Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quiz Answers

thanks to all those who took the quiz questions. here are the answers:

what crime does not constitute a trial by jury? impeachment

who is the president of the senate? the vice president

can the president give him/herself a raise? no, they can only raise wages for future  presidents

who could vote first? black men

what is habeas corpus? the right to know why you are imprisoned and to only be imprisoned lawfullly

Why Taxes?

taxes are always a hot spot in political elections. as a capitalistic society, we tend to be very protective of our money. in general, we want our money to remain exactly that -- ours! it takes a lot of faith and forward thinking to step out of an self-centric mindset and realize that if we all pay a little for national costs, things are better for everyone. 

i believe taxes are necessary. how else can a country run? through our system of capitalism, individual citizens are responsible for their own wealth. along the same vein, these individual citizens must then be responsible for globally beneficial things like roads and schools. this is opposed to a communist country which makes/controls wealth and then must fork over the funds for government provided things. 

so, i'm not opposed to taxes. everyone chips in. everyone benefits. 

i have a big problem with big taxes for some and no taxes for others. i have a big problem with benefits and no costs. 

this article published today by CNN claims that 47% of households in america don't pay any federal tax at all. guess what? i pay tax. i've paid into the system (meaning that I owed some amount of tax money regardless of refunds that are based on what i choose to set aside) for nine years. i belong to one of the 53% of american households paying to run this country. 

i'm not always happy about what our taxes go to, and that is a different discussion. but i do know that my taxes fund very important things like public education, roads, student loan programs, police and military protection, and more things that have made my life what it is. 

i don't think it's okay that 47% of households don't pay taxes. 
i really, really don't. 

i also think our tax system is way screwy. because I've seen the way the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints successfully manages its business with tithing funds, i am a big supporter of a flat tax law. the lds Church asks for 10%. if you make $30,000, then you pay 10% of that. if you make $1 billion a year, you pay 10% of that. if you make nothing, you pay nothing.  it's even. it's fair. no taxing the rich to feed the poor. no hand-outs. no benefits without contribution. 

for the last couple years my income tax usually hovered around 25% of my income. and many others pay much more than that. it isn't fair that 47% of households won't pay tax this year. and i'm not okay with carrying one half of the nation on my paycheck. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

daughters of the american revolution

washington crossing the delaware by emanuel leutze

my favorite time in history to study is the american revolution. every day people pushed to their limits, stepping up for something bigger than them. setting aside the comforts and conveniences of the lives they were used to living, and willingly sacrificing their lives for more. they were truly underdogs. these rebel farmers with pitchforks and outdated weapons standing their ground against legions of trained british soldiers.

i just find it highly romantic.

as a child, i've heard before that my paternal grandmother was a member of an elite club called the daughters of the american revolution. to be in this organization, you must have an ancestor who fought in or contributed meaningfully to the revolutionary war. they have lists of names and your ancestor's name must match up. and you have to prove your relation with heavy-duty genealogy like birth, death, immigration, marriage certificates and the like. oh, and it's only for women.

so i contacted dar today to start the process of my membership. it could take months for me to make all these connections, but hopefully they will have my grandmother's name on file and i won't have to do as much work.

i am thrilled at the prospect of being a part of this important and special organization. i am hoping to keep alive the stories and the courage and patriotism of my ancestors who put freedom before comfort and liberty before life.

take this challenge - and it's a major challenge - and go through your family history and genealogical records. if you have an ancestor who lived in the colonies during the late 1700's, chances are, you could be eligible for membership in this great organization. let me know if you're up for the challenge - we can research together!

what a fantastic legacy to take part in!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

can you answer the questions on the right?

i posted a few questions on the right to test your knowledge of the constitution, since it is constitution week. can you answer them correctly?

unfortunately i had to post them as a poll instead of a questionaire with right and wrong answers. i'll post the answers for you in a few days.

if you want to "cheat," you can find all the answers here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

constitution week

september 17-23, 2009, is constitution week . This is the 222nd anniversary of the ratification our constitution - the oldest document still in active use that that outlines self-government by the people. 

pretty amazing. 

worth remembering. worth celebrating. 

by the way, when was the last time you read this document? (before today, it was my junior year in high school, eleven years ago.) a lot of talk about upholding the constitution is going on in our country right now. discussions are important, but if you haven't read the constitution lately, than all that talk is a bunch of hot air. 

read it here (i liked this site because it had definitions and all the amendments in one place). it took me less than twenty minutes - including amendments. it's a complete, straight-forward document, pure in its simplicity

gotta love it. 

scene at the signing of the constitution of the united states by howard chandler christy

without getting too far off the topic, here's a little soap box of mine. i have a problem with the health care bill going through our government right now. while i believe it is important to reevaluate our citizen's access and ability to pay for healthcare, i think this is happening too fast. a decision this big needs time to be done right, to be thorough and fair for all. this bill will affect over 300 million people. i decided to read the bill one day. um, it is 1018 pages of ginormous legalese words. have the citizens this bill would affect read all of that (and understood it)? i'm gonna say no. have the congressmen who are voting to affect the taxes and health care choices and lives of 300 million people read all of that (and understood it)? i think it's interesting that the oldest document still in active use that that outlines self-government by the people is easily understood and took me less than twenty minutes to read. hey, politicians, take a clue from our fore-fathers, would you?

so my exercise in earning my freedom for this week was actually reading our constitution. not because it's an assignment in 11th grade government. but because it's important.

i don't deserve it and i can't protect it if i don't know what it says. 

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Deserving Liberty

"every country has the government it deserves."
joseph de maistre-

i want freedom. unabashed freedom with infinite choices, infinite ways for failure, infinite was for success. do i deserve it?


i don't watch the news regularly. i've only voted in one election that wasn't a presidential election. i haven't read the constitution since my senior year of high school when it was required. i've never written my congressman about an issue i felt strongly about. i don't watch presidential debates or follow the primary elections. i don't listen to NPR. I don't pay attention to glenn beck or arianna huffington.

i mind my own business.

and it's not enough.

lately, i've felt the need to become more informed. to become more involved. to become a patriot, a warrior, a champion of the constitution. and that doesn't involve following a certain news program or radio show.

it involves thinking. asking myself the tough questions and finding the answers i feel to be right. and fighting for those things.

this is my journey. my test to become worthy and deserving of the greatest thing on this earth: freedom.

do you deserve it?