Only five more pounds to go...

Weight loss update: I only have five more pounds to go before I slide back firmly under 200 punds. This will put me in a size 18, which may not sound all that great to some, but please remember, I started out in a size 26. I haven't given in to the diet craze, I don't starve myself, I haven't started drinking Slim Fast or ordering meals from Jenny Craig. I have been watching how much I eat, excercising (although not as much as I should) and not denying myself the foods I love, which keeps the cravings at bay. All in all, I'm really pround of myself. To celebrate, I went out and bought a couple of new shirts. My waist is more defined, my arms are less monstrous and over all, I'm digging the fact that I have to keep buying smaller clothes. I think the biggest Yay! moment for me is the fact that I have done all of this without the help of any weight loss products and I'm still eating all the foods I love. I have noticed that I crave less and less sugary snacks and am, instead, leaning more and more towards fresh fruit, yogurt and especially mini carrots. I'm proof that with a little work and some basic modification, it can be done.


Thank you for calling Cause Celebre, how can we help you?

There's a telethon tonight called "Hope for Hati Now". Once again the celebrities of our nation are banding together for the current cause celbre. They are going to tug at heart strings and there will most likely be full color pictures of children amid horrible devistation. People will open their wallets and give generously, and feel good about themselves for doing so.

My big problem with this is that there are no telethons planned to help people who are at risk of losing their homes because they can't find work. Or the people who have a hard time buying food and clothing for their families because what they make just doesn't strech like they need it to. Where is the moral outcry about the children in out country who don't see doctors and dentists when they need to because there is no insurance available and the parents don't qualify for "state aid".

I understand the desire to reach out and help others who are so obviously suffering, but I have to question the motives of the people involved. Before this earthquake hit, Hati was a country in trouble. Poverty was overwhelming and children were starving. No one was launching telethons then. People weren't calling aid agencies offering to adopt the thousands of orphans that were there before disaster struck. Our country has a long history of putting on a good show in a time of crisis, but unless the media and the world are watching, we don't seem to be motivated to do much of anything.

I have talked with people about this before and often their response is, "Well, people in this country can get jobs to pay the bills, or get help from the government (IE: welfare) if they really have to." The problem there is that jobs don't often pay what they should and in a household with only one parent, daycare costs alone can eat up any second paycheck that might be available. As to help from the state....well, you can't really count on that either. In order to qualify for most welfare programs you have to be making under $1900 a month (that's based on a family of four) if you make even .50 over that, you will be denied, or have benefits taken away. ( You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not. My own family tried to get insurance for our son last year after my husband was laid off. We were denied because our family made $1.50 over the allowable limit.)

As a nation we seem to be oblivious to the suffering of our own. We tend to assume that someone else is taking care of that problem and look to other countries as an example of "those less fortunate". The problem is, in many areas of our nation, there are families living in homes that should be condemed, without heat or water. There are children whose only real meal of the day comes from school programs and whose clothing is threadbare and ill-fitting because it is donated. These children are often at risk for illnesses that should not be a problem in a nation as advanced as ours. And the risks to them don't stop there. Extreme poverty in many areas has deteriorated the education system making it much less likely that children raised in those areas will ever be able to break the cycle of poverty they were born into.

The next time your heart cries out to help those less fortunate than yourself, look a little closer to home. Call local aid agencies and ask what you can do to help. Go to www.donorschose.org and make a donation to help an impoverished school system provide educational supplies to the children in your area. Or go to www.mercycorps.org and find ways to help here at home.


Apparently, I struck a nerve....

I've been hanging out at Newsvine a lot lately because, well, mostly because I like to see what sharing my opinion will do. (Anyone who knows me is smiling right now.) Tonight, it looks like I struck a nerve.

There's an article up on MSN talking about how little faith American's have in President Obama. I, of course, could not pass up the opportunity to go in and share my two cents. (And really, in today's market, it's really only 1/2 a cent, but hey...) After I posted my own private rantings, I started reading some of the other stuff and came across one by a poster calling himself James Herman that simply said: "This Negro Needs to go!" Couldn't let pass, so I replied "Very educated of you. Which one are you? Hattfield or McCoy? Because, yes, you've discovered what we have all missed...this country is in the toilet because our President is black. Now, if you could please just turn your stunning intellect to solving the rest of the world's problems, we would all be very grateful." This reply got a response by someone else calling himself Johnny Vegas telling me not to "throw stones"....okay.

Then I remembered where I had seen the screen name before: (Here's the "conversation")

Johnny Vegas 1544044:
"Everyone is stupid but you Elitist Libs - What a piece of work you are. Thank God my Vote will cancel yours out EVERY TIME!!!!"

"First: I can't believe anyone actually believes that their "vote" in a Presidential election means anything. Second: I sincerely doubt you're going to win any points with God by invoking his name in this particular manner. Third: Capitalizing the word "Vote" doesn't really mean yours is more important."

Johnny Vegas 1544044:"OOOHHHHH

Visciousrumors is the word police and the defender of Faiths!!!

Quite Impressive - too bad you're an atheist!!!! AND A LOSER!!!! GUESS WHAT - ONLY 59 VOTES ON HEALTH CARE HA HA HA HA HA

(all caps was done on purpose) "

After I finished laughing I had to decide if I would further engage this lovely individual. You will all be very proud of me when I tell you that I did not, even though I really, really wanted to. Apparently I struck a nerve, huh? I'm the word police and the defender of faiths, although I admit I got a tad confused when he then called me an atheist. Not sure how that would work, but....

And the fact that he felt the need to point out he capitalized everything on purpose, just sort of makes it pathetic doesn't it?

Although I have decided not to further poke this particular badger, I invite all my fellow badger pokers to log into Newsvine and look this guy up. Could be an interesting way to pass some time.

(Does finding humor in this make me a twisted, twisted person?)


Oh no, the gays are at it again.....*insert sacastic eyeroll here*

The trial regarding the gay marriage ban in California started today, and as was to be expected, has started a whole shit-storm of religious hate-mongering. Not one of the posts I've read on Newsvine discussing the issue has used any argument against gay marriage other than the tired old "God said it was wrong" argument. The posts have been peppered with the usual bullshit about gays trying to "force" their life-style on the God Fearing American Heterosexual Population.

So when does it end? Should we go back to the days of forced segrgation, forced participation in religion. We can put an end to this soft religion and just go back to the days when God's word was followed to the letter. Put people in stocks if they don't attend church, make women wear big scarlet A's on their chests if they get caught cheating on their husbands, allow parents to beat their children and husbands to beat their wives. How about revoking the freedom of speech and the press because, let's face it, people say and write a lot of things that just don't jive with God.

The terrifying thing for me is the blatant disregard for history here. Removing or denying one freedom to one group opens the door for other groups to do the same with other freedoms. The price for having the freedom we have is allowing those freedoms to be given to all citizens of this country, not just the ones we happen to agree with. I'd love nothing more than to see white supremisists strung up by their toes and whipped until they bled, but that's just me and my bloodthirsty nature. I'd love to see pedophiles summarily shot upon the handing down of a guilty verdict. However, I would never dream of trying to get laws passed that would make those things possible. They are personal beliefs and as such belong in the realm of "I think..." not "we should..."

If people disagree with the GLBT lifestyle, fine, no one is asking you to walk in the parade, just don't get in the way of others being allowed the same legal protection and freedoms you enjoy.