Looking for Balance in All the Wrong Places

Welcome to the Tuesday guest blog. Every Tuesday "On Balance" features the views of a guest writer. It could be your neighbor, your boss, your most loved or hated poster from the blog, or you! Send me your original, unpublished entry (300 words or fewer) for consideration. Obviously, the topic should be something related to balancing your life.

By Robert Drago

Young women seeking success in both career and family life are often advised to find men who cook and employers with family-friendly policies. Where has this advice taken us?

As I find in Striking a Balance, the advice helped some: Parents in dual-earner couples now split child care almost equally. But the strategy was generally a failure. According to the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce, fewer than two million mothers held career jobs working at least 45 hours per week while 12 million held jobs paying less than the value of the minimum wage from 1968 ($8.30 per hour in current dollars).

And if the strategy was supposed to generate adequate care for children and adults in need, it again failed. Most Americans living in poverty today are children and adults with disabilities. Indeed, around 50 million children and adults with disabilities are receiving substandard, dangerous, or no care.

Nor can we ask corporations, by themselves, to solve these problems. Employers cannot compete in a global economy while footing the bill for big-ticket family items such as child and elder care, paid family leave, or health insurance.

Fortunately, a consensus is emerging around better ways to promote balance. Employers are moving to create more flexible, inclusive workplaces where the diverse needs of employees -- including parents -- are met. These initiatives enhance both business and family effectiveness. But the federal government needs to step up to the plate and foot the bill for paid family leave, child and elder care, and health insurance. This approach underpins the Work and Family Bill of Rights and may frame much of the 2008 political debates.

So our advice to young women should be to look for employers who listen and respond to employee needs while making family support a ballot-box issue.

Robert Drago is a Professor of Labor Studies and Women's Studies at Penn State University, a co-founder of the Take Care Net, and the moderator of the workfam newsgroup. His latest book is Striking a Balance: Work, Family, Life.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  March 6, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Guest Blogs
Previous: Is Childcare A 'Woman's Issue?' | Next: Turning 50,000


Add On Balance to Your Site
Keep up with the latest installments of On Balance with an easy-to-use widget. It's simple to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry to On Balance.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



First! :)

Posted by: pumpinmama | March 6, 2007 7:26 AM

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, same as yesterday.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 7:50 AM

Go Nittany Lions!

I don't agree. The govt has done such a lousy job with most of whatever they've touched - I wouldn't want them providing MORE services.

And it's not some entity 'the govt' that would be paying for these services - it is you and me. Which means lower wages, etc. But I think we've had this discussion before. Some of us are for, some against...

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 7:50 AM

How exactly would federally paid family leave work?
a) base it on prior earnings - then I would get more than my nanny.
b) base it on some precise income-based definition of need - then I would get nothing (and my nanny probably something)
c) base it on employer participation in some (mandatory?) fund - then in the end, my participation as an employer would show up to the nanny as lower wages.

Answers aren't easy.

Posted by: quiet one | March 6, 2007 7:57 AM

Hey, I got my first chuckle of the day on this blog.

I clicked on the Family Bill of Rights and my browser told me it couldn't be found. Figures!

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 6, 2007 7:57 AM

There was a good deal of discussion yesterday over whether we should help those who have mad bad decisions. I would be interested in seeing the exact statistics on the percent in poverty who are disabled, chronically ill, or caring for someone who is. When you say blithe things about not having children if you aren't in the position to take care of them, these more challenging situations aren't part of the equation? My assumption is people just assume when they have a child that they are going to have a healthy, happy, etc. child.

Posted by: good point | March 6, 2007 8:07 AM

"Employers cannot compete in a global economy while footing the bill for big-ticket family items such as child and elder care, paid family leave, or health insurance."

It seems to me that this professor reached his conclusion before doing the research; there are plenty of employers who successfully compete globally while providing many of the above benefits.

also,

"Most Americans living in poverty today are children and adults with disabilities. Indeed, around 50 million children and adults with disabilities are receiving substandard, dangerous, or no care."

And probably many of these people work in low paying, service oriented industries, which will always be the least capable in offering good or even minimal benefits to their employees. While I know of some restaurants, for example, that offer a basic health insurance coverage for their employees, such benefits among service industries are few and far between and there's little that can be done about it.

Should the government provide a minimal floor for health care? Probably. Would the current government do such a thing? Don't hold your breath; the closest they would try would be some kind of "tax credit" or "tax incentive" to businesses that would be way too little and cover far too few.

Posted by: John | March 6, 2007 8:12 AM

Yet another gov't program being advocated in lieu of personal responsiblity.

As appealing as these proposed programs sound, the reality of gov't funded and run programs is one of poor execution, cost overruns and low quality.

I cite the example of unemployement insurance. This is a program run by the states with some federal oversight and funding. The benefits are very low in most states, barely replacing a minimum wage job. The cost to the employer changes from year to year and the administration of the program causes confusion and delay for the participents.

Maybe a better approach is tax credits? I don't really know, I have yet to read of a proposal to truly solve this intractable problem.

Posted by: the original anon | March 6, 2007 8:13 AM

BTW I was speaking of tax credits to the individual verses the employer.

Posted by: the original anon | March 6, 2007 8:23 AM

I like the idea of making family support a ballot box issue. I can't pretend to knowing what an exact solution entails, but nothing changes without political drive. When something is deemed important enough, it happens.

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 8:31 AM

"Employers cannot compete in a global economy while footing the bill for big-ticket family items such as child and elder care, paid family leave, or health insurance." Tell that to companies like Chrysler, or GE. They are going bankrupt trying to provide health care, et al. to current and former employees while trying to compete against their global competitors that don't have to pay for health care and other benefits costs for their employees entirely. Bet your a** most of these folks speaking out against government sponsored health care will enroll in Medicare at the first possible sign of losing their private insurance. Won't think twice about it. Balance in our daily life might easier to achieve if we could be assured of access to basic health care without having to be employed by a large corporation. Ask yourself, if an employee of say, Erisson, would you rather work here in the States or in Sweden? Doing the same exact job. Hmmmmmm.

Posted by: NC Mom | March 6, 2007 8:38 AM

NC Mom -- Just a correction. Unlike US automakers like Chrystler, GE is NOT going bankrupt. Far from it.

Posted by: Wait a minute | March 6, 2007 8:41 AM

GE has made a remarkable recovery from their low point, my mistake. But the point could be made with a dozen other mega-corporations, ie. US Air, Ford, etc.

Posted by: to wait a minute | March 6, 2007 8:48 AM

This is OT!

FG,

I caught the tail end of some of yesterday's nonsense. Don't sweat it. There are always going to be the "more granola than thou" types around to try and mess with your mind.

I usually smile and wait for life to hit 'em with a clue-by-four.

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 8:48 AM

"So our advice to young women should be to look for employers who listen and respond to employee needs while making family support a ballot-box issue."

And why should young men not seek the same? Yes we've established that societally childcare can be seen as women's work, but flexibility would benefit lots of people (not just women, not just parents). At least in places I've worked, men can have as much trouble in the office with taking off to go to their kid's softball game or pick up their kid from school/daycare as women (my father, flawed though he certainly was, never missed a single meet of mine, even though his bosses gave him crap over leaving early for it, even when he worked late the night before/after to compensate).

Posted by: Someone has to ask.... | March 6, 2007 8:49 AM

Continuing Leslie's line of questioning from yesterday --

How can we make jerks like Robert Drago understand that they need to take responsibility for their child's care?

Since "no man" has ever indicated that to Leslie that these things are important to him, clearly Drago is part of the problem.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 8:50 AM

MDMother,
I love this:
"I usually smile and wait for life to hit 'em with a clue-by-four."

Where can I buy one?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 8:50 AM

NC Mom: Ask yourself, if an employee of say, Erisson, would you rather work here in the States or in Sweden? Doing the same exact job. Hmmmmmm.

__________________

In the states. Companies like Ericsson provide excellent health benefits to all their employees, globally, making sure that there's not a major perceived imbalance in benefits they provide.

It's not Ericsson or Sweden, but I'll give you a concrete example: from 2000 - 2003 I worked for a Canadian company, headquartered in Toronto. It was a small firm; I was employee #125 when I joined. All Canada-based employees were covered by Canada's medicare system. All US-based employees (12 of us) were covered by an outstanding medical insurance plan with premiums covered entirely by the company - specifically so we wouldn't be seen as getting fewer benefits than the Canadians. Of course, since I wasn't subject to the Canadian system of waiting in the queue for health care if it isn't life threatening (I've posted before about the co-worker who was told to wait 9 months for minor surgery on his knee after he'd hurt it), all of the Canadian employees of the firm thought that I had the better situation.

Yes, I do recognize that not all employers offer that kind of benefits, but enlightened corporations that do have to compete globally generally understand this stuff pretty well.

Posted by: Army Brat | March 6, 2007 9:01 AM

Two things - I am interested in why you used this statistic "According to the 2002 National Study of the Changing Workforce, fewer than two million mothers held career jobs working at least 45 hours per week" - isn't that MORE than full time?

Also, with regards to competitiveness, we often cite US car manufacturers as ones that are being bankrupted by health care, union contracts, etc. This may be partially true - but the other piece of the equation no one talks about is the lack of long term innovative planning at GM & Ford. They banked on SUV sales for too long, while Toyota and other Asian car manufacturers diversified, produced hybrids, and had excellent brand marketing strategies (love those "how long has your Corolla been on the road" ads). The reason why I bring this up is an article in the WSJ yesterday about capital in-flow into European companies. We often complain about state governmental programs in some Euro countries on this blog, but yesterday's WSJ article pointed out that nearly 4 times the capital is flowing into European based businesses than into US businesses - many of which offer these family friendly and balance-centric benefits. It seems too easy to me to say "US businesses can't stay competitive" with expansion of flexible/family friendly/balance policies. Many folks argued this about the five day work week, work-safety regulations, child labor restrictions, etc. Especially in light of how successful some (not all!) Euro companies are that also offer good work-life policies, we should think hard about these questions instead of knee-jerk suppositions in either direction (i.e. - US businesses aren't as competitive, or France has great policies!, etc. both are incomplete arguments).

Posted by: SMF | March 6, 2007 9:02 AM

GE has made a remarkable recovery from their low point, my mistake. But the point could be made with a dozen other mega-corporations, ie. US Air, Ford, etc.

______________________

But that point could be countered with hundreds of other corporations - and what about foreign companies with operations in the US?

The point is to say that the cost of providing health care and other benefits to employees is the sole or even main reason that certain large companies are failing is, well, wrong.

With Ford, Chrysler, and GM, the big problem is that they're building cars fewer and fewer people want to buy. They're not planning well; they're not able to respond to external trends (e.g., Ford was making a mint off its SUVs; when gas prices spiked and the market for those closed down in favor of hybrids, Ford couldn't respond quickly and lost a huge amount of business to Toyota and Honda.)

With USAir and other airlines, the problem tends to be not being protected against sudden spikes in fuel prices, which are the single biggest cost item for an airline. Compare USAir to Southwest, for example. Compare the benefits they pay employees, and then compare their profits - and then try to assert that the difference is healthcare or some other benefit.

Posted by: Army Brat | March 6, 2007 9:07 AM

KLB,

I don't know, but I have been known to hasten its arrival by speaking my mind. I suspect it is an equal opportunity sort of item. ;-)

Re: today's topic and guest writer. Same problem as yesterday. Semantics. Gender aside, the problems and solutions lie with people--not "women" and "men". Individuals need to step up, speak up and start within, THEN take it without!

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 9:07 AM

I wish to disagree with an earlier poster. The government doesn't make a bad job of EVERYTHING. My TSP account and choices make financial planners drool and crow with happiness, for example. My family's cradle-to-grave, no exclusions ever, health insurance options are the stuff of legend. And rightly so--god knows my mentally ill spouse has availed himself of it through the years.

If anyone wants to know, bipolar PLUS borderline personality disorder is HELL on everyone around 'em. Spouse, kids, friends, family, neighbours...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 9:10 AM

Okay, so we have a guest blog with unfounded assertions ("employers cannot compete...) , a link to a document (the "Bill of Rights") that's not there, and a conclusion ("the Federal Government must step up") that doesn't seem to be supported by any real evidence.

Yep, sounds like a lot of the professors I took classes from. :-)

Sorry if that seems snarky; it probably is. The bottom line, though, is that I read and post to this blog because I consider work/life balance to be a serious issue for me, my wife, and in the future our kids. I often learn good stuff, and hope I sometimes contribute. And I realize that when you're limited to 300 words for a blog item it's hard to provide any details. But gee whiz, other than providing a base for a great many non-balance-related side discussions, I don't see how this one helps.

Posted by: Army Brat | March 6, 2007 9:14 AM

Producing children is not a necessity. With over 300,000,000 people in the US, your individual contribution is not needed to continue the species. We are not royals who need to produce an heir to the throne. Working to support yourself and keep a roof over your head is a necessity (unless, of course, your name is Paris Hilton). I have a co-worker who complained that she begged to come back to work a month after giving birth because she really, really needed the money. If she's that hard up for money, she shouldn't be out having another kid to support and losing pay. And we can't expect the Government and our empoyers to foot the bill for our rabbit habits. My advice to women -- keep your pants on, your knees together, and your nose to the grindstone.

Posted by: Babe in Total Charge of Herself | March 6, 2007 9:17 AM

Army Brat, SMF, this may be a controversial position, but I think that competition and innovation in US companies has been stymied by the Government itself.

With the rise in bailouts and corporate welfare, corporations are incented to spend an equal amount on lobbyists to what is spent on R&D. I am not going to hunt for the stats but I would be willing to bet money that lobbying expense as a % of overall corporate expense (with CEO salaries rising drastically over the same period) is probably at its highest level ever.

People in general (and lots on this board) are always happy to re-affirm the politics of personal responsibility, which IS very important. But I think few of us take the time to keep an eye on the relationship between business and government -- and doing some critical reasoning about whether either group has the individual citizen's best interests at heart.

If you are Ford, UnitedHealthcare or USAir, it really doesn't matter how badly you perform. The government will bail you out to the tune of hundreds of millions, which you can then turn around and give to the CEO while you slash jobs.

Good times all around!

Posted by: Random Guy | March 6, 2007 9:20 AM


We had a guest blog a while back on a mom who used and advocated for Virginia's subsidized childcare program (actually, her specific program may have been more local than statewide, I don't know).

Here's a heads-up on an article the Post ran today on backlogs in the Virginia program and how it's affecting families,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/05/AR2007030501626.html

Btw, I found it from the 'On Parenting' blog (linked at the top of 'On Balance'). I really like
the way Stacey runs a daily link section there to parenting-related stories in the Post. A nice resource!

Posted by: KB | March 6, 2007 9:23 AM

When you have someone saying this, "The cost of health care per vehicle is staggering," says Cyndy Parker, Healthy People Initiatives manager for DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group, who was interviewed for the article. "Our cost of health care is about 7.5 percent of the vehicle's cost, which works out to about $1,400 per vehicle" (www.aiag.org), then there are problem beyond just the companies overindulgence in SUV's. SUV's were mighty popular until last year....

Posted by: nc mom | March 6, 2007 9:26 AM

To get rid of the lobbyists, support the fairtax - www.fairtax.org

The tax code should be a way to raise money for necessary govt expenses, not a social program.

And, it gets rid of taxes for *everyone* on the basic necessities of life. So the more you spend, the more you pay in taxes. It is horrible how much time and energy everyone takes to pay taxes - that is what is draining to companies in addition to healthcare- not to mention the lobbyists in dc.

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 9:36 AM

NC Mom, if your paycheck was cut by DaimlerChrysler's payroll, would you say it's the health care of the workers or would you say it's the lack of your own company's innovation?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 9:37 AM

Also OT -

To MdMother:

Your "more granola than thou" comment just made me almost spout tea all over my monitor :D

I used to be a Geologist and have run into more of those people than I care to remember. So many of my former female classmates originally chose Geology as a major because of the granola/mother earth/goddess aspect they thought it possessed.

They all criticized me early on for not "claiming my womanhood" (whatever that meant), and treating it as an actual science (*gasp* the horror!).

Then one-by-one, these women dropped out when they realized that they were actually expected to learn physics, chemistry and biology on top of the required advanced geology classes required by our major.

The clue-by-four swung large...

Posted by: Chasmosaur | March 6, 2007 9:38 AM

"So many of my former female classmates originally chose Geology as a major because of the granola/mother earth/goddess aspect they thought it possessed."

Is there any particular reason why these granola type women tend to be homely and shapeless? Don't they own mirrors or scales? Don't they know about upper lip and underarm hair removal?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 9:46 AM

Our country still views having children as a "lifestyle choice," and therefore since it's a "choice," why should the government help out at all? This is such a dangerous view for our future health as a nation, since having children is not a lifestyle choice, but literally the future of our society and world. Other industrialized nations are so much more progressive than the U.S. Instead of putting children's welfare on the back burner as yet another issue, they put it at the forefront as being literally the future of their country. It illustrates the health of their nation. France, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Spain, Italy, Norway, and even a number of Eastern European countries all understand this simple truth. A society is judged in how civil and progressive it is by how well it takes care of its most vulnerable citizens -- the poor, the children, the disabled, and the elderly. The children of today, whether or not they or yours or you even have children, will be your doctors, engineers, government and civic leaders, caretakers, teachers, and lawyers. If we don't raise them well, with plenty of food, time with family, and education; our whole society will suffer. Invest in them well today, and you will see the reward tomorrow.

Posted by: ArlMomof3 | March 6, 2007 9:46 AM

It is a combination of both, with lack of innovation being within their control.

Posted by: nc mom | March 6, 2007 9:47 AM

What exactly is the point of this blog?? Poor enormous corporations unable to pay for healthcare because of globalization? You've got to be kidding me.

New topic time??

We've covered porn and clothes- how about sex after baby? We still haven't had that blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 9:49 AM

"A society is judged in how civil and progressive it is by how well it takes care of its most vulnerable citizens -- the poor, the children, the disabled, and the elderly." Judged by whom?

"The children of today, whether or not they or yours or you even have children, will be your doctors, engineers, government and civic leaders, caretakers, teachers, and lawyers."

Won't the law of supply and demand pretty much take care of this? Maybe the children of other countries will be America's future.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 9:51 AM

the author claims...

Most Americans living in poverty today are children and adults with disabilities. Indeed, around 50 million children and adults with disabilities are receiving substandard, dangerous, or no care.

you respond...

Yet another gov't program being advocated in lieu of personal responsiblity.

-------------------------------

Am I supposed to take the fact that neither you or your child is severely disabled to be a sign of personal responsibility? Would you really have the resources necessary to see to the care of a child who is unable to ever become independent indefinitely...

Posted by: to the original anon | March 6, 2007 9:51 AM

One thing that bothers me is "But the federal government needs to step up to the plate and foot the bill for paid family leave, child and elder care, and health insurance."

WE are the federal government, which means WE would pay for this. Plus pay for the federal oversight required to track a very large amount of money.

As long as the majority of the people are willing to increase their taxes to cover the tab then let's go for it. But, being a democracy, we need to have a national referendum to get the will of the people.

I am tired of the politicniks in DC pandering to get elected by buying votes.

Let the people decide.

Posted by: SoMD | March 6, 2007 9:54 AM

When I was younger I thought that when I graduated from college, got married and both my husband and I worked, we would have a plush life. This is coming from a child that had a stay at home mom and was always on a tight budget.

My life is far from plush. We live comfortable without a lot extras. Even taking vacations is starting to go beyond our means. Do people normally pay over $300 a night to say in vacation destination hotels?

I know I could make more money if I took a two hour drive up the road, but right now I work 3 miles from home. My husband is there in the morning to put the kids on the bus and I am there in the afternoon to take them off. I like that arrangement.

Would it really be worth the larger paycheck to pay after school care and not get home until 7 at night? I ask this question a lot to myself. Is the big paycheck and fancy living worth the missed time with my kids? With what is reported in this blog and column, do I really want the kind of fight that it seems working moms with wonderful careers put up with?

Posted by: Not Busy | March 6, 2007 9:54 AM

Posted by: ArlMomof3 | March 6, 2007 09:46 AM

It is a crime the way the elderly, the poor and the homeless are treated. Their plight is perhaps less visible but no less urgent and important.
I think that many children are wanted and planned for. We are all going to get old (beats the alternatives) and there is a potential for some of us to become homeless. I don't know the numbers but I have read that many working Americans are but a paycheck away from losing either losing their home or being bankrupt.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 9:55 AM

MdMother: no problem. I am actually surprised how some people took that. I was just telling parents if they were thinking of going to see the show, that we enjoyed it. Someone got really into talking about how the show was some kind of VLI and how Jesus would not approve. Something to do with the disciples. Personally, that was a little too religious an argument for me. But hey, that is fine that it is not someone else's cup of tea. Who cares. It is their loss.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 6, 2007 9:56 AM

TO Babe in Total Charge of Herself

Good for you. Do have anything positive to contribute?

Posted by: LM in WI | March 6, 2007 9:57 AM

Well, if the ratio of Healthcare cost Per Vehicle is deemed to be too high, then you have two options - 1) is you can argue about the rising cost of healthcare and work to stem that. That's fine but it isn't completely in the company's control. But the other is 2) Produce more vehicles!!!!

Look at Ford's line of cars. What do they have that you want to drive? The Focus is a staple. You need the entry-level vehicle. The Mustang is legend and spans lots of price points. The Escape and Escape Hybrids are great vehicles.

What else?

The GT is beautiful but no one can afford it and they make small quantities. I hope there is not significant factory capacity dedicated to that. Explorer, expedition, the Ranger (the little one), Econoline, Freestar....all crap.

It is also worth pointing out that the Government subsidizes Ford by buying Fords that go into DoD and GSA's motor pools as well as state police. And don't forget the rental car agencies.

If Ford had to compete for the hearts and minds of individual U.S. consumers they would have been out of business ages ago.

Posted by: Random Guy | March 6, 2007 9:58 AM

Sorry, I got interrupted. The point I want to make is that we should be concerned about the health and welfare of all Americans, not just the children. If we get some programs in place now then perhaps they will be better cared for in the future.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 10:01 AM

Oh my god- how many times do we have to go over this???

To recap: it is very difficult to find quality affordable care, 2 incomes are needed for even the most basic living, healthcare is ridiculously expensive, schools are failing, everyone has to work 12 hrs/day, kids are spoiled, sahm moms are lazy bums, working moms are selfish and don't love their kids, why should we pay for others'mistakes- it's survival of the fittest, we should pay for everyone's healthcare, childcare, elder care, maternity leave, paternity leave, disney vacations, and cute clothes.

blahblahblah

Posted by: STOP THE MADNESS! | March 6, 2007 10:04 AM

I am really tired of hearing that it is our JOB to reproduce - how silly and shortsighted. The truth of it is that it is our JOB to be responsible and make our own choices. I do not owe the US government children so that the US will not face a shortage of 'workers' at some point in the future. Economics is not the end-all and be-all of this world nor a reason to have children - the Earth and the world economies will do just fine if I choose to not have children. I know this is OT but really - what would make a person think in such a way? I se it here over and over again that it is our job to have children. As a society, we give kids way too much importance and power. Let's all be rational, ok? If you want to have kids, fine. If not, fine. But no one on either side can say that their choice is the way it should be for everyone. And yes, no one should be having children if they are in dire need of money - there isn't any given right to it and if you want them, support them. Now, I know there are circumstances where help is in order and I am all for that, but seriously, if you can't afford childcare for 3, have 2. Having a kid is both an emotional and rational thing - not just emotional - something a lot of people seem to forget.

Posted by: WAMC | March 6, 2007 10:06 AM

"I was just telling parents if they were thinking of going to see the show, that we enjoyed it."

It came off more as you bragging about being able to afford A VLI as well as pick up impulse purchases (bunnies & chicks) at the Dollar Store.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:06 AM

I certainly hope that Babe in Total Charge of Herself's BC never fails, otherwise the resulting conflict between her unexpected "rabbit habit" and her philosophy may drive her insane.

Posted by: John | March 6, 2007 10:07 AM

To be fair, I also use "More fiscally solvent than thou" too. After all, how many people who read this blog actually have 3-6 months of bills in their SAVINGS account? (Not your retirement account[s].) AND have a will, life insurance, health insurance, umbrella insurance and perhaps even catastrophic and/or long-term care insurance? I don't have all them, but it is my goal. In addition to providing my kids with all the impetus to earn a college slot AND the money to make it a little easier for them to have some selection. Or at least a decent meal plan.

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 10:09 AM

Gm, Ford, etc like to claim that they can't compete in a global ecomomy because they are paying out a fortune in health care and retirement benefits to their workers.

They ARE paying out a fortune. And I hope they don't pull the plug, because one of my very elderly relatives is dependent on that pension and healthcare benefit - the earned rewards of 44 years of loyalty and labor to a U.S. car-maker.

But the truth is that they would not be in such a fix if they made cars people want to buy!!!! That's the real bottom line.

Posted by: boomerette | March 6, 2007 10:09 AM

MD Mother, why on earth would you keep 3-6 months expenses in your SAVINGS account?

It earns negligible interest there. You want it to be liquid, but you also want some interest on it.

I don't think that keeping it in Savings is good advice.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:12 AM

Maybe many live paycheck to paycheck, but many in our country also believe that it is their g-d given right to stop working at 65 whether they can afford to or not. The age was chosen as an age at which people would not be *able* to work - life expectancy when soc second was passed was 65. Now people *can* work past 65 but they just choose not to - they think the young of the country should support them. Then when they aren't healthy anymore and really need the money they can't work. We really need to raise the age at which people collect soc second benefits because that is one thing that is a huge burden to the taxpayers.
Anbd if you think there is a surplus, you're fooling yourself.

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 10:12 AM

Just curious, if young women are told to find men who can cook, what are young men being told to find, women who earn big bucks?

While I hesitate to think the gov't should mandate more programs, I agree the workpalce should be more family friendly. I don't care if you have kids or not, this issue extends to everyone. Eldercare is just an example.

I don't know just how one goes about paying for things like paid family leave. Certainly some CEOs take waaay too much money but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Flextime seems like a no brainer for me. Companies make money from productivity, not hours put in. I think the attitude has to change first. When companies put more value into their reputation as pro-family, pro-worker, I think there will be less of this balance struggle.

OT

Did any see the stat that married couples with children now only make up 1 of 4 households?

Posted by: LM in WI | March 6, 2007 10:13 AM

It came off more as you bragging about being able to afford A VLI as well as pick up impulse purchases (bunnies & chicks) at the Dollar Store.

Where do you guys even get this? Bragging about picking up $2 item at the dollar store. Seriously, where do you get this. If it comes off as bragging, well I apologize. I certainly never meant that in anyway.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 6, 2007 10:13 AM

OT: Took the DD to Go Diego Go Live show at the Hippodrome last Sunday. It was great show. DD loved it. It was broken down into two 40 minute segments. Great sets, costumes, puppets, music and dancing. I strongly recommend it. Much better then Sesame Street Live: Elmo makes music. Elmo show had the first segment about an hour long. Lost most of the kids after the first 45 minutes. Pricey show. I think Orchestra right seats were $140 for three people. But worth it. Hope some of you get out to see it.

Here is what I wrote. I don't see any bragging in it at all. Again, I just thought it was an edorsement of the show. Sorry it offended people.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 6, 2007 10:16 AM

MDMother - Here's a money market:

http://www.netbank.com/investments_moneymarket.htm

"Savings" accounts are for suckers.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:17 AM

Speaking of GM:

I love my Saturn!

My first one (93 SL2) got 230,000 miles and 10 years on its original engine and clutch. My second one is going strong at 150K+ as well. The dent-resistant panels are wonderful too. 30 mpg doesn't hurt either (and yes, I keep a log book of when I make gas purchases and the miles so I can actually tell you my real-life mpg)

I hope that in 5 years or so, when I plan on buying a (gulp!), STATION WAGON, they have something I like.

And no, no one should feel obligated to make a child, or children. But I don't see how it would be any better to be so in-it-for-ourselves that we regard everyone besides ourselves as expendable and disposable. Seems to me that leads to a huge amount of anxiety that could lead to the recently mentioned "increase" in narcissistic behaviours exhibited by college students. (Is it really an increase? How large a sample? Was it a random sampling? Etc.)

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 10:18 AM

Since today's topic is boring and repetetive from many prior blogs, the only thing I have to wonder about is why a man would choose Women's Studies as his area of expertise? Maybe it's sexist to say that, but I still think it's weird. And frankly, I'd rather listen to a woman talk about these issues than a man - at least she has a higher liklihood if actually experiencing them first hand.

Posted by: just curious | March 6, 2007 10:26 AM

"Pricey show"

"I think Orchestra right seats were $140 for three people. But worth it."

Can you say narcissist?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:26 AM

"....Orchestra right seats were $140 for three people." I could buy two weeks of groceries for that amount of money.

Posted by: not elite | March 6, 2007 10:31 AM

Thanks for noting the bad link. It's been fixed.

Posted by: washingtonpost.com | March 6, 2007 10:33 AM

$189 buys 1 hour and 15 minutes worth of piano lessons per month for my two kids.

That makes me elite and it makes you...what?

I've also been known to buy things that were not necessities, but luxuries. A bar of good chocolate, a dinner out here and there. A new car once every 10 years, for example. I'm lucky; I worked hard AND I got lucky.

Insert your witty riposte here.

Posted by: to "not elite" | March 6, 2007 10:36 AM

So just let me get this straight....

He's weird to have chosen "Women's Studies" as his specialty area, but men are too quick to categorize things as women's issues then ignore them.

And we wonder why men get fed up with these conversations.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:38 AM

I have a Ford Windstar with over $7,000 worth of repairs since I bought it in 2000. My next car will be a Toyota. Paying a car payment hurts enough without the lost time to use the thing while in the shop and the extra out of pocket costs. Ford needs to make better products.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:39 AM

"So many of my former female classmates originally chose Geology as a major because of the granola/mother earth/goddess aspect they thought it possessed."

Never heard this one before.

Earth mother wannabes taking up geology to prop up their romantic fantasy?

I find this pretty hard to believe. I'm guessing that you encountered one, or maybe two, people of this ilk and generalized them into a "type."

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:40 AM

I didn't say I had succeeded in having that amount in a savings account. I didn't say that a savings account is a good investment vehicle (it isn't; it's only "up" is that it is available immediately and it's liquid cash). I was simply rhetorically asking how many people here, particularly those who go on and on about not making children UNLESS, had succeeded in achieving the following. Even with all of that in place there is still no guarantee that someone won't fall on hard times. None at all. It's a crapshoot. Luck favours the prepared, but all the preparations in the world can't make life risk-free.

After all, I have older family members, and I can't force them to do any of those same things either. I can ask & suggest, but I can't make 'em DO anything.

Posted by: MdM | March 6, 2007 10:42 AM

What a bunch of nasty comments. Why do you all bother to post anything? But I agree, this topic is a bit of a snoozer and the blogger didn't post anything inspirational or intelligent.

Read about the woman in No. Virginia who lost her childcare subsidy and can no longer work or go to school to advance her prospects for a better life. What a waste of ambition and possibly talent. We need to find ways to make the career of childcare palatable and we need to subsidize childcare for the poor and middle class. This does make business sense--more and better able workers in the workforce. It is also putting money where politicians mouths are with regard to helping families.

We should and can do better for those who are trying to help themselves (and for those who can't).

And tax breaks really only help the wealthy--they do nothing for the poor and very little for the middle-class.

Posted by: anon on purpose | March 6, 2007 10:44 AM

"Here is what I wrote. I don't see any bragging in it at all. Again, I just thought it was an edorsement of the show. Sorry it offended people."

Some people believe that it's bad manners, poor taste, and not nice to volunteer, discuss or share the prices paid for VLIs.

What makes you think I need your advice on how to spend my money?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:45 AM

To those who are anonymously slamming foamgnome, would you care to post your itemized budget so that we can pick it apart?

People choose to spend their money in different ways. As long as it's not appallingly immoral (say, a baby sealskin rug or something), why judge? It just makes you look petty.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 6, 2007 10:47 AM

atlmom--
there *was* a surplus. W spent it in Iraq.
Next comment?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:50 AM

"narcissism" means inordinate fascination with oneself, excessive self-love, or vanity. There's no connection between self-love and spending gobs of money on crappy entertainment.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:50 AM

"We need to find ways to make the career of childcare palatable"

...and monitarily remuneritive.

These people are paid a pittance.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:52 AM

"narcissism" means inordinate fascination with oneself, excessive self-love, or vanity. There's no connection between self-love and spending gobs of money on crappy entertainment"

But there is a connection to drawing excessive attention to yourself on a blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 10:54 AM

Today's article in the Post was really enlightening- the mom who lost her child care subsidy and found that it didn't make sense to continue working at her low-paying job.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/05/AR2007030501626.html

What a shame. She only needed the subsidy for a little longer- until her youngest was in kindergarten.

Before the "personal responsibility" crowd chimes in- this mom was doing her part by working. (Yeah, yeah, I know that the many perfect people who post to this blog would never even think of having 4 kids without a 6-figure income. Point taken.)

Posted by: can we talk about something else? | March 6, 2007 10:54 AM

Someone said What would JEsus say about your spending money on a show like that?" Clarinita or whatever her name is defended you by pointing out that Jesus probably would defend your choice, just as he defended Mary Magdelaine, and then you said "I wonder if people who criticize me are just jealous?" (PS, just because it is "in the form of a question" doesn't remove the fact that what you wrote is a blantantly passive aggressive way of saying "I think people who criticize me of spending the money on the show are just jeolous." You must suspect this, otherwise, why would you even have wasted the time bringing it up?) And then she pointed out that more likely the person has a real gripe with your philosophy, and that it probably had nothing to do with them wanting as much money as you have.

I thought Clarita went pretty easy on you-- I thought your "I wonder if they are just jealous?" response was immature, petty andintellectually lazy.

Posted by: to foamgnome | March 6, 2007 10:58 AM

What does VLI mean?

Posted by: Fairfax | March 6, 2007 10:59 AM

Do the postings on this blog ever remind you of the writing on the bathroom walls?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:00 AM

I can't believe that this attack on foamgnome is still going on after 24 hours.

Here's the scenario:

An active contributor to the blog posts about an event she took her very young child to.

The child enjoyed the experience, and the poster thought others on the blog might be interested.

To that end, she described the event and noted the cost. Presumably, other parents would be interested in these points.

Then, people start attacking the poster's taste, sense, money management, cultural awareness, parenting priorities, family values, and personal integrity. She is accused of "boasting," wasting money, and even ignoring Jesus' teachings.

What is wrong with you people? Have you narrowed your lives and perspectives so completely that you can't simply take foamgnome's original post for what is was -- a parent's review of a popular kids' event for the benefit of other parents?

Posted by: pittypat | March 6, 2007 11:01 AM

Amen, pittypat, amen. You wrote exactly what I was thinking.

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 11:03 AM

What's A VLI? OT? DD? Can't you people write complete words anymore?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:04 AM

VLI is vulgar luxury item.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:05 AM

Offtopic

Dear Daughter. DS is Dear Son, DH is Dear Husband.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:06 AM

I missed yesterday's comments and am too lazy to look them up - how on earth is going to see a children's show ignoring Jesus' teachings??
I also agree with pittypat...If I wanted to take a child to a show, I would like to know how much it costs, what sort of seats there are available, etc.

Posted by: Missicat | March 6, 2007 11:06 AM

Army Brat, What is the common thread of the Automotive and Airline industry and their failure? See if you can read my mind.

Posted by: cmac | March 6, 2007 11:07 AM

I wish the Post would have a filter installed so that we can choose to "hide" the anonymous posters. They are much more likely to be the flamethrowers.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 6, 2007 11:07 AM

You're right--financial compensation is an important part of making a job palatable. But there are other things as well. And it is a shame that child care workers are paid so little. That could change if there were subsidies (both Federal and state). That way there would be more money to pay these workers more. You'd then hope that higher quality providers would emerge.

Posted by: To anon at 10:52 | March 6, 2007 11:08 AM

That settles it, foamgnome is satan.

(Just kidding. Please don't hurt me.)

Posted by: Random Guy | March 6, 2007 11:08 AM

"Can't you people write complete words anymore?"

DD means "dear daughter".
DH means "dear husband".

Speaking of personal responsibility, it's not everyone else's fault if you are unaware of commonly used blog and text-messaging abbreviations.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:08 AM

"Yeah, yeah, I know that the many perfect people who post to this blog would never even think of having 4 kids without a 6-figure income. Point taken.)"

I wouldn't consider having 2 kids without an income close to 6 figures.

Thst is one of the main reasons I went to school for 8 years after high school.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:10 AM

It would take a web developer *literally* 2 seconds to stop the anonymous posting.

You just have to make the "Name" field a Required Field on the web form. Literally 2 seconds. It's a check-box.

Of course, the anons would just put kjshafdjohfgldsjg in the name field, rendering it meaningless anyway.

Posted by: P. Nut Gallery | March 6, 2007 11:11 AM

To anon at 10:40 am.

*shrug* Believe what you like. I can remember half a dozen and 4 of them migrated to the Anthropology Dept.

(Also a difficult major, but where I went to school, it was a department that focused more on the social sciences and historical aspects along with field work, so the "hard" sciences were not then a part of the major's curriculum outside of what was necessary to graduate with a Bachelor's. It was the home of some of my campus' most "crunchy" residents.)

Perhaps it wasn't a huge number in the grand scheme of things, but in a department that bounced between 25-40 students from semester to semester (late '80's-early 90's), this made it a noticeable trend.

And for what it's worth, I'm sure part of it was just the college vibe - finding yourself and finding your causes. Who knew what happened to these women after college. I certainly couldn't have forecasted I'd destroy my joints in field work and end up a computer geek...

Personally, I'd be more upset with the anonymous poster at 9:46 who assumed all these women tended to "be homely and shapeless...don't own mirrors or scales...know about upper lip and underarm hair removal."

Talk about stereotyping - many of the "crunchy" girls were no more or less groomed/shapely than any other co-ed who had 7:30 am classes the morning after Ladies' Night. ;)

Posted by: Chasmosaur | March 6, 2007 11:11 AM

If $140 for 3 people is a "vli", I will enjoy speculating on what they must think about to think what someone has to say about my kids music lessons!

Personally, I would like to have the cash to get an Aston Martin DB5. I will toy with the idea of getting the machine guns installed in it too...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:12 AM


Go, pittypat! Great post. Foamgnome, so sorry the snipers have focused on you lately. So many seem to read just looking for a target to vent their animus on . . . your post was a perfectly innocent sharing. The community-centered among us appreciate it as part of the ongoing share-and-get-to-know-you spirit of the blog. The drivebys instead look to squelch and belittle whenever they spot an opening . . .come mock the earnest parents, cheap thrills!

Posted by: KB | March 6, 2007 11:12 AM

ARLMomof3 writes:

"Other industrialized nations are so much more progressive than the U.S. Instead of putting children's welfare on the back burner as yet another issue, they put it at the forefront as being literally the future of their country. It illustrates the health of their nation. France, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Spain, Italy, Norway, and even a number of Eastern European countries all understand this simple truth."

LOL. *These* are the countries whose governments do so much for children's welfare? And just how effective are these countries' policies in assuring "the future of their countr[ies]," which (I agree with ARLMomof3) depend on their children?

Michael Freund writes (in the January 9 issue of the Jerusalem Post):

"A research study published last year in the International Journal of Andrology found a similar trend, concluding that, 'Fertility rates have fallen and are now below replacement level in all European Union (EU) Member States. In the 20-year period since 1982,' it noted, 'most EU Member State countries have had total fertility rates continuously below replacement level.'

"At the bottom of the list are Spain, Italy and Greece, where birthrates hover around just 1.3 per couple, leading some forecasters to suggest, for example, that Italy's population could shrink by one-third by the middle of the century.

"Others, such as Germany's 1.37, the UK's 1.74 and Sweden's 1.75, aren't all much better.

"The figures are so bad that in many European countries, the total number of deaths each year has actually begun to exceed the number of births.

"Indeed, the Council of Europe's 2004 Demographic Yearbook warned that, 'for Europe as a whole, more people died in 2003 than were born.' In 1990, said the yearbook, 'three countries -- Germany, Bulgaria and Hungary -- had negative natural growth for the first time. By 2002, it was negative in fifteen countries.'"

So . . . the European countries, with all their government interference, are shrinking. Obviously, European couples believe they have better things to do with their lives than bear and raise children. Where is their hope for the future?

America is, and always has been, the land of unbounded hope in a better future. That's why America's population has kept growing. Indeed, not only hopeful and ambitious Europeans come to settle in the United States, but people from all over the world. Some come from crowded cities. Some, as Percy Dearmer's hymn says, come from countries where people "roam the desert sands, Or farm the mountain pastures, Or till the endless plains"; from places "where children wade through rice fields, And watch the camel trains." Some come from "sultry forests, Where apes swing to and fro"; some used to "fish in mighty rivers, Some hunt across the snow." But now they are part of America, and most of them are enthusiastic about bringing children into the world who will share America's promise of great things to come.

As far as government goes, we have been in the "Age of Yale Graduates," which runs from January 1989,when the first President Bush (Yale College) took office, to January 2017, when the second President Clinton (Yale Law) will see her second term expire. Leslie, you are a Harvard graduate. Do you want Americans to put their children's future in the hands of a Yalie government?

It was not government, but brave explorers and colonists and pioneers and settlers, who (as the Reverend Thomas Dixon wrote) crossed the trackless oceans, dared the might of kings, and made a wilderness the home of freedom.

Yesterday, I said that companies who want to attract the best workers and keep them happy at work, free from worrying about their children, would provide worksite Child Care Centers or Child Care Vouchers redeemable either at duly licensed Day Care Centers or by relatives who care for workers' children. I still believe that this is the way to go -- with private enterprise.

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | March 6, 2007 11:13 AM

To anon:
Let's not get into a war fight - but you are wrong u the military costs something-regardless of when we r at war or not. We spend far more on soc second medicare/medicaid, etx than the war (check out robt samuelson at wapo).
But what does that have to do with what I said?

Foamgnomeh you were not bragging u do not need to defend yourself.

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 11:13 AM

might that not depend on what SS they are using? And if they are not using SS, think of the horror of shifting thru the code....

Posted by: to pnut | March 6, 2007 11:13 AM

When my sister worked for the government,they had an onsight childcare center. Do most large government offices have these? Do large private corporation have them at all? This would seem like a start towards a solution.

Posted by: Missicat | March 6, 2007 11:15 AM

"I thought your "I wonder if they are just jealous?" response was immature, petty andintellectually lazy."

Yep, reminds me of the Queen Bees in High School who travelled in packs.

Does foamgnome really think that I can't afford this B.S. show and I'm jealous?!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:17 AM

"But, being a democracy, we need to have a national referendum to get the will of the people.

I am tired of the politicniks in DC pandering to get elected by buying votes."


WE are a representative democracy. The people don't decide. The people decide on the people who will decide.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:18 AM

I think Matt in Aberdeen and Texas Dad of 2 compete each day to see who can post the longer entry.

Posted by: short and sweet | March 6, 2007 11:23 AM

One co. I worked for said they couldn't have on site day care b/c insurance for the liability would be too high. So only givt cand probably afford it.

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 11:25 AM

atlmom--
I doubt the military, qua military and separate and apart from wars, costs more under Bush than it did before.
But somehow we had a surplus and now we have a deficit.
Iraq + tax cuts for cronies = problem.
And yes, we spend more money on giving our elderly and poor BARE MINIMUM support than on weapons. You got a problem with that?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:25 AM

I think Matt in Aberdeen and Texas Dad of 2 compete each day to see who can post the longer entry.

Posted by: short and sweet | March 6, 2007 11:23 AM

Matt and Texas Dad of 2 make generally positive, non-snarky comments. Based on the last 2 days, we could use more of that.

foamgnome's number 1 sin appears to have been to submit a guest blog and disclose some information about personal entertainment. If the slightest nugget of personal information is used to discourage comments from named posters with whom one or two disagree, all that will be left is the trolls and Childless by Choice under her new name (Babe in Total Charge of Herself).

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:32 AM

I have already answered your question. There is no need for the govt to support people who are capable of working but just choose not to.
The surplus or not really has little to do with bush. The revenues from taxes are waaaay up from projections even after a small tax cut that helped everyone. Hey, I have an idea- let's stop spending so much money on waste (no I don't think the war is a waste I would rather fight them there than here). Bush has only vetoed *one* bill - he never met an expense he didn't like.

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 11:35 AM

It seems to me that the real "balance" issue raised by this post is the balance that we, as a country, are willing to strike between quality and cost. We can have high quality health care -- where specialists are readily available and every ailment is treated -- or we can have affordable health care. We can have high quality childcare, or we can have inexpensive childcare. But generally speaking, we can't have both. The fact that the dichotomy is slightly horrifying doesn't make it less true.

So where will we choose to draw the line? I suspect that at least with regard to health care, we will as a practical necessity wind up having to make some hard choices about acceptable minimum levels of care. At some point we have to say that just because we CAN treat a medical condition doesn't mean that we SHOULD in all cases, particularly when the treatment is hugely expensive and the probability of "cure" is small. A friend of mine who works in health care tells me that the most expensive two weeks of life are, generally speaking, the last two weeks. We spend a phenomenal amount of money treating the dying, buying a few extra days or weeks.

I am not saying that those days and weeks aren't valuable -- I know that of course they are. But with health care costs spiraling out of control and insurance companies spreading the cost of those costly last-ditch treatments around to all their subscribers -- at some point do we have to balance quality with cost? Do we need to decide to give up a little sooner? Is it time to have a serious national discussion about what realistically constitutes an acceptable minimum level of care?

Posted by: Northern Girl | March 6, 2007 11:36 AM

"Advice to young women" -- is this another problem that the wise and thoughtful want to drop at the feet of young women?

How about moving beyond advice to young women -- possibly the least powerful players in the labor market -- and addressing some ideas to all the others who play a role in shaping the workplace, as well.

Posted by: Jenny | March 6, 2007 11:37 AM

"So only givt cand probably afford it."

I'm not usually a spelling/grammar nazi, but if you check out the spelling and grammar on atlmom's posts I think it's clear that George W. Bush himself is gracing our blog!

Posted by: It's Bush! | March 6, 2007 11:39 AM

I guess this is a great endorsement on being a guest blogger. Kind of like people saying fo4 was lying about being blind. Whatever. All I can say, was I was sorry. If they can't accept that, too bad.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 6, 2007 11:39 AM

FG,

I'd join you and your kid on the carousel, anytime. I'd bring mine down too!

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 11:41 AM

My advice to women -- keep your pants on, your knees together, and your nose to the grindstone.

Posted by: Babe in Total Charge of Herself | March 6, 2007 09:17 AM

Isn't this good advice for men as well?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:42 AM

Lame, lame, lame, Leslie.

There is so much more to achieving balance that is not addressed by column upon column upon column proposing new government programs.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:46 AM

Thanks MdMother. I will meet with you too.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 6, 2007 11:46 AM

"If the slightest nugget of personal information is used to discourage comments from named posters with whom one or two disagree, all that will be left is the trolls "

I find it very difficult to believe that there will be a mass exodus of posters from this blog, no matter how great the discouragement. It's been almost a year and there are no signs of the attention seekers nor the fools leaving.

And, there has been plenty of fair warning since the beginning about personal information being subject to attack.

(Check out the the attacks on Leslie's personal details).

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:47 AM

"I thought your "I wonder if they are just jealous?" response was immature, petty andintellectually lazy."

how about the "Who cares. It is their loss." comment earlier today? Geez!

I guess that is directed at Clarina who in fact DEFENDED FG. Then when you got snippy and accused people of being jealous she riffed on what we Jews would call a "midrash" (hope I'm not losing you by referring to something religious-- or is it just Jesus talk that makes you tune out?) of what if Mary had called her accusers jealous after they had called her wasteful? I thought it was a pretty interesting point and made me think of how our family tries to balance giving to the poor with taking care of our own family by splurging on little gifts.

MAybe rather than continuing this cycle of criticism, defensivenss and dismissiveness, people here could talk about ways that they balance giving in their lives.

Posted by: April | March 6, 2007 11:50 AM

short and sweet wrote

>I think Matt in Aberdeen and Texas Dad of 2 compete >each day to see who can post the longer entry.

whereas you compete to see how much nastiness you can spread with the fewest words?


Posted by: KB | March 6, 2007 11:50 AM

"It's been almost a year and there are no signs of the attention seekers nor the fools leaving."

Nice.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:50 AM

"My advice to women -- keep your pants on, your knees together, and your nose to the grindstone."

So does this mean you're still a virgin? Meaning, do you practice what you preach...or do you just preach?

Posted by: curious | March 6, 2007 11:51 AM

I read the total of today's blog and thought it was about this blog. ;) (Looking for balance in all the wrong places!)

That said, I have found a huge benefit in working for a company that is very family-friendly and does its best to hire employees who 'get it' and are supportive of one another. In a high pressure industry, with a one year old, this kind of atmosphere has been priceless. I still get stressed out more than I'd liek about work, but I know that I can get my work done after my daughter has gone to sleep if need be, and that if (WHEN) I have to leave to pick her up at daycare with diarhea, I can. I often feel unnecessarily guilty, but that is my cross to bear and not the fault of my company.

Posted by: Bad Mom | March 6, 2007 11:55 AM

pitty and foamgnome - Was it the anonymous snarky poster that origninally attacked foamgnome? I only glanced yesterday.

I know what it is like to do the back and forth with the anonymous poster(s) - they never quit and it is best to leave them be. However, I know the urge to defend oneself can take over.

It is a continual problem with this blog and I will guesstimate that a majority of the attacks and spiraling discussions are from one source - posing as several people anonymously. This was discussed last week.

Posted by: cmac | March 6, 2007 11:55 AM

"The surplus or not really has little to do with bush."

versus

"he never met an expense he didn't like"


ATLMOM you are simply not making sense.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 12:04 PM

Foamgnome, we were about to spend $150 or so on three tickets to the ballet of Sleeping Beauty, which my 5-year-old is obsessed with. Unfortunately, it sold out between the 3 hours we found out about the performance and when we went to buy the tickets. Now I can pay a scalper's fee of $150/ticket but I'm not willing to do that! I still have a "bad mommy" feeling that I missed out on a really special event for my daughter. OK sharks, attack me!

Our family spends money on experiences-- performances and travel-- but we exclusively buy used clothes and toys, etc. Others may differ.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 6, 2007 12:09 PM

Foamgnome,
Don't let the turkeys get you down. And stop apologizing to them.

I personally would not spend $140 on tickets to a Diego show, but that is just because I am saving up right now for a baby seal skin rug. Plus, my son watches his Diego tapes on our SUV's dvd player while we are driving to Disney to swim with the dolphins. And yes, I agree that piano lessons are more important, so we have decided to fire our masseur in order to give our kid weekly music lessons. And the nice thing about doing that is that there will be a little left over to save up for a Wii. You can be frugal without being stingy, you know.
Signed - Uber Granola type totally in charge of herself. MWWAAA xxx

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 12:09 PM


LOL, Emily! Much appreciated!

Posted by: KB | March 6, 2007 12:12 PM

foamgnome:

Not sure why you were attacked about the show. In any case, I suspect it's jealousy. Perhaps financial, but I think it goes deeper than that. When most parents can only seem to muster plopping their kid in front of a TV that serves as a babysitter, you took some extra time, effort and money to give your child a nice experience--and, gasp!--spent some time with your child! What a novel idea! I think that's where the bitterness is stemming from.

Rest assured, you sound like an involved parent, from the start. You won't be one of those whose kid sits in their room as a teen making bombs and guns. Leave that to the mass of oblivious snobs on this blog, and elsewhere.

Posted by: anon this time | March 6, 2007 12:14 PM

Could employers offer better care for employees and treatment of customers if their CEOs did not make ludicrous amounts of money? Where is the balance there?

Same with the military spending. So much of the military budget is wasted that could have REALLY supported the troops by giving them armor or better weapons and equipment. I had a boss who would spend thousands on landscaping, or a longer conference table- in the middle of this war! Where is the accountability? Where is the balance there? instead of properly balancing things, the Air Force found it easier to look into sacking 40,000 troops in the middle of a war than straightening up the mess by firing the leaders who spent millions on pet projects. As I always say- it is easier for them to get rid of the honest lower ranking person and keep the status quo quiet, than it is to replace some high-up and make more waves...

Posted by: Chris | March 6, 2007 12:14 PM

Written by a friend of mine, from midlifeclub.com:

A Field Guide to Trolls
Wednesday

Trolls are some of nature's most magnificent beasts. Their variety, baffling habits and amazing talent for mimicry makes them fascinating to any budding naturalist. Fortunately, they are common throughout the virtual world -- you may be able to spot them in your own backyard! Here are some simple tips to help you track, observe and interact wth the elusive Troll.

1. Assume that Trolls are nearby. You may not see them at first, for they are charming creatures and seek to camouflage themselves by reflecting the tone and color of their surroundings. You don't need to travel to exotic locales or purchase expensive Troll detection gear. Simply observe carefully. If you are patient, a Troll will eventually make itself known to you.

2. Understand a Troll's basic living requirements. Like any creature, Trolls need to eat to survive. The basic dietary requirements of Trolls are daily servings of Attention, and regular meals of Controversy. Trolls have a variety of methods of meeting their Attention needs, although eliciting sympathy is the most common tactic, usually through some believable, but undeniably sad, tale of woe. Another Attention-garnering technique is to parrot the usual message of the environment, i.e. Teaching Their Grandmother to Suck Eggs. Their Controversy requirements can vary greatly. Some Trolls can wait weeks or months before igniting a Controversy, others only a day or so. But all Trolls require Controversy, and it's one of the more foolproof methods of detection.

3. Although they are chameleon-like in their ability to blend with their habitat, Trolls, like leopards, cannot change their spots. Every Troll has a telltale habit, some signature "issue", that allows you to classify it. It could be a misspelled word, or a pet phrase, or even a favorite psychoanalyst. By observing the patterns, you will identify your Troll. When you do, remember to stun it, tag its ear for tracking purposes, and release it back into the wild.

4. Prepare yourself in advance to deal with the consequences of exposing a Troll. Trolls fear the sunlight and when cornered, will turn vicious very quickly. A Troll's first line of defense is Denial. It will protest vigorously for a time, and with such innocence that you will be tempted to believe you were mistaken. Remain firm. The protests will become more and more passionate, but they will be abandoned eventually. The Troll will then attack the integrity of everyone in its environment. Concurrently, it will attempt to find a defender, someone who will deny the Troll's Trollness and appeal to the goodwill of the community. Don't be hoodwinked. The final Troll defense strategy is to Storm Off In A Huff and Promise to Never Return. The Troll may indeed leave the environment for a short time. But, having found a reliable food source, you can be sure he will return to his home territory when he feels the danger has passed.

5. If your Troll infestation has become serious, remember the old adage, "Starve a Troll, Feed a Fever." While Trolls are interesting to observe and such fun to feed, remember they are wild animals first and foremost. You do not want to acclimate them to living with humans, much as you would not want grizzly bears learning to raid your trash cans. There will be too many opportunities for dangerous encounters if they lose their fear of people. Your only recourse is to cut off their food supply. If they stop receiving Daily Attention, a Troll will make several attempts to elicit his desired response, but in time, he will move to more fertile pastures. Their natural habitat is abundant, and they are in no danger of extinction.

Now, get out there and find those Trolls! They're waiting for you!

Posted by: for Foamgnome & others | March 6, 2007 12:14 PM

Are trolls natural predators of foamgnomes?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 12:20 PM

I hope not--I like Foamgnome (at least what I've read).

Posted by: Troll Hunter | March 6, 2007 12:23 PM

Me too :-)
So who trumps a troll?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 12:24 PM

"A friend of mine who works in health care tells me that the most expensive two weeks of life are, generally speaking, the last two weeks. We spend a phenomenal amount of money treating the dying, buying a few extra days or weeks."

Yes, true. And sadly, these two weeks can be far less expensive and involve far less pain and anxiety if hospice care were used more widely.

Unfortunately, doctors (mostly surgeons, but also oncologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, etc.) are so loathe to admit when someone is dying (which, for them, translates into personal failure) that they don't speak frankly with patients and families and they don't make hospice referrals until, maybe, the bitter end.

No one wins in this scenario, and the dying person often suffers brutal, last-ditch, "life-saving" measures.

Posted by: pittypat | March 6, 2007 12:26 PM

LOL @ KLB. Trolls hate gnomes- there was a cartoon on nick jr that tought us that. Gnomes always outsmart the trolls though- so we should not worry too much.

Spoiler alert: David died at the end of the series and turned into a tree.

Posted by: Chris | March 6, 2007 12:27 PM

Foamgnome is my latest hero and I will protect her from the gutless.

"Gutless", Leslie used that word several weeks ago and the last time I heard that word was from my football coach many, many years ago.

The trolls will be defeated by the regulars!

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 6, 2007 12:32 PM

Hospice care is truly wonderful be it in home or in a facility. When my beloved aunt was dying of cancer and wanted to be home surrounded by her family they helped arrange a hospital bed and all the necessary items for her care plus a nurse who would assist with her pain control (another important end of life issue). Someone from the family was usually at her side but it was nice to have the nurse there. They are special people.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 12:32 PM

Yay, Scooter Libby is was found as guilty as everyone already knew he was!

Stay tuned at 1:15 for the Bush pardoning ceremony!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 12:33 PM

Foamgnome:

Just ignore the anonymous personal attacks and refuse to engage them (like we teach our kids to do with bullies.) Defending yourself or responding to them only feeds them. IMO, what anyone chooses to do with their money after the neccesities are paid is their personal business and based on their personal priorities/values: travel, charity,entertainment, xbox 360's, manolo blahniks, whatever. There are always people who have some comment/opinion on peoples personal choices: trolls will always be with us, in blogs and in our personal/professional lives. As Jermaine Jackson said, " You cant reason with the unreasonable."

FWIW, I think foamgnomes are much nicer than trolls. At least, I know what I'd rather have in my garden.

Posted by: jessker 11 | March 6, 2007 12:34 PM

No one wins in this scenario, and the dying person often suffers brutal, last-ditch, "life-saving" measures.

Posted by: pittypat | March 6, 2007 12:26 PM

I could not agree more...my father went into hospice care at the end of his life. He received a hospital bed and was able to die at home, not hooked up to tubes and machines. I believe it takes a very special person to work for hospice and I am grateful they were there.

Posted by: Missicat | March 6, 2007 12:35 PM

what exactly did libby do wrong? Ms. Plame was not, from what I understand, undercover, and he, from what I understand, did not 'blow' her cover.

-not posting anonymously (sp?)

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 12:36 PM

jessker, how dare you insist I take care of the necessities before spending my money however I wish!

Posted by: chromedome | March 6, 2007 12:38 PM

What did Libby do wrong?

According to the jury who found him guilty, he committed the following felonies: obstruction, perjury and lying to the FBI. These crimes are not contingent upon whether Valerie Plame was undercover.

Posted by: single western mom | March 6, 2007 12:40 PM

I wasn't picking on FG--honest! I simply love that particular piece and thought it was appropriate.

The piece would be more appropriate if it were officially spring, but I still think it works here.

Posted by: to foamgnome & others | March 6, 2007 12:41 PM

Posted by: to foamgnome & others | March 6, 2007 12:41 PM

I thought it was funny.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 12:41 PM

thank god for trolls- this would be the most boring blog on the planet if not for their spicy comments

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 12:43 PM

Spoken like a troll - thank god for trolls- this would be the most boring blog on the planet if not for their spicy comments.

Posted by: DC lurker | March 6, 2007 12:46 PM

Agreed. Maybe we should stage a "Day without Trolls" a la the immigration protests just to show the "regulars" (gag) what would happen.

Posted by: mom of 14 | March 6, 2007 12:47 PM

"In any case, I suspect it's jealousy. Perhaps financial, but I think it goes deeper than that. When most parents can only seem to muster plopping their kid in front of a TV that serves as a babysitter, you took some extra time, effort and money to give your child a nice experience--and, gasp!--spent some time with your child! What a novel idea! I think that's where the bitterness is stemming from."

Oh, please, let's not return to the old jealousy thing again. It's just so 10th grade and condescending.

Yes, the relentless attack on foamgnome has been rididulously mean-spirited and nasty. I would never have attacker her for her well-intentioned comments. I rolled my eyes at my keyboard, as I am sure she does with some of my posts and opinions, and no one needs to know. I question both the quality of the experience and the relative dollar value of these Disney/Nick/PBS kind of kiddie-shows vs. taking a kayak out on a lake together or simply walking through the woods. That's just me. I am glad foamgnome and her daughter had a great time. Please at least consider that reasonable, non-snarky people can disagree with each other's choices for all sorts of valid reasons that are neither engendered by bitterness or resentment.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 12:48 PM

from atlmom

what exactly did libby do wrong? Ms. Plame was not, from what I understand, undercover, and he, from what I understand, did not 'blow' her cover.

-not posting anonymously (sp?)

-------------------------------------

"guilty of two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice, while acquitting him of single count of lying to the FBI."

-------------------------------------

according to the Washingtonpost she was undercover...

"The central question in the probe was whether anyone in the administration illegally disclosed classified information during the late spring and early summer of 2003, when they told several journalists that an early critic of the Iraq war was married to undercover CIA officer Valerie Plame."

... I think the distinction was that she was not "deep cover"

The investigation was prompted by the CIA which filed a complaint about the leak (not some group of hippie dems) - apparently the CIA thought she was undercover

--------------------------------------

The statute for revealing information about an undercover requires some very specific bad intent to harm the country - but I still don't see how this makes playing fast and loose with classified information for political gain anything less than despicable, even if it is not illegal.

Posted by: to atlmom | March 6, 2007 12:48 PM

Libby's guilty on 4 of 5.

He lied to the grand jury (3 counts) and obstructed justice (1 count).

Whether she was undercover (and, YES SHE WAS) is immaterial.

He was found not-guilty on 1 count -- the "cooper" count -- Count three: Making a false statement (Alleges that Libby knowingly gave the FBI false information about what he had told reporter Matt Cooper of Time magazine regarding Valerie Plame Wilson.) Apparently there were only 2 witnesses against Libby on this one and, like 6 or more on every other count. So they gave him some benefit of the doubt here.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 12:49 PM

I have a Ford Windstar with over $7,000 worth of repairs since I bought... Ford needs to make better products.

Posted by: | March 6, 2007 10:39 AM

I have a Ford with 43,000 miles on it that has NEVER been in the shop, warranty or otherwise, for anything. (routine maintenance excluded) Ford does make some good products and believe it or not Honda and Toyota do make some dogs.

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 12:50 PM

according to the jury he did many, many illegal things. Lying for one. And I thought those family values would see him through these trying times...

Posted by: to atlmom: | March 6, 2007 12:53 PM

"I question both the quality of the experience and the relative dollar value of these Disney/Nick/PBS kind of kiddie-shows vs. taking a kayak out on a lake together or simply walking through the woods."

Do I hear crunching? I mean, if the purpose was to say that the attacks were over-the-top, was that bit of information actually necessary? Because it seems to have undercut your contention that you are not amongst the mean-spirited and nasty.

But I'm pretty ferocious regarding semantics, and I realize that nuances do get lost when written versus when spoken.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 12:54 PM

Gee Fred, your single data point analysis makes me feel stoopid. Way to hammer it home.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 12:54 PM

I'm glad to see him be convicted because obstruction and perjury can't be tolerated.

On the other hand, isn't this the way it always goes. The lower level or enlisted guy goes down and the one he's protecting, the one giving the instructions, in this instance either Cheney or Rove (I don't remember), go on their merry ways. Libby's life's in the tanker, but the boss goes on.

It's scary to be the guy 5 levels down from the President, whether of the country or of the company.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 12:57 PM

From the Daily Mail:
"Naomi Campbell will be made to work as a cleaner as punishment for attacking her maid, according to US reports. The supermodel is set to be told to mop floors and sweep corridors at a New York city public building in the coming months, according to the New York Daily News."

They should sell tickets to this show.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 12:59 PM

" but I still don't see how this makes playing fast and loose with classified information for political gain anything less than despicable, even if it is not illegal."

Posted by: to atlmom | March 6, 2007 12:48 PM

And outing a CIA operative to try to cast doubt on her husband is not dispicable? (BTW: Has Joe Wilson's claims ever been disproved? And where are those pesky WMDs?) In retrospect...aren't we all pretty sure that "intelligence" in the current administrastion is an oxy moron?

Committing perjury, obstructing justice and lying to the FBI is illegal, and it's an egregious breech of public trust. And this was done to sway public opinion regarding questionable policy decisions, making it all the more egregious.

Posted by: single western mom | March 6, 2007 1:00 PM

Do I hear crunching? I mean, if the purpose was to say that the attacks were over-the-top, was that bit of information actually necessary? Because it seems to have undercut your contention that you are not amongst the mean-spirited and nasty.

First, I didn't say I wasn't mean-spirited or nasty. I'm sure you've reached your own conclusion on that and there's nothing I can do to change it. Alas.

to your point, NO, the purpose was to say that disagreements about money can be about legitimate values disagreements (without saying one persons values are right and the other's are lacking) and to dismiss all of these disagreements as all about jealousy is neither constructive nor accurate. Sorry, if you're going to make a point, you have to back it up with examples. It's not a response to say, "no they're not necessarily jealous" as a flat statement. In my opinion.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 1:01 PM

"Naomi Campbell will be made to work as a cleaner as punishment for attacking her maid, according to US reports. The supermodel is set to be told to mop floors and sweep corridors at a New York city public building in the coming months, according to the New York Daily News."

Can we apply gum to the carpets so she can enjoy a true-to-life experience? Or do you suppose they will have people who know what they are doing and work hard do the work first, then release her for the photo sessions?

Personally, I doubt she will chip a nail.

Posted by: Black Knight | March 6, 2007 1:01 PM

Megan's Neighbor- that is how it is in the military too. Look at the latest VA scandals. The real problems will stick around. There will be a big fuss, and then a bait and switch as the next big thing catches the eye of the public and everyone forgets what was so important just a few minutes ago...

Posted by: Chris | March 6, 2007 1:02 PM

Megan's Neighbor- that is how it is in the military too. Look at the latest VA scandals. The real problems will stick around. There will be a big fuss, and then a bait and switch as the next big thing catches the eye of the public and everyone forgets what was so important just a few minutes ago...

------------------------------------------

Walter Reed is an army hospital and not part of the VA system. Despite having less money, the VA gets consistently above average ratings for care in part due to things like computerized records that can be accessed from any VA hospital... (yes I am a nerd.) Disparaging the good work of those in the VA by lumping them in with the Army is not fair here.

Posted by: Chris - technical point | March 6, 2007 1:05 PM

I guess I should come up with a screen name since mine is so difficult to for folks to spell- etc.-- damn my hippy parents!

anyway, FG, i hope you understand that 1) I support your right to share info about child centered entertainment and 2) I am personally grateful for the information, but 3) I also wish you would be more honest in your responses to people. "Whatever. Who cares." that attitude just doesn't ring true with the rest posts.

PS-- I've NEVER before been accused of making a statement that is too religious. Is it because I capitalized "He", etc.? It felt odd doing that, but I didn't want to offend-- and it does actually make it clear whom the writer is referring to!Anyway, I know so little about religion it is embarrassing. THat is why I decided to start attending a UU church so that my child can grow up with a better understanding of all the religious traditions out there, while still being raised by agnostic parents.

Posted by: Clarina | March 6, 2007 1:05 PM

As a disabled vet, whose wife is a disabled vet, and whose father in law is a disabled vet- I can assure you that not all VA or active duty military care is acceptable. I was Air Force and had awful healthcare that nearly cost me my life... my wife almost died from her military healthcare too. The problems are everywhere- not just Walter Reed, or the Army. The VA scandal is that they claim to be overworked, but a good portion of that work is because they do not give you the right level of compensation you should get and you have to spend YEARS appealing. A large number of troops who get discharged get neglected under the VA system, nearly as badly treated and forgotten about as they were on active duty. The square wheels are everywhere.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled rants about childcare:

Posted by: Chris | March 6, 2007 1:11 PM

"Gee Fred, your single data point analysis makes me feel stoopid. Way to hammer it home."
Posted by: | March 6, 2007 12:54 PM

Your single date point analysis from your Windstar leads to the conclusion that "Ford needs to make better products." You are condemning the whole product line.

I was just point out that Ford does make some decent cars. I have owned several Ford and Plymouths. (Actually the Ford belongs to Fredia) I have not had the problems that some people have. Refer back to the discussion last week on the brake problems on the Toyota Sennia. My brother is an ASE certified tech. He has seen all makes and models of car break. Read Pat Goss's column or Click and Clack about problems that they see with Japanese autos.


Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 1:12 PM

Clarina: The what ever and who cares is just saying who cares if Go Diego Go is their choice for entertainment. I did sort of tune out of your second post but like I said before I was multitasking and trying to get things done. Hope you enjoy the UU church.

Posted by: foamgnome | March 6, 2007 1:13 PM

Clarina, "I've NEVER before been accused of making a statement that is too religious."

Welcome to the Onbalance blog!

And please don't change your posting name, it took me 10 minutes to learn how to spell it.

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 6, 2007 1:18 PM

"Walter Reed is an army hospital and not part of the VA system. Despite having less money, the VA gets consistently above average ratings for care in part due to things like computerized records that can be accessed from any VA hospital... (yes I am a nerd.) Disparaging the good work of those in the VA by lumping them in with the Army is not fair here."

Posted by: Chris - technical point | March 6, 2007 01:05 PM

As a veteran I have had my run-ins with the less that helpful VA as have my brothers and my son. The VA is not without sin in providing medical care to the veteran.

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 1:18 PM

Chris said "Disparaging the good work of those in the VA by lumping them in with the Army is not fair here."

No one is saying the the medical care at Walter Reed is substandard, in fact they are saying just the opposite. The problems are with the facility and the administration.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 1:18 PM

Clarina, It's a beautiful name. those who do not know how to copy and paste will have to pick up a new skill.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 1:18 PM

KLB SS MD brings up an important point, the medical care is fine. The problem is receiving the proper medical care, in traveling thru the bureaucratic maze to receive it.

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 1:21 PM

People disparage Army doctors but they are as well trained as you would find at any civilian hospital. We have Harvard and Columbia trained surgeons that I work with every day.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 1:23 PM

Are your bad experiences with the VA recent?

The first article I found is from a liberal mag...
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0501.longman.html
but it does make it sound like they are now (though not previously) leading private health care on many quality measures.

I know nothing about the system personally - just stats - but these seem like reasonable ways to measure system quality... Is the VA hiding something, has it changed, or is it just that private healthcare is even worse?

Posted by: to chris -- off topic | March 6, 2007 1:27 PM

To MdMother:

"After all, how many people who read this blog actually have 3-6 months of bills in their SAVINGS account? (Not your retirement account[s].) AND have a will, life insurance, health insurance, umbrella insurance and perhaps even catastrophic and/or long-term care insurance?"

I have all of that, except for catastropic insurance. You know why? Because I realized before having kids what a financial drain they are.

If you [and I mean the general you, not you individually] can't afford a new car, do you buy one anyway? If you can't afford to buy a McMansion, do you buy one anyway? So many people can't afford health insurance, do they buy it anyway? So why in the world do people who can't afford kids have them anyway? Especially since kids are INFINITELY more expensive than cars, houses, and insurance.

Posted by: Prudent | March 6, 2007 1:28 PM

"Culture of the Day" Tidbit

Paganini was a violin virtuoso. He played a "Cannone Guarnerius" violin. The strings of this violin are on almost the same plane rather than arched. This allows the violinist to play three or four string simultaneously.

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 1:29 PM

KLB- I did not say that. Someone responding to me did, but they used my name and added -technical point to it.

I AM saying the military care and VA care is substandard. Both my wife and I have had near death experiences due to poor care at military medical facilities.

Posted by: Chris | March 6, 2007 1:29 PM

" but I still don't see how this makes playing fast and loose with classified information for political gain anything less than despicable, even if it is not illegal."

Posted by: to atlmom | March 6, 2007 12:48 PM

And outing a CIA operative to try to cast doubt on her husband is not dispicable?

-------------------------------------

sorry for the double negative, but I think we agree?????????

Posted by: to single western mom | March 6, 2007 1:30 PM

Dear Fred,

After I had problems with my Windstar, I had 7 people come forward and tell me how they had to replace the transmission in their Windstars. Why they didn't say anything before I bought the darn think, I don't know. One man had to replace his twice granted he has had it for awhile. There is nothing Ford could do to get me to buy another one.


You are getting right about the point mileage-wise where my problems started. Good Luck!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 1:34 PM

Chris,
We will just have to agree to disagree. You can have a bad outcome in any hospital anywhere in the country.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 1:36 PM

In light of everyone bashing foamgnome for taking her daughter to a pop culture show, should we discuss how we balance raising kids in the age of super pop culture and mass commercialization of everything?

How do you (or do you) limit these things to prevent kids from being zombie consumers of pop culture?

I personally am now obsessed w/ my DVR. I don't let her watch PBSKids Sprout anymore because they now show commercials! We have OnDemand and she is allowed to watch certain PBS shows from there. At first I thought Noggin was a god send, but they have some questionable programming as well.

And the princess thing- my daughter has no princess paraphenalia at all, yet she gravitates toward it in the store. She insisted upon getting the shorter book version of Sleeping BEauty at the bookstore and now runs to it when we are there. Also, while potty training she wanted the Cars pull ups and now wants the movie and anything that has the Cars pictures on it!

It seems that no matter how hard you try, something just seeps into their brains with this stuff!

Posted by: NEW TOPIC!! | March 6, 2007 1:38 PM

Wasn't Clinton found guilty of those same things, along with cheating on his wife and embarrassing the entire country? Or is it only Republicans who get their fingers slapped for it?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 1:38 PM

To Prudent:

And my point is that this is a fine tack to take--prudent is very apt--but it still doesn't guarantee that your well-laid plans will suffice or even last you through a real financial crisis.

I know one very wealthy woman in Howard County who is DuPont by maiden name--and there isn't a feed store in 3 counties or a race track in four states that will accept her check. STRICTLY CASH. Why? Because they bounce. I wish to hell they'd prosecute her for it, the way they would anybody else, but that is a separate rant.

People with all sorts of incomes make good and poor decisions all the time. Rich does not necessarily equal virtuous.

I don't have a McMansion, I don't get a new car more than once a decade, but none of that guarantees that I won't incur substantial financial hits sometime in the future. Can we all say aging parents? Who is to say that I won't have to deal with one or more? And you may rest assured that would DEFINITELY upset the apple cart.

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 1:39 PM

"You are getting right about the point mileage-wise where my problems started. Good Luck!!!"

The Escape and the Windstar do not have the same transmission. One of the things that I checked before purchase.

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 1:42 PM

Oh, and I brought up that individual because it also irritates the h*ll out of me that she got her money the old-fashioned way: she INHERITED it

But she STILL feels free to stick it others and then treat them like trash because they are not her equal (not as wealthy).

Posted by: MdM | March 6, 2007 1:44 PM

Paganini was a hack.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 1:44 PM

"Libby's guilty on 4 of 5."

Anyone want to place bets on whether or not he'll actually do significant jail time?

Posted by: Black Knight | March 6, 2007 1:46 PM

I think American Idol is a good, wholesome, family friendly TV show. Anyone else?

Thought I would kick it out there...

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 6, 2007 1:46 PM

"Paganini was a hack"

Really? Tell us all about your audience-member experience. Barring that, your source for that statement is..?

Posted by: Black Knight | March 6, 2007 1:47 PM

American Idiot? Are you kidding?

Posted by: to Fof4 | March 6, 2007 1:47 PM

Libby will get pardoned by Bush, of course. Which is why he agreed to protect Cheney in the first place.

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 1:48 PM

Emily-the wii is so totally cool. It is the first gaming system I enjoy playing. It is something I can do with my adolescent boys. Other than suffering though yet another tennis loss. It is active movement based. We are quite sporty. Noone has ever accused this household of being couch potato(e)s (he he he)! Little kids enjoy it too!

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 1:49 PM

By the way, I know that Paganini died in 1840. Just to ward off any extra-stupid comment by one of the resident trolls.

Posted by: Black Knight | March 6, 2007 1:49 PM

"People disparage Army doctors but they are as well trained as you would find at any civilian hospital. We have Harvard and Columbia trained surgeons that I work with every day."

About a year ago, I had a root canal. The endodontist who did it was a former Army dentist now in private practice.

He was the single best dental practitioner I've ever encountered (and that includes several oral surgeons). He even made a point of injecting the Novacaine very, very slowly because, he said, it's more effective that way. And it was!


Posted by: pittypat | March 6, 2007 1:50 PM

It seems that no matter how hard you try, something just seeps into their brains with this stuff!

Posted by: NEW TOPIC!! | March 6, 2007 01:38 PM

New Topic - at what age?

If your kids are under 5, you're almost entirely in control of what they absorb. Don't buy tickets to events if you don't like the message. Don't watch shows that have snack and toy advertising unless you are sitting right there and can scan through them. Invite your child's friends to your house where you set the rules. You control the tv watching, the dvd purchases and rentals, the extent to which your child is in a retail environment. We consciously keep our kids out of retail stores other than consignment shops by purchasing new things online.

Kids can ask, whine, and pitch a fit, but you decide whether you say yes. These are teachable moments for conveying how money is spent or saved in YOUR FAMILY. If you play the victim and throw up your hands when your kids are young, how do you intend to deal with the teenage years?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 1:50 PM

"How do you (or do you) limit these things to prevent kids from being zombie consumers of pop culture?"

If you NEVER buy the crapor let it in your house, they can't be con sumers. Explain why you won't buy it or let others buy the crap for your kids.

Ditch the TV and other electronics. Stay out of the stores.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 1:50 PM

I like the Wii too. My brothers, who gave it to my son for Xmas, actually went to a great deal of trouble to get it. One thing I have learned is to make sure that the wrist strap is one. Otherwise, the dang thing can go flying into the tv. What games do you recommend?

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 1:51 PM

"I'm glad to see him be convicted because obstruction and perjury can't be tolerated."

Of course it can. As long as you are President, and there is a vast RW conspiracy against you, and what you are lying about is inconsequential (like say, sexual matters). Then it doesn't really count, and the Special Prosecutor is the real villain for bringing perjury up.

If you doubt that, ask the MSM or your fellow Americans. Spitting on the co-equal judicial banch just isn't that important. I think. Sometimes...oh come on, everybody does it. You know...like, whatever...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 6, 2007 1:52 PM

If I ditched the TV, how could I watch ACC basketball? There are important things in life on TV....

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 1:52 PM

Dotted, glad to see you have your priorities straight :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 1:53 PM

If I get rid of the TV, how can I watch the Redskins win?
oh wait...
*sob*

Posted by: Missicat | March 6, 2007 1:53 PM

"Invite your child's friends to your house where you set the rules."

I'm willing to bet that your child's friends parents get wise to you making it clear that they are sub-standard parents. After all, if there is no reciprocity, and you totally control their conversations (steering it out of dark, dangerous, commercial waters), I would imagine your kids go through friends pretty quickly.

After all, it cuts both ways.

Posted by: to Clue-by-Four candidate | March 6, 2007 1:54 PM

"Rich does not necessarily equal virtuous."

You're right. Look at our elected officials. Heh-heh!

Seriously, I understand that most of us are one event away from financial disaster. But why do most people not realize that having children is an event - a mighty expensive one? I think it was you who said that most people just assume they will have happy, healthy kids. Even if that's the case, it still costs buckets and buckets and buckets of money to feed, clothe, medicate, and educate them - and that's long before college.

Posted by: Prudent | March 6, 2007 1:55 PM

Emily -

Good wii games depend on the age. We have teens. However, Madden football, Need for Speed, Tony Hawk are all excellent (all E rated). Zelda is incredible. To be honest, the sports game that came with the wii is both a great party game for adults and a great game for littlies.

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 1:55 PM

If I get rid of the TV, how can I watch the Redskins win?
oh wait...
*sob*

There-there

Posted by: to Missicat | March 6, 2007 1:55 PM

You know, I think I really *really* love that 'clue by four' descriptor. Can I have someone's permission to use it outside of this blog?

klb-well, once in HD, always in HD. After the antics of last weekend, I'm really looking forward to the ACC tourney! Then let the madness begin!

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 1:57 PM

I was raised in one of those homes where we watched tv all the time. I think Gilligan's Island was on as much back then as Law and Order is right now. The rules were to do our homework and get decent grades, keep to our curfews, do our chores, be respectful, and other than that, we were pretty much left alone to do whatever we wanted. My parents were not control freaks, and none of us turned out to be serial killers. I just don't get the need to control everything that some parents have. It must be so very exhausting (for everyone involved).

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 1:58 PM

If I ditched the TV, how could I watch ACC basketball? There are important things in life on TV....

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 01:52 PM

Yes, yes, dotted!! The real reason that in my house we can't watch all those nonsensical kids shows with their awful advertisements for junk food is that the tv is already tuned to ACC basketball with its sappy advertisements for institutions of higher learning and iPod commercials, or Jeopardy so we can here Alex be snarky to some really smart person who's reflexes are a bit slow. bwaHAHAHAHA.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 1:58 PM

To all of you who think people shouldn't have kids unless they have big incomes --

The Catholics have an answer for this. The pope says, "The lord will provide. Have those kids anyway!"

So, see? You can go out and have all children want, 'cause you'll be magically taken care of.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 1:58 PM

I will be HD by Sat night!

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 1:59 PM

Not for nuttin', Black Knight, but if you can't ignore "Paganini was a hack" from an anonymous poster, and you waste not one, but TWO comments on it...well, your efforts to minimize trollization are woefully inadequate.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 1:59 PM

Texas Dad of 2, every point you cite is excused by other Republicans when it is a Republican doing the offending.

Where is the indictment of pedophile Mark Foley?

And no, your guys don't spit on the co-equal branch(es), they just reserve the right to ignore them, via signing statements.

Posted by: Random Guy | March 6, 2007 2:00 PM

klb-I was wondering if you had the HD hooked up. You are almost there!

Megan's neighbor-as a slow reflex person, I emphasize with those jeopardites shaking their heads knowing they had the correct answer but were too close to push that dang button.

What do you think of that Sunday game incident?

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 2:01 PM

"I think it was you who said that most people just assume they will have happy, healthy kids."

I don't recall saying that...which means absolutely nothing of course. Half the time I can't remember what I had for dinner either.

But I have yet to forget to pick up a child. Still, 10+ years to go, I may do it yet.

As I told my husband when we found out I was pregnant (oopsie!) that honestly, there is NEVER the PERFECT time to have a kid, that doesn't mean you can't do a good job of it. Yeah, it helped that we were both employed at the time, and continued to be employed throughout, but it still didn't guarantee a healthy baby, or a spouse, or a job in 5 years.

It still doesn't.

But if you feel it is imperative to have a 6-income salary, or a million dollars stashed away, or whatever line in the sand you wish--more power to you. That's certainly wise. Still doesn't guarantee you a trouble-free future.

And no, I certainly don't want to tell people they have to want, or have, children. I don't think that at all. I'm not even interested in whether or not my own kids marry or have children either. But of course, they're too young for it to even cross my mind as a reasonable possibility.

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 2:02 PM

To the Pope - where was the Lord when I was working 3 jobs to provide for my education?

Posted by: Prudent | March 6, 2007 2:03 PM

I'm willing to bet that your child's friends parents get wise to you making it clear that they are sub-standard parents. After all, if there is no reciprocity, and you totally control their conversations (steering it out of dark, dangerous, commercial waters), I would imagine your kids go through friends pretty quickly.

After all, it cuts both ways.

Posted by: to Clue-by-Four candidate | March 6, 2007 01:54 PM

Gimme a break, snarky one. All the parents are delighted that we like being the house where the kids are all welcome to gather. Since the kids are old enough to decide where they spend their time, they're not feeling very restrained I can tell you, and counter to your sparklingly creative insult, we've had the same circle of kids at our house for years, plus a few new arrivals. We feed them. We speak to them like real people, and we don't walk around deciding who is and isn't substandard. Can you say the same?

I responded to a new topic inquiry. Did you have a contribution to make to the original poster's question 'cause I'm all ears for your positive suggestions.

Missicat, I have a lump in my throat. Sigh.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 2:05 PM

SMF writes:

"Toyota and other Asian car manufacturers diversified, produced hybrids, and had excellent brand marketing strategies (love those 'how long has your Corolla been on the road' ads)"

Yeah, and how long have our Dodges been on the road? More than a dozen years. The Caravan has 168,000 miles worth of car-pooling children to school. The Neon has 295,000 miles worth of commuting, getting an honest 35 miles to the gallon or more.

If we paid an extra $1,400 for each of these cars so that the Union workers who built them could get first-class American medical care, it was well worth it. And if we had to pay an additional $1,400 per car so that these workers could put their children into work-site Child Care Centers, or get Child Care Vouchers redeemable by Day Care Centers or relatives -- that, too, would be well worth it.

Listen up, all you "social conservatives" who talk about how children should be cared for -- and even home schooled -- by stay at home mothers who bake cookies and apple pie! All you "fiscal conservatives" who gripe about the estimated cost of Government funded Day Care! Why don't you get out of bed with the "multinational big business free trade" conservatives who are outsourcing decent manufacturing jobs to China, offshoring decent information technology jobs to India, and importing illegal aliens to do construction and service jobs?

How on Earth is a working man supposed to support his wife and children if he has to compete with maquiladora labor in Mexico, and coolie labor in Singapore, and prison slave labor in Red China, and child labor in India?

"When the love of the poor
Shall one day turn to hate;
When the patience of the workers gives way,
Would be better for you rich
If you never had been born . . ."
-- Woody Guthrie, "Jesus Christ"

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | March 6, 2007 2:05 PM

Back to ditching the tv...
how would Father of 4 be able to share the joys and wholesome education of American Idol with his kids?! ;)

Posted by: Bad Mom | March 6, 2007 2:09 PM

I came into this way late. But I want to note that MdMom is right. That 3-6 months of salary needs to be sitting, in a realtively low interest account, ready and waiting for any one of a dozen disasters that befall families and cause them problems: dead batteries, unexpected rent increases, illness, crime,... You name it.

Keep your stock market money in the stock market. You emergency fund needs to be in a low-risk vehicle. I suppose a brokerage money fund would be OK. But it's not to be sitting in the Southeast Asia fund!

Posted by: RoseG | March 6, 2007 2:11 PM

"If your kids are under 5, you're almost entirely in control of what they absorb."

"Gimme a break, snarky one. All the parents are delighted that we like being the house where the kids are all welcome to gather. Since the kids are old enough to decide where they spend their time, they're not feeling very restrained I can tell you, and counter to your sparklingly creative insult, we've had the same circle of kids at our house for years, plus a few new arrivals. We feed them. We speak to them like real people, and we don't walk around deciding who is and isn't substandard. Can you say the same?

I responded to a new topic inquiry. Did you have a contribution to make to the original poster's question 'cause I'm all ears for your positive suggestions."

Thanks for supplying your identity this time--you didn't in your original post. I note that now you qualify it with the information that the kids can decide with whom your kids wish to spend time--very few of the under-5 set get that much leeway.

And again--did you control their conversations start-to-finish? How do you know that your children's virgin ears weren't sullied with a commercial product? Did you make your canoe yourself? Manufacture your own shoes, clothing, raise your own food?

Commercialization is all around us, unless you buy absolutely nothing, ever.

Posted by: to Megan's Neighbour | March 6, 2007 2:12 PM

OT Alert

dotted, I reviewed it several more times last evening and honestly, I tend to think the CBS broadcast team might be more objective than each team's legions of fans. I could be wrong. The one thing I do know is that Henderson's not going to get away from this incident the rest of his career, and I feel for him if it was unintentional. The ACC is a very small place with long memories.

oh, and my husband and I cannot talk about this because he's adament it was intentional and no reasonable person can disagree. After much thought I decided that my children deserve to keep their father in their lives.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 2:13 PM

"Of course it can. As long as you are President, and there is a vast RW conspiracy against you, and what you are lying about is inconsequential (like say, sexual matters). Then it doesn't really count, and the Special Prosecutor is the real villain for bringing perjury up."

The difference between Clinton's mistakes and the Bush administration's mistakes is, at a minimum, several thousand lives.

Clinton's mistake didn't result in loss of life or limb for thousands of Americans. So he was randy with a consenting adult in his office. That's between him, the consenting adult, and Hillary. It wasn't anyone's else's business, so the whole investigation and impeachment proceedings were bogus.

Bush's mistakes, however, have cost thousands of lives, taken tens of thousands of healthy young people and maimed them for life, set aflame civil war in Iraq, deprived citizens of their right to privacy, lost the U.S. its influence abroad, and cast us among the villains on human rights issues.

These are offenses for which people in a corrupt administration can legitimately be prosecuted.

Posted by: pittypat | March 6, 2007 2:14 PM

Megan's neighbor,
"After much thought I decided that my children deserve to keep their father in their lives."

But does he deserve you and them? :-)

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 2:16 PM

Matt in Aberdeen, you missed my point - I'm glad you had a great experience with Dodge, but note I was referencing "excellent brand marketing strategies." Maybe Dodge has cars that are on the road on average as long as Toyotas are, but Toyota has done a better job of branding. Successful businesses often require good branding - if the Corolla ad sticks in my head and I do research, only to find out they DO have excellent life expectancies, I'm more likely to buy one. I was talking about marketing - not saying Toyotas are the only good, long-lasting car out there.

Posted by: SMF | March 6, 2007 2:17 PM

Random Guy,

I'm an equal opportunity offender. I wouldn't give Foley (or anyone seeking relationships with underage kids) a pass, but neither would I make Rep. Jefferson (La) in charge of secrets, or even reelect the fool. There are plenty of stories of stupidity on all sides to go around.

And though I'm no huge fan of Bush, he didn't exactly invent the Presidential signing statement strategy either. Though he admittedly may use them more than most have so far.

In my previous point I just wanted to point out that our disdain for perjury (regardless the topic) seems to be very selective. I don't want a double standard for either side. A single one will do just fine...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 6, 2007 2:17 PM

When Clinton lied,
Nobody died.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:17 PM

"I reviewed it several more times last evening"

Boy, do you and your husband need to get a life!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:17 PM

Since some of you "cultured" folks do not like Paganini, I will talk about Miles David tomorrow.

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 2:23 PM

"Miles David"? :-)

Posted by: Missicat | March 6, 2007 2:24 PM

"I reviewed it several more times last evening"

Boy, do you and your husband need to get a life!!!

Posted by: | March 6, 2007 02:17 PM

Sorry you don't like basketball. We have been blessed with a full and interesting life and can engage on a variety of subjects unlimited to politics, work and whether single mothers are to blame for every ill in the known world. For everyone we work with, live with, and love in the area, the incident at the end of the Duke/UNC game is THE news story of the week. I'm glad I have dotted as a blog friend who understands.

Would our lives better meet your demanding standards if I told you about Saturday when my husband and I and our kids enjoyed the lunar eclipse?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 2:24 PM

Yea, Miles David, first cousin to Miles Davis!

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 2:26 PM

"For everyone we work with, live with, and love in the area, the incident at the end of the Duke/UNC game is THE news story of the week."

'Nuff said.

I didn't realize you were talking about a GAME.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:27 PM

Miles David - isn't that a statue?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 2:29 PM

Fred, I'm a Vivaldi kind of guy. Antonio Vivaldi was a priest who taught and wrote music for orphaned girls in Italy.

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 6, 2007 2:29 PM

But how did this scooter libby thing cost lives? I'm so confused.

And I don't think Bush (which has nothing to do with libby) lied. When did he knowingly say something untrue? Oh, wait, i know what you'll say - but he was repeating what many others *also believed to be true* INCLUDING BILL CLINTON.

But don't let the facts get in your way.

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 2:30 PM

"For everyone we work with, live with, and love in the area, the incident at the end of the Duke/UNC game is THE news story of the week. I'm glad I have dotted as a blog friend who understands".

Whoa, there's a worse Podunk then my hometown flyover city!!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:30 PM

OK, I'll stick with the name, but everyone feel free to misspell it! I really don't mind, I was just thinking of doing something to make it easier for people. Creative spelling is definately one way.

In response to NEW TOPIC!!'s suggestion, I vote for Tivo. Just forget about commercials. Other than that, I allow our child to use pop clture as he likes. Wiggles, Thomas, Winnie the Pooh-- I figure they aren't evil as long as they are just tools to let him express himself.

I love Neighbor's idea stated earlier of buying primarily used toys and clothes.

Posted by: Clarina | March 6, 2007 2:31 PM

Hey the triangle NC area is the best ever. I LOVE THAT PLACE. *sigh*.

Not Podunk at all. Is that supposed to be capitalized or not?

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 2:31 PM

"In my previous point I just wanted to point out that our disdain for perjury (regardless the topic) seems to be very selective. I don't want a double standard for either side."

Texas Dad of 2, Since my post is the one you targetted, I take exception to your point. My disdain for perjury isn't selective. Perjury is a bigger deal to me than obstruction because it goes to respect for the power of the court. Like any crime, the conduct either meets the elements or it doesn't. According to this jury based on the evidence it heard, Libby's conduct met the elements.


Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 2:31 PM

pittypat:

That is comparing apples to oranges. My comments were made in response that Libby was found guilty today. His main charge was perjury and obstruction, on a matter in which (also) it has been proven that no lives were at stake. Plame was not an undercover operative, and no law was broken.

That Clinton (and now Libby) lied IN COURT (perjury) was the point--not what he (or Libby) lied about. I wanted our newfound desire for not standing still for perjury to simply be consistent. Libby faces jail for it. Clinton faced, what? Impeachment? He was ultimately disbarred, but it's not like he was going to be a practicing lawyer anyway. And his wife now runs for the same office (Lord help me--no more Bushes OR Clintons, please!)

Bush's policies on war and (your stated) duplicity on his part is no small matter, of course. But comparing it to an apples to apples perjury case comparison (Libby, Clinton) isn't a fair one. They just aren't of the same type or subject.

Or to paraphrase what another anon poster wrote to unfairly conflate the two issues:
When Libby lied,
Nobody died (either).
But as an evil Republican, apparently he should go to jail...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 6, 2007 2:33 PM

Fo4,

If you want to guest blog the "Culture Tidbit of the Day" tomorrow, be my guest!

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 2:35 PM

Well said texas dad of 2

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 2:35 PM

OK, no way Henderson's foul was a mistake and Packer is a complete homer for pretending otherwise while ignoring the evidence in front of him on replay.

Did anyone catch the ACC conference call, where a reported called Coach K on his hypocrisy, claiming he coaches his kids to a higher standard and having his lofty statements on AMEX commercials, while declining to suspend Henderson and Laetner for their misbehavior?

It was a joy to behold. Coach K had no coherent response. A clip-and-save.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:38 PM

Was Clinton convicted of perjury? I don't remember that.

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 2:39 PM

Clinton and Libby cases are apples and oranges and if anyone is miffed about either - look to the Independent/Special prosecutors as the problem. They are accountable to noone and they have unlimited public money. Nobody should have that kind of power - there is no oversight.

Posted by: cmac | March 6, 2007 2:39 PM

As I said last week,
Martius Insania Initium

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 2:40 PM

"I personally would not spend $140 on tickets to a Diego show, but that is just because I am saving up right now for a baby seal skin rug."

BABY SEAL SKIN RUG?!?!?! PLEASE tell me you are joking! ::reaches for angry hippie hat::

Posted by: Mona | March 6, 2007 2:44 PM

Whoa, there's a worse Podunk then my hometown flyover city!!

Posted by: | March 6, 2007 02:30 PM

since you left home it's been a nicer place to live.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:45 PM

Fred, if I tried to culturalize this blog, it would sink to a new low. Not that there is anything wrong with doing that...

Posted by: Father of 4 | March 6, 2007 2:45 PM

atlmom, Clinton did NOT believe there were WMDs in Iraq. Clinton did NOT believe Saddam was buying yellowcake uranium from Niger. Clinton waited until the CIA confirmed who bombed the USS Cole (just after Bush was inaugurated) before taking an action which proved to be both unjust and geo-politically stupid.

But don't let facts get in YOUR way. That Fox Noise is really poisoning some minds.

Clinton was no angel. But Bush is an inept crook.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:45 PM

"When Libby lied,
Nobody died (either)."

TDo4 and others,

This is not actually true.

Revealing the names and identities of covert operatives -- whether they're working undercover or not -- puts lives at risk.

One of the points made in the new film "Breach," about traitor Robert Hanssen, is that revealing the identities of people as "spies" can cost the lives of their counterparts in other countries as well as the lives of their contacts both abroad and in the U.S.

So, equating what Libby did with what Clinton did is either naively or willfully ignoring the realities of covert operations on an international scale.

Clinton lied about something that was nobody's business. Libby lied about something that may have cost individuals in the intelligence community their lives. We'll never know.

But the difference should be obvious.

Posted by: pittypat | March 6, 2007 2:46 PM

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. another guest blog dead long before 2.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:48 PM

Megan's Neighbor (that's so much longer than what I called you before, alas):

It was the perjury that I also care about. I didn't suggest you didn't care about it with your earlier post, just that such sentiments are being tossed about in the public square just now. Perjury by an executive branch member now is suddenly important, and not to be swept under the rug.

Apparently our collective memories are somewhat short as a community. I was disgusted and embarrassed for our country that the abuse of power directly by the HEAD of the executive branch (who was a lawyer, no less) against a co-equal branch of government was so easily dismissed by media and citizens because they thought WHAT he lied about wasn't "worthy" enough. A sitting President directly lying under oath about jaywalking should be bounced out of office, regardless of party or accomplishments. As an object lesson, if nothing else.

That how important the perjury and it's point was to me. So if Libby goes to jail, great. But again, I only want to see us have a single standard. Fair?

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 6, 2007 2:48 PM

Vivaldi is for sissies.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:48 PM

Mona, read the rest of her post after the baby seal skin rug.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:49 PM

Mona,
First, take a deep breath. Then, do a search for "baby seal skin rug" on the blog. Then put away your angry hippie hat. I'm sure you'll really need it later.

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 2:49 PM

Mona -- You have no sense of humor...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:51 PM

that's sort of the point of the independent counsel. No oversight = independent. The problem, of course, is that they are picked by politicians. There goes independence. See, e.g., Ken Starr.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:51 PM

I just checked. It turns out that Clinton was never convicted of perjury, in any court of law or even in the Congress when he was impeached. An accusation is not a conviction.

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 2:51 PM

Verdi rules.

Paganini drools.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:53 PM

TD02, It seems as if you arguing an overall standard of fairness in Government ("But as an evil Republican, apparently he should go to jail") when you likely realize that politics has a huge impact on who gets prosecuted and who doesn't.

I know that you and atlmom would now love to assert that the dems are out to get bush.

But exactly how much oversight did the 109th Congress execute on Bush? After these same committee heads endlessly pursued the Clinton administration over the White House christmas card list. C'mon. With no oversight, the last Congress let government corruption run rampant. And under Bush, the government appears to have reached a new low in corruption.

Posted by: Random Guy | March 6, 2007 2:54 PM

Is there actually trash talk going on about composers? Does that make us more or less sophisticated?

Posted by: Missicat | March 6, 2007 2:54 PM

Mona, I have baby sealskin shoes and a big pimp hat. I look fantastic.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:55 PM

"Whoa, there's a worse Podunk then my hometown flyover city!!"


This is the same person who thought DC and NYC were equivalent cities for museums and culture.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:57 PM

I think the composer conversation makes us all more cultured.

Turns out that Degas had lots of VLI's and a bad tranny in his Windstar. Oh and in his day job he was a great surgeon at a VA hospital.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:57 PM

110th Congress -- I welcome the resumption of true separation of powers. Perhaps our nation has taken a step back from the precipice of absolute power corrupting absolutely. At least I can hope, anonymously.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 2:58 PM

"Fred, if I tried to culturalize this blog, it would sink to a new low. Not that there is anything wrong with doing that..."

and

"Verdi rules.

Paganini drools."

So, it is Miles David tomorrow. Or maybe Sisley.

(I thought that Paganini drools was very funny!)

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 3:00 PM

pitty:

Want to drop the subject soon, but look at what Fitzgerald said. There was NO covert operative revealed. NO one was charged with it, and no law was broken here, despite the partisan jabs in the dark that the media amplified on the subject. This is a matter of obstruction when asked questions about a leak, and realted perjury therein. Once again the crime disappears, and you once again get caught just about lying over it. When will ploiticians ever learn this lesson? A black eye over the subject at hand is much less than lying about afterwards and getting caught.

So, once again--no lives were risked. I don't consider these statements naive or willfully oversightful. If that had truly happened, our lovely special prosecutor would have had very little trouble bringing charges. I don't think either side would suggest that Fitzgerald had any compunction against filing charges.

Whew...how did I end up becoming the defender of Scooter Libby? Don't really like him (what little I know of him) or Cheney very much. Guess I just wanted to be a little...On Balance (snicker).

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 to scarry | March 6, 2007 3:01 PM

Pop quiz for those older than 40:

What did Chuck Connors AKA The Rifleman do before he became an actor?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 3:02 PM

Can we get some Ry Cooder too?

And I confess a soft spot for Robert Johnson.

I love baroque, so I really enjoy Bach.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:03 PM

"Turns out that Degas had lots of VLI's and a bad tranny in his Windstar."

I have no doubts that Degas associated with trannys, but he most assuredly did not drive a Ford.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:03 PM

Clinton and Libby cases are apples and oranges and if anyone is miffed about either - look to the Independent/Special prosecutors as the problem. They are accountable to noone and they have unlimited public money. Nobody should have that kind of power - there is no oversight.

Posted by: cmac | March 6, 2007 02:39 PM

succinct and not hysterical. a model for the ages.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:04 PM

For our classical selection tomorrow, are we confined to the deceased? Or can we nominate those who currently compose orchestral music?

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 3:04 PM

"Is there actually trash talk going on about composers? Does that make us more or less sophisticated?"

Only if the composer is Spike Jones!

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 3:04 PM

I think Henderson intended to foul Hansbrough, but not smack him with his forearm and break his nose. It should have been IMO an intentional foul but not one that resulted in an ejection and automatic suspension.

Henderson's comments prior to the game don't exactly paint him as an innocent in this blowup, though.

(I'm a Duke fan too, BTW)

Posted by: John | March 6, 2007 3:06 PM

"For our classical selection tomorrow, are we confined to the deceased? Or can we nominate those who currently compose orchestral music?"

Gotta be dead. But it is not limited to composers. See above comment about Degas and trannies!

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 3:06 PM

Pop quiz for those older than 40:

What did Chuck Connors AKA The Rifleman do before he became an actor?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 03:02 PM

I think he was an athlete of some sort?
I remember the rifleman!

Posted by: Missicat | March 6, 2007 3:06 PM

::tosses angry hippie hat to the back of the closet, reaches in and takes foot out of mouth::

Sorry, knee-jerk reaction. :-P

Posted by: Mona | March 6, 2007 3:07 PM

And half the prize goes to Missicat - he was a pro baseball player.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 3:07 PM

Pop quiz for those over 40:
Do you think those under 40 find us really annoying because so often we chose to set all social problems up as generational, assume that those younger or older than us are to blame for everything, and are so self centered that we randomly give ourselves pop quizzes on dumb blogs?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:08 PM

Pittypat,

Note that Libby was not the actual source of the Novak article that started this - those two sources are now known to have been Rove and Armitage (hence their inclusion in the Wilsons' civil suit).

Libby was very simply convicted of lying to try to save his job.

While Emily is correct, because of the special rules for Presidents Clinton was never actually "convicted" of perjury, he and I think everyone else acknowledged that he lied under oath - the defense was that lying under oath doesn't necessarily equal perjury. The judge in Arkansas was so impressed with that that he was disbarred. Nonetheless, Clinton lied trying to defend himself in a sexual harassment lawsuit. I'd rate that as roughly equivalent to Libby, personally.

Do I think Libby should go to jail? YES!!! Just don't ask what I think should have happened to Clinton.

Posted by: Army Brat | March 6, 2007 3:08 PM

Trust me random guy, I'm no repub or democrat. No I don't think there is any conspirancy, just that both sides will hang their hat on whatever they think will hold. It is a pretty horrible way to run a country.

I just think getting rid of saddam was a good thing. Pretty much don't agree with the repubs over anything else.

And I'm on a blackberry, so typing is tough.

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 3:09 PM

I find this annoying no matter what the age is of the anonymous poster

Pop quiz for those over 40:
Do you think those under 40 find us really annoying because so often we chose to set all social problems up as generational, assume that those younger or older than us are to blame for everything, and are so self centered that we randomly give ourselves pop quizzes on dumb blogs?

Posted by: | March 6, 2007 03:08 PM

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 3:10 PM

that's sort of the point of the independent counsel. No oversight = independent. The problem, of course, is that they are picked by politicians. There goes independence. See, e.g., Ken Starr.

Posted by: | March 6, 2007 02:51 PM

That WAS the point - the reality has become that they can pursue whatever they want. Both parties and the American People loose out.

Just because someone once thought something was a good idea does not mean it proves to be so. It is called repeating the same mistake. Independent/special procecutors are bad ideas and not used for the truth, but used as political weapons.


Posted by: cmac | March 6, 2007 3:10 PM

Fred writes:

"Martius Insania Initium"

What a thing to say on a Tuesday -- the day of the week named after the god of war!

Besides, it's only true where there is no leadership. Cornelius Nepos had it right when he wrote in his Life of Timotheus:

"Haec extrema fuit aetas imperatorum Atheniensium Iphicratis, Chabriae, Timothei; neque post illorum obitum quisquam dux in illa urbe fuit dignus memoria (Corn. Nep. Vit. Timoth. c. IV)."

With good leaders, the Athenians won battle after battle for 114 years, beginning at Marathon. It's only after the death of the last good leader, Timotheus, that the insanity set in. Without ballistics research, without army materiel systems analysis, the Athenians were sitting ducks for Sparta.

A word to the wise, across the centuries: "Si vis pacem, para bellum."

Posted by: Matt in Aberdeen | March 6, 2007 3:10 PM

"Not for nuttin', Black Knight, but if you can't ignore "Paganini was a hack" from an anonymous poster, and you waste not one, but TWO comments on it...well, your efforts to minimize trollization are woefully inadequate."

Huh? What about trolls?

Posted by: Black Knight | March 6, 2007 3:10 PM

""Turns out that Degas had lots of VLI's and a bad tranny in his Windstar."

I have no doubts that Degas associated with trannys, but he most assuredly did not drive a Ford."

No, it was a Renault or Peugeot, I forget which.

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 3:11 PM

Missicat, not THAT rifleman.

You're thinking Chuck Person, who played for Auburn, then several NBA teams. Spent years coming off screens and jacking the ball up and made millions.

I hate that guy.

(Frustrated Knicks Fan)

Posted by: Random Guy | March 6, 2007 3:12 PM

I just think getting rid of saddam was a good thing.

Do you really? Look at Iraq right now. Do you think its people would think they are better off right now than they were under Saddam? Which poison would you pick to live under?

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 3:12 PM

A word to the wise, across the centuries: "Si vis pacem, para bellum"

"If you want peace, prepare for war"

Do I win?

Posted by: Missicat | March 6, 2007 3:13 PM

I stand corrected, KLB.

I was the only person thinking of the hated hoops player.

He had a little brother too. Wesley Person. Had a similar nickname, but I forget what it was.

Posted by: Random Guy | March 6, 2007 3:14 PM

to cmac - finally responding to your 11:07 post (long and hideous meeting)

Army Brat, What is the common thread of the Automotive and Airline industry and their failure? See if you can read my mind.

_______________________________

I clearly can't read your mind. There are a number of parallels that come to mind

1. Unions - in both cases, the "old line" corporations are heavily unionized (United , American, Ford, GM) while the "young lion" competitors not so much (Toyota, Honda) - there are exceptions, of course; Southwest is completely unionized, but it's generally true.

2. Bad management - major companies in both industries were run by men who had worked their way up, were inured in the corporate culture and beset by a sense of entitlement. cf Roger Smith, any of the Fords, even to an extent Lee Iacocca.

3. They both begin with "a"? :-)

I'm open to other suggestions.

Posted by: Army Brat | March 6, 2007 3:14 PM

"I just checked. It turns out that Clinton was never convicted of perjury, in any court of law or even in the Congress when he was impeached. An accusation is not a conviction."

Yikes, with all the lawyers on here, why is an engineer trying to explain this??

Emily,

As a President there are subtleties about the three branches respecting each other. This was talked about much at the time. Having the judicial branch able to charge and remove Presidents as the head of a co-equal branch of government could mess with checks and balances. That's why a decision to seek charges and removal from office was left to the legislative branch. Unfortunately, this mostly removes the legal parts of things, and interjects politics into the decision. This trade-off form our Nation's founders leaves things less than satisfying from a legal point of view, but one can see why they did it. Better to have elected officials do this than unelected judicial folks.

But if you want a judicial take on Clinton, his subsequent disbarment made it clear that he committed acts (read perjury) that were so fundamentally at odds with the court that he was no longer fit to be a member of the bar. That's a LOT more than just a random accusation...just as the impeachment was about something much more than lying about sex. That it ended in politics or the American people's sentiment that enough is enough, doesn't make it any less an offense. To me, it's people who say that who are the ones being willfully misleading, or just didn't pay much attention at the time.

Hope that's all the politics for the day.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 6, 2007 3:17 PM

"For our classical selection tomorrow, are we confined to the deceased? Or can we nominate those who currently compose orchestral music?"


you have all given up on controlling your young so why accept any limitations on your composers?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:17 PM

OT alert:

you know, I'm not so sure myself about the foul. Points towards flagrancy: the ball was away from his arm, possible extension through his face. Points away from fragrancy: he twisted while up in the air and lost control.

I believe Henderson will live it down. Who remembers who fouled Montross? I respected Coach K until his after game comments, though.

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 3:21 PM

Hope that's all the politics for the day.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 6, 2007 03:17 PM

From your keyboard to Allah's ears.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:22 PM

Army Brat - Yes on the Unions. First guess!

Posted by: cmac | March 6, 2007 3:23 PM

Of course, by the time I could get back and read/type this, others have already answered Emily ... *sigh*

Thanks, Army Brat...and atlmom.

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 6, 2007 3:24 PM

Ford has baby seal skin seats on it small SUV, the Escape. But this is an option only on the Hybrid model.

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 3:25 PM

Fred,

But will the Escape break down before you get to Disney to swim with the dolphins?

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 3:29 PM

Pop quiz for those over 40:
Do you think those under 40 find us really annoying because so often we chose to set all social problems up as generational, assume that those younger or older than us are to blame for everything, and are so self centered that we randomly give ourselves pop quizzes on dumb blogs?

Posted by: | March 6, 2007 03:08 PM

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 03:10 PM


I am under 40- and yes, I agree with your statement above KLB. It's either the baby boomers who are bankrupting our system or us "kids" who are all self centered and materialistic in the eyes of the 40-50 set.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:30 PM

So why is this guy Dr. Drago sexist just because he goes into the field of women's studies? How many of you mothers have been to a male OB/GYN? Were they sexist? What about the guy who invented the mammogram machine. Now that guy hated his mother.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:30 PM

"Hope that's all the politics for the day."

Oh, you mean you get the last word? How appropriate.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:35 PM

"Fred,

But will the Escape break down before you get to Disney to swim with the dolphins?"

No because it is pure of heart as it is a Hybrid.

(not the model Fredia owns, she owns a gas sucker)

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 3:36 PM

OT to Megan's Neighbor: I saw you consider Cary Mom as an ID -- Am I correct in picturing a Cary Mom as typically Talbots?!? I mean afterall Cary is full of transplanted Yankee preppies, right? ;-)

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | March 6, 2007 3:36 PM

Well, my bro in law, who has been to iraq twice, said they're happy there.
And I do think fewer people are dying now and that is a good thing. I think the prez has made mistakes, but that we need to get involved to ensure no more planes fly into buildings - or any similar events.

Posted by: atlmom | March 6, 2007 3:38 PM

"Army Brat - Yes on the Unions. First guess!"

Gee, what happened to the personal responsibility you guys are always screaming about?

Ford, Chrysler, and GM make inferior cars. That's fact. Blame unions and bad management if you want. But the crappy product is what did them in.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:38 PM

"Fred,

But will the Escape break down before you get to Disney to swim with the dolphins?"

No because it is pure of heart as it is a Hybrid."

Okay, that makes me think of Oscar Levant's quote about Doris Day, "I knew her before she became a virgin."

I wish to hell I knew WHY it makes me think of that quote though. I'll have to ask one of the psychiatrists we have stashed around work. I know just the one too!

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 3:38 PM

"Well, my bro in law, who has been to iraq twice, said they're happy there.
And I do think fewer people are dying now and that is a good thing. I think the prez has made mistakes, but that we need to get involved to ensure no more planes fly into buildings - or any similar events."

Read the Time magazine cover story from a couple weeks ago -- on why Sunnis and Shiites hate each other and how many people are now dying just because of the sect others THINK they belong to.

Your picture is flawed.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:42 PM

OT to Product of a working Mother/etc:

Cary Barbie: This modern-day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar minivan and matching gym outfit, or optional Holiday Sweater. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation other than her book club and her intense interest in school board meetings and the Free & Reduced percentage of her children's elementary school. Traffic-jamming cell phone included. Headset sold separately. Also available in the only slightly less vapid North Raleigh Barbie, or with "I get no sex anymore and work at IBM/SAS" Ken.

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 3:43 PM

Slightly back on subject from earlier today.

"I think Matt in Aberdeen and Texas Dad of 2 compete each day to see who can post the longer entry.
Posted by: short and sweet | March 6, 2007 11:23 AM "

First, I loved the later piece posted on trolls... :~)

Though for me at least, any eventual departure from this blog won't come from snarky anon posters/trolls. I can handle that, and I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of driving me off. For the anon poster today though, I only wish I could have made my posts longer (I do so hate to disappoint, you know).

Instead, IMHO some (many?) departures around here will eventually come from the continued drumbeat and tone deafness of our lovely host, Leslie. Very left handed comments, or ham-handed jabs against the male gender and the divisiveness it brings about may end up taking quite a toll on her blog, from men and fair-minded women (the repetition in route may take it's own toll as well).

Though it's hard to tell, I have occasionally wondered it this may be exactly what she wants...to make an echo chamber from those who remain, who are in agreement. Ot to have her sentiments spread more widely. Then she can claim a constituency from all the fair (read likeminded) posters of her blog, perhaps to draw political clout to the issues she cares for? I prefer not to have such thoughts, but since she does seem quite oblivious to people who have tried to point this out...

Geez, mucho negativity on my part today, due no doubt in part to the nature of the discussions, including having to stick up for persons/things that don't make me all the amused.

Maybe I need to go home and have my better half "fix" her angry "husband" today... :~) Or join that special "gym"?

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 6, 2007 3:46 PM

Wow, this is exactly why we need to cut Iraq into 3 pieces and let governance rule according to tribe. We Americans always seem to think that diversity is paramount and that we should all just live together in harmony- sorry, these tribes aren't going for it. Better to give the minorities their own land to keep them safe and to shut up the majority tribes who seem to think they can kill whomever crosses their path.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:47 PM

Try the special 'gym' It works wonders.

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 3:48 PM

Maybe I need to go home and have my better half "fix" her angry "husband" today...

maybe you need to go home and leave us in peace

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:49 PM

ROFL, a great quote that I have heard before. Somehow, I understand the connection that you made in your mind.

Another one attributed to W. Churchill.

Lady somebodyoranother, "If your were my husband, I would poison you."

Winnie, "Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it."

Posted by: MdMother | March 6, 2007 3:50 PM

OK, this is totally random, and mostly for Clarina, my UU friend:

Consider going to SUUSI, the most awesome family camp and one of the best vacations I've ever taken. It's great for the whole family, since the kids have classes for their own age group while the adults can take all kinds of outdoor trips (tubing, caving, hiking, etc.) or educational/fun classes (watercolor, improv, making chocolate truffles...). When we went with my 18-month-old, she had her own individual caregiver-- a 1:1 ratio. And her care, 7 hours a day for the week, cost us only $75. They try to be very family-friendly and it works! Given that I was a SAHM at the time, this trip felt like the only vacation I had in 3 years. And even now, it helps me with balance. http://www.suusi.org/

Clarina, let me know if you read this or I might bug the blog again tomorrow... ;)

Posted by: Neighbor | March 6, 2007 3:50 PM

Off-Topic Alert:

Product of a Working Mother,

Talbots? Not exactly. The Yankee preppies, those who can get to Kennebunkport without a map or GPS system, are not relocating to Cary. It's the IBMers and third-generation children of Irish, Italian and Eastern European immigrants who've relocated. (I qualify on two counts). We're all from upstate New York with a few NJ and PA transplants for variety.

Talbots is so very far out. Designer jeans and cropped hoodies are in to show off how much time you spend at the gym, and so everyone knows your husband makes enough that you don't HAVE to work. You have to build those biceps so that your knuckles don't touch the ground what with the size of the rock on your left hand. I'd say think Balducci's in Wildwood Shopping Center, Bethesda, and you've got the right image, only a lot friendlier to newcomers.

The truth is, although those who've lived in the Triangle for awhile may have forgotten, Cary was Nouveau Riche long before the Yankees came to town. Only the vowels on the ends of our names have changed.

Tongue well in cheek. Since you asked :>)

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 3:55 PM

Thanks, dotted. :~)

"maybe you need to go home and leave us in peace"

Okay, anon, if the lack of further postings today from me will really leave you in peace.

Call me foolish, but somehow I think peace will elude you just the same...

Posted by: Texas Dad of 2 | March 6, 2007 3:58 PM

thanks for the tip Neighbor! I'll check it out!

Posted by: Clarina | March 6, 2007 4:02 PM

OT

dotted/Megan's Neighbor: LOL on both your responses. Dotted's description is described as the Falls Church barbie in the DC edition but I see alot of them in Reston and Bethesda too. Do you think they actually sweat in those matching gym outfits?!? I guess I won't be seeing them on the trail for my 12 mile runs.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | March 6, 2007 4:04 PM

I'm 40 and I'm annoyed that I'm supposed to remember a television show that went off the air 3 years before I was born.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 4:10 PM

OT to Product: depends on what gym they go to, eh?

12 miles! I'm impressed. I was training for a marathon 17 years ago, but I fell pregnant. I haven't been a runner since (ha ha).

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 4:11 PM

"Consider going to SUUSI, the most awesome family camp and one of the best vacations I've ever taken......When we went with my 18-month-old, she had her own individual caregiver-- a 1:1 ratio. And her care, 7 hours a day for the week, cost us only $75."

WTF? You went on a family vacation and stuck your baby in daycare the whole time you were there?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 4:12 PM

I'm 40 and I'm annoyed that I'm supposed to remember a television show that went off the air 3 years before I was born.


Posted by: | March 6, 2007 04:10 PM

Don't endless rerunds on TV Land solve that problem?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 4:17 PM

OT to dotted: half marathons are my limit. I run with Team in Training so it's fun and raises money for leukemia research.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | March 6, 2007 4:20 PM

"WTF? You went on a family vacation and stuck your baby in daycare the whole time you were there?"

Anon at 4:12, did you miss the following fact or just choose to ignore it?

"Given that I was a SAHM at the time, this trip felt like the only vacation I had in 3 years."

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 4:21 PM

OT:
THAT is one of the funniest things I have read re: cary/n.raleigh. Personally, I almost never leave my lovely confines of CH/Carrboro/Durham. No need to battle the barbies. BTW, the containment area for relocated yankees (Cary), was NOT rich prior to their arrival. It was a SMALL town with two stoplights. And that was as recently as eleven years ago.

Posted by: to barbie poster | March 6, 2007 4:22 PM

"Don't endless rerunds on TV Land solve that problem? "

Well, then they would solve the problem for someone under 40 as well. ;)

So I'm still annoyed because I'm supposed to remember something about what an actor did before he was on a show that started 9 years before I was born.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 4:23 PM

Megan's neighbor,
Do your Barbies go to tanning salons or actually spend time in the sun to get their lovely leather skin?
Nothing more attractive than a 30 something whose face and neck looks 50 (but she has a tan!).

Posted by: KLB S MD | March 6, 2007 4:25 PM

"So I'm still annoyed because I'm supposed to remember something about what an actor did before he was on a show that started 9 years before I was born."

As Gilda Radner said "Never mind"

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 4:26 PM

One of my prior bosses lived in Cary back when it was a small town. He said it had perhaps 5000 people in it max back in the mid-80's, and his house cost him about $30k when he bought it.

Of course, he can also remember when the Beltline didn't cross Wake Forest Road, because WFR didn't go out that far!

Posted by: John | March 6, 2007 4:27 PM

"Anon at 4:12, did you miss the following fact or just choose to ignore it?"

Nope, I saw it and didn't ignore it - I just wondered what that had to do with sticking your baby in daycare when you're on a family vacation. Why do you have to be sans kids to be on vacation? The majority of us get that once we have children it will be awhile (a lot longer than 3 years) before we'll be able to take a vacation without our children.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 4:28 PM

"So I'm still annoyed because I'm supposed to remember something about what an actor did before he was on a show that started 9 years before I was born."

No, you are supposed to have the brains to look stuff up (if you are interested).

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 4:29 PM

Continued OT Alert:

oh gosh, KLB - neither. You have to go to Apex before you find a tanning salon :>) We barely use self-tanners here. We're too busy riding our bikes. There's no socially acceptable way to hide vericose veins.

to barbie poster - we all have our senior moments with memory, but please reconsider. Cary had significantly more than 2 stoplights and a whole lot of money more than 11 years ago. SAS Institute was founded in 1976. MacGregor Downs Country Club opened in 1967. Prestonwood Country Club opened in 1991. I spent most of 1993 - 1995 living out of hotels here in a prior career, and managing a region of an upscale fashion chain. That company moved its top volume store out of Crabtree to a location in Cary based on Cary's superior demographics. It was a profitable move for them.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | March 6, 2007 4:39 PM

"No, you are supposed to have the brains to look stuff up (if you are interested)."

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of it being a "pop quiz?" (original wording by the person asking the question)

I used my brains to look up what years the show was on. ;)


Posted by: ummmmm..... | March 6, 2007 4:40 PM

to to barbie poster:

"Carrborro Barbie"

This model comes complete with a hemp string grocery sack for all her organic produce, a rolled foam yoga mat, an NEA grant for her next public art installation, a politically correct protest sign (made from sustainably harvested non-rainforest hardwood), and an ergonomic stroller with a charming third- world baby.

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 4:40 PM

I heard about this Barbie at work today:

Product Features

Tanner (dog) is soft and fuzzy and her mouth, ears, head and tail really move
You can open Tanner's mouth and feed her dog biscuits
Comes with dog bone and chew toy that Tanner can hold in her mouth
When Tanner has to go to the bathroom Barbie cleans up with the magnetic scooper.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 4:44 PM

Even better description - straight from Amazon.com
Product Description
Barbie's dog eats and makes a mess. Tanner, Barbie's dog, eats and ejects waste from her body. At this point, Barbie can pick it up with her scooper, and then Tanner will eat it again-- just like your real dog! Tanner the dog is soft and fuzzy and her mouth, ears, head and tail really move! You can open Tanner dog's mouth and 'feed' her dog biscuits. Comes with a dog bone and chew toys that Tanner can hold in her mouth, too. When Tanner has to go to the bathroom, Barbie doll cleans up with her special magnetic scooper and trash can. Posable Barbie doll included. Includes 11 1/2-inch poseable Barbie, Tanner the dog, magnetic scooper, and accessories.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 4:47 PM

OT alert:

klb: ewwwwwww.....
I will never be able to talk coherently about my friend's son, Tanner, again.

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 4:49 PM

Dotted,
Does he eat poop?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 4:51 PM

You people are mental. Par for the course -- this is the WaPo.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 4:52 PM

I am just saying, Texas Dad and Army Brat, that you cannot assume that Clinton would have been convicted of perjury if he had been tried. Perjury involves more than lying under oath. To be perjury, the lie has to be material to the case, and it has to be unambiguous. Clinton was a smart enough lawyer that he crafted his misleading testimony in a way that an argument could be made that it was technically true, and therefore, not perjury.
And I don't concede that a disbarment equals a perjury conviction. Lawyers can be disbarred for ethical violations that are not illegal or punishable by law. A disbarment and a perjury conviction are just not the same thing.

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 4:53 PM

Anon at 4:52 - you must be mental too if you are still here!

Posted by: DC lurker | March 6, 2007 4:54 PM

klb-nope. my dog will though. ewwwwww.

why does anon think this blog is mental? Is s/he taking this a bit too seriously??

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 4:54 PM

"...managing a region of an upscale fashion chain."

MN,

We always knew that you were a clothes horse and love sage green!

Posted by: Fred | March 6, 2007 4:55 PM

Dotted,
If anon has been here before they know that the disintegration time is directly proportionate to the day's topic and the interest or lack thereof.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 4:56 PM

klb - is that Barbie real? That is disgusting. Does Tanner sniff crotches and lift his leg when he pees?

I used to play with Barbies and they were always on an adventure - in the sink as the swimming pool, building them a tent out of a towel, ken battling GI Joe for Barbie's love......

BTW: GI Joe always kicked Ken's ass.

Posted by: cmac | March 6, 2007 4:57 PM

cmac,
Of course GI Joe kicked Ken's butt - Ken was a wuss. Don't you remember his shirts with the sweaters tied around his shoulders.
BTW - my Barbie and Ken used to have sex until Barbie was modeling under a hot light and her hair burned off. He left her for Midge.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 4:59 PM

cmac-you are a woman after my own soul. I did the same things with my barbies and with my brother's GI Joe. Climbing a tree was climbing everest.

fred-I did some research. Evidently the University of Arizona's original colors were sage green and silver.

Posted by: dotted | March 6, 2007 5:00 PM

Wow! That was a firestorm! On financing, 12 weeks of annual family and medical leave for all employees should cost around $22b, and can be paid through a payroll deduction; single-payer health insurance could be done by expanding Medicare (4% overhead,compared to 31% in private sector) which would significantly reduce costs, while quality child care/pre-K costs around $70b a year. Reversing the Bush tax cuts saves $200b a year, and still leaves us with a very low tax rate. I like using the private sector for child care (with standards), and as a guy in Women's Studies, indeed press for guys to do more at home and politically. I don't get how kids and adults with disabilities are supposed to be self-sufficient, but maybe that's just me :-). Thanks for all of the responses!

Posted by: Robert Drago | March 6, 2007 5:05 PM

"Par for the course -- this is the WaPo."

"Par for the course" does not mean what the cliche suggests.

Par for most courses is achieveable by only the best players; most will shoot at least 10 to 12 over par, many a lot more.

So, "par" means exceptional -- not "typical," as it's so often used.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 5:07 PM

Mr. Drago,
We have already moved on from your column, but if you have any gross barbie stories you'd like to share, we'd love to hear them.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 5:10 PM

klb - I am laughing so hard right now - my husband walked in a whacked me on the back. Ken is such a jerk - poor barbie!

I had the real hair Ken, it was kind of a long hair shag that stuck out all over. I kept trimming it and of course made it worse.

GI Joe had that sexy scar on his cheek and muscles! He made Ken cry. Funny thing, I remember Barbie taking Ken back a lot because Joe was always going off to war - saving the world and kicking butt. In other words, Barbie was a 'ho.

Posted by: cmac | March 6, 2007 5:11 PM

How Barbie has changed! I was lucky enough to get a bright yellow Barbie camper for Christmas one year, complete with fold-down bright orange tent and big 70s daisies all over it.

I just did a search for Barbie camper on Amazon. Here is what I got: Barbie Hot Tub Party Bus Vehicle Play Set (manufacturer's recommended age 3-13). Three-year-olds really need to learn to party on a bus that has a hot tub! Yikes! This is why my daughter doesn't get Barbies.

Posted by: Another Librarianmom | March 6, 2007 5:15 PM

"Barbie Hot Tub Party Bus Vehicle Play Set (manufacturer's recommended age 3-13).

Three-year-olds really need to learn to party on a bus that has a hot tub!"

Hilarious. Does it come with the Barbie the Bachellorette Easy Off Bikini?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 5:19 PM

I'm so very glad that my 6 year old thinks that "Barbies are DUMB!" The only time either of my daughters have picked up a Barbie was to swing it by the hair and see how far they could launch it into the air!

Posted by: Fairfax | March 6, 2007 5:21 PM

cmac,
You are cracking me up. I had an elementary school teacher who was a nun who warned us that playing with barbies would result in our souls' perdition. At the time, I did not understand why. My barbies never had sex. They were all married to Ken.

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 5:21 PM

Emily,
Did the police ever come for Ken the bigamist?

Posted by: KLB SS MD | March 6, 2007 5:24 PM

"This is why my daughter doesn't get Barbies."

LOL.

I didn't get Barbies as a kid, either; hated dolls, anyway. Had a zillion stuffed animals, though.

Posted by: pittypat | March 6, 2007 5:25 PM

No, because none of the marriages were actually consumated. He was busy spending time with GI Joe instead.

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 5:25 PM

Yikes. Gotta go. PTA meeting.

Posted by: Emily | March 6, 2007 5:27 PM

"This is why my daughter doesn't get Barbies."

you know how those reactionary moms are always controlling their daughters' access to commercial goods.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 5:36 PM

Emily - Barbie could do good things too, she wasn't all bad Barbie. She always fought off unwanted advances from Ken and Joe - she was full of herself.

My daughter got one Barbie about 5 years ago from her Uncle and it was a VA Tech cheerleader. She has never been played with in the traditional barbie way, only launched from foot pumped rocket in the backyard and drowned in the bathtub.

Sadly, Barbie and her memories end with me.

Posted by: CMAC | March 6, 2007 5:47 PM

I had a zillion stuffed animals, too-- and a few limbless, pathetic Barbies. They always played the enemy of the stuffed animals in our pretend games, and ended up getting thrown down the stairs.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 6, 2007 5:58 PM

"Why do you have to be sans kids to be on vacation? The majority of us get that once we have children it will be awhile (a lot longer than 3 years) before we'll be able to take a vacation without our children."

I'm not sans kids-- they come with. The kids have 6 hours of programmed play during the day (nursery kids stay there through lunch because of naps).

At least once a week my 5-year-old asks me when she can go to SUUSI again. There's something they just adore about playing with their friends by themselves, and then their families meeting afterwards for dinner, social time, performances, dancing, etc. It's a real community-- and the kids get to know each other well year after year. And the parents form great friendships, too. We have a lot in common since we share the same values.

Of course, I don't know why I'm justifying myself to an irrational anonymous poster. Your question didn't even make sense.

Posted by: Neighbor | March 6, 2007 6:06 PM

OT to Mona, from a fellow cat-person:

The NY Times had a Q&A this weekend about safely transporting pets over long distances and suggested World Care Pet Transport -- worldcarepet.com. In response to the Q&A, which involved shipping 7 assorted dogs and cats from France to Tennessee, the company quoted a price in the neighborhood of $5,000. Perhaps you might be able to get an affordable deal to ferry your 2 cats to CA.

Just a thought.

Posted by: NYT Reader | March 6, 2007 6:37 PM

Re: Vacations. I take a week long vacation with my husband every year, sans kids. They get spoiled by my parents and get a vacation from us. And to that poor non-vacationer who thinks that hotels cost 300 dollars a night, let me introduce you to www.kayak.com. Or travelocity, orbitz, expedia. Wow--300 dollars a night! No wonder you don't take vacations! We just spent a WEEK away from D.C., and the cost, including airfare, hotel, food, entertainment, drinks, etc. was less than 2000 dollars. Actually, it was about 1500. If you don't drink or byob, subtract 200. Look on line and check out the price of cruises. All inclusive, except for the bubbly. Sometimes you can take the kids for free (but they have to sleep in your room).

Re: barbies. I had a million, plus many of the accessories. My kids had them as well, but perhaps it was too many, as they rarely played with them. Seriously, they had a rubbermade tub full of them (some mine, some gifts). They seem normal. They also had tons of: wands, tiaras, tutus, dress-ups, and the like (much of it donated by my older siblings). They both do dishes, take out the trash, make their beds, vacuum, clean the bathroom, do a limited amount of cooking and have adequate manners (but don't look at their table manners--we are working on it. Every. single. night. What is so hard about table manners? You would think they were simple if you had to hear how many times a NIGHT I remind them of those few things.)

They are tweens, and just in case you think I am bragging about the chores they do, rest assured that it is much more work to get them to do it.

Posted by: to Neighbor and Not Busy | March 6, 2007 6:54 PM

First, don't judge me by the hours I work. I don't average 45 hours per week because I get my work done in less time. I am just more efficient.

My 2 cents: the government needs to keep out of child care.

My advice to young women: choose a partner carefully and if you can't find an employer that provides you flexibility, start your own darn company that does.

Posted by: ParentPreneur | March 6, 2007 11:19 PM

parentpreneur - please come back - we need more common sense people like yourself on this forum.

Posted by: cmac | March 7, 2007 7:58 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-05.html scat sex

Posted by: bestiality sex | March 15, 2007 4:41 PM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-05.html scat sex

Posted by: bestiality sex | March 15, 2007 4:45 PM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 7:10 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 7:43 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 7:55 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 7:57 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 8:01 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 8:07 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 8:07 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 8:11 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 8:14 AM

http://geo.ya.com/yojik/sjx/01-06.html bestiality dvd

Posted by: bestiality dvd | March 16, 2007 9:42 AM

5qk8tgd5a6v6f w8piga5f4wd7pr [URL=http://www.103310.com/830087.html] 1o5lpmo6b [/URL] nvn4nolt055v6o

Posted by: v7lrmdp3ng | April 7, 2007 6:36 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company