Friday, October 22, 2010
Libertarian views in a nut shell: Fiscal Conservatism with Social Liberalism. Also, Just Leave Me Alone to Live My Life.
Yes to the following Liberties: Gun Ownership (I'm OK with restrictions for felons and criminals), Free Speech, Property Rights, Gay Marriage (though some of the most Libertarian will tell you that the state has no business in civil marriage of any kind and I can see the argument, though marriage is so entrenched in society it would be hard to un-do), Abortion-on-Demand with minimal restrictions, low interference from the state on just about everything, local control of more, central control of less (but I can see how the Fed is required for some things like enforcing the 14th Amendment in the South during Jim Crow).
No to the following intrusions on personal liberty: Speech and dress codes (ala Burqa ban in France and speech codes in Canada), high tax rates, government mandates of all kinds, unnecessary licensing requirements, liquor laws (why doesn't Indiana allow wine.com to ship to me?...because the wholesalers and distributors have convinced the politicians to allow them to keep their monopoly in the guise of public interest), zoning laws, property covenants, unions, incentives that reward undesireable behavior, politicians who buy the votes of the electorate with my money.
So, I am hopeful that some things in Indiana (and the Nation) will change after November 2nd. I think we might get our first Republican county-wide official elected this year since the 1950s. The democratic candidate for assessor is currently charged with a felony and probably doesn't actually reside in the county. Her own party machine isn't endorsing or backing her, but the higher-ups are urging people just to vote a straight party ticket. If she wins, it will be a sad day for an imformed electorate.
I'm not sure for whom I will vote in the US Senate race. The democrat and republican have both sent many many mailers to my home and their positions on the issues are very similar (almost indistinguishable by my way of reading...rhetoric about working families, low taxes, pro-jobs, anti-abortion). I think, in this case, the devil is in the details. One says he's pro-jobs by spending tax dollars to pay people to do things. The other says he's pro-jobs by lowering S-corporation tax rates to encourage job creation in the private sector.
Evan Bayh decided not to run for re-election after it was too late to hold primary elections, so the democrats put up Brad Ellsworth (he's for bank bail-outs, pro-Obamacare, and anti-gay marriage). Dan Coats (a former US Senator) is running as the Republican (he's backed by the Tea Party, who I swear to you is not a bunch of angry racists no matter what Newsweek's coverage tells you). Libertarian Rebecca Sink-Burris is also running. Her views most closely represent my views (although she's Pro-Life too, sort of...she doesn't seem anti-abortion...it's like she says I'm Pro-Life (who isn't?) and then sounds sort of reasonable on the issue...very strange position), but she has a snowball's chance of being elected. So, do I vote my conscience, or vote as closely to my conscience as I can with a candidate who actually has a chance in a tight race? Therein lies the rub.
My point is that things are going well. Quite well. Swimmingly. I am happy (mostly). I am contented. I have pangs of wanting a third baby, but I don't think I actually want a third baby. Although, who wouldn't want to be able to say My Three Sons?
SarcastiCarrie answered: My life is absolutely wonderfully fabulous right this very minute and I want to stop time right here and stay here forever and ever and ever. But, alas, that is not how life goes, so tomorrow, something will hit the fan and someone is going to the pediatrician and so on.
Well, the fates did not strike me down after that comment and the only reason Chip wound up at the pediatrician is beacause he got his first varicella vaccine at 51 weeks of age and the State says it doesn't count if it is given prior to 51 weeks 4 days (I shit you not). Never mind that his brother had chicken pox, and he didn't get it, which proves his immunity and also should count as a booster shot. He got the shot, got a sucker, got his FluMist, and we all carried on with our lives. I did not even storm the statehouse and demand they make an exception, nor did I ask for the exemption papers to decline vaccinating. I believe in herd immunity. I don't believe in the blind following of rules, but sometimes, it's just easier.
UPDATED: I forgot to mention that what brought the issue to a head was a phone call from the principal wherein she threatened to "exclude him from school until we resovle this matter". Threats. Great. I did sign a paper saying that they do NOT have my permission to give Chip's vaccination records to the state through electronic records sharing. So, whatever. It's over an done. Maybe when I am out of the throes of childrearing I will fight for commonsense vaccination programs.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
This morning at my desk, I got the same email forwarded to me by 15 different people. It was a safety notice of a fatal accident that happened during the big blitz that Mr. Long-Suffering is working this week. The guy who was killed is named also named Mr. Most people know Mr. and I have different last names and most of the people prefaced their emails with “That wasn’t your husband, was it?” It was not my husband, but I really think those people should have called instead of emailed. There’s an etiquette and a protocol to these things. If you're notifying a woman that her husband might have just been killed, you should call. Or stop by her office.
It was some other mechanical engineer named Mr. working on that exact same piece of equipment, and if it had happened on day turn instead of midnights or if Mr. Long-Suffering had been working midnights (like usual) instead of days this week it would have been him. Tearing up a little at my desk. OK, actually, tearing up a lot.
Mr. Long-Suffering had been getting occasional digs from his parents for 5 years. He had finally had enough.
Neither of us is what you might call religious. We've never regularly attended church together, though he went as a child and I went some as an adult (just to learn about the Bible so I would be better at Jeopardy! Oddly, the church doesn't actually teach you about what is in the text of the bible.).
Mr. Long-Suffering is an introvert and rather sensitive to criticism, and the fact that he was disappointing his parents was crushing him. The comments only came up 2-4 times per year, but he internalized their disapproval, and it wore on him. Plus, in his family, a baptism is a custom, a tradition, and he felt like it was something we should do because it is what people do.
This is not a custom or tradition in my family. My sister and I were not baptized nor christened. My niece was not either. We did not regularly attend church as children, though occasionally, my grandmother would drop us off for Sunday school, or we'd go with the neighbors. I am a polite non-believer (of all religions, though I do think Judaism is pretty neat). Agnostic really. I'm culturally Protestant. Some of my family is devoutly religious. My own father is an ordained member of the Presbyterian church (though how that happened was sort of an accident....million-to-one shot doc, million-to-one).
Mr. Long-Suffering and I were married in the Lutheran Church (LC-MS) 9 years ago, and I did agree to raise my kids in that Church (though truthfully, I somehow never thought it would happen).
So, when Mr. Long-Suffering floated the idea of getting Bobo and Chip baptized, I said, "Sure, OK, you plan it, and I'll show up." That was about 2 years ago. The idea surface every few months since then. I always said, "OK, I won't stop you." Though, truthfully, he's not the planner in this relationship so I never thought it would happen.
Now that we have Mrs. Marie, though, we have a lot more mind-space time. I have 3 hours per week to myself now, and I assume Mr. L-S does too. So, he arranged a baptism. I planned a party. I even made sure our family went to church the weekend before the baptism so we'd see the place, get the lay of the land, meet the pastor, etc.
So, it's done. And I feel just awful about it. I really didn't want to baptize them. It sort of goes against everything I believe in. If they decide that they are believers when they're grown, they could get baptized then. On the other hand, I remind myself that as a non-believer, it doesn't really mean anything and nothing has changed, so no big deal, symbolism, blal blah blah, pleasing the elder generation. If they decide they are non-believers when they grow up, it's not like they can un-do it (though really, as a non-believer, it doesn't mean anything any way, so no harm - no foul).
The funny part about it is that Chip has been dumping buckets of water over Bobo's head three times in the bath and saying it's a baptism. Which is really adorable.
Monday, October 04, 2010
This served 20 adults for 3 or 4 hours.
The night before, make an ice ring:
Put a pound of frozen peaches (or your own peeled, pitted, and wedged peaches) into the bottom of a Bundt pan (or any other decorative pan or tupperware). Cover peaches with Sierra Mist Natural (I recommend this only because it is made with sugar not HFCS. You could use 7-Up.). Place in freezer overnight or until frozen solid. To remove, put pan in sink of tepid water to loosen and then put it in the punch bowl trying not to splash (or put it in before the liquids).
4 bottles of chilled, cheap Champagne or Sparkling Wine (I used 2 cheap, 2 moderate bottles because that is what I had on-hand: 2 J Roget, 1 Korbel, and one Frexinet), any brand, any Brut, semi-dry, spumante, etc.
1 bottle of peach schnapps (the cheaper the better...mine was $9.99, but I am pretty sure a cheap-o bottle can be had for $7 or $8).
4 twelve-ounce cans of Peach Nectar (at my grocery store, it was found on the Latino Foods aisle). All the brands said 100% nectar on the front and had sugar/high fructose corn syrup listed as an ingredient. I don't know whether it was sugar or HFCS, but how is that 100% nectar?
1-2 cups of Sierra Mist Natural, to taste
One ice ring with frozen peaches
serve with ladle from (borrowed) punch bowl (or heck, a stock pot would work) into Solo Cups (or you know, champagne flutes if you're feeling fancy)
This recipe would be very easy to scale down to one bottle of champagne (and in fact, I made a three-bottle batch and then a one-bottle batch after it was clear that the punch was moving).