Monday, June 26, 2017

Great Day On the Water!


After months of commuting back and forth to Paris every month, my son left today to begin working full-time in France. His family will remain here to visit Long Island and Jackson Hole. Then they move to Paris before the school year begins later this summer. We all had such fun on the water yesterday, kayaking, swimming and just hanging out with each other and HG. My daughter joined us for dinner and good conversation. The weather and water temp were about as good as it gets for this time of year. I got these little sit-on-top kayaks for the kids at Dick's, along with paddles and life jackets. To say these little kayaks were a hit would be a gross understatement! It was mahor fun for all. My fleet of kayaks with a SUP now numbers 5. But with these new little kayaks---light and small enough to throw in the back of my Honda Pilot---I can now run over to the park, hike, then make a quick tour around the lake all in one trip. The ordeal is over!

May God be with them during this time of great change and keep them safe in the shadow of His wings.

Posting will be off and on as I can from now through the summer. Thank you so much for stopping by.

A Most Favorite Song of Jesus---Psalm 144


 Of David.
144 Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
    who trains my hands for war,
    and my fingers for battle;
he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues peoples[a] under me.
O Lord, what is man that you regard him,
    or the son of man that you think of him?
Man is like a breath;
    his days are like a passing shadow.
Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down!
    Touch the mountains so that they smoke!
Flash forth the lightning and scatter them;
    send out your arrows and rout them!
Stretch out your hand from on high;
    rescue me and deliver me from the many waters,
    from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
    and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
I will sing a new song to you, O God;
    upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
10 who gives victory to kings,
    who rescues David his servant from the cruel sword.
11 Rescue me and deliver me
    from the hand of foreigners,
whose mouths speak lies
    and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
12 May our sons in their youth
    be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
    cut for the structure of a palace;
13 may our granaries be full,
    providing all kinds of produce;
may our sheep bring forth thousands
    and ten thousands in our fields;
14 may our cattle be heavy with young,
    suffering no mishap or failure in bearing;[b]
may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
15 Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
    Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!

PRAYER FOR PSALM 144 ( from Tim Keller's book, The Songs of Jesus)

Lord, I praise you that someone of your immeasurable greatness would not just set his love on me but would also shrink down infinitely to enter the universe he had made in order to be crushed (and killed) like an insect---and all for me (and us).  'Amazing love, how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me.'  Amen 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Patagonia's Foolhardy Fleece de Resistance de Trump



Since then, he's become fabulously successful and wealthy beyond his wildest dreams peddling climbing and outdoor clothing and equipment for the extreme and elite outdoorsmen. Yvon has always been a radical  environmentalist in both his personal and professional lives. So it's not surprising now that he's no longer CEO of the company---he lives part-time in Jackson, Wyoming-- he would ensconce a radical feminist environmentalist to carry his torch forward. (I make a strong distinction between militant environmentalists and more multiple-use conservationists)  President Trump is now Patagonia's (and his) worst nightmare when it comes to climate change and public lands issues.


Anyway,  it now comes to my attention that Patagonia is making a public spectacle of itself by announcing it will lead the resistance and environmental charge against the Trump White House's environmental policies. It's certainly its choice as a company,  but as a business decision, it  seems like major folly.  Many, if not most of  Patagonia's clients are upscale, conservative consumers, rather than granola heads, who can afford to outfit themselves with expensive equipment for exotic trips to the far corners of the earth. Many of them are Republicans.  It will not sit well with them, as it doesn't with me.

Actually,  I buy very few Patagonia products anymore because  there are so many other good, less expensive outfitting companies and outdoor/fly fishing products today.  However, now that I know of the company's latest politicizing its products and mission,  I will stay completely away and opt for companies that want my business and have the good sense to keep their political powder dry.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Each of Our Ultimate Father Is In Heaven----Prayer to the Father As Taught By His Son

OUR FATHER, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.

(Taken from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, 1662).
From Matthew 6:9-13
 (context Matthew 6)

A short line-by-line analysis. Click on the title links for more in-depth commentary.
Our Father which art in Heaven
Jesus teaches His disciples that God is our parent in Heaven. The Apostle Paul restates this by exhorting the believer to address God as "Abba" (Aramaic for "Daddy"- the kind of intimate word that a child would use to his or her father) " And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."" (Rom 8:15, NIV)

Hallowed be thy name
The first of seven requests in this prayer. "Hallowed" means holy. As we pray this line we are reminding ourselves that God is separate from us, completely pure and faultless. Here we become aware of our own frailty as we adore and worship the living God.

Thy kingdom come
God's kingdom is to do with His ways and order. So here we are asking that God's ways happen here, as they are fully obeyed in Heaven.

Thy will be done
The third request in this prayer is that God's will occurs. Here we are aligning our will with God's will, we are submitting ourselves to Him, and asking that His way triumphs.

Give us this day our daily bread
We need God in all areas of our life (physical, spiritual and mental), and this is a daily need. We need to come back to God regularly, each day- indeed, many times each day and many ways, for we can quickly become independent and self-seeking. Jesus reiterates this daily dependency when he exhorts us to not "worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself" (Math 6:34, NIV)

And forgive us our trespasses
Different versions of this prayer use different words here - sometimes "trespasses", "debts" or "sins" (click here for a explanation of this). Here we bring to mind the ways in which we have failed God and others, and ask the Lord for His forgiveness.

As we forgive them that trespass against us
As we receive God's forgiveness, we bring to mind anyone who we feel may have wronged us, and pardon them.

And lead us not into temptation
The sixth request in the Lord's prayer is not to be in a place where temptation might overwhelm us. It is not wrong to be tempted or tested (Jesus was!). It is wrong to give in to this temptation
But deliver us from evil
The final request is for protection by our Father in heaven. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he declared 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'(Math 4:4 NIV). In times of trial, Jesus recognises the Lord as His source of deliverance. Likewise we are to depend on God when evil is at our door.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. Forever and ever. Amen.
The prayer finishes with a closing doxology, that is, a hymn of praise to God. Not all versions of the Lord's prayer include this ending.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Brilliance of Ramirez On Never Ending, Desperate and Absurd Russia Investigation Costing Taxpayers Millions


VIA Powerline

Friday, June 16, 2017

Rod Rosentein Delivers Sanity to A Country Spinning Out-of-Control


US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a statement Thursday night that appeared to reference leaks and urged Americans to be skeptical of "stories attributed to anonymous 'officials.'" The statement caused alarm for its tone, amid a Trump-Russia investigation that has increasingly riled up President Donald Trump and called into question whether he has attempted to obstruct justice in the matter. Trump allies are reportedly worried they are unable to calm the president's anguish. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a stunning statement Thursday night that appeared to be a rebuke of intelligence leaks roundly criticized by President Donald Trump and Republicans at large. The statement said Americans should think twice "before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous 'officials.'" "Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations," Rosenstein said. Trump, conservative lawmakers, and his surrogates have made the subject of intelligence leaks their prime focus amid a broad FBI investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The investigation, headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, is examining whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to help get Trump elected. In the latest instance of damaging leaks for the Trump White House, on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Mueller's investigation was examining whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director James Comey.
To me, the hysteria created by these anonymous intelligence leakers and leakees who indiscriminately pick them up run with them with impunity to the nearest dirtbag media outlet is criminal. The liberal outlets then amp them up---and dress them up with alarming headlines--- then go off half-cocked with unnamed sources and unsubstantiated (what pass as) facts but aren't, and dissimenate them to an ignorant, gullible public.  Case in point--- the young, immature Trump hater leaker now behind bars in Georgia. They should all be prosecuted.

We as taxpaying citizens should remove ourselves from the fray and stop believing everything---or almost anything--- we read or hear. Never has our citizenry needed the power of discernment and critical thinking more. We do NOT have to participate in the hysteria from any side and we must not anymore. Ask questions and expect factual answers instead of  flimsy gossip, wishful thinking, or hateful opinions based on nothing.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Should Members of Congress Be Packing Heat After Alexandria?

THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT SECURITY FOR CONGRESSMEN AND  PEOPLE IN TRUMP'S ADMINISTRATION NEEDS to be beefed up big time.  Everything and everywhere is a potential mass shooting event now.  Security needs increasing in churches too---or at least the conservative ones I go to. There's also no doubt that increased protection will cost taxpayers billions, if not trillions, going forward.

Here's a piece I found via HotAir that's well worth a read.  Should members of Congress increase security or pack more heat in and around D.C., in their homes both in the District and home districts?  It's a staggering question with no easy answers as unbalanced and extreme individuals become more and more unhinged.

Wish I were more optimistic, but unfortunately I see more civil violence and murders in cold blood in the days and years to come, rather than less.  Glad I have a carry permit and now need to re- decide when and how to exercise it more effectively.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The First Amendment Says Let the Assassination Play In the Park Go On




Those of us who find it a ridiculous, attention-seeking bore should walk away, not write about it---Hear That Drudge!---and not support any of its sponsors---FedEx (!), CNN, to name a few.  That simple.  We only get more of what we protest and give attention to, and less and less of what we ignore. That goes for  desperate-for-attention wannabe suicide bombers and leakers.

As for me,  it's a humongous, smelly and sweaty bore in Central Park.... kinda like Bonneroo with drugs and tattooed, unkept hairy men in sleeveless, sweaty t-shirts----ugh.  No thanks.

Still, the First Amendment says, let the sweaty 'masterpiece' go on with or without me and those of us who find it less than appealing and attractive.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Wedding Feast: What Did Jesus Mean---'Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen'

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

MATTHEW 22:1-14

1 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants[a] to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10 And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

This has always been a difficult passage of Scripture for me.  So when I saw this piece by Guy Waters on The Gospel Coalition site this week,  my eyes and ears perked up. After reading and thinking about it,  I think it's the best brief commentary on this parable I've seen.  Take a look and see what you think:

The Feast  

This parable is, like the others, about the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 22:2). It tells the story of a king who gave a wedding feast for his son (Matt. 22:2). The wedding feast has widespread significance in the Bible. Ultimately, it is the day when God will gather all his redeemed and they will enjoy his presence in complete holiness and joy.

By the king’s order, banquet invitations go out. The king’s servants are “sent . . . to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come” (Matt. 22:3). They offer a host of excuses and mistreat the servants, so the king punishes them (Matt. 22:5–7). The king then dispatches his servants: “Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find” (Matt. 22:9).

Jesus is describing here the offer of the gospel, first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. The Jewish nation had decisively rejected the offer God made to them through his prophets. For that rejection, Jesus announces the judgment God will bring—the Roman armies’ destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. But in God’s providence, that rejection is the occasion of the gopsel being extended to Gentiles. The result is that “the wedding hall was filled with guests” (Matt. 22:10).
But then something unexpected happens.

The king joins his guests and discovers “a man who had no wedding garment” (Matt. 22:12). The man can give no reason why he has no garment. In an act of eschatological judgment, the king orders his attendants to “bind [the man] hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13). Jesus ends his story by pronouncing the aphorism that summarizes the parable’s meaning: “For many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14).

The Called

To understand this pithy closing statement is to understand the parable as a whole. What does Jesus mean by “For many are called, but few are chosen”? To answer, we must understand what Jesus means here by “call” and “choose.” The word “call” runs through the parable. In the Greek text, the servants are said to “call those who had been called to the feast” (Matt. 22:3). The Jewish invitees are the “called ones” (cf. Matt. 22:4, 8). The servants are then commanded to “call” the Gentiles (22:9). The word translated “called” in verse 14 belongs to the same word family as that translated “called” in verses 3, 4, 8, and 9.

This pattern helps us understand the nature of the call in this parable. It is the summons or invitation of God through his servants—prophets in the Old Testament, ministers in the New. This call bids hearers to repent and believe the good news the servants proclaim. It is possible to refuse, as many Jews did. Jesus teaches that those who refuse the call are culpable for refusing it.

But it is also possible to respond to this call in a non-saving way. The man without the wedding garment in 22:12 presumably responded to the invitation. But his lack of the garment proves he doesn’t belong at the feast, and he is justly banished. What is the “wedding garment”? It likely pictures the gift of salvation freely offered in the gospel. Only those who receive this gift will be seated at the wedding banquet of the Lamb at the consummation of all things.

The Chosen

Who are they who sincerely respond to the call and receive Christ in faith? Jesus calls them the “chosen” or, as the Greek word may be translated, the elect. These are all whom the Father has chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Eph. 1:4). Only these chosen ones will constitute the company of the redeemed when Christ returns in glory. God’s eternal choice ensures they will respond sincerely to the call.

Since the New Testament elsewhere joins calling with election (see 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 8:30), what does Jesus mean when he says there are some who are called but not chosen?

The external call goes to all people. But only the elect experience the internal call.
The answer lies in a distinction necessary to understand the way the biblical writers speak of “call.” In this parable, Jesus speaks of “call” in an external sense. It is the summons of God through the gospel message. This call bids men and women to come to Christ by way of repentance and faith.
In other places the biblical writers speak of “call” in an internal sense. For instance, Paul speaks of this internal call in 1 Corinthians 1:24—this is the effective, saving work of the Spirit of Christ in conjunction with the gospel’s outward call. This internal call powerfully and effectively turns the sinner from his sin to Jesus Christ. The external call goes to all people. But only the elect will, in God’s time, experience the internal call. For them, the gospel is indeed “the power of God unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16).

What It Teaches Us

What are the main lessons Jesus has for us in this surprising, unsettling parable?

First, it is not a slight thing to refuse the summons of God through his messengers. God will hold those who refuse that summons responsible on Judgment Day. Second, Jesus wants us to realize there is a more subtle way to refuse the summons. One may pay lip service to the external call but never truly embrace Jesus as offered in that call. Even this refusal subjects us to God’s just judgment.
The bad news is we have no power in ourselves to change our rebellious hearts. The good news is God is pleased to change rebellious hearts by the invincible power of his Spirit.

If we have responded to the external call in repentance and faith, it is only because God has first been at work in us to turn us to himself in Christ. Salvation is truly by grace alone. This truth is unsettling, but Jesus unsettles us for a reason. He wants us to find salvation and life in him alone, by grace alone. And only in Christ may we find an everlasting, unshakeable foundation.
Guy Waters (PhD, Duke University) is the James M. Baird Jr. Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of numerous books, including What Is the Bible? (P&R, 2013), A Christian's Pocket Guide to Justification: Being Made Right with God? (Christian Focus, 2010), and How Jesus Runs the Church (P&R, 2011).

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Trump's New Lawyer Kasowitz Issues Response to Comey's Statement



PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS SMART TODAY TO NAME A NEW FBI CHIEF---Christopher Wray--- ahead of Comey's over-hyped voluntary testimony before Congress on Thursday.  Meanwhile, Comey's prepared statement for the hearing was released today and described as explosive but with no smoking gun by some reporters at CNBC. Here's a quote from Comey on one of his conversations with Trump:

The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, 'He is a good guy and has been through a lot.' He repeated that Flynn hadn't done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, 'I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.' I replied only that 'he is a good guy.' (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at FBI.) I did not say I would 'let this go.
CNBC then opines:  In many ways, the above quote is the heart of the matter entirely. Comey describes President Trump expressing a wish that makes him look bad, but isn't a specific order. And then Comey does Trump an actual favor by adding that he didn't take it as such an order and wouldn't let the Flynn investigation "go." It's an ugly and bizarre exchange for sure, but Comey didn't let anything come of it.

 Anyway later today,  Trump's new lawyer  Mr. Kaskowitz  released a statement perfect in its tone and brevity:
"The president is pleased that Mr. Comey has finally publicly confirmed his private reports that the President was not under investigation in any Russia probe. The President feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda."

That's it.  Will the world come to an end Thursday?  Will the stock market crash and continue south for years?  Will Trump be impeached post haste? How much happy hour booze will be sold to liberals drinking for their favorite cause---to bring the president down.  How bad will the national hangover be  on Friday?

Who knows?  But I find it all less than compelling and a lot to do about nothing, frankly. Guess we'll  soon see.  Meanwhile, the weather here in the south is cool, crisp and sunny, after tons of rain.  I will be out early in the morning walking some hills and counting my blessings....still thanking my lucky stars that Trump beat Hillary. Oh yes I will.

Link to ZeroHedge

Huh?  Really?  I simply don't see it at this point. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Trump Hires Toughest of the Tough Guy Lawyers Marc Kasowitz To Stand Firm With Him and His Agenda

GOOD FOR HIM.  I tell you what,  I've found out the hard way there's nothing like finding a pitbull, no nonsense smart-as-hell lawyer when you need one.  They're expensive as all getout, but Lord are they worth it---especially when the defendant has to pay all your legal bills in the end.  These guys are in a class all their own and often not terribly genial.  But rather have them on your side than again you. Oh and, these guys won't touch your case unless they know from the start that they can most likely win it.

Marc E. Kasowitz is Trump's lawyer's name and he practices based of New York City.

Read the article that starts like this:

When James B. Comey, the former director of the F.B.I., testifies in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday about his ousting by President Trump, one man is likely to be watching perhaps even more intently than the president — and taking notes on a legal pad.

That would be Marc E. Kasowitz, Mr. Trump’s recently appointed outside lawyer, a longtime counsel to the president who was hired to defend him in these latest circumstances should the need arise.
Inside the White House — and throughout Washington — much time has been spent handwringing and gossiping over his appointment as Beltway insiders try to understand more about Mr. Kasowitz, an outsider to the political establishment.
Trump's life and administration just got even more interesting, if that's possible. I would hope Kasowitz would put the bit on the president and curb some of his midnight tweets while he's at it. My lawyer put the fear of God in me about a number of things, and when he talked, I had better listen. He essentially put me under house arrest for a year and a half.  Oh yes he did.

Monday, June 5, 2017

'Nyet' To Megyn Kelly's First Sunday Night Show on NBC With Vladimir Putin

MEGYN KELLY TRAVELED ALL THE WAY TO ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA TO GET OUT-FOXED and out-witted by her celebrity interview with Vladimir Putin. Her intention was to use her star power newswoman status--- I now use that term loosely-- to get a big scoop on the imaginery Trump-Russian collusion,  and to use Putin to get back at President Trump for his past insults to her at last year's presidential debate.

Nice try, Megyn, but no cigar.

In spite of the spiked heels and coy, churlish smirks and sarcasm, it didn't happen.  Putin was not amused by her creative innuendos about Trump and continuing questions about Russia interfering in the 2016 presidental election.

"Do you even know what you're asking?" he asked seriously. What he didn't say but probably thinking,  "Don't you have anything better to do than beat this ridiculous dead horse again and again?"

It was a letdown. It was a non-news event.  It was over-hyped and underwhelming. She has become too much of the issue instead of letting the issues be the issues.

Megyn went to Russia with an axe to grind and showed little objectivity and professionalism as a serious journalist/interviewer seeking the truth. Instead she has become a celebrity gossip monger who brought back nothing new.

Maybe she will make it at NBC as a feature entertainer or a soft news celebrity-to-celebrity meet and greet personality with good hair and outfits that are edgy and only marginally professional.

But her show on Sunday was less than interesting in any of the above categories.  I guess, time will tell.  For now,  my  verdict is Nyet.  Better luck nyet time.

Another opinion.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Bible Passages to Pray Regularly For These Perilous Times


I STRONGLY BELIEVE AS A PART OF OUR DAILY DEVOTIONALS WITH THE GOD OF THE BIBLE, we do well to include Scriptural passages like this in our prayer life.  They are not to be utilized like a lucky charm, but within the context of a deep and abiding walk with Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit:

EPHESIANS 6: 10-19 (Paul)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.

ISAIAH 54: 14-17
In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
15 Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.
16 Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord., and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

PSALM 17: 6-14 (Of David)
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
    incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show[a] your steadfast love,
    O Savior of those who seek refuge
    from their adversaries at your right hand.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who do me violence,
    my deadly enemies who surround me.
10 They close their hearts to pity;
    with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11 They have now surrounded our steps;
    they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
12 He is like a lion eager to tear,
    as a young lion lurking in ambush.
13 Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!
    Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
14 from men by your hand, O Lord,
    from men of the world whose portion is in this life.[b

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Open Letter to Amerian Parents From John Rosemond---Truer Words Were Never Spoken

An Open Letter to American Parents: By John Rosemond

Dear American Parent (hopefully, you will recognize yourself),

It's high time someone reminded you of the adage "The road to 'Hades' is paved with good intentions."

I have watched you from near and far as you have gone about raising your children. You're certainly a well-intentioned person, thus my reference to the above adage. And your kids are cute, reasonably well-behaved (albeit you obviously believe they have no faults), polite, and so on. They are undoubtedly fun to be around (albeit not as fun as you obviously believe they are). You're doing a good job, at least from the point of view of a culture that can't seem to see past the end of its collective parenting nose. In other words, if the measure of one's child-rearing is how many positive experiences one creates for one's children, you get an A-plus.

You-but you are not alone in this regard-seem to believe that your job is to create happiness for your kids and minimize if not eliminate anything that might cause them the least iota of discomfort. That is NOT your job. Your job is to prepare emotionally-sturdy, self-responsible, respectful future citizens. The proper goal of raising a child in America is to make America a better place. You seem to think that parenting is or should be all about demonstrating love for one's children-and make no mistake about it, children need to know they are loved unconditionally-but proper parenting is also an act of love for one's neighbor. You have obviously lost sight of that, assuming you ever had it in sight.

You appear to think your children can do no wrong. That's not true. They are human; therefore, they are naturally inclined to do self-serving things. When they do self-serving things, they need correction, if not reprimand. But reprimanding one's child is a difficult thing to do when one wants to be liked by said child-which is obviously one of your goals. Is there something missing in your life that you are so dead set on being liked by a child?

And while I'm asking you questions, let me ask several more: What is the enduring value to a child of being treated like he is Uniquely and Amazingly Special? Is it reasonable to suppose that the day is coming, sooner or later, when people will not treat him as if he is UAS but just an ordinary human like the rest of us? What is likely in store for said child when that day comes?

The most difficult thing for a person to come to grips with is the truth about himself-his faults, foibles, and failings. No doubt about it: It is abusive to raise a child such that he believes he is nothing but fault, foible, and failing, but it is abuse of a different sort to raise a child such that he believes he is free of fault, foible, and failing.

A very wise person once said that while correction never feels good at the time, it eventually results in all manner of benefit (assuming it is accepted as intended). Likewise, never being corrected eventually results in all manner of detriment, but the detriment is never localized to just the person in question.

It boils down to this: Being a good citizen of the world is all about being able to put other people's needs before one's own. The earlier that lesson begins in any given person's life, the better for the whole world.

Best regards, JR.

Friday, June 2, 2017

John Tamny, Senator Rand Paul Both Agree Trump Was Right In Getting U.S. Out of Paris Climate Boondoggle And the Extraordinary Nerve of the G-7




JOHN TAMNY OF FORBES AND REALCLEAR MARKETS is not President Trump's biggest fan on  many economic policies; however, on the subject of the US withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement (PCA) he totally agrees and gives good reasons why.  Never mind that the PCA is another brick in the wall of a one world government ruled in Europe by global elitists---think Al Gore, George Soros, Goldman Sachs--- there are many compelling reasons this was a good move for the average American Joe here on Main Street.

Tamny writes at RealClearMarkets:

No fan of President Trump's anti-dollar, anti-trade and anti-immigration policies, he's 100% correct to reject pressure from G-7 members to recommit the U.S. to the economy-sapping Paris climate agreement.  It's not just that staying the course would commit the U.S. to slower growth, all based on a theory that says economic progress is bad for planet earth.  The bigger story is that the same G-7 countries guilting Trump about Paris have revealed no remorse about not living up to their NATO spending pledges that largely protect Europe, not to mention how they've all blatantly trampled on Maastricht.  The Europeans want Trump to walk the plank on Paris so that they don't have to.  He shouldn't give in.  

An article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal about the European leg of President Trump’s first foreign trip came with a “Leaders Confront U.S. on Russia, Climate” headline.  In particular, non-U.S. G-7 leaders are all strongly in favor of the 2015 Paris climate agreement that would require participating countries to limit carbon emissions, among other restraints on economic activity.  Trump disagrees, thus the confrontation, owing to his correct belief that the climate deal would prove a barrier to economic growth. 
That Trump was in opposition to the other G-7 members apparently led to some tense discussion about the U.S.’s desire to exit commitments made during the presidency of Barack Obama. German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that opinions expressed about the withering climate accord “were exchanged very intensively.”  
Ok, but Merkel and other G-7 leaders disappointed in the 45th president have no leg to stand on, and certainly aren’t in the position to confront any U.S. president.  Trump should make this plain without an ounce of regret.  The latter would be true even if the Paris accord were a credible answer to the theory that says economic progress is a major threat to our existence. 
Indeed, the Europeans talk a big game about the importance of commitments, and of how the alleged fight to save the earth “has to be a collective effort,” but they’ve shown no remorse about their own persistent failure to honor their NATO spending pledges.  Translated, they expect the United States to weaken its economy based on an unproven, but rather expensive theory about the effects of climate change, but when it comes to living up to a longstanding agreement among NATO members to share the costs of a mutual defense shield, they’ll let the U.S. foot the bill. 
More interesting here is that in their desperation to keep the U.S. in the Paris fold, Merkel and others are implicitly saying that any agreement made among leading western European countries without the U.S. isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.  With good reason.  Consider non-NATO treaties like Maastricht, in which EU nations agreed to limit their deficit spending so that their debt/GDP ratios would always stay below 60%.  Woops.  As of 2015, Germany (74.4%), France (89.6%), and Italy (122.3%) were all well above what the G-7 countries committed to when they signed the treaty that led to the euro.  As for their commitment to requiring euro member states to individually handle their debts, it too went out the window given the fear among EU members about what debt default would do to certain large banks. 
Back to NATO, the European leaders so eager to guilt Trump into a climate commitment not his own have once again shown no commensurate guilt about their own safety being a function of U.S. taxpayers and legislators regularly living up to commitments that they haven’t lived up to.  This is particularly galling when we remember that NATO’s mutual defense shield arguably has very little to do with U.S. safety.  Lest we forget, the U.S. already has the strongest military in the world, and it’s also quite far from the world’s trouble spots.  In short, the U.S. has long stuck to an agreement that weakens it economically, and that has little to nothing to do with its ongoing existence.  Would Americans feel any less secure absent this pricey post-WWII arrangement?  At the same time, could NATO survive and would Europeans still feel secure sans American support that gives NATO global relevance?
The answer to the previous question explains why the Paris agreement will lose all meaning and relevance if the U.S. backs out.  We know this given the historical truth that non-U.S. G-7 nations speak with a forked tongue.  They might talk grandly about honoring commitments, but their actions invariably belie their lofty rhetoric.  Just as they’ve done with NATO, or with their own inter-
European treaties, they want the U.S. to abide the Paris agreement so that they don’t have to. 

Then there's Rand Paul's continued opinion on the PCA