Saturday, September 18, 2004


I have a new name for my Chihuahua puppy, Wyatt: Poopy Puppy, Prince of Piddles. No wonder my floors look better than they have in years!
It's How You Arrange Your Mind

I was watching, or mostly listening to, PBS this afternoon. It was one of their fundraising programs featuring Dr. Wayne Dyer. This particular program was about the Power of Intention. Of course, the idea is you make a donation to PBS and they will send you something relating to either PBS or this particular program.

I've heard this program before and wasn't really listening to it (it was on mostly for background noise. I have to have a TV on. Sad, I know, but that's the way it is). Dr. Dyer ended his program with the following story. It may not be exactly as Dr. Dyer told it, but the core is there.

An elderly lady was moving into a nursing home. She was impeccably dressed; make-up and hair perfect. This inspite of the fact that she was legally blind. Her husband of seventy-something years had recently passed away, which was the reason for moving into the home. She patiently waited while the room was readied. Finally, someone came to escort her to her new home.

As they proceeded down the hallways, her escort described the tiny room to her. The lady smiled and said that she knew she would love it. The escort asked how she knew that, since she hadn't yet seen the room.

The lady explained that it didn't matter how the furnishings in the room were arranged, but how her mind was arranged. She had a choice to either accept and like the room, or to not. She chose to like it.

I love that story. I've heard it before and listen every time Dr Dyer tells it. I want to be that lady. Accept with grace the difficulties (blindness, the death of her husband, the loss of her home and her independence) and live her life with joy. One of my life's mottos is when you're handed lemons, make lemonade. And yes, one of my favorite songs is Don't Worry, Be Happy. Remember it? I feel like my life is better because I choose to make the best of things. Do I get depressed. You bet I do, but for me, it doesn't last more than a little while. I have a little pity party and get over it. Why be unhappy or disagreeable when it's so much nicer to choose to be happy or content? That doesn't mean I allow people to walk all over me. I choose my battles. I'll battle over something or someone that is important to me. The rest, well, is it something that will matter in 5 years? 10 years? How about next week?

Life is not perfect right now, but I can't do a whole lot about it. We're undergoing some financial problems, mostly of our own making. We made some bad choices over the last few years, so we've got to ride it out and do what we can to work it out. If things go right, in a little over 3 years, life will be good. Or at least better financially.

So in the meantime, why be unhappy? Life is much more pleasant when you look for the good, instead of the bad.

Election Observers

The Command Post reports that there will be international observers at our elections in November. After the 2000 election, I'm reasonably certain that the entire world will be watching to see what happens. I know, the world watching is not quite the same as having people specifically watching to see if all votes count or if anyone is disenfranchised.

While I'm insulted that anyone would think our elections are somehow rigged, I say let them come. The more people observing our electoral process is a good thing. Citizens of other countries, oh say, Iran, North Korea, China, and Cuba to mention a few, may realize that this is a process that they like and want to emulate. Not that their leaders want this, mind. But it's one more thing to show the world just why we have it so much better than they do.

It will also show that our voting process is sound. Even if there are people (like rocket scientists) who can't read instructions, and vote other than how they intended. If they didn't vote they way they intended, why did they leave the precinct without asking the poll workers for another ballot? I have voted by punchcard in previous elections. I didn't have any problem voting the way I intended, and I didn't have any hanging chads, either. Did they get outside and all of a sudden have a V-8 moment (slapping their heads and saying "I coulda voted for [name your candidate!]")? I would be ashamed to admit that I voted incorrectly, and left without trying to make it right. If I ever did realize that I voted other that what I wanted, I would either lie about it to anyone who asked (sure, I voted! Cast my vote for Joe Schmoe! Yep, just like I said I would!) or, tell myself that I couldn't be stupid enough to vote incorrectly (nah...I voted for Joe Schmoe just like I planned all along. I'm not so stupid that I can't [punch or bubble or touch a screen choose whichever is appropriate]) and vote the way I want.

Is the voting process perfect? Of course not! Whenever humans are involved there will be problems. Either manufactured as in creating problems in getting absentee ballots to the military, or real as in problems with voting machines. It happens, rarely, but voting machines do go on the blink.

I heard that somewhere, probably here in Florida, there is court action that is delaying the sending of absentee ballots to military personnel. If the ballots don't go out on time, they may not come back in time to be counted. Gee, I wonder who could be causing the delay? I'm sure no one would want to keep the military, who generally vote Republican, from being counted in the election.

I have a suggestion to alleviate the problem with absentee military votes. Since the ballots have to be mailed out so far in advance in order for the soldier, sailor, airman, or marine to vote and get the ballot back to their home elections office in time to be counted, why not allow them to vote where they are stationed? Their voting precinct would be their duty station, not their home town. I trust the military with protecting my country, I would also trust that someone at their duty station could run a voting precinct honestly.
New Sections

I've added two new sections to my sidebar: Worthy Organizations and Shopping.

Salute America's Heroes is a site where you can help a soldier who has been injured in the line of duty. Other sites promoting helping Americans, whether military or other will be added as I deem them worthy of inclusion. If you have a site you'd like to suggest, I'll look at it. Don't be offended if it's not included right away; it may be added at a later date. While very worthy, it might not be what I'm looking for at the time.

The shopping area now includes a link to I've opened a store, but have nothing in it at the moment. Other links may be added, again, as I see fit to do so. Some sites I may have an interest in, other I just find interesting. If you want to buy from my links, it might put a few pennies into my bank account, and that's a good thing. If you choose a link I have no financial interest in, well, that helps someone else and that's also a good thing. End of shameless plug.

Six Degrees of Separation

Or something like that. I've found a link to yet another chart showing the links between Kerry and the cast of characters involved or believed to be involved in Rathergate.

Take a look here.
New Blog!

Brand new blog, only two entries so far, but one that might be interesting to watch in the future months.

I've got to say, I have to agree. Dan Rather is an idiot. He apparently thinks the American public is drinking Kool-Aid and will believe whatever he says. All Hail Dan! Don't bother to think for yourself, listen to Dan! He'll tell you what you need to know.

As I've said before, I haven't watched network news in years. This mess doesn't do much to restore my faith in any of the networks, much less CBS.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The New Soldier

I linked to this site, John Kerry's The New Soldier some time ago, and it's on my sidebar. Since it was mentioned on Neal Boortz' show today, I thought it would be a good time to link again.

There are links to Unfit for Command (4 chapters), Kerry's 1971 Congressional testimony, and postings regarding the CBS meltdown, as well as other interesting links regarding Kerry. I can't speak to the veracity of the site, because I haven't independently verified anything on the site. But, it's an interesting read. And, if you want information about Kerry and the man he is, take a look.

Just checked out the Boortz site, and found that the link mentioned was to, another site that offers The New Soldier. This site is a 527 organization.
TD #12

Gads! Yet another one coming on deck. Haven't we had enough?.
Election Projection

If you haven't seen this site, you really should take a look. I've linked before, but it's worth another look.
Blogging In Pajamas

Well, not this time, but you'll never know when I might be.

Some people fear clowns, others fear high places. I have a feeling that Dan Rather's worse nightmare now revolves around pj's and computers. Somehow, I don't think Dan will be asking for jammies for Christmas.

I always thought CBS stood for Columbia Broadcasting System. Now it stands for Can't Believe (the) Shit (we report).

Seriously, I never would have imagined that bloggers could have the influence that Powerline and others have had over the last week. I never did catch the name of the uh...gentleman... who sneered at bloggers by saying that we're just a bunch of people sitting in front of the computer in our pajamas in the living room. That sounds a bit like "Clue": The blogger is Powerline, in the living room, with a computer!

For many years, I subscribed to the local newspaper. When I got the feeling they were subscribing to the Sarasota paper (the news in the local paper was always a day or two behind the Sarasota paper) to get the news, I cancelled the subscription. I stopped listening to network news during the Clinton years because I could see a definite bias (Hail Bill! All hail Hillary, The Wise and Powerful!) toward the left.

You see, back in the stone age when I was in high school, I took some journalism classes. I was taught that a journalist reports the news. The reader or viewer should never be able to discern the reporters opinion. The reporter should report just the facts and nothing but the facts. When I began to catch the bias in network news, I honestly didn't mind the bias itself so much. What I minded was finding out that facts were being left out because they didn't help the slant of the story. There was too much fitting the facts to the story the media wanted to tell and not enough telling the facts and letting the reader or viewer decide the story.

There are stories to be told. And reporters have an obligation to present the facts of the story, not just the facts that support the slant they want to tell. I get most of my news today from Fox, talk radio, and the Internet because I can get the facts and form my own opinions. I don't like or need anyone else telling me what to think. I am intelligent, fairly well read, and can think for myself. I don't need anyone to interpret the facts for me. If I need help, I'll ask for more information. That's one of the things I like about the Internet. If I don't understand something, I can always find a news site or a blog that will help me to understand. I might have to go to several sites, but I'll eventually understand.

And now, with the advent of blogs, we've entered a new era. A new era where people will come to the Internet for information. I think that the mainstream media will be left in the dust unless they change their ways. I think that the Internet and bloggers have forever changed the way campaigns will be run in the future.

I know that I will never have the influence of the big bloggers. I don't write nearly as well and it's mainly for my own entertainment and need to express myself. If someone else reads what I write, and likes it, so much the better. I don't even mind an argument as long as the rules are followed. Do I wish I could have the influence that Powerline has right now? I'd like to have the traffic, but I'm realistic. It ain't gonna happen.

So, congratulations to Powerline, LGF, and the others who ushered in this new era. A new era has started, and history has been made. I might not be one of the big dogs, but it's nice to be a teeny, tiny part of it.

Update: Found out that the "gentleman" who dismissed bloggers as "a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas" is former CBS VP Jonathan Klein (thanks to Sissy for clearing this matter up for me). Wonder what he's doing these days? Just for the record, the computer I use to blog these days is in the living room, and I have blogged in my jammies. I am a proud member of the Jammies Brigade and I blog in the Pajamasphere. Hats off to Twisted Spinster!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Web of Connections

It's here! It's new! It's improved! Yes, it's the Web of Connections! It's the game everyone who's anyone will be playing this election season. Just how many moves does it take to get from John Kerry to the forged documents? Find out here!

Wicktory Wednesday

We're getting down to the wire. There are only 48 days, that's right, 48 days, until the election. Seven weeks to go. The past week has shown just how influencial we in the blogosphere can be. Well, maybe not me, specifically, but the blogosphere as a whole. We are a voice and we are being heard.

You can make your voice heard in other ways. You can't donate money to the Bush/Cheney campaign, but you can volunteer your time. If you don't have the time ro volunteer, then talk to your co-workers, friends and relatives. If you have a blog, there is still time to join Blogs for Bush. Here's an idea: make arrangements to carpool to your voting location with other people in your precinct. The idea is that every vote is important and every vote counts.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Hurricane Ivan Part II

It looks as if my Mom and Dad are coming through once again. Ivan seems to have taken a slight turn toward the west which takes it away from the Florida coast. We'll still see some effect, but hopefully less than if it had taken the earlier path. Fox just reported that a still more westerly turn is anticipated. Good for Tampa and points south.

I don't want it to hit anywhere, but it looks like Cuba is the immediate target right now. After it leaves Cuba, there will be plenty of time for Ivan to re-organize and re-generate the energy he lost over Cuba. I remember a storm back in the 60's, can't remember the name, that hung over the mountains in Cuba for something like 5 days. We said that it got caught in Castro's beard and couldn't get loose.

The best of all worlds would be for it to suddenly fall apart and become nothing more than a rainshower. Ain't gonna happen, but that would be the best. Next best thing would be for it to go into an isolated area of Mexico. I'm sure there would be towns and villages that would be flooded and maybe devastated or even destroyed. I don't want that and definitely don't want any more loss of life, but the more desolate area, the less damage.

Most people don't realize that Pinellas County is on a penisula and Tampa is actually on the east side of Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg. Any hurricane would hit St. Pete first, then Tampa. Being on the penisula, all of Pinellas County would be subject to storm surge. As low as it already is, the results would not be pretty.

Here are a couple or three cool links: Hurricane Hunters (courtesy of Florida Cracker), and the National Hurricane Center and the Tropical Weather Page at Weather Underground (courtesy of PaperFrog).

The big question of the day is whether the memos from President Bush's National Guard days are forgeries or not. I'm not an expert, so I won't go into whether they are or not. Although, from what I've heard, I tend to believe they are forgeries.

Why in the world would Dan Rather air these documents without having them tested 9 ways to Sunday is beyond my imagination. If it is proven that these memos are forgeries, that will be what Dan Rather is forever known - falling for and perpetrating a forgery. It won't matter that he didn't author the memos. As a journalist, he is responsible for authenticating his material and sources. I don't care for Mr. Rather, and haven't watched his broadcasts in years, but it's hard for me that a journalist of his caliber is involved in this scandal. I read that Rather and CBS had the documents for six weeks before airing them. Surely, they authenticated the memos before airing them? It would be absolute height of stupidity and arrogance to believe the public would accept the memos because CBS and Dan Rather said they were authentic.

Now, supposing these are forgeries, who would have authored them? I have the feeling that the author is youngish, late teens to early/mid twenties, and male. It just doesn't feel like a female is involved or someone older than, say, thirty. I haven't heard anything about where Dan Rather got the memos. It might be out there, loud and clear, and I've missed it, but still, I haven't come across it.

Some say they came from Karl Rove. I can't figure out why unless it was to have them accepted, and then to prove they are fake and cast doubt on Rather and CBS. I doubt that. I don't believe they came directly from Kerry and Company. If it comes back to the Democrats, they will lose votes and they don't dare risk that. Maybe from one of the 527's? It would have to be one that supports Kerry. I can't see a Bush supporting 527 doing it.

Maybe Dan Rather has joined Al Gore in going completely around the bend and decided that it would be worth risking his reputation to bring Bush down. I doubt this, too.

As for the why, I have a couple of thoughts:

One is that someone, a Bush-hater of course, created these memos in an mis-guided attempt to give proof to what he or she knows for a fact: that Bush failed to fulfill his Guard service and is unfit for office. It's sad that anyone hates someone so much that they will go to such lengths to keep them from office. Assuming that the forger is a Democrat, it's sad that this person has so little faith in his party that he feels that this might be the only way to keep Bush from being re-elected.

My second thought is that this was perpetrated by a person who thought it would be a good joke to see who would fall for these faked documents. He may have had some connection to CBS, such as a producer, or may have just started asking questions to find out who would bite.

And one last thought, someone created the documents as a "spoof", if you will, of a document that might have existed. He created the document for his own amusement because he could. He might have shown it to someone, maybe emailed it to someone else. Of course, we all know what happens when something gets into email and the Internet. Suddenly it becomes God's Honest Truth. Of course, someone somewhere along the email line got hold of it and decided it was proof of the President's unfitness for office, or even as stated before, wanted to see who would fall for these documents. This person might not know where they originated, and presented them to, say, a CBS producer, depending on CBS to authenticate the documents.

I could be very wrong, but I have a feeling that somewhere, someone is having a good laugh at Dan Rather's expense.

Here is a link to The Shape of Days. They've charted the timeline from the time when Dan Rather first aired the memos through the exposure of the memos as possible forgeries. About 18 hours on the Internet proved they could be forgeries, if not outright forgeries.