Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What Makes a Conspiracy Theorist?

Lately I've been interested in reading information on the 9-11 conspiracy movement, or "Truthers" as they like to call themselves (most everyone else calls them nuts or moonbats). Normally, when I hear about such far-fetched conspiracies (e.g. the "faked" moon landing or the CIA killed JFK) I blow them off as the ranting of unbalanced people with too much time on their hands. But when it comes to the 9-11 conspiracy, it hits close to home for two reasons: 1)I saw the events of that day unfold before my eyes on live T.V. and 2)one of my close relatives is involved in the "Truther" movement.

For the first point, it's hard for me to fathom that people would deny the reality of 9-11 based on their hunches that the government blew up the buildings. If you ever happen to stumble on a "truther" site, their evidence is based on hearsay, quotes taken out of context, selective photos, and pet theories about how a building should fall if hit by a plane full of jet fuel. None of their evidence from what I have read holds up to scientific or logical scrutiny, yet the "truthers" stubbornly refuse to accept any data that contradicts their theories. It's as if they decided that the government was behind 9-11 and then they cherry-picked through the enormous amount of eye-witness testimony and physical evidence for anything that would support their theory. A good example of this is a parody site called Loose Trains where the author facetiously claims that the government, the CIA, and Amtrak used trains to cause the collapse of the WTC towers to benefit Amtrak and lists several quotes where people mention the word "trains."

Some truther sites such as 9-11 Scholars for Truth claim to be scientists and scholars, and dress up their claims with big words and supposed experiments to add weight to their claims. Only when you check out the credentials of these "experts" you find many of them either don't have degrees in anything or have degrees in fields entirely unrelated to anything that might give them expertise on demolitions, explosives, building construction, or civil engineering. Of the 100 or so full members of "9-11 Scholars for Truth," only 8 have a Ph.D. and those fields include environmental science, history, marketing, biology, philosophy, and physics. The two physicists in the group study superconductivity and cold fusion (red flag for pathetic science!) Also, there claims of having published peer-reviewed research supporting their claims is a joke as these papers are published in their own journal and not a single reputable scientific journal.

People not aware of the disingenuousness of the Truthers might stumble upon their claims and think that they might have good points until they look closer at the "evidence." Popular Mechanics published an article and a book debunking conspiracy claims based on evidence by real experts in the fields of civil engineering and demolition, but the truthers refuse to even acknowledge them. All the evidence in the world wouldn't convince them since they are so convinced of their moral and intellectual superiority.

How does a person become so entrenched in their beliefs that they reject all common sense and logic? Good question and it's one that's plagued me for the past year and a half since a close relative of mine "came out" as a truther. I've known this person for most of their life and I was very close to him until recently. He is an intelligent person and is normal by most respects. The most disturbing thing I noticed is that he was very secretive about his truther beliefs and then gradually revealed them as if feeling me out as a possible "recruit." Also, the 9-11 conspiracy was also mixed in with an anti-Semitic ideology that included Holocaust Denial and the usual Zionist World Domination crap. When I rejected all of these ideas, our relations became strained. I asked that we simply didn't talk about these subjects, but he seemed unable to do that because he felt like he was on a mission to spread the "truth."

Well, we eventually had a falling out and I have not spoken to him (at his request) for about 6 months. The most painful thing was coming to terms with the fact that this person was either mentally ill, or evil. I don't know which thing is worse. Having several relatives with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder made the first possibility likely, but by all other respects he seems pretty normal. So what am I to conclude except that his is a racist jerk? His personality also seems to have changed--he was a kind, soft-spoken person, and now he's arrogant and filled with resentment.

There are several sites devoted to debunking and essentially mocking members of the truther movement such as Screw Loose Change, and 9-11 Myths. However, I don't find it that humorous that there is a small, but vocal group that believes that our government is full of murderous monsters that orchestrated the 9-11 terrorist attacks for profit and the rest of us are shills or sheep. Can these people really take such a pessimistic view of their fellow citizens? If people really believe our government is so evil, is it possible that they would attempt to violently overthrow our government? At the very least, they are distracting from the real enemy--the Islamic extremists that want to destroy our country.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Texas City Decides to Do the Job the Feds Won't Do

Yesterday in Farmers Branch, a suburb of Dallas, passed some restrictive anti-illegal immigration measures in response to the ongoing crisis here in Texas.

City Council members unanimously approved fines for landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, making English the city's official language and allowing local authorities to screen suspects in police custody to check their immigration status.

The council made the series of 6-0 votes without discussion Monday night and took comment from the public afterward. A proposal to penalize businesses that employ undocumented workers was not voted on during the meeting.

I bet that they will pass that last proposal as well. Texans are just plain sick of the Federal government failing to enforce the immigration laws and cities like Dallas acting as sanctuaries for illegals. Dozens of U.S. citizens, including police officers, have been murdered by criminals that were here illegally and should have been deported before they could commit their crimes. Note that not all of the perpetrators of these crimes are from Mexico--some are from countries like Jamaica--so passing laws to crack down on illegal immigration is not meant to discriminate against Mexicans. It's meant to keep criminals which are here illegally out of the country. But of course, all the Latino civil rights group have to make it about race.

Attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a civil rights advocacy group, told council members before the vote that the proposals could violate federal housing laws preventing discrimination and the First Amendment.

Since 1970, Farmers Branch has changed from a small, predominantly white bedroom community with a declining population to a city of almost 28,000 people, about 37 percent of them Hispanic, according to the census. It also is home to more than 80 corporate headquarters and more than 2,600 small and mid-size firms, many of them minority-owned.

"They're afraid that Farmers Branch is becoming Hispanic," said Christopher McGuire, a resident of the city and spokesman for a group called United Farmers Branch. "It's going to happen, and that's not a bad thing."

Look, it's Texas for crying out loud! There will always be a Mexican/Latino presence here, and Texas is richer for it. My husband's best friends are of Mexican descent and salsa is a staple in our kitchen. We honeymooned in Mexico (and went back there this year) and we loved everything about that country (except the police and the water). Most people I know feel the same way I do. We welcome LEGAL immigrants from wherever they come from. I'm sure most immigrants (even illegal ones) are decent and hardworking people, but how are we to keep the criminals out and let deserving immigrants become citizens if we can't regulate our borders?

Farmers Branch was the first Texas City to pass these kinds of laws, but I can guarantee that more cities will follow suit if the INS doesn't step up and DO ITS JOB.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election 2006 - Post-Carnage Reaction

Whew, I'm so glad the elections are over! Being the political news junkie that I am, I ended up staying up most of the night to see who came out on top. I'll admit I was disappointed last night that the Republicans lost both houses of Congress, but I can't say I was surprised. It seemed like every year my husband and I were feeling more and more dissatisfied with the performance of the Republicans, but we also felt like we didn't have much of a choice. Today, I'm feeling pretty optimistic about the future. Most of the Democrats that took over Republican seats were moderates, not of the Kos-Kidz variety. I would have voted for the Democrat (Harris) in my U.S. district over the Republican (Barton) if Harris had clearly stated his platform and not linked to the far left blog Daily Kos. Looking at Harris' blog, all I could find out was that he was against the Iraq War and in favor of increasing veteran benefits (a good thing)--and that Barton is an EVIL conservative that hates disabled kids.

Barton hasn't done anything illegal as far as I know, but he is clearly in the pocket of big business and could care less about his constituents--especially when it comes to air quality in our county. I'll write more about that later. I wish my husband or one of his friends would run against him in the next Republican primary, but they'd be pulverized by Barton's campaign machine.

I think the Republicans have only themselves to blame for their defeat. Many of them have not been listening to their constituents when it comes to illegal immigration, the war in Iraq, social security reform, and limiting pork barrel spending. Some of them committed ethical and even criminal violations. Being in control of the government for so long made them lazy, corrupt, and complacent. The voters were fed up with them, and either voted against them or stayed home. I'm not sad to see that RINOS like Chafee and Dewine were sent packing.

The Democrats clearly learned from the last election that they have to run more moderate candidates in order to win in Red districts. I only hope that the Republicans will clean up their act over the next two years and that the Democratic majority don't screw things up too badly. I'd like to believe Nancy Pelosi's concilatory rhetoric that she intends to reach across the aisle, and act as the Speaker of the House for the American people, not just Democrats. But she is a politician after all, and I don't trust her one bit.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Children - A Most Precious Gift (To Some of Us)

Boy, sorry for the short blogging absence. Halloween kept me busy with party planning and running around trying to find stuff for Preston's fire fighter costume. Seems that stores no longer stock reflective tape for Halloween, which is weird because it's great for safety and artistic reasons.

Anyway, I came across this article by C.R. Hardy last week from National Review Online that aptly describes the anti-child attitude of many Americans nowadays--they're not necessarily all blue-staters either

According to my fair-minded fellow Cambridge residents, I was an overpopulation nut-case. The snickers and sneers were insufferable -- most especially when I was out with my boys in a double stroller, pushing them along with my pregnant, over-sized mid-section. You could see the astonished eyes looking first at the stroller, then at my belly, then quickly at my face (to see if I was real, I assume), and then embarrassingly shifting to a store front or a passing car. Then the person would whisper to a smiling companion, well within my hearing, "She's having another one!"

This has never happened to me personally since I have only one child right now, but one of my friends experiences this quite often--she is a mother of 4. If it had been up to me, I would have 3 or 4 kids already but I have had to be patient. This anti-kid attitude is a little hard for me to understand as a Christian. In my church (the LDS church) children are seen as a blessing and a sacred stewardship. One of the first songs a child learns at church is I Am a Child of God. Children are taught that they are each a spiritual son or daughter of God and that God loves them. It is not unusual for members of my church to have 4, 5, or 6 kids. I know a few families that have even larger families (I can hear the collective gasp of zero population folks all over the globe).

Ms. Hardy goes on to describe the changes in Harvard square that she attributes to the declining interest in child-rearing in that area.

My favorite sign of the times is that in my absence the GapKids that used to occupy the second floor of one of the Harvard Co-op buildings in Harvard Square was replaced with a GapBody. For those of you uninitiated into the world of Gap-lingo, allow me to explain. The Gap is a ridiculously trendy apparel company that caters to young people, and adults who want to dress like young people.... GapBody is the newest spin-off. It peddles ridiculously trendy undergarments and comfy apparel for women, because, as goes their motto, "there's no secret to being sexy...feeling good is the sexiest thing of all." And so, considering that those marketing majors at The Gap are well aware that Harvard Square is student-territory, and since students don't have many kids, out goes GapKids and in comes GapBody -- all of which seems to be good reasoning.

Harvard students are more interested in sex -- or in feeling sexy -- than in kids. (This is not the case at Brigham Young University - you should see all the young married students that bring their kids to campus-ed). Feeling sexy, however, often leads to sex, and sex often leads to kids. Ahem. Or at least to pregnancies. Which is why blue America sweepingly (and coercively) supports choice. They want the sex, but not the kids. The kids are much too costly. To the pocketbook, yes, but most of all to a particular lifestyle more interested in today's consumption than tomorrow's production.

Enter defense of illegal immigration (workers need to come from somewhere), abortion and the Pill (for the sexiness without the kids), and support for gay marriage (because what does sex have to do with kids, anyway?). I'm reminded of Walker Percy's 1971 summary of what the left stands for: LEFTPAPASANE - Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, The Pill, Atheism, Pot, Anti-Pollution, Sex, Abortion Now, Euthanasia. Think much has changed?

BAM! She goes from GapBody to Abortion in one fell swoop! But there is a definite connection between disdain for children and the pet causes of leftists. It's true that raising kids is expensive, but they are a worthwhile investment. When I was in academia, it was shocking to me how many well-educated scientists disdain the thought of having kids--either it was too much bother or it was irresponsible in light of global warming, people starving in Africa, and yada yada.

My response to these individuals was that we have we have a responsibility to pass on the gifts of knowledge and intelligence we have been blessed with to the next generation. What better gift can one give to the world than children that have been well-educated and raised to be good citizens?

Today's children are tomorrow's future. We may not be able to personally help all the troubled and neglected children in our communities, but we can raise our children right so that they can contribute what gifts they have to improving our world.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm Not Sitting Out This Election, Are You?

Every day I read about some media report that says Republicans are going to lose control of Congress because disillusioned conservatives and "values voters" will sit out the election. I don't know who pollsters are talking to, but I and most of my family and friends always feel some disappointment in our politicians. We feel that Republicans are beholden to Big Business and that Democrats are beholden to special interest groups (including lawyers, teachers' unions, workers' unions) some of which are very radical e.g. ACLU, NOW, NARAL. So usually, I feel like I'm choosing between the lesser of two evils, and most people probably feel the same. It all depends on which issues are most important to you.

For me, the number one issue is the War on Terrorism. Which party will do the best to defend our country (and protect my loved ones) from Islamic terrorists, and miscellaneous well-armed and badly-coiffed dictators? Yes, I'm unhappy with the reluctance that many Republicans in the Senate (and President Bush) have shown in beefing up border security, but the Democrats are infinitely worse. Which party has consistently opposed every security measure--a border fence, the Patriot Act, military tribunals of enemy combatants, surveillance of domestic and foreign agents?--Democrats. To me Democrats are completely unserious about the War on Terrorism. I don't think that many of them even believe that we're at war--it's more like a Law and Order episode.

Senator Joe Lieberman is a different story. He has been consistently supportive of the President's efforts to prosecute the war. I could vote for him if I felt his Republican opponent wasn't up to the task. But if his opponent shares his views on that issue, then I would have to look at the next most important issues--first fiscal responsibility, then preservation of traditional marriage, then preservation of 2nd amendment rights, then limitation of abortions (especially late-term), and last energy and environmental conservation. Unfortunately, there are not many fiscal and social conservative Democrats left, so I'm forced to vote for Republicans no matter how distasteful I find it. My congressional representative is Joe Barton and he's totally in the pocket of big business, and could care less about the crappy air his constituents have to breath because of his refusal to back clean air legislation. However,his opponent David Harris is a Daily Kos-reading liberal Democrat. To top it off, he thinks Al Snore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" is fantastic. Great, maybe I should write in my cat.

I do hope that Republicans keep control of both house in November, but I hope that it's so close they step back and decide to clean up their act. I have nightmares about botox-browed Nancy Pelosi becoming speaker of the house. She's vowed to repeal the tax cuts signed by President Bush and I don't know about you, but I like having lower taxes. It would be the same old liberal tax and spend crap. Plus, I'd have to hear her screechy voice even more than I do now since there's no doubt in my mind that she and the Dems would try to start impeachment hearings on President Bush, wasting our time and money while Osama and his ilk are trying to murder us. So please go out and vote, fellow conservatives, unless this is the face you want to see regularly when you turn on the T.V.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Common Good = We Take Your Money and Spend It

I couldn't help snorting in derision when I saw this story:
'Common Good' a New Theme for Democrats. They might as well have made their theme: Higher Taxes--It's for your own good. This is one reason why conservatives like me resent liberal Democrats. They think money will solve all the ills of society--poverty (and hence crime), illiteracy, disease, racism--and they want the American taxpayer to foot the bill for all their pet projects.

I do think that it's important for people to work together in their communities to solve problems, but I don't think that it's something that should be forced on us by the government. It often seems like liberal Democrats think all of the American people are simpletons that can't be trusted to manage their own affairs, including their money. This is exemplified by their resistance to tax reduction, social security and welfare reform. They say, how dare we take our social security earnings and invest them in private accounts for our retirement! The government can do a much better job of squandering those funds then we can.

I think this theme will not be helpful to Democrats. Remember how well Mondale did in the 1984 presidential election when he ran on raising taxes? I think most Americans will hear "common good" and reply, "Keep your hands out of my wallet!"

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Get Lost? Neither Do I.

I've been a big fan of the ABC show Lost since the middle of the 1st season. I hadn't even heard of it until one of my friends lent me her tapings of it, and said we had to watch it. I was skeptical because it seems like there's been nothing interesting on T.V. since C.S.I. (which has now jumped the shark, but that's another story), but I was drawn in by the character development and the mystery of the Island.

I love character development--that's one reason why I love the works of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Victor Hugo. I think the way Lost uses flashbacks to develop each character is interesting. Unlike in books, visual media doesn't usually allow you to get inside a character's head, unless a narrator is used and that gets pretty old. But flashbacks tell you where a character's been and can sometimes explain the reasons behind a character's behavior. Even then, I'm sometimes surprised by the actions of a character that I feel I know pretty well. That's one of the great things about Lost is there's always a surprise. Anything could happen, any character could get killed off, and it can be maddening trying to figure out what's going to happen.

I have a hard time picking a favorite Lost character because they're all so interesting and flawed in different ways-- beautiful Kate, an accused murderer and bank robber; Sawyer, the hunky and fast-talking conman with a deathwish; Sayid, the resourceful former Iraqi Republican Guard "communications" expert; Hurly, the large and jolly winner of the lottery; Jack, the type-A personality neurosurgeon; Locke, the paraplegic turned medicine man; Charlie, the washed up rock star and recovering heroin addict; and Sun and Jin, the Korean married couple with relationship issues; Claire, the mother of baby Aaron; and Mr. Echo, the mystical former Nigerian warlord. If there's one major flaw of Lost, it's that there's so many characters to keep track of and there's only so much time that can be devoted to flushing out each one.

Anyway, last night was the second episode of the 3rd season, and was called "The Glass Ballerina" which refers to a figurine that Sun broke as a little girl. To sum it up, Jack, Sawyer, and Kate have been captured by the island's natives (the Others) while Sun, Jin, and Sayid are waiting on the other side of the island in Desmond's sailboat to rendezvous with them. A love-triangle between Kate, Sawyer, and Jack has developed over the past 2 seasons, and the Others seem to be taking advantage of that.

BTW, my favorite scene of the first episode was the look on Sawyer's face when Kate was brought in handcuffed and throw into the cage opposite him. He really loves Kate, as least that's what the actor (Josh Holloway) portrays, and I totally bought into it.

Anyway, Sawyer tries and fails to escape by giving Kate a smooch, and Sun shoots one of the Others as they steal Desmond's boat. In the flashbacks, we learn that Sun had an affair and that Jin was instructed by her father to kill her lover. Jin doesn't kill the guy, but beats him badly and the man commits suicide minutes later. Despite their troubled marriage, we see that Jin and Sun really love each other after Sun narrowly escapes being murdered by the Others on the boat.

Unfortunately, we still don't find out much about the Others, except that they are ruthless killers with a secret agenda for the Losties. Come on! This show can drive you crazy with all the unanswered questions, and the few that are answered are stretched out for a whole season. But I guess that's what keeps me coming back--the hope that the pieces will finally come together and make sense.

For those of you Lost freaks, Lostpedia and Lost-TV are great sites with background on all the chracters, episode summaries, transcripts and message boards.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Arming Our Teachers

UPDATE: On Oct. 13, Utah teachers were given the option of taking a free concealed-handgun course during the UEA holiday. Now that's some time well-spent.

In the wake of the horrible Amish school shootings, President Bush held a
school safety summit in Maryland today to discuss solutions to reduce school violence. President Bush, Mrs. Bush, the U.S. Attorney General, and the Secretary of Education addressed the conference. Some of the ideas proposed were to put in local law enforcement officials to patrol and educate the student, to expand programs where teachers monitor potential problem students, and lots of feel-good mumbo-jumbo about "character education" and making student "feel safe." There is not one mention of allowing teachers to carry concealed guns in the Fox News story, although it might have been discussed.

NEWSFLASH!! Not one of the above solution, except increasing police presence on campuses will prevent an outsider from coming into a school and shooting the students. Increased security will help, but a lot of schools don't have the resources for metal detectors and police dogs. Plus, I'm sure the kids would rather not feel like they are in a prison. Right now, a lot of our students are sitting ducks because everyone knows that no one, except for one or two security officers, is armed. States that have enacted gun-free zones in the hopes of reducing gun violence have instead made school free-kill zones for any armed lunatic that happens to walk in.

I read a great piece at National Review Online by
Dave Kopel on this topic. In t he article, along with discussing other preventively measures, he points out the benefits of allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons and training teachers and students in self-defense. He held up my home state of Utah as a example of doing things right:

Like many states, Utah enacted a concealed-handgun licensing law in 1995. Unlike most states, Utah did not make schools an exclusion zone for lawful carrying. Not only a teacher on duty, but also a parent coming to pick up a child from school, can lawfully carry a concealed handgun in a Utah school building after, of course, passing a background check and safety training. In 2003, the legislature expanded the law, by allowing principals to authorize firearms possession by individuals who did not have a concealed-handgun carry permit.)

After eleven years of experience in Utah, we now have exactly zero reported problems of concealed handgun licensees misusing guns at school, or students stealing guns from teachers, or teachers using their licensed firearms to shoot or threaten students. During this same period, we also have had exactly zero mass murders in Utah schools.

My proposal, however, is not that other states go as far as Utah. Rather, I simply suggest that teachers and other school employees be allowed to carry if they obtain a handgun carry permit. If a school wants to require special additional training for school carry, that's fine.

Sounds good to me. If I was a teacher, I would definitely want to be armed, both to protect myself and my students. I can't understand all the NEA-type teachers that think guns are icky and barbaric. Guns have been used numerous times to defend teachers and students. Kopel lists several examples of these cases--1997 in Pearl, MS; and also in 1997 in Edinboro, PA.

Unfortunately, the Amish are a peaceful people that probably will never want to arm their teachers, even after the murder of their children. Possibly, they could hire a police officer to protect them. But the rest of us need to take our children's safety more seriously. We can't wait for the SWAT team to come rescue our kids when some nut with a weapon comes into their school. We should support laws that allow our teachers to be armed, and demand programs that will train our teachers in self-defense and crisis management. Our kids are counting on us.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Nuclear Holocaust Alarmism or Emergency Preparedness?

So I awoke to the news that North Korea likely had conducted an underground test of a nuclear bomb over the weekend. Great. That's all we need is Kim Jong Il-in-the head with a nuke.

I was listening to Glenn Beck this morning as I drove to the store and he had on an M.D. that was the founder of a group called Physicians for Civil Defense. Apparently, she was upset that Glenn had put out some misinformation on the survivability of a nuclear blast. She directed people to her website and that of a company called KI4U for more information on what we can do to prepare for a nuclear blast.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking--that Glenn Beck is an alarmist and a conspiracy nut! He's got a countdown to Armageddon for the love of Pete! Well, yes, he is a nut, but I think he's hilarious--in a sarcastic, black humor kind of way. When I first heard his show I thought he was insane, until I realized that 90% of what he says is sarcasm and parody. Glenn is definitely an acquired taste, but he does bring up a lot of issues that we usually try to ignore because they're uncomfortable to think about. Now that we know that state sponsors of terrorism e.g. Iran and North Korea are activity pursuing nuclear weapons, we have to face the possibility that these weapons could fall into the hand of terrorists who will have no qualms about using them on us. Unlike during the Cold War, mutual assured destruction is not a deterrent for these freaks. If civilians are killed, then they are infidel dogs. If Muslim civilians are killed then they are martyrs to the cause. If we destroy the terrorists in response, then they will joyfully go to their martyrdom and 72 raisins. So it's a win-win situation for the terrorists.

So what do we do? We can prepare the best we can to survive an terrorist attack, so we can fight back later. First,just as the Department of Homeland Security has recommended, have a 72-hour kit ready. Next, we should try to store as much extra food and water as possible (based on space and budget constraints) to last a few weeks if we are unable to get food locally. The LDS church has great resources on food storage since the members have been urged to store a year's supply of food for several decades. It's a good idea to have a blast/fallout shelter or place that can be converted into one. Heck, here in Texas tornado shelters are a necessity and they can easily be used as fallout shelters. I found a book online called "Nuclear War Survival Skills" by Cresson Kearny that describes how to build simple but effective fallout shelters, and even a homemade radiation detector.

I'm not saying good crazy and spend your life saving on a high tech shelter and a tone of MREs and ammo. But maybe think about what you and your family would do in that situation. Just like for a hurricane or fire--have a plan for your family. And try not to stress out too much worrying about stuff like that. Prepare yourself and your family the best way you can, and then go on with your life.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Cat Blogging

UPDATE: This week's Carnival of the Cats is hosted by Curiouser and Curiouser.

Cats and small children generally do not mix. My cat Omni is pretty tolerant for a cat, but after a few tail pulls even he can reach his limit. Here's Preston going after Omni's wiggly tail for the umpteenth time. Laughter and loud meowing ensues.


Whew! The kid finally left me alone!


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Political Blogging or Plogging for Mitt Romney

Ok, in the interests of full disclosure, another reason why I wanted to start blogging again was to get involved in the upcoming 2008 campaign for POTUS. I was very disappointed that I missed all the fun during the 2004 election because I was finishing up my thesis. There is a lot of comedy in politics!

Anyway, my husband and I decided that we are going to support Mitt Romney, the current governor of Massachusetts, for the Republican nomination for POTUS. We've followed his career since the 2002 Winter Olympics in SLC and were impressed by his integrity and work ethic. I think he'd make a terrific Commander-in-Chief, and frankly, the other potential Republican candidates don't look that hot. John McCain is as RINO as they come, and loves the spotlight of MSM too much--and they love him! Rudy Giuliani is too liberal on social issues for me (read: pro-choice and pro-gay marriage), although he'd probably be great on anti-terrorism issues. Condi Rice would be a great candidate, but again she's a little too socially liberal and she's repeatedly said that she's not going to run.

Of all the potential candidates, I think Mitt Romney has the greatest chance of winning. He's articulate, he's both a social and fiscal conservative, he has executive experience, and he's a decent family man. Ok, so he's a Mormon, but some of my best friends are Mormons. Oh yeah! I'm a Mormon too. Some conservatives have expressed concern about the "Mormon Factor" because they think that evangelicals won't vote for a Mormon. But I think that if they look carefully at each candidate and their platform, they'll see that Mitt's stances on most issues match their own regardless of his personal beliefs. Some conservative evangelicals have already discovered this at Evangelicals for Mitt. If some of you have questions about Mitt's religious beliefs, see the website for the LDS Church or email me with questions.

I've also accepted an invitation to do some guest blogging for Texans for Mitt Romney. I'll link to it periodically. This is strictly a volunteer effort--i.e. I'm not getting paid. If you're interested in finding out more about Mitt and his campaign see his official campaign website here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Back to Blogging

Howdy, folks! Yes, I know it's been a long time since I last blogged. I needed to take a break for a while due to the stress of raising a one-year-old boy and building our own home. But I have missed blogging because it gave me a great outlet for my thoughts. Toddlers are not really good at listening to rants on politics, science, or anything not involving Thomas the Train or Winnie the Pooh. My husband understandably would rather I vent in a journal or blog than the minute he walks in the door. So anyhow, I'm back and I plan on blogging daily so feel free to add comments and suggestions. I've missed my friends and readers too!

The next few days I'll be updating the site so I won't be posting a whole lot at first.

BTW, the house turned out great. We moved in at the end of April and I spent most of the summer getting the landscaping done. If you're interested in building your own home, take a look at our homebuilding website here. My husband did a great job of documenting the process, including adding the sub-contractors we used. Until we finally finished the house, I kept saying to myself, "I'll never do this again! What were we thinking?!" But after seeing the completed house, I would definitely do it again. Learning the ropes is the hardest part, and once you have learned the process of building, it's easy. I've enjoyed working around the house--putting on the finishing touches--and telling people, "Yep, we built it ourselves."