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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Happy Sunday, everyone

So do not be afraid of suffering or defeat.  It is through being "struck down but not destroyed" (2 Cor 4:9) and through being broken to pieces, and those pieces being torn to shreds, that we become people of strength.  And it is the endurance of one believer that produces a multitude.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Are you for this?

Are you anti-Muslim?

No.  But, I am against sharia law.  

Are you for sharia law?  
Are you for genital mutilation of women?  
Are you for honor beatings of women?  
Are you for honor killings of women?  
Are you for murdering anyone who is LGBT?  
Are you for punishing dog ownership?  
No?
Then we agree.  You are against sharia law, too.  
Towns across our country are being asked to accept sharia law, in direct violation of the constitution of the United States.  
If I was a sitting member of council and was asked to vote for or against sharia law, I would stand with our LGBT friends, our Jewish friends, our Christian friends and humanity to say no.

Wouldn't you?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The thin blue line

My husband was driving home from work the other day when a group of protesters showed up.

There were about a dozen protesters and they were protesting the police.  The way they were showing their dissatisfaction with the men and women who put their own lives on the line to protect them was by blocking rush hour traffic.

You know, stopping hard-working and innocent people from getting home after a long day of work, that really gets people on your side.

The irate drivers started honking their horns and tried to get around the protesters.

At that time of day, traffic is so busy that there is a police officer who directs traffic.  The officer made a call on is radio.

My husband said that within about two minutes several police cars came speeding in, lights flashing, sirens blaring, screeched to a halt at the site of the "protest" and officers immediately contained the protesters, allowing them to continue, PROTECTING THEM, and clearing the way for rush hour traffic.

The police officers were undoubtedly the good guys here.  They protected the 1st amendment right of the people to protest, but also protected the rights of innocent people, who aren't in the business of being paid to protest, to go about their daily lives.

And, all that was BEFORE the Saturday verdict that Cleveland police officer Michael Brelo was innocent of all charges in the 2012 deaths of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell.

Now, the city braces for another round of riots, similar to those in Ferguson and Baltimore.  Because, you know, if you don't like something, it is important to go out and destroy things.

That is totally ok.

Except, I am thinking that maybe it isn't ok in Cleveland.

Our mayor has had a very different message than Baltimore's mayor.  Cleveland Mayor, Frank Jackson's message has been, if you break stuff in Cleveland, we give you a free hotel room - the city jail.

That is not exactly the message sent by Baltimore's mayor, is it?  She pretty much said, go break stuff, it doesn't matter.  And, break they did.

Even LeBron James, the patron saint of Cleveland, sent out a message of peace.  Ok, his message sounded eerily similar to "buy tickets to see me play basketball."

But, still.

It was a message of hope and peace because, believe me this city can pull together for a Cleveland team to win a championship.

With the help of a lucid mayor, a basketball phenom and an active police department, maybe things here will be ok.

I certainly hope so.  Pray for Cleveland.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My platform

After our fantastic win over the school levy, I was asked to run for city council.

I have no idea why.

But, I am considering it.  We don't declare parties in our election, there is no reason to, everyone is a democrat.

Shocker, I will be running as a fiscal conservative, if I do decide to get into the mudslinging business of politics.

(Thank you, btw, to so many of you for helping me develop a thick skin.  Your below the belt blows and name-calling have helped prepare me for this.)

So, here is my platform.  I am going to run it by you because you have absolutely no problem giving me your thoughts and opinions.

When you increase a tax RATE you don't always see a corresponding increase in REVENUE.  Tax and spend politicians think that if they just keep raising tax rates, more money will come in and they can spend their way out of all our city's woes.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

There are two sides to the equation - income and expenses.  Tax and spenders look only to the income side and seem to ignore the expense side.  You can't really control how much income comes in, but you can control expenditures.

When tax rates increase, the truly wealthy move away, taking their money with them, to avoid high taxes.  The middle and poor are left because they can't afford to get away from higher taxes.  They are overburdened with excess taxation and, often, default.

When people, who can't afford their taxes, default and lose their homes, that decreases our tax base.  So, higher tax rates don't make more revenue, higher tax rates do the opposite and hurt everyone.

Cue the bright, sunny day music.

Lower tax rates actually increase government revenue.  People have more money in their pockets, they can then turn around and spend that money at restaurants and buy shoes.  All of the businesses make revenue and pay taxes on that revenue.

The wealthy flock to areas of lower taxation, bringing in even more revenue.  Yes, the rate is lower but because more people pay in on more dollars, tax revenue actually increases.

Because tax rates are low, more people move in.  Property values increase.  People are paying a lower percentage, a lower tax rate, but on more income and more property values.  Government tax revenue goes up.

Does that make sense?

Can I count on your vote?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Just the other day at the Cleveland Zoo, I watched a child sit on the wooden overhang in the cheetah pit.  I wanted to run over and snatch her off it.  That is why I was dismayed, but not surprised, when I heard that, on Saturday, a child had fallen into the cheetah pit at the Cleveland Zoo.

First, the backstory: the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a treasure.  Not only are the animals cared for - they eat their catered meals in cozy, Eco-friendly habitats.  But, the zoo is also really nice for people - we can see all of the animals eating their catered meals in their Eco-friendly habitats.  We have rhinos, a snow leopard, six giraffes, several zebras.  We have sharks and piranhas (if one more zoo keeper tells me they are vegetarian, I might lose it).  We have kangaroos and even our own eagle.

We go so often that my children know all the names of the animals.  We know when they get fed, we know when they will be up and running around.  When our beloved polar bear, Aurora, died, we cried.

But, I have always had a few reservations about the Cleveland Zoo, which I pay handsomely for in my tax dollars.  There is a gang-plank ramp that zig-zags and weaves its way through the treetops and up a hill from "Australia" to the cheetah enclosure at the top (and the monkey house).

One time I saw a child fall and start rolling toward the edge of the ramp.  He would have fallen and probably been killed.  I picked him up, set him on his feet and kept walking.  His parents were completely oblivious.  A few years later, a net was installed on that ramp so that children could no longer plummet to their deaths through the beautiful Ohio trees.

Many times, I watched parents dangle their children over the sea lion enclosure.  My children are strong swimmers and while they begged me to lift them up (uh, no) I cringed in horror as I watched parents holding their children over that enclosure.

There is now a net covering that enclosure, too.

So, it was just last Monday that I watched the child sitting on the cheetah enclosure railing.  The cheetah exhibit is my favorite.  We have four cheetahs.  The exhibit has a high, chain link fence and you can walk all the way around it.  So, even if the cheetahs are hiding or napping, we can usually find them and stare at their awesomeness.  Have you ever taken a serious look at one of those paws?  Well, you could, at the Cleveland Zoo.

From the viewing deck, you can look into a cave and see the cheetahs, if they are lounging in there.  You may have seen that view on the news.  There is, of course, a high wall.  But, we all know - people don't pay attention, and people dangle their kids precariously over safeguards.  So, the Cleveland Zoo has a wooden awning hanging over the enclosure.  It is several slats of wood, slanted upward, hanging over the cheetah pit.

You would have to work really hard to get your kid over it.  You would have to reach up, over and then dangle.  Which, according to witnesses, is exactly what happened.

We have to stop the nonsense.  I have watched people doing stupid things with their kids for 12 years at this zoo.  I have staunchly told my kids no while they begged me to do the same stupid stuff.  The Cleveland Zoo has taken every precaution to ensure that no one is hurt by animals at our beautiful zoo.  (They have plenty of tax dollars at their disposal, just sayin').

If this woman did dangle her child over that enclosure, she should be prosecuted.  And, the cheetah exhibit should stay exactly like it is.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

From A Wrinkle in Time to Red Dawn

As I watch the decline of our nation, I often wonder, how did we get here?  How, in my lifetime, just two short generations, did we go from a freedom loving nation to one of totally apathy?

Remember the book "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle?  The book won the Newbery Medal.  It used to be required reading.  My daughter had to read it when we were homeschooling.  So, I read it again, too.

The book describes a great evil, the evil has captured the heroine's father.  He is fighting the evil.  They arrive in the town where the father is imprisoned.  Each house is exactly the same, each child is bouncing a ball the exact same way, each mother calls in each child at the exact same time.  One child doesn't do it right and is taken away to be reprogrammed.  The heroine and company are horrified.

That evil, the one that the dad is fighting, is communism.  He won't allow his brain to succumb to the evil message of, "Just relax, we will take care of you, don't worry about anything, just let go, we know better anyway."

That book wouldn't win a Newbury Medal now!  It sounds like the current government play book!  We have actually fallen so far that the message of this book is a joke.  Many, many Americans see nothing wrong with the idea that they should just let go and that the government will take care of them.

What has happened to us?

Last night I watched the new, 2012 version of "Red Dawn."  (Yes, my husband beat me to the remote.)

It shows the total apathy of young Americans living their ordinary lives.  Then, their town is invaded by North Korea and these young people are forced to fight for their freedoms and their lives.

Many of their friends just give up and become communist.  It is so much easier, right?  The band of misfits, reluctantly, fights the North Koreans to take back their town.

One thing was noticeably missing from the film and it is missing from our lives - the reason to fight.  What makes this nation worth fighting for?

The United States of America is the greatest country the world has ever known.  She has produced more freedom, more justice, more prosperity, more equality, more wealth and more generosity, in just over 200 years than any other country on the face of this earth, ever.

Because of that, we have real enemies that hate us, hate our freedoms and want to take us over.  First, they want to lull us into a sense of comfort.  "Stop fighting, nothing is worth fighting for, sheesh, chill out, smoke some pot, don't work so hard, the government will take care of you, you deserve it."

Second, they want to demonize America and all of her successes.  The message is either, "you don't deserve all of that great stuff, you didn't earn it, so someone else should have it" or "America isn't perfect, so she isn't worth anything."

Either way, the question is then raised - is our way of life actually worth fighting for?

Finally, once we are convinced of our mediocrity and lulled into a complete sense of apathy, evil will just waltz right in the door and take over, kinda like they did in "Red Dawn."

Oh, hey!  Kinda like right now.