Sunday, September 25, 2005

Do You Recall??

I won't say, "I told you so," but I will say Benjamin Netanyahu told us so. Note my posts Durable Peace and Plight of Israel.

The day the rest of the Israelis pulled out of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian militants were dancing in the streets with their weapons. I wonder, is that the response of a people who want peace? It is a military victory for them. They are one step closer to what they want - the annihilation of Israel.

Now I read in the news that there have been 39 missile attacks on Israel from this region. Is this not exactly what Benjamin Netanyahu said would happen? Have we missed this news due to the coverage of the hurricanes? That would be understandable, but we do need at some point to recognize what has really taken place. Israel sits in a more precarious situation than ever.

Shouldn't we reconsider making Israel give up any more cities or land? Shouldn't we instead help them to protect their borders? Shouldn't we think about it?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's More Than Pies

Last year we started a new tradition at our house. Every Thursday night we have a Celebration Pie.

We didn't always do this. You need a reason to celebrate. Ours started with a summer when one of our daughters was very ill with a flare-up of rheumatoid arthritis and another with asthma. The first daughter was actually too ill to want to watch TV or movies or anything - except - she discovered the Food Channel. Half hour food shows were tolerable. Nothing intense suited her just fine.

Now, we were always an apple pie family. There is nothing better than warm cinnamony apple pie with a little ice cream. But, Rebecca discovered that there could be other kinds of pies. Guess I get stuck in ruts. Somebody says pie, I think apple. She started telling me about all the stuff she was learning, and some of those pies really did sound good. Being sick most of the summer gave her time to get lots of ideas.

When fall came, and it was time for Rebecca to get back at the school schedule (she teaches private music lessons with her sisters), we did not know if she was going to be strong enough to make it through a whole week of teaching. They teach Monday through Thursday with Friday for book work.

The first week was tough. On Thursday, I decided we needed to celebrate the completion of a whole week of teaching. So, I baked a pie. Not just any pie. It was an apple pie. It was an apple pie with some blueberries in it. It had some extra spices too. It was a celebration. And it was very, very good.

That pie was so good that the next week I decided we needed to celebrate again. It was apple pie again. Apple pie with some cherries in it. Too good!!!

I discovered you can make apple pie with raspberries and peaches and pears. Boy, those apple pies were good. Eventually, I tried a cream pie. One week we had cheese cake. One week we combined the celebration night with a birthday and had blueberry shortcake. WOW

So, you see. It started with a serious illness and developed into a tradition. We celebrate the end of the teaching days every week. But, it is really more than that. It is a celebration of life. We celebrate the fact that we are together, a family, working and living and enjoying each day that God allows us to walk on this earth.

Monday, September 19, 2005


With all the talk of creating democracies in the MidEast, I started wondering if that is exactly what we want. In skimming through my files I came up with many, many thoughts that I wanted to share, but have condensed them so as not to bore my readers to death. If democracies don't tickle your fancy, hang tight. Next blog just might be on baking pies:

Republic or Democracy?

Did our Founding Fathers give us a democracy? In 1789 a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government they had created. His reply was, “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Sadly, Americans are misinformed about our system of government.

James Madison in Federalist Paper No.10 warned that in democracy, “there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party.” John Adams said, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself...,” and Fisher Ames, a Congressman during Washington’s presidency, said democracy was “the intermediate stages towards … tyranny.”

A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority, making it possible to deprive individuals of rights. This majority can vote itself handouts by electing the candidate who promises the most benefits from the public treasury. Taxes increase and incentive to produce decreases. The once productive workers drop out of the labor force and join the non-productive. Eventually, democracy fails.

The word “democracy” does not appear in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. We pledge allegiance “to our Republic,” not “to our democracy.” The Founders established a government which was not a democracy and guaranteed to every state a “republican form” of state government.

These men structured a Constitutional Republic with checks and balances between the different branches. They designed it to protect the individual’s God-given inalienable rights. It was a government of laws, not men.

The 1928 War Department’s Training Manual No. 2000-25 described democracy as a government of the masses, resulting in mobocracy with a communistic attitude toward property. The same manual depicted a republic as resulting in liberty, reason, justice, contentment and progress. This manual was destroyed in the thirties, and by 1952 in The Soldiers Guide, we find, “Meaning of democracy. Because the United States is a democracy, the majority of the people decide how our government will be organized and run – .”

The governor of New York did not use the word “democracy” in his 1933 inaugural address, but in 1940 he used it 33 times in his annual message.

What changed? Some claim it was absolute conspiracy. Others believe it to be a matter of semantics. Does it matter? Thoreau said, “There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men.” Even De Tocqueville warned, “If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event will arise from the unlimited tyranny of the majority.” More fearfully, Gorbachev stated that “according to Lenin, socialism and democracy are indivisible…”

Yes, it does matter. The difference is foundational. A republic recognizes man’s heart as being desperately wicked, needing the law structure to keep from destroying itself. A democracy depends on man’s innate goodness. The Founders gave us a republic because they wanted to protect us from democracy. We need to understand the difference, educate our children and inform our citizens to keep from sliding into what we do not want.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Do I Work????

How many times have I been asked, "Do you work?" How does a person answer such a question? I guess technically I am unemployed, but I really have a hard time saying I do not work. I am so tired at the end of the day that it is an effort to chew my supper.

How did I get in such a predicament? Many years ago I went to college, studied hard, graduated and proceeded to be gainfully employed while my husband went to grad school. In fact, I had a wonderful job at University Hospital in Madison. But then, when grad school ended, we moved and there were no openings in the hospital in the little town we resided in. I worked in a factory for 3 months.

With the birth of 3 children, I stayed home with the babies. Did I work? Hmmm. Soon the kids were in school. Then it was volunteer for this and that. Cookies to bake. Carpooling. Did I work? Hmmm.

Soon we decided to home school. That added teaching to the list of "to dos." Back to English, Math, Science, History (I didn't like history the first time around), Greek (Yikes!!), music (oh no!), but work? Hmmmm.

When they trotted off to college, I figured it was my turn to work, but after sooooo many years........ I had discovered that I wanted to write. Enter correspondence school. Two years of study, lessons and writing and I was pumped to go. Work?? Hmmmm.

In the midst of pursuing my new career, another move was thrust upon us. Packing, cleaning, carrying, travelling, carrying, cleaning and unpacking.... Work???? Hmm.

By that time those college kids graduated and moved back in. Now they run a music studio from our home. Entrepreneurs, I guess. Gotta give them credit. About 100 kids come through my home every week. Do I work?? Hmm.

In my spare time I fill in at a local bookstore. That's legit work. I get a paycheck. I even work at the polls on voting day. That is more my civic duty, but I do get paid. I really want to write, but haven't pulled any kind of regular paycheck from that yet.

So, what do I say when my husband comes home and asks what I did that day? Hmmm. Can I say I worked? Some people would think I haven't worked for years. Is it work if you love what you are doing? Is it work if the regular paycheck is not there? If that is the case, maybe I've never worked.

Do I work? That was the question. Once I get over being insulted, I can now easily grin and say "no, not exactly." I know what I do, and someday it might even be considered work.