Saturday, September 20, 2008

Great Day!

Our son, Scott came last night and we had a very good day together. This afternoon, we went to our daughter's home so he could see the progress of their new home. He had never been out there to see it. It is coming right along and she gave us the grand tour today. We visited most of the afternoon and then this evening we all met at the Tavern on the Plaza and had dinner. We all had a good visit this evening. Scott was exhausted and went to bed early. He has a hard time sleeping. Actually, he gets to sleep alright he just can't seem to stay asleep.

He will get up tomorrow early and go to Tulsa to meet a friend there. Then from there, he will go back home to Fort Leonard Wood. We are swamped on the weekends in October. The first weekend is the Peace Colloquy, the second weekend is Bob's 60th class reunion and the third weekend is my 55th class reunion. The 4th weekend is Jeff and Cyndi's wedding. So there are no free weekends in October.

It will be November before we will have him home for a weekend again.

But this was a good weekend. We have some great kids. Keith, the oldest is what we call a teddy bear....a great guy. Leslie is the very stable and likable girl in the middle and Scott is Mr. Personality. There we all are five years ago.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Nation: The List of Ten Myths

Myth 1. It's a dangerous world. We face an array of serious national security threats that require an experienced Commander in Chief.

Myth 2. The surge has worked. To withdraw from Iraq now would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and embolden Islamic extremists.

Myth 3. We cannot allow Afghanistan to become a safe haven for terrorists. We therefore must redouble our military efforts there or face another terrorist attack.

Myth 4. Iran is responsible for much of the violence against US forces in Iraq; by using its proxies in Lebanon and Gaza, it threatens to dominate the Middle East.

Myth 5. To talk to the leaders of "rogue" states like Iran and Cuba without conditions legitimizes their position and weakens American leverage.

Myth 6. Vladimir Putin's Russia is an authoritarian state pursuing an anti-American agenda aimed at reconstituting the Soviet Union in the form of a new Russian empire.

Myth 7. Because the American military is stretched thin by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must increase the size of our conventional armed forces.

Myth 8. A League of Democracies would create a global coalition for peace and freedom and would enable the United States and its democratic allies to intervene to solve humanitarian and other crises when the UN Security Council is paralyzed.

Myth 9. Globalization has strengthened the economy, and we cannot avoid it by hiding behind protectionist walls.

Myth 10. The world needs American leadership.

Read the entire article at this link.

The Nation

Aerial Wolf Shooting

Have you ever heard of aerial hunting? It's a brutal practice. Wolves are shot from low-flying aircraft or chased to exhaustion, then killed at point-blank range.

Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for Vice President, promotes this barbaric practice, exploiting a loophole in the Federal Airborne Hunting Act to allow private wolf killers to shoot down wolves using aircraft. To encourage the killing, she even proposed a $150 bounty for the left foreleg of each dead wolf!

We have to get the word out about this! Please watch this powerful new television ad by Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, and then share it with every wildlife lover you know:

The Latest Polls (Zogby is supposed to be the best)

Method Obama McCain
Latest Poll Per State 261 249
Poll of Polls 273 265
Survey USA 159 278
Rasmussen Reports 228 259
Quinnipiac 131 51
CNN 121 59
American Research Group 86 203
Insider Advantage 16 112
Research 2000 42 95
Zogby 335 131
National Average 45.5% 44.0%
Weighted Nat'l Avg 45.7% 46.4%

White Privilege

A Friend sent me this and I thought I would share it.

For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at 17 like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-size colleges, and then governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. senator, two-term state senator and constitutional law scholar means you're "untested."

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office -- since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s -- while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school, requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do -- like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the eight-hour workday, or an end to child labor -- and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small-town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college -- you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women and made them give your party a "second look."

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the United States is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just a good churchgoing Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then having people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim that your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it, a "light" burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising and the United States is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.

And, as I have said in the past, if Obama loses this election it will be because this is still a racist country whose citizens cannot tolerate the thought of a black president. Those folks would rather have an ignorant president.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Quieter Day

I was ready for a quieter day. We went to Independence this morning to get my hair done. Then we went to Sedan and took our daughter to lunch. This evening I go for my interview. That should be interesting. There are twelve candidates and I am probably the most critical candidate so I will be amazed if I am appointed.

Tomorrow I will do the eulogy for my friend's daughter Christi's funeral. So it will be back to Independence tomorrow. The funeral will be held at 1:00 so we will go up about 11:30 so I can meet with the family around 12:15.

This is a picture of Christi.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The List of Books

I was browsing a blog and found this list of books. I grabbed the list. Here are the details. Look at the list and bold those you have read. These instructions were on the original site.
It's been a fun exercise in literature and brought back a lot of memories.

2) Italicize those you intend to read.

3) Underline the books you really love (and strike through the ones you hate!). I couldn't figure out how to underline or strike through in these blogs.

4) Reprint this list in your own blog.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling ( read just first one)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (read half)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Of course this is just one list and covers only some of what I have read, but it would be fun to see what others have read and what they recommend out of this list.

P.S. Forgot to mention earlier - just copy this on your blog and let me know so that I can find out what you have read :)

I would have had a completely different list of read books.

A Trip to Bartlesville

We went to Bartlesville early this morning for Bob's appointment with the eye, ear, nose and throat specialist. He checked out well. His hearing is still able to be improved with hearing aids and, of course, he wears hearing aids. So the audiologist who works there cleaned up his hearing aids and tested his hearing and said he should have his hearing aid specialist turn up the treble end of the scale a little. She sent him back with a copy of her report.

After we left there, we went to the mall where he bought a new pair of jeans and a belt. He has lots of jeans but most of them are 34X30's in relaxed fit and he now wears 33X30's in Levi 505's regular fit. He has lost about fifteen pounds the past two or three years. I should have such a problem.

We stopped for lunch at Caney and then we went to the Optometrist there for my new contact. I want to be able to read without cheater glasses. I have a new trial lens so we'll see how that goes.

Then we came on home so Bob could get his nap and later on this afternoon, mow the yard. I will go wash the car after awhile. It needs it badly after all the rain we have had the past couple of weeks.

We have no other plans for today. Tomorrow is another busy day though.

I had moved my hair appointment to Thursday since Bob had these appointments in Bartlesville Tuesday and Wednesday. After I get my hair done, we may go over to Sedan to take our daughter out to lunch. Then tomorrow evening I have an interview. Twelve of us have applied for the city commission vacancy. I probably won't get it but I certainly won't if I don't try.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From The Nation: Questions for the Candidates

• The business-financial establishment and leading corporate-financed think tanks are leading a major lobbying campaign to cut people's benefits from Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Will you promise to oppose these efforts?

• The United States is hemorrhaging debt from its trade deficits - $700 billion a year - what is your plan to stop the bleeding?

• We're losing jobs at an increasing rate. States and cities are gearing up for deep cuts in construction, schools, and health care. The Federal Reserve has committed over $500 billion to backstop banks and investment houses, and the Treasury has just guaranteed 5 trillion in loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. What is your plan to help kick start the real economy?

• Do you agree with Defense Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs, who insist that the Pentagon budget must grow?

• Why would you promote NATO expansion as a security building policy considering that had Georgia been a member of NATO when it launched its attack on Southern Ossetia, under the Treaty's Article Five guarantee the US would now be at war with Russia?

• The US has the highest childhood poverty rate of any industrialized nation with 20 percent of children under age 6 living in poor families, costing about $500 billion dollars per year to the US economy, or 4 percent of GDP. What is your plan to reduce childhood poverty during your administration?

• According to the New York Times, in 1995 Senator McCain promoted a moratorium on federal regulations of all kinds, saying that excessive regulations were "destroying the American family, the American dream." Does the Senator still feel that way? And what kind of regulatory architecture is needed to prevent the fraudulent gimmicks that led to our current financial crisis?

The View Interview

Speaking on “The View,” an ABC show popular with women, Sen. John McCain told a feisty pair of female interviewers that his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, had not asked the Alaska congressional delegation for special appropriations for her state.

“Not as governor she didn’t,” McCain said.

In fact, Gov. Palin had asked for about $200 million in “earmarks,” or about $300 for every man, woman and child in Alaska. Her request was the highest per capita request in the nation.

Now, asking for federal money for special projects is one of the things governors, representatives and senators do routinely — unless their name is John McCain. He doesn’t ask for earmarks for Arizona because he has long crusaded against the practice. He has carried the crusade into his presidential campaign and has promised, if elected, to veto any bill containing earmarks.

(Earmarks are targeted by reformers because they are appropriations that are tacked onto legislation just as it is to be voted on and thus are not subjected to consideration in committee and often become law without any floor debate, as well.)

Because he rarely makes a political speech without repeating that pledge, it is astounding that he was unaware that Palin not only was the first mayor of Wasilla to hire a lobbyist in Washington to get federal handouts for her hometown, but also jumped right on the earmark express when she was elected governor a couple of years ago.

What this probably means is that McCain didn’t do his homework on Palin. He had only spent 15 minutes with her before he called her to his Arizona ranch a few weeks ago and asked her to be his running mate. Apparently the subject of earmarks didn’t come up.

The other, less charitable explanation is that McCain knew Palin had her hand out for federal money but forgot when he got before the camera: short-term memory loss.

Palin, herself, has been having problems explaining her attitude toward federal grants for Alaska. Over and over again she has said that she turned down $395 million for the infamous bridge to nowhere, with a “thanks, but no thanks.”

The facts are that she campaigned for the bridge when she ran for governor in 2006, rejecting it only after Congress had killed the project because it had been so roundly ridiculed — and then took the money and used it for other projects. Her reversal on the bridge didn’t save the federal government a nickle.

In both of these cases, getting federal money for Alaska isn’t the issue. Every state gets federal dollars every year. Many states get earmarks. Those states with senior senators and representatives who have risen to powerful positions in Congress get the most. When the Kansas delegation in Washington included Senate President Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum, along with veteran congressmen like Pat Roberts who chaired the powerful Agricultural Committee, it did very well.

We’re not talking federal dollars; honesty is the subject at hand.

As much as Palin now wants to embrace McCain’s anti-earmark plank, she shouldn’t falsify her record. As much as McCain wants his running mate to be just like he is, he shouldn’t ignore what actually happened.

When these false statements were brought to the attention of a member of McCain’s staff, he said that the public would focus on “larger truths,” such as the fact that Palin is a woman, is a fresh, pretty face and a reformer. When those “larger truths” are taken into consideration, he said, those smaller untruths fade into insignificance.

Translation: forget the issues, forget the truth; pay attention to those sparkling personalities on the platform (and behind the curtain). They’re all that really matters — until after the inauguration.

From the Iola Register

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Judy from Living On The Other Side of the Hill.

I'm supposed to answer these questions and then tag three other people.

1) Where was I - 10 years ago?
2) What's on my 'to do' list for today ?
3) What if I were a Billionaire ?
4) Places I have lived ?
5) Bad Habits ?
6) Snacks I like ?

Let's see, where was I ten years ago? I was living here in Coffeyville in 1998. I had just retired from my job at the Good News paper the year before and was doing some recruiting for my daughter, who at that time was a manager for the Prudential Life Insurance Company. It was a one year contract and I was ready for it to be over so I could enjoy my retirement.

What's on my "to do" list today? I am taking Bob to Bartlesville to the dermatologist. He has a couple of suspicious looking places on his on his right arm and one on the side of his head just under his ear. I suspect they are squamous cell carcinoma but only a biopsy can tell for sure. Then we will do some "shopping" before we come home. He is wanting to look for a pair of wheat colored jeans. He only has twelve or so pair of jeans...but what the heck!

What if I were a Billionaire? First I would pay off this house. We have no other debt. I would replenish our retirement funds so we wouldn't outlive them. I would get cocular implants for Bob so he could hear again. Then I would pay off all my children's debts and give them each a million dollars. Then I would give at least a million to my church. Then I would set up a foundation to help my community beautify the downtown area and resurface the streets. I would do matching grants to any one in the community that wanted to beautify their home and yard. If they would do the work, I would pay the bill for the materials.

Places I have lived? I have lived here in Coffeyville where I was born. Then our family moved to Bellflower, California when I was eight. Back to Coffeyville after less then a year of homesickness, after we married, Bob and I moved to San Antonio, Texas for him to finish out his Air Force enlistment , then back to Coffeyville for a year, then he went to work at Phillips Petroleum Company and we moved to Bartlesville, Oklahoma where we lived sixteen years, then we moved to Caney, Kansas for eleven years before we moved back to Coffeyville when I went to work at the radio station here in 1981. We moved briefly to Independence, Kansas in 2000 and left there to come back here in 2003.....and we've been here ever since.

Bad habits? I talk too much.

Snacks I like? I like ice cream.

That's about it. I am going to tag Nicholas (or Sansego), Clara at Clara's Corner, and Junie and Junie's Place.

They can copy the list from my page and answer the questions on their blogs and then tag three other people. It's fun being tagged because it makes you think back.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Beautiful Sunday

It was a lovely day today but a full one. We went to church this morning and while there, learned one of the children wanted to be baptized. So we have planned a service for November 9th. That meant some juggling of the proposed schedule I had just recently completed but it could be done so we did it. We will have a full house that day so we will plan a basket dinner that day too after the services.

We have been growing lately. We have added a family of six and one of two and another single to our rolls. It's slow growth but slow growth is usually more stable.

After church, we took our son-in-law and daughter to Garfield's in Bartlesville to dinner as planned to celebrate his 54th birthday. We had a very good meal and they made the usual fuss over him.

I came home and started working on the revised schedule and the service. I e-mailed the worship commission and they will plan the service.

Later we went to our "Living the Questions" group and had a chili supper and wonderful dessert. We also had some wonderful fellowship. We are going to try to start another spinoff group. This one is up to thirteen now and eight is the best number for a small group.

The women from another small meditation group are going to Independence tomorrow afternoon to see the movie "The Women". I have been invited to go with them. I think that would be good for me. This next week is going to be a bear.