Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Well Regulated Militia….

Being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Like most of the world I had never heard of Hutaree, a Christian militia group until this weekend. Even though these folks are my neighbors, and like any small town there are the usual connections. This person when to school with one of the guys, that other guy lined up next to us every year for the Figure 8 at the fair, the usual 2 degrees of separation of small town living.

I’ve watched a bit of the news, but I don’t personally know any of the facts. I’ve not read the entire Indictment, but as I understand the situation they are charged with Seditious Conspiracy to levy war against the United States, to oppose by force the authority of the Government of the United States, and to prevent, hinder, and delay by force the execution of any United States law, a crime which carries a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

I found an interesting analysis of these charges at a blog named Constitutionalism.

As I consider the plight of my neighbors the following comes to mind.

1) My county, in fact my entire State, is in an economic depression.

When people are stuck between a rock and a hard place they do things they may not otherwise do. Like my co-worker who’s going to do time on Federal weed charges.

2) What a blessing our Holy Mother Church.

Who teaches us that we have been living in the end times since Jesus walked the earth, and is ever so careful to help us remember that no one knows the time of Jesus return, and just to make sure the point isn’t lost venerates the sacrifice of Christian martyrs with feast days through out the year, even going so far as to remind us that the Church is built on the blood of the martyrs.

3) Criminal charges are nothing more than claims – innocence is supposed to be assumed until proven otherwise by hard evidence. But that’s not the way it works in the media, where any claim is taken as gospel and guilt is assumed.

Would our government use this fact as a point of intimidation against us right leaning, fly over, Middle Americans? You know the red-necked, hillbilly, used to be hard working, Tea Party types.

I can’t help but wonder if this extremely well publicized multi-State Federal sweep to capture six wild eyed Christians accused of being hell bent on bringing down the Government of the United States of America might be all about.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Pray for Us.

Monday, March 22, 2010

100 lbs of Weed & A Dad We Laid Off a Year Ago

I have a blog post today, not about health “care” reform, but about the impact of recession on one dude I know. I’m running payroll today, and I just came across his name. This 30ish guy has worked with us off and on for almost a decade. He has a common law wife and five kids of his own and a nephew living with them as well. He’s a good worker, not the brightest of the bunch, but overall responsible, generally level headed and does a good job in the shop.

He looks like a cholo, like any one of these guys, a bit scary if you don’t know him, you might not want to meet up with him in a dark alley. We’ve had quite a few guys like these working with us over the years, shop workers generally aren’t the same guys you find working in offices, and sometimes they look a bit rough around the edges.

Two years ago we had fifty people on payroll, today we have five full time and two part time workers. This dude is one of the part timers. When it first became obvious about a year ago, that something was drastically wrong and we needed to radically reorganize to keep from losing everything, laying off people was very hard. I would hear platitudes like, “folks will bounce back, and there are other options out there.” But where I live there aren’t other options out there, for anyone, not just for cholitos.

So when we read about this dude last Friday being busted for moving 100 pounds of weed from Texas, my husband took it kinda hard. We know we had no choice but to lay him off, and when we brought him back it was very part time, and we know that he didn’t have to choose to move weed between Texas and Michigan, but we also know that truly there are no options for work in our county. Mr. Cholo had the dream of becoming a General Contractor, but with the crash that dream died too. No one is building, period. No one is hiring, period. Businesses are running over our southern boarder to Ohio as fast as they can. Thanks Jenny, I thought DC was going to call you up. Excuse me Mr. President, don’t you need another dream killer in DC? Don’t over look us in Michigan, Jennifer Granholm is available to kill dreams too, don’t pass this opportunity by. Don’t you see what wonderful work she has done?

CONSERVATIVISIM MUST RISE FROM THESE ASHES.

We must or our nation is toast. I’ve had it with the BS that business owners are money grubbing, self centered a-holes. We are the people who provide the opportunity for families to live a stable life. We offer people the opportunity to earn a living, working hard yes, but keeping a roof over their head. When decent, hard working people have to turn to a life of crime to keep their family fed we are coming unglued as a society. I’ve known this man for a decade. He’s not a criminal. I know because we’ve employed criminals, including ex-felons. He’s not a criminal, what he did was criminal, but he did it because he’s a dude between a rock and seven mouths to feed, and now they won’t have him for a long time. That sucks, end of rant.

St. Joseph the Worker, Pray for Us.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Homosexual Marriage – A Debate with My College Roommate

My roommate from Michigan and I have stayed in touch over the years. She went on to Veterinary school at OSU, and worked at a major university in research for many years. I moved to LA and got an MPA from USC. We both got married, and have stayed married to the same men. She has two girls and we have one son. Our lives have unfolded along similar lines, and yet she veered left and I pulled hard to the right. She stayed in academia and I’m in the private sector. That will influence a soul along the way, so when I saw a link on her facebook page in support of gay marriage I decided to ask her about it.

It’s a divisive topic of course, and it’s difficult to have a discussion without falling into sound bite simplicities. I know this woman personally, I know she is intelligent so I really want to know how she had reasoned her way to her position.

From the Right Side of the Fence

The germ of my argument against same sex marriage rests on the possibility of adverse impact on children. I argue that children are, by virtue of biological necessity, the exclusive byproduct of relationships between men and women and are historically the main beneficiaries of marriage. Furthermore, that the deterioration of family life over the last forty years has had a profound damaging effect on children. I argue that gay marriage could add fuel to the flames rather than help put out the fires and that arguments in favor of gay marriage such as property transference or medical decisions regarding an ailing partner can be managed via other contractual mechanisms such as wills, trusts, power of attorney documentation etc. In any case, the needs of the most vulnerable, our societies children, should trump the interests of adults in same sex relationships.

From the Left Side of the Fence

Her argument revolved around same sex attraction as occurring in the animal kingdom, and therefore biologically natural. That same sex partners should be afforded all rights granted other members of society so as to not be excluded. She drew parallels with the civil rights struggles of blacks and oppression of Jews as comparably problematic issues in human history.

From the Right Side of the Fence

I countered that marriage does not include or exclude individuals from participation in any area of society and that same sex attraction as a naturally occurring condition does not necessitate it’s codification into the law of the land as the basis for a marriage between two people.

From the Left Side of the Fence

She was busy and would talk about it later.

The Take Away

I find it troublesome that the most vulnerable appear to be disregarded in this argument from the left. When one individuals needs are deemed greater than another’s, who speaks for the weakest in the equation?

I ask this question, I think about the issues impacting children in our society, because I have contact with the most vulnerable. Not daily like the caseworkers, but regularly when I ask about adopting kids from foster care. I find out about them, about their histories, about their needs about what happened to them before they came into the system. I see how they are often un-tethered from birth, how every few years they have new “parents” as the biological parents hop from one relationship to the next. I see the devastation, the complete destruction of these, the most vulnerable among us.

Like nine year old Sara. A cute little girl with big brown doe eyes. Our caseworker told me all about her last week. How she is improving in residential treatment. How her outbursts are fewer as time goes on. How seven men sexually abused her and that with a boy so close in age they don’t feel our home would be a good placement for this child.

It’s difficult to listen to, difficult to hear about a nine year old child that has been treated so brutally. Difficult to imagine the living hell she has gone through, but I know how it happened. Family life is disintegrating, and children are vulnerable. Now is not the time to take any steps that could add fuel to that fire. Now is the time to exercise some common sense and put the needs of the most vulnerable first.

St. Joseph, Patron of Fathers, Pray For Us.