August 31, 2005

A Call for Help

Calling Hurricane Katrina's aftermath devastating seems somewhat trivial. It is estimated that over 3 million people do not have power right now, hundreds are thought dead, thousands upon thousands are displaced and homeless, and countless more are at risk of infection or death due to disease from the water. New Orleans is one of our country's most beautiful and historic cities; this is so upsetting.

Texas has agreed to house as many as they can in the Astrodome. God bless Texas. Charities are rushing to the rescue. Among the best are Feed the Children, The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and LIFE Outreach. Even the smallest of donations are helpful as that could fund the cost of shipping emergency and other necessary items. I've given money to Feed the Children and The Salvation Army. More will come out of my next paycheck to other effective charities. They need all the help they can get.

This catastrophe has not been without moronic, hate filled partisanship, however. Continuing the legacy of drunken folly, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has made the most preposterous statements that have no bearing in reality whatsoever, simply to 1. be in the public eye, and 2. get his "Bush/Republicans are evil" daily jab in there. It's nonsense. And one such columnists has the guts to call Kennedy out on his foolishness.

On a completely self-centered note, I'm really glad it wasn't Hurricane Emily that did all this damage. I feel for girls named Katrina.

Here are some other great posts on the subject: Fausta at Bad Hair Blog, The Anchoress,  and of course Cotillion, where you'll find plenty of other links to great sites. (Yes, this is Cotillion nepotism at it's finest. No shame.)

Mother Nature can be a beast. We can only pray that Father God stills her effects and eases the suffering of hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens.


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August 30, 2005

Tuesday Means...

The Weekly Cotillion Carnival. Check out what some of the most amazing women in the U.S. have to say.

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Proper Perspective

"Victim" is a loaded word in our society. Most of the time it's used by whining, white liberals who spilled hot coffee on their lap. In reality, those who have actually earned the right to be called a victim are so busy trying to survive that they don't run around scheduling slots on Air America to talk about their victim-hood. Either way, if one truly is a "helpless victim" or if one really tries to be, a victim's mentality is a crippling worldview to hold.

Most Americans don't really experience what it is to truly be a victim. Notice I didn't say "all" Americans. We certainly have true victims; Hurricane Katrina has left her fair share of victims in her wake. But most Americans, if they ever are victims, are so by consequence of past behavior or personal decision. This is not the case in most other countries.

Yesterday I saw a VH1 special on the AIDS crisis in Africa. It profiled Ashley Judd (whose complete involvement and fluency in French was quite impressive), who traveled to Madagascar and India Arie who traveled to Kenya. Judd went to help prevent the spread of AIDS. India went to help treat it and prevent it from spreading further. Madagascar, according to the documentary does not have a high rate of HIV/AIDS yet, but a tremendously large amount of it's female population has been forced into prostitution to feed their families. Thus, the susceptibility is certainly there. Kenya, on the other hand, has a tragically high rate of the disease wreaking havoc on it's inhabitants.

I don't normally trust channels like MTV and VH1, but this documentary was very well done, for what it was. It simply highlighted the problem. Viewers were shown real victims. Children who had been orphaned because their father slept around and gave their mother AIDS. Women who had been infected by their husbands. Children who were infected through their mother. It was a devastating display of the consequences of sin and injustice.

Cindy Sheehan, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Al Franken, and the rest of the sorry group of whiners that are liberals need to be shipped off to Africa to witness what it truly means to be a victim of social, political, biological circumstances. Children never deserve to be abandoned, especially due to irresponsible parents who die needless deaths, leaving them with other relatives who too are infected and will soon die. Men and women awaiting treatment for deadly diseases only to have the treatment stolen or taken from their health clinic by their tribal leader or witch doctor who sell it for profit--those are victims. Not soldiers in the U.S. Army who volunteered to serve, protect and defend our great nation.

I don't know why it's so chic to highlight the AIDS crisis in Africa. I'm glad there is awareness of it, but there is suffering all over the globe. It is absolutely worth the attention, though. What people need to be careful of, especially those who watch VH1 as their primary news source, is not becoming so emotionally involved that they feel that just throwing money at the problem will solve it. Giving money to charities that are directly involved in medical treatment and education are the best. I'll give names of those later. But giving money to huge charities by no means guarantees the betterment of African villages.

This is where I will end this post. I'll talk about sources of the problem and solutions for the AIDS crisis in a later post. For now, my props to VH1. They didn't get too deep into the problem, but it was enough to raise eyebrows and bring a few tears.

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August 26, 2005

And Now...A Review

This is a review of The Bible and the Axe by William O. Levi. The review is written by my mother, who goes by 'Mutti' on this site, who read the book in what had to have been record time. Here are her thoughts on  the book. Enjoy!

You would think, post 9/11, that reading a book about the grisly persecution and systematic genocide of Sudanese Christians at the hands of Islam would create more anger and a desire for vengeance and retaliation. On the contrary. I was deeply moved, blessed and encouraged by William O. Levi’s story. I could not put this book down. Each chapter left me wanting more of the book and more of the kind of courage these precious Sudanese Christians possess. They live the Scriptures and take the Great Commission seriously in the face of grave danger, persecution, torture and death. It is impossible to read this book and not have your heart knit together with fellow believers in Africa.

William O. Levi narrates a compelling story of his life beginning in the early 1960's in South Sudan. He begins in the first chapter with a panoramic history of his homeland from the dawn of creation to the present, presenting a rich tapestry of God’s hand in the very cradle of civilization.

William’s heritage is that of an African Hebrew tribal group whose roots go as far back as the Levites in the Old Testament. He was raised as a Messianic Jew in a community that was well aware of the importance of their lineage and the call to the Great Commission.

What I found helpful was getting a history lesson of the Sudan from his point of view, which gave a very different opinion from those who decry “western imperialism”. When the British actually left under the growing global pressure to withdraw, it left a vacuum which was filled with civil war between Northern and Southern Sudan, political unrest and a return to slavery by the Arabs. Southern Sudan, which was predominately African and Christian, began to be dominated by Northern Sudan, which was Arab and Muslim. Living in Southern Sudan became so dangerous, that in 1965, William’s family moved into the wilderness/jungle of Mount Ambuluwa, Uganda, which is where all his memories are of growing up.

The contrast of raising children in this African community is a far cry from raising children in the suburbs of America.  Everyone in the family had a responsibility, from chores around the farms,  being a shepherd, building houses, barns, fences, and so on. They had no electricity, no power tools, nails, or cars. Everything was done by hand. As young as seven, William was allotted the task of watching his family’s sheep.  Street savvy kids here in the U.S. have nothing on a seven-year-old who is savvy in the ways of the African wilderness: avoiding pythons who could crush a small boy within minutes, hyenas who would consider little William a delicacy, not to mention the more obvious threats such as lions, crocodiles and leopards.

At the at the age of thirteen, he was baptized in the Kulo-jobi River by his grandfather, Reverend Andrew Vuni.  Prior to baptism, Pastor Vuni asked the small class of baptismal students, “Who can name our enemy?” 

“The Muslims of Khartoum are our enemies. They would like to drive Christians far from this country,” was the reply.

“No, you are wrong,” his grandfather spoke sharply. “Don’t  you understand? Our enemy is not human...Satan is our enemy. He blinds the eyes of the Muslim to the gospel message..but greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. Praise God! Satan can kill our bodies, but he can never devour our souls in hell.”

It was there at the waters of baptism that his grandfather held out a Bible in one hand and an axe in the other with the question: “When your enemy comes to destroy you, which weapon will you choose? The Bible or the axe?”  William chose the Bible, and from that moment on every step in his life would be based upon that decision.

The fall of Idi Amin from power spelled disaster for Sudanese refugees in Uganda. His family moved back to the Sudan in order to save their lives. Unrest was brewing in the Islamic community, shari’a law was passed placing everyone under strict Muslim laws.  Their freedoms began to erode, and there was a rise in the number of amputees as a result. It was during this time that William had been arrested with two of his teenage friends and was tortured by Muslims. It was either accept Islam or the torture would continue. He would not give in, and after several weeks he was set free.

William’s greatest desire was to get an education so that he could help his own people in the Sudan. As doors began to close he was faced with his only option: escape certain death in Sudan and flee into Egypt. At times hair-raising and oppressive, his journey continued with miraculous encounters along the way.

It was a divine appointment that led him to Cairo and he met Michael G. of Massachusetts. Michael became an advocate for William in obtaining a Turkish visa for him. When parting company with William, Michael gave him his U.S. phone number, which would also prove to be God’s Hand when William eventually came to the U.S. Michael’s willingness to help a total stranger is a powerful encouragement; when we as believers allow God to use us even in the most innocuous situations, we never know we might be responsible for the birth of a global ministry. Michael G. from Massachusetts, you are an example of this.

Another chance encounter with a Muslim named Ahmet gives William the opportunity to contrast Christianity with the five pillars of Islam in a simple but profound way.


Shahada for Christians is a prayer of Jesus: Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.”   

Salat is the Muslim call to prayer five-times a day; for Christians it is 24/7. We “pray without ceasing.”


Zukat and sawm, almsgiving and fasting, is also practiced in Christianity. But Jesus said the greatest law is to “Love God with all your heart and to love others as ourselves.”    

Hajj, is the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca; for the Christian it is not a specific place on the globe, but everywhere, all the time, because God’s Spirit lives inside of us. Our bodies are His temple.

This comparison made sense to Ahmet; each pillar in Islam was dependant upon the physical; the counterpart in Christianity were spiritual. Islam puts the responsibility solely upon man’s human strength; in Christianity, our dependence is solely upon Christ and His strength.

The final chapters in the book recount his journey to the United States of America, his university experience, the many ways God teaches William to rely solely on Him. It chronicles his becoming a part of a Messianic community, then the fruition of his dream: to begin a ministry to his homeland, the Sudan.

Disclaimer: We are not financially compensated for these reviews. The book was provided by Mind & Media for the purpose of review only. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer for Mind & Media, click on their link and sign up! :) It's that easy.

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That's Right

So I've been on a TTLB fast since the whole thing nearly gave me a nervous breakdown trying to crawl, slither, flap my way to being a homosapien. Well, it appears not trying has been the best thing for me. I'm a Marauding Marsupial now!! Yes! I've hardly blogged at all for two weeks. This lazy stuff sure pays off.

There is no point to this post other than to pat myself on the back. :) I'm patting away.

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August 24, 2005

Mindless Memes

Dang MacStansbury thinks he's my personal blog trainer. I blog at least 5 times a week, but no, apparently that's not good enough for some people. His regimen starts with me filling out a meme, so here goes:

10 years ago: Just starting to think that maybe boys didn't have these so-called cuties that everyone claimed they did.

5 years ago: Just starting to think that maybe dating isn't from the pit of hell, like everyone claimed it was. Quickly rescinded this new belief, eventually coming to a happy non-extreme view of the game called love.

1 year ago: Just returning from a 5 week stay in Europe. Possibly the best time of my life. Don't remind me.

Yesterday: Working, working and...oh yeah, working.

5 snacks I enjoy are:
1.  Coffee Rios
2. Iced coffee drinks
3. Crackers and a good hummus
4.  Pesto on anything
5.  Smoothies

5 Songs I know all the words to:
1.  Every worship song written in the last 30 years.
2.  One Fine Day
3.  I Don't Wanna Be--Gavin DeGraw
4.  Stay or Leave--Dave Matthews
5.  Space Between--Dave Matthews Band

5 Things I would do with $100 Million:
1. Buy a Boesendoerfer piano...three of them.
2. Invest. Buy out all the companies I've always wanted to The New York Times.
3. Travel everywhere I've wanted to go to finally see which charities could use the most money.
4. Destroy Reality Television and hire geniune creative blood to write real shows..
5. Buy a nice ranch with lots of ponies. :)

5 Places I would run away to:
1.  Tuscany
2.  Oxford
3.  Wales
4.  Capetown
5.  Israel.

5 Things I would never wear:
1. Spandex anything.
2. Mesh anything
3. A Yankees Jersey.
4. Anything with stupid peace-nik phrases on it.
5. Clothes designed by Byork

5 Favorite TV shows:
1. X-Files
2. Law & Order
3. Seinfeld
4. Family Guy
5. Most recently...The Closer

5 Biggest joys

1. Good books.
2. Dinner at nice restaurants.
3. Traveling.
4. Being with family.
5. I'm going with Mac on this one...Being great.

5 Favorite toys:
1. Tablet PC's.
2. Do Shoes Count?
3. I'm a lost their magic years ago.

There...I'm done. I'm not tagging anyone...since I'm so lazy.

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August 23, 2005

What a World

There are so many stories to come back to and comment on, but this one has to be at the top of the list. No it isn't an international crisis, but it's certainly shocking and worth talking about.

The statistic would break down to 13% of the school's female population is pregnant. While that doesn't seem like a huge percentage, we are talking about girls in the age range of 13-18. Planned Parenthood won't be putting this school on their brochure covers.

The article reported that media outlets and bad parents are to blame. Well, that's certainly a start. But I wouldn't put the media before bad parents. It should be the other way around. Bad, lazy parents are the bain of our society. Entitled kids, flippant kids, irresponsible kids, cheaters, all products of terrible parenting. On top of that, when those same kids run to the next available semi warm body called a television, they get their values there from shows such as Friends (which I love but know is fiction) where characters sleep around without consequence.

This is a terribly sad story that will most likely be handled even more terribly by government paid bureaucrats and burned out teachers. God help us.

Is it any wonder that kids end up pregnant when "school officials are not sure what has caused so many pregnancies?" Let me clue  you all in....when a man and a woman...yeah....babies happen then geniuses!!

In the words of The Soup host Joel McHale, "Dear Santa, I've been a very good kid this year. This Christmas I want a new culture."

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August 22, 2005

Return to Me

Vacations are always interesting. I find they peak my curiosity about the most obscure things. Here are just a few things that I had to know while traveling. In fact, it was driving me and my friend nuts that 1. we didn't know what the answers were, and 2. we had no immediate way of finding out the desired answer. Not good for obsessive compulsive learners. Here are the topics:

1. Who decides, and why, the mileage that should be shown on road signs. Why say that Los Angeles is 188 miles ahead, when it can wait for 3 or 8 more miles to be a nice even number? And is it entirely necessary to alert drivers to towns no one cares about, like Gilroy, which is basically a glorified truck stop for a city?

2. Who was Sir Francis Drake? For two very well educated people, this was the most maddening question. Neither of us could believe that we couldn't remember. But thanks to the help of friends, text messaging and Google, we were quickly alleviated from the pain of ignorance. Man, it was a dark moment for a while.

3. Why are we charged for electricity? Can the government really claim they own it?

4. Does the moon orbit with us, around us? Is it stationary, and just follows us? This too was a frustrating quandary in which we found ourselves. This is basically 5th grade information that we could not recall for the life of us.

5. Why is it that only a select few cities in California are so densely populated? There is so much nothin in this state. Can't we just ship a few million people to the rolling hills that are the interstate? It's beautiful real estate, that's for sure.

That's about all I can think of for now, and about all the personal stuff I can stomach blogging. There are much more important things in life than hearing about my recreational travels. I'll get on to reviewing and blogging about the persecution of Christians in Sudan. Mind & Media gave me a book called The Bible and the Axe on that topic, and I will be reviewing it shortly. I apologize for the absence. I'm trying to get back into the groove. It won't take long. I promise.

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August 17, 2005

A Presto

Ciao People! I'll be back next week. Have a great week and weekend. I leave you with this: outdated and unrevised laws in Los Angeles. See you soon.

    • Toads may not be licked.

      You may not hunt moths under a street light.

      It is a crime for dogs to mate within 500 yards of a church. Breaking
      this law is punishable by a fine of $500 and/or six months in prison.

      You cannot bathe two babies in the same tub at the same time.

      Zoot suits are prohibited.

      It is illegal to cry on the witness stand.

      It is illegal for a man to beat his wife with a strap wider than 2
      inches without her consent.
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August 10, 2005

Life in these...United Kingdoms

Leave it to nerds to break dating down to a scientifically proven mathematical formula. It's actually a good article.

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August 09, 2005

Bad Blogger...Bad, Bad Blogger!

I know...I've been absent for nearly a week. Between houseguests, weddings, going away parties, and other festivities, I've been one crazy woman. Not that that should be a surprise to anyone.

Just a few notes before I have to leave, again:

Cotillion's Ball is today. These women are awesome. Please visit their sites and give them a shout out. :)

I'm going on vacation next week, so the same absence can be expected from Wednesday to Saturday. Sorry MacStansbury. I know how much you wait with baited breath for my posts. :)

Lastly, whoever posts the next comment will be my 1000th. That's right. Mr. Shaker is comment number 999. So the next commenter will win a lucky prize to be determined by yours truly. :) Have at it!

Ciao. Be back tomorrow.

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August 03, 2005

Impressive until Now

I was impressed with the British Intelligence until they were told that this was the new standard for raiding bombing suspect's homes or mosques. Yes, it's important that we honor the practices of people who want us dead.

Remember this?...


It was only two months ago that UK Muslims organized a very destructive protest in London, smearing red paint as blood on the US Embassy and burning our flag and pictures of George W. Bush, all the while chanting death threats to the US and our president. This all because a terrorist was being extradicted. But we are supposed to remove our shoes before we arrest them for possibly being involved in the brutal murder of innocents. In the name of one of our Cotillion bloggers...yeah..right..whatever. (Of course there aren't any of the bloody pictures in the archive. I can only speculate why those would have been removed.)

However, when I was searching for pictures of the recent London protest, I did find these pictures. I can only hope that they mean it and will work with the authorities to end these nonsensical terrorist attacks.



The Caption read:

LONDON - JULY 15: Muslim men leave Friday prayers at the Finsbury Mosque on July 15, 2005 in London, England. Yesterday Prince Charles urged "every true Muslim" to root out extremist preachers in the aftermath of the London bomb attacks.

Let's pray they do. They're our greatest hope in finding those who perpetrate terrorism.

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August 02, 2005

Victims? Try Vixens.

Most of the time, incredible opportunities come along but once in a lifetime. However, you lucky readers get an amazing opportunity once a week to read the most witty and intellectually stimulating writing of the most savvy, suave and sexy women to have ever hit the blogosphere. That's right. It's Tuesday, which means it is the Cotillion Ball.

First of all, I have to start by saying that this is not the first, nor the second, but the THIRD attempt at posting my hosting. I had the most incredibly epic post of all time when, lo and behold, my college years come crashing through my computer and not once, but twice, completely eradicate my prose. I don't know how it happened, or how I could be so stupid, but it did. I nearly cried since it took over an hour and half to create the first post. BUT, I am a print learner, so hopefully I can remember what I wrote originally originally. And yes, that redundancy was intentional. So, a little sympathetic comment making is most welcome and highly desired at this point.

I am not the only one highlighting the writings of heroines and housewives, daredevils and divas, swashbucklers and standard-bearers. Nope, the other lovely hostesses this week are Ilyka Damen, KelliPundit and Sisu who profile the genius of at least 25 other bloggers.

Let's get this started with Crystal Clear who is feeling a bit submerged by the bureaucracy that is the mental health division of the medical field. She vents what she assures is "perhaps some of the most down-to-earth  and honest insights from a mental health professional you will find in the blogosphere concerning the chronically seriously mentally ill."

With catlike finesse, Darleen at Darleen's Place shreds the phony posturing and contrived sympathies of those who claim to be for women's rights. She bears her claws at DeWayne Wickham who writes an article ridiculously titled "White Women May Regret Voting for Bush," in which he painfully attempts to remove the presumed scales from the eyes of Bush voters to reveal the horror, the danger that is SCOTUS nominee John Roberts, Jr.  Anyone this desperate is begging for a verbal spanking, but frankly, I think that anyone who spells his name D-e-W-a-y-n-e deserves to be flayed by a sexy sage:

Wickham could have discussed the issue in a clear, fact-driven manner, but I guess the opportunity to tee hee over stupid "white" women was just too tempting to pass up.

Dr. Sanity rushes to the rescue of talk radio host and NRO contributing author Michael Graham who is the most recent victim of bleeding heart liberalism and the tolerance of the terrorist sympathizing group CAIR who has taken issue with his audacity in connecting terrorism and Islam. The NERVE! The HORROR! The TRUTH! He has been suspended without pay and is currently awaiting word on his future with NRO. I'm sure you've heard of it as it's been all over the news...oh wait, no it hasn't!

Christina at Feisty Repartee gets all introspective on us and explores the idea of self. Not the self that is easily defined by likes and dislikes, roles, labels and other identifiers. But the self that exists apart from all those things. The self that likes Eggs Benedict. :)

Sadie at Fistful of Fortnights delivers a right hook to lefty Hanoi Jane and her latest political shenanigans. She profile's Jane's latest Baghdad Workout. Here's a sample of the regiment:

8 minute warm-up - Get the blood flowing in the hot desert sun.
8 minute arm work - Salute the troops to lure them into false sense of friendly security.
20 minute aerobic section - Waving arms and shouting anti-war slogans.
8 minute cool down - Propaganda huddle.
9 minute balance and flexibility - Playtime with hand grenades and landmines.

Florida Cracker sets her sights on complaining voyeurs in Web of Lies. It's quite an amusing story, I assure you.

Ilyka Damen, fellow Cotillion hostess, stretches out her hand to help the lefty nut jobs that reside in Berkeley love communes. She offers a few subtle suggestions that might help them up their efficacy in trying to shock the world. Three such suggestions are:

1. Bathe
2. That money that you had saved up for the sex change? Invest it in petrochemical companies instead. And..
3. There are these things? Called jobs?

Finally, KelliPundit, also fellow hostess, thanks the little guy who acted as a guardian angel/good Samaritan to a little boy in New York.


There are a few who couldn't make it this week. Instead of maliciously maiming Girl on the Right, e-Claire and Free Thoughts, we'll just assume they're out combating evil and can't spare a minute for the common folk. It happens to the best of us.

Final thoughts: Angelina Jolie is one phenomenal woman. She's the envy of every woman and the desire of every man.

Other than that side note, that about does it for this round of rapacious, witty comments from celebrated conservatives. Stay tuned next week for another sneak peak into the minds of brilliant, accomplished super women. (Man, this alliteration thing is hard...and annoying.)

This entry is cross-posted at the Cotillion's Home Page.

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