...the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. Geo. Washington Feb. 22, 1732


Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Remember

Dancing Under The Gallows

This is the most inspiring video I have ever watched. Almost 107 the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world was saved because she played the piano. If you cannot come away from this with more love in your heart than before you aren't getting the message.

h/t to Kenju at Imagine

Some Fall Pictures from Bob Kelly

Click on pictures to embiggen.






An Open Letter to Craig Ferguson

Craig,
I used to watch your show. Actually I still watch it. The difference is that now when you "pick on a Gay" I will turn it off. When you make a gay joke or gay innuendo you are fostering the culture of hate which leads to gay suicide. The children who are gay do not understand that you are a comedian or that you probably aren't really a homophobe but when you pick on an "easy" target you add to the acceptance of our society to bully these youngsters who only see that people don't like them. Perhaps you think they don't see your show but others do and what you are doing adds to the sick culture which has gotten us to the place where these kids hang themselves or jump off bridges.

Some years ago I stopped making certain types of jokes in my classroom when I discovered that the "Polish" jokes hurt the feelings of one of my students who was of Polish descent. I was insensitive but once it was pointed out to me I quit. You should also. I would not allow my students to make "retard" jokes and to your credit you don't do that either. I just wish you were more sensitive to those "gay" jokes that you can never seem to get through a show without doing. There are other ways to be funny.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Found For Friday (Halloween Edition)




What's black, white, orange, and waddles?
A penguin carrying a Jack-o-lantern





The Musical Theater Lover’s favorite October Story**

Bob Hill and his new wife Betty were vacationing in Europe…as it happens, in Romania, near Transylvania They were driving along a rather deserted highway. It was late and raining very hard. Bob could barely see the road in front of the car.
Suddenly, the car skids out of control! Bob attempts to control the car, but to no avail! The car swerves and smashes into a tree.
Moments later, Bob shakes his head to clear the fog. Dazed, he looks over at the passenger seat and sees his wife unconscious, with her head bleeding! Bob knows he has to get her medical assistance.
Bob carefully picks her up and begins trudging down the road. After a short while, he sees a light. He heads towards the light, which is coming from a large, old house. He approaches the door and knocks.
A minute passes. A small, hunched man opens the door. Bob immediately blurts,
“Hello, my name is Bob Hill, and this is my wife Betty. We’ve been in a terrible accident, and my wife has been seriously hurt. Can I please use your phone?”
“I’m sorry,” replied the hunchback, “but we don’t have a phone. My master is a doctor; come in, and I will get him!” Bob brings his wife in.
An older man comes down the stairs. “I’m afraid my assistant may have misled you. I am not a medical doctor; I am a scientist. However, it is many miles to the nearest clinic, and I have had a basic medical training. I will see what I can do.
Igor, bring them down to the laboratory.”
Igor picks up Betty and carries her downstairs, with Bob following closely. Igor places Betty on a table in the lab. Bob collapses from exhaustion and his own injuries, so Igor places Bob on an adjoining table.
After a brief examination, Igor’s master looks worried. “Things are serious, Igor.
Prepare a transfusion.” Igor and his master work feverishly, but to no avail.Bob and Betty Hill have both passed away. The Hills’ deaths upset Igor’s master greatly. Wearily, he climbs the steps to his conservatory, which houses his grand piano. For it is here that he has always found solace. He begins to play, and a stirring, almost haunting melody fills the house.
Meanwhile, Igor is still in the lab tidying up. His eyes catch movement, and he notices the fingers on Betty’s hand twitch, keeping time to the haunting piano music. Stunned, he watches as Bob’s arm begins to rise, marking the beat! He is further amazed as Betty and Bob both sit up straight! Unable to contain himself, he dashes up the stairs to the conservatory. He bursts in and shouts to his master:
PUNCHLINE COMING ………………….

*
ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE READY?? …………………………
*
WELL OKAY, HERE IT IS………….
*

Master, Master!…..The Hills are alive with the sound of music!”

Q. Why do demons and ghouls hang out together?
A. Because demons are a ghouls best friend!

Q. Why can't the boy ghost have babies?

A. Because he has a Hallo-weenie.

Q. Where does a ghost go on Saturday night?

A. Anywhere where he can boo-gie.

Q. Why did the game warden arrest the ghost?

A. He didn't have a haunting license.

Q. Why didn't the skeleton dance at the party?

A. He had no body to dance with.

Q. Where does Count Dracula usually eat his lunch?

A. At the casketeria.

Q. Why did the Vampire read the Wall Street Journal?

Q. He heard it had great circulation.

Q. What tops off a ghost's ice cream sundae?

A. Whipped scream

Q. What do you call two spiders that just got married?
A. Newlywebbed

Q. How do you keep a monster from biting his nails?

A. Give him screws.

Q. Why did the headless horseman go into business?

A. He wanted to get ahead in life.

Q. When does a ghost have breakfast?

A. In the moaning.

Q. What do ghosts drink at breakfast?

A. Coffee with scream and sugar

Q. What do they teach in witching school?

A. Spelling.


Q. What do you call a witch's garage?

A. A broom closet.

Q. What do you call two witches living together?
A. Broommates.
Q. What do you call a monster who poisons corn flakes?
A. A cereal killer.
W. Why do ghosts like to ride elevators?
A.it raises their spirits.
Q. Why does a cemetery have to keep a fence around it?
A. Because people are dying to get in.

Q. What did Dracula say after reading all these jokes?
A. They suck!
How do you make a milkshake? You sneak up behind a glass of milk and yell BOO!!

What's a cold evil candle Called? The wicked wick of the north!

What is a vampires favorite mode of transportation? The Blood Vessel!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

HEAVEN OR HELL

While walking down the street one day a corrupt Senator was tragically hit by a car and died. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a roblem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator..

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Senator. "I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven.."

So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."

The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell..

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil smiles at him and says,

"Yesterday we were campaigning, Today, you voted"


Vote wisely on November 2, 2010

It Gets Better

This is one of the most powerful "It Gets Better" Videos I have ever seen. It is Oral Robert's gay grandson's letter to his gay uncle who killed himself. I recommend that you watch it fullscreen as it is much easier to read the chalkboard. But do watch it.

A Must Read for those thinking of voting against retention

Michael Gartner writing in CityView.

The decision was not about religious marriage, not about lifestyles, not about politics, not about sex. It was neither a jump off the historical path of the court nor a lurch into “judicial activism.” It was simply another in a continuing line of decisions that preserve and protect the rights of all Iowans. It was groundbreaking only in the sense that few other states have recognized same-sex marriage. But — as the unanimity of the decision illustrated — it was a decision that was logical in its reasoning and demanded by the Iowa constitution.

This is a thoughtful, well-researched article that taught me something I recommend that you click here to go read it.

Fireworks

Dog O'Lanterns




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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Salsa - Beethoven

Another Voice Speaks Out.

"We just need to make sure we don't allow bullying in any of our schools," Laura Bush

A Couple of Pics


If I participated in Ruby Tuesday I could use this picture. It is of the bush on the south side of my garage door. Not turned yet but beginning to. It becomes a beautiful red.






















And this is a tree just up the street. I took both of these with my camera in the phone. My regular camera takes much sharper photos but this is my T-Party Camera. It sees things just a little out of Focus and while it is pleasant looking it is so far from reality... Well now you know why I named it that.


There is so much crap going on in the blogosphere right now that it is discouraging. I have hidden a couple of Facebook things because they just grate on me. I will let them back into my newsfeed after the election - (unless they start gloating) Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, j

Al Franken

Al Franken at a rally in Minnesota. Worth watching.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween

OK, this is what has been festering (good word for this time of year) in my head for a few days. I went into our local Carlos O'Kelly's for dinner one day last week and lo to my surprise the place was decorated for Halloween. As you walked up to the front door there were full size translucent posters of a witch and a vampire on them. Once inside the place was hung with ghosts and spiders from the ceiling and it was just plain "fun" -

Now I don't get into Halloween like my friend Spo who lives in Arizona and writes on his blog about decorating his house. I used to decorate in school and the kids loved it. I would cut crepe paper for the bodies (criss cross cut opens up nicely) with black for witches, green and orange for zombies and pumpkin heads. We hung things from the light fixtures and put up scary posters. I had a haunted house that was purple and black and was marvelous.

I loved decorating for the holiday and one year I got all the kids little gourds and let them draw faces on them to decorate them for their individual desks. The Halloween party was the big event of the year and I used it and all the parties to teach democracy. In some classrooms the parents would do everything. They provided all the treats and games and actually came in and "ran" the classroom. I used Constitution Week in September for the kids to learn about the Constitution and write their own and democratically decide what they wanted to do for their parties. We wrote a constitution, elected officers, developed committees, and evaluated the party afterward so that the next one would be better. We also used the Class officers for decision making. We had a plan in place to change the Constitution if we wanted to. All in all I think it was a better way to prepare kids for participation in a democracy than just having things done for them.

The first party was Halloween and the kids had been anticipating this for months. In fact I accuse the retail stores of jumping the gun for Christmas but nothing would hold the kids back from thinking about what costume they were going to wear for Halloween. They were planning it from the first day of school. And it was fun. And it was innocuous. No one was hurt by it.

However that all changed. When my nephew was attending Kate Mitchell School here in Ames and was in third or fourth grade the Art teacher had the kids making Halloween decorations for the classroom. Nothing like using the things going on in the real world to develop the skills you were trying to teach and the kids were enthusiastic. It was (as always) fun for everyone. Until one day he came home upset and disappointed. The very elaborate and unfinished decoration came with him. The principal, Mrs H, had stopped the decorations because some "Christian lady" had come in and complained to her that the school was encouraging a pagan holiday (like Christmas isn't) or satanism or witchcraft and they had to stop it. Rather than stand up to her Mrs. H caved. Gone were the creative decorations and fun. Instead there was disappointment and the kids replaced the anticipated fun with resentment. All because of ONE "Christian lady"

No more Halloween parties. No more Christmas parties...(they could still have Valentines for some unknown reason) - instead we had "fall" parties and decorated with leaves and colorful gourds (undecorated) and a "winter" party around the time of December the last day of classes before the "winter" break which just happened to coincide with the Christian Holiday.

As I walked into the restaurant to enjoy my meal (and I did) I thought "what fun" and then I remembered my nephew's experience and I wondered why the "Christians" had not swooped down on them and accused them of fostering witchcraft or satanic practices. Why weren't the folks from Westboro outside picketing. I mean they use every opportunity they can. Jon went to one of the "haunted houses in a "church" which shall remain nameless and was so turned off by the thinly disguised propaganda that he no longer attends any church. The fruits of their evangelical practices!

Lets be honest folks. Taking a fun time away from children in the entire school because of your misguided beliefs is just wrong. It is Christian Talibanism and just shows what you would do if you ran the country. Wouldn't it be better to let the kids have a little harmless dress up fun and enjoy themselves for about an hour than taking it away from them in the name of YOUR religion? ... We have a multi-cultural community here - I think it was better to do it the way I did and let the kids use democracy to plan and execute their party times. Not the Christianists - They would rule every small iota of your life and it would have to be the way THEY want not what you want. Be afraid of them Be very afraid!

The real reason to vote and vote Democratic!

According to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the goal of the Republicans in the new Congress will not be to restore the economy, end the wars, repair the infrastructure, or reduce the deficit. The most important thing to him and the GOP leadership is this:
The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.... Our single biggest political goal is to give our nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Eight Myths

Eight Myths
by Mustang Bobby
Send this to your crazy right-wing uncle who keeps hammering you with bullshit e-mails.
There are a number things the public "knows" as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs.

Here are eight of the biggest myths that are out there:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.

Reality: Bush's last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama's first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.

Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the "stimulus" was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

3) President Obama bailed out the banks.

Reality: While many people conflate the "stimulus" with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be "non-reviewable by any court or any agency.") The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

4) The stimulus didn't work.

Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.

Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is "going broke," people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.

Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.

Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on "welfare" and "foreign aid" when that is only a small part of the government's budget.

This stuff really matters.

Totally stolen from bark Bark Woof Woof.

Why I don't watch Faux

Click on picture.

Movie Tonight

Tonight at the Ames Public Library:

The American Association of University Women will sponsor "Iron Jawed Angels" in honor of the 90th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 25, at the Ames Public Library. ISU student Jessica Bruning will also speak about the 50-50 in 2020 campaign to increase the number of female candidates for state and federal offices in Iowa,

I was thinking about the place of women in society the other day when I read a comment from a friend about going to a wedding where his friend "gave his daughter away." I was a little surprised when I read that because I had forgotten that "traditional" weddings were just that. The father 'gave' the daughter to the husband and she became his property. (I wonder if that is the traditional marriage the right wing keeps harping about) - I remember another wedding where the minister went on and on about what a great marriage it would be because the new wife was such a good servant....servant. Women weren't servants in the house I grew up in. They were partners. The way things should be.

Women have come a long way in our society. I maintain they still have further to go and sometimes the men are more like obstructionists than partners. That still needs to change.

I know that in Muslim countries the woman did not even attend the wedding - It was between her father and her husband (at least in 1976 and I don't know if it has changed or not) and that was in the relatively secular state of Egypt. Then they threw a big party.

90 years ago women got the right to vote. Remember Abigail Adams who lobbied her husband "not to forget the ladies?" Oh sure, there were powerful women. Eleanor of Aquitaine comes to mind but even she was locked up by her husband so he could pursue other interests (women) - He trotted her out for Christmas Court.

My mother would have been 9 or 10 years old when women got the right to vote..the age of the kids I taught. I can still remember urging my girl students to get involved in politics. I pointed out that to be truly representative the House should be a little over half female.

She wasn't in my class but she knows a lot of my former students and her sign is in my yard. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell is deserving of your vote and she says everybody should see the movie at least once. So lets go tonight and fill the auditorium,

Miles (and Bailey) on Monday

Bailey goes in today for grooming. He actually looks pretty good but it is time for the appointment. Miles goes in 6 more weeks.
Miles has a purple foot. I got up from my chair today and walked around it toward the kitchen. The linoleum had turned purple. I have this fountain pen that uses cartridges. Miles got two of them from somewhere and proceeded to get them all over the kitchen floor and himself.
And he looks so innocent...
Then it was time to get the toy.
Which Bailey also wanted.
After a brief stand off.
Miles got it so he could play tug.
Which will never happen again because after the tug game he played the destroy game and the fiberfill wound up all over the floor and I had to get the vacuum out. So very much fun.
And of course there were the usual motion pictures which I call Abstract Boys. They will embiggen if you click on them.















Thanks for stopping by. Hope you had a great week-end and Monday is everything you want it to be.