Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Average American Woman

I consider myself to be an Average American Woman. I believe in God and Country, work hard to meet the needs of my family, and pay taxes. I worry about my child, my waistline, my bills, and the state of my Country. I would rather spend time with family and friends than watch the news.

I have a college degree but refuse to call it a higher education as those words imply that I am better educated than those that do not. I know some incredibly smart people who have dropped out of high school or do not have a college education but can run circles around me with their knowledge.

I am a registered voter. I am neither a republican nor a democrat. I cast my vote based on who I think has my best interest at heart. I am not bound by mascot or color – red or blue. I admit though, that I tend to lean to the right.

I respect the Constitution of the United States. I carry a gun from time to time as the second amendment allows and I respect those who use their first amendment rights to voice their opinion against the second, though I do not always agree.

I support the military. I may not always believe in their battles but have the utmost respect for the men and women who are willing to leave their families to go where they are asked. One day these brave people will be asked to fight on American soil and I want to believe that when they fight for me and my rights, I am deserving of that sacrifice.

I did not vote for the current President of the United States nor do particulary trust him or believe in his agenda. Maybe in time that will change. Many Obama supporters would label me a racist based on that comment alone. I am not. I fully supported Collin Powell’s run for President against Clinton, and had he stayed in the race Powell would have had my full support. Are those the words or views of a racist?

Although I have my own views about President Obama, I respect my friends who have different views. I appreciate when we can share our views without criticism for the other. I was also annoyed when my school district chose not to air his speech to the students and was pleased when they decided to allow them to watch it a few days afterward.

I worry about health care reform. Not because I don’t think some sort of reform is needed, but because I want it done in a non-partisan way. I want the Citizen’s concerns to be heard not dismissed as uneducated, and I do not want to see an increase to spending or taxes which are both too high. I also want any reform bill to be well thought out and not given a dead line for passing in order for the President to say he was able to accomplish this in his first year. I want no provision or loop hole that allows healthcare for ILLEGAL immigrants.

I am for LEGAL immigration and immigration reform. I do not hold ill will to anyone who legally enters this country and becomes a US Citizen. We are all immigrants, and yes I do understand that by today’s standard the immigration of our forefathers would be considered illegal. I believe if you want to live in the United Stated of America you need to respect the laws, language, and people. You do not need to give up your identity to become a Citizen but you do need to learn the English language and use it. I should not have to learn yours. My taxes should not pay for healthcare, food, or any other benefit our government currently provides to ILLEGAL immigrants.

I think Americans do not have a place to go where they can get un-biased answers about issues that concern them. Everyone has an agenda. Every news network and program has a degree of bias, some more than others. I realized this during the election and had to stop watching the 24 hour news networks. They specialize in stirring up controversy, are high on opinions, and low on facts.

I want a place where all of the bills passed by Government are fully laid out in layman’s terms. If someone knows of such a place dealing in facts and not opinion, I would like to know how to find it. I believe transparency in government is needed now more than ever. Obama used this in his campaign but I have yet to see any such thing.

I believe politics have become too divisive and blame our so-called leaders for their lack of leadership and the bandying about of words such as “reconciliation”, which in Congress basically means (as per my understanding) “we get want we want even though it isn’t what you want”.

I believe in term limits for Congress and that each Representative needs to send an annual accountability statement (not using taxpayer money) to their constituents. This should outline what they voted on, why, and how it impacts them. Constituents shouldn’t have to dig through all of the minutia on websites to get this information.

I think the voters should have the final say on whether or not Congress gets pay increases. Congress should not determine this one on their own – the majority of them will say yes every time. I don’t get to decide whether or not I get a raise and neither should they.

I think there is no reason why a member of Congress should not be there to vote on every bill. This is what they signed on for and have been tasked with by their constituents. I also believe a sitting member of Congress should not be able to run for another office unless they have resigned. Constituents are not well represented by a member of Congress who is running around the country seeking votes for President.

I believe every Citizen has a voice regardless of political affiliation, religion, race, and ethnicity, social or economic background and that many of those voices are ignored because they are not those of the majority.

Finally, I will end my post with this: It is your right to disagree with me and my right to disagree with you. If you disagree with me I will assume it is because you have valid reasons behind those disagreements. I will not label you as an uneducated racist or any other derogatory term, as long as you do not label me as such.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Last vacation of summer..

Some friends of mine have a timeshare on a houseboat at Lake Powell and set up an adults only trip for Labor Day weekend. Having never been, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to visit this place that I have heard so much about. We left on Thursday morning and other than listening to sister's boyfriend talk 98% of the time, the four hour drive was relatively uneventful.
Arriving at Powell we unloaded the truck, the car, and the boat. The beach at Bullfrog quickly became a dumping ground for the Clampets. Food and supplies for 15 adults and luggage for 7 quickly piled up. After loading the houseboat, the womenfolk took the smaller boat out to seek a spot to "camp" the following night.

Being my first time to Lake Powell, I was in awe and wonder at the beautiful scenery. By the time we found our camping spot, my neck was stiff from looking up. It amazes me that these cliffs were over a hundred feet high while there was almost 300 feet of water below us (I really shouldn't have told my mom about that part, she hates the water).
The first night we stayed at the beach in Bullfrog and had dinner at the Anasazi Lodge. After dinner we went out on the deck where a couple of park rangers gave presentation on astronomy and the similarities between Mars and the Glen Canyon area. Comparing pictures from the Mars rover to those of Glen Canyon.
The next day the rest of the gang joined us and we headed to Moki Canyon for our first night of fun at the lake. Each night had a different theme and this one was Pirate night complete with a treasure hunt.

Part of Moki Canyon


The next day we moved to another part of the lake called Hansen Creek. On the way we went down Forgotten Canyon where they have restored some Anasazi Indian ruins. We were unable to hike to the ruins but did get picture of the petroglyphs above the ruins.

Forgotten Canyon

The Houseboat at Hansen Creek

We stayed at Hansen Creek for 2 nights. We had an 80's night and beach night. Also, while at Hansen Creek we took the smaller boat out for some water skiing and tubing. Several of us hiked around and explored. Of course, I had to collect rocks, shells, and sand. I am almost as bad as a little kid.

Beach Night

I finally caught a fish the last night of the trip. It was an ugly catfish but at least I can say I caught a fish at Lake Powell.

I would love to visit again and explore more of this 100 plus mile long lake. Our few days were just a small glimpse of this beautiful place. As we traveled along the lake I couldn't help but wonder at the history that lay beneath the water's surface; the Indian ruins and artifacts that no longer exist. At the same time I know that I would not have been in this beautiful place, enjoying the landscape and admiring how the wild Colorado River created these majestic canyons had it not been for the creation of Lake Powell. For more information about Lake Powell please visit