get lost slut

Blog For Choice Day 2008

Today is the 35th Anniversary of Roe V. Wade and the second annual Blog for Choice day. I feel quite fortunate that I've never had to make that choice, but I am grateful that, unlike my mother's generation, choice has always been an option for me. I'm worried, too, that many young women today have become complacent and don't realize how close we are to having the freedom of Choice taken from us. It only takes one more Supreme Court Justice stepping down while Bush is in office or a Republican winning the 2008 presidential election, to get the conservative majority needed to overturn Roe V. Wade.

Read the rest of my post here:

Check out the others who blogged for choice today:
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In Honor of the Holiday

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans. The other day I watched a rerun of a 1999 documentary on PBS called Not for Ourselves Alone. It's the story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and their lifelong fight for women's suffrage, among other issues.

It was a beautiful documentary. The commentators were historians who specialized in the women, a curator from the Susan B. Anthony House, etc. All women. All thoughtful, intelligent and knowledgeable. The letters to and from Elizabeth and Susan were my favorite part. The beautiful language of their words, the passion they felt toward their cause and advancing the lives of American women. They were true friends, even though they were such different people, and they shared that true passion.

At the end they interviewed women who were around in 1920 when women were given the right to vote. Each recalled how she felt as she stepped into the voting booth, what an important thing she knew she was doing, how she wanted to make sure she voted for the right person. They didn't take it lightly. Neither should we.

I shed many a tear watching this wonderful documentary, but during this part I'm not ashamed to say, I cried very hard. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked their whole lives for the cause, knowing that women's lives would be better if they could vote, and they never lived to see that day.

Whether or not you've ever studied the women's suffrage movement, this is an excellent documentary and I highly recommend it. I dare all women to watch it and not feel proud to be female, grateful to live now, and cherish your right to vote. Please don't take that right lightly. These women (and many others) risked their lives and were shunned by many in "polite" society just so you and your daughters and granddaughters could live in a better world. We all know that it is a better world because women have equal rights.

On this day, our Independence Day, I salute Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony and I thank them for fighting the good fight, for me and for all women in the United States. Women like them make me proud to be female.

"I wonder if when I am under the sod—or cremated and floating in the air—I shall have to stir you and others up. How can you not be all on fire? ...I really believe I shall explode if some of you young women don't wake up." ~Susan B. Anthony, 1898

Happy Independence Day everyone!
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Writing Whine

This was originally posted to Blogger, but Blogger isn't showing any of my new posts for the last few days. Grrrr.....

Oh, for the love of God, where do I find the time? Ack! If we could just have 30 hour days.... Imagine that. I could have 8 hours of sleep and 4 hours of writing! Yeah! Uh, earth to Kim? Reality check time. (Besides, if we had 30 hour days, we'd probably work 10 hour shifts.)

Ok, so 30 hour days are not possible. There must be ways to shave off a little bit of time here and there. What I would really like is 2 hours a day to write, after I do my moderator, blog and e-mail stuff. So, I guess I'm looking for 3 hours of computer time. It sounds grand, doesn't it? It actually sounds very greedy and unrealistic. I guess 2 hours would be more realistic. One hour for e-mail/mod duties/blogs and one hour for the Work in Progress (WIP). Two and a half on good days.

So, what are some good ways to "find" time? I already try to cook 2 or 3 night's dinner at once. Actually, I don't find this saves a great deal of time since heating up various left-overs and replenishing things like salads and steaming fresh veggies still takes time. But it does cut down on the "what the hell am I going to make for dinner?" routine which can eat up a half hour of whining and rummaging through the cupboards and fridge.

Going to work on time is good. Getting home from work at 5 instead of 5:30 or 6 is very helpful.

Having my gym clothes for the week all washed and folded and bundled up is a good way to keep my morning routine speedy. If I leave the gym on time, I have time in the morning to make lunches before I get dressed for work and it keeps me on time to work too.

Weekends are good times to write more. The only thing about weekends is the "to do" list. There's grocery shopping, laundry, and all the errands. People suggest doing those things after work but then I give up my writing time at night since it pushes everything back. It really is a vicious circle, isn't it?

I know I've totally neglected this blog, so I don't expect many of my Blogger LJ pals to still be reading, but if you are, please post your time-saving tips. It doesn't matter if you work a 40-hour week or if you're a stay at home mom (or dad) time is hard to find for all of us. I'm going to think about the topic and post anything else I can think of in a future post. Maybe if we all share ideas, we can help eachother and come up with more.
red writer

Simple Myers-Briggs-ish quiz

I have also taken the long vrsion of the quiz (the one that's like 200 questions) and I got the same result.

Your Personality is the Rarest (INFJ)

Your personality type is introspective, principled, self critical, and sensitive.

Only about 2% of all people have your personality - including 3% of all women and around 1% of all men.
You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging.
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red writer

Where have all the leaders gone?

Thank you to Charity ( )for sending this to me!

This is long, but well worth the read. Sorry for posting this in its entirety, but I don't know how to do the "click here to read the rest" thing..

Note: Lee Iacocca voted for George W. Bush.
Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
By Lee Iacocca with Catherine Whitney

Had Enough?

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with
what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We
should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of
clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over
a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us
blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane
much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting
mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when
the politicians say, "Stay the course."

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding.
This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you
a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone
off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to
speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore.
The President of the United States is given a free
pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and
lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to
record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the
wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous
business leaders are not the innovators but the guys
in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the
Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what
to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of
asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my
parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've
had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a
patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm
ready and willing to have.

My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee,
you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the
young people." I'd love to ~ as soon as I can pry
them away from their iPods for five seconds and get
them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because
it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me.
They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter.
So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty,
but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve
in those young folks who say they don't vote because
they don't trust politicians to represent their interests.
Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.

Who Are These Guys, Anyway?

Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this
crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them~or at
least some of us did. But, I'll tell you what we
didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the
Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking
questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick
and tired of people who call free speech treason.
Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.

And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing
Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an
intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the
reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of
factions. We're a people. We share common principles
and ideals. And we rise and fall together.

Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to
action and make us stand taller? What happened to the
strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened
to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman?
There was a time in this country when the voices of
great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do
better. Where have all the leaders gone?

The Test of a Leader
I've never been Commander in Chief, but I've been a
CEO. I understand a few things about leadership at the
top. I've figured out nine points~not ten (I don't
want people accusing me of thinking I'm Moses). I call
them the "Nine Cs of Leadership." They're not fancy
or complicated. Just clear, obvious qualities that
every true leader should have. We should look at how
the current administration stacks up. Like it or not,this
crew is going to be around until January 2009. Maybe
we can learn something before we go to the polls in 2008.
Then let's be sure we use the leadership test to
screen the candidates who say they want to run the
country. It's up to us to choose wisely.

So, here's my C list:

A leader has to show CURIOSITY. He has to listen to
people outside of the "Yes, sir" crowd in his inner
circle. He has to read voraciously, because the world
is a big, complicated place. George W. Bush brags
about never reading a newspaper. "I just scan the
headlines," he says. Am I hearing this right? He's the
President of the United States and he never reads a newspaper?
Thomas Jefferson once said, "Were it left to me to
decide whether we should have a government without
newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I
should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the
latter." Bush disagrees. As long as he gets his daily
hour in the gym, with Fox News piped through the sound
system, he's ready to go. If a leader never steps
outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he
grows stale. If he doesn't put his beliefs to the test,
how does he know he's right?
The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. It means
either you think you already know it all, or you just
don't care. Before the 2006 election, George Bush made
a big point of saying he didn't listen to the polls.
Yeah, that's what they all say when the polls stink.
But maybe he should have listened, because 70 percent
of the people were saying he was on the wrong track.
It took a "thumping" on election day to wake him up,
but even then you got the feeling he wasn't listening
so much as he was calculating how to do a better job
of convincing everyone he was right.

A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be
willing to try something different. You know, think
outside the box. George Bush prides himself on never
changing, even as the world around him is spinning out
of control. God forbid someone should accuse him of
flip-flopping. There's a disturbingly messianic
fervor to his certainty. Senator Joe Biden recalled a
conversation he had with Bush a few months after our
troops marched into Baghdad. Joe was in the Oval
Office outlining his concerns to the President~the
explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanded Iraqi
army, the problems securing the oil fields. "The President was
serene," Joe recalled. "He told me he was sure that
we were on the right course and that all would be
well. 'Mr. President,' I finally said, 'how can you be
so sure when you don't yet know all the facts?'" Bush
then reached over and put a steadying hand on Joe's
shoulder. "My instincts," he said. "My instincts." Joe
was flabbergasted. He told Bush, "Mr. President, your
instincts aren't good enough." Joe Biden sure didn't
think the matter was settled. And, as we all know now,
it wasn't.
Leadership is all about managing change~whether you're
leading a company or leading a country. Things change,
and you get creative. You adapt. Maybe Bush was absent
the day they covered that at Harvard Business School.

A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I'm not talking about
running off at the mouth or spouting sound bites. I'm
talking about facing reality and telling the truth.
Nobody in the current administration seems to know
how to talk straight anymore. Instead, they spend most
of their time trying to convince us that things are
not really as bad as they seem. I don't know if it's
denial or dishonesty, but it can start to drive you
crazy after a while. Communication has to start with
telling the truth, even when it's painful. The war in
Iraq has been, among other things, a grand failure of
communication. Bush is like the boy who didn't cry
wolf when the wolf was at the door. After years of
being told that all is well, even as the casualties
and chaos mount, we've stopped listening to him.

A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means
knowing the difference between right and wrong and
having the guts to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln
once said, "If you want to test a man's character,
give him power." George Bush has a lot of power. What
does it say about his character? Bush has shown a
willingness take bold action on the world stage
because he has the power, but he shows little regard for the
grievous consequences. He has sent our troops (not to
mention hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi
citizens) to their deaths~for what? To build our oil
reserves? To avenge his daddy because Saddam Hussein
once tried to have him killed? To show his daddy he's
The motivations behind the war in Iraq are
questionable, and the execution of the war has been a
disaster. A man of character does not ask a single
soldier to die for a failed policy.

A leader must have COURAGE. I'm talking about balls.
(That even goes for female leaders.) Swagger isn't
courage. Tough talk isn't courage. George Bush comes
from a blue-blooded Connecticut family, but he likes
to talk like a cowboy. You know, My gun is bigger than
your gun. Courage in the twenty-first century doesn't
mean posturing and bravado. Courage is a commitment
to sit down at the negotiating table and talk.

If you're a politician, courage means taking a
position even when you know it will cost you votes.
Bush can't even make a public appearance unless the
audience has been handpicked and sanitized. He did a
series of so-called town hall meetings
last year, in auditoriums packed with his most devoted
fans. The questions were all softballs.

To be a leader you've got to have CONVICTION~a fire in
your belly. You've got to have passion. You've got to
really want to get something done. How do you measure
fire in the belly? Bush has set the all-time record
for number of vacation days taken by a U.S. President
~four hundred and counting. He'd rather clear brush on
his ranch than immerse himself in the business of
governing. He even told an interviewer that the high
point of his presidency so far was catching a
seven-and-a-half-pound perch in his hand-stocked lake.

It's no better on Capitol Hill. Congress was in
session only ninety-seven days in 2006. That's eleven
days less than the record set in 1948, when President
Harry Truman coined the term do-nothing Congress.
Most people would expect to be fired if they worked so
little and had nothing to show for it. But Congress
managed to find the time to vote itself a raise. Now,
that's not leadership.

A leader should have CHARISMA. I'm not talking about
being flashy. Charisma is the quality that makes
people want to follow you. It's the ability to
inspire. People follow a leader because they trust
him. That's my definition of charisma. Maybe George
Bush is a great guy to hang out with at a barbecue or
a ball game. But put him at a global summit where the
future of our planet is at stake, and he doesn't look very
presidential. Those frat-boy pranks and the kidding
around he enjoys so much don't go over that well with
world leaders. Just ask German Chancellor Angela
Merkel, who received an unwelcome shoulder massage
from our President at a G-8 Summit. When he came up behind
her and started squeezing, I thought she was going to
go right through the roof.

A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious,
doesn't it? You've got to know what you're doing. More
important than that, you've got to surround yourself
with people who know what they're doing. Bush brags
about being our first MBA President. Does that make
him competent? Well, let's see. Thanks to our first
MBA President, we've got the largest deficit in
history, Social Security is on life support, and we've
run up a half-a-trillion- dollar price tag (so far) in
Iraq. And that's just for starters. A leader has to be
a problem solver, and the biggest problems we face as
a nation seem to be on the back burner.

You can't be a leader if you don't have COMMON SENSE.
I call this Charlie Beacham's rule. When I was a
young guy just starting out in the car business, one
of my first jobs was as Ford's zone manager in
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. My boss was a guy named
Charlie Beacham, who was the East Coast regional
manager. Charlie was a big Southerner, with a warm
drawl, a huge smile, and a core of steel. Charlie used
to tell me, "Remember, Lee, the only thing you've got
going for you as a human being is your ability to
reason and your common sense. If you don't know a dip
of horseshit from a dip of vanilla ice cream, you'll
never make it." George Bush doesn't have common
sense. He just has a lot of sound bites. You
know~Mr. they'll-welcome-us-as-
Brownie-mission-accomplished Bush.
Former President Bill Clinton once said, "I grew up in
an alcoholic home. I spent half my childhood trying
to get into the reality-based world~and I like it
here." I think our current President should visit the
real world once in a while.

The Biggest C is Crisis
Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in
times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet
up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's
kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield
yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world
comes tumbling down.
On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more
than any other time in our history. We needed a steady
hand to guide us out of the ashes. Where was George
Bush? He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids
in Florida when he heard about the attacks. He kept
sitting there for twenty minutes with a baffled look
on his face. It's all on tape. You can see it for
yourself. Then, instead of taking the quickest route
back to Washington and immediately going on the air to
reassure the panicked people of this country, he
decided it wasn't safe to return to the White House.
He basically went into hiding for the day~and he told
Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker.
We were all frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of
our wits, waiting for our leaders to tell us that we
were going to be okay, and there was nobody home. It
took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and
devise the right photo op at Ground Zero.

That was George Bush's moment of truth, and he was
paralyzed. And what did he do when he'd regained his
composure? He led us down the road to Iraq~a road his
own father had considered disastrous when he was
President. But Bush didn't listen to Daddy. He
listened to a higher father. He prides himself on
being faith based, not reality based. If that doesn't
scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will.

A Hell of a Mess
So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody
war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving.
We're running the biggest deficit in the history of
the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to
Asia, while our once-great companies are getting
slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are
skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent
energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our
borders are like sieves. The middle class is being
squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out
for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where
have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious,
creative communicators? Where are the people of
character, courage, conviction, competence, and common
sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I
think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland
security than making us take off our shoes in
airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent
billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy,
and all we know how to do is react to things that
have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of
Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single
day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or
demanding accountability for the decisions that were
made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's
hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't
happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen.
Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're
going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively
about how we can restore our competitive edge in
manufacturing. Who would have believed that there
could ever be a time when "the Big Three" referred to
Japanese car companies? How did this happen~and more
important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan
for paying down the debt, or solving the energy
crisis,or managing the health care problem. The
silence is deafening. But these are the crises that
are eating away at our country and milking the middle
class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect
you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain
silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our
greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is
everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox
News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't
you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough?
Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom
here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out
because I have hope. I believe in America. In my
lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some
of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced
some of our worst crises~the Great Depression, World
War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the
Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles
of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned
one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by
standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to
take action. Whether it's building a better car or
building a better future for our children, we all
have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising
in this book. It's a call to action for people who,
like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but
it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the horseshit
and go to work. Let's tell'em all we've had enough.

Excerpted from Where Have All the Leaders Gone?
Copyright @ 2007
by Lee Iacocca. All rights reserved.
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red writer

debate tonite!

The Democrats are having a debate tonight. If you want a chance to hear what all the candidates have to say, check it out. I heard it will be on CSPAN2 and I'm pretty sure it will be on CNN too. I do believe Larry King (or maybe it was Anderson Cooper) both on CNN--may have a panel discussion afterward. Check your local listings!
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