Monday, October 31, 2005

Spin the Religion Wheel . . .

I know I could be discussing Alito, or the Syria Resolution, or car bombings in Iraq, or a charged Scooter (Libby, that is). But nah, today is All Hallow's Eve (or for those crazy culture demented ones, Halloween). Today, and especially tomorrow, is a good day to consider all those souls who have gone on before us, and to consider our own spirituality.

Our inner spirituality is reflected in many cases to our outer physical and mental perspectives. Many of us wander in this world aimlessly, because we do not tap our spiritual realms. For some of us, our untapped spirituality binds us to harmful earthly desires and passions to gain something that will not be attained by any earthly goods. Sigh. I am one of those.

It's not like I don't have spirituality, because I have tapped into it before with extraordinary results. My spiritual-ness, if you will, has given me great rewards and happiness. But more times than not, there is a wall that I must get through to tap my spirit.

Oh, ok. Enough of that. You want to know what your beliefs are? You want to know the church or group that your spiritual sense places you? has some great quizzes to test where you fit in spiritually with others who believe like you. The above link goes to a specific quiz (no need to study, this is about your spirit, faith and beliefs, not your intelligence) that will place you in a religion that most closely matches your spiritual beliefs. You will want to take this test more than once on different occasions, since there are many times when our spirit leads our beliefs into deeper, and varied perspectives that are addressed by certain religions.

Why know which religion fits your spiritual beliefs? Religion is something that you do routinely, faithfully. Like brushing your teeth, a religion gives a bit of regimen to your beliefs and a spiritual exercise routine to make it better and stronger (hopefully). You can associate with others who believe the same and encourage you to grow in your faith in the right religion. It is also fascinating to see how off you really are from where you currently rest your religion.

So, c'mon and take the test and find out if you are Orthodox Quaker (that is what I originally tested as), or a devote athiest. Then, you can celebrate the saints that fit your spiritual belief, even if that might be St. Padre Pio or the New Orleans Saints.

Friday, October 28, 2005

It's Time to Get Things Started...

...on the Muppet Show tonight!

Remember Scooter? The all-excited go-fer for Kermit on the Muppet Show?! He'd do anything for Kermit to make sure the show went on as scheduled. It was a bit of nepotism that got Scooter his job. His uncle was the owner of the Muppet Show theater.

The scenes continue to play out, but now in real life with a real Scooter, and he's gotten into a bit of trouble now. Yes, Lewis I. "Scooter" Libby is the first to be indicted in the Valerie Plame CIA outing.

I suppose you are wondering who else is on the playbill for this new version of the Muppet Show? Who's Kermit? Miss Piggy? Swedish Chef? Gonzo? And who's Statler and Waldorf?

Since the new "Muppet Show" (or rather, the grand jury investigation) has been extended for another season, stay tuned, er keep reading this blog for the new Muppet Show--The Great Muppet Caper on the blogosphere.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Who'da Seen THAT Comin'?

What'da....? Ms. Harriet Miers, I was hoping you'd stick it out. At least a little bit longer. I think you would have been appointed, by the way. Oh, and I also wanted to see James Dobson chat with the Senate about what he could possibly know about you that made him give such a positive confidence of approval for your nomination.

I'm like a lot of people who will slow down to see a car accident scene on the interstate during rush hour, except instead of a car accident, its a political collision. (By the way, I am usually the one furious about all the "car-be-que" gawkers, not one to enjoy seeing the remnants of a car crash. I'd rather just get home safely so I can see it on the news, if I get home on time because of all the gawking. Oh, wait, that was a previous lifetime.)

Maybe that is why we allow the current situations to run their course. We'd hate to see it end, regardless how gruesome, there's a bit of morbid entertainment value. Kind of like watching Friends, we hated to see it end. But all good things must come to an end, and sometimes they came to an end before they were over.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fitzgerald's Verdict?

There have been several websites claiming that Patrick Fitzgerald will make his indictments tomorrow, October 27th. Some have revealed that Fitzgerald will seal the indictments. What? What's so wrong with Seal? I like his music, in a querky sort of way.

"You know we're never gonna survive, unless we get a little Craaazy."

Maybe there's a bit of truth that rings in Seal's song. Something we should heed, in some odd way. Doing something that we normally don't do, but the way Seal sings his tune, it is more of a mild crazy.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Pass It Forward...

Isn't it so much fun to receive those chain "e-mails" that promise great fortune in one form or another for forwarding it on to a specified number of your "friends."

(Do friends really do this to friends?? Kind of seems mean to send these and then either bid superstitious fortune if they pass it on or impeding doom to those who delete it. Many times, I don't have the time to spend finding my friends' emails and forward it on, and I assume my friends don't want to receive it if I still want them to be my friends.)

I received one today where some of the previous forwarders put their comments at the beginning of their messages. It adds a nice touch. I especially like the "I don't know if it works, but..." comments.

This one had the Irish Friendship Wish. A nice little thought for the day to send to your "friends." Something that will hopefully make them smile, once they got past the whole dreaded frustration of "oh, great, another one of those emails..." and "now let's scroll to see what it's about" and, my favorite "wonder if there's a dorky cartoon with this?"

Speaking of superstitions, you know the one illustrated in the movie "Fools Rush In" with Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry at the Hoover Dam? Yup, I think that one really works, but you have to kiss the coin (preferrably a quarter) first.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Moon Dust Magic Holds Promise of Oxygen for Future Astronauts

Think in the distant future when people are living in Sci Fi gravity ring communities. You're reading the Want Ads from the Lunar Times:

O2 Miners
Willing to work long days in cold, dry climate w/ beautiful views of Earth.
Pay commensurate with experience.
Benefits include free family O2 plan.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Sadam's Jury

The Big International headlines: Sadam (is it with one or two d's?) Hussein Pleads His Innocence.

If you were on the jury, what would your verdict be? By the way, if you want to implicate other world leaders, this judge will allow it. :)

This photo of Donald Rumsfeld meeting Saddam Hussein was in 1983. Let's put this into perspective, just so you can give the benefit of the doubt where it needs to be. Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq in 1979. From 79 to 82, several key political people mysteriously die, any member of the Da'wa Party is breaking the law punishable by death, and in 80 Iran becomes an official enemy starting the Iran-Iraq war that ended in 88. Naturally, as the United States was reeling after the Iran Hostage Crises (yes, I think there was more than one crisis), we wanted to get to know better the man who thinks Iran is evil. The US State Department took Iraq off the list of states that supported international terrorists (not the Al-Qaeda type). Then Reagan sends Rumsfeld as a special envoy to rekindle a friendship lost in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Rumsfeld must have created a special bond with Sadam Hussein, because the US really began to help Iraq in many ways.

You could say it was the US who made Sadam into the man he is today. Or that Sadam was a wolf in sheep's clothing. As jury, I'll let you decide.

Please post your verdict(s) with your comments! Heck you can indict me for spelling Sadam wrong if you like, but I maintain that I am innocent. Especially since I am not the only one who spells it with one d.

The Daily Show & Colbert Report: One Hour of Stinging News

I've always enjoyed watching The Daily Show for its ability to poke fun at the obvious, and last night Jon Stewart delivered the blatantly obvious to his guest, Mr. Bill O'Reilly (aka O'Really) from Faux (formerly Fox) News (you know, the fairly unbalanced news network).

The proverbial sparks began with Colbert's french name, and O'Really spewed his hate France agenda. Stewart then asked "why so angry?" The sparks flew when Stewart began to sting O'Really about "fighting the bad guys" and the media's inability to investigate the Iraq War. As O'Really retorted his rhetoric, Stewart, in his finest hour, whispered "they didn't find the weapons of mass destruction."

O'Really's response wasn't that of backing the president or mentioning anything about getting Iraq back on its feet. Nooooo. O'Really showed his true colors with his "you believe that leftist crap" comment. That kind of comment really shows who you are, O'Really. You are a Bushie/neocon loyalist media whore. Whoa, did I really say that? (This is probably why Stewart did not reply to O'Really's leftist comment.)

Ok, ok. O'Really, if you really weren't a media whore, then you would have stuck to the issues at hand and made intelligent comments on a truthful statement. But noooo, you played the bully on the playground and attacked a group of people that had nothing to do with the topic at hand. (Pssst. The true left in this country did not want to be in this Iraq War in the first place. Secondly, the fact there were no WMDs was not a fabrication of the leftists, it is fact. Unlike the fabrications that led us into this war in the first place.)

And I can't forget to mention Stewart's wonderful analog of France as Charlie Brown's Marcy. Yeah, O'Really, stop fighting with Marcy and go after Lucy.

Bravo, Jon Stewart!

On to The Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert shows how incredibly cocky he can be while delivering his version of pertinent issues of the day. Somehow I smell the essence of the old Daily Show anchor Craig Kilbourne in this revitalized version of Colbert. That poise of confidence when a man wears cologne that overwhelms a room when they enter. It's that sort of testosterone fever right before they trip on their ego. It's funny alright. But, just as Kilbourne over-did it, Colbert better watch his step so he doesn't fall prey to his ego, too. (In layman's terms, his delivery would be better if he'd just tone it down a bit.) I'm sure I'll either get used to it, or he'll just go back to being the expert reporter on the Daily Show.

On to his finest 6 minutes with Leslie Stahl last night. Ooooo, Colbert. You hit the nail on the head. The comparison with the Nixon scandal to the Plame leak so nicely brought to the light the issues that most media outlets forget to pose: how this insignificant Plame leak could indict more than just a few kids low on the Bush todem pole. Leslie Stahl and her experience with Watergate showed that there are some similarities, and a few differences, between Whitewater and the Plame leak. What wonderful discourse!

Bravo, Colbert! (Just don't let the accolades get to your head, young man.)

Truly stinging news programs. When will Comedy Central post transcripts of the interviews for both shows, anyway? Or, better yet, when will comedy central spin off a comedy news channel to rival Faux, CNN, MSNBC, etc.?

Cuba, We Really Shouldn't Be Haarping On You, But...

It looks like Western Cuba is in line to get some very nasty (oh, yeah, you know that kind of nasty) turbulance from Hurricane Wilma.

All I can say is if those crazy folks up at HAARP could push super strong Wilma just a little bit more east, then we wouldn't have to worry about Cuba ever again.

Although, if Wilma continues on her route and continues to be the big b-tch that she's become-- look out storm ravaged Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi! Wilma's comin' to getcha, and she's brought along Bam-Bam, on steroids.

Edit--Ok, ok... You say that forecasters predict Wilma will threaten Florida this weekend. You really think that Bush & Co would let a Cat 5 Hurricane hit the promised land? Nah. I think it will go west of Florida. There's nothing like wiping an entire coastline off the face of the planet.

Wilma Gone Wild

How low can you go, Wilma?

Yes, that previously weak and puttering out tropical storm in the Atlantic has gone wild. Wilma has become dangerously wild, she's putting on the pressure, and she's setting records as she goes lower and lower.

I wonder if Betty's in on this? (Eerr Beta, you know that's just two tropical storms ahead.) And, I wonder if Fred and Barney know anything about their wives' extreme flaunts?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Smoking Ban Creates Positive Results

It's been one year since Ireland banned smoking in all workplaces, even in the normally smoke-filled pubs. The results? Actually, many view the ban as a good thing, even smokers. Some smokers have even begun to quit or have quit smoking say that the ban helped them.

The stats? The big number is not as big as the others, but is very telling: 17% decrease in respiratory ailments. That is a good thing. Indeed, very good. Another good stat is the number of smokers who think the ban is good, at 83%.

The complainers? An association that represents pubs in rural areas say that fewer are frequenting their pubs, resulting in some staff layoffs and forcing some pubs to close.

Monday, October 17, 2005

You Think You're Smart?

Some people humbly discount their intelligence, while others tout intelligence that doesn't really seem to be there.

Mensa is having their National Testing Day on October 22. What a perfect time to tell your fellow co-worker or teenager that thinks they know everything to prove it!

Or maybe you just want some clarification as to exactly how stupid, or how little you really know.

Although I seem to think a lot, I acknowledge that I know very little. I remember growing up in a K-12 public school and as an elementary student, thinking how I would never know everything and if I would ever know enough to graduate. At that time, I thought that to graduate from high school, you had to be a genius in every subject. I gradually learned it is not as much in how much you know as it is how your mind processes the information you do know.

I have never taken the Mensa test, so I can't tell you how stupid I am. I wonder if they have an organization for stupid people? I think it's called Densa.

Here's a few websites that have Densa quizzes:

Friday, October 14, 2005

Another dash of humor, please...

If you haven't had the opportunity to catch some giggles this morning, you gotta check out Mark Fiore's site. You may want to bookmark it, so you can refer back to it whenever it seems the media's reality doesn't seem to strike your funny bone.

Harriet Miers: The Grand Delusion

Another comical episode from my distorted imagination:

Imagine the scene: President Bush meets with Conservatives that oppose his selection of Harriet Miers as Supreme Court Justice.

Bush: I know what you guys keep saying, that I promised you that I would nominate judges like Thomas and Scalia. First of all, I don't recall that I promised you a rose garden, or maybe I did? Hee, hee. Uh, well.

I believe that Harriet Miers is our rose garden, yeah. She is a fresh bloom of hope and promise for us. As a woman, she would give SCOTUS that added dimension that only a woman can give, a woman with such beauty as Ms. Miers can offer.

What you see as thorns, all that talk that she has no stance on anything and no credentials, uh, and what you consider no experience, those are the thorns of our opponents, not us. You know we are not evil. Our roses have no thorns, you see, only terrorists have thorns. Hee, hee. And, you know, our other opponents, those pro-Constitution liberals and half-hearted conservatives, they have roses with thorns, too. You see, ah, they want to take away our right to interrogate military prisoners the way we want. And you know, I will veto their attempts. I will always work to be a thorn in their sides, hee, hee.

And that is why I am nominating Harriet Miers. She will help to continue to make sure that our rights as conservatives are not taken away. She is loyal to me, so I know that she will make sure that we can do what we want. You see, if she's loyal to me, she's loyal to my buddies, too. You know buddies have to stick together. I stick up for my friends, and so will Harriet. She'll stick up for you, too.

Harriet Miers, well, she's a person of faith. She is a religious person. Uh, she has impeccable beliefs that, uh, make her a strong person of character. . . You see... uh, she's got faith in me. She's faithfully stuck up for me as my personal attorney for many years now. She knows who she's dealing with, and she shows great respect for her faith. And, you know, I respect her for that.

Harriet, sweet Harriet . . . lol just had to do that.

Really, Harriet is also very domestically inclined. What I'm trying to say, is that she cleans house well. She can make a house very neat and presentable, and she can make people feel comfortable in whatever mess we tend to make, if you know what I mean. She did a great job helping me to convey that I served our country with honor in the Alabama National Guard, remember that? Like I said, she's loyal to me. And, you know, I stick up for my friends. So, if you have any house cleaning to do, you gotta trust me on this one. Harriet, she's a great house cleaner. She's great about cleaning those closets where those evil liberals might find nasty cob-webs, and she can clear away rotting skeletons in your closet like nobody's business.

Really, you gotta trust me on this one. I cannot say enough of her potential to clean house when she becomes a justice. Really, I can't. She will be better than those other possible nominees. Those other nominees might just sweep all the dirt under the rug, but not my Harriet. Nooooo, way. She will get rid of it, once and for all, if you know what I mean. And, I think you guys know better than anyone else. Ok, I admit Cheney probably knows more than anyone here, about the mountains of dirt we need to clean up. She's got experience in this, and just trust me. Consider me her greatest reference.

Look, let's get serious here. If we don't get someone to clean up after us, there's gonna be hell to pay, and it's not like getting grounded by your mama for not cleaning up your room. We will go through the ringer. Pardons do little to clean up, once the dirt is exposed. No one will protect our rights to do whatever we want, and they'll be throwing around silly laws that they say are backed by the Constitution. Right, Cheney?

Listen, there's not bad about the Constitution, that we can't fix. And that is why we need Harriet Miers in one of those black robes. Even though she doesn't have a lot of experience in fixing things, I think she will do a fine job. Things just don't fix themselves all by themselves. We got a lot of fixin' to do. And Harriet Miers is the woman for the job.

If you don't vote for Harriet to wear that black robe, then it's not just your political future at stake here, right Cheney? No, it's our rights as conservatives to serve our country as we see fit that is at stake. But, don't get me wrong. If we don't get Harriet in SCOTUS, you can guarantee that your future, and our future is bleak at best. John Roberts will help us, but he's no Harriet Miers. Harriet can make magic. We need her in a black robe. Trust me.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Plame Investigation: Could it go beyond the CIA Leak?

There are many news websites covering the topic of the investigation about who leaked the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA undercover agent. And many speculate what the outcome will be: Who will be indicted, and who will get off...

Let's get to the meat of this investigation here. This all stems from some intel gurus that heard (there is no solid evidence that I know of, except just talk) that Niger had been negotiating a deal to give Iraq uranium, possibly in the form of yellow cake, which Iraq has no facilities to refine (go figure). The smoking gun here would be to find either the agreement between Niger and Iraq, receipt of shipment document, and then uranium in Iraq.

Anyway, the main reason Bush & Co stated why we needed to go to war in Iraq is directly linked to this report that Iraq is building a nuclear arsenal, with uranium from Niger. (You know, there is now uranium in Iraq, its just in the deadly spent form, a gift of war from the United States.)

The CIA cover leak of Valerie Plame happened when Robert Novak published an article about why Joe Wilson was chosen to investigate the claims of the uranium deal with Iraq and Niger. Thus, the investigation is centered around who leaked the CIA cover and under what premise.

But as I listened to a discuss on MSNBC's Hardball, one commentator mentioned that this is pretty much like an independent investigation and just about anything could surface that surrounds the case.

Remember the whole Clinton scandal? Well, that was all from an independent investigation trying to at first uncover Whitewater (as I recall). Ken Starr had to get Clinton to lie about his private affair to get him indicted, and successfully impeached by the House but the Senate did not find sufficient claims to fire him.

Patrick Fitzgerald may be uncovering more than just the leak of an undercover CIA agent. Other things that may come up would be the reason for going to war in Iraq (Did Bush & Co lie, fabricate, and twist intel reports to give a reason for war?), Vice President Cheney's intense involvement with the CIA, who's responsible for the forged and falsified intel reports regarding the Iraq-Niger deal, and cronyism/nepotism in the CIA (especially regarding Joe Wilson's undercover wife suggesting that Wilson would be the right candidate to investigate the uranium deal in Niger). By the way, Valerie Plame did not decide who would investigate the Niger-Iraq uranium deal.

As a side-note, many who were offended by Joe Wilson's published remarks about his investigative findings that found no deal between Iraq and Niger for uranium yellow cake say that Wilson did not have the credentials to do such an investigation. Check out Joe Wilson's credentials, and then tell me he wasn't right for the job. You can't. Thus, the latter part of the possible outcomes is slim to none.

We'll have to see what Pat Fitzgerald will reveal by October 28th. Either it will shock us or it will subdue us even more.

Ban on Smoking?

Northern Ireland is now contemplating what Ireland did last year, ban smoking in public places. England is also thinking about a smoking ban, but not as extensive as Ireland's outright ban.

Some tobacco companies and pubs have complained of reduced business, and some have claimed that the ban has put some pubs out of business.

I've always thought that there are more European smokers than their counterparts in the US. So, in some ways this is very encouraging for us non-smokers to see this happening in Europe first. As a non-smoker it is nice to avoid having to inhale smokers' fumes when walking into and out of buildings, and smelling like smoke the rest of the day after walking past a smoker or eating in a smoke-filled restaurant.

But what about smokers' rights? Smokers' rights end where my rights begin.

So, what are all these smokers going to do? Is this a way to force smokers to quit? Will smokers be forced to smoke only in the confines of their home?

I think that businesses could get creative with the smoking ban. I can see bars, hotels, and even business complexes that have smoking rooms where smokers can go into a nicely furnished room, like a living room or rec room, with a filtered ventilation system for their smoking breaks. Bars could have a smoking room where patrons could go with their beverages and smoke without annoying non-smoking patrons and employees. Use of these rooms could be charged to the customer as they enter, or it could be offered free as a perk for doing business. Businesses could have smoking club memberships that allow a member to swipe a card to gain access to the smoking room.

This type of idea could even be offered to non-smokers with a non-smoking filtered ventilation room with oxygen pumped into the space. This could give non-smokers a place to lounge and get away during their breaks that would be comfortable and relaxing. Again, there could be membership cards for the Pure O2 Club as well, so that patrons could swipe to pay for their use.

I am sure there are other ideas and ways around smoking bans, while being considerate of others don't want tobe around smokers. Are the above ideas being implemented anywhere there is a smoking ban? How are the ideas being received? Do you have another idea? Please comment.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Too Furious to Be Furious....

Maybe it's a sign of the times, or maybe it's just that I'm too sick of the crap going on to write on it today.

I am linking to an article about how Katrina survivors continue to battle storms, bureaucratically, to rebuild their communities. I can only shake my head today in sadness.

IMHO, this is a tragedy of poverty. Poverty makes people feel worthless, and doing everything for them, including rebuilding, only magnifies this worthless feeling. That is why hand-out welfare systems fail to help those in poverty. That is why new reports on poverty are linking violence with poverty. Why be violent? Because they aren't worth anything, anyway, so nothing else in their lives are worth anything either. They aren't worth enough to give them skills and training to do the work, to be employed (and if they are employed the government made sure that they won't receive fair market wages) to rebuild their communities, and in the end have enough money to provide for their families and have accomplished and be proud of a job well done and a community that was rebuilt by the hands, sweat and hard work of their own citizens. You see the downward spiral here?

Haliburton and the rest of the Bush & Co's business interests are bathing in the loot from hurricane and Iraq War disaster relief, while people in both regions continue to suffer. Where's the humanity?

Other big issues include what I've already written about previously, so go ahead and click on my archives.

Like the whole Plame game. It is getting really stale, but should be over by the end of the month. Bush and Co. will likely escape without too much skin off their backs, and the only thing that will be punished is justice.

The War on Terror is only creating more terror and more terrorists, and as the fear mongering of the subway threats in New York City indicate, we produce as much terror internally as we do externally. Speaking of producing terror, it is amazing how anyone but the US and our allies in the war on terror are anything but terrorists, but WE are the ones producing the most terror in the world right now. Fear factor is not just a TV show produced in the US, it is our political and international code of conduct. The more fear, the more the US, and especially Bush and Co can yield force on others.

Farmers should be really checking out the whole deal with World Trade Organization brewing. There's a possibility that this will push the US to eliminate farm subsidies to comply with foreign policies that will be made in the near future. And, although 80% of farm subsidies go to four large corporations (Cargill, General Mills are among them), more likely than not, it will be the small rural family farmers that will be most hurt by future farm subsidy cuts. Sorry, Uncle Phil.

Amazingly enough, some oil companies, like Shell, are saying that they don't want to use the recent government energy enticements to build more refineries in the US. Unlike the apparent irrational thinking in the White House and Republican congress, many businesses plan with basic economic forecasting in mind. As the price of gas continues to go up and stay high, the demand for gas goes down. (Is this ringing a bell with anything you remember from college Econ 101 class, or were you too inebriated then?) As more and more people are demanding more fuel efficient, and hybrid style vehicles, the less they will use gas. Thus, oil companies are not going to build more refineries with demand falling and the rise of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles to compensate the economic scales for ordinary folks who don't want to pay an arm and a leg to get to work.

Personally, I am glad that gas prices are high. It is becoming an eye-opener for many Americans that we cannot continue to ride blissfully on the wave of oil companies without any ramifications. It has pushed many to look for and to demand car companies produce more fuel efficient vehicles, preferrably those that will not cramp our SUV lifestyles, please. I think it is possible to create a safe, luxurious, full-sized SUV that gets 65 mpg. You just have to demand it, the car engineers can figure it out.

The Germans have a female chancellor. Congratulations! Is the US next?

The whole bird flu deal. So, what? Under Bush's plan, we will all die miserable deaths in a military state. Bush and Co. will be successfully vaccinated against it, while the poor and middle class will likely receive substandard vaccines with mercury laced in them, so over half of those vaccinated will receive the virus and die from the vaccine, 25% of those vaccinated will not have sufficient vaccine and will also contract the virus and 10% of those will die from the flu. Those who die from the vaccine will beg to be euthanized, but those who do the mercy killing will be penalized by uncontested, instant death penalty under a new law that gives no benefit of trial for abortionists and euthanizers, under the military state. 50% of those not vaccinated and living in obscure locations will not even get any flu. 25% will get the flu, but nothing deadly. and 25% will get the avian flu bug and 20% of those will successfully get over the flu without permanent illness.

Oh, sorry, I didn't mean to scare you with such a nightmare.

Bush and Cheney are doing such a great job leading our country. The US is better with the Republicans in charge. We need a Republican SCOTUS, so everything will be fine. We need a Constitutional amendment so that only Republicans can be elected to serve the top three government bodies (Congress, Presidency, Supreme Court). Oh, heck, we just need a new Constitution that favors our wonderful Republican party. This one just doesn't cut it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Republicans Getting Nervous? Naaah.

Yesterday, I was flipping channels and accidently stopped on Faux News Channel where a wonderful line-up of conservative talking heads were chatting about the possibility of Rove and Libby getting indicted.

They actually said it might happen! Can you imagine that? No, me neither. My husband predicts that they will get away with this, too, just as they got away with 9/11, and the false premises of the Iraq war. It will all somehow fade away into some obscure, oblivious black hole that devours all misdeeds of Bush & Co.

With all the horrible natural atrocities recently, it makes me wonder if this black hole is getting so horrendously large, that it is causing fluctuations in the earth's pivotal systems causing these earthquakes, tidal waves of epic proportions, and deadly hurricanes. You know you just can't bottle up evil, er misdeeds, in a black hole without some sort of dastardly ramifications.

Although Bill Kristol is working to prepare the Republican cheerleaders for a possible defeat, the season is just beginning and playoffs are far off in the future to say they are out of the running.

And, just as another famous Billy Crystal would say after a beautiful model would lose her step and fall down a staircase, "Daaaahhhling, you look maaaahhhhhvelous!"

P.S. For some reason, Faux, er Fox News did not have the transcript from the discussion on Fox News Sunday about the Rove indictment issue. If anyone finds that, please comment with the link. Thanks!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Judges Not The Answer to Ban Abortion

With one new fresh chief justice on the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States), and talk of filling the other vacancy left by Justice O'Connor's retirement, there's a lot of hum about the possibility of overturning the decades old Roe v. Wade case that in effect "legalized" abortion.

I put " " around legalized, because judges really can't make laws, they just judge by them. Laws are made by congress. Anyone that has gone through an elementary grade school in the United States knows that. It doesn't take a super intelligent human to figure that out. But, for some reason with all this talk about Roe v. Wade and the SCOTUS makeup, everyone and their dog thinks that it will be up to the judges to make abortion illegal.

NO, it is not up to the courts to ban abortion! It is up to our legislators to ban abortion. The courts have only determined their decision with the laws in mind, not their personal beliefs or views, and that is what the courts ought to be about. Interpreting the law, not making it.

Actually, in essence, if abortion should be seen as murder and banned, then our legislators must define who should have rights as citizens and humans in the United States. Then, they need to create the laws to give anything that has not yet been born the same rights as a human that is born, living and breathing, if you believe that they should have those rights.

There is vague language in our laws as to when an individual receives their autonomous rights as a human and a citizen of the United States. As it stands now, it is assumed a human must be born and surviving without connecting to another human (i.e., the mother) to be acknowledged as receiving rights and protection as a full individual human in the United States. Per se, a living, breathing human being.

If you are so pro-life that you believe life begins before someone is born and is a living, breathing human being, then you need to tell your congressional representatives to make up a law that states that all rights and protections allotted by the constitution and laws of the land shall be granted upon all living humans and ... pick your levels of natal development that should be included with autonomous rights: a) zygotes enroute in the uterus, not implanted in womb; b) zygotes in petri dish; c) implanted embryos; d) viable fetuses; e) other ___ (fill in the blank).

Since many who take abortion as a hot topic are Christians, let me take something from the Bible:

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

It is that first breath breathed, that Biblically man becomes a living soul. Before that they are just slime of the earth. It is the breath of God that gives us humans our spirit. It is not the act of two people, or even the act of a doctor with genetic components in a petri dish that make a human. No, it is the act of God giving us breath. So, as Christians, really, we ought to be thanking God for each breath we take.

Not that I agree with all of this website's arguments, but it certainly highlights Christian Bible verses that define the moment earth turns to a human soul. It seems even the Bible, in its full context, is not clear if a person (i.e., zygote, embryo, fetus) is really a human soul, until they breathe.

Things that make you go... hmmmm.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

War on Whaaaaa? Or, The Constitution is Our Strength and Shield? Really?

Has anyone asked George W. Bush what is the goal for this "war on terror"?

Imagine this, a press conference with a press corp with either the balls or just the facade of being fake news to ask the pertinent questions of the day. Here's the transcript of such satirical lunacy.

Q: President, sir, this war in Iraq has been lingering. What are we doing there? What really is the goal of this so-called "war on terror," really?

Bush: Well, ah, to end, ah, terrorism, you know. Hee, hee.

Q: Mr. President, your administration has mentioned that you would veto the Pentagon's spending bill if it included the provision to regulate treatment of prisoners by the U.S. military, stating it would hamper the war on terror. What in all likelyhood would be hampered in this war on terror by treating prisoners with a bit of humanity?

Bush: You know, all these prisoners are terrorists. Yeah, the bad guy, you know. And, you know, some of them have information, you know. Valuable information that we need for this war on terror. So, ah. You know we need to get that information out of them, and well, you know, they don't want to give it to us. So, well. We need to get that information out of them, so we need to be able to instill intense fear and threaten them so we can get them to talk. And, well, if they don't talk, then we have to use physical, uh, forc-er, ah persuasion to get them to give us this, ah, vital information, uh, so we can win this war on terror.

Q: Mr. President, with all due respect, do you know that the definitions of terror are a) intense, overpowering fear; b) one that instills intense fear; c) the ability to instill intense fear; and d) violence committed or threatened by a group to intimidate or coerce a population, as for military or political purposes?

Bush: Is this a multiple choice question? Ah, can I make up my own answer? I choose "e".

Q: No, Mr. President, all of those are definitions of terror.

Q: From the sounds of it, this provision to the Pentagon's spending bill is aimed at keeping our military forces from becoming terrorists.

Bush: No, you have that wrong. We are not the bad guys here. Terrorists are evil.

Q: So, what is your definition of terror, Mr. President?

Bush: Well, you know, uh. Terrorists are bad. Yeah. They're evil. Uh. Terror is, uh, something that is bad, very bad. And evil. You know. People that want to take away our freedoms and liberties and harm us because we are, uh, you know, Americans.

Q: So, Mr. President, why does the Patriot Act strip U.S. citizens of freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and allow for improper search and seizure, secret and unlimited imprisonment without justified charges, and in effect instilling fear for anyone who speaks their mind against the government?

Bush: We have to do what we have to do to stop terrorism. We have to protect our people. Uh, we have to sacrifice some things to do that.

Q: So, is it okay to compromise the Constitution, and in effect void some aspects and restrict parts of it? How far will you go to dismantle the Constitution to protect us from terrorism?

Bush: I don't think we are dismantling the Constitution. You know, it's just an old document, anyway. ... It's a piece of paper. ... It's not like a building that we can just implode to dismantle it. (winks, er twitches) ... Ah. We are in a new time in history. The world has changed. We are up against an evil force of terror. Terrorism is something different than fighting other nations, like we've had to fight in the past. Terrorists are not a nationality or government. They move around. They can be anywhere. We have to fight them differently. This Constitution wasn't written with terrorism in their minds. They had no idea we would be up against terrorists in the 21st century, you see. ... You know, really, I don't think those folks that wrote the Constitution actually thought that we would really need it in the 21st century anyway. They probably thought that we would be scooting around in hovercrafts and such, and paper would be obsolete.

Q: Mr. President, are you trying to tell us that the Constitution is not applicable anymore?

Bush: I'm not saying that it is bad. It's just that it doesn't help us to fight this war on terror on the home turf.

Q: I believe we have dealt effectively with terrorism on the home turf, with the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Constitution was in essence still intact for the most part. Why can't we do that now with terrorists on U.S. soil?

Bush: Well, that was a different ballgame altogether. Those kids that did the Oklahoma City deal, you see, they were Americans. We could prosecute them like Americans. These terrorists we are dealing with now, well, that's a totally different ballgame. These terrorists now, well, they're evil.

Q: So, now who is this war on terror waged against? And, who is the terrorist here?

Bush: Well, uh, it's against the enemy, you know. Really, didn't I answer this before? No? (Thinks: I'm really running out of talking points here, people.) You see, it's those people who want to take away what makes us Americans. They want to take away everything that makes living in the U.S. secure and safe. We've got to protect against that.

Q: Isn't that why we have the Constitution in the first place?

Bush: I think you guys have given me an earful. Hee. Hee. Constitutions are good. You know, we are trying to get Iraq to agree to a Constitution, and, you see, it's not an easy process. We need a good Constitution here too, one that will protect us from crazy terrorists. That's why I have nominated Harriet Meirs. She's going to be a strict constructionist, you see.

Cruel to be Kind?

Senator John McCain has placed an amendment on the current Pentagon spending bill to place some standards on the treatment of prisoners in the custody of the U.S. military.

The Bush Administration says the president would veto it. Why? According to this article, the amendment on the bill would be redundant, so the Bush folks say. So.

So. Apparently, it is needed since an overwhelming majority of the Senate passed the bill with this prisoner treatment amendment. Apparently, the rash of investigations due to prisoner abuse has sparked these legislators to make prisoner treatment laws, likely because the current military laws aren't curbing this prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers.

Then, the article goes on to say that the Bush folks mention this amendment would hurt the war on terror. Um.... ah.... now how would this prisoner treatment provision, that the administration says is duplicating apparently other laws, hurt the war on terror? If this is only a repeat of other rules, then there should be no worries that it would hamper any action to reduce terror, because we are currently under these repetitive rules.

So. Is there more to these prisoner treatment provisions?

You know, Mr. McCain, this war on terror is not like Vietnam. Nam was a totally different story, according to General Myers, the Iraq War military leader. Myers, also a decorated Vietnam veteran, retorted that the Iraq struggle is "a complex situation that is not well-understood by folks who fought in Vietnam." (

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bush Speaks Intelligently and Confidently

I know what some of you are thinking. Some are thinking, ah, now you understand why the Republicans voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. Others are thinking, is this the same George W. Bush? Yes, it is the same George W. Bush. Is this how I am looking lightly at things? Well. No. I am actually being serious here. I actually saw Bush speak intelligently and confidently. No joke.

Last night, by the wonderful power of C-Span, I got the chance to see the press conference Bush held on the White House lawn. It is completely different to see this press conference over reading transcripts of it.

Much of the interrogation was about the Meirs nomination and the Iraq war. President Bush exhibited his usual exemplary speaking form when he doesn't know what to say. His mannerisms easily show when he is not versed in how to deal with the questions and doesn't have the knowledge or the interest in the subject.

However, one question did spark his interest and his knowledge base. It was about "containing" a flu pandemic in the United States. I want to paste the transcript of the question and Bush's intelligent and well-thought out response for you to read. This was the best, most composed response (in both verbage and presentation) Bush gave yesterday. He sounded like he knew what he was talking about and had thoroughly researched this subject. Read on....

Q Mr. President, you've been thinking a lot about pandemic flu and the risks in the United States if that should occur. I was wondering, Secretary Leavitt has said that first responders in the states and local governments are not prepared for something like that. To what extent are you concerned about that after Katrina and Rita? And is that one of the reasons you're interested in the idea of using defense assets to respond to something as broad and long-lasting as a flu might be?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Thank you for the question. I am concerned about avian flu. I am concerned about what an avian flu outbreak could mean for the United States and the world. I am -- I have thought through the scenarios of what an avian flu outbreak could mean. I tried to get a better handle on what the decision-making process would be by reading Mr. Barry's book on the influenza outbreak in 1918. I would recommend it.
The policy decisions for a President in dealing with an avian flu outbreak are difficult. One example: If we had an outbreak somewhere in the United States, do we not then quarantine that part of the country, and how do you then enforce a quarantine? When -- it's one thing to shut down airplanes; it's another thing to prevent people from coming in to get exposed to the avian flu. And who best to be able to effect a quarantine? One option is the use of a military that's able to plan and move.
And so that's why I put it on the table. I think it's an important debate for Congress to have. I noticed the other day, evidently, some governors didn't like it. I understand that. I was the commander-in-chief of the National Guard, and proudly so, and, frankly, I didn't want the President telling me how to be the commander-in-chief of the Texas Guard. But Congress needs to take a look at circumstances that may need to vest the capacity of the President to move beyond that debate. And one such catastrophe, or one such challenge could be an avian flu outbreak.
Secondly -- wait a minute, this is an important subject. Secondly, during my meetings at the United Nations, not only did I speak about it publicly, I spoke about it privately to as many leaders as I could find, about the need for there to be awareness, one, of the issue; and, two, reporting, rapid reporting to WHO, so that we can deal with a potential pandemic. The reporting needs to be not only on the birds that have fallen ill, but also on tracing the capacity of the virus to go from bird to person, to person. That's when it gets dangerous, when it goes bird-person-person. And we need to know on a real-time basis as quickly as possible, the facts, so that the scientific community, the world scientific community can analyze the facts and begin to deal with it.
Obviously, the best way to deal with a pandemic is to isolate it and keep it isolated in the region in which it begins. As you know, there's been a lot of reporting of different flocks that have fallen ill with the H5N1 virus. And we've also got some cases of the virus being transmitted to person, and we're watching very carefully.
Thirdly, the development of a vaccine -- I've spent time with Tony Fauci on the subject. Obviously, it would be helpful if we had a breakthrough in the capacity to develop a vaccine that would enable us to feel comfortable here at home that not only would first responders be able to be vaccinated, but as many Americans as possible, and people around the world. But, unfortunately, there is a -- we're just not that far down the manufacturing process. And there's a spray, as you know, that can maybe help arrest the spread of the disease, which is in relatively limited supply.
So one of the issues is how do we encourage the manufacturing capacity of the country, and maybe the world, to be prepared to deal with the outbreak of a pandemic. In other words, can we surge enough production to be able to help deal with the issue?
I take this issue very seriously, and I appreciate you bringing it to our attention. The people of the country ought to rest assured that we're doing everything we can: We're watching it, we're careful, we're in communications with the world. I'm not predicting an outbreak; I'm just suggesting to you that we better be thinking about it. And we are. And we're more than thinking about it; we're trying to put plans in place, and one of the plans -- back to where your original question came -- was, if we need to take some significant action, how best to do so. And I think the President ought to have all options on the table to understand what the consequences are, but -- all assets on the table -- not options -- assets on the table to be able to deal with something this significant.

If I were his college speech instructor, I'd give him a solid "A" on this response. No, make that an A+. He composed full sentences, barely stumbling on his thoughts. He outlined his thoughts so the listener could easily comprehend his points. He stood firmly on both feet, with little to no sway. His head remained straight forward and confidently poised, and projected a stance of high interest and knowledge in the subject.

However, he receives "F's" from Professor Jen on the rest of his responses, mostly due to the fact that he did not place himself in the stature of a knowledgeable, confident leader in answering the questions that many felt were the topics of the day. The answers to questions about the Meirs appointment and the Iraq war were short, sentences were rough and sometimes non-existent, bowing to phrases and stumbling over words. His physical stature became slouched and unprofessional, with his body weight leaning to one side and frequently swaying, likely because he is subconsciously trying to regain some form of authority over the subject that his knowledge and interests fail him. Instead of being straight forward, even his mouth shows more of a tendency to one side when he is uneasy about the topic at hand. I even feel uncomfortable watching such a presentation.

Professor Jen says that it is clear George has a genuine interest in the issue of containing populations in the United States with the possibility of using military force to accomplish the task.

Of course, don't forget that there needs to be a good reason to use military force on U.S. citizens, say a flu pandemic or another type of disaster. U.S. Citizens are just terrible about taking care of ourselves in times of crisis, anyway. We need people with guns and imposed martial law, so we can remain civil and don't get out of hand.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Constructionist Judges?

George W. Bush, in his announcement of Harriet Miers, mentioned something about having "constructionist judges."

Whoooooaaah. Now there's another qualification for judge: construction experience. Does Ms. Miers have any experience in construction work? For the life of me, I just can't see Harriet in a construction hat and wielding a jackhammer. Ok, the jackhammer part, I think I can see that part.

Now, President Bush is not looking for any ordinary constructionist. He wants a strict constructionist. What does that mean? He wants a loud-mouth bossy foreman type?

Bush then goes on to talk about his philosophy on SCOTUS judges. Is strict constructionist the type of judicial philosophy he's talking about? Why didn't he have this same philosophy on the head of FEMA?

Guiding Light of Secret Societies?

Before I was up late last night watching a show on either TLC or Discovery Channel about "Decoding Secret Societies," I was thinking about presenting things on my blog in a lighter light. There's way too many serious blogs out there anyway. We all need a break from the craziness of being too serious. Oh, well... Here I go getting serious.

The show discussed many different secret societies, branching out from the Knights Templar, to Illuminati, Freemasonry, and Yale's Skull and Bones.

When they mentioned the Illuminati, I thought that would be the secret society for me... Lol, bright lights fascinate me. Twinkle, twinkle little star.... Guiding Light.... hey, isn't that a soap opera? Actually, I was thinking that the Illuminati might be the secret society of those who get into calligraphy and illuminated manuscript. I was so wrong.

The main focus in this informative show was less about the common membership, and more about the inner core of these secret societies and the possibility that the inner core is concentrated more "conspiracy theory" type activities than what they lead one to believe. Maybe there's a connection with secret societies and aliens, too?!

The show even brings out symbols of the Illuminati in currency and other symbols that the United States have adopted. The pyramid on the dollar bill is an Illuminati symbol and the words Novus Ordo Seclorum mean "New Secular Order" possibly referring to the "New World Order." (New World Order: Burger, Fries, and Large Coke, super size it.... lol)

Even the two top candidates for the 2004 presidential election were Skull and Bones members:
George W. Bush, along with pappy George H. W. Bush and grand pappy Prescott Bush were Bonesmen; and John Kerry is a Bonesman.

Hmmm.... Was Harriet Miers a secret society elite? (Skull and Bones did not allow female members until 1991.)

Very fascinating. I might have to check into these secret societies even further... Wonder if they have a secret society for those who wonder??? Although wonder is in itself a secret society.

Are you a member of a secret society? Do you have aspirations to rule the world? Or at least change the world? Enquiring minds want to know...

Monday, October 03, 2005

High Level Job Looking for Individual With No Direct Experience

High Level J0b: Looking for Individual With No Direct Experience...

...Just make sure the boss knows you.

You want to know why companies, especially governments, are really inefficient, and broadly ineffective? I think the above lines speak for themselves.

Some call it cronyism. When people get hired not for their skills, expertise or experience, but because they are in an elite inner sanctum. Those who don't get hired, of course, get the same buh-bye line, "you just don't have the experience we are looking for." While the person who does get the job, most of the time has little to no direct experience.

Then, people: customers, clients, co-workers, CEO and others wonder why the company/government isn't working well. That's what happens when one is hired for their connections and not their experience and skills.

All that talk about midwestern ethics is true, many in the midwest are hard working individuals. Many times the hardest workers are the ones at the bottom of the todem pole. And there is a reason for that. It's just about synonymous with rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

It's not as much about working hard as it is about working smart. If you want to move up in the world, it is about connections and showing your best off, if you will, not all the time but at the right times. The Bush Administration exemplifies this standard.

This is why the Democratic Party is so stagnant at this time. They are like the hardworking peons, I mean people. They are the ones who stand make results for those they serve. However, the higher ups (right now the Republicans) are the ones who may talk the talk, but do very little to make an impact for those they serve, except when they do it best and then they talk that up, a lot. And they may even take credit for the work of the peons, which is most of the time. Take note.

The only place hardworking, honest people are paid and rewarded appropriately for their work is, hopefully, in heaven. Don't expect it here on earth.

So, what do you value as an employer? What do you value as an employee? What is the worth of your company/government based on? How do you translate that worth to your employees/co-workers? Does your employees/employer think the same way? Think of these things next time you hire/vote someone to a post in your company/government, or take a job somewhere.