Archive for the ‘Political’ Category

Have a Blessed Lent

February 26, 2009

I perhaps haven’t made it clear that I’m a protestant.  Let me make it clear: I’m a protestant. 

Still, I am moved to take part in Lent this year, in part because of this article: http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2009/02/giving-things-up-for-lent.html#more

What has happened to our culture in the US?  We have become so shockingly selfish.  Our politicians, whether we like it or not, have tons of people on staff who make it their job to discern what we actually want (and then ignore us entirely).  Our politicians were trying to sell the extremely unpopular stimulus bill to us by saying “Don’t worry, we’ll borrow the money and YOU won’t have to pay a dime.  Feel free to have a wonderful spending venture that your kids will pay for later on.”  What you should notice is what your politicians didn’t say.  They didn’t say, “Hey, this is going to be a rough one, we all need to stick together, make sacrifices, and pitch in to help each other.”  You know why they didn’t say that?  Because they think they know us well enough to know that we are too freaking selfish to do anything for anyone else.  OK, you don’t like Bush.  OK, Obama is the most wonderful being to set foot in our galaxy since Jesus himself.  Don’t you feel just a teency tad bit selfish stealing from children?  I mean, is that what we’ve come to?

I think a little Lent would help all of us.  I am going to give up eating out for Lent.  We are also giving up cable television and giving the money to charity.  If there were children starving in other countries before this economic insanity, I’m sure charities are going to be strained after it.  Take a moment here and think of something you can give up for 39 days in order to help someone else for a change.

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ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

February 21, 2009

My husband told me he heard this on NPR  (got to wean him from NPR…).  There is a glut of milk.  In the middle of this crazy recession, there is a glut of milk.  Rather than allow milk prices (which are SUBSTANTIAL, btw) to drop to meet the glut, our fun government is going to use tax dollars to help these farmers.  See:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/02/business/02dairy.html?pagewanted=2

Meanwhile, local dairies are talking about how the government subsidies hurt them.  See, the government forces price fixing.  If a local dairy like Mallorie’s (http://www.malloriesdairy.com/) can produce milk for less than the enormo-conglomerates (I’m sure this would be a word if I were president), they have to raise their prices AND give the surplus to the government.  The government then gives that money to the enormo-conglomerates in the form of subsidies.  In effect, this makes small dairies subsidize larger dairies.  That STINKS!!

Look, I don’t know about your family, but my family is BROKE.  I can promise you I’d buy more ice cream if more was on the market cheaper.  The government just bought a ton of milk powder from these dairies.  Well?  There are starving kids in Haiti!  Let’s give them some milk. 

Good heavens!!  Only a group of complete dunderheads like we have in our congress would do something this stupid.  In case you’re thinking I’m railing against one party or another, I’m a third party lunatic.  Although, full disclosure is that I think big government requires serious stupidity.  The reasoning behind this policy is that we have to keep a stable food supply, so we have to keep ALL farmers in business.  As usual, a policy that makes sense in the abstract is totally useless in practice.  The actual application of this policy ensures that we have expensive dairy products during a recession, while at the same time, we are being taxed to throw the dairy products away. 

Visit Mallorie’s website and they give some ideas on what people should do to REALLY help local farmers.

You Can Take the Person Out of the Small Town but…

January 15, 2009

…you can’t take the small town out of the person.  I read during the endless presidential election that the depiction of small town America was a lie.  There isn’t any small town America according to many commentators.  It was all just fiction we convinced ourselves of for sentimental reasons.  Guess what?  I saw small town America today.

When I went to get my boys’ haircut, I saw this sign in the window (sorry for the lousy pic, it was through glass):

In the quite likely case you can’t read it, it says:   “Haircuts:  $12; Kids-Vet-Seniors $10; Unemployed or Down on your luck: Pay what you can”

You can believe that small town America is dead if you want, but in my city, there is at least one small business that is helping their neighbors because it’s the right thing to do.  Can you imagine going to your boss and saying, “Hey, pay what you can this week”?  It’s a bigger step than you might think.  If you’re in Salem, Oregon, comment and I’ll tell you where to go to get your haircut by a neighbor.

Look, the government can’t and won’t help you.  After promising a zillion times he won’t raise taxes on 85% of people, Obama is poised to sign a bill for SCHIP that will more than double taxes on cigarettes the moment he walks into office.  He’ll do the normal, “Hey I wasn’t lying, it was them evil congress people..” bit and you and I will get stuck with the bill.  If we really want to pull ourselves out of this insanity and not hand it along to our kids, we need to take action and stop assuming the government will save us.  They just spent 350 BILLION dollars and do you know one single person who got a job out of that?  I sure don’t.  Forget them, it’s a lost cause.

Do something to give to your community.   Don’t do this thoughtlessly.   Don’t just hand some guy with a sign a dollar, look into the eyes of the person you help and KNOW you’re not throwing money into the endless cycle of addiction (heaven knows our government intends to do enough of that for all of us).  Buy lunch for someone.  Offer to help someone you know pay their bills until things get better.  If you’re the one who is jobless, after you’ve put in your apps for the day, go rake the neighbor’s yard (it will help with that awful feeling you have when you’re not getting calls right now).  Go look in on your senior neighbor.  Go ask your apartment manager if you can grow a few plants in the sunshine near your place.  Ask your local officials if you can start a community garden in part of the green grass around the city/state/county offices.  Ask your grocer to carry local goods as often as possible.  Yes, it won’t help national business, but it sure WILL help local business and that will impact you more than you might think.  When people have jobs, they aren’t driving drunk at 10am on major highways. 

There are things we CAN do.  For heavens’ sake, we’re from the United States, we can do whatever we set our minds to doing.  Get off your duff and start doing something.  Small town America isn’t just some mythology we believe in because it gives us cheery memories.  Small town America is the reality that developed from realizing that if some pregnant woman walking next to a wagon can walk from Boston to Utah in November, there isn’t much that we can’t do with paved roads and a small pickup.  Small towns aren’t gone and the mentality that made them memorable has not changed.

More Media Review

January 15, 2009

You really have to read this.  Doug TenNapel really nails something in this article.

http://bighollywood.breitbart.com/dtennapel/2009/01/14/real-tolerance-training/#more-16881

What Obama Didn’t Do

December 11, 2008

Sorry, yet another political post.

The governor of Illinois (Blagojevich) was caught on tape attempting to extort bribes in exchange for the appointment of Barak Obama’s empty senate seat.  Excerpts of the tape seem to suggest the only defense the governor can raise is the “alien possession defense” of Star Trek fame.  Pieces of the tape make it appear that when offered the opportunity to purchase the seat on behalf of their candidate, the Obama representative politely declined.  Every article I’ve read about this seems to suggest that clearly, that means the President Elect (caps?  like a formal noun?  not sure, please forgive) has clean hands in this affair.  May I politely disagree?

There are 100 US Senators.  The senator from the state of Illinois will enjoy a rare position that is unelected.   A single person has a right to appoint that person.  This was an enormous responsibility.   Blagojevich blew it.  The day  he was arrested, I should have woken to the headlines “President Elect Turns in Rogue Dishonest Governor”.  Instead, the headlines I read all seemed to say, “Hey, isn’t it great our future President didn’t play ball?”  I guess that’s ok, if you have low expectations, but my expectations are considerably higher.  So, why didn’t Senator Obama tell someone about Blagojevich?  I think anyone who has watched the political climate over the last several years knows how that dance would go.  “Crazy President Elect Accuses Perfectly Innocent Governor of Wrongdoing: Democrats Embarrassed at Weak Attempt to Influence Senate Decision” (I suppose he underestimated the strength of the love the media bears for him). 

Is it really asking too much of a politician to turn in others who are behaving inappropriately?  Are you kidding me?  The presidency is the executive branch, that’s what they are supposed to DO.  Look, Obama has stated that he wants to begin a public service corps.  He would like for me and my kids to join this corps and give our time to our nation for free.  He is asking to expand our government in fairly unpopular ways.  That’s a tough request for the people of the US.  I guess, in my opinion, Obama doesn’t have the right to ask hard things of me if he doesn’t intend to do hard things, too.  Regardless of the twenty-four hour lovefest between the media and President Elect Obama, our future president did NOT comport himself well in this affair.

Just My Opinion

December 11, 2008

Sorry for the sort of political diatribe, but I have been convinced by recent events that I should speak out.  If you have political burn out (as does most of my family now), skip this post.  Another friendly garden post will soon follow.

Apparently the state of Washington has decided to allow an anti-G-d rant that is insulting to Christians to be posted on the capital grounds next to the manger scene.  I’m a born again believer.  I suppose as evangelicals go, I have the creds that go with the name.  If I lived in Washington, I would have been out on Sunday protesting…

in support of the atheists sign.  Look, I deplore people who insult Christianity, and frankly, this WAS intended to insult Christianity because it was right next to the Christmas scene.  Though, it WAS an insult to all believers in a deity.  Still, the US constitution guarantees us a right to freedom of speech, not to freedom from insult.  Let’s look at it this way: being insulted is a small price to pay in order to get all ideas on the table.  Let’s listen to everyone, even if they’re being jerks. 

I’m not sure if you guys saw the footage of the guy hitting the little old lady with the cross at a demonstration in California?  Here’s this little old lady holding a cross, marching to oppose gay marriage.  And this guy whacks the cross out of her hands.  If you see the look on the guy’s face, it’s pretty chilling.  I suspect that if you caught that guy in other circumstances and asked him what he thought of folks who brutalize old ladies, he would have said that such people should be jailed.  My secret suspicion is that he is so passionate about his feelings for his cause, that he momentarily forgot what he was doing (at least I hope so…most folks take a dim view of bashing old people…).  He forgot that his view is certainly not the only view and we would all do well to listen to alternate viewpoints.  I note that most of the liberals I know are astoundingly bad at listening and considering alternate viewpoints.  When I worked at UCSF (as a receptionist, no grandiose positions here…), I had a discussion with a grad student.  I explained to her why I had rejected her viewpoint and then explained my viewpoint, at which point she said, “I can never consider that [idea here].”  Then I responded, “That makes you quite closed minded.”  Her mouth opened and closed for a few minutes like a dead fish having a ram error, and then she said, “I was thinking you are closed minded.”  I said, “Oh, because I’m a Christian, I’m closed minded?”  Her head started bobbing before she even thought it through, but I could see her blushing as she thought the conversation through, but I couldn’t help making it plain.  “So, I’ve considered your viewpoint and explained why I think it is incorrect.  You will not even consider my viewpoint, but clearly, you are open minded simply because you disagree with me?”  She said faintly, “You’re right.” and left crestfallen.  People on the left believe that they are open minded simply because of being on the left.  I think that those of us who are conservatives would do well to allow the left to expose their folly over and over again to the public.  The press has decided never to allow alternate viewpoints these days, because they are expressly liberal.  The amusing part of that is that bloggers have prospered because the press has refused to be open minded (or even journalists, for that matter…).  Frankly, when my grandkids are talking about the death of print press, I’ll have to explain to them that it was suicide.

In any case, I say, though I disagree with what the atheists have to say, I will fight for their right to say it.  I challenge liberals to attempt to regain this ground.  Let the little old lady have her cross, and you’d be smart to listen to what she has to say.  Although you may not agree with her, she has lived forty years longer than you have and she has some wisdom to put on the table that you haven’t even considered yet.