Thursday, December 28, 2006

Republicans vs. the First Amendment

What kind of country have we turned into? I thought the first amendment still had some clout, even with GWB (for the rest of this blog he will be known as Shrub) still in office. I thought freedom of religion still meant something in this country. I thought that the nation was responsible enough to take care of its own when an act of G-D, displaced hundreds of thousands of Americans. In my America, we wouldn’t be spending billions in Iraq and millions in Katrina devastated communities.. This could get repetitive so let me focus one thing for now.

When individuals are elected to Congress, some of them choose to take part in a ceremonial swearing in process. This ritual is normally done using a Christian Bible, but that is only the norm because most people in this country are Christian. The Jewish members of Congress have often chosen to be sworn in using a Tanakh, or Jewish Bible. Mormons have chosen to use the book of Mormon. Up until a few weeks ago there was not much of a story here. That is until the freshmen of the 110th Congress were elected 6 weeks ago.

Keith Ellison was elected from the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota. This district includes Minneapolis. I presume there is a significant Jewish population in the area. It turns out to be a population of 29,100. Considering that a district is made up of 650,000 voters this is a substantial number. This is not the number of people who vote, but simply the people registered to vote. As many of you know not everyone gets around to voting especially in an off year election. The number of Jews in a district is important only in the fact that Representative Ellison is a practicing Muslim. As a follower of that religion he has chosen to take his oath on the Koran.

This decision has enraged many conservatives. Representative Goode (R-Va ), has led the charge of the conservatives. They want this man to swear an oath on the Christian Bible. I happen to be Jewish, so I don’t really have a dog in this fight. My question is the following; if you want this man to take the oath seriously shouldn’t he use the book of his faith. Is he going to respect the oath on the Christian Bible if he doesn’t believe that to be a sacred text? I think this is an absurd thing to waste energy on. There is still a First Amendment in this country and those individuals elected to Congress do not give up these rights upon election to office. If you believe as I do feel free to contact Rep. Goode, and tell him to stop the unpatriotic behavior. Isn’t this still America?


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Someone other than me is picking the Saints to go to the SB

I got this off of the CBS Sportsline GLOG....

This may be a small reach, but this unnamed writer likes the Saints' chances at making it to Miami as the NFC representative in February and what a story that would be.

Ipromise it isn't me..



Battle Purse

As we recover from today’s events, I decided blogging about it might be worthwhile. As long time readers will know, last year I made the mistake of going to the mall on the weekend before Christmas. In my blog I tried to dissuade others from such an endeavor. This year I took advantage of and other online shopping sites to avoid physically going to the mall. I even bragged to coworkers two weeks ago about finishing the shopping experience in my slippers. Alas, all the bragging was for naught.

We had some last minute gifts to buy today, and online shopping has proven to be convenient, but not that quick. Off to the mall we went. As we drove in traffic befitting New York City, people were shouting impolite encouragement to one another from their respective car windows. Numerous people in these cars were also using their middle fingers to remind others that the season should be about G-d. We all experience these very friendly encouragements, in greater abundance closer to the holidays.

Finally we get to our first stop, Sports Authority. My wife Elizabeth, my daughter Cassie and I were very appreciative of the man who cut us off so that he could get the closer parking spot. I never figured out what was wrong with that closer spot, but there must have been a problem with it. This other guy was very aggressive in making certain that he got it and we didn’t. I needed a bit more exercise anyway.

Cassie bought a pink football that has the Super Bowl imprint on it. For those of you who do not know, Miami is hosting the Big Game this year. Cassie really likes her new football and doesn’t see any problem with it being pink. We got a few other knick-knacks and went on our way.

Our next stop was lunch.

Chili’s is very child-friendly. There are at least a few of you that might be able to use this information. The place was packed and boisterous, and the people sitting behind us had the gall to complain to themselves about our child before we sat down. Now, please believe me when I say that Cassie is very well-behaved in public. The gentlemen who commented on Cassie’s behavior were surely toddlers themselves once, and should suck it up just a bit. It’s not like Elizabeth and I have six kids and were taking over the joint. We ate our meals; we got compliments from other customers and the wait staff on Cassie’s beauty and good behavior. The businessmen who grumbled as we sat down did not bother to apologize. I imagine that they didn’t realize that I heard their comments.

Our last stop was on the horizon. Loehmann’s is a department store in New York City. They have an outlet store in Miami. As we entered, I remembered why I hate shopping so much. Things were everywhere. This place also had the feel of Gettysburg or Bull Run. I could easily imagine two middle-aged women going for the same Chanel purse with reckless abandon. This is the sort of place where “Battle Purse”, might occur. There were shell-shocked people such as the three of us. We all had P.T.H.S.D. (Post Traumatic Holiday Shopping Disorder). People in this store were wandering aimlessly holding up a bottle of Charley perfume looking for the top to the bottle. Others were grasping a copy of Bananarama’s Greatest Hits looking for the correct CD case. The battlefield of the last-minute holiday shopper was littered with well-meaning individuals who had nothing left to give.

As we escaped Loehmann’s we drove through a Burger King for beverages.

shopping had dehydrated Elizabeth and me. The drive-through attendant took pity on us. She noticed Cassie and gave her a kid’s drink for free. Who says the holiday spirit is dead?
Thankfully, we only had to drive for about an hour to go the mile from the mall back to our house. I will not go to a mall next year. I think I said that before.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

There is still work to be done

This came through my Email today.... Thanks Karen
She explained the virtues of rolling up your windows when riding behind a manure truck.


give me a king cake baby
give me a beignet kiss
give me a french quarter morning that looks like this

give me the endymion krewe
give me the times-picayune
give me a drunk and lazy crawfish boil in muggy sticky june

give me a six pack of dixie
give me some assorted abita beers
give me a city where it only snows once every 10 years

give me a green neutral ground
give me a mardi gras ball
give me a medium rare burger at my grand old Port of Call

give me a glittery drag show
give me the streetcar line
give the House of the Rising Sun
give me a Tchoupitoulas sign

give me a shrimp and oyster poboy
give me lovebug season in May
give me my New Orleans-
I will definitely stay.

Pass this on to everyone
who loves this
beautiful city we call

58 percent of Americans think
New Orleans should
not be rebuilt...

If you think that the 58 percent of Americans
can go screw themselves, pass this on...

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Miracle on 125th St.

I would like to take this time to make mention of the miracle that my family and I experienced this very morning. Yes, my daughter, Cassie, continues to amaze us with her development. She continues to develop and loves learning her letters, she appears to be quite advanced for her age. But no, that is not the miracle that I am speaking of. My wife, Elizabeth has learned to put up with my idiosyncrasies, and still loves me as much as when we were first married. This I know is miraculous but it is not the miracle either. I am here to tell you that we went to breakfast out at a diner this morning.

Now you might say, lots of people do that. To successfully go to breakfast with a 2 year old is not easy. It is not like going to breakfast with a 30 year old. How many 30 year olds do you know that like to chew on sugar packets? Be honest. We sat down and everyone got to eat there breakfast, the waitress was very helpful, and observant. No orders were mangled. Nothing was sent back for being wrong or improperly cooked. The food even came out quickly. I do admit that the end of the meal was a bit rushed to accommodate the toddler, but how many of you wouldn’t have done that?

For those of you reading this, it appears to be your average run of the mill blog. Many of them have nothing to say, and on occasion this is one of them. I could have spent the last 2 paragraphs talking about how we need to pray for the well being of Senator Johnson. Or I could have mentioned the ramifications of the scientific research being done to cure Type I Diabetes. Both of these are very important national and global events. But neither of them has the historical significance of a family of three going to brunch on an average Sunday, and getting good service at Denny’s. That was truly miraculous.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Molly vs. The Chocolate Monster Rd. 1

My generation groaned when our parents kept embarrassing pictures of us in our youth. My mother broke out my “baby pictures”, when Elizabeth and I visited New Orleans after we were engaged. These are pictures that parents keep because they are so “cute”. I’m not certain that we are all working with same dictionary here. But, as a slave to peer pressure, and to American morays, as it was done to me, so shall it be done to my children. The problem Cassie’s generation will have is with technology. Certainly, by the time she is 12 years old cell phones will be surgically implanted in her ear. She will probably be able to text her friends by whispering into some minute mouthpiece that teachers can not see.

There is an edge to the flaming sword of technology. Not only do we have a few cute pictures to show any significant others, but also we have blogs, and youtube. The stories of embarrassment are no longer a matter of oral tradition to be challenged and refuted at Thanksgiving Day 2024.

So here is my first installment in what I figure might be many stories of Cassie’s childhood. Sunday afternoon was coming to a close; the bitter 80-degree weather of early December in Miami had us running in fear. Elizabeth and I had relaxed a bit in front of the T.V. after Cassie went down for her nap. It was a pretty normal Sunday. The Saints won again going away and the Dolphins were one step closer to securing another losing record. O.K. not everything was normal.

Cassie woke up around 5:30 and we started to discuss what we were eating for dinner. She has about a 10-word vocabulary right now. Some of these words are; Eat, Up, Down, Cat, Zip, Goway (a contraction of Go Away) and every two year olds favorite word: No. Now Cassie seems to use her words as a repetitive chant. Sometimes sounding like a drill sergeant saying “Up” 20 or 30 times in a minute. Other times saying “No” as if in some sort of religious ritual.

Dinner is coming in about 30 minutes, but to stop the “Eat” chant Elizabeth gave her a sugar free fudgesicle. At this point I’ve started cooking. Cassie takes a few bites of the fudgesicle and now looks like the children in those movies. Very little of the fudge has gotten into her mouth. Her cheeks chin, lips, and nose are all covered in chocolate; and miraculously there is still half a Popsicle left. I turn my back for a minute and my daughter starts chasing our 14-year-old cat, Molly, with her chocolate katana. So as I’m trying to understand the situation Cassie is laughing happily swinging her fudge flamberge with wild abandon.

Elizabeth was able to wrangle Cassie in. Molly was quick enough to avoid the swinging melting treat. After a quick wipe down with a wet rag the walls were good as new. This will likely not be the last we see of the Chocolate monster.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Guy Code

I was lucky enough to catch up with a college friend this afternoon. He and his family live in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, like many of my college friends, I've lost touch with him. He and I had not spoken for a couple years. We talked about our respective families and jobs. His son is a couple months older than my daughter, Cassie so we compared development a bit. I got off the phone after about 45 minutes. We ended up with the usual guy stuff (read NFL football). I would say there was nothing at all unusual about the conversation.

I got off the phone and Elizabeth, my wife, asked me a few questions. I couldn't answer many of the questions she posed. For instance she asked how my friends liked the area where they lived. I don't know. I care and am genuinely interested in information like that but I just don't think to ask many of the questions that she might ask. I've known many of my friends since the early 90s, but I've rarely thought to ask for that information. Guys talk about sports, politics, computers, or the weather. It would be great to say that this is my failing, but it appears that I'm quite normal at least in this one area.

My role models (uncles, father, stepfather and others) tend to keep conversations on a very safe level. It appears to me that if you are not Dr. Phil talking about anything else is against the guy code. It does not mean that we are not interested in the lives of our friends, simply that we are not conditioned to ask for information that is not being offered.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Righteous Indignation from the Left

I got this from a newsgroup and thought it was worth posting....

We are spending of $8 billion a month ($100 billion / year) in Iraq.

That amount would pay for any of these:

a) $2 million a year to each of the 50,000 USA grade and high schools

Could YOUR school use an additional $2 million a year?

b) Provide 1000 cops and 1000 firemen and 1000 teachers and 1000 doctors
and 1000 nurses to EACH of America's 200 largest cities and counties.

Could YOUR city or county use an additional 1000 cops and 1000
firemen and 1000 teachers and 1000 doctors and 1000 nurses?

c) Build a national railway loop with spurs to major cities; AND
repave every two-lane or wider street / road in the USA, AND install
smoke detectors and setback thermostats in EVERY USA home?

But NOOOO. Bush pisses that money away in Iraq, while killing 1000
GI's and maiming for life another 10,000 EVERY YEAR.