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