Monday, October 31, 2005

Primerica

Have I mentioned how much I love my wife?

So, Cheryl and I are refinancing our second mortgage and we're going to close this Thursday. Well, Primerica is refusing to give us our copies of the credit reports that they ran. Absolutely, refusing.

They're even stating that it is illegal for them to give me my OWN credit report. What kind of BS is that? I have always received a credit report from EVERY loan place I have EVER had a loan through.

Now, I'm pretty sure that under the Freedom of Information Act, that isn't true, but I'm not positive.

Cheryl has talked me out of cancelling the loan -- I was even told that it would be fine by the woman denying what I want.

Well, let me just say -- For your own sake -- DON'T DO BUSINESS with PRIMERICA. (They're a division of Citigroup/Citicorp.)

I have been telling Cheryl that I've had a bad feeling about this loan since day one, but once she gets something in her head, she doesn't let it go.

God Bless.

Halloween...

What a difference four years makes!

After 9/11, the trick or treaters were loaded with police officers and firemen/women. You couldn't walk anywhere without tripping over a little guy (and some girls) dressed as a cop. It was cute and I believe a real show of just who our heroes should be in this nation.

Well, yesterday was our trick or treat day here is Racine. I saw exactly one fireman and no cops. I did see about a hundred witches, princesses and fairies. Amoung the boys, it was mostly Darth Vader and that stone guy from Fantastic Four. Oh and one little boxer, who was so cute, I had to take a picture of him.

So, I guess we're back to our children dressing up as their cartoon heroes.

Isn't that a shame?

Friday, October 28, 2005

God Bless Rosa Parks...

I know that I haven't mentioned it earlier, but Godspeed, MS. Parks. Her refusal to move to the back of the bus set in motion movement to make America a more racially united nation. We still have a long way to go, but I have faith that we will get there.

Of course, that's easy to say when I'm white and do not know what it is like to be black in this country.

Further, I applaud the Senate approving a motion to allow MS Parks the honor of her remains being in the Rotunda of the Capital Building. It will give a great deal more Americans a chance to honor her. I'm sure the House will soon follow.

Just in case you're wondering, this year on Dec 1st, the 50th Anniversary of her refusal and arrest will happen. MS Parks' refusal showed that no matter who you are, you can use your life to make a difference in others' lives.

God Bless Rosa Parks and those who strive to follow in her footsteps.

Don't Leak a CIA agent's name -- You'll get burned.

Things are not looking too good for President Bush. The day after his choice for Supreme Court Justice backs out, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff is indicted. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby then resigned -- not fired -- but resigned.

Now, according to the news sources I've read, Karl Rove is still under investigation. It is this blogger's opinion that this will be the end of it. I think Mr. Libby has been thrown to the hounds and Rove will never be indicted.

Of course, I, also, thought Harriet Miers would make it all the way to the Supreme Court, so what do I know?

God Bless.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harriet Miers

Wow! What a difference a week makes!

Harriet Miers has withdrawn from being a Supreme Court Nominee. Hmmm, I'm kind of bummed, because the woman was growing on me.

Yes, I know that I did not support her nomination. I'm not going back on that. I still did not like the idea of someone without any judge experience being nominated for the Supreme Court. However, since I wrote that post, I have received emails from both the right and the left stating that Harriet Miers should not be a Supreme Court justice. Well, if she has both sides this upset, then she's a pretty good choice in my eyes.

Now, this withdrawal of hers bothers me. Does this mean Bush will now go with someone who is extremely right wing? And, what is wrong with finding a judge that knows the consitution and sticks by it? Both sides should be happy with that, shouldn't they?

Except, it all comes down to abortion and gays. Abortions shouldn't be allowed and gays shouldn't be allowed to marry.

But, does the constitution even address either one of these issues?

Now, I happen to be against abortions. I waiver only if it is used to save the mother's life and how often does that really, truly happen?

I am for gay marriages. I think this marriage is only between a man and a woman stuff is just stupid. If someone could come up with a legitimate, non-religion based argument of why gays should not be allowed to marry, I would gladly listen. Until then, gays should be allow to marry, period -- end of discussion.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Offense...

Supposedly, we are fighting wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan to end terrorism in the world. Okay, good. Let's root out the terrorists and try to get the world to a peaceful place.

However, I take great offense to something that was said by Jeff Lungren. Mr. Lungren is Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.'s (R-WI) spokesperson. Congressman "Sensenbrenner declined to comment" on the Patriot Act renewal. However, Mr. Lungren said that "the Bush administration backs the House version and that "they're the ones on the front lines of the war on terror.""

Excuse me, the Bush administration is on the front lines of the war on terror? Did I read that right? The Bush administration is not on the front lines. Every member of the Bush administration is sitting, Mr. Lungren, safely in an office in Washington, D.C. That doesn't sound like the front lines to me.

Now, I'm sure that President Bush and Vice-President Cheney would never make such a remark to allude to them being on the front lines. I'm sure Congressman Sensenbrenner wouldn't make that comment as well. However, Mr. Lungren (whom I've never even heard about prior to today) felt the need to make a ridiculous comment.

So, this goes out to him:

Mr. Lungren, the military men and women who are serving this great nation of ours in Iraq and Afghanistan are the ones who are on the front lines in the war on terror. These brave souls are risking their lives on a daily basis so that both you and I can sit in our cushy homes and say whatever it is we wish to say. While I support your right to say something as inconsiderate and small-minded as your comment was, I urge you to please take the time to think before you make remarks such as these.

God Bless.

Quizzes...

While wandering the web today, I found a site called BlogThings. Since I love taking quizzes, I thought I stick a few of the results up here -- afterall, this is a blog and I can. Enjoy!

Wish I did this well when I was in 8th grade:





You Passed 8th Grade Math



Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!





Who are they kidding? Below average in Logic?




Your IQ Is 130



Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average


Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius


Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius


Your General Knowledge is Genius





If I hadn't seen this result with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it. I think this is totally me. I'm sure my friends and family would agree:




Your Birthdate: November 14



With a birthday on the 14th of the month (5 energy) you are inclined to work well with people and enjoy them.

You are talented and versatile, very good at presenting ideas, and you are also very good at organization and systematizing.

You may have a tendency to get itchy feet at times and need change and travel.



You tend to be very progressive, imaginative and adaptable.

Your mind is quick, clever and analytical.

A restlessness in your nature may make you a bit impatient and easily bored with routine, and rebel against it.

You have a tendency to shirk responsibility.

Nothing Sacred

I’ve mentioned Louis Black in a previous post – look in the archives and you’ll find it.

Anyway, I’m reading his book Nothing Sacred. I have to tell you, it is good. At places, it is really, really funny, but more importantly, it is thought provoking. For example, on pages 10 and 11, he writes about playing war as a child. He ends this little look into his childhood by saying:

"It should be noted at this time not one of us ever had an interest in real guns or ever bought one. Then when it came to raising kids, my generation didn’t allow them to play with guns. That’s when things took an abrupt turn for the worse. I certainly wouldn’t say there is a connection, but it is strange that only a few kids play out these war fantasies in their backyards and yet there seems to be more violence among them.”
It made me stop and think for a moment. We are, certainly a much more violent society now than we were in the fifties and sixties. I don’t remember such violence encroaching on my childhood in the seventies.

So, my point is that you should read this book. I started it today at lunch and I’m almost done. It is a very quick read. And, if any of my family or friends are reading, my birthday is coming up and I would very much like an autograph copy of it. That would be a really cool gift for me.

God Bless,

You've got to see this guy. He's really funny! Take the time to check out Mr. Black's video "Black on Broadway".





Tuesday, October 25, 2005

American Girl

Sometimes, I just wonder what the wrong wing is thinking. The American Family Association (who has 2.2 million members) has called for a boycott of the American Girl stores.
What? you say. Why?

Glad you asked.

Apparently, the American Girl stores support a group called Girls, Inc. According to the American Family Association, Girls, Inc. supports abortion rights and lesbians. Now, I checked out their website and I didn't see anything that resembles support for either abortion rights or lesbians.

You can learn more about it here: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/10/18/83839/064

So, I travelled to the Girls, Inc. site and donated some money. Not a lot, but some. Any group that has a mission to help girls with math skills and self-esteem is on the right track.

Oh, BTW, I've decided to try out the software at Blogger.com. I'm not sure if this'll work being hosted on my own site or not, so please, let me know what you think.

God Bless,

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Whole Package

Now, my boss said to me that he believes when you associate yourself with liberals that you have to buy into the whole liberal package. You can't support the war in Iraq, you don't support Israel, etc. He has based this belief on watching liberal rallys on C-SPAN and seeing signs in the crowds supporting topics that aren't even being discussed at the rally.


Well, I'm not going to argue with the boss. That's just a good way to make enemies in high places. Besides, I have my own blog where I can voice my own opinions.


Maybe, right wingers hold more organized and controlled rallys than liberals. Since I have a very busy life, I don't spend anytime watching political rallys on C-SPAN. Not that I think it is a bad idea, just not one I have time to participate in. I'm sure that right-wing rallys are more to the point. So, no arguement there, but...


I don't believe that the whole package deal is just on one side of the conservative - liberal aisle. If you are on the conservative side, you are forced into supporting the war in Iraq, the president's energy policy and tax cuts for the wealthy.
For example, I happen to be a pro-life person, yet, when I try to join pro-life organizations, I seem to find the samething -- no to abortion, yes to death penalty -- and a crossover of people who are against gay marriage.


So, what is a liberalconservative suppose to do?


I wish I had a nice and neat answer, but I don't. I really, really don't. If you do, I'd like to hear it -- write to me.
God Bless,

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Faith

Today's gospel is from Matthew 22 where Jesus states, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render to God what is God's." In his homily, Father Chuck said that even though Jesus said this, what we needed to remember is that everything is God's and we need to keep our faith in mind when making political decisions.


I agree, this does not say that we can't have separation of church and state, just that we need to remember that when we separate church and state, it still all belongs to God. Everything. Our decisions on how we vote, as Christians, should be based on our Christian faith.


Father Chuck's homily made a lot of sense to me and for once, I didn't need to feel guilty. I all ready use faith in making political decisions. I believe in tax breaks not for the wealthy, but for the working poor. All child care costs should be pre-tax. I believe that the EPA should help improve the environment. God entrusted us with the earth and we aren't taking very good care of it for Him. I, also, believe that the EPA should recognize other fuels besides gasoline for powering our vehicles (more on this at a later time).


I am pro-life and that includes the death penalty. In answer to your unasked question, no, I probably wouldn't feel that way if it was my wife or child, but I would hope that after my mourning was over that I could start the healing process with forgiveness. This isn't to say that I am somehow soft on crime. I don't think murderers should get ten years and I do believe that rapists and child molesters should never be set free.


I believe that when we make cuts in our local, state and federal budgets, we should never cut what will hurt the least of us -- the poor and downtrodden. Also, when the military budget is raised, decent raises should be handed out to the men and women who serve.
One last thought for today, I'm really tired of being lumped into a category of being a secular liberal. Just because I don't want my tax dollars supporting faith base organizations who can discriminate against those who believe differently than they do, does not make me a secular liberal. I think it is time that all us Liberal Christians stand up and clearly let the other side of the aisle know that we are out here. We believe in Christ Jesus as the way to our Lord God.


God Bless,
Julie

Monday, October 10, 2005

Response

Hey, I heard from Mary in Colorado. She had read the below blog and sent me the following response:
Hi, My name is Mary. The book the young gentleman was referring to is "A People's History of the United States." This history book puts historical moments into perspective with what the common man was doing at the time. It is an excellent read. The poor young fellow who teaches Sunday school must be used to hearing fairy tales. After all, his hero is Bush--one of the great fiction-told-as-fact tellers of this age.
After I responded to her, she sent me a link to Professor Zinn's website: http://howardzinn.org/default/.
I just wanted to pass it on. I checked the book out of the library tonight. Once I stop updating the blog, I'll start reading it.
If you've read the book, please feel free to email me with your opinion on it. Maybe, we could get a book discussion going?
God Bless,
Julie

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Opinion

So, I'm checking out the different web pages on my site. I'm working on a redesign, little more user-friendly. While looking, I find an addition on my Blog page. It seems that a fifteen year old isn't happy with my website. (I'm putting the comments below, so you can read them.)

You know what it is people like you that are making this country so terrible. If you are so "pro america" then why dont you support our president you dont have to like him because we are all entitled to our opinions but dont start a website about how much you dislike the guy and his administration. So lets see you have a libreal view on the war in iraq well lets see then pull out of the country and we will see how you like it when your in a fox hole because of those freakish ilsamic terrorists that hate our country so much and wish all of us the worst. Im 15 and in school I am the only one in almost all of my classes that is pro bush but you know what sister i can argue agaisnt all of them and still have the last laugh because thier parents put all of this stuff in thier head and the kids have no material to back it up and all they know is this bush hating bs but all they even care about is themselves and thier own little box. They have no idea about what is going on with the rest of the world all they care about is thier own little community and you people put this bs in thier heads. In all of the advandced History classes there are only liberal views as a matter of fact we have to read Howard Zinns joke of a book about america. Dont get the idea that im not pro america because i love our country with all of my heart and i am so happy that i live here. These are not my parents views but my own that i am posting and its because i have an opinon and i want to get it out there. I always try to look at both sides of a story and i am not a libreal hating or racist person i love all people (Minus the danm extreme islamic terrorists) i teach sunday school and i have nothing against diffrent religons or races. These arae my opinions and i want to get them out there. GOD BLESS AMERICA AND (my hero) THE PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'd like to respond to the posting.

First, you don't have to support the President to be pro-American. You can be a proud American without supporting the President. During Clinton's terms, a lot of Americans did not support him and his decisions. I would never dream of accusing them of not being pro-American.

I'm proud of our country. We truly live in the best country on earth. However, that doesn't mean we couldn't use some improvement, as no one is perfect.

Second, starting a website to voice my opinions about President Bush and his administration is my right as an American citizen. I encourage you to start your own website to voice your opinions in support of President Bush and his administration. That's what makes our country great, the diversified voices.

Third, where did you get the idea that I have a "liberal" view on Iraq? Because I didn't agree with our bombing Iraq? Because I support Cindy Sheehan's attempt to speak directly with Bush? I, actually, believe that now that we're in Iraq (and it doesn't look like we're leaving anytime soon), we should join together and support our troops. I don't think we're handling this war in a positive manner. I don't think the media is paying the war enough attention. I can turn on any news program and see what Paris Hilton is up to, but I can't view how the troops are managing in Iraq. I have not said on my website that we need to pull out of Iraq. Please don't put words in my mouth. I think we need to do two things: 1) Turn the war over to the generals who know what they are doing. 2) Send more troops and supplies for them. As someone who is a parent of a Marine, I would never say anything that was not 100% supportive of our troops.

Fourth, I haven't read any of Howard Zinn's books, so I'm really not in a position to comment on the fact that you have to read one of them for your history class. If you have a problem with that, shouldn't you be taking it up with your school board and not on my website? That's what I would do. Also, to which of Howard Zinn's books are you referring? If it has you this worked up, maybe I should take a look at it. It could be interesting.

Fifth, you discuss debating your classmates on their own views. I think that’s great. I imagine that once you are old enough, you will become even more involved in society. That's a good thing. We need your generation to become involved, as you represent our next leaders. You state that your classmates do not have anything to back them up. I hope you don't extend that belief to my website, as I always try to find the facts to back up my statements.

Sixth, I think it's great that you teach Sunday School. I would just like to point out one little item. You stated that you love all people, minus the Islamic terrorists. Jesus said to love thy enemies and I would think that that would extend to Islamic terrorists. He didn't say you had to agree with them, just love them. Jesus, also, said that it was easy to love those who love you, but to love those that hate you is the real test. I know that I fail on this quite often myself and I'm 37 years old.

Seventh, a piece of advice, you state, "but you know what sister i can argue agaisnt all of them" and that's great, but you should try putting it in a different manner. Instead of getting angry with me, you should start your own blog. Also, when you post to blogs that differ from your own opinion, you should make sure that your punctuation and spelling are correct. Having misspelled words only makes the reader dismiss your ideas as not being well thought out. You want them to be read and respected, don't you?

Finally, sorry I didn't see your post sooner, so I could respond to it faster. I hope you come back to my blog so we can debate some of these issues. You seem like an interesting fifteen year old. Please feel free to send me an email.
God Bless,

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

New Orleans

Remember Louise, my friend Preston's half-sister, who survived Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans? She was toughing it out in her French Quarter apartment, but yesterday, someone broke into her home, beat her up and robbed her. Preston and his wife, Jerri, are heading out to go get her and bring her back to Wisconsin.

I would just like to request you all to add them to your prayers for a safe journey there and back.

God Bless,

Monday, October 03, 2005

In the News

Wow, where to begin!?!

President Bush announced today his Supreme Court Justice to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. Her name is Harriet Miers. She is sixty years old and has never been a judge. Let me repeat that last part, just in case you missed it. She has NEVER been a judge.

I'm not so sure I like that idea. I will stand by my statement regarding John Roberts that I wasn't too sure he could serve because he hadn't been a judge long enough and this new appointee hasn't been a judge at all.

I'll give Bush credit -- she is a smart choice, as Roberts was. No rulings, nothing bad to report during the confirmation hearings, except, now we have a Supreme Court where two members have little or no experience and one of those members is the Chief Justice of the United States!

Another interesting tidbit...

Friday, I wrote in my blog that Cathy Stepp, for the most part, had lied about co-sponsoring the Eminent Domain bill in the State Senate. Today I read in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that State Senator Stepp will not seek re-election, citing that she wants to spend more time with her family. Hmmmm, did my blog run her out of office?

Well, I can dream, can't I? I'm sure my blog had nothing to do with it. I do have to admit that it is a little bit of a letdown. I was looking forward to helping John Lehman beat her in the state senate race. Hmmmm, now what will I do? According to the blip in the Milwaukee paper, two possible candidates to replace Stepp are Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds and first-term Rep. Robin Vos. I don't know much about either of them, but I'll do some research and get back to you on it.

And, finally, for today, a rant against the right-wing. Cindy Sheehan visited New Orleans and wrote a blog piece for Michael Moore's website. In it she stated, "pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans". That's it. They don't tell you the end or the beginning of the quote. Pulled out of context, this sounds like a nutty idea from a left-wing nut. Even I thought it was crazy, but I (unlike the right-wingers who will pass this information around the Internet and hail it as if it is Gospel) did the research and read the entire blog. Just in case you, my gentle readers, come across the line, I wanted you to be able to read the whole piece for yourselves. Don't just listen to my rants, form your own independent opinion and judge for yourself.

Wow -- Isn't that a refreshing idea?

Oh, wait, hold the phone, one last item. While on Michael Moore's website, I found a link to a site called Books for Soldiers. What a great idea. The soldiers request DVDs, books, etc. and volunteers send the items to them. Help support our troops in this manner and check out the site. I'm going to leave this information up for you.

God Bless,