Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Church

Once in a while, a Protestant friend and I have e-mail discussions discussing our faiths. A little more than a year ago, I was speaking to her about my quest for the true faith and how I found it in Orthodoxy. In response to her claim that it was with Peter & Paul that Christianity broke off into branches, I sent her an e-mail that I cobbled together with the assistance of our Orthodox Study Bible. Basically, I disagreed with her argument and attempted to demonstrate to her the basis of Eastern Orthodoxy. Here's a snippet of her message to me:

You said you wanted to find the true/correct faith. You have in Christ Jesus. As far as the Apostolic churches. In the book of Acts, even in Paul's day they had drama cuz i think Peter the other disciple was ministering. Then some people said, "Oh we follow after Paul and the other group said we follow Peter." And the disciples are basically like: why are you saying who follows who when we all follow Christ? I think this was the start of branding the different branches of Christianity.

My response:

The Orthodox Church makes a lot of references to the Church fathers (which include some women), to our teachers of the past who contributed immensely in developing, elaborating, and disseminating the faith. Why do we place so much emphasis on Patristics, the study of early Christian writers? Because that is what the Scriptures tell us to do: “Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you” (Deuteronomy 32:7).

When there was a disagreement, even among the Apostles, this is also what they did:

“Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question… And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them”(Acts 15:2, 4).

The Orthodox Church is a church of Tradition. Notice the word “Tradition” is capitalized. That is because the Church makes the distinction between “traditions” simple local customs and simple rituals and the “Tradition” that stems from both the Scriptures as well as the practice of the early Christians. “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle” (2 Thessalonians 2:15). Jesus Christ taught the faith to the Apostles, who taught it to their disciples, and so on throughout the generations. Just as previous generations passed the Bible on to us, so have they given us the Holy Tradition. Further, in Galatians 1:6-9:

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

This passage emphasizes the command to follow Tradition and warns against following those who would distort the Word of God. It is also said in spreading the Good Word, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). These verses reinforce the idea of Tradition and faith, of the need to transmit it from one to another – not independently and by one’s self.

The Bible mentions a dispute between Peter and Paul. However, the disagreement did not rise to the level of a “schism” – there was no split at this point in the Church. Peter and Paul were of the same faith and were members of the same Orthodox Church. Their differences as highlighted in the Bible simply prove that human beings are imperfect and none can claim infallibility. And when we have disagreements, it is permitted to address one another to resolve these differences. Paul simply chastised Peter: “Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed” (Galatians 2:11).

And there continues to exist today one true Church. Amen!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Homecoming 2010

Since it has been a while since I blogged, I thought I should give the highlight of the year: our entrance into the Holy Orthodox Church. On September 19, Peter and the girls were baptized, and the four of us were chrismated. It was a long time coming, the culmination of my couple years of attending Orthodox services, knowing this was the true church and no longer feeling connected to my Roman Catholic roots. Peter had had his "conversion experience" at last year's Nativity service and we (the whole family) became catechumens at the end of January this year. It feels lovely to have a church family. Growing up Catholic attending masses on a military installation, I never had that and I truly missed out. Now, this is not say one cannot have a church family and be Catholic, however, I was not so fortunate. But that is the past. Fortunately, now, we have all been blessed. As members of an Antiochian Orthodox parish, we are finding the missing pieces in our life.

Sothea's Art is Taking Shape!

Wow - it sure has been a while since I blogged! Life has been busy! After many years of not being gainfully employed, I finally managed to snag a job in February 2009. I am hoping to make it to my two-year anniversary, when I shall become a permanent employee! In the meantime, I want to share a picture created by 3-year-old Sothea. Sothea attends a day care that has a pre-K curriculum. They had an assignment to draw a self-portrait. Check out Sothea's skills! Her work is becoming more recognizable! She has a face, ears, hair, hands. At the bottom is Mommy, Grandma, and Daddy. She even put a sun and grass! I'm so proud of her. :-)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Write or Die?

I think it was last week that Thevy asked me where something was. She said, "Mom, where's my riding toy?" Or so I thought. I had responded that I didn't know and what riding toy? Later, she gave a description of this alleged toy. And that's when I learned that she had been asking for her "writing toy".

I already knew it, but it made me ponder it again, what a tricky language English can be, especially for those learning it as a second language. I encountered linguistic ambiguity with Thevy again the other day. Well, sort of, but not really. I had told her to say something to Daddy with the phrase "serial killer". (Don't ask. :)) Since it's not like she knows what one is, but I thought later, what if she thought she was being told to say "cereal killer"? lol

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Sunny Day It Wasn't!

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away...

That's the opening to the popular and long-lived children's television program "Sesame Street". This is a show I grew up on in the early 80's, one I attribute my love for language to. I believe "Sesame Street" is the reason I fell in love with the Spanish language, so when I heard Maria from "Sesame Street" would be in town, I was eager to see her!

I debated making the trek to see her because it was an awful weekend. I had gotten home from work and I was sleep-deprived. Working the graveyard shift meant that I'd probably already been up for about 24 hours. Working only weekends, I slept normally during the week, and had to switch gears two nights a week. On top of that, it was raining something awful! I think there were flash floods throughout the state that weekend.

Anyway, I made the decision to go out in that terrible weather with two toddlers. I found a parking space a couple of blocks from the book tents for a book fair and bravely made it to see one of my favorite television characters. It's funny, you'd think I'd be taking the girls to see someone from "Sesame Street". But, nope. It was all for me! :) I got an autograph for myself. Then I decided to purchase one of Maria's, whose real name is Sonia Manzano, children's books and have that signed for the girls.

So, although the day was not sunny, it was really nice to meet Ms. Manzano and the book we got, No Dogs Allowed!
, is a really nice addition to the kids' library. :) (In the picture above, you can see that Thevy's sleeve is wet, evidence of that rainy day. I even stepped into a huge puddle before entering that tent!)

Sothea Speaks

Sothea is getting to be such a big girl. She's one-and-a-half years old and her vocabulary is growing. She's a little advanced for her age since she has a big sister from whom to learn.

She says a lot of one-word phrases, but also many that are two-words and she knows a few three-syllable words. Sothea says, and the pronunciation may not be perfect, but I understand her: dog, Rocco, Thevy, sister, daddy, go away, stop, stop it, bless you, thank you, welcome (as in 'you're welcome'), banana, juice, bowl, eat, rice, cheese, pooted (lol), hi, bye, morning (as in 'good morning'), night-night, read, write, color, open, brush, teeth, eye, ear, nose, mouth, hurt, sorry...

Those are just some of the words I can think of. She also tries to sing. You can hear say "dumb dog" and "feed you" (from the movie "Annie"). She also says "I know, I know" when she tries to sing the "Psych" theme song (one of my favorite shows). She even goes "doot-doot-doot" imitating me when I just make sounds for the parts where I don't know the lyrics. hehe.

She's so cute and I can't believe how much she's growing!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thevy the Artist

The other day, Thevy drew a picture on her chalk board. I was in the kitchen and she called down from upstairs that she drew a picture of me and she was excited. When I later went into the playroom and noticed her work of art, I was impressed. It was quite excellent, if I do say so. I intended to take a picture of it, but my camera never has charged batteries in it and Thevy soon after erased the picture.

But today, she drew a picture in her coloring book. A picture of she and I. This time I scanned it. It may a little hard to see until your eyes can focus on it. She used colored pencil and the images from the next two pages bleed through. You get a better view if you click on the image. There's floating/random happy face sort of in the middle and right below that is Thevy. And to the right is me. Pretty good for a 3-year-old, isn't it? :)

Thevy has made changes to her drawing. At first, the changes were nice. She added her sister to the picture. But as you can see, she went crazy with the additions! She put hair on her. Hair on me, I guess. But you know what else she did? While she was drawing, I heard her narrating her actions. She gave me a belly and boobies. Yup. She said the boobies are what the baby was on. haha. I asked her what the little circle was next to my boob. She said it was an eye. lmao. Oh, yeah - and she said that she and I were wearing dresses. (Don't forget to click on the image to enlarge it).

Thevy Can Read... Sike!

Thevy tricked me. This was probably a month ago now when she had me believe that she could read. I mean, she's already known her alphabet and phonics for quite some time, so it wasn't a stretch to think she could read.

I took her alphabet refrigerator magnets and formed a simple word: DOG. She recognized it and I was excited and happy. So I formed the next word, which she proceeded to read: CAT. I was like, this is great! Let me change the first letter to a B and she said 'bat'. We were on a roll!

I then changed the B to an H. Piece of cake, right? Thevy then blurts out, "Hippopotamus." D'oh! Guess she was only associating initial word sounds with words and not actually reading.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

McCain + Palin = Propaganda

This is my own personal rant that I felt compelled to write after the RNC acceptance speeches. I wrote it about 6 days ago and just now finally proofread this essay of mine. I don't know why I didn't, but I'm finally posting it here on the suggestion of a friend. I hope you will agree with most, if not all, of what I have to say:

This whole presidential race is extremely frightening. At election, we will have to choose the lesser of two evils (forget the other candidates; unfortunately, they do not have a chance at winning and will take away from the votes that could potentially go to the least scary pres!)

And truth be told, I probably would have voted for McCain 8 years ago, as a single-issue voter! I'm a little bit older and a tiny bit wiser, and I think voting on such a basis is careless. One must look at the whole-person concept.

I generally do not follow politics, as it makes me sad and/or angry. I especially get upset because it is clear that it brings out the worse in people, not to mention, it reveals the ugliness in Americans. This ugliness is hate, racism, bigotry, and just plain ignorance!

I watched the RNC and listened to the ex-NYC mayor, Giuliani, and Alaska's governor, Palin, talk and I will hand it to them, they delivered good speeches. But that was the extent of it. They made a few points, but gave a lot of jabs above and below the belt at Senator Obama. And to use George Stephanopoulos' adjective, they were "derisive".

When speaking on the Republic presidential campaign, one thing is certain: it is replete with bellicose rhetoric. Next time you listen to McCain or Palin talk or review their acceptance speeches, listen to how much they refer to "fighting". And they are not talking about fighting in the sense of campaigning and winning the race. It is mostly talk of using military might! I am not simply someone who is anti-war. Not at all. But I am against war when it is unjust, unilateral, and preemptive.

A lot of what McCain and Palin address is purely propaganda. They play on the misguided and misplaced sentiments of some Americans. Think about the mindset of some Americans in just the post-9/11 era. It readily rolls off their tongues that our troops are out there fighting for our freedom and democracy. And you might say, what is wrong about that? They are, are they not? I would have to say, no. Tell me, how many of you Americans feared that Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden (two men who were, by the way, not connected, as our administration attempted to have us believe!) were about to take away our liberties! On the contrary and ironically, just by virtue of the fact that our government has warmongers in high places, have we been placed in any dangers of losing or having our freedoms diminished. Think the Patriot Act, for example.

But back to the matter at hand: propaganda. The nominees would have us sympathize with them by speaking of wars and fighting for this country. They would have us believe that if you feel any differently, then you are not patriotic. These are the very same people who would advise you leave America if you dare exercise the First Amendment and criticize those in power.

How can you say you will say an extra prayer for the sons and daughters going into harms way when you have supported them being placed in harms way AND without a legitimate reason to begin with? Also, talking about her son and nephew and whomever else, being in the military alone means very little. If you are like me, you know people in the military who serve because it is simply their job. Not because they agree with what they are told to do. My point is, being in the military does not make you a better American any more than not serving does not make you any less of one!

I think some (and of course, everyone's story is different and this is not meant to generalize) people of color know what I am talking about. Heck, even white people know! You join because of lack of other options. I seriously doubt my father chose to enlist in the US Army because at the top of his heart and mind, as a black man growing up in a racist America where blacks could not use the same bathrooms, water fountains, or ride at the front of the bus as whites, he felt a great need to serve the country that disserved him. And I can say that my sister, a member of the US Air Force, mainly joined to take advantage of the GI Bill. That is, our family did not have the money for her to go to college. In giving these examples, I am not speaking on the level of patriotism of my father and sister, nor on what they believe it to mean to serve in the Armed Forces. I also have other family members who have served (such as my grandfather and great-uncle), but I do not know their stories. I simply mean to demonstrate that there are a variety of possibilities and basically, McCain and Palin need to chill with the propaganda!

And I would like to know how Palin feels about blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other ethnic minorities (Eskimos not included!). In Alaska, are there even any significant number of black or "other" people there? And I am not talking about members of the military stationed there; they do not count! Mrs. Palin sets out to connect with small-town America. Are people in small towns struggling overall? Let me qualify, are small 'white' towns in need of more representation? What does Mrs. Palin intend to do for people of color that need assistance? I do not believe that Palin is trying to reach out to the small-town Americans who live in third-world conditions, like the majority black citizens of Pembroke, Illinois. This township in the midwest has no zip code and as a result, scarcely receives tax dollars. Most do not have proper plumbing (running water, a sewage system). They do not enjoy the basic services we enjoy: a bank, drug store, police department, and emergency services. So sad, but, only in America, the richest nation in the world, can we have populations living in such conditions. Palin was not talking about such small towns. She is only referring to self-sufficient ones with reasonable resources.

And how dare she say, "They love their country, in good times and bad, and they're always proud of America" when talking about small towns like hers. This was another hit at the Obama party. Like when Cindy McCain, in reference to Michelle Obama stating that she was finally proud to be an American, said that she had always been proud to be an American. It was taken out of context. I am sure if I had been born a privileged white woman, I could state the same! But hey - Mrs. Obama is NOT running for president. Sarah Palin, however, IS running for VP and has ties to the Alaskan Independence Party. It is HER allegiance to our country that should be in question!

Palin said her parents taught her that, essentially, a woman can do anything a man can do. Does she feel the same about, say, a black woman? I hate to talk about race so much, but it is reality! I am not convinced that a white woman whose world is predominantly white is going to be able to better serve ALL Americans and I would hate to see how she would deal with leaders of other countries being the extremist that she is!

And let us temporarily address her unmarried pregnant teenager. If this were Obama's or Biden's daughter, the conservatives would be all over them, condemning them for immorality. But as the case stands that it is one of their own in this circumstance, they are overlooking the issue, even trying to make it "okay" or normal. Hypocrites! Also, and this is not to pass judgment, but if Palin can not even control her own daughter, how is this previously unknown Alaska governor going to try and "govern" our nation? One can make the argument that children will do what they want, but if you cannot take a child from birth and form them into the person you want, can you shape the minds of and postively change the lives of millions of Americans who are so unlike you? Questionable!

Also in her speech, Palin mentioned Harry Truman. She stated that good people come from small towns and that she grew up with such people. I would like to point out that Truman, after being briefed by many American diplomats whose posts were in the Middle East and telling him not to support the Zionist cause, chose not to heed them. And do you know what his reasoning was in helping to establish the Jewish state of Israel? Here is a quote: "I'm sorry, gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism: I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents." So it is not about doing the right thing, but it is about catering to special interests, which, by the way, Obama's campaign has denounced and has not accepted their money to fund their campaign.

I mentioned diplomats. What are diplomats? They are skilled in the art of diplomacy, right? And diplomacy is a good thing, is it not? Well, according to McCain and Palin, it is not! According to Merriam-Webster, diplomacy is: 1) the art and practice of conducting negotiations between nations; 2) skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility : tact. But check this out, the McCain/Palin ticket is claiming that Obama is being naive for wanting to be diplomatic, such as with Iran. I am glad Obama wants to engage in civil relations and not be an international tyrant!! Palin said that Obama "wants to meet [terrorist states] without preconditions". Meeting and discussing is not the same thing as signing a treaty or doing their every bidding! It is about information-gathering at the least!

Palin also said about Obama: "Al-Qaida terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?" I despise people like her. If there are any terrorists who are planning doom and destruction to America, it is because of people like her who want to encroach upon the sovereignty of other nations, invading their lands, engaging in neo-colonialism, imposing Western values and ideas on Eastern societies! I do not know about you, but I predicted 9/11. I was living in Maryland traveling to northern Virginia for a summer internship with the State Department. I rode the commuter train and subway and hated every moment of it. In my head, I thought how because of America's foreign policy, she (America) was putting her citizens at risk of a terrorist attack and that is why I sometimes did not enjoy riding the metro - an otherwise relaxing trip. And sure enough, after coming out of my Arabic class at Georgetown on September 11, 2001, I saw the destruction of the Twin Towers on the news.

People like McCain and Palin cannot protect Americans from terrorism. They only will serve to incite more violence. That is the way of warmongers, extremists, and dictators.

[This paragraph is less objective, but part of my stream of consciousness.] And why is she a self-described hockey mom? Her eldest son is in the military and headed over to Iraq. Clearly, he is no longer playing hockey. Do her daughters play hockey? Either way, she is simply trying to receive the votes of America's so-called "soccer moms". It is her claim to "street" credibility, along with her stints as mayor and governor. I think she got those positions because she is a milf! If she were not so attractive, the Alaskans surely would have gone with someone else - if there were someone else running!

She and Giuliani were making fun of Obama's former title of "community organizer." First of all, grassroots organizations are highly respectable and relevant to political participation! Secondly, the population of Chicago is FOUR TIMES that of the ENTIRE state of Alaska. Granted, I do not know exactly how many people Obama served, but I would not be surprised if it were more than Palin. And do you know what Palin's "hockey mom" label signifies? That she is a good organizer!

Palin said, "When I ran for City Council, I didn't need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too." So what?! What does that prove? Again, these people she knew do not represent most Americans and the fact that she may have known them intimately only means that she dealt with such a small number of folks! Is that her 'street cred 'again? Please! Just because Obama did not possess an executive government title does not make his work any less significant. What nerve she and Giuliani have to demean him in that manner. Palin said that a community organizer has no "actual responsibilities". They may not be mandated by local, state, or the federal government, but they are responsibilities indeed and are in fact more noble, in my humble opinion. Working for the community is a civic responsibility and it shows you care about society.

And for Palin and Giuliani to downplay such a role and then to have McCain advocate it: "If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you're disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and work to correct them. Enlist in our armed forces. Become a teacher. Enter the ministry. Run for public office. Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. Because nothing brings greater happiness in life than to serve a cause greater than yourself." - a little contradictory, is it not? Also, telling someone they need to stand up and do something instead of bitching and moaning; well, some of the people who are complaining are the ones who need to be fed or taught to read. And run for public office? We do not all have campaign money borrowed from our millionaire spouses! (That is how McCain got into the Arizona senate.)

McCain also said: "Fight for what's right for our country...Fight for the ideals and character of a free people...Fight for our children's future...Fight for justice and opportunity for all...Stand up to defend our country from its enemies." I think all his war talk and views on foreign policy are detrimental for all he hopes that we are fighting for. Has he fought for what is right? In his mind, yes, but in truth? Is the future of our children more secure? Justice and opportunity? Does he have evidence of where he has done this? Defend our country from its enemies? Uhh... can we try and not make the enemies in the first place to have to defend ourselves from them? I mean, good night!

Palin also mentions that Obama "talks about how bitterly [working people] cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening." If you are going to talk about someone and what they said, quote them correctly. Obama said, "they cling to guns or religion or antipathy". There is a difference between "and" and "or" and we all know how such small word changes can twist the meanings of things. Take Israel not following UN Resolution 242 to the hilt. The Resolution calls for Israel to withdrawl from territory they occupied in 1967. But they, Israel, cite that a particular clause does not mention that they must withdrawal from "all" the territories they occupied. And so they only withdrew from areas of their choosing. Watch out in politics - there is always a semantics game!

Palin said when she ran for governor that she stood up to all these people - special interests, "big oil", and the good-ol'-boys' club. Ha. If she was against any special interests, they were the ones that were not her particular interests. The oil companies? You mean the ones that sponsor her husband's snow-machine racing events? And the good-ol-boys' network, she is surely a part of at least one - the Christian Fundamentalists definitely have clout!

I commend Palin if she did voluntarily work to reduce government waste. But McCain has gone a step far in tooting her horn for her. Palin talked about getting rid of the governor's luxury jet and putting it on eBay. McCain is telling this story that she sold the jet on eBay and for a profit. Truth is, it never sold on eBay. An aircraft broker sold it the following year - and for a few hundred thousand, not only under the original purchase price, but under what Palin tried to sell it for. So, McCain likes to tell big fish stories. Imagine how much of his war stories are fabricated and exaggerated!!

Both McCain and Palin mention Russia and how it wants to control an oil pipeline. McCain showed his support by saying "we are all Georgians". First, the whole escalation of violence between Georgia and Russia, what McCain failed to mention, was that Georgia started it! They killed some Russian citizens in South Ossetia, I believe, and Russia came in and upped the ante, basically. Next, how can McCain talk about Russia as some big, bad nation invading its smaller neighbor for control of oil? Excuse me, but does this not sound like American foreign policy? What exactly were we doing in Iraq? It surely was not going after al-Qaeda as our leaders claimed in the beginning and later admitted was not the case, after the fact.

Palin also claimed that Obama's tax plan included raising taxes and how this would burden the American people. She needs to be more specific and talk about how he delineates the income of Americans and mentions higher taxes for those who make over $150,000. So, most Americans make considerably less than that and would be taxed less. So even if he does want to raise some taxes, it is because we cannot just cut all taxes around the board. But the working citizens of America DO need a tax break, and that is why other people and entities will have to literally pay for it. And those others CAN afford it, while regular people can not!

But Palin is not the presidential nominee (although she could very well become president should McCain win and something happen to him). She did talk about the real candidate we have to vote for or not. And she along with the rest of right-wing media is playing John McCain to be some great American hero - which he surely is not!

Let us start with his military career and his character in general. Obama graduated at the top of an Ivy League school: Harvard Law. McCain, on the other hand, who supposedly comes from a successful military family, graduated at the BOTTOM of his class at the Naval Academy (894 out of 899). Yeah, that sounds like a good sailor that I want to be protecting me in war time!

Next, in his earlier days as a young sailor, back in Civil War times (just kidding), he was known for carousing. He liked to go out, get drunk, and chase tail. So far, nothing admirable about that. He dated a stripper while he was in flight school. Hmm, I still see no leadership qualities in that. As far as I am concerned, he sounds like a philanderer. Recall that he met his current wife while still married to his ex. Sure, the relationship may have not been good for quite some time with his ex (who was a model) when he got friendly with Cindy, but honor means a lot to me and I want an honorable leader! (Republicans, remember the inquisition you placed on Bill Clinton for his infidelity. Be consistent!)

And as I questioned before, how much of McCain's war stories can we believe? How much of the facts does he inflate to appeal to those Americans with their "God Bless America" and "Death to All Others" pins? (Or is he old and senile and not quite remember how the original story went? :-P) John McCain is blood-thirsty. He and his supporters talk a whole lot about "fighting" for this country literally and not so much figuratively. Why all this talk about fighting? As the great Homer Simpson said, "Being President is easy; just point the army and shoot!" But I am being facetious. When do we get to goals of peace and stability? At least Obama talks about change. He may not be able to bring about all the change he seeks and certainly not overnight, but at least he is not talking about bullying other nations and killing whomever stands in our way.

Just because McCain was a POW, that does not make him a hero in my eyes. What it means is, obviously, you were not that good at what you do. Otherwise, why did you get caught? Okay, that is mean, but there is some truth in that. (Think about those who have Purple Hearts for being mere bystanders or from their own incompetence? John Kerry happens to be an example of a "self-inflicted" Purple Heart.) Also, you fought in Vietnam. And? You sure as heck were not fighting for me. That war did not create a better America. It only caused a lot of casualities and pain, not to mention, America lost that war! McCain, how do you feel about the massacre in those Vietnamese villages wherein Americans killed a large number of civilians, mostly women and children? Was that a war to fight for me? Oh, how brave! And how about the number of Amerasian children left in the wake of the war, with no fathers and ostracized by their communities, many growing up as orphans? Was that done in my name? Gee, thanks!

I really wish the north Vietnamese would have done away with McCain. Harsh, you say? Well, as a minority in America and as a person of Vietnamese descent, I cannot appreciate any racially derogatory remarks as McCain's "I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live." How would you feel if he used the N-word to describe black people? And of course, that would surely offend me being of African-American descent as well! It is totally unacceptable and I think speaks highly of his character and his position as a white man in this country. I also do not see a man who faced captors and resented them to the point where he publicly used a racial slur (and not that long ago!) as being a good/effective diplomat.

And someone, please tell me what McCain's military credentials are? He would have been an officer simply because he went to the Naval Academy. But that ain't sh**! I could be an officer in the military if I decided to join. I think maybe I would feel differently had he enlisted and worked his way up to the rank of officer (although I know it is possible to be a good officer even if you did not enlist). Other than that, what in the world did he lead? Palin wants to knock the community organizer thing for not being an executive position, but what kind of a leader is McCain? As I said before, he got caught. Before he was captured, was he giving orders or taking them? And what kind of leading was he doing in the "Hanoi Hilton"? What? By example? The media is attempting to make him out to be some grand hero because he opted to stay instead of being released when he had the opportunity. He should be president because he endured several years of torture. What the hell? How does that qualify anyone to be president? And truth be told, he may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which we will not know for certain due to the privacy act. So, do you want a leader who could possibly be suffering from mental issues? I do not!

To address again the "green" issue, that is, Obama's inexperience, come on - the President does not act alone. And he or she cannot be expected to be an expert on every single issue there is. That is why they have advisers and Congress! So, the lack of certain official titles should not by itself disqualify him. Let us be real and reasonable!

Also, did you know, that this man that Palin and McCain himself claim to have been fighting for you (which he was not doing much fighting while imprisoned in a small cell) tried to take his own life? He claims he is glad he stayed instead of leaving when he had the chance, but he sure was not thinking that when he attempted suicide by using his shirt as a noose and the guards ran in and stopped him. He only fought for his life because he was unable to succeed in ending his own. Is he still a hero in your eyes?

So let us not fall into the great myth of this so-called military leader whose only weapon is to pretend he is a hero who will fight for you. And Palin, just because she gave a good speech, does that make her qualified to be Vice President and later down the road, President? Words and actions do not always go hand in hand... In Palin's closing remarks she stated, "For a lifetime, John McCain has inspired with his deeds." Are you inspired, America? I am not convinced.

And while I do not believe Obama to be the consummate ideal candidate and I do not agree on all of his stances, which are probably in large part politically motivated, I feel that he will be the lesser of two evils. And as a biracial man, I am certain he is better suited to deal with all segments of society and respectably with foreign leaders and dignitaries. I do not want a man who is already a member of the American oligarchy in power. Let us close the chapter of the old regime. Long live the revolution!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thevy is Too Funny

In the realm of "kids say the darnedest things", Thevy is prolific. She says things that I only wish I had the camera trained on her for or makes me stop in my tracks wondering where she got that from.

Once she said, "I need music for my butt". Then she proceeded to stick out/show me her butt, point to it, and said, "See? This is my butt!"

Or the time when she was crying and Daddy asked her why she was crying. The response? "I'm crying because I'm not a stupid, ugly beast!" (She learned that from "Shrek").

She has also put her pinky to the corner of her mouth in the style of Dr. Evil of Austin Powers fame. hehe.

Right now, I can't remember everything, but I'll try to add them as I recall them.

Sothea's Too Skinny

At Sothea's 12-month check-up, she had apparently lost weight from her 9-month check-up. Because of that, the doctor wanted her to come back in 6 weeks. I brought her back and she had gained weight, which was good, but the doctor wants to see her put on some more pounds. She has another weight check next week. The doctor simply wants to make sure it's not anything medical cuz if that were the case, they'd have to run a series of tests, which won't be fun.

I'm almost sure it's not anything medical. It's simply that Sothea's not getting enough to eat. Some of it's my fault. I wasn't exactly pruned and preened for domestication! Another part of it is that Sothea is quite particular. Either she doesn't want a certain food, or she wants to feed herself. I try to feed her, first, to eliminate the mess, and second, because she's not yet skilled in the art of self-feeding. So, more often than not, the feed gets on her, rather than in her mouth, as you can see by the picture. Most times, I end up letting her feed herself since she won't let me do it, and I give her a lot of finger foods that really don't constitute a well-balanced diet, but hey - I'd rather her eat something instead of nothing.

I also give her multivitamin drops and whole milk to help with some of her nutritional needs. The pediatrician said if anything, juice should only be given after she's eater her meals since it doesn't really give her much of anything else nutrition-wise. And Pediasure should only be given if I can't get her to eat enough. So, Pediasure it is.