Monday, August 29, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
I think I will be nice and normal and talk about jobs. I still have not got one, in case you did not know. I have not heard back from the one I interviewed for last week. I hope I hear back on Monday, and that's about the most I can do.
Jobs and finding jobs are very annoying aspects of life. Every job I apply for requires some sort of experience. Sometimes I have the experience, sometimes I do not have it. I still try. Because I know that I can learn just about anything on site. If they would hire me, I guarantee that in one week I would know all the important things that I need to know, and in two weeks I would have tied up most of the details. No, you have to have experience! A certain time length of experience. I just went through four years of hell and I have to have experience?! Whose idea was this? My four years of work and pain count for nothing unless I have on the job experience to back it up. Even with the on the job experience I have (which is more than most college graduates) it does not really count for much. I worked my way through college, paying for an expensive, private school education on my own and it counts for nothing with these people! I feel like throwing a temper tantrum.
Another thing you need is contacts. People who will give you an in. That worked so well for me. The guy who said he would help me find a job would not hire me himself! Even though I have tons more experience with what he needed than most people. So now I have no one but myself to recommend me, and that's never quite good enough. I guess I need to be the daughter of an oil tycoon or something. Fat chance of that happening anytime soon . . .
Sorry for the rant. I have not been doing so good on the job hunt and it is starting to wear at me.
So, I keep applying and applying. I hope I hear something eventually.
Friday, August 26, 2005
I purpose to organize some thoughts by writing this out on my blog. First off, I do not think denominations matter all that much. I am a political scientist of sorts, and being a political scientist of the United States I strongly believe in freedom of religion. Thus, I do not have problems with differences of opinion and all that kind of thing. I am not going to sit here and tell anyone what denomination they should join, or what non-denomination. I am not going to say that any one denomination is more right than any other. I think that is silly.
Sometimes, though, people do talk about their own denomination as if it is somehow better than the others around it. I completely respect people's opinions. I also respect the natural human desire to like best that which we choose to like best. There is nothing wrong with preferring one denomination of Christianity above another. That's how we got all these different types in the first place. Personally, I think that denominations allow us to see Christian principles from slightly different perspectives. No one person can have a complete picture of what God intended with the body of Christ. But many different ideas can come together and weed out the terribly wrong ideas by working through the truth that is in God's word. Evenutally something resembling a more complete picture can come of this. Without freedom of religion and the liberty to debate different ideas this cannot happen. That is my political notion of the church. Then again, that is me, that is how I think. I am only a humble wannabe politician and what I know best is politics. I do not pretend to know more. Frankly, when it comes to issues of the church I am the most ordinary layperson you could find. In fact, one might say that my views are hampered by my political ideas. You can forgive me, I am sure, we are all human after all, and that's why we need God.
Ealier today, I listened to some music by my favorite artist eLi. I decided to go read up on his website since I had not checked it in a while. I would not mind another eLi concert, dontcha know. eLi's writings reminded me of a verse in John 13:34-35: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
It does not matter what denomination you are a part of. People are not going to recognize you for being a Lutheran or a Catholic or a Baptist or a non-denominational or anything else. They are going to recognize that you are a disciple of Christ by whether or not you love other disciples of Christ and whether you show that love. The fact is, we can sit and say as much as we want that our particular denomination is better. That may not show any love for other disciples of Christ. But most of all, it is not the way people will recognize whether or not we are followers of Christ.
As a disclaimer of sorts I would like to add a note on the subject of truth. I believe that if a person confesses that Jesus Christ is their risen savior, that he died and took the punishment for their sins, then rose again so that said person could have eternal life then they are a Christian. Yes, there are other important beliefs, for an outline you might read the Apostles or the Nicene Creed. I am not arguing about denominations that do not confess at least that which I wrote above (meaning that Jesus died for their sins and rose again portion). I make no point about things that are completely outside of God's word (i.e. the Pope, or the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Minor differences of doctrine, so long as they do not affect the main point, do not matter in this argument. In fact, that's the point of the whole thing.
And that's all this embarrassed, little layperson with no understanding has to say on that matter.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Even as a small child I was steeped in pro-life views. Once a year the Michigan Right-To-Life organization held a rally at the capitol in Lansing. My parents never missed that event until we moved far away from Lansing. Every year they packed me, my twin and my two older sisters up and took us to the rally. We would stand there outside the capitol building -- it was usually raining -- and listen to speech after speech. I could never see the person giving the speech being a small child to begin with and in a crowd. The eery experience of standing in the rain listening to a disembodied voice talk never bothered me too much. But I was always hungry and hoped my parents would take us out for burgers afterwards. When my twin and I were a little older we went to an event remembering the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. We had to stand in a line up of children, representing the aborted lives from each year since the court case's decision. There was even a pregnant mommy for the current year. I felt honored as I stood there with Maria. We were some of the fortunate, our parents chose life.
I do not blame everyone or even anyone who has had an abortion. We have all done wrong, including myself. I also realize that much of the literature out there and the words of doctors tell us that what a woman carries inside her womb is nothing but tissue and not a human life yet. It is deceit, and perhaps one must lie to oneself to believe it. But at the same time I am saddened that people are deceived like this.
One of my profs explained it best when he pointed out that the only certain line a person can draw for the beginning of life is conception. Any other line is arbitrary. Think on that for a moment, you must have some sort of evidence if you decide that the second trimester is where life begins. You must have some reason based upon your scientific findings if you say that implantation in the euterus is where life begins. Only conception is a clear solid line drawn regardless of someone's idea about life. I know, it coincides with my belief, but that is not the point. That is because I believe that "all men (=humans) are created equal." The word created means that from the moment that all the components were there that would make that a human it is equal to all other humans. Those components were there at the moment of conception. Equality is, necessarily, not the subject of this post and I may address in a future post.
Here are Congressman Mike Pence's words addressing the subject of stem cell research before Congess a few months back. It has given me another reason to support Pence. He asks that we regard the sanctity of life for two specific reasons: the overall moral repugnance of creating a life only to destroy it and the wrongness of forcing millions of people to fund something they are against. Pence's words prove his pro-life views. He speaks against something more perverse than abortion, but it is obviously because he believes that all humans have a right to life.
In another statement Pence addressed the death of Terri Schiavo. He argued that her life was taken wrongly. In order to combat what happened Congress should ensure that others in like situations cannot have their lives taken without due process of law. Pence upheld both the Constitution and the right to life.
Finally, he argued for the Laci Petersen Act in a gentle and non-threatening manner. But he still managed to put in a firm say for life.
Three more reasons why I support Mike Pence.
Abortion is a highly controversial issue. If someone wishes to argue with me on it, it would best be done in private. You may disagree with my post, but if you put something rude and obscene on my website I will delete comments and make necessary amendments to change anonymous commentary. That is just a small admonition that I hope will not become a reality.
Friday, August 19, 2005
Thursday, August 18, 2005
At one point he took me out and showed me my cubicle. And I did not even have to ask him to see it.
I am very optimistic that I might get a job soon. Even if I do not get this job, I, at least, made a good showing in the interview. That counts for a lot and sets me on the road to doing well at interviews in the future. I am happy. I feel like I am on top of the world!
Monday, August 15, 2005
Besides, in the process of turning me down I have been asked to interview for a different position at the same place. So I will interview this week and I am excited about that. Perhaps it will work out this time. Either way, at least I am getting interviews instead of just putting in applications.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Oh well . . . I enjoy this too much to stop! And some things need to be said.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
You have seen me use this word "conservatism" several times and you may be wondering what gives. What do I mean by that? Perhaps even what does conservatism mean to the average American. What is a conservative?
A conservative, many would have us believe, is nothing more than your average, ignorant hick. That's why they're conservative. A more thoughtful person would pull out the common dictionary definition. A conservative is someone who attempts to keep the government and social structure as it is now rather than employing radical changes. Someone who believes in moral absolutes at least to the point where they realize that government is fallible. Another idea is that a conservative attempts to make America what it was when it was founded. That is to say, a conservative tries to draw the country back to an outdated, horse and buggy system of government.
Each one of these views leaves out important aspects of conservatism. Each one lacks essence.
Take the first, if conservatives are merely hicks than what would you call Clarence Thomas? Numerous examples of educated, city dwelling conservatives exist. This argument is so lame as to make it nearly unaddressable.
The second argument leaves a vast amount of information to be understood. Conservatives seek to maintain the traditional government. They desire to keep the government from expanding its power too much. Government has flaws because it is made up of people and people are misguided by human nature. This is all true. Yet there are many different types of conservatives. They all approach the subject of government a little differently. Naturally, confusion reigns when you try to describe and explain each of the ten different types of conservatives, and the next person you ask may only have six different types of conservatives stereotyped. As a result, a discussion of the differing appproaches would not be helpful. Suffice it to say the second argument is an overall approach to the topic. One that seeks only information and not persuasion.
The third argument then, may be the most useful. A conservative attempts to make America what it was at its founding. In all seriousness I say, "What a shortsighted individual!" So much has happened since America's founding that no person ever born can make the United States what it was then. The Civil War carried with it the weight of nationhood. It descended upon a young country and sent the structure of a republic toward its doom. Following that came the progressives. They constructed the administrative state and guided the nation into modernity. The administrative state added an economic welfare state, which then gave way to another kind of welfare state. Through all of this various philosophies of government contended. The idea of making America what it was at its founding is shortsighted only because it leaves aside many facts that have shaped the nation I live in today.
I regret to say that a true conservative must remember the new traditions that have arisen from the progressive and administrative age. Reconciling these things with the vision of conservatism is one of the toughest tasks of today. The road stretches ahead and generations to come will travel its paths. When I look at the government as it is I agree that it has taken too much power from the people. It is no longer "government of the people, by the people and for the people." But much of that power cannot be taken back. How do you give power to people who have forgotten that they once wielded the power to rule themselves? The true reform of government may not be to change the actual institutions or redo the structure. After all, Reagan vowed that he would abolish the Department of Education and it remains.
The founders started our government on a path of tension. Tension between structure and human nature. Most of them recognized that human nature is fallible, government is made up of humans and, therefore, government is fallible. Most of them realized that power is corruptible, government claims power, therefore, government is easily corrupted. They sought a balance within government to keep power struggling against itself so that no one part of the government could rule over the rest. Their actions were admirable and made a lot of sense. Yet that balance has been upset many times from various sides. Restoring government to its original structure would ignore those upsets. Even during the early years the power swung like a pendulum out of wack. Many times the country almost collapsed upon itself. And many times it struggled up again. Each time new traditions arose and new questions stormed in. With these new traditions the general public increasingly lost interest in government. Today most people do not pay attention to government except at tax time or elections. The fact is, Tocqueville was right about the democratic man. The democratic person retreats within himself or herself, until he or she is nearly alone among all the other democratic citizens.
If the government is to change to a more conservative way then people must realize that it is their burden to change it. No one will change it for us. Conservatives must do this. In agreeing to help with the grassroots movement I have joined I understand that it is not the government's mind which must be changed, it is the mind of the general public. It is the attention of orinary, American citizens that must be sought. Their hearts and minds alone will turn the way our country goes.
Conservatism is thus a leaning toward limited government, and a true perspective on human nature. It takes into account the founders' points about good government. Yet it recognizes the truth of all the changes that have befell this country. And in the end it knows that those who can implement change are not those who live in the bubble that is government. They are the nameless, faceless, voting public.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
I have a new name. Hurray! I got my new driver's license and other identification stuff that has to be on file. Of course, the most fun thing about this was getting the people to put my maiden name as a second middle name. I now have four names. It took a while to get that to work. First they kept telling me that I could not just change my name like that. That is utterly ridiculous. If people can do hyphenated names they can add a middle name. Besides, my best friend added her maiden name as a middle name! So I knew it was possible. They finally realized that it was the stupid computer programs that would not accept a name that long, not that it was illegal or anything. This happened just as I was beginning to think I might have to just let it lie and work up the money to get a court order and have it changed. My driver's license had to accept my two middle initials instead of names, because I have a really long name now. It makes me happy. I am such a fan of my maiden name that I could not just ignore it. I could have done the hyphenated thing with a clean conscious I suppose, because of my Latino roots. That's normal in many countries. But this is how I really wanted my name to be and this is how it is.
I wish I had a new job, but I still have not heard back and I am edgy these days. I still have time to hear back, but I hate waiting! I keep praying and trying to put my trust in God over this whole job thing. It is hard to wait for something that seemed right when it started and remains up in the air for so long. I began applying for other jobs. My heart is not in that though, because I still feel the job in Indy is the right one.