Monday, February 28, 2005

Count Every Vote Act of 2005

According to Daily Kos, Senators Boxer, Clinton Unveil "Count Every Vote Act of 2005"
This would;

designate Election Day a federal holiday

require early voting in each state

enacts fair and uniform voter registration and identification

proposes "no excuse" absentee balloting

This all sounds good until you see it restores voting rights to felons who have "repaid their debt to society" whatever that means. Will parolees, registered pedophiles etc. be allowed to vote? This definitely needs clarification.

It fails to mention safeguards to require adequate time for military around the world to receive correct ballots and sufficient time for their return especially those military currently involved in conflict.

It allows for voter registration on election day which does not give poll workers a chance to check for dual registration, verification of address etc. while demanding
reduction of waiting time for voters at the polling places. With registration completed in advance, the board of elections could provide adequate and fair distirbution of ballots, machines and workers to make the process as streamlined as possible. Large numbers of people who turn out to register and vote on the same day do not allow for adequate planning.

In my opinion, registration should be closed a few days prior to balloting in order to verify eligibility to vote. Proof of citizenship and primary residence should be required. Since registration can usually be done shortly after a move to a new
residence, it would not be too difficult to do. Citizens who are truly eligible and interested in voting should not find it too difficult to register in advance. A change in hours of the local elction office with evening hours and Saturday office hours once a month would allow everyone an opportunity to register despite their work schedule. Previous addresses should be required for those who have moved since the last election so that states could ascertain that previous registration was cancelled. Funeral Directors should be mandated to report deaths to wherever the deceased was registered to vote.

Absentee ballots should not be available to persons currently incarcerated. Voters should be registered and vote in the voting district of the state where they reside the greater part of the year, even if that requires absentee balloting.

If this bill is to assure fair and uniform voting including all (and only) eligible voters, it would be a wise move. If this bill is merely designed to increase the
possibility of multiple registrations, non citizen voting and making the practice of voter fraud even easier, it definitely needs to be voted down.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A Tale of Two Men

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago.
Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was
notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything
from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was his
lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In
fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al
out of jail for a long time. To show his appreciation,
Capone paid him very well Not only was the money big,
but also Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he
and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with
live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day.
The estate was so large that it filled an entire
Chicago City block. Eddie lived the
high life of the Chicago mob and gave little
consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son
that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young
son had the best of everything: clothes, cars and a
good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no
object. And, despite his involvement with organized
crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong.
Eddie wanted his son to be a better
man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and
influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he
couldn't pass on a good name and a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy
Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done. He decided
he would go to the authorities and tell the truth
about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished
name and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To
do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and
he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of
gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes,
he had given his son the greatest gift he had to
offer, at the greatest price he would ever pay.
Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix,
a religious medallion and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read:

The clock of life is wound but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time.
For the clock may soon be still.


World War II produced many heroes. One such man was
Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter
pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission.
After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and
realized that someone had forgotten to top off his
fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete
his mission and get back to his ship. His flight
leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly,
he dropped out of formation and headed back to the
fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship he saw
something that turned his blood cold, a squadron of
Japanese aircraft were speeding their
way toward the American fleet.
The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the
fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his
squadron and bring them back in time
to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of
the approaching danger. There was only one thing to
do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.
Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove
into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50
caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one
surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in
and out of the now broken formation and fired at as
many planes as possible until all his ammunition was
finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault.
He dove at the planes, trying to clip
a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy
planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in
another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and
his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon
arrival he reported in and related the event
surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera
mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the
extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet.
He had in fact destroyed five enemy aircraft

This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that
action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II,
and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional
Medal of Honor. A year later Butch was killed in
aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would
not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and
today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute
to the courage of this great man.
So the next time you find yourself at O'Hare
International, give some thought to visiting Butch's
memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor.
It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.


Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Bolstering freedom without bloodshed

By Kurt L. Schmoke

February 20, 2005

SINCE HIS inauguration, people have debated what President Bush actually meant by his declaration of his intention to promote freedom and democracy around the world.

In trying to understand this Bush doctrine, it may be useful to consider an unheralded but significant act taken by Mr. Bush early in his first term that promoted freedom and liberty in a far-away country without the use of U.S. military force. The country is Madagascar, an Indian Ocean island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa.

By law, Madagascar is a constitutional democracy. But by 2001, its president, Didier Ratsiraka, had assumed almost dictatorial control. He came to power as a Marxist strongman professing his support for Libyan leader Col. Muammar el Kadafi and for Soviet socialism. He later changed and became a staunch U.S. ally, especially during the administration of the first President Bush.

Unfortunately, while Mr. Ratsiraka professed allegiance to democratic governments abroad, he was undermining democracy at home. He tolerated corruption among his appointed officials and siphoned off foreign financial aid to support his family.

Six candidates entered the presidential elections in December 2001. The opposition candidate who drew most attention was the mayor of the capital of Antananarivo, Marc Ravalomanana. He was a successful businessman who was elected mayor in 1999. He brought unparalleled sanitation and safety to the city during his brief tenure.

Presidential elections were decided by two rounds of voting because the law required that the winner receive more than 50 percent of the vote. Mr. Ratsiraka's government had a great deal of control over the mechanism for conducting a runoff election. Therefore, it was Mr. Ravalomanana's goal to win a clear majority in the first round. He succeeded.

Madagascar plunged into turmoil when Mr. Ratsiraka refused to acknowledge that Mr. Ravalomanana had won a clear majority. Both sides initially turned to the courts. The High Constitutional Court first supported the government, calling for a runoff. But after further review, the court reversed its decision and declared Mr. Ravalomanana the winner.

Mr. Ratsiraka again refused to accept the decision, so the country descended into chaos. Mr. Ratsiraka fled the capital and set up operations in his home province. His supporters blockaded roads into the major cities and later blew up bridges leading to the capital. Madagascar was nearing civil war. A consensus developed that only the intervention of the international community could break the stalemate, but no effective intervention seemed eminent.

The major international powers initially seemed indifferent. They later took the traditional position of deferring to the leaders of the Organization of African Unity. The United States joined other Western nations in deferring to the OAU. Then something happened.

Without announcing his reasons, President Bush instructed U.S. officials to take a fresh look at the Madagascar situation. They went beyond traditional diplomatic protocols to investigate the facts. They determined that the voting process was fair and that the results announced by the High Constitutional Court reflected the will of the Malagasy people.

Mr. Bush decided to take the lead role and not to defer to the OAU or to France, the former colonial power in Madagascar. On June 26, 2002, Madagascar's traditional independence day, Mr. Bush sent a letter to Mr. Ravalomanana informing him that the United States recognized him as the legitimately elected president of Madagascar.

The impact of the Bush action was immediate and profound. Within a week, Japan, Germany and Britain recognized the new president. So did France, eventually. Mr. Ratsiraka fled the country, the leaders of the army and police declared their support for Mr. Ravalomanana, the blockades were lifted and civil war was averted.

Because of this nonmilitary but important intervention by the United States, the 15 million people who live in Madagascar received the opportunity to pursue their dreams of freedom and democracy.

Kurt L. Schmoke, a former mayor of Baltimore, is dean of the Howard University School of Law.

from an Email I received

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Those Woodpeckers May Have To Go Posted by Hello

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark One: Don't miss the boat. Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat. Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark. Four: Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big. Five: Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done. Six: Build your future on high ground. Seven: For safety's sake, travel in pairs. Eight: Speed isn't always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs. Nine: When you're stressed, float a while. Ten: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. Eleven : No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting...

Another Email--source unknown

Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee...

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours
in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in
front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very
large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas
between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was
full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the
jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty
space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the
important things-your God, family, your children, your health, your
friends, and your favorite passions -- things that if everything else
was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house,
and your car.

The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.

If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no
room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you
spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have
room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play
with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your
partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to
clean the house and fix the disposal." Take care of the golf balls
first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is
just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee
represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes
to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always
room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Sunday, February 13, 2005

I'm told that there is a huge rock near a gravel pit on Hwy.25 in rural Iowa. For generations, kids have painted slogans, names, and obscenities on this rock, changing it's character many times. A few months back, the rock received it's latest paint job, and since then it has been left completely undisturbed. It's quite an impressive sight. Be sure to scroll down and check out the multiple photos (all angles) of the rock. I thought the flag was draped over the rock, but it's not. It's actually painted on the rock too. The artist signed his work but I am uncertain who took the photosa.

Flag is painted Posted by Hello

Another view Posted by Hello

Yet another view Posted by Hello

And Posted by Hello

Continuing Posted by Hello

The end Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 12, 2005


The most destructive habit........................Worry
The greatest joy.........................................Giving
The greatest loss.......................................Loss of self-respect

The most satisfying work............................Helping others
The ugliest personality trait.........................Selfishness
The most endangered species...................Dedicated leaders

Our greatest natural resource......................Our youth
The greatest "shot in the arm".....................Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome...............Fear

The most effective sleeping pill.....................Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease..................Excuses
The most powerful force in life........................Love

The most dangerous pariah...........................A gossiper
The world's most incredible computer.............The brain
The worst thing to be without.........................Hope

The deadliest weapon..................................The tongue
The two most power-filled words...................."I Can"
The greatest asset......................................Faith

The most worthless emotion........................Self-pity
The most beautiful attire..............................SMILE!
The most prized possession........................Integrity

The most powerful channel of communication...Prayer
The most contagious spirit..............................Enthusiasm

Everyone needs this list to live by...pass it along!
Just click on the word "smile" below and get ready to enjoy.


Another Email worth sharing

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fixing Social Security

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made.

That change would be to:

Jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us .
then sit back.....

and watch how fast they would fix it.

As I unerstand it, they retire at full salary and a surviving spouse gets a large
portion of this. This is all taken from taxpayers pockets.I do not know if the COLA they get is the same formula as used for Social Security.

Monday, February 07, 2005

In Iraq for 365: Homeless vet

In Iraq for 365: Homeless vet: "Born in Iraq, raised in America
Stryker Brigade Soldier�s passion to help comes from his past"
If you haven't read this account of an Iraqi born American who is serving his adopted country in Iraq, it is well worth your time.

And The Wages of Sin Is....

Benon Sevan will retain his salary while being suspended from the job he retired from. Now the salary of $1 per year is hardly going to backrupt the corrupt UN but the severity of this punishment just takes my breath away. How can Kofi bear to punish him so harshly. It makes me wonder about the punishment that will be dealt out to the rapists on the UN staff. Perhaps they will be forced to get pay increases. The horror of it all is just too much to contemplate.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Spellings On The Job


Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, in her first day on the job, told Public Broadcasting System officials that a cartoon promoting the homosexual lifestyle should not be broadcast on their tax-supported stations.

Please send a thank you to Secretary Spellings for her bold stand. Homosexuals are using their public attack on Secretary Spellings to keep her from taking similar actions in the future and to scare others from following her lead. We must not let that happen."You may find a quick link to send Secretary Spelling a thank you for her stand at LINK

State of The Union

In the State of the Union address last night, President Bush said: "Ladies and gentlemen, with grateful hearts, we honor freedom's defenders, and our military families, represented here this evening by Sergeant Norwood's mom and dad, Janet and Bill Norwood."
The Norwoods stood and acknowledged the thunderous applause.
Safia Taleb al Suhail, an Iraqi woman seated one row in front of them in the guest box with first lady Laura Bush, turned and reached up to Mrs. Norwood. The two embraced to a crescendo of growing applause.

This to me was the highlight of the address. The people of the United States who have been led, by the MSM, to believe that our presence is
resented by the Iraqis finally saw the gratitude shared by the majority of the Iraqi people. Could there possibly remain doubt that this people deserved to be liberated no matter how misleading the intelligence had been regarding the presence of WMD? Can the naysayers still continue to hype their views that we are unwanted occupiers? Well of course they will continue to undermine whatever we do, simply because they remain losers. The TV pundits have it right, The Democrats are the party of NO! No ideas, no clear plans except to obstruct whatever work needs to be done to strengthen our nation and our national unity.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

My Wish For My Friends

A wish that has been handed down from other generations.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final goodbye.