August 2007

Even without the ridiculous cases of lead paint in children’s products or contaminated toothpaste and pet food, we should not be doing business with the Chinese. Whatever happened to the good old days when Communists were ostracized from the world community? When (and it has to have been at some point during my lifetime, although I can’t seem to remember when it happened) did it become OK to do business with Communists? Since when do we overlook the atrocities taking place on a daily basis in communist countries such as China? And all for a buck?

I was disgusted when I saw the production introducing the world to the glories of Beijing in preparation for the 2008 Olympics. I will not be watching the Olympics in 2008, as I refuse to pay homage to evil Communism. How is it that the world community is putting on a happy face and allowing the Chinese to take part in this celebration, all the while committing heinous human rights violations and enslaving their people to communist ideals? Our local ETSU even exchanges professors with a university in China, sponsoring cheerful little field trips for their students to Communist China.

What ever happened to sanctions? Why are we not outraged that our government (and businesses, students, etc.) are consorting with Communists? Not just Communists, mind you, but Communists who engage in forced abortions (see “Chinese Parents Fight Forced Abortions“, for a recent take on this common Chinese practice) and other human rights atrocities.

I know someone is going to say that it’s all about money, and I know that’s what it boils down to. But when did we become so utterly depraved that money means more to us than the sanctity of human life and the freedoms which all people deserve?

I know it’s going to be difficult, but I am going to make every effort not to buy a single item made in China. Considering the fact that I have a child, and something like 80% of all toys are made in China, I’m sure I’m going to be hard pressed to stop buying from China altogether, but, by golly, I’m going to try.  I encourage you to do the same. We cannot, in good conscience, continue to give our money to such a horrible excuse for a country.


In July the wheel tax failed 7-17 with Commissioners Greg Matherly, Paul Woodby, C.B. Kinch, Mark Hicks, Ben Bowman, Evert Jarrett and Pat Wolfe voting in favor of the resolution.

Casting “no” votes were Commissioners Pete Speropulos, Sam Humphreys, Peggy Richardson, Frank Bolus, Jim Powell, Sid Campbell, Phil McPeak, Wendell Messimer, Ron England, Richard Matherly, Mark Ferguson, Kyle Shell, Gerald Sparks, Scott Buckingham, Mark Larkey, Janice White and Danny Edens.

Voting in favor of the wheel tax in August were Commissioners Greg Matherly, Pete Speropulos, Paul Woodby, C.B. Kinch, Peggy Richardson, Frank Bolus, Mark Hicks, Jim Powell, Phil McPeak, Wendell Messimer, Bill Biles, Kyle Shell, Gerald Sparks, Scott Buckingham, Mark Larkey, Janice White, Ben Bowman, Evert Jarrett and Pat Wolfe.

In opposition to the tax were Commissioners Sam Humphreys, Sid Campbell, Ron England, Richard Matherly, Mark Ferguson and Danny Edens.

We only need 2 more “no” votes in September in order for the wheel tax to fail (a 2/3 majority is needed on both readings). It’s pretty clear who the “swing voters” are, so maybe, with a little work, the majority (us) will actually win out over the money (the Homebuilders’ Association).

Unfortunately our commissioners still haven’t figured out how to cut a budget.

A $50 wheel tax (which will be accompanied by a 33 cent property tax increase) passed on its first reading tonight. I am disgusted and ready to fight. Did anyone catch that poem that “Liberty Larry” read on Good Morning Tri-Cities last week? Oh, how true it is…

Don’t be fooled. This argument has been presented as “do you want a wheel tax OR an increased property tax?” What we are getting, folks, is a wheel tax AND an increased property tax. The introduction of a wheel tax does not mean that property taxes are not going up this year. The $50 wheel tax will only save us 12 cents on our property tax increase. And we’re stuck with a new tax.

Let’s explain why NEW taxes are bad. With only a property tax with which to increase funds for the county, the commissioners have limited resources and limited power. You can only raise property taxes so high before you have to start trimming the budget (like, oh, I don’t know…not offering 14% raises to the county mayor and court clerk. Just as an example). By introducing a new tax, the commission has a whole new “cookie jar” in which to stick their grubby little hands. Not only can they now raise your property taxes, they can raise that wheel tax, too. It is better to limit government in their forms of taxation, for it is in the muddiness of multiple taxes that we end up paying far more than we think we are.

Think about it…we pay (as an example, depending on your income bracket) 10 (or so) % of our income to the Federal Government, 7% to Social Security and Medicare, 10% on all our purchases (more on gas, cigarettes, and alcohol), property taxes, wheel taxes, death taxes, capital gains taxes, phone taxes…need I continue? It’s through the many layers of taxation that the government becomes more and more bloated and we’re blissfully ignorant of how much they are really taking right out of our pockets. THIS is why we need to suck it up (if the Commission isn’t going to cut the budget, which we all know that they’re not) and pay the higher property tax. The last thing we need is another layer of taxation.

James Reeves is circulating a petition against the wheel tax, and it is my understanding that with enough signatures we can force a referendum. Comment to this post or send me an email if you would like to know where you can go to lend your name to the fight.

As I’m sure you all know by now (if you’ve been reading my blog, of course), the Washington County Commission will be voting (AGAIN) on a $50 wheel tax and a 33 cent property tax increase this evening. Several responsible citizens will be holding signs and peacefully demonstrating outside the courthouse in Jonesborough beginning around 5:30pm.

Sadly, I won’t be able to make it, and I love a good protest (I staged my first one when I was 12…ahhh, precious memories). Not only do I have my dear baby to take care of, but I’m babysitting a little guy only 5 weeks older than my own. I’m not sure how I would hold two babies and a sign at the same time. So go out there and wave a sign for me!!! I’ll be at home praying for our commissioners to come to their senses.

It’s rare that the “Today” show offers a teaser that actually makes me sit in front of the TV waiting for the story, but this morning they managed to pique my interest. They reported on a major offered by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary…Homemaking.

Offered as a concentration within the “Bachelor of Arts in Humanities” degree, young women are required to complete 60 hours of History/Life/Thought, 24 hours of Bible/Theology, 24 hours of Language/Thought/Practice, and 21 hours in Homemaking. The homemaking curriculum includes (from the SWBTS academic catalog):

HMK 2101 Orientation to Homemaking
This introductory course provides an overview of the field of homemaking, its place in history, and biblical perspective. To be taken the student’s first semester.
One hour

HMK 3103 Biblical Model for the Home and Family
Focus on the Biblical role of women related to the home, family, church, ministry, and relationships.
Three hours

HMK 3113 Nutrition
Focuses on the fundamentals of nutrition, nutrition through the life cycle, brief overview of food preparation, and meal management.
Three hours

HMK 3203 Value of a child
A study of the spiritual, physical, emotional and cognitive development of a child.
Three hours

HMK 3204 Meal Preparation with Lab
A study and practice of the basic principles of the selection and preparation of food. Nutrition is a pre-requisite.
Four hours

HMK 4101 Senior Seminar
Focuses on putting fundamental elements of homemaking into practice. This course is to be taken as a pre-requisite to the Homemaking practicum and should be taken the first semester of the student’s final year.
One hour

HMK 4103 Basics of Design
Introduces the student to design and includes colors, space, interior design, and a brief overview of clothing construction.
Three hours

HMK 4201 Homemaking Practicum
Focuses on putting fundamental elements of homemaking into practice while placing the students in real life situations. This course serves as the capstone course of the program and should be taken the student’s final semester.

HMK 4204 Clothing Construction with Lab
A study of patterns, fabric, equipment, and sewing. Basics of Design is a prerequisite.
Four hours

The “Today” show, as expected, took the “is this sexist” approach to the story. As the report progressed and the usual, “but some are upset men aren’t offered the opportunity to pursue the major” was uttered, I thought to myself, “here comes the feminazi statement from NOW.” As if on cue, a NOW representative appeared on the screen muttering about how the program was sexist and sets women back decades.

The in-studio interview with Ann Curry featured Rachel Hamman, an author and homemaker, and Glenn Williams, the senior vice president of Focus on the Family. Mr. Williams was, unfortunately, unable to present his argument in favor of the program, as Ann Curry continually interrupted him and refused to allow him to finish a point.

Hamman, on the other hand, was given significant time to make her absurd arguments, such as “women should study something useful so that they will have something to fall back on in the future” and  “homemaking isn’t something you can learn from a book.”

I went to school for several years knowing full-well that, instead of a philosophy degree, I was really working on an “Mrs.” degree. I had no intention of working after having children and philosophy was merely something that I enjoyed. How much better if I had been able to major in something that I could actually be using now? That philosophy degree certainly isn’t going to do me any good if the hubby up and leaves me! Besides, has Ms. Hamman never heard of “double-majoring?” If a young woman is so concerned that she may one day have to support herself, she is more than welcome, I’m sure, to major in both homemaking and something else.

As for not being able to learn homemaking from a book but, rather, needing “on the job training,” I would encourage Ms. Hamman to visit a doctor who never went to school but got a lot of “on the job training.” One can study any craft and become better at it by putting it into practice and to assert that studying homemaking from a book is useless is as absurd as saying that studying brain surgery from a book has no merit. I certainly hope my brain surgeon did some serious studying (from books!) before he actually cracked open a skull.

The major problem that folks on the “Today” show seemed to have with the homemaking major is that it is offered only to women. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is a school founded on biblical principles, not the latest bunch of feminist hoo-ha. Titus 2:3-5 says, “Older women likewise are to…train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (emphasis mine). The bible states that women are to be workers at home, not men. Nowhere in the bible is there any indication that a man is to be a homemaker. Proverbs 31: 10-31 describes the “excellent wife,” detailing the job of a wife and mother. It is clear in this passage that it is the woman’s job to care for her home, her husband, and her children. It is based on these ideals that SWBTS decided to offer such a major, and offer it only to women. If you don’t like it, don’t attend a Baptist school.

I would love to get into the argument that the study of homemaking would lower the divorce rate (I believe that it would), but my home is calling. I’ve got a dinner to prepare, bathrooms to clean, and a home to ready for the return of my husband this evening. So this anti-feminist needs to make herself busy by “looking well to the ways of her household”(Proverbs 31:27).

The results of the Western Alabama straw poll are as follows:

Ron Paul – 216

Mitt Romney – 14
Duncan Hunter – 10
Fred Thompson – 9
Rudy Giuliani – 7
Mike Huckabee – 6
Sam Brownback – 2
John McCain – 2
Tom Tancredo – 0

The Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa reportedly looked like a Ron Paul campaign rally!

The Strafford County, NH straw poll results are:

Ron Paul – 208

Mitt Romney – 26
Mike Huckabee – 20
Tom Tancredo – 8
John McCain – 7
John Cox – 5
Duncan Hunter – 5
Fred Thompson – 3
Rudy Giuliani – 3
Sam Brownback – 1

Here we go all over again…

At the Washington County Commission meeting on Monday, August 27, the budget committee will be recommending a wheel tax, despite the tax being voted down three times in the last meeting.

Are they just not listening? I suppose, folks, we’re just going to have to talk louder!!!

I know several residents will be at the Courthouse on Monday at 5:30pm (the meeting starts at 6:00pm) holding up “no new taxes” signs, so come on out if you’re tired of being taxed to death.

Seriously, where’s that piece of tax-free property I asked about in my last post? I’m ready to head for the hills…

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