Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Drill Baby Drill

Source:

As you can see in the above article, Rasmussen is reporting that people still want us to develop domestic fossil fuel sources.  This is obvious when you see how the economy booms around the industry. 

Let's look at what I like to call  "The Shale Rush."  Living in an area which is sitting on a large amount of natural gas from one of the shale sites in the US, and seeing first-hand the economic benefit it is bringing to the area, I can attest to the obvious demand for these resources.  In just the past few years since it has started, there has been an increase in jobs, an increase to local businesses, an increase in just about everything in the area.  It's rather simple to watch the vehicles which are related to this effort move around the area, and see where they are spending money.  What's not so obvious is the increased spending of the people positively impacted.  More money in the market means more money for everyone.  Some would suggest we should tax this industry heavily, because of the obvious desire for it. I challenge that strongly, as taxing things never increases production, and never accomplishes anything positive in regards to economic growth, but rather stifles it, and causes it to suffer. 
The same logic can be applied to drilling for crude oil.  Be it in the tundra of Alaska, off the Gulf Coast, or in Colorado, the immediate and long term benefit to any region which drills is significant.  Beyond that, we can reasonably predict that oil prices will drop as production increases, which will stimulate better growth elsewhere in the economy.  When shipping prices drop, and movement of product costs are lowered, the economy will blossom beautifully. 
We, as a nation, are sitting on tremendous resources which rival what is available elsewhere in the world.  I would argue that there is not a reasonable, logical reason why we should not be tapping into the resources which have been provided to us.  Yet still the left insists that drilling is a "Bad Idea" for some unknown reason. They are unable to back their reasons with any sound evidence, they are unable to  respond to legitimate, intellectual questions with anything other than emotionally charged, angry language.  The president has claimed to lift the ban on drilling, yet his administration has yet to authorize or approve any movement in that direction.  Clearly he is posturing to get the benefit on both sides of the issue, and in the process is doing nothing to help the American people or economy.  It's time we returned to being a nation of freedom, rather than a nation under a dictatorial heel.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Too Many Issues!

This week I have been struggling with what to write.  Not because there is a lack of material on which to comment, or because there is nothing going on in the world around us.  Quite the contrary, it is because I only have so much time to write, and can't decide which topics to cover.  Instead, I am going to do a quick mash of several topics, and lump them together.

First one:  Delta hates Jews.

The original article which I saw last night on USA Today's website has been changed.  Wyatt mentions this is his blog.  But the basic idea of what happened is simple. Delta entered into an agreement with another airline.  This airline happens to be based in Saudi Arabia.  Well, they happen to hate the Jews, and have a law about them not being in their kingdom.  Delta complies with the regulation of Air Discrimi-Saudi.  I understand when you are operating between various sovereign nations you need to be aware of their laws.  But this is a case of making a bad decision by Delta.  They could have picked better.  There is already a fairly intense backlash, we'll see what comes of it.


I love what Tam has to say about it.  For the last score of years and change the states have been passing legislation making clear the legality of carrying weapons, especially carrying them concealed.  The last decade has seen quite the increase.  When I started carrying 10 years ago, the map of the US of which states had laws, and more importantly to me specifically, which states reciprocate with mine, was sparse.  Over the years I have watched these maps become more filled with freedom and liberty.  It has been an absolute joy to watch.  Illinois is the last hold-out.  Granted some states have tighter restrictions, make it more difficult for their citizenry to employ their rights, but only one remains where they have laws counter to the Constitution, and deny freedom.  Illinois, you're next.  :)


This is a conversation by Trifecta on PJTV.  I strongly encourage you to check them out. 
To my knowledge, Governor Perry has not yet announced an intention to run for president of the United States.  Here is a quote from his speech:
And our loudest opponents on the left are never going to like us, so let's stop trying to curry favor with them.  Let's stop this American downward spiral!  We're doing this, and it's happening because of twoo much spending, too much interfering, and too much apologizing."
 When any politician makes comments like that, I have to admit that it gives me some hope.  However, when I see their actions, I'm let down more often than not.  And sadly it's not infrequent that I am not only let down, but that I am crushed, beaten into the ground, and demoralized.  Governor Perry seems to be true to his word, however, based on what I've seen in Texas.  Is he perfect? No, no human is.  It would be wrong for us to pin all of our hopes on one man, if that man is not Christ. 
Also, Bill Whittle's comment about Perry is spot on, when he says that he can fill a room, and has a presence which befits a president.  He makes a comparison of personality and charisma to Regan, and I tend to agree with that assessment.

That's all I have time for now.  Stay tuned for more posts in the future!
Also, if there is a topic you'd like to see me address, please let me know in the comments.  Also, share your thoughts on any topics you'd like here, not just these. Consider this an open thread.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The US Military is a Military - not a Test Market

Source:
http://cleantechnica.com/2011/04/16/u-s-army-has-net-zero-vision-for-national-security/


This thought should be self-explanatory.  The DoD is not an organization which is designed to drive commercial products, or to encourage the use of particular technology.  It is an organization who's mission, who's purpose, is to protect the citizenry of this nation.  To attempt to use our defensive forces to push an unneeded, wasteful program is taking major risks with the security of our citizens, our interests, and our national security.

In previous years, the military was able to create products which saw varied success in the free market.  Take for instance the GPS.  The technology the military developed to better their strength was given to people who saw the potential of the technology on the free market, were willing to put the work into commercializing it, and followed through on the investments.  The driving force behind the success of this product is that someone saw the commercial use, and took a risk. 

The reason no one has taken a risk with green energy is because the people who understand the market know there isn't a demand.  It's inefficient, far more expensive to generate, and the end result is just as much waste as with traditional solutions.  If money could be made on it, it would be.  As science advances, and research is completed, steps are taken to make these types of energy sources more viable, however as it stands now, being 'green' is expensive, with no visible return on the investment.

The government has been attempting to force these not-yet-mature technologies on the citizenry for entirely too long.  Now, rather than realizing the reason they are losing the fight, they turn to the military.  Only, rather than turning to them to fulfill their mission, they turn to them to assist in forcing unwanted tech down our throats.  Only now they are risking the very lives of the men and women who volunteer to protect us.  The idea of being in an under-powered, poorly-equipped base when it's attacked, or when need arises to respond to an attack on Americans elsewhere, does not sit well with me.  Our men and women will be putting themselves at a greater disadvantage with these changes.

The military needs to focus on what allows the troops to do their jobs effectively, completely, and efficiently.  To put an emphasis on anything else will weaken our strength, and open the door to various attacks.  That is a risk we'd be foolish to take.

The Heritage Foundation has done the research, and written an article on this, with some excellent information.  I strongly recommend reading over it.  It is located here.

What are your thoughts?  Should we be using our military to help develop technology which doesn't directly apply to their jobs, or allow them to focus on the mission at hand: Protecting these United States?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Science and the Bible: Mutually Exclusive, or Complimentary?

Source:
http://www.christianpost.com/news/can-science-creationism-coexist-one-christian-author-says-yes-51315/
Update:
Just read this article as well:
http://townhall.com/columnists/frankturek/2009/01/14/big_bang_evidence_for_god/page/full/


If we consider the Bible, the very Word of God Himself, to be something which contradicts science, we are treading on gravely dangerous ground.  God's Word is Truth.  To attempt to say that it is limited, or misleading, or inaccurate in any sense is to undermine the entirety of Scripture.  If we do that, then we are basically saying we can't know that we can have salvation, and that we can't know about a personal relationship with a loving God.

In his new book, Seven Days that Divide the World, John Lennox presents a simple yet profound idea.  This is an idea which has been floated in various forms, and various phrasings over the centuries.  However, it is an idea we must at least consider, if not embrace.  The idea is that the Bible and science compliment one another, and do not contradict one another. 

For most of history, atheists have liked the idea of a universe which always existed.  This was because they understood that a universe which was created must have a creator.  Any being capable of creating the universe would fit nearly any human definition of deity.  To this end, atheists long held that the universe was eternal, and limitless in size.  In the last several decades things have changed.  The big bang theory came about as a result of scientific study.  This theory indicates that the universe has a beginning point.  Fundamentally, we know that everything which exists has a cause.  If nothing existed prior to the universe, what caused it to exist?  The only answer for that is one which atheists prefer to avoid.

This is one example of an instance where the Bible appeared to contradict science.  Man's limited understanding of this universe pointed toward a limitless universe, without cause.  Rather, science today has shown that there is a beginning to the universe, and as such a cause.  In actuality, despite the seeming contradiction, the Bible pointed toward the truth long before man was able to discover it for himself.

It is with that understanding, and that precedent, that we are able to confront the lies of those who would say that science is truth, and the Bible is fanciful.  Clearly, this Scripture is not a textbook or other resource for seeing scientific theory played out, or how to measure events to learn more about science.  Rather it is a book of truth, some of which is provable with science.

Science is unable, by it's very nature, to show us how the world was created.  It is a limited tool, in that regard, that it can only be used to verify testable data.  Some historical events can be examined using advanced mathematical concepts, and observable events in the universe today.  Other historical information, such as which plants grew first, or which animals first inhabited the skies, can not be determined with science.  This is something only history can teach us.  However, it is history which is unrecorded.  Therefore, today we have no way to know some of these answers.

Scripture gives us all the answers we need, and provides us with sufficient information and knowledge to live our lives.  It shows us that the universe, the galaxy, the solar system, this planet, and the life on it, including us humans, were all created by a loving God, in a fashion which was pleasing to Him,  When it was completed, He said it was good.  One day I hope to learn the methods God used during creation.  Man has a myriad of theories about it, ranging from individual, complete attention to detail, loving acts for each creation, to His creating a process which allowed life to give way to more advanced life.  While I know which I believe to be true, I am eager for the day when my Father and Creator can show me precisely how He did it.

Until then, I will study His Word, and know that it does not stand in contradiction with science, but rather compliments it, and often will give me clues which science is unable to answer today.

Child Spanking a Felony?

Source:

When I saw this, I realized we truly are living in a time in which there is a distinct lack of understanding about what is right and wrong; and that applies both religiously and politically.

First, the relationship of parent and child is a critical relationship to both, but especially the child.  They will learn about life, and how to live it, from their parents.  As part of the great responsibility of teaching a child how to live in the real world, there are various means available, one of which is spanking.  It is not the place of any governmental body to interfere in that relationship.  

Yes, I will acknowledge that there are evil people in the world who would and do beat children needlessly.  Yes, I call this evil.  Yes, 'something' should be done about that.  However, it is absolutely wrong to prevent proper healthy parenting for the sake of stopping those who abuse children.  It's the same logic that liberals use for so many other things.  "Criminals would use guns to rob places, we should outlaw guns."  The criminals will use whatever they can, including illegal guns, to do so.  The gun isn't the issue.  In this case, spanking isn't the issue.  Bad parenting is.  That is what should be address, and even that should at least initially be addressed from the perspective of family, church, extended family, local community, etc.  When it's determined that they are going to do what they will regardless of offered help, etc, then yes, a punishment needs to be levied against the abusers, and their role in the life of the child needs to be reduced significantly.

However, the use of corporal punishment as an effective means of teaching proper and improper behavior patterns to children is a good thing.  It is proven (I'm a good example of that, to some degree) as an effective tool.  If done in a loving manner, and not out of anger or frustration on the part of the parent, it is one of the best tools available for a child to learn and grow.

Let's take a quick look at what Scripture has to say on the subject:
From Proverbs:
3:11 My son, do not reject the [a]discipline of the LORD
Or loathe His reproof,
12 For whom the LORD loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. 


13:24 He who withholds his [a]rod hates his son,
But he who loves him [b]disciplines him diligently. 

19:18 Discipline your son while there is hope,
And do not desire [a]his death. 

22:15 Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him. 

23:13 Do not hold back discipline from the child,
Although you [a]strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 You shall [b]strike him with the rod
And rescue his soul from Sheol. 

29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom,
But a child [a]who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. 

From Hebrews:
12:6 FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES,
AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
 7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 

[All Scripture is from the NASB translation.]
As we look through these passages, we clearly see that God has ordained use of 'the rod' in the raising of children in wisdom.  It plays a vital role, when used appropriately.  With the understanding that the rod is not to be used for every situation and circumstance, and not when the child is too young to understand the meaning of the discipline, and the various other concepts which are natural to parents, it becomes even more obvious to us that it is irresponsible to allow a child to live in the way they choose, without having any discipline.  Hebrews speaks to our relationship with our Heavenly Father in chapter 12.  Part of this comparison is the use of discipline to bring us into line.  God uses it in love, the same as we as parents are to use it with our children.

I am so blessed to have a daughter who behaves, and needs only be told things once.  I have yet to need to use spanking or any other corporal punishment with her.  She has had privileges suspended, and other minor punishments.  With her that is sufficient, and I am ever grateful for that.  I do not ever want to have to cause my child physical pain for their betterment.  However, I am willing to do so, for the sake of their own future, and to protect them from mistakes, and to understand that actions do indeed have consequences.  That's a lesson I'd rather my child learn from me in love, than from the world in any other fashion.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hypocrisy on the Left

Sources:
The left has long accused the right of being hypocrites, being filled with hate, tending toward violence, and the like.  However, during the Tea Parties last year, which are arguably the most right-wing gatherings we've seen in this nation's history, the violence tended to come from liberals showing up with violence in mind.  

The left is filled with hateful language, violent behavior, and repeated attempts to distort truth with lies.  Name-calling, insulting, demeaning, and other forms of verbal assault are commonplace on their side, yet when even one person from the right slips in a moment of frustration and says one demeaning thing, there is a media blitz to condemn the behavior as deplorable.  While frustration does not excuse that behavior, the double standard of the left is laughable.  

The latest example is a union thug comparing Chris Christie to Adolph Hitler.  Anyone who has studied history, much less lived under the rule of Hitler, understands that he was a man of pure evil, who did not treat humans equally or respectfully, had a disdain for liberty, and disregard for human life.  His actions are beyond the realm of most men to grasp happening, let alone the behavior and mind of the person who would do such things.  Yet, the left has compared so many people on the right to Hitler.  The most ironic part of it is that Hitler's behavior was closer in motivation to the left than the right!  His removing rights from citizen, killing innocent people, and the like are socialistic in nature.  Today, the left seeks to revoke freedoms, encourages and funds murder of innocents, and the list goes on.  

Yet we do not see signs or read stories comparing anyone on the left to the person who is arguably the most evil in recent history.  Because as much as we disagree with our opposition, we do not stoop to that level, nor do we resort to name calling.  That is the behavior of the insecure, and the man who understands that his arguments are indefensible.  

And please, throwing glitter on a man?  That's no only disrespectful, that comes dangerously close to assault.  

Be careful the ground you tread, as your actions speak far more loudly than your words. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Republican Debate - Thoughts

The debate is being covered by a large number of bloggers, many of whom are far better at analyzing it than I am.  So rather than making an attempt to do something of lesser quality than you'll find elsewhere, I will give my thoughts on it.

Biggest takeaway:
I like Michelle Bachman.  I had not paid close attention to her as a candidate previously, as I didn't think it likely that she would run.  To my knowledge, no one holding the elected office of Representative has ever won a general election.  The higher house of Congress, yes, but not the lower.  That said, she came out strong, didn't hesitate in her answers, spoke directly and succinctly, and didn't have an apologetic attitude about her stances.  I think she handled herself better than the men on the platform last night.

Biggest letdown:
I know many people are going to say Pawlenty not taking on Romney and his health care plan.  That isn't my biggest letdown of the evening.  I think Herman Cain was my biggest letdown.  I had extremely high hopes for him based on what I understand of his politics.  While I didn't see a weakness there, I did see a weakness in how he handles himself in public forums, and in this kind of pressure.  While I personally don't mind someone who forgoes political correctness, and speaks his mind and heart freely, that rarely gets one very far in politics.  I am certain that is one reason why I will not ever win an election at -any- level, should I ever decide to try. 

I will say that I was not surprised in the least that Pawlenty did not go after Romney more aggressively.  I say this because he is no true conservative.  He sounded far more conservative last evening than I have heard him previously, and I believe that is because of the competition on the stage.  Looking at the state of Minnesota, sure he's conservative - because compared to the rest of the state he is.  He's not quite as liberal as Romney, but he is a progressive. 

Romney surprised me with a couple of his answers.  He did make one point that managed to get me to agree with him and disagree with him in the same thought process.  That's a neat trick.  When he was confronted on Romneycare in Mass, his response was that it is appropriate for the states to institute that sort of thing, but not the federal government.  While I am a strong supporter of states' rights, the idea of forced medical care is still socialism verging on communism. 

Ron Paul is still Ron Paul.  He has some good things to say, sounds like a conservative, but it doesn't take long to realize that he doesn't hold the same values that most of us do.  While there are areas where I consider myself a libertarian, he takes that concept in a direction that would not be healthy for this country.

Being from Pennsylvania, I was hoping for a stronger showing from Rick.  He's a solid, upstanding man, and I have a lot of respect for him.  I don't know that his place is in the White House though.  I don't think he has the presence, or the executive style that it takes to lead from that seat.  I don't think he's going to make it.  I have mixed emotions about that, as it will be sad to see him lose, but I don't think he's the strongest candidate we have available.

Should I ever bother mentioning Newt?  He's done nothing to impress me since he was Speaker many moons ago.  There is too much of a cloud surrounding him today for him to be effective should he win the vote.  Additionally, I doubt his true conservative motives, as he's been part of the establishment within the GOP for entirely too long.  I think we'd be better off with him out of the race.

That about sums up my thoughts after last night's debate.  Let me know what you all think.

The EPA - Destroying America, Protecting Nothing

Source:
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/165651-aep-epa-regs-will-cost-billions-and-result-in-five-closed-plants
HT to Mark Matthews for the link on Twitter.

Big government is causing problems again.  This time, it's forcing regulations on business in a fashion that is going to cost jobs, increase the price of products in the market, and create a lower supply of said product.  This tends to be the end result of all regulation, but in this case we get to watch it happen immediately and dramatically.

Let's take a look at 'how we got here' with this agency:
1 - The EPA was created for a noble purpose.  "...protect human health and the environment."
2 - The administrators of the EPA are appointed, not elected.  Seems to me there's a lack of accountability in that scenario.
3 - The bureaucracy needs to justify it's existence and budget.  It does so by doing more than just enforcing existing policy, it creates new policy.  This policy is dictated without Legislative or Judicial control, as laws are to be.  This is working around our constitution.
4 - Corrupt people appoint corrupt administrators, who enact these policies for various reasons, most of which we can't know.  We are unable to vote them out, and must wait until the political climate changes to bring about any needed change.  By then, the damage is done.

So what does that mean for us?  In the linked article, the first impact is obvious:  Up to 35% increase in electric usage prices, and a loss of jobs.  Both of those are going to do exactly nothing to improve the economy.  Quite the opposite, they will contribute to the second dip we are beginning to see.

One thing I noticed that I need to address is the EPA's use of a certain phrase.
But EPA defended its regulations Thursday, noting that the agency has worked closely with industry to ensure that its regulations are “reasonable, common-sense and achievable.”
"Common-sense" is the catch phrase the left uses to dodge questions of logic and practicality.  They use it when they know that what they are espousing holds no ground in a logical debate.  Instead, it appeals to the idea that common sense is a trait lacking in many today, a statement with which I would agree.  However, rather than revealing where the true lack of common sense is, it misdirects the attention from the culprit, to those who would disagree with them.  This is the same language the anti-rights people use when they attack the second amendment, spouting "common-sense gun laws."

Additionally, when they use a word like "achievable" it misleads as well, indicating that the goal isn't difficult, or problematic.  It overlooks the issues that will be encountered, the costs (to the business, to the employees, to the customers, to the economy, and all others impacted) and other negative factors.

This fundamentally different view of the world from what hard working Americans see is going to become more and more of a problem as the country slips further into debt, and further into recession.  Is it any wonder why so many feel like we don't live in a free nation?  When an agency can dictate policy to a business without any legislative checks, our freedoms have already been more than infringed.  They are being eaten away at their very core.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Republican Debate - Round 1

http://apps.facebook.com/ustream_live/100133201750

I'm watching it on UStream on Facebook, via PJTV.  I enjoy their coverage, and love their staff.

What are your thoughts on the GOP for 2012?

UPDATE:  Debate is over, I'm overall very impressed with Bachman and Cain.  I may write a post tomorrow about it, I may review other posts, or I may just write about another topic, as this one is going to be so well covered.  Time will tell.

Sighting in the Savage

About a week ago I acquired a new (to me) hunting rifle. It's a Savage Arms in .300 Win Mag.  I must say, I'm rather impressed with it so far.  I haven't owned a proper, PA approved hunting rifle in quite a few years, so needless to say I'm rather excited to be able to get back out this coming season and do some hunting.  My license will be purchased the day the new ones are available. 

While I live in a location which sadly does NOT allow me to step outside and site in a rifle, one of my coworkers does.  He has a 100 yard range across his driveway from his home.  He was kind enough to allow me to come over on Wednesday of last week, and again yesterday, to site in the new rifle.  He also thought it would be a good idea to take a video of one of my shots, after the initial changes to the scope were made.

video
It sounds like a solid group in the making.  Two rounds, approximately an inch apart, at 100 yards, with factory ammunition.  However, after those two rounds, my group suffered.  I think part of it was heat (it was so hot that it took 45 minutes for the barrel to cool after firing 5 rounds through it), part of it was user error (it has been about 15 years since I last fired a hunting rifle, I'm out of practice), and other variables.  After another group, we decided to end for the day, and resume another day.

On Sunday we finished sighting in the rifle.  The end result was a group of 5 rounds, between 1 and 2 inches above the center of target, with just slightly over a 1 inch grouping, at 100 yards.  I'm satisfied with that for the time being, and I'm confident it will carry strong accuracy out to 200 yards.  The next step will be deciding what and how I'm going to reload, and begin that process. 

One of the payments I gave my friend for allowing me to use his range for sighting in my rifle was throwing some rounds downrange with a slightly more fun to shoot rifle:

video

And of course, I can't break out that firearm without putting a few rounds through it myself.  This video has some NSFW language.  It's also important to note that the white pistol target in the foreground was not ever the target.  That would not stand up to abuse these guns would have given it.  Instead, the AR was used primarily for shooting old satellite dishes that he has had laying around the house for a while.  Who doesn't need a little practice for the coming zombie apocalypse?

UPDATE: Correct video put in this time.

video

Oh, also, please forgive the camera operator.  He was filming away while I was shooting, and didn't consider that rotating the Android amid filming that it would be a problem.  We're not video people, obviously.

For those of you who live in the same state I do, and were unaware, beginning this past April the Game Commission has created a requirement that one obtain a $30 permit for using the public ranges at the state game lands.  Previously they had been free, and the repairs, upgrades and the like subsidized by the cost of hunting licenses.  Now, if you have a hunting license, you can use these ranges at no additional cost.  If you do not have a license, you must purchase the permit for $30.  The new licenses for the 2011-12 season go on sale in July.  I'm not spending $30 to use one of those ranges for a few weeks, I'll wait till I have my license this year.

If any of you hunt, let me know in the comments what you hunt, what you use to hunt it, where you hunt it, etc.  Consider this open discussion about hunting!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Feelings of Freedom

Sources:

When I first read these two articles, my initial reaction was one of 'Duh, it's their usual double standard' mixed with 'How selfish and one-sided they are.'  But the more I think about it, the more I realize this indicates a deeper issue.  

There's an inherent desire for freedom built into all people.  While personally I believe God wires us this way, I can understand various people each having their own ideas about where this desire originates.  However, what I have never seen is someone requesting to be controlled, asking to be locked inside a box, or otherwise desiring to have no choices or freedoms.  Instead, I see people who mistake restricting the rights of others as their idea of freedom for themselves.  This happens to be the most obvious scenario, but there are others.  Let's consider abortion.  Pro-Death proponents tend to say it's their freedom with their body, ignoring the right to life their unborn child has.  Pro-Life supporters understand freedom for ALL people means that the right to life for the unborn is a crucial right.  Feel free to mention other areas where we can see this in the comments.

Weerd makes a great point when he makes this statement:
Well first I’ll point out that anti-rights people, and that includes “Progressives” in general are bigots by nature.
Quinn often uses a phrase similar to this: "If you want to know what the left is doing, look at what they are accusing the right of doing."  How often does the left attempt to portray those on the right as bigots?  How often do they try to find any anecdotal evidence to suggest that we fall under any one of the negative '-ists' being used today?  Why is that?  I sincerely believe it's to distract from being caught as being bigots themselves.  They realize that if they make a loud enough noise about it, we won't show their flaws, because they talk such a good talk.  However, their actions belie their words.  Things like the 'fairness doctrine' and other concepts which are designed to silence the right, or stifle what we have to say are nothing more than an attempt to avoid having to have direct, honest communication about any topic.

So why is that?  Do they realize that the ground on which they are standing is as soft as it is?  Do they understand that they have no sound logic in their arguments?  Are they afraid to learn the truth?  I can think of no reason why they would avoid honest, fair discussion aside from a knowledge (whether they are aware of it or not) that their arguments are either invalid or indefensible.  What are your thoughts?  I think Bob addresses that excellently in his article.

So where does that leave us?  Clearly we have the disadvantage in the 'feelings' department, because we understand that logic and reason MUST trump emotion when it comes to dictating policy.  So while in reality that is a very good stance, the culture and media today emphasize feelings, 'what feels good is right' and this lack of absolutes partnered with a humanistic worldview that causes people to have the concept in their minds that they don't need to think through dilemmas before taking steps.  They tend to ignore logic in favor of an easy, sounds good solution.  

That makes our job more challenging.  When people are willing to think through a process, use simple accurate logic in that process, and reason honestly with themselves and those around them, it's easy to see what we consider to be obvious.  Instead, groups like CSGV, Brady, et al play to feelings, ignoring logic, and using false information and lies to get their message across.  When people have been conditioned to not do research on their own, and to take at face value what they are told, and that if their feelings matter in things, it becomes difficult to discuss with them from a sound position.  Now, we need to learn to keep the discussions on the facts, the verifiable, documented facts.  We need to keep the conversation away from feelings, and refute any argument that is founded on them.  We need to understand why someone would think it 'feels' good, but then demonstrate to them why 'feeling good' doesn't mean it IS good.  We need to make absolutely certain that we practice what we preach as well.  

I think we also sometimes forget that we are on the side of liberty and freedom.  The constitution already gives us the RIGHT to keep and bear arms.  We need to make it perfectly clear to those who have a view that differs from that simple understanding that they are the ones who are trying to take our freedoms, and make us the victims of bad policies, criminals, and the other things which come with a disarmed citizenry.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The U.N. is Attempting to Take Our Freedoms....Again

Source:

While there are reasons for our nation to engage in treaties with other nations, and to work together in the global community to strive for common goals, we should remind our leaders that their FIRST, most important duty is to the citizens of this nation.  

There is overwhelming evidence which indicates that gun control fails it's stated intent every time it is enacted.  This ranges from states with tough gun laws (California New Jersey, Massachusetts, and others come to mind), to other nations with histories of failed attempts (UK, Canada - Page 4 and others).  To suppose otherwise is to ignore the warnings of history, and to create an environment to experience the same failures.

The worst case scenario is another Nazi Germany (specifically pages 8-10) type removal of weapons from private citizens, which will then leave then vulnerable to an evil regime intent on doing far more than limiting their freedoms.  The best case scenario is that we allow our God-given freedoms to be revoked by a corrupt authority structure of man, and give up the right to defend ourselves and our loved ones from harm, as well as our property and livelihood. 

While we are yet unable to see the language in the treaty (which alone is of great concern, and begs the question, "What about transparency?"), we can make educated guesses as to what will be contained within it.  There are the obvious restrictions and steps along the path to complete regulation and disarmament.  It may not include wholesale action yet, but it will most certainly be laying the groundwork for it.

Any time an organization from outside a sovereign nation attempts to dictate policy within that nation, one has to consider the motivations behind the action.  The UN has never been a friend of the US, despite our being the largest fiscal member, providing more resources than any other nation.  They constantly push for legislation which goes against the very nature of a free people, the kind of people who built this nation.

My hope is that we will all watch this closely, and when the time comes to reach out to our senators, we do so in overwhelming numbers, demonstrating to them that their constituents are watching, and we DO know what 'We the People' of this great land want and expect in our leadership.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

1770's Revisited

Source:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R5cSUj14II

Andrew Klavan and Bill Whittle of PJTV discuss a rather profound question:
"Is this what it was like in the 1770s when the men we call The Founders were debating the principles of liberty and organizing the separation of themselves and their colonies from oppressive English rule?  To survive, will liberty have to make a similar break from the increasingly oppressive American rule?"

Bill makes a statement (approx 2:00) indicating that he finally understands the pain involved in deciding to break away from one's government.  He makes a very valid point that we are approaching the point where we need to either refresh the principles on which our nation was founded, or abandon them.

What are your thoughts?  What will it take for us to have freedom once again in this nation?

When the United States of America was founded, the idea of keeping the government was small, giving liberty and responsibility to the people was common sense, and people understood that they had to work for what they wanted.  However, as it has been said in various generations, by various individuals, and with various subtle differences, "When the populace realizes that they are able to vote themselves money and entitlements, the nation will cease to be free, and will cease to be wealthy.  It will collapse fiscally, and a dictatorship will follow."

Today, we can see that mindset in the voting.  The politicians winning the votes are the politicians making the most grand promises of what will be given to his constituents.  The problem encountered when people challenge the size of the government is oft waived aside by the very people who want it to grow larger, and have greater control.  The weak continue to seek provision from the government, rather than finding the means to provide for themselves.  The government grows ever larger to feed the lazy and weak, perpetuating the cycle.  Only two options remain open when this becomes the norm:  Return to the days of yore, forcing the government to reduce it's spending, eliminating programs, cutting taxes, and restoring liberty to the citizenry; or embracing this new idea, that the government is to provide, and spend until there is nothing left, and the nation is left destitute, and a dictator steps in to take control of the crippled land.

Which future would you want to see for America?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who Should Own Firearms?

Source:
http://bit.ly/j7H5bI

A couple weeks ago I discovered the podcast that is "Vicious Circle.'  It is a very entertaining distraction from the norm, usually revolving around firearm ownership, rights, and other topics related to guns.  The current post (#95) recorded on 6/3 engages in a very interesting discussion about how we as a firearms community reach out to groups traditionally not known as being part of this community.  This includes women, inner-city minorities, gays and lesbians, and the like.  This is a very important conversation in which we should be engaged.
Obviously, as a Christian, I take issue with certain lifestyles, and the unrepentant attitude that tends to accompany them.  However, that is not what is being discussed in a case like this.  The discussion is focused on who should own weapons, why they should, what benefits there are, and the positives of it.  Let's be blunt for a moment.  Homosexuality is going to be with us as long as we exist.  While I do believe that is a sin, I will not attack an individual for having that lifestyle.  I may attempt to persuade them to change their mind, but I firmly believe that they have the right to defend themselves by whatever means they feel sufficient.  I say this because there are so many groups who DO attack them, not just verbally, but physically.  They are one of the key groups of people who need to be equipped to protect themselves.
Let's consider who else should be able to provide for their own defense.  Women?  Mothers? Single ladies?  College girls?  They all are more likely to be attacked than a large man in terms of random violence.  They should absolutely have the option to protect themselves, and their children.  What about inner-city residents, especially minorities?  This has been a touchy subject for years for many reasons, not the least of which being that violence between minorities in the inner city tends to be more frequent than elsewhere.  However, how often are innocent people in the inner city victimized?  They absolutely need to have the same ability as we have to protect themselves from attack.

At the end of the day, the 2nd amendment exists to enable our citizenry to protect themselves.  Unfortunately it is impossible for police to be everywhere at all times, so it is impossible for them to prevent every crime.  As such, we need to be able to protect ourselves, no matter what our walk of life, or ideology, ability or handicap in the world.  Someone once said that God created men, but Samuel Colt made them equal.  Let's make sure all people have the option to be equal.

Pro-tip:  This podcast is for those who don't suffer from sensitive ears, and don't mind language that can be a bit impolite.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Is the Church of Satan an Organized Religion?

Source:
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/04/how-to-bury-a-satanist/?iref=allsearch

What would motivate someone who believes in literally 'nothing' (including no Satan) to call their movement a religion, specifically a religion with the name of something that doesn't exist according to their own teaching in it's name?

I'll grant that in the late 1960's heavy drug use influenced many people to do many things which defy logic.  So I can understand the organization being founded.  But as a movement which has a central office, and calls itself a church, it seems to have never come to grasp with the initial logical contradictions inherent in it's foundation.  

Now, with that said, to address the main point of the article linked above.  Death is, for many people, a terrifying event, or moment in life.  This is something which every human faces, without exception.  We all must prepare ourselves for what we will face at the end of life as we know it. 

One of the greatest questions all humans ask themselves is a form of this:
"What will happen on the other side?" 

Christianity has the obvious answers of 'Have faith in Christ, and you go to paradise; live for self, and you will spend eternity separated from your Creator.'  Other faiths have various answers ranging from some form of paradise to re-incarnation to absolutely nothing.  This organization takes a slightly different tact.  They state that there is nothing after death, and that the afterlife one experiences is the aftermath of their actions while alive.  They want their memories to live on after they do.  

This strikes me as an outlook with very little hope.  While we can have no scientific discussion on what happens to any sort of spirit or soul postmortem, there is a curiosity about it.  People with near-death experiences often speak of seeing a light at the end of a tunnel, or other events in which they see family members, or familiar places.  Are these visions manifestations of fearful minds, calming images given by a Loving Creator, absolutely nothing, or something completely different?  I think the only people who know without any doubt are the ones who have preceded us in death.  

Perhaps some day we will have the means to discover exactly what people experience in their last moments without the need to experience it ourselves.  Until then we are left to speculation.  

Or are we?  For those of us who have placed our faith in Christ, we have His Word.  With study, we can see a glimpse of what awaits us in eternity.  Christ promises things from preparing a place in His Father's house, to feasts, to a new Heaven and a new Earth at some point in the future.  That is hope.  That is something to which we can look forward with eager anticipation.  Faith and Hope are wonderful things.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How Many Adams Were There?

Source:
http://www.christianpost.com/news/ken-ham-agrees-with-atheists-on-literal-view-of-adam-and-eve-50773/

Whether you hold to a young or old Earth view, it is important to realize that  through one man sin entered the world.  That man was Adam.  An excerpt from Romans 5 (NASB):

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—
  13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
  14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
  15 But 1the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
  16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
  17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
  18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
  19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
  20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
  21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so bgrace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

It's clear that sin entered the world through one man.  That sin is then inherited by the rest of humanity.  It is critical in the understanding of  the work of Christ on the Cross, and the necessity of His death.  If sin did not enter the world the way Scripture indicates, then man did not need a savior.  Without a requirement for a savior, there is no need for God's only Son to perish.
1Cor 15:22   For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 

While we were not there for the creation, and we don't know scientifically what method God used to bring into existence all that is, nor do we know the details of every event that has occurred throughout history, we do know that there is a starting point, and that the first man was Adam, and through him sin entered the world.

Thank God that He provided recourse to the sin under which we have been born!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Is Atheism or Agnostisims a Valid Religion?

Source:
http://www.christianpost.com/news/state-ag-appeals-tx-garuation-prayer-ban-says-it-unravels-us-moral-values-50761

This is an interesting case.  Not being an attorney I will make no attempt to examine the legal details of this.  Instead, I will comment on the implications.
The largest implication I can see is that for any state to BAN prayer is enforcing a lack of faith (or a faith in nothing) as the religion of choice.  The only way to not force religion on anyone is to not prevent those who DO hold faith from practicing it.  Logic dictates that two things which contradict one another cannot both be true.  Let's examine what happens in two scenarios.
Scenario #1:  10 people are gathered together.  8 of them have various faiths (some Christian, some Islamic, some Hindi, etc).  The last 2 believe in no super-natural power, and have a faith in nothing beyond what they are able to see.  Now, let's tell the 8 that they are not allowed to practice, express, or otherwise exercise their freedom of religion in a public place.
Scenario #2:  Let's take those same 10 people, and tell them all that they can practice or not practice any aspect of whatever faith they do or do not have in whichever way is appropriate for their religion (provided it does NOT cause harm to any of the other 9).
Which of these two instances is freedom?  Which of these two methods holds true to the principles in the foundations of our nation, and which of these methods violates an individual's rights, and restricts freedoms?

Feds Deny Indiana Defunding of Planned Parenthood

Source:
http://www.lifenews.com/2011/06/01/obama-admin-denies-indiana-request-to-de-fund-planned-parenthood/

First, before I begin, I will state that I am unashamedly pro-life.  I do not like any organization which encourages abortions, and provides them to people in the manner in which PP does.
That said, my biggest issue with this is NOT the abortion side (as much as that bothers me) but that this is another case of the federal government overstepping it's bounds, and strong-arming a state into doing what the administration wants, as opposed to the population of the state.  The elected officials of Indiana were acting within their power to withhold the funds to PP after a bill was passed in the state giving that direction.
When will this administration see that their ideology is not consistent with that of the American people?

Share a Pulpit?

This is an interesting read:
http://www.christianpost.com/news/christians-jews-and-muslims-to-share-pulpits-50752/ 

I guess the questions I would ask include:

Is there any circumstance in which a pulpit from which truth is spoken should be allowed to be shared with a false teacher?
Is Islamaphobia a true 'phobia' (a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.  - www.dictionary.com definition of phobia, emphasis mine) being irrational and not based in reality, or is there a basis in the actions of the religion, and a complete lack of condemnation of those actions by the leaders of that religion?
Is there a difference between respecting a false religion and it's adherents, and respecting individuals in spite of their following a false religion?
There are many other questions which this article raises. The ultimate question I think we need to consider is how do we show love to teachers of false religions while at the same time condemning their false teaching?

Misuse of Force, Violation of 4th Amendment, Death of Civilian

Confederate Yankee has an excellent article written detailing the video that is available on youtube of the incident in question.  Exceedingly unprofessional behavior by the LEO as a whole, and a seemingly complete lack of understanding of "Tactics' by the SWAT team.
This is well worth the read!
http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/316833.php

The video of the incident can be seen here:
http://www.captainsjournal.com/2011/05/27/the-jose-guerena-raid-a-demonstration-of-tactical-incompetence/

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Shall the punishment fit the crime?

"The mag­ni­tude of the pun­ish­ment matches the mag­ni­tude of the sin. Now a sin that is against God is infi­nite; the higher the per­son against whom it is com­mit­ted, the graver the sin—it is more crim­i­nal to strike a head of state than a pri­vate citizen—and God is of infi­nite great­ness. There­fore an infi­nite pun­ish­ment is deserved for a sin com­mit­ted against Him." - Thomas Aquinas (Summa The­o­log­ica, Ia2ae. 87, 4.)

This is sound logic.  In our American culture today, we attempt to make all men equal to one another.  But let's face it, if someone would commit an act of violence against an elected official which resulted in that individual's death, the punishment would be swift and severe, increasing proportionately to the rank held by the victim.  If that same someone would commit that same act of violence against a motorist on the road, the proceedings would drag on for months, if not years, and the sentence levied upon the perpetrator would likely be mild in comparison.
If we extend this concept to the infinite, it only makes sense that an 'endless' punishment be meted out upon those of us who sin, all of us (Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3, Romans 3:10), in order for God's character trait of being JUST to be satisfied.
I for one am exceedingly grateful to Him for His gift!

Introduction

     I have a myriad of thoughts go through my head on any given day.  This is going to be an attempt to log the more significant thoughts, to give some of the randomness within my mind a place to call home.
     Sadly, my schedule will prevent me from being able to post as frequently as I have these thoughts, however I will post things as they are impressed upon me.
     My topics will be a wide range, some of interest to any given person, others of interest to a different subset of persons.  There is no requirement or pressure to read every post.  I also suspect that the quality of my posts will vary tremendously as I explore this aspect of writing.

End Entry