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:)


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

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

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


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-
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


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.

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.


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.


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.


Oct 8, 2004

I'm going!!

My Auntie C is the best!!! She is buying me a ticket to Phantom for Jan 30th!! Fourth row, close to center, orchestra! I'm soooo excited; I've never been that close to anything, and everyone who knows me knows I've been wanting to see this play/opera for years.

Thank you Tia Cia for such a wonderful gift:) I'm soo looking forward to it!
Madison just got a gorgeous new theatre called the Overture Center right downtown.  Anyway, Phantom of the Opera is coming to town in January!

Oh my gosh, I have longed to see that play.  I'd still prefer to see it on Broadway, because, well, it's Broadway, but perhaps some time in the future I will be able to do that.  But I still really want to see it.  Right now, if I only had $65 per ticket, I could get tickets in the third row from the front, right there in the Orchestra!!!!

I'm going nuts, I want to go so badly! Somehow I'll find a way.  I am selling stuff on eBay, but we'll see.

Oct 5, 2004

Jessica sent me this beautiful story

I've head this story before, but it still brought tears to my eyes
and the Spirit to my heart.

This (Charity, or the pure love of Christ) is what life is truly about.
People always say how mean kids can be, never how nice they can be.

This story will either make you cry, give you cold chills or just
leave you cold, but it puts life into perspective!

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves learning-disabled
children, the father of one of the school's students delivered a
speech that would never be forgotten by all that attended.

After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a
question. "Everything God does is done with perfection. Yet, my son
Shay cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand
things as other children do.

Where is God's plan reflected in my son?" The audience was stilled
by the query. The father continued. "I believe," the father
answered, "that when God brings a child like Shay into the world,
an opportunity to realize the Divine Plan presents itself and it
comes in the way people treat that child."

Then, he told the following story:

Shay and his father had walked past a park where some boys Shay
knew were playing baseball Shay asked, "Do you think they will let
me play?" Shay's father knew that the boys would not want him on
their team. But the father understood that if his son were allowed
to play it would give him much-needed sense of belonging. Shay's
father approached one of the boys on the field and asked if Shay
could play. The boy looked around for guidance from his teammates.
Getting none, he took matters into his own hands and said, "We are
losing by six runs, and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess
he can be on our team and we'll try to put him up to bat in the
ninth inning."

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs
but was still behind by three. At the top of the ninth inning, Shay
put on a glove and played in the outfield. Although no hits came
his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be on the field,
grinning from ear to ear as his father waved to him from the
stands. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored
again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential
winning run was on base. Shay was scheduled to be the next at-bat.
Would the team actually let Shay bat at this juncture and give away
their chance to win the game? Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat.
Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't
even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the
ball. However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher moved a
few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least be able
to make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and
missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball
softly toward Shay. As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball
and hit a slow ground ball to the pitcher. The pitcher picked up
the soft grounder and could easily have thrown the ball to the
first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have ended
the game. Instead, the pitcher took the ball and threw it on a high
arc to right field, far beyond reach of the first baseman. Everyone
started yelling, "Shay, run to first, run to first" Never in his
life had Shay ever made it to first base. He scampered down the
baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, "run to second,
run to second!" By the time Shay was rounding first base, the right
fielder had the ball. He could have thrown the ball to the second
baseman for a tag. But the right fielder understood what the
pitcher's intentions had been, so he threw the ball high and far
over the third baseman's head. Shay ran towards second base as the
runners ahead of him deliriously circled the bases towards home. As
Shay reached second base, the opposing shortstop ran to him, turned
him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "run to third!" As
Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams were screaming, "Shay
Run home!" Shay ran home, stepped on home plate and was cheered as
the hero for hitting a "grand slam" and winning the game for his

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his
face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of the Divine
Plan into this world."

Oct 3, 2004

Man is not meant to be alone

This weekend was again General Conference time.  I love to listen to the prophet speak, and to hear our other Apostles, General Authorities and officers of the church speak.  It is such an amazing experience.

The talk this conference that moved me the most was President Hinckley's talk during the Sunday morning session.  I just felt such love pouring from the prophet as he spoke so tenderly about his beloved Marjorie, and of the divinity of women in general.  As he spoke about how man and woman are meant to complete each other; how one is not without the other, the truth of those words filled my heart and I felt it would burst, the spirit was so strong. Tears sprang to my eyes as I realized that my fight against needing someone is indeed in vain. I am meant to be with someone. This is all part of God's great plan for us - for me - and my desires are pure and righteous. As President Hinckley said today, "The greatest work you will do on this Earth will be in your own home." I know this to be true; and I know that this very mission is the most sacred, and most divine, that God could ask us - ask me - to fulfill.

President Hinckley reminded me again what a man is supposed to be like; and a lump formed in my throat as he declared to all of us that Marjorie was the girl of his dreams, and is again.  his love for his companion of 67 years and his tenderness for her; his deference to her and his acknowledgement of their equality really moved me.  How I long for someone to feel that way about me! He reminds me of how my uncle and aunt are with each other.  Such a loving, beautiful couple -- willing to go through anything with each other; willing to never give up; to stand equally together, to keep their covenants, to raise a righteous family...how I long for that same splendid responsibility.

I am grateful for the examples in my life of what I can prepare myself to attain someday in marriage.  I know the skills I want to possess, and many I do already, but of course not all.  That selflessness, patience, humility, endurance, unconditional love and devotion to both companion and God -- that burning desire to better each other, and to "stand in need of comfort in all times and in all places"; to accept the other for all his misgivings and failures, but to love him because of it; to encourage him to grow and mature in all manners; to help him along his spiritual path and expect the same in return -- to know that he will be there, no matter what, and to know that I will be there for him, no matter what.  To not allow fear or mistrust; silly misgivings or inconveniences destroy that beautiful, eternal relationship.  To recognize fully the gift of the Atonement, and just as Elder Packer said today, to remember to allow it to work for us, and to recognize that God only expects our best, but as he he said of Oliver Grainger, "when he falls, not if" will his sacrifice mean more than his increase.

I know that part of me is ready for that.  I know the love I have in my heart; and I know it's unconditional, despite what people might tell me.  They don't know me.  I do.  My patriarch did.  My Father in Heaven does.  I know the things I have been told in blessings -- and I know that the love I can offer my husband is truly unique and one-of-a-kind; not to be found anywhere else on this earth. And that love is meant and reserved for just one man and no other.

It's all part of that great and noble plan.  It's part of my own plan and the plan of my future family.  I have been blessed to gain a knowledge about this, and I know, as I have been promised, that my family will be full of these great qualities that I see embodied in the Prophet as he speaks so tenderly of the girl of his dreams; in the eyes of my Uncle as he looks adoringly at his wife of almost 50 years;  and in the heart of a young girl who someday will be the wife and mother that her Heavenly Father has commissioned her to be.
"All learning is remembering." - Socrates

Oct 1, 2004

Clumsy me

HAHA, well just before I left for work this morning I ended up spilling almost an entire bottle of very expensive and rare  "Dans La Nuit" perfume by Worth. It spilled all over my purse, me, and my dresser. Ok, so the bottles are tiny and I have three more of them, but I wanted that stuff to last me a long, long time.

Needless to say, I smell quite purtyful this morning, although I'm sure my colleagues at work won't want to get too close to me. But smelling this perfume all the way to work brought back memories. Memories of the Champs-Ellysees where I first found this perfume in Paris, back in 1992. It also, for some reason, brought back other memories of more recent times. Maybe it's the way it smells, along with the crispness in the air, the changing color of the leaves, and the sense if finality of Autumn that reminded me of things that I have longed for and yearn for. I'm not sure.

What I do know is that I've been having nightmares about my birthday. I really am not looking forward to it. In 2 and a half months I will be 29. It's not the usual reason I am not looking forward to it, though. The age doesn't matter to me at this point. It's the fact that last year, my birthday was the sweetest, greatest birthday I've ever had. Heavenly Father had given me the greatest gift I could have ever hoped for. I remember pinching myself several times, just to make sure it was true -- that it had indeed happened.

Maybe I should have continued pinching myself all the way through February. I don't know, but the nausea that sweeps over me every time I think about this looming birthday just makes me sick inside. How will I ever be able to enjoy another birthday again? The man I love gave me up. Whether his reasons were noble or not aren't the point here. I know what my Father in Heaven told me that day. I know that I didn't really want to hear it, either, because I was so scared and didn't want to let go of what I had grown accustomed to. But the sweet peace and the utter joy that I felt after I was given an answer to a prayer I didn't even really ask -- well it was inexplicable, and I can't even begin to describe it.

And now I'm faced with the exact opposite emotion to that. I've been pretty strong up to this point, and I have been able to quelch it. But I know how I get on my birthdays as it is; and this year is going to be an absolute emotional nightmare.

I will keep praying for peace, though. Somehow I will make it through that day. But it's also the entire season. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I love December (except for how much it drains my pocketbook). It was absolutely exquisite last year. What will I do this year? How will I find the strength to overcome the nausea and the fear and the loneiness?

Well, I know what I am made of. And I know I'm a child of God. I have to trust Him, that everything will be ok. Somehow.