Saturday, February 28, 2009

California, Say Hello to the Delta Smelt!

Why should you say hello to this ugly, slimy little sea kitten? Because he is the reason your water bill is going through the roof and may be the cause of water rationing soon, as Governor Schwarzenegger declared California in a state of drought emergency.

All reports in the mainstream media are claiming that after three years of practically record low rainfall, of course there isn't enough water for all of us to use and enjoy to our hearts' content. It is true that we haven't seen as much rain as usual in the Golden State these past few years, but anyone that knows anything about geography knows that much of California is a desert climate, and historically has seen cyclical shortages of rainfall.

So why are we now in a state of drought emergency? In addition to a few years of less rainfall than average, there are California court-ordered restrictions on pumping from the *environmentally sensitive* Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, home of the smelt! We wouldn't want those ugly little buggers to go extinct, after all.

Save the Smelt!

Save the Smelt at the expense of all the repercussions that will come from cutting California residents off from one of their main water supplies. Not only will you be paying more for that precious H2O commodity, but you'll be paying more for unemployment of others, as farmers are forced to abandon their crops and fire their workers. No water=no plant growth. Also, get ready to pay exorbitant amounts of money for those groceries that do make it to your local supermarket. They were grown with expensive California water, or they were transported in from afar; either scenario will jack up the price.

Say Hello to the Smelt?

I say GOODBYE Smelt!

Friday, February 27, 2009

San Diego Tea Party

San Diego took part in a nationwide Tea Party Protest today in protest to the Obama Administration's bailout plan.

It was a great turnout, and amazing to see so many opposed to the redistribution of hard earned wealth to slackers working part time at McDonald's.

Speaker Michael Crimmins

Speaker Leslie Eastman

We even had a sailboat in attendance! The sign says, "Repeal or Retire."

Some of the crowd

Protesters lined the streets

Keep it up conservatives! Keep it real, keep it honest, but keep it LOUD!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Importance of Education & How You Can Help

No doubt about it. Our current educational system has cultivated a generation of self-important and politically correct young adults that can barely read, write, or add, but gosh darnit, don't they feel good about themselves? Oh wait, according to some in the new administration, (*cough* Eric Holder *cough*), only black students should feel good about themselves; white students are cowards because they don't talk enough about how cool it is to be black. (Can you see me rolling my eyes from where you're sitting?)

Our children are being dumbed down in government run schools. Study after study after study show that American students are falling further and further behind their foreign counterparts. Teachers are limited on how much work they may assign their students, social awareness trumps personal responsibility, school nurses can't hand out aspirin but can direct pregnant teens to an abortion clinic, and students incapable of constructing grammatically correct sentences or adding two three-digit numbers together without a calculator keep on donning those caps and gowns to receive their diplomas.

What's our new prez going to do to improve our educational system? With $100 billion set aside in the latest "stimulus" package for education, you'd think the government could improve education drastically. Unfortunately, as history has shown, throwing money at a problem rarely makes that problem go away. It's sort of like using a pail to dump water out of a leaky rowboat... sure, you can keep the boat from sinking (for awhile) but if you don't plug the leaks, it will keep filling back up and your arms will get very, very tired.

I'm not sure Obama really wants educated, critically thinking adults in his audience anyway. Afterall, it was the idiotic youth vote that got him elected (although not this 26 year old youth, you all know I voted for Sarah Palin ;-)). Imagine if all of those young people had stopped to think about the ramifications of electing a power hungry socialist that attended a black supremist church for 20 years, kicked off his political career in a domestic terrorist's living room, had a wife that was ashamed to be an American until her husband was nominated for the Presidential ticket, and wants to sit down for milk and cookies with Ahmenajad (you know, that Iranian leader with nukes and a desire to obliterate the US from the map). A well educated audience might have questioned his double speak, even to the point of telling two different cities that he was rooting for their team to win the world series! Seriously, is that important enough to lie about?

Besides, Arne Duncan, the former Chicago schools chief, is now heading up the Department of Education. And we all know how great the schools in Chicago are (again with the eye rolling! I just can't seem to help myself).

So what's a parent to do in these dire educational circumstances? Sit back and relax while the government tells you what's best for your child? Not this parent, that's for sure! As our eldest daughter neared schooling age, my husband and I took stock of our options. We could put her in a government run school, and supplement at home. We could put her name in the lottery for a coveted spot at a nearby covertly Christian charter school. I could homeschool her, but that would've involved too many prescription drugs (no, not Ritalin for her, Lorazepam for me). We could look into private school. Months of research, phone calls, school visits, and prayer later, we fell in love with The Cambridge School.

The philosophy-
The Cambridge School employs a classical, Christian approach to learning, which is a time-honored approach to learning used throughout the Western world by the 16th century, and which remained the norm until at least 1850.The method is known as the Trivium, which imparts the basic tools of learning to the student and introduces them to the life of the mind. The Trivium is applied to every academic discipline, meaning every subject has its grammar, logic, and rhetoric.Becoming educated in any subject involves knowing its basic facts and principles (grammar), ordering and analyzing relationships concerning those facts (logic), and communicating conclusions in a clear, persuasive, and winsome manner (rhetoric). This three-phase model works because it focuses on the way children learn best at each stage of life and builds on the foundation of previous stages. Thus, it prepares students to become life-long learners who can think for themselves. And in today's culture, such skills are increasingly valuable precisely because this educational model is the exception rather than the rule.

Now everyone knows the major downside to private education: the cost. It eats a substantial chunk of our monthly income, but it is a sacrifice that we are willing to make. Although the Obamas practice school choice (their elementary age daughters attend the prestigious Sidwell Friends to the tuition tune of
$28,442 per year, per girl), it's a case of, "What's good enough for thee isn't good enough for me." Obama does not support the use of vouchers, which would allow parents of school aged children to take a portion of the money that the state has allocated for their education and spend it at the school of their choice.

I know we are blessed to not need tuition assistance at this point in time. We don't take fancy vacations, we don't go out on fancy dates, I clean the house, cook the meals, chauffeur the kids, and shop frugally. Heck, right now I'm writing this piece on a three year old laptop with a screen that blinks out if I don't keep a clothespin on the upper left hand corner. Life would be much easier financially if we didn't pay for our daughter to attend private school, but we get by just fine.

There are many that cut every corner, but still can't afford to participate in school choice. These are families with hard working parents and eager to learn kids, who just want to be given the opportunity to attend the school of their choice, The Cambridge School. For those students, the school offers some tuition assistance... which of course is paid for by...wait for it...fundraising! You knew I had to be selling something, right? Wrapping paper? Cookie dough? A snugi, perhaps?

How about a chance to win a dream car for only $25? Did I get your attention? (in my best cheesy Billy Mays impression) For the low, low price of $25, you will receive by mail or in person 1 raffle ticket as confirmation of your entry, with its partner being entered into the drawing to take place on April 4, 2009 at the Cambridge Auction and Gala. The grand prize winner will receive his or her choice of one of 4 dream cars or $25,000 cash.

But wait! There's more! Spend $100 on a bundle of tickets, and receive not 4 chances to win, but 5! That's right, Folks, for just $100 dollars, you will receive 5 raffles tickets! With sales being capped at 3,000 entries, your chances to win the grand prize or one of the smaller cash prizes are higher than the chance you're wearing a snugi right now. And be honest, that warm fuzzy feeling that you get from doing something good (like donating to a stellar cause) is all you really need to be a winner! Ok, warm heated seats in a brand new luxury car might trump a warm fuzzy heart on a cold winter morning...

No need to be present to win. Void where prohibited by law.

Download your forms here, enter "Hannah E." as the Cambridge Referral Name, and mail or fax it in to the school.

All proceeds directly fund the Tuition Assistance and Language Arts programs(Mandarin, Latin, and Spanish) which help ensure a diverse and vibrant student community and well-rounded academic programs.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Inconvenient Truth About the Pork-Free Stimulus Bill

I know that there are a lot of folks out there who've been saying, 'Oh, this is pork, and this is money that's going to be wasted,' and et cetera, et cetera. Understand, this bill does not have a single earmark in it, which is unprecedented for a bill of this size. ... There aren't individual pork projects that members of Congress are putting into this bill. -President Obama, February 10, 2009.

Really, Mr. President? No pork in the stimulus? Well then, how do you define some of the ludicrous expenses tucked in this behemoth of a bill?

Some left-wing pet projects included in spending frenzy
-$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
-$380 million in the Senate bill for the Women, Infants and Children program
-$300 million for grants to combat violence against women
-$2 billion for federal child-care block grants
-$6 billion for university building projects
-$15 billion for boosting Pell Grant college scholarships
-$4 billion for job-training programs, including $1.2 billion for “youths” up to the age of 24
-$1 billion for community-development block grants
-$4.2 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities”
-$650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”

Laudable goals? Maybe. Goals that should, in this citizen's opinion, be achieved through charity and not government, but either way you look at it, none of these items will do much to stimulate the economy. By the way, ACORN will be eligible to apply for and receive a good portion of this money. If there ever really is any transparency, as the Prez has promised, I'm sure we will see millions, if not billions go to voter fraud. I have a feeling that that transparency is going to be rather opaque.

Some items that will benefit Washington D.C. infrastructure
-$150 million for the Smithsonian
-$34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters
-$500 million for improvement projects for National Institutes of Health facilities
-$44 million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters
-$350 million for Agriculture Department computers
-$88 million to help move the Public Health Service into a new building
-$448 million for constructing a new Homeland Security Department headquarters
-$600 million to convert the federal auto fleet to hybrids
-$450 million for NASA (carve-out for “climate-research missions”)
-$600 million for NOAA (carve-out for “climate modeling”)
-$1 billion for the Census Bureau

Is our capital falling down? This list sure makes it seems so! New buildings for everyone! Ooh, and new cars too! Let's get those cute trendy little Priuses! And, after you drive your new car to your new work building, go ahead and sit down at your new computer!

Seriously? How is bankrupting my children so that government employees can have nice things going to stimulate our economy?

Here are few other wealth redistribution goodies
-$89 billion for Medicaid
-$30 billion for COBRA insurance extension
-$36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits
-$20 billion for food stamps

Now I'm really stumped. Anyone want to explain to me how providing extra free stuff (health care, food, and just plain cash) for the unemployed is going to encourage them to get a job?

Even more random spending
-$4.5 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
-$850 million for Amtrak
-$87 million for a polar icebreaking ship
-$1.7 billion for the National Park System
-$55 million for Historic Preservation Fund
-$7.6 billion for “rural community advancement programs”
-$150 million for agricultural-commodity purchases
-$150 million for “producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish”

Amtrak is getting a cut of this? Do you know when the last time Amtrak produced a profit was? Decades ago! I wish I could suck at my job and still get paid! Must be nice. Hmmm, maybe the $850,000,000 for money-pit Amtrak was thrown in because Joe Biden's son Hunter sits on the board? Say it together boys and girls- nepotism!

And speaking of ridiculous expenditures, why exactly are we spending money on a polar icebreaking ship? Haven't the dems been saying for years that the ice caps are melting?

Speaking of ice, the above bullet points are just the tip of the iceberg on this $838 billion dollar package meant to stimulate our economy by proving jobs to out of work Americans.

I believe Shakespeare said it best through Juliet;
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself."

Only this stimulus is not even close to Romeo of dear perfection. It is pork. Let's call it like it is, okey dokey? After all, President Obama, you were the one that called for a new era of responsibility and transparency.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hot Topic

Did you hear about the baby botched abortion of a 23 week old fetus? The autopsy revealed that the baby's lungs had filled with air, proof of a live birth. The umbilical cord was cut, and the live baby was tossed into a bio hazard waste receptacle. No, not in Mexico or China. No, not pre-Roe v Wade. This happened in Florida in 2006. Read about it here.

As a general rule, I tend to keep quiet on the abortion issue on here. But the revelation of this baby killed and tossed in a garbage can to die, coupled with President Obama lifting the ban on federal funding for international groups that promote or perform abortions as a method of family planning in other nations, have riled me enough to speak out on the topic.

Abortion has long been hailed by liberals as a legitimate form of family planning. Pro-choice, they call it, the choice of a woman to be pregnant or not. Well, I am absolutely, 100% pro-choice in this arena. Of course a woman can chose to not be pregnant! All she has to do to make this choice a reality is to not have sex. "But that's unrealistic!" the liberals tell me. I'm pretty sure that God gave us free will, reason, and (even if sometimes limited) intelligence to make the best decisions we can. If a woman so desperately doesn't want to become pregnant, to the point that she would pay someone to suck her unborn baby out of her womb with a vacuum, then I respectfully suggest she keep her legs shut, as abstinence is the only 100% effective form of birth control.

The botched abortion baby caused tears to roll down my cheeks, in sadness at that little life ended. Who knows who that little could have grown up to be? Who knows the impact that little girl might have had on the world? And then I became indignant. Why was it perfectly legal and acceptable to kill that helpless little girl only moments prior to when it become a crime scene? Why was that baby denied the right to life simply because she still lived in her mother's body? What magical thing happened the moment her skin hit the air for the first time? How did every cell in her being cease to be part of her mother's body and transform into a separate person? I'm afraid the science of that eludes me.

It's so tempting to be persuaded by the argument that it's just part of a woman's body, and we should all have control over own bodies, but that's not what abortion is about. Legalized abortion puts the power to end another being's life without just cause into the hands of every pregnant woman.

We are living in an era of bailouts. Is anybody responsible for the decisions they make anymore? Every time a decision is made, there are consequences to that decision. Eating too much ice cream will cause you to gain weight, making risky business decisions might cause you to go bankrupt, and having sex (even with protection) might cause a pregnancy. Today we have liposuction, government bailouts, and abortion, all which take away the decision maker's responsibility for living with the consequences of their decisions and actions. How can anyone be held accountable, or taught to learn from their mistakes when they are never forced to face any consequences?

I do not believe abortion falls under the umbrella of women's rights, and I certainly don't see any discrimination in taking away a woman's right to chose whether or not she wants to end the life of her progeny for no good reason. Abortion isn't about women's rights, even though it's touted as the pinnacle of it. Women's rights are suffrage, right to contraceptives, equal opportunity, equal pay, right to own property, right to an education, right to enter into legal contracts, or any other thing that a man has a right to. A man does not have the right to chose whether or not to end his unborn child's life, so why should a woman?"

Every time I hear of abortion, my heart cries out for the victims. For the babies that never got to take a breath of air, for the mothers that have been lied to about the development of their baby in utero or unduly pressured by others, for the fathers that were told it was none of their business, and for countless others that have been hurt and are still suffering from abortion. And it makes me absolutely ill that my tax dollars are now being used to fund abortions overseas.

Let's put an end to fetuscide, shall we?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy claims that we lose 500 million American jobs each month we don’t pass her $1 trillion pork barrel spending boondoggle. That's pretty hard to do in a country with just over 300 million men, women, and children.