Well, sort of.
The Krewe of Orpheus will show the world that the Spirit of New Orleans is alive and well this Thanksgiving.
Members of Orpheus have agreed to wear authentic Mardi Gras Krewe costumes in the legendary Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. They will ride on the Big Apple float while other costumed members in costume walk alongside the float followed by Orpheus lieutenants on horseback, leading the way for the LSU Marching Band.
Orpheus participating in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is such sign of hope that New Orleans needs right now. It is a sign not only to the rest of the country, but to native New Orleanians that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast WILL survive and come back stronger and better. I can't wait to see it and I'm sure I won't be the only one shedding a few tears. (Of course, those tears come really easily these days.)
Update: For all of my friends outside of New Orleans, here is a brief explanation. Orpheus is a Mardi Gras krewe. Each parade during the Mardi Gras season is actually organized by different "krewes", or social organizations. Each "krewe" has officers or lieutenants as well as its royal court that presides over that parade that year. Members of the "krewe" ride on the floats during the parade. Over the last few years, Orpheus' membership has grown substantially making it one of the largest krewes in the city.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Well, sort of.
Posted by Dana at 9:53 AM
Monday, November 07, 2005
Last night we had our first visit from the tooth fairy. Jacob lost his two bottom teeth. One of them was literally lost! Jim noticed it was gone while giving Jacob a bath last night. Since we didn't want to risk losing the other one, Jim pulled the other tooth out. Jacob was so excited. He has been waiting for this ever since he first heard about the tooth fairy.
So, what did the tooth fairy bring? A Canadian quarter and a Swiss Franc. We have an international tooth fairy. With the money that some tooth fairies bring, ours just couldn't and didn't want to compete. Now we get to avoid those nasty, "I have a cheap tooth fairy!" moments.
Posted by Dana at 12:41 PM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
A fellow New Orleans blogger, Laura from Pursuing Holiness and who also writes for Dummocrats has a great and powerful video of the damage from Hurricane Katrina. It is a must see even if you have never been to New Orleans. Thanks for sharing it Laura.
Posted by Dana at 10:26 PM
Monday, October 31, 2005
A few weeks ago, I posted about the advertisers "stealing" October after Katrina "stole" September. Well, I had to laugh when I opened my mailbox and found this card from my cousin Amy. Inside she wrote:
Just wanted to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season!
P.S. Where has the time gone? I barely remember Halloween or Thanksgiving!!
Then yesterday, I found another Christmas card in my mailbox. This one was from my Aunt Adrienne. Now I know where Amy and Chad get their sense of humor!
I feel so loved.
Posted by Dana at 4:17 PM
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I am still amazed at the power of this simple, grassroots tool to shape this country.
Miers withdraws nomination
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush's nominee for the
U.S. Supreme Court, White House counsel Harriet Miers, abruptly withdrew from consideration on Thursday after fierce criticism from the right and the left about her credentials for the lifetime job.
If you have spent any amount of time navigating around the political blogs lately, you can't have ignored the uproar about Miers' nomination. I'll admit that I know very little about her, but because many bloggers whose opinions I respect have voiced their opposition, I am happy with her decision to withdraw. This has definitely been an interesting process to watch.
Posted by Dana at 9:02 AM
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
My husband and I welcomed our little girl into the world. I can't believe that it has been three years already. It seems like only yesterday that I still mourning my miscarriages and feeling like I would never have a second child. Sometimes I look at her and think, "Where did you come from?" I am truly blessed with both of my children. And as we celebrate Georgie's birth today, I can't help but stop and tell God Thank you.
Posted by Dana at 10:29 AM
Friday, October 21, 2005
I have finally gotten around to watching Tuesday night's episode of "Amazing Race." It was bittersweet watching the teams racing through my backyard. As silly as I feel about it, I cried from the time they reached Hattiesburg til the end of the show. It just reminded me of how much things have changed.
I think that I could have done without seeing this one.
Posted by Dana at 11:53 AM
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Want to see what me and my family have been doing lately? Well, thanks to my cousin Chad, I can show you. Although these are pictures of my cousin's grandparent's house, the destruction looks much the same as my grandmother's house. I spent the last two weekends trying to salvage anything from her house, which was very little.
Want to know what it is like? The thought that kept coming to me is that it was like going through a ship wreck. There was water everywhere. Sitting in bowls in the cabinet, sitting in jewelery boxes, sitting in drawers. Anything that can hold water. And, if you weren't careful, that water would come raining down on you whenever you opened something. Oh, and the fun part, was that it wasn't clean water. It was moldy, smelly, dirty, disgusting water. (Want to know what it smelled like? Have you ever been inside of a dirty port-a-potty? Imagine it 10 times worse)
Did you know that when wood sits in toxic water for weeks that it turns to mush. My grandmother had many solid wood pieces of furniture. Heavy, solid wood pieces of furniture. I emphasize had. Now when we touch it, it literally falls apart. It was sad and gross.
Oh, but we did see some very interesting mold. Did you know that mold can spin webs just like a spider? Did you know that mold grows in spirals? Did you know mold can be bright yellow, pink and teal blue. My aunt, who lives with my grandmother, won the prize for the most colorful mold in her room.
On Tuesday, my cousin Amy (Chad' sister) is coming with me to go see my mom's house. I haven't been out there yet. I haven't wanted to go with the kids. I didn't want them to see their grandparent's house like that - talk about more nightmares. But now they will be in school, so Amy and I can satisfy our curiosity. I will take pictures and post those.
Posted by Dana at 7:40 AM
Thursday, October 13, 2005
There is much being said around the blogosphere about New Orleans Mayor Nagin. And, I thought that I would add my local two cents.
First, you have to understand the state of New Orleans politics over the past few decades. In every level and layer, corruption has been running rampant. From the school board to the city commission to the parish. Heck, corruption is synonymous with Louisiana politics. The previous mayor's administration was no different. In fact, I would argue that Marc Morial actually took corruption to an all new level. Which is saying a lot in Louisiana. When Nagin took office three years ago, this was all laid at his feet.
He ran on a platform of cleaning up the city. He wanted to take the corruption out of New Orleans politics. Unfortunately for him, that corruption was so ingrained and so beneficial to all those in politics and in charge, that he didn't stand a fighting chance. In fact, he was doomed. Every initiative, every plan, every candidate, etc. That he supported met with defeat. He had absolutely no support. No one wanted him to reform New Orleans' government because it would lead to their loss of power.
Last year, we were faced with Hurricane Ivan. Nagin ordered the evacuation of New Orleans. Other mayors and parish presidents did the same in their areas. What a disaster that was. Since that time, an evacuation plan was developed. Unfortunately, another outcome of that disastrous evacuation for Ivan was a huge backlash for Nagin. The parish officials in Orleans parish used this to grandstand for their own benefit against Nagin. They convinced their constituents that Nagin was wrong to order an evacuation. There was no need to leave. This set the stage for Katrina.
What many people don't realize is that we didn't know Katrina was threatening Louisiana until Friday before the storm hit. Before that time, Katrina was being forecast as hitting the panhandle of Florida. I remember how surprised I was when, while I was eating dinner out with my husband Friday night, I saw on an overhead TV that the storm was now being forecast more in our direction. Even then, however, it was still just being forecast as a Cat 1 or 2. Nothing too bad, nothing really to worry about.
On Saturday morning, the news started to turn bad. All of a sudden there was a flurry of information as it seemed that the storm continued to grow in intensity. Nagin, as well as other officials, were constantly on TV telling people to leave. Nagin also told people, "Do not come to the Superdome. It is not set up as a shelter. It will be used only as a last resort for the sick and infirm." Nagin kept telling people to make their own evacuation plans (of course, he had been saying this for the past year as part of his evacuation plan). Contrast this with Houston's evacuation for Rita and you will see that they had several week days to evacuate the city. That being said, there were mistakes made. Big mistakes. Buses went unused. Provisions not collected. You all know the mistakes. (I heard that the reason the schools buses were not used is because local officials wanted the buses to have bathrooms and air conditioning. I don't know who decided not to use them for those reason, but knowing the reputations and past idiocy of the city and parish officials, I don't find this difficult to believe).
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Nagin was being compared to Guiliani after 9/11. This was totally unfair. Katrina totally wiped out all forms of communication. There was no cell phones, no land lines, no two-way radios. Nothing. Top that with levees breaking, widespread looting, trapped citizens, officers abandoning posts and total mayhem. He needed help. He felt helpless and hopeless. I don't blame his outbursts. He was in a situation that was totally unprecedented. Those first few days were hell and it was scary. Imagine how you would have handled it. Although his outbursts and rants were widely televised and reported, what was not was the fact that he met with the President and apologized. Nagin and Bush both made amends and both said there were no hard feeling between the two men. Bush seemed to understand the circumstances surrounding Nagin's speech.
Since that time, Nagin has done everything in his power to rebuild the city. He recognizes what needs to be done, that now is the time think "outside of the box." He also realizes that he now has the time to clean up the city. He wants to rid it of corruption. Last Thursday, he spoke to a group of small and medium business leaders about their concerns and the future (Listen here). It was a great speech and when he was done, I was actually excited about the prospects for the future of New Orleans. Some of the things he said were:
1. His goal is to have a transparent city government. He wants to have all dealing with the city in the "sunshine." Closed door deals breed corruption. Those will be stopped.
2. He told everyone there to get used to working with people that don't look like you.
3. He challenged banks to help small businesses with loans.
4. He gave the following advise to the business owners: (paraphrase) If a politician comes to you and offers to reward you with a bid for a percentage of the profits, you kick them out of your office. (This has been the predominant way of doing business in New Orleans. As much as business owners hated it, they had no choice. Too much corruption before. I believe this advise will be wholeheartedly taken.) He also told politicians not to even try it.
5. He said that if you expected to come into New Orleans and win bids without doing much work, they could leave now.
These were amazing words coming from a mayor of New Orleans. I also love his idea of expanding casinos in New Orleans. It is a way to get tourists into the city fast.
So, what is Nagin's biggest obstacle? Not the lack of citizens, not the lack of money, not the police department, etc. His biggest obstacle is Governor Blanco. She has been the true disgrace of our state.
So, do I think that Nagin will win re-election in February? That is a tough question. I think that it depends on who comes back into the city. I hope that he does, but I also hope that those on the city council don't. We need a fresh start. We need to get rid of all those politicians who are in it for power. Unfortunately, that is most of Louisiana politicians.
When Nagin was elected almost four years ago, the conservatives locally were excited about the prospects. Those prospects were extinguished over the next few years. Now, I see a small flicker of hope again. I guess we will see if that light will grow to rival the bonfires that light the way for Papa Noel along the Mississippi River or if it will go out forever. This is our last chance to save New Orleans.
Posted by Dana at 1:31 PM
I want my life to get back to normal. I want to be able to go to the grocery store after the kids go to bed. I want stores to stop closing at 6pm because they don't have workers to cover longer hours. I want to go to a restaurant without having to wait 2 hours for a table because they don't have enough people to work. I want to be able to drive 2 miles without waiting in traffic for 30 minutes. I want to go to my maw-maw's house and sit around the kitchen table and laugh like we used to. I want to look forward to the upcoming holidays without wondering and worrying about the future of my entire family. I want to know that the stuffy nose I have been experiencing is not due to black mold. I want to drive down the street without my car getting scratched by all of the tree debris littering the sides of the roads. I want to go sing karaoke at Ron Charles - a restaurant that doesn't even exist anymore. I want to look forward to Mardi Gras. I want to stop feeling guilty that my house is okay. I want to stop hearing horror stories. I want to stop seeing destruction. I want to stop hearing sympathies of others. I want my daughter's nightmares to stop. I want the kids to go back to school and be with their friends. I want to have a third birthday party for my daughter. I want watch fireworks on the lake at my mom's house. I want to go fishing.
I just want my life back.
Posted by Dana at 9:18 AM
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I can't believe that I just saw a Christmas commercial. Not yet. I can't possibly start thinking about that. It's bad enough that it is almost Halloween. It feels like it should still be the beginning of September. The hurricane robbed us of an entire month. It is the weirdest feeling. Life stopped at the end of August and resumed at the beginning of October. We missed Labor Day, my anniversary, my mom's birthday. Now advertisers want to steal October and November. No, no, no. I refuse to think about it.
Posted by Dana at 7:49 AM
Monday, October 10, 2005
I'm lame. Lame, lame, lame. I haven't been posting much. But I have a good excuse (well, maybe). The kids are still not in school. I am soooooooooo ready to have them back in school. Hell, I was beyond ready two months ago, but Katrina had other plans. Luckily, they start school next Monday. I'm thinking about having champagne with my MRE's. If I have to say "stop it" one more time, I will go insane. Not just prozac insane, but lock me in a padded room with a straight jacket insane. Actually, that's sounds really nice about now. I'll bet no one would want to know how they make padded rooms, or why... fill in the blanks. (I have a very inquisitive child - which is just wonderful and peachy. I know that I should encourage his curiosity - but enough questions already!) OK, I know that I'm rambling, but it's the first time all day that I can actually form full sentences.
Whew! Now I feel so much better.
About New Orleans. I have a question that I would love to have answered. Today, I heard a mention about the upcoming (February) mayoral elections in New Orleans. I started to think about the logistics of an election when half of your population is displaced. For example, my grandmother cannot live in her house. Even if she decides to rebuild, it will take many, many months to complete. Until that time, she is planning on renting a place on the Northshore. When election time comes, will she be allowed to vote? What about all of the other displaced New Orleanians. This is going to be a huge mess of an election. Will every displaced New Orleanian be allowed to vote absentee? What if they aren't coming back? Do they still get a vote? How do you determine which evacuee gets to vote? Or is it only those that are actually living in the city?
I'm glad that I don't have to decide this one.
UPDATE: Elections In New Orleans Present A Logistical Nightmare
Posted by Dana at 10:29 PM
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Miracles never cease to happen here. Today, I finally got around to plugging in my modem and wireless router. I couldn't believe my eyes when the lights started lighting up one by one. I quickly ran to my computer to see if it was true and my eyes weren't deceiving me. I HAVE INTERNET!!!! We were told that we wouldn't have internet for months.
I'm back, baby!!!
Posted by Dana at 10:58 AM
Monday, September 26, 2005
I am heading back to the land of no internet, so I will not be posting for a while. Of course, I haven't been posting too much lately, but it is hard to blog when staying in someone else's home. Thank you all for all of the support, thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming. Even after the news moves on to something else, we will still be struggling to put back together some semblance of a normal life.
As soon as I get access to the internet, I will update you and maybe be able to share my thoughts and opinions again.
Thank you all again and I hope I can rejoin the blogosphere soon.
Posted by Dana at 7:24 PM
Monday, September 19, 2005
I just can't believe the audacity of some people. If I had any doubt before about the idiocy of Cindy Sheehan, she has just erased it from my mind. The woman needs serious help - maybe even an invitation to rejoin (as if she has ever been a part of it in the first place) the thinking world. I am so mad I could spit nails. In her simple, petty, imbile mind, she decided to take her little pity party to my backyard. She thinks (ok, bad choice of words) she can help.
I got to Camp Casey III in Covington, La today, after getting up at 3am to head for the airport. Now it is 3am the next day and we are driving in a car to try and find a hotel to sleep anywhere around Jackson, Miss. I was prepared to be shocked by what I saw in Louisiana, but I guess one can never really fully prepare for such devastation and tragedy. After living in a country your entire life it is so difficult to see such callous indifference on an immense scale. When I reflect on how the mother of the imbecile who is running our country said that the people who are in the Astrodome are happy to be there, it angers me beyond comparison. The people in LA who were displaced have nice, if modest homes that are perfectly fine. I wonder why the government made them leave at great expense and uproot families who have been living in their communities for generations.
I think that I speak for all of St. Tammany Parish (where Covington is located), WE DON'T WANT YOU THERE, CINDY. YOU ARE NOT PART OF OUR SOLUTION. WE HAVE ENOUGH TOXIC WASTE IN THE WATER AND AIR ALREADY! WE DON'T NEED YOU TO ADD TO IT WITH YOUR NEGATIVITY. DON'T USE OUR DOWNED TREES, FLOODED HOUSES AND BACKS OF HOMELESS FAMILIES AS BUILDING MATERIALS FOR YOUR POLITICAL SOAPBOX!
Now, as far as Barbara Bush saying that the evacuees were happy in the Astrodome, I would have to agree. Compared to the hellhole that was the Superdome and the Convention Center, I would even dare to say that they were ecstatic about running water, electricity, food, air conditioning, and safety.
Also, she says that people were forced to leave their homes even though they were "perfectly fine." The only people who were literally forced to leave their "perfectly fine" homes were in New Orleans. It was either that or leave them to face possible death! The rest of the people in the area were forced to leave their homes because they WERE NOT PERFECTLY FINE! Did she at all open her eyes to see reality or did she continue living in Cindy's World of distortion and conspiracy theories.
After we arrived at Camp Casey III, we took the Veterans for Peace "Impeachment Tour Bus" into New Orleans after stopping at the distribution center to pick up some supplies in Covington.
So, Cindy, already adding to our problems by using our supplies for your own personal gain. How appropriate.
The VFP took me to the city of Algiers on the West Bank. The part of Algiers we went to was very poor and black. The people of Algiers know what hard work is.
Algiers is NOT all poor or black, Cindy. Houses there go for over $200,000. There is a mix of black and white living in this city that was seeing a revitilization trend.
Algiers had no flooding. All of the damage was from winds. There are trees knocked over and shingles off of roofs. There are signs blown over and there was a dead body lying on the ground for 2 weeks before someone finally came to get it. (Cindy, did you hear about the rescue effort being made? People were trying to get to those still alive. A dead person is still dead if he is picked up today or a week from now, but living, breathing human beings need to be rescued now). Even though Algiers came through Katrina relatively unscathed, our federal government tried to force (mostly successfully) the people out of the community (because living conditions were horrible and likely to get worse). Malik Rahim, a new friend of ours and resident of Algiers, told us stories of the days after the hurricane. The government declared martial law, but there was no effective police presence to enforce it (yes, because the people that you seem to always side with - the thugs and enemies of law and order- were killing anyone with a uniform. Martial law had to be declared because it was the only way to begin to get a handle on the situation. You have no idea how horrible it was before it was declared.). Malik said the lawlessness was rampant. People were running out of food and water and they were being forced to go to the Superdome. They didn't want to go to the Superdome, because their homes were pretty intact: they wanted to stay and have food and water brought to them (There was a shortage of man power. You cannot possibly expect the rescuers to bring food and water to these people daily. THEY WERE RESCUERS, NOT CATERERS. People needed to be rescued, not waited on like it was some form of fast food delievery system). A town of 76,000 people dwindled down to 3,000. The die hards were rewarded last Wednesday when the VFP rolled into town with food and water. The Camp Casey III people were the first ones to bring any relief to Algiers. The people who were supposed to look after its citizens, our government, failed them. (No, I think they failed themselves and, lucky for you, they feed into your biased, uninformed view of reality).
The vast majority of people who were looting in New Orleans were doing so to feed their families or to get resources to get their families out of there. (Baloney! How do you think they were going to feed their families with a big screen plasma TV. Well, maybe they were going to use it as a boat. Cindy, you have no idea what the crime was like before Katrina. I do. Trust me, although I know there were some looting for essentials, there were many who were not. Go watch the news footage. Go do research about the type of criminals that were filled New Orleans. It was a dangerous city before the storm and worse after. The last time I checked there were no life essential foods or supplies at malls. I don't even think that electronics would be classified as such). If I had a store with an inventory of insured belongings, and a tragedy happened, I would fling my doors open and tell everyone to take what they need: it is only stuff. (Some grocery - GROCERY - stores did). When our fellow citizens are told to "shoot to kill" other fellow citizens because they want to stay alive, that is military and governmental fascism gone out of control. (You better believe I would shoot the first looter I saw if need be. Thank God the military came in and took control with shoot to kill orders. The looters had no qualms about shooting anyone who threatened to stop them taking TV, clothes, stereos, DVDs, CDs, etc).
I could go on, but frankly, I'm too furious to continue typing. This woman is a disgrace to her hero of a son. She should be very ashamed of herself.
Posted by Dana at 9:01 AM
My in-laws received the following email and it really sums up how I feel about all of this. It is from McComb, Ms resident Allan Baker (if I understand correctly). Here it is:
To my friends and family:
What I have seen since Katrina:
The poor and the wealthy hurt by the storm.
Black, white, Hispanic, Oriental and Indian all hurt by the storm.
Christian people giving, giving, giving.
Churches going all out to minister in Jesus' name.
Neighbors going door to door helping one another.
Thugs and hoodlums going door to door looking for someone vulnerable.
Ice and water being fought over as police tried to keep the peace.
People coming up from New Orleans taking over empty houses because shelters are full.
Out of town volunteers coming with food and staying for a week still serving it.
The Churches all over this part of the country doing what Christians do in a crisis.
The Red Cross doing a great job in the shelters.
The Salvation Army doing a great job in the community.
Four Hundred linemen from everywhere bringing back the power to our homes, churches and businesses.
Lines at service stations a block, to a mile long.
National Guardsman patrolling the streets of Mc Comb along with Kentucky policemen protecting us from the hoodlums and thugs of Mc Comb, Pike County and New Orleans (the most dangerous city in the world before Katrina.)
Drug dealers working outside shelters.
Doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel working tirelessly, even sleeping in the hospital.
________WHAT I HAVE NOT SEEN ___________
The ACLU setting up a feeding line.
People for the American Way helping in the shelters.
The NAACP doing any work whatsoever.
The American Atheist organization serving meals in the shelters.
Jesse Jackson directing traffic at the gas stations.
I could go on but you get my message. Its the Christian people with love and compassion who do the work.
The gripers in Congress should come on down and get in line to pass the water and the ice. Are you listening Hillary, Chuck, Teddy and all the sorry loafers we call Senators and Congressmen. They don't have a clue as to what this life is all about here on the Gulf Coast. Boy I feel better now.
Posted by Dana at 8:42 AM
Saturday, September 17, 2005
I just received bad news from home. My husband Jim told me that our yellow lab, Robert E. Lee, died today. With all the mess from the hurricane, Robert has been spending a lot of time on his leash (no one has a fence anymore and even when we did, he was the Harry Houdini of dogs). It seems that he his leash got caught up under Jim's tire and he strangled himself in a matter of minutes.
Over the past three weeks, Jim and Robert had become in separable around the neighborhood. I hate that I can't be with Jim during all of this (I'm still in Florida with the kids).
Robert was such a great dog. I can't believe that he is gone. Just like that. Will the bad things ever stop happening?
Posted by Dana at 11:57 AM
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Over the past week and a half, we have seen more and more celebrities flitting into New Orleans to "lend a hand." What egotistical crap! We are not some freak show circus to be gawked at and petted. If these celebrities really want to help, send some of their millions anonymously. No, instead they are there passing out food as their publicists make sure there are plenty of cameras around to document their good deeds to us poor, tragic souls. This is NOT about THEM! More and more I am sick of celebrities. I am so angry I want to reach out and punch them in their smiling, condescending faces.
Posted by Dana at 10:13 AM
Friday, September 09, 2005
Aug. 30, 2005
Bruce, Chris and Jim have just returned from surveying the office. Everything is lost. The water from the Storm surge was over 5 feet inside of the office. It is so upsetting to think of everything that was there.
The morning, though, we found out how blessed we were personally. Our house was spared any significant damage. A window was broken in our dining room and there was minor damage to the roof above Georgie's room. Our roof lost many shingles and, in one spot, plywood was exposed. I am breathing a huge sigh of relief.
I cannot say the same about my mom's house. Of course, we can only speculate. The news coming out of that side of town is not good. Nothing encouraging has been said, except that the old 5 mile bridge seems to have been spared. The Twin Span bridge has been washed away in many areas.
The word is that we will not have electricity for up to 2 months.
My current concerns are too many to mention. I worry about the kids' schooling. They just started last week. I doubt they will be back in school before 2 months is up. I even worry that J and N, who own their school, will choose not to re-open this year, if at all.
As I watch TV, I learn that casualties are everywhere. This is just horrific. Absolutely horrific! I will never stay for another storm again.
It is also amazing, though, how many people are turning to and speaking openly of God.
This is a warzone. I can't believe the reports coming out of New Orleans. And as I sit here, I can hear sirens all around the city of Slidell.
Will life ever return to normal? Thank God I can turn to His strength because I have none of my own.
Posted by Dana at 10:42 AM
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
If you have been a regular reader of mine, you know that my brother and I don't see eye-to-eye politically. It has usually led to much ribbing and some arguing.
My brother was in town for a family visit when Katrina struck. Together, our family witnessed first-hand the devastation and aftermath. Together, we would huddle around the small, black and white battery-operated TV and watch the only remaining local station. Together, we heard the stories coming out of New Orleans and the surrounding parishes and states.
I was stunned when Chris announced that he really liked what Haley Barbour and what he had to say after watching a press conference. He said, "He maked a lot of sense." Of course, I immediately said, "That's great. You know, he used to be the chairman for the GOP and he worked closely with Newt Gingrich." To which, there was a moment of stunned silence til he responded, "Oh really."
Chris also was stunned to find, when we left the area on Saturday and started to hear national news, that the MSM was blaming Bush. He just couldn't understand why. Being brought up in the New Orleans area, it was a no-brainer who really deserves the blame. Believe me, they have had 40 years since the last major hurricane (Betsy) to prepare. They knew the levees would break because they broke with Betsy which was only a Cat 3. The administration of New Orleans before Nagin was as corrupt as you can get. And, the ironic thing is that, in light of the race card being played, the New Orleans government is entirely black. And they are the ones lining their own pockets and posturing for more power. They couldn't care less about their own race.
Anyway, back to Chris. He actually defended Bush to his girlfriend. I couldn't believe it! He, in the past, has looked to the government to solve problems. But this experience has taught him that people, ordinary people, can get the job done faster and better. It is best not to rely on the government to solve problems because all that does is take away people's abilities to help themselves and others.
See, some good can come from tragedy.
Posted by Dana at 11:17 AM
My family and I spent many long days in Slidell in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. During that time, when I was unable to have access to the internet and my blog, I renewed my habit of good, old-fashioned journaling. I decided to reprint my entries here.
Aug. 29, 2005 about 6:45pm
I'm sitting here watching our battery-operated TV. I have just experienced the scariest day of my life and the realization is dawning on me now that the next few weeks are going to be worse. To what do I owe this? Hurricane Katrina. The worst-feared threat to New Orleans has occurred. We have experienced our Camille.
The kids, Jim, my brother, who was visiting from Rhode Island, and I joined mom and B at their model home in the subdivision Tuscany in Slidell. Of course, they had no option but to evacuate since they live on Lake Pontchartrain. We chose to leave our house since we live close to the Pearl River. As to how our homes have fared, we have no idea at this point.
The devastation in the area is very evident. The scenes coming out of Jefferson, Orleans, etc Parishes are frightening. A lot of flooding. People going into the attic to escape the rising waters. I keep hoping to see some news from St. Tammany Parish. We are most anxious about the storm surge. Is mom's house still there? Please, Lord, let her house still be there. Hopefully, tomorrow we can get out of this subdivision. From what I understand, there are some big oaks and pines down with tangled power lines blocking Robert Rd.
Here, there is not one house untouched by a fallen tree. While sitting in the hallway during the storm, a tree limb came through the ceiling above the fireplace. But, I think that we had the smallest amount of damage in the subdivision. We were lucky.
Posted by Dana at 10:42 AM
Monday, September 05, 2005
I don't know where exactly to begin. I guess that I should start by saying that my immediate family is safe and accounted for. We did stay in Slidell and rode out the storm. Thankfully, we had a place to ride it out that was on high ground and relatively safe. We did have a tree limb go through the ceiling about the fireplace, but compared to the other houses in the neighborhood, we were lucky. Also, compared to the rest of Slidell, we were lucky.
If you are a regular reader of mine you know that my mom and stepdad lived on Lake Pontchartrain. I am forever grateful that they rode out the storm with us, although staying at their home was never an option. Their home was absolutely destroyed. They had a three story home made of I-beams and bullet-proof glass (it was built by a local mobster after Camille - a story for another day). Of those three floors, only the third remained unscathed. The bottom floor was completely gone and 3/4 of the second was as well. There were a few possessions that they really were mourning, like my grandmother's suitcase full of pictures, my dad's electric train given to him by his grandfather, my porcelain dolls, etc. Unbelievably, even though they were on the second floor, they were in the one bedroom that only got a small amount of water damage and they were up high enough to be saved. See, even in such tragedy, I still believe in miracles. The third floor was my parent's bedroom. So, they do have their clothes and bedroom furniture. Also my mom was able to get to her kitchen and salvage her pots and pan and dishes. She was one of the few lucky ones in her neighborhood. Most of her neighbors have no house, only a foundation.
Most of my dad's family, however, lived in New Orleans. At least 12 families within my family are homeless and half of those I have no way of knowing if they got out. Telephone service, as I'm sure you can imagine, does not exist. No one has heard from those that we know nothing of. All we are left to do is register with the Red Cross, wait and pray. I worry about what my family will do with their lives. I know not where they will go. I really fear for my 87 year old grandmother. She lost everything and I can't imagine starting over at that point in your life.
What really makes me sick is in the midst of all this devestation, there are people who use this issue for political grandstanding and sickening self-promotion. The last thing that the people of New Orleans needs to hear is that their rescuers don't care about them. What kind of sick mind games are they playing on these people. They need home and comfort, not more hatred and loathing.
I thank you all for your concerns and prayers. Now that I am able to have access to a computer, I will be writing more often. Please check back. Thank you so much. YOur kindness has soothed this very heavy heart. Time to go register with FEMA.
Posted by Dana at 9:24 AM
Saturday, August 27, 2005
So, here we are in Southeast Louisiana waiting for this terrible storm. If I listen to the news broadcasters, this will be my last few days on earth. Yes, we are choosing to stay and ride it out. We are going to be prepared for a last minute evacuation, but really I'm somewhat optimistic. I am mostly worried about a tree falling on my house. Another added concern is flooding. But we have decided to look on the bright side. If my house floods, then I can get new furniture. If a tree falls on the house, then I get to enlarge my bathroom. Maybe even redo the kitchen. Of course, Jim told me that it doesn't count if I chop them down myself. So, anyway, we win. I always like to look on the bright side.
Tomorrow night, we will all be camping out in our family room. Me, my hubby, my two kids, my mom, my stepdad, and their chihuahua, Mr. Bean. It should be fun. I will write as soon as I can. Hopefully, the electricity won't be out too long. If it looks like we won't have electricity for a while, I think that we are going to head over to Florida and go visit family and friends. Spend the rest of the week at Disney. Again, another winning situation either way. I am determined to stay positive!
What is weird is to look around the town and think that the landscape in a couple of days might look entirely different.
Now we just begin the long wait. Waiting, waiting, waiting... Pray for us.
Posted by Dana at 10:23 PM
Friday, August 12, 2005
It would seem that nothing bad should ever happen to psychics. I mean, they can predict the future, right. So they should be able to avoid mishaps, don't you think. Especially those like this.
IF HERVE VANDROT, a French amateur psychic, took out a warranty on his crystal ball, he may soon be claiming on it. Instead of predicting that his flat would catch fire, the fortune-telling device was the cause of the blaze.
M Vandrot, 24, who is studying botanics at Edinburgh University, left the ball on his windowsill while he visited the city’s Royal Botanic Garden. By the time he returned, the ball had destroyed his own and two other flats, and had left several others uninhabitable.
Maybe, just maybe, he can't really see into the future. Maybe.
Posted by Dana at 12:37 PM
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Yesterday, the local reporters were all atwitter with the breaking news about the search warrents, and subsequent raids, on La. Congressman William Jefferson's homes and car. It seems all those that are in the know are keeping mum. All that can be done is speculating. Yet another crooked and corrupt politician to add to the long list of Louisiana history. What a proud day for us.
Posted by Dana at 9:14 AM
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
I wanted to let you all know that I am still alive and kicking. School is getting ready to start on the 18th and I am really looking forward it. I have been living life with one eye on my kids and one half-closed eye on current events. I am very glad to see President Bush using his public-given authority to get somethings done. This self-imposed break has been very restful and it won't be long until I again sit here to write my opinions.
While you wait, I will give you some insight into my day. Yesterday, my two year-old and I were sitting together watching Dora the Explorer when she suddenly passed gas. She turns to me and asks, "Did you hear that?" "Yes," I said. She looks at me with a straight face and says, "That was my bottom. It burped."
Yessiree, never a dull moment here.
Posted by Dana at 8:20 AM
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have assuredly noticed my lack of new entries. For the last week, I have not spent much time online. Honestly, I am tired. Tired of the ignorance that I read every day from the left. Tired of fighting the same fight - day in, day out. And most of all, tired of missing out on fun with my kids because I am spending time preparing to blog.
This self-imposed time out has been nice. I know me, though. I will be back blogging sooner than even I think. Especially now with new news in regards to the SCOTUS.
I also know that once school starts again, I will have much more free time to form thoughts and easily blog. Of course, this does not mean that I won't be blogging until they go back to school; it just means that my entries will be fewer.
Posted by Dana at 4:56 PM
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
No one ever likes to admit that they were wrong, but I am ready to do just that. Here goes:
I strongly disliked Clinton and everything that he stood for. During his presidency, I criticized his every move and reveled in every misstep he made. I was practically giddy during the impeachment trial and was angry when he wasn't removed from office (although, I guess I wasn't too angry since I knew that if Al Gore went into the 2000 elections as an incumbent, he probably would have won).
Watching all of the blind hatred of Bush coming from the Democrats and the liberals, it made me realize that I was wrong. I should have shown some respect for the man as our President. No one is perfect and, therefore, no one can do the job perfectly.
Does this mean that I agree with his policies or his actions, no. But he did deserve some respect as the President of the country that I love. I never should have hoped for him to make mistakes so that I could gloat. I never should have hoped for his downfall because by doing so, I was hoping for my country's downfall.
I know that it is easy for me to say this now that Clinton is no longer president, but I pray that I will remember this in the future when my choice for president is not elected.
Posted by Dana at 10:10 PM
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
So, I was continuing to think about the ramifications of the SCOTUS's attack on the Constitution and I have a question. What is to stop the government from taking a church? Many churches are on prime real estate and they generate no tax revenue for the local governments. Just something I thought about. If I'm wrong, please let me know. Otherwise, it would seem that it is only a matter of time.
Posted by Dana at 4:37 PM
Monday, July 11, 2005
Every now and then you run into a news story that is funnier than anything you could dream up. This is one:
A Dutch veterinarian was fined 600 guilders (about $240)for causing a fire that destroyed a farm in Lichten Vourde,the Netherlands. The vet had been trying to convince a farmerthat his cow was passing flatulent gas; to demonstrate, thevet ignited the gas, but the cow became a "four-legged flame-thrower" and ran wild, setting fire to bales of hay. Damage to the farm was assessed at $80,000. The cow was unharmed. AP
Need more laughs? Check out this site. Definitely lightens the mood.
Posted by Dana at 10:00 PM
I was surfing through the blog 4 rows back in the bleacher seats when I found this post. Mark sums it up great as to why sometimes you just have to fight.
Even as a 9th grader, I was still one of the shortest kids in school, and that made me a target for those bigger kids, we sometimes refer to as "bullies". Often they would accost me in the hallways, or in the restroom, and pick me up, I suppose, to demonstrate their physical strength, although picking up a 65 pound kid doesn't require great strength. But it's the only reason I can think of to explain that behavior. I hated that picking up thing. But I suffered it because I was afraid if I resisted I would be "beat up". This fear only served to encourage the bully treatment.
One day, an older boy named James Wilder, who was at least a foot taller than me, approached me in the restroom, with the intention of practicing the most popular humiliation technique upon me that others like me had suffered before, that is, forcing my head into a toilet bowl. Bad idea on his part. My parents had always taught me that fighting was never the preferred option, but sometimes the only one.I was grabbed and dragged kicking and struggling to the nearest stall. I knew what he intended to do. At this point, I had some choices.
1. I could let it happen, and hold my wet head in my hands crying and feeling sorry for myself.
2. I could let it happen and, as soon as I could, run to the principals office and report him.
3. I could fight and maybe spare myself from the ultimate humiliation.
I chose to fight. And I beat the crap out if him. And my head stayed dry. But more importantly, I was never bullied again. By anyone. (emphasis added)
Unfortunately, fighting is the only "language" that some people respond to. Despite all of our lofty notions about how civilized people are, human nature does not change. Sometimes to preserve yourself and peace, you have to fight.
Posted by Dana at 2:50 PM
I know that you are burning up with your hatred of Bush. How dare he insult your intelligence, right! You think you can see right through all of his lies. Well, before you continue spewing your diatribes against our President you might want to read this.
John Hawkins over at Right Wing News has a great post today clearing up some misconceptions that seem to be very prevalent among our liberal friends. So what myths does he debunk?
1) George Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
2) A study released in March of 2003 by a British medical journal, the Lancet, showed that 100,000 civilians had been killed as a result of the US invasion.
3) The Bush Administration claimed Iraq was responsible for 9/11.
4) The war in Iraq was actually planned by people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz back in 1998 at a think tank called the Project for the New American Century. 5) The war on terror has nothing to do with Iraq.
6) Saddam Hussein had no ties to terrorism.
7) Saddam Hussein had no ties to Al-Qaeda.
8) The Downing Street Memo proves Bush lied to the American people about the war.
Read the article. It gave me a lot of information to get my liberal friends and family to "see the light."
Posted by Dana at 11:21 AM
Sunday, July 10, 2005
I really don't have much doubt that Clinton did make some sort of sexual overture towards Paula Jones. I mean, look at his taste in the women that we know about. But, I think, that at this point, Jones really needs to let it go. Her actions since filing a lawsuit against Clinton have only served to work against her claims. She is way beyond just standing up for herself. Now she is just another desperate "celebrity" wanna-be who craves the spotlight.
Paula Jones plans to make her first visit to the Bill Clinton presidential library a profitable one _ she plans to wear a T-shirt emblazoned with a sponsor's name.
"I'm going to make a big show out of it," said her publicist, David Hans Schmidt. "Paula is basically going to go to the Clinton Library and go on a tour like the faithful taxpayer that she is."
The visit is expected to take place sometime later this month, and Schmidt said it would be followed by a news conference.
The only people interested in this are those who want to watch her make a fool out of herself. Absolutely ridiculous.
Posted by Dana at 6:44 PM
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Wow, Bush might be given the chance to really alter the face of the Supreme Court by getting to fill three - yes, you read right, three - vacancies. You already know about Sandra Day O'Connor. You might have guessed about Reinqueist. But have you heard the speculation about John Paul Stevens?
Dirty Harry over at GOP Vixen links to this from Redstate:
Third party sources are now telling me that the John Paul Stevens rumor is true and that the White House is now planning for a third vacancy, but not until the end of the year. Third party sources, who I treat as credible, say that Stevens has begun taking actions in his personal life to make arrangements for personal affairs. It is presumed that Stevens is taking steps to retire. A separate third party source tells me that Ginsberg is not expected to retire, as her health is fine. Stevens has reportedly sent signals that he will retire once replacements for both O'Connor and Rehnquist have been confirmed.
There is so much more at stake here than just changing the face of the SCOTUS. Many political careers are about to be either furthered or destroyed. The entire political landscape heading into the 2006 and 2008 elections could be turned on its ear. It will definitely be interesting to see who survives, who triumphs and who crashes and burns. And I'm not just talking about the SCOTUS nominees.
Posted by Dana at 9:39 AM
Friday, July 08, 2005
My cousin Shannon recently announced that she was pregnant with her second child. She absolutely did not do the natural thing the first time and has no intention to do so this time either. Just like the first time, she plans on backing into the hospital, ready for her epidural. And even though her husband plans on being there through the whole thing, he does not do well with needles. Well, after reading this article, I suggest Ronnie either leave the room when the doctor takes out the epidural needle or wear a helmet. His life may very well depend on it.
Posted by Dana at 10:13 PM
Well, it seems that our patience is about to be rewarded. President Bush gets to do something that no president has been able to do in about 34 years: fill two spots on the Supreme Court simultaneously.
Following on the heels of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist is preparing to step down, according to court sources cited by columnist Robert Novak.
Man, and we thought that there was going to be fireworks before. This is either going to be very fun to watch or very painful. Wait, what am I thinking. Like it would be either/or. Of course it's going to be both.
Blogs for Bush noted that Drudge is reporting it, too.
Posted by Dana at 9:35 PM
All of you from the New Orleans area know exactly what I am talking about. For those that don't, let me explain.
For years, Nash Roberts ( scroll down) was the meteorology expert here in New Orleans. When a hurricane threatened our area, we could confidently follow his advice. If Nash said it was time to leave, we would pack up the car and get out of Dodge. If Nash said we needn't worry because the storm would make a last minute turn, we could breath easier knowing we would be safe. Even after his retirement, Nash would return when a big storm entered the Gulf. The best part was that he never relied on fancy computers or high-tech equipment. When Nash gave his prediction, he would be in front of his old-fashioned poster board map of the Gulf Coast. As he talked, he would draw the hurricane's path with his marker. As primative as it appeared, it seemed that he was always right. Unfortunately for us, Nash retired for good in 2001.
Now, as we are all preparing for Hurricane Dennis, I have to say: I miss Nash.
Posted by Dana at 3:39 PM
Thursday, July 07, 2005
I found this post from Paul over at Wizbang to be very interesting. I will re-iterate what Paul says: this is still developing. Take it for what it's worth. We don't know the full story yet.
REPORT: One UK Homicide Bomber Was Recent GITMO Release
7 July 2005; 12:54 ET: Preliminary reports from a source inside the Pentagon indicate that one of the operatives involved in this morning's bombings in London was recently released from the prison at Guantanamo. DEVELOPING…
Will post more if and when this develops more fully. Like I said - very interesting and definitely worth watching.
Posted by Dana at 3:25 PM
I still cannot believe the savagery that exists in the heart of many men and women. It is sickening.
Blasts rock London, Blair breaks off G8 meeting
LONDON (Reuters) - Four blasts ripped through London at rush hour early on Thursday, killing people, wounding 150 seriously and disrupting a meeting of Group of Eight leaders in Scotland in attacks Prime Minister Tony Blair called "barbaric."
Witnesses saw the top ripped off a double-decker bus near Russell Square close to King's Cross train terminal, and packed subway trains were hit in three more apparently coordinated blasts.
A previously unknown group, "Secret Group of al Qaeda's Jihad in Europe," claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The response to these acts should not be retreat. To retreat shows fear which is what they want. They want us to cower, to tremble in their presence and to submit to their "authority." I am glad that we have President Bush and Prime Minister Blair who have the courage not to blink in the face of these
insurgents, freedom fighters, revolutionaries terrorists.
I pray for the families of those killed and those injured in today's attacks.
Posted by Dana at 8:53 AM
Time to get ready for Dennis.
I can't believe how active this season is turning out already. I hope that Louisiana is not the target this year. I also worry about my family and friends in Florida. Last year, we moved from Florida exactly one month before the first hurricane hit. The ironic thing is that during the eight years I lived there (my husband was raised there), we never had one hit. We used to joke that Florida had a big bumper around it. Even storms that were expected to hit (to the point of closing Disney) would make a last minute detour and brush the coast on the way up the eastern seaboard. I guess last year proved us wrong. A lot of my friends had very significant damage. One of my friends even had her house condemned. I pray that they don't have to experience more.
Well, enough rambling from me. I'm going out to enjoy the sunshine and blue skies while I can.
Posted by Dana at 8:41 AM
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
I am going to blame my lack of blogging on summer. Now that the kids are home from school, it seems that I have been putting a lot of things on the back burner. My house is a mess, I don't feel like cooking, I don't feel like reading the newspaper and I don't really feel like writing. What do I want to do? Take the kids to the pool, take the kids to go get sno-balls, play video games with the kids, play in the sprinkler with the kids... you get the picture. Well, I am having fun, reconnecting with the kids and I must admit that I have a killer tan (for me anyway). So if I can get your forgiveness for my lack of blogging, then there is hope that I will get my husband's forgiveness for a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches. Oh well, I guess that there will be a ton of time to play catch up once school starts again.
Posted by Dana at 11:15 AM
It's Tuesday, so that means that it is time for another Cousin M story:
My aunt and uncle were very excited about a recent vacation at a condominium in the French Quarter. They were enthusiastically extolling all of its amenities to their friends during a dinner party one night shortly after returning home. My cousin M couldn't wait to add her two cents to the conversation and proudly proclaims, "It was great. I love condoms!" Her parents are sitting there with their mouths open when M's sister A says, "Uhm…I think you mean condos."
Posted by Dana at 8:31 AM
Friday, July 01, 2005
As you light the fireworks, grill your burgers and splash in the pool, remember the brave men who had the vision and foresight, not to mention unbelievable bravery, to fight an unimaginably difficult battle to form this new nation. We should never take for granted all that they sacrificed so that we can live in a free country. No matter you religion or creed or beliefs, say a brief "Thank you" for our founding fathers. We are blessed.
Happy Independence Day!
Posted by Dana at 10:29 PM
Grab the popcorn and Coke and get ready for the first full-out Senate showdown. In this corner, the President and his supporters who want a Constitutionalist and in this corner, the liberals who want someone who supports judicial activism. And in the middle, that "compromise." When the bell rings, everyone come out fighting.
What has sparked this power wrestling match? Sandra Day O'Connor has announced her retirement.
Posted by Dana at 10:19 AM
So, good ole observant me just discovered that Blogger has made it easier to post pictures. I just had to try it out. This is a picture of the view outside of my mom's house. It is of Lake Pontchartrain looking towards New Orleans. Thanks, Chad, for the picture oh so long ago.
Posted by Dana at 8:25 AM
Thursday, June 30, 2005
OK, I need advice. I am seriously considering changing the name of my blog to actually reflect me instead of where I live. Originally, this blog was going to be about politics here on the Northshore of Lake Pontchatrain in Louisiana. Obviously, that has changed. For one, there just isn't as much going on here politically as there was before I started to blog (I started to blog because I was frustrated with an issue that soon got resolved). I have also started blogging about St. Tammany Parish for NOLA.com, which publishes the Times-Picayune online, so that has become my local politics blog.
So, this is the advice I need. Should I change the URL address as well as the title or leave the URL alone and only change the title? If I can change the name only, I think that that would be the easiest. What do you think? Thanks.
Posted by Dana at 9:11 AM
Please, oh please, I hope this comes to fruition. We're willing to make reservation now.
Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.
On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.
The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."
Obviously, I'm not the only one who likes this idea.
His statement comes as the town of Weare, N.H., has reportedly been inundated with calls in support of the proposal since WND first publicized the story.
"There are so many people who have come out of the woodwork to support me," Clements said.
Posted by Dana at 9:02 AM
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
All I can do is sit and shake my head as I read this. Is it impolite to laugh? Ok, I'll just smirk a little.
Five people were shot, one fatally, after the conclusion of "Super Safe Sunday" -- an event at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds in Shreveport billed as a place for people to gather and promote nonviolence. (emphasis added)
Posted by Dana at 2:29 PM
Before I explain the above statement, I have to preface the story with this: With my hand on the Good Book (no, Chris, not the Karma Sutra, the other Good Book) and with God as my witness, this is an absolutely true story. There have been no exaggerations or embellishments. And for those of us that know my cousin M, there is no doubt of the validity of this story.
It was dinner time at my aunt and uncle's house. My cousin A and her boyfriend Hunter (I tell you his real name only because it was funny that my grandmother could never remember it and kept calling him Fisher) were discussing where A should go to graduate school. They were batting around many different locations and were discussing the pros and cons of each.
Finally, A tells her family about a school that is in Alaska. Hunter says, "Well, if we move to Alaska, I definitely want to run the Iditarod." A's 15-year-old sister M cocks her head to the side perplexed and asks, "What's the iditarod?"
Hunter explains that it is a race run through the snow of Alaska using only a sled pulled by dogs. M gets this skeptical look on her face, as if to say you can't fool me, and states emphatically, "It doesn't snow in Alaska."
All conversation stops as everyone turns to look at M for the obviously needed explanation. In all earnestness, M says, as if everyone at the table is an idiot, "Well, duh, look at a map. Alaska is right next to Hawaii!"
Posted by Dana at 2:25 AM
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Now we know what drives the liberals on the Supreme Court: more tax revenue. Screw you if you don't generate enough tax dollars. You mean nothing. Less than nothing. You are no better than the piece of debris standing in the way of their pristine, tax-generating paradise. Well, at least we have been shown their true colors. I laugh now when being told that liberals are for the "little guys." Hah!
Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said, "The city has carefully formulated an economic development that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including – but by no means limited to – new jobs and increased tax revenue." (emphasis added)
Consider this exchange between Antonin Scalia, Sandra Day O'Connor and Wesley W. Horton, Scalia and O'Connor are trying to understand New London's position regarding the justification of taking the land from the homeowners.
Scalia asked the lead attorney for New London, Wesley W. Horton, whether it would be "OK to take property from people who are paying less taxes and give it to people who are paying more taxes."
"That would be a public use, wouldn't it?" he said.
Before Horton could answer, O'Conner broke in.
O'CONNOR: For example, Motel 6 and the city thinks, well, if we had a Ritz-Carlton, we would have higher taxes. Now, is that okay?
HORTON: Yes, Your Honor. That would be okay. ...
SCALIA: Let me qualify it. You can take from A to give to B if B pays more taxes?
HORTON: If it's a significant amount. Obviously, there is a cost –
SCALIA: I'll accept that. You can take from A and give to B if B pays significantly more taxes.
HORTON: With that –
JUSTICE SCALIA: You accept that as a proposition?
HORTON: I do, Your Honor.
Remember that, by ruling in favor of New London, they (Souter, Gingsberg, Breyer, Kennedy and Stevens) are agreeing with Horton's reverse Robin Hood position: steal from the poor to give to the rich, that is if it means more money for the government.
Very interesting and telling. The most frustrating thing about this is that we, as a public, have no way of "punishing" these justices. Before you start screaming that I am advocating any type of violence, what I mean is that unlike our Representatives, Senators, Governors, President, etc., we cannot vote them out. They are there for life. Now do you understand why there has been such an outcry for Justices who want to preserve our Constitution? I guess all we can do now is hope and pray that our property is never enticing to some slick mini-mall developer.
The above exerpts are from this article posted at WorldNetDaily
Posted by Dana at 10:12 AM
Friday, June 24, 2005
I've been under the weather lately. Not easy to blog when you can hardly keep your eyes open. Gotta hate summer colds. Also in the process of answering an email from my brother which is requiring me to do so research regarding the decline of military recruitment and the WaPo poll showing lack of support for the war in Iraq. It's taking me much longer than normal due to my cold. Anyway, enough rambling for now. Will be back to "normal" (stop laughing Amy) soon.
Posted by Dana at 4:36 PM
Thursday, June 23, 2005
That knocking, scratching, bumping sound. And it seems to be getting louder and louder! It is such an ominous sound. How can you not hear it?!? So, what is it?
Oh, yes. After reading about the Supreme Court decision today that basically says the government has the right to seize private property, I can now recognize the sound. It is our brave, wise forefathers SPINNING IN THEIR GRAVES!
Want to know more about this abomination, head over to Captain's Quarters or Wizbang
Posted by Dana at 3:08 PM
Thanks to John Hawkins over at Right Wing News for trying to comfort our liberal loved-ones.
Here goes, here's the truth about conservatives:
-- We don't want to put you in camps.
-- We're also overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of a police state.
-- We detest Fascism & Nazism, just as we detest Communism.
-- We also don't believe there's any danger of America becoming a Fascist country.
-- We don't believe Bush is "another Hitler" or that there is any chance America will become "another Nazi Germany".
-- We're overwhelmingly against a draft.
-- We don't believe it's unpatriotic to disagree with the President.
-- As a matter of fact, many of us disagree with the President, particularly when it comes to illegal immigration and deficit spending.
-- Not only do we believe in following the Constitution, we believe we're much more serious about doing so than our political opponents.
-- We believe conservative economic policies are more beneficial to poor and middle-class Americans than liberal policies.
-- We're overwhelmingly opposed to the idea of creating an American empire.
-- We don't believe the Bush administration let 9/11 happen on purpose or made it happen on purpose.
-- We don't believe Iraq was a war for oil.
-- We don't think the war in Afghanistan was about oil or a pipeline.
-- We don't believe Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction.
-- We don't dislike people because of their skin color.
-- We don't believe the vote was rigged in 2000 or 2004.
-- We would rather lose an election than cheat to win.
-- We're totally opposed to theocracy and dominionism.
I sure hope that this clears things up. There are too many legitimate things that we disagree about. We shouldn't be quibbling about things that just aren't true.
Posted by Dana at 9:53 AM
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
I was directed to this article by Josh over at Freedom Of.... It's titled "I Still Love Homosexuals."
Unsure how I, a former homosexual, received an invitation to speak two consecutive weeks to a gay/lesbian organization at a major university, I readily accepted. I arrived well ahead of time to mingle with the students, shake hands, and get to know them.
Though I felt like a ham at a bar mitzvah, I shared with the twenty-five to thirty homosexuals how, from an early age, I felt "different"; how, upon reaching puberty, I was attracted to other men; and how, after eleven years of homosexual activity, I told God, "It's over! Homosexuality is an illusion, a dead end! Homosexuality promises a lot, but delivers little!" I told them homosexuality was a sin, immoral, and that God punishes sin.
It is a definite must read.
It proves the wisdom of my step-father's advice:
Don't distance yourself from those that don't know Christ. Don't judge them either. Both will never lead them to know Christ. Be an example of Christ's love to everyone.
Posted by Dana at 2:31 PM
Monday, June 20, 2005
I loathe polls. Even those that seem to support my thoughts and opinions. Why? Because anyone can construct poll questions to get just about any result they want.
But what really burns me up is seeing internet poll results as support for an argument. C'mon. AN INTERNET POLL!!!!! It has made me realize how little so many people know about polling and statistics. Do you realize that I could probably concoct a polling questionnaire so as to get a large majority to agree that the sky is green. BUT IT DOESN'T MAKE THE SKY GREEN.
Polls mean nothing. Actually, less than nothing. Even under the best of circumstances, they can only provide a quick, somewhat blurry, picture of the current opinions of people. Ask the same questions tomorrow (heck, why wait - ask again as soon as you're are done the first time) and the answers will most likely be different. And polls never, never prove fact.
Posted by Dana at 3:48 PM
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Tonight, I was surfing Blog Explosion again and ran across this post about on Matching Tracksuits regarding a recent trip to Auschewitz-Birkenau.
Kinga and I went to Auschwitz-Birkenau yesterday. It’s only now that I can appreciate the scale of the Holocaust. Reading Hitler’s Willing Executioners, seeing Schindler’s List, thumbing through albums — it’s not the same. Walking under the sign, “Arbeit Macht Frei,” standing in a gas chamber, walking along the barbed wire, standing by the railroad tracks where selection was made — only then did the number of Holocaust victims (up to ten million) begin to take on any personal, tangible significance for me.
While reading it, a single thought kept coming to my mind: "Dick Durbin thinks our soldiers are equivalent to these monsters?" He should be beyond ashamed of himself. There are NO excuse for his comments.
Posted by Dana at 10:48 PM
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Blogexplosion has given me the ability to see such lunacy. At what other time would I ever have reason or desire to read something so incredibly stupid and ignorant as this:
In a live, unscientific Internet poll, MSNBC readers are overwhelmingly saying yes.With more than 6,000 votes recorded, the survey shows a lopsided 94 percent believe Bush misled the American people, with only 6 percent saying no.Pathetic! Give it up, George. Bring the troops home. Vietnam? NEVER AGAIN!!This whole war was a fraud from the beginning and I personally believe that the government destroyed the World Trade Center and blamed the act on Islamic terrorist. There hasn’t been one terror alert since the election. Hitler burned the Reichstag to create an enemy the people could hate—the communist—to justify seizing power in Germany and the United States government has done the same thing—The Patriot Act. We learned a great deal from the Nazis. It's come in handy, hasn’t it George?
In the words of the great Bugs Bunny, what a maroon! I would have left a comment, but I didn't want to lend any credibility to his position. I just thought that I would post it here so that you could all have a good Saturday laugh.
Posted by Dana at 1:47 AM
I am constantly amazed by the absolute evil that exists in this world. And this is only more evidence of it.
Marcus Wesson, the domineering patriarch of a large clan he bred through incest, was convicted Friday of murdering nine of his children, whose bodies were found in a bloody pile last year at the end of a police standoff.
Posted by Dana at 1:31 AM
Friday, June 17, 2005
Ever since hearing about Traitor Dick's comments comparing Gitmo to the Gulag, Nazi concentration camps and Pol Pot's labor camps, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out his ultimate goal. Is his hatred of George Bush such that he would make such outrageously false statments? Statements that only serve to incite further ammunition to our enemies? Does he not realize that our enemies need no further provocation to try to bring us to our knees and destroy, not just our brave soldiers, but everything that Mr. Durbin claims to hold dear?
Durbin wants to embarrass the President. To what end? To de-legitimize his presidency. Ok, then what? Is this the way to regain power? And if this strategy is successful, what would they be gaining power of? A weak-willed, undermined, shell of a super-power country that the rest of the world would never take seriously again. We will be the whipping boy of every terrorist cell group. Our defeat will be a source of tremendous pride for them. What a feather in the cap of Mr. Durbin that will be.
Mr. Durbin is not alone in his hatred for our President. But this hate is very much misplaced. If only they would display one-tenth of that hatred towards the true villians in this world, imagine how much safer our world would be.
Posted by Dana at 9:30 AM
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
When I was in college, my roomates and I didn't live in the best part of town (of course, this is relative. The town we lived in was actually very safe). One night while two of my roomates (there were 4 of us) were studying at home, they had a terrifying "visitor." Both were studying in their shared bedroom and heard a noise coming from the kitchen. Cinderella (don't want to embarrass anyone) goes to investigate and instantly comes running back into the bedroom to tell Blondie that there is a man in the kitchen. After hearing the back door slam closed, they decide to "arm" themselves and see if he had indeed left. As they are heading out of the bedroom, a group of us (other roomate and friends) were coming in the front door. They scream. We scream. And then they start to tell us what has happened. It is then that we notice their weapons of choice: a hair dryer and a curling iron. At which point, roommate Mia says, "What were you going to do, style him to death?"
Anyway, I am telling this tale because I was reminded of it by this story out of Shreveport, La.: Armed robber gets extreme makeover
Mitchell tripped the robber as he tried to leave and cried aloud "get that sucker" as the group of about 20, nearly all women, some wielding curling irons, bludgeoned him until police arrived. (obviously emphasis added)
Read the article, it is very funny. Watch out for Louisiana girls with curling irons.
Posted by Dana at 4:23 PM
Frustrated about Governor Blanco's insitence that she needed to raise taxes to fund teacher pay raises, I decided to look into how the 65% plan as put forth by First Class Education requiring that 65% of a state's educational monies be spent in the classroom. I wanted to know how this would benefit Louisiana. I posted about the plan here on April 10.
I also decided to contact my local State Representative, A.G. Crowe, with this information. I wrote:
I am a constituent living in the Slidell area. Like you, I am concerned about Gov. Blanco's proposal to fund teacher pay raises by increasing the "sin tax" on cigarettes, alcohol and gambling. I feel that not enough has been done to streamline our budget before raising taxes.
I wanted to pass along an article by George Will explaining the "65 Percent Solution." It "is to require that 65 percent of every school district's education operational budget be spent on classroom instruction. On, that is, teachers and pupils, not bureaucracy." I believe that in New Orleans, there are 12,000 "bureaucrats" in a system of 65,000 students.
According to firstclasseducation.org, Louisiana currently spends 61.9% of its education budget on the classroom. By increasing that only 3.9%, we would have an additional 187 million dollars for teachers. I realize that this would be difficult and would not fund the pay raises entirely, but it is a good start.
It seems kind of foolhardy to fund a teacher's pay raise by increasing taxes on cigarettes while at the same time, the state funds programs to help people stop smoking.
Thank you for sharing your concerns about taxes and education. I agree with you 100%. We have a spending problem, not a taxing problem. If we had a slight increase of funding in to the classroom, we could fund the raises. I will pass your thoughts along to my collegues.
That was the last I heard about it. And as Blanco's cigarette tax plan continued to be bandied about, I thought for sure that I had been treated with a pat on the head and promptly forgotten.
Imagine my surprise this morning, while reading about Blanco's decision to not pursue her ill-thought out tax, to find out about HCR 77. What is HCR 77?
Summary: BESE (Board of Elementary and Secondary Education): Requests BESE to adopt a MFP formula for the 2006-2007 school year requiring that at least 70% of local school system general fund monies be spent at the school building level for instructional services and at least 65% of the general fund monies to be spent at the classroom level for the instruction of students by teachers and instructional staff members and requires certain reports.
It was passed in the Senate by a vote of 36-0 on June 7. And according to an article posted on the First Class Education website,
The Louisiana House also recently passed the provision without objection, and the measure does not require action by the Governor for final enactment
HCR 77 was first read by title only on May 3, so I have no delusions that my email had anything to do with the legislation, but it is satisfying none the less.
Posted by Dana at 8:40 AM
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Teen Charged With Vomiting On Teacher
Boy, I had no idea that being vomited on was considered assault. I have been assaulted many times then, both by my kids and by strangers. And the strangers were at work, too (no, I'm not a nurse). Once was as a tour guide at Oak Alley Plantation and once was as VIP hostess for Walt Disney World.
I guess that I am also lucky that I am not in jail now for all the times that I got sick on someone. (Within my family, my brother and I were known as the throw-up kids - a moniker that has now been gratefully been passed on my two nephews).
I always felt sorry for those that were sick. I know for a fact that no one wants to vomit in public, let alone ON someone.
But this is just further proof that we, as a society, are getting way too sensitive in regards to ourselves and too insensitive to the needs of others. This child needed sympathy, not scorn. How dare this teacher, whose care we place our children, not understand that. Anyone who has spent any amount of time knows that vomit and children go hand and hand. If he can't understand that, then he needs to find another profession.
Posted by Dana at 5:16 PM
5:05pm Update: NOPD Chief Eddie Compass has decided that hiring Dennis Muhammed is too controversial. He is going to look elsewhere for the very much needed police officer sensitivity training .
The New Orleans Police Department has discovered that it has a problem - its public image. And Chief Eddie Compass has the solution (so he thinks). He has hired Dennis Muhammed, the security chief to the Nation of Islam, to teach sensitivity to his officers.
Compass says, "The people in the community who are anti-police, who really need to hear our message, who really need to build the bridges with, members of the Nation of Islam have some type of relationship with these people."
I wonder if Compass has done any investigation into the Nation of Islam. I assume that he has not given the very contraversial goals and beliefs of this group. Here is a sampling from their official website:
1. We want freedom for all Believers of Islam now held in federal prisons. We want freedom for all black men and women now under death sentence in innumerable prisons in the North as well as the South
2. We want the government of the United States to exempt our people from ALL taxation as long as we are deprived of equal justice under the laws of the land.
3. We want our people in America whose parents or grandparents were descendants from slaves, to be allowed to establish a separate state or territory of their own--either on this continent or elsewhere. We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to provide such land and that the area must be fertile and minerally rich. We believe that our former slave masters are obligated to maintain and supply our needs in this separate territory for the next 20 to 25 years--until we are able to produce and supply our own needs.
4. We want equal education--but separate schools up to 16 for boys and 18 for girls on the condition that the girls be sent to women's colleges and universities. We want all black children educated, taught and trained by their own teachers
5. WE BELIEVE this is the time in history for the separation of the so-called Negroes and the so-called white Americans. We believe the black man should be freed in name as well as in fact. By this we mean that he should be freed from the names imposed upon him by his former slave masters. Names which identified him as being the slave master's slave. We believe that if we are free indeed, we should go in our own people's names--the black people of the Earth
6. WE BELIEVE that the offer of integration is hypocritical and is made by those who are trying to deceive the black peoples into believing that their 400-year-old open enemies of freedom, justice and equality are, all of a sudden, their "friends." Furthermore, we believe that such deception is intended to prevent black people from realizing that the time in history has arrived for the separation from the whites of this nation.
Evidence of the fact that the Nation of Islam is a black supremacy group is not hard to find.
(1) Just by reading the principles of NOI, you can see that they blame every negative event in black history on the white race.
(2) According to Nation of Islam founder, W.D. Fard, the white race was created by "Yakub," an evil scientist.
(3) Also, one need look no further than the statements of Louis Farrakhan, its leader. When responding to being called a "Black Hitler," Farrakhan stated, "Hitler was a very great man." In a speech to gang leaders, he said, " ...America will be the Promised Land for the Black, the Brown and the Red. And the Whites that survive will survive under new terms created by the strength of the peacemakers."
Is this the type of values that we want to instill in our police officers? Promote sensitivity to one race. This is no more correct than it would be for a town with a 68% white population to hire someone from the Ku Klux Klan to teach the course. Just like the Nation of Islam, some of the Ku Klux Klan's self-purported goals seem noble and agreeable on the surface. However, there is no doubt that the underlying objective is one of hate. Hate for other races. Hate for other beliefs. Hate for other religions.
Therefore, hiring someone from the Nation of Islam to teach a sensitivity class is the height of irony. In this case, though, it is one of dangerous irony. Anyone living in New Orleans can testify to the increasing racial tension between black and white. The last thing that the NOPD needs is anything that will fan those flames. Hiring the Nation of Islam will do just that.
Posted by Dana at 3:26 PM
It seems that the outrageous quote from the local ACLU is finally getting some national attention. The CWA (Concerned Women for America) website has an article written by Mario Diaz about it.
Related post: ACLU wants to remove people who pray from society
Posted by Dana at 2:23 PM
Monday, June 13, 2005
Sunday, June 12, 2005
Bulldogpundit over at Ankle Biting Pundits has issued a challenge to all of our liberal friends (or foes, depending on how you see yourself). So what is the challenge?
We'd like any liberal to explain to us what is exactly is the Democrats "message" right now. Here's the only caveat - you can't say anything about President Bush or the Congressional Republicans, because saying "No" is not a "message". For example, in 1994 the GOP had the "Contract With America" which stated actual things they were going to do when they got into office, and offered alternative policies and ideas to what the Democrats were doing. So go ahead guys, have at it. What is the Democrats "message"?
I, for one, would honestly like to know what the Democrats' message is. I respect the two party system. If each side offers valid arguments, it can only make our country stronger. So, I encourage anyone who aligns themselves with the Democrats or considers themselves a liberal to please take this challenge.
But remember the rule, no bad-mouthing the President or the Congressional Republicans. If you have to use personal attacks, you need to re-evaluate your arguments. Those that use insults, come across as not having any valid arguments and rebuttals.
Posted by Dana at 4:02 PM
Friday, June 10, 2005
Have you seen the new GM commercials? You know the ones saying that they are giving everyone the employee discount? Well, it got me thinking. Do you think that when they told the 25,000 employees that they were being laid off they said,
“Don’t worry, you’ll still get your employee discount?”
Posted by Dana at 11:51 PM
Thursday, June 09, 2005
As more and more top Democrats begin to distance themselves from and publicly disagree with Howard Dean, I began to wonder what will happen to him? As I see it, there are two possible scenarios:
(1) We will start to see less and less of Dean. He will give in to the pressure to curtail his rhetoric by limiting his public appearances .
(2) He will continue down his current path, actually becoming more and more wild in his statements about the Republican Party. He will become fueled by his opposition within the Democratic Party. Soon, the party will remove him from his chairman’s seat and use that action as a jumping off point for the campaign to embrace the centrists and independents. They (Democrats ) will demonize Dean as a left extremist who tried to “hijack” the party. Democrats will hold their centrists up as heroes who saved the party, as well as America, from extremists everywhere. Thus, Howard Dean's next role will be as Democratic scapegoat.
Wizbang is posting about Dean, too.
Posted by Dana at 9:46 AM
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
I was watching the new show "Beauty and the Geek" (an interesting show, by the way) during which the contestants were asked a question about lug nuts (the bolts that hold on the wheel of a car). That reminded me of a funny story about my cousin "M."
During college, I lived with my aunt and uncle and 3 cousins. One weekend, my uncle hooked up his boat to the car and we all took off for a camping trip.
So, there we were, riding down the interstate, laughing, cutting up and just having a good time, when we start to notice that our fellow drivers are looking at us as they pass. My aunt is convinced that everyone is looking at this car full of kids acting crazy, but we soon realized that that is far from the truth. Finally, a concerned driver is able to get across the message that a tire on the boat trailer is about to fall off!
After immediately pulling over to check, my uncle finds out that he forgot to tighten the lug nuts after changing the tire on the boat trailer. He fixes the problem and we continue on our way.
Once we arrive at the campgrounds, our tire adventure is just about forgotten. That is until, we run into some friends of my aunt and uncle's and 8-year-old "M" shouts:
We would have been here sooner, but my dad needed to fix his love nuts!
Posted by Dana at 10:59 PM
But Canadians with bloody chainsaw - Welcome to America.
On April 25, Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and fingerprinted Despres. Then they let him into the United States.
I don't know who is more stupid - the guy still carrying the bloody murder weapon across the country border or the customs agents who let him into the country.
Custom officials claim that they did everything they could to check for warrants and didnt' find any reason to detain Despres. However, Despres was due in court on April 25, the very day he was allowed to enter Maine.
On the same day Despres crossed the border, he was due in a Canadian court to be sentenced on charges he assaulted and threatened to kill Fulton's son-in-law, Frederick Mowat, last August.
Maybe I'm showing my ignorance of the Canadian judicial system, but wouldn't Despres have to have been arrested on charges of threatening to kill someone before he could be scheduled to appear in court to be sentenced on those charges?
Luckily for us, he was captured in Massachusetts before he could repeat his crimes here.
Posted by Dana at 10:14 AM