Tuesday, November 25, 2008
And yes...the cassettes were in my collection at one time...thank you very much!
Monday, November 24, 2008
Picture of Abraham 'Andy' Biggs from his MySpace page.
My heart is absolutely broken today. I didn't know Andy Biggs, but I have a teenage daughter. I also attend church with dozens of teenagers whom I love and care about deeply.
Andy was a son. He also attended church with his family in Miami. How does this happen?
The horrifying and deeply troubling part of this story goes way beyond a confused teenager who felt no self-worth and took his own life. It goes well beyond the medical unknowns about the bi-polar disorder he suffered from in his life. The horror comes from the fact that dozens, maybe hundreds, watched him die via a webcam and all but a few did nothing...no, much worse...participated in play-by-play chatter that included vile, despicable comments while Andy struggled and died over several hours.
There are a number of things I could write about this today but won't. Instead with a heavy heart, I implore each of you to take a quick mental inventory of the young people you know, relative or not. If you feel the slightest hint of troubling in any of them, please take time today to send them a quick note or give them a call to let them know you are thinking about them. I keep a MySpace page for this very reason. It's a fast and easy way to not only communicate quickly but also to provide a positive example from my own page content.
I can't bring myself to write any more about this now, but I will pray for Andy's family and friends. Please join me.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Abraham Lincoln on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863
One of the greatest speeches for democracy ever delivered was spoken on this date 145 years ago. It was a time in the storied history of democracies that the United States solely carried the flag based on principles in Lincoln's speech. Europe had reverted back to monarchies and dictators and collectively laughed at the struggles of the lone remaining democracy as we fell, in their eyes, into anarchy. Government by the people...how ignorant a concept...destined to fail. After all, governing is a job for an elite ruling class...the only successful model.
Well, we have the fortune of knowing now how this story plays out. But at the time of President Lincoln, foresight was not so optimistic. History records that partisan politics (just as prevalent as today) caused the Gettysburg Address to be scoffed, even ridiculed, in print from coast to coast. Still, the country needed to hear those words...and would need to hear them repeatedly many more times long after Mr. Lincoln left us. To this day, the 272 word speech conjures feelings of pride and honor...encouragement and perseverance.
Celebrate with me today. During this season of Thanksgiving, be sure to stop and give thanks for the fortitude and wisdom spoken in a little over 2 minutes by one of the greatest men in our nation's history, President Abraham Lincoln. A nation in his words...under God.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I'm sure it would come as no surprise to any who read my blog...I'm a free market kinda guy. Businesses are created and collapse daily in our country. We're capitalist...it's what we do!
Our big, fat government has stepped in and attempted to save not only insurance companies and investment banks in recent days but is currently working on a rescue for troubled mortgage holders. People, mind you, who took on mortgages they couldn't afford or wouldn't qualify to receive in a less covetous economic environment.
Up next? Detroit. The Big Three. The Heart of America. Today, the heads of Ford, Chrysler and GM go to Capitol Hill with hat in hand. Begging for help from the taxpayers because 'if we fail, America fails!' Baloney!
If the American auto industry fails, they have themselves to blame. Listening to talk radio on the way to work this morning, I heard caller after caller crying about Fair Trade Agreements and America First campaigns. As a nation, we need to step up and realize what made us great in the first place. It sure didn't happen because we whined for the world to buy what we made...absolutely not. We became a superpower and leader in the world markets by applying the fundamental principles of economics in a free economy. Make the best products the world wants for the best price...and they will buy them...and want more.
Detroit is in trouble because they have failed to realize and adjust to the global economy we all now live and work. Honda, Toyota and Nissan have all made moves to the U.S. and made them profitable because they build cars people want. The Big Three have become complacent and less innovative since nearly collapsing in the early 1980's. Unions have ignored the need for leaner, more productive work forces and focused on grabbing more and more of the profit share. Fundamentally, companies that don't adjust to market forces in the right directions fail...that's the way the free market works.
I personally work for a company dependent on the auto industry...it's what we do. If Detroit fails, will our company? Maybe, maybe not. We have constantly studied and updated our business plan to address the situation if the American auto industry does go under. That's all that we control in the situation. But from what I've seen from my perspective in dealing with Detroit...I'm amazed they've made it this long.
A short-term loan from American taxpayers will not fix Detroit. No, it will only delay the inevitable until their path is changed. A path that only Detroit can change. It won't be easy. It won't be quick. But if capitalism is to continue to thrive, businesses can't depend on the government to save them in tough times...that's the true path to socialism.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
American Humanist Association
Washington D.C., bus ad. Part of a $40,000 campaign during the Christmas season.
It's a free country and you have the right to say what you want...within clearly established parameters. God also gave mankind the privilege of free will, so who am I to try and force you to believe in Him or not...can't...doesn't work that way. But in a civilized society (such as ours) based on the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, there are a few 'unwritten' rules of respect.
December 25th is celebrated worldwide as Christmas, the date recognized by Christians of all denomination as the day celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The same Jesus Christ, mind you, who is widely recognized by the vast majority of the world (religious and secular) as the single most influential man born in over 2000 years.
I don't celebrate Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, but I respect Jews who do. I don't buy ad space blasting them as Jesus killers. That's not my place.
I don't celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, but I respect those who do. I don't buy radio ad time making fun of a culture that still uses a lunisolar calendar, something we've not done in the West since the days of the Tudor Dynasty.
I don't celebrate Yule, the Wiccan Solstice Night, and even though I don't understand it, I respect those who do. You won't see me on a television commercial making fun or ridiculing those who think the longest night of the year is something to celebrate.
So my question to the American Humanist Association is this: Why now? The timing of this ad campaign in conjunction with the Santa Claus costumed model makes it painfully clear that Christmas is a sore spot with your group. Why?
Christmas is a time for joyous spirit and brotherly love. Christmas is a time when everyone, Christians and non-Christians alike, becomes a little less narcissistic and more giving in our nature. Call it what you like, but Christmas is a time we all become a little more Christ-like in our behavior.
If the Humanist want less God in their 'Holiday Season'...fine. There are plenty of opportunities for that to happen. As for me, please leave me alone to celebrate the December 25th as Christmas. Please don't ridicule, harass or coerce me for my ignorantly blind ways...and I'll politely return the favor (please Heavenly Father, give me strength).
Here's a Christmas message to all of you from me. Enjoy.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Secularist would argue that it wasn't until the hysterics of the McCarthy era that God suddenly became an American thing. The contrast between the godless communist and democracy required the eminence of divinity to offset our vast differences. Good versus evil. Light versus darkness. This was reiterated during the height of the Cold War and personified by the wars symbolic victor at endgame...Ronald Reagan.
Secularist are, of course, dead wrong, and you can take that in a number of ways. Our country didn't just start becoming a nation of God-loving people in the mid-1950's. Some revisionist have tried mighty hard to erase God from our storied past, but to no avail. Making it even more difficult for them is the fact that 82% of American adults believe in God...82%. We are clearly a nation embedded in the belief of a Higher Power regardless of the efforts wielded by the other 18% .
So just how has the National Motto survived in our current socio-political climate dominated by political correctness, the ACLU, and 'Happy Holidays' greetings at your local discount retailer? The motto has survived the same way Proposition 8 passed by a popular vote in one of the most liberal states in America. As a general rule, the public just don't won't to mess with God. Plain and simple. The philosophy live and let live is okay, as long as, you're not dragged into Hell upholding it over the words from the best selling Author of all times.
Yes, a few hard-headed Californians and New Englanders might dabble in the death of the unborn or tear down a few 'misplaced' tablets from Old Testament days, but no way...no how...do they want to take on the Almighty directly. After all, most faux pas can be forgiven when the heart follows the conscience to correctness...but blasphemy? Better play it safe and steer clear of that one...just in case. Besides, they can define 'God' however they want, right? Say, maybe, a grand tree over watching all living things, or how about, the good experiences from all mankind, past to present, culminated to a single moment/entity...or some other made up crap like that.
Let me be the first to say 'Merry Christmas' to each of you as we approach the season. And by all means...pass it on.
Today is a special day for all Marines past and present. Today is our 233rd birthday. It's been almost 17 years since I left the Marine Corps, but it's 5 years of my life that is very much alive in me today.
If you know a Marine or a former Marine, be sure to wish them a Happy Birthday today. With tomorrow being Veterans' Day, go ahead and thank them for their service in advance too.
To all my fellow Marines, Happy Birthday Devil Dogs and Happy Birthday Chesty Puller...wherever you are!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I didn't vote for Barrack Obama because of his politics. Pure and simple. I didn't get wrapped up in all of the mudslinging and hoopla. Deep down, I believe he is an honorable man who loves his country as much as I do. The Office of the President demands respect. If we stop respecting the office here, how can we expect the world to respect it...and ultimately us?
But there is another reason, as a Christian, that commands me to show respect (thanksgiving). The Bible clearly directs in I Timothy 2:1-4:
1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
I've read a lot of post the past few days and taken in what many have to say. Some I agree with and some I don't. I didn't vote for Barrack Obama, but regardless, I am going to start doing three things diligently beginning today:
- First, I'm going to celebrate the amazing fact our country has changed for the better. Not because of who Obama is, but rather what he represents. Our country elected a black President on Tuesday just 44 years after passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That's in my lifetime! God surely smiles on us for that fact. The feelings of our Founding Fathers ring truer today than over 230 years ago when first written in our Declaration of Independence...all men are created equal.
- I'm going to watch and listen. As citizens of this great nation, we must hold our elected officials accountable. Notice I didn't say I'm going to nitpick or belittle. That accomplishes nothing. When an issue comes up of importance to me, I will call or write my U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and express my view on the matter. They work for me and need to know how I feel. You need to do the same. Be precise, polished and polite and your words will not fall on deaf ears.
- Last, I'm going to pray. God has blessed all Americans- young and old, rich and poor, Democrats and Republicans. I will pray and ask His wisdom guide and direct our leaders in all their decisions. Now more than ever, we needs His hand on our country. Please pray with me for our outgoing President and our President-elect.
If you're an American, that's bigger than any political party or single ideology. I know... I feel the same letdown many of you do, but that's only because our side lost. At this time in history, the majority of our fellow citizens don't necessarily agree with what we feel to be the right course of action for our country. I respect that and will move forward. There's plenty to do for all of us...and future battles yet to be fought.
I didn't vote for President-elect Obama...but that became an irrelevant point Wednesday morning. God bless our new President... and our Great Nation.