Archive for November, 2005

Someone Please Find Something To Keep Denny Busy!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

So our esteemed Speaker of the House wants to change the name of the “Capitol Holiday Tree” to “Capitol Christmas Tree”? Doesn’t he have anything better to do with his time? Dude, the country is mired in a war, and your party is falling apart. Pandering to the uneducated may help in the short run, but it’s not good for the nation as a whole — not that anyone associated with the Bush administration seems to care about that.

Denny, I suggest you get someone on your staff to do a little research into the origins of the Christmas tree. I think you’ll find pretty quickly that Mary and Joseph didn’t decorate one while they were timing the contractions. While you’re at it, check out the background of the word “holiday”: Middle English holidai, holy day, from Old English hlig dæg : hlig, holy; see holy + dæg, day; see day. If you’re having trouble finding the information you need, I’m sure Laura Bush can help you; after all, she is a librarian.

Welcome News

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

My father got the results of his brain scan and PET scan yesterday. The cancer has not spread anywhere outside the lung. This is very encouraging news — and better than he expected. I was worried as well; my limited research indicated that most lung cancers aren’t detected early enough for effective treatment. His breathing test was “not as good as they would like”, but he is going to see a surgeon at Emory University on Wednesday. We’re hoping that his overall good health will encourage the doctor to go ahead with the surgery.

Thanks to everyone here for your good thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming.

You Have To Be Kidding!

Monday, November 28th, 2005

State Rep. Steve Hurst (D-Pandering) has prefiled a bill to require the words “God Bless America” on Alabama license plates. He wants everyone to know that Alabama is part of the Bible belt. Really? Gee, otherwise no one would ever have a clue.

Hurst said he got the idea when the saw the words “God Bless America” on a specialty prisoner of war car tag. “I thought why don’t we do the same thing for all the tags in the state of Alabama. That will let all the people in America know that we are a Bible Belt state,” Hurst said…

…Hurst said “God Bless America” would not replace anything currently on Alabama car tags. State law requires that the phrase “Heart of Dixie” be on Alabama plates. “Heart of Dixie” historically appeared at the top of plates, but was moved to the bottom of the tag when former Gov. Don Siegelman had the plates redesigned and put “Stars Fell on Alabama,” also a song title, at the top.

Of course, the reporters called an atheist to respond to this foolishness. Why can’t they ever call a moderate or progressive person of faith to comment? Most of us don’t think God wants us to build idols, whether they are 5,000 pound granite monuments or license plates. But Carol Moore, of the Atheist Law Center, has a point:

“It is entirely inappropriate to have it plastered over license plates. We have enough on license plates now that we don’t need something else,” Moore said. “We have a lot more serious problems in Alabama than what’s on the license plates. We need to make sure our children in public schools can read what’s already on the license plates.”

And it would be nice if we could at least consider respecting those who don’t share “Bible belt” beliefs — or those who don’t equate patriotism and religious faith.

Giving Thanks

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

I can’t begin to enumerate the blessings in my life, but I count among them my blogosphere friends. May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and holiday weekend with friends and family, food, good conversation, and lots of love. Songbird at Set Free has shared her husband’s words for the day, and I’d like to repeat them here:

Blessed are the fires of the sun which give their
light and warmth freely to the Earth.
Blessed is the Earth which upholds sea and soil, the
wellsprings of abundance.
Blessed are the falling rains which quench the thirsty
fields and renew the sea.
Blessed are the farmers and the fishermen who toil so
that we here might share the bounty of our world.
Blessed are we to receive these gifts born of sun,
soil, water and labor.
We honor them by striving to be as they are:
To be as the sun, bringing light to the darkness and
heat to the shivering.
To be as the rains, quenching that which is parched
and barren.
To be as the soil, nurturing of life.
To be as the farmers and the fishermen, working to
share the wealth of the Earth with all who dwell here.

May we all be so.

Stunned

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

My father has lung cancer. I’m still trying to get my mind around those words. I came home on Saturday from a quick trip to Montgomery to the news that he had a mass in his lung. Both doctors who had reviewed the CT scan were convinced it was a tumor. The diagnosis was confirmed this afternoon.

Daddy is 78 years old, but you’d never know it by looking at him. He has always been fit and active. He smoked as a young man, but he quit at least thirty years ago. I guess I knew that something would get him eventually, but lung cancer wasn’t even on the radar.

And I thought it would be a long time before we would have to face this. His mother died just two summers ago at 103. One of her sisters is still living at 100; another lived to 101 and another to 99. Seventy-eight is young in his family.

There is a lot we still don’t know. The cancer appears to be confined to one lung, and it is the slow-growing kind (all good). He needs surgery to remove the tumor, but right now his lung capacity is so low that he may not be a candidate (very bad). He faces more scans to determine whether the cancer has spread anywhere else in his body (not fun for someone with claustrophobia and a general dislike of doctors). He is prone to depression, and I worry that his attitude will adversely affect his chances for recovery.

My mother sounds exhausted. She’s a surgical nurse, and she has a good idea of what they’re up against, but she’s so shaken that she isn’t even asking the questions she needs to ask. On top of this bad news about Daddy, she found out a couple of days ago that her younger brother is undergoing the same tests to determine if he, too, has lung cancer. He’s a lifelong smoker, so we’re not expecting good results on that front.

I’m not sure what to tell our girls. They adore their granddaddy. There is no way we can hide this from them indefinitely, but I dread bringing this pain into their lives. They have been blessed with four relatively healthy grandparents. I don’t know how to prepare them for what may come. I don’t know how to prepare myself.

9/11: It’s Murtha’s Fault

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Steve M. at No More Mr. Nice Blog has a good piece on the “swift-boating” of John Murtha. It seems Murtha called for a pullout of troops from Somalia in 1993, which, according to Newsday, led directly to 9/11. The Newsday writers conveniently forgot to mention all the other good Republicans who were saying the same thing.

Former DeLay Aide Cooperating With Investigators

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005

Michael Scanlon, a former aide to Tom DeLay, pled guilty to charges of conspiring to bribe public officials and has been singing like a canary since July. I sure hope the Feds have him in a secure location. He’s also Jack Abramoff’s former business partner, and Jack has some pretty unsavory friends.

Funny — I haven’t heard DeLay proclaiming his innocence lately. I guess he knows the “Hammer” is falling on him.

And May I Also Say…

Monday, November 21st, 2005

how ’bout them Dores? It is a big ol’ honkin’ deal for Vandy to beat Tennessee at all, much less in Knoxville. I have told people for years that I attended two universities without football teams, one being Vanderbilt. No more! Way to go, guys — you make us proud.

FYI, the other one was Emory, which still doesn’t have a football team. My Auburn ties come through my father and my brother — and my love for the underdog. The Tigers seriously sucked when I was young.

And Blogenfreude, we just don’t have enough ice around here for hockey.

War Eagle!

Saturday, November 19th, 2005

28-18.

I See Nothing!

Friday, November 18th, 2005

Of course, Wal-Mart had no idea that its subcontractors were hiring undocumented workers. Yeah, I believe that….