Tuesday, July 31, 2007

2 corinthians 5

1-5 For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we'll never have to relocate our "tents" again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it! We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less.

6-8 That's why we live with such good cheer. You won't see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don't get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It's what we trust in but don't yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we'll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.

9-10 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we'll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what's coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.

11-14 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It's no light thing to know that we'll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That's why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We're not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we're on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.

14-15 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

16-20 Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don't look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.

21 How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.

leviticus 22

1-2 God spoke to Moses: "Tell Aaron and his sons to treat the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate to me with reverence so they won't desecrate my holy name. I am God.

3 "Tell them, From now on, if any of your descendants approaches in a state of ritual uncleanness the holy offerings that the Israelites consecrate to God, he will be cut off from my presence. I am God.

4-8 "Each and every one of Aaron's descendants who has an infectious skin disease or a discharge may not eat any of the holy offerings until he is clean. Also, if he touches anything defiled by a corpse, or has an emission of semen, or is contaminated by touching a crawling creature, or touches a person who is contaminated for whatever reason—a person who touches any such thing will be ritually unclean until evening and may not eat any of the holy offerings unless he has washed well with water. After the sun goes down he is clean and may go ahead and eat the holy offerings; they are his food. But he must not contaminate himself by eating anything found dead or torn by wild animals. I am God.

9 "The priests must observe my instructions lest they become guilty and die by treating the offerings with irreverence. I am God who makes them holy.

10-13 "No layperson may eat anything set apart as holy. Nor may a priest's guest or his hired hand eat anything holy. But if a priest buys a slave, the slave may eat of it; also the slaves born in his house may eat his food. If a priest's daughter marries a layperson, she may no longer eat from the holy contributions. But if the priest's daughter is widowed or divorced and without children and returns to her father's household as before, she may eat of her father's food. But no layperson may eat of it.

14 "If anyone eats from a holy offering accidentally, he must give back the holy offering to the priest and add twenty percent to it.

15-16 "The priests must not treat with irreverence the holy offerings of the Israelites that they contribute to God lest they desecrate themselves and make themselves guilty when they eat the holy offerings. I am God who makes them holy."

17-25 God spoke to Moses: "Tell Aaron and his sons and all the People of Israel, Each and every one of you, whether native born or foreigner, who presents a Whole-Burnt-Offering to God to fulfill a vow or as a Freewill-Offering, must make sure that it is a male without defect from cattle, sheep, or goats for it to be acceptable. Don't try slipping in some creature that has a defect—it won't be accepted. Whenever anyone brings an offering from cattle or sheep as a Peace-Offering to God to fulfill a vow or as a Freewill-Offering, it has to be perfect, without defect, to be acceptable. Don't try giving God an animal that is blind, crippled, mutilated, an animal with running sores, a rash, or mange. Don't place any of these on the Altar as a gift to God. You may, though, offer an ox or sheep that is deformed or stunted as a Freewill-Offering, but it is not acceptable in fulfilling a vow. Don't offer to God an animal with bruised, crushed, torn, or cut-off testicles. Don't do this in your own land but don't accept them from foreigners and present them as food for your God either. Because of deformities and defects they will not be acceptable."

26-30 God spoke to Moses: "When a calf or lamb or goat is born, it is to stay with its mother for seven days. After the eighth day, it is acceptable as an offering, a gift to God. Don't slaughter both a cow or ewe and its young on the same day. When you sacrifice a Thanksgiving-Offering to God, do it right so it will be acceptable. Eat it on the same day; don't leave any leftovers until morning. I am God.

31 "Do what I tell you; live what I tell you. I am God.

32-33 "Don't desecrate my holy name. I insist on being treated with holy reverence among the People of Israel. I am God who makes you holy and brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am God."

that matt lauer sure is one wacky liberal!

I had the misfortune this morning to be in the same room as a television that was turned on to whatever morning show Matt Lauer hosts. I wonder sometimes how the man is able to breathe without written instructions!

This morning, the topic was "boys." Specifically, Magic Matt was speaking to some sort of "expert" about all of the problems faced by boys in America. Boys are much more likely to commit suicide, qualify for special education, be diagnosed with behavioral, mental and psychological disorders, and to drop out of school. The conclusion that The Amazing Lauer and the "Expert" came to was that it was George Bush's fault. What????? Yes, sports fans, Pres. Bush has caused this to happen. It seems that schools can't afford to build playgrounds anymore because of No Child Left Behind. The lack of playgrounds has caused boys to die!

Wow! I guess I'm not qualified to host a morning show, because, unlike Matt Lauer, I actually have a brain and am able to use it!

Here are the facts. Beginning in the early 80's, America's liberaliars lectured us about how unfair life was for girls. America was "biased" in favor of boys. Girls were discriminated against at school. Boys must be punished for this.

Further, we were told by liberaliars that America's culture was programming boys to be block-headed Neanderthals. All traits that America traditionally viewed as "typically boy" (energetic, love of rough-housing, playing hard, etc.) were now to be viewed as "antisocial." Boys had to be raised in such a way that the "boyness" would be knocked out of them. So said the liberaliar intelligentsia.

Guess what? Millions of boys have been damaged. Is that any surprise? If you don't raise a boy to be a man, you end up with a damaged human who doesn't know who he is supposed to be. God made man and woman to be different. One is no better than the other, but they are meant to be different. To deny that, or worse, to intentionally tamper with the design created by God, is to invite disaster.

That's the truth, and George Bush has nothing to do with it.

in defense of hillary

All of you liberals out there need to brace yourself, because I am about to come to the defense of Hillary Clinton. I have many faults, but I am intellectually honest, and I will defend anyone, regardless of political persuasion, when they are right.

At the South Carolina Democratic presidential debate, Hillary and Barack Hussein Obama clashed over Obama's statement that he would meet with leaders of rogue nations like North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran if he were president. Obama stated that, if elected president, he would meet with the despotic leaders of those nations without any pre-set conditions.

That's a dangerously ignorant position to take for several reasons. First, if there are no pre-set conditions that are wired in favor of U.S. foreign policy and national security interests, those nations gain the ability to use the meetings as propaganda tools to further their murderous agendas. Second, if we don't set the parameters of the meetings in advance, the other countries automatically win the right to set those parameters. That's not in the best interests of American foreign policy or national security. Third, without pre-set conditions, we go into those meetings on equal footing with those countries. That automatically creates the illusion of moral equivilancy with those nations. That is an illusion because, morally, we are superior to those nations. The United States has no desire to enslave or terrorize the world, but those rogue nations do. They are evil, amoral regimes and we are superior to them. To pretend otherwise is stupid and dangerous.

Hillary pounced on all of those points in her response to Obama's dangerously naive statement, and she was right to do so. All clear-thinking Americans should view Obama's statement as an immediate disqualifier for the office of the President. He doesn't have the knowledge or the wisdom to be Commander-In-Chief of the United States of America.

Guess what? According to the latest Rasmussen poll, 55% of all Democrat voters agree with Barack Hussein Obama, while only 22% agree with Hillary. That is flat-out amazing! How can so many members of a national political party be so dangerously ignorant? Hillary, for all of her faults, was 100% correct to hammer Obama on this point, regardless of what wrong-headed beliefs are held by the voters on the left.

Bottom line--Hillary was right, and Obama isn't qualified to be President.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

the great global warming swindle


This is a great website to check out, particularly if you still feel yourself being overcome by the lies of Brother Algore's Travelin' Salvation Show and Goat Rodeo. Everything that the Global Warming Freaks have said is a lie, and we the people need to be armed with the facts so that we can stand up to them.

please visit "easter people"

let's cut through all the liberal lies about "schip"

SCHIP--State Children's Health Insurance Program, created in 1997 by Pres. Clinton and the GOP Congress

As you may or may not know, SCHIP is up for reauthorization this year. When it was originally created, SCHIP was intended to cover children in families who made too much to be eligible for Medicaid. The law was originally supposed to limit eligibility to families making not more than 200% of the poverty line. That's $40,300 for a family of four, by the way. In spite of the law's provisions, seven different states set limits above 200%, and fourteen states expanded the program to cover parents, pregnant women, and childless adults. Those are the facts concerning SCHIP in its current form.

Today, Democrats want to reauthorize the program, but they want massive increases in the cost and coverage of the program. Bills sponsored by Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY) and Rep. John Dingell (MI) would permit states to expand SCHIP up to 400% of the poverty level. For a family of four, that means $82,600 a year. Children in families that are in the top 25% of American wage earners would be eligible for government-funded health care!

As if that wasn't enough--and, by golly, don't you wish it was?--the bills sponsored by Hillary Health Care and John Dingell-Brain would change the legal definition of "child" for the purposes of this program. According to their socialist plan, states could offer Medicaid coverage for families who have "children" up to age 25. What does this mean in the real world? It means that you could have a family of four--a husband and wife who are both under 25 years of age with 2 kids--who have a family income of $82,000, and all 4 would be considered "children" by SCHIP. They would all be covered by taxpayer-funded health care!

Ladies and gentlemen, this bill must be defeated! Fortunately, Pres. Bush has promised to veto the Hillary-Dingell version, but bitter experience has proven that Pres. RINO will negotiate with the socialists, and we'll still end up with "Socialist Health Care-Lite."

Most of you probably don't know this, but in 2007, for the first time in American history, over 50% of Americans receive some sort of sustenance from the federal government--either as an employee within the federal bureaucracy or as some sort of entitlement recipient. The new ever-more-socialist SCHIP bill has the primary goal of expanding that number to over 90%. If we the people allow that to happen, you can wave goodbye to the land of the free and the home of the brave. We will have willingly become enslaved sheep on the plantation of Mommy and Daddy Government, and that will result in the death of this great republic created by the Founders. When Benjamin Franklin said that he and the other Founders had given us a republic--if we could keep it--this is what he was talking about. Please, contact your Senators and Congressmen!

tony dungy provides us with a teachable moment

Most of you know that Tony Dungy is the Head Coach of the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts. Those of you who are familiar with Dungy know that he is a strong and faithful Christian who has used his position as a famous sports figure as a platform to tell others about the Good News of Jesus Christ.

What you may or may not know is that Dungy just recently came out with a hardcover non-fiction book (co-written with Nathan Whitaker) entitled Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life. He has also written a companion book in paperback--with Karl Leuthauser--entitled Quiet Strength: Mens Bible Study. My mother-in-law just gave me an autographed copy of the hardcover book and I started reading it last night. It's outstanding! Naturally, the book talks a lot about Dungy's football career because football has been his profession for over 30 years. Football is not the main focus, however. The focus of the book is how living life God's way ultimately leads to more joy and fulfillment than does following the world. I highly recommend it.

I noticed something this week concerning Dungy's book. It ranks #1 on the NY Times Bestseller list, two spots ahead of a book entitled God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Mr. Hitchens is a man who has devoted a great deal of effort over the past several years trying to destroy the influence of Christianity on America's culture. Judging from the NY Times rankings, his efforts have not been entirely successful.

Go to www.allprodad.com/playbook/viewarticle.php?art=318 to read a wonderful story about Dungy, written by Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly. It's called Coaching the Grief-Stricken. If you are as sick and tired as I am over stories about dog fighting quarterbacks, gambling basketball referees and steroid-shooting baseball freaks who hit lots of home runs, then this is just the story to lift your spirits.

2 corinthians 4

1-2 Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.

3-4 If our Message is obscure to anyone, it's not because we're holding back in any way. No, it's because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won't have to bother believing a Truth they can't see. They're stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we'll ever get.

5-6 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!

13-15 We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

16-18 So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

leviticus 21

1-4 God spoke to Moses: "Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron. Tell them, A priest must not ritually contaminate himself by touching the dead, except for close relatives: mother, father, son, daughter, brother, or an unmarried sister who is dependent on him since she has no husband; for these he may make himself ritually unclean, but he must not contaminate himself with the dead who are only related to him by marriage and thus profane himself.

5-6 "Priests must not shave their heads or trim their beards or gash their bodies. They must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because their job is to present the gifts of God, the food of their God, they are to be holy.

7-8 "Because a priest is holy to his God he must not marry a woman who has been a harlot or a cult prostitute or a divorced woman. Make sure he is holy because he serves the food of your God. Treat him as holy because I, God, who make you holy, am holy.

9 "If a priest's daughter defiles herself in prostitution, she disgraces her father. She must be burned at the stake.

10-12 "The high priest, the one among his brothers who has received the anointing oil poured on his head and been ordained to wear the priestly vestments, must not let his hair go wild and tangled nor wear ragged and torn clothes. He must not enter a room where there is a dead body. He must not ritually contaminate himself, even for his father or mother; and he must neither abandon nor desecrate the Sanctuary of his God because of the dedication of the anointing oil which is upon him. I am God.

13-15 "He is to marry a young virgin, not a widow, not a divorcee, not a cult prostitute—he is only to marry a virgin from his own people. He must not defile his descendants among his people because I am God who makes him holy."

16-23 God spoke to Moses: "Tell Aaron, None of your descendants, in any generation to come, who has a defect of any kind may present as an offering the food of his God. That means anyone who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed, crippled in foot or hand, hunchbacked or dwarfed, who has anything wrong with his eyes, who has running sores or damaged testicles. No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to offer gifts to God; he has a defect and so must not offer the food of his God. He may eat the food of his God, both the most holy and the holy, but because of his defect he must not go near the curtain or approach the Altar. It would desecrate my Sanctuary. I am God who makes them holy."

24 Moses delivered this message to Aaron, his sons, and to all the People of Israel.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

the "unintended consequences syndrome" of liberalism


Al Gore says that we need government mandates to increase ethanol production. Now we learn that increased ethanol production in the Midwest (19% higher in 2007 than in 2006) has caused an 8500 sq. mile "dead zone" to form in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently, the nutrients being flushed from the farms in the Midwest watershed are causing algae to grow in the Gulf. The huge algae blooms "....suck oxygen from the water, suffocating any fish, shrimp or mollusks that become trapped in that area. As the algae die, the mass of cells sink to the seafloor, bacteria break down the organic matter consuming most of the oxygen at that level which, in turn, suffocates sea stars, corals, snails and other shellfish," according to the article linked above. Do you think that Brother Gore's Travelin' Salvation Show intended to kill so many fish? Where's PETA when you need them?

Are there other "unintended consequences?" Of course! According to the article, "....it takes 1.597 gallons of diesel and gasoline used in the corn crop growth, harvesting, shipping of corn to ethanol production, and distribution of ethanol to the consumer for every 1 gallon of ethanol that is produced." Also, "It takes 1 acre of corn to produce 300 to 330 gallons of ethanol fuel. (To replace the 200 billion gallons of petroleum products we now consume yearly, we would need to commit 675 million acres of our farmland to its production. That would be 71% of all available farmland in which case we would have to start importing our food products.)"

Do you liberals understand the ramifications of converting to ethanol? We would have to import MORE oil to facilitate ethanol production and transportation, making us more dependent on foreign despots for oil. Also, we wouldn't be able to feed the billions of people worldwide anymore, as we have done in the past. Skyrocketing food prices and worldwide famine would be the result. And that doesn't even take into the account all of the increased pollution that would be caused by ethanol-driven vehicles, which I have documented previously.

So, let me see if I can get my wooden conservative head to grasp the liberal concepts here. We need to switch to ethanol to save the planet, even though such a switch would result in a worldwide holocaust of man and all manner of creatures of the land, sky and sea. Sounds good to me! Where do I sign up to drink the Kool-Aid?

i'm back!

Vacation is over, and it's time to resume blogging. We spent last week in Truckee, California, which is just north of Lake Tahoe, and had a great time. We went boating on Lake Tahoe, we went rafting on the Truckee River, and we rode the cable car up to Squaw Valley's High Camp (the view of the mountains and Lake Tahoe itself is breathtaking!). The kids went horseback riding and we all spent time swimming and boating at the beach on Donner Lake. It was a wonderful week of creating memories for the kids that I hope will last for a lifetime.

One of the strange things about vacation was the way in which we cut ourselves off from the outside world. Except for the first night, we didn't watch any TV (I needed a half-hour fix of ESPN Sportscenter before I could sleep). I didn't even look at a newspaper for the first 6 days of vacation. No political news, no sports news, no breathless updates on Paris Hilton or Nicole Ritchie--IT WAS GREAT! Pres. Bush could have named Cindy Sheehan to be his new National Security Advisor and we would never have known. It was nice, but also a little strange for someone who normally tends to overdose on the news of the day.

Anyway, I'm back, so please allow me to share some random thoughts that popped into my brain during the last couple of weeks.

As part of our vacation, we flew in and out of SFO and then drove back and forth to Truckee. That's a terrible airport! It's confusing and it is a mammoth facility to try to navigate. You would think that a great international city like San Francisco could do better.

And speaking of San Francisco, I truly don't understand what the big deal is. I have been to San Francisco 5 or 6 different times, and have never been impressed. The weather is terrible, the traffic is awful, and it's one of the most intolerant cities in the country. Off the top of my head, I could name 20 different cities and towns that are better than San Francisco. Good grief--I would rather spend one day in Jasper, Indiana than a week in San Francisco!

Here's the thing, though. San Francisco is some kind of liberal "mecca," so it gets hyped by the liberal intelligentsia. You never hear about the crummy weather (cold, damp fog ain't my idea of "vacation heaven") and you never hear about the intolerance. Well, you'll hear about it here:

---In San Francisco, it is permissable for employers to completely censor the terms natural family, marriage and family values as hate speech.
The court concluded that municipalities have a right to literally dictate what form an employee's speech may take, even if it is in regard to controversial public issues. Shockingly, the court concluded that the interest of Christian employees in speaking out on the issue of marriage is "vanishingly small" and that the "administrative" interests of a city are more important than speech rights. (see www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/mar/07030805.html and the aanlysis of Good News Employees Association v. Hicks).

---In March of 2006, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning a rally hosted at AT&T Park by an evangelical teen outreach group. The rally was called "Battle Cry For a Generation," and its purpose was "To provoke a young generation to passionately pursue Jesus Christ and to take His life-giving message to the ends of the earth." (see www.battlecry.com/pages/about.php) The rally was attended by over 25,000 people. The resolution said, in part, that "It is an act of provocation when a right-wing Christian fundamentalist group brings their anti-gay and anti-choice agenda to the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall," and, "It is unfortunate and alarming that those who are against reproductive and homosexual rights, and who are anti-gay and anti-choice, aim to negatively influence the politics of America’s most tolerant and progressive city." (See www.sfgov.org/site/uploadedfiles/bdsupvrs/resolutions06/r0180-06.pdf)

Three things stand out to me about the resolution. First, in the liberal la-la land of Frisco, it is wrong for Christians to express their opinions. Second, this attitude displayed by the San Fran power structure is supposed to be a sign of "tolerance." Third, the resolution proves that liberals don't really believe in "separation of church and state," which is a mythical concept anyway. The Supreme Court case Epperson v. Arkansas (1968) states that “The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion." The Board of Dupes--I mean, Supes--don't seem very neutral to me!

---With all of the hype over Barry Bonds (SF Giants slugger) cruising towards the home run record held by Hank Aaron, the attitudes of Liberals By The Bay, and liberals in general, are on full display for a glorious teachable moment. Every story about Bonds discusses at great length the horrible racism faced by Hank Aaron in the 60's and 70's in the southern town of Atlanta as he zeroed in on the record held, at that time, by Babe Ruth. We are constantly beat over the head with stories of Southern racism and ignorance, and then we see the obligatory interviews with John Lewis and Andrew Young to show how bad the South was/is. Why don't we ever hear about San Francisco racism?

Willie Mays, a contemporary of Aaron, had bricks thrown through his windows at home because "tolerant" and "progressive" San Franciscans didn't want a black man leading their team. He was hated by many Bay-area fans until the end of his career. Liberal hypocrisy has never been clearer.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

random thoughts before vacation

This will be my last post until August. We're taking a big family get-together trip out West (my parents, my brother and sister and their spouses and kids, and my wife and I with our 3 kids), and there are preparations that have to be made which will eliminate any time I have for blogging. Plus, as those of you with kids already know, there are camps and ball games and swim lessons and a million other activities for the kids that will absorb my time, that we are fitting in around the vacation. By August, I'll need another vacation!

In the meantime, here are a few random thoughts before I go:

1. How about that Ball State basketball program! Ronnie Thompson is gone after multiple NCAA violations, and I say good riddance! See http://christianconservatives.blogspot.com/search?q=lessons+about+honesty for my previous comments on this situation. It looks like the only thing I was wrong about was that it didn't take 3 years for Thompson to go.

2. Yesterday, my oldest son and I made our semi-annual pilgrimage to The Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Cubs hosted the Astros, and beat up on Houston pretty good (9-3). I'm not necessarily a big Cubs fan, but I love Wrigley Field and I love sharing the Wrigley experience with my son. He's 8 years old, but, even at that relatively young age, he "gets it" when I talk to him about the legend and mystique that is part of the Wrigley Field lore. What a great country we live in that we can share experiences like that! It was a sunny day, the Cubs scored lots of runs, Lou Pinella screamed at an umpire, Alfonso Soriano hit a three-run homer, my son had a thick slice of Chicago pizza and a Coke, and I had a big old Chicago Dog with all the fixin's and an Old Style. It just doesn't get any better than that! God bless America, I say!!

Besides watching the game and talking about all of the great players I have seen play in that park over the years, he had the most fun listening to all of my Harry Carey stories. After the game I showed him Harry's statue outside the park. These are things that I hope he remembers for the rest of his life.

3. Keep an eye out for news about the property tax problems here in Indiana. I'm sure that it hasn't garnered much national news yet, but it will. We the people of the Hoosier State are on the verge of revolt over the ever-increasing property taxes. There are a lot of homeowners in Marion County (Indy) whose property taxes have increased as much as 300% during the last year, and it's happening in other counties as well. GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels is showing absolutely no leadership on this issue, and Indy's Dem. Mayor Bart Peterson is doing his usual bob-and-weave as he attempts to avoid any of the blowback on this explosive issue. Meanwhile, homeowners are being forced to sell their homes in order to pay the taxes. This ain't over, sports fans! The populace is quickly becoming angry, and they are getting organized. I predict that this will eventually attract the national media types.

4. Today is the anniversary of Jimmy Carter's 1979 "Malaise Speech." That was a great moment in America history, wasn't it? Our economy was circling the drain, gas prices were skyrocketing as supplies were dwindling, Carter's approval rating slid to 25%, and the Ever-So-Clever Peanut Farmer blamed it all on a "crisis of confidence" on the part of the American people. We just needed to buck up and get a little of our "verve" back! How about that! We didn't have an incompetent president, we just had a citizenry with low self-esteem!

Here's what Ronald Reagan had to say about that malarkey on Nov. 13, 1979, when he announced his intent to run for President:

There are those in our land today, however, who would have us believe that the United States, like other great civilizations of the past, has reached the zenith of its power; that we are weak and fearful, reduced to bickering with each other and no longer possessed of the will to cope with our problems.

Much of this talk has come from leaders who claim that our problems are too difficult to handle. We are supposed to meekly accept their failures as the most which humanly can be done. They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the America of the coming years will be a place where--because of our past excesses--it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true.

I don't believe that. And, I don't believe you do either. That is why I am seeking the presidency. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don't agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.

The crisis we face is not the result of any failure of the American spirit; it is failure of our leaders to establish rational goals and give our people something to order their lives by. If I am elected, I shall regard my election as proof that the people of the United States have decided to set a new agenda and have recognized that the human spirit thrives best when goals are set and progress can be measured in their achievement.

Is it any wonder that the American people fired Carter and elected Reagan? D.C. needed some adult supervision, and Pres. Reagan was just the man for the job! Is this a teachable moment that I sense here? Traditional American values, also known as principled conservatism, have always been superior to liberaliar gobbledygook, and they always will!

See ya in August! God bless America!

2 corinthians 3

1-3 Does it sound like we're patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we're not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.

4-6 We couldn't be more sure of ourselves in this—that you, written by Christ himself for God, are our letter of recommendation. We wouldn't think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn't written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It's written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives!

7-8 The Government of Death, its constitution chiseled on stone tablets, had a dazzling inaugural. Moses' face as he delivered the tablets was so bright that day (even though it would fade soon enough) that the people of Israel could no more look right at him than stare into the sun. How much more dazzling, then, the Government of Living Spirit?

9-11 If the Government of Condemnation was impressive, how about this Government of Affirmation? Bright as that old government was, it would look downright dull alongside this new one. If that makeshift arrangement impressed us, how much more this brightly shining government installed for eternity?

12-15 With that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back. Unlike Moses, we have nothing to hide. Everything is out in the open with us. He wore a veil so the children of Israel wouldn't notice that the glory was fading away—and they didn't notice. They didn't notice it then and they don't notice it now, don't notice that there's nothing left behind that veil. Even today when the proclamations of that old, bankrupt government are read out, they can't see through it. Only Christ can get rid of the veil so they can see for themselves that there's nothing there.

16-18 Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

leviticus 20

1-5 God spoke to Moses: "Tell the Israelites, Each and every Israelite and foreigner in Israel who gives his child to the god Molech must be put to death. The community must kill him by stoning. I will resolutely reject that man and cut him off from his people. By giving his child to the god Molech he has polluted my Sanctuary and desecrated my holy name. If the people of the land look the other way as if nothing had happened when that man gives his child to the god Molech and fail to kill him, I will resolutely reject that man and his family, and him and all who join him in prostituting themselves in the rituals of the god Molech I will cut off from their people.

6 "I will resolutely reject persons who dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums, prostituting themselves in their practices. I will cut them off from their people.

7-8 "Set yourselves apart for a holy life. Live a holy life, because I am God, your God. Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you. I am the God who makes you holy.

9 "Any and every person who curses his father or mother must be put to death. By cursing his father or mother he is responsible for his own death.

10 "If a man commits adultery with another man's wife—the wife, say, of his neighbor—both the man and the woman, the adulterer and adulteress, must be put to death.

11 "If a man has sex with his father's wife, he has violated his father. Both the man and woman must be put to death; they are responsible for their own deaths.

12 "If a man has sex with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death. What they have done is perverse. And they are responsible for their own deaths.

13 "If a man has sex with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is abhorrent. They must be put to death; they are responsible for their own deaths.

14 "If a man marries both a woman and her mother, that's wicked. All three of them must be burned at the stake, purging the wickedness from the community.

15 "If a man has sex with an animal, he must be put to death and you must kill the animal.

16 "If a woman has sex with an animal, you must kill both the woman and the animal. They must be put to death. And they are responsible for their deaths.

17 "If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or mother, and they have sex, that's a disgrace. They must be publicly cut off from their people. He has violated his sister and will be held responsible.

18 "If a man sleeps with a woman during her period and has sex with her, he has uncovered her 'fountain' and she has revealed her 'fountain'—both of them must be cut off from their people.

19 "Don't have sex with your aunt on either your mother's or father's side. That violates a close relative. Both of you are held responsible.

20 "If a man has sex with his aunt, he has dishonored his uncle. They will be held responsible and die childless.

21 "If a man marries his brother's wife, it's a defilement. He has shamed his brother. They will be childless.

22-23 "Do what I tell you, all my decrees and laws; live by them so that the land where I'm bringing you won't vomit you out. You simply must not live like the nations I'm driving out before you. They did all these things and I hated every minute of it.

24-26 "I've told you, remember, that you will possess their land that I'm giving to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey. I am God, your God, who has distinguished you from the nations. So live like it: Distinguish between ritually clean and unclean animals and birds. Don't pollute yourselves with any animal or bird or crawling thing which I have marked out as unclean for you. Live holy lives before me because I, God, am holy. I have distinguished you from the nations to be my very own.

27 "A man or woman who is a medium or sorcerer among you must be put to death. You must kill them by stoning. They're responsible for their own deaths."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

it's time to assign a "grade" to this administration

Pres. Bush has been in office for 6 1/2 years, which is ample time to assign him a grade for the work he has done. I guess that it is the teacher in me that makes me want to "grade him."

The President of the United States has 5 Constitutional roles that we will be grading him on. For the purposes of this "report card," we'll say that there are 20 points possible on each role, for a total of 100 points. At the end of the report card, we'll add the points and grade on a 90-80-70-60 scale.

Commander-in-Chief (Article 2, Section 2: "The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States"): Pres. Bush earns high marks for understanding the Islamofascist terrorist threat, for inspiring confidence among the troops, and for his refusal to give in to the Surrender Monkeys in Congress. On the other hand, he earns low marks for the ways in which he has mismanaged the Iraq war effort for the first 3 years, and for his complete inability to communicate to the American people concerning the successes we have had in Iraq and how we plan on winning this war. Overall, a 14 out of 20 (that's a C-).

Chief Diplomat (Article 2, Section 2: "He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls. . ." and also-- Article 2, Section 3: ". . .he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers. . ."): A whole lot of you will disagree with me here, but this has been a strength of Pres. Bush. Our President did a wonderful job, in the beginning stages of the Iraqi war, of putting together a coalition of countries from around the world to assist us. Now, it's true that this coalition has largely fallen apart, but that has been due to Bush's shortcomings as Commander-In-Chief. His biggest accomplishment here, however, has been the way that he has presented a strong image to the world of being a man who will deal resolutely with Islamofascism. As I have documented on this site before, that has resulted in the actual people residing in the various free countries of the world choosing more conservative leaders in their own countries. Score: 18 out of 20 (A-)

Chief Administrator (Article 2, Section 1: "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America."): Our president has done an absolutely woeful job of "riding herd" on the executive branch. His first mistake was in allowing so many Clinton-era holdovers to keep their jobs in the departments of State and Defense. Those rogue bureaucrats have done everything they possibly can to undermine this president. His other big fault is that he is not particularly wise to the ways of Beltway politics. This has caused him, and others in the administration, to "manufacture" scandals out of thin air. Example--the firing of the U.S. Attorneys. All he had to do was to announce--"Today I'm replacing X-number of U.S. Attorneys. I'm doing this because the U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the president, it is my right to hire and fire them, and I want new blood and a fresh perspective in those positions. End of discussion." Oh, the Dems would have whined for a little while, but there would have been no scandal. Instead, Bush and Gonzales apparently cooked up this complex cloak and dagger scheme to fire a bunch of the attorneys, and then Gonzales lied about it. That's not very bright! That kind of stuff happens all the time with Bush. Score: 5 out of 20 (F)

Chief Legislator (Article 1, Section 7: "Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law." And also---Article 2, Section 3: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient"): Why did Pres. Bush wait so long to finally unleash the veto? Why did Pres. Bush allow so many outrageous spending bills to become law? Why did Pres. Bush conspire with so many liberals, on both sides of the aisle, to craft an immigration bill that was so harmful to America? Pres. Bush has been absolutely pathetic in this regard! Score: 5 out of 20

Chief Magistrate (Article 2, Section 3: ". . .he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed . . ." ): Pres. Bush has absolutely refused to enforce America's immigration laws. He has refused to enforce the law passed last year on immigration. He adds "signing notices" to the bills he signs into law telling which parts of the law he will obey and which parts he will ignore. He can't do that! Score: 5 out of 20

Total Score : 47 out of 100. That's an F in my book. It's time to elect a true conservative in 2008!

easter people

laying the groundwork of a revolution

Laying the Groundwork of a Revolution
House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.)
Speech given at The Heritage Foundation
July 10, 2007
The following represents Congressman Blunt's prepared remarks.
I want to begin by thanking you for the opportunity to be here today. It's a great honor to be around men and women of such passion and principle - people who support limited government, the rule of law, the vigorous defense of our national borders and the pursuit of freedom. Keep in mind I work on Capitol Hill where agreement on these principles isn't always easy to find.
At Heritage, our nation's founding principles still mean an awful lot, and for the people lucky enough to work here - whether you're an intern for the summer, or part of the full-time staff - serving as both the conscience of the conservative movement as well as its catalyst is a full-time responsibility. I'm glad you're a part of that, and you should be too.
Last November, just a few days after the midterms, I came here to share some thoughts on what the results of that election meant, what, in my judgment, they didn't mean, and how members of my party could take advantage of our new status to renew our purpose, refocus our message, and rededicate ourselves to the ideas and principles that brought us to public service in the first place.
In the eight months since then, I've learned that life in the minority provides you a little more time to think. Not necessarily a good thing, but not necessarily a bad thing to have occasional moments to take stock. And in the minority, I've learned it's the strength of your ideas - not the rules of the House - that provide your only chance to win the argument, if not always the vote, on a given day.
Too often in the majority, the need to govern became more important than the results of our work. But what we're for and why it's right for the country are questions a minority party in Congress must ask itself if it wants to regain the trust of the American people, and eventually, the responsibility of advancing our agenda rather than stopping theirs. These are also the questions a political movement must ask itself if it hopes to remain an active participant in the battle of ideas our country is all about.
But I don't know that it's possible to seriously discuss our domestic goals and ideas without first addressing the matter of security. The federal government has no greater responsibility than to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens. And so before we can talk about health savings accounts, marginal tax rates or coal-to-liquids, we must first confront the existential issue of terror and security in a new age of conflict and resolution.
To do this requires a national security strategy that's thoughtful and aggressive. More than that, it requires a posture that treats the business of fighting terrorists not as a series of trials and prosecutions, but as an overarching, global strategy to counter extremism abroad and disrupt the planning and execution of terrorist activities here at home. And despite what some will tell you, the frontlines of this struggle can be found in Iraq - where right now our men and women and uniform are battling, capturing, and killing members of al Qaeda and other agents of radical Islam.
It's perhaps one of the great paradoxes of American politics that those who support an ever-expanding role for the federal government - as an arbiter of outcome, a distributor of wealth, and an engineer of social good - nonetheless reject the idea that that same government be given the resources and support it needs to keep us safe from attack.
The enemies we are confronted with today are different than those of the previous century. They owe no allegiance to governments, and hold little regard for life, liberty, or the tranquil pursuit of happiness. They are concerned with only one thing: the complete destruction of those who don't share their narrow view of the world. We must confront their tactics of terror with the same level of passion and single-minded determination that drives them to act.
But we must also realize that even if it had unlimited resources, the federal government cannot and should not be everywhere. To fill these inevitable gaps, we need a strong and coordinated effort from state and local officials. In foiling the terrorist bombings in Piccadilly Square last month, it wasn't agents of the central British government acting on exclusive intelligence that prevented the possible deaths of hundreds or thousands of people. It was a squad of local rescue workers who followed their instincts and worked with national agencies to block a potentially catastrophic attack. Recognizing the realities of the threats we face, we need to allocate our scarce national resources according to metrics of risk and vulnerability, not patronage and personal favor.
Of course, even with ample resources and equipment, there are limits to what state and local officials can do. Handling our national immigration system is one of them. The Constitution is very clear about whose job it is to define our border, secure it, and make sure those who come through it are regulated, identified, verified and deemed legal to be here.
Sadly, the federal government hasn't proven up to the task in fulfilling these basic responsibilities. Legislation passed during the last Congress in the House would have built a secure wall, sent thousands of additional federal agents to the border, and punished employers who willfully break the law. It didn't get very far in the Senate - only the part that would build a wall became law. But then again, neither did the truly dangerous bill the Senate passed last year or the equally bad proposal that was soundly rejected by House conservatives and the American people last month.
You know, you couldn't pick up a newspaper a year ago during the Hezbollah attacks on Israel without reading somewhere that the government of Lebanon wasn't really a government because it couldn't control its southern borders. I think that's one of the definitions of whether your government is working or not - and right now, we have a lot of work to do on that.
Conservatives understand that America is a nation of immigrants and of opportunity - benefiting from the free and vigorous exchange of ideas, cultures and customs. But we also know this is a nation of laws, of order, and of respect for those who came to this country the right way and followed the rules once they got here.
Respect for the rule of law and working together to protect our homeland are responsibilities that all Americans should share. A reckless spending agenda in Washington should not be forced on the working people of our country who already pay their share. Unfortunately, the majority this year passed a federal budget plan that will raise taxes by somewhere between $250 billion - $400 billion in just five years. And this year alone, they plan to spend $115 billion more than last year.
Stop and think for a moment how truly incomprehensible a figure like that is. If you went on a $1,000 shopping spree today and every day thereafter until you spent just $1 billion, you'd have to shop every day for the next 2,740 years. But it only takes about four hours for the government to spend $1 billion of your money - to do for you what, we're told, you cannot do for yourself.
Over the years, the government has managed to creep into our lives in a number of new, increasingly intrusive ways as it has added to its menu of so-called essential services. Today our government makes first contact with you before you're born, and doesn't let go until after you die - and I mean long after.
We have programs to take care of you in the womb, and programs that will be there alongside the doctor when you're born. Then you take your first steps. We have federal programs for child care, for gifted students, failing students, juvenile delinquency and ADD. We have programs that teach kids how to swim, jog and play tennis. We have programs that teach our young people how to do a proper sit-up and what snacks to avoid after dinner.
As you grow older, the government will help you buy a home, fix it up, and then sell it for a bigger one. And when today's young workers retire, the government will send back a small portion of what you put into Social Security and use the rest now to provide services you never knew you couldn't live without. And when you die, there are programs for that too.
Three generations of post-New Deal efforts to rein in the size of government have resulted in short bursts of success sandwiched in between long periods of disappointment. And frankly, it's not hard to understand why. Because while it's easy to oppose big government in the abstract, when it comes to specifics, the entrenched interests that protect every government program as if their livelihoods depend on it - and they often do - make it next to impossible to reduce spending or, heaven forbid, roll it back. Remembering the $40 billion cut in entitlements we shepherded through last Congress, it seems we were still straining to drain the swamp with a teaspoon while liberals are now using a fire hose to restore their hallowed view of the Great Society.
So, what are we to do? In order to try to get the upper-hand, I've proposed we develop a "pay-go" rule for the creation of new government programs and benefits. Very simply, if it's your intention to create a new government program, you must in the same bill terminate an existing government program of equal or greater size.
While it wouldn't decrease the size of government, if it's all we do it would force a fight between advocates of new programs and those battling to keep what they have. And just maybe we'll find out that neither program had a whole lot of merit in the first place.
Whatever specific plan we adopt to roll back spending, we have to realize the impact these government programs have on our society isn't just measured in dollars. Everyone in this room knows that when government pays the bills, government makes the rules. It's true for all the programs I mentioned. It's true for education. And it's particularly true when it comes to the delivery of health care.
For liberals, the predictable answer to rising costs, uneven access, and diminishing quality of our nation's health care system is to spend more money and issue more government mandates and regulations. The three leading liberal candidates for our nation's most serious elected office have settled on the idea that universal, government-run health care is the solution to all our health care problems.
How that works in practice is already proven. Just take a look at the Medicare system. What a doctor gets paid for treating our seniors often has nothing to do with the cost to the doctor, but on a government formula. Prices don't change as a result of innovation or competition, but when a new regulation is enacted.
And wouldn't you know it - the government almost never gets the price right. When it sets the compensation for certain procedures or services too low, you get rationing of care. When the government sets the price too high for another procedure, seniors find themselves getting tests and treatments they don't need. And just to make sure no one operated outside this perfect government system, it's actually against the law for a senior and a Medicare doctor to agree to any care or payment system outside of Medicare.
Some of us have been working with groups like Heritage to find a better way - a way that recognizes that Americans want quality health care when and where they want it - and as taxpayers, they want the best price possible when government pays. The marketplace is the only known mechanism available to deliver what people want.
Rather than expanding government controlled programs, we should work to expand access to private individual health insurance. A tax deduction coupled with a tax credit for individual health insurance would expand on the success we have already seen in Medicare Part D and Health Savings Accounts by providing a real means for millions of Americans to go into the private market and purchase the insurance that's best for them.
Insurance coverage, premiums, and even payments to the doctor would be worked out in the market place, not by some bureaucrat. The marketplace already works to help keep costs low in other forms of insurance, like homeowners' and auto. Can you imagine the guy who fixes your fender after a wreck getting paid by a government formula rather than negotiating the price with you and your insurance company? What insanity! Well, it's time to introduce some sanity into the health care system and empower individuals to make these decisions rather than the government.
The right tax policies for a strong economy, health care initiatives derived from and driven by the marketplace, and energy independence will be the pillars of a new American century.
Americans' energy bills went up again this summer. Unfortunately, nearly two-thirds of our oil comes from places outside the United States these days, and a good portion of that is shipped from areas of the world where hatred for the West in general, and America in particular, is the rule of the day. There's nothing wrong with buying things from people who don't like you. But it's really dumb to have to buy things from people who don't like you.
You can't reduce our reliance on foreign energy when you refuse to tap into our own supply. You can't substitute alternative energy for imported fossil fuels fast enough if you make it impossible to build nuclear power plants, or refuse to explore and utilize the abundant resources we have off our own shores, in the Arctic, and in the form of hydro-dams we already have in place. Renewables, alternatives, and conservation are also important parts of energy independence - but make no mistake: Energy independence requires actual energy.
As it stands, an energy bill produced by this Congress is more likely to increase our reliance on foreign energy, and increase costs to families looking to cool down their home or fill-up their car. That's why I believe we should require government to answer one simple question before passing any energy policy: Will it increase our domestic energy supply and reduce our reliance on foreign energy?
If we can judge proposals by that basic standard, I believe we can focus on energy policies that hold the most promise - including expanding oil, natural gas, and coal production on land and off, building our next generation of nuclear power plants, investing in biofuels, and deploying more windmills and hydro-technology.
The bills being shuffled through any of the 11 separate House committees this summer - some of which have never even seen an energy bill before - produce no energy and actually increase our reliance on foreign sources. These bills acknowledge not a single one of the 12 key energy principles identified by Heritage last month, and as a consequence, leave our country less able to respond to disruptions at home, and more vulnerable to circumstances abroad.
More energy dependence is exactly what we don't need. Unfortunately, the congressional majority tends to believe that energy comes from a light-switch, and the solutions to our nation's energy problems come from taxes, mandates, and regulations - not more supply.
These are some of the challenges and opportunities that face conservatives today. And it us up to us to rise to these challenges and meet these opportunities. Yet, I often feel that some parts of the Washington establishment have been paralyzed by the desire to solve every problem with either the trendiest new idea or with the most complicated policy imaginable - the less decipherable, the better.
As conservatives, we know the solutions to illegal immigration, runaway government spending, a failing health care system, and a lack of adequate domestic energy resources are found in taking the simple steps my constituents in Southwest Missouri remind me of time and time again: secure the border, stop runaway spending, give individuals not bureaucrats control over their health care, understand that a secure domestic energy policy is part of a sound homeland security strategy, and trust the American people to make decisions on how to spend their money for themselves and their families.
These solutions may sound simple, but it often the simplest ideas - as in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - that form the firmest groundwork for a revolution.
Thank you again for your time, your dedication, and your commitment to the realization of a future in which conservative values remain the bedrock, the foundation, the architecture, and above all: the driving force for revolutionary change.
Transcript released by the Press Office of Republican Whip Roy Blunt.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

civil rights and liberaliar hypocricy

From the Associated Press: "China executed a former director of its food and drug agency Tuesday for approving fake medicine in exchange for cash, illustrating how serious Beijing is about product safety, while officials announced steps to safeguard food at next summer's Olympic Games." (see full article at www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707110426)

All I hear about from the liberaliar media is that George Bush is a terrorist and that Pres. Bush is dangerous and that Pres. Bush wants to take away all of our civil rights. I hear liberaliars say that Scooter libby committed treason (he didn't) and that he lied about Iraq (he didn't). I hear about how the Bush administration is the most dangerous, the most evil, the most tyrannical, and the most despotic "regime" in the world.

Then I read a story like the one above from China. That's a story, by the way, that I had to dig around for because it was buried in the middle of the paper. Predictably, there has been a deafening silence from all of the usual liberal suspects. And it all becomes clearer than it has ever been before.

Liberalism is a cancer; a disease of the heart, mind and soul. it renders the victim unable to differentiate between right and wrong, fact and fiction, or good and evil. Liberals are unable to see these differences because liberalism has eaten away at their minds and souls.

This is why it's irresponsible to ever vote for a liberal!

2 corinthians 2

1-2 That's why I decided not to make another visit that could only be painful to both of us. If by merely showing up I would put you in an embarrassingly painful position, how would you then be free to cheer and refresh me?

3-4 That was my reason for writing a letter instead of coming—so I wouldn't have to spend a miserable time disappointing the very friends I had looked forward to cheering me up. I was convinced at the time I wrote it that what was best for me was also best for you. As it turned out, there was pain enough just in writing that letter, more tears than ink on the parchment. But I didn't write it to cause pain; I wrote it so you would know how much I care—oh, more than care—love you!

5-8 Now, regarding the one who started all this—the person in question who caused all this pain—I want you to know that I am not the one injured in this as much as, with a few exceptions, all of you. So I don't want to come down too hard. What the majority of you agreed to as punishment is punishment enough. Now is the time to forgive this man and help him back on his feet. If all you do is pour on the guilt, you could very well drown him in it. My counsel now is to pour on the love.

9-11 The focus of my letter wasn't on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church. So if you forgive him, I forgive him. Don't think I'm carrying around a list of personal grudges. The fact is that I'm joining in with your forgiveness, as Christ is with us, guiding us. After all, we don't want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we're not oblivious to his sly ways!

12-14 When I arrived in Troas to proclaim the Message of the Messiah, I found the place wide open: God had opened the door; all I had to do was walk through it. But when I didn't find Titus waiting for me with news of your condition, I couldn't relax. Worried about you, I left and came on to Macedonia province looking for Titus and a reassuring word on you. And I got it, thank God!

14-16 In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.

16-17 This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No— but at least we don't take God's Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ's presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.

leviticus 19

1-2 God spoke to Moses: "Speak to the congregation of Israel. Tell them, Be holy because I, God, your God, am holy.

3 "Every one of you must respect his mother and father. "Keep my Sabbaths. I am God, your God.

4 "Don't take up with no-god idols. Don't make gods of cast metal. I am God, your God.

5-8 "When you sacrifice a Peace-Offering to God, do it as you've been taught so it is acceptable. Eat it on the day you sacrifice it and the day following. Whatever is left until the third day is to be burned up. If it is eaten on the third day it is polluted meat and not acceptable. Whoever eats it will be held responsible because he has violated what is holy to God. That person will be cut off from his people.

9-10 "When you harvest your land, don't harvest right up to the edges of your field or gather the gleanings from the harvest. Don't strip your vineyard bare or go back and pick up the fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am God, your God.

11 "Don't steal.
"Don't lie.
"Don't deceive anyone.

12 "Don't swear falsely using my name, violating the name of your God. I am God.

13 "Don't exploit your friend or rob him.
"Don't hold back the wages of a hired hand overnight.

14 "Don't curse the deaf; don't put a stumbling block in front of the blind; fear your God. I am God.

15 "Don't pervert justice. Don't show favoritism to either the poor or the great. Judge on the basis of what is right.

16 "Don't spread gossip and rumors.
"Don't just stand by when your neighbor's life is in danger. I am God.

17 "Don't secretly hate your neighbor. If you have something against him, get it out into the open; otherwise you are an accomplice in his guilt.

18 "Don't seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people.
"Love your neighbor as yourself. I am God.

19 "Keep my decrees.
"Don't mate two different kinds of animals.
"Don't plant your fields with two kinds of seed.
"Don't wear clothes woven of two kinds of material.

20-22 "If a man has sex with a slave girl who is engaged to another man but has not yet been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be an investigation. But they aren't to be put to death because she wasn't free. The man must bring a Compensation-Offering to God at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, a ram of compensation. The priest will perform the ritual of atonement for him before God with the ram of compensation for the sin he has committed. Then he will stand forgiven of the sin he committed.

23-25 "When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, don't eat the fruit for three years; consider it inedible. By the fourth year its fruit is holy, an offering of praise to God. Beginning in the fifth year you can eat its fruit; you'll have richer harvests this way. I am God, your God.

26 "Don't eat meat with blood in it.
"Don't practice divination or sorcery.

27 "Don't cut the hair on the sides of your head or trim your beard.

28 "Don't gash your bodies on behalf of the dead.
"Don't tattoo yourselves. I am God.

29 "Don't violate your daughter by making her a whore—the whole country would soon become a brothel, filled with sordid sex.

30 "Keep my Sabbaths and revere my Sanctuary: I am God.

31 "Don't dabble in the occult or traffic with mediums; you'll pollute your souls. I am God, your God.

32 "Show respect to the aged; honor the presence of an elder; fear your God. I am God.

33-34 "When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don't take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God.

35-36 "Don't cheat when measuring length, weight, or quantity. Use honest scales and weights and measures. I am God, your God. I brought you out of Egypt.

37 "Keep all my decrees and all my laws. Yes, do them. I am God."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

a great american weekend

This past weekend, I did something that I don't normally do anymore--I made the trip to downtown Indianapolis two days in a row.

On Saturday, I took my kids to the parade for the U.S.S. Indianapolis survivors. What a wonderful experience that was! You can read about it at http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007707070489
and there is a link for a photo gallery of the parade there as well.

On Sunday, we went to an Indianapolis Indians game downtown. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! The weather was beautiful and the game was well played and it was just a lot of fun. There's no such thing as a bad day at the ballpark!

On the drive home after the game, it occured to me that the two events were linked. Those men who survived the sinking of the Indianapolis were a big part of why it's possible to go watch a ball game in peace and harmony today. Those men were instrumental in winning WWII. Millions of men and women, before and after those courageous men, have fought and sometimes died to protect the freedoms we take for granted. We owe them a debt that is impossible to fully repay.

The events of the weekend gave my children and I a great opportunity to talk about these kinds of things. I was pleasantly surprised at how insightful their questions were. Kids want to know why America is great. The events of this last weekend helped them understand.

Monday, July 09, 2007

what is there to admire about america?

Marie Cocco is the outsider’s insider in Washington.

Through her diligent reporting, robust writing—and plain common sense—Cocco’s columns translate the noisy arguments of politics so readers can hear clearly their impact on everyday life.

That's the opening of the biography that liberaliar Marie Cocco-Puffs wrote for herself. I find those words amusing because, if you read any of her columns, you will find that she is one of the more empty-headed members of the liberal mainstream media. By the way, there are several liberal columnists that I enjoy reading. Susan Estrich, Leonard Pitts, and E.J. Dionne are three examples, and there are a few others. The three I mentioned are all intelligent people who normally write thoughtful pieces. Although I might disagree with them, I can at least respect them.

Marie Cocco-Puffs doesn't fit that category. Here's the opening paragraph of her latest screed:

Much of the world still likes our movies, and what used to be called American ingenuity—the scientific and technological genius that cures disease and connected the world through the Internet. But there’s not much else to admire about the United States.

That's a pretty amazing statement, isn't it? In "The World According To Cocco-Puffs," America is to be admired for the movies produced by Hollywood, and the scientific/medical/technical advances that have cured disease and created the Internet. There is nothing else to admire about America.

Wow! Is there any clearer illustration of the effects on the mind and spirit of a person afflicted with the cancer of liberalism?

I ran across this particular column on a liberaliar site called "Truthdig.com." I posted the following response to her column:

Maria Cocco-Puffs is stupidly wrong when she says that there isn’t anything to admire about the United States. Following are the Top 5 Things To Admire About the United States:

1. Religious Freedom--People from every corner of the globe, representing every religion that there is, flock to the United States because they are allowed to practice their religious faith in peace. There haven’t been very many countries in the history of the world that allow that.

2. Economic Freedom--The U.S. is one of the most economically free countries in the world. We have a free market that allows anyone to “pursue happiness"--what the Founders understood to mean “property rights” and what Pres. Bush calls the “ownership society.” If you work hard and persevere, you can own a piece of the American Dream.

3. Civil Liberties/Due Process--Here in America, agents of the government are limited in the ways they can interfere in your daily living of life. You can’t be denied life, liberty or property without due process of law.

4. Health Care--Contrary to the liberal lies being spun by America’s Cultural Marxists and Liberaliars, the United States has the finest health care system in the world. That’s why people flock here from every country of the world to have their health issues cared for.

5. American Charity and Hospitality--There has never, in the history of the world, been a country that has amassed as much power and wealth as the U.S., and used that power and wealth for as much good, as the U.S. We saved the world from the evil forces of totalitarianism in two different world wars, and we sacrificed more than 500,000 lives to do it. Public, private and corporate international aid to the rest of the world amounts to about $35 billion annually. No other country in the world gives as much as we do.

I have a suggestion for Marie Cocco-Puffs. If she thinks that America is such a rotton place, maybe she should leave. I’m sure that her “journalistic style” would be well received in places like Cuba, Venezuela, or Iran.

Or not.

After I wrote that, I thought more about it, and I realized that my answer was incomplete. There is one overriding component of the American republic that is the most admirable part of our great nation. It is expressed by our Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Do you all understand the magnitude of that statement, quoted from the document that created America? We the people have natural human rights that cannot be taken away from us or transferred to anyone else. Those rights are not given to us by government, or by any human ruler. Those rights are given to us by God. Government is created and empowered by the people in order to safeguard those unalienable rights. In other words, in America, power flows from the people to government, not the other way around. And it's all based upon the belief that God is at the center of it all.

You can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the U.S. is the only nation in the history of the world that is based upon this very Biblical belief system. 2 Corinthians 3:17 says, Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Our freedoms are secure so long as we remain committed to the Spirit of the Lord. Everything that is good and right about America is rooted in our faith in God.

2 corinthians 1

1-2 I, Paul, have been sent on a special mission by the Messiah, Jesus, planned by God himself. I write this to God's congregation in Corinth, and to believers all over Achaia province. May all the gifts and benefits that come from God our Father and the Master, Jesus Christ, be yours! Timothy, someone you know and trust, joins me in this greeting.

3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

6-7 When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you're just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you're going to make it, no doubt about it.

8-11 We don't want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. We felt like we'd been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he's the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don't want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God's deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part.

12-14 Now that the worst is over, we're pleased we can report that we've come out of this with conscience and faith intact, and can face the world—and even more importantly, face you with our heads held high. But it wasn't by any fancy footwork on our part. It was God who kept us focused on him, uncompromised. Don't try to read between the lines or look for hidden meanings in this letter. We're writing plain, unembellished truth, hoping that you'll now see the whole picture as well as you've seen some of the details. We want you to be as proud of us as we are of you when we stand together before our Master Jesus.

15-16 Confident of your welcome, I had originally planned two great visits with you—coming by on my way to Macedonia province, and then again on my return trip. Then we could have had a bon-voyage party as you sent me off to Judea. That was the plan.

17-19 Are you now going to accuse me of being flip with my promises because it didn't work out? Do you think I talk out of both sides of my mouth—a glib yes one moment, a glib no the next? Well, you're wrong. I try to be as true to my word as God is to his. Our word to you wasn't a careless yes canceled by an indifferent no. How could it be? When Silas and Timothy and I proclaimed the Son of God among you, did you pick up on any yes-and-no, on-again, off-again waffling? Wasn't it a clean, strong Yes?

20-22 Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God's Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.

23 Now, are you ready for the real reason I didn't visit you in Corinth? As God is my witness, the only reason I didn't come was to spare you pain. I was being considerate of you, not indifferent, not manipulative.

24 We're not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We're partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours.

leviticus 18

1-5 God spoke to Moses: "Speak to the People of Israel. Tell them, I am God, your God. Don't live like the people of Egypt where you used to live, and don't live like the people of Canaan where I'm bringing you. Don't do what they do. Obey my laws and live by my decrees. I am your God. Keep my decrees and laws: The person who obeys them lives by them. I am God.

6 "Don't have sex with a close relative. I am God.

7 "Don't violate your father by having sex with your mother. She is your mother. Don't have sex with her.

8 "Don't have sex with your father's wife. That violates your father.

9 "Don't have sex with your sister, whether she's your father's daughter or your mother's, whether she was born in the same house or elsewhere.

10 "Don't have sex with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter. That would violate your own body.

11 "Don't have sex with the daughter of your father's wife born to your father. She is your sister.

12 "Don't have sex with your father's sister; she is your aunt, closely related to your father.

13 "Don't have sex with your mother's sister; she is your aunt, closely related to your mother.

14 "Don't violate your father's brother, your uncle, by having sex with his wife. She is your aunt.

15 "Don't have sex with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife; don't have sex with her.

16 "Don't have sex with your brother's wife; that would violate your brother.

17 "Don't have sex with both a woman and her daughter. And don't have sex with her granddaughters either. They are her close relatives. That is wicked.

18 "Don't marry your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sex with her while your wife is living.

19 "Don't have sex with a woman during the time of her menstrual period when she is unclean.

20 "Don't have sex with your neighbor's wife and violate yourself by her.

21 "Don't give any of your children to be burned in sacrifice to the god Molech—an act of sheer blasphemy of your God. I am God.

22 "Don't have sex with a man as one does with a woman. That is abhorrent.

23 "Don't have sex with an animal and violate yourself by it.
"A woman must not have sex with an animal. That is perverse.

24-28 "Don't pollute yourself in any of these ways. This is how the nations became polluted, the ones that I am going to drive out of the land before you. Even the land itself became polluted and I punished it for its iniquities—the land vomited up its inhabitants. You must keep my decrees and laws— natives and foreigners both. You must not do any of these abhorrent things. The people who lived in this land before you arrived did all these things and polluted the land. And if you pollute it, the land will vomit you up just as it vomited up the nations that preceded you.

29-30 "Those who do any of these abhorrent things will be cut off from their people. Keep to what I tell you; don't engage in any of the abhorrent acts that were practiced before you came. Don't pollute yourselves with them. I am God, your God."

liberals are racists, conservatives are not


This is an excellent column by Star Parker. It is especially timely, coming on the heels of the Louisville desegregation Supreme Court case.

Bottom line: Liberals don't believe that blacks have the ability to take care of themselves or make wise personal choices on their own. Liberals believe that more government programs and spending are the only solutions to the problems facing black Americans, because black Americans just don't exist as thoughtful individuals capable of exercising self determination.

Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that all Americans, regardless of race, color or creed, are capable individuals with the ability to make their own decisions about how to best live their lives, free from government intrusion. That's the difference between an "ownership society" based on the unalienable rights of the individual, and "Mommy and Daddy Government" providing cradle to grave succor to helpless groups of "victims."

Who's the racist?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

the bush strategy in iraq

I am becoming increasingly frustrated with the Bush Iraq strategy. The longer we go along, the more convinced I become that Bush is going to botch this whole endeavor.

That doesn't mean that I believe that there is nothing positive going on in Iraq, or that I believe that we should cut and run. I'm not a Democrat Liberaliar, after all! It's just that I don't think that Bush sees the whole picture, and, in my opinion, his partial blindness threatens to doom the entire mission. I'll explain.

First, is there anything right with the Bush strategy? YES! I'll make a list.

1. The decision to invade Iraq and remove Saddam was the correct, and courageous decision. Saddam refused to comply with U.N. directives to deal openly and honestly with weapons inspectors, and that was never going to change. Saddam and Bin Laden had begun to explore ways in which they might cooperate to bring about the destruction of America (according to the 9/11 Commission) and Saddam was providing funding and operational support for Islamofascist terrorism activities. Bill Clinton and Al Gore both agreed with Pres. Bush (at the time) that removing Saddam was crucial. Moving against Iraq was the right thing to do.

2. Pres. Bush has demonstrated unbelievable courage in not giving in to the cut and run liberaliars in the Congress. Although there has been tremendous pressure on him to surrender, courtesy of the Surrender Monkeys in the Democrat Party, our President has never wavered in his commitment to victory. His courage has been absolutely heroic in that regard.

Now, having said that, there's a whole lot wrong with the actual strategy for victory. Here's a list:

1. Pres. Bush is absolutely wrong in trying to impose a secular democracy on Iraq. It won't work! First of all, democracies never work, anywhere in the world. America isn't a democracy. We are a constitutional republic, and there's a huge difference. Democracy equals mob rule, and that kind of a system is especially dangerous in an Islamic country. Which leads to a second problem;

2. Our constitutional republic was founded on the principles of Christianity, and that was the key to success. Our Founding Fathers knew with absolute certainty that America would not survive without a religious and moral citizenry, who in turn would elect religious and moral leaders. See www.eadshome.com/QuotesoftheFounders.htm for specific quotes from the Founding Fathers on this subject. See the Northwest Ordinance (Sec. 14, Art. 3) where it says, "Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

Bottom line--our secular processes (the "machinery" of an indirect democracy) will not produce the desired results in a nation where the dominant religion is Islam. The religion of Islam is a religion of jihad and hate. It is a religion that teaches it's believers to convert the non-believers, and to kill those who refuse.

3. The third problem is that Pres. Bush has been fighting this war with one hand tied behind his back. We are too scared to fight this war 100%, and that has cost us lives. Tied in with this, Bush has completely ignored Iran's part in this war, and that is costing us lives as well.

I never criticize without offering solutions. Here's my plan:

1. Forget about creating a government for them. That's none of our business.
2. Focus on total annihilation of the enemy. Put the "surge" on steroids. Use 100% of our military capabilities, and 100% of our weaponry, to utterly crush Islamofascism in Iraq through mind-numbing, soul-crushing, brutal-beyond-belief military force. Hold nothing back until the job is done. We can rebuild afterwards.
3. Speaking of rebuilding, the rebuilding effort after the war should not just be financial. Christian missionaries must continue to evangelize in that part of the world, because winning souls to Christ will solve the terrorist problem. Of course, that's not a function of government, but it is crucial nonetheless.
4. Pres. Bush should institute a complete blockade against Iran. Nothing goes in or out of that country until they renounce Islamofascism, and agree to stop all support of Islamofascist terrorism. All funding and support of the insurgency in Iraq must be stopped cold! I think that a blockade would bring them around to our way of thinking. If not--turn Tehran into a parking lot. Many of you think that's "mean." I don't care. I believe with all my heart that at the end of WWII, Pres. Truman showed as much courage as any president in history by nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His decision saved tens of thousands of American lives, and while the loss of so many Japanese lives in those bombings is tragic, and it is not to be celebrated, it must be viewed as an acceptable cost of ending the war. If erasing Tehran from the global map is what it takes to stop Iranian support for the Iraqi insurgency, so be it. We didn't start this war, but we can darn sure end it! Our president has an obligation to do so.

Folks, it is crucial for America to win this fight. The forces of Islamofascism have mobilized in Iraq. They have devoted all of their resources to defeating us there. That's good, because we don't want them killing us here. As dedicated as they are to our eventual destruction, cracks have begun to appear in their unity. Even with all of the mistakes Bush has made, the surge is working (slowly) and progress is being made. If we follow the Democrat Surrender Monkeys off the cliff, America will suffer irreparable damage. Our culture and our way of life will be threatened with extinction. Our children and our grandchildren will live in a more dangerous situation than any generation in America's history. I am not willing to let that happen. I pray that a majority of Americans agree, and are willing to be vocal with their agreement.
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