Photo-chopped Glamour

February 28, 2009

By Janet Walgren

On rare occasions, I feel glamorous for a second. I don’t expect much more than that. After all, I’m 62. Well after thousands of seconds of primping and prepping, today the magic second arrived.

“Quick, Heather, get the camera! I can stand in the bathtub and you can stand on the washing machine. If I look up, I won’t have a double chin and you can get a glamor shot of me with the cultured marble background!”

Obediently, she got the camera and mounted her station atop the washer. Click! Click, click, click! “The battery just died!” she informed me.

“Did you get some good shots?” I inquired.

“With the cameras and the technology we have today, any shot can be a good shot!” she responded.

Isn’t technology amazing?


House Hunting – The tale of Peter, Sam and Paul

February 15, 2009

By Janet Walgren

Heather and I went house hunting yesterday. Jeesh! What a joke. We found a house of interest but, when we toured it, we found an incredible mess. The house was a bank owned foreclosure, better known as an REO. The furnace, the entire kitchen, and parts of the bathroom were missing as well as some floor covering and most light fixtures. The walls were a mess and the water had been shut off. TOXIC antifreeze had been poured in the pipes and toilet to keep the water in them from freezing. Animals had pooped in the basement – yucky! The bank was asking $150,000. That’s $20,000 below market for a rehab that would cost a minimum of $40,000 in repairs to bring it up to market value. Like I said, jeesh, what a joke!

Perhaps this was an isolated incident. We can only hope… or can we?

We had asked our realtor to show us another REO house but he had already checked it out and said it was as bad as the first one we toured.

A contractor friend of ours just finished building a home located across the street from another REO (the original contractor who was building the sub-division went bankrupt). Anyway, our friend noticed wet bricks on the front of the REO across the street and went over to investigate. The power had been shut off, but not the water. The frozen pipes had burst then thawed flooding the entire house (second floor included). The sheet-rock on the ceilings and some of the walls had collapsed, the walls were full of water and the basement had several inches of water flooding it. In other words, this brand new $200,000 house was a total loss because the bank was too cheap to pay the electric bill.

It is obvious that, in these three cases, the banks manage REO property about as well as they manage money. It probably doesn’t matter to them because they have insurance. And, if the insurance doesn’t pony up the dough… there’s always dear ole Uncle Sam who seems more than willing to rob Peter (another name for taxpayers) to pay Paul (the banker).


The American Busybody

February 15, 2009

By Janet Walgren

Have you ever wondered what is really wrong with America? Well I think I have the answer. It’s the American busybody. We call what they have say NEWS! We buy their newspapers, books and magazines. We listen to them on the radio and watch them on television. We absorb their propaganda in the movies. We elect them to Congress. And, we spend most of our spare-time everyday discussing the disgusting diet of misinformation they put before us.

We are like the proverbial kid holding a basket of valuables full of – time, money, talent, skills, morals… and did I mention liberty? Oh yeah, I almost forgot… That’s probably because most of it is missing. Anyway, the American busybodies approach us kids and say, “LOOK OVER THERE!!!” And, when we look, they steal something of value out of our basket and replace it with junk.

Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be informed. We should be very informed. The problem is that the American Busybody keeps us so occupied with getting informed about disgusting, trivial, irrelevant things that we forget to pay attention to the really important things. And, that’s the way the American Busybodies want it.

I wonder, when will we get it? When will we grow up and take charge of our information input, our destiny? And, when and if we do finally get it, will there still be some liberty, some freedom, something… anything worth keeping left in our baskets?


Teaching our children

February 8, 2009

Have you ever considered how we socialize our children? How do children learn values? What kind of influence are you having your children? Here is a father’s short story. It’s worth hearing.

MormonMessages


Has their power gone to their heads?

February 8, 2009

By Janet Walgren,

There was a popular song in the 60’s that asked the question, “How many times must (something)  happen? Before (there is a consequence) … I’m beginning to think it should be revived and become the watch cry of congress.

There is a saying, “Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.” The Republicans found this out (again) and now the Democrats are in charge (again). My question is has anyone learned anything? The revolving door of power ought to be a lesson; so why isn’t anyone in Washington D.C. getting it?

In the Doctrine and Covenants, a book of  modern scripture, the Lord instructed the prophet Joseph Smith about the use of power while he was being held captive in a dungeon in Liberty jail.

The local population didn’t like the increasing presence of the Mormons because it threatened their power base and their way of life. Missourians were pro-slavery and the Mormons opposed it. This resulted in Governor Boggs issuing an extermination order against the Mormons if they didn’t leave the state.

Consider what the Lord taught Joseph in March 1839:

“34  Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

35  Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

36  That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

37  That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

38   Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

39  We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

40  Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

41  No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

44  That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of  death.

45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distill upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever. ”

Do we really want our politicians in Washington to be left to their own devices, without the inspiration? It is obvious that their solutions to our nation’s problems haven’t worked. What sins are they trying to cover? What are their vain ambitions? Who are they trying to dominate unrighteously? Why have there been so many wars? Check your history folks!

If we can’t do anything with our politicians, perhaps we ought to ask ourselves if we are operating without inspiration. Could it be that the future of our liberty lies within each individual residing in the United States?

Imagine what could happen if every individual got on their knees and asked the Lord to show each one of us individually how to solve our nation’s problems. What would we do and say to our politicians then?


Mr. Markolopos Testimony on the Madoff Scandal

February 5, 2009

By Janet Walgren

Last night I watched a congressional hearing by the House Financial Services Committee on the Madoff Investigation. First they conducted a panel to receive testimony from a former investment manager, Harry Markopolos, who investigated Madoff in the 90’s and on through the 2000’s. (The government needs to put this guy in charge of the Securities and Exchange Commission or S.E.C.)

Mr. Markopolos testified about the experiences he had trying to get officials in the S.E.C. to do their jobs. Had they done so, Madoff would have been stopped as early as 2002. Markopolos characterized the top people in the S.E.C. as totally incompetent. His characterization would have left one thinking the department should be totally erased, eliminated, destroyed… And yet, smart folks reserve judgement until they hear the other side of the story.

Members of the House Financial Services Committee ARE smart people, so that’s just what they did. The only problem was, try as they may – and they did, they didn’t hear anything worth hearing.

The second panel in the hearing consisted of the heads of the departments at the S.E.C. Seriously, I don’t know why they didn’t slap each one of them with a Contempt of Congress citation and throw them in jail. They definitely need to be looking for another job.

The head legal counsel for the agency indicated that they were invoking executive privilege as part of the reason they didn’t have to discuss the matter with the Congressional committee. When asked point blank if he had discussed the matter of executive privilege with the executive branch (attorney general and president) the answer was no. He was projecting his opinion as an official stance.

At one point a frustrated congressman asked, “What the hell happened?” (…silence…) Then he said, “Mr. Markopolos handed you a case on a silver platter and you did nothing! … So, why didn’t you get it?… That’s a question!… Which one of you would like to answer it, Hear No Evil, See No Evil or Speak No Evil?” Still there was silence …

One committee member concluded that they didn’t think that anyone could have presented a more damming case against the S.E.C. head officials than Mr. Markolopos; however, the S.E.C. officials made a more damming case against themselves. 

So my question is, who should be guarding our economic ship? We all work hard to accumulate assets that will provide security for our families so why is it that we take for granted, or ignore, the governance of those we elect or appoint to watch over our assets?

Who should take the time and accept responsibility to watch over these extremely important things? Is our nation’s financial disaster the result of inaction on the part of the S.E.C. and the financial regulators? Does culpability lie with our Congress? After all, they are the ones who appointed a fox to guard the hen house. Is it the fault of the executive? Or perhaps, does the fault lie with the citizens of the United States of America?

Are we, as citizens, taking responsibility for managing our elected officials who are our employees? If not, why not? Our liberty, our freedom, our very way of life is in jeopardy. 

If we don’t WAKE UP and ACT NOW everything our ancestors, and we as a people, have worked so hard to procure could disappear overnight, either through fraud or by being taxed out of existence. Our liberty as a nation depends on it.

To take your first step in becoming an informed citizen, Click here to watch Mr. Markolopos’ testimony at the Congressional Hearing for yourself…