Who’s Side Are You On?

May 22, 2008

Self preservation, it’s at the very core of politics. Lazy people vote for politicians who will put food on their table, hard working  middle class will vote for the guy who’s going to allow them to keep more of their money, business people will support the guy who doesn’t want to interfere in his business, unless another source is hurting his business. Elderly people are scared when told somebody is going to take medicine out of their cabinets, military personnel aren’t going to vote for the guy who’s cutting their funding. Self preservation is why politics becomes more important everyday.

When it comes to the war on terrorism, Iraq, Afghanistan, or dealing with vicious dictators like Hugo Chavez, Raul Castro, or the future dictators that will someday take power with world domination in mind, the question isn’t whether or not they have the intentions of defeating us, but rather the best way to deal with them.

I understand why some people are for the war in Iraq, and surprise. surprise, it’s not because they hate the Constitution or believe that every country should live like we do. It’s self preservation, it’s the understanding that if we will not fight when our lives are threatened, how on earth can we ever be expected to fight for our own freedom? If we cower in the face of death, if we can just sit in front of the television and watch 2,000 of our countrymen die and not have the will to fight, won’t we then be more than willing to surrender our freedom in order to preserve our lives?

I also understand why some people are against the war in Iraq, or believe that we should talk to the enemies of our country, and to avoid war. War is vicious, war is cruel, war is death and destruction and should be avoided whenever possible. War, though avoided as possible is still, at times, necessary and in those times should be fought vigorously and won quickly. After all, if it’s not necessary to do what’s necessary to win the war, could one then argue that the war is indeed necessary? For many, this war isn’t necessary. Perhaps it’s arrogance, believing that we are such bullies and that no country can defeat us. Perhaps it’s ignorance, believing that other countries are good, their leaders are good men, and that crazy lunatics can understand sane thinking if only the right person told them there really isn’t 72 virgins waiting in heaven for them. Others simply want the Constitution followed, that since no declaration of war was made, then it’s unconstitutional, or are simply not interested in solving the problems of the world. Maybe they are burying their heads in the sand, or maybe that piece of paper called the Constitution is actually a pretty good thing that we all should read instead using it at our convenience to advance a political agenda.

It’s not the people in either of these two categories that I fear, they are both standing for what they believe is in the best interest of the country. As for me on the war, I think of John Dickinson who stood so firmly against the American revolution, refusing to vote for war, arguing for diplomacy no matter how many times diplomacy failed. I think of this man who refused to sign his name to the Declaration of Independence, standing alone while the rest of his anti-war colleagues agreed to and signed the Declaration of Independence. Once war was declared, John Dickinson took up arms and became an officer for the American side.  However much he might have disagreed with the war, when war came he fought for his country. For me, the war in Iraq and on terrorism is a simple, you make your arguments against war before or after the war, not during. Our country is at war, our countrymen are putting their lives on the line, now is not the time to bicker whether or not we should be there. We’re there, let’s finish it.

Though I have also hit some crossroads with Iraq, perhaps it was too easy for us to go over there. I believe that when wars are necessary, it’s necessary to do whatever it takes to win, and to win it quickly, otherwise the war wasn’t necessary. We’ve been there a long time, but whether or not we’ve made progress over there is well, irrelevant to me. We aren’t going to kill every single terrorist, just as we can’t stop every single Mexican coming over our border.

I know what I look like, after all, I was here after 9-11 and found out what the term “camel jockey” meant. If you put a cloth (that we won’t call a towel or rag due to political correctness) over my head, wrapped a bomb around my stomach and put me out in the street screaming “Allah Akbar” somebody is going to shoot me and quite frankly they ought to if I’m doing that.  But if it’s that easy for me to look like a Muslim terrorist, how easy is it then for a terrorist to put a sombrero on his head, a pancho over his shoulder, and learn to say “Donde estan Estado Unidos?”, suddenly you have an illegal immigrant and a very dangerous one at that.

And yet our politicians in Washington refuse to see this as a threat, opting instead to assume that the average Joe is racist because he doesn’t want illegal Mexicans inside our country. The truth of the matter is, the real bigots are those who continue to insist that Mexicans are coming here to do the jobs Americans won’t do, giving them much lower wages than they would an American citizen, and then calling immigration on their “undocumented” workers when it comes time to pay them. Most Americans would rather we make it easier for people to come into this country legally than to continue to encourage illegal migration. It’s much smarter to know a little something about the people coming into our country than it is to know absolutely nothing, assuming they only want to work. Even if 99% of illegal immigrants are here to work and mean no harm, it’s still a wreckless and dangerous assumption. That’s where they lose me on the war, take seriously the people who are coming over our border, not all of them have good intentions. There’s nothing compassionate about war, don’t try to be caring, soft, or weak, just win the damn thing or bring em home.

When it comes to war I back my country, but I am unwilling to our sacrifice freedom in the process. Some would say ‘what good is freedom without life?’, but I say ‘what good is life without freedom? You still die in the end’.

I can no longer turn a blind eye, however, to the blatant attack on this country and its allies by our domestic enemies. We have congressmen who stupidly decided that instead of trying diplomacy and negotiation with OPEC to sue them, as if taking profits away from oil companies will drive down the price of oil. If anything, they’ll merely pass on the new cost of the lawsuit on to the consumers thus driving up the price of gas. And exactly who will get this money? The consumers? No, the guys up in Washington thumping their chest, who would rather chide our allies, treat our enemies as though they were our friends, and treat companies that provide goods and services to the American people as though they were the enemy. OPEC is not an enemy, they are a business providing a product that we choose to use. And here’s a newsflash to our brilliant congressmen, our laws do not go beyond the borders our nation, despite how much they wish it so. If we want cheaper gas prices then we ought to encourage the oil companies to revamp and upgrade their current refineries to meet the demand, allow them to build new refineries, allow them to drill for oil, or start using less gas. It’s supply and demand, it’s natural law and to violate it only comes with consequences. OPEC has a product we want, we’re better off working with them than fighting them. After all you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Both Charlie Melancon and Don “Couillon” Cazayoux betrayed their constituency by voting with Pelosi and William Jefferson to raise gas prices with this idiotic lawsuit, especially when they both should know better.

We have Nancy Pelosi sending a letter to Colombian President, an ally of the United States chiding him for human rights abuses of FARC, but failed to send a letter to Hugo Chavez for nearly starting a major war in South America after he was caught helping members of FARC, a Colombian terrorist organization who has kidnapped thousands of innocent people, brutally murdering countless people, and doing everything in their power to bring turmoil to Colombia. She outright refused to meet with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, a man who has done more to bring stability to that region than any of the previous President have. That’s her idea of diplomacy, to refuse to meet with our allies? But what about our enemies and potential enemies? Didn’t we have a congressman who ran over to Iraq as war approached and criticized President Bush? Didn’t Obama say we should be willing to attack Pakistan during a time when the Pakistani government was willing to join our fight against terrorism? And why would Pelosi rather spend her valuable time meeting with Syrian dictator Ba Shar Assad, talking about the road to peace than talking with President Uribe who enjoys an 80% approval rating in his country, reduced kidnappings by 75% and murders by 50%? It’s one thing to want peace, but peace won’t ever be achieved if our message to the world is “If you want the United States on your side then seek not liberty for the people, seek instead to enslave your people and we’ll rush to your aid.”. We’ll only declare war on Human Rights.

Sooner or later, these acts by Obama and Pelosi, empowered by Mary Landrieu, Don “Couillon” Cazayoux, and Charlie Melancon will severely hamper the United States, in fact, it already has. Get them out, before they do more damage.

COOKING CAN BE RECIPE FOR A BETTER LIFE

The Columbian (Vancouver, WA) November 4, 1999 | ELIZABETH HOVDE, Columbian staff writer What an intimidating experience: learning to cook. Knowing the differences between various types of flours, how to thicken sauces and gravies without destroying the taste, even knowing how long to boil an egg all were mysteries.

The daughter of a highly talented and capable Dutch woman who grew up on farms eating whole foods plucked from the Earth, I eventually learned the basics. I knew how to shop for affordable ingredients and make meals for myself by the time I was a teen and out on my own. It is hard to imagine the lost feeling that grown adults, mothers and fathers, must experience when staring at a bag of brown rice or dried beans and not knowing how to make the goods into something edible.

In her Oct. 30 article, “Staples are tough sell at food banks,” Columbian reporter Anne Hart found that low-income community members who rely on local food banks for some of their meals are choosing hot dogs over fresh meat even salmon. They pick meals-in-a-box over staple foods, opting for quick-fix menu items that are not only less nutritional but most often more costly. Free staple foods sit on the food banks’ shelves going unused.

Why? Some folks no doubt make the choice out of convenience, just as people with plenty of money do. But Virginia Hirtler and other food-bank volunteers say many of their patrons simply lack cooking know-how. Without the skills to prepare meals that stretch a budget further, people in need carry these food bank preferences into grocery stores on already slim food budgets.

To combat the trend, Friends in Service of Humanity in Orchards gives away recipes with staple food items to try to convince patrons to take away the provisions that provide more meals for families. Hirtler, who volunteers for FISH, has even produced three cookbooks that outline recipes using common ingredients the food bank receives. In 1984 large amounts of cheese were available to patrons, so she compiled a cookbook of cheese-related meals. More than 3,000 copies of the cookbooks have gone to those in need. here how long to boil an egg in our site how long to boil an egg

Hirtler is setting out to update the latest cookbook, adding many staple-heavy recipes and tips for using basics. Hirtler is also looking for someone to donate printing services for the books, so the food bank can get them into the hands of those who turn away staples or ditch them after being talked into taking them home because they don’t know what to do with them.

To help those in need learn to cook and make economically smart grocery-shopping choices, the North County Community Food Bank in Battle Ground hopes to offer cooking classes starting this February. The organization has done cooking classes in the past, but making it a regular offering is difficult: The bank needs a certified kitchen to teach in for free (a place where public food can be served), volunteer instructors to lead classes and funds to buy staples and coordinate the class schedule.

Kay Schauer, a home economist with the Washington State University Clark County Cooperative Extension’s family food and nutrition program, will also teach classes for people on low incomes if kitchens are available at no cost. If you have a certified kitchen and can donate some space to these efforts, call Schauer at 254-8436 or the North County Community Food Bank at 687- 7126 and ask for Elaine Hertz. To help in the cookbook effort, call Hirtler at FISH, 256-2440.

Charity that works “Give me a fish and I’ll eat for a day; teach me to fish and I’ll eat for a lifetime,” the old adage goes. And yet often we don’t realize what others don’t know and that so many of us have rich knowledge to give.

It is far easier to donate food baskets, or vote to increase government programs that, although well-intended, often fail: too big, too impersonal. Unfortunately, our nation’s collective goodwill has replaced charity that does work: one-on-one relationships, discipleship and teaching. This type of charity takes real time and effort but can transform lives.

Is there someone in your sphere of influence who could benefit from what you know? A young teen who could learn the skills she may need later in life? A single mother who doesn’t know how to make mashed potatoes, so she opts for prepackaged noodles? Do you know a family that has trouble making ends meet and lives without a budget to help guide them?

Fewer people will live in poverty if more one-on-one relationships are pursued and if the transfer of basic life skills from family to family can give people in need the tools required to build steps to self-sufficiency.

ELIZABETH HOVDE, Columbian staff writer


2 comments
JennSierra
JennSierra

We need to start executing people for treason again.

GM Roper
GM Roper

I'm afraid the damage has been done in that the democrats would contenance another McGovern in Obama.

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