Thursday, November 30, 2006

If He Did It... and Oops, She Did It Again!

O.J.’s book deal went down in a ball of flames last week. Hats off to the hoards of people who hounded the network and publisher. Obviously both came to their collective senses in nixing the O.J. interview and book deal. Do I detect a smidge of decency in a sea of sewage and waste? Since we already know that he allegedly “did it”, many people , including the families of the victims, were highly offended at his narcissistic approach to capitalizing once again upon the savage murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown and bystander, Ronald Goldman. It’s a wonder the man can look himself in the mirror everyday with thoughts like these running through his ego maniacal and monumentally sociopathic brain. It makes me wonder what little regard he has for his own children; to peddle such useless garbage on the American public. It would be best if he kept those thoughts to himself.
Never to be told no, we can expect the usual from O.J., who will likely find another publisher. With money getting tight, he desperately needs to keep up his membership at the country club, where the search for the real killer continues. This man is definitely a national embarrassment.

Oops, she did it again. Does anyone give a rat’s phooey about Britney Spears, other than People Magazine? The little spoiled brat marries a do nothing like Kevin Federline, makes babies with him and decides she’s had enough already. So what are we supposed to do? She did it again and how many more times will this stupid little girl make the same mistake? Feel free to set your watches by the next nuptial fiasco of Britzhername.
What is amazing to me are the hoards of people who worship at the altar of Britney Spears.. Whatever. I’m sure. I’m like really irritated. These are two people who have no sense of shame so they would probably be thrilled to find their dirty laundry once again strewn across the yard of this magazine or that late night talk show.

Apparently the plague of our culture is a failure to set ourselves aside for anything or anyone. We’ve lost a sense of sacrifice. Why were my parents and grandparents able to make sacrifices and yet there are kids today who will stand outside Wal-Mart and Target for three days waiting for the PlayStation 3 to be released. Tents and sleeping-bags on the pavement for PS 3’s? Are you kidding me? How many employers lost their employees to the sick days they took for the PlayStations?

I am taking a sociology class right now and I’ve learned a lot about what is socially acceptable today versus what was socially acceptable when I was 19 years old and in college. Pretty much everything is socially acceptable, in case you were wondering. Not much is off limits anymore. We’ve pretty much accepted every little thing as a fundamental right, even a fundamental right to be wrong, stupid, careless and criminal. Right and wrong, good and bad…these are only a matter of perception. When our perspective changes, then we can change our minds, call in sick, write a book, sell our story, sell out, sell up and move on. The whole concept of sacrifice is completely lost on today’s cultural elite. The relativistic approach to life is a matter of what one values or simply doesn’t value at all. Marriage, divorce, murder, life, the right to die, free speech when the speech is politically correct, race cards, and the right to the very first PlayStation 3 darnitall anyway.

I’m waxing skeptical here folks, but the whole idea behind the “I and the Me” being fundamentally first are what plagues us more than terrorism right now. It’s the Almighty Me that put forth the O.J.’s and the Scott Peterson’s of the world onto the center stage of national debate and media sensationalism. The fact that he’s short on cash and sitting high on his pedestal is the driving force behind his “tell-all” story, “if he did it”.

O.J. write a book? Britney’s marital woes? I’d rather buy myself a nice root canal. So he did it, and she did it again. They’re made for each other and as the song goes, “they’re not that innocent.”
Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and bi-weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her by email at or on the web at


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Truly thankful

I want to be a rebel this Thanksgiving. What does that mean? I don’t know. There are just some years where I’m sick of turkey. I’m not much for ham either. What’s wrong with me? I usually love the whole turkey, stuffing, cranberry, potato, and gravy thing….I like it when it gets all mixed up. Not this year. I’m thinking seafood this year. I’m thinking the Italians got to me. They always do that.

J.D.’s Italian cousins visited from Como in October and you would know they were here because of several evidentiary points. 1. We went through approximately 2.5 liters of olive oil, 2. We drank approximately one case of wine, 3. Two blocks of parmesan are missing from the refrigerator, 4. Several jars of antipasto are missing, 5. The grappa bottle is almost empty and 6. There are wine corks with toothpicks everywhere in this house and the card decks are missing a few face cards.

I know none of this makes any sense to non-Italians, but those of you with two milliliters of northern Italian red corpuscles running through your veins know exactly what I’m talking about. Many of you know I claim this heritage by contamination only, but when it comes to cooking, drinking and celebrating, I’d go Italian every time. When the cousins left, my kids were in tears, my broken English sounded horrible and my broken Italian worse. If someone actually recorded the way we all talked while they were here, it could be a sitcom. Golly, it was fun.

Piero returned to visit with his son Mauro and daughter-in-law Sara. Mauro and Sara had never been to the U.S. before so it was their inaugural visit. MoMaher had a reunion festa to end all festas and even the Irish relatives became Italian for a day. J.D’s brothers flew in from Utah and Washington and the cousins were together again. The bittersweet moment for me was in greeting Piero again for the first time since his wife Guiliana passed away in 2004. I cannot describe in words what that wonderful woman meant to me, so I will leave it at that. She was here in spirit because I felt her the whole time they were here.

J.D. pulled out the old pictures and videos from the last time they were in California in 1998. It was the first trek for Piero’s family to the United States and like their pilgrim cousins who immigrated here in the early 20’s; they made the journey with the faith that something exciting was on the other side. American cousins came out of the woodwork for that reunion, including Lenny and Ronny with their accordions and the music was fantastic. I looked back on that time as such a great family memory. I’ve never seen my mother in law look so youthful and happy, while the rest of us slowly succumbed to the inevitability that we were all truly Italian. It was the start of a decade of travel exchanges to and from Italy with MoMaher and her sons. It took almost 80 years, but hey, who’s counting. Nonno Giuseppe is smiling from heaven.

I know I won’t be able to talk my parents into eating fish this year for Thanksgiving, so as we sit down to our traditional Thanksgiving meal, I am reminded of why I am truly thankful. I want to thank the readers of this newspaper for the time you took over the last year to express your encouragement and prayers for my Dad’s recovery. I am happy to report that Pop is getting close to not needing his wheelchair as much, and he emphatically plans to walk my sister down the aisle next May for her wedding, even if it’s with his walker. He is truly a survivor. I expect miracles, perhaps a golf game in ‘07 because God has been so good and gracious to us. These are the rare priceless times of life to be truly thankful; and I am most thankful for my irreplaceable family.

In that vein, enjoy your Thanksgiving with friends and family, eat whatever you want e rendiamo grazie a Dio.

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and biweekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her at or on the web at

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Would you want to know?

Does it make you uneasy to consider the possibility that in California today, your daughter could be removed from school by a “counselor” you’ve never met, who has secured financial arrangements on her behalf, to procure a surgery you do not “know” about? Would you want to know?
That is the fundamental question facing voters next week when confronting Proposition 85, otherwise known as the “parental notification” proposition. The subject of this proposition deals with fundamental legal issues involving the protection of minor girls, not a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Don’t be fooled. Proposition 85 involves minor children, not legally adult women seeking a legal abortion. Opponents of the proposition stand to lose a lot of tax money if it passes, so their “business” is at stake. What is being requested in this legislation is a law to ensure that a parent of a young girl possesses a legal right to know when surgery is being performed on her and/or whether abortive medications have been administered to her. Before you vote on Tuesday, I would urge you to consider a single question. Would you want to know?

If passed, nothing changes, except maybe the amount of cash pocketed by abortion mills. A parent could technically get notified and consent to an abortion for their child. Nothing is changing as far as “abortion rights” for children. If a minor in an abusive home is seeking remedy from parental notification, there are waivers which are afforded to these minors by the courts within this proposition. The opponents of the proposition don’t want you to know that. They’ve launched a costly campaign to defeat your right to know on Nov. 7 because they stand to lose money. For children in an abusive environment, three protections within the proposition are in place. First, if the court determines that a child’s parents would abuse her, the court will order an abortion without parental notification. Secondly, if the court determines that a minor girl is mature enough to give informed consent, the state will waive notification. Lastly, if there is a medical emergency, the abortion can be performed immediately. There are no loop holes here, just a law that would make it a requirement for abortion providers to notify you when your minor child is seeking an abortion. Would you want to know?

What does it mean for you to know that most abortions performed on minors are paid for by the state or other adults not legally responsible for the health and well-being of your child? What opponents don’t want you to know is even more disturbing. Technically speaking, child abuse and statutory rape can occur in cases where abortions are secretly performed on minors and parents are the last to know because the abortion provider is not legally required to notify a minor’s parent. Planned Parenthood claims to be fully compliant with mandatory reporting of child abuse crimes, but one need only to listen to the tape-recorded telephone conversations which are available on the web at between their clinics and a “13 year old girl” to understand how little protection is in place for a child in this situation. If you’re not disturbed, then something is wrong with you.

Post operative complications from performing abortions on young girls include infections, infertility and in some cases, death. The child suffers the consequences of a decision made in fear, and the parent is unable to help because they have not been notified. Opponents vehemently want the status quo because of money and the politics over legal abortion.

Let’s suppose you work full-time with two daughters attending the local middle and high schools. Tomorrow one of them will be taken by someone you’ve never met to an abortion center for surgery. Pre-operative pelvic examinations and lab tests are done on her, IV’s are started, general or local anesthesia is administered to her, invasive gynecological surgery takes place and then it’s over. Your daughter is transported to and from school to this facility and discharged with little if any post operative care because all of this happened in a single afternoon. What if she developed an infection? Would she have the presence of mind with a high fever to know that she needed to be in the hospital because of a terrible post op infection? How many girls neglect their health because of “their secret”? Who loves your child more than you do; a school counselor, a school nurse, or the abortion provider who sees her one time? The abortion center stands to gain between $300- $400 for surgery funded entirely by your tax dollars and mine. What do they stand to lose from not notifying you? That’s the real question.

My daughter was hospitalized last year after two knee surgeries with unexpected complications from secondary health issues, including the surgery. It wasn’t even a question of our participation in her care; it was expected. Her father and I were her primary advocates. Why are we excluded in a crisis pregnancy? Follow the politics, follow the money. At least 30 states in the United States have “notification” laws in place to protect minors. Why is California among the last to adopt these protections? It’s because the largest percentage of abortions performed on minors are performed in New York and California and abortion providers are the strongest lobby against your right to know.

In a state that has laws prohibiting minors from taking aspirin at school without parental oversight, we are still not allowed to know when that same child seeks a surgical procedure that could affect her health physically and emotionally for the rest of her life.

Prop 85 is not about consent. Your “Yes” vote is about your right to raise your own child. Read through the rhetoric and make an informed decision next week. Would you want to know?

Tammy Maher is a resident of El Dorado Hills and bi-weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat. You can reach her by email at or on the web at