29 July 2006

...and this was suppose to be a surprise?

What's Your Religious Philosophy?

You are an Atheist

When it comes to religion, you're a non-believer (simple as that).
You prefer to think about what's known and proven.
You don't need religion to solve life's problems.
Instead, you tend to work things out with logic and philosophy.

life's problems?

They're coming up in the next blog post...

...how would George do on this?

Could You Pass the US Citizenship Test?

my results:

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

just asking...

28 July 2006

and it's not going to stop there...

A conservative Christian group at the forefront of the push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Ohio is now zeroing in on gay singles and heterosexuals.

Citizens for Community Values wants legislation to limit the operating hours of adult bookstores and strip clubs. The group has submitted a ballot question to the state. If the wording is approved it could begin collecting signatures to have the issue placed before votes in November.

Under the proposal "adult entertainment" facilities would have to close from midnight to 6 am. Nude dancing within six feet of customers would be a criminal offense

365gay.com; Columbus Dispatch

It's the tip of the iceberg. If the right wing-nuts had their real way, their agenda, the Muslim world would look tame. As a matter of fact, I've been reading Andrew Kohut's America Against the World: How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked, in it he repeatedly shows how conservative America is much more like the Muslim/Arab world than any other.

...didn't our forefathers fight a revolution to keep government out of their personal lives and homes?

just asking...

27 July 2006

Jorge Valencia...

I just got back from a Point Foundation Garden Party Reception. Jorge Valencia, the new Point Foundation director I wrote about in the previous post was there. It was his first appearance with the Point Foundation and it was a surprise. The reception was planned before the decision was made to appoint him. He's in Chicago for the Point Scholars annual conference this weekend also.

I had a chance to speak with him a couple of times during the course of the evening. Gracious. Committed. Passionate. Considerate. Dedicated. Eloquent. I could go on and on, I was very impressed. I believe the trustees made a great decision. The Foundation will go to the next level of development with him. He doesn't come on board completely until the beginning of 2007 because he wanted to honor his contract with the Trevor Project. Great things are ahead.

Two of the scholars were also present. Jen is from the Chicago area and will be attending USC in September. This is her first year as a scholar.

Roland is now a Point Scholar alumni. He graduated this past June from UIC in Political Science and wants to pursue international law. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with many honors. He also spent the last year studying in Spain, a dream he never thought would come true. He is originally from Jamaica.

You can read more of the scholars' stories if you go to the Point Foundation website. And, please, please, consider making a donation. No, don't just consider it. Do it. This is very important work. These are brilliant kids, and a lot of them are what in Education are known as "throw-aways." They need our support and help.

[Oh, and by the way Ladies and Gentlemen, if you think that picture of Jorge is hot, wait until you meet him in person! As Jed Clampett used to say, "Ewww, doggies!" Someone should slap my hand for sayin' that! Just don't go near my mouth.]

26 July 2006

New Point Foundation Executive Director...

If you've been reading along for awhile, you'll know that I'm a supporter and promoter of The Point Foundation. The Point Foundation is a group of people, of all orientations, that are committed to allowing LGBT youth who have been disowned, abandoned, smeared, etc. by family and friends because of whom they are - LGBT. Most all of these kids had their college educations taken away from them because of this. The Point Foundation tries to make the difference by providing scholarships to these youth.

Vance Lancaster has been the director since the Foundation's inception and has decided to step down for personal reasons. [The most important of which is that he and his partner want to start a family!] He will be greatly missed.

The Board of Directors did a nation-wide search for his replacement. On the Point Foundation's website today, and to previous contributors and volunteers in an email yesterday, Vance's replacement was announced, and it sounds like a match that could have been made in heaven, as they say. His name is Jorge Valencia and he will bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and skill.

Jorge Valencia
Jorge Valencia

From the press release:

Currently, Jorge is President and Executive Director of The Trevor Project and has served in that capacity since April 2001. Like the Point Foundation, The Trevor Project works directly with LGBT youth and provides much-needed services to an underserved part of our community. The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization established to promote tolerance for gay and questioning teenagers and to aid in suicide prevention among that group by operating the nation’s first round-the-clock toll-free suicide prevention helpline. You can learn more at www.thetrevorproject.org.

You can read the complete Press Release at this link. The Point Foundation Names New Executive Director

AND you can make donations, of which I strongly urge you to help, at The Point Foundation + You = A Better World.

These are all our kids. They need our help because we need their help. Please do what you can.

Thank you...


25 July 2006

the world around you...?


The average person only gets 7 correct.
This is based on U.S. info, so use all lobes of your brain.

This can be more difficult than it looks - it just shows how little most of us really see!

There are 25 questions about things we see every day or have known about all our lives.

How many can you get right?

These little simple questions are harder than you think-- it just shows you how little we pay attention to the commonplace things of life.

Put your thinking caps on.

No cheating!

No looking around!

No getting out of your chair!

No using anything on or in your desk or computer!

Can you beat 23? (The average is 7), Write down your answers as you go.

Check answers (in "Comments"), AFTER completing all the questions.


[That means no looking at your phone or anything on your desk...]

Here we go:

1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?

2. How many states are there in the USA? (Don't laugh, some people don't know)

3. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?

4. What six colors are on the classic Campbell's soup label?

5. What two numbers on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?

6. When you walk does your left arm swing with your right or left leg? (Don't you dare get up to see!)

7. How many matches are in a standard pack?

8. On the United States flag is the top stripe red or white?

9. What is the lowest number on the FM dial?

10. Which way does water go down the drain, counter or clockwise?

11. Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run?

12. How many channels on a VHF TV dial?

13 On which side of a women's blouse are the buttons?

14. Which way do fans rotate?

15 How many sides does a stop sign have?

16. Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?

17 How many lug nuts are on a standard car wheel?

18. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?

19. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey, Doc. Who's missing?

20. How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?

21 On which playing card is the card maker's trademark?

22 On which side of a Venetian blind is the cord that adjusts the opening between the slats?

23. There are 12 buttons on a touch tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?

24. How many curves are there in the standard paper clip?

25. Does a merry-go-round turn counter or clockwise?

I got 21 out of 25. And I won't tell the ones I missed. They were silly on my part. [I'll give you one hint: I know the Seven Dwarfs!]

The answers are in the "Comments" section.


23 July 2006

he did it all for love...

what more could you ask for?

last minute trip...

Had a last minute trip to a national conference in Reno this past week. Chicago is hot; Reno is hotter - 104°! The one difference is there is very little humidity. You feel the heat, but it's not as uncomfortable.

The conference - Reading First - was one of the best I've ever attended. Learned lots and bolstered things I have been saying about the teaching of reading for years.

I visited Reno once about 30 years ago. At that time I had great fun and was really impressed. I never really liked Las Vegas until my last visit a year ago. Reno is kind of sad now. The downtown area is really rundown and sleazy. I was disappointed. I also went to Virginia City. It had been a mecca of antique stores and history. Now it's just touristy. The antique stores are all but gone and the stores left sell trinkets, or bijoux as the French say.

The highlight, and what has not changed, is Lake Tahoe. It is still naturally beautiful and they have maintained it's level of quality. I definitely want to return. Here are a couple of pictures.

Lake Tahoe 2

I love the mountains. This and the next picture are from the top of the gondola at Heavenly...

Lake Tahoe

Bears on the street...

bears on parade... These were up and down the street. Chicago did something similar several years ago with cows. They were all fun, just as the bears in Tahoe...

Keep wildlife wild...

a great motto to live by... don't you think?

just asking...

15 July 2006

loosing hope...

Bush blocks WTO entry for Russia

This guy, no WE, need all the friends we can get right now. His go it alone cowboy diplomacy has put us into an explosive world-wide situation. Putin may have some sway over Syria and Iran; Russia has a large oil reserve; and the Russian people want everything American. What a great set-up and Bush is blowing it big time.

Reagan, Ford, George Sr., Clinton, even Nixon, worked extremely hard to put a world view of diplomacy into place. It was a long and intricate process with a tremendous amount of forward thinking. Ah, there's the rub. Thinking! Dubya can't do that.

He wanted his place in history. He's got it. He may be the man responsible for more than the thousands of deaths in Iraq. He may be the one responsible for destroying the entire civilization!

The Hopi tribe of Native Americans had a wise saying. "When hope is gone, life is over."

I wear a gold anchor around my neck. It is an ancient pagan and christian symbol for hope. I vowed to wear it until all hope was gone. This is the first time I've thought about that for many years.

I'm afraid. Really, really afraid.


thanks to americablog for the heads up on the Putin article.

14 July 2006

what's going on here...

can anyone explain?

these are all headlines from the July 14, 2006 Chicago Sun-Times

Man badly beaten with friend's leg
[This was the BANNER headline on the front page]


Cops try to ID body found in container pulled from river

a great Chicago past-time?

Afghan president orders probe into casualties of U.S. airstrike

collateral damage?

Boy, 16, charged in fatal shooting of woman


Israel blasts Lebanese airport, roads, bases

does anyone remember why they've been fighting for thousands of years?

could it all by any chance have something to do with what's going on here?

Iraqi forces take control of first province

are we just in a war mentality set by a course of action by an administration that is hell-bent on power, mayhem and madness? does it trickle down all the way to 4-5-6 year olds?

just asking...

11 July 2006

that's idolatry...


"We are furious that the religious right has made Jesus into a Republican. That's idolatry," Campolo said. "To recreate Jesus in your own image rather than allowing yourself to be created in Jesus' image is what's wrong with politics."
Rev. Tony Campolo, Religion Taking A Left Turn? reported on CBS News online.

"Jesus called us to love our neighbor, love our enemy, care for the poor, care for the outcast, and that's really the moral core of where we think the nation ought to go," Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches... "Jesus never said one word about homosexuality, never said one word about civil marriage or abortion."
Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches

"Right now the war in Iraq costs us $1 billion per week," said Rev. Jim Wallis, a Christian activist. "And we can't get $5 billion over ten years for child care in this country?"

Moses smashed the the tablets over a golden calf. The Bush administration and the right-wing has smashed everything else. What next?

just asking...

photo originally posted on proceed on your own risk

09 July 2006

just how conservative is Fox News...

just asking...

wish I'd thought of this...

Ever see something and think, "God, I wish I had thought of that."
Well, here's something that truly was missing from my training -

peter potty

Peter Potty - The World's Only Flushable Toddler Urinal

According to the website you can..

Be a little stand up guy

[i think it would better if they had a bullseye target in the bottom.]

these people are going to laugh all the way to the bank!

i love it...........................................

06 July 2006

The Madness Of George W. Bush: PANIC ATTACK

Diplomacy assumes that national leaders act according to the usual norms of reasoning. They design actions in order to accomplish certain ends, and one of these is the preservation of their nation. But what if a nation's leader is or becomes genuinely mad and attempts to carry out policies that will, he believes, lead to the destruction of his nation and, perhaps, the world? Or what if he is so deranged that he has no conception of means and ends, so that he undertakes policies that will lead to the destruction of the world, but has no awareness that they might? Such a leader would be a "madman." And in that case, the ordinary rules of diplomacy would not hold.

I am not going to comment. Click on the title to link to the original article on The New Republic Online, July 6, 2006.


[oops, i just commented!]

now THIS needs an amendment...


the french are really gonna be pissed...

04 July 2006

too serious lately...

been on a rant about you know who for awhile. Time for a 4th of July groaner -

On this day 228 years ago a British redcoat is said to have come upon a Colonial farm, stumbled over a rock and fallen to the ground, at which point a Rhode Island Red started squawking and jumped on top of him. The farmer, upon hearing the alarm, announced, "Chicken catch a Tory!"


03 July 2006

if only...

someone in Congress really had the guts to impeach the man.

Articles of Impeachment:

In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, & in his role as Commander-in-Chief, George W. Bush, contrary to his oath faithfully to execute the office of the President of the United States, and to the best of his ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his Constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed-

I. Iraq
A. Ordered the U.S. military invasion of Iraq without specific Congressional authorization, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, Article II, & of the War Powers Act.
B. Made false & misleading statements to Congress and the people of the United States.

II. 9/11
A. Ignored specific, substantive, & credible warnings of imminent attack on the U.S.
B. Conspired to obstruct investigations by Congress.
C. Conspired to obstruct aninvestigation of an independent commission.

III. Detention & Spying
Repeatedly violated the rights of citizens & residents of the U.S. by -
A. Detaining them without charge;
B. Depriving them of the right to a fair, speedy, & public trial;
C. Denying them the fundamental right of habeas corpus;
D. Misusing the NSA to spy on citizens, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, 4th Amendment, and of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978.

IV. Valerie Plame, etc.
A. Allowed disclosure of the name of an undercover CIA agent, in violation of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, the Espionage Act of 1917, & other laws.
B. Lied to the people of the U.S. about his role in the illegal disclosure.
C. Obstructed justice.

V. Torture & Rendition
Repeatedly violated International Laws to which the U.S. is a signatory state, and which thus Constitutionally carry the force of U.S. law, by:
A. Sanctioning torture;
B. Sanctioning "Extraordinary Rendition," the secret transfer of prisoners to states that carry out torture.

VI. Abuse of Power, Katrina, etc.
Abused presidential power, acted with criminal negligence, & ignored or violated environmental & other laws, by -
A. Violating Constitutional Separation of Powers;
B. Failing to act timely to protect lives and property during a national emergency;
B. Refusing to act in the face of the clear & present danger of Global Warming.

doesn't anyone care that Mr. Bush is the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record?

just asking...

i have to post this photo again, because it rings so true and may be the only hope -

impeach the bastard, already...


George W. Bush, The White House, USA

I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days.
My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.

I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL.
I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use.
By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.

I graduated from Yale University with a low C average.

I ran for U.S. Congress and lost.
I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975.
I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.
I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money.
With the help of my father and our right-wing friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.

I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union.
During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.
I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.
I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.
With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.

I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.
I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.
I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.
I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.
I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.
In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.
I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history.
My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.
I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President.
I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.
My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.
My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.
I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution.
More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history.
I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.
I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.
I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U.S. history.
I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.
I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.
I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.
I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.
I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. "prisoners of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.
I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election).
I set the record for fewest number of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.
I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period.
After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.
I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.
I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind.
I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, preemptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.
I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families -- in war time.
In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq, then blamed the lies on our British friends.
I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.
I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD.
I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.

All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view.
All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-president, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.


i think we should consider the alternative of impeachment...

02 July 2006

business as usual...


Can't Win the War? Bomb the Press!, Frank Rich, New York Times, July 2, 2006

don't answer the questions, deflect...

don't address the allegations, deflect...

don't focus on the problems, deflect...

don't take the responsibility, deflect...

don't admit incompetence, deflect...

deflect, deflect, deflect...

i wonder if this technique would work in paying off a mortgage?

just asking...

01 July 2006


Excommunication Is Sought for Stem Cell Researchers

Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, who heads the group that proposes family-related policy for the church, said in an interview with the Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana published Thursday that stem cell researchers should be punished in the same way as women who have abortions and doctors who perform them.

Cardinal: Vatican Fears Gay Suit

The Vatican is worried its opposition to same sex marriage, abortion and embryonic stem cell research could one day land it before an international court of justice, a senior Vatican official says...

Lopez Trujillo did not comment further about any legal problems the Vatican could face but his words touched upon a concern among religious organizations everywhere: the right of religious freedom versus countries' anti-discrimination laws.

aren't anti-discrimination laws really based on a christian idea?
Love thy neighbor as thy self.

just asking...