February 27, 2005

Great Idea

I just saw the coolest music video I've probably ever seen; one of the simplest too. It is U2's "All Because of You" track. You can find it on iTunes and probably Yahoo's Launch. Basically, Bono and the boys surprised New York by playing through the streets on a truck's flat bed. Getting genuine responses from New York fans is priceless. Great idea once again proving that U2 is one of the greatest bands out there.

I've been inspired by iTunes to create my own celebrity playlist as well. (Most of those are either revealing,  ridiculous, self-aggrandizing or a personal assistant wrote them, I'm convinced.) But these songs of the week or month are straight from the musical liking of one Portia. Look for them on one of the side panels.

Carry on.

Posted by Portia at 08:32 PM | Comments (11)

February 26, 2005

Just in case ya didn't know.

Okay, People, this is not a chat room, this is a blog for me to write about issues that concern me, and you to comment on those issues. You are welcome to comment as long as it's relevant, clean and respectful of others on here. I think I've set a standard of treating others with respect and I expect the same of those who post on my site. Whenever dialogue is open, please keep it short and to the point. I don't like these ridiculous 5 page posts that are much longer than my originals and completely unrelated as well.

I can delete posts and will do so if I feel it necessary. I like my blog and whatever I feel I need to do to keep it to my liking, I will.

In fact, I'm exercising that right to delete now, as I've gotten rid of the 104 comments on "How 'Bout Them Apples." After about 10 comments, it was safe to say that no one was on topic any longer, not to mention, the dialogue became disrespectful and the arguments would have horrified any speech or debate teacher. All I have to say to those on the left is, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar." Keep it to the topics I post about and keep it friendly, or don't post at all. 'Cause I'll delete it.

The Mighty Blog Owner,

Posted by Portia at 12:39 AM | Comments (1)

February 24, 2005

I Feel, Therefore It Is

PragerDennis Prager, one of my favorite thinkers, has been writing what is basically an exegesis on Judeo-Christian values. He contrasts that worldview with the secular left simply to show further proof of the differences and the present culture war in the U.S.  He is a huge fan of clarity, so he is careful to define the differences so both sides understand what they believe. His latest article is all about how liberalism is based solely on feelings. It's brilliant, and completely true.  I've tried telling my liberal friends time and again that their viewpoints are based on feelings rather than logic. However, Dennis, as always, is far more articulate than I am, so I must direct you to that article entitled, Liberal Feelings vs. Judeo-Christian Values, Pt. VI. Here is an exerpt.

With the decline of the authority of Judeo-Christian values in the West, many people stopped looking to external sources of moral standards in order to decide what is right and wrong. Instead of being guided by God, the Bible and religion, great numbers -- in Western Europe, the great majority -- have looked elsewhere for moral and social guidelines.

For many millions in the twentieth century, those guidelines were provided by Marxism, Communism, Fascism or Nazism. For many millions today, those guidelines are … feelings. With the ascendancy of leftist values that has followed the decline of Judeo-Christian religion, personal feelings have supplanted universal standards. In fact, feelings are the major unifying characteristic among contemporary liberal positions.

Aside from reliance on feelings, how else can one explain a person who believes, let alone proudly announces on a bumper sticker, that "War is not the answer"? I know of no comparable conservative bumper sticker that is so demonstrably false and morally ignorant. Almost every great evil has been solved by war -- from slavery in America to the Holocaust in Europe. Auschwitz was liberated by soldiers making war, not by pacifists who would have allowed the Nazis to murder every Jew in Europe.

Click on the link I've given. You must read the article in its entirety.

Posted by Portia at 10:08 AM | Comments (6)

February 21, 2005

Good things come...just wait

Though it was President's Day today and I was off school, I still worked almost a full day today, which is fine because it's money in the bank, right?

Anyhow, I taught voice lessons as a sub for a friend for about 4 hours today. Most of the students were under 12, and I just had to post something to any of you out there who might be parents or are friends with parents of young kids who have "potential." As nice as it was to make money teaching voice lessons, for the most part, it is a total waste of your money prior to your child hitting puberty. I loved the kids, but they're so young and their voice is so underdeveloped, that they'll have to reteach their teenage voice the same tricks. It's best just to wait and learn it once.

So, if you are the parent of a budding singer who is under the age of 12, simply encourage them to keep singing with the promise of voice lessons in their teens. I didn't start until I was just about 16, and that was perfect timing. Even then, I switched teachers 2 1/2 years ago and had to relearn so much. All that to say, don't push your kids too far into that "stage" mentality when they're young. Let them sing for fun and pursue it seriously later. Save your money, or invest it in an instrument like piano. Now, those lessons can begin really young.

More later.

Posted by Portia at 11:15 PM | Comments (0)

Crazy or Evil?

"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; 
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;  Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! "

To anyone who thinks the right perpetuates conspiracy theories, I have new evidence that it is the left that is the party of the conspiracy. Little Green Footballs has audio to prove it.

I have a few thoughts on the file and those who belong to the congressman's camp.  I am unsure if he is a true to life fool or if he is a vicious liar set to destroy people's reputations. I'm not sure there is any alternative perspective on the man. He is either a tremendous fool, or he is an evil person perpetuating irresponsible and irrational "theories" that have no basis in reality and whose only outcome could be hurting another individual.

Possibly the worst part of the tape is the applause he recieves. We truly live in an era where good is called evil and evil is praised as good. The majority of Americans have been raised in school systems and homes that are totally devoid of critical thinking skills and moral clarity, so it makes perfect sense that ridiculous ideas receive applause. I suppose this isn't a new phenomenon, however. Hitler had millions of followers. There is no telling what level of folly can be reached by a mob. God help us if people like this congressman are allowed to get away with statements such as his.

Posted by Portia at 10:28 AM | Comments (5)

February 19, 2005


Navy Reveals USS Jimmy Carter.

Apparently this is the most heavily armed submarine in history.  I guess that's in honor of Jimmy Carter's unwavering commitment to defending the values of America, at any cost. Oh wait, I'm sorry. That's George W. Bush. What in the world is the Navy doing naming a sub after a president that weakened the military and botched nearly every military exercise he attempted? Here are my suggestion of names for a Jimmy Carter sub:

USS Fidel Castro
USS Ayatollah Khomeini
USS Yasser Arafat
USS Morally Unclear

I respect the fact that he held the office for one term, but he has to be the most ineffective president of the 20th century, other than Ford, but Ford didn't cause or support international catastrophies or brutal dictators. Correct me if I'm wrong on Ford, however. :)

Posted by Portia at 05:50 PM | Comments (1)

February 18, 2005

The Brilliance of the Left

The latest brilliant dialogue of the extreme left?... Hollywood Vandals Brand Bush a Nazi.  Exhibit A for ya:

What's frightening is not that the billboard was vandalized. That's a common occurrence here in sunny Southern California, but it's that it's even a consideration to call Bush a Nazi. This generation's lack of historical understanding and knowledge is appalling. It's enough to almost make one cry. The fact that it's an option to equate Bush and Hitler is simply beyond ridiculous. (I'm really struggling to find words because I'm so baffled by this constant foolishness.)

It's really easy for people who've grown up in the United States to call Bush a fascist because they have absolutely no concept of what fascism is. None, nada, none. Talk to Holocaust survivors to find out what fascism's really about. Talk to Europeans who fled their native countries to avoid rape, concentration camps, being flayed alive, etc. Ask them what fascism is. It's in no way even close to President Bush.

Everyday, I'm horrified more and more by my generation's lack of critical thinking skills, lack of moral judgment, and complete lack of well, brain power or knowledge all together. It's sad and almost makes me lose hope thinking that people who irresponsibly throw around swastikas and reckless, inflamatory language are the future leaders (God forbid) of this nation. Until that day, I'm still here tellin them like it is. :)

Posted by Portia at 04:35 PM | Comments (10)

February 16, 2005

Oh Really?!

Physicians and General Public Favor Mandatory HIV Testing

So, apparently 63% of all Americans think we should be forced by the government to get tested for HIV. News to me!! I don't remember getting a call on that one. Oh, and I'm sure all the red mid-West states are cool with this too. Unbelievable. Can you imagine being forced to take an HIV test? I can imagine any number of groups opposed to this one, so hopefully it won't amount to anything.

The Stevie Wonder song "Big Brother" comes to mind here. I know it isn't conservatives who are behind this, and we're accused of intruding on people's privacy and civil rights. Here's a wrench for that bumper sticker.

Posted by Portia at 11:33 PM | Comments (2)

February 14, 2005

My Funny Valentine

My_funny_valentine My_funny_valentine_1
Valentine's Day inspires many random musings for me. Among them, who takes the most gift giving responsibility in a gay relationship today? (I actually do want to know how this is decided.) Aside from the random musings, I do feel that this is a highly over-inflated holiday that is set up to make men feel stressed and undervalued. Poor guys...all this pressure for one otherwise insignificant day. Not that I feel that showing your significant other affection isn't worthwhile, but this is such a contrived exercise.

I was listening to Dennis Prager on the way to school this morning and he had Alison Armstrong (of Understanding Men) on his show explaining how women can help their men today. For those in a relationship, here are two important things she suggested.
1. Tell your guy what you need today (in other words, what is it that you would be disappointed not to have today). She said that for years, she just wanted to be acknowledged as her husband's lover once a year--not the mother of his kids, or his best friend, but his lover. That was priority to her.
2. Tell him what would make you happy. If that's candy, let him know.  If that's getting your car detailed, tell him. These are perks though, not necessities.
She emphasized the importance of setting him up to win by abandoning expectations of his mind reading powers. {I highly recommend her website to both men and women.}

So, there you have it. My thoughts about this holiday being somewhat ridiculous, and thoughts for those who really love it. Happy Valentine's Day!

So the post this morning was inspired by all the guys at my school complaining about this holiday, coupled with an irritation at how crazily commercial this holiday has become. It's not so bad, but it is still a stress to hard working men who try to read their wives' minds.  I had a great time because I'm not one of those girls who lives for today. I had great fun. It's been a while since I've actually spent time with the human race (thank you private piano instructors!) :), so it was a welcomed holiday this year.

Posted by Portia at 01:15 PM | Comments (1)

February 10, 2005

New Development

I've come to change my mind on the whole Lenten fast concept. This change of mind was inspired by the 5-year-old that I tutor every day. (Now I don't want any comments about it being typical that I'm inspired by kindergarteners.:) His family is Catholic and all the kids were deciding what they wanted to give up. His older sisters were quite noble in their choice--they both gave up candy, and each gave up either the computer games they loved or video games. Little brother was far too hesitant to give up anything that significant, so he decided he was going to give up homework. Of course, he doesn't get any from his school, so the only homework he has is if I help him write letters or learn how to read. I thought this was hilarious and it inspired me to modify my 40 day fast.

Here it goes:

1. I'm giving up sympathizing with terrorists. This will be difficult.

2. I'm going stop sending large donations to the DNC for 40 days. I just can't help myself otherwise.

and finally,
3. I'm going to stop praying wisdom for Saddam Hussein's lawyers. I'm just going to try to leave this one in the fates' hands for a month and a half.

I hope this inspires someone else just as it's inspired me. :)

Posted by Portia at 09:03 AM | Comments (17)

February 08, 2005

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Tomorrow begins a highly overlooked holiday in the Protestant tradition. It's Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, the 40 days prior to Christ's crucifixion. Traditionally, and still practiced by  the Catholic sect, observant Christians are to fast those 40 days, breaking it at Easter. So, as of tomorrow morning, I'm saying goodbye to one of my very favorite foods...bread. Me and bread go way back...hundreds of years through my Italian ancestry. So, you can imagine how tough it is to break our bond, but really it's nothing compared with what was sacrificed for me, so no complaints here, or maybe just a few sometimes. :) 

If you're a Christian, and weren't aware of today, surprise! :) I'd encourage you to consider giving up something you enjoy for 40 days out of the year. As I'm sure you know, it's really a very telling experience in self-control. Hey, it's good for your body to know who's boss, at least for a month and a half. :)

Posted by Portia at 11:21 PM | Comments (7)

February 02, 2005

How 'Bout Them Apples!?!

I've been meaning to post about the Iraqi election since it happened, but haven't found the time. In short, I was so completely moved by what I saw on Sunday. What a gift these Iraqi people have been given. This is the first time they've voted--ever! On Saturday night, upon hearing how many were turning out in defiance of numerous terrorist threats, I couldn't help but think of the agony this must be for Saddam. I wanted to hear that every news station reporting on it was blaring in his cell; I wanted to hear that he could hear the singing and dancing of the people he once so brutally oppressed. I wanted to know that he was going crazy with anger because he has officially been cast down and the people will dance upon his grave. What a victory.

There are a few phenomenal articles and blogs written by Iraqis that I thought I might link. The first is an article in the New York Sun called "Eight v. 8 Million"; great piece.
Here are some Iraqi blogs:
Iraq the Model
Democracy in Iraq
News from Bagdad-- a soldier's point of view

There are many others you can check out on these sites or on LGF if you're interested, which I would hope is the case.

Posted by Portia at 08:36 AM | Comments (5)

February 01, 2005


Time magazine is running an article on the 25 most influential Evangelicals in the U.S. I'd have to agree with all of them, but I think limiting it to 25 is naive. They left out Pastor Jack Hayford, which is also naive, as he is now the head of one of the largest denominations in the world, and who is on conference calls with President Bush as much as some of the ministers listed in this photo essay. Still, they're right on about most. Their wording is also quite fascinating. Time certainly does well highlighting the controversial aspects of some of the ministers, while completely ignoring what they really are all about (see the Joyce Meyer caption). That's bothersome but not unusual for MSM. At least they're talking about this.

Others who I think should be included are: Greg Laurie (huge oversight not including him), Paul and Jan Crouch (as much as I dislike purple hair, they own TBN, so their exclusion is also odd), Richard E. Sterns (president of World Vision).
Some Catholics that should be lumped in with the Protestants: Mel Gibson (goes without saying he's made an enormous impact in the US and abroad) and Sean Hannity (like him or not, he's influential and well loved by conservatives). These are a few men I could think of off the top of my head.

Again I have to give this "hat tip" to Relevant Mag. Wouldn't have known about it otherwise. Great site if you haven't been.  (Ironically, the editor of Relevant, Cameron Strang, is the son of Stephen who is on the top 25 list, and for good reason...he basically owns the Christian publishing industry. He's a good man.)

Posted by Portia at 10:56 PM | Comments (0)


So this might not be the profound update you were hoping for, but I simply had to link this video for your viewing pleasure. If you've grown up in the church, or simply appreciate Weird Al type cheese, you have to click here to see this video.  It's a music video called, "Baby Got Book," if that's any indication of what's to come. The beginning is a bit slow but after about 30 seconds, be prepared to laugh out loud.

This tip came from Relevant Magazine, and they said to think of it as Vanilla Ice meets cheesy youth pastor. You'll see. Enjoy.

Posted by Portia at 08:48 AM | Comments (4)