Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Constitutional Study: Congressional Powers

Article 1

Section 8

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal*, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;--And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

Well, since I am a Constitutional Fundamentalist I must admit that, indeed, Congress does have the final say about War. Whether people agree or not, it is clearly stated in the Constitution what the rules are. I don't really see where there is much controversy or question about it.

In regards to Iraq, my personal feelings about it are that it would be irresponsible and immoral for Congress to hastily withdraw funding for the war. I don't know what the best answer is because I'm not a military or stategic expert. But common sense kind of says that withdrawal isn't really the easy option that some make it out to be.

And I'm pretty much disgusted at all the Congresspeople who are hollering about their "20/20 hindsight" about their previous votes for the war. Of course, we all can name many things in our pasts that we would have changed had we known then what we know now. It's completely meaningless for people like John Edwards to jump up and say that they have changed their minds now. You can't go back and change what you did. Just accept it and move on.

Anyway, regardless of my individual feelings about it I have to accept the final decision of the representatives of my fellow citizens. This is the way it works in America. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don't. And when you don't, it's always best to move on instead of whine and complain about your loss, or to flippantly say you've changed your mind in hindsight.

* written authority granted to a private person by a government to seize the subjects of a foreign state or their goods ; specifically : a license granted to a private person to fit out an armed ship to plunder the enemy

Hey, how can I get one of those? ;-)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Old Stuff: Sticky Notes and a Bible

Did you know that some Post-it notes last for decades and don't lose their stick? Here is proof...

Twenty year old Post-it notes. (inset with clear date) For real. And they still stick just as well as brand new ones. I bought these in 1987 at a paper supply store where I worked for a summer job. I thought they were cute then, but I think they are even cuter now. ;-)

As you can kind of see in the picture my "Pure Bull" notes are used as place markers in a Bible. That's just kind of my own personal ironic joke, but feel free to be amused if you are so moved. ;-)

This is actually my favorite Bible. I received it in 1976 when I was Baptized. It is the "Good News Bible" in Today's English Version and has very groovy 70ish illustrations:

This illustration of Jabob's Dream/Stairway to Heaven had inspired me with a sermonette a few days ago, but the idea has vanished now. So much for Hawking's Information Paradox. ;-)

This has been called a "liberal" translation by some, but it doesn't really matter to me either way. I can read the King James version too. This Bible has a lot of nice extras like maps of the ancient world, a chronology of the Bible, passages from the Septuagint (ancient Greek translation of Old Testament), and various indeces.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Thanks Bee!

I am:
a file cabinet
Reams and reams of information that just might need to be retrieved and looked up some day, stored in a convenient low-tech form that everybody can read or produce easily.

Which office supply are you?

This was a really fun quiz! And pretty accurate too.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cool and Creamy

You Are Strawberry Ice Cream

A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.
You often find yourself on the outside looking in.
Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.

You are most compatible with chocolate chip ice cream.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Self Portraits

I'm not sure why most artists tend to do a lot of self portraits. Maybe it's because when you need a subject that is the easiest one to get. Maybe it's some kind of obsession with trying to make yourself into the image you wish you were instead of the one you are. Maybe it's to remind your kids what you looked like when you were a certain age. I don't know, but here are some I did today:

I like this one.

This one is okay, but I think I look kind of old.

This is just a photo very similar to the above but slightly different and with no special effects.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Vintage: 1968

Usually, when we think of the year 1968 we probably think of assassinations (Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy), the Vietnam War, hippies, anti-war protests, and other social unrest. But just like any other year there were plenty of normal, peaceful, common events such as the birth of a baby. One of those babies was born to a happy couple on January 25 and was named "Rae Ann" a couple of days later.

By the way, why isn't my birthday listed in the Wikipedia article? ;-) I'm kidding, of course. But I am the number one (and two, at the moment) "Rae Ann" on Google even ahead of a Hospital named Rae Ann, which is really weird because I'm just some housewife in Tennessee. LOL But what is really weird is that most people I interact with in "real" life have no idea about this.

If you're curious about other products of 1968 here are a few things. If you like wine, especially pretty old wine, and have a lot of money you could try some of these. Apparently, 1968 wasn't a great year for wine though. Oh well.

It was a great year for music. My mom used to talk about how I'd bounce in my carseat to Marvin Gaye's "Heard It Through the Grapevine" which has been overlooked in the above Wiki article despite its being a #1 hit late in the year. Other favorites from 1968 are "Sunshine Of Your Love" by Cream, "Hello, I Love You" by The Doors, "Born To Be Wild" by Steppenwolf, "Hey Jude" by The Beatles, and "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding, among others.

If you like muscle cars then 1968 was a pretty good year. However, the best cars from that year are the Chevrolet Corvettes which aren't listed as "muscle cars" in the Wiki article because I guess they are more considered "sports cars", whatever the difference might be.

Well, it's a good thing that David is particularly fond of 1968 vintages. ;-) Several months ago he bought this:

Yes, it's a 1968 red Corvette.

"His and Hers", sorry that the garage is such a mess but the other detached garage is being finished inside and so a bunch of stuff had to be moved temporarily into the this garage.

When he bought this car it was in good running condition (much like me when he first "got" me, lol) but it is a "project car" and he has dismantled much of its insides so he can truly restore it. The car's insides are now about as bad a mess as my insides. ;-) But unlike me, it will be worth pretty big bucks after it is fully restored. To fully restore me to "mint" condition would probably be impossible, but if you tried you'd have to spend a whole lot more money than to restore this lovely automobile.

Here is a nice shot of the quintessential, iconic, curvacious shape of the Corvette that is probably what most people think of when they hear about Corvettes. This is the C-3 body style that was produced from 1968 to 1982, which is kind of a long time for a car to keep the same body style.

Well, it's tempting to ask myself, "When did I get so old?" But really, the answer to that question is pretty easy. All I have to do is look around at my life and see all the wonderful blessings that can't be any kind of "instant" results, but are truly the products of many years of hard work, struggles, and also good times. I have a really great life and for that I'm eternally grateful to the Universe and the people who have loved me. I'm happy to be beginning my 39th year, and I hope to have at least 39 more happy years ahead of me.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Feeling It

This week contains the Most Depressing Day of the Year. It is today, and I'm feeling it.

Last year it was tomorrow.

However, this Thursday might be a little happier, I hope. ;-)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Vicious Grandma

This is my paternal grandmother in 1951, age 37, so she wasn't a grandma yet. She was an amazing woman who was a big inspiration to me. She was killed by a drunk driver on Jan. 20, 1990, when he plowed his car into the car she was in. It was a devastating loss for the whole family. She would have had many, many more years of good health ahead of her.

Growing up my sister and I would spend a week or two with our grandparents in the summers. Partly, I guess, to give our parents a little break from us, but also to help us get to know our grandparents since they lived a few hours away and we didn't get to see them often throughout the year. We have so many fond memories of those summer visits.

She got her first modern washer and dryer in 1977 or 1978 (I can't remember exactly now). Before that she used one of those wringer washers. I think hers was electric and not hand cranked. The one in the link is a remake, and believe it or not, I would kind of like one, though not to replace my modern one. ;-) I was fascinated by watching her feed the wet clothes through the wringer, but she wouldn't let me help because she was afraid I'd get my fingers or hand caught in it. Maybe she was just like me in that she liked to be in control of the laundry and didn't want little hands messing things up.

In high school for my senior year Spring Break, unlike most of the other kids who went to the beach to party, I spent the week with my grandmother. My grandfather had died in 1979, and Grandma never remarried though she did have a series of boyfriends-usually younger by several years because the men her own age couldn't keep up with her. ;-) This week with her was priceless and very important to me.

She loved to drive all over the rural area to visit with friends and family. I got to meet people and see places that I never otherwise would have seen. Some of these were kind of unbelieveable because of the abject poverty conditions, yet these people were warm, friendly, and wise. I'm talking tar paper shacks here, with crooked linoleum floors and crooked, unfinished walls and no heat other than a wood stove. And in rural Appalachia there are still people living in this way.

We went to several different backwoods Baptist churches that were having Revivals. Every night was a different one. Incidentally, this is the same grandma who had me recite a bible verse in front of her church when I was quite young. I remember being impressed with the passionate delivery of one preacher who was barely literate yet understood his interpretation of the Bible to a degree that many highly educated preachers don't seem to reach. He truly seemed to be channeling the Holy Spirit. At another, I was moved in some other deeper, more vague way. It has been these experiences, among some others, that have kept me from accepting atheism.

During this Spring Break she also taught me to pick "creases" which are a wild green of the cress family that were delicious when she cooked them. I see them growing around here and am always thinking of picking them and eating them, but there is that small part of me that is kind of insecure and worries that I'll do something wrong.

My grandmother was a storehouse of knowledge about family history, nature and plants, and probably many other things that I didn't get a chance to learn. She always seemed fearless and almost brutally practical. I think she'd have gotten a big kick out of being called a "vicious grandma."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mmm Pie

You Are Mud Pie

You're the perfect combo of flavor and depth
Those who like you give into their impulses

With Two Rs...

Your Stripper Song Is

Dirrty by Christina Aguelera

"Too dirrty to clean my act up
If you ain't dirrty
You ain't here to party"

You're so dirty, you make Christina look clean.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Widget Idget

I need help with adding some of the new blogger features, such as a list of post labels. The new template code looks nothing like the old one and I'm just not up to trying to figure it out. So if there is any generous soul who would like to help me, please do. Thanks.

Illness Update

I just got back from a recheck of my lung at the doctor's office. The pneumonia seems to be mostly cleared up now, and the pleurisy is completely cleared up. So that's good news, but I'm still pretty weak and easily breathless. But that should also improve over the next week or so. There is one spot of something that could be scarring or some other relic of this illness that they want to check again in the future. Well, it's probably nothing, but considering my family history I am having to seriously consider giving up my favorite guilty pleasure (not blogging, that's my second favorite ;-) ). As enjoyable as it is, it's not worth dying for. Maybe it's time to just grow the hell up.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What the Sun Told Me

I just love this picture of the sun. Thanks, Bee, for reminding me of it.

I was hoping that it would inspire a nice Sunday sermonette about the Source or some such thing, but it just didn't come.

Then I thought it could maybe bring out some hellfire and brimstone, but that failed me too. (you know something's wrong when I can't even get some hellfire and brimstone going)

The Sun shared some thoughts with me, but I just don't feel like giving away my secret wisdom today. Sorry. ;-)

So in lieu of a sermonette today, I'll leave it up to anyone else who feels inspired to share what the Sun tells them.

I really mean it. I would love to hear someone else's thoughts for a change. ;-)

Sedentary Living and Global Warming

I just got a laugh from this article about a new, serious disease that is even recognized by the World Health Organization:

Get Moving!

(by Carol Krucoff)

Professor Frank Booth, Ph.D, was out for his daily run one spring morning in 2000, pondering one of the toughest problems facing public health officials these days: how to get the nearly 70 percent of Americans who don't regularly exercise to start moving.

"Everyone knows exercise is good for them, but many don't realize it's a matter of life and death," says Dr. Booth, who teaches biomedical science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. "My father was in advertising, so I know how important a short, catchy name is to grab people's attention and change the way they think and behave. Running always helps my creativity, and the name Sedentary Death Syndrome just popped into my head."

Sedentary Death Syndrome (SeDS) may be a little too scientific to be catchy. But it needs to catch on. Because what it means, says Dr. Booth, is that "inactivity kills."

Dead Man Sitting
In fact, sitting kills more than 300,000 Americans annually. If it were a real disease, that would make SeDS the third leading cause of death in the United States, right after heart disease and cancer. But SeDS is more than one disease. Being sedentary is linked to a wide range of debilitating ailments -- from diabetes and depression to osteoporosis, certain cancers, and even sexual dysfunction. It affects nearly three out of four adults and a growing number of children and is projected to cost the United States $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

Though it's not yet a household word, the SeDS concept has caught on with a growing number of exercise scientists. Dr. Booth used his own money to start "Researchers against Inactivity-Related Disorders," or RID, an organization advocating governmental support for research into the disorders associated with sedentary living. A founding group of 40 RID members unveiled the concept of SeDS on Capitol Hill in 2001. Today, the group has more than 400 members in 19 countries.

(Just sitting around is apparently a worldwide phenomenon. Last year, the World Health Organization announced that about 2 million deaths annually worldwide are attributed to sedentary lifestyles and chose physical activity as the theme for World Health Day.)

Uh, yeah, I think the most revealing phrase in the entire article is "RID, an organization advocating governmental support for research into the disorders associated with sedentary living." We all know what "advocating governmental support for research" means: we want money, money, money! Oh, boy, someone has discovered a new source of pork-spending. They've created a new lobbying group disguised as doctors and researchers concerned for the health of all the people sitting on their asses (writing blogs and reading blogs and stuff, ;-) ). But the real truth of it is that this is just like the global warming scare that some people have created and perpetuated for their own job security and wealth. This new "SeDS" group is taking a page right out of the global warming playbook and working to create a huge public health scare.

I mean, this could be a scary statement for some people: "sitting kills more than 300,000 Americans annually." Wow! Just from sitting. ;-) If this isn't some kind of alarmist scare tactic like Gore saying that we have about ten years until the Earth is uninhabitable unless we all immediately go back to living like in the Dark Ages (well, except for him and all the other "important" people, just like when the Communist leaders lived in luxury while the "people" lived in poverty). And then get this, "[sedentary living] is projected to cost the United States $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years." Trillion. They really have set their sights pretty high, haven't they? These are some high maintenance "researchers" who must have some big mortgage payments to think about. ;-)

Unfortunately, there is some grain of truth to this "SeDS" in that our lifestyles have changed and some people apparently aren't adapting too well to those changes. But this grain of truth gets turned into a mountain just like the way a warm winter gets turned into climate change. Is this really something that can be fixed? I'm kind of thinking that on the larger societal scale, no, it's not something that can be eliminated like small pox, unless someone invents a perfect health pill and/or instates the Health Police. (actually, the Health Police are already trying that with the no smoking laws and now the no transfat laws some cities are passing)

The Health Police were too late for this fella.
Photo found on this hilarious site: Pushin Daisies: a mortuary novelty shop, though it looks like this particular item is no longer available, oddly enough.

Besides, I really question some of their "facts" about what really makes people unhealthy and kills them. I keep hearing about all these famous athletes getting cancer and bad arthritis and all the same things that regular people get. Yeah, all that healthy eating and exercise didn't keep them from getting sick, did it?

Just look at the commercials on TV. There's another key to this story: poor health is big business. We are constantly being told that we are depressed, full of mucus, impotent, too fat, allergic to everything, sleepless, asthmatic, hypertensive, full of cholestrol, and have acid reflux, ADHD and enlarged prostates (men) and leaky bladders (women). But all we have to do to get better is take these expensive pills. Now seriously, are we supposed to believe that this "RID" group really wants to kill their cash cow? I see right through their ruse.

Another big money maker for doctors is colon cancer screening.* I remember the day when it was only the unethical and seedy doctors who advertised their services (but never on tv because tv ads are expensive), but now all the big practices have their pseudo public service ads telling us we all must go pay them (or if you're lucky your insurance will pay them) to stick a camera up our butts or we will die of colon cancer. Scare tactics, again.

And there is a part of me that asks why we should be trying to keep all these people alive longer anyway, especially if the world is becoming overpopulated with couch/computer potatoes who drive their gas-guzzling SUVs to the Dunkin Donuts for a 60 pack of donut holes and a dozen jelly-filled. ;-) Well, of course, the answer is that we must do as much as possible to keep filling up the doctors' and researchers' and lawyers' pockets.

I have to wonder if this isn't a matter that will take care of itself. Just like the climate.

*Hold onto your stones. There's no need to throw them. I know the seriousness of colon cancer and that screening can save lives. Thank you.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

News of the Week

First of all I am so happy that the missing Missouri boy has been found alive. What great news! And even more miraculous is that another boy who had been missing four years was also found at the same place. It seems clear to me that anyone who preys upon children is subhuman and doesn't have the same rights as normal people.

On a much sadder note, two families here are mourning the most horrible murders of a young couple. Four black men are charged with the abduction and murders of a young white couple, 21 year old Channon Christian and 23 year old Chris Newsom.

Apparently, what started as a car-jacking ended up in two murders. The only reason I mention the race issue is because we all know that if it had been a young black couple murdered by four white men the crime would have been all over the national news just like the false rape of a black woman by however many white men (Duke lacrosse team case).

Well, my deepest sympathy goes to the families who have lost their beautiful children. I just can't imagine the pain and sorrow they must be feeling. And my sympathy goes to the families of the murderers, too, because it must be a very horrible feeling to know that your relative has done something so bad.

Lastly, on the person front, I'm suffering from pleurisy. It's probably the result of the bad cold (or flu) I had over the Christmas holidays, but I'm just guessing. I have to go to the doctor again on Monday to make sure it is responding to the antibiotics.

They gave me a bit of a scare yesterday after taking the chest x-ray. They immediately sent me to the hospital for a CT scan to make sure that I didn't have a pulmonary embolism. The good news is that I don't have that.

Have you ever had a CT scan? They are pretty cool, and the machine looks and sounds like something from a sci-fi movie. The freakiest part was the feeling of the contrast dye being shot through my veins.

Well, I must now go rest my sickly little self.

Illness Update: Spoke with the doctor Monday, and apparently I had pneumonia and didn't know it and so it progressed to pleurisy. I am getting better slowly. At least now I can breathe without pain. I don't know why I get so sick, except maybe I'm some kind of freak who wants to see just how sick I can get before going to the doctor. ;-)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Spiders on Drugs

Sorry to those who can't handle spiders, but this is hilarious and I wish I had created it:

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Naughty Beardsley

Find more naughty Beardsley here.

And for not naughty Beardsley look here.

To learn about Lysistrata look at the wikipedia article.

This posting is in no way an anti-war statement. I just like the phallics in this picture. I'm such a simple creature. ;-)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cute Singing Kittens

From the creator of the Spongmonkeys, here are the most adorable singing kittens:

And if you're not impressed by cute kittens, try this massive cock. Go ahead, it's work safe, I promise. ;-)

Monday, January 08, 2007


I really like to read Jonathan Cainer's horoscopes because they usually surprise me with a nice chunk of wisdom or some other thought-provoking thing. I was just checking tomorrow's 'scopes because he usually has them up early. I always check the Aquarius because that is my Sun sign, but I also check the one for Sagittarius because I have three planets or "signs" there (Venus, Moon, Ascendent or Rising Sign) which could make me more Sagittarius than Aquarius since I only have two planets/signs there (Sun and Mercury). This might not be an 'orthodox' method of checking horoscopes, but I guess orthodoxy isn't the biggest concern there. ;-)

Anyway, Tuesday's Sagittarius 'scope really freaked me out!

Tuesday, 9th January 2007

(Nov 23 - Dec 21)
'Put on a happy face.' 'Smile though your heart is breaking.' 'Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag and smile, smile, smile.' The songwriters are unanimous. The thing to do when you find yourself in times of trouble is to let it be. To some extent this puts them in direct conflict with the psychotherapists who are strongly of the opinion that emotions must be honestly expressed at all times. Whose advice should you take? It doesn't much matter. Soon your problem will be fixed!

I bolded the part that is so freaky because just yesterday I posted the lyrics to the Beatles song "Let It Be." Do you think that Jonathan Cainer might be reading my lyrics blog? ;-) Or maybe Mother Mary came to him yesterday too? Wonders never cease!

By the way the Aquarius scope for tomorrow wasn't up yet, as of my writing this.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Ten years ago about right now (well, not considering calendar irregularities) my mom died. In this picture she was about 30 and I was about 5. I'm about 95% sure this photo was taken in the summer of 1973. My mom was a hottie! I've always paled in her shadow, even ten years after her death. The occasion of this picture was showing off the little "Indian dress" she had bought me because I was so interested in Indians/Native Americans. She called me "Princess Feather."

I considered cropping this photo to remove the background junk, but I decided that it was interesting, if only for me, to see the old cars and whatnot. And dig that hair on Mom! Wow! Incidentally, my most vivid early memories are set in this time and place.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Maybe it's this perpetual Spring that we are having this season, but man, I'm getting the wanderlust pretty bad. My eyes are longing for some new kind of scenery. Where should I go?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Dear Britney Spears,

I bet your mother is horrified. If she isn't, she should be. Let me do a little proper mothering here in case your own mother is that clueless.

First of all, nobody really wants to see your hairless privates. Well, maybe some idiotic males do, but they obviously would look at ANY privates so don't be thinking that yours are all that special.

Second, please wear underwear when you're wearing a skirt. This is for your and everyone else's health and safety. Nobody wants to sit on a seat that your naked privates have touched. Well, maybe except for those same idiotic males mentioned above. I don't care how rich and famous you are, your ass is still nasty. And even OutKast sang about that:

I know you'd like to thank (think) your shit don't stank (stink)
But lean a little bit closer
See that roses really smell like boo-boo (poo-poo)
Yeah, roses really smell like boo-boo (poo-poo)

And I guess you never considered wearing panties to protect your own privates? Goddamn, the world is full of germs. But I guess if you let K-Fed (and who knows what other man-skanks) down there then you don't really care about the health and cleanliness of your poontang. By the way, I saw the pictures of you going barefoot into a gas station bathroom. Oh Lord, girl, you are just plain stupid. Didn't your mother teach you anything?

I hate to say it, but you are not fit to be a mother. You need to straighten yourself out, stop hanging out with even bigger nasty skanks than yourself, and take some parenting classes.

You are a walking health hazard to yourself and everyone else. Toxic, indeed. What a waste of a pretty girl. I mean really, you've grown up in a world that worships youth and beauty that has given you all fortune you could ever want just because you were pretty. Did this teach you to value yourself? Obviously not if you're exploiting yourself in these most offensive and irresponsible ways.

And by the way, totally shaved is so 1990s. Grown up women and grown up men have body hair. Hairless privates (male and female) are for those with pedophilic tendencies. If someone isn't mature enough to know how to handle some hair down there then he or she isn't mature enough to have their face down there in the first place.

So, please, if you have an ounce of decency, take my words to heart. Grow up, be a good mother, and wear underwear!


Rae Ann, Vicious Momma

PS (2-23-07) Oh, honey, you've really got to stop drinking and whatever other drugs you're doing. Can't you see that you are totally ruining your life? And the life of your two little kids? Please, stop focusing only on yourself and your own needs and impulses. You have got to think about your kids! Do you really want K-Fed to have custody of them? Everything you are doing now is being held against you. I know how hard it is to pick yourself up and face the big troubles of life, but you have to do it! You are strong enough. You don't want to end up like Anna Nicole. You are still so young and have so much life ahead of you. Please, go to rehab and STAY there until you are straightened out enough to be the responsible parent that your boys need. You have been through a lot in the last couple of years: having two babies very close is enough on its own to make a woman go insane. But you must be a grown up and face your responsibilities. It breaks my heart to see someone self-destructing in such a dramatic and public way. Stop. Look at your little boys and decide that you want to be the mother they deserve. You can't get back these days that you're wasting. Pray to God to help you have the strength to face reality.

About Saddam...

Saber Point: The Intellectual Dishonesty of the American Left

I've avoided writing about Saddam and his execution over the holidays, but today I read the above linked blog article that pretty well summarizes my thoughts and feelings about it.

It's kind of sickening that so many people are torn up over Saddam's hanging. I watched the video of the actual hanging, with the drop (link found at the Reference Frame).

I was most impressed with the grim darkness of the gallows and the apparent lack of ceremony and pomp that a dictator might have expected. The atmosphere was chaotic and I'm sure that only increased Saddam's discomfort and anxiety. One could probably imagine that his execution was rushed and premature, but what's done is done and it was done by the Iraqis according to their own design. Did the US have some hidden hand in it? I don't know and I don't really care. Conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen, and frankly now Saddam isn't worth even a dime.

You know, the same people who keep hollering that we should let Iraq do its own thing are the same ones who criticize their handling of Saddam (and many other things). Well, you can't have it both ways. You can't give people Independence and then demand that they still do everything the way *you* think they should.

I'm not celebrating a death, not even a dictator's death, but I'm not mourning it either. When someone willingly and criminally takes another life he has forfeited his own right to live.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy Hoe New Year!

Thanks to reader, Rafa, from Madrid, Spain, for alerting me to this Hoe poem and Hoe painting.
The Man with a Hoe

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back, the burden of the world.
Who made him dead to rapture and despair,
A thing that grieves not and that never hopes,
Stolid and stunned, a brother to the ox?
Who loosened and let down this brutal jaw?
Whose was the hand that slanted back this brow?
Whose breath blew out the light within this brain?

Is this the Thing the Lord God made and gave
To have dominion over sea and land;
To trace the stars and search the heavens for power;
To feel the passion of Eternity?
Is this the dream He dreamed who shaped the suns
And marked their ways upon the ancient deep?
Down all the caverns of Hell to their last gulf
There is no shape more terrible than this--
More tongued with cries against the world's blind greed--
More filled with signs and portents for the soul--
More packed with danger to the universe.

What gulfs between him and the seraphim!
Slave of the wheel of labor, what to him
Are Plato and the swing of the Pleiades?
What the long reaches of the peaks of song,
The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose?
Through this dread shape the suffering ages look;
Time's tragedy is in that aching stoop;
Through this dread shape humanity betrayed,
Plundered, profaned and disinherited,
Cries protest to the Powers that made the world,
A protest that is also prophecy.

O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
Is this the handiwork you give to God,
This monstrous thing distorted and soul-quenched?
How will you ever straighten up this shape;
Touch it again with immortality;
Give back the upward looking and the light;
Rebuild in it the music and the dream;
Make right the immemorial infamies,
Perfidious wrongs, immedicable woes?

O masters, lords and rulers in all lands,
How will the future reckon with this Man?
How answer his brute question in that hour
When whirlwinds of rebellion shake all shores?
How will it be with kingdoms and with kings--
With those who shaped him to the thing he is--
When this dumb Terror shall rise to judge the world,
After the silence of the centuries?

1899, Charles Edward Anson Markham (1852-1940)
Using the penname Edwin Markham

Markham was inspired by the 1863 painting "L'homme à la houe" by the French artist, Jean-François Millet (1814-1875), to write this poem.

If you think that guy is worn and tired, just imagine how his poor hoe must feel! ;-) Actually, I think he'd have saved his back some trouble with a longer handle on his hoe, but I guess back then they made do with what they could find.

Incidentally, this morning I watched part of a documentary about Afghanistan and was enlightened to see that even when people live in caves they have the same concerns and conflicts within their families as people who live in warm, comfortable houses. The wife was bitching at the husband about the same things I bitch about sometimes, and the older man was bitching at the younger man (not sure if the wife was this older guy's daughter) about going out and getting a job to help support the family. It is very weird to know that in the twenty-first century there are people still living in caves. It is another moment of realization at how good my life is and how thankful and appreciative I must be.

As we begin 2007 let's all reflect on the blessings we've received and be truly thankful for them. And let's hope that the New Year will continue to provide for us the things we need. And also, let's have compassion and empathy for those whose work is greater than ours and whose lives are harder.

Happy New Year!

PS I did ring in the New Year with a glass of premature lemonade, and it was pretty tasty!