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Monday, July 31, 2006

Guard the Borders Blogburst

The North American Union, SPP, and NASCO: Erasing America’s Borders
By Heidi at Euphoric Reality

Our government has undertaken some monumental legislation that fully impacts the American way of life, our freedom, and our sovereignty. The purpose of such legislation is to homogenize Canada, Mexico, and the United States into a North American Union - and we're all going to sleep through it.

Have you heard of a little-known program called the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America? This tri-lateral partnership was signed by President Bush last year without Congressional oversight or public approval. Opponents of the SPP have called it NAFTA on steroids - and we all know how disastrous NAFTA has been for everyone except Mexico. It also appears to be modeled on the ineffective and highly unpopular European Union (unpopular with the people, that is).

I went to the website, www.spp.gov, to begin my research. There are, indeed, no boundaries between Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. when it comes to the cooperation of financial, trade, and foreign affair departments. Though some of the PR language on the website sounds fairly benign, the commissions are picking up momentum. And you know what happens when bureaucrats start grasping at influence and power! Except that now we don't have to just worry about our own greedy bureaucrats - but Canada's and Mexico's too.

This is not some weird and obscure conspiracy website, it is our government's plan to literally give away or sell our national sovereignty. What is most galling is that we will share responsibility for security across North America. It is very conceivable that we could see our troops deployed to secure the southern border of Mexico. Yes, you read that right - not OUR unsecured warzone of a southern border - but Mexico's border with Belize and Guatemala. That is the conclusion of an investigative report done by Lou Dobbs on CNN:

Robert B. Murray

President George W. Bush, President Vicente Fox of Mexico, and former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin agreed in March 2005 to create this union by executive regulations and agreements rather than by treaty to bypass Congress. Twenty working groups were formed and are well on their way to establishing a super-government for North America that will not be bound by our Constitution. The web site for this new bureaucracy—located at www.spp.gov—provides a look at their plans and accomplishments thus far. The plan is to have this arrangement implemented by 2010.

Behind its innocuous title, the “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” the United States will surrender its Constitution. According to Jerome R. Corsi, an author and political commentator, our nation-state prerogatives would be superseded by the authority of a North American court and parliamentary body and our dollar would become the “Amero.”

Possibly the strongest leg of the SPP is NASCO - North America's SuperCorridor Coalition - otherwise known as the NAFTA Superhighway. Airily dismissed by some public officials as internet rumors and hype and completely unaffordable, NASCO has quietly been amassing funding and already begun preliminary construction in Texas.

*Picture removed to fix spacing error*

...already underway is the plan for a NAFTA Superhighway: 1,200 feet wide, stretching from Lazaro Cardenas on the west coast of Mexico, entering the United States at Laredo, Texas, and continuing straight north to Winnipeg, Canada, with another route to Kansas City thence north easterly to Detroit and Montreal.

Containerized goods from Asia will be offloaded onto Mexican trucks, with Mexican drivers, and distributed throughout the economic system. Go to www.nascocorridor.com to view the plan and progress. There will be no internal boundaries to restrict the flow of people, goods or services.

In fact, the first customs stop on the Superhighway will be in the heart of America - Kansas City! Along the way, primary U.S. labor unions will be by-passed in favor of Mexican labor, including the Longshoremen’s Union, the railroad United Transportation Union, and the Teamsters.

How will such a massive flow of goods and foreign traffic be monitored? According to author Jerome Corsi,

"Across the NAFTA Super-Highways will flow millions more Mexicans, now armed with North American border passes and biometric identification, as defined by the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America working groups organized within the Department of Commerce."

Similar toll systems snaking their way from the southern and northern borders cutting through major American cities will force American citizens to submit to having RFID enabled identification cards which contain an ever-increasing array of information about their personal lives.

Illegal aliens with cloned RFID transponders will enjoy streamlined access to the US while Americans labor under the financial burden of tolls that go directly to foreign corporations and restrictions that take the right of free travel out of their hands. This and more is occurring without Congressional oversight, but is naturally funded with our state and federal tax dollars.

But our public officials are saying this could never happen, if only because it's completely unaffordable! Not so, since foreign investment will cover any gaps that taxing the American people leaves. Additionally, the Bush administration has embarked on a policy of selling off key US infrastructure to the highest bidder - in most cases foreign owned corporations.

[K]ey players, including the investment bankers and the worldwide capital investment funds, have a plan to address these fiscal shortcomings with their own resources. On April 30, 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed Executive Order No. 12803 on infrastructure privatization, a move that cleared the way for private capital to invest in U.S. infrastructure projects, including highways.

For instance, the Indiana Toll Road, Virginia's Pocahontas Parkway, a Texas toll road from Austin to Sequin and The Chicago Skyway have all been sold or leased for 99 years to foreign companies who will all enjoy billions in profits from American citizens forced to pay the tolls. And now the New Jersey Turnpike and the Ohio Turnpike are also under the hammer with foreign interests at the forefront of the negotiations.

An earlier Corsi article cites government websites which carry full planning details of the Super Highway. Its construction has already begun in Texas with no congressional oversight whatsoever. The Trans-Texas Corridor is being overseen by The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the contract is owned by the Cintra corporation which in turn is owned by the King of Spain Juan Carlos. The project is being financed by the implementation of a toll that will be collected by means of GPS tracking devices installed in all vehicles and also envelops many connecting roads to the highway. (Toll road info summarized by Paul Watson)

Watson further adds this dire prediction, "To even be allowed to use major roads and highways, US citizens will be subject to a criminal background check and the government will have the ability to pinpoint their particular RFID signal and remotely block it from central computer mainframes - effectively abolishing freedom of mobility in America."

President Ronald Reagan once said, “A nation without borders is not a nation.” While we’ve been looking elsewhere, our own government has implemented a comprehensive plan to erase our borders with Canada and Mexico. The NAFTA Superhighway will allow vehicles, people and goods to travel from Mexico, into the American heartland, and up to Canada with little impediment, making America's borders obsolete. Coupled with Bush's blanket amnesty program, the new North American Union and the NAFTA Superhighway (NASCO) will fully expedite the wholesale dismantling of American sovereignty. It would seem that the while the rest of the world is already lining up to get their piece of the American pie, Americans will be the last to know. It is happening quietly and behind our backs, while our attention is fully engaged by the War on Terror, the upcoming elections, and our personal lives.


This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we’re going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Business of Cards

About a week ago I was driving myself to an appointment. As is typical, I was on the verge of being late. My minivan was idling nose down on a rather steep hill waiting for the light to change. When the light turned green I let go of the brakes and my engine died. It took me a second or two to realize that I was just rolling down the hill, instead of going. So, I had to hit the brakes, turn off the car and re-start it. While this isn't typical of my newish van, and I still don't know why it happened, I've had cars that had this problem in the past and I'm pretty quick about it from having plenty of practice.

However, this time was different. Somewhere in those fifteen seconds it took me to get my car started again, I heard a...


While the truck behind me stopped, the little car behind him did not. So, I pulled into the gas station on the corner and called the cops. Luckily someone involved had a cell phone, because I didn't have a whole lot of information. So, after hanging up the phone I walked back to the site of the crash and made sure everyone was alright. The truck bumper was a little worse for the wear, but the little car definitely took the brunt of the accident. Still, both vehicles were drivable and they got off the road as soon as they'd cleaned up some of the worst of the debris. Of course, they pulled over to the other side of the street, kitty corner to where the accident had taken place. I had to wait at two separate lights to get to the other drivers. By the time I had, the police officer was already there and had gotten the basic details he needed. When I arrived I told him my part it in, but he just jotted down another fact and waved me on my way. He didn't even require my name or liscense plate number.

I had known I wasn't liable, but being a stickler for the rules, I also knew I should stop. Some of my fellow bloggers call it Authoritarianism. Me, I simply consider it a matter of civil ethics to follow the rules and the rules are simple when it comes to involvement in a car accident: All participants and witnesses should stop, whether they "have time" or not.

Now, I have a friend who I shall call Joe. Joe works for a company I shall call CriminalType. Joe is usually both an ethical and moral person. Yet, there's a problem. Joe keeps telling me about the business practices of CriminalType, and I don't like what I'm hearing. Neither does Joe, but he doesn't seemed inclined to do much about it.

Briefly put, CriminalType's business practices involve forgery, blackmail, fraud, lots of fraud, and some other things less easily classified but obviously both unethical and illegal. Now, I've never had any doubt in my mind that these activities were wrong, from the first time Joe started telling me about them. However, now even with only my Accounting 101 class, as basic as that is, I'm starting to get a better idea of just how many businesses and people are being or are going to be hurt by these practices. I mean, we're not talking about Enron here, but the false information on their financial statements has led to a loan in which my mortgage, and all the other debt that weighs so heavily on me, could be dropped into it without even making a *plink*. And that's just one of the investors that's getting screwwed, or will be screwwed when this business of cards collapses in on itself.

Now, Joe does bring up the ethics of these matters to his bosses. They shrug it off and, when they do anything at all, they merely change the manner of their crime without changing the nature of it. Joe is looking for a new job, and trying to get out of there, but has no intention of blowing the whistle. And, that's where I really start having a problem with this whole situation.

As I said, I'm a stickler for the rules. As per the rules that I know and believe two things are true: 1) This company should not be allowed to continue doing business in this manner, dragging in as many businesses and people as they possibly can into their imminent destruction. 2) Joe should be the one to turn them in, because Joe has access to the necessary documentation to prove the criminal activities, and Joe has witnessed the criminal activities himself.

Not only that, while Joe has never directly instigated them, Joe has participated. He didn't forge the signature, but Joe did take the check to the bank...small consolation for the business it hurts that he was shaking his head in dismay all the while.

Also, the fraud involves a certain somebody getting paid under the table, so that he can continue to receive food stamps and medical assistance, despite making a rather high salary when it's all factored together. So, the state of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin tax payers, are being hurt by this.

The whole mess is just...aggravating.

So, what I pose to my reader is this: What the heck should I do? Do I call it in? Do I further pressure Joe to call it in? Where do I start? I don't think I can sit back and do nothing on this. Nor do I think I should. Yet, it still comes down to this: Joe should be the one to act, and so far he's refused to do so.

Void Sticker

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Medical Care and Bureaucracy

There are two things I know:

1) With a nation as wealthy and prosperous as the United States is supposed to be, all citizens of this nation should have access to affordable health care.

2) I would prefer the government have as little to do with providing that health care as possible.

Bureaucracy is supposed to be efficient, or so my husband tells me. Where he got that, I don't know, but as far as I can tell it only works that way in the text books. Thankfully, as far as I know, I will not be reading such a text book during my scholastic pursuits, because I'm pretty sure I would be a disruption to the class -- having real-world experience, and little self-control when being "taught" bald-faced lies.

Anyway, as many of my readers are aware, I have three children with special needs, and I have a tendency to highlight what that means on this blog. And it means a lot of different things.

One of the things that having children with special needs (paired with being poor) means in America, and especially in Wisconsin, is that we all have health insurance. As long as the boys have SSI, they will be insured. Which is good news, because medical care for children with special needs is expensive stuff. However, the problem with this is that the medical assistance we receive is determined through a very bureaucratic process.

Simply put, this is not a good thing.

My youngest child, who was approved for SSI despite his ambiguous diagnosis, does not talk. Well, that's not entirely true. He can say "baby," "bye," and "daddy" clearly. He can also count to ten, but you won't know it until you notice the very fixed pattern to it: "un" "poo" "pee" "por" "pi" "pih" "denen" "ay" "na" "tih." There's a smattering of other "words" that come and go. Sometimes we can discern meaning from them and other times we cannot. This has all happened within the last month or two, before that his sounds were limited to high-pitched happy noises and high-pitched un-happy noises. Sometimes even those two were indistinguishable from each other.

Ben received both speech and occupational therapy through the school system. But, it's summer and I elected not to send the boys to summer school, because, frankly, it's a rather traumatic experience for them to be in school, but have it be nothing like school, and have a different schedule on top of it. Melt-down city? No thank you.

Now, typically, they should still receive speech and occupational therapy through a private service provider. As the laws are written, they are entitled to that. Which is why the bureaucrats have to find very specific, miniscule, ridiculous flaws in the requests in order to refuse these services. Which they do over and over again. And not just to my children.

Now, I'm not going to get into the complex politics of all this. Suffice it to say, under Tommy Thompson's watch these services were covered; under Jim Doyle's watch they are not; and yet the laws governing these services have not changed. For those who don't already know, the D and the R are reversed from what you might expect. Basically, Thompson's the Republican and also the more "social medicine" progressive of the two. Oh, Doyle talks about it, but he doesn't fund it, because he's got too many of his own vote-buying pet projects in the works.

I digress: The problem with socialized medicine is that bureaucracy is like communism. While it may look good on paper, the reality of it is so close to evil that all it takes is removing the good intentions to push it over the edge. And even with the good intentions intact it doesn't actually work.

Part of how socialized medicine works, at least in this country, is by pressuring those medical professionals who wish to accept patients who receive such services to agree to being paid a rate that doesn't actually pay for their expenses. This creates two common situations. First, those practioners who are charitable enough (and they're few and far between) to specialize in medical care for the poor (meaning they accept only patients who have medical assistance and/or no medical coverage at all and are familiar with the red-tape involved in the bureaucratic process) need grants merely to keep their doors open. So they rely on bureaucracy in an exponential fashion. Second, both those who specialize in providing medical care for the poor, and those who are willing to accept medical assistance but also have other patients, have to compensate for the non-expense meeting payments by expediting their services.

In the business world, expediency is considered a good thing. In medical services expediency drastically reduces the quality of medical services. I don't say this to disparage the medical service providers. Most of them are exceptional people who are willingly taking a dramatic reduction in pay, compared to what they could receive in a private practice, and providing their services the best they can, because they care. However, the truth of the matter is expediency is detrimental to quality health care services.

Another difficulty is that the service providers are often not given the power to make decisions appropriate for their patients. The bureaucrats do that, and I guarantee they do NOT care, because they haven't the faintest idea who the people in question are, which is the way the government prefers it. In the world of the bureaucrats were all ambiguous name-less, face-less, humanity-less numerical codes. When a service is denied the person/people who make that decision never even see the person. Therefore, it is the clinician who has the awful job of looking their patient in the eye and saying the service was denied, often with no way to explain why. Having been denied numerous times, I can tell you it hurts them as much as it hurts me.

For example, I received the service denial for Ben's speech therapy and it was, as usual, written in legalese. Something was approved, but something else was denied. The service itself was not cited, just a code. So, I took the document to the service provider for an explanation. The therapist who had written the request was not there, but her boss was, so I took it to Sue.

I could see it in her eyes before she told me. Patiently, as if she'd done it many times before (as she had), she explained what the denial meant. The evaluation was approved, meaning the examination and testing that had already been performed in order to write up the request in the first place had been funded, but all other services had been denied. She then told me that most requests, irregardless of the merit, were being denied all across the state. A few were being approved, just to demonstrate that the state is acting in good faith; which, of course, it is not.

At the moment, blame is unimportant. That's not the point of this piece. The point is that when people advocate for socialized medicine in this country, it makes me shudder. Literally. Physically. Shudder. Because the truth is, when it comes to funding and actually providing the services promised, Wisconsin is a good state, even with Doyle at the helm. Many states do not even provide what Wisconsin does. Wisconsin is a leader in providing medical assistance to the poor in this nation. And that should give everyone who advocates for socialized medicine a moment of pause, because these same bureaucracies that control the medical assistance programs across the nation will be the same bureaucracies that control socialized medicine should it become a reality for us.

Which means weeks or months of waiting for non-life threatening services to be approved. It means service denials that make absolutely no sense in the real-world, because the decisions are made outside of the real world. It means that waiting a half-hour or longer for your five to ten minutes with the doctor will be the norm for everyone. It means that medical conditions will go undiagnosed for months or years, because your doctor simply does not have the time or resources to find out what is going wrong in your body...that is until your life is obviously threatened. It means that everyone will need to learn how to navigate the wonderful world of bureaucratic mayhem in order to get the medical services that they have been promised, but will probably never fully receive.

And yes, I've been told that all this can be fixed. I've also been told that all this will be fixed, and has been fixed, and doesn't really happen and a whole lot of other distortions that simply do not coincide with reality. The reality of bureaucracy is messy, expensive and inefficient. And entrusting your medical care to bureaucrats is not a good thing to advocate. And yet, I am grateful for the services we receive, and I completely understand why those who have no access to medical care would be willing to jump on this bandwagon. But, folks, really, there has to be a better way.

Socialism, no matter how fettered it may be, is not the solution to poorly fettered capitalism. A happy-medium must be reached; one that provides quality medical care, as well as affordable medical care, to all American citizens. While bureaucratic-controlled medical care may be better than no medical care, there should be a better solution. This is America, the land of opportunity and innovation. And, frankly, with our history, we should be smarter than this.

Void Sticker

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ask America -- a survey

So, I've had this survey on my desk for a week or two, or something like that. I don't know how long, exactly, it's been there, because I've been swamped down with all sorts of paperwork, school work, and life.

Anyway, it's called "Ask America" and it's a special project of the Republican Party. Here are some high-lights:

The Republican Party is conducting this nationwide grass-roots project as a critical part of our efforts to continue to strengthen our Party by getting more Americans involved.

The goal is to help the Leadership of the Republican Party gain an on-going and in-depth understanding of the issues which are of greatest concern to Americans like you.
* * *

With President Bush overseeing the War on Terror and constantly under siege by Democrats and other liberal special interests here at home, it is vital that we have your answers to prove what Americans in your area really want.
* * *

With powerful special interest groups and deep pocket Washington lobbyists working behind the scenes to influence political decision making, I think it is time that we find out what you, the hard working American taxpayers, really want.

This survey, registered in your name, will serve as a mandate from you. And with major issues in Congress consistently being decided by just a few votes, I can't overstress how crucial it is that you have direct input on the national decision making.

Sounds good, doesn't it? I get direct input on the national decision making process!?! Hmm. I doubt it. But...

True to form, the President's opponents [referencing liberals] have put aside any pretense of bipartisanship and are following a game plan of continued obstructionism and "win at all costs."

Their game plan is to undermine, delay or destroy every proposal the
President sends to Capitol Hill with the goal being to effectively immobilize the Bush Administration, ensure that no major programs get through Congress and recapture control of Congress in the November elections.

...we have to stop them durned liberals, now don't we? Now, how in the world did my name get pulled out of their hat for this? They want a mandate...from me? Sore disappointment is in order.

Your answers will help give our Republican Members of Congress a special edge in legislative debates. Most importantly, they will ensure that we are in sync with the views of America's electorate all across the country.

That is why we must be prepared to protect President Bush's Congressional majorities so he can continue to deliver on more of the bold, innovative ideas that have become the hallmark of his Presidency.

*sigh* I can't imagine what they expect. But, they're obviously out of touch with reality if they honestly believe they are "in sync with the views of America's electorate all across the country." And if they think they are "in sync" with mine, then they are simply delusional.

Of course, there's this:

After analysis of this historic survey is complete, I will present President Bush and all of our Republican House incumbents and challengers with an official copy of the confidential results. And you will receive an exact duplicate of that report.

Perhaps my voice will have an impact. Perhaps the Republicans will be willing to address the concerns raised by this survey. I doubt it, but it's possible. If nothing else, assuming I do actually get a copy of it, I can always blog about it.

Then, there's the always present plea from any political party:

In addition to your valuable answers, I also hope I can count on you to
send a special contribution to support the National Republican Congressional Committee at this very important time.

This project is a huge undertaking, and we desperately need your help to fund it.

If they desperately need my help to fund this, then I'd like to visit that sea-side resort they're meeting up at out there in Arizona. But...

Your answers to the enclosed ASK AMERICA survey will tell the truth about where you and other Americans stand on the vital issues of the day. And the good news is, the truth always eventually wins out!

The truth always wins, so they better shape up or ship out! Oh, wait, that's not what they meant. Hmm.

Well, as you might have guessed, the survey was very biased towards the Republican agenda. I mean, they didn't have "The GOP is corrupt, sell-outs and I want my country back" anywhere! But here's some of what they did have:

2. Do you think American troops should pursue terrorists and their leaders even if it means going into countries where we are not invited?

(Yes, no, or no opinion; no "reasonable limits" option offered, not that
they'd have a clue what "reasonable" meant anyway)

4. How confident are you that the Department of Homeland Security will be able to keep America safe from future terrorist attacks and other catastrophic threats?

(very confident, somewhat confident, or not very confident -- terrified as hell that Katrina will be the norm wasn't an option either)

10. How confident do you feel that America's economy will continue to grow stronger in the next six months?

(they didn't offer "My husband and I are both unemployed and desperately pinching to make ends meet" as an option)

28. Do you back President Bush's efforts to build a "missile defense shield" to protect America from nuclear attack from rogue states such as North Korea and Iran?

(Can you say "star wars?" I knew you could! BTW, how can a state be rogue?)

33. President Bush has proposed a temporary guest-worker program to match willing foreign workers with willing U.S. employers when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs. Are you in favor of this proposal?

(yes, no, or no opinion, neither "HELL NO!" nor "Call it what it is, damn it!" was an option)

39. Do you think that confirmation of federal and Supreme Court judges should simply require a majority vote of 51 U.S. Senators or should 60 votes be needed to break a Senate filibuster?

(Hmm. No bias there; nope, move along, nothing to see here. *rolls eyes*)

40. In recent years, has the federal government grown more or less
intrusive in your personal and business affairs?

(This is a trick question, right?)

45. Does the national news media accurately report the news without liberal bias?

(yes, no, or no opinion, "No, nor does is accurately report the news
without conservative bias" wasn't an option)

47. Do you think the President and Congress should act aggressively to reduce the soaring oil prices to lessen the cost burden for all Americans?

(Hmm. And I thought acting aggressively was what made the
oil prices soar in the first place, silly me.)

51. Do you support the President's plan to unify our nation around a
comprehensive energy plan that protects consumers while producing more reliable, affordable and environmentally clean energy?

(He has a plan!?! Well, that's news to me. It must be those
pesky liberal reporters biasly not reporting that Bush has a plan.)

52. Generally, are you satisfied with the accomplishments of the
Republicans in Congress?

(Can you say pork? I knew you could!)

56. Which political party do you think is more in tune with American

(Republican, Democrat or no opinion; "none of the above" was not an

Well, those are the high-lights. If there's call for it, I can type the whole thing in, but there just doesn't seem much point to it unless y'all really want to know.

So, my question for my lovely readers is this: Am I just a cynic? Will having taken this survey actually do some good?

Void Sticker

Saturday, July 15, 2006


I have a rather intense feeling of betrayal at the moment; and so I'm going to blog about it for lack of any better way to vent my frustrations.

I officially started classes again on Wednesday. I have only one class, and that's a good thing because I'm going to need to do some serious studying for this class. It's actually something I don't know much about. ACCOUNTING! Not the most attractive aspect of the business world, imo, but a necessary one.

Like I said, class officially started Wednesday, but I dug around and found our first assignment and started my reading on Monday. I feel less guilty about that (the digging, not the reading), because the link was up and ready by the time I checked back that same day. So, I started early and it's a good thing, because I learned from the first chapter that almost everything I thought I knew about accounting was wrong. Granted, my view of accounting was basically people "crunching" numbers concerning other people's money (something I definitely didn't want to do), which was right. It's just what that "crunching" entails that I had over-simplified to a great degree. Accounting is a challenging field, and probably wouldn't be boring for someone who cared more about numbers than I.

However, the betrayal comes in when I get to my assignment. See, I read my two chapters, I made flash cards, re-read them, took notes, did most of the review material at the end of the chapters, went through the "lectures" (PowerPoint presentations) twice, and took notes on them...basically, I studied a lot more than I usually have to do.

And I went to do the assignment...

A good third of it was totally foreign to me. The instructor gave some tips and clues imbedded in the assignment itself, but still. I figure that if I'm asked to do an assignment, then I should have had the opportunity (and the directions to do so) to have learned the material in advance. I mean, that seems like common sense, right? But that isn't the worst of it.

After doing the assignment, and writing a complaint to the teacher along with my submission, I decided, what the heck, I'd take the quiz. Now, for myself, I think using notes, hand-outs, and looking in the textbook is cheating. I don't care if it's "allowed," which it is at Herzing; I just don't see the point of taking a test if you're going to be using materials other than your own brain to "prove" you learned something.

In that sense, I had to "cheat" on the test, because it was all material that we hadn't learned, i.e. been directed to study and been taught in the "lectures." To say I'm pissed is a bit of an understatement at this point. The consolation that I got all the questions right because I found out that the material we had not studied, as per our reading and lectures, was all in the review hand-outs I happened to read before I took the quiz (but only after I turned in the homework). I mean, how is it review, if you haven't actually viewed it the first time yet.

Well, anyway, it's done now. I worked my way through an assignment that required me to know things I hadn't been taught and I took a stupid test that doesn't prove anything other than the fact that I know how to read a hand-out written up in Excel. Now, I have my weekend free to get caught up on other things...again.

Void Sticker

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Why I Blog

While it's true that I haven't been blogging much of late...I've had the need to decompress now that my first term in college is over...blogging is still something that is genuinely important to me and here's why.

I was almost assertive today. You see, there were three older gentlemen debating politics at the Dunkin Donuts when I went in to get a motivating dose of caffeine. It was a rather loud, vehement debate that was impossible not to notice. As per my typical behavior, I tried to ignore it. However, one of the gentlemen was arguing from a point of view I happen to share, at least to a certain extent, but was doing so using a certain myth that time and blogging has proven to me to be invalid. Not only was he hurting his own point by perpetuating this myth, but he was hurting my own...though I wasn't trying to make any...and I had to speak up.

The quote that got me? "...legions and legions and legions of Bush-hating liberals..."

Now, admittedly there are many people who disagree with Bush's politics. And there are ultra-liberal Leftists who truly and adamantly hate Bush. However, the "legions and legions and legions" is a fallacy perpetuated by the media, amongst others, to make this relatively small faction of the Liberal wing of politics seem more numerous and more powerful, to better fullfill their agenda. I have debated with many, many liberals. In fact, I seek them out on purpose in order to disagree with them on certain points (as I do with die-hard conservatives), however those amongst them who are venemously hateful of all things Bush are relatively few compared to the many sane and reasonable liberals out there who just dislike Bush's politics.

So, in order to do just a little to eliminate this exaggeration, I very courteously inserted myself into the conversation. I made the correction, was contradicted, supported my position, got agreeing nods from the other two gentlemen present, and exited out of the conversation as quickly and gutlessly as possible. Could I have expounded on what I knew and shared it with them? Of course. Would they have been receptive to what I had to say? Probably. They would have at least been willing to hear me out. Could I have distributed some of the VOID cards that are now burning a hole in my pocket, so to speak? Maybe. Unfortunately, I didn't even try.

Much to the possible surprise of at least some of my fellow bloggers, I'm not a naturally assertive person. The fact of the matter is I write much better than I speak. Oh, I'm full of witty come-backs and responses -- five to ten minutes after a verbal conversation has ended. When I'm writing it's different. I can think on my feet -- or something like that. And I do have something to say, something worth saying, something that I feel the need to say...as long as I don't have to actually say it. And thus, I blog.

So, while you're thinking about why you blog, I want to formally introduce you to two new bloggers whom I've had the pleasure of "recruiting" into the blogosphere. Please take the time to check them out and introduce them to any bloggers you might know who'd be interested in what they have to say. Though, ironically enough, neither of them have much interest in blogging about the main issues with which I choose to concern myself.

Mark at Lazy Mormon is my husband and he spends his time blogging about religion. In my own words and from what I've witnessed, he's seeking to bridge the divide between Mormons and non-Mormons. There are many people who irrationally dismiss those of us from the LDS faith because we're "cult-members" and there are those within the LDS faith who dismiss people from other religions because they're "wrong." Neither Mark or I agree with either stance and Mark seems bent on addressing it.

My dear friend (who chooses to remain nameless) has started a blog called possibly crazy which seems to be about working through her childhood traumas. A fellow blogger used the word "naughty" to describe a blog I introduced her to, and that is the word I'll use as a cautionary measure. This is a blog that explores issues that are not appropriate for all ages...and I'll leave it at that.

Please welcome both of these new bloggers into the blogosphere and if you know of any blogs they should visit, let them know. And don't forget...

Why do you blog?!?

Oh, and I just linked to a blog called military view, don't know much about Jumpmaster, but his is a fairly new blog (the "he" is an assumption which I hope will be corrected if necessary) and he seems worth getting to know, so you might want to check him out too.

Void Sticker

Guard the Border Blogburst

Well, better late than never. Here it is... (Personal commentary below)

By Heidi at Euphoric Reality

Last year, I experienced a Fourth of July that I never want to repeat. I wrote about it, but at the time, I don't think my experience registered on anyone's radar. Here's part of the description as I posted it last year:

...all day, I was looking forward to the famous Freedom Over Texas Celebration in Houston - one of the top 10 patriotic shows and fireworks displays in the country. I was determined to brave the crowds (which my husband and I typically loathe) with kiddos in tow, in order to enjoy the culminating holiday of our nation's heritage. We drove an hour to downtown Houston, spent 20 minutes looking for parking, and finally stepped into the crowds to move toward the center of the Celebration.

Here is what I saw as I crossed Allen Parkway near Buffalo Bayou:

There were NO 4th of July decorations - NONE. No red, white, and blue - anywhere.
There were no American flags.
No one was dressed in red, white, and blue except me and my kids.
There were no patriotic songs.
There was no indication of patriotic pride or nationalism in any way.

No one - not one person around us - spoke English.
The music that was blasting through the loudspeakers was Mexican mariachi or some such.
Home made pig skins were sold in baggies - and screeching kids in dirty clothes were hawking water bottles out of grubby coolers.
I saw more green Mexican flags and paraphernalia than anything American-themed.

What is this - Houston, Mexico?! Had I mistakenly ended up in some grungy street carnival in Little Mexico, instead of one of the "Top 10 Patriotic Celebrations in the Country"! I knew that there was supposed to be military equipment displays somewhere in the center (which I was making a bee-line for), along with stages for Clint Black and LeAnn Rimes. I'm not a country-western aficionado, but I knew that I could most likely expect a moving patriotic song or two. As the crowds surged toward the Freedom Celebration, my family and I lagged more and more behind. Hot, sweaty, and rudely jostled in the rowdy crowd - I grew more and more angry. Looking around, I realized that no one seemed to be there to celebrate the 4th of July. It seemed like any generic public fiesta - just one more reason to party. I stopped walking and finally acknowledged the fact that whatever "celebracion" was going on around us had nothing to do with America. I was far beyond disappointed - I was furious.

We left.

I took a lot of heat in the comments from people who objected to the fact that I objected to a Mexican-themed Fourth of July. But others wrote in comments and via email that they had seen and experienced a similar hi-jacking of our national holiday; they seemed more bewildered than furious. "How did this happen? When did this happen?!" There was no real public indignation.

Fast forward to 2006. This year, the in-your-face waving of the Mexican flag will have much more significance considering the politically-charged events of the past year. In a year that has seen illegal aliens gleefully desecrate Old Glory, and raise the Mexican flag over our own, such an offensive display is guaranteed to raise the ire of red-blooded Americans. After a year's worth of heavy-handed demands for the rights and privileges of full citizenship, illegal aliens and AINOs (Americans In Name Only) may feel emboldened to wave the Mexican flag during our Independence Day celebrations - just as they did last year with no public outcry.

I, for one, won't leave a 4th of July celebration like I did last year - furious but silent. I will say something to anyone who flaunts a foreign flag during our Independence Day. I want them to know it's inappropriate, deliberately incendiary, and offensive to people who deeply love this country and our valiant flag. This year, I have a feeling I won't be standing alone.




This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the War on Terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our Blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

While I agree with the sentiments written by Heidi in this post, I must publicly disagree with the notion of going to any public or private Independence Day celebration that includes fireworks, as odd as that sounds to many. As much as I would dislike celebrating the "birth" of this nation surrounded by Mexican flags and mariachi music, I find it equally offensive to celebrate Independence while surrounded by pyrotechnic novelties forcibly manufactured by schoolchildren living oppressive Chinese regime.

Take a look:
It turns out Chinese fireworks made by forced child labor have come under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, according to Carl Olson, chairman of State Department Watch, a foreign policy watchdog group based in Washington.

The massive use of Chinese schoolchildren in the manufacturing of fireworks destined for the United States and, ironically, patriotic celebrations of freedom and justice, came to light following the explosion that killed 42 at the elementary school in Jiangxi province.

The children were tasked with daily producing 1,000 firecrackers each and the money from the business went to school officials.

While this article is "old" news, there's still far too much truth hidden there for me to be willing to participate in this particular "American" tradition.

Like most American businesses, fireworks manufacturing has lost out to countries with cheaper labor and lower safety standards.

So, while I will celebrate Independence day in my own quiet, but wholly American manner, it will include neither Mexican flags nor fireworks this year or any year I can help it.