Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why I Am NOT Voting for Obama -- PART II

If you did not read yesterday's post, STOP. Read that first. Then we can still be friends!

I believe in LIFE. Yup, I think that we kind of skip over that part of the Constitution about LIFE, and jump straight to “liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” (Please notice that we are NOT guaranteed happiness, just the right to PURSUE it, but that is a different post for a different day!). I hate being reduced to a one-issue voter, though. I am deeper than one issue. I have thoughts about the war, the economy, health care, gun control. Thoughts that I have formed through long and hard consideration, opinions that are well-reasoned and dearly-held. But once again, this year, I will be voting primarily over one issue and frankly, it kind of irks me that I will be forced to do that AGAIN. But I am left with no choice because the issue is fundamental to the core of my being.

Am I pro-life in the anti-abortion kind of way? Yes, I am. And again, I speak from a well-reasoned point of view. I was an unwed woman with an unplanned pregnancy and at the time, my life would have been a whole lot “easier” if I had just exercised “my choice” and made the whole situation go away. I would be a liar if I said I didn't consider it, but I must say that it was only for a fleeting moment. It's amazing how those bedrock principles you think you hold dear really hold up when the opportunity presents itself to actually put them into practice! I literally thank God everyday for my beautiful daughter and the clarity and sanity that prevailed in choosing life. But even the abortion issue is not what I am writing about. I think that most people have pretty clear views on that one way or another and are not going to be swayed. So be it. (I am also one of the few pro-lifers I know who think that Roe vs. Wade will never be overturned. I think it is foolhardy for pro-lifers to think it and alarmist for pro-choicers to say a political candidate will accomplish it.)

Indeed, Obama believes in abortion. At a townhall meeting on March 31, 2008, Obama said of his daughters (in the context of a conversation on HIV/AIDS and sex education), “I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." Wow. Look into your kid's eyes and see if you could ever think of them as “punishment” or "mistake." But even this is not why I am not voting for him. I am not voting for Barack Obama, a senator from my home state, because he has on several separate occasions voted in favor of infanticide. Yes, killing babies. This is NOT an abortion issue. This is about live babies, with BIRTH certificates, being allowed to inhumanely die without being given any medical care or intervention. I'm sorry, but in a gray world, this is a black and white issue and it is WRONG. And for me, it is unforgivable. Recently the media has picked up on this issue a little, but I have known about this since 2002 and have been stewing ever since.

While Obama was in the Illinois State Legislature he voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act which would have mandated medical attention for any baby born alive. It sought to offer equal treatment under the law for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and wanted babies who were born prematurely and given life-saving care. It was virtually identical to the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act signed into law by President Bush with only 15 House members opposing it and unanimous Senate support.

The language in both bills meant it would have NO IMPACT on Roe vs. Wade. NARAL Pro-Choice America released the following statement when it was being debated at the federal level: “Consistent with our position last year, NARAL does not oppose passage of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act ... floor debate served to clarify the bill’s intent and assure us that it is not targeted at Roe v. Wade or a woman’s right to choose.”

But Obama voted against the Illinois version of the bill twice and killed it in committee a third time. (To be fair, he voted “present” the first time and “no” the second. Same thing!!) This was just six short years ago. Does he truly support infanticide? Does he merely lack good judgment? This is a bill that was supported at the federal level by the likes of Hillary Rodham-Clinton, Ted Kennedy and other uber-liberal, pro-choice senators. Either way, Obama is totally out of touch on this issue, and it is not one to be taken lightly.

This is LIFE. BABIES. Children who were left to die in laundry closets, cold and alone. I wouldn't treat a puppy that way, let alone a child. And frankly, I have no ears to listen to anyone who would say that this is okay. Ignorance is not an excuse. Protecting Roe vs. Wade has been proven not to be a valid excuse. There is no excuse. This is America. We are a culture of life. We are not China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea. Life is woven into the very fabric of our Constitution. At the Saddleback Civil Forum, Pastor Rick Warren asked, "At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?" Obama dodged the question by responding, "Answering that question with specificity is above my pay grade." Well, that's just great. Wherever you are on the pro-life/pro-choice issue, I think we can all agree that if you are born and have a birth certificate, you might be alive and therefore have "human rights." But apparently in Obama's world, that's not enough.

Even so, I know that my vote is not going to count. Illinois is always a blue state and especially this year, will go to Obama. But I believe in personal responsibility when it comes to civic duty, so I will go the ballot box this year and cast my vote and pray and hope that against the odds, McCain will win. I hope a lot of Illinoisans will vote and make the race close so that Obama knows that his home state doesn't give him a carte blanche mandate.

Finally, I have posted this video after much soul-searching. I don't like being manipulated emotionally, and I don't like to emotionally manipulate others. I don't think that Obama is a closet Muslim, and I don't care that his middle name is Hussein. I don't believe that he as president would have all that much power or be able to make even half of his promises come true so my underwear is not in any kind of a bunch! I also believe in the sovereignty of God and that he “allows rulers their thrones.” But I do believe that it is morally imperative to vote your convictions, and more than any other topic, I believe in the sanctity of life. For me it is not a political issue, but a moral one, akin to the slavery issue of the 19th Century. So I post this video with the caveat that I do not necessarily agree with all of nohussein.org's tenets, but the testimony of the nurse and the final visual of the baby is just too powerful not to be seen.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why I Am NOT Voting For Obama

Wow. Here you are, just thinking you’ll pop on over to friendly MSH to see what that crazy ZamFam is up to and you get a giant political smack in the face! Well, before you get all riled up, please read the next two paragraphs. Sit down, relax and let me tell you a little story from when I was a kid. (No politics, I promise!) And then decide if you want to read the rest. . . .

I grew up living in an unincorporated neighborhood on a gravel road. We were an eclectic bunch of folks living in an odd assortment of houses that included one that was meant to be underground, but was built above ground due to permit problems; a couple of Swiss-style chalets; a multi-level house built in a sort of circular style; a house whose front looked like a giant glass pinwheel; a Tudor mansion; and an old Girl Scout camp lodge. Our house was my parents' dream home, a plan they got in a magazine with soaring cathedral ceilings, spectacular hillside views and finished with salvaged items.

In an era before such groups were common, we had a neighborhood association that was responsible primarily for contracting for services to grade and add gravel to the road in the summer and plow in the winter. My dad would come home with spectacular stories about the “fireworks” at these meetings. Get a group of eccentric folks together with their equally eccentric ideas, toss in some hot-heads and watch the fun ensue. One of the hottest was a red-headed, red-faced German named Martin. He was formidable – big, loud, intimidating, prone to swearing while clenching his smelly European cigarettes in his teeth. And that was before he got to these meetings. Apparently he was quite passionate about various issues that came up and wasn't afraid to let everyone within a ten mile radius know what he thought. Then, on cold, January mornings, he would be at the top of our hill, waiting to drive the neighborhood kids to school, all gruff smiles and German-accented pleasantries. I remember asking my dad about this, how you could be at such loggerheads with someone one moment and still be friendly with them later. I knew my dad had deep moral convictions about how to treat people, so I wasn't asking so much how my dad did it, but what about blustery Martin? Martin himself had explained to my dad that Europeans were different from Americans in many ways, but one notable way was that Europeans were perfectly willing to fight about ideas to the death, but when the arguing was over, it was time to shake hands and head out for a beer -- the old “let's disagree agreeably” that is so easy to say, but so hard to do.

I write this rather long introduction partly because it was fun for me to remember our old neighborhood and its interesting inhabitants, but to also illustrate how I hope that friends, family and acquaintances who read this blog and also know me in real life will take what I post today. First this will be the only post this year about politics unless something totally bizarre happens like McCain or Obama turning French. Let me say that I am a “rah-rah” American, probably one of the more patriotic people you’ll ever meet. I am unabashedly proud to be American and think that the United States is the greatest nation ever to grace the face of the planet. Please don’t write to tell me about all the ways America has screwed up or how much we suck. I know that America is not perfect, has screwed up and sometimes even sucks. I’m just saying that other countries are even less perfect, screw up more and are suckier – take France for instance. . . . Just as a crazy aside: I actually like the new French president Sarkozy, so maybe I’ll move to France if this election doesn’t turn out how I want.

And I know it is not polite to discuss politics or religion, but since I already talk about my faith, I guess one political post won’t kill anyone. This is not a blog about politics, work or rants, but it is MY blog, so I reserve the right to write about what I want and occasionally that will be on some of these topics. I write because it is cathartic for me and it helps me solidify and order my thoughts. I have gotten into many discussions about politics this year, even though I avoid them like I might avoid a stranger in a dark alley, and I have walked away feeling frustrated that I wasn’t better able to articulate what I believe. Depending on how happy I am with this post when I’m done, I think I might carry around little cards with my blog address and if people ask me what I think, I’ll just smile, say nothing and hand them my blog address card!

I also know there are several people who know me in the real world who are going to differ with me. I already know you disagree with me (even if you don’t know I disagree with you!) and I like you anyway! I hope we can all be grownups and celebrate the fact that we live in America where we can dissent and not end up in jail or friendship purgatory. Let’s do like the Europeans and disagree like crazy and then all go out for beer together afterward and chum it up. With us it will have to be figurative beer since I only like British ale on tap and not really that much. How about coffee? Whiskey?

And if you want to argue with me in cyberworld, that’s fine too. You can even comment and tell me about it. Let’s just not call names or be reduced to slinging insults (that’s reserved for the French). Frankly, I don’t intend to have a long drawn out discussion about this. This is my manifesto and you’re not going to change my mind. It’s not that I am not open minded. I was. I have researched this situation, formed an opinion and now my mind is closed. You won’t dissuade me from my position. My job as “information bounty hunter” has served me well because my mind is geared toward gathering and synthesizing information. I have gathered, synthesized, ordered, formulated and to use an Olympic metaphor – here is my “stuck landing.”

So now this post is crazy long and I haven't even written about what I actually believe! So I will post my “Why I Am NOT Voting For Obama PART TWO” with the actual “meat” of what I wanted to say in a separate post. You have been warned. Read at your own risk. See, that wasn't so bad, now was it? How about that coffee?

(Part II is written and will auto-post tomorrow . . . stayed tuned . . . then back to regular programming!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chica's Big Day Out (or how I took years off my kids' lives. . .)

One of my enduring passions is World War II, mostly because I do believe that the "greatest generation" did nothing less than save the world. The 1940s-era holds endless fascination for me, and I never tire of hearing stories from both the front lines and the home front of the courage, ingenuity and heroism.

So it was with great excitement that the ZamFam5 headed out to the largest WWII re-enactment in North America. It is held every September about an hour away from our house. When we arrived, we were met with all the sights and sounds of a German-occupied French village. Trying to get our bearings, we pulled off to the side of a dirt track that ran through the center of town only to have a volley of gunfire erupt mere feet away! We had inadvertently found ourselves with a front row view of one of the many skirmishes that are held throughout the day. It was deafeningly loud. Bug was so scared he turned completely white, went totally stiff and held his mouth open in a silent scream. The girls kept looking at me wide-eyed for assurance, but shouting at them didn't really convey that everything was okay. El Guapo had a priceless expression on his face that said, "Don't look at me. This is all your mother's doing!"

Before the battle, occupying forces patrolled the streets.

Their friendly and casual demeanor gave no indication of the gunfire that was about to erupt in moments!
The gunfire reports were so powerful, you could feel the concussions on your chest. Awesome!
Some Allied troops had taken up in the General Store and were trying to battle their way outside. We thought the rifles were loud and then they rolled up with this baby! Percussive! In the interest of realism, not all of the battles end with Allied victories and in this instance, the good guys were captured and marched away. Then the occupying forces packed up and rolled on down the street.

There are home front and front lines exhibitions, as well. Here the girls are in the area showing the role of the Red Cross.

Everywhere are period vehicles and folks in costume. So authentic.

This could be on a street corner in 1944. Love the uniforms!

The front lines area is divided into Allied and Axis zones. Visitors hike through the woods to view various encampments. Can you imagine living like this?

There are many impressive military vehicles.

This officer was impressive and realistic with his dapper uniform and dour expression.
Not a real fan of posting pictures of my girls with a N**i, but the horse in the picture is a movie star. He played John Adams' horse in the HBO miniseries. (If I ever run for public office, I might have to remove this one -- can you imagine what someone could write?!)

This is my favorite picture of the day (thanks, El Guapo!) because it so perfectly captures that even though conditions were most difficult, British will, order and patriotism still thrived. Brilliant.