Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Musings -- Autumn in Arkansas

This is what makes me miss Arkansas in the fall -- it was taken this morning by a friend in Little Rock, and posted on his Facebook page (what a fantastic invention, that Facebooky thing can be!). He took it from his deck overlooking the Arkansas River.

*heavy sigh*

Oh well -- I suppose I'll wax nostalgic about New Orleans in Carnival/Mardi Gras season whenever we move north.

**double heavy sigh**

I think I'll go decorate for Halloween and do other nice things for myself. Like ignoring the vacuum cleaner for yet one more day.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Art, Puppy Love, and Inexplicable Horror

My friend Dale is one of the nicest guys I know. He always has a smile on his face and proudly sports a tattoo of #3 for "Dale Senior;" family vacations regularly include a trip to Talledega. He and his interesting Uncle Iggy have done our heavy yard work for six years now -- he even kept up the yard while we were evacuated after Katrina.

That was a tough time for Dale -- those post-Katrina days. Not only was his home flooded (his young family lived in a FEMA travel trailer for over a year, but they still managed to add a precious baby girl to their two sons during that time!), his family's business -- a successful Nursery and Landscaping Service -- also flooded and had to start over from the ground up. To add to the misery, his younger cousin -- a strong, young soldier -- was killed in action in Iraq.

Thankfully, though they'll never get over the loss of his cousin, both the family home and the business have now fully recovered and are doing well. Dale has even added a hobby to his rather full schedule that came about as an offshoot of his late uncle's Bonsai-training business -- he has become an artist!

Yesterday morning when I took a check out to him for doing the yard, he said, "Wait a sec, I've got a present for you!" and he ran to his truck. Beaming and grinning from ear to ear, he proudly handed me this beautiful copper-wire sculpture of a hummingbird hovering near a hibiscus blossom -- just like the one in my back courtyard!

My smile and admiration of his piece pleased him, and he told me that he knew he had gotten good at the complex sculpture when his teenage son recognized the flower as a hibiscus and wasn't embarrassed by his dad's hobby any more! Ah -- the coveted approval of one's own!

I'm honored he chose to give me a piece of his work -- I think he could sell it! Now I can't wait to put it in a pot of mums on the front porch to show it off to the neighborhood, but I'll have to plant some mums first.

The non-artistic pic? Bouie had a close call yesterday when his rear leg got twisted up in the plastic mesh in the front yard. I mean seriously twisted -- I barely managed to cut the tight mesh off, and I was afraid he had hurt his hip or tendons! His poor puppy leg swelled badly, but we don't think he did any permanent damage. He didn't seem to mind the cold compress and baby aspirin too much, but he really ate up the extra attention he got from a concerned dad. See above.

So, on a day of surprises -- both good and bad -- life went on, for most of us.

For others, it was cut short, unexpectedly and treacherously in an upscale Dallas neighborhood.

R.I.P., Mary and Spud. Thanks for sending Bouie to us. And may God have mercy on your souls.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happenings in NOLA

1. We welcomed a new addition to the Audubon Zoo three months ago and she made her debut last week to rave reviews!!

Menari is a pudgy, orange little orangutan baby -- one of only two born in the United States this year. We may have to go to Swampfest this year to check out all the doings at the zoo -- it seems that good things are happening there!

2. The first of three Honor Air flights took 88 Louisiana WWII vets to D.C. yesterday for a "thank you" tour. It rained on them, but their spirits weren't dampened! I had to miss the welcome home at the airport last night, but I'll be there on October 10th!

3. Geaux Saints, whoop up on the Bills!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Musings on a Humid Morning in New Orleans: Can Federalized Health Care Reform Work?

This is the interior of the window in our foyer. It is covered in a film of heavy condensation, and it looks like this pretty much every morning for 6 - 8 months a year. This is why we think about mildew a lot down here. And why we have such nice, moist skin!

I don't pay attention to the humidity too terribly much since we live with it every day, although I have learned strategically to plan shampoos for the least-frizzy time of day. Then, this morning, a friend who made a quick business trip to New Orleans from Sacramento, called to let me know that her plane leaves at 2:00 so she couldn't do the "windshield disaster tour" after all. (That's where I give my special guided tour through the City and areas that are still recovering from the Katrina floods in my sweet ride).

In a carefully-measured voice, she told me, "It's so -- um -- muggy here." I think that's trying-to-be-nice California-speak for, "Dang! You can barely breathe here unless you have gills, and don't even think about trying to get your hair to cooperate!" She also said that since she grew up in the Midwest, she previously thought she knew what "humid" means. I just giggled.

Then I welcomed her to Moogie's World.

The condensation is usually gone by noon-ish, and the humidity levels drop enough so that the uninitiated can venture outdoors without SCUBA gear. She'll miss the best part of the day for sightseeing, but she promised to come back so she can see the buildings from Brad Pitt's "Make It Right Project" in the lower Ninth Ward.

Her observations made me think, though. We live in a truly big country -- one in which the folks who dwell on the edges don't really comprehend how the folks live and play in the middle -- and vice versa. We're a confederation of distinctions; a Republic of varying wants, needs, and interests.

If styling one's hair differs so much from region to region, how can we expect any one-size-fits-all federal program to work nationwide? I'm thinking it can't, with any equitable outcome. Now what?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Still sleeping off an indelicate medical test -- back when I'm coherent (or have regained most of what passes for coherency in Moogie's World.)

Cheers. And leftovers for dinner.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Musing: An Autumn of the Southeast Louisiana Variety

Scenes like this don't show up so much in southeast Louisiana.

Fall is the day when the leaves fall off some of the trees into the street to clog up the storm drains, especially in New Orleans. The Live Oaks wait until new growth hits in the spring, then dump old leaves and stringy oak flowers all over the place (usually on a car).

Yesterday, our Autumn began with temperatures in the lower 90s, thunderboomers, soggy mail, and muddy pawprints in the kitchen.

But, a hint of giving the air conditioning a rest is floating through the night sky, and the promise of Fall music festivals is making the media rounds. What sweet sounds and glorious food are right around the corner, all to be enjoyed in three-quarter length sleeves! We may have to hit the next Saints Gameday Pre-party outside the Dome just to make it official.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sailing, Sailing, Over the Bounding Sea!

A friend emailed this funny today along with the caption:

"If you have been thinking about a cruise to Alaska... this may be just
what you are looking for! All expenses are covered and the only
requirement is that you are at least 65. Contact your local Democratic
Representative or Social Security Office to sign up."

Maybe not so funny.

At least I'm not qualified -- yet!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Of Racism and Waterfowl

I just read an entertaining and thoughtful post at Stephen Kruiser's that concludes the media -- MSNBC shows , in particular -- are responsible for contriving the ever-more-pronounced role that race plays in the expanding debate on healthcare (and countless other topics).

Interesting point.

Of course, the troll-ish commenters don't even pretend to address the premise of the piece -- they just want to hone in on a few fringe folks at the Tea Party gatherings and point to their signs as evidence of a massive racist current running through the heart of the conservative movement and its like.


There really will not be an end to the racist diatribe, will there?

Okay, I give up — a sign portraying Obama as a witch doctor suggests that its creator may have prejudiced leanings. So what? It’s A sign, carried by someone who has no authority or power to act upon his less-than-P.C. leanings. His Mama obviously didn't rear him properly (Note for those north of the Mason-Dixon Line: "rear" is a southern colloquialism for the raising and nurturing of offspring, not a reference to some odd "teabagging" endeavor).

That sign is also kind of clever in the respect that witch doctors, stereotypically, induce their “cures” through “magic;” through nothing of any real substance, or through mesmerization at best — which is precisely how Obamacare appears to be funded at this point.

Would it be preferable to see the Young President caricatured on a sign as the AFLAC duck? You know — a “quack?” Or would that, more insidiously, be evidence that: (A) Obama = duck; (B) duck = game waterfowl to be shot and consumed by the hunter; therefore, (C) Obama = target of gun-crazed cannibals and/or (D) Tea Party protesters are cannibals?!? (I can't figure out how to extrapolate them out so they become racist cannibals, but I'll keep working on it. Any suggestions?)

I suppose an ObamA-FLAC duck sign would bring the "no-guns-near-the-Prez-ers" out in full force, though, which could be problematic in a whole different vein.

Oops. Sorry, Second Amendment and TEA Partiers — I just gave MSNBC its next story line. My bad.

*UPDATE* -- the Greater New Orleans Tea Party group had a successful picnic yesterday at West End Park! We arrived a little late, so we missed the bulk of the crowd, but a book vendor reported running out of his 500-copy stash of The 5000 Year Leap, and the "Conservative Cone" Snowball vendor seemed pleased (there's no stopping those conservative entrepreneurs, is there!)! Not too shabby attendance for an LSU football day, especially with the game being played up the road in Baton Rouge. In one pic above, taken at the picnic, the diagram seems particularly apropos of the commenters I noted above; in the other, Bouie demonstrates his boredom with the whole racism thing. (click on the pic for a larger view)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tea Party Movement? What Tea Party Movement?!?

This is what I'm waiting to see -- decent aerial photos!

I'll update our NOLA "9/12 on 9/19" Tea Party Picnic later. We're not going for the whole thing, (so I don't have to do the "perfect" picnic basket!), but we are going to add to the warm-body count later in the afternoon. We may even take Bouie with us -- that should prove interesting!

P.S. -- Woooo Pig Sooie!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Michelle Goes to the Farmers' Market

It seems that Michelle Obama made an impromptu appearance at the White House neighborhood Farmer's Market yesterday near the Metro stop. (No, that's not some colossal allegory -- it's for real). She was decked out in a lei of marigolds and toted a straw basket to hold her selections.

So, oh! This column by Dana Milbank in today's Washington Post is just too priceless. Milbank's inclusion of a few of The Young First Lady's quotes gives us a peasant's peek into the "just plain folks" simplicity of Obama-world, and the critical value of a wholesome diet in the First Family's daily regiment (with just a spicy little barb via the boffo closing observation):

She spoke of the global reach of her cause: "The first thing world leaders, prime ministers, kings, queens ask me about is the White House garden. And then they ask about Bo."

She spoke of the fuel fed to the world's most powerful man: "I've learned that when my family eats fresh food, healthy food, that it really affects how we feel, how we get through the day . . . whether there's a Cabinet meeting or whether we're just walking the dog."

And she spoke of her own culinary efforts: "There are times when putting together a healthy meal is harder than you might imagine."

Particularly when it involves a soundstage, an interpreter for the deaf, three TV satellite trucks and the closing of part of downtown Washington.

Speaking as someone who made a budget-unfriendly tactical error earlier in the week -- the husband wanted fresh red snapper for dinner, so I went to Whole Foods just to go to the fish counter, and bought snapper without checking the price first -- I can appreciate that putting together a healthy meal is "harder than you might imagine."

I can imagine it so well, as a matter of fact, that without qualifying for "Cash For Crustaceans" (or other water-dwelling denizens), healthy eating at Moogie's Mansion won't involve a trip to Whole Foods (or the Organic Counter at the Joe-Sixpack Supermarket, for that matter) for the rest of the month!

H/T the Husband.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's Constitution Day!

Thanks and a shout out to James Madison and his Krewe! Happy Constitution Day!

Celebrate it while you still can.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Emily Post or Twenty Lashes?

The House of Representatives' Committee on Rules publishes guidelines and rules for appropriate behavior and decorum when engaged in the business of government; the current Chair is Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY). In light of the last week's unpleasantness on the floor of the House, the specific Rules for "referring" to the President during debate have been bouncing around the blogosphere and testy emails. Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member may not:

-call the President a “liar.”
-call the President a “hypocrite.”
-describe the President’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
-charge that the President has been “intellectually dishonest.”
-refer to the President as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
-refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the President’s part.”

(Even so, a Member may refer to a Presidential message as a “disgrace to the country,” or
refer to unnamed officials as “our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs.” That makes it infinitely more convenient to debate.)

A perfunctory reading suggests that these rules refer to floor or committee debate, not to what transpired last week on national television's "Prez-a-thon, Part who-can-remember-what-number."

I think Emily Post probably trumps the Rules when the Prez is an invited guest to one's chamber (we'd have to ask Monica to be certain. Oops! I've just violated one of the "thou shalt nots!"), so Rep Wilson was out of line and rude during Obama's sermon to the choir last week; but, the Young President has also rudely refused to meet with Members who have asked for his time, contrary to his public pronouncement in the chamber last week and elsewhere, beginning in July. On Wilson's part, apologies have been offered and accepted, if we're to believe Rahm Emanuel. For this outrage du jour to come to an end, does Wilson really have to be tied to the whipping post? (Oops -- there I go again, this time with a racist remark.)

I vividly remember Hillary and her pals chuckling and rolling their eyes during any number of Bush 43's addresses, without consequence.

Today, I am SO fed up with every single living, breathing body that occupies, or has occupied, an elected office in D.C., and many who have already been buried. Double-triple-quadruple standards accompany double-triple-quadruple entendres, subterfuge, and usurpation of states' and citizens' rights, responsibilities, and duties -- and they just cozy up and multiply in our governments, federal, state, and local alike. They ALL need to be unceremoniously chucked out on their high-pensioned, overly-bussed derrieres.

BOTH major parties and their adherents need to make nice.

Our friend from Virginia suggests that the Republican party is behaving like "screaming assholes" since the new Administration moved into the White House. That could be. My thought, however, is that there is no party presently in existence that doesn't have its "screaming assholes," as our friend so gallantly phrases it. None. But, I do know one thing: there needs to be some sort of release brought to bear soon -- not only for the anger that is fermenting across the country, but also for the fear. Overly-taxed pressure cookers make for a pretty big mess. How's that for a double-entendre?

A good start would be to take the race card out of the deck and hide it somewhere so it can't be dealt.

You can call someone pretty much anything in Great Britain's Parliament if you have a good enough vocabulary. I'm working on it. Let's send a Thesaurus to our Congressmen.

9/12 MARCH UPDATE: Redistributing Knowledge posts a panoramic photo of the 9/12 crowd in D.C. reportedly taken from atop the Capitol Building via congressional escort. Pretty dang impressive!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Canine Chicanery at Moogie's Mansion

See this adorable face? Sweet. Innocent. Brimming with unconditional love.

It's a mask.

It hides a nefarious plant-unplanter extraordinaire. This week alone, he not only de-earthed geraniums and weeds alike, he also toppled the hibiscus several times with gleeful abandon. I won't tell you what he does to the mint and lantana -- let's just say that I wash the mint very carefully before using it. Today he got a tad impatient waiting for me to let him indoors and, to soothe his pitiful, unresolved stress, he uprooted the basil, dill, and flat-leaf parsley. The basil and parsley may survive -- it's R.I.P. for the dill.

All of the foregoing says nothing about the 50 year-old holly shrubs that he has literally shredded. Oh -- and the begonias in the pic? One-third of 'em: deep-sixed and digested.

I was thinking about doing some fall plantings since I begrudgingly skipped indulging myself in most spring and summer color. (My rationale for horticulture abstention? See: "plant-unplanter extraordinaire," supra.).

I may have to do a little re-thinking. Or invest in doggy-downers.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dealing with Conflicting Emotions

I'm an only child who either had to cultivate or "marry into" sisters. I'm also a sports-loving, political junkie who is concerned about the path our country has wandered onto. So, this weekend has been one of mixed emotions for me.

The Mainstream Media refuses to give the Tea Party movement and its brethren their due; the President is trying to change the face, focus, and emotions of 9/11; my blood sugar did a jumpsy-doodle this morning; we're still under a flash flood watch in New Orleans . . .

And three years ago this morning, my clever, mischievous, funny friend lost her 18-year battle against breast cancer that began when she was only 31 years old. She was surrounded by love as she peacefully left for the next stage in this God-guided voyage that we call existence -- her family was at her bedside; my family was there to hold their hands and watch their backs.

In 2001, at the same time I moved to join Pepper full-time in New Orleans and a few months before 9/11, JB and her husband made a calculated quantum step in their lives: they sold their house, quit their jobs in New Jersey, and moved halfway across the country to be closer to their families in Arkansas. They purchased, updated, and operated a B & B in the mountains on the Spring River, and dreamed of opening a coffee shop and bookstore someday in the quaint "old town" section of their adopted village. Their older daughter summed it up perfectly -- Only her Mom would give up everything familiar to throw slumber parties and drink coffee for a living!

As her illness progressed, JB had trouble keeping weight on ("I'm quite svelte!" she would say). So, often, when I would visit and we could chase her husband out of town, we worked on crossword puzzles together in front of the television, and ate fudge and popcorn for supper with ice cream for dessert. Good for her figure, not so good for mine. We did that kind of give-and-take thing for one another, except that she couldn't stay awake late enough to suit me and I couldn't get up early enough to suit her. She would let me sleep in though, that cultivated sister of mine, and I knew that she would be sound asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow, so we engaged in our antics mostly during the in-between hours.

On Thursday, the day after she left us, we decorated the Inn (and Words bookshop, which had opened a few months before), with billowing-pink-ribbon-bedecked grapevine wreaths. That send-off seemed especially appropriate for a woman who had come up with the idea to support and encourage literacy by starting a "Children's Kite-Making-and-Flying Festival."

Then we ate a lot, and celebrated her life and creativity and passions over the next 4 days. We continue to do so everyday from afar.

This morning, I posted a photo on my Facebook profile of the two of us taken on a misty evening in New Orleans a few years ago -- neither of us would've passed as "beauties" in that particular snapshot, but we were together so it is likely that we were having fun -- or at least on our way to saving the world. The caption I posted captured something "right," I think:

"Moogie's best buddy, JB, when selecting a photo to display or publish, would always , admittedly, select the one in which she was the "cutest." So, to honor her memory, still very much alive since 3 years ago on this day, and as a nod to her quirky sense of humor, I chose to publish a pic in which neither of us looks exactly her best!"

My post made her younger daughter "LOL" and engage in one of the world's very best emotions: laughter through tears (an expression that JB was very proud to have "borrowed" from Dolly Parton's character in Steel Magnolias on a regular basis).

So, this weekend has been sad for me because part of me is no longer here -- but happy that my friend no longer suffers the pain of that wicked earthly malady; sad because I can't call her on the phone to have a long-distance cup of coffee in the morning, but happy that she is out there somewhere, plotting a big adventure for the two of us when I catch up with her.

And, it's been happy because the Saints won their season opener against Detroit in the Dome today, 45-27! She would be happy that I'm happy about the Saints even though, in my estimation, she never developed an adequate appreciation for football.

So, because JB always signed off our phone conversations by admonishing me, "You take care of you," I'm going to indulge myself in a little Saintly happiness. And I wish an end-of-weekend happiness for you and yours, too, because JB would like that -- along with a little fudge and popcorn for supper.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Moogie is Tracked Down by "Organizing For America"

I got an unusual call today -- a particularly busy and tiring day, in a good way -- on my cell phone. Not on my house phone landline mind you, but on my cell phone, with the "Star Trek" ringtone gloriously playing away.

It was from "Organizing For America," inviting me to come on down and join them during their Obamacare Bus Tour stop in New Orleans tomorrow afternoon. Right near the end of the Saints season opener! Now, there are some things more sacred than political intrigue (like the Saints season opener, duh!!!), so, don't count on me to be there as a fly in the healthcare debate ointment.

Unless, of course, we're trouncing Detroit as thoroughly as I plan, in which case I might could be persuaded to mosey over to Canal Boulevard while listening to the big finish on the radio.

Now, which of my Tea Party signs do you think I should dust off? Buzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!!!!!!!!

The more relevant question: How in the hell did they get my cell phone number?!?!

UPDATE: Just got an email about the D.C. march -- check out the pictures at Looking at the Left!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Evil + Eight Years -- and Still Out There

Remembering this day and each day.

Ever vigilant.
Never to convince me that the U.S. Coast Guard would conduct such an exercise on this, of all days.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Healthcare Reform: Speechifying and Voting on the Hill

Sooooooo. As Hot Air reports, Blue Dog Democrat, Mike Ross (D-AR, and potentially my future representative!), suggested that the Town Halls he conducted during the August recess changed his mind on the "public option" facet of healthcare reform. His constituents clearly demonstrated an overwhelming disapproval of most of the proposals that emerged from the House shortly before the recess, and he found their "feedback" helpful. (I think that probably means he found the implicit threat to his re-election in 2010 intimidating. Good! Every stinking member of Congress should feel and fear the groundswell of term limits -- whether by Constitutional amendment or by ballot box -- rising to engulf them).

I guess this means that Nancy will have to drag out the buggy whip -- if not the bull whip -- in days to come. I wonder if that means she'll bring the Dominatrix duds out of mothballs, too. Ewwww, I hope not! But, maybe the moths have gotten to them. Maybe her powers of persuasion have eroded a bit, too, at the "astroturf-stained" hands of the no-longer-silent electorate. I just ache to see her running scared in designer stilettos!

This morning, Walton & Johnson (irreverent "Radio Gawds" in the Gulf South) relayed the White House promise that the Young President intends to come out swinging tonight as he addresses Congress (and commandeers yet another prime-time TV gig) to explain his "positions" on healthcare reform; he'll be angry, emphasizing the crisis in health care that demands immediate action and the pressing need to get it done. W & J characterize the YP's planned performance as that of "an angry and vengeful god;" "no more Mister Nice god." Yet, many other reports suggest that he'll leave a lot of wiggle room around the "public option"(translation: Government Insurance, not to be confused with Government Motors or Government Banking) insurance program.

So, who will he be? Thor with the lightning bolts and hammer-pounding; or the "I'm willing to step across the aisle to secure affordable, comprehensive healthcare for everyone in our fair land" guy (even though this clearly came into focus in August as a non-partisan debate); or the know-it-all Professor, chastising and guilting his captive students for failing to recognize his superior intellect and resources.

Whichever persona he assumes, the YP has burned a big pile of political capital over this issue -- perhaps enough that not even the Fed can print enough replacement bucks to finance his campaigns on Cap & Trade and Education reform. Not to mention EFCA! Or so we can Hope.

Regardless, comprehensive reform of anything is unwise in this time of recession and growing deficit. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking baby steps -- trying out a few deficit-neutral ideas to shape-up the current system before adopting a brand new, broad and untried costly leap towards socialized medicine. It remains a marathon, not a sprint.

Any bets on the trigger-words for tonight's Health Care Speech Drinking Game?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Charles Rangel: Whither the Ways and Means Committee?

Congressman Rangel, allow me to re-introduce you to your former Ways and Means co-committee member, William "Dollar Bill" Jefferson. In light of your recently escalating financial and ethical woes, y'all might want to have a little tete-a-tete about potential outcomes.

Oh, and if he recommends an offbeat use for your freezer, I'd decline the advice if I were you. Just sayin'.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

College Football -- Razorbacks on the Rise!!!



Addendum: Ya gotta love Buck's "Rules For College Football Fandom," except maybe the tacky rule that slams the SEC or the overkill on Notre Dame. (Sorry, Buck buddy. I live in New Orleans where, if you're not being sensory overloaded on LSU, you're being guilted into Notre Dame! It's a matter of survival for a furriner Fan!) I'm particularly partial to Rule #9, except I'd add Penn State to the list of teams one is permitted to root against simply on general principles, and I'd go along with the "any team from Florida" addition.

Regardless -- IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The AP Exhibits the Cruelest of Intentions Despite Protestations to the Contrary

I just saw an entry on Michelle Malkin's blog that wrenched my gut and broke my heart. Malkin reports that the AP has decided, contrary to the wishes of the fallen Marine's family, to publish a photo of the late LCPL Joshua Bernard's dying moments. Malkin invited readers to contact the AP to express their opinions.

Here are mine:

To Whom It May Concern:

As the wife of an Army officer who served honorably for nearly 35 years, and a member of a military family who respects the uniform, the valor of those who wear it, and the true meaning of "honor," I humbly ask that your news organization "honor" the request of the family of a fallen Marine, Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland, Maine, and decline to publish a photo of LCPL Bernard's dying moments captured by an embedded AP staff team in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Neither stronger words nor argument can be made to support my request than those of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in his
letter to Thomas Curley, AP’s president and chief executive officer:

"Out of respect for his family’s wishes, I ask you in the strongest of terms to reconsider your decision. I do not make this request lightly. In one of my first public statements as Secretary of Defense, I stated that the media should not be treated as the enemy, and made it a point to thank journalists for revealing problems that need to be fixed – as was the case with Walter Reed.

"I cannot imagine the pain and suffering Lance Corporal Bernard’s death has caused his family. Why your organization would purposefully defy the family’s wishes knowing full well that it will lead to yet more anguish is beyond me. Your lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple American newspapers is appalling. The issue here is not law, policy or constitutional right – but judgment and common decency."

I also suggest that the credentials of the embedded employees of the AP be rescinded, and that they be re-deployed stateside immediately.

Yours for Common Decency,

Whatever happened to journalistic ethics?

Sweetest of Dreams: Nancy in the Rearview

I had a dream . . . . that ding, dong, the Witch was dead in the water and headed back to northern California. In disgrace, in off-the-rack clothes, and in coach.

Considering the way she's flip-flopping and hemming and hawing, maybe the end is closer than we dare hope.

Once more -- to sleep, perchance to dream.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

World War II Veterans Honor Flights

Our Military Officers' Wives' Club Board of Directors met today. It looks like we're off to a great start.

My favorite of the projects we're set to tackle is to support three Honor Flights, in which WWII vets will be flown out of New Orleans, fed, and honored at the World War II Monument in Washington, D.C., at no expense to the vets. We'll enlist family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else who appreciates our Veterans, to decorate the airport and provide a "welcome home" for each of the Flights like no one has ever seen!

I can't wait! You can help, too -- check out the link above.