Friday, March 30, 2012

Why Catholics must reject Obamacare

I have been thinking about Obamacare for over 2 years now, like many concerned people in this country. This past week was a monumental event in our country's history. I honestly believe that the decision of the Supreme Court will determine whether this country survives into the future. Today the nine justices met in closed chambers to vote on the events/arguments that took place earlier this week. They have a pretty good idea of what will be the final decision. One of them has been designated to write the majority opinion. Others are free to write their own opinions.

What is so hard about all of this for me as a conservative Catholic is that I deal with very liberal Catholics, primarily religious women, on a day to day basis. Some of them are just clueless, some are misinformed followers, and others are radical feminists who want nothing more than to advance the same agenda as such radical organizations as NOW, Planned Parenthood (like the one  that is 2 blocks from my office), and NARAL. I was so utterly offended by Nancy Pelosi and Sandra Fluke purporting to speak for all women and asking for Congress to make me pay for their (well, Sandra and her BFFs anyway) birth control, sterilization and abortions, that it sickens me. When religious women lend their names and clout to the fray, contrary to what the true leaders of the Church advocate, it is not only disheartening, but infuriating.

So, getting back to the unprecedented 6 hours of arguments on the constitutionality of the health care law that the Supreme Court set aside this week, I want to lay out clearly what the arguments involved, since the mainstream media and the liberal politicians are trying to make this about things that it is  NOT about, namely a race, gender and class war.

On Monday the Court heard arguments on whether Obamacare provides that a tax to be implemented against those who do not choose to comply with the mandate to buy insurance. If the penalty for failing to buy health insurance is a tax, then the issue is not "ripe" and no Court  can hear the case until the tax is implemented -- in 2014 or 2015. Both sides want the arguments to go forward, so they agreed it was NOT a tax. But the liberal attorney for the plaintiffs (Obamacare advocates) kept stumbling over his words and using the term "tax" over and over, and was called out by the Court repeatedly. In the end, unless the Court just does not want to make a decision, then this should be an issue that is easily overcome.

Tuesday was the heart of the matter -- the individual mandate. We all know the arguments on both sides. What I would add to the mix is that I am baffled as to why the leaders in some religious institutes are so ready and willing to completely divest themselves of any and all responsibility for the types of care upon which so many religious institutes were founded. One such advocate is the leader of a national lobbying network who supports the individual mandate and, undoubtedly, a single payer system. The president of a national Catholic hospital association also has damaged the unity of the Church by advocating for Obamacare and its mandate that requires employers to pay for birth control, sterilization, and abortafacients. These women need to hear from Catholics who are praying for this country to stop ignoring its Christian history and to uphold TRUE Gospel values rather than their skewed view of what makes them feel and look good to other liberals. Catholic hospitals and social service organizations are not what they used to be. Many are not Catholic, and they need to be held accountable.

What I never hear these and other liberal Catholic women discuss is the fact that once you turn over payment of healthcare to the government, then the government gets to tell you what is included in the services they afford you, that to which you are entitled, who will deliver the services, when they will be delivered, when you get them, and when you are not worth the investment. The government will become the "death panel" that Sarah Palin boiled it all down to.

So many women religious in this country fight against the male leadership in the Church. They complain that because the Church's leaders are men, they cannot do ANYTHING for women. They blame everything on the fact that the men have male gonads. Of course they do not use that language, but that is what it all boils down to. It is so ludicrous. No one can reason with these women when they are dead set against men having moral or theological authority or leadership in the Church.

Sure, mistakes have been made by a wide number of male leaders in a wide variety of circumstances throughout the history of the Church. But why these religious women are so willing to turn over their personal health care (and that of ALL women, even though most of us DO NOT WANT  THE GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT) to Kathleen Sebilius and, come next January when a new administration takes over, an appointee of a new conservative President, is beyond me. Can they not see that whoever controls the purse strings controls what the money inside will be allowed to buy?

Wednesday's SCOTUS hearings were on severability (morning) and the effect of the expansion of Medicaid coverage on states (afternoon). You can find out about these arguments on a plethora of websites, so I will spare you. On Wednesday, I took off a couple of hours from work to go down to the Supreme Court and see what it was like to be in the crowd on these momentous days. I got there just as the morning session was adjourning for lunch. I got to see Rep. Steve King from Iowa, Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas, and Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota as they spoke to the crowd gathered in front of the SCOTUS building. It was electric.
Michele Bachmann 3.28.12 in front of Supreme Court building
I have been to a number of Tea Party events, and it always is an amazing experience. The only thing that marred the occasion in front of the Supreme Court on Wednesday is that when these three Congress men and woman were speaking, the liberals who were present were chanting and shouting loudly and non-stop  to try and drown out the free speech of conservatives. It was not surprising. The liberals' idea of free speech is that they get to speak freely, we have to listen, and if they disagree with what we have to say, they will shout us down so the truth cannot be heard. It is as fascist as any tactic of Mussolini. They remind me of little children who pitch a hissy fit when they do not get what they want, or a grade school bully who tries to steal your lunch money. Finally, though, conservatives are going Ralphie on the liberal bully Scott Farkus. 

I gotta go now. My husband is sleeping across the room in his raise-em-up chair. We are going to go up and sleep peacefully through the night.

May I remind my Catholic friends and relatives that we are about to enter Holy Week. I plan to increase my prayers this coming week, praying that the Justices on the Supreme Court will be enlightened and will understand that this country cannot stand if the government can force us to buy anything that some majority of the 535 voting members of Congress (House and Senate) see fit to impose upon the other 320,000,000 of us. It is despicable, it is scary, and it is un-American.

God, please, save us from ourselves.

When you look at a stranger, do you ever think...

. . . I wonder what that person does for fun? Or maybe, I wonder if that person is carrying a gun. My husband teases me because I watch a lot of programs on Discovery ID channel. You know, the channel that shows 24 hours a day of women killing their spouses or getting killed by their spouses. He jokes that he has to sleep with one eye open at night just to be safe. With all that bombardment of murder and evil, I am definitely more cautious and suspicious of people around me.

So it is a little surprising what happened yesterday morning. First, back up to the previous night -- as I was blogging. I saw a certain headline on a website, but I brushed past it without interest. Then yesterday morning my co-worker asked me about the story that I had brushed past -- about a TSA agent who had been arrested for running a prostitution ring in a hotel a block from our office and next door to my gym where I go every weekday morning! Yikes! was my immediate reaction. I guess the online ad for the hotel as "the place to meet" is an understatement.

Should I be troubled that the suspect hotel uses my gym for its guests? Have I worked out next to any of the prostitution-ring participants on a treadmill or elliptical? Maybe they took literally the song that plays in the gym's loop of Muzak, a song that says "I might like you better if we slept together, I might like you better if we slept together, I might like you better if we slept together, But there's just something in your eyes that says, 'Maybe,' That's never, never say never!" I get the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.
Crowne Plaza, Silver Spring, MD

LA Fitness, Silver Spring, MD

Once again, such stories bring me to a moment of self-reflection. Am I just naive when it comes to criminal activity? Am I dismissive that times are tough and people do desperate things for a little money?

For good or for bad, I am not very trusting when it comes to my gym. I lock my locker diligently, even though probably half the female patrons just throw their stuff in lockers and don't lock them; cell phones, purses, clothes, etc., all remain visible (and tempting) to anyone who opens a locker to throw their stuff in. Why do they ignore the printed signs that the management posted, warning them against such indiscretion? Why do they ignore the fact that the front desk will give them a key to a small locker in which to put their valuables? Will they complain if something gets stolen or accept personal responsibility for their own complicity?

As silly as it may sound, I find myself annoyed with people who do not lock up their goods. They are tempting others when they leave their stuff available for pilfering. Lead us not into temptation. Do they just not care? Are they just all-trusting? Will they scream and protest loudly if their stuff gets taken? It's beyond me. Don't they watch Discovery ID?

But back to the prostitution ring and the hotel next door. I have never been inside the hotel, but I know it to be a central location for out-of-town visitors, frequently used by youth groups that come here to the DC metro area on vacation. It is only a couple of blocks from the Silver Spring Metro station.

Traffic passing Silver Spring Metro Station

Just this morning, as I turned into the roadway next to the now-infamous hotel at 6:15 to go to my parking garage that the hotel shares with the County, I saw half a dozen commercial buses parked outside the hotel, loading up with dozens of young people, preparing to depart. Undoubtedly they were here for Spring Break and are now heading home. Although the incident in the news story actually occurred in February, it just hit the local news this week, while those young people were staying at that hotel. What a story they can add to their repertoire to tell their families when they get home. And they were right down the street from the Discovery building.

Let me just say that Silver Spring itself is not a bad place. Yes, it is located in the People's Republic of Maryland, in the liberal bastion of Montgomery County (thank goodness my husband rescued me and moved me to Virginia when we married). And yes, it was one of the locations for the Beltway sniper shootings 10 years ago. And it was where the crazy guy held the Discovery Building hostage a year and a half ago and ended up dead. Yes, the Discovery building where the Discovery ID programming comes from.

Yes, Silver Spring is not all bad. I lived here for three years in the 1980s. I got my first teaching job, as well as my second teaching job, here in Catholic Schools (St. Michael and St. John the Baptist). And I can attest that Silver Spring has some lovely trees.

Tree picture taken 3/30/2012 by this blogger

What really saddens me is that the state of Maryland was named after Mary, the Mother of God. Unfortunately, I think that if she came here to walk the streets of some of the cities in her nominal state, she may not want her name associated with it. I know that will irk some people. But there is still free speech in the PRoM.

I guess I really should watch over my shoulder when I walk to my car this afternoon. I don't want to become the subject of a Discovery ID program. . . .

Round 2 with Rocky the Raccoon

Sometimes stories end, and sometimes they linger. Yesterday I got home from the office and had a few minutes before the rest of the clan got home. We had plans to go out and celebrate a birthday meal for our one-day-shy-of-17-years daughter. I took a few minutes to unwind by walking through the yard to see the beautiful flowers that are gracing the landscape in all their glory. Then I went inside and thought I would spend a few minutes preparing for my next blog post.

I had barely logged onto the internet when I heard it. The sound is familiar by now. And the source too. He's baaaaaaack. Luckily I had my camera laying close by this time, although I was not sure whether the batteries would be able to power the flash. I had just used the camera the previous day to take some photos that you'll see in a later blog, and the camera had indicated the batteries were dead. Usually though I can get a couple more shots out of the batteries if they sit a while. I had not bought new batteries yet since I did not know I would need the camera so soon.

As I started up the steps to our master bedroom, the front door opened and in bounded our 13 year-old. "Hello!" she excitedly pronounced. Without really looking at her, I motioned with my finger over my lips and said in my whisper-shout voice, "He's back. . . ," and continued up the steps. I yanked open my husband's closet door that hides the clandestine opening into the nether regions of our attic. Pushing his shirts aside, I labored to lift myself up to the mid-torso high shelf that allows access to the miniature door. (Geez, what a chore it has become to do those things that came so naturally as a kid!)

Making sure that my camera was turned on and within arms-length, I noticed that my husband had arrived in our room, as had our daughter. "Flashlight," I ordered, the way a surgeon would order his surgical assistant. "Flashlight," repeated our daughter to her dad, and he passed along the one that was laying on his nightstand. (Thank goodness I had ordered those six little LED flashlights from Daily Steals last December -- we have one on almost every room now.)

With flashlight in mouth (gross, I know, but necessary so my hands could be free to perform their duties), I unlatched the door and swung it open into the darkness of the attic. I quickly shifted the camera into place and snapped a picture without aiming. (Think Jody Foster in Silence of the Lambs, firing into the dark when Buffalo Bill was reaching for her in his night-vision goggles.)
After the bright flash subsided, I hit the button that allows you to review the picture you just took. "Is it there?" asked Hubby. "I can't tell," I said. So I aimed in the direction where we had seen the critter a few nights earlier and fired off another shot -- luckily, the camera flash was holding out.

Voila! Busted! Rocky was there, glaring back, trying to remain hidden in the insulation. (Did he not know that stuff has fiberglass in it? Guess not.) I snapped a couple more pics, for evidentiary purposes.

Rocky did not look at all happy to be disturbed. The glint in his eyes was a dead giveaway.

Since we were on a tight schedule and needed to get on the road to the restaurant, I decided to act decisively to rid our abode of this unwanted creature. "Radio from the garage," I ordered. Dad went running. "And extension cord," I added. Daughter ran after father to convey that additional command. While I waited for them to retrieve the weapons, I turned back to the black hole and shone the light.

Nothing. He was gone from sight.

I shone the light around to see if he had moved toward the vent slats where we suspect he had gained entry. No sign of him. He must have burrowed back into the fiberglass. It was the old "I-can't-see-you-so-you-can't-see-me" routine. And he was right. I could not see him.

I was surprised at the speed with which my minions retrieved the weapons of choice. I hurriedly plugged the cord of the boom-box into the extension cord. When Hubby plugged it in, I turned the volume up and adjusted the station-finder knob. I thought about looking for WMAL - the local station that broadcasts Rush Limbaugh -- might as well let the critter get educated before he moved out. But it was past time for Rush -- Mark Levin was on--but the radio was on FM rather than AM. I simply made sure there was noise coming out -- it was tuned between stations so it sounded something like the demon voices that came out of Linda Blair in The Exorcist. I set the radio in place, pumped up the volume, and closed the door.

The Arlington Animal Welfare League website had said that raccoons don't like loud noise. I could vouch for the fact that when we had banged heavily on the ceiling on previous occasions when he heard Rocky above, the scratching had stopped. So I believed this to be true. Rocky would have to decide whether to stay or go. Meanwhile we were off to the restaurant.

To make a long story short (don't you hate it when people say that and then go on with the long story?), we got home around 10:00 p.m. and immediately headed to the attic door to see if there were any developments. The gibberish was still emanating from the boombox in the attic, so Rocky apparently had not sought to destroy the weapon of mass destruction. I opened the door slowly. (I forgot to mention that in the earlier attempt to ready the defense shield that evening we had discovered a light switch right inside the mini-door, and had left the light on also when we departed for dinner.) I silenced the noise-maker, listened and looked around the attic. Nothing.

Now was the time for physical infiltration. With some effort--and equal determination--I hoisted myself up into the attic. "Be careful," shouted Hubby from down below. I stepped gingerly over to where Rocky had last been visible. The insulation was gone from between two rafters/joists, exposing the plasterboard or drywall or whatever the ceiling to the kitchen/dining room below is called from up above. No Rocky.

I sidled over to the vented slats, visible in the first picture posted above. Although not a really large opening, one of the lower slats was obviously askew and was detached from its moorings. "If he can get his head in, he can get the rest of his body in." The haunting words of Thumbelina-from-Animal-Control on the phone two nights earlier came back to me. "I need wire or string to tie up this broken slat," I called out to the waiting Dynamic Duo, faces framed in the mini-doorway. Off trundled Hubby to oblige me.

Moments later he was back, and I stepped toward the mini-door to retrieve the items of mass repair. "I couldn't find string or wire," he said (which I interpreted as "I didn't look for string or wire"), "but try this tape." I thought to myself, "Duct tape will work," and I reached out my hand. What he offered instead was a roll of blue painter's tape. (We have tons of blue painter's tape, so its presence did not surprise me, but to repair a dislodged metal slat?) Noticing the look on my face (the WHAT?-look), Hubby said I should just use this tape to tack up the slat, and we could see if Rocky tries to break through it. Hmmm. Actually, a better plan than what I had envisioned, I must admit.

So, I quickly tore off several strips of blue tape and applied them strategically to hold the slat in place. Mission accomplished. Off to bed we all went.

This morning I got up at my 5:30 rising time and headed off to start the day at the gym. I arrived at the office at 8:00, and was pecking away at my keyboard when an email came through in my work inbox around 8:50. Hubby sent me a picture that he took before leaving home this morning.

The slat that was drooping only a couple of inches is now almost completely severed from its moorings. Rocky must have been really ticked off!

Email traffic:

Hubby: See picture of house vent -- he must have left during the night! 

Me: Or came back in!!!!! Wow! We got the evidence. I feel like a reporter! More fodder for by blog!

Hubby: I peeked this morning and did not see anything -- There might be a party going on when we get home as I left the radio on!

Me: Did you leave the slat hanging that way? We will need to fix it this weekend, whether or not Rocky is still there! And we should cover the opening to the other part of the attic too so it cannot go over to where our stuff is stored.

Hubby: So I have a "honey-do-list"! I have some screen in the garage and a heavy duty stapler.  I hate to leave "Rocky the Raccoon" in the attic - - we might have to call in the "mortician"

Me: I suspect you are right, that he went OUT. But, we won’t be sure until we inspect. I think we can sprinkle some flour on the floor and assess whether his pawprints are heading out or in… He must have been hiding last night when I was taping up the vent slat… We’ll get creative so we can tell what the rascal is up to!!

Hubby: Here are 3 videos on raccoons
Of course Beetles sang "Rocky Raccoon"  -- see video at
[Silence. I am playing possum, watching videos.]

PETA and SPCA Disclaimer: No raccoons were injured in the attempted extermination described herein. Feel free to try this at home.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Red, Right and Blue

These days in America we hear a lot of talk about red states and blue states. If you are talking about politics, I have no hesitation admitting that I am fire-engine red. On voting day I wear red, even if I am working at the polls. And, on Christmas day, 9 times out of 10 I wear red to Mass.

But, I was born and raised in the Bluegrass state of Kentucky. And there are some occasions in the life of almost every Kentuckian when you never wear red. If you haven’t guessed it, it has to do with basketball. We Kentuckians take our basketball very seriously. If you are born and raised in the Bluegrass state, chances are extremely high that you grew up with a manic devotion to the Kentucky Wildcats. I know that I did, and that unshakeable loyalty is so ingrained in me and most of my siblings that we “bleed blue.”

My siblings and I grew up listening to Caywood Ledford calling Wildcat games on the radio. If the game was not on television, which was often the case, we would huddle near the radio to listen to the game being called. (We would get furious when the local TV station—which was actually located in my hometown of Henderson, KY, but had call letters as an Evansville, IN, station across the Ohio River—would broadcast Purdue Boilermaker games instead of UK’s game. But I digress.) Often if the Cats’ game WAS on TV, my dad would have the game playing on our one TV but would have his earplug in—the old type that consisted of a 10 foot cord and one earbud jammed into your ear—so he could hear Caywood delivering a tinny rendition of the game’s play-by-play.

So, back to the color wars. We UK fans can never wear red on two occasions:
            -when UK plays Indiana and
            -when UK plays Louisville.
This season we played Indiana twice. The first time (she says, biting her lower lip until the blue blood flows) the Hoosiers eked out a victory on a heart-breaking last-second shot, handing our Cats their first loss of the season. The second time brought sweet revenge in the NCAA tournament, when we met in Round 4. It wasn’t even a game! The Cats smoked ‘em. (I have to dish out the trash talk since some of my readers are Hoosiers or at least LIVE in the red state.)

Which brings me to the second opponent that wears red. That would be the Cardinals of Louisville (pronounced lu-vul). Now, I always liked to watch Louisville when Denny Crum was coach in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. But many Kentucky fans think that the two are mutually exclusive --you cannot be both a Wildcat fan and a Cardinal fan. I could go into a loooooong discussion of the betrayal that many Kentuckians feel over Rick Pitino going from UK to U of L – forgetting that he was in Boston for several years in between and not caring that he wanted to come back to our beautiful Bluegrass state. [More digression.]

This season UK played Louisville in the regular season, and the Cats clobbered the Cards in that game. But, this weekend we are gearing up for what is being hailed as another Dream Game. (The first Dream Game between these two teams was in 1983 in the NCAA tournament Mideast Regional, after decades of no-contact between the two teams. You'll have to Google it if you do not know who won. Or click here, then here.) Anyway, these bitter in-state rivals will meet in the NCAA tournament, in the Final Four in New Orleans, this coming Saturday. There will be a lot of nail-biting and trash talk in the Bluegrass (not Redgrass) state on Saturday. But in the end, one Kentucky team will end up playing for the national championship. And one set of fans will be in mourning.

A Cardinal fan posts these wallpapers on his website:

Living outside of Kentucky, I have a “luxury” that most in-staters don’t. Some will think I am crazy and traitorous for it, but my hubby and I do own and wear a T-shirt, a sweatshirt, and a ballcap with “Louisville” emblazoned on them. We also have the same apparel items with the Wildcats logos on them. At times we purposefully wear opposite teams when we go out. Usually no one notices, but there have been a few occasions where savvy sports fans notice the clashing attire. It makes for interesting conversation. 
At Louisville game in Freedom Hall, the day after our wedding, 12/30/2009.

At home getting ready to watch UK vs. IN 3/23/2012
Even so, I still consider myself wholeheartedly, unabashedly, and incontrovertibly a diehard UK Wildcat fan. And I will profess my love for the Wildcats until I am blue in the face. (By the way, there is a family in Kentucky where some members are literally blue in the face! Why do I keep getting distracted?)

So, what is all this coming down to? Do I have a point? Well, although the good-natured rivalry is a point in itself, I do have something else to relate to this. Understand that I have 3 in-laws who are from southern Indiana. So, although we tease back and forth (like the one about how Hoosiers keep throwing stink bombs across the river at Kentuckians and Kentuckians keep lighting them and throwing them back), we familial rivals have an understanding, and we know when to draw the line. Pushing each other’s buttons is one thing, but we never rarely let it go beyond the good-natured rivalry. Society in general should take a lesson from this -- we are in it together, and sometimes you have to suck up the losses and look ahead to getting revenge in the near future.
This Saturday, the Bluegrass state (outside the greater Louisville area, which the mayor has proclaimed to be Cardinal Red Day) and my Virginia household will be BLUE inside and out. And I hope the red team is the one that ends up blue in the end.

My final point is this: as much as I love my Kentucky Wildcats, and despite bleeding blue, I hope and pray that the Bluegrass state of Kentucky goes RED in the November presidential election. We are a red, RIGHT and blue country. We can't afford to be blue on November 6.

"2016: Obama's America" (The Movie)

Since I am blogging about movies, this is one to see this summer when it comes out. It's called simply "2016." The author of the book that the movie is based on, Dinesh D'Souza, spoke at CPAC in February.

At CPAC they showed a trailer of the movie version of his book. D'Souza warns that if Obama gets a second term, he will be unconstrained for the next four years. We saw that warning amplified this week in Obama's conspiratorial comments to Medvedev, which incident I blogged about earlier this week. The movie is a prediction of what the U.S. will look like at the end of a second term if we let that happen.

Watch for the movie's release date, and plan to see it. Take everyone you love with you, especially those who plan to vote in November.

"180" The Movie - A Must See

The issue of abortion has been used by liberals for almost 40 years now to strangle those of us who hold life to be a sacred gift from God. The Left screams about women's "reproductive rights" and demands that abortion, birth control, and sterilization be provided free of charge to women. As a woman, I am deeply offended by the Left's demeaning and disgusting demands. This short 33-minute movie should be required viewing for every adult who exercises the right to vote in this country.

The producer of this movie advertised it months ago by saying that he could completely change your mind about abortion if you were pro-choice. All it would take was 30 minutes, and abortion advocates would do a 180. He did not have to change my mind, but his video reinforces what I already knew to be the truth. This is a video that is well worth the time to watch and to pass along to abortion advocates and pro-lifers as well.

Basketball and CNN have their 360s, We the People now have our 180. Action!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March 30 and the Twilight Zone

This Friday, March 30, will mark two noteworthy occasions for me.

First, my older stepdaughter enters her final year of "childhood" as she turns 17 years old. This next year will be her final push to adulthood, and I pray daily that she lives it well and learns well from it. A year from Friday she will be an adult in the eyes of the law. She will always be a child of my heart, for when I came to know her I came to know a very special kind of love. God, bless her and hold her in the palm of Your hand.

Second, March 30, 2012, will be the second anniversary of a terrible tragedy. Several young people were gunned down on a D.C. street as they stood around talking and remembering a friend who had been buried hours earlier that day after he was gunned down a week prior. The trial of the defendants started last month. What makes this memorable for me is that one of the victims, Brishell Jones, was the daughter of my former co-worker, Nardyne Jefferies. When I first started my current job, Nardyne was one of our five-person staff. She had a knack for making us laugh, and she loved her daughter without measure. Brishell's funeral was one of the saddest I have ever attended, but it also showed me the outpouring of love that a community shows for its fallen young people.

Yes, there was community outrage over the tragic and senseless loss of innocent life. But I had the utmost respect for Nardyne and Bri's father for letting the facts come to light and not unnecessarily blaming everyone and everything in society. The trial will render justice -- I believe that wholeheartedly.

This week an equally sad tragedy has begun to gain attention in Florida and throughout the country, even though it occurred in February. Sadly, this one is not playing out with the same respect for the legal system and the search for truth. It is the sad case of Tayvon Martin and George Zimmerman that happened in February. What is undisputed is that Zimmerman shot Martin. What IS disputed is the detail with regard to  what led up to the shooting. What is not in dispute (to those who are paying attention with an open mind) is that various entities are jumping into the fray to try to spin things to their benefit point of view. For instance:

New Black Panthers offer a bounty on Zimmerman's head: dead or alive.

Local Floridians ransack a Walgreens in the name of Tayvon.

Obama gets his two cents in and says if he had a son he would like like Tayvon.

Obama's minions peddle hooded sweatshirts in support of OBAMA, since Martin was wearing a
hoodie when he was killed.

Geraldo blames the hoodie.

Other black stars wear hoodies in solidarity with Martin.

A Democrat Congressman gets booted from the House floor for wearing a hoodie.
Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill

Tayvon Martin's mom files to trademark her son's name. 

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton try to make themselves relevant. (Links too numerous to choose just one.)

Just as bad, the mainstream media keeps publishing pictures of Martin when he was a little boy instead of the 17-year-old  that he was. (Geez, my almost-17-year-old stepdaughter looks a LOT different now than she did at 13 or 14!) Choosing a photo of a much younger victim is reflective of the image of the victim that the media intends to portray --more sympathetic than a current photo of him as a young adult man might evoke.

Only after Zimmerman is trashed, judged, and convicted in the court of liberal public opinion does the media finally report the truth -- that George was beaten by Tayvon and quite possibly (likely?) shot him in self-defense. In cases where such a rush to judgment occurs, we should remember these 3 words: Duke lacrosse case.

Rev. C.L. Bryant had it right when he set CNN's Roland Martin straight in the issue. The media and other wanna-be-in-the spotlight types need to focus on the REAL problem in America, which is black-on-black killing. The statistics in that CNN video are shocking - 52% of all homicide victims in the U.S. are black, and 93% of those victims are killed by people of their OWN RACE. So, why was there no outrage of the Tayvon Martin magnitude when Brishell Jones and the other innocent victims died two years ago on the streets of D.C. at the hands of other people of color? The tragedy is that there are not enough brave men like C.L. Bryant who will step up and tell the truth, and there are too many haters like Roland Martin and Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who blow smoke and shine mirrors to obfuscate the real problem.
C.L. Bryant

This Martin-Zimmerman case will not go quietly into that good night. Sadly, we will have to listen to irrelevant people weigh in with their irrelevant opinions for months and years to come. Zimmerman will have trouble getting a fair trial since clueless people decided that their interests were more important than justice. This case proves that we are a divided nation.

And so that brings me to this evening. After a simple soup and sandwich meal, our 13-year-old asked her dad and me to listen to her practice her part in a play that her class is reading aloud tomorrow. She is excited to have been selected to be the narrator. I listened as she read the narrator parts, skipping over all the other (irrelevant) parts. I gave her a few suggestions and was able to remain unemotional for the most part. But (there is always a "but") when she got to the finale, I made her read it again, and then once more. Then I took her book and typed the end of the play here. Imagine Rod Serling saying it. . . .

"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices--to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy and a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own for the children . . . and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is  . . . that these things cannot be confined to . . . The Twilight Zone!"
Conclusion of "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street," a play by Rod Serling, original broadcast date March 4, 1960, Episode 22, Season 1.

(Un?)Fortunately, we are not living in the Twilight Zone. We are in a war zone. I just hope and pray that when November 2012 arrives, this country stops trying to live in the liberal fantasy-land and chooses AMERICA instead of the country that has come to look more and more like "The Twilight Zone."

Cue Rod Serling, music and lights fade...

A Cryptic Rendition of Nonsense You Mutter (ACRONYM)

The little girl in this video brought a smile to my face. Sometimes I think we take ourselves a little too seriously, so we have to be able to laugh at ourselves! Besides, she reminds my of my niece Ruby!

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a... raccoon?

So, the last few weeks we have had an uninvited house guest making itself at home in our attic. My wonderful husband is blissfully "unawares" since he has pretty significant hearing impairment and never heard the sounds emanating from our upper regions. A few weeks ago we were both sitting in the living room minding our respective business, and I heard an ungodly racket in the kitchen. I crept around the corner like I was sneaking up on a burglar, and it did not take a detective to trace the desperate-sounding noise to the ceiling above the kitchen. Something was there.

"Pssst!" I called to my husband, trying not to make any noise that would disturb the critter up above. Hubby did not hear me. "PSSST!" I got louder. He sat with his nose buried in ESPN magazine -- the one that I had ordered for him for Christmas. '"YO!" I shouted. He looked up, quizzical and annoyed. The noise in the ceiling continued. I motioned with my right forearm for him to come to the kitchen. "What?" he asked loudly. "Come here!" I ordered in one of those half yell, half whispered voices that we all have used at some point in our lives. He finally saw my if-looks-could-kill look, and lowered his leg rest on his raise-'em-up chair and came hither.

The noise in the ceiling was such that even HE could hear it. He looked at me, then at the ceiling, then back at me. "What's is it?" he asked curiously. "It's the sound I have been telling you about for months now," I responded. "I guess I should check on it -- this weekend," he declared, and went back to his magazine. I decided not to hold my breath.

Cut to tonight. Our younger daughter was dutifully doing her homework in her bedroom, having eaten a lovely meal prepared by her loving stepmom. She came down complaining for the third night in a row that she was hearing something above her bedroom in the attic. "Must be our resident squirrel," I said. "That can't be a squirrel," said our 13 year-old. "It's moving suitcases around up there. It's a raccoon." "I don't think a raccoon could fit through the crack that we think the animal is getting in through," I challenged. "Well it's BIG, so I'm betting it's a raccoon!" she contested and, whipping her long blond locks around, went back upstairs to her homework.

About 45 minutes later, after older sister had gotten home from crew practice and eaten her left-over pasta, I was sitting in the living room working on a previous post on this blog. Hubby was absorbed in his magazine when I heard some sporadic rustlings in the kitchen. I called out to my older stepdaughter. No answer. She must have already gone downstairs to do her own homework. So, I crept around the corner to the kitchen. Seconds later, I heard a bunch of Irish dancers in the attic. At least that's what is sounded like. I hurriedly skittered back into the living room, and did the half whisper half yell voice up the stairs to my younger stepdaughter to come quickly. She whined back, "What are you gonna do to me?" "Nothing, just come," I responded. She came out of her room guardedly, and hugged the wall as she floated down the stairs.

In the dining room, she recognized the sound of her new friend in the ceiling. We gave each other the "OMG" look, and stepped back into the living room. Upon seeing our puzzled faces and inquiring into why we looked so mystified, Dad moseyed on up the 8 steps to the attic and pulled down the drop stairs. He went up into the shadows, lit by a couple of old-type Edison bulbs (we stocked up on them last year when it became clear that our nanny-state was robbing us of our freedom-of-light-bulb choice). I lumbered up into the attic behind him and tried to explain to him that the critter's last known location was over in the other part of the attic, over the dining room, not this area where he was crouched down looking. He listened, and then moved with deliberate intent down the stairs, headed toward our bedroom.

Before he could get out of sight, I hollered for him to give me the flashlight. He obliged. I planted myself on the floor and told him to raise the attic steps and turn off the lights. He did. It was surprisingly dark up there. Luckily it was not too cold. I thought of Clark W. Griswold on Christmas Vacation (the one and only movie that I can stand to watch Chevy Chase in after his disgraceful disparaging remarks about Sarah Palin). I wondered what I would do if the critter came out of nowhere with its nasty, big, pointy teeth (okay, I wandered off to Monty Python). I was imagining the gnarly scene that would occur in the darkness as I turned in slow motion to see IT trying to sneak across the attic floor...

"I see it!"" shouted my husband as the attic trap door yanked open and light flooded the attic. So much for my heroine-ship.

"Where is it?" I asked.

"In the other attic." he said.

"WHAT is it?" I asked.

"A raccoon."

"Did you see it?"

"Oh yeah, it's just sitting in the corner," he informed me. I followed him into our bedroom.There, in his closet behind the row of dress shirts, he told me to open the little door that has a hook-latch on it, a 1 1/2 foot by 2 foot opening. Slowly, with flashlight in hand, I opened the door and shone the light inside.
At first, there was nothing except colorful insulation.
Then, in the corner, large as life, was the critter.
Well, he (it, she?) was not standing up like that, but it was undeniably a raccoon.I think my hubby thought it was gonna come charging at the door. "Close the door," he urged, so I did. When our teenage girls clamored to see, he let ME open the door and shine the light in for them. They had to strain to see, but both became eye witnesses to the encounter.

Minutes later I was on the phone with the County animal control folks. The young woman (who sounded as old as my second grade niece who texted me for 30 minutes tonight on her new I-phone touch) told me that she cannot climb into unfinished attics, and even if she could and if she could trap the varmint --my word, not hers--she would have to let it go right outside my house, and it would probably come right back in. So she gave me the name of someone I could call and pay to come remove the rascal.

You gotta love the free market. Where's my checkbook?

Pinhead Obama or Patriot Obama?

Bill O'Reilly aficianados will recognize his moniker "Pinheads and Patriots." It came to mind today when two news items jump out at me. First was MISTER Obama. He has really stepped in this time. Of course the mainstream media will cover for him and try to explain away his meaning. It occurred at the end of his private conversation with Russia's outgoing president, Dimitri Medvedev. Unbeknownst to Obama, he was overheard and taped by media who were coming into the room for the public meeting. (It's a bit surprising that this was even released by the mainstream media gotta give credit to Jake Tapper, it seems.) The conversation was supposed to be "confidential," but what the two men said to each other should be very disturbing to all freedom-loving Americans. Indeed, it is borderline treasonous on the part of Obama, if not completely crossing the border into the land of selling-out-our-country.

From this conversation, it is clear that Obama thinks he has the November election locked up. He tells Medvedev that this is his final election and that afterwards he will have "more flexibility." Reading between the lines, this means, "I won't have to worry about re-election again so I will be able to do whatever I want with this country's missile defense system." Medvedev says he understands, and that he will pass that along to Putin, the newly-elected and former-President and current-premier of Russia.(Sounds almost incestuous!)

What is really creepy is the way Obama reaches over and puts his hand on the Russian's as he makes his soto voce remarks. Clearly Obama thinks that his touch can work miracles, and that he will persuade people by his charm. It looks like it is working here, as Medvedev is going to pass along Obama’s message to Putin. Pinhead is not a strong enough word for this. It needs to be made into a GOP campaign ad, along with pictures of Obama bowing to foreign leaders and selling out and weakening this great country repeatedly. I don’t know how this man sleeps at night….

[Update: Poland is VERY concerned about this tête-à-tête. Is Obama intending to abandon one of our oldest and strongest allies? Wait, that was an earlier blog... And some in Congress are demanding answers - finally!]

Speaking of sleeping at night--which I presume Mr. Obama does in the White House--the second story involves MISTRESS Obama and her use of the East Room of the White House as a gymnasium. This happened in February, but it is just now coming to light. Now, I have certainly been critical of Mrs. O in the past when it comes to her designer duds, and her ridiculous vegetable garden on the swampy sewer area (thanks to the Clintons) of the White House lawn, and her extravagantly expensive vacations on the taxpayers’ dime. 

But this time I am willing to cut her some slack.

That’s because the invitees were the contestants from The Biggest Loser, which is one of the few shows that I watch on television. And also, trainer Dolvett Quince is a hottie, so I think he deserves the chance to lead some calisthenics in the Peoples’ House. 

I know many of you will disagree with me. I am all for protecting the dignity of the White House. But I have to give kudos to Mrs. Obama for exercising with them - she's a Patriot in my book on this one. So, this is one White House event that I won’t lose any sleep over. 

It’s MISTER Obama who should be losing sleep!!! He's the Pinhead!

WaPo shows its colors -- again.

An hour or so ago I came across a survey on the Washington Post website. SInce the Supreme Court starts hearings today on the health care law, the survey asked readers to vote on whether Obamacare is constitutional or not. The numbers in the pie chart tally clearly showed the vast, overwhelming number of people responding believe Obamacare to be unconstitutional. BUT, when you voted "No, the requirement is unconstitutional," it would pop up with "You voted Yes" and asked you to leave a comment. SO the comments were all being listed under the "YES it is constitutional" side, making it look like only supporters were posting. It was also easy to see that the names of those in support were made up by one or two people to make it look like a lot of people were responding in favor of the law -- most of them have a few initials and then a couple of numbers, like "asd345" or some such combination. And they spouted off talking points that the liberals always use to defend Obamamcare.

Screenshot: This is what you see before you cast your vote. The question asked: Is the law's health insurance requirement constitutional?

When you clicked on No, it tallied it correctly, but the message that came up said, "You voted YES on the issue of whether the health care insurance requirement is constiutional." I you commented, it went into the column under the YES response.

Then I went to a meeting for 45 minutes, and when I came back, the WaPo website had corrected the "glitch" so that the "You voted YES" message is gone and the NO posts are now appearing on the correct side -- namely the NO side (97% saying it is unconstitutional). You know they have to pulling their hair out at the WaPo HQ of their website! (35,761 say unconsitutional, 1600 say constitutional as of 11:01 a.m.)

This screen shot shows how they changed the pop-up message and added the little "Oops" message about the glitch being fixed.
 Alert viewers did not let them get away with it! Way to go, smart, watchful people (and Drudge Report) for keeping the mainstream media accountable!

Now, let's hope and pray that SCOTUS agrees with the vast majority of Americans who know that the health care law is unconstitutional and must be defeated!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Global warming, climate change, or just natural occurrence? Welcome to Babel.

March 24, 2012
If Al Gore should visit my front yard this week, would he tell me that my carbon footprint can be seen in my flower bed where my beautiful tulips burst forth in all their glory in the middle of this past week in March?

A few weeks ago, my stepdaughter came home from high school to tell us that her school had an assembly that day to listen to a speaker who talked about climate change. She did not recall much of the talk, except that at the end the speaker attempted to offered a sad plea for his daughters to see polar bears in the future. A quick check of the school's website revealed that the speaker was Michael Mann. Yes, the same fraud-perpetrating-so-called scientist-who-has-been-scamming-the-world-for-years-in-order-to-push-an-agenda Michael Mann. My stepdaughter had no idea who the guy was, so that was a bit of a relief. He did NOT impress her. (In my last blog entry, I said she has a good head on her shoulders. I was right!)

What was most galling about the fact that this man talked at our Catholic high school is that he preached about man-made climate change in the context of Catholic social teaching. Ugh! And this is, sadly, in accord with the what many leaders of the Church teach about environmentalism and care for nature and blah blah blah.

How can educated men of the cloth really think that man can alter the entire face of the earth in the manner that it would take to affect the earth in the way that global-warming alarmists declare to be so. God is omnipotent. Can anyone really believe that little old man (one n, not two) could really put the earth in jeopardy in less than 200 years of life in the modern era of industrial technology? The earth has withstood ice ages and meteors and shifting tectonic plates and flooding and earthquakes... but it cannot withstand a few smokestacks and contrails from airplanes?

It is arrogance to think that man, in the one hundred fifty years since the industrial revolution began, is on the verge of destroying God's handiwork. Man is but a small grain of sand in the mind of God. Yes, we are made in His image. But the story in the Bible of man's attempt to build a tower to heaven, the tower of Babel, is applicable today. If we were a threat to God's creation, He would have only to cast us to the ground and make us speak different languages such that no one could understand or communicate with each other...

... On second thought, maybe that is what is happening now. God has made us unable to understand each each other. At least in the United States of America. Welcome to Babel.

Youth we can be proud of...

I was so disappointed in 2008 to know that the wide majority of young people in this country were lured into Obama's web ... like he was the pied piper or some other marauder.  It seems more and more that young people are losing all semblance of morals. (Can you Sandra Fluke?) They follow the crowd and participate in flash mobbing and other such anti-social behaviors because it gives them a sense of belonging. Sad and disappointing, to say the least.

Anyway, I want to say how proud I am of my older stepdaughter, who is a junior at a Catholic high school. She was nominated by her math teacher in February to attend a seminar at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) earlier in March. She and one other student, a sophomore, from her school left on Sunday, March 4, to go to Lexington, VA, for the seminar. They came back Tuesday night (March 6). It sounds like all the military academies from across the country had students there. The topic was "Cheating, Lying, and Honor in America's High Schools, Colleges, and Universities" -- in short, how to avoid cheating. It was a wonderful experience, and I think it was quite a learning experience.

The fact that our daughter's teacher recognized that she is mature and has leadership qualities is a clear statement on what a wonderful young woman she is. High school is hard these days. I don't know if I could have done what I did in high school (cough! valedictorian - cough!) with all the pressure and distractions to be part of the crowd that kids face these days.

Yes, and although her younger sister told me that she met some "hot guys" there, I know that she has a good head on her shoulders and will not let those hormones supersede what she knows is the right thing to do. (I was her Confirmation sponsor, so I hope that is the case!) She works hard to keep her grades up, and she even participates on the school's crew team. Moreover, she has talked me into going to Haiti with her and her school's Medical Missionaries club this June. So, we are working on getting our passports renewed. It should be a wonderful, fruitful experience to appreciate the many gifts and blessings in our lives.

The bottom line is, I am very proud of her. And since she is sitting across the room from me, waiting to read this on her I-phone, I guess I should post it. The future is a little less dark with intelligent, strong young women like my stepdaughter out there! And now, hugs all around!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

More from our undocumented resident alien -- no not Obama....

It's more from Mark Steyn! This article of his from earlier this month had me shouting out "Yes!" as I read it and punching the air like I was sparring with an invisible Dimmocrat. I can think of a few Lib-Dims I would like to spar with - without gloves and no headgear!

Seriously though. Pass this article on to everyone you know. It is a very insightful encapsulation of the downward spiral this country is in with regard to religious freedom. I have worked nearly all of my adult life in church-related jobs. I have seen the slow but steady abdication of responsibility of religious leaders to the secular arena. I do not know what possesses smart men (yes, men, because that is who leads the Church -- just a fact of life) to think that they can demand encourage the government to takeover on responsibility for healthcare coverage, but then bellyache bemoan the fact that the government is (more than) willing but only on their own terms. Go figure!

Don't get me wrong. I completely agree with the Bishops in their assertion that the government is wrong to mandate coverage for birth control and sterilization and all the other  "goodies" that Der Kamissar Sebelius has decided is best for us women. But when you turn over the chicken coop to the foxes, it's a little too late to then say, "But please don't eat the chickens."

I just pray that the Bishops pray that God will intervene. This is one time that I will throw caution to the wind and am not concerned about being careful what I wish for! It can't get much worse than it already is!

Note: Next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (March 26-28) are three of the most important days of hearings that the Supreme Court will ever have. The fate of this country is truly in the hands of those nine justices. I send up prayers to God to be in their hearts and minds also. They are gonna need it?