Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Quick Picture Post!

The view from our friends' back deck in Placerville, CA. I don't think you can see the mountains over Lake Tahoe in this one, but they are there!

        Us in front of the American River, not far from where gold was found. 

 Apple pie wine? BRING IT ON! Can you tell that this is not our first stop of the day? 

  He looks natural there, doesn't he? This was at the Train Museum in Sacramento. I am the only one who wanted to go, but we ALL had a blast! 

How do I look at a school marm? 

Obligatory self-portrait in front of the Golden Gate! I LOVED San Francisco and would go back for the entire summer, every summer, if I could! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

But He Will Get Their Vote!

Of course, by now, we've all heard or read the words spoken in May by Mitt(ens) at a fund raiser in Boca Raton, FL. He obviously has no understanding of what I would term "real" life or "real" people and he certainly has no respect for those of us who were not born with a silver spoon in our mouths. That's who he is and it certainly has not come as a shock to me... did I really think he liked or respected ME? (Yes, female - so no, he doesn't). The part that I find shocking is that MANY of the same people he denigrated will still vote for him.

I, of course, am the protagonist, the Super Hero, the Cool Kid in my own story of my own life. That story that we all have churning around in our heads just waiting for a moment to share our adventures with new friends (or old ones who may be kind enough to listen again). I am certain that there have been bits and pieces of my personal history that I have accidentally re-written - I think many of us do. But, for the most part, I think that my version is closer to true than most of the people I know, personally. I've made mistakes. I've been mean or petty. I am human and I am OK with new friends (or old ones) knowing that. But maybe I have just convinced myself that the story in my head is true through a wonderfully convincing way with words? And pictures?


However, I know, right this minute, where I am in life. I can look back and be appreciative of the times when I needed a helping hand and received one. I can be thankful that I do not need a helping hand right this minute, but appreciate the fact that it should be available if I DO need it in the future.

I can appreciate the fact that I am covered by health insurance that is paid for by the tax dollars of others and wish that it was better and wish that everyone had this option!

I can say that if Social Security is not available when I turn 65 (or is 67? I am so confused), I will probably be working until it is available, even if it's only part time, because I started my retirement plan very late.

I can say that I have made mistakes, but that I am OK with them.  Some of them were pretty stupid and some of them were very stupid, but they have all combined to bring me to this exact time and place and it's a pretty great place!

What I do not understand, however, is how it is possible to have NEVER worked - not a single day - and complain about government handouts. What I do not understand is a disabled person who has not worked in YEARS, drawing social security disability, and still complaining about those nasty people who 'suck off the government.' What I do not understand is a person who lives off those so-called "entitlements" who thinks it is wrong for others to live off those so-called "entitlements."

The hypocrisy of the American people is astounding.

I had someone on Facebook tell me recently that yes, she is on Medicaid, but that is better than Obamacare! What?!?!!?

I have a cousin who has a degenerative eye disease who has not worked in YEARS complaining about the "those lazies who suck off the government teat."

What the F*CK?!?!

Work and life and life and work have taken it's toll on me this week, even to the point of  putting me behind in my schoolwork. So I shall do school work this weekend and will hopefully have another 'blog post up soon!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Will It Ever Stop? ***EDITED***

Let me answer my own question - NO!

Yesterday a group of anti-American terrorists breached the walls of the American consulate in Benghazi in Libya. The American ambassador and three others were killed.

There was also violence in Egypt at the U.S. Embassy where the U.S. flag was removed and the flag of Islam was put in its place, although I cannot find any mention of murder being committed there.

Why? Why now? Didn't we just help the Libyans to freedom? Didn't we stand beside them (or, fly our planes over their heads) so that they may be free? Why the sudden onslaught of violence?

"The mobs were set off by Egyptian media reports about a 14-minute trailer for the video, called “Innocence of Muslims,” that was released on the Web. The trailer opens with scenes of Egyptian security forces standing idle as Muslims pillage and burn the homes of Egyptian Christians. Then it cuts to cartoonish scenes depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a child of uncertain parentage, a buffoon, a womanizer, a homosexual, a child molester and a greedy, bloodthirsty thug.

The Wall Street Journal identified this man as an Israeli-American, but according to NPR, Bacile identifies himself as "an Israeli Jew." And he is in hiding in case someone wants to come after him!! The worst kind of coward who can hide behind a camera and his alleged God and get people killed. Now he runs away with his tail between his legs.

I am sick over this. Wanton death and destruction. And of course there are those who blame the President.

Before the violence (according to MSNBC, although I cannot find corroboration) the U.S. State Department issued a press release stating:

"The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."

So now the President is on another "apology tour" (Romney's words, not mine)

Let me tell you what I think of all of this.
#1. If Bacile (no, Mr. sorry that is a term of respect) wants to identify himself as an Israeli Jew, then he needs to move to Israel. Do not live in my country, cause the death of others using the Bill of Rights that many have died for and not identify yourself as an American.

#2. I cannot find proof that Terrie Jones (alleged preacher) of Gainesville, FL had a hand in promoting this film, but if he did, he needs to be jailed. His complete disregard for the lives of others (and this goes for Bacile also) should not be covered by the First Amendment's Freedom of Speech. That was never the point.

#3. I believe in our Constitution and I appreciate the Bill of Rights that allows me to have this 'blog and to make my thoughts and feelings known to the few of you who actually read it. It also allows me to look back over the last 6 years of my life, kind of like a journal, but I do not believe in absolute free speech.

In Schenck v United States, the Supreme Court held that:
"Words which, ordinarily and in many places, would be within the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment may become subject to prohibition when of such a nature and used in such circumstances a to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils which Congress has a right to prevent. The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done."

Which means you can't yell "Fire" in a crowded theater and you cannot (without penalty) create movies depicting the Prophet Muhammed as a whore.

This country loses its mind when Americans desecrete our own flag (if you remind me, I will try to share what I learned earlier this year in my art class re: the US flag). Who remembers the outrage over "The Last Temptation of Christ"? And the comdemnation over "The DaVinci Code"? Because both portrayed Jesus as non-celibate. How many people would lose their minds if Jesus were portrayed a whoring drunk of uncertain parentage?

No, we would not fire bomb someone's embassy.. well, most of us wouldn't. But a lot of that has to do with the fact that we are lazy. And D.C. is far away.

I do believe that those who created this nightmare should be charged with whatever we can throw at them. And Bacile does not want to endure an American prison, he can go to Israel and spend his old age there.


OK, I've calmed down and understand that we all have access to the First Amendment and this should probably be covered under it, even when it makes me mad. But I don't think that YouTube has to actually carry the movie and there is no reason for any company to distribute it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Are You Going To Forget?

Today is Tuesday September 11, 2012.

Of course you know where you were the moment that you heard about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center eleven years ago today. I was carrying a computer down the hallway to return it to the office where it belonged after I had fixed it and someone told me. I called him a liar. I then walked into the office where the TV was on one of the morning programs to see the second airliner hit. Luckily I had already placed the computer on the desk or I probably would have dropped it.

There were not a lot of televisions around and the internet was flaky because everyone was trying to figure out what was wrong. We were all called together, told to go home, and call over the next few days to see when we could come back to work (I work on a military installation). As the systems administrator for the small network, I was almost the last to leave - there were things to do, to secure.

I wanted to take my son out of school and just hold him. I called my parents to tell them that I loved them (forgetting that my father had undergone surgery that morning, can you imagine waking up to that news?). I watched hours of TV that afternoon and long into the night.

It was a horrible, awful thing. The worst thing that has happened in my lifetime. Can anyone ever forget those horrors?  The rumors that were not true (I heard someone on the radio say that the FBI building in D.C. had been hit by a car bomb) and, worse, those that were?

This is a wound that probably will not heal for quite some time.

Yet, haven't we forgotten? Not the images of those who jumped, of the Towers falling, of those in NYC running away from that wave of dust, of the firemen raising the flag, of that giant, gaping wound in Manhattan. But everyday, we get up, go to work, move on, move forward, many of us lost no one, knew no one, sacrificed no one. And most of these United States has not sacrificed for what came afterwords.

The mourning gave way to war. The joy of coming together, of standing (metaphorically) shoulder to shoulder gave way to lies about Saddam Hussien. And instead of being asked to build a victory garden and given gas coupons we were told to go shopping and take vacations.

It was a horrifying day, but the months that came after were beautiful. Now that beauty (for me) has been tainted by the lies, the dead military members, the fact that this country could send men and women to war without any idea how to care for them if they returned home. And it has been further tainted this election year by the fact that no one seems to be able to admit wrong doing on the part of those who DID wrong.

So for the past two days I've seen that there are 9/11 retrospectives on TV and most of my friends have posted "I will never forget" pictures on Facebook - most of which are truly haunting and beautiful - and all I can this is, "What are you remembering?" Because I remember a country that stood, for just a brief, inspiring moment, together.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bill Nailed It!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Halfway Through The First Class!

Happy Labor Day everyone! I am taking today completely off... I swear, I am NOT opening that text book... well, maybe for a minute!

Due to Hurricane Isaac (OK, due to the fact that stupid is everywhere!) we did not work last Tuesday. Keep in mind that seven years ago when Katrina was barreling through the Gulf it was business as usual because she wasn't heading HERE!! Neither was Isaac, but someone panicked! So I wasn't working, I had a mid-term to do, I figured I would knock it out and be able to enjoy my three day weekend.

I turned it in at 5:00 last night (Sunday). OMG! Fifteen questions. Essay questions. NOT short essays, mind you, FULL essays. Intro - 3 paragraphs - conclusion. That is a total of 75 paragraphs! And I was unable to work on it Thursday night because it was DSD's birthday. My brain still feels like mush!

But it is completed. And I am officially halfway through the first class of Grad school.

Obviously I was a little busy and did not watch the Republican Convention. Why bother? I can catch the important LIES the next day on the internet and "The Daily Show." I don't need to waste my time actually listening to the bozos speak. But I appreciate all of you who do so that I can read your commentary later.

Just over 60 days until the election. It's looking like a close one. I cannot imagine anyone except for rich white guys voting for R&R, but many will. Let's do all we can to ensure that Mitt fails at least as big as his father did!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Am I A Racist?

I don't think I am. I have never been accused of being one before. I feel that all are created as equal as can be and that race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation should not be a factor of how far a person can go. I also know that many do not believe that way.

On Friday, I posted the above picture on Facebook. It is appalling commentary. I'd never heard of this guy, but the fact that he was important enough for anyone to create a picture of him with his quote sickened me. That and the fact that he calls himself "Reverand" and I wonder how many women he is poisoning with this brand of hate.

After I posted I had to be away from the computer for about three hours. When I returned there were over 70 comments and many of them were hostile - seriously so. All of those commenting thought that this man's words were unacceptable (I would have immediately unfriended with any moron who dared to agree with him), but the ugliness came because the a commenter stated, "For a black man to say that is... well.. interesting."

Another friend declared that she was a racist to point out the color of the man's skin and that others in the GOP had said this and no one bothered to point out that their color. The commentary spiraled from there. Whitewoman tried to explain her comment. Blackman telling her exactly why she was wrong. Asianwoman jumping in with excellent information, but not understanding that Whitewoman and Blackman were conversing, thinking Blackman's comments were toward her. She kept trying to make herself heard and ended up sharing way to much, then she was embarrassed about her comments and left. Meanwhile I am receiving private messages from Blackman telling me that Whitewoman is a racist and why.

I do not understand how pointing out that women and African-Americans have something in common regarding voting rights is considered racist. Am I wrong? I was told that the fact that I do not understand why it is wrong makes me a racist.

In my mind those who have experienced discrimination should be more compassionate toward other groups that have experienced discrimination. So women, all races other than caucassion, religions other than mainstream, and those who are not heterosexual should work together to ensure equal rights for all of us. Had this man been homosexual (say - Neil Patrick Harris) I would have pointed out his homosexuality. I would have said, "I am appalled that a homosexual would say that about women's rights."

Am I appalled when a straight white guy makes those comments? Of course. Do I advertise that fact? Of course. And maybe my friend is correct that white men (who have really not experienced discrimination in any way to what other groups have - although some have been discriminated against) are held to a lower standard of understanding. I don't expect them to feel for those who have faced discrimination because they have no idea what it's like.

Does the fact that I probably would have made the same comment about being appalled that the quote was from a black man make me a racist? Does the fact that I am still fairly certain that my friend is being sensitive make me a racist?

I am heartsick over this. He and I have become very close and I feel like that closeness has disappeared. But I also feel that I have to be honest with him that I think he is over-reacting. Not everyone is a racist.

But maybe I am.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Number 500!!!!

After over 6 years, 2 degrees, and many unexplained absences, this is 'blog post #500. Wow.

I have a lot to say about the state of this country, but I am just so sad at this momeny. People are so incredibly dumb. Women who vote against the rights of their sisters. Men who are nasty about a President because he is in a different political party as they are... or has a different skin color.

According to sources Romney's last three commercials are total lies, but only Ms. Maddow's blog has the ability to point that out?  Several friends of mine got into a long discussion (yes, I mean fight) over this "news" on Facebook last night that the Obama campaign took in less than it spent in June. That is technically correct, but it made it sound like the campaign is in debt which is nowhere even close to the truth. And only read the comments if you have a strong stomach.

Akin (Missouri - legitimate rape)... I am not going there. I truly hope he stays in the race and gets clobbered.

There is no reason in this country at the moment. There is no intellectual curiousity. There is only hate and vitriol. Has it always been this way and I was so naive I missed it?

Is there any possibility that we can move toward the middle and become one country again? Do we want that? Can we forgive and move on? Should we even try to forget?

I feel that the future is bleak. Less so if President Obama is re-elected, but eventually another Republican will move into the White House and then what? A depression? An uprising? (That of course is IF there is not an attempt by the Virginia Republicans to start an armed rebellion if the President IS re-elected.)

Race. Equality. Rights. Has it all be for nothing? Are we doomed? Is this country doomed? It isn't 1776 anymore. If we go down, will anyone survive? Or am I being overdramatic? 

So I am sad. And a little scared.

But I truly hope that I am around for another 500 posts... at least.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

More Rampant Racism

It is amazing to me that it always seems to be white men who swear that racism does not exist. Uneducated white men who cannot seem to find a decent job and swear that they are being discriminated against. Or (my favorite) the one who wanted to turn to the 'system' at some point in their life and could not - for whatever reason.

I cannot write on this subject with the eloquence though that Sheria does over on The Swash Zone. She is fighting it in every way she knows. I think a lot of the people (the one or two) who visit this site already read the stuff over there, but if you don't. PLEASE DO SO NOW.

I sent an email to the webhost that has the site that Sheria is talking about. If you can help, PLEASE.

We are all people. Human beings. Loved by someone. Created by the circle of life or God or the Olympians. The hate is never going away, but we can do everything in our power to combat it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hey Mitt(ens)! Did Anyone Try to Kill Your Daddy?

In January of 2003 (roughly) I arrived at work, checked my email, and then opened my internet browser. This was some time before my Facebook obsession and before I had ever heard of a 'blog, so my home page was CNN. CNN opened and the headline read, "He Tried to Kill My Daddy." I scanned the story and went to work and when I opened the browser again sometime later, the headline had changed.

I spoke to a friend on the west coast and told her about it. She swore I was nuts. I did a search (was I googling yet? Or still playing with Yahoo?) and I found... nothing. I searched CNN. Nothing.* And not long after the U.S. made a preemptive strike on Iraq where eventually Saddam Hussein was found and hung.

President George Herbert Walker Bush (aka Daddy Bush) was President at the time of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and after a 100 hour ground war, he came out of Desert Storm looking pretty good. High approval ratings. Lots of "Star Spangled Banner" singing. "HOO YAH AMERICA" ok, ok, and Russia, and Germany, and Great Britain... :-)

But much of America was not pleased by the fact that Daddy Bush didn't tell the coalition to go "Fox" itself (thanks to Jon Stewart that is my new swear word!) and just go right in and do a little Dirty Harry on Hussein. I mean, why not let Stormin' Norman just STORM on in there, right?

Why not indeed!

It was, of course, a UN mission, a UN coalition, and there were strict rules about the joint effort that included ONLY getting Iraq out of Kuwait, not Hussein out of Iraq. It was over! We won! Parades! Anthems! Let's not ever speak of Vietnam again....

But 12 years later, W is at the helm. And what does he have? He is a bit of an idiot. He's not as loved as his Daddy. He's not a war hero. He's not very bright, comparatively! So he goes on TV and announces that Saddam Hussein tried to kill his dad. And he works out a way to snow the American public into believing that Hussein is waiting around every corner wanting to blow up the town where YOU live! (You know, like he did the Twin Towers!)

Some fell for it. I can get sworn testimony from my husband that I DID NOT!! We invaded a sovereign nation on little or no intel, killed and wounded who knows how many, shoved the debt into the stratosphere and for what?

So W could prove that his pee-pee was bigger than his father's!

Mr. Charleston asked in the comments for the last post why Mitt Romney would want a job that is actual WORK, that only paid $400,000 a year and a lightbulb went off over my head.

Because his father was never elected President.

So maybe just being elected would get the monkey off of his back and he could go on to NOT attempt to kill off a generation of our young men? Or maybe we could all face nuclear annihilation if Daddy Romney was ever insulted by someone of Asian descent?

Either way. I don't need another crazy ass, something to prove cowboy in the White House! Let's stick with the team we've got!!

*I googled 'he tried to kill my daddy' and there are YouTube videos of W babbling BS. I am not linking to them though. Just the thought makes me feel slimy!