Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Dr. Wortham has published numerous articles on the implications of individual rights for civil rights policy, and is currently writing a book on theories of social and cultural marginality. She has also published articles on the significance of multiculturalism and Afrocentricism in education, the politics of victimization and the social and political impact of political correctness.
No He Can't
by Anne Wortham
November 6, 2008
Please know: I am black; I grew up in the segregated South. I did not vote for Barack Obama; I wrote in Ron Paul’s name as my choice for president. Most importantly, I am not race conscious. I do not require a black president to know that I am a person of worth, and that life is worth living. I do not require a black president to love the ideal of America.
You have elected not an individual who is qualified to be president, but a black man who, like the pragmatist Franklin Roosevelt, promises to – Do Something! You now have someone who has picked up the baton of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. But you have also foolishly traded your freedom and mine – what little there is left – for the chance to feel good. There is nothing in me that can share your happy obliviousness.
Please follow this link to read the entire article.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
March 27, 2009
Data released on March 26 by the House Committee on Ways and Means demonstrates that every state in the Union - and every American - will be hit hard by a new and highly regressive "Cap and Trade" tax.
The President's recently-released budget imposes a $3.01 billion tax on Utahns. On a per capita basis, each Utahn will be hit with $1,115.47 in new taxes on their electricity bill alone (Table 1). Families will be hit even harder. The data show this new tax will increase the average Utah family's (3.08 people/household) annual electricity bill by $3,435.65 or by nearly $290 per month. While other energy costs are low as a result of the recession, all energy costs will increase as the Administration increases the velocity of its frontal assault on American energy security.
At a recent congressional hearing on energy consumption I asked Mr. Howard Gruenspecht, an expert witness from the Energy Information Agency (EIA), a non-partisan federal agency dealing with energy issues, what percent of Americans consume some form of energy. He replied: "All of them." Further, I asked him what percent of Americans would be impacted by a cap and trade tax. His answer: "Probably all of them."
Since everyone in America consumes energy, then everyone in America will suffer the consequences of the Obama Administration's foolhardy proposal to regulate climate change through so-called "Cap and Trade (Tax)" policies. The Administration's proposal will not only further cripple the economy, it will impose a crushing energy consumption tax on every man, woman, and child in the United States.
With so many individuals already living on the margins, this massive new tax increase will destroy our hope of recovering from the current recession. The financial security of all Americans will be jeopardized if this tax is enacted. Now is not the time to increase taxes, nor is this the way. Despite the President's assurances that 95 percent of Americans will not see their taxes increase by one dime, the numbers clearly show his plan will actually increase taxes on 100 percent of Americans.
Annual Increase in Electricity Costs
(based on the Stern Review's recommended carbon price of $85 per ton)
State Increase in Electricity Costs per Capita
Dist of Col $977.30
New Hampshire $527.51
New Jersey $206.60
New Mexico $1,402.42
New York $263.61
North Carolina $699.46
North Dakota $4,350.56
Rhode Island $210.51
South Carolina $775.41
South Dakota $348.80
West Virginia $3,972.29
Source: Committee on Ways & Means Republican Staff analysis
Member of Congress
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I wrote the following entry over a year ago for my family blog. Seems this is a good place to share it as well.
Marina came to work with me in a small office back East in the mid-1980's. She was young, perhaps 20, short brown curls framing her cherubic face. She spoke with a very slight accent. Marina was a Russian Jew who had moved to the United States with her family-- father, mother, and a brother-- about a year before. She told me her story. Her father felt it was time for them to leave Russia. Knowing they would not be granted permission to leave, they made plans to "visit" her uncle in Israel. They took only what they would need for such a trip, leaving behind treasured family mementos and all other personal possessions, knowing that taking even such things as family pictures would arouse the suspicion of authorities and would likely jeopardize their plans. They did go to Israel, but spent only the time necessary to get visas to come to America. They left behind their former lives, family, friends and all but two weeks worth of clothing to come here. I was in awe.
I was also impressed with Marina's ability to speak and understand English. She had taken English in her Russian school, but said that most of her language skills had come as a result of signing up for classes at the local community college there in Maryland. Wasn't it hard, I asked her, to take classes having only a very basic understanding of our language. Well, yes, she said, it was, but she caught on quickly. And she was getting good grades, despite this handicap. Each new revelation about what she had been through amazed me further.
I asked her what some of the things were that she enjoyed here that she didn't have in Russia.
Didn't you have gum in Russia?
Well, the government didn't think it was necessary.
Strange, I thought. Something that I wouldn't even think of as significant, this girl thought was a treat. And what's up with that -- the government didn't think it was necessary?
What has been the hardest thing to get used to in the United States, I asked her.
The freedom, she replied without hesitation.
She went on to explain that her father had taken a job in another community when they first arrived here. After a short time, he realized that the job was not a good match for him. He wanted to change jobs. In Russia, she explained, they had little, if any, choice where they worked or where they lived. If they wanted to change jobs, they applied to the government which, if it decided was a valid request, would find the individual a new job and different living arrangements if the job was in a different area. Here, her father had to apply to various companies, go for interviews, decide which job to take, find a new place to live when he accepted a position with a large company in our area, make arrangements to move his family, and follow through. It was a daunting process to one who had never experienced this way of doing things.
I don't remember the rest of our conversation on these lines. I do know the things I've just written gave me much reason for thought and consideration for a long time.
Seeing my country through the eyes of Marina had been enlightening, somewhat a paradigm shift, so to speak. The things I take for granted each day, without thought, were novel for her. Something as simple as a piece of gum. But the real eye-opener for me was that freedom, so natural to my family and all (U.S.) Americans, was challenging for her family. They had to learn how to live in a free society.
Until this time, I had been only obliquely interested in news and politics. Yes, I listened to the evening news. Yes, I read the newspapers. I voted. I considered myself a good citizen. I remember a pollster calling me in the early 1970's with questions about the then-current political atmosphere in our country -- these were the days of Vietnam, Watergate scandal, and Roe vs. Wade. One of the pollster's questions was "How much influence do you feel that you have on these issues?" On a scale of one to ten, I probably selected "one". I honestly felt I had little or no influence on what was happening in the whole scheme of politics and important issues in our country. I was about 25 years old at the time. I had just had a baby, and my life revolved around taking care of her. While I recognized that these other things were important, I didn't feel there was a thing I could do that would make a difference. Even my single meager vote in any election seemed meaningless.
On September 11, 2001, I went to the computer to check email before I left to tend my grandchildren for the day. I saw the report of the first plane crashing into the WTC. My immediate thought was that some pilot made a wrong turn over New York City. I turned on the television for a more thorough report. A few moments later, the second plane hit. My heart sank. I knew immediately this was no accident. With the rest of America, I was glued to the television for the remainder of that day, and for many more after that. This event began my new relationship with the news and my interest in what is going on in the world.
Aunty Mary's story
My great-Aunty Mary lived to be 101 years old. After she married at the age of 27, she became a homemaker and did not work outside of their home after that, despite never having children. My great uncle worked for an engineering firm and made decent wages. They put money into savings for their retirement (no 401-K's in those days). When the time came, he retired and they lived well within their means on Social Security. Uncle Gordon passed away in 1981; Aunty Mary lived another 21 years. She continued to receive social security benefits but she also had her "nest-egg" to provide a safety-net for unexpected emergencies
Aunty Mary's emergency came when she was 99 years old. She was still living in a second story apartment by herself, extremely self sufficient. In fact, she shoveled snow for her landlord until she was into her 90's, and planted flowers in the back yard until she was 99. On Christmas Eve when she was 99, she fell from a stepladder in her kitchen and broke her hip. With the loving encouragement of our family, she went -- figuratively speaking, but almost not figuratively -- kicking and screaming into a wonderful assisted living home operated by the Masons.
I took her to the home to see it, to meet the people who ran it and the staff who would be helping her. She was concerned about the expense, and what would happen when her savings ran out, although she certainly didn't expect to live long enough for that to happen. They assured her she would be cared for regardless of her financial situation. She did not have to pay them anything "up front". Almost two years later, she beat the actuarial odds, and outlived her savings. She was absolutely horrified that she would be living "on charity". That almost killed her. A few months later, she fell again, and died as a result of a broken hip.
I have to add here that the people of the Masonic organization treated each person in that community with dignity and respect. None of the other residents ever knew Aunty Mary's financial situation, and of course, she did not know theirs either. I have the highest regard for the Masons, though neither I nor any of my immediate family have had membership in their organizations.
Self-sufficiency has been ingrained in me by the example of my family. Not just Aunty Mary, but all of my family.
Why am I telling you this?
As I've watched and pondered the politics of our country, I see that many people feel that the government is there to "take care" of us. In the name of "compassion", many feel that the government is the instrument through which "poor people" should be helped -- i.e., given money, health care, housing, whatever else they "need". I, too, believe there are many people who genuinely need help, and that I have a moral obligation to help them. But there are many ways to do that, that don't put a government bureaucracy in the position of being the caretaker.Families come first. We should take care of our own. Churches and charities also provide assistance to members who are in need. The church to which I belong teaches provident living, and also provides assistance to those in need while offering them the opportunity to serve others. The basic premise of church welfare is and should be to help people help themselves. Giving someone something for nothing is not helpful, with very few exceptions.
I'm not eloquent, and I don't have an advanced education in economics, politics, government, or social order. But I am a thinking person, and I've given much thought to what I have heard in the news and have seen happening to our country over several decades. We're losing our freedom. It's that simple. And if today's generation of young adults doesn't give some serious thought to the things that are happening around them, and consider the ultimate consequences, and then get involved, their children will be like Marina. But they will have nowhere to go.
While the boiling frog allegory has no basis in reality, it paints the picture that what we would never buy into in one giant leap, we may accept one tiny step at a time until it is too late to extricate ourselves from the mess we've landed in.
Here's what you can do
We don't have time to wait for this generation to finish raising their children before they open their eyes to what is happening to our country. The time is now. The person to make a difference is you, and me. The way to do it is to listen to the news and commentary -- a variety of it from many sources. I've linked a few good websites that offer other individuals' viewpoints. You won't agree with everyone you listen to or read. But you will begin to see a pattern. You'll begin to understand why I am writing this blog entry.Vote. But not unless you really understand what or who it is that you're voting for. Don't be like another woman I worked with who voted for Bill Clinton because -- and this is a direct quote -- "He's soooooo cute!" You only have to listen to the "man in the street" type of interviews on the Glenn Beck program or Jay Leno to see how really uninformed a large percentage of the population is about our government.
Find out who your representatives are in Congress, then hold their feet to the fire on important issues. Make sure they know who you are. It really doesn't take too much time to zip off an email or letter to them. Yours added to many others who do the same does influence them. I've seen it happen. See the links to contact Congress on the side of this blog.
Set an example and teach your children. Teach them to respect their country, its flag, and its leaders. Peaceful, respectful disagreement is part of the process. Dissing our country is not. There's a right way and a wrong way to get things done. Be part of the right way.
Encourage your friends to get involved.
If you love the life you're living, please take time to consider these things carefully. What Marina gained by coming to the United States we stand to lose if we continue to give up our freedom by putting the government in charge of the details of our lives. They'll take the money we've worked hard for and give it to people who are capable of doing the same, but who just don't want to and are using government-provided loopholes to avoid it. They'll make laws to tell you how to raise your children, and if you don't obey those laws, they will take your children from you.
Think about it.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Concerned citizens are planning Tea Parties all over the state of Utah for Tax Day, April 15. If you are interested in helping to plan or coordinate one in your area, please leave me a message here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm looking forward to meeting you.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
The organizer of this Tea Party is David Kirkham, a small businessman of Kirkham Motor Sports in Provo. David, like many of us who participated today, had never taken part in any kind of demonstration before this one, but having done business in a socialist country, knows firsthand of the danger our country is now in, and this was his way to sound the alarm. He did a great job of putting this event together, and I thank him for taking the time and making the effort to do so. Standing together with like-minded citizens was invigorating and motivating. Although our little group in and of itself may not move the mighty mountain in Washington, I sincerely believe we will play an important part. Each American has a say, and needs only to take a stand and make his voice heard to make a difference.
At noon, we moved inside the building where a podium had been set up for our use. David addressed us (please read his message at www.davidkirkham.blogspot.com), as did Chris Herrod, Utah State Representative of the 62nd Legislative District in Provo, and three others. They each confirmed our belief that the federal government is doing great harm to our country by its massive spending and borrowing and encouraged us to continue to petition our legislators to oppose the path the president and congress is currently pursuing.
Media covered this small event, and I understand we were a blip on the local evening news.
Another round of Tea Parties around the country has been scheduled for April 15. Watch for one near you.
Here's a link to the local newspapers about the event:
S L Tribune
And here's a link to David Kirkham's speech.
David Kirkham, the organizer of this Tea Party
David Kirkham introducing Rep. Herrod
Chris Herrod, Utah State Representative, 62nd Legislative District (Provo)