Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Want to Actually DO Something for the Poor?

I have been hearing a lot of lip service from Christian brothers and sisters about how they'd like to do more for the poor or have their government meet the needs of the poor in a more productive way. Since that is the case, I thought it would be a good time to revise and revisit this entry I made over a year ago about how the FairTax effects the poor. I believe the FairTax would go farther in helping the poor than any other thing we could do.

The FairTax and the Poor

There are many reasons why I am a grassroots supporter of the FairTax. The FairTax Act, or H.R. 25, will abolish all federal income taxes, including payroll taxes, estate and gift taxes, capital gains taxes, corporate, and self-employment taxes. These taxes will be replaced with a National Retail Sales tax which is projected to be approximately 23%.

H.R. 25 was introduced by Congressman John Linder and has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. In short, it is one of the tax bills which was considered when the Committee was discussing the Bush promised Tax Reform. The only problem with that is that the Tax Reform Panel returned very little for the time they have spent studying tax reform, instead offering more status quo tax tweaking. The FairTax is not simply a tax reform, it REPLACES our current income tax system, that's right, income taxes will no longer exist and the beauty of it all is that it repeals the 16th Amendment and it ABOLISHES the IRS!

I am going to make an effort to do a little in depth series of posts on different ways the FairTax will affect different aspects of our economy as well as social issues. In this in depth post I am going to address the effects which can be reasonably predicted regarding the FairTax and the poor in our Nation.

The reason I have chosen this particular topic to address first is because, in all honestly, it is the aspect of the FairTax which warms my heart the most. In light of the fact that I have spent my entire life short of money and living pay check to pay check I can see the promise for people like myself contained in the FairTax Plan.

The majority of my life I have spent working for "the other guy," beginning with working in a theater's concession stand, fast food restaurants and later in life as an Administrative Assistant. In the whole of my career I was able to count on the fact that an approximate 30% of my paycheck would be withheld in order to pay for federal and state income taxes, Social Security, Medicaid and later on in matching payments for health insurance coverage. Under the FairTax, I would receive 100% of my paycheck. There would be no deductions for any of the items listed, except of course, insurance deductions if I so chose. This would translate into an approximate 30% pay raise for myself and my family. Add to the 30% increase in my weekly paycheck a monthly Pre-bate which will be figured based on my household's income and figured and paid by the Social Security Administration. This pre-bate check is intended to cover the costs of essential goods and services purchased by myself and my family for the month.

Now, if a person is living paycheck to paycheck they will likely spend the amount allotted to them in the form of the pre-bate check on those essential goods and services and have an additional increase of at least 30% on their weekly paycheck with which, initially, to purchase a few things for the house which they have been forced to go without due to their financial situation, pay off existing bills, or invest in a retirement account. Sweet, huh?

Another advantage of the FairTax, in regards to the poor, is that it is the poor among us who are purchasing used goods. Used goods are not taxed under the FairTax plan. If the poor are wise and they continue to purchase re-sale clothing and used cars and goods they can self-control the amount of consumption taxes they will pay. Only NEW goods and services are taxed. If you buy a used car there will be no tax to pay. If you purchase a used item of perfectly good clothing at a re-sale clothing outlet, there will be no tax. Can you see where this is going? On the other hand, it is the wealthier among us who have expendable income. For instance when you go to the grocery store and buy a can of coffee which is a regular consumer brand you pay that price. It is the wealthier among us who are more likely to buy the specialty whole bean coffee, custom ground and twice the price. It is the wealthier among us who are going to go to the butcher counter at the supermarket and ask for that special cut of 100% Angus beef and it is the poorer among us who are going to purchase the ground beef and stew meat. In the same fashion, the wealthier among us are going to continue to purchase new designer clothing at exclusive clothing stores. In short, the wealthy will continue to live in the lifestyle to which they are accustomed but rather than finding loopholes to avoid paying taxes when they buy a new good or service they WILL NOT be able to avoid paying the National Retail Sales tax.

There is also the issue of illegal immigrants in this country who are sending billions of dollars annually back to their home countries without paying taxes. Under the FairTax they will not be eligible to receive the pre-bate checks unless they have a Social Security number. In the meantime, illegals will not be able to continue not paying into the system of government which has allowed their illegal income to go untaxed. Every new essential good they purchase will be taxed and they will not be able to avoid it. If only on food purchases, alone, it will bring in tax revenue which our government has not been able to collect in the past. This will aid in offsetting some of the burden they have caused on our health care system.

I want to see the FairTax pass, I want my 30% increase in wages, my pre-bate check and I want to pay off bills, invest in my future and look forward to a comfortable retirement. I want others who are in poor earning households to have this advantage, as well. How 'bout you?

For information regarding details of how the FairTax will affect the poor, go to http://www.fairtax.org/, click on the link there for information and under the Frequently Asked Questions link read numbers 12 through 14.

If you like what you read there, and I believe you will, please contact your State Representatives and ask them to support the FairTax bill, H.R. 25, S/25. Americans For Fair Taxation also has available many grassroots volunteer positions which need filled.

Sweet and Bitter

What causes brother to hurt brother?
What makes a sister cry?
Why are love and hate so blended?
Intertwined like kite strings stretched out in the sky

Are souls like kite strings playing in the sky?

Disillusioned by the sweet and bitter
disillusioned by shards of heaven's light
by the human dance within it
by the dance of evil in the midst of light
how does evil mix so in the light?

We're walking shadows on taut leashes
spinning tales with worried glances
hiding the light in woven baskets and we're
too taken with ourselves to know

We're spinning tales from sugared bitters
baiting hooks with tainted hatred
playing games with parts of factions
in our spaces growing cold

In the winter

In the sky

frozen kite strings

breaking high

in the wind of bitter hatred
for those factions we find tainted
what causes brother to hurt brother
what causes a sister to cry?

taut leashes...
bitter flow.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Difference of Viewpoint or Troll?

As outlined in my previous post on freedom of speech, one of the tactics often used by others to prevent one from sharing his or her viewpoint is the use of name calling. Today I was called a "troll" at a badchristian blog by Bob from I am a Christian Too. Oh, excuse me, I wasn't actually called a troll but Bob called into question whether I am or not and made the claim that I display characteristics of a troll. Bob's blog was the first "Progressive" Christian blog that I visited when I first began to visit them. Bob and I got crosswise more than once on his blog. Following is what Bob said at a badchristian blog:

"Jacke - I say this with Christian love in my heart, but you display a lot of the behaviors of a troll. I’m not saying that you do this deliberately or consciously, but the effect is the same. You like to attack others aggressively, but in such a way that you can represent yourself as the victim. When they respond aggressively in return, you then feign innocence and make nice. And eventually start the cycle over. I wonder what satisfaction you get out of repeating this pattern."

I, likewise, have Christian love in my heart for Bob, even though we have gotten crosswise in the past. As I said on Zalm's blog, From the Salmon under the topic of Conversation Peace: How?, back on February 19th, before this latest episode between Brandon and I (and Greg was responding to Brandon in his reply, by the way):

Jacke Says: February 19th, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Greg writes:

"Not to sound like a saint or anything (because I’m really not - just ask my wife), but what exactly are you trying to win? Are you trying to get your “opponent” to change their mind and agree with your view? See my second paragraph above - they are exactly as likely to do this as you are, and that is not at all. It seems to me that a good dialogue is an opportunity for one to reexamine the basis of ones own beliefs, and perhaps to gain some new perspectives on an issue. New perspectives will, over time, perhaps cause subtle (or not so subtle) shifts in your beliefs, but the process is quite slow. In any event, that is (or should be imo) the goal of a dialogue - to either solidify, expand, or alter (for the better) ones own beliefs. It is those new perspectives that one should be trying to win. Presumably the person with whom you are engaged in dialogue is trying to do the same thing, and so you are not only working on your own beliefs, but assisting them in working on theirs. If everyone engaged in a dialogue approaches it with this attitude, then they all win. Even if your “opponent” does not have this attitude you can still win, since the person that you are trying to change is you. (end of Greg's comment)

(beginning of my reply)

"I love this and it is spot on, Greg. I have a sneaking suspicion that Brandon and I are very much alike in our personalities even though we have very different views in a myriad of areas. I kind of like that and I also recognize that that is the very reason that Brandon and I often clash. At the end of the day, I like Brandon, as a matter of fact, I like Brandon VERY much. He makes me think, many of you make me think. I would never dream that anyone would be that interested but I have come a long way since I began visiting Progressive Christian blogs with a huge chip on my shoulder. If any of you endeavored to read the evolution of my blog with an open mind, you might realize the softening of my views. I like this community, do I get frustrated at times, OH YEAAAAAH! I have been wrestling with how I want to approach giving an explanation of why I believe GW will be viewed as one of the greatest Presidents of our time for about two weeks. There are about a dozen directions I could go on that topic, which one do I take? I really don’t want to write a book about it and don’t know exactly how to approach it without doing just that. In the end I have decided I’m taking it far too seriously. I’m trying to take a little pressure off myself in the area of believing that I have to satisfy everyone with an answer to every single question asked of me. It’s difficult to keep up. I still intend to answer that question and feel that my integrity has been brought into question by not answering it but it is such a complicated question!

Anyway, I like the idea that I can say what I want to say and still care about each and every one of you…isn’t that what sisters and brothers do? Fuss and fight, scream and yell and then forget all about it the next day? That’s how I view all of you, like brothers and sisters and I make every effort not to hold grudges, I only hope that you view me the same way, not as an enemy or an opponent but as a sister.""

As I said, I wrote that prior to this latest blow up between Brandon and I. No one ever responded to it, perhaps no one read it, perhaps Brandon never read it, perhaps everyone read it and just doesn't care, who knows?

The charge of being a troll, in my opinion, is a serious one and it is one that I feel is unwarranted and therefore I have to question the motives of a person who would make an effort to smear me in such a way. Let's take a look at what the link provided by Bob has to say about trolls:

"In Internet terminology, a troll is a person who posts rude or offensive messages on the Internet, such as on online discussion forums, to disrupt discussion or to upset its participants. "Troll" can also mean the message itself or be a verb meaning to post such messages. "Trolling" is also commonly used to describe the activity."

Well, it certainly has been some people's opinion that I have made rude or offensive comments at blogs, Brandon's and Bob's particularly, of course there are plenty of people who make rude and offensive comments at blogs but no one ever calls them a troll, so what is the line between a person who wants to communicate their thoughts in often heated debate on blogs and a troll? Well, let's look farther at what can be found from Bob's link:

"For many people, the characterising feature of trolling is the perception of intent to disrupt a community in some way. Inflammatory, sarcastic, disruptive or humorous content is posted, meant to draw other users into engaging the troll in a fruitless confrontation. The greater the reaction from the community the more likely the user is to troll again, as the person develops beliefs that certain actions achieve his/her goal to cause chaos. This gives rise to the often repeated protocol in Internet culture: "Do not feed the trolls"." (emphasis mine.)

Already we have a bit of a problem, since I am no longer commenting on Brandon's blog, therefore it cannot be said that "the greater the reaction from the community the more likely the user is to troll again," in my case, I bowed out of commenting any further on Brandon's blog, actually in an effort to show my respect for him because I no longer felt my comments were appreciated, this seems to be the exact opposite of what a troll would do. Also, yesterday, in an effort to restore peace, I removed any mention of Brandon from my blog entry on Freedom of Speech and made it quite generic, this was done prior to Bob's accusations of me trying to cause chaos and done by my choice because I wanted to put Brandon's feelings before mine because I felt it was the "Christian" thing to do. Continuing with Bob's link on trolls:

"Often, a person will post a sincere message about which he is emotionally sensitive. Skillful trolls know that an easy way to upset him is to disingenuously claim that he is a "troll". On other occasions, a person may not instantly understand, or fit into the social norms of a forum where most users have similar characteristics. As a result, his acting just slightly out of the norm (often unintentionally, and for legitimate reasons) garners him the label "troll". It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between a user who merely has different values, views or ideas, and a user who is intentionally trolling; unfortunately, many users react aggressively on a first impression to a perceived troll, which sometimes leads disgruntled newbies or political minorities to be perceived trolls."

I believe that Bob is "reacting aggressively on a first impression to" me, perceiving me as a troll. But that's okay, we all make mistakes. It is a risk I take when I try to converse with large communities of "Progressive" Christians who have different views from my own.

Everyone is quite capable of discerning for themselves whether I am a "troll" or not.


Again with My Pet Peeve *Sigh*

Yesterday a female participant in the debate group of which I am a member explained to a male (geesh, I started to say member!) participant in the group why he wasn't allowed to have an opinion about abortion because he wasn't a woman. When I pointed out to this person that experience or gender is not a reason to disallow someone to speak to the issue of abortion and she was therefore making an effort to silence his "dissent," she turned it on me that I was trying to keep her from sharing her opinion. See? That's how that works. Now, in her mind because I pointed out that one member has a right to his opinion on abortion I have been accused of not allowing her to have an opinion! Such is the confused mind of a liberal in matters of free speech. The irony! ;)

Following is the exchange with names removed:

The Liberal to the male participant:

"Since you don't have the capacity to be raped female & become pregant as a result, you cannot understand this or empathize with this, can you?"

My reply:

"Oh, BS, XXXX. You aren't the President so you cannot understand or empathize with his decisions so shut up. You are not in the military so you cannot understand or empathize with what a soldier goes through, so shut up. You aren't a clown so you cannot speak out on the issue of a clown's make-up, you've never applied it therefore are unable to understand and empathize with a clown, so shut up (I'm wondering if I should rethink that one. wink). This is just your way of trying to tell XXXX he can't have an opinion and voice it...like I said, BS."

The male participant's reply to me:

"Thanks XXXX, somewhere in that debate I threw in a couple of Bullsh*t's because that's exactly what the wimpy excuse is pure bullsh*t."

My reply to male participant:

"These idiotic "free speech" issues get under my skin, XXXX. Yer welcum."

And finally the grand finale reply directed at me from the female denying the male the right to have an opinion on abortion because he is not a woman:

"OK, XXXX. I take back what I said, since my "free speech" gets under your skin so much. Sorry to bother you." (emphasis mine)

There you have it. I am accused of not wanting her to exercise her "free speech" because I reminded her that everyone has an equal right to it, regardless of gender. I couldn't have asked for a better case in point! Thanks, XXXX!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ephesians 4:31-32

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rally Cry to FairTax Supporters!

My husband, who is a grassroots volunteer for the FairTax in our State of Missouri, received an e-mail from Dr. Belinda Noah a few moments ago. Following are some excerpts from her letter:

"To all FairTax supporters,
Without going into a lot of detail, some of the most important factors in developing a platform are the results of focus groups and polls of “likely” voters. They tell us a lot about the issues and how the voters arrive at their decision about who they will support and vote for. This gives us a pretty clear idea about how we should shape our platform.

Based on my campaign manager’s assessment of the focus group results and the results of studied polls, we decided on nine main issues to head our platform – tax reform, Social Security and Medicare, economic security for families, education, affordable housing, the war on terror, pro-life, border security and gun control. We decided that all else could be addressed at forums when they come up, such as gun control before the NRA. Our research has shown that gun control, while important, is simply not a hot-botton issue this year with the vast majority of either Democrat or Republican voters....

... I am in this race because Senator Bill Nelson has shown himself, time and again, to be a follower not a leader on the issue of tax reform. Based on his responses to FairTax volunteer’s requests that he become a co-sponsor in the Senate, it is clear he hasn’t even read the Bill.

Congresswoman Katherine Harris, whom I will face in the Florida Republican Party primary on September 5th, was given Neal Boortz’s FairTax Book at a press conference at Duval County’s Republican Party headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, in late October of 2005. She went on and on about how wonderful it was that somebody had finally written a book about tax reform that was understandable. During that press conference she also announced her intentions to tour the state to “listen to the voice of the people.” But when she was pressed by one of those voices about when she would become a co-sponsor of the FairTax, she began equivocating, saying she would have to look at all of the reform plans before deciding on which plan to support… as if she hasn’t had a year to do so already. Later, while addressing the Florida Mortgage Broker’s PAC (which opposes the FairTax) she stated unequivocally that she would support “no” tax reform plan that did not include provisions for a home mortgage tax deduction (a major selling point for real estate and mortgage brokers). So, there you have it.

You cannot count on her support until or unless the Administration gets over its weak-kneed approach to tax reform and comes out to boldly say “the FairTax is the only plan that strengthens the economy, will provide for educating the next generation of America’s children, protects Social Security, provides affordable housing, and is able to grow the economy while we fight an inter-generational war on terror.” If she hasn’t yet seen the light and even if she says she will support the president’s tax reform plan in the future, do you think we should take the chance that it would be the FairTax? We need the FairTax now!

After taking a close, hard look at the FairTax as well as the other proposals on the table, I agreed to come on board. My campaign manager, who is the former State Director for the FairTax Action Team in Florida, built my campaign around the FairTax, so I will win or lose on its merits. To me, this is not a one issue campaign but rather a solid platform built around one issue... the FairTax.

Tax reform cannot be achieved without the FairTax. We cannot strengthen security for families without the FairTax. Social Security and Medicare will go bankrupt within the next thirty years under the present tax system. We cannot grow and expand the economy with a tax system that punishes saving and investment. We cannot provide security for families, higher education for our children, or security for seniors and the poorest among us with a tax system that hides the real tax burden from us, artificially inflates prices while holding down wages. And we cannot continue to wage an inter-generational war on terror with a tax system that punishes the American worker, America’s corporations, and does not grow the economy.

I am simply the only candidate in the U.S. Senate race in Florida, and possibly in the entire country, who is running exclusively on the FairTax. If I win the primary and go on to beat Senator Nelson in the General election, it will send shock waves throughout the Halls of Congress. I believe both the Republican and Democratic Parties will have to begin rethinking their entire strategies for the 2008 presidential elections. If a little known, underfinanced candidate coming from nowhere can win on the FairTax issue in Florida over the Machine politics of the Republican and Democratic Parties, it would send a powerful message to them as has nothing before and that they had better get on board the FairTax train or their candidates might just be left at the station in 2008....

...If I win, the FairTax is the big winner and if I lose, the FairTax is still the winner because more people in Florida than ever before will have heard about the FairTax, understand it, and may be willing to get behind it in the future. That is why I am seeking your and support and vote. Your contribution to my candidacy will assure that the FairTax has another voice and vote in the U.S. Senate.

Dr. Belinda Noah, Republican Candidate for the United States Senate
www.noah2006.com "

If you are a FairTax supporter please consider donating to the campaign of Dr. Belinda Noah. This is not only about the Florida State election, this is about FairTax promotion, and that, my friends, transcends State lines! Yeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaaw!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Freedom of Speech Liberal Style (Revised and Revisited AGAIN)

Yesterday I wrote a post titled "Freedom of Speech Liberal Style," which, if you read my blog, you now know I deleted. It was a rather lengthy post and while I deleted it because I didn't want to get as personal with particular people as I did in it, I do feel it is a subject which warrants a little attention. Also, this is something I have noticed in practice by both liberals and conservatives but with more frequency among liberals. I would first refer you to an opinion editorial at The Washington Times, An antiwar message from the Midwest, here are some excerpts:

"A conservative group recently started an advertising campaign in Minnesota showing veterans and families of slain troops expressing their support for the Iraq war, only to have the head of the state Democratic Party condemn the ads as "un-American, untruthful and a lie." He furthermore demands that Minnesota television stations pull the ads "and send a message that we will not tolerate this kind of 'swiftboating' anymore." At least one station so far has complied with the request, which is reason enough for outrage.

But there's been precious little of that. Aside from a handful of bloggers covering the issue and an appearance of one of the veterans on Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes," the media has ignored the issue completely, essentially proving one of the ad campaign's main points. The current media meme, at least as it concerns the homefront, is that most returning veterans have turned against the war and those still in field are demoralized and jaded. Meanwhile, parents of slain troops like Cindy Sheehan continue to rack up air time and column inches. The ad campaign seeks to correct this blatant misrepresentation.

Which is exactly why Democrats are trying to stop it with accusations that the ads are somehow "untruthful...."

"...Democrats have also taken issue with the ad's statement that U.S. troops "overwhelmingly" support the mission -- a fact clearly upheld by record-setting retention rates in the military branches. The retention rate in the Army, for instance, is the highest it's been in five years, especially in combat units currently serving in Iraq....

"...The more disturbing issue here is that Democrats are trying to silence a contrary point of view, and are doing so by calling soldiers and military families "un-American." Whenever Republicans attempt to counter antiwar sentiment, be it from the Cindy Sheehans or Paul Hacketts, Democrats shed crocodile tears over the "crushing of dissent." But this is what crushing dissenters actually looks like -- a smear campaign designed explicitly to keep the public from hearing the other side.

Fortunately, readers can see the ads for themselves at www.midwestheroes.com and decide what's so "un-American" about soldiers and families supporting the war. " (emphasis mine)

This is where things get convoluted and twisted in my mind. I cannot tell you how many times in discussion with liberals that if anything "bad" was said about Cindy Sheehan, and by the term "bad" I mean factually contrary to her message or exposing her bias against the war before her son Casey was even killed, was viewed as a Conservative trying to silence Cindy Sheehan's message. Since when did commenting on an issue, a public figure's background, mean you are silencing them? Cindy has had well over her fifteen minutes of fame and the liberally biased media has given only the basest coverage to parents of the war dead who support the war, though they are in the clear majority. One would never know they are in the clear majority if one goes by what the media reports.

More evidence of this effort to silence those who merely wanted to take a look at the source of this "dissent" on Cindy Sheehan's part was the recent David Letterman and Bill O'Reilly exchange wherein David Letterman implied that Bill O'Reilly had no heart because he questioned Cindy Sheehan's motives and statements, though Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly stated his sympathy for her loss and her right to her views, but you see, if one, anyone, counters those views with a little scrutiny they are made to seem as though they are trying to squelch Cindy Sheehan's freedom of speech and personally attacking a grieving mother, the fact of the matter is, by telling people that they are cold heartless fiends if they question a public figure, which Sheehan has made herself, that they are trying to squelch her free speech rights, in essence, is an effort to squelch the free speech rights of the questioners.

Here are excerpts of the David Letterman, Bill O'Reilly exchange:

Bill O'Reilly and David Letterman Clash Over the War

""The United States, particularly the military, is doing a noble thing - the soldiers and Marines are noble," the Fox host insisted. "They're not terrorists. And when people call them that, like Cindy Sheehan called the insurgents 'freedom fighters,' we don't like that. It is a vitally important time in American history and we should be very careful of what we say."

The comment prompted Letterman to admonish O'Reilly, "Then you should be very careful about what you say, also . . . I'm very concerned about people like yourself who don't have endless sympathy for a woman like Cindy Sheehan. Honest to Christ, honest to Christ." (emphasis mine)

"Bill O'Reilly (commentator) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"When O'Reilly attacked the motivations of Cindy Sheehan, Letterman took exception, saying O'Reilly had never lost a family member in a war, and therefore O'Reilly could not speak for Sheehan's motivations. O'Reilly then asked how would those who did lose a member in the war, feel about Sheehan calling terrorists "freedom fighters"." (emphasis mine)

So, evidently, to a liberal, unless you have actually experienced something you have no right to scrutinize anything, anything at all. If you go along with this train of thought this should translate into, unless you've been a President you can't say anything about the motivations of the President, unless you've been a soldier you can't say anything about their motivations, unless you've acted in or written the screen play of a particular movie you shouldn't review it, etc. Is that how it works? No. This is purely an effort to silence those who disagree with Cindy Sheehan and smear them.

Okay. When you are debating or having a discussion with someone on the internet, in a debate group or a comment section of a blog and they:

  • Tell you you cannot speak to a particular subject because you have no experience
  • Change the subject
  • Attack the style in which you write rather than the content and context of what you are writing about
  • Laugh at you
  • Call you names
  • Suggest you have no independent thoughts but are merely a blind follower, a kool-aid drinker, in other words, question your intelligence

Chances are you have struck a nerve and the person engaging in such rhetorical tactics is telling you to shut up. Should you? In most cases, I don't believe you should, however, in the case of commenting at another person's blog, I believe it is similar to visiting someone else's home and the etiquette which would apply to one being a guest in another's home should apply.

So, considering that you are a visitor or guest in another's home, if your host:

  • Tells you that you cannot speak to a particular topic because you have no experience
  • When you begin to discuss your views on any given topic consistently changes the topic
  • Attacks the way you articulate yourself when speaking, corrects the choice of words or tone of your voice incessantly
  • Laughs at you rather than with you
  • Calls you names
  • Tells you that you are not smart enough to form your own opinions and that it is clear that you are only parroting what others say

I wonder if you would feel welcome to return as a guest to that person's home? Even if that person sent you invitations in the mail, called you with invitations and repeatedly told you that you have an important viewpoint to bring to the discussion in his or her home would you feel welcome based on the actions of that host when you were actually in his or her home in the past?

I wouldn't. So, in those type of cases I would prefer not to continue to try to share my viewpoint at someone else's blog who consistently and repetitively has engaged in any combination of those actions.

Fair enough?

I've Been Tagged...

...by Mini Me at A Recovering Republican, which is kind of a weird thing to me, but probably only because I'm weird anyway. You see I've spent most of my life, not my virtual life, mind you, but most of my real life keeping my mouth shut, figuring I don't have anything interesting to say. I think that's why it astonishes me that anyone is interested in my opinion on anything. Astonishing and strange. Anyway, Mini Me tagged me so I figure it would be an insult to a really sweet lady who I am privileged to have met on the internet if I don't play along, so here goes.


1). The last job I had was as an Administrative Assistant in the house moving/demolition business. My husband also worked there. It was fascinating. It's awesome to watch houses get picked up and roll down the road at midnight. It's can also be a very political endeavor because one ends up working with the City. My job was mostly as a glorified secretary but also entailed working with Realtors, Utility Companies, and dealing with the employees, payroll and worker's comp claims (the icky part). I spent a lot of my time on the phone scheduling the big events and keeping bill collectors at bay. I wrote company policy, studied a lot and was the "right hand" girl to the President.

2). My first job was at an old time theater, the kind with the box office and the neon marquee out front. I worked the concession stand. Those are nostalgic times for me. I met my first love there and received my first deeply broken heart there. I was still employed there when the place closed down. I believe the movie that was showing on the last night was "Orca the Killer Whale," and I sat in the balcony and cried like my best friend was dying that last night while the projectionist was rewinding the film after all the patrons had gone. Years later the old theater has been restored and is used for local plays. I was very happy to see that happen. It was a community project and I visited there several times while they were working on the theater. I wasn't living there at the time but if I had been I would have loved to have helped in the restoration. For time frame's sake, The Exorcist came out while I was employed there.

3). One of my favorite jobs was as Receiving Manager for a little company in Arkansas that made Hillbilly gag gifts and customized souvenirs. If you bought a Hillbilly Nite Lite, a Hillbilly Bic, a Hillbilly Attitude Adjuster, a Hillbilly Chicken Dinner (little wooden cedar box with three kernels of corn inside), Hillbilly Bubble Bath (a little bag of brown beans labeled with a topper that gave instructions for cooking, eating and making your own "bubble bath" attached), on and on, sometime in the early 90's in the Ozarks, chances are I had a hand in working on that little item. I loved the job.

4). One of my other favorite jobs was simply working as a cashier in a Convenience Store. I loved getting to know the regulars and I always enjoyed running a cash register.


1). Being There with Peter Sellers

2). Any of the Indiana Jones movies

3). The old Pink Panther series with Peter Sellers

4). Little Big Man


1). House

2). CSI

3). Survivor

4). CSI Miami


1). Branson, MO

2). Eureka Springs, AR

3). Ohio, several cities, my husband is from Ohio

4). Arizona


1). Fried CATFISH

2). Cheese enchiladas

3). Lasagne

4). Oh, okay, Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy! Yeee haaw!


1). Beliefnet: spirituality, prayer, God, angels, meditation...

2). boortz.com: The world-famous Internet site of the Nationally Syndicated Neal Boortz Show!

3). Intellectual Conservative Politics and Philosophy

4). ScrappleFace


1). At White Water on a hot summer day

2). Eating oysters on the half shell after White Water. (These two first things are contingent upon Shari being with me) :)

3). Walking in the park

4). Sitting on the creek bank


None. Unless they want to volunteer. :)

Thanks, Mini, that was fun, even if no one else did, I enjoyed it!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

JC's Girls Girls Girls

This was an interesting article/interview I found at Beliefnet yesterday: Lori Albee of Christian ministry JC's Girls Girls Girls on porn, strippers, the Adult Expo, God, Jesus. Interview by Dena Ros...

Here, too, is the link to JC's Girls Girls Girls website.

Just thought I'd share the links. Comments are welcome! :)

My comment is this: No way could I do that but I'm impressed. I figure that the web link shows up under porn links and a lot of porn shoppers get a surprise when they are looking for those Girls Girls Girls.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

No Way to Say Goodbye...

Before this quote from Quoteworld goes away, I felt it very appropriate to how I am feeling today and deserving of its own blog entry:

"I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy, golden storm, yes many loved before us, I know we are not new, in city and in forest they smiled like me and you, but now it`s come to distances and both of us must try, your eyes are soft with sorrow, Hey, that`s no way to say goodbye." More quotes from Leonard

Thoughts on a Recently Deleted Post

This morning I spent quite a bit of time writing a post titled "Freedom of Speech Liberal Style." I have deleted that entry. I realized after the fact that I had written it out of spite over a recent exchange I had at a badchristian blog. My apologies to anyone who might have stumbled across it before I deleted it. Though it said what I had intended to say, I do not want to be guilty of writing entries out of spite toward anyone.

I feel it has been made very clear to me that my comments are less than welcome at a badchristian blog. I cannot feel that any of my comments warranted the repeated critique of my "communication style" rather than my thoughts. This does leave me somewhat bitter. Yes, I am human and I have feelings. Therefore, while I may continue to read Brandon's blog I am going to make every effort to no longer reply there. If I feel I cannot keep my trap shut, I will make every effort to comment on it here rather than there.

Brandon has every right to write about whatever he wants without feeling that he has to please anyone. I have never asked Brandon to edit his thoughts or tried to restrict him in any way. I am sorry he feels that by my comments that somehow I am implying that he should restrict himself and not speak his mind. I feel that he feels I am somehow interfering with his freedom to speak with an open mind. I am truly sorry that he feels that way. Sometimes, however, it is best to leave things alone. I think I have reached that stage. It is obvious that I have overstayed my welcome and that my comments are not appreciated.

Anyway, maybe it means I'll be devoting more time to my own blog. Perhaps I made some friends that I am unaware of, on the other hand, maybe everyone feels like Brandon and Steve J feel, that I am a harsh and smug jackass. In the words of Popeye the Sailor Man: "I yam that I yam and that's all that I yam." I speak my mind, though I do attempt to do it with honesty, sometimes the truth hurts but it is never my intention to hurt someone and I have never intentionally hurt Brandon. My sincere apologies go out to the owner and all commentators of badchristian for any offense that I may have ever caused to anyone, it was quite unintentional and only done in the course of sharing my legitimate feelings or opinions about any given topic. I am well aware that I can be blunt, perhaps I should work on that a bit more. It is definitely something over which I am doing a little "soul searching."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

This Just Flat Hurts...

What do you do when, after 11 years, the Doctor your Mother has been going to, the one she loves and you have grown to love, the one who seems like a member of the family, who seems like her other "son," who has seen her through thick and thin, laughed with her, cried with her and held her hand, calls to say that he and the other Doctors in his practice held a meeting and that they all voted that they do not want to see her when they are on call because of all the problems she has? Tells her it was not him but that he has no choice? Tells her to keep her next appointment this month but that he'll refer her to a new Doctor, another Doctor, someone she's never met?

I know of nothing one can do but cry.

There really are no words for this kind of a loss.

I keep seeing him laughing with her, obviously loving her, telling her she's his favorite patient and there is nothing I can do.


Monday, February 13, 2006

The Story of my Long Over Due and After the Fact Baptism

Yesterday I was baptized into the Baptist church. Yes, I was raised in the Baptist church and though I dabbled in visiting a few other kinds of churches, at one point in my life, it is where I wanted to ultimately serve God with my membership.

If you are familiar with Baptist belief you will know that once you have asked Christ to come into your heart and accepted him as your Savior we believe that we are to be baptized to show our obedience to God and our desire to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist before he began his ministry, Baptists believe this should be our first step of obedience to Him upon accepting Him as Savior and turning our lives over to him and is symbolic of our own death to self, burial and resurrection as a new creature, in Christ Jesus. So, what happened to me? I fell through the cracks, so to speak. I'll explain how.

When I was about 5 years old I had a great uncle who occasionally took me and several of my aunts and uncles to church. If we memorized a Bible verse he'd give us a quarter. One morning when I went to church with Uncle "Fred," he asked me if I wanted to go down front to get "saved." I didn't really know what he was talking about but I could tell it was something that he wanted to see me do and being the accommodating little 5 year old "people pleaser" that I was I agreed to go down front and get saved. I was baptized shortly after that, I remember Mother purchasing me a special, white chiffon dress to wear and it hung in the closet for a few years after that.

Later, when I was about 12 or 13 years old and living in Arkansas, already a member of the church because I was recognized as having been baptized years before, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and I had the genuine experience of "salvation." Those of us who have experienced salvation know just how real it is and cannot describe it to those who have not felt Christ fill your heart with love, mercy, grace and compassion. I felt all of those things that day, I felt that joy, that love, that cleanness and wholeness, but the church did not recognize what had happened to me as "salvation," they viewed it as more of a "re-dedication" because, after all, I had already been "saved" and baptized into the church. Little was said to me about my experience, there was no such thing as a Youth Minister/Pastor in those days. So the years ticked by and I didn't even realize for years that I had missed getting baptized as an act of obedience to God until a few years ago when God laid it on my heart and I began to feel under conviction for not having been baptized. I even questioned if I had and had forgotten it.

Why now? That's an interesting twist. I have let this go for years but a week ago, yesterday, my boy, the one who used to be a neighbor and who my husband and I have been taking to church for about three years, went down to the front to join the church by baptism. He had been saved a few years ago and had been wanting to be baptized for some time. I knew that he was going to go forward that morning and had made sure that he understood what he was doing and why. Before the service, I spoke to the Pastor about my situation and he looked into it at my old church and could find no record of me being baptized after I was 12 or 13 years old. I decided to approach him that day because I thought it would be special to be baptized on the same day that my little "adopted grandson" was baptized. Little did I know that on the following Wednesday night at Awana Club, his little sister would give her heart to Jesus!

Yesterday, I didn't even realize at the moment how blessed I was, each moment of the time since yesterday I have been more and more aware of how blessed that moment was. You see, I stood next to my Pastor in the baptismal while he baptised first my little 10 year old "adopted" grandson, then my little 6 year old "adopted" granddaughter, then me. I watched the faces of these precious children and had the privilege of being in the same waters with them at the Pastor's elbow, so close that at one point I thought he was going to step on my foot. I was right in expecting what a blessing it would be to be baptized on the same day as my boy, I had no idea that the Pastor would call us all in the water at the same time and that I would take part in such a special and historic moment in their lives so "up-close and personally." I thank God for His blessings on my life. I thank my Pastor for the way he allowed us three to, so personally, share in each other's baptisms. I am so accutely aware of the privilege bestowed upon me yesterday, and with each moment my heart grows larger with the love and humble feeling of my own unworthiness to be in that position. Thank you, GOD, for your unmerited favor!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Sacrificial Giving

Last night was an exciting for us. My sister-in-law, who lives on the farm next to ours, has goats.......... and one of them gave birth during the first major snow of the winter. As the snow was falling and a brisk wind was blowing, we sat sheltered by the barn and watched the arrival of two baby goats. Having lived in the country most my life, I've seen my fair share of baby animals come into the world, but newborn goats were a first for me. As I was watched these newest additions to God's creation struggle to stand as they were being tended to by their mother, it struck me how in Biblical days, one of these new lives could have been required to be given up to the Father in sacrifice. Being the animal person I am, it was hard for me to imagine how I would have handled it. I guess that's part of what sacrificial giving is all about. Willingness to give up to God what we would rather keep.

Thankfully, the days of animal sacrifices are long over. Though, giving sacrificially is still part of a Christian life. At least, it should be. Giving to God is not about giving up the things we no longer need or use. It should be a sacrifice, it should hurt just a little to let it go. Whether it be time, money, or even things in our homes that make our lives easier. If we never give to God in the way we should, how can we ever come close to knowing what it cost Him to give the precious gift He gave. After all, he made the greatest sacrifice of all. If it hadn't been for the sacrificial giving of the Father, we would have never known the Son.

Monday, February 06, 2006

An Update:

I just wanted to post a note to those of you who might be awaiting my post on why I believe President Bush will go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents of our time (promised in the course of a discussion at badchristian).

Today I took my Mother in for a test, a Dobutamine Stress Echo, to be exact. We got her into the room. Gave all the information that was necessary and for some reason after the nurse asked my Mother if she has a pace maker (she doesn't) she printed something off of the electrocardiogram, or whatever the heck you call that thing, and cancelled her test, saying something about the rhythm of her heart being such that they couldn't give her the test. At the same time, they rescheduled a test for tomorrow, they talked like it would be the same thing so none of this makes much sense to me. They said the test she will take tomorrow will take about four hours.

So, those of you who check in on JackeHammer, say a little prayer for my Mom, if you don't mind. This test will determine whether she will be able to get a total hip replacement surgery that she desperately needs.

I would like nothing better than to have the time to post something interesting to the blog, but for the time being my life is getting in the way.

PJ tells me she is planning to post something. We can all look forward to that.