Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I couldn't have said it better...

This article says what I have been thinking for a long time, and why I fear for the future of this great nation.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317389,00.html

Personal Responsibility Is Being Banned in America

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
By Neil Cavuto

This isn't about banning cupcakes in school. This is about banning personal responsibility in America.

Don't you see what's going on here? You can't take care of yourself. Let the food police take care of yourself for you.

You can't control your kids' weight. Let the government control their weight for you.

You can't read the paperwork on a subprime mortgage you suddenly can't pay, let the government pay it for you.

You can't find a level playing field with the rich? Let the government tax them more and level it for you.

See a trend here? I do.

We're stupid. We're fat. We're lazy. We're clueless.

And the government is coming in to make things right.

Some of us welcome the help. I fear it. And here's why.

Good intentions come at a cost, my friends. I'm not talking about the cost in dollars. I'm talking about the cost in dignity.

Because this nanny state costs us our freedom, our self respect, our very being. They don't tell you that when they help you.

You only see it after the fact, when they own you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mormonism Explained

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317272,00.html

This article was kind of fun to read. It amazes me that so many of these questions are still asked. For additional information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, please visit:

http://www.mormon.org or http://www.lds.org

21 Questions Answered About Mormon Faith

Tuesday , December 18, 2007

FC1


Mitt Romney’s run for president has put his Mormon faith in the spotlight, but the religion remains a mystery to most.

FOXNews.com compiled a list of 21 questions representing some widely held beliefs and misconceptions about Mormonism and posed them to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Church objected to answering some of the questions on the grounds that they misrepresent the basic tenets of the Mormon religion.

"Many of these questions are typically found on anti-Mormon blogs or Web sites which aim to misrepresent or distort Mormon doctrines," the Church said in a statement. "Several of these questions do not represent ... any serious attempt to depict the core values and beliefs of its members."

Here are the questions and how the Church responded:

Q: Why do some call the Church a cult?

A: For the most part, this seems to stem from a lack of understanding about the Church and its core doctrines and beliefs. Under those circumstances it is too easy to label a religion or other organization that is not well-known with an inflammatory term like 'cult.' Famed scholar of religion Martin Marty has said a cult means a church you don't personally happen to like. We don't believe any organization should be subjected to a label that has come to be as pejorative as that one.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God?

A: Mormons believe Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer, who died for the sins of humankind and rose from the dead on the third day with an immortal body. God, the Father, also has an immortal body.

Q: Does the Church believe in the divinity of Jesus?

A: Mormons believe Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer, who died for the sins of humankind and rose from the dead on the third day with an immortal body. God, the Father, also has an immortal body.

Q: Does the Church believe that God is a physical being?

A: Mormons believe Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer, who died for the sins of humankind and rose from the dead on the third day with an immortal body. God, the Father, also has an immortal body.

Q: If so, does the Church believe that God lives on a planet named Kolob?

A: 'Kolob' is a term found in ancient records translated by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not provide a full description or explanation of Kolob nor did he assign the idea particular significance in relation to the Church’s core doctrines.

Q: Where is the planet Kolob? What significance does the planet have to Mormons?

A: 'Kolob' is a term found in ancient records translated by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not provide a full description or explanation of Kolob nor did he assign the idea particular significance in relation to the Church’s core doctrines.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that God and Mary had physical sex to conceive Jesus?

A: The Church does not claim to know how Jesus was conceived but believes the Bible and Book of Mormon references to Jesus being born of the Virgin Mary.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection?

A: The appearance of Jesus in the Western Hemisphere shortly after his resurrection is described in the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe that when Christ told his disciples in the Bible He had other 'sheep' who should receive his message he was referring to those people in the Western Hemisphere.

Q: If so, when did this happen? And under what circumstances?

A: The appearance of Jesus in the Western Hemisphere shortly after his resurrection is described in the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe that when Christ told his disciples in the Bible He had other 'sheep' who should receive his message he was referring to those people in the Western Hemisphere.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe its followers can become "gods and goddesses" after death?

A: We believe that the apostle Peter’s biblical reference to partaking of the divine nature and the apostle Paul’s reference to being 'joint heirs with Christ' reflect the intent that children of God should strive to emulate their Heavenly Father in every way. Throughout the eternities, Mormons believe, they will reverence and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. The goal is not to equal them or to achieve parity with them but to imitate and someday acquire their perfect goodness, love and other divine attributes.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that women can only gain access to heaven with a special pass or codewords?

A: No.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that women must serve men on both Earth and in heaven?

A: Absolutely not. Mormons believe that women and men are complete equals before God and in relation to the blessings available in the Church.

Q: Is there such a thing as Mormon "underwear"? if so, are all Mormons required to wear it? What does it symbolize?

A: Like members of many religious faiths, Latter-day Saints wear religious clothing. But members of other faiths — typically those involved in permanent pastoral ministries or religious services — usually wear religious garments as outer ceremonial vestments or symbols of recognition. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, garments are worn beneath street clothing as a personal and private reminder of commitments to God.

Garments are considered sacred by Church members and are not regarded as a topic for casual conversation.

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe in the existence of another physical planet or planets, where Mormons will "rule" after their death and ascension?

A: No.

Q: What specifically does the Mormon Church say about African-Americans and Native Americans?

A: Mormons believe that all mankind are sons and daughters of God and should be loved and respected as such. The blessings of the gospel are available to all.

Q: What are or were the "Golden Plates"?

A: The Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph Smith from records made on plates of gold, similar to metal plates that have been found in other ancient cultures. It contained a history of peoples in the Western Hemisphere including an appearance by the Savior to them. As such, the Book of Mormon is considered a second testimony of Jesus Christ.

Q: Are consumption of alcohol and tobacco prohibited or simply discouraged?

A: It is against the teachings of the Church to use alcohol and tobacco or to drink tea and coffee.

Q: Does the Church also ban the consumption of "hot drinks"? And does that apply specifically to caffeinated drinks?

A: It is against the teachings of the Church to use alcohol and tobacco or to drink tea and coffee.

Q: Why do Mormons go from door to door?

A: Christ admonished his disciples to take the gospel to the world. The Church follows that admonition and sends missionaries throughout the world.

Q: What do the Mormons believe about the family?

A: Mormons believe that the family is the foundation for this life and the life to come.

Q: Can someone who may never marry in life have eternal marriage?

A: God will not withhold blessings from any of his children who may not have the opportunity to marry in this life.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Media Bias is alive and well...

The Silent Forces That Will Shape the Political Landscape

This is a great commentary about how non-profit organizations from the left are treated differently from the right. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Another breath of fresh air...

In Politics, Values Matter, Not Theology

This is a great piece of commentary, which reminds us of what we should really be judging a candidate by.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The "Golde Rule" even applies to politics...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316257,00.html

Susan Estrich -

"I was sitting at a dinner last year with some distinguished Southern Baptist educators, university leaders. I asked them if they would consider voting for Mitt Romney, expecting them either to say that they would, or at least that their reasons for saying "no" would have nothing to do with his Mormonism. There was a moment of silence, before one finally looked at me and said, quite simply, “No. He doesn’t believe in the Trinity.”

I did not point out what should have been obvious: neither do I. For me, at least, the only honest answer I can find is one that is, perhaps ironically, rooted in our religious tradition. It is the imperative of fairness, the mandate of consideration, the rule that we should treat others as we would have them treat us. It is because of my religion, in the end, that I think it is wrong to hold Mitt Romney’s against him.

It is not because religion has no place in politics, but because no message of the Judaeo-Christian tradition is stronger than the Golden Rule that I believe Gov. Romney should be judged based on his qualifications, and not his faith. And when I see all those rabbis next week, that’s what I plan to tell them."


Great statement. Whether or not you believe in Mormonism and it's doctrines, those doctrines should have no bearing on whether or not you vote for Mitt Romney. I may not agree fully with the doctrine of Catholics, or Baptists, or Buddhists, or other religions. But I recognize that if they are truly living their life according to the teachings of those denominations or religions, it makes them a better person. Just as I don't want to be treated unfairly by those who do not understand what I believe, I should not treat them unfairly by judging their character because of the doctrines that I do not understand or that seem "strange" to me. If there is one thing that almost all religions have in common, it is that they teach us to be kind, to love our neighbor, to help one another, to be honest, and a host of other extremely valuable principles. I don't care what religion the president is if he or she is a moral, principled individual, who will work for the strengthening of the moral soul United States of America. We are quickly losing our footing as a moral people in America. The time honored and time-tested values that have made us the strongest country in the world are being forgotten for more "progressive" ideas that weaken the very bond that holds us together. Personal responsibility has been abandoned, as we are constantly seeking to blame someone else for our wrong doings. We will only realize what we have when it has been taken from us. Unfortunately, that time is drawing incredibly near.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Once Again, the Ones Who Cry Intolerance are Intolerant...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,314941,00.html

Stories like this make my blood boil! This man believes it is unconstitutional to have the words "...one nation under God" in th Pledge of Allegiance and "In God we Trust" on money, because he doesn't believe in God and therefore is "forced" to acknowledge God. Who is forcing him???!!!! I respect that he does not believe in God. That is his God-given right. I don't hold him in any contempt for not believing in God. Again, that is the beauty of this country. I'm sure he is a great dad and a good man.

What I cannot stand for is the absolute hypocrisy that is shown by people like this man, as well as other groups. They continually cry foul, whenever their beliefs do not coincide with those of the majority, and use the courts to try to change everything. They claim that those words violate the separation of church and state (that's a whole different topic I'll cover someday), which is completely false...what separation of church and state means is that there will be no state-sponsored religion...like there was in England in the 16th century. I'll stop there. The only national religion we have right now is the religion of amorality. I digress.

The thing that REALLY bothers me about this is how he believes that the vast majority who believe in God MUST respect his view that God does not exist, yet he believes he does NOT have to be tolerant of those that believe in God. He feels that those who believe in God are imposing on his right to not believe in God, but in reality, we don't care. He can believe whatever he wants. That's fine. It's America. But what he fails to see (or maybe really does see and this is actually his plan) is that because of his "lawsuits", he is trying to impose his view on the rest of us who believe in God. What a complete hypocrite. That is what bothers me the most. This argument is completely irrational, and I have no idea why the federal courts even look at this case. Where is majority rule? We have become a nation of extreme vocal minority rule forcing the courts to impose on the majority, the beliefs of a few, and they do it because it is "unconstitutional." Unconstitutional to me is imposing the views of a minority on a majority through the undemocratic way of the courts. We have become a nation driven by lawsuits and court orders. It will be a pivotal day in America when we reject the very God that made us a nation. I fear that we are closer than we think.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"You Ain't Gonna Like Losing"

A friend of mine sent me this. Everyone in this country needs to read it. I don't care who wrote it...

Author unknown

President Bush did make a bad mistake in the war on terrorism. But the mistake was not his decision to go to war in
Iraq.


Bush's mistake came in his belief that this country is the same one his father fought for in WWII. It is not.

Back then, they had just come out of a vicious depression. The country was steeled by the hardship of that depression, but they still believed fervently in this country. They knew that the people had elected their leaders, so it was the people's duty to back those leaders.

Therefore, when the war broke out the people came together, rallied behind, and stuck with their leaders, whether they had voted for them or not or whether the war was going badly or not.

And war was just as distasteful and the anguish just as great then as it is today. Often there were more casualties in one day in WWII than we have had in the entire
Iraq war. But that did not matter. The people stuck with the President because it was their patriotic duty. Americans put aside their differences in WWII and worked together to win that war.

Everyone from every strata of society, from young to old pitched in. Small children pulled little wagons around to gather scrap metal for the war effort. Grade school students saved their pennies to buy stamps for war bonds to help the effort.

Men who were too old or medically 4F lied about their age or condition trying their best to join the military. Women doubled their work to keep things going at home. Harsh rationing of everything from gasoline to soap, to butter was imposed, yet there was very little complaining.

You never heard prominent people on the radio belittling the President. Interestingly enough in those days there were no fat cat actors and entertainers who ran off to visit and fawn over dictators of hostile countries and complain to them about our President. Instead, they made upbeat films and entertained our troops to help the troops' morale. And a bunch even enlisted.

And imagine this: Teachers in schools actually started the day off with a Pledge of Allegiance, and with prayers for our country and our troops!

Back then, no newspaper would have dared point out certain weak spots in our cities where bombs could be set off to cause the maximum damage No newspaper would have dared complain about what we were doing to catch spies.

A newspaper would have been laughed out of existence if it had complained that German or Japanese soldiers were being 'tortured' by being forced to wear women's underwear, or subjected to interrogation by a woman, or being scared by a dog or did not have air conditioning.

There were a lot of things different back then. We were not subjected to a constant bombardment of pornography, perversion and promiscuity in movies or on radio. We did not have legions of crackheads, dope pushers and armed gangs roaming our streets.

No, President Bush did not make a mistake in his handling of terrorism. He made the mistake of believing that we still had the courage and fortitude of our fathers. He believed that this was still the country that our fathers fought so dearly to preserve.

It is not the same country. It is now a cross between
Sodom and Gomorra and the land of Oz. We did unite for a short while after 9/11, but our attitude changed when we found out that defending our country would require some sacrifices.

We are in great danger. The terrorists are fanatic Muslims. They believe that it is okay, even their duty, to kill anyone who will not convert to Islam. It has been estimated that about one third or over three hundred million Muslims are sympathetic to the terrorists cause...Hitler and Tojo combined did not have nearly that many potential recruits.

So...we either win it - or lose it - and you ain't gonna like losing.

America is not at war. The military is at war. America is at the mall
.


Friday, October 5, 2007

I'm sick of lead paint.

I am so sick of hearing about millions of toys being recalled for lead paint. I'm sick of hearing about ANYTHING being recalled for fear of lead paint. OH NO!! Lead Paint! Now BOY SCOUT BADGES are being recalled for lead paint concerns. Watch out everyone, you might die from getting close to lead paint! And a microscopic amount at that! But don't be alarmed... we have it under control. we are recalling all of these things so they don't hurt you. So go ahead...drink your Red Bull, and sit back and scarf down that can of Pringles. Eat that Big Mac and fries, and go on smoking. In fact, have a beer while you are at it. None of those things harm you in the least.

This is out of control. We are a society of morons...obsessed with details that really don't matter. I'll stop there.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Here's to the Brave



I can't help but want to share this blog from one of me an my wife's friends with everyone (she was actually my wife's college roomate). Reason being - here is what bravery truly is...leaving a pregnant wife to go fight a war across the world so that they can be free, so that I can be blogging this right now.

Chris - I've never met you, but I salute you and think of you and Therese and your beautiful little boy whenever I see a flag. You are a hero. Thanks for doing what so many in this country are unwilling to do...fight to be free.

The Coop Troop

Monday, October 1, 2007

She's at it again.

If there is one thing that this nation was founded on, it was hard work. People knew that they were free to do what they chose, and that they were the makers of their own destiny. Their success depended on themselves, and long ago, they took pride in that.

Society today has gone far away from this empowering and freeing principle: self- reliance. We have become a society of wanting, but not willing. We want everything our neighbor has, but we do not want to work for it. We want the lifestyle that we see on TV, and we use money that we have not yet earned to pay for it. We dream of the time when money is not an issue in our lives, but we go to bed each night not having done what it takes that day to make that dream a reality. We have become a society of something for nothing. If my ancestors saw what I have today, and what I have to do to get it, they would be appalled.

So here is Senator Clinton, wanting to provide $5000 to every child born in the US for a "College fund". Don't buy it. Here's a clip from a really good article explaining this:

"But there’s an even more compelling rationale from Clinton’s perspective for offering taxpayer money to childbearing Americans of all income levels. Such a program extends government’s hold over Americans’ lives, from cradle to grave, and provides yet another “benefit” that can be used to justify higher taxes and greater regulation. It would help condition otherwise self-sufficient voters to sup at the government trough – to expect government assistance even when it’s not necessary. For a liberal like Clinton, whose ideology calls for transferring control over Americans’ lives from private to government hands, even an economically regressive policy is palatable if it helps advance that agenda."

It is frightening to me to see how what seem to be a great idea, is really a smokescreen for a hidden agenda. Seems like that is a common thing in politics today, especially when you are a liberal socialist who doesn't believe in a honest day's work for an honest day's pay. What a matronly idea...provide for the welfare of all children. Isn't that sweet. And while you are at it, raise taxes and consolidate power within the government. As a parent, I don't know how she can see what she is doing as benevolent. It's criminal to do two things:

1. Require taxpayers to pay for the children of the wealthy.
2. More importantly - Remove the need for self-reliance from an individual by providing from them, once again, with cradle to grave benefits.

Both of these things are not only detrimental to the individual, but to society as a whole. It's a slippery slope that they are placing us on.

Here's the full article:

Hillary's Baby Bounty

This is a funny one.


Now, I completely realized that pictures are and can be taken completely out of context. These probably are...Clinton with a supporter (and donor) who turned out to be a criminal in his means of getting that money for her, and Clinton looking at General David Petraeus. One gives her money, the other gives her grief for her liberal views of world peace. I think the images say a lot more about her attitudes toward big money and the military, and therefore give us a great insight into what REALLY matters to this woman.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Marine who tells it like it is...

Everybody needs to see this. It is a great poem that sums up the need to fight for America, whatever our thoughts or differences.



Here is the text of the rap:

"Free

and She called...
Blacks, Whites...wait
African Americans and Caucasians, Asians, excuse me.
Vietnamese, Philipenes, Koreans and Jamaicans or
Haitans, waitin' Hispanics y'all.

Please be paitent
Mexican, Puerto Ricans, Venezualean, Cuban, Dominican, Panamanian Democrats
I beg your pardon, you partied with the late, great Reagan?
Republican, Independent, Christian, Catholic,
Methodist, Baptist, 7th Day Adventist, 5 Percenters,
Hindu, Sunii Muslim, Brothers and Sisters who never seen the New York city
skyline when the twin towers still existed.
But still She called.

From the bowels of Ground Zero she sent this 911 distress signal.
Because She was in desperate need of a hero,
and didn't have time to decipher what to call 'em,
so she called 'em all Her children.
The children of the stars and bars who needed to know nothing more than the fact that she called.
The fact that someone attempted to harm us
this daughter who covered us all with her loving arms.
And now these arms are sprawled across New York City streets.
A smoke filled lung, a silt covered faced,
and a solitary tear poured out of her cheek.
Her singed garments carpets Pennsylvania Avenue and the Pentagon was under her feet.
As she began to talk, she began to cough up small particles of debris
and said, "I am America, and I'm calling on the land of the free."
So they answered.

All personal differences set to the side
because right now there was no time to decide which state building the Confederate flag should fly over,
and which trimester the embryo is considered alive,
or on our monetary units, and which God we should confide.
You see, someone attempted to choke the voice
of the one who gave us the right for choice,
and now she was callin.
And somebody had to answer.
Who was going to answer?

So they did.
Stern faces and chisled chins.
Devoted women and disciplined men,
who rose from the ashes like a pheonix
and said "don't worry, we'll stand in your defense."
They tightened up their bootlaces
and said goodbye to loved ones, family and friends.
They tried to bombard them with the "hold on", "wait-a-minute's", and "what-if's".
And "Daddy, where you goin?".
And, "Mommy, why you leavin?".
And they merely kissed them on their foreheads and said "Don't worry, I have my reasons.
You see, to this country I pledged my allegience
to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic.
So as long as I'm breathin, I'll run though hell-fire,
meet the enemy on the front lines,
look him directly in his face,
stare directly in his eyes and scream,
"I AM AMERICA! WE WILL NOT BE TERRORIZED!
WE WILL NOT BE TERRORIZED!
I REFUSE TO BE AFRAID!
I'LL FIGHT YOU ANY COUNTRY, ANY CONTINENT, ANY TERRAIN.
I'LL FIGHT TO MY LAST BREATH!"

And if by chance death is my fate,
pin my medals upon my chest,
and throw Old Glory on my grave.
But, don't y'all cry for me.
You see, my Father's prepared a place.
I'll be a part of his Holy army standing a watch at the Pearly Gates.
Because freedom was never free.
POW's, and fallen soldiers
all paid the ultimate sacrafice
along side veterans who put themselves in harms way.
Risking their lives and limbs just to hold up democracy's weight,
but still standing on them broken appendages anytime the National Anthem was played.
You see, these were the brave warriors that gave me the right
to say that I'm Black. Or white.

Or

African American or Caucasian,
I'm Asian, excuse me.
I'm Vietnamese, Philipene, Korean, or Jamaican.
I'm Haitan, Hispanic

Y'all, Please be paitent.
I'm Mexican, Puerto Rican, Venezualean, Cuban,
Dominican, Panamanian, Democrat
I beg your pardon, you see I partied with the late, great Reagan.
I'm Republican, Independent, Christian, Catholic,
Methodist, Baptist, 7th Day Adventist, 5 Percenters,
Hindu, Sunii Muslim,

Brothers and Sisters We're just Americans.
So with that I say
"Thank You" to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines,
for preserving my rights
to live and die for this life
and paying the ultimate price for me to be...FREE!"

Very well done. I wish more people understood America like this guy.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Could it be Ms. Pelosi, that it IS WORKING!???

Thanks to Dave Malan for the link to this great article in THE NEW YORK TIMES of all places about the success that is REALLY AND ACTUALLY happening. Something you never hear about in the media. How can you say the media is not biased?! That's a preposterous thought!

A War We Just Might Win

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Finally, we can hear some good news coming out of Iraq. This is from a guy who has been there a long time dealing on the ground with the people, the troops, and the terrorists. It's good to hear some good media coverage. Funny that NBC, CBS, and ABC won't be covering this pert of the war...I wonder why!

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/baqubah-update-05-july-2007.htm

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Great(x9) Uncle's marvelous speech...

Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day

Washington, D.C.
March 30, 1863

Senator James Harlan of Iowa, whose daughter later married President Lincoln's son Robert, introduced this Resolution in the Senate on March 2, 1863. The Resolution asked President Lincoln to proclaim a national day of prayer and fasting. The Resolution was adopted on March 3, and signed by Lincoln on March 30, one month before the fast day was observed.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.

And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.


Taken from:

http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/fast.htm

Monday, June 25, 2007

Where is the ACLU on this one?

Defn: Religious Tolerance - revering and respecting all religions of any denomination or origin and not favoring one over any other.*
*
excluding Christianity. In fact, it can be attacked without any repercussions.

In my opinion, the ACLU is nothing but an anti-establishment organization bent on destroying Christianity and freedom. That's another day's rant. With that said, I personally believe that everyone has the right to believe whatever they might. Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, and any others. The beauty of freedom is that we can all live together in peace while believing different tenants of doctrine. I have many Jewish friends, Buddhist friends, Muslim friends, etc. I respect each of their religions. While I lived in Thailand for 2 years, I was a Christian surrounded by Buddhists. I had no problem with that. They taught me many things. When I would tell them I was Christian, they would say "Thuug sadsanaa sawn hai raw ben khon dii!" Or translated: all religions teach us to be good people. I mostly agree with that statement. When people worship God however they may, I applaud them. I appreciate the things that it does for those people. I love living in a country where all religions can live together in peace. We may not agree on all things, but we are civil and we allow all men and women the freedom to worship as they choose. So much for that in this story about the University of Michigan.

It seems to me that the notion "separation of church and state," has sunk to an all time low this time around. "Religious Tolerance" has been boiled down to this: "we must accommodate all religions. But Christians, they don't deserve any tolerance at all." The 10 commandments were taken from courthouses. The pledge of allegiance is under attack. "In God We Trust" is being attacked and an attempt is being made to eradicate it. Sounds to me like it is not a battle for religious equality, but a full blown battle to destroy Christianity. The media would NEVER criticize a Muslim for his religion. They would NEVER criticize a Jew. But the openly and mercilessly attack and demean anyone who is Christian, especially people in high standing. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

If you are going to allow other religions to express themselves, then shouldn't you allow Christians? Let's talk about equality! I don't care if the University of Michigan allows foot basins for Muslims to wash their feet. That is fine. I don't think tax dollars should pay for it, but I, as a Christian, don't mind seeing that in a public place. I am not offended. I am actually encouraged that someone is actually living their religion. What I DO have a problem with is that while this is happening, they are taking down any reference to Christianity...crosses, the word "God", Christmas trees (I slap my forehead in disgust), Santa, etc. They are continually saying that you can't have the word GOD in public places, but isn't a State University a public place? Are we being a little hypocritical? I think so. I love this quote from a recent blog:

"When I asked why the footbaths were being installed, Gallagher told me that this is "an accommodation to a significant portion of our student body and their friends and visitors in accordance with our mission." He said that it is a growing trend with Boston University, Cal State-Fullerton, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Washington University of St. Louis, all installing footbaths. "We wanted to be part of that trend in accommodating Muslim students."

But when I asked Gallagher what portion of the U-M Dearborn is Muslim, he said that the most recent information the school has is from a 2004 survey of incoming freshman. The survey only identified 11% of students as Muslims, whereas 37% of incoming freshman were Roman Catholic. When I asked if there was any accommodation or money spent on Catholic students, he could not identify any."

THAT is where I have the problem. When you are building these facilities in the name of religious tolerance, and then you openly deny other religions their rights or accommodations, you are a hypocrite!

Chastity Ring
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,286395,00.html

This story of a girl that wears a ring (that shows that she will remain chaste before marriage) being kicked out of school is absolutely uncalled for! GOOD FOR HER!! Do you imagine if young people and old people would remain chaste before marriage and then have complete fidelity after, what problems in this world would be solved? STD's? AIDS? Single parents? Unwed mothers? Deadbeat fathers? Many of these social and physical problems would go away. What does the system and the media do to this girl? They put her down. They accuse her of offending those of other religions. You knwo what I do? I applaud her. I want her to stand up and show that ring off and spread the word. It woudl change the world if people would commit to that. These people are fighting against a WONDERFUL principle on the basis of not wanting to offend other religions. What ever happened to the old "religious equality" statement? What happened to being tolerant of EVERYONES religion, whether it be Muslim, Buddhist, Judiasm, or Christianity? There is no such thing as religious tolerance anymore. What it is, is a battle against Christianity.



Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Some great quotes...

  • "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -John Adams

  • ****"Don't let anyone claim to be a true American if they ever attempt to remove religion from politics" -George Washington*****

  • "Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." [Source: To James McHenry on November 4, 1800.] -Charles Carroll - signer of the Declaration of Independence

  • "God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel" –Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech -Benjamin Franklin

  • "In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?" [Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787] -Benjamin Franklin

  • "It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." [May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses] - Patrick Henry

Friday, June 1, 2007

Top Anti-US Terrorist Captured!!

New Jobs for Tommorrow!!!

Maybe a new job for "tommorrow" is a teacher that teaches spelling...


If you read the article here, Hillary is trying to increase the amount of visas for genius foreigners to come spearhead new technology. Maybe the reason we have to go foreign for geniuses is because the professionals in the US can't even spell "tommorrow" correctly. Says something about our educational system, doesn't it? You want to watch something interesting about our educational system in the US, watch this:

John Stossel's expose..."Stupid in America"

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Again, we are rotting from the inside out...

This article shocked me. These people should be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,276089,00.html

Comment on a comment...

I posted a comment to a response to one of my previous posts here. But I thought I would also post it here because I think it makes a point I have tried to make for a while.

I agree... too many die from war. War need not happen. Unfortunately, that is the insane world in which we live.

Those other numbers you put up are also correct. A shame that so many people are adversely affected by war. Let me get something out front. I am anti-war. Everyone should be anti-war. I'm not talking about this particular war, but war in general. BUT war is warranted in certain circumstances (Read Alma 43) This particular circumstance might be questionable, but nonetheless, we are in it. I believe it to be just in principle. Our most precious possession is our freedom. We should not be the only ones to have it. Whey you say "The majority of Iraqis do not want the US in Iraq ... so do you respect their newly founded democracy and leave or stick around?" I think of my 4 year old son. He'll be sitting on the floor, playing with Legos, trying to figure out how to put something together. I've spent many hours (probably more like years) playing with legos, building intricate structures, spaceships, and vehicles. He just doesn't get it. Not because he's unable, but because they are unfamiliar to him. It's his first time, and he doesn't know how to read the instructions. I go over to him to help, and he lashes back at me, "Dad, I can do it myself!!!" So I let him try. A few minutes later I go see how he is doing. He's got a few pieces together, but progress is slow. So again, I offer my assistance. Again, I am greeted with "DAD!! I CAN DO IT!! LEAVE ME ALONE!" So again, I step back and watch as he tries to put it all together. He gets some pieces again, but is still having a hard time. In frustration, he throws them to the ground, breaking the half-built structure into pieces. He begins to walk away in anger. Seeing this, I grab him and bring him back. He struggles, not wanting my help. But I make him sit down and watch me. He doesn't really want me to be there, but I open up the instructions and begin to show him how to put things together. It hurts his pride. He doesn't want me to be there. He thinks it is taking too much time. But the longer we sit there, the more it makes sense to him. Soon, he is reading the instructions and understanding them, and accomplishing what he wants to. It was a bit painful, and took time, but now I can leave him alone and he can build anything he wants. I could have been out in the yard mowing the lawn, watching the other kids, fixing that leaky faucet, or anything else. But if I had not "forced" him to take some time, against his will, to figure it out, he would never have been able to do it by himself. AND if I had not kept his sister from destroying what he was trying to build, he never would have accomplished it. He could not have fended her off AND at the same time learned how to use the instructions and build something.

This is EXACTLY what is happening in Iraq. Yes, they may not want us there. But without us there, their "newly founded democracy" is like that first step in building that Lego spaceship. But they also have a little sister or sisters trying to destroy everything they are trying to accomplish. If we are not there to 1. Show them how to read the instruction manual and 2. to keep their enemies from destroying the foundation of their newly founded democracy, they will never succeed. The Iraq war is not a war with Iraq. It is a war with democracy's enemies IN Iraq.

You ask - "Can you force a people to think a certain way?" That was what Saddam did, and what the enemies of democracy are trying to do. That is their entire goal...the abdication of freedom. We are trying to set up an environment where they can think for themselves. That is the goal. Yes, it is hard. Yes, they may not want us there. But if we leave now, freedom will fail, and they will NEVER be able to think any way other than the way the totalitarian governments that will take over will force them to think.

So I understand your point, but I think it is flawed in its principle. Yes, I would love if we could leave now. I would love if there was no more killing, no more death, no more injury.

Yes, as Christians, we need to very careful and cautious about war. But at the same time, God commands us to defend liberty and freedom, and to establish it wherever and whenever we can. (Alma 43:47, Alma 60)

Freedom is God's gift to man. Where that is taken from them, they cannot accomplish God's plan for them. War is wrong. War is unfortunate. But there was a war in heaven that was a war between freedom and coercion. We are in the same war today.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Once again, Political Global Warming takes a hit...

The Herald Sun (from Australia)

Joy and Rosie...Ignorance is Bliss



It just seems to me that most of the fringe liberals, like Rosie, refuse to listen to any other opinion than their own. When a fact or statement contradicts theirs, they give the "talk to the hand" signal, and don't let the opposing view get a word in. This is a strategy that does two things:
  1. It prevents the opposition from getting a word in, so they can't qualify their stance
  2. It "shows" the audience, that the debate is over, that I am right, and that the opposition is the emotional whack-job that is crazy.
What I really find is that Rosie's methods are just a sign that she doesn't WANT to hear the other side. When she accuses Elisabeth of saying "our enemies are in Iraq" and then Elisabeth tries to qualify it by saying "Al Qaeda, our enemy, is in Iraq," Rosie ignores that statement and accuses her of saying "Iraq is our enemy," which she never said. This is exactly how Rosie and her liberal whackos twist everything. If Iraq was our enemy, then going to war with them was a good thing. If our enemy, Al Qaeda, is in Iraq, and their leader was getting close to Al Qaeda (contrary to popular thinking that they had nothing to do with eachother...see here ), then our enemy, Al Qaeda, is in Iraq, and we should be fighting them there. Simple logic. Amazing that people like Rosie choose not to see that. Let's break down Joy Behar for a second:
  1. Bush stole the election - C'mon. Still crying about that like Al Gore, are we? I don't think he did anything. The Supreme Court figured that one out.
  2. Killed the [budget] surplus with tax cuts - you really think that budget surplus was worth it? Clinton created that by killing funding for many necessary national programs...first and foremost, the military. Take a look HERE and HERE. It's easy to create a surplus when you steal from the important things that cost the most to look good. That's exactly what happened. Clinton weakened our national security to be praised for balancing the budget. Ad for lowering taxes, if you haven't looked at the market lately...unemployment is at record lows, new housing is at record highs, and the Stock Market hit 13000 for the first time in history, and continues to climb. Tax cuts are BAD! Only if you are a socialist who wants the government to provide everything for you by taking what you have earned and redistributing wealth. Yes, that is what these people want...a redistribution of wealth. I wonder how they will feel when their million dollar paychecks start getting raided to pay for a welfare program that is in utter shambles and just breeds more dependency(that's another topic I'll cover later)?
  3. Attempted to privatize Social Security - If I could sign a form that said I will never collect Social Security so I don't have to pay for it, I would in a heartbeat. How is it that a 28 year old unemployed man is collecting Social Security? (I had a guy in this situation tell me that his check was late). Grrrrr! Social security is PRIVATE money being TAKEN by the government without your consent, and given to others. How does that sound. It SHOULD be privatized. Maybe you don't want that since you are so close to relying on it?
  4. Withdrew us from the Kyoto Treaty - The Kyoto Protocol is a joke. Check my previous post about the "Great Global Warming Swindle". Watch it and you'll see. It's a waste of time and Trillions of dollars (see the cost here).
  5. John Ashcroft - Could you qualify that statement please? Once again, they don't want to answer their own question. What did he do wrong in your eyes? Why was he so bad? Please explain.
  6. Sat in a classroom after learning about 9/11 and read "My Pet Goat" for several minutes - Elisabeth's comment after this was perfect - "So he's supposed to freak all the kids and teachers out?" He kept his cool. He stayed calm. That's what a real leader does. He doesn't simply go on emotional response, like some people, but actually assesses the situation and begins a plan. It was great of him to continue with what he was doing. It shows that he genuinely cared for the kids he was reading to. I'll stop there. If you can't see the importance in that, you're lost in this conversation.
  7. Lied to get us into the war - Then every other country lied too. Clinton lied too. Everyone had the same intelligence information, and everybody came to the same conclusion. It's really easy to ridicule the fighters when you are on the sideline, refusing to enter the fight.
  8. Awarded a no-bid contract to Haliburton - if you have a plumbing problem in your house, and your wife's brother can fix it today, are you going to shop around for months? Didn't think so.
  9. Abu Grhaib - This was SO Bush's fault. He's to blame! US Soldiers got JAIL TIME for what they did. You probably want to give US Attorneys to the terrorists, don't you.
  10. Promoted his friend, Michael Brown, to take over after Katrina - that wasn't the only problem with Katrina. Need I say "Red Cross"? What really needs to happen is for people to stop relying on the government for assistance in an emergency. There's something called "self-reliance" that unfortunately people have forgotten.
  11. He doesn't listen to the Iraq study group - Why listen to a bunch of beaurocrats in Washington? Why not listen to the generals on the ground and the Iraqi government?
  12. He choked on a pretzel - haha.
  13. He waited a week to visit New Orleans, and then only to watch some jazz - let's see some facts to back this one up. Yeah, it took him a week. Maybe that was to give rescue crews a chance to do their jobs and emergency response personnel time to do theirs without worrying about getting things to look good for the president.
  14. He stood by Alberto Gonzalez who needs to be thrown out, "we all know that" - Why does he deserve to be thrown out? How do we all know that? When you say "we all" are you talking about your incredibly informed scholarly friend, Rosie and yourself? Just explain yourself. This is what kills me about statements like this. Explain WHY you believe this. Don't just give me a flat statement. Persuade me to believe you. That burden is YOURS. Tell me WHY.
  15. He stood by Rumsfeld who some people feel is a war criminal - Again, lacking qualification or explanation. WHO exactly thinks he is a war criminal? Everytime someone says that, they never name names. Convenient, huh? WHY is he a war criminal? Why was he so bad? WHY should Bush be kicked out of office for standing by someone he trusted? Isn't that called honor, integrity? Stand up and take responsibility for mistakes you make, even if they are bad. Support your friend even when you know he was wrong. Don't support him in wrondoing, but support him as a person.
  16. He can't pronounce the word "nuclear" - Well, at least he knew the definition of "it" unlike his predecessor.
So now onto Rosie's comments and argument with Elisabeth Hasselbeck:

First, Elisabeth is explaining about our "enemies in Iraq". Rosie interrupts and says over and over "The enemies in Iraq?"
Elisabeth counters "Al Qaeda."
Rosie - "Wait. The enemy's in Iraq?"
Elisabeth - "Al Qaeda-" Rosie interrupts.
Rosie - "The enemy's in Iraq? You just said our enemy's in Iraq. Did Iraq attack us?"
Elisabeth - "No. I'm saying Al Qaeda, who's in Iraq, attak-" Rosie interrupts again...
Rosie - "Okay. Did Iraq attack us Elisabeth?"
Elisabeth - "Iraq did not attack us Rosie, we've been there before. I'm saying our enemies, Al Qaeda, are you hearing that? Atta-" Rosie interrupts yet again..
Rosie - " I hear it but where do you want to go?"
Elisabeth - " You're playing a game, and I'm gonna say 'Okay. I'm going to throw to my wide receiver wide right, okay?' Do you do that? 'I'm gonna do it in two seconds'. What does that do for your enemy? It gives them time to prepare."
Rosie - "Well if the enemy are innocent civilians, I don't want to play that kind of football."
Elisabeth - "Innocent civilians are not the enemy!" Rosie interrupts yelling...
"Iraq didn't attack us!!!"

I'm sorry, Rosie. But you have just proved my point. You don't know what you are talking about. You ask a question makes no sense. You then don't allow the opposition to give an answer that clearly answers and clarifies your manipulative question.

That is the problem with so many on BOTH sides that are driven by emotion, not principle. They get caught up in the emotion of the moment, and forget to THINK about what they are talking about. I side with Elisabeth on this one. If there were no enemies in Iraq, why are they fighting now? They are trying to fill a power vacuum. They all want to inflict their totalitarian society on the Iraqi people because they know that if democracy takes hold, they and their terrorist regimes who are holding their people hostage, are doomed. That is why they are fighting, and that is why we must continue to fight.

Iraq did not attack us. But the terrorists sure do like the place. We have to start somewhere. If we don't start there, there will be another 9/11. I guarantee that. Personally, I would like to see a war there, than more thousands dead here.

Do we forget that there were 2974 people killed in a few hours INSIDE the U.S. by these terrorist organizations? After a 5 year war (longer than the Civil War, WWII, Korean War, and the Gulf War), there have been 3441 deaths of US soldiers. For a very detailed statistical analysis of military casualties since the beginning of the US, please see this pdf file.

Maybe I went a little far on this scuffle on The View, but I think it goes to show the ignorance the left WILLFULLY embraces to push their own agendas. Whew. I better stop for now.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jefferson was a Wise Man...

Posted by Picasa

I fear we have forgotten...

Posted by Picasa

Rotting From the Inside Out

A comment on this blog got me thinking. I wrote this up a couple of years ago, for my own sake, but I feel like I should share it. It is a sad dose of reality.

By no means do I demean any hero who has sacrificed their life for my freedom. I celebrate their courage and grieve for their loss.

What I cannot believe is how we are continually trying to stop a war because "men and women are dying" in combat, yet we cannot see the war going on in the midst of us. If we are not careful as a free society, we will rot from the inside out. Unfortunately, I think it is already starting to happen. War is dreadful. It is wrong. But what is worse is when the moral fibers of a society begin to slip away, and they don't even realize it.


For the following statistics, see CDC publication:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr53/nvsr53_05.pdf

All Statistics are for the year 2002:

Drug-Induced Deaths

26,018

Alcohol-Induced Deaths

19,928

Motor Vehicle Traffic Deaths

44,065

Firearm Deaths

30,242

Suicide

31,655

Suicide by Firearm

17,117

Suicide via Poisoning

5,499

Homicide

17,638

Leading causes of death

1)Diseases of heart (heart disease)

2) Malignant neoplasms (cancer)

3) Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)

4) Chronic lower respiratory diseases

5) Accidents (unintentional injuries)

6) Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)

7) Influenza and pneumonia

8) Alzheimer’s disease

9)Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)

10)Septicemia

11) Intentional self-harm (suicide)

12) Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis

13) Essential (primary) hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension)

14) Assault (homicide)

15) Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids.

US Casualties Since beginning of Iraq War (As of May 21, 2007)

3422

http://icasualties.org/oif/

How interesting that there were almost 6 times the number of cold-blooded murders in the US in ONE year than in over 5 years of WAR in Iraq. You don’t see the media talking about that and demanding action. They don’t talk about the “war” that is going on at home. Also interesting that in the 15 leading causes of death in the US, suicide, liver disease, and homicide took three of the spots. It is hypocritical of us to decry the war in Iraq, and yet ignore the real war at home...the degradation of a moral society.

Brave men and women are putting their lives on the line to protect our freedoms, and what do we do with that freedom? We kill ourselves because we have no self-respect and no self-control. Alcohol clouds the minds and kills the bodies of those who indulge in it. Society looks at alcohol as a part of life, not a drug and a curse that we bring upon ourselves with its use. We kill others because of money, power, and a myriad of other petty things. Yes, we are free. We are free to make our own choices, free to make decisions that not only hurt ourselves, but those around us. We are also free to be at war with ourselves, and not even see it. We are free to vilify those that would forward the moral cause of freedom, yet we deify those that would tear down the laws that make that freedom work. Like what has been said time and time again: Freedom is not free. Laws make freedom work, not anarchy. A kite is held aloft by the string which holds it down. If the string is cut, the kite falls to the ground.

The Iraq war is trying to bring freedom and democracy to a people who have not had the freedoms that we possess. Sacrifice is a necessary part of that process. I do not take a single death of a US soldier, any other soldier, or any other civilian lightly. It is a shame and a terrible loss. I personally am honored that there are so many amazing and brave men and women that are willing to die so that I can continue to be free. What did they die for? Me. They died so that protesters can walk the streets. They died so that the media can say whatever they want. They died so that I can sit on my front porch and watch the sunset without worrying that I’ll be taken from my family for no reason. In other words, they died so that I am free to live my life as I choose. Maybe the Iraqis will cherish those freedoms more than we do here at home and actually embrace the things that make freedom work, and not try to throw them away, as is quickly happening here.

If you have ever been out of the country, you know how incredibly blessed we are to live in this great nation. I hope we can continue to be blessed. God, yes GOD, bless America!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Christians?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,273313,00.html

I don't know how someone can claim to be a Christian, and do this to the families of those who have fallen....I'll continue later.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Another Inconvenient Truth...


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Global warming is real.

Humans are not completely responsible for it and can do little to stop it.

I grew up in Portland, Oregon. I was used to having trees block my view everywhere I went. I reveled in that fact. I love the forest, the trees, waking up in a tent Beverly Beach State Park with the mist of the ocean fog enveloping the trees. (My wife would think otherwise!) On a recent trip I took to Mt. St. Helens. As we drove along the winding highway leading to the desolate area, we passes plot after plot of clear-cutting. I was a bit surprised at how much had been cleared. What surprised me even more, were the signs that were posted in the cutting areas. You could barely see them. You could faintly make out two sentances:

Harvested 1995

Planted 1997

The sign that I could barely see was being obscured by 25 foot Douglas Fir that were so dense, you would have a hard time walking through them. This happened over and over.

Harvested 2001/Planted 2002
(The trees there were 10 feet high)

What I saw was that although environmentalists talk about the cutting down of millions of acres of trees annually, and how this is destroying the planet, they seldom talk about the efforts and amazing success that replenishing those areas is having. Why? Because the minute they do, their cause is gone. Their crusade is lost. And most importantly, their funding is cut off.

Global warming is real. But I have to say that it is more a political issue now than the doomsday approach that we have been taught to believe. I believe NASA scientists and MIT professionals more than I believe Al Gore. No offense, Mr. Gore. But if you were really an environmentalist, I think you would be a little greener. Most people can't afford to pay someone else to offset their "carbon footprint". They actually have to change their habits and their lives to do what you are preaching. Pretty convenient, huh? Also, why is it always those who are crying for lower emissions and more regulations are the first ones to then get off the stage, get into their private jet or diesel bus caravan, and travel to their next speech where they are getting paid $30,000. Seems fishy to me.

This movie is a must-see for anyone who wants to understand the other side of the argument for global warming. What you learn in school and from environmentalists is not the whole story. Watch, and then decide for yourself.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What is this? High School?



http://www.talk.newsweek.com/politics/default.asp?item=594717

Columns like this are absolutely worthless to me. The entire premise of it is to say that George Bush is not popular, and tries to give him companionship with criminals. As I have thought about popularity, especially in politics, a personal experience seemed to come to mind.

I graduated from high school in 1995. I was one of the “unpopular” guys. I guess I was popular in my circle of friends, but not “popular” as one in high school would be considered popular. Those people were the rich ones, the ones that had the cool clothes, cars, and ran with the other popular people. They were the ones that usually labeled themselves and their friends “popular” and somehow it stuck. I was perfectly content not to be in that group. Some of them had been my good friends in elementary school and junior high. Come high school, they wouldn't even give me the time of day. I felt it was a lost cause to try to be a part of that group, and that was fine. I had better things to do than try to stay up on what was popular. It was refreshing to be friends with those who felt the same way. I and my group of friends were in the middle between the “outcasts” and the “populars”, kind of the generic good kids that did well in school. I finished high school with a 3.74 GPA and part of the National Honor Society. Big whoop.

After high school I went on to Brigham Young University for my freshman year, where I just took my general education classes and had a good time dating and drawing. The summer after my freshman year, I worked at the Hollywood Video headquarters warehouse in Wilsonville, Oregon, organizing pallets of videos for each new store. In October of 1996, I left to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) in Bangkok, Thailand. That was an amazing two years. Upon return, I returned to BYU and met my wife, and a year later, we were married.

In the summer of 2005, I attended my 10 year reunion. I was surprised to see so many people there. But what I saw was what came to mind when I think of “popularity” in politics, and how the media and most of society seems so stuck on that idea.

What I saw was that all of those of my classmates who, during high school, fell into the “popular” category, still felt they were popular. They gathered around each other, and once again, fell into the “popular” mode. They ostracized those that weren't in their “group”. No one that was ostracized seemed to care. That was the difference to me. Those popular people had their time. But time itself had destroyed that popularity, as people realized that the cool car, the amazing clothes, etc. made no difference now. The surprising thing what that those that were “popular” were still living in high school. They didn't see that no one cared who they were hanging out with, who they were dating now. The important question now was “what have you done with your life?” Where are you now? Those questions had interesting answers. Some were working at Home Depot. Some were finishing school at the community college. Some were plumbers. Some were “professional” gamblers. Some had gone to college and done well. Most were drunk, and still thought they were popular. Very few had families of their own. Very few had anything that was worthwhile in life. Most were still in high school. I don't say that to criticize any of them. I have no idea what their lives have been like since high school, what trials and problems they have had, what successes and struggles they have gone through. I have no place to judge.

That brings me to political popularity. Political popularity is just like high school. To be popular for the current situation means nothing. What does mean something is where you have come from. What have you accomplished? Usually it is the steady, unpopular things that last longest. Popularity changes from time to time. What is popular today will be unpopular tomorrow. But what is right today will always be right tomorrow. What is wrong today will be wrong tomorrow. The Dixie chicks are a perfect example. When Natalie Maines made her comment that she was ashamed President Bush was from Texas, that was highly unpopular. The Dixie Chicks were almost banished, for good reason. It was amazingly unpopoular to criticize the president that was leading us in a fight against those that attacked us. Just a few years later, the Dixie Chicks receive a Grammy award and became the media's darlings overnight for their stance against the war and especially against president Bush. Why? Because what was popular then was not popular now. The swing was 180 degrees in just a short amount of time. How quickly we can change our minds.

The problem with what I see in America now is that we have forgotten. We have once again become complacent in our relatively safe lives. We go to work without the threat of being blown up on the way. We sit in our air conditioned offices and workplaces and complain that we have it so rough. We go wherever we want, when we want. We are free. Yet we constantly complain. Today it is popular to defame America. It is popular to criticize a sitting president. It is popular to criticize the war in Afghanistan and Iraq without really thinking about what would happen if we didn't go to war. It is popular to want the government to take care of us from the cradle to the grave. It is popular to want more, and expect it without working for it. It is popular to spend ourselves into mega-debt, and then blame the credit card companies for giving us credit. It is popular to be politically correct. It is popular to complain that the government is corrupt, and at the same time, want the same government to take care of us. It is popular to call what is wrong right, and call what is absolutely wrong completely right. All of these popular notions will fade away with time, and other popular ideas will take their place. But popularity does not effect moral principles. Murdering will never become popular. Stealing will never become popular. Adultery will never become popular. Stealing will never become popular. They will become more prevalent, but every individual in this world knows they are wrong. That is the difference.

George Bush is not a popular man. That is a fact, a fact that I actually think is a good thing after what “popular” means to today. President Bush is not a perfect man. He has made some amazing blunders, and he's one cog in a political machine that is hard to stop and remake. President Bush is not popular right now, because he stands for freedom, for religion, for life, for doing what is right even when it is the road less traveled, the harder way, the more difficult choice.

I hope the people of this great nation can see past the popularity contest that the media clings to tooth and nail. After all, the popularity of today is the unpopular of tomorrow.

A place for my thoughts...

You could call me an opinionated person. I guess I am. I also inherited the ability to vocalize those emotions and opinions from my mom. I'm finally making a place for people to read my take on things happening in the world, and how amazing we humans are, and how messed up we are at the same time.

My third grade teacher described those that always have something to say as having "diarrhea of the mouth." I guess I have giardia or something like that. I have a hard time sitting by and not letting my opinion heard. I think my opinions are pretty logical, but then again, maybe they aren't. Readers will have to determine that. Here we go. Better get my magazine...I'm gonna be in the bathroom for a while.

Barry