Monday, February 27, 2006

16 Things

I was either going to do a serious post on the port deal or my next conservative profile on J.C. Watts tonight. But I've been busy with real life and didn't have the energy. So instead I'm going with a Calvin and Hobbes and a funny post by Dave Barry. He is a great humorist and ofcourse does a great bit on "24" each week. I loved some of these!! At least one of them should put a smile on your face :-)!!

By Dave Barry, former nationally syndicated columnist

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5. You should not confuse your career with your life.

6. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

7. Never lick a steak knife.

8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven.

12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

13. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person (This is very important. Pay attention. It never fails.)

14. Your friends love you anyway.

15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

16. Thought for the day: Men are like fine wine. They start out as grapes, and it's up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tears of the Sun

Even though it came out 3 years ago I just watched "Tears of the Sun" last night. It was really good. If you can handle war movies I highly recommend it. It was an inspiring story about doing the right thing in the midst of the horrible tribal wars that go on in Africa. It is amazing how difficult life is for so many people there and I think we need to be reminded of it more often.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fun Stuff I've Collected

Don't have time to spend on a serious post so thought I'd post some fun pics I've collected over time.

My dream: to be a cross between Wonder Woman and Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) :-).

She's tired of hearing Nancy Pelosi talk about the "Culture of Corruption".

Hat tip to for the pic.

My favorite guy character (Max)(Jason Baehr) and couple (Max & Liz) of all time from the TV show "Roswell".

You gotta love this picture. Bloviating Zeppelin posted it awhile back.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cool Stuff

I went to see "Firewall" this weekend with Harrison Ford. It was an okay movie, worth seeing once but can't say I was that impressed. The best part was probably seeing "Chloe" from 24 play his secretary. It was interesting seeing her play a different role. But I was more excited about one of the previews before the movie. In April a movie is coming out called "The Sentinel". It has Kiefer Sutherland in it playing a "Jack Bauer" role. Click Here for a trailer of the movie. Kiefer Sutherland is in it as a secret service guy along with Michael Douglas. I just hope like someone else mentioned that Kiefer doesn't end up being the bad guy in the end.

The second thing I noticed recently that caught my eye was a new show coming out in March. My favorite fictional president ,David Palmer, is going to be in it. It is called "The Unit". The show looks similar to 24. Here is another link that talks about it. Dennis Haysbert (aka David Palmer :-)) leads a special forces team which includes a new member, Scott Foley (Jennifer Garner's ex and he was on the show "Felicity").

They both look like they are worth checking out.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Conservative Profile #4--Karen Hughes

To be honest my first impression of Karen Hughes wasn't that great. I'm not sure what it was. But after reading her book "Ten Minutes From Normal" I was really impressed with her and even more impressed with W than I was before.

She was born on December 27, 1956 in Paris, France in an American Hospital. Her father was Hal Parfitt who was a U.S. Army General. As a result she had dual citizenship.

Career Highlights:
--Graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1977
--Television News Reporter from 1977-1984
--Texas Press Coordinator for Reagan Campaign in 1984
--Worked for the Republican Party in the early 90's
--Worked on George W. Bush's campaign for Governor of Texas
--Director of Communications for Governor Bush from 1995-2000
--George W. Bush's campaign for President
--Counselor to the President from 2001-2002
--Worked for the Presiden't re-election campaign
--Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy from July 2005-present

She is married to attorney Jerry Hughes and mother to two children. She is a strong Christian who is an elder and a Sunday School Teacher in the Presbyterian Church. Her faith is a big part of her life. She says, “Faith is a foundation, a set of beliefs upon which my life is grounded and from which all decisions can be based.” She got the phrase "Lord, give me grace under pressure" from her minister and prays it before all her speech or television interviews.

When she was counselor to the President she was the highest-ranking woman ever to work at the White House. Yet throughout her whole life of having exciting jobs she always managed to juggle being a wife, a mother and a woman of faith.

It has been awhile since I've read her book but I had several impressions after reading it. First, I was so impressed by her genuine faith. Before, I didn't know if her Christianity was in name only. But after reading the book I saw how her faith was an integral part of her life. One of the neatest stories was the deep discussion she had with her minister on whether she should move to Washington D.C. to work in the White House. She wanted to make the right decision and I was so impressed with her minister for spending the time with her to talk about it.

Second, was how she juggled her career with her family. She left television for her "part-time years" to spend more time with her family in the late 80's. She asked W to let her bring her son on the campaign trail in 2000. What an awesome experience for a junior high kid to witness first hand a presidential campaign. And no one thought W would agree to it and yet he didn't even hesitate. I thought that was so great and really impressed me. And when her son was miserable in D.C. she left the White House and moved back to Texas. She seemed to have her priorities in order.

Third, was just what a neat, strong woman she was. Totally a power player. I loved all the great jobs she had and how she juggled everything but still maintained her integrity. I think she is a strong, conservative woman who is a great role model for all women and our daughters.

"Ten Minutes From Normal" by Karen Hughes
Review of "Ten Minutes From Normal" by Sissy Jacobson
Wikipedia on Karen Hughes

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jack Bauer

Life has been very sobering recently. I have some close friends going through some difficult things. It is late and I can't think of a good way to talk about it in a post. So I have been wanting to post these fun things about Jack Bauer so now seemed as good a time as any. Last night my favorite Jack Bauer line was: "Trust me, you don't want to go down this road with me." He said this right before he was going to torture a guy who wasn't cooperating. If the guy only knew how true that line was :-).

Jack Bauer Truths

If you can lead a horse to water. Jack Bauer can make him drink.

If Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler, Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot Nina twice.

If you wake up in the morning, it's because Jack Bauer spared your life.

Upon hearing that he was played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer killed Sutherland. Jack Bauer gets played by no man.

Jack Bauer let the dogs out.

Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.

1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.

Jack Bauer killed 93 people in just 4 days time. Wait, that is a real fact.

Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.

Osama bin Laden's recent proposal for truce is a direct result of him finding out that Jack Bauer is, in fact, still alive.

Jack Bauer doesn't miss. If he didn't hit you it's because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.

If Jack and MacGyver were locked in a room together, Jack would make a bomb out of MacGyver and get out.

Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas. (this one is my favorite)

Jack Bauer's favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.

When Google can't find something, it asks Jack Bauer for help.

The reason why terrorists attacked New York City was because Jack Bauer was in LA.

Jack Bauer got Hellen Keller to talk.

Jack Bauer played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun and won.

Lets get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

People with amnesia still remember Jack Bauer.

When the boogie man goes to sleep, he checks his closet for Jack Bauer.

When you open a can of whoop-ass, Jack Bauer jumps out.

When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them to kill terrorists.
Jack Bauer hates lemonade.

Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry.

It would only take 1 bullet for Jack Bauer to kill 50 Cent.

The quickest way to a man's heart is through Jack Bauer's gun.

Jack Bauer is the leading cause of death in Middle Eastern men.

Jack Bauer once won a game of Connect 4 in 3 moves.

Jack Bauer can get McDonald's breakfast after 10:30.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Women Leaders

Last week when I was cleaning my house I had a week's worth of papers to sort thru. In doing that I came across several women that have become leaders of their countries recently. Ofcourse my favorite Woman leader so far has been Margaret Thatcher. I'm planning on doing more research and doing a conservative profile on her because she is awesome. She is a tough, conservative woman who was Reagan's "conservative soulmate". I love her nickname "Iron Lady".

Here are some statistics about women leaders according to an article in the KC Star entitled "More Women Emerge to Lead Their Nations":
-Approximately 45 women have been presidents or prime ministers from 1950-2000
-There are 12 female heads of state elected or appointed since 2000
-Current Women Leaders:
1) Bangladesh--Prime Minister Khaleda Zia
2) Germany--Chancellor Angela Merkel
3) Ireland--President Mary McAleese
4) Latvia--President Vaira Vike-Freiberga
5) New Zealand--Prime Minister Helen Clark
6) Philippines--President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
7) Liberia--President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
There are 3 Women who have come to power just recently that I would like to highlight.

First, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected to be President of Liberia. Not only is she the first woman president of Liberia but the first woman to be elected president in Africa. She was just inaugurated into office on January 16th with Condoleezza Rice and Laura Bush standing by in support. Ironically her nickname is "Liberia's Iron Lady". Here are some excerpts from a Washington Post article written about her before she was elected:

"Nicknamed the "Iron Lady of Liberia," the 66-year-old economist has often held jobs in fields dominated by men, including finance minister of Liberia and vice president of Citicorp. She has also run for office against one autocratic Liberian leader and gone to prison for criticizing another.

Johnson-Sirleaf's campaign pledges to stop corruption and promote development hold appeal for people in Liberia, which emerged in 2003 from 14 years of civil war that left an estimated 200,000 dead and the infrastructure destroyed.

She also has promised to bring electricity to the capital within six months and to launch an ambitious education program that includes rebuilding schools, opening vocational training centers and promoting sports.

Although Johnson-Sirleaf's election would make her the first female head of government in Africa, she is one of a long list of Liberian women who have made their mark on domestic or international politics."

Second, is Angela Merkel who became the first woman Chancellor of Germany on November 22nd of last year. She is a 51 year old Conservative, Protestant Christian (although I think that term has a much different meaning in Germany than the U.S.). She is a Pastor's daughter and Mahndisa will be happy to know she was a physicist before entering politics. She has been underestimated by her political foes and when she was in Chancellor Kohl's cabinet he referred to her as "my girl" or "the girl". As Chancellor she has vowed to improve the German economy and reduce Germany's high unemployment rate. Here is an excerpt about her:
"According to an article in Der Spiegel, her background in the former GDR has served her well in post-reunification politics. For the first 36 years of her life, she honed her skills at disguising her inner thoughts and feelings — essential for survival in a society where every room might contain a State Security Police (Stasi) informer, and especially for a pastor's daughter. Speaking near-perfect English and remarking on her background as an "Ossi", she says: "Anyone who really has something to say doesn't need make-up". Besides being fluent in English Angela Merkel also speaks Russian fluently."
I personally loved the make-up line :-).

Third, is Michelle Bachelet who is not only the first woman to be elected as President of Chile but the first woman to win in a direct election in a major Latin American country. She won in a run-off election on January 15th of this year. She will be inaugurated in March. She is a 54 year old, single mother who is a Chilean Socialist. Her father was in the Air Force so she traveled a lot as a child and even spent some time in the U.S. where she became fluent in English. After the military coup in 1973 that brought Pinochet to power her father was imprisoned and tortured to death. In 1975 Bachelet and her mother were also imprisoned and tortured and later that year exiled to Australia. Eventually in 1979 she moved back to Chile and became a surgeon.

She delved into politics after democracy was restored to Chile in 1990. She eventually was appointed to be the Defense Minister in 2002. She was the first woman to hold this position in a Latin American Country. Here is some excerpts from a BBC article about her:

"The 54-year-old became the sole candidate for the ruling centre-left coalition after another woman, Soledad Alvear, dropped out of the contest in late May.

The coalition, known as Concertacion, has held power since the return of democracy in 1990 and Ms Bachelet says she will carry on the tradition of maintaining strong economic growth - but has also pledged change.

Ms Bachelet, who will be inaugurated in March, is keen to bridge the gap between rich and poor."

We may soon have a woman president here in the U.S. 

KC Star articles: 1) Will Women Show a New Way? by Trudy Rubin
2) More Women Emerge to Lead Their Nations by Rick Montgomery

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Liberia's 'Iron Lady' Goes for Gold

Angela Merkel
Merkel's Meteoric Rise to Power

Michelle Bachelet
The Woman Taking Chile's Top Job

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

George W Bush SOTU 2006--The State of Our Union is Strong

It amazes me how I still get teary eyed when I hear Bush speak. As I have said many times I didn't start paying attention to politics until Clinton was President :-(. In fact, it makes me sad because all 4 of my children were born while Clinton was President.

All that to say it was so meaningful to me when W became President. I finally got to witness a man of integrity with whom I shared many beliefs and ideals take the oath of office. And W has a charm and a likability about him and he is very presidential. I think some conservatives take him for granted and I think history will look very favorably on him.

He is not perfect. I do not agree with him on Campaign Finance, Immigration and other issues. I think he's too nice to some liberals. But he has done some awesome things and he has been a great president. How often do you get a President who has similar moral beliefs, similar conservative beliefs and is very inspiring in how he deals with people? The last president we had like that was Reagan but who was it before that???? When you look at Nixon, Ford, Dole, Bush Sr., etc. you don't have that. I am going to be intellectually honest when I don't agree with Bush but I think I am witnessing a fascinating time in history. I am concerned about 2008 because no one looks like a Shining Star to me. So I am going to be so thankful for W while he is still in office.


Now to the speech. There were some great lines:
Far from being a hopeless dream, the advance of freedom is the great story of our time. In 1945, there were about two dozen lonely democracies in the world. Today, there are 122.

But our enemies and our friends can be certain: The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil.

America rejects the false comfort of isolationism. We are the nation that saved liberty in Europe, and liberated death camps, and helped raise up democracies, and faced down an evil empire. Once again, we accept the call of history to deliver the oppressed and move this world toward peace. We remain on the offensive against terror networks. We have killed or captured many of their leaders – and for the others, their day will come.

Our work in Iraq is difficult because our enemy is brutal. But that brutality has not stopped the dramatic progress of a new democracy. In less than three years, the nation has gone from dictatorship to liberation, to sovereignty, to a constitution, to national elections.

The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home. As we make progress on the ground, and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels – but those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C.

Yet, there is a difference between responsible criticism that aims for success, and defeatism that refuses to acknowledge anything but failure. (Applause.) Hindsight alone is not wisdom, and second-guessing is not a strategy. (Applause.)

Marine Staff Sergeant Dan Clay was killed last month fighting in Fallujah. He left behind a letter to his family, but his words could just as well be addressed to every American. Here is what Dan wrote: "I know what honor is. ... It has been an honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to.... Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting."

Democracies in the Middle East will not look like our own, because they will reflect the traditions of their own citizens. Yet liberty is the future of every nation in the Middle East, because liberty is the right and hope of all humanity.

Tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.

So to prevent another attack – based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute – I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous Presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have, and federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed. The terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al Qaeda, we want to know about it, because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again. (Applause.)

Together, let us protect our country, support the men and women who defend us, and lead this world toward freedom.

As we look at these challenges, we must never give in to the belief that America is in decline, or that our culture is doomed to unravel. The American people know better than that. We have proven the pessimists wrong before – and we will do it again. (Applause.)

A hopeful society depends on courts that deliver equal justice under the law. The Supreme Court now has two superb new members – new members on its bench: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sam Alito. (Applause.) I thank the Senate for confirming both of them. I will continue to nominate men and women who understand that judges must be servants of the law, and not legislate from the bench.

Human life is a gift from our Creator – and that gift should never be discarded, devalued or put up for sale.

Lincoln could have accepted peace at the cost of disunity and continued slavery. Martin Luther King could have stopped at Birmingham or at Selma, and achieved only half a victory over segregation. The United States could have accepted the permanent division of Europe, and been complicit in the oppression of others. Today, having come far in our own historical journey, we must decide: Will we turn back, or finish well?
Other parts of the speech I liked:
--In the past 2 1/2 years more jobs have been created in the U.S. than Japan & the European Union combined

--Make the tax cuts permanent

--Line Item Veto

I was very happy with what he said directly to the Iranians. Tony Snow mentioned this morning how important it would be for W to do this and he did. I remember hearing stories of how people in East Germany were so inspired when Reagan asked Gorbachev to tear down the wall. It makes a bold statement when the President inspires people in a non-free country that we want them to be free.

I also was so impressed with how bold W was. Instead of walking up there with his tail tucked between his legs (which is how the dems acted like he should) he confidently defied his critics especially when it came to saying he would continue wiretapping to prevent another 9-11. You go W!!!!!!