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Sunday, September 30, 2007

I got hooked on "Rock of Love"...

Dang, I did what I have always hated in other people, getting hooked on a reality show.

I mean, seriously, how many more Survivor's are we going to be subjected to before people get tired of this crap? I eschew reality shows like nobodie's business but I went and did it, I got hooked on "Rock of Love with Bret Michaels". I also have to confess, I got hooked on the Scott Baio show, "Scott Baio is 45... and Single," too, and was glued to the television for that one, TiVoing them when I was going to be gone.

When I say I hate reality shows, I'm not exagerrating. I mean, real people going on real television shows doing REALLY stupid things all for the sake of being on television; these shows really appeal to the lowest common denominator in all of us, the nefariousness of being a part of someone else's life.

Now, the Scott Baio one is easy to figure out. He was hot when he was Chachi (and I'm giving away my age here) and he's still hot now. I mean, he's still just as gorgeous now as he was when he was on Happy Days and later in that Dick Van Dyke murder mystery show. He looks good coming and going and DAMN...!

Now, Bret Michaels is NOT hot in a traditional sense. He's a fading 80's Rock Star who needs a hair cut more than anyone I've ever met, but he seemed to pour his heart out to these girls that I started falling for him a little bit. However, he had sex with several of the girls on the show (or so it seemed. I wasn't there so I don't know for sure.) so how sincere could he have been in all of this?

I'm finding now that the girl he "chose", Jes, is with a clothing designer out of Chicago, her home town, so how real was this "reality" show? I actually visited the boards at VH1 where viewers are writing their thoughts about the show. I'm making my family crazy with this too, being such an avid follower.

I'm usually completely level headed when it comes to stuff like this and now my husband accuses me of having a crush on Bret Michaels. I really don't. I mean, I am NOT one of those who "falls in love" with famous people. I don't hang posters, I don't write them, I don't post things like, "I love Bret". I DID meet Bruce Boxleitner once (he's married to Melissa Gilbert of "Little House on the Prairie" fame) and I did go a little nuts. I have a photo of it somewhere and he's just as good looking now as he was when I was in High School. When I met Melissa at the same event, I was talking to her and said, "Um, can I ask you a question?" She leaned forward in earnestness, expecting I'm sure any number of questions related to her career, when I said, "What's it like being married to Bruce? He was my high school celebrity crush and he still looks as good now as he did then."

She blushed to such a bright red... She then got all serious on me and said, "Oh, yeah, he's a babe, and he was my junior high crush." I DO have an autographed photo of HIM. So, I guess I have my moments. And believe me when I tell you, he also looks good coming and going.

But I seem to be digressing a bit.

Anyway, as much as I hate reality shows, I DID get hooked on these two. For whatever reason, I couldn't stop watching these shows, particularly "Rock of Love".

Here are my thoughts on the show since I've gone on so much about it:

Bret made the right choice. Heather was skanky looking, like she'd just stepped off the screen of a bad 80's porno movie. I'm sure she's a lovely girl in real life, if you can call someone who takes their clothes off for a living a nice girl, but she had one of the cattiest personalities. Through all the shows, Heather was constantly saying horrible things about people. In the last show, her true colors showed when Bret was having issues with his diabetes and Heather pretty much ignored it. At the end, she agreed to be part of his harem if he couldn't make up his mind between the two girls.

Jes, on the other hand, was right on top of things when Bret shared with her that he wasn't feeling well due to his diabetes. She became quietly emotional and expressed her sincere concern for his health and well-being. She also said there was no way she would share her man with any other woman. In the end, she won. She became Bret's "Rock of Love" (his words, not mine).

But then I go to the boards at VH1. People are talking about the show being scripted, Heather isn't really a stripper in real life, Jes had a boyfriend thru the whole show (and is still with him) and that this was the pre-determined result from inception of the show.

This is why I hate reality shows. I'm done with reality shows now. I went into this with the idea that while this was television, someone was laying out their life to fall in love. I don't think the premise could have been any more romantic. Yes, it was hokey. Yes, it was a little too personal. Yes, sometimes I knew too much. However, people love lovers. There is nothing more romantic than the intial "falling in love" part of a relationship. Now to find out it was scripted, that the "romance" was simply for television, well, that deflated me.

I'm done.

But who am I to judge? This is just my two cents.

Rock on!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Member of Jena 6 gets bail...

Okay, this will be considered a "charged" editorial here, but this is how I feel, this is my opinion, and I'm entitled to express my opinion.

Background: Six black High School students, in response to coming to school one day and seeing three nooses hanging in a tree there. The noose was hung there by both white AND black students, apparently to remind the black students of the lynchings that are an omnipresent part of a black student's past (according to the perpetrators). It has since come out that the nooses were hung in the tree in relation to a "big game" that was upcoming. To retaliate, six black students beat a white student within an inch of his life. The prosecutor has said he doesn't plan to charge the white students with any crimes while our buddy, Al Sharpton, is asking the black students be let off, scot free, from being charged with any crime.


First, why aren't the white children being charged with any crime? Here in Arizona, there is a law on the books regarding disrupting the school day. If you do something like, I don't know, hang nooses in a tree, which is obviously disruptive to the school day, you are arrested.

Second, if six white students had beaten a black student as badly as the white child was beaten, Al Sharpton would be leading the charge to have said white students charged, sentenced without a jury trial and executed, all before the weekend.

However, the black students involved in this already have police records. This tells me they are already familiar with the law and its consequences. This tells me that the beating wasn't about three nooses, but about breaking the law. In short, these kids did this not for the sake of avenging their past but to beat a white kid nearly to death.

Side note: I also take issue with black people who want to be called African-American. A black man I worked with in Colorado said it best when a patron at the electronics store in which we worked asked for a discount on a price leader item "...for another African brother." My co-worker said to him, "You're not my brother. I am not from Africa either, my family is from the West Indies."

Unless you KNOW you're family came from African slave blood, you don't deserve the title. My family is from Scotland... I know this, I can prove it, on both sides of my family, I am from Scotland. There is one branch of my father's family from Ireland. As a result of this, we call ourselves Scots-Irish, however, I don't demand everyone I meet describe me as, "That Scots-Irish woman."

I'm afraid there really is no solution to the problems in Louisiana. Al Sharpton has issues as it is, using any means necessary to bring to the attention of the world the inequities in the thinking of some, in relation to our fellow countrymen, those of the Black race. In the 1990's, I think, he used a young black girl, telling the world she was raped and had feces rubbed on her by a group of white boys. Big Al used this incident to show the world how bad "Whitey" was and got the world in an uproar. Turns out, it didn't even happen... HE MADE IT UP!!!

Al Sharpton is a cancer in this world. He hates white people so much he has to make up crimes we committ and he uses 15-year-old children to further his cause. He is spreading so much hate in this world, he sets race relations BACK 25 years.

There are even black writers who feel the same way as I. I found a blog written by a black man who says the same thing: "Al Sharpton needs to Sit His Ass Down". This is an extremely well-written blog and worthy of a visit. This young man does more to further the cause of race relations in one blog posting than Al Sharpton does in a month. Also, this man isn't the only one saying what I'm saying. Visit some of the blogs below if you don't believe me:

BlogCritics Magazine
American Renaissance

Anyway, I'm done here, I think. To encapsulate: The Jena 6 SHOULD be charged as adults and the prosecutor dropping all the charges to a juvenile level doesn't serve justice. The kids who hung the nooses should be charged with disturbing the peace or something like that.

For Al Sharpton to ask, nay demand, these kids should be let off, well, if the roles were reversed, he'd feel differently. Justice should be color blind but Al Sharpton only wants it to see white people. And that's what's wrong with the world. People don't want to be accountable for their actions and when a person of color USES their skin color to gain sympathy, well, that makes me sick too. If you don't want me to see you as black, don't wave it in my face everytime you draw a breath.

That's just my two cents.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Our schools are out of control...

Again, no link to an article in the headline but I have two articles here to further illustrate my point, that our schools are spiraling out of control, with no one but the administration to blame.

In South Carolina, a 49-year-old teacher, Karen Robbins, had sex with a 15-year-old student. The link for the article is on CNN.

In Tampa Bay, FL, a teacher in a classroom had problems with some disruptive students, culminating in " of them directed an offensive remark at a teacher, bringing her to tears."

The teacher left the room and another teacher came in, with two older kids in tow, to being the room under control. What follows is nothing short of abuse towards children, not just by the children but by the adults involved as well. Read about it here.

As the mother to a child who has been bullied pretty much non-stop since we moved to Arizona three years ago, I feel this is why our schools are out of control; the teachers don't want to teach, they want to be "friends" with their students. There are no boundaries any longer between the adults and the children they are responsible for.

In the teacher sex scandal in South Carolina, there is mention in the link provided of another teacher, this time a woman named Wendie Ann Schweikert, an elementary school teacher, had sex with an 11-year-old boy. This one sickens me to no end. How does anyone look at children and think, "Oh, yeah, I gotta have me some of that."

Today's world seems to be failing our children. They are not giving them the once proud educations of our forefathers, where a child could do algebra, and beyond, by the age of ten. We were once a country filled with accountability, where one was expected to take responsibility for their actions, and said actions were required to be the example for future generations. Now we are a country of "not me" and all we are teaching our children is that enough money and perseverance can keep you out of jail.

Over the last twenty years or so, psychologists have led us to believe that our actions are not our actions, but the result of someone else's mistreatment or abuse. We are now permitted to define ourselves by what has been heaped upon us in the past.

Example: I am the adult child of an alcoholic. My father was a horribly abusive alcoholic who hit me several times a week. My mother was powerless to stop it given the financial circumstances in their marriage and she was being abused as well. When I was in my early thirty's, I decided to go to an Al-Anon meeting for adult children of alcoholics. I went once and never went back. I heard so many people whining about how the alcoholic shaped their life and how it had repetitive repercussions on their present. "My father's being so abusive towards me now has me choosing relationships that are abusive." "My mother and her emotionally distancing me from her has me doing the same to my husband and children." Nowhere was anyone saying they were taking responsibility for their emotional problems. As long as we have someone to blame, we don't have to blame ourselves. These people are permitting the abusers to control their lives still by failing to shed the adjectives and move on.

I am an adult child of an alcoholic. It's not who I am, it's what I am, and even then, it's not a very big part of me either. I'm sure, when it's all said and done, these teachers are going to play some kind of pity card, giving mitigating circumstances related to the abuse of these students. I'm sure it'll play out in the courts as, "I was abused as a child and I can't recognize anything else as normal." Boo-hoo, cry me a river. Whomever abused you in the past, if it even happened, wasn't there to prompt you to commit the heinous acts you committed. They didn't hold a gun to your head and MAKE you abuse someone else.

These people make me sick and I believe they should all be locked away, in a dark room that has no key.

But who I am to judge? That's just my two cents.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I have no news article to attach to this one, this is personal...

I have a wonderful thirteen-year old son. He is a joy to parent and he can make me laugh with just a look. However, he is bullied quite a bit at his school. I had to change his school this year because another child stabbed my son in the hand for drumming his fingers while the administration did nothing. They couldn't even be bothered to call the police.

I belong to a Yahoo! list of parents who have children in similar situation. I am taking a quote from a posting someone did today, which really struck a chord with me.

This first posting is a member of the list who is on there, for whatever reason, but it sure isn't because bullying is a problem for them:

On Sep 21, 2007, at 3:37 AM, human_ways wrote:
When I was in school in the eighties in Finland in Europe, in my class pupils got bullied by other pupils only because they were thought to have alienated from themselves and followed too unhealthy ways of living, ones that could damage the whole social environment and even the whole society of they would spread: they were too much centered on school numbers, too much identified with the point of view of the adults, too much centered on outer looks only or too unsocial - so that the ground for their life suffered substantially because of that, in a word: those ways of living were not healthy any more. The nasty bullying tried to awaken them to realising the wisdom of life common to the others, among other things to value of healthy kind of social life.

So in the light of this experience I would suggest that the bullied should discuss with the others the philosophical grounds for those decisions of life that they are in conflict about: are those ways really healthy or not and so should such choices be allowed in the society and in the social environment or not?! The context could be a philosophy class, study mentoring or whatever. But the teachers should take care that they would not support the school likedness to much or the following of the opinions of parents, teachers or other adults:each one of us must make one's own wise choices in life! One should also see deeper into things: the way people dress isn't nonsense, it is a question about a way of life preferred by them. One must also make a difference between the own values of a pupil (too much superficiality isn't OK!) from the values of adults in her/his environment. We are together in this world: the society changes according to what the people in it do – what are the values followed by the bullied and of the bulliers. The typical bullier isn't malicious but instead a teacher in the art of living, in one's own eyes at least – whether she or he is wiser or more stupid than one's"student".

Bullied but not suffered

At first blush, this is an eloquently written posting. It is concise and clear, not being condescending to the lowest common denominator. The person who wrote this is obviously educated and doesn't assume the reader is not. However, the underlying tone is almost unmistakable, that the bullied are responsible for understanding the bullies, not vice verse.

A wonderful member of our board wrote her own response. As much as I would love to put her name here, I am choosing to keep her anonymous. One of the rules of this board is thus: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. We don't tell others we are there, for fear of one of the bullies coming there to make trouble. Here is her response to this crap posted:

Nothing about these bullies is instructive regarding how to live our lives. They are abusers plain and simple. They are out of control, power hungry, without conscience, troublemakers, who are usually smart enough and aware enough of their behavior to hide it from authorities. I don't consider that the model of a healthy person.
They are charismatic enough or frightening enough that others will line up to follow them.

They are con artists.

They bully for self amusement and to control others. They in no way intend to instruct anyone.

To justify such abhorrent activity by calling it a "life lesson" is ludicrous at best.
Who are these abusers to sit in judgement of anyone? I have no recollection of this responsibility being delegated to them. It would also be quite easy to dismantle the "quality" of the person that is a bully...just as they do to their victims. The difference is respect, restraint, good breeding.. as well as the value system of each individual involved.

Abusers have never been taught to respect others. They are the ones who need the life lessons ---not the victim. They are low-rent losers who may get their day in the sun as kids but never learn how to properly interact in society. They may eventually be successful but I believe they are losers who feel so inadequate that they will always seek the next victim in order to puff themselves up.

I am outraged at the idea that the victim is at fault for simply being themselves in a harmless fashion. Blaming the victim is so lame as to defy explanation. Those that need this concept explained will never understand it. There is no redeeming perspective to bullying. Perhaps they attempt to justify their own ill bred bullying behavior. Who knows? In any event that concept will forever be inexplicable to me.

Any questions?

As I said earlier, my son was/is being bullied. It hurts my heart every day. My husband was also bullied growing up. they tease me constantly that I went to a magic school, where no one really did this. Where I went to school, all thirteen years (the fall of 1969 was the first year Ohio required Kindergarten in the public schools) was a small school district. All of us knew each other practically from birth because our parents knew each other. If someone did something wrong, you can bet your booty your parents knew about it before the dust settled. There were consequences to our actions and our parents weren't afraid to let us know them. We didn't bully each other...

Now, parents wish to be their kids' friends. There are no consequences in life any longer. The tree hugging psychologists tell us:

"Is your kid out drunk with their friends and can't drive home? Tell them to call you to get them home safely with no consequences." Uh, if MY kid is out getting drunk, there sure as heck ARE consequences AND they'll get in trouble even more if they DON'T call me.

"Let your child know you are safe. Be their best friend." - My child has enough friends, they NEED parents. I would hope my children trust me enough to come to me to talk when they have an issue that deserves the attention of an adult, but I'm not naive enough to know they will every single time. I am not their friend, I am a parent, with all the responsibilities that go along with it.

A great deal of parents today suffer from what I call the "Precious Darling Syndrome". They have children with no character, morals or sense of right and wrong. They are either too busy or too apathetic towards their child to pay much attention to them and their children begin to act out in the form of violence of some kind. Every weekend, there are children across the country who are committing crimes of some kind, whether it is assaulting a classmate or knocking off the local gas station with a weapon in hand. These children are eventually caught, with the psychology of crime being, the more a person does this and gets away with it, the more daring they become in the commission of their crimes. Once the child is arrested, their parents ARE called. The parents, when presented with the evidence of their child's crime, usually respond with something along the lines of, "Not my precious darling." They then proceed to spend all the money in Fort Knox to attain legal representation in order to prevent their child from being responsible for their actions. As a result of this, their child begins to believe they are above the law. By the time they are adults, they are committing crimes worthy of being sent to an adult prison and they never come to terms with the reality they and they alone are responsible for their crimes.

The following is a quote from a study conducted by a university specialist, taken from the website

There appears to be a strong relationship between bullying other students and experiencing later legal and criminal problems as an adult. In one study, 60% of those characterized as bullies in grades 6-9 had at least one criminal conviction by age 24.[16] Chronic bullies seem to maintain their behaviors into adulthood, negatively influencing their ability to develop and maintain positive relationships.[17]

16. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED384 437.
17. Oliver, R., Hoover, J. H., & Hazler, R. (1994). The perceived roles of bullying in small-town Midwestern schools. Journal of Counseling and Development, 72 (4), 416-419.

In short, bullies in middle school grow up to become the criminals of tomorrow. While they are bullying, they are not affecting the outside world in any other than as a bully in their school. As adults, they become the person who steals your car, breaks into your home (perhaps with you in it) and kills a stranger if for no other reason than they wanted their wallet.

It saddens me that the parents of today, as well as the administrators of the schools, turn a blind eye to this kind of violence. They are propagating the myth that the "bullied" are somehow responsible for what happens around them, while the rest, the "bullies" are responsible to no one but themselves.

While I realize my writing this today will change nothing in this world, it gets this off my chest. This is what is bothering me today, and every day given my son is a victim in this. He suffers, every day, with "his" reality that he has no worth. If the adults in his world didn't feel he was worthy of "saving" why should he?

I love my son to distraction. I know he will someday grow up to become a spectacular adult. For the bullies of this world to ignore that, well, I feel sorry for them, not enough to excuse their behavior, but perhaps enough to send them a card when they are residents of Cell Block A, to remind them of when their destructive behavior started and to thank his/her parents for their lack of caring about them enough to teach them right from wrong.

Just my two cents.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

O.J. Simpson arrested... Again

Las Vegas has him now, O.J. Simpson, the Juice.

Simpson is being held in the Las Vegas county jail on criminal charges; being held without bail.

Did he murder someone? Nope. He hasn't killed, or even injured, anyone. Did he use a weapon in the commission of a felony? Nope, no gun or knife anywhere to be found on his person. So what heinous crime did he commit in order to garner such harsh treatment, usually reserved for the most serious of felonies?

He tried to get back some of his stolen memorabilia. And the Goldman family is, again, being asses about it.

For those of you living in a bubble or underground with no access to any kind of news whatsoever, O.J. was accused of killing his ex-wife and her boyfriend. He was found not guilty by a group of twelve men and women who heard ALL the evidence, some ad nauseum. However, in a civil trial, where the families of those killed want some kind of justice, even if it's the wrong person, sued and won a judgment against O.J., making them the rightful owners of all that is O.J. For a group of people who profess to hate this man, they sure want him in their lives enough to chase down every shoelace or napkin this guy has used in his lifetime.

I'm not one of those who unerringly believes O.J. is innocent of the crimes he was accused of. I also don't know if he's guilty or not; I wasn't there, I didn't witness the murders, I only heard about them through the sensationalistic media, like the rest of the world. My take on it is this: If you are found "not guilty" by a jury of your peers, that should be the end of it, period. Had he been found guilty, then by all means family members of those killed, loot his house like it's New Orleans after a hurricane. However, O.J. was found to be "not guilty". Leave the poor man alone.

The link I included in the title of this post isn't about his being arrested, per SE, but about a friend of his believing O.J. was set up for this robbery. As swiftly as the Goldman family is moving to get O.J.'s stuff, I almost believe it, that he was set up. And why is he being charged with a crime of armed robbery when HE didn't have a gun or knife? Is someone anxious to get O.J. in prison? Wow, do the players in this whole thing have a penchant for hatred and wrong-doing...

Let me bottom line this for you: While I empathize with the families of Nicole and Ron Goldman, no one should lose a child in this way, I lost my ability to side with them when they so vehemently go after an "innocent" man. Since their family members were killed they have made it their single-minded mission to destroy O.J. Simpson. That kind of hatred kills the person feeling it. I can remember seeing Nicole Simpson's sister on TV when the trial was going on and by the way she looked, she already hated the world BEFORE her sister was murdered. That woman looked like a battle axe ready to fall. And I gotta say this, though one should really never speak ill of the dead, Nicole looked worse than did her sister. That was one heinous face, and everyone talks about how beautiful she was. I'm sorry, but I don't see it at all. In Wikipedia, there is a wedding photo of she and O.J. Her face is one of misery rather than one celebrating one of the happiest days of your life.

The Goldman's and the Browns need to start healing. Allow O.J. some of his life back. He didn't kill your family members. Also, with the kind of hatred you carry around, you're all going to die premature deaths due to the karma you throw out in the world. The only way to heal is to try to put some of this behind you. My hairdresser lost a son to murder, and she knew for sure who did it since the person confessed to it all. She sends him cards in prison and has forgiven him. Now THAT'S a good person! She doesn't spend every waking moment hating the way the Goldman's and Brown's do. She has gotten on with her life, albeit without the son she loved deeply and totally, but she HAS moved forward rather than stagnating like the Goldman's and the Browns. If ever a group of people needed therapy, it's this one. I'd venture to guess they could all go to the same therapist and get some kind of discount. But then never will. Some people just like to be unhappy.

But that's just my two cents, and what do I know?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Football season is upon us - Who is Peyton Manning?

This past weekend, I saw a rerun of Saturday night live with Peyton Manning as the host. I have to say, he's actually a pretty funny guy...

There was one piece of information I always thought I knew about the guy and now I find out it's not true... I always thought he went to Ole Miss and it turns out he is a graduate of University of Tennessee. My father-in-law was a professor of Business at UT and he could have had him in a class... Who knows... I guess I just always assumed he went to Ole Miss because that's where his father and younger brother, Eli, went to school. I also thought I read somewhere that he had an even younger brother who was at Ole Miss now, but it turns out he doesn't. Eli is the last of the line. His brother, Cooper, played football but his career was ended by injuries before it even started. Cooper DID play football with Ole Miss but apparently he suffered a spinal cord injury and didn't play after that.

But, after seeing Peyton on SNL, you can tell his life isn't just football. He has a natural ability to deliver comedy that you don't get by accident. In his opening monologue, he is telling, "...those of you who don't know it..." that he comes from a football family. He tells of his father being Archie Manning, one of the greatest QB's of all time, he tells of Eli being the QB of the New York Giants and then he tells of his mother, who tried football but couldn't make it. "She got cut by the dolphins, she tried football in Canada for a while. Yeah, she's our greatest disappointment." And the whole time, his mother and father are laughing in the audience. You can tell this is an old joke in the family and that they tease each other. Had this been the first time he had made this joke, had this been the first time he actually "hacked" on his mom, I don't know she'd be laughing.

You could tell, this is a family that laughs together. You can also tell this is a family that loves each other fiercely.

One question though... Where was his wife? Why wasn't she in the audience? I read something somewhere that she prefers to stay out of the spotlight and let Peyton shine. One thing about Peyton is evident... When he walks into a room, he's going to shine no matter WHO'S there; he has that kind of persona, that when he walks into a room, even if he weren't one of the greatest QB's to play the game (I say one of because I am an Elway fan. Always have been, always will be), he's larger than life, so dominant is his personality.

Is there another reason? I can only speculate at this point. I mean, she met him before he was who he was so the argument could be made she loves him for him, not for his job. But, why wasn't she in New York with him when hosted Saturday Night Live? The rest of the family was there so it was obviously a family event. It was his birthday and she wasn't spending it with him? Is she REALLY happy to "let him shine" or is she just an ego away from resenting his shining over hers?

I didn't start this blog to hack on Ashley Manning. I'm sure she's a lovely girl with many wonderful attributes so let's go back to Peyton...

As I sat there watching SNL and Peyton, it occurred to me... He could easily carry a situation comedy. Once he's done with football, he really should consider a career in television or comedy movies. He's got GREAT comedic delivery and with good writers, he could have a second career as a "great one".

Here are some links on YouTube:

Phony United Way Commercial
SNL Monologue
Sprint Commercial
Several MasterCard Commercials:
Commercial 1...
Commercial 2 (this one is my favorite...)

The point is, this is a funny person and he's not afraid to show it. He probably has more commercials I haven't even seen but the one's I have seen are friggin' hilarious! If you do a search on YouTube, you'll find more.

So, I'll sign off for now; I need to take my son to school. But I HAD to blog this because this is worth telling the world, Peyton Manning is probably as funny, if not funnier, that a lot of comedians out there in sitcoms. Someone should take a look at him, perhaps put him in a sitcom on the off-season? Film it in Indy so he can still be with his wife and base it around, I don't know, stupid stuff like these commercials... I think it would be huge!

But then, what do I know?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Fred Thompson announces his presidential candidacy

HOORAY! Fred Thompson has officially entered the race for the presidential candidacy. I gotta say, he's got my vote and he has my husband's vote, come November 2008. My husband's from Tennessee so, no surprise there!

But, I am already noticing in the mainstream media, he's already receiving the "negative" labeling. See, I believe the media like to see if they can subvert public opinion. How are they doing this with Fred? By calling him an actor...

Now, there's nothing wrong with being an actor. Arnold did it, got the governor spot and he's STILL an actor, but he's also a governor. When he's done as governor, I expect him to be called "Former Governor of California". John Kerry, now an attorney, no longer as politician, is referred to, by the mainstream media, as Former Senator, John Kerry. Fred Thompson was a senator in Tennessee for seven years. I believe he left office because he was diagnosed with leukemia. Yes, he IS an actor, but he is also a former senator. Why can't the media refer to him as Former Senator Fred Thompson?


Though being an actor is an acceptable occupation, being a senator carries so much more dignity and respect. But ***GASP***, referring to him as a former senator might give him some credibility!

Unfortunately, Americans are sheep. They will blindly and blithely follow whatever crap they are spoon fed by the media. The jury of public opinion is so easily swayed by the media and they love being the puppet masters... Visit the site at the Washington Post which has a grid of the candidates... Look at the bottom where they list Fred Thompson, Actor... Sadly, the majority of the voting public (remember, less than 50% of the registered voters actually vote in any given election) are stupid... They can't do the research themselves and make an informed decision. They have to wait for the media to tell them how they should feel about a particular issue or person. The media, knowing this, pander to the lowest common denominator and use their platforms in the public eye to sway opinion. How much fun is that?

It's going to be a long 15 months...

When it's an officer, he's disciplined...

More soldiers received their punishments related to the killing of 2 Iraqi civilians and this really got my back up.

My husband was enlisted when he was in the Air Force, as was my father and both my older sons; I only know one current officer and one former officer. It seems to me, the military is in the business of breastfeeding their officers while throwing their enlisted personnel to the wolves.

Over the last few years, there have been a number of courts martial and criminal proceedings related to civilian deaths related to the Iraq War. One thing has been certain in all of the sentencing hearings, before they even took place; the enlisted personnel will go to prison while the officers get next to nothing, enforcing the belief amongst them that they are untouchable.

As I read this article, I could feel the bile rise in my throat, so sickened by this newest display of elitism in the military.

Here's what happened:

Two years ago, an IED alongside the road was detonated and a Marine was killed. In retaliation, some Marines went on a rampage and killed 24 Iraqi civilians, including women and children. Though the Marine officers were notified of the deaths (maybe not ALL of them, but at least one of them) and did nothing. Apparently, they considered this act to be the spoils of war. For three months, the Marine Corps. did nothing, that is until the media found out about it and started making noise. THEN the Marines did something, conducting their own investigation, and even then, it was perfunctory. So, basically, they did nothing...

There was a line in the article that really jumped out at me, "Accountability and responsibility are the foundation of all we do as Marines," said Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps.

All I have to say to that is, "WHEN?!?!?!?!?!" If no one is being punished for the unlawful acts committed by these officers, then where is the accountability and responsibility?

Gen. Conway goes on to say this, "While these three officers have served their country and corps exceedingly well for decades, their actions, inactions and decisions in the aftermath of the Haditha incident did not meet the high standards we expect of Marine senior officer leadership," Conway said.

Um, what high standards? The standards that say an officer should do all they can to cover up the illegal actions of their subordinates? Is the standard they didn't meet one which involves subterfuge? Are they receiving their letters of censure because they didn't do ENOUGH to cover this up?

I have to say, the military of today isn't the same military I was in, nor is it the same as when my father and husband were members. We started seeing the decline towards the end of Mark's career in the Air Force and it's a disease that is infecting all branches.

I live near Fort Huachuca, an Army post in Southern Arizona, and I see the lack of discipline here.

This past February, a soldier stationed at Ft. Huachuca, Cpl. Victor M. Langarica, 29, of Decatur, Ga., who was assigned to the 86th Signal Battalion, Fort Huachuca, Ariz, was killed and his household goods were stored at a storage facility just outside one of the gates to the fort. Cpl. Langarica was a single dad with two kids. His wife had kind of left him and the kids and he was deployed. His children were living with his mother in Georgia. Now comes the fun part...

Within hours of his unit being notified of his death, the person he left his information with in relation to his household goods was in the storage unit emptying it out. He told the fort he was taking photos so the storage facility wouldn't steal anything. However, the storage facility has cameras and it showed him loading up his truck with all the expensive electronics equipment, such as a television and stereo system. Cpl. Langarica's mother hadn't even been notified but his "buddies" were cleaning him out, planning to leave little or nothing for his children. I don't know why this wasn't reported to the police but I can guess...

The military works very hard to keep their members out of trouble. It's not that they have a particular affinity for any one soldier because their members are just anonymous possible deaths to them, but they need warm bodies to fill their enlistment slots. They need them badly enough they now allow people with felony convictions to enlist in the military. We now have people in the military who have committed some pretty serious crimes and there is now a huge crime problem in the military, up to and including gangs being formed around the world (due to deployments) marking their turf just as they do in the US. (See this article...) This disturbs me to no end. Though all branches have identified gang members in their ranks, the Army has the most... The Army is the worst branch to have your kid in, and they forgive some pretty serious offenses as well.

One of my sons was stationed at Fort Bragg from 2002 till 2005. There was one evening he was engaging in the military's favorite past time, drinking. He was underage and shouldn't have been doing it but he was being given the alcohol by his squad leader, an NCO, who shouldn't have been doing anything like that, but that was tame when you know what happened later... My son was drinking heavily and eventually passed out. His NCO took this opportunity to awaken my son's fiancee and rape her. My son, in order to submit testimony to the Army related to the rape, had to admit his drinking. I still feel he did the right thing... The Army, in response to the report, gave my son an Article 15 , which is a pretty serious thing in the military. The man who raped my son's girlfriend got NOTHING! Yes, that's right folks, you can rape someone while a member of the military and nothing happens.

In conclusion, the point I'm trying to make is this: the military doesn't teach discipline, accountability and responsibility. They encourage lawlessness and reinforce it to the extent I think we're going to start seeing more and more veteran's in our prisons. Only now, they are highly trained killers (because unless you're in the Air Force, that's all you're taught, how to kill.) who will commit more serious crimes and given their training, will probably commit more of them before they are caught. Nice to know we now have formal training for the criminal element in our country. Only now, some of them have college degrees as well.

I wonder when the military will start giving them guns upon release from their time in service?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It seems to be a slow news day...

In looking through the news online, I see nothing but the same old regurgitation of rhetoric. Oh, I guess I could discuss yet anothe celebrity arrest or we could have a discussion on A-Rod leaving the Yankees, but I'm not a huge Yankees fan, or really baseball at all unless it's the Cincinnati Reds so...

Where do I go from here?

Um, let's see, I have an article coming out on the first of October in the online edition of Home & Away Magazine. I'm rather proud of this article. This is the one that puts me in the big time in the way of writing for magazines and will give me more credibility. I also got screwed over by a photographer that I WAS working with so I had to submit my own photos, which turned out rather nice, if I do say so myself, and I made a bucketload of money on them as well.

Turns out, the editor at the magazine liked my work and ideas for other articles. I am going to Cripple Creek, CO, next month to do an article on the city as a summer getaway. I'm excited about this one. I get to travel, the city is comping a great deal for me, my youngest son is going with me (he was born in Aurora, CO, and he has no memory of the state), and I get a vacation.

Travel writing is one of the better branches of freelance writing. It probably doesn't pay as much as, say, political or feature writing, but it has a tremendous amount of perks. There's free food, stays in hotels, clothing... To be sure, I don't go into the article thinking I'll get free stuff, but it happens and I never tell them "No".

I'll share some photos of Cripple Creek when I get back. Until then, I'll just keep posting my thoughts on the latest news story. That is assuming something more exciting than Shaguille O'Neal filing for divorce.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Utah mine rescue halted.

This is sad. For those of you who either knew nothing about this or forgot about it almost as soon as it happened...

Six miners were trapped in a mine after it collapsed on them. Three rescue workers died when it collapsed again. After twenty-nine days of trying to get to these men, the rescue mission has finally been called off.

And here's an even sadder part... The owner of the mine, Bob Murray, has been treating the families like crap since this whole thing started. It got so bad, his disrespect and lack of involvement in the retrieval of his employees, he was asked by the federal government to stay away from the briefings and the families. Wow, how bad is that, that even the federal government, who seem to have a corner on the market when it comes to treating people badly, tells you you're misbehaving so much you need to stay away?

We now have six men, probably dead, though we'll never know because no one wants to truly find them except the families. The owner of the mine, Murray, even went as far as to say in the same announcement that the search was ending, was that they weren't even going to try to retrieve the bodies so the families could bury them.

These miners, some if not all of them, have families and children who love them. To be sure, a funeral is for the living, to give them one last chance to say goodbye, but a funeral is one of the more important parts of grieving. For the owner of the mine to deny them this, well, he hasn't a clue and for him, it's all about the Benjamin's.

Another small event to strike a blow against the families is the federal government denying the families the right of representation of their choosing.

See, the Crandall Canyon Mine is a non-union shop. However, if two or more families request assistance from the United Mine Workers of America Union, the union can represent them. The federal government allows the mine can represent the miners, they just can't represent the FAMILIES of the miners, unless the miners give them permission to do so. Oh? Would this be the same miners who were trapped by the mine collapse requiring the families to seek help?

Yeah, just checking...

Due to this decision, that means the mine collapse is going to be investigated by... the mine...
Wow, I wish I had the freedom. Next time I have an accident, forget sending out the adjuster. Just let me investigate it all and I'll let the insurance company know what the results are...

I declare shenanigans on this whole mess.

I declare shenanigans against the mine owner who was probably striking out over the loss of six miners as well as the mine. He just struck out at the wrong people. In short, he's an ass...

I declare shenanigans against the federal government for stopping all rescue efforts. I do the same for their denying the family members to seek assistance from whomever they wish.

Six men are probably dead hundreds of feet below the surface of the earth and no one wants to help their loved ones.

The trapped men are:

Kerry Allred
Don Erickson
Luis Hernandez
Juan Carlos Payan
Brandon Phillips
Manuel Sanchez

The men who died trying to rescue them are:

Dale Ray Black
Brandon Kimbler
Gary Jensen

Now, here's another nice piece of news: Before the mine called for help, the sheriff had already been called FIVE MINUTES BEFORE by seismologists in the area who had registered the activity on their equipment. The seismologists are saying, not with 100% certainty, that the activity on their equipment, a 3.9 magnitude seismic event, was the mine collapsing. Up to this point, the mine owners have been saying the 3.9 event CAUSED the mine collapse and the seismologists are saying it WAS the mine collapse.

This whole thing smells like a bad fish left out in the sun. This whole thing stinks to high heaven and the only ones who will get hurt will be the miner's families. The feds are already out to screw them, the mine owner will receive all the protection the feds have to offer him, and these poor families are going to be raped even more than they already have been.

I'm bloody sick and tired of the government working so hard to maintain the status quo when it bails out yet another wealthy business owner or fat cat millionaire. The legislation he signed the other day to help the sub-prime homeowners sounds good on the surface, but the truth of the matter is, he's doing it to prevent the banks from going broke with all these foreclosures and no ability to sell the houses that are now glutting the market. When it was just the homeowners who were being hurt, the government wanted nothing to do with all this. Now that it's affecting Wall Street, well, the government has to jump in and take care of things.

The government will be there for the mine owners and the government agencies who messed up left, right and center, but they won't be there for the families of the men who died. No one intends to be there for the families... No one but themselves. It's not the fault of the men who were working to earn a living, it's not the fault of the people who love them. It IS the fault of the owners who allowed the mountain to buckle over several months, knowing a collapse was imminent, but realizing the cost to prevent it would force them to dip into their precious profits.

That's just my two cents, and who am I?

Senator Craig to resign...

Wow, I can't remember the last time someones sex life fell under so much speculation... Oh, wait, it was when Clinton was president and he was using the oval office as his personal sex room.

I've never been a fan of Billary Clinton. I think they got away with too much crime to be person's of any credibility. However, a person's sex life should be private, no matter how publicly they committed their acts.

Bill brought a lot of it on himself but at the same time if you were a man, if you were a sex hound, if you were the president, wouldn't you use your position as the leader of the free world to get as much ass as you could get? Oh, and if you were a man married to Hillary, whether you were president or not, even if you dug ditches for a living, wouldn't you cheat as much as possible? Gawd, is that woman heinous.

But I digress... Senator Craig.

Okay, it's starting to look like he DID do what he was accused of doing. However, we have a man who is VEHEMENTLY denying it all. I also read the transcript from the interview and from jump he is denying it, telling the police officer, over and over, he feels he was entrapped (I'm paraphrasing since he only actually said it once). Also, I've read somewhere that this all started with "someone" tapping their feet.

I have a thirteen-year-old son who sings when he's in the bathroom. He likes singing, he usually does it with his Zune in his ears and he doesn't care who's listening. In the midst of all this singing, he's probably tapping his feet. I know his singing is breaking the sound barrier and there are dogs everywhere covering their ears and howling but it's the tapping his feet that will get him into trouble? For someone who doesn't know that tapping your feet is the international symbol for wanting gay sex, this single act could land them in jail. I mean, seriously?

Before people start posting I am a homophobe, I'm not. I have two gay cousins who are wonderful human beings, inside and out. My siblings and I stay in touch with many of our cousins, whether they're gay or not and our children, most of them adults now, spend time with them too. Being gay doesn't make you a pariah, it makes you a human being with an alternative lifestyle. (And I kind of hate calling it an alternative lifestyle, too. I mean, what if it were "normal" to homosexual? I'd be the outcast!)

The bottom line to all of this, however, is that a person's sex life should be private. Living in the public eye shouldn't mean you are forced into a public life where your entire life is subject to review by the general public.

Nonetheless, I am tired of politician's and their lies.

Bill Clinton: "I didn't inhale." I don't CARE that he smoked pot in college. It was the 60's and everyone was doing it. What I do care about is his lying about it.

Bill Clinton: "I didn't have sex with-that woman-Monica Lewinsky." I don't CARE he had sex with this young woman. I DO care that he lied about it when confronted with the evidence. The fact that Monica held onto the soiled dress with his, ahem, manly juices on it, well, that's a whole 'nother pathology in my book and she has definite issues.

Senator Craig and his denials of being gay. If he's not, then people need to leave him alone. If he is, he needs to be a man and own up to it all. I am of the school of thought, much like Queen Victoria, "I don't care what people do so long as they don't scare the horses."

To encapsulate all of this: I don't care what people are doing; just own up to it when faced with the evidence.

Though I believe your private life should remain private, I also believe in owning the consequences of your actions. When you choose the public life, you choose to allow people to view your life through a microscope. Unfortunately, this is one of the pitfalls of living this life. While I feel these magazines that make it a practice to "out" people are repulsive I also feel that people shouldn't deny things when called on the carpet.

Just my two cents, and who am I, really?