Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Flood Aid

Please help as you can and give as you can for Hurricane Katrina Flood Aid - I'm recommending donations be given to Operation Blessing. Check out the many other worthy organizations here and here.

Time for the Tough Questions?

I have to begin this post by saying that my heart goes out to all who have lost family, life, limb, liberty and property in the horrific catastropy that was Katrina. This storm is having and will continue to have far-reaching effects that most of us haven't even begun to consider.

One of the bulletin boards that I read has brought up a couple of considerations - one thing we need to remember is that EVERY RESCUER who subjects him/herself to the stagnant contaminated water in these areas may themselves turn out to be victim to hurricane Katrina as well.

The tough question, as I see it,is SHOULD New Orleans, as it was, be rebuilt? I never had the opportunity to visit the fair city - have only read of it and seen pictures. New Orleans, sitting 8 feet below sea level is the only coastal city whose elevation is in the negative numbers. In the 19th century, New Orleans was firmly established as a major shipping port - this during a time when trade via steamboats was the easiest and most convenient method of transporting goods. By the 20th century, however, steamboats were unable to compete with the railroads.

While New Orleans has been graced with a rich and fascinating history, seemingly at least, a portion of New Orleans has in the last few years degenerated into a celebration of some of the baser elements of a "civil" society. The current situation of widespread looting, taking advantage of a bad situation to make it worse, seems to validate this point as this type of situation was not seen to this degree even after 9/11 in New York City. For an interesting read, check out The Compact of Civil Societies from the RightWing NutHouse, H/T to Below the Beltway.

The damage, at the point of writing appears to cover in excess of 80% of the city of New Orleans. Should the billions of dollars for relief and aid be put into rebuilding the city and it's levees? As recently as December, 2004, an article came out in USA Today which recognized research by the Army Corps of Engineers. The research showed that some levees in the Louisiana/Missippi Coastal area had sunk as much as a foot in the past 20 years. While they did not at that point have a $$$ amount for the necessary improvements, they did state that the cost for the 125-miles of Lake Ponchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project would be about $100 million. A bit of research shows that as of March, 2005 the costs for this project were estimated at $1.5 billion, and funds were not available for 2005 for the project, so estimated completion was not scheduled until 2013-2015.

Are there other options? Would it be feasible to attempt to "fill up" the bowl? With all the debris about now, if there ever could be a time to do so, it would seem that now would be the time.

Given the information on simply reinforcing the levees quoted above, and the fact that major roadways and highways will have to be resonstructed as well, wouldn't it be better for folks to be encouraged to begin their lives anew in a new home, in a city less flood prone?

I'm sure I'll be taken to task for this, as I'm just a civilian who doesn't know whereof she speaks - but I *think* I know how I'd feel if I were to lose everything - and I don't think I'd want to put my life on hold indefinitely to get back to life as I *knew* it. It just seems to me, that folks need to do some deep soul-searching to determine if rebuilding the dream is really worth the cost.

Update: I truly believed I would be among the minority voices on this subject, but after reading Ogre's View and the accompanying comments, it looks like more folks are thinking about this subject . . .

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina . . .

Whoa. I'm heartsick. Hurricane Katrina wasn't an issue for us (central Florida) at all - and my sister in S. Florida lost a Papaya tree and had a Royal Palm snap in half, but that was the extent of their damage.

But watching and waiting and empathizing with our neighbors over in Louisiana is keeping my heart in my throat. Kinda puts politics into a different perspective when some of our countrymen are in a life and death struggle that could at best wipe out their homes and at worst absolutely decimate their city and take many lives.

I'll be staying tuned to Hurricane City.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Please Stand By . . .

I know, I know, I've not contributed anything in the last week or so - but with two kiddos not feeling too hot, a two day headache myself - I've just not been able to muster up the righteous indignation to comment on anything or even care much about the "outside" world, hehehe. The fact that another hurricane is about to descend on our state just hit me yesterday afternoon - and even that doesn't seem like a big deal at this point. Mu Nu was down? Hmmm. Missed that. Oh well - this too shall pass, and I'll crawl out of the doldrums to be my normal opinionated self before long. 'Til then, check out the folks at the Life Liberty Property Community and Cox and Forkum.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Checking out the Fair Tax

I'm spending a little time today checking out the Fair Tax - haven't picked up the book yet, but from everything I hear, I'm all for it! Here are a number of places to read about it, and some interesting commentary . . .

Americans for Fair Taxation Read about it

Americans for Fair Taxation Volunteer Website Get involved

The 'Fair' Tax - Matt Towery

Fair Tax Blog

And congrats to Neal Boortz & Congressman John Linder for their #1 slot on the New York Times best seller list for the second week in a row!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Great Children's Literature with a Libertarian Edge

My girls and I have been thoroughly enjoying a series of books by ~believe it or not~ a British author, Brian Jacques. The series is "Redwall" and we've read through the first 6 or so and are avidly collecting the rest.

We first met the Redwall series when the girls were only about 5 and 2 - and our local PBS station picked up the series for afternoon TV broadcasts. The girls got 'hooked' quickly on the animated stories, only to have them pulled abruptly from the time slot in the afternoon and placed instead on a Sunday morning (whilst we were in church) so they were not able to watch them. I contacted the station to find out why they were pulled and was told "we had some complaints from parents that they were too violent". Well, that's our PC world for you. So, our station pulled the series from the afternoon slot, moved it to Sunday morning and then ditched it as quickly as they could, apparently.

At any rate, once the series was pulled, I did some research online and found a set of Redwall audio tapes - the complete and unabridged book entitled Redwall. My girls loved it - and I can assure you that just about any boys would!

Once the girls got a little older, I began collecting the series and I now read them aloud as a family reading - we do a lot of reading when we go out for drives. I have a sense for the dramatic, and Jacques uses a number of different British dialects for the voices of his characters - which are fun for me to read.

I liked the series immediately because it was equivalent historically to a kind of age of chivalry - only the characters, rather than being human, are critters. There are good and evil - with few gray areas in Jacques writings - the good being mice, squirrels, badgers, otters, shrews, moles, hedgehogs among others. Bad are the rats, stoats, weasels, foxes - and the fights between good and evil are accomplished with swords, pikes, bows, etc. The stories have marvellous plots with themes of liberty over oppression being carried out in very realistic ways. While most of the stories center around Redwall Abbey, and the characters who live in the abbey give thanks for their food and behave themselves in a moral way, Jacques does not make the mistake of assigning them a religion. The characters are so well developed, though, that you'll recognize friends and family in their personalities.

I've always enjoyed reading - love the fantasy of Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, etc. But fantasy has never been an overriding love - and it has to make sense to me. The Redwall series of books are IMHO, written just as well as Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia". When I fall in love with characters, and actually shed tears over their demise, well, that's good writing in my book - and most modern fiction just doesn't touch my heart and mind that way.

So, if you're looking for some good modern literature for your kiddos that isn't full of PC crap, but spins a good yarn and upholds the truths that you value, check 'em out!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Aren't Cindy's 15 Minutes up yet?

If you haven't gotten it before, folks, you've gotta get it now! This woman is more than a willing tool! She knows just which buttons to push to get the MSM to carry out her own brand of terrorism. Evidence that this is JUST a media ploy is that her blog runs on the website "Sacramento for Democracy" which I refuse to link here, but suffice to say, it is connected with, Michael Moore, and the Democratic Underground - to name but a few. And if you've never looked into the rash of mental trash on the DU, well you're saving your mind from contamination. Cartoon courtesy of the folks at Cox and Forkum.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Personality Check . . .

Have you ever taken the Jung-Myers-Briggs Personality Profile? It's really an interesting profile. Not everyone who takes it will agree with the results, but in my case I've taken it a number of different times over the years and it always comes out the same. I am an INTJ which stands for "Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging". According to my "scores" I am a "mastermind rational".

It is in their abilities that Masterminds differ from the other Rationals, while in most of their attitudes they are just like the others. However there is one attitude that sets them apart from other Rationals: they tend to be much more self-confident than the rest, having, for obscure reasons, developed a very strong will. They are rather rare, comprising no more than, say, one percent of the population.

Other famous "Mastermind Rationals" are listed as being Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ayn Rand.

Just a fun thing to check out for a Monday morning!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Freedom OF Thought, or Freedom FROM Thought?

A comment on a previous entry led me to think a bit about how we let what we read, hear, and see affect our opinions and thoughts. Freedom of thought (not freedom from it) is vitally important to our survival in the future as people who love Life, Liberty & Property. As the old saying goes, those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and there are many things going on in the world today that bear some careful thought and consideration.

In our day to day world, there are many occasions when we make judgement calls about things in which we have valid, useful, first-hand information. These are situations where we can be relatively certain that our judgement is accurate. We’ve looked at all the angles, and using the knowledge we’ve gained, we’ve determined the correct way to proceed.

How many times, though, do we see, hear, or read about situations in which we make a snap judgement based only on what we’ve watched on TV, heard on the radio, or read in the newspapers or online? Have you ever changed your mind after that snap judgement? Do you ever go seeking to find out if what you saw/heard/read was accurate? You see, it a world filled with so much media, we must really be sure that we’re exercising our freedom OF thought - not our freedom FROM thought. Freedom of thought allows us to step back and say, “Wow, that really sounds interesting - I wonder if it’s accurate?” Freedom from thought says “well, it must be so or they couldn’t produce/publish it.”

Freedom of thought will lead us to search every avenue available on a subject of interest rather than jumping on the nearest bandwagon. And, if you exercise your freedom of thought, you might just come to some really interesting conclusions - conclusions that may turn your original thoughts or established beliefs completely upside down. This kind of thinking, be forewarned, is not popular - and may cause you a great deal of grief, because bucking the establishment in any form will cause you to be ridiculed or held up as an imbecile to others. Yet it can be richly rewarding to self - if you can get past the need for accolades from others - to know, within your own heart and mind, that you’re not just blindly following the crowd.

My dad, whom I mentioned in a previous post, is a Minister. He always taught us at home, and his church flocks as well, that they should never take his word for anything - but should always study their bibles to be sure that “these things are so”. Dad taught us well - by example - that we should never pass anything along to others without doing our homework to try to insure that we were not passing along gossip or garbage. Incidentally, LOL, friends can tell you that I have never passed along chain emails and spam - and that more than one of them has received a link back to Snopes!

Recently, dad and I were talking about the word “Knowledge”. Dad laid it out to me in a way that I’d never thought about. Breaking the word into its separate syllables, it becomes “Know Ledge”. When we think about acquiring knowledge, we think of it as a climb up a ladder. When we’ve learned something concrete, we’ve reached a “know ledge”. We can stand on it. It’s firm. It’s a ledge on which we can place our trust, and from it we can rest and “chew the fat” about what we’ve learned until we’re ready to climb to the next level of “know ledge”.

Now, getting back to the ideas of freedom of thought and freedom from thought, whenever we gain knowledge from our research, we must sometimes use all our senses to discern truth. As the saying goes “the truth is out there”. While there are things that we can’t ever know for certain, if we at least take the time to search, using the knowledge that we can stand on (be it understanding of human nature, concrete science, or first hand information) we can at least be sure of using our freedom of thought to do the best humanly possible to grasp the realities of any situation. And wouldn’t that be better, always, than letting our brains atrophy in the mire of freedom FROM thought?

Check out "Fearless Philosopy for Free Minds"

Wow! Fantastic post, carrying a pullout to appease terrorism to it's logical conclusion! You've got to check out Stephen Littau's latest here.

And in that same vein, equally good is this one from Ogre's Politics and Views.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Do you HAVE Character? Or ARE you a Character?

My Dad always told me that there are two kinds of people . . . those who have character, and those who are characters.

Those who have character live by a distinctly moral code - their behavior is such that no matter their personality, you just KNOW that they would not intentionally harm, malign, nor force themselves or their opinions in any manner upon another individual. A person of character wants only the best for his fellow man, is grieved in his heart when he sees wrongdoing, yet has the wisdom to know that he cannot dictate to others how they should behave. If those outside his sphere of influence are behaving badly, debate or confrontation will not effect a change on their moral code. Having character requires self-control.

A character, on the other hand, may be innocent enough - may cause no harm to his fellow man, but coasts through life getting by however he may. This world is full of characters. They're the folks who live and let live, but if a questionable opportunity comes their way (whether it be for financial gain, power, domination or whatever) they're always on the lookout - and may take advantage if the risk/reward ratio doesn't appear too great.

It takes character to resist the badgering of others. Like him or not, Michael Schiavo has character. Here is a man who has been maligned consistantly for years over his care of his wife Terri. Yet, despite all the harsh and ugly words thrown his way, I have yet to hear or read where he has responded in anger. I can't say the same for Terri's family. I'll leave it at that, and should you dislike it, please - don't bother to take me to task - I'm not interested in debate, I'm just calling it as I see it. Frankly, with all the negative coverage he's received from the blogosphere and in the mainstream, it's amazing to me that he hasn't been murdered or taken his own life. I see self control in Michael's character - and that's a BIG part of having character. In our "if it bleeds it leads" society, I think this story has bled out. And, by the way, I don't think our government should have been involved with this EVER. For those who think of themselves as Christian, they need to really think about whether their actions really fit what they say they believe. Leave this situation to God to sort out - there is no proof that you can give or statements that you can make for persecuting this man any further.

Now, lets move on to Cindy Sheehan. Cindy Sheehan lost her son, Casey, killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004. There can be no doubt - Ms. Sheehan knows just exactly which buttons to push and which strings to pull in creating the media sensation which is surrounding her right now. And she is using the death of her patriot son to exploit her leftist message to the very fullest. A search on Yahoo (been using Yahoo so long, I never seem to make it to Google) reveals about 50,000 pages with links to interviews, emails, comments, etc. from Cindy Sheehan. At this point, Ms. Sheehan is nothing more than a political pawn of, Michael Moore and the other leftists whose rhetoric she is now embracing. Evidence that this is JUST a media ploy is that her blog runs on the website "Sacramento for Democracy". (This site, which has been up since June 2004, has only about 6300 links off Yahoo, and, when linked with her name only comes up with 16 links.) Kinda makes you wonder if she's trying to distance her political stance from that of her "grieving mother" character. What I see here is a woman who is willing to change her character to fit her political views - no matter what her son would have desired. And those in the blogosphere who dare to speak to her hypocrisy do so at their peril.

Let me ask you again - and please, really give it some thought - Do you HAVE CHARACTER? Or ARE YOU a character?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Carnival of Liberty VI

Carnival of Liberty VI is currently up at Steven Littau's "Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds"

Go take a look - the highlighted blogs are all part of the Life, Liberty, Property Community, one which was designed particularly for those of us who have libertarian leanings - i.e. we believe that the role of government is simply to promote the rights guaranteed by our constitution - not to interpret, hand-hold, babysit, or coddle us.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Iraqi Constitutional "Birthing Pains"

The Iraqi's are working hard right now to draft a constitution and have set themselves a time limit. No doubt, they feel that they owe themselves and their allies a swift set up to take back their country. This is admirable, and shows initiative, and just how far they've come.

In today's featured article from the Opinion Journal of the Wall Street Journal, REUEL MARC GERECHT writes:

All of Washington wants the Iraqis to be more expeditious than our own Founding Fathers, who took years of trial and error to hammer out the mother of all modern constitutions.

Yet the Iraqis are where we want them to be: divided on critical matters of politics and faith, but still determined to resolve their differences through a binding written compromise. Their discussions are hot and sometimes intractable because all the parties know these debates matter. Federalism and the political role of Islam--perhaps the two most troublesome subjects--are critical issues throughout the Middle East. No one in Washington should want these debates toned down or curtailed.

It's a great article and underscores the need for our support and patience as Americans. What comes of the struggles for a workable constitution in Iraq will set the stage for the world our children and our children's children inherit - just as those struggles in our own country 250 years ago led us to where we are now. And we have strayed far in the last 100 years or so! Our nation was designed as a constitutional republic - not the democracy as so loudly touted these days. In 1787, after the delegates in Philadelphia signed our new United States Constitution, a woman approached Benjamin Franklin. "Well, Doctor," she asked, "what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it." We're playing fast and loose now with our own constitution, but that's for another posting.

At any rate, head on over to God, Man and the Common Weal at Opinion Journal to read the rest of the article. Geracht closes with these words:

We should not want to curtail or stage-manage these great debates. Only by having them will the Iraqis muster the support to pass a constitution by the required referendum. If Mr. Rumsfeld thinks the current constitutional debates are too protracted and unhelpful, he should wait for the Sunni, Shiite, or Kurdish communities to veto a draft constitution. The success or failure of the Iraqi democratic experiment will be evident in the coming months. The intersection of God, man, and the common weal are not easy things to figure out, and the Iraqis are doing far better than anyone really had the right to hope.

Peter Jennings, Requiescat in Pace

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a fan of mainstream media. That being said, Peter Jennings was probably my favorite (in the past few months) of the big anchors. It seemed to me that the few times I watched him since he changed his citizenship, there was a subtle change in his attitudes - I felt that he really tried to embrace America.

At any rate, as my mamma always told me, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Peter Jennings was a relatively young man - and for that, I'm sorry - and my condolences go out to his friends and family.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Women in the White House?

La Shawn Barber has a new post which is causing quite a stir . . .

Rice for President: One of my advertisers is a group called Americans For Rice, and I've been asked by several people where I stand on the Condi-for-president meme. I wouldn't vote for Condoleezza Rice for president of the United States. First, I don't think women generally have the sensibilities to run the country. Before you jump all over me, it's important that you know I don't care what you think. You're reading this blog, so you obviously care what I think, so there it is.

And while lots of folks are taking her to task, I have to say, I agree with her. She did, after all, say "I don't think women generally have the sensibilities to run the country" and I think "generally" is key in this instance.

In a previous post I alluded to the differences between right brain, left brain thinking. And by and large, women tend more to the right brain than the left. But speaking as one who is a little more left brain than right, I guarantee that I'm not equipped with the sensibilities to run this nation. I think that were we to have a woman as president, she would have to be extraordinarily gifted with skills of analysis and logical thinking that even few men are given. As the old saying goes, "Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good." Of course, the second part of that saying is "Luckily, this is not difficult" but in reality, a woman who is able to do some things twice as well as a man will be castigated as cold, unfeeling, and ruthless. Just look at Martha Stewart.

But I digress. The truth of the matter is that women who are perceived as being warm and open are less likely to be perceived as competent and able to make the tough decisions that would be required to run the country. And women are notoriously difficult to work for. How do I know? I've worked for a number of them in the past - and without exception, they were whiny, temperamental, and irrational. I got along with them well as I understood, being a woman, their feelings - but I'd rather work for a man any day!

And there are my .03 cents - adjusted for inflation!

Update And here, also from La Shawn, is another example of why I believe there are troubles with women in power . . . The Culture is so Degraded

Thursday, August 04, 2005

So, what exactly is a left brain female?

This is a reference to the cognitive neuroscience concepts which basically classify our brain functions as either left or right brain dominant.

Left brainers tend to be analytical, logical, linear, sequential, rational - while Right brainers tend to be intuitive, creative, spontaneous and reliant on feelings.

Most of us have a balance - if you don't know for sure which side of your brain is dominant, a printable test and key are available here. While there is quite a bit of controversy about the right brain/left brain theory, my own experience seems to validate it. My husband and I are very different in our responses to situations - and while men generally are more left-brain dominant and women are more right-brain dominant, we're each an exception to that rule. We're each fairly balanced, but I come out more on the left-brain side while he tips the scale on the right-brain side.

So, why did I think this was a good name for my blog? Well, to be completely candid, I find that I frequently become annoyed with the politically correct, bleeding (and bleating) heart world that we live in that seems so often to be run by people who live and make decisions according to their feelings and emotions rather than any intelligent rationale.

My distaste for irrationality extends to those on both sides of the political spectrum - I really get frustrated when I see evidence that people are not using their brains!

So, there you have it - my worldview as I see it!

Can we shout this to the rooftops?

Tariq Aziz confesses "The US didn't give Saddam the green light to invade Kuwait

. . . when Aziz was asked by his American interrogators about if the American ambassador in Baghdad encouraged Saddam or gave him the "green light" to invade Kuwait back in 1990, Aziz answered with "NO" . . .

Check out the above link for the rest of the article. The left would be spinning this every which way they could - if only they would see it, but it's not likely to go much further than the blogosphere!

And now, a few words from your host!

But seriously . . .

I've tried this before and come to the conclusion that I'm A) too busy and preoccupied to blog about my little life here on this earth, and B) my life in and of itself holds no interest for those beyond my immediate family, LOL.

I do, however, have a lot of thoughts that buzz around in my brain, and I spend a good deal of time each week catching up on current events by surfing the web. So, here goes my attempt to reach out to the blogosphere - but this time, I've realized something. While it isn't profound, it's a basic truth about blogging. Most bloggers blog their thoughts on other bloggers blogs. This, I can do! So, here's LBF (Left Brain Female's) best of the blogs for the week!

First, from 365 And A Wake Up a beautifully written bit of prose on the frustration of unrealized ambition. His final thought follows, but to really "get it", you've gotta read the rest of the post.

When we leave this careworn outpost I imagine more then a few hearts will carry shimmering veins of gold. I know mine will. But that won�t necessarily be a bad thing. It just means we will be unique. And beautiful.

Check out another of my favorite writers Michelle Malkin, whose new book Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild will be coming out in October!

You should also check out Sgt. Christopher Missick's Web of Support to see where he is on his Tour of the US to thank his supporters! Yours truly was honored to have Sgt. Missick, SPC Ryan Albaugh, and Kyle Rodgers visit my family and share a meal with us - it was truly a wonderful evening, and a memory that I shall treasure for the rest of my life.

Now, that wasn't so bad, was it? (Talking to myself to keep self psyched 'til this becomes a habit, LOL).

Alrighty then, LBF is off to dreamland! Good night to the pajamahadeen everywhere . . .