Monday, March 31, 2008
What if this happened everywhere--wouldn't it be great? Check out this video.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I've been thinking lately that I could get a whole lot more out of my yard if I started viewing it as arable land; which, it is. I'm not a great gardener, but perennials I can just stick in the ground and they can take care of themselves. My kids love berries of all kinds and the few strawberry plants that we planted a couple of years ago just got eaten right away. It was very disappointing. However, I know people around here who've been very successful with blackberries and raspberries. My friend, M. is giving me a raspberry plant.
I was very concerned if I would be able to buy blackberry plants. How was I going to get used ones, unless someone I know was digging some up? Then, I realized that I can most certainly buy some plants because--they are a food! Not the plants, but the berries. That counts on the compact!
This will be one of the few legitimate new purchases that I can make, and I can't wait to look online at some garden catalogs with thornless blackberry plants. I can train them through my fence and arch them down to have the tips touch the ground where they will also root increasing my bounteous berry booty. Ha!
Happy berrying soon!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I was not homeschooled (very few were way back then). I remember having giggly, fun conversations with my friends when I was 7 years old, but I don't remember even knowing who Shakespeare was at that point.
I was more of a H.R. Pufnstuf kinda girl.
While it was a fun show, it's not exactly Shakespeare. Jack Wild plays Jimmy and in Oliver he was the Artful Dodger--so, he's British, but that's as close as it gets. Right ya ah, Govenah!
I'm glad that we have the freedom to homeschool here in this country. In some places in the world it is illegal. Really, whatever works for each family should be what they have a right to do. We are all of us responsible for our own children--that includes educating them. Some choose to do that themselves and others turn it over to teachers in public or private schools. Nonetheless, parents are still ultimately responsible for their own children. I think schooling can take a bit of that understanding away without anyone really realizing it's happening. They are your kids. They are your responsibility.
There are all sorts of reasons why we homeschool. One of them is my 7 year old daughter's excitement about Shakespeare. That, and my kids can wear life jackets and wrestle each other to the ground. It's not all heady intellectualism around here, you know.
Friday, March 28, 2008
The images in here are very dark--dead bodies in Viet Nam, water hoses sprayed on protesters etc. Very dark from the 60s.
Please only open this link without kids around.
This is an incredible version.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Look at the full branches extending out from the trunk. It's nice and full. No bare spots.
Here, on the left, you see my Norfolk Pine. Doesn't look too good, does it? See the straggly limbs? Look how bare the trunk looks. Look how skimpy the branches are. They are pitiful.
Here, on the right, you see the leaves as they drop to their untimely death. They just give up and die and drop down to the carpet.
Here are the set of windows that are directly opposite the plant. To be fair to the plant, and to me, the previous owners of this freecycled plant also had it in their basement where it is currently at my house. But, maybe there just is not enough light down here.
Who can tell me about Norfolk Pines? Is there any way to spur more branches to grow off of the bare spots on the trunk?
The reason I got the plant was to hide the GIANT TV I got from my sister as she upgraded to a
GIANT flat screen TV. We never would have purchased such a huge thing for ourselves. It just seems so ostentatious and decadent and unneeded. Now that we have it, we do enjoy watching movies on it, but I don't like this monstrous black monolith on the table that you see when you look down the stairs into the basement/family room/parlor/salon...
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Satellites have captured the collapse of a massive ice shelf in Antarctica. At 160 square miles the area of collapsed ice was seven times the size of Manhattan.
This series of satellite images shows the Wilkins Ice Shelf as it began to break up. The large image is from March 6; the images at right, from top to bottom, are from February 28, February 29, and March 8. NSIDC processed these images from the NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor, which flies on NASA's Earth Observing System Aqua and Terra satellites. Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center/NASA
Another concern is the Arctic, which experts are now thinking could be ice free by 2013. The North Pole ice free?! *
I think the Luddites had it right. They were textile artisans who were upset with the technological advances of machinery in textiles during the early 1800s. They wanted to keep a set price and the machinery disrupted all of that. They were concerned with their own interests--it wasn't an environmental stand--they wanted to live as they always had.
I think we all need to become Luddites in a way now. Our daily lives are causing the poles to melt, which dumps more water (but not when sea-ice melts--that's still full of salt) into the oceans, which alters the ocean currents. Our actions are affecting the earth in a huge way. It's in our self interest, like the Luddites, to get away from the machinery from the industrial revolution that is destroying our lives. It's not about livelihoods any more. It's about living. You know what's responsible for weather? Guess.
Yes, that's right. Ocean currents and the atmosphere both affect weather. A bunch of melted ice alters the weather because it effects ocean currents. It's all interrelated, as it always has been.
* On a positive note, my friend over at The Suburban Agrarian, has said that he has heard that big business sees this all as a great boon. If the North Pole is ice free, it will open up shipping lanes and make transporting all of the plastic crap that we have an insatiable appetite for that much easier to get to Walmarts all over the world. Hurray for big business! Hurray for buying junk we don't need at a really low price!! Hurray!!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Me: Oooo! The Bachelor is on in 10 minutes--we can watch that!
Husband: YOU can watch that.
Me: Why not you too?
Husband: Because it's sexist and degrading to women.
OK. Who's the enlightened one around here? I guess it's not me...
4,000 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq. We've been occupying the country for 5 years now. Whether or not you believe that it was a good thing for us to invade Iraq--without any holds of weapons of mass destruction, with no terrorist threat to the rest of the world, with no nuclear bombs in the making, with no connection to 9/11, and despite Saddam Hussein's tyranny, a relative freedom for Iraqi women--everyone must acknowledge that it is nothing more than a quagmire now.
By way of comparison, we entered, fought and won World War II in the span of 4 years. At least, we stopped the gobbling up of nations by other nations. What have we achieved in Iraq?
4,000 of our sons and daughters are dead. How many Iraqi citizens have died? 80,000 or so?
Or is it much, much more than that? Freedom through death? Democracy through occupation? Is up down, really? I've never thought so.
Let's get out of Iraq. No more war...
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Well, that was unexpected. In my naivete, I had thought that with the Spring Equinox we would really have Spring, not a giant storm last Friday that would dump over 6 inches of snow on Very-Republican-Town and the rest of the Chicagoland area. What the...
My kids were not deterred. In fact, snow is one of their favorite mediums and they wouldn't care if it snowed in the middle of Summer; you get lemons, you make lemonade. You get snow, you make a snowman.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Let's have another look at Annie Leonard as she shares The Story of Stuff.
Friday, March 21, 2008
At lunch yesterday, I posed a math problem for my two kids to wrestle with in their heads. They came up with SEVERAL correct answers.
Here's how it went:
ME: What if we three had 4 pieces of pie, or cake, or brownies...which should it be?
ME: OK. Cake. What if we had 4 pieces? How would we divide them up?
DAUGHTER: We would each eat one and save the fourth one for Daddy!
(Maybe. On a good day...)
ME: But, what if we three had to eat them up? How would we divide them?
SON: Whoever's birthday it was would get the fourth one!
(That's true. The birthday person always gets the last piece around here.)
ME: What if we had to eat them all? How would we divide them?
SON: We would each eat one and then each get a third of the last one!
ME: Yep, that's right. So we could cut each piece of cake into 3 pieces, because there's three of us, and we would each get 4 pieces total.
SON: It's easy!
ME: Well, sometimes it might not be--like what if there were 5 pieces? How would we divide it up then?
DAUGHTER: We would each get 5 pieces. Because, it's one more!
ME: Yes, that's right.
There were no worksheets here. Not that they're bad necessarily--just not as fun as real life ideas. No textbooks to be seen--we were eating at the kitchen table. Yet, my kids both managed to learn a little about fractions in a real way.
Am I going to test them on this? No. They either got it completely then during that particular conversation, or they will at a future one. Are they where they need to be in terms of their public schooled peers? No. They're way ahead in certain ways and behind in certain areas. Does everyone need to learn the same exact things, in the same exact way at the same exact time? No, they do not. That's one of the beautiful things about homeschooling--you can figure out what works best for you and your family and do that. Maybe you'd like to go to museums once a week--do it! Maybe it's important to you that your kids get to spend a lot of time outside--go play! Maybe your kids will never open a textbook, but will instead read all sorts of texts!--Go read!
Are my kids learning? Yes, most emphatically so. Are they afraid of math or reading or writing? Nope. Those are all just natural parts of our lives. Are they mostly stress free and enjoying life and having very happy childhoods? Yes they are, and guess what--self-awareness and happiness just so happen to be part of our curriculum around here!
Now, we just need to make some cake...maybe my husband will get a piece, unless we're doing math before he gets home.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Consider yourselves warned. It's clear, right? The title of this post is not ambiguous in any way, so if you proceed it's your own judgment at work here. I do not want any complaints. This post is real, raw, graphic, disturbing, harsh, gross and the images will sear themselves into your brain and you will not be able to expunge them. I'm not kidding.
Of all of my kids' workshops at the recent homeschooling conference, some of the best for them and most fun and most interesting were the Harry Potter ones. In one session they played Quidditch. The kids were sorted into houses and then Hufflepuff, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor players were all mixed up hodge podge on the field playing wildly together. In another session, the kids learned to read palms and made goopy corn starch slime (is it a solid or a liquid?). But, perhaps the most captivating session involved the making of a garden...a mold garden!!
This session involved a bit of a leap of faith and trust in the instructors by the kids because the mold garden wasn't going to bloom until days after the conference. They were given a list of ingredients and instructions and arranged them in class in take-out plastic containers and then they brought their carefully composed garden home with the object of finding the perfect place to store them to ensure optimal growth. Oh, and grow they have... They have bloomed, developed, matured and grown to incredible proportions.
Would you like to see the kids' mold gardens? OK. Here they are.
Oh my God--here's a close up!
Whatever, and wherever and however they learn is what it's all about. I fully support their learning about mold in a fun way. These mold gardens are great, but the kids have been warned that they're going this weekend. There was some contrary talk about them keeping them in their rooms...
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Here, are the results of the Definitive Monster Family Poll:
Look at them--they're adorable!
The Addams Family?! Not as much in my humble opinion.
Yes, Charles Adams created them and they were darker and more ironic sandwiched in between essays in The New Yorker, but still, I prefer The Munsters.
I am profoundly unsophisticated in certain ways--I freely admit this. For example, I don't drink black coffee. But, it goes beyond putting a little half-and-half in (and what is up with fat free half-and-half...what's one of the halves then?) and maybe a little sugar. No. I have to put in Sucanat (natural, unrefined organic sugar), cocoa and cream and thereby make myself a mocha. I have to have this every morning and I really can't have coffee any other way. Isn't that gross?! Isn't it like a sugar-obsessed sticky little kid who has to have candy?! Any way, I'm OK with not always being supremely sophisticated--I don't even have any Himalayan pink salt in my kitchen!! I'm a Philistine, right?
Well, the people have spoken. I will not contest the results--clearly, the Addams' had more of an aggressive ground game than the Munsters camp. They communicated more effectively and got their people organized. I kind of saw the Munsters as deserving to win--they seemed to me to be the quintessential monster family, not just dark and ironic. But, no, in an election whoever wins, wins. Right? I mean, just because I think the Munsters should be the winners doesn't mean that they get to be the winners. The people have spoken.
Thanks conscientious citizens. Rock the vote!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The Obama supporter wrote,
OBAMA SPEECH IN FULL: A MORE PERFECT UNION
Tuesday, March 18th, 2008/ 10:17:53 ET
“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”
Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.
The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.
Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution – a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.
And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk - to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.
This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.
This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.
I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.
It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.
Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.
This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.
And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.
On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.
I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.
But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.
As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.
Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way
But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
In my first book, Dreams From My Father, I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:
“People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend’s voice up into the rafters….And in that single note – hope! – I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion’s den, Ezekiel’s field of dry bones. Those stories – of survival, and freedom, and hope – became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world. Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn’t need to feel shame about…memories that all people might study and cherish – and with which we could start to rebuild.”
That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.
And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.
Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.
But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.
The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.
Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.
Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students.
Legalized discrimination - where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments – meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.
A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families – a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods – parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement – all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.
This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.
But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it – those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations – those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings.
And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.
In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.
Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.
Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.
This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy – particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.
But I have asserted a firm conviction – a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people – that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice is we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.
For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs - to the larger aspirations of all Americans -- the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives – by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.
Ironically, this quintessentially American – and yes, conservative – notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.
The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old -- is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know -- what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination - and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past - are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.
In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.
For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina - or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.
We can do that.
But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.
That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.
This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don’t have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.
This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn’t look like you might take your job; it’s that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.
This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should’ve been authorized and never should’ve been waged, and we want to talk about how we’ll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.
I would not be running for President if I didn’t believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation – the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.
There is one story in particularly that I’d like to leave you with today – a story I told when I had the great honor of speaking on Dr. King’s birthday at his home church, Ebenezer Baptist, in Atlanta.
There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.
And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that’s when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.
She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.
She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.
Now Ashley might have made a different choice. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother’s problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. But she didn’t. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.
Anyway, Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they’re supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who’s been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he’s there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, “I am here because of Ashley.”
“I’m here because of Ashley.” By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.
But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins.
Why?! Why would I?! Why in the world would I drink raw milk? Why wouldn't I drink pasteurized milk? Doesn't the pasteurization protect us? Isn't raw milk filthy with germs and microbes and disease? Didn't Pasteur have something there? Well, maybe. Maybe sometimes for some things, but not for milk that is obtained from grass fed cows who graze out in the sunshine and eat their natural food--grass. Those cows are healthy and produce healthy milk just as they have for the thousands of years that people have consumed raw milk all over the world from various animals. Cows, goats, sheep, horses, llamas, camels, yaks, water buffalo all have provided humans with quality protein, minerals, and vitamins for millennia; especially in places where you can't really grow crops, but you can graze animals.
Besides, towards the end of his life Louis Pasteur said, “The germ is nothing; the terrain is everything.” He sort of turned around on that one, didn't he? If the organism is strong, and supported, and bolstered up, the germ doesn't have much of a chance. The object for good health then is not in destroying every germ that comes, or trying to create fields of sterility in our homes, but in bolstering up all of our immune systems through natural means that don't compromise our strength. Raw milk does this.
In Ron Schmid's book, The Untold Story of Milk: The History, Politics and Science of Nature's Perfect Food: Rw Milk From Pasture Fed Cows, he explains why pasteurization came to be the mandate here in America and why it has made milk less nutritious and detrimental to good health. What otherwise, when raw, would be a cure for asthma and allergies is recognized by some as a cause of heart disease, when pasteurized and homogenized.
Some questions to ponder: Are people dying from consuming raw milk around the world? Are salmonella outbreaks occurring in raw milk supplies or pasteurized? Why would that be? How is it that mankind has survived and thrived living on raw dairy for generation after generation after generation? How can that be if raw milk is dangerous and bad for us?
Why do I drink raw milk? Because I know that I am getting good nutrition and my family is and that we are getting: vitamin c, minerals and dozens of bacteria fighting components such as Lactoferrin, Polysaccharides, Medium-Chain Fatty Acids, Enzymes, White blood cells, B-lymphocytes, Macrophages, Neutophils, T-lymphocyes, Lysosyme, Mucins, Oligosaccharides, B12 Binding Protein, Bifidus and Fibronectin. All of these components are actively fighting bacteria when consumed raw but are destroyed when milk is pasteurized. Pasteurization removes the pathogen destroying property of raw milk. Raw milk helps protect me and my family from illness. Except for a bout of flu, which only lasted three days for each of us (three days and then one day a week later for my daughter), my kids have not had any colds this whole winter. No sniffles. No cough. No sore throat. No malaise. No fever, which would be good any way for burning away whatever the sickness is--it being the body's natural mechanism for killing the invaders. We have missed very little of any class or field trips or gym days for a very long time.
Generally, my kids are very healthy. I think drinking raw milk contributes to that.
That is why I drink raw milk.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Is it The Munsters or The Addams Family? I think they're both classics in early 60s television.
Both series ran for two years, from 1964 to 1966. The Munsters had higher ratings and made 70 shows, the Addams Family made 64 shows. The Munsters were canceled after the full color Batman blew them out of the water with its higher ratings. Powww!!!
Go vote--Munsters or Addams.
Also, I'm an idiot in that it's not Adams, it's Addams. I'm off to correct the poll.
Rock the Vote!!
P.S. I can't alter the poll in any way now because someone has already voted in it. Just keep in mind ADDAMS, not Adams, OK? Kind of cool that you can't change the poll once the data's coming in.
Weren't there some exit polls that got changed after the fact to reflect the incoming election results?! Hmmmm....
Kudos to whoever can tell me more about that!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
When Jones said all of this, the room breathed a collective sigh of relief. Clearly, we all had monsters and bad guys at home and needed to know that they're not going to end up on the top of a clock tower somewhere--they're normal and healthy!
Jones started out his talk speaking about kids playing super heroes and rescuing and how this type of play allows kids to feel more powerful than they really are in their lives. It allows them to be in charge and have mastery over objects and ideas. Then, what if your kids are the monsters? Yes, what then?! Well, as he said, you can't play good guys and bad guys, if you don't have bad guys. And this is where nice, normal kids are trying out the things they will never be. THEY'RE PRETENDING!!
Aha. Duh! How do we not know this stuff already? Some wise souls obviously do, but a lot of us are disturbed by violent play and think it means something dark and awful about our kids and of course it doesn't. Another presenter, Ren Allen, explained in a workshop about children's creativity that her son ate his toast into the shape of a gun. He's a nice kid. Does he really want to kill or maim anyone? No, he does not. Nor does my son. Nor does my daughter. Nor does your son, and neither does your daughter. They want to play with the dark side and have fun and try out the things they will never do in real life and learn what the boundaries are and roll around with their friends.
Maybe they'll save a runaway train or two also. Our kids are monsters and superheroes and can control all sorts of things in the world. They are strong and powerful and wise. My two have saved me on a regular basis. Thanks Superman! Thanks Supergirl!
Friday, March 14, 2008
Hello all of you. I know you're there because I see my stat counter and the map it generates. Hello.
When I started this blog I had hoped that it would all become a conversation about how we consume in this country and whatever else was the subject matter at hand. Enough of you either like what I write here, or are curious about our homeschooling lifestyle, or like my take on the political wrangling going on this election cycle that you return--day after day after day. You've even answered polls, sometimes, rarely, you've left a comment or two (thanks!).
Lately, the lack of comment on your end has been getting to me. You are not obligated to leave a comment. Sometimes there's not an obvious opening for a comment or it's simply not thought provoking enough or I've summed it all up so brilliantly that there's really nothing to add...or, something. Some people never want to leave a comment even if they have fantastic ideas and could really add something to the conversation...But, this blog is anonymous. You don't have to sign with your real name. You can just float an idea out there.
I just think this whole blog thing would be more fun if it did become a lively conversation. I'm turning to you for some ideas about how to make it more so, and then the irony of that makes me smile a little bit--I can hear the chirping of crickets. Listen. OK. That's you guys not talking. Hello! You are letting the chirping crickets do all of the talking. Well, I do all of the talking and then the chirping crickets answer me. You don't want chirping crickets to shape all of the conversation do you?
Come on. Pipe up!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
We are all meeting in Chicago to celebrate on Saturday and we are staying over night at a hotel. It will be a lot of fun and great to see all of my family. We are going to give gifts and toasts and hugs and share memories and funny stories.
Love is great, isn't it?
Now, why can't a napkin holder last 300 years?! I bet I could make a napkin holder that could last 300 years--I bet I could make one that would last 1,000 years. Why shouldn't a napkin holder last hundreds of years?!
He could do it. He's a great designer and could figure out the best materials and the best way to fashion it. Somehow, I don't think that a napkin holder is what our progeny would like to inherit from us, but I don't think they want this either, do they?
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
The kids think the opossum is absolutely adorable! My son has named it Nibbles and my daughter and son both wanted to know how exactly you fold a cloth diaper because they were threatening to go out there and put a diaper on it and teach it tricks.
To them Nibbles looks like this,
So sweet!! They take a hand mirror and angle it just so to get a good look at Nibbles in the reflection.
To me Nibbles looks like this,
Not only do I see the opossum like this, I also think it will lunge out at the kids and chew their faces off or gnaw their ankles to the bone or some other little kid/threatened wild animal interface that would not be good for the kids or the opossum.
We are staying away from the canoe for the time being. Opossum feeding has been abruptly suspended too, much to the dismay of my crackers-in-the-backyard-scattering kids.
I am such a buzz kill.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
This, from Obama's website today, March 11, 2008:
Greg Craig, former director of the Policy Planning Office, U.S. State Department sent out this memo today:
When your entire campaign is based upon a claim of experience, it is important that you have evidence to support that claim. Hillary Clinton’s argument that she has passed “the Commander- in-Chief test” is simply not supported by her record.
There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton played an important domestic policy role when she was First Lady. It is well known, for example, that she led the failed effort to pass universal health insurance. There is no reason to believe, however, that she was a key player in foreign policy at any time during the Clinton Administration. She did not sit in on National Security Council meetings. She did not have a security clearance. She did not attend meetings in the Situation Room. She did not manage any part of the national security bureaucracy, nor did she have her own national security staff. She did not do any heavy-lifting with foreign governments, whether they were friendly or not. She never managed a foreign policy crisis, and there is no evidence to suggest that she participated in the decision-making that occurred in connection with any such crisis. As far as the record shows, Senator Clinton never answered the phone either to make a decision on any pressing national security issue – not at 3 AM or at any other time of day.
When asked to describe her experience, Senator Clinton has cited a handful of international incidents where she says she played a central role. But any fair-minded and objective judge of these claims – i.e., by someone not affiliated with the Clinton campaign – would conclude that Senator Clinton’s claims of foreign policy experience are exaggerated.
Senator Clinton has said, “I helped to bring peace to Northern Ireland.” It is a gross overstatement of the facts for her to claim even partial credit for bringing peace to Northern Ireland. She did travel to Northern Ireland, it is true. First Ladies often travel to places that are a focus of U.S. foreign policy. But at no time did she play any role in the critical negotiations that ultimately produced the peace. As the Associated Press recently reported, “[S]he was not directly involved in negotiating the Good Friday peace accord.” With regard to her main claim that she helped bring women together, she did participate in a meeting with women, but, according to those who know best, she did not play a pivotal role. The person in charge of the negotiations, former Senator George Mitchell, said that “[The First Lady] was one of many people who participated in encouraging women to get involved, not the only one.”
News of Senator Clinton’s claims has raised eyebrows across the ocean. Her reference to an important meeting at the Belfast town hall was debunked. Her only appearance at the Belfast City Hall was to see Christmas lights turned on. She also attended a 50-minute meeting which, according to the Belfast Daily Telegraph’s report at the time, “[was] a little bit stilted, a little prepared at times." Brian Feeney, an Irish author and former politician, sums it up: “The road to peace was carefully documented, and she wasn’t on it.”
Senator Clinton has pointed to a March 1996 trip to Bosnia as proof that her foreign travel involved a life-risking mission into a war zone. She has described dodging sniper fire. While she did travel to Bosnia in March 1996, the visit was not a high-stakes mission to a war zone. On March 26, 1996, the New York Times reported that “Hillary Rodham Clinton charmed American troops at a U.S.O. show here, but it didn’t hurt that the singer Sheryl Crow and the comedian Sinbad were also on the stage.”
Senator Clinton has said, “I negotiated open borders to let fleeing refugees into safety from Kosovo.” It is true that, as First Lady, she traveled to Macedonia and visited a Kosovar refugee camp. It is also true that she met with government officials while she was there. First Ladies frequently meet with government officials. Her claim to have “negotiated open borders to let fleeing refugees into safety from Kosovo,” however, is not true. Her trip to Macedonia took place on May 14, 1999. The borders were opened the day before, on May 13, 1999.
The negotiations that led to the opening of the borders were accomplished by the people who ordinarily conduct negotiations with foreign governments – U.S. diplomats. President Clinton’s top envoy to the Balkans, former Ambassador Robert Gelbard, said, “I cannot recall any involvement by Senator Clinton in this issue.” Ivo Daalder worked on the Clinton Administration’s National Security Council and wrote a definitive history of the Kosovo conflict. He recalls that “she had absolutely no role in the dirty work of negotiations.”
Last year, former President Clinton asserted that his wife pressed him to intervene with U.S. troops to stop the Rwandan genocide. When asked about this assertion, Hillary Clinton said it was true. There is no evidence, however, to suggest that this ever happened. Even those individuals who were advocating a much more robust U.S. effort to stop the genocide did not argue for the use of U.S. troops. No one recalls hearing that Hillary Clinton had any interest in this course of action. Based on a fair and thorough review of National Security Council deliberations during those tragic months, there is no evidence to suggest that U.S. military intervention was ever discussed. Prudence Bushnell, the Assistant Secretary of State with responsibility for Africa, has recalled that there was no consideration of U.S. military intervention.
At no time prior to her campaign for the presidency did Senator Clinton ever make the claim that she supported intervening militarily to stop the Rwandan genocide. It is noteworthy that she failed to mention this anecdote – urging President Clinton to intervene militarily in Rwanda – in her memoirs. President Clinton makes no mention of such a conversation with his wife in his memoirs. And Madeline Albright, who was Ambassador to the United Nations at the time, makes no mention of any such event in her memoirs.
Hillary Clinton did visit Rwanda in March 1998 and, during that visit, her husband apologized for America’s failure to do more to prevent the genocide.
Senator Clinton also points to a speech that she delivered in Beijing in 1995 as proof of her ability to answer a 3 AM crisis phone call. It is strange that Senator Clinton would base her own foreign policy experience on a speech that she gave over a decade ago, since she so frequently belittles Barack Obama’s speeches opposing the Iraq War six years ago. Let there be no doubt: she gave a good speech in Beijing, and she stood up for women’s rights. But Senator Obama’s opposition to the War in Iraq in 2002 is relevant to the question of whether he, as Commander-in-Chief, will make wise judgments about the use of military force. Senator Clinton’s speech in Beijing is not.
Senator Obama’s speech opposing the war in Iraq shows independence and courage as well as good judgment. In the speech that Senator Clinton says does not qualify him to be Commander in Chief, Obama criticized what he called “a rash war . . . a war based not on reason, but on passion, not on principle, but on politics.” In that speech, he said prophetically: “[E]ven a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences.” He predicted that a U.S. invasion of Iraq would “fan the flames of the Middle East,” and “strengthen the recruitment arm of al Qaeda.” He urged the United States first to “finish the fight with Bin Laden and al Qaeda.”
If the U.S. government had followed Barack Obama’s advice in 2002, we would have avoided one of the greatest foreign policy catastrophes in our nation’s history. Some of the most “experienced” men in national security affairs – Vice President Cheney and Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others – led this nation into that catastrophe. That lesson should teach us something about the value of judgment over experience. Longevity in Washington, D.C. does not guarantee either wisdom of judgment.
The Clinton campaign’s argument is nothing more than mere assertion, dramatized in a scary television commercial with a telephone ringing in the middle of the night. There is no support for or substance in the claim that Senator Clinton has passed “the Commander-in-Chief test.” That claim – as the TV ad – consists of nothing more than making the assertion, repeating it frequently to the voters and hoping that they will believe it.
On the most critical foreign policy judgment of our generation – the War in Iraq – Senator Clinton voted in support of a resolution entitled “The Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of U.S. Military Force Against Iraq.” As she cast that vote, she said: “This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make -- any vote that may lead to war should be hard -- but I cast it with conviction.” In this campaign, Senator Clinton has argued – remarkably – that she wasn’t actually voting for war, she was voting for diplomacy. That claim is no more credible than her other claims of foreign policy experience. The real tragedy is that we are still living with the terrible consequences of her misjudgment. The Bush Administration continues to cite that resolution as its authorization – like a blank check – to fight on with no end in sight.
Barack Obama has a very simple case. On the most important commander in chief test of our generation, he got it right, and Senator Clinton got it wrong. In truth, Senator Obama has much more foreign policy experience than either Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan had when they were elected. Senator Obama has worked to confront 21st century challenges like proliferation and genocide on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He possesses the personal attributes of a great leader – an even temperament, an open-minded approach to even the most challenging problems, a willingness to listen to all views, clarity of vision, the ability to inspire, conviction and courage.
And Barack Obama does not use false charges and exaggerated claims to play politics with national security.
Who is Greg Craig? I thought I'd look him up. Here is a post from a blog dated March 8, 2007. Way back then, Craig endorsed Obama over his colleague Hillary Clinton.
Mar 8 2007
On March 3, I read in Robert Novak’s column that Greg Craig was endorsing Senator Barack Obama. Knowing a bit about Greg Craig and his relationship with the Clintons, I found his endorsement much more of a shocker than David Geffen’s high profile Hollywood split with the power couple. I thought the rest of the political press might pick up Novak’s scoop, but it seems that no one was paying attention.
Now, I know that Greg Craig is not a house hold name and you might be scratching your head and saying, “Who the hell is Greg Craig?” You shouldn’t feel bad if his name is not on the tip of your tongue. But his desertion of the Clintons for a fresh voice should be major news. Just review his relationship with the President and Senator and you will know why this is a big deal.
Greg Craig has known the Clintons since they were at Yale. In fact, some claim that Craig personally introduced Bill and Hillary. He has known them for nearly four decades as both a personal friend and a counsel to the President. During the impeachment trial, Craig served as White House Special Counsel and defended the President in the proceedings before the United States Congress. He was that close to the President.
In addition, Craig was a senior advisor to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, building on his years as an advisor to Senator Kennedy on defense and foreign policy issues.
The man is not a lightweight. In addition to the President of the United States, he has represented Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Washington Post, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and Elian Gonzalez’s father, who sought the return of his son to Cuba. A prolific attorney, he has built a portfolio that includes some of the most high profile clients and cases in Washington.
He is the ultimate FOB, or “friend of Bill,” and a consummate Washington insider. He would be among those you would expect to immediately support Senator Clinton. Having been their friend, lawyer and confidant for all this time, his early endorsement of Obama is astounding. And yes, Senator Obama is a powerful and charismatic candidate, but you can be sure there is more in play than just Craig being inspired by the good Senator from Illinois.
Put yourselves on the line here. Is it the Munsters or the Adams Family?
Which is the definitive monster family?
I know there are strong feelings about this just as there are strong feelings about the best Bond--I'm in the Sean Connery camp and I'm surprised at how many people are in the Roger Moore camp, really.
Any way, is it Munsters or Adams? Please answer the poll and we'll analyze the results in a week.
Monday, March 10, 2008
My son is holding a rubber chicken at the top of the stairs as my husband, who just got home a few minutes ago, is "pitching" my son a flying monkey with cape and eye mask and rubber arms that you pull to fling the monkey across the room where he emits a howler monkey sound as my son swings. It's almost impossible to hit with the chicken and is unbelievably hilarious to everyone involved.
All of this brings me to my post homeschooling conference report. It was a wonderful conference--everyone had fun and learned new things. My husband discovered that he's right brained just as some others are in this household. Nice to know. Want to know what new things we got? Of everything we saw in the vendor hall, all of the cool science equipment and laminated maps and marbleized paper and used books my son's eyes settled on the rubber chicken and he was hooked by it. He desperately wanted the rubber chicken and hinted at the flying monkey, and so that's what he got. He has thanked us for getting him those two things at least a dozen times in the last day and a half. My daughter saw a sort of goth looking homeschooling teenager who was selling all sorts of chain mail jewelry that she had made and my daughter really wanted a chain mail rainbow bracelet, so we got her that. She loves it and a calligraphy set we got her as a surprise. It has different sized nibs and different pens and several different color ink cartridges.
Now they're getting ready for a bike ride. I will stay here and enjoy the peace.
I love my family very much, but I like a little peace and a stretch of time without howler monkey noises and musicals sung at the top of my daughter's enthusiastic lungs.
Sometimes happiness is very loud.
A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust, such as a lawyer, insurance adjuster, a politician, executive or director of a corporation or a medical research scientist or physician, has competing professional or personal interests. Such competing interests can make it difficult to fulfill his or her duties impartially. A conflict of interest exists even if no unethical or improper act results from it. A conflict of interest can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine confidence in the person, profession, or court system. A conflict can be mitigated by third party verification or third party evaluation noted below—but it still exists.
Hmmmm. THAT seems pretty straight forward, doesn't it? I get it. Personal interests are protected, or promoted at the expense of professional interests or obligations. It really doesn't seem unclear to me. I can easily see where there could be conflicts of interest. It's obvious.
Neo-Agrarian over at The Suburban Agrarian sent me a link to Daily Kos a few days ago, and I just now found time to read it. What do you know?--the post shows a classic example of conflict of interest between the top advisers of Hillary and McCain's campaigns. It seems they are both from the same company...Say what?!! Yes. Really.
Here's a hypothetical (or is it???). If Hillary goes down in flames is it good for both campaigns if she takes Obama down with her? Is Hillary suggesting things like McCain is more qualified than Obama to be President? Why, yes she is. Crazy, right? Because, after all, both she and Obama are Democrats. It would seem that they both have more policy approaches in line with each other than anything with McCain. Yet, here is Hillary saying that both she and McCain have passed the threshold of experience needed to be President and Obama hasn't yet...Sounds good for the McCain campaign--which is intimately tied to her campaign.
Go to Daily Kos and read what they have to say. I just can't believe this contemptible crap. Day after day after day Hillary is showing why she is becoming more and more distrusted and why people are so disenchanted with the whole electoral process. She is showing us all how she runs her campaign and so is Obama. One campaign has huge conflicts of interest and doesn't care who they take down and the other is inspiring and is run effectively and with grace.
Here's another question for you: Which campaign is more presidential?