Monday, January 26, 2009

So This Is What It Feels Like. . .

to be dissed by your own Senator. I recently e-mailed my two Washington Senators concerning a bill that would forbid exploration in ANWR for oil. This issue concerns me because of the U.S.’s increasing reliance on foreign sources for oil and other energy resources. To me drilling for oil in the U.S. is a matter of national security. But, that’s not really the issue I want to address here.

I wrote to my Senators to ask them to please consider not supporting such a bill that would handcuff our ability to provide domestic oil.

What I got back from Patty Murray was an email form letter thanking me for my correspondence and then proudly outlining her own position which is completely opposed to mine. What I basically got out of it was this, “I don’t really care what you think, this is what I’m going to do.” You can imagine the warm fuzzies that gave me.

A Senator is there to represent their constituents. I understand that my Conservative viewpoint is on the losing end. But, it sure makes me wonder, what the heck I’m supposed to do.

Conservatism does indeed feel like it is in exile. The point of view is alive and well with the citizenry, but I feel a little bit powerless.

Part of me says, “Well fine than I’m going to run for the Senate and just try to take you out!” But, I could never be a politician. I can’t stand meetings and congress seems like one big long meeting that takes forever to accomplish anything.

What then can I do? Right now I’ve got to stick true to my principles. I’ve got to be understanding and tolerant of others viewpoints while standing up for my own.
The most important thing is to try to better the lives of those around me in whatever way I can. I think the majority of us want to do things that help others.

Senator Murray believes what she believes. I can respect that even if I disagree. I’ll do what I can where I’m at.

We ought to be excellent to each other, even if it doesn’t feel like it is reciprocated. We need to keep letting our voices be heard.

I wrote to the Senator again today, on another subject. We’ll see if I can someday get something other than a form letter.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

To Say Something

I really don't know what to say about today. I have mixed feelings. But, I think I ought to say something.

On September 11, 2001 President Bush became my friend. That day he was the leader that we all needed him to be. I have not agreed with him on everything. In fact I'm still scratching my head on some things particularly with the economy. But, he has kept us safe. I think most of us probably thought that another terrorist attack on American soil was eminent. But, in 7 years we have been kept safe. I thank him for that. I still have warm feelings for him and wish him the very best.

President Obama is now my president. I will support him when I can. I of course will stand up against him when I believe he is wrong. I do think it is awesome that our country has now moved to the point where we can elect an African-American president.

Both of them are in my prayers today.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Marriage is Lava!!

So, this past election has taught me a valuable lesson. I’ve learned that if I’m not married I must not have the same rights as all the married Americans. I mean come on! What is up with that? So, I’ve decided to petition the government for the right to marry myself. I mean I love me, I get along pretty well with me. I already know all of my annoying habits and have decided to live with myself anyway. Why shouldn’t I marry myself? That way I would be able to have the same rights as all the married people.

If you didn’t get it, that initial paragraph is supposed to be dripping with sarcasm. But, it gives me a good point at which to discuss my theory that marriage is lava. Marriage is supposed to have some flexibility due to the fact that you have two different people who have come from different backgrounds and experiences deciding to union up. But, it is supposed to have a certain amount of viscosity at the same time. What is viscosity? Well, besides being just a really great word it means the resistance of a liquid to shear flow (google viscosity and definitions).

So, in terms of lava the more viscosity it has the slower it moves. The slower it moves the greater ability it has to stay together and it eventually becomes the groundwork for new islands. The Hawaiian Islands, with all their volcanic activity, for instance were created due to the constant rather slow moving lava flow.
However the more fluid the lava gets the more dangerous the lava flow. If viscosity is lost then lava just becomes flat out destructive. It rushes down and destroys everything in its path including any civilizations built on the new islands.

The family is the central unit to our society. A married mother and father, who have committed to and honored one another, serve as the binding force for not only their family but society at large. They should maintain a certain amount of flexibility with one another, being inter-dependent rather than co-dependent. But, at the same time it is imperative that they maintain a healthy amount of viscosity. There are all sorts of forces that are trying to damage that bond.

This is one of the humongous problems with trying to change the definition of marriage. It makes marriage more fluid, decreasing marriages' ability to hold society together. The more fluid the definition becomes the more the definition will be up for even greater and more damaging changes.

I do not think the fluidity started with the push for legalizing same-sex marriage. It is just the latest attempt of the forces trying to create more fluidity. Marriage has become less and less honored. People give up more easily. But, I do think legalizing same-sex marriage will create far more damage than we can at this time comprehend.

Mark my words if the definition is so altered as two include same-sex couples there will be even more definitions trying to creep their way in. I can almost guarantee that some animal rights groups will start trying to marry polar bears in order to grant the polar bear the same rights as Americans. It sounds stupid and humorous but, stuff like that is already starting to happen. There was a lady who married a dolphin in the recent past (Australia I think). And yes I think some loons would petition the government for the right to marry themselves.

Protecting marriage is a protection of our society. When marriage is strong our human island is strong, growing and thriving. When it becomes more fluid the lava flow will only be destructive.

See, I told ya marriage is lava!

God Bless

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Path to a Functional Healthier Government

One of my favorite assignments working at the substance abuse treatment facility was as one of the leaders of our weekend family workshops. One of the eye opening discussions we would hold centered on the differences between unhealthy and healthy families (we use to refer to them as dysfunctional and functional). I would start out the discussion with a question. “Which family, the healthy or the unhealthy, has problems?” The quick response is of course the unhealthy, but a lot of people catch on to the fact that it is a trick question. Both types of families have problems. The difference is how they handle them.

The healthy family recognizes that there are problems. The family then works together to try and resolve the issues. It is an ongoing sometimes difficult but often rewarding process.

The unhealthy family tries to pretend that there isn’t any problem. They tend to focus on comparably insignificant issues rather than on the underlying difficulties. An example of this is a family with an alcoholic parent who instead of talking about alcoholism will fight about having pizza two nights in a row.

There are unspoken but understood rules in unhealthy families. Members are not allowed to talk about the problems, and they are not allowed to feel or think about the problems. Family roles start to develop in order to try and make the family look normal to the outside world. Roles like scapegoats, heroes, lost child and mascots. Issues don’t get resolved, because no one will acknowledge that they exist.

Now if we were to look at our government as an organization, a family if you will, given those brief descriptions would you call it healthy or unhealthy?

One of the examples that come to mind is the recent Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac debacle. We were being told, by our elected officials, that those institutions were sound and that there were no problems. When it blew out from under them it was quite a shock. It was worse than it would have been had they just owned up to it earlier. Meanwhile there is all this partisan bickering, that is really a sideshow to the real issues.
How are we going to fix problems like the humongous deficit? The government has got to face its problems openly. Pretending like they don’t exist only delays the inevitable and makes it worse than necessary.

President Obama has promised a government of transparency. I certainly hope he keeps to that. I, for one, plan to hold him to it. It’s not just so that we will know what’s going on, it’s so the government will be healthier.

I think that Americans understand there are problems. Our officials need to toughen up and have the courage to face them.

On another family note. Our fore-fathers purposefully set up a government to have a problem solving-wing and a conservative wing. They knew changes would be necessary in order to support equal rights and address contemporary issues. I have respect for the problem-solving wing. It has led to important changes like civil rights for minorities. But, the Conservative wings' job is to determine if changes demanded by the problem-solving, now identified as liberal, wing would take away rights from others, or if it would cost too much.

Back to the family motif. Think of the Liberals like kids “I want. I want. I want. Me. Me. Me.” (that’s a movie quote). The Conservatives are like the parents who want their kids to grow, but also know there are limitations. Boundaries are helpful and safe.

Even in healthy families the parent/child relationship can be difficult. But, given that our government is not functioning well the dynamic is pretty volatile. I think the Conservative voice is rather absent. It needs to be a lot stronger, wiser and at the same time kind.

So, in short if I were to provide a treatment plan for the government family I would say start addressing the root problems and that the Conservatives (the governing parents) need to be taking a more responsible and vocal role. That doesn’t mean that all problems will be solved, but it can be significantly healthier.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Stop Telling Me What To Think

I don't like being told what to do. Actually people close to me can attest to that. When someone even in jest tells me what to do I usually just stare at them. I also don't like being told what to think.

That's one of the things that drives me nuts about the media. Instead of telling us what somebody says, they give you their translation about what somebody says. If I said "yeah I really don't like cooked vegetables" you would see a headline like "Jordan expresses outrage towards prepared foods." Then depending on the slant they want to take I would either be branded as a hater of vegans or trying in some self sacrificing way to display solidarity towards third world children who have neither vegetables nor the means to cook them with.

Watching some news channel or reading headlines in the paper or AOL you get all of these pundits who tell you what the person said, what it meant and what the person really should have said. All that just from reading the headline! Wait until you actually get to the story!

I think it is good to get information from the media, that is their job. But, these days Op-Ed styles are now news reporting.

Can you imagine what the election cycle would have been like if the media did their job? We would have known what the candidates said, we would have been informed on their records, and we would know what they intended to do in office. Then armed with that information we could make a decision based on how the candidates record and vision match up with what we want for the country. Instead we learn through the dear mainstream Gadianton Robber media that Obama will save us and McCain is mean and stupid. I'm not going to bother taking up space with all the things we were supposed to have learned about Palin.


Yeah the Gadianton Robber media inspires a little bit of anger in me.
I'm all for freedom of the press. But, they should at least cop to their bias. If they want to present an honest report than they should be honest with us about their agenda. I'm so looking forward to Bernard Goldberg's book coming out this month "A Slobbering Love Affair."

I also get tired of seeing all the pundits yelling at each other. It doesn't get a thing accomplished, accept creating headaches and/or stomachaches.

It's important to have opposing views, it provides the manner to learn and make our own decisions. But, it does not have to be at the cost of kindness and basic human goodness.

Grow up media. Please stop with the rantings and ravings. It can be slightly entertaining especially when the media actually gets called on their bias. But, I just want the information not to be told what to think about it.

Oh and I love veggies, just not cooked. I wonder what that says about me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I’m not married. So, hey if you know any great guys looking for a 30 something conservative woman who likes long walks on the beach my number is 555…. But, I digress. I also do not have any children. But, I freely admit that I have fallen in love 13 times, and that I love every one of them all at the same time. I also plan on falling in love again sometime around May of this year. I’m talking about my nieces and nephews. Every single one of these little kids stole my heart and never gave it back. I don’t know what it’s like to be a mom. But, I know what its like to love the kids in my family. I would do anything to defend them.

The family unit has been under direct assault in the media and other outlets in this country. It has been that way for a while now. There are all sorts of things I could discuss about this topic. But, recently there have been some pretty pointed attacks at some well known people’s families that have struck me as particularly vile.

I along with so many others was saddened and shocked to hear about the Travolta family tragedy. To lose a son at such a young age is heart breaking. But, I was sickened to see some of the media coverage. The Travolta’s had been able to keep their family life fairly private but the media jumped all over it. There were suggestions and accusations made that the family had not taken proper care of their son. They accused the family of not providing medication for their son due to their religious beliefs. That turned out to be completely false. But, the coverage of that fact went underreported.

It’s one thing to let the public know that a public figure has suffered a tragedy. It gives us all the opportunity to pray for them. It’s quite another to exploit the family's suffering and make completely false allegations in order to sale more papers.

It certainly dissuades people from entering the public arena and standing up for anything publicly. Your family appears to be fair game. It’s disgusting and disheartening.

One of the medias favorite targets these days is Governor Sarah Palin. She has been pretty gracious considering all the personal attacks against her. But, she did not take recent attacks against her family sitting down. She called media outlets to correct them on false allegations. The media then got on her case for correcting them. Honestly what parent would take attacks and false reports about their kids sitting down? What the heck happened to families being off limits. President Obama asked for that and got his wish.

If you are just relying on the mainstream media for information about Sarah Palin you would have no idea what kind of a Governor she is. Oh you mean she’s a Governor? You would have no idea that she turned in a state budget for the coming year that spends less than the previous year. It has a built in safety net for a possible continuing economic downturn. If absolutely necessary they could dip into the savings that she instituted this last year when oil prices were so high. This in an atmosphere when there are a number of Governor’s asking for federal bailout money. Alaska doesn’t need it, nor would she ask for it. You would never know that she recently welcomed dignitaries from countries including Russia, Japan, China, Canada, Mexico and others who are trade and energy partners with Alaska. What? She doesn’t have any foreign policy experience, right?

The media has nothing negative to say about her governing so they choose to go after her family. They perhaps know that Governor Palin has made decisions to run for offices based on her family's approval. She in fact did not run for an office several years ago when her son asked her not to. Perhaps the media is hoping that if they tear her family down the family will ask her to exit public political life.
This all certainly dissuades people, particularly conservatives from wanting to go into politics. Your family is apparently fair game.

The institution of the family has been inundated with attacks. The media is going after public figures families. These are only a couple brief examples of recent attacks. It is all just too much.

I want my nieces and nephews to grow up in a world where the family is still considered sacred and protected. We need to stand up to the media in whatever ways we can. I think the majority of Americans respect the family unit. But, the liberal left is so loud. The traditional family voices should be heard too.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

On Being Pro-People

I challenge you to a duel. Not a duel with me, although I did take a fencing class in college. That was pretty fun and I didn’t come in last for our class tournament. But, I digress. No, I challenge you to an internal duel.

I challenge you to go to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. I would like you to go there and see if you don’t come out of there with a deep sense that nothing coming close to resembling that horrific event must ever happen again. I challenge you to not come out of there with a sense of the enormous importance of the state of Israel. You come out of there knowing the Israelis must be able to defend and protect themselves.

Then, I challenge you to go to the Palestinian side of Jerusalem. I challenge you to see some of the poverty there. I want you to visit a Palestinian refugee camp. I challenge you to not come away from there with a deep sense that something must be changed, that the disenfranchisement of the people must be addressed.

This is one of my struggles. Understand me, I think both sides have legitimate arguments. Let me make another thing clear. I absolutely despise terrorism in any form. I can in no way support violence in getting any point across. Terrorism has not done the Palestinian cause any favors it has just caused more violence.

I have known and respected Palestinians and Israelis.

This internal duel did not just start up when I spent my semester in Jerusalem. I have long been fascinated by the Middle East and made it a matter of study in college. So, I went there with dueling opinions which ended up being solidified. To call myself pro- one side would make it seem that I was anti- the other. So, what am I?

My answer came while I was there. I had Jewish and Palestinian instructor’s who taught there own, and I believe accurate, points of view. My Palestinian instructor Dr. Nazal would often talk about his love for President Howard W. Hunter, a former president of my Church which sponsored the Jerusalem Center. Some students asked Dr. Nazal to explain why he had such a strong connection with Howard W. Hunter. He proceeded to tell us about the first time that they met. When they were introduced to each other President Hunter looked at Dr. Nazal and said “ah you’re the one who is giving me all the problems.” Dr Nazal was understandably taken aback and asked what he meant. President Hunter explained that he had gotten phone calls from parents complaining that their children were coming home pro-Palestinian. Dr. Nazal explained that he was just teaching his students the truth. President Hunter than assured him by saying “it’s okay, hopefully someday they will just be pro-people.”

Yes!!! I had it. That is what I am, pro-people.

Do I support the free and democratic state of Israel? Absolutely. Do I support efforts to better the lives of Palestinians? You bet.

Now, how do we help both causes in an appropriate and satisfying way? Well, I guess the duel continues. But, at least I know whose side I’m on: The People.

I wrote this post quite a while ago, but felt it would be pertinent now.
Hamas is an unsupportable entity. Any group who is willing to use violence particularly against innocent civilians is repugnant. We have seen these terrorists willingness to not only attack civilians, but also to hide out among their own civilians endangering them. It disgusts me.

I’m deeply saddened by the loss of life on both sides of the conflict now. Terrorism is the root cause of it. That is very easy to see.

However, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is a deeply embedded and long conflict that is difficult to summarize. I believe Israel has the right to protect itself. However, I also believe that a lasting peace will only be possible if Israel is willing to take a good long hard look at their treatment of the Palestinians and make efforts to improve their conditions.

Terrorists have used Palestinians as their excuse for their abominable acts. Take that away from them and terrorists will be seen even more clearly as exactly what they are, power hungry murderers.

Like I said it is a difficult conflict to summarize. A good book to start with is Arab and Jew by David Shipler. It’s an oldie but a goodie. Check it out. Pray for Peace.
God Bless