Welcome to the local Texas hospital in the year 2020. The Emergency Department will be brightly lit at night and ambulances will continue to run. Your tests will be on schedule, and the doctor will visit you for 2-5 minutes once a day. Your room will be spartan but clean. An aide will fill your pitcher with ice water every morning and take your vital signs throughout the day. What will be missing is the critical link: a Registered Nurse readily available at the bedside.
The statistics are appallingly bad at this point:
“In 2005, Texas had approximately 6,300 graduates from Texas schools of nursing leading to initial RN licensure. In order to increase RN supply to meet demand by 2020, a total of approximately 9,700 nurse graduates need to be produced in 2010; approximately 18,000 in 2015 and almost 25,000 nurse graduates need to be produced in 2020.”
View link here.
The nurse will be there for you in small capacity. The R.N. is the one who will start your intravenous fluid and administer your medications. Beyond that, good luck! Your nurse will be burdened with duplication in charting. He or she will be burdened with signing off on multiple forms which have nothing to do with your care, but everything to do with liability issues. (If you do anything stupid and irrational to injure yourself in our hospital, lawyers will create a new form for nurses to fill out documenting that they are vigilant against this new anomalous danger.) Your nurse will be fatigued from working mandatory staffing patterns which make no allowance for any creativity in scheduling to meet the needs of children and family. My hospital just moved to mandatory twelve hour shifts on the med-surg floors. No creative options for mothers of small children.
One in five R.N.'s flees the bedside within one year of graduation. Why would a R.N. obtain a degree to then walk away so soon? Here are just a few possibilities:
*Lack of appreciation. My (unnamed) facility gave nurses a fifteen dollar Target card for the “holiday gift”. Many of us give our card to an unfortunate member of the community. We do get a free holiday meal and a plate or two of bar-b-cue during the summer. Another area hospital did a bit worse this past Christmas. Their nurses received an e-card greeting for the holiday. God forbid the hospital send a card with a stamp. Coffee cups that say “nurse” and tote bags with the hospital logo are also favorite gifts chosen by hospital administrators for their hard-working nurses. No expense is spared for these little tokens of “appreciation”. While never fantasizing over an AIG bonus big enough to buy a yacht, what nurses are given can generally be found at an area Dollar Store. I have purchased better items for the homeless. Beyond that, I refuse to carry a tote bag or wear a T-shirt with the name of my facility. While the hospital publicity genies see free advertisement, I see a potential stalker who has a nurse fetish hanging around in the parking garage.
*Lack of economic upward mobility. Raises tend to be modest for the most part. Studies have shown that factoring in COLA, nurses pretty well remain within a static economic strata. I read a study several years ago which stated that twenty years post-graduation, R.N.’s had virtually the same earning power as when they were newly licensed. Many nurses “make money” by working the less desirable shifts or as in my case, staff an area which requires a call back schedule on nights and weekends.
*Lack of realistic staffing patterns. This is a constant problem in most hospitals. We are governed by the numbers and allowable FTE’s. Having worked in two facilities which paid consultants to come in and show the hospital how they could save money I can attest that each time, R.N.’s took a hit. Paring the staffing down to skeletal determinations throws units into crisis from day to day. If even one R.N. calls in sick and is not replaced the load can quickly become unmanageable.
So who is going to look out for you in 2020 if you are in an area hospital? R.N.’s are the sentinels of critical medical developments on the floor. We see things coming before anyone else. We are the ones who pick up the phone to put in a call to your physician or if needed, call a rapid response team so that a full Code does not ensue. I am grateful for a career which has provided a vast experience and opportunity to interface with humanity. But the reality of nursing today makes me wish I had chosen a different career path.
Tammy Swofford, R.N. BSN
If King Solomon were alive today he might possibly consider filing suit against Joseph Mitchell for copyright infringement. I have read the book of Ecclesiastes many times. But “Up in the Old Hotel” has provided the first opportunity to read it as expanded modern literature. Being recently acquainted with the works of Joseph Mitchell, an earlier blog review was done of his short story, “Joe Gould’s Secret”. The story of Joe Gould is collapsed into this text in the fourth and also the final chapter of this selection.
“Up in the Old Hotel” introduces us to an author who spent his life as a career journalist but who should in fact be heralded for a different reason. Mr. Mitchell was a self-trained ethnographer of New York City, a place he called home during his adulthood. His initial life’s work was as a reporter and feature writer for The Herald Tribune and the New Yorker. But his real skill comes to light as an author of national bestsellers describing the gritty lives of the common folk within the boroughs of New York City. An avid observer of his fellow human, Mr. Mitchell chronicles in honest manner the struggles, dreams and desire of those who live on the dash. On each tombstone resides the dash between date of birth and date of death. How quickly life passes! And for the individuals springing to life from Mitchell’s pen and page, what an interesting dash it is, for the reading.
“And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.” Ecclesiastes 1:13
Mr. Mitchell introduces us to both the sane and the profane. We are allowed to ponder the life of a bearded lady. She is a woman rejected by her mother and reduced to a life as a side show freak in the circus. Amazingly, her life has the healthiest equilibrium when she is “Lady Olga”, the bearded lady. She is a “born freak” as are the Siamese twins, midgets or giants in the circus trade. This places her within the “aristocrat” class of circus life. Although initially considering a life in the convent, she chose instead to grow her beard to a foot long, hit the road, and travel about with more than one circus. She marries, and is widowed twice. She divorces the third husband and simply states, “If he was in a bottle I wouldn’t pull out the stopper to give him air.” When Mr. Mitchell introduces her to us, she is married for the fourth time.
“And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the fruit of his labour, it is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:13
The first section (and first chapter) of the book “McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon” introduces the reader to the oldest saloon in New York City. A later chapter, “Obituary of a Gin Mill” describes in great detail the cultural ups and downs of an establishment which supports a loyal clientele of hard drinking professionals and working class men. While taking the admonition to enjoy the drink a bit too far, the revelry and havoc of a micro-community of drunks who love to sing hymns and old Irish tunes to the accompaniment of an accordian on “cabaret night” is colorfully displayed.
My favorite chapter is simply titled, “The Gypsy Women”. Lugging around “Resurrection plants” to sell to women with inattentive partners, this was just one of many scams perpetrated upon the clueless. Today, these same gypsies would merely target the middle-aged women who linger too long at the bookstore flipping through Harlequin Romance novels. smile
“Better is an handful with quietness, then both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.” Ecclesiastes 4:6
The life of Mazie, a woman who spent her life watching the world go by from the ticket cage of a theater on Venice Square would make me go stark raving mad. But she exemplifies a person who quietly lived her life, dispensing good along the way. We need a few more women like Mazie.
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11
Whether employed to keep track of the rat population on the waterfront, as a bartender or the cook in the kitchen, Mr. Mitchell has the distinct ability to present each story without any personal malice or contempt for his subject. I respect his character and the dignity he extends to his fellow man in his writing style.
“Up in the Old Hotel” by Joseph Mitchell is extremely pleasant reading. I like to think that the author also read the book of Ecclesiastes, seeing the reflection cast from Holy Writ onto human flesh.
1. a branch of geology concerned with the structure of the crust of a planet and the formation of folds and faults in it
2. of or relating to building or construction
from Greek tektonikos, from tektōn "carpenter, builder"
The volcano rumbles, sending tremors across the crust of the land. Spectators are relieved to see expelled steam melting the snow that has accumulated on the jagged peak over many years. They see it as a sign that there is reduction of internal pressure. Their concerns that the imminent eruption will be violently monumental are abated for now. Scientists view it differently. The newly revealed earth at the top of the mountain signifies a forewarning. They have more sophisticated tools than the naked eye. Temperature readings and seismological data can help to estimate when an eruption may occur, but they cannot predict how powerful will be the consequent explosion.
As Alaskans, we anticipate a small-scale natural disaster. With the recent [avo.alaska.edu] Mt. Redoubt activity we are preparing ourselves. Solely on Nature's schedule, magma is thrust up through the layers of earth. It aggressively displaces the rocky foundation that has been in place for decades or centuries. On the surface, ancient glacial ice is transformed into muddy runoff. Lava and ash are expelled from the depths of the earth to the realms we feign to control. Ash is carried for hundreds of miles on the wind. It is quite a sight, to see a looming black cloud pushing its way through the atmosphere, like a swarm of Biblical locusts completely blocking out the sunlight.
When the wind subsides, the ash falls like black snow. You can hear it ringing on metal roofs like summer rain. House pets are given limited outdoor time and livestock is put in barns. Vehicles remain parked, or have their air filters repeatedly replaced. Schools are closed. Hospitals and clinics fill up with the young, the elderly, and people with heart problems or asthma. We cover our faces like bandits, as we clean the ash and grime from our surroundings. We pray for rain to wash the rich nutrients into the ground. We scoop the ash into mason jars and scrawl the volcano's name and eruption date on the lids in black Sharpie ink. It will be a source of joy for years to come, to see the wonder in our grandchildren's eyes, as they shake the jars, and to answer their questions about God's Creation.
If America was a mountain, then perhaps it would be an Alaskan volcano. It looks tranquil on the surface, but there is continuous deep activity in the magma pools of Washington. Since the establishment of our government, we have accumulated national monetary wealth by allowing for individual prosperity of our citizens, like the solitary snowflakes that become part of the vibrant blue body of a mountain glacier. We've had some thin years and struggles along the way. Some melting runoff of our assets happened during the Civil War and the Great Depression, for example. But, for most of our history we have resembled the inspirational "shining city on a hill."
Do you view our government with the naked eye of a spectator? I stay informed, but am not a political scientist. I read the news and have been watching the daily "Barack Obama Show" along with the rest of you. Our current president has been expelling alot of hot air lately, surely meant to calm the majority of citizens into a lulled sense of trust. All due respect to Mel Tormé, but Obama is the true "Velvet Fog". Whether this Congress knows what they're doing remains to be seen. Some say they can already see the hard-pack snow beginning to crack at the top of the mountain. If our economy experiences monumental failure, I hope we can salvage some of the vibrant solidity that has been built and protected by generations of American citizens and soldiers.
Americans should be more concerned than ever about the bedrock of our nation being displaced by this administration. Look at the current AIG debacle, for just one example. Obama went on vacation last month and, literally, gave Congress a couple of days to pass the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The mammoth final draft was completed just a few hours before it was passed. This is the bill that approved the AIG bonuses. To amend their mistake, the government threatened to tax this money at 90%. It turns out Obama's old friends from ACORN again helped to get him out of a predicament. While still under investigation for the '08 election fraud, they arranged bus tours of AIG employees' homes. I wonder if they left a horse's head for a souvenir. Now Secretary Geithner wants to put new regulatory laws on the books. Maybe everybody should just slow down before we start rewriting the Constitution.
My grandparents lived through the Great Depression, and it particularly changed my grandmother for the rest of her life. She would never waste a scrap of food. If she got new bath towels as a gift, she would put them in the back of the linen closet. Like jars of volcanic ash, we can view photos and footage of that time in history. We can listen to the songs, like [youtube] "Brother Can You Spare a Dime". Volcanic ash is the result of the violent upheaval of our earthly foundation. The fallout of the current political maneuvering may also fall down, like black snow, on all of our heads. It is toxic, without a doubt, but it can also fertilize the seeds of our Democracy. Through adversity comes change.
Does anybody out there have any idea what President Obama meant in his long response to the question on the budget? My husband (he has a degree in Economics) just looked at me and said, "I don't have any idea what he just said."
Any thoughts? I feel like singing, "Here we go 'round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush...." smile
Posted by tammyswofford at 7:32 PM
A look back in time:
Very carefully, I adjusted the gold braid on my white cover. I noted that the National Defense Ribbon was positioned properly above the left breast pocket. My collar devices - rank and nurse corps insignia - were properly aligned on my collar. My belt was also white with the buckle aligned with the buttons of the blouse. My skirt was the proper length. White shoes with a one inch heel and nude pantyhose. Small gold stud earrings which were Navy regulation for female officers and a light pink lipstick. I was ready for my first summer white inspection as a new Navy officer.
Ask the wrong question and you will come up with the wrong answer every single time. The Christian Science Monitor headlined an article with this:
"Hijab debate lifts veil on limits of Norway's tolerance. A Muslim woman's request to wear a hijab with her police uniform has sparked national controversy."
The questions which must really be answered are the following:
*Does your conviction demand my sacrifice?
*Should your religious belief infringe on the organizational tradition and function of your employer?
Let me take a shot at these questions.
Religious tolerance in a Western nation allows for the practice and observance of your articles of faith in private manner. They may also be fully displayed in public as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others in the public domain. You may worship at a church, a synagogue, a mosque or under a tree in your back yard. You may bow in prayer to the god of your choice. But your conviction should be with your sacrifice. It should cost you, while not costing me! Most important of all, your conviction should not infringe on my personal freedom.
The religious belief of the individual should not demand a workplace change for accomodation. The Norwegian police department has a uniform code. This uniform, represents that the individual is under a chain of command and serves within an authority structure. If a person is unable to wear the uniform as prescribed, he or she should not seek employment in an area which violates their own conscience.
The lady in question has one viable option in my mind. She should tender her resignation to the Chief of Police. She cannot fulfill the requirements of the job. The uniform regulation violates her conscience. But it is not the duty of the workplace to be malleable to her preference or conviction. It is her duty as an employee to be malleable to the demands of the environment in which she has chosen to seek a paycheck.
Undoubtedly Justice Minister Knut Storberget created his own misery when he initially caved in and deconstructed the police uniform regulation at the request of a female Muslim police officer. He then created further conflict with his revocation for the wrong reasons. No organization can survive in obeisance to the demand of one who does not share the organizational vision. A house divided cannot stand.
Allowance of religion to be a balkanizing force within a workplace is a dangerous precedent. It it bad for good order and discipline and it is certainly bad for morale.
The Christian Science Monitor
The emotion is raw. The vulgarity is real. Duty to mission is embraced. The passion for service is not spoken in scripted creed but simple words. The American soldier stands alone and he stands in rank. But behind the one who wears the cloth of the nation stands the American family. Cognizant that United States sovereignty and safety is born on the shoulders of the one with strong gut and backbone, the families “back home” serve in a reserve capacity to bring emotional support to their bloodline. Pull up a front row seat for the film “Brothers at War”. Welcome to the United States military community.
Early on, a simple analogy is given. The American soldier is the sheep dog on patrol. It is his job, to engage organized chaos (violence) to protect the sheep. All of a sudden, a living “Rambo” steps onto the stage. Moving to the edge of the couch I gear up for battle scenes and body bags. What follows, takes me entirely by surprise.
One of the most poignant lines is the following:
“First time I learned that I could learn something was in the military.”
Our military is the most highly trained and efficient active denial force in the world. The soldier may take a “training time out” prior to continued instruction but he will learn the skill needed for his job. Captain Isaac Rademacher, Sgt. Joe Rademacher and their unit exemplify the disciplined learning process that is undertaken to earn the title of a soldier. And in the process they became “alive like you’ve never been before.”
The film is uncut, as far as vulgarity. The “F bomb” drops with regularity. Get over it. Otherwise you will miss the fun. Follow along as “Hollywood” Jake Rademacher learns the fine art of finding his “inner happy place” and is told to “piss in that” as he travels in an area where it is too dangerous to make a pit stop. As his bladder empties he endures the insults. His genitalia and his manhood both take a hit. Later advised, “I hope you are a fast shitter” I burst out laughing. It reminded me of my own experience running out of a stall with my pants around ankles when suddenly realizing that a snake was in the toilet bowl in Ghana, W. Africa. There are multiple reasons to expedite bodily needs in the field.
But the same men who let fly with “fuck” are the ones who return home to kiss their babies. The coping mechanisms necessary for field survival give way to men who tone it down on their return home. The family embraces the return of the soldier not quite understanding the cost yet knowing they are essential to the soldier’s health and readjustment on his return. This film depicts that essential aspect in good manner. There is interplay between family members. But then Captain Isaac Rademacher simply states, “Mom and Dad don’t know what I do.”
Returning home, Isaac finds the need to acquaint himself with his small daughter. There is the culture shock of readjustment to a kinder and gentler life. A trip to Wal-Mart can be a difficult experience. You will see the heart of an American soldier. Captain Rademacher depicts this heart in a willingness to express his thoughts.
Sgt. Joe Rademacher caught my attention immediately. I saw a distinct sadness in his eyes. The film later introduces a family tragedy. I appreciate the honesty and transparency of the Rademacher family to share in public manner their unmistakable loss. Watch for the photo of Sgt. Rademacher in dress uniform. The pain of familial loss is still being felt. Pray for him.
The men within the long range surveillance unit make us aware of issues of conscience. The sniper team is willing to discuss their role. There is no flinching from the discussion of an Iraqi child tasked as a gun-runner within a zone of conflict. The sniper team jokes a bit but you also realize the seriousness of their task. Should you recoil with indignation at such things and claim your own innocence of bloodshed so be it. Meanwhile, they look in the mirror every morning and assess the men they have become at the behest of a nation who has taught them the deadly art of war.
Brothers at War is not produced and distributed by Hollywood. It was not made to support an industry which earns its keep by pairing trained actors with digital magic and special effects. But it is a film which deserves a berth at every movie theater in America. My respect, to Jake Rademacher.
LCDR Tammy Swofford, USNR, NC
The past week has been extremely busy for me with a 75 hour call schedule for PACU. Just my week to carry the load. Luckily, only nineteen hours of actual call-back to work, so for that I am grateful. Even so, reading continues along with my never-ending "stack". I have nearly finished "Up in the Old Hotel" by Joseph Mitchell. It is a nice selection picked for me by a professional acquaintance.
Also this week, an initial reading of the latest from Usama bin Ladin: "Practical Steps to Liberate Palestine".... the translated copy on my desk. Nothing new, from a first scan, but I will read it again. Also, I am reading along with analyst James Oppenheim, articles from the CTC at West Point. James provides a bit of commentary in his most recent journal entry at his site. He is a dear personal friend and we bounce thoughts off each other throughout the week.
I viewed the film "Brothers at War" tonight and will place a review on the page for Sunday. I need a bit of time to reflect on what was presented because as a Naval officer some of the things which were said meant a lot to me. I am grateful for the copy of the film which arrived in my mailbox yesterday.
My thanks to the Swofford Team for pulling together this week whilst I pulled a hard load as a nurse. smile
General Motors is hanging its hope for survival on the yet-to-be-seen Chevy Volt, a battery-powered sedan with a gasoline motor adapted from one of it’s European models. The car is supposed to be ready next year.
Too bad. Too late. BYD already has one. BYD, a Chinese battery maker that already powers most of the world’s cell phones, digital cameras, iPods, electric toothbrushes, portable vacuums, etc. unveiled a mass-produced battery-powered hybrid that can run for 60 miles before the gasoline motor has to kick in. They are expected to have a 1,000 charge/recharge cycle. The car is expected to sell for $22,000 here and in Europe, far below what GM says its Volt will have to sell for.
This should not come as a surprise to Rick Wagoner, the GM CEO. BYD showed its latest version, F6DM, a mid-sized sedan, at the Detroit Auto Show. The F6DM reportedly can be driven about 60 miles in electric mode and nearly 270 miles by using the gasoline engine as a generator to charge the battery pack. Top speed is 100 mph. Chevy claims only 40 miles for its lithium-ion batteries. The Chevy engine will not charge the batteries. It is not strong enough to both move the car and charge depleted batteries. BYD said the iron-based batteries can be recharged to 70 percent of capacity in just 10 minutes on household current.The company began building and selling a version of the F3DM in China in late 2008.
Detroit has allegedly been working on alternative fuel cars since before Wang Chuanfu, the 30-something founder of BYD got his bachelor’s degree. It has yet to bring anything but flex fuel vehicles to market.
GM’s problems started in the 1980s when then Chairman Roger B. Smith decided to invest $1 billion dollars in plant modernization. He spent $1 billion so the company could build the same old cars more cheaply and efficiently instead of putting money into coming up with new products. When the company celebrated its 100 year anniversary last September 18, it produced a timeline of achievements. The last thing the company was proud enough to include came out in 1986. The only consolation is that Chrysler is even further behind.
If GM has any startling new technology, let’s put it on the auction block and get what we can for it.
The inebriation of alcohol leaves a hang-over. The inebriation with a fascinating lover can end in heartache. Apparently, the inebriation of wealth provides the biggest damn kick of all. And the Frat Boys at AIG have been sucking from the nozzle for a bit too long.
Spare me the drama. On the one hand, Secretary of the Treasury Paulson practically delivered the money with a battalion of forklifts to AIG's doorstep after deeming the insurance giant too big to fail. Congress then approved bailouts to known unethical crooks without placing a true accountability structure in place. So now we have AIG performing as the Mother of all Bankruptcy Fairy Godmothers handing out 165 million dollars in bonuses to employees last week. Out of this little taxpayer subsidized slush fund, 73 lucky gamblers each pulled the lever on the million dollar slot.
Dishonor above duty. That appears to be the name of the game. Hell, tax-paying American! Not only will I take the money, but I will run with it! Pass the nozzle.... slurp. The "talented" who gambled with the income of others will just set up office in a new space. Such is the inebriation of wealth for a few Americans. What a kick! Too bad that they didn't really earn it nor deserve it.
Should the inebriated receive the lifeblood of another? It happened in the State of Texas and in stark manner a few years ago. Should we be giving AIG our liver?
*Please note that I am not against executive suite compensation for healthy corporate management.
Borrowing from the title of one of the latest brain-drain, big-budget motion pictures, let me say: "I'm just not that into you." I know it's hard for you to believe that the online reality show, which you call your life, holds no interest for me. I think it's meaningless to post "I'm eating meatloaf" on your facebook; seeing your drunken parties on YouTube isn't amusing; and the racy photos on your daughter's MySpace page could make the Dalai Lama turn himself in for possessing child pornography. I honestly don't care about the minutiae of your mundane existence.
I, apparently, respect your privacy more than you do. Maybe it is because I value my own privacy. I don't stare at the items in your grocery cart, so don't leer into mine. If I'm visiting your home, I won't snoop in your medicine cabinet, and I would never think of reading your opened mail or going through your computer files. If you need an aspirin, simply ask me. If you want to know what news my Aunt Jenny wrote, I might let you read her letter. You may use my computer, but let me first close my personal and sensitive files. My privacy is more valuable than my money. Don't filch from me.
These days, with everyone trying to track us, we can almost throw the idea of personal privacy out the window. According to CTIA, about 263 million Americans subscribe to wireless services. Due to popular demand, most new cell phones include the digital camera feature. They are a great tool for car accidents and thefts in progress, but they also enable our fellow citizens to capture our most embarrassing moments, and then post the footage online. If anybody filmed my Gerald Ford-like fall on the ice last year, it doesn't bother me as much as Google Earth's photograph of my home and neighborhood.
What bothers me even more is Google's photography of military bases, government buildings, airports, railroad yards, and energy facilities. Lest we forget, we are "on the list" of many people who want to do some damage to our infrastructure. They may not have satellite capabilities, but they do have computer access. You might think it's fun to see whether your neighbor's lawn was mowed, but Google Earth can be used as a less benign tool. (Does your neighbor's ex stalk him or her?) Google Earth is the proverbial gentle dog, which the owner says would lead burglars to the good silver.
Our laws have not kept up with our progress. I'm not talking about overhauling the Constitution. While not perfect, it's pretty damn good, as it stands. However, some of our federal and state laws and regulations are [legalzoom] outdated. We could, outright, strike every quaint law that includes the word "donkey" and save resources. At the very least, we could save ink, as "donkeys" may as well be camels or unicorns. Our problems are more complex than they were 100 years ago, but maybe the biggest leap has happened in the past 10 years.
Technology has taken the form of WB's "Roadrunner", speeding past traditional laws with its tongue stuck out. You can buy almost anything online. From a Jesus-shaped Twinkie, to non-regulated drugs, to suggestive pictures of your daughters, the Internet has an unlimited reach. While it is a tiresome and stressful job to wade through online sexual images, we recognize the payoff when predators, who download child pornography images, are caught in a law enforcement snare. But how do we monitor terrorists and enemy combatants who are scoping out our strengths and weaknesses? How do we ward off breaches in our cyber networks?
Last Friday, National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) Director Rod Beckstrom resigned. In a letter to Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, he wrote: "You know you're over the target when you're taking flack." He said his department had been taking its share. He also stated that his team consisted of THREE staff and TWO detailees. Are you kidding me? We have a total of 5 people in the NCSC? It takes that many Best Buy employees to find the software I'm looking to purchase. Beckstrom also wrote that the agency was inadequately funded over the past year. I understand that our budget has been tight, but denying ourselves of cyber security is like driving the Autobahn with a blindfold over our eyes.
Beckstrom has a successful technology business background; he is involved in non-profits, including a "peace network" of CEOs who had some success in diplomatic relations between India and Pakistan; and he has a strong sense of duty, writing to Napolitano that he looks forward to returning to serving the government some day. If I had any vote on how our Stimulus money was being spent, I would give Beckstrom a respectable budget. I think President Obama should have a face-to-face meeting with this man and try to woo him back. Personally, I think he should be begging Mr. Beckstrom to consider returning. Let him sleep in the Lincoln bedroom for free. He can have my share of taxes, access to all of my computer files, and I'd probably even let him read the letter from Aunt Jenny.
[beckstrom.com] Rod Beckstrom Biography
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke are the pictures of impotent rage. They say they really hate it that American International Group (AIG) is spending taxpayer money so a bunch of incompetent morons can buy bigger yachts and better art to the tune of $165 million on Sunday and another $55 million paid last December. They hate it, but they say they can’t do anything about it. AIG, which is 80% owned by the federal government, is contractually obligated to pay.
On top of that, the Bush administration’s hand-picked AIG chief executive had the gall to claim that the company had to pay bonuses to retain the high quality employees who put the company in the soup in the first place. Those guys must have some real juicy pictures from the Christmas party. Edward M. Liddy apparently hasn’t notice that Wall Street is awash with high quality financial people who are not only out of work, but would be willing to work for far less than the $6.5 million one AIG employee is scheduled to get as a bonus.
Apparently, when Mr. Liddy agreed to take over AIG for a dollar a year and an unexplained equity kicker, he apparently was not told that his job was to fight a delaying action. That is to keep the doors open while AIG’s businesses were unwound and sold. He is not a fireman sent in to save the company. He is receiver sent in to oversee its liquidation. And, for that, you don’t need any $6.5 million employees. Resolution Trust Corporation did it with government employees.
Messers Geithner, Benanke and Liddy have all overlooked one fact in their haste to pay off the perpetrators of the crime—AIG does not have the money. It is into the American taxpayers for more than $170 billion because it is broke. Legal obligation or not, the money just isn’t there. It can only be taken from AIG’s creditors, the people we are trying to help.
Just who are these creditors and why are we helping them? At least 20 of them are states which entrusted bond revenues to AIG for safe keeping. But the rest probably don’t deserve any help at all. AIG was a big dealer in a game called credit default swaps. According to a New York Times editorial on March 15, there were something like $62 trillion in credit default swaps outstanding last year. Of those, some 80% (about $50 trillion) were bets placed by people with no other financial interest in the transaction. A credit default swap is a bet that a company or a financial portfolio will default.
AIG claimed it thought is was writing insurance policies, but, if that were true, it would have established a loss reserve, but it spent the money that would have gone into the loss reserve on bonuses, so, it clearly was not writing insurance.
How could AIG get a way with running an international gambling endeavor? In 2000 Congress, in its infinite wisdom, specifically exempted credit default swaps from state gaming laws. And finally, just how much is AIG paying off? Does it have to pay the purse or should it just give back the bet? And, how are Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, etc, etc, counting their losses? Are they counting as losses what they would have made if AIG had paid off, or are they counting only the amount they actually put on the line? Seems to me, all that is actually owed is out of pocket expenses, and that is far less than is being claimed. And Gaithner and Bernanke ought to make that clear to all parties.
It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.
I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.
Survey the landscape, my friends. It’s ugly out there.
As the sun rises on another Monday, fewer robed men will make that long walk to the end of the driveway. In the old days it was worth it. I had a cocker spaniel that lived for the chance to shoot out of the front door every morning just to grab the morning paper. Fortunately I’ll always have that memory, because I lost him long before the journalists gave me ample reason to drop my subscription.
Do you remember the smell of freshly brewed coffee as you shuffled through to find the sports or comic section your dad or mom had finished? Did you wonder how long pop could stare at the obituaries as if they were interesting? It really didn’t matter. You might watch the sun come up as you forced yourself to chuckle at the “Andy Capp” or “Shoe” cartoon strip they wanted you to read. It often wasn’t that funny but you thought it would make them happy to see you laugh.
It has been a slow and painful death. Personally, I said my goodbyes years ago. I don’t know how old I was when I came to the realization that the editorial section started at A-1 and ended just before the classified advertisements. Yet even this wasn’t enough to tear me away. Factoring in the biases I still craved the morning paper routine like a fantastic drug. Somewhere along the line the quality dropped substantively, but what really got me was the negativity. It’s the same reason I couldn’t stomach Jay Leno.
Those of you still hanging on to that habit, and the incredible shrinking rag, probably should go out and rent “Millennium” with Kris Kristofferson and Cheryl Ladd. It’s at best an average movie, but the premise and closing scene of “Millennium” is a decent metaphor for the state of 21st century print journalism. Jamiecostello58, of the UK says it best on IMDB:
Millennium is certainly no masterpiece and will be easily forgotten
Funny, but that's exactly how I felt as I wadded up my last copy of the Dallas Morning News.
But all is not lost. Science writer Steven Johnson told an Austin, Texas audience that journalism is merely “evolving”, though the paper business is ugly and getting uglier. I’m sad to say that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Again, it’s the negativity. Other than the pro-Obama shilling I conditioned myself to tune-out months ago, everything I read online still takes me right back to the end of the world...as portrayed in a “B” sci-fi movie
…inevitable and forgettable.
A game is never lost, they say, because of the last missed shot. Fans never get this, but coaches do. It is true in this case as well. I don’t buy that newspapers had to die or become irrelevant because of technology. Music videos were going to kill radio in the eighties as well, remember? Why the hell are we all still reading books for crying out loud? We can't print enough of the darn things. Journalism may think it will “evolve” to the new media, but in the end what killed printed news will kill advertising and interest online as well. I can tell you it’s already happening.
Print journalism is dying because journalists quit delivering value. The harbingers of truth sold their souls to activism and advocacy. I’m not an industry expert, but I am an expert consumer. If “journalism” stands a chance online, it will require a great deal of “balance”, which thankfully exists because diverse opinions and sources exist in unfathomable numbers now. Just as freedom dies a little every time someone breaks a law, credibility died a little every time “journalistic ethics” got bypassed.
They have made their bed. When they knew change was needed (there’s that word again) they shook their fists at the gods of objectivity and damned the torpedoes. My heart does not break for them.
But I will always miss watching the dog fighting the damn thing through the partially-opened door.
ps: Give your cat or dog a carmel sometime. It's good for several entertaining minutes.
My Nurse Corps Officer chain of command sent something into my email which is worthy of promotion. Here is the link:
Brothers at War
Here are the cities and dates of release, as presented in the email. If you live in one of these areas, please block the date to go see this film.
March 13, 2009:
Columbus, GA. (near Fort Benning) at Carmike 15
Fayetteville, NC (near Fort Bragg) at Carmike 12
Jacksonville, NC (near Camp LeJeune) at Carmike 16
Chicago, IL. at AMC River East
Washington, DC at Landmark E Street Cinema
Arlington, VA at AMC Shirlington
March 20, 2009
Akron (Ohio National Guard), Regal Interstate Park 18 - Regal Cinemas
March 27, 2009
Augusta, GA (near Fort Gordon, US Army)
Savannah GA (near Fort Stewart, US Army)
Shrevesport, LA (near Barksdale AFB) Cinemark Tinseltown 17
Clarksville, TN (near Fort Campbell, US Army)
Hampton, VA (near Langley AFB) AMC Hampton Town Center 24
Newport News, VA (near Fort Eustis) AMC Kiln Creek 20
Killeen, TX (near Fort Hood) Hollywood Stadium 14 - Hollywood Theaters
San Antonio, TX Bijou at the Crossroads-Santikos
Cleveland Heights (Ohio National Guard), Cedar Lee Cinema
Dayton (near Wright-Patterson AFB) Regal Hollywood 20-Fairfield Commons
Decatur, IL Carmike Hickory Points 12
Oceanside, CA (near Camp Pendleton) Regal Oceanside 12
Monterrey CA (near Presidio of Monterrey, DOD) Osio Cinema
*If I can get a copy of the film I will review it for the blog. smile
LCDR Tammy Swofford
They looked like typical American kids, [LATimes] all smiles as they enjoyed the theme park rides and embraced the mascot Mouse, but they aren't. The child actors of "Slumdog Millionaire", who helped to draw international attention, once again, to the unconscionable poverty of India, are now back at home. The media has followed two of the youngest cast members, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail Shaikh, 10, and Rubina Rafiq Aali Qureshi, 9. We've been given a glimpse of their daily lives with their families in the slums of Garib Nagar in [NationalGeographic] Dharavi, Mumbai, India. Their American adventure must seem like the difference between Dorothy's visit to Oz, where lollipops grow out of the ground like flowers, and real life in the black and white Dust Bowl world of Kansas. The young actors may have earned a death sentence reprieve, as a result of their newfound fame. Time will tell. Many of their peers will not be so lucky. While it's true that a child is born in India every 2 seconds, 6,000 children under the age of 6 die every day from hunger and malnutrition, alone.
In America, we hope our children are more successful than we are. Elementary school kids are asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" They answer with vocations that sound like fun: firefighter, police officer, or veterinarian. With our new president, young black children are now more commonly answering that they want to be president. By high school, the same children may have changed their goals to computer game programmer, teacher, or lawyer. By the time they reach college age, some may settle on truck driver, waitress, or clerk. Whatever they decide, we recognize that any occupation is possible for anyone, depending on the individual's commitment. In India's caste system, children are not given the hopes that they may be more successful than their parents. On her return home, Rubina Ali was told by her father that she must live like she did before. She told him she would. For a girl Rubina's age, future plans consist of learning to care for a family and... Well, that's about it. Many families live from hand to mouth, which is why there are more than 126 million child laborers under the age of 18. Overall, children in the age range of 5-14 make up about 4% of the work force in India. Think about that.
India's Lok Sabha parliamentary elections begin next month. As we saw when Obama used Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered", the choice of campaign songs can be important. The Congress Party has bought the rights to use the Oscar-winning Slumdog song [youtube] "Jai Ho", which translates to "be victorious" or "let there be victory". They have invited Ali and Ismail to attend campaign events. The parents have given permission, as long as it doesn't interfere with the children's school schedule. School schedule? You see, the children were orginally paid a daily wage, which amounted to $700 and $2,500, respectively. (The entire film budget was $14 million.) After the success of the film, the film-makers arranged to pay for their education. As long as they stay in school, they'll receive a "substantial" trust fund at the age of 18. There are rumored to be arrangements for the children's families to be moved into their own apartments. One source said they would be valued at about $20,000 each. When Ismail got ill last month, he was treated with antibiotics. This is something that may not have happened before he became an international star.
I don't know much about India's political system. I figure I'm doing well to halfway figure out our own system sometimes. But, since the Congress Party petitioned and paid for the use of the song, I hope they will honor the message of the movie and will work to improve conditions in their country. That goes for the other parties, as well. Close to half of the nation's population live below the poverty level, and there are too many homeless people to count. 5.7 million people have HIV/AIDS. 130,000 died of the measles in 2007. Both of these diseases are preventable. Of all the children in Mumbai, Ali's cherubic face and Ismail's mischievous smile brought the right attention at the right time. They are fortunate to have this opportunity. I don't normally approve of children being advocates, but there are a few exceptions, like Mattie Stepanek. Although they didn't intend to be, these children are now ambassadors for all of the poverty-stricken children of their nation. I really hope to hear in 8 or 10 years that these kids are attending a university, and not that Ismail died of Dysentery and that Ali has 4 children and AIDS. Real life can be harsh in the black and white slums of India.
Jai Ho, Children of India!
I like you. Viewers of this blog, I like you a lot. But we have a problem that must be addressed. The bloggers here are not guilty of this, my family is, but I am blaming you because I don't have the cajones to blame the guilty parties. If you love me, LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE. I mean that in a good Christian way. Just stop with the embracing by email. Telephone calls once in a while are good. I like talking to family but there are a couple of things that I have to get off my chest, so here goes.
I love Jesus too, but quit sending me every "blessed" email that requires me to forward it to 7 people within 17 seconds or risk eternal damnation to the fires of the south. Jesus is a loving son of God. He doesn't have email or a Blackberry. If He wants to get in touch with me, He usually is successful and it didn't take high speed internet to git-er-done. He has a strange way of touching the soul and life without your emails mucking up the bandwidth.
Another thing, quit with the fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd:! Jesus didn't write them emails! Stop falling for the scam! For goodness sake, give me time to get stuff done without sending me another "beautiful message that will bring tears to your eyes".
Oh, and I have news for you. The kid from England with herpes and cancer, remember him? He is 57 years old now and was healed in 1964. Knock it off with the requests for get-well wishes. Oh, and I always love how you send me the same thing that my cousin sent me three minutes ago informing me of his plight. STOP IT. I heard about him. He is o.k. He is missing half his tongue and a testicle, but he can still talk and.....well, let's not go there.
One more thing you should know: I recognize an urban legend. Before you forward that garbage, give me the courtesy of looking on Snopes.com to verify it is real. I don't care if Bill Gates is going to track your email. If he tracks mine, that is an invasion of privacy, and I can promise you he will be sending more than ten grand. USE YOUR BRAIN, IF YOU HAVE ONE. There is no technology to do what it is you are talking about doing.
Quit believing every stupid email that says, "My sister is a lawyer and she knows". Well, there is a good qualification. Someone whose name you don't even know has a sister she doesn't name that spent 90 semester hours getting a bar card. What an elite group. Only 50,000 of them in Texas and about 1/2 million in the country, I would guess. Use your head for a change and stop sending me this nonsense email that you have been sending since 1997!
To my cousins, uncles and aunts. I love you dearly. But leave me alone. There, I feel better now. Please excuse me while I check my email. Jesus may be calling.... again.
My hand would not have reached for the Newsweek with the beautiful Arabic script had the cover title merely stated, “Radical Islam is a Fact of Life”. But the additional stunner, “How to Live With It” certainly made me dig around in my wallet for a bit of change.
The photography for the article is beautiful. Black and white, the images appear as something worthy of National Geographic. The magazine opens to a picture of Muslim boys descending the steps of a masjid after the Zhuhr prayer with some wearing the traditional thaub, others dressed more in Western manner. We see the profile of a Taliban fighter, female students from Tehran University and small boy memorizing the Qur’an in Pakistan with shadows cast on all except his small frame and an open Qur’an. These images, carefully selected for their message.
The cover title is repackaged from “How to” into “Learning to”. Fareed Zakaria also repositions himself from a passive to more personal stance as he moves into the article. We (Americans) must “learn” to live with radical Islam. Mr. Zakaria, will desensitize the threat for us.
An estimated ten percent of the 1.3-1.5 billion Muslims across the globe are considered to be of a radical bent. Sadly, while we are “learning” how to live with them, another attack on our sovereign soil is undoubtedly in the making.
While not in disagreement with some of the broader brush strokes of thought regarding what is happening on-the-ground in Islam, I am not in agreement with some of Mr. Zakaria’s personal positions on matters. Mr. Zakaria identifies international threat in a vague manner, identifies indigenous aspects of Shari’ah in a strong manner, and pulls to a middle-ground policy while straddling his political fence. Sadly, those who would attack us, have no concept of compromise.
While having concerns about our Predator drones (p 26) and the image they project, it must be remembered that bomb-making terrorists find safe harbor among civilian populations which are sympathetic to their cause. They move freely among their own. Our only means to reach out and touch them, is with a surgical unmanned strike.
It is interesting that an eraser is applied to the policies of the Bush administration while at the same time having the following to say about an Administration which is barely into the first fifty days of governance:
“Beyond Afghanistan, too, it is crucial that we adopt a more sophisticated strategy toward radical Islam. This should come naturally to President Obama…..” (p.28)
What does the editor mean when stating “ should come naturally”? Our new Commander in Chief has not entered the proving ground of his presidency as did former President George W. Bush after 9/11. While I also write and address (in private corridors) some of our hits and misses after 9/11, it is always with the distinct acknowledgement that lessons have been learned, we are building a distinct Military Doctrine as we move operationally, and the cusp of the century brought new challenges not faced by prior administrations. Mr. Obama, has the benefit of the steep learning curve of the last eight years to fall back on should he choose not to throw out the baby with the bath water. I recommend he avail himself of the good.
Fareed Zakaria decries sweeping declarations and seeks a more microcosmic view of the stage, then to lump things in the “Muslim world”. Having studied movements and their tributaries, with a current emphasis of study on resistance movements, it seems beneficial to add this link.
Tariq Ramadan site
Please note the current masthead which states, “Global Movement of Non-Violent Resistance”. This is the emphasis of my studies when evaluating the movements and tributaries effecting the asymmetrical battlespace.
While Fareed Zakaria is the perfect ideologue : “We should mount a spirited defense of our views and values…” It is not views and values which will suffer physical harm with our next attack. Ideas are not attacked with IED’s, car bombs, suicide belts, etc. People, are attacked. Radical Islamists, attack and kill people.
So while seeking that people find “their own balance between freedom and order, liberty and license” Mr. Zakaria can safely sit behind his desk and muster his journalists. But there is a world of anarchy out there. It is borne on the shoulders of the ten percent. And yes, we are seeing a pattern emerge of suicide belt and veil. (p 28) While Muslim female suicide bombers remain a statistical anomaly there is growing documentation of the phenomenon.
Here is the good news. You don’t have to learn “how to live with it”. Your government is very much on top of the issues. Your job is to educate yourself about the issues. Your priority, if a citizen, is to take care of your business as usual. Your government, will be both shield and sword. But do remember this final thought: The threat remains real. Threats are never to be accepted. They are to be dealt with in aggressive manner via chain of command structures in place which are deployed to guard your freedom.
Yes, I know. I shot off my mouth and didn't keep a promise.
View the link.
Scampering around Barnes and Noble this week I saw this cover.What caught my eye first was the green background. It reminded me of a book by author Genevieve Abdo, "No God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam." (Chapter two: Streets of Green) Then I noted the graceful poetic look of Arabic with the diacriticals. Translated title?
RADICAL ISLAM IS A FACT OF LIFE: HOW TO LIVE WITH IT
How to live with it? Hmmm. Well, there went three bucks. Flipping through the first two pages of the magazine as I waited in the check-out line I found it interesting that Fareed Zakaria felt it necessary to pat himself on the back.... twice. Declaring himself "clear-eyed" and "brilliant" the editor of Newsweek surely had authority over the final copy of the initial promotional blurb "The Islamists Around Us" and "The Editors Desk" penned by Daniel Klaidman. It kind or reminds me of when Dallas Morning News allowed their homeboy Rod Dreher to review his new book, "Crunchy Cons" within the editorial pages. The Dallas Morning News received a short note from moi, posing this question: "Should an author review his own book?" Possibly, DMN and Newsweek are sharing advice on this kind of stuff. Maybe they are reading Freud....Let's talk about this cover article.
While never presuming myself brilliant nor clear-eyed, I have engaged the Intellectual Battlespace for many years now. We need to talk about Radical Islam. So in the next blog look for a journalistic duel as I deconstruct critical elements of thought. Mr. Zakaria writes well. But it is quite a lullaby he places on the page. Sleep well, America.
Are you sure you want to send your high-schoolers and college-aged children across the Mexican border for Spring Break? Mexico has beautiful beaches, but it also has one of the highest rates of kidnapping in the world. And if you think the resorts are insulated from crime, think again. You don't have to take my word for it. You can read for yourself the February 20 State Department Travel Alert. They also issued a specific advisory, "Spring Break in Mexico - Know Before You Go!", which states: "Over 100,000 American teenagers and young adults travel to resort areas throughout Mexico over Spring Break each year. While the vast majority enjoys their vacation without incident, several may die, hundreds will be arrested, and still more will make mistakes that could affect them for the rest of their lives." The latter part may refer to sexually transmitted diseases or bad tattoos which were chosen during crazy tequila nights, but there are also increasing odds that our kids could end up the victims of robberies, rapes, kidnappings and shootings.
If you think drug gangs are out of control in Mexico, you're wrong. In fact, they are so much in control, that they led the Juarez police chief to "step down" amid the threat to continue to kill police officers until he quit. Not an idle threat, in a city where over 2,000 people have been murdered in the past year. Drug cartels and gang members are known to have murdered nearly 6,000 people in Mexico in 2008. These gangs choose noble names for themselves, like "Aztecas", "Mexicles", "Artistas Asesinos", "La Familia" etc., but I see them as scorpions, who inject their poison, drop by drop, into the veins of our nation. 90% of America's cocaine supply comes through Mexico, and Juarez is a key staging point on the route to America and Canada. President Calderon has deployed troops to deal with drug cartels across Mexico, including thousands to Juarez, but they are dealing with increasing numbers of desperate gang members, in a country where the average income is just over $8,000.
The growing violence is partially the U.S.'s fault. Really. The DEA can tell us that the violent competition is a result of the success of their efforts and drug busts, but we all know there will always be a way for smugglers to bring their supply to our front door. Until we completely secure our border with Mexico and unless we search every vehicle and container that, seemingly legally, comes into our borders and ports, the cartels will easily continue to find ways to get their product into our nation. So how is it our fault? Aside from the estimated 2,000 weapons smuggled into Mexico from the U.S. every day, we're letting Europe catch up to us in cocaine use. The Colombian drug cartels can get more money, sometimes triple the amount, for their cocaine in Europe than they can get in the U.S. And they don't have to deal with the Mexican scorpions. This leaves less business for Mexican middle men, and more murderous competition over the scraps. Less cocaine use would seem like a good thing for the U.S., and it is, but we must consider that cheaper, and mostly home-made, methamphetamine is one of the reasons for our declining cocaine use. We are a long way from ridding ourselves of our own illegal drug evils.
Maybe the decadent Spring Break tradition, where kids go on week-long drunken party binges with their friends, should be done away with. At the very least, let's keep our kids safer by not sending them to war-torn, poor countries, like Mexico. A couple of years ago, I was impressed with a group of young people who went to [nola.com] New Orleans during their Spring Break, to help with clean-up and rebuilding. I am glad to see their tradition has continued and caught on. Obama even caught the bug... though his pledge of $900 million to rebuild Gaza is way off base. If swinging a hammer just won't satisfy your entitled offspring, there are a number of great vacation places to visit in this vast country. Put them up in a hotel in Washington, D.C. Send them on a skiing trip in Alaska. If you really want to give your kids a "Mexican experience" vacation, and nothing else will do, send them to [usatoday] Atlanta.
You are a woman. The world is certainly a beautiful place! Where do you want to live? Here are your choices: *Afghanistan *Belarus *Burkina Faso *Cuba *Egypt *Israel *Liberia *Saudi Arabia *Northern Ireland *Yemen
Actually, there is a large list of locales where you can live, nations which have embraced CEDAW. But the United States of America is the only industrialized nation which has not signed on for this corrupted piece of political crap. So if you feel “safer” as a woman living in a nation which is a signatory to CEDAW just pack yourself into a shipping crate and I will pay the fee. Go thou hither. Good riddance, Bubble Brain. But as for me, being an American woman remains a core identity. Overall, women have it good in America compared to women in most nations.
The “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” has a nice sound to it but the document is just another hollowly conceived attempt by the United Nations to overlay an oppressive political force against national sovereignty. Former President Jimmy Carter, a true gentleman with a soft spot in his head, put his signature on the document.
Rosalynn should have kicked him in the shin for that one, since she claimed a traditional role in the White House. Thankfully, our Senate has had the good sense not to ratify it and still seems resistant to the idea. But the CEDAW predators still want control of the American family. These parasitic radicals seek a deconstruction of the female identity in areas which bring distinct strength to American society. Seeking to make women global units of labor, the CEDAW socialists would have all to bow before the god of abortion, legalize and regulate prostitution so women in poor nations can sell their real estate in exchange for free STD’s and force mothers to drop off their kids at day care, the sooner the better. What a wonderful grown-up world for little girls whose American fathers treated them like princesses. CEDAW is the witch on the U.N. broom still circling the political airspace in D.C. (*D.C. now stands for D.on't C.rap on me, please!)
Personally, I prefer young ladies receive an education, delay child-bearing so that they don’t abort their firstborn and attain to the healthy feminine best: traditional family and a career to boot. Many of the nations who have signed on to CEDAW have nothing to show for binding themselves to the U.N. It is like playing Mozart to a mule. Line up a nice stringed quartet and play in the barnyard all day, but the mule just won’t get it. And until two-legged mules decide to be nice to their wives and daughters, no governing body is superior to conscience. America has a lot of men with rock-solid conscience in this regard.
Since when does the U.N. define “family”? And why should a flatulent international (pseudo) corpus juris deconstruct our Constitution and the laws of our land?
I am an American woman. I do not need the United Nations to shaft my traditions and trash my national landscape with CEDAW. It is a wolf in sheep's clothing. This wolf is circling the pasture again in the form of “womens studies”, magazine articles and a radical left reinvention and sleight of hand. This is an issue to follow.
The space between what’s wrong and right
Is where you’ll find me waiting for you.
-Lyric from “The Space Between”, Dave Matthews Band 2002
Were you listening to me, Neo? Or were you looking at the woman in the red dress?
-Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburn) in “The Matrix”
It is time to justify and prioritize what you believe. Good men have done nothing, and you know what comes next.
I’m not concerned with making dire or ominous analogies and predictions. I’ll leave those to the good Lord and David Wilkerson. The Pastor has faithfully received and passed on a frightening vision of an imminent “earth shattering calamity” that would find cities burning and riots in the streets of the nation. Don’t be too quick to dismiss him, though your mind likely did so before the sentence had been read.
Why did you do that? Conditioning.
In truth, the events themselves are quite possible. Objectively theorize the potential causes. Perhaps your mind leapt to “crazy” because of the messenger. But let’s forget about him for a moment. The point is made.
I wonder how many people thought William Wallace was too cocky. Do you suppose getting locked up repeatedly challenged the credibility of the apostle Paul? Why should someone listen to a jailbird like Nelson Mandela? Did Churchill’s weight make him a less-credible prime minister? When you choose a Neurosurgeon, would you select humility over the "god complex"? Need I continue?
I find it shocking how conviction has fallen out of fashion. We’re just so impressed with open-mindedness and popularity. It’s all the rage. Our nation was founded to be one of ideas and of law, not of men. When invoking the latter, we invariably associate glorification of an undeserving or yet-to-be-accomplished individual.
The opposite is our downfall, and we’re too smart by half.
Bobby Jindal gets up to deliver a conservative rebuttal message and is excoriated for stylistic faux pas. Sarah Palin presents a rare combination of charisma, core principles and energy to the field and gets picked apart. Of course, Rush Limbaugh deserves no support from our side of the pasture because he admires himself so. The reward?
So which leader or influential figure will we be ignoring or criticizing…this time…when having simply worked together might have staved off even one freedom-killing measure of “Change”? The two-party system combined with a powerful and polarized media threatens your liberty. Your founding fathers did not sign up for this “fundamental transformation” and neither have your grandkids.
So, folks...while we, the taxed producers of the nation, fracture over the worthiness of our spokesmen and future champions...
we empower the authoritarian element.