Friday, July 30, 2010
By ERNEST S. CHRISTIAN AND GARY A ROBBINS IBD
The Internet is a large-scale version of the "Committees of Correspondence" that led to the first American Revolution — and with Washington's failings now so obvious and awful, it may lead to another.
People are asking, "Is the government doing us more harm than good? Should we change what it does and the way it does it?"
Pruning the power of government begins with the imperial presidency.
Too many overreaching laws give the president too much discretion to make too many open-ended rules controlling too many aspects of our lives. There's no end to the harm an out-of-control president can do.
Bill Clinton lowered the culture, moral tone and strength of the nation — and left America vulnerable to attack. When it came, George W. Bush stood up for America, albeit sometimes clumsily.
Barack Obama, however, has pulled off the ultimate switcheroo: He's diminishing America from within — so far, successfully.
He may soon bankrupt us and replace our big merit-based capitalist economy with a small government-directed one of his own design.
He is undermining our constitutional traditions: The rule of law and our Anglo-Saxon concepts of private property hang in the balance. Obama may be the most "consequential" president ever.
The Wall Street Journal's steadfast Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote that Barack Obama is "an alien in the White House."
His bullying and offenses against the economy and job creation are so outrageous that CEOs in the Business Roundtable finally mustered the courage to call him "anti-business." Veteran Democrat Sen. Max Baucus blurted out that Obama is engineering the biggest government-forced "redistribution of income" in history.
Fear and uncertainty stalk the land. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says America's financial future is "unusually uncertain."
A Wall Street "fear gauge" based on predicted market volatility is flashing long-term panic. New data on the federal budget confirm that record-setting deficits in the $1.4 trillion range are now endemic.
Obama is building an imperium of public debt and crushing taxes, contrary to George Washington's wise farewell admonition: "cherish public credit ... use it as sparingly as possible ... avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt ... bear in mind, that towards the payment of debts there must be Revenue, that to have Revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised, which are not ... inconvenient and unpleasant ... ."
Opinion polls suggest that in the November mid-term elections, voters will replace the present Democratic majority in Congress with opposition Republicans — but that will not necessarily stop Obama.
Let's just hope the next revolution is peaceful, say at the ballot box, with new candidates and a series of bills to defund and defrock the travesty that this present Congress and Mr. Obama has wrought. That would be ideal. However, if the ballot box doesn't work, then there's always the possibility that it won't be peaceful at all.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
DEAD DOG TIRED
HEAVEN KNOWS I'VE TRIED TO GET HERE FOR SEVERAL DAYS, to no avail. This is the best I can do, mRed! The short story is I came down with a sinus infection last weekend but kept going full steam ahead anyway. Finally late yesterday after finishing mediating in Teton County Court, I succumbed to complete exhaustion. Today, I've been unable to move, so I've made myself rest and really take it easy. It feels great to slow down, be quiet and let go. I actually have no other choice. Life here in summer can get very intense and I'm intensitied out!
For the next couple of days, I'll be in first gear recharging batteries. Hopefully I'll be back to write and resume a more balanced approach to life. I've made the commitment, now if I can make it happen. There's more, but it'll have to wait. I have no idea what the stock market did today, but I do know round two of Arizona's immigration law is only the beginning of a huge battle for state's rights verses federal meddling.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
IN 1812 A SLAVE BAPTIST PREACHER died on the Peachy plantation in Virginia, leaving a pregnant wife. The young widow dedicated her unborn child to the Lord. Her continual prayer was, Lord, if dis chile you's sendin' me is a boy, doan' let him do nuthin but sing de praises of Jesus. When the child was born she named him John after John the Baptist.
John Jasper grew up as a prodigal son, but his mother persevered in prayer for him. John was eventually purchased by Samuel Hargrove, a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Richmond.
Hargrove put John to work in his tobacco factory and on July 25, 1839, God answered his mother's prayers. John Jasper loved to tell the story of what happened that day:
One July morning somethin' happen'd....Fac' is bruthr'n, de darkness of death was in my soul dat mornin'. My sins was piled on me like mount'ans; my feet was sinkin down to de refuns of despar, an' I felt dat of all sinners I was de wust. I tho't dat I would die right den, an' wid what I supposed was my lars breath I flung up to heav'n a cry for mercy.. 'Fore I kn'd it, de light broke; I was light as a feather; my feet was on de mount'n; salvation rol'd like a flood thru my soul, an' I felt as if I could 'nock off de fact'ry roof wid my shouts!
Twan' long 'fore I looked up de line agin, an' dar was a good ol' woman dar dat know all my sorrers, an' had been prayin fur me all de time. I had to tell her, an' so I skip along up quiet as a breeze, an' start'd to whisper in her ear....but jus den de holin-back of Jasper's breachin' broke and what I thought would be a whisper was loud enuf to be a hearn clean 'cross Jeems River...All I know'd I had raise my fust shout to de glory of my Redeemer.
But for one thing thar would er been a jin'ral revival in de fact'ry dat morning'. Dat one thing was de overseer. He bulgg'd into de room, an' wid a voice dat sounded like he had his breakfus dat mornin' on rasps an' files, bellowed out: "What's all dis row 'bout?" Somebody shoulted out dat John Jasper dun got religun, but dat didn't work 'tall wid de boss. He tell me to git back to my table....so I sed, "Yes, sir, I will; I ain't meant no harm; de fus tast of salvation got de better un me, but I'll git back to my work." An' I hear de overseer tellin' him, "John Jasper kick up a fuss, an' say he dun got religun."
Little aft'r I hear Mars Sam tell de overseer he want to see Jasper....I sez to him, "....Jes now out dar at de table God tuk my sins away, an' set my feet on a rock. I didn't mean to make no noise, Mars Sam but 'fore I know'd it de fires broke out in my soul, an' I jes' let go one shout to de glory of my Saviour."
Mars Sam's face was rainin tears.
Hargrove gave John Jasper his freedom so that he could preach. And preach he did. He founded the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Richmond with nine members. At the time of his death in 1901, it had grown to over two thousand.
----The One Year Christian History, Michael and Sharon Rusten
Friday, July 23, 2010
I'M NOT SURE WHICH IT IS. All I know is I feel like I'm on a roller coaster of activity as far as the eye can see. I'm out in the world with people, people and activity, activity, as opposed to winter when I go more quietly inward. There's a reason the days are longer in summer, and shorter in winter with merciful loooong nights sleep for recharging inner batteries.
Getting in higher altitude shape has me going to bed by 8:30 and getting up at the crack of dawn. Less time to write, but hopefully I'll get more in soon,
I met a truly extraordinary man today. The world is filled with interesting, engaging and smart people. Still, interesting people are not always extraordinary.
Only very rarely do I meet a person I think is extraordinary, someone who has endured and overcome great hardships both personally, and also for our country.
Today, I chanced upon such a man. There are no accidents. I will never forget our hour-long conversation at a picnic table here in Wilson, WY. Perhaps after I wear myself out enough I'll get to the computer write about my encounter with this man and some of the things he said to me. He is a patriot and a conservative. He is a self-made man.
Till then, I'm hitting the sack early, then hiking with the heavy hitters in Idaho early in the morning. The weather and company will be wonderful. Have a nice weekend. God bless.
Monday, July 19, 2010
ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING stories ever published was a novella called The Wreck of the Titan, or Futility by Morgan Robertson. Robertson tells the story of the sinking of a large luxury liner named the Titan. The Titan in Robertson’s book was the largest ship in existence at the time: over eight hundred feet in length with a passenger and crew capacity of three thousand. It had numerous watertight bulkheads and was considered unsinkable. It carried the minimum number of lifeboats required by law, but far short of the number needed for three thousand people. While carrying many wealthy passengers across the North Atlantic on a cold April night, the Titan struck an iceberg at 24 knots just before midnight about ninety-five miles south of Greenland. The iceberg tore a gash in the ship’s starboard side, which flooded the watertight compartments. The unsinkable ship sank. Because the Titan did not have enough lifeboats, more than half of her passengers died in the icy waters.
We’ve all read books or watched films that claim to be “based on actual events.” Those who are familiar with the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, would naturally assume that Robertson’s book was a fictional account based on these actual events. The numerous similarities are just too striking. The problem is that Robertson’s book was published in 1898, fourteen years before the “unsinkable” Titanic sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic with too few lifeboats.
I’ve been interested in so-called coincidences since I was a child. In fact, my first research paper of any substance during high school was on the subject of coincidences. I recently ran across this old paper, which I wrote before I was a Christian. After giving examples of some of the more remarkable coincidences to be found in the annals of history and looking at some of the different theories that have been suggested as explanations for these phenomena, I concluded that perhaps coincidences were somebody’s way of trying to tell us something. I also added at the time that if this someone or something were trying to tell us something, there were probably better ways to do so. It wasn’t too long after writing those words that I read the Bible for the first time.
Some of the events that skeptics would attribute to chance or coincidence are examples of God answering our prayers. I have experienced these in my own life. As an example, the week I began seminary studies, I did not have enough money to take a full course load, which meant that my new wife and I could not stay in the seminary housing. The only person I had talked to about this was the housing director. I stayed up all night praying. The following day I went to buy a loaf of bread (I didn’t know what else to do, but I knew we had to eat). When I returned, the phone rang the very moment I opened the door. I picked it up and discovered that a fellow first-year seminary student was on the line, a student I did not even know. He had heard of my situation and had paid the remainder of my tuition, enabling my wife and me to stay in the student housing and begin seminary studies. A skeptic would say the timing of the phone call was a mere coincidence, pure chance, nothing more, nothing less. No, in reality, it was God’s dramatic answer to my prayer.
Even Tabletalk has been involved in “coincidences.” Our daily Bible study for September 11, 2001, covered the text of Judges 9:42–49. This text tells the story of the deaths of a thousand people who perished in the tower of Shechem when it was burned by Abimelech. The study was written months before the events of September 11, 2001, but it had particular resonance to those who read it on that tragic day. Such stories could be multiplied hundreds of times over. Most people can share similar stories of coincidence. Atheists and other skeptics relegate these kinds of events to pure chance, but Christians do not believe in chance. We believe in a sovereign God who providentially controls all things. So what’s going on?
Scripture explicitly teaches us that things we might attribute to mere chance are actually controlled by our sovereign God. The entire book of Esther is an example of God’s providence working through seeming coincidences. Proverbs informs us that “the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (16:33). God, then, is in control even of things as simple as the “roll of the dice.” As the Westminster Confession explains: “God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least” (5.1).
So-called coincidences appear to be striking glimpses of God’s providence in our day-to-day world. We know and confess that all of life is under God’s providential control, but we tend to forget this in the humdrum regularity of our lives. So-called coincidences are a splash of water in the face, as it were, to us and to others who can tend to forget that our world is not simply matter in motion. God is always trying to tell us something. We just don’t listen very well.
---Keith Mathison, Ligonier Ministries
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
WIND, WIND AND MORE WIND IN THE WILLOWS
LET'S SEE, AFTER MOSQUITOES, GRIZZLY BEARS, AND INCESSANT ROAD CONSTRUCTION, there's something else those of us who love Wyoming must all-too-often contend with: WIND. I put it in caps because we don't have wimpy wind here. No, it's world class wind, fierce wind, often gale force with gusts up to 30-55 mph. Like today and yesterday.
Perhaps it's the air currents coming off the desert floors of Nevada then through the jagged terrain of the Rockies---here in Jackson Hole it's the Tetons on the western side of the valley) that somehow ratchets up the velocity, then chinooks it till it almost consumes everything we do.
Summer days often start off sunny, cool and calm. You wake up and get your hopes up that it'll stay that way. Then about noon when air close to the ground warms and rises, it begins to churn as it pushes high, cool air downward. The air rodeo has begun. It can last until the sun goes down, if we're lucky. If we're not, like last night, it can go on till midnight. But whatever we're doing---work or play---it gets our attention. And keeps it.
Needless to say strong winds are an anathema to anyone who's fly fishing. It's especially hard for novices-----just off the calm Orvis casting ponds in the East---who've flown in for a week to get some hands-on practice. Lord, it can be frustrating to come out here with shiny new equipment and have to cast all day in this kind of mayhem.
Yesterday and today have been about as windy as it gets. I sure wouldn't want to have paid $500 for a guided float trip in this. But fly fishing is the least of my wind worries today. I fret endlessly about planes landing and taking off in this kind of wind.
Later today I have company arriving on a flight from Dallas. One of my next door neighbors who flew in from LA yesterday told me the wind was so bad as they approached the airport that the pilot had to circle and circle until he could finally bring the plane in for a safe landing.
I shudder to think what such an approach will be late this afternoon. I always pray family and friends get here, then home, safely. After that I pray they're not ashen when they walk through the terminal door. After that, I take them to the bar at Dornans to have something to calm their nerves. And then we wait for the wind to c-a-l-m- d-o-w-n. Way, way down.
So remember, if you don't like world-class winds, then you might not like summers in Wyoming. For me, though, it hasn't deterred me in over two decades. I haven't yet been blown away.
Today when I walked over to catch a pic of Fish Creek above, I crawled under the fence and into the pasture of the big cattle ranch. They still raise the finest grass-fed beef cattle anywhere. Anyway, it amuses me what happens when these cows suddenly see someone like me standing there with my camera. Endlessly curious and friendly, they watch for a moment, then begin to herd themselves into a massive group all of them staring in unison at me, an impostor. Then they begin their slow march closer and closer for a better look.
Monday, July 12, 2010
What D.C.'s Social Safeway Tells Us About Economics
There's absolutely nothing that could get me back to shopping at the Social Safeway on Wisconsin when I'm in D.C. even in its newly minted form.Not produce, not sushi, not wine. That's because I loath the traffic, now much preferring the wide open spaces (a joke) of the older, unglamorous Safeway on MacArthur Blvd, west of Georgetown. Anyway my favorite Social Safeway checker has moved to MacArthur so we get to visit and gab like we always did. I also frequent Whole Foods on River Road. Still, Tamny's points are well taken and I do hear the new SS is stunning and the photos collaborate that.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP THINGS HONEST AND UNPRETENTIOUS, want to share some of the less savory aspects of summers in the hinterlands of Wyoming. People sometimes think I live some sort of glamorous life when I'm here, but the truth is, while it's beautiful, wild and certainly my cup of tea for part of the year, it also has its miserable downsides. Life here can be arduous if you live, work or play in this great outdoors. Take for instance the photo above of the fabulous Green River I snapped above Fontenelle yesterday. Looking out over the riparian willows is bucolic and beautiful, but I swear there are at least a billion, maybe trillions of mosquitoes in the confines of that one little picture. Wearing long sleeve shirts and insect repellent is mandatory. Even then, you're a walking, breathing piece of red meat to all gazillion of those little blood suckers---and they're hungry 24/7 in the short summer season. If that's not enough, walking through the willows when the cottonwoods are blooming, blowing everywhere is almost worse than getting bug bit. Benadryl is a girl's best friend when her eyes rebel from what's flying through the air.
I've learned two things over the years:
1) Mosquitoes (and tics) much prefer to swarm and feast on people in darker clothing, so wear light khakis, pastels and best of all whites to keep their blood-sucking, love-interest to a minimum. Today lots of quick-dry shirts and pants come with insect repellent woven into them---good through dozens of washing. Still there's lots of other places bugs can attach.
2)Rinse, rinse, rinse! As to allergies to things flying through the air getting in your nose and eyes, causing major misery, I've learned hats and sunglasses help keep pollen out of your hair and eyes. Still taking a shower when you get home and getting every last speck of pollen off your face, hair and hands is of paramount importance. Never go to bed with a hint of pollen on you if possible. It really helps keep allergic reactions at night to a minimum. Cottonwood and pine pollens are two of the truly great miseries of my life here and can incapacitate and lay me lower than low every now and then.
Need I say more about road construction? It's a short season and every possible project is thrown into overdrive to get finished before the snowy season sets back in. There are often long waits in these zones, like yesterday. And rocks that fly through the air and ding and crack your nice windshield before you've even gotten to town happen routinely.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
THE BEST THING I'VE READ TODAY THAT FITS MY OWN THINKING. We're 234 and there's never been a time more critical to our country's continued freedom than the next six months. Ted Nugent writes we must take our country back from the Fedzillacrats at Human Events:
Defy the sheeplike epidemic of apathy that has willingly opened the door to the Mao Tse Tung fanclub in the White House.
Let your uniquely American defiant DNA rise to the surface. Join organizations and support individuals who most closely align their beliefs and ideologies with the dreams and aspirations of our forefathers. Raise your healthy voice in defiance. Join the NRA.
Get angry. Get passionate. Get cracking. Take back America from the Fedzillacrats who, if they get their way will ultimately destroy the dreams of our forefathers. Slay Fedzilla at the ballot box. Do it for your grandchildren.
Live free or die. Throw some tea in the harbor. Remember the Alamo. Tell em "Nuts!" Say it loud and proud. Happy Defiance Day America!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
The Governor of Arizona is jogging with her dog along a nature trail. A Coyote jumps out and attacks her dog. The Governor shoots the coyote with her State-issued pistol and keeps jogging with her dog. She's spent $0.50 on a .45 ACP hollow point cartridge. The Buzzards eat the dead coyote. She goes back to her office to sign the state's new immigration bill.
The cost to California :Tens of thousands. Price of keeping government out of every aspect of our lives: PRICELESS.
Thanks to Libby P in Nashville for sending this!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
FOR A GARDENER, GRAND JUNCTION IS CLOSE TO PERFECTION. So when my dear friend, Peggy, and her supportive better-half, aka---My Bad Influence, moved from a higher elevation far above Denver to this fertile river valley almost ten years ago, it was like coming home to gardening nirvana. Every morning she arises with the earliest rays of dawn, before the dry, oven temperatures heat up, to water and irrigate, mulch, weed, debug, harvest, plant and transplant--- overseeing her most splendid garden adventure. From her garden above, you can see Colorado's famed National Monument.
Who can ever understand how friendships begin or what sustains them? We met unexpectedly almost 16 years ago in the winter of 1994 in Everglades National Park at a little B and B where they and I with some other friends were staying. P and S were leaving that morning and My Bad Influence was actually packing their car to leave. As fate would have it, P and I began to chat over the community breakfast table. Afterward she asked me if I had time to sit out on the patio to continue our gabfest a bit longer. My Bad Influence was gruffly pacing the driveway, ready to leave; however, Peggy in her typical calm fashion told him to pip down for a little while....so he did. Like any good husband, he's learned when to take instruction and supervision....though he is anything but henpecked. Theirs is a marriage---a first marriage---that has survived against all odds made it and made it swimmingly. It hasn't always been easy for either one of them----both strong personalities, but to see a good pairing that only gets better is truly a wonder to behold! Both conservatives, they give each other plenty of space and also don't hesitate to reiterate their non-negotiable bottom lines when necessary.
As Peggy and I talked that morning in Florida, she discovered I lived part-time in Wyoming and issued a warm invitation for me to stop in Colorado to see them going or coming. I accepted. Then reciprocated. They began many visits to see me in Wyoming. Our friendship blossomed organically over the years and still flourishes. We did have a falling out in the early years of this decade over the silliest thing, a cultural difference. We all dug our heels in like a bunch of mules---and I can be the biggest mule in the corral---and had to take a break for several years. To this day, I think it was meant to be and once resolved and forgiven has only served to further enhanced our our long-term, enduring friendship.
Think friendships can only be solidified over time by seeing not just the best sides but also the less best of the other---when the rose colored glasses come off. We've certainly seen all sides of each other and still love our friendships. Of course, sometimes falling outs are for good, usually, I've found, when the gaps between values, morals and sensibilities are just too great. That is often as it should be.
There are no two people I care about more anywhere than these two. I am most blessed to have them in my life!
When I'm here, we come and go and give each other lots of space. There's also lots of togetherness. I often take over the cooking for Peggy when I'm here so she can do other things. We hike together and after dinner we all play games until we're too sleepy to go on. They introduced me to UPWORDS, all our favorite word game which I've taken to Wyoming and back to Tennessee to play year-round. But make no mistake: when I arrive in Grand Junction I'm red meat for these two experts. Last night, I led the game only to be taken down by My Bad Influence in the last two minutes when I made a strategic mistake. He had no mercy. Not even when I whined that he and they should be much kinder to houseguests who were acclimitizing to the altitude....
But nevermind. Soon, very soon there'll be a rematch.....and win, lose or draw I plan to give 'em a run for their money.