"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
~ Edmund Burke

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Progressive Insurance

You’ve seen and smiled at the Progressive Insurance TV commercials.
Well, you’re about to learn the rest of the story:

You know their TV commercials, the ones featuring the ditsy actress all dressed in white. What you might not know is that the Chairman of Progressive is Peter Lewis, one of the major funders of leftist causes in America.
Between 2001 and 2003, Lewis funneled $15 million to the ACLU, the group most responsible for destroying what's left of Americas Judeo-Christian heritage.
Lewis also gave $12.5 million to MoveOn.org and American Coming Together, two key propaganda arms of the socialist left.
His funding for these groups was conditional on matching contributions from George Soros, the America-hating socialist who is the chief financier of the Obama political machine.
Lewis made a fortune as a result of capitalism, but now finances a progressive movement that threatens to destroy the American free enterprise system that is targeting television shows on Fox News.
Peter Lewis is making a fortune off of conservative Americans (who buy his auto insurance) that he applies to dismantle the very system that made him wealthy. He's banking on no one finding out who he is, so, STOP buying Progressive Insurance and pass this information on to all your friends.

Verify at Snopes

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Confessions of a Truth Seeker

Have you ever noticed that while the truth is simple, it is not always an easy process to arrive at it? It seems that preconceived ideas, emotions and misinformation frequently gunk up our mental channels, thereby delaying the process. I am daily bombarded with my own thoughts. Ideas and questions constantly flood my mind, and sometimes I just want to get them out. I have noticed a metamorphosis happening within me in my perception of politics and government. I have come to believe that the media has us all so busy debating lies and half truths, that the truth about many things remains largely undiscovered (probably in ancient history books.) And it isn't just the state of our country that fills my mind with questions and a sincere desire for the truth; all things "mom" occupy my daily thoughts. Here are a few of the many, many questions I ask myself of late:

How does the international banking system really work? I have a feeling they control world governments far more than we know. How can we take almost all of the power currently vested in the federal government and return it to the states? How can we stop the tide of global redistribution of wealth? Is that even what is really happening? Are the mosques being built in the US teaching and encouraging Sharia law? Is stealth jihad a real threat?

Really, the list could go on and on and on and on.

What I understand and know to be true on a philosophical level - or in theory - so often conflicts with something else I believe when it comes to practical application. Therefore, arriving at the correct and wise solution to most problems is, well, problematic! For example, I believe in loving my fellow man and know that each person born on this earth is a child of God. I know that the way I treat His children is a direct reflection of my attitude and love for Him. I believe in helping people out, giving them a chance, and treating them with kindness. On an individual basis, this is not difficult... the problem arises when I begin to apply this truth to a large societal problem, such as illegal immigration. I served my mission among illegal immigrants living in New Jersey. I grew to appreciate and love Hispanic people for a million different reasons. I grew to love the individuals that I had the privilege of knowing and serving. Yet I know also that it is wrong to violate the laws of the land. I believe that things are to be done in wisdom and order - and clearly, immigration of the illegal variety is nothing but chaos. I remember women -some very young - telling me that they were raped along the long and dangerous route from their country to the U.S., but that it was to be expected. The drug cartels and violence associated with them often go hand-in-hand with illegal border-crossing. Many innocent Americans are being horribly impacted by the violence. The Christian in me cries out to care for these people that are willing to risk their life in hopes of a better life. But when I contemplate the endless myriad of societal problems created by this mass intrusion, I am left to believe that illegal immigration is also a colossal disaster that must be stopped.

What brought about all these thoughts most recently is a documentary on Thomas Jefferson. Like all of us, Jefferson grappled with the collision between true ideals and correct real-life application. I find the horrible dilemma that faced our nation at its inception with regard to slavery almost unfathomable. The Dutch had brought slaves into the country for many years. A good many American slave-owners (such as Jefferson) inherited their slaves. In Jefferson's case, he also inherited an enormous debt. He had a moral obligation to pay the debt, and was unusually upright in matters of finance. He could not pay the debt without his slaves, and he knew that he would treat his slaves with far more civility and kindness than anyone else would. He traded slaves in order to keep families together. He worked to pass legislation that would end the importation of slaves. Certainly it is abhorrent that slavery was ever tolerated. Yet, as I contemplate the writings of this remarkably brilliant man, it is clear that he felt bound by a system that he could not simply change. He felt that he would be doing his slaves (who he always referred to as family) a grave injustice by letting them go free, as they would have nowhere to go and no means of taking care of themselves. Interestingly, he advocated for the education of slaves so they could one day become free. It is a long and complicated issue, and I'm sure enough books have been written on the topic to fill an entire library!
My only point is this: life is filled with contradiction. What we often see as the obvious truth becomes far more complex in its application to real life. I wish it were not so. It makes wise decision making all the more difficult, particularly in matters of civil debate. I also find it ironic that there are some things we absolutely know are true, and yet find almost impossible to live. I have always been an idealist, but I think the somewhat unfortunate reality of our human condition is starting to settle in on me as I grapple in my own mind with the issues that face our country today.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Religious Freedom

I have been thinking a great deal lately about religous freedom - including the separation of church and state. It occurs to me that the evolution of this concept has left many Americans in utter ignorance of its original meaning. Our forefathers left their European homes - left all that they knew or had ever known - to make the treacherous journey across the Atlantic and embark on a new life in a strange land. Of the nine thousand people that traveled to Jamestown, only one thousand survived!! I don't think any of us can even fathom what a risk coming to America really was for those who founded it. Why did these people show such courage, and why would they risk their lives and lives of their children to leave their home? The answer is embodied in one word: FREEDOM.

We all learned in school that they specifically sought religious freedom. They wished to escape the tyranny of a government that forced one state religion on all its citizens. They believed that civil law had no place limiting religion or religious practice.

I recently happened upon an article written by Cardinal Francis George entitled "Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defense of Religious Freedom." I was so impressed, that I posted one of his thoughts on facebook. This is what I posted: "Religious freedom means that religious groups and individuals have a right to exercise their influence in the public square." Someone left a comment on my facebook page that said:

"Muslims too? People who govern in the name of God attribute their own personal preferences to God, and therefore recognize no limit in imposing those preferences on other people."

Knowing this person, I would not doubt if his comment was meant as an affront. My husband said I should just unfriend him. (ha ha ha) I thought it was a good question, though. I thought about it for awhile, then responded with the following:

I never said anything about governing in the name of God! I wrote that comment because religion is under attack. It shouldn't be illegal for people to pray on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial or in public school for that matter. Our cons...titution was founded on the belief that we receive rights from God, not from government. Belief and reverence for our Creator was at the center of our country's founding, as was respect for individuals to express their views - religious or otherwise - in the public square.
You make a good point about Muslims, but political representatives are elected - essentially hired - to represent those citizens who elected them. Heaven help us if the majority of the people elect someone in favor of Sharia law. Even then, it would be impossible to institute most of the objectional practices of Islam on a state or federal level because our constitution - the ultimate law of the land - prohibits anything which infringes upon the individuals right to life or liberty.
It's kind of sad, because as I am writing this I am thinking of all the ways in which the constitution is already being violated by corrupt, self-serving politicians.
Ultimately, the separation of church and state was designed to keep the state from influencing or regulating churches - not from religions influencing the state.

That last sentence embodies the reality that has been so lost from our public discourse on this topic. People are afraid to proclaim their beliefs for fear of offending those who say, "But that's religion, and in this country we have a separation between church and state."

I would like to quote a bit more from the excellent article by Francis George:

"According to the Catholic understanding of religioius freedom, this right cannot be reduced to freedom of worship or even freedom of private conscience. Religious freedom means that religious groups and individuals have a right to exercise their influence in the public square. Any attempt to reduce that fuller sense of religious freedom to a private reality of worship and individual conscience, as long as you don't make anybody else unhappy, is not in our American tradition. It is the tradition of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made civil peace after the terror of the French Revolution by limiting the Church to the sacristy and not permitting it to have a public role.

When government fails to protect the consciences of its citizens, it falls to religious bodies to become the defenders of human freedom. We can and should stand as one in the defense of religious liberty."

I learned an interesting fact recently, which I am sad to admit I did not previously know. Leading up to the time of the American Revolution, preachers played an enormous role in educating the people, and inciting them to defend their liberty! Isn't that interesting? I believe that it is incumbent upon us, regardless of our religious persuasion, to defend and proclaim liberty for all.

Friday, April 9, 2010


A License Required for your HOUSE?
If you own your home you really need to check this out. If the country thinks the housing market is depressed now, wait until everyone sees this. No one will be buying homes in the future.

I encourage you to read the provisions of the Cap and Trade Bill that has passed the House of Representatives and are being considered by the Senate. This Congress and their "experts" are truly out to destroy the middle class of the U.S.A.

A License will be required for your house...no longer just for cars and mobile homes....Thinking about selling your house? Take a look at H.R. 2454 (Cap and Trade bill) This is unbelievable! Home owners take note and tell your friends and relatives who are home owners!

Beginning one year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this "Cap & Trade" bill, passed by the House of Representatives. If it is also passed by the Senate, it will be the largest tax increase any of us has ever experienced.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in just a few years the average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year. No one is excluded. However, once the lower classes feel the pinch in their wallets, you can be sure that these voters will get a tax refund (even if they pay no taxes at all) to offset this new cost. Thus, you Mr. And Mrs. Middle Class have to pay even more since additional tax dollars will be needed to bail out everyone else..

But wait. This awful bill (that no one in Congress has actually read) has many more surprises in it. Probably the worst one is this: A year from now you won't be able to sell your house without some bureaucrat's OK. Yes, you read that right.

The caveat (there always is a caveat) is that if you have enough money to make required major upgrades to your home, then you can sell it. But, if not, then forget it. Even pre-fabricated homes ("mobile homes") are included. In effect, this bill prevents you from selling your home without the permission of the EPA administrator.

To get this permission, you will have to have the energy efficiency of your home measured. Then the government will tell you what your new energy efficiency requirement is and you will be required to make modifications to your home under the retrofit provisions of this Act, to comply with the new energy and water efficiency requirements.

Then you will have to get your home measured again and get a license (called a "label" in the Act) that must be posted on your property to show what your efficiency rating is; sort of like the Energy Star efficiency rating label on your refrigerator or air conditioner. If you don't get a high enough rating, you can't sell.

And, the EPA administrator is authorized to raise the standards every year, even above the automatic energy efficiency increases built into the Act. The EPA administrator, appointed by the President, will run the Cap & Trade program (AKA the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009") and is authorized to make any future changes to the regulations and standards he/she alone determines to be in the government's best interest. Requirements are set low initially so the bill will pass Congress. Then the Administrator can set new standards every year.

The Act itself contains annual required increases in energy efficiency for private and commercial residences and buildings. However, the EPA administrator can set higher standards at any time. Sect. 202 - Building Retrofit Program mandates a national retrofit program to increase the energy efficiency of all existing homes across America .

Beginning one year after enactment of the Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with its energy and water efficiency standards. You had better sell soon, because the standards will be raised each year and will be really hard (expen$ive) to meet in a few years. Oh, goody!

The Act allows the government to give you a grant of several thousand dollars to comply with the retrofit program requirements IF you meet certain energy efficiency levels. But, wait, the State can set additional requirements on who qualifies to receive the grants. You should expect requirements such as "can't have an income of more than $50K per year", "home selling price can't be more than $125K", or anything else to target the upper middle class (that includes YOU?) and prevent you from qualifying for the grants.

Most of us won't get a dime and will have to pay the entire cost of the retrofit out of our own pockets. More transfer of wealth, more "change you can believe in." Sect. 204 - Building Energy Performance Labeling Program establishes a labeling program that for each individual residence will identify the achieved energy efficiency performance for "at least 90 percent of the residential market within 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act."

This means that within 5 years 90% of all residential homes in the U.S. must be measured and labeled. The EPA administrator will get $50M each year to enforce the labeling program. The Secretary of the Department of Energy will get an additional $20M each year to help the EPA. Some of this money will, of course, be spent on coming up with tougher standards each year...

Oh, the label will be like a license for your car. You will be required to post the label in a conspicuous location in your home and will not be allowed to sell your home without having this label. And, just like your car license, you will probably be required to get a new label every so often - maybe every year.

But, the government estimates the cost of measuring the energy efficiency of your home should only cost about $200 each time. Remember what they said about the auto smog inspections when they first started: that in California ? It would only cost $15. That was when the program started. Now the cost is about $50 for the inspection and certificate.

Expect the same from the home labeling program. Sect. 304 - Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes establishes new energy efficiency guidelines for the National Building Code and mandates at 304(d) that one year after enactment of this Act, all state and local jurisdictions must adopt the National Building Code energy efficiency provisions or must obtain a certification from the federal government that their state and/or local codes have been brought into full compliance with the National Building Code energy efficiency standards.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Separation of Church and State in the Abortion Debate

Someone recently wrote the following to me:

"Abortion is a legitimate part of women's reproductive health care and I despise the interjection of religion into this. There is, after all, a separation between church and state and it should stand firm. Just because you or anyone else doesn't believe in abortion doesn't give you the right to impose your beliefs on those who do not feel the way you do."

The following is my response. I would welcome any comments or thoughts on it:

Separation of church and state - a phrase frequently quoted but rarely understood. The original intent of the founders was to ensure that government did not impose any one religion upon all. In essence, it was to keep the government out of the church. However, it would be impossible to keep the church out of government since the government is constituted of the people, who naturally hold to their various religious persuasions. You don't have a church, you say? Still, this does not exempt you from bringing (in essence) religion into government. Why? Simply put, all of us have values. Some of us derive our values from the Bible, others from life experience, and some just absorb the values of those around them. Most of us espouse a value system that is some combination of our experience and what we were taught as kids. But in the end, we all have beliefs. And in the end, we all want the government to reflect our particular beliefs.

Many Americans believe that abortion is murder, since it is depriving a fetus the right to life. Many others believe that the rights of a woman would be violated by laws protecting her fetus, since the fetus is in her body. I believe that abortion is wrong because it violates an unborn baby's right to live. It is impossible for me not to consider a fetus a life, since it begins circulating and pumping its own blood - often with its own blood type - at about the same time most people are just noticing their period is late! We now know that babies develop their own unique fingerprint at 3 months gestation, and that babies in the womb are able to dream, remember, feel and express emotion through facial expressions long before they are ever born. I do believe in choice - in a baby's choice to grow up and make a life for him or herself!
I also believe in women's rights - including the right to decide who to have sex with, and when. We are all free to choose to do whatever we want, but we are not free to choose the consequences of our decisions. Therefore, it is up to us to choose wisely. I understand that there are cases of incest or rape where the woman did not choose to have sex, and I think perhaps those cases deserve special consideration, just as is the case when the woman's life is seriously jeopardized by pregnancy.

Ultimately, this post is not about my beliefs. It is about rebuffing the notion that the pro-life movement has no place in civil society because of its religious underpinnings. For someone to assert that a particular view point should not be considered because of where that belief originated - in this case because it originated with religion or spirituality - is both absurd and prejudiced. Laws should be considered alone on the merits of liberty. Does the law deny liberty or does it expand it? Does it go far in protecting the rights of some, while destroying the rights of others? This should be the gage.

The beliefs of a pro-life individual are not of necessity derived from their religious beliefs, but ultimately it does not matter why someone believes something. It is their belief, and as an American, they have the right to fight for laws that reflect their belief!!

Fighting for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves is something I have to do to be true to myself. What is more American than that?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care History

I feel that I want to both weep and vomit after the health care vote last night. This vote represents perhaps the single most devastating assault on freedom in my lifetime. Here are just a few of the reasons this bill is so profoundly dangerous:

1. It violates the constitution by mandating that every American purchase health care. If I don't want to purchase health care, or if I cannot afford it, I should not be compelled to do it!!
2. This bill mandates that tax payers' money be used to fund abortions. Apparently some deal was reached with pro-life democrats to make them believe that this requirement be reversed or pulled, but the truth lies within the wording of the bill itself. This bill WILL use our money to pay for abortions, period.
3. Our health insurance premiums will go up, up, up. Our taxes will go up, too. Free health care is a joke. This is going to cost us all a LOT - not just the super wealthy, but all of us.
4. This bill will destroy private health insurance companies. In fact, I am confident that is one of the primary goals of its creators. Once private health insurance companies go out of business, we will all be stuck with a public option - because, you know, the government will have to swoop down and save us all from those evil companies.
5. This bill screws veterans! Excuse my vernacular - I am in a hurry, and my academic brain is on hiatus while I focus my days and nights on changing diapers and teaching the ABC's. (I wouldn't trade it for the world, but my brain has taken a temporary hit!)

I listened to hours of debate yesterday in the House of Representatives. It was truly fascinating. I love watching our political process at work. I was inspired by some of what I saw and heard, but truly disheartened by the words and actions of so many that pretend to represent us! This legislation is so fully reprehensible, not only because of the ways in which it violates our liberty, but because of the fact that the VAST majority of Americans are AGAINST it!!! Those who make our laws are elected to represent US. We hire them - they work for US! Sadly, their arrogance has led them to believe that they can do whatever they want without consequence.

I am so sick of people talking about this 'historic' vote. It's similar to the way the world wouldn't stop talking about Obama's election in terms of its historic value. Has anyone ever noticed that just because something is historic does not mean it is positive? Hitler's movement was historic. Mao's forced starvation of tens of millions of Chinese peasants was historic too. In my opinion, this is tragic too - not to the same degree, of course. But the doors of history open and close on small hinges. This 'historic' law is just a set of hinges on a very dangerous door - a door I do not want to open!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Signers of the Delaration of Independence

Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.

Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.

Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding.
His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown , Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.

John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

Some of us take these liberties so much for granted, but we shouldn't.
So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots. It's not much to ask for the price they paid.