Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In God We Trust

I wanted to continue on a topic over which I have had many debates over the years. I have many friends and acquaintances over the years that have argued that we are not a Christian nation, were not founded as a Christian nation, and that the founders specifically did not want religion intertwined within the governance of our nation. Often times these misguided people will cite specifically Thomas Jefferson’s quote taken horribly out of context from his letter to the Danburry Baptists stating that there must be a “separation between church and state”. I had one very intelligent friend even insist this was a part of the U.S. Constitution, which of course it absolutely is not. Indeed the first amendment to the Bill of Rights specifically states:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Note that nowhere is the verbiage of the “separation of church and state” to be found in the Constitution. The text of the first amendment was meant to ensure that the United States of America would not ever have a specifically state-sponsored religion. The intent was such that our nation would not have a national church such as the British had with their Anglican Church of England. This amendment, and indeed as the many following quotes will firmly establish, was NEVER intended to remove any mention of God and Christ from the public realm, including and even especially in the governance of our country.

Indeed, many of our Founding Fathers rather insisted on a moral Christian people to lead and govern our newly founded nation, and to have a robust reliance on God and His Divine providence to guide and govern our country. Too bad many, especially many on the left, have forgotten or indeed were never taught our history about this in its true context. Enjoy!

John Adams and John Hancock:

We Recognize No Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus! [April 18, 1775]

John Adams:

“ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
• “[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
–John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." --October 11, 1798

Samuel Adams: Portrait of Sam Adams

“ He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all… Our forefathers opened the Bible to all.” [ "American Independence," August 1, 1776. Speech delivered at the State House in Philadelphia]

“ Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity… and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.” [October 4, 1790]

John Quincy Adams:

• “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?" “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity"?
--1837, at the age of 69, when he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts.

“The Law given from Sinai [The Ten Commandments] was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code.” John Quincy Adams. Letters to his son. p. 61

Elias Boudinot: Portrait of Elias Boudinot

“ Be religiously careful in our choice of all public officers . . . and judge of the tree by its fruits.”

Charles Carroll - signer of the Declaration of Independence Portrait of Charles Carroll

" Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." [Source: To James McHenry on November 4, 1800.]

Benjamin Franklin: Portrait of Ben Franklin

“ God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” –Constitutional Convention of 1787 original manuscript of this speech

“In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?” [Constitutional Convention, Thursday June 28, 1787]

In Benjamin Franklin's 1749 plan of education for public schools in Pennsylvania, he insisted that schools teach "the excellency of the Christian religion above all others, ancient or modern."
In 1787 when Franklin helped found Benjamin Franklin University, it was dedicated as "a nursery of religion and learning, built on Christ, the Cornerstone."

Alexander Hamilton:

• Hamilton began work with the Rev. James Bayard to form the Christian Constitutional Society to help spread over the world the two things which Hamilton said made America great:
(1) Christianity
(2) a Constitution formed under Christianity.
“The Christian Constitutional Society, its object is first: The support of the Christian religion. Second: The support of the United States.”

"For my own part, I sincerely esteem it [the Constitution] a system which without the finger of God, never could have been suggested and agreed upon by such a diversity of interests." [1787 after the Constitutional Convention]

John Hancock:

• “In circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments, …at the same time all confidence must be withheld from the means we use; and reposed only on that God rules in the armies of Heaven, and without His whole blessing, the best human counsels are but foolishness… Resolved; …Thursday the 11th of May…to humble themselves before God under the heavy judgments felt and feared, to confess the sins that have deserved them, to implore the Forgiveness of all our transgressions, and a spirit of repentance and reformation …and a Blessing on the … Union of the American Colonies in Defense of their Rights [for which hitherto we desire to thank Almighty God]…That the people of Great Britain and their rulers may have their eyes opened to discern the things that shall make for the peace of the nation…for the redress of America’s many grievances, the restoration of all her invaded liberties, and their security to the latest generations.
"A Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, with a total abstinence from labor and recreation. Proclamation on April 15, 1775"

Patrick Henry: "Orator of the Revolution."

“It cannot be emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason, peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” [May 1765 Speech to the House of Burgesses]

Thomas Jefferson:

“ The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.”

“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (excerpts are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital) [Source: Merrill . D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, (New York: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781.]

James Madison:

“ We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow the Ten Commandments with all of our heart.”

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” [1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia]

• I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare the unsatisfactoriness [of temportal enjoyments] by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.
Letter by Madison to William Bradford (September 25, 1773)

• In 1812, President Madison signed a federal bill which economically aided the Bible Society of Philadelphia in its goal of the mass distribution of the Bible.
“ An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia” Approved February 2, 1813 by Congress

At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor, as he read Isaiah 33:22;
“For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver,
the LORD is our king;
He will save us.”
[Baron Charles Montesquieu, wrote in 1748; “Nor is there liberty if the power of judging is not separated from legislative power and from executive power. If it [the power of judging] were joined to legislative power, the power over life and liberty of the citizens would be arbitrary, for the judge would be the legislature if it were joined to the executive power, the judge could have the force of an oppressor. All would be lost if the same … body of principal men … exercised these three powers." Madison claimed Isaiah 33:22 as the source of division of power in government
See also: pp.241-242 in Teaching and Learning America’s Christian History: The Principle approach by Rosalie

Thomas Paine: (my blog namesake)

“ It has been the error of the schools to teach astronomy, and all the other sciences, and subjects of natural philosophy, as accomplishments only; whereas they should be taught theologically, or with reference to the Being who is the author of them: for all the principles of science are of divine origin. Man cannot make, or invent, or contrive principles: he can only discover them; and he ought to look through the discovery to the Author.”

“ The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools, in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only, has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator himself, they stop short, and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of his existence. They labour with studied ingenuity to ascribe every thing they behold to innate properties of matter, and jump over all the rest by saying, that matter is eternal.” “The Existence of God--1810”

George Washington:

Farewell Address: The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion" ...and later: "...reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle..."

“ It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and Bible.”

“What students would learn in American schools above all is the religion of Jesus Christ.” [speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs May 12, 1779]

"To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian" [May 2, 1778, at Valley Forge]

During his inauguration, Washington took the oath as prescribed by the Constitution but added several religious components to that official ceremony. Before taking his oath of office, he summoned a Bible on which to take the oath, added the words “So help me God!” to the end of the oath, then leaned over and kissed the Bible.

In closing this blog posting, I wonder if we as a nation will ever truly and wholly embrace our national motto once more in the spirit of Christianity as our Founders would have wanted and indeed had intended. In God We Trust!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The president without a country

The president without a country

I received an email the other day that nicely explained how the United States IS a Christian nation. It was attributed to Pat Boone. Being suspicious, I checked it out on and sure enough it was authentic. Here is the story in whole along with the link above to where it was originally posted. Mr. Boone said it far better than I could have, so I will let him do so. Cheers!

The president without a country

Posted: June 06, 20091:00 am Eastern© 2009

"We're no longer a Christian nation." – President Barack Obama, June 2007

"America has been arrogant." – President Barack Obama

"After 9/11, America didn't always live up to her ideals." – President Barack Obama

"You might say that America is a Muslim nation." – President Barack Obama, Egypt 2009

Thinking about these and other statements made by the man who wears the title of president … I keep wondering what country he believes he's president of.

In one of my very favorite stories, Edward Everett Hale's "The Man without a Country," a young Army lieutenant named Philip Nolan stands condemned for treason during the Revolutionary War, having come under the influence of Aaron Burr. When the judge asks him if he wishes to say anything before sentence is passed, young Nolan defiantly exclaims, "Damn the United States! I wish I might never hear of the United States again!"

The stunned silence in the courtroom is palpable, pulsing. After a long pause, the judge soberly says to the angry lieutenant: "You have just pronounced your own sentence. You will never hear of the United States again. I sentence you to spend the rest of your life at sea, on one or another of this country's naval vessels – under strict orders that no one will ever speak to you again about the country you have just cursed."

And so it was. Philip Nolan was taken away and spent the next 40 years at sea, never hearing anything but an occasional slip of the tongue about America. The last few pages of the story, recounting Nolan's dying hours in his small stateroom – now turned into a shrine to the country he foreswore – never fail to bring me to tears. And I find my own love for this dream, this miracle called America, refreshed and renewed. I know how blessed and unique we are.

But reading and hearing the audacious, shocking statements of the man who was recently elected our president – a young black man living the impossible dream of millions of young Americans, past and present, black and white – I want to ask him, "Just what country do you think you're president of?"

You surely can't be referring to the United States of America, can you? America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception! Seventy percent of her citizens identify themselves as Christian. The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were framed, written and ratified by Christians. It's because this was, and is, a nation built on and guided by Judeo-Christian biblical principles that you, sir, have had the inestimable privilege of being elected her president.

You studied law at Harvard, didn't you, sir? You taught constitutional law in Chicago? Did you not ever read the statement of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and an author of the landmark "Federalist Papers": "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers – and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation – to select and prefer Christians for their rulers"?

In your studies, you surely must have read the decision of the Supreme Court in 1892: "Our lives and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian."

Did your professors have you skip over all the high-court decisions right up till the mid 1900s that echoed and reinforced these views and intentions? Did you pick up the history of American jurisprudence only in 1947, when for the first time a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson about a "wall of separation between church and state" was used to deny some specific religious expression – contrary to Jefferson's intent with that statement?

Or, wait a minute … were your ideas about America's Christianity formed during the 20 years you were a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under your pastor, Jeremiah Wright? Is that where you got the idea that "America is no longer a Christian nation"? Is this where you, even as you came to call yourself a Christian, formed the belief that "America has been arrogant"?

Even if that's the understandable explanation of your damning of your country and accusing the whole nation (not just a few military officials trying their best to keep more Americans from being murdered by jihadists) of "not always living up to her ideals," how did you come up with the ridiculous, alarming notion that we might be "considered a Muslim nation"?

Is it because there are some 2 million or more Muslims living here, trying to be good Americans? Out of a current population of over 300 million, 70 percent of whom are Christians? Does that make us, by any rational definition, a "Muslim nation"?

Why are we not, then, a "Chinese nation"? A "Korean nation"? Even a "Vietnamese nation"? There are even more of these distinct groups in America than Muslims. And if the distinction you're trying to make is a religious one, why is America not "a Jewish nation"? There's actually a case to be made for the latter, because our Constitution – and the success of our Revolution and founding – owe a deep debt to our Jewish brothers.

Have you stopped to think what an actual Muslim America would be like? Have you ever really spent much time in Iran? Even in Egypt? You, having been instructed in Islam as a kid at a Muslim school in Indonesia and saying you still love the call to evening prayers, can surely picture our nation founded on the Quran, not the Judeo-Christian Bible, and living under Shariah law. Can't you? You do recall Muhammad's directives [Surah 9:5,73] to "break the cross" and "kill the infidel"?

It seems increasingly and painfully obvious that you are more influenced by your upbringing and questionable education than most suspected. If you consider yourself the president of a people who are "no longer Christian," who have "failed to live up to our ideals," who "have been arrogant," and might even be "considered Muslim" – you are president of a country most Americans don't recognize.

Could it be you are a president without a country?

Pat Boone, descendant of the legendary pioneer Daniel Boone, has been a top-selling recording artist, the star of his own hit TV series, a movie star, a Broadway headliner, and a best-selling author in a career that has spanned half a century. During the classic rock & roll era of the 1950s, he sold more records than any artist except Elvis Presley. To learn more about Pat, please visit his website.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Rich ARE Paying Their Share, and So Am I!

I heard some moon bat on the radio the other morning on my way into work, and he was complaining about how "the rich" aren't paying their fair share of the tax burden and how he was happy that Lord Obama was going to redistribute the wealth so that he could finally catch a break. (I really should just listen to our new Catholic radio station in the morning so I don't get my blood pressure up before I even arrive at work.)

Anyway, I am of the opinion that taxes are too danged high for everybody, but particularly so for the rich. Now before you left-wingers go off on a rant, let me say that I am NOT rich; however, I aspire to be so someday, God willing. I am solidly middle class and I have to watch my money just like most everyone else does. That being said, I don't hate the rich nor do I despise the poor.

I do, however, have serious issues with a federal government that is out of control with its spending on unconstitutional expenditures and then feels the need to raise my taxes in order to attain some "common good Marxist utopia" that is nothing more than an illusion and an attempt only to solidify power in the executive and legislative branches of our nation.

A balanced budget amendment to the Constitution should be enacted and ratified, if that were ever possible, and then a requirement made for all congressional appropriation committees to explain in detail how each bill they propose to collect and spend WE THE PEOPLE's money on is authorized in our U.S. Constitution. This should be a part of the summary of the bill itself, and if the authors of the legislation cannot cite SPECIFICALLY where the U.S. Constitution gives them authorization to enact such legislation, it should not be able to pass out of committee.
This would eliminate congress from passing legislation to protect us from ourselves such as providing funding for green cars to dictating how much water our toilets use per flush. Congress has no authority to do these things Constitutionally and frankly should have more important matters in which they should be attending. Think this has a Conservative's chance in New York City of passing? I don't either...

I decided to go to an old standby resource of mine to see what was going on with taxes on the federal levels these days, although I already had an excellent idea of what I would find. Sure enough, at the non-partisan, non-profit I found the data that enumerated in black and white what I already knew.

The rich in this country ARE paying far more than their share and then some. As of the latest IRS data available (2007) the top 1% of this nations wage earners pay 40.42% of all federal income taxes. The top 25% of all wage earners pay 86.59% of the federal tax burden. The top 50% of all wage earners in this country pay 97.11% of all federal taxes. This means the bottom 50% of all wage earners in the United States pays only 2.89% of the federal tax burden for our nation. This is not slanted data to make a point. These are actually numbers from the IRS, and yes I think they do make a point... quite strongly!

So the next time you hear some ignorant person buy into the Democrats' class warfare garbage and starts to say how the rich are not paying their fair share, set him straight and help him to be not so ignorant anymore. Maybe we all will be a little richer for it in the long run and I won't be all upset by some fool on the radio on my commute into work each day.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ever Notice?

Have ya ever noticed that:

If a conservative doesn't like guns, they don't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, then no one should have one.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, they don't eat meat.
If a liberal is, they want to ban all meat products for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative is homosexual, they quietly enjoy their life.
If a liberal is homosexual, they loudly demand legislated respect.

If a black man or Hispanic is conservative, they see themselves as independently successful. Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal wants any mention of God or religion silenced.

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping
for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that his neighbors pay for his.

If a conservative agrees with a charity, he supports it with his time or money.
A liberal will insist that tax payer money be allocated to support their charities.

That a conservative, while annoyed or occasionally angered about certain aspects thereof, still loves, supports, and KNOWS that he lives in the greatest country on God's earth,
While a liberal will run down the nation's accomplishments, economy, and freedoms as being the moral equivalent or worse than many third world dictatorships.

Ever notice these things?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Real Maersk Alabama/Somali Pirate story

I was impressed with the Seal team that took out these three Somali pirates with coorinated successful simultaneous shots considering the pirates were partially obscured within the life boat and the pitch and roll of the life boat made these shot attempts very challenging at best to an ordinary marksman. Not a problem for a Navy Seal evidently!

My only complaint was that it seemed the rules of engagement as communicated down from our Commander in Chief (Obama) made this situation play out for far longer than necessary and put the hostage's life in greater potential jeopardy accordingly.

Thank God and the US Navy that Captain Phillips was rescued successfully!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Republican Parable

Even though I am no longer a Republican, since they are little better than the Democrats these days, I found the lesson behind this little story amusing:
I recently asked my friends' little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up.

She said she wanted to be President some day.

Both of her parents, liberal Democrats, were standing there, so I asked her, "If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?"

She replied, "I'd give food and houses to all the homeless people." Her parents beamed with pride. "Wow... what a worthy goal," I told her, "But you don't have to wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I'll pay you $50. Then I'll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.. "

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?"

I said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

Her parents still aren't speaking to me... :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Defending Terrorists

Once again, President Obama has "shrugged off" knowledgeable and constructive criticism regarding his poorly qualified attorney general, Eric Holder, in Holder's continuing investigation to determine if captured terrorists were illegally tortured by CIA interrogators.

Seven former CIA directors, dating all the way back to the Nixon administration, sent a letter to President Obama emphatically stating that by continuing this foolish investigation into CIA interrogators who were following orders that were lawfully vetted by then-attorney general Alberto Gonzales will only serve to further weaken our intelligence agencies and give a propaganda victory to terrorist organizations bent on killing Americans. Those seven former CIA directors that President Obama has summarily ignored are Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet, John Deutch, James Woolsey, William Webster and James Schlesinger.

Particularly of concern is the CIA's use of the technique known as water-boarding on terrorists. The waterboarding, it has been stated, was used literally a handful of times on the most incorrigible high-ranking terrorists. (i.e. Kalid Sheik Mohammed; mastermind of the 9/11 attacks). Further, because of the last-resort-use of this technique, KSM gave up invaluable information that undoubtedly saved many more American lives. When former VP Dick Cheney specifically stated this fact, the Obama administration patently denied this. Mr. Cheney thus asked them to declassify and release the redacted secret CIA transcripts of KSM's interrogation then if what they claimed was true. Of course, these documents have yet to be released. I can only assume that this is because Cheney spoke the truth and would prove that Obama lied...again.

This comes in line with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi's, statements that the CIA lied and never briefed congress that this interrogation technique was approved and would be used only in a last resort scenario. Obama's current CIA Director , Leon Panetta, and various other members of congress vehemently dispute that congress was indeed told of this and that Pelosi herself was present at one of the briefings. Again, calls for the redacted transcripts to prove or disprove Pelosi's statements were false have not been released.

How is it possible that the 3rd highest member of our government all the way up to the president himself find it necessary to worry about and side with terrorists at the expense of our own federal agencies charged with trying to keep America safe by preventing future terrorist strikes? It is chillingly scary to think that future interrogators may be reluctant or even refuse to follow lawfully given and fully vetted orders in obtaining information from captured terrorists for fear of their own prosecution by the very government and people that they are trying to protect.

Once again, I have to wonder who the hecks side is our Democratic Congress and executive branch administration on in this war on terror. Oh, that is right... Obama has changed the phrasing from "war on terror" to something more like "man-caused catastrophe" or some such nonsense so that we won't offend our terrorist enemies further.

President Obama ran for office stating that it was his mission to restore America to greatness in the eyes of the world and that in doing so he would run an absolutely transparent administration to the people. Well to date, President Obama has gravely wounded our national security and made us look extremely weak and vulnerable in the eyes of the world. He has then seen fit to deny the release of documents that would prove these lies. So much for greatness and transparency!

President Obama, don't you think that you really should try to preserve and defend our nation and its Constitution, just like you had sworn to do upon your inauguration? I guess if we want a Democrat to defend our nation we have to go all the way back to Harry Truman...or maybe, arguably JFK. Regardless, it appears we are now unilaterally disarming in this war on terror in the meantime. I shudder to think how long before our enemies take advantage.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

GoD And DoG by WJ Francisco

I could not help but grin at this one. My daughter has the song already stuck in her head and has been singing to our "canine mutt" all afternoon! Enjoy!

Religion and Culture in Utah

I live in Utah. I surprisingly like living in Utah. I am not a member of the predominant faith here, however. That has at times caused some amusing and some irritating issues.

Not usually for me, as I tend to get along with everyone, and those that don't like me I really don't waste my time being concerned with their sentiments towards me.

My family is Catholic and we try to be pretty devout. It is my wife, Mrs. Paine, and my youngest daughter that have had more conflicts with members of the Mormon faith than I have. My wife, while acknowledged, was often on the outside looking in while working at her previous job because 95% of the people there were Mormon.

My daughter, as one example, had made a friend in elementary school when we first moved here years ago and they became fairly close. One day, when my daughter wore her cross necklace to school, the friend in shock and dismay learned the fact that we were an "apostate family" and not of the "true faith" as Joseph Smith had defined it. The friend was no longer allowed to play with my daughter after that. I thought this to be sad and definitely not a very Christian attitude. Why ignorant people think that by shunning those not of your faith will make them want to convert to it is really baffling to me.

Now I have a lot of very good friends that are devout Mormons of whom I respect, admire and love, even though I definitely do NOT accept the doctrines of their faith or the legitimacy of the Book of Mormon. And that is fine. If I did accept it, then I would logically have to become LDS myself. It ain't gonna happen folks. (As an aside, as a member of our parish's team, I and my family have helped well over 100 people, most of them previously Mormon, to convert to Catholicism via the church's Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults program, however.)

That does not mean that we Catholics and Protestants cannot learn much from our Mormon brothers and sisters. We definitely can! Their sense of zeal for the Lord is indeed great, although misguided by their spiritual texts, in my humble opinion. Their overall sense of community, caring for one another, and just plain old family values are excellent and above reproach. They also preach, if not always execute in practice, frugality, self-dependence, and taking care of their neighbor. Even smart things in LDS culture such as being prepared for disasters by having months of food storage and emergency items on hand make great sense.

This aspect is so ingrained in Mormon culture that most homes in Utah are built with often-concrete-constructed rooms in the basements just for emergency food storage. Our realtor, when we were looking for a home here, knew we were not of the LDS faith and said we could do as he did and use this room as a wine cellar.

I also have some friends that are similarly not Mormon too. Often they will gripe about their ostracization from the community because of their lack of "belonging to the faith". While this does indeed occur, it is becoming less so in Salt Lake County as it becomes less homogeneous with the influx of all types of Americans from elsewhere in the country over the years. The more rural counties often still exhibit the ostracization tendencies, however.

Utah is a beautiful state and has some of the most majestic scenery in the world contained within its borders. Many National Parks and Monuments are here such as Zion Park, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Monument and the Grand Escalante Stair Case, just to name some of them.

I can understand the attraction for people living here for that reason alone. Add on to this the fact that the state is governed in a more conservative fashion than most other states (Clinton came in 3rd to Bush Sr. and Ross Perot in '92) which has resulted in a lot more stable economy and typically lower state taxes overall. (Our current unemployment rate here is around 6% versus a national rate of 10% and a California rate of 15%.)

With all of this being said I find it amazing that people move here not of the Mormon faith and then get frustrated that they cannot have things done "just like the state where they came from". If I were to move to Rome, I would assume that the Catholic faith would predominate and all aspects of culture would be influenced accordingly because of that. Same thing if I were to move to Tel Aviv if I were not Jewish. Why should Utah be different? The Mormons founded the state and by and large it was their pioneers that settled here and built the infrastructure and communities here.

I think we should try to love our brother as our self, just as Christ commanded, regardless if the person is a Jew, a Samaritan... or a Mormon. The bottom line is if you cannot accept their predominance in the state of Utah, then maybe another place to live would be in order. Let me know if that is the case as I know a good realtor to help you sell your home with the built-in wine cellar! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

American Patriots on 9/12/2009

Thought I'd share some pictures of a few good folks that are scared and as mad as I am about the direction our country is being taken. It almost feels like I am riding in a car with the doors and windows locked when I happen to notice that Ted Kennedy is at the wheel. It does my heart and soul good to see that we are not alone in our disgust with our federal government! THIS is how we will restore our nation to greatness once again, God willing!

Obama: Making the Free World Less Safe

So our Commander in Chief, President and Lord Obama, did another foolish thing to further erode our nation's and some of our key European allies' safety today. He announced that we would be scrapping our theater missile defense system that was going to be set up in Poland and the Czech Republic in order to protect them and the rest of our European allies against a missile launched from rogue nations such as North Korea or Iran.

The program was being pushed hard during the George W. Bush administration, one of the few things Bush did right, as a defense for us, our European bases, and for our allies. It was ironic that Obama as president made his first statement about scrapping the program on the same day that North Korea did another provocative test launch of a missile over Japan several months ago.

Russia, under Vladimir Putin and now under President Medvedev, have strenuously objected to this missile shield under the auspices that it would diminish their nuclear deterrent against the United States. Relations during that time were strained accordingly. Now that we have once again appeased a nation that is NOT necessarily our friend at very best, do you suppose Russia will return the favor in kind and rekindle a warm relationship with the U.S.? Don't bet on it. And even if they do so, is it worth weakening our defenses?

So basically, the man elected to protect and defend our nation as its commander in chief, chose rather to scrap a program that would have made us safer. He alienated our friends and allies in Poland, the Czech Republic, and many other parts of Europe and he lessened the possibility of defending against a known rogue nation with nuclear weapons and another rogue nation that will shortly have them. He has once again weakened America, not only in the eyes of the world, but in actuality too this time. The really sad and ironic part of this asinine decision: Obama made the announcement today on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland. Heres to our allies!

ACORN: Is Congress Finally Listening?

It was reported today that the House of Representatives voted 345 to 75 to block all federal funds from going to ACORN, the exceptionally corrupt far left-wing (although supposedly billed as a non-partisan not-for-profit entity) organization that has been caught falsifying voter registrations in the tens of thousands, and most recently under intense scrutiny for some of its ACORN employees roles in different offices throughout the nation in assisting an undercover filmaker and his girlfriend posing as a pimp and prostitute with illegal tax advice. All the while they apparently condoned made up tales from the couple of their intention to bring in under-age girls to help with their "business enterprise". All 75 votes against defunding ACORN came from Democrats. Surprise!

The Senate preceded the House vote earlier this week and voted likewise to revoke a large grant to ACORN by a 83 to 7 vote. Further, due to the public outrage on the issue, the Census Bureau has decided to sever all ties for assistance with ACORN in conducting the 2010 census. This was a measure President Obama had worked on to reward this corrupt group.

It is very heartening to me to see that when enough people stand up and say, "NO MORE!" that sometimes congress will still listen. The House bill will have to go into committee with a senate version to reconcile the two and then ultimately be signed into law by President Obama for this defunding to be official. Hopefully President Obama will decide to sign the bill rather than veto it at least for politically reasons, assuming he won't do it because it is the right and moral thing to do. God help him if he does veto the bill, as there are still some in the media that will be watching this story closely.

It would appear that Lord Obama is indeed having much of his luster wear off as his approval ratings continue to drop because of his duplicity and ties with corrupt organizations such as ACORN. Again, his character, or lack thereof is not a surprise to those of us that paid attention prior to his elevation to the throne. Thank God the rest of the people are waking up to see this now while we might still be able to have an impact on some of the excess of this Marxist president of ours and his extremely corrupt cronies.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Maryland; ACORN's Friend?

As a quick follow up to a previous posting regarding two Baltimore ACORN employees giving illegal and definitely immoral advice to two undercover journalists posing as a pimp and his prostitute girlfriend who intended to bring under-age El Salvadoran girls into the country to help with the "business", Maryland authorities have stated their position today.

They said that, under Maryland law, the journalists may have committed a felony in recording the ACORN employees without their knowledge; a crime that is punishable by fines and up to five years in prison. (Does this bring back flash-backs of Linda Tripp, anyone?)

So the great state of Maryland not only DIDN'T say that they would look into the ACORN employees and their disregard for myriads of laws, but they implicitly warned the couple that brought ACORN's egregious actions to light that THEY could be charged with violating Maryland law.

Has the entire world gone mad?

Another Radical Obama Czar

Last Thursday, September 10, 2009, the United States Senate voted to confirm President Obama's latest radical czar, Cass Sunstein, by a vote of 57 to 40 to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This appointment and successful confirmation should scare every American that cares about such fundamental Constitutional rights as freedom of speech and the right to bear arms.

Cass Sunstein left his post teaching at Harvard's law school and was previously at the University of Chicago School of Law. Mr. Sunstein is far out on the left fringe of the political spectrum. This extremist lawyer, prodigious author, and supposed "Constitutional scholar" holds some decidedly very unconstitutional views. Among these are his stated desire to ban all hunting and "nudge" the country into ever-encroaching regulations on owning firearms in direct conflict with our second amendment rights.

He also is an extreme animal rights proponent. He has championed that animals should have the legal right to sue humans in our courts, assumingly with some PETA-friendly lawyer advocate that speaks the tongue of whatever species of animal that has been slighted standing therewith.

Mr. Sunstein has further advocated for an "Internet fairness doctrine" and believes that unfettered free political speech (especially from the right-wing I strongly surmise) is counter-productive to an enlightened liberal republic. (We darn right-wingers sure can through a monkey wrench into the government's meddling in everything. Don't we know that it is for our own good that they do these things?!)

He has horrifyingly stated that such liberties are/should be dependent upon the federal government. Now I don't claim to be a U.S. Constitutional scholar, but it seems to me that our Founding Fathers explicitly said in our founding document as a nation (The Declaration of Independence for those of you in congress!) that our rights are given to us by God! I quote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." (emphasis mine)

Now here comes President Obama and his good friend Cass Sunstein stating that these liberties, these rights, are NOT endowed by God, but rather are, or at least should and will be granted by the federal government if Obama gets his way. That right there should chill the blood of every freedom-loving American yet again!

One of Mr. Sunstein's books, Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech, published in 1995 gives a glimpse into this totalitarian's views on this issue. Further, ol' Cass has written another book that caught my eye entitled, Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness back in 2008. This book is explained as his thoughts about how the government through laws, regulations, and good old social engineering can "nudge" our once free nation into the direction that these radical leftists would like it to be.

His foolishness doesn't stop there, as Mr. Sunstein has also been an outspoken proponent for FDR's forgotten "second bill of rights" in that he thinks that we all should be guaranteed a constitutional right to an education, a home, and health care. That agenda is well under way right now, it would seem.

It is frightening in the extreme that this wild un-American radical was even considered for such a post to begin with, but even more horrifying that our senate, under Harry Reid's so-called leadership, confirmed this threat to our liberty. So much for checks and balances!

I want to note that three brave Democrats (at least in this case) voted against Sunstein's confirmation, should you wish to send a quick email thanking them for standing up for our Constitution. They are James Webb (VA), Mark Pryor (AR), and Blanche Lincoln also of Arkansas. I sadly note that six Republicans in name only broke ranks and voted FOR his confirmation, including my two Utah senators, Hatch and Bennett.
Bennett is up for re-election in 2010 and he will not run unopposed in the primary this time. My only hope is that enough people wake up to throw out Bennett and the rest of these so-titled senators that pay lip service to preserving and abiding by our Constitution. If the outrage I have seen lately is any indication, Americans are taking notice and things will begin to be set right in 2010. Hopefully our nation can last that long with the current leadership at the helm and the freedom-quashing henchmen that a compliant congress rubber stamps in confirmation for Lord Obama.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

40 Years of Rip City!

I happily noted while perusing the soon to be 2009-2010 NBA Champion Portland Trailblazers web site ( that this will be the 40th year for the mighty Blazers. The team is still young, but so loaded with excellent talent. The men are hungry and exhibited great chemistry and promise for the future last season. While a championship may still be a bit premature this year, I think great things are in store for this season. I can't wait to find out, as the season draws ever nearer to starting once again. In this season of heartbreaking politics, it will be great to have something worthwhile to cheer for again! (and if this posting annoys a certain friend and follower who claims not to be a Blazer fan despite living in the greater Portland area, then I have been given an added bonus! Ha ha!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

ACORN Baltimore Prostitution Investigation Part II

...and now...the rest of the story

ACORN Baltimore Prostitution Investigation Part I

Speaking of left-wing hypocrisy, here is a story that I have not seen on any of the statist/left-wing media. Only Fox News reported on this story that I have seen thus far.

Basically, this couple did what 60 minutes and others of their ilk used to do so long ago... a little old fashioned investigative journalism.

They posed as a prostitute and her pimp and went to the ACORN office in Baltimore for support in how to get around all of the legal hurdles so that they could purchase a home in which to run their "business". They even stated how they planned on bringing in under-aged El Salvadoran girls to help in this enterprise. All the while, they ACORN representative does not only NOT bat an eye regarding these numerous crimes she is being told about, she willingly and helpfully tries to assist this couple skirt their legal issues so their dream of entrepreneurship can be fulfilled.

After completely denying this originally, I note that ACORN fired the employees responsible for this the other day. Very scary stuff considering this is a group that Obama was part and parcel with in his community organizing days. Obama has now ensured that ACORN receives millions of our tax dollars in the stimulus bill, and wants to make them a huge part of running the 2010 census. And now this from the group that has been constantly under myriads of federal investigations for illegal voter registration fraud numbered in the tens of thousands of bogus applications! Yep, transparency and honesty has returned to the White House!

Left-wing Hypocrisy

It seems to me that I recall Nancy Pelosi claiming how the Democrats, once in charge again, were going to clean up the corruption in Washington D.C. It seems to me that then-candidate Obama claimed that should he win, his administration was going to be honest and transparent to the people. I knew better back when these two first made these statements. After all, look at their past history. Things were NOT going to change now simply because they said so.

Unfortunately, most Americans are too busy just trying to take care of their business and family in their day to day lives so that they didn't know the details and sordid history of these people. All they heard were these wonderful refreshing sound bites placed out there for mass consumption by a leftist/statist-friendly media.

After the idiot Republicans completely abrogated their responsibilities and spent and governed like the worst of the Democrats, who can blame the American people for throwing the bums out. Unfortunately the replacements are even worse than those that were replaced, not that one would know it from the White House-compliant media. According to the press, the second coming of Camelot has finally arrived.

President Obama said he was going to be a "post-partisan" president. That statement on the face of it is laughable in the extreme for anyone that actually looked back at his career. NEVER did Obama compromise on any legislation or support a right-of-center proposal. His idea of compromise is for the right to come over to his side of the issue. In the current health care debate, he said he was open to Republican ideas and would meet with them to discuss their proposals. When the Republican leadership attempted to do so back in May, they were ignored by Obama. So much for post-partisanship.

Now we have an administration that admonished its predecessor for inept governing and out-of-control spending that has gone and routinely violated the US Constitution in it governing in completely unprecedented fashion in the first eight months of office and has proposed spending that is more than all 43 of the preceding presidential administrations COMBINED.

We have seen this administration use the Constitution for toilet paper in its appointing of unprecedented amounts of unelected and unaccountable czars that report only to Obama.
We have seen the federal take over of PRIVATE companies (i.e. GM & Chrysler for starters), fire the CEO's, stipulate what compensation would be for the executives, and then tell them what kind of cars they were going to make. All of this from a president that "had no desire to run a car company". As if to exacerbate the problem, our executive branch of government then told GM and Chrysler which privately owned and purchased franchises they would be closing.

How did we ever get to this point in America? But it does no good to put a name to this type of governing. Those on the left claim it is irresponsible, hyperbole, or racism to name what this is. Marxism! The left claims that these are meaningless labels that only serve to inflame the right and stifle real debate.

The fact is they don't want debate; they want capitulation from the right. Further they have the votes, if they remain in lock-step, to pass their new world order socialist agenda. That's what We The People voted for last November, and such is their right, but don't expect me to be happy about it or be quiet about it. I, for one, am more then a little fed up with the left-wing hypocrisy, but I guess that term nowadays is rather redundant.

A Prayer in Remembrance of September 11th

As September 11th turns to September 12th, I wanted to offer a quick prayer before turning in tonight:

May God be with the families and loved ones of those that perished on that horrible day eight years ago. May He grant them mercy in their pain and sorrow and let it lessen as time goes by so that the good memories are what most remains.

May God protect and give comfort to those Americans in the armed forces that have put themselves in harm's way to protect our great nation in the hope of ensuring that terrorists will never again murder those on American soil or innocents anywhere on God's earth.

And May God protect those that speak up for what is right and just in defense of our country, our God-given freedoms, and human life throughout the world so that these most precious gifts will never be taken from us by any enemy that would be inclined to do so.

In Christ's Holy name, I pray!


Friday, September 11, 2009

What Leftists Hate Most

I came accross this article many years ago and found it when I was cleaning up my hardrive the other day. While a few of the items are dated, the list is pretty comprehensive. I would be inclinded to add Sarah Palin to the list since she was a highly successful governor that was Christian, conservative, and put her pro-life actions where her rhetoric was. Enjoy...
What Leftists Hate Most

POLITICS IS, by its very nature, a reactionary enterprise. It's outrage — outrage about the existing order of things or outrage about whatever threatens the existing order of things — that provokes politically interested people to pay attention. At the heart of every political struggle is a sacred cow, whether it's the Second Amendment, the welfare state, marriage, or Roe v. Wade. On opposing sides are those who want to lead the cow to slaughter and those standing guard with shotguns at the barn door.

Because what outrages politicians, activists, and political movements often sheds more light on their motivations than any of their publicly stated positions, I've compiled the following list of some of the modern American left's most reviled people, objects, institutions, and ideas. The list is broad but not exhaustive, based on a life spent around leftists (I have lived in three states: Massachusetts, New York, and California) and the observations of some astute friends.
These are the things that most infuriate "progressives," followed by a brief explanation of why. The mere mention of these words will cause the typical left-winger to see (even more) red:

Cars — especially SUVs; the bigger and safer the vehicle, the worse. For leftists, cars are a polluting, annoying expression of individual freedom — a painful reminder that the longstanding efforts of social engineers to herd Americans into mass transit remain unfulfilled.

Guns — and the irritating insistence of "gun nuts" (anyone who owns a gun legally) to look after their own safety rather than trust in the benevolence and capabilities of the all-protecting state.

Suburbs, AKA "sprawl" — and the selfish desire of so many Americans to own their own homes with their own garages and their own backyards.

Straight white men — especially the dead ones that once dominated classroom curricula, and any institutions where they once flourished, such as military academies, prep schools, and fraternal organizations.

Jokes about sexual orientation, race, or gender — unless they're about straight, white men.

Jokes about most anything else — except for the items on this list.

Traditional families — Heather's mommies both deserve full health benefits now, but married couples ought to be penalized with higher taxes until they either die or divorce.

Abstinence — and for that matter, all traditional sexual mores and anyone so backward as to demand them of their children, politicians, or clergy.

Tobacco — the one form of instant gratification the left won't permit.

Religious "zealots" — that is, adherents of any faith that that makes claims on truth, especially Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism, Mormonism, and Evangelical branches of Christianity (but not Islam).

The rich — anyone who has earned a lot of money no doubt did something wretched to obtain it and deserves to have it forcefully taken away. (Rich leftists excluded.)

The middle-class — and their contemptible bourgeois values.
The poor — so long as they aspire to become middle-class or rich instead of remaining happily dependent.

Vouchers — a threat to unions, social engineers, and the government monopoly on public education.

Home-schooling — a threat to unions, social engineers, and the government monopoly on public education — and a favorite among the religious zealots.

Standardized testing — or, for that matter, educational standards of any kind.

Real sports — the kind with winners and losers, where things like, height, strength, intelligence, or skill can determine outcomes.

Missile defense — and most other efforts of the U.S. to protect itself from foreign attack.
American "hegemony" — defined as any expression of American interest that contradicts the conventional wisdom of the croissant-munching "international community."

Red meat — because animal life is sacred.

McDonalds — for selling fatty foods containing red meat and marketing them to minors, and for doing what socialism never could: feeding billions and billions on the cheap.

"Big box" stores — like Home Depot or Wal-Mart, for killing the small businesses that taxes and regulations couldn't.

Pharmaceutical companies — for spending billions developing new, life-saving drugs, then charging money for them.

Successful businesses — they must be ripping off their "stakeholders."

Failed business — they must be ripping off their "stakeholders."

Nuclear energy — even if it is all the rage in France.

All other kinds of energy — except for those that are either untenable or prohibitively expensive.

Drilling for oil in ANWAR — and drilling for oil anywhere else.

Clarence Thomas — for acting, thinking, and speaking in a manner inappropriate for successful African-Americans.

Laura Schlessinger — for acting, thinking, and speaking in a manner inappropriate for successful women.

Rush Limbaugh — for thinking and speaking.

The Midwest — backward, uncouth hicks.

The South — backward, Bible-thumping rednecks.

The West — backward, gun-toting nuts.

John Ashcroft — a southerner and a devout Christian at that. For vilification purposes, he's the Newt Gingrich of the new millennium.

Police officers — Latent racists and unrepentant thugs, every one of the them, except for those who happened to be on duty on Sept. 11.

Laws that are tough on crime — and courts that are tough on criminals.

Individual responsibility — the government causes AIDS, poverty causes crime, and discrimination is the root of all inequality.

Anything that isn't safe — and anything that might not be safe. For more clarification, contact legal counsel.

And So It Begins

I have often enjoyed vigorous conversation and debate over the years with people of like minds AND those with opposing viewpoints. I tend to be pretty staunch in my convictions but have been known to change my mind and admit that perhaps I was mistaken when those rare occasions have occurred. :)

I count among my friends those who have beliefs and ideologies that are indeed diametrically opposed to my own. It is typically from those friends that I learn the most actually. Often times they only serve to prove that my currently held conclusions were the correct ones all along though. What I enjoy is the debate and hopefully, if not to convince those with whom I disagree of the brilliance of my viewpoints, then at least to plant the seeds of understanding in where we conservative folk stand and why.

I do get frustrated, however, with those that would rather make a statement without being able to support it with facts or evidence and then resort to name-calling when you disagree or point out the fallacy of their argument. It is in this vein that I have come to learn that the true definition of the word bigot is "anyone that is winning an argument against a liberal". (Or anyone that dare oppose Lord Obama for any reason whatsoever.)

My free time is often limited, so updates on this blog will probably never be on a daily basis, but hopefully I will be able to develop at least a small following of friends that will stimulate and exercise my mind so that I might learn something, or perhaps even teach something along the way! Welcome aboard, friends!