Friday, October 26, 2007

Migratory Urges

Tomorrow begins the annual fishing haaj to the NC Outer Banks. This year's crew is noticably thinner than the past several years. The older fellows are starting to die off, and the younger fellows are busy.

I am glad to be going, but it hasn't always been so. The first year I went I got so frustrated. There were all these men I didn't know that well and I felt like I had to prove my manhood to them by being proficient at catching fish. Those of you who have fished on the surf know that surf fishing is completely different than pond or river fishing. The same rules just don't apply. So I was pretty frustrated. I wasn't catching fish, my line wouldn't stay down and kept getting tangled in everyone else's lines and to make matters worse, they were catching fish and I wasn't even getting a bite!

My frustration kept mounting until one of the men that I knew pretty well pulled me alongside. His son was there and was feeling some of the same pressure I was. Charles told me, "You know, I told Jeff that the whole reason I come out here is just to hang out with these fellows. If I catch fish, it is just a bonus." Well, those may not be his exact words, but it was something along those lines. It helped me to realize that there wasn't a competition and that I could just relax and enjoy being there. Oddly enough, I did relax and began to catch fish.

How many times in our lives do we let a performance mentality ruin the moment? How often do we let it set unrealistic expectations that end up leaving us feeling disappointed and unfulfilled? I can't count the number of times that I tried so hard not to fail that I ended up doing that exact thing.

It is the same with the Christian walk. We will never walk successfully when we are trying to follow some regimen or stand up to someone's perforance guidelines. This is why Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." By our effort we will never be holy and we will never be more worthy to God. It is His grace that produces sanctification - not our human righteousness.

I know some people now that are so afraid of failing and disappointing God that they are pharisaicly trying to maintain a "Christian" law and are failing at it. The problem is that the law always brings death and failure. Human flesh (fallen human flesh, that is) simply cannot live in holiness by adherance to the law. It is only by living life by the Spirit of God that we are able to achieve holiness - it is a free gift so none can boast.

As we learn to relax and allow the Spirit of God to live through us, we will find that we start to succeed!

So, back to fishing. I am looking forward to our annual migration. It will be a good time spent with my dad and my grandfather and the other men who have become familiar over the past few years. I will get to sit on the beach and smell the salty sea air, watch dolphins and whales swimming beyond the breakers, maybe get a little sun, and maybe, just maybe, catch a few fish. Fish or no fish it is going to be a great trip.

Still Raining!!!

This is completely wonderful! It is still raining today! Whoo hoo!

It could probably rain this way for a month and we wouldn't be caught up, but I am so thankful for the rain that we are getting. You can tell that the land needs it. There is hardly any runoff. It is all just soaking in. I went by a little pond yesterday to see if there was any noticable difference after the rain, and it is still at about the same level that it was before the rain. It has been a great rain too. Really gentle, plenty of time to soak in.

Keep it coming, Lord!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Let It Rain

"...He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."
- Jesus of Nazareth

The rain continues to fall softly on my beloved North Carolina today. I am so very grateful. What a great God I serve!

Psalm 145
The LORD Extolled for His Goodness.
A Psalm of Praise, of David.

I will extol You, my God, O King,
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised,
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty
And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts,
And I will tell of Your greatness.
They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness
And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and merciful;
Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
The LORD is good to all,
And His mercies are over all His works.

All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD,
And Your godly ones shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom
And talk of Your power;
To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts
And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The LORD sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.
You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all His ways
And kind in all His deeds.
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.
The LORD keeps all who love Him,
But all the wicked He will destroy.

My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

What an awesome God I serve!

Another Sucker

John Edwards is on the campaign trail, wowing crowds with his slick answers and pretty hair. Just recently he was in Iowa talking about hunting of all things.

Mike Hanlon, of Glenwood, said afterward he was impressed by the way the crowd responded to Edwards and by his attitude.

"I just think Edwards can work with both parties, and he seems honest," said Hanlon, who hasn't decide who to support in the caucuses.

I have news for you, Mike. John Edwards is about as honest as Albert Einstein was dumb.

You have fallen for his best ruse - the sympathetic politician. It is the same ruse that he uses when he tells you - with a straight face no less - that those millions he won chasing ambulances was all for the sake of the victims. That is why he pocketed over 50% of the settlements in many cases, right?

You think he can work with both parties? Wrong again. John Edwards is one of the most liberal Senators to ever go to Washington for North Carolina. Notice that I didn't say "serve" North Carolina or "represent" North Carolina. He did neither. From the time that he was elected to the Senate he began his campaign for the Presidency. He missed over 50% of the votes during his time in office, and when he was on the road campaigning with Kerry his record was even worse. So, I don't think that you can say that John Edwards did much work when he was in office either.

I'd also like to point out that John Edwards wholly embraced the Democratic Party platform and line. He never worked with anyone across the aisle. In fact, when he did manage to show up to work in the Senate he was responsible for many filibusters of President Bush's judicial (and other) appointees. Not exactly the way to "work" with both parties.

You missed the one quality of John Edwards that I would not be able to deny. He IS consistent. I could always count on John Edwards to vote strictly along party lines. I could almost always count on him to vote against my desires as his constituent. So I could not deny that John Edwards IS consistent. He is consistently all about whatever is best for John Edwards.

Thanks, Dad!

We have finally gotten some wonderful rain. God is merciful! I hope that it will continue for a week! The rain, that is. God's mercy lasts forever to those who love Him. Do you?

Al Gore's Broken Hobby Horse

Global warming is a crock. At least Al Gore's version is. I can't believe that boob won the Nobel Peace Prize. Of course, he is in pretty good company. Over the past 30 years or so the winners' list has had more boobs than a statue of Artemis of Ephesus.

John Stossel has written a pretty good article debunking most of the conclusions of looney-boy Gore. You can read it HERE. The article also draws attention to some wrong assumptions made about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

The media also treat the (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) IPCC as impartial scientists, but Reiter and Christy, who were members of the IPCC, say it is not what the public thinks it is. Many of the people involved in writing its report "are not scientists at all," Reiter says. "They were essentially activists." Members of groups like Greenpeace were involved. Skeptics were often ignored.

Say it isn't so! You mean they actually let non-scientists write the report?!!!

Al Gore may have declared the debate on "global warming" closed, but the fat lady hasn't even made her way from the dressing room yet.

Anyone For Chinese?

Apparently Hillary can't get enough Chinese. She's managed to get herself all caught up in another illegal foreign campaign contribution scandal. Why am I not surprised? Why am I even less surprised that the money is coming from the Chinese?

Michelle Malkin wrote about it HERE.

Asian-American groups don't like the increased public scrutiny that Hillary Clinton's mysterious Chinese dishwasher donors are getting….

In the wake of eye-opening investigations by the New York Post and Los Angeles Times of more dubious foreign funny money flowing into Hill's coffers, ethnic grievance organizations are stepping forward to condemn these stories as examples of "negligent journalism." Yep. The newspapers are guilty of "negligence" because they actually broke news instead of covering it up.

Both papers uncovered dishwashers, cooks and other suspect Hillary campaign contributors in New York's Chinatown, Flushing, the Bronx and Brooklyn who were limited-income, limited-English-proficient and smellier than stinky tofu. One Asian donor admitted to the Los Angeles Times "to lacking the legal-resident status required for giving campaign money." Another, Hsiao Wen Yang, told the New York Post she was reimbursed for her $1,000 donation -- setting off clear alarm bells over yet another possible straw donor scheme on the heels of Norman Hsu-gate. …

We've been here so many times before. With convicted DNC fundraiser John Huang and Charlie Trie and Pauline Kanchanalak and Maria Hsia. With the Chinese Buddhist monks and nuns who helped engineer a Gore campaign reimbursement scheme and shredded documents related to their temple fundraiser. With former Chinese-American Democrat governor of Washington, Gary Locke, who also took money from Chinese temple donors who couldn't speak English, couldn't remember when they donated or couldn't be located.
This is treason. It is about time the Republicans start holding the Democrats' feet to the fire over this. The Chinese are trying to buy influence in our government and the Democrats are running to the money fountain.

I have spent the past couple of days talking about the threat that I see posed by China. I have written numerous articles on this blog about it. If the Democrats - or ANY US politician - are found to have taken money from China (or ANY other foreign government) then they should be impeached and at the very least thrown in jail for a VERY long time. If their treason results in the death of even one American citizen then they should receive the death penalty - OLD SCHOOL. I am so totally disgusted by the corruption, utter stupidity and self serving being done by the politicians of this country.

Anyone know Mandarin? If the Democrats have their way, we'll all be speaking it.

Shades of Gray? Whatever!

Michael Medved wrote an interesting article over at Town In it, he claims that Rudy Giuliani's stance on abortion is still far to the right of anyone in the Democrats' camp. You can find the article HERE.

The article title is Abortion's Shades Of Gray, which I think is absurd, but the article raises some interesting points. I was, in the end, happy to read Mr. Medved's disclaimer,

Personally, I disagree with Giuliani on abortion. I am unhesitatingly pro-life, and I yearn for the Supreme Court to overturn the monstrous abomination of Roe v. Wade. Even so, whatever our distance from Giuliani on specific policies, we ought to recognize that he's far closer to the GOP mainstream than Clinton, Obama or any other Democrat, and that his mixed position — anti-abortion and pro-choice — actually correlates with the American majority.

I'm not sure that I buy all of that, but I heartily AMEN the sentiment of the second sentence.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Great Idea

I read an article today that contained a great idea that will bring some accountability to Congress. Forgive my cynicism, but it is probably doomed to fail. But it is a mighty good idea. HERE is the link!

Save The Children

Last year Planed Parenthood single-handedly murdered 264,943 children.

A movie is coming out Friday that is at least partially about saving these children.

The movie's title is Bella and, unfortunately, it is only opening in select cities around the country. I think the closest ones to me are Atlanta, Knoxville, Nashville, Washington, and Baltimore. You can check out the official web site HERE.

I first heard about the movie HERE. The article is very interesting. Here is an excerpt:

…while Academy Award recognition would be nice, it’s not the primary motivator for Eduardo, Sevorino and Monteverde. These “three amigos” as they’ve been labeled know all too well that so much of what is coming out from Hollywood is “poison”—and they wanted to start a company whose films have an uncompromising positive message. For Eduardo, “Bella” marks a very abrupt change of course. He has been described in a number of outlets as the “Brad Pitt of Latin America.” Yet he became disillusioned and dissatisfied as his career led him down the path of the Latin lover. After a renewal of his Catholic faith, he now says, “I knew I was not born to be a movie star…. I was born to know and to love and to serve Jesus Christ, and that’s my goal.”

Through “Bella” the three amigos have set out to do something different, something decidedly non-toxic. “We’re excited and we’re just so passionate about this film because for us it’s [not] just another film, it’s a mission about using the media and film to elevate the dignity of the human person. [I wanted to do a film] that I can invite my grandmother and mother to and I don’t have to cover their eyes in any scene.” Through their film company, Metanoia Films, their mission is to serve others; they want the audience to leave the theatre “with a candle in their heart … with hope.” Partnering with the three amigos behind “Bella” are financier Sean Wolfington and Executive Producer Steve McEveety from The Passion of the Christ.
The part of the article that is the most compelling to me is this testimony by Eduardo.

Prior to filming, in an effort to understand what the character Nina was going through, Eduardo made a visit to an abortion clinic. “I wanted to build my character and do some research and investigation.”

“I went there thinking that it was going to be something very simple and easy … stop the first lady and ask her a few questions, do my notes.” He was not expecting the emotional experience of what followed. “I was in shock when I saw all these 16- and 17-year-old girls going in and I didn’t know what to do. I forgot about the film and then I saw a few people outside trying to convince [a young girl] not to do it.
“I approached that group … introduced myself and I told them, ‘I am here to help,’ so they thought I was one of them. Next thing you know one of the young ladies from the group tells me: ‘Eduardo this couple, they don’t speak English, we don’t speak Spanish, can you talk to them?’ I said ‘yes.’”

He was quickly recognized from his work on soap operas in Mexico—the telenovelas—and they started a conversation that quickly became a friendship. “We ended up talking for 45 minutes about everything: life, food, Mexico, dreams—and I gave her a little teddy bear and a little stroller and I showed her a little video called ‘Dura Realidad’ in Spanish and it shows what abortion really is. She cried and she left and she cancelled the appointment.”

After they finished filling their cast, Eduardo and team moved on to New York for the shooting for the film. Then, “I came back to Los Angeles, and a few months later I received a call from the man who was with [the pregnant girl] that day and he tells me, ‘Eduardo, I have great news for you. My boy, my baby was born yesterday. I want to ask you permission because I want to call him Eduardo.’

“It changed my life…. I didn’t plan to do that. I was only doing my investigation as an actor. I never thought that, by the grace of God, I was going to be used as an instrument to save this baby to be Eduardito…. It was just amazing, to the point that I thought: Even if ‘Bella’ never comes out and nobody sees it I rejoice in the Lord for Eduardito’s life.”

That's what it is all about. Please be praying that it will be heavily viewed in the communities where it is playing. If you can please go see this film. Opening weekend is critical in determining the fate of a movie like this. If the box office is pretty good the first weekend it will receive an expanded showing. I am so pleased that there are people out there making movies like this.

Quote Of The Day

Our cultural and political leaders have forgotten, if they ever knew, that the willingness to sacrifice on behalf of others is why serving in the military is considered such a high calling—and a part of what makes just wars just. Thomas Aquinas in his classic Summa Theologica puts his discussion of just war in the chapter on charity—the love of God and neighbor.

And reformer John Calvin called the soldier an “agent of God’s love” because “restraining evil out of love for neighbor is an imitation of God’s restraining evil out of love for His creatures.”

We are blessed that so many fine men and women are willing to wield the sword on our behalf in this country. But are we, in turn, willing to respect and honor those sacrificing for us? And if not, can we blame them if one day they decide to lay down their arms?

What kind of a world would this be if that happened? We would have a world where evil reigned unchecked by justice, and where the strong would be free to prey on the weak.

The problem is not with our service members who are serving us nobly and ably in Iraq; it is the political and cultural leaders who are dishonoring them. If most Americans share their attitude, then I say bring the troops home. Why should they risk their lives for an ungrateful nation?

-Chuck Colson

EXCELLENT article read it HERE.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Quote of The Day

If the United States and its coalition forces finish on top by achieving most, if not all, of their objectives in Iraq, what can the Democrats say? “We were secretly in support of the war all the way”? Not even Hillary Clinton could get away with such a whopper. The Republican campaign commercials would pound away with the hundreds (thousands?) of quotes from people they will label as “defeatist Democrats.” As this week’s lead editorial in The Weekly Standard asks, “Are the American people likely to elect the candidate of a party that has tried its best to lose a winnable war?”

The answer is no. And the answer to Charles Gibson’s assertion that no news is not news is that no violence is news and, indeed, is very good news for Iraq and for America. It is very bad news, however, for the leadership of the Democratic Party, because their investment in defeat may be about to prove itself the political equivalent of the dot-com bubble burst earlier this decade.

- Cal Thomas

Cool Picture

OK, it wouldn't be cool if you were there, but from here that is a cool picture.

So, Michelle Malkin has written that this fire is partly the fault of the environmentalists who have been blocking the clearing of deadwood debris in the forests. Of course the environmental moonbats are screaming "Global warming is to blame!" The Democrats are certain President Bush is to blame. And I'm going to chime in and say that the project that I mentioned in THIS post would have gone a long way to helping to curtail this fire had various government agencies actually been willing to do something to benefit America instead of furthering the stupidity known as partisan politics.

We Know Where You Live...

Apparently the wild turkeys in Massachusetts are a little wilder than previously thought. In what seems a preemptory strike at the populace prior to Thanksgiving, wild turkeys have been showing up, intimidating folks, even pecking at their backsides to make their point.

Kettly Jean-Felix parked her car on Beacon Street in Brookline, fed the parking meter, wheeled around to go to the optician and came face to face with a wild turkey.

The turkey eyed Jean-Felix. Jean-Felix eyed the turkey. It gobbled. She gasped. Then the turkey proceeded to follow the Dorchester woman over the Green Line train tracks, across the street, through traffic, and all the way down the block, pecking at her backside as she went.

"This is so scary," Jean-Felix said, finally taking refuge inside Cambridge Eye Doctors in Brookline's bustling Washington Square. "I cannot explain it."

The NRA has commented that Massachusetts' overweening gun control laws have emboldened the turkeys.

"What can I say? These turkey thugs know they aren't facing armed citizens out there. They have no need to fear." says Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association. "You don't hear about problems like this in the South where there is still a hunting culture."

Didn't Believe That It Was Plausible?

I told you so...

China To Test Space Weapon In Launching Moon Satellite

According to the article:

A Chinese submarine will send test signals that could change the course of a satellite when China launches its first moon orbiter, as part of the country's effort to develop space war technology...

Once the satellite-maneuvering technology matures, the group said, China would have the know-how to destroy other satellites in space in wartime. China could launch cheaply-made weapon-carrying objects into space and change their courses to destroy or damage satellites of other countries by sending signals from submarines, the center said.

China shocked the world in January by firing a missile at an old weather satellite without notifying anyone in advance, showing off its anti-satellite weaponry and its ability to shoot down satellites without being immediately noticed.

Here is some information that I got in a Newsmax email:

Chinese Weapons Surface in Afghanistan

American and British officials have complained to China that sophisticated, newly manufactured Chinese weapons have been seized in Afghanistan.

The weapons include anti-aircraft guns, landmines, rocket-propelled grenades, and even the HN-5, a Chinese copy of the Russian SA-7 surface-to-air missile.

The weapons that have been found had their serial numbers removed to cloak their intermediate source.

Folks, the Chinese are NOT our friends. They have definite plans to expand their power at our expense. We should be very concerned about these developments. We have the Klinton Administration and American corporate greed to thank for them getting the technology to make this possible. Good job, comrades.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What If?

As I have been reading the news for the last little while I can't help but wonder if America is getting set up for a big fall. It is becoming clearer and clearer that the ties between our enemies are growing stronger every day and their position is also being strengthened. There are certainly loose (or stronger) alliances between China, Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, North Korea, and Venezuela. China has also made overtures to nearly every country in South America. There is little doubt that Al Quaeda has at least some access to this alliance. Is it possible that these countries and Al Quaeda are preparing a strategic attack on the United States? Here is how it could play out:

Al Quaeda receives help getting nuclear materials for either a suitcase nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb into the United States and manages to detonate such a weapon in one or more American cities like Washington, DC, New York, or Los Angeles. A suitcase nuke or a dirty bomb in New York City would kill thousands upon thousands. Some of the most valuable property in the United States would become worthless. Imagine that multiplied by a factor 2 or 3 or, God forbid, 10.

The credit problems that we have seen in the past month have revealed the fragility of our economy. Even one successful large scale terrorist attack would likely put the economy in a tailspin - especially if that attack were to occur in one of our nation's financial or governmental centers.

Now suppose what would happen if immediately on the heels of that attack, Hugo Chavez and Venezuela begin "annexing" territory in South America. Russia invades Georgia (the country) and begins the process of re-establishing the iron curtain. Iran and Syria attack Israel. And China knocks out key military satellites, overwhelms Taiwan, and militarizes the Panama Canal.

To make matters worse, terror cells are activated in America and begin attacks throughout the American heartland such as blowing up schools, executing sniper style attacks randomly around the country, and suicide bombings. What if they instigated a biological terror attack using an agent like smallpox? What if they were clever enough to spread agricultural diseases like hoof and mouth disease?

If that happened what would you do? Where would you turn? What would you hold on to?

Here in America we have had a good long run of prosperity and protection. I personally believe that this is because our country was founded largely by people who came here to create a new Christian nation that would be a "light on a hill" to the world. In many ways we have done that - America is still the country that sends the most missionaries into the world and the country that gives the most to missions - however, our light hasn't always burned with such a pure light. We are also one of the leading exporters of pornography in the world and one of the leading countries in the world in murdering the unborn.

Over the past 40 years or so there has been a great shift in American culture away from the spiritual underpinnings that have held it secure towards a great secularization of our nation. As our nation has turned its back on God, I believe that we are beginning to "reap the whirlwind" for the wind that we have sown.

The scenario that I have painted is admittedly hypothetical and worst case. However, it is entirely plausible. It shows you just how precarious our position is today, and just how much we really do depend on God (or how much we should) for our country's security.

The scary thing is that God is a just God. He will not allow a nation to continually turn its back to Him and sin the way we are sinning as a nation. As I wrote the other day, "'Should I not punish them for this?' declares the LORD. 'Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?'" (Jeremiah 5:9 and 5:29 and 9:9)

The good news is that if we will repent of our wickedness, God will forgive. Yes there will eventually come a time when the conscience of our nation is seared to the point that God will judge us, but He is also very patient and merciful to the penitent.

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Medal Of Honor Awarded Posthumously To Michael Murphy, US Navy SEAL

I am always humbled when I read the stories of the heroism of our men and women in uniform. The courage and selflessness displayed by these heroes is staggering and it makes me proud to be an American alongside them.

I am sad and shocked that this story was not carried by the New York Post. I guess patriotism, honor, and courage aren't fashionable in New York this fall.

Here is the story of the heroism that earned Lt. Murphy the Medal of Honor, but cost him his life:

Murphy, Luttrell and two other SEALs were searching for a terrorist in the Afghan mountains on June 28, 2005, when their mission was compromised after they were spotted by locals, who presumably alerted the Taliban to their presence.

An intense gun battle ensued, with more than 50 anti-coalition fighters swarming around the outnumbered SEALs.

Although wounded, Murphy is credited with risking his own life by moving into the open for a better position to transmit a call for help.

Still under fire, Murphy provided his unit's location and the size of the enemy force. At one point he was shot in the back, causing him to drop the transmitter. Murphy picked it back up, completed the call and continued firing at the enemy who was closing in.

He then returned to his cover position with his men and continued the battle. A U.S. helicopter sent to rescue the men was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, killing all 16 aboard.

By the end of the two-hour gunfight, Murphy and two of his comrades were also dead. An estimated 35 Taliban were also killed. Luttrell was blown over a ridge and knocked unconscious. He escaped, and was protected by local villagers for several days before he was rescued.

"We look at these guys and say, 'What heroes,'" said Murphy's father, Dan Murphy. "These guys look at themselves and say, 'I'm just doing my job.' That's an understatement, but that's the way they view it, and that was Michael's whole life."

Murphy's heroics have been widely recognized on Long Island, where he graduated in 1994 from Patchogue-Medford High School....

To his fellow SEALs, he was known as "Murph," but as a child, his parents nicknamed him "The Protector," because of his strong moral compass. After the 2001 terror attacks, that compass eventually led him to Afghanistan, where he wore a patch of the New York City Fire Department on his uniform.

"He took his deployment personally. He was going after, and his team was going after, the men who planned, plotted against and attacked not only the United States, but the city he loved, New York," said his father. "He knew what he was fighting for."

Thank you Lt. Murphy. God bless his family and friends.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cool Picture

You can go HERE for the information about the picture.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

See ya, Joe...

Joe Torre heard enough. He felt insulted. He felt unappreciated. He won't even set foot in Yankee Stadium anytime soon, not even to clean out his office. "I walked out of there, I'm not going back," he said. "I just leave the memories."

A day after he turned down a one-year contract, convinced the team no longer was committed to him after 12 seasons and four World Series titles, he went out his way — grateful, yet defiant; respectful but hurt.

He didn't say goodbye in Yankee Stadium. Instead, he spoke for 67 minutes — one minute for each year of his life — in a hotel ballroom near his home in suburban New York, close to the Connecticut border.

There was no Yankees logo, just a simple desk — appropriately draped in black — and a velvet background in the team's navy blue.

Well, it would seem that Joe Torre has had enough of George Steinbrenner's stupidity. I can't say that I blame him, and I'm pretty sure Steinbrenner will be kicking himself in the morning. I always liked Torre at the helm of the Yankees and it won't be the same without him.

Steinbrenner is such a moron.

Well, back to the playoffs...

Time To Duck...

It hasn't rained at my home since my birthday over a month ago. The drought is so severe here in North Carolina that they don't have a more severe category to use to classify it. This is the driest that it has ever been here since they have kept records. This is what they would call a famine in biblical days.

The interesting thing about famines is that they don't come around for no reason. According to the Bible famines come as a wake up call from God to turn from our sins and cry out to Him. Here's the problem: no one seems to be calling out to God. Now, I know that I have a number of Christian friends who are praying for rain and even a few who are acknowledging that this seems to be a judgment from the Lord's hand. However, the numbers of people who seem willing to acknowledge this are small in comparison to those who want to scream "global warming!"

Today in the news I have heard about massive, violent, unseasonable tornadoes and thunderstorms all across the country. There is a major storm in Washington state right now that is threatening a floating bridge, and there has been an overabundance of rain in Texas of all places.

The thing that really concerns me is that the Bush administration is beginning to press Israel for a "Palestinian" peace deal again. They even have some people in Israel talking of giving up part of Jerusalem to the terrorists in exchange for peace. Just the other day Secretary Of State Rice declared that now is the time for a Palestinian state. I shudder. The last time we got involved in pushing Israel to give up its rightful homeland, ceded to them by God, Katrina devestated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, killing thousands.

In fact, historically, every time that the United States has pushed Israel to give up land it has ended very badly for us.

So right now we have catestrophic (historically associated with judgment) weather patterns plaguing us. Our economy is on very shaky ground with the dollar growing weaker almost daily and the banking industry suffering the consequences of the poorly thought out loans that they made during the housing boom. Businesses are run by CEOs with short term mentality and big time greed. We even saw swarms of insects attack our national passtime in the Cleveland and New York game! The next thing in the litany of judgments is pestilence and it may have been unleashed as MRSA claims more and more lives and begins to spread further and further. After that comes war and defeat.

I wish I knew what to repent for. The problem is not actually trying to find one thing to repent for - it is that there are so many things that we are guilty of! As a people we are perverse, murderous, idolatrous, greedy, self-absorbed, non-loving, rebellious, faithless, baby-killing, self-worshipping swindlers. I am reminded of a passage from Jeremiah that says, "'Should I not punish them for this?' declares the LORD. 'Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?'" (Jeremiah 5:9 and 5:29 and 9:9) These words make me tremble. I pray that they make you tremble as well.

God please forgive us! Please cause us to repent! And please turn your anger from this land.

I believe it is time to duck.

Good News For NC Taxpayers

I'm shocked that it was even possible that we would, but

NC Won't Help Nifong Pay For Duke Lawsuits

Perhaps this will cause prosecutors to think twice before trampling on justice in the future. I hope those boys from Duke take everything that he has.

New Blog Available!

If you are interested in a good, Christian read check out my friend's new blog Thoughts Along The Way. She is an excellent writer and has learned some great lessons in God's crucible.

It Has Been A Long Day...

Hi, all, sorry it has taken so long to post. My computers at home have been sick and are in the shop. Hopefully I will have them back by the first on next week.

Of course that isn't the only thing that has kept me from posting lately. I have been pretty busy. It is funny how life can turn that way pretty quickly. The biggest drain that I have had lately has been the development of a business plan for a new business I hope to get off the ground in the next month or so. I think it is a great idea, but there is a ton of stuff to do to make it a reality.

I have been fighting with various software programs for the past two days to try to develop a logo. I have already drawn it out on paper, but trying to get it into the computer in a modifiable format has been an Herculean feat.

I have been banging my head against this wall all afternoon and since I am getting a splitting headache (figuratively), I have decided to take a break and get into some serious blogging. If anyone reading this post can tell me of a good program that will allow me to create a custom drawing for a logo and will make it possible to change fonts and colors at will, I'd certainly appreciate the tip. Oh, yes, and it also needs to be able to save in a fairly popular format like a .doc, .pdf, .jpg, or .bmp.

So, now it is time to do a bit of catching up. Here it comes!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

One Of Those Days...

I hate to lose. I mean I REALLY HATE to lose. You might not know it from my mild mannered alter ego but it is very true. In fact, deep down, I'm so competitive that I don't much like the fellow I become when I lose. Over the years I have developed ways to cope with this dark little me. Most of them have involved locking competitive me away in a dark dungeon and not giving him an opportunity to come out and do his thing.

It is a poor solution, really, because I have allowed myself to shut away one of my most masculine traits merely because it is dangerous. If you subscribe to John Eldredge's view of masculinity, you know that that is a cardinal sin. But I digress. See, this post isn't about how I have managed this aspect of my life so much as it is about the spiritual warfare that Christians find themselves engaged in constantly and more particularly about the warfare in which I found myself yesterday.

One of the neat things about being a Christian is the foregone certainty that we are on a winning team. While this is true, it is also very true that our sanctification doesn't occur overnight. The reality is that we struggle against our flesh for the remainder of our days. Until we die we will contend against its desires. Our enemy does his part too to make sure that we trip often.

As a young Christian I had great success in the battle against the flesh initially. Quite a few of my more fleshly habits dropped to the wayside very easily. However, there came a time in my life (and from my observation the lives of all Christians) where the Lord allowed the enemy to start fighting back. This generally comes as a shock to new believers, and the real hard work of sanctification is begun.

Over the years you become more accustomed to the fight. Indeed, you can even get in the habit of winning these skirmishes with the enemy. Then God takes you to a new place where the demons that you are battling have entrenched themselves deep in the areas of your personality that are so close to your perception of who you are that it feels like the guns of heaven, the blasts of the enemy, and even your own weapons are turned upon you. The very things that we are fighting are the attitudes and mechanisms that we have used to protect ourselves from the wounds that we have received throughout our lives. These defenses were adopted as means of the flesh to survive the awful attack of an enemy who sought to destroy us even before we came to know Jesus the Savior. The difficulty of this part of the fight is that the habits are so deeply ingrained that we often do them without even realizing that we are doing them.

Such is the battle that I have been fighting. Recently, the Lord began to show me that the very root of all of the sinful manifestations that I have been resisting for all of my Christian life are bound up in one thing: FEAR. He has begun to show me through the Scriptures that if we truly know Him and truly understand the relationship that He wants to have with us then we need fear nothing. When we have acknowledged Him as Lord and are submitted to His will for our lives then we have nothing to fear in all of creation.

I pretty well have this down in my mind. I understand the theology behind it. I assent to the logic of it. I believe it is right. And yet I discovered yesterday that there is a big difference between knowledge and true belief. Knowing your enemy does not guarantee victory over him.

Yesterday I had to deal with a financial matter that had been looming for several months. I knew that I needed to work on it, but really wasn't that afraid of it. I wasn't afraid, that is, until I sat down to start working on it. It was then that the enemy hit me with everything that he had, and I found myself resorting to all of my old tricks. In short, I totally blew it, even though I knew what was going on, and even though I knew to fight, I found myself totally overwhelmed.

I hate losing. And by God's grace, in the next battle it will be the enemy licking his wounds, not me.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Quote Of The Day

I remember helping my cousin with his tobacco crop, back around 1980. Huge, thorny weeds seemed to pop up overnight. I told him that if it ever became legal to grow the most famous weed--marijuana--he would have to spend several hours a day hoeing tobacco plants out of it. Because the world is perverse.

- Steve Graham @ Hog On Ice

Thursday, October 04, 2007

This Should Be Interesting

California Braces For TerminatorCare

Well, here's our chance to see if Universal Health Care (a.k.a. socialized medicine) will work. Governor Achnahld is pushing for it in the state of California. I have heard tell that if California were a sovereign nation it would have the 10th largest economy in the world. Here is a good experiment then to see how the US would fare under Hillarycare or some other version of socialized medicine.

We should be able to see if it has a negative impact on the economy. Based on Reaganomics, there should be a negative impact. Businesses are being forced to participate and the measure would involve a sales tax increase. These factors will reduce revenue and lead to reduced spending to grow business. We should also get to see how much a drain illegal immigration is on the system. From articles that I have read, Los Angeles and its environs are already struggling under the weight of the illegal population's drain on public services, education, and medical services.

My prediction? Within 10 years taxation in California will be unbearable and will be forced to increase ever more as people move out of the state to avoid the unreasonable taxes. The enconomy will flounder under the weight of the insurance costs, taxes, and loss of skilled labor. The prices for medical treatment will skyrocket due to supply and demand economics - thus increasing insurance rates and thus triggering additional load to taxpayers and employers. I also predict much longer waits for treatment and the rationing of treatment. People will have to leave California to receive the treatment they need due to backlogs caused by the new system.

Sound unreasonable? Well, that is what is happening in nearly every country in the world with socialized medicine. California and (if we are stupid enough to allow it) the United States will be no different.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

If There Really Is No God, What Are You So Afraid Of?

Here's a scary thought: Atheist Extremists

Religion Must Be Destroyed, Atheists Say

According to the linked article, a recent conference of atheists took a very militant tone.

Some of the luminaries who spoke at the conference, held at the Crown Royal Hotel in Crystal City, Va., over the weekend, included Oxford professor Richard Dawkins, author Sam Harris and journalist Christopher Hitchens. The Atheist Alliance International describes itself as "the only democratic national atheist organization in the United States."

While most attendees on Friday night were adamant that God was a myth, the convention, attended by hundreds of people, brought into focus a divide among atheists as to their identity as a movement and the nature of the enemy they faced.

In his speech, Dawkins portrayed a black-and-white intellectual battle between atheism and religion. He denounced the "preposterous nonsense of religious customs" and compared religion to racism. He also gave no quarter to moderate or liberal believers, asserting that "so-called moderate Christianity is simply an evasion."

"If you've been taught to believe it by moderates, what's to stop you from taking the next step and blowing yourself up?" he said.

I find the language used to be interesting: "the nature of the enemy they faced," "intellectual battle between atheism and religion," "He also gave no quarter..."

What's this old boy so threatened by? If there is no God, he has nothing to fear. But then again, that IS the point, isn't it?

Keep Your Money, Boys. The South's Gonna Rise Again!

And now for something completely different...

Southern and Northern Secessionists Meeting In Tennessee

Well, that's something that I wasn't expecting to read. I'll admit that it might be easier if all of the little groups would stake out their piece of America and set the laws the way they want to!

I always heard that a lot of folks consider all Southerners to be inbred, ignorant, bigots, but I thought that things were perhaps getting a little better. I guess not. Here's a quote from the article that struck me as particularly arrogant and stereotyping of the South:

The League of the South says it is not racist, but proudly displays a Confederate Battle Flag on its banner.
Um. A Confederate battle flag does not a racist make. Many Southerners are proud of their heritage. They are proud that their ancestors fought under great men like General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. These were men of very high standard, integrity and honor. For many in the south, the Civil War wasn't about slavery. It was about defending their country. For many it was about states' rights - something that we are seeing eroded every day with the debates about abortion, homosexual marriage, and gun control.

These people don't even try to hide their contempt of these folks:

Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, which monitors hate groups, said the League of the South "has been on our list close to a decade."

"What is remarkable and really astounding about this situation is we see people and institutions who are supposedly on the progressive left rubbing shoulders with bona fide white supremacists," Potok said.

Sale said the League of the South "has not done or said anything racist in its 14 years of existence," and that the Southern Poverty Law Center is not credible.

"They call everybody racists," Sale said. "There are, no doubt, racists in the League of the South, and there are, no doubt, racists everywhere."

Harry Watson, director of the Center For the Study of the American South and a history professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said it was a surprise to see The Middlebury Institute conferring with the League of the South, "an organization that's associated with a cause that many of us associate with the preservation of slavery."

Leave it to a UNC professor to take that stance. I don't know if the League of the South is a racist organization or not. I hope not - racism is abhorrent, but I am ruffled that the assumption is made that they are racists simply because they have chosen to use the Stars and Bars as a part of their banner. Southerners have a right to celebrate their heritage just like everyone else.

The Real War

This past January my pastor distributed a sheet of paper that contained a graphic similar to the one below. It depicts a comparison of the numbers of people killed in each of America's wars. Each ! represents 25,000 deaths.

The Revolutionary War: (25,324) !

The Civil War: (498,332) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

World War I: (116,708) !!!!!

World War II: (407,316) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Korean War: (54,246) !!

Vietnam War: (58,655) !!

Global War On Terror: (7,500) .

War On The Unborn (In The United States): (46,500,000+) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By now there are probably several more exclamation points. Every one of those marks represent TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND deaths. Compare that to the mere "." representing the American dead in the Global War on Terror since 9/11/01. People are protesting in Washington over a very successful war with relatively few casualties, but not since the 80s have we seen any widespread protests of the ongoing murder of MILLIONS of AMERICANS.

Abortion is a greater scourge to this nation that slavery ever was. It is a greater dishonor than any of our broken treaties with the Native American nations. In 34 years we have decimated a generation. In 34 years we have all but assured the bankruptcy of Social Security with abortion on demand.

You want to see what abortion destroys? Go HERE and start clicking play.

Abortion is not a right. Abortion is murder. Don't call it freedom of choice. That isn't what it is. Freedom of choice is deciding that if you don't want to have a baby that you don't engage in sexual intercourse. That is freedom of choice.

I get really tired of everyone pointing to the church and identifying its hypocrites. Sure, we have them, but so do you. Planned Parenthood is one of the biggest.

Alan Sears recently wrote an article that outlined some of Planned Parenthood's obvious hypocracies:

Planned Parenthood’s Recent Hypocrisy
By Alan Sears
Saturday, September 8, 2007

Planned Parenthood and its cheerleaders have long claimed they want abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare.”

Let’s examine the recent evidence. Do they promote things that make abortion “safe, legal, and rare” or do they actually support dangerous practices, ignore legal restrictions, and make decisions likely to increase the rate of abortion?...

This summer the Missouri Legislature – an entity charged with acting in the interest of its citizens – passed Senate Bill 370 to protect women’s health and safety. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Matt Blunt.

You’d think Planned Parenthood – which says it wants abortion to be “safe” for women – would applaud the new law. Its provisions require abortion clinics to be held to the same kinds of standards for cleanliness and safety required of other surgical facilities, so that a woman suffering the gruesome misery of an abortion at least has the same standard of care as she would for a tonsillectomy. The legislature after hearing a LOT of testimony understood that abortion of any kind, but especially one in the latter stages of pregnancy, can be an intrusive, even dangerous “procedure”—one that by its very nature has risks associated with it (not to mention what’s intended for the unborn child). And Planned Parenthood knows that the surprise complications of even the most “simple” abortions can quickly endanger the health, even the life, of the mother.

But rather than applauding and supporting this effort to increase health protection for their clients, Planned Parenthood asked a federal judge to strike down the law--to overturn the health and safety requirements--apparently because more safety means lower profits for abortionists.

Planned Parenthood also asserts that since some of their clinics mostly issue the abortion-performing drug mifepristone, they don’t need to follow the law either. In making this argument, they ignore FDA evidence that such chemical abortions may require surgical intervention – sometimes on an emergency basis – and for one out of every 12 women in clinical trials. A 2005 report showed 607 “adverse events” related to the abortion drug over a four-year period, including 237 cases of hemorrhage, 68 which required transfusions, and 42 characterized as life-threatening.

Planned Parenthood complains that enhanced health and safety would require some clinics to close while being retrofitted to standard. (Can you imagine a restaurant chain refusing to take time out from serving food to correct flagrant health code violations? Or a manufacturer refusing to retrofit its plants to install mandated equipment in their automobiles because doing so is too expensive?) And while bemoaning its potential loss in profits, Planned Parenthood is silent about its national gross income of nearly $900 million during 2005-2006, which yielded a tidy $63 million profit. They also fail to mention the $3.9 billion in taxpayer money they have received since 1987. Their spokesperson estimated that upgrading a heavily used surgical abortion clinic in Columbia, Missouri, to the 2007 standards would only cost $600,000.

You hypocrites! You murderous, lying, greedy, evil sons of the devil! You claim that these children are unwanted when THOUSANDS of Americans have to go to China to adopt children every year. Don't talk to me about paying for your social security. You destroyed it with your own hands. You tell teenagers that they can't possibly be expected to curb their sexual urges. You tell them that they should use a condom to protect themselves - to have "safe" sex. Yet the very condoms you give away are among the very worst on the market! What are you trying to do? Drum up some more business? On top of that you manage to forget to mention that even used 100% correctly 100% of the time condoms are only 90% effective at preventing pregnancy. Sperm are bigger than viruses. How effective and "safe" are those condoms at preventing herpes and HIV?

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.
- Proverbs 6:16-19

Well, 6 out of 7 ain't bad.

Kennedy Claims New Recruits 'Extremists'

I understand why Cox and Forkum and so many of the other conservative bloggers that I often read are getting away from politics - it is as messy as the Augean stables and as hard to clean.

Ted Kennedy has managed to tack a hate crimes amendment onto the pending defense authorization bill. In his defense of the amendment he claims that "military recruiters, struggling to meet quotas, are enlisting extremists these days, 'putting our soldiers at higher risk of hate-motivated violence.'” So now (according to Kennedy) our new recruits are 'extremists' and bigots and homophobes.

Check below for some other articles with more details about this bill:

Iraqi Insider

Kennedy's Defense Priorities by Byron York

Senators Add Hate Crimes Measure To Defense Authorization Legislation

And finally an article at World Net Daily

I have always wondered why the left is so all-fired hot for hate crimes bills. I think that they are patently absurd. All crimes are hate crimes. Have you ever heard of a "love" crime? Yes, there are crimes of passion, but that isn't what I'm talking about. Why do we need a special federal law for crimes against "protected" groups? Are there not laws against murder? Are there not enough laws protecting people from assault? Can we not find any legal protection against slander?

I think that at the core of this whole issue is homosexuality. Apparently it hurts people's feelings to find out that their lifestyle is immoral. This isn't terribly surprising. Adulterers, fornicators, liars, cheaters, thieves, rebels, gossips and all other manner of sinful people don't particularly like to be told that what they are doing is not OK with God. Apparently Senator Kennedy doesn't like for people in the military to have first amendment rights. It would seem that he would rather trample on the constitution, causing our military's freedom of expression and religion to no longer be considered "protected" so that a few people don't get their feelings hurt.

It would seem that the whole purpose of this amendment is to benefit the homosexuals serving in the military. Kind of makes you wonder... If being a homosexual isn't a bad thing or an immoral thing, then is it slander to call someone "gay?"

Well, it hurts my feelings when people call me fat. Nevermind the reality that I am, in fact, overweight. Being called fat hurts my feelings. It also hurts my feelings that I am judged by people before they even know me based on my size. Besides, there are more fat people in America than there are homosexuals. This being said, I demand that obesity be included in this hate crimes legislation as a protected class. As a protected classmember, I should be shielded from my condition by the eradication of the words obese, fat, corpulent, etc from all dictionaries. Big and tall ads should never have anyone under 250 pounds in them. All clothing stores should be required to carry large sizes. Ads suggesting that being overweight is bad or not attractive should be banned as hate speech. And doctors should face civil penalties for suggesting that their patients should lose weight. Nevermind that it might save their life.

Of course I'm not serious, but Kennedy's amendment is just as absurd as the last paragraph.

The thing that really irks me is that Congress can manage to pass stupid amendments like this one while really beneficial ones can't get a sponsor. The system is so broken. I know of a proposed amendment right now that would be a huge benefit to all Americans. It would not cost American taxpayers one red cent, but would save them millions - if not billions - once implemented. But can it see the light of day in the Senate? Not when there are much more important matters to tend to - like making sure no one's feelings get hurt by being confronted with the truth.

Would you like to see how your Senators voted on this issue? Click HERE and check them out. Let them know what you think.

Greed Is Going To Do Us In

There are days when I just can't believe what I am reading. I am sadly discovering that common sense is even less common than I had imagined. Consider the following headline:

Selling National Security:
China bids for firm that makes "intrusion prevention" technology for the Department of Defense.
by Irwin M. Stelzer
09/29/2007 12:00:00 AM

Perhaps you will recall that I posted an article a few weeks ago about how the Chinese had launched a cyber attack against the Pentagon?

Apparently there are many assurances that the Chinese won't be able to get access to this sensitive information. They will only be minority stock holders, right? The best argument of all, though, was that it would be really good for the value of the stock.

Aye, aye, aye, aye!

I'm sure the same arguments were used when President Clinton allowed sensitive computer technology to be given to China. The same technology that has allowed them to pursue a Lunar mission and has given them the technology that they need to develop ICBMs.

It is about time that Americans refute the lie that "it's all about the economy, stupid." It isn't. There comes a time when we have to say, "Our national security isn't for sale at any price." When we get to that point, American manufacturing companies will stop "outsourcing" production overseas, politicians will stop receiving illegal contributions from foreign governments (or will be treated as the traitors that they are), and illegal immigration will be stopped and the borders secured.

I fear that our greed will be our undoing.

Sad Day Indeed...

Cox and Forkum have decided to leave editorial cartooning in the past. It's too bad, because I really liked their work. There just aren't that many conservative political cartoonists.

You can check out their work here.

The team cited several reasons for their departure. Family interests, professional interests, financial interests, and a general weariness with the ugliness of daily political foolishness all played into their decision. I can certainly understand. you can only drink from a polluted fountain so long before you start to feel sick.

I didn't always agree with everything that they said, but they said it in an excellent way. I always appreciated you guys, and wish you all the best.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Lots To Say

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple days. Computer has been giving me fits. I get to work for about 10 minutes before it crashes requiring a reboot and usually causing me to lose that very clever thing I just typed. I figure that there is some kind of Trojan or virus on it. Hopefully I can get it squared away sooner rather than later. This work flow is for the birds.

Anyway, I have some stuff to write about the latest defense authorization bill and still have another epic post to write called, "What If?" Hopefully I will be able to share that with you soon. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll be able to get caught up on my blogging. I have lots to say, I'm just tired of fighting my computer to say it.