Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Going without would be difficult...

We changed churches over a year ago as we were looking for something more traditional. And, a year after we moved on, there are some things that are so special to our daughter that would be difficult to go without.

Our new church has a statue of the Resurrected Lord behind the alter, a crucifix on the alter, and a stained glass window of the crucifixion over the alter. I never really thought of why these images were important until Mallory wanted to go look at them up close. We visit these images each week after service so we can talk about Jesus and all He has done for her. It was there she first said, "Jesus loves me," and "Jesus saves me." It was there where she first said, "Jesus risen," and "Jesus will come back later."

Husband is going to be deployed soon. And it was there that we explained to her that God is always with us even when Mommy and Daddy can't be. And it was there that one of the elders told her that Jesus wants to hear everything on her heart.

Yeah, it would be difficult to do without these symbols because they encourage her so much.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How do I explain this?

I have thrown my private fits over the enhanced body images and pat downs. Here are a couple of issues that I find most pressing.

First, how am I supposed to teach my daughter about exploitation? I don't buy it when TSA claims they do not have the capability to save the images. In a court of law, TSA would have to supply the image of a defendant with a weapon or fluids on what have you on the person of the accuesd. They can save images. I have now lost the ability to tell my daughter that it is unacceptable for strangers to view her naked body. Further, I have lost the ability to tell my daughter that it is unacceptable for strangers to touch her genitals and her breasts.

Second, that these methods of search are instituted says horrible things about our intelligence agencies. When I say such things, people accuse me of bigotry towards Arabs and Muslims or that I want racial profiling. That is a simplistic view of security and our intelligence capabilities. We should have sophisticated enough intelligence that tracks where people travel and are from. If some liberal young adult from California, say John Walker Lind, where to travel to hostile nations, hang out with suspected terrorists, conduct his life in a suspicious manner, he should be subject to further screening. People who have recently visited terrorist hot beds should be targeted for additional screening. If we have the intelligence to bust prostitution rings and gangs, we ought to have proper intelligence to bust terrorists prior to their arrival at the airport. If we do not have such intelligence, Homeland Security needs to be held in account for how it spends our money.

If I am a bigot for saying that people who travel to, or are born in, countries that are sponsors of terrorism should be screened, people who hang out with pastors and imams who tout violence should be screened, people who exhibit suspicious behavior should be screened.... then I am a bigot.

However, these issues still need to be discussed: If TSA agents can view enhanced pictures of a child or touch a child's genitals and breasts, why can't a teacher or janitor or another person in authority; and how does a parent explain the difference to a child? And, why isn't Homeland Security implementing the intelligence it gathers for real methods of providing for our security?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Time to eat Grandma...

... or time to eat, Grandma.

Punctuation saves lives. National Punctuation Day is September 24th. I post this in honor of Rebekah of the CSPP .

Saturday, September 4, 2010

G/D/E Free Wild Rice and Blue Berry Pancakes

You may link back to this recipe if you assign proper credit; do not publish.

Makes eleven 1/3 cup batter pancakes

1 x 12 oz can of wild rice, drained
2 cups Bob's Red Mill GF All purpose flour (or if you are a wheat eater, 2 cups all purpose flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer (or if you are an egg eater, 1 egg)
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 oz fresh blue berries
1 cup vanilla rice milk (or cow milk if you prefer)
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Mix ingredients together and stove top cook in vegetable oil at a med-low heat.

note: Let's say you wanted to sub 1 cup grated carrots, sweet potatoe, parsnips, or zucchini for that 6 oz of fresh blue berries; I'd also add 1 generous tsp of cinnamon and probably a quarter cup raisins, but that's just me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


King from SCSU Scholars recently reminded us of the economic ills of conscription in response to Rep. Charles Rangel's biennial submission of a bill to reinstate compulsory military service. Various versions of Rangel's bills have called for some form of mandated military or civil service that is "impossible" to get out of. Even with the civil service mandate, it is still immoral to allow for conscription. It is indeed slavery, as King points out, and it is even legalized involuntary human sacrifice.

During both the 2000 and 2004 election, I found myself having to explain to my friends why the junior Bush did not really serve his country in the National Guard, he served himself. I repeatedly heard lines like, "Well, they weren't using his plane," or, "Well, he really wanted to go..." Rubbish, all of it. If he really wanted to go to Vietnam, they were taking volunteers for the Army or Marines at the time.

Larry Pressler, a former Senator from South Dakota, wrote about his experiences during the early Vietnam Era Draft, and the moral consequences of conscription in an op-ed appearing in the Star Tribune : Many of those who didn't serve were helped by an inherently unfair draft. I don't fault anyone for taking advantage of the law. Where I do find fault is among those who say they were avoiding the draft because they were idealistically opposed to the war-- when, in fact, they mostly didn't want to make the sacrifice. The problem is that for every person who won a deferment or a spot in a special National Guard unit, someone poorer or less educated, and usually African-American, had to serve.

I add, among those who say they wanted to go to war and joined the National Guard instead; they mostly didn't want the inconvenience of actually going to war while maintaining a "clear" conscious.

Personally, I'd like to see some stats on the "someone poorer or less educated, and usually African-American," however we do have two former presidents, one a draft dodger who alternately had student deferments for study abroad and National Guard spots which he never filled; and a war dodger who had a powerful father and a National Guard spot, as anecdotal stories on how elitism played out.

As Rangel personally experienced in other situations, as well as Timothy Geithner, priviledge buys one exemptions from doing ones duty. What makes any of us think that a poor black kid from Minneapolis North will have the same opportunity to work in a nursing home or teach in an inner city school as a rich kid from the Hamptons? No, they will go off to war as cannon fodder as they have in the past. Only the children of the powerful, rich, connected, or savvy parents; and those who are intellectually gifted will be given coveted slots in civil service.

I am a populist to the extent that I note two sets of "rules" in this country and find that there is a class of people exempt from playing by the rules. I am in favor of a volunteer military because it at least gives the poor a choice about serving during war, a choice that only the most fortunate have had in the past. I do not begrudge anyone the legal outs of the Vietnam Era, provided they are intellectually and morally honest about what happened and what they did. And as a society that claims not to be barbaric, that claims to be equal, we need to acknowledge that these exemptions constituted the legal involuntary human sacrifice of individuals without connections in the past, and will in the future, while we sleep with a clear collective conscious.

As a side reminder, I am not really monitoring comments, and may not immediately respond to comments. This is my hobby, my family is my life.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back At It...

I couldn't stay away forever. And so, I am back in the blogger again. I chose a new blog because I have changed since my earliest blog posts at my previous home, and so Consecutive Odds.

Please note, those who I have previously linked to, I am currently arranging this blog, and as my time is limited, I am still working on links and the like.

Also, note that posting and comment moderation will be sporadic.