Friday, October 31, 2014

Gilmore Girls!

Warning: This post contains spoilers.  If you haven't seen the show, check it out on Netflix, they just added it.

-Gilmore Girls is one of my all-time favorite TV shows.  I wasn't happy with how they ended the series, but I loved all the previous seasons.

-The Mom, Lorelai, is played by Lauren Graham, and she is hilarious.  I love her relationship with her daughter, Rory.  They love to eat junk food, and Lorelai never cooks.  They bond by watching movies together.  Lorelai is the manager of an inn in the beginning, and then goes on to own her own inn.  It is inspiring to see what she accomplishes.

-You can tell from the beginning that Luke and Lorelai are meant to be together, and when they actually do start dating it is great.  But, what the writers do to their relationship is upsetting, and then they barely show them getting back together in the finale.

-I love Rory's relationship with Logan, and not only was it ridiculous that she rejected his proposal, but instead she went to work on Obama's campaign.  Talk about adding insult to injury.

-Yet, there are a lot of priceless gems throughout the show.  I love the small town that is supposed to be Stars Hollow.  It is the kind of place where most people would love to live.

-Many other characters make the show fun, like Kirk who is eccentric but funny.

-I love this post about the show on BuzzFeed Entertainment.  After watching Season 1, this was their conclusion:
Gilmore Girls is beyond incredible — beautifully written, perfectly acted, and its coffee cups runneth over with charm. Dean is the best boyfriend in the history of TV boyfriends, Lorelai is the mother we all wish we had, Luke is so scruffy and amazing it hurts, Sookie’s giggle could lead to world peace, and I can’t wait to start watching Season 2. I tip my eye-catching hat to you, Amy Sherman-Palladino. You done good.
Below are just some of my favorite quotes:
Lorelai: Who shows up at 8:00 for an 8:00 date?  Everybody knows that 8:00 means 8:15, 8:20 tops.
Rory: Obviously he was raised in a barn.
Lorelai: Okay, he's cute but this punctuality thing just marked 10 points off the dream guy quotient.

Lorelai: I'm related to God, that is so cool, it will make it easier to get Madonna tickets.

Lorelai: Don't let them put you on any of those pills, Tom Cruise would be upset.

Paris: We put the radio on Rush Limbaugh so people will think we have guns.

Lorelai: I can hear the termites chewing.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Westport


-I saw an article in the KC Star about artifacts from the Civil War Battle of Westport that were found by John Adams Jr. over 60 years ago.

-The Battle of Westport took place from October 21-23 in 1864, and 29,000 men fought in it:
A sprawling action, the battle occurred over three days. It started east of Independence and progressed along the Blue River and into what is now Loose Park, near Brush Creek, before turning south. The approximately 29,000 soldiers involved made it the biggest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River. When the Union prevailed, any hope of a significant Confederate presence in Missouri ended.
-Adams' ancestors owned the land right near where the battle took place.

-As I read the article, I was excited to learn that Kansas City has a Battle of Westport Visitor Center and Museum.  I am planning on going in the near future, and of course I will blog about the experience.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article3212866.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Obama, Clinton or Centrist Democrat?

Cartoon Credit: Glenn McCoy

-Yesterday, I lamented that the Republicans in Kansas are boring.  They are running against Democrats, who are once again pretending to be moderates to get elected. 

-It has been 30 years since a blatant liberal, Walter Mondale, ran for office, but in many places (like Kansas), liberals still don't win elections.  So, they pretend to be moderates.

-Jonah Goldberg recently wrote a column, entitled, Are Centrist Democrats Real or Just Campaigning?  It is clearly a rhetorical question, but he makes some points that I sorely wish many would be able to open their eyes and see.

-How did Bill Clinton and Barack Obama become president?  They both pretended to be moderates when they were campaigning.  What is the difference between them?  Clinton actually governed as a moderate occasionally, when he realized he would lose re-election.  Obama didn't go that route.

-The result is that, every Democrat running in a red and/or purple state is running away from Obama as fast as they can.  Goldberg uses Democrat Allison Lundergan Grimes as an example.  She is running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, and guess how she is describing herself? She is a "Clinton Democrat".  That phrase hasn't been used in quite awhile, because the image it may conjure up is unpleasant.

-When Grimes was asked what being a Clinton Democrat involved, she said, "growing the middle class the right way."  My response would be, is their a wrong way to grow the middle class?  And is there more than one way to do that?

-If only the average American would pay attention to how a politician runs a campaign and then how they govern once elected.  I still remember Claire McCaskill pretending to be a moderate, she tricked Missourians and went on to be the actual liberal that she was.

-Goldberg concludes with an excellent point.  Is a Clinton Democrat really a Centrist Democrat?
This lent weight to the theory that Bill himself wasn’t so much a principled centrist as a shrewd opportunist who went wherever the polls took him. (This was the man, after all, who consulted polls to decide where he would go on vacation.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Boring Kansas Republicans--Issues vs. Charisma

Two Races that are hot topics in the upcoming election are the races for Kansas Governor and the U.S. Senate in Kansas. The candidates are Governor Sam Brownback versus Paul Davis and Senator Pat Roberts versus Greg Orman.

I am glad I don't live in Kansas for numerous reasons, but these races would be one reason.  While, Brownback and Roberts are solid on the important issues, they are both boring.

Davis and Orman are liberals pretending to be moderates to get elected, but they are definitely more "attractive" candidates.  For all those swing voters who don't pay attention to the issues, it will be a problem.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Stolen Innocence--A Review

This trial has not been about religion or a vendetta.  It was simply about child abuse and preventing further abuse.
I hope that all FLDS girls and women will understand that no matter what anyone may say, you are created equal.  You do not have to surrender your rights or your spiritual sovereignty.  I know how hard it is, but please stand up and fight for your voice and power of choice.  I will continue to fight for you.--Elissa's statement after Jeff's 2007 trial (p. 422)
Stolen Innocence by Elissa Wall is my sixth book in my study of the FLDS.  I have read about some amazing women, my next step will be delving into what the "lost boys" have gone through.  I am stunned at what can be done to men and women when they are in a cult.  Yet, we are all susceptible to being indoctrinated and brainwashed.

I have been immensely inspired by the women who have managed to escape the clutches of the FLDS, and even though it wasn't easy, fought to build a life for themselves and their children.

Elissa's story is especially impressive, because she started fighting back at the tender age of 14.  She was forced into marriage with a cousin she hated and was raped repeatedly.  This marriage was orchestrated by her "prophet", Warren Jeffs.  Elissa's father had already been exiled from her family by Jeffs, and her mother and sisters felt powerless to protect her.

She didn't have a way to escape then, and she thought her eternal salvation was at stake, so she stayed, but she didn't stay silent.

In the FLDS, girls and women are told to "keep sweet", which means, no matter how unhappy you are, no matter how badly you are treated, you are to pretend to be happy and be obedient to your "priesthood head".

Yet, Elissa didn't keep sweet all the time, and she actually had the nerve to speak out.  She was fortunate that she had older sisters and brothers who had escaped before her, and eventually she was able to be set free.  It wasn't easy, she had to leave behind her mother and two younger sisters.

It took years, but she even ended up being a star witness along with her sister, Rebecca Musser at Warren Jeffs' first trial in 2007.

Below are some significant quotes from her book:
Our religion left no room for logical reasoning and honest questioning.--p. 44

Without my nurturing older sister around, I had no one to make me feel safe in the unrest that had taken over our home and irrevocably changed out lives.--p. 49

I was making the choice that my mother had been unable to make for me and my siblings.  I was choosing to give my child the power of choice.--p.321
Elissa says it best in the last paragraph of her book:
...there are still so many young girls and women who don't yet realize that they, too, have the right to cry out against injustice.  I hope this book reaches the many young girls and women around the world whose faces I'll never see and whose names I'll never know, and that perhaps in some way my words will help them to use their strength to reclaim what is rightfully theirs--the power of choice.
Previous FLDS Posts:
The Treatment of Women
Carolyn Jessop--A Portrait of Courage
Triumph
Church of Lies
Studying the FLDS
When Men Become Gods
The Witness Wore Red

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Witness Wore Red--A Review


It started with one book, Escape, and my odyssey into studying the FLDS began. It has been therapeutic for me in dealing with my own issues with how those in the church, and other religious organizations treat women.

I was listening to, The Witness Wore Red on Cd while I was reading four of the other books on the FLDS.  It was fascinating as I listened to the different accounts of some of the key players.

I think I was able to relate, on a personal level, to Rebecca's account the most.  For some reason, I was surprised at how difficult things were for Rebecca and her sister Elissa after they escaped.  I think because they escaped before they had children, I thought things would be easier than they were for people like Carolyn, who already had 8 children.

Yet, it makes sense that things would be so hard.  They had been brainwashed and indoctrinated in a certain way for their entire lives.  Also, something that Warren Jeffs and some of the other priesthood men knew, was that even without their own children, they had scores of loved ones in the FLDS that they wouldn't want to leave.  And when you leave the FLDS, you can't just come back and visit relatives, because you are now an apostate and shunned by most of the community.

I was able to relate to Rebecca in her struggles to realize that what she was being taught about the roles of women was wrong.  And also to her trying to survive financially on the outside world.  She then had to deal with a husband who wasn't in the FLDS, but who still had some sexist views.

As I listened to the end of Rebecca's book, it gave me a lot of strength that I could face some of the things in my own life.  She escaped oppression, yet in doing that, she was severely judged by many and told she was going to hell.  We are by nature people pleasers, but sometimes doing what is right for us, will be judged by others, and that is okay.

Previous FLDS Posts:
The Treatment of Women
Carolyn Jessop--A Portrait of Courage
Triumph
Church of Lies
Studying the FLDS
When Men Become Gods

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The 90's: The Last Great Decade? Part 3: Politically Incorrect


Part Three: Politically Incorrect

1) Bill Clinton's Sexual Harassment Trial, Monica Lewinsky and Impeachment
--My daughter, whose name is Monica, was 3 years old when all of this hit the fan.  She was confused as to why her name kept getting mentioned on TV.

--"It depends on what the meaning of 'is', is."

2) Viral Horror
--The Blair Witch Project

3) Tech Boom
--Pixar
--Steve Jobs returns to Apple after a 10 year absence.

4) Hard Drugs
--Viagra

5) Public Enemy No.1
--Osama Bin Laden attacks two U.S. embassies.  On August 7, 1998 truck bombs explode in the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

--Clinton retaliates, but is accused of trying to sidetrack the American people from the Lewinsky scandal.


6) Sit Down Com
--Seinfeld rules the American airwaves.  It was the biggest hit of the decade.

--I'm not surprised, since it is one of my all-time favorite shows.

7) The West Wing
--A liberal's fantasy White House

8) The Famous Royal Couple Splits & Diana's Death
--Princess Diana does a tell all interview, which is unheard of in British royalty.

--After going against convention, Princess Diana goes on to become one of the most loved women in the world.

--The world is in shock and mourning when Diana is killed in a car accident.  I will never forget that day, because the footage was never ending on the TV.  Her funeral is watched by 2.5 billion people.

9) World Trade Organization
--An anti-globalization protest of the WTO in Seattle lasted for 5 days and caused $29 million in damages.

10) The Shooting at Columbine High School
--I will never forget this day, it brought tears to my eyes.  Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris murdered 14 students and 1 teacher.

11) The Internet Bubble
--Theglobe.com is a sensation overnight.  Everyone goes crazy, but then theglobe.com isn't making a profit, so their stock plummets.  The bubble bursts and people lose a lot of $.

12) Y2K--The Millenium Bug
--Many people were genuinely freaked out about this and really thought the world was going to come to an end.  People stocked up on food and water, etc... I figured if anything really bad happened I'd be dead anyway, so why be psycho about it.  I remember that I even forgot about the panic until the day after New Years, and then I realized I was right about not freaking out.

Previously:
Part One: Great Expectations
Part Two: Friends & Enemies

Friday, October 17, 2014

Malala Yousafzai is Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!

In July 2013, Yousafzai addressed the United Nations, telling delegates that the Taliban "thought that bullets would silence us, but they failed.
"The terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions," she said defiantly, "but nothing changed in my life, except this: Weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born."--Scott Neuman
I am in the middle of reading I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.  So, I was excited when I found out that she was being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

She is one of the most amazing teenage girls I have ever seen.  Men and women alike fear the Taliban, yet Malala stood up to them at a young age.  She was shot for that courage, but survived to continue the fight for girls and women's rights to be educated.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee had this to say:
Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations. This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls' rights to education.
Malala is the youngest ever to receive the award.  NPR had this to say:
Yousafzai, 17, defied the Taliban in her town of Mingora in Swat Valley, near the volatile western frontier dividing Pakistan and Afghanistan. In October 2012, Taliban militiamen boarded a school bus she was on, singled her out and shot her in the left side of the head. Two other girls were also wounded in the attack.

Left in critical condition, Yousafzai received an outpouring of international support and was moved to the U.K. for treatment.
"Malala battled for her life, and came back to become an international ambassador for the rights of girls to be educated," NPR's Julie McCarthy says.

She is a previous recipient of the Sakharov Prize and was first nominated for the Peace Prize last year. She now lives in Birmingham, England, but the Taliban have threatened to target her again.
Malala is sharing the prize with Kailash Satyarthi.  The ironic part is that Malala is from Pakistan and Kailash is from India, two countries that have been at odds for a long time.

Time Magazine had this to say:
The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced on Friday.

Both Satyarthi, a 60-year-old Hindu from India, and Yousafzai, a 17-year-old Muslim from Pakistan, are renowned children’s rights activists. Malala became a household name around the globe when, in October 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban assassin while on her way to school. The young girl had been an outspoken advocate of girls’ education before the shooting. Afterward, she became an international beacon for the cause and was chosen as TIME’s runner-up for Person of the Year in 2012. She was later named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People. Now, at age 17, she is the youngest-ever Nobel Laureate.

For Yousufzai, who continues to receive threats from the Pakistani Taliban who attempted to silence her demands to be educated two years ago, receiving the Nobel Peace Prize offers no better, and no louder, rebuttal.
Malala has a bright future ahead of her.  I imagine that maybe some day, it is possible that she can break barriers and become the Prime Minister of Pakistan.  That would certainly make the Taliban's blood boil.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Roosevelts--An Intimate History!--A Review (Part 1)

No other American family has touched so many lives.--The Roosevelts
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History by Ken Burns has 7 parts, that aired on 7 nights on PBS.
1-Get Action (1858-1901)
2-In the Arena (1901-1910)
3-The Fire of Life (1910-1919)
4-The Storm (1920-1933)
5-The Rising Road (1933-1939)
6-The Common Cause (1939-1944)
7-A Strong and Active Faith (1944-1962)
--I am going to be doing a review on each episode.  I love Ken Burn's documentaries.  My favorite, before this one, was The Civil War.

--The narrator is Peter Coyote.  He narrates a lot of history documentaries.  I love his voice.

Historians:
-Clay Jenkinson
-George F. Will
-David McCullough
-Jon Meacham
-Geoffrey C. Ward
-Doris Kearns Goodwin
-Jonathan Alter
-Edna Gurewitsch
-William Leuchtenburg
-H.W. Brands
-Patricia O'Toole
--I am a huge fan of David McCullough and have read his book on Teddy Roosevelt, so it was great to see that he was a part of this documentary.

--I was excited when I found out that Burns was going to do a documentary on the Roosevelts.  The reason being that I love Teddy Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.  While I'm not a huge fan of Franklin Roosevelt, he was a major historical figure.

Episode 1-Get Action (1858-1901)
Between Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt, they would occupy the White House for 19 of the first 45 years of the 20th century.--The Roosevelts
My Notes:
--Teddy's father was such a philanthropist that he was nicknamed, Great Heart.

--Geoffrey C. Ward described Teddy (as an adult), like a six year old child on steroids and like the Tasmanian Devil.

--Teddy was devastated when he lost his Mother and his wife, Alice on the same day, February 14, 1884.  On that day he wrote in his journal, "The light has gone out of my life."

--Franklin Roosevelt was the only child of his Mother and was adored by all.  FDR was doted on to the point where he saw his rightful position as being the center of the world.

--As I watched this first episode, I was not disappointed.  This is another stellar production by Ken Burns.  I look forward to watching the next episode.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Jon Stewart--Funding or Die


Hat Tip: America's Watchtower
Here's a tip: It may undercut your message when you're condemning a thing, that you have clearly mastered.  It's one of those, Thou shalt not kill, but if you're going to...single shot, back of the head, you want a carpet steal hacksaw, then put the parts in several trash bags, and spread them out over a forest.--Jon Stewart
--I confess that I love Jon Stewart.  Even though he is a huge liberal, he has his moments where he exposes the Democrats for who they really are.  I often played clips of him when I used to do my radio show.

--This time he points out the hypocrisy of the Democrats when it comes to money in campaigns.

Previous Jon Stewart Posts:
-The Race Card
-ClimateGate
-Obama's Teleprompter Problem
-Acorn is Corrupt to the Core