Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Greatest Pumpkin Day Is Also Reformation Day

IF YOU'D LIKE A LITTLE DIVERSION from Hurricane Sandy and politics, here's an interesting slide show at the WSJ of the biggest pumpkins you've ever seen. Great Scott!

ALSO, since today is Reformation Day for the church, it's a good time to remember Martin Luther's heroic, with far-reaching and unintended consequences, actions that started the Protestant Reformation and break with the Catholic church. Aaron Armstrong writing on where do we get our freedom? recalls what all the commotion was and still is about. He makes the observation that parts of the early Church in Paul's time were bewitched by false doctrines and a works-based salvation rather than belief in faith in Christ-based salvation.  Thanks to Luther (and the printing press) we now have access to our own personal Bibles among many other things.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Postcard From A Darkened, Underwater Manhattan

MORE PHOTOS @ Zero Hedge

Please pray for the millions in harms way.

Sobering Video Reminder of President Obama's Economic Recovery

LIVE NYC WEBCAMS @ EARTHCAMS.COM THANKS TO JUDY C for sending this sad and all-too-true video. Small businesses, the real growth engine of the economy and economic recovery have been the hardest hit. This is what Mitt Romney understands and why I've already voted for him. In fact, more than anything else, Mitt understands this economic reality and its effect on jobs and future prosperity.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

City of God Is Not the City of Man

AS AUGUSTINE WROTE IN HIS BOOK, The City of God, there are two cities, the city of man and the city of God. The city of man, being the product of his pride and rebellion against God, reflects man’s dreams, earthly hopes, and values. This is an earthly city, a city of this age and Satan’s world system. It is temporal and fundamentally opposed to God and ultimately ruinous to man. There is another city, however, “with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10). This is the city of God with God’s values, plan of salvation, and one that endures forever. At the center of this city is the cross or the person and work of Christ who died for our sin. Here is a city that can change the people of the city of man and add stability to their society because of the new life and values that are a part of the city of God. The citizens of the city of God have new life, are a part of an unseen spiritual world, and have their sights set on eternal values. Concerning Augustine’s city of man, Lutzer writes: Augustine did not mean that the city of man is destitute of all civil righteousness and justice. Yes, pagans have built great civilizations, thanks to the virtues they inherited as those created in the image of God. Indeed, Christians should be actively involved in the city of man, building it, maintaining it, and working alongside of those headed to destruction. But Christians should also have no illusions about building an earthly utopia, for they must pass this life with continual opposition from the citizens of the city of man. They must march through the crumbling empires of the world, spreading the knowledge of the gospel.149 Looking at our past life as a part of the city of man, the apostle (Paul) shows us that the city of man as so evident today in America is built on the cult of self-absorption and the desires of man’s fallen nature. The church always faces the temptation of fighting a legitimate battle in the wrong way. We always are tempted to fight the world with the weapons of the world. We always are tempted to use a sword of steel instead of the sword of the Spirit. And today, that temptation is greater than ever.150
---Hampton Keathley III, There is a great need for prayer in and for our country now ahead of the election and afterwards too. Now matter which candidate wins, we are facing a contracting economy and enormous debt, not to mention moral bankruptcy in many forms. It will not be an easy time in America going forward. Keathley continues his commentary from Paul's letter to Titus:
In chapter 3 of Titus, the apostle shows us how the church is to live in the midst of this city of man. As seen in nearly all the New Testament letters written to the church, Titus was written to help God’s people live in a world and age that is a sea of pagan and humanistic values. But significantly, Paul neither calls on us to use the world’s methods nor seek to Christianize the morals of the society. Again, in his book, Why the Cross Can Do What Politics Can’t, Lutzer has an excellent word here: The second premise of this book is my deep conviction that our so-called culture war is really a spiritual war. In other words, our problems are not fundamentally abortion, trash television, and homosexual values. The roots of our cultural decay is first and foremost spiritual; we must attack the root of this corrupt tree. As always our greatest challenge is theological, not political or cultural.151 As the salt and light Jesus called us to be, we are to seek change from the inside out through faith in the person and work of the Savior and through a personal walk with Him—with His values and priorities and calling. That this is so is clearly evident, or should be, from the way Paul reminds us of our past life, but then points to the theological basis, as in 2:11f, for our spiritual change by the regenerating and justifying work of God (3:4-7). And it is this message that has its hope centered on the eternal that we are to confidently proclaim (vs. 8) rather than any manmade substitutes (vs. 9). Again, let me quote Lutzer: Today, it is tempting to wrap the cross of Christ in the flag, to equate the American dream with God’s dream for this nation. We have attached a myriad of agendas to the cross of Christ, often clouding the one message that the world needs to hear with clarity and power…152 Incredibly, the church has, for the most part, abandoned the very message that is most desperately needed at this critical hour of history.153 My clear purpose is to challenge the church to confront the world with the one message that is able to transform society, one life at a time. Yes, we must fight social evils; we must attempt to use whatever means we have to clean up our contaminated culture. But all of our efforts will be futile unless we go to the source of our defilement.154
Hope you'll read all of Keathley's commentary. It's well worth the time and thought. And continue to pray with me for our country.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend---Sauteed Cod With Wilted Mustard Greens

SOMETIMES I FORGET THE WSJ has a wonderful food section especially fun to check on weekends. This terrific-looking meal by chef Eric Ripert is right up my alley---simple, easy to put together and oh so good for you. It also could be right out of a favorite paleo cookbook. From the WSJ article:
When chef Eric Ripert returns home after traveling abroad, he comes with bags full of exotic ingredients and a head full of new menu ideas. "After my first trip to Japan, suddenly Le Bernardin was Japanese," Mr. Ripert joked of his Manhattan restaurant. In this recipe for cod and mustard greens—Mr. Ripert's third of four Slow Food Fast contributions—a soy-ginger vinaigrette references that first influential trip, taken almost 12 years ago. Sweet and sour, spicy and salty, the dressing imbues both the seared fish and the greens it rests upon with a classically Japanese balance of flavors. There are familiar Western elements, too, like lime juice, shallot and olive oil; Mr. Ripert has never shied away from layering disparate culinary traditions in a single dish. "The olive oil brings richness and fruitiness," the chef explained, and yet "Japan is very much on the plate."
While strong mustard greens are down on my list of favorite greens, the idea of these mingling with ginger, shallots and lime juice is mouth-watering and appealing. Scroll down for the exact recipe. I'm there!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gloria Allred: Scraping. The. Bottom. Of. The. Bottom. Of. the Barrel


TRYING TO DEMONIZE MITT ROMNEY OVER A FRIEND'S DIVORCE THAT HAPPENED OVER 20 YEARS AGO IS SCRAPING THE BOTTOM AND NOT GOING TO FLY.  This is called an October surprise?  Why?  It's totally predictable--a desperate behavior by people who have run out of hope and any real accomplishments to run on.

It's desperate and pathetic on the part of the Obama gangsterama. How low and sludge-like can these people go in order to divert attention from the real issues---like the cover-up in Benghazi terrorist attack. I hope Romney doesn't dignify any of this with even a word of response. President Obama with Gloria must think we voters are dumb-as-a-post, easily manipulated and at their constant political disposal.

Much ado about less than nothing.

Erin Burnett Undresses Emperor Obama Down To His Skivvies

NOW AT CNN, Erin undresses the President's so-called fine economic suit only to find he has no clothes on at all. This isn't even the half of it. The Bengazi coverup mess by the Obama administration shows the administration, including Hilllary Clinton, think American voters are stupid and gullible and will believe that Obama wear fine clothes even when he's naked as a jaybird!

Nothing adds up to her and it shouldn't to any of us either.

H/T Keith Koffler @ White House Dossier

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cow Power: Manure Fueled Gondalas In VT

IT'S HERE, IT'S REAL. What better use for tons and tons of dairy cow manure per day than fueling gondalas for the uphill ski slope? It's happening in Killington, Vermont (map below). Read more.

Top News Sources for Liberals

OKAAAAAAY. H/T The Right Scoop

Final Debate: No Game Changer But Perhaps A Deal Closer


OK, I ADMIT AT THE START THAT I WAS  DISAPPOINTED that Mitt Romney didn't fillet and skewer President Obama for his administration's dreadful foreign policy faux pas specifically the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya---unacknowledged for days---or the fast and furious debacle orchestrated by the Department of Justice.

I was hoping for a real duke-out at the OK Corral. So when things stayed nice and moderate,  I kept wondering why no fireworks? Where's the beef? I kept asking my neighbor Martha.  It never came in the way I expected.

Still, upon some mild reflection and with a good night's sleep I suppose, I guess, I hope Mitt Romney did okay to keep his tone and meter on the high-road and the big picture---well-informed and presidential all the way to the end. He did well not to get drawn in to any traps, then get cast as a foreign policy bomb-happy hawk though he did reiterate his strong support of a refurbished strong military---with or without bayonets and mules.  Still I wonder if he will stay strong in the face of future down-dressing.

 I can't say the same for our shrinking president who seemed to be petulant and petty throughout the debate.

Of course viewers can and will interpret and spin this debate however they're inclined and I am certainly inclined towards Mitt Romney and in fact am voting for him early this  morning.

The overall takeaway for me is this:  Mitt Romney believes a strong U.S. economy is the basis for a strong foreign policy and strong military.  He understands that people all around the world would rather have peace,  a decent job and markets for their goods and services than war and closed trade.

I couldn't agree more and again, think Mitt Romney is the man to help lead this country forward and out of our true economic malaise. There are and will be no easy, quick fox answers to the mess of this administration and the continuing dreadful action and money printing by the Federal Reserve.

For me the best  response Mitt gave---of many good ones---was to tell Bob Schieffer that in his administration he would not get a surprise call from Israel saying its planes were on the way to bomb Iran. That the U.S.-Israel relationships would be such that such nonsense would not happen.  Good, wise get for Mitt to a silly, straw man question.

There's more to say,  but there are lots of commentaries better suited for the in-depth digging.

For me this debate was a summation and deal-closer on the way to voting for Mitt Romney.  I think he will do a good job as president although it will not be easy with all that looms ahead.  If anyone can get things going in a different direction,  he can and he knows he can.

Now for another cup of coffee, before having the privilege to go and cast my vote.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's A Joke: Who Won the Ann Romney--Michelle Obama Debate?



Telling the Truth: Secure America Now New Video

ROGER SIMON---PRESIDENT OBAMA SHOULD RESIGN TONIGHT: Only a man with a leftover undergraduate ambivalence about Western civilization would have dealt with the Benghazi catastrophe in such a fashion in the first place. Barack Obama responded to the terrorism like a Columbia junior stoned on a reefer, particularly one from his era. He took another toke and moved on. And then when he was told he couldn’t do that, he got angry at the people telling him. IF YOU THINK THIS VIDEO IS RIGHT-ON, then you might consider that President Obama is in way over his head. This administration's massive confustion and coverup are a major big deal and it's not going away. Nor should it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness

CONTINUING EXCERPTING from the book by Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. We ended last week with the statement that a truly gospel-humble ego doesn't need to draw attention to itself:

Here is one little test. The self-forgetful person would never be hurt particularly badly by criticism. It would not devastate them, it would not keep them up late, it would not bother them. Why? Because a person who is devastated by criticism is putting too much value on what other people think, on other people's opinion. The world tells the person who is thin-skinned and devastated by criticism to deal with it by saying, Who cares what they think? I know what I think. Who cares what the rabble thinks? It doesn't bother me. People are either devastated by criticism---or they are not devastated by criticism because they do not listen to it. They will not listen to it or learn from it because they do not care about it. In other words, our only solution to low self-esteem is pride. But that is no solution. Both low self-esteem and pride are horrible nuisances to our own future and to everyone around us.

The person who is self-forgetful is the complete opposite.  When someone whose ego is not puffed up but filled up gets criticism, it does not devastate them.  They listen to it and see it as an opportunity to change.  Sound idealistic?  The more we get to understand the gospel, the more we want to change.  Friends, wouldn't you want to be a person who does not need honour---nor is afraid of it?  Someone who does not lust for recognition----nor on the other hand, is frightened to death of it?  Don't you want to be the kind of person who, when they see themselves in a mirror or reflected in a shop window, does not admire what they see but does not cringe either?

Wouldn't you like to be the type of person who, in their imaginary life, does not sit around fantasizing about hitting self-esteem home-runs, daydreaming about successes that gives them the edge over others?   Or perhaps you tend to beat yourself up and to be tormented by regrets.  Wouldn't you like to be free or them?  Wouldn't you like to be the skater who wins the silver, and yet is thrilled about those three triple jumps the gold medal winner did? 

To love it the way you love a sunrise?  Just to love the fact that it was done? For it  not to matter whether it their success or yours. Not to care if they did it or you did it.  You are as happy that they did it as if you had done it yourself---because you are just happy to see it.

You will probably say that you do not know anybody like that.  But this is the possibility for you and me if we keep on going where Paul is going.  I can start to enjoy things that are not about me.  My work is not about me,  my skating is not about me, my dating is not about me.  I can actually enjoy things for what they are.  Because they are not just for my resume.  They are not just to look good on my college or job application.  They are not just a way of filling up the emptiness.

Wouldn't you want that?

This is off the map.  This is gospel-humility, blessed self-forgetfulness.  Not thinking more of myself as in modern cultures, or less of myself as in  tradition cultures.  Simply thinking of myself less.

Amen and Amen. Next week How To Get That Transformed View of Self.

Keller: Jesus Says You Must Be Born Again

You Must Be Born Again - Tim Keller Sermon with Chinese Subtitles from Redeemer City to City on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Voter Perspectives: Cinnamon Jana Berry On Mitt Romney



Also, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has a great piece up, When Desperation Strikes Incumbants and how elementary-school style attacks are the order of the day.  In commenting on Obama's latest Romnesia slurs, Ed goes back to similar childish attacks which incumbant president George Bush 1 made on the Clinton-Gore ticket which showed his---Bush's---dimming prospects for re-election and desperation, even as the attacks became more childish.  And of course for better or worse,  the Clinton-Gore ticket did win and the rest is history.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mitt: What A Fine Attractive, Funny Man and Candidate


ROMNEY TRULY KNOCKS THE BALL OUTTA PARK, acting like the front-runner and looking and sounding very presidential. Killing Dems softly with sophisticated humor and wit and poking great fun at himself. What a homerun!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mississippi Flows Backwards, Cows Come Home, Hell Freezes Over As Dem Newspaper Goes For Mitt

TALK OF NASHVILLE TODAY  is  Al Gore's--and my--- alma mater The Tennessean, Nashville's once-big morning daily, a bastion of old-line Democratic leanings  and predilections,  held its nose and reluctantly endorsed Mitt Romney  for president. 

Readers in Middle Tennessee were shocked.  Some dismayed. Others, like me,  delighted.  Not so much for what it means in Tennessee because we're a red state with all  11 electoral  votes  going to Romney. The importance is the  momentum it portends for Romney nationwide in the remaining few weeks before the election.

Granted, this endorsement is more of an eschewing of the last four years of the Obama presidency than a full bore love-lock on Romney.  Still after all is said and done, the editorial board of this old, liberal newspaper thought it time for another dose of change in the other direction.
Some excerpts:
Aside from 1860, when Abraham Lincoln took charge of the nation on the brink of civil war, and 1932, when Americans devastated by the Great Depression turned to Franklin Roosevelt for hope, few elections have been so critical to the country. In 2012, the United States faces crippling debt; seemingly endless military conflicts and terror threats; an aging population; and sweeping workforce and geopolitical changes that threaten to turn our society upside down.

America needs strong leadership; yet, our leaders in Washington have seldom looked more impotent.
And then the editorial hones in on the crux of the matter:
The term “elephant in the room” could have been coined for this moment. Because as important as foreign policy, social issues, immigration and the environment continue to be, this election hinges on Americans’ fear of a European-style economic collapse. No other issue will matter more, and to more voters, on Election Day. The next president must be the one with the best chance to get the crushing, $16 trillion national debt under control, coupled with the more immediate need of enabling a vibrant job market. It is because the economy is paramount that The Tennessean endorses Gov. Mitt Romney for president. President Obama and Gov. Romney have different jobs plans. Yet, neither can actually create jobs, despite what they say in speeches and debates. Mr. Romney has the business experience that gives him better understanding of the needs of real job creators.
Bottom line, there are many ridiculous straw men and women in the room (brought in mostlyt by the Dems), but the big bad elephant in the room is the economy and looming fiscal cliff with the potential for even more unemployment. I'm proud that the Tennessean made this important swing to right and center. In its heart, it knows there's no other realistic and practical choice.

Clearing Our Palates: Paragliding In Jackson Hole



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Responders: Mitt Still Standing, Obama Reprimanding...Both Nauseating to Tamny


AFTER LAST NIGHT'S DEBATE AND YESTERDAY'S DRIVE,  I was too tired to think, let alone write an opinion on the second debate.  So here it is at the dawn's early light:  It was a grueling boxing  match with no knock-outs and a referee so biased she should have been disqualified and relieved of her temporary duty.  The mainstream liberal press continues to astound me with its lack of neutrality.

Nevertheless, Mitt is the winner in my book and  getting my vote---my early vote---as soon as I get back to Tennessee.  I cannot think of even one reason anyone would choose the alternative after the past four years of a weak economic recovery,supersonic money printing/spending and the federal government's assault on our personal liberties and deeply held values in service to its behemoth new healthcare law.  And that doesn't even include our country's leading apologetically from behind in the Middle East and the crumbling  respect our enemies have for this administration.  Think Jimmy Carter and the Iran hostage crisis.

I could go blow by blow in review but mercifully won't.  However, I will link to some other decent first responders. John Tamny @ Forbes, in typical libertarian fashion, has the most scathing review of both candidates, calling the debate performance a nauseating draw with both deserving to lose:

Both candidates fought to one-up each other in terms of who would start the bigger economy-wrecking trade war with China, who would drive education costs higher through more federal subsidies of same, and who would make the top 1% foot the bigger portion of the federal tax bill. A total embarrassment for each candidate. 
Continuing with this well-done piece, Tamny critiques:
It was like two beginners playing tennis with each other, neither able to hit the ball over the net. Both deserve to lose. 
It began with the first question asked by a Hofstra College student who wanted to know what either would do to ensure that future grads like him will have jobs. Romney responded that (all quotes paraphrased) "We'll have to make a college education more affordable for all, and I'll do this through growth of the Pell Grant program." The problem, of course, is that it's the federal government's existing subsidization of college loans through programs like the Pell Grant that reduce the incentives for colleges and universities to lower tuition costs. And then in promoting a boost in Pell Grant funding, , Romney's calling for more of the same whereby the feds take money from one set of American hands, and place those funds in the hands of others. On the street this would be called theft, but when politicians propose it, it's "compassion." After that, Romney basically repeated the same line over and over again: "I know what it takes to create jobs, and I'm going to make sure you get a job." The president as our nanny, one supposes. The sad thing is that Romney, far more than Obama, does know how to create jobs, but to explain how he does he'd have to be more up front that he's rich precisely because he's expert at turning around companies. Obama's response was no better. He added his support for expanding the Pell Grant program that makes college more expensive, and then "bragged" that funding for Pell Grants had already increased during his deficit-ridden presidency.

On jobs specifically, the nanny standard bearer for the Democrats said "We need good jobs, jobs that can support a family." Having said this, he then said that he wanted to create manufacturing jobs which, even if he could, would in today's world at best foot the bill for a Starbuck's latte - once a day. Barack Obama to families: Drop dead!

Moderator Candy Crowley followed up with a query about what either candidate would do about the high number of jobless Americans overall. This segment went to Romney for the former governor pointing out that the unemployment rate is the same today as when Obama entered office. He added that the number is only 7.8% because so many have exited the labor force due to a lack of job opportunities. Obama responded with his stock line about 5 million jobs created since he entered office, plus his wildly questionable assertion that he saved 1 million automobile jobs; jobs that would have disappeared under Romney for the latter having wanted to send GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy.

Romney's response was fairly good for him pointing out that Obama too took the ailing carmakers into bankruptcy; Romney simply having wanted to do it the normal way (you know, without the fleecing of secured creditors, gifting the automakers to the UAW) whereby the company continues to operate while restructuring its debt. In the next question Obama was asked about Energy Secretary Steven Chu having admitted three different times that he'd like to see gasoline prices higher. Obama predictably talked up how much oil and natural gas exploration has increased during his administration, then pivoted to the green energy he likes so much, and then proclaimed that he would "not cede green energy jobs to China and Germany."

Funny how much us taxpayers have had to pay so that Obama could pursue his green fantasy, and as for China and Germany, if taxpayers in both countries are so eager to fund the economic lie that is green energy, and if skeptics like this one turn out to be wrong, the good news is that we'll be able to import the energy at a market price as though it was conceived in Berkeley. Does anyone want to bet me on my assertion that green energy will never be able to stand on its own absent major subsidies? Can I pay you back ten lifetimes from now when you win the bet?

Romney then predictably responded that yes, oil and gas exploration is up under Obama, but none of it on federal lands. He also brought up a criminal action the Obama administration took against a producer in North Dakota. And then ever a me-too candidate, Romney said he too was for an "all of the above energy plan", which on its own is strange for someone who claims to believe in the free market; free markets surely devoid of national energy plans. Puzzling to this writer is why Romney didn't attack Obama again for not just the costs of his green energy fantasies, but also how much of the companies funded are now bankrupt.

A lost opportunity for Romney. Romney perhaps drew blood for pointing out that a gallon of gas in Nasssau was $1.84 when Obama entered office, and now it's $4. Obama drew blood in return with his reminder that gasoline was relatively cheap when he entered office precisely because the U.S. economy was collapsing under Republican policies that Romney would supposedly like to revive. Of course neither made the obvious point that gasoline is only expensive insofar as the Obama dollar is very cheap; Obama failing to make that point for obvious reasons, Romney failing to make it because his economic advisers such as Greg Mankiw actually support the Treasury and Fed's so far successful, and economy wrecking efforts to debase the greenback.

On taxes, Romney was asked what tax deductions he would limit in order to cut taxes for all Americans across the board....
Read the whole thing if you dare. Now I'm going to walk on the Canal with a friend and enjoy this beautiful day in this filthy, rotten city!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mitt Is Solid, Steady and

Back In D.C.--- Ground Zero for Destruction of Personal Liberty and Rule of Constitutional Law


LEFT MANHATTAN TODAY AND HEADED TO THE CAPITAL OF CONSTITUTION- DESTRUSTION IN THE USA TODAY. Whatever warm feelings I had for this grandiose place now rest on the D.C.-Bethesda line and the many lovely greenways and Canal Trail (along with several friends) that traverse this darkening mega-city/state.

Will be watching the debate here and adding comments during and after. It's a big night with lots of anticipation. I'm here, waiting like much of the rest of the free world.

Taxi Tantrum In NYC

READING THE HEADLINES IN DRUDGE TODAY about possible race riots if the president isn't re-elected was all too prescient in my taxi ride across Manhattan yesterday.  It was a black taxi driver and the first few minutes of silence and niceties about the cooler weather were perfunctory and non-eventful.  Then, as fate would have it, the subject of the election came up, and yes,  I asked who he thought was going to win it. 

What ensued left me somewhat horrified as this black taxi driver began to curse and degrade Mitt Romney for the rest of the ride.

He proceeded to come unglued to the point I thought he might not be able to drive.

He assured me that no man, not even God, could have fixed the economy in only four years.  That Mr. Obama needs more time and that he'd sure better get it.  He went quickly from Bush Derangement Syndrome to Romney Derangement Psychosis shouting that he was a liar and a much worse.

I was truly appalled as any sense of rational thinking was absent.

To make matters even worse,  I told him I thought Romney would make a fine president and in fact was planning to vote for him.  This revelation sent him over the edge.  The driver allowed it was my right to vote for whomever I wanted---a small concession---but told me I would be voting for a liar and cheat.  I said he could be right and only time would tell.  When we got to my stop on Lexington Avenue,  I paid him without tipping---taxi rides have gone up wildly---and leaped from the cab  with wings on my feet.

That's the last time I'll open a conversation on the election with a black cab driver in NYC.  Will there be riots if Obama loses?  I don't know but if this experience is any indication,  I   wouldn't be surprised at all. All I can say is stay out of harms way and lock and load.

Monday, October 15, 2012

FDR-Style Politics: the Truth About Social Security and Silly Big Bird Offensive

WHEN I FIRST SAW THIS PHOTO, I truly thought these guys look like a couple of old guys lined up on a stage in wheelchairs, kind of like FDR. Just my imagination? Maybe, but Biden has always reminded me of an old-style political operative/hack from a bygone era--- totally faithful to ye ole party narrative and staunchly loyal to his fuhrer.

Take for instance the continued myth-making about social security perpetrated in the first presidential debate:  our president assured us that it was 'fundamentally sound' with a straight face.  Read what Tom Blumer writes @ PJMedia on the social security crisis which is NOW, not in the future:
Though both members of the GOP ticket won their respective debates on substance, each wasted an important opportunity to more fully inform the public about how the Obama-Biden administration’s historically awful economic stewardship has hastened the arrival of Social Security’s currently dire circumstances, and how partial privatization can still, even at this late date, be a factor in saving it. Contrary to what the president claimed, Social Security is not “structurally sound.” Vice-presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, who apparently never told the presidential debate commission which selected her that Obama attended her 1991 wedding, and who to absolutely no one’s surprise ended up being a de facto third debater Thursday, probably thought she was making a daring statement when she said that it’s “going broke.” No ma’am; it already is. Five years ago, Social Security was taking in over $180 billion a year more in taxes than it was spending on benefits and administration. Though that annual surplus was doomed to dwindle as the wave of baby boomers began to retire, Social Security’s trustees estimated that surpluses would continue for another decade, and that triple-digit cash deficits wouldn’t arrive until many years after that. That’s before the Community Reinvestment Act-driven, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac fraud-accelerated recession kicked in, followed by the worst so-called recovery since the Great Depression. Just a few years later, the system began running annual cash deficits. The trustees now estimate that the calendar year 2012 cash deficit (i.e., “the deficit of tax income relative to cost”) will be $165 billion. The only reason it won’t approach $300 billion is that the rest of the government is kicking in about $120 billion to offset the current-year effect of the two-point reduction in payroll tax withholding which took effect in 2011. Team Obama dishonestly demagogued against allowing that unsustainable reduction to expire earlier this year. Regardless of who wins the presidency for the next four years, and despite the soaring national debt which threatens to swallow the entire economy, restoring Social Security withholding to its prior 6.2% level will be extraordinarily difficult.
So SS ain't going broke, it already IS broke. As it currently stands, we're putting such financial stress on our children and grandchildren who still haven't completely awakened to this reality. When they do, it may be too late for them to fix and see prosperity of any kind in their lifetimes. Still Blumer assures us it's still barely fixable if we act now.

Michael Barone takes issue with me a bit on the 40s-style political machine the Obama guys are running. He opines it's running A Campaign Fit For the 80s: If social security myth-making isn't enough, then how bout the massive Big Bird campaign they've mounted again the Romney-Ryan ticket. It was supposed to be devastating but turned out to be pathetic and absurd for the president.

Back later.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gospel Humility

GOSPEL-HUMILITY is not needing to think about myself. Not needing to connect things with myself. It is an end to thoughts such as, I'm in this room with these people, does that make me look good? Do I want to be there? True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The blessed rest that only self-forgetfulness b rings. True gospel-humility means an ego that is not puffed up but is filled up. This is totally unique. Are we talking about high self-esteem? No. So is it low self-esteem? Certainly not. It is not about self-esteem. Paul simply refuses to play that game. He says, I don't care that much about my opinion---and that is the secret. A truly gospel-humble person is not a self-hating or a self-loving person. The truly gospel-humble person is a self-forgetful person whose ego is just like his or her toes. It just works. It does not draw attention to itself. The toes just work; the ego just works. Neither draws attention to itself.
---Pastor Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Beautiful Night Tour Of Earth From ISS


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Arriving In Pennsylvania---Just As Its Voters Move Right

FRIDAY UPDATE: For the past several days while visiting in Pennsylvania, I've had major connectivity issues and couldn't access this site. Wanted to blog Thursday's debate but couldn't. Anyway now I'm in Manhattan and able to get into Webutante's edit mode. I'm on my way to see G-boy and Girly-G so will try to blog tonight if able! Thanks for coming by.

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL, COOL DAY driving up I-81 through Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland then coming into Pennsylvania. I then drove east from Carlisle to Reading on the PA TURNPIKE and let me tell you, there are no rest stops or other readily available services to be found anywhere on this fairly desolate stretch of highway. I much prefer normal interstates for road travel.

Anyway, I'm visiting a friend in Reading for the next several days---who mercifully is a big Romney supporter---and we'll be hiking on the Appalachian Trail for two day. On Thursday night we'll be watching the debates Thursday night. Meanwhile, I'll keep my eyes and ears open for local news on the state's current swing-surge right for Romney.

Monday, October 8, 2012

World's Biggest Money Laundering Scheme: The Federal Reserve


The essence of money-laundering is that fraudulent or illegally derived assets and income are recycled into legitimate enterprises. That is the entire Federal Reserve project in a nutshell. Dodgy mortgages, phantom claims and phantom assets, are recycled via Fed purchase and "retired" to its opaque balance sheet. In exchange, the Fed gives cash to the owners of the phantom assets, cash which is fundamentally a claim on the future earnings and productivity of American citizens. Some might argue that the global drug mafia are the largest money-launderers in the world, and this might be correct. But $1.1 trillion is seriously monumental laundering, and now the Fed will be laundering another $480 billion a year in perpetuity, until it has laundered the entire portfolio of phantom mortgages and claims. The rule of law is dead in the U.S. It "cost too much" to the financial sector that rules the State, the Central Bank and thus the nation. Once the Fed has laundered all the phantom assets into cash assets and driven wages down another notch, then the process of transforming a nation of owners into a nation of serfs can be completed.

In essence the Fed is turning us into a land of serfdom and not just us, but especially our children and grandchildren. Read the whole piece.

Back to the Ego: Gospel Humility

PAUL IS SAYING SOMETHING ASTOUNDING. (In 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7) I don't care what you think and I don't care what I think. He is bringing us into new territory that we know nothing about. His ego is not puffed up, it is filled up. He is talking about humility----although I hate using the word 'humility' because this is nothing like our idea of humility. Paul is saying he has reached a place where his ego draws no more attention to itself than any other part of his body. He has reach the place where he is not thinking about himself anymore. When he does something wrong or something good, he does not connect it to himself any more. C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity makes a brilliant observation about gospel-humility at the very end of his chapter on pride. If we were to meet a truly humble person, Lewis says, we would never come away from them thinking they were humble. They would not be always telling us they were a nobody---such a person is actually self-obsessed. The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or less of myself---it is thinking of myself less. Gospel-humility is not needing to think about myself. Not needing to connect things with myself.
----Pastor Tim Keller

Friday, October 5, 2012

Kids Of Helicopter Parents Verses Free Range Kids

LENORE SKENAZY'S WEBSITE IS She's also known by child rearing experts as the world's worse mom who is really a very traditional parent who dares to be parentally incorrect. Good for her.  Needless to say, I like what she's advocating which, by the way, is not negligence. It's about giving our kids---and ourselves---the space they need---and we had growing up--- to breath, grow, learn, fail and handle consequences without everything being such a big, major ordeal frought with fear upon fear.

 Helicoptering makes parents crazy and children neurotic and overly fearful. I wonder what's behind this obsession with safety, parents clearing every obstacle for our children so their lives might be perfect.  In other words, giving children a massive dose unreality.

Risk is inherent in all of life and attempting to remove it is a losing proposition sooner or later.  Trying to keep kids pain free is another.  That's why contact sports for boys is a  great way to grow them up into rough and tumble guys who can take a hit and roll with the punches of life.  Girls need to become emotionally resilient too and physically tough, being able to take winning with losing,  acceptance with rejection,  learning to roll with the punches of life without withdrawing from life and relationships. 

Here's a link to a terrific post on letting children quit and how it isn't always a disaster after all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I'm There---It's Mitt's Night of Crispness and Strength



MITT REFUTES OBAMA'S ACCUSATIONS about how he will raise taxes on the middle class and lower them on the top 3%.

Obama bores on. Mitt is doing fairly well. However, I'd love to see---and this is totally superficial---see Mitt get a buzz and thin a lot of hair off the sides of his head.....would really cause a stir and get a little attention making him look more youthful.

Back to the debates---so far Obama keeps talking about Mitt who emphasizes that going forward with the status quo will not cut it.

Mitt talks about helping small businesses.  The idea of taxing people more puts more people out of work.  Mitt continues to be in charge---let the states do most of the heavy lifting rather than the federal government which is far too big and taking on too much responsibility which is not enumerated in the Constitution even though it's enumerated by filthy rotten politicians.

Mitt is talking about how Obama is cutting $716,000,000,000 in Medicare is not the way to go for current retirees.  Obama whines that vouchers is not the way to go---and AARP agrees with him.  What an incredible bore.

For the young, they can keep the current Medicare plan OR they can get a private plan.  I couldn't agree more.  For higher income people,  Romney will cut benefits.  That's the way it should be.

Mitt wants to  keep reasonable regulation but repeal laws like Dodd-Frank.   The right answer for health care is that the private market and personal responsibility is the way to go.  The federal government can not now or ever mandate lower  costs.  Mitt says the Massachusetts plan is appropriate for the nation---but only  on a state by state basis, not by fiat of the federal government.

The role of  the federal government---by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights---is, according to Romney,  to function within enumerated powers.  We need the right to pursue our dreams without the federal government imposing its heavy-handed dream on us.  The feds should never pick economic winners and losers, free markets should.  Failure should never be a dirty word.

Mitt, if elected, will work collaboratively reaching across the aisle to overcome gridlock.  Obama says he's open to all comers of ideas over the past four years.  O will have a plan.

Closing:  O--- improve on our strengths by giving Americans a chance to succeed.

Mitt says this election is about what kind of America we want.  With Obama, Obamacare will be fully installed.   Romney will cut the military.

Mitt was energetic and took charge.  Obama was muddy and un-feisty in every way.