Happy New Year.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Happy New Year.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
and time for all things;
a time for great things,
and a time for small things.
-Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Don Quixote, Part ii. Chap. xxxv
Thank you, Father, for Thy blessings, great and small. And for those with whom I share Your heavenly bounty. Thank you for my time among Your children, and may You keep them in Your sight forever and ever. Amen.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
The purpose of laws is to prevent the strong from always having their way.
He who would not be idle, let him fall in love.
Love is a thing that is full of cares and fears.
The wit of man has devised cruel statutes,
And nature oft permits what is by law forbid.
Passion persuades me one way, reason another.
I see the better and approve it, but I follow the worse.
She who resists as though she would not win,
By her own treason falls an easy prey.
If it never be unbent,
will lose its power.
Though strength be wanting,
the will to action
What we call birth
Is but a beginning to be something else
Than what we were before;
and when we cease
To be that something,
then we call it death.
When worse may yet befall, there’s room for prayer,
But when our fortune’s at its lowest ebb,
We trample fear beneath our feet, and live
Without a fear of evil yet to come.
Let others seek safety.
Nothing is safer than misfortune,
Where there’s no fear of greater ill to come.
Jove send me more such afternoons as this.
"Nobility lies in the man, my prince, not in the towel. "
-Richard Burton as Thomas a Beckett
Good show, counselors.
Bloody good show.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
You gotta wake right up in your dreams
You gotta jump, wheel and drive
Keep that feeling alive
You gotta kick, holler and shout
I'm gonna tell you what it's all about
You gotta tell me that you love me
Tell me that you're mine
We're putting on the dog tonight
We're putting on the dog tonight
We'll be p...putting on the dog tonight
Putting on, putting on the dog tonight
We'll be putting on the dog tonight
We'll be putting on the dog tonight
Putting on the dog
Putting on the dog
Hi folks! It's me, Fenway, the Official Black Dog of the Virginia Chapter of Insane Red Sox Fans. I was born back in April, just about the time the first pitch was thrown out on this glorious season. The first thing my owner did was hang a Red Sox collar around my neck and name me after a hot dog. I repaid the favor by chewing the visor off of his favorite Boston cap. Yeah, I'm Red Sox inside and out. When you think about it, for almost my entire life the Red Sox have led the league. Am I a lucky dog or what?
And unlike some other people my owner knows, I've ALWAYS been a Red Sox fan.
LET'S GO RED SOX!!!
LET'S GO RED SOX!!!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
In the Continental Congress, Philadelphia, October 13, 1775:
That a Committee of three be appointed to prepare an estimate of the expence, and lay the same before the Congress, and to contract with proper persons to fit out the vessel.
Resolved, that another vessel be fitted out for the same purposes, and that the said committee report their opinion of a proper vessel, and also an estimate of the expence."
May God bless and protect all who sail for Her.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Oh, my little soldier boy
I'll be true to you
You were my first love
And you'll be my last love
I will never make you blue
I'll be true to you
In the whole world
You can love but one girl
Let me be that one girl
For I'll be true to you
Wherever you go
My heart will follow
I love you so
I'll be true to you
Take my love with you
To any port or foreign shore
Darling you must feel for sure
I'll be true to you
Oh, my little soldier boy
I'll be true to you.
The Shirelles - 1962
I'll be true to you.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Memento etiam, Domine, famulorum famularumque tuarum qui nos praecesserunt cum signo fidei et dormiunt in somno pacis. Ipsis, Domine, et omnibus in Christo quiescentibus, locum refrigerii, lucis et pacis, ut indulgeas, deprecamur. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen."
Friday, August 24, 2007
It was back in the early eighties, at the height of the boat people. And the sailor was hard at work on the carrier Midway, which was patrolling the South China Sea. The sailor, like most American servicemen, was young, smart, and fiercely observant. The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat. And crammed inside were refugees from Indochina hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship and safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck, and stood up, and called out to him. He yelled, 'Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man.'
A small moment with a big meaning, a moment the sailor, who wrote it in a letter, couldn't get out of his mind. And, when I saw it, neither could I. (President Ronald Reagan's farewell speech from the Oval Office on January 11, 1989.)
It took but only a few Google searches to realize that my "feel good" video byte, courtesy of late night cable, had a dark underside that didn't paint a pretty picture for Iraqis working with the U.S. government.
I am the widow of Steven Vincent, the freelance journalist who was kidnapped and murdered in Basra, Iraq on August 2, 2005. Two days prior to his death, Steven had an op-ed piece published in the New York Times in which he broke the story of how the Iraqi police force was being systematically infiltrated by Iranian-backed fundamentalists and Shiite militiamen loyal to Moqtada al-Sadr rather than to the central government. He also wrote of the "death squads" that roamed Basra in police cars and trucks filled with uniformed men who snatched their victims off the streets and murdered them with utter impunity. When one of those vehicles came for him in broad daylight, his translator, fixer and friend Nour al-Khal bravely stood by him as five men in police uniforms descended on them and wrestled Steven into the truck to take him to his death. From what I was later told by the FBI, the thugs who targeted my husband had no interest whatsoever in Nour; they repeatedly pushed her away, telling her to leave. But she would not abandon Steven; she kept inserting herself into the struggle until they took her as well. She had no idea what her kidnappers planned to do, where they would be taken, what, ultimately, the end would be. For all she knew she was going to her death, yet she did not hesitate for a moment, this tiny, 5-foot-tall woman, to try and protect the man who had hired her to be his guide.
She and Vincent were gagged, beaten, thrown in the back of a truck, driven to the outskirts of town, set free, told to run - and shot from behind. Steven was hit at close range and in a final act of God's mercy died instantly; Nour, who had been let go first, was farther from the truck, so even though she was shot in the back three times, she survived.
But Nour's nightmare was not over. Hardly. Rescued by the "good police" she was handed over to the Green Zone for medical treatment, then held incommunicado for three months while she was "interrogated, mentally and emotionally bullied, threatened, [and] told she would never be given a visa to come to this country." Finally released into the Red Zone without papers, and unable to return safely to her home in Basra or to the family who no longer wanted anything to do with her, she spent the next 18 months on the lam fearing for her life while Vincent's widow doggedly sought to gain her asylum.
[i]n some small attempt to repay her for her dedication, bravery and selflessness, I have spent the last year trying to get Nour into America. I have dealt with officials at the Baghdad embassy and the State Department. I have filled out forms. I have made countless calls, sent innumerable emails. I have pledged to stand financial security for her. I have gotten a promise from the UN Bureau Chief of Al-Arabiya that he will hire her when - if - she gets here. And each path I have gone down has proven fruitless. I have been told she does not qualify for refugee or asylum status because Iraq is now a democracy, hence there should be no reason she would need to flee. I spent months working with embassy people who assured me they were extremely touched by her plight, would move heaven and earth to see she got "special treatment" and who then, in the end, told me she needed to go to Amman and apply for a visa like every other Iraqi. I was told the U.S. government was no longer accepting Iraq's S-passports because supposedly there are so many forgeries it's impossible to know who is really holding them, so we won't take any of them. The embassy in Amman is no longer accepting applications from Iraqis; the Jordanian government is beginning to crack down, stopping Iraqis on the streets who then run the risk of being deported; Egypt is now demanding that before Iraqis come they get a letter of invitation from a certain government official. The noose is tightening, and soon there will be no place in the region where Nour will be able to feel safe. She sits and waits, still hopeful, but the reality is her hope is dwindling, as is mine."
It wasn't until Vincent's widow was afforded the opportunity to provide the chilling details of Nour's plight in her testimony before a Senate hearing in January--and with the cameras running-- that the wheels of "make it happen" justice began to turn in her favor. Six months later, Nour, who had risked her life to save Steven Vincent's, stepped off the plane at Kennedy Airport, and into the arms of the woman who had saved hers.
Since the war in Iraq began 4 years ago, approximately 600 Iraqis have been granted amnesty in the US. In the first six months of 2007, the US admitted 63 Iraqi refugees, including Nour.
I am not naive enough to think that the US could--or should-- throw open its doors to large numbers of people who have been uprooted since the war began. I recognize that it is enormously more complicated and dangerous than relocating 130,000 South Vietnamese as we did in the first year after the Vietnam War ended. I am cognizant of the fine line the Administration walks between wanting to provide aid, and not wanting to encourage more flight. Nevertheless, I do think that we owe special consideration to the brave Iraqi citizens who are risking their lives because of their association with the United States military, its contractors or the
Moreover, beyond the obvious morale or humanitarian responsibilities that we face, there are far reaching geopolitical reasons to extend a lifeline to our Iraqi friends:
"If we screw this group of people, we're never going to make another friend in the Middle East as long as I'm alive," said Kirk W. Johnson, who served as regional reconstruction coordinator in Fallujah in 2005 for the U.S. Agency for International Development, who is advocating the resettlement of Iraqis who have worked for coalition forces. "The people in the Middle East are watching what happens to this group."
Last month, a bipartisan group of senators, including Gordon Smith and
Ted Kennedy another Senator introduced the “Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act” legislation that will create 5,000 special visas for Iraqis who work directly with the United States and are in imminent danger of death, and allow persecuted Iraqis with close work or family ties to the United States to apply directly for resettlement in the United States. In late July, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, called for issuing visas to all Iraqis who are employed by the U.S. government.
My "feel good" story is starting to feel...
* * * *
Beyond the 100,000 Iraqis who may be targeted as "collaborators" because of their work with the U.S -led coalition, there are an estimated 4 million Iraqis who have been uprooted by the Iraq conflict. Nearly 2 million (plus) Iraqis have fled to safety (?) in countries such as Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen; another 2 million are displaced within their country's borders. Approximately 40,000-60,000 Iraqis are fleeing their homes every month. The daunting effect of this migration (which is worthy of its own future post)
should not can not not be minimized. The relocation of the Palestinians in 1948, alone, which is dwarfed by the size of the current migration, portends a similiar tipping point. You can read about more about this looming "crisis of historic proportions" here. You should. You. Really. Should.
Update: Here's the video clip of Nour's July '07 arrival at JFK.
(Posted by Portia)
Monday, August 20, 2007
But rather than simply soil ms. rdr's drapes, I thought instead that I'd give you a quiz.
What do Rosie O'Donnell, the Kremlin, David Duke, CNN, Waffle House, and the 2005 Philadelphia Eagles all have in common?
If your first answer is along the lines of them all being/having assholes, you're only partially right. In fact, all of the above are named as defendants in federal civil suits filed by one Jonathan Lee Riches©, a person aggrieved currently enjoying a federally-funded vacation.
Finding it necessary to defend his constitutionally-protected rights against the wanton abuses so prevalent in these dark days of the Bush administration, Mr. Riches© has brought suit against a host of people, places and things, (purportedly) to include the following:
George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condi Rice, John Snow, Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Google, Pope Benedict XVI, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Osama Bin Laden, Alan Greenspan, Jerry West, Accuweather.com, Bill Gates, John Deere, Saddam Hussein, Adolph Hitler, Def Jams, Jay-Z, the Queen of England, Stephen Spielberg, Tony Danza, Don King, Paris Hilton, the University of Miami, Marion Blakey, Matt Drudge, the State of Israel, the Salvation Army, CNN, tsunami victims, Sirius Satellite Radio, Jessica Alba, the Houston Chronicle, the ACLU, Donald Trump, Outback Steakhouse, the Vatican, Chris Berman, Vince McMahon, P-Diddy, John Grisham, Columbine High School, Richard Daley, UPS, BET, Jewish employees of NBC Universal, Brad Pitt and the son he adopted with Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Smart, Charlie Sheen, George Pataki, Oliver North, Vladimir Putin, George Orwell, AskJeeves.com, the Kremlin, Kelly Clarkson, David Letterman, George Tenet, Plato, the Lincoln Memorial, Warren Buffett, Scooter Libby, Christina Applegate, Mein Kampf, John Walsh of America's Most Wanted, Venus Williams, Anna Nicole Smith, the U.S. Marines, Denny's, Larry King, Grace Jones, Rolling Stone magazine, Planet Hollywood, NASCAR, Eminem, the Screen Actors Guild, The Da Vinci Code, Mike Tyson, the Sears Tower, Holocaust survivors, Mt. Rushmore, Dennis Hopper, Barbara Walters, Lambeau Field, Pizza Hut, Ray Nagin, Barry Bonds, the Ming Dynasty, Jenna Bush, Tom Ridge, eBay, General Motors, Booker T. Washington, the NHL, Diane Sawyer, Comcast, Fidel Castro, Malcolm X, Phil Donahue, the Geneva Convention, the 2005 Philadelphia Eagles, Bill O'Reilly, Burt Reynolds, Paula Abdul, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, David Stern, Whoopi Golderg, the Olsen twins, the Roman Empire, Wolf Blitzer, Demi Moore, Michael J. Fox, Verizon, the Rose Bowl, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Vanna White, Ross Perot, Sugar Ray Leonard, Sammy Sosa, Rosie O'Donnell, Joey Buttafuoco, Marco Polo, the Eiffel Tower, USA Today, John Wayne Bobbitt, Yao Ming, WKRP In Cincinnati, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Kevin Bacon, the Humane Society, Fabio, Bono, The Home Depot, Geraldo, Russell Crowe, Ben Roethlisberger, Paul Revere, Michelangelo, the Boy Scouts of America, Viagra, Suge Knight, Randy Johnson, Anheuser-Busch, the widow of Peter Jennings, Jeb Bush, Julia Roberts, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Yahoo!, the Hoover Dam, Bob Villa, Tonya Harding, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Lopez, Pete Rose, Joe Lieberman, Sly Stallone, Patty Hearst, Ken Starr, Rush Limbaugh, Chandra Levy, Louis Farrakhan, The Waffle House, Gray Davis, Lucy Liu, the Black Panther Party, Elian Gonzalez, Bob Barker, Danny Glover, Chris Matthews, Wendy's, Drew Barrymore, Rudy Giuliani, Louis XV, Elton John, the planet Pluto, Lil Kim, Trent Lott, the Virgin Mary, the Golden Gate Bridge, Monica Lewinsky, Dennis Rodman, John Ashcroft, Noelle Bush, Jackie Chan, Colin Powell, John McCain, Michael Moore, the Boston Globe, the World Wide Web, the Academy Awards, Oprah, David Duke, Napoleon, Guantanamo Bay, Katie Couric, Sandra Bullock, Bob Saget, NCAA basketball, Sandra Day O'Connor, Boston Market, the Backstreet Boys website, Teri Hatcher, the Great Wall of China, George Clooney, Mariah Carey, Kiefer Sutherland, Burger King, Tina Turner, the Minnesota Vikings, Gene Hackman, Southwest Airlines, the Pentagon, the King of Prussia Mall, Tony Blair, the LAPD, Michael Irvin, Chubby Checker, the PGA, Super 8 Motels, Justin Timberlake, Madison Square Garden, Emeka Okafor, the World Anti-Doping Agency, Betty Crocker, Weird Al Yankovic, the Warsaw Pact, Barack Obama, the Doobie Brothers, Emilio Estevez, Cal Tech, Pat Roberts, YMCA, Ken Jennings, Mel Gibson, Jacques Chirac, Al Pacino, Martha Stewart, Skittles and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Far be it for me to judge whether Mr. Riches© 's claims are justiciable, but Word on the street is that the charges brought by Mr. Riches© against the Ming Dynasty are headed for Celestial Mediation.
Events of the day, however, have put Mr. Riches© 's claim for "63,000,000,000.00 Billion dollars backed by gold and silver" against Michael Vick into the Heigh-ho legal spotlight. As you are undoubtedly aware, Mr. Vick today plead guilty to being the stupidest human being on the planet. He also plead no contest to allegations that, t-shirt sales notwithstanding, he never really played up to his over-hyped potential as a NFL quarterback, anyway.
As a result of Mr. Vick's guilty pleas, his days as a professional football player are sooooo over- or at least until
Thanks to your faithful scribe's slight of hand and secret handshake, my assistant was able to procure a copy of Mr. Riches© 's latest legal assault on those who would trample his constitutional freedoms. I post Mr. Riches© 's Complaint here as a public service, and also as a warning to those who might dare to physically hurt Mr. Riches© 's feelings or attempt to dash his hopes.
Click for bigger. And consider yourselves warned.
Good to be back, folks.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
So I was invited to a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game tonight. It's not the Yankees (which may be a good thing...), it's not even the Mets--it's their farm team--but it's baseball, and it's baseball in Brooklyn (eat your heart out Dodgers' fans). Up close, and within spitting distance of always entertaining Coney Island. So why the heck not? Well, this is why the heck not....
Fans are invited to dress up as their favorite Stallone character, with the winning costume receiving a prize pack.Good grief. A whole night dedicated to Sylvester Stallone? Quick. Somebody. Anybody. Please remind me again why I love going to baseball games.
Anyone named "Sylvester" will be admitted to the ballpark at no charge.
In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the 1987 movie Over The Top (in which Stallone plays a struggling trucker competing in a Las Vegas Arm Wrestling Championship, and sporting a New York City Arm Wrestling T-shirt), the New York Arm Wrestling Association (NYAWA) will host over 100 men and women competing that day for the 25th Annual White Castle ‘Kingsboro’ Golden Arm Wrestling titles, featuring a championship match taking place on the dugout during that night's game!
Don't get me wrong. I loved the original Rocky movie: The timeless story of the two-bit loser who gets the chance of a lifetime, "goes the distance" and gets the girl, to boot. What's not to like? Stallone was brilliant, the fight scenes a cinematic feat, and the writing gritty (
I've watched the movie at least a half dozen times, and it still makes me cheer and
Stallone has made 56 films and I can say
I've never, ever seen any of the Rambo movies save the trailers I was forced to watch in movie theaters or the night that PortiaMan hid the remote control, and I was exposed to 20 minutes or so of First Blood Part
As far as I'm concerned, Stallone's talent ended when the credits for Rocky I started rolling. Until this morning, that is, when I watched this very um...entertaining clip, and realized that I may have acted precipitously by dismissing Mr. Stallone's
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that nowAnybody got a bandana I can borrow for tonight's game?
(posted by Portia)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
At the beginning of the World Series of 1947, I experienced a completely new emotion, when the National Anthem was played. This time, I thought, it is being played for me, as much as for anyone else. This is organized major league baseball, and I am standing here with all the others; and everything that takes place includes me.
About a year later, I went to Atlanta, Georgia, to play in an exhibition game. On the field, for the first time in Atlanta, there were Negroes and whites. Other Negroes, besides me. And I thought: What I have always believed has come to be.
And what is it that I have always believed? First, that imperfections are human. But that wherever human beings were given room to breathe and time to think, those imperfections would disappear, no matter how slowly. I do not believe that we have found or even approached perfection. That is not necessarily in the scheme of human events. Handicaps, stumbling blocks, prejudices — all of these are imperfect. Yet, they have to be reckoned with because they are in the scheme of human events.
Whatever obstacles I found made me fight all the harder. But it would have been impossible for me to fight at all, except that I was sustained by the personal and deep-rooted belief that my fight had a chance. It had a chance because it took place in a free society.
I look at my children now, and know that I must still prepare them to meet obstacles and prejudices. But I can tell them, too, that they will never face some of these prejudices because other people have gone before them. And to myself I can say that, because progress is unalterable, many of today's dogmas will have vanished by the time they grow into adults. I can say to my children: There is a chance for you. No guarantee, but a chance.
* * * *
I believe in the human race. I believe in the warm heart. I believe in man's integrity. I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that the society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it — and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist. My fight was against the barriers that kept Negroes out of baseball. This was the area where I found imperfection, and where I was best able to fight. And I fought because I knew it was not doomed to be a losing fight. It couldn't be a losing fight-not when it took place in a free society.*
Dreams rode on your shoulders, man. You forever changed the face of the game, and the minds of a nation. We owe you a world of thanks for your gifts.
The White House is paying tribute to Jackie Robinson's legacy today by hosting a tee ball game on the South Lawn featuring teams from Brooklyn’s Inner City Little League, and the Wrigley Little League of Los Angeles (the two cities that the Dodgers have called home, and where Robinson spent his entire Major League career.) Each of the Little Leaguers will wear the No. 42, Robinson's jersey number, which was retired** a decade ago to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier.
* Robinson's "This I Believe" essay was delivered in 1952. You can listen to a tape of it here
**No. 42 was the first and only number to be retired by all the teams in the MLB. Mariano Rivera (who plays for the MFY) is the only active MLB player who still wears the number. Upon Rivera's retirement, No. 42 will rest in perpetuity with Jackie Robinson, the man who did it proud.
Posted by Portia
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Iraq? You might recall the two neighbors had a little dust-up going for most of the 1980's. Saddam was trying to keep the Islamic Revolution from taking hold in Iraq. As for the myth of its weapons of mass destruction, the ones that the WORLD believed Iraq possessed, Saddam created that, not only to rattle the West, but to keep Iraq from invading following the ass-kicking we gave Saddam in the First Persian Gulf War.
We can debate whether Saddam was actively sponsoring terroism against the United States, but we know for certain that he was slaughtering his own citizens. Iran, on the other hand, has been the worldwide leader in terrorism for decades. Here's what your government had to say about Iran and Iraq in April of 2001:
Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan continue to be the seven governments that the US Secretary of State has designated as state sponsors of international terrorism. Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2000. It provided increasing support to numerous terrorist groups, including the Lebanese Hizballah, HAMAS, and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which seek to undermine the Middle East peace negotiations through the use of terrorism. Iraq continued to provide safehaven and support to a variety of Palestinian rejectionist groups, as well as bases, weapons, and protection to the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian terrorist group that opposes the current Iranian regime.I guess we should have added al-Qaeda to the list of Iranian clients, yes?
Now, it should be fairly obvious that, because Iran is an Islamic State, the United States would run the risk of inflaming the entire Islamic world if we attacked it just for sponsoring international terrorism. That's not even a misdemeanor in that part of the world. Not only would such an outright attackwe face an oil embargo, Israel would have been put to the torch from six directions. Iraq, on the other hand, was weaker, a proven bad-actor, and secular! Bingo. We're in Iraq. Why the President just didn't explain it this way is anybody's guess.
But Iran is still the real enemy of the world, so how much longer are we going to wait until we take her out? Let's see how today's market is shaping up:
Hmmmmm. This might be the time to do a little speculating. At least some people are.
Sooner? Or later?
Friday, July 06, 2007
No matter, because you and your shipmates are where you need to be for those of us here.
And we love you for that. All of you.
And you need not worry about blowing out the candles on your 25th birthday,
because I burned the cake in your honor.
Thank you, Son. I am so proud of you.
I am so proud of your shipmates.
You are the best the nation has to offer.
And for all you girls out there:
Kiss a sailor and GO NAVY.
You'll never be the same again.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
* Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
* People who are tagged need to write their own post about their eight
things and post these rules. At the end of their post, they choose eight people
to tag and list their names.
* Don't forget to leave a comment telling them they've been tagged,
and to read your blog.
And now, Eight Random Facts/Habits About Me That You Didn't Need To Know Except For this Crappy Meme.
1. I noticed my first female butt in 1955 at the age of 11 months. I haven't stopped noticing them yet.
2. I flunked typing in high school. Who knew that I'd ever need to know how to type? It was the only course that I ever flunked, although I came close in gym the second half of my senior year, and was almost prevented from graduating. Fortunately, I was given the option of writing a six page paper entitled "The Benefits of Physical Activity in Lifetime Sports." It read like a script for a porno movie.
3. There a picture of me wearing a New York Yankees hat. I got it for my seventh birthday, along with a flash light. I've only recently determined that my father was a cheapskate when it came to spending money on his kids. He more than made up for it, though, by spending his time with us. Lavishly so.
4. I'll eat anything. The only food that I truly dislike is chitterlings. I once ate calf brains made especially for me in the authentic country French style by a dark-eyed French woman whose name is lost to me now. She was a very good cook. I've even eaten "mucktuck," frozen whale blubber that tastes like a cross between chicken and greasy ice cream. This was provided to me by my then sweetie, Miss Nome. Chitlins? Tried 'em. Don't like 'em. Never gonna try 'em again unless they're served to me by Hale Berry wearing nothing but a smile.
5. I got my first scars at nine months when I reached up and pulled a pot of boiling water off of the stove. The results are still quite visable from wrist to bicep on my right arm. Since then, I've collected many more scars, so many that I'm afraid God won't recognize me. Maybe I should get a tatoo?
6. I was a hippie for a while back in the 70's. I had really long hair, frye boots, and ate no meat. I even hitchhiked my was across the USA. I'm living proof that with the timely application of a right-sized Navy boot in the ass, almost anybody can grow up to be a lawyer.
7. On a hammock in her dad's backyard.
8. I broke my best friend's nose - twice - but the second time was an accident. He is still my best friend after 40 years. I don't have a single Asian friend, though, which is wierd. If you are Asian and would like to be my friend, there's an opening. I promise that I won't break your nose.
There. Now you know eight completely useless things about me. The next step in crappy memes is selecting eight other people to play. Of course I don't know of eight other people who haven't already been
assualted tagged, so what I will do instead is randomly select random people who I don't know and who don't know me. This way I'll be sure not to make any new friends.
1. This person writes a whole blog about Lindsey Lohan, in Spanish, so I figure that he or she has plenty of time on his or her hands.
2. This person writes about cupcakes and such. Cool name for a blog.
3. This person writes about the everyday life of a 10 month old. I wonder what eight things he can tell us about himself? He probably still hasn't noticed his first butt.
4. This person writes about the worst thing ever. She should be ashamed of herself.
5-8. These guys.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear;
Those of mechanics -- each one singing his, as it should be,
blithe and strong;
The carpenter singing his, as he measures his plank and beam;
The mason singing his, as he makes ready for work,
or leaves off work;
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat --
the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck;
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench --
the hatter singing as he stands;
The wood-cutter's song -- the ploughboy's, on his way
in the morning, or at the noon intermission, or at sundown;
The delicious singing of the mother -- or of the young wife
at work -- or of the girl sewing or washing -- Each singing
what belongs to her, and to none else;
The day what belongs to the day -- At night, the party of
young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing, with open mouths, their strong melodious songs.
-Walt Whitman - "Leaves of Grass"
Sunday, July 01, 2007
I know Cass' meme comes with instructions to follow before one hands over the family jewels but I rarely read instructions, much less follow them. Nowadays, you need instructions in order to read the instructions (NB: the 156 page "booklet" that accompanied by new cell phone) so I'll leave that part of the assignment to spd, along with any talk of "family jewels." Have at it, buddy.
1. I rarely read instructions, much less follow them. Through the decades, this has been a huge time saver, and except for a school test or two, and the time I tried to put together our home theater solo, it hasn't gotten me into trouble (yet) but seemingly bugs the sh*t out of everyone else.
2. I voted for Richard Nixon in 1972. Hey, I was young and foolish.
3. I was a Red Sox fan in 1975. See comment to number 2, above. I also blame the fact that I was living in Boston, and dating a rabid Red Sox fan (why is it that there are no other kind?) Of course, watching Fred Lynn play all season didn't hurt either. See comment to number 2, a fortiori. That said, I continue to believe that the 1975 World series was the most exciting series EVER played. Well, that is until the 2004 World Series but by then I was less young, and no longer foolish. Still, Pudge will forever have a place in this now steeled Yankee fan's heart.
4. I prefer sex in the morning (yes, there are no pictures....)
5. I am late for work most every day (see um...nevermind)
6. I blush very easily. See numbers 2, 3, 4, and 5, above.
7. I HATE cilantro more than I hate the Cincinnati Reds (see number 3, above). At least the Reds serve a purpose by making the MFY look good; the world can do without an ubiquitous
8. I don't even know 8 bloggers but I'm fond of commenter, Don aka Anonymous. Just saying....
If you've scrolled this far, here's a bonus entry for your effort: spd is an honorary member of the He-Man Woman Haters Club. Pass it on....
Posted by Portia
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Citizens, it's come to my attention that the dang-blasted foolhardy traitorous bias of the eastern liberal media has decided that my ability to raise campaign funds to steer the country into a new dimension has been hampered by the appearance of that plain-speaking down home good ol' boy, Fred Thompson. What's wrong with you? Don't y'all remember what happen the last time you elected an actor? Oh, you do? Well, just don't hold the fish on that line longer than it takes for the worm to wriggle out, if you know what I mean.
You've probably guessed that I can talk just like folks, better'n Fred, too, and do it with a mouthful of marbles. Here's the plain truth: Fred hasn't yet decided to run for President. Golly, he might decide to run for dogcatcher, or even Justice of the Peace. Heck, Fred might even be able to marry your daughter on Tuesday nights...after five! In an Elvis costume!
Do you really want to give your money to a man who wears an Elvis costume to your daughter's wedding? 'course not.
Now you just pay no attention to all that heehaw jabbering in them danged eastern newspapers. All I can say is that this here John Deere's not about to break down in the final rows of harvest. No sir-ree. I'll betcha that. So them Harvard Yard diddlin' wordsmiths come out with yet another story that says this cowboy is a-droppin' outta the race....well, I'll tell you true: They're just plain smoking wacky weed.
Sure, I got some sores from the Supreme Court knocking the guts out the election reforms me and my 'pard Feingold pushed through Congress like a herd of longhorns across the Red River. And yep, my stance on that dang-blabbed Immigration Reform Bill isn't going to win me any friends down in the holler. But, neighbors, I was absolutely forced to vote with Obama and Hillary to allow illegal immigration to continue unabated, otherwise them good peoples in Fargo wouldn't be able to order a "cervaza frio" just like we do down here in Tucson and Washington, D.C., without being misunderstood. That's what I call progress for America.
Others might say that I'm out of touch with America. Goldangy, no, neighbors.
America is out of touch with me.
Out of touch with me.
An' you can bet the farm on it.
*John McCain is a true hero worthy of our respect and admiration for his service to this nation and for his courage under the harshest of conditions as a prisoner of war. I do not mean, in any way, to diminish the Senator's contributions to the United States of America through this careless bit of snark commentary. While Mr. McCain has plainly met his duty, ten times over, it reamins that he and I have parted company on many a burning issue. I make no apology that I do not find him to be a viable candidate for the office of Chief Executive, and I expect that he would think far less of me should I do so. Fortunately, for Senator McCain, the number of people that read this site is approximately the same as the number of Supreme Court Justices that voted to quash McCain- Feingold's bill's ban of "issue ads."
Irrepective of our political differences, and they are vast, should I ever have the opportunity to meet the man in person I shall immediately snap to attention and crisply salute him. He is ours.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Not surprisingly, the ALJ who brought this outrage into court has lost the case, and is, thus far, liable for court costs. A motion for attoneys fees running in the many thosusands of dollars has been made by the small businessman, and will be entertained by the court at a future date.
In the meantime, I thought it important that I put to rest any lingering doubts as to whether the fellow who so fouled the system of justice, the court, and his neighbor, is anything other than an abusive bully unworthy of being a lawyer, much less a judge. He isn't.
He has brought such disrpute unpon his office that the D.C. Office of Administrative hearings has taken him off of cases since May, and removed his biography from its website.
Not enough. This person has shown himself to be so vindicative and irrational that he should be barred from practicing the law. He set out to ruin another human being, putting forth such outlandish theories as to bring into serious question, not only his character and fitness to practice the law, but also his sanity. He has made a mockery of himself and my profession. He must go.
Color me pissed.
Friday, June 08, 2007
Don't. Go. There.
Saying a bankruptcy judge was "a few french fries short of a Happy Meal" may cost an out-of-state lawyer the ability to practice in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.
The comment already has cost Chicago-based McDermott Will & Emery partner William P. Smith his client -- Miami Beach's Mount Sinai Medical Center & Miami Heart Institute.
When I first heard the story, it seemed absurd. The idea that a federal judge should go completely ballistic over such a commonly uttered idiom seemed a bit childish. I simply can't imagine that a seasoned attorney, such as counselor Smith, actually meant to infer that Judge Isicoff was dumb. It was merely a slip of the tongue. Hadn't the judge herself ever said something she immediately wished she hadn't? Why didn't she just hold up her hand and say "Excuse me?" and allow the poor bastard to apologize profusely and beg the Court's forgiveness? Why publicly humiliate the guy and his firm? Why cause such a fuss over such a minor gaffe? It just didn't make sense.
Now it does. Judge Isicoff was evidently sick and tired of big city lawyers coming down to Miami (which is just a sleeply little town on the coast of Cuba) and dissin' her district like a banana republic.
"People come to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale courts, and they think that it's a second-class court system when they come from New York or Chicago or places like that," said Charles M. Tatelbaum, national chairman of the bankruptcy litigation and secured transaction practice at Adorno & Yoss in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "I am pleased because it would have been a lot easier for her to simply ignore it and do nothing, and this is the kind of person she is because she is going to say, 'I am not going to stand for that.'"
Tatelbaum said the bankruptcy bar backed Isicoff's appointment to the bench and described her as a "no-nonsense person" and a "super lawyer" with a "very good sense of humor."
Prominent bankruptcy attorney Paul S. Singerman, co-chief executive officer of Berger Singerman in Miami, said Isicoff is an "even-tempered, polite and patient" judge.
"Sometimes I observe lawyers that come from larger cities than Miami and who perceive that their home city is a more sophisticated commercial center do bring with them, sometimes unintentionally, an air of superiority or arrogance," Singerman said.
Put aside for the moment that whatever the above-quoted attorneys actually think of Judge Isicoff, they wouldn't be caught dead saying anything other than that she's the best danged judge on the planet and has a funny bone that just won't quit. They'd be a few fries short of a happy meal to say otherwise, donchathink?
No, the real story here is about turf. It's my courtroom, in my district, in my state, and no fancy-pants Yankee lawyer's going to come down here and disrespect it. That warning has now been served - in spades.
Let me tell you, Judge Isicoff isn't alone in her stance. I witnessed a very senior trial attorney from a large New York firm get his head handed to him by a 4th Circuit Federal District Court judge (who, of course, is the greatest judge on the planet and has a terrific sense of humor!). The poor fellow thought that His Honor would be interested in knowing how the courts in the 2nd Circuit handled certain matters. In a voice that froze the hearts of all in attendance, the kindly jurist informed the attorney that he didn't give a "darn" about how they did it up north, that isn't the way they did it in Virginia. He then invited the fellow to sit down, which he did, and from whom not a word was heard again during the course of the trial.
Which reminds me of a story...
Back in 1992, two attorneys were were engaged in a vehement argument over a motion in the courtroom of Providence, R.I., Superior Court Judge Patricia Hurst. Finally she had enough and threatened to shoot both of the attorneys...with a water pistol.
"I told them I have a good way of dealing with prolonged motions," Judge Hurst later said.
Not everyone agreed, however, and Judge Hurst received a one month suspension for brandishing her water weapon in court.
Said the Judge after she had surrendered the weapon to her attorney, "I'm probably guilty of having a bad sense of humor."
Don't. Go. There.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Full woman, fleshly apple, hot moon,
thick smell of seaweed, crushed mud and light,
what obscure brilliance opens between your columns?
What ancient night does a man touch with his senses?
Loving is a journey with water and with stars,
with smothered air and abrupt storms of flour:
loving is a clash of lightning-bolts
and two bodies defeated by a single drop of honey.
Kiss by kiss I move across your small infinity,
your borders, your rivers, your tiny villages,
and the genital fire transformed into delight
runs through the narrow pathways of the blood
until it plunges down, like a dark carnation,
until it is and is no more than a flash in the night.
by Pablo Neruda
(Posted by Portia)
Saturday, May 26, 2007
The book is prominently displayed in my office, and I frequently pull it down and let the pages open to wherever and read. These are the stories of heroes. Of men who gave it all and then gave some more. They are our fathers and sons and brothers and mates. They came to serve their nation as youngsters from cornfields and mesas and city streets, and in Tibor Rubin's case, from the maws of a Nazi death camp. They became heroes risking their lives for their comrades, and for each of us. Each story stands as reminder of what it means to believe in something beyond yourself.
Mr Collier writes in today's Wall Street Journal of "American Honor" and why it should matter still in a nation obsessed with celebrities and self.
Once we knew who and what to honor on Memorial Day: Those who had given all their tomorrows, as was said of the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy, for our todays. But in a world saturated with selfhood, where every death is by definition a death in vain, the notion of sacrifice today provokes puzzlement more often than admiration. We support the troops, of course, but we also believe that war, being hell, can easily touch them with an evil no cause for engagement can wash away. And in any case we are more comfortable supporting them as victims than as warriors.
Former football star Pat Tillman and Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham were killed on the same day: April 22, 2004. But as details of his death fitfully emerged from Afghanistan, Tillman has become a metaphor for the current conflict -- a victim of fratricide, disillusionment, coverup and possibly conspiracy. By comparison, Dunham, who saved several of his comrades in Iraq by falling on an insurgent's grenade, is the unknown soldier. The New York Times, which featured Abu Ghraib on its front page for 32 consecutive days, put the story of Dunham's Medal of Honor on the third page of section B.
Do not let these good men pass from view unheralded. Read their stories and tell them to your children. Honor them and thank them. Every one of them. And every one who served with them.
They are what our best is. American idols.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Yep, some days don't seem worth the effort it takes to get out of bed. But then once in a while something good happens and suddenly your day just got a whole lot better.
For example, you stumble across the the fact that, not only did Louis Armstrong cover the 1959 smash hit "Marina" by Rocco Granata, the Italian/Belgian "maintenance artist and hit singer" but that there's also a 1989 Acid/Reggae remix!
Presto! Life is good again.*
Which brings me to the point of all this. A few weeks back I bumped into a gentleman at a charity wine auction. This fellow told me about a remarkable restaurant that is designed especially with the disabled in mind. In fact, he told me that the restaurant not only caters to the disabled (along with the abled), it hires and trains both the physically and mental challenged for jobs in the food service industry. Chef's from all over Central Virginia, from small bistros to five star restaurants, come to the 70-seat place to volunteer their time. It's a win-win-win situation with really good food to boot.
Happy face breaking out. And there's more...
The name of the restaurant is " a place that you'll have to hit the link for because I'm supposedly trying to remain anonymous." The proprietor has muscular dystrophy. The man I spoke with is the proprietor's father. He started the restaurant so that his son could both be employed and feel productive in a society that, well...offers fewer opportunities to those less abled. As anyone who's ever worked in a commercial kitchen knows, this is no handout, this is about getting people to work. It's like teaching your brother to fish for himself, but for black marlin.
I checked the place out late one afternoon, well after the lunch crowd had gone, and before the volunteer belly-dancers came in for "Tummy Tuesdays" (another topic fotr another time). There was a white board set up and the trainees were going through exercises about which kinds of foods went with each type of order. And by God, didn't it have the same feeling as those business training sessions we've all had to endure, with all the participants cheering their approval when the contestant got the orders right. Accomplishment means so much more when you're with your peers.
It was good. It felt right. I plunked the sponsorship funds down, thrilled at the prospect and warmed by the vibes. And I had a good day thereafter.
Here's to all of us, and to those who make all of us better.
*(So it's not so good as having a 24 year-old Grace Kelly deliver it to my door, in pajamas, in the rain, alone, I'll still get by.)
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
There are few times where words escape me.
This is one of them.
LAKE LUZERNE, N.Y. (AP) -- A teenager who put bullets in a vise and whacked them with a hammer to empty the brass shell casings was wounded in the abdomen by approximately the 100th bullet he hit, according to Warren County deputies.
Damion M. Mosher, 18, had been discharging .223-caliber rounds, placing them in a steel vise, putting a screwdriver on the primer, and striking the screwdriver with the hammer, deputies said.
Deputies were called to his home in Lake Luzerne shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday when one bullet went about a half-inch into his abdomen. He was treated at Glens Falls Hospital and was released. No charges were filed.
Mosher told authorities he was trying to empty the rounds to collect the brass casings for scrap. (That damned Bush took away his allowance! Ed.)
Sheriff Larry Cleveland said about 100 other rounds that Mosher hit had ''fizzled,'' but one was somehow sent with more force. It was unclear if the bullet ricocheted or hit him directly.
An employee of Capitol Scrap Co. in Albany said Monday the business pays $1.70 a pound for scrap brass shell casings.
Cleveland said Mosher's shells amounted to just a few pounds.
Of course, I blame the teachers.