Katie Couric – STFU

November 14, 2008

Once upon a time, in a land that no longer exists, there was a thing called “an unbiased press.”  What that meant was that the press would report fairly and honestly about any and all newsworthy events.  In that way, the citizens of the land that no longer exists could read an unbiased account of what went on, then make up their own minds about how they felt about it.

It was a matter of honor back in those days, for the press to report factual information to the public.  They felt that it was their duty to be apart  from the news.  They believed with all of their being that only by staying apart could they honestly and fairly report events. 

That land that no longer exists is gone in part because people like Katie Couric, a pseudo-news person, felt that is was her business to make personal comments about political figures.  It was a sad day when she opened her mouth and failed miserably at what should  have been her job. 

There were those people who said that Katie Couric was just a talking head, that all she did was read what was written down for her.  There were others who said that she got all cock-sure because she had one good moment in an interview.  But most people understood that Katie could feel herself on the downhill slide that comes for all female talking heads when they aren’t as cute and sassy as they used to be, and she needed to BE the news more than she needed to REPORT the news.

As a result of people like Katie Couric and her ilk, the land that no longer exists fell.  It used to be a great land.  It used to be a brave land.  It used to be a strong land.  Now you have to be careful who you listen to because even the “fair press” has an agenda. 

 

Katie Couric- STFU.  Either BE a reporter, or be something else and then run your mouth.  Stop trying to make yourself feel younger and cuter by spouting off like a twit, when it’s supposed to be your job to “report” the news.  The press is supposed to hold themselves to a higher standard.  Go join the National Enquirer if you want to act like that.

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“Hate Crime” at North Carolina State University

November 14, 2008

After the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, four unidentified students at North Carolina State University spray painted racist comments in the “Free Expression Tunnel.”  The students admitted to doing it and the university police, state and federal authorities have not charged the students with any crimes at this time.

However, students at the university are calling for a “Free Expression Tunnel Hate Crime Act” in order to prevent/punish actions of this kind in the future.  The NAACP are also calling for “Hate Crime” legislation.

I find this entire incident disturbing on several levels:

1. Does anyone else find it screamingly ridiculous for them to want to censor comments made in the “Free Expression Tunnel”? Name it the “Free Expression, But Only If You Agree With The Majority , Tunnel.”  What kind of idiot thought bitching about what was written in a tunnel with that name was a good idea?  If the tunnel is NOT for free expression, don’t name it that.

2. No one reporting on, commenting about, or involved with this stupidity has yet mentioned that elephant standing in the big, fat middle of the “Free Expression Tunnel.”

3. I dislike the entire idea of a “hate crime” being legislated differently than any other crime.  What this boils down to is that people want to legislate thought and feeling.  When a citizen of this country can be prosecuted for what they think, we have ceased to live in America. 

 What ever happened to agreeing to disagree?  Every time someone with a different point of view speaks out, people want to run to the legislature to have a law passed against it.  We have come to the point that we believe we have a right NOT to be offended by what we consider wrong thought. 

 Now, let me just say that I totally think that what was written was reprehensible.  It shows the ignorance, intolerance, and stupidity of the individuals involved.  That’s my personal opinion.  They wrote their personal opinion.  I, for one, don’t want to limit they’re ability to express their opinion because when I’m successful at doing that it opens the door for someone else to limit MY ability to express my opinion. I feel that I have that right because I still live in America (for now, anyway).  One of the foundations our country was built on was that of free speech for every citizen. 

I do like the NAACP’s idea of diversity training.  But, again, that’s just me.  If I choose to become an informed, educated, sensible human being then that’s my right.  If you choose to remain an ignorant ass, that’s your right.

I have a very personal reason for not wanting this kind of hatred to spread.  I wish people could get over the idea that the melanin levels in our skin mean something about our character.  That’s my own personal little pipe dream.  As long as we have people who’s self esteem is only raised by lowering someone else, we’ll have people who dog out others for whatever reason they can find.

I think we need to lose the Law Mongering mentality and grab a clue here.  Our new President-elect is a man of mixed race!  The majority of this nation elected him.  People will grouse and fuss and argue and bitch about him just like they have every other president we’ve ever had.  The Bush’s were dogged out because they were Texans.  President-elect Obama will get dogged out because he’s mixed.  Learn to live with it. 

One last thing:  Be careful what you wish for.  All of these laws that people want to make up concerning “hate crimes” can’t be implemented to cover only what YOU want them to mean.  Eventually each and every one of you who want them will be subject to them yourselves.  Then YOU will be the one who can’t say what you think or believe or feel. 

At that point you will no longer live in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”.


Bloggers Unite for Refugees November 10, 2008

November 9, 2008

  refugees-united1

Imagine with me for a minute  ……………..

Something very, very bad has happened.  Maybe it was a tsunami or a hurricane, maybe an earthquake or volcano, maybe it was war.  Whatever it was, it has changed everything.  Nothing is the same and you know it never will be again.  Your life, your way of living, your existence as you knew it, is over and gone.  Nothing is familiar.  Nothing is comforting.  Nothing is yours.

Your home is gone, your possessions are gone, your money is gone, your friends are gone and your family is gone. 

What will you eat today?  How will you get it?  Nothing is the way it was yesterday.  Not one thing in your life is normal in any sense of the word.  Who will you talk to?  Who will help you?  Where will you go?  How will you get there?  Where can you lay your head tonight and feel safe?  

You know that tomorrow will find you in the same position.  And through it all is the overwhelming need to connect with your family and friends.  If you could just have your family back, it would make another day in this situation more bearable.  If you could only know  what happened to them, where they are, it would make all the difference.  Even being able to look for them would at least make you feel like you were able to DO something.

The loneliness and uncertainty are crushing.  You have nothing yet you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.  You are exhausted.  You’re hungry.  You’re tired.  Yet you have no place to go, no place to call home.  You don’t even have your country anymore.  Not even the language of your country is heard around you. 

It’s hard to imagine isn’t it?  It’s difficult to even comprehend what it would be like to wake up one day and find that everything in your world is exactly different.  It’s nearly impossible to imagine all of that and then add the fact that you are alone and have no idea where your family is.  It’s incomprehensible to try to imagine not knowing if they are even alive.

BlogCatalog, in partnership with Refugees United,  http://www.refunite.org/index.php,  has enlisted bloggers around the world to unite and raise their voices together on one day in order to help ease this worldwide problem.  Today is the day.   

Below are links to many refugee services.  Click on one and see what you can do to help.  Go one step further and join Bloggers Unite and Refugees United at BlogCatalog and add your voice. 

If we can send probes to Mars we can help solve the refugee problem in this country, this hemisphere, this world.  It can happen to anyone at any time.  Pay it forward and help the world’s refugees now. 

UK Refugee Services
http://www.redcross.org.uk/TLC.asp?id=81617

Lutheran Refugee Services
http://www.lirs.org/

Aotearoa-New Zealand Refugee Services
http://www.refugeeservices.org.nz/

United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrant Children
http://www.refugees.org/

Church World Service Immigrant & Refugee Program
http://www.churchworldservice.org/Immigration/index.html

Women’s Commission for Refugee Women & Children
http://www.womenscommission.org/

Additional Links/Resources
http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/protect?id=3b8265c7a
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugees
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statelessness
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/world/2001/road_to_refuge/default.stm

Together we can raise awareness about the plight of refugees the world over.  For more information about how you can join Bloggers Unite, click on the following link and let your voice be heard.

Bloggers Unite @ BlogCatalog

http://unite.blogcatalog.com/#challenge


Musings On Nothing Relevant

November 8, 2008

One of my teachers from childhood told me this story and I remember it often:

One night at the dinner table a husband asks his wife why she always cuts the roast in half and only cooks half at a time.  The wife thinks about this and says, “That’s the way my mother always did it.”  She thinks about this and decides to find out why.  She calls her mother and asks her the same question.  Her mother answers, “I do it that way because that’s the way my mother did it.”  Now mom is curious so she calls her mother and asks why she always cut the roast in half and only cooked half at a time.  Her mother replies, “I did it that way because my roasting pan was too small to fit the whole roast!” 

We often get in the habit of doing things and never really question why.  When the light bulb goes off over our head, it sometimes gets hilarious.  Think about the things you do out of habit.  You might just get a laugh when you find out the origin of the habit.

Which brings me to the next part of my post:  The origin of phrases we use everyday, but have no idea where they came from or what they really mean/meant. I found two really great websites that give the origin of phrases and words.  I’ll list them at the bottom of the post.  For now, let’s look at a few of the common phrases we use everyday but never question.

The quick and the dead:  This phrase didn’t start out meaning “fast and dead”, which was made popular by the Sharon Stone movie of the same name.  Quick means alive.  So the phrase means “the living and the dead”.  You can click on either of the links and find a more complete explanation.

Three sheets in the wind:  We use this phrase to mean blind, stumbling drunk.  It’s a nautical term.  The sheets aren’t the sails, which is what I thought.  The sheets are the ropes or chains that secure the sail in place.  If three of the sheets are loose and blowing in the wind the sail will flap and move like a drunken sailor. 

Tit for Tat:  This phrase is used to mean returning slight for slight or returning in kind what we have been given, usually something bad.  It was originally spelled “tip for tap” as in blow for blow.  The spelling was changed to tit for tat. 

The websites that gave me the explanations for these phrases have a blue million more as well.

The Phrase Finder is here:    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/t.html

Word Origins is here:   http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/big_list/

These sites are interesting and informative and will be a total time suck if you’re like me and can’t get enough of explanations for things.


Thoughts For The Day November 7, 2008

November 7, 2008

Election

Well, we have a new president elect.  I wish President Obama luck and success in all he tries to do that is good for this country and its’ people.

I was listening to him discuss the new puppy his family is getting when he described himself as a “mutt.”  At first it seemed humorous, but after a bit it wasn’t so much funny as painful.  I know how difficult it can be for people of mixed race, especially if it is black & white.  They rarely seem to feel like they belong to either race.  It can be a hard and lonely existence. 

It would thrill me to no end to be able to figure out a way for them to identify with allof their cultures.  It makes sense to me.  That’s what I do.  I’m German, Irish, Scotts, French, Canadian, and Asian.  I’m not sure exactly where in Asia, but it showed in my eyes a lot before my face started melting.  My eyes had a very pronounced slant.  And I can’t confirm it yet, but I have a suspicion that there are Native American genes on my father’s side. 

I embrace each and every one of those places and cultures.  Being of more than one nationality, like most people, I pick and choose which things I want to keep about a culture and which I choose not to keep.  I’m each and every one, therefore they all belong to me.  I can do with it what I will. 

I do NOT have to pick only one, because that would be denial.  I am ALL of those things and undoubtedly even more that I’m not aware of.  I am them and they are me.

Sometimes I’m very German, other times I’m a Scot through and through.  I have no problem moving from one to the other.  It seems to be harder for people of black and white mix.  Probably because of racial conflicts that are instilled in peoples’ memory. 

I hope our new president will be able to help people of mixed race to overcome some of that discomfort.  If he can go even a tiny bit in that direction he will have my vote.  (an itty bitty pun there) 

 

Halloween

We had a great time Halloween night.  I was feeling really good so we went to the Fire Fighter’s Burned Childrens Fund haunted house.  It was CREEPY.  It was fun.  It was huge.  It took all night to get everyone in the line through the house and the woods trail.  We bugged out at about 11:30 pm.  It seemed like it had only been a few minutes that we were there. 

MDH dressed up like a scarecrow with a pumpkin head.  That sounds innocuous enough, but it was really disconcerting.  He had this HUGE pumpkin head that he got from Wally World.  He had cut the bottom out, hot glued an orangey-yellow film over the openings and put it over his head.  You really had a hard time keeping your eyes off of him. 

He went onto the woods trail and stood by a tree.  Now, MDH does Tai Chi.  So he was doing this standing exercise to keep from locking his knees and fainting, because he was exhausted from working all night the night before and getting no sleep.  When you came around the corner and saw him, it looked for all the world like he was hanging from the tree.  Everyone thought he was stuffed.  He would wait until about half of each group would go by, then slowly bend into the line and reach his hands out.  Sometimes he would speak, and sometimes not.  I have never heard grown people scream so much like little girls!  After twenty times of seeing it, it still creeped me out in the extreme to go past him.

Princess Bella was stationed at the exit door of the haunted house.  After each group would go through the haunted house, the guides would tell you that now you were going to go on the haunted trail.  You thought everything was over, you descended the back stairs of the house and stepped out onto the porch thinking that you were going to get a moment to gather yourself when BOOM!!!!  Princess Bella would scream at the top of her lungs and start making this God Awful banging.  It made you want to jump out of your skin.  And it didn’t help that she was  the perfect little Cinderella.  It just made the contrast that much more disconcerting.

The Buddha and I were the back guides on the tours.  We followed the groups through the house and trail in order to keep everyone together and to block them from running backwards off course.  It was hilarious and spooky all at the same time.  We had one group of kids that skattered in the very first room.  Before it was over, we had lost three of them.  They demanded to go back to their moms.  It was great.

I went through that house for hours, in fifteen minute intervals.  I walked my every lovin legs off.  It was great.  It took me two days to be able to stand up without groaning like I was 100 years old. 

When we left at 11:30, there were still about 100 people waiting in line to go through and more were still coming.  They were such a success that they opened it again the next night!  THAT rules!

We did the same thing we do every Halloween, we bought all of our favorite candy for the trick or treat bowl.  But we weren’t here to give it to trick or treaters, so we get to eat it all.  I guess that means that I need to learn to love my fluffy figure.  🙂

Accomplishments

MDH got employee of the month at work.  He got a certificate, a paper with his picture on it along with a description of what he did to earn it, and a great big huge re re looking thing to hang on his rear view mirror so that he can park in the Employee of the Month parking space.  I died laughing at the parking thingie.  It’s twice the size of a handicapped card that you hang on your mirror.  He said that he wasn’t going to use it.  I don’t blame him.  I am very proud of him for getting this honor because he deserves it.  Congrats, MDH!

The Buddha and Princess Bella both got honor roll on their report cards.  I’m proud of both of them because I see how hard they work everyday to get good grades.  We had a special dinner when they got their report cards in order to celebrate.  I love it when a plan comes together.

I went grocery shopping.  I know this doesn’t seem like much of an accomplishment.  But……when they rang up my groceries it came to $249 and change.  After all my coupons and discounts and such it was $164 and change.  I really like that.  A guy in the line behind me said that if it didn’t stop taking money off, that they were going to end up having to pay ME for buying groceries.  Kinda made me feel good.

My daughter and son-in-law both have their child support set up.  I’ll start getting it this month.  Considering all of the circumstances, that is one hell of an accomplishment for both of them.  I’m happy and the kids will be too.

Rocky has settled into her house.  I am happy for her but I miss having her here.  I know that she’s only a few feet away but it’s not the same.  She gets more familiar with her surroundings every day. 

So, that’s us.  That’s what’s going on up here on the hill.  That and the leaves are changing.  MDH and I pulled onto the Lane today and a breeze was blowing.  It sent the leaves falling down around us.  It was snowing leaves.  It was a beautiful sight to see and it made a memory that I won’t forget for many years to come. 

I love autumn.

 

PS……Click on the Bloggers Unite badge to the right and read about how you can help.  Then come back here on Novemeber 10th to read my blog post on refugees.  Better yet, write your own and we can read each other’s posts.


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