Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Can't Say I'm Surprised, Bill: But It's a Wise Decision

Retiring Senator Bill Frist announced today he will not run for president in 2008. It's a wise decision. I admire him for listening to advisers who have undoubtedly told him that his chances of being elected president now are slim to none. I also respect him for sticking to his guns about serving in the Senate for only two terms, and think all senators and representatives should follow his lead.

If we can ever get term limits enacted and budgetary earmarks eliminated, we will have made significant progress in the political arena.

On another political note, a new poll finds Rudy Giuliani to be the most popular politician in the country and Condi Rice more popular than either Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton. Not surprised here either. Just feel er, pleasantly pleasant, filled with pleased pleasantness.

Oh yes, oh yes I am.

Oh, Please.

All he wants is a cookie.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Every Proper Queen Needs Her Wellies and a Good Ghillie, Part 2

As the terrible week following Di's death in Paris unfolds, the queen continues to be sequestered at Balmoral Castle in Scotland with her immediate family, grandsons and a small staff. The longer she and the Royal Family keep their lives and turmoil private, the louder the world clamors for her attention.

It is a time of unprecedented soul-searching for her if not conflicted, though subdued, emotions.

While this movie could have gone off in all sorts of tangential directions focusing on the ever widening public and worldwide commotion of these days; in the end, its power lies its ability to stay calm and focused on the queen, the queen, and nothing but the queen. The outside issues are dealt with only as they directly impact and are impacted by the lady herself.

This is as it should be: it's far more satisfying for the audience to know the central character in greater depth, than its being carried off in all directions, like a chicken with its head cut off. The director is to be commended for this.

Everyone plays a supporting role to the queen, even as the boys who have just lost their mother are seen off in the distance--in their bedroom and on the river practicing their casting--to the unfolding story of their grandmother with her dilemma of how best to serve her family and her people in the face of such unchartered events.

What of this woman and her character as revealed in The Queen? What then commends it to an audience and how most poignantly is her character conveyed?

Quietly, subtlely and in an understated, dignified manner. (This is one of the reasons that this movie can be seen again and thought about for days. It also attests to the staying power of the queen herself in an institution many, including me, thought was near extinction. I would no longer bet on it.)

To my own great delight, one of its most powerful and revealing scenes takes place with the queen outdoors, alone in the wildlands of Scotland.

It starts at her ghillies' cottage, where her gameskeepers are gathered. She comes knocking at the door whereupon she is greeted informally. There is respect accorded any lady, but all formal queenly protocols are suspended. The queen shines as she asks for directions to her husband's hunting expedition. Though the head ghillie offers to accompany her, she will have none of it, preferring instead to go on alone in her old Land Rover.

Of course this is all projection on my part, but I can't help but think this must be delicious time for the queen, even as she grapples with one of the greatest crisises of her reign. Time alone, batting around in beautiful scenery, fresh air, peace and quiet. Time not having to talk or be talked to, as the rest of the world seems to be going mad.

The scene progresses, she comes to the river which she must cross. As she drives through shallow water, the axle hits a rock, cracking her vehicle's front shaft, stalling her journey indefinitely.

While she waits for her ghilly's arrival and assistance after calmly calling him on her cell phone, the queen begins to take in the sights and sounds of the natural beauty around her with a sense of quiet awe.

It is then she begins to cry. Stranded, alone, and surrounded by creation, she finally allows herself the indulgence of a good cry.

Some people claim they can only have such a cry in the presence of a loved one or good listener. But I'm with the queen here, as some of the best cries I've ever had have been on a stream, alone.

But even her private flow of emotion is short-lived as she hears a rustle and turns to see a large 14-point stag staring her in the face. It's as if this magnificent creature has come to commiserate the human condition and unavoidable paradoxes of life and death.

As she looks through tears in startled delight, she finds solace in the unexpected eye contact with this creature. The Queen of England and the King of the Highlands cross paths in a momentary rapt mutual admiration society.

And then, hearing gunshots off in the distance, the queen shoos the great stag away, back into the wilds from wence he came, hoping to save his life, even for a little longer.

I shall be back one more time on some more observations on The Queen and why we need her and what she stands for more than ever.

Then again, I may become a career blogger on all things queen. It sure beats posting on the likes of sex expert Scarlett Johansson, new House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi or presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton.

They, and I, could surely take a few lessons from the queen who has endured for over 50 years both in her private as well as public life.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Every Proper Queen Needs Her Wellies and a Good Ghillie, Part 1

Yes, yes, we all know the Queen has a supporting cast of royal family members who over the decades we've come to know, love and hate just as intimately as if they were our own. It seems the worlds'--and our--fascination with her and her often scandalous family is without bounds.

We're way too familiar with her snooty, often righteously indignant and irreverant sporting husband, her dignified Scotch-swigging mummy, her irascible children and grandchildren with their lovers, spouses and exs, and finally her royal pack of yelping corgis. She certainly is at no loss for dramatic distraction, pathos and scandal in her life.

Add to that deliciously wicked mix, a bright, new Prime Minister with a perfectly compatible, clever wife, members of Parliament and royal attendants (those with scruples and those without) and it's obvious why we've been enthralled with these people for generations.

Then, just when we think we know everything about our royals and their soap opera lives, a new source of fascination shows up: here comes "The Queen" to US movie theaters everywhere.

It's a fascinating look behind the scenes at the the queen and the royal hubbub at Balmoral Castle in the Highlands of Scotland, during the time of Princess Di's scandalous death in Paris and Tony Blair's election as Prime Minister of England in September, 1997. While the rest of the world was erupting in orgasmic grief and emotion over Diana's tragic accident, the queen and company were keeping their own counsel privately, quietly at Balmoral, much to the consternation of the rest of the world.

It is film worth seeing if you're fascinated with that time, those people and like beautiful, dramatic scenery in faraway places.

Not only did I like this movie, I came to see and admire the Queen in a light I never dreamed possible. I found her to be in many ways my kind of gal.

Such a statement is a 180 degree change from a time I found her to be a hard-hearted battle-axe of a woman, presiding over an anachronistic institution whose time had long since come and gone.

That was all before I saw Her Majesty at Balmoral Castle batting around alone on the 40,000 acre royal game preserve, driving herself in a beat-up old Land Rover with her head shrink-wrapped in a silk scarf, and getting her vehicle stuck in a trout stream before calmly having to call her ghillie for assistance for a broken front shaft.

Now there's a woman I can jolly-well identify with. More in Part 2.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Loneliness and the Life of Joseph, the Kid Sold Into Slavery by His Brothers in Genesis 40

One of my favorite stories from the Old Testament is the tale of brotherly treachery and the way God used it for good in the life of Joseph, son of Jacob. Dr. David Jeremiah talks about it here.

After being falsely accused, hear how iron entered Joseph's soul and toughened him up for leadership beyond his wildest dreams in the loneliness of prison.


A prayer for those earnestly searching for Truth.

Lord Jesus, you claim to be the way, the truth, and the life. Grant that I might come to know You in a living way and not just through another dead religion. Grant that I be undaunted by the cost of following you, as I consider reasons for doing so. If what you claim is true, please guide me, teach me and open me to the living reality of who you are. Give me an understanding of you that is coherent, convincing, and that leads to the life you promise. Amen.

(Thanks to Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City, for this prayer.)

Saturday, November 25, 2006


"Your religion is what you do with your solitude."
---Archbishop William Temple

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving, 2006

There is not a year that goes by that I don't feel ever more grateful to live in this country at such an amazing time in our history. The abundance of her resources---spiritual, human, natural, and technological---are incomparable. I pray that we wake up and become ever more willing to defend the freedoms in the days ahead that our forefathers fought and died for and which we so easily take for granted today. These freedoms are under assault as never before on a myriad of fronts.

May we also take whatever steps necessary to defend and protect that basic building block of society and civilization, the traditional family unit.

May God bless our country, our families and all of our troops fighting in far away places to extend the privileges and responsibilities of democracy and freedom throughout our world.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Thoughtful Comment, that Would Otherwise Publish in My Archives

I am happy to feature a comment that would otherwise be published in a post now in my archives. And I will respond to it at a later time but for now it is always nice to receive good feedback from all sides. Thank you for writing:

"While I am not very well educated on the other candidates that you support, I was disappointed to see that you support Rick Santorum for PA senate. As a Pennsylvania native, I must admit that the alternative choice (Bob Casey) is not much better, however I do find that anything is better then Santorum. I am sure that you would be very concerned about his record if you knew that he voted against environmental funding, for off-shore drilling and has taken many other steps that prove him to be an enemy of the environment. As for this particular vote (off-shore drilling), I believe that the solution to America’s energy crisis lies in renewable and sustainable energy. Apparently Rick has not considered that off-shore drilling is not only unrenewable (we are about to reach our peak in oil production) but also very detrimental to the environment. In addition his ethics are incredibly corrupt. (He seems to be best buds with Wal-Mart, voting against a raise in minimum wage and accepting nice favors in return.)
Paul’s granddaughter"

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I Feel a Stemwinder Coming On, Miss Johansson

One of the reasons I started this blog, among other things, was to vent my spleen from time to time, whether anyone saw, read, listened to or agreed with me. Or not.

Miss Scarlett Johansson has recently criticized President Bush for his overly conservative views on sex outside marriage as "unrealistic."

Well, I feel a stemwinder coming on. But, I'm too busy right now to give vent to it. But get back, I shall, Miss Johansson.

And I plan to get back to "it"--some recreational venting on this subject of freewheeling sex outside marriage--more than once in the days ahead. As a child, and I do mean child, who came of age in the sixties and am still recovering from the many excesses of that time, I have some things to say on the subject of sex outside marriage, both from hard-earned experience and years of observation.

So as soon as I can, I plan to talk about the worldly view of recreational sex---anytime, anywhere with anyone one feels like---which Miss Johansson enthusiastically advocates, even as she struggles with her latest relationship difficulties here.

Meanwhile, Ace carries the ball, as best as any poor man can--- with big cleavage in his face cradled in red silk, or no, on second thought I think it's polyester. Synthetic polyester she's wearing.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday: Thanksgiving on My Mind

Light blogging today. Got Thanksgiving on my mind: family, food, shopping, lights, candles, decorations, clean sheets and towels and all the other things a woman is conditioned to think about at this time of year. Don't think I've even clicked on Drudge today!

The holiday season has gotten to be a bit much in recent years, but it's still the best time to sit down and take stock of so many blessings, and visit with old friends and family.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

God Parting the Red Sea: The Greatest Miracle of the Old Testament

Lon Solomon, pastor of McLean Bible Church, talks about the greatest miracle of the Old Testament: God parting the Red Sea to bring almost three million Jews of out of slavery in Egypt. And he tells why it's relevant to us today, here.

Don't think it really happened? Then you might enjoy this sermon. What a completely dazzling story.

Hearing Solomon teach the Bible from a true Bible perspective has done more to grow my faith in recent years, than anything else.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

We Forget to Remember to Forget

In the busyness of our hectic lives, it's so easy to forget history and events leading up to big decisions. Lest we forget to remember to forget, let us remember to remember all the intelligence leading up to the decision to go into Iraq for at least a decade before that decision was made, here.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Milton Friedman on The Four Ways to Spend Money

Milton Friedman, may you rest in peace. But may your wisdom live much longer and prosper us all. A sample in its most basic form is found here.

The greatest argument for the free enterprise system here. We cannot have a free society unless such enterprise plays a greater role in our lives. Of course, that requires that our citizenry take more, not less, personal responsibility for ourselves, an anathema to our current cradle to grave nanny state.

If asked to choose between personal freedom and government assistance, Friedman always erred on the side of freedom in all aspects of life. Michael McClellan remembers Friedman well, here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Family Holiday Circus Has Begun: My Sister at Starbucks

My younger sister and I have an annual contest to see who pulls the ditziest, most dingbat stunt of the year.

I think she's going to win the prize in 2006. Heaven forbid that I top this one in the 45 days remaining in this year.

My sister called me this morning. She had just gotten to our hometown yesterday after driving two days from Colorado with a car full of stuff and two dogs, where I am also returning.

Seems that when she arrived, she couldn't get into her rental condo until later in the day. So she went over to Starbucks to chill out, have a latte and, well, use the facilities.

After waiting to get into the bathroom, she finally went in. Minutes later she turned to flush the toilet with her purse on her shoulder. Quicker than a jack rabbit, the purse slipped and her keys fell out of her overstuffed bag into the toilet and disappeared without a trace into the abyss of the gyrating, screaming, flushing commode.

"It was one of those power flush toilets from hell," she moaned.

It instantly sucked all ten of her keys, key rings, keychain, and a big red pepper spray cannister she had attached to the keys for protection into the centrifugal force of the water before gulping the ensemble into middle earth for all eternity.

"And there I was, alone staring down the toilet begging my keys to come back."

"The dogs were locked inside the car, I was locked out and looked like someone out of the Beverley Hillbillies after driving for two days wandering out of the bathroom. I felt like the idiot of all time."

"So I went over to the man behind the Starbucks counter and told him what just happened. He was really sorry but offered no help. Said there were no second chances with that kind of industrial strength toilet. And then he offered me a free cup of coffee..... I wasn't thirsty."

"I think you'll win the ditzy prize this year, " I said.

Well in the end, it turned out my little sister eventually found an extra car key stashed in some hidden magnetic box attached underneath her car and was able to get back in and drive away to the condo. But she added, she was now working on getting new duplicate keys made with those space age chips that cost about $250 each."

"Can you imagine?" she said. Yes, I told her, I had been there too. But not from having my car keys flushed down the toilet.

And as for me, I can let her have the award this year, without going into great detail about my dingbat moment this summer: While hiking in the Rockies one day with a group of friends, during lunch I was passing around a package of dried plums from my pack, saying that I had never had a dried plum before.

Someone asked if I had never eaten a prune? Well sure, I said, I've eaten prunes, but never a dried plum.....they're different, you know.

I was corrected: prunes are dried plums. And the dried plum thing was just a new marketing ploy from Del Monte.

No they're not, I insisted. Prunes are prunes and plums are not prunes....I'm certain of it....certain of it....

Well, someone pressed, have you ever seen a baby prune, before it becomes a prune?

Maybe, maybe not, I said. Can't recall.

Laughter abounded from all around me, as I grasped to make the case that prunes are not dried plums in lenghty, nonsensical oratory.

Needless to say, I will not live such a faux pas down for many moons. I simply had never given any thought whatsoever to the origins of prunes. But hey, confusing prunes and plums is not the same as flushing your car keys down the toilet at Starbucks,

Is it!?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Mini Jihad Watch with Robert Spencer Today at Heritage Foundation

Today at Heritage, Robert Spencer gave a wonderful talk which I attended on Islam and his new book "The Truth About Muhammad," to a full auditorium.

All went well until the question and answer session afterwards, when it became apparent that some members of the audience were Islamic sympatheizers, there to cause trouble. And they had carefully choreographed their disruption.

Since another commenter has already described the event in detail over at Spencer's webpage Jihad Watch, I will reprint it here with only one addition to make: Increasingly at events like this, there needs to be better security. One day, some protester could walk into the building with no security checkpoint, and into the audience with a bomb straped on his belt and let it rip during such a Q&A as we had today.

I, for one, was a bit nervous when these people starting taking over the program at the end. And while security and the police were eventually called, it could have been worse. A lot worse.

Here follows details of what happened today at Heritage which gave all of us who attended pause:

"I attended the Spencer lecture, and I posted my account of what went down on another forum. Here it is again:
Today, I attended a lecture at the headquarters of the Heritage Foundation by Robert Spencer, author of various books on the threat of radical Islam. His lecture lasted for about 40 minutes. As I've noticed on his website, Jihad Watch, in his columns, and in a recent interview with Brian Lamb on CSPAN, Mr. Spencer is very knowledgeable on Islamic theology, history, and radical groups. I truly enjoyed his discussion. (If you want to watch it, go to The Truth About Muhammad. It is available in streaming video, streaming mp3, and downloadable mp3.)

The lecture itself went on without incident. It was during the Q&A period that things started to unravel. The first few questions were on various topics, and Spencer gave insightful answers and commentary.

It was one of the last questions that exposed the "infiltrators" amongst the audience.

A young woman wearing a hat, named Megan ("from Boston"), brought up the subject of child marriage, which Spencer had mentioned when talking about the bad example Muhammad has given to his followers to this day. She asked him if "Republican Congressman Mark Foley was perhaps under the influence of the evil teachings of Muhammad." Spencer laughed at the question, and bluntly said "No."

Members of the audience also laughed at her question, most likely because of its sheer absurdity. Spencer expanded on his answer, and said, "I never said that child molestation or pedophilia or anything of the kind was exclusively the province of Muslims.... I disapprove of it [this kind of conduct] from Mark Foley or anyone else" (If you want to hear this complete exhange, watch the streaming video on the link above, and using the scroll at the bottom of Windows Media Player, forward the time index to 58:01, and it follows from about 58:10 on.)

Spencer answered one more question about whether Islam could under go a reform movement like the Protestant Reformation (and made a slightly-veiled jab at Unitarian and Episcopalian "Christianity" and in the process - Spencer himself is a Catholic of the Melkite rite).

After he finished his answer, the moderator for the lecture, the director of lectures and seminars for the Heritage Foundation, announced that the time for Q&A was up. As he was closing out the lecture, a young man who had has hand up for the entire latter half of the Q&A period stood up and whined loudly about how he hadn't been called on. The lecture director, in response, stated that he was welcome to talk to Spencer afterwards, and then thanked Mr. Spencer for his presentation, which started a round of applause.

Following the applause, people started to file out of the large auditorium at the Heritage Foundation. The man who had been complaining continued to shout, and as I made my way out to the lobby outside the auditorium to get my copies of Spencer's books signed, I started to hear singing. It sounded like some kind of protest song/jingle. I didn't really know what they were singing about at the time, but upon the reviewing the streaming video at the link above (starting at the 1:02:00 mark), the words were something like "Mr. Cheney, something something World War Three, one hundred thousand something die, that's like Nazi genocide." The song, of course, continued.) Between the Foley question and the jingle singers, it became pretty obvious that there were a handful of leftists that were bent on causing some kind of disruption at the lecture.

The disruption continued out in the lobby. A line formed in front of a table so Mr. Spencer could sign books. The man who hadn't been called on (and I have a feeling that lecture organizers had been warned in advance about this guy) came up to the side of the table, and started to rant about how Spencer supposedly supported the mass killing of Muslims, and how he couldn't see why so many people came out to hear him speak.......

As I left the book signing line, I noticed that the lecture director was escorting "Megan from Boston" from out of the auditorium. She left without incident. However, the young whiner continued his rant, and finally, he too was asked to leave.

Some of the Heritage staff and the people who attended the event tried to get him to leave, and with some difficulty, he moved towards the hallway where the elevators were.

I wasn't paying complete attention to the whiner and his "escorts" as they moved towards the elevators, since I wanted to get some of the food and drinks that Heritage had on hand. Suddenly, I heard shouting from the hallway. I went over to see what was going on. I saw the whiner from before trying to hang on to a corner in the hallway as a Heritage staffer escorted him out. He kept on shouting that he was being hurt.

A few minutes later, the U.S. Capitol Police showed up (the Heritage Foundation is only a block and a half away from one of the Senate office buildings). They interviewed the whiner, the staffers involved, and probably some of the witnesses who saw the whole thing go down. After some time, he was finally escorted out of the building by the police.
Posted by: M. Joseph at November 14, 2006 06:30 PM

Again, I reiterate, there needs to be better security at events like this at Heritage and elsewhere. Both the times and the subject matter beg for it.

I'm Liking Humor Right Now

"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing."
--William James

"You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it."
--Bill Cosby

As the days get shorter and the holidays approach, as liberals get ready to take back Congress and run up the white flag in Iraq and elsewhere, as radical California type liberals converge to define our policies on immigration, taxation, and castagation of President Bush et al., I am feeling the need for large doses of humor and optimism to recharge my batteries. A time-out from worldly wisdom and catastropic predictions.

And I am feeling the need for large doses of prayer.

Maybe I'm alone in employing such a basket of coping mechanisms, but there you have it.

I pray optimism will come back soon. But for now, I seek solace in the small things in life, and prayer and laughter, along with long walks in the park, are certainly some of the best ways I know of to cope when sunshine seems to have fled.

Monday, November 13, 2006

If You Need A Monday Laugh....Borat with Antiques, the Humorless Feminists and Hip-Hoppers

This is some of the best slapstick I've ever seen...right here.
"We need help, baby."
More here. And here, Vanilla Face.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hiking Along the Hudson River near Rhinebeck, NY with a Friend

Beautiful weather, lots of girl talk, walking in a Thomas Cole painting along the Hudson, finding a wifi outpost in the one of the country's oldest inns so I could blog, and sipping peppermint tea, all in the best of company. But we forgot to buy you an industrial sized rake for the thousands of leaves in your new yard... Thanks for your wonderful hospitality, 2E!

Sunday: A Fascinating Testimony of A Conversion to Christ

Lon Solomon, pastor of McLean Bible Church in McLean, Virginia tells the amazing story of his conversion to Christ from Judaism here.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veterans Day 2006: Seabees--Can Do

"With willing hearts and skillful hands, the difficult we do at once; the impossible takes a bit longer."

Sculpture at Arlington National Cemetery dedicated to The Seabees, men and women of naval contruction battalions.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Adrienne Shelly, Who She Was and Why We Should All Care About What Happened To Her

I never heard the name Adrienne Shelly until ten days ago and probably never would have.

Except for the fact that I was going to New York City last weekend.

First to see my son, and then pick up a friend to drive up the Hudson Valley for a couple of days to stay at her new weekend home. We had been planning this outing for weeks and even worked out all the logistics, down to how we would get out of the city in the midst of the New York Marathon on Sunday afternoon.

Then my friend called last Thursday with terrible news.

"Look," she said. "something horrible has next door neighbor, Adrienne Shelly, was found dead at her office several blocks away. Police think it was a suicide, but it's the craziest one believes it. I saw her just yesterday and she was radiant."

"Why would she kill herself with a husband who adores her, a three year-old daughter and a career as a writer and actor that's booming? I'm afraid this has us all in a deep state of depression."

"Of course," I replied, not knowing what else to say. "Look, let's call our trip off, you need to be there and I'm just getting over a dreadful cold."

"No, let's go," she insisted. "But I don't know when we will be able to get away right now."

Numerous calls and conversations ensued over the course of the next three days and our road trip. We talked endlessly, formulating theory after theory floating around town about Shelly's horrifying death----a suicide, an accidental hanging while researching a part for a new screenplay, a murder that looked like a suicide, the police questioning of her husband and several even more bizarre theories too awful to mention.

We talked about her daughter and how we hoped she might never have to be told her mother killed herself and what that must do to a child.

But with each conversation we kept coming back to,

"Why?" and, "What really happened?"

We both found the suicide theory hard to swallow. But much more importantly her husband had too, and had hired a private detective. Furthermore, there was still the pesky evidence of strange sneaker footprints in the bathroom where she had been found hung.

Then late Monday night, the call came to my friend's home where we were staying that started to pull all the pieces of this awful puzzle together.

"She was murdered by an illegal alien doing construction work in her building. He's confessed and been arrested. He's only been in the country a year and can speak very little English."

The suspect is one Diego Pillco, 19, an illegal alien from Ecuador, who later told police "he was having a bad day."

He was also scared to death of being caught and sent back to where he came from.

The story started making sense: Adrienne, 40, had been bothered by loud contruction noise while she tried to work in her office, and had gone down to the next floor to complain. A row broke out between Shelly and Pillco who then threw a hammer at her but missed. Angered, Shelly turned and ran back up the steps she had just come down with Pillco in hot pursuit, warning her not to call the police.

He then struck her in the head.

Suspecting she was either near death or dead, and fearing he would be found out and deported from the country, Pillco dragged Shelly into her office, wrapped her in a sheet and hung her---most likely alive and struggling---on the shower rod over the bath tub to make it look like she had committed suicide. It was there Adrienne Shelly died.

And it was there that Shelly's husband, Andy Ostroy, found her later that day, after repeatedly trying to call and e-mail her but getting no response.

Adrienne Shelley left behind a husband and daughter whom she loved and who adored her, a career that was blossoming, and friends and fans who were cheering her on. Her untimely death is a tragedy on every front.

And it is also a tragedy that can be laid on all of us as we continue to allow thousands and thousands of illegal aliens into our country each year.

According to a post over at Michelle Malkin:

"Pillco was a native of the city of Cuenca, and arrived in the United States in the summer of 2005 after paying smugglers $12,000 to sneak him over the Mexican border, according to law-enforcement sources."

"Pillco eventually made his way to Brooklyn, where he moved into a basement apartment with his brother Wilson - who had arrived months earlier - at 328 Prospect Ave., where a cousin also lived.

His landlord, Louis Hernandez, hired Pillco to work as a part-time helper for his construction company, even though - by his own admission - he knew the immigrant did not have legal working papers."

The New York Times picks it up from there with some choice quotes,

"Acquaintances of Mr. Pillco, who had been living in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn, described him as an energetic and respectful young man who was struggling with the physical rigors of his job and the disorientation of his illegal immigrant status."

“I still don’t think he could do something like this,” said Frank Diaz, a resident of the building on Prospect Avenue where Mr. Pillco lived in a cramped basement space with two other Ecuadorean construction workers."

Pillco had paid $12,000 to get smuggled into the country?

He was struggling with "the rigors of his job and the disorientation of his illegal immigrant status?"

And he was living with other illegal immigrants who had paid to get into the country illegally also and not learning the language?

What part of the words "illegal immigrant" are we as a country not getting?

Here we have men who by very definition are outside the Rule of Law, paid to come into the country to be outside the Rule of Law, want to remain outside The Rule of Law and have no interest in knowing our history, our language or what it means to live under The Rule of Law.

And, I might add, who want us to coddle them for being "disoriented by their illegal status."

I am offended. I've been offended since I had the courage to read Victor Davis Hanson's book "Mexifornia" several years ago.

As a woman, I am offended when I see and hear about a murder like Shelly's, when I hear of a carload of drunk illegals without drivers licenses careening into an oncoming car obeying the rules of the road killing all of them. I am offended when I struggle to communicate with an immigrant worker--a waiter, a car mechanic, a clerk-- who signals me he can't speak English. And cares nothing about learning.

I could go on but won't.

Adrienne Shelly's death, like many others before her, should make us weep for her and her family personally and their loss.

But it should make us collectively weep for our country, as lax immigration policies water down what it means to be an American, a law abiding English speaking citizen. In a country with strong borders and tough laws and a grand history and legacy of legal immigration.

What's next: an illegal with say $50,000 in his pocket smuggling in a nuclear weapon while the likes of Ted Kennedy pass legislation providing for their care, codding and nourishment at our, the taxpayers,' expense?

I hope and pray that we lawful citizens will wake up and forbid our elected officials to go any further in appeasing these man and women outside the Rule of Law in this country. And call them what they are: illegal aliens who need to and must be deported.

That's the least we can do for the memory of Adrienne Shelly and others like her. I pray for her and her family and the national crisis unfolding before our very eyes.

Beautiful Fall Day in our Nation's Capitol

"Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress."

-----Charles Dickens

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tidbits Only a Woman Can Love

Perusing the Washington Post this morning, I found some little tidbits to be filed in my head under the category of "from the sublime to the riciculous."

So, did you know yesterday, November 8, while Laura Bush (she looks wonderful!) was celebrating her 60th birthday at a luncheon out at The Inn at Little Washington with the likes of buddies Karen Hughes and Karyn Frist, Nancy Pelosi was at the Four Seasons Spa in Georgetown getting her hair and nails done for her victory photo ops? But, the gossip goes on, she does her own makeup. What a relief to have the inside scoop! I have to say she looks pretty darned good for her age even though I am in seclusion over her being the next Speaker of the House.

Ear-yee, Ear-yee, Part 1

When Congress reconvenes after Thanksgiving for the last few weeks of its lame duck Session, it has some loose ends to tie up before this Session goes into the trash heap of history.

About 12,000 loose ends, to be exact.

That would be 12,000 earmarks totalling billions of our taxpayers dollars in nine federal appropriations bills that they will be dealing with. I use the words "dealing with" loosely because it has really become an issue of not dealing with these secret appropriations that has created the dark process known as "earmaking."

Legislators may be retiring or coming back for a new Session next year, but either way, one thing's for sure: they are about to let the good times roll with our hard-earned cash between now and the end of 2006.

Like a thief in the night stuffing his pockets full of booty for pet projects before making a great escape, Senators and Congressmen everywhere are poised to once again get their bootious earmarks passed, making their escape with our money, while we taxpayers slumber or go on about our business as usual.

Earmarking in the dead of night with no one looking is out of hand with no signs of abating in sight.

Two years ago there were between 7,000 to 10,000 earmarks in federal appropriations bills. That's when the now infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" came to light. And that was under GOP, the party of limited government, leadership.

There's a thief in the house and it's time to set off the burglar alarms and call the police. Time to give our electees an ear-full. To get a new plan, stan. Drop off the key, lee, and just get ourselves free.

Though many pundits want to blame the War in Iraq and other scandals in Washington for the Democrats big win on Tuesday, I say the biggest scandal of all is the runaway federal budget under GOP tutelage. And voters showed their discontent on Tuesday.

As George Will writes in today's Washington Post, "At least Republicans now know where the Bridge to Nowhere leads: to the political wilderness."

Let's see, nowhere leads to nowhere. Perhaps our good ole GOP, espousing limited government and spending, will begin to read the map. And soon it will have 12,000 opportunities to correct course. Let's hope it starts taking them in the weeks ahead.

I will continue writing more on this earmarks abomination in future posts.

Meanwhile, Ear-yee, Ear-yee.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Election Truth Laid Bare and Why the GOP Lost the House: Are We Ready for Some Fiscal Tough Love?

I like people who cut to the chase and dispense with long-winded analysis. That's why I like this man who could lead the country back from the brink of fiscal delinquency.

Representative Mike Pence, R-Indiana, speaks the truth about the Republican routing in the House yesterday. It is the best and truest summary I have seen of what happened long, long before election day. I do not think the War in Iraq is bothering the electorate as much as how we are going to pay for the war and the continuing growth of federal government programs.

Now the question, are we ready to listen to the likes of Pence and more importantly to act?

Pence who hopefully will become House Minority Leader in the next Session of Congress released this statement:

"It is the duty of the losing party in a free election to humbly accept defeat ... Some will argue that we lost our majority because of scandals at home and challenges abroad. I say ... [that] [w]hile the scandals of the 109th Congress harmed our cause, the greatest scandal in Washington, D.C. is runaway federal spending.

"After 1994, we were a majority committed to balanced federal budgets, entitlement reform and advancing the principles of limited government. In recent years, [however,] our majority voted to expand the federal government's role in education, entitlements and pursued spending policies that created record deficits and national debt....

"Our opponents will say that the American people rejected our Republican vision.

"I say the American people didn't quit on the Contract with America, we [Republicans] did. And in so doing, we severed the bonds of trust between our party and millions of our most ardent supporters of the Republican party."

Well said, Mike.

Read the whole thing here at NRO.

I don't want my children paying for our wreckless spending decades from now. We have to get our financial house back in order.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mr. Corker Goes to Washington and Traditonal Marriage Preserved in Tennessee

Congratulations Bob!

History 101: Why Democrats Are Weak on Defense and Can't Be Trusted in Wartime....Still

I have read this piece several times in Investors Business Daily and think it is well worth reading again and again, especially on election day.

If we can't remember or obfuscate history, we are condemned to repeat it.

Here are 97 reasons why we ought to vote for conservatives who are strong on national defense and the War on Terror, tough on immigration, and believe that government's role is not to be all things to all people, all the time.

The stock market is considered a leading indicator of current events and a truer polling device for many. It is, then, heartening to see markets trending upwards, towards a better than expected showing for the Republicans today. Larry Kudlow says it best here.

Monday, November 06, 2006

If We're Turning Purple, Let's Hope It's More Magenta Than Lavender

Poll after poll says we're a country going purple in our politics, if not true blue sadly in our social habits. In the election Tuesday, prognosticators predict Virginia may be going towards blue from red, and Maryland from blue towards red.

If we must have purple, then I'm rooting for magenta to prevail over lavender.

Long live magenta!

In Tuesday's elections, I support the following candidates to keep the national pallette more magenta than lavender:

****Bob Corker in Tennessee's US Senate race over blue candidate Harold Ford for the seat being vacated by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.

****Bob Krumm in Tennessee Senate race against incumbant of all incumbants Doug Henry.

****Michael Steele in Maryland's US Senate race over Ben Cardin for the seat now being vacated by Sen. Paul Sarbanes.

****Senator Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania's US Senate race over Bob Casey.

****Senator Jim Talent in Missouri's US Senate race over Claire McCaskill who continues to falsely portray stem cell research in this country as totally hinging on federal government funding. Stem cell research goes on and will continue to in this country and worldwide in the private sector.

Hopefully voters will not be hoodwinked by such false advertising in Missouri and many other states as well. Michael Fox notwithstanding.

So looking at the realities of tomorrow's election, I'm cheering for magenta over lavender and hope you will too.

But I still like fire engine red the best.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Morning: Finding Joy in All Circumstances

We so often think that we'll be happier and more content in the future when such-and-such happens: a new project or job, more money, a new relationship or rise to public acclaim. However, the Apostle Paul counsels us to be joyful in all circumstances. This weekly devotional elaborates.

This is almost impossible without Christ being invited into and indwelling our daily lives, at least for me. Even then it can be very difficult.

No where in recent history is such contentment better illustrated than in the life of Horatio Spafford (1828-1888), a devout Christian who after losing all four of his and his wife Anna's daughters tragically at sea, penned the famous hymn "It is Well with my Soul." Its history and lyrics are found here.

Unimaginable tragedy ultimately produced supernatural peace and contentment with no bitterness. Impossible without a supernatural Saviour in our lives, in my experience.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Tabloid News Tidbits Under the Radar Screen for Saturday

Love and romance continue on the global stage, even though our collective attention is focused on Tuesday's election here in the US.

But lest we forget, take a look at a few seen and heard tidbits over the past week, remembering that love is still in the air all around the globe.

Did you know that:

Russia and Iran
continue to go steady? Not only that, they are being so generous with their foster children, Syria and Hezbollah, by giving them everything they want so the little radishes can go and raid the Lebanese sandbox again with their blessing. But this time their little bullies want to snatch the whole Lebanese box and not just some of their sand.

Meanwhile, the UN and USA want Israel to play nice with its neighbors and just get along as best they can. And everyone is advising Israel to remain single.


Did you know that feisty Bill Clinton and his new global foundation is still courting North Korea by making nice. He's spearheading a "peace park" in the DMZ between the northern and southern countries. Perhaps that'll get him a Nobel Peace Prize, like his predecessor, the peacenik of all time, Jimmy Carter.

Such thoughtfulness.


Did you know that global sex symbol and man of unlimited gas Victor Chavez and company are happily working overtime to get Venezuela, you know the country where democracy goes to die, admitted to a seat on the UN Security Council?

Remember, the UN is our current best hope for a One World Governement.

That rascal has been wooing global delegates by using Venezuelan beauties passing out chocolates with his sexy image on it all over the halls of the UN to sway its way to the top. But so far, after 46 rounds of voting, it hasn't consummated the deal.


But stay tuned, never underestimate the power of an ardent suitor, bearing chocolates.....and lots of gas.


Rumor has it, Saddam Hussein, who is flourishing in an Iraqi prison resort, will be sentenced as early as Sunday. Did I use the word "early?"

What I meant by early can only be construed in the context of geological time. I am still uncertain why he hasn't long ago been dispatched into a rose-colored vault for being such an equal opportunity oppressor and mass murderer.

Oh yes, he's still a romantic figure to many in the MSM.


Did you know that Nancy Pelosi, the woman who would be head of our Congressional Household, is getting her "to do" list ready and choosing her personal shoppers for the next session? Let's see, there's Charlie Rangel for chairman of her House Ways and Means, John Conyers for her House Judiciary, and Alcee Hastings for her House Intelligence.

I would go on, but I am feeling faint and need to run outside and get some fresh air.


And finally, up at West Point Military Academy, the lovefest with Muslims and Mecca is heating up: did you know that the Academy has just built and dedicated a new mosque there complete with green carpets, shoe racks and a pulpit facing Mecca to make everyone feel right at home?

And just so it will be increasingly used, The Army is actively recruiting recruits from Muslim countries. Muslims students has shot up from 2 to 32 in the last few years.

Ain't love grand.


That's all the love, I can bear to disclose this week, but stay tuned for more tales of true romance, tabloid style, in future episodes.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Meeting Bob Krumm, Where the Campaign Trail Meets the Hiking Trail

For months, I had been reading about the 21st District State Senate race in Tennessee over at where State Senate candidate Bob Krumm is often talked about and endorsed by Hobbs, who blogs daily about grassroots politics in Nashville and Tennessee.

I liked what I've read about Bob Krumm's background, values and positive campaigning.

And as a new blogger, I was also interested that Krumm has started a blog himself and is taking full disclosure to new levels in his campaign.

Krumm is running against a man I know well: Senator Douglas Henry, 80, the incumbant who has been in office for 36 years. He is a fine Southern gentleman. But if you believe in term limits, or even if you don't, you've got to wonder if this office doesn't need a little new blood by now for the 21st Century and beyond. Henry is running for his tenth term in office, for heavens sake!

After checking Krumm out, I decided he was getting my vote. (Full disclosure: I've already voted for Krumm in early balloting.)

Then, I got a nice surprise on the hiking trail several days later:

Invited by some fellow lady walkers to join a hike for the homeless on a Saturday morning in one of our city's most beautiful parks, the four of us were walking and talking as fast as we could. At some point, I interjected myself into the gabfest and told them that I had just started a new blog........there was silence.

A what? they responded.

"A blog, ladies. You know a b-l-o-g. BLOG," I enunciated.

Oh, Okay, whatever....A blog?

I was a bit forlorn at this tepid response as we trekked onward and upward.

When suddenly a voice of recognition came out of the blue:

"You've started a blog!! Tell me about it. What's it about?"

Someone knew what I was talking about!

"Well, I said," looking for the voice that was asking about my blog, " it's conservative politically and culturally and, you know, I write about anything I want to spout off about."

A smiling face greeted me and introduced himself and his pre-teenaged daughter as we all continued walking.

It was Bob Krumm.

For the next five minutes Bob and his daughter were surrounded by the four of us, walking , chatting and yes, even talking blogs.

We all were impressed with what we saw and heard during that walk in the park with Bob.

When finally we separated and walked on, one of my friends said that in only three minutes with Krumm, whom she had never known before, she would be voting for him. She was that impressed. Then the other three of us chimed in: "Me too!"

So, Bob Krumm has four more sure hiking voters, and a new blogger in his corner next week. The 21st District in Tennessee is fortunate to have him running.....and walking....and blogging there! We're rootingfor Bob!

And we're also grateful for his running such a positive and issues focused campaign. Duty and honor for the 21st District in Tennessee--give us all you got, Bob.

Even Glenn Reynolds is endorsing Krumm over at Instapundit. And if you want to send a contribution, it's never too late. Click here.

The Nanny State Continues....As if Our Government Hasn't Enough To Contend With Already