Monthly Archives: January 2012

LIFE, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness

Standard

3 little words….and yet so hard to attain. Our forefathers who escaped from the “Old World” to the “New World” for religious freedom, forged an idea of a country where freedom and liberty where ideals to be given to every one. They valued people’s thoughts, ideas, and that American spirit of ingenuity and drive to succeed. Since our very inception we have strove to show the world that democracy and the common person could change not only a country, but the world.

We are currently seeming to go through an identity crisis. Instead of showing the world what we could be, we are trying so hard to become what the rest of the world is. We have let the rest of the world convince us that their way is best in some matters. We are letting ourselves be persuaded into ideas and taunted with influences that we escaped from over 200 years ago,

And why do I mention it today, January 23, 2012? Because it is the 39th anniversary of one of the most controversial, most divisive, most influential piece of history of our country: the Roe v Wade case in the Supreme Court. And what goes to the core of the basic tenets of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness than this one single court decision.

Being raised as a human and not a pig or a tree, and having taken biology in school, and deciding that I could think and decide for myself, I have decided that I am a human being that came from other human beings. I don’t care what the popular thinking of the day may be, I will believe that God created me in His own image. That He formed me in my mother’s womb.

Popular thinking, or should I say rationalization, would have us thinking that we were just a bunch of cells or a tumor that suddenly became human when we took that first breath. I am a bunch of cells, knitted together by God’s own hand to form me, the person, the human, the Child of God that I am.

Last year I reposted a status on my Facebook page that sparked a debate between someone who had befriended me that was like minded and my boss, a doctor whom I thought was also Pro-Life. She, I now know, is a modern thinker who believes that we are all just a mass of tissue that is waste. Meanwhile she threatened my job via text messages demanding that I delete the post or comment agreeing with her. I deleted it…I just don’t like people arguing on my page. And neither of them was respecting me. It does bother me that I work for someone who would threaten my job over a personal belief that life begins at conception. But I keep my views on that out of the office and let her be the doctor. (Although it sometimes makes me wonder how she can fight for the life of a patient while denying it to others.)

Today is a day to thank Moms, Mothers, Grams, and Nanas that gave birth to us. For whatever reason, they had the courage to carry us in their wombs and give us life so that we could fight for liberty with others and enjoy the pursuit of happiness.

I cannot answer for those that have chosen to purposely, decisively, and consciously abort a child, but I do have to answer for me. I could not and would not be able to do it. God does not make mistakes. People do. And this is one mistake that shows the selfish nature of mankind. If it’s not a baby, and is just a tumor….then how come other women prepare for this tumor to arrive? If it is just a mass of tissues, then how come we can somewhat accurately predict when it will be come to term and be born? If it is just a mass, why do we plan and pray and hope for a child? I don’t know one brain cancer patient that knows that in approximately 9 months they will have a bouncing baby boy that has their grandmother’s eyes or grandpa’s hands.

I can’t make someone not decide to do something, all I can do is express my thoughts, my reasons, and hope that they listen and heed my words. I will not force them. I will not hate them. But I will pray for them. I will pray that they decide to do as their mother did and carry this entrusted human being to the time of birth. Then decide what is best for the child…to keep him or her, or to give the child to a family that yearns to have one. And trust me, that family is not waiting for a tree or a pig either. They are awaiting a child.

In many cultures, the birth of a child is a cause of celebration. In Native American cultures, the child is presented at the next dawn so that the day can greet him or her. In Chinese culture, children are given their first birthday party at 3 months because of their belief in life at conception. In other cultures, children are greeted and feted because they are the future of their family, their clan, their region, their country, their world.

In 1973, the United States Supreme Court decided that a woman had the choice to end that future. Since that time, laws and regulations have been put forth that have divided families and faiths over the decision of their members. We now see fewer workers having to pay for Social Security costs. We have fewer voters. We have fewer leaders.

Since that time, human life has been devalued. We think nothing of in vitro fertilization where the “extras” are flushed down the toilet. We think nothing of euthanasia. Assisted suicide is fought in the courts and triumphant yells are heard when someone is allowed to kill themselves. We as a country lost our conscience that day.

Pro-Abortionists celebrate today as a day women won the right to do what they wanted to their bodies. They celebrate that now they can have their careers and their lives back without a nuisance of children. They celebrate their selfishness. They forget that not all women are not heartless. They forget that some of those women and girls regret their decision and have problems going on in life.

But then we live in a world where the death penalty is also celebrated by those same people. Their “we are educated and you are not” attitude lets them think that they are better than the common man and can stop common man from killing while they kill the common man for his mistakes.

And now we have Obamacare or PPACA….the first ones to cry out separation of church and state are the first ones to force demand religious institutions to go against their beliefs, their tenets, their faith and demand that they allow abortions. We as a nation are losing our Life, our Liberty, and our pursuit of Happiness. We allow our officials to vote our very freedoms out of our existence. We are becoming the socialized community that Europe is. We are becoming the communistic country we didn’t want in the 1950’s. We are letting the government and its many branches decide what is right and wrong instead of making those decisions for ourselves. (http://patriotupdate.com/17466/obama-orders-free-birth-control-for-all)

We must repeal PPACA. We must choose life. For if we choose death, then we have let the future down.

Advertisements

Light Bulbs…..and Mike Ross

Standard

this is a copy of a post I made earlier somewhere else…………and with the response from my Representative, Mike Ross.

Congress flips dimmer switch on light bulb law

APBy MATTHEW DALY | AP – Fri, Dec 16, 2011

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress are flipping the dimmer switch on a law that sets new energy-savings standards for light bulbs.

They’ve reached a deal to delay until October enforcement of standards that some fear will bring about the end of old-style 100-watt bulbs. GOP lawmakers say they’re trying to head off more government interference in people’s lives.

But environmentalists and the light bulb industry say the move is not too bright.

Language postponing enforcement of the light bulb law — it was set to take effect Jan. 1 — was included in a massive spending bill that funds the government through September. The House passed the measure on Friday, with approval expected Saturday in the Senate.

Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the light bulb delay shows Congress is listening to the American people.

“We heard the message loud and clear,” said Upton, R-Mich. “Americans don’t want government standards determining how they light their homes.”

Upton said he was not opposed to the more efficient — and expensive— curlicue fluorescents that have become increasingly familiar in recent years. But he said government should not penalize those who prefer traditional, incandescent bulbs.

“New lighting options are great news for the public, but the lesson is that markets and consumer demand are the best drivers of innovation and new choices,” Upton said.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said the move would have little practical consequence, since it does not affect a 2007 law that requires manufacturers to produce or import more efficient bulbs. The five largest light bulb manufacturers have already switched to making and selling the more efficient bulbs, Bingaman said, so the enforcement delay only serves to confuse the public.

“Blocking funds to enforce minimum standards works against our nation getting the full benefits of energy efficiency,” said Bingaman, D-N.M., a key sponsor of the 2007 law, which was signed by President George W. Bush.

A group representing light bulb manufacturers spoke out against the delay, which applies only to 100-watt bulbs. Tighter standards for 75-watt bulbs take effect in 2013, and lower wattage bulbs must be more efficient by 2014.

“American manufacturers have invested millions of dollars in energy-efficient light bulbs,” said Joseph Higbee, a spokesman for the National Electric Manufacturers Association, which represents 95 percent U.S. light bulb makers.

Delaying enforcement of the standards “undermines those investments and creates regulatory uncertainty and consumer confusion,” he said, adding that a lack of federal enforcement “allows bad actors to sell noncompliant products” to consumers who may be unable to tell the difference between an energy-efficient bulb and one that isn’t.

The new law blocks the Energy Department from enforcing efficiency standards, but it does not prevent states from enforcing their own standards.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, called the light-bulb provision “an early Christmas present for all Americans” and said it strikes a blow against expensive fluorescents that he said are not as reliable as the old-style incandescents that have changed little since Thomas Edison’s day.

“This means Americans can continue to flip the switch on an affordable and reliable product, instead of turning to one that costs five times more and may not live up to manufacturers’ promises,” said Barton, a former House Energy chairman who opposed the 2007 law and has worked to overturn it ever since.

Jim Presswood, federal energy policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group, called the GOP-backed delay dimwitted.

“It’s just a completely ridiculous move by Congress,” Presswood said. “It undermines the ability of the Energy Department to enforce standards that are going to give consumers tremendous savings as well as reduce pollution.”

Follow Matthew Daly’s energy coverage at http://twitter.com/MatthewDalyWDC

 

I had heard about this regulation and finally took the time to check into it.  Needless to say I was not the happiest of campers to read it.  It actually spurred me to action and I wrote my Congressman for the first time.

Dear Mr Ross:

I was just reading where the Light Bulb Law was extended to October and I want to encourage you and other lawmakers to please stop this regulation from ever taking effect.

The so-called curlicue or pigtail light bulb maybe or may not be more efficient or last longer, but my concern is cost.  I can afford a 4 pack of bulbs for about $1 but I cannot afford 1 light bulb for $3 when I need light.  The new ones also are not as bright and therefore I, for one, cannot see as well.

The new ones are mainly made overseas, losing jobs to Americans when we need to be stimulating the economy and making jobs here.  Instead this will cause yet more layoffs and more unemployed persons.

My biggest concerns are the materials in the new ‘efficient’ light bulbs.  Children, adults and pets do not need to be exposed to mercury.  We have bans on eating fish from certain fish in the State of Arkansas because of mercury content in the water, and yet we are being forced by intrusive government to put mercury filled light bulbs that can (and you know will) break, releasing toxins into our homes.  What happens when the first baby gets ill from mercury due to a poor clean up job after a break?  I see lawsuits clogging up our already slow system.  And who cleans up mercury spills?  Hazmat teams?  Can the average American afford that?

The only reason this is an issue is because someone out there wants to make a large profit by making everyone buy these light bulbs.  They have been on the market for years and those that truly want them are buying them, and those that cannot afford them or do not like their poor lighting qualities or their look or whatever should not be forced to buy them.

Meanwhile…I think I will need to start stockpiling regular incandescent light bulbs and/or candles.  One because I like the lights better and two because I’m tired of being forced to do things in our free society.

So I ask you to please stand up for us Arkansans and stop this ridiculous regulation.

Sincerely,

[signed]

 

Am I the only one that is tired of the government forcing us to do things, buy things, etc just to justify their pocketbook?  They are probably all waiting for the stock prices to jump and fall due to this change in October–and are only upset because they will have to wait 10 more months for that to happen.

Do we really want foreign made light bulbs that cost 3-4 times more than American made bulbs?  Do we want light bulbs that can break and spread mercury into our homes, posing a danger to adults and children and pets?

Why is this even an issue?  Sell both bulbs.  Let everyone choose which light they want.  So what if I have to change my bulbs more often, it should be my choice.   And as for pollution or whatever else the government wants to throw up in our face as to why we need to fire hundreds of people and increase our unemployment, we need to remember that where ever the new mercury filled bulbs are made is also polluting the earth, it’s just not in our borders.

Contact your Congressmen and Senators.   Maybe they will hear our voices.  And remember, their employment contracts are due for renewal in November.  VOTE!

http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm

 

 

 

 

and here is Mike Ross’s response:

 

Dear Friend:

 

Thank you for contacting me.  I appreciate hearing from you.

 

As you may know, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140) into law on December 19, 2007, which set new performance standards for many common light bulbs.  The legislation requires a 25-30 percent increase in the energy efficiency of typical light bulbs beginning in 2012 and greater improvements are required starting in 2020.

 

I truly appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this issue with me. Despite the many rumors, there is no current or future ban on incandescent bulbs.  The law simply states that incandescent bulbs should be 30 percent more energy efficient beginning in 2012.  It does not require consumers to purchase any specific type of bulb, nor does it ban any type of light bulb.

 

I support increased energy efficiency that will save families and businesses money by lowering their energy bills.  The efficiency standards also help reduce the strain on our nation’s electrical grid preventing blackouts and brownouts, especially during summer months when energy demand is at its strongest.

 

The incandescent light bulb is not only not banned, it has been improved and is now more energy efficient than ever.  Most importantly, the incandescent light bulb will remain available to American consumers for years to come.

 

Thank you again for contacting me.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

 

 
Sincerely,

Mike Ross

 

I wish he had used my name, but at least he or one of his staff members took the time to answer.  More than I expected.  But at least my voice was heard.

 

 

 

SOPA/PIPA…..CENSORSHIP AT ITS BEST

Standard

Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are part of the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA’s) ideas of protecting their property by opening the door for Congress to limit who, what, when, why someone can access information and ideas on the internet.

I totally understand that MPAA wants to protect its property—their movies, sounds, ideas, etc.  I understand Piracy is a problem.  BUT….at what cost do we start censoring and limiting something that should be free??

These bills would open the door to censor all sorts of things, just like China, Iran, Cuba, and other countries monitor what their citizens can access on the internet.  It should be the the WIDE WORLD WEB, not the WE’RE WATCHING WEB.  Do we really want to be limited by what only the powers that be allow us to view.

We have given our elected officials so much power and they have taken it and more. They pass laws and fight over more laws that impact our lives everyday….and somehow avoid impacting their own.   They pass health bills, tax bills, import/export bills, security bills, war bills, etc.  Very few of these impact the Senators and so-called Representatives that we elect.  They exempt themselves from all sorts of laws that take our very freedoms away.

If they pass these 2 bills….THEY will still have the access they will say you don’t deserve, don’t need, don’t know how to use, or whatever excuse they come up with.

They are already wanting to keep our personal information for up to 5 years…just in case we do something illegal now or illegal soon.  For an administration that ran on TRANSPARENCY they sure are doing alot of secret deals to take away what little we have.

Perhaps soon we should all be wearing little brown uniforms and reciting the new rhetoric of the government.  The first amendment be damned in their opinion, we need to be kept dumb and mute.

The dumbing down of America continues.  We no longer teach our children the basics of life–reading, writing, arithmetic, critical thinking, and ingenuity.  Instead we teach them to sit and work a computer and let the computer do all of the thinking for them.  This is how the Congress needs the general public to be so that they can continue to do as they want when they want how they want.  They thought this would be one more way to control the populace.

Let us prove them wrong!  Contact your Congressmen today!  Tell them to VOTE NO ON SOPA AND PIPA!!

a few links to read more:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16628143

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/microsoftpri0/2017272889_anti-sopapipa_efforts_by_the_numbers.html

https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

how to contact congress…a few ways:

https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+contact+congress+about+sopa&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Addendum:

I did write my Congressman, Mike Ross and let him know that I expected him to vote NO…..here is his response:

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. I appreciate hearing from you.

As you know, H.R. 3261 was introduced on October 26, 2011, as legislation that would combat the theft of U.S. intellectual property and promote creativity and innovation. This legislation was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

The intent of this legislation is to prevent foreign illegal internet content; however rest assured that if the bill goes farther in any way to restrict Americans’ access to the internet, I will oppose it. While I support laws that protect and respect the creativity and innovation of hardworking Americans through our long-standing copyright rules, I believe we must be careful that these laws do not infringe on Americans’ First Amendment rights of free speech and we absolutely must not limit the ability of people to access lawful Internet content.

Please know that I will continue to monitor this issue and will keep your views in mind should I be called to vote on any related legislative initiatives.

As your Congressman, please know that I will work to ensure that a fair and commonsense solution can be implemented that will not restrict Americans’ right to lawful Internet content.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future.

Sincerely,

Mike Ross

At least it is a response. Now if we can just get a solid NO vote.

Aunt Audrey

Standard

Today would have been my aunt’s 89th birthday.   She was my father’s oldest sister…15 years older.  Her name was Audrey Marie, having the same middle name as myself.  I was not named for her, but I sometimes think I should have been.  She was my favorite aunt, and of all my aunts, the one I miss the most.

She was born and raised in St Louis, along with her 2 older brothers, 2 younger sisters, and her youngest brother.  She was baptized, schooled, and accepted all of her Catholic sacraments at the Most Holy Trinity Church in St Louis.  She worked and as a young woman during World War II, she fell in love with Bob.

Bob was full blooded Chinese and from a distant territory known as Hawaii.  Against her father’s advice, but with her mother’s blessing, she and Bob eloped.  Her mother insisted on sending her oldest brother as a chaperone and as a witness to the wedding.   They went to California, but the Justice of the Peace refused to marry them because it was a bi-racial marriage.  Considering we had just ended a war with the Japanese, no one trusted any Oriental.  Kind of ironic in view of what we see in California today.

So off to Oregon they went.  Again they were refused on the same basis.  Off they went onto Washington.  It was there in the middle of the night that they found a Justice of the Peace that agreed to marry the happy couple.  With her brother as the witness, they made their vows until death do us part.

They boarded a ship to their new home in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Her brother returned to St Louis to tell the family that indeed, Audrey and Bob had married and had left for their new life.

Audrey had married the 3rd son of Chinese immigrants.  His 2 older brothers had been forced to return to Hong Kong to find their wives, but being ‘number 3 son’ he was able to travel to the mainland of the United States to find a wife.  Being the only Caucasian in a Chinese household was a new and sometimes frustrating situation.  She had to learn the traditions and obligations required in a Chinese family.  She had to learn and accept to live in a multi-generational home.  Being a Catholic in a non-Catholic home also came with its own set of problems.  But she held true to her faith and to her own traditions.

When she gave birth to her first child, whom she told me she named for her baby brother (my father), she was made to follow the Chinese tradition of walking to visit everyone that was to be invited to the child’s first birthday party.  In Chinese tradition, this celebration is 3 months after the birth of the child, as they believe that life begins at conception and therefore 3 months after the birth is 1 year.  She eventually had 2 sons and 3 daughters.

She worked in her husband’s family store, a type of department store in old Honolulu.  She was like any other employee, she told me several times.  At work she was like anyone else, at home she was wife and mother.

She came home several times to St Louis to visit her family, whoever was still living there.  She brought her husband and children whenever it was possible to.  She traveled to Michigan and New Jersey on occasion to visit her sisters in their homes.  And it was during one of these visits when I was about 13-14 years old that a tradition was born between the she and me.

She was at our house and we started talking.  The next thing we knew it was 2 or I3 o’clock in the morning.  We talked about everything…religion, life, my cousins, school, our travels, etc.  It was after this visit that I started writing to my aunt in Hawaii.

It was the mid-1970’s and I was just enamored with mail.  The idea that you could put a letter in the mail and a few days later, it was delivered and read thousands of miles away just fascinated my young mind.  And you can imagine my joy when she wrote back.  This began a wonderful relationship that lasted almost 25 years.  We wrote letters and shared all sorts of news.  I told her of my family and what I heard of her siblings and their families.  She told me of her life and family in Hawaii.  And now and again, she would staple a $5 bill to her letter to me and write across it “For Pepsi” because she knew how much I loved that stuff.

When she came to visit, we had our late night chats.  Even when I was a teen, my parents knew how special this aunt-niece relationship was and let me enjoy this special time with my aunt.  Once I became 16 and able to drive, I loved that she would take a day out of her trip to take me to the Art Museum and treat us to lunch in their restaurant.

It was after I was an adult and working a full-time job and living in my first apartment, that we began to supplement our letters with phone calls.  She would be surprised that I would call her and not worry about the money.  That I just wanted to hear her voice.

And when my father died and she came to visit months later, I was the one that was honored to take her to visit his grave site.  She lovingly laid an orchid lei on his grave and said her prayers for his soul.  I will never forget that day.

Audrey developed cataracts and the time came to have them removed.  She had the surgery and regained perfect eyesight….for 2 weeks.  She awoke one morning sneezing and then realized she could see nothing.  A visit to the doctor showed that her eyes had not completely healed and she had ‘blown’ the corneas.  Laser treatments failed to give her her eyesight back.  She was blind.  She went to a School for the Blind to learn how to do things like understand money by touch and how to pour a cup of coffee.  And she talked to me candidly about it.  She said that there was a child there that lost her sight in a skiing accident; that there was a young man that lost his eyesight to a car accident; and that there was a man there that lost his eyesight to diabetes.  And she was mad.  Not that she was blind but that they were.  I will never forget her words.  She said, “I have seen the world and enjoyed life.  These kids and young people haven’t!”  She had no self-pity in her situation.  She meant what she said.  She had seen and done everything that she wanted to do.  She embraced her life and all that it held for her.

It wasn’t until my 29th birthday that I was able to visit her in her home.  For a few wonderful days, my mother and I enjoyed the sites and sounds of Hawaii.  We dined with my aunt and her family.  We went site-seeing with my cousins.  And we payed our respects at the USS Arizona.

Four months later, on the day after her birthday, her husband Bob died after laying down with her for a nap.  He went peaceably out of this world and into the next.  He was able to see his his first 2 grandchildren before his death.

Before her death at the age of 73, dying in the same manner as her husband,  in her sleep, she was able to know her 3 grandchildren.   Having lived 50 years in Hawaii, thousands of miles from her birthplace, raising a family, and adopting a culture for the love of 1 man.  She saw the territory of Hawaii become the 50th state of the United States of America.  She saw the changes in America from a unique perspective.  I miss her letters and calls.  I miss our late night chats.  And I miss her courage and encouragement that she showed me.

I admired my Aunt Audrey.  I loved her.  I respected her.  She made time for a niece far away.  Her youngest child being just 6 months younger than me, she knew what I was going through as her own daughter went through it.  She told me stories of my father growing up.  And more stories about her parents.

It was her example to me that challenged me to be a better aunt when I became one.  I try to always make time for my nieces and nephews.  I only wish that I had 1 that wanted to write or call as I did with Audrey.

So Happy Birthday Audrey….and thank you for teaching this niece what family and commitment and love is all about.  I love you.

Happy New Year!

Standard

Isn’t it amazing how from childhood on we look forward to Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever holiday garners us gifts of things we would normally just dream of and desire. We start making our wish lists the day after the last Big Day and dream of what we want and need Santa or parents or grandparents or boyfriends or girlfriends to bring us.

We dream of that day more than any other day of the year…I would almost venture to guess more than a Birthday, Wedding Day, or Graduation Day. Yes, those are all Big Days, but none as wonderful as those end of the year, world celebrating days of shopping, parties, and festivities all in the name of that Big Day.

And yet that is just one day. Today is the start of an entire new Year! A year that should be thought of, planned for, and enjoyed as much as that one Big Day. We have a year of birthdays of our friends and family and coworkers. But we should be planning for our own birthday. What do we expect in our new ‘age’ and what role does it play in the grand scheme of our lives?

We have an entire year of weddings, anniversaries, and other special events that we ourselves will celebrate or our friends and families. What a great time to just sit back and think of the fun and festivities we have celebrated in the past and what we can do this year to make that day special.

And most of all, think about all those days in between those Big Days. The ordinary days when we wake up and live our lives by going to work, looking for work, cleaning house, taking care of children, taking care of parents, going to school, taking care of pets, etc. There is a joy in those ordinary days if you think about it.

We are alive to enjoy it–good bad or indifferent. We are in this world and our actions or inactions effect everyone. That call you meant to make could put a smile on your mom’s face. Those flowers you meant to send just might make a sick friend feel better. That card you meant to send could be what makes someone realize they are not alone. Simple acts–big results.

And so as we start this new year, think of your big and little days and rejoice that we can enjoy them. I leave you with a poem my mom gave me long ago when I was a child. It was given to her by a teacher of hers in her boarding school when she was very young. So Sister Declan, thank you:

I wish you wealth
I wish you health
I wish you gold in store
I wish you heaven here on earth
What could I wish you more?