Thursday, December 31, 2009

My Top 30 Movies of All Time

Okay, who am I to be different? Figured I'd give my take on my favorite 25 movies of all time, except, I couldn't narrow it down to 25. Guess you all get my top 30 instead.

30 Highlander A new concept for a plot. Pretty sure I don't want to live this life forever though…
29 Kiss the Girls Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd both do fantastic jobs in this great thriller!
28 While You Were Sleeping Okay, I know this is a chick-flick but I have lived in a household with women for several decades now. Besides, Sandra Bullock and a great script make this one funny!
27 Silence of the Lambs Great acting! Anthony Hopkins did a phenomenally creepy job in this one!
26 Grand Torino Clint Eastwood's lines are so politically incorrect in this movie, that you have to laugh out loud. Guaranteed to tick off those easily offended.
25 Everything that Rises An obscure movie starring Dennis Quaid as a small time present-day Montana rancher. Great story line and beautiful scenery! Good family movie, if you can find it.
24 The Last Samurai If you can get past the strange notion of Tom Cruise adopting the Bushido code of honor, this is a great movie.
23 History of the World So stupid that you have to laugh. Great one-liners. Mel Brooks' funniest film by far!
22 Iron Man Of all the rash of comic book movies, except Dark Knight, this one is by far the best. Great special effects and performance by Robert Downey Jr.
21 Crimson Tide Nearly anything with Gene Hackman or Denzel Washington is going to be great. This one is exceptionally so, despite some inaccuracies of submarine protocols.
20 We Were Soldiers Well done Viet Nam story that shows the horrors of war and the home front that was based on a true story.
19 Tombstone Another great Western. Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, and Sam Elliot. "I'm your huckleberry!"
18 Blade Good vampire versus all the bad vampires out there. Wesley Snipes' best movie.
17 Star Trek Very well done version and great special effects. The casting of Spock and Bones for this one was dead on!
16 In Harm's Way Best John Wayne WWII movie with an all star cast including Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Carrol O'Conner, Burgess Meredith, and Slim Pickens.
15 Rocky III Best of the Rocky movies. They should have ended the Rocky series with this one, as they had originally planned.
14 3:10 to Yuma One of the best recent Westerns in a long while. Russell Crowe makes for a great complex bad guy, and having been to Yuma, I understand why he doesn't want to go there either.
13 Underworld Great story line in a vampires versus werewolves plot.
12 Jaws Scared the crap out of me the first time I saw it. I wouldn't step into the surf for a long time after that, particularly when I heard about the shark attack at Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast shortly after seeing this one.
11 The Princess Bride Great lines all throughout this one. "I don't think that means what you think it means!" Also a great family movie.
10 The Matrix Loved the totally new concepts behind this movie's plot, despite Keanu Reeves being the star.
9 The Man From Snowy River Australian western with beautiful cinematography. Kirk Douglas co-stars and does a fantastic job, as usual. Good family movie, too.
8 The Exorcism of Emily Rose Creepy movie that is loosely based on a true story.
7 A Few Good Men Rob Reiner's best movie. And while Colonel Jessup was wrong, he was also right!
6 The Dark Knight Fantastic plot line and an absolutely incredible performance by Heath Ledger as the Joker.
5 Rio Bravo Still my favorite John Wayne western. Great sound track with Dean Martin co-starring in this classic.
4 Serenity Cult classic movie created after the short-lived but very well written & dialogued series "Firefly".
3 Braveheart In my opinion, still the greatest epic ever done.
2 Passion of the Christ It was reported that Pope John Paul II purportedly said after seeing this, "It is as it was."

And my number one movie of all time is....

1 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy It is very rare for a movie to be better than a classic book. LOTR does it while being faithful to the spirit of the author's vision. Great acting, great special effects, and great screenplay of these classic books. None are better!

Anyway, not that anyone cares, but those are my favorites that came to mind. I am sure I probably will remember others that I should have included later, but this is a pretty comprehensive list for me.

Anyway, best wishes to all for a very Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

You Cannot Ever Go Back Home

Being on vacation and visiting family back in the Portland area this week, I have come to the conclusion that I could never move back to my home town again. While I miss the conifers and the beautiful greenery, and of course my family and friends, I unfortunately cannot tolerate the fruits, nuts, and flakes that populate this town that have now reached critical mass and basically have ruined many of the best parts of this beautiful state.

Just reading the local newspaper, The Oregonian, was enough to get my blood pressure severely elevated. Portland may now be more liberal than San Francisco is, and they are proud of it! One would think that they would realize that it is their liberal policies that have about bankrupted the state and caused the comparatively outrageous unemployment rate here, not to mention the fact that they have caused grossly unnecessary traffic nightmares through very poor city planning and a flat out refusal to expand major arterials.

Then to top it off, I spent four hours in a freak Portland area snow-storm that should have only taken 20 minutes to reach my destination. Horrendous traffic I can tolerate, however, it grows unbearable when the other motorists bring a new meaning to foolish and rude. For those of them that believe in karma, they must have caught it coming back around because most of the ones in the ditches were the rude idiots in their BMW's, Subaru's, and Prius's.

By the way, I find it amusing how many bumper stickers on cars such as these state their support in "Freeing Tibet" or supporting Palestine. One wonders, and I strongly suspect, that these are the same folks that want us to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan after successfully liberating millions and millions of people living under an evil dictator and a freedom-hating totalitarian regime respectively.

Yeah, the home area of my boyhood has gotten too big, too crowded, too liberal, and too expensive. I guess I will just have to remember it as it was in my memories and watch the Blazers on TV when they broadcast the games nationally so I can still see at least something great from Portland that hasn't changed!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, Verses 4 through 14

And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son.

She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.

The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.

The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."

And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Liberty Counsel Fights Health Care

The below letter comes from an email I received today from an organization that is attempting to thwart the evil of this health care bill. It states the issues better than I could, so I am reprinting it in its entirety. T. Paine

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

You and I have witnessed one of the most corrupt legislative schemes in American history! Now, Senate Democrats are rightfully getting called on the carpet for it.
Please read below- Mat

Mr. Paine,

For the past several weeks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has systematically bought off every Democrat member of the Senate who could possibly derail his crucial cloture vote on ObamaCare. When all the "bribes" were handed out, Reid had the required 60 votes to choke off debate in the middle of the night!

Honest Americans have been nauseated as we have watched:

** Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) get $300 million in extra
federal spending for her state in what critics derisively
called "The Louisiana Purchase."

** Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) break the hearts of pro-life
Americans by accepting a deal exempting his state from
any new Medicaid costs and several other long-term perks.
Nelson's purchase has been dubbed the "Cornhusker Kick Back."

** Many other bribes and "special provisions" affecting the
states of Vermont, North and South Dakota, Wyoming,
Massachusetts, Hawaii, Michigan, Florida, and Connecticut -
you can easily associate each bought-and-paid-for senator's
name with their state by reviewing recent news feeds.

But perhaps most painful of all was watching a condescending, smug Harry Reid justifying his corrupt acts by suggesting it is every senator's DUTY to get pay-offs for their votes!

"If they don't have something in it important to them, then it doesn't speak well of them," Reid said in a post-cloture interview.

So much for the integrity of the United States Senate!

The liberal congressional leadership and the Obama White House arm twisters have drug our nation down to the level of a cheap banana republic!

++On top of the corruption, ObamaCare is unconstitutional

If you wondered why Harry Reid has been rushing his 2,074-page bill and its 383-page "Manager's Amendment" through in the middle of the night with just hours to read them, Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and his staff found at least one answer...

Right there on page 1,020, the tyrannical Senate majority
insists that no future Congress can repeal or otherwise
amend the section on "Independent Medical Advisory Boards."

You will probably remember that socialists mocked Governor Sarah Palin for calling such independent boards "death panels." Yet Governor Palin was absolutely correct in her assessment - what else would you call boards with the power to grant or deny life-saving care using some "cost-benefit" formula?

Carefully hidden away in Reid's version of ObamaCare is a section that gives these boards far more power and permanence than the Constitution allows to ANY government entity!

Thankfully, Senators Jim DeMint and John Ensign (R-NV) raised a "Constitutional Point of Order" on the Senate floor yesterday concerning these "Advisory Boards." The Senate cannot pass a law that can never be repealed by a future Senate. How ridiculous is the thought? Sen. Reid is acting like a dictator!

They also called Reid out on the ObamaCare "Personal Mandate" that every American must buy insurance or face criminal charges. Please pray that Senators DeMint and Ensign won't be slapped down by the newly purchased 60-vote super-majority!

++ If this bill becomes law, Liberty Counsel is prepared to
challenge its constitutionality in court!

Harry Reid's version of ObamaCare (H.R. 3590) and its "Manager's Amendment" are unconstitutional because:

1) Congress has NO authority to force every American to carry insurance coverage, and,
2) Congress has NO authority to fine employers whose policies do not have the mandated coverage.

Mr. Paine, if this monstrous healthcare bill passes, it must be strongly challenged in the federal judiciary from the moment of its birth. Liberty Counsel stands ready to do exactly that!

++For now, as difficult as it may be, we MUST continue to make Congress hear our voice!

Major pro-life and conservative organizations are going all out this week to BURY the Senate in protest over Harry Reid's and Barack Obama's dirty tricks.

After the Senate adjourns for the Christmas break (now planned for Thursday morning), we will have time to strategize the next phase of our resistance to ObamaCare. But we MUST send them home with their ears ringing with protests against this outrageous bill and the scandalous way it has been handled!

Americans nationwide are expressing OUTRAGE at this overt manipulation and total lack of integrity. Reid, Pelosi and Obama have proven they will do anything to get this government takeover of our medical industry.

Now more than ever, the socialists and abortion advocates need to understand that WE HAVE NOT GIVEN UP and will resist to the very end!

Here's what I'm asking you to do...

#1 -- Fax Your Senators TODAY!

Even if you have done so many times already, help us continue flooding Senate offices with protests right up until the Senate adjourns. Go here right now:

Of course, we always encourage you to send your own faxes if you prefer. We have provided all the information you need to reach the key senators here:

#2 - Call your Senators!

Please... take a moment to call your two Senators - even right up to Christmas Eve - and let them know you are OUTRAGED by the way this bill has been handled.

Sen. Hatch 202-224-5251

Sen. Bennett 202-224-5444

#3 - Pray that this bill will be miraculously derailed! Pray for God's deliverance from being forced to pay for abortions and from the overt deceit and trickery that has become the norm from the Obama/Pelosi/Reid power axis. PLEASE keep the heat on, especially now that we have been shoved aside! Go here to raise your voice in protest:

Now is NOT the time to be silent! Join like-minded Americans who will be making Harry Reid and the Senate majority realize that this power-play WILL be the undoing of everyone who votes for the ObamaCare Abortion Bill of 2009!

God bless you,

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman
Liberty Counsel

P.S. This battle is not over, no matter how much the Pelosi/Reid/Obama power axis wants us to think that it is. Now that there are serious challenges to ObamaCare's constitutionality, anything can happen!

Please pray! There is always hope in God! Continue taking action!
And let your Senators know that you WILL hold them accountable for their decisions on ObamaCare and its outrageous handling! Once again, thank you for praying and speaking out.

+ + Comments? Questions?

Liberty Counsel, with offices in Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. Liberty Counsel . PO Box 540774 . Orlando, FL 32854 .

The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 1, Verses 26 through 38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary.

And coming to her, he said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you."

But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.

He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."

But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?"

And the angel said to her in reply, "The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God."

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.

Will Sovereign Debt Defaults Bring the End of Socialism?

A friend sent this interesting tid-bit to me that nicely sums up where we are right now as a nation as we stand at the proverbial fork in the road. We had dang well better choose the right fork or this great American experiment in self rule and capitalism will come to an end. Ironic that this was sent to me by a lawyer! I guess there are a few out there that still understand what is at stake though. As for the other lawyers out there, well they have been despised from way back in Shakespeare's day when he penned, "First, kill all of the lawyers!"

Will Sovereign Debt Defaults Bring the End of Socialism?

By James Turk.

Socialism has come to mean many different things to many people, but regardless how it is defined, in the months immediately ahead it will be put to a rigorous test. The test will be visible to everyone as countries around the globe run out of money and confront overwhelming debts that cannot be repaid as well as other wide-ranging financial promises that can no longer be met. In short, the ideological bankruptcy of socialism will be laid bare by government insolvency.

It had to come sooner or later. The reasons are not hard to understand.

The ideological bankruptcy is neatly captured by British author and advocate for individual rights, Cecil Palmer: “Socialism is workable only in heaven where it isn’t needed, and in hell where they’ve got it”. And government insolvency is explained by famed economist Frederic Bastiat, who made this levelheaded observation nearly 150 years ago about the nascent modern socialism then emerging. “The State is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else.” More recently, Margaret Thatcher, being a sensible politician, put it pragmatically: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”

Take Greece for example. This past week yields on its 10-year bonds surged in the wake of downgrades by the bond rating agencies, which finally recognized that Greece does not have the financial resources needed to repay its debts, which now stand near junk levels. Not far behind are Latvia, Spain, Ireland, the United Kingdom and almost every other country in Europe, even though they may still flog paper rated as “investment grade.” The reality is that the rating agencies just have not yet come to grips with the breadth and depth of widespread government insolvency, or have willingly turned a blind-eye to it. And don’t forget Iceland which of course has already collapsed.

How did we sink to this state of affairs? Nobel Laureate Friedrich von Hayek provides the answer in his brilliantly insightful and prescient book, The Road to Serfdom, penned during the waning years of the Second World War.

Hayek’s central theme is that wars expand the power of the modern state because the national planning to fight the war continues even during times of peace. This perennial government planning then expands the social-welfare state over time, with harmful results. Most importantly, economic activity is impeded by the growing state as people and resources become less productive. In other words, because the government does not create consumable goods and services, it is an economic burden to the productive sector of the economy.

Then as the government grows, interest groups become increasingly numerous and powerful, leading to political corruption. More wars or even foreign policy tensions and economic crises can propel demagogues and dictatorial leaders to expand further state powers to the detriment of each and every one of us. In Hayek’s words: “Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have eroded.”

Hayek noted that the subtle damage inflicted upon the productive economy and the visible growth of the state arising from socialism become evident only over time. We have now reached that stage.

More people depend on the state than those who provide it with the money the state needs to meet its promises. Most of Europe long ago passed the 50% threshold with more people depending on government than the private sector, but even in the United States – long reigning as the bastion of capitalism, free-markets and limited government – 58% of the population derives their income from government at some level.

Consequently, we are now approaching a fork in the road. One way leads to more socialism, more demagogues and eventually a dictator who promises that he will make socialism ‘work’. The other leads to the capitalist society that America used to be, with free-markets, limited government and the unconditional rule of law.

Hopefully, we will choose correctly. If we don’t, we know from Winston Churchill what awaits us: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

James Turk is the Founder & Chairman of . He is the co-author of The Collapse of the Dollar and publisher of the Free Gold Money Report
Copyright © 2009 by James Turk. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Triumph of the Dark Side of Health Care

Well it seems like the evil Lord Obama and his apprentice sith Darth Reid got one critical step closer to realizing their complete control of America. In the wee hours of the morning the other night, the United States Senate found a way to bribe the 60th senator, Ben Nelson D - NE, so that a vote of cloture to end debate on the health care bill would be passed and the dark side of the force could triumph over liberty and freedom.

I am frustrated and saddened deeply with this whole exercise in hypocrisy and cynicism. Many of the so-called "moderate" senators were holding to their votes against this evil legislation on the grounds that the bill before them would raise the deficit and/or not protect unborn life. I guess these weren't really core principals for these senators as much as guidelines. I say this because in the case of Senator Landrieu from Louisiana, her opposition collapsed with tax-payer bribes to her state that dwarfed in cost what the real Louisiana purchase cost Thomas Jefferson when he bought the western half of the United States. Thereby her vote and transformation to the dark side were cast.

The latest and the most importantly-needed 60th vote came when Senator Nelson threw away his principals against abortion and against adding to the deficit when he agreed to vote for the legislation if Harry Reid would ensure that ALL of the future medicare expenses for new recipients in his state of Nebraska would be paid for by the federal government in perpetuity. That was the cost for his vote and soul.

Now there are many experts out there claiming that there is still hope of defeating this legislation through our citizen opposition, but Darth Reid has the senate vote scheduled for Christmas eve. I don't think these "moderates" and their progressive storm trooper senators are going to blink an eye as they vote for final passage of the senate's version of this bill.

It then goes to reconciliation with the House's version, but the Democrats are so longing for power that I am sure between Darth Reid and Darth Pelosi, that some freedom-stealing, free-market-destroying health care compromise bill will come forth from the muck. At this point there are definitely 51 senators and probably well over half of the Democratically controlled House that will vote for this, since it never really was about health care anyway. It is about expansion of government power, and that is what those controlled by the dark side really had in mind all along.

If this had been something of which the senate was proud, they would have done this in the morning with huge fan-fare and media present instead of at one in the morning under the veil of darkness. Instead they drafted a bill of which very few, if any, have read that contains all sorts of buy-offs and liberty-stealing provisions for a government take over of 1/6th of the greatest nation in the world's economy. Oh yeah, and they, of course, have exempted themselves from the health care dictates of the bill.

Just as Queen Amidala stated, after the chancellor had been given de facto dictatorship of the empire, "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause" , it would seem that our own nation too is following this path. Frankly I wonder if our own rebel alliance can restore freedom to the galaxy starting in 2010 and then finally overthrowing the evil emperor in 2012.

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Damning Evidence of the Global Warming Hoax

Russia's Institute of Economic Analysis reported on 12/15 that the Hadley Center for Climate Change in England had falsified their findings based on data obtained from Russian meteorological stations. Evidently the Hadley Center used only 25 percent of the existing Russian stations as they were the only ones supporting their agenda-driven theory of anthropogenic global warming. This effectively cut out data from stations from over 40% of the Russian territory. Further, the data that the Hadley Center did use was incomplete as they purportedly left out any data that did not corroborate their theory of global warming in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

As Russia occupies 12.5% of the earth's entire landmass, this egregious and pernicious use of only the supporting data for their agenda obviously throws out the validity of any "scientific" conclusions for which the Hadley Center for Climate Change has arrived.

As those with common sense knew all along, man-made global warming is a gigantic hoax. This simply is an agenda for consolidation of power by governments and a means to extort more tax dollars in order to "save the planet".

These people have struck unwarranted fear into billions of people's hearts with their nonsense, cost untold billions of dollars in world-wide economies, and helped to bankrupt corporations (especially American car companies) all in the name of something that does not exist. This is not a mistake on their behalf. It is intentional and it is criminal and morally wrong. Too bad that these people that foisted this hoax upon us probably won't be held to answer for this.

Of course the left will continue to deny this is a hoax and Al Gore will continue to call us "deniers of truth" names such as "flat earthers" etc. but the evidence is mounting in incontrovertibly huge amounts that lay waste to their lies. So, Mr. Gore, I will take my extra chromosome and continue to believe what SCIENCE is telling us and not what you and your ilk are spewing in an attempt to rake in even more power and dollars for yourselves. Personally, I think you should have stopped after having invented the Internet, sir, instead of creating this false religion of global warming.

Get One At - Friendster Comments

The Bankruptcy Hypocrisy

It is really easy to pick out any number of incidents of left-wing Democrat hypocrisy on a daily basis, but the audacity of our president’s statements during his latest interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson the other day is quite astounding. This president, who has proposed budgets and current spending that dwarfs that of all 43 previous presidents COMBINED, had the temerity to chasten us that if we do not pass this health care monstrosity, we will bankrupt the nation.

Now the first thing that comes to my mind is how in the heck does expanding government bureaucracy, rationing health care (thereby killing off citizens and decreasing the amount of people paying taxes), and spending trillions to insure those without insurance is going to save the country from going bankrupt? I fail to follow the logic.

Obama said, “If we don't pass it, here's the guarantee….your premiums will go up, your employers are going to load up more costs on you. Potentially they're going to drop your coverage, because they just can't afford an increase of 25 percent, 30 percent in terms of the costs of providing health care to employees each and every year. “ The president further said that the costs of Medicare and Medicaid are on an “unsustainable” trajectory and if there is no action taken to bring them down, “the federal government will go bankrupt.” Finally Obama stated, “This actually provides us the best chance of starting to bend the cost curve on the government expenditures in Medicare and Medicaid.”

Pardon me, Mr. President, but nowhere does this plan lessen the costs of health care, let alone improve the quality of its coverage for us Americans. I’ll say it again, if you add millions more uninsured at tax payer expense to the health care rolls while providing huge disincentives to doctors and medical providers in terms of what they can charge and how they can practice medicine, the end result will be many more patients being cared for by far fewer physicians. The result of having a greater demand vs. the available supply is higher costs and less product/service available per person “demanding” it. Simple economics, but evidently not so for President Obama, despite numerous think tanks and even the CBO stating that costs would be higher (much higher by the more realistic reviewers) than the rosy picture being placed on the price tag of just shy of one trillion dollars that our congress has said would be the case.

The bottom line is, President Obama, that if you want to save the country from bankruptcy, then quit ALL spending that is not specifically authorized under the United States Constitution. Quit bailing out those businesses and industries that failed to manage their affairs prudently because they counted on a government bailout should their risky ventures not pan out in their favor. Quit spending money on special interests and pork projects to buy off votes in congress. Quit borrowing trillions of dollars from countries that are NOT our friends (China) or from anywhere else for that matter.

If you want to save the country from bankruptcy, do not sign this bill into law and thereby take over 1/6th of our nation’s economy for the federal government to operate defacto. Despite your propaganda and blatant hypocrisy, Mr. President, it is the killing of this current health care bill that will keep us from going into bankruptcy for the moment. Passing it will push us over the edge.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shameless (by Cal Thomas)

I know...I know... another Cal Thomas column. But the guy makes a heck of a lot of sense on a topic I have been griping about a lot lately. My lovely wife actually found this article for me. If only there were more people that would feel "shame" when they do something that they know they shouldn't have done then perhaps we as a society would not have sunk into this moral relativism septic tank in which we find ourselves today. (And yes, I am also guilty of doing things that I am ashamed of as well.) Anyway, Mr. Thomas says it far better than I can. Cheers!


Early in my column-writing career I took note of comments by the singer Madonna. A skin magazine had published nude photos of her, taken when she was a teenager. An interviewer asked if she was ashamed about having posed for them. She threw the question back, saying something like, "What have I got to be ashamed of?"

Today, shame seems to be something experienced after an action, if it is felt at all. Shame now follows what used to be considered shameful behavior before everything became relative and tolerable in a society that judges nothing, except those who judge certain behavior to be wrong.

Some commentators claim that Tiger Woods' multiple extramarital affairs might be a "teachable moment." If Woods, along with some celebrities and philandering politicians, ignore the ancient prophets and proverbs that warn of the consequences of infidelity, who among us moderns has the moral standing to teach them, and average men, how not to cause serious harm to themselves and their families?

There are standards for swinging a golf club. Violate them and the ball goes awry. There are standards for living an ordered life. Violate them and your life can land in a "bunker."

It would be difficult to improve on this sage advice: "For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not." (Proverbs 5:3-6)

Everything in modern culture seems to deplore the straight and promote the crooked. People who wish to promote the tawdry, and the commerce that makes many of them a fine living, brand those who seek to remind others of eternal truths as "fanatics" and "fundamentalists." But there are casualties to such behavior, much as there is collateral damage to an out of control Congress that spends money as if we had it in the bank while mortgaging our country to foreigners, many of whom wish for its destruction.

What is wrong with such people? Why won't they see the consequences of errant behavior? It isn't that they can't. They can. But they have chosen not to, which is worse than not seeing. Having an unavoidable accident is different from driving drunk and having a head-on collision that leads to the death of the other driver. Is there too little information about the consequences of drunk driving?

Like the inmates who thought they could commit the perfect crime and avoid arrest, there are those who have become prisoners of their lower nature, believing they could get away with bad behavior. Their enablers, flunkies, political advisers and interest groups, tell them to keep doing what they are doing because it provides them with employment or political power.

At the heart of every "sin" (if I may use a word that has been replaced by the less judgmental word "dysfunctional") is pride. The Satan character in the film "The Devil's Advocate" says "pride is my favorite sin." That's because it leads to all the others, including sexual infidelity and the infidelity of politicians who abuse the power given to them by the people, becoming poor stewards of other people's money.

Let's not have any more of this business about someone being able to be one person in private and another in public. Anyone who breaks a pledge to his wife to remain faithful is more likely than not to engage in public behavior that is shameful, suspect and in some cases illegal. defines shame: "the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper..."

The definition presumes a standard by which "honorable" and "proper" might be measured. We have abandoned that standard in favor of doing whatever makes us feel good. And then we feign surprise when growing numbers among us surrender to the "music of the night."

That's a shame.

Cal Thomas

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Parable of the Spoons

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, "Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like." The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in to the room beyond the door.

In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well-nourished and plump, laughing, and talking.

The holy man said, "My Lord, I do not understand."

"It is simple," said the Lord, "it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Obama Grades Himself on First Year of Presidency: 'Good Solid B-Plus'

I suspect Obama was a beneficiary of grade inflation in school as well. B plus indeed! What in the heck has he accomplished at all? His policies have decimated the economy, ravaged unemployment, socialized the car industry, anhilated banking, weakend our intelligence gathering, eroded our Constitutional freedoms, and made us look weak in the eyes of the world.

Frankly, he shouldn't have been given a grade at all. He should be expelled as soon as possible. God only knows what damage he will give himself an A+ grade for at the end of 2010!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Apologist in Chief

This man is amazing. One would think Obama would have learned better after the criticism he received after bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia. Whomever is running the executive branch's office of protocol should be fired. I sure am glad he is restoring America's image on the global stage. What is Obama's motto? Speak timidly and carry no stick?

Who Started Your Church?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Different Kind of Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear..
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..

To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.

I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.

I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.."

" So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN

Why Switzerland Has The Lowest Crime Rate In The World

What most anti-gun, anti-2nd amendment rights people do not understand is that when there are more honest citizens that are armed, there is less crime. This has been statistically proven time and again. Lets try to save some common sense here, folks. A criminal is less likely to rob, rape, assault, or murder someone if he thinks there is a good chance that person is armed and can use lethal force to protect themselves.

It baffles me how the cities with the highest crime rates in America are typically the ones run by anti-gun liberals and have the most draconian gun laws. (Detroit, Washington DC, LA, immediately come to mind.) It is almost a common sense cliche' now, but if you take away an honest law-abiding citizen's weapons, then the only ones left armed are the bad guys. In this matter, we could learn something from the Swiss!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Health care 'reform' alarming

My father-in-law forwarded this other excellent editorial by the wise columnist Cal Thomas to me. In light of the deadly serious debate going on in the senate right now, it seemed appropriate for me to post this. I'd say "enjoy" but what follows is not enjoyable, but rather is a dire warning of what will befall us if we don't get our senators to actually represent We The People:

Health care 'reform' alarming

Assuming a rock-solid 40 Republicans stand against the health care reform bill now being debated in the Senate, it will take just one Democrat or independent to derail his monstrosity, which along with its louse companion may be the most disastrous piece of legislation ever to be this close to enactment by Congress.

So many lies have been told about the Senate and House bills that correcting them all might take more pages than the 2,000-plus pages that make the Senate version. Most people haven't read them, but those who have are sounding the alarm. Dr. Stephen E. Eraser, of Indianapolis, wrote a letter expressing his objections to the House bill to Sen. Evan Bayh, Indiana Democrat.

Eraser's critique reads like an indictment for violating many constitutional principles, including invasion of privacy and the power of life and death without due process that under other circumstances would raise the hackles of the ACLU. Even though the Senate bill has differences from the House measure, both bills have much in common and in conference the hard left in the House will push for the adoption of most of their measures.

Among the outrages cited by Eraser about the House bill are these: "A government committee will decide what treatments/benefits you get (p. 123); The Health Choices commissioner will choose your health care benefits for you ... you will have no choice (p. 42); health care will be provided to all non-U.S. citizens, illegal or otherwise (p. 50, section 152); government will have real-time access to individuals' finances and a 'National ID Health card' will be issued, (p. 58)."

There's more, unfortunately. The government will specify benefit levels for plans. That means "rationing of health care" (p.85, line 7); "government will mandate linguistic appropriate services ... translation: illegal aliens (p. 91, lines 4-7); the government will use groups (i.e. ACORN & AmeriCorps) to sign up individuals for the government health care plan (p. 95, lines 8-18)."

Eraser has dozens of other examples of government taking over the most personal and intimate decisions any family or individual can make, including "end of life" and even marriage counseling.

All of this adds up to the federal government deciding your worth and whether it will pay for surgery or medication based on whether you cost more than you contribute to the government. On page 429, lines 13 to 25, there is a provision that allows government to "specify which doctors can write an end-of-life order." One can imagine a knock at the door and the doctor making the house call is named Jack Kevorkian.

Is this alarmist? Is this the ranting of the uncaring far right that wants to maintain the unhealthy status quo? No, it is a warning that health care in America is poised to become like England's National Health Service. According to a report released in August by Britain's Patients Association and highlighted in London's Daily Telegraph, "1 million NHS patients have been the victims of appalling care in hospitals across Britain."

The Patients Association claims that over the past six years hundreds of thousands have suffered from poor standards of nursing, often with "neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel" treatment.

The charity described a horrifying number of incidents involving the elderly who were left in pain, in soiled clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffering from repeatedly canceled operations, missed diagnoses and dismissive staff.

Voting against the Senate bill (and thus effectively killing the House bill) demands something we don't see much of in Washington these days: courage and conviction. Without courage and conviction by one or more Democratic senators, we will inevitably become like the NHS where, according to the Patients Association report, "patients are more likely to go hungry than prisoners" and the standard of care in some wards would "shame a third world country."

There are more preferable plans than the Senate and House bills. They would preserve our high-quality health care while fixing what is wrong.

The Senate bill must be defeated so those other plans can be seriously considered. If they aren't, we will come to regret the haste with which the Senate (and House) plans are being rushed through.

Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Copenhagen Hypocrisy

Once again the enviro-whackos' hypocrisy is on full display; this time at the global warming summit in Copenhagen Denmark this week. Evidently, these fools and charlatans are continuing their global warming power grabbing agenda as if the truth had not been made public that their own "scientists" falsified and ignored contrary data in their global warming research. They are pretending as if those leaked emails from their own researchers never happened, and that global warming really isn't a hoax.

Regardless though, the hypocrisy of these elitist idiots is amazing. It has been reported that ALL of the limousines in Copenhagen have been rented and they have had to send out as far as Germany and Sweden for people to bring in additional limousines for these visiting dignitaries at this summit. To top that off, only five of the 1200 non-private limos there are hybrid or electric.

Further there are over 140 private jets that have come in with various dignitaries for this summit too. The Copenhagen airport is not able to handle that many jets, so many of them have dropped off their elitist occupants and then flown to surrounding airports to park and wait. Presumably they will fly back to get them and fly home after the summit ends next week.

All of this, plus the huge contingent that accompanies any president and Air Force One will be there next week as Lord Obama arrives at the conference to put in his two cents on how we should destroy what is left of the American and world economies all for the purported reason of saving the world from non-existent anthropogenic global warming.

The fact is that if the U.S. becomes signatories to the wishes of this summit's members, we will be giving up much of our sovereignty and destroying what is left of our economy. If Obama thinks 10.2% unemployment right now is bad, just wait to see what happens if this nonsense is enacted.

Luckily congress would have to ratify any treaty to which Lord Obama agrees; however, with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi at the reigns there, it is not certain that this would be rejected there either.

After all, this global warming hysteria isn't really about saving the planet; it is about consolidating power in the world's governments. If there truly was a fear of imminent disaster from global warming, one would think that even these elitist power-grubbing snobs would not be producing a carbon footprint for this two week summit that rivals that of the continent of Africa's... or would they?

Is Life Still a Right for Modern-day Democrats?

I have long been troubled by the few cars parked in the lot of my Catholic church, presumably by parishioners there, that have the audacity to have Obama bumper stickers upon them. Now I understand that historically there has been a strong tie between the Catholic Church and Democrats in this country; however, what I do not understand is how people can put a political party affiliation above that of God’s commandments. Frankly I would rather draw the ire of the likes of supposed Democrat Catholics like Nancy Pelosi , John Kerry, and the numerous iterations of Kennedys in congress instead of having to explain myself to our Lord come judgment day about my support for abortion.

Make no mistake; I am a huge sinner and have much to atone for; however, I don’t understand how a supposedly faithful Catholic (or Christian of any stripe for that matter) can vote for the likes of Obama who champions abortion. I also understand the purported social justice reasons for supporting Democrats. Never mind that Democrat policies often end up hurting rather than helping the poorest among us in most cases. Putting that aside though, even if one does agree more with the Democrat philosophy and agenda, shouldn’t the right to life trump all?

I applaud those rare courageous Catholic Bishops that have issued edicts against giving Holy Communion to a politician that is supportive of abortion.
If only all of the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons would have the courage to speak out unequivocally in support of life and back it through their actions, perhaps we would see an actual decline in the number of abortions we tally as a nation each year. Regardless, how can one in good conscience take part in the Holy Eucharist and then not seek to protect life that Christ created?

The church teaches us to love and respect and protect life from conception to natural death because that is what God wants. God did not create life just so we could kill it if it becomes inconvenient to us. I was appalled when then-senator Obama said during the campaign that he wanted to keep abortion legal as he wouldn’t want his daughters to be “punished with a baby” should they make a mistake. Unfortunately, Obama has also been supportive in voting for the most extreme and gruesome forms of abortion, such as partial birth abortion, when even many pro-abortion supporters draw the line before that point.

And now with the Democratic Congress and President rushing through this monstrous and evil health care bill which will provide for federally funded abortions, as the legislation currently stands, and will certainly end up rationing care to the sick and elderly in order to save money by shortening their lives, one has to wonder just how far we as a nation must stray before our “just reward” is meted out to us. I shudder to think what the consequences will be.

And for you pro-abortion supporters, I want to make clear that I do not hate those people that have chosen to abort their babies. On the contrary, I feel immensely sad for them and pity them. May God comfort them and help them through their pain of having had to make such a choice. And may He bless those that have moved on after that and come to realize that choosing and defending life is what He wants for us all.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Beavers are Allergic to Roses....Evidently

I have been in mourning for the last day because the Oregon State Beavers lost what was otherwise a good fought game to the evil University of Oregon Ducks in the annual civil war game last Thursday night. To make it even more painful of a loss, the winner of that game gets to go to the Rose Bowl and play Ohio State. The last time Oregon State went to the Rose Bowl was, well lets just say I don't remember it...

Anyway, U of O (Berkley North) won and gets the rivalry bragging rights for another year and they get to go to the Rose Bowl. Meanwhile I am going to sit back, dry my tears, and cheer on my Blazers in the hopes that they don't similarly break my heart this season. I don't know if she is trying to be funny, but my wife bought a huge box of Kleenex at Costco yesterday. I am hoping that was just a coincidence.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jobless Summit Farce

President Obama needed to look like he was actually doing something about the economy so today he held his “Jobs Summit”. The whole thing was an exercise in cynicism from the very beginning. Obama invited primarily those that were “open-minded” (read that as not critical) of the job he has done thus far. With that being the case, Obama did invite some big business people, and of course union representatives (never mind the fact that unions are part of the reason for a loss of jobs in this country) to his summit. Conspicuously missing were representatives from the US Chamber of Commerce who represent large and especially the small businesses that make our country’s economic engine run and provide most of the jobs accordingly.

One might suspect that they were purposely left off the invite list because of their public opposition to Obama’s less than stellar stewardship of the economy with his policies. Of course the left would decry this as being a conspiracy theory at best and flat out racist at worst.

Some of Obama’s comments during this debacle were amazing. He spoke of how small businesses in particular, due to the tough economic times, had developed a culture in which they cut costs and managed to “squeeze” every bit of productivity out of existing employees. All of this said with the subtle implication as being a bad thing to his Marxist mind. He further went on that these small businesses had adapted thusly so that they could maximize their profits in these tough times. WHAT THE HELL does he think businesses are supposed to do? Anyway, because of their “greed” by implication, these businesses were not hiring people now. His question to these invitees was what SPECIFICALLY and in DETAIL could be done to help these businesses hire again and create new jobs.

Although his question is very serious, I don’t think he takes it as such. Regardless, I do have an answer for him. Businesses, and particularly small businesses, have to watch their bottom line, and yes they must make a profit if they are to remain in business! They are therefore unwilling to add more costs to the business in the form of additional labor expense when these business people are so danged unsure of the economic climate to come.

Cap and tax legislation will cost huge amounts in additional operating taxes for everyone, especially small businesses that can least afford it. Further, if the abomination of Obamacare passes, this will place an even larger tax burden on small businesses as they must necessarily take care of their government-mandated employees’ health care. When times are tight and potentially huge expenditures are ominously looming on the horizon, a prudent business owner is not about to hire additional employees typically.

If you want to fix this problem, President Obama, the answer to your question is to do one of your prime time shows and announce that you have decided to scrap cap & tax legislation and Obamacare for good. I guarantee you will see a sizable uptick in employment. And not a bogus one like the ones manufactured out of the executive office. I am talking substantial real world jobs here.

Which begs another question, President Obama. I thought that your porkulous spending bill would create/save jobs so that our national unemployment would not venture north of 8.0%. That was YOUR GUARANTEE and the reason that the spending bill had to be rushed through without thorough examination as there was no time to spare. Now that we are currently at 10.2% unemployment with it expected to climb further in the coming months, maybe you should re-evaluate your policies. I know better than to expect you to take my suggestions
to heart, but at the very least you should reign in you Keynesian tendencies as they are proving once again to not work in the real world. But then you knew they wouldn’t all along, didn’t you Mr. President?