Monday, November 29, 2010

Working without a net Nov 10

As fear goes, I guess it's not so bad, but tomorrow I start my new job in earnest. I'm on the road with my new colleagues; stepping out of that nice safe predictable cocoon and up onto the wire.

While it's true I am now just a peon and don't have the responsibility of holding a job together, managing the work and the people as I did only weeks ago, the work is new, the people are new, so for all my bluster, I must admit to a bit of trepidation.

Maybe that's why my immune system decided to allow a cold virus to run rampant in my nasal cavities, so I have to stock up on Sudafed or risk sniffling and snuffling through the day. UGH

No, this isn't what I want or need to say, but it will have to do, since I have NO FUKING IDEA what is on the tip of my tongue. The approach of this particular Monday morning is the only thing I can think of that could have me in a tizzy. So-while the logistics of a week on the road haven't changed, and the destination is familiar, the work is brand spanking new.

Wish me luck and have a great week yourself.

Thanks for listening as always, and please don't lurk.

Clinging to the side of the wall above the abyss...

when you follow the logic, there is no "choice" about it Oct 10

Writing this in the old blog format; I hope they don't take that away too. I don't mind change, in fact I think you know I relish it most of the time, but dammit, if it ain't broke...

Anyway, enough about that; the folks at Myspace are going to do what they do; no sense getting all worked up about it. I am too tired/lazy to bother figuring it all out right now, but I am staying at least for now. I still need a place to be semi-anonymous and dump my thoughts every once in a while. Yes I did think about writing this as a note on FB too, but no, I don't think so.

You may know that my political views have done a 180 in the past couple years; well actually that is not strictly correct-I went from complete apathy to raging fiscal conservative in a very short period of time. The common sense of it all just woke me up-and we the people seem to be doing something about it, although the fight has just begun.

Although I am a fiscal conservative now, and believe in smaller (MUCH smaller) government, I am a libertarian in the sense that I don't really care what people do, as long as they are not breaking the law or infringing on my little patch of ground, and don't expect me to pay for it. This has always included abortion. In my apathy I thought that a "woman's right to choose" what she does with her body was ok with me, although I would never argue the point, because the pesky detail of the argument about when life begins always left me cold.

So I have changed my mind-or maybe I am just now willing to take a stand.

I am childless by choice; my ambivalence about being a parent is/was such that I would rather regret not having children than regret having them, and I married a man even more ambivalent about parenthood than I (me?) I've always been assiduous about using birth control, and terrified of getting pregnant-looking back I think I was terrified about having to make a decision whether to have an abortion, when somewhere deep down, I knew it was wrong. Of course my life would have been very different had I become a mother; maybe my shit would have been together a lot earlier, but certainly I wouldn't have been able to go back to college at 33 and get my degree. (sorry about all the passive voice, but I'm not going to fix it, so please bear with me.)

I do believe there is a reason that I never became a mother; something that I am supposed to do with my life that will require all the skills and experience gained so far, but I don't have a clue what that is; I am following a lazy river as always. So I don't regret my childlessness, but I do wonder about it.

Another thing about me is that even though I now consider myself a conservative, I am still an agnostic. This has not changed a bit. I understand the belief in God, and don't have any problem with it (well except when the shield of religion is used to cover a murderous and imperialistic cult of personality like Islam). However, I personally do not have an opinion about God; as an agnostic I don't know if He exists or not, so I sit on the fence in a big way.

So this problem with abortion does not come from faith, but rather, LOGIC. Yes, life does begin at conception, so while I do believe in birth control (Margaret Sanger's eugenics notwithstanding), I have to say that I really do think abortion is wrong and does kill babies. If life begins at conception, even if that life is a bundle of cells, it is wrong to snuff out that life, at any time, while in the womb or not.

Ok-so abortion is wrong-what do I say now about a "woman's right to choose"? Yes, her body is her body, so if she wants to do everything she can to prevent a pregnancy, I don't have a problem with that, but once she is pregnant, that baby is a living thing, and her body is only the steward, so I do believe she has no right to kill it.

So I've said my piece-revealed some more personal information and a controversial opinion. What do you think?

Oh and PS mulling over what font to use for my "live free or die" tattoo. May do a blog with the possibilities and ask for input-another subject you won't see on my fb page

Juan Williams wakes up Oct 10

Ok, so-some beans spilled in the last blog? Check

Phillies win and take it back home for Saturday night, so my tickets are good? Check

Time for something completely different.

You may have heard about the kerfluffle over NPR "news analyst" (their words, not mine)
Juan Williams-what he said on the O'Reilly Factor (yes, an NPRer also appears on Fox, whoda thunk it?), and what happened as a result of that opinion.


This is what he said- "Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written
about the civil rights movement in this country," said Williams. "But
when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in
Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first
and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

If you want to see the video, here is the link.

But that is not the video I want to bring to your attention tonight

But first I have to tell you that I have seen Mr. Williams on the Factor, and he has always annoyed me, but then he normally goes through all the talking points, so of course I'm annoyed. The opinion he expressed that got him fired by the dhimmis at NPR really turned my head though; he may be a liberal, but he believes what he says, and was not going to make any bones about being worried when he sees Muslims on his plane. hello-aren't we all? if you aren't you are sleepwalking-time to wake up.

Here's the video-I love it!!!

When Bill told Juan that this was a good thing for him, I smiled big! At first Juan didn't believe it, but as usual O'Reilly went through his reasons, and they are all spot on! Williams is MUCH better off away from NPR, and even better for him (and for us)-this may be the start of his own awakening-the first step towards a gradual realization of just what NPR and their ilk are all about.

The best thing that EVER happened to him!


Here is the link to Juan Williams' column at Fox laying it out, and more-boy does he have some dirt on NPR!! Do I see a book deal in his future? Still a liberal, but he may see the light yet

Staying up too late watching Intervention, and other confessions Oct 10

Can't get this out of my head this morning-can't figure out how to get it to play automatically.

UPDATE: I must add that although I mention people on the TV show, looking back, everyone that I ever actually knew with any addiction problem had something going on behind the scenes; I may not have known it at the time.

Now play the vid and read below. Thanks

On the road again, this time as a student at a school in Arlington, VA. Control of the remote is all mine! When I am on the road I tend to watch some of my fav shows on TLC and A and E, etc, that I can't watch at home, because of course, the hubby has control of the TV. Oh I get to watch my Phillies, but other than that, it's his chicken, and that's ok.

On the road though, it's a different story. last night I stayed up way too late watching two shows that make me feel both depressed as hell and the sanest, most together person in the world, all at the same time. That would be Intervention and Hoarders-OMG! They both show people in various modes of utter despair and distress, and you know their families are at their wits end if they made a video and sent it in to the show, because of course if the magic works, their loved one will get some help, that is if said loved one is willing to be helped.

Hoarders is just incredible. I mean, I have way too many pairs of shoes, and sometimes the books pile up all over the house, and I have two sets of health and beauty items (one for the road and one for home), etc etc etc, but these people make me look like Mrs Clean and organized. Literally breaking a path through the clutter like through snowpack in the winter, they surround themselves with stuff, from accumulated memories that they can't get rid of, stuff they may need "someday", unfinished projects, and shopping sprees that made them feel better for a little while. So sad-and many times disgusting; under those piles they find rotted food, animal poop, and sometimes even dead animal, not to mention insects galore.

Intervention, on the other hand, shows folks in despair and denial, but these people are addicted to drugs, alcohol, or some combination of the two, and the show gathers their family, some of whom have enabled the behavior in a big way, to try to get the addicted one to go to treatment.

Now I must warn you, I am going to disagree with the psychology on this one and reveal my own observations and personal experiences, so if you are a strict adherent to the addiction is a disease school, you may not like what I have to say. And I have no training in psychology, so if you say I am totally unqualified to even have an opinion, well I guess you are right, but dammit I gonna say this anyway.

Every one of the people on Intervention has some kind of trauma in their past; abandonment by one or both parents, abuse by a spouse, childhood sexual abuse, etc etc etc. From where I sit it seems that the addiction (whatever it is, even including the hoarders above) helps them hide from/ameliorate temporarily the pain and/or keeps them so wasted almost all the time that they feel nothing, no pain, no joy, nothing, like chemotherapy, their self-medication can not be targeted to solve the problem and so scars everything it touches.

Now there may be people out there who abuse drugs and alcohol because they are just catching a buzz, but to me those folks are not hiding from their lives. IDK, maybe there is no fine line, but that's another blog for another day. When the impact of the substances can be seen by the outside world, there is def a problem.

So-when these people go to treatment, of course they detox their bodies from the poisons, but they also must detox their minds, and to me this is what keeps them clean. The addiction is just a symptom of something wrong deep down; this something must be resolved and the pain managed and dealt with, before the person can really stay clean, otherwise, only the symptom is treated, not the cause.

One of the women on the show last night was sexually abused as a child by a family member, and she didn't tell anyone for several years. When she did speak up, her mother didn't believe her, and from then on it was all downhill. Promiscuity, drugs, you name it, this girl did it. To get attention, to block out the pain, because the abuse taught her to see her only value as sexual.

This struck a chord with me, because you see I know about this first hand. I was sexually abused when I was 13, not by anyone in my family thank goodness, but some guy from the neighborhood. I never told my parents or anyone else until just a couple years ago when I revealed it on my other page here. What a relief to finally understand a bit about my behavior! All that time I thought that I had control over my actions and that I had started being sexually active earlier than most people because I chose to!

However, when I thought back to my experiences at the time, this man groomed me in the textbook manner, and it was almost a classic case! What I did afterwords was also classic-acting out sexually, looking for that one guy who would make me feel complete and whole, all the while ignoring on all other parts of my life. All that mattered, the only part of me that mattered, was the sexual. Luckily I was usually serially monogamous, so it wasn't too bad, but I literally ignored the rest of my life, sleepwalking and partying my way through high school.

Yes I did drugs, but it never got out of control. My drug of choice was always pot-it made everything seem rosy and everything funny. I could gloss over a lot of ugliness when I was stoned.

I find it hard to believe that it took me so long to understand this experience and my reaction to it; I was in my 40s before I realized that the abuse had led me down a certain path in my life. I was lucky because I always functioned in the world, and as I got older(in my 30s), I stepped up my game and started using my brain and skills to get ahead in the world a bit. But it wasn't until another decade had passed that I understood about my behavior.

So-do I think that my "addiction" to sex, or need for sexual validation, or pot, was a disease? No, I don't. I used all of these things to try to compensate for what had happened to me, to try to deal with the pain and maladjustment; the fact that I felt different from other girls (well yes I was different, but never knew why). This comes home to me every time I watch Intervention, and although of course I never got to the level of the people on the show (maybe that's why it took me so long to discover the causes for my behavior), I suffered a trauma, and tried to cope the best I could.

Now I'm not going to say that the abuse is to blame for all the mistakes I made in my life, but it did set me down a path...

BTW, luckily I met my husband a month before I turned 18, and once we started seeing each other, I never had sex with anyone else again, so that could be another reason it took so long to figure things out. So that part of the story has a happy ending; no it all has a happy ending, although it's not over yet. The queen of reinvention still has the stage!

So-I am exhausted and the TV is OFF; I need to keep it that way and go to bed. Well, maybe after I look at some more of the lighthouse pictures I took over the weekend. the first set of pics is up on the website HERE-please have a look if you are so inclined.

Thanks for listening, and please, if you read this, even if you don't want to comment, please leave me a kudo. I had 51 views today, and that was before this blog, and I can't remember my mixmap password, so I don't know WTH is going on.

Thanks again.

PS The book below also helped crystallize my thinking on the topic of promiscuity; the thoughts and feelings expressed by the author mirror many of my own, and many of the pages of my copy are turned down at the corners.

I just want to go off into the desert by myself-Why I need both myspace and facebook Oct 10

So have you heard anything about the BIG surprise announcement yet? Seems both MS and FB are cooking up some new chicanery-and the word on the street is

A MERGER!! OMFG!! Say it aint so!

When a bunch of my friends here decamped to FB, either deleting their pages here or coming so infrequently that cobwebs were growing, I reluctantly started using my page there. FB has its uses, don't get me wrong, but it is def the sanitized version of me, although I do post lots of articles that may have some of my friends shaking their heads, especially the ones about the scourge of Islam.

But FB is so vanilla sweet-it's not for the real me; the reason I have an online profile in the first place! My myspace profile is still semi-anonymous; I use a completely different email and my name is nowhere to be found. Now yes I'm sure that if someone really wanted to find out who I am they could, but the point is, if you search for me, my name, or any of my emails (except one), you will not find me here. And that's the way I like it.

I like to have a place where I can reveal some things about my personal life that I would never reveal on FB; not about my work, cause that really is pretty secret, but about my frustrations with certain people in my life, including sometimes co-workers.

A recent blog gets to this very point-it's about my husband (who never comes on line) and my BFF (who still has a page here but never visits) I could never express those feelings on FB, nor do I really think it is the appropriate place; after all, that's my real name out there. (BTW if you do find me and request me there, don't expect me to accept without your real name-new FB rule-I show you mine, you show me yours!)

Case in point-spent some time with the BFF today, and we were talking about a trip we're going on later on this winter-long story which I won't get into-and it's to a place I've always wanted to go. She's talking about how she's been to some of the places we're going, but only with her husband, and prattling on about how it will be different to see with her gfs (there'll be 5 of us altogether for a week).

Well you know me-sometimes too much company is too much-and I am longing to just take a drive out into the desert with the camera ALL BY MYSELF! And you know, I could really give a shit what they all think! Now that's not FB friendly, is it?

So MS, for all its flaws and nonsensical FB-like bullshit, is still very useful to me; and that's without mentioning the friends here who listen to and support me, like you are right now, EVEN IF YOU ARE LURKING!

So-what do YOU think of the rumors about a merger? And even though the subject's been done to death, do you have a fb page, and what do you think about this whole mess?

PS I know there has recently been a big kerfluffle of drama here; something about personal info being posted, and other things I won't mention, but I have no knowledge of it, and to tell you the truth, I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!!!

So done lurking around the drama-OVER IT!! What about you?

Curioser and Curioser Oct 10

Seems that even though I am changing all the time, the ones who know me the best and the longest are the least curious about me and my hopes and dreams.

Could be by my own design

Could be that they need/want to see me a certain way, and the changes make them a little uncomfortable. But why now, why these particular changes?

I am the queen of reinvention, after all.

They should know better.

This is awfully distracting Sept 10

WOW! I haven't seen a pair of shoes this hot in quite a while! NICE

what do you think?

oh and my next tattoo was going to be some kind of sun or something, but now I'm thinking about words. not just any words, but very powerful words


Enjoy your weekend

sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear just pisses you off Oct 10

So-in Chicago for a teaching assignment for a subject I really don't believe in anymore, that is if I ever did-but that is a subject for another blog-oh yeah I already wrote that one.

So-back at the hotel (home til the end of the month-my husband always gives me shit when I say I went "home" to a hotel room, but fuck it-it is home, at least for a while) after drinking maybe a bit too much wine at Bin 36 Wine Bar.

So-talking about my boss who died of brain cancer this (last?) year with someone who I like and respect even though she is a liberal (but never makes a fuss about it) who knew the boss and knows one of the people who was very close and felt his ANGER

more than any of us, and when she asked about his kids and how they are handling it, I had to tell her that I didn't know.

So-this has never been addressed at work. We are a very close knit group; especially those of us who spent/spend a lot of time on the road together, and before my boss D became a manager, he was on the road with us too. So there is a closeness that a lot of people may not understand-not necessarily outside of work, but in the space between work and personal. And yes for us there is such a space. But D's death and his deterioration from brain cancer which exacerbated his sometimes caustic self has NEVER been addressed at all. And the effect of his deterioration, during which he came to work, on all of us, and especially certain people who were closest to him-has NEVER been addressed. We have never had a meeting to discuss how we feel, never had anyone ask if we are ok or needed help-NEVER!!!

So-I understand how someone who was very close to him (our big boss) would not want to talk about his deterioration and death, but I have to say that her avoidance of the effect it had on ALL of us was the chink in the armor of my respect for her that let everything else, all the other things that lessen my respect, in. of course this is only one of the reasons I am leaving, but it is not a small one.

So-sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear just pisses you off so much that you want to stand up and scream.

So-yes I am venting here on myspace, yes I have vented about this before to certain people, one of whom was so close to the anger

that I worry about her internalizing and wonder if she has ptsd, but dammit I can't tell the person who really needs to know that she has hurt us all by not acknowledging the effect his wasting away, mind and body, and his DEATH had on all of us.

So-maybe someday I will be able to tell her, but right now I need to work there, so I can't, but I will not work for her anymore.

So-yes I am burnt out from the work, yes I don't believe in it and can't stomach it politically, but yes I this also part of why I am leaving.

So-RIP D. You were a crusty SOB with a heart of gold, but your ANGER burned us; we were too close.

Calling all angels-an album of pictures; all but one taken in Philly on the day he died.

wish I could get the video to play by itself-please give a listen cause it's what I hear in my head when I think of him...

Thanks for reading and being here

A new pair of glasses and signs of a grownup repost Oct 10

Yes I am getting a new pair of glasses (I get to reinvent my eyeglass look every two years)-and they rock! Even more outrageously purple (but lighter in color) than the ones I have now, they make my green eyes pop, and at this point I can use all the help I can get.

But seriously, the new glasses got me thinking about the past two years; how much has happened, and how much hasn't. I have changed so much-I've become much better at the pictures (practice will do that), much more militant in my political views, and much more aware of the world beyond my little sphere.

That said, there is one big ingredient that hasn't changed-MY JOB! I went looking through my blogs to see just what I was writing two years ago. Although I was very preoccupied with my Phillies in the playoffs and the World Series, I was very seriously thinking about changing my job. Well-I finally reached the breaking point and just interviewed for a similar position-same company, same department, same type of job, but different type of work. I won't get into it, but I will say that my political views make it increasingly difficult for me to do my current work-I just don't believe in it anymore, and when I find myself in a meeting defending something I don't agree with, it's well past time to go.

So-I am jumping off a cliff in a way-it's a little scary because I am not going TO something, I am getting AWAY from something, and although it is really my only choice right now and I think it is the right one, I have to admit to more than a little trepidation. The work I will be doing looks pretty boring from where I sit, although to be fair there are different aspects and specialities to it, and I really have no business making judgements at this point. It does involve a lot of financial ratios and numbers I've never found interesting, but at least I can believe in the mission, for now anyway. Who knows what my next move will be? I am the queen of reinvention after all, but unless someone wants to give me a bunch of money to take pictures, I have to make a living, and this is the corner I painted myself into.

After I attended the 8/28 rally I got this brilliant idea that I was going to help soldiers with their finances (they are a target for scammers and some of them are so young!). There is actually a company that works for the Defense Dept traveling around doing seminars at different bases (sounds like me, doesn't it? get up on stage and talk, sit down one-on-one and help people) BUT it requires one be a Certified Financial Advisor, which in turn requires passing a test AND 1000 hours of experience in the field. Well shit-do the math-1000 hours? I think that may have to wait til I can retire! Still a great idea, just not the time for it yet.

So that is what is happening with me lately. I have to tell you that the interview with the two women who run the area I'd be working in went swimmingly. Neither one of them knew me very well, and they seemed impressed with what they found out. It's rare for someone to say they want to stay on the road, but I know that being in the office all the time would kill me-I need to be out on the road working in the field with the bankers; it's what I do best, and what I like the most about the job.

There are things about my job I will miss-especially teaching; I'm going to Chicago at the end of the month to teach and I am really looking forward to it, although truth be told, I don't really believe in what I'm teaching anymore. Instead of teaching, I'll be going back to schools-what a change! I will no longer be a technical expert with 10 years of experience under my belt, but a technical newbie who has a lot to learn. But if you know anything about me you know that this is far from a problem-in fact I embrace the change and challenge.

So in the spirit of looking back two years, I leave you with one of my favorite blogs ever, written in October 2008.

Thanks for persevering though this tome; I haven't written anything this long in many months. And thanks my friends, for being here for me.

Signs you are a grownup

This blog has been rattling around in my head for a while now and it needs writing, so I'm going to attempt it. Before I go any further, however, I think a disclaimer is in order.

I understand that many people find that becoming parents allows/requires them to grow up and let someone else be their top priority (other than a spouse which is a whole different thing.) I have no children and have never experienced this phenomenon, so please bear with me. Oh-and as always, feel free to call me on any and all content of this blog. Just be nice while you're doing it LOL

1) The world does not revolve around you.

This is one of those about which parents may have a jump on me, but it is crucial to growing up. Not only does this include the ability to put other people's needs before your own, but also understanding that not everything that happens in your world is about you. People may be pissed off or upset and just taking it out on you-relax and laugh them off. If you really have done something to piss them off, you'll probably find out sooner or later.

2) Your parents are people too.

Insight on this does not necessarily come with parenthood, although you'd think it would. However, I know some parents who still don't get it.

The people who birthed and raised you are just as flawed as all the schmos out on the street, and the hero worship of childhood has to be replaced by embarassment, then skepticism that they made it this far through life, and then finally some understanding and recognition that they are somewhere in between. Of course some parents are abusive and that's another paragraph.

For those of us lucky enough to have wonderful but flawed people as parents who only wanted the best for us, this realization is crucial to having an adult relationship with them and letting the perceived slights and other bullshit fall away. Everyone makes mistakes, and if you know in your heart that your parents loved you and did the best they could, it's time to let that baggage go (believe me, I do know otherwise very bright and accomplished adults who haven't figured this out yet-WTF?)

On the other hand, if you were abused by your parents, my heart goes out to you. However, if you can't move on from that abuse and be in control of your own destiny, then you are carrying baggage around that is weighing you down. Let it go...

2)Accepting that not everyone will like you.

All of us will come up against people that just don't like us, for one reason or another. Sometimes this is caused by an actual word or deed on our part for which there can't (or won't) be amends made, or is the result of jealousy or some percieved slight. However, this is usually just about a conflict of personalities and cannot be helped. Grown-ups understand this and don't dwell on it-after all, don't we all have those people that just rub us the wrong way? How presumptuous to think that we don't elicit the very same reaction in someone else.

The time that this really can rear an ugly head is when one of your friends has a friend that you just don't like and who just doesn't like you. This can make for some interesting interactions, to say the least, and can be uncomfortable for the mutual friend. I had this experience in high school; one of my good friends had a friend from her neighborhood that I never liked. Her personality and attitude annoyed me, and even though she might have snubbed me at some point (I really don't remember), it was the way she treated our mutual friend that really got under my skin. Now I'm no saint and I know I had days when I wasn't the greatest friend, but this person consistently took advantage of my friend and treated her like shit. Needless to say, we avoided each other like the plague. I really don't know what she thought of me or if she knew I was on to her, and still could care less. What a using bitch!
The funny thing is that the same type of thing seems to be occuring here on Myspace. Some of the friends of one of my friends don't seem to like me very much and I really don't know why. Believe me, I'm not losing any sleep over it, but it would be nice to know. I don't think I ever did anything to deserve their disdain, but oh well-whatever. I'm a big girl and it doesn't impact me one way or the other; it's just another opportunity to observe people's interesting behavior and shake my head.

3)Understanding your romantic patterns

This is something that people who always seem to make the wrong choices need to acknowledge and understand, and actually is applicable to friendships too. If you seem to have a pattern of attracting or being attracted to losers, it's time to reevaluate your own motives and thinking-many times we are our own worst enemies.

4) Acknowledging your own flaws and easing up on yourself

No one is or will ever be perfect, and the less time we spend agonizing over our faults the better. Of course making the same mistakes over and over requires a good hard look at why, and all of us can and should always attempt to improve ourselves, but there's a good chance that we'll all go to the grave with some faults and blots on our record-we're only human!

5) Comfort in your own skin

Under this category I include-not worrying so much about what other people think, striking out on your own road and not trying to follow the crowd, AND maybe the most important, not trying to make yourself into someone's perfect match/dream man or woman.

This last one affects us all at one time or another-we find someone we think we love and try to make ourselves into the person we think they want. This is a recipe for disaster from the first moment-we will never be anyone else but ourselves, and the quicker we understand that the happier we will be. One can only pretend for so long, and what a rude awakening when the truth comes out! Grown-ups are comfortable in their own skins, and when they display that confidence and pursue the things that fulfill them, they will find happiness and hopefully, love.

6) Finally, understanding that life is a journey and along that path we will learn much about ourselves and the world.

That said, there are many things we will never know, understand, or experience, and when we acknowledge this fact, we may breathe a big sigh of relief. There are only so many days in one's life, and choices must be made. Realizing the fact that the more we grow and experience, the more we realize we don't (and may never) know is quite a revelation.

So-I think I'm done. I know this is too long, and if you made it all the way through I thank you and ask-

Do you agree? and What can you add?

Thanks again!

8/28 in DC-my thoughts on the Restoring Honor rally

Yes, I went to the Restoring Honor Rally in DC on August 28, and yes, I took a lot of pictures after sweet-talking my way pretty close to the stage.

I didn't quite know what to expect, but Glenn made it clear that the rally was not going to be political, and he asked everyone nicely to not bring signs or other political objects that anyone could misconstrue or twist around to their own purposes. With this in mind, I wore a purple Phillies t shirt from spring training and a Phillies visor. The only thing I carried that gave anything else away was the little American flag sticking out of my camera bag. Looking back on it now, maybe the reason that many people didn't talk to me was that I showed few outward signs of allegiance to our country-maybe they thought I was a liberal reporter in disguise. LOL I was also by myself when most people there had family or friends with them.

Anyway, I was there, I took lots of pictures, I listened to the speakers, I applauded, I cried-in short-I participated. I'm not going to give you an entire account of the proceedings; I will just say that Glenn spoke about honor and honorable people in this country, the role of faith, hope, and charity in the founding and in our lives today, and he gave out awards to three people he felt embodied those elements in our country today.

The whole thing was VERY inspiring and made me feel happy, proud, and lucky (or blessed) to be a citizen of this great country; blessed that all of my ancestors were bold, crazy, or just plain self-preserving enough to get on a ship and make it here. (FYI I am half Russian Jew, one quarter German from the Carpathians, and one quarter borderlands Scot. All of my ancestors came here at the end of the 19th century, some a bit earlier than others.)

Many parts of the rally were also VERY religious; not just spiritual, but religious, in a Christian sense. Now you may wonder how I, as an agnostic, felt about the religious aspect and the praise, not just of God and faith, but of Jesus. Well. I'm not easily put off by religion, I believe that everyone has the right to believe what they will, as long as they don't try to push me into believing the same. (I won't go into how followers of one particular "religion" want to kill me for being an unbeliever, that's another blog-or several-entirely.)

As the daughter of a lapsed Methodist and a lapsed Jew who together joined and brought their children to a Unitarian church, I am understandably a bit ambivalent/confused about organized religion. I won't say there is certainly a God, but I won't say that there isn't. As I get older I am leaning towards His existence, but then I also now believe that everything happens for a reason and there are no coincidences, so go figure. But this is not about my religious beliefs, but about how I felt about what happened at the rally.

I have to tell you again that I was not insulted in any way; I do believe that we are in some really deep shit right now, and you know maybe we need to reach out to a higher power to help us be strong and fight. I don't believe that God will bring us victory; I sincerely believe that is up to us, and it will be a long hard slog if we want to keep this great experiment as the brightest bastion of freedom in the world.

We are up against some formidable foes; internal actors who would ignore/spit on/subvert the constitution and continue to increase the size and power of the federal government for their own aims, including socialists, Alinskyites, etc, AND those, both from outside, and unfortunately now inside, who seek to bring us under the thumb of sharia law. I have argued with friends on facebook about these people; there are many "tolerant" folks who will not understand that even if there are a lot of muslims who say they don't think terrorism is right, their holy book commands them to kill infidels if said infidels will not convert. I sincerely believe that even though we don't all have knives at our throats, sharia is creeping into our nation and through political correctness, threats, intimidation and worse, they are gaining a foothold without any bombs at all. And we are so complacent and fat in our good fortune and the fruits of our labors that many of us refuse to believe that anyone would not want to gather round the campfire and sing kumbayah. It is beyond their comprehension that people would be driven to jihad, both physical violence and creeping sharia, JUST BECAUSE their leader (who is hundreds of years dead btw) told them to drive out infidels. This is all it takes; it has nothing to do with our actions. They may say it is because we are in their countries, but until we understand and accept that there is NOTHING we can do to change their thinking, no program to eradicate poverty, no process of appeasement-because it isn't what we do-it's who we are-it's the very fact of our existence that makes us a target, we remain sitting ducks.

Whew-this was not going to be about Islam but once I get started... Anyway-I was inspired, not oppressed or insulted, by the rally, and I am taking steps to get right in my own life, even without a steadfast belief in God. I believe in the people of the United States of America, because WE are responsible for our destiny at this juncture and always, and we need to step up and reclaim our country.

OK-if you made it through, thank you. If you are just here for the pictures-let me explain just a bit. I had a long day in DC, and the rally was only the start of it. I also visited two of my favorite museums on the mall, and one of my favorite restaurants before heading back to the Lincoln Memorial (and in the process, the WWII Memorial and Washington Monument) for some more pictures. So-enjoy and thanks for coming over.

Oh and as always, these pictures and more are on my website,

Great article by Caroline Baum Aug 10

My emphasis added red and bold-good stuff

Squeezing the Rich Is Poor Way to Spur Growth: Commentary by Caroline Baum

Caroline Baum

Thirty-six years after an academic economist named Arthur Laffer drew a curved line on a cocktail napkin, the debate over supply-side tax cuts paying for themselves is still going strong.

Why, after all this time and an extensive body of data, are we still questioning whether reductions in marginal and capital- gains tax rates increase economic activity enough to generate more
revenue for the federal government?

“Because they don’t like the answer,” Laffer says of the doubters. “It’s not tax cuts that pay for themselves. Tax cuts on the poor cost you lots of money. Tax cuts on the rich pay for themselves. Rich people can afford lawyers, accountants, and can defer income.”

That’s one answer. Another may be that, unlike the hard sciences, there is no conclusive test. In a dynamic economy, it’s impossible to hold everything else constant except tax rates. Monetary policy, government regulation, trade policy, and the stage of the
business cycle all affect economic growth. Absent a controlled experiment -- giving one group a placebo and the other a (tax-cut) drug -- a conclusive answer is out of reach.

What we do know, empirically, is this: Over time, federal revenue as a share of gross domestic product has stayed fairly constant at 17.9 percent. That’s true if the
top marginal tax rate is 91 percent (1950s), 50 percent (early 1980s) or 35 percent (2000s). Recessions are the one exception.

The Flat Fix

So, if the government’s tax take varies little, why create uncertainty over how much of our income we’ll have to fork over to Uncle Sam three, five, 10 years down the road? Why not flatten the rate, fix it and forget about it?

Fairness, for one. The government wants to take money from the rich and give it to the poor.

“They are wrong,” Laffer says. “It doesn’t work that way. The rich can change the volume, timing, composition and location of their income. Poor people can’t.”

Congress is the second. The tax code is the means through which lawmakers dole out tax breaks, credits and exemptions in return for campaign contributions. Which is why tax simplification in 1986 was such a short-lived phenomenon, says
Jim Glassman, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

While scientific proof for the supply-side credo remains elusive, we have lots of statistics from the Internal Revenue Service that demonstrate the effect tax changes have on the rich, or top 1 percent of income earners. Laffer described them in an Aug. 2 Wall Street Journal
op-ed. Since 1978, a series of reductions in the top marginal tax rate served to increase the share of taxes paid by the rich.

Rich Are Different

This should come as no surprise. The rich have the luxury to respond to incentives, to opt for more work and less leisure when the return on work is greater. They are motivated to take risks, maybe start a business, invent something, and get even richer while giving others the opportunity, through hiring, to do the same.

The opposite is true for low-income workers. When the government raises taxes, someone struggling to put food on the table for his family may have to go out and get a second job to maintain his level of take-home pay. For this socio-economic group, higher taxes translate to more work.

To ignore evidence that the rich behave differently is silly. The government can’t get more blood from a stone, yet it keeps trying. Instead of demagoguing tax cuts for the rich, Democrats should try embracing them for a change.

Congress’s Play Thing

“It’s in everyone’s interest that the economy do as well as it can so that the government can fulfill the
promises it’s made,” Glassman says.

If the trade-off is between fairness and dynamism, dynamism should win every time.

No economist will quarrel with the idea that taxes affect incentives, Glassman says. “When I have a choice between work and leisure, the tax decision makes a difference.”

That hasn’t changed the arguments for allowing the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans to expire at year-end. Academics are busy churning out articles claiming tax cuts for the rich deliver less bang for the buck because the rich save more of the money than the poor.

That’s true. It also misses the point. The goal isn’t spending, or distributing other people’s money to create “aggregate demand.” That’s a wealth transfer, not a net stimulus. (Fiscal policy gets its punch from monetary policy, from the increase in the money supply to pay for the spending.)

The goal should be to incentivize individuals to work hard, save and invest in the future. It’s about growing the pie.

Sound familiar? We’re right back to square one. I, for one, would like to see the debate shift from class warfare over tax rates and targeted tax relief to tax reform. Either scrap the tax code and introduce a simple flat tax with no deductions, or scrap the IRS and move to a consumption tax.

If you want to get money out of politics, there’s only one way to do it. Take the tax code out of Congress’s hands.

Caroline Baum, author of “Just What I Said,” is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

To contact the writer of this column: Caroline Baum in New York at

Everyone loves my governor-from Brietbart Aug 10

From Breitbart-everyone loves my governor!!!

Can We Clone NJ Gov. Chris Christie?

Kyle Olson

“Governor Wrecking Ball” is showing it is possible to stand up to
special interests and do what is best for taxpayers and schoolchildren.
When human cloning begins, can Michigan have a copy of Chris Christie?

Christie is cleaning up the mess of previous politicians who bought
off special interest groups, such as the New Jersey Education
Association, with lavish benefits, unsustainable pay increases and a
retirement system that, like many other states is becoming a major black

Unlike other American politicians, Christie doesn’t appear to care
much about what people think of him. He’s there to do a job and fix the
problems, even if it means his elected life is short lived.

Others should follow Christie’s lead because taxpayers and voters will have their backs.

On a recent Today Show appearance, Christie responded to an exchange
with a school employee. What’s interesting from the clip is that most
politicians would be tepid for fear of having the crowd turn on them.
Instead, Christie’s crowd, which was not hand-picked, went wild – for
Christie’s answer.

Taxpayers are beginning to realize that it’s the politicians that
have created this budgetary mess and it’s going to require leaders like
Christie to stand up to the powerful special interests to fix it.

As Christie said in the Today interview, “we’re treating the people
of New Jersey like adults and telling them the truth.” Here’s hoping
America will soon have more leaders like Christie.

Isn't Matt Lauer a twit?

Why she's a liberal and I'm not July 10

I've been thinking a lot about some conversations I've had lately with a colleague of mine. She and I have some of the same gripes with our work situation, and we're discussing them a lot lately. Even though I still don't mention my political beliefs (but if pushed I will not lie), and she is an unabashed liberal, we have a lot of the same problems with the internal politics of the job. For some reason, maybe because of my mid-life crisis or maybe because I've had about enough, I am much more vocal about my concerns lately.

So even though we have a lot in common, we also disagree about many things. I am getting better at making my point without blowing my top when she goes into her talking points; I guess several years of holding my tongue is helping me ease out of the closet.

It's funny-I grew up in the suburbs of Philly and always considered myself a city girl, but in the last ten years I've spent a lot of time in what some arrogant folks call fly-over country, in small towns in central and northeastern PA. I'm starting to think these interactions helped me along my way to the beliefs I hold now; seeing how local businesses and residents approached life and work opened my eyes a bit. My colleague, however, is very stuck in her liberalism and really believes some of the nonsense and talking points, in fact she spews them all the time. LOL

Ironic how many things about the job oppress me while others enlighten me!

So-here's a couple points on which we disagree-I reserve the right to come back and add more. (Keep in mind there are many points outside politics on which we do agree, but then I am ok with liberals as long as we don't talk politics)

My colleague believes that average people will never be able to understand loan documents-the products are too complicated-and will always have to be "protected" from the big bad banks. I believe that except for outright fraud, which of course should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, borrowers have an obligation to understand all the aspects and intricacies of any and all loan documents they sign, and if they don't understand the paperwork, they shouldn't sign it. To me this is a no-brainer! Caveat emptor!

Second point-my colleague believes that everyone has the right to a high-paying job, and that no one should have to work two jobs to support a family. Well HELLO, this is so ridiculous from an economic standpoint; the only way to ensure this is communism-bring everyone down to the same substandard way of living. I myself believe that we all have to make our way in the world, and if some skills are in greater demand than others, people should be paid accordingly. You may ask, "What about the overpaid "stars" and athletes?" Well, someone thinks they are worth the money, and if you don't like it, don't contribute to it. Life is a series of choices, and we are free to choose how we spend our money and our time.

As I said, I reserve the right to come back and add to this when and if other things come up.

What do you think about these questions? Thanks for reading and commenting.

Declaration of Independence July 4, 2010

4, 1776

unanimous Declaration
of the thirteen united
States of America

When in the Course of human
events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political
bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the
powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of
Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the
opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which
impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable
Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That
whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is
the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its
powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their
Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments
long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed
to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by
abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train
of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a
design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it
is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards
for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of
these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to
alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present
King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations,
all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny
over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary
for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing
importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should
be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend
to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large
districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of
Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and
formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records,
for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with
manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause
others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of
Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise;
the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of
invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for
that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners;
refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and
raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his
Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of
their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of
Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the
Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to
the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign
to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent
to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders
which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring
Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging
its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument
for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and
altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves
invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his
Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and
destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries
to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun
with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the
most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas
to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their
friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured
to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian
Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction
of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in
the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only
by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every
act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We
have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to
extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of
the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have
appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured
them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations,
which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.
They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We
must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our
Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in
War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America,
in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the
world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by
Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and
declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free
and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to
the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and
the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and
that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War,
conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all
other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And
for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the
protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our
Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Brazilians and the nanny state June 10

Caution-if you unaware, either of the rise of the nanny state or the
reality of hair removal, and prefer to remain that way, please stop
right here.

Ok-fair warning given. Just a little idea for a blog this morning. I
won't go into the details, but let's just say that I am in need of
certain services right now-a brazilian, actually. (If you don't know
what that is, please google.)

So, even though I adore my friend Trisch at Blue Mercury in Atlantic
City, and would love to drive about a mile to get my business done, I
have to drive up to Philly, to my friend Kelly at Blue Mercury on Walnut
St! Why, you say? Cause brazilian bikini waxes are ILLEGAL in NJ!!!!!
Clearly NJ politicians have nothing else to do-but actually they were
neck deep in doo doo when this story broke, with plenty of other things
to do.

But no-because a couple women got burned by some salon in North Jersey,
the state is now enforcing its existing rule against this type of

WTF-so now I have to go to another state to get business done.

Not only does this inconvenience me in a big way, just think of all the
money that is going out of state to Pennsylvania or New York-all because
one salon couldn't do it right! hello-what about all the competent
estheticians out there with reduced incomes! This type of waxing is very
popular in NJ, and all that money is just flowing out of here (or salon
owners are risking fines or the loss of their license). Never mind all
the taxes that the state is missing out on!

Ok-now take this example of the nanny state and extrapolate-do you see
how your examples are ridiculous, economically imprudent, and just plain

Tell me about it

Avatars-a little nostalgic for simpler days May 10

A new camera picture blog is coming soon, but this isn't about pictures-well actually maybe it is.

For some reason, maybe seeing Toy with a shoe today, I'm a bit nostalgic for the time back in the day when I could express my moods here with just a click-

Nowadays it's much more complicated-I may not be able to say what I feel in a status message, so I may not express myself. Even though I sorely miss the ability to change my avatar, I have not and will not change it until I feel better about the future of our country. I hope to have renewed optimism after the November elections, but right now I need to stay focused and keep reminding myself and all my friends just how high the stakes are-don't ever forget!

I leave you with the avatar I used exclusively for 2008 presidential election-related anger

like a phoenix, we will rise from the ashes.

Thanks for reading.

Justin Bieber-srsly? May 10

OK srsly-Justin Bieber? What is the appeal?

I see you one 21st century teen idol and raise you-

No comparison-and I wasn't even that into the Partridge Family! well maybe a little ;)

What do you think?

so just where did that prayer come from anyway? April 10

Lots of brouhaha on facebook and elsewhere about the "favorite president" prayer. But do you know the backstory? Where did it come from?

Welcome to the real drama-NJ politics. GO CHRISTIE GO

Teachers Union "Prays" For Death Of NJ Gov., Christie Not Amused