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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Unite for Middle East Peace

Within this terrible situation with Israel, Hamas, and the Gaza Strip, it seems that much of the story has not been told. Is the fighting regarding land (territory) or over the rights of the people?

"18 November 2008 – The top United Nations human rights official called today for an immediate end to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, which she said contravened international law and had deprived those living there of their most basic human rights for months.

“By function of this blockade, 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and children have been forcibly deprived of their most basic human rights for months,” said Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “This is in direct contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law. It must end now,” she said.

Ms. Pillay welcomed the decision by Israel to allow a limited number of trucks to enter Gaza on 17 November, but recalled its obligation to refrain from all measures that contravene international law." -- UN News Centre

Blockades of any type that interfere with any basic human needs are unacceptable. Humans are not pons in a chess game. They need food, water, powdered milk for their babies. Those who are attempting to give their families the basics, not involving themselves in the politics of this situation other than attempting to have a roof over their heads, clothing for their families, sanitary conditions and other basics, should not be the ploys in this political and religious showdown. This, no matter the Oslo Accords agreed upon by both "governments" involved in this tug-o-war.

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Can the government officials see that more negotiations are necessary and that talks regarding the situation may lead to some standards for lasting peace?

"...Many have made that error, assuming wrongly that the task is merely one of negotiating a compromise between tough opponents who nevertheless are bound by a mutual interest in peace and the prosperity it might be expected to ensure.

But this conflict defies such easy appeals to reason. Its path is littered with the abandoned remnants of once-hopeful plans and promises that are now largely forgotten.
All parties claim to want peace, and perhaps they do. But we must use the term cautiously." -- The Middle East Peace Processs At A Crossroads

So then, why must the United States be so deeply involved in this and every other world conflict. The answer is that "there is no one else to take our place, no one else who will even try. Only we possess the requisite power and resources, only we can engage all sides, only we can aspire to the trust of all...For it is a very American thing to believe that all problems have solutions.

But we cannot make peace by ourselves, however fervent our determination. That
responsibility lies in the hands of those in the region who are fated to live together forever, and they share that responsibility equally"

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The current President of Israel, Shimon Peres, was the person who produced the Oslo Accords. He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize together with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat for the peace talks he participated in which produced those accords. He left the Labor Party and joined the Kadima party in 2005 to support Ariel Sharon.

In November of 2005, the Kadima party released main points of its national agenda. Here they are.

"-The Israeli nation has a national and historic right to the whole of Israel. However, in order to maintain a Jewish majority, part of the Land of Israel must be given up to maintain a Jewish and democratic state.

-Israel shall remain a Jewish state and homeland. Jewish majority in Israel will be preserved by territorial concessions to Palestinians.

-Jerusalem and large settlement blocks in the West Bank will be kept under Israeli control.

-The Israeli national agenda to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and achieve two states for two nations will be the road map. It will be carried out in stages: dismantling terror organizations, collecting firearms, implementing security reforms in the Palestinian Authority, and preventing incitement. At the end of the process, a demilitarized Palestinian state devoid of terror will be established.

-Israel's political system will be modified to ensure stability. One possibility to achieve this goal would be to hold primary, regional and personal elections to the Knesset and the Prime Minister's office.

-Kadima would not rule out a future coalition partnership with any Israeli political party or person.

-promoting equality for minorities

-negative income tax and national pension

-increasing social security benefits and national health insurance

-civil marriage

-reform of police" -- Wikipedia - Kadima

The Kadima party has good intentions, however, since there are so many varying parties in the Israeli government, with hugely varying agendas, it is impossible to smoothly implement the peace that is sought.

Involved in the mix is Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel and the Leader of the Opposition. He may be one of the driving forces behind the issues now being faced in Gaza. "He was Finance Minister of Israel until 9 August 2005, having resigned in protest at the Gaza Disengagement Plan advocated by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon."

What is the Gaza Disengagement Plan? It "was a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon...to evict all Israelis from the Gaza Strip and from four settlements in the northern West Bank...Israel later decided to leave the border area, which is now controlled by Egypt and the Palestinians, through the PNA. Israel will continue to control Gaza's coastline and airspace and reserves the right to undertake military operations when necessary." [italics added]

A key factor in this plan is that "Israel will continue to provide Gaza with water, communication, electricity, and sewage networks", which evidently is somewhat lacking, based on the U.N. information.

When Netanyahoo resigned, he said that the Israeli government was not taking into account the expected upsurge in terrorism. "I am convinced today that the disengagement will eventually aggravate terrorism instead of reducing it."

What was the U.S. position? President George W. Bush said:

"I strongly support [Prime Minister Sharon's] courageous initiative to disengage from Gaza and part of the West Bank. The Prime Minister is willing to coordinate the implementation of the disengagement plan with the Palestinians. I urge the Palestinian leadership to accept his offer. By working together, Israelis and Palestinians can lay the groundwork for a peaceful transition."

"Essentially, a Palestinian demand that Israel withdraw to the 1949 [Armistice] lines would become "the position of the United States"."

Palestinian Arabs rejected the plan because it does not require the complete withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which would prevent a Palestinian state for years to come.

Sure enough, Hamas was elected as the Palestinian government. The fighting began again, those who voluntarily left the Gaza Strip have not been duly compensated, and terrorist activity is a consistent threat.

Where is the solution? Unfortunately there is no solution, other than the ceasing of the terrorism and fighting. This is a people who need united leaders who are willing to work together to provide the necessities to the people they govern and show compassion to people on all sides of this conflict. Territories are intermingled and will likely continue to be that way. The only resolution to this conflict is a united front by the leaders who are placing the orders to the military and the citizens.

God Bless America!

Sources:

Wikipedia.com
avalon.law.yale.edu
www.un.org

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Waste of Bailout Money. Chrysler Pays Approx. $600K of Our Money to Say Thank You.

"Chrysler Faces Criticism for Full-Page 'Thank You' Ads
Taxpayers and conservative groups are questioning why Chrysler spent the money to take out a series of full-page newspaper ads thanking Americans for the auto industry bailout."

"Chrysler is facing a backlash from taxpayers and conservative groups after the ailing auto company took out a series of full-page newspaper ads last week to thank Americans for "investing" in the company through the government's $17.4 billion auto industry bailout plan.

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Critics say the company, which is expected to receive about $4 billion of that bailout money in the near term, should not be spending its already limited resources on pricey advertisements." -- Source: Fox News

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hamas, Fatah, Israel, and the United Nations.

By now, I am sure you are aware of the conflict between Israel and Hamas. But, do you know who Hamas is, other than "the bad guy" in this conflict?

The name "Hamas" is an acronym for the "Islamic Resistance Movement". That says a lot on its own, however, let's look further into Hamas.

Hamas "is a Palestinian Sunni paramilitary organization and political party which holds a majority of seats in the elected legislative council of the Palestinian National Authority." Hamas was created in 1987 and has become popular in Palestinian society by establishing services such as hospitals, libraries, and others throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. "Hamas' charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip". Note: source -- Wikipedia

The issues in the Palestinian government run deep and have a seemingly unending timeline. More recently, "The Palestinian National Authority was formed in 1994, pursuant to the Oslo Accords between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the government of Israel, as a 5-year interim body during which final status negotiations between the two parties were to take place but never did. According to the Accords, the Palestinian Authority was designated to have control over both security-related and civilian issues in Palestinian urban areas (referred to

Handango Inc.
as "Area A"), and only civilian control over Palestinian rural areas ("Area B"). The remainder of the territories, including Israeli settlements, the Jordan Valley region, and bypass roads between Palestinian communities, were to remain under exclusive Israeli control ("Area C"). East Jerusalem was excluded from the Accords." So, what needs to happen here, in addition to many other things, is that the negotiations need to be mandated and oversight by the United Nations must be in place as a peace making middle-man. Additionally, the Israeli settlements should currently remain theirs, according to the Oslo Accords. "The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles (DOP) was a milestone in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was the first direct, face-to-face agreement between Israel and political representatives of Palestinians. It was the first time that some Palestinian factions publicly acknowledged Israel's right to exist."

On an international basis, the U.N. should use their power to intervene and uphold this agreement (the Oslo Accords), inclusive of the violence from Hamas and Hamas' power as a result of their victory in parliamentary elections. This is not a U.S. fight, although we are in need of standing up for our allies, which include Israel. However, this is a disturbance that the U.N. needs to pursue as an international peace keeping mission.

"The PA maintains an official uniformed armed service which various sources estimate to include anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 recruits employing some armored cars, and a limited number carry automatic weapons. Officially termed a "police force", it violates the Oslo Accords which limit the force to 30,000 recruits."

Fatah is also a major political player in the Palastinian government. President Mahmoud Abbas a major player in the Fatah party. In the mid-1950's Abbas "became heavily involved in underground Palestinian politics, joining a number of exiled Palestinians in Qatar, where he was Director of Personnel in the emirate's Civil Service. While there, he recruited a number of people who would become key figures in the Palestine Liberation Organization, and was one of the founding members of Fatah in 1957. Yasser Arafat was among other key members...He (Abbas) is credited with initiating secretive contacts with left-wing and pacifist Jewish groups during the 1970s and 80s, and is considered by many to be a major architect of the 1993 Oslo peace accords (evidenced in part by the fact that he travelled with Arafat to the White House to sign the accords)."

The Palestinian terrorist organization called "Black September", responsible for the Munich massacre was assumed to be an operational cover for Arafat's Fatah group. "Abbas came into conflict with Palestinian militant groups, notably Islamic Jihad and Hamas; his pragmatic policies were opposed to their hard-line approach. However, he made it perfectly clear that he was forced to abandon, for the moment, the use of arms against Israeli civilians inside the green line due to its ineffectiveness; the Abbas doctrine allowed for selective terrorism."

"On December 16, 2006 Abbas called for new legislative elections, to bring an end to the parliamentary stalemate between Fatah and Hamas in forming a national unity government.

On March 17, 2007 a Palestinian unity government was formed incorporating members of both Hamas and Fatah, with Ismail Haniyeh as Prime Minister and independent politicians taking many key portfolios."

"... Ismail Haniyeh the Hamas prime minister has continued to operate in Gaza, and be recognized as by a large number of Palestinians as the legitimate caretaker prime minister. Anis al-Qasem, the Palestinian constitutional lawyer who drafted the Basic Law, is among those who publicly declared Abbas' appointment of Fayyad to be illegal."

You can infer from these statements that there is a power struggle that continues in the Palastinian government that does not have a simple answer. When there are two opposing terrorist-type groups, which is the lesser evil? When you have a choice between Hamas and Fatah groups, who do you want in charge? A message to the United Nations...it's pass time to intervene.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

12 Days of Christmas. LDS Resources.

The following is from LDS Resources.

"So, how did the idea of 12 days begin? Why not the Ten Days of Christmas or the Fourteen Days of Christmas? It all goes back to the early 4th century Christian church, which believed that January 6 (Epiphany) is the date that Christ was baptized, representing the birth of Jesus’ soul. This was more important than December 25th (the Winter Solstice at the time). It took a few hundred years; but, by the 6th century, the Christian emperor, Justinian, proclaimed Christmas as a public holiday, with 8 days of feasting. Then, by the 9th century, King Alfred of England increased the celebration from 8 days to 12 days. He declared December 25th - January 6th, with the twelfth day falling on January 6. Note: This means the actual night would be the day before on January 5."

"* The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ who died on a structure made from the wood of a tree. In ancient times a partridge was often used as mythological symbol of a divine, sacred king.

* Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments. Doves symbolize peace and the Gospel contained in these scriptures, when practiced, brings peace.

* Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love - the three gifts of the Spirit that abide. This could also represent God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

* The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — the four Gospels which sing the song of salvation through Jesus Christ.

* The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

* The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

* Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit (Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy). (I Corinthians 12:8-11, Romans 12, Ephesians 4, 1 Peter 4:10-11)"

To view the other five symbols, please see LDS Resources.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Orange

CHRISTMAS ORANGE

Sometimes it is easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. The busy traditions of the season and the appealing advertisements for material goods can leave the pure and simple truths far, far behind.

Jake was nine years old with tousled brown hair with blue eyes as bright as a heavenly angel. For as long as Jake could remember he had lived within the walls of a poor orphanage. He was just one of ten children supported by what meager contributions the orphan home could obtain in a continuous struggle seeking donations from townsfolk.

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There was very little to eat, but at Christmas time there always seemed to be a little more than usual to eat, the orphanage seemed a little warmer, and it was time for a little holiday enjoyment. But more than this, there was the Christmas orange!

Christmas was the only time of year that such a rare treat was provided and it was treasured by each child like no other food admiring it, feeling it, prizing it and slowly enjoying each juicy section. Truly, it was the light of each orphan's Christmas and their best gift of the season. How joyful would be the moment when Jake received his orange!

Unknown to him, Jake had somehow managed to track a small amount of mud on his shoes through the front door of the orphanage, muddying the new carpet. He hadn't even noticed. Now it was too late and there was nothing he could do to avoid punishment. The punishment was swift and unrelenting. Jake would not be allowed his Christmas orange! It was the only gift he would receive from the harsh world he lived in, yet after a year of waiting for his Christmas orange, is was to be denied him.

Tearfully, Jake pleaded that he be forgiven and promised never to track mud into the orphanage again, but to no avail. He felt hopeless and totally rejected. Jake cried into his pillow all that night and spent Christmas Day feeling empty and alone. He felt that the other children didn't want to be with a boy who had been punished with such a cruel punishment. Perhaps they feared he would ruin their only day of happiness. Maybe, he reasoned, the gulf between him and his friends existed because they feared he would ask for a little of their oranges. Jake spent the day upstairs, alone, in the unheated dormitory. Huddled under his only blanket, he read about a family marooned on an island. Jake wouldn't mind spending the rest of his life on an isolated island, if he could only have a real family that cared about him.

Bedtime came, and worst of all, Jake couldn't sleep. How could he say his prayers? How could there be a God in Heaven that would allow a little soul such as his, to suffer so much all by himself? Silently, he sobbed for the future of mankind that God might end the suffering in the world, both for himself and all others like him.

As he climbed back into bed from the cold, hard floor, a soft hand touched Jake's shoulder, startling him momentarily and an object was silently placed in his hands. The giver disappeared into the darkness, leaving Jake with what, he did not immediately know!

Looking closely at it in the dim light, he saw that it looked like an orange! Not a regular orange, smooth and shiny, but a special orange, very special. Inside a patched together peal were the segments of nine other oranges, making one whole orange for Jake! The nine other children in the orphanage had each donated one segment of their own precious oranges to make a whole orange as a gift for Jake.

Sharing what we truly value is the true spirit of Christmas. Our Heavenly Father gave us His beloved Son. May we, like the children in the orphanage, find ways to share His love with others less blessed.

-- Anonymous

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Abortion Bailout. Can you believe it?

Abortion bailout? Believe it! Stop it!!!

"WASHINGTON (BP)--More than 60 abortion rights groups have signed a 55-page report to President-elect Obama urging him to include abortion coverage in any national health care plan and to help roll back dozens of pro-life laws, including bans on taxpayer funding of abortion and partial-birth abortion in what one pro-life group says would amount to an "abortion bailout."" -- Town Hall.com

One of the groups who are among the signatories is the American Civil Liberties Union. As you may or may not know, this group tends to hide many of its outright agendas in the text of its site. However, dig a little, and here is what they say about abortion.

"ACLU Calls Again for Withdrawal of Regulations Jeopardizing Women’s Health (9/26/2008)
WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union and all its state affiliates, including Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services asking the administration to rescind regulations that could seriously undermine access to reproductive health services, including birth control and abortion." -- ACLU

Here is what Obama's site, Change.gov says regarding reproductive choice.

"Reproductive Choice
Supports a Woman's Right to Choose: Barack Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.

Preventing Unintended Pregnancy: Barack Obama is an original co-sponsor of legislation to expand access to contraception, health information, and preventive services to help reduce unintended pregnancies. Introduced in January 2007, the Prevention First Act will increase funding for family planning and comprehensive sex education that teaches both abstinence and safe sex methods. The Act will also end insurance discrimination against contraception, improve awareness about emergency contraception, and provide compassionate assistance to rape victims."

While it is important for women to have access to affordable health care and be protected, destroying an unborn child's life it utterly despicable. Showing this disrespect for life is not an honorable thing. This kind of tolerance or belief, while we are all entitled to our personal beliefs, is not acceptable.

"Even though Obama's website makes it clear "the document was produced by an outside party and submitted" to the Obama transition team, pro-life groups nevertheless are concerned, in part because pro-choice groups made up part of Obama's election base, and also because Obama himself is a staunch pro-choicer who once told a likeminded audience he "will never back down" in his support of abortion rights." -- Town Hall.com I could not find any such document on the Obama site. I could only surmise from this that it had been removed because of the controversy. The following is a portion of the supposed document text according to Town Hall.com.

"As for Obama's first 100 days in office, the groups urge the president-elect to sign executive orders and back legislation that would force American taxpayers to pay for abortions. Among their priorities, the groups ask that Obama, in the first 100 days:

-- work with Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits Medicaid and other federal funds from paying for abortions. Medicaid funded about 300,000 abortions in the year prior to the Hyde Amendment's enactment in 1976.

-- put forward a health care reform bill that covers a "full range of reproductive health services, including contraception, maternity care, and abortion care."

-- more than double funding (from $300 million to $700 million) for Title X, which funds Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider. Although the funds technically are prohibited from funding abortions, that has done little to persuade pro-lifers to support it.

-- include in his first budget $1 billion for international family planning programs, including $65 million for the controversial U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), which has been denied funding during the Bush administration based on the agency's support of China's coercive population-control policy."

Troubling? Yes. However, you can do something about this. Here is the information you need. The source is "Team Sarah", a site driven by Sarah Palin and her supporters.


"December 19, 2008

Dear Team Sarah,

Tired of bailouts?

Well they aren't going away anytime soon. Now the abortion industry wants one!

We all knew that Planned Parenthood (the number one abortion provider in the country) was going to have a special seat at the table in the Obama administration. Well it hasn't taken them long at all to roll out their extreme agenda.

Tell your Senator today that Planned Parenthood should not get a bailout.

Go to www.stoptheabortionbailout.com

Abortion groups have submitted their 50 page proposal to the Obama-Biden transition team. At the top of the list? More taxpayer dollars for abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood. How much more? Over 1.5 billion dollars more!

The Abortion Bailout Package:

**$1 BILLION dollars in taxpayer funding for International Abortion Groups like UNFPA, an international aid organization connected to coercive abortion as part of China's coercive one-child policy

**$700 million in taxpayer funding for "Title X" Health Clinics (aka your local Planned Parenthood affiliate)

**Repeal the Hyde Amendment -- Vastly expanding federal taxpayer funding for abortions

**Include Abortion coverage in any taxpayer-subsidized national health care program

**Expand taxpayer-funded abortions through the Peace Corps program

It is an outrage for Planned Parenthood to expect you to give your hard earned dollars to fund the destruction of innocent life.

Join citizens across our great country in telling their Senators to keep your tax dollars out of the abortion providers. Tell them to Stop the Abortion Bailout!

Sign the Petition today!

www.stoptheabortionbailout.com"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Conformity. The Enemy of Growth.

When you think of the word "conformity", what do you think of? I picture by mother saying to me, "If your friends chose to jump off a cliff, would you follow them?" Or, I think of a herd of cows, following each other through a field to pasture. My guess is that not often do we think of society and the decisions made by our governing authorities. Do we go along blindly, or do we get involved in the process?

"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." -- John F. Kennedy

Let’s take a look at the definition of conformity.

"Conformity is the process by which an individual's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are influenced by other people. It may occur as the result of subtle, even unconscious influences, or by direct and overt social pressure. Conformity may also occur by the "implied presence" of others, when other people are not actually present.

People often conform from a desire to achieve a sense of security within a group-- typically a group that is of a similar age, culture, religion, or educational status. Conformity is common among young people as an aspect of youth culture. It is present in society as a whole and among small groups of friends. Any unwillingness to conform carries with it the very real risk of social rejection." -- Wikipedia

"Conformity, adherence to the practices or beliefs of the majority.

For information on:

*processes bringing groups and individuals within society into conformity, see Acculturation; Assimilation; Integration; Social Psychology

*ideas supporting nonconformity, see Individualism; Liberty

*political ideology of forced conformity, see Totalitarianism" -- Encarta

Please notice the “ideas supporting nonconformity”, which include “Liberty”. Within the United States of America, we know liberty because of the Founding Fathers and the sacrifices they made as nonconformists.

“Liberty, the freedom to act or believe without being stopped by unnecessary force, is generally considered in modern time to be a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has the right to act according to his or her own will.” -- Wikipedia

Of course, there are guidelines for liberty. Without guidelines, we would not know as peaceful of an existence as we are blessed to experience. The guidelines are in the Constitution, and in the laws of the land. You may notice that when there are those who do not live by the laws of the land that the peace is disrupted.

“Article VI (The United States Constitution)
All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” -- Cornell University Law School

All elected officials are to uphold the laws as much (if not more stringently) than regular citizens. Unfortunately, we find that there are many who do not uphold these laws according to their oaths and therefore they are not very good examples to regular citizens. When elected officials break the laws of the land, break their oaths, they give permission to many regular citizens to do likewise. Therefore, our elected officials should uphold the oaths they have made to live according to the laws of the land, and when they break those oaths, they should have a stiffer penalty than the average citizen so that an example can be made.

Understand, conformity is important to a degree, however, conformity including redistribution of wealth and Totalitarianism is not liberty, but bondage.

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have... a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the characters and conduct of their rulers.” – John Adams

Saturday, December 20, 2008

There is no Christmas without Christ.

When choosing a gift this Holiday Season, try asking yourself what the true meaning of Christmas is and then give accordingly. Remember, there is no Christmas without Christ.

The definition of the word "gift" from YourDictionary.com is...
something given to show friendship, affection, support, etc.; present
the act, power, or right of giving
a natural ability; talent a gift for languages


This season, there are more people in need than ever. When thinking of giving your child an expensive Wii, or Ski Passes for Snow Bird, think of the gift that will teach them about giving instead. Would they love those expensive gifts? Yes. But, wouldn't they love to be able to give to others just as much?

"Giving Circles are a form of philanthropy consisting of groups of individuals who pool their funds and other resources to donate to their communities and seek to increase their awareness and engagement in the process of giving. Through this process, they seek to impact their own communities or larger areas - including to have global impacts. The circles can serve as a form of shared, or collective, giving in the context of community economic development or other social ventures." -- Wikipedia


If you feel that you would like to do both, that is, give the expensive gifts and teach giving at the same time, there are many charities and shelters that could use service. Your entire family (age appropriate) could give time to your local charities and shelters. What a great lesson in giving!

"Members of giving circles donate their own money or time to a pooled fund, decide together where to give these away, and often have some sort of social or educational interaction associated with the giving. Many circles, in addition to donating their money, also contribute their time and skills to supporting local causes. Donations may range from spare change to thousands of dollars each year.

Giving circles as they currently manifest themselves are a new trend, but they are built on old traditions dating back hundreds of years to mutual aid societies and other forms of giving for the community. Several years ago, giving circles were predominantly composed of women. Women continue to make up the majority of today's giving circles - but today the make up of circles are more diverse in race, age and gender." -- Wikipedia


You may have church charities to give time and resources to, or you may choose to help the troops. Either way, the gift of giving is the best gift you could choose to give this holiday season.

When choosing a gift, try asking yourself what the true meaning of Christmas is and then give accordingly. Remember, there is no Christmas without Christ.

To find out more about the true meaning of Christmas, please click on this link... click here.

Take Care of the Government

"Freedom exists only where the people take care of the government." -- Woodrow Wilson

Friday, December 19, 2008

People With No Conscience.

hat causes a person to have no conscience? That is not to say that they lose consciousness, but they lose the sense of reality, of whether something is good or bad. How does someone get to that point?

"Conscience ability or faculty that distinguishes whether one's actions are right or wrong. In plain English, it is a person's inner sense of what is right or what is wrong morally. It leads to feelings of remorse when one does things that go against his/her moral values, and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when one's actions conform to our moral values. It is also the attitude which informs one's moral judgment before performing any action. The extent to which such moral judgments are based in reason has been a matter of controversy almost throughout the history of Western philosophy." -- Wikipedia


One instance is that of Casey Anthony. Have you see pictures of her darling daughter Caylee?

A little about Caylee Anthony's life...


Currently regarding the DNA testing confirmation...

Note: The DNA came back today and is confirmed to be that of Caylee Anthony.

Now, I know that Casey Anthony is innocent until proven guilty, however, who could do something like that? Not only was that done, but then she goes and plays head-games with the officials and her own parents about it. Obviously, there is something very wrong with Casey Anthony. I believe that there is also something wrong with her parents for not questioning the whereabouts of their grandchild until a month or so later. What is wrong with people? It seems that there is no respect for life anymore!

PCSecurityShield

"The term "psychopathy" is often confused with psychotic disorders. It is estimated that approximately one percent of the general population are psychopaths.

The psychopath is defined by a psychological gratification in criminal, sexual, or aggressive impulses and the inability to learn from past mistakes. Individuals with this disorder gain satisfaction through their antisocial behavior and also lack a conscience." -- Wikipedia


Then, there is Governor Rod Blagojevich. Now, no one should doubt that Chicago has had a corrupt government for decades. However, for him to state today that he is not guilty of any wrong doing...that is insane! He is known for fighting and that is probably what has gotten him this far in his career.

His most recent press conference...


Now, here is another take on the story...


What is truly insane is that the Feds have him on tape and have been investigating him for years and yet he still denies any wrong doing. At this point, with all that has been made public, what is the guy thinking? He has always had the demeanor of "high-and-mighty", or "elite"...but, come on Blago…it's time to give it up!

"Narcissistic Personality Disorder...a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy....
The narcissist is described as turning inward for gratification rather than depending on others and as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power and prestige. Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness." -- Wikipedia


Another person who must have a screw loose is Bernard Madoff. By now, you have probably heard that Madoff was a guy who performed a $50 billion ponzi scheme over years and years. Not only that, but rumor has it that the SEC knew he was involved in this type of activity and didn't do anything about it.



"Within hours, investors who had trusted the 70-year-old Madoff for years - including the owner of the New York Mets - were reeling at charges that one of the most trusted names on Wall Street was a full-time fraud.

Manhattan federal prosecutors disclosed a long-running scheme that may have resulted in $50 billion in losses - perhaps the biggest scam in Wall Street history.

The one-time Nasdaq chairman, investigators charged, operated a classic Ponzi scheme, paying off early investors with funds from subsequent clients to keep the illusion of profit alive." -- NY Daily News


The only way the dominoes started falling was that, "Last week, the truth began to emerge as investors, spooked by the battered economy, decided to pull out their money." and he didn't have it. Long-story-short, "When the agents showed up at his apartment, Madoff admitted he'd "paid investors with money that wasn't there," was "broke" and knew "it could not go on." What was he thinking? I guess there are some silver linings to this bad economy after all.

There are so many examples of people who have no conscience and who still get by in this world. The list is huge. In fact, there are probably many, many who we don't even ever hear about. That is a scary thought!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Balance Chasing. The Economic Crisis Continues.



CBS News...balance chasing

Are you experiencing "balance chasing" with your credit cards?

There won't be any changes regarding the fine print on your credit card agreements until 2010. Will this be too late? Now that the banks and credit card companies are aware of the changes that will be made, won't they be taking advantage of the money they can swindle out of their customers now?

"Under the new rules, which take effect July, 2010, customers who are less than 30 days late on payments would not be subject to higher interest rates and their credit ratings won't take a hit, personal finance expert and author Jordan Goodman told CBS' The Early Show.

There will be no retroactive interest charged to previously paid bills; late payments on one card will not affect interest rates on another; and companies would be required to improve readability of monthly statements...

The changes mark the most sweeping clampdown on the credit card industry in decades and are aimed at protecting consumers from arbitrary hikes in interest rates or inadequate time provided to pay the bills." -- CBS News


If these rules come with consumer protection clauses or laws for the time between now and 2010, they will be a good thing. Without consumer protection, these laws may be cause for credit catastrophy during this current economic crisis.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Wrath of Those Against Prop. 8.

If you have come to my site and wonder what all of the ads are for same-sex marriage, it is because of the post I wrote on Sunday regarding defining marriage in the U.S. Constitution. In otherwords, it is the wrath of those against Prop. 8 and against defining marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman.

As said yesterday, I appologize for the ads and have complained to Google Adsense about them.

Thanks for baring with me.

The Mom Song. The Politics of Mothering.

Citizen Stimulus and Bailout Committee

"Stimulus", "bailout", whatever they call it, it is going to cost us a pretty penny (plus interest). Wouldn't we have a wise and "transparent" government if they were to incorporate a committee of citizens in various industries across the country to audit and evaluate who and how regarding stimulus and bailout? After all, it is the taxpayers' money.

In the circumstance of the auto bailout, wouldn't it be prudent that they incorporate an actual audit of those companies receiving consideration for the money? Or are they just going to take the executives at their word.

The actual $700 billion bailout (TARP) was supposed to receive an audit of sorts in early December. But, no matter where or how I searched, I could not find any specifics on the actual grade, review, audit, or otherwise. So, what has become of that money? Shouldn't we be privy to that information, since it is our money (plus the interest of at least 5% that we will owe some foreign country, most likely China)?

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touted the notion of a 'car czar' to supervise an auto industry bailout, saying Tuesday that Big Three executives haven't adapted well to changing conditions." -- December 9, 2008, Associated Press


Without and audit, how does Congress expect to know how much total taxpayer money will be needed to help General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC. to actually survive. After all, they are telling Congress that they need "a total of $14 billion to $15 billion to survive through early 2009". What happens after that?

"Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Stakeholders in the U.S. auto industry must show they're willing to sacrifice if assistance funds are to be allotted, a White House spokeswoman said Tuesday." -- UPI.com, Business News, December 16, 2008


Sure, they should make sacrifices, but what do they mean by "show they're willing to sacrifice"? Does that mean that they have to take business class airfare? Or does that mean that they have to drive themselves in their own brand of car instead of taking a limo? When you are talking about executives that "haven't adapted well to changing conditions", what are they going to consider change and sacrifice, versus what actually needs to be accomplished in our reality.

"(If) we're going to use taxpayer financing to assist the automakers, all stakeholders are going to have to come to the table and be willing to show that they are capable and willing to make really tough decisions about the way forward," spokeswoman Dana Perino said. "(We) need them to become viable, competitive firms in the future, and in order to do that, concessions are going to have to be made by stakeholders." -- UPA.com, Business News, December 16, 2008


When there is a Washington machine committee put together to evaluate this issue of "concessions" and "sacrifice", are they really living in reality enough to evaluate the issue? Or would it be more prudent to have some actual citizens involved in this process...people who are in various working industries and conditions around the country? After all, it is our (the taxpayers') money.

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats are preparing a massive economic recovery bill in the range of $600 billion.

It would blend immediate steps to counter the slumping economy with longer term federal spending on infrastructure like energy efficiency projects.

The California Democrat told reporters that economist Mark Zandi has recommended to Democrats an economic stimulus in that range -- including $400 billion in infrastructure and $200 billion for tax cuts.

Pelosi says
Capitol Hill Democrats
are already "hard at work" writing a stimulus measure to pass next month. It's expected to combine tools like tax cuts and help to states suffering from big budget deficits with infrastructure projects like road and bridge repairs." -- The Associated Press, December 16, 2008 (note: italics added)


If you are not worried about future ramifications of all of these "stimuli", you should be. If it were as easy as just printing more money, that would be easy and we would not have these recessionary, depressionary, devaluationary, deflationary concerns. However, in the end, the buck stops with you and I...literally. In the end, since the money is coming from you and I, wouldn't you rather see a committee of folks who are a part of the various working industries around the country, and not just those who are a part of the Washington D.C. system?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Apology for Ads

This is a brief apology regarding the ads that are automatically generated due to content. Evidently, there is an issue with the ads generated following my recent Sabbath Day post. Please bear with me while I work on other content that will generate different ads that better represent the reputation of this blog.

Thank you!

The Existence of Freedom

"Freedom exists only where the people take care of the government." -- Woodrow Wilson



"One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one nation, evermore!" -- Oliver Wendell Holmes



"Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall." -- John Dickinson

Monday, December 15, 2008

Senate GOP Action Alert.

A memo was leaked that was sent as a "Senate GOP Action Alert" prior to the vote on the bailout. It states:

"...Senators Ensign, Shelby, Coburn and DeMint...The message they want us to deliver is: This is the democrats first opportunity to payoff organized labor after the election...Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor...If we can hold the Republicans, we can beat this." -- This according to MSNBC as shown in the video below.





Notice in the above video that the recorded earnings of union versus non-union workers is not actually different. Therefore, that factor can actually be taken out of the mix, that is, as long as those number are correct as reported.

Was the bill killed because of the union or because of politics?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Support the Federal Marriage Amendment.

I know that most of my Sabbath Day posts include something very uplifting and spiritual. When you look at it, marriage is a spiritual union. Therefore, I am addressing the need for an amendment to our constitution to include a definition of marriage.

What do you feel and believe the definition of marriage to be? I believe it to be, in short, a legal union between one man and one woman.

Recently, contraversy on this subject impacted California, in particular, in a rough way. With Proposition 8 being passed, there was an uproar like never before over the issue of marriage and its definition. Those who have strong beliefs in the law of marriage and its definition fought strongly against the availability of marriage between same sex couples. In the opposite side of the ring, those who feel that the traditional definition of marriage (going back to the beginning of time) is incorrect, are fighting to change the definition to fit their chosen lifestyle.

While choice is something we all have, accountability and consequences are also something we all have. Those who choose different lifestyles need to assume that there will be consequences for their actions in many forms. We know that those who choose to have same sex relationships are not bad people. We understand that they feel strongly toward the person in which they are having a relationship. We also understand that they have made a choice to do what they are doing. Should they be given the same rights as heterosexual couples who are married?

I argue in my own thoughts about this issue. While I have a strong belief system, which includes that of the definition of marriage, I also have compassion for those who have a strong desire to be married because they are in love with someone, but who are of the same sex. I don't deny that they have a strong feeling towards one another. However, I do strongly believe that sexual relationships are only supposed to be between one man and one woman and that those who choose otherwise will have natural, spiritual, and lawful consequences.

The following are excerpts from an article regarding this topic.

Marriages and the Constitution. Why We Need an Amendment.
"The judges are now so powerful that they feel free to invent the Constitution as they move along."

"An amendment is necessary to preserve not only the social viability of marriage, but the political integrity of the Constitution."

"An amendment on marriage will go a long way toward restoring constitutional order. An amendment on marriage will not do everything that should be done to instill a proper respect for the Constitution. But it will do at least two vital things. An amendment will restore the crucial understanding that our government operates under a written Constitution. And, by forcibly demonstrating to the judges that they have gone much too far in “interpreting” the Constitution, an amendment will restore the proper balance of power between the judiciary and the representative branches of government.

1. A Constitutional amendment will restore the crucial understanding that American government operates under a written Constitution.

2. A constitutional amendment will restore the proper balance of power between the judiciary and the representative branches of government.

...the Constitution has never addressed marriage before, it should not be amended to address marriage now.

But whatever the Constitution said (or did not say) about marriage for the past 215 years, whatever the history, traditions and practices of the American people confirm (or do not confirm) about the meaning of marriage, marriage is in the Constitution. The Founders did not do it. But the courts have.

By placing marriage in the Constitution, the judges have taken marriage out of the hands of the people. The judges have done violence to the very idea of a written Constitution, have eroded legislative power, and have significantly expanded their own power. It is now up to the people, by constitutional amendment, to remedy these errors.

A constitutional amendment is needed, not only to preserve marriage, but to restore constitutional order." -- Meridian Magazine, Richard Wilkins

Contact your elected official and urge them to support the Federal Marriage Amendment. Click HERE

Saturday, December 13, 2008

All Things Palin Comparison.

I wonder what Obama thinks about the fact that Sarah Palin is still quite in the spotlight, inspirational, politically productive, and politically persuasive. Is he thinking about her positioning for the 2012 Presidential election? I am, and admiring her the whole way.

"It looks like Sarah Palin won't be fading away. Not if Saxby Chambliss has anything to say about it. "I can't overstate the impact she had down here," said Chambliss shortly after his surprisingly solid 15-point victory in the December 2 Georgia Senate runoff. Chambliss, who went from a 49.8-46.8 percent lead on November 4 to a 57-43 victory over Democrat Jim Martin in the runoff (Georgia law requires an absolute majority), credited Palin with helping his campaign "peak" with four hugely attended election-eve rallies.

Despite the best efforts of the media, left-of-center feminists, and a brigade of political elites, including more than a few Beltway Republicans, to write obituaries for Palin's national political career, she continues to be the second biggest phenomenon of the 2008 election cycle, behind only the president-elect." -- Team Sarah

"Palin Pardons One Turkey; Others Get Screwed
Yesterday, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin followed tradition and pardoned a turkey right before Thanksgiving. Then, in a break with tradition, she decided to give a TV interview at a turkey farm while turkeys were being slaughtered in the background. While some more sensitive bloggers were shocked, others said "deal with it" and pointed out that turkeys have to die before they are eaten. If you want to skip the slaughter and the meat this year, the Huffington Post has 10 reasons to pardon a turkey." -- US News

"December 10, 2008, Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin met today with members of the Alaska State House and Senate leadership. The Governor provided a preview of the FY 2010 operating and capital budgets. The goal of the meeting was to stress the opportunity and importance of working together for the best interests of Alaskans. " -- www.gov.state.ak.us

"Is Sarah Palin intentionally snubbing Oprah?
Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has basically spoken in front of most cameras put before her. So why has she yet to appear on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”?

Winfrey, who won’t be hosting her own ball for President-elect Barack Obama during the inauguration but will broadcast her show from D.C. that week, hasn’t forgotten about having the governor on.

In fact, she seems surprised that Palin hasn’t come on the show yet, despite her efforts.

“I said I would be happy to talk to Sarah Palin when the election was over,” Winfrey told Extra. “I went and tried to talk to Sarah Palin and instead she talked to Greta Van Susteren. She talked to Matt Lauer. She talked to Larry King, but she didn’t talk to me. But maybe she’ll talk to me now that she has a book deal.” -- The Insider

Sounds like Oprah may be jealous that there is another female who is a world power player. Is Palin taking away some of Oprah's glory?

"Sen. Barack Obama delivered an impassioned defense of the Constitution and the rights of terrorism suspects tonight, striking back at one of the biggest applause lines in Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's speech to the GOP convention.

It was in St. Paul last week that Palin drew raucous cheers when she delivered this put-down of Obama: "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights." -- Washington Post

Isn't it interesting that Obama can put down the constitution, stating that it is "flawed", and then turn around and defend it when someone with a great deal of political punch puts the issues infront of him?

"Arsonist burns Sarah Palin's church

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Gov. Sarah Palin's home church has been badly damaged in an arson fire.

Damages to the Wasilla Bible Church were estimated at $1 million, authorities said today. No one was injured in the fire, which was intentionally set while people, including two children, were inside.

"This fire is definitely suspicious," said Central Mat-Su Fire Chief James Steele.

Pastor Larry Kroon declined to say if the Friday night blaze was politically based or directed at Palin, the failed Republican vice presidential candidate. He also declined to say whether the church has received any recent threats.

"There are so many variables," he said. "I don't want to comment in that direction."

Palin stopped by the church this morning. Her spokesman, Bill McAllister, said Palin told an assistant pastor she apologizes if the fire was connected to the "undeserved negative attention" the church has received since she became the vice presidential candidate on Aug. 29." -- Heraldnet

So, you see, there are many who may not like her, but she still provides hope and motivation for others who see that the country, this great United States of America, is in need of change that is different than that currently dwelling in Washington D.C. (much of the whole lot), and different than that shortly assuming office in Washington D.C.

Do you love her or do you hate her? What do you feel about her running for President in 2012?

Lyme Email To Dr. Oz and Oprah

I received this email from a friend who knew I had Lyme disease.

"Dear members of Lyme Disease Awareness,

This past month, Dr. Mehmet Oz (from Oprah and Friends) interviewed Andy A.
Wilson, the director of the Lyme disease documentary, "Under Our Skin" (www.underourskin.com). Dr. Oz is just beginning to learn about Lyme and he is asking for our help.

During this interview Dr. Oz issued the Lyme community a challenge to prove
we have a voice. He made a point of mentioning that he is interested in the
number of responses he receives...Lets make it a number he cannot ignore!

There are more than 3,800 members in this group alone - imagine if we ALL
took the time to send just one email?!

To listen to the full interview:
http://www.zshare.net/audio/51988431783ad036/

To email Dr. Oz:
link here

Please take 5 minutes to write Dr. Oz and tell him your story, or your loved
one/friends story! Dr. Oz is especially interested in those who have been
cured, however, he's still learning and we need to educate him that even
those of us who have not been cured are helped by long term antibiotics and
that more research is needed so that we can find a lasting cure.

The chance of having our story, told on The Oprah Show is monumental and
this is a challenge we can't afford to ignore!

Thank you!

-The Lyme Disease Awareness Administrators"

Here is what I wrote:

"I understand you are interested in stories from the Lyme community. I can understand your emphasis on those cured. Most who suffer with Lyme are so severely sick that to relate to someone in the midst of the illness only gives them more validity to staying ill. Prior to the diagnoses, I had been diagnosed with early Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Plausible MS, etc. My family and I were on a wild rollercoaster ride. However, even during the deepest possible downward swings, I would take pride in accomplishment...I felt grateful for the little things, such as, being able to make my kid's lunches, and being able to walk to the bathroom on my own. The diagnoses was inspired through the prayer of my church and my family. Once diagnosed and confirmed, I was put on an intense regimen of Doxycycline 2 x daily for 5 months. It's amazing to me what I can accomplish! I was diagnosed last October (2007) after being in a wheel chair during our family trip to Disneyland. Today, I have graduated in our city's CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), the Legislative V.P. in the PTA at the elementary school, in charge of the school Knowledge Bowl program (http://harvestknowledge09.blogspot.com), have been blogging since my diagnoses (http://issuesoncall.blogspot.com), and etc. Paramount to wellness success is getting outside of yourself and back into the functioning's of the world around you. By doing this, I have had mile markers to reach. By reaching those mile markers I have learned that I can reach further. From each mile marker I reach I receive a more positive sense of self and learn more about my talents and abilities. Most important is having a great support system. My husband is the best on the planet! My children are gold! Without the support system I have, I would not be the person I am today!"

If you have Lyme, please share your story so that the word can get out. Your story will have to be consolidated to 2000 characters (spaces included), so to lessen the frustration, you may want to type it in Word before submitting it.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Is the Auto Bailout Consitutional?

Is the auto bailout, or any other Federal bailout constitutional?

Ron Paul regarding the auto bailout. "If one were to look for guidance in the constitution, there's no evidence that we have the authority to take funds from one group of Americans and transfer it to another group who happen to need something."



Obama on the constitution. The U.S. Consitution had deep flaws that continue today.



Obama. The U.S. Constitution does not address the redistribution of wealth and what the Federal Government can do on your behalf. He says that it's a tragedy the constitution wasn't radically reinterpreted to force redistribution of wealth for African Americans and that it is still and issue today.



We see that the redistribution of wealth is currently under way with the bailouts, regardless of the stalled status of the auto bailout. Eventually, even if it is following Bush leaving the White House, the bailout will happen for a plethora of other industries based on what Obama has stated in the past and on the Democratic leadership in Washington D.C.. Notice the change from capitalism that is currently underway. Capitalism is deteriorating. The more the government is involved, the less freedom we have, the less motivation we have, the less capitalism we have. Socialism is not America. We are on the road to nationalization.

If some specific companies get special treatment through a bailout, won't it make the playing field uneven?



Are these bailouts constitional? Is there going to be an end to these bailouts? These are issues that need to be addressed since our American tax dollars are funding these "bailouts". Transparency is the answer. Transparency will likely never happen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Global Economic Roller Coaster

What is the economic roller coaster doing around the globe? It is important to ask that question, being that we are living in a globalized economy in which each developed nation's economy feeds on its neighboring nation's economic survival.

"BEIJING/TOKYO, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Deflationary fears spreading over the global economy are crashing into Asia's manufacturing base as data on Wednesday showed a sharp slowdown in wholesale price growth in the region's top two economies, Japan and China.

The situation is quite severe. We are slipping into a deflationary recession risk pretty fast," said Isaac Meng, an economist with BNP Paribas in Beijing.

China's growth is expected by the World Bank to slide in 2009 to 7.5 percent, below a level of 8 percent widely regarded as the minimum needed to absorb millions of people entering the work force each year. It expanded 11.9 percent in 2007." -- FXStreet.com

"ROME (Dow Jones)--Italian gross domestic product fell the most in a decade in the third quarter due to lower exports and investments, while October industrial output figures showed that the fourth quarter is likely to be even worse.

Final third-quarter data from statistics office Istat Wednesday confirmed that Europe's fourth-largest economy fell into a deep recession..." -- The Wall Street Journal

"Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. government and central bank are considering plans to pump billions of pounds into the economy as the bank rescue package and the lowest interest rates since 1951 fail to halt a slide into recession.

The Bank of England and the Treasury are weighing a strategy known as “quantitative easing” where authorities increase money supply to boost bank reserves. The initiative was last used by Japan at the start of the decade.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government is frustrated that banks are rationing credit after tapping the Treasury for cash and guarantees to prop up their own balance sheets. Policy makers both in the U.K. and the U.S. Federal Reserve are looking beyond traditional interest-rate tools to revive the economy." -- Bloomberg.Com

"WASHINGTON, US — Congressional Democratic leaders and the White House have apparently reached a deal to spend US$15 billion on emergency loans for struggling U.S. automakers.

It would create a government “car czar” to dole out the loans, with the power to force the car makers into bankruptcy if they didn’t cut quick deals with labour unions, creditors and others to restructure their businesses and become viable.

Congressional Republicans, left out of negotiations on the package, are expressing grave reservations and may seek to block it.

Republican Senator David Vitter promised to filibuster the measure, which could delay a final vote for days." -- The London Free Press

So, while information is power, positive information is even more powerful than that the ever looming and extremely obvious recession and economic collapse. Therefore, here are some pluses to the current economy.

Oil prices are down to $45.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. This means that gas prices are lower and therefore there is more money in our pockets.

30-year Mortgage Rates are down (as of yesterday) to about 5.53% according to Forecasts.org. Therefore, if you have good credit, you may want to purchase a home, or refinance your existing dwelling.

Additionally, in these lackluster consumer spending times, all types of stores are competing more than they ever have for your business. There are multiple deals and coupons, so take advantage this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Americanism

"Let us have faith in the eternal principles of Americanism; and our example, not less than our sword, will make this world a decent place in which to live." -- Laurette Taylor

Monday, December 8, 2008

Auto Bailout. Where are the economic advisers?

Tell me. Where are the economic advisers, the accountants, the good economists for the United States when decisions like the bailouts are being made in Congress?

If we are creating a bailout for these large auto corporations at 5% interest, how is it that we are making an investment? The reason I ask this is that we are paying out at least 5% in interest to foreign countries on the money we are borrowing for these bailouts. Doesn't the country have a good accountant/economist who can advise on a higher percentage of interest for these loans so that we can actually make money on this supposed investment?

Besides the interest issue, what about the profit being made by GM on its overseas sales? Are they really in such desperate need of the taxpayers money?
"Now GM is looking at its own international stable, and has its eye on China as a source of stopgap revenue for its North American operations. We've posted before on the fact that GM's international operations aren't doing too badly, and GM China sold 11.5 million vehicles last year -- more than any other manufacturer there. This year, it expects China sales volume to grow by 11- to 12-percent, and that means yuan in the bank." -- autoblog


So, shouldn't GM utilize its overseas profits at this time, instead of getting a handout that is composed of our future tax dollars with an interest our country is currently paying other countries for the money?

Additionally, shouldn't there be a mandatory restructuring of these enormous bureaucratic corporations in order for them to receive a dime of our money? And along with the restructuring, wouldn't it be prudent that the CEOs and other exorbitantly highly paid executives of these companies (Ford, GM, Chrysler) be taking a mandatory cut in pay, to a pay scale that actually fits standards of someone who should be accountable for the success of their company(s)?

The desire is not that additional U.S. jobs be lost. The desire is for accountability and basic accounting in general.

What do you think? Do you support this "bailout"? Or do you have a multiplicity of questions?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

LDS Primary Talks, Sabbath Post, December 7, 2008

I know that I am not the only mother out there who has had to figure out what my child will speak about when given the assignment of a talk in Primary. While the talks are usually short, approximately two minutes in length, it is still a lot of work to find something that, A. is appropriate for young kids to be able to understand, and B. that is only going to last two minutes.

Recently, I have come across a great resource for this material. It allows me to utilize the work that others have already done on the subjects. It is fantastic indeed!

This resource is called LDS Primary Talks and here is a summary of what you can find here.

"Free Primary Talks for LDS Families
"Two Minute Talks"based on the
2008 Primary Theme "I Am a Child of God".

You will find a talk and reference material appropriate
for each week of the year.

Whether you need a last minute, emergency talk or just some ideas to help your primary child write a talk of their own you will find everything you need right here.

Official primary curriculum topics.
Each Month's Primary Song & Scripture.
Links to additional information for each topic."


A fantastic resource for all of you busy famillies!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Martial Law. Troops deployed in the U.S.

Martial Law - Military authority imposed on a population.



U.S. Army continues their mission away from overseas. They continue to serve it here in the U.S.

A plan unfolding for decades?

What do you think? Truth or conspiracy?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Paulson Committing Terrorism? You must listen to this!



In this economy, many people are attempting to blame anyone they can to make sense of the situation. Some claim that this is the New World Order, but you need to decide that for yourself. Conspiracy? Truth? Very interesting!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is Martial Law Underway?



Is Martial Law underway? Is something going on during this bad economy that we don't really know about?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

BWC, VEREX, CBM, UN, CPWMDPT. Did I miss any letters in the alphabet?

BWC, VEREX, CBM, UN, WMD, RCSP, CPWMDPT, BPSBTWCPBW. Did I miss any letters in the alphabet? Looking deeper into the report from yesterday's post, compiled by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism (CPWMDPT), I found that there is such a plethora of agencies, treaties, commissions, committees, and conventions that deal with the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) that it must certainly be confusing for all involved when it comes to investigating issues and needs in this area. When asking whether there needs to be adjustments to the system that began in 1972 with the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), the answer is most definitely, yes. One adjustment that is blatantly obvious is consolidation and streamlining.

"The cornerstone of international efforts to prevent biological weapons proliferation and terrorism is the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). This treaty bans the development, production, and acquisition of biological and toxin weapons and the delivery systems specifically designed for their dispersal." - WMDReport.pdf

"It (the BWC) currently commits the 162 states that are party to it to prohibit the development, production, and stockpiling of biological and toxin weapons. However, the absence of any formal verification regime to monitor compliance has limited the effectiveness of the Convention...This includes all microbial and other biological agents or toxins and their means of delivery (with exceptions for medical and defensive purposes in small quantities)." -- Wikipedia Link Here for those who have ratified or acceded into the BWC. You'll find that among them are Iran, Iraq, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, and...wait for it...Pakistan, among many others.

"Who loves his country cannot hate mankind." -- Charles Churchill


The BWC has been updated since its conception. "A long process of negotiation to add a verification mechanism began in the 1990s. Previously, at the second Review Conference of State Parties (RCSP) in 1986 member states agreed to strengthen the treaty by reporting annually Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) to the United Nations (UN). The following Review Conference in 1991 established a group of government experts (known as VEREX). Negotiations towards an internationally-binding verification protocol to the BWC took place between 1995 and 2001." -- Wikipedia

What is VEREX? "Verification Experts (UN group monitoring the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction" -- VEREX VEREX is also known as The Bradford Project on Strengthening the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention and Preventing Biological Warfare (BPSBTWCPBW).

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." -- Thomas Jefferson


Even with all of the agencies, treaties, commissions, committees and conventions, the current administration found that it was already a failing system, which is not really a big surprise. Here is a glance at the adjustments to the BWC.

"At the Fifth Review Conference in 2001 however, the Bush administration, after conducting a review of policy on biological weapons, decided that the proposed protocol did not suit the national interests of the United States. The US claiming that it would interfere with legitimate commercial and biodefense activity — unlike most arms control agreements, the BWC also applies to private parties. The Fifth Review Conference took place in November/December 2001, shortly after 9/11 and the anthrax scare.

It was decided to suspend the Fifth Review Conference and reconvene the following year. At the resumed conference it was agreed to establish annual meetings of state parties and experts who would look at specific issues, including:

2003: national mechanisms to establish and maintain the security and oversight of pathogenic micro-organisms and toxins.

2004: enhancing international capabilities for responding to, investigating and mitigating the effects of cases of alleged use of biological or toxin weapons or suspicious outbreaks of disease.

2004: strengthening and broadening the capabilities for international institutions to detect and respond to the outbreak of infectious diseases (including diseases affecting plants and animals).

2005: codes of conduct for scientists." -- Wikipedia

Again, reading through this report is like reading a gigantic list of agencies, treaties, commissions, committees and conventions that are all set-up to monitor WMDs (not to mention the plethora of amazingly huge acronyms) but all fail to do the job well enough to keep the world safe. One major step that could prevent future disasters would be to consolidate and streamline so that the directions and statutes are clear and concise, as well as the information pipeline filtering to fewer policy makers.

There is also the conflict between safety from weapons and advances in science and medicine. That is a very tall wall getting in the way of considerable monitoring of the WMD situation. Advances in medicine and science are so important to the well being of humanity that it is hard to put WMD policies in place for fear they may sabotage evolutionary advances in these important areas.

Additionally, just because countries have signed something and ratified doesn't mean they are going to stand by their word. Once they have the power of the WMDs, they may not be as likely to feel threatened by governing agencies if they are in a power struggle, such as India and Pakistan, or even Russia. Possessing the possible usage of WMDs, those countries are very empowered to take a direction of their very own.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Weapons of Mass Destruction. Extreme Risk. Should we be surprised?

According to the report by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, the United States is at a high risk of a major terror attack before 2013 in which the terrorists will utilize WMD.

"The Commission believes that unless the world community acts decisively and with great urgency, it is more likely than not that a weapon of mass destruction will be used in a terrorist attack somewhere in the world by the end of 2013."

Should we really be surprised?

"The intent of this report is neither to frighten nor to reassure the American
people about the current state of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
It is to underscore that the U.S. government has yet to fully adapt to these circumstances, and to convey the sobering reality that the risks are growing faster than our multilayered defenses.
Our margin of safety is shrinking, not growing." (bold and italics added)


Their findings included research in the "crossroads of terrorism and proliferation in the poorly governed parts of Pakistan". Thus, should there be any surprise if findings (as already speculated) in the Mumbai, India incident conclude that Pakistan is, in fact, behind those horrific terrorist attacks? Even if Pakistan is presently denying their participation?

"During the course of our fieldwork for this report, the members of the Commission had a near miss—and it served as a reminder of the urgency of our mission and message.

Asked by Congress to recommend ways of preventing weapons of mass destruction proliferation and terrorism, we were on our way to a place where these two concerns intersect—Pakistan. On September 20, 2008, we were in Kuwait City awaiting our connecting flight to Islamabad, where we would be staying at the Marriott Hotel. Suddenly our cell phones began buzzing with breaking news: the Islamabad Marriott had just been devastated by a bomb.

Minutes later, every television set in the airport was showing live footage of our destination. The Marriott was ablaze, a line of fire running its length. The hotel front was a mass of twisted iron and broken concrete. What once had been the lobby was now a huge black crater. More than fifty people lost their lives that day at the Islamabad Marriott, a gathering place for prominent visitors and influential locals.
Within hours, the attack came to be known as Pakistan’s 9/11—a frightening reminder that we live in an age of global terrorism."


It was an unfortunate incident. However, it could have been a statement from any number of terrorist factions that holdout within the Pakistani borders, and are allowed to do so. This is called harboring terrorists and Pakistan and its government are duly aware they are participating in such acts.

A statement in the Preface of the report that I call a "duh" statement reads as follows.

"...weapons will be poorly secured and thus may be stolen by terrorists or by others who intend to sell them."


In other words, "duh".

Those who want to harm will find ways to do harm. Regardless of regulations on any weapon, if someone wants it bad enough, they will find ways to get the weapon. Some may pay a high dollar amount to get the desired weapon. Some may steal the desired weapon. Some may create their own desired weapon. Throughout the ages, those who desired to do harm were able to find ways to do so. Unfortunately, technology has created forms of weapons that can create destruction on such a massive scale that it may be unfathomable for everyday citizens to envision that kind of mass terrorism. However, it is time to open our eyes to the facts that stare squarely at us. There are people who desire to do harm and they will eventually find a way to create the turmoil, fear and death they desire.

"We want to inform our fellow citizens, and thereby empower them to act."


"The Commission further believes that terrorists are more likely to be able to obtain and use a biological weapon than a nuclear weapon." Something that was not mentioned in the mainstream media regarding this detail is that someone could easily utilize a biological weapon in our nation's water supply. Have you ever been enticed or encouraged to gather an emergency supply of water? Perhaps this should be your wake-up call. Should we have an issue with our water supply, the only way to survive is to have a reserve that cannot be tainted by terrorists. This can only happen within our own homes, neighborhoods and cities. It is not something to be fearful of, but to be prepared for.

Another "duh" statement in the Executive Summary of the report states, “The risk of a
nuclear weapon being used today is growing, not receding.” Again, "duh". The technology has been around for a long time now and there are many who desire power, as well as those who desire to defend themselves. It was only a matter of time before this was going to be an issue. It has been an issue long before these public statements. There were probably no public statements prior to now because they were afraid of a mass panic.

"...we concluded early in our deliberations that this report should focus solely on the two types of WMD categories that have the greatest potential to kill in the most massive numbers: biological and nuclear weapons."
(bold added)

Since the 9/11 attacks, the 9/11 Commission reported that there is a shortage in human intelligence within the United States intelligence agencies. This creates only the ability to react to situations instead of always preventing them. Although our intelligence agencies do a great job at identifying many of the threats to our American soil prior to attack so that the attacks can be thwarted, we are unable to fully utilize the agencies to prevent attacks. This poses a great risk to our nation and its people. "Though U.S. policy and strategy have made progress, they have not kept pace with the growing risks." In other words, we need to bulk up the forces in our human intelligence. Sun Tzu said, “Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other men…Hence it is only the enlightened and wise general who will use the highest intelligence of the army...Spies are the most important asset.”, also stating the importance of human intelligence.

The best defense against the terrorist threats we now face is awareness. Not just awareness within the secret halls of governing agencies, but the awareness of the whole nation so that we can work together as a United States of America to combat this enemy.

WMDReport.pdf

Monday, December 1, 2008

Free Capitalism. An American Constitutional Foundation.

Here is a great organization that I was invited to be involved in on Facebook. This is what the United States of America is all about.

"Global Free Capitalist Project

Organizations - Advocacy Organizations

Description: The spirit of the American way and the timeless ideals of liberty form the core of the FreeCapitalist Project™ and cultivate a spirit of hope, faith, optimism, and prosperity among its members.

“The world crisis of today is a moral crisis – and nothing less than a moral revolution can resolve it; a moral revolution to sanction and complete the political achievement of the American Revolution.” – Ayn Rand

PROJECT MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the FreeCapitalist Project is to advance freedom and prosperity through civic service, ushering forth a moral revolution to sanction and complete the political achievement of the American Revolution.

THE FREECAPITALIST PREMISE

‘The fostering of full economic freedom lies at the base of our liberties.’ A person or a society locked in serious financial bondage ultimately loses all other freedoms. Accordingly, it will take a free people to ensure the survival and ultimate healing of our republic; and to become free, a large, statistically significant segment of the population must learn how to act upon those ancient principles of prosperity rediscovered by America’s Founders. These individuals must become producers in mind and in deed so that as they become economically free they can successfully advocate principle-based solutions in their own lives, in their families, and in their communities. ‘Only in perpetuating economic freedom can our social, political and religious liberties be preserved…’

Learn more at the new http://www.freecapitalist.com


Contact Info
Email:

Website: http://www.freecapitalist.com"
Here is more about the project from the website.

"The FreeCapitalist Project is a non-partisan, civic service organization, made up of a private formal membership consisting of adult men and women committed to the cause of liberty, founded on an informed and educated citizenry, advocating the moral, philosophical principles of capitalism. With the largest numbers of its membership concentrated primarily in the western United States, but with members and pledges in all fifty of the United States and in many countries across the globe, members are private citizens, students, workers, entrepreneurs, business owners and public officials who are committed to the values and mission of the Project...

A defining characteristic of the Project is its steadfast commitment to assisting individuals in their own personal efforts to live a principle-centered life, established upon a sound economic foundation, as a necessary prerequisite to meaningful citizenship."


Doesn't this go back to the importance of economic transparency, "stimulus packages" (or bailouts), and debt equaling slavery.

"If you expect people to be ignorant and free, you expect what never was and never will be."
--Thomas Jefferson


So, here is a definition of capitalism:

"cap·i·tal·ism [ káppit'l ìzzəm ]

noun

Definition:

free-market system: an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free competitive market and motivation by profit" -- Encarta Dictionary

With our current economic issues and the government stepping in to intervene at every single drop of a hat, aren't we moving away from the capitalist virtues we all hold dear?