Wednesday, June 30, 2010


The Arizona immigration situation has been particularly stressful for some.  It is an understatement to say that tempers are running high.  Those who live on the front lines, in our border states, are especially on edge.  People are dying down there, and when the state of Arizona decided to take matters into their own hands because the federal government refused to enforce their own laws, tempers have flared on both sides. 

I personally support SB1070, and I think that Gov. Jan Brewer is doing a heckofa job holding the administration's feet to the fire.  The fact that the Arizona law holds law enforcement to a higher standard of reasonable cause than the federal law makes a mockery of the hysterical responses from the left.  But, then, they wouldn't know that it is a stricter law than the federal one, because they refuse to read it and educate themselves on the reality of the situation. 

The heated rhetoric of the controversy isn't restricted to just our political leaders and activists.  It has been trickling down into our school systems, as well.  The story of the high school kids who were suspended for wearing American flag t-shirts on Cinco de Mayo was a complete overreaction (it also impinged on the kids' first amendment rights), brought on by the passionate feelings some people in our education system have over the law.  The lines have been blurred between personal opinion and public responsibilities.  For some, political rhetoric is coloring every aspect of their lives and they find it impossible to maintain a professional, unbiased persona.

Unfortuantely, there have been objectionable reactions to this situation on both sides of the aisle.  We now have another overreaction, but this time on the right.  A twelve-year-old girl wore a t-shirt to her school in Big Bear, California a couple of weeks ago to support her favorite World Cup team.  She was excited to wear it, because her team was playing that day and she was going to be watching  the game in her performing arts class. 

One of her teachers, however, took offense to the shirt, and went overboard.  Coral Avilez was watching the game in class when her teacher saw the shirt and confronted her:

...her teacher saw her shirt emblazoned with the Mexican colors and, in front of the entire class, asked if she supported Mexico, according to Leroy Martinez, the vice president of the local League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC).

According to Martinez, Coral thought she was being asked a soccer question, and answered yes.

“Then what are you doing in my country?” the teacher asked, according to Martinez.

Stunned, the American-born student asked, “Why?”

“Because people like you make me pay higher taxes and make my insurance rate go up,” the teacher replied, according to Martinez.

Confused and hurt, Coral then ran out of the class crying.

I am getting so tired of our teachers politicizing the classroom.  It doesn't matter what side of the aisle you are on, leave the kids out of it.  Period.

But wait, there's more:

When Coral’s mother showed up to take the girl home, he said, she was told she would have to wait. Coral was being questioned about the incident by a group of school officials, including the teacher who allegedly made the remarks, and had to sign a paper before her mother could take her home.

It's hard to believe the school was "questioning" a twelve-year-old and not allowing her parents to be involved in the process.  It would also be interesting to know what paper she had to sign before she was allowed to go home.  Perhaps something to protect them from a lawsuit?  It's hard to believe that a paper signed by a twelve year old under duress will hold much weight in court.

When Coral returned to school the next Monday, she asked for permission to not go back to that class.  She was given two choices - either sit in the principal's office and read a book or pick up trash with the janitor.  She chose to pick up trash because she felt uncomfortable in the principal's office.  Can you blame her? 

The school board has launched an investigation:

Now the girl and her mother, supported by local civil rights groups, are asking that the teacher’s conduct be investigated for possible disciplinary action. The teacher later apologized to the class, according to local newspapers.

“The school has agreed, and we will meet with the superintendent this week to make sure that the investigation doesn’t drag on,” Martinez said. He said that there had been similar incidents in the area but this was the first time someone had come forward to complain. He said kids were usually intimidated by the teachers and afraid of repercussions if they asked for help.

This level of fear and intimidation in the classroom simply must stop.  It is bad enough that our children have to deal with bullies in their own peer group - they shouldn't have to deal with it from their teachers. 

This teacher was clearly in the wrong, and should be disciplined.  This is a California school, though, so who knows what will happen.  They have a notoriously difficult time keeping rogue teachers in check, and firing teachers in the state is almost impossible.  Although, considering his or her right-leaning ideology, the possiblity of a firing might just happen this one time...  But should the teacher be fired?  At best, they should be taken out of the classroom and put into a support position, perhaps in the front office.  It's pretty obvious he/she is having difficulty interacting with children in a responsible way - a main requirement to be a teacher.

The problem isn't with a teacher having political opinions - this is a free country, after all.  The problem is when these teachers bring their politics into the classroom and foist them on their students.  This happened to my own child this year, and it was most definitely not appreciated.  Children are not political pawns, and most of them, with a very few exceptions, never consider the potential political implications of their actions.  Namely because they're kids

This little girl is of Mexican descent (she is a natural-born US citizen), and was excited to support her favorite sports team.  Back in the late Seventies and early Eighties, I was in middle school.  During that time, the Irish Republican Army was wreaking havok with their war on the English government.  As a child of Irish descent, if I had worn a t-shirt with the Irish flag on it to support their team during the World Cup, would I have suffered the same treatment?  Most likely not, because back then, politics and the classroom (especially at the elementary and middle school level) were mutually exclusive. 

It's time to get back to that mindset.  Children are not  political pawns, no matter what side of the aisle you find yourself on.  Once they are 18 and can participate in the political process, all bets are off.  Until then, leave the kids alone.  And if they want to wear a t-shirt that represents this country or another, so what? 

Have we really become so petty and rigid in our ideologies that our children have to consider the political implications of a t-shirt?

Enough already.


Monday, June 21, 2010


Well, summer is here, the kids are out of school, and life is busier than ever.  I have been rather sporadic in my writing over the past month due to all of the activities associated with the end of the year.  Now that the kids are home for the summer, the bulk of my time will be spent with them. 

For the duration of summer vacation, I have decided to cut down my posts to one or two a week.  I have been trying to post more than that, but there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.  Towards the end of August, I will begin ramping back up to my usual four posts a week.  There will be plenty to write about then, what with the midterm elections right around the corner.  Fun, fun, fun!

I'm excited to jump back into the game for the election cycle, but first I'm looking forward to taking care of my main priority, my kids.  We are spending the summer at home this year, tightening our belts like everyone else, but we will be making a few day trips to the beautiful beaches we are blessed with here in Florida.  No doubt we will also make a few trips to the Springs - hopefully those activists will be there, too, for a second round!  Our summer will be an exploration off the beaten path.  The kids and I are looking forward to discovering the wonders of central Florida this summer - the springs, the beaches, the non-touristy hidden gems.  It should be quite an adventure, and I look forward to spending a lot of time with three of my favorite people in the whole world and sharing the adventure with them.

I hope that you have a great summer and get to recharge your batteries with the important people in your life.  Come September, things are going to get pretty crazy.  In the meantime, make hay while the sun shines, soak up some vitamin D and have a safe, fun summer!

Please be sure to check in on a weekly basis for more posts!


Thursday, June 17, 2010


We've had friends visiting for the past week and yesterday we took them to a lovely central Florida secret - Wekiwa Springs.  It's a great place to go in the summer.  The spring is a cool 72 degress year round and bubbles up into a perfect, crystal clear swimming basin that is surrounded by an ampitheater-like grassy area that is great for picnics.

Today, however, was not a perfect day

Shortly after we got settled and the kids hit the water, I was approached by two people with clipboards. 

"Hi there!  Do you support green energy?"  one chirped at me perkily.  I noticed their clipboards had :"Repower America" stickers on it.  Oh goodie - minions of the Goracle, out to preach to the masses. 

Not wanting the day ruined with their "green" drivel, I politely told them I thought that we weren't ready for green energy yet and before they could try to sell me further, the fates smiled upon me and my cell phone rang. Saved by the bell!  It turns out they were going around getting info and signatures for letters to be sent to Florida's federal representatives demanding that they pass the pending Cap and Tax legislation

A little while later, they were talking to a group of teenagers who were sitting near me.  None of the kids were old enough to vote, but they were Florida residents, so that was good enough, apparently.  Those greenies sure do love uninformed youth!  The two envirovangelists started in on their spiel, talking about how important passing the legislation is.

It is a rare event to hear such bald-faced lies told so brazenly and with such conviction. Not only did they watch President Obama's speech the other night, they memorized it.  You name a talking point from that speech, and they brought it up.  Wind turbines - check.  Solar energy - check.  Dependence on foreign oil - check.

Then they started in on the gulf spill.  They blamed the evil oil companies, and asked, rhetorically, of course, why the kids thought they were drilling a mile under water and even further into the sea floor.  "As deep as Everest is high" was the quote. 

At this point, I couldn't resist piping up with an answer - "because the environmentalists have pushed them out that deep".  Two of the kids looked over; one of them snickered into his hand.  Ms. Perky glared, took a breath and kept going. 

According to her (and Obama, as per his speech), we are drilling into mile-deep water because we have no more oil anywhere else, and that this is our last resort for trying to stop billions of dollars going to foreign countries that don't like us because we stubbornly refuse to switch to green energy.  Confronted by that doozie, I was unable to clench my jaw fast enough to keep from blurting out "Well, that's an outright lie!"  More glares came my way, of course, and they started pushing harder for signatures.

Long story short, two of the kids signed on, two declined.  Ms. Perky and her partner in crime scurried off, glaring at me all the while, and I didn't see them for the rest of the afternoon.  The lady camped out in front of me turned and smiled at me, saying that she was going to step in and say something, too, if I hadn't beaten her to it.  She made it clear that if a discussion had ensued, she would have had my back.  I've been hearing that more and more these days.  I'm also hearing more and more people speaking up when confronted with such blatant misinformation.  It's a wonderful thing.

The level of lies misinformation is quite staggering, really.  It simply boggles the mind that these people are trying to say that we have no natural resources.  They are fond of saying that we use 20% of the world's oil each year, but only have 2% of the natural reserves.  Makes it seem like we're going to run out tomorrow, doesn't it?  Which is the point, really. Nothing like a little fear to sell  the agenda.  The Goracle has made a fortune off it, and stands to make a whole lot more.  So is it true?  According to Kiplinger Magazine, in a word, no:

The U.S. is sitting on the world's largest, untapped oil reserves -- reservoirs which energy experts know exist, but which have not yet been tapped and may not be attainable with current technology. In fact, such untapped reserves are estimated at about 2.3 trillion barrels, nearly three times more than the reserves held by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) nations and sufficient to meet 300 years of demand -- at today's levels -- for auto, truck, aircraft, heating and industrial fuel, without importing a single barrel of oil.

Not all of the oil is readily available, but the amounts that are are quite startling (via American Thinker):

The report acknowledges that the available oil reserves could be much larger, but the 3.0 to 4.3 billion figure represents oil recoverable right now with today's technology. In fact, there may more than 100 billion barrels eventually recoverable with continued developments in the technology necessary to extract the oil.

Then there is the most famous government-blocked area of oil reserves, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuges (ANWR). With 10 billion barrels available, ANWR is the most accessible of the major untapped oil reserve locations in the United States, and claims are that this oil could be extracted in a way that would have minimal negative environmental impact.

So while technically correct in saying that America is running out of places to drill for oil, those who push this line of spin are being disingenuous at best.  The reason we are running out of places to drill is purely due to the environmentalists and their political cronies who are making it impossible for us to tap into our natural resources so that they can force us into green technologies that aren't ready for mass implimentation.

They are doing this by refusing to open up coastal areas for drilling, making ANWR off limits, and by confiscating massive tracts of land over inland oil reserves.  Quite frankly, the whole scheme is reprehensible.  They are willing to strangle us into submission to forward their green agenda, when salvation is right under our feet.  Freedom from foreign oil, freedom from funding those who hate us, and freedom to exploit our natural resources in a safe way until we can ease into green alternatives. 

I have no gripe with going green, but the fact is that we are just not ready.  I am simply unwilling to allow Washington to cripple me with even more taxes to promote an unrealistic agenda that isn't ready for implimentation in a large city, let alone an entire country of 310 million.  I refuse to pay $10 a gallon for foreign oil when there are billions of untapped barrels right here in this country.  I object to my utility bill "necessarily skyrocketing" so that Obama and the Goracle can pat themselves on the back and get rich as our economy collapses under their unrealistic pipe dreams.

Am I disappointed that two of the kids signed the petition?  Not at all.  Before I piped up, all four had clipboards in hand, ready to sign on.  After all, if you oppose the green agenda, you're not only not cool, but you are practically an ecoterrorist.  The fact that I managed to put a kernel of doubt in two of those young minds was victory enough.  Hopefully they went home today and started checking the facts.  That's all we can do - speak up and hope that people take the initiative to look for the facts themselves.

Facts the government is fully aware of:

In fact, our own government has acknowledged the vast oil resources available to us. In an April 2008 study conducted by the United States Geological Survey, the group began its press release with the following: "North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation."

Let's not forget, too, the roadblocks environmentalists have put up against many green alternatives, such as solar panels in the desert, wind turbines, ocean wave farms and nuclear power plants.  Apparently there are those in the movement who seem to think that the country can be powered by rainbows and unicorn flatulence, because they sure aren't leaving many other options. 

The administration's attempt to politicize the oil spill to get a win for the agenda is shameless.  Not only won't Cap and Trade do anything to affect the spill or cleanup it is taking advantage of, it will also damage our already fragile economy with a dramatic increase in utility bills and taxes.  Unfortunately, Repower America and the various other appendages of the political elite are out in force and they are on a self-appointed mission to save the world.  The ground forces have been deployed and the push is on.  Pesky facts aren't going to stand in their way!

And on this one, don't expect a loss in November to stop them.


Sunday, June 13, 2010


We took the kids to St. Petersburg last week to enjoy the beautiful, clear water while we can.  It was a gorgeous day, with barely a cloud in the sky.  The water was calm, bathlike, and that exquisite green that defies description. 

My husband explained the gulf coast beach experience best.  On the east coast, people are playing in the waves, swimming and surfing. There's a lot of energy and enthsiasm.  On the gulf coast, you just sort of....bob.  There are few things more relaxing than a day at the beach on the Gulf of Mexico.  The water is like a tepid bath, and the current gently rocks you as if Mother Nature herself was cradling you to her bosom.

It was an exceptional day.

The kids and I like to snorkel, and, although there isn't much to see except white sand, there are still little finds to get excited over.  We found a few big sea snails, and the kids loved seeing the little eyes poking out from the curling confines of their shells.  They put the first one back in the water and watched it's hopping progress for a full 15 minutes before moving on. 

We saw a pod of dolphins making steady progress north.  My youngest  was really excited to see the dolphins, but they were too far out to swim to.  We had to be satisfied with watching their undulating progress from a distance.  I, like many people, am a sucker for a dolphin.  I have to admit my heart went pitter-pat as I watched them pass - it always does - so I understand her joy.

Not long after the dolphins passed, we sighted not one but two manatees. It was an unexpected treat. They were close enough to shore that we tried to swim out to them, but they are faster than they look and we couldn't manage to catch them.  We got a few good looks at them as their lumpy round heads surfaced for a gulp of air, followed by a long, humped back and their large paddle-shaped tails flicking up and slapping down.  It's probably just as well that we couldn't catch up, because they are much larger up close than expected - they can grow to be 15 feet long.  And it's not a slender 15 feet, either! 

The day was rounded out with ice cream for the girls and a hawaiian style shave ice for me and my man.  Truly, a perfect day. 

But for how long?

With our administration more interested in assigning blame and litigating, BP clueless on what to do next and the environmentalists giving everyone a pass, the prospects are bleak indeed.  But at least we have a wonderful memory to look back on fondly. 

It's too bad that soon that will be all that's left of our beautiful gulf coast beaches - memories. 


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Helen Thomas retired from Hearst Newspapers yesterday, giving in to pressure about her radical remarks about Israel.  Rabbi Nesenoff captured her on video answering his question "Any comments on Israel?" by  espousing the view that the Jews needed to "get the hell out of Palenstine".  She said they needed to "go home".  When asked where "home" was, she responded Poland and Germany.  Good thing flashbacks of Nazi era atrocities don't come to mind when those two countries are mentioned  in conjunction with Jews.   That might be awkward.

The past few days have been a mad scramble by the press and many liberals to distance themselves from her and her comments.  There hasn't even been any real attempt at spin on this one, because she is on video spewing her reprehensible opinions.  Be prepared, however, for the liberal media to attempt to rehabilitate her image now that she has resigned.  Good luck with that.  Giving her a pass due to her advanced age isn't good enough.  If she's competent enough to be front row center at the White House briefing room, asking questions of not just the Press Secretary but the sitting president, she's competent enough to know what she's saying when questioned by a man on the street. 

She has officially apologized, but the sincerity is questionable.  Her claim that she "deeply regrets" her comments is a bit hard to swallow because she has always been pretty open in her support of Palestine. 

The clamor for Hearst to fire her was reaching a fever pitch on  the left and the right, and so she did the only thing she could to save face - resign.  No doubt she will be laying low for a while.  Apparently there is more video to come, and the rabbi who shot the film says it is even worse than the original comments.  The new video is supposed to be coming out in the next day or two.  

At the tender age of 89, Ms. Thomas' retirement is long overdue.  It's a shame she had to go this way, but it seems like it was just a matter of time, considering how happy she was to share her radical opinons. 

As for common American's views on the Israeli flotilla raids (the reason Rabbi Nesenoff asked Thomas about Israel in the first place), according to the polls, it seems the public is believing their lying eyes instead of the liberal media and the international community on this story.  The jury is still out on the episode, but it seems that Israel was in the right and was attacked first - the video seems to support that.  As for the legality of their actions, the Gaza ships were attempting to break the blockade.   Israel has the right to defend herself, and will continue to do so.   Blockades are not unusual and are not illegal, no matter how much the international community huffs and puffs about it.

As good as it is that Helen Thomas has retired, it is even better to know that the American people aren't being duped by people like her.

One wonders if that fact is more galling to her than having to retire. 


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