Pushback Pam
(Push 'em back, push 'em back, waaaaayyyyy back)

About Me

I saw this headline today on AOL (do they still CALL them 'headlines' any more? In any event: )
 "Rescuers Find Teen Sailor Abby Sunderland Adrift in Indian Ocean"

This girl was going to try to sail around the world alone. Big project, as my hubby would snarkingly say, but who pays the piper? What I mean to convey is: 1.) Kudos to that kid 2.) How much money was spent to find that willful kid?

I think there's a little validity in each of those assertions.

At a Mother's Day Lunch
I think I now have seen enough evidence that eating with your mouth open runs in families. I'm not happy to report this, as the typing of this post reminds me of that off-putting behavior, but some things, once seen, cannot be unseen.

Self-defense items from Boomer Babe
Me likey.

Spring Notes on Gardening and Social Media
Ever since I was a kid, helping my Dad weed the back yard, I've been a sucker for being out in the yard during warm weather. You really see things alive, growing; it can be truly amazing and I just love it. The very air seems to hold promise and power; breathe that good stuff in! (Well, OK, pollen, not loving it, but I think you know what I mean.

We have flowers all over the place, and I do not mean to convey an impression of disorder; more one of distribution, but more of that later.

I've been involved in a couple of social media websites; I actually helped get a good-sized social media site started. Intended usage patterns vs. actual usage is always interesting, or can be, when a new app or service is launched. I wonder how the designers thought I would interact with their social media sites, but in any event, I look at my membership as equivalent to gardens; each one has an ecosphere, with a constantly changing set of members; members interact, as do species in any locality; change can be disruptive; pruning and attention are needed. I enjoy welcoming each new connection with some personal interaction, to help identify them and get a sense of who they are. These interactions can sometimes be pretty intense, too.

Happy Meal still pretty cheerful after ONE YEAR sitting on a pantry shelf
Wow. Look at the photos in this article. Most noteworthy: the flies didn't touch it. Maybe there's more to this than meets the eye, but on face value, this is amazing in a disturbing way.

Bursty Connections
Interactions are part of the appeal and substance of social media sites, but the pattern of one-to-one interactions is not always at a calm level. Sometimes a post will inspire some pushback. When I do that, I always do it respectfully, for is our aim not to persuade, or at least broaden the other party's world view? Over the course of several posts, an interaction with a member can be pretty intense, and involve a lot of posts, sometimes as much as twenty, back and forth. What I have experienced, however, is that the intensity typically does not continue. It may be the only 'conversation' you have with that other person, but due to your broader understanding of them, you may now and forever hold them in high esteem, or choose to 'relegate them to the ashbin of history'. You add those vetted entities to your trust domain, and your baseline in the community is thereby just a little more robust and populated. Enough tech talk, but wanted to 'let my geek flag fly'.

Neanderthal DNA has been found and analyzed. Some of us have some of their DNA in our genomes. Waiting for how this fits into one Old Testament narrative or another.

One way to keep fit
Some will not find it funny. I do.

The New Culture of Purpose is Distinctly Feminine
The author of this recent article argues, among several things, that being "remarkably unfit for constancy" and being "full of capacity, talent and skill, but completely unaware of my value" are common traits of many women. What do you think? I think it's generational. (The article is about much more than what I'm discussing here, but I thought it useful to extract that bit for discussion.)

Internet Safety for Our Children
This site has good resources for helping parents cope with the temptations and threats that the interconnected world presents. Did you know, for example, what 'POS' and 'F2F' mean in chat language? I think you should! As yet another example of how interesting life is, the driving force behind this effort is Donna Rice, whose original fame was as the person who indirectly helped torpedo Gary Hart's Presidential bid. He seemed like a comer in those days. Donna is doing good work for our children and I hope that she will eventually be known for this more than that Bimini photo. All I know is I can forgive.

Ever stopped to marvel at the phrase used for 'cash awards' incentives for credit cards? Apparently the more you spend the more you save. It's not illegal to say this, and there are all kinds of consumers out there, but, I just have to say it, the best way to save is to not spend in the first place, that's if you use the metric of 'household savings', not 'getting a deal on something you purchased'. Yes, if the price is lower, you save money, but you are not by any means adding to your savings when you make a purchase.

Leave a good legacy
Our life can be seen as a balance sheet maybe. We have our bad moments (our 'senior' moments LOL) our good moments, and maybe if we are lucky, our heroic moments. But much of life, as Woody Allen has said, is 'just showing up'. Be present, and build incrementally a good balance sheet. Take it one (#$%&) day at a time. Take a modest look at the long view, everybody.

"Mad Men" is a clever hook for this interesting article.  (Related thought here: Good writers will always be able to make at least some money, but not a lot. Many will be able to get bupkus Benjamins for their consummate skill as writers. Better to be a plumber.)

Asian Obsession
I learned today that there is a BOOMING market in Asia for skin whitening products and services, with sometimes catastrophic effects on health. It seems the desire to be light-skinned goes back centuries, and part of it echoes the European feeling of prior centuries that those kissed by the sun were poor and worked out doors, while those who were deathly pale reflected their higher status. One money quote from that web page:
      As the Chinese say, "You can cover all your defective parts if you are white."
Wow. Doesn't seem to work for us Caucasians; our defective parts are sticking out all over, it seems. Hey, maybe this will be a ray of hope for the White Power folks: do you accept recruits? (I know, too much, but a little hung over from Thanksgiving).

Raping Women as a tactic
We remember the stories from disintegrating Yugoslavia, where Muslim women were deliberately raped as a brutal element of psychological warfare against that population (well, at least I do; I know how the US collective memory is like a two-year old's). Now, decades later, in Guinea, women are sexually assaulted daily. Men with their tiny brains and hearts work out some kind of messed up childhood or God knows what through armed assault on innocents who are already physically weaker than them. When will this stop? The positive changes seen in Rwanda may give us hope that even this latest sad chapter could over time have an upbeat ending, but that's just the 'hopeful me' talking. So dispiriting, friends. I need to get out into nature and take a walk to wash this out of my mind.

Beyond Boobs - As their website bluntly claims: "Welcome to one of the most exclusive clubs around --- and it's one nobody wants to join." Dealing with breast cancer is made easier through fellowship of those who have been there, or are there. The qualifications for membership are simple: You must be a survivor of breast cancer and you must be young (diagnosed before menopause.) These ladies defy down spirits. I love 'em.

Sorry your husband beats you; that's a PRE-EXISTING CONDITION, Dearie
No, this is not an article in The Onion; this is real. I wonder, just wonder, if there have been women who were themselves victims of spousal abuse who had to rule on the plight of other women and tell them "cannot cover you". What a country.

Pushback against Bank of America
Push 'em (rates) wayyyyyyyyy back. World 2.0, kids.

Update on Octomom
I had published a comment about Nadya Suleman a while back. Just saw the Fox infotacular about that woman, her mother, her 14 kids, and related subjects. Wow. Her mother seems estranged now, and just openly and repeatedly questions her daughter's judgement. (The notorious mother LIVES with her mother, and has not been paying rent.) The positivism Octomom projects is admirable in a sense; 'take no thought for the morrow', as the Bible says. I dunno, it just doesn't sit right with me, but that's part of the appeal of the whole TV offering, right? To judge comfortably from a couch.

NFL Players are going to donate their brains, I just read in the headlines
Post-mortem, their brains will be donated for concussion research. That's a good thing. It's interesting to me to think about my brain, that soft computer floating inside the skull, protected by the meninges. Given enough momentum, that little precious thing can get bashed against the hard bony skull, causing damage. The brain's neuroplasticity means that a person can recover from repeated insults, at least theoretically.

However, considering the implications, I find it strangely human that human beings can sacrifice the most important body organ that MAKES us human, so that they can make a living. What a world, eh?

I gladly confess --- not always pushing back
I played basketball in high school, and was a forward; too slow to be a guard, and they needed forwards, so there I am, in a bench role with about seven minutes playing time a game; always end of second quarter, start of fourth quarter.

One of the things that we learned from Coach was that it's always good to try to foul out opposing players, so a common move was to make or allow that player to drive to the basket, and step in front of them, and establish position. If that works, and you are there for a long enough time interval to mark out your turf, then anyone who runs (or 'charges') into you is assessed a penalty, and they opponents lose the ball. (I'm reminded that CDEIS.COM has a foreign readership, so I therefore include this link to explain the basketball foul.)

I bring this up because sometimes in your love relationship with your hubby, there's some negativity that just builds up for a person; let's face it. Say hubby's running into problems, maybe with aging parents, and feels frustrated, depleted.

In an otherwise innocent exchange in the kitchen regarding trivialities, he tees off on you. (OR VICE VERSA, LET'S BE REAL). You COULD 'push back' and say 'unfair charge' (different meaning here), or you could just 'man/woman up' and hold your ground peaceably and get run over by that beloved. In this case, ya just 'take the charge', get hurt maybe a little bit, but you keep the larger team going. Hope this makes sense, but this is pretty much a straight shot out of the heart after a heated exchange over location of fans in the house (see what I mean?).

(yes, I'm talking about mainly about men)
I work in an office with almost exclusively male co-workers. Like a lot of workplaces, we have a kitchen, with fridge, microwave, etc.

Anyway, the reason I'm writing this is to gripe a little, who knows maybe enlighten a little, although my understanding of human nature tells me I'm whispering into the wind. Here goes: Common areas are ripe for decline when people don't do their bit. For example, our employer very nicely provides sponges for cleaning out the Pyrex dishes and other containers that people bring their lunch in, or for cleaning their coffee cups. As every halfway sentient housewife (and yes, househusband) knows, you gotta RINSE out the sponge when you are done; you clean the sponge so that it stays fresh. But no!!! Every two weeks or so we get a new one because the darned things get so funky that you are not assured of using them for their intended purpose. What are they, oblivious? Stupid? Too proud? Good night!!

Another one that bugs me, but I don't preach, as it's not my nature: How about, if you constantly bring in your lunch, you maybe, just maybe consider also bringing in some metal cutlery (forks, spoons), so that you don't take yet another equivalent plastic item, use it ONCE, then THROW IT AWAY. (No, we don't have recycling in that county, or at least the company doesn't bother). These are intelligent people, due to the nature of the work, but, again, amazingly, this notion doesn't cross their mind. So just add it to the waste stream, ignoramus. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

OK, I feel better now. A little. Dumbasses.

Does this young woman annoy you as much as she annoys me?
Nadya Suleman is living with her mother and unemployed. Her mother is incensed at this latest burst of babies: "We had to put in bunk beds, feed them in shifts and there's children's clothing piled all over the house." Maybe it's the likelihood that taxpayers will be helping raise the kids or the fact that she didn't want to marry the father, or those fake lips, but this chick has really gotten under my skin.

Jenny McCarthy on CNN blasts complacent doctors over autism-vaccine link
If 1 in 94 boys is diagnosed with autism, and thousands of distraught parents report that healthy kids get vaccinated, develop a fever and are NEVER THE SAME AGAIN, you would think this would be in the news more, but I don't see it enough. I think this former Playmate, who has had her wacky moments to be sure, is right on. I've talked about this before, and will harp on it again, as it just ticks me off.

You go girl!

Jordan's Queen Rania is doing a lot to break down stereotypes across cultural boundaries. She has a YouTube channel. She is one of many Muslim women who are pushing back in their own way against their own issues of ignorance and the other weaknesses our human species is heir to. God bless, and success to you, sister!! (Editor note: She is also active on Twitter, and has a web site.)

Schools and Jails
Recent troubling statistics remind us of how many minority youth are enmeshed in the correctional system, and how many drop out of school. I am ALL about personal responsibility and the value of intact families, so that is a factor in how a person does in life. Having said that, the mandatory nature of school attendance over the formative early years of life, and the poor quality of much of the education creates a dismal situation. We force these kids to interface with a failed system, so even those who have the personal responsibility and intact family factors in their favor are still fighting fearsome odds. Like some reformers say (I hate the term 'activist'): "First we fail them, then we jail them". The problem is localized in poor neighborhoods, and the crime victims are residents of the poor neighborhoods, so we don't usually have to think about it, but Lord, what a waste and how frightening it must be to live there.

Courting the Idiot Vote
This troubling observation from Josh Marshall seems all too likely to be on the mark, but trends are not that evident yet. He talks about how the GOP will probably use fear of Muslims (and of course, Obama is NOT a Muslim, and Muslims are NOT automatically enemies, for heaven's sake), and other retrograde strategies to bring out the worst in people.

Now, I am not slamming the GOP proper, as there are a lot of good people in that party, but the greasy disgusting political and campaign operatives in that party have a long sorry track record (Lee Atwater, for example). McCain has not endorsed these racist, ignorant pronouncements, but plausible deniability is a long-proven strategy, and being able to rationalize is a natural trait of us humans. Consider this: Reagan began his electoral campaign in Philadelphia, MS, near the location of the bodies of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, so searingly fictionalized in the film 'Mississippi Burning'. Of all the places to start, why there? Why there?

What I find dispiriting in general is how many people are lazy about information. For example, someone says that the "Don't taze me bro" student was suppressed for asking questions of Senator Kerry, when in fact that is not what caused his heavy-handed handling by the local cops. But, the story line fits in with prejudices on the Left about government, free speech and the police.

I think that, with the power of Google, and the big time acceptance of such features on the internet, the younger generation will be able to push back if they half-way want to, or someone in their circle can tell them the whole truth.

Holistic Moms

The Engine of the World Economy

That's what the US has been for a long time. But what that equates to is largely US consumers buying stuff. I think that finally that is coming to an end. I have, at times out of conviction, at times out of necessity, lived a fairly modest lifestyle. Getting older, for example, I have stopped worrying what others thought of my appearance, a woman's liberation of its own kind, I suppose. Anyway, living a less materialistic lifestyle makes sense in a lot of areas, and there are hundreds of millions of avid new consumers in Asia who can certainly take up the slack of 'customers to the world'. Let somebody else drive that engine (or at least take turns).

Autism and Thimoserol
The government regulators and big Pharma lost my confidence a long time ago. Doctors have suffered too. Every time I hear the phrase 'ask your doctor' in a drug ad, I almost nasalize my coffee (or whatever I'm drinking). Did those big execs let THEIR kids get those innoculations? (Maybe I've been listening to too much Gary Null on WNYE lately). I think we have to take the responsibility for our family's health into our own (yes I know, very tired and probably aching) hands. Remember, there were traces of mercury and aluminum being injected into some of our kid's veins.

I'm proud of Iowa
The victory by Obama, with a 97% white citizenry, is a turning point of some not insignificant power. I hasten to remind people of Shirley Chisholm, however, who is one of the pioneers of African-American women politicians; she ran for President in the 1970's.

Flexpetz-Not sure how I feel about this
I saw a writeup on this pet-sharing concept in Business 2.0; it seems to be a good idea. They only offer rescued or rehomed dogs. Obviously, the ability of the dogs to handle the novelty of a new 'owner' every now and then is key to the success. Dogs have a 'home base' and stay with others a percentage of the time.

Naomi Wolf's fears are shared by many, but not by me.
Ms. Wolf has written a book which has gotten a lot of exposure, and I hope will spur conversation. It covers the steps that historically have been taken by regimes that wish to impose dictatorship on their countries. She offers the information as a cautionary discussion. While I know that fascism is a strain in this country, and there are people who would be willing to go that way, I think we do not need to fear this possibility for these reasons:

1.) There are a lot of people like Naomi Wolf, and some strongly-entrenched civil rights organizations, which are providing a lot of vigilance and effective strikes at remediation and resolution; the Southern Poverty Law Center comes to mind, and how it has sued several hate organizations out of solvency and therefore out of potency.

2.) The new Internet, connected world, with phone cameras, blogs, IM and a citizenry that will never countenance any significant change in their civil liberties.

3.) There are so many new Americans who have come from many countries, who appreciate their civil liberties.

4.) There are so many Americans who understand the need to push back.

Here are the ten steps Naomi Wolf cites, with my comments in italics:
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
This has proven very effective time after time; invoke vs. acknowledge is another matter. The degree of danger is a key metric here, imho.
2. Create a gulag
I don't think they could repurpose the federal prison system to that end; our huge prison population, a world-leader (sigh), is partly fed by overly punitive drug laws, such as those promulgated by Gov. Rockefeller in his attempt to 'man up' for more general GOP acceptance in his try for the White House.Thanks a lot, 'leader'.
3. Develop a thug caste
I don't see this, not a caste, but an entire subculture? Yes. The question is whether these thousands of ethnocentric and mercurial youth can ever be deployed successfully for a long enough time.
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
I know this is not only possible, but prevalent, as it takes the line of least resistance; this I grant, is present; how organized, effective and centralized or concentrated the control may be, ah, there's the question I think.
5. Harrass citizens' groups
I don't see this, except in implementation by certain city police forces. This does happen, however, and is to be condemned
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
I see this.
7. Target key individuals
Somebody is targeting someone pretty much all the time in the world of politics, which extends beyond the formal electoral and legislative realm, and goes into general human behavior, as with corporate spying, predatory lawsuits, frivolous lawsuits. The recent pushback with the DOJ shows that the US Attorney scandal was not dumped into the dustbin of history.
8. Control the press
Control of the press, if ever attained, would be a private, not government, concentration of media ownership. A consensus does exist in most mainstream media on topics that are not discussed, but partisanship will ensure that alternate viewpoints to the official word will exist.

The trend of concentrated media ownership is a fact, but has been largely confined to 'traditional' media, and it has not yet dealt with Internet, so freedom and diversity is actually (shall we say 'still') moving in the right direction

9. Dissent equals treason
This is a given, because it's such an easy, lazy call, so even a mediocre political operative will resort to this, unfortunately. It's disgusting. One can only hope that most people will apply a filter when dealing with this particular type of ad hominem attack.
10. Suspend the rule of law
Again, we've been elastic so far with this one as a country, retracting, then restoring, rights to groups in our society. It would take a societal collapse and a societal consensus to ever suspend the rule of law; now, uneven patches of lawlessness, that I can see, but not as the outcome of some malefactors' plot..

I am watching coverage of the most recent GOP candidate debate, and I've got news for you, Family Research Council: We are ALL 'values voters'.

I am fuming about something, and wish I could sternly SHOUT this through the wires and your computer screen: I cannot BELIEVE we are actually debating about torture in this country.   What is there to debate? Now, as I have been described, I AM a 'Security Mom', and I frankly think that this country has, at least in part, been spared another attack because we did snatch up a lot of people in the aftermath of 9/11, stepping on some civil liberties in the process. I think it's probable that some of these people were innocent, but life is like a crap shoot sometimes---wrong place, wrong time. It happens. I'm not OK with it, but I understand that's how life is on this planet. Think of the Japanese Americans and their internment in WWII. I'm saying that to set up this important argument, so you don't think I'm 'soft' on the approach we have taken to our current threat.

So here's what I'm saying: Torture is ANTITHETICAL to this country's very character. People have always looked to the US to be different. And I'm not innocent to the fact that, historically, we have had incidents of torture; hundreds of thousands of fallible human beings under duress and in combat have had their failures of humanity; it's just in the odds, but it was not ever discussed in the halls of power in detail, as far as I know. What is equally important is that TORTURE DOES NOT WORK. How many professional interrogators (and yes, it IS a formal discipline, with standards, training, lessons learned, etc.) must repeat that it does not work? What the hell is going on here?

Bush and his minions have defined torture as 'not causing organ failure'. Subjecting someone to stress so that they suffer personality breakdown, freezing temperatures, high volume sounds of rabbits being tortured for HOURS, making prisoners scream and gasp for breath, that's OK with these limited, shortsighted men. So you ask this 'leader' about torture, and he calmly says 'we do not torture'. I want to scream. This is really getting my blood boiling typing it, but I have to get this out. Maybe I can help change this; I hope to God I can.

This brutal approach to interrogation, in my opinion, is based on fear and the kind of 'hard' outlook on life that reflects an ignorance of the big picture and the long view.  OK, I've said it. Wish I felt better.

Democrats and Gays
Historically, the Democrats have been on the side of GLBT people; well, at least most of them. That is commendable. I don't know if you read a lot of blogs; I go through periods of reading a lot of them. I remember some of the chatter around the Mark Foley scandal last year, and it reminded me of some of the chatter surrounding the AMAZING Larry Craig. What a sad situation for his wife. Anyway, there is definitely a strain of Republican-bashing that has an anti-gay taint to it, in my opinion. The GOP is not the only party that has people with that mindset. Too bad, but not surprising, given the Democrats' Big Tent.

Cell Phones on the Bus
I absotively HATE it when I see people on the phone while they hurtle down the highway. I have mixed feelings about their usage on the street, even in food places. On the bus or train, however, I actually don't see the problem. Here's what I mean:  You hear someone talking a couple of rows behind you. They are talking to their seat mate. Problem? Not really. Now extend that to a conversational mate elsewhere. See what I mean? (Or, 'hear', I guess I should say). Maybe if they are right next to you, it might be annoying, but friends, I am not looking for reasons to get irritated. For that, I have my family (ONLY KIDDING).

Go ahead, waste your time
I admit that it's kind of fun to spend idle minutes traipsing through the stupid news (or is it 'newz') about the 'celebutards' or 'debutarts', or 'dumbutards' who people our world, a guilty pleasure. Some days I just want to grab people who live in and visit that world by their damned throats and yell 'wake the hell up', and recognize the real world, but finally I realize that they ARE part of the world, and I guess play a role in the ecology of our reality. (Wow, pure poetry). A glass of wine helps.

The "Mommy Makeover" craze
It's interesting how increasing affluence, and the constant drumbeat of the advertisements help 'discover' new 'problems'. (I think increasing lifespans contribute, too.)

Anyway, there's a lot of buzz about cosmetic surgery following childbirth lately .  This is certainly one way to handle post-partum depression, I suppose.  I can understand the pull of this quick fix, but thank God my spouse doesn't seem to think there is anything 'wrong' with me. Or at least, like a wise partner, he just keeps that kind of criticism to himself. Look in the mirror after all, people---gravity does win in the end (and in other locations).

One of my Pushback Heroes is Bill Barnwell
Perhaps the most dangerous trend in America in recent years has been the growth of dispensationalism and pretribulationalism. President Reagan was supposedly a believer in the End Times prophecies, and these views continue to hold sway among some Republicans and money people. A madman named Hagee is the biggest proponent of this movement at present. What makes these people so aggravating and ridiculous is that they profess to be Christian, yet are all wrapped around the axle of fear and complete pessimism that things can turn out all right. To these fearful , death-obsessed people, there not only will be an Armageddon, but there MUST be. Hagee supports Israel, to the point of agitating for war with Iran, but the support of his ilk for Israel lies in this sordid fact: According to the views of these rabid so-called Christians, Israel must be attacked, and the Jews nearly wiped out, because that is a checklist item on the way to their salvation through the Second Coming of Christ. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Bill Barnwell takes on these people on their own terms, using the same common theological background. He is a voice of reason (and religion). Go Bill!!

Opportunity, not Charity
That's the slogan of FINCA, for village banking. Loaning to women to start businesses helps self-reliance. This is one of several sites that does this. Google 'microlending' and 'microfinance' if you want a one-to-one relationship with small enterprises world-wide. It feels good.

TV viewing is a no-win activity, according to Winn
If you have never read Marie Winn's "The Plug-in Drug", you should. The main point she makes is that the passivity and attention problems derived from viewing the tube are created regardless of the content. Even Sesame Street is 'bad' in one sense, because of the physiological effect that the screen produces. I suggest you read it.

As an example of how things are always changing, notice statistics of how TV viewing is going down, as people interact through the Internet. (Guess I'd better read up on how this 'tube' compares to the TV; yikes). At least, with the computer, you are 'driving', and controlling the pacing and content; you can also 'timeshift' with a lot of TV programming now.

About Me:

I am not, nor have I ever been, a cheerleader, but I like that old cheer. Cheer squad was not my 'clique' (sp?) in High School. I would NEVER let my daughters be in one now, however, since they have to do that bump and grind routine like little whores, and risk life and limb doing those acrobatic stunts. Remember the video of that girl who ended up breaking her neck, and then from her stretcher, kept pumping her arms, to the cheers of the crowd? I wonder how much additional damage she did with that bravado. Ahhh, youth. The same kind of bravado that has young men sacrifice their knees and their brains (concussions) for the glory of Alma Mater. Funny world. Silly world. Not-a-boring world.

I chose my nickname because I am one of the millions of citizens who are fed up with the two political parties, and current dogmas, and who are pushing back. "Push back" is a phrase I started hearing my hubby use a couple years back, if you don't know it. It refers to responding to a policy or a decision through opposing it. He actually introduced me to it indirectly by talking to a pal of his about a mythical 'office Olympics', which had events like buck-passing and push-back, and some other ones like surreptitious female ogling, Solitaire (thanks to Microsoft), etc. What a card.

I like the physical nature of the term "push back", as it also reminds me of what the proper response should be to a schoolyard bully. Well, the response you wish you had the courage to do when you were in that situation, but I know you maybe did not. I did not push back when I was younger, and usually ran away 'to live another day'. But I am a mother hen now, and I'm going to do whatever I can to make this world and this crazy country better. This page is my 'Letter to the Editor' to the 'leaders' of our country, and a call to arms against rampant stupidity and vapidity.