Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Kids Are Getting Older...and so are the Mali's

Yes the kids are getting older. Brendan just turned 20 not too long ago. Celina will be 25 in the not too distant future. Heck they really are not kids any longer. Next thing you know they will be married and Linda and I will be grandparents.

The Mali Uromastix are older too, they are only just about 2 years or so old I think. Can I call them kids? I suppose not any more. They are starting to to acquire their adult coloration. The male, the one in the pic to the upper right, is really showing his adult colors with the blacks and yellows starting to come in nicely and the female has some slight yellowish in the creamish colored areas but as to be expected she is much more drab than is the male. Note that in the pic of the male, the yellowish light in the upper left hand corner of the shot is from the tortoise tank. It is not effecting the color of the Mali at all - he was right in the flash and you can see from the surface there is no yellow from the lamp interfering with his coloration. The way he looks in this shot is the way he looks with some variation due to temperature.

Hopefully within another year or two they will be breeding and producing fertile eggs. My guess is that in the wild they may take longer to mature but in captivity when cared for well with a readily available good diet they mature earlier. My pair is well cared for. No I don't treat em like my kids but they do eat well and get the light and heat they need to grow big and strong.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wishing A Merry Christmas or Happpy Chanukah to the ACLU

Oh those crazy emails that I get. I have friends and family send me emails covering just about every subject both normal and kooky of which you can think. I get em okay: ones about gators eating hogs, others about safety tips for women, or about our current president being the greatest (I told you some of em were kooky), ones with pictures of cute animals, ones with games atatched like stop the illegals (a shooting game at that), ones about our current president being less than competent, others about gun rights, ones full of dirty jokes, ones with videos about the holidays, ones with news, ones with petitions, ones asking for money, ones with lots of pictures of our military, one with pictures of girls and there attributes (yes I mean big-uns), ones about health care, ones about religion, ones just to say hello, millions (it seems ) with advertisements, others just to say I stink, more to comment on my blog, and on and on and on.

Out of all the emails I have ever received, there is one that has the potential to be the best so far. That one, read by me just minutes ago, is one that has an idea in it. The idea is brilliant. Not a knew idea I am sure, but one that has been resurrected (I chose that word carefully) and that is being brought forth at this time just before Christmas and Chanukah when it may well have the most effect that it could have over any other time. As you are all probably aware, the ACLU has often sought to ban religious symbols on government property - or at least they often are supportive of the person(s) who brought such case(s) against the government and therefore in essence against those of you who practice religions of any sort. They also support such anti-religious things as Gay marriage and are against Capital Punishment. Yes, truth be told, they also have often supported religious freedoms (bet you did not know that).

To me though, they seem to have a twisted outlook and therefore a bad track record though of what is right and wrong when it comes to government involvement in religion. Our Constitution says this: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." Thus it allows for the freedom to practice your religion and assures that Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion. Get it - no law "respecting" an establishment of religion. They did not say no law about a religion or effecting a religion but the courts, due in great part to the efforts of those akin to the ACLU, have decided that is what they meant. It also does not say that there should be no government involvement in religion. Now I am not saying I would like to see our government run by a religion or religions. I am very against that. I am saying I would like to see prayer as allowed on the floor of Congress to continue, prayer in public schools, religious symbols freely erected on government property on the religious holidays of all faiths, 'In God We Trust' remaining on our currency, religious symbols being erected in honor of our war dead and so on. I would also like the ACLU to realize this is how most Americans want to see things in our country and realize they need to pay attention not only to the minority but to the majority because we too have rights and liberties.

Well, time to get back to the idea. The idea, in essence, is that all of you go out and buy a Christmas card and stamp, then send the card to the ACLU (yes it was specifically a Christmas card but allow me to add on Chanukah cards also). Don't stop reading yet - I know the thought of spending money in these hard times can be a turn off - an especially big turn off for most of my readers if it includes spending money regarding the likes of ACLU - but hear me out before you click on another blog. The rest of the idea goes like this: you buy a regular postage stamp at .44 cents, then buy a cheap religious Christmas card (and I will add that it could also well be a Chanukah card). I figure $1.50 including tax for a card although you may already have lots of cards at home already that you are waiting to send out this season and you likely will have one left over. You then send the card to the ACLU wishing them a Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah, keeping it respectful, and you address the envelope as follows:

125 Broad Street, 18th Floor,
New York NY 10004

Of course, you can also contact you local affiliate of the ACLU in the same manner. Look for their contact information here:

Why do this? Well first of all it will make the ACLU realize that - We The People of the United States of America - do want to see religion practiced freely as it should be and that includes on government owned ground. Secondly, it is a nice thing to do at the holidays - isn't it? Sending out wishes for a Merry Christmas and for a Happy Chanukah are the good Judeo-Christian things to do at this time of year and, after all, our whole form of government is based upon many of the principles found within those religions. It also will give the ACLU something to think about in more ways than one. If enough of you send out cards to them, they will wonder if there is some type of revolutionary movement going on among the religious of our great nation - one geared at sending them a message. Maybe the message will have an effect - stranger things have happened. The effect could be anything from the ACLU reconsidering its stance on some issues (maybe realizing that as oppose to whom they usually represent - we have rights too) all the way down to someone just taking the cards and destroying them. Of course, before they destroy any such mail, they likely will open each and everyone looking for important correspondence or donations. Because of that they will in all likelihood see each and every religious card they have been sent and will get the message from us about religious freedom. Sure it may only be a mailroom clerk who opens them, but I think otherwise. I think this will go all the way to the top if they receive enough cards. Of course, they will be busy, very busy indeed, opening our mail for some time to come if we send enough cards, and I suppose that would be a good thing too because it again will make them realize how many of us their are who feel strongly about the issue of freedom of religion without ACLU interference that supports only the minority. There may also be another effect, it may cause a few (or even one person) at the ACLU to go out and actually celebrate one of these religious holidays who would not have done so otherwise. I am not saying or implying they are all atheists, but who knows on whom these cards may have an effect or how - they just may prompt someone at the ACLU to celebrate either of these religious holidays or maybe both.

The thing is that we would need to send enough cards to have any of these results - lots of cards. Remember the movie classic Miracle On 34th Street - the old one from 1947 (that was a nice movie). Remember what the post office did to help out the guy on trial as to whether or not he was Santa Claus or was crazy instead. The postal workers delivered all the mail in the post office to him that was addressed to Santa Claus. It was quite the pile of mail - lots of mail at that. The result was that the case against the guy claiming to be Santa Claus was wisely dismissed because the state court judge did not want to contradict the Federal Government about the existence of Santa Claus since the G had obviously decided Santa Claus did in fact exist and was in fact the defendant since the federal government delivered his mail to him. Just think how joyfully wonderful our wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy Chanukah will make the workers at the ACLU feel if they get a pile of cards about the same size. So I am asking you to let others know about this idea. Tell other bloggers and ask them to post about it on their blogs or to link to this particular blog post. Email your friends and relatives and associates from work. Let the ACLU know that we will not stand for the destruction of our rights for the protection of those of just a single person or a small group of person. Yes they have rights that also need to be protected but not at the cost of the majority losing their rights too. Let them know the majority intends to celebrate their religious beliefs and at the same time wish them a joyous Christmas and Chanukah.

Drum up enough support for this and you can bet there will be a good outcome if nothing other than someone at the ACLU having a Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah because of all the nice cards they will have received. Even if you consider the ACLU your opponent when it comes to your liberty to exercise your rights, sending them a religious holiday card is the nice thing to do and if it results in even one member of the ACLU celebrating one of these religious holidays or having a nicer one or just a nicer day in general, then it will all have been worth it.

One other thing, keep your cards religious in nature (at least saying Happy Chanukah or Merry Christmas) and keep them respectful. To be disrespectful would defeat the purpose in sending them out because it would not be very Judeo-Christian of us to do so. So keep em nice and keep em right in the spirit of the upcoming Chanukah and Christmas holidays. Remember, we don't want to harass them, we want to wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy Chanukah while at the same time sending them a message from the heart of America about our freedom of religion.

All the best,
Glenn B
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