Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Muslim Terrorist

Veteran's Day has rolled around again. This year, more than ever before, we've seen the mission of our veterans broaden to include all of their job - to defend the country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Earlier this year, outside a recruiting station, a home-grown Muslim jihadist gunned down a fine young soldier. In this last week, another home-grown Muslim jihadist and terrorist gunned down over 40 people, 13 of whom died.

Only 60% of Americans, in one of those polls we've become so fond of, think this should be investigated as an act of terror by the US Military. 27% think it should be investigated by civilian authorities as a criminal act. 13% aren't sure. Way to take a stand. I'm in the 60%, and I don't understand how every American isn't. An officer of the US Military has gunned down his fellow soldiers, screaming the Muslim Jihadist favorite words, "Allah Akbar", and this isn't an act of both terror and treason?

When are we going to stop being politically correct? I do not care a fig if this man had a troubled childhood. Most of us do, and we aren't running around killing the soldiers who defend us. I don't care if his co-workers stressed him out. Mine always did, and I didn't shoot them. I don't care if he felt dissed as a Muslim. I get dissed as a Christian. So freakin' what? It's life. Grow up!

No, what I care about is that he killed 13 people and wounded dozens more. One of the 13 he killed was a newlywed who was two months pregnant, so in my mind, he killed 14 people. He was a jihadist, a terrorist, and he performed acts of treason. He needs to be investigated, questioned, tried and then punished. Forget alleged acts. He was caught actually committing the acts in question.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Copenhagen CO2 Treaty

Yes, folks, negotiations going on to make America pay reparations to the rest of the world, based on the fact that we are causing global warming.

Lord Christopher Monckton, an expert in this area, pointed out today that right now, we have 30 billion tons of CO2 emissions world-wide now, per year. 2 parts per million, makes 15 billion ppm per year.

With me so far?

When you do the math for the predictions for the next 100 years, according to those working on the treaty, we will be looking at 7 trillion tons per year in 100 years. Their math is wrong, but they say that equates to 7 F. degrees warmer. (Lord Monckton showed that the true number would be only 1 F. warmer, and nothing to concern ourselves with, if the globe warms at all.)

In order to reduce that result by 1 trillion tons and 1 degree, the entire world would have to spend 33 years with no electricity, no cars, nothing at all that gives off CO2 emissions. So after 33 years of *no* energy, we reduce 1 of the 7 degrees predicted.

What is wrong with us? Are we so stupid we will take Al Gore's word for anything if he makes enough noise and ignores all opposition? And when did we begin to apologize for everything we've ever accomplished, and feel that we need to pay *reparations* to those who haven't bothered to build the life that they envy? When did we begin to help our enemies dismantle our lives brick by brick?


Monday, October 19, 2009

My Forehead is Sore

Yes, I've been pounding my head against the wall. I had an ah-ha moment this afternoon during Glenn Beck. I've known for some time that the progressives in Washington were working on more than "health care reform." Otherwise, why would they keep submitting bill after bill that covers so much more than health care?

Today, Glenn talked about the new health studies being done about the health care issues involved in *gun ownership*. What? As near as I can tell, it should be an obvious benefit - less stress if you own one and can defend yourself against both domestic criminals and the government.

It suddenly dawned on me why the "health care reform" is so important to the progressives. If they don't get it, they can't keep pushing us and pushing us on issues like gun ownership, smoking, and other things the government wants and the people don't. The health care bill is an umbrella disguise for Sunstein and other progressives to "nudge" us into the progressive lifestyle we conservatives don't want.

If not so, then why is the original excuse of covering all Americans now down to a bill that still leaves almost 20,000,000 Americans uninsured?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Little Bit Pregnant?

Have you ever heard of an ethics waiver? Apparently, it means when the president wants someone to do a particular job, and there's an ethical reason why that person shouldn't, a waiver is granted to allow them to do so.

This is not something new to the White House, though it's a foreign concept to me. How can there exist such a thing as an ethics waiver? How can you say that it doesn't matter that there's a conflict of interest, or a past association or behavior that is no longer important in light of the fact that we want you to do this job?

A person, a government, a nation is either ethical or it isn't. It's like being pregnant. You either are, or you aren't. You can't waive a person's ethics! And yet, this White House has done that 16 times in the last 9 months. It was pointed out, by the person the president appointed to be in charge of ethics for the White House, that this is less than 1% of the 1890 jobs awarded. That makes it okay?

I don't know how these numbers stack up against previous administrations, and it doesn't matter. I didn't realize this was going on, and now I do. The previous administrations are over. This one is ongoing. They can make the argument that it is fewer waviers, though I don't know that it is or isn't, but that is a specious argument. There shouldn't be any waivers of ethics ever! A thing is either wrong or right.

You can't be a little bit pregnant or a little bit unethical.

Read the Sept. 4, 2009 article on The Hill website.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

By Their Fruits

Forget the school lesson plan. This is more important.

Let's keep it simple.

Iran is being led by a man who is a Twelver. That is, he is part of the Muslim population who believes that the 12th Imam is the Messiah and will appear after blood and violence and chaos and bring peace to the world. They believe they can hasten his coming by causing the blood and violence and chaos. They believe that Jesus will come introduce him as the Messiah and will be his aide, more or less.

So, on the one hand we have a Muslim sect in power which has many, many followers and believes that death and destruction and chaos must take place in order for their Messiah to come.

On the other hand, we believe, as stated in Matthew 24:14 - "And this gospel of the kingdom shall ve preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." So Jesus preached that in spite of wars and desolation, that when all the earth had been taught the principles of love and redemption, the Messiah would come and bring peace. This is the foundation of Missionary Work.

By their fruits ye shall know them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Speech Lesson Plan, Part 3

I had no objection to the president speaking to school children. Truthfully, not even to his doing it during school hours. I did object to some districts making the watching of it mandatory, and accompanying noncompliance with additional punitive work to be done. I did object to some districts telling parents they could not be there for the speech and discussions. I did object to the issuance from the Department of Education of a lesson plan to enhance the experience of listening to the president. I most strongly object to the lesson plan itself. Here is part 3 in my series about that plan.

After the Speech

1. Teachers could ask students to share the ideas they recorded, exchange sticky notes, or place notes on a butcher‐paper poster in the classroom to discuss main ideas from the speech, such as citizenship, personal responsibility, and civic duty.

2. Students could discuss their responses to the following questions:
  • What do you think the president wants us to do?
  • Does the speech make you want to do anything?
  • Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
  • What would you like to tell the president?
I've probably said it all in the last two posts, but here we go again. There is nothing wrong with the first suggestion. As long as the teacher doesn't tell children what to think or how to think about the speech, as long as the ideas and discussions come from the students, this could be a great discussion. If children have not already been discussing these topics, it could be lame. If all their knowledge is drawn from this speech and teacher guidance, it will be one sided.

Let's look at these terms, which overlap considerably in the new political spectrum. Citizenship, civic duty, personal responsibility. Does that mean the same thing to the Obama White House as it does to an Independent or a Constitutionalist, or a Reagan Republican? I doubt it. If you read Charles M. Firestone's article on the Huffington Post website from last October, you will have a good idea of the current liberal meaning of citizenship. It starts by sounding fairly traditional and reasonable. By the end, it turns out we need financial, environmental, and cultural "literacies" in order to be a good citizen.

Even Wikipedia, with an unknown author, doesn't go that far: "'Active citizenship' is the philosophy that citizens should work towards the betterment of their community through economic participation, public service, volunteer work, and other such efforts to improve life for all citizens."

A more general definition: "Citizenship is membership in a political community. The term derives from membership of a city (as was the term citizen), but now normally refers to a nation. Citizenship carries with it rights of political participation; many also consider it brings duties to exercise those rights responsibly."

Founding Father quotes:
  • Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state. ~ Thomas Jefferson
  • It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it. ~ George Washington
  • Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual—or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.~ John Adams
  • I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts. ~ Abraham Lincoln (not a founding father)
Now let's look at the questions of part 2. The second and third ones are bad questions. They can be answered simply yes or no, therefore requiring little or no thought. The first one is a basic knowledge comprehension question. The last one would be okay, if the discussion were not guided toward telling the president that you are going to take his advice and do just what he tells you to do. Chances of that? Pretty slim.

Part 4 tomorrow. The extended activities, probably the most objectionable part.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

During the Speech - Lesson Plan, Part 2

During the Speech

As the president speaks, teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful. Students could use a note‐taking graphic organizer such as a “cluster web;” or, students could record their thoughts on sticky notes. Younger children could draw pictures and write as appropriate. As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following:
  • What is the president trying to tell me?
  • What is the president asking me to do?
  • What new ideas and actions is the president challenging me to think about?
2. Students could record important parts of the speech where the president is asking them to do something. Students might think about the following:
  • What specific job is he asking me to do?
  • Is he asking anything of anyone else?
  • Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?
3. Students could record questions they have while he is speaking and then discuss them after the speech. Younger children may need to dictate their questions.

On the surface of it, there would appear to be nothing wrong with any of this. Aren't those good comprehension questions? Isn't it helping students to focus on the main ideas of the president's speech? The answer to those questions, both of them, is yes. My concern, having watched Arbor Day turn from planting trees to saving the earth, is the discussion that will take place with these notes.

The youngest students are going to have trouble understanding, or caring about, the president's speech. That means someone will interpret for them, putting their own spin on the message, leading students in a particular direction. Older students will also be led in the direction that their particular teacher wants them led. Bearing in mind that a majority of teachers are liberals, the leading will be in directions I don't want to see happen.

The idea of *debate* will not be part of the lesson. Did you notice that there is nothing about "discussion" in these questions? Did you notice there is nothing about critically thinking? None of the questions asks, for instance, that students decide whether the president's message has a *valid* point. Nothing asks students to determine whether what the president suggests is something that will make a difference in their education.

No, the questions are merely, once again, at the knowledge and possibly application levels on Bloom's Taxonomy. Will teachers guide students to be critical thinkers? Will they even ask questions such as, "What might the education system look like if everyone did what the president asks?" They won't. They will lead students like little sheep to jump over the fences they want jumped. No one will ask, "What happens if we do what the president asks?" If they did, it wouldn't involve critical speculation. It would only be a Kum-ba-yah moment around the campfire, warming ourselves at Obama's fundamental Change for America.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

President Obama's Speech to School Children

What is all the hoopla about the president speaking to children in schools across America? Isn't it a good thing for the president to encourage children around the country to do their best in school?

Yes, and no. If it were a matter only of the president speaking to children in a televised speech, and if it were only that the president wants to encourage children in their educational efforts, I would have no problem with it. However, when you look at the lesson plan put out by the Department of Education, and you can find that plan here, you discover a few interesting things about it. A good lesson plan has a before, during and after, which this does. Let's see what's included.

Before the Speech

Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama. Teachers could motivate students by asking the following questions:

  • Who is the President of the United States?
  • What do you think it takes to be president?
  • To whom do you think the president is going to be speaking?
  • Why do you think he wants to speak to you?
  • What do you think he will say to you?

Teachers can ask students to imagine that they are delivering a speech to all of the students in the United States.

  • If you were the president, what would you tell students?
  • What can students do to help in our schools?

Teachers can chart ideas about what students would say.

Why is it important that we listen to the president and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?

Let's take this part of the plan apart. The motivation part - no problem. That's part of background building. Notice the last two questions. No problem with them in a classroom where students are taught to be critical thinkers. (Are there any such classrooms left in America? I hope so!) But, for the sake of argument, suppose that the teacher uses that question and answer time as a springboard to guide students' thinking in a direction she wants it to go?

Most teachers are liberals. Not all. I was a teacher. Many times I've guided my students' thinking, not on political issues, but on comparing one piece of literature to another, for instance. It's an ingrained thing to do. The question that really bothers me is the second one in the middle section of this before part of the lesson plan. This is where it really starts ringing a warning bell for me. Combine the president's progressive socialist agenda with the liberal educators and then throw in this question.

Now ask yourself this. What if little Johnny Jones has conservative parents who are well aware of this lesson plan, have downloaded it, and have dissected with little Johnny? And then, what if Johnny answers the question from that conservative point of view? What if Johnny brings up the idea that the president is trying to get the youth of the nation on his side and brainwash them to believe in political policies which are against the Constitution? How do you think the liberal teacher is going to deal with that situation?

Then move on to the last question. I don't think the answer is that we need to know what our government officials are thinking so that we can let them know whether we agree with them or not. I don't think the answer is that an informed citizenry is necessary to keep the Constitution in place. No, I surely don't think that at all. I think it's far more likely that the answer goes along with the idea of the nanny state government taking care of its population, and the need to listen and follow directions of the government authorities.

Stay tuned for the other two sections of this lesson plan.

Monday, August 24, 2009

National Debt

Wanna see how bad it is? Check out

Most especially, scroll down to the bottom to see the *unfunded* debt each of is owes. If your browser comes up with little f symbols, just click each one to get the numbers to appear. It has to do with your cookies setting.

If the free market were allowed to function, and we could restore our prosperity, then we might be able to handle it. But that's not happening.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Drill, Baby, Drill!

Remember that slogan? Well, Obama finally agrees with it!

Here's the problem. He believes in giving American taxpayer dollars, $2,000,000,000 of them, to a Brazillian company, Petrobras - in which George Soros is heavily invested, btw. That money is being loaned to them to drill off-shore for oil! Now bear in mind that Petrobras has $120 billion dollars in backing and earned $18,000,000,000 dollars in profits last year.

So why do they need any of our taxpayer dollars? After all, they signed a deal with China in February for 58,000,000,000 barrels of oil to be delivered.

So what is going on here? We have companies right here in our own country who have been pounding on the door to get permission to drill in and near America. So, Mr. Obama, what the hell are you thinking?

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Below is something I want to share with you. I am frankly very angry, and have had enough. Don't talk to me about writing letters to "our congressmen" they are not ours, they belong to the evil that is destroying this country while we sit on our asses wringing our hands, it frankly is a waste of time, paper, and/or bandwidth. There is only one solution to this situation, and we need to follow the example of our founding fathers. I only know of 2 people brave enough to call for a revelation, let me add my name to the list. This elderly house wife is calling for a revelation. There I have said it.

Please pay particulate attention to the bold words of acting U.S. Attorney Michael Gunnison below in the body of the article.

I do not know about you but this "elderly people (person) who believe(s) in the Constitution and are (is) willing to resist an unlawful tax and refuse to immediately surrender to heavily-armed federal agents deserve to die in prison and are not fit to participate in our brave new "civil society." has no intention of dieing in prison for standing on my Constitutional rights.

Convicted "tax protesters" to receive death sentence with new conviction

July 9, 2009—Ed Brown (67) and Elaine Brown (69) were convicted on all counts "of plotting to kill federal agents during a nine-month standoff at their fort-like rural home, where they had holed up to avoid arrest on tax evasion," the Associated Press reported.

In 2007, the Browns, a successful married couple from Plainfield, New Hampshire, who had dared to demand that the government show them the law before paying income taxes, were convicted of willful failure to pay them.

Ed Brown testified during the 2009 trial that the weapons in his home were for self-defense. The conviction is malicious. The Browns never intended to kill anyone; they just wanted to prove that the government had no lawful authority to directly tax the wages of people as if they were income. When the government court agreed that the government had the authority to collect an unconstitutional tax, the Browns just stayed home. When the government came to get them, a standoff ensued. People from all over the country came to be with them. Ed conducted interviews in which he said he believed the government planned to kill him and that he would rather die than go to prison. With some bravado, Ed reportedly also said that he would take a few feds with him.

The Brown’s concerns were well-founded. The U.S. government has killed a lot of Americans for greater and lesser reasons. Gordon Kahl was hunted down, shot and burned for his belief that government was not lawful; Sammy Weaver (14) and his mother Vickie were shot though they were not wanted in connection with any crime and the government mass murdered 114 innocent men, women and children at Mount Carmel near Waco, Texas.

The standoff, which began with their conviction January 18, 2007, ended peacefully nearly nine months later on October 4.

Though Ed had a conviction in 1960 at age 18 that was later pardoned, the Browns have no prior criminal history yet both face 30-years in prison for not surrendering to federal officials after being convicted on income tax related charges. For the Browns, this conviction is a death sentence.

"By rejecting the rule of the law and substituting a personal code involving weapons, explosives and threats, the defendants committed increasingly serious crimes," acting U.S. Attorney Michael Gunnison said. "Their conduct has no place in a civil society."

The "civil society" to which Gunnison refers is one that allows the government to lawlessly extort money from people at gunpoint, allows bankers to debauch the currency and loot an entire nation’s people and their assets while reinventing the Republic into a totalitarian technocracy that is in the final stages of force-vaccinating 300 million people with an experimental vaccine containing ingredients of known toxicity—and is planning to punish anyone who objects. According to Gunnison, elderly people who believe in the Constitution and are willing to resist an unlawful tax and refuse to immediately surrender to heavily-armed federal agents deserve to die in prison and are not fit to participate in our brave new "civil society."

The Browns, who were already serving five-year sentences for their original convictions, are scheduled to be effectively sentenced to death in prison on September 3, 2009.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Town Hall Meetings + My Response

There are town hall meetings being held around the country so that Senators and Congressmen can explain the health care plan to their constituents. According to one Texas Congressman, they were give a script they are supposed to follow. Bah, humbug, is what I'd say to that.

Many town hall meetings have erupted at the question and answer period, and if you watch Fox News, you've seen some of that footage.

"I look at this health care plan and I see nothing that is about health or about care. What I see is a bureaucratic nightmare, senator. Medicaid is broke, Medicare is broke, Social Security is broke and you want us to believe that a government that can't even run a cash for clunkers program is going to run one-seventh of our U.S. economy? No sir, no," she (a woman at the microphone to Specter and Sibelius in Philadelphia) said.

You can find some such events listed on Tea Party Patriots August events are toward the bottom, with September toward the top.

The constituents are being labeled, of course, as right wing nuts, and at least one person said that the protests were sponsored by the insurance companies. What a laugh. The insurance companies are in bed with the program! Those speaking out are being labeled "politically connected," whatever that means, and, once again, being dismissed.

One of the largest miscarriages of truth that the media has perpetrated recently is the one about the tea party in Columbus, Ohio, August 1, this past Saturday. The Columbus Tea Party, the Ohio Rally for State Sovereignty, was attended by, according to police estimates, 8,000-10,000 people. You can hear Keynote speaker, Judge Napolitano, on Ron Paul's site or YouTube. According to Napolitano (not Janet, BTW!), the temperatures were in the upper 80s and humidity to match, yet thousands of people stood for an hour and a half, before his speech even came up. They listened to what he had to say, and cheered him on.

The miscarriage of truth by the media? They reported 200-300 attendees. Disenfranchisement through being ignored? You decide. The people are rising up in larger and larger numbers, from all political parties, and both the media and the politicians are going to be surprised when the "right-wing nut jobs," take our country back, through the legally appointed means provided by the U S Constitution, and freedom becomes the rallying cry.

In some of the later townhall meetings, speakers who've learned from what happened at earlier ones, have told attendees they are not allowed to ask questions, they can only listen to what the speaker has to tell them about the plan. Here's my response to that.

As a body, all attendees get up and leave. The last person out the door, before turning out the light, turns to the speaker of the day and says, "You aren't listening to us; therefore, we aren't listening to you. But don't worry. We'll be back in touch next voting day." No shouting, no screaming, no protesting. Just a simple statement from our feet, exercising our God-given rights.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What Unites Us?

From my friend, Johnny's, blog used with his permission:

Recently, I've realized that we ..... at least I .... spend more time on thinking about the things that separate me, that divide me, from others than I do about what unites me with others. A friend recommended I read Glenn Beck's Common Sense. It arrived in the mail today, and I started at the back, with Thomas Paine's original common sense text.

Listen to this, from Thomas Paine's introduction to his famous little booklet:

    "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises, at first, a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason."

Knowing that he was referring to the government at the time, and it's long abuses of it's subjects in the colonies, and knowing that he speaks of rebellion against that government, do not blind me to the possibilities that go far beyond those issues. With this one quotation, I could examine everything in my life ..... my thoughts about God, about my lifestyle choices, about love ..... about almost anything.

Sticking to government, for this post, I realized that all of my life I have carried a certain picture of what America is, of who Americans are. We make mistakes, we are sometimes brash. As a nation, we tend to be more prudish than the old countries of Europe, and as a people, we tend to be generous. Perhaps we don't have the old world 'culture' and are considered by some to be rude and 'ugly' Americans. Maybe we resemble the prostitute with the heart of gold.

But there is a heart of gold. That's the important thing. We've shed our blood around the world for the rights of others, the freedom of others. Our soldiers are buried in the foreign soil of many a country which would not have the freedom to criticize us were it not so. Our dollars are spread throughout the world, as well. Over and over, as other countries have been hit by disasters, American dollars have flown food and medical supplies bought with other American dollars to the relief of those in need. Our government has done that, but so have our churches, our organizations, our volunteers, our people, out of our own pockets.

This is the America I know and love and grew up in. Today, I see the change that slightly more than half the country voted for coming to pass. And it isn't a change I like, or voted for. In fact, it isn't even a change at all, it's a transformation. I don't like what America is becoming. I don't like a president going around that same world we have saved and aided and negotiated for, apologizing for being who we are. I don't like my government turning into a controlling faction in business, banking, and especially health care.

The congress which bounced over 12,000 checks and caused the closure of it's own bank is now going to run the banks the American people use? The government that allocated money for 3 months of a "cash for clunkers" program and ran out in 4 days is going to run the automobile companies? The same people who have run Amtrak, the post office and Veteran's Administration hospitals into the ground is going to be in charge of my health care? I don't think so. I vote no.

The long habit of thinking that the government is right, that it has good intentions, that it will take care of me ..... that has come to an end. The habit of not thinking those things are wrong has come to an end. Bring on the outcry. Bring on the tumult. And then let us reason together to find a better way.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Universal Health Care

I can't stand it any more. I have to make some comments about this insane plan from the left wing nuts. (ha, take that you name callers!)

Is there any citizen in America who really thinks the president's plan is a good one? Yes, of course, there are. A lot of them are in Congress. Of course, those people have *their own* health care plan that won't be affected by the President's plan. If they think it's so great, why aren't they signing Congress up for it?

Recent polls, by Rasmussen, for instance, show that half of the citizens of the U. S. don't want this plan. When you add into the equation a tax increase to have it, the numbers rise against it significantly. So why aren't their representatives in both houses of Congress listening?

The news pundits seem to believe that the President wants Congress to hurry up and pass the bill before recess - and it's over 1000 pages again, folks. The reason? If they go home, they will hear from their constituents how much they do *not* want this bill, and it will never get passed. I don't know how accurate that reasoning is, since I think they are already having phone calls, letters and e-mails to that effect.

On the other hand, if that is Obama's reasoning, or his "advisors'" thinking, then I have a question. Why would the president be so desperate to have Congress pass something that the people don't want? It's no wonder that Obama's ratings are steadily falling. He's not listening to the citizens of the country.

Here's a quote from my son's letter yesterday. Bear in mind that this is a 32-year old man who is bright enough, but only has a GED, and he's a member of the North Carolina prison community for being stupid. If he gets this, why don't those highly educated Congress-persons get it?

    "I was reading (the paper) about the proposed health care thing the Dems are pushing, calling it a right and a responsibility. I found it interesting that, as an employer or employee, if you don't use it, you can be penalized. Sounds like big Government Socialism/Communism to me. They aren't saying you have to use it, but if you don't there are penalties."

Yeah, think about that one for a minute.

We hear a lot about looking at the systems in Canada or England and wondering if that's what we want. There have been both doctors and patients from Canada on any number of news programs. Well, not the mainstream liberal news programs, of course.

Here's a thought for you. Why do we need to go outside our own country for an example of how bad an idea it is to have the government running our health care system? All we have to do is look at the one health care system in the country that is already run by the government -- the Veteran's Administration.

When Paul was looking in to going there for his cataract surgery last year, we found that, between getting approved for VA itself, followed by getting an appointment with a primary care physician, followed by getting an appointment with a specialist, followed by getting approved to have the surgery, followed by waiting for the surgery, we were looking at 9 months or more. He would have been completely blind by then. So we borrowed the money and had it done, tightening our budget the last notch it can be tightened.

So, America, that's what you're probably going to have soon. Unless you can get yourself elected to Congress, of course.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, America!

I don't think I can say it any better than Glenn Beck does in his newsletter from Friday:

"July 3, 2009

Hello America,

Here it is, another Fourth of July. Traditionally, this is a day to gather with friends, maybe fire up the barbeque and play with kids until the sun sets and the fireworks start. But in thinking back on the meaning behind this day, we must never forget that our nation was baptized in the blaze of a very different kind of "fireworks."

Yes, this is a day of rest and relaxation, as well it should be, but this year…I'd like to ask you a favor. At some point during the day, I hope you'll take time to think and reflect on what it is we're truly celebrating on the 4th of July -- our Independence Day. Of course the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776 but it's so much more than that. On this day, 233 short years ago, a small group of men dedicated themselves to a higher purpose, an ideal they believed in so greatly, they signed their name to its expression and in doing so put their very lives at risk.

Never has a simple act of signing one's name carried such weight, such a profound commitment. By signing the Declaration of Independence, 56 men stood in direct defiance of the British government. They became marked men, and willingly so. As I was doing some research on the significance of July 4th, I came across some interesting facts about these men. Today as we all enjoy the freedom our forefathers guaranteed us, join me in honoring the extraordinary sacrifice of 56 extraordinary Americans.

Of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence:

Five were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes burned to the ground. Two lost sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, and two more had sons captured. Nine fought and died in the Revolutionary War.

If you ever feel like your lone voice can never be heard, that the political system isn't set up for "regular" Americans to change the course of history, remember: The signers were flesh and blood, mortal men with a divinely-inspired aim.

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists, eleven were merchants, and nine were farmers and large plantation owners. They were well educated, smart enough to know that by signing the Declaration of Independence, they were signing their own death warrants. They did it anyway, and God bless them for it.

As we enjoy our liberty on this 4th of July, or any day of any month, we must never take that liberty for granted. Too many have given too much. In the words of the Signers themselves, "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

Their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor -- I think that's a price paid worth a few minutes of reflection, don't you? But let's not be solemn in that reflection. I say rejoice and share this information with your friends and family, especially your kids. The Signers asked for nothing in return for their pledge, but I say that we show our thanks with a pledge of our own: To remember, to be grateful, and to carry on in their spirit. America is the greatest country this world has ever and will ever know, and it will stay that way so long as "we the people" remember that just like in 1776.

It's US that surrounds them, and we'll never back down.

Happy Independence Day, and God bless America.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Abusive Relationships

I'm going in a little different direction today, and this is aimed at abused men as well as women. No one ought to live a live as an abused partner. If one thinks about it, one might find a parallel of individual citizens and their government, but I'll leave you to make those connections, if there are any.

First, let me remind everyone that domestic abuse is a crime. Whether it is man on woman or woman on man, it is a crime. Don't ever forget that. If you are being abused by someone, they are committing a crime against you. Quit making excuses for them, because it is not your fault they are behaving this way. They bear the responsibility for being criminal, not you. You are powerless to control or change them, but you are not powerless to change your circumstances.

Not all abuse is physical. Mental abuse is just as bad, and perhaps worse. Bruises will heal, even broken bones will heal. A person's opinion of him-or-herself will be much harder to heal. What's done to a person's mind will never disappear. One learns to deal with it, but it doesn't ever go away. You may be wondering how I know. I have strong feelings about this from seeing two sisters be physically abused, to the point of broken bones and surgery, and seeing a child mentally abused.

What are some signs that your partner is abusive? How about these:

  • Your partner is controlling and manipulative. That person may insist on choosing your clothing, your friends, your foods, your behavior. It's always for your own good, of course. There's always a plausible sounding reason. The bottom line is you are being trained to believe that the person knows what's best for you, and you are incompetent to make those decisions. He or she is saving you from being a disaster.

  • Your partner has unpredictable mood swings. One minute you are being cuddled and the next, you are being pushed and shoved, emotionally or physically. You cannot ever come to depend on anything good that is going on, because it is always followed by something hurtful. This puts you in the position of being on edge at all times, never knowing what's coming next. Many people have mood swings, and that is not, in itself, the problem. The problem is when those mood swings are aimed at a partner, as described here.

  • Your partner isolates you from friends and family. This is so insidious that at first many people don't realize what's happening. It can be very subtle, right up to the day you look around and realize that except for your partner, you are completely alone. This often causes a hopeless feeling, that there's no one who cares what's happened to you, or causes you, initially, to feel grateful that your partner has stayed with you and loves you. Your partner may have convinced you that you really aren't lovable and the only reason he or she has stayed with you is because of the partner's greatness, compassion and wonderful qualities.

  • Your partner may use force against you. This starts with a push or a shove or a slap, usually, but may be a full out beating. Of course, the partner is always sorry, in the beginning. He or she may bring flowers, cook your favorite meal, give you jewelry, take you out on the town, and there are apologies all over, and promises that it will never happen again. The only way it will never happen again is if you escape that relationship, the majority of the time. In almost every case, unless a partner gets intervention and help, the first time will be the beginning of a life of abuse. Do not fall for the tears, the abject apologies and the gifts. Insist on counseling, or get out of the relationship.

  • Your partner will almost certainly be verbally abusive. Initially, this may involve put downs and criticism, but it will escalate over time into much worse than belittling. You do not deserve this kind of treatment! People who love each other, normal people, do not do this to one another. This is not normal. I don't care where else you've seen it, or who else in your life has done it - parents, for example - it is not normal. It is abuse.

  • Before the actual violence begins, there may be threats of violence. It's only a step away from the action of violence on you. Don't miss this warning sign. I'm not talking about when I say to my husband, "Stop that before I smack you." We both know I'm kidding. Neither of us would ever, ever, ever, hit the other. That is not the way to solve disputes. I'm talking about the menacing look, the raised hand or fist, the shove that either misses or pushes you into the wall. It isn't always accompanied by yelling and screaming. Some abusers are very calm as they tell you that if you ever look at another man/woman that way again they will slice you into pieces and throw the pieces in the trash can where a slut like you belongs. Yes, men can be referred to as sluts, or cheating, lying whores, too.

The bottom line is that an abuser tries to isolate the victim from all help, to be in total control, to frighten the victim into believing there is no one who would help someone as useless and worthless, to instill total dependence and hopelessness. Don't fall for it. There are things you can do. What are they?

  • The very first thing you have to do is decide that you are going to do something. No, even before that, you have to admit that something needs to be done, then decide to do it.

  • One place to start is the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) Memorize that number for the day you decide to use it.

  • Make a safety plan. Most abusers are not going to let you just walk out the door. You must have a plan and a place to go, you must have resources to help you get there.

  • Make a list of people you can trust for help, and their phone numbers. Be very careful with this list! Do not let it come to the attention of the abuser. Hide it as a list of things like the telephone numbers of people you would normally need to call, the school, the dry cleaner, the drug store. Don't just hide a list with names and numbers in a place you think the abuser will not find it. Abusers are very clever and they know their ownership of you depends on keeping you helpless. They will be looking for any clue that you plan to run. The safest thing is to memorize those names and numbers, or disguise them in plain sight.

  • Make an emergency kit with money, medical cards, car keys, ID, medications, important papers, etc. Make sure it's somewhere you can get to quickly. Off the premises might be your safest bet, but wherever you put it, make sure your abuser isn't likely to stumble across it. Not in the tool box in your trunk if your abuser is likely to need to go in there to fix something. *Maybe* in the freezer wrapped in foil and labeled meatloaf. Be creative and think it through before you stow it somewhere.

  • Above all, don't change your behavior! Once a decision is made, it tends to make us feel more secure, more in control, and this will show. Don't be nicer than you usually are. Don't be more sarcastic than you usually are. Try to change nothing about your behavior.

If your abuser becomes violent, there's a short list of things to do. It's better to run before the next time, but sometimes you can't. You may not be ready, you may not see it coming. Remember, the abuser is keeping you off balance at all times.

  • Call the police or someone else, if you can. If you call the police, be ready to press charges. Some states now don't need the signed complaint from a victim in domestic violence. Pictures of the result of the abuse, or the testimony of the policeman who responds is enough in some states. They know that abused people are rarely able to sign a complaint after the emergency is over. The fear comes back and keeps an abused person from believing they can "get away" with signing a complaint. This is particularly true of men who are abused. They, even more than women, don't think anyone will believe them. They are typically much larger than the woman abusing them. Get over it. Call the police. Your life may depend on it.

  • Grab your emergency kit and get out as soon as you can. Take your children with you. If they have not previously been abused, they will certainly be the target when you are gone.

Therein is the best reason to get out of an abusive relationship. If you have children, do you want them to grow up believing that all the abuse you have received is how a normal relationship progresses? Whether male or female, do you want them to believe that it is either okay to be abused, or it is okay to abuse someone else? Of course you don't!

The first time it happens, get out. Let it be the last time. Domestic Violence is a *pattern* of behavhior. Abusers are all clever liars, because they truly believe they will not do it again! For many of them, it is not a plan they have made. They think they are normal. They believe the things they say. This makes them the most dangerous kind of person. Let them go on believing. You get out and move on in your life.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Thank You

I want to take just a moment to thank Susan for writing so many great posts.

I apologize that I have not been writing like I intended. To be very frank with you all...
I am worn out, emotionally and physically. I do good to make it through my days with some
accomplishment, let alone trying to wake people up. I wish I had never taken the
red pill then I could go through this life in bliss, but alas one can not unlearn the
things one learns.....except maybe to get Alzheimers, sometime I think that would be alright.

So for a while I am going to go bury my head in the sand with the majority of Americans and Christians, too. I know Susan will speak for us both, as we are 99.9% on the same track.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

United We Serve

"Service is key to achieving national priorities," said Michele Obama at a meeting in a California school, launching the United We Serve Program. At first, it sounds good, doesn't it? These things usually do. I had to stop and think a minute. What national priorities would those be, exactly? Whose service, and what kind of service?

The California school where Mrs. Obama was speaking is the same one where she has helped plant a garden. Children at the school will work the garden, then have a vegetable stand to sell the produce. The money they make goes to the school. At first, that sounds fine, too, doesn't it?

Here's the thing, though. In 28 years of teaching, I had many a bake sale, candy sale, wrapping paper sale, cotton candy sale, even a stuffed animal sale. Two years, we made quilts to raffle. Every single one of them was instigated and worked by students for a particular goal the students had. Sometimes it was to benefit a charity students had picked, such as saving seals or adopting a sick porpoise. Sometimes it was to fund a field trip they wanted to take, or a play they wanted to see. Two years, we raised money on the reservation to take trips to Albuquerque, to see the big city. The quilts were for the benefit of the National Wildlife Fund.

All of these things were student-powered, student-motivated projects. In our schools, students sold items to earn money for the student council to do everything from buying playground equipment to buying books for the library. Again, the students conducted the business, and the students benefitted from their efforts.

It may very well be that the students will benefit from the money earned by selling vegetables, too. It wasn't reported what the school would use the money to do. However, here's the big difference. The children didn't think of this, didn't plan for it, didn't create the idea. It was imposed from the outside. It was generated as a plan from our federal government because, "Service is key to achieving national priorities."

I wonder if a generation of students brought up to believe that to serve the state in this way, to let the state dictate what their "service" is, and how much and for what purpose, will be easier to persuade toward socialism. Then what will the following generation be brought up to believe? That the word "I" is a dirty word? That the state run life is desirable? That the common good is the only important thing, and individual efforts and desires are unlawful? Oh, you've read that book, too?

If you haven't, try it out. It's Anthem, by Ayn Rand. If you can find a copy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Yet Another Sign of Congressional Disconnect

Have ya been feelin' less and less represented on Capitol Hill? Have ya been noticin' that nothing you say is getting through to anyone? Have ya been gettin' form letters back in response to notes to your representatives? Form letters that not only don't answer the concerns you wrote about, but are sometimes in 180 degree opposition from your position? Well, here's another one to write about.

Gunowners of America posted an alert on June 16. It's taken 5 days to drift down to me, and I had to track the version I got back through 5 blogs, which only means that bloggers are spreading the bad news.

The alert concerns a health care plan being circulated by Ted Kennedy. I thought he was too sick, but I guess he's making the big sacrifice to be there and push this through. Yes, folks, push it through, just like all the other bills that have been railroaded through Congress with no time to investigate and research.

Actually, I don't think this one takes any research. Just read the darned thing. It's a mockery of American principles and values. It takes away *all* rights for us to choose for ourselves, and penalizes us, no matter which way we turn.

You go read the alert. Then you decide whether to contact your senators. It's easy through the form at the bottom of the page. You can use their letter, add to it, or write your own in the space. Please, let your voice be heard in opposition to losing our right to any privacy whatsoever, and our own choices about health care.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


First, thank you Susan for all the great posts. I have been licking my wounds of late and it is nice to have someone to cover.

On to the RANT.................

Companies and/or agencies that get to spend taxpayers money for their own profit!!!!!!!

I am amazed, shocked, dismayed, outraged at these companies who we are "required" to hire for a project because they are "licensed contractors" or some such bought and paid for position. It doesn't mean they can or will do a better job, and if they don't do the job hired for just what do you think you can do about it!. Nothing, get in line.

It is really apparent when your dealing with a company that is tied in with a government agency. Like.... oh that tap (water tap) is in the wrong place, Mr. county man says. I'd LIKE to see it moved over here, (what is this a decorating issue) at the tune of $5,000.00. No biggie, says Mr. contractor, you can GET more money.

What happen to all the pre construction hoops we jumped through? You all signed off, all was right and where it should be? Where was the engineer we had to hire to stand there picking his nose and scratch his a to watch and make sure everything was were it belonged according to said plans? Why is this not in the proper place, is it a decorating issue? Then we also find out the county doesn't really know where the right of ways are or for that matter where the road really is suppose to be. Now you all want to be paid AGAIN for a job YOU did not do right, and the people of our fair town are suppose to bear that burden AGAIN!!!!!!

Sure why not, you can get more money (in the form of a loan) to fix our mistake, we will just put in to (ABC government agency) for more on your loan................
HELLO MCFLY.............ANYBODY HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We are informed this is normal practice.........NORMAL PRACTICE to pay them again! If I tried to do this in my cabinet business..........oh sorry I made that cabinet wrong, I measured for it, I know where it is suppose to go, but it is wrong, so you will have to pay me to make you a new cabinet before I can put them in. I don't think so.

Of course it seems to be common practice with doctors, lawyers, engineers, if we don't get it right the first time, come back and pay us again so we can make another educated guess, and of course if that isn't right either you can pay us again and if your lucky we won't kill/bankrupt you in the process.

I am amazed at these words but not surprised. Our government agencies and those who are in bed with them, such as contractors, engineers, or whomever (could be a parts place) know they have deep pockets. Our pockets. They have all this money to take for their coffers and provide inferior service or products.

The project being done here is huge, especially for a town of about 100 people and every penny spent on it has to be paid back by us, added to our bill. Things are already tight, they are talking about taking food off of people tables each time they get more money.

These agencies and their companies are getting rich by not doing their jobs as contracted and yet we are suppose to pay them again because there is more money we can get..........NO and Hell NO. Thankfully our board put a stop to things, the contractors and engineers know we have not spent all the money on the project and are determined to get every penny.

Then there is the issue of FREE GRANT MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!

This project also has gotten FREE GRANT MONEY, as has another project in town.
FREE.............FREE????????????? How can it be FREE???????????????

There is no such thing as free, free money is the most expensive money around.
It cost someone, from whom it was taken, a part of their life to produce it.

I HATE, HATE, HATE grant money. It was taken from one person and given to another for some pet project that the first person has no interest in. If you have a pet project, raise your own money, stop taking it from someone else. Share the wealth..........makes us all poor, ding the person who succeeds, take his/her money and give it away. You will never bring the poor and lazy up by giving them money, you will only break the back of the one your taking it from. It does not take long to make a 3rd world country out of a rich country, just take the money away from the people who produce. Pretty soon the produces will quite producing, why should they?

Even in this day with all the shortages of money, people out of work, losing their homes, I get phone calls saying.........."We have all kinds of FREE grant money for your business".......if we have so much extra money for grants, why are we raising taxes.


Well, there is one way to stop all this government loan money and grant money..............

Stop contributing to the treasury that give it all away.....................

But I don't know many who have the guts to stop...........

Monday, June 15, 2009

Financial Regulation and the Federal Reserve

I do a lot of reading. I read from a lot of different sources. You might say I'm eclectic, or you might say I'm scattered; you choose! Today, something I was mulling over yesterday came together with something Brandon sent in an e-mail, and I really must speak again. It's about money.

It's about more than money, of course. Once upon a time, money and buying were pretty understandable things to most of us. We had money, we spent it on things we needed. We didn't have money, we didn't spend it. In earlier generations, they were even better about not spending money they didn't have. A farmer or rancher might have a loan on his property or his herd, a city dweller might have a mortgage on a house. Otherwise, it was pretty much pay as you go.

Before those days, there was barter. If I have something you want, and you have something I want, we can trade. Or maybe you can try to take away what I have that you want, but there's a cost there, too, if I'm wary and wise. Unlike Wimpy (from Popeye), who would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today, most people lived on a debt-free basis. So did our government.

In fact, Thomas Jefferson said, "Funding I consider as limited, rightfully, to a redemption of the debt within the lives of a majority of the generation contracting it; every generation coming equally, by the laws of the Creator of the world, to the free possession of the earth he made for their subsistence, unencumbered by their predecessors, who, like them, were but tenants for life." Other founding fathers had similar thoughts.

So, today, we have a banking system which has gone wild, with the help and encouragement of the government, and a Federal Reserve which keeps printing more and more money, but there's nothing to back it up, and our government is in debt to the tune of trillions of dollars. I can't even visualize a trillion dollars, no matter how many drawings Beck and O'Reilly show me. Here's an interesting comparison from John Lipscomb's article on the Federal Reserve.

". . . it's interesting to know that, if we had lived in ancient Rome, with a one ounce gold coin we would've been able to buy a very fine toga, a hand-crafted belt and a pair of sandals--that was the price in Rome. Today, if we have a one ounce gold coin what can we buy with it? We can go into any men's store and buy a very fine suit, a hand-crafted belt and a pair of shoes. The price of these items hasn't changed in thousands of years when expressed in terms of real money but when expressed in terms of these things we carry around in our pockets called Federal Reserve notes . . . , the prices keep going up and up and up, because the value of those units keeps going down and down and down, because they keep making more and more and more of them and dumping them into the economic soup."

I had heard the statistic that for the time we stayed on the gold standard, we had no, zip, zilch, nada inflation, but the minute we went off it, inflationary cycles began. I could understand that. But to think of it in terms of ancient and modern clothing exchanged for one ounce of gold this way . . . that was really telling to me. That was a visual I could comprehend. Do you see my stick-figure Roman in his outfit and the stick-figure New Yorker in his? You might want to read John's whole article, as well as the one about the Doomsday Seed Vault. Lots and lots of information to process. Print it out and read it over a few days' time.

These are the things roaming around in the gymnasium of my mind when Brandon's e-mail arrives. It's a copy o the White House website post on Obama's speech about Financial Reform. Or rather, it's the reform he plans, but as explained by Treasury Secretary Geithner and NEC Chair Larry Summers and published as an op ed piece in the Washington Post this morning, as well as posted on the white house site by Jesse Lee.

You need to go read the post. I'll wait here, it won't take you very long, really. I'll play some nice Tim Janis music while I'm waiting . . . . Okay, let's take it from the top. Just the things that bother me the most. It all sounds so reasonable, until you start to think about what's really being proposed.

Point 1: "In addition, all large, interconnected firms whose failure could threaten the stability of the system will be subject to consolidated supervision by the Federal Reserve. . . ."

Would that be the same Federal Reserve which is currently printing money and diluting the value of the dollar? The same one that is trying to sell more bonds to other countries, countries which really aren't sure they want to subsidize our debt with a loan? That Federal Reserve is going to supervise "interconnected firms" in the U.S.?

Point 2: ". . .and we will establish a council of regulators with broader coordinating responsibility across the financial system."

Uh-oh, we need another regulatory board? Where's the authority for establishing more regulators? How will they be established? To whom will they report? Where will their salaries be financed? How many will be on this council? Don't we have enough bureaucracy already in place to take care of this? This sounds like more people under the direct control of the president, like the 16 czars he's appointed so far. And doesn't czar mean tyrant dictator to you? It always has to me. Why are we even using that word?

Point 3: ". . . securitization . . . ."

What the heck does that mean? Is that even a word?

Point 4: "The administration's plan will impose robust reporting requirements . . . ."

Robust, eh? I thought that was an adjective for wine. And to whom is the reporting done? What are the consequences of those reports? What's the authority for them? Who has access to the reports? And, perhaps more importantly, who doesn't?

Point 5: ". . . reduce investors' and regulators' reliance on credit-rating agencies. . . ."

And that's meaningful because . . . ? Maybe we are reducing that because our entire country is about to lose it's credit rating? Because we have no monetary stability as an entire country?

Point 6: ". . . and, perhaps most significant, require the originator, sponsor or broker of a securitization to retain a financial interest in its performance."

More gobbledygook. I get it. A person who sponsors a "securitization" (whatever that is) can't then sell out and go off into the sunset. But couldn't you just say that? Whatever happened to calling a spade a spade? In politics, I guess it's pointless to expect anyone to speak in plain English. Perhaps Mr. Geitner was showing us he really is the only one smart enough to "save" the country. Or perhaps he's just showing us that he has no clue how to relate to, or communicate with, most of us.

Point 7: "The plan also calls for harmonizing the regulation of futures and securities. . . ."

Harmonizing? They're forming a choir? Yes, I can hear it now . . . and it's way off key and out of tune.

Point 8: ". . . strong oversight of "over the counter" derivatives."

Oversight by whom? Sounds like a drug problem to me. Who is going to oversee the overseers? Who is going to be able to see the oversight? This gets confusing!

Point 9: "All derivatives contracts will be subject to regulation, all derivatives dealers subject to supervision, and regulators will be empowered to enforce rules against manipulation and abuse."

Regulators chosen by whom, paid by whom, reporting to whom? Could you just speak English, please, and explain how many regulators and overseers and czars and controllers, ad infinitum, the Obama administration is proposing to unleash on our financial system?

Point 10: "Third, our current regulatory regime. . . ."

Regime? Isn't that a ruler who has a government we don't like somewhere in the third world?

Point 11: "Weak consumer protections against subprime mortgage lending bear significant responsibility for the financial crisis."

No, lack of honorable dealings, the government interference and insistence on lending institutions making loans they knew didn't meet the "robust" criteria of the lending market is what bears significant responsibility for the financial crisis. Could we have a little more honesty and a little less spin and self-protection here?

Point 12: " . . .the administration will offer a stronger framework for consumer and investor protection across the board."

Protection from everyone except the government, apparently. A "framework" for protection doesn't sound like much other than an empty scaffolding waiting for the painters or window washers to show up.

Point 13: "Fourth, the federal government does not have the tools it needs to contain and manage financial crises."

No kidding. Would that be because it isn't the job of government?

Point 14: T"o address this problem, we will establish a resolution mechanism . . . ."

Resolution mechanism? What is this? A machine we're going to manufacture? Input problem, output resolution? I can only wish it were going to be a machine!

Point 15: ". . . This authority will be available only in extraordinary circumstances. . . ."

And just who is going to wield that authority in extraordinary circumstances? Who decides when circumstances have reached extraordinary? Who decides when the crisis is at an end, or the circumstances are no longer extraordinary?

Point 16: Fifth, and finally, we live in a globalized world,

Not me. I live in the United States of America, by the power of the US Constitution, which is fueled by me, and others like me. You want to rule the world, go get elected emperor. We are *not* responsible for the world, nor should we be. If I want a Kumbaya moment with my sisters and brothers around the world, we'll do it at a conference. I do not want to have my country at the mercy of the UN or a "consensus" oriented government from around the world.

We were lucky to get one righteous constitution, and be led by men who had a vision of a republic, not a democracy, not a "progressive" liberal fascist government. I don't think we'll get a second chance at it. Let's stand up now and demand our rights as free citizens to return to the republic, to return to sovereignty of the states, and to shrink big government down to the size of a peanut. Let's demand the checks and balances be put back in place. No more czars and councils and regulators who are responsible only to the president, whomever that president is.

Repeal the government, keep the Constitution.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Book Review: Acts of Faith

Amazon link
It's uncommon to review a book when one is only half finished with it, but I have been so impressed with the insights I've gained in the first 60% of the book, that I must share some thoughts with you.

The subtitle of Eboo Patel's book is: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. I came across this book completely by accident on Amazon. I was looking for other things, and just followed a link of a link, thinking it was something else entirely. However, when I read the review and a couple of quotes, I thought, "Sounds interesting. Maybe it will help me understand the young Muslims who commit the violent acts, including murder and suicide."

It is, indeed, giving me some insights into that young Muslim mind-set. In his introduction, he compares two different people, one a man who committed murder in the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics, and the other a group of school children in Tennessee. He speculates that if the murderer had been influenced by the same type of person the Tennessee children were, then he might not have become a murderer. He points out, "Change happens internally before it takes place in the world."

As I read the book, I find places where I agree and cheer him on, places where he makes me thoughtful, and places where I want to shout a warning, "Don't go there!" He's an excellent story teller, and he has a lot of stories to tell. Stories of being in high school, wanting to be white. Stories of being an angry college radical. Stories of finding people who work for those who need help, but do it without anger, and with intent to accomplish something real in the world. Stories about old girlfriends, from LDS to Jewish, and what he learned from them, as well. It's fascinating to see all the influences which led him to his conclusions and who he is.

He talks about Brother Wayne Teasdale, a Catholic monk, who influenced his life profoundly. It reminded me of what he said about the influences in our lives which make us who we are. Brother Wayne, as he calls him often, had studied in India among Buddhists, has a PhD in philosophy, and an interest in interfaith youth movements. He said things like, "The tradition you were born into is home, but as Gandhi once wrote, it should be a home with the windows open so that the winds of other traditions can blow through and bring their unique oxygen." He also said, "it's good to have wings, but you should have roots, too."

These things made a difference in Patel's life, and gave me cause for thought, as well. He talks of visiting the Dalai Lama, and of the way his feelings about India and his roots changed on his trip there to visit His Holiness. The Dalai Lama told him, "Religions must dialogue, but even more, they must come together to serve others. Service is the most important . . . ."

I thought about that concept of possibilities. What if, instead of fighting and arguing with each other, religions worked together, set aside differences to find commonalities and work toward common goals?

Patel talks of the students he taught and tutored at El Cuarto Ano, where his job was to help them bring up skills so that they could ". . . have what my suburban education gave me: the tools to make up my own mind about the world around me." He relates stories about the things he learned from those students, some of the stories so poignant, they bring tears to the eyes. For instance, ". . . since I was six years old, everybody around me be asking 'What gang you ride? What gang you ride?' Nobody ever asked, "What poetry you read? What level of math you at?' One day, you decide you might as well ride something, or else you nobody to no one. So you choose one. Then you hated by half and loved by half. But at least you somebody."

He relates how and why he founded Stone Soup, a collective group of young people of all religious backgrounds, working together to change things. We've heard a lot about Acorn lately, and not much of it good, but it's original objective was to improve the lives of those who have little or nothing. That was the goal of Stone Soup, as well. It began as an interfaith youth project. He mentions that he had belonged to organizations which were radical, or angry, or both, organizations which had diversity, and organizations which had faith, but he realized what was missing was a radical organization that was diverse and whose members had faith.

I'm learning a lot about not only how this one Muslim youth was formed, but also about those who didn't follow the kind of path he did, and the needs that their violent acts fulfill, as well as the designs of the people who use them to further their own ends. I don't know at the end of the book if I will like Eboo Patel, or who he turns out to be, but it is a worthwhile journey following him to see how he got there.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is Capitalism Dead in America?

That's the question Glenn Beck asked the other night of several people. No one wants to come out and take a firm stand saying it is. On the other hand, no one really wants to say it isn't. So, I'm taking a look at it today.

First, let's define capitalism. Hard to know what we are observing, if we don't know what it is. My simple Mac dictionary says, "an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state." Seems simple enough.

Right away my brain is reeling with the idea that private owners in our country are allowed to make a profit any more. At least, allowed to make it without having the liberal media and liberal congress screaming about how unfair and unAmerican profit is. Hey, the famous document says we are created with equal opportunities, not that we will take equal advantage of them!

I hear that a large majority of people who win millions in the lottery are bankrupt within a few years. Talk about wasting an opportunity! Being a wealth-creator, let alone a wealth-preserver, takes a mind-set that many of us just don't have. We can redistribute the wealth all we want, but it's going to keep going back to those who know how to get it to work for them. The answer seems to me to be in educating people in the principles of capitalism, rather than penalizing those who understand them.

So, let's take a look at our country. Is private ownership of business still the norm? I think we'd all have to say that, for now, it is. There are still plenty of businesses, large and small, as well as in between, which are owned privately or traded on the stock exchange by revolving door owners.

It is, nevertheless, a red flag to see the government becoming part-owner in banks, auto companies, financial institutions of various types, and gaining an interest in more and more areas, such as health care. A fast look at the post office, which I find always delivers my mail, and I mail a lot, and which has the very best people at the local level, usually, shows that it isn't run profitably.

"The recession accelerated declines in mail volume in fiscal year 2008 and flattened revenues despite postal rate increases. That year, mail volume fell by 9.5 billion pieces, or 4.5 percent, and resulted in a net loss of $2.8 billion as the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) cost-cutting did not close the gap between revenues and expenses." U. S. Government Office of Accountability (GAO)

Look at their solutions: "In the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006, Congress recognized USPS has more facilities than it needs and strongly encouraged streamlining its networks. Rightsizing will require continued congressional support for necessary closures and USPS leadership to address resistance to change. Other options that could help USPS remain financially viable involve difficult trade-offs, including (1) deferring USPS payments for retiree health benefits, which would increase the unfunded retiree health benefit obligation; (2) reducing the frequency of 6-day delivery, which would affect a key aspect of universal service and could further accelerate mail volume decline; (3) downgrading delivery standards, which could affect time-sensitive mail; (4) raising statutory debt limits, which could further exacerbate USPS's financial difficulties in the future; and (5) providing direct appropriations, which would be contrary to the fundamental principle that USPS remain financially self-supporting. Finally, GAO is closely monitoring USPS's financial viability to determine whether to add USPS's need for restructuring to GAO's High-Risk List."

Rightsizing? What kind of term is that? It's another in the long list of new vocabulary designed to spin the news to sound less negative than it actually is. Why doesn't the government just come out and say what it means? You notice that each solution has with it a negative consequence?

We could take a look at Amtrak and find similar problems and statements. The latest report I could find on GAO was January, 2007. It said this, "The future of intercity passenger rail service in the United States has come to a critical juncture. The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) continues to rely heavily on federal subsidies--over $1 billion annually in recent years--and operating losses have remained high. In addition, Amtrak will require billions of dollars to address deferred maintenance and achieve a "state of good repair." These needs for Amtrak come at a time when the nation faces long-term fiscal challenges."

Okay, does anyone think it's a good idea to have the government in charge of health care? Of auto manufacturing, especially in conjunction with the unions? Or of any other businesses? We could look at example after example of government-run business, including our own national budget, which has soared into debt worse than it already was, since Obama took over. It was bad enough under Bush, but now it's a total disaster. We cannot spend our way out of debt!

Nor can we tax our way out of it. We are already taking, from those who create wealth, an unconscionable amount of money in various taxes. I don't think anyone minds paying taxes for the things the federal government is supposed to be overseeing, such as national highways and national defense. However, the federal government has gone far beyond the powers granted to them by congress. All three branches of our government are out of control. I don't think any of our founding fathers ever guessed they would all go out of whack at the same time!

If we continued to tax producers to pay for non-producers, there's only one possible outcome. The pool of producers will become smaller and smaller until it totally disappears. America is heading down that road right this very minute. Capitalism is being vilified, marginalized through liberal diatribe, and demonized. In other words, the government is eating its money producing system. Not money printing, money producing! It is becoming more and more "shameful" to make a decent profit in the almost non-existent free market, at the very time when America needs money the most.

So, are we still a capitalist country? I think we are, barely, today on May 30, 2009. How long we'll be able to say that remains to be seen. There's a very disturbing trend in this country that was forecast decades ago when Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged. I first read it more than 30 years ago, and it seemed total fiction to me. I couldn't see where we were going then. I hadn't studied enough history. Now, it's obvious to anyone who reads the book. We aren't going there. We are there. And Atlas, in the form of those who are innovative and productive, is going to begin that shrug any time now.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name

With apologies to Shakespeare, I have to wonder if, in today's political arena, a rose by any other name is still a rose. It seems that everyone in politics is hiring people to tell them how to 'spin' things, and doing public opinion polls to find out the most acceptable terms to use.

Let's just take the concept of global warming, for instance. That term is out, and has been for a couple of months. There was just too much negative response attached to it, even though Al Gore said the debate on it was over. (How can debate on anything ever be over?)

Next it was called climate change. Who can argue with that? Climate does change, but the term, as used by liberals, implies and presumes that the changes are caused by people, and what we do. Science shows that less than 1% of any possible problems are caused by the actions of people living on the planet. That is not to say there isn't a climate change, just that we aren't causing it or having a big impact on it.

"Just one recent example came from the United-Nations sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC summary report was approved by attending environmental scientists, many of whom said there was no long-term global warming -- which indeed much data corroborate -- that current temperature fluctuations are within historical norms and that there is no concrete evidence of mankind's activity affecting global climate -- i.e. no global warming. Quite a jump from the "most scientists believe the sky is falling" heard every day.

When the report was published, numerous pages had been deliberately tampered with. All dissenting views and evidence been systematically removed giving the impression that scientists were in agreement that global warming was upon us. The dissenting scientists were furious at the blatant unscientific fraud and their protest erupted into the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal." John Loeffler, Colorado Christian News, Nov. 1996

This experience was repeated in last fall's conference in New York, in a slightly different way. Over 400 scientists who protest that 'global warming' is not the danger insisted on by the Al Gore contingent met for a conference. It was covered by two journalists, one from the Wall Street Journal, and the other Glenn Beck, who says he isn't a journalist, really. Where was the main stream media? Absent without calling in.

We're hearing a lot more about 'green' and a lot less about 'environmentally friendly' these days. Personally, I'm already sick of the term green and it totally makes me want to go run my gas powered chainsaw through the forest and then get in my SUV and drive across the country.

Now we're being told that carbon dioxide, which we all breathe out, and which trees and other plants need to survive, is a toxic substance. It's even been proposed that fat people breath out more, so they should be taxed. And does anyone really understand what cap and trade is? (For a good explanation, see this article. Note the bottom line - money!) Is anyone thinking about this?

When we take a look at these concepts, whatever language they use, to find the basis in science, we find what we used to call weasel words. "Most scientists believe," for instance, instead of a fact. When did people believing something make it a fact? Hundreds of millions in this country believe in God, and yet no one who doesn't will accept his existence as a fact based on that.

Evidence opposed to what the liberal government wishes us to think is ignored. Thank goodness for Fox news, or I'd be depending on internet blogs for a few meager facts about almost everything. Or, Heaven forbid, falling for the liberal line. So much of it sounds reasonable, and some of it is. However, the tactics are growing more and more suspect, as time goes by.

If one thinks that consensus of belief is reason enough to push on, perhaps we are doomed. Those very people who want to "save the environment," may be doing the entirely wrong things, but no one is looking at the facts of the case to find out.

I absolutely believe in preserving the rainforest (as well as the desert, the tundra, and every other geographic setting), doing our best to keep animals from going extinct, when it's possible, and being good stewards of the earth. That's our commandment from God. What I don't believe in is getting in a panic over things.

Species die out. They did before humans came along, and they will after we've met our own demise. Geography changes. Where we camp in mountain forests now, it used to be the bottom of salty oceans, and you can still find tiny seashells and fossils. At another time it was swampy. Change happens. Human beings do what they can to resist it, whether it's for good or ill.

If you want to save a species, let's talk about saving that species. If you want to improve air quality, then let's talk about that. Let's work together to see what, in the rational world is possible. Let's not make sweeping legislation that denies human beings their lives. Let's not fix things that aren't broken, or that won't matter. Let's reason together, not panic. Let's use honest, open language that says what it means. For Heaven's sake, let's call a spade a spade, and not an environmental weapon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What is happening to our the Church?

I have to take a break from working on a birthday gift for my grandson to talk about something that is on my mind.

I am frustrated that I can not find a church to go to. There are not many churches around that meet what I believe is a Biblical standard.

We have a little church here in our community that falls short in a couple of ways, ways that keep me from attending.

#1 on my list is of course that the Bible is being taught. Now a days that is pretty hard to find. It is not necessarily that they are not teaching the right thing. It is what they are omitting because of their alignment with the government. How are they aligned with the government? Anytime your taking a concession from the government you are aligned. So churches that are tax exempt are under the rule of the ones who have given them this concession. Just as an example, House agrees to muzzle pastors with 'hate crimes' plan

Of course this is just one of many things over the years that the government through the IRS and tax exempt statics has implemented. About 6 years ago I saw an ad in the newspaper warning pastors not to preach about the political candidates in their churches, this was sighed by the IRS. So if a church has a tax exempt statics how can they be preaching ALL of the Word of God.?

#2 it is also hard to find a church that adheres to the Word these days. They put questionable people in as pastors, sometimes there is no question to these people not being Godly according to the Bible.

The churches also do not follow the Bibles teaching on being debt free, all to become big program infested social centers. Now I know we need to reach different age groups and all of that is good, but when a church only wants numbers and is willing to go deeply in debt to achieve the goal. The Bible tells us to be in debt to no one, for those who we are in debt to become our master and we their slave. We can only serve one master.

The newest thing is Twittering at church. It appears this is the new trend, call me old fashioned, but I can not hear the pastor if I am concentrating on twittering. This is not God's word being taught, it is a distraction. Now perhaps after service, it might be a good way to witness or help someone else.

The Bible says that in the end days that churches will fall away, they will be more concerned about not offending the people who attend, it will tickle their ears. I see it.

I would like a church that has not fallen away, but I don't see any that follow God's word in my neck of the woods. I know there are churches that are truly God's, they are not a government corporation. Oh I have heard all the reasons for incorporating, but I do not buy it. A corporation is something you get by asking permission to exist, once you ask permission and your granted said permission, with all the perks, you get to play by their rules.

I am thankful that my relationship with God does not depend on having a church to attend. I am thankful that what I have is faith and it is personal, not dependent on anyone else. I thank God for sending his Son, Jesus Christ to die for my sins, and that by accepting that fact through faith I have eternal life with God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

If you would like to have the assurance of an eternity with God can pray this prayer.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ to die for my sins. I am a sinner Father and I ask your forgiveness and ask that Jesus would come into my life and cleanse me of sin. I know I fall short of your glory, but through Jesus I can have eternal life with you. Thank you Father, in Jesus Name. Amen.

If you have prayed this prayer, please let us know, so we can pray for you and help you on you walk with Him.

If you don't want to pray to accept Jesus, that is your choice and yours alone, no one is going to force you, you are free to make that choice. I just wish people would accept my rights too, and stop trying to take my right to religious freedom away. The trend is to silence Christians, so I am speaking up. I pray that the Holy Spirit will work today through this post.

In Jesus Name.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How Green Is Your Valley?

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." That was Abraham Lincoln's opinion, anyway.

George Hull, competitor of Mr. P. T. Barnum, thought differently. "There's a sucker born every minute."

Maybe neither of them is far off the mark these days, at least when it comes to "green" ideas and the "global warming" controversy. Facts seem to be few and far between as environmentalists on both sides of the political arena push their agendas for changing the way America does business and how it lives and drives.

I don't think I have the energy today (wind or solar or ethanol) to argue the "global warming" controversy. Suffice it to say that evidence doesn't support Al Gore's campaign to make us believe that the earth is growing dangerously warm and we are all headed for doom.

No, today, I want to bring to light some facts about the "greening of America," facts which main stream media sources seem set on ignoring. One source for my information is Newsweek Magazine, anything but a left wing organ of news. Robert Samuelson wrote the article April 27, 2009, so it's almost hot off the press.

"Here's a typical claim, from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF):

" 'For about a dime a day [per person], we can solve climate change, invest in a clean energy future, and save billions in imported oil.'

"This sounds too good to be true, because it is. About four-fifths of the world's and America's energy comes from fossil fuels—oil, coal, natural gas—which are also the largest source of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas. The goal is to eliminate fossil fuels or suppress their CO2. The bill now being considered in the House would mandate a 42 percent decline in greenhouse emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels and an 83 percent drop by 2050."

A dime a day? Really? Who did the math on that one? If you read the entire article, you find that the projects for dropping the levels by that much are totally unrealistic, not to mention expensive and maybe impossible.

"One estimate done by economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that meeting most transportation needs in 2050 with locally produced bio-fuels would require '500 million acres of U.S. land—more than the total of current U.S. cropland.' "

That's for one alternative, bio-fuel. Even Sen. Thune of SD, my own senator, says that half of SD farmers are invested in raising corn for ethanol, so it is a good idea. No, it isn't. Remember when your mother used to ask, "If Jane jumped off the roof, would you jump, too?" Just because farmers in SD are putting all their eggs in one basket doesn't mean it's a smart move! Ethanol isn't the answer, so keep looking for one.

The article concludes, "The selling of the green economy involves much economic make-believe. Environmentalists not only maximize the dangers of global warming—from rising sea levels to advancing tropical diseases—they also minimize the costs of dealing with it...."

And therein lie two really important reasons why we shouldn't rush into passing bills like the one being considered. We don't have enough information! Or we aren't looking at the information, when we do have it.

So what are some facts we could look into? How about we take a good look at Spain. Spain has invested a number of years, and billions of dollars in turning their country green. On March 27, reported on a study done by a Spanish professor at King Juan Carlos University (ranked 1189 in the world ~ compare Oxford at 11, University of AZ at 81, Harvard at 2 and Princeton at 9 ~ still a respectable top 14% of 8750 Universities world wide), Gabriel Calzada. A few days ago, Glenn Beck had him on to discuss his findings, as well. He's a very personable young man who speaks excellent English. There was no difficulty understanding what his study discovered.

Here are some facts the study uncovered in Spain:

  • For each green job, 2.2 jobs in other industries disappeared.

  • In Spain, where wind turbines provided 11 percent of power demand last year, generators earn rates as much as 11 times more for renewable energy compared with burning fossil fuels.

  • The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power - - which are charged to consumers in their bills -- translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish “green job” created since 2000....

  • “The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices,” Calzada said in an interview.

The reason I picked up on the interviews and Spain is that it is the country the greenies point to with pride. This is the example they say we should follow.

If you look up on or and put in the search string "Cost of going green," you will find dozens of articles on how to turn yourself, your home, your car, and your business "environmentally responsible." You'll find very few offering the facts that go with making that choice.

People are *not* killing the earth. There were climate changes before people ever rose to power over the earth. There will be climate changes after we are gone on to other parts of the universe. I'm not saying don't recycle. I'm not saying don't use efficient appliances, or cars that provide better mileage. I am saying approach the "green" issue with caution and keep your eyes open. You could easily find yourself jumping off the roof right after Jane . . . er, Spain.