Anyone who's interested! I would love to hear your stories, but I don't want to put anyone on the spot.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Anyone who's interested! I would love to hear your stories, but I don't want to put anyone on the spot.
- Educational spending - even though education has been steadily declining since we started trying to centrally manage it in the 70's with the Department of Education. It is not a Federal issue, and they are dumbing down our students with each passing year. It is a state and local issue that needs state and local ownership, not people scratching their heads and looking to Washington for more money for less work. Do you know that at public schools only half of the employees are actually teachers? The rest are there for administrative duties.
- Health Care - Socialized medicine. The upside, everyone gets health care. The downside, everyone gets crappy, crappy care. We would also lose all of the innovation in health care that currently comes out of the United States. When was the last time a revolutionary new treatment came out of Europe or Canada? We would have bureaucrats deciding who lives and dies without even the option of paying out of pocket for unauthorized treatment. Already poor people in this country can use Medicare/Medicaid, not to mention charitable institutions are usually available to help out, not to mention that hospitals have to help people that come to them; it's illegal for them turn people away.
- Energy - Obama ignores the fact that all of the other "alternative energies" have serious environmental problems of their own. Wind and solar energy - expensive, takes up a lot of land for a small amount of energy generated, and are unreliable because they are based on everchanging conditions. Corn based ethanol - expensive, takes up a lot of land, and raises food prices. Let me expand on the "takes up a lot of land" - by that I mean it destroys large ecosystems permenently, often raising the CO2 by reducing the number of trees available for oxygen conversion. I'm totally for investing in alternative energies if it is done through the private sector without governmental subsidies. As an engineer, I believe in looking for the most cost effective solution that gets the job done. Obama's Cap and Trade policy would also put unreasonable burdens on businesses, while enriching the Cap and Trade firms. Oh, and did I mention that A LOT of scientists don't even think that the world is warming, let alone that its caused by man?
I could write a lot more on why I think he's wrong in all three areas, but I won't for now. I just want everyone to consider looking more into Obama and Congress's spending. I was unhappy that Bush was so irresponsible, but what the pork and earmarks that are coming out of Washington are just sickening. And please consider writing your Senators and Representatives if you don't like what you see! The only way we can change things is by getting informed and letting our elected officials know how we feel. And consider attending a Tax Day Tea Party of your own: http://taxdayteaparty.com/teaparty/!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
- Where is Claire? She's my favorite character! Is she still with Christian Shepherd and if so, will she and Sun reunite next week? They were always good friends, but Claire might be a little weird now.
- Christian said that Sun had a long journey ahead of her, which I'm assuming meant that she was supposed to work to get to 1977 back with Jin. Will Claire and Lapidus go with her?
- Why didn't Sun and Lapidus end up back in 1977 with the O6? Or Ben for that matter, although Ben didn't leave at the same time they did.
- Wasn't it creepy seeing a young Ben with Sawyer? Will they try to kill him or change him to be good? Maybe Ben couldn't go back to 1977 because he couldn't run into his young self.
- Why didn't Locke go back in time either?
- The previews for next week imply that Kate came back for Sawyer... has she realized that she loves him? Then why did she sleep with Jack? I will be so mad if she breaks up Juliet and Sawyer, from the way Juliet acted, I don't think she has feelings for Jack anymore. (I don't know how anyone could have feelings for Jack anyhow, he's so socially awkward.)
- And what happened to Aaron? I still think she got another "vision" from Claire telling her she needed to come back.
- I wish Jack wasn't such a jerk, I hope that being a "workman" humbles him a bit. He was so rude to Sawyer, it was uncalled for, and now it looks like everyone is going to fight next week. Once again, Jack screws everything up, he's the worst leader in the world.
- Will Jack develop a relationship with Ben's dad, since they are both workmen?
- How did the outriggers get from the Hydra station to the main island? Sawyer and crew were on the other island when they found the two outriggers, not the Hydra. And who was shooting at Sawyer and crew?
- Where was Daniel Faraday?
- The four people that the Others wanted on the List way back at the end of Season 2 (Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sawyer) were all in the Dharma Initiative. Is that why the Others wanted them, from seeing their records in the barracks?
Please comment. I'm dying to hear your theories (ahem, Jessica)
Monday, March 16, 2009
Nick's sister, Tiffany was due last Thursday, and had been told by her Doctor that she would probably deliver early. The whole family had had their cellphones glued to the hip for the past week waiting, but Thursday came and went, and still no baby. Nick and I had been planning on going to Houston if the baby came, but since Bear seemed to be taking his time, we decided to hang out and work on the pergola Friday (we have every other Friday off).
Finally Thursday night, we got a call from Nick's mom saying that Tiffany had spoken with the hospital, and that if she didn't go into labor over night, she should call at 6 AM Friday. If the hospital wasn't full, then they were going to admit her and induce labor.
Well, Nick and I got up early, and by 8 AM we still hadn't heard anything, so we called Nick's mom. The hospital was full, so Tiffany had been ordered to call back at 10 AM to see if it was still full then. By 12 PM, we called Nick's mom again, and the hospital was still full, BUT they had asked Tiffany to come in for an ultrasound. This is not routine procedure, but if her fluid levels looked low on the ultrasound, then they could admit her as an "emergency case" and induce labor then.
So we waited impatiently...
Finally, at 3:30 PM, we got a panicked call from Nick's mom. The fluid levels were fine, but the ultrasound showed that the umbilical chord was wrapped around the baby's neck TWICE, and they were going to do an emergency C-section. Nick and I immediately prayed to God for the health of the baby and Tiffany. A C-section might be routine, but it's a major surgery. I also text messaged all of my sweet, believer friends and asked them to be praying for Tiffany as well. We then got packed as quickly as I've ever been able to, and raced out the door to Houston.
Finally, as we were driving,we got the call from Nick's mom around 7:30 PM. The baby had been born, and was a boy.
Side note*** Tiffany and Brady did not find out the sex of the baby beforehand. I had been so sure it was a girl, it wasn't. I thought that I could end my losing streak of guessing the wrong sex with my own flesh and blood... but apparently I'm destined to be always wrong in guessing a babies sex. I have been wrong, for literally the past 8 or 9 times I have guessed for friends and acquaintances pregnancies.***
And mother and baby were doing fine! But we found out that the umbilical chord had been around his neck FOUR TIMES.
This was truly a miracle because if the hospital hadn't been full, then the Doctors would have admitted Tiffany and induced labor without performing an ultrasound. They would have realized something was wrong after labor had begun because of the baby's heart rate, but the could have been in distress for a while before they were able to get him out. And with the umbilical chord wrapped FOUR TIMES around his neck, there's no telling what could have happened. God is so merciful, loving and good at all times! I don't know why I'm not always more patient with his timing knowing how well things turn out when I trust in Him.
Needless to say, we are overjoyed that he's here with us. It was hard leaving him on Sunday, we only got to spend a little over 24 hours with him. I also missed his homecoming, which is just tearing me up! But I can't wait to see him soon. Nick is pretty enamored with him too! Before we went to the hospital on Saturday, Nick was thinking that we would only stay for a few minutes. His comment, "Well, its not like the baby will do anything. We might get kind of bored." My comment, "We'll look at the baby, and that will be enough." Sure enough, as soon as Nick held the baby, his eyes were glued to little Bear's face, Nick couldn't get enough of him! This is my favorite picture from the trip, that's Nick's hand you see.
You can find more pictures of Bear here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2695759&id=8317856&l=e66e44a184. I think he's pretty darn precious, and he gets cuter every day!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Crazy as it might seem to those of you that know me, I have come to the conclusion that I am smarter than most of the people in Washington, Obama included. It doesn't take much, and truth be told, it really only takes common sense. For all the criticism lobbed at Sarah Palin, she may not have the IQ of Obama (I don't know if she does or not), but she has common sense, which is all that is really needed to effectively manage a country (just look at how Alaska is pulling through this economic crisis). I have ceased to be impressed with Ivy League educations, so please, please don't try to tell me that makes someone qualified to run a country. (George W Bush went to Yale and liberals hated his leadership!) I have met enough Ivy boneheads, and most of them I wouldn't voluntarily trust $100 of my money to.
The thing is, every time I start to write something about Obama, I never can finish it. I start to type and then I think of all of the wonderful things that are happening in mine and Nick's lives, and I end up typing on that instead. The direction our country is heading into just depresses me and its hard to dwell on, even though I still read Townhall/WSJ and others daily to figure what is happening. I also read the Huffington Post, but I hardly call that news. I could quit reading, but how then I could vote as an informed citizen? I have a conscience, and I refuse to count on Jon Stewart to select my President.
The thing that depresses me most of all, is people's unwillingness to see Obama for what he is. He is far, far left liberal. That phrase has been overused so I guessed its lost its meaning for most people. He has somehow developed all of these reputations for moderation/bipartisian spirit/listening to the best solution no matter what side proposes it... based on what? His record? If you look at his record, it shows that he faithfully follows all of the liberal dogma, there is nothing centrist about it, and its far more extreme than most people who identify themselves as "liberal" would want to go. Lets look at one example:
- Believes that abortion should be allowed for any reason, at any stage of pregnancy, only 7% of the American population believes in abortion without any restrictions!
- He repeatedly voted to deny health care to infants that were born alive in botched abortion cases (yes, they don't always die in the womb). This is a man is so compassionate that he wants universal health care for all Americans... except for tiny broken babies who don't realize that they are supposed to come out of the womb dead? Even Barbara Boxer of California believes that born alive aborted infants should recieve medical care.
How those two opposing viewpoints can be a part of the same ideology doesn't make sense to me, but I'm not one of the "progressives"! If it doesn't make sense to you either, even if you voted for Obama, you might be beginning to realize something... that Obama's rhetoric is one thing, what he actually believes and acts upon is entirely different.
Which brings me to my final and most important point, and if I were any kind of a writer, I probably would have started with this point because its what started me on this post in the first place.
Obama overturned George W Bush's embryonic stem cell ban a few days ago.
As an engineer, I love science, and as a Christian, I love Yahweh. I have never found the the two to be in opposition and God has proven himself to be unchanging and faithful in the 10 years that I have been a believer. Science (I recognize that this a broad category), on the other hand, is not always the perfect, impartial objective reality that people make it out to be. As an engineer, I know that the outcome of any analysis or study can vary greatly based on my initial assumptions. This is why, after much struggle and disobedience, I have come to rely on the validity of God's word before anything else.
And funny thing... science has never in the end contradicted me when I make the call to trust God in opposition to what most of the media is reporting as absolute, irrefutable scientific truths. Like most Christians, I believe that life begins at conception - when sperm meets egg. God has told us "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose (doesn't God's word just melt your heart?)." And for me, that's all that I needed to know when I made the decision to support George W Bush's ban on embryonic stem cell research. This was in opposition to most of the media and the left, who characterized Bush as a religious nut who dared to put the Christian religion before the secular religion (as though religious people are never right and science is never wrong.) I made that call, even when we knew almost nothing about embryonic stem cell work, and scientists and celebrities were touting is endless possibilities for curing illness and infirmities.
Let's fast forward to today, and now what do we know? We don't need to use stem cells from embryos to cure diseases:
- Every single success in treating patients with stem cells to date, has involved the use of adult or umbilical cord blood stem cells.
- Feel free to do some research on induced pluripotent research and adult stem cell research. In these fields currently 72 diseases are now being remedied or cured without using human embryos.
- Embryonic stem cells have only been used once on a human being, an 8 year old boy. The stem cells lead the boy to develop tumors on his brain and spinal cord four years later. Thankfully, Doctors were able to remove the tumors and he is still living today.
- Rats implanted with embryonic stem cells routinely develop malignant growths/tumors that kill them 100% of the time.
This tells me that Obama has as little faith in science, as I've always known he had in God. Very few Americans realize how radical Obama's agenda is, and the scope of his transformative vision for our country; it has very little basis in anything that most Americans would recognize or want. For a sneak peek at what he intends, you can look here: http://www.aclu.org/ (started by a commy by the way... um, I mean marxist). I started this post saying that the next four years will be demoralizing for all Americans, not just conservatives. There's going to be a wailing and gnashing of teeth when Americans realize what they've done as Obama reveals his true plan. But once that's over, as they say, tomorrow is another day, and 2012 is another election!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Well congress has just sent a spending bill to BO that includes 7,991 earmarks and rejected every single Republican amendment to the bill.
:( So much for being magnanimous winners... we are on track to become as mismanaged as California. My heart hurts.
Monday, March 9, 2009
A Williams-Sonoma cookbook on entertaining. With our pergola and the new table, I would officially like to start "entertaining." I have had people over before, but those were just "get-togethers". Yes, my friends, Nick and I have officially entered the ranks of bourgeoisie... :).
Finally, my new pride and joy... I literally waited by the silent auction table until they shut it down. I had to outbid this sweet man at the last minute, but I won it. What is it you ask? On the outside, it would appear to be an ordinary book on Baton Rouge...
My yard is starting to bloom! My jessamine plan has its first flower ever. I planted it last year for my dearest friend Jessy, but it almost died under my care (I suffer from the curse of the black thumb). Nick managed to nurse it back to health the way he has done with so many of my plants, and now look at it! I can't wait to plant them along the pergola so that they grow up and overheard into a beautiful sunshine canopy.
We are also gearing up for our next big outdoor project, a vegetable garden. Nick has been wanting to put one in since last year, but we just didn't get around to it. My friend Jessica started her garden this weekend, and that inspired us to get busy with it. We haven't started yet, but we bought the seeds. I really want to put in a butterfly garden along the wall to the left of the pergola, but I'm getting little support from the other members of my household. Its function over form only with a certain engineer who shall remain nameless :). I am getting excited about the vegetable garden, especially with the economy... I'm calling it my Victory Garden. It'll cheer me up thinking that in 2 years Conservatives may be victorious in congressional elections in unseating Pelosi and in 4 years... I can dream :).
Friday, March 6, 2009
By Charles Krauthammer
Availabls at: http://townhall.com/Columnists/CharlesKrauthammer/2009/03/06/obamas_big_bang_agenda?page=1
WASHINGTON -- Forget the pork. Forget the waste. Forget the 8,570 earmarks in a bill supported by a president who poses as the scourge of earmarks. Forget the "$2 trillion dollars in savings" that "we have already identified," $1.6 trillion of which President Obama's budget director later admits is the "savings" of not continuing the surge in Iraq until 2019 -- 11 years after George Bush ended it, and eight years after even Bush would have had us out of Iraq completely.
Forget all of this. This is run-of-the-mill budget trickery. True, Obama's tricks come festooned with strings of zeros tacked onto the end. But that's a matter of scale, not principle.
All presidents do that. But few undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama's radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.
The logic of Obama's address to Congress went like this:
"Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care, and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.
The "day of reckoning" has now arrived. And because "it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament," Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.
Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.
At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the entire banking system. One can come up with a host of causes: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed by Washington (and greed) into improvident loans, corrupted bond-ratings agencies, insufficient regulation of new and exotic debt instruments, the easy money policy of Alan Greenspan's Fed, irresponsible bankers pushing (and then unloading in packaged loan instruments) highly dubious mortgages, greedy house-flippers, deceitful homebuyers.
The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates. Indeed, one could perversely make the case that, if anything, the proliferation of overeducated, Gucci-wearing, smart-ass MBAs inventing ever more sophisticated and opaque mathematical models and debt instruments helped get us into this credit catastrophe in the first place.
And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.
What's going on? "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."
Things. Now we know what they are. The markets' recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions -- the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic -- for enacting his "Big Bang" agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.
Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009