Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama's Salvation

White Man's Greed and Obama's Salvation

I found this on another homeschooler's blog. It was a very interesting and informative read. I encourage you to take the time to look at it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

I was sent this article in an e-mail this morning. It says much of what I have said regarding the media lately. I think this is worthy of taking the time to read.

Just a note:
Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

by Orson Scott Card

October 20, 2008
An open letter to the local daily paper -- almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor -- which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house -- along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Sen. Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a essay entitled "Do Facts Matter?" ( "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury."

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?

Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Fred Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign -- because that campaign had sought his advice -- you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension -- so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means. That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time -- and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter -- while you ignored the story of John Edwards' own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women (NOW) threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.

That's where you are right now.

It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe -- and vote as if -- President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats -- including Barack Obama -- and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans -- then you are not journalists by any standard.

You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city.

This article was found at this site: Greensboro Rhinoceros Times

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Making Applesauce

Remember all those apples we picked in Vermont? Well, I needed to get something done with them as we were getting tired of just eating them. We decided to try our hand at applesauce. The girls gave me a hand at peeling and chopping up the apples. They had quite fun at it too!

Only a 13 year old
Cutting apples is fun
Longlegged girl shows off her bandages from the mole removal
I think I broke the peeler
How silly can a household of girls be?
Silly enough for Mama to wonder why there are apple peels all over the floor

We let the applesauce simmer all night, however, we found the next morning, that we apparently put too much water in. After playing around with it a little, I found a way to strain it. The girls enjoyed drinking the strained juice and pronounced it mighty fine!! At least nothing was wasted!

"Date" Follow up

Puddin went on her "date" the other day. Here she is with her friend in front of the theatre. They met up with another family so there were plenty of chaperones. After the play, they went to the park for lunch and time to run and play. Puddin was more excited about that than the play I think.

One funny happened though. My friend, who was already a little nervous having someone else's child in the car, had to slam on her brakes at one point. From the backseat, she heard my little one's voice saying "What are you trying to do, kill me?" Thankfully, my friend found it cute and struggled to keep from laughing. Little ears hear any and everything!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A date with...

I don't think Daddy expected to get a letter like this for awhile longer and especially not for his youngest dd!

I respectfully ask for the pleasure of taking your beloved daughter Puddin to see a play at the Theatre Thursday morning. Even though the play is called "Harry the Dirty Dog", I assure that this is a wholesome, respectable event. I promise that I will not dance too much or sing too loud. Though I might hold her hand while crossing the street. If it suits your schedule, I would like pick her up at 8:45. Please call and let me know if it is O.K.
A cute, sweet little boy

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Crazy week so far

Remember how I posted at the beginning of our school about how I had everything scheduled out but the Lord was in control of it all? Well, apparently I needed reminded of that this week.

I knew going into the week that Monday and Tuesday were going to be crazy. On Monday, Longlegged girl had an appt to have 2 moles removed from her shoulder. She did very well with it even though she has 7 stitches. The appt, thankfully, did not take as long as I had thought and Longlegged girl was feeling okay as she will still numbed up so we headed to the next stop. Pumpkin and Cucumber had a field trip to a nursing home with their speech class so after lunch, Longlegged girl's choice since she did so well at the dr's, that is where we headed. The girls passed out ice cream, said John 14 with their class and sang some hymns. Some of the students said individual speeches but since we weren't sure we were going to be there, I didn't have my girls do one. We ended up eating dinner at our friend's house who had also watched Puddin for me all day so that was a blessing as I was worn out from the day.

Tuesday is always our busy day as I work at Home Sweet Homeschool during the morning & early afternoon. Every other week we have speech class so on those days, like yesterday, we headed to speech straight from the store. From there, we had to hit the library and Costco as we were on that side of town. We didn't get home until 7 p.m. and still had to put up our Costco purchases and get Puddin to bed as she had not napped all day. I was worn out especially since I hadn't slept well the last 2 nights.

Wednesday was the day that went different from my plans! I decided to skip going to our weight class at the YMCA because I needed to sleep in a little to make up for the previous nights. Tylenol PM helped make sure I got a good rest. This turned out to be a good thing because about 9:30 a.m. I got a call from our realtors office to schedule a showing between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. Now while the house was not too cluttered, it did need some cleaning such as bathrooms and floors. This meant we wouldn't be getting too much school done during the morning. Then, on top of it, I had lost a crown on my molar the night before so I had to find a dentist to see about getting it prepared. The dentist I had left a message with called back shortly after the realtor and had an opening at 1:30 p.m. Okay, now that meant that the girls would have to go with me and sit in the office and lunch was going to have to be eaten out.

We had the house very clean by 12:25 and left to grab lunch at Sonic. We got to the dentist at about 1:20 p.m. and I received a call about 5 minutes later. It was the realty office again with another showing in 15 minutes! I said sure, the house is clean and no one is there. I guess that is why the girls needed to be with me so I was beginning to see a little reason to the madness of that morning. The dentist visit turned out to be pretty short since I don't need another crown. Instead, I just need to have the tooth extracted! That is scheduled for next Thursday. We made it back home in time for Puddin to get a nap and we got all the schooling done that had to be set aside that morning. Now we are just waiting to see if we hear anything from the house showings.

It is neat to look at it all in hindsight and see how the Lord knew what needed to happen yesterday and orchestrated it all for our benefit. I am thankful He is in control of it all because I would make it just one gigantic mess. May He continue to remind me of His goodness!!

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

Saturday, October 4, 2008


We were very happy to see the mountains as we went north from Boston on Saturday morning. We also began seeing a little bit of color which only became more pronounced throughout the week. The pictures just don't do justice to the scenery we saw. I could have just kept the camera to my eye the whole time as we drove around. Some of this was in New Hampshire also as we were right on the border of the 2 states.

We went to church Sunday morning with a friend of mine who then had us over for a simple lunch. She enjoyed showing my girls the apple tree in her yard and I enjoyed getting to visit with her in person instead of through e-mail. We went back for dinner with her and her husband on Wednesday evening.
This is the view from her front door.
Monday found us over on Route 100 where we took a tour of Ben & Jerry's. We enjoyed the tour even though they weren't making ice cream, especially the free sample at the end. We didn't buy any ice cream though because it was one of the chillier days. We actually were pretty chilly in our camper the night before due to it getting down to freezing.

We then took in the Cold Apple Cider Mill and enjoyed hot drinks and cider donuts. Yummy!! Someone saw us taking pictures and offered to take our family picture which was very nice. We enjoyed these gliders and I asked dh if he thought he could make one :-)

Tuesday was a drive into New Hampshire where we drove to the top of Mt. Washington. It was a clear day so we had a beautiful view from the top. While we enjoyed the drive up, we still say Pike's Peak in CO was better and a little scarier in the drive.
The highest winds ever recorded were up here. They were over 200 mph. That explains why they had chains holding down the building. I don't think I would want to be up there when that happens.
We had to climb the rocks, Puddin included.

On the drive down, we stopped and walked a trail for a short while. We, of course, had to climb more rocks.
After a late lunch, we looked around the town at the bottom of the mountain. While in a little shop, we learned what the Moose tours were. We couldn't afford the tour but we decided to drive the route and see what we might see. After about an hour and it starting to get dusk, Mike saw one running down the side of the road. Most of us just saw the profile and backside. Our hopes up we kept driving and a short while later, Mike spotted another one standing in a clearing. It stayed there while we turned around and then stood there while I took a few shots. Success!! We ended up driving the whole route which took us through Maine, a state we hadn't planned on going to. That made 14 states that we drove through during our vacation.

Wednesday we stayed around St Johnsbury and visited the Maple Farms factory. The tour was nice but the maple candy was the best!! We could eat that all day long.
Thursday was our last day for touring so we found an apple orchard to pick our own apples. Dh found some milkweed to show the girls. We had a great time picking and quickly filled up our bag with Cortland and Macintosh apples. We had better fun eating some :-) We then drove to the Cabot factory and learned all about the making of cheese. I think that was my favorite tour because I am such a cheese lover. The sharper the better but wow, it takes a long time!

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was driving home. It was a great vacation as evident by Puddin.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Boston, Part II

Between our days in Boston, we drove over to Lexington and Concord. We started at Concord and learned all about the battle at North Bridge. We also learned about this cannon that had been discovered recently and played a part in the beginning of the American Revolution. Dh enjoyed the weapons but he was fascinated with the interior woodwork of the old house it was located in.

The girls and I on North Bridge in Concord

A tree full of girls and beautiful ones at that.
Puddin enjoyed playing peek a boo around the tree.

This was a tavern along the route that we stopped at. They had a rifle firing demonstration which was interesting.
Thursday found us back in Boston doing the last leg of the Freedom Trail. We toured old "Ironsides" which is in wonderful condition and a beautiful ship.

The last part of the trail is the Bunker Hill Monument. It contains 294 step to the top and Longlegged girl was not looking forward to it. We did it though and made it to the top successfully. Puddin even made it about 1/2 way and then Mom and Dad took turns carrying her. Daddy gave her the ride all the way down.
On Friday we headed back into Boston to visit the Public Gardens and take a ride on the Swan Boats. The ducks were fun to watch diving under the water. We then walked over to the "Make Way for Ducklings" statue. For lunch, we met up with some homeschooling families that we are in an on-line co-op with. Then we headed back to the campground to pack up for our drive to Vermont the next day.

Boston in the Fall

Our trip started early Saturday morning after a quick stop at Starbucks to fuel up on caffeine. We made it to just outside Brunswick, GA when we came to a stop. Ooops, no gas! Thankfully, our new GPS allowed us to find a gas station to call and get them to bring us gas. We were soon on the road again.

Speaking of gas, the Lord really blessed us regarding the prices. I was concerned the prices were going to spike due to Hurricane Ike but once we made it to NC, we didn't pay any higher than $3.70's and even were blessed with $3.30's at one stop. We knew we were back in the South when we hit $3.99 on the trip home.

We made it to VA that night and stayed in a nice state park. We all work together on getting the camper up and down so it doesn't take us long, maybe 15 minutes at the most.

Eldest directs the backing up while Longlegged girl watches.

We made it to the Boston area late the next night. I had reservations at a state park so we just found our campsite and checked in the next morning. It had rained there earlier in the day but was just real windy that night. I did wonder if we were going to hear any tree branches falling the way the wind was whipping. It wasn't coming into our camper though. It seemed to stay up high so it was on the humid and sticky side that night. We went to Plimoth Plantation the next morning and met up with one of my internet friends and her daughter. The girls had a great time exploring and playing with their webkins. There was a voting exhibit where you elected who you thought would be the best leader from Pilgrims and Indians of that time period. We enjoyed talking with the enactors, especially in the Plimoth town. They stayed in complete character the whole time. Dh learned all about thatching a roof while my friend and I talked to a gentleman about travel and education of that time.
In an Indian house and checking out the canoes they use.

How is the garden growing?
A view of the town from the church up on the hill

My friend and I in our unintended matching shirts.

The next day, we began taking in Boston. After hearing the call for a walking tour of the first part of the Freedom Trail, we decided to splurge on that. It was a good decision as we learned many tidbits that we wouldn't have on our own. We ended at Faneil Hall so since it was lunch time, we took in Quincy Market. Mmm, does it smell good in there! That was the first place, while on our honeymoon, Dh and I had Shepherd's Pie so he and some of the girls had that.