Saturday, December 30, 2006

The bastard is dead

Saddam is dead. Good riddance to piece of human debris. He was a piece of shit. Too bad that Kim Jong Il(sp?) and Castro didn't have the same thing happen to them.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

As sung by TACO

Puttin' on the Ritz - Taco
If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the ritz.

Different types who wear a day coat, pants with stripes
and cutaway coat, perfect fits,
Puttin' on the ritz.

Dressed up like a million dollar trouper
Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)

Come let's mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks
or "umberellas" in their mitts,
Puttin' on the ritz.

Have you seen the well-to-do up and down Park Avenue
On that famous thoroughfare with their noses in the air
High hats and Arrow collars white spats and lots of dollars
Spending every dime for a wonderful time

If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
why don't you go where fashion sits,
Puttin' on the ritz.
Puttin' on the ritz.
Puttin' on the ritz.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Looks like lil saddam is gonna get his just due. GOOD. What a worthless piece of shit dictator he was. I will be so happy and elated when saddam hussein dies.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Well it is Christmas Eve as I am writing this. Today was a beautiful day. Got to sleep in. Don't have to go back to work until Tuesday. I love life. I went to a movie today with Jeff. Have not seen him in a long time! He is doing great. We saw 'The Good Shepherd'. It is about the beginnings of the CIA. As I am typing this, I am wrapping presents. Yes I know I am waiting until the last minute, but I only have 3 to wrap. I have already recieved most of my presents, got TONS of moolah from my pop. Cool. My brother and sister in law got an SUV from my folks, and my folks in turn gave my sister and I money. I am set. I really want nothing else for Christmas. I did buy just a few presents myself. I got my mother some nice wool house slippers. I got my sister( who lives in Arkansas) a gift card( I know I know)and some cologne. I got my brother a compact disc( Office Space) and I got my father a musical disc ( Cafe Berlin) of German Music. My sister's gifts I have mailed to her, and so I did not have to wrap them. Well, I am getting sleepy now.. laters!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Give A Little Bit
Give a little bit
Give a little bit of your love to me
Give a little bit
I'll give a little bit of my love to you
There's so much that we need to share
Send a smile and show you care

I'll give a little bit
I'll give a little bit of my life for you
So give a little bit
Give a little bit of your time to me

See the man with the lonely eyes
Take his hand, you'll be surprised

Give a little bit
Give a little bit of your love to me
I'll give a little bit
I'll give a little bit of my life for you

Now's the time that we need to share
So find yourself, we're on our way back home

Going home...
Don't you need to feel at home?
Oh yeah, we gotta sing

back to my

Monday, December 18, 2006

Today I am ANGRY, then HAPPY!

Today started off kinda rough. I had one of those days where you sent the payment in on November 30th, you call on December 9th , and the check you wrote to the Company(who shall remain nameless) has cashed. Now, on December 17, Sunday night, said company calls you and asks you if you have mailed your payment in. Yes, I did, back on November 30. 'Well, we have not recieved it, ma'am'. Thats impossible. You check with your bank, and yes it did cash. Now, the company tells you that you must mail them a copy of the check, front and back. So you ask your bank for a copy of the check and you have to pay a thirty dollar processing fee to get a copy of your check. Oh joy. So you do so, grudgingly. They tell you that this will take 6 to 8 weeks to process. Whatever. You feel like hitting someone.Really hard. I just had a thought. Try telling your utility company when the bill comes that you will need to peruse the bill, and you need to get approval from your 'corporate headquarters'(home) and that the check will arrive to them in about 6 to 8 weeks . See what they say after that. Try making THEM wait for a change. Somehow I doubt that they will see any humor in this. Oh yes, be sure to keep them on hold for AT LEAST 15 minutes when ever any of them do call you. Better yet, keep them on hold for at least fifteen minutes while making them have to listen to some sort of crappy music, or some sort of irritating noise. Today did end on a better note, however. I got paid. And then some more money came in. MUCH MUCH more money. Bonus money. Good . Talk about a rollercoaster day.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My favourite Christmas song

Rocking around the Christmas Tree
Brenda Lee

Rocking around the Christmas tree
at the Christmas party hop

Mistletoe hung where you can see
every couple tries to stop

Rocking around the Christmas tree,
let the Christmas spirit ring

Later we'll have some pumpkin pie
and we'll do some caroling.

You will get a sentimental
feeling when you hear

Voices singing let's be jolly,
deck the halls with boughs of holly

Rocking around the Christmas tree,
have a happy holiday

Everyone dancing merrily
in the new old-fashioned way.

Wishing you the Happiest
Holidays and New Year

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thanks, Glenn

Maybe next year I can see one of your shows! Greetings From Florida!

What—it’s not 75 and sunny where you are on this December 13th? Oh, that’s a shame—it’s balmy here in the tropics as I wrap up the Tampa stop on my Christmas Tour. Even though I used to live here, it’s still a little strange being here around the holidays…to see a Christmas tree tied to the roof of a car while the people driving it are wearing shorts and t-shirts. But it’s been a great homecoming and a wonderful chance to get a little sun. (Though don’t worry—I’ve not bared my pasty flesh to anyone. The only thing whiter these days than my spindly legs is Santa’s beard.)

And while the weather has been fantastic, I’ve found a place even hotter—the inside of my suit. As it turns out, thick blue velvet may drape beautifully, but it retains heat like an oven. Fortunately, the additional heat thrown off by my new rock star light show only makes the stage slightly warmer than the surface of the sun. But it's not all bad, because I think that I’ve discovered a new weight loss plan—just tour the country encased in a dark, leaden fabric and rant around a stage for a couple of hours a night and…presto! The pounds just melt away!

Truthfully, I can’t even pretend that I’m not enjoying every minute of this tour. Even though I miss my family, it’s thrilling to meet so many fans of the TV and radio programs and spread the message of my Christmas show. People are really responding to the simple notion that this time of year isn’t about food or presents or even the baby in the manger—it’s about the man that baby grew up to become and the way he lived his life. Every performance is inspiring to me, and I believe that the audience feels the same way. If you’re thinking about grabbing up one of the few tickets left for the last few cities where we’ll be stopping, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve talked to people after the show and they’ve told me how they’re reminded of the true meaning of Christmas…they leave filled with a spirit that can’t be found at the mall. As for me, my amazement is renewed each and every night. It’s a glorious show and I’m proud to be able to share in the experience with you.

I hope to see you there. Tonight…get ready Worcester, MA. Oh, it’s on.

Enjoy these days—I pray they’re merry and bright.


PS For more on what it’s like day-to-day on the tour, be sure to check out the blog that’s being updated by my blue velvet suit. He’s pretty insightful for a piece of high-end menswear…

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Feeling much better

Feeling much better this afternoon. Very frustrated cause my car is not fixed yet. I will get it back Monday afternoon, which means that I will have to take a taxi to work early Monday morning, which also means that I will have to leave my pup Heidi at my house Monday morning. She will be totally alone. Poor thing. I will try to get away Mon afternoon to come and get her.

Not feeling well

Yesterday afternoon, I started feeling very nauseous and dizzy. Also dehydrated. So, I am feeling better today, but stayed home from work anyway. I am trying to heal today. My pup is staying with me this weekend. There is little food in the cupboard, and I cannot go to the store because my car is still in the shop, and I am not feeling well enough to go out anyway. So I ordered some pizza delivery. Pizza Hut. My pup loves it , too. I ran out of the purple grape juice I love so much. Diet Pepsi isn't much of a subbstitute, but it will work.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pearl Harbor Day from

Survivors honor Pearl Harbor victims with moment of silence, wreath laying in Hawaii

Associated Press Writer
Pearl Harbor survivor Jack E. Jorgensen, 87, of Olathe, Kan., reminisces Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006, during a gathering of veterans, family and friends at the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center in Mission, Kan., marking the 65th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was to be the last observance by the Kansas City Metro Chapter III of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. Jorgensen, a former Navy ship fitter, was aboard the U.S.S. Detroit during the attack. (AP PhotoTammy Ljungblad/The Kansas City Star)
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — One by one, aging survivors from ships sunk 65 years ago Thursday in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor laid wreaths under life preserver rings honoring their ships.

Nearly 500 survivors bowed their heads at 7:55 a.m., the minute planes began bombing the harbor in a surprise attack that thrust the United States into World War II.

"America in an instant became the land of the indivisible," said former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, the author of "The Greatest Generation," who spoke at the shoreside ceremonies. "There are so many lessons from that time for our time, none greater than the idea of one nation greater than the sum of its parts."

The veterans, most in Hawaiian aloha shirts, were honored with prolonged applause at the solemn ceremony near where some of the ships remain rusting and moss-covered under the harbor's waters.

Many were treating the gathering as their last, uncertain if they would be alive or healthy enough to travel to Hawaii for the next big memorial ceremony, the 70th anniversary.

Flanked by two conch blowers, the Rev. Kahu Kauila Clark bows his head in a Hawaiian prayer at start of the ceremony marking the 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Thurs., Dec. 7, 2006 in Honoloulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
"It is because of you and people like you that we have the freedoms we enjoy today," Capt. Taylor Skardon said after relating each ship's story at the end of the ceremony.

A priest gave a Hawaiian blessing and Marines performed a rifle salute.

For many it could be their last return to the World War II attack site.

"Sixty-five years later, there's not too many of us left," said Don Stratton, a seaman 1st class who was aboard the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941. "In another five years I'll be 89. The good lord willing, I might be able to make it. If so, I'll probably be here. I might not even be around. Who knows. Only the good Lord knows."

Stratton and other survivors were boarding a boat to the white memorial straddling the sunken hull of the USS Arizona, where they will lay wreaths and lei in honor of the dead.

Pearl Harbor survivor Bob Seeley, right, and his granddaughter, Ashley Seeley, of California, await the start of the ceremony honoring the 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Thurs., Dec. 7, 2006 in Honoloulu. Seeley served on the the USS California. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
"We thank those who lost their lives 65 years ago, and we honor the survivors and their families who are with us here today," said Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle.

The Arizona sank in less than nine minutes after a 1,760 pound armor-piercing bomb struck the battleship's deck and hit its ammunition magazine, igniting flames that engulfed the ship.

More people died on the Arizona than any other ship as 1,177 servicemen, or about 80 percent of its crew, perished.

Altogether, the surprise attack killed 2,390 Americans and injured 1,178.

Twelve ships sank and nine vessels were heavily damaged. Over 320 U.S. aircraft were destroyed or heavily damaged by the time the invading planes were done sweeping over military bases from Wheeler Field to Kaneohe Naval Air Station.

Former Japanese Naval pilot Takeshi Maeda signs his autograph for guests at a Pearl Harbor symposium held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort, Monday, Dec. 4, 2006, in Honolulu. Maeda was an aviator that saw action at Pearl Harbor as a crew member aboard a torpedo plane that bombed Battleship Row Dec. 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor veterans, historians, survivors and scholars came together to share ideas and remember the events that took place 65 years ago. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Japanese veterans who participated in the attack as navigators and pilots will also pay their respects, offering flowers at the Arizona memorial for the American and Japanese who died.

Japan lost 185 men, mostly on dive-bombers, fighters and midget submarines.

Some Japanese veterans and American survivors have reconciled in the decades since.

Japanese dive bomber pilot Zenji Abe has apologized to American survivors for the sudden attack, ashamed his government failed to deliver a declaration of war in time for the assault.

The Japanese aviators who carried out the attack thought the declaration had already been made by the time they started bombing, Abe has said.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights

Monday, December 04, 2006

Emergency Vets

For some reason, I can watch emergency(people) but I have a really hard time watching Emergency Vets. I have a much harder time watching an animal suffer than I do a human being. I have seen the commericals for the ASPCA, and just looking into their eyes just makes me want to cry. Maybe it is because the animal is always innocent. Humans can communicate much better. We have cell phones.Stories like these just strike me in the heart. They are always innocent, the horses, the pups, the kittens , the bears are. Yes, I know that human beings are animals. We can analyze. We We can figure our way out of things. We can yell, scream, and fight back. They can, but not like we can. Ocassionally , the animal wins. Ever hear the story(true) of the goat that killed it's abusive owner? That is poetic justice. Food for thought

Saturday, December 02, 2006

More from

In Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. women warriors are taking on high-profile battlefield roles

AP National Writer
Capt. Christine Roney prepares to go on patrol in Bagdad with members of her company in this undated file photo provided by Roney, who served with the Armys 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad and commanded a logistics company that conducted more than 500 missions. (File Photo/Courtesy Christine Roney)
A goodwill mission to deliver kerosene heaters to Iraqi schools erupts into the fiery chaos of a roadside bombing — and Maj. Mary Prophit shields a comrade so he can rescue a critically burned Iraqi soldier.

A convoy outside Baghdad is ambushed by machine-gun wielding Iraqi insurgents — and Spc. Ashley Pullen races down a road to save an injured sergeant.

A Black Hawk helicopter is struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq — and co-pilot Tammy Duckworth, bloody and severely wounded, struggles to stay conscious until the damaged aircraft is down and her crew is safe.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, women warriors are writing a new chapter in military history, serving by the tens of thousands, fending off enemy fire and taking on — and succeeding in — high-profile roles in the battlefield and the skies as never before.

"The American public is beginning to realize that women are playing an equal part in this war and that they are facing the same risks," says Duckworth, who lost both legs in the 2004 insurgent attack. "This is the first time in our nation's history ... when it's normal to see female names as part of the war wounded or those killed in action."

More than 155,000 women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002, according to the Pentagon, nearly four times the number during the Persian Gulf War. Females now account for 15 percent of the active duty force.

The number of women casualties — 68 dead and more than 430 injured — represents a tiny fraction of the total. Still, by one estimate, the deaths exceed the number of military women who lost their lives in Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War combined.

The public, long accustomed to seeing disabled male veterans and grieving widows clutching folded U.S. flags, has adjusted to a new set of somber images: women soldiers coming home with life-changing injuries and tearful farewells to mothers, wives and daughters.

In just two weeks in September, bombs killed four military women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among them: Sgt. 1st Class Merideth Howard, a 52-year-old former firefighter with a master's degree in marine biology, and 2nd Lt. Emily J.T. Perez, a 23-year-old West Point graduate of the "Class of 9-11" who played the clarinet, spoke fluent German, read the Bible daily and helped start an AIDS ministry at her church.

There is no shared experience that binds together the women of war. Each has a different story, a reason why they're in uniform, an explanation of how their lives have changed.

Some feel pressured to prove themselves as women. Others don't. Some never fire their weapons. Others engage in life-and-death battles. Some are professional soldiers. Others enlist for college money. A few are grandmothers; many more are in their 20s.

Almost all serve anonymously, though a few have captured headlines back home. Former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski made news as the highest-ranking officer punished in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. Jessica Lynch, the former prisoner of war, rocketed onto the nation's TV screens when she was portrayed as a guns-blazing, all-American heroine — a depiction she herself disavowed.

But Lynch's job — Army supply clerk in a maintenance company — illustrates one of the realities of the war: No place is safe. As the insurgency took hold, that grew even more apparent. Front lines don't exist. Combat troops still face the heaviest losses and while women are mostly in support roles, a mortar or bomb can strike anywhere from a mess hall to a supply convoy.

"My dad has friends who constantly tell him, 'Oh, your daughter's fine in Iraq. She's not in harm's way or she's not involved in combat,'" says Capt. Mary Caruso, who served two tours in Iraq, one as a platoon leader in the 194th Military Police Company.

"I don't think the general public really sees what females are doing over there," she says. "We don't have a linear battlefield anymore. The enemy's everywhere."

Women are barred from units assigned to direct ground combat — the infantry, armor and artillery, for example. While many remain in traditional jobs, such as health care, they've also served as translators and mechanics, commanded police companies and support battalions, flown jet fighters and attack helicopters.

They've been heroes, too.

In the Kentucky National Guard's 617th Military Police Company, Army Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester became the first woman since World War II to win the Silver Star for heroism. After a supply convoy was ambushed, she and others counterattacked, killing more than two dozen insurgents.

Spc. Ashley Pullen, another member of the unit, received a Bronze Star for valor, risking her life to help save a wounded soldier in the same attack. In recommending her for a medal, her company commander praised her "incredible courage."

"We now know women can hold their own, they're brave, they do have the physical and mental stamina to face combat-like situations," says retired Navy Capt. Lory Manning, director of the Women in the Military Project at the Women's Research and Education Institute in Washington, D.C. "We now know that men don't go to pieces and the American public doesn't go to pieces if women are killed. And we know that women, in fact, can defend men."

Manning says that represents a change in perceptions.

"I used to get a lot of guff that women can't do this, that women are weakening the military, women are feminizing the military — that's gone with the wind," she says. "The debate about whether they belong there seems to be over."

Not quite. Though women are widely viewed as essential with the nation's fighting forces stretched thin and they perform jobs off-limits to men for cultural reasons — searching Iraqi females, for instance — the critics have not been silenced.

"Engaging the enemy in this uncivilized thing we call war is a job for men, not women," Kate O'Beirne, a conservative pundit and Washington editor of the National Review, said in a radio interview this spring. She likened it to a man sending his wife or daughter to check out a possible home break-in.

Martin van Creveld, a prominent military historian and Iraq war critic, argues the contribution of females in the conflict has been dramatically exaggerated. "They're not occupying any particularly important positions or fighting in the front ... If there were not a single woman (deployed), the war would be the same," he says.

The Center for Military Readiness, a conservative think tank, contends that the Army has ignored its rules that prevent female soldiers from being in units that "physically collocate and remain with" ground combat troops.

Elaine Donnelly, the center's president, says that creates the potential for romantic involvement, morale problems and physical hazards. A woman, she says, might not be strong enough to rescue a wounded male soldier.

"All these social issues do matter," she says. "Cohesion is what lives depend on. It's all about survival. If you start causing doubts, you make the job more difficult or dangerous for everybody."

Last year, some members of Congress tried to curb the role of women in combat zones, but retreated after running into opposition from the Pentagon and lawmakers from both parties.

Capt. Christine Roney was tangled in the debate in 2004 when she was about to take command of a forward support company that would accompany a combat battalion.

She says she was told several male captains fired off e-mails to members of Congress and the Center for Military Readiness opposing the move. One captain, she says, messaged one of her peers asking: "What are you guys doing sending a female over here?"

When plans changed and a man was chosen to take command, Roney says she was disappointed at first, then reconsidered. "I probably did think having a female would have been disruptive in some sense," she says. "They might think they have to act differently with a woman."

Roney, who ended up commanding a logistics company that conducted more than 500 missions in the streets of Baghdad, thinks gender walls will crumble as more women and men work together.

"Sometimes," she says, "they need to get females in the unit to see they have some of the same abilities, the same competencies as the male soldiers."

Some of that already has happened.

Capt. Tara Stiles was a platoon leader in the 194th Military Police Company supporting the First Marine Expeditionary Force. "At first, they were kind of leery," she says. But after a few weeks "they'd rather have my platoon vs. one of the others led by males. .. They needed their backs covered and we were there. And vice versa."

Stiles' company was commanded by Capt. Terri Dorn, who says she noticed some Marines were uncomfortable dealing with females, but she didn't detect resentment.

"I never felt like someone was trying to tell me we're in the wrong place," she says. "It was, 'Oh my God, what do we do?' ... Really what you're doing is teaching that person how to deal with a female."

Dorn says when men would tell her they'd never had a woman in their unit, she'd reply: "Don't think of them as females. Talk to them as soldiers."

It was advice she, too, found useful. "I wasn't a female," she says. "I was a company commander."

Dorn says some Iraqi military leaders proved a far bigger obstacle. There were those, she says, who refused to shake her hand. "It didn't hinder our conversation," she says. "It didn't hurt my feelings ... I proved myself by not allowing them NOT to speak with me."

For decades there have been questions about men and women bunking in the same quarters and whether they could serve together without distractions. While problems such as sexual harassment and assault remain, some say that gender lines blur when lives are on the line.

"Traditionally, the front is the most sexless place in the world. Behind the lines is where trouble happens," says Joshua Goldstein, a professor emeritus of international relations at American University and author of "War and Gender."

Lt. Col. Cheri Provancha, who commanded a Stryker Brigade Support Battalion in Iraq with 700 soldiers, says she didn't detect a gender gap among her troops.

"It didn't matter if you were male or female," she says. "You're going through the same thing as your buddy. That creates a bond."

Provancha also says she has noticed firsthand how attitudes toward women have changed in her 23 years in the Army.

"In the 1980s when a male soldier walks in the door, the expectation is they are competent. The woman on the other hand, it was 'I've got to see what you have before I give you that level of confidence,'" she says. "Now when I walk in the door, I feel like the guys do."

But other officers say the military is far from having an even playing field.

Janis Karpinski, who was demoted to colonel after the scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison, says she was a scapegoat — and she blames many of her problems on being a woman.

When the prison conditions started unraveling, she says, "there was not a good ole boy network to support me. They wouldn't let me in. ... There was not a male commander to say, 'Hey, Janis, you better watch out.' Had I been a man, I would have been aware of it all along."

Karpinski says the military is still regarded by many men in uniform — especially the older ones — as the "last bastion of male dominance and they're very reluctant to give up this turf to women."

And yet, some see progress, partly because younger men are moving up in the ranks along with women.

"Gender integration is not perfect by any stretch, but it's a heck of lot better than it was 30 years ago when women entered the military academy," says Mady Wechsler Segal, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and an expert on the military.

Women have a long history of military service going back to the Revolutionary War, when they sometimes disguised themselves as men to defend their country. Through the many wars, they've been spies and soldiers, nurses and pilots — and prisoners.

Relatively few, however, have fallen from enemy fire. In World War I, for example, nearly 360 servicewomen died, mostly nurses stricken by influenza, according to the Women's Memorial Foundation.

And in World War II, more than 330,000 women served both domestically and abroad, and more than 540 died, mostly from vehicle accidents, air crashes and illness, according to the foundation. Sixteen Army nurses died by enemy fire, the group says.

In the Persian Gulf War, about two-thirds of the 15 women who died lost their lives in non-hostile incidents. (In Iraq and Afghanistan, more than a third of the deaths have been non-combat fatalities.)

After the Gulf War, the Army opened thousands more jobs to women, including piloting attack and scout helicopters.

Maj. Tammy Duckworth — who recently lost a bid for Congress — says when she joined the Illinois Army National Guard, she picked aviation because it was a combat position open to women. "I wanted to be treated equally to the males in my unit ... and I felt part of that was accepting the same kind of risks," she says.

Early on, she says she adapted to being a woman in a man's world. "I tried to be one of the boys, to be tough or tougher," she says. But her attitude changed as she was promoted. "I knew I was a good enough officer on my own and I stopped trying to be extra-macho," she says.

Besides, she adds, some of the guys were already teasing her that she had "ovaries of brass."

But other women say they're mindful of being a minority and feel pressure — some of it self-imposed — to demonstrate their physical strength and their mental toughness so no one thinks they'll crumble when bullets start flying or bombs start exploding.

Alicia Flores says she earned the respect of male comrades in the Army's 92nd Chemical Company by hauling bodies, cleaning up feces, doing everything men did. "I had a lot of guys look up to me and say, 'How could you be out here doing this?' "

Flores says she was determined not to show weakness.

"I saw a lot of guys break down," she says. "Most of the times I did a lot better than they did. ... I wasn't going to break down and cry. Crying wasn't going to get me anywhere. It was just going to get me dirtier."

Aneta Urban stood out as the only women in her Marine police company during training in Camp Pendleton, Calif. She could feel all eyes on her.

"When it's 100 guys and you're the only girl, it's like proving yourself every day," she says. "When you're doing rifle training, close combat training, they're looking at you a lot more closely. They're wondering: Can she do it? Can she handle it? You don't want to be laughed at."

Two years later, when she was deployed, she felt she had measured up.

"They knew they could depend on me," she says. "They knew I could pull my own weight. They knew they could trust me if something happened."

Even so, Urban, a native of Poland who served as translator on a second tour, says she would never complain about "stupid girly issues" such as the lack of bathrooms.

"We were under enough stress as it is ... without worrying about finding a place to go pee," she says.

Some women say hygiene issues, whether it's going to the bathroom in a hole in the ground or not being able to wash your hair for a month, tend to be harder on females than men. Some find creative solutions.

Maj. Mary Prophit, for instance, secured her own shower, trading a Benchmade knife in exchange.

Prophit was part of a four-member Civil Affairs team and one of three women among a task force of 700. If that didn't set her apart, her age did. "I was old enough to be their mother," says the 42-year-old mother of three who is a library assistant in Glenoma, Wash. "I thought it was kind of cool."

Despite two decades in the Army Reserve, Prophit says she felt internal pressures to be a good model. "I knew if I screwed up, someone would say, 'That's why we shouldn't have women in the military,'" she says. "I want to make sure that no one thinks the mission dragged on because I'm there."

In January 2005, Prophit demonstrated her skills when the convoy she was in was attacked by a roadside bomb, ripping into the truck behind her that was carrying Iraqi soldiers.

With ammunition exploding from the blazing truck, Prophit used her body as a shield so a medic could tend to one of the badly burned Iraqis. Later, she laid down fire at a mosque where insurgents were hiding.

Prophit then propped up the critically wounded Iraqi with her body in the tight quarters of the Stryker armored vehicle, placed his head in her lap and tried to keep him conscious as they raced to the hospital.

"My performance was a testament that women can be in combat," she says. But she draws a line. "I definitely don't think women should be in the infantry. It's not because they're not mentally strong enough or physically strong enough. If you mix genders, that alters the dynamic of the group."

After the war ends, the military and Congress will evaluate these kinds of experiences and there will be renewed discussion about what combat is, but any changes will probably be incremental, not dramatic, says Manning, the military expert.

For now, though, she says, "the public accepts that women are in the military, that there are going to be shootings, that they're going to be dying, and that's fine — with most people."

Copyright 2006 The Associated

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

I found this cool article on check cashing places and banks. I was just doing a Google search, because I am frustrated because I see these 'check cashing' places cropping up, and they usually do just right before the Holidays:Finance on the Fringe
America's check cashers don't exploit the poor; they serve them.

Michael W. Lynch | April 2002 Print Edition

That Anna has a problem becomes clear shortly after I sidle up next to her on the cold stone steps of the First Union Bank in downtown New Haven on a chilly fall afternoon. In fact, the 56-year-old woman has many problems -- including, she's quick to point out, more than a few missing teeth. But the problem I'm interested in today is unrelated to dentistry. It's Anna's supposed lack of access to the insides of the very building on whose steps she sits. She is, you see, one of the "unbanked," a clumsy word that rose to some prominence inside the do-gooder wonk circles that swirled in and around the Clinton administration.

Like many Americans who don't purchase financial services from traditional banks, Anna used to do things the conventional way. "I just stopped putting it in," she says of a former savings account. For the last four years, Anna, who earns her living working temporary jobs, has cashed her paychecks at one of New Haven's 10 check cashing stores, such as X-Bankers, which sits half a block away. She purchases money orders to pay her bills and stashes her savings in a cookie jar. When it comes to large purchases, "I just save up for it," says Anna.

She's not alone in declining to purchase financial services from a bank. Sitting next to Anna on the bank steps is her 34-year-old daughter Alvina, who also chooses not to have a bank account. Anna and Alvina are joined by nearly 10 million American families -- 9.5 percent of households in 1998 -- and millions more in countries as diverse as England, Hungary, and South Africa, all of which have recently been reported to have problems with the unbanked.

Not that Anna thinks it's a problem. If she did, she'd empty her cookie jar and march into First Union and open a no-minimum checking account for $5.50 a month. If she wanted to park $100 in the account indefinitely, the fee would drop to zero.

For $2 a month, she could purchase a savings account, which would pay her 0.5 percent interest. If she left at least $200 in the account, she'd pay nothing. But she prefers to use check cashing joints. "They make it easy," says Anna, "and we don't get no lip from nobody."

Whatever Anna believes, plenty of other people think she has a problem -- and that she's either in denial or isn't sophisticated enough to recognize her real financial interests. Academics, consumer activists, and government officials conduct studies and write books exploring why so many Americans don't frequent banks. They propose ways for the government and nonprofit groups to coax the unbanked into the system. Exactly who and what are to blame for Anna's condition -- and the growth of the industry that serves her -- are common topics. How governments ought to regulate the industry to ensure that it doesn't take advantage of the Annas of the world is never far down the agenda.

At their best, the critics are motivated by a wonkism that earnestly wants to pull a few policy levers and convince poor people to save. At their worst, which is much of the time, they are driven by a do-gooder-knows-best mentality that can't conceive of anyone not longing for the middle-class institutions they themselves cherish. Their worldview is governed by a series of related and reinforcing assumptions: Greedy and powerful corporations systematically take advantage of folks who are incapable of managing their own lives; markets are inherently exploitative; and poor people shouldn't have to pay for the financial services they consume.

Poor Habits
Here's the irony: Markets are actually succeeding quite well in serving the financial service needs of Americans with low and moderate incomes. Such people have far more options and choices than they did 20, 30, or 40 years ago. To be sure, the steel bars and Plexiglas that cover the teller windows at check cashing outlets may not be pretty or genteel, especially when compared to the marbled lobbies and high ceilings of conventional banks. They may offend bourgeois sensibilities and notions of what's just. But they also undeniably provide a unique and valuable service to their customers. Contrary to the opinions of critics who would regulate or legislate "fringe banking" out of business, the booming check cashing industry represents a market success worthy of celebration, not a market failure that demands more regulation.

For the critics, the key issue is that saving habits are statistically linked to bank accounts. People who purchase bank accounts are more likely than those who don't to save in ways the government can easily measure. People who save are less likely, over time, to be poor.

"If you go to a check casher instead of opening a bank account, you are never going to get ahead," says Edmund Mierzwinski, a consumer advocate at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG). The Progressive Policy Institute's Anne Kim writes in an August 2001 study of the unbanked, "A bank account is the first step toward giving low-income Americans access to the mainstream tools for wealth creation now taken for granted by the middle-class."

Some of the facts that activists use to build their case are obvious. The unbanked tend to be poor. Eight out of 10 unbanked families earn less than $25,000 a year, one learns from Kim's study. Four out of 10 pull in less than $10,000 in on-the-books income. Yet the study overlooks other equally obvious points. For instance, to a family earning $10,000 a year, where to park their savings might not be a top financial concern.

Consumer activists have created a fantasy world in which greed and racism have conspired to deny the poor traditional banking services. The story line depicts a glorious past when everyone conducted business at community banks, which didn't charge the neediest for the services they provided. Partial banking deregulation in 1980, according to this tale, caused banks to merge, become huge, and pull out of unprofitable areas. Greedy check cashers and payday lenders rushed in to fill the void.

"The reasons check cashers exist in these communities is because banks don't," says Arthi Varma, a policy activist at the California Reinvestment Committee, a consortium of nonprofits that pressures banks to serve low-income communities. Other activists blame bankers for being rotten businessmen, neglecting millions in profits that would come from reaching out to potential customers with moderate and low incomes. "Banks are bad marketers," asserts U.S. PIRG's Mierzwinski. "That's a problem check cashers have taken advantage of."

This story contains some truth. Banking deregulation, for example, did cause banks to rethink, retarget, and reprice products. (The result, however, has been more, not fewer, financial options.) But the critics' larger narrative is flat-out wrong. Check cashers and other low-end financial service providers don't exist because of some market failure, or because poor people suffer from false financial consciousness. Check cashers didn't move en masse into the buildings abandoned by banks. The industry has existed since employers first started paying with checks in the 1930s and owners of stores and bars figured they could make money cashing payroll checks. It is thriving today because it serves people's needs.

The roughly 11,000 check cashing outlets in the U.S. have evolved into financial portals where lower-income Americans cash $55 billion worth of checks each year. (By contrast, banks clear $48 trillion in check payments annually.) The stores offer a range of services, few of which are offered by banks -- and none of which banks can offer at competitive prices. Some banks are slowly moving into the market niche. But if they are going to succeed, they'll end up looking and acting more like check cashers than banks.

Check Out the Choices
Consider the block where Anna sits in downtown New Haven. A diverse ecology of financial services flourishes on the street, with banks and check cashers both present. That same proliferation of options is also evident a mile and a half west on Whalley Avenue, a bustling, albeit low-end, New Haven artery that's packed with dollar stores, pharmacies, fast food franchises, auto repair shops, antique stores, banks, and yes, check cashers. Shaw's Supermarket, which opened in 1998, anchors a new shopping center complex, a 10-minute walk from the center of the Yale campus. A Hollywood Video, Rentown, and laundromat share the large parking lot and serve the low-income neighborhoods along this section of Whalley Avenue.

Check King sits across the street from Shaw's, which houses a Fleet Bank with extended hours. Shaw's operates its own check cashing outlet as well, for those who have successfully cleared two checks at the store and have a Shaw's discount card. It charges nothing to cash patrons' checks and sells money orders, lottery tickets, prepaid phone cards, and Western Union wire transfers. If you wanted to cash checks on the cheap -- combine the best of banks and check cashers, getting immediate access to your money without a fee -- Shaw's could be a one-stop shop.

If lack of access to banking services is what drives people through the doors of check cashers, then the one-two punch of Shaw's check cashing outlet and its Fleet Bank branch should have knocked Check King out of business a long time ago. Or, at the very least, bruised it. Yet according to Jim Consiglio, who has owned and operated Check King for the last 11 years, he hasn't been touched. Nor have the banks that sit just a few blocks away from Check King affected Consiglio's business, which is a family affair. (His parents and three sons help him shovel cash under a Plexiglas partition to Check King's customers.)

"I am not in competition with banks at all," explains Consiglio, an energetic 50-year-old who sports a diamond earring and tightly trimmed goatee. "They don't do what we do. They're in the lending business and the savings business. Cashing checks costs them money."

It's hard for some people to accept, but Consiglio is right: While some services overlap, the core businesses of banks and check cashers are distinct. Check cashers advance people -- pretty much anybody -- money for checks, a service for which they charge a fee. Banks, in general, give their customers access to their own money. While some banks may immediately cash some government checks and many will cash checks drawn on their own accounts, they are not in the check cashing business. If a bank customer shows up on Friday with a $500 paycheck and $50 in her account, she'll get $50. If she shows up at Check King, she'll get $490. "We put our own money on the counter every day," says Consiglio. "We take risks that banks don't."

Selling Quick Cash
This immediate access to cash -- the storeowner's cash -- explains why many people who have bank accounts also use check cashers. "It's easier -- you're in and out in a hurry," says 30-year-old Nancy, as she leaves X-Bankers with cash in hand. She's headed next door to get her nails done. She has a checking account that she sometimes uses to pay rent. Other times, she uses money orders.

The difference between conventional banking and check cashing explains why a Fleet Bank opening across the street didn't cut into Consiglio's business. It also explains why Consiglio felt it when Connecticut State Check Cashing Services, a privately held chain that operates 19 stores, opened a store a half-mile west of Check King. "There's no way around it," he says. "A lot of people live up there."

Check King, like other check cashers, is a combination of many familiar businesses: bank, Mail Boxes Etc., corner store and video arcade. Consiglio sells smokes at $4 a pack, buys gold and diamonds, and dispenses candy and sodas from machines. Like the check casher up the street, he'll wire in customers' utility payments for free and sell them envelopes, stamps, and money orders to pay other bills. He rents mailboxes and sells phone cards. While we talk for nearly an hour on Christmas Eve, three men come in to play his Ms. Pac-Man. Others purchase Lotto tickets.

Protesting Profits
Cashing checks accounts for 65 percent of Consiglio's cash flow, and it's the core service that brings in customers, who cash a total of around $500,000 a week. He charges 2 percent of the face value of payroll checks, 1 percent for government checks. Like other check cashers in Connecticut, where fees are capped by the state at 2 percent, he won't cash personal checks. He relies on the telephone and on an eye trained by expensive experience to ferret out bad checks. Any check not generated by a computer is suspicious, as is a low number on a check. (The latter indicates a fresh company whose payroll account may or may not be funded.) For suspicious checks, he'll call the issuing bank or company. But he's open long after banks are closed, so he often has to make snap judgments. He says fewer than one in 1,000 checks bounce. He's come by his skill the hard way -- from a pile of bad checks in the back office.

While Consiglio's Check King has never been picketed by protesters, he's aware of the gripes against his sort of business. "We are the black sheep of the financial service industry, no doubt about it," he says with a smile. "I'm not standing on a soapbox saying I'm doing anyone a favor. I'm making money. Activists can yell all they want."

And yell they do, if not at Consiglio personally, then at his fellow check cashers. Or at banks for not operating as check cashers and, in some cases, for operating as check cashers. Or at anyone else who provides financial services in the low-income market. (See "Legal Loan Sharking or Essential Service?," page 38.)

"You don't have to be too smart to open up a check cashing store," says U.S. PIRG's Edmund Mierzwinski, who calls banks "greedy" and doesn't believe that banks and check cashers operate different businesses. "There are tremendous opportunities at the margins that banks have left for these guys to make a lot of money preying on the poor."

Testifying last June before the House Committee on Financial Services, Margot Saunders, managing attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, pulled out all the rhetorical stops. She was inveighing against allowing check cashers to participate in the Treasury Department's Electronic Funds Transfer program, which seeks to provide direct deposit accounts for federal employees and benefit recipients. Saunders talked of how "unbanked individuals have been sucked into the underworld of check cashers," and of "captive customers" who are "unsophisticated, often illiterate." She decried "financial apartheid."

"Already," she said, "upper- and middle-income Americans enjoy the safety and convenience of a highly regulated banking industry that provides competitive prices and is closely supervised to limit improper activities....Many poor people, on the other hand, are relegated to fringe bankers who are unregulated, unsupervised, and routinely charge exorbitant rates in the uncompetitive financial services market that exists in the low-income community."

This view is common, self-contradictory, and belied by reality. The financial service arena isn't segregated; it's richly diverse. Banks may be safe and convenient for upper- and middle-income Americans, who get paid regularly with direct deposit, pay their bills with checks, and move infrequently. But that doesn't mean banks are convenient for everyone, especially folks who work odd hours, have erratic incomes, and need access to their money as soon as they earn it.

In any case, even middle- and upper-income Americans have been purchasing financial services at places other than banks for years. "When the Community Reinvestment Act took effect [in the late 1970s], roughly two-thirds of Americans' long term savings were in CRA-covered institutions [i.e., banks or savings and loans]," notes Michael A. Stegman in his 1999 book Savings for the Poor: The Hidden Benefits of Electronic Banking. "Today," says Stegman, a former Clinton administration official who heads the Center for Community Capitalism in the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina, "less than 30 percent are, and the migration from the conventional banking system to mutual funds, money market accounts, and other savings vehicles outside of CRA continues un-abated."

In other words, it's not just people who don't earn a lot of money who are purchasing financial services more tailored to their needs. Swarthmore economist John P. Caskey, who coined the term "fringe banks," notes that upscale private banking, personalized financial advice and execution for the wealthy, boomed in the 1980s along with check cashers. "Just as people at the high end of the income distribution have financial needs that banks find better to meet in a specialized office or branch of the bank, people at the low end have specialized needs," says Caskey, author of the 1994 book Fringe Banking: Check-Cashing Outlets, Pawnshops, and the Poor. "You can think of check cashing outlets as tailoring services to meet those needs."

Bank Failure
So why don't low-income people choose to purchase their services from conventional banks?

They aren't physically excluded from banks. Nor are branch offices hard to find, as many charge. Every non-agenda-driven study on the issue shows that most check cashers operate close to banks. According to the Federal Reserve Board in its most recent Survey of Consumer Finances, a mere 1.2 percent of the unbanked say that lack of convenient hours or locations is what keeps them from opening a checking account. A 1999 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston found that in New England banks outnumber check cashers in the areas they both serve. A 1998 Federal Reserve Bank of New York study of New York City found that 71 percent of check cashers share a zip code with at least one bank and 19 percent coexist with more than 10 bank branches. "You could put 1,000 bank branches in low-income areas, and check cashers would still thrive," says Swarthmore's Caskey.

Clearly, it's not because check cashers don't face competition. Rather, their customers conclude that they not only are more convenient and offer more services but are less expensive to boot. This must surely come as a surprise to activists, who often paint check cashers as just one notch up from loan sharks.

Reform-minded studies of what it costs to be unbanked are typically abstract accounting exercises that conflate being unbanked with being dependent on check cashers -- and being "banked" with paying only the minimum monthly fees with no bounced-check or ATM fees (an unrealistic assumption, even for the middle class). For example, a 2001 Fannie Mae Foundation study claims that "fringe services for cash conversion and bill paying would cost an average $20,000-income household between $86 and $500 a year, while the same services at a bank would cost only $30 to $60." A 1997 study by the Consumer Federation of America, which works closely with U.S. PIRG and the National Consumer Law Center, found that the annual cost of cashing a $320 weekly paycheck ranged from $160 to $960. And a 1999 report by the Massachusetts Division of Banks claims that individuals pay 3.3 to 40.8 times as much to turn checks into cash at a check casher than they would at a bank offering low-cost checking accounts.

But when less myopic researchers actually talk to the people who don't purchase any financial services from banks, they find that the unbanked spend very little to turn their checks into cash. Constance R. Dunham, a senior economist at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the federal bank regulator, conducted two massive field studies of New York City and Los Angeles. To her surprise, Dunham found that two out of three unbanked individuals paid nothing to get cash. They either had no income, were paid in cash, cashed their checks for free at a supermarket or at the bank that issued the check, or had a friend or relative cash their checks. A mere 11 percent of the unbanked spent more than $100 a year to cash checks. Add in costs for money orders and bill payments -- the other service a checking account provides -- and a whopping 17 percent of the unbanked spend more than $100 a year on financial services.

Given that the break-even point for banks is roughly $100 a year per account, it's hardly a mystery that banks don't aggressively market to the small percentage of Americans who don't already buy their services. "The survey suggests that many people may be unbanked, not because they face barriers to obtaining bank accounts," concludes Dunham, "but because they can better economize on the costs of financial services without having a bank account."

First Bank of Sisyphus
This point hasn't fully sunk in with policy advocates, who work D.C. hours to bring "universal" banking to America. They have wielded a variety of policy tools over the years, none with much success. The big club on the supply side is the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, which compels federally insured banks to operate in unprofitable low-income neighborhoods. But physical access just isn't a problem.

There are no federal requirements that banks actually offer low-cost accounts, a fact that causes much pain among the advocates. But it wouldn't matter if there were. Most banks already offer low-cost accounts, and so long as an individual hasn't abused a checking account by chronically bouncing checks, he is free to sign up. Seven states regulate where the feds don't, mandating low-cost "lifeline accounts." These laws have had little effect. Many banks voluntarily offer products that are even less expensive than the government-designed accounts.

In the latter years of the Clinton administration, Congress gave the Treasury Department $30 million to develop a program called "First Accounts." This effort, still in the works, will funnel taxpayer money to credit unions, community groups, Indian tribes, and even labor unions. In turn, these groups will do such innovative things as provide financial education, engage in advocacy research on why even more money is needed, and offer low-cost accounts and no-fee ATMs.

The most ambitious effort to increase bank use, Electronic Funds Transfer 1999 (EFT '99), came from Robert Rubin's Treasury Department. EFT '99 was prompted by a 1996 law that encouraged the Treasury Department to pay federal wages and benefits by direct deposit.

"Millions of low-income, 'bankless' Americans may soon become part of the financial mainstream, thanks to the recent amendment of an obscure law, advances in banking technology, and proposals to use supplemental savings programs to strengthen social security," predicted UNC's Michael Stegman, who wrote a book on the effort. Rubin said the accounts "could have significant economic and social effects."

Then again, maybe not. In fact, the accounts have had no economic or social effects, something Rubin should have foreseen. Here's how the product designed by the Treasury Department works: The federal government sends banks a one-time setup subsidy of $12.60 for every account they open. Banks can charge customers up to $3 a month and must provide at least four withdrawals and four balance inquiries per month, either at ATMs or at teller windows. These accounts don't offer checking services, which means that bill paying must be done with cash or money orders. Given that most banks charge between $3 and $6 each for money orders, the total could really add up.

Such accounts are really good for only two groups: people who can't get a traditional bank account due to a history of bounced checks, balance problems, and the like; and suckers willing to overpay for minimal services. There appears to be little interest among either group. By last spring, just over 11,000 people nationwide had purchased these accounts.

Market Response
While federal efforts to meet the needs of low-income Americans continue to fail, entrepreneurs continue to experiment with services that people may actually use. 7-Eleven is trying out automated check cashing machines in a few of its stores. Other companies offer payroll debit cards for people who don't purchase financial services from banks. The highest-profile entry into this market is Visa, which rolled out a payroll card last July in a joint effort with some of the nation's largest banks.

A few banks and credit unions are dipping their toes into the check cashing business. Liberty Bank has operated a check cashing store in Middletown, Connecticut, since 1994. In New York City, Bethex Federal Credit Union, a small operation designed for low-income customers, partnered with RiteCheck Cashing in 2001. A bigger experiment is under way in Southern California, where Union Bank of California is operating 12 of its own check cashing outlets, known as Cash & Save, and partnering with Nix Check Cashing to offer banking products in Nix's 47 branches. At least for the time being, these new, hybrid models are the cutting edge of innovative financial services geared to low-income Americans. Which also explains why they've proven controversial among consumer advocates, who retreat to their check-cashers-exist-because-banks-abandoned-the-poor fantasy and decry the new hybrids.

"The need for check cashers arose when banks left inner-city neighborhoods," says Shelley Curran, a policy analyst at the West Coast regional office of Consumers Union. "It's a little ironic that this market was created because banks fled -- and now they are coming back in an entirely different fashion."

The California Reinvestment Committee opposed the Union Bank of California and Nix Check Cashing partnership. "If a bank is coming into a low-income community, it should come in as a bank, not a check casher, which often provides substandard services in terms of getting into mainstream banking, building assets, building wealth, those types of things," says the committee's Arthi Varma. She is especially concerned that Nix's customers won't be able to figure out the difference between banking and check cashing services. Says Varma: "People go to check cashers to conduct their financial transactions. At a typical check cashing store there's not a banking window. People are not going to have the propensity to walk toward that window and ask the questions and find out what's going on."

Tennessee Valley Banking Authority
Here's a question with a definite answer: What do consumer advocates really want? The fundamental reality is that financial services, for rich and poor alike, cost money. What activists really want is for banks to make their wealthier customers subsidize the poor even more than they already do under the Community Reinvestment Act. "The point is that banks don't offer services at low enough prices, and we are trying to encourage them to do so," says U.S. PIRG's Mierzwinski. "I think banks should be treated somewhat as if they are public utilities, because banks are in fact recipients of tremendous government benefits."

That's not going to happen. Banks operate in a world of diverse choices, and their customers will quit buying their services if they are priced too high for some consumers in order to subsidize others. Indeed, this has already happened, as the massive flow of money from traditional bank accounts into money markets and mutual funds attests. As important, banks are not seen as public utilities, and it's unlikely they ever will be viewed as such. Most of all, though, consumers, even low-income ones, are not idiots. All evidence suggests that people do know what's good for them and seek out the financial services that best meet their needs. That entrepreneurs like Check King's Jim Consiglio earn a living from meeting those needs is a sign that markets are working -- not just for the Consiglios of the world but for the low-income folks who fill his store every week.

Yet even as markets become more sophisticated and entrepreneurs develop more-nuanced products to meet the financial service needs of the poor, there will be plenty of people in Washington wanting to do something about it. That is something you can take to the bank.

Just don't expect to see Anna, the 56-year-old temp worker in New Haven, waiting in line. Like thousands of other people of very modest means, she prefers to spend her financial service dollars at check cashers. I ask her why.

"To save us from the agony of going to a bank, we go to cash and check," she says. "It's cheaper. It saves us aggravation. I'd rather go to cash and check and keep steppin'."

Printer Friendly Send to a Friend More Articles by Michael W. Lynch
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Monday, November 27, 2006

The Day

Well, tomorrow is the day. 38 years old. LOL. I don't feel that old. I feel like I am twenty something. I have mentioned that I was born on Thanksgiving Day of 1968. I guess that a lot of things were going on in the world on the day I was born. Right smack dab in the middle of the Vietnam War. Johnson was President. Scary when I think that I am almost 40 years old!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Here is what wikipedia says

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George Russell Weller
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George Russell Weller (born December 7, 1916) is a retired salesman from Santa Monica, California, who gained notoriety as the motorist in a fatal car accident, fueling a national debate on safety risks posed by elderly drivers. On October 20, 2006, Weller was found guilty of 10 counts of vehicular manslaughter. The following month, the judge sentenced him to five years' felony probation, saying that Weller deserved to go prison but at nearly 90 years of age and suffering from heart disease, he would simply be a burden to taxpayers. He was also ordered to pay about $107,100 in fines and restitution.

[edit] Santa Monica Farmer's Market massacre
At 1:47 p.m. on July 16, 2003, Weller, then age 86, drove his red 1992 Buick Le Sabre westbound down Arizona Ave. towards the popular Third Street Promenade. The last few blocks of the street before the ocean had been closed for the weekly farmers' market. Weller struck a car from behind, then accelerated around a road closure sign, crashed through wooden sawhorses, and plowed into the busy crowd, driving nearly 1,000 feet (305 meters) at speeds between 40 and 60 mph (65 and 95 km/h). The entire sequence of collisions took at least 10 seconds. The car was eventually brought to a halt by the body of a victim trapped underneath. Ten people were killed, and 63 were injured. Weller told investigators he had accidentally put his foot on the accelerator instead of the brake, then tried to brake but could not stop. Days after the crash, Weller issued a statement saying he was distraught and heartbroken, and his attorney called it an accident.

Some observers questioned Weller's account, noting that witnesses reported:

Seeing no brake lights on Weller's car;
That Weller stared straight ahead as he drove through the crowd, victims flying over his windshield;
That Weller avoided parked cars to the side of the road, steering instead directly down the middle of the crowded street; and
That upon exiting his car, cane in hand, Weller casually asked how many people he had hit.
Weller's supporters argue that:

Weller suffered from arthritis, nausea as a side-effect of medication, and reduced mobility from a hip replacement.
Weller had a relatively clean driving record at the DMV, with one minor accident and no violations. Weller had passed a vision test and written test on renewing his driver's license in November 2000.
Since the tragedy resulted from a "misapplication" of the pedal, Weller had committed an accident, not a crime. "Pedal error cannot constitute negligence," stated Mark Overland, an attorney for Weller.

[edit] Aftermath timeline
On July 16, 2003 footage of a previous accident Weller had been in ten years earlier surfaced. While that accident was not fatal, he had driven his car off the road in much the same fashion as the Promenade accident and the footage was nearly identical in that it showed a confused Weller wandering around his crashed car in a heavily populated, public area. This further sparked debate surrounding what warning signs authorities should examine when dealing with driving privileges and the elderly.

On July 24, 2003, it was reported that state officials revoked Weller's driver's license.

On January 5, 2004, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office charged George Russell Weller with ten counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, carrying a penalty of up to 18 years in prison. Weller's attorneys were ordered to surrender their client within 24 hours.

On January 6, 2004, Weller pleaded not guilty to the charges before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paula Adele Mabrey and was released on his own recognizance.

On January 14, 2004, victims and relatives filed suit against the City of Santa Monica and Bayside District Corp., organizers of the Santa Monica farmers' market, alleging that the accident could have been prevented by the installation of metal barriers. Attorney Geoff Wells, representing victims and their relatives, remarked that "[The defendants] failed to take any reasonable steps to provide protection for the patrons at the farmer's market."

On October 25, 2004, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader convened a preliminary hearing to determine whether Weller would stand trial.

On November 3, 2004, Weller was ordered to stand trial, and his arraignment was scheduled for November 17.

On December 8, 2004, after a delay due to poor health, Weller was arraigned, again pleaded not guilty to the charges, and waived his right to a speedy trial.

On March 18, 2005, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert O'Neill denied a motion by Weller's attorneys to dismiss the manslaughter charges, remarking that "hitting the accelerator instead of the brake seems to me to be a clearly negligent act."

On October 20, 2006, by a unanimous verdict, jurors found Weller guilty on all charges, convicting him of vehicular manslaughter for killing 10 pedestrians. The sentence was to be decided by the Court, with a maximum penalty of 18 years.

On November 20, 2006, Weller received probation on all counts after a judge determined that Weller was too ill to go to prison, where he would likely be a burden on prison authorities and taxpayers. Weller was a month short of his 90th birthday. He was also ordered to pay more than $100,000 in fines and restitution to the victims' families.

[edit] References

How should he be punished? From the National

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20 — An aged man who killed 10 people when his car plowed into a crowded farmers’ market was sentenced Monday to five years’ probation by a judge who cited the defendant’s failing health in not imposing a prison sentence.

The driver, George R. Weller, now 89, deserves to be behind bars both for the magnitude of what occurred and for his lack of public remorse since, said the judge, Michael M. Johnson of Los Angeles County Superior Court. But imprisoning Mr. Weller, who is bedridden and under 24-hour nursing care, “wouldn’t do anybody any good” and would burden taxpayers with the cost of his medical care, the judge said.

As at most of his trial, the defendant was not in court Monday, because he has a heart ailment and other medical problems. He was convicted last month of 10 counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and could have been sentenced to up to 18 years in prison.

Mr. Weller was 86 on July 16, 2003, when he turned his 1992 Buick LeSabre into the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market and kept pressing on the accelerator even as his car smashed into a crowd of shoppers. In addition to those killed — nine adults and a 2-year-old — more than 70 people were injured.

Mr. Weller’s lawyers said he had confused the brake with the accelerator, and the incident brought a national debate about whether stricter measures should be adopted to ensure that the elderly are competent to drive.

Judge Johnson handed down the sentence despite prosecutors’ efforts to have the proceedings delayed so that the district attorney’s office could obtain an evaluation of Mr. Weller’s medical condition from doctors at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

“Our office felt we didn’t have the medical and psychiatric information necessary to make a reasoned decision” on a sentencing recommendation, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman, “and that’s why we asked for further testing.”

Mr. Weller’s apparent lack of remorse has been a central issue for the families of the dead. In issuing the sentence, which also requires the defendant to pay restitution to the families, Judge Johnson said he would “never understand Mr. Weller’s indifference to the victims in this case” or his “bullheaded refusal to accept responsibility.”

Testifying at the hearing, the family of Lynne Ann Weaver, one of those killed, condemned Mr. Weller’s frequent absence from court and his failure to offer an apology.

Ms. Weaver was 47 and the mother of a teenage daughter when she was struck. A sister of hers, Gretchen Haug, told the court Monday: “I should not be here today, or ever at all. I’m very angry. There’s no excuse for what Mr. Weller has done.”

Still, another sister, Erin Villalobos, said after the hearing that she was satisfied with the sentence and that “I believe he’s serving time in his own prison.”

Dr. Robert Bone, a nephew of Mr. Weller, testified that the defendant had spent much of his time volunteering with civic organizations after retiring as a supermarket supplier. Ever since that day at the farmers’ market, Dr. Bone said, his uncle has led a life “dominated by guilt and depression” and asks him to offer a blessing for the victims at every family holiday gathering.

Mr. Weller’s lawyers say they are appealing his conviction on grounds of possible jury misconduct. One accusation is that a juror spoke to his minister about the case before the verdicts were reached.

As for the sentence, “I think the judge did the right thing,” said one of the defense lawyers, Mark E. Overland. “Also, we’re talking here about an individual who did not commit an offense that was intentional” and who “except for 20 seconds, lived a life that all of us can envy.”

More Articles in National »

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Days are here!

Well, it is getting close to Thanksgiving Day, and it has been a while since my last post here, so I had figured that I had better get to it.! The highlights of my week: Tomorrow, tomorrow, I am so ready for tomorrow. I leave work early , so I can go get rid of this mop I have and get a perm and get colored so I can finally get RID of all this grey hair! It will take about 2 and a half hours, and cost me a pretty penny, but it will be worth it. I will only work until about 2:15 pm. Then I get to take my favourite GSD home for a few days(until this Sunday) then I get my mop taken care of( sorry no pics until I get my digital camera) . Wednesday, I will work until 4 pm. Come home, relax, enjoy some quite time with my pooch until Thanksgiving afternoon. I then head on over to my brothers house for a Thanksgiving get together with my father, brother, sister in law, and some friends and cousins. Then feed the security, then head home. The only thing wrong is that my sis and mother will not be there. My sister lives in Ark and cannot come up because of work, and my mother has to go down to tend to her God mother in Tyler, Texas. I do not envy her. Tyler, Texas is a looong ways away from Topeka, Kansas.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

What time is it?


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Never been there but I hear it is nice

You Belong in Brooklyn

Down to earth and hard working, you're a true New Yorker.
And although you may be turning into a yuppie, you never forget your roots.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Property Taxes

I just recieved in the mail my property tax statement for this coming December and for this coming May. In Kansas, the first half of property taxes is due by December 20th of this year. Lets say that your property taxes total 3 thousand dollars. Fifteen hundred is due on or by December 20th 2006 and fifteen hundred is due by May 10th, 2007. You can also choose to pay the entire amount of three thousand on or by December 20th 2006. Got it? Ok. When your statement is mailed to you, the county that you reside in, or the county that you have your business in, gives you a breakdown of how much money that you have paid in property taxes, how much you spent( for instance, you paid the county library 250 dollars in taxes) and will compare what you paid this year to what you paid last year. It is very convenient, and easy to understand. Looking at my statement, I see that my property taxes have slightly increased, by about 60 or 70 dollars. I won't tell you how much I owe, but I will say this: I have known people that have had to pay more. I hate paying taxes, but it has to be done. The government needs me. Rather, the government needs my money! I guess that paying taxes is a price to pay for living in the good ole US of A. And I am forever learning: I finally learned(shoot it is on the back of my statement!) what a mill levy is!

She's baaaaaaack

I, SunflowerKansas3, The WORD WHOMP QUEEN, has returned! Check me out at Just don't challenge me: YOU WILL GO DOWN!

She's baaaaaaack

I, SunflowerKansas3, The WORD WHOMP QUEEN, has returned! Check me out at Just don't challenge me: YOU WILL GO DOWN!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I am glad

I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooo glad that the elections are finally over. !!!

Not just in America!

EU warns of obesity crisis and hails retailers who commit to healthier food

The Associated Press
BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Commission on Thursday hailed several food and beverage multinationals — often seen as culprits in obesity — for pledging to help fight the flab in Europe.

EU Public Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou praised, among others, Unilever NV, PepsiCo, The Coca Cola Company, McDonald's Corp. and Kraft Foods Inc. for committing to voluntary steps to reverse Europe's widening girth and promote physical fitness at a time when the number of overweight children in the EU is rising by 400,000 a year.

At a press conference with top executives of these companies, he said it was crucial food and drink companies cooperate in the fight against flab because the EU cannot legislate against products that are not dangerous.

If Europe wants to curb overweight, "we have to form public-private partnerships. We are all part of the problem — industry, parents, consumers, the authorities, doctors — and will have to be part of the solution."

Kyprianou said the European Commission has reaped 146 commitments from makers of soft drinks and fast food to reformulate their products by cutting sugar, fat and salt levels, make labels clearer, agree on common advertising norms and promote healthy lifestyles.

EU soft drink makers, for instance, have agreed not to advertise their products to children under 12 and to provide consumers with more information on the calorie content of their products.

"These commitments are good examples of concrete and verifiable action undertaken by industry to tackle obesity and overweight," said Kyprianou. He called on others to follow suit.

Kyprianou cited World Health Organization data showing that 20 percent of European children are overweight and that there ranks swell by 400,000 a year.

Obesity is more prevalent in southern Europe where traditional Mediterranean diets are giving way to more processed foods rich in fat, sugar and salt.

The WHO estimates that in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Malta more than 30 percent of children aged 7 to 11 are obese, compared to over 20 percent in Britain, Ireland, Cyprus and Sweden and between 10 to 20 percent in France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Bulgaria.

ext week, the WHO and the EU jointly host a conference in Istanbul, Turkey, to place obesity high on European governments' agendas.

The European Commission released the findings of a Eurobarometer survey that said most Europeans consider themselves to be in good health, but that 38 percent feel they are overweight.

It said the vast majority believe "obesity in children has increased over the last five years" and that food advertising and promotion influences children's eating habits.

Approximately one in five respondents declared he or she had dieted over the last 12 months, either voluntarily or on their doctors advice.The survey's margin of error is 3.1 percentage points.

On the Net:—publication/eurobarometers—en.htm—determinants/life—style/nutrition/nutrit


Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

School money scam. News from Cjonline

USD 501 Check Scam -- Whose fault?

By The Capital-Journal editorial board
Remember that $515,000 that Topeka Unified School District 501 lost to an international check fraud operation?

Fortunately, the school district hasn't forgotten it. It is still trying to recover as much of it as it can from those they believe have some responsibility for the loss.

The school district is suing US Bank, alleging that the bank should have noticed the discrepancies in checks cashed by the scammers and put a stop to it.

On Friday, the bank asked Shawnee County District Court Judge Franklin Theis to dismiss the school district's case or issue a summary judgment.

Theis listened to oral arguments for 90 minutes, then told attorneys not to expect a ruling until the first of next year.

That means the issue is still alive, for now, and gives USD 501 taxpayers some hope that at least some of the money might be recovered.

Not that we're prejudging the case and assuming the bank was at fault. But it will be nice to know how much of the fault should be assigned to whom, and getting the tax relief will be nice if the school district is right.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Plastic surgery

I am watching one of those Learning/Health channels on televison about people going through plastic surgery. Unless I am in an accident and need corrective surgery, I WILL NEVER GET PLASTIC SURGERY. EVER.Personally I cannot really understand why women get breast augmentation or face lifts. I mean, if thats what they want, then I won't get in their way if they want it done. But I won't do it.Never. To me, it looks phony and fake.In my opinion, it is not attractive at all!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Can Republicans keep taking hits like this? Yet another scandal

From AOL News:Haggard, who as president of the National Association of Evangelicals wielded influence on Capitol Hill and condemned both gay marriage and homosexuality, resigned on Thursday after a Denver man named Mike Jones claimed that he had many drug-fueled trysts with Haggard.

On Friday, Haggard said he that received a massage from Jones after being referred to him by a Denver hotel, and that he bought meth for himself from the man.

But Haggard said he never had sex with Jones. And as for the drugs, "I was tempted, but I never used it," the 50-year-old Haggard told reporters from his vehicle while leaving his home with his wife and three of his five children.

Jones, 49, denied selling meth to Haggard. "Never," he told MSNBC. Haggard "met someone else that I had hooked him up with to buy it."

'Tis the Season...
For political scandal. Hard to deny, it's been one nasty election. Keep up with the latest buzz.
· Comment on the Elections Blog

Jones also scoffed at the idea that a hotel would have sent Haggard to him.

"No concierge in Denver would have referred me," he said. He said he had advertised himself as an escort only in gay publications or on gay Web sites.

Jones did not immediately return calls from The Associated Press on Friday.

In addition to resigning his post at the NAE, which claims 30 million members, Haggard stepped aside as leader of his 14,000-member New Life Church pending a church investigation. In a TV interview earlier this week, he said: "Never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife, I'm faithful to my wife."

The NAE's executive committee issued a statement Friday praising Haggard's service but saying "it is especially serious when a pastor and prominent Christian leader deliberately violates God's standards of conduct."

The statement did not mention the allegations against Haggard but noted he had admitted to "some indiscretions."

"Due to the seriousness of Rev. Haggard's misconduct while in the leadership roles he held, we anticipate that an extended period of recovery will be appropriate," the statement said.

In Denver, where Jones said his encounters with Haggard took place, police said in a statement they were "watching this situation unfold and plan on reaching out to the involved parties for information on crimes that may have been committed."

The statement did not say whether an active investigation was under way, and police spokeswoman Virginia Quinones did not immediately return a call.

District attorney's spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said a public admission isn't enough by itself to bring a case, but "if we can prove criminal conduct, we will" file charges.

Jones claims Haggard paid him for sex nearly every month for three years until August. He said Haggard identified himself as "Art." Jones said that he learned who Haggard really was when he saw the evangelical leader on television.

Jones said he went public with the allegations because Haggard has supported a measure on Tuesday's ballot that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. Jones said he was also angry that Haggard in public condemned gay sex.

Haggard, who had been president since 2003 of the NAE, has participated in conservative Christian leaders' conference calls with White House staffers and lobbied members of Congress last year on U.S. Supreme Court nominees.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto said Friday Haggard had visited the White House once or twice and had participated in some of the conference calls, but he did not have exact numbers.

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He declined to comment further, calling the matter a personal issue for Haggard. Fratto said he did not believe the allegations would discourage conservative Christians from voting Tuesday.

Corwin Smidt, a political scientist at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and director of the Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics there, said Haggard's role with the association gave him some political clout, but the group's focus is more on religion than political activism.

"It isn't necessarily that all evangelicals are paying close attention to what he's saying and doing, but he is an important leader," Smidt said.

James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family, an influential conservative Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs, said he was "heartsick" over the allegations. He described Haggard as his close friend and colleague.

Aaron Stern, another pastor at New Life, told AP Television News on Friday that Haggard is a man of integrity and that church members don't know which of the allegations to believe.

Stern said has been telling church members seeking his advice that "People fail us. ... People do things we don't expect them to do, but in the midst of all of that our god is faithful, our god is strong."

Jones took a polygraph test Friday, and his answers to questions about whether he had sexual contact with Haggard "indicated deception," said John Kresnick, who administered the test.

Jones told reporters afterward he was disappointed by the results. "I am confused why I failed that, other than the fact that I'm totally exhausted," he said.

Kresnick, who said he administered the test for free at the request of KHOW radio in Denver, said exhaustion could have been a factor in the results.

"There's a possibility that his being mentally and physically exhausted could have caused him some problems," he said. Kresnick, who said he had 25 years' experience as a polygraph tester.

James Earle of Colorado Springs, a retired FBI polygraph tester, questioned whether fatigue could affect Jones' results.

"I don't think that just lack of sleep would cause a person to go truthful or deceptive, one way or the other," he said. Earle said he could not comment on the specifics of Jones' test without seeing the questions and the test charts.

Associated Press Writers Robert Weller

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bad News from my hometown newspaper

Attorney foresees clinic raids

The Associated Press
A day after Attorney General Phill Kline confirmed receiving patient records from two abortion clinics, attorney Pedro Irigonegaray said Wednesday that he fears Kline will raid those clinics to create potential "photo opportunities."

Kline called those statements "reckless and knowingly false."

The Republican attorney general began a new television ad Tuesday night defending his two-year pursuit of the records of 90 patients as necessary to investigate rapes of children and potentially illegal late-term abortions.

Democratic challenger Paul Morrison continued to criticize Kline's efforts to obtain the records as invading patients' privacy. But Mark Simpson, Morrison's campaign manager, wouldn't predict what the Democrat would do with the records if he is elected, saying only, "He'll evaluate the situation."

Kline also faced criticism over his activities involving churches, with Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a July presentation by Kline at a Topeka church and the church's subsequent $1,339 donation to SWT Communications, a company run by Kline's wife.

The race remained intense and bitter with less than a week before the Nov. 7 election.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Seriously, what is wrong with these assholes?

What is wrong with these asshole pedophiles??? Holy shit:Ex-coach sentenced in child porn case

Breaking News Video

See More Breaking Videos A D V E R T I S E M E N T
The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The former football coach at the University of St. Mary was sentenced today to 13 years in federal prison for trafficking in child pornography.

Scott Frear, 43, of Leavenworth, was sentenced during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil. He pleaded guilty in June, admitting he sent sexual images of himself and others to someone he thought to be a 14-year-old New Hampshire boy. The teen was actually a New Hampshire detective who was investigating computer sex crimes.

Frear, who sent the images in July 2005, was indicted by a federal grand jury in January.

Frear began coaching at St. Mary in 2002 and was the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference coach of the year that season. He previously was offensive coordinator at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo.

He resigned Aug. 16 from St. Mary, hours after university officials learned that he was being investigated.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Back to posting

Well, I am sorry that I have been kinda lax in posting here and this time, I have no excuse: I only worked about 42 hours this week. I usually work more. I was sick on Friday(yuck)which was yesterday, and that costs me money. YUCK. I am still posting on the Glenn Beck forums (as SunflowerKs40) and I post on the AOL boards as RedstateKansan39. I enjoy em both, but the AOL boards are the wildest , and IMHO, the funnier of the two. I post from the ProChoice position. I enjoy debates, I can be very stubborn and argumentative sometimes. Not always a bad thing. Maybe I was a lawyer in a former life? Ha ha ha.I will post some more news articles, I like the ones that I get from my hometown newspaper, esp the strange news. Church tomorrow at 9 am!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Do NOT piss this man off

Angry shopkeeper uses forklift to lift parked car that blocked access to storage container

The Associated Press
MAHOPAC, N.Y. — A shopkeeper got so angry about the way a man had parked his car that he climbed into a forklift, placed the fork under the car and lifted it off the ground, police said Wednesday.

Wasek Safrah, 51, of Ossining, also punched out both the offending car and the man who parked it, said Lt. Brian Karst of the Carmel police. He was arrested on charges of criminal mischief and assault.

Karst said the episode began at about 5 p.m. Oct. 16 at a strip mall on Route 6 in Mahopac. Safrah felt the car, though legally parked, was blocking his access to a storage container or trash bin and got into a heated argument with the driver, who was an employee of another store and was no longer in the car. Police did not release that man's name.

The police report, issued Tuesday night, says Safrah then punched the side of the vehicle, denting it. Then he took the controls of a forklift in the parking lot, maneuvered its lifting mechanism under the car and lifted it upward. The car was not moved out of the parking spot, however.

"We don't know what his intention was," Karst said.

Karst said he did not know who owned the forklift, but it probably belonged to another of the businesses.

After lifting the car, Safrah allegedly punched the driver in the mouth. The victim was injured but not seriously, Karst said.

The car was eventually lowered from the forklift.

Safrah was released pending an appearance in Carmel Town Court, still to be scheduled. Neither the police nor the court had information on who might represent him. There was no phone listing under his name in Ossining.

Copyright 2006 The Associated

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Signs.. and prolife child exploitation???

As I was driving home my regular route on the avenue this evening, I noticed a sign that had a picture of the cutest little baby girl on it. The backdrop was pink. The little girl was smiling with a frock of dark brown hair on her head. She had the cutest little pumpkin face that I have ever seen. Then I read what the sign says: 'God made me. My parents adopted me.' Then there was a phone number for some right to life agency and an adoption agency. While I have issues with the right to life arguments, I have no issues with adoption. Then I think further: Clearly these two groups are exploiting this child, exploiting her 'cuteness' to garner the 'oohhs and ahhhs' of people, using this child to get their point across. Has anyone else thought of this when you see those cutesy so called 'prolife'pics? Your thoughts, please.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I am trying to somehow link youtube to this blog- so be patient with me, I am not as technologically advanced as some. My computer still keeps freezing up on me. And I have got this irritating skin tag that I am getting rid of tomorrow. Whimper whimper whine whine LOL

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A joke from my email inbox!

A man was walking home alone late one foggy night, when behind him he hears:




Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward him.




Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him





He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him. However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping.
Bumping and clapping toward him.
The man screams and reaches for something, anything,
but all he can find is a bottle of cough syrup! Desperate, he throws the cough syrup at the casket...


(hopefully you're ready for this!!!)

The coffin stops

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Amish Paradise

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Debate and forums

hey looks like I need to update here! Well I have been sorta busy. Now I am waiting for my car to be thoroughly fixed(That will be sometime next week) Have the dent fixed and then have a new blower fan installed. Tell me about it. The automoblie fix it industry is very lucrative here in Kansas. Thankfully, most of the mechanics are honest, decent people. On to the Debate and forums. I post quite a bit on the AOL abortion boards. The abortion boards are sort of on the wain , or at least have been for the past month or so. When the trolls get to be too much(happens on occassion) I have to take a break for a while. My iggy box gets a good work out. I won't name names. The trolls know who they are. I am currently posting on other boards that seem to have less trolls and more debate and friendly banter. In fact currently I am in a pretty good debate on the GB forum and the subject is pornography. You have to be a member of the Glenn Beck Insider program to contribute, (i.e. monthly fees attached) so that eliminates the trolls. Glenn Beck has a radio program which is funny as hell. He has a tv show on Headline News, it is good but the radio program is much better. He is a recovering addict, former disc jockey, former Liberal, is now a Mormon, now a Libertarian.. well you get the idea. You really have to watch and listen to him to understand. Well, now I am off to the auto shop. I get my car back ina few days, then it goes back into the shop again::sigh::

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I hate stupid people

Sometimes, I just hate people. Rather, I hate stupid people. I hate stupid people ESPECIALLY when it comes to animals. I have 2 examples: The first example is the lovely couple that gets a dog. Ok, so far so good. they take care of the dog. Dog becomes attached to couple. A few years later, said couple has a child. Dog gets jealous of child and nips at child. Then stupid couple take dog to the pound because they are afraid dog will hurt kid. Does this idiot couple really bother to work with child and dog? NO. Furthermore, why does stupid couple get the dog first before having the kid? Why can't they get their lives in better shape before having kids? Ok, second scenario: Unmarried college age couple move into apartment together. They work part time. They are college students and really have no money. A friend offers them two puppies. Do they accept? OF COURSE!. They will readily accept with out a brain in their heads. After all, they are just cute little puppies, and what brainless, broke, apartment dwelling, college duo could resist? Of course the best place for these cute little pups to stay is in the bathroom! Why not? The last place that a landlord will look is in the bathroom. Thankfully the bathroom floor is tiled, otherwise the cute widdle pups will have already started in on their fun with destroying things.And , this idiot duo surmises, pups DO grow, but these labs will not get THAT big. And they can be taught not to bark. Besides, we won't get caught. We won't get evicted and thrown back on the streets only to go crawling back to our parents to live with them again.. and nawwwwww the pups won't end up in the pound.. our lives together.. we will eventually get married and we wont be broke and we will eventually have kids togther... like I said sometimes I HATE PEOPLE.