “compassionate conservatism” is NOT a misnomer!

A new book by Syracuse University professor Arthur C. Brooks ("Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism" (Basic Books, $26), scheduled for release on Nov. 24) argues that conservatives are more generous than liberals.

[snip]

The book's basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.

Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone's tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes, even when governments don't provide them with enough money.

... liberals give less than conservatives in every way imaginable, including volunteer hours and donated blood.

"I know I'm going to get yelled at a lot with this book," he said. "But when you say something big and new, you're going to get yelled at."

[snip]

iTunes is currently playing: Cold, Cold Heart from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.
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I hope this is the beginning of a trend!



House Democrats Name Hoyer to No. 2 Post

Democrats picked Rep. Steny Hoyer to be House majority leader on Thursday, spurning Rep. Nancy Pelosi's handpicked choice moments after unanimously backing her election as speaker when Congress convenes in January. A Marylander and 25-year veteran of Congress, Hoyer defeated Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania in a vote of 149-86.

iTunes is currently playing: Slam from the album Close-Up by David Sanborn.

Comments

Godspeed, Timmy …

... and all the rest of our brave young people.



iTunes is currently playing: My Country from the album Bad Love by Randy Newman.

Comments

Sometimes I really want to move back to California ..

... and sometimes I am embarrassed that I ever lived there.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California filed suit against Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp. and three other carmakers on Wednesday, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have cost the state millions of dollars.

State Attorney General Bill Lockyer said the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California was the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles' emissions.

The lawsuit also names Chrysler Motors Corp., the U.S. arm of Germany's DaimlerChrysler, and the North American units of Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.


iTunes is currently playing: Lonesome For A Place I Know from the album Idlewild by Everything But The Girl.

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i love this guy

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Jerry Lewis' 41st annual Labor Day holiday weekend telethon raised a record $61 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, organizers in Las Vegas said Monday.

The contributions and pledges raised during the 21 1/2-hour event handily beat last year's haul of $55 million. The 2005 telethon was hit by national fund raising for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Indeed, Lewis earmarked $1 million from the telethon for the Salvation Army's relief efforts in the South.

This year's nationally televised event took place in the comic's adopted hometown of Las Vegas after a 12-year run in Hollywood. Lewis, 80, hosted, despite suffering a heart attack in June. He has never missed a telethon despite a litany of ailments over the years, including back pain, addiction to painkillers and an inflammatory lung disorder.

iTunes is currently playing: What I Did for Love from the album A Chorus Line by Priscilla Lopez & Company.

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new treatment for Hunter Syndrome (MPS II)

[Hunter Syndrome is in the same group of diseases as San Filippo Syndrome. San Filippo Syndrome is MPS III.]

On Monday, July 24, 2006 Shire Human Genetic Therapeutics announced that Elaprase™, the enzyme replacement therapy for MPS II (Hunter Syndrome), was approved by the FDA.

Hunter syndrome is a rare, life-threatening genetic condition that results from the absence or insufficient levels of the lysosomal enzyme iduronate-2-sulfatase. Without this enzyme, cellular waste products accumulate in tissues and organs, which then begin to malfunction.

ELAPRASE is the first and only treatment approved for people suffering from Hunter syndrome. The product, which is given as weekly infusions, replaces the missing enzyme that Hunter syndrome patients fail to produce in sufficient quantities.


“Regulatory approval of ELAPRASE will enable physicians to move needy patients beyond palliative care and make Hunter syndrome a treatable disease,” said Joseph Muenzer, MD., Ph.D, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Until today, there were no options for addressing the underlying cause of this devastating disease.”

Shire expects to launch ELAPRASE in the United States within the next 30 days.

iTunes is currently playing: The Dreams Of Children from the album The Dreams Of Children by Shadowfax.

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screwed up value systems in a PC-addled world

In an AP story, Hollywood "insiders" debate the future of Mel Gibson's career following his recent arrest for DUI and alleged drunken anti-Semitic comments:

One media expert said Gibson irreparably damaged his career with his "crazy" behavior following his arrest by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies in Malibu early Friday. Charges of anti-Semitism were also leveled against the actor-director with the release of his 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ."

"It's a nuclear disaster for him," said publicist Michael Levine, who has represented Michael Jackson and Charlton Heston, among others. "I don't see how he can restore himself."


I would remind Mr. Levine that director Roman Polanski drugged and raped a 13 year old girl and fled the country to avoid prosecution, yet he was given an Academy Award years later. Does he believe that driving (and making stupid racist comments) while drunk is a greater crime than child rape? If folks in the entertainment industry think so, they are definitely out of touch with mainstream America. (But we already knew that, didn't we.)

iTunes is currently playing: Town Without Pity from the album Anthology 1961-1968 by Gene Pitney.

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A news story about pet allergies caught my eye …

... because I have three cats and my cat allergies have gotten worse of late. The article referred to a medication being developed for cat allergies but gave no information about when it might be available:

... a new study on pet allergies found that using a new compound made from the allergy-producing protein in cat saliva might help end cat allergies — almost like a cat-allergy vaccine.

The story did, however, offer this interim solution:



I don't think I could get my kitties to wear an outfit like that, even if it came in cat sizes!

iTunes is currently playing: You've Got A Friend In Me from the album Guilty: 30 Years Of Randy Newman by Randy Newman.
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According to Abraham Lincoln …

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."

From the Drudge Report:

Poll: Republicans Are Happier Than Democrats
Wed Mar 15 2006 10:14:36 ET

The Pew Research Center recently updated a question about happiness that the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago has been asking since 1972.

In every asking of the question, ROLL CALL reports, Republicans have been happier than Democrats.

Republicans tend to be better off than Democrats, and that is one explanation for the happiness gap. But when the researchers controlled for household income, Republicans at all income levels were happier than Democrats at those same income levels.

As for ideology, conservative Republicans were happier than conservative Democrats, and moderate to liberal Republicans were happier than comparable Democrats.


iTunes is currently playing: Laugh and Be Happy (Demo) from the album Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman by Randy Newman.

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Give the guy a break!

It's hard to find time for romance when you are the leader of the free world!

NEW DELHI [News Wire Services] - President Bush is taking some ribbing on his trip to India for failing to take his wife to one of the world's most romantic sites - the Taj Mahal.

Toasting his guests at a luncheon yesterday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh couldn't resist teasing Bush.

"I am truly sorry the President is not taking you to Taj Mahal this time," Singh told the Frist Lady. "I hope he will be more chivalrous next time you are here."

The President said Singh wasn't the only one to notice the omission.

"I've been hearing about it from Laura ever since I told her that we weren't going," he said.

The majestic 17th-century white marble mausoleum is a monument to love, built by Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.



iTunes is currently playing: Life During Wartime from the album Fear Of Music by Talking Heads.

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You really don’t think the cat tattoo …

... was "necessary to satisfy immediate emergency needs" ???

From a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding fraud and abuse by alleged victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita:



Your tax dollars at work, folks!

iTunes is currently playing: Money, Money, Money from the album Mamma Mia! - Original Cast [5th Anniversary Release with Bonus Tracks] by Louise Plowright, Jenny Galloway, Neal Wright & Siobhan McCarthy.
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Black Monday …

... and I am once again ashamed to live in a country that murders people in an alleged attempt to fight crime.

From the Associated Press:

A double murderer who said he didn't want to be known as a number became the 1,000th person executed in the United States since capital punishment resumed 28 years ago.

...

"Maybe Kenneth Boyd won't have died in vain, in a way, because I believe the more people think about the death penalty and are exposed to it, the more they don't like it," said Stephen Dear, executive director of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty.

"Any attention to the death penalty is good because it's a filthy, rotten system," he said.


iTunes is currently playing: The Mob Song from the album Beauty And The Beast by Walt Disney Music Company.

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Why third world countries are …

... third world countries!

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has urged families in Venezuela not to mark Halloween, calling it a U.S. custom alien to the South American nation, the BBC reported this weekend.

"Families go and begin to disguise their children as witches. This is contrary to our way," Mr Chavez said during his weekly radio and TV show.

He also said Halloween was a "game of terror."

Chavez is known as a fierce critic of the U.S. government and President Bush personally.


iTunes is currently playing: Ghost Story from the album Brand New Day by Sting.

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a lesson for the rest of us

During the last year of his life, the late Bob Denver underwent a quadruple heart bypass and suffered from cancer. Yet when asked in a recent interview to describe his best and worst memories, he responded, "I have no worst experiences."

Rest in peace, little buddy.

iTunes is currently playing: Rest For The Weary from the album The Rainy Season by Marc Cohn.

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who are you and what have you done …

... with the REAL Donna Brazile??

from WashingtonPost.com:

I Will Rebuild With You, Mr. President

[snip]

On Thursday night President Bush spoke to the nation from my city. I am not a Republican. I did not vote for George W. Bush -- in fact, I worked pretty hard against him in 2000 and 2004. But on Thursday night, after watching him speak from the heart, I could not have been prouder of the president and the plan he outlined to empower those who lost everything and to rebuild the Gulf Coast.

[snip]

iTunes is currently playing: A Change Of Heart from the album A Change Of Heart by David Sanborn.

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Imagine paying $3.19 a gallon for gas …

... and feeling as if you got a bargain! But I do.

Every station in town is at $3.29 except for this one sleazy, independent place. Normally, I wouldn't stop there since they have antique pumps that don't take credit cards (meaning you have to go inside twice -- once to give them your credit card before you pump and then to sign the receipt when you are done) and they devote more space to drug paraphernalia than to junk food. But I hate that these other guys are gouging people just because they can.

I'm also glad that I was filling up my little Scion xA and not the GMC Yukon at the next pump.

iTunes is currently playing: Driving from the album The Language Of Life by Everything But The Girl.

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The job offers must be just rolling in for this guy

Imad Hamdi, former head of European security for Liza Minelli and her estranged husband, David Guest, says he has written a book about their marriage called "Liza and Her Diseases" and that "Two major European publishers are bidding on it right now."

While the 27-year-old Hamdi waits for his book to be published, he provides security for Saudi princes, unnamed celebs and other VIPs who, he says, "rely on my discretion."

iTunes is currently playing: Have You Heard from the album Besancon France - July 8, 1991 (bootleg) by Pat Metheny Group.

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Want to be cursed at by teenagers?

Teach high school students at the Weavers School in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire [UK].

A secondary school is to allow pupils to swear at teachers - as long as they don't do so more than five times in a lesson. A running tally of how many times the f-word has been used will be kept on the board. If a class goes over the limit, they will be 'spoken' to at the end of the lesson.

iTunes is currently playing: Things We've Handed Down from the album The Rainy Season by Marc Cohn.

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here is an example of why ….

... i am sometimes embarrassed to tell people i lived in California for twenty years. if Dianne Feinstein thinks the San Francisco city supervisors are out there, you know they must really be out there.

The USS Iowa joined in battles from World War II to Korea to the Persian Gulf. It carried President Franklin Roosevelt home from the Teheran conference of allied leaders, and four decades later, suffered one of the nation's most deadly military accidents.

Veterans groups and history buffs had hoped that tourists in San Francisco could walk the same teak decks where sailors dodged Japanese machine-gun fire and fired 16-inch guns that helped win battles across the South Pacific.

Instead, it appears that the retired battleship is headed about 80 miles inland, to Stockton, a gritty agricultural port town on the San Joaquin River and home of California's annual asparagus festival.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a former San Francisco mayor, helped secure $3 million to tow the Iowa from Rhode Island to the Bay Area in 2001 in hopes of making touristy Fisherman's Wharf its new home.

But city supervisors voted 8-3 last month to oppose taking in the ship, citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military's stance on gays, among other things.

"If I was going to commit any kind of money in recognition of war, then it should be toward peace, given what our war is in Iraq right now," Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said.

Feinstein called it a "very petty decision."

"This isn't the San Francisco that I've known and loved and grew up in and was born in," Feinstein said.

iTunes is currently playing: Life During Wartime from the album Fear Of Music by Talking Heads.
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Liz Smith on the Katie Holmes Interview

"W MAGAZINE has the scariest piece of celebrity journalism in a long time. Yes, indeed, I do mean the Katie Holmes interview. You must read every word. It is true that most writers arrive with their own spin — and not necessarily the correct spin. But if Robert Haskell's report is even half of what Miss Holmes said, didn't say, and allowed her Scientologist "friend" to say for her, this July profile becomes immediately immortal. It will be used as the prototype alarm-ringing article if Tom Cruise and Miss Holmes don't live happily ever after."


iTunes is currently playing: Baby, We're Really In Love from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.

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26 going on 15

"Tom and I will always be in our honeymoon phase," Katie Holmes says in an interview with W magazine, on newsstands July 22.

iTunes is currently playing: When I Grow Up from the album Short Sharp Shocked by Michelle Shocked.

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file under “Read It and Weep”

A Fox News poll asked viewers whether Bill O'Reilly is a journalist or not. 40% said yes. When asked the same question of Bob Woodward, just 30% answered yes.

iTunes is currently playing: I Don't Wanna Know from the album Simple Things by Richie Havens.

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I wish I ate pizza …

... so I could boycott Pizza Hut.

From today's L.A.Times:
Steve Harvey: Only in L.A.

'And Would You Like a Reminder of Your Age With the Pizza?'

"Getting old is getting old," said Alvin Ellis, age 63, "but who wants to be reminded of it while dining at Pizza Hut?" Ellis was referring to a sales receipt he received at an L.A. eatery that identified him and his 79-year-old companion as "A Old Man and A Old Woman" (see accompanying).

Ellis complained at the time, and said he was told by the cashier that she was sorry but that "it was to assist her in remembering who had placed the order." He talked to the cashier's supervisor, and was told she also was sorry but that it happened "to be the way they do things here."

Finally, he phoned the company's complaint line and was told that the identification was not "appropriate" and that the cost of his meal would be refunded. More than 60 days later, he said, he still hasn't received the refund.


iTunes is currently playing: What Goes Around from the album Too Far To Whisper by Shadowfax.

Comments (2)

If I open my windows …

... and turn my stereo up really loud and you sit outside in your car listening to my music, are you breaking the law?

It seems to me that if someone is dumb enough to set up a wireless network and leave it open to the world... oh, well ...

iTunes is currently playing: Steal Me Blind from the album Alf by Alison Moyet.

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Dear Brooke Shields:

Tom Cruise is a f***ing idiot and everybody knows it.

As my mother always says, consider the source.

iTunes is currently playing: When Sunny Gets Blue from the album 16 Most Requested Songs by Johnny Mathis.

Comments (1)

2+ mil for the lawyer, 49 cents for the plaintiff

An interesting article in today's L.A. Times explains how sleazy lawyers get rich by filing class action lawsuits and then negotiate settlements that give them millions while giving each "injured" party less than a dollar. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that many of the plaintiffs don't even know they are a party to the action until they get a check that isn't worth cashing. Strange but true...

iTunes is currently playing: The Game from the album Another Place by Hiroshima.

Comments (1)

How can we get reporters to stop talking to this guy?

From Drudge:
En route to Rome, Clinton told reporters the pope centralized authority in the papacy again and enforced a very conservative theological doctrine. "There will be debates about that. The number of Catholics increased by 250 million on his watch. But the numbers of priests didn't. He's like all of us - he may have a mixed legacy."

iTunes is currently playing: Your Cheatin' Heart from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.

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Zogby has restored my faith in mankind.

A Zogby poll completed after the controversial death of Terri Schiavo finds that eight-in-ten (80%) likely voters say that a disabled person who is not terminally ill or in a coma, and not being kept alive by life support should not, in the absence of a written directive to the contrary, be denied food and water.

By a three-to-one (44% to 14%) margin, likely voters say that, when there is conflicting evidence on the wishes of a patient, elected officials
should order that a feeding tube remain in place.

The same poll also finds a majority (56%) agree that Schiavo's husband Michael should have turned guardianship for the severely-disabled woman over to her parents based on his decision to have a long-term serious relationship with another woman.

By a two-to-one (44% to 24%) margin, with one-in-three (32%) undecided, the survey finds that an incapacitated person should be presumed to want to live in the absence of written instructions such as a living will.


iTunes is currently playing: Life Holds On from the album Beth Nielsen Chapman by Beth Nielsen Chapman.

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I spoke too soon.

Drudge has switched to one of those ghoulish images of the dead Pope. Sigh ...

iTunes is currently playing: Never Die Young from the album Never Die Young by James Taylor.

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Is anyone else creeped out …

... by all the lying-in-state pictures of the Pope that are splashed across the home pages of most of the major news web sites? Thank God for Drudge, who has the good taste to instead show a collection of touching newspaper and magazine covers bidding John Paul a fond adieu.



(Interesting tidbit I learned while verifying the spelling of adieu: While we use the word to mean farewell, it is derived from "a dieu" which was Old French -- and later, Old English -- for "I commend you to God.")

iTunes is currently playing: Goodbye from the album Lost In Translation by Kevin Shields.
Comments (3)

Well, the flowers got water, didn’t they.

During an interview with CNN, Brian Schiavo [brother of Michael] called the Rev. Frank Pavone, a Catholic priest and close friend of the Schindler family, "a poor excuse of a priest, I'll tell you that. ... He made a comment that said the flowers in Terri's room were being treated better than she is."

iTunes is currently playing: Cold, Cold Heart from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.

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That about sums it up.

Reuters quotes a gentleman outside Terri Schiavo's Pinellas Park (FL) hospice shortly after her death:

"Well they got their way," said a grizzled New York City man who gave his name as "Lifeboat" and knelt clutching a wooden rosary. "We've become barbarians. We've lost our humanity in this country."
Comments

If starvation is so painless …

... why is Terri Schiavo on a morphine drip?

Schindler family attorney David C. Gibbs III said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that "They've begun giving her morphine drip for the pain.", according to the L.A. Times.

According to another article in the L.A.Times , some experts claim that "dying of starvation and dehydration is a peaceful end for the ill."

A third L.A. Times article says the following about a woman who allowed her son's feeding tube to be removed: For six days, [the mother] sat by her son's bed, watching him die. Blisters pocked his mouth and tongue. His frail body shook with muscle cramps. It was agonizing, she says now: "gruesome, prolonged." (This mother, incidently, believes that her decision to discontinue tube feeding was the right one for her son.)

Maybe the truth is that some people suffer horribly when deprived of food and others don't, and we won't know how a person will react until we stop feeding them.
Comments

Sometimes it seems as if …

... the Catholic Church WANTS to chase people away.

From ABCNews.com: Like many Catholic children, Haley Pelly-Waldman, 9, had looked forward to her first communion. ... Four years ago, the New Jersey girl was diagnosed with a rare digestive disorder called celiac disease, leaving her unable to eat wheat — not even the tiny amount in the wafer at the communion table. In order to accommodate Haley's medical condition, her priest substituted the wheat wafer with one made of rice. But ... the Diocese of Trenton, said, "Bread, to be valid matter for the eucharist, must be made solely of wheat." The local diocese ruled that Haley's first communion didn't count, and reprimanded the priest who gave her that rice wafer. [Read the complete story here.]

So a priest has the power to turn bread into the body of Christ during Mass, but not if the host is made of rice? If we want to get picky here, a host (even one made of wheat) isn't really BREAD, is it? It sure doesn't look like any bread I've ever eaten.

Where did these flat little wafers come from, anyway? Hundreds of years ago they didn't use them, right? So at some point, they switched from bread to wafers. And someone chiseled in stone that the wafer had to have wheat in it?

Is it just me or does it seem utterly ridiculous to exclude this devout little girl from experiencing the sacrament of Communion but to allow someone like Terri Schiavo, who is pretty much unaware of her surroundings, to partake?
Comments (1)

History Repeating

ON PAGE TWENTY-SIX

(for Nancy Cruzan)

the papers are filled with
talk of war and gasoline,
parched deserts and
banks gone bad.
the woman in missouri
hears none of this,
only the voices of
doctors and nurses,
judges and loved ones
squabbling over quality of life.

like them, i also had to choose.
i wonder still if i chose wisely.

some wait for houdini to return
with tales of the hereafter.
i wait for you to send word
that you concur with the courts,
that you are finally
and gratefully
at peace.

Kathy Hand
12/15/90

(Click here to read about Nancy Cruzan.)

iTunes is currently playing: History Repeating from the album Decksandrumsandrockandroll by Propellerheads & Miss Shirley Bassey.

Comments

What a lovely photo!

Iraqi woman who just voted.

iTunes is currently playing: Stand And Fight from the album Dad Loves His Work by James Taylor.
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How does one get nominated …

... to speak for the ENTIRE WORLD??? I think I'd like that job!

Actor Richard Gere has recorded a TV commercial urging Palestinians to vote in their election Sunday.

In a transcript obtained by The Associated Press, he said: "Hi, I'm Richard Gere, and I'm speaking for the entire world. We're with you during this election time. It's really important: Get out and vote."

Appearing with Gere in the spot are the head of the Islamic court in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.

The spot is apparently an attempt to use both glamour and religion to get Palestinians to the polls. It will air soon. It's unclear what kind of sway Gere may have with Palestinians. One man who appeared with him in the spot said he'd never heard of Gere.

The ad will be aired on Palestinian TV and Arabic satellite channels in the next few days.


iTunes is currently playing: I Want Everyone To Like Me from the album Bad Love by Randy Newman.
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Maybe the school should ask each applicant for a photo

From the ABCNews.com and the Associated Press:

HARRISBURG, Pa. Dec 7, 2004 — The Pennsylvania attorney general's office Monday sued an online university for allegedly selling bogus academic degrees including an MBA awarded to a cat.

Investigators paid $299 for a bachelor's degree for Colby Nolan a deputy attorney general's 6-year-old black cat claiming he had experience including baby-sitting and retail management.

The school, which offers no classes, allegedly determined Colby Nolan's resume entitled him to a master of business administration degree; a transcript listed the cat's course work and 3.5 grade-point average.

iTunes is currently playing: Your Cheatin' Heart from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.
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Parenting 101

Philadelphia Magazine includes a monthly column called "Loco Parentis" in which writer Sandy Hingston describes the trials and tribs of raising kids these days. In the current (Dec. 2004) issue Ms. Hingston complains that her daughter, who apparently agrees with most of her mother's opinions, just doesn't GET that abortion is OK. Her arguments fall on deaf ears, she says. The daughter continues to insist that a fetus is a baby and it's not okay to kill a baby.



"I've pointed out how the rich white men who run this country wish to hell we were still stuck back in 1950, and don't want women to be educated or intelligent or empowered in any way."



As is always the case when I read statements like this, I am stunned that an educated person would spout such nonsense. Does she really believe this? Or is she just repeating the feminist movement's 40 year old talking points in order to get her kid to see the light?



Regardless, the arguments fail. As a last resort, Mom decides to level with the kid about the abortion she had when she was in college. In other words, she tells her daughter, who believes that abortion is the killing of a baby, that she aborted the girl's half-sibling.



I've never had an abortion -- or even a miscarriage -- but I understand it is common in either situation to be haunted (or at least occasionally bothered) by thoughts of what might have been. So wouldn't you expect a teenager to experience similar feelings upon learning that her mother had terminated a pregnancy?



Wouldn't she likely wonder what kind of person that sibling would have turned out to be and feel a sense of loss because she will never know him or her? Perhaps she would also feel guilty, knowing that she would not be alive today if her mother had taken a different path (and given birth to that other child) years earlier.



Was it that important, Ms. Hingston, that your NON-pregnant teenage daughter agree with your position on abortion? Did she really need to hear that story at her age?



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As if I needed more reasons …

... not to vote for the "hair guys" (that would be Kerry and Edwards, of course)... Drudge came up with the final straw, so to speak.

Click here and get ready to retch.

oy vey ...

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Gang Colors

Dan has got me reading Ann Althouse's blog every day. In a recent post she said, "Slate's "Election Scorecard" map shows Wisconsin in solid red now." which reminded me how I can never remember which party is red and which is blue (or which is the donkey and which is the elephant).

I have trouble remembering how to pronounce certain words, too. I lived in L.A. for about 15 years before I could say "La Cienega" without sounding it out in my head first. That probably explains why it doesn't bother me when President Bush mispronounces "nuclear". His people can correct him until they are blue in the face but it just doesn't take with people like us.

I think these little ... quirks ... make us more interesting... don't you?

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Wired Magazine piece: “Rebooting Iraq”

The October issue of Wired has an interview with Rashad Mandan Omar, Iraq's Minister of Science and Technology in which he says:

Before the collapse of the regime, average monthly salaries were $10 to $15. Now, in less than a year, the average salary is 10 times that, and inflation is down. Previously, no Iraqi was allowed to have a cell phone or an Internet connection. But now there are no restrictions, and our markets are full of computers and electrical appliances.

Assuming he is not making this stuff up and that many Iraqis are considerably better off financially since we showed up on the scene, why do we not hear this sort of thing from the media? To read the news, you would think that no good has come from our presence, wouldn't you.

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Long time, no talk to!

I can't believe it has been over two months since I posted here. For me, writing is like exercising. I either do it every day or I end up going months (or longer!) without doing anything at all. I'm pathetic, I know.

So today is Labor Day. To me, that means the Jerry Lewis telethon. I never cared much for his movies (slapstick is just not my thing) but the man is a saint as far as I am concerned because of the work he does to fight muscular dystrophy.

This year the show was dedicated to Mattie Stepanek who lost his battle with that wretched disease in June. Unfortunately, this was the first year that the telethon failed to raise a dollar more than the year before. It didn't help that large portions of Florida are under water or without electricity this weekend due to Hurricane Frances. But whatever the reason, I am feeling very sad tonight that we didn't come through for Jerry.

If you want to do something that will make you feel good about yourself, why not surf over to the MDA web site and donate a few bucks in Mattie's memory.

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“Remember to play after every storm.”

The L.A.Times published a lovely obituary today that included some of Mattie Stepanek's poetry along with snippets from interviews he has given in the last few years.

"We all have life storms," he told Chris Cuomo on "Prime Time Thursday" in December 2001, "and when we get through them or recover from them, we should celebrate that we got through it. That's what my life's philosophy means: to remember to play after every storm."

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Cool Canadian Coin






New Canadian QuarterIsn't this the cutest thing?? According to blogger site radio daisy pad, this new Canadian quarter was designed by an 11 year old. We should all be so creative, eh?

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R.I.P. Mattie Stepanek, Age 13, Poet and Activist

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Writer and Advocate Mattie Stepanek Dies at 13

In his 13 years, Mattie Stepanek became nationally known as a “peacemaker and poet” whose story of living with a rare neuromuscular disorder led to five published books, numerous television appearances and a friendship with former President Jimmy Carter.

Read the story on ABCNews.com.

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R.I.P. Paul Johnson, Jr.

What broke in a man when he could bring himself to kill another?

- Alan Paton, "Cry, The Beloved Country", 1948

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Congrats to Larry Brown and Co.

Tuesday night we watched the Detroit Pistons win the NBA Finals, beating the Lakers in five games. We hate the Lakers and we SO wanted them to lose! In an ideal world, Larry Brown would have coached our Sixers to victory. Still, it was nice to see him finally taking some team all the way, even if it wasn't ours, and to see the Laker dynasty stopped dead in its tracks!

So four hours after the champagne bottles were uncorked in Detroit, the following was posted on MSNBC.com: "Pistons looking like Motown's one-hit wonder... Enjoy this title, Piston fans, because it won't happen next year".

Sounds like a comment scribbled by a disgruntled Laker fan, doesn't it. But it's not. It was written by NBCSports.com contributor Bob Duff, who apparently writes for a newspaper in Ontario. (That would be Ontario, CANADA, not Ontario, CALIFORNIA.)

Why does Mr. Duff believe the Pistons have peaked? He gives two reasons.

1) Larry Brown focuses on DEFENSE and, according to this bozo, a team that wins a title by defending can't do it more than once. (I don't know about that. I think any team that can defend Kobe and KING KONG well enough to win 5 games out of 6 might be on to something...)

2) Rasheed Wallace might not be on the roster next year. (I guess Bob didn't notice that Rasheed sat out big chunks of games 3 and 4 due to foul trouble and the Pistons still managed to win those games!)

Personally, I think people who live in that frozen tundra to the north of us should stick to writing about hockey and socialized medicine and leave the NBA to us. If they have to put their two cents in, maybe they could at least wait a day or two to start raining on the victory parade.

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