Civilization Calls
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
  I'm Thankful for Home

"I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. ...After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home."

--Ronald Reagan

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
  Pursuing Liberty for All

"Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

--Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819.

While standing in front of the oven, baking cookies, I was contemplating Liberty. Not liberty with a lower case "l", but Liberty of the sort recognized by the Founding Fathers as a condition imbued upon us--homo sapiens, that is--by our Creator.

My thoughts led me unerringly to one of the more current debates of this generation, which is the right (or not) of homosexuals to marry. I went round and round the moral aspects of the issue, recalling some of the opinions expressed on some of the other blogs I read daily. I realized that altough I respect these writers immensely, and tend to agree with the majority of their opinions, I nevertheless disagreed on the subject of whether or not gays should be allowed to marry.

Launching a task force to give marriage a legal definition also felt wrong, but at that moment, I could not clearly articulate why not.

Then, it hit me. The debate involves infringment upon the personal liberties of my countrymen and women, and whatever my personal opinions are, I cannot allow that to happen. We are all imbued with certain inalienable rights, as the Founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the injunctions sitting at the core of our national soul.

I knew then that the Founding Fathers would also disdain the very thought of the national government legislating marriage in any form, but I also realized that I would need evidence to support it.

I have always admired Thomas Jefferson. He was a man of his time; living in the moment of the age that nurtured him. To be sure, he was a slave owner, and evidence strongly suggests that he had children by a black mistress, but in that time, it was not that unusual. Only the passing centuries have turned that into unacceptable behavior--or has it? Jesse Jackson has a child by a mistress who worked for him. Bill Clinton had relations with an intern. With that, let the sneering moral equivalency end.

Jefferson would be the first to admit that he was only human; flawed and struggling to get along in the world--just like the rest of us. He would demur in the face of any praise, and answer any criticism as forthrtightly as he could, with either a scathing retort, or when deserved, a humble apology and promise to "try to do better".

I love his writings because he was a practical philosopher; never one to get lost in the realm of theory. Although possessing his own code of principles and ethics, his feet were always firmly planted in the moment, and I think that his observations are still relevant today.

"If [God] has made it a law in the nature of man to pursue his own happiness, He has left him free in the choice of place as well as mode, and we may safely call on the whole body of English jurists to produce the map on which nature has traced for each individual the geographical line which she forbids him to cross in pursuit of happiness."

--Thomas Jefferson to John Manners, 1817.

Jefferson was one to promote the greatest possible liberty for all people. He also said, "The freedom and happiness of man... [are] the sole objects of all legitimate government."

What does all of this mean?

It means that the national government has no place in the personal morality of the individual, provided that it is in no way infringing upon the personal liberties of others. The Founding Fathers would be the first to call for punishments for pedophiles, rapists, murderers, thieves, and any other criminal. Jefferson, again: "Society [has] a right to erase from the roll of its members any one who rendered his own existence inconsistent with theirs; to withdraw from him the protection of their laws, and to remove him from among them by exile, or even by death if necessary."

However, when a citizen is harming no one, and operating within the bounds of civil decency, Jefferson felt that they should be left to their own devices. I agree.

Moralism aside, what is the real argument against the right of gays to marry? Are there any? All the arguments I've heard cite the immorality of the union, and that somehow this will undermine the strength of the American family unit. I've also read claims that allowing homosexuals to marry will somehow end up with heterosexual unions being disallowed.

I beg to differ.

My family unit will not be undermined if I see two women walking past, holding hands, wearing matching wedding bands. My child will not be somehow infected with some kind of implied horrible disease at the sight of two men kissing.

I do worry that if we allow the federal government to encapsulate the state of marriage in legal terms, it will only be to the detriment of all--homo and heterosexual. For once government begins legislating an issue, there will be additions and amendments to the original law that will constrain us all, and negatively impact individual liberty.

My argument hinges not upon the morality of same-sex marriage. My argument hangs upon the necessity to rein in the government in the interest of the greater good. Jefferson said, "I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive. It places the governors indeed more at their ease, at the expense of the people."

Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to place personal opinion to the side and ask the question, "Will this law infringe upon liberty? If it infringes upon liberty, is it for the common good? Will passing this law mitigate activity that harms others, and impose appropriate punishments upon the lawbreakers?"

In this case, yes, the law will impede personal freedom for no good reason. Homosexuality is consensual, so no one is being harmed by its practice. If it isn't consensual, then it becomes rape, and we already have laws to address that. Denying homosexuals the right to legally marry will not stop them from making vows to one another, carrying on their relationships, or cohabitating.

Making laws that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman are all well and good, but where does it stop? Would laws then be passed to make its definition specify a union between a man and a woman in a church or synagogue? What will that mean? Will it mean that people like my husband and myself, who were married in a pagan ceremony, outdoors, are not legally wed? Would it nullify our union even though our marriage license is registered with the county clerk? Will Common Law declarations be outlawed? I'd be very interested to see how the government thinks they can make that stick. What would they do next? Go door to door to make sure that only men and women can live together, and only so long as they are married within the provisions of the law? What impact will that have on roommate-type living arrangements? Would the government then step in and say that every American must be married to someone of the opposite gender within a certain age range? I admit that I'm stepping into the realm of tinfoil hat absurdity, but I use these examples to shock readers into thought. Not that it would matter anyway, because I will oppose such attempts with all my might.

In short, moralistic attempts to block gay marriage by the Executive and Legislative Branches of government are misguided at the very least. Lincoln once said that the measure of a man could be taken by what he does with the power he has. (I'm paraphrasing.) I hope that the President and other conservatives from the religious right will reign themselves in, and think of the long term good of this nation, and how we must sometimes subordinate personal morals in the interest of the greater good of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

"To preserve the peace of our fellow citizens, promote their prosperity and happiness, reunite opinion, cultivate a spirit of candor, moderation, charity and forbearance toward one another, are objects calling for the efforts and sacrifices of every good man and patriot. Our religion enjoins it; our happiness demands it; and no sacrifice is requisite but of passions hostile to both."

--Thomas Jefferson: to Rhode Island Assembly, 1801.

  What's Up.

Thoughtful blogging has been sparse lately. It's true. I meant to avouid any mention of it, because what happens in my real life doesn't really need to be plastered on the blogosphere for anyone to see, especially anyone who might be less than friendly.

But, life has impacted blogging, and I what I want to do right now is publish what I'm going through so that I have a barometer of progress as things get better.

November has been a dark month for my husband and me. Although we believed we got a reprieve, his job is ending on Dec. 5th, after all. It's hard because our daughter's birthday is on the 11th. Christmas is two weeks after that. We aren't rich, so...

I don't want to talk about that.

The other thing about this month is that my job has shall I put it? Rough. That's all I'll say about that. Rough. It's rough.

My husband is amazing. He has been applying everywhere, for just about anything. He got one nibble--for a job that paid $5 an hour, and wanted him to do the work of three IT people. It's pretty typical of the technical job market in the Rocky Mountain Silicon Plateau at the moment. The job would be three weeks long. Frankly, he'll make more money drawing unemployment. Throughout all of this, his energy and hope has only flagged briefly--yesterday, when we learned that we have less time than we thought. We're getting our breath back, however, so don't worry about us too much. (Unless you have a well-paying job in N. Colorado for an outstanding IT professional with a decade of experience. If so, email me, and I'll put you in touch with my husband. He's truly excellent at what he does.)

It's really hard, right now. We're both apprehensive, yet working really hard at remaining up and positive for each other. Oh, never fear--we've spoken of our fears to each other. We're honest about where we're at, but that doesn't mean we get to wallow in it. The energy we've been expending in maintaining a positive, hopeful outlook, combined with being present and loving for our daughter, and maintaining the jobs we do have have tapped us out. We're really tired right now. The fatigue and worry and general busy-ness hasn't left a lot of time for hobbies like blogging.

Also, on a lighter note, I'm working on a rag quilt for our daughter in the evenings. That'll be her birthday present from Mommy and Daddy.

However, I have been stewing while life simmers around me.

I don't think the Founding Fathers would support attempts to legislate marriage--whatever face it wears--and I've been researching materials that support that intuition. I feel that legally defining marriage in an attempt to block homosexuals from wedding is counter to the exercise of liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, imbued upon us by our Creator.

A post is coming. Bear with me.

  Got a Story for The Bartender?

Madfish Willie's is starting a "send me your posts"
Tales From The
Champagne Room!

[Remember: There is no sex in The Champagne

Read through these previous posts of The Champagne Room to get an idea of what I'm looking for.

To be linked in The Champagne Room post just e-mail the link(s) to your post(s) by Saturday 12:00 noon and I'll include you in the weekly LinkLoveFest on Sunday.

Thanks to everyone who have sent me links in the past and I'll be looking
forward to more of your Tales From The Champagne

Monday, November 24, 2003
  Ha! Am I Vindicated?

Well, at least someone's getting the hint. Technical support centers in India suck ass, and at least DELL--the company whose image is now irrevocably tied to doofy pot-smoking goofballs--is figuring it out.

Now, if my company would only get the picture, and stop sending consumables calls to shoddy support centers overseas, we'd all be in better shape. See, customers won't buy additional products when they're told that a support rep can't take a call because their tools are down. Nor will customers buy products when they hear someone tell them that they've never even seen their product before. It will piss customers off no end when someone says, "No, that isn't me", and hangs up.

When customers are pissed, they stop buying a company's products. When a company can't sell products, they can't make money. When a company isn't making money... well, you get the picture.

If more companies see what a mistake they've made, they can pull those jobs back onto US soil, which means that highly capable IT managers like my husband can be gainfully employed.

Sunday, November 23, 2003
  Baby Reaches Milestone

At eleven months and twelve days of age, my baby girl managed her first unassisted steps. She took five, in all. It was her daddy who got her to do it.

We got to see it. Us. Not the grandparents, and not the babysitter. Us. We got to see our baby do something amazing.

There's much rejoicing at our place tonight. No, she didn't mind being the belle of the ball at all.

We're so proud of our little girl.

Friday, November 21, 2003
  Precision Guided Humor: Uday and Qusay's Last Words

For the Alliance.

Uday and Qusay's last words were:
"Oh. Shit."

Sic Semper Tyrannis

  New Blog Showcase: Free Market Fairy Tales

And so, I cast my vote. The post in question, Europe Hates America had me alternately nodding and laughing out loud.

You must read it. RIGHT NOW!

I'll be here when you get back.

Wasn't that great? I especially liked,
"A report published in the Los Angeles Times concluded that Italians get 42 days of paid vacation every year, the French 37, the Germans 35, and the British 28. Americans, meanwhile, take off only 14 of the 16 days to which they are entitled. Figures from the US Government’s Bureau of Labour Statistics show that Americans also work a 49-hour-week, which adds up to 350 more hours of labour a year than the typical European worker. I hear cries of “quality of life” from Champagne Socialists in Hoxton. (Note to Father Christmas – As I’ve been a good boy this year, please may I have a Tomahawk cruise missle for Christmas……just one will do..)

A good way to sum up Americans’ views of vacations is to study the habits of George W. Bush during his summer break. He retreated to his ranch, where the temperature regularly exceeds 100F, to clear brush. For relief from that vacation activity, he met his foreign policy team, then his economic advisers, then travelled to national parks to push his plan to reduce the incidence of forest fires, then on to California for a fundraising tour."

I'd like to buy this chap a drink. I think the husband and I could get along with almost anyone who asks Father Christmas for a Tomahawk cruise missile for Christmas, because I want one, too.

But this isn't about me. Go get in your jammies, then curl up for your nightly reading of Free Market Fairy Tales.

Thursday, November 20, 2003
  THIS is what happens when you believe you can make a difference.

First off, I'd like to thank CD Hall over at Spacecraft for the link, because this was just too beautiful for words.

It seems that as 3,000 of our Reservists were reporting for duty in Washington State, the NIONers got wind of it, and decided to stage a protest.

Our friends over at Random Nuclear Strikes decided to launch a counter-demonstration. Additionally, the word got out via the radio. According to the news, 4,000 all-American well-wishers showed up to demonstrate their support and pay their respects, as opposed to about 20 of the anti-war protestors.

To Random Nuclear Strikes: I salute you!
God Bless America.

  Turkey Attacked

I'm throwing in my two cents' on the attack in Turkey earlier today.

First, although certain news agencies implied a connection to President Bush's trip to Britain with the words, "...coincided with President Bush's trip to Britain...", there is no proof of this. Such an attack would take a great deal of planning, which would have had to commence before the President's trip was announced.

Besides, if you really wanted to hit the President of the United States, why would you attack Turkey when he was in Great Britain?

That said, this is a clear example of terrorism's complete disregard for any human life. Al-Qaeda and Islamic Great Eastern Raiders’ Front are both claiming responsibility for this and the synagogue attacks earlier.

So, you moral equivalent types out there--what did Turkey do to deserve this? Hmm? Oh--they helped the Coalition in both Afghanistan and Iraq. So, they deserve to be coldly murdered for their assistance in the fight to wipe terrorism off the face of the planet?


If you say that, your hands are near as bloody as the terrorists'.

Turkey has been attacked as we were attacked on 9/11. They did not deserve it. Terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda, IBDA-C, Hamas, Hizbollah, etc. are bloodthirsty murderers who need to be wiped off the face of the planet with extreme prejudice and unrelenting vengeance.

We all need to get behind the effort, tighten our belts, and get both commitment and the patience to see this through. Fortunately, Turkey has already stood up and vowed that these animals won't get away with murdering their innocent citizens.

There is a bright spot to all of this--as terrorist organizations strike out at various nations on this planet, it will piss more people off. We will see the net slowly tighten until we have them. Then, we have to execute them all.

I am so sorry this happened, Turkey. We stand with you in your pain, and understand your determination to make sure it never happens again. Let's go get those sons of bitches and make an end.

  Humor: US Navy Chiefs

The Five Most Dangerous Things in the US Navy:

A Seaman saying, "I learned this in Boot Camp..."
A Petty Officer saying, "Trust me, sir..."
A Lieutenant JG saying, "Based on my experience..."
A Lieutenant saying, "I was just thinking..."
A Chief chuckling, "Watch this shit..."

It wouldn't be so funny if it wasn't so true!
And then...
By the time the Chief pulled into a little town, every hotel room was
taken. "You've got to have a room somewhere," he pleaded, "or just a
bed, I don't care where."

"Well, I do have a double room with one occupant - a Marine Gunny,"
admitted the manager, "and he might be glad to split the cost. But to
tell you the truth, he snores so loudly that people in adjoining rooms
have complained in the past. I'm not sure it'd be worth it to you."

"No problem," the tired Chief assured him, "I'll take it."

The next morning the Chief came down to breakfast bright-eyed and
bushy-tailed. "How'd you sleep?" asked the manager.

"Never better." The manager was impressed.

"No problem with the other guy snoring?"

"Nope, I shut him up in no time", said the Chief.

"How'd you manage that?" asked the manager.

"He was already in bed, snoring away, when I came in the room," the
Chief explained. "I went over, gave him a kiss on the cheek, and said,
'Goodnight, beautiful,' and he sat up all night watching me."

I saved the best for last:
A young Ensign approaches the crusty old Chief and asked about the origin of the commissioned officer insignias.

"Well," replied the Chief, "the insignias for the Navy are steeped in
history and tradition. First, we give you a gold bar representing that
you are very valuable but also malleable. The silver bar also represents
significant value, but is less malleable. Now, when you make Lieutenant,
your value doubles, hence the two silver bars. As a Captain, you soar
over the military masses, hence the eagle. As an Admiral, you are,
obviously, a star. Does that answer your question?"

"Yes Chief" replied the young Ensign. "But what about Lieutenant
Commander and Commander?"

"That, sir, goes waaaay back in history - back to the Garden of Eden.
You see we've always covered our pricks with leaves."

These jokes brought to you by the girl who grew up in the Navy... Normal blogging will resume soon.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
  Understanding Tax Cuts

From an email from my friend, Ethne, here is a simple explanation of why those who pay more taxes receive more back when reductions are implemented:

Tax Cuts -- A Simple Lesson In Economics This is how the cookie crumbles.

Please read it carefully. Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this: The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1
The sixth would pay $3
The seventh $7
The eighth $12
The ninth $18

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59 So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." So, now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So, the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?" The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being "PAID" to eat their meal. So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings)
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings)
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings)
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings)
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings)

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man "but he got $10!" "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than me!" "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!" "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all! The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore. There are lots of good restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D
Distinguished Professor of Economics
536 Brooks Hall
University of Georgia

I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

  Infotel: Complaints about unsatisfactory business practices.

The proprieteress of Calblog is being harrassed and threatened with lawsuit by a company called Infotel, aka, MediaCorp.

They are trying to bill her for services she never ordered or received. When she posted about it, Infotel took exception with some of the comments left by readers, and are trying to sue.

Interestingly, Aaron's Rantblog has their scorecard from the Better Business Bureau, and it looks like this sort of thing is their M.O.:
The Bureau has received numerous complaints concerning this company's selling practices. Most complaints claim their business was billed for a directory listing which was never ordered, or that Infotel sales personnel claimed to be asking for a renewal of a listing when none existed.

In some cases, Infotel Publications has contacted companies who have complained to the Better Business Bureau, and has offered to cancel accounts if the companies retract their complaints. The company claims they tape record their customers during the sales verification presentation to verify the order.

This company has an unsatisfactory business performance record with the Bureau due to a pattern of complaints claiming deceptive selling practices, a pattern of complaints concerning credit and billing procedures, and for failure to eliminate the cause of those complaints.

Let's get the word out there, folks.

Monday, November 17, 2003
  Humor: This Might Be Useful... Sometime...

Oh Buffy. (tsk tsk tsk) You couldn't just go quietly into retirement, could you? Oh, no. You had to sell off a little surplus on your way out.


One of the cardinal rules of accepting graft is to never get caught. Conrad Black got caught.

D'oh, just doesn't sound right when uttered with a British accent. Wouldn't you agree?

  He's Ba-aack

Rush is back. In the transcript of his first public comments, he comes right out to tell us about rehabilitation. He's forthright and blunt.

That took a lot of courage to talk about something so personal. You go, Rush.

  John Allen Muhammed Found Guilty

John Allen Muhammed was found guilty of murder. The sentencing phase is forthcoming.

In other news, Malvo's trial is underway. His defense is trying to get him off with the insanity plea, because he was proportedly a neglected child, which made him vulnerable to brainwashing by his so-called idol, Muhammed.

I hope the jury and judge see right through that bullshit. Malvo knew what his was doing. There was a moment of decision. He is as responsible as Muhammed.

  Arnold Sworn Into Office Today

“Perhaps some think this is fanciful or poetic, but to an immigrant like me — who, as a boy saw Soviet tanks rolling through the streets of Austria, to someone like me who came here with absolutely nothing and gained absolutely everything — it is not fanciful to see this state as a golden dream,” Schwarzenegger said.

One of the things that makes America great is the fact that someone who was not born here can aspire, work, and achieve anything--up to and including public office.

Perfectly lovely.

Read entire.

Friday, November 14, 2003
  Rocky Mountain Blogger Bash

Blogger Bash

Hmm. I wonder if we could get Grandma to take the baby that night, and most of the following day (in the interest of recuperation)? I mean, it is at the Wynkoop...

P.S. I passed my test.

Thursday, November 13, 2003
  New Blog Showcase: eTALKINGHEAD

This week's new blog showcase brings us this gem by eTalkinghead:
"Whatever your opinion of the Patriot Act, calling it a power grab couldn't be more misleading. After all, only one person--Democratic Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin--voted against the bill. That means every other Democrat voted for it, and, according to Gore, means Bush pulled wool over the eyes of almost all Democrats in the Senate.

It must have been mind control."

Too perfect.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003
  Voyage to Arcturus

You have to see this blog. A Voyage to Arcturus is a mix of science, political musings, and outright opinion-based editorials.

Although I never read the novel that inspired this blog's title, it has been on my "to read" list for some. (After all, David Lindsay was C.S. Lewis' inspiration for the Screwtape Letters, and I love Lewis.) Shame-faced, I admit that if you could see the "literature" that has preempted Lindsay's novel, you'd smack me, and I'd deserve it.

Anyway, don't hang out around here all day and listen to me ramble on and on about it. Go see for yourself!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
  A Pagan Among Christians

Preamble: I have a very cool, very accepting friend who has sat on his curiosity about my profession of Pagan belief for some time. Today, after an email exchange, he asked me about it. He was quick to point out that he wasn't challenging me--he was just curious, because the Bible has verse Exodus 34:14 in which God declares himself supreme.

He knows that I've never been one of those Pagans who looks at a Christian and screams, "Oppressor!" So, in a genuine quest for understanding, he asked me about how I came to be a Pagan, and how I feel safe, even in the face of Biblical scripture.

I love having friends who are genuinely concerned about me. Following is what I wrote to him.


God does state in the Bible that He/She is the One and Only. I do not refute that. Yet I believe that the teachings we call, "The Bible" were originally intended as guidebook on living for the people of the areas we now call the Middle East. The Bible is a glorious text, filled with stories of the tumultuous history of the Jewish people. What adventure we see in that book! The history of the entire Middle East, laid out for our eyes.

By aligning yourself with Christianity, you have allied yourself with a glorious and beautiful tradition. You have taken the burden of Israel upon yourself, and declared yourself to be among those beloved of God-as-Yahweh. You even take the teachings one step forward by declaring in favor of the teachings of love and tolerance as presented by Jesus Christ.

But I do not believe that God manifested only as Yahweh/Jesu/Spiritu Sancti. I believe that God has walked among all of mankind, and manifested to us in the form [each culture] was best able to understand at the time. For the Norse peoples, in their frozen Northland, God became the stern warrior faces of the Aesir: Thor, Odin, Freya, and the like. That was the way they could best understand the undying truth as made manifest by frozen wastes and the comfort of warm hearthfires.

To the Celts, God manifested as the Mother--the triple Goddess who is one Goddes in the form of Maiden/Mother/Crone. She had a consort, who was himself a triple God: Youth (the Fool)/Father/Old (Wise) Man. Their story is that of the turning of the seasons, and their message is also one of acceptance of both peace and travail, and of love.

In Mesopotamia, we got Ishtar, and all those other beings. Greece, and later Rome, brought us the Olympians. In India, we saw the Hindu gods. Even old Russia has tales of Mother Goddesses, Father Gods, and tricksters of every ilk. We won't even get into the romanticism and poetry of the Asian Gods, and we're both familiar enough to Buddha to remember that he never claimed godhead--he was just trying to lead us to enlightenment and love for our fellow man.

As I studied, and thought, and talked to people, I came to the realization that no matter what name you ascribe to God, IT'S STILL THE SAME MESSAGE:
1. God loves us and wants us to love Him/Her.
2. We are given life in order to learn, and to please God/Goddess by practicing Free Will.
3. Life is defined by a series of turning seasons of every sort. "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds is one of my favorite songs because it quotes the Bible in gorgeous music, and underscores that very point.
4. There is evil in the world, and it can only be thwarted by standing strong, keeping faith and hope, and taking action in order to keep Love alive.
5. When all is said and sifted, LOVE. IS. THE. ONLY. THING. THAT. MATTERS.

Then it hit me. If love is all that matters, and if we're put here to bolster and help one another along, then what did it matter what name I ascribed to God? God is God. If I follow the path of love and brotherhood, then all is well. I was a pre-teen when I made that realization.

See, Christianity had never inspired me. I was dragged in and out of churches in no less than four states. It wasn't the fault of ministers, youth leaders, my parents, or anyone else, but I just didn't feel God while I was inside the church buildings. The only time I ever felt the presence of divinity was when I was deep in a slient wood, or by the ocean with the waves crashing all around me. God was beside me while I was perched precariously on the edge of a mountaintop, or down on my hands and knees in the garden.

So, I asked a minister why we couldn't worship outside, where God was? After all, God had created everything, so why did He need us to build something, when all we had to do in order to go visit Him was just sit very still, be quiet, and listen? I don't remember what his reply was, but I remember that he stumbled around quite a lot, and didn't have very good reasoning. So, while my parents were at work, I started calling churches all over. Only one pastor--a Lutheran priest, I think--had a good answer. He said, "Because we're in Alaska, and it gets pretty darned cold for six months out of the year." I persisted, "OK. But while it's summer, why can't people go to Sunday service outside?" He said--and I remember this--"There's no reason not to, except that's what Pagans do."

What? I thought. Pagans? I read about them!

I continued going to church with my parents until I left home. It was the respectful thing to do, and frankly, I wasn't ready to give up on Christianity as a path. But I was studying as the years passed, and as I explored my Celtic ancestry, I realized that the idea of putting a feminine face on God made sense to me.

First, the turning of the seasons could be used as a metaphor for life and death. We're born, enjoy our youth, work in our prime, age, and ultimately die. It's natural. It's beautiful. It's just the way the Universe works. Everything has a beginning and an ending. And this, my friend, is where we get into unquantifiable faith: it just made sense to me that a feminine God would hold domain over that simple, unending pattern. Then, it came to me that life can't be conceived without the male aspect of things, as well. So, it made sense that there would be a Father to go with the Mother. I'd always been taught there was a Father, so...

It clicked. People had forgotten to also acknowledge the Mother! Sure, God is God, and can be anything He/She wants to be, but the poetry of it just made sense to me.

Digging into the basic precepts of the faith didn't hurt, either. In Paganism, you are taught about cause and effect. There are repercussions to every act, and like ripples on a pond, those repercussions are ever-widening. People are taught to be aware of their surroundings and the potential repercussions of everything they do, because those actions and attitudes will be reflected like those ripples: threefold. So, it's important to live life with as much kindness and love as you can. A responsible person tries to make the world more pleasant for everyone around them, so they can also live among pleasant people.

Paganism tells us that we are each and every one of us ultimately responsible and accountable for every thing we do. It tells us that we can do pretty much as we please, so long as we hold that in mind, and harm no one.

That's a tall order. To do no harm, we would even wind up obeying all the Ten Commandments--which just basically spells out how to live as a good person. "Harm no one" sums up those stone tablets pretty succinctly, doesn't it? As a direct result, we therefore love our neighbor as we love ourselves, and do unto others as we would have done unto us. A synonym for that concept is "karma".

That doesn't mean that bad people and bad things don't happen. But those "bad things" are as much a test of faith as they are an opportunity to strike another blow in the name of Love. I will present an example in a moment.

Let me summate so far:
We're told to harm no one.
That rule applies to Everyone on the planet.
Everything we do is reflected back on us.
We are the ones ultimately accountable for all our actions.

So, for our example, we'll say that a burglar decides to try and break into your house. He intends not only to take material objects, but also to hurt you and your family. He intends to do harm in a really big way.

He's just set himself in reverence of Universal Law.

By breaking into your house, the malcontent is telling you that he doesn't care one way or another about the Law (physical and metaphysical). By breaking the Rule of "Harm None", he's essentially telling you that he's open to the repercussions of his actions; e.g., getting his head blown off by your 12 ga. shotgun.

You will face repercussions for your decision to shoot him, but I believe that on the Universal level, those will be mitigated because you were only defending that which you love; and his receipt of that one-way ticket to talk to God/dess about it was directly corollary to the fact that he made the decision to try and harm you in the first place. He was responsible for his own death. You are responsible for keeping your family safe. God is Just, so in the afterlife, it probably won't be that big of a deal.

That is not a wholescale endorsement to go on a shooting spree, or anything stupid like that. It just serves of an example why deadly force is sometimes OK. (I've got the War Against Terror in mind all the time--I use this as an example why it's OK to stand against terrorists and fight them to the last man.)

Paganism also teaches tolerance of other beliefs, because one of the basic precepts--which I explored in earlier paragraphs--is that it doesn't matter what name you give God. God is just the term we mere mortals use to describe a Great Big Truth: Life is eternal and ongoing, and there are too many Cool Things out there for us to just write off to accident. SOMEBODY is out there, and that Somebody loves us very, very much to give us this beautiful panet, and all these cool and diverse playmates.

Going back to the self-responsibility thing, we are presented with another idea: If God made us, then we must be part of God, and if we're part of God, then we're part of each other, too. There is no separation between you, me, that blade of grass, or that singing bird. We are all the Divine Creation of a Loving Hand. So, if we're part of each other, then we should look out for and take care of each other. Moreover, after we die and don't need our bodies anymore, we'll return to the Divinity who made us. We're light and energy, and we're eternal. We can't be destroyed; not really.

Since we're eternal, and can't be destroyed, then it stands to reason that we could choose to come back to earth again and again, either to learn other lessons, repair mistakes we made the last time around, teach, and/or help out. There is a force of deliberate destructiveness in the Universe. Love must always be prepared to stand against that Evil, and we can use our most experienced warriors--Christ, Buddha, and their ilk, time and again, to wage the Eternal War.

So, in a nutshell, as a Pagan, I believe that:
God is both male and female.
God loves us.
The world is our classroom.
Evil exists and we must battle it.
On the personal level, we are ultimately responsible for all our thoughts and deeds.
We are all interconnected.
Because we're interconnected, what harms one of us, harms all of us, and must be stopped.
We'll be back--to meet again, play again, learn together, quarrel with each other, laugh, cry, and walk through this beautiful little world we love so much.

This belief system gives me tremendous comfort, and makes it easy for me to be the best possible person I can be. I think that point, as much as anything, should guide anyone's choice of belief system. The Seeker should ask: "Do my beliefs make me the best, most caring and compassionate person I can be? Does my religious preference inspire me to reach out to my fellow man, give them a hand up, and encourage them to go on? Can I look in the eyes of God when my life is done and honestly say, 'I did the best I knew how'?"

If the answer is yes, then you've chosen the right face of God to follow. God is a woman for me. For you, God is a man. It doesn't change the fact that you're my brother in the divine sense: I care about you; I'd do just about anything to help you out, and you matter to me.

So maybe that makes me a very unorthodox Christian. I guess I'll find out at life's end.

But I feel like I'm on the right track. Just like you are, too.

[Blessed Be,]

  Moonbat Wings: The Complete Set!

Just as a head's up, I probably won't be blogging for the rest of the week unless something really compelling catches my eye.

My test is three--count 'em--three days away. That isn't much time to completely lose it, and I am completely freaking out right now. (I know it would look funny to anyone observing me; but tell that to the pit in my stomach.)

See you later.

  A Prayer for Israel

I am not a Christian, nor am I Jewish, but I know right from wrong, and am not ashamed to call upon Yahweh to protect His Chosen.

So, I join others in offering up this prayer.

Am Yisrael Chai.

(Thanks to both Misha and John of Argghhh! for the link.)

  Huff to be Tried as an Adult

Last week, I posted about a 15 year old car thief and murderess. It seems that she's to be tried as an adult.


She's to be tried for vehicular homicide, aggravated motor vehicular theft, and vehicular eluding. If convicted, she could face a combined maximum of 48 years in jail. (I'd think she would probably wind up in Canon City.) She has yet to be charged with the theft of the Corrections van.

On November 2, she stole a pickup truck and went for a joyride that resulted in a police chase. While trying to evade the authorities, she crashed the truck through a duplex and killed an innocent 28 year old woman who was getting ready for work.

She then went on to steal a Community Correction's van with two other juvenile males on board, after the CC employee left the van running and the security screen unlocked when he or she went to get another juvenille. Huff ditched the van near FC-Love Municipal Airport, and the two boys were retrieved.

While awaiting trial, she is segregated from the adult female prisoners at the County Jail. The County Sheriff has been awarded custody of her. Judge Dave Williams dismissed the juvenile charges against her following a motion to transfer the case to district court. Her bond is set at $500,000.

I'll be watching this case unfold. The fact that she's to be tried as an adult indicates that at least one justice in my area is devoted to accountability and justice. If her guilt can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, she will be found guilty. Should the verdict be handed down, she'll be facing an adult's sentence. I believe this is appropriate, considering the implied premeditation of many of her actions.

Monday, November 10, 2003

I just helped that administrator. The one who winds up being the victim of passive-agression in the workplace.

His predecessor should I put it?...invited to become successful elsewhere. On his way out, he FUBAR'ed the network. I just spent two and a half hours helping this poor guy work out the mess.

Fast Ether Channel trunks are no longer coterminous; other topology loops were deliberately configured; two switches had their operating systems wiped; and another switch is displaying behavior consistent with an electrical event of some sort. The gateway router has also had its routing tables messed up. They were supposed to be set up with OSPF as a routing protocol, but on his way out, the guy changed it to RIP, version 1, only. Oh--and some backups are missing.

It'll be days before they get this mess completely straightened up. It kind of makes me glad that my company has a policy of a walk-off with security people in cases like that.

Layoffs aside, sometimes people deserve it when they get canned. Not only did my customer's predecessor deserve it, but he should also be prosecuted. His actions were criminal. This company is losing a lot of money, thanks to this.

My sympathies are completely with the new admin. Poor guy.

  A Synonym for "Fop".

Metrosexual. It seems to be the fashionable term lately. According to Word Spy, and MSN Health, a metrosexual is a man who [is], "a straight, sensitive, well-educated, urban dweller who is in touch with his feminine side."

The MSN article, in particular, went on in the manner of an approving wink-and- nudge; "He may have a standing appointment for a weekly manicure, and he probably has his hair cared for by a stylist rather than a barber. He loves to shop, he may wear jewelry, and his bathroom counter is most likely filled with male-targeted grooming products, including moisturizers (and perhaps even a little makeup). He may work on his physique at a fitness club (not a gym) and his appearance probably gets him lots of attention -- and he's delighted by every stare."

However, the references are quick to point out that many metrosexuals are quite heterosexual!

I don't doubt it. But it just underscores a point recently made by Kim du Toit on "The Pussification of the Western Male." He holds, and I agree, that the more powerful aspects of masculinity are being bred or beaten out of our male population. There are naturally energetic boys out there who have been misdiagnosed with ADD. Men are encouraged to suppress strong emotion. A man who expresses outrage is labeled a "Neanderthal". Men are discouraged to do the very things they're biologically programmed to do: like hunt, gather, protect their families with vehemence, and enjoy the sight of an attractive female.

The resources try their damnedest to convince the reader that metrosexuality is something new; something resulting from sexual liberation. It isn't. Earlier ages had these girly-boys, too. Back then, they were called "dandies", "fops", "coxcombs", or more recently, "lounge lizards".

In my opinion, the metrosexual is the direct result of too much money, and too little real work. It's the result of a culture that tries to mediate and legislate every aspect of individual life. Men wearing makeup? Please. One of those...things...would never have a chance in hell with me or any woman I hang out with.

I want (and have!) a man of the sort described by Heinlein:
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

I don't know a single metrosexual who can do any of those things. They tend to be pretty useless: if it isn't technical, doesn't come prepackaged, or has anything to do with wilderness survival, they don't know what to do with it.

Gods! I see a metrosexual, and I'm afraid that a stiff gust of wind will break the damn thing.

  Asatru Returns Home

(Thanks to The Bartender for the link.)

It seems that the Norse religion is about to be officially re-recognized in Denmark.

As a pagan, I think that's great news. Those I have known who follow the path of troth tend to be very strong, very practical, and quite intelligent people. I have never known anyone who looked to Asatru; or in this case, Forn Sidr, who was a flake. They tend to be very serious in their worship of the Aesir, and I was never ashamed to be seen with any of them, which is more than I can say for some of my Wiccan or "Celtic Pagan" friends.

Sometimes, it seems like the Old Ways have, in recent years, attracted some pretty touchy-feely/moon-eyed romantic freaks. Not so for anyone I have ever met who were pledged to Asatru. Those I have known: knew themselves, their Craft, were solely responsible for their actions, keenly aware of the balance of cause and effect, willing to stand for their principles and beliefs, and looked to no one external for their answers. They were strong, and I respected them tremendously.

I think Denmark, in general, can only benefit from this.

Friday, November 07, 2003
  Something to Look Forward To.

I just got off the phone with my best friend. She and her husband are coming out to see us around New Year's.

She finally gets to meet The Bean. We get to go to the fabric store together. We'll get to sit up late, all of us, and talk about everything and nothing over a bottle of wine, or bottles of hard cider. Miss B.'s grandmother has already stepped up to the plate, claiming rights to take her for the weekend so S. and I can go out and not have to worry about the next morning's aftermath.

It'll be just like our visit in July, when we got to go see her.

While on the phone, she reminded me of a few things. In her gentle, direct way, she reminded me of several things that have slipped out of mind with the difficulties of the last few weeks. Her words were a balm; warm love enveloping me like a favorite quilt. She made me feel better; lighter.

I miss her, and I can't wait to see her. Now, if I could only get another dear friend to come see me...

The weekend is off to a good start.

If you read this, I love you, darlin'.

  I Finally Understand

Two Nervous Dogs has supplied us with a lexicon I can finally understand. I get it now:
"quagmire": any conflict the U.S. engages in without the endorsement of the media. Of course, the media would never actually "endorse" OR "pooh-pooh" any conflict — they are 'neutral' reporters of the news, dammit!" — so in reality ALL conflicts default to "quagmire," regardless of success, necessity, etc. It's only fair."

It's so much clearer, now.

  I'm Sure Time-outs and More Redirections Would have Prevented This

Let's understand the sequence of events.

The fifteen year old criminal described in this article stole a truck last Sunday, and crashed it through a duplex, killing the 28 year old woman who lived there.

She was remanded to the custody of the Platte Valley Youth Services Center in Greeley, Colorado, on Wednesday. When the driver of the community corrections van stopped to pick up another youth, she took advantage of the fact that this person stupidly left the vehicle running, with the security screen left unlocked, and cuff keys on the dashboard, and stole the vehicle. Two other detainees were on board at the time.

In her flight, she hit five other parked cars.

This little bitch was finally caught in Evans, Colorado, last night.

Concession: the driver of the van was stupid.

However, let's not lose sight of the crime. Stephanie Huff is a car thief and a murderer. I don't care that she's "only" fifteen. At some point, she made a conscious decision to commit the crimes that lead to the death of an innocent woman, and who knows how much in destroyed property.

I don't care about her motivations. Ths isn't a novel. There's no need to spend time trying to understand the "angst" or "mitigating circumstances" that led this "poor victim of society" to this point.

She killed somebody. Get it?

She is responsible for her actions. Try her, and put her away.

She's only lucky that I'm not in charge of the law. If I were, I'd have her put down like the animal she apparently is.

  The Price of Inaction

Go see my friend, Ethne. Go read every word she has to say today.

Think about it.

Thursday, November 06, 2003
  Alliance Assignment: Ode to Glenn

Evil Glenn:
Round about the blender go;
In the puppy entrails throw.
'Tzu, that under porch stair,
Has shed and lost fuzzy hair;
Drool and chew toy captured got,
Boil thou first i'the charmed pot!

Double, double blog i' your bubble;
Link me now or there'll be trouble.

Evil Glenn:
Flank meat of a Finnish Spitz,
In the oven, broils and spits;
Eye of Lab, and toe of hound,
I got them all at the pound,
Rottie's collar, worn quite thin;
Bastard bit me on the shin.
For a shake of powerful trouble,
Watch the puppies boil and bubble.

Double, double blog i' your bubble;
Link me now or there'll be trouble!

  New Blog Showcase: Semi-Intelligent Thoughts

I cast my vote for Semi-Intelligent Thoughts' post entitled, "No Offense". It echoes my opinions on the whole Politically Correct movement.

I've long held that PC-ness is pointless. If you really want to put people at ease, try employing good manners, and realize that polite, well-adjusted, mature people know that occasionally, they'll hear or see something that they find offensive. But, being adults, they'll know how to filter it out and merely rejoice in the fact that in a free society, people get to say what they think, and we all get to deal with each other. Like adults.

And that's double plus good.

  Creativity Stirring

So, the baby and I have had the flu this week, my husband's grandmother died last week, we found out that his job is going away sooner than expected, my job has some not-fun things going on, and I suddenly have the urge to write something creative.

It doesn't make sense. I haven't had anything creative buzzing around my skull since the last Filthy-Lie-About-Evil-Glenn. I certainly haven't had the urge to write anything completely original for months.

See, I was on my way to work this morning, nursing a headache. The baby was playing in her carseat, babbling at me, when it hit:

You need to write a children's story.
What do you mean, I "need to write a children's story"?

Write it for your nephew and yor sitter's little girl. Get it bound at Kinko's and give it to them for Christmas.
What the hell are you talking about? And where the fuck have you been the last few months, anyway?

I'm your muse. I get to come and go as I please.
Yeah, you can go get me a turkey pot pie, bitch. "Come and go as you please." Come on. Besides, I have no idea what to write.

When it's done, It'll look like this.
Oh, that's nice. I can see the finished product, but I can't make out the words! What good's a children's story without the freakin' story?

Listen, doll. I'm your muse, and if you don't do as I say, I'll reach out and grab you by your...
Bitch, if you're reaching for anything, it's that bottle of ibuprofen over there. If you want me to write, you'd better give me some inspiration before I bitch-slap your ass back to that story I started in June.

You little...
Honey, I haven't been "little" since I gave birth. Either give me something useful or shut the fuck up.

Consider yourself inspired. (*sniff*) Sometimes, you are such a...
You! Turkey pot pie and ibuprofen. NOW!

Have fun. (*poof*)
Bitch always has to have the last word...

So, that's my writing process. Funny thing is that I think I have an idea or two. I can see the finished product. I guess I'd better just put words to the pictures in my head.

Sometimes I hate being a writer. This isn't one of those times.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I've started this post three times. It degenerates into helpless ranting every single time. But I no longer care.

The bottom line is that my husband was to lose his job on Dec. 31st. They've upped it to Dec. 5th. Worse, he gets to spend the last three weeks of his tenure training his replacement, with no hope of getting hired on by the company taking over.

I don't blame Bush. So DO NOT think to use this post as ammunition in the argument that the current administration is ruining the economy. It was eight years of Clinton-licking-internomics that got us here. Blaming President Bush won't fly around here, bucko. This has nothing to do with politics.

It has everything to do with an industry that rode the wave of economic upturns without the farsightedness to plan ahead for the inevitable downturn. It has everything to do with a small managed services firm that is so poorly invested in their employees, that their uncaring unprofessionalism at the top levels came through, and lost them their contracts, and therefore their employees' jobs.

After he's laid off, and receiving his unemployment benefits, I will disclose the name of that little firm. I hope the owner winds up more broken than any of his former employees. I hope all the workers--my husband included--become wildly successful. I hope I'm in a position someday to tell the man who couldn't run his business properly where to go, how to get there, and what to suck when he arrives.

Am I angry? Yes. But that makes me focused. We'll be fine.

  Glimpse of Life: I Have to Take a Test

Political commentary is just one aspect of my life. Another aspect is...well, life.

I have to take a test next week. Really, this exam shouldn't be a big deal. It's a certification exam on products that I've already been supporting for almost five years. I know this crap backwards, forwards, inside out, and outside in. In fact, I serve as a resource to my colleagues when they get stumped.

So, I should be sitting back with my feet up on my desk, snoozing through the whole concept, right?


I'm one of those freaks who go through test anxiety. Sure, I know the product and its capabilities. I know all the feature sets inside and out, and it doesn't take me long to remember a command when I need to. But, when someone tells me that I actually have to sit down and fill out a form (even multiple choice) that evaluates my knowledge, I start reviewing everything in my head, and I let myself get all muzzied up. I freak myself out, and then I start doing other things like chewing my fingernails and wishing to Gods for a cigarette.

I start studying obsessively. As the deadline approaches, I get even wierder. I start bemoaning the fact that I need "the stupid piece of paper" in the first place. I glare at every computer in my path. I whinge to my husband, who listens with bemused sympathy on the outside, yet thinks I'm a complete nutter on the inside.

In other words, I start acting like a moonbat. I hate that.

This is all just a long-winded explanation why blogging will be light today. I have training materials and manuals launched on my screen, and although I'm yawning through much of it, I keep telling myself that review is everything.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my personal neurosis.

I'll try to win back your respect later.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003
  Better Late Than Never. I guess.

"What? " you say. "What are your qualifications for governor of the state of California?" Well I'm glad you asked. I realize the importance of breathing when running a state with a gross national product larger than most nations, and I've been breathing successfully for over 29 years. I'm very passionate about breathing. Breathing is what keeps me going from day to day. "

This is funny because he actually makes a fairly cogent point:
"Better yet, let's have the legislators start helping out around the house. If they're late on the budget, let's send the janitorial staff home early and have the legislators start cleaning floors and washing windows. After all, until the budget is passed, state workers only get minimum wage! Let's give our law makers some extra incentive to do their jobs!

What do you suppose would happen if you didn't do your job?"

Go read the homepage at least. I haven't laughed so hard since the comments to this post at The Rott's place.

  Quagmire in Iraqinam! NOT

How dare they! How could they! My Gods, the daring, the gall, the unbelievable spleen of those people!

How could they make the rebuilding in Iraq successful?

(Hat tip to Ethne)

  MJ's Bentley being auctioned?

I want to permalink to this, but my husband's permalinks are blogspotted.

So, hop on over, and scroll down or do [CTRL]+F, and search for "Bentley".

His comments are hilarious.

  Photojournalistic Exaggeration

My husband is a photographer, and I'm sure he'll identify the visual monkey tricks in the photo highlighted in this article from Honest Reporting.

Most telling is the revelation that fully 90% of photojournalists taking pictures of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are themselves Palestinian.

There wouldn't be any distortion as a result, would there? I mean, these people are fully vested in journalistic ethics, aren't they? Aren't they?

And the crickets go wild.

All righty, then.

  Ask a Cabbie

Steven Vincent tells us about the variations of public opinion as conveyed by the cabbies of Baghdad in this article.

However individuals may feel about the Coalition, and whatever their motivations are for thise opinions, I'll bet it still feels good to be free to have those dissenting views without Saddam's thugs kicking in the door in the middle of the night, or abducting and torturing people.

  SUSE Acquired by Novell?

And, disturbingly, my favorite flavor of LINUX is being acquired by Novell.

It may be a gasp of desperation on the part of the once-proud vendor.

Don't get me wrong. I've always liked Novell, too.

  CBS Drops "The Reagans"

Via the statement, courtesy of The Drudge Report:
"CBS will not broadcast THE REAGANS on November 16 and 18. This decision is based solely on our reaction to seeing the final film, not the controversy that erupted around a draft of the script.

Although the mini-series features impressive production values and acting performances, and although the producers have sources to verify each scene in the script, we believe it does not present a balanced portrayal of the Reagans for CBS and its audience. Subsequent edits that we considered did not address those concerns."

Am I the only person who thinks that if it weren't for the controversy, this piece of trash would still be going on the air?

  Added to the Roll

I've read Colorado Conservative for a while now. He's a "home boy", living more than a few miles to the south of my humble little abode.

He's articulate, reasonable, and clearheaded. I like his blog a lot.

An Old Saab features a writer who has been known to haunt the comments on both Bill Whittle's and Misha's sites. Jeremy is a gentlemanly, intelligent, well-spoken person. I've enjoyed the comments he's left on various sites, and now I get to enjoy his voice on the blog he posts to.

I consider it a daily must-read.

Ripples is like a cool drop of water in this turbulent world. His posts, All Life is Connected, and A Time For letting Go were balms. I plan to visit this blog daily, as well, just for the peace and thought he so gently provokes.

Thank you, Misha, for the link to him!

UPDATE: Also added, is Spacecraft, a most fascinating blog. I've always been enthralled by everything related to aerospace and space exploration. This gentleman is a professor teaching astromechanics, spacecraft design, and spacecraft dynamics and control.

And...he blogs. His subjects are wide-ranging and interesting. Sometimes, you run across a writing voice that just makes you sit back with a satisfied smile, knowing that you are about to be challenged and expanded. Besides, anyone who reads, and re-reads, anything by Tolkien is a kindred spirit in my estimation. I really, really like this blog.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Beverage alert.

"The Franco-Prussian War - Lost
Germany first plays the role of drunk Frat boy to France's ugly girl home alone on a Saturday night."

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."
--Norman Schwartzkopf"

  Doing the Right Thing.

My husband and I went to the bookstore yesterday to meet this very nice lady. While we were there, my husband spotted a lost child.

This little boy couldn't have been more than six years old, tops. He'd lost track of his dad, and was barely clinging to his composure. We looked around for the parents, but didn't see anyone. We looked to see if an bookstore employee was working this section, so we could appeal to an "official", but no one was paying attention. I looked over at my husband, whose heart was in his eyes. He was empathizing deeply with the little guy, and we just couldn't let it go.

I wound up approaching him. He was willing to come with me to the customer service desk. Fortunately, on our way over there, he spotted his dad and ran straight to him. I approached the father to tell him what I'd been doing--so he'd know that I wasn't abducting his child. He said a hurried thanks, and I left him comforting his little one. I heard him tell the boy that he'd just stepped away for a second to look at a book with his sister. I heard the little boy say that he just wanted to go home.

I got back over to S., and reached up to touch his face, and stroke our baby's hair. The experience left us both shaken and glad that we have a policy of going out into public as a team--so one can wrangle the baby while the other keeps watch. We reaffirmed our decision to keep doing that, so the same sort of thing would never happen to the Bean. After all, not everyone who would approach an unwatched child has altruistic motivations.

Which brings me to another point, and one which my beloved explores in his blog today. The point is that the notion that any man who approaches a child must be predatory, bugs us. To be sure, there are many evildoers out there, which is why S. and I have the tag team philosophy. We're never at anything less than yellow alert outside our own front door. But where do you balance that natural, and often well-justified, caution against doing the right thing?

Let's change the situation a little:
My husband is out in public. I know, and you know, that he is a devoted and loving husband and father. But, for the sake of argument, let's say he was at the bookstore alone. Maybe he's shopping for my Christmas present, or finding a new board book for the baby to chew on. All alone, he sees the lost little boy, who is desperately looking for his daddy in the crowded bookstore.

What should S. do? Should he bow to the general belief that as a man, he should not approach the strange child? Or, should he do the right thing, kicking convention to the winds, in order to help the child before a real predator has a chance to step in?

S. thought it over, and came to what I feel is the right decision. He decided that society's prejudices can go to hell. He knows that he would never harm a child, and he knows that someone else might. He knows that if his child were lost, he would hope and pray that someone with a good heart would help her get back to us. Therefore, if the situation ever repeats, my husband will take the risk that meddling busybodies might jump to an evil conclusion about him, and he will defy their bias, to just help the person in need.

My husband decided that the prejudice is society's ill, and he won't be party to it.

Sometimes, you just have to do the Right Thing, regardless of public perception.

Assuming "among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" have entitled me. In other words, a weblog by a free woman who says what she thinks.

Glenn Reynolds Says
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