The Right Perspective

Monday, July 31, 2006

A Desire for Hope

I've been thinking about the subject of prayer a lot lately. Part of it is due to the requests for prayer for Kayden, but it really began about a week before this.

I was playing around on the internet one morning and I stumbled across a blog written by the mother of a teenage girl who had been severely injured in a car accident. The blog was started within a day or two of the accident as a way to update friends and family on the girl's condition.

As is the nature of blogs, the most recent posts are listed first, so I began reading about 2 months into this girl's recovery. As is the nature of, well, me, I got curious to know the whole story, so I went back and started reading from the beginning. (Yes, I spent far too much time on this that particular morning.) What I read was heartbreaking and sad in more ways than one.

The teenage girl lost her leg in the accident and had many other very severe injuries that will significantly affect her for the rest of her life. For several weeks, her injuries threatened to take her life. I read each post from this girl's mother and could not help but try to imagine how hard it must have been for this mother to have to stand by, helpless to do anything, and watch her daughter go through this horrible ordeal. I could feel the pain and the heartbreak in the mother's posts on the blog.

That was the heartbreaking part. The thing that made me sad was something different. In reading through the comments and the replies, it was quite apparent that the family and many of the girl's friends were not at all religious. In fact, some openly admitted that they didn't believe in God or any religion. Yet almost without fail, even those who claimed not to believe promised to pray for the teen's recovery. I had to wonder why.

Why would someone who claimed to not believe in any god, much less the God of the universe, even bother to pray? I don't think it was just a figure of speech. That question just keeps popping into my mind.

As I've thought about it, I've come to the conclusion that no matter how much we as human beings try to deny it, we all understand somewhere deep down in our souls, that there is something, someone who is more powerful than we are. We all understand, even those who don't want to and proclaim loudly that they don't, that there must be a higher power that cares about us as individuals, otherwise why would our first instinct, when faced with a frightening situation, be to say a prayer? If there really is no god, if there is nothing greater than ourselves in which to believe, then why do we all call out to Him in our time of need?

Along that same line, if these people honestly do not believe in a caring god or a higher power, then how utterly hopeless their lives must be. After all, we all need to feel loved. We all need to believe that someone cares for us and wants the best for us. That desire is in every single human being. We all need hope. Hope that there is more than just this life because this life will eventually fail us. Hope that we are loved by someone, somewhere, unconditionally, because every single person in our lives will fail us in love somewhere, somehow. If a person has no hope in a God who is exponentially greater than our frail humanity, then what hope do they have? How sad and fearful their lives must be. What a frightening place this world must seem to those with no real hope. Perhaps this explains why our world seems so lost.

So why would someone deny that deepest desire in their souls? Why do people choose to live without hope? They do it for the very same reason that Adam and Eve did. They listen more to the voice of temptation than the voice of Love and they fall prey to the oldest lie in history...that they can be like God. They believe that they can control their own destiny and so of course, if they are like God, why would they need Him? They take charge of their own lives and forget all about God and they do okay...for a while.

But then, life throws a little more at them then they can handle and all of a sudden there's nothing left that they can do, nowhere else to turn and no one left to care. That's when they finally realize, even on a subconscious level, that there must be someone else they can depend on, someone greater than themselves, and so they start to pray. And that's when God throws out the life line. He's been standing there waiting for them to call, waiting to rescue them from themselves all this time. He knew what would happen when they tried to do it themselves, but He allowed them to try it anyway. And now, He offers His help yet again, but it's up to the individual to accept it. Accepting it promises hope and security, love and a new chance at life. Rejecting it offers death. The choice is once again, ours to make. Personally, I choose hope and life.

Kayden's Update

This will be quick as I still don't have a lot of info, but for those who have been praying for Kayden (see previous posts), here is what I know as of Sunday.

Kayden is still in Milwaukee Children's Hospital. He has been sedated because vicodin (sp?) and Tylenol with codeine were not helping ease his pain at all. He apparently had pressure building in his brain, the cause of which is still being determined. He has had a spinal tap, which ruled out meningitis and encephalitis, so that's good, plus the pressure has been relieved a bit (no idea how or why), but apparently he is now also experiencing some blood issues (not coagulating properly) and he had a severe breathing issue last night. To my knowledge, the doctors are still trying to figure out what is causing his pain. His mom, dad, grandmother and grandfather are all with him, though dad and grandpa will probably be coming back home to work if Kayden can get stabilized enough.

So, that's all I know for now. I know that his family appreciates the prayers more than they can express. This little boy needs them about as much as anyone I've ever met.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Update on Prayer Request

I got a phone call early this morning from the great-grandmother of Kayden. She let us know that he was airlifted from the local hospital back to Milwaukee Children's Hospital last night. He is still screaming all day and night and not sleeping (this has been going on all week now.) Basically, the doctors say he is in extreme pain, but they don't know why, so they're running more tests.

Please keep this little baby in your prayers. The situation is very serious. Thanks!

Friday, July 28, 2006

A Prayer Request

Sometimes God hits me right between the eyes with what must be a 2x4. Apparently I have a pretty hard head and need this occasional whack to get my priorities straight. I got one of those beatings Wednesday night.

All day Wednesday, Emily, who is now 22 months old, was being a real challenge. She has been diagnosed with a speech delay (basically, she doesn't talk and we don't yet know why 0r if it's really a problem or just something temporary). What I do know is that she and I are both frustrated because it makes communication pretty difficult, as if it wasn't bad enough trying to interpret a toddler's wants and needs. Add to this fact that she is the classic "strong-willed child" and the frustration quickly leads to a powder-keg of temper tantrums.

So we started off Wednesday morning with her speech therapy. She's been doing well (it mostly consists of playing with the therapist and learning some sign language.) She knows how to sign "More", "All done", "Help" and "Open". She's also learning "thank you", "cookie" and "I love you". She uses more and all done all the time and so when she got frustrated (she must have gotten out of bed frustrated that morning) she would sign "All done", even when we had just started our activity. Half-way through the session, Emily was getting tempermental, so we pretty much just gave up for the day and let her play so she could cool down.

After therapy, Emily and I ran to Walmart to do our grocery shopping. Things were fine until we got in the store. I dared to try to put Miss Em in a shopping cart (like we always do) and strap her in (recent attempts to give her some freedom have backfired because she now tries to climb into the back of the cart, or out altogether). This resulted in a tremendous temper tantrum and a subsequent spanking before we even got past the cart area of Walmart. Who knew toddlers had so much strength, by the way? She ended up strapped in and we made it in and out in record time.

Then we came home and ate lunch. I got Emily some macaroni and cheese (a favorite) and some fish sticks and gave her her food to eat. Well, my best guess is that she was a little tired and highly frustrated with trying to use the fork, so after flinging her drink and fork a few times, she finally threw her plate across the room in what can only be described as a fit of rage. This of course made her cry harder, only this time it wasn't tears of anger and frustration but of sadness because now she didn't have any food. (Ah the brilliant logic of a toddler.)

After a tantrum and yet another spanking over a diaper change, I finally got Emily to take a nap. I sat down at the computer and started looking for any information on speech delays and how to ease frustration and on support groups in our area for parents of "challenging" kids. Seriously, things weren't going well and I was feeling down and depressed and sorry for myself. I was also feeling like a terrible mom for not knowing how to do my job better.

That evening, I had to go to church for worship team rehearsal. (I either sing or play the piano at least 2-3 times a month.) I was still feeling sorry for myself and then I saw "Sally" (I won't use her name out of consideration for her privacy). "Sally" is a wonderful lady, about my mom's age, that I met and became friends with when we started going to church there about 6 years ago. "Sally" also plays the piano, and since there are always 2 of us playing together, we've gotten to know each other fairly well. We became even closer when I got pregnant with Emily because her daughter also ended up getting pregnant, due a month later than me. "Sally", her daughter and I all had a bit of a bond over our babies and so we did what all moms do...we compared our pregnancies.

"Sally's" daughter ended up having her little boy 3 days before me. (She was early and Emily was 2 weeks late). I remember being jealous because I was still pregnant and she had already had her baby, but happy for them all, nonetheless. Then I had Emily 3 days later.

The next day, "Sally" came to visit me in the hospital and to see Emily. It was clear, though, that something was wrong because she could barely hold back the tears. She ended up crying and telling my that her grandson was back in the hospital, at 4 days old, having had one complete blood transfusion and another one was a possibility. They didn't know what was wrong with him, but his life was definitely in danger. He had been released from the hospital with nothing more than a case of jaundice. Needless to say, everyone was shocked to see his life hanging in the balance.

Enter the 2x4:

Fast forward to Wednesday night..."Sally's" grandson has severe brain damage, Cerebral Palsy, most likely is deaf, has vision problems, is still having very serious seziures several times a day, cannot eat without a feeding tube and cannot even swallow his own saliva without choking. He is 22 months old and still cannot even hold up his own head. He will never walk, probably will never talk; he may never be able to communicate period.

I talked with "Sally" after practice for quite a while. She and her daughter had just gotten back from a children's hospital in Milwaukee after having had her grandson admitted for 5 days. (It was supposed to be a one day appointment.) "Sally" let the tears flow as she told me his update. He is now on very serious medications with terrible side effects (he hasn't slept more than 4-6 hours total in about that many days and when he is awake he screams), he has severe breathing issues, he needs several surgeries and he is at very high risk of dying if he has to have general anesthesia. The doctors told "Sally" and his mom that they needed to make some decisions now about the quality of life they wanted for him because someday he would have to be put on a ventilator to sustain his life. The worst part of all came when the doctor told them that he will likely have a shortened life span. All in all, the last 2 years have been filled with horrible, heart-breaking news and diagnosis, each one worse than the last.

As I stood talking with "Sally" (whose husband just also had a heart attack 2 weeks ago) it became so apparent that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. I have a healthy, happy strong baby girl who can do anything she wants to do. So what if she can't talk yet? Someday she will. So what if she throws a temper tantrum? At least she has control over her body. So what if she won't sit in a shopping cart? At least she can sit upright. In the proper perspective, everything is easier to handle.

So, instead of writing a post, complaining about my "challenging" child (and I now write that sarcastically), I'm writing to ask my praying readers to lift up little Kayden (that is his real name) in prayer. I don't even know how to pray for him myself, but God is very familiar with this little guy, so He will know what to do. Pray also for his family. He has a wonderfully supportive and loving family, but the constant health battles and 24/7 care is so demanding and difficult. They are wearing down emotionally and physically and they need strength and prayer as well.

And then, when you're done praying for Kayden, say a prayer of thanks for your health and your kid's health.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


The view from the pool....need I say more?

Ah, but I will. This is the a picture I took while floating in the pool yesterday. Yes, for all who care, it has finally been transformed from the Swamp to the crystal clear, clean (albeit a bit nippy) swimming pool. We pretty much had to drain half the pool, in two seperate cleaning efforts, to get it clean and now the new water has only had about 3 days to warm. Today was warmer than yesterday though, so we're making progress.

So, I just thought I'd share the view for those who are stuck inside.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Republican Governor Takes State From Deficit to Surplus

Bryan Alexander, over at his Right Thinking blog, posted on a topic that I had intended to write about as well. Since he did such a nice, and probably much more succinct job, I thought I would direct my readers to his post.

Bryan commented on Indiana's newest governor, Mitch Daniels (R-IN.) and his amazing efforts at taking Indiana from deficit to surplus in just a year and a half. Click here for the full story.

Though Daniels has taken a lot of heat for his economic plans from Democrats, I'd say the numers are pretty compelling and only stand to improve. The best tax increases were needed. Show me a Democrat...any Democrat, who can accomplish that!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

President Bush Casts a Veto in Favor of Life

Reuters reports that President Bush used his power of veto today for the first time in 5 years by vetoing legislation that would give researchers more expansive use of embryonic stem cells. The bill would have, in effect, allowed for the destruction of embryos for the stated purpose of research.

The embryonic stem cell research is touted by many scientists as the next "big thing" in medical breakthroughs. To hear some scientists talk, embryonic stem cells will one day be able to cure just about anything. So far, in just two days of reading stories about this, I've heard diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinsons disease and paralysis could all possibly be cured, just to name a few. These are devastating diseases, to be certain, and any rational person wants to find a cure for them as soon as possible. However, the research on embryonic stem cells requires a high price. The embryos must first be destroyed, and doing so, I believe, destroys a human life.

Let me take a moment here and share a quick personal background, which of course, colors my perspective on this issue. As I've mentioned before, I had trouble getting pregnant and so I delved into the world of fertility procedures for about a year before finally receiving my miracle. In my case, no fancy procedures were necessary, just a standard fertility drug with low risks (and a lot of prayer and doctors visits) did the trick. I was a lucky fertility patient.

I say this because when I first realized that there might be a serious problem, I did what I always do...I researched my options like crazy. Infertility is an odd "condition" because only those who have been through it really understand (probably a lot like cancer patients might say) and because of the highly private and invasive nature of procedures and testing, it isn't something you want to talk about with just anyone, relatives included, no matter how wonderful they might be. As a result I, like many others, felt very alone with my problems and didn't know where to turn for advice and opinions. Thus, my online life began.

While researching my condition, I stumbled across a medical message board and decided to post a few questions that I'd been thinking about. I got answers and opinions galore and suddenly found myself surrounded by women who were going through the same thing I was. I spent over a year chatting with the same large group of women, not only about our fertility issues, but also anything else that came up, as women do. I became friends with these women in that time and cheered as each new person finally got their miracle, and wept when procedure after procedure didn't work for others. Along the way, I learned a lot about all kinds of fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization, or IVF.

As I said, I was one of the lucky ones. I got pregnant with Emily after a year and a half, with only a basic fertility treatment. Some of the women I talked with are still waiting and they've done it all. They have tried IVF with their own eggs and some have even used donated eggs or donated embryos, which have been harvested from another woman who, for whatever reason chose not to use them for herself and did not want them to be wasted. For some, the only chance of having a baby of their own is through this kind of embryo donation. And for some, it works and a miraculous baby is born out of the kindness of total strangers. It truly is a touching and wonderful thing, even to witness from afar.

So for me, this issue is a no-brainer. I have personally seen, albeit from afar, new life born to the most grateful couples from these embryos in question. I have witnessed women go from utter devastation and heartbreak, wondering if they would ever hold a child of their own in their arms, to complete and total joy when they finally find out that they are able to have a baby because of a donated embryo. Lives have been created and enriched, rather than wasted or destroyed.

On the flip-side, I have two grandparents who have suffered with Parkinsons' disease. One is gone now and the other is in the middle of the disease. It is not easy to see them go through this, to watch their lives wither away. I hope and pray that a cure can be found as soon as possible for this, and so many other devastating diseases, but I still believe that destroying another life is not the answer.

Researchers would have us all believe that embryonic stem cells promise all kinds of wonderful cures, but so far, the research does not bear this out. In fact, embryonic stem cell research is not nearly as promising as other types of stem cell research, most notably umbilical cord stem cell research. For the record, with what I currently know about it, I have no problem with the umbilical cord stem cell research. It seems very promising and instead of relying on the destruction of life, it relys on the creation of life. It seems to me that maybe instead of destroying embryos left and right in the hopes of discovering something, why not encourage the creation of new life and concentrate on studying the umbilical stem cells?

To me, this issue is purely political. If researchers can succeed in convincing enough people that the embryo isn't really a human life, then they are one step closer to being able to play God and that's a very dangerous game. I for one, am very glad that President Bush stuck to his promise to veto this legislation. Though conservatives have, of late, been a bit critical of the President on some issues, we should all applaud his firm stance on life.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Is It Time For Dinner Yet?

Well, it's 7 minutes 'till nine pm. I haven't eaten dinner. Andrew isn't home from work yet. I just spent almost 45 minutes trying to put a cranky, cold-ridden 22-month-old to bed (I think she's crying again...) and it's hotter than...well, you know where here, but the big pool in our backyard might as well be renamed "The Swamp". (We're hoping to get that electrical problem fixed tomorrow evening, but then again, I've thought we had everything fixed before, too...)

So I guess there's not much left to do but blog. Oh and have dinner, but those steak kabobs that have been marinating since 3:00 that Andrew was going to grill...well, at this point, they'll just be extra tender for tomorrow's dinner (I hope).

I'm not really sure what to blog on. There certainly is no lack of interesting world events and intriguing political punditry upon which I could comment these days, I just don't feel like doing the research on any of it. I think I'm just tired.

I was up half the night last night with bad thunderstorms (major lightning and hail) and I've been dealing with a rather clinging toddler today, so maybe that's it. Or maybe I'm just lazy. I've been trying to do something, anything, to improve the looks of the swimming pool, aka The Swamp. I've overdosed it with chlorine and dumped half a bottle of algaecide in it today in an attempt to kill anything that might be alive in there (I currently can't see the bottom.) Then I brushed the sides and the bottom with a big brush-on-a-pole, which made many muscles in my arms hurt...hey, it's harder than it sounds. All in all, though I've done more than that today, none of it is remarkable in the least and I'm worn out.

So, now Andrew is finally on his way home (give that hard-working loom tech some credit, "Malott") and I've placed a call to Applebees for some dinner. Carryout it is! I don't think I hear Emily fussing anymore (maybe the Dimetap finally kicked in) and other than straightening up the downstairs a little, I'm done for the night...I hope.

Ahhh...another completely useless blog from's what we've all come to expect.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Something Funny for a Dreary Friday

Since I've been out of the habit of posting anything much lately, I'm sick of painting and it's been raining hard enough that I'm starting to feel like Noah, I thought I'd take a few minutes to share something funny that my husband came across last night. Sorry if everyone else in the world has already seen/heard these before, but they made Andrew and I laugh so hard we cried. (It was late and I think we were both a little slap happy.) Enjoy and have a happy Friday and weekend!

"Insight Into The Minds Of 6th Graders"
This was passed on through one of our Recce Friends.I laughed until I cried. Have a look:
Chuck StoneWeb site manager
Subject: 6th Graders

Insight into the minds of 6th graders: The following were answers provided by 6th graders during a history test. Watch the spelling! Some of the best in humor is in the misspelling....

1.. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that all the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

2.. Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

3.. Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

4.. The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

5.. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

6.. In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits, and threw the java.

7.. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be king. Dying, he gasped out“Tee hee, Brutus.”

8.. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw.

9.. Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen,” As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted, “Hurrah!”

10. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Guttenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

11. The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies and hysterectomies all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couple. Romeo’s last wish was to be laid by Juliet.

12. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote “Donkey Hote.” The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote “Paradise Lost.” Then his wife died and he wrote “Paradise Regained.”

13. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and declared, “A horse divided against itself cannot stand.” Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

14.. Abraham Lincoln became Americas greatest Precedent. Lincoln’s mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by on of the actors in a moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career.

15.. Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian and half English. He was very large.

16.. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

17.. The nineteenth century was a time of great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of hundred men. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbits. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the “Organ of the Species.” Madman Curie discovered the radio. And Karl Marx became the first of the Marx Brothers.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Excuses, Excuses...

Well, it seems that once again, I am proving to be an elusive blogger these days. I think my problem is that there is too much that really needs to be done and far too little time to do it in.

Take for instance, the maintenance of this blog. I should be posting interesting commentaries on all the fascinating and frustrating political issues of the world, or at the very least, I could be posting some insightful little ditty on something from my life. However, I have done neither lately. Instead, I've been doing laundry and cleaning and grocery shopping and playing with Emily...oh and painting our master bathroom.

As I have only a 2-3 hour window (while Emily naps) to accomplish things like laundry, blogging or painting, when a special task arises (like painting) blogging most unfortunately ends up by the wayside.

So, I thought I would at least take a few precious minutes to describe my current task-at-hand. We bought a very lovely home a little over 2 years ago. When we bought the house, it was in very good shape, but I was not, as I was 5-6 months pregnant when we moved in. As a result, the only room in the house that got "personalized" and redecorated in our style was Emily's room, since that had previously been the room of a 12 year-old boy who apparently loved Notre Dame. (Notre Dame border, navy and cream wall color.) That, of course, could not stay in this house, so Emily's room got changed to a nice light sky blue on top, pale grass green on bottom with hand-painted flowers, butterflies, lady bugs, snails, dragonflies and bees as a sort of border between the two colors.

Then, when Emily was about 6 months old, I decided to tackle painting our living room (approximately 400 sq. ft.) It went from a strange shade of purple/grey/brown on bottom with a dingy cream on top to a cool beachy shade of blue of an ivory chair rail. I like it much better than the weird purply color (which, much to my chagrin is still on the walls in the dining room....)

So now, since the dining room is too big to conquer during Emily's nap time, I am on to the upstairs bathrooms. I started with our master bath, as I and my darling husband are both sick of the sickly yellow shade that is currently on the walls. It really does nothing for the room, as the floor has ceramic tile with shades of greys and browns and the tub/toilet/sink/and trim are all off-white. (When you picture this color, think of the neutral basic a little tinge of yellow...not pretty) So I am currently trying out a nice neutral shade of taupe on the walls. I just finished priming the bathroom (my face hasn't been that intimate with the toilet since my bout of the stomach flu over Christmas) and even in it's unfinished, uneven primed look, it is so much better already. I hope the actual color ends up looking even better than the tinted primer.

However, I have run into a snag. We replaced the light fixture above the mirror with a nicer one, but the back plate that fits against the wall is shorter than the old one, revealing two holes that once housed drywall anchors. I might be able to spackle them closed, but they're pretty big. Then, when I removed the towel rack (just a board with 4 pegs) I discovered two, 1 inch in diameter holes that must have also held drywall anchors strong enough to hang me up. I have no idea what the previous owners were thinking there...we had a similar issue in the living room, but not quite as bad. So, now before I go on to the actual painting I have to go find some drywall repair kits. I've never done that before, but I guess I'm about to learn. Let's just hope that when I move on to Emily's bathroom, I don't have to patch any huge holes there.

So...that's what I've been up to. I'll try to keep up a little better, but I won't make any promises until the painting is over.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Biden Demonstrates His Liberal "Tolerance"

Sen. Joe Biden (D.-DE.) recently demonstrated his much touted liberal "tolerance" in a statement to one of his constituents of Indian descent. (Not Native-American Indian, but a native of India Indian.) Here is his comment (the video and the comment can also be found here.)

Sen. Biden said, “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

Seriously, why would this be the one thing you chose to say to someone of Indian descent, or anyone for that matter? Once again, if race doesn't matter, then why bring it up? Why stereotype an entire race if you're truly tolerant?

Oh wait, I know, I know!...maybe Sen. Biden (D.-DE.) isn't quite as tolerant as he would have us all believe. Maybe the whole Democratic party isn't as tolerant either.

As another example of racial intolerance, Hillary Clinton, (D.-NY) made this statement at a Democratic fundraiser in 2004. According to a MSNBC report,

"Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton apologized for joking that Mahatma Gandhi used to run a gas station in St. Louis, saying it was 'a lame attempt at humor.'

The New York Democrat made the remark at a fund-raiser Saturday. During an event here for Senate candidate Nancy Farmer, Clinton introduced a quote from Gandhi by saying, 'He ran a gas station down in St. Louis.'

After laughter from many in the crowd (emphasis added) of at least 200 subsided, the former first lady continued, 'No, Mahatma Gandhi was a great leader of the 20th century.' ”

Ah, liberal tolerance at its finest. Now the real question is: How many of the MSM outlets will express their outrage at Sen. Biden's comment? I know I won't be holding my breath waiting to hear any reports.

Now contrast this with statements from President Bush, who is often labeled as "backwards" and "dumb". While visiting a Dunkin' Donuts in Alexandria, VA., President Bush had this to say:

"They are small business owners, they are entrepreneurs, they are employing people. And then I met with the district manager who works with the two Iranian-American brothers, happens to be a Guatamalan-American citizen. She is learning business, she is taking on additional responsibilities. Then I talked to the store manager who was a Salvadorian-American. These people remind me that one of the great features of our country is that people are able to come here and realize dreams." (Hat-tip: Rush Limbaugh)

I think I'll let you decide for yourself which party is truly more tolerant.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Indiana Black Expo

In today's racially charged world, I have to wonder why Indiana continues to hold the "Black Expo". Each year, since 1970, Indianapolis has hosted the Black Expo. It is, as I understand it, a huge event. This Expo lasts a week and is sponsored by such groups as AT&T, Coca-cola, Coors, Eli Lilly, Fed Ex, McDonalds, NCAA, UPS, and Verizon Wireless, just to name a few.

I have only lived in Indiana for about 9 years, so I decided to do a little research into what the Black Expo really was about and what kinds of things it involves. So, I went to the Black Expo home page (
found here). I thought it best to go straight to the source for my research.

I read the history of the Black Expo and it's purpose and goals. They seem okay. It's stated purpose: "It has encouraged, uplifted and celebrated the accomplishments and achievements of African-Americans throughout Indiana. Its mission, to be an effective voice and vehicle for the social and economic advancement of African-Americans. Its vision, that African-American youth and families achieve their highest potential and reflect pride in their ethnicity."

Now, I find nothing at all wrong with this statement. In fact, I think that's a great goal. I have no problem with highlighting the accomplishments of African-Americans (or any Americans). I think it's great that African-Americans (or any Americans) have a voice in their social and economic situations. I certainly hope that all African-American youth and families (or all Americans) can achieve their highest potential and be proud of their ethnicity.

My problem comes in the way this is packaged. All the goals are great and noble. But my question is this: If I were to start a "White Expo" (for which I would most certainly qualify), would my intentions be perceived as noble and enriching in my community? Or would they, as I highly suspect, be perceived as racist and bigoted and harmful to the other people in the community? Would my efforts to highlight the achievements of whites-only be seen as laudable or be met with outrage and cries of "foul"? (Don't worry, you needn't answer as I think I can figure out the answer for myself.)

You see, today's society demands that we all be tolerant of one another and that we be color-blind. The problem is that color-blind seems only to apply to whites. It's okay for everyone else to celebrate their cultural heritage. It's fine for everyone else to hold exclusive events on the basis of skin color or race. It's just wrong if I, as a white person, decide to do the same thing. Then it's racist. There is a clear double standard.

(By the way, to my knowledge, the Black Expo does not exclude anyone from participating, that's not my point here.)

So, you might ask: Well then, what do you want? I don't know. I don't care if the African-American community feels that they need to hold a Black Expo. It doesn't offend me and who knows, maybe it does a lot of good for a lot of people. I don't care if the Hispanic community wants to hold a Hispanic Expo to discuss their heritage either. Hey, let the Muslims have a Muslim Expo if they want. (Just don't publish any derogatory cartoons of Muhammed if you value your town.)

The point here is this: If we're supposed to be color-blind in America, if we're supposed to not care about ethnicity and treat everyone equally, then how about working together to have an "Indiana Expo" or an "American Expo" and quit focusing on race. How about leaving the double standard behind. Quit being a hyphenated American and just be American. When this happens, and only then, will racism be a thing of the past.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Deadly Game of Political Chicken

North Korea is looking for a fight whether they know it or not. Personally, I say, let's fight. I'm not a war-monger, but this is more than a little ridiculous. How many times do they honestly think they can launch missiles at other countries, while obviously aiming for the U.S., and be ignored? Oh wait....apparently a few more times.

In an official statement, North Korea said, "Our military will continue with missile launch drills in the future as part of efforts to strengthen self-defense deterrent,...If anyone intends to dispute or add pressure about this, we will have to take stronger physical actions in other forms."

Now any rational person would wonder why a country and its leader would continue to act this way unless they wanted a war, or at the very least military action. However, there is a reason that North Korea feels comfortable in continuing to launch their missiles. The only response they are getting is less than a slap on the wrist. After all, there has been "international criticism" and "nearly unanimous world condemnation" of their 7 missile launches on Wednesday.

Ooooo...I'm know I'm scared of almost unanimous condemnation and criticism. It certainly would make me stop what I was doing. Yeah, right.

Of course, the United States and Japan are trying diplomacy and asking for sanctions, but China and Russia are standing in the way of that effort, not that it would matter anyhow. Sanctions obviously don't work. Diplomacy with a deranged tyrant doesn't work either. The only thing that is respected in a situation like this is force. Overwhelming military force. Diplomacy is nice, it should always be tried first and the efforts should be mighty, but when it isn't effective then it's time to change the game plan.

But that isn't happening, once again. In a statement, President Bush said, " 'we want to solve this problem diplomatically' and that all must work together to 'send one message' that North Korea must adhere to international norms."

President Bush went on to say,of Kim Jong-il, " 'It would have been helpful of course if, you know, he said 'here's what we're going to do, here's our intentions, we want to work with you, we want to explain ... But that's not the way he decided to deal with it. He just decided to start firing, and he fired seven of them, and we take this seriously...' "

In an AP article, the President said, " 'We expect you to adhere to international norms. We expect you to keep your word.' Asked for an assessment of the reclusive North Korean leader, who is variously described as quirky, eccentric or even unbalanced, Bush struck a thoughtful pose.

"It's hard for me to tell you what's on his mind. He lives in a very closed society," marked by concentration camps and starving people, Bush said.
"What we don't know is his intentions,' ".

You don't know his intentions? He lives in a country marked by concentration camps and starving citizens and you don't know his intentions? I think it's safe to assume that they aren't good. I would say that's a fair assessment.

Mr. President, if you take this so seriously, then let's quit playing games with a lunatic and show Jong-il that he is making a big mistake. Let's answer this little attention-starved tyrant with a clear and consise, no-mistake-about-it show of force that stops him in his tracks instead of playing a game of political chicken. Isn't this how the whole situation with Sadam Hussein and Iraq started? Why waste the time trying to reason with a terrorist? It has never worked before and it will not work this time either.

In this post-Sept. 11th world, the time for talking and political games is over. I don't care if Russia and China or if the whole world disagrees with military action, when the United States of America is directly threatened, the time to act is before we are hit, not after. Let's not wait for the threat to become a reality. The time for action is now.