Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Second Chances: Good Mommy, Bad Mommy

Dr. Laura says that we have two chances in life for a loving parent-child relationship, meaning that if your parents screwed it up, you can get it right with your own child. I grew up in fear, and one fear was the terror involved in asking my mother for things which needed to be purchased. This included everything from popsicle sticks for a Girl Scout project to shoes because I had outgrown my only pair. Such a request would invariably be met with a bitching diatribe about how "I'm not made of money!", etc., at which I would cower and hide.

One result for me was that when it came time to work on school or Girl Scout projects, I'd procrastinate and also do a terrible job. I never had the materials I needed to complete the projects like the other kids, I had no confidence, and no matter how much effort I made, my mother would, in the end, insult my final result, even if I received an "A" on the project.

Skip to the year 2010. My youngest daughter is super-industrious. If she has a school project to complete which is due in three weeks, she finishes it with two weeks to spare, often asking for no help other than spell-check and asking me to buy posterboard.

Last night, I was blown away when my middle daughter Olivia came home in alarm, announcing that there was a book project due on October 5, which she had apparently not known about. I know she's a fast reader, so I calmed her down and told her she had plenty of time to read the book.

She replied, "Oh, I've already read the book." Then she walked around, gathered a Corn Flakes box, scissors, wrapping paper, tape, and proceeded to work on and complete the three-dimensional book report over the course of the next two hours. Nowadays, kids don't necessarily "write" book reports like we did in the 60's and 70's. They turn them into marketing projects with both writing and artwork.

This morning, Olivia brought the project to school, six days before it was due. On the way home from dropping her off at school, I cried. All the terror from my childhood came flooding back, and I was comparing it to the ease with which Olivia approached her school project, knowing that Mommy would help her with any part of the project that she couldn't complete alone. "Where do we keep the wrapping paper?" "How do I wrap a box?" Etc.

I want to tell Dr. Laura that I've checked another box on the list of "Second Chances: Getting Things Right With Your Own Kids." What a relief.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Douglas County GOP By-Laws and the Governor's Race

by John Ransom, former Chairman of Douglas County Republicans

There has been quite a bit of controversy regarding what the bylaws say about support of the GOP nominee, Dan Maes.

Let's first look at what the bylaws don't say.

While the language is very general, a plain reading of the bylaws does not say that precinct people and district captains must resign if they support another candidate besides the GOP nominee. And they certainly contain no provision for officers or other members to demand that members of the central committee or executive committee resign if they refuse to support the GOP nominee. It's no more proper for others to demand resignations than it is to demand that Maes drop out of the race.

I would argue, quite the opposite. Officers who demand that others resign are violating the bylaws in fact. They have no authority anywhere in the bylaws to demand resignations. The only authority to remove members of the GOP from positions as Officers, PCP or DC is vested in the executive committee and the central committee under the bylaws. There are clearly prescribed procedures for such removals and those procedures don't include the chairman of the county party demanding resignations.

So what exactly do the bylaws say about supporting a Republican candidate?

The bylaws say that the central committee "acting as an entity" may not oppose the GOP nominee in a general election. The words "acting as an entity" defines what may not be done (that is, oppose a GOP nominee as an entity) and by implication defines what may be done. Because it excludes all other cases, such as individual endorsements, one could reasonably argue that a PCP or a district captain then can individually endorse candidates.

In other words, precinct people, district captains can individually endorse whoever they wish as long as they are not "acting as an entity" as the central committee.

The bylaws were written this way on purpose in order to take into account unique situations where healthy public opinion prohibits members of the GOP from supporting a nominee, as in the case of Maes. Instead of tying the hands of members, the bylaws leave the definition of what is permissible by individuals to the executive committee and the central committee to define on a case by case basis. There is nothing hypothetical about the vesting of the authority to define on a case by case basis by the executive committee and the central committee how to act in these cases . It is an accomplished fact in the way the bylaws define the role of executive committee and the central committee.

What about removing members?

The word in the bylaws "may" regarding removal (as in: "Any elected officer (PCP, DC) of the DCR may be removed for good cause which shall include the following,") does not mean that an officer, precinct person or DC must resign, should resign or will be asked to resign or be removed. In fact, it is up to the executive committee to vote to remove a PCP, district captain or officer. A two-thirds vote is required to remove someone via executive committee and a majority vote via central committee.

Then even if the person is removed, there is no provision preventing precinct people from re-electing officers, district captains or re-appointing those removed.

I would strongly urge everyone to please read the bylaws before demanding what clearly violates the procedures, spirit and intent of the bylaws. Remember please that Officers, PCP and District Captains all are elected by peers to represent us. We should respect that, and let everyone be animated by the desire to do what their conscience dictates is in the best interest of the party.

Then they can explain what they did at election time, as is proper.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why Would I Campaign for Tom Tancredo?

A GOP friend of mine asked me if I will step down as GOP District Captain if I were to campaign for the non-GOP candidate for Governor of Colorado, former Congressman Tom Tancredo. Here was my response:

"If I were to campaign for Tancredo and also a variety of Republicans....well, I would just do it. If somebody wanted to bring me up on charges of breaking by-laws, then they would just do it. Then the Central Committee would vote for or against me. Most of them would make a personal assessment as to whether I brought much value to the Party or not. Some of them would vote along the lines of whether they liked me or didn't like me. Others would vote based on which candidate they had preferred, e.g., was I helping their guy win. For me, it would be a crapshoot.

I'm trying to help save our country by electing people who can pull it back from the brink of socialism. I need to elect people who seem capable of doing that, and avoid the others. My country's future is more important than this local issue. I'm not wavering at all from my original intention when I got into politics, after the illegal alien attack. I realized that nobody was going to do anything about illegal immigration until we elected Presidents and Governors who were adamantly against it. I have achieved much toward that goal. I helped launch the entire Tea Party movement in CO....I helped put enough pressure on Ritter to step down....I helped teach the masses how to have their voices be heard...and if I campaign for Tancredo, I will be campaigning for the very man who gave me hope in the first place.

If I campaign for Tancredo, I will be doing exactly what I've been doing since becoming a District Captain in October 2007. If I campaign for Maes, who the hell would I be? My children would be ashamed of me. They know what happened to me. One of them saw it. (No, it wasn't rape.) All of them lost me for two years. I need to stick to my plan.

I respect everybody else's choice(s) on this, but they've got to respect mine, too."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why Are We Giving Money To Countries That Hate the United States?

(These statistics came from an email I received, and can be verified on Snopes.)

How they vote in the United Nations:

Below are the actual voting records of various Arabic/Islamic States which are recorded in both the U.S. State Department and United Nations records:

Kuwait votes against the United States 67% of the time.
Qatar votes against the United States 67% of the time.
Morocco votes against the United States 70% of the time.
United Arab Emirates votes against the U. S. 70% of the time.
Jordan votes against the United States 71% of the time.
Tunisia votes against the United States 71% of the time.
Saudi Arabia votes against the United States 73% of the time.
Yemen votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Algeria votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Oman votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Sudan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
Pakistan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
Libya votes against the United States 76% of the time.
Egypt votes against the United States 79% of the time.
Lebanon votes against the United States 80% of the time.
India votes against the United States 81% of the time.
Syria votes against the United States 84% of the time.
Mauritania votes against the United States 87% of the time.

U.S. Foreign Aid to those that hate us:

Egypt, for example, after voting 79% of the time against the United States, still receives $2 billion annually in U.S. Foreign Aid.

Jordan votes 71% against the United States and receives $192,814,000 annually in U.S. Foreign Aid.

Pakistan votes 75% against the United States and receives $6,721,000 annually in U.S. Foreign Aid.

India votes 81% against the United States and receives $143,699,000 annually.

What is the Difference Between the Characters of a Conservative and a Liberal?

from an email I received:
"If a Conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a Liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a Conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. If a Liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a Conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A Liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a Conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
If a Conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church. A Liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
If a Conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A Liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.
If a Conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh. A Liberal will delete it because he's "offended"."

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness

Today I was speaking with a friend about happiness amidst our boisterous laughter.

You might think of happiness as a characteristic that's borne of an Ozzie and Harriet-style upbringing, but I think happiness is more of a decision borne of the horror of tragedy. Ofttimes we don't appreciate something until we lose it for an extended period of time--money, joy, love, a good job, a dog. Then, when we finally regain it again, we're perhaps more careful to keep it, tend to it, savor it.

I didn't have happiness as a child. And when I reached adulthood, I decided that being happy would be a worthy goal. Well, that backfired, and I'm not going to get into all the gruesome details, but happiness is not a product, it's a byproduct. You've got to have loftier, more altruistic goals, and upon reaching them, a peace settles in that can lead you to happiness.

So I changed my goals around; stopped reaching for happiness and instead began reaching for knowledge, charity, self-improvement, caretaking and community. Finally, I achieved happiness.

Then one day, I was arrested by the local Sheriff Department. And as I stood on my front porch, surrounded by officers and not knowing what was going on, who'd accused me of a crime, and what exactly the accusation was, you would think that I would have been panicked about being set up and going to jail. But no, even though I knew I'd been set up to be arrested, I still had an inherent trust in the officers that they were not going to harm me. (Okay, maybe that was naive, but that was my state of mind at the time.)

The horror entered the picture as, standing on my porch with the dawning realization that I was truly about to be arrested, a dreaded thought crossed my mind, "There goes my joy." I can't begin to explain the finality of that thought. How did I instinctively know the extent that I would be terrorized for the next two years? Why did I focus on the impending loss of joy -- as opposed to focusing on the legalities, the financial cost, my children, my reputation, my loss of freedom?

And sure enough, my constant friendliness and laughter disappeared as if accidentally dropped down the garbage disposal and demolished. Oh, come back! Please!

It was gone. And I was left to despair.

The next two years were a complete waste of a formerly productive life. But I lived. My old life is gone; sent through the wood chipper. The only thing to do was to forge ahead in prayer and hope that whatever came next would somehow fill my days. The Lord was kind enough to send some interesting projects my way--nothing that I could have anticipated, but fulfilling nonetheless.

Now that I have my happiness back, I fight harder to keep it. People wonder about my intensity, but I'll tell you, I know what I had and I know what I lost and I know that it could happen to my neighbor tomorrow. As far as it's within my power, I will jealously guard my neighbor's happiness and defend him against any forces that would steal it from him.

You are my neighbor.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review of a Recent Douglas County Town Hall Meeting

(written by Pauline Olvera)

Two 9.12ers and I accidently stumbled on an impromptu town hall meeting in Douglas County Saturday, February 27th hosted by State Representative Carole Murray (R) District 45 and State Senator Mark Scheffel (R) District 4.

They talked a lot about how taxes and fees were burdening our small businesses and driving them out of business and/or driving businesses out of the state. They talked about how they were attempting to fight those taxes and trying to make it easier for small businesses to continue driving our economy and creating jobs.

When asked about the Medical Marijuana issue, most constituents in the room were extremely upset about the passage of this law.

There was some debate regarding whether we should fight to repeal the law, make the laws stricter etc… When someone suggested the idea that we should “tax this business out of our state or out of business", Sheffel answered (and Murray agreed) something to the effect that we should be careful in taxing these business because taxing marijuana distributors could legitimize their business.

Education was a subject that was discussed as well. Carole Murray mentioned that both President Obama and our state Speaker of the House Terrance Carroll (D-HD7) were both in favor of Charter Schools. I asked for clarification and she reiterated that “Yes. President Obama and Terrance Carroll were both in favor of and supported Charter Schools.”

I had a brief discussion with Carole Murray after the event.

I mentioned to her that I believed health care costs were rising partly because of non-tax paying people with no insurance that use the ER’s for basic, non-emergency health care, (i.e. sore throats, etc…) An idea I offered was possibly retracting state law that mandates ER’s to treat these non-emergency patients. To this she responded, “that would be inhumane and no one would agree to that.”

A follow-up idea offered by another 9.12er was to give emergency rooms the authority to guide NON-emergency patients to urgent care clinics for treatment whereby they could be charged a fee based on a sliding scale and she answered, “that’s an idea I might look into.”

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Jane Norton "Moment in Political Folly"

as witnessed and written by Steve Crites....

We were at our precinct caucus meeting at Hope United Methodist on Dayton at Belleview and Jane Norton (who lives in the next precinct south) came by to address our group. She stated that she is conservative in her stump speech to us, where she explained that she was a "fiscal conservative" based on her time in the state office and was a "right to life conservative and didn't support abortions."

She was then asked to address her "conservatism" by a constituent. He asked "Are you a conservative like Michelle Bachmann?" Jane looked puzzled and was a little taken back by the question. But the citizen asked her again, "Are you a Michelle Bachman Conservative though?", to which she replied "I don't know who that is. Please tell me who you are talking about?"

We all looked at her aghast, not quite believing that she was this disconnected, especially after she had just told us that she relates to the movement out here, but she never used the terms "grass roots" or "tea party" though - which I thought was interesting. We all were waiting for the punch line to follow like "Well of course I'm a Michelle Bachman Conservative. I love her. Speak to her regularly. Loved her speech at the convention and on the Capitol steps" But it never came. People started chiding her, asking if she ever watched Fox News and why she didn't know who Bachmann was -- considering she is a top Republican Congresswoman and is on Fox News and radio often.

Norton was definitely on her heels and then just started to back away, getting her stuff together, and was escorted out by a man, who I believe was her husband. Many of us sat there stunned in disbelief that this was a "chosen one" by the Republican Party and that she is so disconnected to what is being promoted out here at the grass roots level. Unbelievable...I just wish we were better on our game to really nail her down on this moment in political folly, but I think we were truly too stunned as to what we had just witnessed.

This woman is truly scary: should she get elected, it would be a sad day for our country, even if she is "electable" in terms of how the establishment Republicans see her.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Does a Republican Precinct Committee Person Do?

The role of Precinct Committee Person (precinct chairman, precinct leader, etc.) is a self-styled creative marketing role for the local Republican Party. You can acquire computerized access to precinct voter lists from your County's Republican Executive Committee (or your District Captain).

You can think up different ways and different reasons to contact local voters. Until you start gathering email addresses, this will mostly be by phone, or door-to-door.

At your leisure, spend 5 - 60 minutes here and there contacting local voters and finding out which political topics and volunteerism they're interested in. You can offer them:

...invitations to conservative/GOP events, meetings, rallies, debates, protests...
...hand out flyers re: such events or issues (e.g. healthcare, TABOR, guns...)....
...hand out pocket Constitutions....
...plug people into political campaigns...
...make introductions between the voters and candidates, legislators or group leaders...
...ask them to march in parades....


Collect email addresses and take notes on the people you meet. Find an organized way to keep track of these people on your computer. Send them a relevant email every two-four weeks.

One key aspect of this role is that you want to find a way to stay in touch with the people you meet. Otherwise, your first contact with them is almost pointless.

I took down email addresses and notes, and started a newsletter. That was exactly two years ago. I now have 800 names on my mailing list and sort of became famous just by opening my mouth and saying stuff to this audience. Crazy, huh? If you don't know what to say to your new audience, always offer a short variety of information. You can invite them to the next monthly GOP meeting, invite them to a political event, forward something interesting from a political email, and ask for a specific type of volunteer. People will slowly start to respond after each newsletter goes out.

The folks who respond will become your precinct volunteers. They'll help you when it's time to go door-to-door and make phone calls for a specific purpose.

Call later when you're ready for more ideas, and also add me to your brand new political mailing list.

Good luck!

Crista Huff
District 6 Captain
Douglas County Republicans

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Judge and the Shoebomber

from an email I received...NOT written by Crista Huff. :)

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it? Did you know his trial is over? Did you know he was sentenced? Did you see/hear any of the judge's comments on TV or Radio? Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.

His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his 'allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,' defiantly stating, 'I think I will not apologize for my actions,' and told the court 'I am at war with your country.'

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.

Judge Young: 'Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you. On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That's 80 years.) On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed.

The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that's an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government's recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice. So war talk is way out of line in this court.

You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You're no warrior. I've known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders.

In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: 'You're no big deal.' You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom's sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties.

Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure. Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.

The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.