Sunday, March 26, 2006

Oh, The Places You'll Go!


(Picture link goes to site for Annika Tiede)

I spend a lot of time internet surfing. My family would gladly tell you that last is the understatement of the century. I am the "internet addict" or "computer geek" or "nerd" in the family when it comes to all things online. Yet, when they need help with their latest PC problem they say those words more kindly, but mostly they use them when they feel I'm neglecting them for the world online.

The other day I was again called an "internet junkie" but I have suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous jealousy for a worthy cause. I have finally listed the blogs and sites that I read very frequently on the links portion of this site. Most I read daily. Some are for informational purposes only. Others are sites I enjoy simply because I do.

These are the places I go. I hope you'll go there too.

Cincinnati Blogs
Cincinnati Black Blog
The first of two sites that inspired me to blog. I simply stole my site idea of blogging and finding a picture I find that best illustrates my blog entries from Nate Livingston. Sue me for the copyright dahling, yes, I got it from you. Nate Livingston is a radical guy. He spits it the way sees it and sometimes he is so spot on regarding local politics and the people who play the game, it's absolutely scary - especially for the people he writes about. Keep blogging Nate and don't ever stop. You are truly my inspiration.

The Cincinnati Beacon
The second of the two sites that inspired me to write Deb Lite and I am truly grateful. Jason Haap, known as The Dean of Cincinnati, often gets called a pissed off white guy (I'm trying to quit). It may seem that way, but underneath all the seeming anger is a brain that is ticking 24/7 and it is determined to never, let anyone get away with slimy politics in our city, with an especial mission to keep our main conservative newspaper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, on the straight and narrow. Jason and Andrew Warner cover the kind of news in Cincinnati that everybody talks about but never gets media coverage. Everything from my favorite candidate, Stephanie Dumas not getting news coverage even those she's running for County Commissioner to an ongoing expose about a local organization called Kids Helping Kids who may just abusing the kids they're supposed to be helping. Jason and Andrew put it on the line every day and don't pull any punches. My only beef with this site is that Andrew doesn't write more often because I love his articles as much as Jason's! If you're from the Nati, Ohio or our local tri-state are you have to catch the haps at the Cincinnati Beacon.

The Black Fist Blog
Brigadier General Nikki X is the kind of woman you really want to sit down and talk to for a while. Her mind spans the depth and breadth of Black History, Present and Future, bringing it all together under her own battle cry of "Black Power!" Nikki X has a take no prisoner's style and she's bringing consciousness about the plight of black people in our city and around the world. For those of you who think the Civil Rights Movement ended when the last strains of We Shall Overcome faded at the base of the Washington Monumnet, this site is a must read. General Nikki X's Black History series is not to be missed. I look forward to hearing more from her and from the latest voice added to the Black Fist Blog, General Emerald X.

Nick Spencer
I never agree with anything Nick Spencer has to say. I always leave his site pissed off screaming in my head, "How could he possibly say such a thing, I'm never reading his site again," only to be back there two days later doing the exact same thing. I don't know what it is about Nick. He's a conservative; his views on what to do about local issues never mirror mine; he drives me absolutely nuts and yet I read his blog pretty much every time he posts. His consistency, intelligence and overall "doing something is better than nothing" approach is not to be taken lightly. Nick doesn't just talk about cleaning up a neighborhood, he moves there. He doesn't just talk about enterprise zones and building businesses, he does it! Even though our views differ on a lot of things I have to admit he's one smart cat who is simply not a pushover. His voice will be heard and what's more, he's a man who backs up his words with personal actions. Nick Spencer, I salute you.

A Goofy Ass Emotional Chick and Her Perogative
This Goofy Ass Chick is anything but. OK, maybe a little bit but Chick brings a warm, candid and yes goofy point of view on being a 20-something female in Cincinnati. Personal posts, politcal views, pop culture are all to be found here with a Cincinnati flavor. Check out this post Stop Selling my Childhood Memories and you'll see why reading Chick's blog never fails to make me smile.

Bend,Oregon

I have never lived in, nor been to, Bend, Oregon and I'm still not sure how I discovered a blog called "There Once was a Girl" (also listed under World Class Moms) that is written by Wendrina who lives there. Her posts are about the every day life of a wife and mother with the busy family she raises along with "something in the back of the refigerator". Yet and stil, something in the way she writes brings to life the place she lives. Bend could very well be across town instead of 2,256.40 miles across the country. Before I knew it, I was in love with a town I'd never been to, although Snarky Bend (Cuz ya gotta have your Snark!) would be the first site to advise against loving this town. Bend Blogs is a site listing other blogs from Bend. Reading these sites gives me a feeling that one day, Bend, Oregon may just wind up being my home away from home. Go Lava Bears!

Harry Potter(Link goes to JK Rowling.com)
Back in the 90's I went through a bit of a Harry Potter phase that was startling for 28 year old mom at the time. It included starting my own Harry Potter website and fan club (now defunct), writing fan fiction (still up in certain places) and attending a couple of parties. In costume. OK, even mom bloggers with serious political bents have their odd sides and this is mine. I guess that last Potter bent was one last stab at childhood and now that the phase is over, I tend to just keep up with the Potter fans by checking these few sites. All things Potter are found within their pages and there are few other sites that are worth the time. Just don't ever knock Harry Potter to me. Uh, not that I really care...

World Class Moms
It's hard to write exactly how I feel about the blogs in this category. All moms deserve their due, but these women not only live it, they blog it.

MUBAR
The name alone, Mothered Up Beyond All Recognition, is enough to keep you giggling for a while, but this blog, while funny at times, is not strictly for laughs. Amusing Personal anecdotes are not in short supply but T.O. Mama provides plenty of food for thought. Managing debt in the midst of consumer culture of buy and spend more. Society's views and stereotypes of motherhood versus the realities. How our kids are marketed to so heavily that even a one year old who's never watched Sesame Street can recognize and pronounce the name Elmo clearly enough to ask for products with his image. There's a lot going on in the childhood development chain but MUBAR also puts the kids down for a nap and gets down to the nuts and bolts of what truly defines a woman and mother.

Martinis for Milk
What happens when a die hard party girl is only the second of her friends to trade in her glass slippers and martini glass for nursing bras and strollers? She writes a blog of course. After reading the first post at Martinis for Milk last January, I simply had to go back to the beginning of the story. From the minute the stick turns blue to first birthday is a grand and sometimes harrowing journey that is told in Scarbiedoll's witty voice where her humor and love for her family shine through. The party girl has evolved but she still rocks on!

From Martinis for Milk:

Last night, while I was out celebrating the 30th b-day of a dear friend, I finally had a solution for the inevitable "Where's the baby?" I mean, if you really want to know about the baby, why don't you call during the week? I hardly think 1 am on a Saturday night is the time and place to suddenly give a rats ass about my kid.

So when asked this ultra-annoying question, I would look people right in the eye and respond dryly, "Oh, he's in the car."

Try it next time you're out. It'll teach people to stop asking you about the one person you don't want to think about when you're trying to pretend you're your old self.

Falling Down is Also a Gift
'One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions. "It's my gift!" she declared. Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness. Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs as if she were making a snow angel. "Falling down is also a gift!" says she.'

So begins the story of a pretty little Annika, her darling sister Frankie, and their family. Quote from MUBAR about Annika:

The lovely people over at Annika's insurance company have decided that Annika, who has had 2 liver transplants and needs a third one, has exceeded her $1 million annual coverage limit and will not be covered for any more medical expenses for the balance of the year (yes, the calendar year, the one ending 10.5 months from now). And because the family is technically covered by insurance, they are not eligible for any government assistance. They are fighting the insurer but if they do not get coverage restored, they will have to do what so many US transplant families do and fundraise to pay for medical care through COTA (COTA ensures the legitimacy of things).

Andrea has set up a site to keep people informed and tell them how they can help.


Falling Down, written in the serene, humorous prose of Annika and Frankie's mother, Moreena, details not only the tale of Annika's illness, but of their family life and friends.

However, donating to Annika's Internet Insurance Policy would also be a nice thing to do. You can do that by clicking on the picture of Annika above or by going to their COTA website here.

Barbara Ehrenreich

The closest book I ever came to obsessing over other than the Harry Potter series was a book called Nickeled and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. Barbara steps out of her upper class lifestyle and takes on several jobs in different states to find out if "welfare-to-work" is really doable on low wage ($6 - $7 / hour) or even slightly better than low wage ($8 - $10 / hour). After working as watiress, hotel maid, cleaning service maid and the ubiquitous Wal-Mart, she finds that she is unable to support herself completely on what she is paid, let alone would she have been able to support a child or worse, a family. What she also found out is that low wage America is a dictatorship where you "check your civil rights at the door and button your lip for the duration of the shift". I emailed her once and was surprised that Barbara herself emailed me back. The highest praise I can give her: Nikki X would approve. Ehrenreich supported the Cincinnati Boycott and canceled an appearance her. Check out Nickeled and Dimed and also Barbara's blog here.

The final links are to sites I like. The League of Women Voters, Smart Voter website rocks! All you have to do is plug in your zip code and it will tell you who is running for which office in the next primary or election for your area. Now there's no excuse for standing behind the curtain and not knowing half the names on the ballot! Find your candidates and google them before voting!

Slashdot
is a site for computer geeks and techie news. Want to know why downloading is illegal? Why Microsoft still sucks and everyone uses them anyway? What is this penguin called Linux and why is it important? What do the RIAA/MPAA and the Patriot Act have in common? This is the site with answers to all those questions and more. It takes a while to learn to speak geek if you're not savvy, but hang in there. Some deep (and not so deep) topics are covered.

Fark
- News that everyone can use at one time or another. The sardonic headlines on up to the minute news stories; the chaotic discussions; the random posts and glorification of half naked women; the Photoshop contests; these are all legendary on Fark. If you can get past the seemingly low-brow humor, you'll find a site that truly gives you the best (and worst) picture of America. The discussions can be alternately laugh out loud funny and chillingly off color. However people tend to be honest when they're anonymous and if it's gut wrenching honesty you want about everything from Britney's Baby to the Patriot Act, this is a site you'll quickly become addicted to.

I just added the Democrat and Republican sites for a relish. Somebody's got a keep an eye on them buggers.

So these are the places I go. I'll post a final word asking you to please donate to Annika's Internet Insurance Policy and I bid you adieu for now.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Hamilton County Democratic Party Executive Committee Meeting

Picture links to the Hamilton
County Democratic Party Website


One Citizen's View
Did I ever tell you my story about 9/11 and The War in Iraq and the other War on Terror and how those events changed the world forever because I decided to take more of an interest in the political process and how several years later a couple of bloggers inspired me to start my own blog and then I volunteered to work on a political candidates campaign?

Well, one day, I'll tell you that story. Just know that all of that somehow led to me attending the Hamilton County Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting last night. I learned that a rose by any other name would not smell as sweet because as impressive as that august title sounds, it's just a bunch of folks getting together, making speeches and deciding a few things about the Democratic Party. Nearly anybody, everybody and their grandpa who's a Democrat in Ohio that you've heard about or read about in the news and some you haven't attended this meeting. Following is my humble my point of view on the whole thing.

Folks I recognized when I walked in the door or as they came in:

Roscoe Fultz - I know Roscoe from way back. It seems everybody in Cincinnati knows Roscoe. Everybody from State Representative Catherine Barrett to Alicia Reese to Dale Mallory to unknown crowd members such as myself gave Roscoe a wave at one time or another. Roscoe wanted to speak but the rest of the Executive Committee would not let him. They allowed another man named Charlie (incidentally, white) to constantly interrupt the meeting and speak but they would not allow Roscoe to speak. Although Charlie had a lot of good things to say and even brought the entire place to applause at one point (I was clapping as well), the fact that Roscoe was not allowed to say his peace pissed me off to no end.

Alicia Reese was there, grinning and politically unemployed. She looked very pretty and that's all I've got to say about that.

Mark Mallory - looks better in person, great suit, fade was pimp-tight as usual.

However Mark Mallory is a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. I started to say Mark Mallory is a punk, but I'm not sure that's exactly the word I want to use as it's insulting and doesn't really make my point. What would you call someone who suddenly endorses the very person who dogged them publicly for nearly an entire year and embraces that same person, a thief and liar like David Pepper?

Mark Mallory passed up two opportunities to publicly endorse Dumas instead of Pepper but he didn't. I now question everything I thought about Mallory: Not because he won't endorse Stephanie Dumas but because he specifically endorses David Pepper who is only out to make his life hell. If Mallory is too stupid to see that, then he doesn't deserve to be Mayor. He had the choice not to endorse either which would have left me with respect for him.

I stopped to speak with Mayor Mallory, introduced myself since I'd never met him before, and told him specifically that there is at least one person who is disappointed that he would endorse Pepper over Dumas especially after last year's dirty election. He mumbled something about "not wanting to discuss this, not the time or place" (seemed to me the perfect time and place and he just hung around talking to folks after he ditched me so it was specifically this issue he did not want to address). His big brother Dale quickly got him away from me although I was excruciatingly polite, yet very pointed.

David Pepper - Peter Deane is smoking some serious crack this morning

David Pepper did not walk anywhere near Stephanie Dumas and shake her hand that I saw. I may have blinked but I was standing directly behind Stephanie, I had a view of the ENTIRE room and I did not see this happen. David Pepper in no way got a standing ovation. There was only one Standing O all night and I will tell you about that later.

Having never ever seen David in public before, I must say I was not impressed. What I got out of his speech: Phil Heimlich is bad, wasteful, and so are the rest of the Republicans on a local, state and national level (well duh). David is going to be the one to change that (more like pimp us even harder, but ok). The rest of his speech was Heimlich bashing and he even had the audacity to include a low-brow joke about "how well Mark [Mallory] and I got to know each other last year." If I were Mallory I would not have been chuckling over that crap.

David called Mayor Mallory everything but the "N-word" in last year's election and despite that being "the way of politics" Mallory is not paying attention to the knife that is inching ever closer to his back. Keep your enemies closer does not apply in this case and Mallory needs to distance himself from Pepper as soon as possible. If Mallory thinks he can keep Pepper on some kind of leash of promises or goodwill then Mallory is a fool and again does not deserve to be Mayor. No one should be this stupid, politics or no. How can someone who has done so much good in just over 100 days get played? We're about to find out.

My final open comment to Mark Mallory: I don't give a damn if you're the Mayor or the Player President; if you're wrong, brother man, you are wrong. And in this case, Mayor Mallory, you are wrong.

Stephanie Dumas. Stephanie was the first to make her speech. She did not deride anyone else to make herself look good. Dumas spoke about her experience, her prior nomination for this office and changes she feels needs to be made on the city, county and state level. Her vision for the county is one of accountability, open government, fiscal responsibility, and building relationships.

All other Democratic endorsements where the candidate ran opposed in the Democratic Primary were left OPEN. The Executive Committee did not endorse any other specific candidate other than David Pepper. It surprised me that they do this by an "ayes" have it type of deal whereas if you shout loud enough, that's how they determine whether the motion carries or not. And the "ayes" always have it. Only once that night did someone insist on a show of hands. They simply count by pointing at the hands raised and do a very bad job at that. It's very haphazard for something so serious and I was exceedingly astonished and ashamed.

Towards the end of the meeting, Stephanie Dumas was very brave and serious. She got up from her seat and demanded that someone on the Executive Committee move that the motion for the endorsement of David Pepper be amended to be left open since every other opposed office opposed office was not left open and no specific candidate was endorsed. Stephanie wanted to know why she was singled out when the miscommunication of the Nominating Committee was the only reason she had not appeared before them. She did not blame them, but even I could see why she did not want to be singled out.

Someone on the Executive Committee did rise and make a motion to this effect! However, it was lost in the general scramble (people were rising to leave because the main part was done). However many stopped to listen. The motion was raised, it was introduced and then ignored as another man rose and went on to other business.

I tried to stop Roscoe Fultz and Mayor Mallory to get them to support the person who made the motion on Stephanie’s behalf. Roscoe already had on his coat and seemed tired and miffed about not being allowed to speak and was ready to go. Mayor Mallory simply walked away to chat up other people.

It was not pretty and only shows me that racism is not the only cause of apathy and ignorance. Sometimes people have their minds made up or just won’t fight. David Pepper is not a good candidate and doesn't have to be as long as his daddy has more money than Jesus and a lot of folks in his back pocket or dirty laundry basket.

The big shocker of the night:

I asked the nice lady standing next to me, “Am I smoking something or have I seen that lady on CNN?”

She smiled and said, "Yes, you probably have. That's Representative Catherine Barrett."

While the candidates are up making speeches, there's a guy given the job of holding up a sign to tell them when they have one minute left and another to STOP when their three minutes are up. While Catherine Barrett was speaking, he held up the sign. Tyrone Yates, politely but hastily motioned for him to put the sign down.

Gentle reader, Catherine Barrett announced last night that she will not be seeking re-election for her district. It was a very solemn moment. A moment with shocked gasps and hushed murmuring. Some of her supporters were in tears and several had to leave the room until they composed themselves. One lady only lifted her red and white Barrett sign higher on her lap and her eyes watered but she lifted her chin proudly and refused to cry.

Catherine Barrett was given all the time she needed to make this public announcement and when she finished, she left us with smile and her recommendation that we throw our support behind Eric Kearny.

And Representative Barrett was given a standing ovation.

Folks who I'd never heard of before (or heard much about) who made an impression on me:

Running for State Senator, District 9
Eric Kearny - If it weren't Nate's Blog I wouldn't have even known who the heck he was. When he finally mentioned being the former editor of the Cincinnati Herald I was like "OH, that guy." His speech was earnest and serious as befitting a senator but it didn't rouse me anywhere. I take that back, he was all for some agenda item that makes it easier for families to adopt and something else I can't quite recall. He seems to be good if solemn guy. I happen to think this is a good thing. I want a guy who wants to do his job, not run around doing stupid things. If you want a serious, dedicated candidate, this guy seems to be a good choice.

The man I mentioned earlier, Charlie, got up and gave a pretty good harangue about Eric Kearney. Charlie didn't feel Kearny was a "real democrat" since he had previously run as a republican candidate. Charlie was pissed and wanted to know if Kearney will be promoting Democratic or Republican values. Charlie asked that a motion be amended that Kearney not be endorsed but to run on his own merits. This was the only vote, as mentioned earlier that came to a show of hands instead of "ayes" and "nays". Even the hand vote ended up with Kearney being endorsed since he was the only guy left running after Representative Barrett bowed out.

Running for US Representative, 2nd District. There are five folks running and these two are the only ones whose dog and pony show registered with me.

Jim Parker - Mr. Parker had a bunch of magic beans given to him by Jack Murtha. I wish I'd gotten a chance to talk to him in person. He emailed me personally once about some blog comment I made and I wanted to get his views on a couple of things.

Victoria Wuslin - Don't know much about her but damn she's got personality and a brain! She is the anti-Schmidt in all her glory. I liked her but I want to know more about her. Hell I used to like Mallory too.

Eve Bolton - Interesting speech, main focus is education because she's a former schoolteacher. At least she has a focus but it would have been nice to know what she felt about other stuff.

Gaby Downey - Her speech was about being the only candidate who could beat Jean Schmidt and how she IS the Second District. She presented herself to me as the Democratic version of Mean Jean and I was not impressed. I know, I know: strong women are bitches and strong men are authoritative. Well I thought Wuslin and Bolton were just as strong without giving an aura of meanness.

Hamilton County Auditor - Was Dusty Rhodes in the house? I know his name got mentioned but it's hard to remember everything. Anyway, Nate and I had some pointed words for him the other day. He's the only Democrat running for his office but for the life of me I can't figure out why.

Other folks that were running unopposed as Democrats just got a name mention and they waved but didn’t address the crowd. I probably should know who they all are and I don’t, but I WILL before the May 2 primary.

These are the impressions of an ordinary every day mom who starts a blog and decides to take a more active role in her community and the world and how she ended up an observer at the Hamilton County Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting. Some of my opinions or thoughts may seem half formed or based solely on impressions or appearances. They are. I do not claim to be an expert on politics or the Democratic Party based on blogging and reading the news and other folks' blogs.

What I will say is that I have more of an awareness of who these folks are and how their actions affect you and me. Our homes. Our lives. Our world.

I wish I had gotten involved sooner and I sure wish more people would get involved because this meeting was too important for things to be decided by ambiguous ayes and nays; or to be held in a small room in a community center. Meetings like this should fill both our taxpayer funded stadiums or at least one of the larger rooms in our expanded convention center.

One thing is certain: I will never take any of this for granted again.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

To Protest or Not to Protest




That is the Question
I'd toyed with the idea of blog once or twice but had never really seriously considered doing it. Then I came across Cincinnati Black Blog and The Cincinnati Beacon.

Something about the way these two guys write makes you want to write back! You feel like even if no one hears you or agrees with you, whatever you want or need to say needs to be put out there for posterity.

So it was these two blogs that inspired to write my own. But not just to write but to get up, get out and do something. To be more involved in my community and the world.

There are a lot of things I have planned to do and a lot of things I could have done. There are a lot or worthy causes out there. What I've chosen to do for now is volunteer to help a political candidate I feel is more than worthy get elected. Both the Beacon and Cincy Black Blog had mentioned that volunteers were needed so I decided what the heck. I did a little research, found out that my views are pretty much in line with the candidates views and I sent them an email saying I would like to volunteer.

They emailed me back and told me when and where to show up for their next campaign meeting. I went and boy was everyone friendly. I asked for and was given an assignment that night to produce a campaign flyer and tickets for an upcoming event. As a secretary, I do stuff like this all the time and it was well within my time budge to do, so I did. They liked my work and it made me feel useful.

This particular candidate is running for a pretty important office. There are three County Commissioners on the Board for Hamilton County and she is running in the primary to be the Democratic Candidate in the main race. Our local newspaper has only covered one of the other candidates. They will not cover her for reasons unknown to anyone but themselves. I myself feel it's partly due to racism. The candidate is African-American and our paper always works hard to demonize, marginalize and slander African-Americans. I also feel it is an issue of cronysim. The local paper endorsed the opponent candidate in another election last year (which he lost) and they have several business dealings with the candidate and his family.

It's not that the Enquirer does't feel the race is important. They have given the Caucasian candidate plenty of press. They just don't feel the African-American candidate is newsworthy. This makes me very angry for reasons that should be obvious.

I don't know the way to go about it, but when you don't like what a business does, you boycott that business, meaning you don't purchase from them or their suppliers or advertisers or other businesses that endorse them. You also encourage others to do the same and try to get as many people as possible to do the same.

I should be angry enough with our newspaper to do this, but the problem is, I'm one voice. And should I not be heard, then it won't matter, will it? It would be a lot of work and sacrifice and anger but if it's successful, it just might be worth it.

What do you think?

If this is all a bit vague, it's slightly intentional because my focus in this particular post is whether or not to boycott our local newspaper not on the political candidates themselves. However I will do another entry on them soon and why I have chosen one over the other. Meantime you can read about it here: County Commisioners Race Still a Secret

Friday, March 10, 2006

Oops, Wrong Number

I'm at work and (shhh) I just happened to be perusing the morning haps at The Cincinnati Beacon.

So I get this phone call and answer the way professional secretaries do: “Acme Company, this is Deborah, how may I help you?”

A female voice asked quite professionally and politely, "May I speak with Mark Mallory?" I'm thinking it's a prank call for a second but her professional sincerity was unquestionable. When you answer the phone as much as I have in my lifetime (temping, receptionist, call centers, secretary, every version of admin you can think of) you know when people are jerking you around after the first sentence or so.

I sit there really quiet for a second and then I break the news.

"Mark Mallory is the Mayor of Cincinnati. This is Acme Company."

"Oh, okay…"

We had a brief discussion to clear up the confusion and I asked if I could help her any further. I thought maybe she needed the number to City Hall or had a question about Cincinnati she needed answered. I figured I could help her out with a Google Search or two. (Note to self: Stop using Google and start using other search engines.)

As it turned out, someone had filled out an inquiry for insurance quotes. They had filled in the name of Mark Mallory and given my work phone number as their home number. Weird. Just weird.

Note to the world: If you’re going to fill out fake info on web-forms, please use information that’s really fake!

Quick Life Update: Kid is doing better and I think she'll be back in school next week. Boss did throw a bit of a hissy about me taking two days off but her version of a hissy fit is quiet disappointment and a gentle, pointed talking to so it’s hard to get mad and stay mad. I just find it annoying and slightly humiliating to apologize for taking care of my sick child. No one cares if you stay late or put in extra work (and trust me, this place pimps me like a two dollar whore) but I think I have finally learned a lesson I was meant to learn: Deeds past are easily forgotten. It is a mistake to think that dedication and hard work will be repaid with understanding when things go wrong.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Life Happens

A Post Not Planned

Lately my blog has had a bit of a polital bent but today I put all that aside and am simply and not quite so simply MOM. When I first started blogging last year, I actually intended to start two blogs. Deb Lite was to be my personal blog for all my own week to week updates. LSN was to be my taking on Local, State, and National news items of the day. I haven't been able to create the format I would like for LSN, so I'll more than likely discontinue it until I can. Meantime, Deb Lite will do for most of what I want to say.

My last post dealt with an email response I received from Senator Mike Dewine. I'd like to deconstruct the letter, line by line but life happens. My weekend of chaos began on Friday when I forgot the carpet cleaners were coming and I all but killed my back getting EVERYTHING in the house that was a not a major appliance or heavy piece of furniture off the floor in less than 30 minutes.

My daughter came home sick on Thursday and seemed to be fine Friday and Saturday but by Sunday afternoon it was clear she had the flu. I missed a meeting at work that had been scheduled around me and also didn't go in today. Throw in my mother's MS flare up, two trips to to the grocery and a run to Burger King and laundry and dishes and walking the dogs in between fixing plates and turning pillows to the cool side and you have a full scale madhouse with me pretending to the be the cheerful nursemaid and finally disolving with a lovely little crying jag when I finally got everyone settled down for a nap. The Cheesy Chicken Enchilada we are having for dinner has been salted with my tears and my wonderful man is doing the dishes and keeping me from going off the deep end. In return he got clean sheets, towels, a fresh made bed and a pile of clean folded underwear.

Did I mention that if I leave my daughter's room for more than 5 minutes she wakes up and cries. Mind you this is the same 13-year-old who keeps the door shut tighter than a vault any time she's home and if you call her the most you an see is two eyes and bangs peeping out. But since she's sick, I have full access and have been granted the privelege of sleeping on the loveseat in her room that only fits me from neck to knees.

Ah, but now I know what's keeping her locked in her room. It's called Anime or more correctly Manga which is just short of comic book (excuse me, graphic novel) soft-porn for pre-teen girls written by someone called Yu Watase. If your pre-teen or just barely teen daughter hasn't brought home Fushigi Yugi yet she will, get ready. It's pretty tame stuff; nothing she couldn't get in one of those watered down Harlequin romances of days gone by and I've decided that there are much worse things she could be reading or doing. I'm going to let it go. I have more important things to worry about like rescheduling her exams she was supposed to take this week and getting her homework assignments. *sigh*

Right now I have to decide if I'm going to risk my bosses wrath and take another day off work. I probably will if my kid is still at the weepy stage. What else can I do?

But I won't think about that right now. I'll think about that tomorrow. After all...tomorrow is another day.

Friday, March 03, 2006

From the Desk of...Senator Mike Dewine



Either in late December or early January, I emailed Senators Mike Dewine and George Voinovich. I wrote them, very politely, that I was not happy with George Bush's policies and actions. I think this was just after the spying scandal broke out and I was actually indignant enough to plop down on my butt and shoot off an email to my United States Senators. (Whew! What an effort.)

I really wish I had kept the email I sent them, but I didn't expect a reply from either one of them other than the auto-response I had already received and I just deleted what I sent. I think in addition to the wiretapping issue I wrote that I was not exactly a happy citizen about, oh, the War in Iraq, the poor handling of Hurricane Katrina crisis, and King George's refusal to abide by the Constitution and his approval of Patriot Act abuse. I'm pretty sure I threw in something about the Plame Affair as well (picture me shaking the naughty finger in the general direction of D.C. at Karl Rove and Dick Cheney). My request was that both senators support the effort to have George W. Bush impeached and Dick too. (Yeah, I know, fat chance.)

Well it took a month or so but I actually receieved a not-so-auto-response from Senator Mike Dewine. Here's what it said. I'll deconstruct it tomorrow, but right now, I'm just content to copy/ paste the text exactly the way it appeared in my inbox:


March 2, 2006


Dear Deborah:

Thank you for contacting me. As you know, following the attacks of
September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush authorized the National
Security Agency (NSA) to begin monitoring international phone calls in
which one party is in the United States and one party is a member, or
suspected member, of a terrorist organization. In a time of national
emergency, I expect the President to take such actions to protect our
Nation, even if those actions are not specifically authorized by
statute.
Public and congressional awareness of the program now has caused a
great
deal of debate and has sparked a series of hearings in the Senate
Judiciary Committee and briefings in the Senate Intelligence Committee;
I
am a member of both committees and have participated fully in these
hearings and briefings.

There are legal and constitutional questions about whether the
President
must, after a period of time, come to Congress for statutory
authorization
of the NSA program. Certainly the country and the President would be
stronger with such authorization. I believe that statutory
authorization
and congressional oversight for this program would avoid a divisive
debate
in Congress and throughout the Nation. That is why I am drafting
legislation that would authorize the surveillance of terrorist
communication, but would also ensure substantial congressional
oversight.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to contact me
anytime with additional questions or concerns.

Very respectfully yours,
MIKE DeWINE
United States Senator

RMD/bf



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