May 31, 2006

Sweet Relief

I've just finished writing a scholarship essay on the educational system in Nigeria and other developing countries. Quite possibly one of the most difficult papers I've ever written, too.

Seven pages of non-stop, weighty research, findings and opinions. Not for a grade, but a contest.

Seven pages.

Maybe now I can go back to being an actual blogger. In the meantime...

Brain. hurts.

Posted by Portia at 08:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The latest media feeding frenzy is now focused on an alleged massacre by the U.S. Marines in Haditha, Iraq. On the way home from work today, I listened to Hugh Hewitt read the moving story of Lance Cpl. Miquel Terrazas' death in this firefight.

Terrazas' father, Martin, explains what happened:

Exactly what happened that day remains unclear. Miguel Terrazas' father, Martin, said the Marines his son fought with told him that after the car bomb exploded the Marines took a defensive position around his son's battered vehicle. Insurgents immediately started shooting from nearby buildings, and the insurgents were using women and children as human shields, Martin said he was told.
The Marines shot back because "it was going to be them or" the insurgents, Martin said of what his son's fellow Marines briefly described to him.

Read the full story here, and for more indepth reporting on this, read Hugh Hewitt's blog here.

Hugh strongly encouraged everyone to give the Marines accused of this massacre their due process before jumping to conclusions (as the media and Murtha have already done).

Having heard reports at the beginning of the war that the terrorists were using women and children as human shields, it certainly makes more sense than a rogue unit of Marines going on a killing rampage. Until the investigation is over, they will be given the benefit of the doubt here.

Posted by Mutti at 04:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 30, 2006

The Sky is Falling!

The message of doom and destruction has become Al Gore's raison d'etre. BBC news wrote a piece on Gore's speech at the 19th Hay Festival in the UK.

But Mr Gore, fresh from an appearance at the Cannes film festival, delivered a starker message that the world was now facing a "danger which could bring the end of civilisation."
He said he believed scientists who said that there may be 10 years remaining to avoid "crossing the point of no return".

Last week Lucianne had a photo-shopped pic that explained the real reason for global warming: all the hot air coming from Al Gore.

Tip: Drudge

Posted by Mutti at 11:53 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thank you for Holding

Live Blogging my phone call to my grad school's Financial Aid office:

10:50 a.m: "Thank you for calling. Because of the time and attention we devote to every call, there may be a wait."

10:55 a.m: "There are nine callers in the queue ahead of you. Please stay on the line for our next financial aid representative."

11:00 a.m: Run into Gelson's clutching phone to ear. Buy lunch. Run to Starbuck's. Phone still attached. No representative.

11:15 a.m: Return to work. Still hearing chipper voice: "We apologize for the delay. Please continue to hold."

11:45 a.m: Office starts taking bets on how long I'll be on.

11:50 a.m: Start to feel like serious sucker for letting cell phone minutes just burn. Have feeling that after terminating call a young associate will say, "Thank you for calling the Financial Aid office. How may I help you? Hello? Hello?"

12:15 p.m: Starting to have nervous breakdown over cell phone bill. Have used 1/8 of my anytime minutes.

12:25 p.m: Co-workers conflicted. Directly next to me, I'm encouraged to stay on. (Suspect her parents pay for her cell bill.) Behind me, I hear, "I would have hung up a LONG time ago."

12:27 p.m: Terminate call. Can't believe I held that long. Almost as bad as sitting through the movie Congo without leaving. Almost.

So not only has my tuition increased exponentially but my cell bill might have too.

What we do for a good graduate education. And a Division I football team. Must keep remembering school pride.

Posted by Portia at 11:40 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In reference to the header quote of this blog, thank you to all those rough men ready to defend our country and all she stands for. And to the fallen whose ultimate sacrifice will not be forgotten: thank you never seems enough, but thank you still.

(The image at the top came from Cotillion's own Villainous Company. A very worthy post in support of our Marines.)

Other Cotillionettes blogging about Memorial Day:

Beth at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy--Practically Supporting the Troops in her post Memorial Day: Celebrating those who gave chase to evil.

Heather at And Rightly So! posts about Real Heroes

Annika's Journal (bearing a classic JoDee Messina line) entry: Another Way to Remember Memorial Day

Beth at Blue Star Chronicles has A Succession of Honor

Bobo Blogger sends her thanks to our troops and even posts a picture of her grand daddy during his WWII service.

Cake Eater Chronicles: Buy a soldier a beer

Romeo Cat at CatHouse Chat recalls her father's service in her Memorial Day post.

And finally (for now):

Darleen has very fitting and classic artwork in honor of our soldiers and our great nation at Darleen's Place.

Posted by Portia at 02:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 27, 2006

Open During Construction

Portia Rediscovered will be undergoing some massive template changes, as you very well might have noticed. Please bear with us as we attempt to clean things up.

Grazie mille.

Posted by Portia at 10:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 26, 2006

Treason by Any Other Name

The Independent reports "Galloway says murder of Blair would be 'justified.'"

The Respect MP George Galloway has said it would be morally justified for a suicide bomber to murder Tony Blair.

In an interview with GQ magazine, the reporter asked him: "Would the assassination of, say, Tony Blair by a suicide bomber - if there were no other casualties - be justified as revenge for the war on Iraq?"

Mr Galloway replied: "Yes, it would be morally justified. I am not calling for it - but if it happened it would be of a wholly different moral order to the events of 7/7. It would be entirely logical and explicable. And morally equivalent to ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people in Iraq - as Blair did."

And almost better than his sick vision of Blair's murder:

Mr Galloway yesterday made a surprise appearance on Cuban television with the Caribbean island's Communist dictator, Fidel Castro - whom he defended as a "lion" in a political world populated by "monkeys".

There is a point in which a man crosses over from being one who practices evil and becomes one who is evil. Mr. Galloway demonstrates that perfectly.

Read the rest of the article here.

Posted by Portia at 07:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 24, 2006

Desire for Democracy Spreads

For all the uberlibs who believe they are the appeasement champions of the status quo in the Middle East, read this. These Iranian students are courageous and bold, considering the oppression they face from Ahmadinejad.

"The main reason for the objections in recent days goes back to the limitations imposed on universities and political students after the new government came to power," Momeni said.
"Some active students have been expelled and some students face mass summons before disciplinary committees. We are also objecting to recent dealings with critical professors such as Ramin Jahanbegloo," he added.
Iran earlier this month said it had arrested philosopher Jahanbegloo on charges of espionage. He specialized in liberal political philosophy and worked extensively on developing understanding between Iran and the West.
Other student witnesses said the crowd had chanted "Down with despotism" and hurled stones at police cars outside the dormitories, breaking their windows.

Every human on earth has a desire for freedom; our Founding Fathers wrote about it eloquently in the Delcaration of Independence:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Iraq needs our support and prayers to be a model for those in surrounding countries who also wish for freedom.

Tip: Drudge

Posted by Mutti at 08:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 23, 2006

And he sails off into the Sunset

Nevermind the Chinese kidnappers, anyone else wonder how Jack Bauer has escaped high blood pressure or eye twitches? My husband and I have become recent followers of 24, and every episode has at least four major plot twists, new diabolical conspiracies hatched, kidnappings, assassinations, and of course, saving Los Angeles from terrorist attacks--all occuring in real time in one hour--every hour, 24/7.

Hugh Hewitt was reading off one-liners on the season finale; my favorite was: "A happy ending! Jack sails off into the sunset on a cruise ship."

He could use a vacation.

Posted by Mutti at 04:45 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Coveting Thy Blogger's Trip

So you think you're mature, adult, beyond envy when your fellow blogger goes and blogs this.

Posted by Portia at 07:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Words Speak Louder Than Actions

Prosecutors, judges and juries are giving words more weight than the actual commission of the crime.

William F. Buckley wrote an article for NRO about a defendant who could face up to 25 years depending upon how an epithet he uttered is interpreted when he fractured a man's skull with a baseball bat.

Buckley writes of his own experience:

Some years ago I was a defendant in a lawsuit brought by a creepy fascistic outfit (they are now out of business), and the question before the jury was whether I and the magazine I edited were racist. The attorney had one weapon to use in making his point, namely that we had published an editorial about Adam Clayton Powell Jr. when he made a terminally wrong move in his defense against federal prosecutors. The editorial we published was titled, "The Jig Is Up for Adam Clayton Powell Jr.?" On the witness stand I argued that the word "jig" could be used other than as animadversion. The feverish lawyer grabbed a book from his table and slammed it down on the arm of my chair. "Have you ever heard of a dictionary?" he asked scornfully, as if he had put the smoking gun in my lap. I examined the American Heritage College Dictionary and said yes, I was familiar with it. "In fact," I was able to say, opening the book, "I wrote the introduction to this edition." That was the high moment of my forensic life. And, of course, the dictionary establishes that the word “jig” can be used harmlessly.

It is absurd for a court to split hairs over what the perpetrator really meant when he used the N-word. Just give the man 25 years for what he did.

Posted by Mutti at 07:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

He Doesn't Deserve the name "Fox"

Little Green Footballs has the latest on the double speak of Mexico:

MEXICO CITY - If Arnold Schwarzenegger had migrated to Mexico instead of the United States, he couldn’t be a governor. If Argentina native Sergio Villanueva, firefighter hero of the Sept. 11 attacks, had moved to Tecate instead of New York, he wouldn’t have been allowed on the force.

Even as Mexico presses the United States to grant unrestricted citizenship to millions of undocumented Mexican migrants, its officials at times calling U.S. policies “xenophobic,” Mexico places daunting limitations on anyone born outside its territory.

In the United States, only two posts — the presidency and vice presidency — are reserved for the native born.

In Mexico, non-natives are banned from those and thousands of other jobs, even if they are legal, naturalized citizens.

My question is, Who moves to Mexico to find work?

More here.

Posted by Portia at 06:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2006


From the desk of Beth (My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy):


In our brave new schools, Johnny can't say the pledge, but he can recite the Quran. Yup, the same court that found the phrase "under God" unconstitutional now endorses Islamic catechism in public school.

In a recent federal decision that got surprisingly little press, even from conservative talk radio, California's 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it's OK to put public-school kids through Muslim role-playing exercises, including:

Reciting aloud Muslim prayers that begin with "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful . . . ."

Memorizing the Muslim profession of faith: "Allah is the only true God and Muhammad is his messenger."

Chanting "Praise be to Allah" in response to teacher prompts.

Professing as "true" the Muslim belief that "The Holy Quran is God's word."

Continued Here.

California...a true educational beacon in the fog that is the separation of church and state.

Posted by Portia at 11:07 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 20, 2006

History Revisited? Or Not

Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians must wear identifying colors in Iran: this was Drudge's headline all day yesterday. It burned the airwaves on morning talk radio.

Today, that article from Canada's National Post "is no longer available" because the story may not be true. It's certainly nowhere to be found in the MSM. I googled it and came up with zero. The odd thing is that the originator of the story, Amir Teheri, is a very solid, credible source.

Here is an excerpt of yesterday's news, and the last link is Chris Wattie's updated version of the story today.

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.
"This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."
Iranian expatriates living in Canada yesterday confirmed reports that the Iranian parliament, called the Islamic Majlis, passed a law this week setting a dress code for all Iranians, requiring them to wear almost identical "standard Islamic garments."
Iran's roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth.

This is Chris Wattie's updated version of this story.

Posted by Mutti at 07:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 18, 2006

And you thought the NSA was bad...

In what Little Green Footballs is calling "A Political Mentos Commercial," Connecticut senator wannabe Ned Lamont shares why he should be a U.S. Senator.

If you enjoy commercials with creepy campaign volunteers peering through politician's windows, this ad is for you.

Watch here.

Posted by Portia at 09:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 17, 2006

The Consequences of A Free Media

Every once in a while, I must leave the realm of the rational, the civil and the truly feminine to dip my feet into the wading pool of cattiness. This is that time.

In the country that I love, there should be no place for a cooking show called Semi-Homemade Cooking.

The show's premise is 70% store bought, 30% homemade. Now, that might be fine if the store bought items were ingredients, but they're not. It's store bought shredded cheese (because we all know how hard that is to make at home), store bought pie crust (ick), and store bought tater tots (no joke, this was on one of her previews).

The show is a disgrace to culinary arts and entertaining. First off, almost any prepared food bought at a typical grocery store (with the exception of specialty stores), is never going to be as good as what you could make in the same amount of time it took you to go to the store.

Secondly, do we trust a hostess who weighs as much as Nicole Richie, has lighting that rivals Barbara Walter's rig, and makes food so fatty that Paula Dean might even be horrified?

And finally, does it really make one swell with pride when you say, "Soup's on. It's Campbells!"

Posted by Portia at 01:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Recommended Reading

Eric Shawn has been making the radio talk-show circuit promoting his book, The U.N. Exposed: How the U.N. Sabotages America's Security and Fails the World.

A description from Amazon:

The U.N. Exposed will give you a rare insider's tour of the United Nations, focusing on many disturbing aspects that have been ignored by the mainstream media.

You will learn for instance:

€ how U.N.-supervised funds were diverted into weapons used against American troops € how terrorists and rogue states seeking nuclear weapons flout toothless U.N. resolutions € how our allies' selfish economic interests drive U.N.-backed challenges to America's sovereignty € how kickbacks, bribes, and corruption have pervaded the highest echelons of the U.N. € how U.N. ambassadors and staff enjoy luxurious and tax-free Manhattan lifestyles and other perks € how U.N. workers have repeatedly turned children into their sexual prey
Shawn's own words to NationalReviewOnline:
“The U.N. has been incapable of confronting the gravest issues of our time, from terrorism to nuclear proliferation,” Eric Shawn tells National Review Online. “ It should stand as a beacon of hope and humanity. But instead, that ideal has been perverted by compromise, appeasement, and graft.”

A complete and total housecleaning of the U.N. is long overdue.

Update: Sorry the link to NationalReviewOnline is not own computer ineptitude.

Posted by Mutti at 10:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Alternate Plans

In case The Da Vinci Code isn't getting your cash this weekend, there's always Al Gore's global warming picture.

Posted by Portia at 08:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Da Vinci flops at Cannes?

Movie critics at the Cannes Film Festival weren't all too impressed with Ron Howard's adaptation of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

"It's a movie about whether the greatest story ever told is true or not, and it's not the greatest movie ever screened, is it?" said Baz Bamigboye, a film columnist for London's Daily Mail. "As a thriller, well," he continued, shrugging.

One critic went on to compare the movie to the Energizer Bunny...going on and on and on. Their reaction during the film seems quite European.

One especially melodramatic line uttered by Hanks drew prolonged laughter and some catcalls, and the audience continued to titter for much of the film's remainder.

This weekend certainly promises to be an interesting weekend for Hollywood.

Here's the rest of the Cannes story.

Posted by Portia at 08:10 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2006

Adjustable Rate Mortgage Anyone?

Heard on the radio earlier this evening: A house in Orange County's Corona Del Mar is on the market for $75 million. It contains a mini water park and a car museum. And at that price, who could resist?

If it sells at the asking price, it beats out last year's highest valued piece of U.S. residential property: a home in Palm Beach, Fla., that sold for a measly $70 million.

UPDATE: Here's a link to the story with details of the listing.

Posted by Portia at 10:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Have Hate, Will Deliver

Mike Adams gets hate mail like most people get credit card offers. This week was no exception.

Yesterday, I got a hate mail from a feminist at Bucknell. I will do the same three things with this hate mail that I have done with so many others. First, I will reprint it. Second, I will ridicule it. Third, I will submit it to my editors for financial gain. The first order of business is the reprint:

Come on, you know you want to read the rest....

Posted by Portia at 09:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 15, 2006

If I close my eyes, they can't see me

What a day to miss blogging.

President Bush outlined his "comprehensive" plan to "secure our borders." Or, in layman's speak, President Bush said, "Blah, blah, blah, border, blah blah."

Hugh Hewitt has his initial reaction, followed by his post-initial reaction.

After listening to talk radio for hours upon hours the last several days, it's become abundantly clear that I'm not the only one who's sick and tired of being condescended to by insincere politicians, who, for whatever reason, just don't seem to care one bit about national security.

Posted by Portia at 07:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 14, 2006

Away Message

After a weekend of spoiling the parental unit rotten (dad's birthday was Sat; mom's on Sun), it's off to grad school for me. Loose ends need tying.

I'll be back soon.

In the meantime, Mutti, NasaNerd and MacStansbury: You're up.

Posted by Portia at 09:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 12, 2006

Bittersweet Congratulations

And I didn't think there could be anything worse than Brooke Bennett beating Evans' old records.

But that little tart (Bennett) was shown up by....A Frenchy?

(Is that spelled with a "y" or an "ie?")

While this story may seem insignificant to those not interested in the sport, this is a huge day in swimming. Janet Evans' records have stood for over 4 Olympic Games. She's a legend. That must have been quite a race today.

Posted by Portia at 02:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Good Men Doing Nothing

A few theories on why Conservative Christians aren't fighters in the political arena, the consequence of which might be Hillary Clinton as our next president (God forbid).

1. They're more concerned with the rise of the anti-Christ a la Jenkins/LaHaye than they are with the rise of the Democratic/Socialist party. The founding pastor at my church would call these people "so heavenly minded they're no earthly good."

2. They forgot the Old Testament is a part of the Bible and have since adopted a new age image of the genteel Christ.

3. They believe that if the world doesn't get really bad, then Christ won't return. So, they passively take part in its destruction to achieve that end. (See point 1.)

4. They're too busy with raising good families to bother with world events. (This is not a bad thing, necessarily.)

5. Politics isn't spiritual enough. And doesn't the separation of church and state mean we're supposed to stay out of it?

6. They're uncertain that their involvement really would change anything.

~A few ideas inspired by Hugh Hewitt's interview of John Podhoretz, author of Can She Be Stopped? Hillary Clinton Will Be the Next President of the United States Unless..., yesterday.

Posted by Portia at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Speaking Out

Words that are cute when kids mispronounce them. Not so cute when adults do:

Acrost (v. Across)

FUStrated (v. FRustrated)

Excape (EScape)

Drawl (Draw)

ODvious (OBvious)

Uspossed to (Supposed to)

For reals (v. seriously)

*I will be amending this list as more come to me.

Posted by Portia at 08:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 11, 2006

While churches in Europe are empty...

Some see Oprah Winfrey as a spiritual leader.
Are there words adequate enough to describe the absurdity here?

(Shakes head and walks off.)

Posted by Portia at 11:49 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 10, 2006

The Enemy Within

Dennis Prager has a recent article posted on discussing the invasion of totalitarian thought into mainstream, anti-American organizations.

As a graduate student in international affairs at Columbia University, I specialized in the study of totalitarianism, especially, though not only, the communist variety. I found the subject fascinating, but I never for a moment imagined that any expertise gained in this field would prove relevant to American life.

Sad to say, it has turned out to be the most valuable subject I could have studied. The totalitarian temptation is not confined to Nazis and communists; it can rear its head in any society and gradually destroy it. And as the Soviet dissident joke notes, one quick way to identify totalitarian threats to liberty is to identify those who falsify the historical record on behalf of their cause.

In America today, two groups are most actively engaged in falsifying history: the ACLU and the anti-smoking movement.

One of the students I am tutoring right now is currently reading George Orwell's 1984. (A quick, characteristically female aside: I needed an extra copy but couldn't find it at the little bookstore I visited. I kindly asked the sales associate if she could help me find "Orwell's 1984." She looked back at me, clearly baffled, and said, "What's that?" ...sigh.) While most of his ideas of a completely totalitarian state seemed somewhat far fetched in 1949 America, 22 years after the title's date we seem closer than ever to that miserable utopia.

Read the rest of Dennis Prager's revealing article here.

Posted by Portia at 10:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Congress is at it again

The left has been howling for years about the unfair influence conservativism wields over radio waves and on the Internet. This may change drastically.

It might appear that the direct ramifications of this bill are somewhat obscure. Why should you care, if your Internet fee isn't altered? Or if your Web surfing will (possibly) be only minimally disrupted? (The telecoms understand that completely barring access to certain sites - especially the most popular ones - would be counterproductive.)
You should care because any corporate restriction on information gathering directly counters the original purpose of the World Wide Web.

Here's where it can get political.

If calling up the Web site of your favorite political commentator takes far longer than surfing to a commercial site, the new laws will have a direct impact on the Web's democratic utility. The proposed laws also facilitate future steps toward corporate censorship. Do you think that the telecoms, under the proposed regulations, would make it easy to visit the Web sites of their disgruntled - or possibly striking - employees?

This is worth reading the entire article and then responding to your representatives.

Tip: LGF

Posted by Mutti at 07:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

United 93 Round Up

The Cotillionettes, about as fine a group of female bloggers as one could hope for, have spoken. Their reviews are in for the film United 93.

I, however, being the slacker of the bunch haven't even seen the film yet (I know, I'm a horrible American) so I cannot contribute my two cents at this point. But I will direct you to their thoughts.

Merri Musings has her review and a link to her husband's review up here.

I was extremely surprised when I almost found myself in a position to have to walk out of the movie. I seriously thought I was having some kind of anxiety attack. My heart was racing, I was shaking and I couldn’t sit still. I did make it through the movie, only to find myself a blubbering fool once the screen went black. I wore my sunglasses out of the theater to cover up my red-rimmed eyes. I wasn’t alone, though. Women were fixing their mascara, even a number of men were wiping away tears.

Darleen, of Darleen's Place, also saw it with her hubby and adds her thoughts to the forum.

There have been some grumbles that the Islamist hijackers weren't "villainized" enough, or their "reasons" weren't explained. Some even found some equivalency with the intercut scenes of the Islamists praying and the recitations of the Lord's prayer by passengers who knew they were going to die. However, I again find such a straight-forward portrayal of these predators as unflinchingly non-politically correct. There is no downplaying of their religious fanaticism and the cold-blooded evil that comes with Islamism. The meaning of the Commandment Thou shall not take the name of God in vain is about doing evil acts in the name of God and bringing the name of God into disrepute. There is no greater evil than religious evil and the contrast between the hijackers and the passengers could not be more stark. Greengrass doesn't have to preach or explain, just show.

Sisu actually backs Arianna Huffington in her review. You'll just have to click on this link to believe me.

Our dear Feisty has her reaction up as well.

I thought the movie was well-done in its documentarian style, but they could have played up the fact that the hijackers talked overhead to the passengers, telling them they'd be going back to the airport where they'd "make their demands" as heard on cockpit recordings. Certainly, they alluded to the fact that the passengers believed, at least initially, it was more of a classic hijacking where the hijackers landed and demanded ransom for the passengers. This would have emphasized why nothing was done to stop the hijacking until after the passengers heard from their relatives. Since this was clearly recorded, it's odd that they'd leave that out.

Wild Thing of PC Free Zone has her review and a great deal of background information and links on her site.

There's more where that came from. I just have to end this post here for now.

Posted by Portia at 07:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 09, 2006

The MySpace Generation

To open his show today, Dennis Prager welcomed guest and SDSU Psych Professor Jean M. Twenge who recently wrote Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before. I was only able to hear a portion of his interview, but what I heard was incredible insight into the issues facing the current generation (as was predicted by C.S. Lewis in his Abolition of Man, a profound and truly prophetic work.)

Dr. Twenge asserts that those within Generation X and Y, whom she has collectively dubbed GenMe, products of the vast "self-esteem movement," have been dealt a bad hand. What she argues is that this generation does have a higher opinion of themselves, but that it's not self-respect, per se, but rather pure narcissism. She asserts that it is not self-esteem that brings good work, but good, hard work and genuine accomplishment that creates a healthy self-esteem. Who would have thought?

Upon hearing her claims, my mind naturally began racing with examples. I could not think of a more paramount example of this generational narcissism than the MySpace endeavor. Narcissus has nothing on Tom's vision for this generation. So, if you'll allow me, I'm diving down the rabbit hole to take a deeper look at some issues plaguing the inevitable future leaders.

Anyone who has been a teenager, knows teenagers or has worked with them knows that adolescents already have a very heightened, and false, sense of self-importance. It's a natural and highly entertaining/annoying phase of one's development. However, the normal growth from this phase includes the toning down of one's raging ego, but our culture only fuels it to a greater capacity. MySpace is the pinnacle example, yet again.

On MySpace (the mere title acting as a tip-off to its effects) any Jack or Jane has the ability to broadcast his or her entire life in pictures and diary entries to the whole world (as if we care) on a website that has 58 million users (most of which were made to sign up just to gain simple access). It's a rigged popularity contest. Users can send out APBs about a new, self-portrait-like picture (taken in the bathroom mirror of course), and they do. They do send out these bulletins so that perfect strangers from under any rock or public library pc can voyeuristically ogle young girls in sorry excuses for clothing. Water:Narcissus::MySpace:GenMe.

This generation feels empowered because they can "make or break" a potential pop star's career with their uber important text message vote. More fuel.

It's only natural that this and the younger generation is more narcissistic when the previous generation (the Boomers) all but removed every trace of God in the public square, or at least allowed for its removal. If there exists no greater, transcendant, extranatural Being in the cosmos, then it really is just us. We are the center of our universe. The secularization of society nearly lends itself to solipsism, when taken to the extreme. (See Shirley Maclaine. Scratch that. See Hollywood.)

In a strange twist of fate, the crusaders of "root causes," also known as terrorist apologists, are the very ones who've ignored the root causes of this generation's failure to live up to previous educational, military and civic standards, and have ended up enabling an entire generation to excuse poor behavior, apathy and incessant shortcomings. The Menendez brothers sucked their thumbs too long. Jeffrey Dahmer wet his bed. And so on and so forth, as far as the eye can see, stretches their diatribe of justification.

The so-called, and most likely well-intended, self-esteem movement has created a monstrous sense of entitlement in children and young adults today, one major side effect including ingratitude. This has most recently been manifest in the illegal immigration marches in America and employment related protests in France. There is no sense of paying one's dues. A job for life, or instant citizenship, is not something that is earned, it's deserved. And not based on merit but on the fact that "I deserve it, because I do, and that's why." This is a purely secular trait.

In the Judeo-Christian religious traditions, self-esteem isn't even remotely a part of the lexicon. In fact, in the Old Testament, Isaiah 66:2 says, "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My word." In the New Testament Paul exhorts Christians in Phillipians 2:3, saying, "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself."

I typically try to keep my faith separate from much of my posts, as incessant references can become obnoxious. However, the distinction must be drawn in this case. Secularism breeds rampant narcissism while the Judeo-Christian creed (and a few others) provides a more accurate mirror of one's true worth and importance. It's the same mirror that Joseph stared into when he all too eagerly shared his dream with his brothers. The same mirror Job was forced to confront in the face of questioning God and hearing "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?"

This understanding of one's human and fallible condition and deep appreciation for the grace and mercy of God leads men to serve Him and others. It commissions us toward altruism and the betterment of the environment we live in for the benefit of the future generations.

In the meantime we're left with a generation of which only 4% claims adherence to Judeo-Christian principles. And the educational system and pop culture shows no interests in adopting these tenets, so it appears, save for a miracle of God, that we are left with a system that produces hoardes of egomaniacs more interested in strangers checking them out than they are the protection and service of our neighbors, our country and our world.

(There. This should make up for my horrific neglect of this blog. More to come on similar topics, pending spare time.)

Posted by Portia at 09:06 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Rupert Murdoch has agreed to host a political fundraiser for Hillary Clinton this summer, the FINANCIAL TIMES is reporting!

Murdoch's surprise decision to raise money for Clinton in July, on behalf of NEWS CORP., parent company of FOXNEWS and the NEW YORK POST, underlines a dramatic turn of relations between Murdoch and Clinton, who in 1998 coined the phrase “vast rightwing conspiracy” to denounce critics of her husband.

Some say the move by Murdoch reflects approval of her Senate career, notes FT's Caroline Daniel. Others point to Murdoch's record for picking future national leaders. Last century, he threw over the British conservatism he'd long supported to back longshot Tony Blair.

Clinton surprised Washington and media watchers recently by attending a FOX NEWS anniversary party, where she toasted Murdoch.

Political powerbroker and studio head Harvey Weinstein is said to have convinced Hillary that Murdoch could be a friend, not a foe, in her ongoing political maneuvers.

Thanks a lot, Drudge.

Posted by Macabee at 09:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 08, 2006

Look, Ma, We're on the TV!

One of my favorite elements of 24, other than the ridiculously impossible plots of course, is the fact that it really is in Los Angeles. Whenever a character gives a location's coordinates, it's mildly exciting to know exactly where that is. Yes, I am a geographical narcissist. To add to my conceit, tonight, Jack Bauer's emergency plane landing (yes, you read that right) stopped at the exit to my house.

Not since the Northridge earthquake has this little town seen such action. Too bad it's fiction. :)

Posted by Portia at 10:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chart Your Own Path

Looking for a get-away this summer? NasaNerd informs me that the latest hot spot for the "in the know" travelers is Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry.
A little background on their culture, as far as language is concerned:

Molvanian is a difficult language to speak, let alone master. There are four genders: male, female, neutral, and the collective noun for cheeses, which occupies a nominative sub-section of its very own. The language also contains numerous irregular verbs, archaic phrases, words of multiple meaning and several phonetic sounds linguists suspect could represent either a rare dialect or merely peasants clearing their throat. This, coupled with a record number of silent letters, makes fluency a major challenge. You can, as some visitors have experimented with, simply try adding the letter ‘j’ or ‘z’ randomly to any word – but this will only get you so far.

Perhaps a better option is to memorise a few of our ‘Useful Phrases’ contained opposite. Remember, too, that the syntactical structure of written Molvanian can be rather complex, with writers routinely using the triple negative. Hence,
'Can I drink the water? '
becomes 'Erkjo ne szlepp statsik ne var ne vladrobzko ne '
(literally, ‘is it not that the water is not not undrinkable?’)

Fortunately, conversational Molvanian for the native speaker is a little less formal, and a native speaker wanting to know
'Can I drink the water? '
would only have to say ‘Virkum stas?’ (while clutching their stomach in a gesture of gastric distress.)

To read the rest of the travel guide on this newly discovered, fascinating land, go here.

(Whoever wrote this is a genius.)

Posted by Portia at 08:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 07, 2006

Never Forget

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas? --Joseph Stalin

This quote is on a wall in the Air Force One exhibit at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. Stalin's words remind me to never forget the sacrifice paid for our freedoms. The freedom to worship, freedom to own property, freedom to come and go as we please, freedom to make our own decisions.

The freedom to have ideas.

Posted by Mutti at 04:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 04, 2006

Up is the New Down

Hard work and honesty are out. Cheating and plagiarism are the new research and original thought. Fame and fortune is easier had when the following prescription is carefully carried out:

1. Place yourself somewhere in the cozy academic world, either as a teacher, or student in an ivy league university.

2. Next, lie and cheat. If you are the teacher, make up ridiculously false information about America's history. If you're the student, "borrow" other authors' writing, or better yet, embellish your autobiography so greatly that it lands you a spot on the Oprah Winfrey show.

3. Once you're outed as a fraud, hire a good attorney.

4. Allow bloggers to scourge your reputation for a few days. Four maximum.

5. Call Good Morning America and Katie Couric, drum up a few crocodile tears on national television, blame your problems on the rich, white man, and bam, famous!

The Bennish/Viswanathan formula works every time. Guaranteed or your private life back.

Posted by Portia at 12:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 03, 2006

Fiction taken for Reality?

Is it just me, or does this just smack of Galaxy Quest?

To the tune of "Hail to the Chief," Geena Davis was honored by a United Nations affiliated organization for her portrayal as the U.S. President on the show "Commander in Chief."


I know this might break their fragile little, peace at all costs, feminist hearts, but ...not only was it pretend, but the show was just cancelled. A female president can't even cut it on television.

The full story's here. It's worth a look.

Posted by Portia at 01:24 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Rest in Peace

On his website earlier today, Tiger Woods announced the sad news of his father's passing. Anyone remotely familiar with Woods' story knows how influential his father was in his life and career. Though it's certain he'll be greatly missed, what a wonderful thing to know his memory will live on in the legacy of his tremendous son.

Posted by Portia at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 01, 2006

No, I'm sorry, you can't

I would never let it be said of me that I encouraged others toward action that I, myself, would not undertake. That said, I bit the bullet and, yes, went shopping today. Local businesses and great American chains alike were the benefactors of my patriotism this afternoon. While hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants were chanting in Spanish, convinced that their "struggle" is our latest civil rights movement, I was supporting the economy of the country that has given them so much.

This entire issue is enough to make any America-loving citizen pull out her hair. Quite possibly, two of the most outrageous details of today's protests would have to be 1. Cardinal Mahoney leading the pack along side our Mayor Villaraigosa, and 2. Mexican politicians flying out to show their support.

Okay, so... The ACLU and their ilk? Silent on their precious "separation of church and state" when heads of the Los Angelean Catholic Church show up to support a mockery of true American ideals, otherwise known as honoring our country's laws and the journey of immigrants who've come here legally.

What in the world is our mayor doing at an event like that? Neither of the possible answers to that question settle very well. Either he is truly sincere and believes that illegals should be given amnesty. Or he is pandering for future votes. We don't want Jesse Jackson as our mayor. We want someone who is serious about protecting our city, enforcing existing law and preserving the rights and privileges of citizens. I have the right to lower car insurance premiums that have been hiked by the number of uninsured, illegal immigrants who have caused auto accidents. I should have the right to withhold my income taxes from paying for health care and schooling for those who have illegally crossed our border. I don't even get free health care or a free education. In fact, because I'm primarily self-employed, I have to pay large sums of money each month for health insurance and will also be funding my own graduate education.

As far as the Mexican politicians, the fact that they probably used government funds to fly into Los Angeles to support the men, women and children that they did nothing for, back in Mexico, is so absurd, it's nearly indescribable.

In addition to constructing a fence or wall that runs the length of the Mexican/American border, I believe, that since we have become the global caregivers we should demand sitting fees. Vicente Fox and all other leaders of nations who've so graciously handed us their citizens, should pay up. We've paid millions and millions of dollars to support their citizens, to care for them, to educate them, all the while these same illegal workers are sending their undeclared income back to their countries of origin. That money flow must stop. Something tells me that if it did, this issue might be taken a little more seriously.

Of course many of their stories are gut wrenching, and certainly every mother and father, from any land, has a moral obligation to care for his and her family. And they all know they can do so here. This is a country unlike any other, a country in which a foreign born body builder can become the Governor of our great state. It's a country in which these immigrants absolutely are guaranteed a better life. But while charity is urged of individuals, it is not and should not become the role of a government.

Posted by Portia at 10:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Just Another Day in Paradise

So far, the boycotts and walk-outs haven't set Los Angeles on fire or destroyed her economy. It would just seem to me that if one is interested in garnering support, threatening and trying to cause a nation's economy to collapse is a funny way of doing that.

In the meantime, to all who love this country and value legality, the best thing to do today is shop. Shop a lot.

Update: Undocumented...socialists?

Posted by Portia at 08:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack