I have completely changed the focus of my blog. I have not deleted old posts, so there are old unrelated posts. I will be blogging about the food I cook as my husband and I work towards a healthier lifestyle. I will have menus, pictures, recipes and tips on eating healthier. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 9, 2007

Protesting the Neo-Natzis

So, the Neo-Nazis are coming to town tomorrow for those of you that haven't heard...

The National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group, is scheduled to march in downtown Columbia Saturday from noon to 5pm. According to a press release sent by the group, they plan on sponsoring 2008 presidential candidate John Taylor Bowles, who plans to attend this weekend’s event. According to the Columbia Tribune, the march is intended to recruit new members and act as a political campaign. The parade permit says the group wants "to protest the promotion of Marxism by the University of Missouri."

In an interview with the Tribune, Professor Larry Brown, who teaches a class about White Nationalism said the group wants to "create a scenario where they can justify their white supremacy." He also said "What they have been doing in recent years, they have a march and broadcast their propaganda verbally and try to get a violent reaction from the community,"

In October of 2005 this same group held a march in Toledo Ohio (in a predominately African-American Neighborhood) where a riot broke out and over 100 people were arrested.

Brown also said the public should avoid downtown on Saturday. "Unfortunately, they are great verbal manipulators," he said. "Whether you think you can just listen, next thing you know you’re angry."

Also, in a message to all Faculty, Staff and Students at MU, Chancellor Brady Deaton stated that "While I certainly respect the right of free speech protected for all Americans by the First Amendment to the Constitution, I am concerned that the views of this organization certainly do not support our campus values, especially those of respect and responsibility. Our hope is that all members of the University community will simply ignore the event."

Here is my protest, and here is my advice. Stay out of downtown on Saturday. Don't even give them the time of day, ignore them completely. What they want is to get people riled. How great would it be if no one even noticed they were here, so to speak? I honestly fear for the safety of anyone who does go downtown, especially to protest. We don't need to make national news for this. I believe in the 1st amendment right wholeheartedly! I will be exercising my right by not going downtown at all on Saturday. That is my protest. I think of the scripture 1 Peter 5:8 that says, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." So, if you must go downtown. Please, be careful. These groups know what they are doing.

I do hate that we are affected by them regardless. I am tempted to be so angry at just the thought of them coming to our city. I feel invaded. But, it is naive to think they are not already here. They are here, they have been, and they aren't going anywhere. At least not anytime soon. I have also noticed that I have become suspicious. I saw a young white man with a buzz cut in the store and my first thought was that he was "one of them". I hate to admit that, but it's true. Maybe he was, maybe he just likes short hair, who knows? But, that's not my right to judge him like that! I guess this is just a great lesson of tolerance for our city, huh?

Here is their website for more information if you must http://www.nsm88.com
Here also is the Anti Defamation League's Profile on the group with good information http://www.adl.org/Learn/Ext_US/The_National_Socialist_Movement.asp?xpicked=3&item=nsm

Well, so far the blog has been pretty heavy, I hope my next post is on the lighter side of life!! Have a great weekend and please, ignore the Nazis! Enjoy each other and enjoy the city, O.K.?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

International Women's Day

Sorry I have so much to say lately. Don't worry the "new" will wear off soon and I won't write so much. I also have so much I've wanted to say that I havn't said I have to get it out and catch up! I hope to not ever do 2 post in a day unless it's important.

Today is International Women's Day and I totally missed it. I guess being out of school (well, out of school at a Women's College) has put me a little "out of touch".

Here is the UN's link for more information about this years International Women's Day and why it's so important. http://www.un.org/events/women/iwd/2007/background.shtml

I would really like to hear what you think about this. It really breaks my heart to hear what some of these women go through. It's a living hell. I'm grateful for those that speak out against it and for the amazing courage of the women for survive through it. I want to do my part. No matter how small or how big.

Radical Extremist

I posted this on myspace a few days ago and it was actually the e-mail I spoke of which stated the idea that perhaps I should blog, so I thought I should post it here.

http://www.usawakeup.org/ My friend sent the above link to a video. Please click on the link and watch the video then come back and read my blog.

The following was basically my reply. Let me clarify this by saying that I'm not a Democrat-nor am I a Republican. I'm a jaded Independent, considering the Green party :). Oh, and I am totally not trying to ruffle feathers or start an argument or make anyone want to cause me bodily harm. So, if you think you might want to do any of the previous, STOP READING NOW. That's my disclaimer, O.K.

I watched the video and personally was quite disturbed by it, but probably for a few different reasons than why it was sent out. I do like what it said about the rise and fall of democracy and the "lifespan" if you will, of democracy. I believe our forefathers always believed we would be the exception to this phenomenon. Perhaps not, it's not for me to judge. Maybe democracy in this country will prevail; maybe we will have a dictator. Who knows, maybe Jesus will come back before then, anyway and we won't even see the finale.

Along those lines, I have always said, and believe with great conviction, that all great empires fall: Babylon, Egypt, Media and Persia, Greece, Rome. With the exception, of course, of the only kingdom I put my trust in-the Kingdom of God (Dan. 2:44). So, I guess it's the cynic in me that is waiting for our "empire" to fall. I didn't figure "our turn" would be up in my lifetime, but if so, then so be it. I figured the US had at least a few generations left in her. I'm not trying to mock, but I really do believe that it is inevitable and that the only empire that is sustainable is God's Kingdom. Plus, it doesn't belong to us as in the United States, but to us as in Christians (Mark 10:14). So, it doesn't matter where the empire is.

But, more than anything, I believe that everything happens in God's timing. Just as when the Israelites, God's chosen people, were enslaved to the Egyptians (another empire), God was still in control and was able to do amazing things to free his people. Plus, the Egyptians had to pay big time for there hard hearts! God always takes care of His people if we obey Him and put our trust in Him. I also keep thinking about how easy it was for the Israelites to want to go back to the security of Egypt, even though they were slaves and how I know how comfortable I am in my lifestyle and I have to be careful that I always choose God's kingdom over the empire of America.

I was disturbed by the blatant racism in the film. I am just a little sensitive to it, I know. But, a small minority is no excuse for widespread racism. According to the film's statistics, only 10% of US Muslims are Radical Extremists. There has been a huge backlash against Muslim-Americans and even people who just look like they could be Middle Eastern, even if they are not Middle Eastern or Muslim, let alone Radical Muslim Extremists since 9/11/2001. I understand fear. Where does fear come from? Ignorance. But, we have to work together to educate each other about culture so that we don't make racial assumptions and live in fear (sorry, soap box).

This is disturbingly familiar to me, like we are repeating history (Japanese Concentration Camps, Displacing Native Americans, and Taking Africans from there homelands). There is a cool quote by George Santayana that says "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I like it, because it's not like repeating history is written in stone, but we must study the past to learn from our mistakes so that we don't make those same mistakes. We can't be arrogant and just assume we know what we are doing (or maybe that's just what I do). I mean, the Bible is full of people who made mistakes so we could learn from them.

I think it's also important to remember that many of these people the film speaks of are "legitimate", hardworking Americans, no different than you and I. We are pretty much all descendants of illegal aliens somewhere down the line. Now, I'm not even trying to go there on immigration, I'm just saying sometimes we need to remember that we are a country made of illegals. I'm not denying the problem, or saying "open the borders, let everyone in!" Because I do recognize that some people do work hard to become citizens legally. That is a whole other can of worms!

If you read this, thank you. I hope I didn't make your blood boil too much. I really did think a great deal about what I said and I honestly believe these things wholeheartedly and they are from an educated opinion, not just an emotional reaction. If I have incorrect facts, please correct me, but if you want to convert me to Republicanism, I'm immune, sorry.

**Additional note, a dear friend of mine made some great points I would like to quote because they add a lot to this. "It was definitely enough to cause a weak-minded individual to begin a personal crusade of hate towards Muslims and pass it on to their children." and "However, I must say that in EVERY RELIGION on earth, people have been murdered or persecuted over the radical believer's "duty" to their god." These were a couple of things I hadn't really thought about. I will discuss the first more tomorrow, but the second is so true. People have done unspeakable things in the name of religion and the sad thing is it is the warped version of the religion. Most religions teach peace, not hatred or murder.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Capitalist Monster

So, over lunch I decided I would stop in a local downtown bookstore to look for a specific book I've been meaning to buy. As I was walking in I saw a huge sign that said 40% off of everything. My first thought was "sweet, I can get the book for cheap!" since it's a brand new book. But, as I walked into the store, I saw the half empty shelves and the 40% off sign made sense.

I walked up to the counter to the same woman who is in there every time I go (which has been a while, I'll admit) to ask about the book. She looked up from looked like some sort of business records keeping book with sad, puffy eyes. As I was asking her I was smiling, but she looked so sad. She said that they hadn't gotten anything new in since December. Choosing my words carefully, I asked if they "were closing". Choking back tears, she said that they were going out of business. My heart sank. I could tell that this was her dream and it was shattering or perhaps there was more. Maybe she didn't know how she was going to feed her children or make rent. I told her that I was really sorry to hear it and that I wish that I had come in more. I doubt she remembers me, but there is something about her that has always struck me about her. I didn't go there a lot, but a few times over the past few years. She was so sweet and responded that it wasn't my fault and thanked me. I wished her luck and she said they would need it.

It is just so sad that small business have such a had time surviving. Now, what's probably saddeest of all is that I'll probably go buy the book I wanted at Barnes and Noble. I feel somewhat justified, though since I was drinking my smoothie from Main Squeeze.


I have decided to join the world of blogging. I love my job, but it is not creative. I work in regulatory compliance and there is no room for creativity. I needed a creative outlet. I also miss writing. I have had writers block for some time now, and while responding to an e-mail discovered that while the poetry well may still be dried up, the essay well is not. So, I have decided to blog. My hope is that people read this and be somehow enlightened, inspired, encouraged or the like. And we may exchange ideas and share in each others enlightenment, inspiration, and encouragement. But, I can't make anyone. So...here goes nothin'! Oh, I guess I should give you a head up on what to expect:
1. It will not be an expose' on my life's happenings, if you want that, just ask me.
2. It may, at times make you angry, happy, sad, etc. That's good-use it! Respond, tell me how you feel. I want this to be give and take. I just ask that you do it with "gentleness and respect", as I promise to do with you. That being said, please refrain from the "your wrong because that's what I think" argument. Feel free to express feelings and opinions and to correct facts, but be sure to distinguish the two.
3. Please remember that I am a Christian and that all of my posts will likely reflect this and I ask that if you respond that your respect this, even if you don't agree with me on this. I will be monitoring the posts and reserve the right to reject any posts that are inapropriate, so don't even try.
4. I love fun, so it won't always be super serious, call to action, change the world stuff (but expect that, too)
5. Please feel free to correct my facts or to chime in if you have a different point of view or cultural perspective as I do love a good debate and love culture. Please don't be critical just to be critical or act like your my English teacher, this isn't for a grade. I would like to reiterate that I'm not going to tell anyone they are wrong because it's against my opinion and I expect the same respect. Express feelings and present facts, but remember that they are very different things.
That being said, please enjoy and join me on this crazy ride!