Happy New Year!

2008, learn and appreciate.

News 5 Phoenix Az. -- Times Square New Year's Ball Goes 'Green'
Century-Old Ball Now Uses Energy-Efficient Bulbs (AP)

The people in charge of Times Square are wising up, so it seems. Energy efficient bulbs saves on watts and watts saved means, less of oil down the line. Very good-- people!

Now, if the elitists could get their good old boys (Land Contractors, Land Barons, Land Moguls, which ever phrase/label you prefer) to stop destroying the habitat, I'd shout from the roof tops..."you've come a long way baby!"

Since 9/11, the green movement seems to have picked up steam. With this country in an oil crisis, the elite are beginning to understand, what goes on in the world of the lesser majority, does in fact affect them too. Even Georgie-Peorgie is starting to warm up to green other than the dollar bill. Very good George -- here's a lollipop! Now, stop sending our Social Security money overseas!

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Fudge, Fudge, Fudge

No, I'm not ranting like my usual maniacal self. I'm actually going to say something nice. This morning I stumbled onto a story that made me smile. Made me want some fudge too.

Lafayette, Indiana (AP) Headline: Sweet surprise: Lost diamond ring turns up in fudge

--But Linda Vancel recently got a sweet surprise: A relative of the woman
who bought the fudge found the ring when he bit into a piece of the

What made me smile more; the people who found the ring tracked down it's owner. I know I've said that I usually don't like anything that walks upright and talks.
But, this fudge eating lady and people like her, tend to renew my faith in humanity. Well, somewhat.

People say diamonds are a girls best friend, no, keep that antiquated crystallized carbon form to yourself. Give me that ooey, gooey decadent fudge. Now that's what I'm talk'n about!

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People, who know me, wonder why I don't like anything that walks upright and talks; I might as well add who writes too!

From MSNBC News this headline caught my attention: "Obama: Biracial candidate walks own fine line" (Subtitle) But presidential hopeful's post-racial style has its pitfalls. By Janny Scott

I'm not political but I do follow what's going on with the candidates. I try not to read the papers to much and I'm picky about the T.V news broadcasts I watch. I believe that the mass media is what turns people stomachs when reporting the news, not so much the headline grabbers but how the journalist writing/report about them.

The article I read, started out reporting about the 2006 Democratic primary campaign for presidency of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Mind you, this is fast coming on 2008 and the Presidential election. Why is she bringing up a campaign, in Chicago, that most of us don't give a rats-ass about?

Did I ask why? Well, I'll tell you my thoughts. Ms. Scott wrote about Senator Obama riding the racial fence. In case you didn't know, Obama is black, yes indeed, he's of African decent and running for President of the United States. None of us politically, undereducated peons knew that fact.

My take on this article is that because Senator Obama is a Black-American who's hopped into the political arena. Some people believe that he's not playing hard enough ball with the race card. People please! Get over it!

--So Mr. Obama remained neutral. He was blasted in blogs and newspapers
for hedging rather than risk alienating people he needed, though others
said he had made the only shrewd choice.--

He's no different than any other candidate.

He's a Black American, he's biracial, so what! Now, you're wondering where's the chip on this shoulder?

Ms. Scott goes on further and writes;

"like other of his generation, he is a member of a new class of black politicians. Too young to have experienced segregation, he has thrived in white institutions. His style is more conciliatory than confrontational, more technocrat than preacher. Compared with many older politicians, he tends to speak about race indirectly or implicitly, when he speaks about it at all."

Oh well Ms Scott! Why is it necessary for Senator Obama to stand at a podium or any where else for that matter, and thump his chest like a mad grey-back who's had his territory invaded.
We know he's black, we're not blind. Senator Obama knows he's black, he's not blind. We know the history of Black Americans and Black America and so does Senator Obama. And most of us are literate too!

This is the way it is Ms Scott, Senator Obama is running for President of the United States, not President of Black America. He doesn't have to speak about his race, he lives it everyday. He knows the pit-falls and the tumultuous racial history of America.

Whether people like it or not, want to hear it or not; America is the most racist country in the world. Senator Obama knows that. He knows that White America is watching and waiting for him to spout diatribes on past racial injustices. This Senator is classy and eloquent. Class and eloquence aren't just a "white thang".

--‘Acting like he’s white’
this fall, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, an Obama supporter who ran for
president twice, was quoted by a reporter as saying Mr. Obama “needs to
stop acting like he’s white” (words that Mr. Jackson has variously said
that he would never say and that were taken out of context).

He added, “If I were a candidate, I’d be all over Jena.”--

Jesse Jackson doesn't speak for Black Americans. I wish someone would put a sock in his mouth! Mr. Jackson can't hold a candle to Senator Obama.

I tire of people like Mr. Jackson accusing educated Blacks or Blacks who speak eloquently and articulatly of being or acting to "white" Stop hating start appreciating and put a muzzle on that green-eyed monster.

“A black candidate doesn’t want to look like he’s only a black
candidate,” the Rev. Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist, who ran
for president in 2004, said in an interview about Mr. Obama. “If he
overidentifies with Sharpton, he looks like he’s only a black
candidate. A white candidate reaches out to a Sharpton and looks like
they have the ability to reach out. It looks like they’re presidential.
That’s the dichotomy.”

I usually have nothing nice to say about Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, I hate Sharpton's hair by the way, but, I agree with Sharpton on this point. The American people always want to put a label on something or someone. As if that label will bolster something superior dwelling deep within.

The United States is a country of diversity. Presidential candidates must appeal and serve all their constituents.

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America Is What...

There's much diversity here in the United States. Yes, diversity
even among Christian beliefs. What disturbs me most isn't so much the
religious differences but, the lack of understanding American history.
The how and why America was founded.

I've found that a large segment of Christian society believes that
America was and is a Christian nation. Meaning,
America is thought to have been founded by Christians for Christians...only.
This, is far from the truth. America is a secular nation with a
majority Christian constituency. Or plainly put, an Open Society.

Those who first came to America wanted to freely practice "their"
religion. Unfortunately, many of those who wanted to practice their
religion were intolerant of others. Mainly, intolerant of Native
Americans who practiced a different type of religion. Also, much later, Catholics
were widely discriminated against. This type of discrimination became so out of hand the fore-fathers of the Constitution had to take action.

Although, some of the fore fathers of this great country associated themselves
with different Christian denominations, there were others who associated themselves with no denomination or no religion at all. Both groups of men still understood the
dangers of a Theocratic government and supported the right to exercise
any religion or non religion.

The right to freely practice a religion became official with the First
Amendment of ten to the Constitution of the United States. These ten
amendments are known as the "Bill of Rights"
There were no genuine evangelicals who made heated declarations of Christian piety.

Yes, there are Christian principles in the Constitution and the Bill of
Rights but this does not make the Nation a Christian Theocracy.
Meaning, that there is no official American State Church.

The Founding Fathers wanted to get away from the theocracy of a state
church to the likes that was in England (The Angelican Church) and made their thoughts and wishes clear in the First Amendment:

Amendment I: Freedom of speech, religion, press, petition and assembly.

shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If anyone gets anything out from this, I hope it's that America is a
Democracy not a Theocracy and this idea is what has made us a great Nation. A democracy is such an important tool in preserving self-preservation.

We're an open society folks, and if you don't like it...get over it!

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Hate the Words Royalty and Regal

She was the closest thing Pakistan had to a Kennedy. Regal, heir to a tragedy-stricken political dynasty, her rhetorical skills sharpened at Harvard and Oxford, the two-time prime minister was the public face of the democratic, pro-Western leadership the U.S. government wants to see running Pakistan. -- USA Today.

Get a grip already!

What's with people? I mean, come on folks, "the closest thing Pakistan had to a Kennedy!"

No, I am not taking away from all the great work this wonderful woman did for her country especially, for the women in her country. Her dream of democracy and equality for all is upstanding but, what makes her regal like the Kennedys? As a matter of fact, what makes the Kennedys regal? Why did the media label John Jr. America's Prince? We don't have royalty. We, as Americans, don't believe in royalty. We escaped England to get away from royalty and the idealism of royalty.

I hate the word royalty, I truly do, almost as much as I hate the phrase "politically correct." The phrase "politically correct" is just a nicer way of telling people to "shut up and keep your opinions to yourself!"

If I'm not mistaken, the Kennedys, Bhutto, the Queen of England, Prince Ranier and all the other crowned heads put their pants and dresses on the same way I, Joe Smoe and the bag lady I saw wheeling her cart the wrong way, down a one way street. For crying-out-loud; when they fart is the smell sweeter than ours?

Here, this wonderful lady from a Third World country, a country steeped in the muck and mire of chaos, was afforded the higher education that most of us peons would die for. Guess what! She had to leave her country to get that education. Her father was a man encompassed in shading dealings. She, and no I'm not taking away from her good works, was also suspect in some covert dealings too. Yet, here the media goes labeling her royalty.

If it had been me, or some other immaterial persona non grata, who had been suspect or participated in questionable dealings, someone would be bugging our phones, sitting in the empty house across the street peering at us through high-powered binoculars or the IRS would be going through our trash looking for receipts from monies spent at 7/11, PetSmart or WalMart.

Yes, it's wonderful she was pro-Western, in the lime light for women's rights in that region and pro Democracy. But, regal no, that's much to royal for me.

The blood of crowned heads, or pseudo crowned heads, bleeds red like yours, mine and the little old man living in a card board box under the freeway.

Like I said, I hate the word royalty and the phrase "politically correct." Now the word regal has been added to my list.

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We're So Smart...We're Stupid

There's not an answer for everything. The study of Humanity or anything organic isn't an exact science. Face it folks, life is hit and miss. There's room in this existence for the unexplained.
I was watching the television one day and stumbled onto the History Channel. They were discussing the Star of Bethlehem.

I find it funny, not in the comedic way, but, in a sad, cold, deluded way, how mankind seems to always think everything in the world can be analyzed, bisected and dissected, into white or black spectrum leaving no room for gray areas.

These scientists, I usually call them eggheads or educated idiots, were discussing the hypothesis that the Star of Bethlehem was really Halley’s comet making its 75 year jaunt around our solar system during the time of Christ’s birth. Again, science is determined to make no room in the color spectrum for gray. All the mathematicians, astronomists and every other possessor of gargantuan brains have aligned their high powered -- gray matter, computers and even some new super gadget calculator -- trying to calculate whether or not this occurrence was feasible.

I did a little digging and found this site on the web discussing the Star of Bethlehem. Of course the main theme for this site is that the Star of Bethlehem was a myth, like most scientist they believe anything Biblical or religious is mythical or folklore and only the undereducated, brain-washed or brain-dead would dare think of it any other way.

This is the excerpt I found: THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM FASCINATES -- For millenniums, believers, scoffers and the curious have wondered at the Biblical account of the Star. The Bible recounts unusual, or even impossible astronomical events at Christ's birth. For many doubters, the account of the Star is easily dismissed as myth. For many believers, it's a mystery accepted on faith. But what happens if we combine current historical scholarship, astronomical fact and an open mind?

http://www.bethlehemstar.net/stage/stage.htm#points My thoughts are; why must man always over complicate simple things? Why isn't there room for the gray area, the unexplained, in these super brains?
Science says that man only uses a small portion of our brain. Could it be that God made man to use this tidbit, this iota of greatness for a reason? Scripture says God knew man before the formation of the world. He knew that if mankind was given to much power we would destroy ourselves. Look at what we are doing now, wars (the threat of nuclear weapons), abortion (murdering the most innocent of innocent), cloning (the means of making life in a test tube), biological warfare ( the means of taking life by a test tube), the list goes on. With this minuscule bit of knowledge God has given, we, mankind, are doing a bang up job--maiming, destroying and emasculating each other. Is this God’s way of limiting our expertise in playing finite gods or demi-gods?

In my way of thinking, simplistic at best, is to take heed in the wisdom of the Bible and take note: 1Cr 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Now, whether you believe in the Bible or not (that's another debate) the human race still needs to sit back and reevaluate, recalculate our value system. PEOPLE! -- We're killing ourselves and each other! All for what? Oil, the mighty green-back, or who can hoard the most gold-plated jocks or bras? Ask yourselves, whether you believe in heaven or some other after-life or whether we'll just crash the home of worms…can we take any of these material things with us?

We all would be better off if we would adhere to simplicity which, is quite simply… simple.

Home School vs. Traditional School

Is home schooling that much better than traditional education? Is it really?

I believe the answer depends on your personal motivation.

Many people home school for religious reasons. Others home-school because they believe that the education system is faulty. Yet, there are those who are accused of home schooling for racial reasons.

Some of us picture the typical home-schooled as white upper class. These Moms don't have to work because Dad is making a six-figure income. In middle and lower socioeconomic class families both parents must work which leaves the option of home schooling not feasible. Nor, can these lower income parents afford the six to ten thousand dollar a year price tag of a private religious school education.

Home schooled children are more likely to be non-Hispanic White, they are likely to live in households headed by a married couple with moderate to high levels of education and income, and are likely to live in a household with an adult not in the labor force. -- Kurt J Bauman 2001

Yet, there is always an exception to the rule. There are families on the low-end of the economic scale who home school. These parents strongly believe open society is counter-productive to the religious teaching of their children. Their mind-set is to give up luxuries for the sake of their children's religious and moral education.

Parents who are pro home schooling believe that children are more free to experiment with creativity and are more likely to find the meaning of self-worth as appose to being stuck in a class room six to seven hours a day with thirty other children. These parents don't want their children exposed to other children who aren't being raised with moral, ethical or social graces, I might add.
One parent stated: "Factory educations" -- traditional schools -- are said to be ruining our children's minds.
A forced curricula, the stress of constant testing (therefore labeling) and imposing our interests over a child's personal interests are killing our children's natural curiosity about the world and it's workings."
-- Laura Childs (http://www.goodbyecitylife.com/homeschool/whatswrong.htm)

I believe that home schooling is not all that it is cracked up to be. In my opinion home schooling isolates children from the world they will have to enter sooner or later. Many believe that teaching children at home will emotionally and socially hold the children back.

Home school advocates have their statistics as to why home schooling is the way to go and anti-home school advocates have their statistics as to why and how home schooling is hurting children and the educational system.

There is no sound proof way to protect children from the evils of the world. However, if parents take a full and active role in their children's day-to-day lives, unacceptable behavior and ideals can be warded off to some extent.

Economics plays a huge role in educating the children of this country. The scales aren't balanced. There are those parents who can afford to have one stay home and teach. On the other hand there are circumstances where both parents must work. Let's not forget the segment of society where there's only one parent in the home, which makes their choice of whether to home school or not quite obvious.

We, as a country, know that the scales of justice are unbalanced. Now we can add the scales of education to the measure.

Well...What Did You Expect?

I was wandering around cyberspace this morning and stumbled on to a news article published on FoxNews.com which piqued my interest. The article, entitled "Lakota Indians Withdraw Treaties Signed With U.S. 150 Years Ago" http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317548,00.html -- Lakota Indian story
immediately woke me up. My first thought, no, my second thought was -- wow! the American Indian war is still going strong. My first thought was of my great, great-grandmother and how she must be turning over in her grave and screaming "it's about time."

This brought back the memory of 1974 and Wounded Knee and how the Federal government decend on the Rez like a swarm of ravishing locusts. Now, here we go again. Why does this article arouse such interest to me, because I am of Cherokee decent. Later in this commentary I will talk about my great, great-grandmother who walked the trail of tears in 1839.

The first paragraph of the article summed the Lakota stance exact: "We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,'' long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means said.

America is a land of immigrants. Immigrants who conquered the North American Continent in order to settle and freely practice religion -- much to the chagrin of this country’s original people. To be politically correct, amend that last sentence to read -- conquered at the expense of people who settled here 300 - 400 hundred years prior.

In this new millenium, there's much speculation about how the "Original People" of America came to be here. In the world of History academia, heated debate regarding what's true history and what isn't continues. The Indigenous, or Original People, had no written language documenting their travels to America, and passed their history down generation to generation in tribal stories. The Cherokee Nation was the first Indian Nation to have a written language. This didn't happen until 1821 when Sequoyah, grandson of a Cherokee Chief, realized the importance of written language in the validation of the Cherokee Nation to the American Government and began developing an alphabet.

Most people remember the infamous Trail of Tears in the winter of 1838-1839, which, the Cherokees know as "the time when they cried". What is not remembered; in 1832, Andrew Jackson started removal of the Creeks, Chickasaw, and Choctaw Nations. The Seminole Nation was snug down in the Florida Everglades; that aspect of the American Indian war was never won by America. Actually, to many, the America Indian war has never truly been settled, it's still fought in present day courtrooms.

My great-great-grandmother Caroline and our people were in America by a good 300 - 400 years before the Europeans.
Caroline, her white-man name, lived 104 years. She was born to Sallis Kayto in 1830 in or around the current Wetumpka Alabama area. She died in 1934 in Birmingham Alabama in a house still owned by members of our family. The day Granny left us, she wrapped herself in a blanket, sat Indian style in a corner, closed her eyes and went to be with our ancestors. She died a foreigner in her own land.

Why did she die a foreigner? The United States hadn't passed the Social Security Bill (H.R. 7260) until April 19, 1935 a year after she died therefore, she didn't have a social security number (and would have refused to apply for one if she had lived) and was not considered an American.

Now, we have the current situation of bills passed to either legalize illegal immigrants or deport them. What makes America think that the first inhabitants of this land wouldn't like everyone deported? Indians of this country say that this is the "Land of Broken Treaties" and many believe that the current government is illegal and should vacate the premises.

This millenium turn of event has another Original Nation wanting to annex themselves from a government that speaks from the other side of its face. Can any rational human being blame them?

Of course, this is an outrageous thought; remember what happened in 1974 with the uprising at Wounded Knee. The Original Nation demanded annexation, which brought the Feds in to control the situation. The Oglala Sioux didn't actually want annexation; they wanted their treatment by the American government exposed to the rest of American society.

Within three years of the siege and the ensuing court trials, AIM (American Indian Movement) and their Chicano support organizations suffered from dozens and dozens of assassinations, with 63 deaths on Pine Ridge Reservation alone. (http://www.russellmeans.com/)

There's still a prisoner of unofficial war held this very day, Leonard Peltier. Not one President, neither Democrat nor Republican will declare him amnesty. (http://www.freepeltier.org/)

Irony has this country griped tight in a proverbial fist. We sit on the slippery palm of an oxymoronic hand: immigrants declaring other immigrants illegal. Or immigrants backing out of treaties they signed with the Original people 150 years ago. Never the less, the gust rolled pages of American history documents the tragedies befallen its Native sons and daughters, which many have referred to as attempted genocide.

Yet, America wonders why their voice continues to echo in empty rooms.

By djw

Readings of interest:
The Spirit of Wounded Knee

Killing the White Man’s Indian
Reinvention of Native Americans at the End of the 20th Century
By Fergus M. Bordewhich.

Quote:"Like the miner's canary, the Indian marks the shift from fresh air to poison gas in our political atmosphere; and our treatment of Indians, even more than our treatment of other minorities, reflects the rise and fall in our democratic faith." --Felix S. Cohen, 1953

Rocket Science and the Amateur

This is the premiere post of my new blog Voice-A-Thought formally known as OpinioNation Nook. As I was surfing through the web deciding what I would write about, I spotted the headlines "Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto Assassinated"
and decided there's no better place to start than with this headline.

First, I want to express my sadness at the murder of the a great and courageous lady but, in the same breath, want to ask -- is anyone really surprised.

I'm reading how Bush from the United States is shocked, how Kouchner from France is shocked, how Miliband from Great Britain is shocked etc., yet, I didn't read about the shock of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. Let's not be mistaken, I'm in no way implying that Musharraf had anything to do with this tragedy however, I don't believe one iota that he or any other Pakistani citizen is shocked. Sorrowful, some, despondent, some -- shocked...not in the least bit.

I, being an American citizen and proud of it, still can't fathom how or why anyone, other than those who are legends within their own minds, would want to live in a country where freedom of...practically everything, is squashed. Nor do I understand why there are those out there who will fight and commit suicide to keep democracy at bay.

When a group of people want to put shackles on democracy they're putting those same chains, a choke hold if you will, on their own self-preservation.

It isn't rocket science folks! Even us amateur and politically bankrupt know-nothings, understand this concept.

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