Thursday, March 31, 2005

Change starts at home

First a person should
put his house together,
then his town,
then the world.

- Rabbi Israel Salanter

Guns guns GUNS!

About two weeks ago now there was another school shooting. This time by one 16 year old, on an Indian reservation in Minnesota. Turns out he was heading in that direction. Lived with his grandparents, grandfather was a cop, had access to his guns. On medication for depression and in counseling. A loner, who loved Hitler and hated everyone else. The usual tragic situation. Second only to Columbine.

On my network, Jack (one of the very active posters) posted the original article. Everyone sort of blew it off. I’ll admit, even me. Every time we bring up guns it just gets ugly. I stayed out as long as I could, which was I think a new record for me and my big mouth. But he was suggesting that guns were the sole reason this tragedy happened, and if there were no guns it wouldn’t have happened at all.

I disagreed. Little did I know what trouble that would get me into! I explained myself badly, however. I did say that guns were not the issue at all, and that really wasn’t what I meant. He said that guns were the only issue, and I don’t think that is what he meant. I think we both just got so fixated in our disagreeing we stopped listening to what the other was saying. It happens to the best of us.

What the disagreement came down to was the solution. He feels you have to take away the guns first, then work on healing the people who might eventually use these weapons in a case like the shooting in Minnesota. I feel you have to work the opposite. I think we argued about it for two days in email. I was about to throw myself out of a window. Or go back on my medication- haha.

I think what really crushed me the most is that his view of me and what I believe changed, and I don’t understand why. Because the reality in my mind is that the gun control problem is not going away anytime soon. Neither are social problems and status. So you need to work from both ends at the same time to get your solution. The solution is to save lives. We both want to do that, yet because we disagree on how to approach the solution, he thinks I value human life less than he does. Frankly, that offends me. But what can I do? You think what you think about people.

In thinking about all of this, I thought of Michael Moore. I had not seen anything coming from him on this matter, and he made the Bowling for Columbine movie! Surely the fact that this new shooting is right up there with what happened in Colorado would have gotten his attention! After scanning his website, all I found were a couple articles posted about it, and those were buried in the archives. Much like the posts in my network get buried. The last letter from him was in January, where he was bragging about F911 getting the People’s Choice nod. Don’t get me wrong, that of course is excellent, and I love Moore, but why would he not make some sort of statement about the Minnesota shooting?

Which got me to thinking about the movie, Bowling for Columbine. I wondered if my view would be different watching it, since now I am someone who doesn’t value human life as much as previously thought (ok I must still be bitter.). So tonight I watched it again. It had probably been a couple years since I had seen it last.

There were two situations where I had two different reactions. Of course, Columbine. Would they still have gone in if there were no guns? It’s hard to say. With the things they were feeling, It would be safe to think that since they made bombs in their basement that they would still do the same. Still be able to go to school and place them where they wanted them. More time to set them all off if they weren’t walking around shooting. Would more have survived? Also hard to say, for the same reasons. Bombs can take out a lot more people than a 9mm. Then again, no one would have been shot in the head.

The other situation (that I actually had completely forgotten about) was the Michigan shooting of a 6-year-old, by her fellow 6-year-old classmate. He took the gun from his Uncle’s home and brought it to school. He was at his Uncle’s because his mother was about to be evicted from their home, and needed a place to stay. While working her two jobs at a mall 40 miles away. She took a bus there each day, and hardly ever was around to see her son. Even with that she could not make enough to pay her rent. And it was a government program she was in!

Again, lower class neighborhood. If I remember the story correctly the Uncle was a dealer or something. Though yes he should have been thinking about locking up the gun, in reality it’s not surprising he didn’t. In this instance, yes I completely believe that if the guns were not around, this would not have happened. I don’t think this 6-year-old would have constructed a bomb to take to school. Yet there are all the other social factors involved. If the Uncle had locked up the gun, the mother had been around more, if the welfare system worked better she could have been, etc.etc.

What is the cause? When the infamous “unlocked doors” in Canada scene came up I was all ears. How can they have all those guns and not even a fraction of the gun stats that we have here? Moore pointed out the television. The news isn’t so violent all the time- fear doesn’t get pounded into their minds at every newscast. Sure, they see all the same movies and have all the same video games, and yes they are violent. But they are not reading about crime after crime in their news. Is it because they don’t have the crime? I doubt it. The fear is just not pushed every second.

It’s so true, the fear in America. Just recently I’ve been noticing these stickers on just about every car I pass. A white round sticker with a blue car in the middle. I asked my husband if he knew what it was. Turns out if you have this sticker, you are giving the police permission to pull you over if they see your vehicle out after 10pm, because it means it is probably stolen. I thought he was joking! Are people REALLY that paranoid? I would never even think to put something like that on my car. Do you think I want everyone to see what an incredibly boring life I lead?

One thing that supported my opinion of starting small and working outward in this gun problem. The scene where they get Kmart to stop selling bullets. Excellent! Granted, they had Michael Moore. But it doesn’t take much to make a scene. Call the press, and head to WalMart. Get them to stop selling, since the government is in bed with the NRA lobbyists. And probably every other big corp in the US as well…

So, all in all, I feel exactly the same as I always did. If every gun disappeared overnight you would not see me complaining that I’ve lost some fabricated constitutional right. No one has a right to threaten another human life. Just having a gun in your possession threatens. It does not protect. It’s a false protection that only comforts the paranoid person with the gun. Who will most likely shoot themselves in the foot if faced with a dangerous situation, no matter what training they have had.

Which hardly make me feel any better about guns. Certainly not safer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

More wisdom found in my local paper

Every now and then a good free-thinking voice speaks out over the conservative buzz that dominates Arizona:

Ignoring suffering of everyone who isn't Terri Schiavo

Mar. 29, 2005 12:00 AM

There is a con man's technique that politicians sometimes use to manipulate the public and never has it worked better than with Terri Schiavo.

The scheme involves making a very big deal about the plight of a single person to get us to ignore the plight of hundreds, thousands or even millions of others.

Two-bit hustlers use distraction and diversion techniques to lift your wallet or empty your bank account. Political flimflammers use the tragedy of a single family to distract you from the horror they are inflicting upon your friends and neighbors.

And it works. Dozens of e-mails asking (sometimes demanding) me to take up Schiavo's cause were waiting for me Monday after having spent last week on vacation. The megaphone being used by politicians in Washington, D.C., to rant about Schiavo drowns out discussion even in places as far away as Arizona.

And while I heard a lot about Schiavo, I didn't have a single e-mail expressing outrage over an Arizona budget proposal calling for cuts in child-abuse prevention programs and subsidies for the working poor.

Or for a plan not to increase the budget for the state's Child Protective Services. Even though such decisions are certain to condemn some Arizona children to death.

And while President Bush and Congress rushed to intervene in the Schiavo case, saying they were acting to preserve life, they were in no hurry to discuss their proposed cuts to Medicaid, which helps the poor. And they avoided talking about the tens of millions of Americans with no health insurance and how many of them will die for lack of it.

And that's just the beginning. The noise surrounding the Schiavo case overwhelms the misery of the many thousands who will suffer under Congress' latest bankruptcy law revisions.

It will no longer be easy for those who are financially ruined by an illness in the family, which is the majority of bankruptcies filed, to receive the protection they previously had under the law.

Nor would families like Schiavo's be able to collect large medical malpractice settlements under a president and Congress who are working hard to limit the amount of awards for such lawsuits.

Without the money from litigation to pay for their care how many other Terri Schiavos would be condemned to die?

In Florida, where Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's brother, attempted to override the state courts on behalf of Schiavo's parents, I wonder how many citizens know about Bush's plan to eliminate portions of a program that helps gravely ill working people who are out of insurance money.

When Congress passed special legislation to allow the federal courts to get involved in the Schiavo case, the effort was led by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. It turns out that 17 years ago DeLay agreed with family members to not allow doctors to use extraordinary means to extend the life of his father.

With Schiavo, however, DeLay said, "We should investigate every avenue before we take the life from a human being,"

President Bush cut short his vacation to return to Washington and sign the bill because he also felt that every avenue should be explored, even though Schiavo's condition has been unchanged for 15 years.

The purity of their motives might be less in question if they'd said the same thing in March 2003, when diplomats asked the United States to wait 45 more days before invading Iraq. They asked that we explore every avenue before starting a war that would take thousands of lives. The president and his partners in Congress said no.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.

O dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again though cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low
As long ago, my love, how long ago.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Thelma & Louise Day 2

Yeah yeah I'm a little late...

The sun decided to show it's face the next day. It was an absolutely fabulous morning. Luckily, we didn't see it from a jail cell! It was a rough morning, we had massages in the spa. But we suffered through... then ruined the effects with an off-road jeep tour of ancient indian ruins.

It was interesting though. You have all these ruins that are still intact and up to 7,000 years old, Archaeic. Then as you go up, you get into the 2-3,000 year range. Yavapai and Hopi. THEN, you see the graffiti written from 1800's and 1900's. I took picture from one that was dated 2-28-25. Some call it graffiti, and some call it history.

Of course, what made it all worthwhile was Julie hiking around in a nice skirt and top!
When we returned, we hunted for somewhere to eat. Found a GREAT diner that was totally 50's and 60's retro. But had a low-carb menu! LMAO!

Later that afternoon we headed back down to the valley. My youngest daughter was SOOOO happy we were coming home. That is such a great feeling, to be missed by those you love. :-)

We never did get around to watching the theme movie. We decided that our trip together was SO much better, that there was no need.

But if Brad Pitt had shown up, well....

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Thelma & Louise Day 1

7:00 am- twenty minutes of snooze alarm then I finally roll out of bed to get kids off to school.

8:00 am- hug my kids a little tighter than usual while sending them on their way, since I won't be seeing them until Saturday night! Allison told me that she didn't want me to go because she wanted to have more time with JULIE- oh I feel the love!

9:00 am- we finally decide to get ready to leave... and Julie blows a circuit while drying her hair... yeesh.

11:00am- WooHOO! Hitting the open road....

11:15am- fuck. Traffic.

11:45am- will this ever let up?

12:00pm- Julie starts point pointing out phallic rock formations...

12:00pm- wooHOO! NOW we're hitting the open road... and drove right into a pretty good rain storm while going up through the mountains. It was a beautiful drive. Because of all the rain, everything was green and wildflowers were blooming. Then when you looked off into the distance you had the low clouds and fog between the mountains. Then patches of sun. Absolutely stunning.

Driving music: The Black Keys, Blondie, Beatles (Revolver)

1:30pm- arrive at hotel. Notice armored car in front of hotel. Hmmm.... opportunities are all ready falling into our laps.

1:45pm- I stake out armored car while Julie goes to make appointments for us at the spa.

2:00pm- Wild shopping spree!!! Whereabouts of armored car unknown.

3:30pm- Wild driving spree... yet another rainstorm hits, this time with HAIL! What is up with that? Doesn't the universe know we want to use the pool?

5:00pm- We lost 'em. Time to go back to hotel and have dinner.

7:00pm- NO rain in sight, we take opportunity to go in hot tub... ahhhhhhh..... and we were entertained by two very cute twins, who kept coming to the hot tub, then running over to the pool and jumping in. Over and over. We think they were trying to impress us. Too bad they were 9, or else we might have shown more interest...

7:45pm- Julie asks me if I remembered to call my kids. OH SHIT! How's that for Mother of the year? I hightail it back since silly me left my cell phone in the room.

8:30pm- of course, as good addicts do, we check our email. :-)

Later, we tried to watch our Theme Movie. Every ten minutes it kept crapping out, so that was that. So now we're going out to look for some action...

Friday, March 25, 2005

Meeting Julie

Two women who had never seen each other in person before, trying to find each other in an airport terminal. Comical really. I'm waiting at the security entrance, she is in baggage claim.

My phone rings. "Where are you?"

"I couldn't get in baggage claim, at security entrance."

"What are you wearing so I don't walk right by you?"

I tell her, and wait some more. I love watching people meet up at the airport. One moment in time where everyone is happy to see someone. Or relieved. Or comforted. It's really kind of beautiful. Even if you start arguing on the ride home, you still had that moment.

Phone rings again.

"OK, I walked outside baggage claim and now I am in front of ticket counter."

"You went right around me! Don't move, I'm walking towards the front."

So, on our cell phones we found each other. As soon as I started walking down the ramp I saw the blonde hair of my California friend. We start laughing at the fact we are staring at each other while talking on the cell phones...

Both of us sleep-deprived, it was a very loopy day. But oh so wonderful to be with my dear friend in person! And the kids- OMG they took to her instantly. Even my younger one, who is normally so shy, was playing and joking around with her in no time. They pretended to be 'silent eggs' and 'mute spiders'. My older one showed off the tape of her spring performance. They tried to convince her to watch the Spongebob movie, but it just wasn't happening.

They will break her on that one, that I am sure of. :-)

So tomorrow, the adventure begins. Off to the red rocks and tranquility of Sedona. Stay tuned for the next chapter!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Fearful Power

This was an excellent editorial written by those at our conservative newspaper, the Arizona Republic. This is two in a row I have been surprised at- either they are starting to make sense or I'm getting conservative. HA! The latter not bloody likely. :-) Take note of last paragraph, great point.

A fearful power

A government that can butt in on just one life can butt in on yours

Mar. 23, 2005 12:00 AM

Terri Schiavo would have spent her life in anonymity but for the fact that, 15 years ago, she lost her mind.

She lost her mind, that is, in the sense of losing what most would call the essence of her humanity. Her body overwhelmed by a chemical imbalance, it shut down so long her brain suffered irreversible damage. What light remains therein shines only dimly now, if at all, and hope is all but gone that, after this long, it can ever come back on.

In the old days, Schiavo's collapse would have been the end of her story; death by starvation, inasmuch as she cannot swallow, would have followed naturally, and in short order.

But modern medicine, a blessing in so many ways, also has cursed us with the burden of impossible choices. Thus, Schiavo was put on a feeding tube and kept physically alive, despite scans that show a huge black hole in that part of the brain that governs cognition, sentience and intellect.

Long years passed until, in 1998 her husband, Michael, began petitioning the courts to have the tube removed. It would be her wish, he said.

That decision exacerbated a longstanding rift between Michael Schiavo and his parents-in-law, whose desire, naturally, is that their daughter be kept alive in hopes of recovery. Their court battles now have raged for most of a decade.

In late 2003, even the Florida Legislature and Gov. Jeb Bush got involved, on the side of Terri's parents, until courts ordered them out of the picture.

Matters reached a new climax last Friday when the tube was removed, for the third time, on the order of a Florida judge. Ensuing events have transformed the case into a momentous national debate over medical ethics, religion, the limits of governmental authority and even the sanctity of marriage.

When Congress hustles back from vacation to pass emergency legislation affecting but one American citizen, and when the president does likewise to sign it, we have entered a realm not only of high drama but also of real consequences.

It would make for a cleaner story line, and perhaps gain him more sympathy, if Michael Schiavo hadn't already begun a new family with another woman. The fact remains, however, that he is Terri's husband. By law and even by the religious traditions so loudly espoused by his opponents, that makes him her guardian, the custodian of her wishes.

By what right then, do we here in Arizona or politicians in Washington presume to tell him how to execute those responsibilities?

No doubt, many in Congress were driven by deep and genuine ethical concerns to intervene. Perhaps the same could be said for President Bush, though some may wonder why he, as governor, so often chose not to "err on the side of life" when it came to Texas death-penalty cases.

But raw, even cynical, politics cannot be eliminated as a motive for this unprecedented federal intervention into a family's private anguish.

And on this point, "pro-life" activists must be careful what they wish for.

A government big enough, powerful enough, intrusive enough to butt into this affair is fully capable of butting into your affairs should it disagree with whatever agonizing choice you might someday be forced to make.

We cannot begin to understand how that could possibly, in any way, be a good thing.

The brains behind the presidency speaks

This was so blatenly obvious I had to comment throughout.

Cheney Defends Bush Appointments
Vice President Says Loyalists in Diplomatic Posts Will Strengthen U.S. Position

By Jim VandeHei

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, March 23, 2005; Page A01

Vice President Cheney said yesterday that the elevation of White House loyalists and supporters of the Iraq war to key diplomatic posts puts the United States in a stronger position to force changes at the United Nations and improve the U.S. image abroad.

Sorry? I thought Annan was working on that very thing all ready. Looks like more bullying to me.

In an interview aboard Air Force Two, Cheney said the nomination of John R. Bolton to serve as ambassador to the United Nations in particular shows President Bush's commitment to ending corruption and changing the culture at the world body.

Well sure- to an entirely AMERICAN way of thinking. No- correction- to an entirely neocon way of thinking. (PNAC).

"There is clearly a lot that needs to be done at the United Nations," he said pointing to the oil-for-food scandal and recent charges of sexual assault by a U.N. official. "There is ample evidence here at home a great many Americans are not happy with the performance of the United Nations," Cheney said.

Please show us your evidence. I would like to see it.

"We are the host country, we're the biggest contributor to its budget, and success long-term, I think, depends on the continued support of the U.S. and the American people," he continued. Cheney said the fact that Bolton has been a critic of the United Nations will give him "a great deal more credibility" tackling the challenges there.

I have no idea what to do with the above paragraph. Anyone want to take crack at it?

In the interview conducted en route from Reno, Nev., the vice president bluntly acknowledged the administration's shortcomings in overcoming international hostility to American foreign policy and communicating a positive image of the United States abroad, especially to the Arab and Muslim worlds.

"If we are going to be successful long-term in the war on terror and in the broader objective of promoting freedom and democracy in that part of the world, we have to get the public diplomacy piece of it right," Cheney said. "Up until now, that has been a very weak part of our arsenal."

So we will get it right by controlling it entirely!!!! Mua-hahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa...

Cheney has been a driving force in the administration's foreign policy and privately advocated for Bolton to get the U.N. job and for longtime ally Paul D. Wolfowitz to head the World Bank. The vice president said top-level changes at the State Department should help set a better course.

Please read the above again, then go to the PNAC website.

"What the president has done . . . is make some personnel changes that he felt would strengthen our capacity as an administration to achieve our objectives," Cheney said.

"I have you now." ~Darth Vader

The vice president said the decision to put three of the most influential women from Bush's first-term White House -- Condoleezza Rice, Karen P. Hughes and Dina Powell -- at the State Department signifies a new approach for Foggy Bottom. Privately, White House aides said the department is now a power center and one of the few agencies with a significant second-term role, especially dealing with Bush's inaugural pledge to spread democracy.

"Having Karen Hughes over there with Dina Powell and Condi gives us the best possible combination of people [to] actively and aggressively address those issues," Cheney said.

Read: because they are women no one will argue with them out of fear of discrimination.

Conservative Fred Barnes, in an article on yesterday's Wall Street Journal editorial page, said the moves are part of "Mr. Bush's shake-up-the-world view." Bolton, Hughes and Powell still must be confirmed by the Senate, and Wolfowitz needs the approval of the World Bank; all are expected to overcome any opposition.

You know, I don't think it is as much shaking up the world view as it is confirming it.

The rise of close White House allies is not over and may include Cheney's chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, replacing Wolfowitz as deputy defense secretary, according to White House officials. When asked about the possible change, all Cheney would say is: "I need Scooter."

I need stiff drink.

Cheney, who sometimes clashed with then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell over the Iraq war, said he would not discuss whether the new team is working better than the first-term one because he did not want to offend anyone.

OMFG! Doesn't want to offend anyone. Because Powell had a conscience at the end? Of course it's going to work better this term- they have been slowing replacing everyone with yes men.

Critics charge the White House is purging its voices of dissent and sending the wrong signal to the world with Bolton and Wolfowitz, two controversial architects of the Bush foreign policy.

"I can't think of anybody more qualified than Paul Wolfowitz to run the World Bank," Cheney said.

Other than Jesus I suppose.

During the interview, Cheney continued to take a hard line with Syria and Iran but did not express serious concerns about China's policies. He said he had not been briefed on Rice's trip to Asia this week, during which China's role in pressing North Korea to return to negotiations over its nuclear program was left unsettled.

Citing diplomatic sensitivity, Cheney said he did not want to discuss China's more bellicose tone toward Taiwan. Some senior White House officials expressed concern over the growing instability in rural China, where poverty is ubiquitous and is leading to demonstrations, as well as China's dealings with North Korea and Taiwan.

"Generally, the relationship is in pretty good shape," Cheney said. "That does not mean we agree on everything."

As international pressure intensifies on Syria to withdraw from Lebanon before the spring elections, Cheney said: "It's not clear yet they will do what they need to do." If not, he said the United Nations will be "obliged" to consider other actions, though he would not discuss if or how forcefully the United States would push for punitive sanctions. "Syria is pretty isolated at this point," he said.

Well we all ready know the answer to that, don't we?

Cheney, who is described by administration officials as a leading proponent of a hard-line policy toward Tehran, said he is uncertain whether Iran has nuclear weapons. "We have made the judgment that they are seeking to acquire" such weapons, the vice president said.

He did not set a timetable for Iran to reach an international agreement on its nuclear program, and said the United States will continue to work through European allies for now. "It is important to make clear to the Iranians that they need . . . to give up any aspirations they might have had to acquire nuclear weapons."

Iran denies it is using that program to develop nuclear weapons and says it needs nuclear energy.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company

If this was any clearer, you'd see right through it. That is what they are hoping for.

In my backyard... Democrats banned

Apparently you are not allowed to join in an open forum with the President of the FREE NATION if you wear a shirt that says "Young Democrat".

From the UofA Campus News:

"UA Young Democrat Steven Gerner, a political science and pre-pharmacy sophomore, said he and three other Young Democrats had been waiting in line with their tickets for about 40 minutes when a staff member approached him and asked to read his T-shirt.

Gerner was the only one of the four wearing a UAYD T-shirt, which read, "Don't be a smart (image of a donkey, the Democratic Party symbol). UA Young Democrats."

Gerner said the staffer, who refused to provide his name, asked for Gerner's ticket and crumpled it up.

The staffer walked away, returned in 20 minutes, and told Gerner his name had been added to a list banning him from entering the convention center for the speech."

And of course, never NEVER NEVER throw eggs at the President's motorcade. He might want an omlette.

"A 13-year-old girl was arrested after she threw an egg at the motorcade. Three police officers, after observing the girl's aunt whisper something in her ear and then seeing the girl launch the egg, rushed the two and dragged them across the street, where they were both handcuffed.

It is unknown whether the egg hit the motorcade or not, reports stated. "

Now, it is obvious that the aunt put the girl up to it. HOWEVER, they could have removed them withOUT handcuffing them, especially a 13 year old. Of course, it is Arizona, she might have been carrying a gun... pfft!

How are we supposed to be sold on this Social Security fiasco, if we're not allowed to see the plan? What planet am I ON?

Here's the link:

Amidst the Flowers a Jug of Wine

Amidst the flowers a jug of wine,
I pour alone lacking companionship.
So raising the cup I invite the Moon,
Then turn to my shadow which makes three of us.
Because the Moon does not know how to drink,
My shadow merely follows the movement of my body.
The moon has brought the shadow to keep me company a while,
The practice of mirth should keep pace with spring.
I start a song and the moon begins to reel,
I rise and dance and the shadow moves grotesquely.
While I'm still conscious let's rejoice with one another,
After I'm drunk let each one go his way.
Let us bind ourselves for ever for passionless journeyings.
Let us swear to meet again far in the Milky Way.

Li Po

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Spirits Of The Dead

Thy soul shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness- for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.

The night, though clear, shall frown,
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given,
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne'er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

Edgar Allan Poe

Tao for Lazy People

Like ME! See, I was going to hit the gym today, but these words were so soothing, so calming. Gym? Who's Jim? And is he cute?

With the wide range of consumer A.V. equipment available,
You may never have to leave the house again!
But don't turn the color saturation up too high.

Surround sound rules,
but too much woofer and not enough tweeter sucks ass.

When leaving the house,
the mind easily becomes exhausted.
Only he who has Thai food delivered
can truly relax.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Power, Intelligence, and Politics

Don't you wish there were a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence? There's one marked 'Brightness,' but it doesn't work.
-- Gallagher

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, does absolute powerlessness make you pure?
-- Harry Shearer

An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.
-- Simon Cameron

Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.
-- Albert Einstein

Dani Does Dinner Theatre

I had scoured the papers and the internet, looking for something different. 12th anniversary, and NO children for two nights! Well we had to do something that wasn't the normal 'dinner and a movie'.

So as I'm looking at the local paper, I see the ad for "Guys and Dolls." I've played a few of the songs back in my orch. days, but have never actually seen the show. Then I noticed it was at the local dinner theatre house. Ug. Visions of Bret and I surrounded by hundreds of people that looked just like our grandparents flew into my head.

So I emailed my husband. Sent him the link to the place. His response was very typical- "How's the food?" Ha. How would I know? I sent him a menu. Buffet. Ug. This just keeps getting better and better.

The verdict? Well, it was something we'd never done before. So why not? So I ordered tickets online. How bad could it really be afterall?

Tip: NEVER order your tickets for a dinner theatre online. You will have no control over where you sit!

Turns out you need to be VERY specific if you don't want to be sandwiched in with 4 complete strangers. What an intimate anniversary dinner at the theatre buffet! LOL!
I was pretty tempted to go to one of the couples at the tables for two and offer money to change seats with them...

The show itself wasn't half-bad. I was impressed with everyone's singing except Sarah, the lead. She kept singing like it was a Wagner opera. I'm more of an alto-bass person anyway, so I really enjoyed all the other numbers.

Will we do it again? Most likely. Everything deserves a second chance. I'll probably bring my mother next time, and the kids.

So that was night number one. Next night what did we do?

Dinner and a movie. When in doubt, stick with what you know. :-)

Friday, March 18, 2005

On Politics and Democracy..

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
-- H. L. Mencken

Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Thoughts on living in the moment

Do not carry the burden of the past; do not live in the future.
The only important thing is that one lives in the present authentically and fully.
Whatever your current life is, be the most you can be by living in the moment.

Chan Chih

Cherish what you have and don't hunger for what you don't have.
When you are a fish, enjoy yourself swimming to your heart's content, and don't fantasize about flying.
When you are a bird, enjoy soaring to your heart's content, and don't even think of wanting to dive.

Tsai Chih

Too accurate for words

Those who know me know I love these stupid tests on the internet. I really don't take very many of them seriously. I am sure alot of you web-people know that Tickle is probably the most legit, and certainly beats just about ANYTYHING on that silly Quizzila site.

But this one really got a laugh out of me. This is exactly who I am. I always joke with my husband that I know things are ok with people when I don't hear from them. Because when something is wrong, I am usually the first call.

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. I have recently accepted the fact that this is my calling, and I embrace it. Everyone needs a rock, someone stable and steadfast. The one they can always turn to in a clutch.

It's just that every now and then I wonder who I can turn to.

Danielle, your destiny is to be a Peacemaker

Whether you know it or not, this is the role that is most in tune with who you are at your core. As a Peacemaker, you are a deeply caring and idealistic person who is compelled to make peace on a personal level, as well as a global one. Your deep, quiet strength encourages other to turn to you when they are experiencing crises. You often sacrifice yourself for the cause you believe in, and although your outward appearance seems serene, your intense passion to achieve the ideal sometimes causes inner turmoil. This is a fine thing to experience unless it gets overly intense and causes you to cut yourself off from the world. The fact is, as long as it doesn't conflict with your ideals, you long for unity and "oneness," believe in morality and compromise for the sake of peace, and the world needs people like you.

The Way Children See Things!

I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a Woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seat belt!

My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd
dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the
garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, 'cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago.

A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of the jar. During
her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "It's the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added, "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."

A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker
room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What's the matter haven't you ever seen a little boy before?"

While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly
shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. The various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and
wheelchairs, unfailingly intrigued her. One day I found her staring at a
pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the
inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit."
"And why not, darling?" "You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning."

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting
my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write and they
won't let me talk!"

A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered
through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found", the boy called out." What have you got there, dear?" With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear!"

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Blindness of my Country

Today I read the headline, and I can do is laugh. Wolfowitz is nominated by Bush for the World Bank Presidency.

Well, DUH! We get Bolton as ambassador to the UN, and now this. Sometimes I wonder if it's better to live in a cloud of denial. There really isn't anything we can do to stop this, is there?

We had an excellent opportunity with the election, which of course didn't happen. American's don't want to face the reality of what our government is trying to do. Global domination under the guise of "Democracy".

Canada looks better and better every day. I would like to spare my children as much hypocrisy and deceit as possible.

Here is good article about it:

I mentioned on my Truth Seekers network that Bush and Cheney are Pinky and the Brain. Dave should get a kick out of that.

It's so crazy it actually makes sense. Blah.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Well said Mr. Chomsky!

"The point of public relations slogans like "Support our troops" is that they don't mean anything... That's the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against, and everybody's going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn't mean anything. Its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? That's the one you're not allowed to talk about."

~Noam Chomsky

Whew! Things to amuse 8- year- old girls during sleep-over

1. Huge trampoline in backyard.
2. Feeding 20 dog treats to the dog.
3. Trying to feed dog treats to little sister.
4. Giggling at Mom when she says "don't feed dog food to your sister!".
5. Dressing up like princesses and fairies.
6. Watching copy of their spring performance and singing along as loudly as possible.
7. Spaghetti!!!
8. "The Incredibles"- 3 times with pausing and watching many scenes over and over.
9. "Spongebob Squarepants" movie with plenty of popcorn.
10. Giggling at Mom passed out on couch during Spongebob movie.
11. Clue Jr.
12. *YAWN* (that was Mom!)

Sleepover Revisited

Currently have 4 girls in the living room... watching "The Incredibles" for the 30th time today.

They are too cute, and Allison finally gets her sleepover. The parents must have seen we are not axe-murderers (as far as they KNOW... LOL!).

I flash back to sleepovers I had as a child. The giggles, the secrets, staying up late. I hope this will be another set of memories my children will always look back on fondly.

Off to pop more popcorn! It's going to be a long night!

My future Inker

My deep insight for today

"If It looks like a machine and talks like a machine, it's probably the US government."

Seven Sins

There are seven sins in the world:

Wealth without Work.
Pleasure without Conscience.
Knowledge without Character.
Commerce without Morality.
Science without Humanity.
Worship without Sacrifice
Politics without Principle.

- Mahatma Gandhi -

Strong in Spirit

Make me strong in spirit,
Courageous in action,
Gentle of heart,

Let me act in wisdom,
Conquer my fear and doubt,
Discover my own hidden gifts,

Meet others with compassion,
Be a source of healing energies,
And face each day with hope and joy.

- Abby Willowroot

So what age DOES a child go on a sleep-over?

Because my 4 3/4-year-old did last night! I believe Bret had a harder time with it than I did. I mean, hell it was only next door. She had a GREAT time, and stayed most of the next day to boot.

I was only concerned about Allison. She took the fact that her younger sister was having a sleep-over before her pretty hard. I mean, naturally that is something the older sibling does first, right? Even she knew the normal protocol.

Not to say we didn't try, which is the irony of this whole ordeal. We invite one of her friends over to stay the night here. HER parents are wary, they had never done the sleep-over thing before. Well neither have we! Oy...

Oh the lessons these kids have to learn, and will continue to learn! But hey, without my little one home I actually got to sleep in until 9AM. Now THAT is a luxury Mamacutler doesn't get very often... :-)