Author Archives: Mrs. Samurai

Graham Cracker Toffee

All right, time for another of my highly requested recipes. This is great to make for a crowd, because if you have it sitting around for very long in your house you’ll eat so much that you’ll have to run a marathon to burn off the extra calories. Like the Corn Casserole, it’s very easy to make, and if anyone tries to discuss the nutritional makeup of it, plug yours ears and hum.

Graham Cracker Toffee

2 packs of plain graham crackers (approx.)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. bag chocolate chips
1 cup. chopped pecans (roasted for a few minutes in the oven, if there is time, to bring out the flavor)

optional – mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet (mine is about 17 in. x 12 in.) with foil, tucking into the corners and allowing some to wrap around the sides. This takes the wide roll of foil – if you have only a regular roll of foil, use 2 smaller pans. You do not want this stuff to get on the pan itself – it’s like superglue. Grease foil with unsalted butter or cooking spray.

Arrange the graham crackers in the pan in a single layer, breaking them as needed to cover as much of the pan as possible.

Melt the butter, sugars, and salt in a saucepan, then bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring frequently. As soon as it comes to a boil, carefully pour the mixture over the graham crackers, using a spatula to smooth it evenly. Make sure all of the crackers are covered. Bake for about 10 minutes – the syrup should be enthusiastically bubbling.

Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips all over the crackers, then put back in the oven for a minute or two. Remove pan, then smooth the chocolate out using the spatula. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate (and, for a “Rocky Road” variety – some mini marshmallows), then let it cool for 30 minutes. Stick the pan in the freezer for about half an hour to harden the chocolate, then lift the foil off the pan and break or cut the toffee into pieces. Enjoy!

Corn Casserole: the embarrassingly easy dish that everyone will love

This is probably my most requested recipe, which is a little embarrassing because it is so simple and relies heavily on canned/boxed ingredients. I normally like to cook with whole, unprocessed foods, but sometimes you need something quick and easy. This certainly fits the bill!

Mrs. Samurai’s Corn Casserole

Makes enough to feed a small crowd.

1 stick butter, melted
4 eggs, beaten
16 oz. sour cream
3 cans cream-style corn
3 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 pkg. Jiffy brand corn muffin mix

In a large bowl, mix together butter, eggs, and sour cream. Add corn and muffin mix and stir to combine. Pour into a large casserole dish or pan and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about an hour to an hour and a half, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and it is starting to brown a little around the edges.

You can halve this recipe, using one or two cans of each type of corn – depending on how “corny” you like it. Bake this smaller size in a 2 quart dish or pan for about 45 min. to an hour.

A Coffee Maker Worthy of the Samurai

Hi Folks! Mrs. Samurai here. While it’s true that beer is the very lifeblood of this site, when the Samurai shuffles out in the morning after a late night of helping his Grasshoppers fight the good fight, it takes a piping hot cup o’ Joe to get those synapses firing again.

Over the years we’ve tried just about every coffee-making method there is, from the Keurig K-cups to hand-poured to a French press. But with 3 coffee drinkers in the house, we decided last year that nothing beats the ease and consistency of the drip coffeemaker. Problem was, we didn’t have one, so we went to our favorite small-appliance store,, to look for a brewer with a 12-cup capacity and a thermal carafe.

The first one we tried was a Zojirushi, a manufacturer of quality bread machines, rice cookers, and hot-water dispensers. But their coffee maker was obviously not designed for the average groggy consumer who, in a non-caffeinated state, can’t always remember to remove the little black cap that blocks the flow of coffee into the carafe and diverts it to your counter and floor instead. The Zo’ met an untimely end.

Fortunately, the next coffee maker we tried has been a winner so far even after hundreds of uses. The Cuisinart DTC-975 has no annoying little cap or other complicated parts. You just screw on the carafe lid with as much care as you would any lid you want to seat snugly, add water to the appropriate line, grind your beans (in a Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder) and place the grounds into your Swissgold Cone-Shape Coffee Filter, push a button and you’re just minutes away from good coffee that will stay hot for hours. Not that coffee lasts that long around here with the Samurai and his teenage reproductive units needing their caffeine fixes.

Samurai Appliance Repair Forum Orphan Prevention Program


After joining your forum under the recommendation of a friend, I was shocked to find that you have to ‘pay’ in order to ask simple questions (I.E: Make a new thread) and to simply get answers that are directed at one’s self in order to repair a rowdy appliance.


Hello Tom, and all the grasshoppers out there who are “shocked” that we ask for payment to post in the Samurai Appliance Repair Forums. I would like to ‘splain why this is so, since most of you are probably unaware of the ins and outs of running a Mama-san and Papa-san business on the web. (And, in case you are wondering, this is our main, full-time business that keeps us and our 3 kiddos supplied with a humble thatched roof over our heads and sushi on the table.)

The main reason we charge to post a question on the forum might surprise you. It’s not because the forum represents the collective wisdom and time of a couple dozen battle-hardened appliance techs, whose previously written pearls are displayed for all to see, free of charge, since payment is only requested if you would like to have your particular problem personally attended to by one or more of these professionals. (Although seeing it written out like that makes me think that this alone would be a darn good reason to charge a measly 5 bucks!) No – the main reason that we charge a small fee is for the orphans. (Think of the children!) The orphans are the dozens of posts we used to get every week, back when posting was free, by heartless scoundrels who would post their questions at the forum, only to abandon them there. In other words, a tech would take the time to engage the grasshopper, give some initial advice, and ask for clarifying questions (most topics require a series of interchanges between grasshopper and tech to come to a glorious and satisfying conclusion). But, the rogue would never return, and the topic would just lay there – abandoned, forlorn, and unfulfilled. Worse yet, we discovered that many of these miscreants had similarly posted these same questions on other forums throughout the web, scattering them without any thought to their care and feeding.

Why was this a big deal? Because it would clutter the forum with unresolved questions, distract the techs from helping people who were engaged and attentive to their topics, and generally dishearten those of us who were working so hard to leave no topic behind. Now, with this small commitment that we ask of people, the forum is rocking with engaging back-and-forth interactions between grasshopper and expert resulting in a treasure-trove of satisfyingly complete repair stories.

The Samurai and I do feel for our grasshoppers who don’t have it easy these days. While $5 isn’t worth a whole lot anymore, it can still mean a lot to those who are suffering from the effects of our bankster-run economy. Last year the Samurai and I heard your chirps of distress and provided a no-cost way to earn posting privileges at the forum: the Appliantologist Merit Exam. We’ll keep looking for other alternatives to charging for forum posting that would still prevent the sad orphan topics that used to be left on our door step.

Thanks for visiting!
~ Mrs. Samurai

Pamper your Appliances!

Hello! Mrs. Samurai here to fill you in on a little-known ingredient to maximizing the effectiveness and longevity of your appliances – the right household products. The Samurai has been deep inside the innards of countless appliances over the years, and has seen a difference between those that are used with many of the common-brand detergents and those that are pampered with cleaners like the ones we use in our home. Our cleaners don’t leave any residue or grit in the appliances or piping, whereas a majority of other brands leave varying amounts of residue. The presence of this grit/residue causes excess wear-and-tear on many of the moving parts of washers and dishwashers, causing them to fail more quickly. In the case of washing machines, it’s also hard on your clothes.

There are lots of other advantages to the household products that we use. They are highly concentrated and thus very economical, they are human and pet friendly (hypoallergenic and nontoxic), and they are environmentally sound as well. Bottom line, though – they work great. And even better – they’ve just updated the products and put together a great Starter Kit to get you going. Click here to read more about your Appliance Care Kit!

Grand Opening: Samurai’s Staber Store

The Samurai’s very own appliance store is up and running! The Samurai’s Staber Store features washers and dryers built right here in Ameedica by Staber. We have frequently discussed these fine laundry appliances here at, The Samurai Appliance Repair Forum, and in our newsletter.

You’ll find other appliance notions and sundries in Samurai’s Appliance Emporium so be there now!

Government Schools: The Failed Experiment

There has been a heated debate for some time now in our area (New London, New Hampshire) over what to do about an aging, over-crowded middle school for our school district. Many are pushing hard for a large, expensive, central facility in the center of the district; others want two smaller schools at either end. Here is my contribution to the debate, submitted as a letter to our local newspaper. I imagine it was unappreciated by most, but this is an issue that needs to be discussed in every town.

— Mrs. Samurai

The Middle School issue is heating up once more! But I think there is an important aspect missing in the debate. Before we potentially commit a huge amount of financial resources to a building, we should step back and look at the larger issue of public schooling – because there is a small but growing debate about its effectiveness that should influence the decision we as a community make now.

There is overwhelming evidence that public schooling has not been a successful experiment and should be dramatically altered, if not phased out entirely. I feel a little like the kid who claimed the emperor had no clothes in saying that because it is such an accepted institution in our country. But did you know that until the mid-1800’s there was no compulsory schooling and yet evidence shows that the non-slave population in that time was nearly completely literate – including a large number of indentured servants? However, since compulsory government schooling began, literacy has steadily declined. In fact, over the span of the 20th century, functional illiteracy (unable to read or write a simple message) doubled to around 20%. No doubt you’ve all heard other grim statistics, and no matter how much more money or brand-new facilities we throw at the problem, it’s only getting worse.

So, our country had an early educational system which basically centered around family choice and free-market schools. You may argue that if things were so great, why did public schools even get started? The short answer is that by the mid-1800’s a lot of powerful people were getting nervous about the possibility of lower-class uprisings (“Red Scares”) as well as the large influx of immigrants with their strange customs and religions (such as Catholicism!). What better way to exert influence over people than for the government to be in charge of education? Before you think I’m some kind of conspiracy nut, you should know that in Massachusetts, where this all began, the idea of compulsory government education was so abhorrent to most citizens, so against the ideals of our free society, that there was resistance from about 80% of the population and even armed uprisings in some communities. It took a few decades before the militias finally forced the last of the families to comply.

Alas, now we take it as a given that the government will have a complete monopoly on the education of our young people. This in a country where almost any other product or service is subject to the forces of the free market. We can go to the store and choose from a variety of good-quality and reasonably priced ball-point pens, but when it comes to the education of our children we are forced to pay more and more for schools that are increasingly failing to produce well-rounded and well-educated children. Even though we are “free” to homeschool or send our kids to private school, our choices are pretty limited and our taxes are still going to the government schools.

I don’t have room here to really address another problem with institutional schooling – the harmful effects of keeping children segregated with their own peers and a handful of adults for such a huge chunk of their childhood. Of course, schools aren’t the only thing wrong with our children’s environment. For various reasons there has been a gradual decline in the life of the family and community, especially due to the influence of television and other electronic media. But whether schools are a cause or a symptom, we will never be able to restore some of what’s been lost without dramatically changing the way we view education and acknowledge the importance of having children spend less time in an institutional setting and more time in the community and with family.

So how does all of this relate to our current debate? This is a huge issue, and even if the majority of citizens agreed with my position, how we could get from where we are now to a free-market system of education is obviously beyond the scope of this letter. My point is that if a financial commitment is made now to a large central facility, then for generations to come the future of schools in this area will not be up for debate. Even if, as I suspect, people increasingly question the method of institutional schooling we’ve been experimenting with, we would be stuck – too many resources would be tied up in that building to try a system that offers more freedom and choices to the families in our communities.

The Government Program that Saved Us from the Jungle

dude wrote:

The public school system is what made this country a world power instead of a thirdworld jungle. Remember, the clues have the little blue paw prints on them. Find one.

The public school system is what made this country a world power instead of a thirdworld jungle. Remember, the clues have the little blue paw prints on them. Find one.

(I typed it twice so I wouldn’t type it incorrectly.)


Message sent from IP:

What a witty and informative email! I never knew that we had jungles in this country before public schools came along. Whew! I don’t like humid heat and bugs the size of my foot.

Unfortunately, this clever fellow suffers from a common misconception regarding the history of public schooling. Most people don’t even know when public schools started or why. The when is around the 1850’s. The why is a bit more complicated, but had a lot to do with assimilating the immigrant children quickly and helping them to conform with the existing population. (A lot of the intellectuals of the time had grave concerns about the effect of the Irish and others on the quality of the U.S. citizenry.)

By the time public schools opened, the U.S. had already rocketed to premier first-world status and was an amazing financial success story. This was due to the unprecedented freedoms in our country at that time. Simply speaking, the government stayed out of its citizens’ lives and the result was prosperity and relative peace. Most of you can look at our country’s history since the mid-1800s and see that public schooling was just part of a pattern of increasing government intervention.

The result? Our literacy level has steadily decreased since the first public school opened it’s doors. Many people mistakenly think that we had a bunch of barely literate country bumpkins in this country in the early years. Not so! As an example, Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” was estimated to have been read by half of the adult population at that time. Now, it is considered difficult reading for high schoolers. Furthermore, over the span of the 20th century as public schooling became the norm for the majority of children, functional illiteracy (unable to read or write a simple message) doubled to over 20%.

I see public education as an experiment that has failed. I look around me at all of the great services, products, and medical advances that exist because of free enterprise. Given competition and a profit motive, it is rare that a failing system will survive for long (Microsoft Windows is arguably the notable exception to this). But given government protection, a mediocre (or worse) program can live on forever. Think of it – how does a private school increase it’s income? By having a successful, appealing program that draws more students and justifies higher tuition. How does a public school get more money? By proving that they have failed to produce adequate results and therefore need more funds to address the problem. The quality of students continues to decline (the author of the above email excepted, I’m sure), yet we are expected to pay more and more. Is it just me, or is this insane?

If you are interested in learning more about the history of education in this country from someone who really knows about it, read the excellent books written by John Taylor Gatto.

Louie and the Samurai Reproductive Units

Louie is overweight, blind, deaf, severely arthritic, and prone to seizures, but he never seems to let that get him down. He’s a sweet dog who belongs to our next door neighbor, Bill, who hasn’t been able to bring himself to put Louie to sleep, although he knows it is time. On Christmas Day, Louie wandered off into the woods behind our house and, despite a search by many of the neighbors, he was not found. After a few days, everyone assumed that Louie had gone off into the woods to die. Bill feared that my kids, who spend a lot of time there, would come across his body at some point. And today, 17 days later, the kids did find Louie — alive!

The Phillips Preserve is about 70 acres of woods that abuts our property. There are hiking trails in it, but this time of year the snow clears away all of the underbrush and you can go just about anywhere you want. Ivey, Stephen, and Sam went out late this morning to take Ouzo for a long walk in the woods and after about 15 minutes of hiking … there was Louie curled up next to a tree! He was thinner and very weak, but otherwise seemed okay. Ivey ran back home and told the Samurai who, of course, could do nothing about it being only 24 hours post-surgery. (I was in town running errands.) So she got a big sled and dragged it back to where the boys waited with Louie. They got Louie onto the sled and took turns dragging him home over hilly terrain. Once here, they covered him with a blanket and gave him food and water.

Bill and his wife were away for the day, so when I got home we loaded Louie in our van and drove him to the vet. They were amazed! They couldn’t believe he had survived so long without food or medication and was in such relatively good shape. Finally, Bill returned home and heard the news. He rushed over to see Louie, then I saw him afterwards. He said Louie was strong enough to walk. Bill’s not an emotional guy, but he told me to tell the kids that he was forever in debt to them, and that they had made an old man happy.

There’s so much that’s amazing about this story. First of all, that Louie survived for so long. Also, that he happened to be in the area that the kids were hiking in so that they would find him.

Many of the neighbors are calling this a miracle and saying the kids are heroes. The kids feel kind of funny about that – they just did what had to be done. Louie is the one who did the hard part.

Mrs. Samurai Says…Be Careful What You Wish For

The Samurai has linked to some really good, thought-provoking political articles lately. They inspired me to write my own little election summary. Thought you might like to see what the Mrs. has to say about all this. Here goes…

Democrats’ reactions to President Bush’s re-election have been extreme, to say the least. People are seeking therapy, researching Canadian residency requirements, and even committing suicide. But if they are feeling depressed, perhaps it should be from a sense of guilt. The Democratic Party, more than any other group in our country, has worked tirelessly for decades to increase the scope and power of government to shape our society according to their vision. And they succeeded – at least in the ‘increasing government’ part.

But there’s a catch. For all of their talk of smaller government, the Republicans are always more than happy to take the reins of the Federal leviathan and steer it in the direction they want – to the utter horror of those very people who inadvertently put the power in their hands. Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate this whole big Federal government thing.

The colonists overthrew a tyrannical government, set up a system based on liberty, and quickly became a prosperous nation and beacon of hope for the world. It’s important to recognize that America was a tremendous success story not because of what the government did, but what it DIDN’T do. It didn’t treat citizens as property, overly tax them, disarm them, over-regulate them, wage imperial wars around the world, interfere with freedom of speech and worship, circumvent due process, and so on. I speak, of course, in the past tense.

George Washington said, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force.” While you might agree with the way one group uses that force, you never know whose control it will be in next. Washington went on to say, “Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master.” Not sure you agree? Think of how you’d feel if you received an IRS audit notice in the mail tomorrow.

Next time, vote for Liberty.

Thousands of Spam Accomplices — Revealed!

An article in the paper today announced that a brother and sister in Virginia were convicted yesterday in the nation’s first felony prosecution of spammers. The brother was sentenced to nine years in prison! Like most people, I loathe spam, and thus felt no sympathy for these people. But then I read more. One of the items these siblings offered was a fraudulent “FedEx refund processor” that supposedly allowed people to earn $75 an hour while working from home. The article briefly mentioned that in one month alone they received 10,000 credit card orders for the processor at $39.95 each, then went on to other details about their conviction.

Hold on, there! 10,000 people ordered this junk in one month? This is why we have spam! This is why we have telemarketing! Because numnutzes out there actually buy the stuff from them! If spamming and dinner-time sales calls didn’t bring in a profit, they would’ve stopped a long time ago. These are the people we need to target. Instead of spending all this money to prosecute one two-bit pair of spammers, let’s get the customer databases from these guys and publish them in a “Don’t Be a Dufus” educational campaign. I’d love to have the chance to let some of these people know how much I appreciate them supporting the spam industry.

Worst of all, to me, is the utter lack of critical thinking evident in the thousands upon thousands of people who keep these scumbags in business. They have the ability to purchase and operate a computer, but believe all of the bunk that they see on the screen. (Yep, our government schools are doin’ a fine job.) Think of these people the next time you see a celebrity on TV urging “everyone” to go out and vote!

Eeyore and Mrs. Samurai

Mrs. Samurai recently found out that a very nice friend was planning to vote
for John Kerry. When asked “My heavens, why?!”, this friend, whom we will call
Eeyore, responded with her concerns (to put it mildly) about the Republican
party. Mrs. Samurai responded to these concerns in the hopes of opening Eeyore’s
eyes to the truth of the two-party scam. We thought you might enjoy this
interchange as well. Can you handle the truth?

Eeyore: The Republican Party, in all honesty, hasn’t got an inch of ground to
stand on when they talk about standing up for life. This government cares only
for the richest people in our society, and is willing to sacrifice everything
and everyone else in the attempt to ensure that the interests of that top
percent are protected.

Mrs. Samurai: In theory, Republican policies would benefit most of society by
minimizing government interference, thus allowing a vibrant economy so people
have decent jobs, and minimizing the tax burden so a one-income family can live
comfortably. Charity would stay where it belongs – in the community.
Unfortunately, Republicans do not live up to their supposed philosophy of minimal

Furthermore, Republicans want to be re-elected. That can’t happen if they only
“help” the top few percent. Even if it’s self-serving, every Republican
administration tries to help the economy be better so lots of people – including the
non-rich – are doing well and will vote for them again.

Democrats, on the other hand, claim to care for the little guy, but the social
programs they institute backfire. We now have a multi-generational welfare
class. We also have the minimum wage, NAFTA and GATT, which put so much burden on
businesses located in our country that jobs have flown out across our borders.
The Democratic party has seriously betrayed the very people they claim to be
helping. The Democratic party doesn’t like to talk about it, but, there are many
big businesses who support Democrats. Even Martha Stewart is a Democrat!

Eeyore: I don’t think Bush or the people around him care, underneath the
pro-life hype, for the person that that fetus is. When the baby is one day old does
she have that same right, even if her parents don’t have health care? What
about at a year? Does she have the right to eat and have a roof over her head

Mrs. Samurai: I have to agree with the Founding Fathers here. We have the
right to life, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness. Not the GUARANTEE of
happiness (or health care, or a roof over our heads, etc.). Before there were so many
government programs, there were lots of charity hospitals and free clinics.
These places are closing down under the weight of government regulation. I have
a doctor friend (a Republican, by the way) who got in serious trouble for
trying to see the occasional poor patient free-of-charge. Outrageous!

Eeyore: What if her father has a minimum wage job at Walmart and her mother,
with two other preschool children, is unable to work?

Mrs. Samurai: Minimum wage laws have actually forced a decrease in the wages
that could be earned by people who are not brand-new to the work force (i.e.,
teenagers). Our awful tax burden has created the situation where many families
cannot survive well on one income. Democrats and Republicans alike have
contributed to the decline in real wages over the last few decades. I don’t know
which party has been the most deceitful.

Eeyore: If a child, heaven forbid, is not American, does she have the right not
to be bombed in an attempt for America to secure the oil that lies under the
earth by her home, so that people can continue to drive SUVs and other new cars?

Mrs. Samurai: We do not belong in Iraq, but I don’t buy that we went there
over oil. It’s bigger than that. There are a lot of forces in our government
pushing for increased involvement in the Middle East, particularly the
pro-Israel-at-any-cost segment. And don’t forget that the Democrats got us into Vietnam
and also bombed Kosovo and aspirin factories. Again, neither party makes us or
the rest of the world safer.

Eeyore: Does a child have the right not to have to breathe foul air or dirty
water that’s been polluted by the companies owned by those fat cats who found it
so much to their advantage to sing her praises in the the months before she was

Mrs. Samurai: Be sure you include many Federal politicians of both parties in
your “fat cat” moniker. I was an environmental engineer for several years
before having kids, so I’ve got some background here. A large amount of the
pollution to date has occurred because government has ALLOWED industries to pollute
government property. The U.S. government has been a terrible steward – under
both parties. Private property ownership encourages cleaner practices because
people want to protect what they own.

If you still suspect that we need government to make sure we don’t pollute,
consider this: Cars built in the 1960’s polluted less than those in previous
decades. Did the EPA come down on the auto manufacturers? No – the EPA didn’t
exist yet. The cars became cleaner because that’s what people wanted, and that’s
what they got as soon as the technology existed.

Big corporations are a problem in many ways. But it’s important to know that
they have flourished in our country precisely because there is a powerful
Federal government. There is an incredible regulatory burden on business, and
smaller businesses are at a decided disadvantage when trying to keep up with them.
Big corporations have tax advantages over smaller businesses as well. The
reason big corporations give so much to BOTH Democrat and Republican campaigns is
that politicians at the Federal level have a lot of power to grant favors. If we
could significantly scale back the Federal government, then these people would
have no big favors to bestow and smaller businesses would have more of a chance
to flourish. As citizens and consumers, we would in turn have more influence
over them.

Eeyore: In other words, you can’t be for life if you protect the first nine
months of a person and then damn to hell all the months and years that follow.

Mrs. Samurai: Just because someone doesn’t think a government program should
take care of a lot of these needs doesn’t mean they don’t care about these
people. Many of us know from experience that government programs hurt a lot of the
people they are supposed to help and that private charities are generally more
efficient and successful. As Harry Browne said, “If there seem to be ten
thousand people who can’t help themselves, pass a law to help them and there will
suddenly be ten million who can’t help themselves. The new law will provide the
incentive to qualify as needy.”

Eeyore: I cannot support all of the Democratic positions (the stand on
abortion, and stem cell research, for example). But I do not support the Republicans
on anything. Even the way they talk about abortion seems to me to be so
hypocritical that I feel offended by their rhetoric. They use the emotional issue of
abortion to mask their true feelings about the value of human life.

Mrs. Samurai: I think your condemnation goes a bit too far. I know an awful
lot of Republicans personally who are amazingly compassionate people. Granted,
there can be a big difference between the upper echelons of a political party
and the rest. That’s true for both parties. The guys at the top get their
supporters to believe they are going to help them, but it’s a lie. I am offended
equally by the rhetoric of both parties!

Eeyore: Our country is in the most dangerous position that it has been in
during my lifetime, if not in its history. If Bush gets in again, I don’t think we
will ever recover as a nation or as a world.

Mrs. Samurai: The Democrats are great at scaring people with their rhetoric,
but Bush is simply the result of more than a century of the centralization of
power in the Federal government by both parties. We have a professional class of
politicians and bureaucrats whose main goal in life is to keep their positions,
not to do what’s actually best for people. The Democrats and Republicans play
a game where they pretend to have huge differences so we feel like we’re making
a choice when we vote, but things never really change for the better under
either party. I always thought everyone accepted the axiom that “power corrupts.”
How can we keep giving them more and more and expect something better to come
of it?

Vote Libertarian!!!

Pro-Life Movement: Not Just for Religious Nuts Anymore!

I just submitted this letter to my local newspaper. It succinctly explains the often-overlooked scientific arguments that support the pro-life position. If you like this letter, feel free to use as much of it as you want in your own letter to your local rag.

Mrs. Samurai

Dear Editor:

Let me first state that I support neither Kerry nor Bush in the upcoming election. (My candidate, Libertarian Michael Badnarik, sadly won’t be on the NH ballot.)

A letter in last week’s issue defending Sen. Kerry’s apparent contradiction when it comes to abortion claimed that determining when life begins is a religious issue, and therefore each person should be free to make their own “choice.” This commonly-used argument oversimplifies the abortion issue by ignoring the fact that there is compelling scientific reasoning against abortion. After all, there are even atheists who are pro-life.

Science, not religion, tells us that from the moment of conception a fetus has a complete set of human genetic material. We have identified no point in the pregnancy or birth at which something else is added to transform “tissue” to “a human being.” To allow abortion assumes that there is at least a period in a pre-born’s time in the womb that it does not deserve the same protection as an older fetus or someone who is outside of the womb. This is a serious assumption! Particularly when scientific advances have consistently moved our ideas of when a fertilized egg becomes a full human-being in one direction only – towards the point of conception. There is the life of a (potential, to some) human being in the balance, and we err on the side of murder?

That the pre-born baby needs the “life support” of the womb for awhile shouldn’t affect her status as a human being. After all, an infant is still completely dependent on others for survival, and that doesn’t make it our choice whether or not to let her live. To use another analogy, let’s say a person is on life-support in the hospital, but it’s almost certain that he will fully recover within 9 months’ time. Most, if not all, would agree that it would be unthinkable to unhook him from that life-support.

Just because pregnancies sometimes occur in difficult situations doesn’t change how we should view our options. Lots of humans can cause difficulties in our lives – mentally ill family members, special needs children, elderly parents with dementia, etc. There are various ways we can cope with these situations, but murder is not an accepted one. I think we’ve only gotten away with abortion all of this time because, unless we have an ultrasound, we can’t see the baby, so we can pretend it’s not a real person. Unfortunately, many young women who undergo abortions never hear these arguments, but later realize with guilt and sorrow the truth about the “choice” they made.