Thursday, December 23, 2004

It's Almost Christmas!!!!!!!

Christmas was always wonderful for me growing up. We lived about 20 minutes from my Grandma, who was the best grandma ever and we would spend Christmas eve over there with my aunt and uncle, who were very young. Only like 10 yrs older than us. And they were a lot of fun.

My Grandma had a HUGE painted Santa made out of plywood sitting on her roof. She made a big deal out of who got to say "Christmas Eve Gift!" first. I don't know where that came from or why we did it, but she always let us win. The first thing she said when she saw us was, "How sweet it is!" She had a way of making me feel like a queen. She thought every move I made was special. Every child should have someone like that in their life.

Anyway, we would have a big dinner and me and my brothers would be dying to go open our gifts under the tree, so my Dad would make a big deal out of needing another cup of coffee or dessert, and just when we were about to burst he would let us all go into the living room to open gifts. We all had to open one at a time around the room, which I still do with my kids, because it makes the anticipation special and you get to actually see the other's gifts.

After that we would go home to sleep, waiting for Santa. My parents never wrapped the gifts. So we just ran in and started playing. I think after Grandma's it was just as well. One of the best Christmas mornings I remember (I probably remember it well because we have it on film) is when my brothers were 15 and 13 and I was 10. My mom opens the door to the living room and my oldest brother runs in with my other brother right after them and I crash into them both because they had stopped dead still in the doorway when they saw what was by the Christmas tree. 2 dirtbikes!!!!! The look on their faces is truly priceless. It was a mixture of pure joy and unbelief. I know my Dad must have loved watching that home movie. I know I still do. When I finally made my way around them I screamed for them! (I got a TV, so I was happy too) I also almost killed myself on one of the dirtbikes later that year, but that is another story.

I am crazy about Christmas and love to decorate. My traditions are Christmas Eve Mass, then a candlelight dinner with Christmas music in the dining room with the nice crystal and china. The kids get to drink eggnog out of the wine glasses. After dinner they get to open the gifts they got for each other, and we read the Christmas story from one of the Gospels, and it is off to bed. It sounds very perfect, but it rarely is. Someone usually spills their eggnog or I can't find one of their gifts, or the dog runs off with someone's toy, but we get through it with humor and thats all that matters.

We always leave the cookies and milk for Santa and some carrots outside for the Reindeer. So after the kids go to sleep, we always move the decorative grate from the fireplace and make bootprints with a little ash coming from the chimney. Before going to bed I always have to eat some of the cookies, drain the milk and leave a few bitten off carrots out in the yard. (Yes, I am insane) My oldest believed in Santa until he was 11, which I think is a record. Now I just have one who still believes and it will break my heart when he stops. I know a lot of people don't do Santa, but I have such exciting memories of the thrill and magic of listening for the slieghbells and I don't remember being crushed or anything when I found out it wasn't true. So I wanted my kids to experience that as well. Plus I do tell them the true story of Saint Nicholaus, who was a Bishop of the Church in the 4th century in Turkey known for giving gifts to children on Christmas eve and (a little known fact) he would pay dowries for young women whose families couldn't afford them. I have always sorta weaved in a story about the "spirit of St. Nick" that goes into our make believe Santa of today.

So there it is. My Christmas experiences. I love Christmas and you can see why. After Christmas we will be visiting my kid's 10 cousins (on Daddy's side) with their Aunts and Uncles and Mimi and Pops. It will be crazy and loud and fun as always. So I will be gone for a while. They are even saying there may be snow here! That would be so awesome!!!! A white Christmas in Houston!!! A first!!

Thank you for reading my blog. Thanks for your comments. I truly enjoy it so much. I have learned a lot from all of you even in the short time I have been blogging.
I wish you all a most blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

A Merry Christmas from the deep south! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Sean Gleeson's blog today gives us new "blogisms."
For example:
blogracious - 1. (adj.) Showing courtesy, patience, or mercy towards fellow bloggers or commenters who willfully or inadvertently transgress blog etiquette. Example: "Sean left three off-topic links in my comments today, but I try to be blogracious about such things." h/t Jeff.

May I add "bloglicious." And do I really need to define it?

Sean also blogs today on everything you need to know about Rumsfield's "autopen scandal!"

Waiting to get my hair cut yesterday I was thumbing through "Glamour" magazine, which has to be the filthiest, pro-abortion, pro-liberal, pro-everything wrong with our society magazine I have ever read that pretends to be a mainstream beauty magazine. As I was about to throw it down in disgust, I noticed an item about Afghanistan women. The piece started with this line: "No matter how you feel about the U.S. election, you have to feel good about women being able to vote in Afghanistan." Followed by quotes from Afghan women who were so excited about voting for the first time. The implication of the first line was, of course, how awful the election in the U.S. turned out to be, and then ignore the fact that the afghan women would not have gotten to vote if not for President Bush.

The freedom the Afghan women (and men for that matter) are experiencing for the first time is historical and if it had been a democratic President responsible for it, all these magazines would have Afghan women on their covers. I can guarantee you that.

It is interesting reading the message boards of the news agencies. Every attack brings new critics. Why are we over there? What are we doing there?
The attack on our soldiers was horrible and I pray every day for the safety of our soldiers, but this is war and bad things happen. Many liberals seem to think that we can somehow get through this without injury or death. Actually we could, but they wouldn't want that either.

I have started reading Karen Hughe's book "Ten Minutes From Normal," which is excellent so far, but one thing she said at the beginning really strikes true and is at the heart of what we are doing in Iraq. She said as long as there are children being raised to hate Americans we will be in danger. If we leave the middle east before democracy can be estasblished, then children will continue to be sent off to terrorist training camps at 9 yrs old and our children will be even in more danger when they grow up.
What we do now is critical to the future of freedom in the world. It is really that simple.

One poster on the message board said that you cannot "impose" democracy on people not ready for it. What??? When are people not ready for freedom?? Perhaps we should never have fought for our democracy here. George Washington would have told you that was not a pretty war either.

As the saying goes "Freedom is never free." There is a price to pay. Thank God we have men and women willing to fight that fight for us.
Christ said that the greatest love a man can show is to give his life for another.
Our soldiers put their life on the line every day for others. That is why we love them. That is why we understand that at the very heart of freedom is their willing sacrifice.

The Sands of Christmas

I found this little gem among the sputtering on the ABC News message board: (emphasis mine)

The Sands of Christmas by Michael Marks
reply Posted: Dec 22, 2004 08:07 AM
258 PostsRegistered: Nov 19, 2004

The Sands of Christmas
by Michael Marks
I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh,
And looked across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix,
My stocks were down another point, the Dolphins lost by six.
And so with only minutes till my son got home from school
I gave up on the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take,
And so I flipped the TV on to catch a little break.
I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust,
No snowflakes hung upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh,
Eight Hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.
A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens.
Their eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
Their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.
Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind,
To share a scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey, just a pack of MREs.
They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see,
They didn't need an ornament-- they lacked a Christmas Tree.
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition,
the only boxes I could see were labeled "ammunition."
I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side,
He asked me what it was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near
and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered in his ear.
There's nothing wrong my little son, for safe we sleep tonight,
Our heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right,
To worry on the things in life that mean nothing at all,
Instead of wondering if we will be the next to fall.
He looked at me as children do and said its always right,
to thank the ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home, and this is what we wrote:
God Bless You all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone.
The gift you give you share with all, a present every day,
You give the gift of liberty and that we can't repay.
Pray for Our Troops and Peace in the Middle East.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Ah, the progression of porn. Let's give our children even more access to it. It's a sick world, aint it? *Coming soon to a town near you*
And you can have music with your perversion.

In Search Of Christmas by John Leo. It tells you all you need to know about the continued assault on Christmas. Even Hanukkah gets kicked around this season.

This is my idea. Since Christmas is a Christian holiday then why should government workers get the day off? Where IS the ACLU??? Let them make government workers work that day and sit back and listen to the howling.

Rolling Stone says 2004 wasn't our best year with the war and all, but a few stars shone through. Here are their picks. Oh yeah, these people really shine, like grease on a pig.

Who are you going to believe about Iraq? This guy? or this guy? You read. You decide.

Quote of the day:
"Men are like fine wine. They start as grapes, and it's up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with."

Monday, December 20, 2004

The excellent Iraqi blog Iraqi The Model has this curious post from yesterday as his last:

"This is the last time I write in this blog and I just want to say, goodbye. It's not an easy thing to do for me, but I know I should do it. I haven't told my brothers with my decision, as they are not here yet, but it won't change anything and I just can't keep doing this anymore. My stand regarding America has never changed. I still love America and feel grateful to all those who helped us get our freedom and are still helping us establishing democracy in our country. But it's the act of some Americans that made me feel I'm on the wrong side here. I will expose these people in public very soon and I won't lack the mean to do this, but I won't do it here as this is not my blog. At any rate, it's been a great experience and a pleasure to know all the regular readers of this blog, as I do feel I know you, and I owe you a lot.Best wishes to all of you, those who supported us and those who criticized us as well.
Yours sincerely, Ali." Via 2slick

I don't know what to think. It is very strange. I wish we could get the whole story. Maybe we will soon. I hope and pray he is alright. I don't have a good feeling about it though.

Moyer's Madness

I got away from everything this weekend and was determined NOT to watch or listen to the news or get on the internet. I accomplished it pretty well until I happen to be flipping through the channels and came upon Bill Moyer's last appearance on his PBS show "Now." I had never watched the show, but I have seen Bill Moyers before and knew he was very liberal. I tried really hard not to watch it because I promised myself I would watch movies (which I never get to do) and relax. But as soon as Moyers began by speaking of a 'rightwing media headed up by Fox News." Well, I was stuck. This I had to watch.

To sum it up for you, Moyers basically said that the rightwing conspiracy Hillary talked about it is real and growing like nasty green mold on the walls of our democracy. He spoke of the "outright lies" of the rightwing media. He gave 2 examples, which I will get to in a moment. He had several guests to prove his point including David Brock, the recovering gay Republican (recovering from being a Republican, not from being gay) and Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ALCU.

Ironically Moyers began his program with an outright lie and took it to the end. First he called Sean Hannity of Fox News an "anchor." A total lie. As we all know, Hannity is a partisan commentator and has a liberal counterpart on the show, Allan Colmes, which Moyers conveniently never mentions.
Brit Hulme, Chris Wallace, and Shepard Smith are "anchors." They give us the hard news, the "fair and balanced" news. Moyers was obviously not able to come up with any indication of those anchors being partisan though, so he used Hannity to make it look as if he were an anchor. This wasn't a small mistake either. It was deliberate. He put clips of Brit Hulme and Sean Hannity side by side. Then he goes on to show Hannity on his tour before the election being all "partisan." As if it were like Peter Jennings going out before audiences and telling people to vote for Kerry before the election.

It floored me that Bill Moyers was doing EXACTLY what he was accusing Fox News of doing, distorting the story to make it look a certain way. So I made popcorn and settled in for "Night of the Living Dead Democrats."

One of the "outright lies" that Moyers came up with in the show was the Swiftboat ad controversy. He claimed that while Fox News jumped on the story, the other news organizations waited so they could "get the facts." (oh well, that explains it then) Moyers said that the swiftboat guys were lying because all the military papers supported Kerry's version and to top it off, a rich republican funded the ads. He failed to mention that the 250 guys were of all political stripes, and the main guy, John O'Neil voted for Gore in 2000. Leaving the impression that they were all just a bunch of Republicans out to get Kerry. Also, the swiftboat guys never said the military papers didn't support what Kerry said happened, they said that the papers were wrong. Most of the problem the vets had were their belief that he didn't deserve his medals and that he had a political agenda from the start and that he betrayed them by telling lies to Congress about atrocities committed by the vets themselves. Where is the lie? I have asked several of my liberal friends where was the lie? It was these guy's opinion that he didn't deserve them. That is not a lie. That is what they felt. Besides, the most harmful ad was the one showing Kerry himself speaking in Congressional hearings. Hardly a lie.

During Moyer's soft reasonable sounding rant of the "fair and balanced" Fox New's" panel, he shows clips of Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes, but never mentions liberals on the panel like Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, and Cissy (whose last name I can't remember, someone give it to me please and I'll put it in) or moderates like Mort Kondrake (although Kondrake is a democrat). He also tried to paint O'Reilly as some kind of anchor as well, but no mention of Susan Estrich or Gret Van Susteren or Linda Vester.

Moyers 2nd supposed lie put out by the rightwing was that Saddam was somehow connected to 9-11. He had no clips to show because that, of course, was never said nor implied by Fox News or Bush for that matter. Moyers proves it though by saying that 41% of those surveyed thought Saddam had something to do with 9-11. I hate to break it to Moyers, but 41% of the American people can't tell you where Poland is or who is the Sec. of State. Not because they are ignorant, but because they just don't care. How he figures it is Fox's fault that people believe that is beyond me.

His last guest, Anthony Romero of the ACLU was so sickening I can't even go into it. Maybe later I will tell you why I was so sickened other than the obvious. But they bantered on about Rush Limbaugh (showing only fat pictures of him by the way) and Rupert Murdock, rightwing talk radio, rightwing internet, and the popularity of Fox News and how it is ruining democracy. No mention of Michael Moore and his anti Bush political ad dressed up as a major motion picture. No mention of Air America or the bias of Dan Rather shown quite clearly at the end of the election with the fake memo, which we all know would have been taken as truth if not for Fox News. No mention of the last minute news story of the missing weapons in Baghdad that had to be dumped by 60 minutes when soldiers there started disputing the story.

Liberals need to start asking themselves why people like Rush, Hannity, and other rightwing radio is so popular. They need to ask themselves why people love Fox News who has actual conservatives on, instead of the fake or moderates called conservatives on CNN and the rest. Why are people listening? Because it makes sense. Because, starting with Reagan, the conservative message was finally being heard and we liked it. We learned that being conservative wasn't about hate, or discrimination, homophobia, or greediness as the liberals led us to believe. It was about moral values, smaller government, regulating spending, fighting socialistic programs, helping the poor in such a way that did not get them caught in a vicious cycle of poverty. It was about everything we thought and believed and finally someone was saying it for us.

Liberals have the same right, the same airwaves, the same voice as we do. Heck, they have the most powerful industry out there in their pocket, Hollywood. They have the biggest newpapers and the 3 main nightly news networks. So please don't whine to me about how conservatives are "brainwashing" people everyday with Rush and Hannity.

Bill Moyers ended his career condemning the very thing he was doing, distorting a story to spin it in such a way to make a certain thing or person look bad and pretending to present it in a fair way.