Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Funny thing of the day

Today at the park:

(J to a mom who we didn't know):

I don't want to brag, but look what I can do!

Then he hung from his knees on a metal climbing ladder thing, held on with his hands and flipped over onto the ground.

He's so humble.

This evening A was cutting paper, and got really frustrated. He had a bunch of triangles laying on the floor in front of him. He looked at me and said, I just can't cut a circle mom!

I told him it takes lots of practice.

He wanted to make a moon.

Why I'm a Democrat

A new reader, Carissa (welcome to my blog by the way...) asked me to make a case for being a democrat, since she didn't find my balance argument convincing, citing that there are too many mormons in Utah and that half of us should convert to catholicism. I think that is different, because the church does not run the government (for the most part...I acknowledge that some will disagree). I also want to note that in most cases, I typed my views before reading the entire party platform, so although there are some phrases that are the same, it wasn't intentional.

A lot of the reasons why I have chosen to be a democrat have to do with my religious beliefs. I believe that we were given the earth to live on and to be stewards over. That means that we must act responsibly and conserve resources, avoid polluting and otherwise harming the earth as far as is possible. I also believe that we were meant to enjoy the beauty around us and that there needs to be balance as far as land use goes. My Mister, for example, loves to ride dirt bikes. I think it's good that he is able to go out with his brothers and cousins and do something that they all enjoy together. I also think (and he agrees) that he needs to stay on set trails to protect the rest of the land. The world is not his to ride rampantly over. The Utah D. Platform says the following:
Natural Resources: Utah Democrats seek to ensure the protection of public health and create a legacy of clean, safe air, soil and water, and a sustainable and balanced plant and animal wildlife population... We place great value on conserving our diverse natural resources and public lands that belong to all the citizens and future generations...Utah Democrats support the protection of wilderness with the right of access to use it responsibly as well as acting to help preserve critical wildlife habitat. Multiple uses of the public lands in sustainable ways are encouraged.

I believe that we have a duty to care for those who are not as fortunate as ourselves. I don't believe in perpetual welfare, and think that we need to help people learn to help themselves. I think our current welfare policy makes it nearly impossible for anyone to overcome their current circumstances, creating the cycle of poverty. The state platform says...

Utah Democrats believe that all Utahns should labor to the best of their abilities to provide for themselves and their families. In return, employers should pay a decent, life-sustaining wage and appropriate benefits or taxpayers unfairly end up subsidizing those employers who fail to meet these standards... Utah Democrats support programs for low-income working families that break the cycle of poverty, reward industry, promote self-sufficiency, support parenting, and encourage
families to stay together. We also believe that government must continue to provide assistance to the low-income disabled and elderly members of our society who cannot provide for themselves.

I think that laws which attempt to push those in the country illegally to other areas are cruel and ineffective. I think that people should be here legally, but that our policies have created the current mess. I think that there needs to be away to allow those here illegally to pay a fine, or do some kind of community service, and then allow them to get work permits. The state platform says:
Utah Democrats strongly affirm that people who are in the United States should be here legally. We strongly encourage Congress to adopt humane and compassionate policies that control our borders while providing for a viable worker immigration policy that respects the contributions of these workers to our economy and their families and children, many of whom are United States citizens. This policy must not lead to programs of exploitation with employers engaging in a pattern and practice of recruiting undocumented workers, and must include whistleblower protections. We abhor the demonization and politicization – with undercurrents of racism – that has inhibited rational, fair-minded debate of the issue.

As far as health care goes, I think all people should have access to healthcare, and that medical bills should not be causing people to file for bankruptcy. While I have no problem with doctors making a good wage, I think a health care system based on making profit is reprehensible. From the state platform:
Utah Democrats seek solutions to our ongoing healthcare crisis. We affirm that accessible healthcare is a civil right; no person should be denied access to basic and adequate healthcare. It is a national disgrace that the United States lags behind every other developed country in caring for the medical needs of its citizens. It is unconscionable that thousands of Utahns suffer or even die only because they lack access to adequate medical care and that those numbers continue to rise.

I don't think that prayers in schools are appropriate, and it always seems weird to attend a government type meeting and have people pray first. I'm okay with it as long as all religions are allowed to participate equally, but I would prefer a moment of silence where people can pray or not according to their religion. I like what the state platform says about it...
Utah Democrats believe that the constitutional principle of separating church and state maintains the rights of all Americans to worship how, where, and what they may.
We don't need to ban the practice of religion in public, we just need to be respectful, especially in utah, of people who do not share in the predominant religion.

It seems that there are two issues which keep most utahns from affiliating with the democratic party. Same sex marriage, and abortion. Same sex marriage isn't likely to be an issue in Utah any time soon. We already have a state constitutional amendment defining marriage, and I think the only way it might become an issue is if the federal government forced the state to change, in which case, it wouldn't matter what party you affiliated with. With abortion, I think we should do more to educate (Our current sex education isn't working, and I'm not sure if we could do more to teach parents how to talk to their kids, or if public schools need to expand their program) and prevent, then there would not be so much demand for abortions. I personally think that abortions should only be considered in cases of rape or incest, where the woman did not choose to put herself in the position where she might become pregnant, or in cases where the life of the mother is in danger, and I know many utah democrats feel the same way. The Utah Democratic party has a big tent that allows for differing views. The state platform says:
Utah Democrats believe in a comprehensive approach that protects reproductive freedom while fostering personal responsibility and education for thoughtful and moral decisions about sexuality, childbearing, adoption, and parenting.

I know people who are locally democrats, but still vote for republicans nationally because of those two issues.

I'll end with a quote that I think exemplifies the problems with our lopsided government: The state Republican party platform says:
We demand honesty, integrity, morality, and accountability of our public officials. We will work to expose and stop corruption.
Because of the inbalance, we have dishonesty, lack of integrity, immorality, and zero accountability in many of our public officals. There is no one to keep them in check, and I really think they've become power hungry and are abusing that power.

I also recommend readingThis article.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remember That Time....

From my friend Becca's blog...Just write a memory you have with me or our family. If you leave one, we'll assume you're playing and we'll come leave one on your blog too... Happy remembering!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Loyalty or Balance

I've been thinking a lot about loyalty lately. What are we loyal to and why? I've always considered myself a loyal person. Maybe too loyal. I had a really difficult time switching preschools that my son will go to in the fall, because the first one was where my older son went, and had a wonderful experience, so I feel like I need to be loyal to her, even when a preschool opened within walking distance (as opposed to a 10 minute drive each way). So loyal, that when I finally did switch my son to the new preschool, in my guilt over leaving the first preschool, I may have said something that hurt the new preschool teacher's feelings. Hopefully not, but I'm not sure...

As a democrat, I'm having a difficult time understanding the hardcore loyalty that so many republicans seem to have to their party. In Utah, I think it's obvious that the one-party-super-majority system we have going on is not healthy, but still people seem to think that the next conservative republican will be better than the previous one.

I'm trying to imagine if I would feel the same way about the democrats if it were they who had a supermajority stranglehold on our government, but I'm just not seeing it. As far as politics go, my loyalty is to the well being of my community, my state, my nation, and this planet we call home, er.... earth.

I double dog dare (ooohhhhhh) any of you republicans who HAVE NOT already thought about the problems associated with a supermajority to do so, and to consider voting D this november (at least locally).

For some reason a supermajority has turned basically good people (I'm giving many of them the benefit of the doubt) into what appears to be arrogant, power hungry idiots (some just arrogant, some just idiots...). I can appreciate the desire to be loyal, but I think sometimes we need be careful of what we are loyal to, and make sure that there is balance and moderation.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

10 uninteresting things about me...

Just for balance you know...

1. My house is quite often messier than it should be.
2. I haven't showered yet today, and am still in my pajamas (it's 2:30).
3. My kids ate kraft macaroni and cheese for lunch today.
4. I like corn dogs.
5. I don't exercise as much as I think I ought to.
6. I get embarrassed too easily.
7. My garden is weedy.

That might be all I'm willing to admit to publicly at the moment...

(I heard that some people think that blogs are the new way for mormon women to compete, so I just wanted to make sure no one feels that they are lacking compared to all the great things I do...)

I'm not tagging anyone, because really, who wants to post lame things about themselves?

Last aerial dance class tonight

And sadly, my sis was ill, and didn't come, so no video, which is a shame. It was just the teacher and I, so I got to do some awesome stuff- swinging was involved (think peter pan flying on a string).

I'm seriously thinking about signing up for another class this fall (the rest of the summer is going to be too crazy)- if any of you are interested, it's really fun!!!!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ten interesting things about me....

I've been tagged by my friend Emily, so here it goes... (although I think most of my readers know these things already...)

1. I have ambitions to join the circus. Maybe not really, but I'm loving my aerial dance class, and am thinking that I might take another session in the fall (anyone want to join me?).

2. I enjoy making my friends eat weird food. For my 12th? birthday, I took my friends to an indian restaurant. I think they all liked it. I've also introduced several to the szesuan (that spelling looks wrong...) catfish at the Madarin (some of them liked it).

3. My friend Natalie thinks I'm a little bit of a hippy. In some ways, I am. I believe that we were given stewardship over the earth, and that we should take care of it, so I try not to waste things, or use things that I don't need. I garden and preserve the food for winter. I raise chickens for the eggs (talk about a years supply!). I don't wear a ton of makeup. And personality-wise, I think I revel in being a little bit different (although I'm trying to not let that make me feel superior- maybe that's a personality flaw...).

4. I'm a democrat. In Utah. Although, the more I learn about life, if Utah had a decent two party system, I think I'd look more into other parties. When I was little my dad would give us a dollar if we said we were democrats. (Don't worry, I don't take payments for party affiliation anymore). I think I'm fairly moderate on some issues, and others, I'm probably pretty liberal (which is not a bad word-as much as Sean Hannity would like us to think so).

5. I use cloth diapers on my baby, maybe that should have gone in the Hippy one...I don't eat off of plastic dishes regularly, the real thing is much nicer- same with diapers. Although I don't blame anyone for using disposables. New babies are a lot of work, and cloth seems overwhelming when you've never tried them. I got into cloth when A had diaper rash problems that wouldn't go away. I also sell them on my very own website- Green Peas Baby. And my store was named best "diaper dandies" (whatever that means) in SLC Weekly this year.

6. I'm building a "dry riverbed" in my front yard. My Mister helped get the landscape fabric in, and did the sod, but he's been too busy, so every day (or so) I haul several loads of rock from across the street. I was using 5 gallon buckets until my Mister fixed the wheel barrow. It's taking a long time, but it's looking great.

7. Another hippy one maybe- I am growing cranberries in my backyard. So far they're doing pretty well. I'm hoping to get enough in a year or so to start making cranberry juice and canning it.

8. My dream house is going to be passive solar, and have solar panels, and cork flooring, and, well, you'll have to come see my dream house book sometime.

9. I make my own yogurt, it's tart, and I love it. I also use it to make homemade sherbet. I love it with home canned apricots- with just a tiny bit of sugar so that it is still tart. I like tart things. My kids love yogurt but I didn't want them eating so much sugar. Plus it is satisfying to make my own.

10. I love BBC miniseries'. Other than Pride and Prejudice, which I love, I've more recently fallen in love with North and South. I just got the first disc for Cranford in the mail from netflix.

Okay, if everyone made it through that- I may not be as interesting to other people as I am to myself. I tag Becca and Emily (my sister) because she LOVES things like this...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Funny things and Naughty babies

Me: What should we have for lunch?
A: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches!
J: I'm retired from peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

(I'm not terribly fond of peanut butter myself, so he must take after me.)

This is what happens to babies who are naughty at our house. (Just kidding- this kid just likes to crawl into small areas!)