Posted by: michelle2005 | August 10, 2009

“The Free Market: Conservative’s “Utopia”

synchroncity jung

The famous psychiatrist Carl Jung developed the idea of synchronicity:  The coincidental occurrence of events that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality.  We have termed these events coincidence; recently such an occurrence caught my attention: But first, I must digress.

It has been requested of me to write more regarding mental health, and the steps necessary to obtain help.  In a previous blog post, I described the process one may take to help someone who may be suicidal.  Because of budget cuts, and the advent of the health maintenance organizations (HMO) mental health reimbursement has been severely limited.  In many policies, this coverage is less than thirty days hospitalized care over a lifetime.  Hospitals now employ their own utilization review managers to negotiate additional days stay with third party payers for needed care.  After discharge, insurance companies and county mental health departments may refuse to reimburse hospitals if the severity of illness is not adequately documented.

This would be true even if the proceeding and succeeding days warranted care.  For example is the following was noted upon documentation:   Patient attempted to hurt self on Monday, Patient smiling and laughing on Tuesday.  Patient depressed talking about ways to hurt self on Wednesday.  The result is that the insurance company denies care for Tuesday. This example is not far fetched.  Care for an outpatient therapist is similarly limited.  In addition, in many cases the co-pay cost for such visits has doubled. It has become very difficult financially to seek and obtain help unless you are truly suicidal.

This is the reality, at least ten percent of the population suffers from Major Depression and  combined with over diagnosis such as bipolar and schizophrenia  that percentage grows. Every one reading this blog post knows someone who requires mental healthcare.  No one can predict when he or she may need such help anymore than one may predict a car accident.  Trauma in one’s life frequently triggers the need for such care.  However, to the opponents of health care reform mental health services are “exotic.”

Phyllis Schlafly of the Eagle Forum has written this on

Phyliss schlafly

“Instead of allowing insurance to compete by offering different benefit packages, the Democrats are considering insurance mandates to cover exotic benefits that individuals may not want to buy, such as in-vitro fertilization, hair transplants, rehab services, hearing aids, sex-change operations, prescription drugs, abortions, mental health and substance-abuse programs.”

hair plugs

Wow!  That’s fair lumping prescription drugs, mental health care and rehab services with hair transplants.  As for including in-vitro fertilization, sex change operations and abortion it’s obvious that Ms. Schlafly does not understand mental health, and wishes to employ the emotional pull associated with these issues to confuse and distort.

Health care is not an ala carte proposition such as including towing and rental coverage with automobile insurance.  Those who view healthcare as a business rather than as a right continue to look at providing for one’s most basic needs as a luxury. No one who purchases health insurance has the understanding that he or she may not get the best care available when needed.  Many find out that this is true, as their policy has been rescinded far too late due to an inadvertent omission unrelated to the care they have been scheduled to receive.

Let us have an honest debate.  I repeat you cannot predict when one may require mental health services any more than one can predict a fractured bone.  It would be foolish not to have mental health services included in any meaningful discussion of health care reform.

However, the distortion continues.

On August 4 of this year Thomas Sowell writing for the National Review Online wrote the following:

But politicians in the business of distributing largesse — especially with someone else’s money — cannot resist the temptation to pass laws adding things to insurance coverage.  Many of those who are pushing for more government involvement in medical care are already talking about extending insurance coverage to “mental health” — which is to say, giving shrinks and hypochondriacs a blank check drawn on the federal treasury.

Given the publication date of August 4, 2009, most likely Mr Sowell finished this piece on August 3, 2004

August 3 was the anniversary of the famous General Patton face slapping of a young shell-shocked soldier in Italy.  Shell shock is the condition that we now call Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD), many of our returning troops that Mr. Sowell and his ilk proudly claim to support suffer from such disorders.  Alternatively, is providing mental health coverage really just an excuse for “giving shrinks and hypochondriacs a blank check drawn on the federal treasury.”

patton slapping soldier

How is that for Synchronicity?

After 66 years to the day, this is how far conservatives have advanced in the understanding of  people whom they claim to represent!

NAMI National Mental Health SIgn



Posted by: michelle2005 | August 8, 2009

“Jenny! Did You Do This?!”

resized with irfan

Those of you that have been following this site for a while now, know that we have a very “active” little Sheltie.   Her name is Jenny.  I have done numerous posts regarding her many antics.   She constantly has hubby and I laughing so hard our sides hurt.

However, lately she has added some new antics to her repertoire of her many unusual abilities.  Let me explain to you what happened sometime during the night.

Usually after dinner…or even just sitting at the table, we make sure all chairs are pushed in.  We do this, as we have caught her jump up onto a chair and grab something off the table.   Usually if she does this, she will take her “prize” and run under the table where we can’t get to her.  She makes a game out of it!

jenny and toilet enlarged

She is especially close to my hubby.  When he leaves for work, she will take a few morsels of her food and put it onto the top of his toilet seat…along with one of her “babies” (stuffed toy)   We have even caught her laying in his bath tub but always with some of her “babies” and once in a while with towel that she has pulled off the towel rack.

Jenny in Bath Tub

She has learned how to push the door to his bathroom open…unless we make sure it is securely shut!  Evidently, last night it was not securely shut…

This morning we discovered an empty bag, one of my socks, one of hubby’s shirts (that had been hanging on the back of the bathroom door), and a towel…all bunched up on the rug in front of his bathtub.

The (now) empty bag had been on our table and contained an Apple Fritter.   Seeing this empty bag in the bathroom, let me know that one of us had forgotten to push all the chairs in properly.

apple fritter

When we made this discovery, we called her to us.  Hubby held up the empty bag and said “Jenny, did you do this?!” She immediately put her ears back and ran under the table.

She is always quick to make amends and brought Hubby a toy to play.  It’s her way to make up for her misdeed!   It amazes me at all her unusual abilities.  I am so happy that we have been blessed with her… she brings constant joy to our lives.

To those of you desiring some good laughs…take a look through my archives and read some of the many posts I’ve done regarding our beautiful little Jenny.

Jenny and JoLee canvas added

My best friend is Jenny’s veterinarian.  On each visit to see her…Jenny, of course, needs to take one of her “babies” so they can play.  Before the examination takes place, there are a few moments spent playing.  The next thing that is noticeable is laughter that you can hear all the way out into the waiting room!

Michelle (Jenny’s Mom)

Posted by: michelle2005 | August 7, 2009

“Is it Ever Too Late to do the Right Thing?”


Those that have been following this site know of my disgust at the growing level of bigotry, anger, hatred and racism within our nation.  The below article was taken directly from the “Southern Poverty Law Center”  I urge those of you that are unfamiliar with their stellar work to take a look at their site.

Within this site is contained a vast wealth of information available regarding what each of us can do as citizens to help quell this growing tide of hatred.  There is no longer time for anyone to sit idly by and do nothing.  Remember…every life touches every other life (whether for good or bad).  Is it ever too late to do the right thing?

military branches

SPLC Finds New Evidence of Extremists in the Military, Urges Congress to Investigate

by Heidi Beirich on July 10, 2009

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) today urged Congress to investigate growing evidence that racial extremists are infiltrating the U.S. military and take steps to ensure that the armed forces are not inadvertently training future domestic terrorists.

In a letter to committee chairmen with oversight over homeland security and the armed services, the SPLC said it recently found dozens of personal profiles on the neo-Nazi social networking site,, which listed “military” as the poster’s occupation. NewSaxon is run by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement and serves as a sort of racist version of Facebook for “People of European Descent.” These profiles are just the latest in a string of evidence the SPLC has provided since 2006 to the Pentagon of extremist infiltration of the military (for SPLC’s reports, readhere, here, and here).

The NewSaxon profiles include an individual who says he is about to be deployed with the Air Force overseas and is looking forward to “killing all the bloody sand niggers!” Another poster who claims to be currently serving in Iraq writes that he “hate[s] illegal immigrants with a passion and feel[s] every true red blooded, white American should do whatever it takes to stop the foreign invasion.” He lists Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf as one of his favorite books. Another poster currently serving in Afghanistan lists as his favorite book The Turner Diaries, which was written by neo-Nazi leader William Pierce and served as a blueprint for the Oklahoma City bombing. Many of the profiles include pictures of the posters in military uniform.

These profiles provide further evidence that current Department of Defense regulations prohibiting “active participation” in extremist groups are inadequate because they can be interpreted to allow members of the armed forces to be “mere members” of hate groups or to engage in unaffiliated extremist activities, such as posting racist and anti-Semitic messages to social networking websites and E-mail lists or maintaining online profiles filled with racist materials.

An article posted yesterday on Stars & Stripes’ website about SPLC’s call for congressional action reported that “military officials gave conflicting answers this week when asked how policies governing racist behavior are being enforced.” A spokesman for the Department of the Army told Stars & Stripesthat allegations of racist behavior are dealt with “on a case-by-case basis at the unit disciplinary level or in the military justice system” and have not been “addressed as an Army-wide problem.”



Posted by: michelle2005 | August 5, 2009

“Heartbreak for Reasons Unknown”

broken heart edited

It is difficult to know where to begin telling about this heartbreak and loss of a relationship.   This relationship was extremely important in my life.  You see, if I knew the reason for the loss, I doubt I would feel such devastation.   (I am going to change the names of the folks involved for privacy sake)

The relationship was with a young woman that was closer than a daughter was.  There was no doubt in the mind of anyone that knew us…pastors, other ministry folks, both our families, etc…that it was the Lord that caused her and I to cross paths.

She was in her early 20’s and aimless in life.   I had just returned from overseas.  I was in a city not far from my home.  She overheard me talking to my (now ‘ex’) husband regarding Romania.  Her eyes were as big as saucers.   She came over to talk to me…and proceeded with a barrage of questions.  So excited she became, I began to laugh.  Her enthusiasm for knowledge was infectious.

Our hearts were knit together as I had not experienced in the past.  This surprised me in other ways, too.  You see, I was a minister and had many younger folks that I had mentored, taught and watched to begin ‘flying’ in ministries of their own.

Soon it became apparent that I needed to return to Romania.  Naturally, I spoke at length about this to my new young “daughter”.  She began telling me about all the dreams she’d had about the fear of being in a communist country.  She also told me that she’d had dreams of being on a train with communist soldiers.  This caused tremendous fear in her.

I remember it being near my birthday and we were on the phone.  With not premeditation on my part, I asked if she would like to accompany me back to Romania.   There was an immediate and emphatic “YES!”

From the time I met her, until this point I was more than a mentor.  She was also enrolled in some Bible courses.  She was like an eager baby bird…taking in each morsel of the knowledge of the Lord and His ways.  Her spiritual life was as if it had wings of its own.

Although she was an adult, I knew if her parents were not in agreement with this I would not take her with me.  You see, there was still much turmoil in that nation.  I was well aware of the dangers and knew if she was unsure of herself…that it could spell big trouble.  She needed to know, too, that she had the full support of her parents.

I spent much time with her folks letting them know exactly what I had been doing.  I spelled out all the pro’s and con’s.  I also let them know that there were areas we would be traveling that could be potential problems.  They asked me many questions.  It only took a short while before they knew they could trust me with making sure we both got in and out of Romania safely.

bucharest edited3

That first time she accompanied me to Romania….was like watching a newborn take their first steps!   The broad boulevards in Bucharest, the chaotic way they drove was unlike anything she had seen.  Mesmerized is the only word I can think of that comes close to describing the way it was for her.   I had to literally hold her hand as we crossed those broad streets due to the fact she was looking at all the buildings and different types of architecture.   She was paying no attention to the traffic.

We had an apartment…that was nothing like here in the USA.  There was no hot water and only cold water for a few hours of the day.  Much time there was no gas for cooking.  The differences between the USA and Romania at that time were polar opposites.  Much of the infrastructure that had been damaged during WW2 had never been repaired.  The subsequent earthquake only worsened the situation.

Now, I’m going to ‘jump’ through several years.  She was my constant traveling companion.  She also traveled with me here in the USA when I had ministry engagements.  She would go to the auditorium or conference room and make sure everything was set up properly for me before I began to minister to the people.  Her actions were invaluable.  The closeness we shared, truly, was like a mother and daughter.

Again, I had to return to Romania.  This time she met the young man, that was like a son to me.  I had met him the first time I was in Romania.  He was like a guide and translator for me until I began to gain some ‘footing’ in that nation.  I knew his entire extended family.

Due to the fact there were many areas of the nation I had to travel…he went with me.  This led to him meeting many of my “contacts”.  New friendships were formed between him and the others I was there to serve in ministry and in the medical field.


By now, my young daughter and I were like one person…even to the point of finishing each other’s sentences.  When my young ‘daughter’ and ‘son’ met, you could see they were interested in one another.  Again, ‘jump’ with me through a few years….

There was a dinner that he invited her and I to with his family in attendance.  It was to be at the home of his parents.  We had been here many times, but this time it felt different.   During the course of the meal, he became very serious and said he wanted to ask ME a question.  I told him to go ahead and ask.

He said, “Since you are Marie’s “Spiritual Mother” I want to ask if I can have her hand in marriage?”  I already knew that they most likely would marry at some point.  Yet, I must say I was not thinking he would ask me!

The two of them looked at one another….then quickly looked at me.  I was in tears, since I recognized this as a union made in heaven.  Yes, yes, yes….was my answer.  Everyone at the table exploded in laughter and tears.

The next question would be “when” would the marriage take place.  Again, I want to remind you that things in Romania did not work as they do here (and since this time, things have vastly improved).  There were “hoops” we needed to jump through…including bribery.  The two of them wanted me to perform the ceremony.  This was an impossibility as my ministry credentials were not recognized in Romania.

Needless to say, the marriage was certainly not going to take place while here at this time.  Planning and precision made me feel like a spy.  In fact, my young ‘son’ always referred to me as a “Spy for God”.

The following year they were married in Romania.  It was most definitely the Hand of the Lord that worked out all the details.  However, it also meant that when I returned to the USA, I would be going alone.  Marie being married to a Romanian had a mountain of paper work to be filled out allowing him an exit visa.  It was like being in a spy movie to watch as all of this unfolded.  It took several months…but they both made it safely back to the USA.  He is now a citizen of the USA!

A few years later, they had a beautiful son.  Although, I do not live in the same city as they do, we could at least talk on the phone and emailed almost every day.

Most of you that have been following this site know that I had been in an abusive marriage for 25 years.  It took the action of the police to help me get out of that situation.  However, the years of abuse had finally taken a toll on my health.  I have struggled with significant health issues since 2005.  Rarely am I even able to leave the house at this point.

I have had two major surgeries.  Then the discovery of brain lesions and now another issue has reared it’s ugly head.  Most of you know, too, that I am now remarried to the most amazing guy on the planet.  Finally, I feel safe for the first time in a quarter century.

Unless one has suffered chronic illness and pain, it is difficult to explain how it affects you.  You see, Marie knew of the abuse, too.  She had witnessed it, and at times would try to come to my defense.  All this did was cause my abuser greater outrage when she would leave our home.

Again, I need you to ‘jump’ through a bit of time with me.  I never told my young ‘daughter’ to the extent of my physical limitations.  However, I told her enough that she understood it was very serious.

Last year she had told me about a doctor that was into ‘alternative’ medicine.  She even set it up for us to talk on the phone.  They things he recommended to me, I relayed to my own doctor.  Due to the severity of one of my physical problems…if I had followed the advice of this other doctor, it could have killed me.  You see, one of the physical issues that were found was a heredity defect and needed to be surgically corrected.

In the mean time, Marie and I continued to talk and email almost constantly.  Then three days in a row, there was no communication at all.  This was odd.  I wondered if something was wrong with her, her husband or the baby.  I began to panic.  Then I thought to email him at his office…still no response.  Getting no reply from him was unheard of…until now.

I made the decision to call her parents.  Her mother answered the phone and told me that they were fine.  We chit chatted for a few minutes and hung up.  I asked her to give Marie the message that I had contacted them, as I was worried about her.  She agreed.

Now weeks had passed and still no contact.  By this time, I learned that I was going to be having yet another surgery that was quite significant.  I thought I would call her mother again to let her know I was going to be in the hospital and what the surgery involved.  This time there was a noticeable “coolness” in her voice.  I just chalked it up to her possibly having had a difficult day.

romania 1989

When I came home from the hospital, there was still no contact.  I reread through dozens of emails.  Nothing was out of the ordinary in any of them.  Literally, from one day to the next…all communication from her had stopped.  This made no sense, but the heartbreak I felt was beyond what I have words to express.  It felt as if someone had cut out my heart.

The only thing I could possibly think of was that she was angry that I did not follow up with the doctor involved in “alternative” medicine.  I know this is a stretch, but there was absolutely nothing else I could think of.

Since the surgery I had was so serious, I decided to contact her mother again.  I thought, surely, she would have wondered if I came through OK.  I decided to call her mother one more time.  When she answered the phone, I let her know that since I still had not heard from Marie, I asked if she would let her know that I was home and the surgery was successful.

These were her mother’s exact words to me…”She’s a grown woman and lives in her own house!” That’s it…nothing else.  Keep in mind, that both her parents were people that I had gotten to know well over the years.  This created great stress and heartbreak…, as I had no clue as to what was going on.

Prior to all this, Marie had asked me if I had duplicates of certain items from Romania that she could have.  She was making a memory book for their son.  I told her that I was unsure and if I did, these items would most likely be in our storage area.

I eventually found all the items she had asked about and mailed them to her with a letter.  These items were very important to her.  Yet, in the letter, I poured out my heart, letting her know that I do not even know why she broke off all communication.  I ended it by letting her know that I will always love her…after all, she was the ‘daughter’ that the Lord had given me.  I know that she received the items I mailed…but still no contact from her to this day.

There are people that the Lord will put into our lives for but a “season”.  However, I know this was relationship was not one of them.  This one was for life.  Tears, tears, tears…when will they end?  Will the pain in my heart ever diminish?

tears falling

Many times, I thought about writing about this situation, yet, it was so painful I could not bring myself to put it all down for anyone else to read.  Simply put…it hurt too much.  However, now there has been a bit more time between now and then.   The heartbreak and pain is still there, but now I can at least think of it and not feel so grief stricken.  I must confess, though, there is a crack in my heart that feels it will never heal.

I am still struggling with significant health issues and I need to focus on regaining my health.  At the end of this post, I am deciding to put this whole thing “on the shelf” for now…since emotionally I do not have the strength to deal with it.  Maybe at a later date…

Although I have reached the end of this post, I need you to know there is so much more to this.  The absolute joy and growth in her that I witnessed was a remarkable sight.   I’m sure there are many of you that have experienced a broken relationship such as this.  How did you survive it?


Posted by: michelle2005 | August 3, 2009

“Never Argue With A Woman!”

Somebody sent me this email a while back.  I have no idea of it’s origin. However, it was so funny, I decided to post it here to give all of you a good laugh!


fishing boat

One morning, a husband returns the family boat to their lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins to read her book. The peace and solitude are magnificent.

woman reading

Along comes a Fish and Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, “Good morning, Ma’am. What are you doing?”

policeman cartoon

“Reading a book,” she replies, (thinking, “Isn’t that obvious?”).

“You’re in a Restricted Fishing Area,” he informs her.

“I’m sorry, officer, but I’m not fishing. I’m reading.”

“Yes, but I see you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.”

“If you do that, I’ll have to charge you with sexual assault,” says the woman.

“But I haven’t even touched you,” says the Game Warden.

“That’s true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.”

“Have a nice day ma’am,” and he left.


Never argue with a woman who reads. It’s likely she can also think.

Posted by: michelle2005 | July 26, 2009

“When Will the Racism End?”

racism modified with irfan

Those of you that have been following this blog know my grief over the lingering racism that still exists in our nation.  Those that think that racism has ended simply have never had to deal with it.  The below article I’d gotten from the “Southern Poverty Law Center”… from their “HateWatch” division. The “HateWatch” is listed in my blogroll. SPLC site is


Old South Slavery Defender to Speak at Conference Hosted by Major Christian Right Leader

Posted By Heidi Beirich On July 22, 2009 @ 12:01 pm In Christian Right

The senior pastor of [1] Bethlehem Baptist Church, a major Minneapolis-based congregation with more than 6,000 worshipers, has [2]invited extremist preacher [3] Doug Wilson to speak at an upcoming national conference commemorating the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth. [4] John Piper, who preaches at Bethlehem and runs Desiring God, an outfit that promotes his religious beliefs, is regarded as a mainstream evangelical, and Bethlehem is a member of the Baptist General Conference.

Wilson, based in Idaho, is anything but mainstream. He has written that Old South slavery was “a life of plenty” and has said he believes adultery should, in certain circumstances, be punished by execution.

This is the second time this year that Wilson has found favor in mainstream Christian circles. In June, on the [5] bill of a conference Wilson hosted was Charles Colson, recipient of the 2008 Presidential Citizens Medal and a revered Christian Right leader for decades, dating back to 1975 when he founded the Prison Fellowship ministry after serving time for obstruction of justice in connection with the Watergate scandal.

Wilson runs an extreme right religious [6] empire in Moscow, Idaho, that includes a church, Canon Press, and New Saint Andrews College. Popular in neo-Confederate circles as well, he co-wrote a partly plagiarized [7] booklet, Southern Slavery, As It Was, defending Old South slavery; his co-author was [8] Steve Wilkins, a founding member of the neo-secessionist and racist [9] League of the South.

Southern Slavery, As It Was is a repulsive [10] apologia for the enslavement of black Americans. Among other things, the booklet contends that, “Slavery as it existed in the South … was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence. … There has never been a multiracial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world.”

When a University of Idaho professor revealed in 2004 that Wilson’s booklet contained 22 passages plagiarized from a discredited 1974 academic treatise, Wilson scoffed, deriding the “local Banshees” who criticized him over what he portrayed as a mere citation problem. Canon Press then issued a “corrected” version of the booklet — correct in its citations, but unchanged in its portrayal of happy and well-fed slaves whose relationship with their masters was one of mutual affection.

Wilson’s views on other issues are just as extreme. Woman “was created to be dependent and responsive to a man,” he has written. If a woman is raped, the rapist should pay the father a bride price and then, if the father approves, marry his victim. Homosexuals, Wilson says, are “sodomites” and “people with foul sexual habits.” Wilson recently told [11] Christianity Today that he’s in favor of the “exile [of] some homosexuals, depending on the circumstances and the age of the victim.” He added, “There are circumstances where I’d be in favor of execution for adultery.” Cursing one’s parents is likewise “deserving of punishment by death.” Though he admits the scripture does not forbid interracial marriage, Wilson warns that, “wise parents” will carefully weigh any union involving “extremely diverse cultural backgrounds.”

Wilson’s [12] standards don’t always apply to those close to him. In 2006, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News published a story about complaints that Wilson had tried to “cover up” serial sexual molestations by a college student — molestations of very young boys and girls carried out over several years. Although the newspaper quoted none of them, many people were angry that Wilson had failed to notify families in his Christ Church for eight months after Steven Sitler confessed to him in March 2005. One church family with young children had boarded Sitler, and others welcomed him as a visitor in their homes (Sitler molested one 2-year-old girl in a similar visiting situation in Colville, Wash.).

In his 1999 book Fidelity, Wilson wrote, “When we are dealing with young children who are abused by adults (pederasty, child porn, etc.), the penalty for those guilty of the crime should be death.” But rather than condemn Sitler, Wilson wrote to the sentencing judge in Sitler’s case, describing him as “most responsive” and “completely honest” and asking that criminal penalties be “measured and limited.”

Piper refused repeated requests for comment about inviting Wilson to speak at his conference. In a [13] video on the Desiring God website, Piper says that “Doug gets the gospel right” and that he is “unusually compelling.”’s-birth/print/



Posted by: michelle2005 | July 14, 2009

“Justice is Blind, but Justices are Never Blind”


Ever since President Obama nominated Judge S. Sotomayor to replace Justice Souter, Republicans have been looking for something to criticize this appointment.  Republicans have attempted to show that Judge Sotomayor is a racist, believing her heritage to be superior to that of white males.  Today, in the “Washington Post” Eugene Robinson has encapsulated what is patently absurd in that argument.

I would like to add one more thought to Mr. Robinson’s detailed analysis.  When Judge Sotomayor referenced her wise Latina heritage…to my mind is no different than a person in the medical field using their experiences to develop a greater understanding of people they treat.  In this way, Judge Sotomayor experiences will greatly benefit our nation.  (Below is Mr. Robinson’s article in full)


Whose Identity Politics?

By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The only real suspense in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is whether the Republican Party will persist in tying its fortunes to an anachronistic claim of white male exceptionalism and privilege.

Republicans’ outrage, both real and feigned, at Sotomayor’s musings about how her identity as a “wise Latina” might affect her judicial decisions is based on a flawed assumption: that whiteness and maleness are not themselves facets of a distinct identity. Being white and male is seen instead as a neutral condition, the natural order of things. Any “identity” — black, brown, female, gay, whatever — has to be judged against this supposedly “objective” standard.

Thus it is irrelevant if Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. talks about the impact of his background as the son of Italian immigrants on his rulings — as he did at his confirmation hearings — but unforgivable for Sotomayor to mention that her Puerto Rican family history might be relevant to her work. Thus it is possible for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) to say with a straight face that heritage and experience can have no bearing on a judge’s work, as he posited in his opening remarks yesterday, apparently believing that the white male justices he has voted to confirm were somehow devoid of heritage and bereft of experience.

The whole point of Sotomayor’s much-maligned “wise Latina” speech was that everyone has a unique personal history — and that this history has to be acknowledged before it can be overcome. Denying the fact of identity makes us vulnerable to its most pernicious effects. This seems self-evident. I don’t see how a political party that refuses to accept this basic principle of diversity can hope to prosper, given that soon there will be no racial or ethnic majority in this country.

Yet the Republican Party line assumes a white male neutrality against which Sotomayor’s “difference” will be judged. Sessions was accusatory in quoting Sotomayor as saying, in a speech years ago, that “I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage, but attempt . . . continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate.”

This is supposed to be a controversial statement? Only, I suppose, if you assume that there are judges who have no opinions, sympathies or prejudices — or, perhaps, that the opinions, sympathies and prejudices of the first Hispanic nominee to the Supreme Court are somehow especially problematic.

There is, after all, a context in which these confirmation hearings take place: The nation continues to take major steps toward fulfilling the promise of its noblest ideals. Barack Obama is our first African American president. Sonia Sotomayor would be only the third woman, and the third member of a minority group, to serve on the nation’s highest court. Aside from these exceptions, the White House and the Supreme Court have been exclusively occupied by white men — who, come to think of it, are also members of a minority group, though they certainly haven’t seen themselves that way.

Judging from Monday’s hearing, some Republican senators are beginning to notice this minority status — and seem a bit touchy about it. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) was more temperate in his remarks than most of his colleagues, noting that Obama’s election victory ought to have consequences and hinting that he might vote to confirm Sotomayor. But when he brought up the “wise Latina” remark, as the GOP playbook apparently required, Graham said that “if I had said anything remotely like that, my career would have been over.”

That’s true. But if Latinas had run the world for the last millennium, Sotomayor’s career would be over, too. Pretending that the historical context doesn’t exist — pretending that white men haven’t enjoyed a privileged position in this society — doesn’t make that context go away.

Yes, justice is supposed to be blind. But for most of our nation’s history, it hasn’t been — and women and minorities are acutely aware of how our view of justice has evolved, or been forced to evolve. Women and minorities are also key Democratic Party constituencies, and if the Republican Party is going to be competitive, it can’t be seen as the party of white male grievance — especially in what is almost certainly a lost cause. Democrats, after all, have the votes to confirm Sotomayor.

“Unless you have a complete meltdown, you’re going to get confirmed,” Graham told the nominee. He was right — Republicans probably can’t damage her. They can only damage themselves.



Posted by: michelle2005 | July 8, 2009

Gov. Palin Goes Fishin’ (For an Explanation)

sarah palin fishing

Here’s more on Sarah Palin according to the Anchorage Daily News, yesterday the Governor explained to the media why she resigned:

“The governor repeatedly returned to the subject of ethics complaints filed against her during her 10-minute interview with the Daily News, saying she spent “most of my day, and my staff, most of their day and the department of law, a lot of their day on the frivolity.”

There have been 18 known ethics complaints filed against her. The governor’s office said they’ve been dismissed so far with no finding of wrongdoing, although she did settle a complaint over state-paid travel for her children.

The state personnel board put its cost of dealing with the complaints at about $300,000 — around two-thirds of which was in addressing the “Troopergate” issue last fall. Palin herself initiated the personnel board investigation on “Troopergate,” saying that the state Legislature’s investigation of the matter was politicized and she was seeking the appropriate venue to deal with it.

Palin said Monday she didn’t view the cost as just the $300,000 for the personnel board — but rather $2 million for the state. It is a figure her administration now uses — not meant to be actual checks written by the state but to also reflect time of state employees.

It is a per-hour calculation that the Palin administration put together, involving time spent by state lawyers deciding which public information to release as a result of all public records requests, time spent by governor’s office staffers responding to media inquiries about ethics complaints, and time technicians spend on retrieving requested e-mail, among other things.”

“Palin, asked why she allowed the ethics complaints to consume her so much, said she did not take the complaints personally, and that for her it was about state resources being spent on attacks that followed her run last fall as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

“That huge waste that we have seen with the countless, countless hours that state staff is spending on these frivolous ethics violations and the millions of dollars that Alaskans are spending, that money not going to things that are very important, like troopers and roads and teachers and fish research,” Palin said.”

So if I have this straight Gov Sarah Palin is complaining about costs that she herself incurred.   These costs involved spending time determining how to fight off requests for records and emails in addition to her decision to have the personnel board investigate her involvement with the Troopergate when the legislature was already spending time and money on said investigation.  In other words, her administration’s lack of transparency and attempts at stonewalling led to her administration being paralyzed.

I would remind Gov. Palin that President William Clinton had to deal with constant requests of his time and the time of his staff during the Starr Investigation impeachment hearing and senate actions, and his administration still stood in and did their duty to the country.

Governor Palin further elaborated on her perceived treatment in the media:

“The double standard that’s applied here is a bit perplexing. … Didn’t Lisa Murkowski leave office to go take her dad’s seat? (Govs.) Huntsman left, Napolitano just left … ,” Palin said, referring to governors who took positions in President Obama’s administration.”

For Palin to compare her stepping down to the actions of others who stepped down because of an appointment to higher office is ludicrous.  She has not decided to step down to take on additional duties she had stepped down because she does not know how to handle adversity.  The requests that her administration had to deal with were no more onerous than that of other politicians.  Governor Palin before entering the national scene as John McCain’s running mate had only to contend with local issues close to Alaska.   Closer scrutiny during a national election should have been expected.  Frankly, the Troopergate investigation was already underway before Sen. McCain picked Sarah Palin.

During the fall campaign, information became known about charges that the fiscally conservative Governor made to her state for the expenses of her family.  In addition, she and her staff had bypassed proper use of government email by using personal email for government business to conceal communications from the public.

The expenses that she says the state incurred are of her own doing.  Did she really think that she could return to Alaska and everything that was discovered during the fall would just melt away?  If she wants to talk about the politics of personal destruction, she should look no further than herself when she accused then candidate Barack Obama of “palling around with terrorists”

Other more personal details of her life became known when she decided to introduce her family and brought her children onto the national stage.  She champions conservative values for the public to emulate, and then her own family proves that it is only human.  It is ok to be human just do not spend your time telling others that they have to be superhuman to represent Americans.  Request for information and ethics complaints are to be expected just ask President Clinton or former Gov. Mike Huckabee, who pointed out as much on Sunday.

Gov. Palin claims that she is answering to a higher calling. What in her mind could not wait until after she fulfilled her commitment to the people of Alaska? She indicated that she would campaign for other like-minded candidates, that’s a lot easier than governing a state.  All she needs to do now is repeat platitudes.


Posted by: michelle2005 | July 6, 2009

Sarah Palin Redefines Quitting

sarah palin

Please note the banner above of the SarahPAC,  soon to be ex-governor of Alaska’s political action committee. The first business day after her announcement to step down from her elected position, three prominent banners appeared on conservative websites such as the National Review Online asking people to donate to SARAHPAC’s  cause.  Make no mistake Sarah Palin has not resigned to protect her family from the vicious press, nor to benefit the people of Alaska.  Instead, she is running full steam towards her “higher calling.”

If she had a vision for Alaska’s future why would she trust it to an underling, remember that she is the vision.  If running Alaska is her ticket, her main experience that she brings to the table, then why not have Americans believe in Sean Parnell?  After all, he will have the almost same gubernatorial experience as Sarah Palin by 2010.   Think about that, if running the state of Alaska is so easy that just plugging in any conservative ideologue into the position will yield the same results.  Why elect Sarah Palin to any office ahead of any other candidate?  If her vision has been accomplished, where are the results? Now that oil revenues are much lower than last fall, with looming budget cuts and unpopular decisions to be made is this the mark of a conservative leader to say I can do no more?

Let me ask this, if Bill Gates or Stephen Jobs had simply left their vision for Microsoft and Apple to those below them would the resultant product have been the same?  Consider this odd statement by Gov. Palin:

I won’t do it from the Governor’s desk..  I’ve never believed that I, nor anyone else, needs a title to do this – to make a difference… to HELP people. So I choose, for my State and my family, more “freedom” to progress, all the way around… so that Alaska may progress… I will not seek re-election as Governor.”

Does Governor Palin even think before she speaks, “so that Alaska may progress…I will not seek re-election as Governor.” Really, the only way for Alaska to progress is for the current Governor to step down?

Reading more of her speech, we have this gem:

“Let me go back to a comfortable analogy for me – sports… basketball. I use it because you’re naïve if you don’t see the national full-court press picking away right now: A good point guard drives through a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her eye on the basket… and she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can WIN. And I’m doing that – keeping our eye on the ball that represents sound priorities – smaller government, energy independence, national security, freedom! And I know when it’s time to pass the ball – for victory.”

What is this about she passing to ball to someone else to uphold the banner of “smaller government, energy dependence national security, freedom.”.  Instead, apparently she can help Alaskans and Americans by using platitudes instead of actions to lead our country.  So now she proposes to extol others to do the work she could not finish.    That’s what we really need… a person whose policies are not fully vetted who claims victory while the ship is still out of port, mission accomplished anyone, not for me!

I like to think that SARAHPAC’s logo leaves a hole in the United States (the shape of Alaska), just like the reasoning of the Governor Sarah Palin has one big hole… Logic!

A word about the Republican Party:

I have said quite often that I was a staunch Republican supporter for many years; I believed that the country needed a strong leader who was on the right path morally according to biblical standards.  What I found out as I spent more time, as a member of the party, is that no one party has hold moral values. Repeatedly I witnessed denigration of the Democratic Party and strong defense for Republican candidates who were just a culpable.  My eyes were open to the lack of objectivity within my own Party.  This came to a bold realization when I was turned away from re-entrance to a George W. Bush fundraiser (to which I was personally invited) because I had stopped to speak to demonstrators.  I had my pass credentials confiscated and was told that I needed to leave, even though my then husband was still in attendance.

This made me wonder were members of my party so zealous that my mere listening to the opposition would brand me as the enemy.  Have we really decided that the press is so in the bag for the other party that we must always listen to news that champions every cause of the Right and denounces the Left as traitors?  Sarah Palin and SARAHPAC is not the objective route to our salvation.


Posted by: michelle2005 | June 27, 2009

A Bit of the USA While in Romania

michael jackson bucharest

Most of you that have been reading the things I write already know that I spent much time working overseas.  I was having a particularly difficult time during the summer and fall of 1992 in Romania.  Working as a Humanitarian Aid Relief Coordinator and Educator for First Responders meant that I never had a day off.

You can imagine my surprise when I learned that Michael Jackson was going to be giving a concert in, of all places…ROMANIA!  Just the thought that I could have a bit of home while working so far away was wonderful.  Most folks that knew me were astonished that I liked his music.  After all…I was told it was “music of the devil”.  I was even told that I would go to hell for listening.

I could have cared less what anyone thought and made the decision to attend the concert that was going to take place in Bucharest (October 1992).  My only concern was whether or not I could get back to Bucharest from the remote location I was currently working.

It all worked out perfectly and the concert is one I’ll forever remember.  So, to those of you that have already asked me if I was a fan of Michael Jackson the answer is most definitely YES!  The concert was held at the “Complexul National Stadium” in Bucharest.

All of those that felt the same way will understand how his premature death affected me.  Time is short…we have no guarantees.  If you need to make some changes…do it now.  There may not be a tomorrow.


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