Thursday, April 26, 2007

Some Parents Don't Deserve to be Parents

Listen, I don't have time for this but I want to share an experience I had at a local Walmart store on Monday night.

I had to run in to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for my Mother. It was about 8:00 pm.

I noticed when I was heading for the exit door that there was a Walmart employee standing in the other set of doors, the entrance doors. She was looking at something in the parking lot very intently. She shifted her foot when the doors started to close to keep them from closing and continued to stand there watching something.

It didn't take me long to ascertain what it was she was looking at so intently. I was parked very close but just off to the left and about 8 cars up was a small car with a sun roof. The sun roof was open. Apparently, the small boy, who appeared to be about 4 years old had crawled through the top of the sun roof and in his little bare feet was walking around on the roof of the car. He was putting on quite a show for anyone whose attention he could command. He was yelling at other customers to get that attention and making what appeared to be karate style poses. I saw that he had a sister, about the same age who was still inside the car. When he got close enough to her she would grab at him. I feared she would grab at him at some point and he'd lose his balance.

The scariest part of the scene was when, and it was lightly raining at the time so there was a dusting of water with the potential of causing slippage, he stepped to the back of the roof of the car with his little bare toes hanging over the edge of the roof to the back windshield. I could just imagine him slipping off the car. As soon as he headed back toward the middle of the roof I called to him that he needed to get down from there. This only spurred further 'show off escapades' from the child.

I could see NO adult or parent near the car.

I pulled up to the Walmart entrance where the employee was still standing there watching and informed her that I couldn't see any adult around the child. She appeared to be calling for help so I went on my way.

I heard nothing about a child being injured in any news reports so thankfully the child must have eventually been rescued from his perch. It could have been a very tragic incident. I'm very thankful that it wasn't.

Parents who leave their children unattended in store parking lots are idiots.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Recommended reading 4

DeLay: Media easily influenced

An excerpt:

"Seasoned reporters make a good living sitting back and waiting to be pitched on the day's possible stories, and they grow accustomed to the spoon-feeding. Add to this natural human inclination toward laziness most political reporters' left-leaning political ideas, and you get the current state of political journalism.

Those who believe bias is the biggest problem have it wrong, I think. The biggest problem is that reporters are perfectly happy to let the stories come to them rather than going out and finding them."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In case anyone noticed....

...ding dang it.

I've been without internet service and a phone line for about three days.

I was blaming it on City Utilities workers who were doing some tree trimming in the area, but it turns out it wasn't their fault after all.

It was/is AT&T.

They are having "load problems," whatever that means.

I'm up and running for now but we were trying to upgrade to DSL service and now, due to "load problems," AT&T is going to reschedule our install date and they were unable to tell us what the new install date will be.

I had some things I wanted to blog about before we lost internet service. I don't really remember what they were now and they are likely dated anyway.

Sad tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Tony Messenger is growing on me:

Read: Media coverage of shooting...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Tony Messenger, polarizing the punditry

In response to Tony Messenger's 'From the mayor, with love':

I suppose perception is everything. In my opinion Burlison didn't vote against the very people who got him elected, meaning the Police and Firefighters (and I didn't realize they had endorsed Burlison, I DO know that Cynthia Rushefsky got a standing ovation from the Police and Firefighters and Burlison did not).

Had you, Tony, been there or had you had an opportunity to watch it on T.V. prior to your blog entry, you would know that Burlison was concerned that if the City tacked onto St. Louis' enabling bill, affording them the opportunity to take a 1 percent sales tax to the voters, they would stop seriously looking at other solutions to the shortfall issue pertaining to Police and Firefighter pensions.

While I certainly wouldn't try to speak FOR Burlison, I believe Burlison would have preferred that new Council members had more of an opportunity to look at other solutions before seeking enabling legislation.

Yes, I understand that the Council wanted to seize the opportunity to tack onto St. Louis' legislation which they felt would speed up the process, but if, as the Council said, they want to raise taxes to fund the shortfall as a last resort, what's the hurry? Maybe Burlison felt they should spend a little more time in exausting other possible solutions BEFORE seeking authorization to take it to a vote. Both positions seem reasonable enough to me, at least for a person willing to consider both sides of the issue rather than simply picking a side and polarizing the issue.

I happen to have interviewed Burlison myself and KNOW that he is very supportive of the Police and Firefighters and wants to see this issue resolved. It is a matter of the best way to solve it.

I do wish that *some* people in this community would spend less time looking for a way to snipe at people they disagree with and more time seriously considering varying opinions and entertaining the option of compromise. It might well be that the polarized pundits might EACH have something to offer in solving problems in our community if we were willing to have an open mind.

Could it be that the budget might offer some options? Burlison noted last night that the new Council members had not yet had the opportunity to look at the budget. Yet, they were required to rush to vote on this enabling legislation prospect. I have to wonder if our City's leaders don't sometimes get in too much of a rush.

In Messenger's rush to 'mend fences' with the Mayor I hope he hasn't alienated other Council members who might happen to think that raising taxes isn't the answer to every problem that our community faces. He might just want to interview a Libertarian 'looneylibby' someday.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Recommended Reading 3

Out of destruction comes creativity

An excerpt:

"Out of the cold, dark, destructive silence of the worst ice storm in the history of southern Missouri came these 12 teapots.

"Without electricity or water for endless days, clay found new life in my quiet solitude.

"It is said that hard times bring about change in our lives - these days have proved that again to me." - Bari

These are the words of an inspired Marshfield artist who, when she was without power for several days during this winter's ice storm - and without the tools she usually uses to make pottery - used the tools the Lord gave her.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Voter Perceptions

I often read The Berkley Blog. A gentleman named James D. Berkley, Director of Presbyterian Action, writes it. He is a very clear thinker and it is a joy to read his comments, which I consider to be case studies. Tonight I visited his blog and found this entry, Outside money buys Presbyterian constitutional change, including ten very illuminating comments between Mr. Berkley and two of his readers.

The comments deal with the procedures of the Presbytery in calling emergency sessions and covers the gamut of by-laws, as well as the perceptions that people and voters in the Presbytery have, oftentimes erroneously. I certainly wish I could craft my words as well as James D. Berkley in trying to offer a description, but the point is that I want to encourage people to read his blog entry, including all (currently) ten comments.

We have three new Council members joining the City Council. The first regular meeting on the schedule is April 9. Leading up to the election there was a general consensus among many voters, right or wrong, that the Council was not engaging the community by offering adequate communication opportunities. They were meeting at luncheons (called 'public') in the middle of the day when many people were working, emailing one another privately and seemingly attending regular meetings with their minds made up before they even entered the room. This perception is, in part, credited for the election of three new Council members.

I believe Berkley offers some valuable insight, while he is discussing the Presbytery and our community's voters were discussing City Council, the brunt of the discussion could be applied to much of our community's recent discussion. I think we could and should at least consider his arguments. Food for thought, so to speak.

The agenda for the next meeting and guidelines for becoming involved in City Council meetings can be accessed here. Consider attending a local City Council meeting.

To further pique your interest in following the link to Berkley's blog, here's a short excerpt:

"This is the most serious, because what you are implying is this: Some sly group of your opponents (who happen to be in power in the presbytery and able to make meeting decisions) got together and devised a plan to thwart a fair consideration of certain resolutions that they wanted to receive presbytery approval. So they plotted together among themselves on the sly to get their allies all informed and organized and then spring a meeting date at the last minute, hoping to do two things: a) keep opponents from being prepared and b) keep opponents from even being able to attend. All of this was done by certain evil others to gain unfair advantage over you and people who think like you."

As Tony Messenger, , wrote here:

"Whether it's accurate or not, this council had the perception of doing its work outside the glare of the public eye. In voters' minds, perception is reality."

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

John Stone, Curbstone Critic

Having had my comments removed by two local bloggers in the past because they disagreed with my political views, this blogger particularly appreciated the author of the Curbstone Critic.

The first and only time I met John in person was at the live bloggers event at the Patton Alley Pub on election night in November of 2006. We hit it off famously and continued to spat between his and my blog ever after, not that we hadn't spatted before I met him.

John Stone told me at our meeting that he'd been advised by another local blogger that he shouldn't allow me to comment on his blog but John welcomed me there and I welcomed him here. Though we disagreed on more than we agreed upon he was usually the first blog site I checked in the morning and the last blog site I checked at night.

I didn't approve of many of John's posts, but I didn't have to. They were John's posts and John, unlike many of the other bloggers in town would engage me and I him and our exchanges were always good hearted for the most part. If we didn't care about each other we wouldn't have spent nearly so much time buggin' the crap out of each other. I think he loved the way I picked at him and I know I loved the way he picked at me. I can't begin to say or write how much I will miss him.

As the day drags on I continue to realize that the fact that he's gone just simply hasn't sunk in yet. I'm not sure when it will. Some people might not have understood our strange relationship but I did and John did. I'm smiling now as I think about a post I found of his at Pharyngula, something to the effect that there's a blogger who disagrees with me and you but she's kinda cute.... I never told him I found that post but the feeling was definitely mutual.

John Stone will be greatly missed by many in this City. I am one of them.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Vince made a good point this morning on Newstalk (KSGF) about Doug Burlison deserving a seat on City Council considering how much he has done for the City as a concerned citizen.

I'll have to shoot VDJ an email later and let him know that JackeHammer is pronounced JACK-hammer. No biggie. He's been nice enough to mention me on his radio show a couple of times lately. Now I'll have to watch myself and try to write worthy thangs, I guess. ;)

I've been planning on voting for Burlison anyway. I had the pleasure of interviewing him for an article I hope will be published in the next edition of Community Free Press. I had him in my home. My husband and I visited with him on our back deck and we talked for about two hours.

Doug has a lot of plans on how to effect change in our City and makes a great deal of sense. I won't go into all of that now because I spent a considerable amount of time and energy writing an article about it for publication. If for whatever reason the CFP chooses not to publish the article in their April 11 issue, I'll post it here.

Anyway, instead of reading blogs today go out, get some sun on your skin and vote, vote, vote!

I've also been doing battle with this strange intestinal virus that's been going around. Between working on the Burlison article, trying to recuperate and being a bit hard to get along with among local bloggers I haven't been good for much, including blogging.

I didn't want to let the day go by without encouraging everyone to get out and vote today, though. Vote for change. Vote for Burlison.