Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blog Break

I need to stay away from the computer and concentrate on some other things (mostly housework... ugh). I'll be back on Monday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

HR 1

Two Dogs sent me a copy of HR 1 this weekend... nearly 650 pages. I've read a good deal of it. You should too. He has a link to it today up on his blog along with many other links y'all should check out.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Big Brother

I was just watching the world news on ABC. They had a segment on the peanut butter recall and said that Costco (or Sam's?) has instituted robo calls to those who have bought products that have been recalled between July of last year and January 20th of this year. They then played one of the calls... I froze. They can, with a click of a button, pull up every purchase you've made, have the computer search for items in question, and then call to notify you?

A couple months back I read an article in Sports Illustrated about how some college somewhere was having their athletes carry cards that they had to swipe everywhere they went on campus so that their whereabouts could be tracked. They also had to friend their coaches on facebook so that they could be checked for any references to drugs. Apparently, the athletes are viewed as an investment... or commodity, and therefore property of the college.

On Friday, my oldest daughter who just started school at our local community college showed me her student ID card. She then went on to tell me how she had to swipe it everywhere... the library, the computer lab, and all but one of the lounges. She's just a regular student... I will be asking my other daughter if her college does the same.

Over the years I've heard the religious people that are always hollering about this, that and the other. We all know how Y2K turned out. I tend to ignore what I consider to be extremism. However, listening to the robo call on the news and realizing the absolute enormity of such an endeavor really made me sit up! All of a sudden all the movies and tv shows where people are tracked instantly... everything all ready is in place.

I'm freaked out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Watch This!

I lifted this from Two Dog's blog, mean ol' meany. If this concerns you, get the word out and e-mail it to your friends and/or post it on your blog.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Here We Go!!!

Today marks the first full day of the Obama Administration. It is typical for a new incoming president to issue executive orders and/or overturn some executive orders, and/or federal rules, by a previous president.

Slate has published a piece on the top ten Bush executive orders that they believe Obama should overturn immediately here.

Tomorrow marks the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in the infamous Roe vs. Wade case which legalized abortion across the nation. As George Bush took office in 2001, he chose the 28th anniversary to reinstate the policy of Reagan and his father preventing federal funding to international family planning organizations involved in abortion support, either through performing the surgery, counseling on abortion as a family planning option or lobbying foreign governments on abortion policy. Clinton had lifted that ban in 1993. There is speculation that Obama may do the same tomorrow.

Many proponents for abortion rights commemorate and/or celebrate the Roe vs. Wade decision. I found a short article at mydesert.com which is located in Palm Springs, CA. Here is a portion of a comment that had been left:

Thank God we live in such a free society where a woman is allowed to make choices in her life free from shame and guilt thrown on her by centuries of religious practices. We are a shining beacon for the rest of the world because we let the Supreme Court define our freedoms and not a Pope or Caliphate or Patriarch. This does not make us evil or sinners for this.

As someone who is for limited government, I found this chilling. Those of us opposed to abortion are forced to participate in it through our tax dollars. If federal funding is released for international groups involved in abortion, we will be forced to support it not only here in our own country, but throughout the world. Anyone up for writing some legislation for a tax credit for those who are opposed to abortion?

Freedom of religion is in danger. More and more people are looking to our government to meet more and more of their needs... and to set the standard.

If you are like me, you have a hard time keeping up with who's who in Washington. I found this Obama appointees guide. It has pictures and a little blurb about each of them. Things of this sort really help me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Eve

Tomorrow we will wake to the dawn of a new era here in the United States. Barak Obama promises to be the change America needs and his followers see him as the embodiment of the hope he says they can believe in. The day every president has taken the oath has been momentous for our country and tomorrow will be even more so. I did not vote for Obama but I will give him the respect due his title. It is going to be an interesting four years.

As a Christian, I am very concerned by the direction our country has taken in the form of certain legislation. There is a growing animosity toward Christians that cannot be denied. I recently discovered that I was put on a right wing watch by gayagenda. The following comment was left for me on the site:

Dear Uneducated Housewife:

Your first mistake is believing that America was founded by Christians. It was not. A good portion of our founders had no belief in a God.

Your second mistake; believing that where the conservative people congregate has a disproportionate amount of intelligence. I beg to differ. I find that conservative areas abound in less education and reason than areas dominated by liberals. Yes, that’s right, when we get real education, we develop tolerance.

And further, the founders of this nation sought to separate church and state. Conservatives have fought in recent years to undo this. Not a good idea dear uneducated housewife, as this mistake will certainly come back and bite you in your ass when the Muslim wants their religion and it’s commands in a courthouse. If you do it for one, you must do it for all.

And furthermore, your own use of the term uneducated housewife shows how minimal your mentation really is. It fits you like a glove dearest. Wear it well, and enjoy the next four years of rebuilding this nation from the corruption that right wingers put upon the entire world.

Number one, I was not notified by this group that my blog had been put on their list. Number two, it was not made clear that the quote they pulled from the blog came from the comment section and was not written by me.

I initially began this blog in an effort to educate my kids and allow them to hear the views of others rather than my telling them. They, being teenagers, have not been interested and it has evolved into more about me writing about the things I'm thinking about in regard to our current political situation, asking questions of readers, and basically just trying to figure things out for myself. I've been very honest here as I've worked through different issues. I'm not, nor have I ever been, looking for validation. I've been looking to connect with those of differing views in an effort to better understand why they stand where they do on the issues I present.

The last several weeks I have really been thinking about whether I have the right to impose my beliefs on others through the votes that I cast. It is a trap that I believe many Christians are falling into. I do not hate gay people. I saw a preview for Prayers for Bobby starring Sigourney Weaver the other day. It is a movie about a Christian mother's inability to accept her son was gay, his suicide and her proclaiming his death was a direct result of his parents ignorance. It looks to be a very moving story and, as a mom, it made me think of how I would deal with things if I were in that situation.

I do not watch Oprah but I did catch part of one of last week's shows. She was discussing her weight gain and had several people on the show that had lost weight and then gained it back. This is something I, too, struggle with. There was also a priest on following up on some remarks he made on an earlier show. He had stated that being gay was a gift from God and it had sparked some controversy.

I understand that those who struggle with sexual confusion do not see it as a choice. I did not choose to struggle with food. However, we choose what we do with our individual struggles. I have lost weight many times only to gain it back. We've all heard the statistics and the claim that diets do not work. It is true that some people have a harder time controlling their weight. I know from my own experience that diets do work. It is when I stop exercising and start taking in more calories than my body requires that I gain the weight back. Food is necessary to our survival and unlike alcohol, drugs or sex, it cannot be avoided.

Our society worships sex. All you have to do is turn on your TV, glance at the magazines at the check out line, or notice the adds and billboards all around. Any expectation of restraint in this area is met with disdain. The line of what is socially acceptable is continually being pushed further back.

Last year a bill was passed here in Colorado that has become known as the Bathroom Bill. This new "transgender nondiscrimination" law makes it illegal to deny a person access to public accommodations, including restrooms and locker rooms, based on gender identity or the "perception" of gender identity. Churches, mosques, synagogues and any place used for the primary purpose of religious services are exempt from the discrimination clauses. However, it reads as if it only protects a person’s faith expression inside the church building, during the church function. If you are a Christian business owner you could be prevented from expressing your convictions anywhere, save an immediate religious setting. I've tried to find the reason for the bill being written in the first place, such as a case where a transgender individual was prevented from using a restroom, and couldn't find one.

I believe the reason legislation of this sort is being pushed through is an effort to shift the moral standard of Christians, as well as other religions, from their faith to the government. Our very ability to think for ourselves, worship and live out our convictions is under attack as just our personal views and votes are seen as oppression and a infringement on the rights of others. A Christian photographer in New Mexico was fined $6,000 for refusing to photograph a homosexual commitment ceremony. Christian firefighters in San Diego were forced to participate in a Gay Pride Parade. How is this happening? Could the very words I've written here today become illegal?

Fortunately my hope is not in men. I pray my fears are unrealized. I pray that I am able to live my convictions while imparting the love of Christ to all. And I will be praying for Barak Obama.

Thank You President Bush!!!


Friday, January 16, 2009

Mental Journey

I've been neglecting this blog... It is because I've been on a bit of a difficult mental journey. I needed to figure some things out for myself. I'm now trying to gather all those thoughts so I can share them here... just so y'all know where I am coming from. I'll try to get that together by Monday.

As for politics... I'm in a bit of a holding pattern. I've been keeping my eye on the happenings in Gaza. I've been avoiding speculation on what Obama is going to do. We're going to find out soon enough.

I watched the Bush exit speech last night and it made me very sad. Overall, I believe he has been an excellent president. He's taken some pretty hard blows and I hope that history acknowledges his strength of character.

So... as we head into the new Obama Administration... what are your hopes?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The 2009 Legislative Season

The 2009 Legislative Season opened here in Colorado this week. I've decided that this year I am going to be paying close attention to what is going on up at our capitol. Fortunately, we have a wonderful gal here who co-wrote Colorado state homeschool law and is a constant presence up at the capitol throughout the season and sends out news regularly. We no longer homeschool but do support parents' rights to do so.

I just spent too much time reading all sorts of things about some bills that were passed during the last legislative season. Namely, the "bathroom bill" and the "bible ban." I took the time to read both sides of the issues and am now cross eyed. It is interesting when you read the actual bill and then what both sides have taken from it. I can see how these passed but I can also see the concern over the wording in certain parts. All it takes is one case to set a precedent. I wonder what this year will hold.

I have a hard time focusing on local politics. We've moved around so much and it takes time to get things figured out. There really are differences between state and national politics and I feel I've been pretty unbalanced in this area.

Anything interesting coming up in your states?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vehicles to be Airlifted to Darfur for Humanitatian Aid

Sudanese Vice President, Salva Kiir, in the Oval Office with President Bush yesterday.

President George W. Bush announced on Monday the airlift of equipment and vehicles for the humanitarian effort in Darfur. President Bush has done more in humanitarian relief to Africa than any other president. Go here to see a video about PEPFAR which is an acronym for the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief. Please take the time to watch it. I think you'll be glad you did.

PEPFAR website

What do you see as President Bush's legacy?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Did I Bite Off More Than I Can Chew???

Lord have mercy! I've been trying to educate myself on the history of Israel and the current conflict with the Palestinians. It is mind boggling. There is so much history that is in play here! I decided to try to just get a basic grasp by looking at timelines. I really want to get this so I am going to have to take it slow. I pilfered these maps from CIA-The World Factbook. Unfortunately, they are hard to see on the blog.

I chose this map of the middle east to show the placement of the surrounding countries. I really need to be able to picture this while I am reading through things to help increase my understanding.

This map is a close up of Israel. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank are outlined with a dotted line.
During the 1800's there was a Zionist movement of Jews from around the world returning to Palestine to reclaim their homeland. The British ruled Palestine from 1918. In the 1930's Arabs revolted against the British and the growing number of Jews. The British were successful in putting the revolt down with the aid of Jewish militias. In 1948, the British finally pulled out of Palestine and the Jews declared the independence of the new State of Israel. There was a war between the Arabs and the Jews in which the Jews were victorious. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank did not become part of the new Israel state.
The Gaza Strip was initially annexed by Egypt. Israel went to war with Egypt in 1956 after conquering the Gaza area only to have Egypt retain control. In 1967 there was another war ending with a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel in which Egypt gave over control of Gaza to the Israelis. There was then a Palestinian uprising in the area during the late 1980's that resulted in a peace agreement (the Oslo Accords) which gave administrative control to Palestinian authorities in 1994.
*editing to add the Arab-Israeli War of 1973. This was an armed conflict between Israel, Egypt and Syria. Both sides suffered heavy losses but Israel maintained control. It is also called the Yom Kippur War by the Jews or the Ramadan War by the Arabs.
In 2005 Israel pulled completely out of Gaza in an effort to placate Palestinian forces. One year later, on June 25, 2006, Palestinian militants crossed into Israel and kidnapped an Israeli soldier. Israel invaded the Gaza Strip until a cease fire was declared in November of 2006.
In 2007 there was a short civil war in Gaza between Hamas and Fatah. Fatah (a reverse acronym for Palestinian National Liberation Movement) was founded in 1954 and led by Yasser Arafat until his death in 2004. Fatah is not recognized as a terrorist organization by any government. Hamas (an acronym for Islamic Resistance Movement) was created in 1987 by three members of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood. Hamas supporters see it as an armed resistance movement defending Palestinians from Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Hamas is a terrorist organization and state in their charter, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad." Fatah was forced out of Gaza.
With Hamas taking over the Gaza Strip the area has remained in conflict with them firing missiles and homemade rockets into Israel. Israel has responded with warplanes targeting Hamas military and political infrastructure sites with air to ground missiles. It needs noting that Hamas is closely allied to and supplied by Iran. In June of 2008, Egypt arranged a cease-fire. Hamas recently increased rocket attacks on Israel which led them to a major attack on December 27, 2008. For a timeline breakdown of what has happened each day since, go here.
There are those that believe that the attacks on 9/11 stem from the United States long history of supporting Israel. What do you think?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hello 2009!!!

It is a brand new year with some pretty interesting changes coming up for our country. Some of y'all have expressed that you are ready to move on from the recent topics on this blog. So am I.

I would like to pick my head up from the issues in this country and take some time to look at the world around us. Specifically, the long standing conflict between Israel and Palestine. I'd like to get to where I have a very clear understanding of the history as well as the current circumstances. Being a Christian, I am also interested in how it relates to prophecy.


What do you think about the role the United States has played in this conflict in the past and what do you think our involvement will be under the Obama administration?