Tag: democrat

Random Thoughts

I sat down to write three or four different blogs tonight and I finally decided I just had too much on my mind.  So, in a shift from my normal style of topic based posts I am doing things a little bit differently.

Random Thoughts

Things on my mind:

1. I can’t believe that Casey Anthony was acquitted.  I am sorry but a mother (or aunt, or grandma or human being) does not lose their child for 31 days and not say anything to authorities.  Then there is the duct tape, emails, smells, the partying and pathological lying.  Just the fact that a case is based on circumstantial evidence is not a reason alone for reasonable doubt.  No prosecution’s case is perfect because usually if it is than there is a plea deal and no trial!  Reasonable doubt is not no doubt.  It just makes me sick that she could do this to her beautiful daughter and that she is getting away with it.  I’m sorry but it does.  Plus she was not found to be innocent.  I hate it when people say that . All she was found of is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  There’s a difference!

2. The debate of a debt ceiling has also been on my mind.  Unfortunately I think the Republicans will capitulate to the President and continue the status quo of debt without any guarantee of real reforms.  Cuts will be bantered about but no sacred cows will be touched, no real entitlement reform.  Neither party wants to be seen as the ‘bad guy’ that is hurting babies and senior citizens- how about who is hurting our entire country? The greater debt we sink into the weaker our country becomes.  The only thing that Obama seems willing to cut is defense- something very comforting with the 9/11 ten year anniversary quickly approaching us (even if he cut the entire defense budget it still wouldn’t make a dent when compared to entitlement reforms of medicare, medicaid and social security).  Now Moody is considering lowering our rating, which means the dollar gets weaker, while the Chinese get stronger.  Is that what we want?  Not me.  Come on Republicans- get some guts!

3. On an entirely different note- Can’t wait for the new Harry Potter movie to come out.  I wasn’t nuts about the last one because I felt it dragged a bit, but I am eagerly anticipating this final chapter.  Every review I have read is full of praise (97% on Rottentomatoes.com).   I am not a huge fantasy fan but I loved the books and have also thoroughly enjoyed the movies.  The performances, special effects, and screen adaptations are first rate.   Its nice to have one summer movie to look forward to.  It just wouldn’t be summer without it. Btw- my sister is seeing it like 4 times this weekend! Now that’s hard core

4. On another movie note I saw Woody Allen’s new movie Midnight in Paris over the weekend and loved it.  For some reason it hasn’t gotten much play but it is a whimsical and funny story of a liberal writer who arrives in Paris with his less-sincere fiance and her parents.  He wants to soak up the mystique of Paris (the photography is great- makes you want to go to Paris so bad!  Anyone interested?).  Meanwhile, the fiance is more interested with her pedantic professor friend who muses in a different sort of way- he is all about knowledge, even trivia, where the writer wonders about life and love.  One night he steps through time and ends up in 1920’s Paris and then meets his literary and artistic idols of the day such as Gertrude Stein, Picaso, and Hemingway.  The movie asks the question- would life be better if only we had lived in a previous golden age?

5. I must admit that coming back from my break has been harder than I would have thought.  I miss the ocean so badly it hurts.  Sometimes I pretend the sound of the traffic outside my apartment is the waves and then I almost don’t want to step on to the patio and have the illusion ruined.  Its been cloudy and gray here and yesterday I was feeling a little depressed.  I have also been struggling to get low blood sugar readings (they are ok) here like the I did in Hawaii.  It makes no sense because I ate terribly in Hawaii. I think it may be that I went longer without eating so my levels got low and just couldn’t rise as much as they do, even with mediocre food.  I have been back at the diet front; however, and I think I have already lost 1 lb.

6.  My trainer is setting up a boot camp system that will help me record my progress in ways besides weight loss.  Starting next Wednesday we are going to do a set of challenges (push ups, tricep  curls, crunches etc).  Then we will repeat the same things every 6 weeks with a small prize for improvement.  I am very excited about.  I am also on the lookout for long-term goals for this year, something sort of like surfing was for me the last 2 years.  Any ideas?

7. Read a book this week that was a real snooze (how do you make the end of the world so dull?  she does it!)  but one of the things that annoyed me is the author threw in a number of references of how lame Fox News is and how the President from Texas (obviously President Bush) is an idiot.  It didn’t have anything to do with the thoroughly boring story but it still annoyed me.  If you want to write an opinion piece call the New York Times, don’t write a novel and subject the rest of us unwillingly to it.

I also reread All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Its funny because you wouldn’t think an animal-phobe like me would like a story about a country vet but I do.  You see the story really isn’t about the animals- but the animal owners.  I counted over 40 different characters that Herriot creates throughout the book.  They are funny, sad, charming and totally delightful.  It is a terrific book- particularly for the light and airy days of the summer.  If you haven’t read it- read it!

8. Had a Chinese cooking lesson with my friends Taylor, Darcy and Melissa.  Was a lot of fun and totally what I needed to get out of my funk. We made egg rolls with pulled pork, pineapple, cabbage, carrots and scallions; along with wantons stuffed with real crab and cream cheese.  I even bought a fry daddy for the activity- something I’ve wanted for years and felt was too fattening.  Its still for a rare indulgence but it is healthier to fry at home.  Anyway, it was a good time and just what I needed.  Sadly I did not take any photos.  I always forget because other people in my family were always taking the photos. Plus, I’m kind of in between cameras right now.  I am still researching before I buy a new one.

9. I received, you won’t believe it, a REFUND from my eye doctor for a payment I had made previous to my surgery.  In order to work I had to pay  my doctor $1356- part deductible and part my 20%.  Well, I get my mail coming home and there is a refund check!  I call the doctors and they said the insurance company only applied $695 to the deductible so the rest was sent as a refund!  Who ever gets money back from the doctor? When does the insurance company cover more than expected?  Never.  I still can’t believe my good luck (and let’s be honest I was due for some good luck after the year I’ve had!)

10.  What did I do with that refund?  Well, I spent a small portion of it on an item I have wanted for several years- I bought a kindle!  Over the course of this trip I realized how much I wanted one and how tired I was of lugging around those heavy books.  I went ahead and ordered the 3G wireless and have been downloading up  a storm- mostly novels before 1923 which are free!  I have all my Jane Austen, George Elliot and Elizabeth Gaskell.  Its great!  I can also download all my audible downloads on the kindle at no extra charge.  I’ve always loved gadgets but come on the kindle is just fun!

this is supposed to look like I am deep in thought 🙂

Anyway, so those are my random thoughts for the day.  I love you all.  Thanks for listening to me ramble…

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Things I Like About President Obama

My  readers will probably be stunned to read this title of my post.  Clearly I am not a fan of most of the President’s policies and opinions.  I think the bailouts, TARP and the budget have been financial disasters.  I also have concerns with his views on abortion, health care, the environment, and other issues.   Still, with today being nearly a year after the inauguration  it seemed appropriate to mention a few things I admire about President Obama.

1.  I admire his life story.  I’ve read his book Dreams of my Father and found it very moving.  It is amazing that the son of a single mother and an absent father from Hawaii has made it to the Presidency.  Just the determination he showed to gain an elite education and a law degree would be impressive on its own, let alone becoming senator and then president.  Notice I didn’t mention his race as a point of praise.

Of course it goes without saying that his election as the first African-American president is a tremendous moment for our country. I was just reading a book about the Jim Crow South and find it amazing that things could be so different between 1950’s and today.  It gives a girl cause to hope for good things to come in the future.

Another aspect of his life story that I appreciate is his diversity.  Growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia has given him a real-life understanding of the world, and the way many foreigners view America.  While I am nervous about his views on global governance, I do think Obama’s worldview is helpful and admirable.

2. I admire his family.  From all I can gather he seems like a loving husband and father. He has frequently expressed his love for Michelle and the girls, which I love to hear. I think it is a good thing that the Obama’s have been out on a few dates as President and First Lady.  It sets a good example for other American couples.

President Obama has also came out in support of marriage to the chagrin of many liberal followers.  In the 2008 Presidential questionnaire he said:

“I do not support gay marriage. Marriage has religious and social connotations, and I consider marriage to be between a man and a woman.”

It would be easy for a man abandoned as a boy to repeat the destructive patterns of his father.  I admire that President Obama chose to be a transitional character and be a good father and husband.

One of my favorite quotes of his is about the family:

How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands of another child? How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom? How many are sitting in prison when they should be working, or at least looking for a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction? How many?

Yes, we need more cops on the street. Yes, we need fewer guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Yes, we need more money for our schools. Yes, we need more jobs and more job training and more opportunity in our communities.

But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child–it’s the courage to raise one.

3. I agree with his views on immigration.  I know this is a hotly debated issue but it is one I tend to differ from Republicans on.  I feel our current system is too difficult (my sister-in law was from Canada and it took her a year to get a greencard after marrying my brother and she had an attorney).  There are many hard-working, good people that deserve a shot at the American Dream.  If you look at the history of immigration in this country, the immigrants have always proven the doubters wrong.  They have always been a benefit to our country.  President Obama shares this view:

“For all the noise and anger that too often surrounds the immigration debate, America has nothing to fear from today’s immigrants. They have come here for the same reason that families have always come here–for the hope that in America, they could build a better life for themselves and their families. Like the waves of immigrants that came before them and the Hispanic Americans whose families have been here for generations, the recent arrival of Latino immigrants will only enrich our country.”

4.  I admire his desire to help the down-trodden, ill and hurting.  I believe he sincerely wants to help others with his programs and policies.  Do I agree with the actual policies? No, but I can still admire the heart that inspired them. Perhaps I am naive to their liberal wicked desires for control (or so many conservatives claim) but I prefer to believe the best in people until proven wrong.

I admire the desire of many liberals to relieve suffering and pain but the problem I have is that the cure often becomes worse than the disease. The government should be minimally involved in our lives- it should be just enough to protect rights and keep people from starvation and revolt.  Beyond that there are other, more effective avenues for assisting the needy, preserving the environment and educating our youth. It seems to me that the government works best as an overseer rather than a manager.  For instance, the national parks need some government enforcement to prevent wildlife poaching and destruction; however, the parks service is notorious for its terrible management of  park funds and other resources.

Those are the four attributes that come to mind immediately.  Perhaps I will add more later as I give it a bit more thought.  I’d love to hear your ideas on the President but be clean and as non-combative as possible!

Ps. If any of you are in Massachusetts vote Brown!

Tea Party

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My friends, you are reading the blog of a right-wing extremist. At least that is what the media would have you believe.  On April 15th I proudly attended a tea party held in Provo, Utah.  Along with 700-1,000 concerned citizens I gathered in the cold snowy weather to protest for the first time in my life.  As I have mentioned many times on this blog- I am not a die-hard Republican.  In fact, I have realized lately that I lean more Libertarian than any other party; however, I do not define myself by a party.  I define myself by my core values of faith, charity, integrity, hard work, and liberty.  I have a deep patriotic vein within me, and I feel the United States of America is a sacred land.  I believe it was founded by men inspired by God as a sanctuary for freedom.

What does freedom mean?  I don’t know what it means to you, and I could go on a mini-rampage about the various theories, but I will spare you.  I can tell you what freedom means to me.

One of my favorite books is called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs or Linda Brent.  In this stirring narrative Harriet Jacobs tells her story of fighting for freedom.  Even as a little girl Harriet Jacobs refuses to concede the idea she is a slave- that she is property.  Despite terrible trials she keeps the pursuit of freedom as an unending goal.  Eventually she ends up hiding from her owner in a garret under her grandmother’s porch for 7 years- watching her children grow up, unable to mother them or help in any way.  Why does she do it?  Because she believes that freedom is worth the price.  Of course, such a price should not be required of anyone, but it proves the point that freedom is a precious gift from God- worthy of sacrifice.

Harriet Jacobs wanted the chance to pursue happiness- to create her own life.  That is what she and many others fought for.  One of most famous phrases from the Declaration of Independence is:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

To me this phrase means that we are born equal and with the same potential for greatness- the same potential to pursue happiness.  This is something Harriet legally did not have but she created it anyway.  The triumph of her character would not be stifled.  Just imagine what she could have done without the grasp of slavery trying to throw her down. Amazing. In many ways our current President, Barrack Obama, is proof that the potential for greatness is available for any American.  He is the son of single mother who grew up in Hawaii.  Of course, he is also the first African American president.  Nothing stopped him from becoming a success.

So, back to my extremist activities.  I believe this country is great.  I want to keep it great.  I want to be able to pursue happiness- to be free to own a business, raise a family, or live singly and happy.  It is my opinion that the current over-spending in Washington is removing some of that ability from  my life.  They want to burden me with debt, regulation and my neighbors mortgage- something I resent as I have sacrificed to be debt-free. I feel strongly that 12.8 trillion dollars in debt (caused by both parties!) is drowning our country’s future.  My sweet nieces will not be able to pursue happiness the way I have and certainly not the way the founders intended.

We have become a country that has twisted the Constitutional idea of equal creation with equal outcomes.  Perhaps part of this is a result of the unequal beginnings groups such as African Americans, women, and other minorities clearly had.  For years they had an unequal opportunity to succeed; therefore, the outcome was inherently unfair.  Government intervention in such a situation is appropriate and fair.  Today’s situation is mostly different (and where it isn’t intervention is still appropriate).  For the most part, equal opportunities exist for all but naturally so do unequal outcomes.  This is part of life in a free society. The government has decided to step in and create equal outcomes, which is not only costly but it strips freedom from citizens under the guise of equality. Because we are unwilling to see people (and yes big corporations) fail we are piling on more debt each second.  We forget that part of freedom is the potential for unhappiness too.

It is my belief in freedom that pushed me to attend my first government protest- coined  a “tea party” by the organizers.  The tea party refers to the Boston Tea Party of the Revolutionary War, where angry citizens dumped tea in the Boston harbor because of the unfair tax Britain was imposing.  This was a violent act perpetrated by men who were angry at having their freedom to chose taken.  They were angry at being forced to pay for programs and a government they didn’t want or believe in. They felt their voice was marginalized and ignored.

In this modern movement the protesters ALSO FEEL MARGINALIZED AND IGNORED BY BOTH PARTIES.  Instead of doing something violent, however, these men and women including myself peacefully gathered.  I was proud to be there.  I was proud to be waving my sign, and I will never forget the moment of connection I felt with my country.  It was a great moment.

On a lighter note, it was also a lot of fun. I brought my sign and a couple of boxes of warmers and made friends with the crowd.  I even got a few hugs!  My friend Bethany Maddox and her family were there and we cheered together.  It was interesting that even in Republican Provo, UT there were democrats in the audience waving signs.  This is about anti-spending, not anti-Obama, or anti-Democrat.  It is about pursuing happiness which according to some very wise men is my “unalienable right”.  These were not weirdos or extremist as the media would have you believe.  It was men and women who want small government, want less taxes and believe both parties have let them down.  This is how I feel and I will do whatever I can to continue in this cause- even if it means running for local office down the road.  It is like they said at my rally as they announced “This is the end” someone said “No, this is the beginning”.  That is how I feel, so I guess this extremist is going to keep on being extreme until I see a difference.  I am going to do my part that’s for sure.

Jason Chaffetz (who I just love) spoke at my event and here is some  video I took of what he said.  (sorry you can’t see him and the camera is shaky but you will get the idea).

Here is Jason again.  I agree with what he is saying.  He is the kind of representative I believe in.

The tea party was wonderful!! I encourage all to take part in anyway you can.