Friday, October 31, 2008

A Vampire In Exeter

I didn't know the story of Mercy Brown until about 12 or 13 years ago when Dennis brought me to her grave one night in October. I found it fascinating that people would have thought that she was a vampire. As I stood by her headstone, I stomped the ground and called her name which totally freaked out Dennis. I wasn't scared at all. I'm so glad to read the real story in the Projo this morning and thought it was a great one to share with all of you.


We come to Exeter on this late-October afternoon to remember Mercy Brown, less for what she became in death than for what she was in life. Mercy, whose name would prove cruelly ironic, died on Jan. 17, 1892, at the age of 19. She left no known photographs, drawings or letters –– only a story, still growing, that she could never have imagined.

The story holds that she was a vampire, the most famous of several said to have existed in the United States. Google “American vampires” and Mercy’s name comes up second of more than a half million hits.

She was no vampire, of course.

She was a young woman who died of tuberculosis, a disease that was poorly understood. Victims frequently spit up blood, which in less informed times, some construed as evidence of evil.

Tuberculosis killed Mercy’s mother and sister in the 1880s, and when her brother, Edwin, and then Mercy became sick with the disease, a sort of hysteria descended on rural Exeter. What happened next was unspeakable, transforming someone who would have been anonymous for eternity into something worse.

On this late-October afternoon, we meet Sheila Reynolds, whose passion is Exeter history. Sheila drives us around town, past barns and farmhouses that were built two centuries ago. We pass grist and lumber mills, and orchards and fields defined by stone walls. We look inside a one-room schoolhouse. We hear about churches and inns. We picture Mercy.

“Most girls only went to the eighth grade; there were very few that went off to high school,” Sheila says. “So at that point, she would be taking care of her younger siblings.”

Mercy Lena Brown was born on Aug. 2, 1872, the fourth of the six children of Mary (Arnold) and George Thomas Brown, a farmer who traced his ancestry to Charles Brown, born in Suffolk, England, in 1620. By the time Mercy finished eighth grade, she had two younger sisters.

“She would be helping at the house making dinner for the farmhands, helping out with the other chores around the farm, collecting eggs,” Sheila says. “They would have to do a lot of canning. Once they dug potatoes and squash from the garden, they put them in the root cellar for the winter. They would salt the meat or salt fish, whatever they had to put up.” Families made candles and soap from the fat of pigs. They sewed their own clothes. They pressed cider from apples. When money allowed, they visited the general store for sugar and spices.

As her teenage years ended, Mercy likely shared the ambition of generations of young farm women before her. “Probably being a wife and having children of her own,” Sheila says.
We learn of University of Rhode Island Prof. Linda Welters, who oversaw a cataloguing of almost 1,000 Rhode Island-produced quilts. Mercy Brown made one, according to the scholars.

A call to Welters leads us to the North Kingstown home of Betsey Reynolds, a distant relative of Mercy Brown. Betsey and her sister, June O’Neil, who lives next door, show us the quilt in Betsey’s living room.

“This is actually a coverlet,” Betsey says.

“Like a bedspread,” June says.

It is a pretty patchwork of white, blue, brown and red squares, roughly a foot per side. Betsey, a quilter herself, says it was created from scraps of cotton cloth. The stitches are perfectly placed, the feel of the fabric soft but sturdy. Touching it, as Mercy herself did for hours, we can imagine a modest young woman, dreaming of a good tomorrow.

“As far as you know, this is the only evidence of Mercy Brown that survives?” we ask.

“There may be somebody in the other part of the family that has something,” says Betsey, “but we have never heard of it.”

No record exists of when Mercy contracted TB, but by the autumn of 1891, she was sufficiently sick to require a doctor’s attention.

She was experiencing night sweats, weight loss, fever and fatigue. She was coughing up blood, and may have awakened with crimson froth on her lips, a telltale sign to the superstitious. Until the 1940s, when a cure was found, TB slowly consumed a person –– hence its ancient name, consumption. It remains among the worst ways to die.

Some short while after Mercy was placed in the crypt at the cemetery behind Chestnut Hill Baptist Church, there to await burial when the winter earth thawed, acquaintances of George Brown came to believe that something more than contagion was responsible for his family’s terrible luck.

“During the few weeks past,” The Providence Journal reported on the front page of its March 18, 1892, edition, “Mr. Brown has been besieged on all sides by a number of people who expressed implicit faith in the old theory that by some unexplained and unreasonable way in some part of the deceased relative’s body live flesh and blood might be found, which is supposed to feed upon the living who are in feeble health."

“Mr. Brown, having no confidence in the old-time theory, and also getting no encouragement from the medical fraternity, did not yield to their importunities until yesterday afternoon, when an investigation was held under the direction of Harold Metcalf, M.D., of Wickford.”

On that day, Dr. Metcalf went to the cemetery and found that villagers had unearthed Mercy’s mother and sister. Of Mercy’s mother, the Journal wrote: “Some of the muscles and flesh still existed in a mummified state but there were no signs of blood in the heart.” Mercy’s sister Mary Olive, the paper reported, was also confirmed as being dead. They were reburied.

Mercy was then removed from the crypt and cut open.

“The lungs showed diffuse tuberculosis germs,” the paper reported, a detail quickly (and still today) overlooked.

Dr. Metcalf examined Mercy’s heart and liver.

“These two organs were removed, and a fire being kindled in the cemetery, they were reduced to ashes and the attendants seemed satisfied,” The Journal reported. Whether Edwin Brown later ate his sister’s ashes in hopes of being cured of his own TB, as some advised, cannot be determined. Edwin died that spring.

A leather-bound volume at Town Hall records the deaths of 19 people in Exeter in 1892. The oldest, Nancy Greene, 84, is listed as dying of “old age.” The youngest, Ernest Woodmansee, two months old, died of cholera. Diphtheria claimed three Exeter residents that year, tuberculosis four.

“Female, white, single,” is how the clerk described Mercy, dead at the age of 19 years, five months and 15 days; “tuberculosis” is recorded as the cause. Teacher Georgia Barber, who was one year older than Mercy, also died of the disease –– just three days before Mercy. But it was Mercy, not Georgia, who would be so strangely fated.

The cemetery behind Chestnut Hill Baptist Church is a mile east of Town Hall.

It is deserted of the living on this late-October afternoon, but evidence abounds that Mercy’s grave is regularly frequented. Among the items left at her tombstone are a ring, a piece of candy, a key chain, a beer cap, a set of vampire teeth, a heart-shaped rock, and black plastic roses. The site seems irresistible to the kooky and the curious. It is so popular (and vandalized) that a metal bracket and concrete post have been placed to prevent theft of Mercy’s stone, the only tangible evidence, beyond a quilt and a line in a death register, of her existence.

Mercy died in the year that Jack the Ripper was an international news sensation, and accounts of what happened that March in Exeter, R.I., were said to be among Bram Stoker’s inspirations in writing Dracula, the 1897 horror novel. Today, Mercy is the subject of hundreds of articles, books and movies, some posted to YouTube. “Do not investigate here alone!” one video advises.

“Creepy sounds came from the crypt.”

Not today. The only sounds are birds.

The setting sun bathes the cemetery in golden light. As her 116th winter in the ground approaches, Mercy Brown, a simple woman so wrongly remembered, is, for this moment, at least, at peace.


The Exeter Historical Society can be reached at http://www.exeterhistoricalassociation.net/

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Spielberg Says "Don't Vote"

Check this out:

http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6142021

Did You Know...

...that the McCain/Palin ticket wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, while Sen. Obama is committed to protecting a woman's right to choose.

I'm sure you've heard Sen. McCain mocking protections for women's health as "extreme."

Those facts alone are enough for most of us to support Sen. Obama. But the McCain/Palin ticket is even more extreme and more dangerous to women's health than you may realize:

John McCain opposes equal pay legislation, saying it wouldn't do "anything to help the rights of women." 1

John McCain opposes requiring health care plans to cover prescription birth control. 2

John McCain and Sarah Palin oppose comprehensive, medically accurate sex education. 3

John McCain opposes commonsense funding to prevent unintended and teen pregnancies. 4

John McCain and Sarah Palin want to tax health care benefits for the first time since the 1950s.5

John McCain opposes restoring family planning services for low-income women. 6

Sarah Palin opposes abortion even in the case of rape and incest. 7

John McCain voted against the Violence Against Women Act, which ensures rape survivors are not charged for the emergency exams used to prosecute their attackers. While Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, rape survivors were forced to pay for these exams, which cost up to $1,200.8

When asked whether contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV, John McCain said he was "stumped." 9

In his 25 years in Washington, DC, John McCain has voted against women's reproductive rights and privacy 125 times. 10

We can't afford four more years of an administration that is openly hostile to the needs of women and families across the country.


1. The Trail blog, Washington Post, 5/7/08; 2. Roll Call Vote, 3/11/03; 3. The Caucus, New York Times, 3/16/07; First Read, MSNBC, 9/1/08; 4. Roll Call Vote, 3/17/05; 5. Center for American Progress, 7/2/08; 6. Roll Call Vote, 3/17/05; 7. ABC World News with Charles Gibson, 9/12/08; 8. H.R. 3355, Roll Call Vote, 8/25/94; The Frontiersman, 5/23/00; 9. The Caucus, New York Times, 3/16/07; 10. meettherealmccain.com

BOYCOTT Exxon Mobil

HOUSTON (AP) -- Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, reported income Thursday that shattered its own record for the biggest profit from operations by a U.S. corporation, earning $14.83 billion in the third quarter.

The Irving, Texas-based company has reported unprecedented back-to-back quarters, the end of the most recent coinciding with a rapid plunge in crude prices. Benchmark oil prices fell another $2.21 to $65.29 Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, about 56 percent off record highs in July.

Exxon said net income jumped nearly 58 percent to $2.86 a share in the July-September period. That compares with $9.41 billion, or $1.70 a share, a year ago.

The previous record for U.S. corporate profit was set in the last quarter, when Exxon Mobil earned $11.68 billion.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Great Black Hope

Barack Obama said "We've dug a deep hole and George Bush wants to hand the shovel over to John McCain."

I think not.

I can't imagine that anyone with even half a brain would vote for McSame on Tuesday. Really, think about it - Barack Obama has given us every reason to support and vote for him. His economic and health care plans. Also his plans for education, energy, foreign policy, veterans, women, etc.. Never mind his integrity and positive attitude.

This week John McBush has become creepier than ever. Even his voice; he sounds like some creepy Halloween movie monster. And I've tried to ignore the crap that is coming out of his and his equally scary VP pick's mouths'.

By next week at this time I should know whether I'm staying here in the U.S. or heading to the beaches of Belize. For those of you who think I'm just kidding around, I've already found a hotel and I'll be negotiating with them on two things; monthly rate and having a dog. I've put off much needed repairs for my car until after the election as well - if McCreepy wins, no need to get the car fixed because I will be out of here by January.

If Obama wins; big, big, I mean really big, huge even party on January 20, when we say get the eff out of Washington you loser President Idiot.

Headlines

Polls: Obama Ahead In Three Largest Swing States

Poll: McCain Barely Ahead In Arizona

EARLY VOTING AVALANCHE

McCain supporters still confident

Nader's Stubborn Idealism

Protect This Election

Palin Plots for 2012

"Skinheads" Reveal All On Web

Republicans Point Fingers, Search Souls: GOP Forever Changed?

McCain struggles for upset in Pennsylvania

Warning on 'dire' Iraq conditions

Do Republicans have a youth problem?

Gas prices hit 3-year low

Today In History

On this day in 1929, stock prices collapsed on the New York Stock Exchange amid panic selling. Thousands of investors were wiped out.

The National Organization for Women was founded in 1966.

Israel invaded Egypt's Sinai Peninsula during the Suez Canal crisis in 1956.

In 1682, the founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, landed at what is now Chester, Pa.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How Angry Is McCain

I wish I could figure out how to post videos here from You Tube. Here's the link to one I found on Huffingtonpost.com.

How angry is McCain? Take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sooebBg7aLA

Monday, October 27, 2008

Is There A Gun In Your House

Guns and domestic violence are a lethal combination - injuring and killing women every day in the United States.

A gun is the weapon most commonly used in domestic homicides.

In fact, more than three times as many women are murdered by guns used by their husbands or intimate acquaintances than are killed by strangers’ guns, knives or other weapons combined.

Contrary to many public perceptions, many women who are murdered are killed not by strangers but by men they know.

Nearly one-third of all women murdered in the United States in recent years were murdered by a current or former intimate partner.

In 2000, 1,247 women, more than three a day, were killed by their intimate partners.

Of females killed with a firearm, almost two-thirds of were killed by their intimate partners.

Access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner homicide more than five times more than in instances where there are no weapons, according to a recent study.

In addition, abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners.

In 2002, 54 percent of female homicide victims were shot and killed with a gun.

You Know It's All Over When...

... “Al Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election,” read a commentary on a password-protected Islamist Web site that is closely linked to Al Qaeda and often disseminates the group’s propaganda.

John McCain isn’t boasting about a new endorsement, one of the very, very few he has received from overseas. It came a few days ago.

An American president who keeps troops in Iraq indefinitely, fulminates about Islamic terrorism, inclines toward military solutions and antagonizes other nations is an excellent recruiting tool. In contrast, an African-American president with a Muslim grandfather and a penchant for building bridges rather than blowing them up would give Al Qaeda recruiters fits.

That’s probably the core reason why Al Qaeda militants prefer a McCain presidency: four more years of blindness to nuance in the Muslim world would be a tragedy for Americans and virtually everyone else, but a boon for radical groups trying to recruit suicide bombers.

from NYTimes.com Nicholas Kristof

Trip Down Memory Lane

This link is to a video that anyone who loves classic television will enjoy:

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/cc65ed650d

or you can go to www.funnyordie.com and watch other videos of theirs. The landlord is one of my favorites.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Not Yet Born Baby Pictures

Here are the first baby pictures from my friend Dawn and her husband Joe!! Look at what a friendly child she will be having! Already waving at such a young age! Look at that profile, what a cutie patootie. How exciting is this? Amazing pictures!
Needless to say, my dear friend Dawniebird - all the best in these last few months until that baby is born!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hacking

Ohk, so...
Its your gurl, Chelsea Elizabethh
Hacked you October 25th.
So if you think Alice is your
best friend, think again

Chelsea WILL rule the WORLD!
And you will ALL be my slaves
Mwuhuhahaaa!

Sincerely,
your new leader.
Chelsea Elizabethh

Countdown


OMG

Immediate Response Is Crucial

So here I am trying to ignore any of the political goings on as I possibly can and what arrives in the mail today?? A letter from John McBush! As I've blogged about before, whoever signed me up (I suspect it's my crazy evangelical sister) to get the republican mailings had no idea how much I would enjoy them.

Today's letter is a desperate plea for money, what else. I loved how instead of putting the date at the top of the letter, it says "Tuesday Morning!" Why not "Tuesday Afternoon" or "Tuesday Evening?"

And, of course, the much over used and ridiculously meaningless and moronic "my friend" is peppered throughout.

It also frightens with the idea of "our Democrat opponents are more determined to win total control of the government than ever before." Damn straight we are. Look what you, Mr. Idiot Jr, and your cohorts have done over the past 8 years!

Another great line "If the Obama Democrats and liberal organizations like MoveOn.org have their way, our troops will be recklessly pulled out of Iraq and our enemies will be handed a victory they have neither won nor deserve." Yeah, like MoveOn.org has anything to do with how and when the troops are pulled out of the hellhole deathtrap that McBush helped them get into.

"If the Obama Democrats have their way, government spending will skyrocket..." How the heck can government spending skyrocket any more than it already has. I mean, really, the National Debt Clock ran out of frickin numbers under President Idiot!! They've made living above your means an art form.

One thing that really stands out is that there is no, I repeat no, website listed in this 4 page letter! Haven't the republicans figured out that Obama has raised hundreds of millions of dollars over the web? It just goes to show how out of touch McBush and the rest of the repubs are. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, after all, McBush has been heard to say that he doesn't know how to use "the e-mail!"

The most overused word is "immediate" or "immediately." I guess John McBush wants me to send him money NOW!

Well, I happily filled out the paperwork which included that beautiful postage-paid return envelope. I wrote "LOSER" next to his name and HAH where the $$ amount was to be written. The envelope is already in the car, waiting to be sent back "immediately" with my personal note of success - NOT!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

12 Days And Counting

I have to admit that I am getting tired of politics. It's been a looooong presidential race and I just cannot wait until November 4th.

I've slowed down my perusing of blogs, news pages, campaign websites, etc. to reduce my anxiety and depression, but it hasn't been enough. Sometimes I wish my Fios would crash so that I wouldn't have the ability to roam the web.

One thing I have found curious, however, is how many people have stated that they will be moving to Belize if McCain wins or steals the election. Belize!! That was supposed to be my little secret. I guess other people have done their research and found, like I did, that Belize is a perfect location to spend any amount of time.

So the wait continues...not sure if I'll make it without having to include alcohol as part of my daily diet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tweetie Bird

We had a pretty close call with our Tweetie Bird this past week.

I got Tweetie for Chelsea on her 8th birthday. Chelsea just turned 13 in August, so we've had Tweetie for quite some time.

Parakeets are funny and sweet birds. They have tons of personality and, other than the mess they make with their food and poop, are nothing but delight to have around. I've had several parakeets over the years.

The first parakeet I ever had was when I was a kid. I was devastated when, returning from a winter trip to Maine for school vacation, we returned home to find the heat had gone off and Kelly, our beautiful green parakeet, had frozen. That stayed with me over the years and I've always made sure that if I had to be away, my parakeet was safe from cold temperatures. I would either take the bird with me or leave it with a friend. Most of the time, however, my birds were safe at home because I had a low temperature monitor added to my security system. This way, if the temperature dropped to 55 degrees, I would be notified and be able to make arrangements to get the bird to a warm place.

Many years ago, in the late 80's, my friend Jude had one of his windows open in his 3rd floor apartment when a pretty green parakeet flew onto the windowsill. He had the parakeet in his house for several days, pooping all over the place as it flew around, when he asked me if I had a bird cage. I didn't, but I knew who did. I headed to Mr. Cooper's house where I had my pick of many cages because Lillian had always had birds. So I brought a bird cage to Jude's and then took the cage and the bird home with me. That bird, who I named Kelly (in remembrance of my childhood parakeet) was with me for several years. Kelly went on vacation with me to Cape Cod and several times to Maine. Kelly would also tattle on Hooke when he was acting up. I think Kelly realized that I would yell at him when he was trying to dig a hole through the couch, so when I was out of the room, Kelly would yell at him, which would really crack me up. Kelly ended up with a brain tumor (yes I took him to the vet's - twice.) She (or he) died in 1996 and Dennis and I buried her/him down by the pond near my red house.

My next parakeet was called Birdie. Birdie was given to me by my friend Becky and was a very happy, loud funny little character. I had Birdie for a few years and when he/she became ill, she died laying on my chest.

Now Tweetie is one of the funniest parakeets I've ever had. He or she (it's really hard to tell what sex a bird is) interacts with me all day long. Every now and then Tweetie will flap her/his wings as if she/he is flying away. I'll say "Tweetie, don't leave us, we love you, don't go anywhere" and then Tweetie will start squawking and talking back to me. It's very funny and I love it!

Two weeks ago on a Thursday night I noticed that Tweetie had his/her back to us. Vanessa was over with Jaelyn for dinner. I thought that Tweetie was tired, but every day since Tweetie got much worse. I found myself watching him/her constantly and hoping that he/she would get better. I also monitored how much food Tweetie ate and it was very, very little. Two days ago, I thought for sure it would be Tweetie's last day. Then yesterday Tweetie started to be a little more active and ate some food. Today Tweetie is pretty much back to normal, which I am just so happy about.

I'm going to keep a close eye on him/her and hope that whatever the problem was, it's long gone.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Economic Downturn Hits Rhode Island

Scott Brass, a manufacturing plant located in Cranston, closed their doors for business, ending the jobs of 50 workers.

They stated that a “precipitous drop” in the price of copper reduced the value of the company’s inventory and made it difficult to obtain needed credit. Their bank: Wachovia

They are trying to get funding from another bank source, but for now, the business is closed. They were one of my customers from way back.

Also in the news today, Rhode Island's unemployment hits 8.8 percent, the worst in the nation.

It's already started, folks.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Obamas'


Can you imagine what it is going to be like to have a "first couple" in the White House who are truly and deeply in love. My feeling is that Barack and Michelle Obama will be fantastic role models for our nation - and the world. I'm not sure what her focus will be when she is the first lady, other than being the first mom, that is.

I'll admit that it took me awhile to warm up to Barack Obama - he was not my 1st or even my 2nd choice - but now that I have taken the time to learn more about him and Michelle, I am absolutely convinced he is the man for the job and she will be one of the most effective first ladys' we've ever had.

Just 15 days til the election, and I cannot wait for this very long election season to end. I'm so looking forward to the day where I can proclaim that I am proud of my country - I certainly haven't been proud in the past 8 years.

This is gonna be great!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Breaking News

It's just been released - President-to-be Obama had raised $150 million for the month of September! This brings the total raised for the campaign to a record $605 million!

It's absolutely unseen in presidential politics and I'm sure the internet helped! Obama has run a very well organized campaign - his website is incredible - and I'm sure future campaigns by others will be copying Obama's campaign strategy.

Senator McGoo couldn't and can't compete!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Global Warming And Wildlife

Please read and please help by sending letter.

Polar Bear vs Sled Dogs

Anybody who has ever stopped by to visit my blog has probably noticed that I'm pretty crazy about polar bears. Tonight I received the following story and pictures in an email from my friend Faith. I thought this would be a good way to share with all of you how incredibly fabulous polar bears are and why we should go above and beyond to protect these magnificent creatures!

If you don't already think animals are far more spiritually advanced than we humans, think again. Here are Norbert Rosing's striking images of a wild polar bear coming upon tethered sled dogs in the wilds of Canada's Hudson Bay. The photographer was sure that he was going to see the end of his dogs when the polar bear wandered in, but...




The polar bear returned every night that week to play with the dogs.

Remember...things are not always what they seem.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Great Dog Story

Missti Lavallee of Erie, ND, had been a soldier in the U.S. Army Combat Military Police Corps for nearly a decade when she was injured in the line of duty and told she would never walk again. Not one to give up, Lavallee made the life-changing decision to bring home Lara, a 12-week-old blue heeler/shepherd mix, and train her as her therapy dog.

In the first few months, Lara learned to assist her human by reminding her to take her medicine and fetching Lavallee’s husband when she needed his assistance. Lara even figured out—all on her own—how to test the temperature of Lavallee’s bath water. But the real turning point was when Lavallee lost circulation in her legs—so badly they were turning purple—and the shepherd mix climbed into bed and lay on her legs. “Her breathing and her soft fur heated up my legs—slow enough not to cause more pain, but fast enough to relieve the pain I was in,” Lavallee recalls.

Lara soon knew instinctively when Lavallee needed her legs warmed, and was right there to help. Little by little, as Lavallee’s circulation improved, Lara encouraged her mom to get out of her wheelchair and walk alongside her as they played hide-and-seek with her two daughters.
“Doing the 'seeking' with Lara gave me motivation to get up and walk alongside her, no matter how hard it was or how much it hurt,” Lavallee tells us.

This former soldier believes her amazing dog encouraged her to focus on her and the kids instead of on the pain. “Lara did what four doctors in two countries could not—after about eight months, I began to walk!” Lavallee says. “Let me say that again because it feels so good. Thanks to my blue heeler/shepherd mix, I can now walk!” That winter, for the first time in a long time, Lavallee was able to go outside and play with her two daughters.

Lara’s assistance extends beyond the physical. She’s also a nanny! “I don’t have to worry about the kids fighting with each other,” says Lavallee. “Lara is quick to get between them and tell them to knock it off with one ‘Woof! She’s tough! Being a female soldier, I learned that the words ‘I can't’ and ‘No’ are fighting words—and Lara helped me win the fight.”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What A Strange Man

I commented to Veronica last night that John McCain looked very reptilian with his beady eyes, his grimace and his sounding like either Beavis or Butthead. I almost expected a forked tongue darting out. Then I found this photo today, of McCain right after the debate:


What Goes Around...

Comes Around!
Joe The Plumber!! How many times was his name and story mentioned during last night's debate? 10 times? 20? more? I think we all got a little tired of hearing it over and over.

Seems that Joe the plumber is a republican. He says he's a conservative, a fan of the military and McCain. He confronted Obama in Ohio over the weekend and he said at that time he was planning on buying the plumbing company that he works for and he wasn't happy that under Obama's plan he would pay more taxes.

Obama explained that if his business made more than $250,000 his tax would go from the current 36% to 39%. He sure wasn't happy to hear that! So McCain thought he would jump on the Joe the plumber bandwagon to prove that Obama's economic plan wasn't good for America or small business owners by bringing it up at the debate.

Well, come to find out, Joe the plumber has no real plan as to how he would buy the plumbing company that employs him. We also found out that Joe doesn't even have a plumbers license! According to local officials, Joe should have a journeyman’s plumbing license or an apprenticeship license. But he has neither. His boss is licensed, but neither he or Joe have a license in the county they both live in. (I'm sure glad we don't have county governments here in RI, we have just the extremely inefficient and crappy state government)

John McCain's example of Joe the plumber now comes back to bite him in the butt, because if Joe ever gets his act together and purchases this plumbing company (after getting the appropriate licenses, I assume) he will benefit from Obama's plan rather than McCain's plan!
“Independent groups like the Commonwealth Fund found that McCain would cover an additional 2-million of the uninsured, while Obama would cover additional 34-million. By 2018, McCain’s plan would cost $1.3-trillion; Obama’s plan would cost $1.6-trillion. ‘Obama’s proposal for mixed private-public group insurance . . . has greater potential to move the health care system toward high performance than does McCain’s proposal to encourage individual market coverage through the use of tax incentives and deregulation.’ ”

Now here's the funny part: Plumber Joe later said Obama "tap danced ... almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr." in the conversation and Joe implied in an interview after the debate that he would vote for John McCain.

It might be heartening to McCain to know that he has at least one vote in Democratic stronghold Lucas County, Ohio, but for one small fact. A download of the Lucas County voter rolls from the Ohio Secretary of State's website lists four Wurzelbachers, two in Holland, but none of them named Sam or Joe or Samuel Joseph. There's a Robert Lee and a Frank Edward Wurzelbacher, but no Joe.

Apparently, Joe the Plumber don't vote.

P.S. Joe the Plumber's new notoriety has brought to light the fact that he owes nearly $1,200 in unpaid taxes. "There is a judgment lien against him for nonpayment of income tax for $1,182 from January 2007. A second lien has been filed in the courhouse against Wurzelbacher for $1,261 that he apparently owes St. Charles Mercy Hospital. That lien was filed in March 2007. , but no action has been taken against him outside of filing the lien.

I wonder what else will show up on Joe the plumber.
UPDATE: Mr. Wurzelbacher is registered to vote in Lucas County under the name Samuel Joseph Worzelbacher.

"We have his named spelled W-O, instead of W-U," Linda Howe, executive director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, said in a telephone interview. "Handwriting is sometimes hard to read. He has never corrected it in his registration card."
The records, she said, showed he voted Republican in the March primary.

Cheney Home From Hospital


I am always shocked when I see this news in the news! It's crazy man. Dick Cheney has a heart!!!!!!! Unbelievable.

Declaration

"We now know who the next President Of The United States will be," says Tim Russert from heaven.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Short Arms, Squinty Smile, Beady Eyes

I was out this afternoon, which, lately, is rare. I had to head to Providence to my doctor's office to pick up some medication.

I was amazed to see so many McCain bumper stickers on cars while driving on 95N. We are a blue state, and I know there are republicans out there, but I wonder how anybody can actually vote for McCain. Even if they want to vote for him, do they really want people around them, ie. coworkers, neighbors, etc.? The past few weeks have proven that he may be just as much of an idiot as the one we already have in office. He's been erratic. He, along with Palin, have been working their crowds igniting their hateful dangerous outbursts.

I do have to say that I am completely fascinated with McCain's arms. I know that both of his arms were broken during the plane crash and/or while he was held as a prisoner of war, and he is not able to raise them very high - but did that have anything to do with why they are so short?! Were they always so short? I have tried to look at footage of him before and I can't see much of a difference. He's not able to raise them up past his shoulders. How does he wash his hair? Shave? I'm dying to know what is up with those arms of his.

There are two other things on my mind, before I get to the rest of my day. Finally, it seems to be autumn here in Rhode Island. The fall foliage is starting to show and it was very pretty during parts of my ride north. The other is that the price of gas has gone down so much!!! At the corner, the price was $2.99. When I got to Warwick later in the day, I saw it for $2.82!! I didn't put any in my car, I'm hoping the price keeps falling to about $1.50 a gallon. Hey, it was $4.11 not that long ago, so I'll keep hoping.

Anyway, I stopped at my brothers on the way back to see my nieces and nephew. I had a nice afternoon helping Emi with her Social Studies (which I love!!) and spending time with Chelsea and Matthew. Those kids are so great to spend time with. I love our conversations and hearing their views on whatever subject we are talking about. Several weeks ago I went to lunch with another nephew and niece, Nick and Amy and had a great time and, again, loved the conversations that we had. I don't remember being quite so articulate at their ages (8-16.) They are so cool kids and I cannot believe how lucky I am to have them in my life!

Having another of my nieces living with me has been interesting also. She just turned 19 last week and as smart as she is, she also doesn't really understand where she is and where she wants to go in life. I know, I never really figured out what I wanted, but she has so much more potential than I ever had and I want her to soar. Right now she's grounded with clipped wings.

Monday, October 13, 2008

McCain's New Lurch: I Will Fight, Fight, Fight, Fight, Fight

From MotherJones.com
This was first posted at DavidCorn.com....

John McCain offers his newest lurch today.

In a speech he is to give in Virginia Beach, McCain says 17 times that he will fight for America, according to his prepared remarks. He repeatedly calls himself a "fighter." And he's an experienced fighter who won't--like you know who--have to study up on issues before making command decisions.

Over and over in this new stump speech, McCain says he is ready to fight--for the country, for change, for a new direction, for the future, for the children, for justice for all. Seriously.

Times are tough, McCain notes, but America is worth fighting for. It needs a fighter like John McCain, who is a real fighter who has always been a fighter for America.

In other words, vote for the fight guy. Here's how the speech ends:
I know what hopelessness feels like. It's an enemy who defeats your will. I felt those things once before. I will never let them in again. I'm an American. And I choose to fight. Don't give up hope. Be strong. Have courage. And fight. Fight for a new direction for our country. Fight for what's right for America. Fight to clean up the mess of corruption, infighting and selfishness in Washington. Fight to get our economy out of the ditch and back in the lead. Fight for the ideals and character of a free people. Fight for our children's future. Fight for justice and opportunity for all. Stand up to defend our country from its enemies. Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. America is worth fighting for. Nothing is inevitable here. We never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.

Get the picture?

This new pitch doesn't even qualify as a Hail Mary. It seems not substantial enough to rate as a real play. It's as if McCain's handlers did a focus group and found that the one word undecided voters associate positively with McCain is "fighter." And that's all McCain's strategist have to work with.

That wouldn't be a shock. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll is loaded with bad news for the McCainiacs. Not only is Obama up by 10 points among registered voters, but Obama is seen by more registered voters (55 percent) as a safe choice for president than McCain (50 percent). Worse for McCain, the poll shows that far more voters believe he is attacking his opponent rather than addressing the issues (59 percent) than those who feel the same about Obama (26 percent.) And McCain's favorable rating has in the past month dropped from 59 percent to 52 percent, while Obama's has gone up from 58 percent to 64 percent.

Which means McCain's blistering attacks against Obama have boomeranged. They have made him seem a candidate mired in mud. If the poll is accurate, then the McCain campaign cannot stick to this road. Though McCain promised die-hard (rabid, that is) supporters last week he would blast Obama with Bill Ayers at the final debate Wednesday night, it could well be counterproductive for him to do so.

What are his options, then? McCain and his advisers appear to believe it's to say the word "fight" over and over. To reprise the POW pitch and offer McCain to voters as a fighter. Rah, rah. Fight, team, fight. This seems rather pathetic. It is true that the first thing a candidate has to do when he's in a hole is to stop digging. But McCain may need a better ladder than this.

Hah.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Final 100 Days

President Idiot has just 100 days left in his presidency, thank goodness. It's been a long time coming. I honestly never thought we'd see the end of the screw-ups. I mean, really, how much mischief can he really get in now.

He's already changed the entire frickin world. And not for the better.

When he took office we had a balanced budget and a surplus. Now we have a 10 trillion deficit. The national debt clock in NYC has run out of room! Let's just hope the Chinese don't call-in those loans!! I remember learning in school that it wasn't a good idea to print more money to pay off the country's debts though I don't remember why, maybe we just should do it anyway. After all, banks around the world are crashing; people have lost their homes, savings and retirement money.

The scope of the credit crisis is so vast that it will likely overshadow anything else Bush does before he leaves office on Jan. 20. I can only imagine what little laws he will change in his oh so quiet and sneaky ways.

I hate to say that I was right, but I'll say it anyway; I was right! Back in 2000 during the campaign I said he would be a bad president and I was right, though I never thought he would be THIS bad.

I lost some friends over the past 8 years, I just couldn't remain friendly with people who supported this idiot and thought he was doing a good job. It just told me that we had nothing in common, regardless of our friendship.

And while I don't think that Barack Obama is the answer to all of our problems, I think he is, at the very least, better able to deal with the mess we are in now and try to make America the country it once was, but hasn't been for so many years now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Headlines

Ethics investigation finds Palin abused power

Obama opens a double-digit lead in new NEWSWEEK poll

McCain forced to defend Obama as decent family man

Working class white voters are ditching McCain

McCain finally calls Obama "decent" and gets booed by his supporters

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Apple Picking

On Saturday we went apple picking. And by we, I mean; Vanessa, Ryan, Jaelyn, Veronica, Chelsea, Matthew and Emilee. We had a good time and we picked a LOT of apples! This was Jaelyn's first year for picking and I think she'll be back for more. There she goes with Emilee, which was a familiar sight. When Emilee is around, Jaelyn thinks she is a big girl!
Auntie rested on the big rock while everyone figured out where to go next.
They had pumpkins, too! I don't know if Jaelyn knew what they were. She did have fun climbing over them though.


All the big smiles - we really had a fun time!


Presidential Debate # 2

Can you believe that McBush called Obama "that one" during the debate? Crazy man.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby Laughs

When Jaelyn was here the other night, I had filled her bottle with apple juice. When she first took a drink, the bottle made a funny noise which made me laugh, which made her laugh. Here's our fun time:
video

Monday, October 6, 2008

Straight Talk About McCain

Fascinating article from Rolling Stone about John McCain's life:
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/coverstory/make_believe_maverick_the_real_john_mccain

Here's a video from the Obama campaign posted on YouTube about the Keating S & L scandal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDofbll86dY&feature=iv&annotation_id=event_922988

Is the 2008 election already stolen? McCain wouldn't survive his term of office. nnnnnnn
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/430.html

Baghdad safe for strolling? Good thing we didn't privitize Social Security as McCain wants!
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/347.html

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Finally, Justice

Jury finds OJ Simpson guilty on all charges of robbery and kidnapping. He faces a sentence of 15 years to life.

Deliberations began 13 years to the day after Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, in Los Angeles.

Prosecutor Chris Owens said Simpson planned — and Stewart, Simpson's golfing buddy, helped carry out — a plot to retrieve personal items that Simpson lost after squirreling them away to avoid turning them over to Goldman's family to satisfy part of a $33.5 million civil wrongful death judgment levied in 1997 by a California court.

Owens told the jury to convict Simpson, denouncing him for "arrogance'' of thinking he could commit a crime "against the dignity and the peace of the state of Nevada.''

"The kind of arrogance ... that would make them think they could come in and get away with this kind of crime and that nobody would report it and they thought they could spin it that, 'It's all OK; It was my stuff.'''

Though he was acquitted of murder, we all know that he did it. And while his prison sentence won't be for murder, he will be behind bars, where he should have been for the past 13 years!

Friday, October 3, 2008

No More Volvo Blues (at least for now)

I do not like not having my car. Even though I use it very infrequently I just like being able to look out and see it sitting there, knowing that I could go anywhere if I really wanted to.

I feel the same way about Hannibal. I do not like it when he's not right with me. Even if he is in the bedroom, which isn't often, I'll look in to see if he's okay.

I'm sure some of this has to do with not feeling well all the time, or, more likely, my ocd!

Anyway, Kevin called me at noon to tell me the car was done. Veronica was working until 2 and then she was coming here to take me to get my car. It's 6:45 and I'm still waiting for Veronica to come home. Teenagers!!!

I've Got The Volvo Blues

Well my car was towed away a few minutes ago - on it's way to Kevin's Auto to see just why I had all kinds of steam coming out of the front of it a couple of nights ago. The conservative leaning AAA driver didn't have a clue that there were all kinds of bumper stickers on it (heehee) but I think he'll probably see them when he unhooks the car from the tow truck.

The car has been leaking anti-freeze since last year. It's slowly gotten worse and I think (and really hope) it's a hose.

I'll know later today just what's going on with it. Hopefully I will get it back today as I have plans for the weekend.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The VP Debate


I have to say that Sarah Palin did better tonight than I thought she would. That's not to say that I was impressed, she regurgitated what she had been taught this week, that's all.

She sounded like she was reading from a script most of the time and I think others felt this way also. Some of what she said, especially having the VP job expanded, is discomforting - especially after the job that Cheney has done. Biden was dead on when he spoke about how dangerous Cheney has been to America.

I don't think her performance benefited their ticket, I think Obama/Biden will continue to prevail in the polls. I can only hope this carries over to the election.

But, then again, who knows what the Republicans and their election cohorts are up to.

Historic Disapproval

Bush Hits All-Time Low Amid Economic Meltdown

Bush's Disapproval Rating Highest in History

With the current economic situation, a record 70% of Americans disapprove of George W. Bush's job performance; a career-low 26% approve.

Just two presidents have had lower approval (Richard Nixon and Harry Truman) than President Bush, and none has had higher disapproval in polls since 1938.

53% of registered voters think McBush would lead the country in the same direction as Bush, inching back up over a majority.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Great Dog Story


Omar Eduardo Rivera worked on the 71st floor of the World Trade Center until September 11, 2001. On that day, Rivera, who is blind, was at his job as a computer technician with his dog Dorado under his desk.

When two hijacked planes hit the towers, Rivera knew it would take him a long time to evacuate the building.*“I thought I was lost forever—the noise and the heat were terrifying—but I had to give Dorado the chance of escape. So I unclipped his lead, ruffled his head, gave him a nudge and ordered Dorado to go.”

The dog was swept downstairs by the crowd of people. A few minutes later, Rivera felt the dog nuzzling his legs. He had come back up the staircase! Dorado and a co-worker helped Rivera climb down 70 flights, a trip that took an hour.

Shortly after they emerged at ground level, the building collapsed. Rivera declared he owes his life to his companion and best friend, Dorado