Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The Sal Giunta Story from SebastianJunger/TimHetherington on Vimeo.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
How can we expect private citizens and businesses to plan for the future, when the future of their tax liability is completely unclear? How can we expect any job growth or business expansion when employers have no idea what impact taxes may have on their endeavors? How can we expect to recover from an economic recession when everyone is afraid to spend, because they need to keep a reserve in case their taxes are increased? Short answer....we can't. Both private citizens and employers need to have an idea of what their tax liability may be. Only then will there be a possibility of growth; in the job arena or in the economy.
Congress needs to act, soon. Congress needs to make the current rates permanent. Congress needs to quit posturing and trying to make political points through sound-bites. The "left" in Congress needs to stop trying to start a class-war by arguing that the current tax rates favor the "rich." They don't. The current tax rates won't do much to stimulate job growth or economic recovery....after all these tax rates were in place when the economy tanked. But raising the tax rates for anyone is economic suicide. Raising tax rates at any level, will only grow the amount of our money going to the Government to support "pet" projects for politicians and bureaucrats. Raising taxes is stupid. Period. It's a no-brainer.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
We should also take time today to say a prayer of thanksgiving for those who made the decision to serve, and paid "the ultimate price" for that service. Remember those who did not come home to their family and friends. Remember their families. They died that we may enjoy the freedoms and liberties we have.
Service members should own a home in the country they protect. There’s no better time of the year to make use of the VA loan.
With Veterans Day comes a feeling of appreciation. Restaurants, stores, medical offices and other businesses offer deals and discounts. Civilians volunteer and participate in the festivals and memorials of Veterans Day. Local VA offices encourage the promotion of newer and existing veteran benefits such as the VA loan.
The VA Loan
Many veterans do not know about the VA loan. However, its popularity grows every year. In the past four years, home purchasing in the veteran community rose 63 percent, according to the VA in a Nov. 1 press release.
“Home ownership is one of the foundations of the American dream,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki said in the press release. “VA is honored to administer a benefit that for two-thirds of a century has profoundly affected the lives of our Veterans, our military service members and their families.”
There is no better time than now to purchase a home. The VA loan program booms with excellent benefits. The housing market offers super-low mortgage rates. Foreclosure and “serious delinquency rates” were the lowest in the “housing industry” for the “last six quarters,” according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Delinquency Survey.
The VA loan is one of the last no down payment programs in existence. Buying a home becomes a tangible reality for active duty and veteran service members due to low mortgage and interest rates.
Eligible members can save up to $300 more every month with the VA loan, as opposed to traditional loans. Why?
•No monthly private mortgage insurance payments
•A stress-free process
•Less stringent credit and income standards than conventional loans
•No prepayment penalties
•Various options such as interest-rate-reduction loans
•A buyer can obtain a loan up to $417,000
Most veterans, active duty military members, Reservists and National Guard members are eligible for a VA loan. Surviving spouses may also be able to apply. Anyone with a dishonorable discharge will not be considered for the loan.
Beginning the Process
It seems scary to start the home buying process. However, veterans need not fear. “During the past decade, VA loan specialists have helped more than 150,000 families hold onto their homes,” the VA press release said.
VA loan specialists guide first time and seasoned veteran home buyers through the process. They find useful avenues that help home buyers to make realistic, affordable and desired decisions.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Today, we have liberal TV personality Joy Behar from "The View," ranting about a Sharon Angle political ad, and calling Ms Angle a "bitch" on national TV. Like Mr Williams, she was expressing her opinion; however she went too far when she called Ms Angle a "bitch" and said that Ms Angle is "going to hell, this bitch." She personally attacked Ms Angle, in a very vulgar and disrespectful way. Ms Behar is entitled to her opinion about the political ad, and about Ms Angle; but there is no call use the "b-word" in a personal attack. In my opinion, this goes beyond "political correctness" and into the realm of viciousness. In my opinion, calling a woman the "b-word" is akin to calling a black person the "n-word." There is no place for it in civilized society, no matter what your political orientation.
Now, I wonder, will there be a response to Ms Behar's vicious personal attack? Or, will she be given a "pass" because of her political leanings? Will Ms Behar be asked to leave "The View," as Mr Williams was asked to leave NPR? Somehow, I doubt it....because, after all, she is a liberal. Double standard? You bet!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
To the welfare of our land,
And the style in which he lives,
In the paper that might say:
Monday, October 18, 2010
Mr. Dorinson talks about the "real housewives of Idaho." He describes women who
don’t have their own TV show although it would be a helluva lot more interesting than watching the other “real” housewives and definitely better than watching Maher’s weekly ego fest.Mr Dorinson's piece describes the "real housewives" I know. These are my neighbors and my best friends. These "real housewives" are more real that those women who pretend to be real on TV. These "real women" are the reason I love living in a small town in Flyover Country. As Mr. Dorinson so eloquently explains,
They don’t wildly spend money on frivolous things at high-tone stores. They shop at Costco to feed the family and during gathering feed the crew. They are partners with their husbands. Their children are taught the lessons of work, faith and family from the time they can walk and as soon as they can walk they are in the saddle working right alongside their parents.
You don’t hear a lot of whining about how tough their lives are. They know life is tough but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
They don’t have weekends. Saturday and Sunday are just two more days to get the work done.
They don’t stab their female friends in the back when they aren’t around. They pitch-in to help each other and treat each other’s children as if they were their own.
They don’t hang out at Starbucks because they aren’t dumb enough to pay $5 for a cup of coffee and don’t have the time or the inclination to sit around and be neurotic and catty.
And they face adversity everyday and meet it head-on.
These are the “mama grizzlies” Sarah Palin is talking about. They identify with her because she is one of them.Thank God for "real housewives" who are "real women!"
I think that Maher belittles them and makes fun of their lifestyle because he is afraid of them and what they represent.
They represent an America that is in resurgence vastly different from his warped and cynical view of the nation and its people. An America that has finally had enough of being ruled by a bunch of elite coastal snobs who push their version of what this country stands for at the expense of traditional values and morals. An America that still prays to God asking for spiritual guidance, unlike Maher who openly mocks religion. Maher better hope he’s right about there being no God or come Judgment Day he is going to be one sorry fella.
It is also an America that is tired of the cattle crap Maher would call entertainment, polluting the minds of their children. And an America that stubbornly believes that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are not just meaningless words from our past but meaningful words to guide our future.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
But, there are stories in places other than books. Some people can find stories in the rocks of the earth (something I wish I could read better). Some people can find stories in their own imaginations. Yesterday, I was able to find stories in a wonderful friend who took me with him to chase cows.
This friend is an 80-something horseman, cattleman, and gentleman. He's lived in this valley all his life (except for a 4 year period when he served in the Air Force). He invited me to go with him to look for some of his cattle on the mountain near our little town. He, and his family, have grazing leases for his cattle on the National Forest land up there. The cows, and their calves, graze on the mountain grass all summer; but when the weather starts to get colder, they come down the mountain to the pastures that sit at the base of the mountain and are moved to the desert grazing areas. Some of the cows need a bit of "encouragement" to leave the mountain....so we took our horses and looked for them to head them down.
We should do everything we can to capture the stories that folks like my cattleman friend can tell. They're too important to forget, and to wonderful to lose.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I'd like to introduce you to Army Staff Sergeant John Wayne Walding. He's a real-life veteran, who really was born on the 4th of July. SSgt Walding just graduated from the Army Sniper school, which is a great accomplishment. But what makes it even more impressive is that SSgt Walding lost his leg in a 6 1/2 hour fire fight in Afghanistan in April 2008. Walding and the other members of his Special Forces team were awarded the Silver Star for their actions that day. Walding was shot in the lower leg and, in an article on the Army website, described how he had to use his boot lace to tie his leg to his thigh to keep it from flapping around. Walding was determined to stay on active duty, and he's done so. In fact, many of his classmates in the sniper course did not know he was an amputee. He passed the extremely tough course without any specal accomodations, scoring well in all the exercises.
Now compare the two stories. Granted, SSgt Walding wasn't confined to a wheelchair the way Kovac was; but SSgt Walding never considered himself a "victim" nor did he decide his country had "betrayed" him. He's made of better stuff. He decided he wouldn't let the loss of a leg stop him from accomplishing goals he set for himself. The path may have been more difficult, but he accomplished those goals anyway. SSgt Walding sees himself as a soldier, not a victim. Now I ask you.....which is the more healthy point of view?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
It's a fantastic place to live for so many reasons; but it is small! For example, it's so rural that we don't have mail carriers to deliver the mail. Each small town has a post office and you have to stop there to get your mail. Now this isn't all bad. When you stop at the post office, you have a chance to run into a friend or acquaintance that you haven't seen in a while. When you stop, you can chat with any number of people who have also stopped for their mail. The post office is somewhat of a social center, particularly when the postmaster is as friendly as our postmistress. In some ways, it's part of the heartbeat of our community. You can also tell we're a small rural community by reading our newspaper. It comes out weekly, and is delivered through the post office. The newspaper carries stories of interest to the community; things like local sports updates, articles about the farmer's market, and ads from local government candidates, as well as tips on how to deal with an early frost. Of course there are also the obligatory legal notices and a section of classified advertisements.
Today, we went to the post office to get our mail. As we were chatting with the postmistress, I gandered through the paper (to see if there was a story about the football team...there was). Here's a classified ad that caught my eye, and caused me to laugh out loud:
I was so tickled that I was almost tempted to send a buck....almost, but not quite!PAY FOR MY DUI
(name deleted) is asking for donations to help pay his find for a DUI. On August 21, he came down to see the Rodeo, he slept in the back of his truck at his nephew's sawmill. The next morning, he couldn't resist doing a couple of doughnuts, the cops were called, and he got a DUI. You can send donations to: (address and phone number deleted). Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
The whole time I was making the sauce, I kept thinking about my grandmother. She loved tomatoes, and she'd bottle her own sauce. When we'd come to visit, particularly as she grew older, she'd let us cook. She'd always send us out to the storehouse to get her tomato sauce if we made spaghetti, or sloppy joes, or anything requiring tomato sauce. She liked her's better than anything store-bought. She was right, her's was better. I guess it's because she raised the tomatoes with love, then cooked and bottled the sauce with more love. Maybe it's the love that makes homemade sauce taste so good. Maybe.....
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
So why does this Marine (who's name is SSgt Chambers) undertake this vigil? Here's a video (although not a very good video) where he tells the reason he started and continues this vigil.
h/t Airman Mom
So....I'll do better at blogging. I promise......
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
What a Marine!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
SSgt Timothy Nein tells the story of the action in Iraq that resulted in his Distinguished Service Cross. Good stuff!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
AirForceWife, a blogger at "SpouseBuzz" has posted a very funny story about her "verbal faux pas" when speaking "militareese." Jump over there and read it....you'll laugh out loud!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I love my daughter very, very much. On this, her birthday, I want to express just how much I admire her. I admire who she is; not only what she does and how she does it, but who she is, inside. She's beautiful, strong, capable, and fun to be around.
So, Happy Birthday, Sevilla. Stay safe and know that you are loved. MOM
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Unfortunately, the world is a dangerous place and a war zone is one of the most dangerous. Sometimes bad things happen. When they do, loved ones at home have to pick up the pieces and go forward. It's when that happens that our many in our military families show that those who actually wear the uniform are not the only strong and dedicated members of the family. Our military family members serve this Country, too. If you don't think so, just read Mrs P's blog post, "I Will Always Be a Marine Wife." But I warn you, take a whole box of tissues along with you when you do.
Take time today to say a prayer for those who serve, and for their families who wait.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The real Tea Party story is quite simple and an eloquent tribute to democracy: a genuine movement of ordinary people rising to the demands of their all-American principles. It represents a fundamental difference between those who seek to provide for themselves and those who see government as provider of all material goods. The Tea Party movement is a valiant resistance to decades of profligate entitlement spending, which has had the real effect of worsening every problem it was intended to fix, landing the country, at last, in a sea of impossible debt. Tea Partiers, like the Liberty Boys of 1776, stand steadfast on the principle of equality in the rule of law, not government-ordered equality in material-world goods.
As Ms Shiver sees it, the Tea Party movement is a reaction of those of us who have recognized we can no longer be the "silent majority." It is a reaction to liberal elites who have counterfeited the American institution of voluntary alturistic organizations and created community organizations to effect an "orderly revolution" designed to usher in a Marxist system of wealth distribution. It is a reaction to those who have been taught, often by those who express a desire to "help," that the only solution to life's problems lies in government action. As Ms Shriver says,
From the Stimulus package of political payoffs to the power grab of car companies "too big to fail," to the climate bill rewards for privileged corporate interests, to the health care takeover in the same vein, we see a man dedicated to destroying the very foundations of America's community-builders and replacing them with the grand social-engineers' paradise, which Saul Alinsky -- and Mussolini, Hitler, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao, and others -- have envisioned.
I think Ms Shiver has hit on something with her analysis. It makes sense to me, and explains why the Tea Party movement is so important. American citizens, those of us who THINK anyway, believe that hard work and self-reliance leads to success. We believe in limited government and personal freedom. We believe in helping those who help themselves, not in providing a handout to those who expect it. So to again quote Ms Shiver,
The real Tea Party story is as simple as this. Genuine community-builders do not wish to be robbed blind and see their children in the shackles of debt so that the modern version of tyranny -- community organizers -- can split up a pie they didn't bake.
Read the article.....it's worth it!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Jake has left the Marine Corps, but he's still making an impact. After the earthquake in Haiti, while many of us were wondering how we could help (beyond sending money), Jake, and seven others, actually did something. They created "Team Rubicon." Team Rubicon, or TR as they call themselves, is a group of former Marines, medical professionals, and first responders who got together, and despite discouragement from the big international aid agencies, went into Haiti in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and made a difference. Team Rubicon and their efforts in Haiti are highlighted in Foreign Policy magazine. Check it out....it's worth your time. Then head over to Team Rubicon's webpage and get involved by volunteering or donating. These are truly "the good guys."
Now, in my book, Mr Dehaven is a real hero. He ran to help when help was needed. He didn't have to, but he did. Mr Dehaven's boss wasn't surprised at Mr Dehaven's actions; he thinks it was just a Mr Dehaven's character, to help others. Oh....did I say that Mr Dehaven spent six and a half years as a Combat Engineer in the Army? I'd bet dollars to donuts that Mr Dehaven's Army experience formed a large part of the character he demonstrated at the IRS building. He's a hero.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Now the why... So many of 'Our Guys' and 'Gals' have spent a good portion of their lives in the past 8 years working, fighting and paying the ultimate price with their life for our freedoms in the land called Afghanistan. There are many negative images of the country, people and the reason we're there and what we're doing. This 30 day trip being videoed by these two Airmen will perhaps give everyone who is curious and questioning a better understanding of what our soldiers see everyday. It's like taking a trip without ever leaving your home. Not quite how I like to travel, but sure beats reading the newspapers accounts and opinions.
Now isn't this a great idea, and a wonderful way to support those young men and women who are still serving?
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
While this place is home, it is remote. Flyover County, in Flyover Country, is in a high mountain valley (most of the County is above 7,000 feet), about 50 miles from the nearest Walmart. In the last census (2000), the County had 2,509 people, eight small towns (the largest of which has about 550 people), two National Forests, one National Park, and no US highways. It's wonderful! As an example of how wonderful....yesterday, on my way over the mountain pass to the nearest Walmart-town, I saw this:
There he was, just sitting on a rock along side the road, sunning himself and looking around...all majestic and proud. What a beautiful sight! I love Flyover County!
"I once said, that some people take their football and the fighting for their alma mater way too serious in the "big" picture of life, a game should be a game with good sports, no hard feelings and being an adult. This was sent to me by a friend, and sort of points that out.
Just prior to the start of the Air Force-BYU football game, Sept. 22, 2009, this video was broadcast in the BYU stadium in Provo, Utah. Later, the USAF Academy Superintendent, Lt. Gen Gould, showed this clip to the faculty and staff. He told everyone that BYU ran it minutes before the kickoff at the game. He was clearly moved by it, as were those who watched it. BYU is a class act."
Friday, February 5, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Having said that....today I got an email from a very good friend. I know I've seen this email before, and was touched by it then. I don't remember if I passed it along, or not, but for some reason I feel compelled to post the email's poem....so here it is:
The Soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass..
'Step forward now,Soldier ,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?'
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear...
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
h/t Mutt & Jeff
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Today, while the War against Terrorism might not be popular, it is necessary. I believe the American public knows this. I believe that's why we "support our troops." We all recognize that our fighting men and women stand between us and those who would harm us, our country, and our way of life. It is only fitting that we honor these men and women who give so much for us. There are a number of things we can to do give our military their due; volunteering for Soldier's Angels, sending packages to "Any Soldier," donating to charities that support the families of those who gave their lives, or by simply saying "thank you" to anyone you see in uniform.
My Marine Son has pointed out another way to honor those who have given all; a memorial bracelet. These bracelets are similar to the POW-MIA bracelets of the '70s. Like those bracelets, a memorial bracelet is a simple way to keep the sacrifice of those who "gave all" in the forefront of our minds. They're a way to remember. You can order a memorial bracelet at MemorialBracelets.com. You can order a bracelet with the name of someone you know, someone from your hometown, or home state. You can order a bracelet to memorialize someone who gave their life in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Vietnam; or someone who was the victim of terrorism. It's not hard to order, and wearing the bracelet is another way to show support for our military.
I ordered two bracelets today. I ordered them to remember two young men that I didn't know. I may not have known these young men, but I will honor them forever; not only because they gave their lives for this wonderful country, but because they served with my son. He knew them. He said they were "good kids." He mourns them. So to honor him, and to honor them, my husband and I will proudly wear these bracelets in memory of LCpl Leopold F. Damas of Floral Park, New York, who was 26 years old when he died in Afghanistan on the 17th of August 2009, and for LCpl Javier Olvera of Palmdale, California, who was only 20 years old when he died in Afghanistan on the 8th of August, 2009. May God Bless them both, and may God Bless their families.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Well, here's the good news....LtG is back! A book based on his blog and his experiences in Iraq is scheduled for publication on April 1st. (He swears this is not an April Fool's joke.) Based on LtG's blog writing, I'll recommend this new book to you, sight unseen. (You can pre-order it on Amazon.com by clicking this link.) He's also posting on Kaboom, again! Good luck LtG!!!
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
This one is from a guy named Jim Bille from Raleigh, NC. I particularly liked this one, and believes it says it all!
This one was done by Jon Prain of Avon, IL.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
As a child, my daughter was loving, stubborn, intelligent, and beautiful. She's the child that could both charm and exasperate. She was (and is) athletic and intelligent. She can still be stubborn. She is a strong woman, in a family of strong women. I love her.
My daughter is now a mother, with children of her own. She's a fantastic mother. She is raising her children to be respectful and capable. She's got a strong testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and has married a man with an equally strong testimony. Their children have a bright, simple testimony that will only grow as they hear and feel their parents' testimonies. I'm so proud of my daughter's choice of an eternal companion....she couldn't have found anyone more suited to her. My daughter is an example of someone I'd like to be, eventually.
So, Happy Birthday, sweetheart. I hope this next year brings you all the happiness you deserve!
I'm not an economist, nor do I fully understand the interplay of forces on our National economy; but I do believe that growing government (consequently growing government salaries) and growing entitlement programs when our National debt is so high violates common sense. It seems as stupid as using one credit card to pay off another credit card. Maybe our current crop of elected officials are too busy trying to please enough special interest groups to ensure their re-election that they've forgotten basic common sense lessons of life.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Having said that.....I just have to weigh in now that the Democrats have decided to finalize the "look" of the health care bill behind closed doors; involving only a few "highly placed" Democrats. To me, this plan silences the voice of any opposition. It minimizes the voice of those who spoke at the health care town hall meetings held last fall. It ignores the ideas of the elected representatives of a good portion of this Country....those who vote Republican. By meeting behind closed doors, and not allowing any input into the "final" health care bill, it appears that the Democrat bigwigs will pander to their radical base, their fundraisers, and their ivory-tower apologists rather than try to find a way to approach any health care "crisis" from the point of view of a realist. This is not "open government" and it's not the way important issues should be decided! Secret, back-room meetings do nothing to advance the debate....they silence debate!
Check out this article by Max Pappas on the Freedom Works website. He summarizes several newspaper editors that are calling on the Obama administration to honor the "C-Span Promise" he made during his campaign; to have a more "transparent" government. I know that more campaign promises are broken than are kept...but this is one promise that should have been inviolate; especially when considering this health care bill. This is something that will have a profound impact on this country, its economy and its citizens. Those citizens have a right to know how the "final form" of the bill was written, and to know that their interests have been considered. All citizens have that right, even those who vote Republican!