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Halloween Could Bring Out Real Ghouls - Watch Your Kids!

I remember when I was a kid, we had to start looking at the candy we got after Trick-or-Treating, just to ensure there were no razor blades in apples or pins in candy bars after some idiots decided it would be entertaining to do such stupid things to kids. 

Now that I have my own children, worrying about pedophiles and child molesters is on the list of "safety tips" for Halloween.  I truly believe that as a parent, I am the number one protector of my children - no one can do it better.  Either my husband or I will go out with the kids as they trick-or-treat, ensuring they are safe from traffic, other kids out to cause trouble, or adults who would enjoy inviting kids in for an inappropriate visit.

There are many communities who are focused on how to protect kids from sexual predators who may be "tempted" by children parading up to their homes - and I applaud their efforts!  There are various approaches to this, ranging from increased in-home visitations to the homes of sex offenders on Halloween night to proposed laws banning sex offenders from participating in Halloween altogether.  Here’s a glimpse:

About 45 registered Level 2 and 3 sex offenders who live in Westchester County, just north of New York City, will receive special invitations to attend an educational program between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Oct. 31, under an initiative spearheaded by Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano. Those who don’t attend will receive a personal visit from probation officers and police. Level 1 sex offenders and those on probation who have committed crimes of a sexual nature will also receive a home visit, according to a statement released by Spano’s office.

"We’ve done home visits on Halloween nights in the past, but this is the first year that we’ve asked sex offenders on probation to come in to our offices," said Victoria Hochman, assistant communications director for the county executive.

Hochman said kids present the same temptation to sex offenders that alcohol presents to alcoholics. Rather than have sex offenders at home and in the position to be tempted by parades of children coming to their doors, Hochman said, the county will offer probationers something constructive and hopefully put parents at ease.

The Halloween initiative does not come in response to a spike in molestations or abductions on the holiday, however. "We have never had an incident on Halloween night," Hochman said. But highly publicized cases of brutal child abductions in recent years have heightened citizen activism and put pressure on local authorities to monitor sex offenders more closely. Westchester County was also the first in the state to use active Global Positioning System bracelets on sex offenders under the supervision of its probation department.

"Given the high recidivism rates with this type of crime, people are very concerned. This could provide some relief for people," Hochman said.

I like this idea, and in my mind it seems as though this would be the best approach.  Removing any high risk offender from the situation all together seems to make the most sense with follow-up for those who don’t attend the activity.

Here are what a few more communities are doing:

  • New Jersey’s state parole board is putting a curfew on some 2,200 sex offenders it supervises.  Sex offenders need to be indoors by 7pm on Halloween and can’t answer their doors.  They can’t attend parties where children are present as well and can’t take children - including their own - out to trick-or-treat.

  • In Parker County, TX (west of Forth Worth), 42 registered sex offenders on probation will have to spend the evening at county offices.  They state, again, that this is proactive, in order to prevent any issues as well as "protect" the sex offenders from any false accusations.  Eh, the latter isn’t as important to me, but it may temper the heat the ACLU may attempt to throw their way. 

  • Lastly, a Michigan state lawmaker wants to ban sex offenders from Halloween. State representative Fran Amos of Waterford introduced a bill that would prohibit convicted sex offenders from handing out candy and could be passed in time for Halloween.  This most recent action has ruffled the feathers of the ever criminal protective ACLU, who states this is unconstitutional.  I say let’s invite said sex offenders over to the house of the ACLU’s Shelli Weisberg on Halloween - she can entertain them.  Oh, and let’s hope she doesn’t have young children.

Again, the best thing we can do is be good parents - get out with your kids to ensure their safety.  And if you’re like us, maybe you can "trick-or-beer" at the same time!


Punta del Cappello to Jay and Ace of Spades 

Portia Rediscovered linked with Freedom Fighters
Cotillion linked with Freedom Fighters
Stop the ACLU! - Don’t Pick on those Poor Illegal Immigrants!

The ACLU in Ohio is at it again:

LIMA — After the head of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio accused Sheriff Dan Beck of racial profiling Tuesday, he fired back saying she had no evidence of such actions.

"It’s interesting that a group of attorneys that are supposed to represent civil liberties make serious accusations without the first thread of truth. There’s no complaints. They’re on a witch hunt,” he said.

Yanno, even if there *were* complaints, it isn’t proof of racial profiling.  Aren’t complaints supposed to be investigated before they are turned into "truths?"  The ACLU wants everyone to be treated as innocent before proven guilty, right?  Ahem.  Read on…emphasis mine:

Chris Link, the executive director for the ACLU of Ohio, sent out a written statement Tues-day titled “ACLU calls for Beck to end race-based profiling.” When asked if she had proof of race-based profiling, Link said she did not but said she worries there is something to all the concerns about which she has heard and read.

So she has no proof of race-based profiling, but standing behind the 4-letter-agency she turns her worries into reality?  She’s worried about "ALL" the concerns she heard and read, but has no proof?  Isn’t the ACLU supposed to be for civil liberties, or am I sorely mistaken?

Beck said she has nothing and cannot find anything to show his deputies have profiled anyone based on race. Beck said the bigger issue is that Link and her agency are trying to put pressure on police agencies that address the illegal immigration issue.

“She is trying to justify her existence and the existence of the American Civil liberties Union,” he said.

Link, who has not spoken to Beck, also said the sheriff and his agency have no business getting involved in immigration law. She said there are plenty of federal agencies to do that work.

“The federal government has failed to put another man on the moon but I don’t consider it my responsibility to do that,” she said.

But Beck said federal agencies are not doing their job and are allowing the problem to grow. As sheriff he has a job to uphold the law, which also includes upholding laws pertaining to illegal immigrants, he said.

Sheriff Beck made about the only common sense statement in that entire snippet.  Upholding the law is his job, which includes upholding laws pertaining to illegal immigrants.  Oh, and that the ACLU is just trying to justify their existence through inappropriate means.

Link, the 4-letter-agency representative, says that Sheriff Beck’s focus on illegal immigrants takes his focus off the "real criminals."  Um…I thought ILLEGAL immigration was, well ILLEGAL.  ILLEGAL = CRIME.  Duh.  And this last comment was, well, just ridiculous (and of course Link’s).

Do we have to be reminded that we are all immigrants,” she said.

No, we don’t.  I was born in Nebraska, and you forgot the word "illegal."


Stop over at Stop the ACLU!  There are 100+ blogs on board, letting the public know what the ACLU is all about.  Jay also has an interview up with Alan Sears, President of the Alliance Defense Fund.  Check it out!

Merri Musings Review: Premiere “Every Day with Rachael Ray”

So, I have to say, I’m a Rachael Ray geek.  Now that I have that out of the way, you’ll understand why I wanted to subscribe to her new magazine "Every Day with Rachael Ray."  Now you’ll also understand why I read it cover-to-cover as well.

Overall, I really enjoyed the magazine.  I’m not into fashion magazines, and I’m not into "Gourmet" magazine.  I also don’t read travel magazines (there’s something about reading about a person’s stay in a $3000/night suite that pisses me off in a way).  But there are snippets of each of these magazines I truly enjoy (well, with fashion magazines, it’s minimal as I can never seem to find the articles between the ads).  What I found is that Rachael Ray’s new magazine blends the nice things together.

What did I enjoy the most?

  1. The recipes.  Rachael can’t go wrong publishing more recipes.  If you like her cookbooks or her show "30 Minute Meals" you’ll really enjoy the magazine for this reason alone.  There’s even a "7 Days 7 Recipes" insert you can pull out with shopping lists, etc.  Totally cool.
  2. There was a great article about cooking family recipes - and how it relates to the holidays.  In many ways, cooking is sentimental to me.  When I make particular recipes, it reminds me of great moments in my childhood, my mother, my father, a particular Christmas party, or other related get together.  I loved the article as it not only brought in the sentiment of cooking, but the great recipes.  My best recipes (all in my head) are hand-me-downs from my family.
  3. Focus on kids.  There are a couple of recipes that bring kids into the kitchen, including the youngest "Real Cook" tapped for regular writing submissions for the magazine.  I love that.  Rachael Ray, while I’m sure she is interested in marketing a great magazine, didn’t forget about one of her major loves in life - kids in the kitchen.

Some things I didn’t like so much…

  1. I was hoping for more focus on the "Real Cook" segment.  There was a section about what "Real Cooks" want.  I wasn’t all that impressed.  It seemed to be a way to advertise products more than a way to introduce the "Real Cooks" who are contributors who aren’t professional chefs, but everyday people who love to cook.  I also thought some of the products would NEVER fit into my everyday kitchen.  I know I’m in the wrong league when a "Real Cook" buys a dozen brownies for $37, not including shipping.  :)
  2. Whoopi’s fridge.  I really do like the idea of looking inside a celebrity’s fridge to see what’s in there - it’s up my alley (I do read "People" magazine…I can’t believe I admitted it!).  But Whoopi is so *not* up my alley.  And her fridge contents are boring.  I would have found a celebrity with a much more interesting fridge.  What does Anthony Hopkins have in *his* fridge?  Some fava beans and a nice Chianti, perhaps?  Heh.

Overall, for $18/year, it is not a bad purchase…I looked for it on a shelf, and never did find it in a store!  It’s a beautiful magazine, and very Rachael Ray.  I thought it would be a monthly magazine, but found out it is bi-monthly at first [insert sigh of disappointment here].  I can’t wait until the next installment!  Do you think she’ll take my suggestion to look into Anthony Hopkins’ fridge? 

Cotillion & King O’ Cotillion

I’m a day late…argh!  Let’s just thank some pesky database updates and a lack of patience to wait for those updates, dammit!

Please take a peek over at Beth’s place to see who was crowned King of the Cotillion.  Could it be…..B.C.?  Of course, inquiring minds want to know!

Also take a look at the spooky Cotillion Ball this week.  I didn’t get my links in, which allowed Girl on the Right to get Instalanched…a deserved ‘lanche, too!  Had I submitted my link, well, let’s just say Murphy’s Law ain’t got nothin’ on me!

There you have it…while I’m a day late, the reading is worth the wait, don’t you think?

The Mail Gods Were Good to Me!

The Mail Gods were good to me…and no, this has nothing to do with my letter carryin’ hubby, either!  Heh!

I got my first ever, brand-spankin’ new, premiere edition of "Every Day with Rachael Ray."  For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is Rachael Ray’s new magazine!

Who has time to post when this is sitting on the coffee table.

More to come - including a review.  From the outside in, it looks good.  The magazine is an unusual size, so it stands out from other magazines.  The photo on the cover is nice - not too Martha Stewart-y or too Oprah-y, if you know what I mean - down-to-earth.  And for those of you who miss Boo, Rachael’s 13 year old pup/taste tester, the first article I read was about Boo’s passing and a recipe in Boo’s honor!  There are also a ton of recipes, including a picture for every one. 

More to come…in the mean time, I must read.  :-)

Thank You for a Great Birthday!

So, I had a great birthday weekend!

Even though my crazy hubby left a crazy post on my crazy site, I simply cannot trade him in.  He treated me to a couple of nights of dinner on the town, a nice round of linky-dinky-love, and my favorite Rachael Ray saute pan and one of her signature knives from Sur La Table.  I’m pumped and ready to cook and cut things (muhahahah!)!

Thanks to my friends in the ’sphere who left me great birthday wishes….and for those of you who linked my site on yours!  Beth - you’re right, it was a rather interesting birthday post, wasn’t it?  Heh!  Dan, thank you for thinking of me, but why did you link him (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)?  Heheheheh  Speaking of him - thank you for the Jawalanche, Honey!! 

Riehl World View linked with Just Goes To Show You
Do You Want a Sex Offender’s Opinion?

He apparently thinks you do:

ELKHART, IowaA convicted sex offender who served time behind bars says he wants to be heard — and he wants Iowa lawmakers to listen.

Dave Spencer, 52, of Elkhart, plans to be at the Statehouse this week to tell lawmakers about the effects of laws passed to punish sex offenders and restrict where they can live.

Let’s see:  The effects of laws passed to punish sex offenders and restrict where they can live protects people, in particular children, from proven sex offenders.  Said laws allow kids to be kids (as much as they can be these days), by making parks, schools, and libraries much safer places.  Oh, wait….Mr. Sex Offender wasn’t talking about the POSITIVE effects, was he?

Spencer said he isn’t asking that sex offenders go unpunished, only that the penalty be just.

He said he’ll ask lawmakers to revisit this year’s laws that place harsher penalties on sex offenders and a 2002 law that bans child molesters from living within 2,000 feet of schools and day-care centers.

Oh, yes.  Let’s revisit those laws.  Mr. Spencer, can you provide an iron-clad guarantee to me that any sex offender, particularly those of the pedophile type, will never again, absolutely NEVER commit another sex crime once s/he is released from prison?  No?  Didn’t think so.  Until then, I would recommend that the State of Iowa revisits those laws as you are asking….but makes them harsher.

Happy Birthday, My Darling My Hamburger!

Happy Birthday To You
Your Breast Sure Are Huge
Happy Birthday My Honey
Can I Have 10 Bucks For Some Beer?

I love you!

Riehl World View linked with Married Bloggers
…and People Wonder Why I am for the Death Penalty

Well, it’s simple.  *This* is why I am for the death penalty:

SAN FRANCISCO — A search of San Francisco Bay continues for the bodies of two young children believed to have been tossed into the water by their mother.

Authorities have recovered what’s believed to be the body of a third child. The San Francisco Examiner reported that the body of the woman’s 3-year-old son was recovered about four hours after a witness reported seeing a woman drop the children off a local pier.

The search began late Wednesday afternoon when an unidentified man called 911 to report seeing the woman drop the children into the chilly water near a popular waterfront stretch.

Lashaun Harris, the 23-year-old "mother" in this case, is booked for three counts of murder.  Her excuse?  The "VOICES" told her to dump her kids off the pier.  Well, my "voices" tell me that she should receive the death penalty.  But it’s possible that she will have some "mental disorder" that would prohibit that from happening.  I personally don’t care.  There isn’t a person out there, mental disorder or not, who can justifiably kill their own kids and get away with it in my book.

Update:  No surprise, Lashaun Harris pled "not guilty."  Of course she has a mental disorder….and of course she’s going to get some testing.

The charges could bring the death penalty, but District Attorney Kamala Harris said she hasn’t decided yet whether to seek such a sentence.

Hmmmm….easy decision for me, quite honestly.  And this:

She said there will be a critical look at the way social services handled the woman’s case.

Of course there should be a critical look - they made the decision to return the children to this woman.  But more importantly, what consequences will there be for the family members who didn’t take her seriously when she stated she was thinking of feeding the kids to the sharks?  I’m so damn tired of people taking "critical" looks and feeling some level of pity for the family who "didn’t take it seriously."  DO SOMETHING.  In both instances (social services and the family members), they had information and history which led them to understand that this woman was not in her right mind (um, anyone who kills someone like this isn’t in their right mind, by the way).  The family should have kept the kids safe when social services decided that Mom and kids needed to be reunited.  Call me mean or hateful if you feel you must, but they are virtually as guilty as she is by not taking her threats seriously. 

I look into the face of any child (mine, but other kids as well), and I cannot fathom what these innocent, beautiful children could ever do to inspire such hateful acts, even in their worst moment.  To protect a person after they kill a kid, in particular their own, is just not something I can comprehend.  The criminal is not the victim here, whether they are mentally "ill" or not.

Vince Aut Morire linked with She Was Going To Feed Them To The Sharks
I Got Nothin’!

Work was crazy today, I didn’t get much sleep last night and my eyelids are closing without my permission!

All of that being said - I’ve got NOTHIN’ to post.  My attention span is about 1 minute (barely enough to post this note).  I hope to have more inspiration (and more sleep under my belt) by tomorrow.

Hubby - there ya go….I posted something.  :-)

An ACLU Meme

So, Teach over at Pirate’s Cove tagged me for a meme that’s right up my alley: my, um, love for the ACLU.  Here’s the sordid details:

“If you could hang a sign on the ACLU building to …draw attention to it, what would you put on your sign?�

So…to answer this question:

Okay - so not the best photoshop - but I’m no expert.  You get the point, though.  Heh.

I have to think of who I’d like to tag with this one.  But even if I don’t tag you, feel free to have a little fun!

Oh - and Teach, thanks for talking up my site - flattery will get you everywhere!  Hehehehehehe!

Oh, and while we are talking about the ACLU - stop over at Jay’s - he’s having a trackback party!

Pirate's Cove linked with ACLU: What's Your Sign?
King of Cotillion - Finalists!

Time to start the final round of voting for… King of Cotillion (also known as "Cotillion Beefcake")

We have the top four candidates in the final round, ready for objectification! Some of the photos will have changed at their request, as you will see, but you can still ogle check out the pictures from last week HERE. Let the objectification begin!

First, we have MacStansbury, Beth’s co-writer here at MVRWC and proprietor of the excellent MacStansbury.org blog. MacS hates this picture because he was exhausted and "covered with sand," but I like that he was showing his USM pride in the middle of a live combat area:

Next up, and also dashing in his desert camo, is Thunder6 from 365 and a Wakeup, beamed in from the front lines in Iraq where he is now.

B.C. didn’t dig up his photos with him in his flight suit from his days in uniform, but he provided a more current photo, this one showing him enjoying the good life–beer-drinking on a boat–and looking not so torturous away from the Imperial Dungeonâ„¢ at the Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler:

Also in a sunny paradise is Bullwinkle from Random Numbers. Bullwinkle may be a big ol’ moose, but he likes little furry animals other than just squirrels. Here he’s feeding a baby coati mundi that he rescued, now just a couple weeks old. Bullwinkle with baby coati mundi 'Monita'

There you go, y’all! The Final Four! Now go on over to their sites, poke around, and most importantly, VOTE (in the sidebar)! You can only vote for ONE this time, but you can still vote every day. Voting will close on SUNDAY NIGHT again, around midnight (Central time), and the winner will be announced and crowned King of Cotillion / Cotillion Beefcake? on TUESDAY. Thank you from all of us in Cotillion to all the guys who participated last week–we consider all of you our Princes for participating and for supporting us!

I *Am* Alive…..

Hi everyone!

I am alive, just being pulled away by the "real world" for a couple of days.  Hubby and I were in the purging mood (no, this is *not* about an eating disorder).  We rented one of those handy dumpsters and got rid of those rather large items that we no longer use and needed to get rid of (plus lots of little stuff…it is amazing how many times I said "oh, yeah….I can pitch that" as I walked through my house).

There’s something very "freeing" about throwing away stuff that I’m bogged down with (Note:  the word "liberating" came to mind, but it was a bit too close to "liberal" hehehehehe).  When I was younger, it was soooo important to have "stuff" and as I get older I want nice things, but can do without a bunch of "stuff" cluttering up our home and life (and besides, the kids have enough legos, hot wheels and various "dolly" things to clutter us up for life!).

So….with exceptionally sore arms, a sore back, and a lump on the back of head (don’t ask, but it hurt!), I can proudly walk around seeing a bit more garage, a bit more floor and know that we spent our time and money wisely.

I’m sure I’ll be back to blogging more tomorrow, unless I’m covered with ice packs.  Heh! 

Vince Aut Morire linked with Been Busy Link Dump
To the Idiots Who Support Sex Offenders and Other Such Idiots

To those of you - and you know who you are - who are submitting comments that are loaded with crap (defending pedophiles, sex offenders, ridiculous name calling, spewing out of the bible when you don’t know what you are talking about), I am deleting them.  This is *my* blog and I won’t publish your crap as it eats my bandwidth.

If you want to spew your nonsense, keep it on your own blog.  I won’t entertain it.

Oh, and to the idiot who is trying to prove some nonsensical point, I don’t care if someone draws a picture of children having sex together (even stick figures) - there is no such thing as "fake" kiddie porn.  Drawing it is as bad as photographing it you sick bastard.  I hope to God you don’t have children because if you did, I’d have a notion to report your IP address information to the authorities.


Rachael Ray & John Cusimano Wedding Photo

I found a much better picture of Rachael Ray and John Cusimano on their wedding day over at http://www.rachael-ray.org/ (in the photo gallery section):

For those of you who are fans - enjoy!  For those of you who are not, please indulge me!  :-)

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