Monday, March 31, 2008
The answer is shocking and hits the nail on the head. Read the whole thing and let your mind be blown. Is it race? Or is it of mindset? Most conservatives today already know the answer to this. But it bears repeating. And repeating. And repeating.
Those of us who feel anything is owed us will always fall behind. But only 100% of the time.
And so it is with many blacks and many race baiters, all with the attitude: "We're owed."
"We're owed." "We're justified."
Obama is a candidate who is reinforcing a "We're owed" mindset that has held blacks back for decades. His presidency will only lead them to more unresponsibility and more unaccountability.
Thanks to CA for the tip.
Dr. Carol Swain, law and political science professor at Vanderbilt University weighs in on the disarray of the Democratic party in this piece she wrote yesterday in The Tennessean, my old journalistic alma mater.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The great need of the disciples, like us, was not to know more (in a purely intellectual way) about Jesus, but to trust Him more. The disciples also needed to learn to trust in Him in His absence. Jesus could have gone with His disciples, but He purposely stayed behind. They needed to find Him sufficient in His absence, for they would soon learn that He would not be with them (in His physical body) for long.
----From commentary of Bob Deffinbaugh with the full text here.
Of all the commentaries I've read this week on the Gospel of Luke, this one on turning the other cheek---what it does and doesn't mean---is the best I've read and the hardest to live.
People who think embracing Christ and the Good News is a panacea or a quick fix are simply deluded. It can be the hardest thing in the world, and without the Supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, it is impossible.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Click on the link to go to Jihad Watch, then click to start the Fitna video and read the "explanation" that follows on why they are retracting it.
As of now, Robert Spencer has another link to Fitna down on his left side bar which makes Fitna still viewable. It probably won't be for long. I watched it and of course it's chilling as expected.
Ran into a local health club (where I am not a memeber) yesterday to inquire about something and in the lobby were three fully covered Muslim women filling out applications. I had a sinking spell that soon they would join, then try to turn part of this perfectly good sports facility into a part-time prayer place to accommodate their Islamic beliefs or change the rules for same-sex days.
I only have one question. Why don't they open their own gym facilities at their Mosques and leave everyone else alone? And why don't we insist on it? That way they can have their mullahs overseeing their fitness programs. And leave everyone else alone.
I wonder how many places in this country this may be about to happen? And could it ever happen at the YMCA? The Jewish Community Center?? God forbid. God forbid that we would let it. How low will we go for political correctness?
Friday, March 28, 2008
Still not sure of this pairing, in spite of the smiles and camaraderie.
At the top of the scroll on Drudge this morning is this pic with the question, "The Ticket?"
I question whether it should be Mitt over Mike. But there's no question that in any and all events, Mitt will play an important role in a John McCain Administration. I continue to think Mitt would make a good Secretary of Treasury.
I predict now that John McCain will be the next president. And Mitt would make a fine VP. But unless the economy gets stabilized, and the dollar comes up, John and Mitt will be a one-termers. Read my lips, cut spending and no new taxes.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
1. Dark tinted windows: If someone wants to drive around in a car that looks and feels like the interior of a cocktail lounge, or the hideout of a drug dealer or rap star, then be my guest. But as for me, I loath dark tinted windows, even in hot weather and warm climates. In fact, to me it seems dangerous to drive with this kind of shield on your car. I'm not talking about light tinting which even I have. Recently when I drove a car with dark tinted windows, I had a surreal feeling and felt cut off from the world outside the car. Guess that's why car manufacturers are now designing and offering cameras on cars with computer screens for driving and backing (I suppose it's supposed to help us when we have a cell phone in one hand and bottled spring water in the other). As manufacturers make cars more difficult for human beings to see out of and drive, supposedly we need extra eyes and computer guidance to do it for us.
No thank you.
Who needs to drive in cars that feel like we're driving in a computer simulator? Just give me a car I can drive like a car, with unobstructed views of the outside world. And then leave the driving to me, not some computer thingy.
2. Big fat, obscene obstructing headrests in front and back seats. They're everywhere! They're everywhere!
Sometimes I have to scratch my head and wonder, who comes up with these ideas? I mean really. Who really thinks an obstructed view out the back and side windows is worth the over-protection from whiplash if you're rear-ended? I can see perhaps having a small adjustable head rest on front seats with emphasis on ADJUSTABLE. As it stands now, I believe you can remove the back seat rests, but you can't remove them in the front. You can bet after I backed into a car recently I never saw behind me, I found out I could remove the headrests that helped obstruct my view. They were thrown onto the floor of the back seat immediately and for the first time I could actually see where I was going and where I'd been.
One more thing. For long distance driving, headrests promote the world's worst posture. Your head is forced forward like a whooping crane or worst. The least manufactuers could do is make them smaller and adjustable in ways that allow you to hold you head up straight or even tilted a little back. But no, we have to have headrests that save us from the 1/1000 chance we might one day get a sore neck. And as for me, I'd rather not be so over-protected.
There are more car pet peeves, but for now, I'll leave it at those two: No to dark tinted windows, and No to headrests that are unremovable and cannot be adjusted.
I have a great idea. Let car manufacturers put holes in the tops of every car seat. Then let passengers and drivers select headrests for their cars from an array to suit their own preferences and size. In this world of ever-expanding choices, one size, and one setting should not ever have to fit all.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
In truth, my life right now is out-of-control busy and will be for the next 4-6 weeks. My blogging unfortunately may at times be less of a priority during that period. My intentions are the best for doing a daily post, but I doubt that I will live up to them. Going to Scotland in several weeks is front and center right now.
Monday, March 24, 2008
UPDATE: These guys aren't having the best of days either. This country can't imagine what would happen if they quit, even for a little while.
There are some days when life lessons come at me so fast I honestly want to have myself temporarily locked up in jail. Today has been one of those days.
I consider myself a good driver and drive all over the country. By the grace of God, I have never had an accident and only a rare speeding ticket every five to ten years (once on the plains of Eastern Colorado late at night when I let her rip with Bruce Springstein blasting on all thrusters and a female Highway Patrol hiding in a culvert waiting for the next greater fool, which turned out to be me). I got a parking ticket in Stroudsburg, PA last fall at 4:55 p.m. when I parked to run and get directions.
In addition to being a decent law abiding driver, I also fancy myself quite good at parallel parking and backing up. That is until today, while in a totally different car with an automatic transmission and standing completely still waiting for a left turn signal. I mean, how much trouble can one woman get into standing still?
Evidently, quite a bit. Something happened so bazaar that I simply can't write about it yet. I'll be back later or early tomorrow to tell a story on myself and a lesson I learned in a car I'm renting while the standard transmission on my Ford Explorer ( 244,448 miles, and yes I know I need to start thinking about a newer car) is being worked on.
This is going to be a fairly expensive life lesson and I'm not in the best of humor at the moment. But I'm glad nobody got hurt and that eventually I might be able to laugh at all this. Besides taking responsibility for my obvious mistake, I'm also going to take car manufacturers to task for what I consider to be absurd design features in all new cars today. My car is 9 years old and drives like a dream. I should have known about these new features, but didn't. And now I'm singing the blues.
Hope you're having a better day.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Lon Solomon's Easter sermon, God's offer of a new life.
The NEW-MADE MAN turned and clasped the new horse's neck . It nosed the man's bright body. Horse and master breathed each into the other's nostrils.
The man turned from it, flung himself at the feet of the Burning One, and embraced them.
When he rose I thought his face shone with tears, but it may have been only the liquid love and brightness---one cannot distinguish them in that country---which flowed from him. I had not long to think about it.
In joyous haste the young man leaped upon the horse's back. Turning in his seat he waved a farewell, then nudged the stallion with his heels. They were off before I knew well what was happening.
I came out as quickly as I could from among the bushes to follow them with my eyes; but already they were only like a shooting star far on the green plain, and soon among the foothills of the mountains.
Then, still like a star, I saw them winding up, scaling what seemed impossible steeps and quicker every moment, till near the dim brow of the landscape, so high that I must strain my neck to see them, they vanished, bright themselves, into the rose-brightness of that everlasting morning.
While I still watched, I noticed that the whole plain and forest were shaking with a sound which in our world would be too large to hear, but there I could take it with joy. I knew it was not the Solid People who were singing. It was the voice of the earth, those woods and waters of that land that rejoiced to have been once more ridden and therefore consummated, in the person of the horse. It sang,
"The Master says to our master, Come up! Share my rest and splendour till all natures that were your enemies become slaves to dance before you and backs for you to ride, and firmness for your feet to rests on!
"From beyond all place and time, out of the very Place, authority will be given you: the strengths that once opposed your will shall be obedient fire in your blood and heavenly thunder in your voice.
"Overcome us that , so overcome, we may be ourselves: we desire the beginning of your reign as we desire dawn and dew, wetness at the birth of light.
"Master, your Master has appointed you for ever, to be our King of Justice and our high Priest."
"you understand all this, my Son?" said the Teacher.
"I don't know about all, Sir." said I. "Am I right in thinking the Lizard really turned into the Horse?"
"Aye, But it was killed first. Ye'll not forget that part of the story?"
"I'll try not to, Sir. But does it mean that everything that is in us can go on to the Mountains?"
"Nothing, not even the best and the noblest, can go on as it now is. Nothing, not even the lowest and most bestial will not be raised if it submits to death. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. Flesh and blood cannot come to the Mountains. Not because they are too rank, but because they are too weak. What is a lizard compared with a stallion? Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering, whispering thing compared with the richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed."
"But am I to tell them at home that this man's sensuality proved less of an obstacle than that poor woman's love for her son? For that was, at any rate, an excess of love?"
"Ye'll tell them no such thing!" he replied sternly. "Excess of love, did you say? There was no excess of love. There was defect of love. She loved her son too little, not too much. If she had loved him more there'd be no difficulty.....I do not know how her affair will end. But it may well be that at this moment she's demanding to have him down with her in Hell. That kind of love is sometimes perfectly ready to plunge the soul they say they love in endless misery if only they can still in some fashion possess it.
"No, no. Ye must draw another lesson. Ye must ask, if the risen body even of appetite is as grand a horse as ye saw, what would the risen body of maternal love, or friendship be......"
Thank you Lord Jesus, for making transformtion truly possible for us sinners who accept you and the finished work you did for us on the Cross. Thank you for allowing us sinners to share in your suffering and thereby be transformed in the process. Help us to remember that transformation by your Holy Spirit is never painless or easy. But it is always, always infinitely worth it in the long run. Bless us and keep us and Make your Face to shine upon us forever. Amen
(Here, from Part 1 below, a Ghost with a talking lizard on his shoulder is met by an bright Angel who offers to silence the tormenting lizard by killing it. The Ghost is arguing with the Spirit as to why the lizard should be spared and done away with at some later day.)
"Get back! You're burning me. How can I tell you to kill it? You'd kill me if you did."
"It is not so."
"Why you're hurting me now."
"I never said it wouldn't hurt you. I said it wouldn't kill you."
"Oh, I know you think I'm a coward. It's not that, really.....let me run back to the bus and go home and get an opinion from my own doctor. I'll get back to you the first moment I can."
"This moment contains all moments."
"Why are you torturing me? And jeering at me?.......If you really wanted to help me, why didn't you just kill the damned thing without asking me---before I knew? It would have been all over by now if you had."
"I cannot kill it against you will. It is impossible. Have I your permission?" The Angel's hands were almost closed on the Lizard but not quite.
Then the Lizard began chattering to the Ghost so loud that even I could hear what it is saying....."Be careful, He can do what he says. He can kill me. One fatal word from you and He will. Then you'll be without me forever and ever! How could you live? You'd only be a sort of ghost, not a real man as you are now. He doesn't understand......Isn't what I give you better than nothing? And anyway, I promise to be good now. I've gone too far in the past, but now I promise I won't ever do it again."
The Angel said to the Ghost again, "Do I have your permission to kill this Lizard?"
"I know it will kill me."
"No, it won't. But supposing it did?"
"You're right. It would be better to be dead than to go on living with this creature."
"Then may I kill it?" "Damn and blast you! Go on, can't you? Get it over. Do what you like!" bellowed the Ghost: but ended whimpering "God help me. God help me."
Next moment the Ghost gave a scream of agony such as I never heard on Earth. The Burning One closed his crimson grip on the reptile: twisted it, while it bit and writhed, and then flung it, broken-backed, on the turf.
"Ow! That's done for me," gasped the Ghost, reeling backwards.
For a moment I could make out nothing distinctly. Then I saw, between me and the nearest bush, unmistakeably solid but growing every moment solider, the upper arm and the shoulder of a man.
Then brighter still and stronger the legs and hands of the man grew. The neck and golden head materialised while I watched, and if my attention had not wavered I should have seen the actual completing of a man---an immense man, naked, not much smaller than the Angel.
What distracted me was the fact that at the same moment something seemed to be happening to the Lizard. At first I thought the operation had failed. So far from dying, the creature was still struggling and even growing bigger as it struggled. And as it grew it changed. Its hinder parts grew rounder. The tail, still flickering, became a tail of hair that flickered between huge and glossy buttocks.
Suddenly I started back, rubbing my eyes. What stood before me was the greatest stallion I have ever seen, silvery white but with mane and tail of gold. It was smooth and shining, ripled with swells of flesh and muscle, whinneying and stamping with its hoofs. At each stamp the land shook and the trees dindled.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I saw coming towards us a Ghost who carried something on his shoulder....What sat on his shoulder was a lizard, and it was twitching its tail like a whip and whispering things in his ear. As we caught sight of him he turned his head to the reptile with a snarl of impatience.
"Shut up, I tell you!" the Ghost said to the lizard. But the lizard wagged its tail and continued to whisper to him. Then the Ghost turned and started to limp westward, away from the mountain.
"Off so soon?" said a voice. The speaker was more or less human in shape but larger than a man, and so bright that I could hardly look at him. His presence smote on my eyes and on my body too (for there was heat coming from him as well as light) like the morning sun at the beginning of a tyrannous summer day.
"Yes, I'm off," said the Ghost. "Thanks for all your hospitality. But it's no good, you see. I told this little chap (here indicating the lizard) that he'd have to be quiet if he came....But he won't stop. I shall just have to go home."
"Would you like for me to make him quiet?" said the flaming Spirit---an angel, as I now understood.
"Of course I would," said the Ghost.
"Then I will kill him," said the Angel, taking a step forward.
"Oh, ah, look out! You're burning me. Keep away!" said the Ghost, retreating.
"Do you want him killed?" asked the flaming Angel.
"You didn't say anything about killing him at first. I hardly meant to bother you with anything so drastic as that."
"It's the only way," said the Angel, whose burning hands were now very close to the Lizard. "Shall I kill it?"
"Well, that's a further question and I'm open to consider it......I mean for the moment, I was only thinking of silencing it rather than killing it...."
"May I kill it?"
"Well there's time to discuss that later."
"There's no time. May I kill it?"
"Please. I never meant to be such a nuisance. Please-----really---don't bother. Look, it's gone to sleep of its own accord. I'm sure it will be all right now."
"May I kill it?"
"Honestly, I don't think there's the slightest necessity for that. I'm sure I can keep it in order now. I think the gradual process would be far better than killing it."
"The gradual process is of no use at all."
"Well, I'll think over what you've said very carefully. I honestly will....But not today. I'm not feeling terribly well now and I'd need to be in good health for the operation. Some other day perhaps."
"There is no other day. All days are present now."
"Get back! You're burning me. How can I tell you to kill it? You'd kill me if you did."
"It is not so."
"Well you're hurting me now."
Thursday, March 20, 2008
A PROBLEM SO VAST THAT ONLY CELEBRITY ENTREPRENEUERS AND POLITICIANS CAN SOLVE TOGETHER AND ALONE IN FARAWAY PLACES WHILE PARA-SKIING OVER THE OCEAN AND DRINKING THE WORLD'S FINEST WINES.
I'm not a believer in the fundamentalist cult of man-made global warming/climate change. Nor do I suppose that any changes which may be happening to climate here on Earth can be affected by man to any degree whatsoever. It's fine if we want to buy a Prius or change some light bulbs, if it makes us feel better. It's even okay if my goracle neighbor around the corner wants to lug into to his property full-grown trees and tie up traffic in all directions for hours to make him feel greener, more powerful, more in control of his destiny. To each his own, I guess. It's just when the global fundamentalists want to tell me what to do.
With all this I predict, there will be more self-important expensive, energy consuming, celebrity "spiritual" retreat/vacations and weekends in exotic places all over the globe, over the next few decades than could ever fill the pages of Travel and Leisure and all of its rivals combined. After all the world is "on fire."
Read more . This too is worth a look.
I have no problem with this actually. Guys will be guys and all of them need a new and refreshed sense of grand purpose. In order to have that purpose, they need to have a BIG problem in front of them that requires a BIG solution. An intractable problem. A problem so vast that only the perceived best of them, the richest, most beautiful, most powerful and popular can really have any shot at fixing it. Without such a global challenge, whatever would they do with the rest of their lives, after all? Thank heavens Al Gore has served up such a challenge to these men.
In all events, please let it be known that I am happy, as a citizen of the world, to have these men and women to solve any problems that they want to. As long as I have the right to accept or reject it. Meanwhile, go for it guys!
One other thing. I am not, at this point, interested in having Jimmy Wales solving my problems or those of my planet Earth. After the last several weeks of reading on the Internet about his myriad problems with women---his divorce, sexual addiction, the many women he is befriending on his MySapce page---I'm more interested in his solving his own problems than mine. When he does that, then maybe he can turn his sights elsewhere.
Oops, my camera just died today in my pocketbook. I went to take a pic and something had happened to it. I guess it's time I got another Kodak EasyShare.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Rated R for some rough language. Pastor Manning is giving Bill Cosby a run for his money. Well worth listening to, to the end, in spite of a harsh delivery.
"......they're (black men) looking for Obama to give them more irresponsibility and unaccountability......they don't want to hear Manning tell them, 'Stand up, bite the bullet and be a man.' They're looking for the easy way out......"
Mack Daddy (from the Urban Dictionary) n. an ultra pimp; a pimpalicous man who gets anything he wants (i.e. sex, money, clothing, cars, etc.). A Male of superior looks. A player of players. A romantic lady killer.
Meanwhile, the drought seems to be over here; the creeks are rising.
P.S. Yes, I'm one of the dwindling 59% of citizens left who actually pay federal income taxes. If Obama or Hillary are either elected, I'm sure I and my counterparts' numbers will shrink even more under the current system and we'll soon be listed as endangered species, all the while being horse whipped and shamed as rich white Americans into paying more, more, more, so the feds can make us all into children in need of a federal nanny. And the president will then be NOTUS rather than POTUS.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
This comes across more as desperation to me, than prudent monetary policy. The Fed keeps adjusting and re-adjusting and compensating and re-compensating rather than following sound fiscal principles. Consequently, while the markets are cheering wildly today, further down the line, we may be deeper and deeper in the dollar and inflation doldrums. More to come.
Monday, March 17, 2008
HE WHO.....knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool. Shun him.
Obama and his campiagn have clearly jumped the shark. All it took was being in the Wright place at the wrong time for his many fans. But it was the Wright place at the Wright time for McCain supporters. Obama is dead meat now and there's no going back to the honeymoon of the early days of this campaign. Even the Oprah effect can't bring it back. Even if he somehow manages to win what's left of his party's nomination, he will never win the general and be president. And I doubt that he ever will in the future.
These kinds of foods for breakfast, or anytime of day, in my opinion, sets us up with high blood sugar and insulin levels all day and night. It sets us up for sugar/starch cravings and huge blood sugar drops later in the morning, or other times of day. It sets us up for attention deficit, depression, Alzheimers, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, yeast infections, stroke and a myriad of other health and energy problems as we age.
Oh yes it does. Oh yes it does, if we live on these routines on a daily basis. Why would you listen to what the government is telling you about the way you should eat? The cereal and oatmeal industry is almost as bad as the tobacco lobby.
The current food pyramid---as promulgated by our federal government---is a monumental joke. It needs to stick to national defense and bringing back the dollar.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Yes, there's a croissant which I barely nibbled on which I swigged in olive oil, instead of butter. And there's a good cup of strong BLACK COFFEE, which is the most right-wing beveridge I know. Liberals are the only ones I know that like to ruin a good cup of Joe with sugar, milk, and heaven only knows what other dreadful things they need to get it down.
Overall, this breakfast is a perfect 10 in my book. Eggs, sauteed cabbage, asparagus tied with leeks and a few stewed apricots, if my memory serves me correctly. Had this while staying at a lovely hotel outside Inverness, Scotland in January. Then I powered out of there for the rest of the day, into the Scottish countryside and the Culloden Battlefield.
With meals like this, there's not the big blood sugar drop later in the morning or day that brings an insatiable hunger and craving for more sugar, honey and other sweets, especially when you lay off the fruit.
In my opinion and for what it's worth, the most deadly breakfasts anyone can eat day after day include: oatmeal in all forms and with all accoutrements, bananas (the worst), sweet rolls and other Danish type sweets, bagels in all forms, English muffins, croissants, sweet granola, almost all cereals, and especially ones that are processed and have sugar, maple syrup and all kinds of additives. When kids eat these day after day, it sets them up for disease and obesity.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
In that post, Bill also links to a recent News Week article on Gore's wheelings and dealings which the writer considers a bad deal for investors. Author Ron Grover writes,
"In the financial election of his life, Al Gore is betting that investors will vote with their dollars for him and his big idea. CurrentTV's parent company, Current Media, hopes to raise $100 million in a public offering it filed on Jan. 28.
Some of the money will go to pay off lenders, who include a couple of Democratic Party biggies that joined the onetime Veep to launch a new style of citizen-journalism. Of course the IPO will also help make Gore, who sits on the board of Apple (AAPL) and is a senior adviser to Google (GOOG), a sizable bundle of cash.
"Something about this deal just doesn't sit right with me. Gore isn't just taking piles of cash. According to the filing Gore, who is listed as executive chairman, and his CEO partner, lawyer-turned-entrepreneur Joel Hyatt, each loaned the company $1 million to get it started. They'll get that back in the IPO. But the two guys also collect hefty salaries for a company that hasn't shown a profit in three years—taking down $491,677 apiece last year in cash, plus bonuses of $550,000 each for, in Gore's case, helping get the company new affiliate agreements, broadening exiting agreements, and putting together a management team. The two currently receive $600,000 a year in salary and are eligible for additional bonuses, according to the IPO filing.
"By comparison, at the time of the Google IPO in 2004, its two founders were each taking home a total of $356,556 in salary and bonuses, while sitting on top of a company that had earned nearly $106 million the year before."
I can just see it now, Al Gore, the next titan of a Google-style company. He pays himself lavishly while his company has yet to turn a profit. Well, he deserves to be paid well. He's Al Gore, after all.
All I can say is run, don't walk away and hold on to your check book for dear life. It sounds more like Enron than Google to me.
Anyway, you may need your money later---if Al has his way---to buy carbon offsets to take your family out for a Mexican dinner.
SATURDAY UPDATE: Obama's chief victim peddler leaves his campaign.
UPDATE: More madness at Confederate Yankee.
THIS MAY BE THE VIDEO THAT ULTIMATELY ENDS OBAMA'S POLITICAL CAREER
Saw this clip at Roger Simon's this morning and I too think it's appalling. It's what I call radical fundamental victim hood at its most vociferous. It seeks to divide and conquer race and class by guilt and obligation. Here we blatantly see the universal message of the victim: life ain't fair, you owe it me to fix it, and nothing you can do will ever be enough, so keep trying harder .
This is the same message I hear from Obama's wife Michele too. Wright is the man who married Barack and Michele, baptized their children and will be advising his parishioner if he wins the White House.
The 'Reverend' Wright doesn't think God should bless America so much as damn America. To say he has a chip on his shoulder and wants all his black followers to too would be the grossest of understatements
This is what I call post-modern civil rights at its worst. And lest we forget, there's also post-modern feminist rights, post-modern gay rights, post-modern climate change rights and on and on.
May God help us all.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
That leaves 59% of the rest of us who pay ALL the federal income taxes in the United States.
The Democratic candidates would have us believe the 'rich' ----meaning those who pay taxes, create jobs and capital necessary for wages that keep the economy going--- need to shoulder even more of their share of the tax burdern. To do this Mr. Obama with his ever loquacious wife and Mrs. Clinton stir up class envy and hatred to perpetuate their myths that the rich are getting richer and the poor are gettting poorer.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Now that China prepares for the 2008 Summer Olympics , it's fascinating to see this in the news. I wonder from my own experience if more athletes will follow suit and also drop out of various events for the same reason.
If I were a long distance runner like I'd do the same thing. Not worth it. With events there in the heat and polloution, I can't imagine wanting to go. And at least one Ethiopian runner is approaching the events with a realistic perspective:
'.... Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie, 34, is a favourite for a gold medal this summer but is likely to focus instead on the 10,000 metres because he suffers from asthma.
“The pollution in China is a threat to my health and it would be difficult for me to run 42km in my current condition,” he said. “But I am not pulling out of the Olympics altogether.” '
Monday, March 10, 2008
You've surely wounded a lot of birds with this one stone, Eliot: wife, children, family, career, political party, future and best friends too. Undoubtedly, some will stand by you, and you'll get through this. But it's worth noting: a man like you who seems to have it all--- family, admiration, oodles of money, power, status and a group of friends who have the world by the tail---still feels emptiness and realizes, in the end, none of this stuff really satisfies, or is ever, ever enough. Often, though not always, this can be the beginnng to a path. towards. Here's hoping it's eventually that way for you. And good will ultimately come from this mess.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
In my opinion, Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan is---with the exception of Lon Solomon at McLean Bible Church outside Washington who led me to Christ a few years ago----the finest Christian apologist in America today. He speaks in ways that make sense and have deep meaning for me and many others.
Since being born again, I've realized what a sinner I am and how much I need a Savior. That Savior is Christ Jesus, God's only Son. Keller talks to 'late bloomers' like me. (And I've come to know that's it's never too late as long as we live.) I'm thankful for the opportunity to hear him speak in New York, on his wonderful CDs series in my car, and on videos like this one above. Listening to Tim and testimonies from others is very inspirational to me.
To me the greatest of the roadblocks to our asking/praying for Christ's saving grace in our lives is that we monumentally minimize our own sinfulness and thus our need for His Grace. We become our own saviors, so we think. Or we choose other things we think will support our own sense of ourselves as the essence of love, or power or proficiency. We have the illusion that we're really in control.
God in His infinite graciousness has given us free will and never forces us to choose Him. But when His Grace breaks into our broken lives, from my experience, it is the most compelling and Supernatural experience that we'll ever have this side of heaven.
Keller's new book, The Reason for God, is on my bedside table, and now being read cover to cover.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
The stock photo above captures the essence of where I lived one cold and snowy winter. It was in a log house on Antelope Flats in the middle of Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) near Moose, Wyoming. It was in an inholding owned by good friends and fascinating people, named Frank and Shirley Craighead. I have been privileged to know some of the real people of that beautiful, rugged land over the years.
From almost the first time I moved to Jackson Hole as a homeowner, I knew the late Frank Craighead and his second wife, Shirley a former nun (who had married Frank after his first wife Esther had died). I had met Frank's son, Lance who lived in Montana, at a conservation meeting in Washington D.C. and he couldn't wait to introduce me to his family back in Jackson Hole when I got to Wyoming that summer of my move West. Soon after meeting Frank and Shirley we became great friends. We all shared a passion for the outdoors, wildlife conservation and fly fishing. But little did I know when I first met Frank, that he, along with his twin brother John, was renowned to be one of the greatest wildlife biologists/ researchers in the world. Both brothers were also some of the greatest outdoors men. Shirley could keep up with the brothers too.
I, a stranger in a strange land, from the South, couldn't believe my good fortune at meeting such kindred spirits and kind people. They were people of the land and lived modest, humble, no frills lifestyles. And they took me under their wings.
One summer, Frank and Shirley called me to ask if I wanted to live in their house on Antelope Flats ---right in front of the Tetons---while they wintered in Florida that next winter. Frank had Parkinson's disease and felt warmer climes improved his health. I could stay for free and if I had time could I look over what would turn out to be one of Frank's last manuscripts before he died in 2001 and give them some feedback?
How could I say no?
That next winter, I lived in Shirley and Frank Craighead's log house in the middle of GTNP with the most spectacular view in the world. All kinds of wildlife---moose and elk---were at my doorstep and in the yard, all winter.
The most challenging part was that the Park Service didn't plow the roads and driveways, so it was up to me to get in and out from the nearest plowed road without a car. It was about a half mile, one-way from where I parked my car to their house.
I came and went each day and night on cross-country skis, often with a rope---connected to a sled---tied around my waist so I could ski groceries and other stuff in and out. At night or in snowstorms, I wore a little miner's headlight on my forehead to light my way as I skied. Of course, if I really needed a snowmobile there were neighbors--including son Charlie Craighead---who were delighted to help. But I usually preferred the exercise of hoofing it.
When I invited house guests or friends for dinner or visits, I would tell them to get their xc-skis and their headlights on and come as they were. This snow in Tennessee, jogged my memory of one of the greatest and snowiest winters of my life.
And some of the best friends of the greatest adventures of my life.
Friday, March 7, 2008
"With Barack Obama's wife, Michelle, in the spotlight, there is also growing buzz about the striking similarities between her and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. First there's the hair. Worn flipped or curled under, Mrs. Obama's style is reminiscent of the volumized "Swan" look that Mrs. Kennedy -- who would later be known as Mrs. Kennedy Onassis -- tucked beneath her pillbox hats. Then there are the accessories: single-strand pearls the size of grapes, as well as the three-strand version."
About the kindest thing I can say about this comparison, is that Jackie was a quieter woman who stayed out of her husband's business. Michelle seems to be much more vocal and out there, creating the illusion of victim hood, class envy and pessimism, so that her husband can save the day with his big government, socialist agenda for America.
I don't remember Jackie doing that in the 60s. She comported herself quietly, like a lady, even in some of the darkest hours of our nation's history. Somehow, I can't see Michelle being able to do that at all. Not with that attitude orthat chip on her shoulder, and not with that shame for her country she continues talking about.
Even with the pearls, the pill box, the flip do and the little sleeveless shifts....... .......Mrs. Obama, I lived and knew Jackie Kennedy way back when, and you're no Jackie Kennedy.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Nowhere do myths and magical thinking abound more than in the arena of taxes---who pays too much? too little? none at all? and what we need to do to raise more revenues for the federal coffers? And what the government is charged to spend it on.
In the next few days, my liberal entitlement readers can look forward to a course in very basic finance. But be forewarned, you're not going to like it. We right-wingers are going to stick to the facts and let the chips fall where they may.
And also be advised, no tantrums are going to be allowed here. You can take that over to the Waaaaa Waaaa WaaaaPo or the HuffPo. They'll make you feel all better.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
John McCain Has Won the Republican Nomination, Now He Needs To Embrace Mike Huckabee As His Running Mate And......
It's over and here it begins. McCain has won Ohio and now the required 1,191 delegates to become the GOP nominee for president.
Here's what he needs to do now:
1)McCain needs to seriously consider the only real, viable VP candidate to run with him in November and that's Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has dropped out of the presidential race and now should be McCain's running mate. He's up for the race, has name and media recognition and will carry and deliver the Southern and Evangelical vote. He also appeals to anyone who wants to transform the tax system, which is almost everyone. He is a master communicator with a great sense of humor and the ability to laugh at himself. That plays well in this insufferably serious, polarized political climate. One last very superficial thing. Mike, like Mitt, has brown hair, is younger and generally would be a good pick to complement McCain at 71.
If John McCain picks some unknown governor as a running mate, his days will be numbered as a candidate.
2) McCain needs to appoint an informal council of economic advisers this week, men like Gov. Mitt Romney, Senator Phil Gramm, Larry Kudlow and other fiscal conservatives who will advise him on how to minimize the recession we're now entering so it doesn't become deeper and more prolonged.
3)McCain should begin immediately to hammer Barack Obama on his abysmal stand on NAFTA and other trade agreements, what the economy really needs, raising taxes and quick withdrawal in Iraq.
4) John McCain must become a living, breathing, non-stop HAMMER. Hammering the facts of life while Barack and Hillary yammer on. Hammer on the economy. Hammer on NAFTA. Hammer on Iraq. Hammer, hammer, hammer.
If he plays his cards right, John McCain will be the next president of the United States. Barack Obama is unquestionably peaking at this moment. He will not be president. Neither will Hillary.
Have always thought hydrogen was a possible answer for retrofitting our carbon-based, fossil fuel civilization. This kind of thing utterly fascinates me. The flame instantly turns materials hotter than the surface of the sun? WOW!
Above, water meets a patented electrolysis process that separates hydrogen from oxygen and forms a gaseous compound. It remains to be seen whether it takes more energy to produce this reaction than it does to produce the usable energy. It's called Net Energy Gain. And for this to be economically viable, it needs to be a positive number, and a decent positive number, preferably over 2.
The NEG of corn ethanol, for example, is finally considered on the positive side, but a very low 1.24 ratio. This means it takes an ounce of some other fuel to produce a little more than an ounce of ethanol. Not very good numbers, to say the least. In layman's terms, ethanol production is a boondoggle. A monumental boondoggle. actually.
Only time will tell about the NEG of H-H-O gas. Along with the wisdom of the market place. For now at least, this does look interesting.
----John Coleman, The Weather Channel founder
"As someone who lived under communism for most of his life, I feel obliged to say that I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious enrionmentalism, not communism. This ideaology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central--now global--planning."
--President Vaclav Klaus, Czech Republic
As a former liberal environmentalist turned conservative and now considered a heretic by many former colleagues, I couldn't agree with Klaus more.
Monday, March 3, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
In this week's OneYearBible blog, the Old Testament passages in Leviticus addresses others' needs and our responsibility. Bob Deffinbaugh has a wonderful commentary on this subject. Are we our brother's keeper?
Of course, the ultimate poverty is a life cut off from God, and the redeeming power of Jesus Christ, no matter what our financial conditions.
Still, we as followers of Christ are called to help our fellowman during his times of need, rather than prey or take advantage or him or her or them. This does not mean we help them in ways that permanently render them dependent, or take away all hope of their one day standing on their own two feet. Please note that this piece addresses our personal responsibilities and is not about pushing these responsibilities forward permanently to government as divine entitlement. This is also not about giving money to drug addicts to buy more drugs. It is not about being guilted into giving, giving, giving.
In helping our fellowman out of poverty, we are to seek God's guidance through prayer as to how to proceed in each case. We may be guided to help with dire and immediate needs, such as supplying clean water, food or medical care. Or it may be in giving an interest-free loan that may never be paid back. Or we may be guided to encourage and help someone go back to school so they can be retrained to get a better job. We may be guided to get them counselling in one form or other.
Our ultimate goal as Christians is to help them out of mental and physical enslavement and poverty so that they can stand on their own two feet and perhaps one day do the same for another of their brothers and sisters in poverty.