Self-Sufficiency Series

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lookee what we got today!

I'm thrilled to introduce our new bull: NAMELESS


No, he won't remain Nameless, of course - it's just that we haven't thought of a name for him yet. Originally we were going to name him Conan the Bullbarian, but somehow that doesn't suit a red bull. I dunno, does anyone know any impressive figures from Irish mythology with less than three syllables? Nameless is an Irish Dexter bull, after all, so an Irish name might suit.


Anyway, the first thing a bull does when meeting his new harem is put on a bullish display of snorting, bellowing, pawing, grunting, throwing dirt or straw, and other mechanisms of machismo. It's best to not interfere with this, since once a bull is in the grip of testosterone, there's no reasoning with him.


Nameless is exactly one year old today (it's his birthday in fact).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Let's all give our President a grade!

A friend sent this to me:

OK! All you good conservatives, time for action. MSNBC the most liberal of networks has an online poll to grade Obama. They know we don't watch their network, and the votes will pile up from misguided liberals with high grades.

EVERYONE, click on the link below and give him the "F" he deserves. As of now he has 50% "A" grade from the liberals. We can drive this down.

FOWARD TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29493093/


UPDATE: The link has been removed. In fact, apparently it was removed shortly after I posted. Not that there's any connection, of course; instead, I have a feeling a lot of conservative bloggers posted simultaneously. Rather than drowning Obama in "F" grades, they removed the survey. Makes sense, right?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bumper snicker

When I want your opinion, I’ll remove the duct tape.

Chuckle du jour

I lifted this joke off the WND website:

Here's how to start each day with a positive outlook:

1. Open a new file on your computer.
2. Name it "Barack Obama."
3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.
4. Click "Empty the Recycle Bin."
5. Your PC will ask you: "Do you really want to get rid of 'Barack Obama'?"
6. Firmly click "Yes"

There – Don't you feel better now?

GOOD! Tomorrow we'll do Nancy Pelosi!


Personally I think I'd start with Nancy Pelosi...

Monday, April 20, 2009

The homeschool classroom...

Here's Daughter #2 taking advantage of some gorgeous early spring weather to do her French schoolwork on top the doghouse.

I hear milk baths are very good for you...

I had a busy weekend and didn't have time to make cheese. This is what my fridge looked like this morning. What you can't see are all the gallon jugs behind the front row - nine gallons in all. That doesn't count the two gallons on the stove right now being made into mozzarella.

Oy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No really! We're not biased!

A reader sent this. Let it be known that I've seen none of these people, as we don't get TV reception.

So let me get this straight, the liberals call Fox News right wing.

1. Dr. Mark Lemont Hill
2. Chris Wallace
3. Kirsten Powers
4. Alan Colmes
5. Shepard Smith
6. Bob Beckal
7. Greta Van Sustern
8. Geraldo Rivera
9. Juan Williams
10. Mara Liason

l just named ten liberals on Fox News. Name me three conservatives that work on ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, or PBS?

You could point this fact to liberals, and what's their answer? Bush's failed policies.

Liberalism truly IS a Mental disorder,

John in Helena Montana

Can you hear us NOW??

A reader sent this email:

Dear Mrs. Lewis,
As I was reading your column this week, I was struck with the idea that the next round of tea parties should be held at as many television stations, network office buildings, and newspaper headquarters as we can muster. Muhammad may not be willing to come to the mountain, perhaps we can bring it to him!


Hmmmm - not a bad idea!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

They're baaaAAAAaaack......

I tell ya, I thought we were rid of these jerks forever. They have tainted the image of north Idaho like nothing else. Who are they?

White supremacists. Possibly the single most hated group in these regions - except, evidently, by the handful of idiots who join them.

Sigh. Shortly after we moved here (almost six years ago), I remember hearing about a parade or demonstration the Aryan Nation put on. Apparently they had news cameras on them like mad - and hundreds of protesters. Naturally the news cameras focused on the marchers, not the protesters, thus igniting the idea that northern Idaho is chock-ful of white supremacists.

Lovely.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Oooh - snark of the week!

I was just glancing over the Digg comments left on last week's column on homeschooling and my jaw dropped when I read one person's remarks. Take a gander at this:

I feel sorry for home schooled children - they will miss one of the most valuable assets in life - difference of opinion and source that leads to healthy debate.

In my opinion - Parents that insist that their kids are home schoolled since they dont like what the education system is teaching are guilty of child abuse.


Is it just me, or is the term "child abuse" thrown about with a great deal more carelessness than it was before? So a group of people who produce, as I wrote in my column, children who are polite, enthusiastic, happy, loved, well-educated and obviously well-adjusted....are child abusers? On what planet? (Unless it's Planet Liberalism...)

In what public school do children get "healthy" debate? Debate gets cut off whenever a kid mentions God, the Bible ("hate literature," remember?), the Constitution or Bill of Rights, morals, values, etc. And this person unwittingly gives a superb example of the kind of "healthy debate" he or she endorses - to throw a nasty, horrible accusation at someone who sincerely believes they are giving their children the best educational advantages.

Debate, eh? Yeah right.

Tea Party Pics

We attended a tea party in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho on April 15. A conservative estimate for the number of people attending is 1000. My girls had never been to a rally before and they loved it. They loved hearing the speakers and reading the signs. They loved the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd. And they enjoyed seeing a whole bunch of people whose opinions were similar to that of their parents.











Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jesus laughing

Apparently there is an anonymous artist in Florida who draws huge (the size of a door) pencil drawings of Jesus laughing. It only takes him 30 to 45 minutes for each one. Wow. Take a gander at these - I love stuff that shows Jesus' human side.

CORRECTION: A reader pointed out these drawings are done by an artist named Jean Keaton. What skill!







Monday, April 13, 2009

Warning: cartoon with *offensive* language

A friend sent this to me with the following note:

This is from a gal I know who teaches special ed. in New York. No kidding. And know what else she said? "I'd love to be able to say this!!! LOLLLLL"

I've debated the merits of homeschooling with her before, however, she's fully entrenched in the public school system and thinks everything is all the parents' fault. You know, much of it probably is-- especially the ones who use school as a way to get away from their bratty children. However, she can't see that the p.s. system is irretrievably broken. She doesn't WANT to see it. And, if she really feels the way she says in the cartoon, don't you think that perhaps SHE is part of the issue as well?

Ah, well. Can't fix everything or everyone, right? But the fact that a teacher felt the need to send this out to declare her feelings really threw me.


Sorry for the reeeallly bad word, but the cartoon is telling, at any rate.

Firearms salesman of the year

Apparently this poster was spotted in a Texas gun shop.



Yes!! Let's hear it for Obama! The more firearms in the hands of private citizens, the better!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More cute kid sayings

We've never allowed our daughters to use calculators during their everyday math work because we wanted them to have a sound grasp of the basics before becoming dependent on a calculator.

Well for pete's sake, our oldest daughter (she's 13) certainly has the basics down cold by now. On Friday, while figuring out the area of a circle (pi x r squared), she groaned when she realized she had made a slight miscalculation in multiplying a radius of 5.25. In other words, she had to hand-calculate 5.25 x 5.25, then take the product and multiply it by 3.14. Somewhere along the way she made a small error and got the wrong answer. Now she had to hand-calculate it all over again.

The purpose of the math problem was not to get her to use her multiplication skills. The purpose was to teach her to calculate the area of a circle. The laborious number-crunching was slowing her down.

"Hey guess what," I told her. "I know you know the math. I think it's time you can actually use a calculator to do the grunt work when crunching numbers." --and I handed her a calculator.

She took it reverently. "I think it's glowing," she said, awed.

Dunno, this just struck me as cute.

Out of the mouth of babes...

My 13-year-old daughter looked around at the packed church this morning during Easter services and whispered, "There's enough people here to do 'the wave'!"

Kinda nice, actually, to have so many people even if we never got around to doing 'the wave.'

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Signs of spring....

Last summer we salvaged an old shed:



Many years ago we salvaged some old windows someone had thrown out. Combine the two, and you have a makeshift greenhouse:



Just in time, 'cuz guess what came in the mail yesterday?


These are all our nonhybrid garden seeds. We ordered:

Pinto beans
Soldier beans
Green beans
Broccoli
Canteloup (two types)
Carrots
Corn
Popcorn (yes, I know not to plant two types of corn close together)
Cucumber
Lettuce
Onions
Peas
Pumpkins
Spinach
Paste tomatoes
Canning/eating tomatoes
Watermelon
Dill
Oregano
Thyme
Sage
Basil

We'll get seed potatoes locally.

Now all we have to do is put in nuclear fencing to keep the deer out, and we'll be all set.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Charming words from a fan

I received a lovely email this afternoon from a sincere fan:

I read your words about socialism and I have just one thing to say about them. YOU HAVE SHIT FOR BRAINS.

Bob M., Lapel, Indiana

(I won't embarrass him by printing his last name.)

Not sure if he's referring to this article, or this one.

Inspiration

A reader just brought the following Bible verse to my attention:

Ephesians 4:28

He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

Dunno, this just struck me as - well - sensible. As in, duh! Ain't it great?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Why didn't I hear about this?

The people of Russia donated a monument of staggering beauty in remembrance of the victims of 9/11.


While I won't go so far as to hint at a conspiracy of silence from the Left, I sure as hell would have noticed such a stunning monument as this if it had been all over the news - as it should have been.

Here's a brochure on the issue.

And this person...votes?

This is a SCREAM!!

Want to see a fabulous video? Check out this YouTube clip. What a hoot!

Here's another view of the same thing.

Leaves you smiling, I promise!

Cheese recipes

A lot of people are asking for cheese recipes. C'mon, guys, these things are pages long. I don't have time to type everything out. Have pity on me!

Seriously, all the cheese recipes I'm using came out of this book. Worth its weight in gold, IMHO.

NOT a Judeo-Christian nation? Who says?

I received this email today:

"SHOW OBAMA AND HIS POSSE...that we ARE a Judeo-Christian Nation! Send an empty white envelope to the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20500. If you are a Christian, draw a Cross in the return address space. If you are a Jew, draw a Star of David in the return address space."

You do not have to sign your name or use your return address...and the only cost is that of a stamp--send one, send many, but PLEASE send!! And pass this email along to all your friends and family!

I'm game.

Bumper snickers














Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Are we borgs yet?

I'm in my office, overhearing an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation being watched by Elder Daughter.

A borg is saying, "You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

It struck me that this sounds remarkably like what our current administration is attempting.

Just a thought.

Busy day today....




Took the car in for brake work. Home. Took the kids to music and sewing lessons. Wrote most of my WND column during their lessons. Home. Washed and hung two loads of laundry (windy and chillier today, hopefully they'll dry). Squeezed in history and math. Made a two-pound batch of cheddar. Made three pounds of butter. Made two quarts of eggnog. Made piecrust cookies.

Pooped.


From my cold dead hands....

A friend sent me this short history of gun control:

• In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
• In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
• Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
• China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
• Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
• Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
• Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
• Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own Government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

• Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent.
• Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent.
• Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent!).
• In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.
• Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!
• While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past twelve months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.
• There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort, and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

You won’t see these data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property. Gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens. During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED. The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson. With guns, we are ‘citizens.’ Without them, we are ‘subjects.’

Switzerland issues every household a gun. Switzerland’s government trains every adult to whom they issue a rifle. Switzerland has the lowest gun-related crime rate of any civilized country in the world. There is an effort in Switzerland at the moment to enforce a gun ban. It is based on the UN’s desire to disarm the world!

This is a no-brainer. Don’t let our government waste millions of our tax dollars in an effort to make all law-abiding citizens an easy target.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Conversations with a liberal

The following is an email conversation between my favorite liberal detractor, a very polite fellow who sends thoughtful emails from the liberal side of things. He’s replying to last weekend’s column on Selective Feminism.

Hello Patrice! You're absolutely right about how wrong many feminists are. The extremist ones are always making wildly exaggerated claims about women's "oppression," and some are guilty of misandry, the equivalent of misogyny. Radical feminist Marilyn French has stated that "all men are rapists, and that's all they are." And some of these feminist wackos actually believe that all sex between males and females, even between consenting adults, is rape and should be prohibited, and that all reproduction should be by artificial insemination.

But the "Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant, women's place is in the home" conservatives are just as bad. They want to roll back all the progress that has been made for women. They are a kind of American Taliban.

I recently read an interesting book by Phyllis Schlafly, of whom I'm no admirer, in which she mocks radical feminists, makes fun of the whole feminist movement, and completely distorts and misrepresents much of what feminists say and do. She just sets up all manner of straw men (or women).

For example, she claims that one of the bad things about feminism is that so many women no longer stay home to take care of their children, and pursue their own careers. Supposedly this has a very bad effect on children. Day care facilities are bad, very bad. Women should be at home taking care of their children.

But what she conveniently fails to mention is the fact that many married couples have to have double incomes, and they would never be able to get by otherwise. These are the economic realities of today. Get a grip on reality, Phyllis.

And I'm still convinced that homeschooling is a very problematical thing. If parents have the skill and ability to teach their children everything they need to know, then it's alright. But too many of these parents are members of the evangelistic religious right, and they don't want their children exposed to ideas they don't like, such as the idea that the Bible isn't literally true, the world wasn't created in six days and is only 6,000 years old, which is 1,000 years after the ancient Sumerians invented glue, dinosaurs existed side by side with people, and that Adam and Eve, and Noah etc really existed.

They're also deathly afraid of having their children hear that what consenting adults do in private is nobody else's business, and that homosexuals are just ordinary people who deserve the same rights as every one else’s, and should be left alone as long as they harm no one else.

Their narrow-mindedness, intolerance and self-righteousness is appalling. I don't mind people being Christians. I don't hate them because of this. I just disapprove of their whole social agenda. I don't want to take any rights away from them, or interfere with their religious observances.

But I'm just as opposed to the stupidly multicultural and politically correct indoctrination in so many public schools today. Students should be taught to think for themselves, and to be ready and willing to disagree with other people without being disagreeable.

My own upbringing and early education was like neither. I wasn’t taught to be a homophobe. Homosexuality wasn't even discussed! It wasn't an issue back then. I wasn't taught that only Jews will go to heaven; my family has never even been observant Jews. Judaism teaches that God does not judge us by what religion we happen to follow. He does not care whether we are Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus or whatever. We are judged by our actions and our actions alone.

My parents never even mentioned abortion when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s. It was a very different world back then.

Many conservatives whose websites and blogs I respond to consider me a terrible liberal, even a communist, even though I'm anything but that. But when I email far left ones, they think I'm much too conservative!


And in a separate email:

Another thing I meant to say about homeschooling is that it can deprive kids of the chance to be exposed to kids from other religious backgrounds and with different opinions and attitudes. It can give them a narrow and limited outlook on life by depriving them of the exposure to different worldviews. And the chance to discuss things and disagree with others, or possibly to come to realize that some things other people say might make sense, and that they may have a point.

In an ideal world, kids would just be educated rather than indoctrinated, either with a multicultural and politically correct viewpoint in which they are taught to be paranoid about offending others and being offended, and that the whole history of the world is one of evil, greedy and crude whites oppressing all non-whites, etc and all that garbage, or a strictly religious and evangelically conservative viewpoint in which the Bible is literally true, and homosexuals are evil perverts doomed to hellfire, and that abortion must be ended at all costs, and that any one who does not subscribe to their narrow religious views is doomed to hell, and that liberals are evil atheistic moral relativists, and hedonistic immoral people who are out to undermine the nation's morality.

Kids must learn to think for themselves, and not see things in black and white.



My reply:

Goodness, you had me worried there! For a moment I thought we actually agreed on something, in which case, of course, I'd wonder what I did wrong (smile).

While I don't agree with the more excessive "keep 'em at home" conservative extremists, I believe a LOT more people can live on one income than you might suspect. But people have become accustomed to luxury. The wife works to provide money for extras. If people learned to be frugal and live within their means, more women could stay home. And believe me, a lot of women *want* to stay home. And yes, I happen to think daycare is bad. We've worked our fannies off since our kids were born to make sure one parent is at home - I've worked nights, swing-shift, etc. to make sure our kids never darken the door of a daycare.

We have an appointment to have our taxes done today, so yesterday I just finished crunching all our income and expense numbers for the past year. I learned something very interesting. If we exclude the very modest amount of money I make from writing (and let the records show, I don't get paid by WorldNetDaily), then we are $70 below the federal poverty level for a family of four. We have plenty to eat, our girls are in music lessons and other extracurricular activities, we have a lovely home and a small farm. Don't tell me people can't live modestly and have one person at home. It can be done if the priorities are in the right place.

Now here's something interesting – you segued from feminism into homeschooling with nary a blink and went on an oppositional rant worthy of the stuff I spew in my columns. Goodness me, you must have had a *seriously* bad experience with some homeschoolers along the way because I've never seen homeschoolers like the ones you describe. I can honestly say the homeschoolers I know – and I know a lot – don't fit your stereotype in the slightest. My literary agent just asked me to write a book on parenting because she admires how our girls are turning out, and a lot of how they're turning out has to do with homeschooling (lack of exposure to peer pressure and learning to treat one's parents with shocking disrespect, principally). I could as easily hand that assignment to any homeschooling mother around me because their kids are turning out just as admirably.

You speak of conservative Christians as if we're interested in turning this country into a bullying, intolerant Theocracy along the lines of the Taliban. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are horrified and appalled at how things are "progressing" in this country, but the vast majority of us *just want to be left alone.* We want our liberties as outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to be left untampered. The government has no interest in leaving us alone, though, so we must fight. We fight to homeschool, we fight to keep our kids unpolluted by what we see as the evils of the world rather than forcibly spoon-fed things in public school, and we fight to keep such basic rights as gun ownership and freedom of speech/religion/etc.

Believe me, homeschooled kids are exposed to a whole lot more stuff than you think simply by virtue of not being locked into a classroom with one age level for eight hours a day. Parents of homeschooled kids tend to take their kids with them everywhere and meet all sorts of people. We don't keep them locked in a trunk in the basement. They're in the real world – talking, socializing, working, volunteering, learning, seeing, growing. Studies have demonstrated over and over and over and over that homeschooled kids grow up to be highly socialized, competent adults. They just happen to become adults with their parents' morals intact...which, you must admit, is the dearest wish of most parents, *yourself included.* We just happen to differ on what those morals might be.

That said, I'll admit I find it fascinating to get a glimpse into liberal thinking through your emails. I'm quite serious. Frequently I'll ask my husband, "How can they THINK like that?" and you provide me with answers, for which I'm grateful.

Okay, off to get our taxes done. Joy.

Best regards,
Patrice

Validation for stay-at-home-moms

I've seen this before but it bears repeating.

What Do You Do All Day?

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pajamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard.

The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring a cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing.

In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife.

He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pajamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?'

She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world I do all day?'

'Yes,' was his incredulous reply.

She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.'

Monday, April 6, 2009

All the equipment

One morning the husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, and reads her book.

Along comes a Game Warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, "Good morning, ma'am. What are you doing?"

"Reading a book," she replies (thinking, "Isn't that obvious?").

"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.

"I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading."

"Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"For reading a book?" she replies.

"You're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her again.

"I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading."

"Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up."

"If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault," says the woman.

"But I haven't even touched you!" sputters the game warden.

"That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment."

"Have a nice day, ma'am," he says, and leaves.

MORAL: Never argue with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

History Unfolding

A friend sent me this essay. Read it and weep.

History Unfolding

By Pat Dollard

I am a student of history. Professionally, I have written 15 books in six languages, and have studied it all my life. I think there is something monumentally large afoot, and I do not believe it is just a banking crisis, or a mortgage crisis, or a credit crisis. Yes these exist, but they are merely single facets on a very large gemstone that is only now coming into a sharper focus.

Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten to fifteen years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.

We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back. Why? We learn just days ago that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has "loaned" two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms. That is our money. Yours and mine. And that is three times the $700B we all argued about so strenuously just this past September. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of "we the people," who loaned our powers to our elected leaders. Apparently not. We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. Why?

We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate. Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, school boards continue to back mediocrity. Why?

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (now violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it wants marriage to remain between one man and one woman. Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?) We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic. To what purpose?

Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, social security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government, our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and know precisely what I am talking about) – the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x ten.

And we are at war with an enemy we cannot name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who cannot wait to slit the throats of your children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And now we have elected a man no one knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen, let alone a town as big as Wasilla, Alaska. All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary. (Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders? No? Oh of course. The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it. Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter and $150,000 wardrobe is more important.)

Mr. Obama's winning platform can be boiled down to one word: Change. Why? I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now. This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again. And that is only the beginning.

And I thought I would never be able to experience what the ordinary, moral German felt in the mid-1930s. In those times, the savior was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they did know was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory. Conservative "losers" read it right now.

And promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his “brown shirts” would bully them into submission. And then, he was duly elected to office, a full-throttled economic crisis at hand [the Great Depression]. Slowly but surely he seized the controls of government power, department by department, person by person, bureaucracy by bureaucracy. The kids joined a Youth Movement in his name, where they were taught what to think. How did he get the people on his side? He did it promising jobs to the jobless, money to the moneyless, and goodies for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe , and across the world. He did it with a compliant media – did you know that?

And he did this all in the name of justice and…change. And the people surely got what they voted for. (Look it up if you think I am exaggerating.) Read your history books. Many people objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and made fun of. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though.

Don't forget that Germany was the most educated, cultured country in Europe. It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And in less than six years – a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency – it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors. All with the best of intentions, of course. The road to Hell is paved with them.

As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice: I can either believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust); I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades; or I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me.

Some people scoff at me, others laugh, or think I am foolish, naive, or both. Perhaps I am. But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe – and why I believe it. I pray I am wrong. I do not think I am.

Can we do it?

This is an essay written by Charlie Reese, a former columnist with the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

545 PEOPLE

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red .

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq , it's because they want them in Iraq.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!


AMEN!!! [That’s from me, not Charlie Reese]

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Aaarrgghh! Global warming is affecting Jupiter!

Yes it's true. Jupiter's massive red spot is shrinking. I'm awaiting with breathless anticipation to hear Al Gore's announcement that unless we all switch to hybrid cars, Jupiter will continue to be affected thanks to our evil capitalistic ways.