Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Meals

It's been a long time since I've written a post, but I was motivated by a thought today.

For whatever reason, I got to thinking about the governments increasing intrusion into our meal decisions. I'm all for good choices and education, but legislating goes too far.

There are many parents who do fall short in their parenting. For some, it's supervision, for others diet, for others it's schooling, for others it's being a good example, and for others it's several or all of the above. But....there are many parents making good decisions most of the time.

"Good" is a relative word. There are different standards for "good." Unless we're talking about breaking laws that are hurtful to other people, the govt has no right to intrude.

Good parents are always the ones punished in these cases. A known and very good strategy for parenting is positive reinforcement. For some, a Happy Meal (candy bar or ice cream cone or donut, etc) could be a reward for an ongoing or special celebration or reason. Just b/c some kids live on a diet of hamburgers and french fries and toys shouldn't mean that McDonalds can't use the incentive of a special toy in their meal that makes their trip to McDonald's special - more than a meal, but a treat. You pay for that toy. If you send your kid to McDonalds with less money, they'll have to make a choice other than a Happy Meal. Regardless of a toy, they'll choose the french fries if they want it. The toy makes it special and brings kids to that chain versus the one across the street. It's a market principal. You can try and legislate it, but people will find a way around it and your objective will fall flat and you'll hurt the the profit for McDonald' and hence the pay and benefits for its employees, as well as the jobs required to make the toys and to serve the increased clientele generated by the toy ploy.

There are others ways that the people who follow the rules and make good decisions get punished by those who don't, but that's another conversation.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

WE ALL KNEW IT...

We all knew that the main stream media had a left bias and even a political agenda, but the evidence coming out of Journolist are astonishingly transparent in their frankness about their purposes.

The Daily Caller continues to provide pieces of the Journolist comments that are very damning, indeed. Today, it had a post, Political operatives on Journolist worked to shape news coverage
By Jonathan Strong
Here is just a sample of some of the quotes they found:“
Calling all Journos,” Bernstein wrote in a message relayed by Klein. “I thought we got too little love from progressive types re our tax changes targeted at businesses with overseas operations. We’re maybe going for another bite at the apple this Monday,” he wrote. Bernstein invited members of the list to join him on a conference call on the issue a few days later.
I'm not going to write all the tidbits about who was in on it, in addition to bloggers and media types, but the fix is in. But....will the same media bias keep these truths from coming out into the mainstream? Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

IRRELEVANCE

Sometimes people just have to accept that certain products and inventions of yesteryear, while helpful once upon a time are no longer relevant.

The article that spurred that comment has many other issues to consider besides that one, but after only reading the first paragraph or two, I was prompted to express my exasperation at the idea to publicly fund the dying print newspaper. Things go out of style for a reason. For example, the telegraph was replaced by the telephone. It's not that the telegraph was an important too of communication in its time, but the telephone was quicker and reached more people. Another example is the cell phone gradually replacing the cell phone.....or e-mail taking over snail mail. The examples are endless in a world of continuing innovation.
You think there are problems now with the mainstream media? Just wait. Columbia University President Lee Bollinger joins the drumbeat of those proposing fixes that are guaranteed to make the MSM much, much worse — and he wants to do it with your tax dollars.

In a July 14th op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Bollinger argues that the time has come to rescue the declining fortunes of newspapers and broadcast news with “enhanced public funding for journalism.” He envisions the future of American journalism as a “mixed system,” part public, part private.
A very current and parallel (in some respects) example of the electronic/web medium replacing paper is tradition paper maps and Yahoo Maps! And eventually, GPS systems are going to take that over, too. As long as people are inventive, something is going to replace older means of the same task.

The reason, then, for wanting to subsidize newspapers would be to control the message. The article continues...
Otherwise, worries Bollinger, Americans might not get the news they need. Absent a pipeline of government money, he fears the Fourth Estate cannot continue to perform its fabled function as a watchdog, prowling the globe and speaking truth to power.
There are so many things wrong with this. The "get the news they need" sticks out. Because, of course, they know better what we need. Moreover, if one thinks that separation of church and state is important due to the 1st ammendmendment, I think it's clear that there should be a separation of the press and government. As in so many things, they are trying to remove the checks and balances that make America the functioning democracy it's always been. You can't be a dictator with checks and balances.

Boy, I could go on and on. But I won't. I'm going to finish reading the article. Go ahead and read it too. The title is ominous, too: Next Up in Washington, a Media Czar?

Friday, July 9, 2010

TAN TAX

Apparently, there is a "tan tax" to be included in the health care bill. Some are declaring it a reverse racism tax since mostly, if not only, white people go to tanning salons.

Ranall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School specializing in racial conflict and law says,
"But does the argument have any merit? Not remotely said Randall Kennedy, .

"There is no constitutional problem at all, because a plaintiff would have to show that the government intended to disadvantage a particular group, not simply that the group is disadvantaged in effect," he said.
I agree. He rightly says that laws that affect different races disproportionally happen all the time.

Regardless of what I think about a "tan tax", I agree with that concept.

From the article in the Washington Post,
"Kennedy said that this is why courts have upheld a raft of other laws that also happen to have a disproportionate impact on particular groups. For example, laws that impose higher penalties for possession or trafficking of crack cocaine as opposed to powder cocaine resulted in far harsher sentences for African Americans compared to whites. And laws that offer preferential treatment for veterans are much more likely to benefit men than women. But in both cases judges ruled that, because lawmakers did not intend to disadvantage black people or women when drafting those laws, they are legal.
The only problem that I have with Kennedy's argument is that we do indeed have laws that explicitly benefit one race over another. Affirmative action is a glaring contradiction to his argument. Another example that immediately comes to mind is Eric Holder's recently revealed perception that the Voter Rights law only is only there to protect minorities - particularly blacks.

Reverse racism is sadly becoming a bigger and bigger issue in our country right now. The tan tax, though, isn't that. It could be justified the same way a sin tax, such as that on cigarettes could be: an unnecessary indulgence that has negative affects on your health. Being attached to the health care bill actually makes sense to me. For good or naught, it is not a ban on the activity, but a tax to affect behavior - a long standing principal used in taxes for eons.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

Usually, that has a religious connotation. This time, however, it is J. Christopher Adams. Finally, some light is shining onto the despicable practice of the justice department to ignore cases that they don't want addressed. Of course, I'm referring to the Black Panther Voter fraud case. Light had been shining on this unconscionable lack of justice through non-stream media, but it took someone from the inside to force the light to focus on the problem in a way that it won't be able to be ignored, even by the MSM (eventually, if not currently).

A Wall Street Journal article called "Who Will Investigate the Investigators?" is a good snapshot of where that case stands, as well as more damning testimony about other huge infractions of executing their charge to ensure that laws are enforced fairly and judiciously.

It's difficult to read in its unbelievable evasion of justice at the highest levels, but refreshing and encouraging in its forcing light on the darkness that has the MSM has been determined to keep on this dangerous issue. This is the introduction:
J. Christian Adams,, a former career Justice Department lawyer who resigned recently to protest political interference in cases he worked on, made some news yesterday in testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.As expected, he claimed that Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, an Obama appointee, overruled a unanimous recommendation by six career Justice attorneys for continued prosecution of members of the New Black Panther Party on charges of voter intimidation in an incident I detailed here yesterday. But Mr. Adams leveled an even more explosive charge beyond the Panther case. He testified that last year Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes made a jaw-dropping announcement to attorneys in Justice's Voting Rights section. She said she would not support any enforcement of a key section of the federal "Motor Voter" law -- Section 8, which requires states to periodically purge their voter rolls of dead people, felons, illegal voters and those who have moved out of state.
Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

MAKES ME THINK

Having been a teacher, I'm sympathetic with the benefits of teachers being protected. They are a part of their compensation, and in part makes up for them being grossly underpaid for having a professional degree for such a vital purpose in our society. There are teachers that are pretty well paid, but rightly so, since they have years and years of experience and continued their education to a Masters and beyond. A masters' degree should yield a middle class living wage.

On the other hand, there is no question that public education is a mess in the United States. Too many schools are both under performing and under funded. Many schools in more affluent areas do better, in part, because their budgets are supplemented by huge donations, on the order of $100,000 or more. Other factors include the better than average level of education of residents, which has an influence on their general importance they place on their child's studies in the household, as well as being able to provide support, in practical ways, because they already know the habits that promote success in school.

Good schools increase property value, and thus only the affluent can move in. The best teachers are often lured by being in a good school. And, because of the value placed on education, in addition to large foundations, bond measures supporting the school will sometimes actually get passed, adding to the school's improvement budgets. Then, of course, this promotes a self perpetuating cycle of the same good and bad schools.

There are very few good solutions. Many have been tried, but most grand schemed solutions have failed to have measurable results.

This brings me back to my first point about teacher's benefits and salaries. Over its entire existence, the Teacher's Union, has certainly made some positive impacts on education. Better paid teachers bring in better teachers, in many instances.

I feel, however, that their existence has crossed over from helpful to destructive. They not only reward good teachers, but make it so that poor teachers remain in the system and with equal pay to the best teachers. Instead of improving education, they are crippling the varied districts and schools in this country from making the staff changes that would improve the school.

School choice has been a big option floating around out there. Charter schools, vouchers, and so forth have been experimented with. The political nature of the discussions make it hard to get a real read on their effectiveness. People use the statistics for their own agenda. Testimonials, then, are the best indicator.

This blog entry was inspired by an article linked by instapundit (of course) called, "The Education Debacle of the Decade."

It provides a great example of how the teacher's union killed something that was working. It has to do with a program called OSP (he never defines the abbreviation). It provided residents of Washington D.C. with a $7500 voucher to attend a private school. That is actually less than it costs per child at to educate them at the public school ($10,000). The results were measurable positive.
OSP dramatically increases prospects of high-school graduation.

Wolf pointed to research showing that high-school diplomas significantly improve the chance of getting a job. And dropouts that do find employment earn about $8,500 less per year than their counterpoints with diplomas. Further, each graduate reduces the cost of crime by a stunning $112,000. Cecelia Rouse, an economic advisor to President Obama, found that each additional high school graduate saves the country $260,000.

Simply put, OSP has a profoundly positive effect not just on students, but on the city and the country as a whole.
So when it came time for Congress to reauthorize OSP, it would seem to be a no-brainer: Expand the program.

Instead, they killed it.
Read the whole thing. It makes me think about the benefits of vouchers, an idea that I never really understood or cared for, but I'm now rethinking it. Just as in a free financial markets, choice improves the product. It has always been assumed that public education is a sacred cow. Perhaps, instead, we should heavily support private entities to do the job well, instead of states spending more, doing a mediocre job (at best in some places).

Friday, July 2, 2010

THE TEA PARTY DEFINED

I read an article linked by Instapundit, called "What is the Tea Party? A growing state of mind", from USATODAY.com. I think it does a very good job at correctly identifying the personality of the Tea Party. The writer actually interviewed some real people who consider themselves aligning themselves with the Tea Party movement, instead of just blindly deciding for themselves.
To look at who the foot soldiers are in the nation's newest political army and what motivates them, USA TODAY combined results from national polls in May and June and did additional interviews.
How refreshing!

The Tea Party movement has been hard to describe in any definitive terms. People who support it generally understand what they're supporting, but it might mean something a little different to different people.
"I don't really understand it, but I like what they stand for," says Terry Rushing, 63, of Greensburg, La., who was among those surveyed. "They just support everything I'm looking for — lower taxes, less government. ... All the good things, you know."
Perceptively, the author of a mainstream magazine discovered the issues that the Tea Party People are uniting around.
What unites Tea Party supporters is less their geography or demography than their policy views: a firm conviction that the federal government has gotten too big and too powerful and a fear that the nation faces great peril.
I was happy to read the the authors were able to glean the fact that hearkening back to the philosophies of our Founding Fathers that shaped the Constitution of this great nation are an important piece of who the Tea Party people are.
Their faith in the Founding Fathers is a signature of the movement. Citing links to the Revolution has been a mainstay of American politics since the nation's beginnings, Lepore says, but the way the Tea Party uses those symbols and language is original. "It is a fundamentalist way of thinking of the past: The founding documents are gospel; they come alive for us," she says.
Another factor uniting them is the rejection of the political structure and parties that exist now.
"The Tea Party is trying to change the country around because the Republicans and Democrats — I don't think anyone knows what they're doing in Washington anymore," says Ed Bradley, 54, a retired police officer and judge from Lebanon, Ind. "The Tea Party is trying to change this country to what it used to be."
At the same time, the Tea Party is not trying to be a political party, but rather a political movement.
On the last big Election Day, in 2008, the Tea Party didn't exist. Now the name encompasses the most energized segment of the electorate, one that has denied members of Congress renomination, created a new constellation of political heroes and pushed the GOP to the right.

Even so, the movement is less a party than an anti-party, with no clear consensus about whom its national leaders are and a generally dyspeptic view of organized political power.
In sum, the Tea Party is a growing group of Americans who realize the American Dream is slipping away. They are a people who love their country and value the freedom it has promoted for exactly 234 years. They are trying to protect that very freedom before the USA no longer resembles the free republic created to be for the people and by the people. The final quote that the article sited was,
"The government is taking over everything — the banks, the automobiles," she says. "I want my freedom back."
That sums up the frustration pretty well.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

REMARKABLE

Remarkable. I mean that in two ways. One is that the following item is worth a remark, and the other is that it is truly remarkable in an amazing sense.

Apparently, the ardent atheist, Christopher Hitchens has cancer. There is a blog post that is soliciting prayer for him as he faces a potentially terminal disease.

It is interesting on all sorts of levels. The comments are fascinating, too. It's funny how bothered an atheist can be that someone is praying for them. Why does it matter?

I join this blogger in prayer for Christopher Hitchens. How awesome it would be to see him become a modern Paul, i.e, an atheist of atheists who converts to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in his remaining days, uses his position of respect in the atheist world to showing people that there is a God, and He can be known.

WELCOME TO AMERICA

I just read the transcript of Obama's immigration speech this morning. Instead of hashing that out, I had an idea. Tell me what you think.

How about instead of only focusing on adding more border control agents, why don't we add more border welcomers. Have lots of Ellis Island types of border crossings where the non-criminal family just aspiring for a better future can pass through legally without having to wait years and years.

If the process of getting legal status were more streamlined and easier, the motivation for the "good type" of immigrant to cross illegally would be gone.

You could come over, fill out a bunch of papers that document who you are, finger print, and other identifying information, and then get a provisional legal crossing, while the rest of the red tape gets sorted out. If you fail to comply with the entire process, including fees, learning English, Constitution test, etc., which could take however long needed to get through the bureaucracy, you are deported, and you could be found b/c your whereabouts were documented when you came in.

The criminal side would have to be dealt with too, but the key is to deal humanely for the people coming to America for the right reasons.

Monday, June 28, 2010

ARE STATEMENTS OF FAITH EVEN ALLOWED?

The Supreme Court made a decision recently upholding that a law school can legally deny recognition to a Christian student group that won't let gays join.

The Christian Legal Society has a statement of faith that you have to sign. From an article from The Contra Costa Times,
The CLS requires that voting members sign a statement of faith and regards "unrepentant participation in or advocacy of a sexually immoral lifestyle" as being inconsistent with that faith.
The keyword there is "regards" and "unrepentant." That statement of faith would not exclude a homosexual from joining the group. It would only exclude someone who does not regard sexual immorality as described in the Bible as sin. It so happens that along with acts of homosexuality, performing acts of fornication and adultery are also regarded as sin. If you are participating in premarital sex in an unrepentant way, there is the same problem. An unrepentant heart does not acknowledge that sexually immoral behavior is sin and should be avoided. Desiring such behavior, but realizing that you shouldn't do so, has not crossed the line of regarding it as sin. Even engaging in such behavior is not necessarily "unrepentant." Certainly, according to Christian doctrine, it is clearly sin. But, we all sin and fall short, but our mind set as to whether we think the sin is "just fine" represents whether or not someone is being "unrepentant." If the CLS exculded every sexually immoral person from their group, their ranks would be very small indeed.

While homosexual people should not be denied to enter a Christian group, they should not be given special status either. All voting members must adhere and accept the tenants in the Bible. Why else should you have a say in decisions affecting the policies and activities of the group, if you don't accept the statement of faith that the group represents. Their policy in no way rejects unrepentant gays or any sexually immoral person from participating - only voting.

Since when can clubs and groups not define their own principals of membership? Never mind sexual orientation. It'd be like saying a Jihadist radical islamist could join and change all of the rules of the clubs with their vote. That is counter intuitive. Or, back to sexual orientation, it'd be like saying someone who advocates sexually immoral behavior could vote and completely change the purpose of the group. A group like CLS is there for support for the Christian law student. There is no point in joining as a voting participant, if you don't desire adherence to the precepts of the group.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

GOOD JOB AP

Hooray. A MSM wrote a fair, comprehensive, true look at what the Tea Party movement is all about. It's very refreshing to see something like this coming from the Associated Press.

Take the time to read it. It's the most refreshing piece of reporting I have read in a very long time that didn't come from a blog. I'd copy the whole thing here, but it's fairly long - but worth the read.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

DISRESPECT?

Tell me. Is it disrespect for President Obama to address the US Military in Pensalcola, FL in a coat without a tie? The military men and women were dressed with respect in mind. Why wasn't our Commander in Chief?

If it's hot outside, think of our troops in the deserts in Iraq. If you're trying to somehow get down on their youthful level, that is disrespect. They deserve more respect than any big wig anywhere....and attire can demonstrate that. There is a time and a place for casual wear. In a place where uniforms and respect are paramount, he should show up in "uniform" i.e., a white shirt and some combo of red or blue tie.... with a flag pin to boot. It may be trite, but we can expect some things from our president that simply respect the office and our military. He may want to be seen as "down to earth" or something, but he's not on the campaign trail - maybe someone should remind him of that.

Monday, June 14, 2010

PEEPING TOMS?

There is an article I read from Yahoo! News called, Feds under pressure to open US skies to drones. Here is an exerpt:
The obvious risks [crashing into things, mind you] have not deterred the civilian demand for pilotless planes. Tornado researchers want to send them into storms to gather data. Energy companies want to use them to monitor pipelines. State police hope to send them up to capture images of speeding cars' license plates. Local police envision using them to track fleeing suspects.
Google Earth shows how well satellites already demonstrate the clarity at which anyone can see the exact location of a building, such as a house. It sounds like these drones would get an even closer look - to the point of reading license plates.

I'm sure that these drones would be useful in some applications, but is that worth the potential of someone becoming a "peeping Tom" on someone. There would be no privacy, even in your fenced in backyard. I'm sure there would be laws that attempt to prevent that, but they would have no muscle on the front side of the crime, even if the recordings are monitored.

Wire tapping my phone because I'm a suspected terrorist is one thing; any foul play has to be a very proactive act by placing the wire tap in the telephone (or however they do it these days). Spying on me is quite another; foul play would be as simple as "mistakenly" pointing the camera on the drone in the "wrong place" as you scan for the right object - say a theif on the run.

There are privacy issues that we are having to forfeit due to the new dangers this terror filled world presents - shoes off at airport security for instance. But, risking my privacy for weather reporting or license plate reading? I don't think the cost/risk analysis is worth it. It makes the red light cameras already in use a miniscule issue, when it comes to privacy.

Maybe that's the point. Reach further and further into our personal lives so that the formerly taboo actions seem like no big deal. Whether it's the point or not, it is a result.

Friday, June 11, 2010

FORTY DAYS CATCHING ON

I was amazed today to find an L.A. Times article that really wripped President Obama for his leadership. I think they might have gotten a hold of the same day planner that the fellow in my previous "Forty Days" post did.
In the nearly eight weeks that the ancient oil has been escaping its subterranean imprisonment, Obama has found....

...time for a couple mini-vacations with golf, a dose of party fundraisers, healthcare town halls, TV interviews, a high school graduation, a festive White House lawn picnic with members of Congress, a Paul McCartney music hoedown, an ABC July 4th TV taping and a session with a key Palestinian leader.

Thursday Obama issued important statements celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Department of Labor's Women's Bureau and King Kamehameha Day, and mustn't forget, Portugal Day.
This article has the harshest words I've heard from the MSM to date. They even utilized Palin's, "hopey changy" line using it as if it was their own.
Polls show Americans now seeing Obama less as the hopey-changey, swell-talking guy of 2007-08 but instead as a standard partisan Democrat. They are also more seriously disapproving of the White House CEO's handling of the spewing stuff.
The crux of the article was why Obama hasn't talked to BP's CEO yet. Following is a big chunk from the article that references back to Matt Lauer's interview on the Today Show, as well as some advice for the president.
RealClearPolitics' brilliant Tom Bevan noted, the real question is not can Obama handle an urgent 3 A.M. call anymore; it's why hasn't Obama initiated one to Hayward? Here's the excuse Obama gave NBC's Matt Lauer earlier this week:
"I have not spoken to him directly – and here’s the reason: because my experience is when you talk to a guy like a BP CEO, he’s going to say all the right things to me. I’m not interested in words, I’m interested in action."
The Harvard-educated inquiring legal mind doesn't need to talk to someone because he knows what they're going to say? The president who took four months of meetings to figure out his second Afghan troop surge doesn't appreciate words?

An incredulous Lauer pressed Obama, who also said he was looking for some "ass to kick." Obama replied:
"Look, this has been the main critique of the administration, is “giving a piece of my mind” to these guys. Look, I would love to vent. I would love to just shout and holler because I’m thinking about this day in and day out. But my main job is to solve the problem."
But you know what? Truthfully, that's not the main critique at all. The main critique is Obama's constant reaction to crises like a campaigning pol, not like an elected leader.

This is silly simple to have to do, but if solving the problem really is the president's Job One, here's a hypothetical Obama-Hayward conversation the day after the leak began:

PRESIDENT: "Tony? Barack here. I'm terribly sorry about the loss of your people down in the gulf. That's awful. But listen, Rahm tells me we've got a pretty darned serious new problem down there right now. Well, Rahm used other words. But you get the point.

"And it could be August before that stuff stops leaking. I know my Justice Department has launched a criminal probe and your lawyers are probably listening in nervously right now. (Nervous laughter).

"But, look, why don't we let the investigation find whatever it finds later? We may be kicking your company's ass in public someday.

"But right now, I'd like to make you an offer you can't refuse. From a legal and PR point of view, it's to your short and long-term advantage and the nation's advantage and, Lord knows, the wildlife's advantage -- and, let's be real here, mine too -- to get this spill stopped asap. This is new territory for all of us. I and my people propose to publicly work and speak with you and your people jointly for now to make that happen and get this job done as quickly as humanly possible. What do you say?"

HAYWARD: "Yes, sir."

To be fair, there is a political price to such a practical ploy. A politician like Obama would have to forfeit, for now, having another corporate suit to blame as the bad guy.

But it would be leadership.
I think I can safely say that Obama's honeymoon with the press (at least the LA Times) is officially over.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

SEVEN

Psalm 12:6,
"And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified 7 times."

I read this today and I noted the number 7. I know that the number 7 is an important number in the Bible, but I wanted to know better, why that is so. I googled, "seven bible" and found a very thorough and informative text that satisfied my understanding.

The gist is that the number 7 represents completeness. Read the whole text. It's amazing.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

40 DAYS

I found the following list of events of the 40 days proceeding the gulf oil spill in a comment from an excellent article written by Dorothy Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal, called "The Alien in the White House." The comment speaks for itself.
Glenn P Morris replied:

There is a crass detachment in the man in the White House which jumps out at you when you see how he actually spends his time - playing!

I found this post, the 40 days of Obama, lifted from the daily agenda of the current occupant in the WH:


40 DAYS OF OBAMA

Day 1 – April 20
Explosion in Gulf
Obama returns from L.A. - fundraiser for Baraba Boxer

DAY 2 – April 21
Obama attends reception for G-20 Labor Ministers

DAY 3 – April 22
Obama hosts Rose Garden reception to honor earth day
Obama flies to NYC to push Wall St Bill

DAY 4 – April 23
Hey, let’s go on vacation to Ashville North Carolina
Lunch at Twelve Bones for ribs and mac & cheese
No worries! How about a mountain hike?
Obama squeezes in a round of golf!

DAY 5 – April 24
Let’s go golfing again — at Grove Park Inn
A nice gourmet dinner at the Biltmore

DAY 6 – April 25
A scrumptious brunch at Grove Park Resort

DAY 7 – April 26
Obama hosts NY Yankees for White House event

DAY 8 – April 27
Obama visits Iowa for rhubarb pie at Jerry’s Diner

DAY 9 – April 28
Obama flies to Missouri for lunch at Peggy Sue's Diner

DAY 10 – April 29
Obama attends DNC fundraiser at swank DC residence

DAY 11 – April 30
Obama flies to MD to view Secret Service binoculars

DAY 12 – May 1
Obama joins Leno for comedy routine at WHCD

DAY 13 – May 2
Obama finally visits Lousiana

DAY 14 – May 3
Obama hosts the Navy football team

DAY 15 – May 4
Obama private lunch with Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel

DAY 16 – May 5
Obama hosts Cinco De Mayo party at White House

DAY 17 – May 6
Just chillin’. Summers gives updates on economy

DAY 18 – May 7
Wizbangs give Rose Garden speech on ‘economy’

DAY 19 – May 8
Obama hits links at Ft Belvoir
Dining out at ritzy DC restuarant — Komi!

DAY 20 – May 9
Obama gives commencement speech at Hampton U.

DAY 21 – May 10
Hey, during a crisis, let’s pick a SCJ!

DAY 22 – May 11
Private (golf?) lunch with Joe Biden

DAY 23 – May 12
Obama hosts private reception for President Karzai

DAY 24 – May 13
Obama flies to Buffalo for Duff's hot wings

DAY 25 – May 14
Obama finally makes speech on oil spill in Rose Garden

DAY 26 – May 15
Enough of the oil spill stuff… Obama off to golf!

DAY 27 – May 16
Obama golfs (again!) at Fort Belvoir

DAY 28 – May 17
Obama hosts UConn women’s basketball

DAY 29 – May 18
Obama tours plant in ‘Ohio’ (um, oil spill’s in LA!)

DAY 30 – May 19
Obama hosts glitzy state dinner for Calderon
Dance the night away!

DAY 31 – May 20
Obama meets with Bono for some reason

DAY 32 – May 21
Obama Rose Garden speech on… Wall St reform

DAY 33 – May 22
Obama goes golfing again at Andrews Air Force base

DAY 34 – May 23
Obama discusses basketball with Marv Albert

DAY 35 – May 24
Obama hosts Asian American celebration

DAY 36 – May 25
Obama flies to San Fran to party with Getty Oil family
…And raise millions for Barbara Boxer

DAY 37 – May 26
Obama spends day 2 in CA — with fellow economic wiz Gov. Schwartznegger

DAY 38 – May 27
Obama welcomes the Duke Blue Devils
Obama, Clinton hang with the U.S. World Cup team
Obama hosts party for Jewish Americans
Obama family heads off for a weekend vacation

DAY 39 – MAY 28
Obamas back in Chicago for weekend vacation
…Obama interrupts vaca for some PR

DAY 40 – MAY 29
Obama leaving U Chicago after some basketball…
…The Obamas heading out for an evening of barbecue

DAY 41 – MAY 30
After a night of barbecue and beers, let’s hit the gym!
Truly, I do understand that the president of the United States has a very tough, taxing, and stressful job. A round of golf or two makes sense to decompress once in awhile. OTOH, the list shows the things Obama is comfortable with: sports, campaigning, enjoying the luxuries and privileges that come with the office (such as plane trips to dinner and visiting with national stars from music to sports), and generally being in the limelight. For the heavy stuff, he assigns czars and committees with very high profile people to figure it all out. At least we know that tax payer money isn't overspending on hand soap, because this president doesn't like to get his hands dirty.

Monday, June 7, 2010

DISTURBING

It is fairly common knowledge among the right of center people that the MSM heavily favors their own leftist agenda and even proactively hides or mischaracterizes anything that opposes or contradicts its validity.

We've seen it vividly with the Tea Party protests, and then in other ways that happen daily, such as the hypocritical demonizing of infractions of someone on the right and then giving a pass to someone on the left for the same infraction - small or big.

Today, however, another instance came up that I find hard to rationalize, even for the MSM. It has to do with a protest at Ground Zero yesterday that was asking that the Mega Mosque not be built so close by. Around 8000 people showed up. I first saw it at Atlas Shrugs via Instapundit.

I was expecting to see it on the Today Show this morning, but there wasn't a peep. Their building is in New York. This story should have hit a close nerve and be an obvious big time story.

I googled "Ground Zero Protest" and found it reported at a number of independent blog type of sites. The only MSM I saw was at CNN and the NY Daily News.

It makes me so sad. I read the CNN and New York Daily News articles b/c they will be seen by a bigger population than the bloggers would. As you can imagine, the bloggers are sympathetic. Ever an optimist, I expected the bigger news outlets to treat this protest with more compassion.

Mimicking the same under estimating of crowds, CNN said,
Geller said the NYPD and security at the rally told her about 5,000 demonstrators were there. But NYPD spokesman Sgt. Kevin Hayes said the police department's policy is to not provide crowd estimates and that he could not confirm Geller's number.
CNN iReporter Julio Ortiz-Teissonniere, who attended the rally and sent photos to CNN, said the number was closer to 200-300 while he was there for the first 45 minutes of the event. All three said the protest was peaceful.
The builders claim that they're trying to boost Islam relations with the community,
The Cordoba Initiative aims to improve relations between Muslims and the West.
I believe that even the speculating of doing this will only aggravate any hostility that is already there. I think that people have been very disciplined about not placing the hate on the non-radical Muslim. But, I don't think this will have a positive effect on relations - it is more likely to cause a riot or actual hate among anyone who utilizes the building. And, they couldn't resist implicating the Tea Partiers, in a racist light,
Local political leaders turned out in support of the community last month after Mark Williams of the conservative Tea Party Express reportedly said the mosque was for "the worship of the terrorists' monkey-god."
This should not be a political issue. It is an emotional one. 9/11 brought our country together in a way we haven't seen a very very long time. It was a time of unprecedented unity (in my generation, anyways). This should be a no-brainer. If 5000-8000 people showed up, that is 1-3 people per victim on 9/11. The MSM is either ignoring or mischaracterizing the event. Knowing how much this offends me, 3000 miles away and not personally knowing any of the victims, I can only imagine the outcry of the negative coverage. Just add a zero or two to those numbers.

If the supporters of the building of this Mega Mosque truly desire better relations between the Muslim community and others, they should voluntarily cease the planned construction, and apologize to the victims, acknowledging that providing this community center is not fostering the good will that they intended. No harm intended. The continued demonization of the "good guy" is disheartening.
"To make room for peace there can be no room for hatred, bigotry or prejudice," City Councilman Robert Jackson said at the May 20 demonstration.
Admittedly, this blog entry has been one-sided in showing the reporting. That is because the tone and/or lack of coverage offended me. And, I know I'm not alone in that. I am not trying to be a news outlet. I express my opinions. If you want to read the whole article to get the full context, follow the links above.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

APPEAL FOR PRAYER AT CC

As I reflect on the fact that America has lost its way, in terms of trusting in God for the big problems and direction of our country, I looked back to the Constitutional Convention to see how and if they appealed to God. It wasn't hard to find. Benjamin Franklin made an appeal to seek God's guidance in the big task of creating the man made government. His words are eye opening, as to the similar difficulties that mere man faces in governing themselves. The difference then is that they did indeed appeal to God, and the US Constitution was born. That document has carried our country a long way. It's only now when it is being ignored or misunderstood that we are losing our way as a country. We must return to appealing to God for help in our self governance and embrace once again the ideas He inspired in the founding of this great nation.
Benjamin Franklin's Constitutional Convention Address on Prayer
American Rhetoric Online Speech Bank ^ | June 28, 1787 | Ben Franklin
Posted on February 7, 2010 3:28:48 PM PST by CondoleezzaProtege

Mr. President:

The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other -- our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own wont of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. -- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance.

I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God governs in the affairs of men. 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, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move -- that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

VICTORY IN TEXAS

Well, I guess some would differ on calling it a victory....that is the content of a headline and article I read the other day:

TEXAS BOARD ADOPTS NEW SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM

An excerpt from it that tries to sum up the changes requested is:
During the monthslong process of creating the guidelines, conservatives successfully strengthened the requirements on teaching the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's Founding Fathers and attempted to water down rationale for the separation of church and state. The standards will refer to the U.S. government as a "constitutional republic," rather than "democratic," and students will be required to study the decline in the value of the U.S. dollar, including the abandonment of the gold standard.
Some of the critics may have a point when they say,
"Educators have blasted the proposed curriculum for politicizing education. Teachers also have said the document is too long and will force students to memorize lists of names rather than thinking critically."
but, overall I think it's a victory for the direction of American History Standards. While this change in text books may be "political", there is no question that every time a text book is adopted there is an agenda. After all, education does shape the ideas and framework of our children. History, especially, has an impact on the way our future generations view the world, and America's place in it.

For me, the victory is seeing that the people are rising up and want to get back to the founding principals of this nation, and get away from the revisionist history that has been developing in the last couple of generations. Text books are generally reviewed every 7 years. The changes are a great way to view the psyche of those with the power to have a say. Or perhaps a better way to say it is that it reveals the population that cares enough to exercise their power in determining the curriculum. Every parent has the opportunity to have their say, if they pursue it. It has to be a proactive statement; otherwise the committee will decide it for you.

I sense change. I sense hope and change - but not the type the political elites have been trying to sell us over the past many years. As the sleeping giant of middle America and other more conservative minded people wakes up to the reality that America is changing before their eyes, we must pray that the direction the country goes is steered by God and not by a different type of elite group. There is a good feeling in my heart about the energy being put forth that is pushing a change back to our founding principals, but it could get off track and worldly just as quickly b/c we know that power can be a destructive force. Pray with me that the grass roots that are applying the power of the people would not lose focus on the change they're looking for and that they don't get drunk on the new power that they're feeling, as elections and other influential decisions go their way. Amen.

Monday, May 24, 2010

MUSINGS FROM THE BEGINNING

By "Beginning", I'm talking about the book of Genesis. In my 52 week Bible study, today's reading was from Genesis 8-11.

It's amazing how fresh the Bible can be, even when it's just a listing of events and genealogies. What pops out is a good indication of where you are, in terms of your thoughts and concerns.

Chapters 8-11 go from the end of Noah's flood up through the genealogy of Abram. Even in that, I found some interesting nuggets that fall in line with my thinking lately.

The first was Gen 9:14-15,
Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.
Where I live, we have had drought conditions for some time. This year, however, there seems to rain almost weekly. A couple of weeks ago I saw the most beautiful rainbow I've ever seen. It was a full arc and rich in color.

As I read Genesis 9:14-15, I thought facetiously to myself that perhaps we keep getting the rain because we are exercising God's patience with us, and so He's putting lots of rainbows in the sky to remind Himself of His convenant with us!

The other verse that stood out to me was Genesis 11: 5-7,
But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."
The thought that came to me is less facetious, but still partly in jest.

I thought, "As the United States of America, we started with the same language, i.e., English. Well, at least, we united around a common language, even if it wasn't one's first language. We made ourselves a great tower, in terms of a mighty nation, full of all sorts of things that are not pleasing to God. Perhaps as at the Tower of Babel, He has confused our language, by bringing people here from all over the earth. Ironically, back then, people's languages became confused and it scattered them; here in America, people scattered from other lands to America, and it confused our language." Growing up in Southern California, and working in the public schools, I know that materials had to be translated into something like 19 languages.

Having varied languages does weaken us as communities. Without good communication, all sorts of factions, prejudices, and misunderstandings can happen. Language is a uniting factor. In "post-racial" America, I think that different languages are more prejudice inducing than one's country of origin. All of America's problems certainly to not reside in this issue, but the United States of America feels less united than ever. Even illegal immigration shows a divide that at some level has to do with a foreign language. A common language couldn't do anything but help increase unity among all people.

Who knew that reading about the Tower of Babel would take me there!

Friday, May 21, 2010

BORDERS

It is really hard to fathom why the White House and democratic Congress would come to their feet when the Mexican president criticized the AZ immigration law. Why would they do that? Some say political points. But, 70% of Americans like the law. They say it's not good government. But, it's already the law of the land. Should we not enforce the laws on the books? Is not enforcing the law of the land one of supreme charges of our Commander in Chief and our lawmakers?

Truly, I don't get it. Help me understand. In my previous post I mentioned how I'm reading Isaiah from the Old Testament right now. One verse that stuck out to me, with this border controversy in the forefront was:
(It's the King of Assyria talking), "By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding, I removed the boundries of nations. I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings." Isaiah 10:13
That may or may not have anything to do with the current situation in AZ, but it reminded me of it. I find it concerning when the people in power, who have promised to enforce the law of the land prevent laws from being enforced. And, to side enthusiastically and unanimously with the Mexican president when he is being critical, in a hypocrital way, given their immigration enforcement policies, against a state in our union's law that mirrors a federal law already on the books, is it seems to me, un-American, by definition and simply wrong, according to their sacred (promised under oath) duty to uphold the law. (I think that's the longest sentence I've ever written!) Judging the constitutionality of this law lies with the Supreme Court, not the other 2 branches of government. But, that would require respecting the Constitution of the United States, as written, as the supreme law of the land.

Please, God, bring our country back to where it started. Bring us back to a respect for the Constitution and its separation of powers and protection of the rights of the electorate that are explicitly outlined in it, that has held our country together for 234 years. Don't let us forget that Your Guidance was leaned upon during this country's founding. May we return to it. Amen.

ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE

I've started reading the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. It has tons of prophecy in it. I am fairly familiar with the prophecies of Jesus Christ's birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection that have all come to pass. While I know that hundreds of other prophecies in the Bible have been fulfilled, I am not as familiar with them. As I begin to read Isaiah, I find myself curious as to how the many prophecies have been fulfilled. I haven't found every answer yet, but I did find an illuminating online resource, ChristianAnswers.net that has a section called How do we know the Bible is true? that I'll share here.

It speaks of the consistency of the Bible through fulfilled prophecy, historical accuracy, scientific accuracy, and its structure. It is not a comprehensive look, but a one-page good taste of the evidence for its authenticity.

There have been tons of books written on the subject. It is fascinating and amazing to recognize the unequalled evidence and accuracy of prophecy in the Bible. It makes the prophecy yet to be fulfilled that much more compelling.

PENTAGON BROWNIES

...and I'm not talking 5 sided brownies. I'm talking about the recipe for brownies and cookies from the Pentagon. It's a great example of government efficiency. It's 26 pages long! No. Really. Take a look. I want to believe this is a joke, but if you take a look, it could quite possibly be real. It's an example of over regulation and people covering their derriere about every conceivable objection. But, in the title section, they spell chocolate wrong.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ANY MORE PROOF NEEDED?

There is no one in the modern world who can deny that Israel has been at the heart of world politics as far back as one can see.

This article describes what Iran's chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, said about Israel yesterday. He said,
"If the Zionist regime attacks Iran, the Zionists will have no longer than a week to live."
It is incredible, except in the context of Israel's place in the Whole Story, that the little country can have so much influence over the entire world. From that article,
On a visit to Saudi Arabia Mashaei claimed that the annihilation of Israel should be a global goal. He told Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir that "the corrupt and criminal Zionist regime is harming not only the Arab and Islamic world, but all of humanity."
A global goal? Israel sure strikes a nerve. It is after all God's chosen land for His people so long ago. It is truly miraculous that they still remain.

LOOKING INWARD

As I commit to praying for our nation, I am finding that God wants me first to confess where I have erred in my thinking. He has used His Word to teach me.

It's a familiar verse, but spoke to me with new meaning today.
Matthew 7:3
"Why do you look at the speck of saw-dust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clelarly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
Eesh. That hurts. How many times have I accused this administration of hypocrisy? Surely, it is there, but I have to search inside of me and see that I have been, too.

Then, He gave me this to console me,
Job 5:3 "Blessd is the man whom God corrects: So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty."
Forgive me, Lord. I have been too quick to criticize. I have been a bit self righteous in my own thinking. Remove my sin, that I might see more clearly what it is You really want me to spend my time thinking about. I have dwelt too much on my anger toward those in power. Evil makes you angry too. And, you are the judge. Help me to spend less time and energy on being mad, and instead guide me to pray for the precise needs of our country - of the people. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

PATIENCE

In the Bible study I'm participating in on the Fruits of the Spirit, the fruit of patience was the topic last week.

A couple of things were illuminating to me.

One, there are 2 words in Greek for the word that is translated in English at patience.

One is hupomone. It is not the word used to describe the fruit of the spirit, patience. Hupomone is the type of patience you think of when you're standing in line at the post office or being patient for something to happen. Endurance and perseverance are other English words that are translations of hupomone. This type of patience is in relation to circumstances, inspired by hope, i.e., the desire of some good with the expectation of obtaining it.

Makrothumia, however, is the Greek word used to describe the fruit of the Spirit, patience. The way that Beth Moore, the author of the Bible study I'm doing (called, Living Beyond Yourself; Exploring the Fruit of the Spirt) describes it this way, with the help of The Complete Word Study Dictionary is the following.
Makrothumia means "to be long-suffering." It means "forbearance...self-restraint before proceeding to action." It is "the quality of a person who is able to avenge himself yet refrains from doing so. Makrothumia is patience in respect to persons while hupomone, endurance, is putting up with things or circumstances.
This was a new concept to me. I never thought of it that way before. She goes on to say,
"In other words, we should actively petition God for endurance in our circumstances, but makrothumia is not merely the answer to prayer. Patience is the release of the fruit of the Spirit; it is the supernatural outcome of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Makrothumia is impossible except when expressed by God through us."
The reason I found this so profound is that I'm coming to realize that God is miraculously giving me makrothumia for this administration. Having read my blog, you know that this is a work of God.

I read the headlines, but I don't go crazy. It still frustrates me and I know that foolishness and hypocrisy abounds, but I don't get angry anymore. I don't feel driven to lash out, which is a reason for my lack of blogging lately. Patience and judgement can't exist together. Beth Moore continues in the study,
"the essence of the biblical word for "patience" is the delaying of judgment.......At some point, God's patience is complete and He makes judgment. Until then, the Lord is "patient" so that many may be saved."
I wasn't sure where my patience and lack of hostility was coming from as I read the same types of news stories, but now I know. One thing Beth Moore said in the video portion of the study was something to the extent of, "When God makes us different in the same situation, we're growing." God has supernaturally given me the fruit of patience in this situation that has for so long caused me to be angry and judge. Praise be to God.

Friday, May 14, 2010

BACK TO BASICS

I've been struggling lately as to how to deal with my frustrations and concerns that I see all around me in this nation. More and more, I'm feeling that my ranting is a waste of time and energy and just gets me mad.

I have to go back to the basic and original reason that the name of my blog is "In God We Trust" and my blogger name is "Lily".

My blog journey began because I needed an outlet for my frustrations. My peace only comes from the fact that I know God is sovereign and while everything looks out of control, He really has it all in the palm of His hand. Therefore, I can trust in God that He has this nation and world in His hands and has His perfect divine plan for it - and even He promises in His word will have its difficulty and strife. And He is trustworthy to follow through on His promises.

My blog name, Lily, comes from the passages in Matthew 6: 25-34
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Therefore, the tone of my blog will change, but I think I'll be back more often.....because it's not that I don't still have things on my mind! So my blog name is based on verse 28 and my new attitude and approach will come from verse 33.

Monday, May 10, 2010

WHAT UP IS DOWN

Back again. It's been awhile. I'm trying to not get so mad. Things are messed up right now. I'm preferring to choose hope rather than despair.

The Tea Party movement is having a positive impact, despite the left's multiple and hateful attempts to disparage it.

We've seen the accusations of racism and other ugly name calling.
The title of my blog entry, "What's up is Down", refers to the absolute opposite way the left and right views the world. In a blog entry written in response to an article in the New York Review of Books this article, Mark Lilla is quoted on how he tries to define the Tea Partiers one more time.
Many Americans, a vocal and varied segment of the public at large, have now convinced themselves that educated elites—politicians, bureaucrats, reporters, but also doctors, scientists, even schoolteachers—are controlling our lives. And they want them to stop. They say they are tired of being told what counts as news or what they should think about global warming; tired of being told what their children should be taught, how much of their paychecks they get to keep, whether to insure themselves, which medicines they can have, where they can build their homes, which guns they can buy, when they have to wear seatbelts and helmets, whether they can talk on the phone while driving, which foods they can eat, how much soda they can drink…the list is long.
I'm reading that and thinking, okay, where's the problem? The blogger sites another quote from Lilla that summarizes his rant,
A new strain of populism is metastasizing [Note the Cancer reference] before our eyes, nourished by the same libertarian impulses that have unsettled American society for half a century now. [SNIP] Welcome to the politics of the libertarian mob.
Left/Right, Up/Down - any stark opposite analogy will do. There is just an absolutely complete disconnect in what is moral and immoral; good and bad; appropriate powers of government and abuse of power of government. There is no agreeing because the base line of correctness is just different. Facts can be agreed upon, but the facts don't bother at least a third of the population (which turns out to largely be the population in control right now). Definitions like socialist and racist are not consistent in the left and right. I believe that many on the left believes their lies. There may be some on the very top who are part of a conspiracy and grab for power, but in the end, the world view is just not the same. Different lessons are learned by different people by the same circumstances.

Back to why the disconnect is a good thing. In the quotes referenced above, Lilla is displaying his ignorance of what is important to the American people. They are showing their true colors, despite themselves. Their definition of the Tea Party is getting closer - but they still think it's crazy.

Despite their attempts to disparage the Tea Party movement, its powerful political effects are becoming a reality as some recent elections and polls of future elections show. I'm going to believe that in the end, good triumphs over evil. Truth triumphs over lies.

Friday, April 30, 2010

BIOMETRIC CARD

It's really happening. Every since 9/11 I have thought eventually we're going to end up with a biometric mark on our hand or forehead to prove who we are, to protect us from terrorists, illegal immigration, and identity theft. I predicted this because it's right there in the Bible that at some point we're going to be required to have a mark on our hand or forehead which will affect buying and selling, and the times provide the incentive to pursue an airtight way to prove who you are. Christians are warned from accepting the mark. This will bring on unparalleled prosecution of the church as they will either have to disobey a huge warning and command in the Bible or not be able to buy and sell.

I'm not the only one to think of this. If this truly comes about, there will be lots of hoarding of food and stuff, preparing for the impossibility of buying anything.

And, it's truly being talked about - and not only talked about, but a bill has been drafted. I heard it first on Fox today, but then I also see it in a news article in the Washington Post.
But it's still a biometric national ID card. It's handed out by the Social Security Administration and employers are required to check it when hiring new employees. Essentially, if you want to participate in the American economy, you need this card. "Within five (5) years of the date of enactment, the fraud-proof social security card will serve as the sole acceptable document to be produced by an employee to an employer for employment verification purposes," the bill says. "This requirement will exist even if the employer does not yet possess the capability to electronically verify the employee by scanning the card through a card reader."
Now, of course Jesus is not only coming back to America, but to the whole world. While the dialogue happened on Fox News (Neil Cavuto), the discussion turned to the fact that if only America has this requirement it would be a handicap for it in the global economy. Then, Neil posed the question, "so are we going to have a global biometric card?" The girl on the other side just shrugged her shoulders, as though that's not out of the realm of possibilities.

As in the Health Care bill, something like this could go through w/o thinking it all the way through first - without reading the fine print. Eventually, they'll realize that a card like this could make identity theft incredibly dangerous if someone got a hold of your card. So, the "fix" would be an implant on your hand or head. Someone could still drug you, put you under, and surgically remove it to steal your identity, but that would be harder than pick pocketing your wallet.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

HYPOCRISY & DOUBLESPEAK

Again, having had a extended break from the news, watching it again isn't very gratifying. The commentary and blue vs red discussions get tiresome and boil the blood. In most cases, it really comes down to hypocrisy. Politicians' stands on principals constantly change depending on the issue. That points to an interview on Hannity last night of an actual atheist's point of view on the political left's fear of Christianity. Looking at a distance, she can see that they are afraid of any concrete rules - and absolute right and wrong.

Waffling is a way of life for them. "I was for it before I was against it" type of thing. It was a big deal for the media with Kerry, but they see that as par for the course now - unless, of course, it's coming from the right. So they're just as guilty of the hypocrisy as everyone else. Hypocrisy and double speak. The difference is simply that hypocrisy happens from one instance to another, whereas "doublespeak" is contradiction that happens w/in one speech. That happens w/ surprising regularity.

Even though Christian values make up 80% of the American electorate or perhaps because of that, the Higher power of God and the absolute truth in His Word, Christianity threatens their power. The pattern in America for quite some time is that the minority or topic-specific groups are the ones who get out into the streets to protest and protect their rights or wishes. That is changing now. The 80% of the electorate with stronger values of right and and wrong and the protection and justice that accompanies it, is feeling threatened and they are raising up. In a democracy, one would expect the majority to rule while protecting the rights and freedoms of minorities. It feels like that paradigm has shifted in America over the years.

An age is coming when politicians and the MSM will no longer be able to reach a large enough electorate and audience with radical, extreme leftist ideas. They think of their ideas as mainstream, but in truth their PC talk offends a lot of people.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

IGNORANCE IS BLISS?

I've been on a "screen" blackout, including TV and Instapundit for the last week - an assignment from my son's 2nd grade classroom teacher.

I convinced him that I still needed to go to Yahoo! to check my e-mail b/c people assume they're reaching me that way. At the same time, I'm getting to see headlines, and I've browsed a few links, but not many.

But, truly, as the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. I haven't had to be worked up over any of this for a week. In the long run, I don't think that being part of an uneducated electorate is a good idea, but it was a nice reprieve for awhile. But, don't get me wrong, as nice as the reprieve was, this is my first day back to "the screen" and here I am at breakfast, reading instapundit links and blogging.

The break, however, did give me a perspective that stepped away from the up to the minute daily news and allowed me to think about it all in a more broad way.

I may not be able to go to a Tea Party or run for office or anything like that, but there is one thing I can do. Pray. Some might say that's equivalent to "thinking about it" but I don't believe that's true. I believe that prayer is the work. Only God can make changes as sweeping as we need them. But, that same God will use you and me to do it. But, we can't do it on our own - we need the power of the Holy Spirit to equip us for every good work.

We all have an opportunity next Thursday, May 6, to do something that can make a difference. It is the National Day of Prayer. While, we can pray each and every day on our own, there is something profound about the entire body of Christ praying for the same thing at the same time. So, on May 6, pray for our nation; pray for our world; and pray for your own community. And remind others to do the same.

Friday, April 16, 2010

GETTING THERE

Well, it's been awhile since I've made a blog post. I think that's because I'd just had enough of being frustrated for awhile. I was excited, however, about the Tea Party Protests around the country yesterday. If I could have found a ride and companion, I would have attended the one in my proximity. Instead, I just looked forward to the coverage - good or bad - there or not.

One of the Today Show's leading stories was the Tea Party protest. It was the fairest portrayal of the group I've ever seen by NBC. They really portrayed them as a regular group of people just trying to make their voices heard. I was encouraged.

I was able to gleefully tell my daughter that our freedom of speech and assembly are making a difference, even if it took a year. Persistence matters, even in the event of persecution.

Last night I was studying Acts 13-14 for the Bible study I'm doing. It speaks of the beginning of Paul and Barnabas's mission to spread the Gospel to the Gentile world.

In light of the persecution of the Tea Partiers, for which I think much of its protest concerns wanting our country to return to the founding principals of our country, including the Rock it was placed on, "One Nation Under God" and "In God We Trust," one set of verses stuck out to me.
"At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders."
Acts 14: 1 - 3
It has taken considerable time, but the Tea Party protesters are starting to get at least a relatively fair showing in some of the MSM. The convincing of the MSM that the Tea Partiers are "real" and not "astroturf, crazy, fringe, or stupid" is getting there. I sense that some even realize that they have to somewhat abandon the idea that they're all racists. Still, the acknowledgement does not come easily and is not universal.

I saw an article at both NBC.com and the NY Times.com (albeit buried in the bottom of their headline links), but MSNBC didn't have one word on their political page, even though their top story was about a small protest in Florida regarding teacher's pay. It is reminiscent of last year when they neglected the protest in Washington and instead reported on a small protest about gay rights.

As I said, the NY Times even commented on it, in the most straight forward way to date, but you can still sense their reluctance and efforts to downplay it.
It appeared that the authorities had expected a larger crowd. Only about a third of a second confinement area, between West 30th and West 29th Streets, was filled, and a third was empty.

Fox News sent one of its biggest stars, Neil Cavuto, to Atlanta to be the host of programming from some of the rallies.
I find it interesting that they felt the need to comment on the Fox coverage, as though by sending one of their biggest stars shows some type of promotion of the cause, instead of reporting. Neil Cavuto, after all, is Fox New's financial news host. Reading between the lines, I think it shows that the NY Times failed to actually go to a legitimate, important event. All of their reporting seemed to be 2nd hand. I suppose they've had to give up sending reporters b/c they were finding it difficult to find people and signs in the crowd to promote their narrative of racist, fringe people making up the protesters.

President Obama's comments were something else altogether. But, that's for another post.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WORTH A VIEWING

I didn't see it originally air, but David Letterman interviewed the president of the Idaho Tea Party. The interview is embedded in the following:

DAVID LETTERMAN GIVES THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT “the best showcase it’s ever had?” The quality of the recording is only fair, but easy enough to follow.

It's the best, fairest coverage the Tea Party has ever received on network television.

TEA PARTY DEFINED

I just read an article from the Washington Examiner that, in my opinion, really nailed the essence of the Tea Party movement as well as the crux of the 50-50% ideological divide in our country.
Over the past 14 months, our political debate has been transformed into an argument between the heirs of two fundamental schools of political thought, the Founders and the Progressives. The Founders stood for the expansion of liberty and the Progressives for the expansion of government.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/politics/Tea-partiers-embrace-liberty-not-big-government-89556562.html#ixzz0jm5YYOYL

WHO SAID IT?

"We cannot be guided by political ideology but by scientific evidence."

Yup. Obama on his big speech today on allowing oil drilling off of our coasts.

Unbelievable.

This speech could have been said by Palin herself.
WASHINGTON – Reversing a ban on oil drilling off most U.S. shores, President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced an expansive new policy that could put new oil and natural gas platforms in waters along the southern Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and part of Alaska.

Speaking at Andrews air base outside Washington, Obama said, "This is not a decision that I've made lightly." He addressed the expected outcry from disappointed environmentalists by saying he had studied the issue for more than a year and concluded it was the right call given the nation's voracious thirst for energy and the need to produce jobs and keep American businesses competitive.
Read more at Associate Press.

This is yet one more GOP policy that he has found he had to embrace, despite his deep convictions and rhetoric during the campaign. Notice he said that "This is not a decision that I've made lightly. I've studied the issue for more than a year and concluded it was the right call given the nation's voracious thirst for energy and the need to produce jobs and keep American businesses competitive." Hmm. I thought that he had all the answers when he came in. Like Gitmo, he hadn't faced the harsh realities that surface when looking at issues while seated in the Oval Office before talking about moral urgencies and so forth. Things look a lot different when you're faced with the facts.

A NEW DAY

Is it a New Day for the Tea Party? Take a look here at this description of a Provo, Utah's Tea Party event and coordinator's time with a CNN reporter. He a journalist I can respect....especially if he writes the story he promised. I found this at instapundit.com (which has some pictures with it)
DAVID KIRKHAM SENDS THIS TEA PARTY REPORT FROM UTAH:

Last night an reporter from CNN travelling with the Tea Party Express showed up at our shop to talk about the Tea Party Express that was coming through Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah today. (I was the local organizer for the Provo event). I gave him a tour through our shop and then took him for a drive up the canyon in one of our cars. We talked the entire time. We ended up speaking for about 4 hours. At the end of our conversation, he dropped a bomb, “You know, I decided to come and find the facts about you guys for myself. The facts are the facts. Keith Olberman is way out in left, crazy field! You guys aren’t anything like the media has portrayed you.” I replied, “I know.” He told me he was then going to write a story on the “real” Tea Party people he met on his travels through Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.

This morning the Tea Party Express stopped in Provo. We had about 500 people show up. I introduced Mayor John Curtis who was just elected to office (off-year elections for the cities here). He inherited a 5 million budget shortfall. The first thing he did was cut funding for the Miss Provo Pageant. He said they were welcome to have the pageant–just not on the city’s dime. He then asked the city employees to pick 5 guys from each department to figure out where they could save money in the budget–and they DID! He balanced the budget without raising taxes a penny, just like he promised before he was elected. He left his business to run for mayor. He obviously brought his business skills with him. There are some great ones out there.

The comment of the day (Provo) came from a reporter who asked me, “I am trying to take a picture of a counter protester’s sign and I can’t find one. Do you know where any are?”

In Salt Lake over 1000 people attended. A total of 2 counter protesters showed up. They left after 10 minutes.

I spoke with several media people today. This morning I was on KSL radio, in the afternoon I was on PJTV (coming soon, I gave you a shout out!) and tonight I was on ABC Channel 4 News. The Channel 4 News anchors were most respectful and exceptionally nice both on the air and off the air. Throughout the day I spoke with more print journalists than I can remember. I have hopes all these flared emotions of late will temper. It was a great day.
It's a beautiful thing when the truth comes out. It's a beautiful thing to trust that truth will prevail in the end. This story isn't over but it's turned a corning.

After Good Friday comes Sunday!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A PICTURE CAN TELL IT ALL

L.A. TIMES: Two presidents visit U.S. troops: The styles of Barack Obama and George W. Bush in photos.

Take a moment to look at the pictures. It says a lot about the 2 men.

Monday, March 29, 2010

IMPRESSIVE INTERVIEW

I just listened to a very impressive Blogging Heads.TV interview.

It was impressive in that you had two people with views that were not entirely meshed, but they weren't screaming at one another. One thought TARP wasn't as bad as some say, and the other thought the legislators were very irresponsible about it.

The beautiful thing about it was that it was a true dialogue. Each respected the other's opinion and seemed to really be looking for consensus in an area that they disagreed. It brought out the arguments that you hear on both sides (far right and centrist) in respectable discourse. There was no yelling and the interrupting was polite. I wish we could see more of this on network or cable news. I don't know why TV news programs think that's it's either helpful or entertaining to see pundits with talking points spar in their two windows. That's usually when I change the channel.

I think that the most reasonable Americans want to have a respectful debate. We want to find the real answers. We want common sense solutions that come not from a radical agenda but thoughtful reasoning, taking the best ideas from everyone. There is more common ground out there that anyone would imagine, if you look deeper into people's opinions.

For instance, in the above interview, they started being on opposite sides of a contentious topic, but in the end there was more common ground than not. It just took time to flush out the crossover. Both had their opinions, but neither had to be "right" at the expense of the other.

WOW, REAL BIPARTISANSHIP

For once, there is a bipartisan effort on something in this Congress.

327 House members tell Obama to make U-turn on US-Israeli relations

We'll see what President Obama does with that.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

YET AGAIN

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but yet again, a large Tea Party protest's attendance was grossly underestimated by CNN. At least this time they actually reported that it happened! I have yet to see it on other MSM (but I haven't looked that hard).

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Maybe this is why....

Grim News: Majority Says Tea Party More in Touch With Reality Than Congress
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 52% of U.S. voters believe the average member of the Tea Party movement has a better understanding of the issues facing America today than the average member of Congress. Only 30% believe that those in Congress have a better understanding of the key issues facing the nation.
The "grim" is obviously sarcastic to most of the article's readers, but I'm sure there are many in the beltway and MSM who would read it literally!

Friday, March 26, 2010

SNUBBED

In a gesture absolutely unbecoming of the President of the United States, whomever that is, Obama didn't eat dinner with Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel last night. I read at Gateway Pundit,
Benjamin Netanyahu was left to stew in a White House meeting room for over an hour after President Barack Obama abruptly walked out of tense talks to have supper with his family, it emerged on Thursday. The snub marked a fresh low in US-Israeli relations and appeared designed to show Mr Netanyahu how low his stock had fallen in Washington after he refused to back down in a row over Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.

… (Mr. Obama) immediately presented Mr Netanyahu with a list of 13 demands designed both to the end the feud with his administration and to build Palestinian confidence ahead of the resumption of peace talks. Key among those demands was a previously-made call to halt all new settlement construction in east Jerusalem.

When the Israeli prime minister stalled, Mr Obama rose from his seat declaring: “I’m going to the residential wing to have dinner with Michelle and the girls.” As he left, Mr Netanyahu was told to consider the error of his ways. “I’m still around,” Mr Obama is quoted by Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper as having said. “Let me know if there is anything new.”
It's hard to believe how quickly the relationship of one of our closest allies has deteriorated in 15 months of one presidency. The world is changing in so many ways. We went to war to become an ally of Iraq, but we're snubbing Israel over a dinner and are on track to lose a close ally that we've had for generations. Maybe that's the real reason Obama opposed the Iraq war. He doesn't want an ally in the Middle East.

Read the whole article for more interesting analysis.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

MAKES YOU THINK

While I don't like to get all Armageddon on you, the news of the day makes it hard not to think about it. Since I use this blog as a place to flush out my reactions to things, I'm going to take the risk of sounding crazy and alarmist as I think these things through.

I've been thinking about some of these things in the back (or middle and sometimes front) of my mind for awhile, but today I heard a verse from the Bible that moved it to the front of my thoughts again.
So Lot went out "Hurry and leave the city! The Lord is about to destroy it!" But they thought Lot was joking. Genesis 19:14
It's not that I think for a second that God is joking when He says that Jesus is coming back and there will be a reckoning according to the prophecy in the Bible, but I sometimes do in the sense that whenever I contemplate that this could be the time, I tell myself that's a joke. People have thought this for every generation, and we are again. But, I can't help but see some pretty startling parallels to the state of the world and the...
(Funny and ironic aside . Fox News, in the background, just showed Obama talking in Iowa. He said, "You know what they're calling this? Armageddon! Can you believe that? Armageddon! Do you see hail falling from the sky?")
....prophecy of the time people call Armageddon. I guess I'm not the only one talking about this!

A week or so ago when this type of thinking was swirling in my head, I started looking some things up. I was hearing more of Obama being called, "The One" and so forth. Usually it was in a sarcastic way, referring to how he was truly looked to by some during the campaign. I looked again to the classic "Signs of the End of the Age" verses in Matthew 24, beginning at verse 3.
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives [I love that the details of location are added], the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?"

Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ' and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains."
There is no one that can deny that things that look like this have taken place over and over again since Jesus was here....since the beginning of time. I'm not sure that people have claimed themselves that "I am the Christ', but there have been several key figures in history where people have looked to them as such, and I suspect that the dictators and/or prophets looked at themselves that way. I'm sure there have been many over time, but I'm thinking of figures in recent generations such as Hitler, Mussolini, and now Obama. These are leaders that peopled followed in a cultish way. So, it is clear we have been experiencing things described as the "birth pains."

Labor can be very painful and take a long time, as many a woman knows. And there is false labor, too. So, some of the "signs" might be false signs, looking like the end time signs but not really being them. But at some point, the labor is complete. The intense pain is followed by unparalleled joy as the new baby is put into the mom's arms. I see this as joining Jesus after the end comes.

Like the boy who cries wolf, the "false labor" makes it harder to accept or recognize the real labor when it comes. I think that's what I thought of when I heard Genesis 19:14 today (sited above), that when the people heard the warning, "Hurry and leave this city! The Lord is about to destroy it!", they thought Lot was joking. And, at the same time that we are to be watchful and see the signs, Jesus also precautions,
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24:36
Like God warned through Lot, He warns again through Jesus,
"So when you see standing in the holy place, 'the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel-let the reader understand- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains..."
In Daniel, the words "abomination that causes desolation" is sometimes translated "the rebellion that causes desolation."

Because the difference of the "false labor" and "real labor" is "when you see standing in the holy place, 'the abomination that causes desolation'" , I looked up abomination, rebellion, and desolation in the dictionary.
Abomination means: a thing that causes disgust or hatred or a feeling of hatred.

Rebellion means: an act of violent or open resistance to an established government or ruler.

Desolation means: a state of complete emptiness or destruction.
I heard earlier today that in light of the fact that Obama has decided to appease other countries and not put the harshest of sanctions on Iran, it is likely that Iran will have a nuclear bomb before the end of Obama's presidency. I think that war again Israel with a nuclear weapon would definitely be an act of violence, caused by hatred, of open resistance to an established government or ruler that would cause a state of complete emptiness or destruction.

I'm almost done here. The last pieces of scripture and ideas I'll leave this entry with is from Daniel.
"He will speak again the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. (3.5 years)." Daniel 7:25
3.5 years is nearly a president's terms. Obama is trying to change laws, the ways laws are passed, and the interpretation of the Constitution. Then, in Daniel 9:27, it says,
"He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven." (7 years). In the middle of the 'seven"(3.5 years) he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him."
In the end, it is no joke that the end is coming and it will just as He says. With Israel coming so much into the forefront and America weakening, and Iran getting the bomb, most of a term of our presidency is 3.5 years and 2 would be about 7 years, I think it's not out of the realm of reason to be watchful.
"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door." Matthew 24:32-33