Top 7 for the Week of 1/13/2012

This week, Ashley and I talked about:

  1. California Crunchies at the Farmers’ Market
  2. So, You Want To Be an Iranian Scientist?
  3. The GOP’s Super PAC War
  4. The Supreme Court Sides with Religious School
  5. Marines Pee On Dead Terrorists (And This Is a Problem?)
  6. School Dress Codes … For Teachers
  7. Bacon = Cancer
We also have a rant, a dirty joke from Eli, our dude of the week, and we took our first live caller!
Happy listening!

Listen to internet radio with Top 7 on Blog Talk Radio

The Doolittle Raiders: Heroism in Action

When I was in DC last week, I got the incredible opportunity to meet some real life heroes. The Doolittle Raiders were soldiers during WWII that that went on a super secret and scary dangerous mission to bomb the Japanese mainland.

A fishing boat saw their aircraft carrier about 600 miles off the coast, and worried that the captain might have radioed in the sighting before they could take him out, Jimmy Doolittle decided that they needed to get moving now.

There were 16 B-25 twin-engine bombers containing five men each, and none of them had enough fuel to get back. The planes would have to land in occupied China, and the soldiers would have to find their way out.

Yeah, that’s an awesome feat of bravery if ever I’ve heard one.

They were all smiling and taking photo-ops with us, and when it was my turn, I shook this man’s hand and said, “I can’t believe I get to meet a real live hero. What an honor it is to meet you!”

He didn’t miss a beat before replying, “Are you kidding me? What an honor it is for me to get to meet such a beautiful girl!”

And then I melted into a puddle.

Elsewhere on the Internet

I wrote a few things last week. Maybe you’ll like them. I hope so. My self-worth is tied up in whether or not people like me. Ok, not really. But it still feels nice to be liked. :-)

I wrote about lack of skills in American workers. I added that to my long list of reasons why education needs reformation. Like, yesterday. School choice leads to competition and high performance. Just sayin’…

San Francisco is thinking about banning pet goldfish. No really. I can’t make this crap up. They already banned happy meals, so I guess goldfish were the next logical step. Next step? Banning people.

And lastly, Troopathon! Yay for our peeps overseas. Thank you to everyone that helped us raise over $500,000 for care packages for the troops.

Hero Day: A Memorial Day Post by Leif

The following post is by my husband Leif. He’s sorta awesome.

I woke up today thoughtful of the brave men and women that have given the ultimate sacrifice – their lives – to protect what they had left behind.

Today we celebrate Memorial Day, but it should be called Hero Day.

It’s not just that our soldiers have given their lives in the line of duty, but what they gave them for. Wars of history mostly have been wars of conquest. Wars have generally been fought for two reasons: Land or religion.

With little exception, the United States has fought other nations for an entirely different reason. The U.S. doesn’t fight to gain land, or to spread a particular religion; we fight for an idea.

We fight for freedom.

In the Civil War, we fought for the freedom of all men.

In WWI, we fought to protect our allies (and therefore ourselves) against Imperialism.

Korea. Vietnam. Kosovo. Afghanistan. Iraq. Freedom.

Today I lift a glass and toast the sailor, the soldier, the airman, and the marine. I say thank you to them, even though it doesn’t adequately convey my gratitude. They are my heroes. Their sacrifices were not in vain, but bravely faced so that I may enjoy and share the freedoms that my creator gave me.

Jenny Erikson Radio Show – Episode 0015

In which I chat about our splendiferous family vacation and how California politics almost marred it, and Ashley Sewell joins me to talk about Osama bin Laden’s death.

Mourning Osama bin Laden’s Death — Or At Least the Need for It

Nearly 10 years after masterminding the 9/11 attack on America, Osama bin Laden is dead. Not just dead, but killed by the United States Navy SEALs, sent in by President Obamahimself to bring back his body — dead or alive.

Let me take a moment to give credit where credit is due. President Bush began the hunt for Osama, but President Obama took hold of the torch he was handed, and by golly, he got the job done. Bravo, Mr. President.

Now comes the question as to how much joy we’re supposed to feel at the death of another human being. Soon after the pronouncement of Osama’s death, people were partying in the streets ofNew York and Washington, D.C. In my own neighborhood, I could hear my neighbors whooping it up.

As the news scrolled across our own TV screen, our 7-year-old daughter asked, “Who’s Osama?”

“He was a very bad man that killed a lot of people,” I told her as simply as I could. She responded thoughtfully, “Oh. Then I’m glad he’s dead. He won’t be killing anyone now.”

Read the rest at The Stir

Will the United States Go to War in Libya?

Here’s the thing about humans: We’re not necessarily good people. In fact some pretty evil Homo sapiens have walked the planet over the years. Did anyone see The Last King of Scotland? That Idi Amin guy was not exactly good for the Ugandans. Other super bad dudes have included Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Attila the Hun.

Because I’m an equal opportunist, I feel compelled to also add Jezebel, Countess Elizabeth Bathory, and Andrea Yates to the list. It’s apparent that evil comes packaged in either gender.

There’s been an evil dude in power in Libya for more than 41 years.Muammar Gaddafi has been the totalitarian ruler of the middle-eastern state since a military overthrow in 1969. Life is not kind to the average citizen under Gaddafi’s rule (it never usually is when one lives under a dictatorship), and recently Libyans have protested the oppressive government regime.

Gaddafi’s response was to call the protesters “cockroaches” and claim they were “serving the devil.” Oh, and he had his minions kill anyone they found opposing him. After the funeral service for those massacred by Gaddafi, the tyrant ordered his peeps to use artillery, swords, or even hammers to attack the mourners. In other words: Crush any and all dissent.

Not cool, evil dictator dude, not cool.

Read the rest at The Stir.

Veterans Day: ‘Homes for Our Troops’ Is One Way to Say ‘Thank You’

The United States has been at war in the Middle East since 2001. Shortly after Islamic terrorists killed 3,000 innocent people in 2001, our soldiers went to Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom. Over a year later, the United States was at war against terror in Iraqas well.

Over 5,000 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and over 35,000 have been injured, some so severely that they have lost much of their independence due to specialized needs.

One organization that is actively working to meet the needs of our disabled veterans is Homes for Our Troops. The non-profit, non-partisan group was founded in 2004, and is “strongly committed to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and havereturned home with serious disabilities and injuries since September 11, 2001.”

Homes for Our Troops provides houses, at no cost, to soldiers that were severely disabled in Iraq or Afghanistan. Although eligible veterans may receive up to $63,780 under a Specially Adapted Housing Grant, this barely begins to cover the cost of a specially modified home to meet the needs of the individual.

This week, the week of Veterans Day, Homes for Our Troops announced a campaign to build 100 more homes for severely disabled veterans. Over the past several years, they have built 70 homes, with 30 more in various stages of completion. There are 50 more veterans on the waiting list, and that number continues to grow.

Homes for Our Troops founder, John Gonsalves said, “This campaign is a wonderful, tangible opportunity for Americans to give back the freedom and independence that has been lost due to life-altering injuries suffered by our injured veterans.”

On this Veterans Day, I am proud to be an American, and humbled by the men and women who have sacrificed so much to defend the United States from terrorists. I don’t have the wherewithal to build an accessible house for handicapped veterans, but I can click the donate button.

Thank you, Veterans. God bless you this Veterans Day.

Cross Posted at The Stir

Brutality and Subjugation: The Women of Islam at Home and Abroad

Talk is cheap. I’ve heard a lot of talk about the Islamic faith in the past several years. I’ve heard everything from Muslims are pure evil to Muslims are the embodiment of all that is good and pure in the world.

As with most things pertaining to a group of people sharing a religion, I believe the truth about Muslims lies somewhere between the two extremes. Like Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion, there will be followers across the spectrum.

But one thing that most, if not all, Muslims share is the mistreatment of women. From subtle derogation to death by stoning, it is clear that Muslim women are not held in the same regard as Muslim men in the Islamic world.

It’s hard to ignore the cover of Time magazine this week, which features the haunting picture of teenage Aisha. Aisha had her ears and nose cut off by her husband last year, under the order of a Taliban judge. Her crime? Running away from her husband’s family because she was being beaten nearly to death.

But that’s the Taliban – the terrorist group following the strictest interpretation of Sharia (Islamic) law. What about more moderate Muslims?

Even moderate Muslim women are to live under the control of their husbands, fathers, or male guardians, no matter how harsh it may be.

I talked to a young Iraqi woman named Rafraf Barrak who told me the tale of being locked in a closet for four months because she had dared to eat her lunch with a boy. I asked her if, during that time, did she understand how wrong it was to be treated that way, or did she view it as just punishment for her actions?

Growing up there [in Iraq], I knew it was a punishment. I knew that what I was doing was wrong because there’s [sic] rules and … traditions and you don’t break them… It wasn’t that my dad hated me; it was just his way of disciplining me.

I’d be willing to bet that the boy did not receive the same punishment.

Read More

The Smart Girl Report – Episode 0034

Rebecca Grunewald joins me for Conservative Chick Chat, plus Mike G. has cocktail recipes.