Headline Stories

Here are some headlines I saw today:

Martha Stewart Stay-slim secrets: What She Always Brings on the Road

I didn’t actually read the article, but I can make an educated guess at what Martha “I’m worth 10 gazillion dollars” Stewart always takes on the road with her in order to stay slim———-and it isn’t a big bag of fruit and a jump rope. More likely, it’s—oh, I don’t know—a personal trainer? A staff to take care of her every want, need, and detail so that she can spend her free time exercising? Her own chef so that she doesn’t have to run to the vending machine and indulge in the nearest Snickers bar when she has the munchies?

There was a video clip of the show The Doctors online; they talked about a horribly sad story, in which a mother apparently transmitted the herpes virus to her baby, and the baby died. I can’t think of anything more horrible or how that new mother must be suffering, knowing that she very well might have caused her child’s death. Halfway through the clip, however, I lost sight of this tragedy——–as soon as the gynecologist started talking about how the mother should have been “swabbed.” I don’t like the word “swabbed.” As a woman who has been “swabbed”—–and what woman HASN’T been “swabbed”———my autonomic nervous system kicks in: my ankles immediately start to squirm, and I have this uncontrollable urge to cross my legs. Swabbed? Can we not talk about swabbing as it relates to women on national television? Something about the whole q-tip thing just leaves me a bit queasy.

The Health Dangers Lurking in Your Homes

Popular Chair is Big Health Hazard

Well, I thought that they were going to talk about some chair that might have been manufactured with 3 legs instead of 4, making it unstable or a particular brand of chair that is configured in a way such that it requires sitting in a yoga position from which there is no escape. As I found out, though, AOL was at it again, misleading the reader. This “popular chair” is ANY CHAIR THAT IS MADE WITH A FLAME RETARDANT. So, it wasn’t actually a popular chair; it was furniture made with a popular chemical. I’ve learned to approach anything written by AOL with healthy skepticism, but they’ve really gone too far with this one. Popular chair?

Oh, they also mentioned that fireworks and sparklers are dangerous, too. Really?

There was actually some good information in the article. For example, tipped-over ranges pose another serious home danger. I’m not sure how the stove gets tipped over since it’s usually (I said usually, not always) placed within a counter or between a counter and sink or a counter and refrigerator, but apparently, thousands of children and the elderly are seriously hurt every year. I’ve really never even considered that something like that could happen.

Home scents can also apparently kill you. The article said that “everything from spray disinfectants to scented candles contain known carcinogens and other dangerous additives.” They advise that instead of candles, we use natural scents in our homes, such as mint leaves or cinnamon sticks————-oh, unless you’re heating them on an unstable stove.

Has George Bush Kept Us Safe?

Today, I heard someone say, “George Bush has kept us safe.” He argued that that was Bush’s legacy. I couldn’t imagine that he was serious.

On January 20, 2001, George Bush was sworn in as our 43rd president. On September 11, 2001, terrorists, mostly from Saudi Arabia, flew two airplanes into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon while a fourth airplane crashed in Pennsylvania on the way to its target. Approximately 3,000 of our countrymen were killed in what has been called the worst terror attack on our nation. Is that what we call safe? In actuality, Mr. Bush did just the opposite: he made us an easy target for terrorists when he ignored the presidential daily briefing that said “Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.”

Since then, Mr. Bush has invaded a country that was of no threat to us and had, by his own admission, nothing to do with September 11, sending more than 4,000 more Americans to their deaths. Is that what we call keeping us safe?

Al Qaeda is reconstituting, we have made more enemies in the world because of our  invasion of a sovereign nation, and our borders and ports have STILL not been made made safe. In fact, under Bush’s watch, our port security was sold to Dubai! Is that what we call safe? (Eventually, Dubai did sell off its assets in the U. S.)

We have not yet again suffered a terror attack in the U.S. and that’s what some use for the Bush has kept us safe argument. Sure, if you don’t count the three thousand killed by a terror attack under his watch and the over four thousand killed in an invasion that he spearheaded for no reason, then I guess he’s kept us safe. But even then, has he really kept us safe?

It was about 8 years between the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 and the second, in 2001. Under Mr. Bush’s watch, we have not pursued Osama bin Laden, have not secured our ports or nuclear facilities, and have given bin Laden ample time to plan his next move. Is that what we call safe?

War on Christmas? Bah! Humbug!

It’s that time of year again, when a segment of the population (for example, Bill O’Reilly) starts whining that the rest of us, Christian and non-Christian alike, have declared a war on Christmas. This started a few years ago when some retailers decided not to wish every customer (who might or might not celebrate Christmas) a merry Christmas regardless of whether every customer cared to be wished a merry Christmas. War on Christmas? I like Christmas as much as the next person, but to these people, who obviously don’t get out much and don’t know what REALLY goes on in this country, I say, war on Christmas? Bah! Humbug!

If you must label something a war, then I would say that there’s a segment of the Christian population who is declaring war on the non-Chirstmas population—-Christians who aren’t consumed by Christmas, Jews, Muslims, etc. Although these Christians like to defend their right to preferential treatment in this country by parroting the empty sentence, This is a Christian country, I say, Guess again.

This is a country with a lot of Christians. This is NOT a Christian country. There is a difference. Although in the last 8 years, extreme right-wing conservative Christians have tried, with some assistance, to convince us that this is a Christian country and have tried to make this a Christian country, the fact remains: we are a nation of all religions, all colors, all beliefs, and many of the people who settled this country did so in order, we are taught in school, to flee religious persecution or oppression. While some of the founding fathers were Christians, they provided that religion should not be forced upon us by our government by establishing the separation of church and state.

But back to the War on Anyone Who Doesn’t Celebrate Christmas….. Starting in early November, our homes are invaded by television commercials that have images such as Christmas-wrapped Hershey’s chocolates dancing across the screen, and our senses are further attacked in almost every retail store by twinkling Christmas trees and Christmas decorations of Santas, candy canes, crosses, and nativity scenes. We can’t pick up a bag of M & M’s that isn’t wrapped in Christmas packaging, and starting in December, we are held hostage by incessant Christmas music while we’re waiting in line to pick up our pizza or pay for our trouser socks. And then we even have to hear the Weather Channel talk about christmas weather! It’s just Christmas bomb after Christmas bomb after Christmas bomb, exploding in our ears and in front of our eyes.

We are forced to watch while our country is taken over by ONE DAY that, for some reason, has been turned into an entire SEASON. Why SHOULD I have to be accosted by “merry christmas” every time I go into a store? And what about the people who are alone for the holidays and don’t want to be reminded of how lonely they are by hearing someone chirp “merry christmas” with every “paper or plastic”?

I could go on, but I won’t. The whole war on christmas thing is a joke. You want to see war? Go to Iraq or Afghanistan or Africa, or go to the inner-city streets and watch people suffering there. But don’t tell me that there’s a damn war on Christmas.

The Washington Redskins and Political Correctness

I was watching football this weekend, specifically, the New York Giants destroy the Washington Redskins, and it got me thinking about something I haven’t heard about in a while. Several years ago, there were some whispers about the “political incorrectness” (why can’t people just say insensitivity or insult?) of calling Washington’s football team the Redskins, and some in and out of the league wondered whether it was too offensive. It wasn’t long before we all recovered, though, from our temporary brush with sensitivity and awareness, and it hasn’t been mentioned anywhere on mainstream television since.


Some people said that too many of us were too consumed by this “political correctness,” complaining, for example, that people were being too sensitive and saying, for example, that it seems as if you can’t say anything these days without someone yelling about bigotry or prejudice. Political correctness, huh? How about just plain old awareness and respect of others?


I wonder whether any one of us would be offended if we had a team called the Cleveland Brownskins, the Arizona Pale Faces, the San Francisco Yellowskins, or the Pittsburgh Rednecks. Doing the right thing isn’t about “political correctness”; it’s about doing the right thing and being aware that there are other people around you who feel just as strongly about their heritage as you do about yours.


It’s part of living in a world where you are not the only inhabitant.


Health Care: What a Bother

I saw a report this morning about health care. A doctor who was interviewed said that he was skeptical about President-elect Obama’s plan to bring health care to all Americans. His objection to the plan: there are so many people who are uninsured and who don’t go to the doctor NOW that if we give them all access to health care, there won’t be enough doctors to go around!

Am I to supposed to, then, believe that having 40 million uninsured Americans is a good thing? This doctor seemed to be saying so. Maybe if we triple the cost of health insurance instead of making it available to everyone, this doctor could spend less time in the office and more time on the golf course but still make the same amount of money. It certainly would be less work for him.

Is this really a good reason to purposely put health care out of the financial reach of so many of us— because doctors will have too much work? My own doctor works 4 days per week for 7 hours per day and 1 day per week for 3 hours. My guess is that there are many other doctors who work these types of hours. Perhaps, then, they could join the rest of us who work 40 or 45 hours per week—-which is considered to be a normal work week—–and travel less, recreate less, and run their errands in the evenings like the rest of us. Maybe more people will be encouraged to go to medical school. Maybe by having more access to health care, people will be able to take better care of themselves and thus actually go to the doctor less instead of waiting until there’s a major health problem that requires a great deal of time and energy. Maybe having access to health care will give all of us more peace of mind, thus creating less stress, which is the cause of so many diseases. Maybe there are doctors who would like to help more people but can’t because of the financial burden. Maybe……..

But to not be supportive of a plan to help more people because perhaps he doesn’t want to rock his own boat is reprehensible. It’s especially irritating to hear something like this from a DOCTOR——-someone who has taken the Hippocratic Oath, someone who, we all assume, wants to help as many people as possible. Most of us, I believe, think of doctors (and nurses) as people who have a “calling” to help others. Quite frankly, doctors such as the one I heard today seem to be in it more for the money. Not only that, but I don’t remember hearing him offer a better plan than Obama’s. We should all remember that health is not a commodity to be bought and sold——-although many of us obviously appear to see it that way.

Georgia Congressman Compares Obama to Hitler

Is this still going on? Somebody had better retrieve this gentleman from his bomb shelter to tell him that a) the election is over, b) no one is going to take his precious guns and ammo away from him, and c) he should really stop engaging in what psychotherapists call “projection.”

Congressman Paul Broun told the AP that he’s afraid of Obama forming a citizen army that answers directly to him and using it to establish a Marxist dictatorship. No, I am NOT making this up. Here’s a quote: “It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force,” Rep. Paul Broun said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press.

Did he say that it may sound A BIT crazy? I don’t know if IT sounds a bit crazy, but Broun sounds absolutely wracked with insanity.

The unhinged members (I think it’s just a small group; the vast majority of them are normal like the rest of us) of the republican party tried this tactic in the hope that it would cause Obama to lose the election, but most people didn’t believe the lie—-I think it was mostly people who were looking for a way to veil their racism, but there were also those non-racists who just weren’t paying attention to what was really going on.

No one is trying to set up a dictatorship (although I have to admit that my own mind has wandered in that direction from time to time over the past 4 or 5 years whenever I heard that George Bush was illegally spying on our e-mails and phone calls, sending citizens to secret prisons–and not-so-secret prisons—where they were tortured and not allowed to have their cases tried, said that the executive branch of the government should have more concentrated power, blah, blah, blah, you know the rest).

Obama was talking about our military being stretched too thin. Here’s another quote: ”

“The Obama transition team declined to comment on Broun’s remarks. But spokesman Tommy Vietor said Obama was referring in the speech to a proposal for a civilian reserve corps that could handle postwar reconstruction efforts such as rebuilding infrastructure — an idea endorsed by the Bush administration.” Bush administration? Bush is a Socialist/Marxist?
Here, read the article for yourselves.



Bush and the Environment

Since the presidential election, George Bush has been gracious and humble and supportive………in public. In private, however, he hasn’t changed. While the media has been tripping all over itself lauding Bush’s speeches on Senator Obama’s election victory and giving us the details of Bush’s graciousness in inviting the Obamas to the White House, No. 43 has been planning more raping and plundering of our precious United States. For anyone who still thinks that George Bush is a religious man who believes in a caring dominion over all kinds of life, let there no longer be any doubt about who he REALLY is.

McClatchy Newspapers reports that behind the conciliation and smiles, behind the congratulations and Godspeed, George Bush is doing business as usual. He’s working to quickly get environmental standards lowered before he leaves office so that more large corporations can continue to make a profit at the expense of the air we breathe and the water we drink. If President Bush gets his way, I hope that President Obama gets his universal health care bill passed very quickly—–because we’ll all need it.

Read the story here.