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31
Aug

8 months down, 4 more to go

How can it be that September is here?

That means, I have written a post a day for 8 whole months.

I have learned so much as a result of this Wordpress Post-A-Day Challenge, but next time, I’m going for the Post a Week Challenge.  That sounds more reasonable!

“Take a night off from the WordPress Post-A-Day Challenge, Andrea,” I often say to my self.

What would be the big deal if I miss a day of posting?   Heck, it’s not a big deal, but I’m madly married to this challenge, for some reason, even though it about exhausts me.

It’s already 11:30 and my eye lids are dry and sticking together.  Are there other bloggers as nutty and committed to this as me?  Am I crazy?  A masochist?

The truth is, I have enjoyed this challenge, I enjoy the exchange of ideas and the opportunity for free expression without fear of rebuke.   I’m a soft-spoken person – not a big talker, but I sure can blather on here, can’t I?

I was distracted tonight, which is why I am so late writing.  Truth is, I was playing with my new website – trying to learn how to put it together – It’s like a puzzle, only you can’t see or touch the pieces!  It’s going to take a lot of studying on my part to put this together.  It’s not as easy as WordPress, that’s for sure!

Anyway, I was looking for images tonight, and stumbled on the most amazing photos – they are award winners from the year 2010, they clearly are deserving of that honor, as you’ll see.

The pictures took my breath away – I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Picture_of_the_Year/2010/Results/Final/Finalists

30
Aug

such lovely lovlies

These charming photos were sent to me via email and are so lovely I just had to share!  They made me smile, I think they will you, too.

I wish I could give credit to the photographer(s), but I haven’t any idea who these photos belong to.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

29
Aug

rapid eLearning

Another Monday is here and gone and I am just now sitting down to write!

I’ve been sitting at this computer all night, though not blogging.  Instead I’ve been researching how to build a website on Joomla, which is an Open Source Content Management System (CMS).

A CMS is the back-end of a website.   I am learning about what “hosting” means, and trying to decide if I want to pay someone to design a site for me, or if I want to try to build it myself.  Joomla allows you to create a site, or customize one of its templates, so I thought I’d give it a try…. I watched an instructional video tonight and tried it.  But, I did something wrong, not sure what I did, but my site disappeared!  I have a blank canvas.

But, it’s okay, I’ll figure it out tomorrow!

I’ve toyed with the idea of starting my own company for a while now;  and today the perfect idea came to me!  create eLearning – something I love to do!   My company (consisting of only me at first), will create Rapid eLearning solutions for companies who outsource their training and development design, or just need an outside consultant to assist them.

I began to set up my website tonight, and clearly I have absolutely NO idea what I am doing – it’s a bit complicated, but not impossible to master.

I do, however, have a company name:  It’s called e-Rapidly.com  The name has to do with Rapid Instructional Design and eLearning.

In today’s business environment, which is full of rapid and constant change, CEO’s need what they need NOW!  And when they need training, it’s all about how rapidly the training professional can deliver it.  Today it’s literally all about creating rapid eLearning solutions.   Everything is rapid design and rapid development.   Rapid this and rapid that, especially when it comes to eLearning.  There are hundreds of books on the subject of RAPID training and development.  Literally everything related to eLearning these days has  “Rapid” in the title.

So it’s e-Rapidly.com.  I really like the name!

I believe it’s a domain name that will be kind of catchy and easy to remember, plus it’s reflective of the business and of what I will deliver in my new “Rapid eLearning”  business.

It will be nice to work for my own company! 

It may take a while to get e-Rapidly.com from the dream to the reality phase.  That’s okay though.  I’m a quick learner!


28
Aug

prosecutor Jeff Ashton to pen a book; Dr. Phil dangles carrots

The Washington Post is reporting that Jeff Ashton is in the process of writing a book about the Casey Anthony case.  According to the Post, the book, aptly titled “Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony,” is due out in November.

This is one book I will read.

I’ve included the Washington Post Story at the bottom of the page.

The Dr. Phil show is already marketing its interview with the Anthony’s.   The show is billed like its got something salacious to say:  Casey Anthony’s Parents Spill Death Secret on My Show!”    Can we believe Dr. Phil will get the Anthony’s to say what they did not say in court?  Anyone’s guess.  I don’t guess there will be much truth told.

The Dr. Phil video promo wants to persuade viewers that the Anthony’s are going to spill some major beans about who they believe killed Caylee.

Dr. Phil obviously thinks people are going to buy into this silly promotional nonsense.  It’s annoying.  When shows or networks try to hype something this way, I think it’s because the show will have little substance at all.

Other innuendos on the video promo have Dr. Phil advising Cindy Anthony that the country “…wants to shake you awake.”  Dr. Phil also says, “You know the truth, don’t you?”

With regards to the drowning story, Dr. Phil asks, “Do you buy it was an accidental drowning?”

The Anthony’s don’t talk in the promo piece.  Heck, they wouldn’t want to give anything away!  Franky, I sincerely doubt there will be very much truth told, nor anything shocking, but I will record the show.  So, if you don’t want to watch it, no worries, I’ll tell you everything!   I have included a link to the story with a video, but not the video itself, at the bottom of this page.

It’s really only about money now.  Maybe it always was.

One last bit of news…. The next hurricane will be named “Jose.”

That’s all we need!

The Washington Post article about the upcoming Jeff Ashton book, Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony, is here

The story about the Dr. Phil Show is located here, on TMZ.


27
Aug

take good care during Irene, okay?

Irene is no joke for people located along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

The Saffir-Simpson Scale. Hurricane Measurements

Although a Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson scale may seem to the uninformed as not a great threat, nothing could be further from the truth.  Winds from a Category 1 storm can be deadly. A category 1 hurricane has winds from 74 to 95 MPH – that’s dangerous weather no matter how you look at it.  It is capable of producing intense winds, flash-floods, rain, and also tornadoes.

Because Irene is a very expansive storm – 250 miles wide the last I heard, it is capable of seriously damaging a much larger area.

Hurricane Andrew, which decimated parts of Miami (completely crushed entire neighborhoods), was a Category 5 and HUGE like Irene.  And, hurricane Katrina, in 2008, was a Category 3 on the Saffir Simpson Scale.  The damage from Katrina – which is now such a sad memory – is unfortunately, legendary.  The rebuilding from Katrina is STILL taking place in 2011.

Irene has already made landfall in North Carolina.  I am concerned for my friends in New York City, the Carolina’s and throughout the New England area.

This is the Weather Channel’s latest message about the future of Irene:

  • The threat level is “EXTREME” along the East Coast from eastern North Carolina to New England.
  • Irene is a hurricane that poses an extraordinary threat and is one that no one has yet experienced in North Carolina to the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast and New England. This includes Norfolk, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Hartford, and Boston. This hurricane has the potential to produce flooding rains, high winds, downed trees (on houses, cars, power lines) and widespread power outages. Significant impacts along the immediate coast include high waves, surge and beach erosion.

I have been through my share of hurricanes having lived in South Florida most of my life.  But, people in New York City, have little experience with hurricanes, like my friend Kathy who lives in NYC.  She’s nervous but getting prepared.

It’s sometimes difficult to know what you’ll need to be prepared with after the storm; it’s an unknown as to what Irene will leave in its aftermath.  However, there are a few essential first steps to do to prepare for the storm.

I advised Kathy to freeze as much water as possible; I save plastic containers for just this purpose.

Fill the bathtub with water in the event of shut down or damage to city water supplies.  Plus, you may need that water to flush the toilet, bathe, or even to drink in the event your stash of drinking water runs dry.

Try to have fans that run on batteries, since the electricity is the first thing to fail.  Have plenty of batteries and flashlights on hand – you will need them! Be careful of candles – they are a terrible fire hazard, and are often a tragic after-effect of a storm.  Always, after the storm hits, we hear about people who made it though the storm, only to have their home burn down when a candle is left idly by to burn.

Have plenty of food that you don’t need to refrigerate; and try to cook as much food as you can before the storm hits.

When the electricity goes out (not “if” – “when” it goes out), the large containers of ice you froze will keep your food cold for a while.  Try not to open the freezer too often, open it only when you need something, then close it right up.  This will allow the ice to last longer.

One of the biggest threats during a hurricane is flying debris.  Be sure to bring inside anything small or light because even a small planter could be deadly if picked up by the wind.

Bring in your patio furniture, potted plants, etc.  Street signs and items left outside will turn into flying daggers when the wind picks them up.

If you do not have shutters on the windows, flying objects could break through the windows and do some harm.  It is best to stay away from windows at all times.

Gather all your important paperwork.  Keep a First Aid kit handy.  I have a back-pack that is ready for any emergency occasion.  I have a good First Aid kit, tooth brush, toilet paper, baggies, socks, and all kinds of other things to sustain me in the event of a disaster.  I always prepare food for my animals, and I put my cat in his carrier to protect him during the storm. The animals will need plenty of food and water.

And lastly, a warning for people, who hunker down in their homes, believing they’re safe, and decide to have a hurricane party, and either drink too much, or get drunk!  That is exactly the wrong thing to do!   You’ll need your wits about you during the storm!  Stay sober until after the storm when you are certain the danger is over.  Party after.

I have been through a few hurricanes in South Florida.  However, it wasn’t until Hurricane Andrew, when I heard the emergency radio warnings blaring, “This is an ACTUAL  emergency,” that I fully realized the clear and present danger of a hurricane.

Before Andrew hit, I didn’t really get too upset or nervous – I always prepared, but I never worried too much.  Hurricane Andrew hit, and left lessons in its aftermath: Take hurricanes seriously!

This is a serious storm.  Please be careful, okay?

26
Aug

some really good news!

It was nearly six weeks ago that I attended a YMCA Board Member Recruitment luncheon.  It was a neat experience, too.

A good friend of mine, a YMCA Board member, invited me to the recruitment luncheon because he knew I was looking for a program to make a difference in kids lives – to promote change, and give back to my community. 

After the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial, I felt disappointed, frustrated, and defeated.  That soon changed, though, when I heard what former Orlando Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton had to say.

Jeff Ashton, the passionate Prosecutor in the Casey Anthony v. State trial, appeared on a few television programs to talk about the aftermath of the verdict.

Mr. Ashton talked about taking the anger you feel – a palpable anger was rising in the community – and turn it into action to support children in your community.

It was a perfect idea.   Doing something like this would be a healing and healthy way to diffuse the sense of defeat – turn it into positive energy and action for kids.

I decided right then that I was going to become a force for change for kids.

I emailed and called the “Big Brothers, Big Sisters” program in my area but, sadly,I learned they have more “bigs” than kids.  It is going to take a while to be matched with a kid.

And then, the next day, my buddy Ken invited me to the YMCA Luncheon, and…..

Today, I learned that they chose me for the Board! 

I’m the newest member of the Board!

I am going to put my heart and soul into this opportunity.  I want to make a difference for the kids – for the future, for my niece’s generation.

I will be an Advisory Board member of the Broward County Children’s Advocacy YMCA Family Center.  My first official Board meeting is September 22!

If you click on the YMCA Logo (above), it will take you to the website for the Broward County YMCA.

This will be a great activity to blog about, too!

Speaking of blogging….I broke down Wednesday and purchased a new PC.  And what a difference it makes!  It’s much easier to write when the PC doesn’t crash or freeze on me.

My old computer was loaded with VISTA.  I think I am one of the few people on the planet who liked VISTA!  I really did, but it was buggy, too.

This new PC is unbelievable!  It has Windows 7, and Office 2010.

It has a real good graphics card, 8 GB of memory, and one TB of space.  TB refers to Terabyte, that’s bigger than Gigabyte or GB.

I tell ya what, this PC is blazing fast!

Office 2010 is awesome!  And, I especially LOVE Windows Live, with SkyDrive. 

The university I work for is launching Windows Live with SkyDrive – known as Live@EDU, on Monday to the student population.   And, that’s part of the reason my week was so stressful – I had an incredibly short timeline to put together the training materials for the project, which I delivered today in two classroom sessions.   The trainings went very well, so all the stress paid off.

So, today was the end of a fabulous week!

Thank you, Jeff Ashton!

25
Aug

just whatever, probation, work and I QUIT! (not really)

Tonight I need to scream!  Plug up your ears – here goes!   Yeeeeeeeeeooooowgrrrrrrrhmph!

I feel better now.

My life seems out of control these last couple of weeks – well, not really, but that’s the feeling I have.   I’m so busy at work and it’s getting to me.  I really really really really want to QUIT!  But, I can’t.  I won’t.

I can’t because that would be incredibly stupid and I’d regret it….  I know I’d really miss it, too.   My issue is, I’m stretched too thin.  I told my boss that if I ever tell her again that I feel like quitting, I’d stop what I’m doing and say the Serenity Prayer.  And, then things might be better and then maybe I could chill and not want to quit.

But, I can’t even remember the darn prayer!

“Give me the serenity to (something) the things I cannot change and  (something) when I know the difference?”   But, that’s not it, it sounds wrong.   I can’t think of how it goes, and I couldn’t remember it today either.

Google:  Serenity.

Here it is…. the part I need my lips to remember.

  God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

And it’s Thursday night and I completely forgot my favorite of all time TV show was on! Project Runway – I only missed the first ten or so minutes.  I saw Oliver fall and the running track. And, I saw enough of Bert, too.  I am beginning to hope he’s booted off soon.  He’s such a mean fart!   So, he’s got talent – you have to be a nice person, too!  Talent alone doesn’t do it!

And so, I had to watch Project Runway, which is why I am all over the place writing tonight – no coherent plan.  Just stream of consciousness writing tonight – I’m about to run out of time, too, because if I don’t go to sleep by 11:00 tonight, I will regret it.  Last night I was up until two!  Dumb!  That’s probably why I wanted to quit my job, come to think of it.

And, I read a little bit here and there about the probation issue today, and it infuriated me!   It was a really big deal, we learned today, that Casey Anthony has already checked in to her Probation Officer.  BOMBSHELL!  Casey checked in! Stop the presses!  Woo!  That was really news worthy.

And tonight I read that one of the local Orlando stations, Tony Pipitone of WKMG, is asking, “Why is Casey Anthony getting special treatment?”   That’s a brilliant question, isn’t it?

Tony, she is NOT getting special treatment!  She is being protected from the people who want to murder her!  A better question is, why are you giving her special treatment?  Could it be because your station wants to sell advertising?

 WKMG reporter, Tony Pipitone (who always seemed to be a fairly sane reporter), has gone off the deep end.  He wants the Court to 1) reveal who Casey’s Probation Officer is, 2) release the documents related to probation, 3) provide where she’s reporting for probation, and 4) what classes she’s taking.  (She’s taking online courses.)

First of all, if she’s enrolled in a college or university, information about her course work is off limits, protected by FERPA.

The Family Rights and Privacy Act – FERPA.  This law protects the information of any student taking college or university classes. Look up FERPA, Tony.

Enough is enough.  It’s over, she’s Not Guilty, said the jury.  Respect it and think about why YOU are treating Casey Anthony any differently?

When the media plays these sensational games, it’s no longer journalism (if it ever was journalism in the first place), it’s hype, pure hype that could literally endanger a life!

I don’t understand this continuing madness over anything “Casey Anthony!”

It’s time to move on.  It’s time to wish her well and let her go on her merry way.

I hope she is able to put the shattered pieces that are left of her life, back together and do something for herself.  Enjoy her family – move away, live life, enjoy her parents.

Life is too short to not be happy.

To Tony, and all the other drooling reporters, repeat after me:

“Have a good life, Casey!  Bye, bye.”

OMG – It’s 11:30!  Good night!

(Sorry for any typos, grammar fopaux’s, etc.)

24
Aug

wondering about probation requirements

Just a quick post about Casey Anthony’s probation, as ordered by Judge Stan Strickland, blessed by Judge Belvin Perry, and sealed with a kiss by the Fifth District Court of Appeals, Florida.

I looked again at the original order, curious as to what is required, and interested in seeing what a probation order actually looked like and said.  There are 13 points at the end of Judge Strickland’s probation order that sum up the requirements of probation.

The 13 points are:

  1. Not later than the fifth day of each month, you will make a full and truthful report to your Probation Officer on the form provided for that purpose
  2. You will pay the state of Florida $20 per month toward the cost of supervision, plus a 4% surcharge per month by the fifth day of each month unless otherwise waived in compliance with Florida Statutes.
  3. You will not change your residence or employment or leave the country of your residence without first procuring the consent of your Probation Officer.
  4. You will neither possess, carry, or own any weapons or firearms without first securing the consent of your Probation Officer.
  5. You will live and remain at liberty without violating any law.  A conviction in a court of law shall not be necessary in order for such violation to constitute a violation of our probation.
  6. You will not use intoxicants to excess; nor will you visit places where intoxicants, drugs or other dangerous substances are unlawfully sold, dispensed or used.
  7. You will work diligently at a lawful occupation and support any dependants to the best of your ability as directed by your Probation Officer.
  8. You will promptly and truthfully answer all inquiries directed to you by the Court or the Probation Officer, and allow the Officer to visit you in your home, at your employment site, or elsewhere, and you will comply with all instructions he may give you.
  9. You will not possess or use any marijuana or other controlled substance except upon prescription of a duly licensed medical or osteopathic doctor and then only in accordance with the prescribed dosage. You will not possess any controlled substance, paraphernalia or forged or blank prescription forms.
  10. Unless prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages by a special condition in this order, you will not consume alcoholic beverages, to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired.
  11. You will submit to a reasonable search without a warrant by the Probation Office of your person, effects, residence or business premises or vehicle for alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, weapons or firearms.  You will submit to chemical tests (breath, urine and blood) upon request of your Probation Officer to determine the presence and quantity of alcohol or controlled substance in your blood.
  12. The Court retains jurisdiction to place you in the Probation and Restitution Center upon recommendation of your Probation Office without finding of violation of probation.
  13. You will not knowingly associate with any persons engaged in criminal activity.

These requirements, it seems, sound fairly general with application to most any person serving probation.

I’d think that for Casey Anthony, the big question and the greasy fly in the ointment will be the work requirement.  Is writing your memoirs considered work?  I bet so.  Heck, she’s not likely to be working for Kodak Color Vision  again.

 

23
Aug

what if….

We found out today that Casey Anthony’s appeal to stop her year-long probation, was denied.  The Higher Court said, no way Jose!

There was never a question in my mind that she would be able to get out of serving probation.   There was never a defense argument that made sense.  Her lawyers tried, but failed in their efforts to get the High Court to overturn the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court decision.

Judge Belvin Perry wrote a wonderfully researched decision when he denied Casey Anthony’s request to Quash Judge Strickland’s amended order for the one year of probation.   Here is a link to the document, if you haven’t read it. 

Probation will be a bumpy ride for Casey Anthony.

This will be an unpopular thing for me to say, but I am going to say it anyway!   I hope that Casey Anthony can be left alone to rehabilitate herself and find her way in the world. 

What if, with all the therapy and guidance that Jose Baez says she will need, in the future she does something great, contributing in a meaningful way to society?  Could we forgive her then?   It’s difficult to say for sure, but I would hope so.

We just don’t know what the future will hold.  What if Casey Anthony is someday in a position to save a child?

OJ Simpson never amounted to anything after his trial and verdict.  His spots never changed, and now he’s in prison where he was meant to be all along.  He never contributed to society one whit!   And, he was given the greatest gift of all, his freedom – he did nothing with it.  His crime was cold blooded and maniacal. It was blood sport to him.  It’s good to know he is out of society.

And then there is Casey Anthony. Granted, no one else could have possibly killed her daughter and toss her in the woods like yesterday’s garbage.  She was responsible, I have no doubt.  However, she had her moment in court was found Not Guilty.

Unfortunately for Casey, the real and hard core jury: Society, will make things very difficult for Casey when she is serving probation.   (Can we say a little prayer that no one gets hurt, not even Casey?)

Maybe, if she gets the help she needs, she will do something in her life that will make a positive impact on society.  She’s very bright. Maybe one day things will turn around for the better for her.

Granted, nothing is ever as rosy as I like to imagine, or dream them to be.  Casey could end up like OJ, right back in jail.  If that happens, so be it, it will be all the more deserved.  But, I hope that is not the case.  One more criminal is one more too many.

For once, I agree with Jose Baez, who recently said, “It’s time for everyone to move on and let everyone who is involved in this case move on and live their life.”

I won’t try to kid myself, or kid you into believing that the media will all of a sudden stop following every morsel of news about Casey Anthony!  That’s not going to happen!  This is big business for the media now.  If the audience wants news, the media will deliver – no doubt about it.

Maybe the news will slow down a bit?  Hah!  Not very likely!

22
Aug

go away irene, okay?

So, Casey Anthony, I just read, has returned to Florida presumably to begin her probation?  That is wise since she certainly would not want to ignore that responsibility.

More importantly, for Florida, there is Irene.

Casey Anthony may be upstaged because Hurricane Irene may be heading to Florida, too.  Hopefully, the Irene story will trump the probation story.

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Will it miss us?

With regards to Irene, they say it is going to be a Category 3, with winds up to 115 mph.  It’s now a Category 2.  But, Category 3 is a bad storm – it could be devastating if or when it hits.

I own a first floor condo, and the smartest thing I ever did was to put the kind of storm shutters on that all you need to do is pull them together and snap them shut in the middle!  The rolling, pull-type shutters are on all the windows and my back door.   The shutters are supposed to stand up to the test of high winds….. I sure hope so!  I’ve never had to use them before.

We had a storm, in October 2006, called Wilma.  Some say it was a Category 1, others say it was a Category 2 when it hit us.

Whatever strength Wilma was, it blew off many roofs in many neighborhoods.  There are still people trying to put their lives back together as a result of the damage from Wilma.

When Wilma came, I took my dog and my cats and my computer and I high-tailed it over to my mom’s.  Wilma happened before I’d put the shutters on, and I didn’t want to be home alone if my windows were going to break!

The worst part of the aftermath of Wilma was the clean-up, and dealing with no electricity for over a week.

Fortunately, my home survived Wilma well.  The roof tiles blew off, and many trees fell, cracked and complained.  But, all in all, it was okay.

The roof was fixed, landscaping is back to being beautiful again, and all is well.  For now.

A Category 3 hit from Irene would be scary!  Say a prayer that she decides to miss Florida and the Carolina’s and winds up out to sea for good, will you?

Hurricanes are just plain scary!

 

21
Aug

arlington cemetary shocker and some other rants

Have you read or heard the shocking news about Arlington National Cemetery?  This revered cemetery of hallowed ground is now facing a criminal investigation!  Reading this story nearly knocked me off my feet – it’s shocking and so sad.

The problems at the cemetery were apparently discovered in 2010, as noted in this recent msnbc article:

In June 2010 an Army inspector general’s report cited widespread problems at the cemetery, including more than 200 unmarked or misidentified graves.

In August 2010 officials revealed one grave site at Arlington was found empty, another contained the wrong remains and a third had two sets of remains, only one of which matched the headstone’s name. Read msnbc article.

Because urns of the veteran soldiers, many who died in battle, were unmarked, it has been difficult to identify to whom they belonged.  One clue, however, allowed the identity of Gwyn Stecher to be revealed.  A photo of a young ice skater was found with the remains of Gwyn Stecher.  The photo turned out to be that of 19 year old Granddaughter, Rachel Stecher, now a Cadet in the Air Force Academy, says the NBC report.

The urn containing the ashes of Gwyn Stecher were supposed to be buried with her husband, Adolph Stecher, a retired officer who served in World War II, and North Korea.

What does this say about society today?   I hardly know what to think.  It would seem absurd to place blame on the whole Arlington National Cemetery itself, though there obviously are individuals there without respect, concern or care for the honored soldiers, or family of soldiers.

This horrible story regarding Arlington National Cemetery makes me think conscientiousness and respect are in the process of eroding.  Aren’t we a God fearing society?

The Right-wing Extremists like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and others, say you’re damn right we are!

I don’t look forward to the upcoming Presidential election, by the way.  The religious fervor in politics is alarming – that’s another post for another day.

The hypocrisy holler!

I abhor hypocrisy, especially as it relates to the actions of those who are supposedly beyond reproach like ultra-religious priests, pastors, ministers, clergy.  I’m also talking about the regular guy/gal wearing a big cross around their necks as they murder or rape or steal in between preaching engagements. That’s who I am referring to.

Speaking of hate, the judgmental pastors, who are more like loud car salesmen than anything else, who march up to the podium to condemn any state allowing Gay and Lesbians to marry, also also Politicians and Washington Lobbyists.  They are anxious to tell us, repeatedly, that marriage vows are exclusively for a man and a woman.  Really?  Yes, says the Bible.  Since the Bible says so, it must be true.

The good book also tells us that: “Entering the holy place without wearing bells can result in death.”   And, “A man has an obligation to produce a child with his brother’s widow. If he refuses, his sister-in-law is to spit in his face in front of the elders.”  Click for citation.

I don’t know a single Gay or Lesbian with those aspirations!

The Civil Rights that we depend on weren’t only for African Americans, and other minorities.  Civil Rights belong to everyone.  Nowhere do our Civil Rights discuss sexual preferences.

This is what angers me about politics today.  The fact that we are not screaming bloody murder over what some immoral politicians promote because they think it will get them elected.

There are too many Americans who have, stupidly, gotten swept up in a fervor, believing that a good politician is chiefly a good Christian.  A white Christian, at that.

I have a problem with religion that is taken to the extremes.  I respect all religions, as a matter of course, but religion has begun to scare me.

Religion is like an oxymoron when hate mongers threaten to destroy the rights of people who are different, like gay and lesbians.

It scares me to see Bible-Thumping goons promising to heal; their devotees shaking and shimmying with the spirit, singing, “Praise the Lord” as they fall to the ground, shaking and shuddering, writhing in pain.

Who wants to do that?

Wouldn’t it be nice if our religions were loving, caring, soft and private?  Religion is scary when it’s loud.  Religion shouldn’t be loud.

So, I am ranting about religion tonight because of the likes of Pastor Dale Richardson, held without bail for kidnapping and raping three women at gun point.  A serial rapist.  And a Pastor.

When rapists, murderers, and thieving criminals, are God-Fearing, what God are they listening to?  Is that the God you and I believe in?  It does make me wonder.

Dale Richardson believes and depends on the Word of God, say his followers.  If there is one God, I don’t think I want Pastor Dale’s version.

What God do the Catholic Priests pray to when they rape little boys?  When these God-fearing criminals are caught, I wonder if they blame God?

To those of you who will think me blasphemous, I don’t apologize.  I’m just a little fed up.  Sad, too.

Here is the story about Pastor Dale Richardson – this story is what prompted this post:

Preacher accused of raping women behind church – Members of the Freedom Free Will Baptist Church aren’t condemning pastor

20
Aug

mencken on my mind

I had Mencken on my mind today.  I read him today until my eyes stung.

Although I have not read very many of Henry Louis Mencken‘s books, essays or articles, I have read enough to appreciate his point of view.

He was a passionate enthusiast of the First Amendment, and rightfully so.  He spent a good part of his life writing for the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

He was and still is known as “a man of ideas,” since he frequently espoused ideas and ideals that could be considered controversial.

I found the following quote from Mencken especially interesting.  At first I looked at these words with the Casey Anthony trial in mind, since the Burden of Proof, liberty, and law is, seemingly, a part of his argument.

But Mencken is not referring to criminality.  What is he referring to here?  Is it prejudice, honesty and truth, or something else?

Writer H.L. Mencken. Photo credit: Wikipedia.com

I believe in liberty. And when I say liberty, I mean the thing in its widest imaginable sense — liberty up to the extreme limits of the feasible and tolerable.  I am against forbidding anybody to do anything, or say anything, or think anything so long as it is at all possible to imagine a habitable world in which he would be free to do, say, and think it. The burden of proof, as I see it, is always upon the policeman, which is to say, upon the lawmaker, the theologian, the right-thinker. He must prove his case doubly, triply, quadruply, and then he must start all over and prove it again. The eye through which I view him is watery and jaundiced. He is the enemy of everything I admire and respect in this world — of everything that makes it various and amusing and charming. He impedes every honest search for the truth. He stands against every sort of good-will and common decency. I am against him until the last galoot’s ashore.
H.L Mencken, 1923

Do you think Mencken hated law, law enforcement, clergy, or conservatism when you read this quote?  I’d love to hear what you think.

So, that’s it for me tonight.  I will write more about Mencken another day.  As for today, it’s “rest-up” day, which means reading, napping and a lot of thinking.

19
Aug

gotta dance!

Friday night with Elizabeth, getting her hair braided

Friday finally came!

I had an intense couple of weeks at work.  I have been in the classroom for the last two weeks, all day, training the newest University Call Center employees.

I took mom to her hairdresser tonight, and Toni, mom’s hairdresser, wanted to braid Elizabeth’s hair. It was adorable!

Elizabeth is still here, entertaining us, which is why this is such a quick post!

Okay, gotta run, Elizabeth is still up and asking me to dance!

 

18
Aug

giving grace, even to the anthony’s

They’re missing, murdered, abducted and sold.  Children all over the planet are victimized day in and day out.   Few victims are recovered alive, and that’s what is so desperately upsetting, unbearable for the families, and loved ones waiting and hoping for what must seem like forever.

Often it is forever.

Jennifer Kesse, missing since 1/24/06

Caylee Anthony was also a victim, but of murder.

Recently, Drew Kesse, father of the beautiful Jennifer Kesse, missing from Orlando Florida since January 24, 2006, lambasted George and Cindy Anthony in the press for their actions.

Kesse, responding to Hal Boedeker’s Orlando Sentinel Blog regarding the Anthony’s upcoming appearance on the Dr. Phil show, calling Dr. Phil “a pimp for this garbage,” referring to the Anthony’s.

Kesse was uber critical, writing that Caylee was never a missing child, she was a murdered child.  The Anthony’s, he said, should “Go away, go far away, please.”  He also wrote:

Let’s get one thing straight right now, Dr. Phil, you are a pimp for this garbage.  The Anthonys and this new foundation are the biggest insults to every missing person in America today. Dr. Phil, after the show airs and you make a donation to their new scam, have on real families of the missing.

Of course, it’s true that Caylee was never missing, and the Anthony’s are not, and have never been the picture of propriety or trust.  However, I don’t think it was necessary for Drew Kesse to so publicly beat on the Anthony’s.  The fact is, the Anthony’s lost the love of their life – Caylee was probably the only joy in their life.

And so, I think it is cruel to knock the Anthony’s down further than they already are.  What’s the point?  Who are the Anthony’s hurting?  Will our sympathy be less for missing children if George and Cindy bring attention to their plight?

It’s as if people think missing children will be thought of with some kind of disregard if the Anthony’s are involved in helping this cause.  How does that make sense?  What ever happened to the sentiment of “live and let live?”   What about “turn the other cheek?”  Or, do we only respect the sentiment of “an eye for an eye?”   God help us if we do.

It is never good, in my humble opinion, to attack another person, especially to make them suffer!  Why extend cruelty?  It’s one thing to criticize, quite another thing to attack and hate. The Anthony’s were always their own worst enemies, why make it worse?  They’ve done a pretty good job screwing up their own lives and don’t need our help.

The Anthony’s want to work for the cause of missing children.  And that is because, they wanted to believe Caylee was missing, they did not want to face the truth, even though I am certain they always knew the truth, of course they didn’t want to face it.

People do funny things when overtaken by the kind of grief they were faced with.   How would you react if your granddaughter was murdered by your only daughter? Granted, most of us are law-abiding and trusting that law enforcement will act with good faith, but the Anthony’s never trusted – they seemed to think they were above the law, which was tragic for them, in the end.

If I were in their shoes, I would surely be out of my mind with grief and would probably make many mistakes, too.  Many would.  Especially in the glare of the camera.

Isn’t it time to leave this family alone?  Sure, they are not honest; sure they lied on the witness stand; sure, they tampered with evidence, and yes, they did so many things that were on the verge of scandalous.    You know what their real crime is, in my opinion?  They are only human.

I have been terribly critical of the Anthony’s leading up to the trial of their daughter, Casey Anthony.  It is time to forgive and forget – time for me, anyway.

The Anthony’s undoing resulted because they put the spot light on themselves, and we saw an intense dysfunction that we couldn’t turn away from.  Seeing the Anthony’s mistakes and misdeeds reminded many of us that our lives were pretty sane in comparison.

That makes me think, there but for the grace of God go I.

17
Aug

Shark!!!

I hear the “Jaws” movie theme in my head as I write this.  Do you remember that threatening music?  Just before the shark is about to take a bite, that music plays and BAM! a poor swimmer gets gobbled up by the toothy monster-shark. oooooh!   The ocean scared me after I saw that movie!

The Great White Florida Bar, aka “JAWS” is hunting again!

Today, the Florida Bar reports it is investigating Jose Baez again!  This time the investigation is a result of Jose Baez, et al, not informing the Court of Casey Anthony serving probation while she was in jail.   (It is not known who filed this most recent Bar complaint.)

When the issue of probation was recently heard by Judge Belvin Perry, the defense claimed it was not its burden to inform the court of any error imposed by the Department of Corrections, or of the Court.  However, the defense KNEW there was an error, and ignored it.

This is akin to purposeful deception, I think.  Why are all lawyers associated with this defense team ethically challenged?

Judge Belvin Perry wrote a scathing response to Baez when he upheld Judge Stan Strickland’s order of probation.

In regards to the defense not informing the Court of the error, Perry wrote:

To additionally seek to use a scrivener’s error to achieve an end that was against the court’s intent, especially where both parties had argued the issue of when probation should commence, strikes at the very foundation of our justice system.

No attorney should conduct himself or herself in a way that impedes an order of the court. …Our system of justice should never be in the position of rewarding someone who willfully hides the ball.

I believe Judge Belvin Perry has had just about enough of this kind of bold disregard of the duties incumbent upon an officer of the court.

Jose Baez AND Perry Foghorn Leghorn Cheney Mason, too, crossed the edge of propriety on so many occasions before, during, and now after the trial.  Too many occasions to list.

Perry said:

The defense should not be able to claim that they are now harmed by having the Defendant serve probation at this time.

This would allow a defendant to take advantage of a scrivener’s error and be rewarded. This is not the message the courts want to send to the public or defendants.

In an interesting coincidence, the defense today entered an emergency motion to have the probation, scheduled to begin August 26th, vacated by a higher court.

I predict, while the motion is considered by the higher court, Casey Anthony will have to begin her probation. When the higher court considers the motion, it will deny it, I believe.

Unfortunately, I think Jose Baez will not even be slapped on the wrist by this most recent Bar complaint.  I hope I am wrong.

More news tomorrow….

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