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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Monday, July 31

Dear Abby

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The following post is to prove to some old readers, and my new friend Rev. Smokin Steve, that even extreme “right wingers” have a sense of humor. This of course is fictitious (I hope)… it was e-mailed to me, and I must admit, even I laughed. Enjoy…

Dear Abby:

I am a crack dealer in New Jersey who has recently been diagnosed as a carrier of the HIV virus. My parents live in a suburb of Philadelphia and one of my sisters, who lives in Bensenville, is married to a transvestite. My father and mother have recently been arrested for growing and selling marijuana and are currently dependent on my other two sisters who are prostitutes in Jersey City.

I have two brothers. One is currently serving a non-parole life sentence in Attica for murder of a teenage boy in 1994. The other brother is currently being held in the Wellington Remand Center on charges of neglecting his three children.

I have recently become engaged to marry a former Thai prostitute who lives in the Bronx and, indeed, is still a part-time "working girl" in a brothel. Her time there is limited, however, as we hope to open our own brothel with her as the working manager. I am hoping my two sisters would be interested in joining our team. Although I would prefer them not to prostitute themselves, it would get them off the street, and, hopefully, the heroin.

My problem is this: I love my fiancé and look forward to bringing her into the family, and of course, I want to be totally honest with her.

Should I tell her about my cousin who voted for Bush?


Worried About My Reputation

Sunday, July 30

Football Fever - I Have It Already !

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FOOTBALL FEVER… Please tell me I’m not the only woman catching it.

I have spent the better part of my weekend designing ads for my son’s high school football program. I can’t believe the deadline is here, and it’s almost time to kick off again. It’s his senior year, and when choosing photos, and reminiscing over all the shots I have over the last 10 years he’s played ball, I get emotional. I am going to be a total basket case during next year’s season. My son is lucky to play for a team that has a tradition of winning. State championships are common for this team (although my son hasn’t had one yet)… this year will be his last. The ups and downs each year are strong. I would love for him to have that ring. I need to go out and purchase a video camera soon, as my son plays both sides of the ball, and has a chance for a scholarship. I need to make tapes with zoom in plays of him for possibilities.

Not only that, but just after our high school team kicks off, it will soon follow that NFL begins. Yes, I’m a Dallas Cowboy fan, so I will gracefully take any negative comments… but I CAN’T WAIT FOR FOOTBALL!!!

Rev. Smokin Steve & Me - 3rd & Final Round

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For those following this banter, I believe we may be almost done. Amazingly I got lucky enough to find the one of the really normal and decent liberals, and we agree to disagree. After all, neither one of our blogs is exclusive to politics and we both have so much more about a lot of nothing to say :) After all, I’ve kept him busy at this, and now I don’t know who the asshole of the week is ! It’s sure been fun, and I intend to continue to read his blog and comment often, both positive and negative. Here’s his latest response to me, and following my response to the very well spoken, although liberal Rev. Smokin Steve. Enjoy, we have.

First of all, I never looked good in a bowtie. Not my style.

I can now see where some of the differences between us lie. We're not really disputing the facts. But what we are disputing is how we view the facts.

First of all, I'll concede on the Jimmy Carter era and Halliburton. I was 5 when he was inaugurated, and 9 years old when Reagan got into office. But what I do know about Jimmy Carter is that he was a good and decent man. What I also know about him is that his presidency was severely mismanaged. I usually have no qualms with anyone who criticizes his presidency. He had plenty of problems that are well documented.

That being said, here is where you and I really disagree.

When you see how President Bush has made this a personal issue, you applaud it. I don't.

When you are talking about sending hundreds of thousands of troops into a war, you can't let personal issues cloud your decisions. He's risking so many other people's lives, and at least part of what is fueling him (I won't say it is 100% of what is fueling him, but it is a significant part) is a family dispute. That's not good sound judgment. He's not protecting you; he's protecting himself and his own family more.

I don't know what Al Gore would have done in 9-11. No one will ever know. But my best guess is that he would have done what Bill Clinton had done more than once and at least started a bombing raid in Afghanistan. And that is what George W Bush did.

But I think I can safely guarantee one thing... if it were Gore calling the shots, we wouldn't have gotten so tied up in Iraq.

I can't put much stock in your Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan connection because it is based on your personal opinion more than actual fact. And you know what? I'll never totally discount a connection between them. Truth is, I don't have the facts in front of me. Neither do you. I don't think any normal citizen in America has all the facts on Middle East relations. So I don't think we are capable of having solid theories on them.

If I were forced to hazard a guess, I would say that I don't believe any of the countries can agree on anything between them. That makes the possibility that Syria and Iraq are playing "monkey in the middle" with the weapons of mass destruction keeping them away from the troops a little hard to swallow. Quite honestly, I don't think you can get those countries to coordinate such a good plan. We've already established how well they seem to be able to coordinate their own governments, which is to say not too well at all.

So now, what would Al Gore have done in the wake of 9-11? Well, I don't know that answer. No one will ever know that answer, and to assume he would have cowered in a corner is very unreasonable to assume. What would Hillary Clinton have done? Oh I don't know that either. Maybe we can safely assume that she would have done what Bill Clinton did, and Clinton did use military force in his term several times. Perhaps Al Gore would have deployed the force to Afghanistan because that was the obvious thing to do.

But I think I can safely say this... we would not be entrenched in Iraq as deeply as we are. I don't think Gore would have allowed that to happen.

Would Gore's administration have captured Bin Laden by now and wiped out Al Qaida? I can't make that assumption. But I guarantee you this... if Al Gore's administration had allowed what Bush's administration has allowed to happen, I would be equally critical of it.

But really, what Gore would have done is a big non issue. Your side loves to bring up what Gore might have done. Really, it distracts us from the real issue. It's not what Gore or even a Clinton would have done, it is what this current administration has done, and has not done.

But why don't we bring up one thing about Clinton that he did do? No, I'm not going to say he was perfect. I'll even admit that he may have made a mistake in not dealing with Bin Laden when we had a chance. But one thing that is not discussed is the report that came out a few months ago on the real reason we are not finding WMD in Iraq.

The report from the UN which I read in Newsweek a number of months ago (and I know you right wingers love the UN), states that the reason we currently are not finding WMD in Iraq is that Bill Clinton's bombing raids in Iraq during his presidency actually may have crippled Iraq's capability already.

So, you guys don't want to admit that maybe it was Bill Clinton who took care of the WMD before Bush got to them, do you?

No, can't give credit to Clinton at all. That would be so un-American, wouldn't it?

Here's my response to him...

“Counter pointing” takes time, so sorry for delay on this next issue. I’ve been SO busy designing ads for my son’s upcoming high school football program. It’s his senior year, and I have three companies, so I’ve taken a while responding. My graphic design skills aren’t bad; I’m just SLOW AS CHRISTMAS at the process :)

I agree Carter was a decent man, just a bad president. And I agree that you and I that “supposedly” sit on opposite sides of the political fence but don’t really dispute the facts… you hit the nail on the head that we just view them differently. Boy, if the Middle Eastern world could just come to that knowledge, you and I could bring all the troops home and agree to disagree. You and I would make great neighbors, one house would just be red, and one would be blue… (UGH, we’d have to change the political colors to gray and tan I’m afraid :)

I won’t concede on the fact that I believe all the radical factions communicate. I believe strongly that they do. Of course I don’t have any facts to support that, I just know human nature. In times like these, bad guys stick together. I say this because of local US history of gangs for instance. Most of the time groups like the Bloods & Crypts are adamantly against each other, but when the law is on a mass raid, trust me the leaders talk. I’ve seen it in action here in Reno during riots during Hot August Nights. These morons turn into best friends when the Po-Po come down the street on horses in riot gear behind the fire department that has opened fire hoses on the bunch to wash their dumb asses off the streets.

However, you and I both are right on the fact that these guys will never agree on anything in a diplomatic public agreement. Sad but true. I will concede that we will never know what Gore or H. Clinton would do in a crisis. I’m just glad I don’t know at this point. Hopefully, in 2008 I won’t have to find out either. I hope for your party you guys find a new superstar. I really don’t think Hillary is it.

I appreciate your comment that if Gore had done the same things, you would have been equally as critical. I have thought many times that my staunch opinions that are pro-Bush come from my opinion of him as a Texan. OK, I’ll also concede that I am blinded by the redneck views, but I would have voted for Bush even if he would have been a Democrat.

I do believe that Clinton was on the right track when he did his bombings. That was a rare period when I was cheering him on. I believe he did cripple the WMD’s and all the theories behind their non-existence. I was pissed at him though when he didn’t go far enough. I’m pissed at Bush that he didn’t either. If Clinton would have blown them off the map, or if Bush had, we’d be done and on to other business. I still cringe when I remember watching Ollie North’s testimony before the questioning Senator Al Gore in which they were drilling him for the $60,000 he spent on personal security, and his answer was regarding Bin Laden and he was explaining to him that this man was the most dangerous man on earth. Why is it human nature that when someone tells us, “Trust me, I’ve been there, I KNOW”… that none of us ever seem to really listen. We all have to learn the hard way. And, by the way…that’s not a dis on Gore; it could have been any senator questioning him. We just should have taken more of what Ollie North told us way back when.

You’re right about my views on the UN… I’d have crumbled their club house a long time ago. That’s a useless bunch of nobodies. Remember when there was talk of dismantling them? Why didn’t we? I bet you’d even vote for that. I agree we need some kind of organization like them, but we need to scrap that whole project and start over from scratch. You can’t fix STUPID, or LAZY. No balls MF’s!

You know what scares me Steve? It’s this. Given the imaginary fact that you and I were to live next door to one another, I’d fight like hell to save my house and yours. I’m watching the Israeli conflict, and all the crazy Muslim leaders run their mouths, and I’m afraid that we are emerging on an official WWIII. It’s all been messed up; it’s all gone so far…I’m not sure what’s next. I just said in my last rebuttal to you that I feared that soon we’d begin to see terrorist attacks on small scale in our own country. I COULD NOT FUCKING BELIEVE when I turned on my TV this morning that it had happened. When I saw that a Muslim nut job had gone into a Jewish building and killed one and injured four more that my words would have come true so quickly.

I know “they” are saying he was just one man, not really a “good” practicing Muslim, and that he was bi-polar and not affiliated with any “named” organization. BUT…HE’S A TERRORIST. He’s the FIRST one to commit a single TERRORIST ACT on US soil. He went into a building professing to hate Israel, and killed a lady he didn’t even know. He seriously injured others. It’s beginning. Nut jobs love publicity even though in general life they live as loners and are considered introverted. There will be more, the other crazy radicals living amongst us will not want to be outdone on their crazy imaginings, and there will be more copycat type assaults. What are we going to do Steve? I’m one woman, just living and trying to run my companies and protect the 27 families that work for me. You’re just one man doing whatever you do for a living every day taking care of your family. It sucks.

I think that you and I, and people like Hannity & Colmes should concentrate on our differing opinions on what the people in charge can do, or should do to make this better. Right now, I find myself staring at TV and reading articles and wondering where it will all go. I know this, whether you and I agree or not, I want your family safe. I want my troops to be able to come home. I’m tired of the fight, but I know that just pulling out of all other countries now will be bad. I don’t care anymore about all those people except to wish for them better. I hurt for them. I’m a humanitarian, but DAMN, I am responsible for a lot of people, and I want to worry about their lives here in the USA.

Let me pose a question to you for an honest answer. Even though pretty die hard Republican, and given the fact that NOBODY else really wants to DO SOMETHING… (that’s really not true)… I don’t believe any other country that is decent like us really CAN or is big enough or ABLE to do what USA can do. But, maybe all of us Democrats and Republicans should come to a common ground. Maybe our great populace is fighting the WRONG fight. What if… DAMN IF ONLY THE WHAT IF’S COULD BE REALITIES… What IF, we all unite as a bi-partisan union to DEMAND that ALL TROOPS COME HOME? What if we DEMAND that WE WILL NOT AS THE USA EVER GET INVOLVED in another foreign conflict except to sell arms, or offer food, clothing, other humanitarian aid. We’re spending what?...Something like a million dollars a day on this war? What if we were to offer $500,000 per day in aid for a year to any number of countries, but you guys fight your own battles. We will concentrate on closing our borders and beefing up our own military and “surveillance” systems, by which I mean knowing when a missile is coming, satellite views on anything within days of our borders, and we will put our money into protecting US, (Hey… US spells USA…HELLO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

If I were in charge, (Thank GOD I’m not)… I really believe that’s what I would do. I would much rather banter with you over what I disagree with on what we are doing here in the USA instead of what we are doing all over the world. I would keep Brittan, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Jamaica, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Mexico (barely), Italy, Iceland, and all of the Caribbean, and tell the rest of the world to go to hell. We could SAVE SO MUCH MONEY by just helping these other countries with just the basics…NOTHING TO DO WITH CONFLICT.

What do you honestly think Steve? I bet it would be enough years to be financially back in order, and enough years to be prepared before anyone else had the balls to seriously fuck with us. I think that may be my new position. I’M SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED. I’m tired of ranting to no end and I’m tired of wasting my tax dollars for total fuckwads. Hope I haven’t lost your friendship, or lost my position as your banter partner :)

Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but as we have bantered (this is ONLY round 3) our positions seem to be meeting in the middle. Do you think these leaders in charge that are meeting have this same luck? Doesn’t seem so by listening to the media! I was pissed a bit that first e-mail I sent you. I still strongly disagree with you on some points, but I have a respect for your side, and can see that you try to see some of my “out there” views. I’m OK, just a true educated redneck (yes, some of us rednecks are intelligent). This has been fun and relieving in a way, because you have manners and probably even like gravy if you admit it :) I’m also glad you’re not the bowtie type :)

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot to show you this… My dear little brother has been reading all our banter, and created this photo.

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Only a woman could understand how much the “protection” and support from your brother really means. (NOTE: This is for fun; I’m really weird about changing or demeaning our flag, or other icons of our patriotism. This photo is for fun only, and I would never presume to be anywhere close to having the honor to resemble this icon of the country) Here’s an excerpt of his private comments….

”Maddam Liberty - Reno Style
I just read my sister's post/response/response-response on her blog... I don't know why I got the mental image that I did, but I had to go ahead and recreate it below... Like Lady Liberty, when you visit my sister, you can't help but sit back, smile and know that with someone like her watching over our country... All's good.”

Friday, July 28

Diesel Demons Reign Victorious

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On Nov. 1, 2002 our little company started with four guys. We have grown to a staff of 23 now and this year we went out on that limb and my son (who works for us too) put together our first softball team. It doesn’t get anymore Americana than my crew. They are hard working, stay dirty, and don’t bitch about meager working conditions as they keep the big rigs running and on the road.

Their first game was disaster as Granite Construction smoked them 13-0. Last night though, the mighty Diesel Demons reign victorious with a 14-3 victory over the second team “We Came To Drink”… I’m proud of them and wish them continued success this season. Celebrations with cheese fries & beer…I love the good ‘ole USA. GO DEMONS!!

Thursday, July 27

Me & Rev. Smokin Steve - Round Two

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Boy, did I ever open a can of worms :) You are cordially invited to “Me & Rev. Smokin Steve – Round Two”. If you aren’t caught up in our debate, see my original story HERE, and see Steve’s rebuttal HERE. The first part of this story is for Steve, as after all it’s OUR party. However, so many made really quality comments that I will try to respond to some of those too.

I loved the red and blue dialog at your house. And thank you for not really calling me an ignorant slut, Jane could pull that off, but it’s really not me.

I just love being full of shit when I think I’m right. Again, that is a Texan trait. It’s been said that if you took all the bull shit out of a Texan, you could bury one in a matchbox…some truth to that :) Too bad neither Hannity nor Colmes will ever read any of this, they might offer us a job, thank goodness I get to be Hannity so I don’t have to wear the little goofy bow ties.

Steve, visit Austin, that city rocks. Eat at the Magic Time Machine and send me the bill, and then stroll Guadalupe Ave., you would find many friends there. My sister is a nurse in Austin.

I’ve been gone since ’86, but at one time…the wording and law was still in our books to have the right to succeed still if we wanted. The slogan, “Texas – A Whole Other Country” is true and we do live in our own little world in God’s country. Hell, if one state could actually self-sustain itself, I bet a vote would go over, but that’s not even possible, no matter how much bigger everything is in Texas. We need every state in our union to make our country whole. However, I’ve been a Nevadan for some time, and also lived in Mississippi for four years, in fact in Bay St. Louis, ground zero for Katrina. My husband traveled through there in February and took a picture of my old house; it was a roof on the ground with a huge tree lying across it. Nothing else, and it was a beautiful home. I’ve enjoyed all this country has offered me no matter which state I’ve been in. I love the good ‘ole USA.

Damn straight taking out Saddam was and is personal for the Bush’s. However, I honestly believe that the attempted killing of George senior only made the realization of global terrorism against the USA even more pressing for the Bush family. I believe that George has my back as a citizen. I’m glad it’s personal for him. That makes trying to root out this evil that threatens his homeland that he is in charge of even more pressing and that makes me safer. I cannot even fathom what Al Gore or Hilary Clinton would have done in the face of 9-11.

I do agree with you that we should have done more in Afghanistan. But I think what our current administration realizes that the liberal left does not is that this is a big global club these extremists have formed, and like the Knights of the Round Table (only an evil table), we must take them all out. And, no other country is going to do it, we know that. It’s always the USA that has to start and finish the shit. In a perfect world, we would bring all our troops home, CLOSE our borders, and sit back and take care of only us. Let the chips fall where they may for the rest of the world, it’s called life. Not our problem these people live in shitty countries with fucked up heads and radical beliefs. It’s jealousy over our success and wealth (and yes our gluttony and waste that comes with that) that makes these nutjobs hate us in the first place. I say we stay home and spread that wealth among the people that live here and are born here, no matter what color their skin or religious belief. Our melting pot is full; it’s time to close the lid.

I think we were too nice in our war with Afghanistan and Iraq. We needed more shock and awe. Civilian casualties are sad, but damn…it IS WAR. To eliminate them we must blow them off the map. We cannot “damage” them; we cannot blow up their headquarters and chase them off to the hills to regroup. They will always regroup, and each time they will come back with more money, better weapons, and a stronger resolve to carry out their “annihilation of the infidels”. History has proven this for 100’s of years. These whacky packs have suffered centuries of strife, poverty, and general chaos because they can’t even get along with each other. They sit on a rug and face east to pray six times a day and then go pick up a gun and start shooting. Rather than using the last few hundred years to evolve and better their own causes, they have concentrated on using the mass populous to do all the dirty work. A few get into power, and use the masses. They hoard all the money, treat their own people like shit, cover their women in bee-keeper suits, and shoot their daughters for mere disobedience. The powerful use the billions to breed hate, amass weapons, and roam the deserts with plans to destroy the Western civilization. They aren’t afraid ONE BIT about death, in fact they are so retarded they believe that death in the process of hatred based violence is a good thing. They stand in line and sign up for it for Pete’s sake. You CAN’T REASON with that kind of folk. There will NEVER be a diplomatic resolution with people that are certifiably insane fanatics. They must be eliminated.

I am one that truly believes there ARE weapons of mass destruction there still. I think the Afghanistan dudes call up Saddam, who calls up the Syrian dude, and then the Saudi’s are wolves in sheep’s clothing with all the money who answer the phone and help silently underground. Hell, they pass that shit around wherever nobody’s looking. It’s there; we just never found the needle in the sand dune. Not to mention that every news channel in America tells them exactly what we are doing and when. Throughout this war, the mass media has been a “how-to” manual for Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, Hamas, and PLO, and the rest of the little nut job clubs. Al Jezerra TV is a message board for them all.

I agree the war’s a mess right now. We didn’t go in and kick their entire ass when we had a chance. As soon as the politically correct liberal crowd got wind that Bush had the pickup fired up, gun off the gun rack, and his “Don’t Mess With Texas” flag flying we had to stop short and be nice. I’m sorry, I don’t agree with rebuilding anything. They’re lucky we are even willing to help them out by blowing up the bad guys. That’s enough help. We destroy them, you fix what’s left…but I’m not very nice toward the whole picture. I’m damn mad, I’m even more mad that a great number of our citizens were all for kicking ass at first, but think it’s taking too long and now they are tired of it so the bitching begins. I really believe that if we don’t face them over there, they will come here and hit us again. Sorry to say, I think small terror attacks will begin to happen in this country. It scares me. We have the power to take them out, but if we are too nice and take too long, their numbers will grow to a proportion we cannot handle. Then my friends, I’ll be forced to go to the bee-keeper suit sale at Dillard’s to pick out my new government issued attire and throw out all of the perfectly good pork chops in my freezer along with the bacon.

About the oil crisis comments and Halliburton not being stand up. Let’s go back in time to the early eighties…when by the way your buddy Bubba Carter had the hot seat… Oil has been, oh say $33 per barrel for a long time. Every morning on the news, the last rhetoric you hear is, “This morning West Texas Intermediate Crude oil is trading at $33 per barrel, or whatever. One Monday, as I was getting ready for work, I hear the guy say…”This morning, West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil is trading at $9 per barrel. I laughed. I remember telling my husband at the time, “Did you hear that dude? He screwed up, he must be new.” As the day progresses and weeks go by, it was TRUE. Texas was forever changed in the rural western areas where oil is big business. Acres of pump jacks stopped bobbing their heads, by the thousands. In Midland and Odessa (Bush territory), Bubba Carter had allowed the interest rates to soar to an average of 16% on mortgage payments. People literally left their homes, bankrupt, empty, off to try again somewhere else in a new career. Streets and streets of houses were just empty. Nobody looted either. It was sad to see such a bustling area crawl to a ghost town in just a few months. Entire companies went under. So many were fired. Halliburton hung on. They got their people to volunteer to work 3 and 4 day weeks so everyone could at least have a job. The crisis did not get better, and eventually divisions had to close and many did get fired. But the company did all they could for as long as they could. I remember hearing men talk to each other. “You’re so lucky you work for Halliburton…today I got laid off, I have to move my family to survive”. Really sad for a long time. That was my point on that company.

About religion and separation of church and state. There is a need for the separation. However there is NO need for elimination. I am so sick and tired of people trying to change everything our country was founded on so we don’t offend those that don’t want to believe. If you don’t believe…fine! The rest of us do, and in all religions there is a God. Of course I believe in the Christian God, but some believe in others. Use that word God to mean whoever you believe in. Don’t take His name off all the money, or out of the schools. If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. The loss of spirituality in our lives is a big reason for some of our demise as a nation. I believe, but I cannot tell you the last time I attended church. My lifestyle took me away from the organized part of it. I miss it, but my beliefs are instilled in me. I don’t need a building or congregation to pray and try to live right. I lean on my spirituality in the hard times, and I celebrate privately in my heart my spirituality whenever I’m able to make a small difference in someone else’s life. I don’t want my country to eliminate that, it’s not healthy. If I hear something I don’t believe in, I just don’t listen. If I’m at a place where a person of different faith is practicing worship, I respect that. I’m quiet and let them do their thing. Their differences certainly don’t offend me, and I don’t have any need to pass laws to make them stop. Why are people trying to make me stop what I believe? I thought the whole point of this great nation we founded is so we can all do what we want, within reason. I love that old saying, your freedom ends where my nose begins. If we keep it that way, our far left friends should back the fuck down.

I’m sure this is so long now; I’m losing the interest of any reader. I think I’ve covered topics from most everyone’s comments, and I sure appreciate all the comments. It was nice to have some new eyes on my blog.

Last point. It’s fun bantering with Steve and others. I don’t agree with a lot of what Steve believes wholeheartedly. However, I wish him no harm. I don’t have the slightest whim that he should eat shit and die. Differences are what make us strong as a people. Take this message seriously people, get involved. Believe something. VOTE…VOTE…VOTE. So many people sit around and bitch to no end about the state of affairs, but they do not bother to get involved in their communities and vote. If you don’t like the asshole that’s got the job in your community, don’t vote for him next time. And don’t think your one vote doesn’t count. Together, they all count. And if your candidate doesn’t win, guess what, it’s a democracy and sorry, you lost. Regroup and try again in two to four years. And nominate qualified people. In too many elections we find ourselves just trying to salvage the state of affairs by picking the lesser of two evils in the end.

Did A Plane Really Hit The Pentagon?

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Speaking of the media's power to make us believe anything that looks real, you MUST check out THIS SHORT MOVIE. According to this, maybe it wasn't a plane that hit the Pentagon on 9-11. Watch it soon, I've heard they are pulling this clip from some web-sites. Definately something to ponder.

Wednesday, July 26

Bloggers Argue = America ROCKS = It's OK

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In response to this story that I thought nobody read, Rev. Smokin Steve wrote this response…

Somebody has to be a left wing nut job and give a counterpoint. It might as well be me. I have no problem with confronting the evil in this world. Fine... let's confront it. George W Bush was confronting the evil at first when he initially went after Al Qaida. Then he basically put a hold on that campaign, and took everyone to Iraq instead. And today, Osama Bin Laden still walks the Earth almost 5 years after 9-11. And Al Qaida is operating pretty well in Iraq, the very country we are supposed to be cleaning up. Maybe if George W Bush kept going after the evil he was supposed to be going after all along, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today. You see, there's a difference between simply confronting evil, and doing it intelligently. Any idiot can confront evil. But if you don't have a good plan, evil will get away and live to fight another day. I have no problem with fighting a war. I do have a problem that our valuable troops are dying in a country they are now stuck in without enough armor to fight it. We went in with a bad plan, and those men and women pay for this administration's mistakes. And meantime, you want us to worry about burning a flag instead? What do you say we fix the real issues first? Let's protect our valuable men and women in the armed forces before we protect the cloth we wrap them in when they come home in a casket because their body armor was insufficient to protect them. Go ahead... try and blame the liberals for that. We weren't the ones who put Donald Rumsfeld in charge of the military.

Well, I went to his blog and he does have some good stuff. I read his profile, and find we are both Capricorns, and have many similar things in common. Therefore, he’s not all bad, but I got my Republican button pushed, and I finally had the balls, or I guess brass ovaries in my case to rebut. So, even after reading his blog, I must publish my rebuttal, as at the time I meant it, and I still do. Damn shame that someone who has such a cute baby picture as his signature had to bring out the bitch in me. May anyone reading this see some humor, read the true meaning on both sides, and realize that our “discussion” is the true America we all fight for. This is the e-mail I responded to him with…

Thank You...

I truly love it when someone gives me an intelligent response with conviction to what they believe even if I do not agree. I do not consider you a left wing nut job, as you can present your opinion from the heart in complete sentences. I want to respond, not to piss you off, but rather to have a differing opinion than you and still discuss the matters at hand.

Pretend that you and I are the f**ing people at the head of the REAL table trying to make a difference. Tough spot to be in. In my opinion, the true epitome of "rock and the hard spot".

I don't pretend to KNOW George W., but I DO come from the home front. I actually lived in Texas during Bush Oil Co., and Halliburton. I lived 90 miles from the Bush's company, and I can honestly tell you, both companies were stand up. When Texas went through the oil crisis, and our "Black Monday", Halliburton stepped up and was the last to fire, the most to do what they could for the common man, the employee. I was a tiny fish then in a young pond of tadpoles. I do know what kind of man George W. Is, and I do know the Texas mentality of Texas men, and I'm SO GLAD Mr. Bush has my back in these timesDo you honestly think what George is doing is what he REALLY wants to do? Hell no. In Texas we confront evil legitimately when it needs to be done. We don't like it, but sometimes an ass kicking is just coming. If it were up to him, we would have made a glass parking lot out of the whole mess, but NO, we can't. Some innocent people might get hurt, like the mothers and sons hiding bombs in their homes, and the little children carrying massive guns swearing to grow up to kill the infidel, any American. They are like bad dirt on a good shoe. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM....more shock and awe... Bush can't do that. Too many liberals and NAACP folks will "protect" their rights to burn our flag and have their "religious" right to believe what they believe. These morons have been killing each other off for centuries, and now we must feel sorry for them....NOT. Theirs is NOT a religion. It's a sore loser's approach to bullying their way into better circumstances for free with no effort on their part except to figure how to fuck up a good thing. They can't come up with modern ways to improve their own country. They don't try to get along with others that live in their region...they choose to turn bad times into a reason to hate and kill others that have figured out a better way.

On your side of the fence however, here's where I do agree. Bush has been forced into playing the game. And, believe me, in more facets of life than any of us like to admit, there is a game to be played. Our society has become a quagmire of political correctness that is quite frankly sickening to me. Nobody says what they really think. I was raised by a man that was born in 1898. This man was simple, but he taught me things that I held dear, and today...all lost and nobody has class in a disagreement anymore. Nobody has the class to shake another man's hand and say quite frankly, Mr. So-N-So, I respect your right to believe what you believe, but you are full of shit. Used to be that when that happened, the actual HAND SHAKE meant something. Today, NO.

Due to the game, I think we probably know where Osama is. I think right before election time we will miraculously find him and the Republican's will be heroes. If not, it will tell me the dude is good. He really HAS eluded the inevitable. It always amazes me that whatever news channel is reporting that THEY are always on the front line, THEY seem to have pictures and videos of the bad guys, but yet "we" can't find them. NOBODY wants to be "that guy" that pulls the trigger. The real trigger. So what if a total asshole gets shot in the head. Sometimes, a real bad force of nature needs to be shot. It's sad, it's not politically correct, but nasty has to go. We root out infection with antibiotics. We sometimes can't, and then guess what...Mr. So-N-So, you are so infected, we must cut your leg off. Only, the doctors say it nice now, we must take your leg, it will only be to the knee. "Oh, I don't want to lose my leg!" Well, Mr. So-N-So, if we don't take the infected part away, you will DIE. Well now, I must re-think. OK, it will be a morbid pain in my life until FOREVER, but take my leg to the knee, I DON'T want to die.

Why don't we realize these are the times we are in? KILL THE BASTARDS. Eliminate the infection that has wasted more than 200 years of time NOT solving ANY internal conflict. As Spock said, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".

And, Mr. Rumsfield is not in charge of the military. The generals are, the President is, and Rumsfield is just a glorified reporter. He's good though. At least he has a sense of humor in the midst of chaos, and if he were in real charge, we would be saying our pledge of allegiance each day to a flag on a pole with Osama's head perched on the top.

Please forgive me for being a total bitch in this barrage of ramble, but you pushed a button within me, and I must shake your hand...it's not easy to get me so high upon the soap box that I actually yell. I appreciate your response, and I hope that within our disagreements we might find a fondness for each other's differences. After all, that is what makes America worth FIGHTING FOR. Just promise me you won't take Cindy Sheehan to the prom :)

WAR - My Thoughts - HAVE BALLS - Eliminate Evil

There is no photo of war, only me…the black cat on the soap box tonight… please read. And, if you so wish to know more of me, also read the post below…

My thoughts on this war, or wars as it has become… I have not posted anything regarding the Israeli conflict or Iraq, or any other military engagement for some time, as my feelings are so mixed.

I’m so sick of it all. I’m 43 years old, and die hard in my beliefs regarding war and when it should happen and how serious it should get. I battle my own knowledge, as in today’s world my knowledge shows me that I am SO GLAD I’m not the one leading the pack. Then again, maybe I and many others who agree with me should be in the lead.

My Christianity and my spirituality at my age has led me to a peaceful place whenever possible as that is the true happiness. However, my knowledge as an adult having graduated with at least a bachelor’s degree in the school of hard knocks, if not a PHD, has shown me that when it comes to right and wrong, the gray area dissipates, and black is black and white is white. Religion is such a formal word. I profess to be a Southern Baptist. That is my religion. However, life has taught me that my religion is only something I write on a piece of paper when I check into the hospital, or talk to someone about what will happen to my corpse when I die, and which “religious” method I wish to be associated with. Religion is just a textbook. My textbook is the Bible. Others have different pieces of written and bound books that lead them. The truth is that none of us need a book or a tablet to live in a religious way or to be spiritual. I believe that it is better if you read the Word of your choice and learn from others’ teachings…but all religions teach the age of countenance. That is the time in anyone’s life in which they truly know right from wrong. It’s biological. We all have that “thing” inside of us that clues us in when we are on the wrong path, or the “feeling” we get when we KNOW we’ve done right.

Peace and love is what makes life work properly. However, there are times when good must out-do evil. Religion, or spirituality, or that “thing” we GET when we reach the age of countenance is also the “thing” that brings out the brutal honesty in each of us when conflict is the only way out, and the only way to preserve what is good in the world. Whether you are a believer or not, I can guarantee you that there is something in this universe that will allow GOOD to dominate over EVIL always. I AM REITTERIATING….ALWAYS. I cannot explain it. I would suppose in darkest times of my life I may have even doubted it. But, good always DOES reign over evil…thank God. Goodness is what makes the world turn. It makes us successful, happy, in love, and better as humans…whatever color our skin may be, or whatever spiritual belief we may have. It’s like the sun coming up, and then again going down. It will always happen, and it should.

We are in very difficult times. It’s even possible that we are on the verge of World War III. I’m scared this time. I’m scared that in our great USA we have lost our balls. World War I and World War II were both horrible conflicts, but at least we had the balls to do what was necessary. We had founding fathers and laws and true convictions that led us to victory that made the world better, even through terrible destruction and horrible loss of life. Today, we are too nice. The liberal world has forgotten what we really stand for. The people that threaten us today have FAR MORE CONVICTION in their EVIL that we have in our GOOD. That my friends is a DANGEROUS PLACE FOR US ALL TO BE.

In every photo we see on TV of the other country’s armies, they march in the streets in perfect unison. They appear as HUGE squares of perfectly marching people so determined to accomplish their cause (When do we ever see our forces trying to preserve good march the streets?). There are also a few huge squares of small children also marching in unison carrying AK rifles, or big guns or posters depicting proud intent to kill our way of life. People, we have to stop worrying about the civilian deaths. The civilian children are marching proudly to convey to us that they are growing up to become militants. The radical factions in many Middle Eastern countries are basing their whole lives on some way to eliminate our way of order and common life. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization. Of course they spread the money among their poor to make them seem to be a good cause. Our own Democrats spend and give excessively to the poor to bring them to their side. They do not teach the people how to make it on their own, nor do they force their people to do what they can for themselves before they give it to them.

We are folding among ourselves to accomplish only political correctness, which is only a euphemism for sweeping under the carpet what we USED TO BELIEVE.

There is going to have to be some kicking of ass and taking of some names on many levels to make our world come back to peace. Remember…GOOD WILL ALWAYS OUTWEIGH EVIL… however; you must ALL also TAKE THIS TO HEART… In order for GOOD to outweigh EVIL…EVIL MUST BE CONFRONTED, AND THAT DOES NOT MEAN TALKED ABOUT OR DIPLOMATICALLY RESOLVED…IT MEANS CONFRONTED.

I am praying today like I haven’t in a long time regarding our world affairs. I pray for the people making the decisions. I pray for the brave men and women carrying out the necessary in all walks of life and in all countries whether they volunteered or they have no choice. If handled properly, good will reign, and peace will come. All involved must have very large balls, and no consideration of what the media will say or what others think. It must be a concerted effort to be heads down and determined to eliminate the evil, at whatever conceived cost.

Tuesday, July 25

Your Cell Phone = Your Spirituality

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I consider myself a Christian. Back in the day, I attended a Southern Baptist Church twice on Sunday and again every Wednesday night. I played the piano at church, and sang in the choir when possible. I have taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and have run the gambit of religious practice.

I miss those days, they are years gone by. My life today and the twenty years in between have led me away from regular attendance. However, I have never lost the belief. I never did, nor do I today consider myself to be a “bible thumper” or a religious fanatic. My career and life choices have made circumstances to where I do not attend a formal gathering every Sunday, but now… I choose my beliefs personal, and I do practice harder today to be a good person than I did then. I have learned through many years that a true believer is within the way you try to live. It’s about how you decide to treat others, and how you deal with business and personal life day to day. The right road is not always the easiest, but it is the most comfortable and the most just way to exist. I call it today my “ground wire”. Without a ground wire, no electronic device or motorized object will operate properly, and I must daily reach to check my ground wire to keep me centered.

I received an e-mail today that I did not delete. I must admit, I am so busy and do so much business with e-mail, and also try to keep up with friends when I can, that I delete a HUGE amount of e-mail before I even read it. If something doesn’t grab my eye within a sentence or two, it’s in the trash bin. Even being a believer and spiritual person, I really get tired of all the sweet, mushy, bible thumper e-mails that go around that I “must” forward to a million people, or it means I don’t believe… PLEASE.

However, for some reason today, this one caught my eye, and I read it and decided it’s something worth printing. I want for everyone to have a “ground wire”. I want everyone to get it that without a strong belief in good versus evil, one cannot successfully or happily exist. I am going to print this as it was sent to me, but I think for those who do not like the “Bible” word… simply substitute spirituality where it should be, and I will put it in parenthesis to remind you. Enjoy and ponder the possibility.

“I Wonder What Would Happen If We Treated Our Bible (Spirituality) Like We Treat Our Cell Phones?

What if we carried it (our spirituality) around in our purses or pockets?

What if we turned back to get it (our spirituality) if we forgot it?

What if we flipped through it (our spirituality) several times a day?

What if we used it (our spirituality) to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it (our spirituality) like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it (our spirituality) to kids as gifts?

What if we used it (our spirituality) as we traveled?

What if we used it (our spirituality) in case of an emergency?

What if we upgraded it (our spirituality) to get the latest version?

This is something to make you go...hmmm...where is my Bible (spirituality)?

Oh, and one more thing. Unlike our cell phone, we don’t ever have to worry about our bible (our spirituality) being disconnected, because Jesus already paid the bill !!

This hit really close to home for me. I try when I can, and I try to convey my thoughts to my husband and my life partner that usually doesn’t want to discuss such matters while there are so many “important” things to get through…but…without this simple practice, the REALLY important things will get FUBAR’D. Just a thought, but if we would all treat the “ground wire” as such an important thing, we might grab the spirituality as quickly as we would grab a cell phone, or an attitude…or a WAR. Food for thought.

Friday, July 21

CAN - Ironman Triathilon Victory - Father & Son - Parental Love EPITOMIZED !!

This man wanted so badly to finish a triathlon even though incapable. Through his father's love, the feat was accomplished. This video is 4:14 long, and you will need a tissue. I've never seen such display of family love and parental dedication. My heart was warmed, and today I am a better person for having seen this. I do not know who these people are, but I want to share their love with you. Amazing Grace.

Wednesday, July 19

Comics Too Similar - Conspiracy Theory?

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I just recently watched all of these guys in one evening. I realized some things that made me say hmmmnnn. The game of comedy may have some new rules, or maybe some subtle things are happening within the psyche of each performer, or maybe both.

I opened the mail, and was delighted that the new Blue Comedy Tour 2 had arrived in its Net-Flix package. I watched the new edition, and laughed my butt off as usual. I did notice however from the design of the intro of the DVD, that the redneck foursome has definitely acquired a universal following and might be considered today’s “rat pack”. Bill Engval has most certainly improved from the prior debut DVD. His material was fresh and funny. Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy were hilarious as always, however I’m afraid that the excessive drinking is taking its toll on Mr. White. He looks much aged and a lot heavier. It appears that the bottle does have him in a grip, giving me the opinion that he is the new Dean Martin in the pack. Jeff Foxworthy did not seem to me to be as funny as in times past. I think he’s probably the one very busy with all the corporate decisions and business end of Blue Collar Comedy, and just isn’t feeling the “inspiration” in his writing of new material these days. All in all, I truly enjoyed the DVD, and know these four are buddies, so I didn’t play much into it all while listening when one of the four would comment on a prior joke of one of the other comics. It’s common for this group to successfully banter off one another.

However, when finished with Blue Comedy Tour 2, I suppose I hadn’t had my comedy fix for the evening, so I flipped over to my handy Charter Video On Demand option and watched the newest HBO special by Dennis Miller, and then watched Bill Maher’s latest special comedy routine on HBO. Here is where my conspiracy theory kicks in. Dennis Miller while still brilliantly funny to the higher intellectual crowd, looks like shit. I think he’s been overstaying his welcome with Ron White in the local bars. He looks rough and has gained a lot of weight as well. Bill Maher’s special was very well put together, and although he’s one of FEW left wing folks I will lower myself to listen to, he is funny. I don’t think he realizes that he’ll be out of a job if the Democrats ever take back over. However, maybe he does, and that’s why some of his humor has taken a bit more of an “independent” flair. Here is what I found odd.

These specials were filmed at different times obviously, and not specifically organized to air with the new Blue Collar Comedy Tour 2. However, the routines of all six comic wizards very similarly mimicked each other in content and delivery both. All six men had material covering the exact same subjects, and varied takes on all of them, but it was uncanny. It was like the network gods had sent out a mass memo that all comedians were to follow a certain outline in their next routines. Either that, or Miller & Maher have realized that the country guys are moving way up the ladder and sometimes funnier and more entertaining than they are. I wonder if Miller & Maher had such similar specials to the rednecks in order to defend themselves… I don’t know, just a thought.

Whatever you think, all six gentlemen are well worth watching in their latest rants. Enjoy, and see if you can find the answer to the similarity mystery when you watch :)

Do You Shave Your Beaver?

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Thursday, July 6

Gateways To China 2006

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People to People: GATEWAYS TO CHINA 2006...

Well, here’s my “baby” all dressed up and ready for the big trip to China. He left me on July 4th to embark on this journey of a lifetime. I managed NOT to cry at the airport, but I must admit, I shed a tear or two later at home. The “nest” is very empty without him here :)

There were 35 exceptional young men and women leaving the Reno airport today, all with amazing expectations of what they would see abroad. Here’s what’s in store for the kids on their wonderful adventure:

Day one began with a 3pm flight from Reno to LAX. After a NINE HOUR lay-over at LAX, the very long journey that will lose the first day crossing the International Date Line to Beijing begins.

Welcome to Beijing, with a guided orientation around Tiananmen Square that gives entry to the Imperial City and the Old Forbidden City. Chinese teachers and accomplished Chinese chefs welcome the kids to a vocational school where they will get lessons on preparing authentic Chinese food. Officials will guide the kids through the discovery of the Forbidden City built between 1406 and 1420 AD. It is home to the world’s largest and best-preserved Imperial Palace. This evening will end with a performance at the Peking Acrobatic Show.

The next day begins with a visit to a sports school which is the origination of several world champions. Learning traditional Ping Pong will highlight the morning with a sportsman’s lunch and a rickshaw ride through the old streets of Beijing. This evening ends with a fun visit to the Hard Rock Café.

The next day begins with the departure for an excursion to the Great Wall, Juyongguan Section. En route to the Great Wall, there will be a visit to a nearby cloisonné factory. Cloisonné is a type of enamelware like pottery that dates back over 500 years. The process is quite complicated, but the kids will learn, and have a chance to make something for themselves. Next, the young people get to learn Chinese Kung Fu at a training school and meet with the local students. This evening ends with a banquet honoring the USA delegates, and they will be served Peking duck.

This day begins with a trip to the Summer Palace, an immense imperial garden dotted with Qing architecture on the outskirts of Beijing. Then, off to the largest zoo in China, the Beijing Zoo. The afternoon will give opportunity to attend a pottery and craft class. Dinner is planned at KFC. After dinner, this day ends with an overnight train ride to Xi’an.

Day six starts by unboarding the train. After a trip to the hotel to freshen up, the delegation will receive a welcome ceremony held in the ancient Tang dynasty style. The kids will be able to see the city wall of Xi’an, which was built in the Ming Dynasty and has a history of 600 years. Xi’an is the only large city in China that still has a complete city wall system. After a buffet lunch at the hotel, delegates visit the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. This pagoda was built in the Tang Dynasty in the 7th century. This evening ends with a Tang Dynasty show and dumpling banquet.

The next day begins by unfolding Xi’an’s history. A trip to the museum of the Terracotta Warriors will highlight the items of the retinue of unified China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang Ti. In 1974, a villager chanced upon what has become one of the world’s most astonishing archaeological finds, an 8000 man army in battle ready formation, each warrior a life size figure in pottery made over 2200 years ago. Before seeing the original warriors, the kids get to visit a workshop that duplicates the process to learn the technique. Upon return to the city, this evening will end with a trip to the Stone Steles Forest, the former Confucius Temple, and dinner at the local McDonald’s.

On this day, the ambassadors will drive to a nearby Donghan village, with a guided orientation to the village. The delegation will be divided into small groups and taken to the farmers’ homes to have lunch with host families. Later, a visit to a local farmer artist’s workshop to learn about Chinese art and paper cutting. Time permitting; there will be a friendly sports contest with local students. The evening ends with socializing and a party with local students at a gathering in the village.

Today, the kids will experience life on a traditional Chinese farm, learning to harvest fruits and vegetables. Late morning will take them to a meeting hall in the village to help local students with English lessons. The afternoon will be consumed with a flight to Shanghai, the largest and most cosmopolitan city with a population of over 14 million. The kids will explore this bustling city and see the influence of 19th century European trading companies and their massive European style buildings. Dinner will be at the hotel.

Sunrise again begins with the discovery of the Jade Buddha Temple. Built in early 20th century, this is one of the few Buddhist temples in Shanghai. The temple was constructed around a six-foot high white jade Buddha. There will be a walk along the Bund, a wide boulevard paralleling the Huangpu River. This is known as the Wall Street of the Orient. A visit to the City Construction Museum will show the past, present, and future of metropolis building. Next, a visit to a local silk factory to see the works of local workers and purchase of amazing goods at local prices. The afternoon will be spent as a delegation invited to sit in on the Neighborhood Committee that oversees all local activities within the local neighborhoods. They will learn about the government, residential activities, childcare issues, retirement, and kindergarten programs. Before the home visit, ambassadors will have time in the local market. After sunset, an evening cruise down the Huangpu River will highlight the beautiful night views of the city.

This day begins with a departure for Suzhou by coach. This city is known as the Venice of the East and is famous for traditional gardens. Before lunch, they will explore the Net Master’s Garden. In the afternoon, there will be a visit to a local gym to learn Chinese badminton. Finally, this day will end with a dinner of Zongzi, a pyramid shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves, very popular food during the Dragon Boat Festival.

The next day, delegates will enjoy a cruise on the Grand Canal, opened 1500 years ago, and still a busy waterway. The cruise will also include the narrow canals that spread around the city. They will discover the Silk Embroidery Institute with some of the most accomplished silk embroideries in China where artists work upstairs and stitch by hand depending on only natural light with no magnification aids. The afternoon will take them to the Suzhou Foreign Language School to meet with local students. The evening ends with a return to Shanghai with dinner at the local Pizza Hut.

A new morning begins with a trip to the Shanghai Pudong International Airport and a flight to Hong Kong. After an early dinner, there will be an opportunity to stroll along the Star Boulevard and see the stunning night view of the city of Hong Kong.

A new day will start the exploration of Hong Kong with a morning cruise of Victoria Harbor. The afternoon will provide a panoramic view of the city from Victoria Park and a look into the westernized style of Stanley Market. A short cruise in a junk boat at the Aberdeen Fishing Village will show another side of the lives in the bustling city. The evening ends with some time to explore the local flower market.

This ends the journey, except for a couple of days to pack and travel back into the United States. WHAT A FREAKING VACATION, HUH? Dwight Eisenhower originally started People to People in keeping with his vision of world peace. He believed that if foreign peoples were put together in fun circumstances for a long enough period of time, we would all find that it’s easy to get along and mingle and show off our differences and strengths. I am amazed that my son has had this opportunity, and I highly encourage you to take advantage of the People to People program in your area at any time your child may have the chance. Stay tuned for amazing photos and the story of the return home :)