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Entries from blogs tagged with “Test”

I am Ice Avatar. I am in Lawrence, Kansas. I am home

I am Ice Avatar. I came from a distant burned out star during this planet's Ice Age to see if Earth is a planet my people could transition to if needed. Our planet was becoming over populated and we knew we couldn't continue to live through many more of our people's spawning.

I flew in on my wind guide and what a wondrous ride it was. We saw terrain and species unlike any we had seen before, or could have possibly imagined. Huge monsters ruled the sky, land, and ocean. Trees, blue skies, and clouds were nonexistent on my planet where all is white, including my hair, eyes, and skin.

Our people raise a small pet you refer to here as a Maltese, which we use to harvest long, thick white hair to twine and make into snow boots. We use the heavy pelt made from other Ice Avatars once they are deceased - it is our unique way of carrying our dead with us forever. Our favorite delicacy is much like an Earthling's white ostrich. We carefully pluck feathers from its skin to prick through our heritage pelts. The result is a double layer of warmth and beauty. The ostrich feathers fluff, undulate, and glisten in the pristine cold; sparkling like diamonds under the small weight of ice.

We miscalculated earth's gravity. My wind guide was unable to take me back to my planet because of how much I weighed, but it assisted me in digging a deep crevice far below Earth's surface for me to survive before it left. It returned to our star to communicate this existence with those of my people.

Ice Avatar's have the ability to fall into a deep, almost trance-like, sleep for centuries at a time. Earth's century is but a day in the life of an Ice Avatar.

I began to awaken over the past month as my sensors alerted me to the cold above me. Today was the first day I knew I would be able to survive. The wind, pristine beauty of the sparkling snow, and the white world all around me, beckons. I have a mission, after all.

I make my way to the place on the hill where my small internal ears (which keeps out cold and wind) hear faint sounds coming from humans. Humans who are expected to work when they should be at home. They are a race that will die if they don't begin to adapt to conditions changing around them. I am surprised at how stupid the human race is. They have the technology to change for their survival, but they don't use it. They could adapt by staying at home.

A simple switch could allow them to take calls from home. A short visit by a technician could make them computer ready in their own houses. Not only would these changes help save a doomed economy, but protect people from pandemics and natural disasters. These Earthlings kill themselves because of their need for social interaction - always huddling together in mass.

I, like other Ice Avatars, spend my entire life alone. Maybe it is because we carry our ancestor's pelts with us that we never feel alone. They communicate constantly with us through our sensitive skin and nerves.

I make my way in giant strides in the direction of the unhappy mumblings - these people do not want to be at work today. I kick a cougar away with my long leg - it snarls, showing yellow teeth much the same color as it's skin. It is ugly.

I am happy to have been awakened. I have a purpose - I will go into the buildings and plug the computer systems into my essence and allow the people to leave.

I am Ice Avatar. I am in Lawrence, Kansas. I am home.

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When Words Are Worth A Thousand Pictures: Takes One and Two

When Words Are Worth A Thousand Pictures:

Take One:

A woman goes into the hospital one day and leaves the next without one of her breasts. She says, "I am better some days with the idea of chemo than I am other days. Maybe when I am tired or sore the thought of the IV going into my body gives me the willies, even though it will probably be life saving. I hate the thought of being sick and looking like a Holocaust survivor. It is really the unknown that is the scariest. So many millions of others have done this with grace. I want to be one of those."

What the photo doesn't show is this woman's grace. How she wipes the tears away from her face before she answers the door to let in a friend, how she stays busy doing what she has always done best - teaching others and doing kind acts.

What the photo doesn't show is the cold sweat that appears each morning on her brow when she wakes up to the knowledge that she does have breast cancer; it wasn't the bad dream she had hoped it was.

It doesn't show her hesitation, her uncertainty about who she is now - does society still look at her as a sexual being, does her husband, does she?

It doesn't show her mind working overtime, thinking of all of the things she still wants to do in this lifetime, the daughter-in-law she hasn't had the chance to meet, the grandchildren she wants to hold and make quilts for.

The photo doesn't show any of these things: it doesn't show how all of her friends are looking at her in awe, loving her more than ever, knowing that she is the leader walking down a pathway that many of them are destined to follow.

The woman says, "I also just want to be treated as normal. So just be yourself to me. That's always been good."

The face of hope does not show in the photo, but it is there. It is on her face and the faces of all those who know and love her.

When Words Are Worth A Thousand Pictures:

Take Two

The woman goes into the same barber shop her husband uses and says, "Give me a buzz cut. I'm losing all of my hair anyway."

That morning the woman sits at her breakfast table eating Fiber One and drinking a cup of coffee. She runs her hand through her hair and notices that her hand still has hair left in it when it is pulled away. She knew this moment was coming, but she is unprepared for it nonetheless.

A stent has been placed in the top right -hand corner of her chest to make chemo therapy treatment easier. She is always aware of it, an open passage into her vein, and she feels sore when she moves to pull on clothing. The woman has become the face of cancer treatment. She scarcely recognizes herself in the mirror anymore. Breast gone, hair gone, eyelashes and eyebrows soon will go too. She is a cancer treatment cocoon, changing not only on the outside, but metamorphosing on the inside.

The woman is glad that winter is coming, she will hibernate and come spring she will leave the cocoon of cancer treatment, transformed, hopefully cancer free. Her hair, eye lashes, and eye brows will return, but the changes that take place inside will never be the same. She will be wiser, stronger, gentler, kinder in speech and deed, more appreciative of who she, and the people around her, are.

Spring is a long time away, she has three months of chemo ahead. She writes poetry that is darker now, she is nauseous and has diarrhea often. She measures time differently, giving thought to what things she wants to do weighed against what things she thinks she can do. The woman is tired. She is going to lie down and wrap herself in a cocoon of self protection. Next spring she will emerge transformed.

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Big Man Small World

The Olde Hip-Eye left this world and took a trip to whereabouts unknown New Year's Eve day. The passing of this giant man, with an equally huge heart, has left many of his friends and family reeling with memories from over the years. Everything Matt did seemed bigger than life. His laugh, and distinctive bellowing voice, could be heard across many a concert—and living room—floor throughout the years. If ever Matt met someone he didn’t like, it would be hard to imagine.

I was twenty when I met Matthew and even though I lost contact with him for many years when I became a police officer, and then was mostly housebound while raising my children, I had the good fortune of crossing paths again with him these past couple of years. He also helped me to reconnect with other close friends by giving them grief about having lost contact with me.

Matt always shared what was on his mind - not necessarily with tact, but you always came away from him knowing he still loved you, because he would say so freely.

What better tribute for Matt, whom we lovingly referred to as Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies (due to his bull-in-a-China-shop gait), than to play some music in his honor.

Please think of an event or memory you’ve shared with Matt, and pick a song that suits your memory of him.

SPECIAL EVENT NOTICE! - Please join us for the Matthew Moore Celebration Of Life Service, January 10th at Liberty Hall in Lawrence, Kansas. Help us remember and celebrate the good times we shared with Matt with plenty of the music that Matt loved.

When: Sunday, January 10th from 2:00 - 6:00 PM

Where: Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts Street

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Third Rock Labor Day Stockholm Experience

Boise, Idaho - City of Trees. I had no idea how beautiful Boise would be this time of year never having visited there before. I'm told it's even prettier in the Fall when the extensive varieties of trees put on their spectacular showing of Autumn colors. Small town atmosphere with big city amenities. The beauty of Boise and a chance to visit with relatives I've always wanted to get to know better made for an excellent Labor Day getaway. Well, there was that Stockholm airport experience.

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Sep/13/quad.jpg

John Lithgow as he boards a plane out of Salt Lake City. John, if you need a new manager, please give me a call. Did I tell you I have a great idea for a movie that would give you a starring role?

http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Sep/13/john.jpg

Traveling standby via buddy pass from Kansas City to Salt Lake City to Boise was a breeze. My cousin Janelle and I were put in first class and served a delightful breakfast of muffins, cereal, fruit cups, scrambled egg patty and choice of beverages - yeah, even the hard stuff. Our flights were on time and we scarcely needed to freshen up once we arrived at our hotel room in Boise. But the trip back became a twilight zone experience of one missed flight after another.

Airport personnel decided to kidnap us (I know better than to use the word hijack) before we left the Boise airport. Our plane was delayed by several hours which caused us to miss any and all connecting flights leaving Salt Lake City. I was headed back to KC and Janelle home to Tampa, Florida.

STOCKHOLM technique: First sleep deprive your victims, next offer a variety of high caloric foods to make them feel as though they are well cared for. Give them the false hope that they can get a seat on an outgoing flight. Then strip all hope. Their mouths drop open in disbelief as their names, once high on the list of standby hopefuls, drop and dive into the pits of hell. We, the victims, move like zombies attempting to find any seats in the freezing terminal that don't have an arm rest so we can lie down and sleep for even a short period of time. Enter the spies who begin to descend upon us - they vacuum around our legs, lifting my belongings to get a clear shot at some perceived crumb beneath me. I fear they are trying to steal my computer and iPhone - my only means of communication with the outside world. Then loud voices in speakers tell all 'other' people to begin boarding their flights.

Now food again - Krispie Kreams are buy one get one free and a fresh batch of Cinnabons has just come out of the oven. We are being treated so well. More spies to test and torture us. George from New York is actually leaving on a flight out of the airport even though he was on the same flight to Salt Lake City we were on. He wants to hug us goodbye as though we were his long lost mother. At this point he looks familiar enough that he very well could be. Then Zakhttp://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/sep... - who tells us he is the 7th child out of nine - from Alaska tracks us down and begins talking about how much he hates President Obama and that he has just bought a three million dollar home on the hillside of Los Vegas for a half million dollars. We are wondering why he doesn't own his own plane.

Janelle and I are desperate now and discuss how we should fly from Salt Lake City to San Diego, California so we have a lengthy flight and a place of comfort to sleep. We come to our senses after we buy a buddy pass to do just that. Janelle spots a flight to Atlanta that looks like a winner for me to get an open seat to KC around eight the next morning and one for her to Tampa. We decide to do that instead.

Sitting in the terminal, our last chance out of Salt Lake City and watching for our names on the standby list to clear. Some fast talking businessman decides we are trapped clientele and he begins a lengthy hyper speech about a new, healthy form of coffee that he is selling. He pulls sixty dollars out of his pocket and continues to scream into Janelle's face.

" What does J. O. B. stand for? What does J. O. B stand for. You can have this money if you can tell me what J. O. B. stands for!"

Janelle is obviously in better form than I and replies, " job, job!" Then he turns to me (did I mention I have been laughing hysterically for the past fifteen minutes - sleep deprivation and sugar do that to me) and I say, "Jovial Opportunity for Business, " or some such nonsense. The answer btw in case you're ever cornered by this psycho and need some fast cash is 'just over broke'.

His name is called and he is forced to board the airplane. Janelle's name is called and she declines because she won't leave me behind (I can't say I would do the same for her). With seconds remaining the attendants tell us both to get on board and we run to the back of the loaded plane and take seats - very close to Mr. Coffee.

KCI is a small, beautiful airport. I know my way around there so well. I take a shuttle to my car and begin driving freely down the open highway, long hair blowing in the wind, and an apple turnover tucked beside me. I begin to wonder where Janelle and I'll go on our next trip. The airlines really treated us nicely!

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Community Response Requested - Which Forcade Photograph Should Be Donated?

Tim Forcade has enjoyed bringing beauty, serenity, and joy into the hearts of individuals and business owners for several decades. Now he is allowing the community to have an opportunity to decide which of his photographs should be donated at the yearly Dinner and Dancing at Dusk event benefiting the local Lawrence Community Shelter.

This year's event, which will be hosted by Bill and Cindy Self and has a Middle Eastern theme complete with belly dancers, will be held at Alvamar on April 24th from six to ten p.m.

Forcade is allowing members of the community to place a vote to decide the final choice of which photograph of five he will donate. And it isn't going to be an easy choice.

Framed size of the print will be about 45" x 60" with a normal cost of $900. That's a local Lawrence price since the same picture would sell for twice that amount at Forcade's Seattle gallery. Throw in framing at a cost of another $350-$400, depending on which print and frame Forcade chooses to go with the photograph, and all of a sudden you're looking at a work of art worth at least twelve to thirteen hundred dollars.

As Forcade states it, "This will be a limited edition archival pigment print (edition of 21) which will be framed using acid free archival materials and conservation UV glass."

Forcade's prints are available in sizes ranging from 8" x 10" to 40" x 56" and up as limited edition prints on paper - larger prints are available using a variety of materials, framing and presentation methods.

You can visit Forcade's website at: www.forcadeimages.com

Because of the time constraint involved in framing the community's selection, the deadline for voting will be April 5th at midnight. One vote per person, please. Here is a look at the five photographs.

Weeds http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Apr/01/Weeds_132.jpg

Attraction http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Apr/01/Attraction3.jpg

Portal http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Apr/01/Portal2.jpg

Sand & Water http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Apr/01/SandWater.jpg

About 36000 Feet http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Apr/01/About36000feet.jpg

Now pick the photograph you like best and vote for it. Free free to leave a comment on why you chose the photograph you did.

Now if we could only decide who's house it should hang in!

For additional information, or to buy tickets ($75.00 per person), contact Dianne Huggins at: 785-766-3357

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What’s Your Style: Conventional or Confrontational?

I was recently giving thought to my communication, conversational style. I have known for a long time that people consider me somewhat confrontational...okay, take that somewhat out. I use the excuse that after years of working with young children, I have adopted a short, direct method of communication - and that it works well in respect to clarity and their (the child's) ability to understand exactly what it is I expect or want of them. In reality though, as my brother, sister, and closest friends will tell you; I just plain love to argue.

Sometimes I will take an opposing view from what others in my company hold just as an excuse to debate. And sometimes that debate becomes an argument. And sometimes I even resort to name calling, because sometimes, I am not the person I would like to be

.There are people who cringe when someone disagrees with them; there are those who never voice their opinion strongly enough to be heard because they are quiet, intellectual, conversationally conservative. And there are those of us who love the heat of a good debate, chuckle inwardly when we see someone else defend their beliefs, or bristle, even ever so slightly, at something we say

.Call it the Irish in me, say it is because I am a red head..

.whatever you call me, I will most surely confront it...

.What's your style: conventional or confrontational?

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Chili: How Do You Like It?

Some people like it with beef, pork or a combination. Others want it as I do with an even mix of meat and beans.

I have to have a lot of saltines crumbled in it to eat it, but I also like a mound of cottage cheese, sprinkles of sharp cheddar cheese and lots of hot sauce on top.

How do you like your chili? Hot, medium, mild?

Do you want it with sour cream, grated cheese, cottage cheese, or something else?

What do you eat with it? For me it is cornbread.....never big_prunes......

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Assassination of JFK: Where Were You?

It is hard to believe that it has been 45 years since the Barrack Obama of my generation lost his life to an assassination. It is even harder to believe that the date slipped right by me yesterday.

Anniversaries are important to me... as they are to most people. I was a preteen attending East Gurney country school house in Cheyenne County, a mile from the Colorado line, that day in November.

We had about fifteen students in our one room school house from a variety of classes and we were just beginning to take turns walking onto the stage at the front of the room to present a class paper. I don't remember the topic I was nervously waiting to talk about. I do know that my knees were shaking and I would have asked for just about anything to transpire to keep me from having to give that report.

What did happen is something that never would have crossed my mind. A parent's call jingled the one phone we had at the school and our teacher's face looked anxious and tense as she took the call. She began crying as she relayed the message about our President that day and soon parents began to arrive to take us to the safety of our homes

But we didn't feel safe at home anymore... at least I didn't. After all, if the President could be killed, and he was the most loved man in the United States, and had secret service men guarding him around the clock, how could I possibly be safe?

That day was the beginning of the end of an era for a lot of young and older people alike. A fear gripped our hearts of what lay ahead - and it proved to be true. Some say there is no going back once you have crossed that line of awareness of what can be, and more importantly, what can't be.

How did the assassination of JFK affect your life? Where were you? Do you remember?

One memory I hold dear is that of seeing people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds crying over his loss.

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Did Jenkins Win, or Did Boyda Lose?

How did Jenkins beat Boyda? Many people thought that Boyda had the election locked up. The Boyda campaign itself thought that they were up by 20 points going in to Election Day. Early on in the campaign Boyda turned down DNC money and throughout the campaign she refused to go negative. All of these things speak to just how confident she was that Kansans were going to send her back to Washington. So what went wrong? In my opinion, it wasn't anything that Boyda did wrong. I think it was Obama's fault. Nancy Boyda is quite possibly the only Democrat in the nation who was hurt by Barack Obama. I think Kansas voters went into the voting booth, realized that the Democrats were likely to be in control of both the Legislative and the Executive Branches, and panicked. They may have given thought to the possibility that the Democrats would have such a large majority that the Republicans wouldn't be able to block any legislation. This has to be the reason. It wasn't Jenkins' stellar debate performances. It wasn't her use of extremely persuasive "robo-calls". No, it was the fact that while some Republicans were willing to give a Democrat a chance under a Republican President, at a time when Republicans controlled both Houses, these same voters weren't ready to send a Democrat to a Washington that was under liberal control. Even a moderate Democrat like Boyda would be un-likely to stand up to Pelosi or Obama. Thankfully Kansans have a healthy dis-trust of Washington and believe in the principle of "checks and balances." Congratulations to Jenkins and her campaign. Thanks for giving us a chance to vote for a conservative in this liberal tidal wave.

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Retiree

When papers are printed, the reading public deserves to read the truth. This article was written by a journalist who knew some of the sordid background, but chose to write an article with headlines that are not at all true. We must educate oursleves about the news. We are reading and seeing only what the news editors, networks, and stock holders want us to see - A story that sells! In the case of the Alvarez story, the author of the article and the editor knew that the story as presented was not an acurate reflection of the family or what has led to the forclosure, but with a bit of editing! Bling, Blang, Blunge! You have yourself a story that will melt the hearts of the unknowing reader. Shame on you LJW. But, alas - you are a product of our shameful society.

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Is “blogging” a waste of time?

This is my second week in the blog-o-sphere, and I gotta tell ya, I'm pretty Depressed. Drained. Disenfranchised. Disappointed. Dismayed. Daunted. Dejected. Dispirited. Downcast. Downhearted. Dejected. Alarmed. Appalled. Horrified. Morbid. Saddened. Shaken Shocked.Sorry.I couldn't find a word that describes how I am feeling right now. After my first real look into the blog-o-sphere, I realized that I didn't want to have anything to do with it. In our class we are studying the potential effects and benefits of "citizen journalism" and the internet. My teacher loves this idea. I fear that we should be spending more time studying the consequences. You know the saying, "I am now dumber for having listened to you."? It applies here.What is going on here isn't furthering political discourse, it is dividing America. I have read people saying things to one another that you'd never hear anyone say. People instigating each other, belittling one another. Personal attacks. Numerous occasions of intentional untruth. In our class we have learned that people tend to gravitate to blogs and websites that are more in line with their own belief system and that they are more likely to discount sources that are in conflict with their own belief system. We have learned that there is even a push to afford bloggers the same rights as "traditional journalists." It became apparent to me right away that no problems are ever going to be solved here. Just problems started. (Or at least perpetuated.) Sure, individual problems and ideas might come to light and be solved, but society as a whole will not benefit from this type of communication.Maybe is it's my Machiavellian side, but I can see the abstract, perfect way that blogging should work out, and the way it actually does work out. Two totally different worlds. Machiavelli would instruct us not to dwell on the fanciful lofty benefits that may come from blogging, but to instead focus on how it really works and work within that framework. This is why I am so bummed out. I am an idealist. Theoretically we should be able to take back our government and fix all of our nation's problems with the freedoms inherent in the internet. Whereas politicians are supposed to be our voice, the internet gives our voice back and provides a channel to let our voices be heard.More disturbing than all of this is the fact that I am participating in it. I am actually wasting my time reading what you think and sharing what I think. Now, maybe that sounds harsh, but seriously, at times it feels like I'm on the online chat-room equivalent to the Jerry Springer Show. I looked at my chosen blog name, All Liberals Can Go to France. What is that supposed to mean? I became the same biased blogger that I now realize I detest. And I did it just to get someone to read my opinion. Talk about vanity. But isn't that what you all are doing too? Think about it. Are you actually trying to change one another's minds, or are you just trying to impress the rest of us? Are you just logging on to take out your aggression on the rest of us anonymously? Are you willing to let your mind be changed, and be impressed by someone else's opinion? Or are you trying to fool and manipulate those less educated or less motivated to find the truth? I, for one, am not impressed. And while I may, in many cases, be less educated. But I will no longer be less motivated.Remember this one? "If you are not part of the solution, than you are part of the problem." I don't want to be part of the problem, so now I have to be part of the solution.My prediction:..No one will read this. No one will post a comment. My future blogs will be too boring to even bother. Why?Because there will be nothing to argue about. Everything I write will be true. And un-biased. Probably not your style.

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Why Obama Will Be the Next President

Obama has been enjoying lots of attention from the press, and rightly so. He is a Presidential candidate after all. Just flip through the news channels or newspapers and you are sure to see Obama more than once. He is all over the place. This is probably why McCain launched his ad calling Obama "the biggest celebrity in the world." After the backlash this ad created both in the campaign and in the media itself, I realized something: the "mainstream media" is in the bag for Obama. Let me explain. The media took offense to the McCain ad because it was, in part, a shot at them too. They seem to have created and continue to be perpetuating his "celebrity" status. I mean, who ever heard of Barack Obama four years ago? And what exactly did he do in these past four years to gain his celebrity status? I argue that he hasn't done anything to earn his status (except have charisma), but instead, that he has been given a leg up by the powers that be in the national media.While the media has been reporting his every move, they have not engaged in any type of critical analysis of either him or his past. No investigative reporting has been done on him, short of the pieces done by Fox News and other conservative news outlets, and such reports are quickly dismissed as being biased. (As if "biased" is synonymous with "false.") The problem is, while everyone knows Fox's bias (they practically wear it on their sleeve), no one seems willing to acknowledge the bias that is running rampant in the mainstream media.I have noticed that MSNBC, CNN, and even AP writers seem to be doing Obama's work for him. They over-analyze McCain's and Palin's every move, every statement, and every slip of the tongue. When reporting Obama's recent tumble in the polls, all they talk about is what he can do to make a comeback. They subtly suggest that the only reason he will lose is all those racist white men and dis-enfranchised women voters. Could it be that there are still people who actually want to get to know their candidate and desire experience and a long history of public service in the White House? Could it be that some people have legitimate reasons as to why they prefer McCain?In closing I would like to ask you, would you have even read this article if McCain's name had been in the headline instead of Obama's? Try to view this week's news coverage with open eyes and an open mind; see if you, too, notice the one-sided nature of the mainstream media. *This is adapted from an article I wrote that appeared in the Washburn Review. You can find this article and respond to it at:http://media.www.washburnreview.org/media/storage/paper1140/news/2008/08/25/Opinion/Why-Obama.Will.Be.The.Next.President-3403535.shtml

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Lawrence Citizens Beware!

Residents of Lawrence should be paying close attention to the District Attorney race in Shawnee County. Why? Because all of those "bad guys" from Topeka might be trading in their weekend passes to Lawrence in favor of a more permanent visit. If Eric Rucker, the Republican candidate for District Attorney, gets elected, he promises to strike fear in the hearts and minds of criminals again. If he does, they are likely to find another place to do "business." Rucker plans to make Topeka as un-welcoming as possible for the criminal element.Rucker looks well positioned to win the race, as the hardest part may likely be over. After defeating the incumbent DA, Robert Hecht, it seems like a downhill run straight through Chad Taylor (the Democratic nominee for District Attorney) and right into the DA's office. Taylor's youth and relative inexperience pitted against Rucker's 15 years + of prosecutorial experience and a 90% conviction rate seems unlikely to be much of a challenge.If Lawrence wishes to keep its city safe from those "bad Topekans," they better hope for an upset in Shawnee County. While Chad Taylor's emphasis on the "War on Drugs" might send a few more hippies your way, Eric Rucker promises to send the real criminals scurrying.

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The Moment of Truth - Fox’s new show

The Fox channel had its debut showing of "The Moment of Truth" Weds. evening following American Idol.

The show works something like this: pick a contestant and ask them fifty personal questions behind the scenes to get to know them and their vices and flaws.

Next, hook them up to a lie detector test in front of an audience, their spouse, their friends, and even their employer. Then comes the fun part as the contestant is asked the first six questions, which answered truthfully puts 10,000 dollars in their pocket.

It isn't as easy as it sounds, however, because some of the questions are down right demented! Some random questions from last night's show were

:"Are you addicted to gambling?"

"Are you currently a member of the hair club for men?"

"As a personal trainer, have you touched a female client more than was required of you?"

"Have you used the internet to flirt with other women?"

"Have you stolen a peek at another man's privates during a shower?"

"Have you had a sexual fantasy during mass?"

"Have you gone through a co-workers belongings without their knowledge?"

"Have you delayed having children because you don't think your spouse is your lifelong partner?"

The friends/spouse/employers have one out - they can push a large button that is centered between them (one time only) if they do not want to hear the person answer the question that was asked. The problem with that is it will be replaced with another question and the other question just might be worse then the first.

After the initial six questions, that can earn the contestant 10,000 if answered correctly, the next five questions, if answered truthfully, can get the contestant up to the 25,000 dollar mark. The higher you go, the harder and more revealing the question. Answer all 21 questions truthfully and you have $500,000 in your pocket. You may not have a job to go back to, your wife, husband, and friends have probably abandoned you, but you decide how important money really is in your life.

This show is destined to be a hit - audiences love to see people squirm in the hot seat, see their lives (and their friends and families lives) destroyed right in front of them - and the contestant most probably will end up leaving with nothing.

This reminded me of the games we played as teenagers: truth or dare and twenty questions.

Would you risk it all and tell the truth for $500,000?

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Why Obama Will Never Win

Obama may look like the winning horse leading the pack at the beginning of this year's Presidential race, but he won't be able to keep up the pace all the way to the finish line. He isn't seasoned. He isn't experienced.

Neither he or Edwards have the lineage behind them that would be required to go the distance.

Still, Obama is working the track and has picked his way from the back of the pack and moved into a key position to make a run for the final stretch. It hasn't been an easy task. He has been hit by dirt and mud as much as any of his opponents. He seems to be gaining speed. He is a full length ahead of Edwards and Edwards is a nose in front of Clinton.

I am glad I have my bet on Clinton though. She is saving herself for the finish line. She has great stamina, loves to be pushed for a grand finish and is well seasoned and confident. She stands head and shoulders above the competition because of her previous experiences in other races such as these - some of which she watched from the sidelines.

Obama has blinders on; he won't be able to see the filly passing him on the inside track until he begins to taste the dust that is stirred up as she leaves him far behind.

And she hasn't even begun to work up a lather.

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The Milky Way Woman

I heard about the Milky Way Woman while attending Douglas County's first healing retreat for those people who had lost someone due to suicide.

I have been trying to put a spiritual perspective on my mother's suicide, when I was three, for most of my life. See my article: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/20/nov/loved_ones_gather_healing_retreat_wake_suicide

While at the retreat, I met a native American Indian woman who had recently lost her sister to suicide. She told me about the belief that the Lakota Indians have. They believe that the Milky Way is the crossroads between heaven and earth and that an old woman, the Milky Way Woman, stands guard at this crossroads. The Milky Way Woman decides when someone dies whether they go to heaven or are sent back to earth depending on how well they lived their life.

After some research, I discovered that several other Indian tribes have a similar belief, and some tribes believe that the light coming from the Milky Way is the campfires of souls as they make their journey to heaven.

The Lakota Indians have an extremely high rate of suicide among their young people.

I dedicate the following poem to the Lakota people, all of those who have lost someone to suicide, and to my mother, Peggy Miller Wiggins.

The Milky Way Woman 11-14-07

When I was three

And you sent me

Out to play in the

Snow while you

Put a bullet through

Your heart

I did not cry

I curled into a ball

And sucked my thumb

When Daddy came

That night and said

Look up into the

Sky and see your

Mommy's face In the stars

I did not look

I did not want

To see your face

So far away

And so small

But now I'm

Grown and have

Children of my own

I want to stand

On the edge

Of the Milky Way

With you, hand in hand

And when the

Milky Way Woman

Gives the command

You and I

Will take that

Leap together

Wait for me

Where do you believe souls go after they leave the physical body?

How is the soul separate from the spirit?

How is the mind separate from the soul?

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