Thursday, August 27, 2009

More on Good Without God...

I have so far two comments on my post. Here is an excerpt from Peta-Marie:

The basis for knowing what is right, wrong, good, bad is having high morals and ethics which we learn from our parent, grandparents, family and our peers not a higher power.

And here is an excerpt from kiwi:

Its people's desire to abide by the laws of their society and internal conscience. Just because an athiest dsoen't believe in a higher power in the form of a god dosen't mean they think it is ok to commit crimes, or act in an immoral way.

Internal conscience? So.... does that mean you believe that we are born with an innate sense of right and wrong? If that is true, then we as parents would never have to teach our kids right and wrong - our children would just know.

And your statement that an atheist doesn't have to believe in a higher power in the form of a god - then what higher power do you think the atheist would believe in? Does the atheist become his/her own "higher power"? Webster describes atheist as one who believes there is no deity, which would include one's self, if taken to that extreme.

We are born neither good nor bad. We are born with needs that must be met in order to live. Then we have wants - we want our mother's attention, we want a puppy, we want a toy... We are born self-centered because it is all we know - we must have food, shelter and love to survive, and as humans we will do anything we can to get that. It is instinctual that we cry as babies to get those things we need. And without guidance, the self-centeredness will continue to be our nature

If parents teach morality to their kids - where did these moral principles come from? How far back do we go to establish where moral principles began?

If there is no religious background for determining what is right and wrong, it is possible that someone would think to themselves, "How would I want to be treated?" and base their actions on that assumption. (This also assumes their parents brought them up to think of others and not just themselves.) But what if that person didn't equate his moral choices on common decency and instead considered his actions moral based on other criteria? What if that person believed that they knew better than everyone else and that their choices were moral while the rest of us were idiots or morons for behaving in what we see as a moral fashion?

What if a society believed it moral to kill babies who are born "defective"? To kill elderly adults who have become a burden or outlived (by some arbitrary standard) their useful life? To allow one to steal from someone who has more when someone has less? If this is what a society believes as moral, if this is written into their laws, then would we still, as outsiders looking in, say that their actions are moral?

I just have all these questions and need a complete and intelligent discourse on how morality can be taught without there being some link to something other than one's own idea of right and wrong.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Without God?

We had quite the bru-ha-ha here in our town about a slogan that was put on a bus. What was it?

You Can Be Good Without God.

My question is, if we have no moral compass as outlined by a higher power, then what do you base "good" on?

Without a higher power of some kind, no matter what name you call It, how does one judge what is right and what is wrong?

Enlighten me.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My take on the Health Care debate & our Nation's Debt

I have been extremely disappointed in how the healthcare debate has been handled by my congressman, Baron Hill, and other Democrats. It appears he is afraid of meeting face to face with the constituents he represents. With no prior warning, I get a phone call from an AARP phone conference already in progress the evening of 24 August, 2009. Being a 53 year old mother of two children (ages 5 & 6, adopted from China) I could not stay on because I had no one to watch my daughters or take care of their needs, as they needed to be getting ready for bed… and the format of the conference was not the personal approach I expected from my representative in congress. I listened long enough to hear that the answers he was giving were scripted and VAGUE enough not to really answer a question. This type of forum makes him look like a coward, and I'd like to believe he isn't one – but he isn't willing to go face to face with us. He needs to see that we are not crazy people, we are constituents who wants him to listen to us and hear us as a whole.

I will say that although I think Arlen Specter is a cretin, at least he had the guts to stand up and take the heat from the people he represented. However, his smirk and the way he turns away from those persons who voice opposite opinions from his and do not want the government interfering in their lives and who do not want the public option belies that he thinks he is better than us and that his constituents are nothing but ignorant sheep to be led by the nose to whatever place he wants them to go.

I believe people are getting angry (and rightly so) because instead of the Democrats listening to the constituents’ concerns and protests over a public option and a change to their healthcare – the Dems dismiss it as “fringe” and not representative of the majority of the nation. Ok - if that is the case, then where is the majority to be found if they are not showing up to the meetings and voicing their support? IF we as a majority have been silent too long, and only those who agreed with you showed up at forums previously, or wrote to you previously, then as a silent majority, we got what we deserved. But for God's sake - we are standing up now and wanting our voices to be counted - and finding that we are being sloughed off as one would unwanted dead skin. If our representatives will actually take our concerns seriously, and treat us with respect, then there would be far less rancor at some of these talks. Arlen Specter shows no real respect for his constituents, hence the anger and outrage across the nation at his treatment of American citizens. It's the same with other Dems as well.

There is an overwhelming rush to change the world as we know it - and although I'm not totally resistant to change - I am resistant to changing so quickly that no one knows what it will really mean in the long run - and the American people are not being allowed to give voice to their concerns, needs and opposition or support. I didn't like how Congress and the Senate goose-stepped to Obama's so-called "stimulus" package... and now Obama expects everyone to do the same with health care and cap and trade (which, by the way, will be bad for this nation as well - but that's another post).

The truth is, the majority has been silent too long, and now that we have a socialist in the White House, and we see our freedom and constitutional rights being eroded, ignored, and misinterpreted or misrepresented. We have had enough - enough of the lies, the abuse, the misuse, and the riding roughshod over our constitutional rights. Tell me - where in the constitution does it say that health care is an inalienable right of the people? Where does it guarantee that the government can force citizens to buy anything that they don’t want to buy? WHERE? If the answer is (as one Democratic leader put it) "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" as the excuse for either a public option or a single payer health care system, then that could also be used as an excuse for drug addiction, murder, or prostitution... what the hell - anything that makes you happy or allows you the life or liberty you choose. By all means - have at it folks!

I know there are better ways to handle the health care issues for Americans who have problems with their insurance companies - but for the vast majority of Americans - we're pretty darn okay with what we have. It isn't right for an insurance company to just drop you outright because you get a disease or problem that requires long-term or expensive treatment, but Congress can address that through legislation without having a public option or a single payer system in place.

With the crushing debt looming large over our nation, putting in place a health care reform that does not actually address the real issues is the true lunacy. Our Representatives ignore the problems with Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Instead of addressing what is wrong about those programs, Congress instead says “Do over” and expects us to all be for the new way of doing business – which will just be the same old business as usual with any government program. Waste, fraud, slow service, inefficient service, and confusion over what is allowable and what is not. The bureaucracy will be much like the IRS – too many times people have called to have a question answered, and we get either a wrong answer or a “I dunno”. The rules are so complicated and fraught with this exception and that exception, that it is hard to get a definitive answer unless you talk to an expert – and usually, that comes from someone outside of the IRS who charges exhorbitant fees to give us the information we need.

I used to work for a small NASA contractor, and I can tell you that there were problems with the bureaucracy of NASA - they would ask us for information and, by the way, we need it by 5 pm end of business today. But when you needed information from them... well, the contracts have closed and we never did get answers to some of those questions.

I remember at one time there had been a surplus in the Social Security program. But because the government won’t look to the future and plan ahead, congress at that time found ways to dip into the Social Security program and take the money for purposes which it had never been intended. We would not be facing a crises for Social Security if congress had left well enough alone and let the surplus increase. Then those of our generation who are someday going to retire would not have to worry about whether or not they will be able to pay at least the very minimum of their everyday living expenses. And there would be no need to saddle any of our children with these issues as well.

We have people voted into office (including the President) and appointed by the President acting like children and treating the government as one big cookie jar that they can take whatever they want and as much as they want without regard to where the cookies are coming from. They act like we – the American people – are going to keep baking and replacing what has been taken. The debt we are being saddled with makes my stomach knot every time I think that this is what is owed and will be owed for generations to come, and I wonder how my children will be able to live when, in order to pay off this debt, we will have to tax every person and entity with taxes so high we might as well just make all of us slaves to the government.

Yes, I said it. This is what is happening to us as a nation. We are going to become slaves to the government – working only to pay off a debt that will never be payable. To think that I brought my children back from China and now China is going to own American before they are young adults. I wanted my children to know that they are self-directed, that they make their own choices and must live with the consequences of their actions. But that is not how the government treats us… the current administration considers us to be like children – that we must be told what to do and how to do it. It has been like that for a long time – even under Bush – and now it is even more pronounced with Obama’s administration.

I am urging our representatives to look ahead to the future and not vote for any of the bills currently being considered. Any bill that would come out of this process should be rewritten for the average American to read (including all of our representatives in the House and the Senate) so that we as a whole nation can understand what the bill is and what it means to us. And there should be ample time to read and respond - not 24 hours, but at least a week to 10 days. And there should be debate - now the heel-clicking, goose-stepping that I have seen from our representatives at the beginning of this administration.

If there IS disinformation, perhaps it is because the bills are so convoluted that no one can actually get through it and understand what it is saying. (However, I think that most of the Democrats are simply spouting a script and they haven't actually read and do not fully understand the bill they are supporting.) When lawyers are reading the bill and bringing the problematic issues to light, please don’t tell me that they are spreading disinformation…. aren't lawyers qualified to read and determine what the bill means to us? After all, hasn't this bill been crafted by lawyers? (Maybe that's reason enough not to trust it.)

I say the House and Senate should work to resolve this – rewrite the bill so that every American can read and understand what it means to them. To tell us that it has be be written in legal-ese in order to be passed is more of the same bullcrap we have been spoonfed by those representatives who want to retain power within the government. Lots of double talk, and keep the sheep ignorant of what's going on. Baaaaa-d for us...

Personally, I think that every American should be able to read any bill without any confusion and that it should be a right of the people – to know what is really in the bills that our representatives are voting on. The old KISS approach - Keep It Simple, Stupid!

As the nation struggles with mounting debt, layoffs, and a rush to socialism, I worry for the future of my two children. I brought them to this country of freedom only to find that it is slowly turning away from the basic principles that gave us that freedom, watching it become more and more like the communist country they left. Some of Obama’s tactics could have come from Mao’s playbook of programs he enacted. One that comes to mind is when the administration asked for people to report on others who were against the health care program or disseminating what they thought was “disinformation”. Mao had asked that people openly criticize the government so that they could improve upon it – only to take note who criticized and then to torture, kill, or “re-educate” those who spoke against the Communist regime. I don’t know that our government will go so far as to torture or kill us, but I’m damn sure they’re going to do their best to “re-educate” those of us who are not in lock-step with the government (how about them thar emails???? Not exactly making me comfortable with our government officials). Chilling that they want us to “tattle” on each other – again, they are acting like children and treating us like children. Where in the hell are the adults in charge?

Mark my words: Our representatives may think they have the power to run over us and do whatever the hell they want to - but they will find out come the next election year who really weilds the power and if they really do have the confidence of the American people.

Power to the people - let's take back our liberty.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A new car and some other pics

Mama got a new car! Daddy was very, very good to me...And I LOVE it! A Honda Accord. One thing I can say - every one who has owned one has told me they loved theirs as well. I hope to be as happy for a long time to come. It has to last at least 10-15 years.... that's how we keep our cars. Of course, with kids, I have no doubt that it will be trashed in less than a year.

Today, we took a walk on campus. Not far, but it was fun to see how Richelle took to everything. She is a natural for the camera. Kenzie is going through an awkward phase - she lost yet another tooth today and she only wants to grimace with all the teeth showing (or not showing - to be honest, she is showing off how many teeth are gone, not still there).

A Pair of Mandarin Ducks

Sisters for life

Running to her future


Thursday, August 13, 2009

How Jia picked the name Richelle

I had someone ask how Jia decided on the name Richelle. It is one of her middle names. She learned her full name fairly quickly - and had played around with being called Josie (her first name) but that faded too quickly. Plus, this mama had a hard time remembering to call her Josie... she just doesn't look like a Josie to me.

She really looks like a Richelle to me, and I think it fits her well. After hearing people mispronounce her name over and over , and seeing her friend from the orphanage using an American name, she came to her own conclusion that she wanted to be called Richelle.

Richelle was in honor of my father, whose name was Richard.

I have always said that Richelle reminds me so much of me as a kid... funny how things turn out. When I was in first grade, I remember getting sent to the coat closet for talking and not respecting Mrs. Clarissey's position as teacher. I was so ashamed... I cried buckets the whole time I was in there (which probably wasn't more than 5 minutes). I never ever talked when a teacher was talking again. Yeah, my daughter could have really been my bio kid - if not for the Chinese thing and my not giving birth to her... but other than that... she's just like me.

OMG... now I know what I'm in for as she grows up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A new name and the first day of school

First, ever since we saw one of Jia's orphanage mates at the adoption agency picnic, and she heard that she was being called by an American name, she decided she wanted to be called by one of her American names as well. So now, she insists on being called Richelle. Quite frankly, I think it fits her well.

Today was the first day of school. Kenzie and Richelle were beside themselves to go and have their first full day. So was mom... which should go without saying. Ahem...

Like a dummy, I didn't take my camera to take a picture of Richelle as she left for her first day - DUH! The grin on her face lit up the whole neighborhood. Of course, as the bus pulled up, she ran to me, so excited that the bus was here! Get on the bus, silly!

But I did take pictures of her after she got off the bus today... and that smile was still there. However, I will let you know she told me she did get a time out for talking. It's going to be a long school year for the teacher.