what the hell?

•March 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Two state legislators have filed bills that would require the state Division of Recreation and Parks to build golf courses in state parks in every region of Florida.
Bills filed last week by Sen. John Thrasher and Rep. Patrick Rooney would create a Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail around Florida.
The bills call for at least one Nicklaus-designed course to be built in state parks in all five regions of Florida. Rooney’s version specifically names one park that has to get a Nicklaus course: Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County on the east coast.
The bills also say each course will be designed in an environmentally sensitive manner, and may include a hotel.
The National Golf Foundation says Florida already has more golf courses than any other state: more than 1,000.


have we completely gone off the rocker here in florida?
everything about this is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Works of PURE Love

•February 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Works of PURE Love.

Ode to Spot

•November 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

through out national syndication, the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Schisms” airs today.
while the episode itself was not much to talk about, one element did make an impression:  Data’s rendition of a poem “written in his own hand:” Ode to Spot.
it was about his cat.

i love this poem, so here it is:

Felis Cattus, is your taxonomic nomenclature,
an endothermic quadruped carnivorous by nature?
Your visual, olfactory and auditory senses
contribute to your hunting skills, and natural defenses.

I find myself intrigued by your subvocal oscillations,
a singular development of cat communications
that obviates your basic hedonistic predilection
for a rhythmic stroking of your fur, to demonstrate affection.

A tail is quite essential for your acrobatic talents;
you would not be so agile if you lacked its counterbalance.
And when not being utilized to aide in locomotion,
it often serves to illustrate the state of your emotion.

O Spot, the complex levels of behaviour you display
connote a fairly well-developed cognitive array.
And though you are not sentient, Spot, and do not comprehend,
I nonetheless consider you a true and valued friend.

  • Data

To Fly or Not To Fly?

•November 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

for me, the answer is simple:  as long as there is even the smallest possibility a stranger will be given the right to subject me to an “enhanced” pat down, i will NOT be flying any time soon.

for the duration, this body is mine.  as such, i have the right (at least in this country), to decide how it is treated and viewed.  everybody has the right to determine how their body is treated and viewed.

recently, there have been some very disturbing reports of people who have had that right taken away from them at U.S. airports.

people have said they have felt “violated” after having gone through the body scanner that transmits an image to some stranger in another room that shows (for all practical purposes) their naked body.  when the scan shows an “anomaly” or when the passenger opts out of being scanned, he/she is then subjected to an “enhanced” pat down that involves the actual touching of the genital area (which, in my book, IS a VERY SERIOUS violation).  there is the option to have this done in a private room, but the result is the same:  a pat down involving private body parts by a complete stranger is involved.

there have been reports showing a complete lack of compassion for those who are handicapped or are otherwise incapacitated.  prosthetics have been removed for inspection.  clothes have been removed to see metal knee or hip joints.  people are ignored when they try to tell agents about medically necessary implements attached to their body.

there have been reports of children being “patted down.”  some of these children, especially those that have been taught what a “bad touch” is, have reacted violently, begging their parents to make it stop.  again, a child doesn’t care that this is being done in private…a “bad touch” is a “bad touch,” no matter where it happens.

i’m also concerned about reports that people are being fined after finding out that they simply can’t endure the screening process and leave (or try to leave).
i’m also concerned about reports that phones and cameras are being confiscated from people who “document” these situations.
Uhm….i might expect that in another country, but in the U.S.?

i know this happens to only a very small percentage of passengers, but i so understand what it means to be a part of that small percentage.  i HAVE been singled out at an airport because i tried to declare a medical situation (in 2004, i had a recently implanted chemo port and a very recent mastectomy…i was still healing from the procedure).  i know what it’s like to be ignored (“raise your arm, ma’am.”  “i can’t raise my arm because of the surgery.” “raise your arm, ma’am.” “i…i…can’t”).  i also remember my carry on bag, with all my meds and bandages, being rifled through for ALL to see (no privacy room was offered), with the agent commenting that i was taking way too many drugs.  i was shocked…shocked that she would tell a cancer patient undergoing chemo that the drug regimen her own doctors gave her was inappropriate.
i wasn’t patted down, as that wasn’t the procedure, at the time.
regardless, i still felt abused (mentally).

these new airport screening procedures do affect some people quite strongly, whether you care about them or not.
 for reasons very personal (and maybe even traumatic), some people are going to feel very violated by being “virtually” stripped by the full body scanner.  the fact that we can’t see and don’t know the person in the other room doesn’t make the situation better…that may even make the experience more traumatic (to not even know who is looking at you).
i could care less about going through the body scanner, but i so empathize with those who do.  their feelings of being violated are very real and to dismiss those feelings just because you don’t feel them yourself is cold and not the least bit compassionate.

the lack of compassion shown by so many to those with medical conditions and to those who feel violated (especially the children) has astounded me.  i’m not just talking about the lack of compassion shown by airport security agents.  i’m also talking about the lack of compassion shown by some who are accepting of the new procedures to those traumatized by them.
perhaps some compassion, a little empathy,and some understanding that these emotions people are feeling are very real and very strong and not the least bit easily dismissed is in order.

compassion…that is the missing ingredient.

that being said,
if the situation comes that i have no choice but to fly, and if the situation arises where someone will have to perform an “enhanced” pat down on my body, i will demand that it be done in private, that my husband come with me, AND that the whole procedure be video recorded on his phone.

 ALL of that is within my rights as a citizen of the United States.


in response to the question: what were you doing when….

•September 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

today, on 9/11, a topic of conversation on facebook is the 9/11 tragedy in 2001.

one question was basically: what were you doing when the towers went down?

here is what i said: 

i work for a television station in orlando.
i was driving in to work (was just a couple of minutes away on anderson), listening to howard stern. he transitioned relatively quickly and surprisingly from trash radio host to radio news anchor… making no fun of what was absolutely not a joke.
at work, everyone was into special report mode. there are a lot of monitors at work and on people’s desks, and lots of times, those monitors play, unwatched.
not that day.
at that time, it was in question whether the plane crash was an accident or not. we watched the second plane bank right in and aim for the second tower. we knew then that no air traffic controller could make that kind of mistake twice. our country was under attack.
while watching coverage, i just knew at least one tower was going to fall. they were leaning. people argued, saying that was impossible.
usually a noisy, verbose group of people, we were absolutely stunned and silent as the buildings fell, watching the deaths within the buildings, watching people (little dots on the monitor) actually jump to their deaths rather than have a building crush them, knowing service workers and innocents on the ground could not escape.
the day was spent in wall-to-wall coverage on both stations (an abc affiliate and a true independent).
many of us felt the same way we felt when the Challenger exploded in 1986. the day was extremely surreal and the effects of that day will last forever in our minds.

religious extremists

•September 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

what do extremists do?

well, when it comes to religion, extremists do quite a lot.
they kill people (it’s called murder).
they destroy other people’s property.
they burn the flags of those not representing their own.
they aggressively recruit others to their “correct” way of thinking by misrepresenting the views of “the other side” or exaggerating their own.
they incite riots (purposely causing violence).
they burn the holy books of other religions (a strong, metaphoric slap in the face).
the list continues…

but it seems there is one constant in all the actions of religious extremists:
the outright disregard of the actual teachings of one’s own religion.

case in point:
the Rev. Terry Jones at his Dove Outreach Center, an independent church in Gainesville with about 50 members.
these people claim to be christians.
christians define themselves as those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, therefore, by default, believing in all his teachings.
last i checked, Jesus Christ was not a supporter of violence, whether manifested physically by causing harm to another, or in a nonphysical manner, by desecrating something important to the other.
these people in Gainesville are threatening to burn (desecrate) copies of the Quran (the Muslim Holy Book) on Saturday, the 9th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy (a devastating attack by Muslin EXTREMISTS).

my argument against this horrendous action of burning copies of the Quran has nothing to do with what the devastating world reaction will be (and, yes, i believe it will be devastating).
my argument against this has everything to do with the message of the Bible and the New Testament (which, last i checked, was the Christian Holy Book).
it doesn’t matter what the message of the Quran is.

what really matters is the message of the Bible.

What Would Jesus Do?
based on my understanding of the New Testament, Jesus would not support an act of revenge (which this is, no matter how much one might say otherwise).
self-defense is one thing (self-defense is necessary), but slapping others in the face (which this burning symbolizes) is an outright attack.
would Jesus support revenge?
would Jesus support slapping others in the face (metaphorically or otherwise)?
if you say yes to either of those questions, then i have to ask:

have you read your New Testament lately?


but to extremists, i guess that really doesn’t mean much.

i really hope beyond hope that Mr. Jones and his Dove Outreach Center do not follow through on their threat (yes, call it what it is: a threat (which people must defend themselves against)), because if they do, then saturday and the days following are going to be long, very sad days.

as of this writing, Mr. Jones has backed out of the burning, but the situation is tenuous.  we will see what happens tomorrow.

if he goes through with burning the copies of the Quran, then he is, by definition, an extremist, and no better that any other extremist out there, no matter what religion they “claim” to follow.


why the abuse?

•September 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment

if you ever want to make me cry, i guarantee you’ll be successful if you show me pictures of animals who have been abused.

recent stories of animal abuse have angered me beyond belief.  why did the lady in england feel absolutely justified in throwing a cat away in a garbage dumpster?  why did the kid in croatia feel it was okay to toss puppies into a raging river?  these are just two stories of an untold number of animal abuse situations.  if this behavior were a virus, it would be considered a pandemic.

why do we (the human race) feel it’s okay to hurt and torture the animals that have come our way, most to the point of very difficult/unrestful deaths?
this is not a rhetorical question.  i would really like to have a logical answer.

or, are we (the human race) nothing more than cruel beings with overblown views of our superiority over other children of the earth?