Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What Happened to My Vacation?

I'm taking the evening off from blogging; I'm worn out.  After a solid week off from work (Thanksgiving break), it took less than two days to wear me down again.  It's not my job so much but more of a "not enough hours in the day" thing.  I'm back to running 12 solid hours every day and by the time I get home, this week anyway, I just want to collapse. 

Yesterday after school I had to take mom to the eye doctor; today I had a meeting at 7, one at 7:35; classes until 2:15 where I'm trying to convey the excitement of Julius Caesar to sophomores, then back out to get mom's glasses, back across town to the pharmacy (where only one of two prescriptions for mom was ready); this required a forever wait in line.  Then into another forever line to pay for dinner groceries.  From there, to mom's to drop off the glasses and meds - and thank goodness for my brother who is living there now and tending to her meals and household chores. 

Tomorrow, another meeting - this one from 8 to 9 (no planning block for me tomorrow!), classes all day, then mom's errands (cigarettes, pharmacy, grocery store, liquor store), then finally home again to fix dinner.  I mean, I work 8.5 hours every day just like everyone else, and I know everyone is over scheduled, but dang!  I'm worn out!

So.  Instead of my bitchin' and bloggin', I'm going to refer you to this over at The Dead Pelican about Bobby Jindal's plummeting popularity.

Or maybe you'd like to know what Professor Jacobson thinks about "trolls."

But don't miss The Other McCain's post on nutjob Keith Olbermann.

And don't miss Jennifer Rubin's farewell at Commentary and do check out her new digs at The Washington Post.

Somebody go poke Bride of Rove; I don't like it when she's quiet.  She's still kicking around in the comments so I know she's there....

And when you finish with all THAT, go shopping!  And thank you so much to those of you that have already been shopping!  You ROCK  (this makes it all better)!

Joe Scarborough Has Palin Derangement Syndrome

Joe Scarborough's Palin Derangement Syndrome is showing:

What man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a résumé as thin as Palin’s would flirt with a presidential run?

Uhm.....Obama, maybe?  

Pundette and The Anchoress have both noted that it might be a good time for Sarah Palin to draw back a little; she's everywhere.  I'm with them.  While I like a scrapper and someone who fights back, defends themselves, and the country, I'm weary of Palin's Twitter, Facebook and Fox News snipes.  I know I'm going to draw fire from my conservative friends, but the over exposure is real.  I'd even venture to say that it's not "presidential" to be sniping at everyone all the time.

Now, that said, Scarborough represents the other side of the coin. Scarborough misstates Palin's actions and intentions.  He says she is "charging ahead manically" with her potential run and says she adds "audacity to this dopey dream...." .  Now, when did the "dream" of becoming president become "dopey?"  Only when you're Palin. 

Scarborough says Palin "mocked" President Reagan's credentials but this misrepresents what she said.  She said that others dismissed Reagan as "only an actor."  Palin wasn't dismissing him.  It's true that Palin did take some shots at the Bush's this week, but Scarborough loses this point when cloaking in the falsehood of the first one.

Palin is polarizing - there's no question about that.  You love her or you hate her.  But if she's going to be out there, let's have an honest discussion about her qualifications and positions and stop characterizing her as "maniacal," "dopey," and "audacious." 

We aren't talking about other candidates that way; why Palin?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Enemy of the Country

All I can say about the WikiLeaks document drop is where is Julian Assange getting this information?

This just enrages me that this Julian Assange has not been captured, extradited to the United States and prosecuted, but maybe things don't work like that.  It's horrendous enough that he's publishing these documents, but I want to know where he's getting them.

Professor Jacobson wrote the best post I've seen on our government's seeming lack of response:

Have we lost our minds?  Wikileaks is about hurting us, bringing us down, damaging our relations with others, rendering us impotent.  This is not about open government policy, as if Wikileaks went a bit too far on its class project.

Julian Assange should have been indicted by now, and if the law did not allow more punitive measures in this circumstance, then the law should have been changed after the first document dump.  Assange is an enemy of our country and should be treated as such.

And as far as I'm concerned, the New York Times, is absolutely contemptible for publishing them.  Oh, I know that the foreign papers would publish them anyway, but ...If I'm in charge of the NYT?  Would. Not.Get.Published.

John at Powerline says:

Do the diplomatic cables "relate to the national defense"? Some of them certainly seem to. So a criminal prosecution of those involved in the leaks who are within federal jurisdiction (e.g., the New York Times) may be possible. Scott has studied these issues more closely than I have and may have more to say on the subject.  The Times explained its rationale for publishing the leaked cables here. The paper's most persuasive argument is that a number of foreign newspapers also have the documents and are sure to publish them, so the Times might as well join in.

(Insert unprintable expletive here).   As far as I'm concerned, this is an act of war. Prosecute Assange.  Find out the source of the documents leak and prosecute.  End this.

(More at Memeorandum)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyber Monday Shopping

Seventeen percent of Americans are planning to do their shopping online this year on Cyber Monday.  Just in time for your Cyber Monday shopping, I've set up (finally) my Amazon shop

It's heavy on books, of course, and all of the books in my Amazon shop are books I've read and actually recommend or books I'm currently reading (and still recommend). 

I've included some favorite DVDs, household things, a Christmas section, and in honor of my beloved Checkers, a Boston Terrier section.  There's a link to the shop on the sidebar.

Pop on over and peruse the goodies, and by all means, get your Christmas shopping done and help this little blogger at the same time! 

LSU Mr. Potato Head

The perfect gift for that LSU fan in your life:

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: The Get Christmas Started Edition

This weekend's FMJRA was delayed because I set out yesterday in search of the annual Christmas tree and then proceeded to decorate the thing.  Hope it's still alive at Christmas...it usually is, but not for long after that!

Today will be filled with pretending that I don't have to go back to work tomorrow (after a week off!) and with baking the annual fruitcake cookies.  I should have done this last week and they should be steeping in good bourbon already, but I'm a procrastinator.  Even if you don't like fruitcake, you'd love these cookies.  They're perfect bits of sugar, cinnamon, allspice, bourbon, and pecan.  Can't be beat!

Tomorrow is cyber Monday so help your blog buddies by hitting their Amazon stores or shopping links.  Amazon is having some great deals tomorrow and this is a great way for you to get your shopping done and help this blog at the same time.  Plus, I've opened an Amazon Store.  The shelves are a little bare right now, but when I fill it up I'll repost.  There's a link to the store over there in the sidebar.

Some links now, because I have cookies to bake:

The Daley Gator has another TSA fiasco (and a little outrage to go with it.)

Donald Douglas posts thoughts on plagiarism.

The Other McCain snaps back at Krauthammer on the topic of Palin while Legal Insurrection discusses Palin Derangement Syndome and the liberals obsession with her.  Yankee Phil has the proof.  Fishersville Mike responds to the question, "too much Sarah?"

Doug Ross has a report of executions of civilians by Hamas in Gaza.

Pirate's Cove has his linkfest up while Reaganite Republican has posted his Sunday Funnies.

Pundette is also trying to help out your cyber Monday shopping.

No Sheeples Here notes Obama's lack of engagement.

Adrienne has a great post on Medicare that hits close to home.

Wyblog posts on the seizure of domain names.

Bob Belvedere is celebrating Rule 5 with Raquel Welch.

Mind Numbed Robot has some WTF moments.

Okay folks.  I've got cookies to bake and then head over to my mom's to see what's shakin' over there.  Oh and about 45 research papers still in my car need to be graded by tomorrow.  Yeah.  That's going to happen.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Now for the Christmas Movies

Now that you're all through with the Black Friday rush, it's time to settle in for some Christmas classics and get in the spirit.  Some of my favorites:

What's your favorite Christmas movie?

Black Friday at And So it Goes in Shreveport

I'm totally stealing this idea from Ann Althouse, who wrote:

Okay, I can help you and you can help me. I write for you every day, and you don't have to give me anything. But if you're shopping anyway, a cut of the price you would pay anyway will go to me if you use the links below...

Now that's a nice idea.  You can do your shopping from the comfort of your computer and you can help me out at the same time!  And if you want to help Althouse out, you can go over there and click on her favorite things and help her out, too!  Plus, you can use the Amazon search box in the sidebar to find whatever you want.

The book I'm reading right now.

The book Steve is reading right now.

What I wish Santa would bring me.

The book I just finished and could not put down.

The phone I wish I had now, but have to wait until March for an upgrade.

The last artist we saw exhibited at the Norton; twas awesome!

Our favorite cheese.

The latest addition to my son's Nutcracker collection.

My favorite socks.

Even nicer socks.

Excellent accessory for Mardi Gras.

The worst show on television but Steve loves it anyway.

One of my two favorite miniseries.

My other favorite miniseries.

What I truly need for next summer.

I can't make myself use this but I know people that love them.

Cheap, fun, creative....I wish I'd thought of this.

My favorite meal.

Would these glasses take up more storage space in my cabinets?

My favorite artist.

Heavenly smells.

What my teenager wants for Christmas.  And this.

The greatest guitarist EVER.

I'm addicted to the Godiva chocolate bars with Gingerbread truffle they are selling in Barnes & Noble, but I'd eat this, too.

What I eat for breakfast.   Seriously.  Topped off with this.

Don't forget the puppies when you do your shopping.  My dogs would go crazy for these.

My dogs love this.

We have these comfy down throws in nearly every room in various colors.

When snuggled under that down throw, you'll need a good book.  Some I liked?  The Stieg Larsson trilogy was fabulous; some new Stephen King might be what you need, or maybe a biography.

I almost never wear perfume, but when I do, this is it.


My favorite holiday cookbook.

A lovely coffee table book.

Steve would like this.

And I love to get these!

Again, thanks to Althouse for this idea; check her list out too, and get shopping!

Are You Out Shopping?

It's Black Friday:  are you shopping?

I'm not.  I've long been an internet shopper for the most part.  I hate crowds, I hate crowded parking lots, and I especially hate the way people drive during the holiday season.  I'm much happier in the comfort of my own house on days like today!

Look at these people lined up outside of Target last night in Shreveport!

That said, though, I'm watching the Black Friday coverage with the curiosity of one who watches a train wreck.  I sort of understand why people like to get out there and do it; for some, it gets them in the Christmas spirit.  Some like the challenge of a "good deal" (are they REALLY that good?).  I saw one guy on the local news last night who was camped out in front of Best Buy in the rain, in a tent, and said he loved Black Friday so much that he'd probably come camp out even if he wasn't going to buy anything.  Now that's taking it a little too far, I think.

So, tell me.  Are you shopping today?  Have you gotten any REALLY great deals? 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Happy Thanksgiving one and all!  I'm a purist when it comes to holidays; that is, one holiday at a time.  There is no hint of Christmas at my house yet.  In fact, I'll hardly even discuss Christmas until Thanksgiving is over.  Why rush it?

I'm thankful for a lot of things this year.  My teenager graduated from high school and started college; Steve and I got married (finally, after 8 years) in April.  My mom fell off her porch but rehabbed herself back to some degree of good health.  My family is happy, healthy and for the most part, doing just fine. 

As I'm thankful for my good blessings, I'm also sad for those I know and love who have had a terrible year and lost loved ones;  there are too many this year.  I'm remembering each of those families in my prayers this Thanksgiving as I know there will be an empty place at too many tables this year. 

I hope you and yours are safe and well and have a happy holiday.  I'd tell you not to eat too much but that would spoil all the fun of the day!

Is Bobby Jindal Having a Toga Party?

Jim Brown is not happy with Governor Bobby Jindal who is currently traveling the country on a book tour:

When the election season came to an end in early November, many expected Jindal to come home and face his gubernatorial responsibilities.  After all, the state is facing a monumental deficit that now approaches $2 billion for the coming fiscal year.  Education at all levels is on the chopping block with universities facing major cutbacks requiring wholesale layoffs to make up the shortfall.  The state health delivery system is mired in controversy as the medical community raises troubling questions of how indigent healthcare needs will be met and paid for. Time for the Governor to come back home and take control...

...Remember the scene in “Animal House when the Delta Tau Chi fraternity is close to being kicked off campus for various shenanigans?  The members turn to John Belushi for advice. What does he propose?  Toga Party!  So we have Louisiana facing major financial and governmental service problems that continue to grow with no rational solution in site.  And what does the Governor propose?  Book Tour!

Read the whole thing.

Stephanie Grace at NOLA isn't particularly impressed with the book, for that matter:

Don't read it for a serious exploration of policy. With few exceptions, Jindal sticks close to well-trod Republican talking points on limited government, freedom and the like. "We don't need so many czars in the White House!" he exclaims at one point. And don't read the book to glean insight into Louisiana's political scene. Major episodes from Jindal's tenure earn only glancing mention. Even when he delves into a topic like ethics, he skips over major controversies such as the fight over whether his own official records should be public. 

Jeff Crouere at Bayou Buzz thinks it might be time to expose Jindal's part-time governorship philosophy:

Clearly, he does not have to resign, like Sarah Palin, because he is only a part-time Governor anyway. With all of his exposure on national television and profits from the new book, the Governor can have the best of both worlds by keeping his position and cashing in on his national profile. So, he is having his cake and eating it too. But, in the process, he is saying “let them eat cake” to the struggling people of Louisiana.

As he prepares for the re-election campaign, there are no challengers on the horizon for Jindal, so he will probably win re-election. But a real question demands an answer; does he deserve a second term? What are Jindal’s real accomplishments? Why are the national media and the Republican Party touting his so-called credentials? Maybe it is time to expose this emperor with no clothes.

The problems in Louisiana are looming.  Where is Bobby?

(H/T:  The Dead Pelican)

What Has Happened to Common Sense in America?

I'm not sure what it is, but there's got to be a better way than what we're experiencing with the TSA security issues right now.  It's got everyone on edge from the travelers to the TSA workers themselves.

Even the TSA hates it:
'It is not comfortable to come to work knowing full well that my hands will be feeling another man’s private parts, their butt, their inner thigh,' one told the BoardingArea blog. 'Even worse is having to try and feel inside the flab rolls of obese passengers and we seem to get a lot of obese passengers!'  Another said he had a huge problem dealing with a 'large number of passengers... daily that have a problem understanding what personal hygiene is.'
One TSA agent said in the same article that a passenger accused him of "liking" the groping or else he would work for the TSA.
Of course the TSA doesn't like what they're being required to do.  

Marc Thiessen wrote a common sense piece yesterday:

In the coming days, millions of Americans will travel to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. May I pose a novel idea? As we go through the airport screening line, let’s stop and say “thanks” to the men and women of the TSA who give up time with their families during the holidays to keep us safe from terror.

In the past few weeks, these patriots have been compared with Big Brother and accused of sexual assault. They’ve suffered the same kinds of public indignities the Left has heaped on the men and women of the CIA — being accused of engaging un-American and unlawful behavior for doing the difficult and unpleasant work of protecting the country. They deserve better.
It all brings us back to the issue of profiling which actually goes further than just looking at a person and saying, "Hmmmm, that person looks like a terrorist."  Profiling also includes, as Bobby Jindal said Sunday, using the information we have.  Look for the patterns.  But, as Thiessen points out, that's not the only way to go:

Some say we should use profiling instead. Profiling should absolutely be a key part of our layered defenses against terrorist attack. But profiling alone is insufficient, and is not as easy as it may seem. Just as the terrorists adapt their tactics to get around our screening procedures, they will adapt to get around profiling. We know this because Khalid Shiekh Mohammed told us so. 

Our approach to airport security needs to employ some common sense, not just from the TSA, but from travelers, too.  At the very least, it helps nothing to heap abuse on the TSA any more than it helps to heap abuse on a police officer on the street who is just doing his job.

Just remember 9/11 and how indignant and furious you were that day when we were attacked.  Remember last Christmas when you were furious that a terrorist walked onto a plane with a bomb in his underwear.  Complacency will surely lead to another attack.

I don't know a whole lot about El Air, but it seems they do a pretty good job.  We've got to find a better, more common sense approach than degrading Americans OR vilifying the TSA. 

(H/T:  Memeorandum)

Do You Think They Can Tell I'm Conservative?

Yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble and bought these:

Do you think they can tell I'm conservative?

While I was in there I was looking again at the Laura Hillenbrand book, Unbroken, about Louis Zamperini.  I've been reading Zamperini's own account of his life and have NOT been able to put it down.  As I was looking at the Hillenbrand book, there was an older gentleman looking at it too and he asked me if I knew anything about it.  He'd enjoyed Seabiscuit and thought he might like to read another book by Hillenbrand.  I told him I was reading Zamerini's own account first and then might come back to Hillenbrand's. 

He was unfamiliar with Zamperini and so I told him about Louis getting shot down over the Pacific in 1943, drifting over 40 days in a raft over a distance of 2,000 miles until he and his comrade were captured, then spending two years in a Japanese POW camp, tortured, starved and humiliated.  The book goes on to describe his life after he returns, but I'm not that far yet.

Anyway, I showed the man the book I'm reading and he thanked me and said he was going to do the same thing. 

The book, Devil on My Heels, reminds me a lot of the two books by Eugene Sledge, except Sledge was not a POW.  What I mean is that their writing style is similar: conversational, easy, not filled with technical jargon or acronyms that a non-military person would have trouble deciphering.  If you haven't read these, run post haste to Amazon or your local book store and pick them up:

I'm also just over halfway through with Decision Points.  It's also been very interesting reading.  Right now I'm beginning the chapter on Afghanistan.  I've just finished the chapter where Bush defends his choice of enhanced interrogation.  I've always been on his side on that one.  I was really interested in the chapter entitled Stem Cells because that's not an issue I followed very closely and didn't know a whole lot about.  I'd recommend this one to both sides of the aisle, just as a matter of policy.  I'd also recommend Laura's book, which I'd just finished when I started his.  Read together, they give you a pretty full picture of the Bush presidency:

Seriously.  If Barnes and Noble ever cared to track the politics of their customers, I'd be pretty easy to peg.