Tuesday, May 30, 2006
At first glance, this simply looks like a dirty sink with two dirty bowls. While that assessment would be correct (I wasn't home all weekend and have yet to tackle the kitchen clean-up, so no judging, please!) a closer look will reveal the cause of a near-death experience for yours truly.
In the top bowl, the black "spot" is actually a huge hairy black, jumping and swimming spider. When I first saw it, the spider was on my kitchen window sill above the sink. I of course had a major panic attack (I was on the phone with a friend) and then went to get the fly swatter. As with any spider, but especially one of this magnitude, I did not take my eyes off the offensive arachnid.
Now the problem with the spider was two-fold. First, it was perched on the ledge of my window sill in such a position as to make it impossible to render a single death blow because the surface was not flat. This is a problem because if I hit the spider, but did not kill it, the likelihood of it scuttling away, madder than before, and hiding somewhere on my kitchen counter (or maybe in my dishwashing gloves) was too high a chance to take. So I watched and waited and contemplated my next move. Second, I could not move away because I had to keep the eight-legged behemoth in my line of sight at all times.
After a 5 minute stand-off, I decided on a course of action. (I must not neglect to mention that this spider was large enough for me to clearly see his glinty green eyes from a distance of at least 4 feet.) First, I went to get my camera, because I knew I was going to have to add this to my blog. Next, I got ready to reach for the lysol spray, a risky endeavor in and of itself as it meant getting too close for comfort to the spider. I planned on stunning it with the lysol and then beating the crud out of it as it staggered around, blinded. But alas, as I have long maintained, spiders are crafty and wicked little creatures and as I held the camera up (from a safe 4 feet away) the angry arachnid JUMPED toward me at least 2 feet in the blink of an eye. All I saw was a flash of black and then I heard a little splash. The dang thing had landed in the bowl of water in the sink.
Now, normally, this would have been a victory for me, as I would merely have waited for it to drown, but as I mentioned, this spider had skills. It could swim. It didn't even struggle to stay afloat or alive. It simply floated in the water and stared at me. So, after catching my breath from my near-death experience, (that would be the spider flying at me at break-neak speed, as I clearly was the intended target and not the bowl of water) I decided to proceed with my original plan of spraying it with lysol.
Well, while I think the lysol did have a negative effect, it also created a problem. The spider was then hidden beneath a layer of toxic bubbles. Occasionally, I could see it's little hairy legs kicking and swimming beneath a break in the bubbles.
But in the end, I think the lysol did him in. Either that or he couldn't swim as well as it appeared. When all had been still for some time, I poked the fly swatter into the water (standing back as far as possible while doing so) and tried to scoop the spider out into the sink. Once I did, I smashed it to smithereens, just in case it would somehow survive the garbage disposal. I take no prisoners and no chances with eight legged monsters.
Despite my ultimate victory, I will undoubtedly still have a nightmare involving spiders this evening. I think it's part of their final revenge. Nasty beasts.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
While I knew the sender of the email, I didn't look into the group any further at the time, mostly because my blogging time was limited due to my toddler's nap boycott. So later in the evening, I began digging into the originator of the "Save the Seals" message. I discovered that the group goes by the name "Care 2" and that they seem to primarily be concerned with environmental policy (they are VERY liberal), but of course, they also dabble in other areas such as women's "issues". (Surprise, surprise!) In about 5 minutes' time, I stumbled upon this "Action Alert":
Stop Fake "Clinics" from Deceiving Women
Sponsor: Planned Parenthood Federation of America
So-called "crisis pregnancy centers" are rapidly appearing across the nation — a deceitful new tactic of the anti-choice movement to keep women from getting the accurate education and health services they seek.
These fake "clinics" often masquerade as health centers offering the full range of reproductive health services, when their only real purpose is to keep women from exercising their right to choice and family planning. They lure unsuspecting women with the offer of free pregnancy testing or HIV tests. Once inside, the "clinic" staff--usually volunteers with no training -- try to dissuade women from exercising their right to choose by subjecting them to inaccurate, anti-choice propaganda and intimidation.
The worst part? Your tax dollars are funding "crisis pregnancy centers" to the tune of $60 million. A new bill in Congress, the "Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act" (H.R.5052), would stop "crisis pregnancy centers" from deceiving women. Urge your representative to support this important bill.
To be quite honest, I don't even know where to begin. It's almost laughable because, without knowing a single thing about "Care 2", I pretty much nailed what they were all about, at least with regards to the abortion issue. It's not at all funny, however, because the issue is deadly serious.
Let's take this "action alert" apart, shall we?
The alert begins with the naming of "crisis pregnancy centers" as the newest, worst plague upon women since, well...whatever feminist groups complained about last. These crisis pregnancy centers are labeled as "deceitful", yet all crisis pregnancy centers with which I am familiar do their best to give pregnant women ALL their options and are honest about the life growing inside the woman, the option to adopt, how to receive government assistance (if needed), and how to obtain appropriate pre-natal care. Often, they will provide anything from basics like information, diapers, clothing and formula all the way to full care, including housing and health care for the mom-to-be and baby. It is not deceitful to provide all options and to show love and compassion for a scared, hurting woman.
Second, the alert claims that these crisis pregnancy centers advertise as "health centers" (which I've not personally seen, although it could be true). They accuse the pregnancy centers of "luring" the women in with free pregnancy and HIV testing. Of course, Planned Parenthood, the alert's sponsor, does the same thing and even goes so far as to advertise contests to win iPods (see my blog entry "Sales Pitch For Abortions") in a pathetic attempt to lure teens into their "health clinics".
Third, the alert makes the accusation that the women who do go to the crisis pregnancy centers are given "innacurate" information and are subjected to "anti-choice propaganda and intimidation". By "innacurate" information and "anti-choice propaganda" they mean that the women at a crisis pregnancy center are told that life begins at conception and that they are pregnant with a human baby as opposed to a de-humanized "fetus". Of course, what clinics like Planned Parenthood skim over is exactly when that fetus becomes a human baby. In their eyes, that's when the baby is successfully delivered alive, and not a second before. Even then, it would seem that the fetus only becomes a baby if the mother wants it to, since they push for late-term abortions that could be performed up until full delivery of the head. (But that's not "innacurate" or "propaganda", of course.)
When the alert mentions "intimidation", it is most likely referring to some crisis pregnancy centers' use of ultrasound to show the woman a real picture of her baby that would allow her to see the formation of a human being, and in some cases, see and hear the baby's heartbeat. That's the alert's definition of "intimidation" in this instance.
Fourth, and lastly, the alert says that the worst part of all is that tax payer monies are being spent in support of crisis pregnancy centers. Never mind that tax payers are also supporting, to a much larger tune and with no say in the matter, anti-life, pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood. According to Planned Parenthood's 2003-2004 Annual Report, almost a third (32%) of their annual revenue came from government grants (or tax dollars). This number is second only to clinic income, which was reported at 38%.
The hypocrisy here is unbelievable. It's so simple to see the agenda, the double standards and the out-right innacuracies in a case like this, but unfortunately many people are either too lazy to think things through for themselves or too uninformed to care. Either way, the stakes couldn't be higher. This is a matter of life and death and the other side plays very dirty.
I recently received a message in my junk e-mail with the following headline: Take Action To Save Baby Seals Today. Now, I normally don't bother with opening junk mail, but I knew the sender was considered safe (just unwanted...I don't even know how or when I got on their mailing list), so my curiosity got the better of me. The following is the text of the message:
In the past 3 months more than 320,000 baby seals have been horrifically slaughtered in their natural habitat of Canada. Why? The fashion industry has created a new demand for seal pelts in countries like Russia and China, and the Canadian government has responded by allowing more seals than ever before to be slaughtered for profit.
Celebrities like Pamela Anderson, Paul McCartney, Bridget Bardot and Martin Sheen have joined the campaign to stop the hunt while hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world have banded together in protest.
Yet as we speak, the killing continues. And now, the Canadian government has taken action to extend the season for the hunt. Sign the petition now to stop the seal hunt.
Okay, on the surface, there's nothing with which I disagree. I don't think anyone truly needs to wear a seal pelt for any reason, in any climate. There was a time when furs were worn to stay warm, and that was fine. As a fashion statement, however, I think designers could find a suitable substitute.
What made me very sad and angry is that I am quite certain there will be news stories about the plight of the baby seals, about how they are being murdered for convenience, about how horrific and inhumane their murder is, about how many hundreds of thousands are being killed each year, about the selfless, good-hearted celebrities who will not stand by and watch this happen.
While it is sad and, in my humble opinion, unnecessary, I cannot understand the logic behind the indignation here. After all, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, each year, approximately 1, 370, 000 human babies are aborted. This is just in the United States alone. The reasons given for having the abortions? Over 90% of the women who had abortions gave some variation of the same answer: the baby was inconvenient. Here is the breakdown of the answers given:
Abortion Statistics - Decisions to Have an Abortion (U.S.)
· 25.5% of women deciding to have an abortion want to postpone childbearing.
· 21.3% of women cannot afford a baby.
· 14.1% of women have a relationship issue or their partner does not want a child.
· 12.2% of women are too young (their parents or others object to the pregnancy.)
· 10.8% of women feel a child will disrupt their education or career.
· 7.9% of women want no (more) children.
· 3.3% of women have an abortion due to a risk to fetal health.
· 2.8% of women have an abortion due to a risk to maternal health.
Let's follow this through:
The original e-mail mentioned the words "horrifically slaughtered" in reference to the killing of baby seals. There are no details included as to how the seals are being killed, but apparently it is not considered humane. Contrast this with the millions of babies aborted each year in the U.S. who are literally sucked out of the womb, ripped apart limb from limb, stabbed in the base of the neck and then the skull crushed (all while still alive with a beating heart) and this is considered legal and in some cases, humane. Where is the logic?
Then the crowning moment of the e-mail...celebrities have "banded together" to protest the killing of baby seals. Ahhh...how nice. Yet these same celebrities will stand up and publically fight for the right to allow women to brutally kill their unborn children, as many times as they want, for any reason, no questions asked. These same celebrities will applaud the courage of the woman for exercising her "rights" instead of applauding the woman who chooses to take responsibility for her actions and be a mother to her child. The logic is insane. There is no logic here.
Finally, the e-mail encourages the reader to sign a petition to stop the killing (of baby seals) and make the action illegal. If the situation was reversed, this same e-mail sender would undoubtedly be urging readers to sign the petition to make the act of abortion widely available, at no charge, and completely legal at any time during pregnancy. It makes no sense.
According to data from the CDC, more than 43 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. alone since its legalization in 1973. That's more than 43 MILLION human babies, dead before they had any chance. What did they have to offer the world? Without a doubt, each and every person aborted had something of far greater value than a pelt of fur to offer to humanity. Their very lives were of indescribable worth, if not to their parents, then to countless men and women who would give anything to adopt a child, to have a chance to show a child love. Their lives are of immense worth to their Creator and that is enough to make abortion despicable.
I cannot understand the double standard here. I cannot understand how the very same people who would cry over the unnecessary killing of a baby seal (or any animal) would proudly support the unnecessary killing of a human baby. I have personally known women who struggled with severe infertility problems who, when they finally experienced the miracle of pregnancy, knew in their hearts that they were carrying a baby (not a fetus, not an embryo, but a human baby with unique characteristics and, often, a name) from the moment they saw the positive pregnancy test. Yet I have also heard these very same women champion the cause of abortion. Of course, they always say that they don't think they could make that choice anymore, having experienced the miracle of life, but other women should be able to "choose". What an amazing double standard. What complete and utter insanity. What an unbelievable absence of logic. This, I simply cannot understand.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
‘Arguments R Us’—A Shop for the Logically Challenged 5/19/2006By Jan LaRue, Chief Counsel
‘Demonize.com: Why Debate When You Can Hate?’
Speak in defense of innocent human life and you’re “an anti-choice, woman-hating extremist.”
Speak for decency in media, the arts and entertainment, and you’re an “anti-free speech, unenlightened censor who needs to rejoin the turnip truck.”
Speak in support of religious liberty and the faith of the Founders and you’re “a zealot who will impose theocratic rule and fly a plane into a building.”
Speak in support of traditional marriage and you’re “a homophobic bigot and anti-civil rights.”
(Thanks to those who shopped at ‘Demonize.com’ for these pearls of wisdom.)
In The Naked Public Square, Richard John Neuhaus pondered public life stripped of all reference to religion and religiously grounded morality. Twelve years later, Neuhaus recognized “that those who appeal to the founding vision are today widely condemned as religious fanatics, as aliens and sectarians who would ‘impose their values on a pluralistic society.’”
Anyone who’s experienced name-calling and personal attacks that masquerade as reasoned argument might think that Neuhaus should have titled it, The Nasty Public Square.
And just when you thought it was safe to visit the border, problema grande. You’re anti-Latino (according to The New York Times brain-trust), anti-immigrant, racist, vigilante, nativist, xenophobic, mean-spirited and unchristian.
Let me begin with the obligatory disclaimer that I am not anti-immigrant. Two of my grandparents came through Ellis Island from Hungary and one came from Greece. I am an unhyphenated American who refuses to obliterate an important distinction. The “Melting Pot” shouldn’t be demeaned by melding the illegal with the legal.
Despite the risk of encountering a fresh batch of slings and arrows, I’d like to ask a few questions of those in our federal government who are determined to reward those who’ve rejected our national sovereignty by entering our country in disobedience to our generous immigration laws, and are demanding equal rights and status with those who followed the rules.
1. Is there a chance that some of these “guest workers” could take the place of Americans in Congress who don’t do their work?
2. Do you have a fence around your private property?
3. Have you hired any “vigilante” security guards to patrol it?
4. Have you instructed your guards just to catch and release trespassers?
5. What’s your feeling about the Mexican government providing its migratory citizens a brochure with directions to your house and its key entry points?
6. How do you feel about those who’ve entered the United States illegally having an equal right to enter your home and remain as “guest occupants”?
7. Are their spouses, children, parents, siblings and other relatives welcome to join you?
8. Are you willing to foot the bill for their medical care and education or will you ask Vincente Fox to cut you a check?
9. How long would those with “temporary status” and “near-permanent convertible status” have to reside in your home before they qualify for “legal permanent residence” and become eviction-free?
10. When would they have voting rights in your home owner’s association?
11. Do you expect those who’ve been in your home between two and five years to leave when you tell them to, go to one of 16 “ports of entry” to receive amnesty, and return with lawful occupancy permits for your home?
12. Just how much lettuce are you consuming?
13. Since you keep reminding us that it’s impossible to round up 12 million illegals, how are you going to round up 10 million and take them back to the border?
14. Call me a cock-eyed skeptimist, but I need an explanation for why you think that 10 million illegals are going home voluntarily to wait in line for reentry when they weren’t willing to do that in the first place.
15. Could you provide a couple of thoughts about how you’re going to keep your next batch of immigration laws from becoming “broken” and “unenforceable”?
16. By the way, are you as eager for decent, hard-working, law-abiding Americans to leave America as Vincente Fox is about decent, hard-working Mexicans leaving Mexico?
17. Why do you suppose he’s so eager for his people to leave while he makes it so hard for decent, hard-working, law-abiding Americans to reside in his country?
18. To those telling us how “unchristian” we are because “Jesus would never turn anyone away”: Have you read the part where He said, “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.” How about, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” Then there’s that whip He used to drive some out of the Temple. You might want to ponder it before you tell me he was enforcing the Law.
19. On a related note, when did the United States become a church? Just an FYI: The Supreme Court shot down that one some time ago. There was something about a wall of separation, as I recall.
20. Has the Secret Service been instructed to cease arresting those who jump the White House fence, or are we still of the opinion that they’re not all harmless tourists?
21. After the Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment, even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents, Ken Lay called. He's clueless as to why the government is trying to deprive him and his family of the nest egg he worked so hard to provide for them at Enron. Why should securities and wire fraud stand in the way of amnesty? Is it because he was here legally?
22. Is the FBI using any undocumented guest workers to dig up that farm in Michigan looking for Jimmy Hoffa? He’s going to be really ticked if they weren’t union guys.
Well said, Ms. LaRue.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Albright says, "'I worked for two presidents who were men of faith, and they did not make their religious views part of American policy,' she said, referring to Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, both Democrats and Christians."
She then went on to say, "President Bush's certitude about what he believes in, and the division between good and evil, is, I think, different... The absolute truth is what makes Bush so worrying to some of us."
Albright also says that Mr. Bush has alienated Muslims by including his Christian rhetoric in his foreign policy discussions and seems quite disturbed by other statements he has made regarding his faith. Regarding a quote from President Bush's 2004 Republican party convention speech, 'We have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom.', Albright said, "Some of his language is really quite over the top..."
Of course, Madeline Albright, who describes her own religious beliefs as coming from, "a very confused religious background" has every right to her opinions. A self-described Anglican with Roman Catholic upbringing and Jewish roots, Albright says she is "wary of any religion which claims a monopoly on truth". The report ends with her statement, "I know I believe in God but I have doubts, and doubt is part of faith".
Madeline Albright typifies today's liberal thinking. The idea of absolute truth, of a definitive right and wrong, good and evil, is terrifying to the secular humanistic, liberal culture that prevails in today's society. After all, if there is a right and wrong, then the "if it makes you happy, then it must be alright" type of thinking cannot be promoted. The idea of everyone-being-able-to-do-whatever-seems-right-to-them manner of living cannot work. The idea that no one can make a moral judgment about another's actions no longer holds water and thus everything that the liberal side promotes falls apart. This is a truly frightening thing for a liberal.
It is also precisely why the liberals hate and fear President Bush. He takes a definitive stand and says that there are absolute truths and that they are rooted in Biblical Christianity. What so infuriates the liberal left about this is that Mr. Bush not only claims to be a Christian, but that he tries to incorporate his beliefs into every aspect of his life, and in this case, into his decisions as President of the United States.
Madeline Albright makes it very clear, in this interview, that she is fine with Christianity-in-name-only. She basically says as much when she states that her former employers, Presidents Carter and Clinton, (whom she describes as both Democrats and Christians) claimed to be believers in Christianity, but did not allow it to interfere with their presidencies.
Now I don't know the hearts of Presidents Carter and Clinton, but I do know that one of the best ways to find out what a person truly believes, what principles they hold sacred and dear, can be observed in the things they say and do. The fact that both former presidents are members of the democratic party does not mean that they can't be Christians, but it makes me wonder how they can be a member of a party whose main tenet is the right to abortion, instead of working to defend innocent life. It makes me wonder why they would choose to be a member of a party that has made some decidedly anti-Christian, anti-God decisions. It doesn't make sense to me.
Moral absolutes are just that, absolute. They don't change depending on the situation or the political climate. They cannot be true in your personal life, but not true for someone else. If a person is a true Christian, if they believe that the Bible is God's word and provides a guide for what is right and wrong, then those beliefs will guide that person in every decision that he makes, whether personal or in public. True Christianity changes a person from the inside and makes a difference on the outside as well. It changes the way they think, speak and act. It isn't simply a club in which a person can place his membership, pay his yearly dues and claim as a status symbol. Christianity requires a daily walk, a daily relationship that makes a difference in the persons' life. It requires the person to be different, to make moral judgments to live according to the guidelines within the Bible. In short, it is a way of life and it encompasses every aspect of our lives.
True Christians are required to be different, to stand out. Liberals, who claim to embrace diversity, to be tolerant of our differences, have no patience for Christianity. They see the glaring difference it makes in a person and it scares them, I think, because it makes them start to doubt, way deep down inside, what they believe. And when the core of what you believe is shaken and in doubt, it's a very frightening place to be.
Friday, May 19, 2006
The first two pictures show the rest of the mulching I've done. I still need to do a little planting, but I'm quickly growing weary. Plus, it's rained everyday for at least 8 days now, so the weather's not cooperating. However, I am happy to report that the six hostas I planted 10 days ago are still alive and seem to be in pretty much the same healthy condition they were in when I purchased them, so that's an achievement for me.
This is my new little garden buddy. I received plenty of ideas about what type of statues I should put in my flower garden (namely flamingos, gnomes and lawn jockeys), but I decided to branch out. I know you can't tell from the picture, but this friendly little fellow has a bobble-head and tail. (It's irresistable, I promise) So now, he sits right outside my front step and greets all of our visitors with a friendly little tail wagging and head bobbing.
No hard-hitting journalism today, just a little bragging and whimsy.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Here's the headline I saw on Woman's World magazine:
Apparently things got a little heated, with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI.) storming out to the words, "If you want to leave, good riddance," from Senate Judiciary Chairman, Arlen Specter (R-PA.). Obviously, the topic is a hotly debated one, generally splitting the country down party lines.
As I read the report, my initial thought was that this was a step in the right direction. I would whole-heartedly support this amendment. Then I kept reading and found myself disgusted.
Reuters' reporter Andy Sullivan mentions that Sen. Specter voted for the proposal but does not plan to back it. He merely thinks the entire Senate should get the opportunity to vote. (Thanks a lot, Mr. Senator, but how about representing your conservative Republican constituents when it counts, for a change?)
Sullivan then writes, "The gay-marriage ban is one of several hot-button social issues Republicans are raising to rally conservative voters ahead of November's congressional elections." This is what got to me.
While I understand that this is just a reporter who is writing his own version of the story, he probably isn't far from the truth. Yes, Republicans are trying to rally their base. There's nothing wrong with that. What I have a problem with is using "hot-button" issues to garner votes.
To me, issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, illegal aliens, judicial nominees, etc. are not just topics around which I rally. I believe, as many other conservative Republicans do, that these issues deal with absolute truths, are essential principles of our freedom, define our values and are absolutely vital to the health and well-being of our citizens and our country. These aren't just popular debating topics to me. They are immensely important. The decisions we make today will effect future generations and the lives of billions of people.
I don't want my congressmen to use these issues to get re-elected if the importance of the issues is not fully understood. If they are simply using the issues to get votes, but then refuse to do the will of the voters, then the system breaks down.
Although I realize that this article doesn't specifically quote members of Congress saying this about "hot-button" issues, I have heard this idea expressed by our Representatives on more than one occasion. This is what concerns me. If the tough issues before our legislators are only being used for re-election purposes and have no deeper meaning to these men and women, then I believe our country is headed down a dark and dangerous path that leads to self-destruction.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
One such regular, most unfortunately, was a cross-dresser. I lived in a very small town, in a very tiny state, so this person was quite well-known and recognized because he paraded around town in his fishnet stockings, mini-skirt, wig and make-up. He was pretty hard to miss.
A lot of my co-workers were teenagers also, and whenever this cross-dresser would come in, they would make a big deal about him and laugh and stare and actually try to go out of their way to wait on this guy. They gave him a ton of attention, which is exactly what he was after.
I hated having to seat this particular customer. I would always try to find a table somewhere away from families and get him seated as quickly as possible. This never happened, though, because this man always insisted on parading all the way through the restaurant (which had 3 main seating areas) so that he could attract as much attention as possible, before being seated. I hated this. I didn't want to be the person who led this twisted individual around like a person leading a show horse. But I didn't have a choice. The owners of the restaurant did not refuse him service and I couldn't refuse to do my job and still keep it.
Now, the homosexual, cross-dressing, transgender, perverted sexuality groups are once again trying to invade my home. I received this update from the American Family Association in my email today:
May 16, 2006
ALERT: South Bend City Council Considering Special "rights" for Homosexuals & Cross Dressers
Homosexual and transgender activists are working overtime to successfully pass Bill 29-06 now before the South Bend City Council. This is a controversial and radical ordinance that could force many private businesses, even a ministry, to adopt pro-gay rights and cross-dressing policies.
Giving in to their demands, the council is now expected to cast a final vote on the issue within a month. That's why the Council needs to hear from you TODAY!
This ordinance will force St. Joseph County residents to treat changeable homosexual behaviors and cross-dressing as the moral and legal equivalent of race or skin color. Under this radical proposal, the city-county government would make it a "civil right" for a man to wear a dress to work, or into a women's restroom, something which judges in Minnesota and elsewhere have ruled is his "right" under the protected class of "gender identity."
An employer who conducts business with city or county government, or ever hopes to -- even a Christian radio station -- would be forced to adopt pro-homosexual and cross-dressing policies. Private business owners and employees would be forced by law to violate their conscience regarding the morality of dangerous and controversial sexual behaviors.
In other Midwest cities like Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor, similar "sexual orientation" city ordinances have been used to attack and threaten and cut off funds to the Salvation Army and the Boy Scouts simply because they refuse to embrace homosexual behaviors and cross-dressing.
Giving in to their demands, the council is now expected to cast a final vote on the issue within a month. That's why the Council needs to hear from you TODAY!
And so today, my city council members and mayor heard my voice. I don't want my daughter to be bombarded with perversions of sexuality like I was at such a young age. I don't want this to commonplace in my hometown. I don't want their morality shoved in my face. It's not fair, it's wrong and harmful and I'm sick of being forced to accept a lifestyle choice as a inborn trait like race. Not in my hometown, not in my backyard.
Monday, May 15, 2006
If this is true, then I will be disappointed. I will be disappointed with the President and members of Congress (particularly Republican). Disappointed because the voice of the American people, Republican and Democrat alike, is being heard and absolutely ignored.
I say that our voice is being "heard" because President Bush and Congress clearly seemed to hear the American people when the issue of selling U.S. ports to Dubai came to the table. I say "ignored" because instead of actually trying to take into consideration what many Americans are calling for (secure borders and enforcement of penalties on those who enable illegal aliens), President Bush and presumably Congress are taking the low road.
Mr. Bush will announce the use of the National Guard to patrol the borders, but without special Congressional permission, they will not be able to do anything of any significance to actually secure our borders. My husband and I might as well stand near the border, for all the security that will provide. Then, most likely right after the mid-term elections, the National Guard will be recalled, and all the extra "security" will be gone.
This is pacification. It will work on some people because they don't think through issues for themselves enough to understand that what President Bush is proposing this evening is nothing more than an attempt to placate his base. This will do nothing, however, to actually fix the problem, and so my prediction is that the base will not only NOT be placated, but will now be insulted and even more frustrated. This is not a good plan, a fair compromise or even a good-will gesture. This is stubborn refusal to listen to the citizens of America and represent their wishes, plain and simple.
Former President Ronald Reagan became famous for his historic words to former Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev when he said, of the Berlin Wall, "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" I contend that President Bush also has the opportunity to make history. Perhaps he should consider a similar statement. Perhaps his speech this evening could be summed up in this manner: "Mr. Fox, we're closing this gate! Mr. Fox, we're going to build a wall!"
That would make a lot of American's happy and President Bush's poll numbers would skyrocket. A win-win situation for all of us.
Friday, May 12, 2006
Let me explain. I am a conservative Republican. That, of course, makes me decidedly un-cool in this day and age, mom or not. Then consider that I am most definitely not a feminist. Dare I call myself "old-fashioned"? Yes, I think I dare. Again...very un-cool. Next, take into account that I am a Christian. Yes, a real fundamentalist (as in being-a-Christian-makes-me-live-differently), Bible-believing, church-going Christian. Could I possibly be more un-cool? Oh yes...I think I can.
I've never been stylish. By the time I decide I like a trend, it's usually on it's way out (or it I never do like it). I don't have anything resembling what the world would call a "cool" job. In fact, in most questionaires, my job as a mom isn't even listed or is referred to as "house-wife" or my personal favorite, "un-employed". (That one always makes me laugh.) I'm not a high-powered business executive. I don't make lots (or any) money. I don't drive a fancy car. I drive a Ford Windstar mini-van, and what's worse...I actually like it.
I don't carry a designer purse. Most days, I lug a purse big enough to carry a full-grown cat, plus a diaper bag and a 26-lb. toddler. Definitely very un-cool. I don't own any designer anything, unless you count a $175 pair of jeans that I found on clearance for $35 (that currently don't fit) and a set of Martha Stewart windchimes that I bought purely for their nice melodic sound.
In short, nothing about me is even close to what the world, and probably most of Emily's teenage friends, will consider cool. And you know what? That's okay with me.
No, I don't want to embarrass Emily, intentionally or otherwise. That's not my goal. But I do want to teach her that there is much more to life than being cool in the worlds' eyes. Despite knowing that I'm not cool, I'm pretty confident in who and what I am. I like myself. Sure, there's plenty of room for improvement and there always will be. Sure, there are days when I sort of envy the way those "cool" moms have all the latest, trendiest gear and look like perfect little Barbie-esque dolls, but at the end of the day, I'm happy with who I am. I like myself and that's a good feeling.
I want Emily to have that feeling too. I want to teach her that her self-worth doesn't come from things and other people, but from God. I want her to know that she has inherent worth and that she will always be loved, not only by her mom and dad and family, but by a gracious and loving Heavenly Father as well.
If I teach her this lesson well enough, she won't have to seek affection, attention and approval from friends and teenage boys with nothing more than sex on the brain. If I do my job properly, she will be confident enough in herself and love herself enough that she can say to those boys with raging hormones, "I'm worth waiting for." She'll be able to stand up to peer pressure and say, "I don't need to be a part of this harmful activity because I care too much about myself to do anything that will hurt me." She won't need to be a part of the "in-crowd" because she will know that there are people who truly love her and that one or two real friends are worth 100 acquaintances.
I will be "That" mom, who won't let Emily go to every party. In fact, I"ll be "The Mom" who calls other parents to let them know if their child is doing something harmful, because I would expect the same courtesy. I'll be the mom who is always involved in anything her child is doing. I'll be the "Classroom Mom" in her elementary school, the "Chaperone" mom on field-trips, the mom who knows all of her friends, the mom who provides snacks for whatever high-school activities she decides to be a part of. In short, I'll be around. I'll know her teachers, her friends, the school secretary...and they'll see and know me. I'm sure that will make me way "un-cool"...for a while.
I'll be the mom who sets rules and enforces them. I will tell Emily that there will be no pre-marital sex, no drinking, no drugs, no smoking, etc. I won't be one of those "cool", permissive, "let-Emily-decide-everything-for-herself" kind of moms. There's a time and place for letting her make her own mistakes, but as a teacher once told me, "You have to learn the rules before you can break them." I intend to teach her right and wrong and that there ARE absolute truths. When she is old enough to make her own decisions, I know I will have to let her learn to make them, but not without first teaching her the things she needs to know to make good, healthy and safe decisions. That's my job and I'm sure that there will be days when Emily will think that her mom is totally "un-cool". It's inevitable.
But I will do my job because I know that if I do it well (as my mom did with me) that someday, when she's over the "I-know-everything-because-I'm-a-teenager" phase, she will understand why I had to be so "un-cool".
And maybe, if I'm lucky, she'll think I'm pretty cool after all.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Published May 8th by Encounter Books in US and June 1st byGibson Square in the UK.
The suicide bombings carried out in London in 2005 by British Muslims revealed an alarming network of Islamist terrorists and their sympathizers. Under the noses of British intelligence, London became the European hub for the promotion, recruitment and financing of Islamist terror and extremism - so much so that it has been mockingly dubbed 'Londonistan'. In this ground-breaking book, Melanie Phillips pieces together the story of how Londonistan developed as a result of the collapse of British self-confidence and national identity and its resulting paralysis by multiculturalism and appeasement. The result is an ugly climate in Britain of irrationality and defeatism, which now threatens to undermine the alliance with America and imperil the defence of the free world.
"Melanie Phillips’s Londonistan is a last-minute warning for Britain and for much of the free world ... This book is powerful and frightening, but also courageous. In dictatorships, you need courage to fight evil; in the free world, you need courage to see the evil."
This is a woman who has hit the nail on the head. She sees what has happened to London and her book should serve as a warning for America.
I personally can't wait to get this book.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
After: 2.5 hours of intensive labor, 23 bags of mulch (note the wet drag marks on the sidewalk...they were quite heavy for me to move) and 2 new hosta plants. (still need to find something more attractive to channel the water away though)
I feel...TIRED and SORE and really pleased. I still have about 8 bags of mulch, but about a half-hour into my gardening today, it started to rain and it hasn't stopped yet. So no more gardening for me today, and maybe the rest of the week. I'm not done. I still have several other areas that need to be mulched and weeded (Sigh) and I found a small birdbath/fountain that I want to add and maybe some lights lining the walkway to the front door. We'll see. It is now time for me to turn on the feminine charm and bat my eyes at my dear, sweet, hard-working husband and hope for the best. (Wink, wink) For now, I'm just glad I can look out the front door and not feel overwhelmed.
Oh and enjoy those newly-planted hostas fast. They've lived under my care for a whole 24 hours now...they're bound to die soon. But I hope my luck is turning...
Monday, May 08, 2006
I think I've always known I wanted to be a mom, though being a stay-at-home mom wasn't always my plan. I went to college, studied to be a music education major and worked in a public school for one year, as an assistant to the music teacher. I was married at the time and knew in my heart that I didn't want to continue to work (outside the home) after we had children. Thankfully, my husband is very supportive of this decision and works hard to provide a good home for us, allowing me to devote my life to caring for my family.
I had no idea how hard being a mom would be.
We decided that we were going to start our family after a few years of marriage, and like most people, had no reason to believe that we would have any problems. But we (or more aptly, I) did. Just getting pregnant was a struggle. Without going into a lot of (boring) detail, it took a year and a half, fertility medication, a lot of embarassing and disappointing doctors' visits, an early pregnancy loss and much prayer to finally get and stay pregnant. Even the beginning of that pregnancy was a little worrisome.
As it turned out however, my little miracle was a stubborn fighter. She was so stubborn that she refused to be born without an eviction notice (an induction date when I was 2 weeks overdue). Then, she made her appearance the day before she was going to be "kicked out". That day was without a doubt, the best day of my life. I can still remember looking at her face for the first time and being so amazed that this perfect little person, this unbelievable miracle, was being entrusted to my care. She was everything I ever wanted and I have never wanted to do a better job at anything in my entire life. I wanted (and still want) to be the best mom that little girl can have.
Being a mom is hard. I love her more than my words and even actions can ever express. I would do anything to keep her safe. There is nothing she could do to make me stop loving her. Nothing...ever.
But liking her is sometimes a little harder. She is still very stubborn. (She gets some of that from me.) She has an independent streak a mile long. She is intense in everything...intensely joyful, intensely angry, intensely sad, intensely loyal and loving. She knows what she wants and grabs on like a pit bull until she gets it. She's a little more "spirited" than most toddlers. (Some have called it "challenging" and "strong-willed", but I prefer "spirited".) She's a handful, to put it mildly. So it's no wonder that with little-to-no outside help, a husband who works long hours and no family close-by, I sometimes feel like I am at my wit's end.
Lately, I've been there a lot. My daughter is fighting hard against sleeping. She wants "mama" to do everything for her, and only mama. She does not say any words other than the occasional "Mama" or "Dada", making it quite difficult to understand what she wants at times...many times....and in the course of a day, she wants a lot of things and she wants them NOW! I find myself frustrated with her a lot.
Being a mom is hard and rewarding, but more than anything, it gives me a new perspective on how God views me. God is my Father and I am His child. I know He loves me more than I can ever understand and that He would do (and has done) anything it takes to keep me safe. I know His love is forever and nothing I can do will make Him stop loving me.
But I also realize with a new understanding that it's probably pretty hard for Him to like me a lot of the time. I do things in my own stubborn, independent way. I want things I either can't have or don't need, but still insist on having. I throw temper tantrums when things aren't going my way. I want Him to fix everything when sometimes He is trying to teach me to do it myself. In short, I act like a toddler and it probably frustrates God to no end. It probably makes Him want to throw up His hands and say, "That's it, I can't take it any more."
But He doesn't. My heavenly Father loves me more than I can understand and He give me a daughter just like myself, so that I can begin to better understand His perfect love for me, through my imperfect love for her. And in just the same way that Emily's perfectly sincere expression of love through a slobbery kiss and a toothy grin can erase all my frustrations in a heartbeat, my sincere (though sometimes messy) prayers of thanks and expressions of love to God probably warm His heart more than I can imagine.
So...Thank you God for loving me and all my imperfections. Thanks for being my Dad. I love you.
And I love you too, Emily.
Friday, May 05, 2006
According to a Reuters story, a brothel in Germany is taking compassion on virgins. They tout themselves as the first brothel to offer "special deals for virgins with prostitutes trained in the delicate art of catering for customers who have never had sex". They are also apparently quite proud of the fact that they are doing this "within the laws of Germany where prostitution is legal."
What's the best part of this article, you might ask? Consider the quote from the brothels' owner...
"Prostitutes are given 'sensitivity training' for first-time clients, who the brothel operator said are not necessarily young but often 40 or older: 'They need to be aware of how much courage it takes to go to a brothel the first time.' "
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Funny, but I always thought it took more courage to be a virgin, not to give in to to every whim and desire that challenges you. Then again, I guess I'm not "progressive" enough.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
My initial reaction was disbelief that the jurors sentenced him to life in prison. I was surprised (why, I don't really know) and frustrated. My reaction earlier today was to reconsider. After all, the justice system did work. The jurors heard the evidence and testimony and made their decision based upon the facts (I hope). Then I heard some of the victims' family members speak, one mother in particular, and decided that maybe I was wrong. She said something to the effect that the world heard what Moussaoui was through his words actions and now they are hearing what America is through our words and actions. Her argument was basically that we have to be better than them (the terrorists). I have also heard those who say that since Moussaoui wanted to die and be a martyr, then we shouldn't grant him his wish.
Now I think I know how I feel. I still disagree with the jury's decision. I think Moussaoui, as a self-confessed part of the terror plots and attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 , should have received the death penalty. Would it have made him a "martyr" to other Muslim terrorists? Who knows, it might have. But it would most definitely have been a rude awakening to Moussaoui when he found himself in a very horrible, hot place rather than relaxing with the "virgins".
Instead, we (the taxpayers) will have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for room and board for this terrorist. He will get three square meals a day, a safe place to live and he gets to continue to have visitors, privileges and probably countless media interviews. He can continue to spew his hatred and hurtful words to whomever he wishes. The media will eat it up, after a respectful 3-4 months of waiting for the intial fervor to die down (out of deference to the victims' families, no doubt). There is already talk that Moussaoui's mother wants to have him handed over to the French prison system. I'd say this was a fine idea, let them pay for his life...but the French would no doubt release him for some inane reason, so I suppose if he must rot in a prison cell it might as well be here.
Then again, maybe we should send him back to Afghanistan and tell the Muslims there that he has converted to some other religion. Then they can try him for that offense. Maybe that would be justice.
I know I sound angry. I am. I understand the justice system in America. I understand that American citizens have certain rights and they must be upheld. I get that, respect it and agree with it, which is why I think that Moussaoui's trial should never have taken place in the American courts in the first place. He, and any other enemy combatant, should be tried in a military tribunal. That would be justice. This man planned to attack America. He remained silent when he most likely could have prevented (or at least tried to) the deaths of thousands of Americans. He went to war with America and he should have been tried in a military tribunal, not a regular American court. That is the fundamental mistake here and I fear it is only the first of more trials in which those who wage war with America will be given rights and privileges they not only don't deserve but wish to take from the rest of us.
We are at war. The rules cannot be the same. America can still be a fair and just country, but if we want to remain free to be a great haven of justice, we must not allow our enemies to use our kindness against us. We must let our military deal with military enemies and our civilian courts with our civilian offenders.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Sometimes, there just aren't enough words to express what I think. And maybe it's best that way.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family members of those who died in the terror attacks.
(Oh and terrorists around the world, don't hurt yourselves laughing at us today, we wouldn't want you to experience any pain...)
Yesterday was primary election day here in the great state of Indiana. Like the dutiful citizen that I am, I plopped my 19-month-old toddler in her stroller and went to cast my vote. According to the counter on the machine, I was voter number 97. This was a few minutes before noon.
On the way to run some errands, I heard on the news an interesting tidbit about incumbent Democratic Congresswoman representing Indianapolis, Julia Carson. But before I go on, allow me to explain a bit of info for my non-Indiana readers.
This primary marks the first election in which a valid photo i.d. must be presented in order to vote. This fact has been ALL OVER the airwaves, in television and radio commercials, probably in the papers (which I don't get) and in the last few days, on the local news stations. The BMV has been open extra hours in order to accomodate those who need to obtain a valid photo i.d. It's been hard to miss the fact that you absolutely will need a valid photo i.d. to vote.
What constitutes a valid photo i.d., you might ask? According to Congresswoman Carson's own website:
VOTERS: Don’t forget your PHOTO Identification
You must present a state or federal PHOTO I.D. to vote on Election Day
The Identification you present MUST:
· Be a document issued by the United States Government or the State of Indiana (includes but not limited to drivers licenses, state identification cards, military IDs and passports);
· Show the voter’s name, and the name must conform to the name on the voter’s reg. record;
· Contain a photograph of the voter; and
· Include an expiration date showing that the photo ID has not expired or that it expired after the date of the most recent general election (after Nov. 2, 2004).
The Photo ID requirement DOES apply to a person who votes:
In person at the polls on Election Day or Absentee in person at the Marion County Clerk’s office.
Straightforward enough. I simply showed my driver's license and had absolutely no problems. In fact, few problems were reported at all, but the first to be reported...
You guessed it. Congresswoman Julia Carson. According to FortWayne.com and AP writer Ken Kusmer:
"It took one of the most-recognized faces in Indiana politics to create the first glitch for Indiana's new voter ID law.
U.S. Rep. Julia Carson, a Democrat seeking her sixth term in Washington after 18 years in the General Assembly, was delayed at her Indianapolis polling site Tuesday when the congressional ID card she presented to confirm her identity didn't have the expiration date required under the new law."
And she keeps getting elected. Over and over again. Sound like another Georgia Congresswoman? (See any article on Cynthia McKinney (D- GA))
Monday, May 01, 2006
While I encourage you to follow the above link and read the article for yourself, I wanted to highlight some of the interesting facts Rep. Tancredo brings to light regarding the burdens illegal aliens present in various states.
With regards to America's health-care system, Tancredo writes that if the illegals actually took the day off from using our health care, "hospital emergency rooms across the southwest would have about 20-percent fewer patients, and there would be 183,000 fewer people in Colorado without health insurance. OBGYN wards in Denver would have 24-percent fewer deliveries and Los Angeles’s maternity-ward deliveries would drop by 40 percent and maternity billings to Medi-Cal would drop by 66 percent."
Regarding the effects of illegals on crime, Tancredo writes, "Youth gangs would see their membership drop by 50 percent in many states, and in Phoenix, child-molestation cases would drop by 34 percent and auto theft by 40 percent."
Regarding the burden on tax-payers and public services, "Colorado taxpayers would save almost $3,000,000 in one day if illegals do not access any public services, because illegal aliens cost the state over $1 billion annually according to the best estimates. "
I've heard a lot of staggering statistics on the subject of the burdens illegal aliens place on tax-payers, but these are ridiculous. Can it really be true that L.A.'s maternity wards would see a 40% drop in births? That nearly half of their daily maternity patients are illegal aliens? Can illegals really be costing the state of Colorado over $1 billion a year?
No wonder Rep. Tancredo is fed up and taking a stand, even when that stand is unpopular with his own party leadership. I guess illegals aliens aren't costing Indiana enough yet. Maybe Sen. Bayh won't be concerned until we start seeing numbers like those in the southwest. Apparently, President Bush isn't concerned with the statistics either.
The American tax-payers cannot pay for everything and everyone under the sun. We are sick and tired of paying for programs to support those who will not support themselves and willfully choose to break our laws. We do not want to lose good jobs to law-breakers. We do not want to lose our language and culture. We do not want to lose our America...but our leaders seem determined to give it away.
I encourage you to read Bryan's post because he tackles a subject I often find myself trying to avoid. I am not an economic scholar. Far from it, in fact. Truth be told, I've never once taken an economics course, either in high school or college, the first because it was not offered and the latter by choice and schedule restrictions. Although I really do not like anything involving mathematics and numbers, I wish I had taken a basic Econ. course. (I have always joked that I became a music major so that I wouldn't have to count any higher than 12, at the most.)
I joke, but I'm not really kidding. I don't like dealing with numbers. They intimidate and confuse me pretty easily, so I have always let others worry about the economy for me. Which, as it turns out, is exactly what liberals want from me.
The liberals among us hope that Americans will remain ignorant on important subjects like economics, social policies and terrorism. They must, otherwise they would not continue to feed us only half the real story. They would give us all the facts and let us decide for ourselves. They would keep us fully informed and help us reach the logical conclusions that the true facts bear out. But they don't and Americans must not assume that they will.
Instead, the liberals have an agenda. They want us to remain ignorant because in our ignorance, they can slip all manner of destructive legislation past our blinded eyes, and then use the liberal media to make it look very desirable. They know exactly how to package their false product to make it appealing to those who don't know better. They excel in fancy advertising and pretty wrapping, but what's inside the box is almost always a defective, harmful product.
The conservatives of this country, both legislators and media figures, try their best to combat the liberals by providing all the facts, by trying to educate and by telling the truth about issues such as economics, social policies and terrorism. The problem is, the truth is usually not pretty. It is often frightening in some ways and most of all, it often requires us to take actions that the liberals would deem "intolerant" or "uncompassionate".
And like the blissfully ignorant sheep that many Americans have become, due to the (intentional) dumbing down of our education system, the American sheep prefer the pretty patch of grass closest to the wolf. We prefer to remain ignorant because it's easier to let someone else do the thinking for us. After all, what we don't know can't hurt us, right?
Wrong! It most certainly can and will hurt us, and I for one, am tired of being the ignorant sheep. And so, even though I detest wading through the plethora of numbers and economic data, I will do my best to educate myself on this issue because I don't want someone else to do the thinking for me. I want to be as informed as possible so that the wool doesn't get pulled over my eyes by the ever hopeful liberal wolf.