Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Most of us, at this particular time of year (myself included) find ourselves partaking of more candy than we usually would. I firmly believe Halloween brings out the sugar tooth in all of us. Except those who have no sugar tooth at all. I've met a few like that, they are few and far between.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I had the strangest dream last night.
Posted by mielikki at 12:16 PM
Monday, October 26, 2009
Ah, Monday again.
Posted by mielikki at 11:51 AM
Friday, October 23, 2009
Margaret Tobin was born in Missouri, to her Irish immigrant parents, John and Johanna. She and her sister moved to Leadville, Colorado, when she was 18, where she got a job in a department store. She met, and married James Joseph Brown, (known as JJ), who was the son of Irish immigrants, as well. She had planned to marry a rich man, but, fell in love with JJ instead. They had two children, a boy and a girl. JJ was no slacker, and they came into great wealth because JJ knew engineering. Margaret became involved in women's rights, helping to establish the National American Woman's Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and she also worked in the local soup kitchens, helping to feed the poor families (usually miners) in the area.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Whats with all the celebrities that want us to smell like them?
at least, thats how I perceive it...
I was thumbing through a magazine, today, and page after page, was a celebrity, touting perfumes, or colognes.
Tom Brady, for Stetson
Halle Berry, Faith Hill AND Tim McGraw, for their own,
and lets not forget those Britney adds.
I actually blame Elizabeth Taylor.
I know, I know. She's sick, she's old....
but she has hawked SO MANY perfumes.... she kind of started this mess, didn't she?
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Yes, we ARE STILL DOING THIS.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
This amendment is one, admittedly, that I started out not really knowing anything about it’s creation, or why our forefathers needed it to be.
What I’ve learned, is that the British were very fond of something called a “writ of assistance", which pretty much gave them the right to search for anything, anywhere, at any time, without expiration or cause. You see, they didn’t want any “prohibited or uncustomed” goods in the hands of the Americans.
So, they would search. Repeatedly, and take what they found, or what they wanted. Especially in lean times, because they needed to feed their army. These writs only expired six months after the sovereign died, which means as long as the king was alive, any home could be searched, and any goods taken, since most things were prohibited and uncustomed. Smuggling was at its height during this era, since there was a blockade in place preventing the delivery of supplies to the shores of America. I imagine the people were pretty sick of having strangers go through their homes, and supplies, and seeing said supplies get taken by His Majesties red coats. To feed the other red coats. I would hazard a guess that the loyalist homes were searched far less often than any of the “rebels”. I completely understand why our forefathers sought to prevent this. It would get very old, very quickly.
As important as this amendment was for them, it is just as important for us. Probably the most important phrase in this amendment, one that gets debated, and hung up on a regular basis is “probable cause”. One definition that I have found in my search is this:
"a reasonable amount of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong to justify a prudent and cautious person's belief that certain facts are probably true". (wikipedia). I am guessing that the judge is meant to be the prudent and cautious person. But, as I am sure we all realize, judges are people, with their own failings, and frailties, and I am positive that the fine people who work in law enforcement are aware of which failing and or frailty most judges have, and apply for their warrants accordingly. Were I in their shoes, I would do the same.
None the less, probable cause must be demonstrated. And can be very subjective. Another point of this amendment that frequently comes under fire is what is specifically included in the search warrant itself. If a room, or a person, or a car is searched that was not included in that warrant, any evidence that has been gathered will more than likely be in-admissable. This can, and has, make or break any case that comes up in front of any judge. It can get a guilty person freed on a technicality. The person doing the investigation, searching the homes, and effects must follow that warrant to the letter. I would not want that job.
As an aside, though, my question is this. When a house is searched, do they really toss the house, and leave it a big, giant mess? If they don’t find anything do they send someone to clean the house? I would be a very angry citizen indeed if, for some reason, law enforcement came in and wreaked my house. But I digress...
I do have another question. One that was not even a consideration for our forefathers.
I bet, the first time a computer got searched, it was hotly debated. Is it considered our “papers”? We keep most of our documents in computers these days. It is one of our effects. Which is specified in the amendment. Do they have to, specifically site computers on the search warrant? Do they bring a computer specialist to the house to break into the computer, and read what’s on it, or do they simply take the modem with them. If they find no other evidence in the house what so ever, CAN they just take the modem to search at their leisure? I obviously, have never been searched. Nor do I plan on being searched. Besides, all they’d really have to do is read my blog do decide that though I am a nut job, I am an innocent nut job....
Posted by mielikki at 4:21 PM
Like most nurses in California, I belong to a union. CNA, as a matter of fact. (California Nurses Association.). This is mandatory, to work at my hospital. My hospital is a member of a group of hospitals, and organization called Catholic Healthcare West. (CHW). I can (and have) transfer to other CHW hospitals, maintaining my senority, and, more importantly, my retirement funds. We, (nurses), contract with our hospital, usually every 3-4 years. When the contract is up, our union, and representatives from our hospital negotiate with the hospital grand poobah's for what we want our next contract to include. You can bet, we always want a raise. We always want safe staffing for our patients, and a host of other items that probably wouldn't mean a darn thing to you. Some of them are 'red herrings', things we don't REALLY want, but we have to have something to negotiate, right?
Sunday, October 18, 2009
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
This is a loaded amendment. Pun intended.
As Julie Andrews once sang, "lets start at the very beginning". Militia. Well regulated. Putting ourselves briefly in the shoes of our forefathers, this is an obvious need. We were in the midst of our quest for independence. We knew, for a fact, that it would be a battle. No one expected England to just simply agree. "Oh, you want to be free? Sure, not a problem". Instead, they sent over many men, many red coats, and the intent to keep us under their rule. We expected this. Thus, the need for a militia. The ' well regulated' aspect of this amuses me, though I certainly understand that as well. If it isn't well regulated, then why bother?
So, modern day. Our "well regulated militia" has evolved, and morphed, into Reservests, and our national military.
But wait. It didn't stop there. Though I would argue about them being "well regulated", any Billy Bob in the outskirts of Pine Cone Flat, anystate, can form a "militia", and trust me, they have. Many right wing, anti government militia's are in existence today, planning for the collapse of our government. Many of them wanting to collapse our government, themselves…They call themselves many things, such as "Christian Identity" and "Sovereign Citizen Movement" just to name a few. Are these, usually hostile splinter groups what our forefathers had in mind when they made this amendment? I really think not. I think, actually, that they would be horrified at the direction this amendment has gone into.
Going hand and hand with this is the gun issue. The ownership and operation of guns, during the time this amendment was authored, was a necessity of life. Having a gun meant you, and your family would survive. It meant you would eat. It meant you were protected. A gun was a tool, as well as a weapon. Without one, well, you’d be hungry, at the very least.
As time has gone by, and we’ve advanced as a nation, the role of the gun has changed. It is no longer necessary to have one to put meat on the table. You don’t even have to HAVE meat on your table. Our dietary needs and requirements have changed. YES there are people out there who still hunt food for the family table. I know many of them. And though I personally don’t want to go shoot Bambi or Pumbaa, I hold with their rights to do so. (As long as bambi and pumbaa aren’t on the brink of extinction). The hunters I know are, for the most part, the most careful, and conservative of gun owners. They take care of their weapons, for their weapons are still tools to them. They also aren’t using semi automatic’s with cop killer bullets.
And this is where we get into trouble. No many how many laws are passed, with ten day waiting lists, and criminals banned from purchasing them, I maintain that ANYONE can get their hands on a gun. Any gun. You just have to know the right street to walk down, or the right person to talk to. No permit, no waiting. My Grandma could go out tomorrow on the streets of Fresno and get me an Uzi for my birthday if she so chose.
Yes, we have the right to bear arms. But bearing these arms lead to over 30,000 deaths a year in the United States. Granted, some of these are suicide deaths, but the major percentage of these are not.
The people getting these guns, legal or not, claim their right to defend themselves, and their homes. These are the same people who keep their guns in unsafe conditions, telling themselves that the gun has to be loaded, and within reach, to kill any intruder that might come into their home. They tell themselves that little Suzy or Stevie will never find them. Then they find themselves, explaining to the police why little Suzy shot Stevie in the head. Or why their teenager took said gun to school and shot the people who belittled him, year after year. Or why their depressed daughter is dead, by her own hand. We read these stories, every day.
And then we have the gangs. A militia, in their own way, as well. With guns. Where it’s normal, and encouraged, to find one or more of your rivals, and gun them down, despite the innocent bystanders that may live in the area. And in a gang, your gun is a major aspect of your identity. It has to be a good one. And you can be sure they are not getting their weapons from anyplace that requires a permit or waiting list. The trunk of the car requires none of these.
Gun control is a very sensitive topic, one that has been defended and discussed for decades. Once again, I could go on for days and days and days. This amendment, while practical, and needed during the era it was written in, has no gone completely awry, in my opinion. It has evolved beyond it’s intentions, and now does more harm than good.
Posted by mielikki at 2:43 PM
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
So, we have a "rule", in this house. A homework rule. Any one who is parenting a teenager can appreciate this. Its a known fact, sometimes, kids just don't do their homework.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances
The first amendment is, perhaps, one of the most important paragraphs in the Bill of Rights, and, possibly, the entire Constitution. If we look at it, in sections, we can see why our forefathers thought it important, and, why it still resonates with the standards we try to hold our country to, today.
Starting with the first line: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therof”.
Lets consider this. Basically, this is guaranteeing the people Freedom of Religion. It also guarantees that that there will be no “national religion” established by the government. This was an extremely important thing to our forefathers, especially because most of them came over seeking this freedom. Organized, and usually forced religion was common in Europe during this time, which ever religion the King (or Queen) happened to follow was the religion the people were to follow. Sometimes this changed so fast, I would swear that the commoners would get whip-lash. It wasn’t so easy for the royalty, either. Though they were “next in line” for the throne, the current King or Queen would often declare someone else as their heir to the throne, based on what religion they followed. Because of this, people frequently hid their religion, and practiced in secret, while attending the church they were “supposed” to be following in public.
Another frequent problem during this time was the fact that if you were caught practicing a different religion, odds are, you would be killed. History shows us that many thousands of people have died for their religious convictions. It is no wonder to me our forefathers included this in our constitution, wanting to avoid all the strife they had recently left.
In todays society, if we debate freedom of religion, the conversation may have a tendency to become very volatile, very quickly. In recent history, religion has been removed from schools, from courthouses, from coins, and even from the Pledge of Allegiance. Multiple cases involving religion have come up in the Supreme Court, and usually take YEARS to debate. In my opinion, here, the sticky phrase is “prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. I interpret this to read that the government cannot prohibit people exercising their religion of choice. Ever. So, if kids want to pray in school, who is the government to say they can’t? If a judge wants to display the ten commandments, well, why not? (this is, of course, my own opinion. Debate is welcome). I also, however, hold with anyones right to NOT practice a religion. It works both ways. If someone chooses not to say “in God we trust”, or pray with their friends/classmates, well, that is also a freedom that I believe in.
Another integral part of the first amendment is the second half of it, freedom of speech, the press, and the right to people to peaceably assemble. The importance of this just boggles my mind. This amendment is so packed full of importance.
Freedom of speech is another thing our forefathers had to include, based on how frequently people were killed or imprisoned for what they said. I cannot imagine living in a situation where anything you said, or did, was automatically held against you, and odds are if it was inflammatory enough you would end up swinging from a rope. I am extremely thankful our forefathers had the forethought to toss this one in the mix. Without freedom of speech, would any of us blog? What would our newspapers read like? We would be constantly looking over our shoulder, to ascertain who was near us, and could either misinterpret, or, turn us in for what we said. Very George Orwellian to me.
Where it goes awry in our day and age, in my humble opinion, is this whole freedom of the press thing. Many publications and shows interpret this section of the article as their right to follow, photograph, and harass anyone they choose to. I have a problem with this. It has become almost a sport for them, and their excuse is that the people they are following, usually celebrities, have chosen to be in the public eye, and are, therefore, fair game. I think our forefathers are spinning in their graves over this one.
To be able to peaceably assemble is also an integral part of this. The key word here, is peaceably. This section of the amendment is bandied around frequently at any protest, especially if that protest is interrupted by the police, who are part of the government. The first amendment is automatically cited and invoked by the protesters. They are usually correct, unless, of course, it’s been a less than peaceful protest.
Lets not forget the last of this amendment, though, “and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.
How often to we petition our government for a redress of grievances? Do any of us KNOW how do this? Anyone, Bueller, Bueller?
Thats what I thought.....
I could have gone ON AND ON AND ON... for centuries (aren't you glad I didn't?)
** edit. She finished the first amendment, after we had a talk about it, and I explained a few things to her about the amendment. NOW on to the second one, gun control! Yay! I'll be doing that one, too....
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Posted by mielikki at 9:22 AM
Monday, October 12, 2009
We are apparently going to be getting a good storm later today, and then tomorrow, that is going to have very strong gusts of wind and rain, with possible downed trees and power outages and all that fun stuff. So if you don't see me its because we have had a power outage.
Posted by mielikki at 10:03 AM
Friday, October 9, 2009
Maya Lin was born in Athens, Ohio, to Julia and Henry, recent immigrants from China. Her father was a ceramist, and a dean at the Ohio University of Fine Arts, and her mother was a Professor of Literature at Ohio University. Her aunt is the first female architect in China.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
And I am getting older.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Posted by mielikki at 10:04 AM
Monday, October 5, 2009
I try really hard not to bore you all with stories of my fish tank. (the people that live with me have no choice in the matter, but you do.)