Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Small World!

My Mom and Step Dad are dog breeders. They live out in the country near Olympia, Washington and specialize in Shih Tzus, Brussells Griffons, and Teddy Bears. Their puppies have gone all over the United States. This is Taffy. She is a Shih Tzu and we will be taking her when her breeding days are done.

This little thing is a Teddy Bear. That is a mix of Shih Tzu and Bischon.

This little guy is a Shiffon. That is a Shih Tzu combined with a Griffon. These dogs are called designer dogs and the mixes are becoming more and more popular. They are healthier and aren't plagued with some of the problems that Shih Tzu's typically are.
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Anyway, what do dogs have to do with my political blog? Well... A couple from Wasilla, Alaska bought one of my Mom's puppies today. They know the Palins and had nothing but wonderful things to say about them and Sarah. They also mentioned that the media is not portraying her fairly. Just thought that was interesting...

Debate

I'm so unenthused about the political scene right now. All this bailout business has turned my brain to mush.

So, let's have a little fun today.

Tell me what you'd like to see happen in the debate on Thursday... and make it funny!

What would I like to see? Oh, I don't know... Sarah Palin walk on stage with a pitbull wearing lipstick... Joe Biden's teeth actually do one of those cartoon sparkles with the "tink" at the end... have them arm wrestle... Maybe they could break out in song. Yeah, that might make it a little more interesting.

Or... seriously, tell me what you think the Vice Presidential candidates need to say and tell me how important you think this particular debate is.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Debates and Interviews

I didn't get to watch the debate until Saturday. I actually had a hard time focusing midway through. Anyone else growing weary of it all? I did not watch the pre or post debate talk. I don't really care what all those that like to dissect it all afterwards have to say, those on TV anyway. I thought it was pretty dry. I do feel that McCain finished better than Obama but not in a slam dunk kind of way. Just better.

Did anyone watch the Sarah Palin interview with Katie Couric? I did not. I've only seen the one clip they keep playing where Sarah said she'd get back to her about McCain's record.

I wish we could just vote tomorrow and be done with it.

Any thoughts on the bail outs?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just for FUN!


What is Going to Happen?

Anyone else holding their breath? Not only do we not know what is going to happen on Capitol Hill today... We don't know if there is going to be a debate in Mississippi.

I do want to say something here from my personal experience. When we bought our house here in Colorado six years ago we "qualified" for a much higher loan. My husband set the parameters for what we were willing to spend based on what the monthly payments would be. He also would have nothing to do with an ARM. Moving from Mississippi we were quite distressed by what we could afford here and definitely felt we were taking a step or more down. Our realtor kept pushing saying that we qualified for X number of dollars... We were also nearly debt free (one car payment)... which I sure wish we could say now! It is interesting to me how many people I know (and know of) that live in bigger and fancier houses than we do that make much less money... a couple of whom can hardly afford food.

It just seems to me that the lack of personal responsibility we see in this country has now moved on to companies. That is just my uneducated white woman observation. I certainly lack the understanding to even begin to figure out for myself what the right thing to do is in this situation.

By the way, I don't really pay attention to my site meter but ever since I got that nasty comment a few weeks ago, I have been paying attention to the word searches that bring people to this blog. Every day there are several searches for "uneducated white women." One day there were seven of them with those exact words. They come from all over the country... There are also different variations such as, "Palin uneducated." It really bothers me...

This Week's Winner is...

TWO DOGS of Mean ol' Meany!

E-mail me your address!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

President Bush's Speech

Oh my gosh y'all! I am more confused than ever! Don't y'all have any experience explaining things to small children? That's what I need here! OY!

I watched President Bush's speech last night.

Questions:

1. What do you think of his plan and what kind of ramifications do you think there will be for the next administration if it goes through?

2. What do you think about the McCain campaign suspending so McCain can go back to work until this is resolved?

3. What do you think about the idea of Palin taking McCain's place for the debate with Obama?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Economic Plans

Hey Everybody! I am still dealing with stuff around here and haven't been able to do any reading. I'm not much of a TV watcher and haven't had the radio on either.

Anyway, I am a bit disturbed by the stuff happening on Wall Street... The recent bailouts of Fannie, Freddie, and AIG... but not Lehmans. I don't really understand this stuff and what sort of ramifications we are looking at... or how all of this will affect average Americans like us.

I'm curious about McCain vs Obama on the economic front. I have not looked into what each of their plans are exactly. What I have in my mind is more of the same or more taxes. I really need help in this area! I am hoping to get into this in depth and really figure things out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hey There Blog Buddies!

I am having a difficult time switching back over to political stuff after my fun weekend away! AND... I've got some real life water heater drama going on that needs to be taken care of. I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

This Week's Winner is...

Roland of Militant Ginger!

Send me an e-mail with your address Roland! I am announcing the winner a day early because my Mama is flying in today and we are off for a special Mom/Daughter weekend! I will be back on Monday!

I leave you with this Question:

How do you view the United States? What is a typical American like in your world? Do you believe there should be more stringent requirements for being able to vote?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Supreme Court

We didn't really get into this yesterday so I am bringing it up again today. I personally believe that life begins at conception and am Pro-Life. I've often not understood how others of faith can disagree on this point but they do. Some believe a fetus isn't viable until it quickens (moves) and some believe that a fetus isn't viable until it takes its first breath. Some believe that it isn't about killing babies but about a woman's right to choose whether she has a baby or not.

One of the fears/hopes about who is elected is changes the future president may be able to make on the Supreme Court when current justices retire or die. If McCain is to take office there is a chance that changes he makes may lead to the overturning of Roe v Wade. If that happens the issue of abortion will be turned back over to the individual states. Many believe the ruling was unconstitutional in the first place and that this should not have been made a federal issue.


Questions:

1. We've all heard the argument, "You can't legislate morality!" What exactly does that mean? (Take the issue of the differing faiths out of this for a minute... There are many very moral people that do not believe in God) Don't all of our laws have a moral root? If we can't legislate morality then why do we have any laws at all? Where is the line? Who decides the line? Isn't it our job as individual people that are part of a democracy to vote our conscience?

2. Does the issue of possible changes in the Supreme Court affect who you vote for?

I have a little post y'all might find amusing up here on my other blog about my Mother-in-Law meeting the McCains and Palins yesterday in Ohio.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Drama in the House!

Okay boys! I think you've wound down enough from the last post. I have to say it has been most interesting! I would like to add my thoughts at this point.
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Many Christians do not agree on the issue of New Earth vs Old Earth.
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Dr. Hugh Ross is a Christian Apologist/Astronomer/Astrophysicist. He is a proponent of Old Earth and believes that science and religion are compatible. We have met Dr. Ross and heard him speak on this very issue. He is the Minister of Apologetics at Sierre Madre Congregational Church in Sierre Madre, CA... the church my Aunt went to for over 25 years before her death and who introduced us to him. To this day, there is much that he said that has stayed with me. He does not believe in evolution. He also does not believe that Intelligent Design is science and that it should not be taught in the classroom.
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Answers in Genesis was founded by Ken Ham. Proponents of Young Earth Creation see it as an authority issue in regard to the bible and hold to a literal 6 day creation. They believe that the earth was created 6,000 years ago and that the Flood was 4,500 years ago and that dinosaurs co-existed with humans. Ken has a bachelor’s degree in applied science (with an emphasis on environmental biology) that was awarded by the Queensland Institute of Technology in Australia. He also holds a diploma of education from the University of Queensland and was a public school science teacher in Austalia. Ken has been awarded two honorary doctorates: a Doctor of Divinity (1997) from Temple Baptist College in Cincinnati, Ohio and a Doctor of Literature (2004) from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, in recognition of his contributions to the church in the U.S. and internationally. He hosts an Internet and radio program, Answers... with Ken Ham, that is broadcast daily worldwide by over 1,000 stations.
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Creation as Science with Hugh Ross on You Tube.
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Young Earth vs Old Earth debate with Ken Ham on You Tube.
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Where do I stand? At the risk of sounding like a fence straddler... I am just an uneducated housewife.
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I do believe in the inerrancy of God's Word. However, I do not understand how that works. I am deeply troubled by the assertion by some that if you do not believe in a literal 6 day creation that you do not believe the bible is inerrant.
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I do not know Hebrew or Greek... I don't know that I can trust those that do and say what things mean... Heated debate reigns over the meanings of all scripture. I'm just an American woman living in this current time and all I've got to go on is my bible where things of my faith are concerned. The stress of trying to figure who is right and who is wrong is something I don't care for. I don't care what other people say the bible says. I read it in my English translation because that is the language I understand. What Pastors, Biblical Scholars and Theologians all have to say must line up with what I read on my own within my level of understanding for me to even begin to trust a religious authority... and even then, I am still very cautious.
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I believe God is God. He can do whatever, whenever, however and is not limited to our understanding of time. I will say that Hugh Ross makes more sense to me. The fact is I do not know for certain. In fact, the more I learn about all things in life... the more it becomes glaringly apparent that I really don't know much.

Soooo... We may as well step into it. Abortion. Pro-Life? Pro-Choice? What about the Supreme Court?

*Let's try to keep this civil... Attacking ideas is fine, attacking people is not. We are big boys and girls so we can agree to disagree. Remember we do not know who is reading this blog and you should want to present your side in a respectable way.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ain't That Sweet?!?!


Melanie of The Creators Palette was so sweet to encourage me by giving me this award on her blog! She also said the following:
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I so much appreciate this blog! In fact, though I don't always comment (I should to win that Starbucks card!) I read often. You have met a need for me - thank you!
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I have added a link to your blog on my blog - because I nominated you for a blog award.
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The way these things work is you then nominate 7 other blogs for the award. I know most of y'all that are reading this are dudes... but, if you'd like the award, take it and put it up on your blog. This would not be interesting without your input! If you are a gal and you contribute (Elysa, Stephanie...) or you read/comment, please take the award for your blog too!

I'm Surprised...

I am shocked that national security wasn't on any one's list but Tom's. That is my #1 concern. Actually, I am more than shocked. I am stupefied... It is as if since we haven't had any more terrorist attacks here in the U.S. since 9/11 that people believe that there haven't even been any plots to do harm! There have been many that have been caught before another attack could happen... here and abroad.

You know... there are a lot of bugs in Mississippi. We had Terminix come out and spray regularly in an attempt to keep them out of our home. They use some sort of compound made out of chrysanthemums (or something like that) that was very effective. After they had come out we would have a line of dead bugs around the house. Of course, we would still get a certain number inside the house no matter what we did. My husband and I had different approaches to handling those situations. He would look around for something with which to kill the bug (usually a roach or a spider) like a shoe or a magazine. Sometimes he would scoop up a spider with a piece of paper and then put it back out in the yard. I'm not sure if he's ever actually killed a roach. He would either spend so much time looking for something to kill one with that it would get away or he would tap it with a shoe and it would thank him for the massage before taking off on its merry way. I, on the other hand, rarely had a bug get away from me. To me, it was much more important to know that it was dead... even if I had to get it with my bare hands or feet. My husband would get mad because when I killed a bug there was usually a need for some Spackle and paint.

We need an effective line of defense around our borders and we don't need to be playing around when someone gets through. Period. As far as I'm concerned there's been a little too much tapping and not enough gumption to get some hands dirty. We most definitely should have gone into Afghanistan. Iraq? Well, there were no WMD's... Is freeing a country from the tyranny of a dictator a good thing? Yes... but we should have known upfront that that is what was going on. AND we should have gone in with more troops. Are we there for the oil? If so, we sure as heck don't need to be. We have our own.

My #2 concern is the threat of/gradual loss of some of our freedoms.

I am a former homeschooler so obviously I don't take kindly to someone else telling me what to do or how to do it. I especially didn't take it kindly when I was told I needed to lower my expectations for my dyslexic daughter and go along with the school's "individual educational plan" in which she would have only been required to test orally and do 5 math problems a day instead of 30. I'm sorry but the real world doesn't work that way. No one cares what your individual problems are and you have to learn how to function within society, which includes the ability to read, write and do at least basic math. I am for school choice... whether that be public, private, charter, school voucher, or homeschooling.

We currently have the right to bear arms. If that is outlawed then all the law abiding citizens will be without and the criminals will still have theirs.

Religious freedom seems to be increasingly becoming religious freedom... unless you are Christian.

My #3 concern is the economy. Why isn't it higher on my list? Because the economy is constantly changing.

I seem to recall that taxation without representation was a bit of a problem back in the day... seems to be a bit of a problem again.

What about the environment? I'm all for recycling, coming up with better and less wasteful ways of doing things, and for finding alternative fuel/energy sources. What I am NOT for is this weird American flogging of itself. It's as if there is a great segment of people crying out in some masochistic need to have someone tell us how bad we are. Personally, I'd rather be inspired to change...

Question:

1. What about Iran... Pakistan... Georgia... North Korea?

I've decided to leave the discussions after my posts in the comment section because they are easier to follow that way. I think the flow of it becomes disjointed when I pluck some out and put them into the body of the text. If I add something (that I want people that might not read the comments to see) it will continue to be in red so that those that follow the comments will be able to easily see where I've added something.

I do want to address OSO's comment and his belief that the terrorists just got lucky on 9/11 and that they are no more a threat than they were pre 9/11. WOW. I strongly urge everyone to go here. Please take the time to read the entire article.

Also... The big shake up today is 158 year old Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Something jumped out at me here...

To help cushion the fallout, 10 banks created a $70 billion fund to lend to firms that are having trouble financing their assets in the markets. The Federal Reserve also said it will be willing to lend money in return for a wider array of collateral including stocks.

Now, y'all know I am uneducated... is there a reason that this should be of concern (where the FED is concerned) ???

Friday, September 12, 2008

Talk to Me

I'm curious...

1. What do you consider to be the most important issues our country is facing?

2. What is it that concerns you about each of the candidates?

This Week's Winner is...

BLBEAMER!!!

E-mail me so I can mail you your Starbucks Gift Card!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember

It's hard to believe that the 9/11 attacks were seven years ago. Some days it seems like it was just yesterday and other days it seems like a lifetime ago...

September 11th also happens to be my husband's birthday. We were living in Mississippi in 2001. I had gone back to sleep after my husband left for work and woke to the sound of the phone ringing next to me. It was my husband and he told me to go turn on the TV. His voice sounded strange and once the images were before me I understood why. We didn't know anyone that was affected by the attacks yet we wept. My birthday was the next day. We didn't celebrate that year. Instead we met at our church during lunch time that first week and prayed. We waited with the rest of the nation to hear how this could have happened. For the first time in our lives we felt uncertain of our safety in this country.

We are in the midst of a flurry of political activity as the election nears. Each day brings a new drama. People choose their sides and then argue with whoever is willing... and some who are not. Hypocrisy reigns as accusations fly. Some lose the ability to step back to see the larger picture as others turn their backs and bury their heads in the sand. Some venemously strike out with no thought to the damage that will be done. Others throw up their hands and say there is no point.

For today, the anniversary of 9/11, we should remember that united we stand, divided we fall.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Well, I started to get into Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac back in July (here)... but then didn't finish it. There's a lot of hollerin' goin' on about this.

Questions:

1. Should the government be bailing Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac out?

2. What kind of problems is this now going to create?

Liam said:

It's definately a 'damned if we do/damned if we don't' situation...

If the gov't doesn't bail them out and they fail the repercussions are going to be horrendous.

Then again if we do... well what's preventing other companies from saying "Hey we need help or we're going to fail too!"

Honestly I don't know...

Two Dogs said:

I absolutely, positively think that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should have never been formed. While all of the PRO-big government morons (fascists, by definition) keep saying that they were privately run, the fact of the matter is that they both enjoyed HUGE advantages over the truly private businesses and still failed like a bunch of government constructed levees around New Orleans. What people refuse to understand is that the very PROBLEM with both entities was caused by the government forcing relaxed lending standards, while screeching racism. The government CAUSED the problem by forcing lenders and financial institutions to give money to those that couldn't afford it.

I think of the time that my wife and I went to get a construction loan to build our house. Our banker told us that we qualified for over 400k. I looked at Ca and told her that we should immediately remove our money from their bank because they were idiots. I couldn't have afforded the monthly interest on that loan with our current debts, much less the principal. And they were all smiles because they were forced by the federal government to use government standards, the bankers had no input.

Sharing needles with someone that has AIDS will cause you to get it. Stay away from PRO-big government morons, or you will get stupidity by osmosis. Look at the Democrats that seem intelligent and their philosophical changes in minutes upon reaching Washington. They are led by idiots. Osmosis, I tell ya'.

1. Rip the Band-Aid off, it will stop hurting soon enough, IF we do not do anything more to reduce the pseudo-free market economy that we enjoy, you know, like elect MORE big government morons. Pelosi, Boxer, Biden, and Obama immediately come to mind. Thousands upon thousands of cliches cover this topic. Let the chips fall where they may. Now, you pick one. I can think of minimally seven right off the top of my head that apply. Guess which ones?

2. None that an unfettered economy cannot absorb. Yes, we will take a hit instantly, but removing the bonds of slavery is never easy. I think about how FDR's policies caused the Great Drepression to extend three times longer than necessary. It is the exact same circumstance. Even the Jews imprisoned in Auschwitz by Barry's philosophical predecessor were denied food because it would have killed them in large amounts.

None of what I have written is over the top to me or any thinking person. I stand by every single word with evidence and proof rooted in nothing but math AND history.

BLBeamer said:

1. No

2. If anything, unfortunately it will make politicians' complaints about Enron, World Com, and other frauds less valid. It should (but probably won't) give pause to those who say such quasi-governmental institutions are necessary because of the inherent inferiority of markets.

OSO, I'm not referring to you.... this time. ;)

One Salient Oversight said:

1. Yes. There was actually no other choice. F&F were backed by government guarantee and if the US government had refused to bail them out it would be tantamount to reneging on government bond payments. The Bear Stearns rescue was different as it was a private organisation and probably should not have happened. If Bush and Paulson rescue Lehman then Nouriel Roubini's charge that America is the world's largest socialist state will be proven true.

2. As I just mentioned, the problem is whether or not large financial firms should be the subject of government bailout. Like Two Dogs I believe that F&F should not have been created in the first place or should have been completely privatized long ago. The fact that F&F were guaranteed by government meant that it was only a matter of time before taxpayers would have to pay the bill.

The housing market is one market that I believe that the government should really leave alone. The best of intentions to make housing affordable can, in fact, exacerbate and distort the marketplace.

F&F were not responsible for the housing bubble's inflation and subsequent popping. They were, nevertheless, victims of it.

While it is true that the housing market essentially caused the bubble and thus its own demise, this has more to do with irresponsible monetary policy by the Federal Reserve than a "market failure".

Put simply, the Fed's interest rates were too low between 2002 and 2005. During that period, America was experiencing negative real interest rates. The housing bubble grew exactly during that period.

Discussion continues in the comments.

Monday, September 8, 2008

For "Palin Doesn't Get Me"

I received the following comment to my last post:

I find it offensive that your blog exists. Since the purpose of your blog is, as you say, to help educate your children and let them make up their own minds before they vote, why don't you tell them to go to the library and actually read instead of soliciting the opinions of random people whose credentials you have no idea about and whose knowledge is circumspect. When the hell did knowledge and merit go to hell in this country? The sad thing, in some ways, is your uneducated vote will count the same as mine even though I actually give a damn enough about this country to investigate the issues and create my own opinions.

Your website stands as an altar to the mediocrity that has besieged this country.

Pay attention to history, learn math to figure out how not to sign for idiotic mortgages, and study history in order to not repeat the mistakes of the past. Why don't you pass that on to your kids?

Yes, I am an ELITIST. I busted my butt in school so that I could go to an Ivy League college where 75% of the people were better off than me and I learned that I had to always keep learning in life. I then went to a top medical school. Thankfully, I'm back on the East Coast practicing surgery and saving lives. I googled "uneducated white women and Palin and idiots" and found your blog.

Dear "Palin Doesn't Get Me,"

My blog was never intended to upset anyone. The title of my blog is a bit tongue-in-cheek. I laid out my lack of credentials in my first post on this blog and am a community college drop out. Make no mistake though, I am far from uneducated. My children were taught U.S. History and U.S. Government by me. I take my vote seriously and have taught my children the same.

I have never wanted my children to just blindly follow what my husband and I have taught them. I want them to think for themselves. I want the decisions they make to have been made by going through a process of their own.

As much as I don't like it, this country is still just a two party system. I get so tired of the rhetoric from all sides. We've got people on the right proclaiming they know how those on the left think and the same from left to right. There is a lack of respect for those of differing views that permeates our society. I choose to see people as individuals rather than as part of a group where I've ignorantly decided what each of them believes. I am genuinely interested in why people believe what they do. That is something I want to pass on to my children.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by stating you are an elitist and that 75% of the people at your Ivy League school were better off than you were... ? You are obviously smart, have a strong desire to succeed and care about this country. Being a surgeon is a noble profession and saving lives is a blessing, both for your patients and for you.

I'd like to assure you that my vote will be an informed one. I am glad that my blog came up when you googled, "uneducated white women and Palin and idiots." Maybe you could stick around and give your opinion on the subjects I bring up and help educate rather than further divide.

God Bless.

Let's Talk Environment

I'm curious to see where everyone stands on the environment.

Questions:

1. Global Warming, is it real?

2. What can the United States can do about it?

3. Fuel, to drill or not to drill?

Two Dogs said:

1. No. Proven by scientific study by the absence of any rise in temperature since records have been kept.

2. Abolish the EPA, drop the Endangered Species Act, remove restrictions for businesses and reduce the number of people employed by the Fed by a factor of 95%. Ship screeching "environmentalists" to Antarctica or even better, to an area populated by the "endangered" polar bear.

3. Drill every single place that drilling/energy companies can get land that they purchase with their own money. Then send all savings of tax money to me.

One Salient Oversight said:

1. Yes. Proven by scientific study as represented by the IPCC. A consensus of climate scientists - those experts in the field - say that it is happening and that, even when other variables are taken into consideration, is caused by human activity.

2. The US needs to take the lead by reducing its carbon emissions to zero. Solar and wind power is a mature technology and is economically viable. Power stations that emit CO2 (coal, gas) need to be progressively shut down while wind turbines and solar panels need to be built. Geo-thermal energy is also a possibility. Gasoline also needs to be phased out and replaced by electrically powered vehicles. This can be achieved simply through regulation with the federal government mandating a date in the future when no CO2 is allowed to be emitted through the generation of electricity and no new road vehicle be powered by hydrocarbons. With these laws in place and with enough time to prepare, the market itself will create solutions.

3. I'll answer this by not taking into consideration 2) above, which gives the solution of having electrically powered vehicles. Basically the problem with "drilling" for more oil is that the sheer amount of oil available to be extracted on US territory represents no more than a couple of months supply in total. So if oil companies began drilling all over the place and were magically able to extract all the viable sources of oil quickly, the result would not even be half of America's yearly consumption rate. Then add to this the fact that it would take 10-20 years for the oil to be extracted anyway. Put simply, any further drilling of oil in the US will not produce enough oil to make any difference whatsoever.

Be sure to check out the comments on this post. There are a lot of links in there and some good debate!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Porky Pigs and Earmarks

My understanding of Pork Barrel spending (also referred to as "Earmarks") is that it is money allocated by the government and spent on unnecessary or useless things... like researching the effect of bovine flatulence on the environment.

I found this article that was last updated in March 2008. It is most interesting because it was written before John McCain won the nomination and before most had ever heard of Sarah Palin. It ranked Alaska #1 in pork barrel spending and Arizona last.

I decided to do a little digging to find out just what those earmarks were for and found this site! (just so you know, it looks like the page comes up blank... just scroll down) You can click on each of the states to see for yourself what that money was spent on.

Alaska:

$300,000 (Anchorage) for: Family Medicine Center, for the Alaska Family Practice Residency Program

$200,000 (Nenana) for: Nenana Student Living Center, for a residential facility for high school students from villages throughout Alaska

Total: $500,000

Arizona: Total of $7,200,000 Go here for breakdown of what it was all for.

For some kicks, let's take a look at Illinois.

Illinois: Total of $20,830,000 Go here for the breakdown of what it was all for.

The reason I included the list for Alaska here is because there were only two things on it. Arizona and Illinois both have very long lists. Nothing jumped out at me on either the Arizona or Illinois list as being something along the lines of cow fart studies. It is all pretty much for schools, medical facilities and community programs for kids, homeless, etc.

I find it interesting that some of the stuff I read before finding this that people have totalled the amount of earmarks for Alaska for the entire time Palin has been in office and are hollering that she's a big spender. I do remember reading about a community sports complex she had built in Wasilla that some were unhappy about while refusing to build a new library... Anyone want to dig up what that is about?

Why is this even an issue?

Alaska ranks highest because of the low population there and they figure out how much money that means per capita. Obviously, it is going to be higher up there. I don't know... maybe since they all live in Alaska they shouldn't have a family medical center that isn't in an igloo and high school kids that live in outlying villages should be homeschooled or hook up the family dogsled everyday to get to school rather than have somewhere they can stay while receiving an education?

On the other hand, should Obama be penalized for the overall total for the Illinois earmarks without taking the population there into account?

This one is a non-issue all the way around for me.

*editing to clarify that pork barrel/earmark spending is definitely an important issue! The non-issue, for me, is whether Palin or Obama is worse. They are both earmark spenders. McCain, however, has the best record in that regard and his feelings on that kind of spending are well known... and he is, afterall, the one running for president.

Friday, September 5, 2008

This Week's Winner Is...

Just Me of Peanut Butter & Bacon Sandwiches! E-mail me with your address and I'll get it out to you A.S.A.P.

I know that I said that to be in the giveaway you had to leave a comment on each post. I didn't think I'd have days where I put a lot of posts... and this is the first week so I just put y'all in the pot that commented this week.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Yesssss! It is OVER!

I'm still suffering the lingering affects of molten ire toward Glenn Beck. I think he should be made to wear a bikini and run through the streets of Juneau while women throw smelly rotten produce at him.

I think there should be a ban on the song, "Celebration," by Kool and the Gang. Come on. That song was popular when I was in Jr. High. I'm sick of it. That and the fact that I had to try out for drill team to that song in High School during which my crush walked in and I completely forgot everything, totally humiliating myself, not that he noticed.

Ugh... all the clapping and cheering and chanting... why? Let the people give their speeches! It is so annoying!

I liked the video they showed of McCain. However, at this point, I think we've all memorized his story. His speech was good. He's not in the same league as Obama and Palin when it comes to delivery but we shouldn't be electing someone based on their ability to wow a crowd with words.

I'm glad it is over. Does anyone out there know of a site that just gives the facts and isn't coming out of one camp or the other? I just want the facts!

Governor Sarah Palin RANT

Sarah Palin is gorgeous. We women all see it, too, and remark on it. I initially found some mens' reactions to her amusing. It's almost as if they couldn't believe someone could be that "hot" and smart. As a woman, I even felt a little sense of pride if that makes any sense. She definitely posesses a high degree of charisma. Now I am seriously annoyed.

I was listening to Glenn Beck on the radio as I drove to pick up my son from football practice. I was MORTIFIED by the direction he took. He actually put on some Barry White and told us listeners to light a candle on our dashboards. He then proceeded to play clips from her speech last night where she was putting Obama in his place... all the while saying things between and making (cough) noises...ugh, I'm so utterly disgusted. He even called it "Political Porn." What the heck?!?!?! Rush Limbaugh is slobbering all over himself too!

There are men (and women) saying that she has no right to be taking on a responsibility like that when she has children at home including a special needs infant and calling into question her commitment to her family. There are so many women out there that would love nothing more than to be able to stay home with their children... but they can't. Does that mean they are not putting their families first? Sure there are those that "choose" to work. Does that automatically mean that their families are not their priority? Some women do not do well staying home and find that they are able to be better mothers by getting out of the house. A good friend of mine in Mississippi worked full-time. Her husband started an affair with another woman while she was pregnant with their second child. She was left with a three year old and a 2 month old infant. She is one of the most dedicated moms I've ever known. We used to walk together at 5 am. She fixed her family a hot breakfast almost every morning. She went to work all day, came home and they ate dinner together. She had married her 2nd husband by the time I met her. They were very involved in their church, the kids' school and in coaching sports. In fact, that is how we met. Her husband was our girls' soccer coach. Her house was immaculate. Every thing about her was tied to her family. They were her top priority, no question!

Now we've got men who can't get past Palin's looks. She is being reduced to some object of fantasy. Oh yeah, they throw in how smart she is and blah blah blah... but she's HOT! So what?!?!! Those same men that have been turned into blithering idiots of bubbling testosterone are outraged by those uptight control freak men who self-righteously proclaim women belong nowhere but in the home... preferably popping out their spawn at alarming rates and calling them Lord.

I am completely and utterly disgusted. You'd think that with what she's accomplished she would be afforded some respect. And if I was Glenn Beck's wife... I'd be kicking his ass.

Mama Bear

Okay kiddos! I really want this to be a place where we all get to share what we believe and/or where we stand and why. Addressing people in the comments and refuting what they said is okay but be careful not to demean the person whose statements you are refuting. I want us all to play nice, okay? Consider your hands slapped... and you know who you are!

Guest Teen Post

The following opinion was written by Elysa's oldest child, 14 year old (15 in Nov) "A." I am quite fond of this girl. When she was 5 and my son was 6, "A" came up to me after church on Sunday and informed me that my son, along with the other boys, would not allow her in their club and that they were hogging the play equipment. I told her to tell my son that I said to let her on the equipment. She came back and told me that my son had hit her. I went and got my son and had a little talk with him. He refused to agree to tell her he was sorry because he said he wasn't. I went over to the merry-go-round where "A" waiting and I told her that my son wasn't going to apologize right then but that he would soon and that he would be really sorry when he did. She looked at me in all seriousness and said, "Good! If you allow him to act this way he will grow up to be a man who abuses women!" She was 5 years old!!!

Politics, or, We Don't Know Anything Anyway

This political year has been of special interest to many people this year. History has been made several times over. Not only do we have the first big contender for presidency of African heritage, but also, a woman has been picked as the Vice Prez for the other big contender.

Oh yeah, you know who I'm talking 'bout now. Barak Obama and Sara Palin.

Obama had his speech-when was it?-a week ago? *yawn* It was soo boring. You'd think that someone who's had so much of his running steam based off his likability and eloquence would at least have an interesting speech. But no, that was too much for Obama at his acceptance speech. Now, my family and I are not Obama supporters or Dems, or even liberal. We're pretty core-line conservative, but I at least wanted to hear if Obama could say anything interesting and was disappointed when he didn't. Now, I know I'm too young to vote in this election. But I'll be of voting age next time, and if Obama wants to run again, he should be adding my generation into his calculations. And actually many of my friends and peers have watched and payed some attention to this race. If for nothing else, 'cause Obama's black and Palin's a woman.

Yes, many of my peers who wouldn't be able to tell you any candidates during any previous race have payed a good amount of attention to this race. It's interesting to us. Man against woman, minorities against majorities, rich against poor, oh wait, forgive me, both candidates are rich (regardless of what Obama tries to say.). It's the ultimate no-no race. It's pulling up all the taboos you're supposed to leave untouched. Everything from racial and gender issues, to teen pregnancy and the handicapped.

Which brings me to another thing. The media's having this freaking feeding-frenzy over Sara Palin's daughter being pregnant at seventeen. Why? I mean, it's not like Palin told her daughter, "Go have a good time getting knocked up tonight dear!" It was her daughter's choice. She's seventeen. More than capable to realize what she's doing and what the consequences are. She's dealing with enough, so is it too much to ask for them to leave the poor girl out of it? Yes of course it is. This is politics after all. Just as vicious as Hollywood, with far more important things in the balance.

Now I know that Sara Palin isn't the one up for presidential candidacy, but I'm sorry John McCain is boring. Yeah, he's got the whole soldier-and-POW thing goin' for him but, let's be honest here, there's nothing about him that just smacks you from the first and makes you go "Wow. That's really different.". Now, maybe he has something in his speeches or policies that is cool or special or something, but I am after all a teenager. And everyone knows we don't pay any attention to politics

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Governor Sarah Palin's Speech

First of all, I want to say that I want Mike Huckabee to come tell me bedtime stories and tuck me in bed at night.

And... oh my goodness! That little Piper is so adorable I could eat her with a spoon! I melted into a puddle when she licked her hand and slicked back her baby brother's hair. Absolutely precious!!!

And... I think I want to be Sarah Palin when I grow up.

Okay, give it up. What are your thoughts? I will add my more grown up thoughts later.

Roland says:

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."

Hee Hee.

Mr Obama? This is UPS calling. We have a delivery for you from Sarah Palin. It's labelled 'Your Ass, handed to you.'

Liam says:

I thought as a speech it was a very good speech... she exceeded my expectations... of course as many people said the bar was set so low for her that so long as she didn't trip on stage it would have been a success.

I did think it was a bit too mockery-filled... Rather than bringing people together, mockery only serves to stratify them more. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities." Riiight... Except while a community organizer was keeping someone's house from being repossessed, you were the mayor of a town of 9,000 trying to fire the librarian for not banning books. While a community organizer was trying to get retraining for a steelworker who was laid off the job, you were putting your 'small town' deeply in debt to the tune of $20mil. While a community organizer is trying to keep kids off the streets and from killing each other, you were firing the police chief of Wasilla and was almost recalled. And btw... She's comparing two different time frames...

When she was Mayor of Wasilla (96-02), Obama wasn't a community organizer, he was a state senator.When he was a community organizer (1985-1988), Palin was in college at University of Idaho. When Palin was mayor she ran up $20mil in debt and managed to secure $27mil in earmarks for Wasilla (doesn't McCain abhor that?).

Stephanie says:

Well let's see... I thought she had presence, that is for sure. And I was really excited to see a woman up there with a growing family. Many would say she was not qualified because she was a mother. She has a beautiful family and should be proud. I was a bit surprised that she had a baby. Yikes, how can you become somebody in the political realm with a child less than a year old? I was just getting over the depression and trying to figure out how to juggle. I think it probably helps that she has older kids.

I think that McCain is hoping that having a woman in his VP slot will even out the balance of the historic circumstances Barak brings as the first African American on the ticket for president. But really I would be more apt to vote for the Republican ticket if Palin were running for President. As is, she will be the bulldog that gets to say the more nasty things about the competition while McCain keeps his hands clean. She could be better than that.

Mostly, as a tuned in and quickly out repeatedly to the convention I was struck by the meanness of it all. The Barak bashing was just appalling. (Again, I did not watch the Democratic convention much either so if McCain bashing was happening as much I would have been as annoyed.)

In terms of Palin's speech, it was entertaining and riveting but it carried little substance except for the manure continually slung at Obama.

Two Dogs says:

Not to mock Liam, but when Palin was Mayor of Wasilla, every single spending bill was voted on by the town and passed overwhelmingly. They are called "bond issues" and that is how spending increased, the citizens voted to improve schools and roads because businesses were expanding at rapid rates STRICTLY because of policy introduced by Palin. Individual expenditure increased by seventeen dollars per YEAR! She grew the town. You know, THAT is the difference between actually having executive experience and just lying about having executive experience.

Weird that Liam didn't point out that as GOVERNOR of Alaska, Palin reduced property taxes by 60%. Is Liam doling out selective information? No, that 60% reduction in property taxes was not included in his talking points e-mail.

And let's just call the "community organizing" what it is really. Obama was a mercenary in the class and race wars. That is all he did, incite violence on Chicago's Southside. He was not hired to help poor folks EARN their way from proverty, he was there to create anarchy, hate, and discontent. Doing this promoted one thing, VICTIMHOOD in a people that need help and inspiration from someone that is not trying to pass out alms from the ruling class, but someone that is trying to pass out motivation from the working class. End of accomplishments, sorry FAILURES.

The Obama points? He has executive experience from running a presidential campaign. "My experience that is needed to BE president comes from me RUNNING for president!" What a moron and sheeple fall for it every time. Obama is middle America? Yeah, that is exactly why McCain said that middle class makes five million a year, as a jibe at Obama making 4.2 million a year. Did the media point that out? Of course not, the fifth column needs Obama to further misinform and oppress the masses. Gosh, we cannot have normal people reporting the news and running this country! It's too important to allow the unwashed masses to have a voice!

The population of a small town outside of Anchorage became the major bedroom community for the city. It is now the fourth largest city in Alaska, how big is Hyde Park, the millionaire enclave in Chicago, where Obama lives behind his gated walls, keeping the real Chicago at bay? Hyde Park reminds me of the way that the towns of the Darks Ages were built. Kings in luxury, blacksmiths in ruins. Think about that, please.

The attacks on Sarah Palin from the Democrats tell you that she is to be feared and that is exactly what Democrats feel. They cannot have NORMAL people trying to run the government, those lower class folks are not smart enough to know how to spend their own money. It's MADNESS! Just like cockroaches that steal food from your kitchen at night, they scurry when the light is turned on to their game plan of theft and redistribution. They promote people becoming deadbeats and government slaves.

People should abandon Moveon.org and actually do the research necessary about situations they do not understand instead of getting their news in an e-mail from people in Europe. Europe sucks, travel there and see if you do not believe me. Paris smells like the Porta-Potty row at a tractor pull. Oh, you can't afford to jetset like Barry Obama because over 50% of your salary is taken away from you and given to people that do not work! Just saying.

The Palin speech, nothing special to me. Yes it was rousing at times and her's makes Obama's delivery look like some ham-fisted elitist being controlled by the puppet-masters of the Party, the Royal Party. Wonder why Barry found the need to deliver his acceptance speech right down on the porch of Tara? Because he is the plantation ruler and we are the cotton pickers.

The reason that most normal people enjoyed Palin's speech is because SHE believes in most of what she was saying and she knows what it is like to get crushed under the wheels of big government and taxation, she has FIVE KIDS and a fishing business! To think that this wasn't just a political speech is wrong, it was focus group tested to reach the people for whom it was designed. Conservatives had no one in this race, it was an election between the farthest left fringe and dregs of society and the very center, now WE have someone that we can herald. Granted, there is not much that a VP can do, least of all one that is serving in a McCain administration, which will be moderate at best. Yes, you know that McCain is much better for our country than Obama, no matter how much you do not like John, but you have the guilt that Obama's campaign and every major media outlet has been browbeating you with since day one back in 2002. They continually screech, "Poor, poor Obama! He is sacrificing himself to save us!" I feel sorry for him, too, but it is because he is so sandpoundingly dumb and you see it, normal people do. Refuse to acknowledge that Obama has half-black blood and look at him for what he is, you are NOT a racist if you do not vote for the black guy, you are a racist if you VOTE for the black guy. He is just another cynical America hating elitist, silver spoon fed by radicals that never worked, that continues to hate everything that is important to you, and who has a belief system that is contrary to our country's intent. Ignore McCain as well, the Democrat VP pick, wait, does anyone really remember who is on the bottom of Obama's ticket? No, Joe Biden was important for two minutes for the first time in his life. When Biden comes back out to start his gaffing carnival laughfest, watch how BITTER and CLINGY he is. This guy hates us.

The fact that the producers of this massive RNC production actually let her say the words that every single person (NOT IN SPECIAL ED!) is thinking could possibly be the break that we plebians are waiting for.

There is HOPE, but it is not now, nor has it ever been with the Democrat Party, we can go all the way back to every single bit of oppression that is the basic platform of their party. Maybe Palin is going to institute the change that we need, but it is probably still years down the road and that is only if the corruption in Washington doesn't do to her what it has done to Obama, Biden, and McCain.

Obama represents change? Where? how?

The Republican National Convention

Is anyone watching it? I did catch Laura Bush, President Bush, and Fred Thompson. Actually, I was still watching during Lieberman's speech but I just could not focus on what he was saying and follow it. I don't know if I'd hit my limit for the day or if he was just boring or what.

Truthfully, the conventions are so boring. You already know the outcome. I get tired of all the talking and clapping. Not to mention all the commenters going back and forth before things get started and then again after. S.N.O.R.E.

I did really like the piece they put together to honor the Navy Seal that threw himself on top of grenade. That made me cry.

Anyway, what are all your thoughts on it? Anything in particular stand out in the speeches? I found Fred Thompson a bit entertaining. To me everything that was said was predictable though.

*editing to add: I will be parked in front of my TV tonight, wide-eyed and bushy tailed, to see Governor Palin's speech.

Liam said:

I'll probably watch tonight to see if the trainwreck that is the Palin candidacy actually crashes in her first real speech...

Lieberman turns my stomach. Aside from the fact that he talks through his nose... He claims to be a Democrat, yet refused to abide by the Democratic primary... He'll be stripped of his Democratic committee seats...

Stephanie said:

I find the convention are just pep rallys. I didn't go to them as a kid in H.S. and I don't watch them now.

I just happened to be flicking through the channels during the voting process for Obama during the Democratic Convention. I found how each state represented themselves very amusing. I was actually tuned in when Hillary made her motion to choose Obama by concensus. I thought that was quite interesting too.

I can't help but question every word that comes out of politician's mouths. I am constantly asking why they said it that way, who are they trying to appease or win over and what the timing of a comment means, as well. Oh it makes my head swim. So instead of putting myself through that I keep my TV set tuned to less mind boggling things.

I also do not like negative politics. If you can't win based on what you stand for... then you better hang it up. I am not going to vote for someone based on the fact that they are NOT someone else. I want to know what you stand for and why. Not what you don't stand for.

Two Dogs said:

I agree with Liam, hopefully Lieberman WILL be stripped of his SENATE (not Democrat) seats with a sanity rout like 1994. Just because Lieberman has some kind of grip on morals, he is unwanted in the Party of the Morons. Just because he is not left of the ONE admitted socialist elected to the Senate, like Obama and Biden, he is cast aside by the lemmings.

I do not watch the conventions because they are the same as Apple Jacks commercials. Records can only be found by personal investigation, which any novice can do regarding any one of the candidates. Witness the DNC, was there any mention that all the party stands for anymore is unlimited killing of the unborn and unlimited government handouts to the morons? No, because they cannot come out and say what their platform is. Normal people would cringe. Why do the morons hate Palin, because she has never had an abortion and doesn't want everyone else to have one. Know that that fact is the only thing that will allow Democrats to respect a woman. She must have killed a child or vehemently supports the killing of children.

The RNC is no different though, it is a sugar-coated lovefest that panders to people that want their political platforms spoonfed to them with lies. The Republicans used to be the party of fiscal restraint, no more. We cast out Newt Gingrich like yesterday's trash and to hear him now is to yearn for the days of old when our Congress was not advocating confiscation of our entire income.

The real weirdness in this election cycle is that the Republicans have nominated McCain for president and he represents the overwhleming majority of people in this country, including only four short years ago, our national media, those that are ambiguous with their politics. Not me, by the way, I am conservative, that is why Palin is the only person in the race that is remotely attractive, philosophically and physically. Sue me, I like smart, pretty women. Who doesn't?

Barry represents the hard left that proved they are idiots and dictators by killing millions and oppressing the rest in the USSR. Universal healthcare, crap, how stupid can one person be?

Who controls Barry? THESE PEOPLE. Yes, they are for reals, yo. And they vote.

Roland said:

Fred Thompson's speech was funny, vibrant and beautifully delivered. The guy should be in television (oh, wait...)

I can't wait to see Palin's speech. I totally disagree with Liam. I think she'll do great.

Meet Stephanie of Things Fall Apart - The Making of a Mom

Stephaine is a 43 year old stay at home mom. She is originally from Massachusetts. She is a second generation product of Italian immigrants. She has a Bachelor's degree in English from Regis College in Weston, Massachusetts. Regis is a Catholic women's college. Her time at Regis showed her how women could lead, think and be without the competition of men in the classroom. She lived and worked within a psychiatric rehabilitation center in Massachusetts called Gould Farm where staff and "guests" together manage a self sustaining farm community. At Gould Farm all community members contribute to the well being of members by producing food in the gardens, milking the cows, and cutting wood for heat. Stephanie was the Clinical Coordinator for the 40 bed program in Boston which allowed people from the Farm to graduate to more independent living. During her time working for Gould Farm she experienced many ways in which God touch and healed people in psychiatric distress through the love and inclusion of community. Stephanie felt called to continue her education at Vanderbilt's Divinity School where she earned a Masters of Divinity Degree. She worked as a chaplain on the Pychiatric ward of the the Nashville VA Hospital and also worked as Development Coordinator at the Pastoral Counseling Centers of TN. During her time at the VA she met and maried her husband. Together they have three children, 7, 5 and almost 3. Stephanie stays at home with her kids and is planning on going back into clinical training for Pastoral Counseling when her youngest child starts school.

I did not put anything in here about my political leanings... not sure if you wanted me to be that implicit. I do have 2 bumper stickers on my car... I Miss Bill and God is not spelled GOP to give you an idea. *smiles* (that bit was included in her e-mail to me and I decided to throw it in!)

I am very interested in Stephanie's opinions on things! What a background, eh?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Just to Let You Know...

I've highlighted what I've had to say in several areas. When I add contributors views to posts and then comment on them, my comment will be in red. That way if someone had already read that post earlier before the new stuff was added they will notice it. Don't worry, I don't see myself as Jesus.

Meet One Salient Oversight... or OSO

My name is Neil Cameron. My internet name is "One Salient Oversight". People have struggled over the years in what to call me. Some call me Salient, some call me Oversight or even "Mr Oversight". No one calls me"One", though. I prefer "OSO" because it is short and you can't mistake the three letters for anything but me, so call me OSO.

I'm 39 years old. I live in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Newcastle is the largest non-capital city in Australia and is locatedabout 160km (100 miles) North of Sydney on Australia's East coast.

I was born and raised in Sydney. I moved to Newcastle in 2000 just before the Sydney Olympics.

My wife is Anna. We married in 1993. She is 38 and is a Social Worker but at the moment is looking after our children and her sick mother (who has cancer and may die in the next 12 months).

My own employment path has been a bit more "interesting". In the late 1980s I worked as a purchasing officer for a company that made high-tech medical ultrasound equipment. In 1992-1993 I went to Sydney Missionary and Bible College and in 1994-1995, I worked as an "apprentice pastor" at our Sydney church. In 1996 I went to Macquarie University to study to become a High School teacher.

Since 2000 I have worked as a "substitute teacher" in Newcastle. Since then Anna and I have had two kids. Aiden (born in December 2000) and Lillian (born in March 2005). We don't plan on having any more.

I am a "self-taught" economist. Whilst at University studying History and English literature I would often sneak off to the library and lookat economic stats.

During my time at university, the Howard government came into power and made some amazing economic changes, most of which I supported. When I left university I was probably more economically and politically conservative than when I entered, despite having leftist lecturers and tutors for that whole time.

After university I began swinging politically and economically to the left, probably as a result of the Howard government's big flaws (racismin the early days followed by persecution of immigrants). Moreover, since 1996 I had created a series of economic ideas that, unbeknownst to me, were actually quite leftist. The more I learned about economics, the more ideas I ditched but the more I came up with. Some, like a zero unemployment idea formulated in 1997, have gone unchallenged by what I have learned since then.

Since that zero unemployment idea I have also formulated a defence of zero inflation monetary policy and created a zero tax system. I read somewhere on the internet that brilliant people don't realise they're brilliant, they just wonder why everyone else is so stupid. I say this because there are only two conclusions I can come to about my economic ideas - I am either so brilliant that I will one day win the Nobel prize in economics, or I am a complete crackpot. I am not, however, so conceited as to rule out that second possibility.

I am a regular "guest contributor" on the "Angry Bear" blogsite, a "left of center" economic and political blog run by real economists. I guess if I was a total crackpot they wouldn't be publishing my articles.

Politically I fall into a "Centre left" category which means that if Iwas in the US I would probably vote for the Democrats but remain an independent voter. To find out more about my basic philosophy, look up"Social Democracy", "Ordoliberalism", "Social Liberalism"and "Social Market Economy" on Wikipedia, all of which give a broad description of my political stance. The political/economic philosophy of "Democratic Socialism" is the line which I won't cross into because I do not see anything at that point or left of it as workable. Socialism andCommunism have been gigantic failures and I wouldn't vote for a party that espouses them.

In essence, I believe that government, as representatives of the people, should create a broad regulatory environment for the market to flourish in without favouring one market/business over another. What the market cannot produce well by itself the government should either help with or replace. I also think that the government should get out of areas that the market can do better. I believe in free trade and I support supranational entities like The EU and UN.

Anyway, I've written too much.

If you are wondering why I've asked an Australian to be a contributor it is because I am interested in the views of others that are not American and live in places where their government system is different from ours. We can read about other governments and how things work but I think it is much more interesting to hear from someone who is actually living within that system about their personal experiences and how it works in their every day life. OSO also seems to have a grasp on other countries other than just Australia and the U.S. Like I do with all of the contributors, I look forward to what he has to say.

Meet Elysa at Musings from Graceland

Elysa Mac has been married to her former green beret "hunky hubby" for over 17 years. They have 7 children and are living out the adventure of homeschooling them on a hobby farm in the deep South. While her husband grew up in California and Canada not becoming an adopted son of the South til the late 80's, Elysa was born and raised in the same Southern state except for a couple of summers spent in California and the Chicago area when her dad worked on research at national nuclear laboratories. Since graduating from high school, she's lived in Israel and Swaziland, Southern Africa doing missions work primarily with children and teenagers. She's a graduate of Mississippi University for Women and says that her degree in Family and Human Development has obviously been put to good use. Elysa remembers giving her first political speech as part of a class project in junior high and got involved with her first campaign when her dad ran for office while she was in high school. During college, she got involved in the college Republicans during Reagan's campaign and continued to become more politically aware from that point on. After returning from Africa and marrying in the 90's, she started listening to Public Radio and Rush Limbaugh, initially, so she'd have "smart" things to talk to her brilliant engineer hubby about at the end of the day. After leaving her job as a mental health case manager to become a SAHM, she got involved with her area Young Republicans and would tote her baby up to the meetings in her car seat and push her around the neighborhood in her stroller hanging up campaign signs. She participated in political rallies and other campaign activities as well as becoming a frequent caller to a local radio talk show and even a guest co-host a few times. Over the years, her political activity has slowed down as the family grew but she continued to be a political news-junkie. This election cycle had left her frustrated and disappointed until McCain chose Sarah Palin as his VP running mate. Now she is energized and ready to not only vote out of duty, but vote with enthusiasm and spread the word about our need to fight for the right during this election...and make sure that McCain gets the message loud and clear that true conservatism DOES have a place in his administration.

What Elysa doesn't tell you above is that she is homeschooling her seven children and is a homeschool support group leader. She is also very involved in her church, an inner city outreach, and she returned to Africa with her two oldest girls earlier this year. I am honored to know her personally (I even got to be there when baby #5 was born!) and I love and miss her entire family very much! Elysa shares about the ministries she is involved in on her blog, Musings from Graceland. She also loves her some big hair, bright lipstick, funky colored nail polish, makes the best popcorn in the world and is tons of fun!

My Thoughts on the Palins Personal Life

It is a sad fact that when someone steps into the spotlight in this country that every little detail of their lives is brought up and examined under the microscope. I admire those that step forward knowing that fact. I am finding how all this plays out quite interesting.

I will admit that when I first heard the news that the Palin's daughter is pregnant that my heart sank because I knew how some would react to that news. Being the mother of a wayward daughter, I know first hand the judgement that comes with it. Laying the election aside, I can't help but feel a sadness for them. So often people use children as a barometer to measure the success of the parents. I've been guilty of it myself where others are concerned and then for myself when things have gone awry in my own home. There is no such thing as perfect parenting and there is no such thing as perfect kids.

I am troubled by the fact that some are saying that Sarah Palin obviously needs to be taking care of her family. I wish I could say that I am surprised by that, but I am not. It carries the assumption that if a mother works outside of the home that she is incapable of effectively caring for her family and if something goes wrong in her family she is somehow to blame. We made the decision for me to stay home with our children and, initially, just until they were all in school. I did go to work full-time for a relatively short time. I enjoyed my job very much, however, in the end we decided to have me come back home. During that time I did not stop caring for my family. It just looked different than it did before and in some areas it was an improvement. During that time that I worked we sat down and ate together as a family every single night. I also actually kept up on the laundry because I knew I didn't have the time to get caught up later if I got behind. Many women have to work. It is offensive to me for people to make the assertion about any woman that if they work that any family problems are because their family isn't their priority.

As for the Palins' pregnant daughter... It is always interesting to me when that happens that it is assumed that something went wrong in the home. Does no one remember being young? When you are a teen you lack the life experience to see beyond your current circumstances. Does no one remember what it is like to fall in love? Does no one remember being carried away with passion for someone? Uh... hello??? I don't know about y'all but when my babies were made, and I was pregnant before we got married, it had nothing to do with my parents or some lack of time, attention or affection from home. I was in love. Pure and simple.

I am also disturbed by some of the asinine assumptions that Palin is somehow responsible for her child being Down's. I even heard about some wondering if she'd received the proper pre-natal care. Wow. I have an aunt who just turned 51 on Saturday who is Down Syndrome. She suffered some additional brain damage when she came down with Scarlett Fever as a teen. She has never been able to care for herself. Does that mean she is less than? Is her life of no value and is she nothing more than a burden to our family? Why is having a child who is born disabled seen as a tragedy and something one is forced to endure?

I also don't think that this will affect the election. It is nothing more than the airing of dirty laundry... and so far, the laundry really ain't that dirty.

*On posts such as this one where I am just stating my opinion I am going to leave the following discussion in the comments. However, if I feel a comment should be brought out and put into the post, I will do that.

One Salient Oversight had this to say:

Okay, why did McCain choose Palin? He chose her as a way of wooing social conservatives such as Evangelicals and Dobson followers.

All the Christian blogs I have visited since the announcement were effusive in praise for the decision and many felt that the election had become far more interesting to them.

*It's certainly a lot more interesting to me!

In that sense, the decision by McCain worked - it got evangelicals VERY interested.

Nevertheless, amongst social conservatives there is an assumption that what is practised in Christian homes should be practised by the nation's leaders. Criticisms were made about Clinton's immorality, for example.

My personal belief is that while Palin is responsible for Trig's birth she is not responsible for his disability. There was always a risk that this would happen in an older woman's pregnancy, but, in the end, no woman is "responsible" for any problems her baby might have (except for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome of course).

Is Palin responsible for her daughter's pregnancy? In one respect her daughter is responsible for her own actions, but on the other hand she is not old enough to meet the standard criteria of "adult" (which is an arbitrary age of 18). She is living under her parent's roof, which means that some responsibility must be assumed.

*I agree to a point. I also have three teenagers and know first hand that you cannot control everything where they are concerned.

However, my personal feeling is, again, that this is something between the Palin family and God.

But why are social conservatives so willing to defend "their" candidate while being condemning of the opposition one?

John Edwards was panned for being unfaithful to his wife by commentators on Hannity and Colmes. Sean Hannity went ballistic, saying that this unfaithfulness proves that he would unreliable as a president. Colmes then pointed out that McCain was an adulterer too. Hannity responded by saying that he was a POW - as though being a prisoner of war justified his adultery.

*In my opinion, I have a hard time being able to trust a candidate that has been unfaithful because we Americans are mainly just a faceless mass. If a man/woman cannot be faithful to his/her spouse... a person that they are intimate with and love and have had children with that would be affected by the unfaithfulness... how can you believe that they will be faithful to the faceless masses? There is nothing, to me, that justifies adultry. If you are that unhappy get out legally and then move on.

Does it bother me that McCain was unfaithful? Yes. Does it cause me to question his integrity? Yes. The fact that he has been married to his second wife for 30 years also counts though. People make mistakes.

There's a meme out there called "IOIYAR" - "It's okay if you're a Republican". If Sarah Palin was a pro-choice, Democratic candidate, would a pregnant teen and a disabled child be grounds for social conservatives to argue that she is not fit to be VP? I have a feeling that they would.

*Sadly, you are probably right.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Palin to be a Grandma

It was announced that Sarah Palin's 17 year old daughter is pregnant. The kids are planning on getting married and having the baby.

Questions:

1. What do you think about that?

2. Do you think this will affect people's decisions negatively/positively?

Two Dogs answers:

1. My heart goes out to them, hopefully the young man is built pretty much the same way that Bristol's folks are. Personally, I am not as disappointed as her parents probably are, but yes, I am disappointed. Does it change my opinion of her mother? Not in the least. I am pretty sure that Sarah was pregnant before she got married, too. And that has turned out swimmingly. Maybe Barry thinks that Bristol is getting punished with a baby, but I do not share that opinion. I also think that people in the normal areas of the country mature more quickly than the idiots on Manhattan or in Hyde Park.

2. There are some folks that will have a negative opinion of that, but I think the percentage will be small. Morons will not have their opinions changed because they need Barry to save them from themselves.

An aside: Do you think that Todd Palin getting a DUI twenty-four years ago has a bearing on the election or perception of Sarah? Personally, I cannot imagine anyone living in Alaska during the darker months NOT getting a DUI. I used to drink at sundown, how could I regulate my drinking clock? They would have to lock me up for four months. I gots ta have sum lights and sum darks.

*I don't know why it would. How many years ago was it that Ted Kennedy was in that accident where the woman died?

One Salient Oversight answers:

If a friend gave birth to a child with a disability requiring constant attention, while having a teenage daughter pregnant, I would probably ask them to reconsider having a dual income family.

If Palin continues to run as VP, then I think she may be neglecting her important family life.

BLBeamer answers:

1. Congratulations to the Palins on their new grandchild. I hope their daughter's marriage succeeds.

2. I don't think it will affect anyone's decision. I think those who were likely to vote for McCain will vote for him despite this and those who oppose McCain will use this as just one more reason to vote for Obama.

Liam answers:

1. What do you think about that?

I don't really care other than the irony that her mom supports "abstinence only" sex ed in schools... Yeah, Gov, how's that workin' out for you?

2. Do you think this will affect people's decisions negatively/positively?

I don't think it'll affect anything one way or another, other than being one of a hundred straws that broke the camels back...

Roland answers:

I think it can't help but reflect badly on her, especially since she supports 'abstinence only' sex education. Clearly, it didn't work in Bristol's case (like it doesn't work all across America.)

I like and admire Sarah Palin a lot, but I have to admit I felt like agreeing with what Salient wrote:"If a friend gave birth to a child with a disability requiring constant attention, while having a teenage daughter pregnant, I would probably ask them to reconsider having a dual income family."

Meet BLBeamer

I was orphaned at age 41. I am married (30 years last month) to my high school sweetheart who happily also happens to be the finest woman in the world. We have one son who lives in central Washington about 120 miles from us. I am a Finance manager at a large aerospace company. I have an MBA from a small private college in Washington state. One of my hobbies used to be writing letters to the editor and counting coup when I got published. I've had letters published in the newspapers Seattle P-I, Tacoma News Tribune, Spokane Spokesman-Review and the magazines Liberty, National Geographic and I think also one affiliated with the Christian Science Monitor whose title escapes me. One additional bit of info may or may not prove of interest: I started and have left unfinished a study guide on Ludwig von Mises' magnum opus Human Action. This is a difficult book to plow through but I have found his insights into economics/human behavior to be illuminating. I am about 1/3 through the study guide. I don't know if I will ever finish it.

I'm happy to contribute comments to your blog when the feeling strikes me and time allows, but I don't think it would be fair to you (or my wife) if I committed to anything on a regular basis.

Personally, I have minimal interest in politics, per se, but I do have a high degree of interest in living my life without the government overly complicating it for me and others. My friend (One Salient Oversight) thinks that means I don't believe there is a role for the government in society. He's wrong, but I think he has a much higher level of confidence in government's ability to improve our lives, or in the altruistic impulses of politicians. We argue about that - a lot!


BLBeamer did not think a quote of Thomas Jefferson's that I posted here sounded like Thomas Jefferson. I did some checking and it was listed as a Jefferson quote here. He then went on to inquire about the quote by contacting the Jefferson Library and was told that it was, in fact, NOT a quote of Jefferson's. I was beyond impressed! I look forward to him sharing his views as he is able!

Meet Two Dogs of Mean ol' Meany

I grew up in small town Mississippi, the spawn of two hippies in 1964. I saw the liberal side of life growing up. Anarchy is not pretty. When I graduated high school, I went into the construction field and eventually ran my own company. Marriage, a solo kid and my life changed drastically. Wife bailed and I raised Junior on my own. I have watched as our public schools have basically become a cultivation center for idiots and leftist thought. Fourth grade condom classes, geez. That's a long way from the schools that I had, so he went to a private Christian school from fourth grade on. I pay property taxes for schools in my area and have no kids in school. How cute!

I went back to college at the age of 33 and received my architecture degree to move even further up the ladder. I am now self-employed yet again and currently pay 53% of my income in federal and state taxes, social security and Medicaid. That is insane!

My son starts college and now I am faced with the cost of a higher education Daddy makes too much money to get federal student loans, but barely enough to send him to school with out of pocket money. The cost of college has been priced damn near out of reach because 85% of student loan recipients default and that money causes everything to keep going up in regard to education. I cannot imagine what it would be like to try to send two kids to college.

The moral degradation of society and the lax standards of all of our government entities drive me up the wall. We re-elect people that we KNOW are corrupt. I thank the Lord daily that he took my grandfather when he did because I would be ashamed for Pop to see the downward spiral of our country because of increasing moral equivalency.

And I cuss too much.


Two Dogs is a say it like he sees it kind of guy. You don't have to worry about this Southerner sugar coating anything and you know exactly where he stands! His blog contains foul language and crude analogies, so ladies, you've been warned (men, you too!). He has graciously agreed to tone that down here on my blog when he contributes and I thank him for that. Personally, I look beyond that and see a man who is passionately concerned about our country and who really researches things. I always look forward to what he has to say about the political scene.

Meet Roland Hulme of Militant Ginger

I'm Roland Hulme, I'm 30 years old and I was born in Britain. I married my New Yorker wife five years ago and last year, we moved to America after four years in Winchester, England. This year, on the 4th July, our little Anglo-American son was born.

And if any of this is of interest to you (bloody hell, it's long. I've got a mouth on me, haven't I?)

I like American politics because it's so polarized - out of 250 million voters, only a tiny percentage actually swing between voting Democrat and Republican. It's those voters who make the difference - the country's fate rests with about 2% of the population!

When America started, it was decades ahead of it's time. Freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, the fifth amendment - even now, there are 'civilised' European countries that don't have these rights, and they've been cemented in American law for two centuries.

But now, in the 'modern age' there's been a reversal and many freedoms and rights we Europeans take for granted (like equality and protection for gay people) are being fought over by very conservative groups. For Europeans, this is weird because we're not very religious - and the idea of religion + politics is totally alien to us. Plus, of course, we're all happy clappy types who love everybody and think that gays can marry/sleep with/work for whoever they want and it's fundamentally wrong to oppose that.

And yet, to confuse you further, some of the 'old fashioned' ideas in America are great. The nation has this heritage as 'the land of opportunity' and people can start off with nothing and achieve whatever they want through hard work and talent. That's TOTALLY alien to Europeans, who generally 'know their place' and you don't get taken seriously unless you got born here, have this name, went to this university etc. (all French politicians, for example, went to the same university. ALL OF THEM.)

The freedom to succeed is one of the most attractive and scary elements of America. If you succeed, you reap the rewards (whereas, in Europe, you would be taxed to within an inch of your life.) If you fail, you have no safety net and nobody to blame but yourself (whereas in Europe, the government has welfare for even the least deserving people.)

You might not think it, but to Europeans, America is still the Wild West and I think it's all the better for that. It's a truly wonderful, beautiful, exciting country and I adore being part of it and am so proud that my son will grow up an American.


I'm sure you can see why I find Roland so very interesting! I look forward to what he has to say as we discuss things here on this blog and to what he has to say on his blog as things heat up on the political scene.