Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What's this?

I find it hard to believe, but in some ways, I actually seem to be...(deep breath) growing up. Not an easy confession for me, but one that needs to be made, if only for my own self-realization. I realized it as I've been thinking about and planning for this Friday - Christmas! The more I think about it, the more I realize my focus has been on two main things - trying to remind myself of the Reason for the Season, and wondering about presents. No, actually, not wondering about the presents I'll get, but about those I've given, and what people's reactions to them will be. This is in part due to the fact that I am the world's worst present giver. You know those commercials about the two people who continually give crappy gifts? Yeah, that's me. If you want proof, ask my dad and sister - about 6 years ago, they had to swap the gifts I had given them because they were so mismatched.

But no, the main reason I'm wondering about the outgoing presents this year isn't just that I'm more concerned about how they'll be received. I've got a big surprise in store for a relative or two this year, and I do hope they go over well. But I also realize I already have more goodies than I know what to do with or have time to enjoy properly. I can squeeze in time (and hopefully space) for a few more books or movies here and there, and I can sure use some new jeans and a sweatshirt or two, but I actually find myself avoiding the big 'wish list' this year. Well, mostly. I will admit there's still that voice in the back of my mind screaming "LOOT! GIVE ME LOOT!" but it's not as loud as was in the past, even last year. I'm seriously not saying this to brag or anything; if anything, I'm surprised at this myself. And maybe next year I'll relapse and demand twice as many presents as I got last year. But it's interesting (and even a bit more exciting) to be more anxious over what you gave than what you'll get.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Prepare to be offended

But only if you disagree with me. :) I've been lightly following the health care debates still raging (because getting any more involved would drive me completely insane) and I've seen some debate over abortion's place in Obamacare. Obama insists that there's no funding for abortions, but as he's lied on pretty much every other promise he made (except to fundamentally transform the US, which is the ONE promise I wish he'd lied about) you can almost guarantee that abortion funding will be included. I mean, he's one of the most pro-abortion (not just pro-choice - pro-abortion) politicians I've ever seen. I did a fair amount of digging during the presidential campaign, and everywhere I read, he was in favor of abortions without limits. The only part he was against was assigning another doctor to be there to save the life of the fetus should the abortion not succeed in killing it (a thought too horrible to even contemplate).

As the details of abortions sicken me (literally, I get queasy and sick at heart just thinking about thinking about it) I don't delve too deeply into the debate. But I do know that a pro-life amendment, which would have kept health care funds away from abortions, was defeated. Which means you can bank on your tax dollars (not just the pro-choice taxpayers' money, but taxes from ALL of us) will be going to fund abortions. How is that constitutional? How is that even legal? And this isn't just about Democrats - there are pro-choice Republicans, like Dede Scozzafava in New York (who I think flipped sides after she dropped out of the election in NY 23). This isn't about pro-choice vs pro-life. This is about our voice on how our taxes are spent being silenced. We're being lied to, and those in power must be held accountable for their actions. Glenn Beck hit it right on the nose - we have to put an end to the corruption of Washington DC, hold their feet to the fire as it were, and if they don't respond - we vote them out! We can't sit idly by and hope they come around, and we can't give up because our voices seem so small they can't be heard out east. THEY were elected by US - WE are the boss in this relationship, not the other way around. If you don't perform at your job, you continually screw up and goof off, you get fired, right? It's time to fire some of those screw-ups we call congressmen and get some new blood in there. It's not working out, and it's time to let them know.

In a related note, Michelle Malkin has posted an expose of Planned Parenthood on her website, or at least the first stage of it. The video is short but unbelievable. The people at this company lied outright to this girl supposedly asking about abortions, telling her getting an abortion is safer than delivering the child, and refusing to call her child a 'baby' telling her it's not a baby until it's at least 6-7 months along, or even until birth. They won't even admit it has a hearbeat!! They call it 'cardiac activity' and having 'heart tones' just to avoid giving the mom-to-be any kind of a connection to the baby. And it's places like this that will be getting money from Obamacare! I want NONE of my taxes to go to slimeball companies like this. It's time to stand up. Come next year, I'm going to be working with some friends to put together a website - maybe just a chat room or forum or something, but something! - where we can inform each other about this kinda stuff, and decide on action to take together. If interested in joining, please email me - ironhide781@hotmail.com.

As always, if you've read this entire post, you're either a better friend than I deserve, or have too much free time on your hands. :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another vent

Since no one around me right now really likes talking politics, I figured I'd just vent on this blog that no one ever reads anyways.

Ok, two big things I learned this week -
1. Obama's ties to socialism/Marxism/Communism are a lot deeper and stronger than I realized. There's a great article on BigGovernment.com on what the author calls the Hexagon of Progress that shows all this. What it boils down to is this - Obama ran for Illinois state senator under the New Party flag. The New Party was started by the Democratic Socialists of America (i.e. American socialist/Communists) and ACORN (which you don't want to be tied to just now, believe me). The New Party also helped found New York's Working Families Party, which brings together big labor unions, SEIU, ACORN (well, imagine seeing them again). Sounds a lot like the Apollo Alliance, minus the green movement. The WFP also includes a group called Citizen Action, led by Heather and Paul Booth. Heather is a big proponent of social justice (wealth redistribution), helped train people in the DNC during the Clinton years, as well as SEIU's Andy Stearn (one of Obama's bosom buddies).

Interesting sidenote, Heather's husband Paul founded the Students for a Democratic Society. Yes, it IS the same SDS that led to the forming of the Weather Underground, founded by two more of Obama's friends - Bill Ayers and Jeff Jones. Funny how 'social justice' led to 'domestic terrorism', isn't it?

Anyways, back to number 1 - DSA's Working Families Party just happened to share addresses with SEIU, ACORN, the New Party and Obama's Project Vote. In multiple locations across New York state. And Arkansas. Oh, and Illinois too. No wonder Obama promised SEIU that they'd be part of every major decision he made - health care, immigration, whatever. He's been deeply involved with ACORN, SEIU, social justice workers like Heather and Paul Booth, for YEARS.

To sum up #1: DSA = New Party = Working Families Party = SEIU = ACORN

#2: Apparently the swine flu (aka H1N1) has been officially declared a national emergency. So far over 1000 people have died of it recently. That's not a small number, and each death is tragic, but I just don't see a justification in declaring a national emergency over it. I'm sure more people have died this year of heart disease and cancer and drunk driving, and those aren't declared national emergencies. Add this 'emergency' to all the other 'emergencies' the government is pushing (environmental - cap and trade, economic - stimulus and bailouts and industry takeovers) and it just seems too convenient. Not to mention his comment that there's a potential to "overburden healthcare resources." (His words, not mine).

Did I mention that one of the more well-known supporters of the New Party is Frances Fox Piven of Piven-Cloward fame? Yeah, she's the one who said that to make the move to single payer health care (or was it just total nanny state? something like that) we need an emergency that will overburden the system beyond breaking point, 'forcing' the government to step in and take the reins. This couldn't be anything like that right? Why would he declare a national emergency, when it's known there won't be enough vaccine to go around for months? And is the vaccine even created properly?

Ok, so this was waaaay longer than I originally intended, but I got some stuff off my chest. If anyone has actually read this whole thing, I've got a booby prize for ya. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Really on the brink?

Big news today - Iran is only a few short months from having the world's most powerful weapons. What will they do with them if they get them? Two guesses - Israel and US. If we go in to stop them, or if Israel goes in to stop them, all heck will literally break loose in the region. There's going to have to be a decision made by the world powers and soon.
Add this to the mess on healthcare, the immigration problem, conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, widespread corruption in our government and other powerful bodies (ACORN, SEIU, Apollo Alliance, etc), government takeovers of the auto industry, banking, insurance, and apparently education of our children - it's enough to make you want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers up and pretend the outside world doesn't exist. But Bill O'Reilly said something on his show tonight that caught my attention. As the last line of his Talking Points memo, he said we should all be praying. That is absolutely correct! In this world, which is becoming more upside down, more uncertain, more threatening by the day, there is only one source of peace, comfort, stability and safety - and that source is our Heavenly Father. The prophets and apostles have told us for years and years how important prayer is, how vital that connection between heaven and earth is to us, collectively and individually, in seeking guidance and protection for ourselves and our families. I urge everyone (yes, all one or two of you who actually read this thing) to seek after and develop a personal relationship with your Heavenly Father. He wants to talk to you, and is willing and waiting to do so today! Now more than ever we need His guidance, as individuals, as families, as communities, and as a nation. Go to Him, thank Him for what you have, ask Him for his help, and then be willing to do those things He prompts you to do. It's the least we can do, and one of the best things we can do.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Never forget

Eight years ago today, I was working at BYU as a deliveryman for the BYU dairy products lab. We had been at the creamery for a few minutes when the other kid working with me that morning turned on the news. While I was unloading the milk, he said something about a plane crashing into one of the Twin Towers in New York City. A few minutes later, he said they were reporting a second plane had crashed into the other tower. I thought the first crash was a terrible accident. When the second plane hit, I knew this was something much worse.

We continued listening while we worked (or tried to) hoping the news would tell us why this was happening. It wasn't long before they began reporting a plan hit the Pentagon, and another one crashing somewhere else, maybe the White House. I started scanning the skies for any planes flying over us, wondering if we would be hit as well.

Finally, word came over the radio that this was a coordinated terrorist attack by some group whose name I couldn't pronouce, led by a man whose name I wouldn't learn or remember for a few weeks. The devotional that morning (which BYU has every Tuesday) was cancelled, and instead we were asked to gather for a time of quiet reflection and prayer - for ourselves, for the ones surely lost in the attacks, and the families affected.

The thing I remember most about that day is how I felt - scared, even terrified as news of the attacks came in, saddened by growing tally of lives lost. But when the radio started playing patriotic music - God Bless the USA is the song I remember hearing the most - I felt united with everyone in this country. We were ALL shocked, we were ALL scared, we were ALL affected. And this tragedy united us. For days and weeks afterward, people were talking to strangers, sharing stories, waving flags, singing about their love of America. We all lost someone, or knew someone who lost a loved one, in those attacks, and we bonded together.

Now, eight years later, we are anything BUT united. We've forgotten how we felt on 9/11, and 9/12, and 9/13, and gone back to squabbling and bickering and even hating each other. How can we go back to the unity we had? What will it take to bring us back together? Another 9/11? I hope not. I pray not. But the old saying is truer now than ever - united we stand, divided we fall. If we won't stand together now, it won't be a matter of 'if' we fall, but when and how hard.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Leah!!

I cannot believe that my little girl is one year old today! It still feels like we just came home with her from the hospital, and she was getting over her jaundice and crying whenever she was more than six feet away from Lisa. Now, she's walking everywhere, standing up on her own, and saying mama and dada. And believe it or not, she can whistle! She was whistling in her high chair while we were at my mom's for dinner last Sunday, it was amazing. I can't imagine our lives without her, she's so cute and funny and just a joy to be around. Happy birthday Leah!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Freedom and the free

With the Fourth of July coming up this weekend, I thought it might be good to list a few of the freedoms I'm grateful to have. In no particular order:

Freedom to practice my religion without fear of retaliation from the government
Freedom to choose what occupation I work at (even if it means I have too many options)
Freedom to raise my kids as I see fit
Freedom to agree or disagree with my government and voice my opinion either way
Freedom to just be me - an average American living the American dream

Thank you to all those who made enjoying these freedoms possible - the Founding Fathers who were inspired in their creation of this country; the soldiers who have kept this country free from oppression without; the honest politicians who have kept this country free from tyranny within; and above all, a loving Heavenly Father who still watches over and protects this country today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What Harry Potter taught me about Barack Obama

Don't tell J.K Rowling, but I actually found an application for her literature in the real world, though probably not in the way she intended. Back in Order of the Phoenix, at the start of another year a Ministry of Magic official (and eventual nemesis of the book), Delores Umbridge, interrupts Dumbledore's welcome speech to announce how the Ministry is going to be more 'involved' in insuring the kids get a 'quality' education. Over the course of the book, it becomes readily apparent just what sort of education a Ministry-enforced curriculum offers - a total lack of real world application, denial or playing down of threats outside of the school, power being consolidated in one Ministry-approved individual, and worst of all, severe punishment for dissenters.

Interestingly, if you look at the headlines over the last few weeks, you'll see the Obama administration employing all of these tactics, to varying degrees. Take a look:

Government "involvement" for our "benefit" - "Wall Street is not going to play as dominant a role in the economy...We don't want every single college grad with mathematical aptitude to become a derivatives trader. We want some of them to go into engineering, and we want some of them to be going into computer design."" - Barack Obama, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/05/03/obama-wall-street-play-dominant-role/

Lack of real world application - "Republican lawmakers are calling on the Obama administration to produce a plan for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center...So far, France has formally agreed to take in a single detainee as a symbolic gesture." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/04/29/republicans/
(PS - the raising of a single finger is also a symbolic gesture...)

"And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it" Obama in his first State of the Union address, apparently unaware that Germany invented the car.

"More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States."
Obama during a press conference with President Felipe Calderón of Mexico. According to Factcheck.org, "the 90 percent claim made by the president and others in his administration lacks a basis in solid fact."http://www.factcheck.org/politics/counting_mexicos_guns.html

Denial or playing down of outside threats - According to Janet Napolitano, Obama's head of Homeland Security, terrorist attacks are now known as "Man-made disasters" and include "events which, either intentionally or by accident cause severe threats to public health and well-being." The list of 'events' comprises bioterrorism, terrorism, and pandemics and diseases.

Power consolidation - White House Census Power Grab May Violate the Constitution
GM CEO resigns at Obama's behest
White House Urged Silence On Merrill Acquisition...The government helped orchestrate the acquisition of Merrill by Bank of America http://www.wbur.org/2009/04/23/bofa-testimony
"Wall Street is not going to play as dominant a role in the economy" Obama, cited above.

And let's not forget-punishment for dissent - "White House uses strong arm tactics to extort concessions from lenders...One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under the threat that the full force of the White House Press Corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight."

"Rightwing extremism [includes] those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.” - Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary

To sum it up, we've got a president who thinks he's Delores Umbridge in charge. What will it take to recover from 4 years of Obama, if he can do all this in just 4 months?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Where's the insult?

Ok, so I forgot to include the insult in my blog entry a few days ago. Obama (or Obummer as I prefer to call him) was in an interview with Matt Lauer a few days ago, when Matt brought out a copy of US magazine. Obama's wife and kids were on the cover, but not him. Matt made the comment that Obama didn't make the cover, while Jessica Simpson did (she was in a smaller photo on the side). To which Obama replied "who seems to be losing a weight battle," and then laughed.
If it had been anyone else (almost), the media would have jumped down his throat and demanded an apology. But Barack "I can do no wrong" Obama gets a bye, even when insulting a citizen of the country he was just appointed to lead!! Pres. Bush wouldn't have done that, heck, even Clinton had more grace than that (well, maybe not, but you get the idea). Mr. Change and Hope just turned out to be - a common jerk.

Monday, February 2, 2009

All the President's Men, and an insult too

So the latest move of our 'great leader' in rewarding criminal activity is his new health secretary appointment - Tom Daschle. Apparently he somehow didn't notice that he owed $128,000 in back taxes. That Obama actually supports this guy shouldn't come as too big a surprise - his pick to run the IRS, Tim Geithner, owed what, $42,000 in back taxes which he (with obvious dishonesty) said he didn't know about either. Congress approved that criminal without much to-do (he was the best man for the job, they said). So I'm not holding out much hope that the 'grilling' awaiting Daschle will be any more severe than a slap on the wrist (if he even gets that). On the other hand, it is encouraging to know that if, heaven forbid, I did get involved in complicated and rather large scandal of not paying taxes for several, I might still have a bright future ahead in politics. All that's apprently required is to hold a press conference to announce your 'embarrassment', throw some token payments at the IRS, and say "let's move on, shall we?"

Friday, January 23, 2009

Change we can (and should) be afraid of

We're at the close of Obama's first week as president, and already it's apparent the power has gone to his head. His first few executive orders show his lack of understanding of some basic principles:

1. Planning - For someone who took Pres. Bush to task over and over for not having an exit strategy for getting out of Iraq, you'd think he'd be smart enough to cover his own fanny before he goes announcing big ticket items like closing Gitmo. But no, apparently little details like determining what to do with 250 dangerous terrorists is going to come AFTER we have removed them from their secure facility. Unless he's seriously considering Murtha's proposal to dump em all into a minimum security prison in Pennsylvania because they're "no worse than regular criminals."

2. Respect for human life - Most people that go into the abortion debate take a stand either pro-life or pro-choice. Obama is neither - he's pro-abortion. You look at his voting record and his statements to Planning Parenthood, and he is viciously pro-abortion - he wants all restrictions on all abortions (including late-term and partial-birth, which are too horrible to think about) removed completely. Hence his order this week to remove the ban Pres. Bush had put in on giving money to companies overseas that perform abortions. For someone who has spoken recently on creating a new declaration of independence, he seems to be forgetting one of the key tenets of the original Declaration: that ALL men are endowed by their Creator with the unalienable (meaning it can't be forfeited) rights of LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If Obama wants people of all genders, races, and sexual orientations to enjoy those rights, what right does he have to say that the unborn have forfeited those same rights? The same Scripture he quoted from the podium on Tuesday says "It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." If offending one of the 'little ones' is worthy of that condemnation, what about those who promote the systematic MURDER of MILLIONS of 'little ones'? And uses MY tax dollars to do it? I'm not liking this, not one little bit.

Now I'm not saying Obama can't wise up. He's a smart guy, he can figure these basic principles out if he tries. He's flip-flopped on issues before (gay marriage, for example) so he can put his policy changes up to 'being enlightened' or something. Reagan was man enough to do it. What about Obama?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A rough four years

Well, now President Obama has officially taken over. He gave a big speech, which I'm sure the media will fall over each other in proclaiming the best since Lincoln, if not Washington. But there's a few items in it that bothered me. Here's what I don't like about what Obummer (as a friend of mine calls him) had to say this morning and what I think each item really means for us:

"each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet"
Translation - I'm a sucker for the 'global warming' farce and will throw our money away 'fighting' it

"begin again the work of remaking America"
Translation - goodbye traditional values, hello United States of Obama

"we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age."
Translation - conservative points of view and values will no longer be allowed or taught

"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works"
Translation - it's not big enough, and I'll make it bigger than ever

"As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals"
Translation - Bush's policies were wrong, and I'll institute wimpy liberal-friendly ones in their place

"so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today"
Translation - I am catering to YOU, not the American people

"those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist"
Translation - here is my jugular, please feel free to plunge your knife in at your earliest convenience

"greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less"
Translation - except for the automotive industry. Or the banks. Or big insurance companies like AIG. Or for about 17 or so Democratic governors. Or anyone like Peggy the Moocher. Or Barney Frank. But aside from them, no shortcuts allowed.

In short - we're in for a bumpy four years.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

99 Things

Here's how it works: Bold all the things that you have done in your life.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (you can't anymore...)
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (if you count rapelling)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been an actor or extra in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason(for my wife)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Book of Mormon
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (well, I did my part)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee