Dec 28, 2004

Christmas break

Well, Christmas went well. I got an autmated kitty litter box (Littermaid Plus) but I still don't think it's going to be big enough. It's deeper than the one Jess bought for Baxy and Beau, but it's not long enough. I could see my cats making a mess outside the box even when they are inside it. So...we'll see.

What I really loved about this year was the look on my brother's face when he opened his gift from me. I gave him my old iBook -- cleaned it up for him, got rid of all my extra stuff, and since I even had the original packaging, CD's and manuals, the effect was, well, magical. He really had no idea that I would even consider giving him my iBook for Christmas. He absolutely loved it. It just warmed my heart seeing that joy on his face:)

I did meet this guy on ldsmingle.com who recently moved from Utah. I met him last night for dinner -- (his name is Mark). He's an interesting fellow :) Kind of scruffy, but he hast these really nice eyes and a nice smile...but... in many ways we feel differently about the gospel. He said he knows it is true, but feels like the church micromanages his life...and he has to keep telling himself the people aren't perfect, but the gospel is. I know where he's coming from...just like every other one of my friends who is having problems with the church. They all know the gospel and the doctrine is true, but they can't stand the people!! I feel this way too, actually....so many Mormons think they are so damn good and so much better than other people, like they have a corner on righteousness or truth or something...and that is NOT the way Christ taught us to behave. I think many of them will be surprised when judgment day comes and they find out they weren't as good as they would like to believe they were.

But, despite my dislike for many of the church's members, I still attend my meetings. I decided that I had to make a decision -- was I going to church for the people, or for Heavenly Father? Would I want Heavenly Father asking me, on my own judgment day, why I cared more about what people said or did or thought than what He thought? Besides, for my own spiritual growth, I need to retain my temple recommend. I can't do that if I don't attend my meetings. The thought of not having it pains me..not because I care one wink what other people might think, but because I know how I feel when I enter the House of the Lord. I need to regularly have that opportunity. It strengthens me, refreshes my spirit, and encourages me to continue to endure well. And in the temple, I do not have to deal with the idiosyncracies of the people. Yes, people are there (obviously) but it's not them who I'm listening to or conversing with. Being in the temple reminds me of why I am Mormon, and what the truth really is about.

But anyway...I'm at work (and I think there are three others here and that is it) so I have to go find something to do:) I guess I'll write more later!

Dec 14, 2004

I know...you need me to entertain you :)

Anyway, I've been told that I need to write more in my blog for the entertainment of a few friends and family members. OK ok, even though I don't know why what I write is so entertaining. I'm not an entertaining person by any means.

I had a fun weekend. I didn't cry at all over the weekend...can you believe it? I was so dreading my birthday but my friends did all they could to make it special, and they did. I had fun spending time with them and my sister on Friday, and the Tornado at Great Wolf Lodge was awesome:) Ok so I hate walking around in a bathing suit, but that was the only negative thing. It was cool:) And then Mommy, Tia Cia and Topher came down on Sunday and took me out to eat at Uno's. Auntie made me a beautiful tree skirt to match my tree (blue and silver). Tara cooked me a fabulous meal on Sunday night; pot roast, roasted vegetables and homemade dinner rolls.

I have almost all my Christmas shopping done. I only have to buy Dad his gift. He wants a vacuum cleaner; and that would be do-able if Laurie and Topher had money, but they don't. I don't blame them because I've been there and I completely understand. But I really want to buy Dad the vacuum cleaner. I suppose I could put it on my Sam's card, but I don't want to max those things out anymore than they already are.

I'm really going to miss Laurie. I would get into it, but since she now reads this stuff, I don't want to embarass her. But I love her, and she is one of my best friends. I love spending time with her, and I love that she loves my kitties as much as I do. I don't want her to leave in May for several reasons; one being that I AM jealous, and I'm upset because I was supposed to be married already and gone myself, but another because she's the best roommate I've ever had. No, I didn't expect us to live together forever. I guess I just thought I'd be the first one out. Now I feel like I'm being left behind in a world (or at least a place) where I don't want to be. I have many blessings and I'm not denying those, but I'm at a stagnant part of my life. I'm not moving forward. Having her leave is just going to make it more difficult for me. But, there's nothing I can do, and besides, I do want her to be happy. Aaron is one of the most awesome men I have ever met, and I know she would be extremely stupid to give that up.

Well, I'm getting all teary-eyed so I am going to end this for now.

Dec 7, 2004

The Lesson Builder 1.0

Ok, so I've been lazy. I don't know, but I haven't exactly been feeling like writing a whole lot lately. But yesterday I went to an after-work party at Luther's to celebrate the release of the Lesson Builder. It's a project that has been going on for 4.5 years...ever since I started working at DoIT as a student. Anyway, it's an excellent project, and allows professors of advanced language courses to dynamically create online lessons with advanced features to aid their students in further gaining an advanced level of proficiency in a foreign language. I guess the Yale University Press is even looking into buying it and selling it. This is awesome, because I created the whole GUI interface -- and it's gonna be sold around the nation!!

My final logo was also selected for the Sakai conference which is going to be in New Orleans later this week. It will be printed on hats, polos, t-shirts, bags, and lots of other things, besides flyers and the website. I think it's great that a logo of mine has been selected to represent one of the fasting growing open source initiatives in Academia (specifically open source CMS systems (course management systems). Our LessonBuilder will be demoed at this conference as well.

Our group is going places and gaining national acclaim for the work we produce. While I still know that I will eventually be a teacher (when I can afford to go back to school and afford to take a pay cut), it isn't so bad feeling pride in the work that I do and seeing it slowly gain recognition:)

I like pillows.

Big fluffy, down-filled pillows. I also like throws. I bought a faux fur and suede throw that is the best thing on the planet to wrap up in and sit in front of the fire and read a good book.

Yup.

Nov 19, 2004

I was right....

Yup, she got another dozen red roses...vases of roses are popping up all over the house...

Nov 18, 2004

Joseph Smith...a martyr and example

And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was ordained from before the foundation of the world for some good end, or bad, as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves. God knoweth all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it. Doctrine and Covenants 127:2


I am by no means comparing myself to Joseph Smith, the great Prophet, the first of this dispensation, but I am awed and yet humbled at the same time by his example! I mean, what powerful words...."But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in.".

Over the past 9 months I have only begun to understand what it is to "glory" in tribulation, such as Paul did and as Joseph Smith did as well. We know that they were both young men at the time, too. But the faith and courage both men expressed, despite some of the obvious human traits and flaws. I mean, what faith it must have taken Joseph Smith to declare that "I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it.". We do know that Joseph Smith died as a martyr at the hands of an angry mob, but despite this fact, and knowing all too well that his life would most likely be shortened here on earth, he knew his calling and election here on earth...he knew that he had been ordained before the foundation of the world, and he knew that no matter how his life was taken, in the end, what mattered was his faith and his willingness to succeed at the commandments his God had given him.

Talk about having an eternal perspective!

more flowers????!!!!

So Laurie just got home from meeting Aaron in Chicago. He got her flowers AGAIN!!! And it was HIS birthday!!!! Man! I've never ever EVER received flowers from a suitor. NEVER! And I bet 20 million dollars he will bring some more on Friday when he comes up here to meet us. Probably like a dozen long stemmed roses or something.

Ok, I know they are totally falling head-over-heels for each other, and I'm totally happy for both of them. But jeez, she seemed to find one of the very few decent men left on this planet. I can't help but be jealous.

Flowers??? Well, perhaps someday.

*sigh*.

Nov 17, 2004

What am I thinking??

I'm an idiot. I don't know why I even try sometimes. I mean, the
guy is surrounded by women, living in a beautiful city in the
mountains, where the climate is just perfect. Between the 2
singles wards and all the other co-eds around, he can find plenty of
women.
Why do I even try??

I know why. Because despite how much I might want to disbelieve,
I just can't. I've already been given too much knowledge. To
deny it would be a sin.

I really do understand how difficult it is to be a missionary. I
have a truth; and knowledge that I am as sure of as the Gospel of
Jesus Christ itself. I have a burning desire to share this truth
with the man I love most in this world. Yet despite how much I love
him, I am scared. I am scared of his own humanity, I guess. I'm
scared of mine as well.

But I know it is true. Why must I live my life full of truth
and knowledge that people seem to hate me and condemn me for? Why is
it that when I try to share that truth... the knowledge that I know,
beyond a shadow of a doubt, would bring greater joy and peace to
someone's life, do they only turn around and not only not believe me,
but cast me off in their mind as crazy? I do not understand this.
When I learn a new truth or principle from someone, even when up
until that point I had firmly believed the opposite, I embrace it. I
pray about it and if it is true, it becomes a knowledge. When
something becomes knowledge, affirmed to me in such a way, I no
longer doubt it.

So why do even the seemingly most faithful of people still fight
agains what will make them happy, and what is true? Do they not
understand Doctrine and Covenants 93?? Do they not realize where
truth and happiness comes from??

It is so hard. My heart breaks because I just ache. I pray for
understanding and patience, and I also pray that those who might be
praying the same for me will have their prayers answered, too.
--

Nov 13, 2004

Judeo-Christian sexual morality

I pulled this from a disturbing article discounting that horrible and horrendous Kinsley (the father of the sexual revolution) and his supposed research.

However, reading this below reminded me AGAIN just WHY Soddom and Gomorrah were destroyed. It tells me just WHY God has reminded us again and again that our bodies are temples. It reminds me WHY sex is so sacred and WHY it must be practiced ONLY within the confinements of marriage.


This chasm between Judeo-Christian sexual morality and, basically, the rest of the world becomes stunningly clear in Dennis Prager's award-winning essay, "Why Judaism rejected homosexuality":

When Judaism demanded that all sexual activity be channeled into marriage, it changed the world.

It is not overstated to say that the Torah's prohibition of non-marital sex made the creation of Western civilization possible. Societies that did not place boundaries around sexuality were stymied in their development. The subsequent dominance of the Western world can largely be attributed to the sexual revolution initiated by Judaism, and later carried forward by Christianity.

The revolution consisted of forcing the sexual genie into the marital bottle. It ensured that sex no longer dominated society, heightened male-female love and sexuality (and thereby almost alone created the possibility of love and eroticism within marriage), and began the arduous task of elevating the status of women.

By contrast, throughout the ancient world, and up to the recent past in many parts of the world, sexuality infused virtually all of society.


Another excerpt:

"Sex," as the brilliant 20th century writer G.K. Chesterton put it, "is an instinct that produces an institution; and it is positive and not negative, noble and not base, creative and not destructive, because it produces this institution. That institution is the family; a small state or commonwealth which has hundreds of aspects, when it is once started, that are not sexual at all. It includes worship, justice, festivity, decoration, instruction, comradeship, repose. Sex is the gate of that house; and romantic and imaginative people naturally like looking through a gateway. But the house is very much larger than the gate. There are indeed a certain number of people who like to hang about the gate and never get any further."

Sex and love. The desire to have sex does not come from love, any more than the desire to eat comes from love. Both are basically animal functions. But the "love" part of sex has to do with everything else surrounding us in marriage – the commitment, caring, unselfishness, restraint, hard work, planning, sacrifice, affection and endless patience. These provide the virtue that infuses an animal act with love.



And a final excerpt:

You see, any illicit desire – even when fulfilled – is satisfied only temporarily. Before long, the appetite returns, but with a vengeance. This is the nature of addiction – the craving never ends, but the "fix" needed is always greater. That is, when we fulfill ourselves in a wrong way, the original "high" is no longer attainable just by having the same sexual experience, the same drug, the same "hit" as before.

To put it perhaps too plainly, men are born basically addicted to women. Men compulsively look at women in terms of gratification. Women, who quickly catch on to this terrible weakness men have for them – a weakness not only for physical gratification, but for the ego support and reassurance that usually come with it – in turn discover they have a terrible power over men they never asked for. If they're not careful, they can easily become as addicted to men's need for them as their men are to sex, and then they'll compulsively promote their man's weakness for the sake of power over him.

This basic sexual dynamic can easily become a serious problem. That's why, without real virtue – not the phony kind, thank you, but real maturity on the part of married men and women – we just can't relate to sex properly. The games that develop around this syndrome give rise to tremendous resentments, intrigues and conflicts – and ultimately hatreds – which in turn are a major reason half of today's marriages, even among Christians, end in divorce.

We need to re-discover, or discover for the first time, unselfish love for each other. If we do, we will relate to sex properly. If we don't, we are destined to drive each other into terrible conflict. Men don't need to be addicts. And women don't need to be liars. But these are the roles we tend to foster in each other when our relationship is based on anything other than true, godly caring for each other.

When all is said and done, Alfred Kinsey led the nation in the ultimate devaluation of something precious – love, marriage, children and the difficult but fantastically rewarding personal growth that couples experience when they walk down that road of love and fidelity together.

In truth, sex is a great mystery – a mysterium magnum. We constantly degrade sex into far less than it really is, but then we also build it up to be far more than it really is. To get it right, we just need to remember Whom we belong to.

Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


Here is a link to the article. I warn you, however, that some of it is extremely disturbing. But...it does support my belief about sexuality and exactly WHY society has become so complacent and even welcoming of sex and has pretty much sexualized EVERYTHING we see.

Nov 11, 2004

Denial

What I still don't understand, though, is why he continues to deny personal revelation. I don't think he hates me at all...he just can't handle my presence in his life. He knows he has hurt me terribly and the guilt probably overcomes him when he even allows himself to think about me. I truly hope and/or wish that this is not the case. Yes he has hurt me, but I'm all the better because of it. I've grown, and I sure hope he has too. But just because I've grown, and just because I've been able to recognize the positive experiences that came from the most painful moment in my life, doesn't mean that the deeply personal and overwhelming revelation I received on my birthday last year was, in fact, a lie or somehow misconstrued by my confused heart. I would never knowingly and willingly hang on to hopes of something so seemingly impossible and painful. Yet, I know my track record may prove otherwise (aka J.R.P). But there was a reason for J.R.P...to prepare me for this. I have been told this. Everything I was told since October of 1995 makes complete sense. The things I was shown on that day have indeed come to pass. The deep pain and depression I was told that I would go through have indeed overwhelmed me. Yet I told my Father with complete faith and determination, both that October day in 1995 and that December day of 2003 that I would follow Him and do as He asketh, no matter the consequences. Do I willingly want to continue to go through this? To love someone who is more determined to NOT love me than Hitler was to install a supreme race on this globe? Heck no. I too have my pride. I know I'm better than that. And I've tried straying from the path...but I was told to get right back on it.

Sweetheart, if for whatever reason you might find yourself reading this someday, I do hope you realize several things. ONE: You have been forgiven for, well, just being human -- for doubting, for fearing and for hurting me in the process -- just as I know I have been forgiven for my part in this all too. TWO: I will always love you, no matter what. Do you seriously think I care about anything other than the child of God that you are? Do you think I naively dismiss your human traits and foibles? You must know me better than this. Heck, your best friend has gotten to know me and trust me and he can attest that the last thing I care about is someone's past or someone's weaknesses. We ALL have BOTH. If I truly thought you were beneath me, or beneath anyone, for that matter, would I even allow myself to go through the torture of unrequitted love? THREE: SHE was wrong. Even your best friend agrees that she has (although I'm sure well-intentioned) caused more strife and confusion in your life than you deserve. I KNOW that you and I received the same answer in regards to us. I KNOW that beyond a shadow of a doubt. You may continue through life doubting it, questioning it, and forcing me to doubt and question it as well, simply by continuing down the road of actions and consequences that you are, but dear, even if temporarily I lose my mind and believe it was all surreal, or that it never happened, I know in my heart that it did. I know it just as I know that THE GOSPEL IS TRUE. I will never deny it -- ever. I realize what future torment may very well be in store for me because of my refusal to deny the truth...but, well, then that will be my future. I would rather return to my Father in Heaven alone, but be there to receive Celestial Glory for my faith and my commitment to personal and general commandments, than to simply allow myself to lead a slightly happier life for the moment by denying what I know is true. I think of the eternal consequences when I make decisions, not just the temporal ones. FOUR: I cannot do anything to change your mind. I would hope and pray that God is your ultimate guide in your decisions. Not your family, not your friends...but your loving Father in Heaven.

Don't you see?? Don't you understand?? Why DO you fight your hardest battles against the people who love you the most?? Why do you force yourself into solitude and confusion when everything that you could possibly want...everything that God wants to give you, is right in front of you??

Oh how I wish I could convince you. Oh how I wish I could just somehow show you the truth. Oh how I wish I could remind you of everything you felt and learned 11 months ago. Oh how I wish I could make you see the light and convince you to turn back toward the peace and the love that has been promised to you! I know the truth...but all I can do, as any missionary knows, is share my testimony of it. All I can do is love you and pray. You have to do the rest.

Come home. Please come home. Come to a place where you are wanted, needed, respected, cherished, and loved beyond all reason. Why won't you give it another chance? Take a chance on happiness. Take a chance on someone who will never hate you, will never abandon you, will never judge you, abuse you or torment you. Take a chance on a woman that God prepared specifically for you.

I guess I just don't understand it. But for now, I accept it. Life is full of bumps and hurdles. But I know that despite what the future holds for either of us, I will continue to do as God commands me. My eternal rest in God will be made sure if I only but follow that one vital decision that I made long, long ago.

Nov 10, 2004

2nd part of Chapter 1 of my novel

Well, peeps, I finished chapter one. LOL there's no way in heck I'm going to get 50,000 words done this month, but at least it's a start. If you want to read the 2nd half (from Adam's point of view as compared to Corrine's) click on the "My novel" link at the top of this page or on the sidebar.

By the way, this is a fictional tale. Any similarities drawn to real life people is simply a coincidence ;) Ok???
As always, if you have positive comments, please leave them at the end of the chapter. Negative ones can wait until this is finished (if that ever happens ;)

Nov 9, 2004

Here's a sampling of what the liberal media thinks of Christian voters


  • Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press wonders if President Bush understands that "he was not chosen god, bishop, rabbi or high priest?"

  • The publisher of Harper's magazine, John R. MacArthur, blasts President Bush for advertising his "subservience to Jesus Christ and the Christian god, without the least concern about whether it might offend me" and others like him.

  • Ex-seminarian Garry Wills writes in the New York Times, "Can a people that believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an Enlightened nation?" He ends by saying that "moral zealots" will scare moderate Republicans with their "jihads."

  • Maureen Dowd, a New York Times columnist who hates Bush, says the president "ran a jihad in America so he can fight one in Iraq."

  • Dowd's colleague Thomas Friedman intolerantly accuses Bush's base of wanting "to extend the boundaries of religion" and of promoting "intolerance."

  • Without providing one example, Margaret Carlson opines in the Los Angeles Times that Catholic bishops "demonized" Kerry's supporters by warning them that "they could go to hell just for voting for him."

  • Sheryl McCarthy of Newsday accuses Bush of "pandering to people's fears, petty interests and prejudices" against gays and others.

  • Sidney Blumenthal, writing in Salon, nervously claims that the new Senate majority is "more theocratic than Republican."

  • In the same spot, Sean Wilentz embarrasses his fellow Princeton faculty by saying "religious fanaticism" has "seized control of the federal government."

-----
Look, people, let me make this clear. I am NOT pro-war...my cousin Jason is in Fallujah as we speak. I am not PRO intolerance...I am NOT trying to deny people their personal liberty by the way I voted. Do you think I want our soldiers being killed? Do you think I want innocent Muslims being killed? Do you think I want our contractors, or our volunteers being killed?

NO. I just realize that it isn't as black and white as people would like to make it out to be. Do I believe Saddam was a horrible tyrant who needed to be ousted? YES. Do I think that the Iraqis, just like everyone on God's green earth, deserve the opportunity to live in a nation free from opression? YES. Do I believe that the UN sanctions were not working? YES...especially after learning about the oil-for-food scandal. BUT...do I think President Bush could have waited a while longer before declaring war to see if the last round of weapons inspections would work? YES. Do I see an evident link between Al-Qaeda and Saddam's regime? NO. Do I think our reasoning for going after those supposed weapons of mass destruction was a good one? NO. Do I think it was a lie? No. I think the intelligence that President Bush, Senator Kerry and everyone else on capitol hill saw was the same, and that they truly all believed there were weapons of mass destruction. I believe there still might be, or there WAS. I don't think blaming the president for something a majority on capitol hill agreed upon is RIGHT. He had the same information they did. Who screwed up? Intelligence...France...Germany...Russia...and yes, we did for going in so hastily, thinking we would win the war with the ease we won in Afghanistan.

But what is done is done, and right now, a change in commander in chief would have been disastrous for our troops. We are already over there, folks...and pulling them out would have been a terrible mistake. I want them home too....but we have to think of right here and right now, and how to clean up this situation. I ALSO believe that one of our nobler goals of entering Iraq..to free the Iraqi people -- is a valid one. Some of our reasons were not noble at all, and I see that. But WHAT IS DONE IS DONE. Get over it and stop blaming Bush for everything wrong and corrupt in our society. Most of that corruption was already there when he was inaugurated.

I also believe that peace is not just an absence of conflict, but that it is a willingness to stand for justice. I think we need to help out as many people on this earth that we can afford to....like Sudan, for instance. I think it is our responsibility, because we are the world' superpower, and we are the HAVES...and they are the HAVE-NOTS, and they deserve to have the blessings and prosperity that we do.

I believe in civil unions for homosexuals, by the way. But if they are going to allow that, they have to allow roommates, polygamous marriages, etc to enjoy the same benefits. I do NOT believe in redefining the word MARRIAGE...because, after all, marriage began as a religious institution, not as a civil one. Why should I be forced to say that a term that means so much to me wouuld allow marriage to same-sex partners? Or to polygamous unions? Or to who knows what else?

Do I vote on my moral values? YES. Do I think abortion is evil, even worse than war? Yes, because it is outright murder by a MOTHER. Do I vote for the guy who I can better trust to allow me to continue enjoying my religious liberties? Who will allow, if he can at all help it, our children to pray in school if they wish? To sing about Jesus at Christmastime in their holiday concerts? YES. I believe in religion, because when followed correctly, it only encourages goodness and peace. Yes, even Islam. Our CONSTITUTION was founded upon religious values...and our laws came right from the 10 commandments. If we abandon those, because they are simply not "progressive"....our nation will be doomed, just as the Nephite nation of old fell. The United States of America is a chosen land; of liberty and prosperity, and it is so because God decreed it as such. If we allow those who demand us to "accept" their immoral ways of life to rule...if we allow them to dictate our laws...if we allow them to decide what is best for our nation, then God will no longer protect us, just as he allowed the Nephite nation to die. Don't you people see?? Our society has enough evil and corruption as it is. I really think it's already worse than Babylon of old was...and look what happened to Babylon! Fortunately, there are good people still among us...people who know the difference between right and wrong (and, by the way, every able-minded person over 8 has the ability to discern this), and BECAUSE people like us exist, our country is still going strong.

But how much longer will it last? They are fighting us terribly. They call us ignorant, stupid, and naive. They make up lies and sling insults. Yes, there are some right-winged zealots who are just as bad...and those kind of people who cry for the blood of Muslims and spread anonmosity towards the left-winged liberals are just as guilty if not more so (because they know better!). But please, people....think with your hearts as well as your minds. Read the Bible! It foretold everything that is happening right now...but it also preaches peace and love to all mankind.

Why is this all happening? I don't know. But I know the outcome before the 2nd coming, and it's not pretty. The only thing we can do is try to make what good there is in this world last as long as we can. We can teach the gospel of PEACE...and we can be lights before the world. The world needs it more than ever, folks. The world needs us more than ever.

Nov 5, 2004

An opinion from "El Mundo"

I was reading from the Spanish newspaper "El Mundo". They have an opinion section on OUR elections. Anyway, as I knew I would, I found a lot of anti-USA and hate. I read a lot of false propaganda and strange ideas that are not true about our country. They called us stupid and naive, religious zealots, and third world, among others.

But, I came across this opinion, and I must say my heart swelled with gratitude. Hey, they don't ALL hate us.

PARECE MENTIRA

De verdad, me parece mentira, no me puedo creer algunas de las opiniones que estoy leyendo. Yo conozco América, yo he vivido el patriotismo de los AMERICANOS, y lo pongo con mayúsculas, SI PATRIOTISMO, ellos no olvidan tan facilmente como nosotros a sus muertos, a las víctimas del terrorismo, de la barbarie. Ellos no han castigado a su Presidente como hemos hecho nosotros aún a sabiendas de que nos estábamos castigando a nosotros mismos. Yo me alegro, de verdad, de la reelección de Bush, me alegro de que alguien en este planeta luche por su país, por su bienestar y me entristezco mucho pensando que no somos nosotros, los que nos llamamos Españoles, verguenza nos tendría que dar consentir que nos pase lo que nos está pasando, claro que tenemos lo que nos merecemos, nosotros solitos nos lo hemos buscado. Quisimos castigar y castigamos al único gobierno que realmente estaba dando bienestar a este país y ahora pagaremos las consecuencias. Seamos realistas, más nos valdría aprender de los Americanos, en vez de tanto criticarles, ahí están, a la cabeza del mundo.

Espe. / Madrid


A lie
(English translation)

Truthfully, it seems a lie, and I cannot believe some of the opinions that I am reading. I know America, I have lived the AMERICAN patriotism, and I put that in capitals -- yes PATRIOTISM, they do not easily forget their dead like we do, they do not forget their victims of terrorism, of barbarism. They have not chastized their president like we have done even knowing that we were chastizing ourselves. I am happy, in all truth, about the reelection of Bush, and I'm happy that someone on this planet fights for their country, for its well-being and it very much saddens me to think we who call ourselves Spaniards aren't ashamed to have allowed what has happened to happen to us; of course we have what we deserve, we are isolated, which is what we were looking for. We wanted to chastize and we chastize the only government that really is doing what is in the best interests of its country, and now we are paying the consequences. Let's be realistic -- it would do us good to learn from the Americans instead of constantly criticizing them, because here they are, at the head of the world.

Why men love women

1. They will always smell good even if its just shampoo

2. The way their heads always find the right spot on our shoulder

3. How cute they look when they sleep

4. The ease in which they fit into our arms

5. The way they kiss you and all of a sudden everything is right in the world

6. How cute they are when they eat

7. The way they take hours to get dressed but in the end it makes it all worth while

8. Because they are always warm even when its minus 30 outside

9. The way they look good no matter what they wear

10. The way they fish for compliments even though you both know that you think she's the most beautiful thing on this earth

11. How cute they are when they argue

12.The way her hand always finds yours

13. The way they smile

14. The way you feel when you see their name on the caller ID after you just had a big fight

15. The way she says "lets not fight anymore" even though you know that an hour later....

16. The way they kiss when you do something nice for them

17. The way they kiss you when you say "I love you"

18. Actually ... just the way they kiss you...

19. The way they fall into your arms when they cry

20. Then the way they apologize for crying over something that silly

21. The way they hit you and expect it to hurt

22. Then the way they apologize when it does hurt. (even though we don't admit it)!

23. The way they say "I miss you"

24. The way you miss them

25. The way her tears make you want to change the world
so that it doesn't hurt her anymore.....
Yet regardless if you love her,
hate her,
wish she would die
or
know that you would die without her ...
it matters not.
Because once in your life,
whatever she was to the world
she became everything to you.
When you look her in the eyes,
traveling to the depths of her soul
and you say a million things
without a trace of sound,
you know that your own life
is inevitably consumed
within the rhythmic beatings
of her very heart.
We love women for a million reasons,
No paper would do it justice.
It is a thing not of the mind
but of the heart.
A feeling.
Only felt.

Nov 4, 2004

Classic Definitions

I just thought these were amusing :)

1. Cigarette : A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end & a fool at the other.

2. Love affairs : Something like cricket where one-day internationals are more popular than a five day test.

3. Marriage : It's an agreement in which a man loses his bachelor degree and a woman gains her master

4. Divorce : Future tense of marriage

5. Lecture : An art of transferring information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of the students without passing through "the minds of either".

6. Conference : The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.

7. Compromise : The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.

8. Tears : The hydraulic force by which masculine will-power is defeated by feminine water-power.

9. Dictionary : A place where divorce comes before marriage.

10. Conference Room : A place where everybody talks, nobody listens & everybody disagrees later on.

11. Ecstasy : A feeling when you feel you are going to feel a feeling you have never felt before.

12. Classic : A book which people praise, but do not read.

13. Smile : A curve that can set a lot of things straight.

14. Office : A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life.

15. Yawn : The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.

16. Etc. : A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.

17. Committee: Individuals who can do nothing individually and sitto decide that nothing can be done together.

18. Experience : The name men give to their mistakes.

19. Atom Bomb: An invention to end all inventions.

20. Philosopher : A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead.

21. Diplomat : A person who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.

22. Opportunist : A person who starts taking bath if he accidentally falls into a river.

23. Optimist : A person who while falling from Eiffel Tower says in midway "See I am not injured yet."

24. Pessimist :- A person who says that O is the last letter in ZERO, Instead of the first letter in word OPPORTUNITY.

25. Miser : A person who lives poor so that he can die rich.

26. Father : A banker provided by nature.

27. Criminal : A guy no different from the rest, except that he got caught.

28. Boss : Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.

29. Politician : One who shakes your hand before elections and your Confidence after.

30. Doctor : A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you with his bills.

31. Computer Engineer : One who gets paid for reading such posts

John Gibson - Four More Years

John Gibson reflected my thoughts exactly. No, we aren't Spain -- and as much as I do love Spain and its people, they made the wrong choice in succombing to the terrorists. They will forever be remembered in history for that unfortunate reaction to the horrible terrorist plot that succeeded in Madrid.

It's a shame.

Four More Years
Thursday, November 04, 2004
By John Gibson

Well, it's over, as you already know.

Already — and I'm not kidding — Usama bin Laden's (search) Al Qaeda Web sites are threatening retaliation against three quarters of America for voting for George W. Bush. I guess they still don't get it: America isn't Spain. We're not the kind of nation that seeks to make a truce with people who want to blow us up.

America is also not George Soros (search) and Michael Moore (search): rich demagogues whose only motivation in opposing Bush was hating Bush — despising him and what he has done, refusing to see the good lurking like a pearl in the bad, just fomenting and frothing at the mouth and throwing their millions of dollars at demonizing a single man.

Soros promised to go to a monastery if Bush won, to reflect on what's wrong with us. He ought to reflect on what is wrong with himself and his other billionaire friends, who tried to buy a defeat for Bush because they don't like him, don't like the way he walks, or talks, or the way he acts in America's defense when they would prefer he sit back, think, ponder, ruminate and do nothing.

The Euros are in a state of shock. Only last week the Brit papers who are in the hate Bush business had pretty much convinced themselves that they had managed to spread their superior wisdom and insight across the Atlantic and Americans were going to do the right thing: fire Bush.

Oops. That didn't work out.

There is no doubt they will recover from Wednesday's shocked silence and resume telling us we're stupid and we're wrong and we're warmongers. They really can't help themselves.

With nearly 100 percent of the rest of the world shouting at us that we should not, not, not re-elect Bush, it now appears Americans have shouted back: shut up.

Good. Somebody needed to say it. And better 59 million Americans than just me all by myself.

That's My Word.

Taken from Fox News

National Novel Writing Month

Well, I'm going to attempt to write a novel this month. Yes, you read that right...in ONE MONTH. It's National Novel Writing Month, and Blogger is sponsoring it. I have set up a separate blog where I will post the chapters of my blog. I have to still configure it so it displays correctly, but I don't have much time right now.

I was supposed to start on the 1st, but the elections had my pretty occupied:) But now that that is over, I plan to start.

To track my progress and read my novel, and to leave constructive comments, please visit:

My Novel

I have always wanted to write a novel. I have no idea what I'm going to write about, but since my strength is in character development (although I'm somewhat weak in plot development) I have some thoughts running through my mind.

Stay tuned!

Note: There is a link to my novel from above and from the sidebar to the right.

Nov 3, 2004

We WON!!!

Hi everyone, sorry this is so late in coming; but I've had problems with accessing my blog.

Anyway, Kerry has conceded to George W. Bush, and George W. Bush has been declared the winner:)


AP

Isn't this such a cute picture? What love he has for his beautiful wife! (This photo is from the Republican National Convention in early September).

I'm listening to Kerry's concession speech, and I will say that I do feel sorry for him. I feel his heartbreak. He looked like he was going to cry right before he started talking. I do have respect for him and the way he has proven to be a good loser (unlike Al Gore in 2000). I agree with him that every vote should be counted, and I agree that President Bush and he should work to unite our country once again.

I also have deep respect for President Bush waiting to declare victory; out of respect for Senator Kerry. Both of these candidates have shown honor at the close of this election, and I am glad to see such grace and respect.

Now I hope the American people will show the same respect for both candidates.

Nov 2, 2004

Quote from Democrat Senator Zell Miller

"Twenty years of votes can tell you much more about a man than twenty weeks of campaign rhetoric.

Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are. How you vote tells people who you really are deep inside." - Zell Miller, during the Republican National Convention.


Another quote by Zell Miller:

"I first got to know George Bush when we served as governors together. I admire this man.

I am moved by the respect he shows the First Lady, his unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent to America.

I can identify with someone who has lived that line in "Amazing Grace," "Was blind, but now I see," and I like the fact that he's the same man on Saturday night that he is on Sunday morning.

He is not a slick talker but he is a straight shooter and, where I come from, deeds mean a lot more than words.

I have knocked on the door of this man's soul and found someone home, a God-fearing man with a good heart and a spine of tempered steel.

The man I trust to protect my most precious possession: my family.

This election will change forever the course of history, and that's not any history. It's our family's history.

The only question is how. The answer lies with each of us. And, like many generations before us, we've got some hard choosing to do.

Right now the world just cannot afford an indecisive America. Fainthearted, self-indulgence will put at risk all we care about in this world.

In this hour of danger our President has had the courage to stand up. And this Democrat is proud to stand up with him." - Zell Miller, during the Republican National Convention.


To read the entire speech, which I highly recommend, go to: Zell Miller's remarks during the RNC. Or better yet, download it free from the iTunes store (if you don't have iTunes, get it for your PC or Mac, for free, at http://www.apple.com/itunes. By listening to it, you really get the feeling and emotion behind it.

Nov 1, 2004

Hollywood's Foreign Policy: What a difference an administration makes

My sister found this at The Spoon's Experience.

Air Force One was a pretty decent big-budget Hollywood Action flick. So much so, in fact, that most people probably don't remember the speech President Harrison Ford gave during the movie's opening moments. The setup isn't that important; there's enough context in the speech itself:

The dead remember our indifference. The dead remember our silence.

I came here tonight to be congratulated. But today when I visited the Red Cross camps overwhelmed by the flood of refugees fleeing from the horror of kazakhstan, I realized I don't deserve to be congratulated. None of us do. Let's be clear. The truth is, we acted too late. Only when our own national security was threatened did we act. Radek's regime murdered over 200,000 men, women, and children. And we watched it on TV. We let it happen. People were being slaughtered for over a year, and we issued economic sanctions and hid behind the rhetoric of diplomacy.

How dare we?

The dead remember. Real peace is not just the absence of conflict; it's the presence of justice.

Tonight I come to you with a pledge to change America's policy. Never again will I allow our political self-interest to deter us from doing what we know to be morally right. Atrocity and terror are not political weapons. And to those who would use them, your day is over. We will never negotiate. We will no longer tolerate, and we will no longer be afraid. It's your turn to be afraid.

This was greeted by a rousing standing-O from the assembled multitudes, with the exception of the President's stodgy staff. In the limo ride away from the speech, the President's National Security Advisor was beside himself. "The allies are going to be very upset they weren't consulted about this." The Chief of Staff wasn't thrilled either: "It might come back and bite us in the ass in November."

The President shut them both down: "It's the right thing to do. And you know it."

I realize this is just a movie. However, it was a mainstream liberal Hollywood movie, starring a mainstream liberal actor as a mainstream liberal heroic President. It was made in 1997, when Golden Boy Bill Clinton was in office (they even have a Dee Dee Meyers lookalike as Press Secretary). And in this mainstream liberal fantasy, we see a heroic President who pledges to overthrow tyrants who brutalize their people, wherever they may be, regardless of whether our allies like it, and regardless of whether those tyrants pose an imminent threat to our national security.

And this was a good thing.

Again, I realize that this was just a movie. But I found it impossible to watch it without finding the movie eerily prescient. Hollywood got their liberal dream President. And his name is George W. Bush.

If Bush can be faulted (and he can), it's because he's not aggressive enough in pursuing the sort of truly liberal foreign policy advocated in the film. But that's not the criticism we hear from Hollywood these days.

So what changed?

Oh yeah. The party in the White House.

50 Reasons to Vote for President Bush

50 Reasons to Vote for President Bush This includes pictures.

Note: Some images are graphic in nature.

VOTE George W. Bush TOMORROW

Ok, that was an amazing experience. This whole weekend has been amazing; having my brother in town; celebrating Halloween with him, my sister, and my friend Jess - and we won the road rally (a church activity we had on Halloween) :)

Then today, wow. I was pretty much convinced already that my ballot was for President George W. Bush, but when I heard him speak today; even though he didn't really say much that I haven't heard already, I could just tell. The Spirit overwhelmed me; and I'm not talking about the spirit of the rally. But let me tell you; the difference I felt between the chaos on State Street on Saturday night (read: Madison is nationally known for it's drunken revelries during the Halloween season) and the way I felt while at this rally was amazing in and of itself. The first left me feeling ill and disgusted (although I did enjoy seeing some of the different costumes; it was too bad however I had to see the horrible behavior of those wearing those costumes) but I felt uplifted and alive today. Everyone was so dang nice, and that spirit of comraderie that most Americans have already forgotten about, you know, that spirit that existed for months just after 9/11 --- well there it was. Of course, we all had something in common: we were supporting George W. Bush. But besides all of this; this spirit of comraderie and of rallying, was the the Holy Spirit. I felt it, and tears rushed to my eyes while I was there cheering. I don't remember what President Bush was saying when that strong feeling overwhelmed me; but it was something that touched me, and I knew that this was the best man for the job.

By no means does that mean he is perfect; or that he hasn't made mistakes, or that he won't make mistakes. He has and he will. But he is a man who is trying to do good and live a morally right life, and lead our country in the same fashion. I know this, because I felt it.

I'm so grateful for that amazing opportunity!

AP


Oct 31, 2004

Now we have VIP tickets!!

Thanks so much to the Roe family!!! We will be able to see and hear President Bush from as close as we can get:)

I'm so excited, I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve!!!!! :):):)

Farenhype 9/11

I highly recommend to everyone to watch Farenhype 9/11.  If you want to remain fair and balanced, watch Farenheit 9/11 before watching Farenhype 9/11.

I am more and more convinced, by the strong feeling of the Spirit, by my own convictions and intution, by my studying of the facts (and the non truths as well), that President George W. Bush is the man for the job.  I know that listening and seeing him tomorrow will also most likely reaffirm this.

I am so grateful for the country I live in.  I am grateful for the noble soliders who, over history and today are fighting for our blessed, chosen country -- a country established by God.  I am grateful for the constitution, for freedom of speech -- yes even for those who just use propaganda to further their own political agendas -- because it enables me, as a citizen, to use the Spirit along with my intellect and intution to make an informed opinion and judgment in choosing a presidential candidate, and other candidates as well.

I do not usually vote along party lines, but those lines are getting less gray and more prominent.   But no matter who you vote for, please, my friends and family, and readers, please, go out on Tuesday and VOTE.  Vote with an informed opinion.  Vote with your conscience.  Vote with your heart.  Pray about the choice you make.  Vote for not just yourself, but for your family, and your fellow countrymen, and
even for the world.  Vote to make this world a better place.  Vote to make this country a safe haven for us and our children, and our grandchildren.  It is our responsibility, not just our right, to vote.  Your ballot, especially in a race as tight as this one, can make the difference.  Think about the people you love, and vote because of them.

Please remember your civil responsibility.  Remember that your right to vote was given to you because of the blood, sweat, and tears of millions of soldiers over the past 233 + years.  Remember what they have done for us, and are doing for us.  What a glorious exercise of our free agency it is.

Oct 29, 2004

A Bush in the hand is worth two Johns in the bush :)

Well, when my Mom was attending the John Kerry rally in Green Bay on Wednesday, my brother removed her recently-staked Kerry-Edwards sign from the lawn and *drum roll*............... hid it in the bush. ;););) *loud gaffaw*. Anyway, she didn't have time to retreive it before she set off for Nassau (the Bahamas) on Thurs morning. She took a chartered plane all the way from central WI to Nassau with just a stop in Miami. However....she ended up having to wait SEVERAL HOURS to even board the plane since it was still in Milwaukee; unable to fly or land near the Central Wisconsin airport, since Air Force 2 and Vice President Dick Cheney were in town:)

*LOL*

Speaking of rallies, I'm going to be able to see the President of the United States speak before the elections! I'm so excited, because I have been wanting to be in his presence and gauge his integrity and honesty from there. I'm usually a very good judge of character without ever having to even meet a person (it's intuition -- I've always been this way) but I get an even stronger sense when I'm in one's presence; and even more after getting to know someone (obviously -- just as everyone).

But anyway, yes, my brother and I are going to go with Jess and her family:) I am grateful for the opportunity! Yet I do worry about these latest tapes that have come out. I know Osama Bin Laden is no idiot; and part of me believes he put these tapes out to 'help' Bush win, because the world hatred of Bush is so great, it might just help Bin Laden's cause. He will be able to enlist more into Al Queda...but at the same time, we all know that President Bush is tough on terror, and would we want anyone who isn't? It's quite the dilemna.

Well, my brother came down for Halloween, and we are going to dress up in costume and go a road rally (a church activity) tomorrow with my ward. Jess is coming to town, too. Last night I was in Mukwanago with her because I had a Photoshop training seminar in Milwaukee today. While there, I broke the heel of my favorite black croc mules -- man I was angry (this is the THIRD time these shoes have broken, and they cost me a LOT!). Luckily I was able to pick up a pair of cheap shoes at Payless.

Anyway, that's all...so far:) I will sign off tonight with a joke my brother told us during dinner tonight; a pun on the well-known "horse walks into a bar" joke:

John Kerry walks into a bar, and the bartender asks, "why the long face??"

"It's November 3rd."

;)

Oct 28, 2004

America Under Attack...by British Media

This is absolutely disgusting, heinous, and appalling. They should be ashamed of themselves.

No doubt, we have problems. There is corruption here; just like there is IN EVERY DAMN COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. But who are THEY to spread lies? Who are THEY to tell the registered voters of Ohio how to vote? Who are THEY to call for a Bush assassin?

Oh, and we made up Al Queda. Yeah, that crazy lunatic that shows his face on tapes aired on Al Jazeera is really an American spy. The whole 9/11 thing -- yeah, the government secretly hired Muslims to "appear" to be zealots; and to kill some 3000 people. YEAH ok. So we could gain power, and rule the entire world, and eventually the entire universe.

RIIIIGGGHHHTTT. Yeah, that's why we are so happy that Afghanistan held their first election; and the first elector was a 19 YEAR OLD WOMAN! But she's just a pawn of the US government, you know.

They all are. Even Saddam Hussein. He's really on OUR side. Heck, he's living it up in the west wing with our president.

Yup....that's the truth. I just know it.

Wake up, people. Did you ever stop to consider that your conspiracy theories might have been initiated to fool YOU? Did you ever stop to think about how Satan really works in this world? But oh no, your theories have to be right. Bush is the devil incarnate. He wants to take over the world. He wants to force zealous right-winged Christianity upon all of you suckers. He wants to start up the Crusades all over again.

You know, instead of being blinded by self-interests and hate, why don't we all just WAKE up and listen to our hearts? These conspirators are doing exactly what they say Bush and the USA are guilty of. Spreading lies and deceit. Creating havoc and hate. Pushing intolerance and bigotry.

So who are the ones subject to the devil? Let me think about that.

America Under Attack ... by British Media
Monday, October 25, 2004
By Scott Norvell


Anyone thumbing through The Guardian's (search) weekly entertainment guide this past weekend could be forgiven for spitting coffee all over the couch when they reached the television listings section.


In a weekly TV column, writer Charlie Brooker (search) launched into a refrain familiar to anyone who regularly reads The Guardian, the house organ of London's liberal left-wing. Taking on George W. Bush's performance during the recent debates, Brooker dubbed the president a "lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching, blinking, mouse-faced little cheat."


He concluded his ditty with the following paragraph:


"On November 2, the entire civilized world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. -- where are you now that we need you?"


Sputter. Our friends the Brits, indeed.


Brooker's longing for an assassin (The Guardian apologized for it Monday, calling it an "ironic joke") is an extreme, but by no means atypical view among London's punditry class these days. Thumbing through the rest of the week's television listings in the same magazine as Brooker's column says much about how Britain's media feel about America and Bush in particular.




It's the week before the election, of course, and programmers are scurrying to get their harangues on the air while there's still some semblance of an excuse — a "news peg."


The BBC (search), Britain's taxpayer-funded broadcaster, has the most ambitious schedule of anti-American fare.


Sunday's Panorama magazine show was about how 9/11 and Bush's "war on terror" (the Beeb uses these derisive quotation marks whenever it mentions our war on Islamic fundamentalists) have polarized the American populace.


Over on BBC4 (search) the same night was "The America Debate," a political roundtable broadcast from Harvard University featuring an uncharacteristically balanced panel interspersed with hopelessly biased reports from correspondents around America (the BBC doubts America's "great Liberal tradition" will survive unless the Democrats win the election.)


Tuesday, BBC2 (search) offers us a rant in the form of a travelogue titled "Holidays in the Danger Zone: America Was Here." This week's program focuses on El Salvador, and if last week's episode on Nicaragua (the Nicas were living the Socialist dream of peace and equality under the Sandinistas (search) until big, bad America started financing the Contras (search) in the 1980s) then every problem currently faced by El Salvador is sure to be laid at American feet.


Wednesday, the broadcaster treats us to the second installment of a three-part series titled "The Power of Nightmares," which reports that a cabal of U.S. neo-conservatives (search) have fabricated the idea of Al Qaeda (search) and an international terror threat in order to solidify power. Not surprisingly, The Guardian has been lapping up this line of thinking with special reports tied to the broadcasts and op-ed columns galore about its insightful portrayal of that dubious "war on terror."


Thursday, the BBC is re-running "Who Runs America," a series which uses profiles of prominent Americans to validate every stereotype and prejudice BBC staffers have about America and Americans. A FDA official talks about how overweight Americans are. An evangelical pastor from California speaks to the country's fanatical religiosity. The CEO of General Motors addresses our love affair with gas-guzzling cars and greedy overuse of the world's natural resources. New York police commissioner Ray Kelly talks about his success fighting crime in the Big Apple "at the expense of burgeoning prison populations," and an FBI official is interviewed about how American law enforcement has run amok in the name of homeland security.


All this is to be expected, of course, from the BBC. The commercial broadcasters aren't much better, however.


Channel 4 goes for the jugular whenever it can, and this week provides plenty of opportunity. Saturday, the network visits the latest output in the "American Empire" -- Angola -- to tell how we are tightening our grip on African oil because of the chaos in the Middle East.


Monday, Channel 4 kicks off an entire month of special programming titled (cue sarcasm here) "The Greatest Democracy on Earth." The inaugural show, "The White House for Sale," sets the tone for the rest of the month with descriptions of how the country that imposes its Democratic ideals on hapless nations around the world is actually corrupt to the core.


Saturday, Channel 4 returns to that favorite topic of the British chattering classes -- those wacko fundamentalists in America. "With God on our Side" describes how ignorant, whacked-out Christians in several swing states have kidnapped the American electoral process and are leading the Beacon of Freedom inexorably toward religious extremism.


Television is not the only medium for such tripe. Newspaper op-ed pages are awash in columns along the same vein, and radio programs are not much better. The handful of dissenting voices are drowned out by the chorus of conspiracy theories, Bush-bashing and cultural stereotyping.


Americans who applaud the resoluteness of our British allies in the War on Terror would do well to refocus their applause on 10 Downing Street (search) and the British Ministry of Defense. Blair has endured a drubbing about Iraq such as few Americans could comprehend, yet he has stuck to his guns. And if this week's television fare is any indication, the drubbing will continue well past the American election and into Blair's own electoral season next year.


He's going to need all the well-wishes he can get, because there won't be any coming from this side of the pond.


Scott Norvell is the European Bureau Chief for FOX News. He is based in London.

Oct 27, 2004

Political Poseur - Pretending to Be a Republican in Blue California

By Richard Rushfield
Posted Friday, Oct. 22, 2004, at 10:42 AM PT

I live solidly in "Blue" to-its-core Venice, Calif., a neighborhood so left-wing that anyone spotted in a Bush button is more likely to be a costumed trick-or-treater than an actual GOP voter.

As a political and journalistic experiment, I decided to see how people who live in primarily one-party areas would react when faced with a living, breathing member of the opposition. I appointed myself an ambassador to bridge the Red-Blue divide and ventured into each side's territory dressed in the T-shirt, campaign button, and tote bag of the other. (A baseball cap, I decided, pushed the ensemble one step over the line, making me look a raving nut about to start yelling obscenities.)

For four days, I wandered Republican areas in a Kerry-Edwards shirt and button and loitered in the heart of Democratic country in styles by Bush-Cheney '04. I treated each foray as a run-of-the-mill busy day—visiting malls, stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. I didn't try to provoke the opposition; I simply lived an active consumer's life while dressed in a great big Bush or Kerry T-shirt. I avoided any specifically political place, such as campaign headquarters, and any venue where politics would likely be discussed, such as churches or bookstores. The idea was not to see how people would deal with overt opposition but how the mere existence of a political opponent would be tolerated. And so, campaign logo on my chest, and no small amount of mortal terror in my heart, I sallied forth to see if political freedom would pass the T-shirt test in our two Americas, Red and Blue.

In Kerry-Edwards attire


Red
My journey to Red America carries me to the antipodes of today's Republicanism. I first visit Newport Beach, Orange County's last bastion of wealthy white country-club Republicans (population, 70,032; 94 percent white; 61.6 percent registered Republican; median household income $111,166). I then travel to Bakersfield, the heart of California's agricultural Central Valley two hours northeast of Los Angeles (population 247,057; 69 percent white and 29.4 percent Hispanic; 49.2 percent registered Republican; median household income $39,468). To give you a sense of the lion's den I was entering: In 2000, Bakersfield voted 60.8 percent Republican versus 41 percent statewide.

In my Kerry-Edwards shirt, I enter Red America certain that I am on the verge of inciting to rage a gang of angry yachtsmen who would soon be strapping me and my lefty leisurewear to their mizzenmast. Instead, I encounter only shades of indifference—head shaking, "crazy idiot" expressions from older, very wealthy, very white folks in Newport Beach; terse nods from the middle- to working-class citizens of Bakersfield, which seem to indicate that people here have much bigger things to worry about than whatever is on my stupid T-shirt. In Bakersfield, surprisingly, there's little indication that we are near the eve of an election: I see a total of two campaign bumper stickers, one for Bush and one Kerry, and one elderly lady with a huge Bush button pinned to the jacket of her pantsuit. Despite a recent visit from Dick Cheney, presidential politics seems to have bypassed Bakersfield, and the locals are not about to let a mere T-shirt drag them into the muck.

Toward the end of the day, I find one person on whom the election has a deep hold. Strolling past a sunglasses booth in the mall, I am spotted by a tall and exceedingly thin man in his early 20s, with a buzz cut that makes him look ominously like a shock-therapy patient. As I walk by, he fixates on my shirt and begins to follow me, seemingly mesmerized by the power of my Kerry-Edwards logo. I look back and see him trailing behind me, mouth agape, his eyes glued to my back. Whether the shirt identifies me as his leader or whether it is his Manchurian Candidate-like signal to kill, I can't tell. I duck into the mall's Starbucks and the spell seems to break; he turns and wanders away.

In Bush-Cheney garb


Blue
In Los Angeles' gentrifying-as-fast-as-we-can Hipstervill—aka the Silverlake/Los Feliz area on the city's eastside—there are more coffeehouses and alternative bookstores than churches. Here, aging, unemployed bohemians with long, matted hair, tinted sunglasses, and affectedly dour expressions skulk along the midafternoon streets as though they have just rolled out of bed. (They probably have.)

Dressed to impress in my Bush-Cheney T-shirt, tote bag, and "W." button, I first stop at Silverlake's Über-cafe, the Coffee Table. "The Table," as it is known, is the daytime HQ for the area's writing community—the bed-headed brigades of aspiring indie auteurs who hunch over their laptops, whispering pitches back and forth like state secrets. I stand in line for a soda; my T-shirt first makes contact with the locals as the server, a rather prim-looking Asian-American man, double-takes at my unabashedly partisan display, his smile freezing into a look I can only describe as bracing for me to pull out an assault weapon and open fire. I order, pay, and walk with my Diet Coke through the restaurant, taking a seat on the patio that puts me and my garb on prominent display for the 20 or so patrons. A wave of distressed glances ripples in my direction, but I remain unmolested. Yet as I finish my soda, two hipsters saunter past. One of them, untucked shirt hanging over his jeans, gapes at my shirt and mutters, "Asshole," only slightly under his breath.

Next up: Café Tropical, the gritty Cuban coffee house in old Silverlake. I park my Bush-Cheney festooned car behind a Volvo station wagon decorated with a bumper sticker that reads, "Ban war without end. Not in our name." I order an iced espresso and sit beneath a collage of Che Guevara photos. Customers accessorize their coffees at the condiment station in front of me. Suddenly I look up to see Latino man, who appears to be in his early 40s, rushing toward me, an enormous grin on his face. "Where do you get that shirt?" he demands. He continues: "I know only three Republicans here. Everyone else loves Kerry. The Spanish language TV is so filled with bias. They don't tell you that Mr. Bush is a gentleman." People standing nearby watch our summit with anguished there-goes-the-neighborhood expressions. As my new friend leaves, he stands at the front door and, raising his fist, yells, "Viva Bush!" Spasms of horror seize the store and pulse out to the community beyond.

Slinking away, I stroll down Irony Row; a two-block stretch of Sunset Blvd. filled with boutiques peddling vintage 1970s lunch boxes, summer-camp T-shirts, and baby-doll dresses for grown women. So steeped are its denizens in the culture of irony that almost everyone thinks my shirt is a hilarious joke. As I browse through the Vice magazine store, a pair of girls giggles at me. One of them comments, "I've never seen that one before." A 40ish man dressed in cargo shorts, flamboyant sunglasses, and a Lance Armstrong bracelet sees my shirt and bursts out laughing. "Way to go, man!" he says, giving me a thumbs up. Then, as I walk into a wacky gift shop, I hear a shriek. The woman behind the counter throws up her hands in mock horror, "Oh no! Bush-Cheney! In Silverlake!" she cackles, feigning horror at my hilarious costume, as if humoring a child on Halloween.

On Vermont Avenue, irony fades into gentrification. A fashionably dressed woman seated at a sidewalk table makes a disgusted face at the sight of me. On line at Psychobabble coffee house, another woman in a blue velour tracksuit rolls her eyes and grimaces at me with undisguised hatred. Realizing there are no seats but the one next to me, she stares intently into her cup, avoiding my polluting glance, until another table opens and she quickly relocates. Out on the avenue once again, I am gifted with my second "Asshole" of the day, this time muttered by a young man with bright dyed raspberry hair.

The next day, I head to Brentwood, the lush epicenter of modern limousine liberalism and the hillside home of left-leaning Hollywood. This is where activists like Norman Lear and Laurie David live; a few months in residence here and Arianna Huffington dropped Newt Gingrich like a hot tamale to become a paragon of "progressive" politics.

I enter the faux-rustic Brentwood Country Mart, a collection of shops intended to look like an olde-time barnyard. On the central patio, I pass a woman who looks up from her gaggle of children to see me passing and exclaims, "Ick! God!" A group of teen skater boys waiting on line to buy the Mart's famed "Chicken Basket" discuss whether Bush will be removed from office by the time they turn 18, thus saving them from the draft. I sit down to eat. Dining nearby is a young girl who looks to be about 6 years old; she gazes at my shirt with a look so forlorn, I expect to learn that Dick Cheney just stole her crayons. Her mother arrives and gives her a hug of consolation. The girl starts to talk, but I can only make out "Bush shirt," which she says to her mother as she points my way. The mother turns and glares, shaking her head at me. I start to wonder what sort of person I am to inflict this on a poor child.

Up in the San Vicente shopping area, things go even less smoothly. At the first intersection, an older man in the weekend wear of the very prosperous passes me and yells, "Bush-Cheney?!?" as though demanding an explanation. At the Coral Tree Organic Café, a willowy, bookish woman seated alone glares at me from across the room. When I smile and wave to her, she puts on her sunglasses.

Driving home, I rip off my Bush-Cheney shirt so I can walk the streets of my neighborhood unjeered at and without terrifying little children. Reflecting on the sting of being called "asshole" during my travels through Blue America, I wonder: If I were truly a Bush supporter, how long would I be able to endure a life filled with epithets before I gave up on the shirt? Changing into a nonpartisan brown Gap polo, I breathe a sigh of relief that I will never have to find out.

Richard Rushfield is a Los Angeles based journalist. He edits the LA Innuendo, a satirical review of local culture and co-authors the "Intelligence Report" for Vanity Fair.

Article URL: http://slate.msn.com/id/2108561/

Oct 21, 2004

CPUSA removes endorsement for Kerry?

I find it very interesting that suddenly the public endorsement of John Forbes Kerry on the CPUSA website is now gone.  I wonder when that happened, because when I checked it out only a few days ago, I could have sworn it was there, right on the front page.

They still are committed to defeating Bush, but now they are not supporting a specific candidate.

Well done, Mr. Kerry, in illiciting silent endorsements from parties that don't even have their own candidate running this time around, because they are so opposed to President Bush that they are willing to move closer to the center and support you only to defeat Bush.  Just like you covered up your anti-military book and got it pulled from our bookstore's shelves, you don't have any visible support from the far left.

We all know you are the most liberal senator in the US Senate.  Bush wasn't lying when he said that.  But why are you afraid to let the public know where you truly stand? Why not let us read your extremely anti-military book? I mean, if elected, you will be the commander-in-chief of the most powerful military in the world.

I want proof that if that is to be, that you will be better than our previous commanders-in-chief.  I want your promise that you will be the commander-in-chief that our military needs.

But somehow, I doubt that you could ever be, especially after what you so publicly did to belittle and demean your fellow Vietnam vets. Some of your ideas are good; such as your healthcare reform, but they are just that -- ideas, and you have failed to lay out any specific plans to convince the American people that you are better suited for the job. You have failed to show up to vote on some major domestic and international issues; you have changed your stance on things so many times that even someone as indecisive as I can be sometimes is lost in the wishy-washy rhetoric I hear during the debates, in your ads, and even on your website. Yours is a message of negativity -- and only one thing is certain -- you want only to defeat Bush. I have heard from you everything that the Bush administration has done wrong (supposedly), but what would YOU do that is right??

Mr. Kerry, you never did have my admiration, but you completely lost my respect when you said during your second debate that you are pro-choice only BECAUSE you know you shouldn't legislate what you say are your own religious beliefs. MR. KERRY, may I remind you, that abortion is NOT simply a choice, that being pro-life is not SIMPLY a religious belief. ABORTION IS MURDER. It's very black and white, dear Senator. The fact that you THINK that women should have the choice to murder their own children is one thing. But to know that you voted against the partial-birth abortion ban, something that is so obviously evil, is outrageous.

Maybe Kerry isn't a communist -- but it really doesn't matter in my eyes. His liberalism is too much for me to swallow. Why did the democratic party choose him? I don't think we will ever know. But what I DO know is that I WON'T be voting for Senator John Forbes Kerry on November 2nd.

Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if John Kerry was a member of the Illuminati. And those of us who have studied secret societies (or the Book of Mormon, for that matter!!) know the danger that lies within them.

Oct 20, 2004

The Touch of the Master's Hand

'Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin, But held it up with a smile.
"What am I bidden, good folks," he cried, "Who'll start the bidding for me?"
"A dollar, a dollar. Then two! Only two? Two dollars, and who'll make it three?"

"Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice; Going for three..." But no,
From the room, far back, a grey-haired man Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then wiping the dust from the old violin, And tightening the loosened strings
, He played a melody pure and sweet, As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer, With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?" And he held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two? Two thousand! And who'll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice, And going and gone," said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried, "We do not quite understand.
What changed its worth?" Swift came the reply: "The touch of the Master's hand."
And many a man with life out of tune, And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd Much like the old violin.

A "mess of pottage," a glass of wine, A game -- and he travels on.
He is "going" once, and "going" twice, He's "going" and almost "gone."
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought By the touch of the Master's hand.

--Myra Brooks Welch

Oct 18, 2004

Disturbing...

1. A Vietnam vet group took a trip to Communist Hanoi to investigate a report that John Kerry was in the "Hanoi Hall of Fame." Yes, there is a museum in Hanoi with a section dedicated to foreign activists who help defeat the United States Military in Vietnam. Of course, you would expect Jane Fonda's picture to be there. But, alas, there is John Kerry's picture shaking the hand of a communist official.

2. The Communist Party of America (I didn't even know we had one??) is determined to oust George W. Bush, and is supporting John Kerry (gee, I wonder why).
Communist Party of America Supports John Kerry

3. A Vietnam veteran speaks his peace about the things that Senator Kerry said upon his return from Vietnam.
Hanoi John

Saddam's killing field

I know that my cousin, Jason, is over in Iraq and is miserable.  He is tired of being shot at, hearing blasts throughout the day and night, not having power even so much to shower, and being away from his family.  I know that I love Jason, and don't want him to be miserable.  I know that I want him home, safe and sound.  We all miss him.

I know Jessica will be shipping out in January for Iraq.  I know that Jeremy went through a similar experience that Jason is going through right now.  I understand from their words, their nightmares, the look in their eyes -- I know that war is hell.  I do not know it first-hand, and that is why I honor our troops -- current and past -- for everything that they have done, are doing, and will do.

There are many things that George W. Bush's administration have done that I do not agree with.  I am very iffy about the war.  I certainly didn't want it to begin; and since that war began it seems that it is imposing upon my family and friends and our way of life.  I understand the reasons that so many people hate George W. Bush, hate the fact that we are even in Iraq, and are looking for change.  I do understand this.

However, I also understand that Saddam Hussein was an evil man.  Never mind that there were no WMD's found.  It's a shame that we were led to war under false pretenses, although I think that blame goes squarely on the shoulders of intelligence, and not our current president.  He, John Kerry, and the rest of Congress and the House received the same intelligence.  They all felt that Saddam was a threat.  Perhaps he's not linked with Al Queda.  But sanctions were not working,  and as we have learned from recent reports, he was paying off top officials in France and other parts of the UN in the Oil for Food program.

Maybe Hussein didn't have a direct effect on us, as we were told before entering the war.  I do not know.  But I do know, and feel, that getting rid of him was essential.  Maybe not to Americans, but to the Iraqis.  I know they are not all happy right now.  There are plenty of insurgents and killings that prove that.  But they are being given a chance to avoid more of this.


Take a careful look at those pictures.  Think about how you would feel if you were a loved one of one of these men, women, or children who were killed and buried in such a fashion.  How would you feel if you had to live your day-to-day life filled with fear? Knowing that you could not "rise up" against the tyrranical leader of your country, without being killed, just as the Kurds, or the Shiites have been?  What if, for being Catholic, or Episcopalian, or Mormon, or Jehovah's Witness...or whatever reason...perhaps Jewish, or black, or hispanic, homosexual, liberal, or conservative, mentally challenged or handicapped -- what if you or your loved ones were killed for just being who you are?

This is the reason there is honor in the service of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It doesn't matter in the long run whose or what political agendas may have caused us to enter the war.  The fact is, despite it all, again, our troops, are there with a purpose.

They are freeing a nation from tyranny.  They are spreading freedom.  Many are dying for this cause.  Not a one of us wants to lose a loved one, but these false ideas that are being spread that our troops are dying in vain is a wrong one.

They are night fighting in vain.  They are saviors, each and every last one of them, who answers the call of duty with a sense of honor and purpose.  They are putting themselves last, and putting others first.

No, it's not a pretty sight over there.  I know I would not want to be there, either.  But I recognize the nobility in our soldier's fight.  We have been commanded to love one another.  To "love thy neighbor as thyself".  War may seem, and perhaps even be, hypocritical in this case, but we know that since the dawn of time war has existed.  It is Satan's playing field.  But this war is not for oil, for power, or for control.  We are not seeking to turn Iraq into a US state, as many in the world would like to believe.  We are not seeking to usurp the authority of the UN.  But few others would answer the call, for their own internal reasons.  Those who did such as the USA and England have been dubbed evil.  Our president has been compared to Adolph Hitler.  The absurdity of that claim boggles my mind.  Do people not understand who Saddam Hussein was?

One thing I admire greatly about our president is his steadfastness and yes, his stubborness.  He is not doing the "popular" thing.  He is hated by many.  But he truly believes what he is doing is right.  He is not in it for personal gain or power.  He may be wrong (only God knows) but he is doing what he believes is right and just.  He is trying to protect our nation and the world, but most of all, a reason I feel has not been mentioned nearly enough in the debates and in the press -- he is spreading freedom to the Iraqi people, and doing what he can to send a message to terrorists all over the world, that their evil and tyranny will no longer go unanswered.  They won in their messages to Spain and to Russia, and they are trying the same with us.  But someone needs to stand up to the evil bullies, even when it's the unpopular thing to do.

Free agency is a God-given right to all of mankind.  I truly believe it is our responsibility, as individuals and as nations, to try and help oppressed individuals and nations to discover the beauty that lies in freedom.  Captain Moroni did this long ago, and yes, he even had to do it through war.  But freedom is a cherished gift that every person deserves.  I  know that I do not agree with many of the things that are going on domestically, in my own nation, because of that freedom.  I think some people take advantage of it and use it for evil purposes.  I do believe in legislation.  I believe in freedom for all, as long as it doesn't affect the freedom of another.  That is why laws exist -- to protect us from each other's bad choices and sometimes even our own bad choices.  I know we can't legislate everything.  Anarchy and dictatorships are extremes on the opposite ends of the scale, but they both are evil in their own rights.  One does not have enough legislation, and one has too much.  Keeping a balance of this scale is a delicate matter, and hence the reason this war, our presidential elections, and everything else that is going on is weighing on everyone's minds.  But the thing to keep in mind, I believe, when we go and cast our vote, is to try and not be selfish.  To not only think about ourselves, or our pocketbooks, or our own little niche in society.  We must think of society as a whole -- our nation, and even the world community.  Once we are able to transfer our self-centeredness into a more global purpose and sense of unity, only then can we answer the questions we must ask of each candidate and decide who is truly the best for the job.  And then we should pray about it.

We are living in challenging times.  These times have been foretold by prophets of old.  It's not easy, and it's so much easier to slip into a sense of self-centeredness and try to block out everything and everyone that is around us.  But this is wrong, and we cannot allow it to happen.

I remember just after 9/11, the solidarity we felt among the American people.  I remember how strong the Spirit was for almost 6 months after that horrible day.  We were united, with one purpose and one mind, "our hearts knit together in unity", and while solemn and grieving for the great loss on that day, there was a greater peace, a stronger sense of belonging, and a desire to look outside ourselves and to help one another. Where has this solidarity gone? What has happened since then to cause such a great rift among the American people? Why is there so much meanness in politics? Why is the gap between Democrats and Republicans so great?

Because Satan knows where to get us, individually, and as a nation.  He knows exactly what he needs to do to allow that evil to fester within.  He knows that the opposite of solidarity and unity is what is needed for him to win and for his followers, including the terrorists, to win.

And unfortunately, so far they are winning.
--  

Oct 15, 2004

Political confusion!!

An interesting email I received from a friend.

I'm confused.
This was passed on to me, but I can't understand it. Maybe you can. I'm trying to get all this political stuff straightened out in my head so I'll know how to vote come November. Right now, we have one guy saying one thing. Then the other guy says something else. Who to believe. Lemme see, have I got this straight?

Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia - good..
Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq - bad...

Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good...
Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad...

Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good...
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists-
good...
Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad...

Clinton bombs Chinese embassy - good...
Bush bombs terrorist camps - bad...

Clinton commits felonies while in office - good...
Bush lands on aircraft carrier in jumpsuit - bad...

No mass graves found in Serbia - good...
No WMD found Iraq - bad...

Stock market crashes in 2000 under Clinton - good...
Economy on upswing under Bush - bad...

Clinton refuses to take custody of Bin Laden - good...
World Trade Centers fall under Bush - bad...

Clinton says Saddam has nukes - good...
Bush says Saddam has nukes - bad...

Clinton calls for regime change in Iraq - good...
Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

Terrorist training in Afghanistan under Clinton - good...
Bush destroys training camps in Afghanistan - bad...

Milosevic not yet convicted - good...
Saddam turned over for trial - bad...

Ahh, it's so confusing!

Oct 13, 2004

hmmm

Well, Sunday night, as I was relaxing at home and preparing for the week, I spoke to my mother.  Before I knew it, I was on the road on a 7 hour road trip to Alexandria, MN. I left at 2 AM and through some miracle I was able to stay awake -- I didn't even get the least bit sleepy, and I was certainly surprised -- although grateful -- that Heavenly Father answered my prayer.

My brother needed help, and I was going to help him.  Even when he called me at 5:30 am, and told me I didn't need to come, I still went.  I had to do what I set out to do.

I didn't have much chance to talk to him, but I did help him that morning, and he seemed grateful that I was there, even though he told me I didn't need to come.  After everything was taken care of, I went to spend the day with my Aunt and Uncle.  I was releived now; knowing that any bad situation had been avoided, and my brother was on his way.  I took the rest of the day to relax and talk to my Aunt Maureen and Uncle Mike.  I always love going to see them, and although that wasn't the main purpose of my visit, it helped me immensely to calm down, breathe, and rest before I had to make the 7 hour trip back to Madison.
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Well, it's October.  Autumn is finally here.  On my way home  from Minnesota yesterday I enjoyed the gorgeous colors of the trees.  Wisconsin is a wonderfully hilly state, with trees galore.  The colors were vivid and seemed to sparkle in the sunlight.  I only wish I had had  my camera! But the colors, the crisp air, the smell of apple pie baking in the oven, or the aroma of a wood fireplace burning at night -- these are the things I love so much about this season.  I love buttoning up a warm tweed jacket, slipping on my favorite boots, and feeling the cool wind reap havoc on my hair.

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Laura and I went to the orchard on Saturday, and picked apples.  There is just something about getting food right from it's source; it seems to taste all the richer and more natural.  Sure, we could have gone to the grocery store to buy a dozen apples rather than drive 30 min each way to the orchard, but what fun is that? It's the experience that truly makes it special.  That night I made Apple crisp and chimichangas for Tara, Laura and I.  It was truly a delicious meal.

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During my drive, I listened to Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card.  I had already listened to Ender's Game more than a year previous also on a trip to Minnesota.  One of the most profound things I learned from this book, and felt to be true, was the underlying theme that Card purposely put there.

It is impossible to not love someone who you do your best to understand.  Ok I'm not saying it as profoundly as Card's character, Ender, did, but one brilliant thing about Ender was that he truly loved humanity.  He spoke the deaths of people -- and many were not good people.  But because he was able to see the desires, needs, and wishes of those people, and the circumstances for why they did what they did, both good and evil, he was able to love even the seemingly vilest of them.

Ender had a talent to truly understand people.  He saw each person for who they were.  Now, in this book, Ender is not a Christian man (although ironically Orson Scott Card is a Mormon -- but he uses his gospel knowledge as the underlying theme without making his main character religious) but the way he is able to understand humanity, and other intelligent species, is as God saw them.  He was truthful in his speakings, and he would say all of it -- the good and the bad -- of one's life.  But he was able to speak with truth because he loved them.  Without excusing one's behavior, he was still able to see the very circumstances of life that drove each of these people to do or think how they did.  He was able to see the way that even the shortest of acquaintances in ones life made such a vast impact on that life.  He was able to see the way that we are all connected, and despite how much we might believe that our actions don't have that great of an impact on others, Ender knows that this is not the case at all.

There is a reason why our lives are so intertwined with one another's.  This very intertwining has caused great happiness -- and great destruction -- since the dawn of time.  But, when one is willing to truly look upon another as God sees them -- to try to understand their motives, their reasonings -- to look past the evil or corruption (that yes, we all have) and to find out their desires, their dreams, and their longings, to learn about their soul, we no longer feel that hatred or distaste.

And we know that hatred is a tool of the devil.  We also know that it stems from fear of the unknown.  When someone does something that we can't begin to fathom, we are afraid.  But if we take that time to try and understand him we will find a love that we didn't think could have ever existed.

The irony is that while Ender wasn't religious, he was closer to being like our Father in Heaven than many of the seemingly religious people upon the planet of Lucetania.  Reading about him opened something in my heart; a sense of dejá vü -- and I knew that I did understand.


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