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Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year

Hey Crew,
  First of all, I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone.  Have fun but be safe and be careful out there!
  2011 has been quite an eventful year.  From the shooting in January of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to most recently the death of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-Il, and in between the deadly tornadoes in Alabama and closer to home for me, in Joplin and right here in St. Louis on Good Friday. Of course, what Gateway Blogger worth their salt would not mention the best part of this year - our 11 time World Champion St. Louis Cardinals!
  I know it is usually customary at this point for the author to come up with some sort of profound and/or pithy thought or speech for the coming year.  I got nothin'.
  What I will say is this.  I am very optimistic about 2012.  I think it is pretty safe to say that the one thing that will consume our attention will be the Presidential election.  It will be a bloody race, the likes of which I don't think anyone has ever seen before.  But I have to believe that the American people, at least enough of them will realize what a pivotal time in our history this is. 
  I am like a million other people.  I plan to start working out - more exercise, less cookies, be more organized, you know, all of those New Year's resolutions we all try to keep. Some we do, some, not so much.
  So, as 2011 slips away, I will say to all of you, 2012 is going to be awesome! See you next year, and be prepared for one wild ride!      

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas and Other Evil Thoughts

Hey Gang,
  First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you guys. Thanks for reading all year long. You guys are the best!
  Now, I feel like I need to combine a few things. A "two-fer", if you will. It's that time of year again. When Atheists get their panties all in a bunch over nativity scenes, Mayors of small towns think they can get away with putting up "Holiday" trees in the town square, and the local high school band gets ready to put on their annual "Winter" concert.
  But this year, there is a cherry on the cake of all of this madness. Tim Tebow.  I realize that the last person Tim or anyone else expects to defend him is a Wiccan. But that is exactly what I want to do.
  What is the big deal?! I don't understand.  Why do people seem to be so offended by Christianity?  America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles.  It is what makes the system imperfect at times, it is what makes the system work all the time.
  I don't have a problem with Tim Tebow praying after a win.  I don't have a problem with my neighbor's nativity scene.  I am a person who is secure enough in my faith and my beliefs that I don't feel the need to get outraged when someone else expresses theirs.  Is it that we have become such an "anything goes" society that we see it somehow as someone trying to say they are better than us if they openly try to live their faith?  If that is the case, then at the risk of getting really deep, do all of us need to look inward and honestly examine what it is about Tim Tebow getting down on one knee to pray after a victory or people saying "Merry Christmas" that automatically puts us on the defensive, makes us uncomfortable, and leads us right into "offended"?
  As someone who rarely gets their holidays recognized, with the possible exception of Halloween, you might think I have a big problem with all of this Christianity going on around me.  But in the grand scheme of what is going on in the world around us, it seems pretty minor.  So if it is not offending any of my Pagan or Wiccan brethren, I am going to eat Christmas cookies, listen to my "A Charlie Brown Christmas" CD, and look at my beautiful Christmas tree.  Then I will go to work and listen to my co-worker's Christmas music.
And oh, one more thing...Happy Winter Solstice!    

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Destruction of Herman Cain (or fill in the blank with any other Black Conservative)

Hey Everyone,
  Hope everyone is having a great holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate.
    Liberals are a curious lot.  They love to ramble on about how "tolerant" they are.  But if you belong to a certain voting bloc, be it women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Gays and Lesbians, you get the idea. If you DARE to use the brain in your head and have the audacity to think for yourself, come to your own conclusions, and the unpardonable sin of coming from humble beginnings, get an education, perhaps do a stint in the military, work your way up the ladder of your chosen profession, but do not see yourself as a victim, and take no help from any government program, such as, oh I don't know, Affirmative Action, and along the way become, dare I say it, Conservative, God or any other deity help you if you decide to run for President.
  In the words of the great Rush Limbaugh, Liberals will always tell you who they are afraid of.
  Wow. Are they EVER scared right out of their Birkenstock's of Herman Cain! The last month or so has been solely dedicated to his demise politically and his reputation and good name personally.
  First, they tried the never-ending parade of women who claimed to have been groped, fondled,or in any way felt-up by Cain. When he did not seem to be going away quietly, out trotted Ginger White.  White claims to have had a 13-year long affair with Cain.  What do ya' know, this one actually worked!
  Recent polling data has shown that in President Obama's most solid voting blocs, except for Blacks, all of his numbers are sliding.  But let's be brutally honest here. What we are really talking about is the Black vote.  For Democrats, a Black Conservative Republican nominee is like NASCAR fans for Michelle Obama. They know he cannot run on his abysmal record, so as soon as Herman Cain looked like he might actually have some traction, out came the big guns.
  I would never presume to know the feelings of African-Americans, even Conservative ones.  But how can it not be the ultimate insult to tell an entire group of people, "if you dare to think in a way other than that which we and the 'leaders' we have hood-winked and put in front of you have tried to brainwash and scare you into thinking, and THEN, go out and proclaim it to the rest of the world in a vehicle like a Presidential campaign ?! We will make an example of you and destroy you."
 This is what has happened to Herman Cain.
  Let that be a lesson to the next Herman Cain.         

Monday, October 31, 2011

Setting The Record Straight

Hey Gang,
  A Happy and safe Halloween to all!  I thought I had done this last year, but looking back in the vast "Conservative Cauldron" archives (snicker snicker!), it appears I have not.  So here goes.
  For Wiccans, Halloween is Christmas. Our highest of holy days, or sabbats. Halloween is an ancient Celtic holiday called Samhain (pronounced sow-en). It is the third of three harvest festivals  on the Pagan calendar. I could go on with a lot of history about now, but that's not why we are here. I realize I am up against about three hundred years of history and bad publicity, but I would like to explain what Halloween REALLY is.
  In addition to being a harvest festival, it is also the day in which we remember and honor our ancestors, our loved ones who have gone on to the other world.  It is also the day that we believe that the veil between this world and the otherworld is the thinnest. Also, on this day, we might engage in some form of divination. Tarot cards, runes, or perhaps and old-fashioned form of apple divination.
  It is also usually this time of year that the media likes to trot out the resident Witch, perhaps directly from "Witch Central", Salem Massachusetts, wearing flowing black robes and way too much eyeliner. And let's not forget the over-the-top fundamentalist Christian Pastor, who is convinced that Halloween is nothing more than an evil Pagan holiday only celebrated to corrupt and persuade "good Christians" over to the "dark side".
  At the risk of being repetitious, but with the hope that I have new readers all the time, part of my job here is to educate.  There is no hidden recruiting agenda.  Wiccans come from every walk of life.  We just want to practice our faith like everyone else.  We like the fun part of our holiday, but there is also a solemn meaning to it as well.  So when I am done with my ritual, I will be hungry for black and orange M&M's.     

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Who Will Protest For Me?

Hey Gang,
  The "Occupy Wall Street" protesters are a curious bunch. None of them appear to be employed, yet as they sit in the plaza, they are speaking on cell phones, surfing the Internet on laptop computers and Ipads.  There has recently been a "charging station" set up for these devices that come from evil corporations like Apple, Sony, etc....huh??  As their occupation goes on...and on, as far as I can tell, they have a problem with the very free market that make all of their techno-toys available.
  The list of their demands in it's rambling entirety stuff, and lots of it! Free health care, free education, free housing, a minimum wage of twenty dollars an hour.  Wait a minute, if you want it all to be free, why do you need a minimum wage?  Silly Capitalist asking silly questions!
  Well, I have a few more silly questions, and I am pretty sure I am not alone.  I think I am fairly normal, give or take a few spells and Full Moon rituals here and there.  I am up around 5am during the week. I work 40 hours a week.  Sure, getting up when it is still dark sucks, as does the work part.  I would much rather be writing blogs.  My question is, why can't these people do what I and millions of other Americans do every day? Why do you think you are entitled to live on my dime? Why can't I just live off your dime?  And as long as you are protesting "Wall Street" and "corporate" corruption,  why not protest the fact that you are having food and clothing donated to you by the likes of unions and the American Workers Party, an offshoot of the American Communist Party? All the while, attempting to bill this as entirely spontaneous?
  You know, I get it.  I want to protest too.  I want to protest these people who think I should work to support them, think that I have no problem with them trashing public areas which will inevitably cost my tax dollars to clean up, and basically disrupting the lives of hard-working Americans who have worked to earn their success.
  But I have to go to work.
  What a concept. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Religious Freedom Not Just For Americans

Hey Everybody,
   Well, this might be a little off the beaten path, but variety is the spice of life right?  As Americans, we treat the Bill of Rights with the utmost reverence and seriousness.  We believe that the rights enumerated in this most precious document came not from any man-made government, but our Creator. Therefore, no form of government can take them away.  So when someone else's rights are threatened, we take it to heart.
  Pastor Youcef Naderkhani is a 32-year old Iranian.  Born a Muslim, he converted to Christianity at the age of 19.  He is married with two young boys.  He is also fighting for his life.  In Iran, like most Muslim countries, conversion from Islam to any other faith, especially Christianity or Judaism is called the sin of apostasy, and the punishment for this is death.  Pastor Youcef has been given three chances to renounce his faith and has refused.  Because the Iranian "justice" system is not like ours, his execution by hanging can take place at any time, even as his appeal is being heard.
  This is wrong on a basic human level.  But why, you ask, is a Wiccan compelled enough by this story to write about it?  There was a time in world history, and in particular, American history, when people, mainly women, were put to death for being Witches.  They were executed for what people thought they were practicing, not observances of moon phases, working healing and positive magick, and reverence for the Goddess and her planet.  Even today, people are killed for being "witches" all over the world.  In many areas still, if the crops fail, or the livestock is diseased and die, the locals will point and say, "witch!"
  Human Beings have held differing beliefs and faiths since time began.  It will always be.  Religious persecution is wrong no matter who it is directed at. And it must not be tolerated anywhere.  All freedom-loving people of the world must keep pressure on the Iranian government to make sure that this blatant violation of human rights does not happen.
  I can only hope that the courage and steadfastness of heart, mind, and spirit exhibited by Pastor Youcef can be an inspiration to us all.       

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pausing To Remember

Hey Everyone,
  Wow.  Ten years ago today, the World Trade Center Towers were brought down in an evil, cowardly act of, not only terrorism but an act of war.  As we stop to remember all of the friends, neighbors, and loved ones who were murdered on that day (let's call it what it is), we all think about where we were and what we were doing, what was  happening in our lives that in an instant was dwarfed by what we were witnessing when we turned on the television set that bright sunny September morning.
  I was 24 days away from my wedding.  My biggest worries were cakes, flowers, and my first dress fitting scheduled for the following Saturday.  It seems selfish now, compared to the sacrifice made by so many others that day, but my first thought was, "The world can't be coming to an end, I'm getting married in three weeks!"
  So much has happened in the ensuing ten years.  How many terror plots have been thwarted that the American people know nothing about?  Are we safer as a nation since Sept. 11, 2001?  Anyone who flies on a regular basis has some pretty straightforward opinions on that I'm sure.  We do know that Osama Bin Laden is gone. I'm guessing that there are no virgins where he is at, imagine his surprise.  Al Quaida has been shattered into a million pieces thanks to the awesome men and women of the U.S. Military. The Freedom Tower in New York City is rising ever higher, scheduled to open sometime next year.  A massive tribute to the strength, resilience, and refusal of  Americans not to let a bunch of thugs have the last word.
  As I watched the 9/11 programming this morning I was struck by one thing.  These terrorists lived and worked among Americans for years as they were plotting this horrific event, but apparently, they never learned anything about us.  As people wept and mourned the loss of their loved ones, and those they did not know, the Police, Firefighters, EMS, and scores of other first responders, as soon as an American flag was unfurled, or the Star Spangled Banner began to play, they yelled, cheered, and pumped fists in the air, they chanted, "USA USA!" They did not learn that even in our grief, we are fiercely proud of America and being Americans, and that maybe we were down for a moment in time, but we were coming right back, and when we did, not God, nor Allah, nor anyone else was going to be of help to them now. In fact, if we had anything to say about it, they were going to meet one or all of them very soon.
  The best way I can think of to sign off today, is to say Thank You to the Men and Women of the U.S. Military, Police, Firefighters, and EMS crews who risk their lives everyday to keep us and our country safe.
  God(dess) bless the U.S.A!            

Sunday, September 4, 2011

End Of Summer Already?

Hey Gang,
  Yes, I know, here we are, Labor Day.  The traditional end of Summer for many.  As is the case with Memorial Day it is an extra day off to get in that last bit of vacation, swimming and barbecue.
  But, as is also the case with Memorial Day, there is a deeper meaning to this day that seems to get lost.
  The first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882 by the Central Labor Union of New York. It became a Federal holiday in 1894 after a Pullman strike where several workers were killed by the U.S. Military and U.S. Marshals.  After the incident, President Grover Cleveland made fostering better relations with the Labor Movement a top priority for his administration.  Fearing that there would be more conflict, Congress passed legislation making Labor Day a National holiday just 6 days after the end of the strike.
  Because Americans are a unique breed, we also have a unique work ethic. America was founded on the idea of hard work and it's rewards.  Most of us learn early on that if we want it bad enough, we will have to work for it.  We all look back at those first jobs a little more fondly with the passing of time.  We may have hated every minute of it, but the lessons it taught us we use to this very day.  It is because of this work ethic that Americans have the highest standard of living in the world. Americans not only work hard to support ourselves, but we also feed and clothe a good portion of the world.
  On this paricular Labor Day, it is hard not to think about so many Americans who are unemployed right now, who have been unemployed for quite some time. With so many American jobs going overseas many people wonder just where the Company loyalty went for employees who stayed with one job for all of their working lives and retired from that company.  It does not happen anymore.
 We can only hope that the environment for small businesses to grow and prosper and massive regulation on larger corporations will end soon and make it possible for them to hire more people and expand.
  Looking back, sometimes those burger-flipping, dishing out of movie popcorn jobs maybe don't seem so bad now.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Tea Party And God(dess)?

Hey Gang,
  There was a very interesting article this week posted on Glenn Beck's news website "The Blaze" by Billy Hallowell titled , "Is The Tea Party A 'Spiritual Movement'"?
  That in itself is a good question. There is always, it seems, the never-ending question of whether or not the Tea Party has been taken over by the "Christian Right."  I would like to take that question one step further. Is the Tea Party a CHRISTIAN spiritual movement?  There certainly are elements of Christianity to the Tea Party. Our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. Principles I would argue are universal in large part.
  But, as a Wicca, is there room in the "spiritual" part of the movement for me?  When most people hear the word "Wicca", they associate it with the Judeo-Christian definition of "Witchcraft", which goes directly to magick, spells, and all things evil.
  What most people don't know is that Wicca has four basic tenets that, I believe are quite Conservative in nature.
1. Harm None (not even yourself)
2.Be responsible for yourself and your actions.
3.Respect Nature
4.Put out into the Universe what you would like to get back.
  We take these laws very seriously and try to live our lives by them.  Most of us pray and/or meditate daily.
  Tea Party people come from every walk of life. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents of every size, shape, color, and yes, religion.  That is part of, dare I say it, the magic of the Tea Party.  I don't mind being your friendly neighborhood Witch in a sea of good Christians.  We all love our country and don't like what we see happening to it. 
  So, if the Tea Party faithful find a natural correlation between smaller government and the strengthening of their faith, so be it.  I consider myself a member of the Tea Party , and my faith is definitely strong, so count me in. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

GOP's Big Day In Iowa

Hey Everyone,
  Well yesterday, as a Wiccan, I observed the Full Moon.  A full moon can effect everything from ocean tides to the Iowa GOP Straw Poll.  At the end of the day, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann came in first with 28% of the over four thousand votes cast.  Texas Congressman Ron Paul came in a close second with 27% of the vote.  I think a few people, including myself were a little surprised that  former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich did not participate.  Kind of a dumb move I thought.  Granted, we are still fifteen months out, but this is a great way for everyone to kind of get a snapshot of just where the candidates stand at this point.
  The heavy turnout of Ron Paul supporters was expected.  It is usually heavy for such gatherings as these. But I also think that Michele Bachmann's victory is surprising for the Chris Matthews-es of the world because before yesterday, I don't think they took her candidacy seriously at all. Last week's "Newsweek" cover is enough proof of that. 
  See, I think the Democrats have kind of a entitlement mentality when it comes to the first African-American candidate/President, the first female candidate, etc.  If Michele Bachmann continues to do well, perhaps even win the nomination, it makes Liberals sweat.  That is not how it is supposed to be! 
  I was happy as a woman to see Michele Bachmann take the Straw Poll. But I would be ecstatic to not only see her win the nomination, but also the Presidency. Not only because I think she is eminently qualified, and with Obama's approval numbers across the board the way they are now, I believe she just might win. But also, wouldn't it be great fun to get a first for the GOP that Democrats have always believed is theirs just by virtue of their existence?  Oh yeah, BIG fun!            

Monday, August 1, 2011

Smart Girls Everywhere

Hey Everyone,
  I know everyone's attention is on debt ceilings and defaulting.  But I just want to take  a side trip to tell you all how amazing the Smart Girl Summit was this weekend!
  Crowne Plaza Hotel was filled with smart, conservative women from all over the country! I could not make it to Friday's session, but Saturday was great!  The day featured wonderful speakers from American Majority and the Leadership Institute.  Then came lunch with an awesome question and answer session with none other than Andrew Breitbart.  Everyone had some great questions for him.  By the way, yes, I am THAT Wiccan conservative that stood up and lamented the fact that I just might not be welcomed with open arms should I decide to make a trip to Washington D.C for the annual CPAC convention next year.  Since they decided that the gay conservative group GOProud does not meet up with their standards I figured wow, maybe a simple mid-western Witch like myself should not waste my time packing up my broom and heading east.
  The afternoon started with a screening of "The Undefeated".  A fantastic documentary/movie about Sarah Palin.  next came some very smart girls like Ann Wagner, running for Congress from Missouri's second district.  Sarah Steelman, running for Senator from Missouri.  Jackie Walorski, running for Indiana's second Congressional District, and Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, running for Arizona's  Seventh Congressional District.  Last, but certainly not least, Presidential Candidate Herman Cain, who brought everyone to their feet with a rousing and inspirational speech.
  What a day to bask in the presence of beautiful strong conservative women!  Look out America!  We are just getting started!      

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Independence Day

Hey Gang,
  Hope everyone is having a great 4th of July weekend.  My hope is that everyone will take time out from barbecue, etc. to remember the importance of this day.
  America is a unique experiment, even by today's standards and for 1776, positively unheard of. A nation of self -governing people, limiting the size and scope of that government.  Each branch of that government being able to check and balance the other. No King, Queen, or other sort of ruler who reigns indefinitely. A duly elected President who serves at most two 4 year terms. No automatic inherited reign, in America anyone can become President, from a millionaire down to the Farmer in his fields. A body of representatives elected by and for the people to make sure that everyones' voice is heard.
  We are free to speak out when we disagree with the government without fear of retribution of any kind. We are free to assemble peacefully to speak out if we disagree with the government.  Our Constitution has within it a system of amending to make corrections if necessary to ensure that all men are created equal.
  As America has grown we have become a nation of immigrants. And we came from everywhere! Some have not always come willingly due to ugly periods in our history. We came to escape famine in Ireland, Communism in Russia and China. We came from everywhere in between with the knowledge that if we came here legally, and were willing to work hard and play by the rules, our children and their children would have the opportunity to achieve whatever they could imagine.
  Our brave men and women in uniform have fought for generations to protect the freedom and liberties that we celebrate today. It is a calling for them, a way of life. American is who she is because of the sacrifice and never-ending vigilance of our military.
  So in between swimming, barbecuing, and picnics today, let's all take a minute to reflect on the beauty and the sheer genius that is America.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

What's The Deal?

Hey Everyone,
  Well, after a much deserved vacation and a little undeserved computer trouble, here I am.  I know this is old news, and everyone is completely tired of Anthony Wiener and his well publicized little buddy, the little part being purely speculation as I did not view the offending photos.
   But what is the deal?!! Politicians, most of whom are men, and sex scandals? Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Ensign, the list goes on and on.  Back in the good ol' days, dutiful wives were just supposed to put up with their husbands' roving eyes and look the other way.  Those two wild and crazy guys, John and Robert Kennedy were well known and in some circles most likely given the "we're not worthy" "Wayne's World" arm waves for their exploits involving Marilyn Monroe and various assorted reputed mob girlfriends.
  What is it about powerful men and sex?  Is it the thrill of the chase? The thrill of being caught? The thrill of appearing to be a pillar of virtue and morality while all the while living a double life as some kind of sex freak? I'm not a psychiatrist, nor do I play one on TV, so I can only speculate like everyone else.  Maybe the feeling of invincibility is just too overwhelming. Perhaps the ego boost of going from being just your average Joe to being a household name.
  Sean Hannity brought up a very good point.  He said that something seems to happen to some people who get elected to public office.  When they get to Washington they become surrounded by all the trappings and entrapment that go with it, and some where along the way they forget the meaning of being elected by the people, and of being a "public servant". I also heard someone bring up the notion of character. That the definition of character is what you are doing when no one else is looking. That speaks volumes in this case.
  But there is of course, another side.  For some women, a powerful man in a position of authority and being seen as somewhat unattainable is a very attractive prospect. Perhaps another side of "the thrill of the chase." All of these things must play into throwing family, career, and caution to the wind, and being fully convinced that your behavior will not ultimately be found out, and you will wind up on a podium somewhere apologizing for lewd pictures being sent to people who did not ask for them, and not knowing why your Congressional, Senatorial, or Governor's office was not the perfect place to hide your sex toys, or in Arnold's case, your love child.
  We could be stuck with the fact that powerful men and bad behavior just sort of go together like chips and beer. And there will always be women who are attracted to them. We can only hope it remains the exception and not the norm.      

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Few Random Thoughts

Hey Crew,
  Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend.  More on that in a minute.  First of all. I would like to send out all of our thoughts and prayers to the good people of Joplin Missouri.  What an earth-shattering week they have had.  From loosing every possession they had, to loosing loved ones who can never be replaced. As a Wiccan, I have the utmost respect and awe in Mother Nature. She can be the most beautiful, magickal essence that one will ever encounter, and she can be a brutal, dare I say it, evil  force that can be unleashed at a moment's notice. It  is something that mere humans just cannot wrap their minds around, no matter how hard we try. It has been so great to see people from all over the country drop their own lives and come to Joplin to help the people there try to put their lives back together.  We Missourians are a hardy resilient  bunch, and Joplin WILL be back better then ever.
  While everyone is busy enjoying an extra day to sleep in, barbecuing, and the opening of swimming pools everywhere, let's not forget the true meaning of this day.  We are able to enjoy all of those things thanks to the men and women of the United States Military who have gone to far away places and put their lives on the line, been wounded, lost limbs, and of course, given the ultimate sacrifice so that the United States of America remains the land of freedom and opportunity for not just those of us fortunate enough to be natural born Americans, but for people from all over the world who desire a better life for themselves and their children, and who very often risk their very lives to get here because they know it is worth the struggle.
  American soldiers are a unique breed. They go where they are ordered to go. They carry out the missions they are ordered to carry out. They leave their own lives and families to do so. They know that there is always a possibility that they will not return. But they know that is part of the job. And it is not just a job, it is a calling. They are the best trained, best equipped military force in history. They are the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Guardsmen of the United States Military. On this Memorial Day, let us honor them and thank them for the job of protecting America that they do so incredibly well every day.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Farewell To Evil

Hey Everyone,
  Well, as I have said before, when it rains it pours.  As the great Rush Limbaugh would put it, Osama Bin Laden "has assumed room temperature." It has taken 10 years, the lives of thousands of American soldiers, and two Presidents, but the world is finally rid of this evil man.
  I think the first people in line for credit are the amazing guys of Navy Seal Unit #6.  Were it not for their elite training, their bravery, and their love of this country, we would not be celebrating this accomplishment.  We do have to give President Obama the credit for issuing the go-ahead orders for this mission.  It was an incredibly complex operation and one that could have had enormous consequences in so many arenas had it failed.
  Last, but most certainly not least, George W. Bush.  He knew that the war on terror would last beyond his Presidency, and that of his immediate successor.  He had the vision and the foresight to put the policies in place that would keep America safe and ever vigilant.  Of course most Obama-zombies are not going to lower themselves to admit that.  Will they also like to deny that President Obama used a lot of these tools, the same ones that he opposed as a Senator, to make this mission possible?  No, probably not.  It would not fit into the "George Bush is an idiot/evil genius" template.
  That's O.K.  The rest of the world knows now that you can run, but you can't hide from the United States military.  Bin Laden is dead. And, as another great American once said, "It's morning again in America".      

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Definitions of Feminism

Hey Everyone,
  As I was getting ready for work Friday morning, I heard a local radio host interview Phyllis Schlafley about her new book "The Flipside of Feminism."  My first exposure to Mrs. Schlafley was my junior year of high school when the Equal Rights amendment debate was in full swing.  Admittedly, I have never read any of Schlafley's books, but I have seen her interviewed many times on TV.
  I do agree with her on several points. How liberal feminists have tried to convince women that we do not need a man gumming up the works. That having children when you are not married is "cool". The list goes on.
  I often wonder, when I was born in 1965, if my mother had any idea of the vast array of opportunities that would be open to me by the time I was 21.  In those days, the options for women were scarce. If you did not marry right out of high school or soon after, the only viable career paths for women were secretaries, nurses, and teachers.
  If someone were to ask me what my "definition" of feminism is I would have to tell them that the first word that comes to mind is choice. The choices for women today are like nothing any society has ever seen before. You can choose to be a stay-at-home Mom, a job that does not get nearly enough credit or attention, but more often than not is just something blown off as menial. You can be a doctor, a lawyer, a trash collector, or you can blaze your own trail, the sky's the limit!
  The reason liberal feminists loathe the very ground Sarah Palin treads is that she is a walking definition of feminism.
 She is attractive, educated, intelligent, is happily married to a wonderful supportive husband, has great kids, and a great career. Their problem is that, she is supposed to be a liberal too. The conservative part was not supposed to happen, and it wrecked their whole vision.
      My argument with Mrs. Schlafley would be this.  Many women who came before me have opened the doors of opportunity for me. While I probably do not agree politically at all with the early feminism movement movers and shakers, I cannot deny the progress they made for the women of my generation. I think that sometimes Mrs. Schlafley would like us all to be June Cleaver, vacuuming in our pearls again, having dinner on the table at precisely the time Ward comes through the door. Guess what Phyllis, the cat is out of the bag and I don't think that will be happening. Too many of us learned early on that men were not standard equipment, they were strictly optional, and we could accomplish the goals we set for ourselves all on our own.
  Some of us have been blessed with amazing husbands or boyfriends and children, and we know we would not be who we are without them. But it was our choice. Having been on both sides of this fence, I know how vital it is to have a choice.
  I think I only have one more question for Mrs. Schlafley...What is Ward cooking for dinner tonight?        

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Devastation In Japan

Hey Crew,
  Been a little busy, when it rains it pours I guess.  Well, I'm sure the big thing on everyone's mind is the massive 8.9 earthquake that hit Japan on Friday. The death toll stands at around 10,000 as we speak. The pictures coming out of Japan are just heartbreaking, and as much as you try, you just can't imagine what you would do if it was you. I know I can't.  I know that everyone's thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people. I know we will do all we can to help.
  That's kind of what I was thinking about.  I think we can all agree that Americans are a unique breed of people. who else could invent rock-n-roll and a 5-speed Corvette? But we are also unique in the fact that anytime there is a natural disaster in the world, Americans are always first on the scene with the aid of money, food, clean water, manpower, you name it. We even offer up aid to people we know don't particularly like us. Maybe people in other countries expect that we will be the first to arrive, maybe they don't, but we expect it of ourselves. We do it because we have been taught generation after generation to help people who need it. We have been taught to be nice, kind, generous, and giving of ourselves until it is time not to be. That is just the way we are. Call it American DNA, American values, or American exceptionalism, but just like a pull-your-face-off Ted Nugent guitar riff and that Vette that will go from 0 to 60 in a nanosecond, that's how we roll. We wouldn't have it any other way.          

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tolerant Conservatives?

Hey Gang,
  Well, it was springtime for Republicans this week at CPAC. For those of you not familliar, Conservative Political Action Conference.  Most of the rock stars were there, Pauls, both of them, Romney, Gingerich, et al. A few no-shows like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee. I am sure there were some great speeches. I heard that Rep. Allen West (R-Fl) brought down the house with his closing speech. I am definitely planning to watch it later when I get a free minute. But the one thing that stood out for me was the boycott by certain Conservative groups like Concerned Women For America, Family Research Council, and the Heritage Foundation in response to the invitation to a group called GOProud, a Conservative Gay group.
  OK. as human beings, much less Conservatives and Republicans, we are not going to agree with one another on everything Conservatives espouse. We don't in my own house. But my gut reaction was "Are you kidding me??!!" For decades Liberals have painted Conservatives as, what does Rush Limbaugh like to say, racist, sexist, bigoted homophobes. Are we helping them now? I understand that these groups are idealogically opposed to each other. But as a Conservative Wiccan my first question was, "Where do we draw the line on who are going to boycott?" Because I do not pray to the same deity as these groups does that mean I am not welcome either? I can go to any Pagan gathering any day of the week and be told in no uncertain terms that I CANNOT be Wiccan and Conservative.  Is that who we have become? Who gets to decide who is boycotted and who is not? See where I am going?  I thought as Conservatives, we were very proud of our inclusiveness. That we wanted to show people how wrong Liberals are about us.
  We have differences amongst ourselves it is true. I am not minimizing those differences. Let's talk about them and debate them. It will only make us stronger as a party.  But the stakes in 2012 could not be higher. Let's focus on what we have in common, and not sacrifice what could be great ideas for the sake of moral purity.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Unrest In Egypt

Hey Everyone,
  I know everyone is getting ready for their Superbowl parties, so I understand if you don't have time to catch up on your favorite blogs. I'm sure all eyes are turned right now to what is going on in Egypt.
  I think that a lot of Americans are a little unsure, myself included, just exactly what is going on.  What I can tell you, based merely on observation, is that it is a very volatile situation.  Americans always have at least a passing interest when there is anyone protesting the government in their country. We are encouraged when people make their voices heard, it is practically in our DNA.  Egyptians as a population are young, the majority under 30, so Hosni Mubarak is the only leader they have ever known. They also know that about 90% of them are out of work, and that many people are living on about two dollars a day. The level of poverty and the disparity between the upper and lower to middle classes is widening. The one very troubling and dangerous aspect with this particular protest is the very real possibility of a radical group like the Muslim Brotherhood getting into power.  This group is very anti-Israel and very anti-US, and could foment other protests going on in places like Tunisia.
  Today the Vice-President of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, was involved in talks with opposition group leaders, the Muslim Brotherhood included. The Military is a very well respected institution in Egypt, so right now, they could be the best hope for any governmental transition. I don't hold out much hope that our State Department or President Obama will have little if any influence in keeping the Muslim Brotherhood out of the Presidential Palace. The next few weeks could determine just how much influence the United States still has when people in other parts of the world start to whisper to each other, words like freedom and democracy.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Silly Constitution!

Hey Gang,
  This may be a little behind the times, I was going to post this after the new Congress took office, but the Tucson shootings kind of took everything over. I know I speak for everyone when I say that it is truly a miracle that Congresswoman Giffords is doing great. She has a long road ahead but I know we are all pulling for her.
  That being said, here goes a bit of old news, just wrapping up loose ends I guess.
  Finally, the balance of the Cosmos shifted and righted itself. That's right, the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives on Jan. 5.  One of the first orders of business was a reading of the Constitution by both Republican and Democrat House Members. At least the Democrat members who did not think it was "nonsense", or "propaganda". It sounds like a portion of this month's issue of "Mad" Magazine. But no, that's what Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) had to say about the reading of the very document that specifically authorizes him and his fellow Congressmen, to BE in Washington DC to represent the people of his district.
  Poor Jerry. He just can't for the life of him, figure out why those silly Republicans are treating this like, what did he call it? Oh yeah, like a "sacred text."
  Where does one even begin to wrap their brain around that one? Were it not for the authors of this nearly perfect document, America would simply not exist.  America is not a place without it's flaws, but those brilliant men who drafted the Constitution, in their genius, provided a system of checks and balances and means of correction to perhaps right some of those flaws as Americans, for lack of a better word, evolved.
  No where else on Earth are the laws of any land guaranteed in such a way as ours. Generations of soldiers have given their lives to defend it. Millions upon millions of immigrants (legal ones) have come here knowing that the rights it granted them, if they worked hard and followed the laws embodied within it, that the American dream was theirs for the taking.
  My reply to Congressman Nadler would be that not only is it a sacred text, but it's very words are what make us Americans.      

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tragedy in Arizona

Hey Everyone,
  I was going to talk about the reading of the Constitution this week by the new Congress, but I think the one thing that is on everyones mind today is the senseless tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 5 others outside a Tucson grocery store on Saturday morning.
  Congresswoman Giffords had just begun a townhall-style meeting, something she had done countless times before, when a gunman burst out of the crowd and began shooting, wounding Giffords in the head, and killing 6 people, including a 9 year old girl.
  The predictable blaming of "right-wing" talk radio, and TV has already begun.  We can be assured, I think that in the days to come, some pretty ugly things are going to be said. But I think the first order of business should be to look at the security at events such as this. The very essence of what it means to be a member of Congress is to be able to get out amongst your constituents, shake their hands, and listen to their concerns. But is it time to assign body guards to every member of Congress every time they attend such an event? Is it time to screen every citizen who comes to the event? Would it have the same feel to hold this kind of gathering at a concert hall or a similar venue? These are all things that will be looked at in the future.
  Christina Taylor Greene had just been elected to the student council of her elementary school. Even at the ripe old age of 9, Christina was interested in politics, and came to see Congresswoman Giffords with a neighbor. She wanted to learn how the political system works.  Is this what we are going to teach our children about how the political system works in this country? Are we going to teach them that if you disagree with someone else's beliefs that it is ok to engage in some kind of violent behavior? Or try to silence them? We all like to point the finger at the other guy's bad behavior, myself included, but maybe we are all guilty, at least once. Anyone who saw the telephone interview that Gretchen Carlson did with Christina's mom Roxanne, could not have remained dry-eyed.
  I think the only other thing to say here is that we all pray for Gabrielle Giffords's speedy recovery, as well as the others wounded along with her. That we all keep Christina's family close to our hearts. Let's not be Democrats or Republicans for now, let's just be Americans.      

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone!!
  Well, I have had a bit of a hiatus, but I am back and rarin' to go!!  Wow!! what an election night for the Republicans!! At last count I think we had picked up about 64 to 66 seats in the House and I believe 8 in the Senate, awesome!!
  Now it is time to see if these newbies can deliver, because if they can't or won't, there is another election coming up in 2012, and they can always go the way of their predecessors  if need be.
  All in all, I think 2011 is going to be a great year for Republicans. Barring any unforeseen catastrophes,  I think that things can only get better from here on out. But as wiser people than myself have said, never underestimate the power of the GOP to wrench defeat from the jaws of victory.
 But for now, let's put on our boxing gloves and jump into the ring, cause 2011 is going to be a fun ride!