The Politically Incorrect Mom


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

If you have it - give it!

Look around you. Are you blessed? Are you dry? Is your house standing? Do you have clean water, electricity and a nice dry bed? Count your blessings and then count your pennies. Every single cent counts. Let's help our Gulf Coast recover. I'm giving to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief - or you can check out the Instapundit list of charities to choose from.

If you have a blog - register here for

Hurricane Katrina: Blog for Relief Day
Thursday, September 1

Hollywood.....step right up!

Everywhere I look I see the face of some celebrity I want to slap – rallying, giving money to and working for causes around the globe. Brad Pitt, Nora Jones, Clint Eastwood to name a few, who stepped up to the plate for the Tsunami victims.

Barbra Streisand, Danny DeVito, Will Smith, Jane Pauley and Bill Cosby all have their own foundations (among many others) that give to anything from South African relief funds to financing their trips to Iraq to show their (non) support of our troops.

And then there’s the celebrities who give of their time and finances generously to anti-American causes, such as Martin Sheen showing up at Cindy Sheehan’s camp.

Do I think it’s a bad thing that celebrities share their wealth? Absolutely not! If I had the kind of money many of them have, I would most definitely help those less fortunate than myself.

So what’s my rant?

I want to see Hollywood step up to the plate and help clean up the Gulf Coast. I want to see the likes of Brad Pitt, Barbra Streisand, Martin Sheen and the rest of them out there mopping up the mess and pledging money to rebuild those communities. Most of these celebrities are born and raised Americans (although few of them act like it). How about keeping some of that cash right here at home? How about Donald Trump and Martha Stewart who could part with millions and not feel it?

I read a quote from Angelina Jolie the other day. She said, “Brad and I are going to adopt a lot more babies”. Well, Angelina….there are some orphans in New Orleans and Biloxi who need a mama.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Sea and The Gall

I just got back from being at the beach for a few days with my daughter. We came home refreshed (not really), tan and ready to start a new school year (her). We visited Atlantic City, NJ, which is not our normal digs but our favorite team happened to be playing in A.C., so we were able to do the beach thing AND catch a few games.

I learned something very interesting about myself while I was visiting Atlantic City. As we strolled the boardwalk in the evenings, I found myself doling money out to the beggars on the boards – but with some prejudice. The people who know me know that I don’t have much tolerance for people who don’t help themselves. The people who know me well know that the preceding statement is really only the surface. I am really quite a push-over and can be hoodwinked at the drop of a hat – especially if there are children involved. I want to be strong when it comes to things like that - and often times I am 99.9% sure that I'm being conned - but on the odd chance that the woman really does have a child that she left in Guadalajara who was born with no arms, legs or head and needs an operation.....I just gotta give her some money.

My mind goes back a few years to when my daughters and I were in Mexico. I had a very difficult time saying no to most of the vagabonds we encountered because most of them were smart enough to bring their barefoot, filthy, sad-eyed little children along for the begging. I remember, quite specifically, a comment my older daughter made, “Mom, do you ever think these people might be living better than we are and this is how they do it?” She wasn’t begrudging the hand-outs. In fact, I think she was digging in her purse for another Peso to give away.

Later that day we got on a bus to go back to our hotel and realized very quickly that we had boarded the wrong bus. Of course the bus driver didn’t speak English. Why would he? So, my oldest daughter and I wracked our brains trying to come up with the words we knew in Spanish to form a sentence that would let the driver know we needed to get off the bus (this is after 4 years of Spanish classes???). Before we knew it (and before we had formed a sentence) we found ourselves in the trenches of poverty.

The dirt road leading up a hill and out of town was strewn with ramshackle houses without windows or doors. Skinny, filthy children played in mud puddles in the grassless front “lawns” to stay cool. Garbage and filth were everywhere. Working class people began to get on and off the bus at each corner. Women dressed in hotel uniforms and men with lunch pails. We stopped worrying about where we were for a few minutes and sat silently, taking in our surroundings.

Before long, a bus headed in the opposite direction approached our bus and we managed to piece together a word or two of Spanish to let the driver know we needed to get on the other bus. By the time we reached our beautiful hotel with comfortable beds, swimming pool and spa, I’m pretty sure my girls had learned a very valuable lesson. I know I had.

Fast forward a couple of years and there I was, walking the boards at Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States of America. Home of the brave and free. Land of opportunity. Anyone who has been to an east coast shore town knows that the shops and restaurants are full of foreigners, working for the summer at the beach because the opportunities are many. Several of the stores, restaurants and attractions had “HELP WANTED” signs posted on their doors. Why, then, do you suppose there was a beggar on every block?

With the exception of the guy in a wheelchair who had about 12 inches of body and a head and arms, every single one of them could stand, walk, talk…. Some of them beat on 5 gallon buckets to earn their hand-outs (one who was particularly talented and could have easily had a real job playing the drums) while others played a trumpet or harmonica. Then there was the one-man-band guy – he was actually semi-entertaining. I found myself giving money to those who where at least trying to entertain or "earn" the spare change that was filling their buckets.

What’s my point? What IS my point? I guess the point is this… I learned that although I tend to have a bleeding heart when it comes to some things, I still believe that if you can help yourself – you should. You owe it to yourself. People say it takes courage to beg. Perhaps that’s true at first, but I didn’t see a single beggar in A.C. who looked as though he was embarrassed or ashamed of what he was doing. Many of them standing right in front of establishments with "HELP WANTED" signs posted. I suspect it gets easier and easier until the person somehow feels justified in what he or she is doing. In fact, I actually had quite an encounter with a guy who goes by the name of “Tony Pots and Pans”. This guy was quite entertaining as he beat on his buckets, bowls and pans. Occasionally he would shout out something while he played that made the crowd laugh and each time we passed, there was a crowd of 20-25 people standing near him to listen and "donate" to the cause. I had dropped a dollar into his bucket each time we went by, which was every night of our stay. On the last night of our stay, as I walked by his “perch” for the 8th or 9th time, I took out my camera to get a picture of him beating on his five-gallon buckets and bowls. Mr. Pots and Pans wasn’t the slightest bit ashamed to stop drumming and tell me that it would cost $10 to take a photo. Where I come from, we don’t call that courage – we call it gall.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

it's only....sort of.....mostly an apology...

I guess we're all supposed to feel better now that Pat Robertson "clarified" his remarks - after, of course, denying them....

"I didn't say 'assassination.' I said our special forces should 'take him out,'" Robertson said on his show. "'Take him out' could be a number of things including kidnapping."

(because suggesting the kidnapping of a president is much better) and subsequently apologizing for them.

Read it here.

I’m still aggravated.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Pastor's Heart or the Heart of a Piper?

I’m a Christian and a Conservative. I separate the two because, well….it used to be a given that a Christian was a Conservative – that is, before the likes of the “Reverend” Jesse Jackson and others like him. Now there are people everywhere who profess Christianity but preach liberal doctrine. After all, it’s the “tolerant way”.

Today I am disgusted and irritated by the remarks of Pat Robertson, whom I had little respect for to begin with, but now I’m embarrassed to be placed in the same Christian/Conservative category as he. With all the garbage the democrats hurl at us that isn’t true, it takes a real idiot to come out with a bloodthirsty comment like Robertson made regarding Hugo Chavez. It absolutely amazes me that “celebrities” on either side still don’t realize the potential they have to wreak havoc.

I was raised in a very conservative family with sort of a “hell fire and brimstone” upbringing. Of course that didn’t stop some of the congregation from acting like heathens. There were things I expected some of the congregation members to say and do and then there were the things I expected from the pastor. Expectations of a pastor are much different than that of the congregation. For instance, a congregation member could get away with yelling at their neighbor, going to the town meeting and acting like a fool, going off on the football coach for not giving their son enough play time at the game, etc., but the pastor couldn’t get away with that stuff. A pastor is expected to act in a manner that is befitting a pastor. Maybe it’s easy for me to believe this way because I grew up with a very gentle, loving pastor.

The problem is, I don’t believe the characteristics I’m writing about come naturally unless the person is blessed with a pastor’s heart. It’s my opinion that a person who does not have a pastor’s heart should not be in a position of leadership within the church.

I’m not implying that pastors are perfect or should act perfect. I know they are humans with the same temptations, struggles, trials, etc., the rest of us have. But I also understand the nature of a “calling”. We all have a purpose in our life (NOT to be confused with “The Purpose Driven Life” philosophy – I’ll rant on that another day). I believe that while one person’s purpose may be to lead and direct others in their Christian walk, another person’s purpose may be to be a nurse, or a veterinarian or a secretary or a shoe salesman or a stay-at-home mom. What ever our purpose and whether we ever “find” our purpose is all relative to the “heart” that God gives us.

For instance, I know that I do not have the heart of a pastor. I do not have the patience, the sensitivity or the compassion necessary to be a pastor. I’m not without these things and I consider myself a pretty compassionate person, however, it takes someone with a wealth of all three of those things to make a good pastor. I also know that I do not have the heart of a nurse. I do, however, feel a connection to my work in the healthcare field and while I do not deal directly in the “health” part, I do contribute to the “care” portion as I give direction to the staff working for me as they take care of our patients.

Just because you can get people to follow you -
doesn't mean you are called to be a leader.
Remember the Pied Piper?

It took me a while to figure out what it was about Pat Robertson and some of the others who make my skin crawl. It has occurred to me that Robertson, Jackson and many others do not exhibit the heart of a pastor. It’s one thing to read an article in the newspaper or hear some Dixie Chick mouthing off or even reading some crack-pot conservative mom’s blog. It’s another thing entirely for a man who claims to be a “man of God”…a Reverend….a Pastor….to make the comments that Pat Robertson made on Monday night. It’s embarrassing and I, for one, think Conservative Christians everywhere should call on Robertson to make an apology. He has been irresponsible with his celebrity status and has given liberals everywhere a reason to call Republican standards into question. I would encourage his viewers to turn the 700 Club off until he makes this right.

The last time I paused at the 700 Club while flipping through the channels (admittedly a very long time ago), the only thing I remember is seeing Robertson literally pounding his fist on a desk, saying something about "repentance". Well, Mr. Robertson, it’s about time you practice what you preach.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Oh How I Miss The 80's!

For all you kids of the 80's....and I don't mean BORN in the 80's - here is a walk down memory lane that you'll enjoy. Check out:
100 Reasons I Miss The 80's

Thursday, August 18, 2005

What I Learned Today

If you drop the last roll of toilet paper into the toilet first thing in the morning...the rest of the day is probably going to follow suit.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Of The Immoral Majority


I had the very distasteful experience recently of attempting to have a political debate with some liberals. I made the mistake of opening my mouth in the “talk back” section of the Lancaster Newspaper online, regarding Cindy Sheehan. I couldn’t help myself. The conversation had become so hilariously one-sided that I felt someone with a grain of intelligence from the right needed to chime in.

Interestingly, some of the “regulars” began to stalk me like rottweilers. Seriously, I had a couple of conversations going on in a couple of different forums and there were a few irrational lefties who followed me from thread to thread to verbally batter me for having the nerve to support President Bush. It didn’t seem to matter what I posted – they managed to spin things, twist my words and drag me back into what was more of an “argument” than a “debate”.

At first it was fun – after all, it’s always fun to antagonize a democrat. However, after a couple of days of the verbal assaults on my intelligence, the intelligence of all Republicans and actual name-calling, I began to tire of it. Talking to a radical lefty is like talking to my former brother-in-law who believed every conspiracy theory he had ever heard and would defend them with off-the-wall “logic” that always left me either scratching my head in disbelief or wanting to bitch-slap him until his legs grew together.

There was, of course, an “icing on the cake” moment, which I am going to share here. If anyone has actually heard someone else say this (outside of the Lancaster Online forums) please do leave a comment and let me know, because I was so incredibly flabbergasted I couldn’t even respond. I actually gave up and told them I wouldn’t be back – which is unlike me – even when I’m frustrated. I would normally see a conversation through to an end, even if the “end” was to agree to disagree, but this post was so incredibly STUPID, I couldn’t really bring myself to qualify it. Of course, I told them it was stupid – couldn’t leave without that.

Here you go…posted by what I assume to be a man (if he were a real man he would be a Republican) with the screen name “Hammer”. By the way – I have not edited his horrible grammar and typos – mine are bad enough, but “spell check” was going crazy on this one. It’s a much better read when you can see how nearly illiterate the person is:

Why don`t W let Saddam out of jail,let him take charge of his people again and get them under control. We aren`t going to get things peaceful there.Saddam was a mad man but he had control of his people.Lets pull out,quitely,and let Iraq be what it was before we got there.An oil producing nation,run by a man who talked better weapons then he had.He was never a threat to us.We are in a war we can`t win.Oh that`s right,we won it 12 days after it started.Georgie told us that way back then,right? Or,we should drain all the oil they have out of the ground,pull our troops,and nuke them.Yeah,That`ll end it huh? But,wait a second,W says Iran is making WMD`s now too.Alright,guess we gotta nuke them too. And N.Korea,and China,Hell,the Canadians and the Mexicans are starting to back talk us now too.Nuke them all,let god sort them out.

Him,George W Bush and his cronies flat out lied to get the ok to attack Saddam.W got us into a war that`s costing 1000`s of lives and billions of dollars.It`s wrecking our economy and dragging our world standing to lows that have never been reached before.I know,I know,Bill got head in the oval office but I think this war is just a tad more offensive than that. How you people,after all the facts,mistakes,lies,deaths and destruction brought on by this puppet of a leader can still stick up for him is beyond me.

I think I sat at my computer and re-read that post for about ten minutes before I could feel my fingers again. My simple response:

Just when I think this forum has reached to the greatest depths of stupidity...someone else comes along to show me that stupid abounds in every corn field in Lancaster County.

1000's dead? How about hundreds of thousands tortured and killed?

Let's give Saddam back Iraq. Tell that to the people whose families were tortured in front of fact, there are a few living right here in Lancaster County. I met a family about 6 months ago who fled Iraq just before the D.S. war - they made it out (a nice married couple) but every other living relative either of them had were tortured and killed at the hands of Saddam. Tell them you think he did a better job. They got to vote for the very first time and they were so overjoyed that they wouldn't wash the ink off their fingers.

I give up. If I have to explain to one more liberal that freedom isn't just for YOU - I'm going to puke.

**my screen name** has left the search of intelligent life.

I’m thinking about opening a “Republican Only” coffee shop. Of course I can’t actually call it that. The ACLU would close me down. I’ll just post a photograph of Ronald Reagan over the door. For those who are too stupid to realize it’s not Frank Sinatra, the photo will be just above a sign bearing the following:

Monday, August 15, 2005

Top 9 New Cindy Sheehan Demands

Thank you for this hilarious post - just had to share it with my conservative friends! hehe

Top 9 New Cindy Sheehan Demands

Even as Cindy Sheehan continues her vigil outside of President Bush's Crawford ranch, she has released a list of new demands that she expects to have met by weeks end. The list includes a call for President Bush's impeachment and the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Palestine.

No word yet as to whether she would like the President to be impeached before or after Israel's departure. Nor did she mention whether or not she will be providing ongoing security for the Israeli's once they have been militarily neutered.

TNOYF's Senior Grief-mongering Correspondent was able to obtain a copy of the rest of Ms. Sheehan's requests.

We present:

Top 9 New Cindy Sheehan Demands

9. Force Coca Cola to revert to the New Coke recipe again. No wait, I like the old Coke better. Oh darn, I keep changing my mind. I'm such a goose!

8. Right of Return to San Francisco for mid-western hippies.

7. Stop that mean old coyote from chasing that nice road runner.

6. Have Francis Ford Coppola remake The Godfather III. Without his lame-ass daughter in it.

5. Creative control over the new Casey Sheehan mini-series I'm writing for the Lifetime Network.

4. $25 million dollars in untraceable Deutsch marks.

3. Lifetime supply of Jew-Be-Gone for my new friend David Duke.

2. Make hot dog and bun makers put in the same amount of product per package.

1. 75-25 split on all Casey merchandising.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Taking Off The Gloves and Putting On The Brass Knuckles

Check out this great Op-Ed by Barbara Stock. This is not for liberal pansies - this is the real deal - and I couldn't agree with her more!

More 9/11

Why am I on a roll with 9/11 stuff today? I don't know. Perhaps because it's just a month before the anniversary and I start getting all teary-eyed again every time I think about it.

For what ever the reason - I came across
this article (initially found the link at - thanks Tony!). It's pretty interesting how a report as important as the 9/11 Commission findings can be riddled with wrong information and the liberal response is the usual "sweep it under the rug". Had more Republicans (real Republicans - not R.I.N.O.'s) been involved in the investigation and writing of this report, the disclosure that something in it was, perhaps, skewed or excluded would have sent the liberals into a chant of, "off with their heads!" Since this new information indicates that their adulterous super-hero may have in some way ignored intelligence that could have prevented 9/11, there will undoubtedly be some cockamamie excuse for it. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Big Foot, Loch Ness Monster and 9/11

For all you conspiracy theorists - here's a very well written, well researched, hard-fact write up of all of the popular 9/11 conspiracy theories. Read (and weep) what calls 9/11: Debunking the Myths .

I know it won't make the voices in your liberal heads stop talking to you, nor will it help you understand the difference between fact and fiction - but it might give you a good conversation topic for your next Star Wars Convention.

The Truth About Cindy Sheehan

While I can only imagine what a mother who has lost her child must go through, it’s worth noting that even though everyone grieves differently, I think we all agree that placing blame and holding on to bitterness only creates a deeper and more lasting wound. Whether it’s over a death or another type of loss – bitterness and anger only hurt the person who holds it.

The story of Cindy Sheehan (the mother who is camped out on the road leading to President Bush’s ranch) is being sensationalized by the media without telling the whole story.
Read the facts on Junk Yard Blog about what led up to this day in the life of Cindy Sheehan and then tell me the mainstream media is impartial.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

You Know I Gotta!

Ok, I gotta say something.....just gotta, gotta, gotta!

On Sunday, August 8th, the Lancaster Sunday News published this article , which isn't really an article at all, but listed out "Slaves and Slave Owners, Circa 1800" who resided in Lancaster County.

Ok, I am as interested in history as the next person - in fact, I would much rather read something historically significant than any news that's going on right here and now, but I found the "article" to be both
inflammatory and irresponsible. All of the information listed in the article is Public Information that can be obtained through the Historical Society and/or the Court House.

For those of you who don't know, I live in a county that has very deep family roots. What I mean is, there are generations and generations and generations of families still living in Lancaster County that were here 200 years ago. If you don't believe me - just look at the number of James Martins' or David Stouts' listed in the telephone book. You'll find both of those names on the list of slave owners.

Now, maybe I'm naive, but I like to think that comparatively speaking (compared to neighboring cities) we do not have huge ethnic struggles. Lancaster County and particularly, Lancaster City is quite a melting pot of many ethnicities and I think compared to a lot of cities, we all get along very well together. I have, however, run into a few people (and I know - they're EVERYWHERE) who are always just looking for a fight when it comes to racial boundaries. I felt this article was a really good way to get some grudge-fires burning, once again, in Lancaster.

To me, it was like the author (whomever it is - seems he/she didn't want his/her name on the article.....might have been uncomfortable with that!) was saying, "Let's see how many African American's find their ancestors listed under the owner's name who is the ancestor of their neighbor! This ought to be fun to watch!" It's just downright

So, I (being the loudmouth that I am when I'm behind the keyboard) just felt compelled to write a note about it in the "talk-back" section of the article. I will quote here what I wrote:

Personally, I'm appalled that they would print this information. While it holds historical significance to some - they could have just as easily written an article letting people know they had the information if it was wanted. I'm not a native of Lancaster County, but I can tell you that I would be in a bit of a panic if I were and I read my last name in that write up. Like it or not - there are a lot of people in this county who would/could/WILL use this information to fuel grudges and martyrdom. It's careless.
So - there it was - in black and white - ME saying I thought this was a careless act on the part of the newspaper. Well, I don't have to tell you that it didn't take long for someone to "holla-back" at me saying:

History needs to be told so it can never happen again. "Fuel grudges and martyrdom." How about "owning" other human beings and having the "right" to do whatever you please with those individuals. You want to sweep it under the rug? Sorry. The history of slavery in this country has to be told. I would also assume, **my screen name**, that you are white. Otherwise, you would not be worried about "panic" if you read your last name.
I had to do it, huh? I had to open my big mouth and get something started with someone who now thinks I am a racist who is indifferent to ""owning" other human beings and having the "right" to do whatever you please with those individuals".

WAIT A MINUTE! Isn't that exactly what I said was going to happen????? My comments were neither racist nor indifferent! This hate-monger just put words in my mouth because he was looking for a fight!

HA! Told you!

So, I just thanked the hate monger.....for proving me RIGHT!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Give me a "C"...Give me an "O"....Give me an "N"...

I'll admit it (in case you hadn't already figured it out); I am a huge fan of Condoleezza Rice. She's tough, focused and MORAL - remember moral? Her "ever the optimist" attitude is only surpassed by her unspoken command for respect - which she deserves. I'm proud of her as a woman and an American.

I don't really know what to think of this TIME article. The author goes back and forth on whether or not he agrees with the "Condi Doctrine" (kind of catchy, don't you think?), but the article is well written and is worth a read.

Her last quote sums up where she's coming from:

"I've lived in a place where difference was not tolerated and difference was a license to kill," she says. "I lived in a place that was not living up to the democratic principles of the United States but where, because the institutions were what they were, people were able to petition from within those institutions, not without ... People kept struggling toward those institutions and values and principles and, over time, we've gotten closer to the ideal. And so when I see Iraqis struggling with really hard issues or Afghans struggling with really hard issues, I'm probably less willing to say, 'Oh, they can't do it.' I look at [our history], and I say what seemed impossible on one day now seems inevitable. Well, that's the way great historical changes are. And it's why I have enormous conviction that these people are going to make it."
Doesn't it just give you a warm fuzzy feeling? Man, I love her!!

The Statistics Speak For Themselves

HA! Check out this article on the sharp rise in motorcycle accident fatalities in states who have repealed their helmet law. When I'm right....I'm right!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A little whine – hold the cheese…

It’s Sunday evening and I find myself, once again, dreading the workweek ahead. It’s not so much the work as it is the things that interfere with me getting my work done. In my current position, I find myself in a place where I am given a lot of challenges and goals to reach without being equipped with the resources and/or authority to reach many of the goals. This forces me to do one of two things – I either achieve/exceed the goal by mere stubborn resourcefulness (and I can be pretty resourceful – particularly if someone irks me), but this usually ends up costing me much more time and stress than it’s worth OR I cop an “I no longer care” attitude. I hate when the latter happens and I have to admit it’s been happening more and more these days.

I am a good manager, but my management style doesn’t mesh well with those who thrive on creating an atmosphere where you push people to their breaking point and then throw them a bone when they are right at the edge. It’s the dangling carrot philosophy. Dangle the carrot all the way to the edge of the cliff and i
f the poor schmuck is willing to dive off the cliff to get it – they’re weak and don’t have the leadership qualities we want on our team. If the schmuck gets to the edge and says, “you’re crazy!”, you say, “hey, I was going to give you the carrot a mile back – aren’t you glad I didn’t? Then you would have never known your potential!”, therefore implying they are weak and without backbone or the drive to reach their potential on their own. In the end – the only ones who are ever considered the champions are the ones dangling the carrot.

My style is quite different.
I do believe that sometimes you have to push people a little to get them to work to their potential. I also believe that it doesn’t take long for a manager to see what potential a person may have – even if they don’t see it themselves. If you are a good judge of character (and of course, I think I am...except when it comes to dating), then you are usually able to quickly ascertain whether someone is going to end up being a champion for the organization, or dead weight. While I do think that sometimes people need to be sort of “led” to their potential, I do NOT agree that 99% of all employees will not work to their potential unless you force it on them. I also don’t buy into the idea of pushing people to their breaking point and then pulling back ever-so-slightly to let them catch their wind and then pushing some more. In my experience, the typical result is either pushing the person right out the door or pushing the person completely over and all you have left is road-kill – and guess what??? You’ve created dead weight out of a potential champion.

I have a few people working for me who are true champions. I also have people working for me who I would classify as little more than a warm body. Some of the “warm bodies” were created by the powers-that-be within my organization and may or may not have had potential when they began their employment, many of them decades ago. Some of them never had the potential to be much more than dead weight to begin with.

Tomorrow I have to hand down a decision regarding the continued employment of one of the warm bodies. A passive aggressive, manipulative, piece of white trash, who has not done one solitary thing above and beyond what she absolutely HAS to do to get by in her position and has managed to create a network of people around her who usually do her job for her. I didn’t hire her (even though my job is to hire/terminate all employees). My employers pulled her in while I was on vacation last year with a quick, “oops! Did we forget to tell you?” And now that I have wasted a year of training on her, she’s my problem. In the past I’ve defended this woman, hoping she would see that she is being supported and step up to the plate, only to see her take advantage of it and move on to more manipulation. Letting her go is not going to be a big loss in the greater scheme of things, particularly if I can replace her with a champion. The problem is – as little as she does, she does do SOME things and the loss of what is little more than a warm body is going to create stress for the champions I already have. At the end of the day – it’s always me who gets shot in the foot.

Ok, I’m through venting (it wasn’t whining, I swear!). Tomorrow is a new day. A day during which I will either terminate or extend the employment of someone who isn’t even worth 50% of her salary. These are the days when I swear if Taco Bell could pay my bills, I would gladly sit in the drive-thru window and say, “do you want hot, fire or mild sauce with that?”

Saturday, August 06, 2005

What I learned today...

No day is a complete loss - no matter how miserable everything in it may have long as you can look down at the end of the day and say, "at least I've got cute shoes on".

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Fatal Dog Attacks: When will People Learn?

I read today, in disbelief, another story of a toddler mauled to death by a Rottweiler in California. As I sat and pondered what must have been a most horrifying and painful death for little 16-month old Cassandra Garcia, I couldn’t help saying out loud, “what the heck is wrong with people who own these dogs?”.

Now, before you get your panties in a wad over what I’m saying here, I’m not suggesting that we exterminate an entire breed or breeds of dog. I just don’t understand why people would purchase an animal that was bred – yes, that’s right – brought into existence for the purpose of fighting, and expect these animals to co-exist with people/children without ever having a moment of trouble. I’m trying to figure out if the people who own these dogs and keep them around their children and grandchildren are just stupid or if they are so arrogant as to think they are superior animal trainers and can change the utter nature of an animal.

While I thought about this I did a little research on dog attack statistics and the first site I came to was an advertisement for the book “Fatal Dog Attacks: The Facts Behind The Statistics”. Here, author Karen Delise suggests that hers are the only statistics that are accurately depicting the real contributors to fatal dog attacks, as well as suggesting that there is no one breed more likely to attack a human than another. Additionally, Ms. Delise claims

“The result of sensationalizing individual incidents of severe or fatal dog attacks, included with the use of unexamined statistical "evidence" has created an unfortunate and inaccurate public and political perception as to the dangerousness and predictability of certain breeds of dogs.”

I am a statistic person. The majority of the job I work every day that “brings home the bacon” involves the collection, calculation and constructive use of statistical data. So, it is by my nature that I immediately look for statistics when I am researching a subject. However, I am also a news junkie. I am constantly reading every piece of useless information I can get my hands on and I must say, the last time I read an article or heard a news report about a Cocker Spaniel mauling a child to death was…hmmmm…let’s see…..NEVER! Ditto for Bassett Hounds, Collies, Irish Setters….you get my point. When we pick up the news and read a story about a person being mauled by a dog it is almost always a Rottweiler or Pitt Bull and the occasional German Shepherd. Ironically, when I looked up the U.S. Government statistics on this subject, those were the three breeds that stood at the top of the list for most dog bite related fatalities in the United States. Here are some actual statistics to warm your heart:

"Studies indicate that pit bull-type dogs were involved in approximately a third of human DBRF (i.e., dog bite related fatalities) reported during the 12-year period from 1981 through1992, and Rottweilers were responsible for about half of human DBRF reported during the 4
years from 1993 through 1996....[T]he data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998. It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities." (Sacks JJ, Sinclair L, Gilchrist J, Golab GC, Lockwood R.
Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. JAVMA 2000;217:836-840.)

The website which lists all sorts of “facts” regarding any breed you can imagine also has a “reliability with children” grading system. Evidently, a lot of people rely on this website for factual information when making a decision regarding which breed of dog to purchase. According to this website, Rottweilers received a “green” grade, which indicates that the dog is “good” with children when raised with them from the time of puppy-hood. The American Pitt Bull received a “blue” grade, which is the highest a breed can earn, for being “excellent” with children. This information blows my mind and unfortunately, there will always be stupid people who don’t use common sense and research things out for themselves and will rely on idiotic/irresponsible grading systems like the one on Out of more than 300 breeds listed on this website, only 4 fell into the “red” grade which indicates they are not good with children. Two of those breeds were wild dogs, the Dingo and the New Guinea Singing Dog (no kidding!), one in the “bull” category, the Perro De Presna Mallorquin, and one that was bred to be a sheep herder and is basically unsociable and wont’ do anything but herd sheep, the Sar Planinac. Am I the only person who finds it odd that a few more dogs haven’t fallen into that category?

Maybe I’m overprotective. I doubt it – but I suppose that could be the case. I was raised with dogs and most of my family members have dogs today. As I said, it’s not that I don’t like dogs, because I really do. The last dog I owned was a Sheltie named Stonewall Jackson. My former husband, my daughter (8 years old at the time) and I absolutely loved that dog. Stonewall wasn’t exactly the most docile of pets. He jumped on everyone and everything and often times left a scratch or two on your arm when he excitedly greeted you at the door…or in the kitchen…..or the laundry room….or wherever he happened to get excited, which was EVERYWHERE. This, of course, was not a big deal until I learned I was expecting my second child. The thought of Stonewall, innocent as his jumping may have been, hopping up onto the side of a baby bed or seat or swing and knocking the new baby across the room was absolutely not an option. We had tried to train him from the time he was a pup to knock off the jumping, but he wanted no part of it. As much as we loved Stonewall, as a family we knew he had to go. We found a good home for Stonewall before the baby came and although we missed him, we never regretted the decision because it was the right thing to do!

I am well aware that I no longer live in a world where common sense prevails. I also know I am surrounded by idiots 90% of the time, but I would no sooner buy my child a Rottweiler than hand her a loaded gun and tell her to go out and play. I am not against dogs – I love dogs! I am not against guns, either. I’m actually guilty of using that worn out slogan, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. But housing an animal in your home that could, at any moment, act according to its nature (which is to fight) and maim or kill a human being is more than irresponsible. Dogs are not domestic beings. If they were, they would be leading us around on leashes and going to the bathroom in the toilet. Even the most docile animal can be unpredictable, why roll the dice with your children/grandchildren’s lives with an animal whose very nature is to destroy?

These days, people are arrested for leaving their children in the car unattended – and they should be. People are arrested for leaving weapons within reach of their children – and they should be. Why aren’t more people arrested when their children or grandchildren suffer horribly painful and terrifying deaths like little Cassandra Garcia? This was absolutely, 100 % preventable. Fortunately, in California it can be a felony for a person to possess a dog trained to fight, attack or kill that, because of the owner's lack of ordinary care, bites two people or seriously injures one person. I really do hope this case is treated as a felony. Perhaps more people would think a bit longer about their options when purchasing a dog they plan to raise around their children or grandchildren.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Stay away from Aruba...

I love hearing from other people who have the hoochies to say what many are afraid to say out loud. If you've read my post on Natalee Holloway (below), you know I agree with this guy. Check out John Trucano's Op-Ed on the injustice that continues in Aruba and his theory on how to put the hammer down on their government.

May The Punishment Fit The Crime...

Ok, I was 11 years old once. Admittedly, most of my childhood was an out-of-body experience, but when I was 11 years old, I probably threw rocks at boys. In fact, I’m almost positive I did. In my neighborhood, which was full of children my age and a few years older, we all got along pretty well, but on the occasion that one of the neighborhood kids rattled my chain, I am quite certain they got what was coming to them in return. I may have been mildly feisty as a little girl – ok, I was ADHD with a bike – but I knew one thing for certain….anything I did that was going to be deemed inappropriate by adults was going to get back to my mother and I feared her more than any police officer, school principal or other authority figure of my childhood. My mother used to say, “The Lord will tell me what you did!” I later realized that it was probably Mrs. Leffler, the strange woman across the street with forty-seven thousand cats, who probably told my mother about most of my shenanigans, nevertheless, she always knew. And trust me, the punishments usually fit the crimes committed.

Fast forward 20-something years. Maribel Cuevas, an 11 year-old girl from California, is playing on the street with her 6 year-old baby brother and some other children when a bunch of boys ride by on their bicycles and begin harassing the group of kids with water balloons. Why? Because that’s what boys do! In thousands of years, this has always been the case – little boys pick on little girls. It’s human nature. It’s the natural order of things. In fact, when I was in the fourth grade and Billy Nickerson pushed me off the slide at recess, I will never forget the explanation my teacher gave me, “he’s just doing those things because he likes you”. I thought it was a funny way of showing it at the time, but having become the aunt of 11 boys, I now know she was right on the money.

When I think about the scenario of Maribel, her brother and her little friends being freshly drenched by water balloons, I can’t help thinking back to my childhood and wondering what I would have done. I don’t have to wonder long – I know exactly what I would have done. I would have picked up the closest thing I could get my hands on and pelt it right back at them. Why? Because that’s what feisty little girls do. Not all little girls – I know that too, because I have one of each….one who would have gone crying to mama and one who would have given new meaning to the phrase, “Hell hath no fury….”. Nevertheless, Maribel chose the path that I am certain I would have taken twenty-something years ago. She picked up a rock and zinged it as hard as she could and “KLUNK!”….she made contact. It’s like a page from a story of my childhood. Little Johnny Waterballoon had to have a couple of stitches and his mother and father said, “all is fair” and moved on.

It’s what happened next that not only amazes me, but makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck. The Fresno Mayor and Police Chief charged little 11 year-old Maribel Cuevas with Felony Assault With a Deadly Weapon. After the incident in April, this young lady spent 5 days in a juvenile detention center and a month on house arrest – and she hasn’t even been tried for her “crime” yet.

Now, I have a 12 year-old daughter who in all likelihood, would not think before reacting if faced with this same scenario. What makes my hair stand on end is the thought of her being arrested and charged with a felony crime for acting in a manner that would be relative to her age and maturity. Because guess what folks – pre-teen kids aren’t grown-ups! They don’t think before they react. Their responses are often times NOT thought-out responses. Why? Because that’s the natural order of things!

I did a little research on Fresno, California and learned that in 2003, the population of Fresno was less than 500,000 people. Also in the year 2003, the violent crime rate was 7.8 per 1000 people. Now, let’s compare that to a city on the east coast. In the year 2003, Philadelphia’s population was more than 1.5 million people, yet the violent crime rate was LESS THAN HALF that of Fresno. After reading those stats, am I the only person who thinks perhaps the Mayer and Police Chief of Fresno could make better use of their time and the taxpayer’s dollars by prosecuting REAL criminals?

I’ll be following this story and I sincerely hope the authorities in Fresno come to their senses and let the families of these kids handle what is obviously a “neighborhood thing”. In the mean time, I hope anyone reading this will take advantage of the power of free speech and e-mail our friends, Jerry Dyer (Chief of Police) and Alan Autry (Mayor) to let them know just how outlandish this whole situation has become. Also, check out for more information.

P.S. If anyone needs help figuring out what punishment REALLY fits this crime – I think my mother is still available.

CNN reports that:
Maribel Cuevas was ordered to meet with her young victim and talk about the fight under the deal -- reached on the same day the girl was to stand trial. She did not have to plead guilty, and the charges will be dismissed if she stays in school and keeps out of trouble.
That's good news. I would like to think the authorities did what they thought was best for the children, but the truth is - they probably reacted to the bad publicity they were getting and decided to make it "go away". I also think it's worth taking note of this paragraph in the article:
Police responded with three cars while a helicopter hovered overhead, and said they arrested Cuevas for resisting arrest and scratching an officer's arm.
Let's face it, folks. If you were 11 years old, surrounded by three police cruisers and had a helicopter hovering overhead (talk about your overkill!), do you think it' s possible that you might get scared and try to get away? In my experience, kids react (most of the time) in one of two ways when they're scared..they either freeze or they run. I suppose I should say all is well that ends well. I hope, for Maribel's sake, this is the end of it. Read the whole story here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

God helps those who help......the homicidal maniac?

Finally! Here’s a great article by a man who shares my views on “helping those who help themselves”. A great read! DISCLAIMER: Not for pansy liberals.
Barry Farber is great - check out "When Generosity Breeds Atrocity"

Monday, August 01, 2005

Favorite Quote Today...

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.
-Margaret Thatcher-

Go Condi!

What I think about Bolton

I guess it's official - President Bush has appointed Bolton as U.N. Ambassador. I am so sick and tired of hearing, talking and reading about this issue I could puke. I've only got two things to say on this subject.

  1. The U.N. is a joke and should disappear - but as long as that's not going to happen, the person who represents the United States should not be a pansy.
  2. Is that Bolton's real hair?

What I learned at work today....

Never, EVER pull the loose thread on your underpants at work.

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