Monday, May 2, 2011

Reaping The Whirlwind...

I won't lie to you: I cannot even begin to feign sorrow over the death of Osama Bin Laden.

I can't even muster up crocodile tears to shed for this very personification of death and evil.

I must say that-Osama Bin Laden aside--I am probably more close to being anti-Death Penalty than I have ever been (that subject is one of the few of which I can say I am a fence-sitter...but, not so much any more...but that is another subject, of course).

But we all know that this "man" perverted the Islamic faith--the vast, vast majority of whose adherents are peaceful, loving people (just like Christianity)--and twisted it to justify killing human beings about whom all he knew was that they happened to be walking on American soil--a soil that he hated with all his black, black heart.

And the "sin" for which they paid with their lives?? They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. This evil "man" hated with a passion that no one with even the slightest bit of true humanity in them could even begin to understand.

When I think of all the broken families, all the children whose moms and/or dads never came home to them, and the mothers & fathers who had to endure the unspeakable agony of having to bury (whatever was left of) their children, and the many heroes of Sept. 11, 2001 who were hurt or killed doing what they were trained to do--SAVE LIVES--I just cannot find it in myself to wish this situation had turned out differently. We can only hope that God takes mercy on his eternal soul.

While I can't take real joy in anyone's death, I CAN (and do) take comfort knowing that justice may sometimes be slow-in-coming, but that those who live by the sword cannot escape that same sword forever, and that just as 2 + 2 ALWAYS EQUALS 4, it will ALWAYS be a whirlwind you reap when you spend so much of your life & your energy sowing the wind.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

D.A.D.T.? R.I.P.! :-)

As Jarrell pointed out to us in his post, following similar action earlier this week in the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate today cleared the way for a final up-or-down vote on the repeal of the military policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) by voting 63 to 33 in favor of cloture (that's political-speak for stopping the debate on a specific subject, in this case DADT).

All Democratic senators voted for cloture except for one, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia (who now holds the seat of Senator Robert Byrd who died earlier this year), who did not vote. Voting "YEA" with the 55 Democratic senators, were 6 Republican senators (Susan Collins & Olympia Snowe both of Maine, Mark Kirk of Illinois--who holds President Obama's former seat, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, George Voinovich of Ohio, and Scott Brown of Massachusetts--this is Senator Ted Kennedy's former seat. A fact that is particularly satisfying for me--being a longtime Kennedy fan), and the 2 independent senators, Bernie Sanders of Vermont & Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

I found a few quotes from some of the senators who voted today:

As Barry Goldwater [former conservative Arizona Republican Senator and 1964 US Presidential candidate] said, 'You don't have to be straight to shoot straight.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada

I don't care who you love, if you love this country enough to risk your life for it, you shouldn't have to hide who you are. You ought to be able to serve.
Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon.

I can't think of something more egregious to our fabric, to our military... If you care about national security, if you care about military readiness, you will vote against this corrosive policy.
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's former Senate seat)

And from President Obama (who will hopefully be signing the repeal very soon):

By ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' no longer will our nation be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans forced to leave the military, despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay, [a]nd no longer will many thousands more be asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love.

Compare these statements with comments from two of the opponents of ending the 17-year-old injustice of DADT:

I was shocked at how well this [DADT] has worked for a long period of time. We have a saying in Oklahoma, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' Well, this isn't broke, it's working very well.
Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma

And Arizona Senator John McCain, DADT's one-man cheer-leading squad????

He made it very short-but-not-so-sweet:

Today's a very sad day.

Yeah, a sad day for homophobia, and fear, and ignorance and official government sanctioning of lies & deception (at least for the military personnel charged with keeping our country safe).

While he wasn't a Senator or citizen of the U.S., and while he lived in the 18th century as an Irish author, Oliver Goldsmith, I think, had some good advice for Senator McCain and his political blood brothers:

Don't let us make imaginary evils, when you know we have so many real ones to encounter.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ten Most Fattening Foods Of Summer

1. High-Fat Meats on the Barbecue

The bad news: barbecue can sabotage your waistline. A 20 ounce T-bone can weigh in at 1,540 calories and 124 g fat; an average cheeseburger has about 750 calories and 45 grams of fat; and pork or beef ribs? They come from the fattiest part of the animal. The good news: You can go lean with cuts like pork tenderloin, skinless chicken breast, and lean ground beef.

2. Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Hot dogs and sausages are favorite summer treats for many of us, but you might want to save them for baseball games. It’s not just about fat or calories (after all, you can choose lower fat varieties) but hot dogs, bratwursts, sausages and most dogs are high in sodium. A typical hot dog has 280 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 1,250 mg of sodium, while a 6-ounce kielbasa has 330 calories, 24 grams of fat, and 1,590 mg sodium.

3. Mayonnaise-Based Salads

A small half-cup portion of typical potato salad has 180 calories and 12 grams of fat; the same amount of coleslaw has about 150 calories and 8 grams of fat. To cut calories, try making your salads with light mayonnaise; or mix mayo with low-fat yogurt, light sour cream, or chicken stock. Or why not try a German-style potato salad, using more vinegar than oil? Then toss lots of veggies into any salad to increase the fiber and nutrients.

4. Frozen Concoctions

Sweet, fruity alcoholic drinks (the kind often served with an umbrella) may go down easy, but the calories add up in a hurry. A piña colada can range from 245-490 calories, a daiquiri from 300-800 calories, and a Long Island iced tea can set you back 520 calories or more -- with much of it from sugar. Instead of high calorie drinks, try wine, a wine spritzer, or a mixed drink with seltzer and a splash of 100% fruit juice.

5. Satisfying Thirst Quenchers

Staying hydrated is essential in summer, but those cold drinks can wreak havoc with your waistline. Be careful what you choose -- if you're drinking 12-ounce containers of sweet tea, sweetened soda, energy drinks, juice drinks, or beer, you're probably taking in about 150 calories a pop. Smoothies, milkshakes and cold coffee concoctions can go much higher. Keep liquids in check and drink water or light versions of your favorite quenchers.

6. Refreshing Frozen Treats

A cup of soft-serve ice cream can have 380 calories and 22 grams of fat. Make it a Dairy Queen chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard and the calories soar to 720, with 28 grams of fat! You don’t need to give up frozen treats, just pass on the giant portions or high fat toppings. Look for frozen desserts like sherbet, fudge bars, fruit bars, or other treats under 150 calories per serving or fruit desserts like strawberry shortcake.

7. Frighteningly Fattening Fair Food

Fairs, carnivals, and boardwalks serve up some of the most fattening deep-fried diet disasters. From fried cheesecake (around 500 calories), fried macaroni and cheese (610 calories) to gigantic turkey legs (1,136 calories and 54 g fat), most eat-while-you-walk foods will give you calorie overload. Skip the fried foods and choose cotton candy, caramel apples, or a simple grilled meat or share your treat with a friend.

8. Salad Toppers

Salads can be the perfect summer dinner: light, refreshing, and a perfect way to get your produce and lean protein. If you top your salad with high-calorie items, it can go from lean to fattening in a hurry. High-calorie dressings, fried chicken strips, bacon, cheese, and croutons are among the biggest offenders. Instead, top your greens with grilled chicken, strips of lean meat, or eggs, then pile on the veggies and top with a light dressing.

9. Mindless Munching on Snacks

A handful of any kind of snack won't do much harm, but eat too much and it can sabotage your diet. Each ounce of potato chips or cheese puffs is roughly 160 calories and 10 grams of fat. Cheese nachos will set you back 692 calories (plus 38 g fat and 1,632 mg sodium); and a 10-cup box of movie theater popcorn has 550 calories, 31 g fat, and 972 mg sodium. Try snacking on fruits, veggies with light dip, or small portions of fat-free popcorn.

10. Finger-Licking Fried Chicken

A bucket of fried chicken is an easy way to feed a crowd, but it can wreak havoc on your waistline (and arteries), especially when you eat more than one. So forgo fried and toss boneless, skinless chicken breasts on the grill. A 3.5 oz. skinned chicken breast has only 167 calories and 7 grams of fat, compared to a KFC fried chicken breast with 360 calories and 21 g fat. Add flavor with marinades, spice rubs, or top it with fresh salsa.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

There's A New World Coming

New World Coming
Sung by "Mama" Cass Elliott

There's a New World Coming
And it's just around the bend
There's a new world coming
This one's coming to an end

There's a new voice calling
You can hear it if you try
And it's growing stronger
With each day that passes by

There's a brand new morning
Rising clear and sweet and free
There's a new day dawning
That belongs to you and me

Yes a new world's coming
The one we've had visions of
Coming in peace, coming in joy, coming in love.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yes We Can Redux

So, on the floor of the US House of Representatives in debating the health care bill (which, as you know was just passed by Congress & signed by the President), Minority-Leader-In-Perpetuity, John Boehner took to the floor of the people's House & seemed to simply delight in reminding the American public that the GOP is still the Party of No.

Now, that reminder has been set to music. The video below may seem familiar to a lot of people, but--with a little inventive editing--someone created a new version of Will-I-Am's awesome musical tribute to our President, and I hope it gets played on every computer in every household in the Land of the Free:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Below is a beautiful time-lapse video of the night sky from somewhere in Hawaii, accompanied by an equally-as-beautiful sound track. The video is about a minute long, but you get to see so much in that one minute!

The creator of the video is a person named "Charles" from a website called Vimeo, which describes itself as a respectful community of creative people who are passionate about sharing the videos they make.

If you watch the video, you should really do so in the full-screen mode (and in HD, if your computer is capable), which allows you to see so many details. I, for one, was surprised to see SO MANY STARS in the night sky! Living in suburbia with so much man-made illumination at night, it's easy to miss the sublime beauty of a clear night sky.

It also helped to remind me of the beauty God has placed all around us, if we only take the time to see it...REALLY see it.


The White Mountain (extended) from charles on Vimeo.