Obama and Walker: not that different, in some respects

My two bits on what Scott Walker and the Republicans did in Wisconsin on Wednesday, March 9:

When Obama became president in 2009, he was given the “gift” of a completely Democrat-controlled House and Senate.  Obama could do whatever he wanted; there was no way to stop him.  So, he did.  Among other things, they passed legislation to completely overhaul the health-care system.

Voters in 2010 apparently didn’t like what the Democrats had done.  Control of the House passed to Republicans, and many of the 1/3 of seats open in the Senate also passed into Republican hands.

That’s our our republic works.  The United States isn’t technically a democracy; we’re a republic.  We elect people to act on our behalf.  If we don’t like what we do, we “throw the bums out.”

Wisconsinites voted in a completely Republican governing system last election: Republican governor, Republican-controlled House and Senate.  Since the Republicans had total control, they could (like Obama and the Democrats on the national level!) do whatever they wanted.  They choose to exercise that power to take power away from the teacher’s union in hopes of being able to free up more money for school districts to use as the districts felt best.

If people don’t like what was done, voters will “throw the bums out.”  If these changes turn out to be good and people approve of them, they’ll re-elect them again.

That’s how our Republic works.  The party in charge gets to call the shots.  Frankly, that’s how it should be.  If both political parties are sharing power, it usually happens that nothing gets done.  When one party has total control, they can then carry out their campaign promises, and if people don’t like what was done, they’ll vote them out.  If people do like it, they can vote them back in.

Obama and the Democrats were in charge for two years in the U.S.A. — they got to do things exactly how they wanted.

Walker and the Republicans are currently in charge in Wisconsin — they get to do things exactly how they want.

That’s how elections work.

Although there is one difference: When Democrats passed sweeping legislation on the national level, Republicans disagreed, passionately disagreed at times, but they did not shut down the government by running away.  Those who disagreed did not wreak havoc on the statehouses in Washington D.C.  There was no publicity about Republican protestors being arrested.

Wisconsin?  A different story.

I’m just saying.

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Here’s an interesting non-partisan article from the Wall Street Journal comparing the current governments in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  While Wisconsin is under complete Republican control, Minnesota is under complete Democratic control.  Minnesota is facing the same kind of budget issues that Wisconsin is, but is choosing a very different way to solve their problems.  Time will tell which solution is best…

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original thinking needed

I am not in favor of Obama’s plan to nationalize health care.  I am not in favor of this for many reasons, which I am not going to go into here, but rest assured that my denounement of nationalized health care is NOT that I don’t want people who need health care to not be able to get health care.

I am also extremely frustrated at how a government takeover of health care is the only option being presented as viable.  C’mon, elected representatives, can’t you come up with other options?  And why do we assume that the government taking it over is going to be an improvement?  There MUST be other options, options that would keep government bureaucracy out and put needed health care in.  I don’t know what those options might be, but people who are “in the know” should be able to come up with some potential, workable solutions.  At least, they should in my opinion.

People, we need ORIGINAL THINKING.  We need to not burden ourselves by adopting a system that we’ll never be able to undo.  The decision to nationalize health care would be a permanent one.  There would be no going back.

Is this really what we want?

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Similarly, why can’t the WELS come up with any other option to balance the budget except for the two horrible options of cutting world missionaries or closing Michigan Lutheran Seminary?  C’mon people, can’t you come up with more options than that?  Both of those options are awful!

JJ put the live feed from the Synod Convention floor on his computer tonight, and we were listening as I made supper (creamy chicken & rice, for those of you who like those kinds of details).  One delegate brought up the idea of selling the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary campus rather than Michigan Lutheran Sem.  While I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea, I do think that the Mequon Sem is on 80 beautiful acres, much of it wooded and unused.  Why don’t they sell off a few lots on one end, especially the end that’s already next to some housing developments?  That land would certainly bring in a lot more money than MLS would.

Now, I’m not saying this is the greatest idea ever (JJ absolutely thinks it is NOT a good idea!), but I do think that if this idea were legitimately considered by the people who make the decisions, that consideration might lead to other, better, out-of-the-box ideas.  That’s how good ideas come — they come from not-so-good ideas tossed around and discussed until new ideas emerge.  And we most certainly need some new ideas, rather than every two years, giving the standard answer of “Close MLS.”   C’mon!  Can’t anyone come up with a better idea???

People, we need ORIGINAL THINKING.  We need to not shoot ourselves in the foot by getting rid of an institution that we will (most likely) never be able to get back.  (Not that we would be able to sell the MLS campus in this economy anyway).  The decision to downsize to one prep school would be a permanent one, and furthermore, it would dramatically affect future called workers in our synod.  There would be no going back.

Is this really what we want?

(Not to mention the horrible ramifications of the other option, cutting world missionaries.  These missionaries are doing the work of the church in the most grass-roots way possible.  They are having tremendous success!  But “while the souls of men are dying,” here we sit with all our stuff: our cellphones, cable, $3 lattes, new clothes, nice vacations, complete collections of [fill in the blank], etc.  We have so much stuff, but in the end, we ignore the most important thing we can do as Christians.  Think how much good all that money could do if it were used for world mission work.

I know, I know, I’m preaching to the choir here.  But it’s just so maddening.  I’m praying hard that the delegates at convention this week can come up with a better solution.  One of the last delegates to speak tonight asked people to stand up if they were opposed to both options, and apparently over half of the assembly stood up.  So, with so many people opposed to both closing MLS and opposed to closing world missions, hopefully some original thinking has been spurred on in Saginaw tonight.)

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By the way, if you want to watch President Schroeder’s opening address, check out this blog post.  The blog’s author writes:

How refreshing to hear Pres. Schroeder stress the importance of the theology of the cross as opposed to the theology of the glory in the life of the church, of realizing and being who we are–confessional Lutherans–as individuals, as congregations, and as a synod, and of not forgetting the lessons learned from the history not only of our synod, but of the Christian church over the centuries.

does more care equal better care?

Those of you who know my passion for natural childbirth will understand what I mean by that phrase.  I’ve written previously on this blog about how the USA ranks last among industrialized nations as far as mothers who die in childbirth (or shortly thereafter), plus how it ranks last among babies who die in childbirth (or shortly thereafter), and furthermore how the United States spends more money on maternity care and childbirth compared to every other country.  Looking at those undeniable statistics, it’s obvious that more care does not equal better care, at least as far as childbirth is concerned.

This is an interesting factoid to remember: As Obama and his aides start planning to take over the health care system of this contry (more on that in a bit), they’re realizing that the same concept also applies to other areas of health care besides childbirth.  Check out this MSN article.

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I agree that the health care system in the United States could be improved.  But, I think there’s a way to do that that wouldn’t involve turning the entire health care system into a government bueracracy.  Picture the hassle it is at the DMV.  Picture the hassle it is to deal with the IRS.  (The IRS goofed up an estimated tax payment of mine once, and it caused a huge amount of problems, ending with me being harassed by the IRS and practically called names on the phone by the IRS agent.  While the IRS eventually admitted their “error,” I still ended up losing money in the whole debacle.  Grr!)  Now, picture dealing with all that — while holding your sick child.

Like I said, the health care system of the US could stand some overhauling, no question about it.  But do the problems warrant a complete government overhaul?  Could the problems be addressed in a more efficient way, a way that doesn’t put control of one’s health choices in the hands of an unknown person somewhere in an office, an unknown person who decides if and where you will get your treatment?  Shouldn’t those decisions best be left for us to make ourselves?  Isn’t America the “land of the free”?

Canada and Great Britain have nationalized health care, and by all accounts, it’s nothing but a mess.  People who live there question why the USA would want to institute a similar system.  In fact, those with money from Canada and Great Britain come to the United States for higher quality care!

One final thought: Citizens of the United States choose and purchase their own auto insurance, home/renter’s insurance, life insurance, and most other kinds of insurance.  Yet, somehow, health insurance is often obtained through a person’s work.  Why not eliminate that?  Why not make health insurance something one buys just like any other insurance?  A person could buy a policy that works for their family and budget, and health care companies would have to streamline and compete for customers.  I fail to see how a complete government takeover of the health care system is going to be better for anyone except for possibly the poorest members of society.  They do need to be taken care of, no doubt, but there must be far better ways to accomplish that than nationalizing the entire system.

I hope Obama fails in this attempt to nationalize health care.

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(Just wanted to add that I complete agree with this article from Time magazine.  But again, why does the government have to be in charge of this?  Why couldn’t this be done by private health providers?  Why couldn’t we, as individual health care insurance purchasers, get reduced rates on our health insurance for living a healthy lifestyle and taking good prevantative care of ourselves?  We do it for car insurance — good car drivers get reduced rates!  What about people who take good care of themselves getting reduced health insurance rates!  But why, oh why, does the government have to be in control of this???)

Take the Limbaugh Challenge!

I know that a few of you reading this blog are liberals.  Mwah!  I still love you anyway. 🙂

However, if you’re a liberal, you probably think that Rush Limbaugh is a pompous, blathering idiot.  Well, he does get loud at times, he does rant and rave at times, but so do a lot of liberal commentators as well.  Barney Frank certainly his moments of loudly ranting and raving!

With the arrival of Barack Obama into the presidency, I’ve started listening to Rush again.  Not all the time, not even every day, but somewhat consistently.  And you know what?  He makes sense.  He’s not perfect, he doesn’t always phrase things quite the way I would say them, but he really does make sense.

However, Rush takes some time to get used to.  You can’t just listen to him for a few minutes and say that you “get” him.  Our local radio station (yes, even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can hear Rush live on KSFO!) is running a bumper that says, in effect, that people who are new to Rush Limbaugh have to give him six weeks before thinking that they truly understand who Rush is and what he stands for.

There’s an article in the L.A. Times today that makes the same point.  So, what are you afraid of?  Take the Rush Limbaugh Challenge!  As author Andrew Klavan writes in his article:

Therefore, I am throwing down my gauntlet at your quivering liberal feet. I hereby issue my challenge — the Limbaugh Challenge: Listen to the show. Not for five minutes but for several hours: an hour a day for several days. Consider what he has to say — the real policy material under the jokes and teasing bluster. Do what your intellectual keepers do not want you to do and keep an open mind. Ask yourself: What’s he getting at? Why does he say the things he says? Why do so many people of goodwill — like that nice Mr. Klavan — agree with him?

The mainstream media (a.k.a. the Matrix) don’t want you to listen to Limbaugh because they’re afraid he’ll wake you up and set you free of their worldview. You don’t want to listen to him because you’re afraid of the same thing.

Don’t believe me? Well, then, gird your loins. Gather your courage. Accept the Limbaugh Challenge. See what happens.

I dare you.

You never know – Rush might be right. 😉

Gah! I so dislike the direction that Obama is taking our country

I read this today.  I had heard a bit about this before, but it seems like it’s really happening.  If you don’t feel like clicking on the link, it says that Obama is rescinding the Conscience Clause, that allows a medical professional to opt out of doing an abortion procedure if it goes against their conscience.  Obama wants to get rid of this.  He wants medical professionals to have no choice but to perform an abortion if asked.  Where’s the “pro-choice” in that?  If this country wants to be pro-choice, then it needs to be pro-choice for everyone involved.

(Of course, giving everyone involved a choice would also involve giving the baby a choice, who currently has no choice, nor voice, in the matter…)

a website for conservative women

So, I just found this website today: http://motherofallconservatives.com/  It’s authored by conservative and middle-of-the-road’ers who have conservative leanings.  I’m VERY excited about it.

You know, sometimes it takes having a president who is diametrically opposed to you for a person to start getting energized about their beliefs again!

And, if you’ve at all heard about the controversies and slip-ups with Barack Obama’s ever-present teleprompter (apparently he literally NEVER speaks without it!), then you must check out this new blog: http://www.baracksteleprompter.blogspot.com/

you win some, you lose some

I’m really disappointed that Obama won the presidency.  His viewpoints, his circle of acquaintances, his inexperience, and his “spread the wealth” socialist policies do not thrill me, to say the least.  But I trust that God will work through a Pres. Obama as much as he would have worked through a Pres. McCain.  So, there it is.  God is still in control.

JJ and I are tempering our negative Obama talk around Lyd.  After hearing her parents say for the past months that, “We don’t like Barack Obama’s ideas,” she was disappointed to hear that Obama was elected, although in her 5 year old way, she isn’t really sure what “election” or “president” or even “bad ideas” mean.  So, JJ and I assured her that it was okay that Obama is going to be the president, that she’s still going to be safe, that Momma and Daddy are still going to be here, and that her life won’t change.  JJ also tried to explain the significance of a “black” president to her, but as I don’t think she’s ever noticed the color of anyone’s skin, it didn’t seem to make any kind of impact on her.  We may not be Democrats, but we’re definitely not raising a racist child! 🙂

But in good news, Proposition 8 has passed, 52% to 48%.  The primarily-gay Castro District in San Francisco is sad this morning; the little bit of TV news that I saw reported that two couples have already hired a lawyer to fight this amendment.  I don’t see what good that would do, frankly.  It’s a constitutional amendment, not a lawsuit.  I just hope they don’t decide to “recount the votes,” and amazingly discover a whole bunch more of uncounted ballots.  This would especially be ridiculous because there were 12 propositions on our ballot, besides all the elections for president, state senate, state representatives, school board, etc.  Our ballot was the largest I’ve ever seen – two pages, front and back, so four sides in all.  So if they “recount the votes” and only the number of votes on Prop 8 change, not the other props, then I’d be extremely suspicious.

However, my husband says that this talk of legal challenge is just reactionary, not rational.  There really is nothing the No on Prop 8 people can do, except to start collecting signatures to put another constitutional amendment on the ballot that would cancel out Prop 8.  And from a logical perspective, that would not be a wise move right now.  They need to give it at least a little time before trying again.  Traditional marriage supporters may have won this fight, but I’m sure this is not the end of the battle in California.

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I went into yesterday’s Election Day hoping that either my candidate would be elected president or that Prop 8 would pass.  I resolved that one of those two things happening would be good, so intellectually I’m pleased.  JJ said that if you could only pick one of those two things to happen, Prop 8 was the better choice in the long run.  He’s actually pretty upbeat this morning.  He says that Obama is going to muck everything up pretty badly, especially since the Democrats control all of Congress, and in four years, Obama will be voted out and a real Conservative will be voted in, similarly to how Jimmy Carter mucked everything up in the late 70’s, paving the way for Reagan to be voted in.  Americans are selfish – they vote the economy every time.  If Obama actually accomplishes what he said he would during the campaign, it will really hurt the economy, not help it, and people will vote him out in four years in disgrace.  Time will tell, but history is cyclical, so there’s some hope.

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Finally, I meant to link to this post earlier, entitled “I Would Really Like to See Roe v Wade Overturned (But Not For the Reasons You May Think)!”  Better late than never.  I am completely with this gal on wishing that abortion wasn’t such a divisive issue in politics.  I am not always comfortable making a politician’s stance on moral issues a key point in deciding how I vote, and I wish it didn’t have to be that way.  I don’t know if our country will ever be able to separate moral issues from political policies, but it sure would be nice if it could.