Iranian president Mahmoud Amadinejad has been saying that he has a surprise for us on the anniversary of Islamic Revolution. He says that Iran will "punch" the West "in a way that will leave them stunned."
Michelle Obama has found her cause like every other First Lady in modern history. I agree with many of her ideas - getting junk food out of schools (grade schools anyway), healthier school meals with lower fat and more nutrients and fiber, and more exercise. However, without good adult role models for the children and educating and encouraging life long good habits, the goal will fail. It will also fail if neurotic adults (ie. Meme Roth) control the issue.
I will use myself as an example of why it would fail. I'm fat. I know I'm fat. I have always been on the chunky side. Because of that, my skinny mother had me on a diet for as long as I can remember. However, while I sipped diet soda she would down an entire bag of potato chips - my stomach growling with each crunch. She would make cake and she ate with abandon, while telling me it wasn't good for me (although my whining did usually get a piece). Her excessive restriction just made me really good at sneaking snacks and slinking over to Grandma's house. She had the right idea, she just set a lousy example. She and no other adult worked with me to find a happy medium. I had a bad relationship with food and although my eating habits are far better now, the default set is always there in times of weakness.
Teaching exercise is great, but school athletics focus on team sports. That is good since it builds social skills and may even help a kid or two a scholarship to college. However, what does team sports teach kids for lifetime activity? I know things have changed a bit since I was in school, when the weight room was essentially owned by the football players and wrestlers. At least 50% of physical education should be focused on activities kids can do for their lifetime: weight training, walking, bike riding, tai chi, yoga, anything that can be done alone and with minimal or easy to access equipment. (And by the way, if you are a moron that thinks yoga or tai chi teaches religion, get a life or spew you mental diarrhea somewhere else.) Finding a workable athletic activity is easier if you have been exposed to a few choices early on.
Since habits learned early in life are easier to maintain, I hope that the First Lady succeeds. However, any message needs to be targeted to adults as well as children so that they can hopefully realize their role in shaping the next generation. It is a constant struggle for some, but a worthy goal.
Only thing I can say for sure is what it looked like - whether or not what I think I saw was real or not I'll never know.
I glanced out my window at work today and saw one lady and then another walking down the street with something perched on their heads. To me it look like black plastic garbage bags roughly spherical and three times the size of their heads. The bags were balanced on their heads (no hands) as they were walking down the street, like a visage of National Geographic meets life and times of a bag lady.
Of course, little surprises me in the 'hood around work anymore.
Matthew Snatchko was asked to leave the Roseville Galleria Mall while he was talking three shoppers. He claims that it was the topic of his conversation that got him the boot. The mall claims that he was disruptive and in violation of Mall's "Courtesy Guidelines". The topic of the conversation? God.
The First Amendment of the US Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
That seems clear enough. However, a shopping mall is a private commercial enterprise. People and companies pay rent in order to have a space to sell their goods. Since these areas are typically open to the public with little limitation, the lines of who has the right to do what can get a bit blurry. Furthermore, some States, such as California where this case is being heard, have First Amendments of their own and have defined publicly accessible areas such as shopping malls to be on par with public property with regard to what can and cannot be restricted in a person's freedom of speech.
Although a person has freedom to say what they wish (within reason), there are circumstances where another individual's freedom of speech might be in conflict with another of our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, that states: "... men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." In this case, an employee of the store outside of which the fateful conversation was taking place thought the women looked uncomfortable. Although the women initially consented to the conversation, perhaps Mr. Snatchko had essentially over stayed his welcome with the women. Some people are too polite to then tell someone to shove off when they have become annoying. This will be an interesting case.
If Mr. Snatchko (Snatch-ko, jeez, can't make a name like that up) wins, the rest of us will need to grow firmer spines and be more willing to be "rude" and exercise our freedom of speech to those that invade our space. I personally have no qualms telling someone "no thank you, go away" (and much harsher if the pest persists), but there are those "nice" people who will continue be victimized by self appointed agents of God and saviors of society.
If Westfield (who owns several malls across the country) wins, the bar of offenses that can get someone removed from a mall may be lowered. Wearing a T-shirt from a competitor? Get out. Just window shopping or mall walking? Buy something or leave. Blocking the flow of traffic (too fat, stroller too big)? Leave, you are taking up too much room and blocking other customers. Yes, Yes, these are exaggerations, but one never expected rabid proselytizing in malls, either.
I personally think it all comes down to respect. No one seems to have it anymore, so now it has to be legislated. Sad, very sad indeed.
Who is Kristin Davis?
There was a Kristin Davis who played Charlotte on Sex in the City fame, but it's not her. This Kristin Davis might be famous for sex in the city, just not the HBO original series. Another clue? She is a former NYC business woman and Ashley Dupre's former boss. Kristin Davis sent Ms. Dupre to Washington D.C. at the behest of Client #9. She is the madam who ran perhaps the most successful escort services (yes, plural) ever and brought down the great and sanctimonious Elliot Spitzer.
Kristin Davis wants Client #9's former job as the Governor of the State of New York. She has some impressive items on her resume that make her a fine candidate. She has the brains for the job - she claims to have been valedictorian of her high school class. She knows how to handle money - she has allegedly has a BA in Business, worked in finance and ran a very successful (albeit an illegal in our prudish system) business. She's a people person - she did provide entertainment to the wealthy, powerful and famous. Furthermore, Rodger Stone, a political adviser to many successful elected officials, thinks she'd make a good candidate (and Mr. Stone says that it is not a hoax). Also consider there will be no shocking surprises because Ms. David's skeleton's have been laid out seductively on the bed and the closet door is wide open showing all her sexy lingerie. However, I think she probably keeps the keys to a few other people's closets and the skeletons will continue to be well hidden as long as they play nice. For many movers and shakers I imagine she is at once a titillating and frightening prospect for elected office.
If she succeeds she would make history as New York's first woman governor. Her interesting choice of former career doesn't bother me; if a former pro wrestler, Jesse Ventura, can do it, why not a former madam? Furthermore, it would be poetic and ironic. Herr Spitzer and Ms. Davis - He got off (in more than one way), she did three months in jail. She's done her time and paid her debt to society. He resigned in disgrace, thumbed his nose at the justice system and figures all is forgiven (he allegedly briefly considered running for office again).
She might be good for NY. For example, consider if prostitution is legalized (which she reportedly supports) and taxed. The oldest profession will never be eradicated while men still have urges. It is a virtually untapped revenue generating commercial enterprise that typically does not pay taxes. Imagine pimps answering to the tax man (or woman). Also, legalization may minimize the victimization of women in the business.
The New York Governor race may become interesting, very interesting indeed.
Names omitted and changed to protect the innocent and guilty. The words were uttered the other day by someone who did not know the history: "Do you know her best friend Cindy?" Those words took me aback. I used to be her best friend. I have the proof - pictures of smiling faces - and I know where the figurative bodies are buried in a racy past. There was a time that we were practically inseparable. Those words cut.
Those words also come as no surprise. I've been replaced like some used up old nag. It started a couple years ago. Somewhere around the time her boyfriend got his own place and they didn't need a place to hang anymore. Sometime around the time I injured myself and needed a lot of help to deal with everyday life. Sometime around the time her father was in his final months and she spent a lot of time with him in the hospital before he died. I couldn't physically be there for her (which she seemingly didn't forgive since my absence was repeatedly brought up) and she understandably couldn't be there for me - not the best situation for best friends. For me it was a lost summer and the demise of our friendship of better than a decade and a half.
Time moves on. Wounds and injuries, physical or emotional, heal and sometimes leave scars. New relationships are forged, old relationships change and some really old relationships are renewed. However, sometimes a little bump opens up a wound and it can really sting.
The arguments fly: "Abstinence only education is bound to fail." "Abstinence is the only method of birth control that is 100% effective." "Abstinence only educations does not prepare teens for the realities of life." "Abstinence until marriage is the only way to truly prevent sexually transmitted diseases."
Ignoring all the static, the latest study suggests that abstinence education targeted at young teens is effective - but this isn't the moralistic "abstinence only" education of the Bush years. I think everyone can admit that if you can keep the pants on a couple of hormonally influenced 14 yr olds until they are, oh, I don't know, 17 or 18, that it is a win. We can all learn from this study.
The education program in question deals directly with cause and effect. Plain and simple. Screw around and you might get preggers or worse. It hits the kids hopefully before the proverbial horse is out of the barn. It helps kids with strategies to battle the peer pressure to have sex. What it doesn't do is preach morality. It doesn't demonize condoms. It deals with real life, not some Bible thumping image of ideal life.
Kids see through bull crap, and moralist preaching about virginity is bull crap. Preaching: "Blah, blah, blah, save it for you spouse, blah, blah." Comes out: "I sewed my wild oats and I shouldn't have and you better not 'cause now its a dangerous world." Kids see through it and ignore it, so it does nothing to prepare them. Education is for teaching how to deal with life, not preach. Preaching should be saved for the house of worship of your choice.
It is definitely time to put health education back in the schools and sex education and leave the morality lessons to family and churches. Oh and by the way, that means parents, extended family and community leaders actually need to pick up the ball and educate morality instead of expecting schools to toe the moral line that a few want to project.
Even the casual observer of politics know that those two things are more the exception than the rule. The discrepancies between the urban life and rural life was one of the driving forces in the formation of the electoral college - voice of the populous vs. voice of the landed. Watching the major players in what has become a two party system and how far apart they diverge, it becomes clear - someone is going to lose and in a big way. And keep in mind when one loses, we will all lose.
If rural loses, our food supply will become more threatened than it is now in quantity and quality. I know looking in the supermarket and its abundance, most think: "never!" However, if the American farmer fails, we will be completely subject to the whim of the foreign markets and foreign (or lack of) laws in what can be sprayed on our food and how it is handled. There is nothing more basic than the food we eat. We may have a deluge of foreign produce, but we have always been thankful to have domestic alternatives when there is a threat of e-coli on our lettuce or melamine in dairy products.
If urban stronghold loses, our commerce and industrialization suffers. We've already lost factory jobs since we cannot compete with foreign factories with lax labor laws, low wages and near non-existent environmental guidelines. Corporate out sourcing of some services for cheap labor frustrates us all with lower quality customer service. The cost of living in urban areas make providing the basics difficult. If we do not invest in our own infrastructure and we lack the ability to build our own crucial products we will be completely at the will of others to build our homes and transportation. While we may be able to assemble the pieces, all the materials may be made elsewhere. Consider the case of contaminated Chinese drywall and other manufactured products of questionable quality.
Many of today's elected officials have no idea how the other half lives. I propose that any person seeking to be elected to anything beyond their own municipalities local elected offices need to do an "internship" in an area opposite type of area where they are going to represent. I would be willing to accept life experiences in lieu of the internship - for example, Senator McCain in a pit in Vietnam is more hardship than anyone should endure. While it might make good reality TV fodder (think "The Simple Life"), it would provide these people who would represent us insight into to lives that these prospective law makers might greatly impact. I wonder if Bush (either would do) worked in an urban homeless shelter for month or two, interacting with the poor and disenfranchised, how might that effected his votes and decisions. (Wasn't Senior who had no idea what a bar code scanner was?) If Representative Pelosi (D-CA), whose jet-setting ways have become legendary, had to milk cows or work a combine for a month or two, how might she vote?
If that idea doesn't help change attitudes. At the very least, if our elected official really, really, care about us they might volunteer to be on a reality show and donate the proceeds to closing the budget gap. Pelosi up to her knees in mud? Now there is a reality TV show I might actually watch.
The bump is a faux reality TV show in the wonderful wacky web: http://bumptheshow.com Here's the scoop - three women, three unintended pregnancies. Who will have an abortion, who won't? The rational for the show is to open a dialog on the choices women face and was inspired by Obama's appearance at Notre Dame. If a sampling of some of the comments on the foxnews.com article are any indication, the reaction to the show will be a doozy.
Here are a sampling of one of the lunatic rantings:
Maybe they should show the abortions so that everybody can see what really happens. I think a true reality show would be willing to show the abortion procedure or they are not a reality show. We need America to see the reality of this murder happening live.
Maybe they should show removal of uterine fibroids, which I've heard can get to be the size of a basketball. For an abortion it wouldn't be much to see with something smaller than a golf ball being taken out of a woman's uterus. If you want blood and gore, they do show surgeries on the Discovery Health Channel.
Also what I find amusing, is that it appears as if the mental giants commenting on foxnews.com think this is a REAL show with REAL pregnant women contemplating abortions - Folks, get a grip and read the entire article before making an idiot of yourselves. It's designed for thought provoking discussion only - Don't you people have a prayer meeting to go to or something?
"Good morning." It's a simple phrase we have all heard and perhaps even uttered. However, think about it for a minute - good + morning. If you are like me, it is an oxymoron. Made all the more discordant the colder the morning or the more hellish the day ahead at work. A co-worker of mine actually growls when someone says "good morning" to him. Good and morning just do not go together unless you are one of those self flagellation types that jumps out of bed at 5:00 am. Mornings are to the day what our least favorite veggie is to the dinner plate - necessary and for our good, but far from pleasant, or "good". Frequently I have an even more sour attitude toward morning after I have not had a "good night" or been able to "sleep well". So I offer the following to replace "Good morning":
- Guess being here is better than being on the other side of the sod.
- Sorry you had to crawl out of bed for this.
- Go away until I've had my coffee / tea / meds.
- I see you made it to the fetid pile of steaming excrement, too.
- Misery likes company, glad you could join me.
Until an acceptable alternative is routinely used, I will just say "Hi". It's short and it won't alienate anyone and it can be easily uttered when one is not entirely awake.
Have a happy week!
At work, I sit next to a woman who has two kids (I've posted before about how disruptive their visits to the office can be). She is a sweet woman. She is very sweet - sometimes a bit too sweet for my acidic and sarcastic outlook on life, which I admit is my problem.
Her sing song baby talk to her young children and mushy talk to hubby make me want to hurl most times and I can find it distracting at best. Honestly I do not try to eavesdrop. I am thankful for my mp3 player and Pandora; however sometimes the headset is tangled and there is only so much damage I am willing to do to my hearing in an effort to drown out certain conversations, even if Five Finger Death Punch and Rage Against the Machine are best played loud.
The latest topic of endless discussion is behavior problems with her eldest at school. I'm not sure about the specifics, because I've only caught what I hear while digging out and setting up the sound drowning device du jour. There has been an endless stream of conversations with what seems to be psychiatric professionals, medical professionals, school staff, friends and family, etc. I've heard ADD and autism spectrum disorder thrown out there. The situation has been and continues to be analyzed to death.
However, I have my own observations. She discusses how intelligent and skilled the little guy is, crafting items requiring skills typically far above his age. Also, her cubie looks like romper room, a veritable day care in miniature. Whenever her eldest has been here, he talks loudly and Mommy does not try to get him to be quieter. On the contrary, Mommy interacts with him, seemingly oblivious to the adults working nearby.
Perhaps the child does not have a psychological disorder, per se. Perhaps he is not fond of the fact that he needs to share Center of the Universe with a younger sibling. Perhaps parental (hubby is cut from a similar mold) indulgences have shaped a child who lacks the ability to understand societal boundaries. Hopefully one of the many professionals will see through all the fussing and fretting and give them a reality check. Perhaps then I can have some peace.
May I suggest a crowbar?
The US military has found that many Pashton (an ethnic group) Afghan men prefer boys over nubile women. A common saying is: "women are for children, and boys are for pleasure." While most of OUR society accept homosexuality, their society's stigma is cause for denial. They even deny their homosexual activities in the face of many of them catching gonorrhea anally.
Islam forbids homosexually and some Islamist countries execute homosexuals. What gives Pashtons absolution? The say the Koran forbids LOVING a man, but says nothing about sexual gratification.
So I guess that gives "men's club" carousing closet fags a free pass on the "homosexuality" label. I imagine that in order to love someone you'd have to know that person's name and see that persson's face in daylight. Since anonymous back room and bathroom hook-ups frequently don't involve "love" then continue on, you're not really gay, *wink, wink*. I think this also works for Christian tele-evangelists and Roman Catholic priests. (oh wait, what about that whole carnal pleasure thing? Never mind) Just remember to close the closet door tightly on your way back in . . . .
Apple tends leads the way with consumer gadgits. I doubt anyone will disagree. Many techies salivate over the next overpriced toy Apple will send to the market. The iPad is no exception. Apple whipped the electronic-fad hungry market into a froth in the months proceeding its release and I am underwhelmed.
I like techie stuff, but I don't fork over my hard earned cash to the latest and greatest, hence I don't hand over my money to Apple Empire. Apple lost a fan years ago with its unwillingness to play nice with Microsoft compatible software and its arrogance that it was better than Microsoft in every way. Maybe they were better, but I was never going to find out since I wanted compatibility between home and work - and I have no control over what work uses. In other words they were not better in the way that mattered most - capability. Since then, I've had little interest in what Apple does.
Since the Apple is apt at hype and the media laps it like thirsty hounds, I have had little choice but to be aware of the latest showing. Some liken it to an oversized iPhone. The new iPad will set back hipsters, the desperately trying to be cutting edge and other Apple zombies a reportedly cool $499 to $829. I think I'll wait the few months for the cheap knock-off with features that a person with my mundane tastes actually value.
Oh, and the "iPad" name may be temporary - some else used it first. I am secretly rooting Fujitsu the way I root for anyone playing the Yankees - I love seeing over-sized egos lose.
I cannot fathom the loss and devastation in Haiti. At least 35 Americans have been confirmed dead. The families of many of those that are currently missing are demanding action and some are angry that they don't have answers. While I cannot imagine the heartache of a missing loved one, angry outbursts at the pace of the rescue/recovery effort is not helpful and only gives fuel to the world's perception that Americans are self-centered.
I think some perspective is in order: Americans have hired private rescue teams. Many Haitians are digging through the rubble with their bare hands. Americans expect to bury their family members privately on American soil. Dead Haitians are being dumped into mass graves. Any rescued Americans are being relocated to fully functional facilities for medical care. Many Haitians are still waiting for medical care for broken bones and other injuries and many are expected to die due to a lack of medications, such as antibiotics, in open air "hospitals". Any rescued Americans get to go home. Many Haitians no longer have homes.
We all make choices and we are all subject to Mother Nature's will. The Americans missing in Haiti are adults who chose to leave the US and go to a country with crumbling infrastructure. While the US should help, it is not the US government's responsibility to leap to the aid of any American in a foreign country. The US didn't cause the earthquake and the US did not cause Haiti's infrastructure to decay, actually to the contrary, the US has provided significant aid to help build infrastructure,
Those Americans that do survive will likely have a unique appreciation of just how lucky they are to live in the US and not a third world country. For those that are dead or those that are never found, my sympathies to their families.
In the same week we have two sweethearts in the news. Not only are they responsible for animal abuse, they both forced their children to participate. They are multi-tasking queens like any good mother - torturing animals and screwing up their children in one step.
Sharon McDonough of Selden, NY, was turned in by her adult son. He was concerned about his younger siblings. Evidently she had been torturing animals and forcing her children to participate for years. Lynn Middlebrooks Geter of Warm Springs, GA, forced her son to kill his pet hamster. The hamster-cide was supposedly in response to his poor grades.
I say neuter these two bitches with a butter knife and let rabid animals gnaw on the wounds. Then make sure that their poor children get lots and lots of therapy and cuddling. Hopefully their children have been saved in time to prevent them from become future psychopaths and serial killers.
Most dictionaries have a few versions of the definition of the word "marriage". Here are some of them:
Western society classic - "The social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc."
A bit more generic and thoughtful of other cultures -
a - The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife, and in some jurisdictions, between two persons of the same sex, usually entailing legal obligations of each person to the other.
b - A similar union of more than two people; a polygamous marriage.
c - A union between persons that is recognized by custom or religious tradition as a marriage.
d - A common-law marriage.
e - The state or relationship of two adults who are married.
Also consider - "A formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger."
I think no one will dispute the fact that the institution of marriage was conceived within the framework of various religions. The Bible speaks of the original marriage of Adam and Eve. However, it was later modified in the Old Testament to include a husband and several wives, also known as polygamy. Some societies have practiced polyandry, or a wife with several husbands.
Marriages for many centuries and across several cultures were decided by families based on financial gain and status - brides were a commodity not unlike a sack of wheat or a cow. The concept of "love" in marriage is a relatively new concept. There have been arguments that marriages are a contract between the two people and God. During the early 1900's, some governmental jurisdictions used the tool of requiring marriage licenses to prohibit inter-racial couples from marrying. The current debate in the US is whether people of the same sex should be allowed to marry - with the most vocal opponents basing their objections on religious precepts. I've heard a couple arguments.
First argument - Marriage is between a man and woman and same sex marriages will corrupt the institution of marriage. My response - Whether two other people get married, regardless of a race or gender or sexual orientation, is no one's business but those two people. Anyone that thinks it negates their marriage in anyway is a moron. If two guys or two chicks get hitched, how does that make anyone love their particular spouse any less? Go home, hug your wife/husband and shut up already.
Second argument - Kids in families deserve a Mommy and a Daddy. My response - Newsflash - gay people have children and are raising them with their partners. Lesbians still have wombs and gay men still have sperm. Lesbians have it a bit easier here - sperm donors are easier to come by than surrogate mothers - but gays of both genders have biological children and the legal right to raise those children living with whom ever they choose. What those kids lose out on is two legally bound parents - so much for family values.
I prefer to think of marriage in contractual terms - where the two people who are marrying are fully cognizant that it is the formation of a union legal between two people not unlike a contract. If they want to solemnize their union in a church before their God, that is their concern. It's not particularly romantic, but marriage in these modern times conveys certain legal rights. Since the stigma associated with shacking-up is diminished today, most people choosing to marry want a mechanism to solidify and bestow marital rights on their chosen family unit.
In consideration of marriage as a type of contract - Whose business should it be on who makes up a family unit? I personally don't think its my business, I have enough problems. Perhaps certain others should follow suit.
For those unfamiliar, ventrilo is voice software favored by many MMORPG gamers. Sometimes we team up, but many times it winds up being a virtual "Cheers". My issue is with those that log in and then either go AFK (without properly indicating they are AFK) or they just don't answer because they don't wanna. It's hard to know which and, well, it's creepy to say hello and get no answer and wonder "Is it me or did they fall off the earth?" And it is even more annoying for the next person to come in, say hello and then the lurker comes to life. Sorry, that is just creepy.