Bring Me That Horizon

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Home of Jenny the Pirate

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This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

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We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

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 Nice is different than good.

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Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962

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Belay That!

This blog does not contain and its author will not condone profanity, crude language, or verbal abuse. Commenters, you are welcome to speak your mind but do not cuss or I will delete either the word or your entire comment, depending on my mood. Continued use of bad words or inappropriate sentiments will result in the offending individual being banned, after which they'll be obliged to walk the plank. Thankee for your understanding and compliance.

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors

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I am a Blue Star Mother

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Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =

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Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

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Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

Ecstatically shooting everything in sight using my beloved Nikon D3100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.

Also capturing outrageous beauty left and right with my Nikon D7000 blissfully married to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF prime glass. Don't be jeal.

And then there was the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f:3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom. We're done here.

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

If you don't believe me, click the pics.

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Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

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REMEMBRANCE

When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

David Robert Brooks
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 Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

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Keep To The Code

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You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, AND THEREFORE HAVE I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again.

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts

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Daft Like Jack

 "I can name fingers and point names ..."

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Elements Series: Fire
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  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Grace
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  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
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  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
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  • Nightfall
    Nightfall
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  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
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  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
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  • The Art of Memoir
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  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
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    by Emily Dickinson
  • Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
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  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
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  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
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  • The Amateur
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  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
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    by Matt Barber, Paul Hair
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
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  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
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    by Candace Savage
  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
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  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    by Andrew Breitbart
  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
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    by Paul Kengor
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
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  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
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  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
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  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
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    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
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    by Brannon Howse
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
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    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • The More The Merrier
    The More The Merrier
    starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Bruce Bennett, Ann Savage
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
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    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
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That Dog Is Never Going To Move

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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Tuesday
Jul282009

Stupidly Retarded

If either of the terms in the title of this post offend you, I am sorry about that but I do not apologize for using them. Call me the Professor Gates of blog post verbiage. I had no choice but to write it. I was a victim. This is what it's like to be a lover of language in America.

If you go away now, as always I'll miss you, but this is how it has to be. To quote the cute pirate (as I am wont to do): I'm sorry, darling. It never would have worked out between us.

In a week made ridiculous by an overly-dramatized incident that took place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the race card was not only played but was dealt dog-eared, then thrown under the short bus and driven over repeatedly, then ridden hard and put up wet, and by the subject of a healthcare bill, which if it is discussed much longer will make wholly unnecessary all medical care other than treatment for insanity, those were the only two words that made any sense.

Clap her in irons!

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. -- head of the phatly-endowed "African Studies" depahtment at Hahvahd, a university so liberal that you can't even get in unless you're either black or solemnly swear to make only left turns, live on the left side of the street, sleep on the left side of the bed, part your hair on the left, exit stage left, eat only leftovers, and (above all) forever vote Kennedy -- aided by another man and a crowbar, was seen engaging in suspicious activity that, at least to one lady, resembled breaking into a house. Said concerned citizen called the police.

What a nice neighborhood!

The dispatch audiotapes prove that Lucia Whalen -- who, incidentally, has since lawyered up *moue of shock* -- never claimed that the men shouldering their way into the lovely house on a quiet street were black. The police did not show up because they were told that two black men were breaking and entering. They were not told that, so that couldn't have explained their appearance. They came because a woman caller reported that two men had gained entrance to a private residence without benefit of a key. She said she wasn't sure what color the men were. One "might be Hispanic," she thought.

What incendiary and racially-charged language! Clap her in irons!

Did it ever occur to anyone that the police, during preliminary assessment of a potentially dangerous situation, have a perfect right to ask a concerned citizen caller the color and gender of the alleged perpetrators of a possible crime? That way, they'll know when they get there if they're on the lookout for a 52-year-old white female with her arms full of Wal-Mart bags busily jimmying a window, as opposed to a black male with an accomplice, wielding a crowbar, prying open the front door.

(One thing the concerned citizen caller was certain of: the house was yellow. Last I heard, the house has retained legal counsel. Real estate profiling! Just when I thought we were past all that.)

Book him, Danno.

What Ms. Whalen did and said makes sense to me, but then I know what it's like to be a 52-year-old white woman in America. I do not get -- and have never gotten -- the passes (and by that I do not mean pinches, leering looks, or invitations for "coffee") that hundreds of thousands of black men (and women) take for granted. I did not go to Harvard on affirmative action. I went to an unaccredited Bible college on the sweat of my mother's brow, augmented by work scholarship, the kindness of strangers, many prayers, and a few shekels from my dead father's veteran benefit.

That sort of thing tends to skew one's paradigm. Decidedly to the right, thank God. Conservatism tends to life. Liberalism tends to death. Period. Fortunate are those who know and believe this.

And by the way, I would rather BE dead than a liberal. I repeat: I WOULD RATHER BE DEAD THAN A LIBERAL. Death for me would be far less tragic than life as a liberal.

Back to our story. One valiant Sergeant James Crowley (who knows what it means to be a white law enforcement officer in America) and his partner -- a black man *moue of shock* -- arrived at the house in question and asked Professor Gates of Hahvahd what was going on. I don't know exactly what was said because, sadly, I wasn't there. But by all accounts Professor Gates -- a personal friend and supporter, by the way, of Barry Soetoro, a/k/a Barack Hussein Obama, another guy who knows how perfectly dreadful it is to be black in America -- explained to Sergeant Crowley what had taken place, and even supplied identification.

There! I think that solves it. Let's move on.

But wait! Wait, officer! I have something to say ... *walks out onto porch* *becomes belligerent* ... you only drove over here and demanded to see my ID because I'm a black man in America! Right? I mean, left?

For someone who works at Hahvahd, he's not too smaht, is he? Because that got him arrested on a charge of disturbing the peace. Book him, Danno.

Are you digging the Hawaii reference? I know I make this look easy but believe me y'all, it ain't.

On some lib blog or other I read a rhetorical query to the effect of, how is it possible to get arrested for disturbing the peace when you are standing on your own front porch? Uhm, let's see ... could it be that wherever you happen to be standing, if you threaten and accuse a police officer with vocal vociferousness, and get your tidy whities wacky blackies all in a wad, and throw out the race card like the first pitch at the All-Star game, you may be perceived to be disturbing the peace? I just wonder.

He's dead and he won't be scaring people anymore.

So then the media picked up the story *moue of shock* and in due time our rock-star president -- who bowls like a member of the Special Olympics and throws a baseball only slightly better than yours truly -- just HAD to weigh in.

"The police acted stupidly" was his brilliant and scholarly take on the matter.

Sir, I have one word for you. Shut up. Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up. Shut up.

Please. (That was the one word to which I was referring.)

And yes, I purposely left out "with all due respect." When no respect is due a person, you don't say that. I have ZERO respect and ZERO tolerance for dedicated baby killers, regardless of their race or the office they hold.

But I digress.

And now our esteemed Commander-in-Chief has the perfect solution to the plethora of problems caused by the less-than-perfectly calibrated words chosen by both him and his Hahvahd-professor buddy: invite workaday-world Barney "Whitey" Fife to the Oval and bestow upon him the rare privilege of having a beer with two black millionaires who never got a fair shake in America.

Maybe they should invite Conrad Murray, MD, Michael Jackson's poor beleaguered Doctor Feelgood, to the beer party too! He's finding out more than he ever wanted to know about being a black man in an America that worships a sick-freak pedophile who, as a mere passing glance confirmed, had abused his own body so much that he was lucky to have attained the age of fifty.

I don't say the doctor should get a pass when it's possible he hastened Jacko's death by administering enough IV propofol to put the quietus on King Kong, much less the King of Pop. By the way, would you call that black-on-black crime? I guess you might except MJ hadn't technically been black for some time. One thing is for sure. He's dead and he won't be scaring people anymore ... at least not in person.

But I double-digress.

Anyone besides me find it vexing that the truth is being systematically and cruelly suffocated by political correctness? The fact that a thing has NO BASIS in truth is viewed as a positive instead of a negative, as long as it SOUNDS good to a liberal. And sometimes even to someone posing as a conservative.

Having the ability to make slow progress is better than being at a standstill.

Case in point. I was watching Faux News as Gatesgate was unfolding, and -- EGADS! -- they actually began to cover a different news story! This one involved language that was found to be embedded on page 389 of the 56,845,23-page O'couldcarelessabouthhealthcarethisapowergrab bill being considered on Capitol Hill in the waning days before the August recess.

The term in question? MENTALLY RETARDED.

*moue of shock*

Someone actually put the words "mentally retarded" in the healthcare bill! And no, they were not referring to our Special Olympics president! In case you're not PC enough, you should know that for simply ages now, the "correct" term for that unfortunate condition is "mentally disabled."

Because we all know that if a person has sustained a brain injury at birth or, due to some other tragic malady, has a brain that does not function at the same rate and capacity of "normal" people, it makes everything so much easier for them and their caregivers if you refer to them as "disabled" instead of "retarded."

People. Think with me for a moment. To "disable" means "To make unable or unfit; weaken or destroy the capability of; cripple; incapacitate." To "retard" means "To make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede."

See that picture at the top of this post? I found the word "retard" right on the side of a bag of Pepperidge Farm dry stuffing mix reposing innocently in my pantry! And I thought this was America! Somehow the use of that horrible word escaped the notice of bureaucrats who surely keep their eyes peeled for these kinds of politically untenable and wholly offensive preservative terms!

Let me ask you something. If you are driving through a bad neighborhood -- one, perhaps, where people are prone to breaking into houses -- and you happen to be lost, and someone is walking toward you brandishing a crowbar, and you're not even sure if the house they live in is yellow, would you rather be behind the wheel of a car that is RETARDED or one that is DISABLED? Because in my opinion, having the ability to make slow progress is better than being at a standstill.

But that's just me.

Guess what word the Faux News talking heads used to describe the use of the term "mentally retarded"? Wait for it ... OUTRAGE! It is an OUTRAGE that the bill contains the word RETARDED.

And boy, are you ever going to pay.

Not an OUTRAGE that, if passed into law, this legislation will put the pedal to the metal for abortion funding by the American taxpayer in numbers heretofore unheard-of. And this in a country that simply LOVES to let the taxpayer foot the bill for the murder of millions of unborn children.

Not an OUTRAGE that, if the bill passes, the elderly will be "counseled" to end their lives voluntarily rather than suffer excruciating deaths because no health care will be available to them due to their advanced age and its corollary, their utter uselessness to society.

Not an OUTRAGE that, no matter what your age, your government instead of your doctor will decide what procedures and treatment options are available to you, and all health care will be rationed.

Not an OUTRAGE that when our president takes the podium three times a day and four times on Sunday to tell us what this bill does and does not contain, he lies through his teeth. And knows that we know he's lying through his teeth, and not only does not care, but no doubt finds it amusing.

The Faux News blonde-of-the-moment and her guest expert didn't consider any of the above to be an "outrage." But they both declared it an "outrage" that the term "mentally retarded" was substituted for the euphemism "disabled" in a healthcare bill that is itself a TRUE outrage.

Something else is an outrage. A wealthy black man who by any standard has led a privileged life -- a life that would be all but impossible for him to achieve in any other country on Earth -- believes he is above the laws of this land simply BECAUSE he is a black man, and because he is friends with another black man who happens to be the most powerful man in the world.

What a country.

And it's an outrage that although white people AS WELL AS BLACK PEOPLE experience racial discrimination every day in America, it's not politically correct to talk about racism against whites. If you're black, you're presumed to be right because of course if you're black, you've automatically been wronged. If you're white, not only are you wrong, but you've been wrong for centuries. You can't be right if you're white! Everything bad that has ever happened to the black race is your fault.

And boy, are you ever going to pay. Pay with your money. Pay with your life. Pay with your sanity. Pay with your freedom.

I hope Sergeant Crowley has plans to wash his car or mow his lawn on the day he's invited to the White House ... oops ... is it okay to call it the WHITE HOUSE? ... I mean, does it offend a black person if I say that? But if he does show up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for his "teachable moment" with the Hahvahd Professor and his old friend Barry Soetoro, I hope he declines the beer and, like the proverbial man in the white hat on the old frontier, orders milk. Fresh, cold, white milk. And I hope he leaves the Left Wing with a white mustache and rides away on a white horse.

Because in this situation, there's no doubt in my mind that the white guy is the good guy.

 

Monday
Jul132009

UPgrade ... My New Favorite Word

It used to be elastic. My favorite word, that is. As a concept, I still like elastic. But as a new favorite word, I am definitely going with "upgrade" until something even better comes along.

Many weeks ago Erica, Audrey, TG, and I made a momentous decision: we would travel to Atlanta in early July and be present at the only Il Divo concert of the group's current North American tour to take place in a city we could comfortably reach by car.

It would happen at the historic Fox Theatre, a nearly 5,000-seat venue I last visited approximately 37 years ago when my beloved Uncle Don took me there to see Song Of The South.

*Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah*

We bought the best seats we could afford. Those would be nearly to the back wall, four and a half inches below the point where altitude sickness begins to be a very real threat. But we were happy. Ecstatic, actually! We have been avid Il Divo fans for three of the five years they have been in existence. We have all their CDs and can't decide which is our favorite. So this was a big deal; savvy?

David assured me that we would not be disappointed.

Problem was, the weeks melted away until it was the week of the concert. Only two days away from the concert, as a matter of fact. TG, Erica, and I were all set to leave around Noon on The Day. We would make it to the lovely home of my darling cousin, Donna -- who graciously offered to put up with us up for the night -- in time to change before setting out for the Fox. Audrey would drive solo, meet us at Donna's, and we'd all ride downtown together.

But why go to all that trouble if we had no tickets? Two days before the concert, Erica got on the phone to the online ticket seller. She gave him the business. He assured her that our tickets would arrive via FedEx Overnight the next day. When they didn't, I got on the phone to the ticket seller. I used the words "consumer fraud" at least once.

After admitting that our tickets had in fact never been sent -- because he had never in fact had them to send in the first place -- "David" mollified me by swearing that they would be waiting for us at the Fox Theatre's will-call window the next night, in plenty of time for us to be seated for the show.

"David," I said. "Do not let me and my husband and one daughter drive to Atlanta from Columbia, and another daughter drive to Atlanta from Knoxville, and all of us show up at the Fox Theatre, apoplectic at the prospect of seeing Il Divo in person for the first time, only to discover that you have been less than truthful and less than honest."

I may have mentioned the word "lawyer." I don't really remember but I would not rule out the distinct possibility.

David assured me that we would not be disappointed. "I'll even get you a few rows closer than the seats you bought," he promised.

"Uh huh," I said. Don't mess with me, buddy.

The next day -- the day of the concert -- arrived. It was mid-morning and I was packing, preparing to leave. TG was doing the same. Erica was not yet home from her half-day of work. My cell phone rang. Oh, looky! It's David the ticket shyster seller. I was afraid to answer; I thought he was going to say there would be no tickets at the Fox Theatre's will-call window after all, and that he was crediting our bank card the price of the four tickets, and that we should go ahead and unpack.

But that's not what he said.

"Jennifer, hey, how you doing?" David began. I told him I was hanging in there. And that's when he said it. "Listen, Jennifer, I got you four seats together. Got you a nice upgrade, too. You'll be in the orchestra section, main floor, twelve rows from the stage. Killer tickets. I hope you guys enjoy the show."

And he did. And we were. And they were. And we most certainly did.

I'd try to describe the evening but I don't have the words.

All day TG and I managed to keep the news of our special tickets a secret from Erica and Audrey, who found out when we were halfway to the stage on the main floor of the Fox and still hadn't reached our seats. "Mom!" Erica began shouting (because the event was sold out and there was quite a din). "Where are we going?" She demanded.

"To our seats twelve rows from the front, darling," I squealed. "We've been, like, totally upgraded." My third child might have hyperventilated a little but she managed to stay on her feet. Audrey freaked out somewhat (around the edges) too. It was a moment.

The boys were divine. If you get a chance to hear them in person, you should go. I'd try to describe the experience but I don't have the words. Just believe me when I say, it was fantastic to have "An Evening With Il Divo."

Back home again, it was time to celebrate the Fourth of July with assorted family and friends. My mother turned 72 on June 25th and we hadn't yet had a proper birthday party for her. In addition, Javier the Chihuahua was about to turn 10 (70 in dog years) on July 10th, so we decided to celebrate him too. I do believe that qualifies as an upgraded birthday party: Our beloved nation, our dear mother and grandmother, and our darling little old doggie.

Andrew was home for a few days before leaving for Omaha, Nebraska, where he's attending a six-week tech school at Offutt Air Force Base before beginning his third year of Bible college. His girlfriend, Miss Nicole Bramlett of Hoschton, Georgia (perilously near Braselton), joined us. Here are the pictures. 

 

Monday
Jul062009

Gum Drop

I'm fully aware that the general consensus is that change is a good thing. I don't say I agree; I simply say I'm aware that many folks welcome, and even embrace, change.

I do not say that I am one of them. I would never say that. I don't like change.

Particularly I resent change in the arena of chewing gum.

First let me say: I am an inveterate and unrepentant chewer of gum. Sugar Free Gum, to be exact. Ice Breakers Sugar Free Cool Mint Gum With Liquid Ice Capsules And Long Lasting Flavor, to be excruciatingly specific. And I only like it in the small packs that contain five sticks each, that you buy eight packs at a time.

"They. Don't. Have. It." He enunciated.

(No Plen-T-Pak for me, quasi-important with its fifteen sticks of gum that don't seem to want to leave the package, once you spend fifteen minutes getting the package open. The whole experience -- from using a crowbar to open the pack to chewing the actual gum -- is just not the same.)

Oh, and ... two sticks at a time. I chew it two sticks at a time, and you should hear the popping I can do with those two sticks. Do not look at me like that! You have vices too. I don't do this in public, so don't call your mother on me.

Problem is, try finding it. Ice Breakers Sugar Free Cool Mint Gum With Liquid Ice Capsules And Long Lasting Flavor, that is.

TG often goes to the store for me, armed with a handy list of the items I require. During a recent jaunt to Wal-Mart, he called me on my cell.

"They don't have your Ice Breakers gum," he said without preamble.

"What do you mean?" I asked without hesitation.

"They. Don't. Have. It." He enunciated, then elaborated: "They have Ice Breakers mints and all kinds of other sugar free gum -- like Stride and Trident and Extra and Dentyne and Orbit and 5 -- but no Ice Breakers."

(Yes, 5 ... aren't you just champing at the bit to try a gum named "5"?)

Me neither. But I did. Because TG was right: they don't have Ice Breakers anymore. I've looked everywhere -- every truck stop, every drugstore, every grocery, every newsstand I've come across in my travels for the last six weeks -- and there is no Ice Breakers to be found.

In recent developments, however, Ice Breakers is attempting to palm off on an all-too gullible gum-chewing public (except for me, that is ... I cannot be bought for so low a price) what is evidently their replacement for old-fashioned sticks of what was a near-perfect gum: Ice Breakers Peppermint Ice Cubes With Cooling Xylitol and that same Long Lasting Flavor.

Supposedly.

But it's not the same. Not the box, not the shape, not the taste.  And even after you pop two of those dice-shaped pieces of gum into your mouth and chew like you'll have no teeth tomorrow, there's never a pop or a snap to be had. It's too soft, too springy, and loses its flavor in less time than it takes Barack Obama to kill a defenseless fly.

As far as sugarless gum is concerned, from now on it appears that lame and tame is the name of the game. Unless somebody gets smart and brings back the good old days of Ice Breakers Sugar Free Cool Mint Gum With Liquid Ice Capsules And Cooling Xylitol And Long Lasting Flavor ... in stick form.

Ice Breakers 2012! Keep the Change.