Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Night Fluff: ZZ Top

In remembering the recent trip I took with Noah and the music department of his school to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I remembered the fuzzy guitars and car used by ZZ Top in their 'Eliminator' era. It was really cool to see these icons in person as they've become synonymous with the trio. Enjoy the weekend, folks!!!

Illegal Immigration: Part of the Problem

I wrote this piece last year about six days into my blogging adventures. With today's political climate, I thought it was worth reposting.

Illegal Immigration: Part of the Problem

LAREDO, TX - AUGUST 07:  U.S. Border Patrol ag...

One issue I feel is being overlooked in the midst of this economic crisis is that of illegal immigration. Not the people like our parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents who came to this country with nothing but a dream and the desire to succeed and went through the proper channels to become a part of the greatest country in the history of humankind. I'm talking about the people who come to this country with no desire of becoming a citizen yet want to suckle from the taxpayers' teat.

The southern border states with Mexico are especially hard-hit. People stream across our southern border every day and stream back across the border at day's end. I wish they'd make up their minds: Become a U.S. citizen and enjoy the fruits of the hard work of this country or remain a Mexican citizen. If you choose the first, we welcome you with open arms. Should you choose the latter, please stay home. Why are we allowing this to happen?

Many illegal immigrants are taking advantage of the American taxpayers. Pregnant women are wading through the Rio Grande to have their babies in American hospitals so the babies are U.S. citizens. Guess who pays for that? Look at your pay stub. Then, since they are illegal but their children are not, they get welfare. Do I hear a Kumbaya from the choir?

This country's educational system is also being drained of resources. In years past, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, I've heard stories of buses within the San Diego school system driving across the border to pick up children in Mexico to bring them back to San Diego to go to school. Who pays for that? Look at your pay stub. Think of how much money the school systems in this country could save if they didn't have to pay for students whose parents do not contribute to the system.

While I believe we should not turn away those people who want to be productive members of this melting pot we call The Greatest Nation on Earth, we do need to address the problem of illegal immigration, and we need to show tough love.

First, I suggest not one but TWO fences about 20 yards apart. In between those fences, let's use military surplus land mines. It sounds cruel, but it worked in Berlin for many years, didn't it? And those who come here to get freebies would have something to think about before hopping the fence.
When they start to tunnel, deploy troops to patrol the double fence. If troops are unavailable, deputize the Minutemen.

Second, we need to stop the treatment of illegal immigrants in our hospitals. If you don't have a valid form of identification when you arrive at the ER, so sorry. Most people, no matter how dire the emergency is, usually carry some form of ID. If you're in a car accident, that's usually how they find out who you are. And repeal the "Born Here; U.S. Citizen" rule. Women have had healthy babies in countries much poorer than Mexico. We can't afford to do this anymore.

Third, the schools need to push for more stringent criteria in verifying citizenship of those whose children are to enter our school system. You want your child to have an education in the U.S. schools? Get in line and become a citizen.

Lastly, NO GOVERNMENT PAPERWORK IN LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH!!! You want to access taxpayer money? Become a citizen and learn to speak our language (or what SHOULD be our official language).

While it may seem like I'm targeting only illegal Mexican immigrants, I'm not. There are illegal immigrants from all over the world in this country. They need to go back to their countries of origin until they decide that they want to be a citizen of this country. That includes Obama's great aunt who is living in subsidized housing in Boston. read that right. No wonder Dear Leader is so unwilling to tackle this problem. Or maybe it's because he knows he'd be deported and we would no longer be paying for his lavish spending.

This country was built up by the sweat, blood, and hard work of those who dared to leave everything behind and start anew in an uncertain land with no expectation of a handout. Unfortunately, those ideals are being lost by those who wish to take and not give.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Iran to Crack Down on Suntanned Women

Ah, yes. The glow of a suntan to add a little color to one's body. It's what many believe can add a healthy appearance to many when done in moderation. But not if you live in Tehran. Iranian women are being warned to stay out of the sun or face jail for violating the islamic dress code.

According to the NY Daily News, Iranian officials are threatening to arrest women (and men) who sport proof of their time in the sun citing that it violates the very dear islamic dress code that those cavemen love so much.

Tehran's police chief, Brig Hossien Sajedinia, made the following statement:

"The public expects us to act firmly and swiftly if we see any social misbehavior by women, and men, who defy our Islamic values," he said, the Telegraph reported. "In some areas of north Tehran we can see many suntanned women and young girls who look like walking mannequins."

"We are not going to tolerate this situation and will first warn those found in this manner and then arrest and imprison them."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hymenoplasty: Arab Women Restoring Virginity

We've heard the stories. Muslim women (usually of Middle Eastern descent) being killed for disgracing their family "honor". The reasons for these "honor killings" have ranged from befriending boys (the nerve!) to being too westernized, and the number of women around the globe falling victim to this neanderthal mentality continues to increase.

In order to avoid the possible death penalty for not remaining a virgin until marriage, the BBC is reporting that many women are keeping their sex lives a secret and opting for a procedure known as 'hymenoplasty', a procedure where the hymen is reconnected to restore virginity and ensure blood being spilled on the marital sheets. The cost of the procedure is approximately 2,000 Euros and is done by Dr. Marc Abecassis, an Arab doctor practicing in Paris.

Dr. Abecassis has performed the procedure in some cases because a woman needs a certificate of virginity to marry. His average patient for the procedure is approximately 25 years old and from any social background. He adds:

"She can be in danger because sometimes it's a matter of traditions and family," says Dr Abecassis. "I believe we as doctors have no right to decide for her or judge her."

Thank Heaven that there are Arab men out there who have recognized the rights of women in that culture to live their lives without judgment. He's most likely in the minority. Noor, a young professional from Damascus, has another opinion.

"I know girls who went through this restoration and they were caught out on their wedding night by their husbands," he says. "They realised they weren't virgins. Even if society accepts such a thing, I would still refuse to marry her."

Those women are better off because of your opinion, pal. You're doing them a favor by choosing not to marry them, you troglodyte.

What is it going to take for the world to acknowledge a whole underclass of women who live in fear of their lives because of a mentality that pre-dates the dinosaurs? How many more women have to attempt or commit suicide because they feel that it's their only way out of being tortured to death in the name of "honor"? And how many more women have to live with the fear that they may be found out?

Until the world starts to speak out for these women who defy custom and Sharia Law, look for the numbers to increase.

Please pray for these women.

Monday, April 26, 2010

This Chapter is Complete

After a long and trying journey, I'm here to say that a new chapter is beginning in my life. I'm still unsure about what the future holds for me, but I'm not afraid to take charge anymore. Having both made mistakes in this marriage, my husband and I have decided to call it quits.

I'm continuing to learn from all of this. I've learned that I'm a lot stronger than I've given myself credit for at times and that life is too precious to sit by and watch the world without being a part of it. Adversity may come up and bite us in the behind from time to time, but how we handle that adversity speaks to our character.

When we first met, we truly thought that we had found our soulmates. We had our bumps in the road, but they were speed bumps and not potholes. We worked together to face and resolve problems. I don't know where we lost that, but we did. Maybe the place in the road where we lost that was too far back to try and find it again. I don't know.

As many of you have read, we hit extremely rough times of late. Between work, home, and life in general, the will to fight for our marriage diminished. Compound mistakes on both sides, and the odds of finding what we once had were microscopic. The only thing that hasn't diminished is our love for our kids. THEY are the reason we've decided to focus everything on them and their well-being. They've got all the support from both of us that they'll ever need.

In a few weeks, I'll be moving to my own place close by. I'm purchasing a home for me and the kids, and their lives will only be disrupted a bit. They'll attend the same schools and have the opportunity to visit with dad every evening if they so choose. Friends from school will be their neighbors, and the opportunity for them to gain social skills is there. Once again, God has blessed me.

Things may have not worked out for me and the husband, but I hope he finds happiness. I wish him no ill will regardless of the past mistakes we've made. The kids think the world of him, and I'll not tarnish that image. Truthfully, we've been more civil since coming to this decision than we have in a long time. We've vowed to move forward with our lives, and I have much hope and anticipation to see where this new road leads.

To anyone out there who may be in the same position as I was when this journey started: There is hope (and not the stupid BHO kind) for happiness and peace. Stay strong, stay focused, and ALWAYS be true to yourself. You're much too special to settle for anything less. You deserve all the happiness the world has to offer. Don't think that you don't. And always keep the faith. It moves mountains and blazes new paths for us to follow.

I just hope the world is ready for a B & G fan with a taste for life.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Look Out World! Here I Come!

For today's Friday Fluff, I'm putting up a song that I've adopted as my anthem. The words have given me courage and hope for the future. Enjoy and have a great weekend folks!!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The B***h is Back!!!

After a hiatus that has lasted entirely TOO long, I'm back to wreak havoc on the blogosphere. I don't want my brain to melt right away, so I'm coming back with something that is of much interest here in da 'burgh. That's right, the Ben Roethlisberger situation.

The 28-year-old quarterback, who has two Super Bowl rings, dodged a bullet earlier when it was announced that a second allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior would not be prosecuted. The first occurred when a hostess at Harrah's in Las Vegas accused Big Ben of sexual assault. Now, word has it that the Rooney family isn't about to let Ben have a third crack at facing legal trouble.

While I gave Ben the benefit of the doubt during the first accusation of sexual misconduct, he's not getting off (pardon the pun) so easily with this diehard Steeler fan. A disturbing pattern seems to be emerging, and the Rooney family is right to distance themselves from having the reputation of being the owners of a team riddled with criminals. It's about maintaining a certain level of standards. After all, it's their family name and reputation on the line. And we here in da 'burgh know that The Chief (left) would not stand for this crap.

Ben, at first, seemed to be the all-American squeaky-clean kid next door when he first arrived in the only city that can boast SIX Vince Lombardi trophies. Very quickly after a meteor ride to stardom, the young man from a small Ohio college grabbed headlines after foolishly riding and crashing his motorcycle while not wearing a helmet. Granted that it was his choice as Pennsylvania repealed the mandatory helmet law, but he could've used a little common sense knowing that he was getting paid obscene amounts of money to be in top form. The "I'm Ben Roethlisberger" mentality was born.

During his first battle with the law concerning the hostess at Harrah's, I was willing to say that this could have been a 'He said/She said' incident with no one really knowing the truth. The dust settled, and the Steeler nation was relieved.

Then came the second and most recent allegations involving a woman in a bar restroom claiming that Ben sexually assaulted her (doesn't THAT scream romance!). While prosecutors have decided not to pursue criminal action, the Steeler nation is starting to jump off of the "Ben's the Best" bandwagon.

We are sick and tired of the arrogant entitlement mentality of those who think the world exists only for their desires, and the Rooney family knows that we Steeler fans spend A LOT of money on merchandise. Being business savvy, what do you think they're going to do? If you said "Keep Ben", you don't know the Rooney family.

The latest news tonight is that Ben could potentially be traded after signing a multi-million dollar contract just a few years ago. Fueling the speculation is the fact that Byron Leftwich was brought back to Pittsburgh from Tampa. Why would the team need a fourth quarterback?? Hmmmm??? It does make for interesting debate.

It's going to be extremely interesting to see what the next move is going to be in this chess game. The stakes are high, but the Rooney family never tolerated arrogance and flashiness (except for Frenchy Fuqua) within their organization. They have tried to maintain a level of comfort for each and every fan so that anyone could imagine themselves going into the local beer joint and buying a round for the players. Ben's seemingly repetitive behavior will not tarnish that reputation for the Rooney family.

Maybe Ben is a long lost son of Ted Kennedy. He sure acts like it.

*Special message for all of you: Thanks to everyone who has offered prayers and words of encouragement during a very difficult time in my life. The journey isn't over, but I'm moving full steam ahead with life. And for yinz to still lend a kind word or an ear to listen, that makes me extremely blessed. I hope to one day return the kindness. (((hugs)))

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Fluff: The Beach Boys

In about 2 1/2 hours, I'm headed to the beach for some solitude and relaxation. Though I'm only staying the weekend, it's much needed time alone to reflect and take in all that the beach has to offer.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hump Day Hootenanny: Pink Floyd

Next to Hendrix and Clapton, David Gilmour does it best. This is one of my favorites from Pink Floyd. Enjoy!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Fluff: The Moody Blues

Not the BEST song they ever did, I always found myself enjoying this song. Seemed to have a calming effect on me for some reason. Happy Friday and Happy Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hump Day Hootenanny: Zac Brown Band

In just nine days, I'll be basking in peace and solitude while letting the ocean massage my feet. Damned seagulls best keep their distance!

Except for the beer and women, this song seems appropriate. Happy Hump Day, everyone!