Saturday, July 29, 2006

Been a Hell of a Summer

When I last left you, Kim Jong Il was happily testing missles over the sea. We don't hear much about North Korea these days, expescially since Hezbollah and Israel seem intent on bombing the hell out of each other; waxing on and on at length about who's right and who's wrong while patently ignoring the suffering they are inflicting on the people within their borders.

The other "world leaders" sit back and in public wag their heads sadly over the "misfortunes" of the people who cringe while bombs fly overhead and in the meantime, keep meeting to see if they can all get on the same page and if it's safe to finally chuck the US and their ever-loving support in our game of whatever Israel wants, Israel gets.

I really don't know who's at fault and I really don't much care. OK, Israel pissed off Hezbollah who captured two soldiers so Israel bombed them and Hezbollah keeps firing back and on and on and damnit there are innocent people dying but that's not a good enough reason for these folks to get their shit together.

On the homefront, in the past few weeks, I've spent arranging the busy part of Arabella's summer. She went from spending lazy days reading and hanging at the pool and doing a few chores at home to theater camp, then pre-band camp and theater camp, then to away band camp, and she turned 14. She also came back from band camp with a crush on a the scrawniest, homliest looking boy you ever wanted to see. I thought it was a one-way kind of thing but he's called a lot and been camped practically on our doorstep every day.

I must get rid of this kid before school starts. That's what I keep telling myself, but he's just so god-awful nice and he's skipped a grade so he's a braniac math geek with big brown eyes and I may just keep him around as Arabella barely scraped a B in Algebra last year. She has her reasons, I have mine. Besides, if they're around here all the time, I can keep an eye on them.

Did I mention she's starting high school this year? I can barely breath. It's all so terribly grown up an childish all at once.

Is it just me but is anyone else worried about the lack of civil liberties, the looming police state, the possible collapse of the American dollar and how to turn their own children into decent people?

I'm sorry that there's been so little segue between my homelife and world events but that's how my entire summer has been. Trying to keep my focus on local and world events but also trying to keep tabs on my family and homelife. Every day I've thought of something spectactular to blog about and the next minute the last idea is crushed in the breaking of new events (the Seattle shootings) and the latest on Hezbollah and Israel. My mother may actually live long enough get the benefit of a new miracle cure for MS and beat this horrifying disease yet. My daughter came back from camp with what looks like her first boyfriend, I quit my job because they were just too bitchy and did I mention that we had a pregnancy scare this month and I'm just not ready to repeat last year's tragedy?

By the bye, it seems the easiest way to get foreign currency is to buy travelers checques in the currency you desire. Right now I'm thinking Euros, Yen, and Canadian dollars.

Wake up folks. Our government is about to take us on a hell of a ride.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hot Potato


Well, North Korea's testing missles, ain't that a bitch? It must be really bad if the media is actually saying somethign about it. Really, how could they not, even thought they've already retreated to their fall back position that the White House says everything is hunky dory, nothing to see here. I mean someone had to see the missles and could not have possibly mistaken them for fireworks even if it was the Fourth of July in the US and bad ass kids (and adults) everywhere were keeping us awake with pops and booms, supposedly to remind us of the Spirit of '76 and really just keeping you awake and pissing you off if you had to go back to work on the 5th.

I must admit I only vaguely remember the first North Korean issue. I remember Jimmy Carter running off over there and some murmurs about Clinton getting ready to kick ass if need be but using Carter as his unwelcome diplomat (this article refutes this scenario quite well and that alone makes it a must-read).

This article, written in 1994 by one Fred Kaplan writing for the Washington Monthly is a great bit of backstory on the whole shebang-a-bang. It's long but I kid you not, it reads like a Tom Clancy novel in brief. After reading it I felt several emotions. First I was pissed off at George Bush (but that's usual) because it seems the only thing keeping him from dealing with this head on is own arrogance and unwillingness to actually be the friggin President.

It also left me with a shred of hope that maybe we can head off nuclear war or at least a nuclear stand-off or at least proliferation. However considering this article was written two years ago and even then, the author claims things had gone to far, I can't help worry a tiny bit that America has yet again, completely fucked up yet another diplomatic situation and let it escalate into impending war.

And with our troops already stretched to the breaking point, we may just have let our mouths write a check our asses can't cash. Whatever happened to "Speak softly and carry a big stick"? This President, talks big and randomly destroys the country without the nukes and dangerously ignores the country that DOES have the nukes and is like "yeah, we have 'em, so what?"

Ah, well. I'm not the President, so what the hell do I know right?

Rolling Blunder: How the Bush administration let North Korea get nukes.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

No More King

Back in 1776 we were trying to get rid of King George. It's 230 years later to the day and now we're back where we started from, still trying to do the same thing.

I did not write the following however I agree with every word from beginning to end; in it's totality, I completely concur. I would only like to add a few comments to this.

First: Regardless of how you feel about the NRA or crime or how much you've been indoctrinated with propaganda against personally owning weapons, go out and buy a gun or two. Learn how to use them safely and keep them safe from children. Not only is this your constitutional right it is also your constitutional duty as a citizen.

Second: Now is the time to seriously consider revolution. Now is the time to seriously consider the fact that our government has abandoned every principle our nation was founded upon and the fact that:

That the boundries set by the people in all Constitutions are the only limits within which any Officer can lawfully exercise authority"

Sec 3 "That when ever these Bounds are exceeded, the People have a right to reassume the exercise of that authority which by Nature they had, before they delegated it to individuals"


It is long past time that we, the people, realized our government has overstepped the bounds of authority we have granted to them not to rule over us, but to represent us. Having abused that privilege to the hilt it's also long past time we took that authority back.

Call me when the revolution starts. You may not have to. I'll probably call you on my cell from the front lines.

That being said, you can find this post here at a blog called "The Jeffersionian Libertarian". If reading this doesn't make you want to sign up for the revolution, I don't know what will.

It's the stuff that dreams are made of. Dreams of Liberty, Freedom, and Independence.

Happy Fourth of July.


Crimes of the Bush Regime, and the End of Liberty

In this essay I am going to deviate from some of my earlier political history of our country and focus on what I believe are the crimes of the Bush regime and the consquences that will follow. The largest and most frightening consequence is the end of American liberty and the slow, steady implementation of a police state. This growing police state is supported by so-called "conservatives", religious fanatics, leftist polticians, and unfortunately many average American citizens.


A List of Anti-Liberty Laws and Actions

Let us start with a list of some of the anti-liberty laws that have been proposed and implemented by the Bush regime and supported by both leftists and rightists across the spectrum. After the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the American Imperial regime went into full tilt against liberty. Liberty became the focal point as to why people ( all foreigners) were able to attack the United States. Lax security, lax immigration, lax and inept law enforcement and military incompetence, were all used as weapons to create and cultivate a mindset against personal liberty. This mindset, best shown with lunatics like Sean Hannity and Michael Savage, is a fanatical and phony 500% patriotism. It is a patriotism based, not upon the principles of liberty or the American Revolution, but upon nationalistic fascism. After the attacks we saw the following laws or policies enacted:


The USA PatriotAct

The use of Secret Evidence against non citizens ( soon to be used against citizens)
The imprisonment of foreigners without due process
The imprisonment of American citizens ( like Jose Padilla) without due process or the right to habeus corpus, and defined as an "enemy combatant"
A massive increase in the national debt, through astronomical deficit spending
The abolition of privacy in attorney-client conversations in federal correctional facilities
Gun confiscation in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina
The creation of "free speech zones" like the ones outside the Democratic and Republican National Conventions
The creation of a "faith based" office in the executive branch, in violation of the First Amendment
An Undeclared, Unconstitutional War based on falsehoods

These are just a few of the successful assaults on the liberties and lives of Americans by the conservative-fascist coalition. More are coming. Let's review the recent Jose Padilla decision.This decision is the most frightening since it completey overturns the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments to the US Constitution, and violates the Constitution by denying Padilla a right to habeus corpus. Padilla the supposed "dirty bomber" was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare airport in June 2002. After a writ of habeus corpus was filed on his behalf to secure his release, he was transfered to the custody of military authorities in Virginia. The administration then declared Padilla an "enemy combatant" with no rights as provided in the US Bill of Rights. This doctrine, new in the USA, is a terrifiying and despotic measure that all freedom loving people should be aware of. The precedent and it's reprucussions are devastating. This "star chamber" type process denies Americans their constitutional and natural rights of liberty and due process. It is only a matter of time before this new doctrine will be applied to other Americans, more than likely in domestic cases. The expansion of this arbitrary process is inevitable. Liberty is lost by the silent encroachments of government, slowly but surely, until there is little or no liberty left. What is left is a truncated and modified form of false liberty, a liberty that requires government permission to live outside of prison.


The Corporate Government-Media Complex and The Doctrine of Passive Obedience

American media today is not the vibrant free and partisan press it was in the era of our nation's beginning. Today the media, through FCC rulings and deregulation of monopolies, is a large centralized propaganda arm for the federal government. FOX, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC are all part of the same structure. Conservatives and liberals both whine incessantly about a "liberal" or "conservative" media when in reality it is nothing more than a corporate-government media monopoly. Through mergers, tax breaks, and government infiltration our once robust press has become a fraud. This fraud is an illusion of objectivity and "fairness" when in reality it is nothing but mere propaganda. This propaganda censors vital news stories, places government spin on the story, and in many cases through ommission or outright lying distorts the truth or substance of the news. Blowhards and fascists like Bill O' Reilly, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage engage in ad hominem attack, anti-intellectualism, and attempt to prop up government power through religion, militarism, and 500% patriotism.

Part and parcel of this propaganda perpetrated by the corporate media is the ancient doctrine of passive obedience. This doctrine has been used by despots for centuries. The Divine Right of Kings ( as propped up by the Biblical Romans 13), Marxist and Fascist states, feudal societies, etc all crow about obeying "legitimate authorities" and "constituted government". This doctrine is a doctine of slavery. When you hear Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly talk about "your President", "our Commander in Chief" susbstitute king in it's place. What they are doing is using the doctrine of passive obedience to keep the people from rebelling and starting a revolution against their power. This doctrine is embraced by both extreme leftists and rightists who see government as supreme and the people as cattle to be farmed for the aristocracy that is in possession of government. Compare this to the statement of the town of New London, Connecticut in their resolve against the Stamp Act in 1765:

Sec 1 " That every form of government, rightfully founded, originates from the consent of the people"

Sec 2 " That the boundries set by the people in all Constitutions are the only limits within which any Officer can lawfully exercise authority"

Sec 3 "That when ever these Bounds are exceeded, the People have a right to reassume the exercise of that authority which by Nature they had, before they delegated it to individuals"

And finally one of the last sections: " It is presumed that no Person will publically, in the Pulpit or otherwise, inculcate the Doctrine of Passive Obedience, or any other Doctrine tending to quiet the Minds of the People in a tame Submission to any unjust Impositions."

Many fascistic conservatives would consider such comments as treasonous or seditious, just like their forebearers in the English monarchy. We must be vigilent in our fight for liberty. Right now we still have some semblence of liberty: elections, right to protest and petition, etc but conservatives like Hannity, O'Reilly and Savage along with the Charles Schumers, Hillary Clintons, and Charles Rangels are salivating for their chance to abolish all speech they dislike.


The Bush Regime and the Art of Lying

George Bush is a liar. He lied about the reasons for the Iraq War. He lied about many of the details and circumstances surrounding 9/11, he has lied about believing in "freedom" while at the same time propping up the doctrine of "enemy combatants". These lies are, in my opinion, impeachable offenses and criminal in nature. If this sounds too harsh, hang on there's much more. Bush has also created the largest deficit in the history of the US, next year being projected at 717 billion dollars! Now that's conservative, huh? The federal government is now larger than it was under FDR, and LBJ put together! Another conservative ideal, I guess. Of course Bush is rabidly supported by Establishment sycophants in the media like George Will, Rush Limbaugh and other big government so called "conservatives". George Will, an arrogant big government statist, is always pontificating on the good ole' days of statist Teddy Roosevelt, Alexander Hamilton and recently John Marshall. Marshall is a particular hero to Will since he expanded the power of the unelected lifetime tenured court, only something a conservative would love. Will recently wrote an article praising Marshall and his expansion of government against state rights and powers. Will, like most conservatives, loves John Adams also, and is fond of denigrating men like Jefferson and other Anti Federalists, ridiculing them as being unrealistic about government. Government, you see for the Wills, Bushes, Cheneys, Clintons, etc is one of power. Men are sinful, stupid, tumultuous and need a strong government and ruler to keep them in line. This Hobbsian view is a total refutation of the principles of the American Revolution and is instead an embrace of European aristocratical views.


Bush's War on Liberty

With the advent of 9/11, the dry drunk we call President Bush has proposed and supported more inroads on the liberties of the people than any other President in recent memory. His creation of the Department of Homeland Security and his use of Communist advisors, East German Markus Wolff ( head of the dreaded Stasi), and Yegarny Primakov ( head of the KGB) should be a dire warning to Americans. Some "conservative", using Communist despots and murderers to help us with "security". Bush and his then Attorney General, religious fanatic John Ashcroft supported the abolition of attorney-client privilege for federal prisoners, and supported the use of torture for "terrorist" suspects. This of course violates the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution, but the Consitution is irrelevent to this administration.Under Bush's radical fascist doctrine of defining criminal suspects as "enemy combatants" they are to be held incommunicado, and indefinately. These "enemy combatants"are not only foreigners as evidenced by the Jose Padilla case. Now American citizens can be defined by this unconstitutional and immoral doctrine.

Bush's support and signing of the USA Patriot Act is one of his most egregious acts. This "law" violates the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments to the Constitution. It allows the use of "sneak and peek" warrantless searches, monitoring of emails without a warrant, and places a gag order on attorneys, and defendants during a civil suit or criminal case. These laws are worthy of a state of slavery, not one of freemen and women. Conservatives have abandoned their "small government" ideals. Now to be a conservative means supporting unlimited war, unlimited power, and invasions on the rights and liberties of Americans. Statists like O'Reilly and Hannity frequently denounce people who oppose the President as "traitors" and accuse them of "aiding the enemy". Some so-called conservatives like Ex-Communist David Horowitz never lose their love of total power. Horowitz may call himself a conservative, but deep down he is still a Marxist-Leninist. He advocates shutting down newspapers, arresting anti-war protesters, and jailing Bush opponents indefinately.

Bush has not once denounced these calls for tyranny, and he counts these men among his strongest supporters.The President and his minions want nothing less than total control over the population of the United States. Many neoconservatives are calling for the creation of a domestic spy agency like M15 in Great Britian to spy on suspected "terrorists" in the United States. Bush, of course supports such a plan. Morton Halperin, a CFR elitist, has just called for the federal government to create this agency. This type of centralized government is not an American ideal. The United States is one of the few, if not the only nation, to not have a national police force or domestic spy agency. This step, if implemented, would cause America to slide further down the road of despotism and tyranny and would turn this great republic into a state worse than the Soviet Union or Communist China. What would become of American Liberty if such a creation were born? American Liberty would perish and America would plunge into a world of darkness and dictatorship like never seen before.


Right Wing Class Struggles, The Aristocracy vs the People

As Peter Brow has pointed out on his excellent revolutionary libertarian website, the Nation of Liberty, there are two forms of "class struggle" theory, one leftist and one rightist. Both are evil and hateful, but here we will deal only with the right wing version, better known as "snobbery"as Mr. Brow calls it.

This right wing theory is a theory of the love of the wealthy and powerful. All who are not among the elitist rich are considered the "rabble" and "lazy" by the right wing class warrior. President Bush is a avid supporter of this theory by his very actions, if not his words. His connections to oil, gas and defense industries and the massive wealth accumulated by these special interests cause men like him to see wealth as the driving force behind life. Once this mindset is in place every thing in political life is geared towards supporting the aristocracy. Now I am a supporter of abolishing all taxes in favor of lotteries and user fees, but we must examine the motivations behind the massive tax cuts of the Bush regime.

As Libertarians we tend to see things like the abolition of the estate tax, corporate taxes and taxes in commerce as good ideas. Partially, this is true since the theft of taxation destroys the wealth of individuals and businesses, but we must be careful to not to miss the aristocrats motivations. First and foremost their reasons are to further enrich the aristocracy and dilute the savings and economic power of the middle class. We must realize that corporations are NOT persons, but artificial creations of the state with no true consitutional rights. Only human beings have rights, not THINGS. Secondly, if Republicans and Bush in particular wanted to help working people he would abolish paycheck witholding taxes, taxes on social security checks, unemploment checks, and total abolition of the income tax. Instead we have a massive increase in government spending, tax cuts for the elite and more poverty for the rest of us.Most aristocrats like Bush care more about maintaining the corporate-goverment aristocratical oligarchy, as the middle and lower classes sink further into poverty. Massive spending in conjunction with no revenue and no government reduction of spending is a recipe for disaster. This is right wing class warfare where the privileges of the wealthy and their connections with government must be maintained at all costs. These are not the principles of the American Revolution.

Bush, is in league with corporate criminals and scoundrels in the defense industries ( Haliburton, Enron, , the Carlyle Group, etc) to fleece American taxpayers of their hard earned money for power and profit.
Right wing class warfare proposes the idea that people that are poor "deserve" it, and that they are simply losers and deadbeats. Interestingly these same right wingers never propose to reduce taxes on the poor and middle class, or reduce the massive amount of regulations that small businesses and workers deal with. Here lies the hypocrisy; crow about individual responsibility, laziness and welfare mothers, yet continue to keep the welfare state alive and well, keep taxes up and continue to support the massive federal bureaucracy and subsidize big business interests. These "free enterprisers" "donate" money to politicians: ie bribes, and then get those same polticians to pass laws regulating their competitors. Corporations are not freedom enhancing organizations. Corporations are whores. Look at Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Ellison is a huge proponent of a National ID Card and RFID implementation. He is not a freedom lover, and his corporation, Oracle, is a huge beneficiary of government largesse and contracts. As seen throughout history corporations are not the defenders of freedom, free markets or liberty, but are instead defenders of the status quo and their government benefactors. Bush, et al, are those benefactors.


Total Control Surveilence Society

The America of 2005 is a state that is rapidly approaching a surveilence/ command and control society. Republicans, like Bush, are nothing more than intolerant and fanatical collectivists leading us down the road to despotism and slavery. Here are a few items on the federal level leading to the Control State:

The Creation of the Department of Homeland Security ( ie Fatherland)
The Creation of the Transportation Security Agency ( illegal searches, intrusions, etc) " No Fly" lists kept by TSA are a step toward limiting the movements of citizens.
Proposals to use cameras to monitor Americans on public thoroughfaires ( airports, buses, trains)
Use of military propaganda to create an atmosphere of miltarism and phony patriotism
The use of FEMA to move whole populations, forcibly, and seize lawfully owned firearms in violation of the Second Amendment, under the guise of a "disaster", ie: Katrina
Provisions of the Patriot Act violating our most sacred rights under the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments.
"Sneak and Peek" searches without a warrant
Abolition of attorney-client privilege at federal prisons
The passage of the National ID Act, requiring states to all have the sme basic information on their CDLS

Those are just a few on the federal level, and there is more to come. Now let's examine how this "government creep" stretches out to state and local governments, who are sometimes more tyrannical.

Building Code Enforcement with no protection from illegal search and seizure. It is redfined as an "inspection" therefore, no violation of rights exists!
Cameras at intersections and street corners to enforce traffic laws. I believe these lights in violation of the law since an infraction must be committed in the presence of a peace officer. The use of these cameras is twofold, to generate revenue for greedy city governments and most importantly to create a precedent for surveilence in public without probable cause.

The enactment of municipal codes which begin to regulate neighborhoods like a tyrannical homeowners association

Use of Emminent Domain for non-public uses ( roads, bridges, dams, aquaducts, etc) and instead using it to steal the private property of one person to give it to another ( always wealthier or more powerful), usually a corporation that has a contract with the city or county.

The use of environmental laws to destroy the value or condemn the property of individuals. Uusually these laws, advocated by environmental fanatics and leftists, is an attempt to destroy the the ability of the property owner to use his property as he sees fit.

The implementation of laws requiring people to purchase insurance policies such as vehicle, homeowners, or flood. Since a lender does not have to lend to people without such insurance, why is a law needed when these items can easily be purchased by anyone with common sense? These laws exist to back up bad investments by corporations who know that normally they wouldn't lend the money, but if the government ( the taxpayers) back it, why not?

The use of criminal informants in drug and other criminal cases against defendants. These informants are normally liars, theives and other dregs of society willing to lie, cheat and steal their way out of a conviction.

The use of 5th Amendment stealing asset forfeiture law as depriving people never even convicted of a crime of their property and forcing them to prove to the government why they should have it back! Most are not even charged with a crime.


Conservative Collectivism

Modern Bush style conservatism has turned into a form of tyrannical, heartless collectivism. Hatred of anything "left" like antiwar protesters, Cindy Sheehan, non-religious or people of non-fundementalist faiths, opponents of American foreign policy toward Isreal, etc all bring out the worst in these freedom destroying individuals. Hatred of liberty, and the harshness of police state measures seems to be the grand ideal among these folks. Liberty is always seen as license, libertinism, and "whining" by the collectivist conservative. Bush is elevated to God like status where criticism dare not fear to tread. Remember, the king is above any criticism. He is exalted and to be trusted, no matter what. Collectivist conservatives are not proponents of limited government, they are proponents of what Jefferson called "unlimited government". Calls by Bush and other collectivists to "regulate" the internet ( meaning censorship) to "protect morals", is a grave danger to liberty. A free man or woman does not need someone to "regulate" their "morals".

Let's be clear government is a collection of individuals in positions of power who are obstensively are sent there to protect and defend the liberties of the people, never to take it away. Never. Now whether right or left, the seizure and devouring of power on a daily basis becomes an addiction for some ignorant or sociopathic individuals, and sadly, what we would think of as "normal" people also fall for this mental outlook when in power. The Collectivist conservative wants government to rule over people and impose traditional religion, the "opiate of the masses" as Marx called it. Also on the agenda is the imposition of the warfare/welfare state, military conscription in the guise of "serving your country", complusory national service, and near worship of political "leaders" or as in Colonial America, "betters".


Reject Collectivism, and Support Freedom

All polticians, left and right, should be rejected as intolerant collectivists. If one chooses to vote, vote for a Libertarian candidate or some other independent freedom fighter, but do not, not ever, support the "two party system" which is nothing more than two gangs fighting over the spoils of the people's hard earned liberty and livelihoods

REJECT COLLECTIVISM, REJECT BUSH, AND SUPPORT FREEDOM.

Your life might depend on it.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Back to the Future


Today I put Arabella in time out.

Not really an unusual thing for a mom to do with their kid but since Arabella is three weeks from being 14 it was definitely a time warp moment in our relationship.

Arabella, most days, is intelligent, poised, thoughtful, helpful and an all around great kid. Like a lot of teenagers, she's self-centered and I'd say her worst fault is being a tad selfish. A trait I never would have attributed to her is "whiny".

Until today.

Today I wanted to spend a bit of time on the computer looking up hotels for a trip we're taking to a wedding next week. She insisted on chattering incessantly and I kept losing focus. When she's on the computer she is not to be bothered, however let me get near a television or computer screen and it's time to chat with mommy.

She is actually in the wedding we will be attending and my mission, since I chose to accept it, is to find her clear shoes and elbow gloves between now and next Saturday. She also wants some new anime materials from the local library. And although I had to beg her to wake up long enough to tell me what she wanted from the local drive-thru for breakfast, once she had eaten and walked the dogs, she was ready to go. Now. Please, mom? Huh? Can we go? Now? Can we? Can we? Huh, huh?

She seemed a little needy for mommy attention so I asked if she'd like to watch a movie together or hang out in the garden with me for a bit. But no, it's shop or die. And I'm all like, kid, chill. It's a holiday weekend and also my birthday weekend (July 3). I have four days off from work so let's just enjoy the morning, it's not even noon yet.

Then she started with the Cute Kid act. "Have you heard me sing this", then it was, "Mama, do you know what size shoe I wear?" and finally she just resorted to sitting down next to me while I'm trying to look up the hotel info and asking over and over when we're going to leave and then it was whine and pester and then just outright, full scale "I-want-my-way-and -I'm-not-going-to-stop-until-I-get-what-I-want" warfare.

She's lucky that she wigged out today and not yesterday. Ye Old Matey gave me that small click of the tongue yesterday that let's me know I'm being just a tad evil and it is around the first of the month so a PMS anger episode is only a head nod away if I'm not careful and I always regret those. They can be really ugly. Since I'd had some warning that objects in the PMS mirror are further away than they may actually appear on pissed off meter, I took a deep breath. I wanted to pop her on the behind but counted 10 instead.

When she's being a pest, I can usually say something snarky and she'll stomp off and sulk in her room for a while then come back cheerful, but I had one of those moments of mom clarity where I just knew that was the wrong move this go round. This was not your typical "MO-om" moment. It was tantamount to a meltdown I haven't seen the likes of since she was actually in preschool.

I have not felt the hopelessness of trying to head off an approaching tantrum for 10 years. There are times when I look at her and realize how much she's grown and wistfully remember "my baby" but today it all came back. For a moment, it was like a movie shot where I saw not the 14-year-old young lady but the 4-year-old she used to be without the rose-colored glasses.

The whining and pestering and her odd habit of speaking frankly and having to be taught to think before she spoke. How I didn't sleep well until she was every day of 7 because no matter how much I put her to bed in her room, I'd always wake up with her toes up my nose or her hair tickling my ears. The time she took revenge on a preschool classmate who called her a "meanie" by filling the other girl's shoes and miniature school bag with sand. How the vindictive stage lasted until she was about 8 or 9 and other parents thought my kid was like that little girl in the Bad Seed, so cute, but so evil. It seemed as though everything I never liked about my kid when she was small came to me in a heartbeat and I wanted my 14-year-old back.

So, I reached down into 13 years of mothering experience and pulled an old trick out of the bag. Since she was regressing right before my eyes, I decided to regress my discipline strategy and put her in time out. I sat her down, first in the hall out of sight (how quickly we forget) but of course she wouldn't stop fidgeting and playing with everything in sight and then she kept giggling, not taking me seriously.

I finally moved her where I could see her and explained the rules I had long forgotten. I told her that she would be in time out one minute for each year of her age and that every time I had to speak to her about her behavior her time started over.

At first she kept giggling but I used the tried and true mommy version of ignoring while keeping the "I Can Still Hear and See You" expression that means I'm only going to put up with your crap for about 15 more seconds. Finally she realized I was serious and then she settled down. I remembered that without a clock, she couldn't tell what time it was and how minutes of lost liberty seem to stretch forever so at the five minute mark I told she had four minutes left and she nodded meekly and was apparently grateful and none the wiser that I let her free five minutes early.

After it was over I sat her down and explained briefly that pestering and whining are not the way to get my attention or to get what she wants. Then I gave her a hug and she said "OK."

It was one of those win-win parenting moments we all hope for. I regained some authority as a parent; she kept her dignity in helping to punish herself. She has curbed the behavior and I have established a precedent for remedy should the whininess return.

Best of all I didn't lose my temper and she's still speaking to me, which is the ultimate sign of fairness.