Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving history play

With Thanksgiving right around the corner it's always nice to be reminded of the reason for the season. This is just awesome.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Right-wing America's newest sweetheart refuses to discuss her most touching moment

So Carrie Prejean, right-wing traditionalist and new Palin BFF was on Larry King Live last night promoting her new book when the senile CNN host suffered a senior moment and forgot the pre-determined interview conditions.

Using the same tone her mentor Palin used when she found McCain wandering around outside the Straight Talk Express in just his bathrobe and underwear, Prejean scolded Larry King, reminding him that they'd agreed beforehand that she would a.) not take phone calls and b.) would not discuss a certain tape of her getting all solo-sexual.

"You're being extremely inappropriate," Prejean said, speaking slowly and deliberately when an obviously befuddled Larry King tried to discuss the tape.

Poor Larry! To be called out by such a Paragon of Virtue right in prime time like that? I can only imagine his embarrassment.

I kept hoping that Larry King would redeem himself and do something Prejean would deem appropriate, like masturbating in front of the camera. Of course, he's so off his game these days he'd probably just make it worse by masturbating with his left hand instead of the morally acceptable right one.

Personally, I don't see why Prejean is so upset about this. The Bible says to "love your neighbor as you love yourself," right? And Carrie loves her neighbors - well, the straight ones anyway - so it only follows that she should love herself. And what better way to prove it than with a home movie?

Not since the 1973 classic The Exorcist has someone mixed masturbation and religion in such a twisted manner. She should be proud.

So to Carrie Prejean I only have this to say. "Please don't go away. Stay. You are everything I've come to expect from a right wing icon. You go, girl."

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Walking with Wes: Our Health Care Story

At the top of this post is an amazing picture. It may not look amazing; after all it's just a picture of me walking with my 22-year-old son, Wesley. But it is amazing. It's very amazing. And I'll tell you why.

Less than a month ago, Wesley was suffering so badly from degenerative disc disease that he could not walk more than a dozen steps without severe pain.

If that seems odd to you, it's only because it is. Severe spinal problems usually don't strike someone so young. But Wes somehow managed to draw the genetic short straw. Wes' father has the same condition, although his didn't really get severe until the last few years, when he reached his mid forties.

For Wes, the problems began when he was in high school. He complained of intermittent leg pain and the family doctor he went to always attributed the problem to muscle strain from athletics. It never occurred to him to check a kid presenting with leg soreness for a back problem.

So the pain continued off and on and then over a year ago, the problem got so bad that Wesley finally went to see an orthopedist who scheduled an MRI. The results were devastating. Two discs in Wesley's back were so extremely herniated that the doctor said his spine looked more appropriate to an elderly person than to a young man.

Subsequent doctors used words like "awful" and "horrible" to describe his condition.

But the doctors he saw were reluctant to schedule surgery. Back surgery is a serious matter, especially for one so young. The standard therapies were tried first. Wesley got painful steroid injections in his back. He got an inversion table. And then there was the pain medications - Vicodin. Percocet. Neurontin. They kept him in a daze and altered his mood.

When he tried to go out and do all the normal things other kids his age did he found that he simply couldn't. One night Wes and his sister, 25-year-old Jessica, went to a downtown club with some friends. Everyone was dancing and Wesley - for once - wanted to join in. Jessica told told me that when she missed her brother a few moments later she went looking and found him keeling by a wall near the restroom, crying.

He told her, "I just want to be a normal guy and do what everyone else does. But when I try to do what everyone else does, it hurts."

We hoped and prayed he'd be cleared for surgery. It seemed to be the only way he'd ever get relief. And finally, finally he was. Nothing was working - the therapies had all failed - and the doctor he was seeing at the time said that surgery was the only hope if Wesley were ever to have a normal life. What's more, we were told, Wesley's back was getting worse. If he didn't get the surgery, he was at risk of becoming permanently paralyzed by his condition.

But then came word from the insurance company. Wesley had a very basic policy through work with a very small cap that had already been exhausted by the tests and pain management he'd undergone. They would not pay for the surgery. Wes was devastated. We were frantic. Every physician approached wanted more money than his dad and I could come up with on our own, even together.

Do you know what it's like to stand by and watch your child suffer knowing that an operation could give him back what he's lost? Do you know what it's like to jump when the phone rings because you fear it's the hospital calling to say your son has been admitted, made dead from the waist down by what was a correctable condition?

I hope you never do.

In August, Wesley's father had back surgery. Ironic, huh? That's what we all thought, even him. Wesley needed it worse, but his dad was fortunate enough to have a better insurance policy through work. The surgery lasted a couple of hours and Wes' dad was home the same day. And the relief from his back pain was so immediate he became more determined than ever to see that his son got that surgery.

So when Wes' dad went back for his check-up a few weeks later, he told the doctor who'd fixed his 46-year-old back about his 22-year-old son's problem. The doctor listened and then asked if he could see Wes' MRI films. After taking a look at them, he called Wes' dad and told him something Truly Amazing.

The doctor said if we could come up with a thousand dollars and the pre-surgical consultation fee then he would do the surgery and set Wesley up on an affordable payment plan.

We couldn't believe it. Could it really be true? The figure was well within reach for us. We went for the consult and Wes was scheduled for a three hour surgery.

The surgery took place on October 15 and lasted four hours - four long, tension-filled hours. Afterwards when the doctor called us back, we knew right away that it had been tougher than any of us expected, even him. Wesley's discs had been so swollen and herniated that during the process of removing part of one and extricating it from the nerve it was pressing against, the nerve sheath had torn. Fortunately the damage was not permanent; when Wesley woke up he was able to move both of his legs.

Then the doctor told us something else. He said that once he opened Wes up, he realized that his back was worse than even he had imagined. He said because of the state of herniation, Wesley had been in danger of imminent, permanent paralysis.

Think about those words for a second. Think about them in the context of a 22-year-old man.




I still get chills when I ponder those words, and not just because it's my kid we're talking about.

Wesley went back to his dad's that same afternoon. I'd have never thought it would be possible, but the doctor said he'd do better recuperating surrounded by family than in a hospital bed. The first night was rough. Wes suffered muscle spasms and little could be done to relieve the agony. Recovery was painful, but Wesley soldiered through with remarkable strength and resolve and each day brought improvement. Three days post-op he was walking. He went back to his apartment two weeks later. Tomorrow he goes for his first post-surgical visit. He's hoping the doctor will give him the all clear to go back to work.

Today he and I took a walk and he told me he's still getting used to getting his life back. For so long he's been looking in on a window of an existence he used to have, watching his friends continuing to do all the things he used to take for granted - dancing, hiking, surfing, walking through downtown. These things that seem so mundane to the rest of us now fill him with excitement. To see him hopeful and happy again....words fail me. I have none to describe how this makes my heart sing.

Every day that goes by, every time I see Wesley walk and laugh and tell me how happy he is to move without pain, how relieved he is to live without pain medication, I say a silent prayer of thanks for that wonderful doctor.

And then the sadness sets in. Because while we found a merciful doctor through what really amounted to a quirk of fate - through chance, really - there are hundreds and hundreds of families out there who aren't as fortunate.

My son, my 22-year-old son - a young man who is otherwise healthy and vital in every way, came dangerously close to being permanently paralyzed for life. He is walking again not because of this health care system, but in spite of it. It was the mercy of one good man - not this health care system - that has given him a new lease on life.

And in an world where profit and greed are the prevailing motivators, I don't have to tell you that Mercy is in short supply. We were among the lucky ones, but somewhere tonight parents are huddled together crying in fear over what tomorrow holds for their child. And there's no one coming to save them. For them, there is no Good Doctor. They are facing a different kind of mercy - the mercy of the insurance companies. In short, they are at the mercy of the merciless.

I watched the health care debate this weekend with interest. I was terribly disappointed that my congressman, Democrat Mike McIntyre, did not vote for the bill. After Wesley's surgery, I called his office and spoke to one of his aides, a young man named Ned. He seemed genuinely sympathetic.

I wish Ned was my congressman instead of Mike McIntyre.

Like so many other Blue Dogs, McIntyre's fear of the tea baggers has him tucking tail and rolling over in submission. Or perhaps he's hoping for a big campaign donation from the insurance lobby. Who knows. I suppose when you're a Congressman with excellent insurance benefits yourself the story of some 22-year-old man's brush with a lifelong disability isn't moving enough to get you to stick your political neck out.

Had we simply relied on the system Wesley would be in a wheelchair, a permanently disabled ward of the state. I'm not sure how that is cost effective; perhaps some of you worried about the "cost" of health reform can explain it to me.

It seems ironic to me that when Congressmen like Mike McIntyre - who cite costs as the "real" reason" they're opposed to reform - don't seem to stop and consider cost when sending our sons and daughters off to war. They seem all too willing to spend billions getting people crippled or killed; when it comes to war the motto seems to be "Spare No Expense." Yet they are strangely reluctant to spend billions to prevent disabilities or save lives here at home.

Maybe that's because for those congressmen it's easier to see people who need health care reform as faceless statistics. But we aren't faceless, Mr. McIntyre. Behind every statistic is a family. A family with a story. And this is ours.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

Not much to write today, as we are in full Halloween Revelry Mode. For me and my kind, Halloween is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

I'm in a happy mood today, with tomorrow being the big day. I already have my costume. I'm a witch. Again.

The dress and boots are the same ones I wore last year. This year I've accessorized with a new hat, some totally awesome stockings and a new familiar, Pookah.

Our Halloween display. The mums are past their prime, tho. Pity.

Pookah and I prepare to work our Halloween magic.

Those of you may remember that I found Pookah last year in the ditch outside my house just four days before I lost my beloved 15-year-old cat Jingles. Now, after taking a year to warm up to me - for cats respect the Official Mourning Period - Pookah is my best buddy.

Halloween is also a great time for humor. This morning I received some of the best Halloween cartoons I've gotten in many months. Enjoy!

This morning my sister sent me this. I love it:

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Rapture Denied: Christian Edition of "Going Rogue" won't happen

Supporters of Sarah Palin react outside of the God's Own Baptist Church on Wednesday after learning that Zondervan will not release a Christian edition of Going Rogue after all.

Rev. Doug Pious hugs a member of the Youth Army For God on Wednesday after the child broke down upon learning that Sarah Palin would not be releasing a Christian edition of her memoir.

To my dedicated fundamentalist Christian readers - all two of you - I have disappointing news. That Christian edition of Sarah Palin's Going Rogue you've been waiting for, it ain't gonna happen.

Not since God killed Job's family and sent that faithful servant to sit in the wilderness covered in boils (all to satisfy a bet with the devil) have The Righteous been left asking, "Why, God? Why?"

After all, it would been a holy and joyful experience to see all of Sarah's quotes conveniently highlighted in red and cross-referenced with correlating scriptural text. Verily!

So why the change? Here's the official line:

In an E-mail message today, Campbell said she misspoke. "Zondervan never planned on publishing a separate Christian edition of Going Rogue with supplemental material," she said. "From what I understand, it was misreporting."

That's right. Blame the media. Hey, if it's good enough for Sarah it's good enough for a Christian publishing house.

My take on this is different. I'm thinking the Christian edition may have been scuttled for one of these three reasons:

1. Sarah's narrow appeal. Realizing that the market for the original version of Going Rogue will essentially be the same market as for the Christian version, Zondervan finally admits that given the tight economy, even brain-dead Bible-beaters might be unwilling to buy the same lies twice.

2. The real truth, when it comes out, may damage her with the True Christian™
. Publishers have a lot of people on the inside. They may realize that forthcoming revelations about Sarahs' true character - or lack thereof - may alienate so many of Sarah's True Christian™ followers that they'll abandon her and her book.

3. Sarah has outed herself in Going Rogue. This is a slim possibility but one that bears considering. Sarah can't really believe her lies will hold and may have decided to go ahead and spill the beans herself in Going Rogue with the chapters "OK, you got me. I'm Illiterate," and "Guess who faked a pregnancy? Me." If she did this, then the effect on her True Christian™ base (except the most hardcore among them) will be the same as in Number 2.

As Gryphen over at Immoral Minority has pointed out, the conservative book-buying machine has already made sure that Sarah has gotten hers. Thanks to their mass purchasing scam, the woman who can't admit to having read anything is now a best selling author laughing all the way to the bank as her saintly followers wallow in grief.

But since when has the disappointment of supporters ever really mattered to her? (Right, Alaska?) There's shopping to be done, and those fuck-me-pumps aren't going to buy themselves.

"Sarah, O, Sarah? Why have you forsaken us?" the True Christian™ supporters cry.

To which Sarah responds. "Because it was all about me in the first place. Duh."

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sarah Palin, author

Seriously people, cut Sarah Palin a break already. All week long I've been reading blogs from people taking potshots at her upcoming book, Going Rogue.

So what if it's full of lies and misspellings and reads like a third-grader's Mad Lib? So what if her ghostwriter is as bat-shit crazy as she is? Those in the literary know understand that Going Rogue isn't even the book that's going to make the big splash for Sarah anyway. She only wrote it because people expected her to write something politicalish. Duh...

No, it's the book she started working on before she wrote Going Rogue - the one that is going to come out on Mother's Day - that's going to finally reveal Sarah Palin as a true expert in something.

Because while Sarah Palin may not know where Russia is or which countries are in NAFTA (who does, right?) she sure as hell knows how to poorly fake a pregnancy. And after reading Your Poorly-Faked Pregnancy, Week-By-Week so will you.

With such informative chapters as "Pillows vs. Empathy Bellies," "Dragging Your kids Into Your Charade," "Paying Off People Who Know With Proceeds From Your First Book," and "Delusional Thinking Is Your Friend," you, too can convince almost anyone (except a few pesky bloggers) that you were actually pregnant.

Bonus chapters in the special "Trig Edition" include where to get a baby at the end of your faked pregnancy. Be sure to read "These Damn Kids Never Listen" and "Fundamentalist Friendly Adoption Scams" for more information.

And be sure to pick up the Christian Edition of Your Poorly-Faked Pregnancy, Week-by-Week with the extra bonus chapter, "Immaculate Conception: Producing a Baby Even Though Todd Hasn't Touched You In Two Years."

So laugh all you want, Sarah haters. You're just mad because you didn't think of it first.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Group booking Palin's comedy act gets its money's worth

"It's just common sense that government attempts to solve problems like the health care problem will just create new problems." -- Sarah Palin to the CLSA Investors

It's over. Earlier today GOP spokesmodel Sarah Palin delivered her 90-minute speech at the CLSA Investors Forum. And despite attempts to keep her address the most secrety secret in all of Secretdom, it seems that some of what she said has leaked out.

And yes, it's pretty much what we expected. Reports had suggested that the invitation was a joke on Sarah by a group looking for more laughs than substance.

Apparently that's just what she delivered. As a bonus, she lectured the crowd on the perspective of Main Street, America. Her America, that is, where a politician with presidential ambitions can hide from a media that might press her for answers the public wants while auctioning herself off as a prize to whichever loyal fan can afford to buy her for a few hours.

If the audience understood anything about irony, then I'm thinking her act killed like an Obama Death Panel.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Office Pet

I'm pretty picky about which pets I allow in my office. Voldemort is just perfect. He doesn't shed, doesn't make noise ..... a fantastic proofreader...

....and goes quite nicely with the decor. Are you digging the whole Snake and Apple symbolism? I am. Only naughty girls use Macs. ;-)

I prefer Voldemort to the things we find crawling in our yard this time of year. Check out this six-foot rattlesnake. It's the third one we've come across. My husband catches them live by hand. We don't like to kill them. They make nice, unexpected gifts....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sarah bows to fear of intergalactic embarrassment

Fear of Capt. Kirk and lack of qualified ventriloquists have caused Palin to close her upcoming Sept. 23 speech to the media.

Who says Sarah Palin isn't compassionate? In a move sure to relieve educators everywhere, she's decided to deny the media access to her next scheduled butchering of the English language.

The former governor, who used winking and red fuck-me-pumps to flirt with the notion of becoming vice-president last year, is slated to speak before a group of foreign investors on September 23. That gives her just nine more days to realize that the invitation is just a big joke on her.

Don't hold your breath, though. The woman who gave us this and this is unlikely to admit she's being pranked until after it's actually happened.

In fact, it took William Shatner reading her Tweets as beat poetry to finally clue her in.

I can just see her standing there in her living room, shaking Todd awake from where he was ignoring her in his recliner and screeching, "Look, Todd! Captain Kirk is on television and he likes me so much he's reading my Tweets on the air!"

To which Todd would reply, "He doesn't like you, he's making fun of you. I told you to stop Twittering! Wasn't it enough when you were an international embarrassment? Now the whole flippin' universe is laughing at us. Nice job. Oh, and while we're actually talking, we're out of Twinkies and now the kids have nothing for breakfast tomorrow morning."

That's when Sarah decided to stop Twittering and hire a ghostwriter to do her Facebook and Wall Street Journal pieces.

But this speech represents a whole new set of problems. It's a lot easier for Sarah Palin to hire a ghostwriter who makes her look like an intelligent writer than a ventriloquist who can make her sound like an intelligent speaker - even to a foreign audience. So to minimize her embarrassment to the world and galaxies beyond, she's making sure no one aside from the audience hears what she has to say. The last thing she needs is for Mr. Spock to show up on Letterman and recite her trade policy ideas. Even he couldn't keep a straight face for that.

But maybe it's for the best. Another Palin speech would have provided too much of a distraction, and I would have had to interrupt my day job of writing lewd and tawdry prose to decipher whatever it was she thought she was trying to say.

Of course, as I pointed out in my last post this may still be a moot point anyway. Sarah may not even show up for the speech and offer up some excuse instead, like Willow accidentally accepted for her or she got the date wrong. Or she could say she can't travel because she just found out she's pregnant with her fifth child.

Yeah, like we believed that story the first time....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Just thought I'd share...

Click for a larger image. You won't be disappointed. I promise.

And if you were all closer I'd happily send you home with cuttings. Passion flowers are beautiful but the vines grow everywhere.

Hope your weekend has been as colorful as mine. :-)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

These goats are going to get us kicked out of the neighborhood. I just know it.

Yes, I know today's post represents a departure from my usual offering of political snark. But sometimes I like to talk about something other than Sarah Palin and the crazy right wing of the GOP. Like all these goats having sex in my front yard.

Those of you new to my blog may - or may not - be surprised to learn that I keep a herd of dairy goats. There are eleven, including five does that are currently still milked by hand twice a day. The milk is used for drinking and for making farmstead cheeses, ice cream, fudge and soap.

But in order for our does to give milk they must first have baby goats. And you don't have babies without sex. So each year we borrow a couple of male goats - or bucks - from a goat dairy over in the next county.

And this is the part where things go from pastoral to pornographic.

Over the winter I read a wonderful book called Goat Song by author Brad Kessler. I highly recommend this book, not just because Kessler's writing is so lyrically beautiful, but also because he does a wonderful job detailing life with goats, and how their cycles tie in with the natural ebb and flow of the seasons. Kessler also delves into the rich history of goats, which were the first domestic hoof stock kept by our nomadic ancestors.

But what Kessler doesn't tell you is something I strongly suspect, which is that every sexual perversion known to man was originally inspired by watching goat have sex. It's no wonder that the hedonistic satyr was fashioned after a goat. The animals simply have no modesty. Or shame. Or brakes. And that's made for some pretty interesting happenings here on our tiny farm.

It started this weekend, when we went to pick up the two bucks - a Nubian named Mojo and an Alpine named Legacy. We borrowed Legacy last year when he was just a yearling. He lost his innocence to our does. This year when we went back, I didn't even recognize him. He's the size of a small Shetland pony now.

"This is Bernard?" I asked Lisa, referring to Legacy by the nickname we'd given him last year. I could not comprehend that this wild-eyed beast, unbearably pungent with the smell of his own urine, was the same animal.

"Yep," she said. "And he's not even finished growing. And boy, is he ever ready to breed! He's so fixated on the does that he's hardly even eating."

As if to prove his owner's point, Legacy lowered his head, pissed all over his face and curled up his lip.

"Charming," I said.

"Your girls should think so," Lisa replied.

We led Legacy to the trailer as Mojo, nearly as big and just as smelly, followed. Despite his name, Mojo hadn't seen any action yet. Like Legacy, his first sexual experience would be with our older and somewhat worldly does. Legacy seemed to know just where he was headed. He practically jumped into the trailer.

At home we put the bucks in the pen separate from the does. The only other goat in the buck pen was Toby, the neutered male goat we'd acquired as a pet two years ago. Toby was our first goat. He was bottle-raised and grew up thinking he was a dog or maybe a person. Since he's also a male, I thought it would be OK to keep them together. After all, what could go wrong?

As it turns out, a lot.

As soon as we brought Legacy and Mojo in, the does lined up on the other side of the fence panting like a group of fourteen year-old girls at a Jonas Brother's concert. Two of them turned their backsides to the fence and frantically wagged their tails, as if trying to waft their girlie-scent in the bucks' direction. It was a tawdry display. And I know tawdry. Had they been wearing panties, the does would have tossed them over the fence.

It was all too much for the boys to take. Unable to get to the does, they went for the next best thing - their unsuspecting pasture mate. I immediately rushed in to save poor Toby, who was pinned against the gate by a 175-pound, pheromone-crazed Legacy. As soon as I pulled him away Mojo jumped him. It took all my strength to get Toby out of the pen and into the doe barn on the other side, where he huddled for two days until he got over the drama of his gate-rape.

Breeding season for goats starts in late August and runs through December. Does come in heat every three weeks. Their cycles last for three days, providing a short window to get them bred. Because we have both Alpines and Nubians and want to control who is bred and when, we watch for the signs before putting them in with the bucks.

The does bleat, wag their tails and hang by the fence. The bucks respond by stamping, sneezing, snorting, pissing on their own faces and putting their penises in their own mouths (seriously) should they be endowed with penises big enough to reach.

Today two of our does started showing signs of readiness. Star and Nellie - both slated to be bred to Legacy - stood by the fence making come-hither noises and wagging their tails.

I took Nellie over first. Or, should I say, she took me. I tied Mojo to the side of the shed so Nellie and Legacy could get some sex on, but as it turned out while Nellie was in heat it was just the early stages and not the "standing heat" so called because that is when a doe will stand to be mounted.

Meanwhile, Star was screaming as if she were in physical pain, so I brought her over too. Legacy rushed over, stamping and sneezing. Star turned and looked at him. I think she winked. She squatted and pissed. He stuck his face in the stream and curled his lip up. Legacy was in Pheromone Heaven. This was a doe clearly in standing heat.

Legacy began to clack his teeth and lick Star all over, up and down her back, under her tail. Every now and then he'd rush up and look at her face as if to say, "Yeah, you like that, don't you, baby?"

And since Star is a girl who just can't say no - despite giving birth to triplets earlier this year - she let Legacy have his way with her. Multiple times.

Poor Mojo, tethered to the corner of the goat barn could only watch since none of "his" ladies have yet to come into heat. After a few moments our pet pig, Piggie, walked over and Mojo leaned down as if to say, "'re single. I'm single. We're both here alone. So, what do you say..?"

Fortunately, Piggie is smarter than Toby and knew enough to get out of the way before she got jumped or pissed on. Nobody messes with Piggie, so we don't have to worry about coming out one morning to find a litter of mutant pig-goats or what other sort of abomination would come from such an unlikely coupling.

What we will have will be baby goats due sometime in February. First time moms will have singles; our older does will have twins or triplets. The babies are taken away at birth and bottle raised on their mother's milk.

Once the goats are old enough, we find other families looking to start their own dairy goat herds. Bucks, unless exceptionally nice, are neutered and sold as pets. Sometimes we keep one or two little ones back. We still a young doe and a buck born to Star earlier this year. You can see the birth in this video, which also documents the kids' first days of life.

With the growing interest in organic food and the grocery prices being what they are, dairy goats are more popular than you might think. They're certainly more entertaining, if you don't mind the work or having your yard turned into the 24 Hour Barnyard Sex Channel for a couple of months. I see it as our little gift to the community. It gives our neighbors something else to talk about. Provided, of course, they don't kick us out for indecency.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


Among socialist values Obama pushed were hard work and hand-washing

So today is the first day back at lessons for my two youngest kids, both homeschoolers. And since many of their publicly schooled counterparts across the nation got to watch President Obama's back-to-school speech I made sure they did, too.

My husband and I encouraged our kids to watch the speech not just because we support our president but also because the act of watching is a testament to our faith in our parenting abilities. We didn't think Obama would say anything we disagreed with. But we are secure enough in our kids' intelligence - and their respect for us - to realize that even if he did that it would be OK. Had he said something we disagreed with, we would have discussed it with the kids. A speech isn't going to influence them any more than we can.

I feel sorry for kids of parents who are less secure in their own abilities, and for kids whose parents are so paranoid that they think the words of a politician - any politician - are going to instantaneously poison whatever values they've formed in their children so far. Do those parents really doubt their own influence to that extent? Do they think the kids they've raised are that morally and intellectually weak?

Apparently so. Some of those parents kept their kids home from school today, collectively raising the average IQ score of their schools by many points.

I made the mistake of turning on a local talk radio station last week. In the five minutes I listened I heard two callers express fear - yes, fear - over this speech. Obama, they said, was going to use this address as a way to advance a cult of personality. You could tell by the way they said this that they had no earthly idea what they were talking about and were just repeating something they'd heard on FOX. In fact, when the host asked one man what he meant by "cult of personality" the man stammered a bit before saying, "You one of them...Jonestowns...You know. A cult."

The callers said Obama was going to try and infect children with socialism. I kept picturing not a speech, but a sneeze spreading commie germs. It sounded pretty dire. So naturally I was keen to pick out the socialist messages today while listening today.

I looked for it when Obama said this:

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world - and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.

Hmmm. That sounded a lot like that a promotion of individualism. Probably just a slip. And then there was this:

When I was young, my family lived in Indonesia for a few years and my mother didn't have the money to send me to where all the American kids went to school. So she decided to teach me extra lessons herself, Monday through Friday - at 4:30 in the morning.

That sounds suspiciously like appreciation for homeschooling, something a few paranoid right wing home schoolers I know say Obama opposes. Again, that was probably just a mistake. Let's move on.

Where you are right now doesn't have to determine where you'll end up. No one's written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

Patriotism? How did that get in there? Now let's see what he has to say on that socialist value of Perseverance in the Face of Adversity, shall we comrade?

J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter book was rejected twelve times before it was finally published. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he lost hundreds of games and missed thousands of shots during his career. But he once said, "I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

These people succeeded because they understand that you can't let your failures define you - you have to let them teach you. You have to let them show you what to do differently next time.

Aha! Harry Potter reference. He's promoting witchcraft! Still no socialism, though. Damn, those hidden messages are hard to find. Maybe if I replay the speech backwards I'll finally hear that communist propaganda everyone was so worried about.

Poor Obama. You can tell he tries really hard to get his point across, but I were to grade him on turning my kids into little pinko socialists, he'd get a big fat F. For FAIL. By his own standards, that means he'll just to try harder.

Of course, I could be wrong. The message may just be so insidious and understated that it flew under my adult radar. So I'll be on the lookout for the subtle signs of Obama's socialist influence on my kids, just in case. If I catch them pretending to be doctors who treat patients regardless of their ability to pay, then I'll know exactly who to blame. Oh yes, I will...

Thursday, September 03, 2009

An Open Letter to Levi Johnston's Handlers

Dear Sirs:

Would you mind if I ask you a simple question?

What are you thinking?

Please don’t think I’m trying to be rude or disrespectful. I sincerely believe that you have nothing but Levi Johnston’s interest at heart. I’m sure he’s enjoyed the limelight at appearances like the Teen Choice Awards. I’m sure he’s flattered by the attention of stars like Kathy Griffin and interviewers who get him to joke about having sex with cougars or posing in the nude. Great fun for a young man who’s never been out of small town Alaska. Great fun.

But I think what Levi – and maybe you – aren’t seeing is that the public is no longer laughing with him. They’re laughing at him.

This worries me. It worries me a great deal. That boy’s been through a lot with the Palins. He doesn’t have to write a book for most people to realize that. But he should write a book. He needs to write a book. And he needs to do it before he even thinks about movie roles and modeling.

Why? Because right now information is the most marketable thing your boy Levi has. It’s his biggest commodity. But his recent and somewhat reckless appearances are wearing thin on people who might otherwise be sympathetic to his story. He's losing credibility at a time when he needs it the most.

Listen, Sarah Palin is no friend to Hollywood. She’s targeted and bashed all of Hollywood as elitists. She and her kind are a threat to free speech and creativity. They’re a threat to everything Hollywood stands for. And Hollywood knows it.

Don’t you understand that anyone who tells the story that brings this woman down is going to be seen as a conquering hero in Hollywood? If Levi Johnston spills the truth – the whole truth – Sarah’s career will be destroyed. And the right wing punditry and politicos who supported her will be humiliated by association. Once that happens Levi will all but have the key to the city. At the moment, the best you’re offering him is a future spot in I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. Next stop after that: Obscurity.

What do you think Levi would rather be - best selling author turned actor? Or another Kato Kaelin?

Gentlemen, it’s the story that is the key to Levi’s success, both in the court of public opinion and in Hollywood. So on behalf of all of us who seek and want the truth: Stop the leaks. Cut off the juvenile interviews. Put a pen in that boy's hand (or a ghostwriter's hand) and encourage him to do the book. It’s his best, greatest shot at success.

You know what he's been through. You know he deserves it. See that he gets it. Please. You'll not just be doing him a favor, you'll be doing the whole country a favor at the same time.


Morgan, pajama-clad blogger and very, very concerned United States citizen

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Breaking it down

This is a great, simplified explanation to share with those who oppose health care reform, particularly the much-maligned public option.

And because it's polite to give credit where credit is due, I found this first on both Mudflats and Immoral Minority.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Palin's Next Speaking Engagement is a Joke. No, really. It's a joke

So yesterday the news services and blogs were all abuzz about Sarah Palin's next speaking engagement in Asia. There was a lot of collective head-scratching as to why Asian investment group CLSA would invite someone with virtually no foreign policy experience to speak before a group of international investors in Hong Kong.

I wondered, too. And the best I come up with was that she'd have something in common with the natives. English is their second language. English is her second language.

Then today comes a report that takes the mystery out of the invitation. It's a joke.

According to Business Insider Daily, the Asian investment firm CLSA which booked Palin has a reputation for bringing a touch of humor to their investor meetings.

In the past, they've polled Asian fortunte tellers for index targets, hired anime cartoonists to draw Japanese research and generally love to push the boundaries between entertainment and analysis. They are a real research firm, it's just that they love to sprinkle in some hilarity every now and then as a smart marketing gimmick.

Sarah Palin, the report says, "is this year's big laugh for them."

Now the big question is will she even know she's being pranked. Sarah's a little slow on the uptake. During the 2008 campaign a couple of Canadian DJ's calling themselves "The Masked Avengers" strung her along for nearly five minutes by making her think she was talking to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Sarah remained oblivious during the chat, even when "Sarkozy" asked if she'd take him hunting by helicopter and referenced a porn movie - Nailin Palin - that featured her likeness.

It took the DJ's telling Sarah she'd been pranked before she figured it out. The woman is a laugh riot without even trying. Now that she knows she's expected to be funny in Asia, does that mean she'll actually try? Or will the former-VP candidate-turned-international-joke do as she has always done at home and deliver the laughs just by opening her mouth?

Or maybe she won't go at all, as has been her trend. This time at least, she'll have an excuse.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Come again?

That’s what she said. Republican Sentator John Ensign’s former mistress, that is.

And that’s what I said earlier this week – with an entirely different meaning – when I heard him take a morally superior stance on his adultery by favorably comparing himself to Bill Clinton.

Ensign, backed by a chorus of angels only he could see, explained the difference between wholesome, family values adultery and the nasty Democratic variety.

“President Clinton stood right before the American people and he lied to the American people,” Ensign told the Associated Press.

Let me digress here and state I’m not making apologies for Bill Clinton. The man is a horn dog who, for all his lofty talk, sees women as objects. Specifically humidors. When he “rescued” those two hot journalists from North Korea I was among those hoping they had a Bill-proof cabin for the trip home. I could see him leaning against the door as he tried to lure them out with that self-assured Arkansas drawl.

“Hey girls. I just saved both of you from a labor camp. Now come on out and show Daddy some love….”

But Clinton might not have that image with me or anyone else if he’d just taken the GOP path of Righteousness Adultery. As a married lawmaker, when you decide to fuck someone besides your wife the first thing you ask yourself is “What Would Jesus Do?”

Well, first of all you render unto the mistress whatever it takes to keep her pretty mouth shut. In Ensign's case that may have been $25,000 in severance pay followed by another $96,000 from (cough, cough) Mom and Dad. Oh, and if you pick a mistress who is also married, at least try to find one whose husband who won't be a poor sport about it.


Or you could just claim that the affair wasn’t really an affair, but a bonding of spirits that transcends partisan and even cultural boundaries. That’s what Republican South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford did. He knew none of us on lower spiritual planes would understand, which is why he claimed to be hiking up the steamy Appalachian trail when he was really hiking up some a steamy Argentinean’s skirt.

But this wasn’t just some piece of ass, he argued. This was his soul mate. It was love. And God is Love, right? So Sandford’s sex was like a throbbing, pulsating expression of his Christianity....or something like that. And he likely tried to explain that to his boring wife, but like the rest of America she just too stupid to understand. Which is exactly why we women need good conservative men to guide us through life, because only a conservative can explain why things happen the way they do.

But it’s not always women who get the Holy Order of the GOP in trouble. Sometimes it’s men, like in the case of former GOP Senator Larry Craig. Upon detecting a come hither stance from a guy in the next bathroom stall, Craig took one look at the alluring wingtip shoe and thought, “Yeah, I’d tap that…”

Later after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct he did a reach around..I mean, a turnaround, and said it never happened.

Because lying, like adultery is OK as long as it doesn't violate state or federal law. And because it’s not really sinning unless you’re a Clinton.

And Larry Craig knows exactly what he'd like to do to Bill Clinton, given this 1999 interview. It would seem he'd like to...No, I'm not going to say it. I'm not. I'm just going to let Larry Craig speak for himself. Because sometimes only the righteous can do it best...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My gifts to Sarah

Of all the Sarah Palin news continuing to leak out even after we thought we’d gotten rid of her something finally emerged today that I’d actually been waiting for.

After a protracted delay, Sarah has gotten around to disclosing the gifts she received in 2008 from well-wishers. The report was due in March but is just being released now, a full five months later. But who's counting, right?

Besides, she had a good excuse. Apparently her garage was so chock-full of goodies there was hardly room for the special edition Arctic Cat "Welcome Home Jesus" snow machine Todd had custom made for the Second Coming. (Sure those things aren't cheap, but I hear that Todd gets a great company discount.)

The gifts are pretty much what you’d expect. Tacky stuff from tacky people. A giant glass elephant, a gun case engraved with Sarah’s name, a bunch of cross-stitched crap for her house because when you use firearms and antlers as decorating accents you need something soft to balance it. A Bible bound in the skin of un-baptized wait. That’s goatskin. Either way you have to admit that's kind of creepy.

She even got some books (otherwise known to Sarah as “kindlin’), a few flags presumably to wrap herself in…oh, and get this: some moron actually sent her a statue of the Virgin Mary. Pffft. Like Pentecostal Sarah is going to keep that pagan thing.

I’m sure included in there was at least one pair of fuck-me-pumps sent to her by some creepy, married Republican deacon who spent many an hour afterwards fantasizing that she’d show up at his door wearing nothing but his gift and a trench coat. Hope springs eternal. So hang on, pervs. You may yet get your shot if those Palin divorce rumors are true.

Why was I so interested in this news? Because I’d sent her a few things, too. And damn it, not one of them was listed. Not that I'm hurt. OK. I lied. I am.

But fine. I’ll just list them myself. Now don't laugh. I didn't have much to spend. I have kids to support. And goats, which, by the way will never be skinned to make a Bible for some lying politician to thump.

And now I give you my personal list of the Love Offerings I Sent To Sarah:

1. Hooked On Phonics

I got her the starter set because I didn't want to scare her.

2. Jesus Action Figures

I thought these would look good on the mantel. I could just imagine the glass eyes of a once noble moose staring down in amusement at these super cool Jesus dolls. Forever. I liked them so much I got a second set for myself.

3. The Bibleman Video Game

OK. I got this one for the kids. Especially for Bristol and Levi. I'd hoped it would give them something to do so Bristol wouldn't get pregnant again. I failed. I'm sorry, Sarah.

4. A personalized 8 x 10" print of a special family moment

This one was my favorite. I even put a cute caption on it for her.

I'm thinking Sarah liked this one best. The only reason I didn't get a thank-you note was because she was just too choked up.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No more Novak

(Republican Identifying Plame)

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

I was on another progressive blog earlier and was surprised to find that some people were struggling to find nice things to say about Robert Novak in the wake of his death.

As I commented there, I've always found it rather ironic that while disdaining someone in life we often feel compelled to say nice things about them when they die. This has always struck me as hypocritical. It would seem to me that the time to be charitable is when someone is around to appreciate it.

I had nothing nice to say about Robert Novak when he was alive. I have nothing nice to say about him now. After what he did to Valerie Plame, the closest I can come to a charitable observation is that I think it's really sad that he sold his soul to Karl Rove before he could give it to God.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The view from Crazy

Do crazy people know they're crazy? Probably not. And if they're in the company of other crazy people egging them on they may even feel they're not crazy. Or that it's OK because Crazy is the new Normal.

It was bad enough when I couldn't watch the news without seeing crazy from the right wing. But when people I like and respect start spewing the same paranoid fears about the insurance reform on Facebook then I'm beginning to wonder if there's something in the water.

A couple of weeks ago, Sarah Palin claimed Obama's health care plan would include "death panels" that would give a thumbs up or thumbs down on her Downs Syndrome son's (wink, wink) right to exist. She and other right wing crazies claim that a national health care plan is socialized medical care (Medicaid) and would lead to rationing (common insurance company practice now).

Right wingers don't want the US of A to end up like Canada or Great Britain where handicapped people are regularly put to ....death...right?

OK. Hold on. Someone would like to step up to disagree with Sarah Palin. Look, it's renowned international physicist Professor Stephen Hawking!

Professor Stephen Hawking has defended the NHS after its severe criticism during the American political debate over health care reforms.

The physicist spoke up for the NHS after the Republican Right claimed it was 'evil' and 'Orwellian' in a direct attack on Barack Obama's plans to overhaul health care in the U.S.

Critics of the president have said his plans would introduce a 'socialist' system like Britain's.

Prof Hawkin, who suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease, said: 'I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS.

'I have received a large amount of high quality treatment without which I would not have survived.'

So who are you going to believe. This genius? Or this complete moron?

Of course, the people flooding these town meetings with guns and pleas not to kill grandma can't be reasoned with or influenced by superior intellect. They're like this Crazy Sprinkler Lady who wonders with growing paranoia how those rainbow colors got in her sprinkler spray.

I kind of feel like I'm dealing with Crazy Sprinkler Lady every time I get an email from a Sarah Palin fan. As many of you know, I've been a vocal critic of McCain's Vagina since she was trotted out as a potential VP candidate in 2008.

To her fans, the idea that I or any other woman would think Palin unworthy of leadership has nothing to do with an issue of qualifications. No, they say. The real reason we hate her is because - are you ready? We're fat.

But we're not just fat. We're also menopausal, sexually unsatisfied, ugly, secretly in love with Todd Palin and jealous because he's with Sarah, dealing with the guilt of our multiple abortions, possibly lesbians (although I'm not sure why a lesbian would have a crush on Todd) and intimidated by Sarah.

Did I leave anything out? Oh wait, I did! We also hate Jesus. Especially Baby Jesus. We want to kill Baby Jesus. If Baby Jesus had Downs Syndrome, we'd want to kill him twice.

I guess they say all of this stuff because they can't think of anything else to say. I actually had one right wing blogger respond to my criticism of Sarah on another blog by stating, "I bet Morgan is fat and ugly." When he came to my blog and discovered I was neither, he came back and announced, "Well, her teeth are really big."

I guess with that kind of intellect you take what you can get.

I can't reach the crazies. But if one person on the edge of plunging into Lake Loony reads this and is inspired to do some actual research on health care reform I will feel that my work, for this day at least, has been done.


This is the kind of person we're dealing with. This woman doesn't feel qualified to handle the finances of her own household and yet she feels qualified to criticize health care reform? If you ask me, the host of Hardball handled her in a very gentlemanly manner given that he could have excoriated her for such astounding ignorance.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


From giggly and happy at the rehearsal dinner... completely emotional on her wedding day.

It's a wonderful thing to see your child reach adulthood. It is even better to see them reach a place in their adulthood where they are safe, loved and cherished.

Yesterday I watched my daughter reach that place when she married her best friend. Since meeting five years ago, Jessica and Brandon have been inseparable. They are well-suited on every level. Jessica adores Brandon, and he adores her.

Here's one of my favorite shots from yesterday. It was taken by my neighbor who noticed during the prayer that Brandon - although a devout Christian - could not bring himself to close his eyes since it would mean he'd have to stop looking at his bride.

Here are some other shots from the day, which was more wonderful and magical than I ever could have imagined. It's left me with this lingering sentimentality that has me feeling a bit weepy at times. It's so unlike me. I don't think I was adequately prepared for the level of happiness I'd feel upon seeing my daughter joined to a man I know will love her forever.

Larry, Lucas and Alex before the wedding

Jessica with her bridesmaids. She was so nervous.

Another of me and Jessica. I managed not to cry in this one.

Lucas and Alex. He was ring bearer and she the junior bridesmaid for their big sister's wedding.

The kiss.


Outside after the wedding.

Preparing to enter the limo that would take them to the reception.
An overhead shot of Jessica entering the reception hall.

First dance. Larry was a rock. I cried like a baby.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wedding day preview

Of course I can't show a picture of my lovely eldest daughter in her wedding dress. Not yet, anyway. But I can share this picture of my youngest son, 7-year-old Lucas in his tux. He's going to be the ring bearer! I didn't mean to show up in the mirror, but I did. I'm the one in the hat with the Blackberry. If I'm beaming like a proud mum it's because I am. 

Doesn't my little man look adorable? Click on the picture for a better view. He's so worth it.