Tuesday, October 28

Politics, Round 4 - Oh boy.

Over the weekend, I discovered something troubling. I have a link for you too, so you can read it as well.

Al-Qaeda is endorsing John McCain.

Does that mean that "a vote for McCain is a vote for terrorists"? Maybe, maybe not. As you'll see in the article, Barack Obama also appears to have an "oh boy - yikes" endorsement, from Hamas. From what I understand, Hamas is also a terrorist group, but they've never tried to attack the US in the way Al-Qaeda wants to attack. (Here's the Wikipedia about them; as far as I know it's an accurate description/background.).

And the election is only a week from today. I'm personally not sure how I feel about the information in that article, as it shows that both major candidates have an endorsement they'd rather not have. I'll admit that it is causing Ralph Nader to look like a better person to choose now (since Ron Paul isn't on my state's ballot).

Which reminds me - just because you may be a registered Democrat or Republican, does not mean that you *have* to choose one of them for President. In a federal election, you can pick whoever you want - your party affiliation only matters during a Primary election. Also - while I don't think it affects any of you reading - make sure that if you are challenged on Election Day for any reason regarding who you are, that you are still allowed to cast a provisional ballot. I think we've all heard about the voter fraud thing, and this is one way it's happening - telling eligible voters that '[for whatever reason] you cannot vote in this election'.

Yes, you can vote. If you're challenged at the poll, demand a provisional ballot. That's one that will only be counted after you have proven that you are who you say you are. Any official can tell you what you'd need to prove that, and I believe you have 7-10 days in which to do so.

So I wanted you all to know your rights (and voting is a big one!), and to know that you can choose whoever you want, based on what you know and how you feel about it all.

Now I think I really am finished for this go 'round. Unless I find another article as damning for either of the Big Names. :-)

Monday, October 13

Politics, Round 3 - Where are you?

I'll start by saying that I found a much better site for candidate comparison. I'm just going to link to it, since they have done more research on each candidate (independents, et al., included) and have better links for everything. Plus trying to do this - something I know next to nothing about - on my own is making my eyes cross and head hurt! LOL
So, to see where each candidate stands on *every* issue, check this out. Make sure you scroll all the way down, there are graphics to make it all easier to take in. Also clicking on the candidate's picture will take you to what that person specifically believes in, what s/he has said, and voted for or against. For those of you against Obama (for whatever reason), I encourage you to check out what he's said, believes, and has voted for and against while in the US Senate.
Another cool thing - there's a quiz you can take to see where you 'match up' compared to all candidates. I'll post my results too, I've known about it for a few years but had forgotten this link. Now if you take that quiz, answer honestly and with your first instinct for best accuracy. There are only around 25 questions, and they're not hard. At first, choose the "2008 Presidential" option and it will compare your answers with each candidate for this election. Of course, if you'd like to see how you compare to any other elected official, there are options for that too. You shouldn't use that as a 'who do I vote for' test per se, but if you're undecided it might help you a bit. At least you'll know who you most agree with, and can then read up on that candidate. I truly hope you do read about all of them, but at the very least, learn more about both major party candidates! Here are their websites again:

John McCain Barack Obama

If you're interested, here are my personal results for that quiz:

Yeah, I'm a dirty Liberal. :D Such is life!

And now, websites for folks you'll likely see on your ticket under "President" November 4:

(Libertarian) Bob Barr

(Independent) Ralph Nader

(Green) Cynthia McKinney

(Constitution) Chuck Baldwin

(Socialist) Brian Moore

There are a few others, but I couldn't find a website with substance for them. On that "On The Issues" sites, you'll find links to everyone, if you scroll down and watch the right-hand side.

This concludes my foray into politics on this family blog! I'm going to keep paying attention - and I hope those you who haven't, will start also. It really is best to know what's going on! We all can see what's happened when we let the government do what they do while patting us plebes on the head saying "no, no, we know what we're doing. don't you worry your pretty little head.".

{Roll your eyes with me, people} Oh please.

So, now for the 'family' part this week: the kids and I are leaving Thursday morning for a weekend at Mom's house. I'm going on Friday to have lunch with Bro's oldest girl at her school! My girl wants to come with me but I'll play that part by ear. Last thing I need is for her to want to stay at her cousin's school for the rest of the day!
I'm also planning to drop in on my friend Jenn :-) I know her birthday was last week, and I picked up a small gift for her a few weeks ago. Now I just need to give it to her! And all the kids will enjoy hanging out a bit again.
I did also find the nightgown I needed (at the Salvation Army store - YEAH!!!) to become Lily Munster on Halloween! All I need are a bat necklace (which she wore in Season 1) or a Gothic-looking necklace (which she wore in the following seasons until cancellation), a long black wig with a white stripe, fake fingernails, and someone to help me with the makeup part. Oh, and for Mom and her Sewing Sisters to help me make this gown not-so-see-through! We also will be figuring out how to make the sleeves in a batwing shape, and attach them.
Since we'll only be there 4 days and 3 nights, that's about all I have time for! But it's plenty. Hopefully, Baby Bro will come up too and visit with us. I might just try to have lunch with him on Thursday when we get there. That's another play-by-ear thing. (I do that a lot!) I hope to be home by sundown on Sunday too.

For my family reading this - we've started a little Christmas shopping for our nieces and nephews, so I'll be sending out the "want" email next week sometime. To make it easier, I'll probably send each of you a separate email to avoid duplicate gifts, but it may just be as simple as gift cards in any amount. Seriously, these kids have so many toys that don't get any playtime, and I'm tired of picking through them for donation every month. Anyway, just watch your inboxes for that email, sometime next week.

Have a great week everyone! I'll check in once again before Election Day :D

~Amphitrite the non-politician-chick

Sunday, October 5

Politics, part 2 - an interesting article

An article I read about the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain. Back to the race issue from my last post, and knowing that most of you still believe that Senator Obama is a Muslim (or whatever that viral email says), I want to share something that was written about McCain.

Make-Believe Maverick: Rolling Stone article (Oct 16th issue)

It's a long article - printed out it's almost 20 pages long, but well worth the ink used. If you don't want to or can't make/take the time to read it, here are some things you may not know about Senator McCain:

- Karl Rove has said that McCain's 'practice of politics' is deceptive, and that the Senator's campaign ads go 'too far' and fail the 'truth test'.
- one constant in his life? "Doing what's best for himself." One former senator (a Republican senator, at that) said that "John has made a pact with the devil."
- "McCain didn't play well with others.", and seems to have had a misogynistic streak early on.
- he has escaped death twice (both incidents are written in the article).
- he's been called a "womanizing hotshot" among other things, and tended (or, tends) to lean on family connections for advancement.
- McCain admits that he "was not qualified" for a post as the commanding officer, training carrier pilots, in 1974 (after his unfortunate time as a POW).
- although adultery is a court-marital offense, and not okay by God, he did it anyway. Early and often.

Now folks, there is much more to this article. Every point I mentioned - while quite scathing - is in the article, and I honestly tried to include things here that would make you want to read the full text. Remember, I'm trying to educate you about both candidates in order for you to make your own informed decision come November 4. That's only a few weeks away, and I realize that this is a HUGE undertaking for me. When it comes to politics, I'm pretty dense - never paid attention until this year - but my own fog is clearing and I hope to make a dent in yours. We, as a people, are going to choose the next President of the United States. The HMFIC. The Big Man on Campus. Those are big shoes to fill, and we all want the best person doing it.

In fairness, I will try to find and read any similar article(s) about Senator Barack Obama. If you find one, please let me know! I'm more than happy to read it and write a similar blog post for you all to read. Only, it has to be from a reputable source - no emails that have been forwarded ten times. Most of the viral emails you may have received about Obama have already been debunked by great research sites like Snopes and FactCheck . But if you have seen something in NYT or other newspapers, or from CNN's website, pass it along and I'll give y'all my take on it. Good, bad, and ugly - just as I did here with Senator McCain.

Also in the interest of full disclosure, I am a volunteer for the Obama campaign here locally. I'm doing my best to keep these posts unbiased and fair in the interest of educating everyone who reads. There is a Presidential debate Tuesday night at 9 p.m. EST, and another on October 15 at 9 p.m. EST. These are great opportunities to hear each candidate speak - even when they talk to each other like kids fighting over a toy - and help you make your own decision. Make sure you are currently registered to vote! It's easy to register at your DMV among other places. The deadline is Tuesday October 7. I truly hope I've helped some of you in some way already, and you can keep coming back every few days to learn more!

Okay, if you have or are reading the article, you'll notice something I wasn't going to mention until after the election. Sen. McCain's second (current) wife and I do have the same maiden name. I have the genealogy of it, and the familial split that caused me to be raised where I was, and she out west, happened many generations ago. She is biologically a cousin - but like my (possible) connection to George Washington, it's quite distant. In relation to Dad, who is about Mrs. McCain's age, you have to go back 5 generations to find a link. Her GGG-Grandfather is the brother of Dad's GGG-Grandfather, both born around 1800 in NC. They are the first and second sons of Washington & Lucinda. So I guess, 6 generations actually, with Washington being the genetic link.

But anyway, please don't make that a reason to vote for McCain. Use this education and information I'm bringing you about the issues, not the man himself or anyone associated with him. Thanks for your time, and be sure to read the above-linked article for yourself! :-)

~A (this time, P sent me the article and said "it's interesting to read")

Thursday, October 2

Here come the politics, part 1 - Health Care

Okay, I'd like to start with each candidate's Health Care Reform plans. This is the most important issue to me because I haven't had insurance since Hurricane Girl was born. Gynecologists are kind of expensive out-of-pocket when you have to have labwork done every year for the rest of your reproductive life. On the flip side I am quite lucky that both my kids and husband have afforable coverage - I'm fine with using "hippie home remedies" on myself for now.

First, here are the things both candidates agree on:
-insurance should be available and affordable to every citizen.
-already have providers you like? Keep them! We'll just lower your bills with them.
-bringing in cheaper (but equivalent quality) medicinal drugs from other countries, as well as more generic options.
-if you have a pre-existing condition, you cannot be denied coverage from any insurer.

Now, the differences...
Candidate #1:
-wants more research for curing chronic diseases
-thinks every provider should be made accountable for, and responsive to, patients' needs
-wants to encourage each state to lower their costs related to Medicaid, without any decrease in coverage or availability
-wants to make public the information of treatment options, doctor records, quality of care, costs and prices (I don't see where it says it would keep your personal information private, although I imagine there is a protocol for your info remaining private.)
-wants to help senior citizens choose a representative - relatives or friends - to assist with personal health care decisions

Opinion: most of that sounds pretty good to me. No, I'm not telling you which candidate is which until the next entry.

Candidate #2:
-wants to help small businesses offer affordable insurance to their employees
-wants to 'even the field' by making large employers who don't offer insurance pay a fee toward the costs of their employees' health care, in effect keeping costs lower for every citizen
-wants to create a new publicly available plan based on the benefits available to Congress members (opinion: you KNOW they get quality care), and improve prevention and management of chronic diseases
-thinks it should be required that cancer screenings, flu shots and other such preventative care be covered under any plan
-thinks all insurers should charge lower co-pays and premiums
-requiring children be insured, up to age 25

Opinion: a lot of that sounds pretty good too.

Now, I want you to know that these above are just synopses. I've read both candidates' full plans (and you can too) and tried to choose a few important points that you and I can easily compare against the other candidate, on the same things (as in mentioning what both feel about chronic diseases.). There is a lot of good in both plans, and honestly, only a little that bothers me in both plans. Today I want you to decide which sounds better to you, based first on the points above, and second on your own research. Unfortunately most of you reading this are just voting party lines without doing any research. I was the same way for many years! This is the first year I'm paying attention, and enough of it is making sense to me that I feel I need to share with you, my family, who are just like me.
A woman I know online had the best idea in regards to elections, specifically Presidential: she said each candidate (Democrat, Green, Independant, Libertarian, Republican, whoever) should take a test, and vote how they feel on each issue. Those tests should be locked away until the general population can take the same test, without us ever knowing who said what to which issues. Then, match them up. Whoever has the most agree with him/her, should then become President.
Great idea, but we all know that would never happen. Not enough politicking if we took that route, and then what fun is it to bash your opponent?

{donning flameproof suit here}

The last thing I want to say, and this will likely offend a good portion of you, is something I've had to realize recently. Only one person has had the stones to own up to his racism in this election. If you're voting for (whoever, there are more than just McCain and Obama on the tickets) solely because s/he is white, at least admit that you're racist. I know that most of you likely are racist but you try to convince others that "that's not it", that you're voting for (someone else) because of (some other reason). I know and love you people, but I now realize that some of you are racist deep down. I really do not care who you choose in any election - that's your decision alone - but be honest about it. And be educated about your choices here! That's all I want to do with these next few entries is educate you. We should be voting for issues, not people, but especially not race. The Civil War - and slavery - ended a looooooong time ago, so let it go.

{flameproof suit off}

Over the next few days I'll be working on the next entry, which will be their Education plans. That is the next most important to me. In the meantime, I encourage you to see what both candidates think about everything. Time's running out but you only need to read a few opinions from each to get a feel for where they stand all around. And you can keep coming back here every few days, where I'll put what I can into little words so we can all understand it together. So, in alphabetical order, here are the campaign sites for John McCain and Barack Obama - happy reading!

~Amphitrite (without Poseidon's help this time)

Wednesday, October 1

A quickie with some pics

I think this is the last full "gotta-get-stuff-done!" week until next month. I hope so anyway! So before I put my laptop to sleep for the day, I thought I'd share a few pictures. I have running around to do today and it's already 10 - I've only done one load of laundry so far!

Okay, so the kids started school back on August 13. First day ever for Miss Hurricane, and Boy is a 5th grader now! (Next year, it's middle school for him - yikes!) Little Miss Grumpy wasn't in the mood that morning, and she felt chilly:

... while Boy felt totally fine:

They both have been doing well at school ever since. She is much better about following directions now - that wasn't a strong suit for her previously - and he is reading more, and more easily, and comprehending all of it. They both seem to be having fun. Girl has her first field trip this Friday! That should make for a nice long story when she gets home from school. :-)

Last weekend, our littlest niece turned a year old. There was a fun party, lots of gifts and cake and ice cream and all! I have a ton of pictures, but haven't yet asked permission to post any of her. I may do that later if it's okay with her mama. One I will share from that day is this one of Boy:

... he's practicing holding his breath! And, he's no longer afraid to get his face in the water! Mom and Pop (my in-laws) got a hot tub recently, and the kids just love 'swimming' in it. Pop has been working with Boy on holding his breath and getting his face/head wet. I didn't know that until he said "Hey Mom, watch what I can do now" - and there's the picture I took! I'll be able to teach him how to swim soon, then!

It's 10:15 now. I have to go to Best Buy, then JoAnn's, and get back in time to run two more loads of laundry so I can hang them outside. I'd better skeedaddle! Longer post will come next week, and I'll try to get more pictures up for that one too. I will also be dabbling in political writings, and will share what I learn from both candidates. I'm volunteering for Obama, but I want you all to vote for whoever you want. AS LONG AS YOU VOTE, pick who you want. But I want to educate as many people as I can too, and STOP the ignorant "Fwd: Fwd: Fw: Fw: OMG look what {candidate} did/said he's a terrorist!!!1!" emails. And, Poseidon will help me compose the posts since politics is something he knows a whole lot about.

Now, family, I love y'all, but if you don't know what you're talking about, don't forward me that garbage. Remember, Snopes.com is also your FRIEND. I've been reading from both candidates' campaign sites, and will give a rundown here. At least then, I'll know you know *something* about each of them instead of voting based on the adverts' fearmongering.

Come back soon!