Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Her 15 Minutes were up 6 months ago!

She (and I won't even dignify this post with her name) might have actually had a little momentum had she written her book and had it ready to go when she began her sit-in and media campaign last spring/summer. As it is, her Amazon ranking is artifically inflated at #2813 with some user submitted pix showing the book signing flop.


Monday, November 28, 2005

Oh no! Kiddos Sick with Flu and I'm Facing Extinction!

So, this has been a rough holiday week - daughters been sick since last Monday, slowly recovering . . . and I sign on this afternoon to find that I'm no longer a Large Mammal in the TTLB Ecosystem - but an Adorable Little Rodent! But it seems I'm in good company - Lisa Renee over at Liberal Common Sense has a great post about the shake-up and mammoth mass extinction, and a memorial tribute to those who've got to creep back up out of the slime.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Self Respect > Self Esteem

Readers who have become familiar with my writings over the past few months may have noticed a very prevalent theme - that of the individual and their own personal response to the world around them. Examples can be found in Do You HAVE Character, or ARE You a Character, Freedom OF Thought or Freedom FROM Thought, and Libertarianism = Personal Responsibility. This post also goes rather hand in hand I think with Quincy’s post on Humble equality vs. haughty equality.

The reasons that I am so enamoured of subjects pertaining to the character is that I clearly see that ONLY by cultivation of positive traits in the individual can we hope to ever engender a change in society.

(Cross-posted at The Liberty Papers - click to finish this post)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wednesday Fun!

It's called "light blogging". After a busy week with the Carnival, sick kiddos, etc. it's now time for me to go into non-virtual hostess mode and ready the homefront for Thanksgiving - with wishes for a relaxing and blessed day for all!


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What IS "The Liberty Papers"?

Eric describes the mission statement of this new group blog best:

The goal is to create a repository of writing and thinking on classic liberal thoughts, theories and ideas on government, politics, individual rights and freedoms and more.

We are not Libertarians, or Anarchists, or any other -ism. We are the heirs of Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and the many other men who dedicated their Lives, their Fortunes and their Sacred Honor to the idea that the rule of law should supercede the rule of man.

I'm pleased to share it, and honored to have been asked to be a part of this group!

Carnival of Liberty XXI

Wow! Hard to believe how quickly this year has flown - here it is Thanksgiving already! Well, if you need some fodder for conversation around the turkey table that is sure to generate lively discussion, you've come to the right place. Of course, you can always save this for the down time - after that big dinner, drag out the laptop and take your time browsing through this weeks submissions to the Carnival of Liberty XXI - there is sure to be something of interest to all.

I'm posting these submissions in the order that I've received them - and hope I can do each one justice - we've got some great writers submitting to the Carnival of Liberty!

First off, we head over to The Unrepentant Individual to see what he has to say about the right to privacy and abortion in his post Right to Privacy Means Nothing to Abortion. It is a very well written diatribe which points out very succintly that:
The right to privacy basically exists insofar as the government is not supposed to be granted the powers it would need to overextend itself and violate your privacy. I think the government has no legitimate right to butt its nose into areas where it doesn’t belong, and to the founders, that’s a pretty wide swath of territory they’re not supposed to touch. But that means nothing when it comes to abortion.
I couldn't agree more! You have to read the entire piece to follow the logic (if you haven't done so already - I have, but have never put it so clearly) when he writes:
When the left and the right have to completely invert their prior idea of Constitutional jurisprudence to decide a moral issue according to their other beliefs, what respect will they have for that document once they’re done?
Good job! I'm glad you got that off your chest, Brad - it was a pleasure to read!

Now, let's go take a look at Leah Guildenstern's take on a recent speech by President Bush in Veteran's Day Speech Concerns. While she generally approved of what he had to say, Leah brings up three points that she feels bear watching to see what actions (if any) are taken. First, she questions the point of making a constitutional amendment against burning the flag. As she says:
I can understand the desire to ban it, and could see the passage of such a law, but why a constitutional amendment? Why is this part of the fundamental foundation of the country? And is there a like law/movement for a law for burning copies of the constitution?
Her other points I also consider very valid, and think we all should be very aware of the possibilities of governmental interference and scrutiny in our private lives whether it be via our internet or phone connection, or otherwise. She sums up nicely:
It is good to see the recognition of the threat, but the response itself must be watched. The ends do not justify the means; both the means and the ends must be in consonance.
For a matter that is close to my heart, being a Homeschooling mom, let's see what The Pubcrawler has to say about The USSC Rules on Special Education. TKC says:
The Schaffer's, the parents in this case, did disagree with the course of action taken by the Montgomery County school system and put their kid in a private school. This is all fine and well. What the contention is over is the $17,000 in tuition for that private school. Some will say that since the Schaffer's sent their kid to the private school then they should pay the tuition. I agree with this, except they're still paying for the Montgomery County school system of which they think has failed them.
I can understand, too, that as homeowners and taxpayers, we all bear the burden of educating our young - whether we have children or not, and whether those children are grown or not. But when are we going to get a clue and stop double charging parents who choose to educate their children privately - whether in a private school or at home? Are the sacrifices that some of us make to stay at home with our children so small and few that we deserve to have to support public schools in addition to paying for tuition and supplies privately? TKC has several good points here that deserve an answer.

Moving right along, lets stop in at Forward Biased where Obi-Wan asks (about the President)Dare We Hope That He Really Gets It? Obi-Wan has, as indeed many of us have, been disappointed at the President's lack of stepping up to defend his policies. In response to his firing back with both barrels at his critics last weekend, Obi-Wan says:
Now, with the president's Newly Revealed Testicular Enhancements of Polished Copper/Zinc Alloy Composition™, we—or, I should say, I—have been afraid to hope that he just suddenly gets it.
This a really fun post - regarding the non-war supporting (but we support the troops) left, he has this little gem:
That's right, you treasonous, unprincipled sacks of putrid, fermenting used cat litter, I'm questioning your bloody patriotism. No—I'm not questioning it, I'm downright DENYING it.
Isn't language fun? If you can't think of a socially acceptable invective that is vile enough, make one up! Go. Read. Chuckle. Be Converted.

For a libertarian take on a different subject lets visit Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds to see what Stephen Littau has to say in his posting More Mandatory Minimums Madness. I'd guess that most of us of a libertarian bent see the "war on drugs" as a waste of time and money - and frankly unconstitutional. Referring to a Denver Post article about Weldon Angelos, a first time offender who was sentenced to 55 years for having a gun in his possession whilst he was selling a small amount of marijuana to an informant, Stephen juxtaposes the guns/drugs mandatory minimums question thusly:
Is the motivation behind the mandatory-minimum sentencing law to take guns out of the hands of otherwise law-abiding citizens or is the motivation to put away drug offenders for a longer period of time or is it both?
and he clenches his argument:
We put people in prison for extended periods of time and then we wonder why the prisons are filled to capacity. We cannot seem to find enough space for pedophiles, rapists, or murderers but by god we better make sure that someone selling a dime bag of weed never sees the light of day! Can anyone say ‘cruel and unusual punishment’? Is this our idea of justice?
Now we've got another entry from The Unrepentant Individual titled State of Fear. Seems Brad was inspired this time by the Michael Crichton novel - and I can see why - there's a lot to think about here. And Brad bottom-lines the state of fear here:
Nothing is safe. Everything has risk. All day, every day, you might die. It could be a crazed mass murderer. It could just as easily be slipping in the shower. Hell, you could choke on your own saliva while sleeping in bed and asphyxiate yourself. Let me repeat this, because it’s important. Nothing is safe. Everything has risk. Once you get your mind around that little whopper, you can start to live your life again.
Francois Tremblay at The Radical Libertarian enlightens us with a two part posting on Value Based Politics which has spurred me to work on a submission of my own. The upshot, to my way of thinking, is expressed in one of his closing statements:
The value of limited government is more immediate. The bigger government is, the less place private citizens can hold in a given society, and thus there is less possibility for value expression. The smaller the government, the better.
If you'd be so kind, as I mentioned that Francois inspired me to work on my own submission, take a gander now at your humble hostess' entry for this week, Libertarianism = Personal Responsibility.

Next up for perusal is Sen Stevens (R-AK) Resigns! by our friend the Ogre over at Ogre's Politics & Views. He points out that:
He said that he wasn't kidding. Senator Stevens clearly stated that he would resign if the bridge to nowhere in Alaska wasn't given all the pork-barrel money he wanted for it.
Imagine that? A US Senator who has something in common with some of our illustrious Hollywierd stars who told us that if President Bush were re-elected they'd move to France?! Check out Ogre's post to see what some are doing to try to strengthen Steven's resolve to do what he promised!

Fiction (with a libertarian bent) comes in Mark Rayner's The Skwib in the form of a retelling of the classic tale of William Tell in Alternate History Fridays: The Tragedy of William Tell. Mark has a slightly different take on the ending of the story - but I'll not give it away here - other than this tiny exerpt!
He shot his last bolt, and the townsfolk moved, as one, to subdue the other two. The rebellion had begun.
Greg at Rhymes with Right submitted his post Not a First Amendment Violation???????? about a clergyman in Staten Island who is fighting in court against a violation of his free speech. Greg asks the question:
Have freedom of speech and freedom of religion been eviscerated in this country because of the hyper-sensitivity and political clout of the sodomy lobby?
We follow this up with Stop the ACLU where Jay takes on the issue of Freedom of Speech?. In this article, Jay, with a hat tip to fellow LLP'r Rhymes with Right remarks:
Political Correctness has taken priority over freedom of speech. Homosexuals are now granted special rights, and anyone who speaks against it are treated as second class citizens.
I agree - but homosexuals are certainly not the first group which has officially been granted special rights by the courts - and they're not likely to be the last. The posts are well written, so meander on over and see what they're all about!

Another gem on personal responsibility is next on the list - this one The Sovreign Individual by Eric over at Eric's Grumbles Before the Grave. Eric puts it so clearly that you can't misunderstand without help!
Whether you choose to acknowledge it, or not, you are responsible for everything that you do, or don't do. Trying to shift that blame is self-delusion. You, ultimately, are sovereign, subject to no law or rule other than your own morals and ethics.
Eric also explains the idea of "Rational Anarchist" which I had not really understood before - and I'm about persuaded that I'm in that category as well!

Next, Eric submits on behalf of Eric Raymond at Armed and Dangerous this post on Why "Commons" language gives me hives. I personally have run across Commons a few times, and while it vaguely disturbed me, I couldn't have put my finger on exactly "why". Maybe this excerpt really defines it most for me:
My problem with the language of “the commons” is that to me it it sounds, at best, like idealistic blather. At worst, and far more usually, it sounds like an attempt to conceal all kinds of individual decisions about cooperation under a vague collectivist metaphor so the individuals who made those decisions can be propagandized and jerked around.
It also seems to me to be a practically unenforceable policy, so I find myself shrugging my shoulders and saying fuhgetaboutit - if someone "borrows" from me without my knowledge or permission, I hope they use it to good effect and in good health!

Eidelblog provides us with a look at Mugabe's assault on the poor, continued.
Some of you may remember my original "Mugabe's assault on the poor" from last June. I strongly recommend reading it so you know precisely what this evil man has done. I detailed how that monster destroyed the homes of at least hundreds of thousands of people, arrested another 32,000 on baseless crimes, and tightened his Marxist control of an economy that he sinks further just when we think it couldn't get any worse.
The atrocities committed by Mugabe and his thugs are simply unspeakable, and the UN response is pathetic. I've forgotten where I read it this week, but I agree - when oh when will the UN finally go the way of the League of Nations?

On a lighthearted (some might say silly) note, go see Mr. Completely for his little tidbit Nothing's worse than a depressed hamster . . . which he follows up with a more sober Latest News from France.

More seriously, Peter Porcupine asks IS History Still Written by the Winners? Peter recommends a viewing of the Blogcast, Dishonest on Iraq and remarks:
Juxtaposing words is one matter, but juxtaposing videotape is a much more compelling argument.
Dan Melson at Searchlight Crusade always has some great financial information - and this weeks post is no exception: Buying off a Prepayment Penalty check him out - and yes, he does take requests!

TMH's Bacon Bits posts this week Eghad, I've Been Googled! which explores our need, as it were, to fit in and be recognized - and the price we have to pay for that recognition - kinda goes along with the "Commons" posting mentioned earlier in the Carnival :
With little or no ability to easily opt out, and no guarantee that an author's creation will not be shared for free to the masses (while Google rakes in the advertising cash), the financial incentive for creativity would be seriously undermined. Publishers, who are often profit-driven and yet provide a valuable service to authors, would find it hard to compete with free content and could conceivably close shop, leaving the creators with few options for distribution of their work in a revenue-sharing system. So the "free for everyone" information society of which Google dreams would only result in a desolate landscape where creativity and free expression are even less likely than it is now to put food on the table and shoes on the kids.
Maybe I should rethink my laissez-faire attitude towards copyrights!

Combs Spouts Off gets to the heart of Libertarianism and how it translates into real-life politics with his posting on Rothbard, Rand and Real Politics.
Rand argued that most people don't think critically and deeply about philosophy. Instead, they accept the values of the intelligentsia. I suspect that, like Milsted's "conservatism," this willingness to be guided by "experts" is a "feature" of human nature.
This was an interesting read - after reading the Rothbard thesis, I found myself thinking of Will singing to Ado Annie from the musical Oklahoma:

"With me it's all er nuthin'.
Is it all er nuthin' with you?
It cain't be "in between"
It cain't be "now and then"
No half and half romance will do!

Sorry, I couldn't resist exposing my love for the musical - particularly when that little snippit just popped into my head and seemed so appropriate!

Angry in the Great White North chimes in with the story of a Pedophile with body guards in Elected judges and crown attorneys? Frankly, I can see why he's angry!
He has bodyguards. Or to be more accurate, you and your children, should you live in Kelowna, British Columbia, have been assigned bodyguards, who will appear whenever Shaun Joshua Deacon is nearby, ready to intervene when, not if, Deacon makes a move to attack your family.
Coyote Blog give us a great post on Immigration, Individual Rights, and the New Deal. It's a long one, but if you've been with *me* this long, I'm sure you can handle it!
Like the founders of this country, I believe that our individual rights exist by the very fact of our existance as thinking human beings, and that these rights are not the gift of kings or congressmen. Rights do not flow to us from government, but in fact governments are formed by men as an artificial construct to help us protect those rights, and well-constructed governments, like ours, are carefully limited in their powers to avoid stifling the rights we have inherently as human beings.
New World Man blogs about some political shenanigans going on in Ohio in Petro's CAP Plan Isn't.
Petro isn't running TV ads saying he wants to keep the status quo, he's saying he wants to "cap" taxes. (He's cleverly named his proposal the Citizens' Amendment for Prosperity.) While I may be picky, it's a little sneaky to run on wanting to "cap" anything when your proposal would result, in real terms, in the same tax burden as without the "cap."
Norm Leahy of One Man's Trash brings us some politics local to Virginia in Brushing Up . . . And Brushing Back . . . Bolling. Seems a Times Dispatch Political Columnist has got a bee in his bonnet - and is throwing darts at the Virginia Lieutenant Governor-Elect before he takes office:
Jeff has sown the field with mines -- covered ever-so-thinly in the language of "maybe" and "perhaps." Schapiro has no more idea of how Bolling will act in his new office than the next guy. But he has made it abundantly clear that his sources and his worldview are mortally offended by the mere prospect of this Hanover Hun swinging the gavel in Virginia's "House of Lords."
Winding down we have a post submitted by Tom Rants regarding some of the President's latest remarks, George Bush and the Century of Peace.
Assuring moves toward democratization in China and continued moves toward economic liberalization in India alone will move over 2.3 billion people in the direction of living in countries that are both economically and politically free. I guess I’m a neocon, because I don’t see how that could not be a good thing. Bush using his bully pulpit to those ends is likely to have far more lasting positive effect than any of Harry Reid’s posturing on Iraq, Olympia Snowe’s attempts to raise taxes on investment or Ted Steven’s threats to resign from the Senate.
And finally Iris Blog (Information Regarding Israel's Security) joins our round up with IRIS Exposes Reporters Stealing Others' Errors. This is an important post that needs to be widely disseminated!
Journalists repeatedly act like students cheating on an exam, where the same error propagates around the room because of "group-think."
Well, that about wraps it up for this edition of Carnival of Liberty XXI! Thanks for hanging in there - I know I can get a bit wordy (call me the queen of the editorial commentary) you know how we women are - gotta get in my several thousand words for the day somewhere! Thanks to all the contributors for this weeks carnival - I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your writing and learning a bit about you all. If you've contributed and I've missed your trackback, please help me out by letting me know so I can correct the omission.

Don't forget, Carnival of Liberty XXII will be November 29, and hosting will be Doug Mataconis at Below the Beltway! (Sorry for the mixup, Doug - I inadvertently advertised the Dec. 6 carnival for anyone who was sharp-eyed enough to catch it!) Visit all the Carnivals at the UberCarnival!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Which Soldier Type are You? Friday Fun!

You scored as Special Ops. Special ops. Your sneaky, tactful,
and a loner. You prefer to do your jobs alone, working where
you don't come into contact with people. But everyonce in a
while you hit it big and are noticed and given fame. You're given
the more sensitive problems. You get things done, and do what
has to be done.


Special Ops


Combat Infantry








Support Gunner






Which soldier type are you?
created with

H/T to WindyPundit

Update: A couple folks let me know that the links
didn't work - should be okay now!

Libertarianism = Personal Responsibility

Whilst doing my preparation and reading of Carnival XXI submissions, the recurring theme of libertarianism has bonked me on the noggin several times. Yes, I consider myself a libertarian - that's why I joined this community - so this shouldn't come as a surprise; and it doesn't. But what I have found through my reading the past couple days is that in all the discussions of getting rid of the nanny state and working toward a free society is that while I'm all for it and gung-ho, ready to go - I'm afraid I'm not optimistic that we'll ever be able to recapture what our forefathers tried to set up for us.

Why the pessimism? Well, because what has really hit me most is that in order to be a libertarian, you have to also be firmly invested in the idea of personal responsibility. This should be a no-brainer, right? Should be, but is it? We talk much of individual rights, states rights, freedom of speech, second amendment rights, etc. but in all this talk of rights, we also must begin to stress that along with rights comes a great commission - and that is that of personal responsibility.

Personal responsibility means that sometimes we must make decisions - and be willing to accept the consequences of our decisions. We must stop the blame game - no matter what. We must take actions - and then be willing to accept the consequences of our actions.

There are court cases out the wazoo in this country that should never have made it on the docket - if people would accept responsibility for their actions.

One locally that has disturbed me for the last couple years involved a young mother who, crossing a very busy intersection with a 5 year old (walking) and a 2 year old (in a stroller), watched in horror as a driver (reportedly on a cell phone) ran through a red light and ran over them, killing both children. Now, I'm extremely sorry for the mother who lost these children. I'm also very, very, sorry for the young woman who ran over them. The family is suing the young woman who ran over their children, and she is also facing criminal charges. Her attorney says that her cell phone records confirm she was not on the phone at the time of the accident.

There has been much hue and cry against cell phone usage while driving. While I will agree that using a cell phone can be distracting (whether hands free or not) and that common sense should be used, my biggest problem with this particular situation is this . . . and I haven't heard or read one article that questions the personal responsibility of the mother. I am a mother of two daughters who were at one time of corresponding ages to these young girls. I feel that I am qualified to question and ask "what was she thinking?" According to the reports, her five year old had stepped off the curb and was walking a few steps ahead of the stroller - on one of the busiest intersections in central Florida. What a tragedy. Could this have been prevented by the simplest of steps? By a mother having a firm grip on her 5 year old's hand, and watching the traffic? As I've said, I'm ever so sorry for all parties involved, but to my way of thinking, this is a situation where the mother was more at fault than the driver of the vehicle. In a situation where your children could possibly come in contact with 2000+ lb. objects, common sense dictates that you protect them from such contact at all costs - and relying on the judgement of a 5 year old is simply not acceptable in my book.

Earlier this week, I found an interesting little tidbit about a mother who found a unique way to discipline her 14 year old daughter - and is taking a lot of heat for it.

Sometimes mothers just reach a point of total exasperation. That's what happened to Tasha Henderson, 34, whose 14-year-old daughter, Coretha, earned C's and D's, was chronically late to her high school classes and talked back to her teachers. So this mother of three came up with the ultimate punishment for a teen girl: embarrass her in public.

The Associated Press reports that Coretha was forced to stand at a busy Oklahoma City intersection on a Friday afternoon holding a large cardboard sign with this message: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food." Tasha stood next to her daughter the entire time.

The good news: Coretha's behavior has changed in the past week and a half. She attends Edmond Memorial High in Edmond, Okla., a school that is one of the top in the state in academics. Since the punishment, she has had perfect attendance and isn't talking back to the teachers. Only time will tell about the grades.

Now, all would have probably been fine had not a passing motorist decided to report Mrs. Henderson for psychological child abuse. Since then, "experts" and folks from all over are decrying Mrs. Henderson's methods as "destroying" her daughter psychologically.

Mrs. Henderson, I congratulate you. While you obviously had some issues that you didn't work out with your daughter while she was still young, you determined a way to get the desired response (good behavior) and despite some discomfort to yourself, you enforced it. Does anyone with real common sense believe that this child's self-esteem has been destroyed from this one incident? How about the monstrosity of government schools that has stroked the egos of children like this for years, telling them that anything they want to say or do is "okay"?

Seems to me that mom taught her daughter a great lesson in personal responsibility - if you aren't willing to put in the effort, this is what you can expect out of life. Bravo.

Daily, there are situations like these that I hear about and read - my family alone usually get the benefit of my musings on these things, but thanks to the LLP Community, today I was inspired - I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My First Carnival Hosting . . . Carnival of Liberty XXI


But seriously - I'm thinkin' this is probably just what I need - a kick in the keister to get me back into the routine. I've been letting myself coast for a few weeks now, and keeping my thoughts (many and varied, I assure you) to myself on matters political.

But, it's time for me to break the reverie I've been in and "hop to".

So, here's my call for all to submit your entries for Carnival of Liberty XXI. Entries should be made through the Conservative Cat by Monday, November 21, 2005 at 2PM.

Meantime, get busy and check out the current Carnival XX hosted over at Eric's Grumbles for some inspiration!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

This day (November 10) in history . . .

Well, after ruminating a bit on which of a myriad of subjects to address, I've decided to take the "easy" way out today. Besides, it was a busy news day in history, and there are a number of things that I think bear mentioning!

1775 - American Revolutionary War: The Continental Congress passes a resolution creating the Continental Marines (later renamed the United States Marine Corps) to serve as landing troops for the recently created Continental Navy.

1865 - Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, is hanged, becoming the only American Civil War soldier executed for war crimes. Interestingly enough, the tale of Andersonville serves to highlight mans inhumanity to man (infighting amongst those incarcerated) as much as (if nor more than) those who were in charge of the prison. 13,000 died in that camp, and that among speculation that they were left to rot by their own side - intentionally - to help weaken the Confederate armies.

1871 - Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika saying "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

1938 - Kate Smith, on her weekly radio show, sings Irving Berlin's God Bless America for the first time.

1951 - Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States. Considering our addiction now to cellular or digital phones, I'd say this is a pretty big milestone!

1954 - US President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicates the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) in Arlington National Cemetery.

1969 - National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts the children's television program Sesame Street.

1975 - The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board. Who doesn't love the Gordon Lightfoot ballad - it makes the tale come alive for me each time I hear it.

1975 - United Nations Resolution 3379: United Nations General Assembly approves a resolution equating Zionism with racism (the resolution was repealed in December 1991). Interestingly, this resolution was passed at a time when the U.S. was floundering under a weak leader (Gerald Ford), having just come through the impeachment of Richard Nixon and still dealing with the repercussions. It was repealed in 1991, under George H. W. Bush. As a footnote, in Wikipedia it is noted that: Majority votes of various UN agencies and bodies continued to assert the phrase "Zionism is racism" as the consensus in their agendas and conclusions, reflecting persistence of this view apart from the resolution. However, under pressure from the United States, under George W. Bush's administration, the phrase was omitted from the agenda of the United Nations Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa, 2001, and its final communiqué.

Friday, November 04, 2005

What a trip, What a City!

Okay, so I know you've been waiting (with baited breath I'm sure) to hear about my first ever trip to NYC!

It was everything I hoped for, and more. What a city, what heart - in another life, I could easily have lived in NYC very comfortably. My lifestyle now doesn't fit (I wouldn't really want to raise my daughters in NYC - it's wonderful, but I prefer a more rural atmosphere for child rearing) but I enjoyed pretending for the weekend that subways were my main mode of transportation (I loved the subway - one of my favorite "motion" pix of the subway is below) and strolling through Times Square was an everyday occurence.

The weather was crisp and cool enough that I was happy for the jacket and gloves, and before the weekend was over, we'd added hats and scarves. We did Chinatown for Dim Sum, were amazed at all the street vendors who sidled up to us - giving us their pitch for designer handbags (faux, of course) and rode on top of a double-decker bus for a different view of the city.

We visited Ground Zero (I particularly wanted to go there) where I learned, for me, a very interesting truth. There was nothing to see there. In my mind, it was as if I'd heard of a relative who was gone, and I wanted to visit their home to try to connect with them. No inanimate objects are imbued with anything for me to bring back what is gone - the spirit of the person (and in this case the persons and event) lives on in my heart and nothing, or no one, can take that away. But I honestly felt very little looking on at the gaping hole filled with construction equipment - other than the desire to have seen or to see the towers rebuilt - bigger and better than ever! More poignant to me was a quick visit to St. Charles Chapel, across Church Street from the World Trade Center complex. The picture below was taken of the stump of a 100 year old sycamore which was toppled on 9/11, and the text from the plaque I found very interesting:

"The tree was toppled on September 11, 2001, when the collapse of the World Trade Center sent tons of debris hurtling towards the church, including a large steel beam from the North Tower. Miraculously, the Chapel's trees shielded it from damage and not a single pane of glass was broken throughout the church."

While we didn't actually go into Central Park (I love nature, but lets get real here - I live in a rural area where I see wild turkeys on a daily basis, so that's not what I went to NY to see!) I did snap a favorite photo of Central Park taken just Southeast of the Grand Army Plaza:

We went to see "Fiddler on the Roof" and had awesome seats (front row Orchestra). It was a great show - we'd been reading that there were mixed reviews with Harvey Fierstein playing Tevya - and while his gravelly voice took a little getting used to, his mannerisms and interpretation more than made up for it in my opinion. Rosie O'Donnell just took over the roll of Golde on September 20 (a fact which irritated my sister to no end - she being not one of our favorite people) and while singing is not her strong suit, she did okay. The dancing and music overall was fantastic, though, and while I knew the dialogue and show by heart (my first little theatre experience 20+ years ago) I enjoyed it thoroughly.

All too soon, our trip was over and we headed home. We had a singing cabbie who sang Italian to us with his Leadsinger microphone and played "Who wants to be a Zillionaire" with us to determine where he was originally from (Ukraine) so my one NY cab experience was atypical - fun and entertaining.

Flying home was the loveliest flight I've ever had - the weather was beautiful, sky clear - I got to watch the coast all the way down into Georgia I'd guess when the clouds rolled in. Here's the last photo of NYC that I snapped (thank you, AA for having nice clean windows) heading away from the city:

So, now I'm back home, getting back into the swing of things and a bit of normalcy before the next holidays. My sister is a treasure, our "birthday adventure" was a tremendous success, and in my book, she's the "Sister of the Year"!