My life may not perfect but it is blessed because I have a wonderful Lord and Savior who knows me and loves me anyway!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The sentencing of Richard Reid-Shoe bomber

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

Did you know his trial is over?

Did you know he was sentenced?

Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV or Radio?

Didn't think so. Very few people do know!!!

Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his 'allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, 'I think I will not apologize for my actions,' and told the court 'I am at war with your country.'

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.

Judge Young: 'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not ----- you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal.'

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led

you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to Preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to

mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America . That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag Stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

So, how much of this Judge's comments did we hear on our TV sets? We need more judges like Judge Young. Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'd rather be on a beach somewhere!

I just thought since we are in the most noted depressive week of the winter, it would be appropriate to think about beaches today! 

I look out my office window and I see the clouds rolling in to dump another sheet of ice followed by a blanket of snow on our small town today.  BLAH!  and again I say BLAH!!  I know I live here because this is where the wheels fell off the covered wagon when my great-great-great grandparents were passing through.  My great-great grandparents hooked up with some Cherokee and Choctaw indians along the way and so began our twisted roots of being called Okies for the rest of our days.  I know there are lots and lots of more wonderful places to live but, this is home.  This is where my family is.  This is where my child was born and I'm sure this is where I will die and be buried someday.  Right in the old family plot at Memorial Gardens, USA.

WOW!  That was a bit off the subject!  We were talking about beaches! So let's redirect our thinking!  I have seen a few beaches in my life.  99% of them are on domestic soil and I have only stepped on one foreign beach in my life.  I have been on all coasts of the USA and they are all SOOO different! 

Let's start with Malibu Beach and Zuma Beach, California.  Beautiful but not my cup of tea.  The brown water washing up on the shore accompanied by a thick haze in the air isn't my thing.  Miami South Beach we visited when I was really young.  My Aunt and Uncle lived in Hollywood, FL.  I remember it being beautiful but I wouldn't be back there until I was an adult.  By then it would become a world of silicone people and over the top wealth and sin. 

Then there was Galveston Beach.  We lived close by when I was 12 years old.  UGLY DIRTY SMELLY....that's all I have to say about that!  Then there was Panama Beach, FL.  I had never heard of Panama City until I lived in Nashville, TN.  That seemed to be a favorite spot for all the young, hip, urbanites to travel to for their post college-year escapes and mingle with the youngsters who were still in college.  Good times but  my daughter will not be allowed to go there. EVER!  I saw things that I hadn't dreamed existed while there with my roomate.  Scary!

I traveled abroad on a cruise to the Bahamas next.  I cannot describe the color of the water because it is indescribable!  It was turquoise, and deep blue, and green, and gold, and  amazing all at the same time!  The tropical atmosphere was to die for!  Next came the Jersey Shore.  I had never seen anything so beautiful in all my life!  I was sooo shocked!  I traveled from Atlantic City down to Cape May.  It was February and I had never seen snow on a beach before.  It was GORGEOUS!  I hope to go back there someday for sure!  This time it will be Summer!  Then came South Padre Island.  I was so disappointed.  Being from Oklahoma, this is where everyone went!  That was THE spring break destination!  What a let down........ Then was St. Augustine Beach in Florida.  WOW!!!  Gorgeous conch beach with blue green waters!  And the town of St. Augustine is phenominal!  I highly recommend this place for a family-friendly vacation spot!

Finally, this past summer, I traveled with a friend to Tampa, FL to attend a business school.  While we were there, we experienced what that coastline had to offer.  I could not believe what my feet were standing on when I stepped on the white powder sands of Clearwater Beach!  I was in love!  It was right before sunset, which if you have never witnessed a sunset at Pier 51, you haven't lived yet!  I have never seen anything so beautiful except the day my daughter was born.  The sunset brought tears to my eyes.  Just to look at that and not realize that God is alive and around us is a sin!  Ever since that trip, I have been longing to return and this time experience it with my family!  It takes your breath away!  This will be our first trip of the summer, God willing.  I want to take my parents with me too!  My dad retires (for the second and final time) this summer and I think this is a great way to kick off his retirement years!

I am approaching a point in my life where my husband and I are going to be empty nesters in three years.  What a scary and exciting reality.  I am looking forward to being able to travel to many more beaches of the world in years to come.  We are planning a trip to Turks and Caicos soon.  I want to travel to Greece to experience their shores.  I want to see the South Pacific where my grandfather fought in World War II and the beaches of New Zealand where he boarded an air cargo plane to head back to San Francisco to get home to Oklahoma to marry my grandmother.  I want to see Tokyo where my good friend Shana lived for 12 years after we got out of college.  I want to see Belize and the beaches of Honduras.  I want to visit the Dominican Republic where our favorite doctor in the world is from and where the college Biblioteca is named after him.  I want to see.....I want to see....I want to see......

As I finish this up...the storm is moving in.  Another gray, Winter day but the Summer will be here soon!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Life After 40

I remember when my Mom turned 40.  I was in high school and worked for this balloon store in our small town.  We had one of those marquis signs that had a big flashing arrow where we would advertise our sales.  Well, clever me, I was given permission to display my Mom's age for the entire town to see.  I remember thinking, that woman is OLD!!!  I could not wrap my mind around being 40!  I was a pup at the age of 16 years old!  It was too much to think about the year 2008 and turning 40!

Now that I am 41 working my way towards 42, I realize that Mom wasn't so old.  It was her children that made her old!  She had three of us and to this day, I don't know why the woman is not in an insane asylum!  I'm only raising one and there are days I pray to be put away just for some much needed rest!

Looking back on my adult life, I can see now how much time was wasted on petty things.  When you are in your 20's, you think that you are invincible and will live forever!  Life moves fast and so do you!  ONLY because your body still allows you to move quickly!  Then came the dreaded 30 somethings.  BLAH!!!!  I cried so hard the day I turned 30!  My life was over!  I knew I would wake up and sprout grey hair, that I would have to trade the sports car in for a minivan and I would have to cut off all of my hair!  According to Nana, women of a certain age should not have long hair.  It is unbecoming of a cultured lady.  Well, I didn't get any grey hair and  I continued to drive a Firebird but I did cut my hair off because I had a baby hanging from it! 

Now that 40 has come and I'm into those "older" years, I have finally begun to be comfortable in my own skin.  So what if I found a gray hair!  I earned it!  So what if I drive a PT Cruiser!  It's still a little sporty, dontcha think?  So what if I decided that I want "stripper" hair and my hair has grown to the middle of my back!  I LIKE IT PEOPLE!!!  That is what 40 is!  It's all of a sudden what YOU like!  I'm not in my 20's and I will not ever have my pre-baby body back!  SO WHAT!!!  I like to eat a cheeseburger at least once a week! SO WHAT!!! (except that now my cholesterol is screaming for reprieve!).  I like my long, color-treated hair! SO WHAT!!!  I get compliments!  My husband loves me with or without the lights on!  He loves me for who I am and not what I am!  40 allows me to accept and truly believe that!  It's liberating to be so free!  I just wish I had been that knowing and comfortable when I was 20.  My life choices would have been a bit different! 

I am who I am and that's all that I am!  God loves me, my husband loves me, my child loves me (most days) and my true friends love me!  Life after 40 is GREAT!!!

"Gone" Barack Obama

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If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all......

If you are my age, the title might make you think of the old guys on Hee Haw on Satuday nights that would sing that song and compare all of their woes and heartaches.  I feel somedays as if that song were written for me! 

Last night we spent a lovely evening in the emergency room at our local hospital.  My daughter slipped on some grease on the floor at a local eating establishment and busted her knee!  This girl and her accidents are always of astronomical proportions!  In kindergarten, she played super hero off the top of the slide only to land on her arm and break it.  That was the beginning..... Her next major accident involved a cliff at Wilderness Trek Camp.  A little slip of the rocks and down she went with no restraints or safety gear whatsoever!  Only a good looking foreign exchange student to keep her from falling directly on the ground below by attempting to catch her!  That resulted in a spiral fracture of her right leg that now is the home to four titanium pins holding it together.  Now, we own another pair of crutches.  We have no broken bone but a lot of fluid around and under the knee cap.  Nice....

All of this after three solid years of injury, surgeries, therapy, thousands of miles on the vehicles driving to and from doctor's appointments for my husband.  Me in and out with all sorts of problems from staff infections to nervous breakdown!  I'm ready for some reprieve!!!

You would think that we would be good candidates to be angry with God.  Wouldn't you?  Quite the contrary...we praise God for our blessings inspite of the heartaches!  God has done wonderful things with out family over the last three years.  We are a living testimony that God takes care of those who love him and do his will. 

So, does luck really have anything to do with it????  I think not.  It's just the events that line up for the day and we happen to be in their path but, God is traveling with us down that path.  We are safe in his arms no matter what the outcome that the fate of the earth might have for us!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ahhhh, Monday....

Ahhh,  Monday.  That dirty word that all working class people despise!  I have been a victim of the Monday blues myself.  I won't lie!  It is so hard to drag yourself out of bed to go and subject yourself to a world that is full of greed, backstabbing, gossip, and in the case of my office, tolerating every curseword in the free world spewing from the good doctor's mouth!  I am counting my days until February 15th when I no longer give him the satisfaction of feeling like he owns me because he pays me!

I decided to view this Monday a little differently.  We grew up hearing that Sunday is the Lord's day.  Well, if you think about it, everyday is the Lord's day.  Why not look at my Monday, or any other day for that matter, as the Lord's day as well.  He is in control of my day.  No one else.  It doesn't matter what this world throws at me, God is there with his "catcher's mit" on to save me! 

So again I say ahhhh, Monday!  Thank you God for this glorious day that I get to walk this earth and be an example for you!  Let your love shine through me even on the darkest of days.  Help me to remember to pray for those who make life difficult at times for they are your children too.

I wish everyone an "Ahhhhhh, Monday!" today! 

Friday, January 22, 2010

Looking back.....

I actually located an old boyfriend's blog today.  Not because I want to know "what if" but because I want to know "how is he doing"?  I have to say I am so proud of who he has become.  He is working as a staff minister and has really found a true relationship with his God!  He has a lovely wife and looks so happy!  I am so relieved to see him after all these years!  I'm so glad he has held onto his faith and used his life experiences as a testimony to his faith!  It's really good to see you Joe!  I wish you well in your endeavors!