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Easter…Passover…What Do You Celebrate?

Posted by Michelle Moquin on April 8th, 2012

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Good morning!

Although I do not come from a religious family, we still usually celebrate Easter together, as a time to just enjoy being with each other. But for months now a new and dear friend has been excited over planning Passover and invited me to attend a Seder at her home – something she hasn’t done in ten years.

So, last night I attended my first Jewish Seder. Well, really it was my first formal Seder. About 10 years ago, I was designing in Indonesia, and the owner of the company I was working with was Jewish. He wanted to celebrate Passover so we did a “mini seder” (If I may call it that), at the Four Seasons Hotel in Ubud with another co-worker who was also Jewish.

It was a fun and interesting experience then, and even more so now to experience a Seder in its entirety. I really enjoyed the discussion and questions that arose, and as each person read through the stories, we sang and followed along in the Haggadah (the Seder guidebook).

With the “four” glasses of wine that is supposedly enjoyed by each person throughout the seder, I now understand why there was at least bottle of wine for every two people at this huge beautiful table for twenty. Now for some “four” glasses of wine may be okay, but for this girl, one is about my limit. So, I can safely say, this girl filled her glass “four” times, but each time it was only a quarter full. :)

Besides, all the good food, which I thoroughly enjoyed, what was my favorite dessert of the evening? Well first and foremost, the best flourless chocolate cake. A close second was the Matzo crunch: chocolate and caramel covered Matzo.  Got to love it.

That is my “mini” version of my first “formal” Seder. All I have time for this morning. But, if you want to share, I’d love to hear about your passover experience. Is there anything special or traditional that makes Passover especially wonderful for you and your family? Blog me.

Happy Passover!


If you are celebrating Easter today, please do not dye or buy any Easter Bunnies. I just read that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida approved an agricultural bill allowing the artificially dying of animals.

Rick Scott Approves Artificially Dyeing Of Animals

Florida Governor Rick Scott just approved an agricultural bill, which permits animals to be dyed neon green and dayglo pink.

But don’t dip any live Easter peeps into dye just yet — the bill legalizing such Technicolor pets doesn’t go into effect until July 1.

Florida Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, snuck Amendment 303390, repealing a 45-year-old ban on artificially dying or coloring certain animals or fowl, onto HB Bill 1197, which revises certain agriculture codes in the state. Her amendment also permits chicks to be sold before they are 4 weeks old.

Florida Senate Democratic Minority Leader Nan Rich, who tried to block the amendment, said the original ban was to ensure “that we don’t have a lot of adorable ducks, rabbits and chickens that are given away at Easter time and look so cute, and then 2 or 3 or 4 months later nobody wants them.”

Bogdanoff maintained that she was just looking out for the rights of dog groomers, who should be able to compete in shows and parades.

Animal rights groups petitioned Scott to veto the bill.

“Humane societies are overflowing with these animals after Easter every year,” Don Anthony of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida told the New York Times. “This law has protected thousands of animals from neglect and abuse, and it shouldn’t be lifted on the whim of one dog groomer who wants to dye poodles purple.”

While groups like the Humane Society hold that the practice results in discarded pets and undue stress for the fowl, experts say the practice really has no lasting harm for the birds as long as the dye used is nontoxic.

To achieve unnaturally bright colors, eggs are either injected with a dye before the chicks are born or newborns are sprayed with a colored mist. In both cases, the neon green and dayglo pink feathers eventually grow out as adult feathers grow in.

Watch the below videos of artificially dyed cats, dogs, chickens, and bunnies.


Do we have nothing better to legislate? This is just silly and completely cruel to not only rabbits but any other animal. Please make it a fun and safe Easter for all.

Anything that you share with your Family that makes easter Special for you? Blog me.

Happy Easter!

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32 Responses to “Easter…Passover…What Do You Celebrate?”

  1. JZ Says:

    If a woman or a minority is doing the same job as the man who slaps the woman, don’t they deserve the same pay rate, no matter if it is legal to slap the woman or not?

    I’m sure you don’t believe it’s true, but Walker will suffer a fate far greater than his cronies in the Congress. He’ll be gone soon, hopefully without any retirement or health benefits.

  2. ES Says:

    I don’t care if you are a Republican or Democrat, anyone that would cancel out equal pay for women is immoral. Historically women have been sitting behind men. This has got to end.

    I have two daughters and five granddaughters. The money spent on educating them will not be wasted by a bunch of men. Does any good person out there really believe that God made women to be treated like this.

    I am no less his child than any man. Actually I think we need to start a campaign that men have to pay us back for all the money we have lost just because we are women.

    I think we should be able to go back to the beginning of this country. I know the black people want compensation.

    Well guys so do we.

  3. Connie Says:

    I love your blog Michelle. It looks like the ahole, John Derbyshire who penned that racist creed has been fired.

    The conservative magazine National Review has fired John Derbyshire, a prominent columnist who provoked outrage Friday with a column published in the webzine Taki’s Magazine, which warned white people to avoid “large concentrations of blacks,” among other nuggets of racially tinged advice.

    Happy Easter

  4. AF Says:

    Just a point of curiosity, nothing more, what do black people tell their children or do they actually have similar discussions at all?

    I have often wondered what black children are taught about white people. I never had a talk about race with my kids but I hope that I set a good example.

  5. SH Says:

    Firing him was discrimination. News is supposed to cover all sides of all issues. Just because Derb didn’t cowtow to the Blacks is no reason to fire him. Besides, the Blacks need to know what their detractors are up to.

  6. DT Says:

    Why can;t he voice his opinion…Its all true. I teach my kids and grandkids this all the time…Just as blacks teach their children with “THE TALK”…same darn thing…

  7. PW Says:

    Irony, 2 two white men invade a black neigborhood in Tulsa, OK and kill 3 black people yesterday. What do we tell black people about white men? Do we just change color of the people in his article?

  8. Shelly Says:

    Dear Racist,

    Sorry we are no longer your slaves. I’m so sorry we managed to gain freedom so that we could learn to read and write. I’m so sorry we wanted to find jobs that paid us for our time.

    It isn’t that we didn’t appreciate our one outfit a year. We just wanted to work normal hours and have the same respect that you gave each other.

    Most of all, we are so sorry that we have make such an improvement.


    We couldn’t even vote until 1965. We couldn’t live in good neighborhoods until after 1968. Some areas still wouldn’t let us in after 1968.

    Education was a crisis in our neighborhoods, and it still is for many of us.

    So before you pass judgement on us…think about this. We have had nearly 46 years to try to undo the harm that was caused by racism.

    My father was nearly killed as a teenager because of his race. He grew up in a time that none of us wanted to see.

    So for some of you to agree with what this man said makes me sick to the stomach.

    Would you rather us back on the farms working for nothing? Do you not think that we want the same thing for our families that you want for yours?

    Do you not understand that our dreams are the same?

  9. MA Says:

    So, stop being a victim and pursue your dreams.

  10. Lucia Says:

    MA, blacks like us latinas would love to “So, stop being a victim” and to pursue our dreams.

    But your race makes that difficult because you are relentlessly practicing racism, and bigotry in the work place, in politics, in education, and in the justice system.

    It is people like you that make it so bad. You know that but for your race you would have to pull your own weight. But you pretend that you got or get what you do by the sweat of your brow.

    Robert, RT, explained it for hypocrites like you. You have been America’s Affirmative Action Beneficiaries for 200 plus years. Denying it and pretending you earned your privileged position in America’a society does not belie the lie.

    My advice to you is to stop making us victims and to allow us to pursue our dreams with the same hurdles you white encounter not manufactured higher ones because we are OTWs.


  11. Jackie Says:

    MA, so if a woman is raped do you tell her to stop being a victim? Should we tell the parents of Trayvon that he should have just stopped being a victim?

    Shall I tell the millions that have been victimized by your race that they should just stop being victims.

    Right, that should make everything all right.


  12. Mercedes Says:

    MA, frankly I am not sure about others but this Latina doesn’t want to be a victim. I would prefer to be like you able to go any place in my own country and not fear that some racist white bastard will use the apathy displayed by whites like you to abuse me.

    Alycedale said that there are three kinds of white people. One third confirmed racist dogs who will never change. One third assholes like you who are Gutless wonders either because you are too gutless to practice the kind of racist acts of the first third or your race or you are too gutless to oppose the racist acts of the first third of your race.

    Either way I agree with her it is the GUTLESS Third of COWARDS that continue to make OTWs victims of racism and bigotry.

    I suppose Alycedale and Robert, RT could have added that Hypocrisy in the form of denial of the true state of affairs in this country is the thing that keeps you warm at night.


  13. Health Info Says:

    Do Chubby Docs Give Bad Health Advice?

    Ever go to a dentist who has bad teeth or a hairdresser or barber who has a hideous ’do?

    That sort of situation certainly challenges your confidence in the professional!

    Scenarios such as those were what caused Sara Bleich, PhD, assistant professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, to wonder, Are overweight doctors bad at helping their overweight or obese patients?

    So she decided to find out…

    Dr. Bleich and her colleagues sent a 49-item questionnaire to 500 primary care doctors chosen at random throughout the US. Among the questions on the form, each doctor was asked to enter his or her height and weight.

    Researchers used this information to calculate each doctor’s body mass index (BMI)—a standard measure, even if not perfect, indicating whether a person is “overweight” (a BMI of 25 to 29.9) or “obese” (a BMI of 30 or higher).

    Dr. Bleich said that it was eye-opening to find that 38% of the doctors were overweight and an additional 15% were obese.

    That total of 53% that were too heavy for their own good is less than the almost two-thirds of the general US population that are overweight or obese…but, c’mon, these are frontline health-care professionals! What kind of example is that?

    Based on the rest of the questionnaire, Dr. Bleich’s study found…
    Overweight doctors initiated weight discussions with their overweight or obese patients less often (18% of the time) than normal-weight doctors (30% of the time).

    Fewer overweight doctors (56%) than normal-weight doctors (72%) agreed that, “physicians should be role models by maintaining healthy weight.”

    Fewer overweight doctors (37%) than normal-weight doctors (53%) agreed that, “I feel confident giving diet counseling to my obese patients.”

    Fewer overweight doctors (38%) than normal-weight doctors (56%) agreed that, “I feel confident giving exercise counseling to my obese patients.”

    Another interesting finding: The questionnaire included a chart depicting five body types—with BMIs ranging from normal to overweight to obese—and asked each doctor to indicate which they would typically diagnose as obese.

    The key factor in each doctor’s diagnosis turned out to be his or her own BMI! Most (93%) provided an obesity diagnosis only when the pictured patient’s BMI was the same or higher than their own, and most (89%) said that they would be likely to bring up weight loss only with patients whose pictured BMIs were the same or higher than their own.


    It isn’t hard for me to imagine why heavy doctors might be more OK about heavy patients—it’s human nature.

    It’s a rationalization—if the guy next to you (who looks like you) isn’t fat, then you aren’t fat either, right?

    Dr. Bleich added another potential reason—so many Americans are overweight now that it has become, in effect, the “new normal,” and it’s easiest for overweight doctors (or any overweight person) to fall into this way of thinking.


    So what can you, as a patient, do about all of this? Well, for one thing, said Dr. Bleich, be aware that if you have a chubby doctor, he or she may not be giving you the best advice when it comes to weight management.

    You may want to be more proactive at your appointments by calculating your own BMI (you can use the calculator at the National Institutes of Health Web site http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/) and then showing that number to your doctor to initiate a conversation about your weight.

    If your doctor still isn’t helpful, seek outside help from a weight-loss specialist such as a nutritionist or dietitian, said Dr. Bleich.

    That person’s advice may be more on target—although I wonder what a study of those people (and their weights) would show!

    Source: Sara N. Bleich, PhD, assistant professor, department of health policy and management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore.

  14. Ginger Says:

    Michelle this is the best woman’s blog out there. I have been checking out female oriented blogs for more than 5 years. This bar none is the best.

    I was introduced to this blog 4 months ago. I am stunned how much you have enlightened me in that small amount of time. Your regulars Zen Lill, Social Butterfly, Prp, Alycedale and the rest are such strong minded females.

    The difference is they have something to say with a point of view that is just a set of talking points. They can argue their points with the best of the male or female conservative or liberal heavy weights out there.

    You allow everyone to participate so one gets a full spectrum view of the world’s opinions, decent, indecent, profane, courteous, rude, sensitive and hard as nails poster meet and duel it out.

    Sometimes I can’t keep up with the moods and switches of topics, but it is something to be a part of.

    I have seen the faint hearted give up from the infrequent to the regulars. It is a baptism of fire. As regulars go, only the strong survive.

    If you do not have a firm conviction of self you fall by the waste side. It is the blog of blogs.

  15. Francis Says:

    I listen to whites write in about us blacks having to stop being victims. I think this is a race of beings that are separate from what we think of as Human beings.

    My analysis comes from my great aunt, Rebecca. She was a jew who survived the camps of Auschwitz. She would cry at night and remember out loud the deaths of her loved ones at the hands of the nazis.

    I remember my other great aunt Mattie. She would tell me tells of the savagery of her slave masters. I think white americans were crueler and more savage than the nazis. The thing that allows white america to escape the Holocaust they committed against blacks is they control the History of what they did to a people for 200 years.

    No one asks or cares if there are burial grounds for dead slaves. Why? Whites know because they didn’t bury slaves. When a slave was too old or physically incapacitated to produce labor for their masters, they were murdered and their remains were boiled down to be fed to the living slaves as broth.

    Their skin, teeth, bones hair and any other parts were preserved for use as the white creatures saw fit. Just because there is no record like there is of what the nazis did with their victims does not mean it did not happen to the slaves.

    If anyone has a history of another race to fear it is black america for the pure evil visited upon them by the creatures who walk among us and claim to he Human beings.

    The reason they can unleash such pure unadulterated savagery upon OTWs is they are creatures preying upon Humans. I say we should do what the OTWs did during the Vietnam War. Step aside and allow the muslims to kill them at will.

    Why are we willing to fight their battles for them. If they want a holy war with the muslims. Let them arm themselves and take up another holy crusade.

    Undoubtedly it will end as the last one did. With them running back home with their tails between their legs. Not unlike what happened when OTWs refused to continue to fight to suppress the Vietnamese people once they pointed out to the blacks that they were giving their lives for a white america that would not allow them to be equal in their own country when they returned.

    It did not take long for the white military establishment to tuck their tails and flee Vietnam once the blacks put down their weapons and refused to kill other OTWs for the creatures.

    I say do the same again. 9/11 wasn’t about us, it was about them. Why are we dying for the creatures who are trying to pit the different human races of OTWs against each other.

    I say turn on the creatures. Use their evil laws against them. Arm yourselves and when one calls you a racial kill the bastard if you live in a Stand Your Ground state. They have made it legal.

    Exterminate the vermin! Let God sort out the difference. How is that MA for refusing to become a victim? Now you can tell your brood to beware. Tell the little bigot to bes to be VERY aware, for we will use their Stand Your Ground laws to murder them as they have been murdering us.

    Let’s see who is the victim now.

    Imaging what unchecked white evil did to my jewish relatives gives a hint to what unchecked white evil did to my black relatives. The suffering must have beed staggering since the creatures had 200 years to practice their evil.

    Is it any wonder that a race of non humans would not be able to relate to human beings today?

    Say what you will about this race of creaturs. But if the rest of the world naps they will visit upon this earth a cruelty unimaginable. I say Madaline after you kill all the men. Bring your sword to the creatures.

    The one third that are pure creatures of some other non Human species. The one third that are pure gutless creatures. The ones you see watching the lynching of blacks, taking pictures, bringing home, fingers, testicles and other body parts to preserve the memories.

    Then there is the last third. I believe they can not be pure whites lest they be creatures also. Spare them Madaline, even at the risk of letting some of the other two thirds slip in and breed.

    We will find them and cut their throats as we would any other serious threat to Humanity.


  16. Santiago Says:

    Francis, why don’t you tell us how you really feel.

  17. Janet Says:

    Francis, I don’t pretend to be able to imagine the hurt that you must be feeling because of the suffering my race has caused yours. I only as that you don’t paint us all with the same broad brush.


  18. Gala Says:

    Francis, I am a Russian Jew. We have relatives here too who have terrible memories of Nazi atrocities. I have no right to forgive them for what they did to my relatives. But I don’t blame those that were not a part of that evil for it either.

    I sense your hurt and frustration. But more hatred won’t solve anything.


  19. Kadri Says:

    Francis, I am an Estonian. We have suffered also from the evil of another ethnic group of our race. I too have a kind of hatred for them. But I am trying to make my piece so that I can see the good in those of that ethnic group who are not like that.

    It takes away some of the fear that they will return. Perhaps you can learn to believe that some white americans will not stand by and allow that two thirds of their race to practice unchecked evil upon your race.

    There has to be hope if you expect to not turn into the very creatures you are railing against.


  20. Abdul-Qadir Says:

    Francis, if american OTWs would not fight us for their white masters we would not fight them.

  21. Health Info Says:

    Mysterious Symptoms

    Fingernail problems, unexplained itching and eyelid bumps are just a few of the red flags to watch out for.

    The next time you’re at the doctor’s office, don’t keep it to yourself if you have a niggling symptom that you’re not sure is important enough to mention.

    All too often, patients fail to discuss such minor concerns, but this information can be extremely useful in helping your doctor evaluate your health.

    Valuable tool: Keeping a diary is among the best ways to find the cause of unusual symptoms. That’s because symptoms tend to come and go…and become more or less intense.

    If possible, try to identify patterns—such as places you’ve visited, food you’ve eaten and stress-inducing people you’ve encountered at work or at home—that might be linked to your symptoms.

    Knowing such details will help your doctor pinpoint the underlying cause.
    Unusual symptoms—and what they may mean…


    Your fingernails normally curve downward at the sides, leaving a slight hump in the middle. If you notice that the edges curve upward, leaving a spoonlike indentation in the middle, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.

    What this may mean: Undetected blood loss. Nail spooning, known as koilonychia, can be caused by a deficiency of iron, which almost always indicates blood loss somewhere in the body.

    In women, this is usually due to heavy menstruation, which can lead to iron-deficiency anemia. In men and postmenopausal women, an iron deficiency is typically caused by gastrointestinal bleeding.

    Other signs to look for: Soft, brittle nails. Along with spooning, this is a common sign of iron-deficiency anemia, which is also marked by such symptoms as fatigue, shortness of breath, skin pallor and/or heart palpitations.

    Next step: Blood tests to check your red blood cell count and level of ferritin, a protein that contains iron. If both are low, you’re deficient in iron.

    Women with heavy periods are often advised to take a daily supplement that includes iron. Some men and postmenopausal women can also benefit from iron supplements, but first, they need a stool test to check for internal bleeding.

    If bleeding is detected, further tests will be done to search for possible causes, such as colon polyps or cancer.

    Another possibility for iron deficiency: Hookworm. Until people started wearing shoes routinely, about 30% of the population in some Southern states in the US had hookworm, a parasite that can cause anemia.

    People who live in some rural parts of the Southern US and walk barefoot can still get it. Hookworm can be diagnosed with a stool sample.


    There’s no mystery about an itch that’s caused by a rash or mosquito bite. But itching that’s chronic (lasting more than two weeks) and severe—and unrelated to a visible skin problem—is worth noting.

    What this may mean: Liver disease. It can result from a buildup of bilirubin, a waste product that’s left behind after the normal breakdown of red blood cells.

    Widespread itching, especially when it begins on the palms and/or soles of the feet, is often the first symptom of liver disease that causes obstructive jaundice, in which the body is unable to excrete excess bilirubin and other bile acids.

    Next step: A blood test to check liver function. This test, in addition to urinalysis, a complete blood count and ultrasound, will help identify liver disease, as well as other possible causes, such as an impacted gallstone.

    Another possibility: Itching can also be a side effect of medications, particularly narcotic painkillers such as codeine. When you see your doctor, bring a list of all the medications that you’re taking—changing a drug and/or dose may eliminate the itch.


    The eye and the areas around it are highly vascularized—that is, there is a high volume of blood entering the area—and this increases the possibility that blood fats will accumulate and form little bumps beneath the skin. They’re soft to the touch and have a slightly yellow color.

    What this may mean: Extremely high cholesterol. While people who routinely get cholesterol tests are more likely to have high cholesterol detected that way, the bumps, which can form not only on the eyelids but also on the hands, feet, elbows or buttocks, can be important signs to watch out for.

    Next step: A blood test to check cholesterol levels.
    If your total cholesterol is above 300 mg/dL, you’ll probably be advised to take a statin drug, such as lovastatin (Mevacor) or pravastatin (Pravachol). These drugs can significantly lower cholesterol.

    If a greater cholesterol reduction is needed, a statin can be combined with a bile acid–sequestering resin, such as cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid).


    Our hair naturally gets thinner with age. In men, this can start as early as the late teens or early 20s. In women, it often happens around the time of menopause when hormone levels change.

    But it’s not normal for men or women to experience rapid hair loss. See your doctor if you notice that your hair has gotten noticeably thinner over a period of a few months to a year.

    What this may mean: Low thyroid levels. Men and women who have hypothyroidism often notice that their hair has gotten significantly thinner.

    This usually happens within a few months of the disease’s onset. Hypothyroidism also may cause such symptoms as sensitivity to cold, fatigue and/or unexpected weight gain.

    Next step: Blood tests to measure thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and the hormone thyroxine. If you have low thyroxine and high TSH, you have hypothyroidism.

    It is easily treated with a prescription for synthetic thyroid hormone, such as levothyroxine (Synthroid), to restore normal levels of this hormone.

    Most patients start feeling better within a few weeks, but the medication is usually taken for the patient’s lifetime. Normal hair growth will resume in about three months.

    Important: Women with unexplained hair loss also need to have their testosterone levels measured to check for an androgen-secreting tumor in the ovaries or adrenal glands.

    This type of tumor secretes male hormones that can cause male-pattern baldness as well as the appearance of facial hair.


    Pneumonia is a serious disease, but it can also be a symptom of ongoing lung damage. For example, some patients repeatedly get pneumonia (two or more times a year) even though they don’t have any of the usual risk factors, such as smoking or advanced age (65 or older).

    What this may mean: Exposure to toxins or irritating substances that are inhaled. People today are routinely exposed to thousands of chemical agents—for example, cleaning products, off-gassing from carpets and air pollution.

    The lungs are easily damaged by exposure to these substances, leaving them more susceptible to inflammation and infection.

    Next step: If you suffer from pneumonia two or more times per year, you should work with your doctor to identify and eliminate toxins that may be playing a role.

    It’s reasonable to suspect toxic exposure if you get repeated infections, including pneumonia, but you can’t find a clear explanation for it.

    Source: Clifton K. Meador, MD, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College, both in Nashville.

    He is the director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, a collaborative, nonprofit research and medical training institute and the author of Puzzling Symptoms (Cable) and Symptoms of Unknown Origin: A Medical Odyssey (Vanderbilt University).

  22. Isma'il Says:

    Francis, if more of your people felt this way. We could put a check on the greed and evil of the white man.

    He has come to the Middle East and attempted to destroy our religion for oil. He has use the jews as his attack dogs. Now he seeks to use you children to die for his.

    He will never share he benefits of citizenship with you OTWs. He believes that to be his birth right only. Help us to destroy what they love most money and the institution that guard their wealth.

    Why serve in their military and die for a freedom they will never share with you?

    Work with us and we together can destroy their hold on the wealth of the world. We will kill them for you. All we as is that you not participate in their evil schemes or wars.

    They are brave only when they have the numbers or superior weaponry. Most are without honor or strength of commitment to a cause if they have to put their lives or the lives of their relatives to the fight.

    They will run like the cowardly dogs they are. They need your bodies and the bodies of your sons and daughters to continue this fight against us. Lay down your arms and force the creatures to do their on fighting and this will end happily for all us OTWs.

    We will pile their bodies as high as Allah demands. We will scorch the earth to seek them out as they scurry for hiding places like the rats they are.

    Throw off the yokes of you white masters and this world will be a better place for all.


  23. Danny Says:

    Americans will never be separated by outsiders. We are one country for all.

  24. Paul Says:

    I fought for my country because it is every bit mine as much as anyone else here regardless of color creed or religion.

    Yes, some whites are insanely racists, but we are all Americans and god help the fool who thinks he can divide and conquer us.


  25. Mark Says:

    Allah, who? If I were you muslims (not american muslims) I would take that hope of separating americans and tie up your fucking camels.

  26. General Info Says:

    Europe for Pennies on the Dollar

    Travel bargains this summer stretch from Las Vegas to Europe. The euro currency’s continuing weakness makes Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain attractive, and these countries’ slow economies will lead to discounts to lure tourists.

    Look for hotel packages in Spain. In Ireland, Web sites such as http://www.FlipKey.com and http://www.HomeAway.com can help you find an inexpensive home to rent.

    Consider the Greek mainland, not just the islands. Portugal’s cost of living is lower than that of other western European nations, which keeps tourist prices lower.

    Within the US: Las Vegas is an excellent value because many new hotel rooms were planned just before the recession hit, and they are just now coming onto the already glutted market.

    And states with a lower cost of living, such as West Virginia, Alabama and Arkansas, offer surprising attractions.

    Example: In Bentonville, Arkansas, the brand-new, world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which opened last November, offers free admission to permanent exhibits, underwritten by Walmart.

    Source: Pauline Frommer is a travel expert based in Hoboken, New Jersey, and editor of Pauline Frommer’s Travel Guides (Wiley).

  27. Peter Says:

    Hafa adai

    National Geo: DeepSea Challenge Shifts From Exploration to Analysi

    Guam – On its website the National Geographic has announced that the DeepSea Challenge is shifting from active expedition to scientific analysis.

    According to the latest posting, the James Cameron led expedition will continue to make long term plans for further dives and solicit support for further scientific exploration as scientists examine the photographic and scientific evidence collected during the dives.

    Meanwhile, National Geographic reports that the prototype submersible DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, which Cameron took to the bottom of the Marianas Trench on March 26th, will undergo further engineering and diagnostics in advance of future dives.

    READ the posting on National Geographic website HERE

    The National Geogrpahic website lists the following summary of the expedition to date:

    • The DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible completed a total of 13 test and research dives off the coasts of Australia and Papua New Guinea and at the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench between January 31 and April 3, 2012. On March 8 Cameron set the record for a single-manned dive to 27,119 feet (8,265 meters) in the New Britain Trench off Papua New Guinea.

    An expedition lander, or unmanned research vehicle, captured images of an enormous amphipod—the deepest instance of gigantism reported to date.

    • Cameron successfully completed the dive to the Challenger Deep on March 26, reaching 35,756 feet (10,898 meters) and making history as the first individual to reach full ocean depth in a solo-manned vehicle.

    Cameron spent about three hours on the bottom documenting what he saw and collecting samples. During the dive to the Challenger Deep, Cameron reported that the manipulator arm on the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER malfunctioned when hydraulic fluid leaked but that the prototype submersible was a success.

    Cameron said later: “The sub worked well as a scientific platform, and we learned a great deal. It’s our hope that others will be encouraged to explore and illuminate this new frontier.”

    • Ron Allum, chief engineer of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible and Cameron’s partner in the building of the sub, completed a dive to about 3,280 feet (1,000 meters) on April 1 off the coast of Ulithi, an atoll located in the Federated States of Micronesia.

    He collected samples and documented life at that depth in rare detail. Among his many contributions to the design of the sub and to the ultimate success of the expedition was the invention of ISOFLOAT™, a syntactic foam that enabled the sub to withstand the tremendous pressure of the deep and to remain buoyant and return to the surface in minimal time.

    • Chief expedition scientist Doug Bartlett of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, confirms the scope of the scientific material that will be published in peer-reviewed papers in the months and years to come.

    On test dives as well as the dive to the Mariana Trench, the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER collected samples, all of which have been preserved for future study at the on-ship laboratory created by the expedition’s team of seven scientists.

    “That material and the documentary evidence captured by the sub will keep researchers working in the fields of marine biology, microbiology, astrobiology, marine geology, and geophysics for years to come,” said Bartlett, a microbiologist.

    “It’s too early in the scientific process to draw conclusions, but we saw many surprises, like the giant amphipod at about 8,000 meters. And this is only the beginning.”

    Another scientist on board, Patricia Fryer, a marine geologist from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai’i, stresses the video data provides evidence of exposures of thick lava sequences at the deepest levels of the New Britain Trench and confirmation of access to intricate slump deposit features at the deep inner trench slope in the Challenger Deep.

    The latter are consistent with morphology of features predicted in recent publications to be related to major tsunamigenic earthquakes in subduction zones.

    • The science team’s work continued until April 4 at the Mariana Trench. A DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition lander was deployed within the Sirena Deep to a depth of within 656 feet (200 meters) of the Challenger Deep.

    Video captured reveals a sloping, rocky terrain with a few amphipods seen swimming around the bait. The team has begun processing samples for microbial cultures, amphipod identification, chemistry and genomics/phylogenetics.

    • The specially designed Rolex experimental watch attached to the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER’s manipulator arm during the Challenger Deep dive returned unharmed and keeping perfect time.

    In 1960 an experimental Rolex Deep Sea Special watch was attached to the hull of the bathyscaphe Trieste and emerged in perfect working order after withstanding the huge pressure exerted at 6.77 miles (10.89 kilometers) below the surface.

    “The Rolex Deepsea Challenge watch is a tremendous example of engineering know-how and an ideal match for the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible,” said Cameron.

    * The DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition will be chronicled for a 3-D feature film for theatrical release.

    The film will feature the intensive technological and scientific efforts behind this historic dive and will subsequently be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel. The expedition will also be documented in National Geographic magazine.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    What I think you need to do in the US is to take the war to the streets. Returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan should be put on the streets where there is high proportion of drug use. Like in Ireland during the troubles and Tibet today. A truck on every corner and patrols 24/7.

    The US Consulate in Florence. OMG great big black trucks and two guys with small shiny machine guns on each corner. It was nearly as bad as that time in Albuquerque with the motorbike cops. You want to look but you want to live more. Anyway.

    While the army is fighting the war on drugs the war on crime could be fought by the (wait for it) THE POLICE! DA DA. Alternatively they could call off this war declared on the people of America and the cops could go back to fighting crime. What do you reckon. A surge or a retreat? America never retreats.

  29. WW Says:

    Essentially, Romney or not, the Republicans are singing the same old song. Once again tax cuts for the rich are going to put the economy into overdrive and trickle down economics is what you really need.

    Military spending? Can’t get enough of it! Social progams like Medicare and Social Security? Thats Socialism, and as such bad for you and bad for America! That and the three year mantra of “Get Obama in 2012!!!”.

    But Mitt’s Mr. 1%, the man who fired your dad and a corporate raider. That and the ever slow American people have heard this song and dance for thirty years, and it’s never worked once. And it ain’t gonna work this time either.

  30. MB Says:

    Christian “thou shalt not lie” is just one small thing. Christian “grace” is the biggest get-out-of-jail-free ticket ever. It paves the way for those lies, the cheating, the stealing, the deceiving, ’cause all one has to do is “accept christ as their savior” and all is washed clean, forgiven.

    It’s the greatest religioistic excuse to do whatever one wants to do that ever could have been concocted for the sake of Man’s desire to do as he pleases. If conservatives can even see what they do for what it really is. All they have to do is plea bargain for a little fresh grace, and all is good.

    That we just might be the sum of our deeds, that everything we do affects everyone in the HERE AND NOW is that reviled liberal mindset.

  31. Elliot Says:

    On Trayvon and Zimmerman, Is the police investigations any sloppier then the investigative reporting? Why does the press keep using outdated photos that have no bearing at all on currrent apprerances of either. Definite efforts to manipulate opinion, in my opinion.

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