Monday, June 30, 2008

With Record High Gas Prices, What's a Family to do this Summer?

Old Faithful geyser, Yellowstone National Park

With record high gas prices, what's a family to do for a summer vacation?

How about planning your family fun time around any one of America's 391 National Park Sites?

Covering more than 83 million acres, national parks can be found in every state.

To learn more about America's national parks, view slide shows and pictures, or to find that right destination for you and your family, visit the National Parks Conservation Association website.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Top Three Summer Television Shows to Watch

Some things are just better when they are over and done with.

Like the pulling of a wisdom tooth.

Or

The first speech you have to give in front of your class.

Or

Every time your mom made you eat liver and onions.

Some things are going to happen no matter what and it's just best to get them over with.

This past television season was one of those things. Phewy...it was awful. I've never been so happy to see reruns of reruns on my television screen.

And

By the looks of what the major networks are planning for next season, I could not be more happy for the emergence of TNT and USA as serious competition for original scripted programming.

Who knew summer television would ever be THE thing to be paying attention to?!

But

Here it comes and it appears to be coming with a BANG!

My choice for the top three summer scripters to be watching are:

MONK

This show continues to shine and just keeps getting better with each year. However, I think every treadmill should come with a warning: Watching MONK while operating this equipment could be dangerous. I've fallen off my treadmill twice while watching this show. I get to laughing so hard I lose my balance and off I go! Season premiere is Friday, July 18 at 9/8 central on the USA network.





Burn Notice

If you are like me, you didn't notice this show during its first season. But, if you've caught any of the reruns leading up to the premiere of it's second season, then you know this show is fantastic! Great writing, excellent cast, creative editing, and humorous. I LIKE IT! Season premiere is Thursday, July 10 at 10/9 central on the USA network.



The Closer

Kyra Sedgwick is absolutely wonderful as Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson. Everything about this show is excellent. For a scripted drama, this show holds its own against any of the major network dramas. Storyline, character development, and the "real" factor of human behavior within the main characters is engaging. Brenda Lee Johnson is a character that many people can relate to and that's refreshing. Season premiere is Monday, July 14 at 9/8 central on TNT.


So...

Get ready to leave the mosquitoes behind and bring your lemonade on in for some fun summer television!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thank you for the laughter, George Carlin

In honor of comedian George Carlin, who died yesterday from heart failure, here is one of my favorite comedy pieces of all time -- not just of George Carlin's, but of all time!

He was one of the best.

Thank you for the laughter, George.



more about "Thank you for the laughter, George Ca...", posted with vodpod

Friday, June 20, 2008

NO to Loaded Guns in America's National Parks


As a young girl growing up in Montana, regular visits to Yellowstone National Park were part of our family routine.

If relatives came for a visit, we took them to Yellowstone.

If friends came for a visit, we took them to Yellowstone.

If it was long weekend, we went to Yellowstone.

If friends were going to Yellowstone, we were going to Yellowstone.

Yellowstone National Park continues to be one of America's treasures.

And

I couldn't feel more blessed to have grown up in such a spectacular place of peace and beauty.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I learned that the Bush Administration is, once again, cow-towing to the National Rifle Association by seeking to relax a law that has been in place for 100+ years.

A law that bans loaded guns in America's national parks.

For more than 100 years, our national parks have been places of sanctuary for humans and animals alike.

When did they become listed as war zones where loaded guns are necessary?

The time in NOW to say NO to the NRA and the Bush Administration once and for all when it comes to the safety of American citizens.

For more than 100 years, loaded guns have NOT been a part of America's national parks.

Let's keep it that way.

Please join the U.S. Park Rangers Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Association of National Park Rangers, the National Park Service Retirees, The Wilderness Society, and the National Parks Conservation Association in saying NO TO LOADED GUNS in America's national Parks.

Take action by learning more on each of the above websites AND by sending a letter to the Department of Interior expressing your opposition to the NRA's push for loaded guns in our national parks.

Friday, June 13, 2008

SAVE JERICHO AGAIN


Jericho fans are as sturdy as they come.

Like the survivors of the television town, the fans of Jericho have survived 2 nuclear blasts themselves in the form of network cancellations.

But

Fight on they do.

The difference between Trekkies and Jericho Rangers (fans of the show) is their focus, their mission, their purpose.

Trekkies are fans of the genre and dedicated lovers of science fiction. They love the characters and the futuristic elements explored within the context of Star Trek and other science fiction productions.

Jericho Rangers are about the here and now. They live active lives and come from various backgrounds, professions, cultures and even countries. Entertainment is not their life, but rather something that brings a balance into their hard-working lives.

Simply put, they love the quality of programming provided by the Jericho producing team.

To the Rangers, the television show Jericho is not an obsession, but rather something that brings a true sense of value of enjoyment into their lives.

And

They are standing up AGAIN to declare just how valuable of a show Jericho is.

Currently, the Rangers' campaign is directed at media executives in positions to purchase Jericho and bring it back to the airwaves as original programming.

With encouragement from Jericho producers Jon Turteltaub and Carol Barbee, the Rangers continue their move forward in pursuit of a new home for Jericho.

And

Good for them!

To learn how you can be a part of this history making campaign, please visit Save Jericho Again and watch the following Rangers' produced commercial featuring the voice of Brad Beyer.



more about "SAVE JERICHO AGAIN TV CAMPAIGN VIDEO", posted with vodpod

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Jericho: Season 2 Alternate Ending

I don't know who posted the alternate ending to Jericho season 2 on YouTube, but THANK YOU!!!

Now, this is the ending for the season -- NOT THE SERIES -- that is worthy of the writing and producing team.



more about "Jericho: Season 2 Alternate Ending", posted with vodpod

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Girl Effect


Did you know that when women and girls earn income, they invest 90% of it back into their families, as compared to only 30 - 40% for a man?

OR

That out of the world's 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls?

OR

That only one-half of one cent of every aid dollar spent in the developing world is earmarked for girls?

To learn more about how investing in girls can end poverty and help the developing world, watch the video and visit The Girl Effect.



more about "The Girl Effect", posted with vodpod

Monday, June 9, 2008

An Open Letter to President Bill Clinton by Lynette Long

Guest author Lynette Long provides a thought provoking, from-her-heart blog today.

An Open Letter to President Bill Clinton
People say you have a temper, but from where I stand you have been incredibly patient. You have said little compared to the indignities you, as a former President, a citizen, a husband and a father have suffered over the course of this momentous campaign.
You have watched your legacy tarnished. You watched an America you left at peace, be at war. You have watched an America you left with a budget surplus, become the greatest debtor in history. You have watched an economy that was strong, plunge into a recession. You have had the blame for all these ills and others placed at your feet. But you stayed silent.
You have watched your political allies, desert you. Bill Richardson, your Secretary of Energy, the current Governor of New Mexico, came out in support of Obama. When questioned how he could defy his own edit, that superdelegates should vote with their constituency Richardson responded, “She only won by a small margin.” Janet Napolitano, the Governor of Arizona, whose career you propelled forward by helping her become Attorney General of Arizona, is another Obama supporter. David Wilhelm, your campaign chair in 1992, and who became head of the DNC with your support also showed no loyalty. There are the countless others, who you have advised, campaigned for, promoted, and raised money for, who have turned their back on you. But you stayed silent.
You have been deserted by the African Community you stood loyally beside. You were called the first black president by Toni Morrison, and have arguably done more for the African American community than any President since Abraham Lincoln. You’ve been publicly labeled a racist even though your most staunch critics say there is not a more racially blind person in America. And you have watched the African American community, vote as a bloc for Obama even though you and your wife have spent your entire lives fighting for racial justice. But you stayed silent.
You have watched your wife called a bitch, Hitlery, Billary, and treated as the devil incarnate. You watched people wear t-shirts that read, “Iron My Shirt” or “Bro’s before Ho’s.” You’ve watched pundits and self-proscribed journalists, spin data to intentionally undermine your wife’s campaign. You have watched your wife vilified, mocked, dissected and eviscerated on national television. And although you are not without your sins, no man wants to stand silently by as others abuse his wife and the mother of his children. But until now, you’ve stayed silent.
You have been accused of pimping out your daughter, because you allowed her to campaign on her mother’s behalf, a mother she is justifiably proud of. In addition, you have watched your daughter, your only progeny, asked questions about your indiscretions, questions no young woman should be asked about her father, under any circumstance let alone on national television. And you’ve heard pundits say, since she’s a surrogate, she’s fair game.
I, for one, would have told them all to go to hell. I would have told them look at their own cynicism rather than my mistakes. I would have told them to stay away from my daughter, or step outside and go toe-to-toe with me. I would have told them only cowards throw stones from afar. Not one was man or woman enough to call your wife names to her face or challenge her to a debate. I would have told the white men of the Democratic Party, that were so quick to push her out of the race, to meet me out back behind the woodshed, where one cowardly pundit wanted to take your wife. But you have more patience than I. I lack the patience of a saint.
I hope through all of this you have learned these painful lessons- that sexism is real and something every woman in America confronts daily, that loyalty is hard to find except in a dog, that power corrupts the incorruptible, that gratitude has no memory, and that envy will tempt a student to defeat his/her mentor. Also remember that the woman you married is brilliant, gracious and strong. She can take a punch and shed a tear. She is “woman” at her best. Hillary is the best candidate for President this nation has ever known. Her supporters will stand behind her in whatever journey she chooses to take. She has launched a new wave of feminism and given all women new hope for equality. And finally, whatever your shortcomings, feel proud that you have raised a beautiful daughter who has conducted herself even in the most difficult of circumstances with poise and grace. And she and her children, and her children’s children, will carry you and your wife’s legacy, into the future. What more could any president want? What more could any parent want?
Lynette Long
Bethesda, MD

Dr. Lynette Long is a licensed psychologist practicing in Bethesda, Maryland. She is the author of twenty books including fourteen math books. Dr. Long has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and was the host of One on One with Dr. Lynette Long. She recently published Op-Ed’s in both USA Today and the Baltimore Sun about the current election cycle.

Friday, June 6, 2008

My Reflection on the Kennedy's

The day the world received the news that Senator Ted Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor, a fellow blogger I respect a great deal, Pamela Lyn, wrote an excellent piece that's been in my mind ever since.

With yesterday marking the 40th anniversary of Robert Kennedy's assassination, I have been reading a number of blog posts on the Kennedy family and their legacy.

Like Pamela Lyn, a Kennedy family member has served in a leadership role in the United States government for my entire life to date. One of my favorite and most memorable books as a child was one on President John F. Kennedy. It was a book focusing on the last 3 days of his life. I attribute that book and my parent's respect for President Kennedy to my early childhood desire to serve my community and my desire as a teenager to serve in the Peace Corp.

At 14-years-old, I traveled with the All American Gymnastics Camp. While in the Salt Lake City airport, I was in a phone booth (remember those) talking on the phone with my mom. At one point, a large framed gentleman leaned back on my door and it began to open up on me while I was sitting on the little seat in the booth. The gentleman quickly turned around to excuse himself and apologize.

You can imagine my surprise when I found myself looking up into the face of Senator Ted Kennedy!

He was as kind and as gracious and as concerned as he could be. I'm sure he thought I didn't have a clue as to who he was, but I did! It didn't matter to him if I knew who he was or not. His only concern was that I was not hurt or scared. He was so incredibly kind.

I have never forgotten that moment.

In 1983, I traveled with the international, nonprofit group Up with People. Part of our tour that year included performances at the International Special Olympics held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

For those not aware of the wonderful, nonprofit organization started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, I encourage you to take the time to visit the Special Olympics website.

Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world were attending the International Special Olympics that year and the crowds were enormous. (They almost equaled the heat and humidity!) News cameras from more nations than I could count were at every venue following athletes and celebrities alike. What an incredible week in my life.

During that week, I was blessed to have been chosen to participate in a television sports special taping with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Jenner, and some of the athletes competing in the weight training events. To me, Mr. Schwarzenegger and Mr. Jenner were not the most impressive people in the room.

The athletes lit up the gym. They were the stars.

However, there was another group of people that spent the day with us. And they were more than impressive in their nature and their interaction with the athletes.

They were the Kennedy's.

Maria Shriver, a brother or two and some of her male cousins were our companions the entire day. I remember sitting on a bench with a not-yet-famous Maria Shriver talking about her love for the organization and the athletes. Like her uncle before, she was as sincere and as genuine as could be. There wasn't one false or pretentious bone in her body as she spoke to me. She didn't know me and during that moment, it was just us on that bench. No cameras, no microphones, no one else within ear shot.

She was as genuine as they come.

And so were her brothers and cousins.

This is a family that has had its ups and downs.

REALLY big ups and REALLY big downs.

While this is not a family of perfect people by any means -- none of us come from one of those -- they are a family that has dedicated their legacy, generation after generation, to public service. In the face of some our countries most tragic and sad events involving their own loved ones, members of this family continue to pursue the common good for all.

This is a family with strong roots and I feel blessed to be of a generation that has benefited from so very many of their efforts to make this world a better place.



more about "My Reflection of the Kennedy's", posted with vodpod

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Job Openings Here!

Are you looking for a job or a nonprofit organization looking to post a job opening?

Try idealist.org!

For the month of June, idealist.org will offer nonprofit organizations the opportunity to post job openings for FREE!

With the possibility of more nonprofits taking advantage of this opportunity, the possibility exists of more job openings being listed.

So, head on over to idealist. org and start applying!



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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Heath Ledger: The Genius of Talent

I believe within all of us talent exists.

Whether we exercise our talent or not is our choice.

Talent comes in different forms. Sometimes it is artistic. Sometimes it is scientific. Sometimes it is mathematical. Sometimes it is humanitarian. Sometimes it is what it is.

And sometimes a person comes along and they can't help but follow their talent. It's as if their talent came before them and they can do nothing but follow its lead.

I believe Heath Ledger was one of those people.

His talent was so great I often wonder how he contained it within himself.

My contribution to the Movie Madness Blogging Carnival presented by the Daily Mish Mash is a nod to Heath Ledger.

From the tightly restricted Ennis Del Mar in Broke Back Mountain to the extroverted psychotic Joker in this summer's The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger played everything in between with brilliance and maturity beyond his years.

Heath Ledger simply was the genius of talent.



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Monday, June 2, 2008

Movie Madness at the Daily Mish Mash


If you are a movie lover, then grab your popcorn and head on over to the Daily Mish Mash June 3 for the Movie Madness Blogging Carnival!

If you are a movie lover and enjoy writing about them, don your film critic's hat, let your fingers fly and join in.

For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Crumbling of Democracy

What an interesting time this is in the United States of America.

Yesterday, the majority of the Democratic Party leadership clung to THEIR rules rather than American Democracy.

I guess they have learned NOTHING from history. When the rules are wrong, change the rules.

The majority of the Democratic Party leadership weakened not just the Democratic Party yesterday, but they weakened what America stands for -- freedom, human rights, and democracy.

Many Clinton and Obama loyalists probably see this issue as one about "their" candidate.

Perhaps in some ways it is.

But

More importantly this issue is squarely about American Democracy.

I don't know about any of you, but when I turned 18 and registered as a voter for the first time, I didn't receive a party handbook detailing for me the rules and regulations of my party of choice.

In the many years and changes of residency since that time, I've never received a party handbook of any kind.

I've never even received a call from anyone in a leadership position within the Democratic party in any state I've ever lived in and those states include:

Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, Tennessee, Oklahoma, California, Minnesota, and Virginia.

Not once, not one single phone call, not one flier, not one knock on my door, not anything. Except, of course during an election year and then I get kadoodles of mailings from my party's candidates and some from the other parties.

Thankfully, for the most part, in America if we have the talent and skills we can enter into any profession we so choose. And within our chosen profession, people trust us to do our jobs to the best of our ability.

In theory, no matter what profession one chooses, it's a service job. Every single job provides a service of some kind or another. Spirituality aside, our jobs are part of what connects us in this world. Even the least trusting person in the world trusts people in their chosen professions to be doing their jobs.

I'm guessing you are like me.

I trust the people at my chosen Internet and phone company to be doing their jobs. I trust the flight crew of my chosen air carrier to be doing their jobs. I trust the people at my car's manufacturer to be doing their jobs. I trust the medical personnel at my local hospital to be doing their jobs. I trust the City workers in charge of traffic lights to be doing their jobs. When I take my dogs to the vet, I trust my vet and the techs to be doing their jobs.

The list goes on.

I don't know the ins and outs of all of these professions, nor do I know the rules and regulations within many of these professions.

What I do know is my part within the interaction between myself and these other parties.

I'm a well educated person and for that I'm grateful. I know that I must participate in the well being of my own life and that it is my responsibility to do so.

I also know that it is my responsibility to be a good citizen of my country and of this world.

And to the very best of my ability, I exercise this responsibility daily.

As an American citizen, I trust my political leaders to do their jobs. And I believe their job FIRST AND FOREMOST is to protect our human rights, our constitution, and our democracy.

What I learned yesterday is that the majority of the Democratic Party leadership stands first and foremost for their own agenda.

I know the political world is filled and often fueled by personal agendas. Every campaign has them. Every politician has them.

History reveals personal political agendas very clearly. They always come out. The truth in every situation always finds the person or people it is meant to find. And I can only imagine how many truths are yet to be revealed of personal political agendas from the past 7 1/2 years of the Bush/Cheney administration. (As if what we know already isn't shocking enough to cause us to rise up and say enough!)

When the 2.5 million voters of Michigan and Florida went to the polls to vote in their primary elections I bet the majority of them didn't know about the intricacies of the rules and regulations of the Democratic Party. I bet the majority of them headed to the polls trusting that the political leadership of our country learned valuable lessons from 2000 and that each American citizen's vote was now valid once again. I bet the majority of the 2.5 million people that voted in Michigan and Florida trusted that the leadership within the Democratic Party was doing their job in protecting American Democracy.

From day one of hearing the DNC's decision to strip Michigan and Florida of their delegates, I was adamantly opposed to such an action. That action makes as much sense as a Kindergarten teacher sending the entire class to time out because two kids locked the classroom door preventing the entire class from reentering the classroom after recess.

Why punish an entire group of people for the lack of good judgment by a few?

Isn't that related to the workings of communism?

I believe all candidates that agreed not to campaign in Michigan and Florida displayed a terrible lack of judgment.

However, to remove your name from a ballot actually denying the right of American citizens to mark your specific name takes the displaying of terrible judgment to a whole new level.

The boys club of Obama, Edwards, and Biden did just that.

Here were men campaigning for the highest office in the world in a country known for democracy and our right to vote for our candidate of choice removing their name from the ballot of an entire state of American citizens???

What message does that send out?

It sends out the clearly stated message of the "rules" of our party are more important than the rights of American citizens; the "rules" of our party are more important than American Democracy.

To VOLUNTARILY, AT YOUR REQUEST not give American citizens the right to mark your name on their ballot and then demand, protest, fight for delegates to be awarded to you from their state is mindboggling to me.

To VOLUNTARILY, AT YOUR REQUEST not give American citizens the right to mark your name on their ballot and then cry foul when the possibility of delegates are going to be awarded from their state is mindboggling to me.

To VOLUNTARILY, AT YOUR REQUEST not give American citizens the right to mark your name on their ballot and then accept delegates from their state is mindboggling to me.

I've asked this question before, but I must ask it again:

How is an election ever truly won when liberties are lost?