Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday/Memorial Day, Our First War, First Casualties


THE BRITISH WERE TAXING the colonists without representation. King George III, a devout Christian had recently declared himself and parliament sovereign over the colonies in "in all cases whatsoever;" and British troops had just arrived in Boston to enforce royal supremacy. During this turbulent time the colonists, more than ever, turned to their ministers for guidance, thereby giving them a unique role in history. They not only were preaching the Gospel but also helping to create a nation. Their roles were both prophets and statesmen.

In Concord, Massachusetts, William Emerson (grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson) was one such prophet and statesman. As a minister he tried to analyze the rapidly changing events in the light of Scripture. In the spring of 1775 he was quickly propelled from being an ordinary country preacher into taking part in what he called "the greatest events taking place in the present age."

By March, Emerson and other patriots in Concord were aware that British spies had infiltrated their town and had informed British General Thomas Gage about a hidden armory, where the local "Sons of Liberty" were stockpiling weapons. Emerson began to fear for the safety of his town. On March 13, he preached a sermon to the Concord militia that would alter the course of history. He had the power to either promote or discourage a call to arms. What would he say? Was it God's will for America to fight for independence? After much prayer and study, he came down on the side of armed resistance.

He reminded the militia of the inevitable "approaching storm of war and bloodshed." He asked them if they were ready for "real service."

He explained that readiness depended not only on military skill and weapons but also on moral and spiritual resolve. He challenged them to believe wholeheartedly in what they were fighting for and trust in God's power to uphold them, or else they would end up running in fear from the British.

He argued for colonial resistance on grounds they had been standing by their liberties and trusting only in God yet had been "cruelly charged with rebellion and sedition by the Crown.

"For my own part, the more I reflect upon the movement of the British nation..... the more satisfied I am that our military preparation here for our own defense is.....justified in the eyes of the impartial world. Nay, for should we neglect to defend ourselves by military preparation, we never could answer to God and to our own consciences of the rising generations."

The colonists should go forth into war, assured that "the Lord will cover your head in the day of battle and carry you on from victory to victory." Emerson was convinced that in the end the whole world would realize "there is a God in America."

On April 19, 1775, British troops marched as predicted on Lexington and Concord. Before they reached Concord, patriot silversmith Paul Revere had made his famous ride into town, warning of approaching redcoats. Because the colonists were warned, Emerson and other minutemen from nearby towns were assembled and ready. The first shot, the famed shot heard 'round the world,' was fired, and the war for independence began. Three Americans and twelve British soldiers were casualties in that first battle.

Throughout the war for independence, ministers such as Emerson were the single most influential voice of inspiration and encouragement for the fighting colonists. For many ministers the religious aspects of the war was exactly the point of the revolution---gaining freedom in order to create a new order in which God's principles would rule.

----The One Year Christian History, by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fly Fishing the South Holston in East Tennessee

FLY FISHING COMBINES TWO FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN CRAVINGS: the needs for both space and togetherness. It's quiet and noisy at the same time, peaceful and heart-stopping exciting---It can include adrenaline to end all adrenaline rushes! Or, nothing happens for hours on end. However when you least expect it........the toilet bowl flushes. Much later, after hours on the river mostly alone, the fun of telling tall and short tales begins with good friends and fellow maniacs!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Buy Gold On the Dips!

OK, I'M ON A GOLD KICK. IT WON'T LAST. But while it does, let me say that I like, no love, this gold dress on Kim Cattrall much better than the one below on Kristin Scott Thomas. She looks terrific, even without the palm trees and sea breezes in the background. This dress is more my style and she pulls this off plu-perfectly. I love the hair, female swagger, the flat stomach,and the feisty little bag with her I'm-having-so-much-fun-with-this pose. I also think she has a great figure without being over-done. Could this be Marilyn Monroe meets a young, relaxed Madonna? I dunno, but fashion-wise, she's almost a perfect 10! Stunning and totally 2010.

Love That Dress On Her!

WITH ALL THE TALK OF WAR, SOVEREIGN DEBT AND ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, sometimes a girl's gotta retreat into girly stuff like coronation fashion and fruit smoothies to get her groove back. So while surfing around this morning at Go Fug Yourself---a new link I've added to my right sidebar---I saw this smashing dress on Kristin Scott Thomas at Cannes. Somehow the eye-popping color floating across the red carpet with palm trees waving and yachts bobbing in the background makes me feel happy and lighter. Can almost hear soft sea breezes as I look on. This is a color that would make me look like I had a stomach virus, however, it appears to work for her. And the sheer amount of fabric---the brocade drapery-to-dress look---would be laughably too much on my smaller frame. But nevermind! She wears it well and and the whole thing works to lift my spirits. A little female opulence now and then is a wonderful thing when it's done right. And the color gold with silver sash is right on as the price of gold (and silver) continue their skyward climb into the stratosphere!

Blogging will be sporadic for the next few weeks and actually throughout the summer months. But I intend to post as I can. God bless.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Global Markets in Meltdown, Then Reversed Thanks to Barney Frank

SAY WHAT? Barney Frank Reverses Market Plunge Today By Vowing to Go More Lenient on Derivatives Trading


SURE HOPE I'M WRONG, but it looks like markets are roiled big time today. Futures on all exchanges show breath-taking, nose bleed drops. Of course in the volatile, warp-speed markets we're in, we could bungee jump down, then jettison back up before the close. Overall, it's looks like we're continuing to head towards the economic abyss as central bankers window dress and arrange and rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic.

The welfare, high government pensions/entitlement states (and countries) are sinking and there's nothing real that will save them and us. The United States printing presses may delay the inevitable a little while longer, but it won't and can't forever. The longer we forestall the day of reckoning, the more painful and prolonged it will be.

I'll update this post as the day progresses and add some links.


Meanwhile, economic wizard John Tamny says we need to stop whining about the U.S. defaulting on its burgeoning debt and spending spree and see it as the only medicine that will cure us from what has ailed us---and the world---for over five decades. Warning, much pain ahead.

Stop Whining and Learn to Love A U.S. Default.

Monday, May 24, 2010



IT captures the reunion of two old friends: a man and the gorilla he raised from infancy.

It had been five years since British naturalist Damian Aspinall had seen Kwibi, a lowland gorilla who was born at Howletts Wild Animal Park in England as part of an ongoing conservation program by the Aspinall Foundation to re-introduce gorillas back into the wilds of Africa.

Several years after Kwibi was released to live in Gabon, West Africa, Aspinall traveled there to see if he could catch a glimpse of his old friend. Cameras captured the scene as Aspinall glided down the river calling out to Kwibi, "C'mon! C'mon!" Incredibly, Kwibi appeared on the bank. "He heard my voice and came to the edge of the river," Aspinall explained in the video seen.

Read more.

Oh Yeah

SEEING A FAMILY WITH A PACK OF PIT BULLS IN MY RENTAL PROPERTY IN MY REAR-VIEW MIRROR. Today. Court. Judge. Contract upheld. Relief from massive liability granted. The Rule of Law stood. Neighborhood relieved of fear. Great lawyer who prepared me for every eventuality, every trick in the book after months of patience and notices ran out. I'm deeply grateful. It was the last thing I wanted to do. But it had to be done.

Monday, Reading It? Who Knew?


Now for Arizona's new theme song:

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sunday, The Reversal of the Fall

THERE IS A SENSE IN WHICH WE MAY see the application of salvation to an individual's life as the reversal of what occurred by the fall. If you recall, Eve's basic failure was that she assumed her independence from God by refusing to readily submit herself to His Word. Eve rejected the Creator-creature distinction by thinking herself able to know truth by her own insight apart from God.

The exact opposite is evident in the life of one who trusts Christ. Paul makes this plain by saying,

" For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." (1Cor.1:21).

Using human wisdom as the criterion for truth, as Eve had done in the garden, leads away from God and into falsehood. So it is that the cross as the way of salvation causes us to to turn away from the independence of human and sinful thought in order to know God. Eve thought herself independent and saw herself as ultimate judge. When we truly believe in Christ, we recognize our dependence on the Word of God as uncontestable wisdom and truth. This acceptance of God's Word is the very beginning of redemption in Christ.

"So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." (Romans10:17)

The reversal of the fall does not stop with initial conversion. It covers the entirety of the redeeming process. The one who trusts in the message of the gospel is convinced with Paul,

"Let God be found true, though every man be found a liar....(Romans 3:4).

Though the tendency of man in sin is to forsake true knowledge and to falsely assert his independence from God, the believer holds that God's Word can always be trusted for He is true.

God's word is trustworthy and the believer in Christ confesses his total reliance on it.

--EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE, A Study Manual for the Defense of Christian Truth
Richard L. Pratt

Tempest In A Teapot




THE TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT---better known as much ado about nothing---created, exascerbated and perpetuated by the likes Rachel Maddow and Company frothing at the mouth over Rand Paul's primary win for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky continues to leave me slack jawed. Of course it shouldn't. I was taught how to do this exact same thing as a liberal newspaper reporter for the big morning daily here decades ago. I saw and experienced first-hand how reporters actually create flak out of------ absolutely nothing. Especially when they have an a political ax to grind. Creating controversy outta nothing, speaking quotes out of context is oh so easy. And gullible readers eat it up like ice cream.

Anyway, I see this hysteria manufacturing over the remarks Rand Paul made on The Civil Rights Act during his hour long interview with NPR as business as usual for the MSM. He was baited then taken completely out of context. He handled it extremely well. They had to dig really deep for this ridiculous bit of hysteria. Today, I see it for what it is, a ploy used to polarized people and whip the gullible into a fearful frenzy.The political correctness Nazis are alive and well in the MSM and even some conservative websites are falling for this now (see Allapundit). Here's a portion of a piece from a Washington Times editorial this morning that I completely agree with:

The possibility that fiscal stalwarts like Dr. Paul the Younger and former Club For Growth President Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania might have the senatorial power to filibuster wasteful proposals must keep Ms. Maddow up at night. So it should not have come as a surprise that instead of a pleasant interview following his primary victory, the ascendant Dr. Paul was subjected to interrogation about how he would have voted on legislation pushed through Congress 46 years ago.

For all of its faults, the country is a better place in the wake of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The problem with Dr. Paul is that his intellectual honesty - a malady we wish would infect other politicians - would not let him overlook the faults. He rightly pointed out that if one accepts the ability of the federal government to decide that all customers must be accommodated, Congress could use the same power to force liberal restaurant owners to serve people carrying guns.

Ms. Maddow wasn't interested in logical consequences, she was interested in tarring Dr. Paul and the Tea Party movement in general as racist. Dr. Paul has never expressed an interest in revisiting any part of the Civil Rights Act. As he said in a later interview, the left should save its questions for Sen. Robert Byrd, West Virginia Democrat, who actually filibustered the bill in question and was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in the old days. It's questionable why Dr. Paul expected fair treatment from the network that talked about the "racism" of a Tea Party activist who carried a gun to a rally, but took care not to show his face in the video - because that Tea Party activist was a black man.

Rand Paul has clarified that he would have voted "yes" on the 1964 bill, hopefully putting this tired and phony racism attack to rest. The vehemence of the other side's rhetoric emphasizes the importance of putting this constitutional conservative in the Senate.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sunny Saturday


AFTER MORE RAIN THIS WEEK AND THUNDERSTORMS forecast for tonight, Saturday promises to be a gorgeous day. I plan to be out on the trail with M at the crack-of-dawn walking 5-8 miles before the humidity and heat set in. Sultry days are the norm from about now on through September.

Have had a busy week and haven't been at my computer as much as usual. Among other things, I've been preparing to go to court early Monday morning to evict renters from a rental property I own and manage. After giving them notice almost two months ago for an egregious violation of our lease agreement, they refuse to leave. Contracts and the rule of law seem don't seem to have sunk in with these people who brought in a menage a trois of pet pit bulls to live with them unbeknownst to me. It leaves me with a gargantuan liability which I'm not willing to shoulder for these people. So it's tough shove from here on. Even if I have to get the sheriff involved. What a fun way to spend money! This is the last thing I want to do, but sometimes we don't get to vote, so hi-ho, hi-ho it's off to court I go. I have a terrific lawyer who's smart and also a great fly fisherman. What more can I ask for---except another benadryl for the worst allergy and hay fever season in history here?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Giving New Meaning and Depth to the Word Glower


EVERY NOW AND THEN I SEE A PHOTO AND A VIVID WORD OR PHRASE---that I may not have thought of in years----hits me like a ton of bricks. Today's photo of President and First Lady Obama---who are evidently not amused with the White House guest chef Rick Bayless of Chicago tweeting from the First Kitchen the upcoming lavish State dinner with Mexico---- instantly brought the word GLOWER to mind. A fit?

And just so there's no confusion, I'll let do the rest:

 /ˈglaʊər/ Show Spelled[glou-er] Show IPA
–verb (used without object)
1 .to look or stare with sullen dislike, discontent, or anger.
2. a look of sullen dislike, discontent, or anger.

1350–1400; ME (Scots) glowren to glower; akin to MLG glūren to be overcast, MD gloeren to leer

Invented by the Scots, perfected by Michelle.....PRICELESS!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rand Paul Wins Kentucky Senate Primary And Wants A Word With Us

Roger Kimball At Pajamas: Join the We're Not Europe Party aka The Adult Party



For tonight, nuff said. Except maybe congratulations to Paul and the emboldened Tea Party movement!

Meanwhile, anyone seen Blanche or Arlen?

Part 2: Tennessee Gubernatorial Candidates At the Nashville Republican Women's Luncheon

(Above from left, U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Chattanooga, Lt. Gov. Ron 'Give Em the Boot' Ramsey, and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam greet each other for the 600th time in the past few months on the campaign trail.)

IF YOU'RE A CONSERVATIVE LIKE ME deeply concerned we're losing far too much of our freedom and money to the insane federal government in Washington, then you'll be heartened by what I heard last Friday at the Nashville Republican Women's Club (NRWC) spring luncheon featuring the three gubernatorial candidates who'll run against each other in the August primary. After listening to them talk issues, I came away feeling the people of great State of Tennessee can't go too wrong by electing any of the three.

I think we are moving into the age of the American governor as the elected focus of our democracy rather than the U.S. president. President Obama is certainly hastening that process.

Remember how we always used to ask when a fresh political face comes on the national scene: Think he'll ever run for president? Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts comes to mind, as does Texas governor Rick Perry. But I think we're naive to think the penultimate office to save The Republic For Which We Stand is the presidency anymore. (Think Gov. Perry needs to stay in Texas, and Sen. Scott Brown where he's just been elected, for heavens sakes!)

Instead, I believe the political offices of Governor are among the most important offices we stand to elect. We need to stop projecting every candidate we like onto the father-figure presidency and leave them where they can be most effective and accountable: in our states, closer to the people that elected them.

So it was especially heartening to hear what the above three men had to say last Friday. I'd like to give you a few the highlights here:


Push back is the new states rights issue, circa 2010. No one says it better than Ron Ramsey with his Give em the boot! schtick. Ramsey says Obamacare is the straw that broke the camel's back. Now we need to push back and stop letting the feds cram its nonsensical spending and unfunded entitlements down states' throats. Ramsey says Tennessee is still an isle of sanity in a country gone wild with government. The Tenth Amendment was mentioned numerous times during the course of the discussion. Haslam said, We need to show and tell the feds what they're doing to us in no uncertain terms.


Zach Wamp believes a day is coming---and is already here---when states will be divided into those worth living in and those that are not. California comes to mind as the most unlivable from a tax, budget, declining business and jobs environment standpoint. Wamp intends to keep Tennessee in the more and more livable category and create a hot economy in the process. He says western states are over-regulated, midwestern states are decaying. But Southern states are vibrantly growing and need to continue offering incentives for economic development.

Mayor Haslam who is also a principle owner of Pilot Oil agrees and wants to make Tennessee the #1 location for smal and bigl business and job creation in the U.S. using our state's strategic assets of favorable tax benefits and moderate climate with out right to work laws. Tennessee is not and should not be a state that gives 'cash deals' as incentives to re-locate here as is Mississippi.

Ramsey says we want economic development but be careful not to give away more than we get. As a small businessman in East Tennessee he sums up what he wants from government: Absolutely nothing!


Haslam explained local and state governments must balance their budgets and are therefore bound to a certain degree of fiscal restraint and even shrinkage. Conversely, the federal government does not have to balance its budget and can print money to keep up with its runaway spending. As a result, state governments are needing to get smaller even as the federal government keeps growing.

Haslam the reiterated what needed to be said: The one-time bailout is ending and the next governor of Tennessee is going to have to cut the state budget and keep cutting it to be accountable and keep his promise not the raise sales or state income taxes.

Wamp said Tennessee needs new procurement procedures and that he recently visited with Georgia governor Sonny Perdue on procurement issues and how to help the private sector grow as government continues to spread like amoebas.


All three candidates agreed the federal government has failed miserably in its job---an enumerated power----to protect our national boundaries, especially to the south. All agreed with Arizona's state right to protect its boundary with the new law it recently passed. All agreed there would always be jobs in Tennessee for legal immigrants. Period.

As Lt. Governor, Ramsey led the charge that successfully repealed the law allowing illegals to obtain a Tennessee driver's license. He also commented on the fact the Phoenix has the second highest kidnap rate in the country.

Haslam wants to make sure all employers are hiring legally.

Wamp thinks Tennessee should become an e-verify state using the latest technology and the Internet to check legal status of workers, rather than, say, hiring thousands of new IRS agents to make sure the laws are being complied with.


There was much more but these are the most salient discussions in my opinion. I'll be back to assess the candidates personalities soon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wesley Pruden: A Salute to FEMA In Soggy Nashville


PRUDEN WRITES: THE DRY-OUT, CLEAN -UP and fix-up will continue for months; residents still are asked to take only brief showers, limit their laundry and wait a while to wash the muck and mud from their cars. But the response from the feds was a nice surprise. Maybe Barack Obama should thank George W. Bush for the lessons in how not to respond to a natural disaster, as in New Orleans. Read more.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday, In God's Economy, No Tree Too Big Not To Fail

ASIDE FROM MASSIVE DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, BUSINESSES AND HOMES, THE GREAT NASHVILLE FLOOD OF 2010 two weeks ago did quite a number on some of its finest specimens in the natural world, especially its big trees. It's astounding to see how quickly some of the seeming largest, healthiest, most dominant trees in the forests fell like toothpicks in over-saturated soils no longer able to hold up and support massive but shallow roots systems that had anchored them for decades.

In the latest round of pounding rain and flooding, big trees on slopes simply toppled---crashed--- over in rain-soaked soils, taking massive gravel, earth and sometimes pavement with the, often it looking like they'd been through an earthquake or a massive landslide. Any tree with a horizontal root system that didn't go deep was----and still is---in danger of future failure. So hiking under the canopy of these big, listing trees is not very appealing propostion at this time.

I'd like to think there are some spiritual lessons we can learn in thsee big events of nature. Here are a few I thought of: 1) Nothing in God's natural world is too big not to fail. There is no such thing as a bailout mentality here. 2) When failure happens, new life begins to sprout and take root almost immediately, spontaneously. There's always something to take the downed trees place---now that there's more sunshine, space and moisture for new growth. There's no federal nanny natural state to regulate and dicker with the laws of nature God has set in motion. 3) Establishing deep roots systems in life is far more stabilizing in natural and human crises than shallow, wide root ones. I think the corollary for us humans is to establish our spiritual lives deeply rooted in Christ and the Word of God. God promises over and over in the Bible, that lives established and lived there----rather than the world's shallow, fallen system---cannot and will not fail, especially in the eternal sense. 4) Trees, like fallen people may survive long periods of time with shallow roots seeming to hold them up. However, sooner or later there comes---will come---a deeper, more massive crisis and shaking, large enough to expose and destroy the shallow-rootedness both in nature and human nature. We best prepare for such times by asking to be shown a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the deepest, most stabilizing, and faithful taproot of all.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Part 1: Nashville Republican Ladies Luncheon Friday, A Proud and Dazzling Event

(Below, l to r: U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp from Chattanooga, Knoxville Mayor/Businessman Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor/Businessman Ron Ramsey from East Tennessee and Tennessee Gov. Emeritus/Statesman Winfield Dunn)
WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO WHO'S HOOKED ON CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES AND POLITICS and celebrating her 39th birthday for the severaleth time Friday? Well, I'll tell you what this one did: she pulled herself together, dressed up in her favorite sling-back kitten heels and went to the only place to be in all of Middle Tennessee at the noon hour to hear the three Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidates talk about some of the dire issues facing our state and country going into the fall elections. It turned out to be a terrific choice that packed a huge political punch!
Syndicated conservative talk show host Phil Valentine, left, chats with Knoxville Mayor Haslam and darling wife Crissy over silent auction items before moderating the lively, truly informative discussion among the three extremely qualified candidates. Tennessee will be fortunate to have any of them as governor. Never was I more proud and grateful to be a Tennessean!
Good friend and newly installed chairman of NRWC Carolyn Amiot chaired the event leaving the crowd wowed by her leadership/management skills and the program she pulled together. C also had a great team of ladies helping on every front.

Zach and son Weston Wamp above. Wamp categorically asserts he will win in November.
I came home with two new birthday 'presents' which I outbid everyone else on: the NOPE t-shirt above which Lt. Gov. Ramsey personally auctioned off, and.......and......and....wait for it.......

......THREE SHOTGUN SHOOTING LESSONS----skeet, trap or sporting clays or a combination of all three by a pro marksman!! Fifty targets and shells including with each lesson! Eat your heart out! Now tell me that wasn't made to order for a Scotch-Irish conservative female on her 39th to the nth birthday.

I'll be back Monday to talk about the issues they/we discussed. But I'll tell you after listening to each man speak, I can honestly say I would be comfortable with any of them. This state will be fortunate indeed to elect any one of the three.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Constitution and the Intrinsic Value of Money

GORDON GEKKO AT ZH: The Coming Financial Tsunami

THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR was originally defined by the Constitution only in terms of milled silver. Congress was allowed to coin money but was never intended to print and issue paper (fiat) money.

This is a most interesting series in view of the continued printing and spending of fiat money without seeming limits in the United States and every civilized country of the world----even as sovereign debt bubbles continue to blow up towards the greatest global bubble burst the world has ever known. It will make the Great Depression look like kindergarten.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Computer Coming

FOR ABOUT SIX WEEKS NOW, I've had myriad computer problems, the least of which is now the keyboard which I replaced several months ago. Today even the spacebar doesn't work so that I can barely put space between my words and only by the hardest. In other words, typing is almost impossible which is why I haven't posted more recently. Thank goodness for copy and paste.

A new computer is on the way and hopefully will be up-and-running and fully functional in a few days. Until then, posts will be mercifully brief.

Meanwhile, rain, scattered thunder showers and high humidity are forecast for the next week in rain-soaked Nashville as the massive clean-up and continues. Not exactly the forecast we were hoping for. But seems to be what we're going to get.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Some Notable Quotes Today On Elena Kagan

NEVER MIND HOW GAY LIBERAL ACTIVIST SCOTUS NOMINEE Elana Kagan is described below. Never mind that she has no judicial experience with scant paper trail, has never argued a case or briefly consulted with Goldman Sachs. Then there's her decidedly anti-military stance at Harvard in upholding gay rights. None of this concerns me as much as the real liberal ax issue she will be expected to grind. More on that later. This for now:

SOME OF THE president's allies on the far left, and even the not-so-far left, are grumbling that she's not really one of them. They're unhappy that Mzz Kagan was polite and civil to conservatives at Harvard Law School, where she was the dean. Under her tenure the odd conservative in the faculty lounge was even allowed to use the restroom and could sip an occasional cup of coffee from china decent folks used. This is supposed to allay fears and concerns of conservative senators who would otherwise fret over her lack of judicial experience, her limited courtroom experience and a dearth of her opinions on the written record.

The early conventional wisdom is that Mzz Kagan is nice, bright and highly intelligent, a "wise Jewess" like the "wise Latina" that Justice Sotomayor assured us she was, and pressing the nominee on her judicial philosophy and intellectual temperament is something that only a churlish Republican senator would do. This will probably be enough to intimidate the Republican senators whose mission in Washington is to assure everyone that Republicans are not really as bad as people think they ared for President Obama which no one seems to be talking about.

---Wesley Pruden, Washington Times

"I DON'T THINK she's a bad person, I don't think she's a dishonest person, I do think her behavior at Harvard Law School with military recruiters is at least something she needs to defend."

— Bill Kristol on Fox News

"THERE IS NO DOUBT that Ms. Kagan possesses a first-rate intellect, but she is a surprising choice from a president who has emphasized the importance of understanding 'how the world works and how ordinary people live.' Ms. Kagan has spent her entire professional career in Harvard Square, Hyde Park, and the D.C. Beltway. These are not places where one learns 'how ordinary people live.' Ms. Kagan is likewise a surprising choice because she lacks judicial experience. Most Americans believe that prior judicial experience is a necessary credential for a Supreme Court Justice."

---Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) member of Senate Judiciary Committee

"WE ARE EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED by the President's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Kagan's nomination is a triumph for liberal ideology and judicial activism. She has never been a judge, nor written a judicial opinion. In fact, she has very limited experience in the actual practice of law. Her resume reveals her to be an academic who has served liberal judges, liberal presidents, and liberal universities. Her entire career has been lived in a narrow slice of the judicial spectrum. Even with her sparse legal record, one thing stands out—her emotional and legal commitment to the LGBT agenda."

— Tom Minnery, Vice President of Public Policy, Focus on the Family, social conservative activist group

"IN HER FERVENT OPPOSITION to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law and the Solomon Amendment, Kagan elevated her own ideological commitment on gay rights above what Congress, acting on the advice of military leaders, had determined best served the interests of national security. At a time of war, in the face of the grand civilizational challenge that radical Islam poses, Kagan treated military recruiters worse than she treated the high-powered law firms that were donating their expensive legal services to anti-American terrorists."

—Ed Whelan, Commentator on National Review Online

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Tabacco 'Sauce' on CNBC: Many of Us Expected Last Week's Big Plunge With Another Ahead


THE SMART MONEY----i.e. not the maddening crowd---- actually expected last week's plunge. They did. Thanks to a smart money guy I've been tutored by for half-decade, this is an important clip to watch. He---Jack---has also taught me the stock market often goes in lock step with some of our culture's greatest pop icons, like for instance, Tiger Woods.

If that's the case, and it usually is for whatever reason, Tiger's pitiful showing yesterday on the golf course and subsequent withdrawal for neck/back injuries most likely portends more neck injuries and pain ahead for the markets.

Time will tell, but I sure would be careful right now. Over-optimism is not a smart place to be. As Tabacco says, they see another 'big event' lurking out there on the horizon. Let those---including me-- with eyes to see and ears to hear take heed. Even if markets bounce big today---Mondays are big bounce days---I would not get carried away. There's short covering going on. Volatility is very high.

Sunday, A Mother's Prayer and Tableau

DEAR LORD, PLEASE PROTECT AND BLESS EACH OF THE CHICKS AND GRANDCHICKS--AND THE ADOPTED CHICKS-- you have most graciously and gererously gifted to my (and our) lives with the favor of being in your Kingdom both now and into Eternal Life. Please guide and use me for good in my family and community. Help me never to compromise my walk with You to be loved, accepted as a woman and mother. Thank you for your many blessings and even the hardships of being a mother in today's treacherous world where you are our only Real Hope Refuge. In Christ's Name, Amen.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday: Bleeding Oil and Bailout Money

THE SUN CAME OUT LAST MONDAY and shone every glorious day this week. Heaven knows we've needed every ray we thankfully got as floodwaters continue to recede leaving debris and disrepair everywhere. Still, there's a sense that things are getting back to normal.

Meanwhile as Nashville and Middle Tennessee dry out, the catastrophic oil spill continues in the Gulf, as does the aftermath of the Greek bailout spill. Then the stock market took a death-defying roller coaster ride Thursday which no one yet knows who or what triggered.

I only have one Saturday morning answer to all this worldwide turmoil: It's time to go fishing.

Yes, fishing! Today I'm going with one of my favorite guides down to the Elk River which is a tailwater fishery south of Nashville. We think there won't be too much water, but time will tell. I'll be back later today hopefully with some photos and a little commentary. Meanwhile, hope your weekend is better than ours was last week.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Favorite Photo Of the Great Nashville Thousand-Year Flood of 2010

JUST ABOUT SAYS IT ALL. Musicians here have lots of new material to work with after the past few days. While flood waters continue receding, there's still massive high water---and will be for weeks due to huge dam releases upstream from Nashville---and clean-up will be a burgeoning industry here for months, if not years to come.

I must say, Nashville as a city and Nashvillians as a people have behaved in incredibly civilized ways since this massive ordeal began. There's been almost no looting. People everywhere have pitched in to do whatever has needed doing and there's been an endless amount of work. That Volunteer State attitude----as opposed to the entitlement mentality in New Orleans during Katrina---has aided greatly the saving of lives and property, in spite of massive losses. I am proud of my city and its citizens as the work and clean-up has truly just begun and will continue for months, if not years.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ah, Yeah!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Aftermath: The Big Middle Tennessee/Nashville Flood

HERE'S WHAT MEAGER WORDS I HAVE TO SAY: I can't talk about it.

It's been far, far too intense these past few days. A major act of God, and God acts in mysterious ways. For now, I'm going to bed to get a good night's sleep. Tomorrow I plan to get up before the crack-of-dawn to pray, walk at least 5-10 miles to catch up with myself, try to make sense of my thoughts and explore how I can help out in some small ways. Many, many people in this city and surrounding areas are hurting and have lost so much, if not everything. May God help and have mercy on our people.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Epic Nashville Floods: When The News Comes To Your Front Door


ROILING TORRENTIAL RAINS ROLLED INTO NASHVILLE EARLY SATURDAY MORNING. Several hours later one of my 'modern' kitchen windows flipped wildly out of its tracks as I tried to raise and tighten it against the ominous descending storm system. The window dangled unreachable outside by a thread above the soggy ground below, leaving a gaping hole for rain and wind to barrel into my kitchen to keep me company and give me the penultimate indoor/outdoor experience.

I dug my biggest mop out of the closet and began to swab the decks of my kitchen as the sounds of thunder, rain, sirens, fire engines and storm warnings blasted through the outside air creating an almost apocalyptic sense of doom. People were stranded everywhere, streets impassable, stores and shopping malls flooded and closed as waters continued to rise. A flurry of phone calls to and from family and friends went on as we checked on each other's whereabouts while the long day grinded into the long, dark night of unending rain.

This morning---Sunday---the rain contined unabated. It rained harder. A little after dawn, I had my first cup of coffee. The power suddenly went out with a huge clap of thunder. I mopped the wet floor around the missing window again and plopped down in my favorite kitchen chair. There was nothing to do but surrender to the violent forces of nature swirling around us and wait it out.

I closed my eyes and dozed off, dreaming of a warm sunny day with blue skies, chirping birds and hungry trout waiting to take my fly.

But then, I thought......thought I heard a voice far off in the distance through my open window screaming for help. Surely I was dreaming and dozed off again. Then I heard it again. And again. I woke up this time in earnest and bolted out of my chair. I grabbed my car keys and rain jacket, yelling to my neighbor Martha that something was wrong and someone needed help! Did she want to come with me? No, she sure didn't but was happy to loan me her size 6 Wellies since I couldn't find mine. I thanked her, pulled them on and ran to my car to drive several hundred feet to the entrance of our complex and the main road which was flooded beyond recognition.

Police cars and other vehicles were idling as people stood around the huge lake which until yesterday was one of the main thoroughfares in Nashville. A motorboat with lights was out in the lake, cruising towards us now.

What's happened? I asked the first police officer I came to.

We almost lost one of our men, we're bringing him in now in the boat. His squad car got washed away in the water and he almost went with it.

So that was what all the yelling I'd been hearing was about. Where's the squad car now? I asked.

Who knows? Gone, lost in the flood somewhere. No telling where it'll turn up later. There's another lady out there carried away by the water but no one could get to her in time, no one knows where she is.

I'm so sorry, officer. Is there anything I can do for you fellows or anyone out here right now?

Just pray. None of us has ever seen anything like this in Nashville. It's one bigtime mess.

I can do that officer, I can certainly pray. You fellows be careful and thanks for all you're doing, I said as I ran back to my car completely drenched.

Later this afternoon the power came back on. The rain seems to be abating.Even a few birds are daring to tentatively chirp again. But it will be a while before flood waters recede and damage is assessed in terms of human life and property.

But one thing's for certain: It will be a long, long time before people stop talking about the Great May 1st, 2010 flood in Nashville. A very long time indeed.

The Incredible Story Behind Horatio Spafford's Famous Hymn 'It Is Well With My Soul'


IN 1871, HORATIO SPAFFORD was a happy, successful man with a wife and four young daughters whom he cherished. His legal business and real estate properties in downtown Chicago were flourishing at a time of the city's rapid growth. The at the height of all his prosperity, in April, 1871 the Great Chicago Fire broke out, completely destroying his vast real estate holdings. The Spafford took great comfort in the fact that their family had escaped harm from the horrendous fire that had taken so mnay lives.

Their loss was cushioned by a deep faith and belief in the sovereign hand of God. Friends of the great evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, they had supported several of his crusades.

Two years after the great fire, the Spaffords were over-joyed with the birth of their first son only to see him die several months later. They buried their son among the still charred remains of the city.

Then, God seemed to offer the Spaffords a much needed rest from the accumulated sorrow of their recent years in Chicago with the opportunity for their family to go Europe to assist Moody on his next evangelical campaign and also visit the Holy Land and Jerusalem. They made their plans to go on an extended vacation.

Just before Thanksgiving, Horatio put his wife and four daughters on the Ville de Havre, a ship bound for Europe. His plan was to finish up some business, then sail to join them several weeks later.

Spafford awoke a week later to the horrifying headlines in the papers that the Ville de Havre had been struck by another ship in the mid-Atlantic and sunk. There was no initial word of any survivors. Then on December 1 1873, Spafford received a telegram from his wife with only two words:

Saved alone.

Spafford boarded the next ship for Europe. As he crossed the Atlantic and over the watery graves of his four daughters words of consolation formed in his heart and kept repeating over and over in his head:

Even so, it is well with my soul.

This phrase would become the center of the inspirational hymn Horatio would later write by the same name.

After reuniting in England, the Spaffords traveled on to Jerusalem and ultimately settled there permanently. God blessed them with a new family, though yet another of their children died also. The Spaffords established a ministry outreach to people of all nationalities and races who did not know the reality of Christ's love and His peace like a river.

---adapted from One Year Christian History, by Michael and Sharon Rusten

ALSO, thanks to Dr. Tim Keller at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan who used this touching example of the Spaffords last week in his sermon on peace, from the current series on gifts of the Spirit. I was so blessed to be there to hear this in person.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sunday Update: The Unfolding Oil Spill In the Gulf

WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS AND NOT POLITICIZE IT. Rush Limbaugh should be ashamed. This Sunday from WeatherUnderground:

It now appears that the Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Panhandle coasts will not see significant amounts of oil hitting their shores through at least Monday. On Monday night, the winds shift to southwesterly and weaken as a cold front approaches. The wind shift will allow oil to move eastwards towards Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, but at just 1 mph or so. The winds with then shift to offshore (northwesterly) on Tuesday as the cold front passes. This should blow the oil back out to sea a few miles. It is thus possible that only the Louisiana coast will see oil impacts over the coming seven days, though there is substantial uncertainty in this forecast. High pressure is expected to build in late next week, bringing relatively light onshore winds that should allow for slow transport of the oil towards shore. It appears very unlikely that oil will make it into the Loop Current during the next seven days and affect the southern Gulf of Mexico. The long range wind forecast beyond that time is too uncertain to say what might happen at longer time range.s

Roiling in the Rain in Nashville

(Above) Normally a 6-foot wide trickle and almost a non-existent stream bed in summer, Cross Creek became the Red Sea today after 8 hours of torrential rains.

I'VE BEEN IN A LOT OF HEAVY RAINS IN MY DAY. It's been unseasonably rainy in the South over the last14 months so there's been a lot to compare it with recently. But I gotta tell you, today's full-fledged monsoon truly takes the cake. Creeks are rising everywhere fast. People are stranded. Restaurants and stores have closed early. Saturday night plans have been cancelled, including mine, and people are holed up waiting for the next wave of heavy rain, forecast for tonight into tomorrow.

A Legal Immigrant Speaks In Favor of Arizona's New Law


Global Role Models: Don't Look Now, But.....

I'M NOT NAMING ANY NAMES HERE. But I just can't let the opportunity go by to say some unnamed larger-than-life environmentalist---who has a home right around the corner from me and has long-since positioned himself to be the carbon billionaire king of the world (if the global warming legislation he, along with Goldman Sachs, the Nature Conservancy etc. intend to pass)--- has just bought a new $8 million home down the way from Oprah in Montecito, California. This would be his fourth or fifth hacienda, not including the houseboat and farm. It comes with an ocean view, fountains, six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms. Whew, for a minute I thought we were talking about a really big carbon footprint.

Anyway, our buyer is counting on global warming legislation to pass which will tax the rest of us to death, even for breathing, while he makes gazillions brokering carbon credits---as in buying, selling, longing, shorting not to mention making markets in derivatives---on the American carbon exchange and European carbon exchange which he owns with Hank Paulson, Goldman Sachs and many other big time investors who are counting on this legislation (aka tax) to pass so they can be the new sheiks of the Western world. Carbon bubble is now being blown up.

One of the benefits of this particular Italian-style villa overlooking the Pacific is that he'll be able to monitor first-hand rising ocean levels as glaciers melt and polar bears migrate southward to Cabo in winter. That is, when he isn't out on the road giving bombastic speeches telling the rest of us to keep our carbon footprints low and slow.

Role models. Don't you just love 'em?

The National Enquirer: The Obama Cheating Scandal


NOT THE ONE ABOUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING OUR GRAND CHILDREN'S MONEY---money they don't have but are binging on anyway, like a drunk with a bottle. And not the one about Treasury's Geithner printing new dollar bills 24/7/365 all the while devaluing every one now in our shrinking pockets. And no, it's not the one about pushing through a gargantuan healthcare reform bill no one had read or understood and that purportedly gives special treatment to all Muslims by letting them opt out of enforcement for 'religious reasons'.


The scandal The National Enquirer is coming out with today is not really all that important. No big deal. So don't believe one single word you read. Or hear. The Enquirer rarely gets it right anyway and video cams in hotel hallways and stairs never tell the real truth. Be forewarned, this is just another silly, attempted smear and innuendo on a man--The One--- we all know is above the laws of nature, of God and of man. He makes the laws. And we'd best not forget it!

Anyway, the Enquirer has a long track record of being wrong when it comes to exposing secret dalliances between hungry, predatory politicians looking for exotic, seductive love and most of all sex with beautiful, available women in all the wrong (right?) places.

Nothing new here. In fact this so-called scandal has been whispered about for several years now. Certainly seems like nothing to write home about. If you don't believe me, just ask John the Edwardian lover.

So turn off your computer now, back away in the grocery line, hide your eyes and put on your earplugs for the next few news cycles. It'll die down Jacklyn. Cause it's nothing but a pack of lies, propagated no doubt by Bush, Tea party propagandists and those evil, evil obstructionist Republicans.

In any and all events, I pray this story is not true. Because among many other things, it will focus the fickle American attention away from real and pressing issues that all political parties need to address.