Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving for real

Courtesy of Relevant Magazine:

Thanksgiving is upon us once again. The time of year when we get together with family and friends, eat ourselves into a mild coma and fall asleep on the couch watching plasticine announcers make asinine comments about enormous cartoon-character balloons, or look on in horror as John Madden greedily devours this year’s turducken. Without a doubt, it is the pinnacle of the American experience. Certainly, though, the time-honored holiday has to signify more than an excuse to gorge ourselves on pies and various starches. After the hectic madness of each year, and before the brutal onslaught of the Christmas rush, Thanksgiving at least offers us the opportunity to sit back and consider the things in our lives for which we have to be grateful.

But thankfulness isn’t easy for a lot of us these days. With the economy spiraling out of control, many people are more worried about their jobs and houses than finding the perfect place-setting for their family gathering. Some of us have had a downright horrible year. Thankfulness can be a very difficult attitude when we’ve faced a lot of life’s trials. Health issues, relationship troubles, family dramas—all of these things can make it hard to put ourselves in a very thankful mood, and Thanksgiving day becomes nothing more than another salute to gastronomical excess. The very moniker of the holiday is ignored.

Sometimes, in the midst of a complicated world, we can be tempted to cast a wistful eye to the origins of the holiday. Modern society seems so much more complicated than the idyllic days of the first Thanksgiving. The celebrants of the first Thanksgiving had none of the woes forced upon us by industrialization and the information age. Their woes were, of course, far worse. Though there is dispute about where the first Thanksgiving was celebrated (most scholars say it was St. Augustine, Fla., in 1565 rather than Plymouth, Mass., in 1621) one thing is certain: Disease, hunger and a grueling physical environment were all realities in the days of the first Thanksgiving celebrations. They gave thanks in the midst of circumstances it is hard for us to imagine in modern day America. Fully half of the settlers in Plymouth died the first winter. Governor William Bradford’s young wife died before the ship even landed, by falling overboard. We give thanks because we got our turkey on special at Safeway, and Uncle Carl miraculously didn’t embarrass us this year. They gave thanks for not dying in the previous calendar year. Pretty heavy stuff.

It puts a lot of things in perspective to think of those few, first brave pioneers from Europe. While their motives and methods of colonizing North America are often questionable in the light of history, their courage and fortitude are not. Certainly, they knew hardships few of us could comprehend. Yet, in the midst of it all, they set aside time to honor and thank God for His provision.

It is hard to give thanks to God when we don’t see His goodness. Sometimes the providence of the Almighty seems much more an abstract concept than a reality. Yet, thankfulness should be a part of the very fabric of our beings, in spite of circumstance. The apostle Paul was an absolute model of this attitude. Few people had the laundry list of grievances that Paul did: shipwrecked, stoned, beaten, imprisoned. Yet his attitude throughout his writings is one of constant thanksgiving, even while in chains. He tells the church at Thessalonica:

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Thankfulness in all circumstances is not intended to massage God’s ego. Rather, thankfulness is an attitude that ultimately benefits us. When we give thanks to God in the midst of hardships, we are reminded of certain incontrovertible truths: God is good, God is gracious and God has our best interests at heart. By keeping these truths in mind, our faith becomes stronger. We begin to have the resolve to trust God, and the outgrowth of that is a new sense of peace when trouble arrives. Moreover, it’s a tremendous example to the rest of the world. To give thanks and praise to God when things are going tremendously well in our lives doesn’t prove a lot to people outside the community of faith. But to show that same thankfulness when our world is falling apart, that’s an attitude that speaks multiplied volumes.

Thanksgiving should not be limited to one day a year, but let’s start there. Let’s resolve to spend this holiday in a true condition of thankfulness. Perhaps this year hasn’t lived up to your expectations. Perhaps it’s been your worst year. Maybe Thanksgiving is actually going to be a tremendously lonely time for you. In spite of all this, give thanks. Thank God for the fact that He gave you life, and that He intends to give it to you more abundantly. That may not always resemble what we have in mind, but it will always be what’s best.

Author: Fred Burrows

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Please ... Save The Loop!

Down by my family home is a stretch of land affectionately named "the loop". Developers have come in many many many times and tried to buy up the land to build houses or strip malls or something whereby destroying the Florida's natural beauty. Taking a drive through this stretch of road takes you back to a simpler time. It is unspoiled natural wild beautiful Florida.
Now ... I am a conservative by nature and although some would see that as a "highest bidder" mentality ... I beg to differ. Teddy Roosevelt was a great conservative and a great conservationist. I feel that although progress is a wonderful thing ... there are some things that should be preserved. The loop is one of those things (read this article).
Around Volusia and Flagler Counties you will see signs that say "save the loop" ... please, not only check out the links and pictures I've provided but, take a drive and see for yourself.

Flagler Beach and Hammock Beach

Flagler Beach

Hammock Beach looking toward ocean across golf course

the sun as seen through my sunglasses

cool palm tree

my shadow

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

afternoon thoughts ... and opinions please ...

Hey y'all ... I know I've been slacking lately with the postings of articles I've enjoyed instead of actually writing something myself ... sorry. Please forgive me. Okay, thanks.

Moving on. I have a dilemma. I have a man in my life who likes me but obviously not enough to step up to the plate. He keeps saying things that lead me to believe he's interested but he never actually makes a move. Once every few months it seems ... if timing is right ... he'll take me on a date and we'll talk and things will be good. Then I'll go home (and not sleep with him because I'm trying to be a good girl here) and I will talk to him again for another day or so ... and then not again for sometimes a few weeks to a month or more. In between I've had three separate relationships. I mean, come on. He's currently working on his MBA and is busy with his job, etc. but I feel like if he really wanted to secure me he would have done so by now. So, I'm feeling like a back up plan. I confronted him about it last night. Saying that obviously he's not interested because he's lacking romantic gestures, etc. and he gave me a song and dance about what's really important in a relationship and how he's busy yada yada yada.

So, my question is: Do I just not answer his calls anymore and cut him out of my life? I mean, should I make it very clear that we are just to remain friends? Or should I give him some sort of ultimatum about this situation we've got going? I mean, I have a soft spot for him and would like to possibly give the relationship a chance but if he's too busy then obviously I need to really look elsewhere. So, please, give me your opinions. Thanks y'all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Compassion International

I had to remove the widget that was posted on this page as it is no longer displaying the picture correctly. I want to write about Compassion International as it is near and dear to my heart but I do not have the time to devote to this subject at this very moment. I promise you will read all about it in an upcoming post.

Sinners in the hands of a gracious God

Courtesy of Relevant Magazine:

The Westboro Baptist Church announced last week that they would picket the funeral of President-elect Barack Obama’s grandmother. A solemn family memorial for a woman who will never get to see her grandson sworn in as the nation’s president will be beset by people waving angry and vulgar signs, spewing hate.

Sadly, the placard-waving street preacher is not an uncommon sight in America. They stand on corners, yelling at wide-eyed and innocent girls for being tawdry Jezebels. Shouting through bullhorns and brandishing angry and esoteric signs, they paint a grim picture of hell as the destination of everyone who happens to pass by.

Theirs is a brutal and atavistic god. A dark, old-world titan of blood and fire. It is a pagan deity born from the smallness of man. Such a god has its genesis in our own insecurities. Our own pride and hesitancy to accept unmitigated grace, believing on some level that there must be some Puritanical way we can earn it. This god doesn’t know grace. It demands perfection, knowing full well it will never get it—because that’s the game. It doesn’t want perfection. It wants to laugh at failure and then grind the accused to a paste between its stone molars.

Very few Christians identify with this kind of gospel, and most of us have a visceral reaction when we see the street-corner shouter, condemning strangers to hell. It seems more bad news than good. I often wonder, though, if on some bent level we can learn something from this. Surely, this message sacrifices the true message of the cross to revel in judgment. But how often do we try to be the counterpoint to that grotesque display, only to end up sacrificing the forth-telling of the Gospel at all? And how often do we cling to grace as a cheap catch-all to validate our own broken behavior?

One thing is certain: God’s grace is limitless. He loves us through our faults, forgives us any sin and never desires to see us cut off from His Kingdom. However, at what point do we use this to justify sin? When do we decide we will no longer languish in the same pitfalls over and over, and get down to the hard work of being more like Jesus?

The natural reaction would be to assume that we should tone down our rhetoric on grace and throw in some good, old-fashioned Jonathan Edwards brimstone. I think if anything, it’s not that we emphasize grace too much, it’s that we don’t take it seriously enough. You see, grace of this magnitude should inevitably motivate us toward the one who issues it. Not in the sense that we believe we can somehow pay God back for what He’s done. That’s impossible. Infinite grace can’t be repaid. Rather, we should be compelled to be molded into Christ’s image because grace is so beautiful as to lure us toward its author. It just so happens that, as we chase after this desire, it makes us more like God and less given to filling our lives with garbage. Grace is so stunningly gorgeous that the delights the world has to offer seem ugly and trivial by comparison. If people really understood the lavish depths of grace, the true breadth of God’s love for us, all the sinful acts the sign-wavers condemn would begin to lose their appeal.

This is why the street preachers rarely succeed in truly drawing people to Christ. At best, they make people over in their own perverted image. I once heard an evangelist defend hate-filled condemnation by saying that people don’t understand they need a savior until they understand the depth of their sin. I couldn’t disagree more. Perhaps some people do come to God as a result of recognizing their own depravity. But I tend to think that the beauty of God’s grace can draw people in of its own accord.

Certainly, rebuke has its place. After all, we see Paul engage in it a number of times. But that rebuke is, first of all, always born of prior relationship. Paul didn’t shout judgment upon people who had the unhappy coincidence of wandering by. He formed a deep, loving relationship with the churches he admonished. Secondly, true rebuke is not a slap in the face for screwing up. It’s a reminder that people have sacrificed something of greater fulfillment for something of paltry value. It points people back to grace and helps them recall how extravagantly good it is compared to the pursuits of the flesh. The crazy thing is this: The pursuits of the flesh also include trying to pridefully repay God for our own salvation.

I recall hearing a pastor say once, “If Paul could see the Church today, he wouldn’t even think we were Christians.” In the context of the message, he was insinuating that we had become too worldly to qualify for the term. I agree with the statement, but for entirely different reasons. I wonder sometimes if Paul would scratch his head in bewilderment at much of the modern Church, and then speak lovingly to us, saying:

“You foolish Galatians! Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?” (Galatians 3:1, 3)

Our human effort always comes up short. When we view grace cheaply, it leads to our desires being drawn away to ultimately unfulfilling pursuits. It leads to arrogantly assuming we can accomplish holiness through our own strength, and we find ourselves repeatedly falling short.
And, if we’re not careful, it leads to waving signs and shouting at people.

Author: Adam Smith

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

another great article ...

America Chooses Obama

Well, here we are on the other side. A watershed moment. An historic election. And we, the American people, have made our choice.

Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States, and the nation’s first black president. And in elections across the country, Democrats won their seats in the Senate. When Obama takes office in January, he will do so with a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

“The American people have spoken, and spoken clearly,” McCain told his supporters in Arizona after the results came in.But what about you? Those of you who took our RELEVANT poll yesterday favored McCain: 47 percent of you voted for the Arizona Senator and 33 percent of you for Obama. So, are you disappointed? Will you hang your heads today? Do you fear for our nation’s future? I’m not so sure.

So many of us—members of the widely contested “young evangelical voters”—were divided about this election. Not just as a group, but even in our own hearts. I know which candidate I chose, but it wasn’t an easy decision. And, to be honest, I didn’t really care who won. I agreed with both. I disagreed with both.

What I’m wondering now is where do we go from here?

While the electoral vote and popular vote strongly favored Obama, our country is still largely divided. This was a hard-fought, personal and passionate race. There are wounds on both sides. Can Obama and the Democratic congress heal those wounds? Can we help?

Yes and yes.

Obama ran as a unifier. He condemned our party divisions and championed cooperation across party lines. Many of the Democrats who won seats in the Senate ran with similar platforms. If Obama and the Congress majority maintain that position and “reach across the aisle” in the years to come, that will certainly go a long way in healing our wounds and unifying our country. Karl Rove has already expressed his own wish that the Republicans would do the same, "I hope we will support [Obama] when we agree with him, persuade him when we think his mind is open, and oppose him when we think he is wrong."

Whether unity happens in Washington or not, the question still returns to us: what can we do to help? As Francis Schaeffer so famously put it, “How shall we then live?” Now that the election is over and Obama and the Democrats have so clearly won, how shall we then live? I believe that we, the young Christian voters, can uniquely answer this question. I believe, in fact, that this is the very question we are so primed to answer. Because this election and its profound life issues has galvanized us to true action.

Yes, we voted. But it’s more than that. Through this election, we’ve become aware of the major social issues of our day. And now we want to do something about them. We recognize an election will not change everything. We do not rest our hopes for change on a political party or candidate. We vote, we hope, but we don’t stop there. Tomorrow and the next day and the next and in January when Obama takes office, we get up and we continue our sojourn to follow Jesus. We live our votes for life, for justice, for peace, for equality.

We comfort our friend who tells us she’s considering abortion. Then we gently tell her why we believe life in the womb is precious. We help her find alternative options … and we stick by her side all through the pregnancy and birth and after. She is not a statistic or a faceless evil to us.

We love beyond racial, gender and sexual lines. We reject stereotypes. We embrace individuals. We work for reconciliation.We do not talk about “that side of town,” we live there and work there and mentor there. We are a part of educational reform, and ESL, and rehabilitation.

We recycle. We reduce our imprint. We consciously make our purchases, recognizing the global implications. We strive to “live simply that others may simply live” (Ghandi).

We personally pray for our soldiers in Iraq, for the citizens of Iraq, for our leaders who are making tough decisions that affect millions of lives. We really do pray, and we believe our prayers matter.

We continue to work hard in the jobs God has given us, saving our money and stewarding our resources. We tithe. We donate. We volunteer.

We continually challenge each other to deepen our understanding of whole life ethics and Jesus’ call to follow Him.

I believe this is who we are. I believe this is who you are. I believe we can be the change we’ve voted for—no matter who we voted for.

Posted by: Roxanne Wieman

Courtesy of the Waendel Journal ...

This article summarizes my feelings rather well. I have referenced Tony in a previous post and if you haven't checked out his blog, please do. I highly recommend reading what he has to say. Whether or not you agree with him, he is quite intelligent and well written. ~Caron

Obama victory signals the Age of Virtue

Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama. So many had barely dared to believe this would come to pass. But it has and the winner of the election is not just the man who will occupy the White House from mid January. No, for the real winner is the politics of virtue over the politics of substance, because many of the people who voted for Barack Obama did so not because of policy or ideology but because of symbolism. Oprah Winfrey was quite candid about this when she said after the result was announced that:

"For every time that Barack has spoken about Red states and Blue states we have all understood that he meant black people and white people and red people and yellow people and the United States of America. I think for the first time we are going to experience that in a way that we could only have hoped for."

It underlined that race was the central theme of this election. Yes, this was the choice of the American people and it was their sole right to make that choice, but that does not make the rationale for that choice satisfactory. But before I explain my concerns I want to note that whether or not the reasons for Obama's success are satisfactory, his victory is historic, is understandable and it changes the status quo in American society.

Such is the terrible history of racial discrimination and segregation the United States, people felt the need to make a statement, to do something symbolic to demonstrate beyond doubt that a black person is an equal member of society and can rise without barrier to the top job in the nation. Because of this Obama's election was an end in itself with race as a major determining factor.

For many white people Obama's success allows them purge the collective guilt that has been heaped upon them for decades, for the racially driven crimes of the past. For many black people the victory is akin to compensation for the awful suffering of years gone by and something many believe validates them as equals, boosting their self respect and self confidence.

These should have been just happy by-products of an Obama victory, but sadly too many people have made these the primary drivers of the victory. Because of this there has been a disturbing lack of scrutiny of the Democrat agenda. It seems that only when the euphoria of this election night has subsided will people start to critically examine what Obama stands for and what he wants to do. Everyone is familiar with Obama's promise of 'change' but no one can be sure what that will look like or what effects this 'change' will have on people's lives, prosperity and prospects.

It is the latest shining example of the politics of virtue replacing the politics of substance. It confirms that the democratic world has moved into an Age of Virtue. While virtue is not a bad quality to possess, it should never be a substitute or replacement for substance and evidence based decision making and leadership. Too many politicians now clamour to be seen as more virtuous than their opponents.

The most clear and disturbing example of this is the man made global warming frenzy and the war on carbon dioxide. Despite there being only hypotheses and models and projections - all of which have completely failed to accurately predict the current absence of global warming and the attendant drop in global mean temperatures - it is seen as the virtuous thing to do mandate changes that will dramatically reduce the energy that can be generated at a massive economic cost which is being passed on to people who can least afford to pay the price. Obama embodies this orthodoxy and buys into it despite there being no scientific proof that what we are experiencing is anything other than a natural variation. The consensus against the orthodoxy is growing, but it is not considered virtuous to arrest the runaway hype and make decisions based on hard evidence.

Another example of virtue trumping sound decision making is in the field of international relations. There remains a body of people who still believe in trying to negotiate a settlement with those whose stated aim is the destruction of democracy, through violence if necessary and its replacement with a theocratic form of governance. The demands to withdraw western troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, thus making it possible for Islamists to flourish and supplant the weak governments that exist, will not be their final demands. Further demands will follow. Pressure will be maintained over the course of decades as each negotiation ends and new demands are made.

Talk can only achieve so much. It is not true that every difference can be resolved through negotiation. The worst thing that could happen is that the west - taking its lead from an Obama-led America - blinks and demonstrates weakness in the face of pressure. Obama has set an expectation of a weaker approach by America where appeasement is more rather than less likely. Where strength is resented yet respected by our enemies, weakness borne of a desire to be virtuous will be welcomed and accompanied by contempt. All that realists can hope for is that Obama comes to understand the dangers that will be associated with his 'lets all be friends' position and performs one of his regular U-turns. For the sake of America and the west I hope the U-turns come thick and fast as this inexperienced man is counselled that his current path is the route to failure.

Posted by Tony Sharp

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

last word on voting ...

Courtesy of Relevant Magazine:

Politics is a sticky business. Every four years, the American public is given rhetoric from both sides of the spectrum, each painting an idealistic view of a hopeful future, an America that represents the light of the world. Each party claims their platform has a monopoly on attaining this goal. Tomorrow’s presidential election, in particular, has deeply divided Americans.

It’s not just the candidates that give Christians pause. Indeed, the entire political process has become so polarized and vitriolic that some have begun to question its very foundation. Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw, authors of Jesus for President, were so disturbed by the way they saw Christians drawing political battle lines that they embarked on a cross-country tour to tell people about a different vision for political engagement."

It started around the last election,” Claiborne says. “To vote or not to vote—that was the question. How do we engage the political conversation? We wanted to think deeply and theologically about it as Christians—how to engage or disengage, or appropriately engage. There was an inherent—and I think, healthy—suspicion about putting all of our hope in one day, or one vote, or one candidate or party.”

The very nature of the campaign process, Haw believes, should give Christians pause. “The current state of voting involves a very serious hurdle that Christians must see as a red flag, which is the whole question of coercion,” he says. “You have this idea of a tug of war going on publicly. It appears very hard for me as a Christian, with the precepts of Jesus and the way He views His enemies and friends, to jump in on one side of the tug of war and then be happy if you’ve pulled your tug of war in one direction and say, ‘We’re glad we beat you other guys.’”

Claiborne and Haw are very clear that they would not unequivocally encourage Christians to abstain from voting, merely to prayerfully consider the best course of action for them and to follow their conviction. “We’re very careful not to say, ‘Don’t vote,’” Claiborne says. “Think very critically. Pray. Study Scripture. Whatever you do, do it with fear and trembling, with our neighbors in mind, with the poor in mind, with kids in Iraq in mind.”

Claiborne feels that Christians who do choose to vote can embody the ideals of both parties. “One of the things I love about Jesus is that He’s never telling people exactly what to do—or if He does, it’s different for two different people,” he says. “There are a lot of different ways people are going to respond. I think one of the mistakes the Religious Right made was telling people exactly what to do.”

Ultimately, how can we chart a new course? How can we see society transformed when we have to be wary of involvement in the system? Claiborne and Haw believe that the importance lies in keeping our perspective. “There are a lot of models in Scripture,” Claiborne says. “There are prophets who are on the margins. There are prophets in the royal court. One of the tricky things is to maintain the peculiarity and the distinctiveness of being a Christian.”

This peculiarity can indeed be difficult to maintain when we thrust ourselves into being active participants in a two-party system, when neither party fully upholds the ethics of Christ. However, Claiborne believes Christians can work within the system as long as they remain unwilling to sacrifice certain principles.“

For those of us working legislatively, we can’t compromise on things like, ‘We’re going to beat our swords into plowshares,’” he says. “That’s what we’re called to, and to bless the poor and meek. If we don’t hear any of these parties saying something that embodies that, then we don’t put our hand in with it. There are a number of ways you can call that. You can work for the Kingdom of God and align yourself with whatever seems to move us closer to that. It’s possible to say we’re also going to interrupt with grace and humility whatever seems to be standing in the way of the reign of God.”

Part of that perspective is not canonizing one candidate while vilifying the other. “You can quote both Republicans and Democrats who have had that triumphalism and messiah complex,” Claiborne says. “We’re ultimately not thinking that this person is our savior or the source of real change for the world.”

In fact, much of Claiborne and Haw’s mission has been to deflate the idea that one candidate or party symbolizes hope for society. What people do with that message, Claiborne believes, is up to them and their convictions. “We’re inviting people to think,” he says. “Some folks go out and organize for one of the candidates. Others say, ‘We’re going to write in Jesus.’ Ultimately, [we hope] whatever they do is seeking first the Kingdom of God and embodying their politics with their lives rather than just trusting in a single candidate or a single politician to change the world for them. We vote every day with our lives. We vote every day with our feet, our hands, our lips and our wallets. Ultimate change does not just happen one day every four years.”

Author: Adam Smith

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Yesterday I had the pleasure of participating in early voting. I went down to my local library during the Florida/Georgia game hoping that I'd be the only one there and everyone else would be off drinking themselves silly while watching the game. I pull into the parking lot and am immediately astounded by how many cars are parked in the lot. There are so many vehicles that about 1/8 are parked on curbs illegally. As luck would have it, a car was backing out of a space as I am pulling in. Praise God I didn't have to be wracked with guilt over parking illegally (I really have a hard time doing that sort of thing ... one of my many idiosyncrasies). I walk in through the doors and am stopped by a coworker ... we exchange pleasantries and I ask how long he waited. "Over an hour," he said. "What!?! Really? Oh goodness! Well, I better get in line," I said. And off I went.

I literally walked all the way to the very back of the library to join the line and while I was walking I was stopped by another coworker ... "Can you believe the turnout? And during FL/GA nonetheless!" I commented. She said, "The line moves fast." I felt encouraged and dutifully took my place in line. She wasn't kidding ... Only about 40 minutes had passed when I finally reached the doors to the conference room. We were stopped by an official at the front who tells us which line to get in at the first stop in the room. As I enter line 1 I am greeted by an elderly lady with Gators gear on ... GO GATORS! She asks me for my identification (no need for an actual voter registration card which is a little worrisome but with the electronic database she's searching, etc. I am actually feeling more confident in the changes than in the old way). She takes my driver's license and asks me to confirm my address, etc. and I sign on an electronic screen. She gives me a printout in the form of a receipt of sorts and tells me I must go to another line to turn in my receipt.

Once I have handed over my receipt to the lady in the separate group of lines she tells me to have a seat in the waiting area. I immediately notice a few others before me in the original line who are now seated and waiting their turn however I am immediately called up front. I am hoping that there isn't something wrong but she hands me the ballot and off I go. I am wondering at this point why mine was ready before some others who were waiting longer but I walk over and find an empty voting booth and get down to business. I am through the presidential and congressional voting and on to the judges, etc when I hear some girl in the next row say, "All I wanted to do was vote for Obama. Now they makin' me answer all this other shit." I am immediately saddened by the state of America but keep to the task at hand with the hope that at least my vote cancels hers. Who knows what she actually answered for the rest of the questions.

It is crazy just how democratic our voting system is and will remain. Though the general populous doesn't actually take turns sitting in congress, etc. (as did the ancient Greeks) we allow every eligible person the right to vote for their choice of representative - no matter their qualifications to make that decision. The results will be determined on November 4th, a day after my mom and dad's anniversary. I know that right now, statistically, my candidate is not likely to win the presidential election however, I will continue to hold out hope. I know that no matter the outcome ... this will be a year to change history. We will either have our first Mixed-Race President or our first Female Vice President. These next few years we will tackle the issue of health care and determine just who it is that becomes more burdened with taxes. I know that unfortunately the person who robs Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul (George Bernard Shaw).

It is sad that we cannot get back to basics ... a 10% flat tax with no loopholes and a mandate for big business and health insurance companies to become more responsible to the people. I look at a company like Starbucks and how they manage to make a profit and yet still provide health insurance for most of their employees. Could we not tell WalMart that if they don't adopt this practice (as we see it is quite possible) that we will make their lives miserable with penalties? Maybe I am naive. I know for certain that I cannot begin to fathom all the inner workings of the tax code or how to even begin specifics on health care. However I know that something has got to change ... on both sides of the aisle.

Anyway, that's enough ranting for today ... it's time for lunch. ;-)