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Monday, October 30, 2006

Guard the Borders Blogburst

By Heidi at Euphoric Reality

I was having a helluva time writing an article for this week's GTB Blogburst. Over the weekend, I started three articles and each one fizzled out for lack of inspiration. For instance, I started one on President Bush's new fence bill - the one that has no funding - and it was hard for me to work up any outrage, since I wasn't surprised at such an empty gesture. In fact, I was expecting nothing less from this President, and that's a sorry indictment of how faithless he's become. The President's abrogation of this issue has boiled my blood for years, and is one of the main reasons why I am no longer a Republican, but now a furious and rebellious Independent. As I mulled over what to say about Bush's latest nothingness, I realized that anything I had say about his treason on this issue, I've already said before - and then some.

So I started another article about the effect of the immigration issue on elections; or rather, the effect it should have, but isn't. Because here we are at election time again, having to hold our noses to go elect more of the same do-nothing politicians. Yeah, the same types who have successfully ignored the will of the people for so many years. Out of a nation of 300 million people, you'd think we could field a few really top notch candidates for leadership at any level. But noooo...

The point is that I remain uninspired and severely jaded. Call it writer's block, or call it a crisis of faith, but... I. GOT. NUTHIN'.

So, in a late hour attempt to find some really good material to offer our faithful Blogburst readers, I sent out a request to our affiliates for their favorite links this week, which I could compile for everyone's convenience. Thus, this week's Blogburst is a little bit of a Trick or Treat - some chilling, and some funny. Which is apropos, considering that our nation's immigration policy is a monstrous nightmare for mainstream Americans.

The Nightmare on Main Street Edition of the GTB Blogburst

So Bush signed a law to create a border fence. Here is an image of the fence as designed by a joint committee of Mexicans and Liberals, and approved by Bush...

"Report an illegal to the Feds and watch the Feds sit on their hands!"

Minuteman 2.0.: The Minuteman project was a publicity stunt; we now need to take it to the next level and have citizen patrols guarding the border.

"Needed: Border Billboards": As soon as sniper posts are erected along our borders, we'll need some billboards erected that read something like this...

The Carpentersville Saga: Carpentersville Illinois is pursuing a Hazelton style ordinance, but as these two videos show, not if the pro crime Hispanics and their supporters have anything to say about it!

  • The C'Ville Video

  • New Freedom Folks Video: C'ville Video Update

  • "The US Border Patrol and Border Police are Out Gunned, Out Manned and Facing an Enemy with Technological Superiority Over Them!": You knew illegals were coming into the USA daily, but did you know that down in Mexico they are literally being brought up to the border by the train load? The report has the pictures to prove it!

    Trains from Central America and Mexico en route
    to the U.S. border


    Wild Thing sent some more jarring photos of our uninvited and unwelcome and undocumented "guests"- and no, these are not crazy Halloween costumes:





    If you think illegal immigration is nothing more than "good hard-working people, with good intentions" sneaking in here for a little harmless Trick-or-Treat, then these posts from some of the strongest contributors to Guard the Borders will convince you of the ghoulish truth.

    Many thanks to Third World County, Mr. Ogre, Freedom Folks, PC Free Zone, and the Independent Conservative.

    This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to admin at guardtheborders dot com.

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    Friday, October 27, 2006

    A Home for the Unwanted?

    As many of my readers know, I am the mother of three children with special needs; two of which have firm diagnoses (I'm working on the diagnostic process for the third -- again). However, something I rarely talk or write about is my experiences with individuals with special needs prior to knowing the needs of my children. While some date far back into my childhood, most of those are vague and were rather infrequent.

    In adulthood, I worked for a short while at a Community-Based Residential Facility. For those who aren't familiar with the term, it is the "step up" from mental institutions which is currently popular in our country. By those "in the know," i.e. many doctors and medical professionals, these facilities are touted as "better than" institutions, and thus the best option available for individuals with disabilities. While I will agree that these facilities are better than mental institutions, I will disagree strongly that they are not "the best" option. Not even close.

    My time at the CBRF in question was short, and I worked mostly at night while the clients, as they were called (which is so much better than "resident" *rolls eyes*), were asleep. However, I did help them through their morning routine.

    I went through the training, feeling very optimistic about this job. All the literature, all the videos, all the hype repeated something I honestly took to heart. The message was that it was our job to help these special individuals meet their fullest potential. Unfortunately, the reality was that this message was a crock of shit. I apologize for the language, but anything polite would be far too much of an understatement. One of the first things I was trained how to do once I was actually placed in a residential facility was how to plug someone's nose, just for a second, to get her to open her mouth to take her daily dose of Ensure. Of course, we weren't supposed to do this, but this is how it was done for this particular client. To say the least, I wasn't any good at it -- mostly because I refused to do it.

    One client was rather combative. She tended to argue with everything and everyone within her limited compacity. She was one of the most unhappy people I've ever met. My co-workers told me it was because of her disorder -- that this woman simply didn't like to be alive being the way she was -- however, I suspect it had more to do with the fact that she was always bossed around, rarely ever got to make choices for herself, and couldn't push herself out of the corner whenever a co-worker got frustrated and pushed her wheelchair in a corner -- so she could cool down, of course.

    I only worked at the facility a short time, because I couldn't stand to watch these people being treated with such indignity and such lack of concern. It was the best paying job I could get, so I tried. One day I was sick with broncchitis and I didn't want to work, because some of my clients had fragile immune systems. However, nobody would cover my shift so I had to come in. It was a difficult night and I didn't get much done, but I was told that would be okay. However, somebody complained.

    My boss's boss came to investigate the incident and provide me with my sixty-day review, and after talking to a few other people he took me downstair into an "office" area and asked me some questions. Mostly, he asked whether or not I considered myself a "team player" and why did I insist on trying to do things differently, when the routine of the house was already established. I described the "routine" to him, and asked him if this was what he really wanted me to do. He explained confidentiality rules to me. He explained the legal codes. And then he said, "But this is real, Stephanie. When you're here with these people, the rule books aren't what matters. What matters is staying on schedule." Then, he told me he'd put me on probation and I'd have to have another review in thirty days. He told me, for the good of our clients, I had to be a team player.

    I rarely look people in the eye. I'm not comfortable with that. And, when I do, I don't see that "window to the soul" that other people claim to see; I merely see eyes. However, I looked my boss's boss in the eye, and named the "clients" one by one. I told him, "These ladies are human beings, not clients. They're people. I can't treat them like this. They're people. I won't do it." So, I walked back upstairs and said good-bye to each of these women, and I prayed all the way home that God would find a way to shine a light of hope in their lives. I couldn't be that hope. I wasn't strong enough then. And, I regret that.

    My Mom worked at a variety of CBRFs for about two years. She had management experience, so she became a Lead; which basically means she managed the household and the staff of a household. She was a light of hope for several people while she was there. But the more she worked, the hard she tried, the less things seemed to change. Eventually she couldn't take it any more, so she left, and she prayed. I would bet she still does pray for those precious individuals.

    Institutions are where society sends individuals who are to be forgotten. But, so are Community-Based Residential Facilities. My mother and I have vowed, upon more than one occassion, that my boys would never have to live in such a place. I renew that vow again. And I pray that someday, someday soon, our society will stop trying to forget about the many people with disabilities that discomfit them by their very existence, and remember instead that we are all people, and we all have potential that can be met and expanded upon with effort -- even the "least amongst us."

    Void Sticker

    Thursday, October 26, 2006

    Worldview Quiz

    Lisa Renee of Liberal Common Sense found an interesting Worldview Quiz:

    Give it a try! And offer feedback.

    My scores were:
    Your rating regarding science/non-science: -3
    Your rating regarding values & humankind: -2
    Your position on the worldview spectrum: (-2,-3)

    Personally, I think they need to add some questions, because there's significantly more to "worldview" than science vs. religion, but hey, that's just me.

    Void Sticker

    Mark Foley -- A Burning Scandal

    A fellow blogger expressed interest in my thoughts and comments on some of the recent scandals, sinced I'd been out of the loop for a while.

    In searching for current material, this shouted for my attention. Now, as some of you are aware, I don't watch television, so I'm usually spared the Fox (which is neither worse nor better, merely different, from other mainstream news media outlets, imo) spin machine's rants and raving loony statements. However, this was irresistable, so I made the fatal click.

    The title is this: "Foley Investigation a Complex Task for Ethics Panel"

    So, I have to ask: "What's so damned complex about taking care of a sexual predator/freak!?!"

    After all, Habeus Corpus is suspended, so call him a terrorist, take him out back, and torture him! C'mon, how difficult is that?!? Besides, he's added serious and present danger to the life expectancy of the Republican's control of Congress; what better definition of terrorism could there be, right?

    Okay, so I'm not really advocating that, but, well, maybe. Since we can...

    Okay, so my tongue was firmly in my cheek there, but only because I don't see this (with the exception of gender) being any different from what Bill Clinton did with his various secretaries/interns. That being because none of my news sources have explicitly clarified whether House pages are or are not children. I'm assuming they're not, because were they I suspect someone would be shouting that from the roof-tops; however, I also seem to remember way back in the days of yon, House pages were children. So, if someone could clarify that for me, that would be super. (And if House pages are children, then the joke ceases to be funny, and can be taken quite seriously -- as a genuine recommendation.) But, so far as I understand, Foley got caught hunting for some adult male booty, which I don't see as being either better nor worse, merely different, from men hunting for some adult female booty.

    Either way, it's still gross, wrong, and, dare I say it, illegal. Not to mention unbefitting of a representative of the American government; ahem, *cough*Clinton!*cough*.

    That being said, I still don't see how it could be any more "complex" of a task than a typical investigation. Foley doesn't even have the excuse that he was embedding, no pun intended, his sexual overtures in top secret documents. It seems to me like Fox is trying oh so very hard to make this yittle problem go away, but sorry pals, this broke at *the* wrong time. The Republican-controlled Congress is all but history, and as much as I hate the fact that that means we're going to have a Democrat-controlled Congress (once again, neither better nor worse, merely different), it's still time for the Republicans to take a walk down those lonely Capitol steps, dragging their feet back to their home-states, that is if their home-states still want 'em back.

    Void Sticker

    Wednesday, October 25, 2006

    Searching for Truth in a Fact-Obsessed World

    I've been reading a book called Madeleine L'Engle {Herself}, "written" by Madeleine L'Engle and compiled by Carole F. Chase. It's a collection of Madeleine's wisdom as related through her writing and her workshops. For those of you who don't know, Madeleine L'Engle is the author of numerous books, many with a Christian bent to them. Her website provides a lengthy bibliography, however the book she's most famous for, at least in my mind, is A Wrinkle in Time. A childhood favorite of mine that I've carried into adulthood with me.

    Now, a particularly favored passage of mine from {Herself} is this one:

    Truth and Fact

    [A] lot of the world, including the Christian world (sometimes I think especially the Christian world), is hung up on literalism, and therefore confuses truth and fact. Perhaps that's why someone caught reading a novel frequently looks embarrassed, and tries to hide the book, pretending that what he's really reading is a book on how to fix his lawn mower or take out his own appendix. Is this rather general fear of story not so much a fear that story is not true, as that it might actually be true? And what about the word fiction? For many people it means something that is made up, is not true.

    Now, Madeleine focuses very much on truth in fiction throughout this particular segment (she also focuses on truth vs. fact in religious matters). That's important to me, but I want to take the matter a little further, and apply it a little more fully to contemporary matters. Particularly, to the debate of contemporary matters.

    Debate focuses primarily on facts, as it should. Neither I nor Madeleine are degrading facts; facts are necessary and they are important. However, facts are not truth.

    Case in point, most people who debate are familiar with the myriad quotes that basically say statistics lie, which while enjoyable isn't accurate. Statistics are facts. However, they are not truth. A fact can be accurate. A fact can even be true. But a fact can be accurate without being true. And I think that's an important distinction to make.

    Gravity is the force that holds the universe together; as far as we know, this is a fact. It may even be accurate, and it is as far as we can observe. But that doesn't make it true. We do not know whether or not it's true, and we will not know that within the span of our lives, or probably our children's children's lives. For how long did humanity, or certain segments of it, believe that the sun revolved around the earth? That was, as far as observation could tell, a fact. However, it was not true.

    Science has frequently proven itself wrong over time. This is not a failing of science; quite the contrary in my mind, at least. However, it does mean we should be cautious as to how we use science, especially if that use is the justification we give for doing unconscionable things. For instance, science told us that human beings of native African descent, i.e. black people, were inferior. Factually, this was accurate as far as science could tell. However, it was not true. Slavery was justified by these facts, as well as the fact that slaves were used in Biblical times. However, this did not truly make slavery justifiable.

    In America, individuals with disabilities were deemed inferior by science. This was a provable fact. It was accurate. However, that did not make it true. Irregardless of whether or not it was true, these facts were used to form institutions, which amounted to nothing more nor nothing less than prison camps for the physically and/or mentally disabled. These facts were also used to justify forced sterilization at the hands of the government! Imagine, for a moment, that the government has the right to decide whether or not you can have children -- ever! Sounds more like China then the U.S., huh? However, it happened here. And, worse yet, a true blemish on our nation's history is that Hilter, the maniacle German leader who killed millions of people, studied the United States to learn more about euthanasia. Don't believe me, check out this book. Even the synopsis will scare you.

    Facts are useful things, but they are also dangerous. Facts can be used in the search for truth, however facts can also be used to justify the most unconscionable things. Remember that, as you're listening to and participating in the various debates that swirl around you in this contentious world. Ask yourself, is the fact you're using a fact used to search out truth, or is it a fact used to justify something false? Ask yourself whether the people you're debating with are using facts to find truth, or whether their using facts to justify a position that is essentially false? Fact, like anything humanity touches, can be used for good, or for evil. You are responsible for the decision you make.

    Void Sticker


    I have my final grades back for last term. I got 100% in Algebra (thank you, extra credit!) and a 99.5% in Composition I, so I have officially maintained my 4.0. Which is something that's motivating me a lot more than straight A's did in high school or before. I guess it's because I know that putting "Straight A's" on a resume for high school isn't going to mean crap; but putting Summa Cum Laude just might.

    The down-side is my final project for my Comp class seems to have disappeared. I got credit for it, but I didn't get any commentary. My instructor for Comp was great at commentary. Not so much in telling me what I did wrong, because, well, it's Comp I and my writing is quite good enough for Comp I, but she does tell me what I did right, which I can then do more of. Besides, this is also the essay that has grown into a book in my mind, and knowing what she thought could have been very helpful. Alas!

    Void Sticker

    Monday, October 23, 2006

    Guard the Borders Blogburst

    Beheadings Aren't Just For Islamists Anymore

    By Toni at Bear Creek Ledger

    Those pro-illegal aliens should be paying attention to what's happening with the drug cartels south of the border. This is what we in the US have to look forward to if there isn't something done to control our southern borders.

    We also have Venezuela's Chavez giving legal ID's to members of Hezbollah and Hamas but he is also assisting their efforts to become proficient in Spanish to help these terrorists to infiltrate the US.

    Here's a story that is definitely not been publicized on the front page but should be since these drug cartels are controlling many areas of our southern border. I am getting to the point of believing the US should be placing active duty troops on our southern border to protect us. There is an assault and invasion occurring today that has been ignored and local law enforcement doesn't have a prayer against these drug cartels. And don't tell me about "posse comitatus"! These troops would be attacking foreign invaders.

    From the Modern Tribalist is a story from ContraCostaTimes:

    For all the beefed-up enforcement along the border, the militialike group of drug cartel enforcers known as the Zetas appears stronger than ever, a result of better training, successful recruiting in Central America and continued desertions from the Mexican military, U.S. intelligence officials say.

    The Zetas have again become entrenched in Nuevo Laredo, and they practically control the movement of people through an intricate web of spies, checkpoints and skillful use of technology, provoking an extraordinary cross-border human exodus, U.S. and Mexican authorities say.

    Last year, U.S. and Mexican authorities reported that the number of Zetas was falling rapidly, the result of both government pressure and ongoing warfare with rival cartels. But the shadowy group of elite former military officers, soldiers and others has now grown to more than 500 nationwide, with hundreds more in a support network throughout the country, U.S. officials said. Some of those networks are deepening their ties to Texas cities, including Houston and Dallas, with the help of Texas gang members.

    A shootout late Friday between Zetas and members of the Mexican military - reportedly acting on tips from the Sinaloa cartel - involved grenades and bazookas in a residential neighborhood of Nuevo Laredo, U.S. authorities said. The firefight killed four people suspected of drug trafficking - believed to be Zetas - and injured at least four others, authorities said.

    The report could not be independently confirmed.

    The Zetas, enforcers of the gulf cartel, are battling rival members of the Sinaloa cartel for drug distribution routes, including the Interstate 35 corridor into Texas.

    U.S. authorities said the gulf cartel has established training camps in the states of Tamaulipas - its base of operations - and Nuevo Leon, both of which border Texas, and in the central state of Michoacan. The organization is recruiting former Guatemalan special forces military personnel known as Kaibiles and members of the notorious cross border gangs known as Maras, including the violent Mara Salvatruchas with ties to El Salvador.

    "The resiliency and determination of these criminals are beyond anything I have seen in my years in U.S. law enforcement," said one U.S. intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They're tough, and they won't break easily. They pose a serious threat to Mexico and to security along the border."

    Be sure to read the rest of the article to fully realize the threat we are facing.

    Beheadings are becoming the new tactical choice of these terrorists/drug cartels and the US is allowing this to be imported with impunity to the US. For those who are planning travel to Mexico you better be sure of where you're going because Mexico is not a safe country for travel.

    Mexico City -- To send a chilling message to their underworld rivals, Mexican drug cartels are adopting a method of intimidation made notorious by Middle Eastern terrorist groups.

    Already this year, at least 26 people have been decapitated in Mexico, with heads stuck on fences, dumped in trash piles and -- most recently -- tossed onto a nightclub dance floor.

    Although beheading goes back centuries as a form of execution, it has become the latest tactical escalation of a turf war that gets nastier all the time, with hit men looking for new ways to instill fear.

    "Before, they tortured the hell out of people, but they didn't throw their heads out in public," said James Kuykendall, a retired U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

    Why this form of murder and mutilation is being used now is anyone's guess.

    Beheadings have had a high international profile in recent years, as the tool of radical Islamist groups that release videos of hostages being executed.

    In Mexico, as crime bosses fall and turf shifts, the pattern of killing is changing.

    This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to admin at guardtheborders dot com.

    Void Sticker

    The War on Terror

    And the War on Habeus Corpus

    Well, in my typical long-winded fashion, I was commenting on a fellow blogger, Tom of Who Hijacked Our Country, and decided it was too long-winded to dump on his blog, so I'm moving it to my own. First, some back story:

    First, Tom posted a link to this video:

    Keith Olbermann: Death of Habeus Corpus

    Then, a commenter, Dustin, linked to this one:

    Olbermann: Habeus Corpus

    My original comment, went something to the effect of that while suspending, or eliminating, habeus corpus is a mistake that we will learn to regret, there's really no way to know if it is necessary -- short of comparing two alternate universes with/without side by side. But that I also believe America will eventually pull out of this. We have in the past, and I do believe we will again, because I do believe the structure of our government is sound, even when the people running it are not. (The last sentence is new.)

    That being said, here's where I take it further:

    Tom said, "Every recent terrorist plot that’s been foiled, has been prevented by good old fashioned police and detective work; not by spying on people or locking them away without a trial."

    The trouble with the spying thing is that we don't know. The reason that spying is all top secret, and has been long before 9/11, is because there are lots of people who aren't trustworthy with such information, including some American citizens. We don't know how America would have fared without the extreme measures we've taken in the past. We don't know how America will fare with or without the extreme measures our government is taking now. I agree, completely, that it does NOT make it right -- Olbermann's line about (not an exact quote) "all vital, all important, and always wrong," is very true. It is wrong, the same way that all such acts were wrong before. However, "wrong" doesn't mean it's "unnecessary," and there's no way to know for sure whether it is "unnecessary," either in the past, or now. The war itself is wrong; war itself is wrong. But, that doesn't mean it's unnecessary.

    I believe the terrorists are a threat to us, not because Bush & Co. says so, but because they've been at this for a long time, and the whole thing about "quitting means weakness" is very real to them. If the terrorists quick, they lose everything. They not only lose the war, but they lose the respect/fear of their own people, and they lose control of the countries and organizations they have under their thumb. The war, as much as people claim it is, is NOT about religion -- it's not Muslims against Christians -- it's about power. They want more power, we want to keep the power we have (and I'm not talking about energy sources, either) -- the religious aspect is just a cover-up to justify the power-grabbing. They want control, Bush has control, or thinks he does, and wants to keep it.

    In a sense, it doesn't seem much different than our gang problems at home. Gangsters in the 'hood often feel as if they have nothing, but the gang. Nobody else cares, nobody else understands, and in the end reasonably good people get twisted by poverty and despair to the point that they are more than willing, they are eager, to do unconscionable things -- all justified by "we don't have enough." The Muslim terrorists do not seem that different, except when you look at their priviledged leadership, who often never did without in the same way their "foot soldiers" did; they are the true threat, because they are the orchestrators, they're the ones who convince the "little guy" that terrorism is how to get what they never had. Unless these leaders win completely, they lose everything; and that hurts, it scares them. OSB isn't out there playing suicide bomber; he doesn't want to die, he wants to rule the world. And it's that kind of desperation, that kind of desire, that puts us at risk.

    Bush is facing that same kind of desperation, the same desire. Because he's so critized and so incompetent, he probably feels that he has to win completely, end this whole affair in a bang-up sort of way, to win at all. Whereas as you [Tom], Olbermann, and most of American can take "a little bit of terrorism," because a little bit can't destroy America -- even if it does destroy a few American lives, Bush wants to end it all, and have that be his legacy as President. Of course, it's never going to happen. It's not going to happen within his Presidency, and it won't happen afterwards. Terrorism, though not necessarily this particular brand of it, is a very human tendency to use the weapon at hand -- and when you're the little guy you have to make yourself seem scary to have any say, at least so these people believe.

    What we're witnessing is what happens when powerful, power-hungry people get their backs pushed up against a wall of their own design -- on a global, epic scale. I admit that I would be just another "intrigued spectator" in this vast charade, if I didn't know quite so well that my children will have to live in whatever's left of the world after this has all played out. That terrifies me -- not the terrorists -- what will be left for the children terrifies me. And, I don't just mean mine, or America's children, I mean all the children's lives that have been or will be destroyed by this. Whether the child is American, or Iraqi, or Israeli, or French, or...whatever, they're all going to be suffering, or having the risk of suffering because of this, and that is what terrifies me. We're willing to degrade ourselves so far to give them something better, safer, whatever, and they're going to be left with crap.

    I do believe America will pull out of this. I believe that it will probably come in my grandchildren's time, however, not in ours or our children's time. My grandfathers fought "the commies." My father and his generation (which includes some of you) were taught to hate the commies. My own husband was taught, by the army, to kill the commies. And yet, within my childhood, the Berlin Wall fell and so did the Soviet Union. I don't hate the commies and I never have. I've learned to hate the Islamic terrorists (though, I do not hate Muslims as a whole, I know better) and that scares me. It scares me to know that my children will undoubtably be taught to hate the Islamic terrorists, and it will probably take all mine and my husband's effort to keep them from hating all Muslims.

    War is an awful, brutual thing. It destroys the lives, the bodies, and the happiness of those who fight it. It destroys the families they could have had if they hadn't. It destroys the countries who are ravaged by it. Most people know this. However, it seems many people don't realize that it destroys everyone else, too. We're all hurt by this. All our innocence and the innocence of our children that could have been, is gone because of this. It's too late to prevent that. Whether we pull out of Iraq, or stay in...it's too late. The damage is done. Nobody will ever be the same, because the war has happened. The fighting won't stop. Not anytime in the near future. We can pull out, and that's not going to stop the fighting. It's not going to stop the terrorists. We can stay in, and that's not going to stop the fighting. It's not going to stop the terrorists.

    Habeus Corpus may keep us safer at home, depending on how you define saftey. I don't define saftey in that manner, however. Something clean and good about humanity is snuffed out with war and rumours of war. We've seen too much. Some of us have done too much. Do I fear the loss of habeus corpus -- of course I do. These very words could get me thrown in jail, though I do doubt that will happen. However, what I fear most has already happened. The essence of our humanity has already been tainted by this, and that is in unchangeable. It's happened. It could get worse, but it's already lost -- the damage is done. It's only a matter of degrees now.

    And, despite that, I do believe this War on Terror is necessary. I believe Bush mangled it, but I also believe it is necessary. I do not think Clinton, Gore or Kerry would have done a better job of it; different is not better. Whether you over-react or under-react, you are still reacting wrongly. And having either as a reflex is not the way to win something like this. We have to get beyond reacting, to the point where we're acting. We have to reach the point where we're calling the shots again; and neither the war in Afghanistan or Iraq qualifies, because they were both reactionary, or over-reactionary, wars. We need to get ahead of them. Habeus Corpus might help us do that; but again, we've lost more than we gain just by signing into law. It was the wrong choice, and yet...that, unfortunately, doesn't mean it was unnecessary.

    War is sometimes necessary. Secrets are sometimes necessary. Crimes are sometimes necessary. They are alway, always, dirty, nasty, destructive things -- but sometimes necessary. Eliminating or suspending habeus corpus is a crime, a crime against humanity, but it may be necessary. We'll never know for sure whether it was or wasn't, because secrets are also sometimes necessary. We'll never know for sure what was or was not gained for our country by this action. However, we will learn to regret it. We will learn to be ashamed of it. As we've been ashamed by many things of our past.

    Yet, I still believe in America, because America tries to do what is right, America cares about what is right, even when our leaders don't.

    Void Sticker

    Disability Rights Videos

    Thanks to some helpful advice from triticale I was able to post the videos I wanted to show y'all. I didn't realize it was that easy! I just assumed that I would need web-space the same as for pictures. But, apparently not, so here they are!

    Beware! Both videos have some graphic images in them.

    When The Moon Come Up

    Euthanasia Blues

    Oh, and the bean was safely removed after a 3-4 hour stay at the emergency room. Of course, it took less than five minutes to remove the bean once someone was available to do that.

    Void Sticker

    Sunday, October 22, 2006

    The Hazards of Toys

    I was going to post about something else, and it truly seemed pressing at the time, but alas I have forgotten what that was. You see, for my children's therapy they have a bin of beans. These are dried beans that they dig their hands it with toys to desensitize their hands. It's kind of like a portable sandbox -- with beans.

    And, well, Ben has one up his nose now. So far in the wonderful world of parenting, I've been spared those wonderful trips to Urgent Care due to such minor crises. Not so any more.

    I called Ask-A-Nurse, because I figured there has to be a better way to remove a bean from a child's nose than to go through the lengthy, exhausting process of going to the Emergency Room (which, in my town, on a weekend, is the only Urgent Care available). I mean, c'mon, it's a bean. He's not choking. Obviously he doesn't like it, but it's a rather minor crisis. Still, unless I find another means, that seems to be what's available.

    Anyway, I called Ask-A-Nurse, and after waiting a good fifteen minutes or so, I got to talk to an actual nurse. She was obviously exhausted, in a worn, weary sort of way. I'm sure the people before had more serious problems than mine. I know this, because she started the conversation with (after asking for my son's name and accessing the information on her computer), "Oh good! He's got a bean in his nose!"

    Of course, she caught herself right away. And, luckily for her, I'm usually not an "obnoxious parent" type, because I didn't lay into while she was apologizing, which is exactly what she expected me to do. But, it's just a bean. And, it's rather silly, because it's the second bean, which I told her.

    So, hopefully she has a better day. Me, I'm calling my nurse-practitioner-mother-in-law and seeing if I can to an at-home bean-ectomy before I have to go to Urgent Care.

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    Videos Worth Watching

    If I knew how to post YouTube videos here, I would. But, since I don't...

    Estee has posted some good ones. I highly recommend you take the time to watch them. They're between 5 - 7 minutes, but they're well worth it.

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    Exhausted, but Back

    Hello all!

    Sorry for the lengthy wait between posts. I am just finishing my most recent college term, in which I had to study algebra, which I hated, and composition, which I loved. Unfortunately, I had to spend most of my time focused on the algebra, ick! But, though my final grades have not yet been posted, I'm confident that I managed to maintain my 4.0. Yay for me!

    So, now it's time to catch up. Along with understanding (almost) algebra for the first time, I've had the pleasure of writing a research paper as my final. I chose neurodiversity for my topic, and my first draft was fifteen pages long -- unfortunate, because the assignment was for a 5 - 7 page paper! So, I repeatedly tried to narrow my focus, managed to do it in six pages, and decided that I obviously have to write a book about this, because there's just so much to say and I couldn't find a single book on this topic. Not one single book!

    I also started writing a second novel, which will hopefully turn out better than my first novel -- so, I have lots of writing ahead of me. And, oddly enough, I'm very happy about that. Happiness isn't a frequent emotion, I'm more of a contented person than a happy one, so despite the hard work I've been putting in, this has been a happy ending for me -- with a new beginning on top of it.

    I'm not going to be posting (at this time) my essay, because my instructor, who has not yet read it, thinks it might be publishable, both because she was apparently impressed with my writing abilities and also because of the subject matter. So, if she has ideas of how to get the piece published professionally, then I must wait on posting it here. Nothing ruins the publishability of piece more than publishing it on the world wide web first! However, if anyone of you wants to read it, feel free to e-mail me and I'll send it to you; all I ask is that you return it with feedback, and don't be afraid to be brutual. Better you, my friends, than an editor, right?

    The world has also been moving steady along without my commentary, go figure. The numerous conflicts in the Middle East have been raging and waging and fighting as usual, with equally typical discussions on how to stop the strife. The borders were "plugged," well, sort of. An important vote concerning the sanctity of life is coming up in South Dakota. And that's not including the various scandals: from Foley, to Katsav, from Shanghai, to stock options. Isn't any wonder I now think corruption is the worlds biggest problem?!?

    Ah, well. At least there are no scandals here at home. Oh, wait -- there are! 'Tis the season for smearing!