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From KETV.com:

Police said the mother told them she had learned that Riley admitted putting the baby’s body in a plastic bag and then placing it in a nearby storm drain. An autopsy performed on the child ruled that the death was a homicide, caused by asphyxia, blunt force, head injury and environmental exposure.

This 22-year-old, Danielle Eboni Riley, made the adult decision to have unprotected sex.  She made the decision, once she was pregnant, to carry the baby to term, even though she more than likely never planned to put the baby up for adoption.  And then she made the most disgusting, selfish, hateful decision of all…to murder her baby.  A baby who never had a chance to live because "MOM" decided to smother the baby, hit the baby in the head and toss the baby away like garbage.

Now, some of you may want me to understand that this "poor 22-year-old girl" was a victim in some way.  You will NEVER convince me of that, so it isn’t worth trying.  I don’t care.  There is NOTHING that can make me feel sorry for anyone who could be so cold and hateful that they make a decision to MURDER a newborn…one that was breathing, and crying and helpless.  People that make decisions such as this should understand what it is like to have life taken away.

…and you wonder why I so strongly believe in the death penalty?

Vince Aut Morire linked with Tell Another One, Pinocchio
Why Should I Feel Sorry for a Child Rapist & Murderer?

Carlie Brucia was an 11-year-old girl full of life and a lot ahead of her.  She was charming, bubbly and an A-student.  Was…until her life was ripped from her, slain by a man who first sexually abused her and, in order to protect himself, killed her.  This vile excuse for a human being is Joseph Smith and he changed not only Carlie’s life, but everyone who knew her.

"I lost the love of my life," Susan Schorpen, the 11-year-old girl’s mother, said Monday while fighting back tears and taking deep breaths from the witness stand. "I cry for her at all hours of the day. I cry for her at night. I’m broken. I will never heal."

Carlie’s mom wants to see Smith die.  She said outside the courthouse "I’d like him dead today."  Can you blame her? 

Smith had his first day of trial to determine his sentencing and his family and friends are hoping for life in prison versus the death penalty. 

His aunt, a cousin and a former girlfriend described him as a talented handyman and mechanic who was ready to help anybody with their cars or home improvement projects.

Defense attorneys showed jurors pictures of Smith as a child, with his daughters and other relatives. They also played a DVD of Smith, 39, making a toast at his cousin’s wedding.

"He would do anything I asked him to do," said Jean Dwyer, his aunt. "He was like a second son."

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It is entirely predictable that family and friends of a person being sentenced for murder would want to rush to their defense - especially if they knew him as a completely different person.  But honestly, that doesn’t mean that I have to feel sorry for the bastard.  He murdered an innocent 11-year-old girl.  He has DAUGHTERS OF HIS OWN.  I don’t care that he had a drug addiction, I don’t care about any of the problems he had.  His defense attorney apparently thinks that these issues should count for something (emphasis mine):

But defense attorney Carolyn DaSilva asked jurors to recommend sparing Smith’s life. She noted that he had battled back pain, depression and drug addiction for the past dozen years, and said relatives, friends and a drug-addiction expert would testify how "a man with good qualities could have fallen so far."

"You will hear from witnesses who can tell you about Joe’s good qualities … even though he was unable to control his drug addiction," DaSilva said. "You will hear from people who care about Joseph Smith, and that his life has value."

So back pain is an excuse to avoid the death penalty when someone murders an 11-year-old girl after sexually molesting her?  Did he choose to hunt her down and molest her because he was depressed?  Did the drugs make him do it?  C’mon - that’s offensive to most back pain victims, individuals with depression and even most drug addicts.  It shouldn’t matter that these things exist.  People live with these issues every day and never hurt anyone like this.  He is the ADULT and he made choices that caused him to be addicted to drugs.  There are treatments for depression and for back pain.  Why the hell would anyone accept these excuses when it comes down to determining his sentencing?  What matters is that he made a very swift, heartless decision to kill a little girl after he violated her physically.  That was his crime.  I don’t feel sorry for the guy in the least - I am unable to.  I *DO* feel sorry for Carlie’s family.  Parents should never have to bury their children - and in particular children who die brutally because of another.  I am angry as hell that an 11-year-old girl had to suffer the way she did - and had to know she was going to die - I cannot even fathom how afraid she was. 

Why should he live, when he made the choice to not allow her to do so?


Happy Ball & Chain Day, My Love!

My dear hubby,

Your post about our 10th anniversary today was, well, amazing.  We *have* come a long way, haven’t we?  We’ve been through so much, you and I, and through it all you have been the strength I’ve needed.  There are many women in the world that look to their husband as an "equal partner."  Call me old fashioned, but one major reason I fell in love with you is that I knew you would be my strength, my rock.  I don’t always want to be "equal partners (okay, maybe with the exception of the household chores…hehehe)."  I love that you pamper me, that you tell me what’s important, that you take care of me when I need it most.  When Bradley was coming almost 2 months early, I needed to look in your face to make sure things were going to be okay.  When I’ve had health issues, you took care of me on the days I don’t think I even knew my own name.  When my mom got sick and was dying, yours was the only strength I had on many legs of that journey.

Ours was definitely a union of fate - we lived two doors away from each other, yet it took AOL to bring us together.  I remember that first Christmas after we met.  I didn’t want to really celebrate as the prior year had been so bad.  But you got me through it, and I actually enjoyed that Christmas:  Mannheim Steamroller and Champagne and Christmas lights.  And with tremendous debt and not much incoming money, we entered into this marriage.  Ten years has brought us two beautiful and amazing children, a home and much more financial stability than I imagined 10 years ago.

I know you walk around in my brain and my heart regularly.  You have endured "the rat" Chi Chi even though he seems to hate you.  You rushed out to buy Winston when I was heartbroken when Stanley died.  When Cosmo escaped, you made Bradley happy again by buying Wanda.    Standing in front of the fountains at the Bellagio, you know I got emotional.  Honey, it was at that moment that I was overwhelmed at how happy I was and how much in love with you I still am.  There have been a number of points in our marriage, particularly early on, that I felt that I needed you.  But I have recognized over time that I don’t need you.  I want you.  And at that moment in front of the fountains, I wanted you more than I have ever felt before.

I could write forever and ever in a feeble attempt to put into writing how much I love you, but it wouldn’t do my feelings any justice.  Just know that I love you with my entire being and will do everything I can to make our 2nd ten years even better than our first.

I love you, Honey!


Online News Blog linked with Internet News for Internet Business
We’re Back!!!

Eric and I are back from Las Vegas (we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary!).  We had a great time…we actually didn’t really lose money on the black jack tables (now for me, the slots were another thing, but let’s just say I stayed away from them after the first couple of hours…hehehehe).

We stayed here:

We saw this:

…and this…

…oh, and this….

…and this, and this and this:

I would add that we gambled, saw Celine Dion, had a few AMAZING meals, but the rest is none of your damn business.  Remember, what happens in Vegas STAYS in Vegas, right?  Hehehehe 

But Eric is right, the time we had pales in comparison to seeing our two little ones throw themselves into our arms at the airport.  As much as I loved to spend "couple time" with my hubby, we just don’t feel as complete as we do with our kids.  The kids had a great time, too, other than the great "puking incident" we heard about.  Enough about that!

Anyway, many many thanks again to Raven for getting my back while we were in Vegas (and Vancouver!!).  I truly appreciate her taking care of my site while I’ve been gone!  Now, off to fix football food for the big Nebraska-Colorado game today.  Woot!  GO HUSKERS!

Polls Apart

The recent rhetoric from Democrats about bringing the troops HOME (NOW say SOME); the press going on and on about President Bush’s LOW approval rating- one would think the country is falling apart like it did during the Vietnam war.

So I got confused when I read this:

Negative press coverage of the war in Iraq in recent weeks has emphasized rising pessimism among the American public about the conflict. But a new survey found that 56 percent of the public thinks that efforts to establish a stable democracy in the country will succeed.

What the hell is going on here??

The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press — which also plumbed opinions of journalists, university presidents and others in academe, diplomats, government officials, religious leaders, members of the military, scientists and international security specialists — revealed a marked disconnect between the perceptions of the general public and many of the so-called opinion leaders.

Oh I see…the opinions of journalists, university professors, diplomats and other various leftist/socialist/communists- no need to say more.

When asked whether they thought democracy would succeed in Iraq, only 33 percent of the journalists agreed that it had a chance. The number was even worse in academe — 27 percent of respondents thought the effort would succeed. Among the military, however, the number stood at 64 percent.

“The media and academia have always been more to the left, so how they report these things is not necessarily the way the country sees things,” said Charles Gravely, 56, a real estate executive from the District.

Really? Is this news? Do they know this about themselves?

Meanwhile, close to half of the American public — 48 percent — think the decision to take military action in Iraq was the right one.

“I put my trust in the people in charge of our defense,” said Haley Praytor, 21, an intern from Lindale, Texas.
The survey found a spectrum of opinions between the opinion leaders.

Among journalists, 28 percent thought the decision was justified. The number was 21 percent among the academic elites and 49 percent in the military.

The public is evenly divided on whether the war in Iraq has helped or hindered efforts to combat terrorism, 44 percent thought the conflict has helped the effort and the same number thought it has hurt. In the press, 68 percent said the war had hurt the effort, and 22 percent said it had helped.

In the academic world, the numbers were 75 percent and 16 percent, respectively. Among the military, it was 47 percent and 45 percent.

The war in Iraq “has definitely helped indirectly,” said Andrew Reese, 33, a software sales representative from Arlington. “It has probably kept other countries from committing terrorist acts in the U.S.”

So the opinion leaders aren’t doing a good job LEADING us now are they? (We’re not dumb.)

The survey also found that the public’s view of the United Nations has soured since March. Overall, 48 percent of Americans felt favorably toward the United Nations, down from 77 percent in 2001. The approval ratings of the United Nations dropped by 11 points since March alone.

Get us OUT of the UN.

Get A Clue, ACLU

Law enforcement works hard to keep our cities and towns as crime free as possible. When they get tips about criminal activity, they often do long investigations to get all the proof they need in order to prosecute the crime. This costs a lot of money, takes a lot of manpower, and should be respected. Along comes the ACLU.
Defending the criminals.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) came to the defence of the two US-based Indian shop owners, charged with selling a highly addictive drug, calling the police operation in the case as ‘’ill conceived'’.

‘’There are too many unanswered questions about the validity of evidence against these store clerks for the prosecutions to go forward in good conscience. We have launched a full investigation to determine the extent of police misconduct in this ill-conceived operation,'’ Christina Alvarez, a staff attorney with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project said in a statement yesterday.

Once again, the ACLU is busy defending non-Americans. Wasting more money to start a “full investigation” that has already been done.

Two convenience store owners, Falgun Patel and Sudhirkumar Patel and workers of Indian origin were recently arrested for selling items that could be used to make methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug that is sweeping the rural United States.

The civil liberties group promised a thorough investigation into claims that law enforcement selectively targeted the Indian community based on national origin and race in ‘’Operation Meth Merchant'’.

It said besides the Patels, more than three dozen other Indian merchants were targeted in the sting operation, which was carried out in coordination with the US Drug enforcement Administration.

Of the 49 retail clerks and convenience store owners charged, 44 were Indian. Many shared the same last name — Patel.

Law enforcement will not look into possible crimes/criminal activity if they don’t have good reason to do so. In spite of what some want us all to think, LE knows a strong case vs. a weak one. Unfortunately, groups like the ACLU jump in and make such a big fuss about these things- it undermines the time and effort put into the case.
For this particular case, it sounds like the ACLU came along to defend a NAME and NATIONAL origin…I say they are using this case to further their agenda.

Federal law prohibits merchants from selling products knowing — or with reason to believe — the products, which could be used to manufacture methamphetamine.

But in the aftermath of the 18-month investigation, several of the 44 Indian suspects claimed a language barrier confused the process. At least three suspects claim that they were misidentified by the police informants who secretly taped the alleged transactions using hidden microphones or hidden cameras.

Besides taking up the case against two of the accused, Falgun Patel and Sudhirkumar Patel, the ACLU has launched an investigation into claims of selective arrest and prosecution based on national origin and race.

If successful, such claims could result in the dismissal of all defendants’ cases based on the fact that the US Constitution prohibits prosecution based solely on national origin and race.

Did you read the part that said– 18 months? Why would any LE agency spend THAT much time on a case based soley on RACE and ORIGIN? Get a clue, ACLU.

Cross Posted @ ARS

The Process of Releasing CSO into society

I came across this article about the process of releasing convicted sex offenders into society. There is a personal story to this at the beginning, but what caught my eye was the actual process. I decided to write a post about this. It is specific to the state of Wisconsin, but many states do the same thing.

The release and the public notification After serving a debt to society, along with a successful completion of counseling, convicted sex offenders are released from prison or a mental health institution. But before release, the public is notified, thanks to the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry Program. According to the Department of Corrections, the Sex Offender Registration and Community Notification law was passed in 1997, allowing the public to collect and distribute information about a certain sex offender coming to the area. But public notification has been a national law for several years. In 1994, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act was enacted, requiring all states to establish stringent registration programs for sex offenders by Sept. 1997, including the identification and lifetime registration of sex offenders. Megan’s law, the first amendment to the Act, was passed in 1996, requiring all states to develop notification allowing public access to information about sex offenders in the community.

The federal government requires each state to have in place procedures for notification. Some states are better at this than others though.

David Hatch, a parole supervisor for the Department of Corrections (DOC), said the DOC will be required to post the addresses of convicted sex offenders on its web site beginning in December. “That information will be used to better track an individual and indicate where they’re located,” Hatch said. Wisconsin law does not require notifications for all offenders released from prison or a mental health facility. It only highlights certain offenders who may pose a significant risk to the community. A year prior to the offender’s scheduled release date, the criminal history is screened by staff in the law enforcement area to see if it meets the statutory requirement of a Special Bulletin Notification. Some of the cases undergo a special purpose evaluation to determine if they qualify for civil commitment under chapter 980, which classifies people as being too mentally unstable to be in society. Approximately two months prior to the release date and following the special purpose evaluation, the same staff will receive a final notification from the program, including the DOC’s intentions to distribute a special bulletin notification. The DOC sends a recommendation of what level of notification the offender should be. There are three levels of community notification. Levels of community notification process •Level I, is strictly limited to law enforcement. •Level II is targeted notification. This may include schools, neighbors, community groups, day care centers, parks, recreation areas and libraries. •Level III is expanded notification to the general public. A variety of methods are used to inform the public, including face-to-face notification, media releases and community meetings. Hatch said the Department of Corrections determines the levels based on the original offense, institutional treatment and institutional conduct. But law enforcement has the final say about level notification.

It’s facinating to learn how it all works, and I didn’t know the Dept. Of Corrections starts this process. This is common in all states.

Pre-parole plan After the DOC discusses a pre-parole plan about the offender’s residency, employment and support following prison, a residency is selected for the offender. The DOC investigates the proximity of schools, churches and other public places he or she may be deemed as a threat. “But there are some problems finding a place,” Hatch said. For example, the DOC finds an apartment for the offender. But in the complex there’s a mother and three children — which is not an appropriate place. “There’s no perfect place wherever you put a high risk sex offender,” he said. But once housing is found, the DOC is responsible for preparing and distributing the special bulletin notification for the community.

This is where many communities are having a hard time of it…no one wants a CSO to live in their neighborhood. Cities and towns have rules about how far CSO must live within schools, day care centers, shopping malls…and of course CSO are upset because they are limited. So they should be. The next section of this article describes what is done to track CSO…this is very different in each state. Don’t forget to check out this site, which will show you on a map, where RCSO (registered convicted sex offenders) live in your area. Be prepared; educate your children, be viligant.

Cross Posted @ ARS

It is time for the vice president to stop continually misleading America

He likes to make news every so often, the Senator from MA who likes us to think he’s a war hero. John Kerry is such a loser.

Sen. John Kerry locked jaws yesterday with White House pitbull Vice President Dick Cheney over a congressman’s call to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq within six months. From the lobby of his Boston office, Kerry blasted the vice president, accusing Cheney of dodging honest debate in favor of “inappropriate and misleading” partisan attacks. “It is time for the vice president to stop continually misleading America,” Kerry said, adding that the administration “ought to be trying to fix the problems they have created with their incompetence over the last three years.”

All the problems that Kerry would have magically fixed within a year, had he won the election. Ha. If that were the case, the Middle East would be in worst turmoil than it is right now. Kerry would insist everything pass that GLOBAL TEST…and since half the world is full of appeasement pacifists, we know where things would stand.

Earlier, Cheney toned down his criticism of decorated war veteran and U.S. Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), even calling him “my friend and former colleague.” But Cheney then blasted lawmakers for “dishonest and reprehensible” claims that the United States fudged intelligence to make the case for war.

Cheney is a smart man. He knows a real hero from a fake one, and Kerry doesn’t like that.

“Some of the most irresponsible comments have come from politicians who actually voted in favor of authorizing the use of force against Saddam Hussein,” Cheney said. “These are elected officials who had access to the intelligence materials. They are known to have a high opinion of their own analytical capabilities.” Cheney did not mention any senator by name, but Kerry still shot back. “That is just plain, flat, not true,” Kerry said. “We did not see the same intelligence and I challenge the vice president, I challenge him to answer the fundamental questions from the facts.”

It’s CYA time for people like Kerry, and others. A new political season is up and coming and they have to distance themselves from their own actions.

Kerry said Murtha’s call reflects the feelings of Americans and Iraqis of the urgent need to disengage U.S. forces the country. “There is no time to spare – that really was the message of John Murtha, whether you agree or disagree with how he said it,” Kerry said. But Kerry declined to sign on to Murtha’s call to withdraw troops in six months. “It can be done in about a year under my plan,” Kerry said. “Others have different plans.”

Oh no. He still has plans?

Cross Posted @ ARS

People start to feel like strangers in their own country

When I think about illegal immigration, it’s not just the mere fact these people are here ILLEGALLY. Breaking the laws just by being here- that’s bad enough but what makes it worse is they are here to take our jobs. There are two sides to this tale. American business has a lot to do with this. They want to hire people who don’t expect to be paid a lot of money. While I understand that, I have a hard time coming to terms with the very real fact that by hiring illegals, these businesses are breaking laws too. Two wrongs. And I hate to get into this, but President Bush is going along with this.

There is a resource people can use to find the names of local business who keep this issue alive by hiring illegals.
WE HIRE ALIENS- a relatively new site with a lot of names.

The biggest incentive for illegal aliens to come to the United States is to find work. If there are no employers willing to hire the illegal aliens, then the flood of illegal aliens will subside.

So the purpose of this website is to expose “alleged” employers of illegal aliens. In this effort we need your help. First, if you know of a suspected employer of illegal aliens report them here.

Second, search or browse the “alleged” employers of illegal aliens and email them telling them you will no longer patronize their business. In the same email, make sure they know that you will also tell everyone you know NOT to patronize their business. We’ve got pre-written emails to help you do this.

Third, DO NOT patronize the businesses you see listed here.

Finally, use our website to report these “alleged” employers to the proper authorities. Again, we’ve got emails already written that you can send off at the touch of a button.

I did a search for the state of California and was amazed at how many companies are doing this. I often boycott places that promote things I don’t agree with. It’s high time everyone stayed away from companies who hire illegals. Don’t give me the line of BS about how these jobs are not “wanted” by Americans either. American’s aren’t given a chance to even know about these jobs.

Many businesses are starting to worry about the politics of illegal immigration. Good. They should start to worry as they are a big part of the problem, I have to say.

Here’s another article that outraged me…illegals have an easier time getting home loans than do American citizens! I guess it shouldn’t surprise me, with all these business giving away all those jobs.

November 19, 2005 - For many, it’s the American dream: owning a home. With the recent spike in housing costs, it’s become more difficult for many Valley families to qualify for a home loan. But some local banks are giving out loans, and they don’t even require a social security number.

David seems like your typical first-time homeowner. The house is small, money’s tight. But his family is happy. “It was our dream.” he said. “So it was like our dream became true, finally.”

But getting a loan from the bank almost didn’t happen. An employee from the bank called and said it seemed they had a problem.

The problem was David’s social security number … it’s a fake.

He is undocumented, an illegal immigrant. David thought it was a dead end, but not in California. It’s among a few states where banks are offering mortgages to people who they know are illegal.

And as always there are liberals who want to defend the “rights” of those who enter the country illegally, who use fake documents to steal our jobs and take over our healthcare facilities. This pisses me off.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein stood outside her office one recent afternoon explaining her plan for granting legal status to some farmworkers who had entered the country illegally.
She turned to leave, then beckoned back a departing reporter. “Please don’t use the word `amnesty,”‘ Feinstein said. “It’s not an `amnesty.’ It’s an `earned transition.”‘

Across the Capitol that day, during a testy immigration hearing, Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Edward Kennedy asked Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff how “mass deportations” of illegal immigrants would impact the country.
Experts say the language in this particular debate is becoming increasingly angst-filled because it veils a deep national divide in beliefs over who deserves to be here, and, ultimately, who we are as Americans.

“It’s this sense that people are losing control over their own lives,” said Ira Mehlman, Los Angeles-based spokesman for the Federation for Immigration Reform.

“People wake up and discover half the kids in their children’s class don’t speak English and most of the resources are going to address that problem. People start to feel like strangers in their own country.”

Those enraged by the problem say illegal immigrants are “invading our country,” and “taking jobs away from Americans.” Those on the other side say illegal immigrants are “living in the shadows” and “doing jobs Americans won’t do.”

It seems that everyone is forgetting one key fact: By being here, these people are breaking laws. Without a second thought. Without a concern for the American people. If they’re willing to be here under these cirscumstances, then they would be willing to break any law.

Cross Posted @ ARS

Stop The Madness

Beth is asking that we check out this petition and if you’re so inclined, SIGN IT.

Are you fed up with the political games being played in Washington, D.C.? Do you want critics of the Iraq war to stop the relentless attacks on the President and our troops? Then sign this petition. We are at war…still most Democrats in Congress attack the President and our troops without conscience. Sign here to ask them to STOP THE MADNESS!

This petition will be hand-delivered to every member of Congress and party leaders. Our message is clear:

We the undersigned believe it is time to unite this country. These baseless political attacks must stop. We are at war! 160,000 US Armed Forces are in Iraq fighting and winning. They deserve better. We call on Democratic leaders to stop the attacks on the President and our troops. And we call on Republicans in Congress to do a better job of stopping these attacks and stand with the President and our troops as well!

We will deliver this petition the day of the Presidents next State of the Union address in 2006. Please sign your name and include your city as well. If you’d like a response from Congressional members in your state, include your mailing address as well. These attacks must stop. If they do not, we will lose the war in Iraq and the terrorists will win! Please take action and let your voice be heard today!

Pass this on!

Cross Posted @ ARS

Project Hero

Beth ALSO shared a link to Project HERO. What a great idea…

For those of you that don’t know, I mentioned a few days back that I was surprised to learn 208 Silver Stars had been awarded in Iraq. Apparently heroism isn’t newsworthy enough for most of the MSM. So in an effort to change that, I’ve embarked on a bit of a personal crusade called “Project Hero”, where I will highlight the heroism of some of our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today we honor a young Marine officer who won the nation’s second highest honor for valor in action: the Navy Cross.

Cross Posted @ ARS

The Cotillion’s Basil Interview

So you wonder what goes around in the minds of women, but don’t want to read about it in "People Magazine?"  I have just the place for you!

Basil’s Blog interviewed a number of us ladies from The Cotillion, myself included.  Please stop over and learn all about what women want (real women, not those liberal-minded peacenik women who don’t shave!).

Many thanks to Basil and to Beth for coordinating the whole thing for us.  What fun!

Thanks and Thankfulness

Me and the hubby hop on a plane for sin city tomorrow - we’re celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary with the honeymoon we never had.  I’ve never been to Vegas, so I’m pretty pumped about the trip!

So we’ll be gone for most of the week.  I sooo appreciate Raven stepping up to fill in for me (AGAIN!!)…please stop over at her site and trackback, leave comments, send her money.  Okay, at least stop over and say hi or give her some linky love.  She’s posted more at my site recently than I have….silly real life getting in the way and all!

While you are at it, please click through and visit my friends who are on my blogrolls.  There isn’t a blog on there you’d regret poking around at.  Since I’ve been remiss at keeping up, the least I can do is send you over their way.  I promise I’ll be back to the normal groove soon!

Thanksgiving is coming up, and it has reminded me to think of those things I have to be thankful for and appreciate having as part of my life.

  • We’re so extraordinarily blessed to have two beautiful, smart and healthy children.  Having them in my life has certainly made life worth living and more!
  • I have a great husband.  We’ve weathered quite a bit in the last 10+ years and I’m so thankful that fate brought us together.  I find it amazing, however, that it took the Internet when we lived in the same apartment complex with the same view from our windows.  It was meant to be!
  • We’ve got a roof over our head, reliable transportation, jobs that keep these things intact and afford us the opportunities to take our vacations, feed our families, maintain a virtual zoo in our home (we’ve covered the reptile, mammal and feathered kind as of right now), have some level of financial stability as well as any electronic object we can get our hands on, along with watercraft.
  • I’m thankful that our living family members are still with us this year and that my mom no longer suffers the pain I remember her having last Thanksgiving.
  • I’m thankful that, even without Mom, Dad will be celebrating Christmas this year.  I was truly wondering what was going to happen.  Christmas was a holiday that Mom was fanatical about.  Now if I could just figure out what Dad will be doing with this new lady friend of his….hehehehe
  • I’m thankful that I live in a country that I can have all of the aforementioned things and people in my life.  Oh, and that I can talk and write freely about them without wondering who will come and cut off my hands if I’m caught.
  • I’m thankful for the brave men and women who are away from their families protecting this country from terrorism and those who want to strip our freedoms from us.  I pray that those who are voicing dissent will gain clarity and support our troops and the reasons they are actively protecting our country. 

Think about those things that you are thankful for.  I can tie virtually everything in my life back to one thing - the freedom we have here to enjoy life fully if we want it.  There are some countries where it is acceptable to abandon a child merely because of their gender.  There are countries in which I would have never held a job because I am a woman.  There are countries in which I would have never seen a computer, let alone share with the world my feelings, my opinions and sometimes crazy pictures and posts.  And there are some that would punish me severely if they knew I was speaking out against something.  I’m so thankful that my children will enjoy the freedoms and joy living here have provided to me.  I can only hope that those who seem to tear down every decision made to protect this country appreciate what they have.  For it is those very things they have that have allowed them to protest and call for a change of strategy as it relates to the war on terror. 

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you and Viva Las Vegas!  See you on Friday! 

“Every Day with Rachael Ray” Sets Sales Records!

Not any big surprises here:

NEW YORK, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ — Readers have a hearty appetite for Every
Day with Rachael Ray, the new food/lifestyle magazine published by The
Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.  The first issue of Every Day with Rachael
Ray debuted nationwide on October 25, 2005, and the overwhelming demand at
retail has prompted the publisher to go back to press for an additional
135,000 copies, bringing the total print run to more than one million copies.

…and it doesn’t stop there!

Barnes & Noble, Inc. announced on Monday that Every Day with Rachael Ray
set a new sales record at the chain, selling more than 20,000 copies in the
first two weeks — the strongest launch of any food magazine. Every Day with
Rachael Ray is expected to be among Barnes & Noble’s top ten bestselling food

If you can’t get your hands on an issue, you can visit their companion site here.  Small snippets are published there, and you can also subscribe to the magazine there.  I really enjoyed the premiere issue, reading it cover to cover, and I’m certain any Rachael Ray fan will enjoy it as well!

Teens Had Weblogs

I’m sure you’ve all heard the news about the 18-year-old, David Ludwig, who allegedly killed his girlfriend’s parents because of an argument about curfew.  Both he and his 14-year-old girlfriend, Kara Beth Borden, were captured after a police chase and authorities are attemting to determine the role she may have played, if any, in the slaying of her parents.

Kara’s 13-year-old sister, Katelyn, told investigators her father and mother were shot after they argued with Ludwig for about an hour, according to a police affidavit filed in court.

"As they got near the front door, Katelyn Borden saw David Ludwig with a handgun pointed toward her father and Katelyn saw David Ludwig pull the trigger, heard a gunshot, and then she ran into the bathroom," the affidavit said.

She heard a second shot — presumably the one that killed her mother — while hiding in the bathroom, it said. Ludwig then ran through the house calling for Kara, she told investigators.

Michael and Cathryn Borden, both 50, were found shot to death shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday, after the couple’s 9-year-old son ran to the home of neighbors, who called 911. An older daughter also escaped, police said.

I find it incredibly sad that the siblings were witness to this act and now they will be subject to all that comes with it since their parents are deceased.  Authorities are suspecting that this was premeditated, which carries a life sentence if Ludwig is convicted.  Ludwig is virtually a kid himself.  How could such anger be in someone who is barely an adult?

The interesting spin on this is that CBS reports that both of these teens apparently had blogs.  The blogs themselves aren’t interesting per se.  They appear to be the usual "teen" types of blogs - listed hobbies/interests, pictures, emoticons.  Truly nothing that seems out of the ordinary and nothing that would lead you to believe that the next action would be the murdering of the girl’s parents.  I just sense that because some criminals reportedly have maintained blogs that could be "a window to their minds," each and every time there is a heinous criminal act I picture reporters frantically searching Google or Yahoo! to find the blog the criminal wrote so they can report on their "state of mind."  It’s just compelling to me, and I see it as evidence that could be used in the investigation and/or the trial on both sides (defense and prosecution).

The children impacted by this act are in my thoughts in prayers.  My heart goes out to them.   

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