Think back 20 years. Who'd a thunk it.

Spending today watching two transatlantic flights progress toward their destinations, literally watching on line for speed, altitude, time in air, time remaining, etc. Each carries some part of my family. Himself and the boy coming back from their European Vacation and D2 returning from her summer study at Oxford. The boys have been away most of July, D2 since mid June. The entire time D2 has been at Oxford I've been able to speak to her, even see her pretty face as we talk, as long and as often as I wanted (so long as she was in her room and could hear her computer "ring") and all for free. Have been receiving multiple daily emails from himself via his blackberry - again, part of the "plan" so no extra charge. I've even already seen pictures from England via facebook as well as pictures from Austria and Hungary via email.

While at WeeMart I can whip out a little bitty thing that looks like a StarTrek communicator to call D3, wherever she is, to see if she needs anything. I can unlock my car and have the door open before I even get to it, then it will tell me if I have low pressure in a tire. When I arrive home the stuff I dumped into my little bread machine has filled my home with the lovely smell of fresh baked bread.

My horse gets an x-ray and there isn't even a film to wait for, just an instant image that can then be emailed to my farrier - who can call it up on his computer in his truck to look at while he is trimming and building her shoes.

D3 can record comments made by a professional musician, as they are expressed, then email those comments straight to the person the comments pertained to - and that person can then play them back and hear exactly what was said. Recorded in one state, listened to in another. Music can be exchanged via YouTube from anywhere in the world, you can hear most any piece performed by a variety of musicians to hear their interpretation of the piece. D3 even has several music students living in Atlanta who receive weekly lessons, while she is either here or away at university - Skype!

Such a world we live in. Just musing, trying not to think about Obamacare....

Update - the boys are safely on the ground, now through customs they go. On the other hand D2's plane is 45 behind schedule leaving her only an hour to deplane, go through customs, and change terminals to make her connection. I'm thinking she just might miss that. T'will be bad if that happens as it is the last connection to Charlotte of the evening and she'll be stuck at Dulles overnight if she misses it...

Update #2 - D2s plane is on the ground. Now the waiting game to see if she makes her connection. Of course she foolishly left her phone on when she flew out so she has little or no battery to let us know what is happening on her end (left her charger at home too...). One way or another we should know in an hour and a half. Ah the pleasures of parenting :)

Undate #3 - Damn it! She got through customs and got her bag on the carousel for making her connection - but they didn't hold the plane the 10 min she needed to make the flight so now she is stranded at Dulles. Damn it, Damn it, Damn it! She is currently in line at the British Air desk to see if they are going to put her up for the night (it was their flight that was 45 min late) and then she has to deal with US Air for a new flight tomorrow ? and to relocate her bags - which of course she checked with them, but then they left her. DAMN IT! Keep in mind to her it feels 5 hours later than it is, so at this moment, while she is trying to deal with the crap, she feels like she is doing it at 2a.m.

Update #4 - Now, at 10:15 pm (feels like 3:15 a.m. to her and she's been going since early this morning) She has a room for the night, she has her bags, and she has a ticket for tomorrow morning. Thank goodness. But she has to get up early early to make the flight.
White House economic advisor, Larry Summers says the economy is getting all better, see?

The number of people searching for the term “economic depression” on Google

is down to normal levels, Summers said.

Does it maybe occur to them that
1) everyone who needed to look that up has now done so
2) everyone who already knew what an economic depression was didn't need to look it up
3) everyone who didn't know how to look it up, now understands it all too well anyway and no longer needs to look it up?

What a stupid yardstick to use. What a moronic interpritation of the data. Good grief, the inmates are running the asylum.
Have a listen :)
Except when it comes to health care plan, which he doesn't address until the end, he is fun to listen to for the most part.
"You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.”

Ok, so I called my shiny new moronic Democrat Senator - Kay Hagan, man this woman is stupid, anyway I was calling to log my displeasure at the idea of socialised medicine. Opened the call with "how is the Senator planning to vote?", knowing full well how the senator Will vote. Anyway, the do-be that answered the phone for her said "the Senator is in favor of a public option." This is where I need help from you guys. You are all so much better with turns of phrase, please please send me suggestions of clever comebacks for the propagandic "public option" bull shit.

And I sure wish people would stop calling Democrats democratic. They are Democrats, she is a Democrat Senator, not a "Democratic Senator". Makes them sound more correct than anyone else. I think both parties are supposed to be democratic representatives.
Got an email from himself this morning. He and the boy are in Budapest for a couple days now. This is mildly amusing for us because we've been calling the boy "the Buddha Pest" since he was about two (due to a T shirt the grandparents brought back from a visit there) and asking him is he was "Hungary". Anyhoo, so far the highlight of this little pit stop in their trip seems to be that there actually is A/C in their hotel. First A/C they've had in a week and it has been H-O-T. The boy wilts when asked to trudge along at daddy speed in the heat of concrete cities. Word is he is being a trooper about it all though.

That really is about it from these parts. House cleaning has slowed to a snail's pace as it no longer seems feasible with D3 making messes as she goes. No painting happened - though I did collect some paint samples, so the first step is accomplished. All furniture that needed moving has been moved.

Not listening to news, makes me angry. Wish I could be blissfully ignorant like the majority of people in this country seem to be - but it just doesn't sit well. Ah well, I'll take a little break anyway - right after I call all those *&%^$%(@ supposed representatives I have over socialised medicine - again.
Sometimes the internet would be a good place to steer clear. It is making me more than a little nervous reading reports from Great Britain and London in particular with D2 there for more than two more weeks. The swine flu is picking up steam there and seems to be becoming a bit more nasty. I really could kick myself. We have a course of Tamiflu that was prescribed with D3 was headed to China at the height of the first round of fear, but as things had seemed to calm down, and reports were that the virus was mild in those who contracted it, I never even thought to toss the Tamiflu into D2's bags. Now she is over there and I am trying not to panic over here. Arggg.
Getting many short, Blackberry type, updates from himself and the boy. Today they visited one of my favorite sites in Austria, Melk Abby . This place has one of, if not the most beautiful baroque chapels I have ever seen (and believe you me I've seen a bunch).

Now they are on their way to Vienna where they will visit Schoenbrunn Palace, pictures of which are about half way down the linked page - these were the best photos I could find on a quick internet search. Word is they have recently restored their boxwood maze and the boy gets to go in and try to find his way through, he is gonna love that. Years ago, when last we visited Vienna the girls and I attended a show of the Lipizzaner Stallions at the Spanish Riding School, but I don't think the boys are planning to repeat that part of the trip. If I know the man, and I do, they'll also visit Saint Stephans Cathedral. He simply cannot pass up a European church, chapel, or cathedral. They do them so very well.
Now I'm rearranging some of the furniture. Stays quiet long enough I'll get a couple rooms painted :)

D3 just called from The Gathering of the Clans at Grandfather Mountain (Scottish clans). She borrowed someone's harp up there and won the harp competition - she had not prepared a thing, just thought it'd be fun.

Talked to D2 this morning, via SKYPE - love me some SKYPE. She's planning to Brit Rail Pass her way to Stonehenge tomorrow. I'm jealous of this one, always wanted to see that. Later this week she'll be attending a play at Stratford upon Avon and visiting the Shakespeare house/s. Sometime this week she hopes to catch dinner at the pub where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien used to compare notes. In case anyone is wondering, she is doing a study abroad at Oxford this summer - classes four days a week, lots of plays, lots of museums, lots of exploring.

Been getting Blackberry updates from himself and the boy five or six times a day. They are traveling through Austria, Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic all this month. This is a fantastic trip for the boy, he is totally immersed in the culture as they are visiting family and friends of my husband's parents while there. Maybe he'll be speaking a little German by the time he gets home. The last email I got from himself reads:
Ich bin zum bet. Ist 23:00 schon.
Good thing I've been married to him long enough to understand this one.

I'm not on this trip for several reasons, not the least of which is that my husband is shepherding his parents on what is likely to be their final trip back to their native home. They didn't think they'd ever get to go again as they no longer feel able to handle transportation and such on their own. We wanted the boy to visit while the remaining Great Aunts and Uncles are still living, so he could have a connection to that part of his heritage - so my husband offered to chaperon his parents so they could go one last time. The four of them are moving as a pack. I'm afraid, had I gone, five would have departed but only four would have returned. My MIL means well, bless her heart (southern thing there ya'll), but I'd have killed her inside the first week.
After dropping D3 at the Gathering Of The Clans on Grandfather Mountain yesterday I am all alone in the house until Sunday afternoon. I have not spent a night completely alone in more than 25 years (of course I'm not completely alone this time - the corgis are here). It is so blissfully quiet. The best part? I can clean a room and know when I return to that room it will still look the way it did when I left it!
This is the post that has been a long time coming and will likely be a long time reading. I am going to share with you a part of what has been the most painful event in my life (and like most folks I've had some very painful events - this one wins by far), but only that part that deals with my first hand account of socialised medicine. There is much much more to this story - maybe over time I'll share more, or maybe you'll get sick of it, but right now remember she is 19 now and fine.

You see when my D3 was barely four years old (at the time D1 was sixteen and D2 was six), and while our family was on vacation in Austria (visiting family), we discovered a rather large knot on the side of her belly. One afternoon, as we were sitting in my husband's Aunt's charming backyard in Linz, the young kids (my two and a couple young cousins) were splashing in a small pool al la Europe (which is to say the kids were topless, we hadn't brought bathing suits) I noticed that D3's little belly looked a bit lopsided. That evening when we had returned to the house where we were staying, we looked more closely and discovered the hard lump (maybe an inch wide and 3 inches long). Thinking maybe it was a hernia or some such we drove back into Linz to find a hospital, just to be safe.

This is where we began to experience the wonderful world of socialized medicine. Linz is a good size city with several hospitals. When we arrived at the first hospital they informed us they were not "on call" that evening so we'd have to go to another hospital. So off we go to find the hospital that would see her. When we finally found that hospital, they took her back to the exam room - I literally had to knock the dead bugs off the exam table before lifting her up to it. No kidding.

The (one and only)doc on call was not a pediatrician and though she could tell there was something seriously wrong, their ultra sound and all other imaging departments were not "open" at night and we'd just have to admit her and wait until morning to get a picture of what was happening. Now here we are admitting our four year old child into a hospital in a country where the language is not English. The Dr that night spoke enough to communicate with us, but not enough to really be clear, so we are now frightened out of our minds but getting no information.

Because we had the other two kids, I stayed with D3 and my husband returned to a friend's home to the others and started making phone calls trying to get us a flight back to the US.

The pediatric floor where we were taken was a shock to me. It was hot (July 3rd) and there was no A/C in the whole hospital so all the large windows were open to let in air - and bugs. There was only one nurse on the floor, I was the only parent there. After the Dr got us into the room and left, that one nurse pulled two chairs together in the hall and went to sleep. The room we were put in had four patient beds (though none of them were occupied), a small sink, and one metal chair. That is all, no phone, no TV, no bathroom, no nothing. The one bathroom on the floor was down the hall. Several times during the night I saw older children leading younger children by the hand down the hall to go potty.

Around 1am The Dr showed back up and said they had brought in the ultrasound technician to check D3's tummy (I'm bound to slip up and use her name somewhere along the line here). I think maybe the Dr (a woman) had contacted the head of the department about us and he demanded we get the attention (based on his behavior later, but I'll share that then). So down we went. The technician, after the ultrasound, told us she had a tumor on her kidney, but that was all the info we had at that time.

Of course I wanted to call my husband right away to let him know but the night Dr would not allow me to use the phone! I has all righteously indignant with her, explained that he was trying to make arrangements to get us home and would need to know so that he could contact our pediatrician at home - but she said it is 2am and no one is awake - I told her it is not 2am where we live and the next day was a holiday so we needed to reach people now, but no go (no cells for us at that time, this was 15 years ago now).

Once the Dr left and I was sobbing as I held my child and tried to rock and sing to her to settle her down for some rest, the nurse quietly came in and led me to the phone - she spoke no English at all, but obviously understood my need to call my husband. I called him and of course he continued to try to make arrangements, just added more calls to his list to get her straight to a cancer treatment center (Duke University Medical Center) - being the height of tourist season it was not easy to get flights back home 10 days before our scheduled return, but that is another story.

So the next morning he joined us as early as he could and the head pediatrician came in to talk to us and explain what he knew. Thank God he spoke perfect Oxford English, literally, and was a very kind and understanding man. He told us she did have cancer (turned out to be stage 3 Wilm's tumor) and that there were two possible types she could have but he strongly counseled that we should get home right away and have her treated at home. He explained very honestly that the level of care there was no where near as effective as the treatments used in the US, their survival rate significantly lower than ours, and that we should not even have a biopsy done there because the risk was too great. He also gave D3 a chocolate bar he had, she had eaten nothing because with her tummy trouble, nervousness, exhaustion, and such - the Austrian hospital breakfast food was nothing she would touch. But being a female, chocolate is always a viable option :)

So here are my observations of socialized medicine (and Austria has had it a long long time)
1) Limited access to hospital care at night - whatever you do don't get hurt or sick after hours

2) Limited access to imaging equipment after hours - hope you don't need and Xray for anything at night

3) Bugs on the exam table - what can I say? When electricity, by necessity, skyrockets due to taxes on power will our hospitals be able to continue climate control?

4) Spartan patient rooms - how many of you with children want to spend the night in a metal chair if they are in the hospital because we are cutting unnecessary costs to make health care "affordable"? - I actually climbed up into her bed (it was a large crib - and there I was in it, holding my baby)

5) Limited (severely) night staff? One sleeping nurse on the floor?!?!?!

6) The Dr telling you outright that the standard of care in another country is far superior?


And yes, even 15 years later my stomach is in knots and I am trembling as I type this. The number of misspellings is off the chart because my fingers are shaking so hard.

Please, all of you, fight socialised medicine. It is a very very bad thing.
I'm no Suzette, so I will not write anything about this picture (if I knew how to get this photo onto my blog rather than just linking I would do that, but I'm challenged that way), but really I think the pic speaks for itself. Hey Suzette - do you see what I see? Heehee
Let's go party like it is 1773!
I am in deep mourning. Not sure what Sarah has in mind, though I understand her frustration and disgust with fighting the endless accusations. Surely hope she is not going to drop out - We Need Her! Somewhat confused as to why she would let the bad guys run her out before she has finished her first full term, to some extent it feels like she has let them win. I hope she is up to something wonderful.

I've been thinking that, with the current parties being the root of our problem in DC, if Sarah were to throw her hat in with the Libertarians, and maybe get them to rein in some of their wackier positions, their party would probably explode in size and reach. And I'd be right there with her, probably even have a letter other than U next to my name in the voter registration logs for the first time in my voting life.

Perhaps that would be enough to break the strangle hold both Rs and Ds have on the condition of our lives. Maybe get us back on track. It will take something about that drastic to do it. Without a viable alternative, we'll never actually "kick the bums out". There is no way the legislative branch is going to vote term limits on themselves, they would never ever legislate themselves out of power and that is the only way to accomplish the deed. Article 3s (federal judges) have their "life" terms by way of the Constitution, the legislators didn't mind too much putting limits on the executive branch - but they will never ever do it to themselves. Therefore, we can kick and scream "throw them out" til we are blue in the face - it will only get worse without something cataclysmic (and I'm not talking revolution, just something like a massive move to a third party). Far too many in the country will say "clean house" "kick them all out"... but not my guy - he brings money to our district. Well, dumb asses, the only ones each of us have the power to kick out are the power grubbing guys who buy our votes by bringing money to our own districts!

I don't know, but I sure hope Sarah is up to something good cause right now I think she is the only star we'd trust to hitch our wagons to. And if it turns out there is some nasty scandalous behavior on her part, ack!

Your thoughts?

Oh yeah, and Happy Birthday to US.
Pete Sir! don't you dare ever go cheatin on Miss Linda Lou cause I'd just hate having to do a turn around on how much I love you the way I have had to with that sniveling moron Mark Sanford!

A couple days ago I wrote how I feel about the upcoming census and my feeling that this may be the year to answer only head count questions. Mr Pete commented so brilliantly I want to share his wisdom with you, and figuring none of you go through to read all my comments I figure the best way to do this is to post his comment as a whole new post. So here you go from Pete, did I say I just love him?

There is a hundred dollar fine for not answering the census. So last time I was lucky (!) enough to get the long form. I answered how many adults and children lived in my house. I sent it back. They sent real people to the house later and told me I had to answer all those other questions. So I did.
Each question got the same answer. "You have no constitutional authority to ask me that". They said I was required to answer those questions. I explained I did answer them, what part of no constitutinal authority did they not understand?

Eventually they went away and I never heard anything else. Somehow I think I will get the short form this time. Yes, you do have to answer the questions. The answer does not have to be the answer they like. Do not lie. Just answer "no constitunional authortity" to each one. Eventually they will go away. They will not take you to court, they know the only thing that they are constitutionally allowed to ask is how many people. The rest, they ask because they think they can get away with it. When they find they can't, they slink off. At least down here where Judges are required to have read the Constitution at least once. Dunno how it works in other places.

Simple, perfect. Linda Lou is one lucky lady :)
How in the *^#&% heck did we end up with the clowns we have running the show? Perhaps this will shed some light on the subject. This group ran a bit of an experiment with the state of civics education in the high schools of Arizona (I'll not go into how I feel about their esteemed senator here). The Goldwater Institute selected 10 questions from the bank of 100 that are used by the federal government for testing prospective new citizens, and tested high school students from public, charter, and private schools (they did not test home schooled kids)to see how well we are teaching our own. The results were shocking even to me. I expected something below a 50% pass rate, but not under 10%! The public school passing rate was 3.5%! the charter schools had about 7% passing and 14% for private schools! In all fairness this is Arizona so I am sure they have quite a few ESL students who have not spent their whole lives here and might not have had the opportunity for exposure to Americana that natural born citizens have, but even that private school rate is shocking and they can't claim a large illegal population as an excuse. You might find it interesting that prospective citizens pass at a rate of 92.4% on their first attempt! Tells me that for the overwhelmingly best part, legal immigrants (such as both my own in-laws, bless their hearts) value this country and its freedoms far far more than those born and raised here (at least for the past 50 years or so).

I have found places that state passing as being 6 correct of 10 (this is the standard used in this experiment) and I have found places stating 8 of 10 would be passing for prospective citizens. Not sure which is correct, and I have often heard this test was really hard and most Americans probably wouldn't pass. This, naturally piqued my curiosity - could I pass it without studying? Am I teaching my own kids enough to pass? So a little research was conducted and I found the question pool from which citizenship tests are produced.
Here they are:

1.Q: What are the colors of our flag?

2.Q: How many stars are there in our flag?

3.Q: What color are the stars on our flag?

4.Q: What do the stars on the flag signify?

5.Q: How many stripes are there on the flag?

6.Q: What color are the stripes on the flag?

7.Q: What do the stripes on the flag signify?

8.Q: How many states are there in the U.S.?

9.Q: What is the 4th of July?

10.Q: What is the date of Independence Day?

11.Q: From what country did the U.S. win independence?

12.Q: What country did we fight during the Revolutionary War?

13.Q: Who was the first President of the United States?

14.Q: Who is the president of the United States today?

15.Q: Who is the vice president of the United States today?

16.Q: Who elects the president of the United States? A: The electoral college

17.Q: Who becomes the president of the U.S. if the president should die?

18.Q: For how long do we elect the president?

19.Q: What is the Constitution? A: The supreme law of the land

20.Q: Can the Constitution be changed?

21.Q: What do we call a change to the Constitution? A: Amendment

22.Q: How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution? A:27

23.Q: How many branches are there in the U.S. government?

24.Q: What are the three branches of the U.S. government?

25.Q: What is the legislative branch of our government?

26.Q: Who makes the laws in the United States?

27.Q: What are the two houses of Congress?

28.Q: What are the duties of Congress? A: To make laws, controls the purse strings, declares war, etc

29.Q: Who elects Congress?

30.Q: How many senators are there in the U.S. Congress?

31.Q: Name the two U.S. senators from your state.

32.Q: For how long do we elect each senator?

33.Q: How many voting representatives are there in the House of Representatives?A:435

34.Q: For how long do we elect the representatives (congressmen)?

35.Q: What is the executive branch of the U.S. government?
A: The president, cabinet, and the departments under the cabinet members

36.Q: What is the judicial branch of the U.S. government? A: The Federal Courts, top down Supreme Court, Circuit Courts of Appeals, District Courts, Magistrate Courts, Bankruptcy courts

37. Q: What are the duties of the Supreme Court; A: To interpret laws, determine constitutionality

38. Q: What is the supreme law of the United States? A: The Constitution

39. Q: What is the Bill of Rights?

40. Q: What is the capital of your state?

41. Q: Who is the current Governor of your state?

42. Q: If both the president and the vice president die, who becomes president?

43. Q: Who is the current chief of justice of the Supreme Court? A: John Roberts

44. Q: Name the thirteen original states. A: Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Maryland

45. Q: Who said "give me liberty or give me death"? A: Patrick Henry

46. Q: Which countries were our enemies during WWII? A: Germany, Italy, and Japan

47. Q: What were the 49th and 50th states admitted to the U.S.?

48. Q: How many terms can a president serve?

49. Q: Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

50. Q: Who is the head of your local government?

51. Q: According to the Constitution, a person must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to become president. Name one of these requirements. A: Must be a native born citizen of the United States. Must be at least 35 years old by the time he/she will serve. Must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years.

52. Q: Why are there 100 senators in the Senate?

53. Q: Who nominates the Supreme Court justices?

54. Q: How many Supreme Court justices are there? A: Nine

55. Q: Why did the Pilgrims come to America?

56. Q: What is the head executive of a state government called?

57. Q: What is the head executive of a city government called?

58. Q: What holiday was started by the American Colonists?

59. Q: Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?

60. Q: When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?

61. Q: What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence? A: That all men are created equal

62. Q: What is the national anthem of the United States?

63. Q: Who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner? A. Francis Scott Key(he wrote the poem, there is some confusion as to the composing of the melody but it was not Key)

64. Q: Where does the freedom of speech come from?

65. Q: What is the minimum voting age in the United States?

66. Q: Who signs bills into law?

67. Q: What is the highest court in the United States?

68. Q: Who was the president during the Civil War?

69. Q: What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

70. Q: What special group advises the president? A: The cabinet

71. Q: Which president is called the "Father of our Country"?

72. Q: What INS form is used to apply to become a naturalized citizen? A:Form N-400

73. Q: Who helped the Pilgrims in America?

74. Q: The first Pilgrims sailed to America in what ship?

75. Q: What were the 13 original states of the United States called?

76. Q: Name three rights or freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

77. Q: Who has the power to declare war? A: The Congress (though we know presidents have been doing an end run on this one for decades)

78. Q: Name an amendment which guarantees or addresses voting rights. A: The 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments

79. Q: Which president freed the slaves?

80. Q: In what year was the Constitution written? A: 1787

81. Q: What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution? A: They are just looking for The Bill of Rights, not an actual list of what these guarantee
82. Q: Name one purpose of the United Nations. (to swindle and minimise the US?)

83. Q: Where does Congress meet?

84. Q: Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

85. Q: What is the introduction to the Constitution called?

86. Q: Name one benefit of being a citizen of the United States.

87. Q: What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens? A: The right to vote. *! I disagree and will address this farther down!

88. Q: What is the United States Capitol?

89. Q: What is the White House?

90. Q: Where is the White House located?

91. Q: What is the name of the president's official home?

92. Q: Name one right guaranteed by the first amendment.

93. Q: Who is the commander in chief of the United States?

94. Q: Who was the first commander in chief of the U.S. Military?

95. Q: In what month do we vote for the president?

96. Q: In what month is the new president inaugurated?

97. Q: How many times may a congressman be re-elected?

98. Q: How many times may a senator be re-elected?

99. Q: What are the two major political parties in the United States?

100. Q: How many states are there in the United States?

Seriously?! (and I will not comment on the grammar in these questions, ending sentences in prepositions?!)
I got all of these correct except which INS form a prospective citizen must fill out to apply for citizenship, in fact - like most of you I am sure- I could write lengthy essays- full of wit and sarcasm- on many of these. I assume you all find your scores to be pretty much the same. My 12 year old son missed a few more than I (of the full 100) - but he still slammed the test and within a year or so he'll know every one I got right as well (no need to know the INS form number). Give the kid a break, we just had an election and he has a lot of new names to fasten to positions - new governor, new senator, etc. He knows the big ones.

Now I, and Daniel Webster, have a strong disagreement with the answer for question number 87 and I hope that the answer given here is not the only answer the government accepts. First of all, I think this is a subjective question. Some folks may feel freedom of religion is the most important. I, and my friend Dan, feel that by far the most important right we as Americans share is the freedom of expression - or speech - in fact I would argue that freedom of religion is covered under expression. Saddam's Iraq had the right to vote, Iran has the right to vote, Venezuela has the right to vote, and so does Cuba. If indeed the right to vote is the only answer the government accepts for that question, it is a frightening thing indeed and maybe even the reason for the results of the experiment run in Arizona.

I find myself very curious what the results of the same experiment would be if run on all high school students, college students, and adults. This sort of basic ignorance of our country's history and governmental structure would explain how Franken, Frank, Waxman, Hagan, Spector, et al could become US senators, never mind the morons in The House of Representatives.
Then again - what does it say about you US senators and what we think of you if Al Franken can join your club? Think maybe this means we think you guys are a bunch of clowns? You all think so highly of yourselves - yet one of your very own has been seen dressed in giant bunny ears and a huge diaper, recently. Yeah, you guys are just the epitome of somber wisdom. Yeah right, that's it... The vote that gives you the super majority to ram down our throats your plans for our health and well being is Al Freakin Franken. And you, Ms Boxer - Ma'm want us to hold you to special respect? HA! Just paint me in contempt of Congress.
Franken(stien's idiot)...Minnesota gets what they deserve. The rest of us do not. If this is not a sign this country has gone to hell I don't know what is. Seriously.

I'd write a big dissertation on it, but what is the point. He is in and there is nothing any of us can do about it. And just in time to put the frosting on Cap and Screw US.

Sanford... I liked him. Not any more. What is with these guys? Do they at no point think, hmmm if I do what I'm thinking here what might the result be? I have four little boys at home, what might this do to them? If I write this (awkwardly ridiculously dumb sounding) love letter email, what if it gets leaked? Does my wife deserve this humiliation? Just sayin.

Census. I'm voting answer only a head count. Most of the info they tend to ask in this thing is already available with a little research on each of us. But why make it easy on them and give the info in one easy access form? Particularly with the involvement of ACORN? Understand that mine is not the final vote in this house though, I could be over ruled.

Tea Party. July 4th, I'll be there... again. Stand and be counted if nothing else.

Cap and Screw US (aka jobs bill?, aka energy bill?)... enough said