A Cool Change
If there's one thing in my life that's missing, It's the time that I spend alone, Standing by the cool and bright clear water. It's kind of a special feeling, When you're out by the sea alone, Staring at the full moon like a lover. - Little River Band.
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
When someone gives a gift, the last thing they should expect is ridicule from some dingbat way out in left field that it's not enough. But that's exactly what Jan Egeland, UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, did.
After a pledge by the U.S. of an initial $15 million in disaster aid to those affected by the earthquake in the Indian Ocean and resulting tsunamis, Egeland responded in typical U.N. manner:
"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."(Doncha like the word, "donors"?)
Thanks for the slam, Mr. Egeland. Neither the United States nor its taxpayers have ever been "stingy" when it comes to helping those in need. And I sure as heck don't appreciate your idea that you feel that you have the right to reach into my pocket and take what you want. That's what you're really saying. You want my government to confiscate more of my hard-earned money, in order to hand it over to you upon your demand.
I don't think so.
"If, actually, the foreign assistance of many countries now is 0.1 or 0.2 percent of the gross national income, I think that is stingy, really," he said. "I don't think that is very generous."Generous? Who the heck do you think you are, you bloated bureaucrat, to decide whether or not someone else is being generous enough?
It bothers you? That's just so speshul.
"It bothers me that we -- the rich nations -- are not becoming more generous the more rich we become."
The average rich country gives just 0.2 percent of its national income to international solidarity and international assistance, he said.
"We keep 99.8 percent to ourselves, on average. I don't think that's very generous," he said.
You know what's really hysterical? (A quick disclaimer: I'm not minimizing the horrendous nature of the Asian disaster.) We had a couple of problems here in the U.S. this year, Mr. Egeland. Definitely not the massive loss of life, thank God, but we still have tens of thousands of our own that still need help after the hurricanes and wildfires.
I can't speak for any other part of the United States, but the only
Perhaps I missed it, but I don't remember the U.N. doing a darned thing.
Well, now the U.S. has just pledged another $20 million with assurances that more will come. That doesn't include the military flights filled with relief supplies that are already on their way . . .
(But that's the U.S. government, not the non-governmental organizations that American citizens are donating to strictly on their own, without hesititation. You didn't mention that, Mr. Egeland. Did you. Of course you didn't. Why?)
Then again, this isn't the first time the U.S. has been called "stingy" and it won't be the last.
"In one of the first signs of the effects of the ever tightening federal budget, in the past two months the Bush administration has reduced its contributions to global food aid programs aimed at helping millions of people climb out of poverty." Nowhere in this page 3 article does the New York Times reporter Elizabeth Becker place these cutbacks in context.We here in the U.S. have kind of gotten used to it, Mr. Egeland, when it comes to the U.N.
The Times does not tell readers that the United States is the world's largest food aid donor by far. In 2004, the United States provided $826,469,172 -- almost a billion dollars -- to the United Nations World Food Program.
Monday, December 27, 2004
May I have your attention . . .
Saturday, December 25, 2004
"I guess Santa isn't coming this year," I said to Da Kid a few minutes before midnight. For an instant, my soon-to-be 25-year-old son looked at me as if I'd lost my mind. Then the realization hit. "I guess not, Mom, or we would have heard him."
It's 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and all good little boys and girls are now tucked in their beds or heading there quickly and without argument. I kid you not.It's hard to explain the look on his face, but he knew as I did, that Santa had been been outgrown by the area in which we live.
I don't know how many years ago it started but we've been out here now for fifteen. It's getting too big out here too fast but it's still nice to know some things have remained the same.
The distant wail of a siren and the screech of brakes signal the beginning. Children head out the door or are carried outside by their parents. Next, a booming amplified voice. At first it's not clear what's being bellowed but it doesn't take long. "HO! HO! HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!"
Then the flashing lights atop the biggest engine from the volunteer fire station. On its back waving, hanging on for dear life clings Santa. Down every road, some dirt, his cry continues until it finally fades away, until next year.
"HO! HO! HO! ONE LAST CHECK, BOYS AND GIRLS, TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE ALL BEING GOOD! MERRY CHRISTMAS! SWEET DREAMS BOYS AND GIRLS! HO! HO! HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
"NOW, GO TO BED!" doyle - December 24, 1999
Friday, December 24, 2004
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
The good news is that once again this year, I've neither killed anyone nor have I ended up in jail. Yet, that is.
Except for one item that I can pick up just a few miles down the road, I'm done with my Seasonal Shopping.
Seasonal Shopping? You must be wondering if I've suddenly gone P.C. or if I'm being sarcastic.
No to both.
Da Kid's birthday is the day after Christmas.
I've penciled in December 27 for my complete and total, annual nervous breakdown.
Expect a major drop in store sales next Christmas
I mentioned yesterday that I was in not the proper frame of mind (That's a nice way of putting it, I think.) to face a trip to the big mall. Let me correct what I said slightly. It's the Big Mall.
We used to live on that side of town and Regency Square was pretty darned big even 30 years ago. Over the years it kept birthin' new tenants and growing, until there was no room for more. So, whole bunches of other malls sprang up around the Big Mall, which means the whole place is FUBAR to start with, and much worse at this time of year because all of the drivers are trying to enact their obvious closet desire to commit suicide and take a couple extra folk with 'em just for fun.
I had three stops to make, none of which were in the Big Mall itself. I knew exactly what I wanted in each of the stores. Total actual time required for shopping, 30 minutes. Maybe 45 at the most.
The rest of the four hours I was gone I spent in my car, the majority of which was either stopped dead in traffic or roaring along at a whole 2 miles per hour. And I'm not talking about the parking lots, either. Officially designated ones, that is. These were the main roads: four- and six-lane highways that stretch for miles.
Next year, I'm doing my shopping online.
If you want straight talk on economic issues, Walter E. Williams has a gift for making what may seem incomprehensible simple to understand.
Dr. Williams explains some of the reasons why he supports overhauling the current Federal income tax system, but warns that in all likelihood, it is doomed to failure because Congress will never approve the change:
The two most powerful congressional committees are the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Both dispense tax favors to different Americans that come at the expense of other Americans. With a sales or flat tax, their Santa Claus roles, not to mention campaign contributions, would be diminished.
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
No, I'm not done shopping yet, but I'm done for now. By that I mean I'm done! If I don't call it quits for this afternoon, I'm going to end up in jail.
I'm dressed comfortably: jeans, a festive holiday sweatshirt, sneakers and stopped in an upscale store to get a gift card for Da Kid's fiancé. If that snooty clerk could have looked down her nose at me any more, her eyes would have landed on the floor.
I'm so sorry that I'm not dressed in high heels and a 'monkey suit,' with my hair just done and my fingernails sculptured. Just give me the damned card and I won't defile your glorius store with my presence for one second longer than I have to!
So my next stop is to see if I can pick up the DVDs of a television show Hubby absolutely loves. They're not stocked so I order the first two seasons. No, they won't be here in time for Christmas but no problem. I also pick up a couple of other DVDs to put under the tree, and end up in line behind two people who, as it turned out, were there together. Each one goes to one of the only two registers open at the same time. And each one is getting gift cards. Each one is getting $125 in gift cards, at $5 per card.
What the heck can someone get with a $5 gift card?
Almost an hour later I head to Sam's Warehouse. I know exactly what I'm looking for. If they have it, fine. If not, I'll try somewhere else. Lo and behold, Sam's has what I'm looking for, and a two or three other things on my list, too, that I hadn't expected to find. YES! I get in line to check out, behind two guys who appear to be buying out the entire store. Guy #1 presents a charge card to pay. It bounces, DECLINED. "Try this one, instead." DECLINED. "Well, try this one . . ."
Meanwhile, the woman in back of me is jabbering non-stop on her cellphone while her darling little BRAT is happily entertaining himself the entire time, ramming their shopping cart into my back.
Guy #1 finally runs out bouncing plastic. Guy #2 starts trying his, but they don't work any better.
Jabbering woman, still yammering away non-stop on her cellphone, departed somewhere during this time -- completely abandoning her cart in the line -- when she became upset with the delay, and left dragging her psycho little monster behind her.
Once I finally escaped, I came home instead of going to the big mall across town. I know that mall at this time of year. The first person to cut me off in that parking lot to jump into a parking space, I'd . . .
I know when I've reached my limit and I am way beyond it. So I came home.
UPDATE: Around 5:30, the phone rang. It was Da Kid, reminding me that I'd said I'd go Christmas shopping with him after he got off from work.
It's now 9:30 pee-em and we're home. He's completely done now, and I'm really done. Unfortunately, that doesn't include my Christmas shopping.
Monday, December 20, 2004
May I have your attention . . .
If you are a reader of Florida Cracker, please note that this is its new location.
I'm ready for Spring!
"What is she, nuts?" I'm sure some of you are saying. "Christmas hasn't gotten here quite yet, and Doyle's already bellowing about Spring?"
First, I've never claimed any degree of sanity. Secondly, I'm freezing.
Today's high was 42, and tonight the temperature is going back down to the low 20s.
Yes, I live in Florida and yes, we have heat but this is abnormal, at least for this time of year. Normally, we get four to six weeks of cold starting in mid-January, with a few nights here and there of freezing temperatures and a few days like today. But, this is way too early and with the steady wind, I don't know or care what the weatherjerks claim the wind chill factor makes it feel like. I know what it feels like.
I hate these things
Labels: I hate these things.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
I got my wish.
The only thing I wanted this year from the Jacksonville Jaguars was a .500 season. With today's 28 - 25 win over the Green Bay Packers, even if the Jags lose the last two games I got my wish. Everything else is gravy.
I'm starting to wonder, though, if "Dame Destiny" might be looking at J-ville, again. Perhaps this year she just might decide to stay.
(No, I'm not going to explain that reference. Not now.)
UPDATE: ATTABOY has a great write-up on yesterday's game.
Anybody else out there feel like this?
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Leave me alone.
Don't call me to ask what (fill in the blank) wants or needs.
If I knew, I'd know what to get them for Christmas!
Social Security Info
"Social Security is just fine. There won't any problems with it until . . . "
For a long as I can remember, the primary argument concerning Social Security has been not that it will eventually go broke, but when.
With me, it went in one ear and out the other for decades. At first I was young, mid-twenties? With so many working years ahead, what did it matter? Besides, Social Security had always been there -- which, of course, isn't true but it seemed that way -- so it always would be!
In reality, it won't.
The system is on the path to its own self-destruction by dint of its very design and pay-as-you-go structure.From the Wall Street Journal, background information on the crumbling pyramid scheme known as Social Security: Without reform, it will destroy itself
(bugmenot.com sign-in: email@example.com)
Labels: Social Security
Friday, December 17, 2004
I received an email advising me that some may have been offended by yesterday's dog cartoon, because I did not provide for the equal treatment of cats.
Although cats are unfunny yowling self-absorbed ego maniacs that hack up gunky hairballs and leave them right where people step in them with their bare feet in the middle of the night, it was neither my intent nor desire to discriminate against them. I was remiss in not affording them equal treatment. Please accept my most sincere apologies.
(I also have never seen one single funny cat cartoon in my entire life except for Calvin and Hobbs, but that's a separate issue.)
In an effort to head off any possible litigation in this matter, I immediately offer the following corrective action:
1. Clear large space on table for wrapping present.
2. Go to closet and collect bag in which present is contained, and shut door.
3. Open door and remove cat from closet.
4. Go to cupboard and retrieve rolls of wrapping paper.
5. Go back and remove cat from cupboard.
6. Go to drawer, and collect transparent sticky tape, ribbons, scissors, labels, etc. . .
7. Lay out presents and wrapping materials on table, to enable wrapping strategy to be formed.
8. Go back to drawer to get string, remove cat that has been in the drawer since last visit and collect string.
9. Remove present from bag.
10. Remove cat from bag.
The remaining steps are here.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
As chairman of his employer's morale committee, Liberal Larry has taken on the nightmare of organizing this year's politically-correct
In past years, we've had problems with Christian extremists going nuts and wishing people a "Merry Christmas" despite being strictly warned not to, so we decided to exclude them entirely from this year's event. I had a cunning and quite hilarious plan to issue bogus invitations with phony dates and locations to any suspected Christian employees, but CEO Tony "Sherm" Sherman nixed it. Too risky, he said. Some clever Jesus freak might get wise to the scheme and crash the party. They might start singing "Christmas Carols" or mention Christ - a clear violation of the Separation of Church and State. So we all agreed it would. . . because they are ruining Christmas for everyone.
be best to simply fire the Christians . . .
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
I found Iraq the Model not long after the three brothers — Omar, Ali and Mohammed — began blogging from Baghdad. A tentative (at the time) but incredibly positive voice, what they wrote was the complete opposite of the total negativity I’d been reading in the newspapers and seeing on television.
After living under Saddam for decades where even the suspicion of thinking incorrectly would result in the torture and death not only the "guilty" but the entire family, what we take for granted — the right to speak freely — was new to them. And new to even the concept of blogging, none of the brothers had any reason to believe that anyone would read what they wrote.
That was a little over a year ago.
Since I first discovered them, whenever the news about Iraq as "reported" here started getting me down, I always knew where to go for a pick-me-up. Because of them, I could see the challenges and changes through their eyes.
Two of the brothers, Omar and Mohammed, arrived in the United States a few days ago to attend meetings sponsored by Spirit of America.
Grim blogged about one of meetings, and it is a must read.
Several U.S. bloggers have had a chance to meet Omar and Mohammed in less formal settings. Andrew Sullivan was supposed to have lunch with them, except at the last minute the brothers had to beg off. He understood why.
They’d been invited to the Oval Office.
Who does have jurisdiction?
The airwaves, print media, and several blogs have been talking about the recent article in the New York Post about Clinton-pardoned Marc Rich's involvement in the UN supervised Blood for Oil scam. Speculation has been rampant on who knew what, did what, and what the connections might be between Rich's pardon and the massive political donations Denise Rich made to the Democrat Party, Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign, and the Clinton Presidential Doublewide.
By comparison Ben Pollner, a New York-based oil trader who heads Taurus Oil, has hardly been mentioned and completely overlooked in the article is something that caught my attention:
So intense is the interest of prosecutors in the Rich connection that Pollner was recently "grabbed" and questioned by investigators from Morgenthau's office as he was on his way to Kennedy Airport for an overseas trip, a law-enforcement official told The Post.
In an angry confrontation that followed, Pollner told the New York investigators that they had no jurisdiction over oil deals that took place outside the United States and refused to cooperate, an official familiar with the interrogation said.
So then who does have jurisdiction? Iraq, the country where the oil was initially sold? The country in which the final sale occurred? This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg because this is only one individual who's been implicated.
Will France claim jurisdiction over the cases that involve people who laundered funds through the Bank of Paris? Russian jurisdiction in the instances where illegal activities occurred within their borders? China?
I'm beginning to get a really sick feeling that no matter what illegal activities occurred, no one is ever going to face an actual trial because of the one single question no one seems to have asked: Who does have jurisdiction?
Sunday, December 12, 2004
I'm not an insensitive clod. I understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas. If you're one of those over-sensititive intolerent types and I've just offended you with my wish, tough.
You're convinced it all about you and your feelings. Yours is a mistaken belief that you have the right to be completely and totally offended because of the manner in which I've wished you well.
My intent is friendly. Yours is to be offended and offensive.
My apologies if I don't comply with your demands that I either do it in a manner you've prescribed, or that I -- as I'm sure you would actually prefer -- not do it at all.
I don't celebrate Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, but if someone who does wishes me a happy one, why would I denigrate or deride them for wishing me the good things that are based within those celebrations?
Saying "Happy Holidays!" covers it all, right?
Yes, and no. It is generic and totally antiseptic, covers everything. It's also insincere.
It's a phrase sales people automatically blather to the faceless multitudes they deal with. It's the seasonal, computerized introduction on a telephone menu, that begins "Happy Holidays!" before telling you that all of their "operaters" are busy, because in reality, you're of no more important to them now than at any other time of the year.
So if you want to manufacture indignation because I've offered you my Christmas greetings, have at it. You've taken what I have extended to you personally, that has meaning to me, and used it for your own self-serving devices.
By doing so, the intolerence you're accusing me of, is only your own.
Friday, December 10, 2004
Dubya's second term is going to be a busy one. Another one of the goals he's set is changing the current Federal income tax system.
We all know that as soon as Dubya says he's for something, the Lefty-Loons will automatically be against it, filling the airwaves and print media with non-stop disinformation.
At this point no one knows what Dubya has in mind. One possibility is totally eliminating the Federal income tax (and I.R.S. with it) and replacing it with a consumption-based one levied on retail goods.
This made absolutely no sense to me, until I started learning more about it.
Not all of my questions have been answered, yet. Heck, it's still a proposal. But with what I've read at the Fair Tax Organization's site, I'm thinking it's an excellent start.
Oh, and if you don't bookmark it, I've added the link under Information on . . .
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
Announcing the return to blogging of . . .
. . . the one, the only!
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
Pearl Harbor Day
To the Congress of the United States:
Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversion with the government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.
Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleagues delivered to the Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. While this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or armed attack.
It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.
The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. Very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam.
Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.
Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island.
This morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island.
Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.
As Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken in for our defense.
Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us.
No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in the righteous might will win through to absolute victory.
I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.
Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the act that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger.
With confidence in our armed forces—with the unbounding determination of our people—we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God.
I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Reforming Social Security
You'll hear (and read) a bunch about the privatication of Social Security. As I said here, that's actually a misnomer. Many are still referring to it as a privatization effort and will continue to do so. The Lefty Loons are bleating louder and louder that it will wreck the current system leaving old folk starving and homeless and . . .
And now AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons, has joined in the spreading of disinformation, coming out against it without bothering to wait until any actual debate has occurred or the plan has been developed.
It is a cause of dismay, if not outright sadness. Young people, by and large, just can't seem to get worked up about matters political. That's too bad, because they might be interested in knowing that one of America's largest and most effective lobbying organizations has just declared war on them. The AARP has now decided that it's going to fight any effort by President Bush to privatize, even partially, that debacle known as Social Security. If youngerNeal Boortz had quite a bit more to say, including information that the AARP either didn't bother to find out about or didn't want its membership to know when it declared war on younger Americans.
Americans had any idea what was happening to them here they would demanding change. If young Americans truly had a handle on the future, and on the fact that they will one day reach that magic age when they stop working and live on their retirement income, they would be marching on DC and occupying congressional offices until change was made.
Labels: Social Security
Monday, December 06, 2004
17 - 16
Steelers over the Jaguars last night. As its been almost all season, the game came down to the last few seconds. Josh Scobee, our rookie kicker, was this much wide-right on a 60-yard field goal attempt that could have won it on the last play.
The chance of the Jags getting a wildcard berth into the playoffs is now all but gone. Gloom and doom, doom and gloom? Nah. I said even before the exhibition games, if we can finish this season at .500 I'll be happy.
Some people think I'm nuts for feeling that way, pointing back at the years when the Jags were in the playoffs, like this is some kind of dynasty that's been around for decades. In truth, the Jaguars have been around for only ten years and success came way too early. It was fun and exciting, but the fans were immediately spoiled into thinking every year would be a playoff one.
Me, I just like the game. I don't understand its intricacies the way Hubby and Da Kid do nor do I want to. Just give me a good game, like when the Jags and Steelers play against each other. And last night's game before a crowd of 76,877 (including many who came down from Pennsylvania to attend) did not disappoint.
Hard hitting, brute force, in-your-face football with none of the antics or temper tantrums the game seems so filled with today. Few penalties, no cheap shots. Only a few points difference on the scoreboard the whole game. With few exceptions, that's the way they've always played each other.
A rivalry? You betcha, although the Steelers deny it. Or, they try to because they're THE STEELERS! Steel Curtain, that kinda legacy. And the Jaguars are . . . Real Teal!
(If there isn't one, what where all those Steeler folk doing in the stands last night?)
Unfortunately, after realignment, the Steelers and the Jags aren't in the same conference anymore. Now, instead of meeting twice a year, the match-ups are few and far between.
If you missed the game on television last night, you missed football at its best.
Sunday, December 05, 2004
This is for "Da Boids"
I first heard the name during another one of those endless budget hearings I attended year after year (after year), in case someone asked Da Boss any questions about our own requests. He had no problem answering the kinds of questions one bureaucrat asks another, but when it got down to bean-counting stuff . . . well, that’s why I was there in case he was ever asked something couldn’t bee-ess his way through.
Since the hearings always ran way over time and always scheduled (for some unknown reason) according to the departments’ account numbers, for more years than I care to remember I had the chance to hear the tail end of the previous department’s presentation which, like our own, was the money requested through us — meaning various city agencies — by private, not-for-profit organizations. And that year, something named BEAKS made its first-ever request.
BEAKS? Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary??
Right away I mentally tagged it as a fruit-loop group, and was surprised . . . no, shocked, because it was a very tight budget year — weren’t they all but this one was particularly so — when the city approved their request for a couple of thousand dollars. Chump change in the much larger scheme of things, but . . . parakeets?
Every year after that BEAKS received a small appropriation from the city, Most of their funding came through small donations, but those combined with the two or three thousand dollars the city kicked in helped them leverage grants from foundations.
It wasn’t until later, after an oil spill, that I discovered what it is that BEAKS actually does.
No matter how small or big, if there’s a wild bird of any kind hurt or in trouble, contact BEAKS. They’ll take the bird, give it whatever attention it needs and once it’s again healthy, release it back into the wild. If, however, it is impossible for the bird to survive on its own, it will fostered out to one of their volunteers or remain there, at BEAKS, for the rest of its life.
I’m retired now. (I took an early-out window!) And since, I've had the opportunity to see BEAKS a time or two. Like when a few years back a blue jay flew down out of a tree and sat on Da Kid’s head singing. (Yes, blue jays can sing.)
It didn’t take us long to figure out as it happily hopped from heads to shoulders to fingers, that it had become domesticated. And looking at its condition, it was obvious that it wasn’t doing very well.
So, I called BEAKS and asked what to do. Cindy Mosling, the director, said to bring it in.
(They'd pick it up, she said, but it might take a few days before they could get here. I had Lab retreivers who were extremely "bird friendly," and already losing their minds 'cause Da Boid was caged in Da Kid's bedroom. Need I say more?)
They’d try to rehab it but in all likelihood, although still very young, it was probably already too old and had become entirely dependent on people for its survival.
I drove over (and it’s a good distance) with Da Kid in the passenger seat, Da Boid perched on his finger the whole way, opening and closing its wings, pretending it was flying in the air shooting through the car’s air conditioning vent it faced.
I finally found the place.
Okay, I don’t have a sense of direction. I admit it. But BEAKS doesn’t advertise its location. You either already know where it is, they tell you how to find where they are, or you don’t know.
So, after driving X-point-X miles down _______ road, I finally spotted the mailbox I’d missed a couple of times going back and forth, forth and back. Then, after driving X-point-X miles down a dirt back road getting deeper and deeper into Northeast Florida "jungle," I spotted the tiny wooden sign that said, BEAKS and turned in.
With the small farm house (which I found out later is used as an office) and the pond with wild ducks and geese, I thought I’d pulled onto someone’s farm. That is, until as I drove in further and noticed that the ducks and geese were all crippled: missing a leg, a wing; beak deformities . . . And then there were these net-draped trees on the left behind the privacy fence, filled with turkey buzzards.
I’m pretty sure they were turkey buzzards. I’m not really sure that they were turkey buzzards, but they were big, dark and exceedingly ugly. I was guessing, okay?
From within the wooden structures under the netted trees, a cacophony of chirps, chips, cheeps, squawks and caws resounded.
There were other net-draped trees, wooden structures, and privacy fences, too. I had (and have) no idea what was there, but after seeing the ducks and geese . . . Da Kid and I left Da Boid with the volunteer who greeted us.
I also left a check.
"Why Doyle," I’m sure you’re asking, "have you subjected us to this? You must have a reason for boring us half to sleep, yes?"
Of course I do.
This is "Mrs. Grinch" . . .
This is a picture of "Mrs. Grinch," returned to health, as she was being released back to the wild . . .
What was that exceedingly ugly bird? An immature American Bald Eagle.
Long may she fly.
Saturday, December 04, 2004
Ya ever have one of those
days . . .
Wait. We're talking the U.N. here, again, an organization that has been a festering sore for decades. Now, finally, more and more about this corrupt organization that answers to no one but itself is coming to light.
Then you've got the U.N.'s peacekeepers in Congo "allegedly" doing their thang, raping women and children. Oh and let's not forget the French contingent, under U.N. auspices in the Sudan, who "allegedly" used the Sudaneese civilians they were supposedly over there to protect, as target practice.
What else could possibly go wrong for that poor, embattled organization, the misunderstood and underappreciated United Nations?
How 'bout not only dropping the formal charges but keeping on its payroll, one of its employees who was arrested for participating in 1994's genocide in Rawanda.
MSNBC has the story.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
According to Dick Morris, the best way for the U.S. to help the U.N. straighten out its numerous messes is to cut payment of its
Bush in 2008?
Not Dubya, but Jeb who's already said he's not interested.
But Zev Chafets says compared to the others being talked about, Jeb record as Florida's governor gives him the best chance.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
The light bulb came on
I realized something the other day. (Please hold the applause.) This blog of mine will always be under construction. I may have changed my mind about placing something somewhere, or perhaps I no longer think something fits so I took it out, or perhaps I added something new.
The NEW thing I added today is a section called . . .
What did I call it? Oh, yeah! Information on . . .
If I like a site and think it's particularly informative on a specific issue -- like the Cato Institute site on Social Security reform -- I'm going to stick a link to it there.
There are numerous reasons why I thought this addition was an excellent idea. The primary one is that since this is my blog, I can do whatever the heck I want.
George Will has a suggestion for Dubya on who should replace John W. Snow, the departing Treasury Secretary: Alan Greenspan.
Greenspan, a black hole of charisma, is, because of his reassuring lack of dash, precisely the person to embody sobriety in defense of bold changes, of which there soon will be many proposed. Greenspan, whose demeanor -- call it caution cubed -- does not suggest a man hurrying to Mardi Gras, has an unrivaled reservoir of credibility . . .Will goes on to explain that one of the primary goals Bush has laid out, where someone of Greenspan's ability and credibility will be crucial, is reforming Social Security.
The Lefty-Loons are already out there spreading their disinformation on this proposal.
A great source of information to counter it is The Cato Institute's Project on Social Security Choice.
Labels: Social Security