SUMMERTIME.

I’ve officially been on summer break for one week. This is my first summer since college started that I’m not taking classes and that I’ll be staying at home. After perpetually being in class for about three years with no significant breaks, this is a big relief.

This is always my summer theme song:

  • A week ago, my boyfriend Tyler GRADUATED! He earned two bachelors degrees: a BA in history and a BS in economics with a minor in political science.

Tyler now works for the political consulting firm NASICA, but is looking for a job more closely related to economics. He also wants to go to grad school at some point.

  • Last Friday, I got sick, and it got worse after I went home. I think finals week really took its toll on me – I pulled three all-nighters; and on the nights I DID manage to sleep, I didn’t sleep very well. It was worth it because I received great grades on all of my finals. But man, did those A’s come with a price! On Monday I went to the doctor and was able to get some Amoxicillin, which works WONDERS.
  • My big goal for the summer is to get healthy. I’d love to lose 15 lbs. by the time school starts, but I’m not going to be very strict with that exact number. I’ve found a gym close to my house that my parents have graciously agreed to buy me a membership to. My dad gets a 50% discount through his work, so that’s a major plus!
  • In one week, my family + Tyler will be leaving for a vacation to Memphis, TN! I’ve never been there so I’m pretty excited.
  • I applied to go to a leadership conference in July that will be in Washington, D.C. I’m REALLY hoping I get accepted.
  • I installed software on my laptop that blocks Facebook (you can get it here), so obviously I have been spending much less time on Facebook. It’s been pretty nice taking a break from it.
  • I want to create a political blog. For the past few days I’ve been trying to come up with a clever name for it.
  • My 21st birthday is in 25 days!!

That’s it for now.

Peace, Love and Liberty,

Ann

KITTEN FEVER.

Meet Capricorn, the new roommate in my apartment.

She is my roommate, Rebecca’s kitten.

Growing up, my family only had outdoor cats. But we have had our dogs for longer.

These are lessons I have learned from being the parent of an indoor kitten for the past few weeks:

  • Cats are extremely mobile - When I’m sitting in the living room, Capricorn can, without warning, climb her way onto my shoulder. Or when she’s in my room, she’ll hop onto the top of my bookshelf. I cannot take my eyes off her, because she’ll find her way to climb onto a high place or squeeze into a very small space. DOGS DO NOT DO THIS.

CARE TO JOIN ME BEHIND THE SHADEZ?

  • When cats get mad, they tear things up – One time I put Capricorn in my roommate’s room. When I came back, she had thrown a lot of the litter out of her litter box. Another time, she tore up a garbage bag. Apparently, cats do these types of things when they get mad.
  • Kittens want to be the center of attention - I said before that I cannot take my eyes of off Capricorn. Part of the reason for that is that SHE WON’T LET ME. Look at what she did while I was trying to work on homework last week:

She perched herself on my shoulder to get my attention. She has also sat herself on my keyboard before, too.

  • The simplest things keep cats occupied – I guess this can apply to dogs, too. I think this video illustrates what I mean perfectly:
  • Kittens like to read – Well, sort of.

O HAI WAT R U READING??

  • But most of all, kittens are forces to be reckoned with!! - This one is, at least ;)

Peace, Love and Liberty (and purrs),

Ann

My first Foodie Pen Pals post!

I have some questions for you,

  • Do you like food?
  • Do you enjoy receiving packages in the mail?
  • Do you enjoy sharing things with others?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you should consider participating in FOODIE PEN PALS.

So far, I have participated in the March and April foodie pen pals cycles. The way it works is this: you put your name on the list. Someone else gets your name, and they mail you a package of food. You get someone else’s name (not the same person who is sending you food) and mail them a package of food.

The name matches are released on the 5th of the month. You mail your package by the 15th of the month. You write about the package you receive on the last day of the month.

That’s the program in a nutshell. A more detailed explanation can be found here.

MARCH

Unfortunately, I did not write about the package I received in March. I was dealing with some dumb crap at the time and posting about Foodie Pen Pals kind of slipped through the cracks. The package Kris sent me was great… I’ve already eaten much of what was in the package so I can’t write an all-too detailed account of the goodies. But since they’re gone, that’s a good sign!

Treats I remember are some dried bananas from Trader Joe’s (so good!), dried seaweed, almonds, trail mix, gltuen-free cookies, and…

…Snapea crisps! I’ll admit, I was skeptical of these when I first saw them. But they are actually tasty! I would recommend them.

Thanks Kris! And sorry for the super late post.

APRIL

I was very excited to receive my package from Colette!

I had told her that I have a bit of a weakness for peanut butter…

The package contained some oatmeal, almonds, Trader Joe’s dried strawberry strips, peanut butter-covered pretzels, PB2 (POWDERED peanut butter! Seriously, you need to check this out!), …

…Some Dark Chocolate Tahitian Vanilla Caramels (they tasted as divine as they sound),

…and some organic peanut butter cups. I may or may not have eaten these as part of breakfast one day.

Both months, I have been very pleased to receive items from Trader Joe’s. I have never been to a Trader Joe’s, but I hear they have a bit of a cult following for their low prices and good food. From the Trader Joe’s-brand food I have tasted through Foodie Pen Pals, I can see why people like the store so much. Believe it or not, there are currently no Trader Joe’s stores in Texas (I think…). However several are under construction.

Hopefully, soon, I will be able to visit my local Trader Joe’s to eat some of their yummy food rather than wait for it in the mail.

What did I send MY Foodie Pen Pals? My March pen pal, Carrie, blogged about the package I sent her here. Check out her blog, “Lift Eat Repeat,” too. It’s a good read.

My April pen pal, Martha, does not have a blog (yet). But she said she enjoyed what I sent her :-)

Think you would enjoy participating in Foodie Pen Pals? …DO IT.

(Click on the pic below to go to the Foodie Pen Pals page. And check out Lindsay’s blog, the Lean Green Bean, while you’re at it!)

The Lean Green Bean

Peace, Love and Liberty (and yummy eating),

Ann

Adventures in Kettlebell Training

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself lying around the apartment and moping about my eleven-pound weight gain – the thought of which still makes me cringe. I’m one of those people who, when they become depressed, glue themselves to the couch and alternate between watching reruns of Parks and Rec and taking naps. That day, it was hard for me to summon the motivation to peel myself off the sofa and go to the gym. But I had reached a point where I knew something *had* to be done, and soon I found myself putting on my Reeboks and heading out the door.

When I entered my University’s gym, I noticed signs advertising fitness programs. I decided to sign up for CrossFit. I had heard good things about the program, and I figured signing up for a class would be a good way to keep me motivated and accountable about working out. Well, when I went to the gym’s office to sign up, I found out that all the CrossFit classes were full (this was the very last day to sign up for classes, so it makes sense). I still wanted to sign up for something, so I looked over my options and decided to take my chances with kettlebell training.

What’s a kettlebell? You’d probably recognize one if you saw one. They look like this:

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Kettlebells are weights. Unlike dumbbells, the weight is not evenly distributed but rather concentrated at one point. This actually mimics real-life scenarios involving heavy objects better – our instructor compared picking up a kettlebell from the ground to picking up a heavy suitcase; and the comparisons are endless.

Kettlebells originated in Russia and are still lesser-known in America. Their weight is also measured in kilograms.

Obviously, we do many exercises with the kettlebells during my hour-long class. Many exercises can also be done with traditional dumbbells, such as lifts, presses, squats, etc. But when working out with a kettlebell you can do swings, which you generally can’t do with dumbbells. Variations of swings include two-handed, one-handed, the height your kettlebell reaches, etc.

Here’s a diagram (in Bulgarian) of some kettlebell workouts:

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This is a diagram of a guy performing a “Turkish get up.” This move is incredibly difficult. In the beginning, I tried doing it with a (light) kettlebell and was struggling so much that the instructor made me do it sans kettlebell until I got the hang of it. I am proud to say that I can now handle doing a Turkish get up, albeit with a small kettlebell. But still ;)

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^The guy in this pic is *clearly* a badass because he is using a huge kettlebell. Holy moly.

Up until two weeks ago, I had never touched a kettlebell in my life. But every Monday and Wednesday from 6:45 am to 7:45 am, I’ve been exercising with them. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the class at first, but I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoy kettlebell training. The last two classes are next week. The semester is nearly over, so obviously the gym isn’t offering another class until the summer or fall. I will definitely be enrolling in this class again.

I’ll be spending the summer at home, so I won’t be able to take the class through school. But I did some research and found that a rec center near my house will be offering a kettlebell class this summer. I may do that, but I think I may finally be fitting my CrossFit in – I found a program in my hometown.

What are your thoughts on kettlebell training?

Peace, Love and Liberty,

Ann

The Best Movies I Have Seen on Netflix Instant Streaming

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A few years ago, my parents ditched our satellite TV subscription in favor of a Netflix membership. At the time, I thought it was a dumb idea. But now, it makes more sense to me and I’m glad they made the change. Most TV shows, especially the ones I like to watch, are available to watch on Hulu or can be downloaded on iTunes. And Netflix provides just about every movie or TV show you can think of through DVD order, and fewer are available instant streaming.

95% of everything I watch through Netflix is instant streaming. Many people would argue that most of the “good” movies/shows are not available on instant streaming. Actually, it can be a challenge finding something worthwhile to watch, but the options are out there! I have watched several movies through instant streaming that I have enjoyed, and I thought I would share them with you.

So here they are – in alphabetical order.

…And it should be noted that I’m no Roger Ebert, so these “reviews” might not be of professional quality. Judge me. Check out the New York Times if you want something fancier.

Cashback

“It takes approximately 500 lbs to crush a human skull. But the human emotion is a much more delicate thing.”

This film is about a college student, Ben (Sean Biggerstaff, AKA: Oliver Wood in the HP films), who is newly single after an ugly break up with his longterm girlfriend, who he believed was the love of his life. He becomes depressed and loses the ability to sleep. To find something to keep him busy at night, he works the graveyard shift at a local grocery store. It’s there that Ben realizes he has the ability to stop time. He also has interesting encounters with his co-workers. Ultimately, Ben finds ways to move on and be happy with his life after his relationship.

Before the full-length feature film, Cashback was first made as a short film in 2004. Apparently, the short appears in the movie – so at one point the scenes were shot three years before the rest of the movie. The short film blends so seamlessly with the rest of the scenes that you can’t tell.

When I began watching this movie, I didn’t really know what to expect. But it exceeded my expectations. There’s a lot of nudity in this film, so if you’re prudish when it comes to that then this might not be your cup of tea.

Chasing Amy [While searching for this movie on Netflix, I was alerted that it is no longer available for instant streaming, even though it was when I enjoyed it. So it looks like adding this title to your mail-order queue is your only option. For those of you who lack patience, SORRY.]

“If this is a crush, I don’t think I could take it if the real thing ever happened.”

“Chasing Amy” takes an interesting look at human relationships. The film is about Holden (Ben Affleck), who authors a comic book with his best friend, Banky (Jason Lee). The film opens at a comic convention where the two friends are promoting their comic book, Bluntman and Chronic. Everything is going along swimmingly until they meet another comic book artist, Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams). Holden becomes infatuated with Alyssa and is really happy when she invites him to a club. He believes she is trying to pursue a relationship with him, and then he finds out Alyssa is actually a lesbian. Holden decides to pursue a friendship with Alyssa anyway, and is hopeful that he can have a relationship with her eventually even though she insists she is not attracted to men. Banky doesn’t like Alyssa and discourages Holden from pursuing a relationship with her. Holden’s relentless attraction to Alyssa threatens Holden and Banky’s friendship. Many more twists and turns occur in the plot, but I won’t give any more away.

This movie is a Kevin Smith movie (enough said). Clerks and Clerks 2 are some of my favorite films. I had never seen a Kevin Smith movie outside of the Clerks franchise, so I decided to try this one. It did not disappoint. Now, this IS a Kevin Smith film, so keep that in mind if you prefer more of a G – PG-rated fare in your films. Literally no subject is off topic in the dialogue, or no word too offensive. But if that doesn’t bother you, ENJOY!

Exit Through the Gift Shop

“There’s no one like Thierry, even though his art looks like everyone else’s.”

Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary about street art, or “art developed in public places and mainly done in an illegal way,” (definition). The director Thierry Guetta is a French immigrant living in L.A. with his wife and children, and owns a successful vintage clothing store. He’s a bit of a local celebrity where he lives. Thierry discovers that his cousin is a widely-known (but anonymous) street artist, “Space Invader,” in France. This causes Theirry to become obsessed with the concept of street art. He grabs hold of another anonymous, famous street artist named Banksy. Thierry follows Banksy around, films him doing his art, interviews him, etc. Eventually, Thierry becomes inspired to become a street artist himself, and gives himself the name “Mister Brainwash.”

This film delves into the art world, and what makes art art. It can also be seen as a farce on the art community, because the success Thierry finds as “Mister Brainwash” can be seen as humorous. He mostly takes on the project in order to see if he can do it, and ends up wildly successful.

Reality Bites

“There’s no point to any of this. It’s all just a… a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know… a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter become a cackle… and I, I sit back and I smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt.”

This movie follows a group of friends who are generation-X recent college graduates. As IMDB puts it, the friends are “looking for work and love in Houston,” (1,000,000 brownie points for being set in the best state ever!). Lelaina (Winona Ryder) was valedictorian of her college class, but is frustrated that her academic success is not translating to the professional world. She spends the majority of the movie filming her friends to eventually make a documentary, which she has entitled “Reality Bites.” Lelaina and her friends Vickie (Jeneane Garofalo), Troy (Ethan Hawke), and Sammy (Steve Zahn) gripe to the camera about their disappointment with the “real world,” struggles with relationships, quarter-life crises they are experiencing, etc. Furthermore, Lelaina becomes caught in a bit of a love triangle between Troy, a facetious but caring slacker, and young professional Michael (played by a very young Ben Stiller, who also directed the film).

I thought the relationships, situations and problems presented in this movie were very honest and realistic. That being said, if you enjoy more escapist movies, or movies in which things occur that could never happen in real life, this movie isn’t for you. I really enjoyed this film, probably because I found it relatable. I’m still in college and not out in the “real world” yet, but this film still presented some of my concerns, that I’m sure are resonating themes with 20-somethings everywhere.

Also, I did NOT find Ethan Hawke attractive in this movie. I have found him attractive in other roles, such as his role in the movie Gattaca, but not this one. It’s probably because his character epitomizes a product of the 90s grunge movement – flannel shirts, unkempt hair, 5 o’ clock shadow and membership in a garage band. The men I find attractive generally don’t look like cousins of Kurt Cobain.

Restrepo

I can’t seem to find the words to describe this film. I think it needs to be watched before it can fully be understood. Restrepo is a documentary that follows the 15-month deployment of an Army platoon in the most dangerous part of Afghanistan. As a whole the film is incredibly violent and dark, but most importantly powerful. My view on the war was altered after seeing this. It’s not an easy watch, but I would recommend that everyone see it at least once.

Wet Hot American Summer

“Well guys, we’ve made it to the end of the summer in one piece, except for a few campers who are lepers.”

“Wet Hot American Summer” follows the events of the last day at a Jewish summer camp in 1981. The plot focuses on the stories of the various adults working at the camp. Camp director Beth (Jeneane Garofalo, again) develops a crush on astrophysicist Henry (David Hyde Pierce), and the two have an awkward romance. Several camp counselors pursue romance…Coop (Michael Showalter) tries to kindle a romance with Katie (Marguerite Moreau), but she unfortunately is infatuated with Andy (Paul Rudd). Meanwhile, Andy is looking for romance with literally every other girl at the camp. Gail (Molly Shannon) is teaching an arts and crafts class, and then suddenly
has an emotional break down over her impending divorce. The 9 and 10-year-olds give Gail relationship counseling. As Henry is teaching the nerdy campers about astrophysics, he discovers that a piece of NASA’s skylab will fall directly on the camp grounds, and he and the campers must devise a plan to save the day.

There are more plot lines than just the ones I listed. If you have ever seen Dazed and Confused, the film is set up exactly like that – multiple plots occurring at once, all taking place in the span of one day.

This film is completely nonsensical and ludicrous. While watching it with my boyfriend, he said multiple times of the film “Oh my God, this is so DUMB.” …It is, and that’s the point. If you prefer “smarter” humor, you might not like this movie. Personally, I find it hilarious. I also like the fact that the film was made on a very low budget; and that several then-obscure now-successful actors make up the cast: such as Amy Poehler and Michael Ian Black.

Feel free to comment with your favorite Netflix instant streaming films :-)

Peace, Love and Liberty,

Ann

From the Weekend

Sometimes the words for my blog posts come easily; sometimes they don’t. I want to show my neglected blog some love, but I’m at a loss for words. Luckily I have some pictures.

^Me channelling Conway Twitty at Recycled Books. I bought this record. It was only $5.00.

^ Went to Mr. Frosty Drive-N (no longer a drive in). There are times in my life when I feel like a human anachronism, and being in this restaurant was one of them. This place opened in 1954 and very little has changed.

^A Coke float at Mr. Frosty Drive-N. It was good, however I hear the best things about their shakes. It’s on my to-do list to try one.

^An acai bowl from Seven Mile Cafe. Description from the menu, “Granola topped with organic Brazilian Acai berry puree blended with strawberries, bananas, almond milk and and apple juice topped with more granola, sliced fruit and agave syrup.” It was just as delicious as it sounds.

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^I wish I had thought to snap a pic of the courthouse this weekend. I spent quite a bit of time on the square.

I’m looking forward to this week (no, really!).

Peace, Love and Liberty,

Ann

10 steps to minimalism – week 1

As a way to manage stress, live frugally and be less materialistic, among other reasons, I have decided to move toward living a life of minimalism. I’ve decided to slowly make the transition using tips found on the blog that got me interested in minimalism, The Everyday Minimalist. The blog has a “10 steps to minimalism” guide to help people begin applying minimalist principles to their life. I’ve decided to take it on and tackle one step each week. So, this is week one!

1. Decide on an area you’d like to improve upon and set an achievable goal

This area for me is my room. It attracts clutter like nothing else in my life. Instead of keeping my room clean on a regular basis, I have a vicious cycle: I let random objects, mess and clutter gradually build up in my room, until one day the chaos becomes unbearable and I am pretty much forced to clean my room in order to maintain my sanity.

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Why is this frustrating?

I think it’s obvious.

  • It makes walking through my room a chore, because I have to step over books/magazines/papers/piles of clothes/bags/anything else that has made its way to my bedroom floor.
  • It slows down my morning routine because I have to dig through my clothes for a specific item.
  • It makes the task of finding simple objects like searching for a needle in a haystack. Not too long ago, one of my roommates asked if I had a couple of pushpins she could borrow. I replied, “I have pushpins somewhere…you can borrow some if I can find them!”

Solutions – to be done sometime this week:

  • Throw away objects I don’t use. Recycle random papers and magazines.
  • Go through my closet and find items to throw away/give away based on this criteria.
  • Go through my possessions – books, DVDs, etc. – and figure out what I want to keep and what I want to give away. About three years ago, I went through this phase where I wanted to own every one of my favorite movies and TV shows on DVD. I don’t know what brought this about, because I’ve never been the kind of person who loves to watch their favorite movies over and over again. Now I have a pretty big DVD collection that takes up space in my closet. I think it’s time to take these to Recycled Books, along with books I don’t read.
  • Think of my room as a living space, not a storage closet! I need to stop absent-mindedly throwing things in my room instead of putting things in their proper place or making a proper place for them. For example, I have a desk, but I don’t actually do work on it because there is so much crap piled on it!!

Of course, these items will extend past this week…I’m not going to simplify my room this week only, and then never do it again. This will just help me get the ball rolling on applying these principles regularly.

Peace, Love and Liberty,

Ann

Oats & De-stressing

Yesterday, I tried “oats in a jar” for the first time. I got the idea from the awesome health blog, Carrots ‘N’ Cake.

I had tried soy nut butter, and the jar was nearly empty. The day before, I put 1/2 cup of rolled oats, 1 cup of soy milk and some cinnamon into the jar. I let it sit in the fridge overnight, and what I got in the morning was delicious!

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BTW, soy nut butter is really good and tastes very similar to peanut butter. I would recommend it to people with peanut allergies, or people looking to try something other than peanut butter.

I currently have a jar of almond butter, and I can’t wait until it’s nearly empty so that I can do oats in a jar again.

Now for an update…

I’m about one month into the semester, and whenever people ask me how my semester has been, I always say it’s been pretty “meh.” It really has been. I let my stress and anxiety progress and take a stranglehold of my sanity.

The stress piqued when I was sick on and off for about 3 weeks. I would get really stressed/anxious, and then I would start throwing up (sorry if that was TMI). Then for several hours, I wouldn’t be able to keep any food down. It was terrible. I went to a doctor, who said that I had a virus that I probably would have recovered from sooner if it weren’t for all the stress.

THANKFULLY, I’m doing better now.

Sadly, I haven’t worked out regularly in…a few months. I’ve been able to fit in a workout here and there, but as far as going to the gym regularly every week, I have been a total failure. So when I went to the doctor, it added to my stress to find that I had gained…*drumroll* ELEVEN pounds since the last time I weighed myself! (which was probably last November) So even though I had been throwing up every other night (not by choice, mind you) I still managed to pack on some stress pounds.

This is news that NO woman wants to hear, trust me!

I realized that I know what I need to do to make my life easier; it was just a matter of DOING it. So, I’ve been trying to de-stress my life as much as I can.

I went to a boot camp class at the gym today. It was really hard. Definitely harder for me than it would have been this time a year ago. But I’m so glad I went…nothing helps me to de-stress quite like working out does. My plan is to keep going back to the gym, at least 3 times during the week and at least once on the weekend. I set a goal to lose 15 pounds, but I don’t have a “by when” date. I guess just as soon as I can get there the healthy way.

I’ve been trying to cut down on how much sugar I eat/drink. I have a sweet tooth, and I know sugar can be responsible for a multitude of health problems. Plus, my recently-deceased grandma was diabetic, which I guess makes me more susceptible. Eating less sugar won’t hurt with losing weight, either!

And while browsing Kroger the other week, I saw this tea:

I thought, “Stress relief? Hell yes!” and bought some. And I think it really works! (Even if it’s just a placebo effect, as long as it has any effect at all, I’m happy).

OT, I also saw this:

I guess this is how Yoda describes “I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter!”

Another thing I think could help bring down my stress would be trying minimalism! Which is, quite simply, living with less stuff!! I think it would be so freeing to not place such a high emphasis on material possessions, and learn to appreciate what I already have. Last week I stumbled onto the blog, The Everyday Minimalist and I’ve been reading it every day since. I plan on trying to take on minimalism slowly, and blogging about it.

That’s it. I hope everyone else’s lives are stress-free as can be!

Peace, Love and Liberty,

Ann

Song of the Day:

Alright by Supergrass

The hypocrisy of extreme Obama-bashing

Don’t you just love Facebook comment arguments? :)

Earlier today I was on Facebook, and my favorite Texas senatorial candidate Ted Cruz posted a pic and status update about the most recent contraceptive mandate that would extend to religious hospitals. This is the post:

I read the first few comments, and I was absolutely HORRIFIED, disgusted, to see a comment that reads:

“Where’s Lee Harvey Oswald when you need him?”

Which prompted me to respond with the following comments:

“I don’t like Obama, but I wouldn’t joke about KILLING the man. Show some class!”

and then,

“The, ‘Where’s Lee Harvey Oswald when you need him?’ comment has two likes? Wow. WOW. All three of you disgust me.”

Combined, my two comments received four likes, two each. The juvenile “Where’s Lee Harvey Oswald…?” comment currently has SIX likes. And sadly it will probably gain more.

Besides me, there was one other person trying to point out the ridiculousness of joking of killing our president and calling him the antichrist (I wish I were making this stuff up), we’ll call him “Ring.” A woman commented to him and said “Mr. Ring, I’m gonna pray for you.”

The IRONY of that comment? This woman “liked” the Lee Harvey Oswald comment! So clearly, this woman calls herself a “christian” (that’s what I inferred from her saying she’ll pray for Mr. Ring) but thought assassinating the president, or at least joking about it, is A-OK. Guess she doesn’t see any contradiction between killing the president and her religious beliefs.

Um…lady…do you think “Thou shalt not kill” actually reads, “Thou shalt not kill…but this commandment doesn’t apply to Democratic politicians you dislike.”?

Haha. NO. I’m pretty sure that this commandment, along with the rest of them, applies to everyone and with no exceptions.

I was so miffed that I wrote this status update:

Unfortunately, this particular episode is not the first time I’ve encountered extreme Obama-bashing from so-called “Christians.” Politically, I consider myself to be somewhere in between Republican, conservative and libertarian. I have volunteered on several Republican campaigns, attended CPAC, been an active member of my university’s College Republicans chapter, gone to county Republican party events and more. I’ve been involved enough to know that there are several types of Republicans. And unfortunately, I have had several encounters with the Republicans whose favorite past-time is to berate the president…instead of doing something more productive, like maybe offering solutions.

And by extreme Obama-basher, I mean someone who essentially wishes him dead.

I believe dissent is patriotic.

I am all for disagreeing with someone in power, and doing what you can to elect someone who is more in-tune with your beliefs.

But there’s a difference between disagreeing with a politician and calling a politician the antichrist because you disagree with them.

Here is why being an extreme Obama-basher and calling yourself a Christian is hypocritical:

  • Like I said before, there’s the commandment that reads “Thou shalt not kill.” HOW do you reconcile your faith with joking about killing the president? HOW is wanting someone dead not in direct contradiction to that commandment? I would LOVE it if someone would explain that to me.
  • Most extreme Obama-bashers are very “pro-life.” What does being “pro-life” mean? If it means only being against abortion, then it should just be called “anti-abortion.” Because, clearly, if you think the president needs to be assassinated then you don’t respect HIS life. So you’re not pro-life in that sense.

Finally, someone commented on the thread who has some sense:

“I am a catholic christian. I am appalled at the behavior of others who claim to be christians and then call for the death of our president. No I didn’t vote for him nor do I agree with his policies, but I am going to do what MY LORD JESUS CHRIST tells me to do, and that is pray for Mr. Obama that God really touches his heart and shows him the error of his ways. And I am also going to pray for those people who woud wish to do him harm. Christ did not die on the cross to give us a free pass and allow us to continue to sin. May God have Mercy on us all. I hope that Mr. Boehner will be able to block the rule that forces the church to go against our convictions. Pray for peace and prosperity to return to our once great nation.”

Conclusion: I wish all of the extreme Obama-bashers would offer intelligent POLICY alternatives to things Obama does instead of just wishing harm on him. I want these “Christians” to see how hypocritical they are being and start following this aspect of their faith. Be a proactive, positive Republican instead of just focusing on bringing all non-Republicans down.

What do you think? Have you ever encountered extreme Obama-bashers?

There is no such thing as a “conservative” health care mandate

Recently I had a conversation with a Romney supporter, and they were defending “Romneycare” – the individual healthcare mandate that Mitt Romney implemented during his term as governor of Massachusetts in 2006.

It seems to me that several Republicans have this mentality: if a conservative does it, and says they’re doing it for conservative reasons, then that means it’s ok!

The reasoning for defending Romneycare went something like, forcing people to pay for their own health care and not letting them leech off the system is a way of teaching people personal responsibility. There was probably more to the argument, but that’s what stuck out to me.

I see something very wrong with this reasoning. Republicans supporting Romneycare would never support a similar program if it were coming from a Democrat. Exhibit A: All of the Obamacare backlash. (Obamacare and Romneycare are really not all that different)

Just because a “Republican” defends it, does not mean it’s “ok.”

Here is what the Republican National Committee has to say about health care in their platform:

We support common-sense health care reforms that would lower costs, preserve quality, end lawsuit abuse, and maintain the healthcare that Americans deserve. We oppose government-run health care, which won’t protect the physician-patient relationship, won’t promote competition, and won’t promote health care quality and choice. [source]

…Except if Mitt Romney supports government-run health care and offers “conservative” reasons for it. Then we’re all for it.

Republicans, conservatives, and everyone in that canon of political ideology need to get a grip on what it really means to be conservative. Do we support the government forcing the individual to buy a product or service, or do we not? Or do we only support it if a charismatic ex-Governor calling himself a “Republican” says so?

This is one of the many reasons I don’t support Romney for president.

What do you think? Could government-run health care ever be “conservative”?

Peace, Love and Liberty,

Ann