Thursday, October 23, 2008

What happened to "Conservative" values?

Republicans, "conservatives", from what I've been told, are supposed to work for a smaller roll for Federal government and less intrusion of government on people's lives. That's a concept I whole-heartedly agree with. And they generally keep to that stance when it comes to issues like gun control, the environment, and health care. But since the 90's they seem to have adopted an exception for religious-based "values" issues like gay marriage and abortion.

Why is it that the government should not intrude on our individual freedom to own a firearm, but that the government should decide who has the right to fall in love and sanction that love in all the legal and social benefits of a marriage?

And, as far as abortion -I struggle with my stance on it myself. But, what it comes down to is when life begins. Christianity says it's at conception. Science doesn't know. The law is confused on the issue as well. So, until the issue is decided it's up to the individual based on their beliefs and the situation involved. ...And that's something that's often forgotten -the situation involved. It's not always a 16 year old girl having the abortion. There are situations where it's complicated by incest or rape, when the life of the mother is in jeopardy, or where the quality of life of the child is in question as well. As an example, this story is about a woman who went from a joyous, excited pregnancy to a partial-birth abortion 3 days later. Even though her friends and family (and even her Priest) supported her it was described as the hardest thing she's ever done. ...for her and many others I am pro-choice because I'm against the idea of forcing my **OPINIONS** on others.

I guess my point here is that I believe that the government should not have a place in my bedroom nor should it have a say in what I choose to do to my own body. When the Republican party remembers it's "conservative" stance applies to situations that may upset their Evangelical base like gay marriage and abortion I'll be back.

Part II

Another Republican trait (at least as I saw it growing up) is to protect the idea of capitalism, free markets, and similarly the rights of citizens as outlined in the Constitution. So, why is it that our freedoms have been so sharply curtailed in the last 7 years? After 9-11 Bush and the Republican party have fought for the right to contain US citizens without charges or access to lawyers as well as wiretap and search the private records of citizens without warrants. And then when the Democrats want to introduce national health care plans they call them Socialists. When deciding who to vote for I ask myself: Which is worse? It's not a difficult choice.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Ginger Pear Crisp

Being off work with extra time on my hands and having overly ripe pears in the fridge, I decided to try to make cobbler out of them. All the recipes I could find online included lemon juice, which I didn't have. Or used more pears than I had (I had 3), so I came up with something on my own. It was good, but I didn't write down what I did. Here's the idea, though, so that maybe I can reproduce it and write down exact amounts next time...

  • Cut 3 pears into slices somewhere between an 1/8th and a 1/4 of an inch thick.
  • Dice up about a tablespoon (undiced) of crystallized ginger (maybe a bit less).
  • Stir it up.
  • Add a sprinkle of vanilla, powdered ginger, cinnamon, and sugar.
  • Stir it up again.
  • 3/4's of a stick of butter.
  • About 1/3 of the ingredients in oatmeal cookies, but substitute ginger for the nutmeg and leave out the eggs.
  • Beat the mixture in a mixer -it should be crumbly. If it's too dry, add more butter. If it's not dry enough, add more oats.
Put the pears in an approximately 8x4 baking dish, top with topping (duh) and bake at 350 until the topping turns brown.

It turned out watery and not sweet enough. I sprinkled brown sugar on the top, which helped with the sweetness, and left it in the oven at 200*F for 20 minutes or so, then turned the oven off and left it in there while we went out to a fast food place to eat. When we returned it was less soupy and quite tasty!