Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day 2009

Arlington National Cemetery
Section 60

A lone house-key, a melting Twix,
two Miller Lites, a crucifix.
A fifth of rum, a pack of Kools,
report cards from Chicago schools.

Four hard-backed books, a tear-stained poem,
a cell phone programmed to call home.
Three dozen letters never read,
a pillow from a double bed.

A Barbie doll, three Lego cars,
Nine lightning bugs in Mason Jars.
Six polished stones, a strand of beads,
a planter filled with apple seeds.

Two coffee cups that catch the rain,
three baseball caps, a plastic train.
Eight birthday cards, a catcher's mitt,
a sweater someone's mother knit.

Four thousand pictures creased and torn.
One wedding veil that won't be worn.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Don't Ask

What started out last Friday as a much anticipated 4 day weekend in The Outer Banks of North Carolina ended up an 18 hour drive and a 2 day stay in Indiana.

Don't ask.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who's Calling Who What?

Mike raised an interesting point in an earlier thread that I'd like to take a quick minute to address.

He asked me how I, as a "typical liberal" (although how he thinks he knows me well enough to know what I am is a little puzzing) asked how it felt being called a Nazi for expressing an opinion. He then correlated his (not really) calling me a Nazi with how the Obama-adoring media like to characterize peaceful citizens with concerns as Nazis and hate mongers.

I Figure I could go on and on in response but since a picture's worth a thousand words I'd save my tired fingers about 10 thousand key strokes:

Seen at Town Hall Protests:

I could go on and on about who's calling who what - but well, you get the picture.

Joe (Cry-Liar) Wilson - Lies!!!

At last Thursday's press conference Joe Wilson said the following:

We need to be discussing issues specifically to help the American people. And that would not include illegal aliens, these are people-- I'm for immigration, legal immigration, I've been an immigration attorney. But people who have come to our country and violated laws, we should not be providing full health care services.

According to his web site, however, Joe's a real estate attorney by trade, who helped found the West Columbia law firm Kirkland, Wilson, Moore, Taylor & Thomas, before entering Congress in 2001. He also has served as a Staff Judge Advocate with the South Carolina Army National Guard.

A lawyer familiar with Joe said the following: "Joe has never been anything but a real-estate attorney."

In fact, no one familiar with The South Carolina Bar Association has any knowledge of Joe ever having worked as an immigration attorney.

What's more, according to an extensive search of the American Immigration Lawyer's Association membership database, no one from South Carolina by the name Joe Wilson or Addison Wilson has ever been a member.

Go figure!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Third Time's The Charm?

2nd Rewrite

Fragility's the curse of age:
weak stick-like arms, quick flashing rage,
slow shuffling feet, lethargic brain.
Beloved pleasures become strain:
to read each word, to turn each page.

You leave your room to find the cage
confining you is safety's gauge.
Frail spinal bones rasp one refrain,

The hands won't grasp, nor fists engage.
You're battling the seventh stage
with parchment skin atop gnarled vein
while jars and tight lids mock your pain
until there's nothing to assuage

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fragility -Version 2

Fragility - V2

Fragility's the curse of age;
fine-tremored hands, impendent rage,
slow shuffling feet, lethargic brain.
Beloved pleasures become strain;
to read each word, to turn each page.

You leave your room to find the cage
that once confined is safety's gauge.
Decaying bones grate one refrain,

The legs can't kick, nor fists engage,
you're pushing back the seventh stage
with parchment covered gnarled vein.
Dropped pills, steep bathtubs mock your pain.
Your memories alone assuage



Fragility's the curse of age -
unsteady hands that shake with rage,
slow moving feet, decaying brain
Simple pleasures are a strain -
to read fine print, to turn the page.

You leave the house to find the cage
that once confined is safety's gauge.
Old bones rattle one refrain,

The arms cant lift, nor mind engage,
you're staring down the seventh stage
with parchment skin and gnarled vein.
Bedroom mirrors mock your pain.
There's nothing left that can assuage

Friday, August 14, 2009

Euthanized On the Bridge to Nowhere

Sarah Palin on April 16, 2008

WHEREAS, one of the principal goals of Healthcare Decisions Day is to encourage hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and hospices to participate in a statewide effort to provide clear and consistent information to the public about advance directives, as well as to encourage medical professionals and lawyers to volunteer their time and efforts to improve public knowledge and increase the number of Alaska’s citizens with advance directives.

WHEREAS, the Foundation for End of Life Care in Juneau, Alaska, and other organizations throughout the United States have endorsed this event and are committed to educating the public about the importance of discussing healthcare choices and executing advance directives.

WHEREAS, as a result of April 16, 2008, being recognized as Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska, more citizens will have conversations about their healthcare decisions; more citizens will execute advance directives to make their wishes known; and fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sarah Palin, Governor of the state of Alaska, do hereby proclaim April 16, 2008, as:

Healthcare Decisions Day in Alaska, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

Sarah Palin on August 14, 2009

Gotcha!! That's not what I meant at all!!

Last year, I issued a proclamation for “Healthcare Decisions Day.” [6] The proclamation sought to increase the public’s knowledge about creating living wills and establishing powers of attorney. There was no incentive to choose one option over another. There was certainly no financial incentive for physicians to push anything. In fact, the proclamation explicitly called on medical professionals and lawyers “to volunteer their time and efforts” to provide information to the public.

Comparing the “Healthcare Decisions Day” proclamation to Section 1233 of HR 3200 is ridiculous. The two are like apples and oranges. The attempt to link the two shows how desperate the proponents of nationalized health care are to shift the debate away from the disturbing details of their bill.

Does she even know what she means? Does anyone?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Christian Claim #3 - Parents Will Be Prosecuted for Not Seeking Health Care

I've been dying to get to this one.

Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt said the following:

Can a government-run hospital still allow Christian chapels, or pay Christian chaplains, or permit Christian doctors to pray Christian prayers with their willing patients, or even allow Christian parents to control the health care options forced upon their dying children?
Ask Pentecostal Ministers Dale and Leilani Neumann, who were charged with second-degree murder of their 11-year-old daughter, because they refused to trust the power of a government hospital to heal their little girl who tragically died with diabetes.

Dale and Leilani Neumann are already in deep shit. So deep, in fact, that they've already been found guilty of second-degree reckless homicide and are awaiting sentencing in October.

The truth is, Dale and Leilani didn't just "refuse to trust the power of a government hospital to heal their little girl." They refused to trust anyone at all. Little Kara died at age 11 from ketoacidosis - a common (and entirely treatable) consequence of untreated diabetes. She had last seen a doctor at the age of 3.

Dale and Leilani wanted to pray her well. They sat there and prayed while their daughter died a death that was easily preventable. Even when she quit breathing they didn't call the ambulance or a doctor. A friend of the family who was present called them. An aunt who lived in California, hundreds of miles away from Wisconsin called them. But mom and dad - mom and dad didn't call them. They knew Kara was sick - they knew she was very sick - they had sent an urgent text message days before her death asking for prayers, they asked friends to come over and pray with them. They were told by still other friends to seek medical assistance in the days preceeding their daughter's death. But no, they didn't call them. Not before she died, not while she was dying and not after she died. Instead, they prayed.

Those parents didn't fear a "government run" hospital - they simply didn't believe in medicine at all. Not Government medicine, not Jewish medicine, not Christian medicine, not ancient Indian tribal medicine - they believed in the power of prayer and it failed them.

And so, if we accept that prayer failed them, we must also accept that they failed their daughter. A tragedy all the way around - but light-years away from having anything at all to do with the currently proposed health bill.

Would they be held accountable under the new health plan? Maybe so. But what would be different about that? They're being held accountable now. A jury of their peers decided they were guilty of second degree reckless homicide. I doubt they'd be any more or less guilty regardless of what health plan is covering the nation.

One other little "exaggeration" I'd like to address: Chaplain Klingenschmitt states that both parents are Pentacostal ministers - they're not. Dale studied to become one but what he actually did was run Monkey Mo's Coffee Shop and hold bible studies in his home. He and his wife are followers of an online ministry called Unleavened Bread Ministry.

Small point but one that pits hyperbole and wishful thinking against truthfulness.

Score one for wishful thinking and hyperbole.

The truth is - The Neumans are not Pentacostal ministers and the government's not trying to take over your children. The government's trying to keep your children alive.

The proposed health care bill is not trying to take over your children - it's trying to assure that your children, my children, all God's children have access to health care when needed and/or desired.

It's sad that Kara died - but Kara would have died regardless of her health care options. Kara's parents weren't agonizing over which health care plan to choose. She didn't die because the only option available was a federally funded and managed care system that her parents didn't trust. Kara died not because her parents didn't trust government run hospitals - she died because her parents didn't believe in medicine at all. They believed that prayer, and only prayer, cures and conquers all.

A national health care plan has nothing to do with it and it's a cheap shot as well as an outright lie to claim that it was fear of government which caused Kara's death or that will continue to cause still more needless deaths of our children.

Kara died. The government didn't cause it. Fear of the goverment didn't cause it.

Diabetes caused it. Ketoacidosis caused it. Her parent's refusal to intelligently acknowledge the severity of her illness, to accept the limitations of prayer, to get their heads out of their asses and take the child to a doctor or a hospital where they could continue to pray while Kara's disease was being medically managed and treated as it deserved to be treated caused it.

Obama's plan can't save the Kara's of the world - but it can save hundreds of thousands of other children whose parents do recognize the severity of their children's illnesses and who, if only they had insurance, would not only be morally and mentally willing but would also finally be financially able to seek the assistance of the medical professionals who can save them.

The Lord works in mysterious ways - perhaps medicine in one of them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Guess Whose Premuims Are Already Paying for Abortions?

Lie #

2) Tax-payer funded ABORTION on demand is another guaranteed result.

From Rep. Chris Smith on The Capps Amendment:

"It's one of the most deceptive amendments I have ever seen. The bottom line is that money is fungible, and the plan itself will be subsidizing abortion-on-demand, with taxpayer funding commingled, and the numbers of abortions will go up significantly."

From PolitiFact:

First, we checked a claim by Rep. John Boehner that the plan would require Americans to "subsidize abortion with their hard-earned tax dollars." While there are several versions of the health care plan floating around Congress, and it seems that full abortion coverage would be permitted in the government-sponsored program, we didn't see anything in them that would put taxpayers on the hook for subsidizing abortions. In fact, we found an amendment in a key version of the House plan that specifically seeks to ensure that federal funds are not used to subsidize abortion coverage. And so we ruled that claim False

Side note to those who are concerned and morally outraged that somehow "your" premiums will end up paying for someone else's abortion.

If you are one of those worried about this happening, and you also happen to have health insurance from a private insurer - guess what? You've probably been paying for it all along. Most private carriers already cover all or part of the cost of elective abortions for those customers who elect to have one. And guess what else? They're already using your premiums.

Laws differ state to state and insurance plans vary - but since the majority of them DO cover elective abortions, as well as birth control pills and the "morning after pill" you're already contributing.

The only way you AREN'T contributing is if you're in a federal or state funded insurance plan since the government, state and federal do NOT routinely cover elective abortions.


Explanation of benefits from The Philadelphia Woman's Center: ( Be advised that you're encouraged to look up your own state at your leisure - or you can just trust me and save yourself some time by realizing most states are pretty much the same)

Those patients wishing to use insurance will need to provide all necessary insurance information prior to the scheduled abortion, and will usually be responsible for a co-pay or deductible. Philadelphia Women’s Center accepts the following insurance carriers:

Aetna/US Healthcare
Keystone Health Plan East
Personal Choice
Blue Cross/Blue Shield

These carriers are all private insurance plans, usually obtained through an employer. Most plans will cover elective abortion, but not all – patients are encouraged to contact their member services department for more information.

Medicaid (health insurance provided by the State for low-income individuals) in Pennsylvania will generally not cover the cost of an abortion.

In other words, that thing you're worried about happening? It's already happening. It's been happening - and you're part of it.

Now if you happen to be a member of one of those very satisfied families that's covered by one of the private health insurer listed above you can drop your health insurance in morally outraged protest.

I hope no one in your family's been sick in the last 4 or 5 years, tho.

And good luck finding new coverage if you have.

Come for the Teaser - Stay for the Truth!!

Since I'm getting hits from people looking for Chaplin Gordon James Klingenschmitt's little manifesto I thought it only fair to tear his little talking points apart one by one.

I mean, why not? If you're interested in the truth someone might as well be willing to break it down into common-speak for you and hope you're willing to read the truth and at least consider it.

Who knows? Maybe you'll even be moved enough to research on your own in an attempt to prove me wrong.

I'll welcome the attempt. Maybe we'll all learn something.

1) EUTHANASIA is the first result of Obama's socialist government "health" care plan.

False. Not only is it not the first result - it won't even be the last one. It won't be a result at all. Whatever sinister plan you're looking for - look elsewhere. The wording in question refers to a patient's ability to request (I repeat request) if HE/SHE SO DESIRES to make such a request for a consultation regarding the patient's OWN wishes for his/her end of life care.

I gotta tell you - this has been available for a long time now. It was available years ago when I first started working in The Emergency Room. It's called "having a living will" and it protects the patient more than any other single document in the world does. It is up to the PATIENT, not the insurance company, not the doctor, not the hospital and certainly not the government to decide what, if any, measures he/she would want taken if his/her life was seriously threatened by illness or injury. The bad thing is - if it's not written down and witnessed, it's not possible for any of those people to honor it.

The only thing the new health bill would have to with this whole process would be to exlain your options in language you can easily understand and to pay for it. BUT YOU ONLY GET IT IF YOU REQUEST IT. If the patient doesn't request it, it doesn't happen. There is absolutely nothing in the current bill which mandates this admittedly delicate but utmostly important consultation. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING says you have to take advantage of it.

Personally, from what I've seen of serious illness and grave accidents (and I've seen a lot of both - much more than most people have seen,) anyone who doesn't take advantage of the offer is either a fool or insane.

Making an Advance Directive is just plain common sense - and kindness. It absolves your family from making agonizing decisions regarding your care should you become unable to make your own wishes known plus it prevents the doctors and medical staff from doing anything you, yourself, have not already decided you would want done in advance.

Plus (here's the good part) it WORKS BOTH WAYS!!! People get hysterical easy, apparently, and they've all decided that the only thing an Advance Directive or a Living Will is good for is choosing the death option. WRONG!! It's as much about life as it is death. If you say "I wish for all possible resources to be used to extend my life" then by golly, that's what the doctor's will do - everything. Your family can't override it, the doctor can't override it, the insurance company can't override it and the government can't override it.

On the other hand, if you DON'T have a living will or an advance directive (like, say, Terry Schiavo didn't have one) then, and only then, will your family and/or maybe your doctor and/or the local courts, and/or the State Supreme Court and/or The US Supreme Court be forced into making that decision for you.

In other words, regardless of what you want done - be it a peaceful death without machinery or a full out fight to the finish - if YOU want to make that decision and spare the rest of the world from getting involved then this little "write in" co-written and co-sponsored by two Republicans, House Rep.Charles Boustany (R-La.), a physician, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) which is currently causing so much false alarum and being bandied about like so much Nazi-ism is exactly what you need and want.

It's a good thing even now (thanks in no small part to President Bush who, in 2003, had the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality issue a 20-page report outlining a five-part process for physicians to discuss end-of-life care with their patients with nary a whisper about euthanasia or "death panels") when the options have to be figured out alone or, if you're lucky, with a kindly doctor or nurse who's willing to explain it all to you without benefit of payment.

It's an even better thing when your insurance is going to have to pay for the professional to explain those options to you.

And that, in a truthful nutshell, is what all this needless hysteria stems from.

How sad for everyone out there who either wants to hold onto life with a vengence for as long as possible as well as for those who wish nothing more than to be allowed to die with dignity.

Yet another disgusting "Catholic" website

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Amended to add: It took awhile but my comment and Julie's comment did get approval and show up on the web site.

A tip of the hat and a thank you for publishing opposing views to The Hermitage.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Letter From Catholic Online.Org - and Response

I've not been this ticked off in a long time.

This is the email and accompanying petition being sent by Catholic Online:

Grandmas and Unborn Babies Face Extermination by Obama's "Health" Care Plan

Investors Business Daily has just exposed the Achilles' heel of Obamacare, that hostile, socialist government takeover of your hospital, doctors, children, and grandparents. In an editorial entitled, "How House Bill Runs Over Grandma," the editors report how President Obama was personally confronted by a North Carolina woman asking if "everyone that's Medicare age will be visited and told they have to decide how they wish to die."

In response Obama joked that he hadn't yet hired enough bureaucrats to conduct such an operation, yet he could not deny the New York Post's discovery the House bill "compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care" (pages 425-430). In other words, your grandmother will be told, when insufficient resources are rationed to young people, that her duty to die begins with mandatory "end-of-life counseling," or as Obama explained, "encourage the use of living wills" that terminate otherwise salvageable lives prematurely through signed "do not resuscitate" (DNR) legal releases.

1) EUTHANASIA is the first result of Obama's socialist government "health" care plan.

Bankrupt state can't afford to pay for grandma's hip replacement? Obama's plan sends her a lawyer to make her sign a DNR, explaining her hastened duty to die, and obtaining her signature legally absolving him of all guilt. Euthanasia begins where capitalism ends.


Widely respected Minister Rick Joyner wrote this week, after reviewing Mat Staver's analysis of H.R. 3200 "Health" care bill, voicing his strong opinion that this bill "is about euthanasia, the power to determine who lives or dies in America. Hitler and Stalin would have loved to have had a means such as this for dispatching the millions they killed—it would have made their job much easier, and probably given them the ability to kill many more than they did. THIS BILL IS THAT SINISTER. This is not a joke." You can read Mat Staver's line-by-line analysis of the 1000 page health care bill at the bottom of this email.

2) Tax-payer funded ABORTION on demand is another guaranteed result.

Last week several so-called "pro-life Democrats" executed a bait and switch that will fully fund abortion on demand in the new Obamacare "health" bill. Led by compromiser and ex-pro-life Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), who was recently booted as an advisor to Democrats for Life of America for his lack of principle, the liberal House Democrats overruled conservative Republicans 30-28 to pass the hideous "Capps Amendment" to H.R.3200 in the Energy and Commerce Committee. This amendment now deceptively creates a phony accounting scheme that gives the false impression your tax-payer dollars will not subsidize abortion, while it simultaneously nationalizes free abortions for low-income urban neighborhoods, fulfilling the dream of Margaret Sanger (and her protege Ruth Bader Ginsburg) that African American babies will be the first exterminated in the government funded ovens that weed out "Populations that we don't want to have too many of."

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) explained the Capps Amendment: "It's one of the most deceptive amendments I have ever seen. The bottom line is that money is fungible, and the plan itself will be subsidizing abortion-on-demand, with taxpayer funding commingled, and the numbers of abortions will go up significantly."


3) Obama will REMOVE Christian prayers and symbols from Government-run hospitals

The hostile socialist government takeover of Catholic or Christian hospitals will eventually result in atheistic silencing of religious expression (and removing all Christian symbols) from the very place where faith in God is critical to sick and dying patients. For example, look at the Veterans Hospitals, already government-run, who are busy removing crosses and Christian symbols from their chapels (like in Iowa), because easily-offended atheist complainers have successfully intimidated hospital administrators with threats of lawsuit, by demanding separation of church and state. Just imagine more atheist lawsuits, when all Catholic and Christian hospitals are seized in the same way Obama took control of General Motors, inviting easily-offended atheist complainers to demand we change the name of the hospital from "St. Luke's Memorial" to the "Obama Government" hospital, falsely claiming tax-dollars cannot subsidize religion. But if St. Luke's refuses government subsidies, they will be drummed out of business, and Christian doctors' licenses revoked.

Can a government-run hospital still allow Christian chapels, or pay Christian chaplains, or permit Christian doctors to pray Christian prayers with their willing patients, or even allow Christian parents to control the health care options forced upon their dying children? Just ask Florida Hospital Chaplain Danny Harvey, fired last year from Leesburg Regional Medical Center because he prayed "in Jesus name" at a public memorial service. Ask Christian Pharmacists who Washington has already forced to dispense "Plan-B" abortion pills against their conscience, or doctors denied a "conscience clause" to opt out of abortions when Obama refused to renew Bush's pro-life executive orders. Ask Nurse Catherina Lorena Cenzon-DeCarlo, who recently was forced to participate in a second-trimester abortion against her will, and is now suing Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan for “blatantly” violating her rights under a 35 year old federal law that protects health care workers with religious objections from being forced to assist in murderous abortions. Ask Pentecostal Ministers Dale and Leilani Neumann, who were charged with second-degree murder of their 11-year-old daughter, because they refused to trust the power of a government hospital to heal their little girl who tragically died with diabetes. Can you say mandatory godlessness in "health" care? If government has power to dictate your health care options, they also have power to seize your children when you refuse. Think about it. Will you dare refuse the H1N1 vaccine when ordered to poison your children? No religious exemptions for doctors, patients, or parents are readily apparent in the current Obamacare bill. So take action with me...

4) Homosexuals free $50,000 tax-funded sex-change surgery not excluded by Democrats.

My friend Matt Barber with Liberty Counsel made phone calls to several Congressional staffers, and Democrats from the offices of Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Charlie Rangel, Rep. Barney Frank and the House Subcommittee on Health all refused to give, very simply, ‘an assurance that the proposed health care plan will not allow taxpayer funded gender reassignment surgeries or hormone therapies.’ Instead, they affirmed page 972 of the House version of the bill (H.R. 3200) which provides for “standards, as appropriate, for the collection of accurate data on health and health care” based on “sex, sexual orientation [and] gender identity.” The Senate draft likewise requires the Department of Health and Human Services to "develop standards for the measurement of gender." (i.e., officially recognize subjectively self-determined "transgender" or "transsexual" gender identities). It further mandates "participation in the institutions’ programs of individuals and groups from…different genders and sexual orientations." Democrats want more than 2 genders included the bill. In your townhall meetings, ask them how many? Forgive me, but I was raised on a farm, and there was one simple test for "measuring the gender" of mammals. They're either male or female. Just look.

The bottom line? Your tax-dollars will pay for preferential hiring of homosexual hospital administrators, who distribute $50,000 grants to gender-confused activists for unneeded elective surgery to mutilate their own genitals, (and force Christian doctors to perform it.) And nobody has yet offered an amendment that excludes this. Let's get started, by asking your Congressman in your town hall meetings this week, "Will you sponsor an amendment that excludes elective sex-change operations from tax-payer funding?" Some media complain conservatives hire thugs to challenge Congress with tough questions, but we don't. So please just read the bill summary far below, get informed, and show up to speak Truth at town hall. Meanwhile I will do more research for you myself.

So let me summarize Obama's health care plan: 1) Euthenizes grandma, 2) Mandates funding murder of innocent children, 3) Empowers atheist litigants to outlaw the healing power of the Christian faith, 4) Refuses to exclude funding sex-change operations.


We all gasped when the federal government seized control of General Motors, and Obama effectively fired the Chairman and replaced the board with government bureaucrats selected by Treasury Secretary Geithner. Now Obama and his liberal Democratic House allies want to replace your doctors with bureaucrats, hasten grandma's demise, abort and kill children in urban neighborhoods, cut doctors' pay and control their religion, and transform Christian hospitals into government-controlled atheist bureaucracies. Does any of this remind you of Communism? I won't stand idly by to allow this. I will fax Congress to say, "no to Obamacare." Will you? Please sign our petition and I'll send your faxes now. Then please forward this email to all your friends who care about our beloved country, especially those senior citizens who may be at greatest risk.

God Bless you, in Jesus' name,

Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt

P.S. Time is urgent! When the House and Senate return from summer vacation their first priority is to send Obama this dangerous "health" care bill. Please don't delay, but sign our petition today!


This was my response:

This is not the first time in my life I've been ashamed to have been raised Catholic but it is, without a doubt, one of the most memorable.

Such lies The Church is propagating and spreading. Such fear mongering and such hate-inducing literature it's sending around in the name of God and the church. Your email and your petitions are nothing but half-truths, untruths and bold faced lies so blatantly false and vile as to take the breath away from any person who's reached the age of reason and who possess even a moderate degree of intelligence and a half-decent grasp of the bible and Christ's teachings.

Do you not think that God looks down and reads occasionally? I don't care how much you disagree with the proposed health care plan or how much you petition against it's passing - but if you can't do it truthfully then maybe you shouldn't be doing it at all - and certainly not in His Name. Last I heard the bible never once said that the end justified the means.

The very fact that you choose to scare senior citizens most of all speaks volumes - not about them but about you - and your opinion of their intelligence and their own God-given ability to tell the truth from the untruth, the rational from the irrational.

Not only have you insulted them, you have lost sight of faith - and hope - and charity as ways of serving humanity and instead are crudely and dishonestly attempting to manipulate them using the devil's own tools - fear and horror and mistrust - and all of it built not on truth but on lies.

You need to ask yourself - would Mother Terese, would Pope John Paul, would Jesus Himself have used these tactics? Ever? As a means to any end at all?

Even if I give you the benefit of the doubt and try to believe your motives are pure and your intentions are good I cannot find a precedent (or a biblical precedent for forgiveness) for the way you've resorted to starting and perpetrating bald-faced lies and for the positively sinful resort to fear mongering.

People sign up for your mailing list expecting to find comfort and faith and hope.

How do you manage to justify your humanity, let alone your Christianity, knowing that what you've fed them instead is bleakness and fear and mistrust?

Sincerely yours,

Laura Heidy-Halberstein

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009 - Section 60 - Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery
Section 60

A lone house-key, a melting Twix,
two Miller Lites, a crucifix.
A fifth of rum, a pack of Kools,
report cards from far distant schools.

Four hard-backed books, a tear-stained poem,
a cell phone programmed to call home.
Three dozen letters never read,
a pillow from a double bed.

A Barbie doll, three Lego cars,
Nine lightning bugs in Mason Jars.
Six polished stones, a strand of beads,
a planter filled with apple seeds.

Two coffee cups that catch the rain,
three baseball caps, a plastic train.
Eight birthday cards, a catcher's mitt,
a sweater someone's mother knit.

A thousand pictures creased and torn.
One wedding veil that won't be worn.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Look!! In the Sky!! It's a Bird! It's a Plane!! It's Insanity Come to Claim Me!!

Ok - I have officially joined the rank of Loonies. Not intentionally, mind you, and I am still convinced that eventually I will come up with some reasonable rational reason which will explain what I think I saw this afternoon.


I washed the bedroom windows last night so about 45 minutes ago I was lying in bed simply staring out the windows and enjoying the view. I suddenly realized I was tracking this thing in the sky - at first I thought it was a balloon - one of those large helium ones which sometimes escapes a child's backyard party....but then I realized it was considerably larger and traveling much too independently of any wind current to be a simple balloon. Simultaneously with that thought, a helicopter appeared and my mystery object abruptly quit floating and bobbing and weaving aimlessly and suddenly sped up and adjusted it's height to pass over the helicopter and quickly went out of sight immediately after the helicopter passed under it.

The helicopter stuck around for nearly half an hour....just repeatedly circling the area north of me and then it, too, finally took off - but in the opposite direction of where I last saw the object.

I'm laughing but I'm not laughing. I tried to get Dan to look but he was not quick enough and he will only admit to seeing "something." Balloons do not fly high enough to pass over a helicopter - do they?

It wasn't like the helicopter was flying low, either, because it wasn't. And I'm on the 15th floor and this thing was flying (although flying doesn't feel like the right word - flying takes wings and it had no wings) quite a bit higher than eye level with the 15th floor.

And no, I am not high at all.

Monday, May 18, 2009

You Walk

You Walk

You walk. The floor beneath your feet
magnifies each groan and creak
yet fails to drown the droning in
your head. How often did you win?
Or better still, accept defeat?

It's memory - it's bittersweet.
It's half forgotten, incomplete.
It's left-behind abandoned sin
you walk the floor

remembering. You're feeling weak -
replaying deaths you failed to cheat.
Recall the sirens and the din
and feel the sweat against your skin.
No longer do you ride the street.
You walk the floor.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


For once it's not a poem BY me, but OF me!! How's that for finally "making it?"

Thanks, Mary - how very cool of you.

When the Boat Comes

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Opps - Too late. You snooze, you lose.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Leaving Town

It's been sporadic around here - and it's going to get even more so.

I am outa here for a few weeks beginning today. I'll be back in Indiana without computer access.

When parents get old it gets hard to know what's best for them. Being a thousand miles away doesn't make for good decisions, hence the trip home to see what can or should be done.

What should be done never happens, though, does it? Because someone's "should" is always someone else's "shouldn't."

I should move back home to care for her - but I can't or won't. Giving up my life seems too high of a price although I should be willing to do so.

It would mean leaving my husband, my home, my job, my future and while I thought for a while that I was capable of doing so I now realize I cannot do so without setting up a situation built on dread and resentment which will affect not only the rest of her life but the rest of mine and my husband and my children as well.

She will not come here and I cannot stay there.

So the question is - where do I go from here?

And where does she?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rondeau Romp!!

Excellent new poetry site by the amazing Allison Joseph which contains a certain poetry form near and dear to my heart.

The rondeau is often overlooked and almost always underrated. Howver, one only needs to read In Flanders Field or We Wear the Mask to understand just how spine-tingling intense the form can be when mastered.

Marilyn Taylor's Old Woman With a Cat is pretty darn tingly, too, if you're looking for contemporary rondeau.

Read those three and tell me Rondeau is not amazing. I dare you!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Friday, February 06, 2009

"45 Minutes X 8 Babies = 6 Hours" or "Not Enough Time In a Day For Octuplet Snuggling"

The mother of the octuplets recently stated in her first televised interview that "she holds each premature infant 45 minutes each day," and that she's sure that she'll be able to afford them when she's done with her schooling and she further states “I'm providing myself to my children. I'm loving them unconditionally, accepting them unconditionally. Everything I do, I'll stop my life for them and be present with them. And hold them. And be with them. And how many parents do that? I'm sure there are many that do, but many don't. And that's unfortunate. That is selfish.”

That's all well and ernestly meant and well articulated, I'm sure, but where's the reality?

The reality is - a baby needs far more than 45 minutes of attention daily - and 8 babies need 8 times as much attention daily as one does. Premature babies eat frequently - sometimes as often as every two hours - and generally it takes at least 30 minute to give a bottle. Small babies are slow babies - and they can't hold much more than 2 or 3 ounces at a time. Add another half hour for burping, changing and cuddling and you've lost yourself an hour already. One person couldn't even, logistically speaking, manage to feed 8 premature infants every two hours. The most she could manage would be two of them and it would be time to restart with the first as soon as she finished with the second - ad infinitum.

"45 minutes of daily holding" for 8 children fills 6 entire hours. From personal experience, 45 minutes of holding isn't even 1/4 of the amount of holding time a new infant needs, wants or demands. Going back to school to complete your Master's Degree is a full time job, as well. So now we've filled at least 12 to 14 hours of a 24 hour day with personal snuggle time and schooling. What about breakfast, lunch and dinner for 15 people on a daily basis? And shopping for 15? And laundry for 15? And housecleaning? My God, just think about the housekeeping and laundry!!

Plus, believe it or not, even super-moms need to sleep sometimes. (Yep, really, it's a fact, they do.)

Mom says that as a child, she missed a “Feeling of self and identity." She goes on to state that, “I didn't feel as though, when I was a child, I had much control of my environment. I felt powerless. And that gave me a sense of predictability. Reflecting back on my childhood, I know it wasn't functional. It was pretty dysfunctional, and whose isn't?”

Please, for the love of God, someone tell this woman that having 14 children in 8 years is not a good way to regain "control," nor is it behaving like a functional adult. In fact, it's so out-of-control and dysfunctional as to be truly depressing.

Plus, as a side point, it totally disses her parents who, from all acounts, have stuck by her like white on rice. They've financially and emotionally and physically supported her, they've housed her and her children and they've loved her and helped her navigate every bizarre step of her adult way.

Personally, if you ask me, this woman has controlled everyone around her for her entire lifetime. Ask yourself this - would your parents have supported you, would they have allowed you to live in their house (or bought you your own house) while you continued going to school well into your thirties AND watched your 6 illigitimate children while you did so or would they exercise a little "parental control" of their own and finally say, "Honey, we love you, but enough is enough?" Even now, Grandma and Grandpa are dealing with the media frenzy as well as providing for the daily needs of the six forgotten siblings while mom herself rests up at an undisclosed "safe" location.

Would you do the same for your children?

As for mom missing a "feeling of identity and self" as the result of being an only child, does she really think it's going to be easier for her own individual children, growing up with thirteen siblings and an overextended mother, to find either one those things for themselves? Does she even understand that they are as entitled to those things as she feels she is and that, as a single parent, it's now up to her and her alone to provide it not only for herself but for them, as well?

But that's assuming that, like most parents. she wants a better life for her children than she had herself and that she's willing and able to put the current and future needs of her children before her own.

From what I've read so far I don't think that's a safe assumption to make right now.

Add: From AP: Among other things, the documents reveal that Suleman collected more than $165,000 in disability payments between 2002 and 2008 for an injury she said left her in near-constant pain and helped end her marriage.

Well now don't that beat all? $27,000 a year in disability payments for a back injury and still capable of carrying roughly 1 pregnancy per year (not counting the octupulets in 2008 - which more than doubles the average pregnancy per year) to completion and no one questioned the true extent of the " near-constant and excruciating pain?"

I've been pregnant and I've had a back injury. Fortunately not at the same time. And I say fortunately because as anyone who's ever had either condition can attest to - they're just not compatible - nor would anyone but a total masochist attempt it more than once or twice. Were I her disability carrier I'd be looking into it. If your back can handle carrying a minimum of an extra 40 or 50 pounds of pregnancy around on a yearly basis I'm pretty sure it can handle a desk job without too much difficulty.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

God Does Not "Plan" Octuplets - People Plan Octuplets

I'm sure everyone already knows about the woman in California who gave birth to octuplets the other day. More power to her, I guess. I'm unsure how anyone even raises 8 children of differing ages but they do and I'm sure these parents will find a way to raise eight children of the same age as well.

There is a mom with similar experience, a reality show TV mom named Kate Gosselin who had twins and then gave birth to sextuplets.

I figured that, regardless of what I think about her and her really strange reality show, she was probably the one to give the best advice until I read this little gem of pro-offered wisdom from the old experienced mother to the new inexperienced one:

"Trust God's plan -- He knows best!"


Forgive me for pointing out the obvious but God doesn't plan for a woman to give birth to a litter which would exceed even a six-nippled animal's ability to nurture. I'm pretty sure it was never part of God's Plan for eight children to be the result of one pregnancy. The fact that it's never occured without medical intervention pretty much justifies my opinion.

I don't have a problem with in-virto fertilization. I do have a little more of a problem with large multiples of children being born as a result, though. It's dangeous to both mother and children and I don't much see the point of endangering anyone's life or health unnecessarily.

What I do have a problem with is calling it "God's will" or "God's plan" when (face it now) the reason people take fertility treatments or use in-virto fertilization in the first place is because the woman and her husband are unable to conceive naturally which would be the "God's plan" we're talking about here. Seems to me that He decided "no children at all" not "eight children at once" way back before humankind decided we could, and therefore should, make large amounts of newborn babies the new-fashioned way - in test tubes.

Call it science, call it a medical breakthrough, call it in-vitro, call it "fertility treatments," call it "Thank-God-I'm-Alive-In-The-21st-Century-and-I-Have-Money," call it whatever it really is, but don't call it "God's Plan" because it's not.

God's never planned anything as foolishly dangerous as human octupulets.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There's Something About Snow in DC.......

that makes it impossible for even experienced snow-drivers to navigate the streets. I think it's all the rolling hills - and the lack of preparation like salt and snowplows - or maybe it's just the rarity of it all. Or maybe we just move here and immediately forget what it's like to drive in less than stellar conditions. Whatever it is, it sucks.

It snowed this morning - first time this season. It was a rather pretty snow, as snows go, anyhow. Thick, white, fluffy and dry enough that the wipers took it off the windows of the car. No big deal, right? Barely an inch on the ground when I left the house.

An hour later - and a block and a half down the road - I began to feel quite differently about it. It was no longer pretty, it was a disaster waiting to happen. I was going downhill - no big deal - except the cars in front of me, for as far as the eye could see, weren't moving. Probably because they were trying to get UP the next hill. (I live on the top of a series of hills, up and down, up and down, up and down, all the way to work.) I glanced over at the traffic on the other side of the road and realized that there were only 3 or 4 cars headed the opposite way - and none of them were having any success getting there. In a 20 minute block of time I watched at least 4 cars slide right back down the hill and into a car behind them. Up ahead at the corner I watched a garbage truck slide down into the intersection and really make a mess there. I think I moved about 4 car lengths in 40 minutes. I hate that, can't go forward, can't turn around and go back because you're just stuck wherever you are.

I finally made it to the second light ( 2 blocks away) and the car in front of the car in front of me decided he'd had enough and he turned right, got half way up that hill and slid right back down into the passenger side of the the car in front of me.

At that point (an hour after I'd left home and roughly 2 1/2 blocks from home but with 2 miles left to go to work) I called work again and the good Doctor Young told me that everyone had cancelled for the day and I should go back home.

Easier said than done, of course, because now I have to figure out how to turn around and get back up the hill.

I made a left hand turn from the right hand lane (which didn't matter since everyone had already run into someone else already anyhow) and pulled a quick U-Turn and gunned my way up the hill.....don't stop don't stop don't STOP!!!

I had to avoid three stalled vehicles on my way up but somehow, through sheer determination, I managed to keep moving and not hit anyhow. I meant to stop at the light but skidded right through it. Fortunately I was the only one with enough momentum built up to be moving at that point - one more semi-illegal turn and I was in our parking lot.

Dan had given up waiting for the bus already and he was upstairs waiting for me.

And yes, it's supposed to snow again tonight. This time accompanied by freezing rain and sleet.

I think I'll not even try tomorrow.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Papal Revisions and How Infallible Can THIS Be?

A little Wiki background on the dude that The Pope has seen fit to reinstate.

Williamson is viewed as being at the hardline end of the traditionalist spectrum, though he does not go so far as to espouse sedevacantism. He opposes compromise with the Vatican, accusing it of deceit and of being under "the power of Satan" and judges reconciliation between the Society and the Holy See to be impossible, noting that some SSPX members might refuse to follow the Society even if an agreement were reached. Williamson holds that the SSPX is not schismatic but the body of genuine Catholics that keep the "complete faith".

Williamson holds strong views regarding gender roles and dress. He opposes the wearing of trousers or shorts by women and has urged more manliness in men.

Williamson supports conspiracy theories regarding the assassination of President Kennedy and the collapse of the Twin Towers, denying that the latter were terrorist attacks but were instead staged by the U.S. government.

Williamson has expressed controversial views about Jews. He called Jews "enemies of Christ" and urges their conversion to Catholicism. He claims that Jews and Freemasons have contributed to the "changes and corruption" in the Catholic Church. He has also stated that Jews aim at world dominion[3][44] and believes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion to be authentic. Williamson has denied that he is antisemitic, stating that he goes against "adversaries of Our Lord Jesus Christ", that not all Jews are such, and that he also attacks other groups such as Communists and Freemasons.

Williamson has been charged with Holocaust denial. He has denied the existence of gas chambers and has claimed that not six million but 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps. Williamson has also praised Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel.

Now that you've got some background above and beyond the oft' mentioned Holocaust denying, what's up with this decision on the part of Pope Benedict XVI, anyhow, and does it make anyone besides myself not only extremely irate but more than a little bit nervous as well?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Bird Chasing

Just out of camera range, sitting atop the fireplace mantle is, you guessed it, a very loud and very excited bird. Someone wants her.