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Wednesday, January 25, 2012


POLITICAL ENDORSEMENTS: The current Republican Party Primary Campaigns is fascinating to watch. It started out with six or seven candidates, (it's hard to keep track,) running for their party's nomination to run against President Obama in the fall. During the debates the candidates attacked each other's character and fitness for office due to some misstep that occurred decades before. They hurl innuendos and insinuations which may or may not have any basis in fact and try to cast their opponents in a negative light. Don't they realize that they are providing ammunition to the opposing party which is sure to be used in the upcoming general election?
    Ronald Reagan, when he ran for office, urged his fellow republicans to observe the 11th Commandment "Thou Shalt Speak No Evil of a Fellow Republican." 
    Here's what I find to be so curious. When one of these republicans dropped out of the race, they endorsed a person who days earlier they argued should not be elected. Were they lying before or are they lying now?  Do they think that "We the People" are that stupid?

POLITICAL ECONOMICS: The average cost to run for Congress is millions of dollars. This is for a job that pays $175,000.00 per year. A cynical person might suspect that our elected representatives get more out of holding office than just a pay check. A cynical person might suspect that the reasons these men and women seek office is more than an altruistic desire to serve "We the People."
     The average campaign for the U.S. Congress spent between 3 Million and 6 Million dollars. The average Senate campaign spent marginally more, 5 Million to 8 Million dollars. A couple of Senate campaigns spent over 50 Million Dollars for the office. 
     There is something very rotten in the state of Denmark.

POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS: The U.S. Congress passed a law that sought to limit the amount of money that could be donated to a political campaign. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that major sections of that law was unconstitutional and therefore illegal. That decision by the Court essentially gutted the law rendering it mostly ineffective. 
     Political Action Committees (PAC's) are able to spend huge sums of money to buy advertising time and support a particular candidate or a particular issue. These PACs can also spend huge sums of money speaking out against a particular candidate or a particular issue. I'm sure all of you have seen these commercials on TV, if you had the patience not to "click" past them. Interestingly though, is these commercials do not have to be accurate or truthful. If they are not accurate or truthful there is little to nothing that can be done about it.
     Another interesting phenomena is that large companies and corporations often contribute large sums of money to each campaign, so whoever wins...they're on the winning side. It kinda begs the question...What do they get that makes the contributions a worthwhile business expenditure?
"We the People"
HERE'S THE THING: Citizenship in our republic imposes certain responsibilities upon "We the People." We have the responsibility to become informed and make our voices be heard by voting. We have the responsibility to hold our elected representatives accountable to all of "We the People" and not just a privileged segment thereof. We have the responsibility to exercise our liberty in such a way that it does not detract from our neighbors' liberty or cause them any harm.
     I urge you my fellow citizens to look beyond all the noise and try to discern the truth. Please make your voice heard and vote. Finally, please pray continually for our nation, for it's service- men and woman, for our elected representatives. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012


TAX THE RICH: President Obama and members of his party are putting forth the argument that one way to address our nation's mounting debt is to tax "Rich" citizens at a higher rate to make them pay "their fair share." They argue that the "Middle Class" is bearing the burden that rightly belong to the rich. 
     Well here are a couple of facts...(1) Almost half of all americans pay NO INCOME TAXES at all. (2) The so called rich pay the vast majority of tax revenues collected by the federal government every year. (3) At the risk of sounding cliche, the problem is not that the American people are taxed too little, the problem is that THE GOVERNMENT SPENDS TOO MUCH!

PRESIDENTIAL POWER: Every four years you hear presidential candidates tell you that when they become president they will cut trillions from the budget, eliminate cabinet departments, secure the borders and, from the "ad absurdam" realm, will give everyone a free house, free medical care for life and eliminate all hunger from our country. 
     Well here are a few facts...(1) The U.S. Constitution clearly delineates the power of the president. He does not have the power to unilaterally eliminate any government department or agency that has been created by the passage of law. ALL government agencies are created by the passage of law. IT IS THE U.S. CONGRESS, you know...the legislative branch,   that makes all laws and appropriates all funds. The president can do nothing without the Congress. (2) The chances of the Congress eliminating a department that they created to essentially pay off a powerful constituency such as the labor unions, the teachers unions, etc, is about as likely as the Congress voting to eliminate all Congressional pensions until the federal budget is balanced. (3) Anyone who tells you anything different is being disingenuous with you. Further, they are assuming that you are ignorant to the way your government is supposed to work.

NEGATIVE POLITICAL ADS: Is there anyone out there who truly believes any of the political advertising that inundates the airwaves every four years. Every election cycle I hear at least one candidate promise that they will not use negative ads. That same candidate then gets slammed by their opponent(s) with negative ads and when their poll numbers begin to lag, they inevitably respond to negative ads by resorting to using negative ads. 
     The ironic thing about negative advertising is that according to surveys a majority of people don't believe the content of the ads and yet, negative ads seem to work.
     The problem with these ads is that they take a fact that is true but put it in a light that makes the fact seem negative. 
     For example, one political ad from our history alleged that one of the candidates was a practicing homo sapien. That ad was factually true! The candidate was a practicing homo sapien. A homo sapien is a human being!
     Here's another example. A few years ago it was widely believed that our youth minister, who has since moved away, was sleeping with the church secretary. That fact is true. What I'm not telling you, what is the whole truth, is that they were husband and wife. So the fact is true when at the same time the implications and insinuations are not. So it is with political ads. 
SUMMARY: As American citizens we have a responsibility to become informed. We have a responsibility to understand how our government is supposed to work versus how it actually does work. We have a responsibility to understand our economy, our history, our heritage. We have a responsibility to be sufficiently informed/educated so that we are able to discern when any politician, candidate or public servant tries to sell us a bill of goods. An educated and informed citizenry is essential if we are to retain our God given liberty. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


     Today is a federal holiday that was created for the purpose of celebrating the life of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. I must say at the outset that I am caucasian and so my comments may betray a certain bias. I have strong opinions on the issue of race relations in contemporary America, however, I will not disclose them here. I write this to honor the man on his day.
     Dr. King was a man who was clearly a profile in courage. Dr. King saw that a large segment of Black Americans were denied their God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Dr. King further saw that black people were not receiving their due as full American citizens and devoted his life to correcting this travesty.

     As we all know, Dr. King gave a speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. It was probably his most famous speech, his "I HAVE A DREAM" speech.
     One of the things he dreamed was his children living in a country where they were judged "...not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." That's a great dream! I too share this dream! All people should be judged by the content of their character. I wonder how Dr. King would assess how we are doing regarding this dream.
     In the mid sixties, 1965 to be precise, the Voting Rights Act was passed. This act ended the disenfranchisement of Black Americans, particularly in the American south. This too is part of Dr. King's legacy. Dr. King believed that all Americans, regardless of skin color, were entitled to exercise ALL the privileges of citizenship, including the right to vote. I agree with Dr. King on this score as well.
     Dr. King engaged in civil disobedience in protest of the injustice that was rampant across the south. Dr. King was repeatedly arrested and beaten for his actions in protesting the treatment of Black Americans as less than full citizens. The remarkable thing about Dr. King is that he absolutely refused to engage in violence against those who physically abused him or any of his followers. It must have taken enormous discipline and patience to not respond in kind to the violence that was visited upon him and his followers.

        Dr. King was a man of God. He was an ordained minister. He was a man of prayer. He was a man of the Book. I am certain that Dr. King had his flaws, as do all men. However, his flaws do not diminish the legacy of the man. Dr. King is an American hero and patriot.
     So I honor the life and memory of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on this holiday. I pray that the dreams that Dr. King spoke of on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on that August day in 1963 comes to pass in our country in our lifetime. Thank you, Dr. King!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


     Every four years the circus that is the NH Primary comes to town. The population of the State of New Hampshire increases substantially, mostly from the influx of news media. Ground zero for the circus is the Radisson Hotel at the Center of New Hampshire on Elm Street in the city of Manchester, NH.
     As you walk around the hotel, there are numerous satellite trucks from the major news organizations such as FOX, ABC, CBS and NBC.
     A drive through the parking garage shows vehicles painted with the logos of other news outlets from the surrounding area. I noted vehicles from Maine, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut.
     As you enter the hotel from the parking garage you walk past a gauntlet of newly set up makeshift broadcast studios from the various news organizations. They are all glass enclosed so that as you walk by you can get a wonderful behind the scenes look at how a show is brought to air.
      There is a huge exhibition hall where they normally hold gun shows, pet festivals, and such, that has been taken over by the Associated Press and a small army of press personnel. As an army moves on its stomach, so does the AP. There was a long buffet table where the caterers had a huge selection of various fare.
     Continuing our walk through the hotel you see representatives from the various campaigns working the phones, speaking with various people and going to and fro. It's a virtual beehive of activity. You also see some of the famous news people from the major networks, who most people only get to see on TV, walking through the hotel. Most are very nice and will stop briefly to say hello or pose for a picture. 
     There are a few regional and national radio talk shows that broadcast live from the hotel. You get to sit in the audience and watch the broadcast unfold. Often a candidate or two will stop by the show for a segment or two and afterwards will shake hands and talk with audience members.
    Outside the hotel there are the usual groups protesting one thing or another. The recent "Occupy" movement set up camp across the street in Veterans Park. Others walked around with sandwich boards or makeshift signs calling attention to their particular grievance(s).
     Every four years the circus that is the NH Primary comes to town. I feel privileged to have a front row seat. I am fortunate to be able to get a behind the scenes view of the NH Primary festivities. I am so thankful to live in a country that protects everyone's right to express an opinion no matter how offensive or asinine that opinion may be.
     God bless America! See you in four years! 

Saturday, January 7, 2012


   Here are a few random thoughts on recent, and not so recent, events...

   Presidential Election: We are just over a year away from our national election. I am sick and tired of my home being invaded by poll takers. I have decided not to participate in ANY telephone polls. To my mind they are meaningless and a monumental waste of time and money. Also, they are an annoyance that far outweighs any value. The only polls that count are the ones where "We the People" casts our votes in the primaries and caucuses and ultimately, in the elections.

    Government Inefficiency: It was reported last year that a government study revealed that over the past 10 years, about 60 BILLION dollars OF TAXPAYER FUNDS were wasted or stolen by means of government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Much of the money was lost due to "lack of adequate oversight." 
     Medicare pays on average twice as much FOR THE SAME ITEM as the VA Medical program does. 2.6 MILLION dollars was spent to teach Chinese prostitutes how to drink more responsibly.
     Government agencies bought two hundred and seventy THOUSAND airline tickets at a cost of 100 MILLION dollars were never used or turned back in for a refund.
     These are the same people who tell us that they care about working people and that they're looking out for us. Here's my message to them "PLEASE STOP LOOKING OUT FOR ME...I CAN'T AFFORD IT ANYMORE!"

    Media Matters: Who in the media can you trust to report the news without bias or an underlying agenda? If the news media is not reporting the truth, how can the electorate, "We the People," become well informed? How can the electorate make an informed decision at the polls? How can the electorate hold their elected representatives at all levels of government accountable?

     The Establishment Clause: Congress shall make no law that either establishes a national religion or interferes with the free exercise of religion. Can anyone explain to me that if a private organization erects a religious symbol on public land, how that is Congress passing a law establishing religion or interfering with the free exercise thereof. It simply does not and, according to what our founding fathers intended, does not violate the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This equally applies to a Valedictorian saying a prayer at a commencement or a football player/team saying a prayer before a game, etc. 

     May our gracious God raise up leaders who truly want to serve "We the People" and do what is right for "We the People." May God bless America!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


     Well, we have made it through another year! How was 2011 for you? Did you make any New years Resolutions for 2011? How did you do with them? If you're anything like me, most of them did not make it long enough to see the Spring. 
     Why do people make New Years Resolutions year after year after year? Why do most people fail to keep them year after year after year?   
     I believe that there is something intrinsic to being human that causes us to always strive to better ourselves. I believe that it's that something that causes us to try again, over and over, when we fall short of a goal. We are somehow motivated to keep pressing on. There is something quite remarkable about the indomitable human spirit. Unfortunately, although the spirit is willing, oftentimes the flesh is oh so weak.
     This year, as in years past, I have made a few resolutions, or more accurately stated, I have set some goals for myself to improve on three aspects of my being, the physical, mental and the spiritual.

     First, to address some physical issues, this year I am determined to lose a significant amount of weight. This has become more of a priority for health reasons. I also am determined to move various parts of my anatomy more often in some form of regular exercise to stave off the normal aches and pains attendant to getting older.

     Next, to improve the mental, that is, exercise the brain, I plan on reading 12 books this year, 1 book per month. In an effort to free up more time for reading, I plan to significantly reduce the amount of time I spend watching television, including sporting events. I commit myself to writing at least two blog entries per week throughout the year. I also will endeavor to complete a text and workbook that teaches New Testament Greek. This dovetails nicely with my next point.

     I plan to improve my spiritual life by reading the entire Bible chronologically this year. Learning Greek will enhance that effort. Additionally, I plan to spend more time in quiet reflection and prayer. I also want to significantly improve upon fulfilling my responsibilities as a Christian man. 

     I will try to keep you posted on my progress in future blog entries. So in closing, let me urge you to endeavor to get to know the God of the Bible. He has so much to offer and He desires a relationship with you and He desires to bless you. If I can assist you by making an introduction, please, just let me know!  HAPPY NEW YEAR ! ! !