Saturday, January 01, 2005

Things of Interest after the Tsunami Disaster.

In Bando Aceh Indonesia wardens released inmates at the main jail minutes before it was flooded in the tsunami disaster, but their fate remains unknown. If they lived, I think they just got a get out of jail free card.

Tourists were sunbathing next to Patong Beach, Thailand just 4 days after the tsunmani hit the area. I read an interview by a man flying there on a pre-booked vacation and he said the plane was near empty. He said that the hotel had called him and told him they were up and running and the damage was not bad there so please come, so he did. I know they need the tourist dollars, but something is just wrong with that picture.

I heard a couple of reporters say that very few dead animals have been found. They say that it could be an animal's 6th sense about these things and they went to higher ground early on. My ever practical son says that is ridiculous and that the animals were just able to outrun it. Sorry son, I go with the 6th sense thing.

On a related note, in Sri Lanka, the Elephant orphanage (one of the tourist spots in the country) stays open because it received no damage and the elephants are fine. Hmmm......

This will be the World's largest relief effort ever. Nonwithstanding the governments across the globe's relief money, the generosity of private donations is staggering. It warms the heart to see us reach out across these many lands and give to help those we will never meet. Amid the chaos of the war and the many conflicts across the world, we still are able to care without asking to who the money and help goes to as long as it reaches the victims. No matter their religion, their race, their country, we give unconditionally revealing the best of mankind, revealing the heart of kindness that still beats in the world today.

"Damn it, Johnson, I know it's tempting, but if you pull Elmo's finger, it could damn well destroy the entire city!"

Stolen from the ever funny Writ of Wisdom
Posted by Hello


Here is my personal year in review:

1) Once again I managed not to kill my teenagers, a feat I am proud of every year.

2) Managed to go to the beach twice. My favorite place in the entire world. Any beach, anytime.

3) Sent my 17 yr son off with his Aunt and Uncle for mountain climbing and kayaking in Seattle and didn't worry for one minute. A major accomplishment for a worryaohlic like myself.

4) Going on 12 yrs of watching little league baseball, I still get excited watching my little guys play. It doesn't hurt that my 3rd son is as talented as they get and won the MVP award. *bragging moment*

5) I finally got the car I have always wanted. Not going to say what it is because I already bragged once.

6) I got around to visiting the entire family across the south and lived to tell about it.

7) Managed not to get into such a rage over the election process mainly because I didn't watch the mainstream news.

8) Managed not to paint a room in the house or buy or rearrange furniture. I am addicted to decorating, so that was an accomplishment as well.

9) I started a blog (as you can see) and learned how to delve into the template myself. In the process have gotten to know some wonderful people online and LOVE to read the blogs.

10) Got less done around the house than anytime before because of said blog and blog reading. Now I hear my one of my kids say "Where is mom?" and another answer, "She is in blogworld."

Well there it is, not too exciting, but it's all I got.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed new year! Here's to 2005!!!!!

Friday, December 31, 2004

Some of the girls in my family. I'm on the right, my daughter, my nieces, and my favorite Sister in Law. Posted by Hello

My dog! Sweetest dog ever! Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Bloggers at the forefront of tsunami recovery efforts. We are in real time, no red tape, no hotlines, AND we care. via Pundit Guy

Amazon donations to the Red Cross for the disaster victims has reached $5,475,349.00 as of 2:50pm central time today.

Could we be any more stingy? I mean really.

This is the kind of news I would like to hear more of:

BAGHDAD, Iraq Dec 30, 2004 — "American troops and warplanes killed at least 25 insurgents as they attacked a U.S. outpost in Mosul with a car bomb and explosives, the military said Thursday." Read the whole article at ABC News

The Weekly Standard has this article about Sid Blumenthal reporting in Salon. It is hilarious! Did you hear about Bush's remark that a submarine could take the Clinton Library out? You didn't? Well, that's because the rightwing media has won my dears. *wink*

Ross Douthat of The Weekly Standard also tells us of the the new left wing co- blogging of those elites who are trying so hard to get all of us who are such idiots to vote conservative to see the light.

"OF ALL THE LEFT-wing responses to Bush's reelection--the crying jags, the applications for Canadian citizenship, the bulk orders of Nicholson Baker's Checkpoint--perhaps the strangest of all can be found online at, where a roster of academic all-stars have embarked on a mission to save American liberalism, one blog post at a time. There was no shortage of volunteers for the job: Left2Right, as the site is dubbed, boasts an astonishing 26 co-bloggers, representing 19 American universities and including such luminaries as Princeton's Kwame Anthony Appiah and Stanford's Richard Rorty (who has not yet, alas, contributed a post)."

Douthat quotes Princeton's K. Anthony Appiah regarding why so many GOP-voting types seem to resent academic elites:

"Some of those right-wing evangelicals apparently care whether or not we have a good opinion of them. (If they didn't, the resentment they display toward the "liberal media" would make no sense.) Whereas I know no one among the liberal media elite or among liberal academics who cares very much that many right-wing evangelicals have contempt for us. We care how they vote--for instrumental reasons; we may even care that they are mistaken, for their sakes; but we don't feel diminished by their contempt. . . . (The situation is analogous to the one that obtains with respect to social respect in class-and status-based hierarchies: a peasant can spit when milord walks by, but it won't damage his lordship's self-esteem. But when milord brings his handkerchief to his nose as the peasant approaches, the peasant is stung.)"

"It's just an analogy, right? It's not as if Appiah is saying that evangelicals actually are peasants, and that he and his co bloggers are noblemen, is it?"

Need I say more? I think not. Douthat continues:

"Consider the post in which Jeff McMahan, professor of ethics and political philosophy at Rutgers, seems to discover "support our troops" bumper stickers for the first time:

"Vehicles in New Jersey are covered with decals representing little ribbons inscribed with the legend: "Support Our Troops." I have done a lot of driving recently and have noticed geographical disparities in the distribution of these symbols. . . . They are also disproportionately displayed on SUVs and vans, which isn't surprising given that the owners are disproportionately reliant on the oil supplies that our soldiers are in Iraq to protect (among their other purposes). . . . What is it exactly that these decals exhort us to do? How can I, or anyone, support the troops themselves? What can we possibly do for them? It seems that the message is really an exhortation to support the war."

How do we support the our troops??? Hmmm.. Let see. Perhaps someone should notify the professor that are about a hundred or more websites and blogs (especially the Milblogs! Which I would bet he knows nothing about) that have links on how to send everything from goodie boxes to helping pay for extra body wear to sending donations to the famlies of those with wounded soldiers to sending candy bags for the soldiers to give out to Iraqi children. I am sure you all reading this could give me dozens of more examples on how to 'support our troops."

It is sad really that these "anointed" do not see how smug and self righteous they sound. And this is when they are trying to reach out to us!!! Imagine what they say in the candle lit rooms of the faculty parties.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Surfing the blogs, here are some interesting posts.

Jim Treacher finds a site that gives us the first time the word "blog" was used.

Beautiful Atrocities gives us tips on avoiding marrying a terrorist.

Fuzz Martin gives us his first fathering lesson. Awww... it's so sweet to see such innocence. I bet the baby seems innocent too.....;-)

Sean Gleeson has a shocking discovery about our martian rovers.

Patterico's Pontifications gives us the story on Iraq the Model blog.

RWN's Top 25 Favorite Ann Coulter Quotes.

My advice? Don't ever get
SondraK mad.

Carnivorous Conservative gives us that "Pretty Woman" type of streetwalker. With that heart of gold and all.

I'm off to unpack. The VERY worst thing about traveling. But then a nice hot bath with all the bath and body works stuff I got for Christmas will make it all better.
I'll then go to sleep. Someone wake me up when it is 85 degrees again.

Internet pervs beware! That slutty talking 14 yr old chatting with you in a chat room could be a member of "Perverted Justice," and they are a growing group of 27 clandestine "contributors" and thousands of other unnamed volunteers, who claim to monitor chat rooms across the country. The targets are "wannabe pedophiles."
This article tells the tale of a firefighter:

"Ryan Hogan, is fighting federal charges that he attempted to entice a minor under 15 into having sex with him and exchanged obscene material over the Internet. His trial is to begin early next year. If convicted of all charges, he could be sentenced to a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of five to 30 years in prison."

This is the scariest quote out of the article:

".. studies show that about one in five children receives an unwanted sexual solicitation on the Web. Of those children who receive unwanted sexual solicitations, only about one-fourth tell their parents, according to the group."

Ryan says his actions were just "fantasy." (He performed a lewd act on the web camera for the "14 yr old girl", who happened to be a 30 yr old man)
Sorry buddy, fantasies are for the grownups. I hope he gets the maximum sentence. These pervs have got to start realizing that our kids are off limits. Period.

The Tsunami disaster is so enormous I just cannot wrap my mind around the number of people dead. It seems the first wave hit India within 90 minutes of the earthquake. With the total dead starting to reach 100,000 people it is just unbelievable. The Amazon relief page (through the Red Cross) is here if you would like to help. h/t to wonderduck for site. As of right now the total giving there is $2,683,389.97. Which just goes to show you that the United Nations official's suggestion that the West has been "stingy" is just one example of the total ignorance of what the U.S. does for the world. The official has backed down on his statement though. Read about that here.

Mona Charen gives some reasons why some people believe that we are greedy. She relates a NY Times story about world food aid. "U.S. cutting food aid that is aimed at self-sufficiency" read the headline. No where in the piece, Charen goes on to say, does the story report that the United States is the world's largest food aid donor by far. According to Charen:

"In 2004, the United States provided $826,469,172 — almost a billion dollars — to the United Nations World Food Program. The next largest donor, the European Union, contributed $187,102,068. This, even though the European Union has a total population of 453 million, compared with the United States' 281 million, and a larger gross domestic product than the U.S."

In this Tsunami disaster relief other big donors besides the United States and Australia include Japan ($30 million), Canada ($4 million), Kuwait ($2 million), Germany ($3 million), Netherlands ($2 million) and the European Union, which could release as much as $45 million.

Try and take a moment today to pray for those hurting from this disaster. Give if you can. Catholic Relief Services is also a good place to donate.

Monday, December 27, 2004

My BIL let his computer on so I am checking in for a quick hello!! Christmas WAS FUN Mr. Digger! It is crazy to get on the road right after and get with 22 family members (14 children) I have 5 SIL's here and what did they want to do right after Christmas??? SHOP!!!! I am one of those rare women who hate to shop to begin with, but especially so after shopping for Christmas these last few weeks, so I sit here quietly with this computer while the guys are smoking cigars outside and the younger kids are playing upstairs.

We will be visiting friends and be back on Wed. I haven't been watching the news, but I did hear on the radio about the terrible tragedy in Thailand and surrounding areas. Such an awful thing. When I get back I will link to some help sites that I know are probably already set up.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. Despite what seems like the fight to ban Christmas, I don't think it will ever work. No matter what religion or no religion you are, Christmas is a special time that is sewn into the fabric of our society and everyone seems to enjoy it, for the most part anyway.

I have 2 kids in private Christian schools and 2 kids in public schools and naturally the Christian schools were delightful during the Holidays. (one Catholic and one Lutheran) The Christian schools had wonderful programs and choirs and displays. It just made you really get into the Christmas spirit. The public schools, by comparison seemed dull. But they kinda have to be by law. I think I have mentioned before that on my cul- de- sac we have a "we are the world" feeling. Everything from Catholic, Muslim, Baptist, evangelical, Jew, and Buddhist. Even the Buddhist family give gifts on Christmas morning. I give a little something homemade to them all. To me it is also about celebrating the faith of our forefathers. It is about celebrating the freedom to have faith, whatever faith that may be. I think there are very few people out there that feel they are being 'discriminated' against at Christmas when they are not Christians. I think that is a exaggerated myth perpetuated by the ACLU so they can make money and get attention.

One of the comforts of getting with family is hearing their stories and knowing your teenagers aren't the only ones doing stupid things on a daily basis. It is nice to know you aren't the only one seriously considering locking a child in their room for a few years, sliding food through a slot in the door along with homeschool materials just to get through puberty.

After Christmas I am ready for Spring, so Jan. and Feb. are really a bother to me. Why can't we just go straight to March?

Well, I will see yall in a couple of days. Stay warm whever you are!