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Showing posts from December, 2003

Adventures in the Welfare Office

Some months ago my husband and I decided to apply for food stamps. He's a graduate student working on a PhD with uncertain income from semester to semester and I am a full time mother. We knew from previous experience that applying for public assistance requires lots of waiting around in crowded rooms so we decided that I would go to the office while he took care of the kids. I gathered up all of the paper work that I would need and we loaded everyone into the car.

On the way to the welfare office all of the stereotypes that I had ever heard about people on welfare were running through me head. The welfare queens, the "baby daddies" and "baby mommas", the ghetto superstars. I was sternly telling my self not to succumb to these images because they are all most likely false. After all, my husband and I were applying for food stamps and while we don't have a lot of money we are not uneducated single teen parents.

Well, the first thing I noticed as I walked …

The search is over

I heard on the news this morning that more search and rescue teams will not be going to Iran. Why? Because the Iranian government plans to stop looking for survivors of the Bam quake today. This highlights an interesting contrast in how two cultures deal with disaster and loss of life. After the attack on the World Trade Center rescue workers from around the country spent months searching the ruins. They knew they probably weren't going to find anyone alive after the first few days but they kept looking anyway. Right now rescuers are searching for missing people caught in California mudslides and snowboarders caught in Utah avalanches. In America we don't stop looking until we find a survivor or a body.

Conspiracy thought of the day
I wonder how many Iranian dissidents will become "victims" of this earthquake.

Culture of death
I have always found it interesting how cultures in the Middle East view life as so dispensable. It has always perplexed me that so many cultures…

We're baaaaack!

I'm back home with my wonderful cable modem! Now I can websurf to my hearts content, when the kids aren't hungry, tired, need new diapers, or aren't trying to hurt themselves or each other.

Oh how I miss my cable modem!

I'm on vacation at my parents' place. They are having a blast with the grandkids but they only have dial-up!! Arrrrgh!!!! I can't websurf between diaper changes and kid fights here because someone might need to call them. Anyway, Instapundit links to any interesting story about a brewing breastfeeding scandal. Apparently the infant formula industry has bought a few people in the American Academy of Pediatrics and doesn't want us to know the risks involved with formula feeding.
Dad's breathing down my neck so I guess I'm done with this post. I'll expound a bit on this issue latter.

More on my pet peeve

Religious Restrictions or Religious Censorship?LOS ANGELES — Burning the American flag is considered free speech; erecting crosses as roadside memorials is not. The Federal Communications Commission allows the "F-word" on television, but thanking God at a high school graduation is a no-no. And some schools freely dispense condoms to kids, but pencils that read "Jesus loves little children" were confiscated from a first-grade class in Virginia.

La Shawn Barber has a post about christmas.

No religion in public

I guess no one's immune from the attempts to scour religion from public life. A homeowners association in California removed holiday signs from light posts because they had images of and words associated with the Hanukkah on them and some of its members complained that they were fostering religious messages, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Origin of Kwanzaa

La Shawn Barber writes on the origins of Kwanzaa: Observed from December 26 to January 1, this “alternative” to Christmas is based on a mixture of East African harvest rituals called first fruits—according to Karenga—and 1960s radicalism, although most ancestors of black Americans were from West Africa.

Update from across the pond

Kevin Myers comments on the significance of the incident at the High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire library where a party celebrating Eid was welcomed but a poster about a Christmas concert was not (see Dec 16 post).

Here we go again...

Town Says 'No' to Nativity Scene, 'Yes' to Menorah
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The town of Palm Beach, Fla., told a federal judge Thursday that he has no authority to demand that they come up with a good reason why Jesus Christ in a manger should not be displayed next to a menorah on public property....Two women wanted a Christ in a manger display next to the menorah but the town refused, saying the Nativity scene could only be placed in a lesser-trafficked park.
So what exactly is this town trying to prove? And why aren't Jewish people upset about the secularization of their religious symbol? Perhaps because the only reason that Chanukah shows up on the radar of non-Jews is because the commercial sector needed a Jewish holiday to make money off of. They have already totally commercialized Christmas. Everyone expects to go running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to buy the perfect gift for everyone on their Christmas list. That's what Christmas…

Cookies any one?

This is an interesting read by Wendy McElroy on the Fox News website.
The Conservative Cookie Rebellion
Want to buy a cookie? If you are a white male, that'll be $1; for white females, 75 cents; blacks, 25 cents. The price structure is the message.
What, don't asians get any cookies? Or do they not count?
Through Affirmative Action Bake Sales, conservative groups on campuses across America are satirically and peacefully spotlighting the injustice of AA programs that penalize or benefit students based solely on gender and race. The cookie rebels are being slammed by such a backlash that the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) -- dreaded by many university administrators -- just shot "an opening salvo" in the rebels' defense.
The rest of the article is very interesting.

Oh the hypocrisy! Let me count the ways

I read this at the website Tongue Tied and I couldn't resist commenting on it.
A church that attempted to put a notice for their Christmas concert up on a public library bulletin board in Britain was told it could not do so because it might offend non-Christians, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Officials from the same library in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, however, held a party to celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid at the end of Ramadan only a few days earlier.
Bridget Adams, 57, a school teacher and a member of the choir at All Saints church in High Wycombe was refused permission by library officials to display a poster stating the dates and times of its Christmas services.
Margaret Dewar, the city official in charge of libraries, was furious that folks from the church made a stink about the incident.
"I am appalled at the attitude of these so-called Christians making such a fuss about this policy," she said. "It is quite a different thing having a party organi…

Saddam capture stuff

Glenn Reynolds writes about the fall of the dictatorship, and it's no the one that you think.

Glenn Reynolds also has lots of stuff about Saddam's capture at Instapundit.com. Start here, "Why didn't you fight?" one Governing Council member asked Hussein as their meeting ended. Hussein gestured toward the U.S. soldiers guarding him and asked his own question: "Would you fight them?" Scroll up or down for lots more good stuff.


From Zeyad at Healing Iraq:
The following video of Saddam in his long hair and beard was a shock to us all. My grandmother burst in tears.

Al-Jazeera repeated that video a hundred times in that hour. I don't know what got into me but I really felt sorry for the man. For the first time in years he looked so human. He was just a typical helpless 66-year-old Iraqi at that moment. I stared hardly at his eyes and tried to convince myself that this was the same man who destroyed Iraq and sent millions to their deaths. I found myself…

Saddam Hussein Captured

Unless you've been living in a hole in the ground (heh heh) you probably already know this but I'll say it again. Saddam Hussein has been captured by US forces with the help of the people of Iraq. I was slogging through the snow with a kid on my hip trying to get to the car when my husband came around from the back of the car with a big grin on his face. "They got Saddam! They caught him in Tikrit!" As we bundled the kids into the car we listened as the subdued NPR reporters gave the details of his capture. They found him cowering in a hole in his home town. He gave up without a fight. Praise God! At church we gave thanks for the capture of someone who did so much evil. We prayed for justice and the safety of soldiers and civilians in Iraq. We prayed that the Iraqi people would be moved one step closer to healing and rebuilding their nation. And we prayed for those who still suffer under the boot heels of dictators around the world.

Democrats to the rescue! Not!

So democrats are looking out for the rights of disenfranchised minority voters again.
Plaintiff Witness: Texas District Map Hurts Minority Voters
"AUSTIN, Texas - The state's GOP-proposed congressional redistricting map would divide a black community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to such an extent those voters could not elect their candidate of choice, a history professor testified in federal court."

First incorrect assumption, all those black folk would vote the same way. Second incorrect assumption, they have nothing in common with anyone else in their new district, they couldn't possibly find any political common ground with non-blacks.

"'They have been put in a district where they have no realistic prospects of electing the candidate [read democrat] of their choice ,' Lichtman testified Thursday before a federal three-judge panel hearing lawsuits that challenge the redistricting map."

Awe, isn't that sweet! All those nice democrats are look…

"Hopeless" persistent vegetative state survivor sacked by school board

Rus Cooper-Dowda, a school teacher in Florida, was fired for expressing support for Terry Schiavo and those fighting to keep her alive. Terry Schiavo has been diagnosed as being in a Persistent Vegetative State. Schiavo's parents have been fighting to keep her alive while her husband insists that Schiavo wants to die. Cooper-Dowda herself was incorrectly diagnosed as being in a Persistent Vegetative State and deemed hopeless. Fr. Rob Johansen has more about Cooper-Dowda at Thrown Back.

There are some who would argue that it would be more humane to let Terri Schiavo die. For the life of me I just can't see what is "humane" about allowing someone who is helpless to starve to death. This isn't humane, it is one of the most callous, cold hearted things I have ever heard of! Fr. Johansen has some excellent posts regarding Terri and her family in his archives.

Iraqi protests ignored

The New York Post has an oped piece about the media ignoring anti-terror protests in Iraq. I used to think that the charge of liberal bias in the media was a bit over blown but not any more. To ignore such a momentous event in Iraq is down right deceitful! How can anyone think that 10,000 people (Al-Jezzera's undoubtedly lowballed estimate) gathering in Baghdad alone to denounce terrorism is not news worthy! Now I wonder what else is going on in this world that we aren't being told about because it doesn't fit into someone's politically motivated preconceptions of what is news worthy. The American people are being betrayed by the very people that we trust to keep us informed about our world. If it weren't for the internet we'd be completely in the dark. Well guess what boys, we on to you. Don't expect that you can keep us in the dark forever.

More on the anti-terror protests at Healing Iraq.

Protests in Baghdad

IntaPundit is tracking stories about the anti-terrorism demonstrations that went on in Iraq today.
Zeyad at Healing Iraq has lots of pictures from the Baghdad protest. Omar also has his own account at Iraq the Model. We're all waiting to see what kind of mention the protests get in the "mainstream media."

UN and the internet

Glenn Reynolds of InstaPundit has a column at Tech Central Station about the UN bid to take over the internet. In the end it turns out that the UN decided not to make a move on the internet after all.

"After this column was written, but before it appeared, the current proposal for a U.N. takeover was set aside. But don't expect this to be more than a temporary retreat, and don't take your eye off of them. Eternal vigilance, and all that."

It's still a good read.
Black Conservatives, they do exist!

I knew I couldn’t be the only one! The online magazine The Black Conservative has lots of good thought provoking stuff that challenges the status quo. It’s for that 10% of the black population that thought for themselves and didn’t vote democrat in 2000. And for those in the 90% who may be starting to think that may be something isn't qite kosher in black America.

Here’s a link to one of their articles. Our Own Worst Enemies, by La Shawn Barber, it's a review of the book SCAM: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America by Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson. Good stuff! Here are some quotes (just to encourage you to read the whole thing):

“If white Americans were to leave the country tomorrow, in ten years America would be a ghetto, writes Rev. Peterson.”

“Black people should ask themselves what debt they owe to whites both Americans and British who lobbied and fought and died to bring an end to slavery... Audacious and observant. To date, bla…
Sullivan on "THE DURHAM DEBATE"

Andrew Sullivan comments on last night’s democratic presidential candidate debate. I especially liked his comments about Moseley-Braun and Sharpton. “Moseley-Braun is a complete embarrassment. She has nothing to say except ‘I'm a black woman.’ She is, of course, an insult to black women, most of whom do not respond to life's problems by reiterating ancient boilerplate about helping kids and moving forward.”

“As for Sharpton, he had a few good lines. And he destroyed Ted Koppel at one point. But he's a buffoon, another insult to black voters' intelligence. He's not a serious candidate for high office or any office. It seems absurd that real potential presidents have to stand on the same stage. It's not a racial thing. He's no crazier than Kucinich.” I’m glad that someone finally realizes that these two are not the best examples of black political involvement and has the guts to say it. Unfortunately many still hol…
High Praise for US in Arab World

"The United States is not going to quit. Instead, it will convert poles of Jihadi flags into arrows to pierce the hearts of terrorists - who ultimately will be consigned to the dustbin of history."

Now that is an uplifting image. It's telling that this quote came from an editorial in the Arab Times. I can't imagine any major US newspaper printing something that offers such praise to the US. Perhaps it is envogue for US papers to be so critical of the US. All of that stuff about getting at the truth and holding the governement accountable. I wonder who's keeping them accountable?

"They are living in the past and they can see only the history of the United States. They think America is the same country that withdrew from regions where it incurred heavy casualties, such as Vietnam, Beirut in 1982, and Somalia. They refuse to see the recent history of the US in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and in the war to liberate Kuwa…

Bush dishonouring the dead?

I found this article by Eleanor Clift on the MSNBC website and thought I would comment on it.

Dishonoring the Dead: Bush - and the nation - should do more for the soldiers killed in Iraq
That's what the headline says, a more honest title would be "Bush is a big screw up for not showing off the dead". The jist of this column seems to be that Bush is a bad guy for not letting the public gawk at fallen Americans returning home. Here's one telling excerpt, "Where Bush and his political choreographer, Karl Rove, should catch hell is the way they have shut down media coverage of the coffins shipped back from Iraq. By imposing a blackout on the returning dead, they show contempt for the intelligence of the American people." The writer is of course forgetting that this has been White House policy since before President Bush was in office.

The article also contains the implication that Iraq is becoming a modern day Vietnam. And a suggestion that the US is responsib…
The Arab-Palestine connection

Omar posted this interesting essay on his blog, Iraq The Model:
This article is not about Iraq, it is about an issue that has been used in Iraq and other Arab countries to strengthen the grip of Arab tyrants on power....For nearly a century, the main concern of Arabs and Muslims was (and still is) the Palestinian issue. I must stress that I do not want to defend any particular party, neither do I want to go deep into the roots of this conflict, who caused it or why a certain super(and minor)power adapted a certain policy. I just want to focus on the way the consecutive Arab governments dealt with it.

I hope through doing this I could also answer two valid questions that were posted in the comment section of previous articles:
The first asking why Arab cared for Palestinians rights more than they do for their own? In the second, was asking about the reaction of Arabs and Muslims towards what's happening in Iraq. As every one knows, the Arab-Israeli w…

Some thoughts on Communism

I found this site with the subtitle, "Exposing Imperialist Lackeys, Capitalist Reactionaries, and Zionist Running Dogs," through an Iraqi blog. I haven't decided yet if it's funny or scary. What do you think? I think it is intriguing that there are people who seriously think that the world would be better off if everything were run according to communism. I've heard it said that theoretically communism and socialism were good ideas but practically they could never work. Think about it. Taking from the "haves" to give to the "have nots" so that everyone can be a "has enough" is basically a good idea. Provided that the "haves" willing give up their stuff. Some would even say it is biblical, drawing on the passage in Acts 2:44, 45 that talks about the early church being in one accord and having everything in common. That interpretation ignores some other things present in the text but, I digress.

The problem with comm…
These folks have clearly misunderstood the dynamics of the biblical relationship between a husband and wife.

Breast-feeding driver found guilty

"Donkers said her husband ordered her by cell phone to breast-feed their 7-month-old daughter to save time while she drove on the turnpike May 8. Police stopped Donkers after a trucker who saw her holding the baby on her lap called 911.Donkers testified she did nothing wrong because the couple’s religious beliefs require her to follow her husband’s directives."

Having breast fed my own children (mostly while sitting still) I can tell you that trying to do it while driving a car at 65mph is NOT a good idea. And my husband certainly has more good sense then to order me to do something so reckless!
UN wants to take over the internet?
InstaPundit.com reports that the UN has designs on the internet. The full article about it is here. I don't know about you but the very thought scares me. Given the wonderful job that they've done so far with the responsibilities that they do have I really don't think that it would be a good idea to give them any more responsibility over any thing!
PETA has pissed off the wrong people! The Center for Consumer Freedom started airing attack ads against PETA on the Fox news channel last night. You can see the ads online. They also seem to take on "greedy trial lawyers". Looks interesting, I'll have to take more of a look around later. Personally, I've thought that the folks at PETA have been off their rockers for years!

Parablemania, Jeremy's blog. He's started writting again.
Email received from a friend regarding submission:

" I just had one question about your conclusion. While I can't argue
much about what you said in regards to the context of Ephesians 5, but the
conclusion might not necessarily be applicable for every woman. You ended
your argument by stating "A wife's submission to her husband's leadership
should not be dependent on how good a leader he is.", then do you mean any
married Christian woman is to submit to her husband no matter what? (what
if he becomes abusive and ungodly to her?)"


The purpose of a wife's submission is to help him lead the family unit in
glorifying God. She does this by encouraging him to be a godly and loving
man. Having said that the responsibility of a Christian wife to an abusive
and ungodly husband is to do whatever is necessary for him to become a godly
and loving man. This is never accomplished by allowing him to continue the
obviously sinful behaviour of abusing h…
So schools in NYC aren’t allowed to display nativity scenes at Christmas because they’re too religious. However, the Jewish menorah and Muslim star and crescent are allowed because they are secular. Well two things. First, if I were Jewish or Muslim I’d be a bit peeved that symbols associated with my religion have been secularized. Second, if Jewish and Muslim students are allowed to have their faith acknowledged on their holy days why aren’t Christians allowed to have theirs acknowledged on one of their holiest days.

Why would you display the star and crescent at this time of year any way? There’s no Muslim holiday that I know of that has been highjacked to serve the purposes of consumerism and materialism (as is the case with Christmas and Hanukah). Here’s some info on it in the New York Post online.
Below is the edited text of a message I sent to a listserve that I'm on a while back. A friend suggested that it might make a good post.
******************************************

Howdy folks!

So why do wives have to submit to their husbands? Because your God said so. It works for me.

The lightening rod passage that makes feminists around the world, and in the church, gnash their teeth is Ephesians 5:22, "Wives submit to your own husband, as to the Lord." (NKJV) As with many things in the Bible context is everything. Without the context of the rest of the book of Ephesians (and the rest of the Bible) one might be able to argue that Paul was a woman hating freak and that Christianity is all about the subjugation of woman.

But if you started reading at say Eph 5:15 you would have to come to a different conclusion. In my Bible the section heading reads, "Walk in Wisdom". The last verse of the section, v21, reads, "submitting to one another in the fear …
I recieved this email from a friend and got permission to post it:

"I am black and know for a fact that not all white cops are racist. However,
since i have been in this country, i have never seen a video in which a
whiteman is beaten upon by the police or shot at simply because they assumed
he heard a gun. I can show you tonnes of videos of black people being beaten
senseless by white cops-- i am not too sure that this is just a statistical
coincidence. racism is still an issue in this country that needs to be
adressed and thats a fact that people cannot run away from."


First, thank you for your comments. You raise some interesting points. In America sensation rules. There is nothing sensational about a white cop subduing a white suspect. The reason we don't see it is because no one would watch it. White men are arrested, tried, and sent to jail every day and nobody cares. But let one black man resist arrest and it's all over the news from coast to coast…
Joe Scarborough at MSNBC had a black gentleman on who was willing to say that cops are not always the ones responsible when things go bad between then and black suspects. This gentleman thinks that black leaders teach black kids that cops are all racist. So when the kids encounter cops they assume the worst, act accordingly and then the cops have to deal with that. Then the same black leaders that brain washed (the gentleman's term) these kids claim that cops are racist and unfairly targeting black men for violence.
From the Fox News website:

"The death of a 350-pound black man who was clubbed by police in a videotaped beating was caused primarily by the struggle that ensued after the suspect lunged and swung at the officers, the coroner said Wednesday in a case that has heightened racial tensions."

I've been watching this thing unfold for the last few days. I'm amazed at how all of the black folk called upon to give their opinions about it seem to be incapable of thinking that perhaps the cops did not do something wrong here. Just about every black person I've seen on TV talking about this incident says something along the lines of, "Well, we don't know what they're not telling us about what's not on that tape! We don't know what happened before they started taping! We don't know what the witnesses said!" Obviously implying that the police did something to provoke this man into attacking them. As far as they are concerned this was just an…