Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Change Is In The Air Because My Kilter Isn't There

I had popped off an e-mail to a blogging friend ... one from way back on AOL-J (that many of you know as well) and the response I received was a bit disconcerting.

It seems this friend is going to be off line a lot more than on (from now on? forever? or for a while?) and I absolutely respect that.

I certainly didn't ask why, because if I did I wouldn't be respecting that. And I don't want to make this about me ... but I somehow feel as though I've let this person down. Call it a gut feeling, woman's intuition or even paranoia if you will.

But the news that this blogger was going off line indefinitely (forever? for a while? from now on?) got me to thinking a bit 'harder' than I have been or usually have about my own blog.

I've fallen into the trap of slacking off ... and I have contributed I am sure to the demise of the sense of community some of us feel, although I know not all of us [from AOL] feel that way.

"So," you think, "She's still going on and on and on about blah, blah, blah." On the one hand that's true, but on the other, finally some light has dawned on Marblehead and I've realized I've been neglecting my own blog for a couple of fairly simple reasons.

The first is that I still have this tiny fear that an ex-girlfriend from real time life will find me and harass me. I should just get over it. If she does. She does. Not much I can do about it except to go private, but I was unhappy private at AOL-J so it stands to reason that when the opportunity popped up for me to post publicly so-to-speak, I jumped right in.

The second is that I often feel as though I have nothing useful to offer this crowd of bloggers. It's a huge community with lots of talented writers and interesting people who find very interesting or engaging 'things' to write about. So the dilemma becomes, "What should I write about?" I guess I haven't quite grasped the atmosphere here, although when I do get round to friends blogs, they are pretty much the same as they were before. Interesting and engaging.

I've finally figured out that I am out of kilter here ... just a bit ... but then I was knocked over today by the news that my friend (and yours) won't be on line much anymore. (forever? for a while? from now on?)

And I don't want to face a loss here again.

So I must look to my friends who are still here ... posting daily, weekly, infrequently, rarely, always ... for unspoken and unwritten encouragement.

Because I recognize that just by their being here ... they are being supportive.

What change is in the air? Well, I've been thinking about writing about what I know best ...

an old, old photo ...

... and so I am going to start at the very beginning and write the story of Emily.

Will the story be in order? Probably not. But will the story be entertaining and interesting?

Oh yeah. It will.

cross posted @ Flamingo Feathers

Monday, September 28, 2009


If you’re like me and you can remember the late sixties and early seventies with the “hard hats” and the “silent majority” you’ll probably also remember “my country right or wrong.” Imagine my surprise when I found at least one version that is just a little bit longer.

My country right or wrong; if right to be kept right and if wrong to be set right. I can live with that. Now if we could all agree on the wrongs that need to be set right. The devil truly is in the details.

Another of the “we don’t want socialism” letters in the local paper Sunday. Well, for starters, what do you mean by “we” Kemo Sabe? I don’t recall getting a call from anyone asking my opinion so let’s change we to “me and some of the people I know.” And then most of the writer’s examples refer to purely economic matters rights. Car choice, light bulbs, temperature settings, and one that I assume refers to the minimum wage. Kind of a narrow definition of freedom in my opinion.

Last time I checked any nutcase in the country can start their own church, pray that our current president will die unpleasantly and end up in the hot place without any cops showing up or their churches being closed. So I guess freedom of religion as long as you aren’t a Muslim, pagan, free thinker or a member of some Peacenik, tree hugger group is alive and well.

Oh, and you’re also free to be a former child TV star turned evangelist trying to rewrite Darwin and blame evolution for the Holocaust even though it appears you have no pst high school education in either science or theology. (see Kirk Cameron) Here I spent all those years going to the U of O and LCC, silly me.

The freedom to show up at a town hall where the president is speaking with an AK47 seems to be alive and well. However being an unarmed civilian anywhere near the G20 meetings last week in Pittsburg didn’t seem to entitle them to the same protections.

There’s a fair amount of anecdotal evidence that Saudi oil money built most of the Wahabi madrassas in the border areas of Pakistan.(one source Three Cups of Tea-really good book) So, yeah if you wanted to buy a big ass pickup a few years ago (and didn’t have something similarly big assed to haul) well gee I wonder how much American money ended up funding the training of the young men who are shooting at us now?

And it’s not just our driving. The average American meal has traveled 1500 miles by the time it gets to our tables. (source Animal, vegetable, miracle by Barbara Kingsolver) And since synthetic fertilizers and many pesticides have a petroleum base, trying to cut down on oil use takes on a whole other dimension.

We appear to still have the right to vote for the Republican or Democrat of your choice. That is unless you lived in some urban, largely minority neighborhoods in Ohio back in 2004. Precincts that didn’t have enough voting machines, were lucky that the majority of them worked, and found the doors closed promptly at 8 PM even though potential voters had been waiting in line for hours.

As for that pesky minimum wage; well hon if you’re an employer see if your workers will work for straight commissions. If you’re a worker I guess to be true to your ethics you should tell your boss you’re willing to work for what he/she is willing to pay and we won’t worry about those pesky overtime regulations.

As I worked on this I realized the list keeps getting longer and longer. After all it costs more to hire licensed electricians, plumbers, contractors you name it. Of course if you hire someone who can prove they have the training there’s a good chance your new wiring won’t short out and burn the house down. It costs more to make sure work places, packing plants, and eateries are clean and safe. I guess to be true to your non interference ethic you shouldn’t call the health department if you come down with food poisoning because somebody didn’t sanitize the tools and work surfaces after they diced the chicken before the salad veggies were prepped.

As I said at the begining, the devil does seem to be in the details since I suspect that my wrongs to be righted might just turn out to be someone else’s keep what is right, right.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Something I'd like to ask everybody on all sides of the so called health care debate. I'm just curious mind you.


The Things You Find On You-Tube...

I have to thank Cynthia for digging this one up. I found it over at her blog, and it is absolutely PERFECT!!!

Oh yeah! I think we should be SOOOO proud!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yes, Mr. Carter...I Do Believe It's True

Former President Jimmy Carter on what might possibly be ailing present President Barack Obama's most vehement detractors:

In my humble opinion...

He's absolutely correct.


I’m on the updates mailing list for Sojourners, a progressive Christian ministry and magazine. I’ve gotten three requests to add my name to letters to be sent to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. The letters disagree with the stands that these pundits have taken on such issues as health care reform. I haven’t added my name but I did send this e-mail.

“ I have received your e mails asking me to sign letters to be sent to the like of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Hey, I don’t have a problem with that. I honestly believe that these pundits either don’t check their facts or are outright liars. I just don’t believe this tactic will work.

These commentators have built their business plan on a particular segment of the population. They aren’t going to abandon that audience. The audience that presumably listens to the commercials that pay for their airtime. They benefit from these advertising dollars. It would probably be harder but go after the companies. Without their dollars they don’t get airtime.

Hey, it’s perfect capitalism. The pundits have the right to say what they want. The companies have the right to spend their advertising dollars where they will. They just don’t have the right to do it with our dollars: the only votes we seem to have that count for anything.

I believe the message to the companies is simple. We find so and so’s views to be either poorly researched or out right lies. Since your company supports this programming with your advertising budget we can only assume that you either support these views or haven’t done your research either. It’s your right to do this. It isn’t your right to expect that you can do it with our money.

Heck, I’m probably not the first one to come up with this. And the word boycott has such negative baggage these days. From Irish home rule to Montgomery Alabama if the cause is just then God is with us.”

And the screams about censorship if such a campaign did work would be so, dare I say satisfying. And that’s one of the things that always bugged me about the likes of Limbaugh, Colter and Hannity. They claim the right to say whatever they want whenever they want. And nobody can say anything about it. Go after their advertisers and it’s “censorship.” As I said in the e-mail: you’ve got the right to say what you want. You just don’t have the right to do it on my dime.

So, I guess I’ll have to do some limited Fox watching with the mute button engaged. And be prepared to send some e-mails to their advertisers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Sorry" My Patootie...

Why are we ever shocked at the lengths to which the GOP will go to destroy the Democratic Party and anything associated with it?

Remember, this is the party responsible for badgering, belittling and eventually filing a trumped-up impeachment of the last Democrat to hold the office they believe should be exclusively theirs—by right or might, lies, arm-twisting, murder, and/or deals carried out in smoky back rooms or private board rooms.

I remember, ten years ago, never believing that the party out of power would carry their thirst for supremacy all the way to an attempt to oust the duly elected President of the United States. But then it happened…I was aghast. Weren’t we all, really?

Now we have a Democrat in office, one who was elected by a people sorely burned by eight years of Republican lies, bumbling, avarice and sword-rattling. The GOP screwed up everything they touched, and the people rewarded them by soundly throwing them out of office.

But the Republican Party has no intention of mending its ways. It has no intention of trying to “regroup” and reform itself into a party that speaks to the needs of the American people. Let’s face it…they don’t CARE about the American people. Have they not made that more than plain? Have they not proven that what they CARE about are power and money? For themselves, and themselves alone? Have they not proven that they will lie, cheat, steal, kill; attack and disgrace anyone or anything standing between them and the power to rule the world?

So don’t kid yourselves into thinking that Joe Wilson’s outburst at President Obama’s speech last night was any kind of mistake. That it was not carefully planned. That it was not part of the GOP’s continuing agenda to disgrace and discredit this President. Think about it.

Think very hard about the lengths to which the GOP will go to oust a sitting Democratic president. Think about the “Obama Birth Certificate” furor. Think about the “Socialism” ranting. Think about how we never thought the GOP would actually impeach Bill Clinton. If they did not hesitate to carry through with that plan, what might they have cooked up for Mr. Obama?

They will stop at nothing. And we had best get that in our heads, and act accordingly.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Don’t Go There

When I read Cynthia's post, I realized that it's not that people hate fat people these days; it's just that people HATE, period, and they do not shy away from expressing it. Well, no…it's not that they simply aren't shy about it. Nowadays, our society actively cultivates blatant, aggresive hatred.

We have entered an era of social anarchy. There are no rules. It's "Say Anything you Want, Do Anything You Want, and Screw The Other Guy (At Every Possible Opportunity.)" See someone do something embarrassing? Point to them and laugh, loud, immediately. Neighbor bugging you? Bang on his door and get right in his face. Indifferent service at a restaurant? Not leaving a tip is so passive…grab the server or the manager and demand satisfaction in the rudest possible terms. And by all means, carry a gun under the front seat of your car so you can take potshots at people who piss you off in traffic.

Movies, television, radio, professional sports—all those forms of entertainment upon which we have seized as an antidote to our stressful, crazy world—are the source and the conduit of this social erosion. And the internet…the internet is a dangerous thing. It is the perfect forum for people to display the deepest, most abhorrent emotions staining the floors and cracks of their souls—completely anonymously. "Comment" spaces are open invitations to this behavior; and so they've become cesspools of our secret deviance.

I learned long ago that if I wanted to enjoy my internet experience, and not feel soiled by the s**t that some people leave here, I would not go looking for it. So I rarely leave or look at public comments on any news story or feature on the internet. I don't want to lose the two grains of faith I have remaining in the basic goodness (or at least moral neutrality) of the human race…

Sunday, September 6, 2009


I didn't realize that merely being exposed to the president was so dangerous. Apparently the prez is planning to give a speech Tuesday morning that will be available to be shown to students in their classrooms. The subject? Stay in school and study hard. Sounds pretty harmless doesn't it? I mean it's not like the drop out rate has been falling and it's even worse for minority students, right?

To hear some of the conservative talking heads and panicing parents tell it the Visigoths are at the gates, the Mongols are ready to sack the city and their favorite hobgoblins are back under the bed ready to bite their ankles. One mother the regional cable network was in tears and looked like she'd been that way for awhile. Either that or she had a plentiful supply of chopped onions in the kitchen.

Good Lord woman. Do you honestly believe that one speech shown over a TV is going to undo all your parenting? Are you admitting in public that you have so little influence over your own children that one speech is going to undo everything you've taught them?

Oh, and incidently every person I've seen interviewed was white. Nah, that's just a coincidence. And I have some really prime farmland in southe eastern Oregon for sale. Just the other side of Fossil. :-)

Speaking of Pressing Partisan Agendas on Impressionable Young Minds...

Conservatives across the country, and especially here in Texas, are having a hissy fit over President Obama's speech to students scheduled for Tuesday. They say that the president is going to try to brainwash students by pressing a partisan political agenda on impressionable young minds. Speaking of which...when Mike and Chris were still in high school and President Bush was still in office, I began getting voice messages on my unlisted land line from an adult male asking Chris to return his calls. Mike and Chris each had cell phones which friends and family used to reach them, so I wondered about this guy calling our house. Chris ignored the calls, but that didn’t stop them. They became more frequent, and the guy sounded like a creep to me: “Hey man, this is Bob, c’mon, call me back, we have things to talk about.”

“Who is this guy?” I asked.

“Just some guy,” Chris answered, with typical, teen-aged male succinctness.

Alarmed, I returned the call myself. “Why are you calling my son?” I asked

He said that he needed to talk with Chris.

“About WHAT?” I asked. When he realized I wasn’t about to give up or to let him talk with Chris, he identified himself as an army recruiter.

It turns out that President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act requires all public high schools to turn over private student contact information to local military recruiters or lose federal funding. This particular provision of the Act was added by Louisiana Republican, then Representative, now Senator, David Vitter, who identifies himself as a "staunch conservative". The first sentence in his biography on his website reads: "David Vitter is dedicated to making life better for his young family and all Louisiana families." Uh-huh. He's reportedly pro-life and pro-gun rights but against same-sex marriage, funding for abortion providers, increases in CHIP (the state Children's Health Insurance Program) and amnesty for undocumented aliens. I guess he's a family values sort of guy. Oh, but in June 2007 he was also identified as a client of D.C. madam Deborah Jean Palfrey's prostitution service. And that wasn't just some random accusation by some liberal out to get him, he admitted and apologized for it. Hey, a guy has needs, right?

If you want to read more about military recruitment on public high school campuses, check it out here (Mother Jones). If you want to find out about more protesting this practice or if you want to opt out of the database, check out the excellent website, Leave My Child Alone.

cross posted at Talking to Myself

Friday, September 4, 2009

Full Moon…

Counter girl calls me to the phone. Customer complaint.

"We ate at your restaurant last night, and my receipt shows two charges of $1.00 each on 'Dept. 1…' What is that for?"

"Yes…you ordered two bacon cheeseburgers. We ring those up as the burger plus $1 for the rest of the stuff on it…"

"But you can't do that… That's terrible…!"

"No, you don't understand. The burgers you ordered were the special. They were $7.95—stated clearly on the special board. The way we ring those up is to ring up the plain burger at $6.95 and then ring up the dollar for the bacon and the cheese. You weren't overcharged. It comes out to $7.95.That's just the way we ring it up."

"Well, that's just a TERRIBLE way to do business. We WON'T be back! GOOD BYE!" *Click.*


The Bogeyman...

Meet Roger Stephens, a 61 year old Walmart shopper who took it upon himself to make his visit to a Walmart in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a more pleasant experience for himself by grabbing a crying two year old and slapping her in the face several times in an attempt to make her stop crying. Mr. Stephens reportedly said to the child's mother, "If you don't shut that baby up, I'll shut her up for you". The mother picked up her child and walked away, but Mr. Stephens followed her into the next aisle where he grabbed the child and slapped her several times, after which a fellow shopper restrained him until the police showed up and he was arrested for felony cruelty to a child.

If you want to get really depressed, read the comments in the various places this story is posted on in the internet. There are people defending this jerk.

On the arrest report, which is available on the internet, the child's race is listed as black. If that's correct, it makes me wonder...would he have felt compelled to do this, if it had been a white woman with a crying child? Would he have dared to do this if it had been a white man with a crying child? And if Mr. Stephens had been a black man hitting a white child in a Walmart just outside Atlanta, would this story be a different story?

cross posted at Talking to Myself