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Friday, April 29, 2011


     Over my career I have had several incidents that involved wild or domestic animals. Sometimes when recounting these events to my friends, they bust my chops because what I said isn't what they heard.
     Exhibit "A" - I was driving up a hill that curved to the right. As I entered the curve, a huge owl was flying down the hill about four feet above the ground. It missed hitting my patrol car windshield by what seemed to be inches. Imagine having a bird strike while driving a car. When I recounted the incident to friends and colleagues, without exception and without missing a beat they asked me "How high were you flying?" 
     Exhibit "B" - While driving around at night it is very common to see whitetail deer along the side of the road or in the cornfields. I also hunt deer in the fall. I'm really great at hunting, not so great at finding. 
     I always see more deer along the side of the road while on duty then I ever have see in the woods. So, from time to time I have observed to my friends "I have seen more deer, sitting in my car, then I ever have in the woods." Again, without exception and without missing a beat they ask "How did the deer get inside your car?"
     Besides errant owls and free ranging deer, I have also had to corral domestic animals that had escaped from their enclosures.
     On one such occasion a bull had escaped and was running loose in a neighborhood. Being a city boy, born and bred, I had absolutely no idea how to return the errant bovine to it's rightful place. I kept envisioning a soon to be  news account of a police officer being hospitalized after getting gored by a bull. I did once witness a bullfight in Spain while I was in the military but there's never any picadors around when you need them and I left my red cape and matador sword at home.
     Fortunately, I was able to locate the bull's owner who returned the bull to it's enclosure.
     Another time I responded to a report of a burglary-in-progress. The homeowner reported hearing something crash in the living room. Upon investigating the report I noticed that the screen from the skylight was lying on the floor. I then noticed a pair of yellow eyes looking at me. The eyes belonged to a raccoon that had climbed onto the roof, stepped onto the screen and came crashing down into the living room.
     Being a city boy was of no help here, either. I had no idea about what to do. One thing that I was sure about is that if the animal attacked and/or bit anyone I was going to shoot it. I was not going to subject myself to a rabies series for nobody!
     What did I do you may ask? I opened a window and used some lattice work to form a ladder and coaxed the raccoon to the open window. Once the raccoon was leaning out the window, a quick push on it's butt sent it scurrying off into the night.
     Being a police officer exposes you to situations that range from the common- place to the bizarre. How to handle wild animals was never covered at the police academy. Upon reflection, these incidents still make me smile! 
     Enjoy your weekend and God bless you!   

Monday, April 25, 2011


   Whatever path your life takes there are certain disciplines that are necessary to become successful. Likewise, being a christian requires certain disciplines to be successful. One of the disciplines of being a christian is reading a portion of the Bible, daily. From time to time when reading, something clicks and you are able to see the wonderful symmetry and coherence between the Old and New Testaments. Let me give you an example of what I mean.
     Last week I was reading the Book of Genesis, chapter 22. If you're not familiar with this passage it is the account of Abraham being told by God to sacrifice his first born son to Him. You'll recall that God promised to greatly multiply Abraham's seed through his (Abraham's) son. Abraham waited 25 years and was 100 years old when Isaac, the son of God's promise, was born to him. 
     Some years later, God told Abraham to take Isaac to the region of Moriah and sacrifice Isaac as a burnt offering on one of the mountains God would tell him about.  
    Abraham arose early the next morning, saddled a donkey and took two servants and Isaac with him. Abraham made sure he had brought enough wood for the burnt offering. On the third day of their journey Abraham sees the mountain God told him about off in the distance. Abraham tells his servants to stay while he and Isaac went off to the mountain to worship the Lord and return. 
     Verse 6 of the chapter tells us... 
"Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife." (Genesis 22: 6) 
...While they were walking to the mountain Isaac observed that they had wood, they had fire but they did not have a lamb for the burnt offering. When Isaac asked his father about this, Abraham tells him that  God, Himself, would provide the lamb for the burnt offering.
   When they arrived at the place that God told Abraham about, Abraham builds an altar, places the wood upon the altar, bounds Isaac and places him upon the altar. At the very last second, as Abraham is about to kill Isaac, the Angel of the Lord calls out to Abraham and tells him not to lay a hand on the boy. God commends Abraham and provides a ram, caught in a thicket, for the sacrifice.

     Yesterday we celebrated the christian holiday of Easter, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Gospel accounts tell us that God took His only begotten Son, placed a wooden cross upon his back and brought Him to Mount Calvary to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. Only this time, no one called out to stop the sacrifice. Jesus was crucified on that cross. He died and was buried in a borrowed grave and was raised on the third day.
"God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
... I was struck by the symmetry of these two accounts. God spared Isaac but He did not spare His own Son. God provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice. God provided His own Son, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, to be sacrificed.
    How much love would it take for you to sacrifice your only son? I cannot conceive of such a love, and yet, God demonstrated, in real terms, how much He loved us and how far He was prepared to go to redeem us from sin.
    God is so good and He truly desires to adopt you into His family. He strongly desires to have a personal relationship with you. Think about it, the God who created everything wants to have a relationship with you! I sincerely urge you to give serious consideration to accepting His wonderful offer. I promise you that you will be eternally grateful and  glad that you did! 
   Please let me know if I can help! May God bless you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


     Government is rife with very well educated, highly intelligent people. When you check the credentials of the people at the top of the government food chain, you find some pretty impressive people. Many of them have been educated at the best schools the world has to offer. Many of them have received degree's from more than one ivy league university. We're talking about people of significant intellect and ability. 
    So, why does it seem that the government is so incompetent? Why does it seem that the government cannot discharge it's responsibilities more effectively? Why does it seem that the government cannot be more cost efficient?
     I would suggest that there are a several reasons for this sad state of affairs.
     One reason is happenstance. It seems to me that the government has become so big that the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. There are reportedly several government programs in different government departments providing essentially the same service. For example, there are approximately 56 government programs that provide job training. Is that either effective or efficient? I think not!
      Another reason is that the government has expanded to perform services that it was never intended to perform. If you want to know what the government is supposed to do, read the U.S. Constitution. That founding document clearly designates the functions that the various branches of the government are empowered to do. If the constitution doesn't give authority for a given task, then perhaps the government ought not to be doing it. Ironically there are some functions the government is supposed to be doing but is not. Securing our national borders, for example.
      A cynical explanation why government performance is lacking is that the government has been deliberately designed to be inefficient and ineffective. I'm sure some design is ideology driven. Look at the great programs of the past, The War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the Great Society, etc. All of those programs expended billions of dollars and what was the result? We lost the war on drugs and the war on poverty because both drugs and poverty are still rampant in our society. So follow the money...who profited from these programs? Certainly not the people who these programs were intended to help. 
     Evil intent and/or blind loyalty to political party or the programs themselves could be another reason. They helped create a climate where these programs became sacrosanct and woe betide anyone who would dare suggest that they were a waste of hard-earned tax money. Look at the very loud protests around the recent discussions regarding re-thinking so called government entitlements.
     One definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again expecting different results. Unfortunately, that also is an apt description of many current government programs.
     So, with all the highly educated and intelligent people at the top levels of government, I ask again...does government service make people stupid? What do you think?

Monday, April 18, 2011



       I just celebrated the 57th anniversary of my arrival onto this planet! I was fortunate to receive birthday wishes from across the country from family and friends who for some strange reason still like me. As I sit and contemplate the past 57 years, several things become apparent to me. 
     First and foremost, is that a relationship with the God of the Bible is real and a good thing. I was raised a Roman Catholic, attended parochial school and was even an altar boy for awhile. The faith I had then as a young boy was largely due to my heritage...I believed because my parents believed and they taught me what they were taught was true. I later became agnostic because I began to think for myself and began to question everything in true 1960's rebellious fashion. I came to my current faith by simply reading the Bible for myself and by speaking with knowledgeable men and women. I became convinced that the Bible is in fact what it claims to be, the very words of God. As I continue to explore its pages, the stronger that conviction becomes.
      Another thing that becomes apparent to me is the importance of the people in our lives, our relationships. My life has been so enriched by the people in my life. Anyone who knows me knows that SWMBO is my best friend and the person who most enriches my life. Space does not allow me to share the many ways that she does so!
      Next, are my personal friends. By "friend" I mean those few people who know me, warts and all, with whom I share a strong bond of trust, loyalty, and affection. They're those few people who I go to for counsel, who laugh with me, who cry with me, who have my best interest at heart without any personal agenda.
       I also cherish the Church family. The Church is a group of people who have obeyed the Gospel and who associate together for the purpose of trying to worship God as the Church did when it was founded in the first century. We seek to lovingly share the good news of the Gospel and to bring other people into the family. We seek to do good works for no other reason than because it is good to do them. These good, decent, altruistic people have helped me keep the level of personal cynicism at bay. They have also helped with many other thing too numerous to mention.
       I have also gained a true appreciation to those who were, and are, my teachers. At the time, I wasn't fond of many of their efforts but I have come to appreciate them and what they seek/have sought to teach me.
      There has been a virtual parade of people who have made a significant impact in my life. No one of us is an island unto themselves. Every one of us have people who come into our life and perhaps after a season move on. I am profoundly grateful for the people in my life who have made an impression and have done me the honor of giving of their affection and for their presence.
      I have been lavishly blessed by God and by the people whom He has seen fit to bring into my life. I am most grateful! 
     What do you think?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


      Observing the various levels of government at work never ceases to amaze me. No one could argue that government at every level needs to scrutinize where it spends the tax dollars that it receives from the citizenry.
       A case in point - Auburn, Maine, is planning to spend two hundred thousand dollars to purchase and provide I-Pads to students. The thing that I find astounding is the grade level of the students...High School? Nope, not High School! Middle School, then? Nope, wrong again! Kindergarten! That's right folks, instead of crayons and finger paint Auburn, Maine, kindergarteners will get I-Pads. Is this a good idea? Maybe, I doubt it though! Is it a reasonable use of tax dollars. In my humble opinion, I don't think so! In these difficult economic times, I fail to see where such an expenditure is necessary or a priority expenditure. 
       A second case in point - Recently, the U.S. Government was almost forced to shut down because the two houses of Congress could not agree on a spending plan! The Republicans in the House wanted to cut spending some 35 billion dollars or so, out of a budget of over  trillions of dollars. The Democrats argued, with a straight face, that these cuts were too draconian. 
       A third case in point - There is an open federal government job for a person to maintain a government Facebook page. Are you freaking kidding me? But, that's not the worse of it! The salary for the position is over a hundred thousand dollars per year. That's right, a six-figure income to maintain a Facebook page. With over a trillion dollars in projected deficits this year alone, does that seem like a reasonable use of tax dollars? I don't think so!
      What is really infuriating is all the political posturing that occurs when spending cuts are discussed.   One side predicts all manner of gloom and doom such as children and senior citizens will starve, women will no longer have access to health care, the military won't receive their pay checks, and the arrival of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Then you find out that the amount of the projected cuts in dispute amount to less than two percent. That would be like the average family cutting the expense of a pack of chewing gum from their budget. Ridiculous right! Hardly a draconian reduction!
     It seems to me that the American people spoke loud and clear at the mid-term election last November and demanded that the government cut spending, lower taxes and live within its means. This message was sent to the government at the Federal, State and the local levels pretty much nationwide.  Yet, most of what I read indicates that they were not listening! 
      Anybody with a nodding acquaintance of the laws of economics knows that the current level of government spending is not sustainable. It is equally clear that if drastic measures are not taken soon then an economic armageddon is sure to follow.
       Our nation's leaders are not stupid, uneducated, people. So why do some of them continue to advocate for the same worn out proposals that have failed when tried in the past. The definition of insanity is the doing of the same thing over and over expecting different results. Sounds a lot like how government, at all levels, operate today. 
        Am I wrong? If I am, how so? What do you think?  

Monday, April 11, 2011


     The news media from time to time report on some so-called Christian church involved in some scandal or another. From the Catholic Church priest child abuse scandal to Jim Jones' Peoples Temple Church in Guyana, with the cyanide laced Kool-aid and all the fundamental christian churches in between, church has been given a bad name.
     The Christian church was founded by the Lord Jesus Christ. The church came to fruition on the day of Pentecost when the Apostle Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit, gave his classic sermon as recorded in the 2nd chapter of the New Testament book of Acts of the Apostles. We are told that 3,000 souls were added to the Church in response.
      The "Church" literally means "The called out" and is composed of those who have heard the Gospel message and responded to that message by believing that message, repenting of their sin, confessing their belief that Jesus is the Messiah  who died for their sins and rose again and by being immersed in baptism. At it's inception, the intent was for there to be one, unified church. The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Ephesus....
"I implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity  of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is ONE body and ONE Spirit, just as you also were called in ONE hope of your calling. " (Ephesians 4: 1 - 4....Emphasis Mine) 
Over the years, for one reason or another, different beliefs and divisions arose among the membership. Another name for division is "denomination." 
     When you have a free moment, Google "Church" and "Christian Church" and see how many hits you get. Are all of these churches teaching the same things that were taught by Jesus and later by the Apostles and their disciples in the first century? We use essentially the same Bible composed of the same sixty-six books. So why are there so many different christian churches? These divisions are clearly not what was intended.
     So with so many choices, which is the church that was instituted by the Lord? How can you tell what the true church is?
     The answer is that you look to the Bible to see which church is the true church. Does the church submit itself to the authority of the Bible? Does the church teach and practice what is clearly taught and practiced in the Bible? If a church does not submit itself to the authority of the Bible and if a church teaches anything other than what is clearly taught in the Bible it is NOT the church of Christ but rather a church of Man.  
      (Acts 17: 11) Now these (The Bereans) were more noble minded than those in Thessalonica for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. 
...It is important for me to emphasize when I say "church of Christ" I am NOT referring to any particular denomination but rather am using the term as a descriptive term to denote the church that was established by Jesus, the Christ, in the first century.

      I therefore urge all of you to give serious consideration to learning what the Gospel truly is. Then I urge all of you to obey the Gospel and be added to the church of Christ, today. If you have any questions or want to learn more read the Bible, the Gospel of John and Acts of the Apostles. Also, do not hesitate to ask. I stand ready to assist in any way I can! God bless you!

Friday, April 8, 2011


     As of this writing, the Attorney General of the United States has decided to prosecute the planners of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon before military tribunals at Gitmo, Cuba. The ensuing public discussions were fascinating to listen to. Some commentators said the attacks were a criminal act that should be adjudicated in the criminal courts by means of a jury trial. Other commentators assert that the attacks were an act of war and should be adjudicated by the military pursuant to their protocols. What do you think? Whose position is correct? Here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

      As a career police officer I do have a nodding acquaintance with the criminal justice system. I was assigned as a police prosecutor for several years during my career so I had to know how to prosecute a criminal case in a court of law. Based upon that knowledge and experience in the courts, I have formed my opinion.

     The military and law enforcement discharge their responsibilities under completely different rules of engagement, having vastly different objectives. The military's job is to blow stuff up, break things and kill the enemy who is designated as such by competent civilian command authority.
     Law enforcement on the other hand, although a quasi-military organization, seeks to serve and protect the citizenry and see that justice is served following well defined rules and procedure established by laws enacted by civilian legislators and prior decisions by courts of competent jurisdiction.

     The protocols employed by the military and the protocols employed by law enforcement are incompatible with each other. There is a law called the "Posse Comitatus Act" that specifically prohibits the government from using the military to enforce civilian law. That means federal troops cannot be used as a police force.
       Therefore my calculus is as follows...If the military is being used to respond to a given act perpetrated by other entities, that act is NOT a criminal act but an act of war. However, if the act is a crime as defined by laws properly enacted and normally enforced by law enforcement, the act is a crime.

     The acts that occurred on September 11th were acts of war and not crimes. The response was largely conducted by the military. Therefore it was improper for the U.S. Attorney General to attempt to prosecute these cases in a civilian court of law. The proper venue for these prosecutions are in military courts before military tribunals. Anyways, that's how I see it. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


     As many of you will recall SWMBO and I experienced a problem with sagging kitchen cabinets. We consulted with friends and professional and finally settled upon dealing with the problem ourselves. I removed the cabinets to determine why they were sagging.
Mid-Destruction...I mean demolition!
...It turns out that the top of the cabinets got wet due to a roof-ice-dam-caused leak problem two years ago and the tops of the cabinets being particle board they essentially disintegrated.           
     As long as the cabinets were down, we, i.e.SWMBO, considered how to, or even whether we should, replace all or just some of them. We, i.e. SWMBO, decided to replace only some of the cabinets and to leave the ceiling over the peninsula blank.   
     So, SWMBO and I went shopping for replacement cabinets. YOWCH! We had no idea how expensive cabinets are! We're talking sticker shock expensive. I was thinking on the order of $600.00 give or take. When the estimates came in at triple that.....YOWCH! So we looked around the store and happened upon some stock cabinets that we felt we could 
configure to do what we needed the cabinets to do. This decision, however, has consequences...(1) What do we do with the space over the peninsula? (2) How difficult would it be to install some kind of lighting over the peninsula? (3) Could we find other fixtures to match the new peninsula lighting? (4) Maybe hang different style cabinets? (5) "YTBDI" Yet to Be Determined Idea!
     So if it's lighting, which it is as of this writing and subject to change without notice, I have to install a junction box, a new dimmer switch, run new wiring from the newly installed soffit junction box over the peninsula to a nearby wall socket or light switch, either by the sink window or the doorway. Then there's replacing the drywall, re-plastering to close up the soffit and re-painting. Then there's installing the new cabinets. 
     If I had any idea what I was doing I would have it done already. If I had to earn my food doing remodeling or construction, I'd starve to death. So progress is slow. I'd prefer to do it right and not burn down the house in the process. SWMBO is picky and demanding in that way!
     I'll keep you all posted! What are you up to these days?

Monday, April 4, 2011


     A while ago I posted a blog entry on this particular topic. In that blog entry I wrote about the Bible being a miracle book. I cited some of the reasons why I am convinced that that is true. I mentioned the subject of prophecy, that there were about 300 prophecies about the Messiah spoken hundreds of years before His birth in Bethlehem that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
     Not only are the fulfilled prophecies about the Messiah compelling, there are many compelling non-Messianic prophecies recorded in the Bible also, as is their fulfillment. 
"I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come." (Isaiah 46: 9, 10) 
"For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (II Peter 1: 21) 
     These two Bible verses, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament state that Biblical Prophecy originates from God and not man. 

     Let's look at a couple of examples from ancient times. The prophet Jeremiah prophesied that Babylon would rule Judah for 70 years and would become desolate forever.
"This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years. But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians for their guilt, declares the Lord, and I will make it desolate forever." (Jeremiah 25:11, 12)
...In 609 B.C. the Babylonians succeeded/conquered the Assyrian Empire who at the time had control over the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah. The Babylonians destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C. The temple was rebuilt in 516 B.C., 70 years later. The second part of the prophecy came to fruition around 539 B.C. when Babylon was conquered by the Medo -Persians. To this day, the former site of Babylon is located in modern day Iraq and is still uninhabited.

   The prophet Daniel interpreted a dream for the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. The king had had a dream that troubled him greatly. The king called all his astrologers, magicians, and enchanters and he told them, under penalty of being hacked to pieces, to (1) Tell what he had dreamed and (2) What did the dream mean? They, of course, were unable to do it and tried to convince the king that no man on earth could. The king was adamant and held to his position...if the so called wise men could not tell him his dream and interpret it, there would all die. 
     Daniel, a prophet of God, was told by God about the dream and it's interpretation and was able to tell the king his dream and interpret it for him. The king dreamed of a terrifying statue with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, Belly and thighs of bronze and legs of iron and feet of a mix of iron and clay. This was interpreted to represent the four great kingdoms of antiquity. Specifically, the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, the Greek and finally the Romans. (See Daniel 2: 31 - 45)

     These are just two of many specific prophecies mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible that came true precisely as prophesied. 

     I urge you to examine the evidence for yourself. Your life will be tremendously enriched if you do! God bless you and enjoy your day!  

Friday, April 1, 2011


     I love what I do. Being a police officer is a calling, a noble calling. When I first began my career there was a promise made to me and my fellow public servants that after 20 years of service and upon reaching age 45 we could retire with a reasonable guaranteed pension. We pay about 9 percent of our weekly gross salary into the retirement fund. The municipalities paid about 6 percent.

     Over the years the retirement system was allowed to use peculiar accounting methods and the municipalities were allowed to reduce their contribution to 1 percent when at the same time we still had to kick in our 9 percent. So now, low and behold, to no one's surprise the retirement system is dangerously underfunded. I understand that the downturn in the national economy coupled with the municipalities being let off the hook and the unrealistic accounting methods used resulted in the current state of the system. It is important to note that all of these things were beyond our control.

     Now the State of New Hampshire is seeking to change the rules of the game while the game is still in progress. They want to raise our contribution to 11.5 percent among other changes. Those of us who are in public safety have understood and accepted the tacit bargain made with us. We accepted lower salaries for security and reasonable benefits in exchange for a secure, guaranteed retirement pension. With the new changes to the laws governing our retirement and collective bargaining, we are simply being cheated. To correct a problem that was not of our making we are being required once again to make a greater sacrifice. 

     It appears that the sacrifices that we make every day have not been enough. The missed family gatherings and special family events due to the job; The putting our lives on the line every day that we go to work; The exposure of losing everything we have because of a frivolous lawsuit or worse, a disabling work related injury; and the many other sacrifices we make; have not been enough.

     There will be unintended consequences to these law changes that will negatively impact upon public safety! I hope that our lawmakers pause, reflect and listen to the legitimate concerns of their public safety workers. It's not too late!

     Again, I ask when did we become the bad guys?