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Monday, April 14, 2008

Yet another slow news day...

I have been scouring the Internet for the last two hours, searching for a news item to write about, to no avail. All I've seen is a regurgitation of the same stuff, just told about ten different ways.

Something that has been in my mind though was something I witnessed yesterday that blew me away. I was driving into town and as I approached a stoplight, on a service road next to me, was a man beating on his wife (?) and kids. Yes, you read correctly, on the side of the road, this guy actually pulled over to a service road, got out of his truck and made a thought out decision to beat on his family!

I pulled over to call for help, another car in the lane next to me blew the red light, probably out of shock, and the guy saw me pull in, cell phone to my ear, and didn't slow down at all. While on the phone with the 911 operator I pulled away to go to a safer location, my thinking being if he'd do this to his family, certainly a stranger was no problem, and he started in on one of his kids!

The sheriff caught up to them with my help. Before they could get there, he pulled away but I followed until they pulled him over. He, of course, denied everything. However, the sheriff shared with me this guy had a history with them and he wasn't buying it for a second. So now, this guy's on their radar even more and hopefully something will come of it.

What a crazy world we live in, that someone like this walks the streets and thinks it's a good thing to pull onto the side of the road and beat on his family.

Anyway, that's about all that's on my mind at the moment, not finding any news stories to talk about.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

It's rather a slow news day and I have been searching every news site I can think of to find something to blog about. There were nothing that excited me enough to write anything, much less an entire posting, but I am watching the mini-series John Adams and it inspired me to write about not him but Thomas Jefferson.

Several years ago, on a return trip from Colonial Williamsburg, we stopped for an afternoon in Charlottesville, Virginia at Monticello.

While in college, I had a History Professor who had written his dissertation on Thomas Jefferson and he taught me to love the man as well as he. Jefferson was a great, great man who died in abject poverty due to his poor management of his finances and his inventions. While he achieved greatness via his writing of the Declaration of Independence and as our third president, it was his "other life" that led me to admire him most.

Monticello is an architectural marvel. In the main entry, there is a calendar of sorts which extends from the top of the house to the bottom. Jefferson's study is graced with paintings of some of the greatest statesmen who lived at that time. His dining area has lazy susans in place for everything from the food to the wine and his sleeping quarters are nothing short of splendid. The most amazing thing about the house and its' gadgets is this: the house and every gadget in it were invented or designed by Jefferson, and none of them were patented. Jefferson invented the modern day plow and never received a patent for it.

Jefferson's Monticello was an extremely self sufficient plantation. On the grounds was a building/pumphouse and next to it was as small pond, built by his slaves. This pond was home to the fish they caught, in preparation for a dinner. The pond was always stocked in anticipation of Jefferson desiring fish for dinner and it was quite attractive. I took a photo of the building and I am inserting it here. (This is a really fuzzy photo that looks better in person. I am adding it here as a link to one of my photo sites, Webshots. I would post it here like I did the other one but Wenbshots seems to feel they own my photos once I post them on there. I am looking into how to remove them from Webshots so I may have them on a site which allows me to download my own photos for my own use. If you wish to see a better photo, go to

Jefferson admired those around him. When he admired someone enough, he commissioned a portrait of them to hang in his home. It is because of these paintings visitors are able to know the likeness of the Marquis de Lafayette and Benjamin Franklin, et al.

While the house is awe inspiring, the grounds are breathtaking. Built on the top of a mountain, Monticello has a view, in all directions, that extends for miles. Never have I been in a place more serene.

Jefferson was a horticulturalist and agriculturalist, always pursuing the "perfect" crops and flowers. He experimented constantly on his plants, crossing them with each other searching for plants that would not just survive but thrive in the Virginia heat and humidity, as well as its cold winters. Every plant on the property is a descendant of Jefferson's original plants, for sale in the gift shop on the grounds as well as by online shopping.

On my father's side, his Tobin line came from Virginia, roughly Culpepper County, around 1853, per my research. It must have been this that caused me to feel that day that I had come home. On the grounds, in the midst of the gardens, is a gazebo overlooking the valley. There are two chairs there in which to sit and ponder the beauty laid out before you, for it is beautiful. As I stood there looking at everything and nothing a sense of peace overcame me. I heard the birds singing, I remember seeing people moving around me, both in the gazebo and on the grounds below, but all I can clearly remember was my inner voice telling me I was home.

Though there are still many historical sites I have yet to see, though there are many I have already seen, Monticello is by far my favorite place and I'd love to go again before I leave this plane.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Barack Obamas puts his foot in his mouth as well...

When are the sheep, er, I mean followers of the Democratic party going to realize that the very people wishing to represent them have nothing but contempt for them?

Democrats LOOOOOOVE to paint themselves as the caring party. While their sheep, um, I mean followers seem to care about the world around them, it's their party leaders who are leading them around by the nose. Hillary, looking down from her ivory tower, and Barack, letting his minister showcase his contempt from the pulpit, couldn't' give a rat's behind about the people they want to elect them to president. Obama made this evident when he was talking to a crowd of wealthy folks in California not long ago.

To paraphrase, Obama thinks the people of Pennsylvania are miscreants who wrap themselves up in the flag, their guns, their religion, each other and their hatred of anyone who isn't them. Wow, I see so many things wrong with this I can't figure out where to start.

First, the flag? Really? 'Nuff said.

Second, their guns... Last time I read the Constitution it said I and others had the right to own a gun. Until it's repealed, and according to the latest case on gun ownership in front of the Supreme Court, it's going to be my right for a long time. The lower courts are agreeing it is the right of every American to own a gun if that's what they want to do.

Third, that same Constitution grants every American citizen the right to embrace any religion they want, including agnosticism.

Fourth, it sounds to me as though Obama's the one who doesn't like anyone that's not him. He's attended a church for 20 years that has a pastor who spews hatred from his pulpit every Sunday morning and Wednesday night. He's actually quoted as saying, "God damn America." Wow, really? God Damn America?

Obama's response to this is that he never heard anything like this before. Wow, he attended this church for twenty years and this pastor was his spiritual advisor and he's never heard anything like this from him before? It's on a DVD for goodness sake! Obama loved this man until he became a political liability, then he dumped him like a box of hot rocks. I find it EXTREMELY hard to believe Obama didn't know this hatemonger existed.

How is seemingly intelligent people can't see these two for what they really are - liars? I also feel I'm being generous calling ANY democrat intelligent if this is the kind of person they feel should be leading out country. Hillary has already shown her true colors by lying about her trip to Bosnia and the whole "no insurance" debacle out of Ohio. Now Obama seems to surround himself with bigots and black supremacists. John McCain is looking more and more like a winner than he ever did before.

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

Friday, April 11, 2008

It must be a slow news day...

Embedded in the title of this posting is a link to an article about an occasion, and photograph, of epic proportions!

Apparently, the White House website featured some photos of Dick Cheney outdoors and in his sunglasses is a reflection of... wait for it... HIS ARM HOLDING A FISHING ROD!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, you read correctly. Dick Cheney was fishing and in the reflection of his sunglasses is, wow, him fishing.

I guess the news outlets and bloggers had nothing better to talk about because this is garnering national attention and burning up the Internet with speculation as to what was on his sunglasses, until the White House revealed the truth. People were speculating it was a naked woman in his reflection and this was BIG news!

Seriously? This is what gets people's attention? Dick Cheney fly fishing? Wow, what a world we live in. There's so much happening in the world that people could be talking about. I could suggest some topics for people if they have really run out of water cooler conversation. How about, I don't know, um, doing away with the IRS and going to a flat tax? How about getting the Democrats to stop trying to turn this country into a socialist nation with their plans of socialized medicine? How about Hillary's lame-brain idea that having medical insurance is mandatory and a wage assignment in place will be the solution? How about the fact that the Dems have two people running for President and neither of them know the first thing about running a country or anything larger than a postage stamp? How about these same two people having absolutely no background in foreign affairs? How about both these people thinking the solution to the war in Iraq being we need to pull out immediately?

These are just a few topics that people can discuss which are FAR more relevant than whether or not Dick Cheney has a naked (I prefer to say nekkid but some people might be offended, like I really care but...) woman in the reflection of his sunglasses. Cheese and rice, people! Grow up!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Has society made us all afraid to parent?

I read an article today on MSNBC that reminded me of something I've been saying all along, because of government interference, because of people being people, we've become a society afraid to parent.

Kids are out of control. We have school shootings, bullying run amok to the extent kids are killing kids in school with people shaking their heads and saying, "Well, that's how kids are." and parents cowering in the corner for fear their children won't like them.

I heard a comedian talking on one of my comedy channels on Sirius joking how if you were ever lost all you had to do was go to the local McDonald's playground and look at the parents. He went on to say, in Princeton, the parents are standing at the bottom of the jungle gym saying, "Please, Chauncey, come down now, you're hurting Daddy's feelings." while in HIS neighborhood dad was at the bottom of the jungle gym saying, "HEY! Get your Italian ass down here right now or I'm coming up there to beat it!"

While these are two extremes of the same parental situation, they're not too far off. I can't tell you how many times I've heard a parent in a store saying at their child's bad behavior, ""I'm going to count to ten..." and THEN DO IT! Usually by the time they're at two the kid has pulled down a clothing rack and set the toy department on fire. Please... I never had to do that with my kids. By the time I was at one, they were like little soldiers in a row. I raised my kids to know I wasn't their friend, I was their parent. My kids have enough friends, they NEED parents. My kids are all either adults or teenagers and they all have told me at one time they appreciated my doing things the way I did. I guess I did something right because they're all doing extremely well in life, which is what every parent wants. None of them are in prison, they all have higher learning and they all know their choices have consequences, either good or bad.

Somewhere along the way, there was a power shift where the kids started running the show. All my kids have come home at some point to tell me there was a "speaker" at their school from Family Services to explain to them what constituted child abuse.

With Matt it was spanking. He got a spanking once and sent to bed with no supper for lighting mouse traps on fire and throwing them at his sister. We got a diatribe from him that he was calling children's services. I told him I'd dial the number.

With Billy, it was his getting smacked in the face for calling me a pretty nasty name and threatening me with bodily harm. He DID call the police and they showed up. Once they heard the story behind it, they told my son I should have smacked him sooner. One police officer visibly blanched when he heard the name my son called me.

Ashley never gave us this problem at all. She's pretty conciliatory and saw the propaganda for what it was.

Elias came home one day this year to tell me being disrespectful to him was abuse (per their little visitor from Family and Children's Services). A few days later I was yelling at him for not cleaning his bathroom after I asked him to do so. He stalled on it for a full weekend and I told him I was tired of his laziness. He told me he was going to call children's services. Again, I told him I'd dial the number.

See, we have a group of people out there who are legally permitted to wreak havoc on the lives of others in a pretty tangible way. The article from MSNBC embedded in the headline of this post tells of a mother who was only a few feet from her car and sleeping toddler. She was helping her other daughter put collected change into a Salvation Army bucket and some busy body noticed the sleeping child in the car. In thinking about it, it might have been an overzealous police officer. Mom was charged with child endangerment and obstructing a police officer. The obstruction was when her husband advised her to say nothing until he got there. She said nothing, awaiting someone who might have been in a position to protect her rights, and the police arrested her for it. Isn't that an obstruction of someones constitutional rights somewhere?

See, Family & Children's Services is a government agency with a government budget they need to justify. While I believe there are families out there needing intervention, I don't know there are as many as this particular governmental agency would have us believe. They tear apart families that did something as simple as, I don't know, leave their toddler sleeping in a car while they stood 30 feet away and leave alone families like the one in Camden, NJ, where the foster parents were charged with child endangerment for not feeding children placed in their care by DCFS.

While I could say this is the fault of a liberal agenda, to make everyone depend on the government for every aspect of their lives (which it is, parents were raising kids and raising them well before the government started interfering) it's a problem propagated by both sides of the aisle. Government agencies rely on the government for providing their money each year. The way it works for government agencies, if they don't spend all their money in a fiscal year, their budget is reduced accordingly the next. Every year, there's a mad dash in September to spend all their money so they can not only justify the same amount for the next year, but perhaps they can justify a little more.

Our government it too big now. I can't help but wonder how our lives would turn out if the government would allow us to make our own decisions as to what's best for our lives and the lives of our children?

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

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Hillary tells a story as she campaigns that seems to be untrue...

Wow, Hillary, as part of her campaigning, is telling a story about a young mother in Ohio who died as a result of lack of health care and/or money. It's a sad story and it really tugs at the heart strings. Turns out, it's untrue.

This isn't the first time she's been caught in this kind of lie. She also tells of a trip to war torn Bosnia when she and Chelsea deplaned under sniper fire. (To read about this one, read the editorial written by Don Kornreich of the Frederick News-Post.)

Apparently, Hillary's campaign is rife with lies, lies and more lies. Apparently there are so many, a web page has been devoted to exposing her falsehoods. Dick Morris, a columnist at has written an opinion piece about Hillary and her shenanigans entitled "Hillary's List of Lies". it would seem this woman wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up and hit her in her face. But then she's acquainted with Al Gore, you know, the guy who invented the Internet (uh, the Army did that oh so long ago, didn't they?) Dick Morris also writes a column about Hillary's rabid belief in the stupidity of the voters. It's a good one called "Hillary's Biggest Mistake".

My thinking on Hillary is her arrogance will be her downfall. She believes she has enough charisma to convince the rest of the country everything she tells them. She's condescending, she's a royal bitch and the more I get to know her, the more I understand why Bill was chasing anything with a skirt. Probably when he's at home with the little lady, his testicles sit in a jar on the mantle of the fireplace, with a nice placard that says, "Hillary's". I'll bet Christmas is a dream at their home; Bill gets Hill some ball warmers and she gets him a skirt and heels to wear around the house.

But, Democrats being who they are, Hillary will give Obama a run for his money because people are able to be convinced of almost anything, in spite of what the evidence shows them. Instead of dropping out of a race she won't win, instead of allowing the two true candidates run their campaigns in preparation for this November, she has to stay in it. She'll stay in it until the last dog is hung. Why? Not because she thinks she can win it, but because her arrogance won't allow her to do anything else. BUT - her staying in this race like she is has been good for McCain. He hasn't had to do anything at all but stand back and watch the kids fight in the school yard. Obama and Hill are now petitioning different states to hold ANOTHER primary election. (See this article in USA Today.)

Seems the Dems are up in arms because a couple states held early primaries, in violation of some arbitrary set of rules. Now that we're down to two Democratic candidates, they want Florida and Michigan to have primaries again. Um, if the roles were reversed and it was the Republicans asking for it, Dems would be crying foul all over the place, up one side and down another. Why is it Dems only want to bend the rules (Or outright break them) when it benefits THEM?

I'm terrified Hillary will win. She would be the worst possible president to ever lead this country and she would wreak such havoc as to destroy us all. I don't know Obama is much better but at least he doesn't want forced health care coverage via wage garnishments for every employed person out there, whether you can afford it or not.

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

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Are we destroying ourselves?

I got an e-mail from a friend the other day with the following quote in his signature. This illustrates what I've been telling people all along, that we are a country destroying themselves from the inside out...

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it is because we destroyed ourselves. - Abraham Lincoln

I tell people all the time that our country, or rather the liberals, are playing right into the hands of the enemy in the Middle East (and in this country since these same liberals won't let us close our borders because someones feelings might get hurt) by dividing ourselves. See, the first rule of war is this: divide and conquer.

Yes, we have a huge problem with Al Qaeda. They hate us and the ironic part of that is we are hated for being capitalists. Uh, isn't Bin Laden an oil millionaire? Isn't THAT capitalism? But, I'm going off on a tangent.

By dividing ourselves as a nation, we are making the job of the terrorists exponentially easier. Now, the primary focus of the liberals screaming we pull out of the middle east is that there are military members dying. I think anyone can agree that one death is too many, and were it someone I loved, I might feel somewhat differently, but the sad truth about any war is that people die. I don't like it and I wish it didn't happen but it does...

Anyone who knows me well knows I LOVE American History. This is a particular passion of mine and about five years ago my husband and mother took me to Gettysburg Battleground for my birthday. My birthday is July 1st so this was actually the 4th of July weekend (though it was on my birthday, it was just the first day of the long weekend) and the graves were all decorated for the holiday. We bought from the gift shop the CD for the driving tour and when we got to Devil's Den it all came together for me. I had a Great-Great Grandfather, Anthony Ross, who fought in the Civil War as did his cousin/brother-in-law/business partner and friend, Isaac Sperry. They fought with the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and Isaac died the second day of the battles.

I went to the top of Devil's Den and stood where General Meade stood as he directed the Union forces over three days. Standing there, seeing the battlefield as it might have looked that day seeing as it was the same weekend, I was overcome with both pride at what my country had accomplished in such a short time and a sense of futility that it had come to this, the battles that comprised the Civil War, to get men to come to their senses on an already dying institution, slavery. Over the course of those three days, over 50,000 men died on that battlefield. After touring the battlefields, I went to the cemetery and stood over Isaac's grave. I wondered if he felt his dying was worth it? He suffered from a gunshot to the lung for two days before succumbing. I'd like to think he believed in what he was doing. His wife, my GG Aunt, Hilda, never remarried and his daughters grew up without him. I also saw the grave of former President Nixon's Great Grandfather, in the same unit as my GG Grandfather. He also died at Gettysburg but not before he dragged his wounded body out to the middle of a field to save an injured man because no one else would.

Does that kind of bravery still exist today? Would I be able to show that kind of bravery if presented with the same circumstances? I know I would for my family, but for a stranger? I don't know. But our soldiers, both male and female, in all branches of the military, probably do that every other day.

This country is on the verge of another Vietnam. During that "police action" congress caved to the demands of the tree hugging liberals and shut off all funding to Vietnam. While it assuaged the hurt feelings of the uninformed liberals out there, the military members are the ones who suffered for this decision. If today's liberals get their way, something similar could happen. They don't care about the military members, they just want the war to stop. Something they don't stop to think about is - so do the military members. They'd love nothing more than to go home with the knowledge that our country is safe again. They'd love to sleep in their own beds instead of a cot or less. They'd love to have air conditioning, to drive down a street without worrying about whether or not there's an IED around the next corner. They'd love to watch their kids grow up, they'd love to be there for the little things in life as well as the big ones. As much as the liberals want the war to end, it's the military that wants it more.

We need to stop being so divisive as a nation. It's as Benjamin Franklin said at the signing of the Declaration of Independence -“We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

I guess there's not much else to say about this except, I love my country, warts and all. I support my military AND my government, no matter which way they lead me. It's their business to take care of this country's safety and they know better than I.

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