02 December 2006

been away for a bit...

Right after the elections, literally the day after, I left the country for three weeks on a trip to Australia. It was amazing. Photos will follow soon.

29 September 2006

Another Black Mark

Today is a sad, sad day.

With the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, we have now said to the world that the United States condones and legalizes torture and has given our Leader a blank check and the power for indefinite and unreviewable detention (even of U.S. citizens).

What adds to my feeling ill is my two Senators from NJ vote FOR this hideous bill.

When I have more time and can expound further, I will add to this post. But suffice it to say that today is a dark day in American History and I am ashamed.

11 September 2006

Five Years

I can't watch TV today or listen to the radio. Surrounding the fifth anniversary events of 9/11/2001... I don't need to be reminded, it's with me every day.

I was born in NYC and lived in NJ practically my whole life. I work in NYC.

Every time I go through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnel or take the subway, I think about 9/11.

Every day when I leave NYC on the bus home I look at the skyline of the city and notice what is not there.

If it weren't for the brisk wind blowing today, the weather is EXACTLY the same as it was on 9/11/2001. Sunny, bright, crisp with a touch of the coming fall.

I am fortunate not to have lost a dear loved one that day... And not that I took life for granted before that, but now every day before I leave the house for work, I kiss my husband and say, "I'll see you later" and hope that it's true. I never leave him without that kiss... it could be our last.

I hope everyone takes some time today to tell at least one person they love, how much they mean to them and their life. You never know...

Peace be with us all.

07 August 2006

What kind of Christian are you?

I am not a Christian and was not raised in a Christian household. However, my husband was and his grandmother, who is one of the people I admire most in this world, is the epitome of what I think a "good" Christian is supposed to be. Gram is neither preachy nor judgmental. I'm sure she could recite the bible forward and backward and has a great deal of faith in her religion. She never once made our differences in religion or beliefs a factor in getting to know me and making me feel a part of her family. An oft repeated refrain from Gram is, "It's not for me to judge." And she firmly believes this. She is one of the most giving, generous and open people I've ever met. Even if she disagrees with you, or knows of a wrong you may have committed, another thing she'll tell you is, "I'll pray for you." And she means both of those things. She DOESN'T judge and she WILL pray, all the while not trying to impose her beliefs on you.

The people of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church are supposed to be Christians. Yet I find their behaviour so bewildering and appalling. These are the very people that go to soldiers' funerals to protest. These aren't anti-war protesters, these people go and hold signs that read, "Thank God for dead soldiers," "Soldiers Die, God Laughs," Their website is called "godhatesfags.com" The reverend of this flock, Fred Phelps, firmly believes in preaching hate. Click HERE for full article.

What spurred me to write this post was the following article: "Family, friends honor Cpl. Baucus" And while the headline of the story looks innocuous enough, it's the content that is worth reading.

While I am all for free speech, this church's actions are so abhorrent that there have been laws passed limiting their ability to protest. "The Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act (PL 109-228, 120 Stat. 387) is an Act of Congress, enacted on May 29, 2006. It prohibits protests within 300 feet of the entrance of a cemetery from 60 minutes before to 60 minutes after a funeral. Penalties for violating the act are up to $100,000 in fines and up to one year imprisonment." (read more)

Are these people so blinded by hate and a literal interpretation of the bible that they forget about respecting life? How do you call yourself a Christian and not have respect for life? These are the same people that think abortion is murder, yet will gun down an abortion doctor outside his clinic. They think that embryonic stem cell research is morally reprehensible because it's murder. Yet already formed, viable people are dying every day from Diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease because valuable research cannot be performed. (read more) Do they not see the contradiction in this?

I wonder if it shames Gram to have people like the flock of this church and people like George W. Bush call themselves Christians and wrap themselves in their "Christian" morals, yet contradict themselves in everything they do? I certainly don't understand it. As a Christian, does it make YOU feel bad?

02 August 2006

WHERE is the oversight????

I am enraged by a story I just read on washingtonpost.com...

Click HERE for the complete article

The headline reads:
Much Undone In Rebuilding Iraq, Audit Says

Here are several choice quotes I plucked from the article that need further commenting:

"NASIRIYAH, Iraq, Aug. 1 -- A flailing Iraq reconstruction effort that has been dominated for more than three years by U.S. dollars and companies is being transferred to Iraqis, leaving them the challenge of completing a long list of projects left unfinished by the Americans.

While the handover is occurring gradually, it comes as U.S. money dwindles and American officials face a Sept. 30 deadline for choosing which projects to fund with the remaining $2 billion of the $21 billion rebuilding program. More than 500 planned projects have not been started, and the United States lacks a coherent plan for transferring authority to Iraqi control, a report released Tuesday concludes."

So we're handing back to Iraqis a stalled, actually FAILED, reconstruction effort that they should have been involved in in the first place.

This next part really takes the cake:

"This story is a very disappointing one. Everywhere you look, goals have not been achieved," said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who will hold a hearing on the reconstruction today. "I don't think we can ever get back the billions of dollars that have been lost to poor planning, outright fraud and corruption."

"We paid for air conditioning and ended up with a ceiling fan," Dorgan said. "You had a big pot of money and you had a lot of hogs in the creek wallowing and shoving and grunting, trying to get some of it. It looks like they were a lot more effective at getting the money than they were at doing reconstruction."

So U.S. hired private contractors to do reconstruction work in Iraq, work that plenty of Iraqis were probably MORE than qualified to do. We spent, or squandered rather, billions... BILLIONS!!! of dollars for projects that 1. have NOT been completed or 2. have NOT been started, and yet these contractors STILL get paid!!!???!!?!?


If a private citizen hired a contractor to do work at their home and the contractor didn't show up for work and didn't complete the project, would it seem out of line to NOT pay the contractor for services NOT rendered?

Why should it be ANY different for THIS COUNTRY??

If the head of a company were to squander 21 BILLION dollars, that person would at the very least be fired and hopefully be thrown in jail AND asked to pay restitution. Hmm, wait... That DID happen to the head of a company. Does anyone remember ENRON???

WHERE is the oversight?

I REALLY hope that come this November, the Democrats take at least one of the Houses. They don't even have to take both... I'll settle for ONE... then maybe, JUST MAYBE we'll get some MUCH NEEDED oversight.

27 July 2006

The further incompetence of King George the 43rd

I don't know why people are so shocked or outraged at the Bush Administration's response to getting people out of Beruit specifically and Lebanon in general.

I have one word for you... KATRINA.

I mean, with a good deal of warning, they failed to evacuate New Orleans and other Gulf Coast areas before, during and after the hurricane.

Why would ANYONE expect them to have an efficient, expedient and coordinated plan to move people out of a foreign country? Is the country's collective memory THAT short?

I'm not saying what's going on is justified, just that I can't believe anyone would expect otherwise from the King of Incompetence and his ilk.

16 June 2006

25 May 2006

Be the change...

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

I am outraged on a daily basis by the people running this country and the media that covers them. I call and write letters to my elected officials. I write letters to newspapers. I sign petitions and try to learn as much as I can about the issues that concern me. I read the news online, I read ‘blogs, I read books, I drive people to the polls on election day. I’m starting to get involved in groups and I am actually going to walk the walk by running for a seat on my county committee.

I always considered myself to be politically aware but after 9/11 was moved to pay even MORE attention to things going on in the world. I started looking for alternative forms of news and information before the start of the war because the mainstream media wasn’t helping me. I didn’t want to hear regurgitated Bush administration talking points! I KNEW the U.S. led invasion of Iraq was WRONG and I felt there was nothing I could do. Then in 2004 I was introduced to the writings of a few “dissident” soldiers serving in the Army and fighting in Iraq and I was INSPIRED. It is because of getting to know them that I am more politically active and aware than any other time in my life. It was this stupid, senseless war that made me question my government MORE than ever. Their actual involvement in this war, which so many of us NEVER believed in, was the impetus that motivated me to further action.

The people running this country don’t have the best interests of its citizens in mind! And it’s not just Bush and his “advisors,” it’s the RUBBER-STAMP Republicans (and the too timid, directionless Democrats) in the House and Senate that hold NO ONE ACCOUNTABLE. Their actions and policies are unconscionable and there is currently NO RECOURSE and NO OVERSIGHT. We need FACTS and the TRUTH. This government is supposed to represent "WE THE PEOPLE…" NOT special interest/lobbying groups and large corporations who make hefty campaign contributions.


I started to watch a movie the other day called “The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan”. It’s about an 8-year old boy and his family who are forced to live in the ruins of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan because the Taliban (among others) destroyed their home and their land and they were forced to become refugees in their own country… These are the same 1600-year old Buddhas the Taliban destroyed in 2001 because they were deemed "idolatrous and unislamic.” The very same Buddhas that were considered cultural icons and listed among UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.

What causes people to have SO much hatred in their hearts? What causes people to be so afraid and have such a lack of respect and understanding for things/beliefs/people that are so different from themselves that they cause such destruction? Our current government is no different than the Taliban. They are both self-imposed regimes of religious fundamentalists attempting to annihilate a way of life and impose their own narrow definition of HOW THINGS SHOULD BE.

The little bit of the film I saw reminded me about perspective. It reminded me that compared to Mir, the boy from the film, I own virtual a PALACE. It reminded me that I am a very LUCKY and FORTUNATE person for the clothes on my back, the material possessions I have, the food I can afford to buy and eat… my friends, my job, the country that I live in… that virtually EVERYTHING in my life is a GIFT and I should be GRATEFUL.

I am trying SO hard to be more compassionate. I am trying so HARD to be more understanding and I am trying SO HARD to DO MORE. And in spite of feeling so incredibly HELPLESS most of the time, I AM trying to be the change I wish to see in this world.

22 May 2006

19 April 2006


07 April 2006


30 March 2006

new favorite...

I have a new favorite writer. Her name is Ayun Halliday. I just read her book called "No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late" I actually shook violently with laughter and tried not to laugh out too loudly when I was reading on the bus. The woman has spunk!

You can check her out for yourself by clicking the links I provided to her websites in my links list. Come to think of it... you SHOULD check her out! She's a local writer who will be doing some appearances in Brooklyn in the coming months.

Go and Enjoy!

somewhere in the swamps...

22 March 2006

first day of spring

This past Monday, the 20th of March, was the first day of Spring. On my way of out NYC I happened to notice the trees. They had blooms on them. It's like they knew...

21 February 2006

16 February 2006

laugh 'til you cry


07 February 2006

27 January 2006

Omaha, Nebraska


I never thought I'd have a blog...
I figured it could end up being a good place to post some of my photos and maybe some of my writing...
We'll see how it goes, since I kind of lose interest in these things or I get distracted and forget about them.

So... To be continued...