Study shows media portrays McCain negatively

image Check this out.  This study shows that the media has portrayed McCain “in a substantially negative [light]…coverage of McCain has been heavily unfavorable – and has become more so over time.”  In case you want to dismiss the study and say it’s biased, there’s a link to the study itself where you can read it for yourself.  This isn’t a big surprise to anybody who’s been paying attention.  I’m not adding my voice to the chorus of “THE LIE-BERAL MEDIA BIAS” but it’s sure seemed to me that Obama has been getting great treatment in comparison to McCain.


image The other day I saw a piece on CNN that was “checking the truth” of claims made by the candidates.  First they looked at McCain saying that Obama wanted to “spread the wealth around” a la his conversation with Joe the Plumber.  They deemed McCain’s statement that Obama wanted to spread the wealth “misleading,” and went on to say that was just one thing Obama said in a five minute conversation with Joe the Plumber.  They then looked at something Obama said about McCain and deemed it “True, but incomplete.”  Their reasoning?  Exactly the same as they used with what McCain said – Obama left some stuff out of what McCain had said.

Somehow that same action when McCain does it is “misleading” but with Obama it’s “true but incomplete.”

I’m not really a McCain or Obama supporter but the state of journalism in our country pretty much sucks.


Christians and Halloween

image Growing up, my brother Dave and I were not allowed to dress up in costumes for Halloween.  My parents (or at least my Mom, I don’t know how my Dad felt about it) thought Halloween had some occult influence that we would be subject to if we were to dress up.  Every year our elementary school would have a Halloween Parade, where everybody could dress up and march around the campus to show off their costumes.  Each year Dave and I would tell people we forgot our costumes because we didn’t want to explain it all to them. 

At some point my parents relented – I believe it was around the time they split up and we stopped going to church at all.  I had a few years of trick-or-treating while I was in high school, at that borderline age where you probably shouldn’t go trick or treating anymore.  I didn’t really care about that because I’d never gone as a kid so I was going to get mine.

You may or may not know this but the point of view my parents had regarding Halloween is still somewhat prevalent among some groups of Christians.  It’s why lots of churches host “Harvest Festivals” in the suburbs where we have no idea what a harvest is.  Some churches try to get into the spirit of Halloween by putting together “haunted houses” that are actually a tour of the eternal torments of Hell (as imagined by them).

I know there are many well-meaning Christians who think this way, and I know my Mom was just trying to do what she thought was right.  But man if Evangelicals can’t find a way to suck the fun out of everything.  There is such a reluctance to break from the established (church) social norm and engage the brain to consider what Scripture really does say about something.  Oftentimes instead of listening to Scripture, we listen to the “tradition” that’s been established by other Evangelicals and what they say the Bible says.  All the while we claim “we’re just doing what the Bible says” but in reality we’re just doing what someone has told us the Bible says.  That’s another post, which I think I’ll be doing in the near future.

I recently read a great post about this perspective some Christians have on Halloween, over at the Internet Monk.  Here’s a little bit of what he has to say about it:

It bothers me that any lie, exaggeration or fiction will find thousands of eager believers to pass it along.

It bothers me that the Biblical message about Satan would be co-opted by the fear-mongering and manipulation of the hucksters. (Read The Screwtape Letters for some real Satanism.)

It bothers me that such a wonderful part of my childhood and of American life has been turned into an example of evangelical paranoia and gullibility. We ruined something good, and everyone knows it but us.

I know all about the sophisticated responses thoughtful Christians have about Reformation day and All Saints Day. That’s fine, but it’s not the same. I just want my grandkids to be able to dress up in cute outfits and trick or treat without the local church designating them for exorcism.

Shame on those of us–evangelicals–who allowed Halloween to be taken away from families and many communities, all because we prefer to believe that life is a Frank Paretti novel.

Click here to read his entire post.

Prop 12: Veteran Home Loans

image Proposition 12 would allow the state to sell $900 million in general obligation bonds to provide money for the Cal-Vet Home Loan Program, which provides low-interest loans for California veterans to buy homes and farms.  This would allow the state to pull money away from the state General Fund to pay off the bonds if loan payments from participating veterans are not enough to pay off the debt. 

California's independent  Legislative Analyst says it would cost California $1.8 billion to pay off the principle and interest of the 30-year bonds ($59 million per year), with an estimation that costs would be paid by participating veterans.

My vote: Yes.

Why: I'm cool with this.  Several measures like this have passed in the past decades and they haven't resulted in any significant cost to California.  It’s an extension of an already extant program.  Not a single state senator voted against it and there are actually no pro/con websites to speak of.  This seems like a good, reasonable thing to do that doesn't carry much risk.

Read more about Prop 12 for yourself here.


Proposition 11: Redistricting

They say not to talk about religion or politics with your friends because it can lead to arguments.  Those last couple of posts threw that crappy advice to the wind and combined the two for a wonderful controversy smoothie.  This post should engender a bit less controversy (and therefore be a bit less interesting).


Prop 11 would change the way California State Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization districts are drawn in California, which is currently done by the state Legislature and the Governor through legislation.  These districts would instead be drawn up by a 14-member citizen commission made up of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four people who don't belong to either party.

image My vote: YES.

Why:  This state is gerrymandered big time.  Those in power in the state legislature don't have to fear losing power because of the way the districts are drawn up.  California's state government is terrible, our politicians are by and large terrible, and it's due in large part to this gerrymandering.  Redistricting won't necessarily fix everything, and this isn't the perfect redistricting bill, but this is better than nothing.  The whole point of a democracy is that the people have power, and representatives can be held accountable to the voters for their (mis)deeds.  As it stands our state representatives aren't accountable to us, they can do what they want - or perhaps more accurately, they can do what their lobbyists want.  I don't think it would necessarily make the state legislature less partisan - but it could help do something about the gerrymandering and oligarchy we've got going on here. 

Of course, you probably can't even name your state representative or state senator.  If you're in Fremont (part of District 20), they're Alberto Torrico (he's even the majority leader...ugh) and Ellen Corbett, respectively.


Do some reading on Prop 11 for yourself.


My (unexpected) take on Prop 8 – Part Two

Here’s the conclusion of my take on Prop 8.  Read the first post for context, or else this post won’t make much sense to you.

image Despite all I’ve written so far, I'm voting No on Prop 8.  I'm not happy with where the situation is as a whole, and I would prefer "marriage" be a term reserved for what it has historically/traditionally been - a relationship between a man and a woman.  I don't think it should be changed.  A gay couple is not the same as a heterosexual couple.  They are of the same value, they are no less human, they are equal.  It is not discrimination to recognize that the relationships are of a different type.  But as long as the government is in the "marriage" business and that word is an important part of guaranteeing the equal rights gays deserve, then I think gay marriage should be legalized.  This is a problem Christians created for themselves by trying to make America into a "Christian nation" and trying to use the system to legitimize their way of living.  Christians made this bed and now they need to sleep in it.  By making marriage an issue of the state in a state governed by the Constitution, which guarantees equal rights for all, Christians have made marriage subject to the Constitution.  There are lots of things bound up legally with “marriage” and it doesn’t appear that simply having “civil unions” will guarantee the exact same rights for gays, and that’s not right.

image I think Constantine's declaration of Christianity as legitimate/official was one of the biggest blows to the message and movement of Jesus.  Instead of continuing Jesus' radical anti-establishment movement of love, Christians fell in love with becoming the dominant power and abused that power.  Today Christians are largely more concerned, I think, with maintaining power and making Christian culture the same as American culture - and that's a problem.  Instead of being seen as people radically in favor of love and acceptance and the gospel, Christians are seen as agents of the old, agents of hatred and discrimination.  It should not be this way.  If years ago Christians had tried to find another way to secure equal rights for gays rather than criticize and hate on them, things might be different.   But that's a fantasy land.  I think Christians have sort of made their own beds on this one and it's time to sleep in it.  By making marriage an issue of the state in a state governed by the Constitution I don't think we have any choice at this point but to allow gay marriage.

I hope I've explained and nuanced my view enough.  This started as a post explaining why I was voting Yes on Prop 8 but as I thought about it and worked through my view I changed my mind.  My guess is this will upset many of you on both sides - those of you who are strongly "Yes" will consider me a prodigal, and those who are strongly "No" will consider me only slightly better than a segregationist.  But still, it's where I am.


My (unexpected) take on Prop 8 – Part One

This post started out as something else and evolved as I thought through it.  I’m still a little surprised at my conclusion but I think it’s the right one.  This is long so I’ve split it into two posts.  The second post will have my conclusion and what I’m planning on voting. 

image As someone who has spent a lot of time thinking about and figuring out how to communicate, I think words are important.  Words are symbols that communicate commonly shared meaning and ideas.  Words mean what they mean because we agree they do, and they carry certain connotations/things with them. This is why some words are considered inappropriate to say, like the n-word.  Words are powerful.  When it comes to marriage, I think the word should be reserved for what marriage has historically been - a relationship between a man and a woman.

This isn't based in religion or bigotry.  In fact I believe the insistence on using the term "marriage" for gay marriage is an example of cultural intolerance and insensitivity, which are generally considered cardinal sins by those who call themselves progressive.  Let me see if I can explain it this way with a hypothetical scenario.  Given the time and energy I have this is the best I could do, as inadequate as it is.

Let's say there's a group of people who do this particular dance.  The dance requires three people, and it involves certain steps.  This dance is a big part of their culture and it tells the story of their people.  Children are taught about the dance from a young age, and most children take it up when they grow older.  Sometimes the people mess up the steps, sometimes they screw up the dance and quit in the middle of it - but it always has three people.  That's what the dance is.   A new group of people come in and they hear about the dance.  They like the dance and think it's cool, but instead of 3 people they want to do the dance with two.  This means some of the steps change, and the story that's communicated by the dance changes - but the new group likes to do the dance and thinks it's fun.  They're not really doing the same dance - but they're doing a dance that sort of looks like the other dance, but it's different and communicates something different.

The original group of people have always called their dance "Jaje."  To them, "Jaje" carries with it meaning and it's something that has been a cornerstone of their culture for a long time.  They would admit they haven't always done it right and sometimes they mess up, but they still value it and the story it tells.  The new group wants to call their dance by the same name.  They like the fact that Jaje is a respected and honored tradition - and while they don't want to dance the Jaje, they want to do a dance and they want everyone else to call it Jaje.  This new dance is different from the historic, traditional Jaje but the new group still thinks they should have the right to be considered equal even if their dance is different.  The original group suggests the new group call their dance something else, but the new group says that's hate and discrimination.  The old group says they are trying to hold on to their traditions and culture, and "Jaje" is part of that.  The new group says that times have changed, and Jaje doesn't mean that anymore; besides, if the original group cared about Jaje so much they'd never mess the steps up or quit dancing in the middle of it.

I think any anthropologist looking at this scenario would see the new group as overtaking the culture of the old group.  The old group would necessarily feel threatened, and while they can still do their Jaje dance, it seems like a bit of a jerk move by the new group to insist their new, different, inspired-by-the-original-Jaje dance be called the same thing even though it isn't the same thing.  I'm sure if Americans went over to some other country and started co-opting their cultural traditions we'd be considered "ugly Americans."  I obviously use this as an analogue to the gay marriage movement of today.

image I think gays should enjoy all the same rights as heterosexual couples.  The government should not discriminate based on sexual orientation when it comes to the benefits of domestic partnerships.  Truth be told, I would be happiest with the government getting out of the "marriage" business in the first place.  I wish the government could just have "domestic partnerships" that bestow the legal benefits of marriage, and both hetero and gay couples would apply for them.  The government should not be in the marriage business at all.  This is where the complexity comes in.  More on this with my next post, which will complete my thoughts on Prop 8 and tell you my vote.


Ethnocentrism is Good

image There - did I get you to click on and read through my post? Haha.

I did this post as part of a discussion board assignment for my teaching credential program and figured I’d put it up here as well for your perusal.

Teacher Performance Expectation F: Developing as a Professional Educator - is important. Two of its subpoints are:
12.2 "Candidates are aware of their own personal values and biases and recognize ways in which these values and biases affect the teaching and learning of students.
12.3 "Candidates resist racism and acts of intolerance."
(Taken from http://pact.gse.uci.edu/tpe/)

These are important elements of becoming a great teacher, and they're related to a lot of what is mentioned in Johnson, et. al (2008) on page 96 under the heading "Ethnocentrism."

Johnson condemns ethnocentrism as the belief that your way of life is superior to others (2008, p. 96). He then condemns the beliefs and cultural values of some religious groups before misrepresenting them. Those religious people that believe the homosexual lifestyle is wrong are said to "not tolerate alternate beliefs" and "believe that their cultural values and lifestyle are the only correct ones" (Johnson, 2008, p. 96). Unfortunately for Johnson his declaration that ethnocentrism is wrong and that these religious people are incorrect is itself an ethnocentric notion. In Johnson's world he has no more right to criticize that (misrepresented) religious point of view than he says they have the right to consider the homosexual lifestyle incorrect.

To say they "do not tolerate alternate beliefs" is a misrepresentation, unless he is talking about those groups who perpetrate violence on others. Simply believing someone else is wrong is not an example of intolerance or ethnocentrism - it's an example of disagreement. Using Johnson's own definition of tolerance and ethnocentrism, he is an intolerant ethnocentrist.
I am not saying this because I don't believe ethnocentrism is a problem. I believe it is. Too many people (including teachers) consider their own point of view superior to others, and think any who disagree with them are fools. This point of view is not limited to religious people or Democrats or Republicans or Americans or Europeans; it is part of the human experience. Being aware of our own ethnocentric tendencies and taking care not to unfairly discriminate against or judge others is essential. It's important for a History teacher to be careful how they discuss/teach/treat the groups in their curriculum. It is also important, I think, to teach students that extreme cultural relativism (the point of view Johnson seems to be promoting) and extreme ethnocentrism are both problematic.


Teachers must all be aware of the perspectives they have and how it influences them and what they are teaching. I agree with Johnson when he says that all teachers "must confront their own ethnocentrism" (2008, p. 96). We must teach the differences between groups and empower students to make decisions with regard to what they want to accept, condemn, or praise. I don't want to produce students that are so enlightened and forward-thinking that they cannot find fault in anything in any culture.
A culture that thinks it is okay to put people into slavery is worthy of being condemned on that point. A culture that tries to exterminate an ethnic group is, I can confidently say, worthy of criticism and I am fine with referring to others cultures as superior in that regard. A culture that mutilates girls and women is worthy of being considered faulty on that point.

At the same time we must not paint every person in such a culture as an inferior person - they are a person in a culture with some messed up ideas. Why do they believe the way they do? They were likely socialized to believe it? How can we work toward a society where people are not socialized into bigotry or hatred? These questions cannot be asked from a point of view totally free from ethnocentrism. I know the ideas from these cultures are "messed up" from my point of view - but if it makes me ethnocentrist to condemn slavery, genocide, and the mutilation and forced servitude of women - I'm cool with that.


It's important for teachers to help students have the ability to make these kind of distinctions. In order for a teacher to do that they must be aware of their own prejudices and ethnocentric tendencies, and be very aware of how they're communicating with their students. And even if a culture is worthy of some kind of criticism - simply criticizing it and leaving it at that is not sufficient. The teacher should engage in the questions I mentioned above and more - help students think for themselves through the issues and reach their own conclusions. I think this is a worthy goal for any teacher.


Props 7 and 10: Renewable Energy

image I decided to combine these two into one post because they pretty much deal with the same issue – renewable energy and how to get it.  With the increase of gas prices (which now seems like a small problem compared to the larger economic crisis) these two issues got on the ballot and are an attempt to move California in the direction of renewable energy.  Here they are:


Proposition 7: Renewable Energy Generation image

Would require publicly and privately owned utility companies to generate 20% of their power from renewable energy by 2010, 40% by 2020 and 50% by 2025 and would impose penalties (subject to waivers in some circumstances) for failure to meet these requirements.

My vote: No.

Why: I don't like the idea of the government forcing utility companies to do this.  The trend is going in that direction anyway and energy companies are going to move toward renewable energy in order to stay in business.  All I see this doing (besides making some people feel like they're socially and environmentally responsible) is increasing utility bills for us as the companies try to meet certain benchmarks by certain dates.

Find out more about Prop 7 here.

Proposition 10: Alternate Energy Bonds

image Prop 10 would allow the state to sell $5 billion in bonds, of which $3.425 billion would be used to help consumers and others purchase high fuel economy or fuel efficient vehicles and $1.25 billion would be used for research and development of  renewable energy technology (primarily solar).  The remainder would be used to give grants to cities for renewable energy projects.  California's independent legal analyst estimates the cost to California to be $10 billion in principal and interest, with additional state costs of $10/million for administration.

My vote: Hell no.

Why: Should be obvious by now.  Lots more spending, creating more government administration/bureaucracy - surely we can find better things to do with our money.

Find out more about Prop 10 here.


Prop 6: Safe Neighborhoods Act

image Would require that a minimum of $695 million be allocated from the state budget each year (with the amount increasing to keep up with inflation) to pay for police, sheriffs, district attorneys, probation, and jails.  It also makes changes to state criminal laws to identify new types of crimes and increase penalties for certain crimes (especially gang-related crime).  California's independent  Legislative Analyst says Prop 6 would eventually lead to increased state costs of $500-$965 million annually due to greater spending on public safety programs and new costs for prisons and parole operations.  It would also create a one-time cost of $500m to build more prisons.

Fun fact: This is called “The Safe Neighborhoods Act” by some (generally supporters) and “The Runner Initiative” by others (usually detractors).  Initiative almost sounds like “scheme,” and we know how scary those are.

My vote: No.

Why: While I really like the idea of this law I have to be consistent.  It's increasing spending and California's financial obligations and that's not what we need.  And it really bugs me to be on the same side as the Berkeley City Council.  Ugh.  It’s pretty funny that lots of these groups suddenly become interested in “government waste” when it has to do with crime and/or diverting money from their pet projects.


Find out more information for yourself.


Prop 5: Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act

Prop 5 would allocate $460 million per year from the state budget to expand treatment programs for criminals convicted of drug and other offenses.

My vote: No.

Why: Many reasons.  High on the list include the allocation of yet more state funds (bad), the creation of yet more state agencies (worse), etc.  Part of the reason California is in this financial mess is because we vote in all these Props that sound good and obligate us to spend money on things, whether we have the money or not.  This is a prime example of that kind of stuff.

Find out more information for yourself.


Prop 4: Waiting and Notification for Abortion

image This is a proposed constitutional amendment that would require a doctor to notify a parent or guardian before performing an abortion on an under-18-year-old girl, and would require a waiting period of 48 hours after notification is given before the abortion could be performed.  Parents must be notified but they do not have to consent.  There are also some exceptions:

  • Doctors can notify adult relatives other than a parent if the doctor reports the parent to law enforcement or Child Protective Services.
  • Notification is not necessary in a medical emergency or if a parental waiver has already been obtained.
  • A judge can waive the notification requirement if it's in the minor's best interest.

My vote: Yes.

Why:  Parents are (or should be) responsible for their children and big things like this should not happen without the knowledge of the parents.  While I recognize that some girls may not want to tell for fear of violence or whatever else, there are provisions for them in this law.  Children should not be able to do something like this without their parents knowing about it.  Yeah, some will get in trouble - but an abortion is a huge decision and minors should not be making them on their own.  It’s an imperfect law but I think it’s better than no parental notification.

Find out more information for yourself.


Prop 3: Children’s Hospital Bond Acts

Prop 3 would authorize the state to sell $980 million in general obligation bonds for the construction, expansion, remodeling, renovation, furnishing and equipping of eligible children's hospitals.

My Vote: No.

Why: Sounds good but again it's obligating more state money (which we don't have) to build something.  We passed a Prop like this in 2004 as well.  We don't need to further increase California's financial obligation right now.


Find out more information for yourself.


Prop 2: Standards for Confining Farm Animals

image Prop 2 requires that cages or pens be used for calves raised for veal, egg-laying hens, and pregnant pigs to allow them to lay down, stand up, fully extend their limbs, and freely turn around.


My Vote: Yes.

Why:  Arguments against this prop seem to focus on an increase in the risk of food poisoning and bird flu as well as a potential increase in the cost of food.  After doing some more reading it seems to me the health risks are unlikely, especially the increase of bird flu.  I'm generally against "let's do this because it makes us feel good but it's a stupid idea" things and at first blush this seemed like one of those to me.  Further reading convinced me otherwise so I'll be voting yes on this Prop.  I’m okay with paying a bit more for my eggs if it means the animals are treated more humanely.

Get more information for yourself.


Proposition 1A: High Speed Rail Bonds

image I’m going to work through each of the California Propositions here on the blog to give you my point of view on them.  I won’t necessarily go into depth with my thinking, but I’ll provide some basic information on the Prop, what it does, and my point of view on it.  You should do some research for yourself.  These Propositions are important – and while the Presidential Election gets all the attention these things are a big deal.

This measure would authorize the state to sell $9.95 billion in general obligation bonds to build a high speed rail system linking Southern California, the Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

My vote: No.

Why: While I like the idea of this railway, I can't see how California can afford it.  Our budget is already jacked up, our State is already spending too much money, and obligating us to build this railway is not going to help the situation.  Here’s a pretty compelling report on why this is a terrible idea.  Unfortunately the Prop is polling pretty well because as usual people think “oooh pretty train” and not “oooh billions of dollars to be spent.” 

Get more information yourself.


California Election Information

Go here to get more information on the Propositions coming up for us Californians to vote on this November.  The Presidential election gets a lot of attention but these Props will probably impact our lives more than (or at the very least as much as) the new occupant of the White House.

You can go to this site and read up on the various Props.  I will be posting my opinion on the Props later, but here’s a way for you to check them out for yourself:


He’s even disruptive when he’s sleeping

The first set of kids I have this week for ELD 1 is pretty good.  The class size is smaller, around 20, and there are only a couple kids that cause trouble.  The other class is the one that gives me real headaches.  Anyway this kid can not sit still or do what he’s supposed to do for any period of time.  I’m having to hound him constantly to stop touching people, throwing things, getting up, talking, etc.  We’re watching a video right now and he fell asleep.  At first I was happy because it meant I could let my guard down.  Then he started snoring, loudly.  I woke him up and the class giggled.  He fell back asleep within a couple of minutes and was snoring again.  I wish I could let him sleep so he could stop being annoying, but I have to keep waking him up.  Gah.


English Language Development Futility

This week I’m subbing in an English Language Development (ELD) classroom.  These are the students who don’t know English, and they’re put into this class to learn it.  One of the classes, which I have for two class periods, has 20 students.  I’d say about 6-7 of them really want to learn and the rest are pretty unengaged.  Many of them don’t even understand the questions they’re supposed to be answering about the portion of The Jungle Book we read together yesterday.  In this one class there are several different languages represented.  Four or five speak Farsi, three or four Spanish, a couple Chinese (not sure if they’re the same dialect), and two different kinds of South Asian Indian languages.  There’s an aide who speaks Chinese and some English.  The usual teacher speaks only English.

I’m trying to get the kids to not copy one another’s work, to do what they’re asked, and it almost seems futile.  The ELD 2 class isn’t any better.  There are more students and no aide.  I really don’t see what chance these kids have to succeed.  The ones who want to succeed seem to have some kind of chance – but most of them aren’t really interested in learning English.  I’d like to see some studies or something on the success rates of programs like this because it can’t be high. 

I have each set of students for two periods.  For one period with each class we are watching a movie, which theoretically gives you a break.  But the teacher has chosen The Diary of Anne Frank and The Secret Garden (1940ish) as the movies.  They are both black-and-white and do not engage the students in the least.  I’ve already pre-filled some referral forms, because some heads are going to have to roll today.  I played “whack-a-mole” yesterday trying to get them to quiet down and it was too draining. 


Belle Brings Cute to a New Level

image Belle turns two on Saturday.  We've been telling her about her upcoming "Princess Party" (we gave it a name to make it sound special) and all the stuff associated with it.  The last few nights she's fallen asleep talking to us about who's coming to the party and what she wants at the party.  Last night when she was in a bad mood she said nobody was going to come to her birthday party.  Tonight was different.

My Dad, being the awesome cook he is, will be providing the meat.  About fifteen minutes ago as we were laying down with Belle to get her to go to sleep we started talking more about her party.  Our conversation began something like this:

"Belle, is Dave coming to your party?"


"Is Jesse coming to your party?"

"Uh huh."

"Are you going to have a pink castle cake at your party?"

"Yes.  I have Apple Juice too!"

"Is Papa coming to your party?"

"Yes.  Papa bringing my meat for me."

Then she began essentially repeating the same few sentences, rearranging the words periodically but making sure we know about it.  In the dark, Belle's little hands grabbed for my cheeks and turned my head toward her to make sure I understood the gravity of what she was telling me:

"Daddy, Papa have be careful my meat.  Papa, don't drop it.  Papa, don't drop meat.  Papa have be careful."  After this was established she moved on to other things my Dad needs to look out for.

"Papa have cut my meat for me.  Papa have be careful.  It sharp, Papa.  Papa have cut my meat.  Be careful, Papa, it sharp.  Papa imagehave be careful."

She is freaking adorable.  More than that, she apparently loves  eating meat.  Belle has also taken a liking to the A's and Niners.  She puts on my 49ers hat and says "Go Niners!"  Her Auntie Shannon got her a foam finger at the A's game a couple weeks ago, and every now and then she puts that on and marches around the house saying "Go A's!"

I am truly a blessed man.  As a side note, if my Dad drops the meat and/or cuts himself this weekend at the party I will start documenting Belle's "ramblings" and possibly ask her to pick some lotto numbers for me.

Obama Song

Obama is going to save us all.