1971 saw the creation of, in my humble but accurate opinion, the best film about auto racing that the cinema world has ever created. In it, Steve McQueen’s character, Michael Delaney, explains why men have to drive so fast and try to beat each other. He said, “When your racing, that’s life. The rest is just waiting.” The thing is, the words he spoke were not just about racing. They could apply to whatever it is that is your passion in life. Although from the brief time I spent drag racing, I can say there is an exhilaration that comes from working on a machine to coax the most speed out of it, then controlling it as your try to beat the guy in the other lane to the end of the quarter mile. Sometimes life gets in the way, as it did with me when family responsibilities put a stop to my blasts down the drag strip.
There is a lot to be learned from this, though. One thing is the establishment of priorities. There has to be a hierarchy of values in life. Some call this vertical alignment… others, simply common sense. So what kind of value hierarchy will give you the most happiness, yield the most contented life, and make you the most effective person you can be?
For the Christian, that would be a proper relationship with his Creator, followed by one’s family, then, their life’s work, followed by relaxing and recreational activities. There are various facets to each life, and, since God is a God of order and our Creator, following the plan He laid out in His instruction book for life will take us down the right path. This would seem to be moving in the opposite direction of Delaney’s single minded focus… but is it?
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and New York Times liberal-progressive polemicist Paul Krugman disagree about the Fed’s monetary policy.
Krugman continues to expound the view that, if the Fed accelerates its rate of creating phony dollars, consumers will go on a spending splurge and businessmen will put their excess cash reserves into expanding their operations and hiring more people. Earlier he advocated multi-trillion dollar increases in government stimulus spending, i.e., fiscal policy, for that purpose. To answer the fact that such policies have never worked, Krugman and his fellow Keynesian economists always say that, however huge government spending may have been, it wasn’t big enough.
There may be a short-term flare up of business activity, as with Obama’s cash-for-clunkers or subsidies for home purchases, but such stimulus spending merely pulls already-intended purchases into the immediate term. As soon as the stimulus spending or subsidy ends, purchases drop below their earlier rate.
As we observe the world around us, we see what seems to be a chaotic multiplicity of viewpoints and voices. However, when we look at them a little closer, we see what some proclaim to be fresh, new and exciting concepts, to be no more than variations on one or two age old themes.
Essentially there are two primary ways of viewing the world around us. C.S. Lewis called it the “Great Divide”. Do we live our lives with the recognition of the supreme being, or do we consider ourselves (man) to be the supreme being? There is even a perversion of the secular humanist thinking that sees man as the supreme underbeing and Mother Earth is the deity to be worshipped… in the way that these unusual people shall specify for us.
In any case, the culture war that currently engulfs our country is one that most who would claim the God centered world view are blissfully unaware of. So many, like their secular neighbors, are absorbed in their own lives and problems. They have been distracted by the small acts of goodness they can do, and totally miss the bigger picture that shows the Christian viewpoint being shuffled off to the side. Many of us have been majoring in minors, as the saying goes… fighting over hymnbook content or carpet colors.
Morgan Freeman’s recent rant to Piers Morgan, where he came up with the imaginary quote from Mitch McConnell, is typical of the misleading and false statements – even lies, as I was taught in my younger, more innocent, years – we hear from the progressive left as they attempt to convince the public (and themselves) that there really is only one way to look at the world. If anyone can show us where the Senate Minority Leader ever said, “We’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here,” I’ll let them write the posts for the next three days so they can give us more of an insight into their world of fantasy.
People like Freeman, who I had a great deal of respect for up to this point, and mental midget, Janeane Garofalo, are brilliant examples of the way William F. Buckley saw the left. He told us, “Liberals do a great deal of talking about hearing other points of view, but it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view.” These people, who support their habits by pretending to be someone they are not, do not understand genuine disagreement with they see it. To their superficial thinking, opposition can on function on the surface of an issue, in an area that they can see and touch.
Since they are so jazzed that a black man is in our highest office, to them, it is only possible that opposition comes for the very same reason. Their enthusiasm prevents them from seeing the division and disaster he is bringing upon our country. They only see the shell of a slick lipped shyster who happens to look different than any president we’ve had in the past. They are so excited that they tend to forget that he is half white, and that half is fouling our nest just as badly as the darker skinned half.
With all the trouble and strife in the world, sometimes we just need to smile a bit to keep our humanity. It is particularly satisfying when those who would do us harm unintentionally make our point for us.
Trying to mock traditional Americans, Norman Lear put words in Archie Bunker’s mouth that accidentally echoed some areas of truth. For those readers too young to have known Archie and Edith, enjoy this little introduction. They came into our homes every week with a generous dose of working class wisdom.
The Declaration of Independence ends with the line, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.“ That well known phrase sums up the prevailing philosophy of the lives and times of the Founding Fathers. As rich in meaning as we find the entire document, perhaps we can learn the most from these twenty four words.
The phrase begins by declaring their “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence”. We have a shorter, more concise way of expressing this… trusting God. With the plethora of problems facing our country and world today, depending on divine Providence is the only path to our brighter future. This does not mean that we sit back and twiddle our thumbs any more than our forefathers did. They put feet to their prayers for peace and freedom… with the assurance that by aligning themselves with their Creator, they would insure the success of their venture.
This is followed by “we mutually pledge to each other”. In an age run by the “me generation” and selfish ambition, working together for reciprocal interests is as powerful as it is rare. Consider that twelve men changed the world. While the first American Revolution was followed by divergent views of the Federalists and the anti-Federalists, but until victory was won, they followed Poor Richard’s advice, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” This doesn’t mean we all roll over and give up our concepts of what makes a free society. It does not mean that we don’t support our preferred standard bearer with every thing we have. It does mean that we stick to differences in policies and execution while we avoid personality based attacks. Read more of this article »
“Usually, a figure like Romney is the big shot who arrives in town to boost a little guy like Rubio. This time, it’s the other way round…”
With Marco Rubio pretty much running-away with it in Florida, all those with presidential ambitions on the Republican side are taking-note of the rapidly evolving political landscape in this country… and making hurried adjustments.
Two things have become apparent re. 2012: Better give us a small-government, Reaganite-conservative… the TEA Party movement will hold de facto veto power over the nomination.
And it won’t necessarily be the next-guy-in-line this time, either… both these developments likely sound less than ideal to professional presidential candidate Mitt Romney- the father of RomneyCare does have some explaining to do.
Toby Harnden from The Telegraph (UK) was in Florida this weekend as Mitt was actually stumping for Marco Rubio’s all-but-sealed Senate bid. But with GOP rising-star Rubio up 12 points over Orange Charlie, why was Romney even there… and who was more likely to benefit from the association? Read more of this article »
The war for the soul of the Republican Party is heating up. Or, more appropriately, the war to give the Republican Party a soul has skipped a few steps to a new level recently. The actions of a formerly Republican senator and governor made it obvious that the retention of position and power was higher on their agenda than following and actually representing the people.
Perhaps I should not have enjoyed the spectacle of Arlen Specters’ political demise as much as I did, yet the whole sordid drama of a man leaving a party that had been so good to him over the years and still meeting the defeat he had hoped to avoid, renewed my hope that there is still some justice in the world. Now seeing the same drama taking place in Florida gives me even more hope and confidence that the founders “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” was not faith misplaced.
However, as much as they relied on Divine Providence, they still had to pick up arms and drive the British army from our shores. They did, however, understand that this Divine Providence would ensure their victory, even in their darkest hours. As imperfect humans, they did their best to be sure they were on the side of their creator which gave them the rights they were defending for themselves and their fellow countrymen. Read more of this article »
Senator Lindsey Graham has, once again, shown us the fallacy of simply looking at a party label as a sign of common sense and values that will preserve our country. According to a recent New York Times article he admits, “Everything I’m doing now in terms of talking about climate, talking about immigration, talking about Gitmo is completely opposite of where the Tea Party movement’s at.” And he appears to take delight in his position of sticking his thumb in the eye of patriots who love their country.
Of course, his view of the world requires him to see no value in the tea partiers that have been arroused by, not just the socialism of the President and his party, but by patriot pretenders as himself. He sees Americans as irresolute as himself. Lindsey Graham is so wrapped up in his position that he cannot comprehend that the American people would inconvenience themselves and turn off Dancing With The Stars long enough to throw charlatans like himself into the unemployment line… or to those of his elevated stature, into the brotherhood of overpaid lobbyists. Graham avers that “The problem with the Tea Party, I think it’s just unsustainable because they can never come up with a coherent vision for governing the country. It will die out.”
The man lives in the same fantasy world as the Democratic majority he is so fond of working with in the destruction of our country. He thinks, “If you look at the Republicans who are likely to come into the Senate in 2010, they’re gonna be more like me, not less like me.” If this is the case, it is our fault. We cannot let this happen. Read more of this article »
We see in the New York’s 23rd Congressional district a microcosm of the travails of the present day Republican Party. It reveals two basic political philosophies, one that has led the party into defeat and disrepute and one that actually puts the good of the country over the party’s vested interests. Those who consider themselves Republicans first see only the replacement of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House… along with the power and perks of committee chairmanships. They are chasing form over substance and purpose.
This kind of thinking lets Republicans believe they have a majority when they can never really get them to act like a majority. It is the thinking that populates their caucuses with the likes of Lindsey Graham and Olympia Snowe, who can be relied upon to help the party snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at regular intervals. They become like “that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces a man’s hand and wounds him if he leans on it!” as II Kings 18:21 describes it.
Working for the victory of just anyone who calls themselves a Republican puts the party in a position where being named as one means nothing in reality. I could call myself a table… but that would not make me one. When Newt Gingrich and the National Republican Congressional Committee endorsed Dede Scozzafava, they joined the New York State United Teachers, the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local #2, the Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Central Trades and Labor Council, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 910 (can anyone say ‘card check’), Senator Susan Collins, ACORN, and the Daily Kos! Read more of this article »
Encumbering world’s numbering
Soldiers in rows and rows and rows,
In infinite rows of
Infinite possibilites of oppression,
While innocent bystanders
Fumble through words and motions
Playing the pathetic part of victim.
Shadowy shadows dancing in the night with delight
At the sight of such tomfoolery.
Lost in a sea of misunderstandings and misunderstood,
Wanting to be recognized
Amidst the lies that stretch into an eternal dead sea.
This is not your home.
Awake to the sense of self that calls forth from you
The power of courage and life.
Ignite the flame that extinguishes fear,
The perfect and complete love,
The love that resides inside you.
It’s been calling you since childhood,
Calling you to a greater good.
Vanquish the mocking shadows with the light;
The brilliant, beautiful light.
The light that is created through hope.
The hope that is created through love.
The love that is created through you.
This past weekend, those who were watching honest reporting saw some headlines reflecting the esteem our country and our president commands throughout the world. What is interesting is that the man sitting in the oval office, along with his party, roundly criticized what they perceived to be George Bush’s heavy handed approach to foreign affairs… vowing to bring about a new era of respect and respectability.
It is reported that Israeli ambassador Michael Oren was summoned to the State Department.* He was told that a building project being developed by an American investor in east Jerusalem must not go forward as it interfered with their plans for regional peace. The State Department sought to forbid any Jewish development on captured lands in an attempt to draw boundaries more satisfactory to the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the attempted land use demand by commenting, “I can only imagine what would happen if someone suggested Jews could not live in certain neighborhoods in New York, London, Paris or Rome. There would certainly be a major international outcry.” This new construction is part of his plan for a unified Jerusalem. It is surprising that he took no public offense at the treatment of his ambassador as some lackey from a client state… however, it appears that he is focused on what is best for his country and not on petty one upsmanship. Read more of this article »
A recent Rasmussen poll tells us the half all Americans believe hate is growing in our country. This is based, in large part, on recent killing of a notorious abortionist, an American soldier at a recruiting station and the attack on the holocaust museum in Washington. Thirty five percent consider them to be isolated incidents. The rest, just don’t know if or what to think. While it’s difficult to generalize from three incidents, many people are busy doing just that.
It seems those that tend to feel more vulnerable and insecure see greater generalized hatred… women (57%)… unmarried (62%). They seem to be responding more on emotion than actually looking at the details of each incidents. Each killing is unfortunate, the ending of one life and ruination of another… not to mention the families involved. However, was an irrational hatred the driving factor in each case?
It seems that today, we have a difficult time thinking about and overusing the word “hate”. For instance, homosexuals believe that they are the victims of hate crimes whenever anyone opposes them or their goals. If a preacher tells his congregation about the sinful nature of their actions, they say he is preaching hate. They may be disingenuously playing the part of a victim, having realized a little sympathy when they are supposedly harassed by someone who simply disagrees with them or their agenda. In some ways believing that your adversaries irrationally despise you is less damaging to the ego than accepting that they may have good reasons that may actually be correct.
In the case of Dr. Tiller, without getting in the head of the shooter, it’s kind of hard to understand the details of his motivation. However, automatically assigning Scott Roeder’s motive to a blind hatred of Dr. Tiller ignores the fact that, to him, it may well have been just a logical response to a situation where he saw the courts repeatedly thwarting the will of the people and their elected legislatures. We have the situation aptly described by Frederic Bastiat when he said, “When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.” Read more of this article »
The vast majority of an educated modern populace has developed a pretty vivid tapestry of what life was like during the “Great Depression”. The visions of struggling dirt farmers like the Joad’s in Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath”, the big city soup lines, the tent cities for thousands of homeless and photographs of men selling apples on street corners have burnished in many of us a searing image of hopelessness and despair.
Today, the United States is sharing the most serious economic malady since the “Great Depression” with countries all over the world. While not approaching the absolute calamity of the 1930′s, the damage done to our wallets and psyches is nevertheless daunting and bruising. Businesses, organizations and individuals are understandably fearful and have curtailed spending in lieu of conserving capital. Risk taking, the key to maximizing gain, has been virtually shut down. Small business growth and development has been strangled. Entrepreneurs have hunkered down, fearful of the vagaries of a marketplace that seems to have no stomach for new products and ideas.
In times like these it pays to study the lessons of history. The Great Depression was bleak for so many, of course. Nevertheless, it was actually a fertile era for creativity and entrepreneurial activity.
People were desperate to make every purchase count, to leverage every dollar spent and obtain maximum value. The result was that an exciting array of creative breakthroughs came to market to satisfy the greater demand for economy. Read more of this article »
A group of influential Republicans called the National Council for a New America began a reconstruct-the-party tour at a pizza shop in northern Virginia. The message was, a la Frasier Crane, “I’m listening.” The cynic in me must observe at this point with all the tea parties and groups making loud noises about government expansion and intrusion into our lives in so many areas, and they still have to ask what people want? How loud do we have to shout to be heard?
The men in this group are good men, and yet I am amazed that even now, they come around and ask what it is the people want. Could it be like a child who goes from one parent to another hoping to get a better answer to his question? Could it be the massive discontent among the people has not sunken in? Or could it be that they are looking for better ways to package what they want to do already in terms that make the populace think they are listening? I like this last answer the least, but when anyone has been inside the beltway too long, the question has to be asked.
The reason that I, as a voter, am offended by this attempt to find out what we are thinking and wanting is that it tells me what I already know… that I have ignored for far too long. I am not a lobbyist who can make good things happen for them. I am not a financier with a briefcase full of money to contribute. I am not a union boss that can deliver votes by the thousand. I am just one of thousands who gathered at locations around the country on April 15…. and now they ask us what we want!
Making matters worse, we are told that the message, methods and approaches that, when used properly gave us victories in the past need to be set aside. There is some truth to this… times change and circumstances change, communication methods change. The are even telling us our message has to change so it won’t offend people. The primary truth here is that conservatives have not been good at explaining WHY our approach is better. The government indoctrination centers called public schools have many convinced of the value of Big Brother’s intervention and interference in our lives. Read more of this article »
I was driving south on Rt. 50 and just crossed the Bay Bridge near Annapolis heading toward Washington. I was in a column of cars traveling in the left lane at speeds emphatically discouraged by the Peoples Republic of Maryland when this little foreign car slid over in front of me, but wouldn’t or couldn’t keep the pace. At this point I noticed a blue Obama 08 sticker placed prominently in the rear window. It just sat there, like one of Bill Engvall’s signs flashing “I’m stupid… I’m stupid… I’m stupid”.
Still following the tortoise, but slightly less aggravated as I understood that he wasn’t responsible, and he probably had no idea he was gumming up the works for me and everyone behind me… or perhaps he just didn’t care. I studied the driver for a few minutes, noticing that he was an older gentleman. Old enough to have gone through the public schools before many turned into secular humanist indoctrination centers. I wondered just where he went wrong.
Eventually he moved over to the center lane and I forgot about his reasons… nothing I could do about it anyway. It did get me thinking about all the old bumper stickers I see as I travel up and down the east coast. I wonder if they are left in place to gloat, prove a point, or if the driver is just to lazy to remove them. Win or loose, I tend to take mine off the morning after the election…. sometimes even election night. At times this is a matter or practicality as my home state of Virginia has elections every year – so the old ones need to make way for the new ones on a fairly tight cycle.
In any case, after the last vote is cast, the sticker loses it’s value and just serves to annoy those who voted the other way. I must confess that after the 2004 I left mine on an extra month or two. My motives, I have to say, were not entirely pure. As I drove to my office many mornings in October, an older gentleman made part of the same run at the same time. He made a variety of gestures at me that weren’t exactly complimentary. I just smiled and waved. Besides those W04 stickers were some of the best ever designed. Read more of this article »
Have you ever noticed that you never hear the term Liberal Republican? Many believe there is no such animal… that the term is oxymoronic. Actually the term is just moronic. To the press, and many others, Republicans are assumed to be conservative, by which they mean extreme. Those that don’t qualify as Reaganesque are called moderates, as if there is some sort of virtue to living in the mushy middle.
I’m reminded of the line from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 acceptance speech that chased the “moderates” in the New York delegation from the hall. And what awful thing did he say?
“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” Apparently the “moderates” did not believe that liberty and justice should be pursued with everything we’ve got.
Unfortunately the actions of more and more Republicans shows that they too would run away from this statement. The most notable are the three who broke from a party just discovering the value of unity. While not from New York, it should be recognized that they are also from the northeast. What can be said of those who supported the current spending orgy coming out of the land inside the beltway?
Can they really be thought of as moderate in any way, shape or form? Can the rest of us join in their excitement at having trimmed a hundred billion dollars from an eight hundred billion dollar spending package? If you had three children, could you be happy if you convinced a kidnapper to only take one rather than all three? Would we have felt any better if only 2,000 hundred people died on 9/11 rather than 3,000? Read more of this article »
One of the principles of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is the private victory must precede public victory. What this means is that we have to bring ourselves under control before we can hope to effectively deal with outside situations. If self control sounds like a biblical virtue, it is.
This self control, among other things, means a sense of mission and focus on the issues at hand that denies the many distractions the power to divert you from the path to your goals. The goals themselves are a subject for another day, but for the moment we shall assume that they are worthwhile in themselves and worthy of your best efforts.
So what obstacles requiring self control may you run into while pursuing the public good? Once you stick your head above the crowd to be heard, you immediately become a target for flying tomatoes and anything else those who live in the status quo can throw at you. Your motives will be questioned. Everything you do will be scrutinized… which is one more reason to walk the straight and narrow and keep everything on the up and up.
Then the most trying time of all may come to you. You may succeed. People will complement you. They may hang on every word you utter. You will be invited to things you’ve never been to before. It can be very easy to start to believe you are actually that good. Read more of this article »
“Don’t listen to Rush”, President Obama instructs Republicans. He tells them that if they are to get along with Democrats they have to stop listening to this kind of negative talk about him and his plans. Then he arrogantly negated suggestions from Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va) with a terse, “Because I won” seeking to shut down input conflicting with his plans.
What the new president and his allies fail to realize is that Mr. Limbaugh is not that powerful. He has the most listened to talk show on the radio, not because he has that many original thoughts, but because he reflects values held by many Americans. He says things people don’t hear in the mainstream media. He expresses frustrations and desires of many who tune in for encouragement in times when our country does not seem to be working well.
In admonishing members of the minority party to ignore Rush Limbaugh, Mr. Obama is really telling them to stop listening to the concerns of their constituents… as expressed by Mr. Limbaugh. He would, apparently, prefer that they stay inside the beltway bubble and use Democrats as their point of reference.
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