Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A new name?

I'm thinking "The 435 Pumper" no longer fits me or this blog.  Send me some suggestions.

Some thoughts:
Just Me - a blog about life
Parenting - missteps and all
Mom + Student + Employee = life

So there you have it, I'm searching for a new direction for the blog...HELP!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

mid summer report

Today is July 25, 2012 and I feel like I should update you on how our summer is going.
Read on if you are interested :)

Hubby and I are both former lifeguards and LOVE to swim and play in pools!  This summer the Missouri Parks and Recreation Department did a fund raiser called the 2012 KC Splash Pass.  Here is the is a tri-fold that I have flattened, so that should help you understand the formatting.

So that is $25.00 for 24 visits (2 to each of 12 pools).  AMAZING deal!

So far we have been to The Bay ($9/adult and $6/kid...even LO), Super Splash ($10/person no matter age), Belton Outdoor Water Park ($8 or $9 per person I don't remember) and Meadowmere ($4/resident).  We have more than paid for our Splash Pass.

We decided that spending $50 for 2 Splash Passes made more sense than getting a Meadowmere (our local pool) Season Pass for $110 for 2 reasons #1 cheaper.  #2. Meadomere is a terrible pool.

It has been an absolute BLAST visiting the new pools.  We hope to visit a new one this weekend.

Here are some pictures from Belton Outdoor Water Park

Here are the ones from Super Splash

Here are some awesome videos!  Just a note on the videos: we are at a pool with TONS of other people and LOTS of water noise, so turn the speakers DOWN...there is no important talking.

Other than swimming, we have been continuing our garden through this drought it has been difficult, but we shall carry on.  We have harvested a few dozen tomatoes and carrots.  The carrots are so small that I just pull them out of the ground and hand them to LO who eats them dirt and all (bonus to an all organic garden) I don't have any pictures of the carrots.  We have pulled 35 or so POUNDS of potatoes out of the garden too!  Our pumpkins are up and going, so hopefully we will have jack-o-lanterns in October!  Here are a few pictures:

This is a bucket of 15 plants worth = 20 pounds!

The little farmer helper!

Basically is has been a fun summer so far!  On a not so fun note, I am losing weight with the help of Slim 4 Life....I'm doing it.  It's slow and it's not fun, but it's worth the work.

Also, school is almost over for the summer!  I have submitted all work for my HTML class and at 5:00 p.m. today the teacher for the Political Science class will be posting our 2nd and final test (the first was a DOOZY, so I'm expecting the same for the second).

Friday, July 20, 2012 essay

So I had to write an essay.
Here's the prompt:
Write an essay on whether or not the people of the US have an obligation to obey the US government. Deal with Locke, principle of obligation to government, whether government has a right ot exist and if so what type and how. Write with the understanding that it cannot simply be presupposed that today’s existing pattern on property-titles represents true ownership, though it might if you were able to establish some justifications for it. Deal with rights of people and the question of who has a right ot tell others what to do and to punish them if the disobey. Discuss democracy and majority rule and your views on whether they have a role in the question on legitimacy of government. Be sure to cover the questions of the boundaries of legitimate governance. For example, are the people of other countries where a government kills people rightfully citizens of the country that exercises this power over them? Do they have the right to vote for that country’s government? What exactly are the boundaries of citizenship and authority? Attack or support the positions of any writer we’ve read (including me) that are relevant to the points you are making. I’m interested, of course, in true rights, not in whatever some pieces of paper might say.


So here is my essay...terribly long.  Sorry.  If you read though it, or just a part of it, let me know your opinion.

Government is a necessary and a desirable entity
Written by: Ruth

            People are followers; it’s human nature.  We need a small group of people, with good intentions for the whole, to lead us.  Thus we need government and we need the selected people within that government to poke and prod those within our society as a whole with potential (not necessarily the correct elite lineage) to become leaders of the future.  However, the poking and prodding can create biased leaders with somewhat good intentions not for all, but for those they (the privileged few) rely on for support.  As followers we need and desire leaders; this is true of all past and present human societies.  As a democratic society we have gone about achieving this desirable government in ways that mostly support human rights rather than forcing control on a group of people we have conquered.
            In the mid to lat 1700’s, the people of the colonies needed change to end Britain’s oppressive control over the colonies prompting the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  In breaking away, the colonists in essence agreed to the forming of a new government.  Because that new government was established and has not been over thrown, changed yes, but not overthrown, it is our obligation to obey the rules for the betterment of our society as a whole.  From John Locke and the formation of the United States Constitution to the current squabbles over illegal immigration, we as American citizens must follow the rules and regulations as we have allowed them to be written in order to protect the rights and liberties of our children and the many generations to come.  We must also remain diligent in upholding the founding principles of the government we support by electing leaders who will listen to the majority opinion and protect the system of democracy we have established and attempt to continually change the laws and punishments as necessary to protect our freedoms and liberties.  I will analyze the United States system of democracy as a whole and from an individual point of view.
            John Locke examined the human existence from the most simple perspective: lawlessness.  Stating that in the natural state,
[a]ll the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another; there being nothing more evident, than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another without subordination or subjection…

Locke argues that every person is the same and are given the same advantages from the beginning.  Locke also states when it comes to the harvesting of property “no man but he can have a right to what is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.”  Locke is expressing that no mans work should allow him to take all the property so there is none left for others.  One must assume that if I cannot harvest all the fruits of the land to keep for myself so that there is none left for other persons, there are social rules in place even in the natural state of man: the simplest form of government.  These social rules imposed upon ungoverned man could be viewed as the opening to the obligation and desire for political power and the establishment of a government.  Locke says in Section 3 of Chapter 1, “Political power…for the regulating and preserving of property…this [is] only for the public good.”  The public good would not exist without the formation of a government.  In order to preserve the property one has obtained in the natural state, a person would be over occupied with protecting ones property.  By establishing a common law and a ruling party, a government, on aligns himself with others for the collective governing and preservation of the societies property.  In agreement with Locke, I find it necessary for the furthering of a great society, such as the United States, a need for government and an obligation of its citizens to support and follow said government.
            It has been successfully argued in the readings that the Founders of the United States and its democracy used many principles of John Locke.  By Lockes’ understanding of society, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence establishing that the people who are governed should be ruled by their own representatives stating, “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” and “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it [the government], and to institute new Government.”  It is the belief of democratic societies that the minority should make the rules and applicable punishments for the majority based on the desires of the majority.  Thomas Jefferson detailed the ways in which King George ruled the colonists were not for the better good of the majority but rather created a state of constant abuse and misrepresentation in order to benefit the King rather than the citizens of the ruling government.  Thomas Jefferson states,
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.  A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the rule of a free people.

Suggesting that although taxed and oppressed like citizens of Britain, the colonists were refused the right to address their concerns and grievances because they were not treated as citizens but ruled by a Tyrant and abused.  The writing of the Declaration of Independence began, in my mind, the great debate of complete freedom versus justifiable governing over a societies citizens.
            It could be argued that the Constitution is a document written to give powers to the minority, the chosen elite governing party, rather than to control the use of the power over the people, the majority.  The power of a minority, usually a rich, landholding minority, to rule over the majority is one which needs many restrictions as to not corrupt the holders of this power.  The writers of the Constitution created the document to “crack down on delinquent debtors and taxpayers, [so] they reasoned, they would create a national government that could” as Holton stated in his Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution.  According to Locke and the supposed founding beliefs, the new government was to be formed for the “preservation of their [the citizens] property.”  So, it can be believed that the Framers did not have the interest of democracy in mind when trying to crackdown on the majority but rather the special interest of controlling and protecting their property above the property of the majority.  After reading the excerpts provided of Holton’s writing and the “Law of the Land,” I can only conclude it is the minority for whom the new government was established and that government was designed to redistribute wealth and property rightfully of the majority into the hands and regulations of the minority.  However, I must agree with Chief Justice Taney’s words (not his intentions) in the Supreme Court case Dred Scott v. Stanford (1857) wherein he stated as amended in the readings “If the Constitution is unjust, it can be amended.”  If as citizens we desire a government to provide protection of our property and well-being, we must force the leaders within that government to provide what we desire.  It is our obligation to demand representation of our beliefs and do what is necessary, such as amending the Constitution, in order to insure that those desires are protected.
            The United States Constitution gives many rights to the citizens of the United States.  The debate over who legitimately is allowed to take advantage of these rights is still occurring.  The debate started in the 17th century when British colonists settled and began shipping laborers to their farms.  These laborers being persons who were not free, established their owners as wealthy landowners through forced redistribution of their rightful property. The owners of the laborers and the British government did not consider the laborers citizens and thus they had no rights.  The land-owner minority, had created a protective system of control known as racism.  Because of the created racism and the ownership beliefs, when writing the Constitution it is assumed only certain persons were considered to have the rights as described within.  This brings to question: What happened to Locke’s idea that everyone is created equal from the beginning?  Many battles both in and out of court have been fought so that the rights written were assumed to be true for all citizens, without restrictions.
            The laws of the United States as established in the Constitution and specified by the individual states often created controversy.  Why is it the right of the Congress to regulate commerce as set in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution?  Why is it the responsibility of the Government to enforce penalties?  Simply, we the citizens gave the government the right when we agreed to remove ourselves from the natural state in order to protect our property.  Every democracy is in theory perfect, but as we have amended the Constitution it must be assumed we need to regularly adjust and amend our ruling minority to continually protect our view of democracy.
            Democracy as a governing system works even at an individual level.  For example, as the owner of a business, I have given myself the role of governing body.  I establish the expectations and demands of my employees and the compensation they are given in exchange.  It is my right to impose these demands just as it is the employees right to walk away from the employment and consequently the compensation.  This democracy works because the majority, the employees, can exercise their rights to not be ruled by an overbearing governing system, the minority.  However, the situation in 1860 was much different.  The governing body, the owner, would still have the right to impose specific demands and expectations on his employees, slaves in this case.  However, the slave did not have the right to walk away; consequences for such an action could have included death.  Democracy did not apply in 1860 to the property of the owner, even if the property was a person.  Over the past 250 years, the view of citizenship has changed.  People have rights no matter their employment situation, people are not considered property.  Although different from 1860 to 2012, the system of Democracy on an individual level parallels the system on a national level.
            In the 21st century, we no longer debate the right to own people, but the citizenship debate is long from over.  Racism was ruled unconstitutional by the Civil War Amendments, Amendments 13, 14, and 15; racism is alive and well.  Many immigrants are moving to the possibility of a democracy and being refused the rights.  Following in the footsteps of W.E.B. DuBois the NAACP continues to fight for equal treatment of all people as described within the Constitution.  It is the obligation of the people of this country, its citizens, to continually battle against the corruption of the powerful minority.  In the United States it is the right and I believe the obligation of the citizens to fight for justice and equality of the majority through representation within our government.  If this it the desire of the people to be ruled by a minority, it should be the desire of the people to protect the rights of the people being ruled.
            Government is a desirable and necessary establishment.  The democratic process of ruling over people continues to change, but it remains necessary.  Consider, without a government we would be constantly arguing over property.  Although, imperfect, with and established government the arguments over property are limited because the government has outlined specific rights and liberties for the persons protected by that government.  The citizens of the United States must understand the rights and liberties they have been given in order to assist in protecting said rights; it’s our most important legacy for our children.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Loosing up and down battle

Well, I've been on the uphill of this roller coaster for long enough!  It is time for a change and time to be serious about it.

When I loose weight, I need someone to be accountable to....not myself, not my "I want to gain weight" Hubby, someone not emotionally connected to me.  Someone I am paying to kick me in the rear and say DO IT NOW, DO IT THIS WAY AND ONLY THIS WAY!

So I rejoined a weight loss program.  It seems silly, but it worked last time and I know the plan works and I know the "counseling" helps.

So Day 1:
breakfast, good job!
lunch...not so good....I had lunch with my friend, let's call her Wacko! (she'll love it!)  Anyway, we met at Mr. Goodcents and I had a 1/2 sub on white bread with roast beef and mayo (the counselor is going to holler at me).
dinner....I'll be better.

Anyway, here goes.  I want a long down hill followed by a LONG EXTENDED flat portion of this roller coaster.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Music to my ears

For those of you who don't know Hubby is a musician.  He was playing at our church every week as the music director and regularly serenades me at home :)  YUP, you should be jealous!

Anyway, since the falling out, our piano has been covered up with stuff and collecting dust.  It has been a sad situation, but one that I haven't taken much notice just hasn't been happening.

Well yesterday the keys were tickled by 2 sets of hands.  LO and Hubby played some great music!  From the moment I first looked at LO ans noticed her long fingers I knew: this kiddo is going to play piano (which is good because it is one of Hubby's requirements - everyone plays piano)!

Wasn't that beautiful?

Having this experience yesterday has made me really miss church.  I miss the fellowship, friendship, music, scripture, and most especially the moments of calmness. 

So we are officially on the hunt.  Where do you go to church?  We need some recommendations.

The ins and outs of why we are hunting shall be disclosed at a different time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

a triathlon I shall do!

I am doing a triathlon!
I have always wanted to do one, so now I am going to do my own.

Date: September 1, 2012

Distance:  I plan to do what is know as the "enticer" distance
300 meters swimming
5 miles biking
1.25 miles running

I am tired of this baby weight.  I am tired of my clothes not fitting.  It's time to stop complaining and just do it.

So here is my plan:
Run....eck.  I just hate it, so I shall start with a run/walk schedule.  Still doing research...any ideas?
Swim.... :)  LOVE to swim, even laps.  UMKC has a lap pool that is open to me as a student, but I don't plan to be back on campus until August.  So my dilemma is when to swim.....
Bike.  We just bought bikes, so I have one to ride.  Even have a helmet!  LO loves to ride in her trailer so we shall legs are protesting, but it has to be done.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The most beautiful thing

Sometimes I think we get wrapped up in the unimportant trivial details of life.  The link below is a beautiful story about parents who were in the right place at the right time and decided to be a hero.  Most of the time we go through life thinking "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time," I hope after reading this story I can be more open to the right place at the right time.  You?

WARNING: near the end you will want a Kleenex nearby.

My prayer for all of us is this:

Lord of all, help us to be more observant in this beautiful life you have given us.  Remind us that life is not only about ourselves, but about all of our brothers and sisters and being YOUR hands and YOUR feet helping YOUR people.