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Thursday, June 28, 2007

There Are Changes Coming On My Blog!

Recently, I had some wonderful folks on a forum review my blog to see if I could make any changes that would improve the way it looks and operates. You know how it is. You want to put your best foot forward even if it is yours and no one else actually can tell you what to do about it. So, I listened to each suggestion and enjoyed all of them. They all had a certain amount of merit.

For instance, without anyone actually saying so in so many words, they said that the blog was a bit bland. I can see that. It has a couple of colors but there is no excitement to it. No real color. It just sits there. No wonder people aren't all that interested in reading my thoughts. They must think my thoughts are as bland as the blog. Ah, well not really. I mean, I do have some tame thoughts from time to time but the reality is that I love to blast off at any injustice or political boorishness that I can find. It IS plentiful after all.

But the blandness of my blog is sorta Thingamablog's fault. That program only has a few, very few, themes and it simply is really hard to have a great looking blog with that program. However, I love the way it works. If you like bland, that's your baby. On the other hand, if you like a boatload of themes, then check out Wordpress. 15 to a page. 229 pages the last time I looked. Changes almost every day, from what I understand.

So, with all the suggestions in mind, I am here to announce that on July 1st..."tada"....I said "tada"......are you listening? I said "TADA!! Got it? That's better." On July 1st, my blog will have a brand new look. It will have personality, color and will just plain be better, more interesting. The links in the archives will be there for the "bland city" version from all of the previous months including this one. You watch. Then I'll get some folks who liked the bland part best and now won't wanna come back. BAH!!

One thing my old Grandma told me many years ago. She said "Child, you will never be able to please everyone all the time. The best you can do is please yourself and the rest will come naturally." Thanks, Grandma. She was a great gal.

By the way, my husband has a blog that will have a new look too. (He worked on mine and thought how cool that was and decided to try it himself!) This is fun. I love changing things around once in a while. Not husbands though. Yuk! Been there, done that. The one I have now is quite great. No need to change him. But, a new look is fantastic. So, his blog is "I Am Not A Hampster" and it's changing on July 1st as well. And one more thing....Happy Birthday, Husband! You are the best!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Teens Say Abstinence

One of the things that has me worried about our country and many others is the serious number of teen pregnancies there are. It is an awesomely terrifying number. Teens are subject to so much input on this particular subject and frankly, get too much bad advice.

Now, there is a growing movement for a new idea....well, it's really a very old idea that has begun to take root again, Teen Abstinence. The thing is, they are saying no to sex with a loud voice. This incredible group of teens are standing up for what they believe in, abstinence, and making it stick in their own schools, neighborhoods and with friends.

We have found that sex education, for the most part, simply tells the teens that it is okay to have sex as long as you protect yourself. This is NOT the image that the teenagers of this or any other country should have about sex. It is a beautiful thing as long as you do it within marriage. Outside of marriage is not appropriate. The teenagers that believe this are becoming known by the abstinence ring they choose to wear.

I have to say here that I am proud of each and every one of the teenagers and single adults who choose to show their faith and beliefs in this way. Bravo!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Honesty In News Reporting

I have to admit that there are not too many really good things left in this world, not compared to what it was like when I was a kid, some 42 years ago and more. It was simply an easier life. However, now it is not easy nor is it cheap. Yes, I do know the old joke.

When I find someone who is showing that he or she is honest in reporting and in their lives, that's the person I am more likely to watch on the news. There is such a person. His name is Charles Gibson. From what I have seen of him on Good Morning America and on the World News Tonight, he gets all 5 stars from me for honesty in reporting, at least as far as I can tell.

Now, he has gone even higher in my opinion. He spoke at the Union College graduation in Schenectady, N.Y. During the speech, he urged grads to practice honesty and fairness all through their lives. He has established a scholarship fund in his father's name to be awarded each year for a student in need.

He stated that "It sounds old-fashioned, but I will tell you there are ethical imperatives in this life. Compassion. Honesty. Fairness. Trustworthiness. Respect for others. If those things are not the bedrocks of your life, you will suffer for their absence in time. And I would wager you won't much like yourself."

So, kudos to Charles Gibson!!! Thank you for reminding us that these are important values in our lives, much lacking in the country and world.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Stem Cell Research A Constant Ethical Debate May Now Change

In what could easily be a historic move, three independent teams of scientists worked with skin cells that mimic the equivalent of embryonic stem cells, doing experiments with lab mice. This would be without the ethical and controversial destruction of embryos. The experts were extremely impressed with the tests. However, they caution that many more tests will have to be done to prove that this will work.

If this works, it is a giant step in the right direction sure to tame down the constant barrage of protests and arguments for and against stem cell research.....but it is a big if. They must now be able to do the same with human skin cells that they did with the mice. Big difference.

There are still many nay-sayers even among the scientific community which is very typical. They still feel that embryonic stem cells are the best option. I suspect they would not if it was their own child they were sacrificing...or maybe not. It is a cold world.

Posted by From Arkansas at 11:09 PM
Permalink: http://offthecuff.lurasbookcase.com/archives/2007/06/entry_214.php
Categories: The Good Things

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Grats To General Pace

My hat is off to General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, who gave his stance on adultery and gay sexual acts which he called immoral. Thank you, General! America needs to hear this. It is not about spotlighting gays or the people caught in acts of adultery. This is about the moral values of the people of the armed services. This is about the idea that this country was brought together in the name of God. This is about honor. Too many people these days do not care about honor, morality or values.

It was rather classy of him to say that it was a personal opinion which someone asked of him. It was not a bashing of those who practice these things. There are so many who say to those of us who are against openly gay acts that we are homophobic or haters. I am NOT homophobic. I am NOT adultery-phobic either. I simply think that this is something that should be a private matter, not out there openly flaunted. In my opinion, it is up to the adult individual what they do with their lives but it is also up to them to be concerned about other people and their beliefs too. It is called RESPECT, something a lot of people do not have for others in this day and age.

So, do not bash General Pace for his open stance against these acts. Applaud him. He is exercising his right to speak out just as those who oppose him do and are still doing. This is still the United States of America and last I looked still free to voice an opinion, no matter how the other person sees it. Way to go!!

Grats To General Pace

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon's top general said Tuesday he should not have voiced his personal view that homosexuality is immoral and should have just stated his support for the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in an interview that has drawn criticism from lawmakers and gay-rights groups.

The written statement by Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not apologize for his stance on homosexuality. In a newspaper interview Monday, Pace likened homosexual acts to adultery and said the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly in the armed forces.

After a flurry of condemnation Tuesday, Pace issued a statement acknowledging that the Defense Department's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays is a sensitive subject and said: "I should have focused more on my support of the policy and less on my personal moral views."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Former NFL Vet Lives In Shelter

Once in a while, you find what is good with this country. Sometimes, you find that there are still decent people in the world. NFL veteran player, Donnie Green, fell on hard times. Green who played for the Buffalo Bills for six years, now 57 years old, has been living in a homeless shelter. A number of injures have made it impossible for him to work. Now, NFL greats are coming to his aid as part of their campaign to for those older, retired players. There's a great big thumbs up for these guys!!!!

Former NFL Vet Lives In Shelter

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Some NFL veterans are teaming up to help one of their own who now lives in a homeless shelter.

The Gridiron Greats are coming to the aid of Donnie Green, a former Buffalo Bill. It's part of the group's campaign to improve pensions for pro football's older, retired players.

Green, now 57, played for the Bills for six years before retiring and falling on hard times. Knee and back injuries have left him unable to do any strenuous work, and for the past four years he's made his home in a shelter in Maryland.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Correction And A Happy Note

A few days ago, I mentioned the lady who threw the cup of ice into a car. She was facing 2 years in prison for the road rage action. At the time I believed that the sentence had already been set, that the judge had ruled in the case. All the stories I read led me to believe that. However, yesterday the lady was given her sentence. I am rather happy to report that she received probation instead of the 2 year sentence that I had reported before.

All I can say here is that I must give a great big thank you to the judge who has decided to be reasonable, totally unlike the prosecutor who should have recommended this in the first place or community work, which to me would have been the right thing to do as well.

The best thing is that the lady will now have her children restored to her. She will likely think twice about her actions in the future and her husband will be able to come home from Iraq to a wife and children instead of finding out that his family has been torn apart while he was gone serving his country.

That's it for the moment from What's Right With This Picture? Everything!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Magnet Schools...What Are They and Are They Good For Us?

What is a magnet school? That question came up in a nearby community in our state recently. And the stuff hit the fan. The big deal was that some folks did not want such things for their elementary school age children. Others were very much for this since this type of school focuses on particular curriculm rather than just cover the standard "readin, writin and rithmetic". So, I went looking to answer the question of what a magnet school is and a few more. Here is what I found:

1) A magnet school is one which functions in the traditional school setting, but with an emphasis on a few target areas of instruction to best prepare students for the future. South Beaver Elementary School


2)A magnet school is a school or education center that offers a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds. Magnet schools were conceptualized as one response to remedy racial segregation in school enrollment. As a desegregation strategy, magnet schools allow for the reassignment of children or faculty to reduce, eliminate or prevent minority group isolation in one or more K-12 schools of a local education agency. Magnet Schools Definition

I guess the problem I have with this second definition is the idea of setting up a school system that is there strictly for the purpose of desegregating schools. However, the second definition, while likely true to an extent, is not what I have found them, or at least one of the magnet schools, to be. Therefore, the first definition, granted it was for a specific school but relevant nevertheless, is the one that satisfies what I know to be true.

Since I live in Arkansas, I tried to discover what, if anything, was so special about a magnet school. I also wanted to know if such a school existed in our state. Frankly, I had only to look in my own family to find the answer. A member of our family attends a magnet school, an especially fantastic school at that. It is amazing in it's approach to teaching, incredible in it's skill in graduating superior students that go on to places like MIT. The last school year, 2005-2006 graduated 112 students (they usually house up to 150 students, junior and senior high). The grants and scholarships totaled some $10.2 million. That's 112 students that took home an average of $850,000 EACH. Did you see that? Now I call that a valuable school indeed.

Now, I cannot tell you what other magnet schools are like but I can tell you that this particular school is scholastically far above the national average. It is a very tough school to graduate from but the rewards are incredible. The classes are college level, sometimes beyond what is taught in a normal college. Certainly, it is far above most high schools.

So, what is the value of such a school? Friend, it's our future and it's about time we found a way to build more such schools because if we do not, our country will fall even farther behind than we are now. So yes, I am for magnet schools, at least that are like this one.

That's all for now from What's Right With This Picture?