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Showing posts from May, 2006

The scourge of divorce

This is pretty depressing.

When an Ex Moves, Do the Kids Go, Too?
by Tovia Smith

Morning Edition, May 29, 2006 When they first divorced, Jim Mason and Betsy Shanley Coleman found it relatively easy to work out a way to share custody of their two young boys.

Both parents lived within 20 minutes of the boys' school in Chelmsford, Mass., outside of Boston, and the boys spent a good amount of time with each parent. After a while, it all became routine: The boys would trade off, sleeping one week at their father's place and the next week at their mother's.

But it wasn't long before things fell apart. Coleman remarried, had a new baby and announced that her new husband was moving and she needed to follow him. She asked a family court for permission to take the boys 100 miles north, but the judge denied her request. Coleman appealed, saying it was unconstitutional to keep her locked in the town where she had lived before the divorce.

"When did it become OK in the U.S. to sa…

Frivolous Friday

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Yeah I know it's Saturday. We took the kids to the zoo yesterday and I had no energy left for blogging afterwards.


Your Animal Personality
Your Power Animal: Deer

Animal You Were in a Past Life: Panda

You are a fun-seeker - an adventurous, risk-taker.
While you are spontaneous, you are not very rational.The Animal Personality Test

Deer are a ravening plague. We need to bring back some big predators (or encourage more deer hunting) to take care of those things.

Your Linguistic Profile::60% General American English20% Yankee10% Dixie5% Upper Midwestern0% MidwesternWhat Kind of American English Do You Speak?


You Are Bert
Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to othersThe Ses…

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for/that:
The sun has come out again.
Modern medicine. As miserable as I am right now I can only imagine how much worse it would be without the medicines we have today.
A nice comfy bed to recuperate in.
What are you thankful for?

Realities of Guantanamo

Call me a cold hearted cynic but how do we know that anything that they say is true?

Leaving Guantanamo: Enduring a Harsh Stay
by Jackie Northam

All Things Considered, May 22, 2006 · In late November, three Guantanamo detainees were released and sent back to Bahrain. The men had been held by the U.S. for about four years, first in Afghanistan and then in Guantanamo.

In part one of a two-part series, two of the former detainees talk about their time at Guantanamo -- the interrogations, the military guards, and what they say is an abuse of their religion -- as well as their attempts to rebuild their lives back home in Bahrain.

Much ado about The Code

I trying not to be too gleeful about the uninspiring reviews of the Da Vinci Code movie. This interview that aired yesterday on the Diane Rehm Show had me chuckling though.

I was equally entertained by the rapid evolution of the movie reviews once people finally saw the movie. The initial reviews were all honestly negative but after 24 hours or so they were more along the lines of, yeah the movie's not that great but go see it anyway. Um, no thanks.

Jesus and Da Vinci seems to be a good resource for learning about the claims made in the book and movie about Christianity (if you haven't already).


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New York in the news

NPR's Talk of the Nation Science Friday program was broadcast from my alma mater SUNY ESF. I only got to listen to bits and pieces on Friday while running errands. But I did hear about the intriguing proposal of taking down Interstate 81 which runs right through the middle of the city.

New York Sets Sights on Renewable Energy

Talk of the Nation, May 19, 2006 Gov. George Pataki of New York wants a quarter of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by the year 2013. Guests examine the plausibility of the plan, in a live broadcast from Syracuse, N.Y.

Guests:

Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., president of State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Edward Bogucz, executive director; Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems, Syracuse University

Carol Murphy, executive director; alliance for Clean Energy New York

William Moore, director of development, PPM Energy




New York Mega Mall Will be Driven by Green Power

Talk of the Natio…

Frivolous Friday

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Yesterday morning I found myself chasing my 3 year old around the couch so I could give him his medicine. I guess he really is feeling a lot better. Now on to the quizzes.


Your Famous Last Words Will Be:
"Nice doggy."What Will Your Famous Last Words Be?
(Via MzEllen & Co.)


You Are a White Flower
A white flower tends to represent purity, simple beauty, and modesty.
At times, you are dignified like a magnolia.
And at other times, you represent great ecstasy, like a white orchid.
And more than you wish, you're a little boastful, like a white hydrangea.What Color Flower Are You?


This one never gets old.
You Passed the US Citizenship Test
Congratulations - you got 9 out of 10 correct!Could You Pass the US Citizenship Test?
Unfortunately the quiz doesn't tell you which ones you get wrong.

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for/that:
This is going to sound shallow but yesterday I wore a pair of jeans that I hadn't worn since college. I had to inhale to button them but I could exhale once I did and I could walk normally in them. There are a few more itmes in my closet that I haven't worn in years that I need to go try on now.
I stopped drinking soda. I think that was part of the reason that the above happpened. I highly recommend it.
Spring rain.
No more sick kids. The boys were both sick at the beginning of the week but have since recovered. Now I've got a sick hubby to deal with. (The kids like to share their germs.)
Hubby is almost done with his end of the semester grading.
The neighbourhood flower bandits haven't made off with any more of my flowers. Mostly because I've made a habit of being outside when they are going to and coming home from school.
What are you thankful for?

Quit complaining

ABC Says Reporters' Calls Are Tracked by Government

by Mary Louise Kelly

Morning Edition, May 17, 2006 ABC News reports that the government is tracking two of its reporters' phone calls. The FBI says the ABC report is misleading and has nothing to do with the current debate on the National Security Agency's domestic activities.
I'm having a hard time feeling any sympathy for reporters on this. If reporters want to broadcast state secrets far and wide they ought to expect increased scrutiny from the state. Don't go complaining when, after reporting what was leaked to you, the government starts keeping tabs on you. It comes with the territory. Frankly I'd be more concerned if they didn't.

I haven't got any sympathy for their sources who are now under increased scrutiny as well either. They are breaking the law and what not after all. If the information is really that important I would think the sources would be willing to take on the risks of getting it out.…

Ward's words have consequences

Anybody remember Ward Churchill of 9/11 victims were like Nazis fame? Well his chickens have come home to roost.
Truth and Consequences

In the end, the faculty panel assigned to look into the Ward Churchill mess at the University of Colorado found plenty of guilt to go around.

It found repeated, intentional academic misconduct - plagiarism, fabrication, falsification and more - by Churchill, an ethnic studies professor at Colorado's Boulder campus, and documented those instances in a 124-page report released Tuesday. But the panel also faulted the university, noting that allegations about Churchill had been known for years in the scholarly world but had not been deemed worthy of inquiry at his home campus. The committee suggested that the university had hired Churchill knowing he was an outspoken activist and should not have been surprised when that's what it got. And the panel raised concerns about its own role because it was created in the aftermath of a public uproar over essa…

Rain

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And here I was worrying that we may be facing another drought this year.
New England Flooding Forces Evacuations

Of course my backyard is usually a muddy mess this time of year but even with all of the rain we've had the last few days it's nowhere near the mess it has been in other years.

President speaks

The President is set to give a speech tonight on immigration policy.
President Bush will use a prime time speech Monday night to call for thousands of National Guard troops to be deployed along the Mexican border to help back up the U.S. Border Patrol.
It will be interesting to see what else he says. I don't think politicians and policy makers realise how much illegal immigration and all that goes with it (human smugglers, exploitation of immigrants, and Mexico's unwillingness to care for its own citizens for example) grate on most Americans.

The speech is supposed to be at 8:00 PM EDT if you want to watch too.

60,000

Thanks to all who helped me get past the 60,000 mark on my site meter.

Frivolous Friday

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Bird flu hits Florida. (Via What if.)

Illegal immigration deal

Fox News is reporting that there has been some deal reached in the Senate over illegal immigration that will allow illegal immigrants to gain US citizenship. Apparently they want to get this all done by Memorial Day. I'll see what info I can get on this. I don't like it. I especially don't like the fact that illegal immigrants are getting all this attention while legal immigrants are regularly and consistently screwed over by current immigration law.

Senate Leaders Reach Deal to Revive Immigration Bill

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:
I am not an allergy sufferer. Pray for those who are.
Spring green. Most of the trees around these parts have leafed out. Everything seems to be on fast forward thanks to the warm winter and early warm spring. There are a few hold outs that typically leaf out later in the season. It has snowed in May around these parts.
The babysitter who lives across the street. We don't have to worry about how to get her back home.
Blogging.
Entertaining (occasionally frustrating) children.
Sleep.
What are you thankful for?

Chicken hawks

Thanks to hubby for bringing this to my attention. I always found it amusing when someone who didn't support the war in Iraq called someone who did support the war a chicken hawk. Regardless of how the term came to be applied to war supporters I always wondered if these people realised that chicken hawks were predators. These hawks got their common name because they could decimate a farmer's flock of chickens with little effort. How sad is it that I, who grew up in the city, actually knew what a chicken hawk really was. Well it seems that some war supporters have taken notice of the irony and decided to embrace the term. A chicken hawk is after all a fierce predator that strikes fear in the heart of many a chicken.
And why the chicken hawk? When we looked into it, it turns out that the chicken hawk is a pretty impressive predator. It's the largest of its family. This species vigorously defends its territory, getting even more aggressive when the conditions get harshest. It …

Jim Crow House 1950

The PBS reality history program Texas Ranch House aired for the first time last week. It was the latest in a long line of shows where modern folk live as people did in the past. I saw most of the Regency House program (a recreation of a house party from England's regency period) when it first aired. It caught my attention because it addressed the status of blacks during that era, from slaves to prosperous members of the elite. Not all of these programs do this.

As I watched bits and pieces of Texas Ranch House I wondered when someone would take on recreating the lives of black folk in America's past. Wouldn't it be interesting to see Plantation House 1850 where modern folk get to see what life was really like down on the plantation? Or maybe a recreation of a southern town during Reconstruction. After Reconstruction would be just as interesting. Jim Crow House 1950 would be a real eye opener for some folk (particularly those who would insist that America is no better now th…

Autism on NPR

Memoir Offers an Inside Look at Autism
Kamran Nazeer's memoir Send in the Idiots recalls his days at a school for autistic children. He tracks down former classmates and explores how they are handling their autism as adults.

Frivolous Friday

I haven't had time to look for any silly quizzes to post. Today I'll just tell you a story instead. A few weeks ago I was at a late night function. When the evening was over I stepped outside breathing deeply of the cool crisp air. There was the taint of tobacco on the air. On my way to my car I passed the source of the taint. There was a woman standing near a dumpster smoking. She smiled at me and said, "It's nice to get out in the fresh air isn't it?" I smiled politely while I wondered if I should point out the irony of her smoking up the fresh air that she had sought. It wasn't worth it so I nodded and quickly hurried off to my car. At least she was polite enough to go outside and stand away from the building (in the rain no less) instead of smoking up the doorway.

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for/that:
Sunshine.
Spring time flowers.
Friendly neighbours.
The neighbourhood flower snatchers haven't snatched all of my flowers.
"Tetchu! Wehcome!" Said Sophia as she got some desired item before following her brothers up the stairs.
What are you thankful for?

Immigrant Exploitation

From Dory at Wittenberg Gate:
Whenever people exist in an underground culture, they are vulnerable to exploitation. We see this among teen runaways, the homeless, or those who participate in illegal industries, such as prostitution, drug trafficking, and pornography. Wherever the law cannot be brought in to hold people accountable, abusers, criminals and exploiters will flourish.

So why are so many people working so hard to perpetuate a situation in which illegal immigrants exist in just such an environment? Why do they claim that as they do so, they are working for the immigrants? What are illegals to do when their employer doesn't pay, they fall victim to domestic violence, their kids are molested, their landlord doesn't provide running water, or their home is burglarized? They can't risk exposure by calling in the appropriate authorities, and their exploiters know it.

My regular readers know that I don't get political very often on this site, but as we seek a Christian…

After the illegal immigration protests

Alright, so you've had your protest demanding that you be given what others wait years for and spend thousands of dollars to get (the legal right to enter the US and US citizenship). Now what? You haven't convinced me that you deserve amnesty or citizenship. You have convinced me of your unwillingness to face the consequences of your actions.

Law makers ought to take note of this:

Virginia Town Council Unseated Over Immigrant Center Concerns
More on Herndon, Virginia

The rank unfairness of demanding amnesty and citizenship after living in the US illegally still burns in my mind. The rank unfairness of demanding such special treatment while others who choose the legal road languish trapped in bureaucratic red tape still burns in my mind. The hassles that I and my family went through to gain our citizenship (after legal permanent residency) still burn in my mind. (Perhaps I'll get my sister to tell you about her naturalization experience, it involved a typo.) And we had the adde…