Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I truly hope that yours is a blessed celebration of friends, family, loved ones and all that you have to be thankful for. Lots of good food too!

I am thankful for ...

My wonderful husband.

My 3 beautiful, healthy and energetic daughters.

My loving and supportive family.

Friends across the many miles.

The good health of all of my family and friends.

Friends and family who keep in touch and share their news and photos to stay connected in this fast paced -- and sometimes crazy! : ) -- world.

God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving! And in our family the first one to get their tree up wins -- usually my sister-in-law Jenny.

P.S. "Holiday Traditions" is 2 entries down.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Truth About Claims Made in Bestselling Novel “The Da Vinci Code”

Remember this book? Everyone was talking about it when the novel hit the stands in 2003. It has since become so popular that it has made it to the coveted movie status.

Have you read it? The movie is due to be released on DVD today, November, 14, 2006. And the talk about the startling claims made in the book is once again raging.

I have read this book. I started out to read it just so that I could see firsthand what all of the hype was about, but I have to admit that the book was an interesting work of fiction – even a page turner at times. Having said that, however: I firmly believe that “The Da Vinci Code” is in fact nothing more than a well-written work of fiction.

One of the things that has so many people up in arms, and mislead, is Dan Brown’s “Fact “page. This “Fact” page follows immediately after his title page.

But therein lies a simple solution to all of the angst about this novel: Brown’s “Fact” page follows his “Title” page. And so, it follows that this “Fact” page is merely a part of the overall work of fiction and nothing more.

Don’t buy that? Well you’re not alone: there have been stacks of books written to discuss the claims made in the novel “The Da Vinci Code”. There have also been several television documentaries made. Wow! If you ask me, Dan Brown is not only a brilliant writer, but an excellent marketing strategist as well.

Well here’s what I have found in listening to discussions about the “claims” made in this novel:

The first “fact” listed on Dan Brown’s “Fact” page states “The Priory of Sion – a European secret society founded in1099 – is a real organization. In 1975 Paris's Bibliotheque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.”

A pretty impressive list of members no? Well the truth is that this document does exist, and it was in fact found in the noted library in Paris, in 1975. But the truth ends there. Examination of the document has since revealed that the document known as the “Les Dossiers Secrets” was a document that was created in the 20th century and most believe that it was created by the very man who “discovered it,” Plantar Chanteau . As luck would have it, Plantar Chateau happens to be listed as a member of this same “secret society.”

It is believed that in the late 1960’s, Plantar Chanteau had visited the hotel that was erected on the land adjacent to the site of France’s Rennes le Chateau -- in Brown’s novel, the Rosslyn Chapel -- where the proof of a the “Holy Grail” is supposed to reside. It was here that Chanteau learned of the story of the “Holy Grail” – a story which many believe was a marketing ploy on the part of the hotel owner who acquired the land on which the chapel sits to generate interest and tourism. Chanteau, a megalomaniac, experts theorize then began to write himself into the story.

There has been no subsequent evidence to support the existence of the secret society of the “Priory of Sion”. And as such, experts do not believe that it existed at the time of Christ; hence the “Priory of Sion” was not created to protect the secret of a Christ and Magdalene bloodline. Further, since the society did not exist they do not believe that Leonardo Da Vinci, nor any of the other esteemed members listed in “The Dossiers Secrets,” was/were members of the “Priory of Sion.”

If the renowned artist Leonardo Da Vinci was not a member of this secret society -- which did not exist until its creation in the 20th century -- then his works of art do not hold secret clues to the existence of a Christ and Magdalene bloodline. And Brown’s third “fact” would also seem to be invalid. It would appear that any “descriptions of artwork, architecture, and documents, and secret rituals in this novel are …” at best convenient coincidence.

Religious experts claim that the individual seated to the left of Christ in the famous Da Vinci painting, “The Last Super” is the young apostle John. Artistic experts agree that the feminine portrayal would be consistent with the Renaissance style at that time for a young male.

The only possible truth on Brown’s “fact” page is the existence of a religious society known as Opus Dei which is not “officially” recognized by the Catholic church. Oh, and there are no monks in Opus Dei unlike Brown's character, Silas, in the novel.

As for other claims made in Brown’s novel:

With respect to art: Brown’s supposed “sacred feminine” symbol of “V” -- that the novel claims is hidden in many of Da Vinci’s paintings -- has been refuted, by expert and lay artists alike, as merely a new, but common, technique used at the time for showing movement via the use of diagonals.

As for the claim’s of cover-up by the Catholic church about a Christ and Magdalene relationship. Proponents get the fuel for their fire from two sources:

The first is the fact the church tried to downplay the role of Mary Magdalene in the Christ movement by perpetuating a case of mistaken identity which has Mary Magdalene confused with a nameless prostitute in the Gospel of Luke. This case of mistaken identity comes from the fact that the passage in which Luke introduces Mary Magdalene is followed by a passage about a nameless prostitute from whom Jesus exorcised demons. The mistaken identity of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute was solidified by a homily (speech during a mass after the Gospel reading) given by Pope Clement XIV (1769-1774). This mistake was not corrected by the church until the early 1900’s.

Proponents argue that the church was trying to supress a movement within the church that followed Mary Magdalene and further allude to a romantic relationship, possible marriage and offspring between Magdalene and Christ.

To date there has been no historical evidence found to show evidence of a marriage or of any offspring. You would think that a thing as big a wedding to Jesus would have been known and told to many.

It is more likely that the male-dominated hierarchy of the church was threatened by the power of a woman to influence others in matters of religion and so perpetuated the mistaken identity of Mary Magdalene so as to discredit her and thus remove her as a real threat to the church.

Proponents of the Christ and Magdalene bloodline theory claim that Mary Magdalene fled to France after the death of Jesus, carrying with her The “Holy Grail”. They claim that The “Holy Grail” was the offspring of Christ, in the womb of Mary Magdalene. But there is no mention of The "Holy Grail" anywhere in the Bible and to this date there has been no substantial historical evidence of a “Holy Grail” uncovered.

The second source of ammunition used by the Proponents is a second set of gospels found in Egypt in (?date TBD). These Gnostic [see also] gospels have been historically verified to have been written at a date substantially later than that of the original Gospels. For this, among other reasons, the Catholic church has rejected these gospels.

In a passage in one of these Gnostic gospels, Jesus’ disciples are troubled by his dealings with Mary Magdalene and in one line of text there is a reference to a “kiss on the _________” by Jesus. The page is torn here and that one key word is missing. Historians think that it may have been the hand or foot which at that time would have symbolized deference to a woman.

Proponents say that the above line of text is evidence of a romantic relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Historical experts say that the evidence is at best inconclusive. Even the authors of the book, “Holy Blood, Holy Grail,” upon which much of Dan Brown’s novel appears to be based, say that their book presents merely the possibility of the existence of a Christ and Magdelene relationship. They further state that this theory is merely a theory and far from proven fact.

So there you have it in a “nut shell” – a big one : ). Hopefully this will help other Christians to speak clearly and thoughtfully about the fact vs. fiction in Dan Brown’s novel, “The Da Vinci Code.”

If you haven’t read it: read it. It is a well-written, intense work of FICTION. Just keep that in mind as you read. Who knows: I just may tackle “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” next. What else have I got to do?

Oh, I know: I still haven’t seen the movie …

Holiday Traditions

Okay, enough politics! Time to start thinking about the Holidays. Are we ready for this?

This year, I actually feel that I am ready for a change. Maybe it is my newly painted house -- inside, furniture, and out?

All this thinking about the Holidays has gotten me to thinking: What things are our family holiday traditions? What things would we like to do to add to these traditions? So I am emailing & writing to others to see what their holiday traditions are. Here is one from my cousin in Louisiana:

"We don't do dat [put up Christmas tree] 'till da first week of December!!!!!! We usually try to get a real tree from this Christmas Tree farm just outside of the city limits. The thing is though that most of XXXXX tags their trees right after Halloween, then lets them grow for another month, then goes cut it down closer to advent.

Well, this family seems to never getting around to going tag ours! So every year we get stuck with a "Charlie Brown" tree. Every year I describe to Barrett and the boys what I want. (tradition is that the XXXXX men go get the tree, the woman decorates) They get off knowing exactly what to bring back. Sure enough, Barrett says that they always see just what I wanted but it was tagged!!! So, he tries to pass off what he buys as the most beautiful tree that they had left, with the boys ohhing and ahhing too. It is actually pretty hilarious!

One thing that our girls do is to write a note to Jesus about something that they will do during the holiday season to help others. It may be to pray for someone in need, or donate toys to a charity, or send an email or letter to someone who is lonely. Then they place their note in a wrapped box under the Christmas tree and open it on Christmas day for Jesus.

We also almost always go out to look at neighboring Christmas tree lights and displays, while sipping peppermint hot chocolate, and singing Christmas Carols. We try to do this at least one time and on Christmas Eve, after mass, if possible.

What are your holiday traditions? Email me, or post a comment.

Well here is what some of you had to say -- Thanks for sharing! :

1) We order Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve as my brother-in-law is Jewish -- kind of reminds me of the movie "A Christmas Story." : )

2) We look at the light and yard displays in a big neighborhood that goes all out. You can walk or they even have horse and carriage rides available. Fun!

3) We light a candle near our Nativity with Baby Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas Day.

4) We light an Advent wreath with candles each night, in the weeks preceding Christmas, and say a special prayer to remind us the true meaning of Christmas. On Christmas Day we light all of the candles and sign Happy Birthday to Jesus.

5) We make lots of Christmas cookies, with tons of icing, sprinkles, and red hots. The ratio is usually about 1 part cookie to 2 parts icing and sprinkles. We're cleaning up sprinkles off the kitchen floor for days! : )

6) We try to visit a nursing home and sing carols/give gifts to the residents -- so many of whom are very lonely at this busy time of year.

7) My mom used to make PJs (pajamas) for all of us kids, and for her and dad if time permitted. Many years they were matching sets. Now she does the grandkids.

8) We try to do a "Christmas Angel" or something like that to give gifts to others who are less fortunate.

9) We try to add a new piece to our Fontanini nativity set each year. They have neat stories that come with each person, angel, or animal. They even have wells, palm trees, and other structures.

10) We try to buy at least one new ornament each year for our Christmas tree.

11) We try to have each person take a turn putting the Angel on top of the tree each year.

12) We try to take a family photo each year and send out a card.

13) My daughter Lauren: I make a Christmas countdown chain out of red and green strips of construction paper. I have a link for each day until Christmas. Then I number them and put the largest number at the bottom of the chain and work my way up to #1. I remove 1 link each night to keep track.

My mom loves this because then she doesn't have to answer the question each night: "How many days until Christmas?".

You can also make a poster to represent the actual day of Christmas. Then attach your countdown chain to the poster and/or just hang it up in a spot where you can reach it to remove the links. Happy counting!

14) Speaking of Lauren: I remember when Lauren was 3 1/2 and on Christmas Eve, when we were driving around looking at Christmas lights, she got the idea in her head that she wanted to look for Jesus's star. She wouldn't let us go home until she was absolutely sure that we had identified the correct star. We did manage to talk her out following the star to the Baby Jesus though, or that would have been a long night! : )

So why not look for Jesus's star while you are out with your family looking at Christmas lights?

15) We get together one weekend before Christmas with the whole extended family. Chief Mom/Grandma cooks the main meal and everyone brings a dish to complement the meal. Then after the dinner the kids put on a skit or play for the grown-ups. Lots of fun!

16) We try to go to see a Christmas play, concert, the Nutcracker or something as a family.

17) We go to our town's Holiday festival complete with noontime parade, bounce houses, train rides, gingerbread cookie decorating, live performances, face painting, craft fair and in the evening the town tree lighting by Santa Claus and kids can visit with Santa. Lots of good food too!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What's in a Politician?

The elections are over and our people have spoken. Republicans are out. Democrats are "in", taking control of both the House and the Senate. Or to put in Bush terminology: Republicans "took quite a thumping." Or to put it in terms of my five year-old: "The Democraps won." -- gotta love the innocence of our little ones! : )

I guess that Republicans had it coming. There has been a lot of infighting within the party which has perhaps contributed to the Republican controlled Congress accomplishing very little with its majority and control of both the House and Senate. So let's see if the Democrats can do better. Hopefully, they'll accomplish objectives to improve America, without damaging the recovering economy. Perhaps Democrats' efforts will be less hindered by perpetual debate over the status of the war in Iraq -- thanks to the "Iraq Study Group" and a change of leadership in the Department of Defense?

As for the infighting within the Republican party, it has been said that "there were too many Republicans in name only" and that this election has flushed them out. Now with its party in-line, perhaps the Republican party can focus on key objectives and issues without the hindrance of political infighting. Perhaps the Republican party has finally returned to its true conservative values.

So what key attributes do you look for in a politician? Maybe: 1) Honesty/trustworthiness, 2)experience, 3) endorsements, 4) party affiliation, 5) moral stand on key issues such as abortion and the death penalty? 6) other.

I am truly curious to know? Leave a comment for me: put the above in the order that is most important to you, with the first on the list being the most important and the last being the least important. Also, if you would like: list your party affiliation -- if any -- as well.

What issues do you hope will be addressed this Congressional term?

I would like to see seatbelts put into every public school bus -- and eventually a law requiring private schools to do the same.

Our state has thousands of children riding on public school buses everyday with absolutely no seatbelts. From what I have seen, most private schools use vans and these come equipped with seatbelts. As a parent, I wouldn't let my kid get on a bus without seatbelts and I'd let the school know exactly why. It's craziness to put our kids on school buses without seatbelts.  I can't be the only one who has taken the time to think this through?!  For the time being I drive my children to and from school each day, but many parents do not have this option.  And it's not always the easiest thing for me to do.

Legislators argue that it is just too costly to retro-equip buses with seatbelts. Well come on people: let's get our priorities straight! How about channeling some of the money for endless -- and often needless -- road construction projects and putting it into seatbelts for our children's school buses. And further, let's pass laws requiring new buses to come equipped with seatbelts straight from the factory.

I am surprised that organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics  is so blaise about requiring seatbelts for school buses, when this organization has in recent years lengthened the amount of time/expanded weight & height guidelines for children using car & booster seats (up to about 70 lb. now).  They have made these adjustments due to new data on crash statistics related to children, but still no one from the American Academy of Pediatrics broaches the subject of seatbelts on school buses? ... Follow the money???????

I wonder: what issues concern you?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Allow Anymous Posts: TBE ...

I have tried to set the "comments" portion of posts to my blog to "allow anonymous posts." This is so that you don't have to have a Blogspot account in order to comment. I haven't been very successful so far.

May have to do it for each post, on a case by case basis. So keep trying! I enjoy reading your email comments from friends and family.

When comments are enabled, to make a comment: 1) simply click on the word "comments" and a screen will pop up allowing you to type in a comment. 2) Select "anonymous" and type your comment in the text box. 3) When finished select "publish" to see your comment appear on the blog. 4) use the "<" back arrow key to return to the blog main page.

Note: you will of course have to select "comments" to view all comments, and it may take a few minutes for your comment to appear. You may also have to click the "refresh (dual arrows)" button on your browser as well -- depending on your browser refresh settings.

Upcoming: "What's in a Politician?" and "Why is the Mainstream Media Bias Liberal?"

Blog ya later! : )

P.S. If I do get "anonymous post" enabled, please keep in mind that my blog is semi-anonymous. I don't want the State I live in, my name etc., out there on the web. Just my preference. Thanks in advance for respecting my preference for anonymity!

President Bush Addresses the Nation: Nov. 8, 2006

The winds of change are upon us. In a lunchtime speech to the American people, President Bush congratulated the Democrats on their "well orchestrated victories." And so it should be.

President Bush reiterated that his "first responsibility, as Chief Executive, is to protect America and that that objective will not change as result of the election."

After emphasizing the need for both parties to work together to meet "real challenges" (the economy, education, and global issues such as American independence from foreign oil), the President warned "our enemies not to take the outcome of our American democratic process as a sign of a lack of will." He also emphasized that Iraq should not despair or fear that America will abandon them, and that our own American troops should not fear that America will no longer support them.

President Bush also announced a study group, the "Iraq Study Group", under the direction of "Baker and Hamilton", that will be analyzing possible solutions for addressing the war in Iraq. Then, Bush announced the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. He announced that Rumsfeld's replacement will be former CIA Director Robert Gates, who would be working very closely with the Iraq study group.

President Bush called Rumsfeld "a true patriot who has served ... with honor and distinction." Bush said that both he and Rumsfeld recognized the need for a fresh perspective on the war in Iraq at a "critical juncture."

When asked when the President knew that Secretary Rumsfeld would be stepping down and why he waited until after the election to make the announcement, President Bush said that he did not want to make this announcement "in the final stretch of the election" and send the "wrong message to American troops" that the Commander-in-chief will flip-flop on "complex military issues based on the political whims of the American people."

It appears as if Bush is ready is to embrace change in an approach to the war in Iraq. Further, with the Rumsfeld resignation he is putting that rhetoric into action and perhaps offering Democrats a symbolic "peace offering" of sorts.

Republican officials said they welcome the change in leadership in the House and look forward to seeing what Democrats will do to enact the changes they have been espousing. They also said that the current Democratic victory should help to give Republicans a better chance to win the White House in 2008, as the on-the-fence Republicans may be reluctant to give full control (House, possibly Senate, and White House) to the Democrats.

"If you want to have friends: never discuss religion and politics." What do you think?

Time for the Republicans to take off the Gloves!

So my husband says. Isn't it convenient for the media that they don't cover the fact the aftermath of investigating Iraq DID find that there was in fact weapons grade plutonium in Iraq and also viable components for manufacturing lethal nerve gas on a large scale.

The media was so quick to jump on President Bush for his blundering of the reasons for going to war with Iraq, yet when the WMD evidence did finally come to light -- due to relaxation of security issues surrounding the information -- the liberal media buried the stories. "WMDs found!" is not headline news -- that's reserved for Bush and company bashing. Instead the "found" story is relegated to a mere footnote, 3 to 4 stories down. How can anyone say that their is not blatant bias in our media?

What's even scarier is that most people don't see this bias, don't get it, or just don't care! It takes some effort to find out the truth: You have to read multiple news sources and listen to alternative news and talk radio. Even if you don't agree with the alternative opinion: don't you owe it to yourself to hear both sides of issues so that you can make informed decisions and opinions?

I challenge you to try to get both sides of the issue. Try it: this week pick up an alternative news source. I recommend the "Week" magazine. They report excerpts from several reputable publications in one convenient location. So you get different views on the issues in just one read. Try listening to one of the talk radio programs on AM radio ( News Talk 820 or KRLD 1080) while you are stuck in your car driving. Try watching FOX news once a week -- or just flip back and forth between your local news and FOX and see how the headline stories compare from night to night.

Looks like we're in for a wild roller coaster ride if we wind up with a Democratic House and a Republican Senate. I just pray for the safety of our country on multiple levels.

In the meantime, Republicans perhaps do need to take off the gloves and address the mud-slinging head on. Not doing so seems to have cost them quite a bit in this election. Republicans aren't perfect by any means. The American people have spoken ... let's just hope and pray for a more informed electorate in the next election. And if an informed people arrive at the same conclusions: so be it.

God Bless our Democratic Republic!

What's in a Christmas Card?

It's that time of year again, when we all start thinking about Christmas cards. I really look forward to this time of year, because it is the one time of year when I get to hear from all of my family and friends. I just love reading all of the letters and seeing all of the photos!

I do wish that more people would take the time to write a short note or letter to include with their card though, but  if I get a card that just has a name signed at the bottom: I say to myself "Praise God! They are alive and well enough to send out cards and they thought of me/our family. " Even though, I would still really love to hear their news.

Contrary to popular belief: I don't find Christmas letters annoying and I don't think that they are "brag" letters. I think that Christmas is the one time of year when people actually force themselves to take the time to slow down, sit down, and think about what wonderful things have happened to them and their families throughout the course of the year. And often times writing one letter -- that can be mechanically reproduced -- is easier than handwriting a note in each and every card, especially if you have a lot of cards to send out.

How SAD for those who get green with envy when they read a Christmas letter and as a cover-up for their own inadequacy they resort to calling the letters "brag" letters!

I have an Aunt, on my husband's side of the family, call my Christmas letter a "BRAG" letter -- among other things -- one year, and it really hurt my feelings at first. Ken and I had just struggled so much to put ourselves through college.  It was nice to finally to be moving ahead and reaping the rewards of our hard work, so we wanted to share. Well this Aunt really hurt my feelings and I began to think that maybe others truly did see our Christmas letter as bragging, so I didn't do a Christmas letter the next year.  Shortly thereafter, everyone was calling and emailing me asking if Ken and I were doing okay?  And where was my letter?  It turns out that everyone missed hearing our news. So now, I will include a Christmas letter with my Christmas card and if people take it the wrong way: that is just their own problem --NOT MINE! They can throw my letter away for all I care.  They don't have to read it if it bothers them.

As for my husband's Aunt, I realize now that she has a lot of hate, hurt, and anger that are her own issues and not mine. I refuse to take that on. So she is simply no longer on our Christmas list for a letter. I hope that she works out her issues so that she can find her own peace, healing, and happiness.

I have one friend who sketches out her family's Christmas letter with stick figures and multiple choice questions that are just hilarious. How creative! We always look forward to seeing how unique her letter will be each year.

So if you can, put a little effort into it this year! Put something out there about you and your family ... make a personal connection. Dare to go a step beyond just signing and addressing your card.  You'd be surprised how much this effort reaches out and really connects you to your friends and family.

And for those of you who have the time, energy, and presence of mind to actually write a personal note to each and every person on your list: God Bless You! And more power to you!

Happy Christmas Card composing  =)


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Don't Let the Media Determine the Election Outcome

I think that the election of 2000 was a real eye-opener for all of us! The media had called the election in favor in Al Gore: "It's over they declared." This bold proclamation was made despite the fact that the polls had yet to close on the west coast and only preliminary numbers were in for most of the rest of the country.

This message that "it was over" prompted many people to figure that their vote didn't matter anymore, and thousands of people didn't vote because of this arrogant media proclamation.
The country was in for a rude awakening the next morning when the media had to eat their earlier evening proclamation. It wasn't over: it was still undecided!!

I hope that the lesson of 2000 hasn't faded into the background, now 6 long years later. The media is out there again with their experts, analysts and polling with renewed fervor and intensity ... But keep in mind, all of the mainstream media numbers are just best guesses and predictions of what could occur. What actually occurs is up to average citizens like you and me!

Don't give these media corporations power by letting their predictions determine whether, or HOW you vote. Your vote belongs to YOU, and how YOU vote is entirely up to you.

It truly is "not over until the fat lady sings" and we, the American people -- not the American mainstream media -- vote and every vote is counted! So go VOTE!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The "Lost" Craze ... Or Just Plain Craziness?

Yes, I am married to a "Lost" addict. I have brother who is one as well. To be frank, I can't stand the show! But I am subjected to it, each and every week, as my husband religiously watches the program -- wish getting him to attend church on Sundays was as regular as his viewing of this show.

At best, "Lost" is just plain terrible writing. It seems as if the writers keep flip-flopping on the direction they want to take the show so as to not disappoint the dwindling fans that they've been trailing along with their big carrot for 2+ seasons now.

I have another theory: the whole show is a government -- or private corporation -- scientific experiment to identify key personality types and traits of those unique individuals who will continue to watch the show, season after season, as the show continues to painfully twist and turn without ever delivering any tangible explanations for what the island is, who the "others" are and why they are there. Nor does there appear to be any consistent sense of direction as to where the show is heading. Maybe these key personality types -- who continue to watch the show -- will make good assassins, or soldiers that "they" can stuff in a cave/hole underground to push a button, or buttons, in the event of a major war on our turf? Sound familiar?

In any event: I am sick and tired of "Lost". I've "lost" my husband every Wednesday evening for an hour, and I want him back. So "Lost" producers, writers, etc. I issue you a challenge:
Enough already! Stand and deliver us something tangible or get LOST!

P.S. I am going to have a "Thank Heavens It's Finally Over!" party at the end of this fiasco!
Want to come?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Don't Forget to Vote!

As citizens of this great country, the United States of America WE ALL have a duty to:

1) Stay informed and know what the issues are.

2) Know which political candidates currently represent us, who their opponents are, and which candidates best represents the issues that are important to us, our well-being, and the well-being of our country at large.

3) Hold our elected officials accountable by voting and writing to them when we have a concern or are unhappy with their representation of us on key issues.

If you DO NOTHING to act as an engaged citizen of the United States of America: then you have absolutely NO RIGHT to complain about how things are, or are not, going!

The elections are upon us. Read, watch, listen, and act: VOTE!