Saturday, July 31, 2004


Once more, I've posted then lost the post. I was able to save it, but when it posted, there were formatting errors I've spent the last 30 minutes trying to fix. ARRRRRGGG!

Okay, I feel a little better. Not much, but a little. I'll be able to fix the errors later, but it annoys me that it's out there and not the way I want it to look!

Update: this is a new post since the post on the Kerry speech and I'm having the same problem. The blogger program isn't allowing spaces between paragraphs. Just damn!

Florida Gas Prices

You might notice that I've added a feature in the sidebar showing gas prices here in the great state of Florida.

The Florida Senate generously gave a one month tax break to gas buyers. For the 31 days of August, we will see a reduction in the state taxes paid at the pump. Out of about $.50 per gallon in state taxes, we will save a whopping $.08. per gallon. I did some number crunching and I personally will see a savings of about $3.60 during August. I fill-up about every 10 days and put about 15 gallons in each time ($.08 x 15 gallons = $1.20 $1.20 x 3 fill-ups = $3.60).

What to do with this new-found wealth? Now, don't get me wrong. Because I am the eternal optimist and want to think the best of all people and their actions until I know differently, I have to believe that the legislature really wanted to do something to help out at the pump. I appreciate the effort, but, $3.60 isn't going to make me or break me. Over a month's time, $3.60 isn't much help.

Thanks, Florida legislators. For what, I'm not really sure, but thanks.

Syrian Musicians

Remember those musicians on the flight with Annie Jacobsen? If you don't know about it, I've got a link in a previous post, Terror in the Skies....Again? Turns out, those musicians were traveling with expired visas. Here's the link.

I don't believe Annie and her husband over-reacted. I've been flying since I was 6 months old. I haven't flown for the last several years, but at last count, I had over 300,000 miles under my belt before I was out of high school and that was before frequent flyer miles. I am a seasoned flyer and don't scare easily. I traveled frequently into and out of Miami during the Cuban hijacker years and learned to observe my fellow passengers. I would have been spooked, to say the least, had I seen what Annie saw. I might not have said anything to anyone, but I would have been making plans about what my actions would be had an "event" taken place. Here's a link to another story about this flight and others where apparent "dry runs" are being practiced.

Florida Votes
I'm not alone in being concerned about the electronic voting here in Florida. I have a friend who's husband was very involved in a campaign last November. There were concerns then about the voting and there are people convinced that his man lost the election because of the equipment. I felt that it should have been brought out into the open at the time so that we wouldn't have this issue come up again in '04. Here's the link to the NYT article. I had more than enough of the recounts and then the endless jokes in 2000. I hate to see my state the butt of jokes not to mention that it gets tiring very quickly.

John "The Bunny" Kerry

I don't know about you, but I think Kerry in the "bunny suit" made him look more human than I've ever seen him. It was humorous, a feel-good type of humorous, not a laugh-at-my-expense type humor. And, I didn't see it as a Michael Dukakis in the tank type of photo-op. Any man who would put on this outfit, that made him look silly, is a man I could relate to. I can't relate to Kerry on a snowboard or skis. I can't relate to Kerry and his many mansions and SUV's either he or his family owns (he doesn't seem to be sure just who the vehicles belong to). I understand that at least two stories (go figure) are floating around the Internet about this photo op. One, no photos were to be taken at all. Another, that the photos were strictly for the press. Uh....if the press takes photos, wouldn't you expect them to be published at some time? If he really thought that they would not be published, he would believe the French are our friends. Oh, wait. He likes the French (as a child he was mesmerized by the French troops in Berlin) and he might actually believe they are our friends. This wasn't Teresa or one of the kids snapping photos on a disposable camera, after all.

NASA calls them bunny suits, others call them sperm suits (from the Woody Allen Movie All You Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask - a funny movie), and still others liken them to the Oompah-Loopahs from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I call it a good photo op that makes him look human. Doesn't mean I would vote for him, but I like him just a teeny bit more than I did before.
The Kerry Speech
I didn't watch one single minute of the DNC. I did listen to Neal Boortz broadcasting from the convention. Since I was at work, I couldn't devote my full attention (for some reason they expect me to work and pay attention to my job! What a concept!) to Neal's show. When I was able to listen to Neal's conversations with various attendees, I was not surprised that they could not articulate what was good about the Kerry campaign. It was all about what was wrong with the Bush Administration.

I did read the transcript, however, so I know what was said. Just a few thoughts on Kerry's speech:
I'm John Kerry, and I'm reporting for duty.
So where have you been? I guess this is a reference to both his acceptance of the nomination and to his Vietnam service. You did know he served in Vietnam, didn't you? It was for something like four months 35 years ago, but it must have been the highlight of his life since he has to constantly remind everyone.
I will be a commander in chief who will never mislead us into war.
A noble thought. I would hope that each candidate hopes to never lead our country into war, misled or not.
I will have a Vice President who will not conduct secret meetings with polluters to rewrite our environmental laws.
Aren't all laws, environmental included voted on by congress? Where was Kerry? Oh...I forgot. He missed 80% of the votes in the last year.
I will have a Secretary of Defense who will listen to the best advice of our military leaders.
And, I hope, takes that advice and gives his best advice to the President.
And I will appoint an Attorney General who actually upholds the Constitution of the United States.
Isn't that what the AG is supposed to do?
As president, that is my first pledge to you tonight: As president, I will restore trust and credibility to the White House.
I thought that was what Bush had done after the Clinton's vacated the White House.
Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so.
But Mr. Kerry, you said there were WMD's in Iraq. And so did both Clintons, Al Gore, John Edwards, and both the French and German governments.
Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn't make it so.
Didn't you vote against supplying the troops with body armor and tanks and other equipment?
To give him credit, he did say a few things I agree with:
We are here tonight because we love our country. We're proud of what America is and what it can become.
My mother was the rock of our family, as so many mothers are.
So was my mother.
(About his father) He lived out the responsibilities and the sacrifices of the greatest generation to whom we owe so much.
Mine too.
Mine were Greatest Generation parents. And as I thank them, we all join together to thank a whole generation for making America strong, for winning World War II, winning the Cold War and for the great gift of service which brought America 50 years of peace and prosperity.
Both my parents enlisted in the Army in WWII. And, they had the honor of being the first WAC and soldier to be married. At least, according to the national newspapers at the time.
We have it in our power to change the world, but only if we're true to our ideals. And that starts by telling the truth to the American people.
There is nothing more pessimistic than saying that America can't do better.
We're the optimists. For us, this is a country of the future. We're the can-do people.
Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran up stairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation's Capitol; when flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.
We are here to affirm that when Americans stand up and speak their minds and say America can do better, that is not a challenge to patriotism; it is the heart and soul of patriotism.
That's enough for now.
There were only three sentences about what he did while in the Senate:
When I came to the Senate, I broke with many in my own party to vote for a balanced budget, because I thought it was the right thing to do.
I fought to put 100,000 police officers on the streets of America.
And then I reached out across the aisle with John McCain to work to find the truth about our
POWs and missing in action and to finally make peace in Vietnam.
After twenty-some years in the Senate, there were only three things he could point to.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

It's Wictory Wednesday!!!
Okay, it's Wednesday, the day that bloggers ask their readers to volunteer their time or to donate money to the Bush/Cheney campaign. Why do I participate when I am not a Republican? Well, while I don't agree with everything Bush has done, I think he's the one who's shown the character it takes to be the leader of the greatest country in the free world. And whether you agree or not, it is all about character.
Right now, please consider this: you have a choice to make. A man who has proven himself capable of making tough decisions or a man who sees both sides of an argument and agrees with both. That is, if he isn't disagreeing with both. A man who can do the job or a man who has missed more than 80% of the Senate votes this year. Do you want a man in the White House who is his own man, or a man who has to have the permission of the United Nations to make a decision?
But this is for another post. This is where you volunteer, and this is where you make a donation. If you have already volunteered or donated, or for some reason can't do either, the other thing you can do right now is talk to your friends and family. And don't forget to vote in November!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
I was listening to Fox and Friends yesterday when I heard a former federal prosecutor (have no idea who he was) discussing the Lori Hacking case. I'm sure you know who she is but in case you don't, she's a young woman who's missing from Salt Lake City. Her husband is considered "a person of interest" and is currently getting psychiatric help in a local hospital. This prosecutor mentioned that the husband has stated "mistruths" in his statements to the police.

I have always hated when people say, "you really meant to say..." or "don't you mean to say...". My usual response is "I said what I meant to say. Did I not make myself clear? What part of what I said didn't you understand?" This is one of those times when I will say to the prosecutor, "Didn't you mean to say he lied?"

A lie is defined as 1 : to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive 2 : to create a false or misleading impression. I understand there are varying types, if you will, of lying. The out-and-out lie where you know the truth and choose to say something else to save your own skin or someone else's skin. Both lies, but one at least benefits someone other than yourself. There is the lie used to keep from hurting someone else's feelings ("That is the cutest baby I've ever seen" while thinking to yourself, "Call the zoo! I've found the missing link!") and we've all done it. There is the lie of omission where you answer the question but leave out pertinent information ("Oh, the boys and I just played a little poker last night" and not mentioning that you lost your paycheck) used for a number of reasons. The lies politicians tell when they are campaigning and want your vote ("I'll promise you anthing you want because you're stupid enough to believe me and you'll vote for me). And probably more types of lies. The point is, they are all lies.
Like most people, I try to tell the truth, but I will tell a lie to keep from hurting someone's feelings ("Yes, mother, that shade of cotton candy pink lipstick looks lovely on you"). When I was a child, and even as a young adult, I didn't want people to be mad at me (I think it was more that I wanted people to like me and if they were mad at me, they wouldn't like me) so I would lie. As I've matured, I'm much less concerned with what other people think. If someone is mad at me, they'll get over it (I'm such a wonderful person that they just can't stay mad at me for long).

The point is, when we start calling lies by other names (fibs, little white lies, mistruths, mis-statements, covering for a friend, campaign speeches, and so on) we begin to learn that lying's not so bad and that it's okay to lie. It becomes the norm and we're a little less than what we were before the lie. If you lie about the little things, what won't you lie about?  Eventually, people begin to wonder whether they can trust anything we say. The fiber of our character is just a little weaker with every lie.
And it is about character.