August 31, 2012

Momentum

Many people, me included, tried to find solace after the election of Obama, by reminding ourselves that were it not for the disastrous Jimmy Carter administration, we might not have elected Ronald Reagan.

For the past three plus years, I have bemoaned the lack of a 'good' candidate. A modern day Reagan of sorts.

I harbor no belief that Romney is that Reagan that we were hoping for in 2012. I do think that he will be a capable president, undoing the most egregious offenses of the Obama administration and helping set our country onto a true path of recovery. He might not be our Reagan, but he is a suitable surrogate.

I do think our 'Reagan' is on the horizon. The RNC has brought to the forefront some very promising political talent. People that rarely speak to me about politics were mightily impressed with the likes of Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and others. Their enthusiasm isn't just borne of desperation, they have listened and judged and found the future of conservative politics to have a pulse, a fairly strong one.

I'm not a party girl, but I do hold fast to the belief that every president in my lifetime will be from either the Republican or Democratic party. And unless there is a cataclysmic change of direction in either of them, I'll be voting on the red and right side of the ballot until I die.

Mitt's not perfect, but he's much better than the alternative - and there is only one alternative. He will make a serviceable placeholder as Ryan, Christie, Rubio and the like come of age and lead their party, and hopefully our country, into a future that doesn't forget the ideals of our past.

August 29, 2012

Smile break

On your dime

I have spent the better part of the last two days in the company of a very nice young lady, Nicole.  During our time together, I learned many things about her, the details of her family, where they live, how they came to the United States, their history, plans for the future.

Nicole is of Vietnamese descent, having moved to the United States after fifth grade.  She described to me the living conditions they left behind - there was no electricity where they lived, her family's home had dirt floors, they slept on those floors on wooden mats, there was no bathroom (not even an outhouse, they just went outside somewhere).  Her father was an officer in the Vietnamese army and was captured and imprisoned from 1975 until 1982, leaving her mother to fend for herself and five children during that time.

Nicole told me of the rigid school structure.  Everyone in Vietnam has to pay for school, there isn't a free public education system.  There is also a uniform required, with a red scarf - something she thought was notable but didn't know the significance.  She told of morning formations wherein the straightest and most quiet lines would be allowed to enter the classroom.  She still remembers the sting of the wooden stick used to smack her palms when she answered a question wrong.  Despite living in what most Americans would consider a hovel, and getting beat by her teacher, when Nicole moved to the states ready to begin sixth grade, she tested at a ninth grade level in math.  How do they do that? (Other than the mindset that paying for education and the required uniform is so important that even families who live in dirt floored shacks make it their top priority).

Nicole's family entered our country legally, I believe, as she told of a long wait for paperwork.  Nicole was actually one of the three children born into the family after her father was released from prison (yes, that makes the total 8). Once here, her father began collecting disability from our SSI system, as his years of torture in a Communist prison left him unable to work.

Nicole shared many stories of other family members that have emigrated from Vietnam to the USA.  She laughed at the stereotype while sharing that several cousins work and/or own manicure shops.  She told me that they tried other work, but they make so much more money doing nails - and not reporting all of the cash income - that they have happily settled into it full time.

I learned about Nicole's husband, baby daughter, their new home, dilemmas with daycare.  We talked about the travel Nicole does for work, the scary hotels she has been stuck in, as well as the 7-week training program that had her and 48 of her peers lodging at a name brand Times Square hotel at over $300 a night (each - they don't have to double up).

Nicole shared family recipes for pho and steamed fish that I am anxious to try.  I was almost sad to see her finish her work and bid me adieu...

...but on the other hand, since Nicole is an IRS agent, and was conducting an audit, I didn't exactly shed a tear when she left.

As you can tell by the small snippets of conversation that I have shared here, Nicole isn't required to be terribly productive.  All in, I would guess that she did about three hours of work during the ten hours that she occupied my kitchen table.  She looked at about 3% of the documentation that she had requested I produce.  The second day, she literally read one paragraph of a document, copied down the pertinent sentences, and then visited with me for two hours before settling in to 'type up the reports she has to submit'.  While I assume that she chooses, is authorized, or perhaps even required, to do that work at the audit site (in case she needs to look at something again for reference), this job assignment could have been completed in half the time she stretched it out to.

So, to all you taxpayers out there, funding Nicole's plodding work pace, luxurious travel, per diem (which she is making a pretty penny on, as she packs a water bottle and trail mix and pockets the money), her new Lexus, and supporting her extended family, many of which she knows fail to report all of their income - I say, 'Thank You', on their behalf, and mine - that was quite possibly the most enjoyable IRS audit on record. 

August 28, 2012

Hollywood Tolerance

Why is it that so many liberals - those that claim to be the most diverse, tolerant people ever to grace our planet, can't seem to find words to express their dislike, disapproval, disdain or disrespect for those that exercise the God and Constitutional right to have an opinion different from their own?  They jump straight to wishing death and destruction on all who think differently than they do.

That isn't even exactly correct.  It isn't just opinions or lifestyles - hell, I am not even sure what the parameters are for the hate speech screed set.   

But here are two more stunning examples of why menopausal women should be held down and force fed mood stabilizing drugs:
Ellen Barkin expressed her hope that Tropical Storm Isaac would smash up the Republican National Convention in Tampa and drown all its delegates.

She retweeted the message of one of her followers that read: “C’mon #Isaac! Wash every pro-life, anti-education, anti-woman, xenophobic, gay-bashing, racist SOB right into the ocean! #RNC ” Barkin did not express any disagreement in her retweet.
Ellen also went on a Twitter rampage days earlier, calling out a (conservative, no doubt Mormon-influenced) Utah NBC affiliate for choosing not to air her new comedy television show.  Having been subjected to the same promo reel ad nauseum during the Olympics, I can't say I blame the station.  Not just on the subject matter, or the bigoted statements that come out of Barkin's character's mouth, but on the grounds that it is a crap show. 

Adding to the classy display of Hollywood women, is Cher.  Champion of gay people everywhere, even before Chastity Chaz came out of the closet.  She, too, has no tolerance for those who stray from her world view, nor any appreciation for that pesky First Amendment, nor any understanding that sometimes people say stupid things.  Sometimes people even believe stupid things - but, as a nation, we haven't usually wished death on people just for being stupid.
Strong language on abortion – that of Senate candidate Todd Akin – also inspired Sixties warbler and mother of transgender “son” Chaz Bono Cher to call for the congressman to be raped by an AIDS victim. Cher tweeted that it would be an act of “kama” - presumably karma - if Missouri Congressman would “get raped by man with HIV/AIDS. Nothing will happen, right? Body shuts down as defense mechanism.”   
Why is it that celebrities can get away with hate speech, intolerance and thinly veiled death threats?

August 27, 2012

Department of Redundancy Department

Central Texas woman aims for skunk, shoots husband

FOD

Having just sent the first of my children off to college, this pisses me off:  Starting with the Wookie and part of a speech she gave last week (as quoted in White House Dossier):
One of the things that I try to remind people, because I always try to remind myself, is that we’re here, we’re doing this work because of our values — because of the values we believe in . . . All of our kids should be able to go to college without a mountain of debt — not just some, all of them.
No, not everyone should go to college.  Not everyone wants to go to college.  Who the hell are you to impose your 'values' on everyone and then demand that everyone shares in the cost?

Okay, but let's just run with the Wookie's 'college for everyone' plan and explore how Blowie is furthering that part of the platform:
The University of Virginia has declined a request to host President Obama for a campaign rally next week, complicating his planned tour of swing-state college campuses to court younger voters.
The school cited the impact of a presidential visit on the university’s academic schedule and strained finances as reasons for turning Obama away.
The college can't afford it, and basically shutting down the campus on the second academic day of the semester isn't how you start the school year off on the right foot.  Kids should be engaged, finding their way to their classes, meeting their profs.  Since the Wookie has been campaigning on 'our values' of getting every kid to college, surely Blowie understands the importance of the undisturbed learning environment, right?
The Obama campaign announced Saturday that the president would still travel to Charlottesville on Wednesday but hold an off-campus rally at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion instead.  The venue is roughly 20 blocks from the center of campus.
Wood said Obama campaign officials “completely understood” the decision and justification for not approving the request.
“We respect the determination by UVA officials that a visit was not compatible with their academic calendar and the needs of the University,” Obama campaign spokesman Adam Fetcher said in a statement. “We will make tickets available to students and fully expect to have a strong UVA presence.”
Ya hear that, coeds?  The pres wants you to skip class the very first week and come hear him speak.   GMAFB.

August 26, 2012

Van Halen Redux Review

Back in June, I accompanied Mr. Harper to a Van Halen concert.  Mr. H loves all things Van Halen/Hagar, and, in my opinion, this was the very last time to see David Lee Roth fronting the group.  Sure, sure, it still wasn't quite the original band, with Wolfgang Van Halen filling in on bass for Michael Anthony (who stuck with Sammy after the split).  Wolfie has lost some weight, grown up a little, but has no stage presence whatsoever.  Eddie has put on some weight (could be meds) but can still shred like no other.  Alex was there, banging away.

The ink wasn't quite dry on the tickets when Van Halen announced that they would be 'postponing' the tour after their June 26th date in New Orleans.  The Dallas show was June 23rd.  (By the first week of July, the postponed dates turned to full fledged cancellations).  I don't think they will ever grace the stage again.  They don't get along.  DLR has a monster ego, EVH has recurring cancer and their core demographic wants to see the young band they remember on stage, not the AARP set.  There might be some younger folks that like their music, but they can't afford the ticket or merch prices. 

I saw VH at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, at the Cotton Bowl for the Texas Jam, and at Reunion Arena in Dallas, in days gone by.  Some changes jumped out at me while attending this concert.  There were chairs on every row of the floor, and people actually sat in them for the whole concert.  The pot was being smoked in the bathrooms and the cigarettes were being smoked in the designated outdoor areas only.  90% of the men in the room were sporting khaki shorts - a wardrobe item that I would guess none of them owned when they bought their first VH album. 

As they were setting the stage after Kool & the Gang (awesome set, BTW), we watched a stage hand sprinkle a white substance from a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, onto the center stage area.  We joked that, since that is where DLR would be, that it must be cocaine.  It turned out to be dance floor slick 'em up stuff to aid in, what used to be, DLR's trademark slides, spins and roundhouse kicks.  He can't manage them anymore without the slippery surface and a mic stand to steady himself. 

Here is the set list, in order:
Unchained
Runnin' with the Devil
She's the Woman
Romeo Delight
Tattoo 
Everybody Wants Some
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
China Town
Hear About It Later
Pretty Woman
You Really Got Me
The Trouble With Never
Dance the Night Away
I'll Wait
And the Cradle Will Rock
Hot for Teacher
Women In Love
Beautiful Girls
Ice Cream Man
Panama
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
Jump (encore)
I had made a bet with Mr. H that they wouldn't sing a single Van Hagar song, and I was right.  I do prefer the DLR years, but it isn't good business to tour as a band and ignore 10 years worth of music that included 4 multi-platinum albums.

My first impression of DLR as he took the stage, was that he had worn the same Spandex pants on the 'Hide Your Sheep' tour in 1982.  During the show we were treated to a lengthily video presentation of Dave's sheep dog training abilities, his command of gutter Spanish and stories about being 'hot and naked' back in the glory days. My final impression, as DLR donned a sailor hat and ran across the stage waving a checkered flag as confetti cannons fired, was that 'Hide Your Sheep' would be an appropriate tour title, again, albeit for different reasons.

August 25, 2012

My One Hit Wonder Collection

I am not an Apple-holic. Our cell phones are apparently Apple rip offs, though. There is an iPad in the house, but the rest of our computers are PCs. But, Apple has the market cornered, in my opinion, on music storage devices.  There is at least one for each person in the house.  Yes, I know iPods can hold books, music, aps, movies, etc., but I have no desire to read a book or watch a movie on a palm-sized screen.

I have a third generation Nano that I love with all of my heart.  I love its square shape and simplicity.  I don't need much storage, as I don't see the need to cart around my entire music collection on one device.  I don't need a touch screen, I like to scroll.   I didn't start out with well-organized play lists (a mistake) and I have severe digital clutter due to the younger kids putting stuff on my iPod before they owned their own.  (The Jonas Brothers videos used to be a great distraction for The Princess when we were stuck in doctor's offices or a particularly long sermon).

My iPod has mainly served as a depository of the kids stuff (as referenced above), newly released songs that I like and favorites from my CD collection.  But overwhelmingly, it is filled with one hit wonders that I always loved, or liked to sing along with, but never wanted to spring for the rest of the album.  Even then, I have amassed quite a collection of digital music files, most from iTunes at 99 cents to $1.29.

Holy Crap! I have spent over $1,000 on music that I don't even really own.  (Looking across the room at my old school collection of CDs, some ancient cassettes (from bands that never recorded on CD) and vinyl, I am even more disturbed at what my lifelong music habit has cost!)  At least someone can have all the old material, to do with what they will.  At the rate that my kids collect digital music files, they will haven tens of thousands of dollars worth of music in virtual accounts and on portable devices.  And when they die, it dies with them.
Someone who owned 10,000 hardcover books and the same number of vinyl records could bequeath them to descendants, but legal experts say passing on iTunes and Kindle libraries would be much more complicated.
And one’s heirs stand to lose huge sums of money. “I find it hard to imagine a situation where a family would be OK with losing a collection of 10,000 books and songs,” says Evan Carroll, co-author of “Your Digital Afterlife.” “Legally dividing one account among several heirs would also be extremely difficult.”
Part of the problem is that with digital content, one doesn’t have the same rights as with print books and CDs. Customers own a license to use the digital files—but they don’t actually own them.
That iPod as a Christmas gift doesn't seem that smart now.  
Most digital content exists in a legal black hole. “The law is light years away from catching up with the types of assets we have in the 21st Century,” says Wheatley-Liss. In recent years, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Indiana, Oklahoma and Idaho passed laws to allow executors and relatives access to email and social networking accounts of those who’ve died, but the regulations don’t cover digital files purchased.
Apple and Amazon did not respond to requests for comment.
There are still few legal and practical ways to inherit e-books and digital music, experts say. And at least one lawyer has a plan to capitalize on what may become be a burgeoning market. David Goldman, a lawyer in Jacksonville, says he will next month launch software, DapTrust, to help estate planners create a legal trust for their clients’ online accounts that hold music, e-books and movies. “With traditional estate planning and wills, there’s no way to give the right to someone to access this kind of information after you’re gone,” he says.
I won't be signing up to be the first test case, but I will be watching to see how this legal issue evolves in the coming years.  And I will still religiously back up my digital library to old school media in the meantime.

August 24, 2012

Has NBC jumped ship?

Mr. Harper, like so many other men (and women, I guess) is a channel surfing master.  Usually it is between sports events, but, regardless, he doesn't stay on one channel much.

Last night, the Rangers game was tied, and a little boring, so he was flipping around when I walked into the room.  He stumbled upon 'Rock Center', a Brian Williams anchored NBC news-magazine show. Last night's broadcast was about the Mormon cult religion faith.  NBC might have just done Mitt Romney a huge favor.  I suspect the GOP, and those traditional-minded, conservative Christians, have done all they can to try to get people to forget that Mitt is a Mormon, when, in fact, they might want to be promoting it.

I am the first person to admit that I have a bit of fun with the Mormon cult religion faith.  Boom has a couple of good friends that are Mormon - and I always poke at her about it.  'Ask Brian if he can explain the magic underwear to me,' and things of that nature.  In reality, those families seem to be quite normal, even better than normal by today's standards.  They spend time together, do community service, are committed Boy Scouts and have conservative values.  What they believe or do in the comfort of their own home and church, as long as it isn't dangerous to anyone, is of no concern to me. 

Get past the polygamy, posthumous baptism, the changing of history through the constant editing of the Book of Mormon, the secretive temple, the iron-fisted tithing requirements, the mysterious golden plates and the magic underwear and the Mormons do some great things.  (I am certainly not ignoring the unbelievable tenets of Christianity, nor the wide range of interpretations and beliefs that seem just as ridiculous to non-Christians as Mormonism seems to Christians).

We started watching Rock Center during a segment about Mormon 'stores', stocked by 110 'Bishops' Warehouse' facilities that supply food and other household products to those in need.  Much of the food is supplied by Mormon ranches, dairies, bakeries and factories.  Most, if not all, of the workers in those enterprises are volunteers.  The tag line from the 'Brother's Keeper' segment is 'We'll help anyone at any time'.  Well, hell, let's get Americans out of the welfare line and down to the Mormon Bishop's office.   Seriously.  They are obviously better managed, better equipped and better able to help those in need.  Important/interesting to note is that those receiving help are asked to WORK, and the Mormon church also has over 300 employment centers around the world.



My favorite take-away quote from the piece is this one:
"The Mormon industrial complex was created to perpetuate self-reliance."
The GOP would do well to remember that a huge percentage of Americans do little more than soak up what the MSM shows and tells them.  I am sure, somewhere, there were some welfare leeches watching that segment last night, coveting the name brand items, the fresh produce and clean stores in the Mormon system.  I am sure there are already welfare leeches that have exploited the Mormon charity.  The church seems to be doing fine, regardless.  I think that faith based charities such as theirs are the best solution to indigent needs - not our government and not the taxpayers.  The GOP should run with this - there is a huge piece of the Obama vote pie to be won by promoting a new way to get free stuff.  If they find a little religion (and some work) along the way, we will all be better for it.  I have nightmares about a welfare nation but I've never had a nightmare about a Mormon nation.

August 23, 2012

School!

Last week my oldest child started her freshman year of college.  Classes haven't actually started yet, but she is in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M, and they report 10 days early for orientation.  As of last night, her favorite things are marching and shining shoes.  I have a call in to the authorities to find my real daughter.

Today my youngest started kindergarten.

We left the house early so that we could walk the kids in on their first day of school.  Of course, Bang ditched us in the parking lot.  He's a high school freshman now and too cool to walk in with his parents.  We continued up the hill to the primary building, dropping The Princess off in her new fourth grade classroom and then heading to the kindergarten rooms.  Crash led the way, excited about the opportunity to socialize with people his own size.

We wound our way through the gaggle of weepy, picture taking parents, got Crash's lunch and backpack stowed away, found his assigned seat -where he was quickly engaged by the teacher's assistant (and the blue-eyed doll seated next to him), said our cheerful goodbyes and fought our way back through the crowd of parents into the hall.

We were handed a flyer and directed toward the 'coffee and tears' welcome event in the school commons.  The muffins looked good as we walked by, but I thought my excessive hooting and fist pumping, in celebration of the last of my kids starting school, might offend the other parents who were having severe separation anxiety, so we didn't stop.

Perhaps I am a bad parent, but I know that Crash is going to love kindergarten.  He is a social animal and I am exhausted after a summer of entertaining him.  I am not sad to be alone during the day, in fact, I have about 10 years worth of home and self improvement projects to delve into, as well as finding some work to help feed us as we begin the college tuition years.

I am probably better prepared, having just sent a kid off to college.  At least I still get to see Crash and the others each night and weekend.  I still get to care for them when they are sick, do their laundry, feed them, harangue them about homework.  No matter the impetus, I think of today as a celebration of new beginnings, not a tearful pity party because my baby started school.

Now, how much celebratory Kahlua can one have in their coffee and recover in time for afternoon car line?

August 22, 2012

Gay Dogs for Obama

Like most of you, my email is often filled with links to articles that my friends and family think I will enjoy reading.  This summer's travel has caused me to prioritize email, often saving the articles, jokes and pictures for later.  I have been going back and trying to knock out a few when I have a spare minute.  This morning I was catching up on this article a friend sent about Obama's lowbrow fund raising ploys and merchandise.
In order to fill campaign coffers with much-needed funds to finance the president's reelection, the Obama campaign engaging in a mortifying level of desperation.  

Exploitative fundraising efforts have included featuring the family dog Bo in the $5-donation "Throw Bo a Bone" fundraiser, and even a Guest Registry that suggests future wedding guests bless the bride and groom with a gift that keeps on taking by passing that envelope full of hundred dollar bills to Barack Obama instead.

In addition to tacky efforts to extract money from the gullible, there's also an Obama 2012 online store filled with items like ethnic-, sexual orientation- and state-specific T-shirts.  Eclectic Obama supporters can also find Obama yoga pants for people who spend too much time "lounging around on the couch," or noshing while reading Obama fridge magnets.  For pet-loving liberals there are "I Meow for Michelle" and "I Bark for Barack" pet collars. 
I clicked a couple of the links, wanting to see for myself what the Obama campaign store had to offer.  There is blog fodder for the next decade to be found there.  But the item that has me most confused this morning is this one:


For just $12, your LGBT dog can have a bandana declaring his/her/its support for Barack.  How does one know if their dog is gay?  My vet has always told me that same sex dog humping has nothing to do with canine sexual orientation, but perhaps he is a homophobic conservative with no appreciation of the lifestyle choices dogs are making these days.

My cousin's Maltese had a special relationship with a fuzzy slipper for years, how do I determine the sex of the slipper to correctly classify her sexuality?  There is an ankle-biter down the street that we lovingly refer to as 'Sir Humps-a-Lot' because he will mount anyone or anything that moves.  Ducks included.  Anyone got a label for that?

I'm not homophobic, but I am anti-humping.  And anti-Obama.  Someone head on over to Cafe Press and mock up the 'Non-homophobic anti-humpers for Romney/Ryan' T-shirts.

August 20, 2012

Bonus FOD Abbott & Costello

Abbott and Costello explain Obama's Accounting System.

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 9%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.

COSTELLO: You just said 9%.

ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that's 16%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 16% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that's 9%...

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 16%?

ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.

COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!

ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work, can't be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment rolls, that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how you get to 9%. Otherwise it would be 16%. You don't want to read about 16% unemployment, do ya?

COSTELLO: That would be frightening.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an economist.

COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like a politician.

FOD

Monday morning FOD comedy. Can you smell the sarcasm? I love this ad.

August 18, 2012

Precipitation

First some background music to listen to while you read:


Apropos here tonight.  Texas weather is often a tale of extremes.  Drought answered by torrential downpours and flash flooding.  We couldn't seed the pasture part of the backyard early in the summer (because we couldn't have watered it without being fined), so now the driveway is covered in a couple of inches of mud and manure.  Let me tell ya, there is no fun like scraping, shoveling and relocating several hundred pounds of mud.  The horse is off to greener pastures (literally and figuratively), so maybe we can tackle that erosion issue as soon as they lift the watering restrictions. 

The heavy rain has also halted the aerial mosquito spraying in Dallas county, which is spending tens of thousands of dollars to kill West Nile carrying mosquitoes.  Not to make light of anyone's illness, but is the cost and risk of dousing everything with pesticide really the best course of action?

I happened to time grocery errands right as the storm hit.  Nothing like slogging to the car, sliding around in wet flip flops and getting soaked to the bone.  It cracks me up, how wimpy Texans can be in a little rain.  Having lived in Germany, where sunshine was the rare commodity and rain the daily occurrence, I laugh at the Texas women nearly backing their cars into the grocery store foyer to load their bags.      

Regardless of the inconveniences, no right-minded Texan would wish away this precipitation.  We had four inches Tuesday, and probably another 4+ this evening.  We just don't get that kind of rain in August.  Ever. 

Who's minding the store?

This week, the president of Iran said that Israel's existence is an insult to all humanity.  He, in fact, called Israel a 'Zionist regime' and said that it must be 'confronted' to protect the dignity of all humanity.

A Saudi cleric declared the Holocaust a myth, said that Jews lure children into being sacrifices for religious rituals and that they consume human blood.

Earlier in the week, the Washington Free Beacon reported that a Russian submarine had been patrolling in the Gulf of Mexico

In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood/Arab Spring movement has begun crucifying opponents, including Egyptian Christians.

Thirty-nine NATO service members (mostly Americans) have been killed in insider attacks in Afghanistan this year.  All troops are now carrying loaded weapons on base.

Meanwhile, back in the USA:

Obama's plan to reward illegal immigrants with a no-deport status went into effect.  If you have been breaking our laws for at least 5 years, you just might be one of the 1.7 million that get to stay!

The Social Security Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration were thrust into the spotlight due to their orders for ammo.  Not that I don't believe that they use the ammo for training and preparation, but is anyone else surprised that these groups have so many well-armed agents?  Have you ever met, or even heard of, an SSA agent?  It worries me, because they apparently have full LEO authority - yet if one showed up on my doorstep, armed and demanding something, I would have never believed that they were legit.

Obama congratulated NASA, toured a corn field, bought some beer at a fair, had lunch with Biden to remind him to shut his pie hole, granted interviews to hard hitting journalistic powerhouses People magazine and Entertainment Tonight, continued to tout the importance of wind energy and announced that the Department of Agriculture will buy $170 million worth of pork, chicken, lamb, and catfish - which is good, because the rest of the country won't be able to afford it.

Perhaps most disturbing is the president's blind eye.  It is reported that he routinely describes his wife as 'cute'.
Joined by first lady Michelle Obama in a town square here, he tapped a line he often uses on the campaign trail, that he said in 2008 that he's not a perfect man and would not be a perfect president.
But, he said, "we do have a perfect first lady." She's "the best mom in the world," patient, strong and "cute," the president added.
2012 Olympics - Getty Images


August 17, 2012

Niggerization

I will start off this post by apologizing that I do not know how to put an accent mark over text in Blogger, nor am I about to Google it so that I can accurately type the singular name of some MSNBC hack.

For those keeping score:
Biden's 'put y'all back in chains' comment =  poor choice of phrasing

Romney saying that the president should take his campaign of 'anger, division and hate back to Chicago' = Niggerization
MSNBC goon, Toure, in a Thursday panel discussion, chose to ignore Biden's shackle imagery, which was delivered in an affected Southern drawl, and instead coins a new word to describe the great umbrage he takes with Romney characterizing the president as 'angry'.
“That really bothered me,” he said. “You notice he said anger twice. He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man. This is part of the playbook against Obama, the ‘otherization,’ he’s not like us.”
“I know it’s a heavy thing, I don’t say it lightly, but this is ‘niggerization,’” TourĂ© said to the apparent shock of his co-panelists. “You are not one of us, you are like the scary black man who we’ve been trained to fear.”
Call me crazy, but I tend to fear the black man that puts out stuff like this:
If they are white kill ‘em all. Why kill the women? Why kill the babies? They are just innocent blue-eyed babies? Because god dammit they are going to grow up one day to rule your babies. Kill them now. 
Funny how the Dims never manage to publicly denounce the New Black Panther Party and their extremist views.  Funny how they ignore their terroristic threats, violence and intimidation at polling places.  Could there be any more of an in-your-face reminder of the 'angry black man' than having them outside voting locations?

No, Toure, you can blame 'niggerization' on lots of other things, but Mitt Romeny is the least of them. 

Having no prior knowledge of Toure, I did a bit of reading.  As you might have guessed, he isn't the sort of black man that seeks equality, instead being a black supremacist, like his NBPP brethren.  In November, he wrote an essay calling for a new 'black national anthem'. 
Isn’t it time to think about a new black national anthem? I love “Lift Ev’ry Voice,” it’s a moving song, but it was written in 1900 and chosen by the NAACP to be the Negro National Anthem in 1919, and there may be another song that expresses who we are now a little more sharply...
 
... I think there’s a song that can combine the solemnity of an anthem with the soulfulness of the party space. Of course it has to be something deeply evocative of what it means to be black in America. A song that would unite people, make us proud, and tell a righteous story about who we are really are. That’s why I move that our new black national anthem should be Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man.”
WTF?  Last time I checked, we had a national anthem, one that isn't specific to any race.  I've sang it alongside people of different races and skin colors - people that were proud of their heritage but believed that being an American is the overriding principle and source of patriotism.

Sure, there are bigots everywhere, but more and more that tide is shifting.  If Toure wants to find the source of division in this country, the ones perpetuating race supremacy and the angry black man persona, I suggest he take a look in the mirror.

August 16, 2012

Minus 1

For all of you that have raised children through to adulthood - I have new respect and admiration for you.

As with so many other milestones in life, dropping my daughter off at college brought a new realization and appreciation for my mother.  I think back to all the times in my life that I struck out on my own and now share in the bittersweet emotions that my mom must have felt.  I suppose having a close family is key, I am sure there are some parents and kids in the world that are glad to be away from each other.  In fact, I think there were probably several examples in the dorms yesterday, as there were kids shooing their parents out the door, as well as parents that were hightailing it to the parking lot when we were arriving.

We stayed until they kicked us out - Boom clearly valued our time there.  In fact, we missed both parent briefings in exchange for helping her get her room squared away - or at least livable until the military structure kicks in and they are instructed on where things need to be.

Boom will thrive in this environment.  We were pleased with 99% of the students we met - especially the nice, clean cut young men that took the initiative to go door to door and introduce themselves to their new 'fish buddies' and families. 

The 1% that we were less than thrilled about, is, of course, Boom's roommate.  We aren't yet sweating the arrangement, as we aren't very confident that she will make it through Freshman Orientation Week (the roommate, not Boom).  I don't have any statistics, but my guess is that the wash out rate for kids whose parents forced them to join the Corps, is probably the highest.  Ironically, we noticed this girl right off, as she and her family arrived when we did and parked next to us.  When she emerged from the car with a shiny silver Olivia Newton-John-esque head band and suede fringed purse, we wondered aloud how she ended up there.

When we got back to the room after all the boxes had been delivered (nice way to move freshmen in!), Boom walked in to a sea of pink on one side of the room.  On the official packing list was 'desk lamp'.  The roomie brought a pink satin shaded number that would look perfect in The Princesses' room.  It matches her pink plush blanket.  The roomie had to settle the division of bathroom shelves with Boom first thing, so that she could display the 11 shades of nail polish she brought with her.  She hasn't ordered books for the term that begins in 9 days, in fact, she asked Boom where she was supposed to go to do that.  She hung her 'cutest' purse from the corner of her bunk and explained that the three polka dot covered scrapbooks that she was displaying on her bookshelf were her absolute favorite.  What she didn't bring were school supplies, required PT gear or a clue on where her car is supposed to be parked.

I only cried for a hundred miles or so on the way home.  Boom sounded good when she called last night.  Perhaps playing mother hen to the clueless roomie (that was crying over the make-up ban) will fill the family void for her.  It is a cruel irony that the best things for our kids are so often the most painful for us.  I sure do miss her.    

August 15, 2012

Not sure whether to laugh or cry

We are headed out early today, delivering my first born to college, 204 miles away.  We have been dancing around the subject, agreeing to pretend she is headed off to camp and will be home in a few weeks.  She will be in Dallas for a football game in a month, so there is some truth in that fairy tale.  It will be quiet and strangely empty, though five of us remain.  She is my oldest, the one that has been with me through the births of her siblings, the dark days, the best of times.  For eighteen years she has been my baby - and I am going to miss her like hell.

So, I don't want to dwell on it.  The day will bring enough tears.  What we need is something to laugh about.  (Un)fortunately, we can always count on VP Biden to say or do something asinine for our entertainment.  I am sure you have heard his 'chains' comment, but did you see this gem, from the same campaign stop? 



Giuliani nailed it when he said,
"... I think the vice president of the United States has become a laugh line on late night television. I mean, he — I’ve never seen a vice president that has made as many mistakes, said as many stupid things. I mean, there’s a real fear if, God forbid, he ever had to be entrusted with the presidency, whether he really has the mental capacity to handle it. I mean, this guy just isn’t bright. He’s never been bright. He isn’t bright. And people think, ‘Well, he just talks a little too much.’ Actually he’s not very smart."

August 14, 2012

The Countdown

We take Boom to college tomorrow.  She is the oldest and first to leave the nest.  Crash keeps asking her when she is leaving 'for good', as she has been in and out with camps and orientations a good part of the summer.  The packing disaster formerly known as my dining room should be a good indicator that The Time Has Come.

I would like to think that my daughter will be the most well prepared fish cadet to ever grace Freshman Orientation Week in the Corps of Cadets.  Considering that she quit running and working out two weeks ago, I am destined for disappointment in that department.  The first ten days are going to be some of the most challenging of her life and I expect to get the 'I want to quit' phone call earlier rather than later - despite the wager we made about it.  I know Boom is capable, and I am trusting that she will get through this having learned a lesson or two about procrastination and listening to one's mother.

What Boom will be is the most well packed fish cadet.  I think that my mom panic has manifested itself as an obsessive compulsion to think through every scenario and anticipate every need my child may have away from home.  She has all the necessities.  She has everything on the required packing list, including suggested and optional items.  Her first aid kit rivals a combat medic's bag.  Runny nose, allergic reaction, muscle ache, rash, cough, sucking chest wound?  Boom can treat it. 

There is no office supply that she lacks.  Need something three-hole punched?  Tabbed, highlighted, whited out?  Stapled, glued, bound, paper clipped, tacked up, wirelessly printed?  Got it covered.

While at 'fish camp', Boom shared that she had packed a jar of peanut butter and a box of plastic spoons in her footlocker for quick protein snackage before PT - an idea that several of her peers admired - my idea.  I already have meal plans and shopping lists mapped out in my head for when she earns the privilege of having a mini fridge and microwave next year.

The grandparents got in on the fun, taking Boom's car while we were on vacation and detailing it.  They washed and waxed, shampooed the carpet, Armor All-ed the leather, cleaned all the glass.  Boom's granddad added a trailer hitch third-eye brake light.  (Actually, it is a fourth eye - she is very visible every time she hits the brakes).  They affixed her college emblem to the tailgate and put an emergency kit in the back. 

Obviously, we are not quite ready to embrace her young adulthood and turn her completely loose.  I am getting there, though.  The sticker shock of the tuition statement dealt another blow, though it hasn't dampened my enthusiasm or excitement for this phase of Boom's life.  Pray for me.

August 13, 2012

FOD

From The Weekly Standard:
In campaign remarks yesterday at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago, Illinois, President Barack Obama praised his adopted city, where he lived before becoming president of the United States. "Chicago is an example of what makes this country great," Obama said...

..."[M]ore Chicago residents -- 228 -- have been killed so far this year in the city than the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan - 144 -- over the same period," the Huffington Post noted in June.

"The war zone-like statistics are not new. As WBEZ reports, while some 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during that time, based on Department of Defense and FBI data. Chicago's murder rate is also currently quadruple that of New York and double Los Angeles' rate."
The president's idea of what makes this country great differs significantly from mine.

August 12, 2012

Things I learned on vacation

Blogger and iPad aren't friends and my four days of vacation was too precious to worry about making it work.

The child prone to car sickness can handle the hills and S curves of the Hill Country (FM 337) without complaint but will hurl on I-35 after 6 miles.

The number of people wearing swimwear not suited to their size or age, in public, is startling. Schlitterbahn has a thong ban, but no rules against 300 pound women in bikinis, or 300 pound men squeezing into the same swim trunks they wore at 150 (funny how a man's waist size can vary so much dependent upon the latitude of the waistband). The amount of hairy ass crack at the water park rivaled the zoo's primate habitat.

Note to transgendered persons: all the pretty clothes, high heels, nail polish and fake boobs in the world can't disguise the male pattern baldness lurking behind your pouffy bangs. 

Old Tunnel State Park has an awesome bat presentation before the nightly emergence and they have one albino bat.

LBJ drank alot and had phones everywhere.  Political leanings and conspiracy theories aside, after touring the original Western White House, the thing that still strikes me the most is that iconic photograph of Jackie Kennedy standing on Air Force One next to LBJ as he is sworn in.  Was she is shock and just going through the motions of what seemed to be expected of her, or was it some show of patriotism and commitment to country?  (The other thing that struck me was the factoid that LBJ signed into law more legislation than all presidents from Nixon through Obama combined have passed.  I wasn't the only small government conservative in the group to let out a moan).

More thoughts when I get caught up on sleep... 

August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan

Romney is apparently set to announce that he has chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate. I am ashamed to say that I don't know too much about Ryan, other than his 'Roadmap for America's Future' plan. In the articles I have hastily read this morning, he seems like a nice enough guy. He is certainly capable of the diminished duties of the VP office. He would make a much better president in waiting, compared to Biden. I worry about his desire to preserve entitlements, I need to get more information on exactly what he proposed and why he thought it was important. I am not sure that a semi-quiet guy from Wisconsin is going to bring the energy and excitement that is sorely needed in the Romney campaign. My main concern continues to be beating Obama, and I want whoever can accomplish that to be on the ballot.

August 10, 2012

Pardon the delay

Eighteen-wheeler took out a pole down the road, leaving us without power. Plonking out this little bit on the iPad, which is about my limit for touch screen typing. Happy Friday to you.

August 9, 2012

Insanity defenses are insane

I do not, nor have I ever, believed in the insanity defense.  I think that at some level, every person that commits a heinous crime must be a little bit crazy.  I also believe that any one of us, on nearly any given day, could get a diagnosis of 'crazy' in some form or another.

I don't believe in rehab for most murderers - I prefer the eye for an eye part of the Bible, no matter how you interpret the judge and judged. 

We all know that orange-haired murderer in Colorado is putting on the full crazy, preparing for the Hinckley defense.  If I were his jailer, he would already be dead.  There is no rehabilitation for people like him.  I don't care who you are, how long you have to commit to it, or how strongly you believe in the outcomes.  Society doesn't support it - and mentally fragile people seem to need acceptance above all else.

Remember this baby murdering freak show?
With a calm and dispassionate voice and a hymn playing in the background, Dena Schlosser confessed to the unthinkable, telling a 911 operator she’d cut off the arms of her baby girl.
The woman was sitting in her living room covered with blood when police arrived Monday. Her nearly 11-month-old daughter lay fatally injured in a crib in a bedroom of the family’s apartment in Plano. The child died shortly afterward at a nearby hospital.
Well, she was obviously eighteen shades of crazy - and got of on it.  Spent two years institutionalized, then two years out, then went back in sometime in 2010.  She was granted outpatient status recently - and was found to be working at a local Wal-Mart.

She was recognized, and it has been publicized.  Of course, Wally World fired her ass in short order, but did defend their hiring:
"All associates must pass a criminal background check as a condition of employment,” Lopez said. “If a charge does not result in a conviction, then we have no way of knowing an applicant’s previous criminal charges."
There is no life after a crime like that - or the one perpetrated in Colorado or Arizona - our society really doesn't want them rehabilitated, we don't want them around our families, our workplaces, our grocery stores.  Let's cut our losses and send them straight to Huntsville

August 8, 2012

(Unsponsored) English Riding Coats

I really don't care about what happens in the Olympic village among consenting adults.  I do hope all those young and impressionable athletes are kept a bit more sequestered if the partying and hooking up is as rampant as the media portrays.  Otherwise, boink like it's a medal round, for all I care.

An Australian BMX cyclist (when did BMX become an Olympic sport?) stirred up a bit of controversy posting a picture of a bucket of condoms on her Twitter feed.  The tag line is priceless and brings to mind some great parody lyrics for the old 'Men at Work' song.

From Caroline Buchanan's Twitter
So, what is the controversy?  Athletes having, gasp, sex?  Stereotypical boxing kangaroo cartoon offensive to Aussies?  The glandular play on words? 

Nope.

It seems that the products pictured in the bucket are not the Official Condoms of the XXX Olympics and are, thereby, verboten.  Olympic officials are on the case and are focusing on Australian athletes as the culprits, though I think they should look at the Poles.

August 7, 2012

One of many reasons...

...why Obama might win in November:  the Republican National Committee.

I don't exactly know when I got on their mailing list.  I suppose it probably happened somewhere along the way from voting in Republican primaries.  I live in a solidly Republican county in the very red state of Texas, so not a lot of RNC campaign money gets spent here.  Mostly they try to raise money in these parts, which has given me a case of ass this morning.

The RNC keeps sending me these 'Presidential Platform Surveys'.  They come in a huge envelope with bold print expounding upon the importance of the time-sensitive documents enclosed.  Much like the Publisher's Clearinghouse sweepstakes of old.  Earlier in the year they claimed to be a census document on the outside of the envelope.  Inside there is a two-page, front and back, form letter with a fake 'registration number' at the top.  The letter, addressed to 'Fellow American', claims that I was selected from complicated demographic modeling using their database of activists, to represent voters in my area.

The letter is filled with bold type and underlining, mostly promoting the importance of my response and the 'callous disregard' the president has shown for the American people (can't argue with that).  Mr. Priebus waits until page four, of course, to request a contribution. 

The 'survey' portion is entertaining, with questions so skewed that answering in the negative would be un-American. 
"Do you support increasing border security to protect the lives of innocent American children caught in the crossfire of Mexican cartel violence?"
(Okay, so that isn't a real question, but they are that ridiculous.  I shredded my survey (it had my name on it) before I decided to blog about it).

The survey ends with three checkbox choices ranging from YES I love Mitt Romney and here is my check, to NO, but here is $15 to cover the cost of you sending me an unsolicited piece of political junk mail. 

If $15 is what it is costing them to send these out - is it any wonder why conservatives are disenchanted with the Republican party?

Not to mention the entire package assumes that I am an idiot.  Maybe they think I am an addled elderly person with nothing to do but fill out snail mail paper surveys and wait anxiously for Ed McMahon (wait, didn't he die?  I guess I'll be waiting awhile) to show up with balloons and a Big Check.

Note to Reince:  try using the magic of the Gorenet to reach voters and stop signing your name to patronizing crap that only gets shoved back into your postage paid envelope  (because I am not in the mood to use my own first-class stamp for the good of your cause).  Enjoy the pennies I threw in for good measure.  While I did it to cost you on the postage, I am sure you will count it as a contribution. 

August 6, 2012

FOD

When did the American Dream become something to attack?  The class warfare being waged by the occupier of the Oval belittles people who work hard and achieve success.  I am fortunate to have a large extended family and friends of all colors, shapes, education levels and socio-economic levels.  I have never stood in a friend's home, envying the trappings of their wealth.  I may admire.  I may appreciate.  I may yearn to have something similar someday.  But I have never thought to myself that those damn successful friends of mine just need to share what they worked for, with me.

MoveOn released an ad this week, a la Mr. Ed, with a talking horse portrayed as being the Ann Romney-owned Olympic dressage horse.  The horse talks about the thousands of dollars spent on his upkeep, while claiming that evil rich Romney wants to take Americans' health care away.

Yes, horses are expensive.  Dressage horses even more so.  Olympic dressage horses, yet again, more so.  The Romneys have built a successful business and investment portfolio and can afford them.  Yes, many of us would spend an extra $77,000 a year on things that seem more sensible - to us.  I can't imagine a standard of living that supports that level of luxury - but nor do I condemn them for having it.  God Bless them and their success. 

I hope that this sort of attack, similar to the 'you didn't build that' claim, will energize a voting base that might have been apathetic before.  I want my country back.

FOD two-fer - I about wet my pants laughing over this one, Robert Gibbs responding to CNN reporter Candy Crowley about Harry Reid's attacks on Romney:
Robert Gibbs: Let's be clear, I don't think anybody controls Harry Reid.

Crowley: But if you asked him to stop, he would.

Gibbs: Again, put the tax returns out. Put this whole thing to rest. Candy, have you ever seen anybody go to such great lengths to not put something out? And when you generally don’t put something out, isn't it because you’re generally hiding something?

"I've never seen anybody jump through more hoops to say, a, somebody is lying, but also not put out a document that would prove what the real truth is," Gibbs also said.
Ummm...shall we talk about the president's birth certificate, academic records, small donor list, Fast and Furious documents...???

August 5, 2012

The 6th Ring

A full moon adds to the Olympic rings hanging from the Tower Bridge during the London 2012 Olympic Games.  

Taken on August 3, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

One of the unavoidable commercials playing during NBC's Olympic coverage is for some new show with Ellen Barkin.  In the promo they are talking about the Olympics and Barkin's acerbic character makes a comment to the effect of how much we Americans like to beat those former Commie Russians (or something like that).  Isn't that the truth?  Some poor Chinese diver learned her grandparents had been dead for over a year - but the family government didn't want to disturb her Olympic training with the news, so they waited for her to win the gold medal and earn the right to mourn her dead relatives.  Makes it easy to root against them. 

August 4, 2012

Government Motors

Our struggle to find a suitable and affordable car for our heading-off-to-college daughter proved to be a daunting task.  Ultimately, we decided to do what our parents had done...we are sending her off in a land yacht, a tank of a vehicle by today's standards.  We sent our older SUV to the shop for an overhaul; new belts, hoses, gaskets, brakes and several other things that the shop found - and got their expert opinion that the car is in excellent condition and would be a suitable vehicle for Boom to drive.  We will re-activate the OnStar system for peace of mind and assistance if she should need it.

To replace that car, we bought a new certified pre-owned (non-taxpayer funded) car for Mr. Harper this week.  We did the homework, shopped online quite a bit, perused Carfax reports, Kelly Blue Book values, Consumer Reports and Edmunds' reviews.  We found a good car and offered a fair (well, fair to us) offer that was accepted.

Knowing that the sale price was well below Blue Book, I was somewhat prepared for the dealership's schtick to make a buck.  Tucked in my purse was a USAA bank draft for financing at a most excellent rate and term.  Our salesman asked if we would be willing to finance with them if they could beat USAA's terms.  Well, sure...

Sidenote: Since when do finance guys take the lead on selling extended warranties?  Sheesh, I can't believe that they still pour that on so hard.  Don't they know that every car buying advice article starts with 'don't buy the extended warranty', especially for reliable models? 

We are blessed with excellent credit.  To beat USAA's rate, we were offered a very nice rate.  We were also offered a ridiculously long financing period (that I took - why not?  With no prepay penalty, I can coast with an ultra-low payment during college tuition payment months and then double up when cash is flowing in other months).  That 'cost of financing' box on the loan document was $1k and change.  How can dealerships make money this way?

They can't.  Informed consumers with a good credit history are their worst nightmare.  Which is why they gamble, like GM is doing again.
General Motors' subprime buyers have grown to more than 8% since the purchase of AmeriCredit, and now the carmaker is about to release the program again. Vehicles included in the promotion are likely to include 2012 models of the Chevrolet Malibu, Cruze and Silverado. Should the program follow the same guidelines as it did in 2010, annual percentage rates (APRs) will be near 12%, with money down for buyers with a credit score lower than 650.
They extend credit to people that can't afford it.  They charge them the highest interest rates.  Oh, and they make them agree to remote vehicle disabling devices, that the lender can use to render the vehicle useless if a payment is missed - and people agree to this level of surveillance in return for a subprime loan!

Any guesses where this mess is going?  Giving people loans for items they don't need and can't afford?

Projected Economic Costs of the Subprime Mortgage CrisisState-by-State

August 3, 2012

And yet more slanted news coverage

This time a local source that rarely disappoints.  The Belo owned ABC affiliate's news website did manage to do a drive by story about the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, but in the headline/link didn't mention the restaurant by name... until the following day when they were also running a story about the planned 'kiss-in' and managed to remember the name of the restaurant only in that story.

Click to enlarge
Oh, some "chicken chain" had some business today (breaking the company's single day sales record, no less), but if you are a militant, anti-free speech goon who feels like making out with your same sex partner in front of a children's restaurant play area, well then, the place is Chick-Fil-A.

We couldn't even get near the parking lot for the strip center that was serving as overflow space for our local Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday.  Conveniently, we have a noon appointment today and there is a Chick-Fil-A on our way.  Please, oh please, let some liberal idiot pick a fight with me, I need some stress relief.

August 2, 2012

Hypocrisy Thursday

I am completely distracted by the media hypocrisy.  It seemed that we had a tiny little window wherein the MSM was running a story here or there that would pick at Blowie a little.  They would cite unfavorable poll results, or carefully craft headlines that belied the bad economic reports.

The media has completely regressed.  I suppose Blowie's team gave them a stern talking to or something.  Maybe threatened to take them of the White House Christmas Holiday card list.

After reading about the Ann Romney wearing a $990 shirt, an act that made her 'out of touch' with average Americans, I shouldn't have been surprised when Moochelle's $6,800 jacket was described as 'fancy' and more appropriate for her meeting with the queen than her previous fashion choices.  Ann Romney is an out of touch one percenter while Moochelle's jacket is 'fit for a queen'.

Then I stumbled on this video:



Lawdy!  You should read the hateful things people are writing in the comments field.  You can click around the Gorenet and read all about what horrible parents this kid has, how screwed up he will be as an adult and how stupid his views are.

Those people have a short memory.  
Obama Kids Music Video

Obama Kid

Be Smart, Vote Obama

Obama Kid Speaks from the Heart

The Obama Baby speaks for America...

I am tired of typing an linking.  Look in the freaking sidebar on any one of those videos.  Is there an end to the Obama-loving parentally exploited YouTube children of Hope and Change?

August 1, 2012

Latch on to this, Bloomberg

By now, surely you have heard of Nanny Bloomberg's latest attack on personal choice.  If not, allow me to remind you that first he came for trans fat, then salt, then he legislated the size of beverages, and now he comes for the baby formula.  The death knell of personal choice rings loudest in the Big Apple.

What is presented as a plan to prevent barriers to breastfeeding, instead, ends up as a nanny state plan that requires hospitals to keep baby formula under lock and key (just like prescription meds), to lecture a new mother each time she requests formula, require a doctor to 'order' formula, end the free 'swag bag' diaper bag giveaways and remove all traces of any formula company names and logos from the hospital - among other things.

I had a good laugh reading over the initiative's website.  The impetus weighs heavily on the belief that women are so stupid, that any sign of a formula company's name will be the determining factor in the decision between bottle and breast.  From their FAQ document:
Company logos are a potent marketing tool. Distributing any materials that have formula company logos, including diaper bags, confuses the mother, and implies that formula has equal nutritional value to breast milk and encourages formula use.
 
Studies have shown that following childbirth, the in-hospital marketing of infant formula can deter exclusive breastfeeding, and mothers who receive formula gift packs in the hospital are less likely to exclusively breastfeed at 10 weeks postpartum.
There are many arguments to be made here, the fact that they are citing a 1992 study is paramount among them.  I think there has been a little publicity about the benefits of breastfeeding in the past 20 years, certainly enough to give a woman all the information she needs to make the very personal choice about how to feed her newborn. 

What cracks me up, is the assertion that women are such gullible creatures that a pen, lanyard, coffee mug or, gasp!, diaper bag with a formula company logo will result in the assumption that the hospital wants them to formula feed their baby. 

It is apparently lost on Nanny Bloomberg that his preferred feeding method is attached to our chests.  Talk about a constant and, by birth, large reminder that breastfeeding is a choice. 

Finally, I can't believe that the cries of discrimination haven't started.  A new mother, in a, again - gasp!, traditional family and birth situation, will be run through the gauntlet for choosing formula.  What happens to babies born to surrogates and adoptive families?  Is Nanny Bloomberg going to round up all the gay men and explain to them how harmful bottle and formula feeding is for their children?