Friday, November 12, 2004

Liberals Don't Get It....

We keep saying it, and they keep pretending it's not so.

GUN CONTROL POLITICS AND THE 2004 FEDERAL ELECTIONS by Chuck Cunningham, NRA Federal Affairs Director

Of the 18 candidates for the U.S. Senate endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the NRA-endorsed candidate won in 14 of these races

Says something, doesn't it?

Net gain of four pro-gun seats in the U.S. Senate with gains in Florida, Lousiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and South Dakota, and a loss in Colorado

Of the 251 candidates endorsed by the National Rifle
Association for the U.S. House of Representatives, the NRA-endorsed candidate won in 241 of these races

The 109th Congress will begin with Members with the following ratings: 235 "A"-rated, 27 "B"-rated, 15 "C"-rated, 17 "D"-rated, 138 "F"-rated, and 3 "?"-rated

In Senate races, the Brady Bunch supported for reelection Senator Tom Daschle and targeted for defeat Senators Kit Bond and Arlen Specter, and their endorsed candidates lost in all these Senate races

I can't say I'll miss you, Daschle, but I can say a few more need to go right along behind you.

In House races, the Brady Bunch targeted for defeat Congressmen Rick Renzi (AZ-1), Bob Beauprez (CO-7), Mark Kennedy (MN-6), Heather Wilson (NM-1), and Jim Gerlach (PA-6) and supported Virginia Schrader (PA-8), and their endorsed candidates lost in all of these House races

Three anti-gun Republicans -- Doug Bereuter (NE-1), Amory Houghton (NY-29), and Jim Greenwood (PA-8) -- will be succeeded by pro-gun congressmen

Pro-gun upgrades in Senate seats: anti-gun Senator Bob Graham is succeeded by pro-gun candidate Mel Martinez, unreliable Senator John Breaux is succeeded by pro-gun congressman David Vitter, anti-gun Senator John Edwards is succeeded by pro-gun congressman Richard Burr, and anti-gun Senator Fritz Hollings is succeeded by pro-gun congressman Jim DeMint, and anti-gun Senator Tom Daschle was defeated by pro-gun former congressman John Thune

Pro-gun freshmen in the Senate will include:

Mel Martinez (FL), Johnny Isakson (GA), David Vitter (LA), Richard Burr (NC), Tom Coburn (OK), Jim DeMint (SC), and John Thune (SD)

Pro-gun freshmen in the House will include:

John Salazar (CO-3), Connie Mack (FL-14), Tom Price (GA-6), Lynn Westmoreland (GA-8), Mike Sodrel (IN-9), Geoff Davis (KY-4), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1), Virginia Foxx (NC-5), Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Dan Boren (OK-2), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Charlie Dent (PA-15), Bob Inglis (SC-4), Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Ted Poe (TX-2), Mike McCaul (TX-10), Mike Conaway (TX-11), Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Thelma Drake (VA-2), and Cathy McMorris (WA-5)

Now, how can anyone look at those numbers and think the NRA doesn't speak for a whole lot of voters?

Teachers and the Lies They Tell

This Seattle Times article discussing yet another teacher's attempts to influence the young voters in her charge set me off, I must admit.

Judy Baker, a teacher at Henry M. Jackson High School, showed the anti-Bush documentary last week to students in her government class as part of a lesson in propaganda and politics.
The [local GOP] office also sent a copy of "FahrenHYPE 9/11," a movie that responds to and critiques Moore's film. Cheshire, the principal, said he'd approve the film if Baker requested its use.
Filmmaker Michael Moore's condemnation of Bush's actions regarding the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon became the first documentary to top the $100 million mark domestically. In the film, Moore examines the Bush administration's alleged financial ties to Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden family.
First, allow me to remind you that I am a teacher. In the Public School System. And many of my brethren are not thinking and it amazes me. But back to the article.

I've got several problems with this idea.

First, using a film such as this, when labeled a documentary, is dishonest. I think all of us have read and been made aware of fantasies and fallacies of this film. About the best discussion of it that I have seen is Dave Kopel's
Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 911 Kopel is clear, concise and definitely on target with this issue. Moore is free to generate whatever trash fiction he chooses to but calling this, or most of his other hate-filled work documentaries, is not something honest, thinking people do.

Second, using films as a substitute for teaching is an action I cannot agree with. As a teacher, I use excerpts of films here and there to demonstrate a point or explain, visually, a concept, but putting a 122 minute long film in the player and letting someone with a grudge and deep pockets he's looking to fill teach your class for you is a shame. Moore is a liar and a buffoon.

And he could use a bath, a shave and some clean clothes but that's for another day, I think.

Moore has now put out a "teacher's guide" for watching the movie. It is filled with the same kind of venom and pointlessness as the movie and, were I a parent of a child being shown this movie, I would be disgusted with any teacher so lazy and lacking in thinking ability that he or she would use this as a substitute for actual teaching.


According to the Boston Globe, tens of thousands of protesters showed up along Bush's inaugural parade route to proclaim that he and Vice President Dick Cheney had "stolen" the election. Bush chose not to partake in the traditional walk to the White House.

Why was this not more widely publicized? Why would news networks choose not to highlight such a large demonstration? While Bush continues to be protested virtually everywhere he goes, especially in foreign countries, why do we see so little of this in the national media? Has the media been fair or have they been guilty of failing to report many negative aspects of Bush’s presidency?

Bush's "War on Terrorism" has cost the nation billions of dollars in an effort to beef up security. In March of 2003 roughly 180,000 personnel from 22 government organizations became part of the Department of Homeland Security. It's said to be the largest government reorganization since the onset of the Cold War. The DHS's many activities include keeping out terrorists, criminals and dangerous material, strengthening seaport security, and improving security at airports.

With all this DHS activity, how do you explain the fact that a single Oregon state trooper is assigned to patrol a 1,400-square-mile territory that includes 100 miles of roads on the central coast? Why is it that passengers are allowed to take four books of matches and two lighters on an airplane? Have you or someone you know carried something on an airplane you shouldn't have?

Beyond the obvious slant of the questions (which is egregious enough), why does this not address our President by his title? Why would any teacher ask a child to implicate him or herself in a crime? Why would a teacher not make clear that the Federal Government does not assign State Troopers anywhere? Why, Why, Why? Why would any teacher use this film as a so-called teaching tool? Ms. Baker and the District should be ashamed.

What Michael Moore and his rabid followers do not seem to understand even now about the election and our President is simple enough. The majority of the voters have faith in his leadership. The majority of the voters support Conservative issues. The majority of voters are not off in La-La Liberal Land.

And last time I checked, majority rules.

But, frankly, it's ok with me if the Left wanders even further left because that means the next time the polls close, there will be even more votes supporting the issues the majority of us believe in.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

11-11-11 (part 2)

I went to Elmwood today because I wanted to see our young men and women in the JROTC Color Guard pay their respects to the veterans buried there. The celebration, first organized by Beulah Ware Hamilton, is conducted in Section S of the cemetery, where 19 members of the 102nd Colored Infantry are buried. The 102nd U.S Colored Infantry Regiment was formed in the summer of 1863 as the Volunteer First Michigan Colored Infantry. It was renamed the 102nd after mustering into the Union Army in 1864. Members of the 102nd served with distinction in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Mrs. Hamilton first conceived of the idea 20 years ago, while visiting her husband's gravesite. Her husband had been a local historian and often led groups to the cemetery on guided tours. Mrs. Hamilton became unhappy with the fact that the veterans interred there were not recognized other than by plain granite headstones. There were no ceremonies, not even an American Flag flew at the site. "To honor their legacy and the legacy of my husband, I decided to hold a Veteran's Day ceremony there every year," Mrs. Hamilton said.

Now, every year, 11-11, there is, because of Mrs. Hamilton's love and respect for both her husband and country:
    - A presentation of the American flag;
    - A presentation of wreaths honoring the 102nd Colored Infantry, including two Native Americans from Michigan who served in the Civil War, and all veterans - living and deceased - who have served our country;
    - A roll call for the 102nd Color Infantry and the Native Americans as the Color Guard places a single red rose on each of those graves;
    - The playing of "Taps" as the cadets of the Color Guard of local High School JROTC platoons stand silent, at attention, with quiet faces, honoring past veterans and those who serve today.

Today there were more than 500 of them.
You've seen pictures of men and women in uniform, stiffly at attention - I won't repeat that experience, but the young people and their leaders seen below left me with a warm heart and moist cheeks.

I asked the young cadet above if I might take his picture.
"Yes, ma'am."
I pointed to where I would like him to stand and he stepped into place without prompting. When I asked him if he would like a copy of the picture, he replied, "Yes, ma'am. I believe my mother would as well."
I got a little misty over that one. Mom has much to be proud of in that young man.

The young man's respect for his Commander is obvious.

I decided, while I was there, to just pick one of the stones and see if I could find out anything about the man beneath it who had served his country. I decided it would be one of the 102nd and was caught by the name of a young sharpshooter, John Jacko. Such a cavalier sort of name. The stone lying flat in the ground identified him as John Jacko, Pvt. of Company K, First Michigan Sharpshooters, born 1841, died 1870. The upright headstone, however, was different. It said Jacko Nat-Bah-Me-No-Linc.

As it turns out, John, aka Nat-Bah-Me-No-Linc, was one of the two Native Americans buried there from Company K of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. Company K, it seems, was comprised of Ottawas and Chippewas primarily from Michigan and Wisconsin. John enlisted February 14, 1865 at Grand Rapids but was actually from the tiny village of Horton's Bay (now known as Horton Bay) and he was 20 years old when he volunteered. He mustered out a few short months later on July 28, 1865, at Delaney House in Washington, DC, three months after the war ended at Appomattox.

John died when he was 29 years old. In my short historical journey, I didn't find records of how he lived or how he died. What I did find was his grave, honored by the young people who have chosen to wear the uniform of the Country John served. They do us proud, the young people I saw today. I thank them, their officers, their parents and the schools that support their presence.

And I thank You, Nat-Bah-Me-No-Linc.

Honor a Veteran Today and Every Day. Support our troops.

Bug Eyed Earl

The guy who writes this strip has got to be a very strange man. Got to be.

Bug Eyed Earl is the kind of person I'd want to be if I were totally adrift on the sharpened edge of the world.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Tomorrow, 11-11 at 11:00 AM, we should all take a moment and remember why we have the freedoms we do and to whom, exactly, we owe them.

In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England's Westminster Abbey and France's Arc de Triomphe as an unknown soldier was buried in each nation's highest place of honor.

While I no longer hold France in any great esteem, despite it being the land where my father's father and mother came from, I do, and always will, honor its veterans.

These memorial services all took place on November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918, which was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It was named Armistice Day and eventually became Veterans Day.

On June 1, 1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans. In 1968, legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. Soon it became apparent that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. In 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.

Official, national ceremonies for Veterans Day center around the Tomb of the Unknowns. To honor these men, symbolic of all Americans who gave their lives in all wars, an Army honor guard, the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard), keeps day and night vigil. At 11 a.m. on November 11, a combined color guard representing all military services executes "Present Arms" at the tomb. The nation's tribute to its war dead is symbolized by the laying of a presidential wreath and the playing of "Taps."

On Memorial Day (which honors U.S. service people who died in action) in 1958, two more unidentified American war dead, one from World War II and the other from the Korean War, were buried next the unknown soldier of World War I. A law was passed in 1973 providing interment of an unknown American from the Vietnam War, but because of the improved technology to identify the dead, it was not until 1984 that an unidentified soldier was buried in the tomb.

In 1998, however, the Vietnam soldier was identified through DNA tests as Michael Blassie, a 24-year-old Air Force pilot who was shot down in May of 1972 near the Cambodian border. His body was disinterred and reburied by his family in St. Louis, Missouri.

Tomorrow I will leave my job and go watch our JROTC Color Guard stand at attention and honor our service men and women at a small graveyard in Detroit. Each of them does their country and our school a great honor by volunteering for this duty.

I'll take pictures and thank the young cadets. I will pray for peace for our veterans' souls. I expect I will shed a tear as well.

My thanks to all who serve. I owe you everything.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Happy Birthday to the Marines

You've done a hell of a job for 229 years and we thank you for every 120,362,400 or so minutes of it.

You rock!

Part of my problem is...

I just keep thinking.

I was driving over my daughter's house tonight and she was not in a great mood, caught once more in the battle that is family sometimes, so I snagged her and we went for a short ride to talk. Subjects are mother-daughter privileged but at one point, we stop at a party store (a Michigan euphemism for a liquor store) and go in.

I don't see anyone and my daughter says, slightly above a normal tone, "Helllo?"

At which point, I really do realize I can't see a freaking soul and I grab her arm and say, low but firm, "Let's get out of here - NOW."

My brain is screaming red alert and I'm backing up, hand under my jacket and pulling her with me, when the idiot that runs the store finally pops up from behind the counter, cell phone stuck to his ear and gapes at us like we're from some other planet.

I wanted to kick his behind for scaring me that bad.

Here's a piece of advice, despite the positive outcome this time. If you ever walk into a Party Store, convenience store, whatever you want to call it, and you can't see anyone anywhere - GET OUT. They aren't called stop and robs for nothing and I'd rather look a little silly than get caught in the middle of something.

Kim Dutoit is a BAD Influence - yeah!

It began with me seeing a link on my own forum site that a member had viewed on Kim Dutoit's site. I decided to write the VPC (Violence Policy Center, run by Nazi Bitch, Kristin Rand) and let them know how much I appreciated the list. It kind of took off from there. I'll give you this, and then I promise to update it and add some additional stuff. Seems more than one or two people have been writing and frankly, it's pissing off the folks at VPC. And that's A-OK with me.

----- Original Message -----
To: Neva Li
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 2:13 PM
Subject: Thank You!
As a teacher in the public school system and a certified firearms instructor there is some crossover and I am occasionally asked what type of firearm might be appropriate for a child. I have never researched it to any great degree but am now blessed with your fairly extensive list. I have printed it out and will distribute it to the parents wishing to teach their children about responsible firearms usage in the future.

Neva Li


----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 2:53 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You'll just have to hope this isn't your kid:

Associated Press
December 20, 2003

2 Youths Held in Web Site Threat

Two youths, including one who had asked for a gun for Christmas, were arrested after allegedly making death threats against high school athletes.

"I have a bag full of bullets waiting for you," authorities said one of the students allegedly wrote on the Web site.

The Web site also said one of the two liked killing, playing video games and "burning" and "butchering" Jews, police said.

Police do not believe the two had access to weapons, but one was about to get a weapon as a Christmas gift.

"One of the fathers told us that the kid had asked for a firearm for Christmas and the father said he purchased it for him last Saturday," he said. "The kid didn't even know he had it coming. The father said based on this information he was obviously not going to get it."


At 03:04 PM 11/5/04 -0500, you wrote:

Dear Kristen,

Thank you for your response.

Of course, it never would be one of my children since I would always teach my child responsible firearms usage and none of my children is filled with disabling hatred as spewed and taught by the Radical Left.

I do not have "kids", by the way, but do know other responsible firearms owners who keep goats. They never allow them to handle firearms, though.

Neva Li


----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 3:13 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You must have a very empty life if this is how you spend your time. If you aren't filled with hate, you wouldn't bother us with your silly little missives.


At 03:42 PM 11/5/04 -0500, you wrote:
Dear Kristen,

Thank you for your response.

I do wonder why on earth would you assume that my life was either empty or filled with hate? I've already explained that I am a teacher, which is actually quite a loving profession and certainly one which would never prompt anyone to describe my life as empty.

I wrote you because I am very happy to be able to make educated recommendations on firearms appropriate for youth use. I thought you would be happy to know that people who are committed to teaching our youth to be responsible in handling firearms appreciate having this information so readily available.

Please take my missives in the spirit in which they are intended.

Neva Li


----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 3:49 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

I guess because you spend your time participating in a silly little coordinated campaign to harass us.


At 04:24 PM 11/5/04 -0500, you wrote:

Dear Kristen,

Thanks once again for your response. Dialogue on the issues is always so gratifying.

Please try not to overreact. My gratitude is my own and despite what may seem to be a "coordinated campaign" of some kind, I am sure that you can appreciate that I have found your list useful and that I am quite happy that you have provided it.

Thanks again for your efforts on our behalf in educating young firearms advocates and enthusiasts in available choices of firearms that work best for their age group.

Neva Li


I guess it's just a coincidence we got 30 virtually identical emails in one day. Here's one example. Do you also spend your time dressing up in suits of armor like Sean does?

Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2004 13:04:15 -0800 (PST)
From: "Sean D. xxxxxxxxx"
Subject: Youth Guns list
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

I wanted to thank you guys (and gals) for your handy
list of long guns suitable for youths.
one criticism though. you failed to include both
prices and links to the manufacturers.
how can we be responsible comparison shoppers without
this info. as it is, the only firearm on this list i
have any personal experience with is the Henry Lever
Youth Model 22, which my Mom (5'0" tall, 62 years old)
owns. while it is undoubtedly a fine firearm, and very
accurate out to about 100 yards, i find that i might
like to consider a rifle without the exposed hammer.
when shooting woodchucks at very close range (for
anything over 100 yards we have a bigger rifle that i
got at the tender age of 15) i find that the movement
of the hammer tends to disturb my shot. it isn't
enough to miss if it was the only gun my mom could
find to shoot an intruder (she has a pistol for that)
it does make small animals like the woodchuck a bit
so how about it? prices, and links to the
Sean, 34 Richmond, VA
Sean xxxxxxxxx
check out my photos @


Dear Kristen,

As a science teacher, I have a fairly good grasp of mathematics as well. Perhaps not as good as I'd like, but still functional.

To address your question, I suspect it would be a pretty incredible coincidence if you only receive perhaps 35 or 40 emails a day, but I rather suspect that the VPC receives many, many more email communications than that.

If you get 3,000 emails a day, for instance, I believe that the assumption might be that one percent of those might be fairly close in content.

In any case, I believe that you will receive many, many more emails thanking you for providing this list. It's a fine service to those concerned with the education of young firearms enthusiasts.

I'm not sure I see the depth of similarity in Sean's email to you and my own but I suppose since we have both taken the time to thank you for the efforts VPC has put forth in compiling this list, there is at least some small similarity. I see Sean would like links added for manufacturers and prices. I'd be happy to volunteer to provide that data to you for inclusion.

As to your question on the suits of armor, I have told you what I do with my days, or most of them. I am a high school science teacher devoted to the education of our young people. That doesn't involve armor, but I do have to dress up to some degree.

Kristen, I don't mean to criticize, but do you really think that it is entirely ethical to forward Sean's complete email, including his private email address without his permission? If he were a public figure as you are, that might be acceptable, but as simple, private citizens, I would think that your organization would be more circumspect in actions such as this.

Neva Li

----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 10:17 AM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You and all your little friends are pathetic.

----- Original Message -----
From: Neva Li
To: Kristen Rand
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 11:45 AM
Subject: Re: Thank You!
Dear Kristen,

Thank you once again for your response. It speaks well of you that you are willing to have an open and honest exchange. As I've said previously, dialogue is good, however, I feel you have misunderstood, somewhere, somehow, the meaning of pathetic. According to my sources, it means deserving or inciting pity; perhaps even "a hapless victim" and I am happy to say, none of my friends could be described as such.

In discussions with others about the list, though, we did come up with some ideas we feel would be useful. I will outline them for you and, as I offered previously, I would be happy to collect that data for you and see if we can't improve the list just a bit. I know you want to offer good, solid information to the public on firearms issues.

1. Links to manufacturers - useful to further information collection and decision making.
2. Retail prices - this way, people will know a price range when they shop for these items. I suspect there is a wide range in prices of these firearms.
3. Photographs - people always want to know what the product's appearance is before they commit to a purchase
3. Details on options and possible options - a friend of mine suggested it might be a nice addition to have information on scopes that fit or whether a particular rifle, for instance, might hold a scope.

Of course, I am offering to help you on a strictly voluntary basis. I know that an organization such as yours cannot really support adding on staff, especially with the recent downturn in support of your issues.

Please consider me a resource for assisting you any time something like this list is going to be offered to firearms enthusiasts - it's a great service you offer.

Neva Li

----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 11:56 AM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You really don't expect me to read your drivel. Go away.

----- Original Message -----
From: Neva Li
To: Kristen Rand
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 12:07 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

Dear Kristen,

I don't know that I can really thank you for this response. It seems almost rude but I have every confidence that you didn't really mean it that way. I hope you're not having a stressful Monday - that always bodes badly for the rest of the week, I think. Perhaps your experience is different than mine, though. I certainly hope so because I would not like to think of you sitting at your desk upset and suffering from stress. I hope this outburst is not on my account, but rather something minor such as a bad drive in with Monday traffic or some other minor annoyance. Why, we've chatted so much over the past days, it almost feels as though I know you.

I'll bet we could be friends if this keeps up. Funny, isn't it, how the internet can bring people so close and allow such open communications.

In any case, I hope you'll consider my offer seriously. The list is a great one but any effort can always use a helping hand and I am certainly willing to lend you a hand in getting this message out to the public.

Neva Li

----- Original Message -----
From: Kristen Rand
To: Neva Li
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 12:18 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

You really need to get a life.

----- Original Message -----
From: Neva Li
To: Kristen Rand
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2004 12:58 PM
Subject: Re: Thank You!

Dear Kristen,

Thank you so much for your concern. It goes a long way toward helping me feel better. I was worried that you were deliberately being rude to me but now I feel better.

I have a life, but I want to tell you more about it. I teach high school in Detroit (but I think I already told you that!) and I am the Senior Class Sponsor as well. It's a terrific job, although it is lots of work. I like the idea of being able to educate the young people of our state and know that little by little, I am changing minds and helping them grow.

But there's more to life than a job, of course. I'm also a National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor. I am based in Michigan, but as I am also a Utah certified instructor, I do get the chance to travel some and help people across the nation learn about firearms safety. I also teach Refuse To Be A Victim seminars as well as Eddie Eagle. I really do enjoy these. Helping young adults and children be safer in their every day life is a delight.

I do a lot of volunteer work as well, in areas such as the recent election. I was a poll challenger. Have you ever done that, Kristen? It wasn't a lot of fun but it was gratifying to feel that I was part of the process and I did help enforce the law. I was shocked to find some people actually felt that they had the right to violate the law on election night, but I did my duty and reported those I had taken pictures of and gathered evidence on and turned them over to the proper authorities. I'm sure you were busy, too, over the last weeks with the election. We all know how important it is to have the right leaders in office.

One of the other things that I enjoy doing is introducing new and young shooters to the sport and to the legal issues surrounding our Second Amendment rights. I love the enthusiasm I see in any new shooter's eyes, young or old, when they begin to sharpen their skills and begin hitting the target successfully. Having that opportunity to teach what Second Amendment Rights can mean to us as a nation is a wonderful "two for one" opportunity.

I like to read and I also enjoy photography. One of my favorite books is by the author, John Lott. I like Ann Coulter and Joyce Malcolm, too, although she may not be as well known as the first two. What authors do you like, Kristen? As for photography, I am working hard to improve my skills and have been getting some great pointers from a young Russian émigré named Oleg Volk. He even came up to Michigan a while ago (he lives in Tennessee) and gave me a lot of pointers. If you'd like, I can send you some links for some of my photographs that are online. What kinds of things do you enjoy when you have time off to relax?

I'll bet we do have lots in common. I really do think we can be the best of friends!

Neva Li

It's all about being a thinking woman...

I'm not sure what prompts folks to start a blog or even what's up with this one except lately I've been having stuff I want to say, out loud and yet not inflict it on the people on my forum. I view the forum at cpltrainer as not completely mine, you see, in an odd sort of way, even though I both own and maintain it.

The forum began when I knew that eventually another forum that many of my friends and acquaintances inhabited was nearing melt-down. There was a lot of censorship, banning, secrets and general weirdness coming from the top down so I decided to open shop on someplace that would be basically a self-censoring (if most of the people there don't like what you say, they either give you a buttload of crap or totally ignore you) and other than light maintainence and adding whatever sort of cool things I could find to it, just let it free flow. It's worked for almost a year, hope it has a good run.

I'm a middle aged woman and for some, that says it all. However, I am also a National Rifle Association certified firearms instructor, a Refuse To Be A Victim Instructor and a Second Amendment activist. I'm a Conservative, I believe in the Constitution, I'm a Republican and I'm also a former bleeding heart, Anti-Gun, Liberal. Over the coming days or months or however long I actually keep up with this, I'm sure I'll tell you how I got to where I am from where I was and a whole lot about the stops in between.

I'm a mother (of three), a grandmother (of five) and a high school science teacher. I'm also sister to two living women and one living man, but was once a sister to a veritable tribe. If cancer and other such nastiness hadn't killed so many of them, I'd be a lot happier.

Maybe the best thing I do, the happiest thing I do, is be a wife to Felix. He is bright, funny, patient and endlessly kind. He is also the love of my life, which is a very cool thing to be able to say when you're a kind of not so young babe. Or, come to think of it, not much of a babe at all.

We just finished up a wonderful, victorious election but frankly, I'll talk about that more as time goes by. I really just want to get this first post out of the way, finally!

And then get my youngest kid out of the house and over to his sisters so my husband and I can watch Get Shorty. How can my husband have never seen Get Shorty, for heaven's sake. Of course, I've never sat all the way through Das Boot in German before, either.

So.... more later.... personally, I think I have some pretty good stories to tell but for heaven's sake, if you're anti-gun, anti-US, anti-freedom, anti-practicality, go the hell away now.