Thursday, September 10, 2009
I looked up at the television to see that an airplane had just flown into one of the World Trade Center towers in New York. I heard the commentators saying ridiculous things like, 'Did their navigation system go down?'
But I knew.
I knew at that very moment that my country had just experienced a terrorist attack. I could never have imagined that there was more to come.
I called my husband, who was in the motor pool rolling up camo netting, to tell him what had just happened. He was surprised but I don't think he had that same feeling that I did.
While we were talking the second plane hit. I started crying and told my husband, "Our nation is under attack." He said, "No baby, it's gonna be ok." And then the Pentagon. And then the fields of Pennsylvania.
I knew that as a military family, and as Americans, our life was about to change forever.
The security on the base went into high alert. Humvees and soldiers with weapons were positioned all around the perimeter fence of our housing area. Gates were locked down. I have never before experienced anything so surreal.
There is nothing quite like the image of a soldier carrying a M16 standing guard at a fence that is next to a school playground. At that moment, I felt so grateful for having grown up in a country where I didn't know what something like that would feel like. I was filled with determination that our child would not face a future of living in a country where it was normal to see things like that either.
Eight years. It's hard for me to believe that it's been that long. Even though three of those eight years have been some of the longest and loneliest of my life because my husband was away at war--I always keep in mind that many have given up so much more than me. They give me strength. Still, there are times I feel selfish and angry that he has been gone. I wonder if it's all been worth it.
You see, sometimes I find that the memories of that day are dull--sometimes I forget that day and all of the fear and uncertainty that came with it. I forget what it felt like to have armed soldiers standing guard outside of my home to protect me from harm.
Maybe that is a good sign? Maybe that is a symbol of our resiliency as a nation that we should 'recover' and be 'back to normal' in a relatively short period of time? Maybe.
There is danger in forgetting though. Americans need to remember.
The people we lost, the pain, the fear, the anger and the sacrifice. I hope that we not only remember, but also recapture the unity that we felt and that we appreciate and reciprocate the selfless service to our nation and our fellow citizens that so many gave on that day and still give today.
Value the freedom. Cherish it. Remember how important it is to you and how fragile it is. Fight to defend it.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
From the Publisher
Every day, we make decisions on topics ranging from personal investments to schools for our children to the meals we eat to the causes we champion. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. The reason, the authors explain, is that, being human, we all are susceptible to various biases that can lead us to blunder. Our mistakes make us poorer and less healthy; we often make bad decisions involving education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, the family, and even the planet itself.
Thaler and Sunstein invite the listener to enter an alternative world, one that takes our humanness as a given. They show that by knowing how people think, we can design choice environments that make it easier for people to choose what is best for themselves, their families, and their society. Using colorful examples from the most important aspects of life, Thaler and Sunstein demonstrate how thoughtful "choice architecture" can be established to nudge us in beneficial directions without restricting freedom of choice. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?r=1&ISBN=9780300122237&ourl=Nudge%2FRichard%2DH%2DThaler/
Just this past Saturday, President Obama announced that he will now make it easier for Americans to save by implementing 'just a few changes.' President Obama must really pay attention to the ideas of his advisors--Sunstein, the regulatory czar, and Thaler, an economic advisor because this new policy comes right out of the pages of their book.
I would love to have someone explain to me how exactly the government can "design choice environments" by doing a little "choice architecture" and STILL claim they are not restricting freedom of choice??
You cannot claim you are allowing free will when you provide all of the 'acceptable' answers to the problem.
This is not the end of their vision though, you can be sure of that. After the government provides us the "choice" of healthcare, they will provide us the "choice" of what things we are allowed to eat in order to keep costs down. It's only the beginning. This is a slippery slope folks.
We DO have a choice to make and we better make it fast!
"I am resigning my post at the Council on Environmental Quality, effective today.
On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.
I have been inundated with calls - from across the political spectrum - urging me to "stay and fight."
But I came here to fight for others, not for myself. I cannot in good conscience ask my colleagues to expend precious time and energy defending or explaining my past. We need all hands on deck, fighting for the future.
It has been a great honor to serve my country and my President in this capacity. I thank everyone who has offered support and encouragement. I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to the clean energy future. I will continue to do so, in the months and years ahead."
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Is America listening? Does America care? Is there anything that we can do? The White House is ignoring it and us and are in on the game so they are out. Is there anything Congress can do? They will be branded racists and paranoid conspiracy theorists and their states (and earmarks) will be sent to purgatory in retaliation by Rahmbo and the rest of the REAL mobsters.
Obama is like one of those fancy CNN-holograms, nothing can touch him, he's too costly and he mesmerizes the masses by his flashy appeal while distracting from his content.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The story straight from the artist involved:
Here is the 'mission' of the NEA:
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
I cannot understand why people who were upset over issues such as The Patriot Act and other government iniatives/policies that they felt were potentially intrusive on their rights and privacy--how are they NOT upset over the kind of things that are coming out of this administration as well??
The very same government that they say has oppressed and disenfranchised millions they now trust to do right by them?
From January 2006 by Kevin R. Kosar:
But, what of federal propaganda directed towards domestic audiences? A near century-old law (5 U.S.C. 3107) prohibits federal funds from being “used for the compensation of any publicity expert unless specifically appropriated for that purpose.” And annual appropriations acts often include provisions stating “No part of any appropriation contained in this Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes not heretofor authorized by Congress.” Together, these prohibitions might seem like a formidable bulwark against federal agencies and officers engaged in activities to promote government policies and people.