“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Hero: 1st Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo

This Week's Post Was Suggested By Cindy

1st Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo
1st Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo
59 years old from Spanaway, Washington
August 18, 2009
U.S. Army

Sorry for the presentation of this post, but haven't been feeling well and don't feel much like typing. You can read Sgt. Crisostomo's story here and here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Economics, Politics, and Smokescreens

There was an AP news reports yesterday declaring that Social Security will pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes the next two years. The AP also reported that regulators shut down the 95th U.S. bank to fail this year as loan defaults rise in the worst financial climate in decades. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported that job seekers exceed job openings 6-1. All of which leaves me wondering why are so many Americans are buying the media blitz and Obama's declarations that things are improving? It's time for Americans to pay attention to the facts being reported by mainstream media, and sorting them out of the hype and distractions these reports are filled with.

Meanwhile, for those who are complacent about their freedoms, you should be aware that Presidential Power to shut down the Internet is being debated in Congress. This comes at the same time that the Justice Department says Federal Computer program to watch computer use is no problem...legally or otherwise. Privacy groups disagree.

But, still, we sit back and listen as one government move after another removes freedoms and personal rights in the name of the public good. The thing to recall is the Socialist party leaders said in the 1944 that they did not need to run for office anymore because the Democratic Party had adopted their ideas.

Six-time Socialist Party candidate for president of the U.S., Norman Mattoon Thomas, said in a speech in 1944 that "The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."
Then, he went on to say, "I no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform."

Even worse, by 1948 all items of the Socialist platform had been co-opted by either the Republicans or the Democrats. Obviously, the goal is to have government in charge of everything. For example, healthcare, while important, does not have to be run by the government. But, both parties are talking about how important it is for the government to be in charge of how healthcare is handled. And, the media is complicit, since they rarely if ever give equal space to those who oppose it. We should all probably spend more energy remembering that...as we consider both political parties, coming elections, and what the media feeds us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Lt. John Madea

Lt. John Madea
Lt. John Madea
U.S. Navy

Lt. John Madea holds his daughter as she is baptized with holy water from the ship's bell of the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46). This is the fourth person baptized aboard Tortuga since the ship's christening in 1988, and her name will be inscribed inside the bell as a tradition of the U.S. Navy.

Photo Courtesy U.S. Navy
Taken By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Geronimo Aquino

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Unethics of Government, Lead by our President

Citezens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-leaning watchdog group, has released its annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress. And, strangely enough, most of the top-ten are Democrats.

On the subject of ethics issues and government officials, And according to Liveleak.com, Obama spent $20.3M to bring Hamas "refugees" to America. Well, it was part of H.R. 1388, which passed by the way. Don’t believe me? Here is the Federal Register entry on it…

Federal Register: February 4, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 22)
DOCID: fr04fe09-106 FR Doc E9-2488
Presidential Documents
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
DOCID: fr04fe09-106

[[Page 6115]]
Presidential Determination No. 2009-15 of January 27, 2009
Go look it up for yourself.

Obama also claims the fines for not carrying health insurance are not taxes. But, according to fact checking that’s a lie.
...the language of Democratic bills to revamp the nation's health care system doesn't quibble. Both the House bill and the Senate Finance Committee proposal clearly state that the fines would be a tax.”
It’s totally amazing to me how many times our President can lie, and not get called for it by the media. Left wing political watchdog groups I can understand skipping over it. But, the media not only downplays the all, but spends huge amounts of time attempting to marginalize anyone who tries to bring these lies to the light of day. How do I know? Check out this quote from later in the article:
Some liberals acknowledge that Obama might be vulnerable on the insurance requirement. But they say most people will understand as long as the legislation provides enough of a subsidy to make the coverage affordable. That's a central issue this week as the Senate Finance Committee starts voting on legislation.
Not only that, it goes on to quote a left wing group as saying whether it’s a tax or not is “a metaphysical question.” And, the media never even questioned that approach.

There were two other articles today that really caught my attention. The media and the President have been touting how much the economy is improving. They have been doing it a lot. So, explain today’s article about “10 Companies Approaching Bankruptcy”. It would appear with these big companies so close to bankruptcy that the economy is not as sound as our leaders would ahve us believe.

This was quickly followed by the article titled “FDIC Might Need To Borrow From Banks.” Turns out the FDIC doesn’t want to tap it’s credit line at the FED. So, they are trying to make banks foot the bill. Of course, the money would be borrowed, meaning banks would get some income off of it. And, borrowing from the big banks is just one option, but it is being seriously considered.
“Regulators also are considering levying a special emergency fee on all banks, charging regular fees early or tapping a $100 billion credit line with the U.S. Treasury, the officials said.”
Perhaps I’m just a bit na├»ve, but, aren’t these banks in danger of failing due to bad lending, and so forth? Especially the big banks? The same banks that are being told not to repay their TARP funds due to possible solvency issues? And, the government is now going to borrow from the same banks it bailed out?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The REAL Man-made God!

I had a really interesting…and frightening…thought today. But, have you ever considered how government is becoming like a god?

Let’s think about this for a minute. When things went wrong, people used to cry out to their deity of choice for relief. Who do we cry out to now? The government! Most religions have some clause where you give some percentage of your income to them to placate the anger of your particular deity. So what do we have now? The IRS! Most religions go to great lengths to keep you from finding out about other religions. So, what do we have? Separation church and state…where you can’t discuss other things or have government funding if whatever you does so! And, let’s not forget that every religion has all kinds of rules for proper behavior to keep your deity happy…or at least less mad at you. Dare we even discuss the size and complexity of legal code coming out of Washington (or whatever other world capital) these days? We can even carry out the Biblical analogy and say we have our own Pharisees and Saducees (feuding sects, a.k.a. Republicans and Democrats). This religion even has it’s own mouthpiece to declare it’s worthiness and greatness! Enter Mainstream media (MSM). And, finally, like all relgions, it wants to be incontrol of everything. So…we get nationalization of business and industry!

I tell you, it’s a religious monopoly! Government is forcing us all into religious service! It shuts down or marginalizes other religious views, defines proper behavior and activity, and demands out obeisance by threatening to not meet our needs. If that isn’t a man-made god, I don’t know what is.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wednesday Hero: PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker

This Week's Post Is Via Gazing At The Flag

PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker
PFC Thomas Lowell Tucker
24 years old from Madras, Oregon
B Company, 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division
June 16, 2006
U.S. Army

Flag Gazer has a great post up on the dedication of the PFC Thomas Tucker memorial.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Around The World, And Healthcare Non-Reform?

In world news, Germany faces energy decisions that are changing power lines (pun intended). Due to be phased out by 2022 after the Greens passed legislation in 2000, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is trying to revamp and start construction again. Despite the expense of building nuclear plants, they are cheap to run. And, with oil prices still around $70 a barrel, and solar plants still only providing a small portion of power, the attractiveness of cheap power will be hard to ignore. It could also mean Germany misses the greenhouse gas targets it has to achieve. These same issues face Americans, as well. Is there room for solar fields to generate power? Is it possible for America to make a real difference in pollution emissions, besides the new tax structure of the cap-and-trade system currently making it’s way to the Senate?

Closer to home, Russia is financing arms for Hugo Chavez. This time the amount is $2.2 billion, bringing the total value of Russian weapons contracts to almost $4 billion. Chavez is claiming he needs them for “self-defense” against American attacks, now that the US has access to Columbian military bases. Many conservatives in America thought that with President Obama’s election and the power of the Left emerging that there would be a reduction in Chavez’s anti-US rhetoric. Obviously that has not been the case. More distrurbing than the weapons contracts is news that the Venezuelan leader is going to use Russian aid to develop nuclear power. This could easily lead to an Iran like standoff in the west.

Here at home, the big issue is healthcare reform, followed closely by financial reform. Both are high on Obama’s agenda, as well as Democrats in general. Shawn Tully has a series of articles that grade the proposed healthcare reforms. The 8th in the series covers Obama’s latest speech. Tulley’s overall picture paints something along the lines of no improvement, other than more government control through subsidies, giving non-profits and government agencies a huge leg up on private insurers. This follows on the heels of reports indicating that reform won’t reduce cost of healthcare. Now, there are two goals to healthcare reform. The first is to provide healthcare to the uninsured. The second is to cut down on the rising cost of healthcare, which is a major reason so many are uninsured. IF the legislation goes through without reducing costs, what is gained beyond more government domination of private industry? Couple that with the necessity of raising taxes to pay for it, and it’s a wonder so many Americans are in favor of it. What legislation actually comes out of Washington remains to be seen, with much debate about whether a public option will actually be available. But, it will be very important to watch where and how the costs are covered—if they can be.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Morning Report

Today is mostly a day of remembrance. When i first started this blog, I wrote something on 9-11. Those thoughts apply today, just as much as they did in 2006. So, before going on to current events, I ask you once again: Where Were you?

There was a pretty good article by Robert Tracinski yesterday about what President Obama is saying, and has said, regarding healthcare legislation. I would behoove us all to pay attention to what has been said, what is being said, and how it has changed during the so far short length of his administration. For example:

he assures us that "My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition." So how is it that he was recorded only six years ago describing himself as an advocate of a Canadian style "single payer" system — the very opposite of "choice and competition"?

This goes nicely with a great ironic little cartoon yesterday:

You can hear a lot of dissenting voices on what Obama did and did not say at the NYTimes article ”What was missing from Obama’s speech”. But, it merely echoes what I said the other day. The plan throws more money at the symptoms, but does nothing to actually control costs. Put another way, it makes great political hoopla, but actually doesn’t accomplish the goal. And,that basically means the conservative claims of merely being about government control and taxation could be the real truth of what is going on.

Meanwhile, there is the war effort going on in Afghanistan. And, thanks to so many months and years of anti-Iraq involvement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can truly say there is little support for increased involvement. That is sad. The U.S. has once again entered into Afghan life, and once again—this time because of Democrats—is deciding to run away before the full requirement is complete. The U.S. did it under Regan after the Russians gave up, and that let the Taliban take over. I wonder what will happen if the U.S. walks out this time? And how the Democrats will save their face. You should consider the sobering conclusions and thoughts of Michael Yon. He started recognizing the problems and potentials in Afghanistan before the pundits and politicians—just as he did in Iraq.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Unkept Promises...

Did anyone see the latest ideas from Congress on limits to healthcare? Yep. This makes good stuff available to those UNDER 25, but not over.

The measure -- offered by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont. -- would impose new fees on some healthcare industry segments to help offset the estimated $880 billion in initial costs over 10 years, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The plan would provide a lower-cost insurance plan for catastrophic coverage only to people up to age 25, people familiar with the outline said. It also would expand less comprehensive Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income people who now are ineligible.
With Medicaid losing money, how is this going to be funded? The question still waits a full answer.

A related article at the NYTimes adds a bit more detail about Baucus’ proposal:
To help finance the legislation, Mr. Baucus is expected to propose a new tax on insurance companies selling policies with premiums far exceeding the national average, roughly $13,000 a year for family coverage.
Government healthcare is no longer a government program, apparently. It is a commercial industry killing plan. Risk management implies that higher risk has higher costs…but not according to the government’s coming “guidelines.”

Meanwhile, there is a petition circulating to drum up support for House Bill HR676 to make establishing health care a civil right, giving it equal status with race, sex, and creed. The petition specifically states the Bill
Whereas HR676 provides for Medicare for All, a universal, single payer, not-for-profit health care system which means the end of premiums, copays and deductibles; and

Whereas we are already paying for a universal standard of care but are not getting it because one of every three dollars in the health care system goes to the activities of the for-profit insurance system…
In short, this Bill and the petition openly state the goal is to replace or eliminate the insurance industry. That should do wonders for the deficit effects of the healthcare plan, already planned to be partially funded by money from the insurance industry. (…not to mention Democrats have openly said that is not what they are doing or have planned…)
But, those are not as concerning as the latest changes from President Obama himself. There was a short fact check on some points from his latest speech to Congress. Gone are guarantees about personal choice. Gone is the refusal to require everyone to be insured. Gone as well is his promise to “not increase the deficit by one dime.” Why? Government accounting that lets them say what they want it to say. The article states:
House Democrats offered a bill that the Congressional Budget Office said would add $220 billion to the deficit over 10 years. But Democrats and Obama administration officials claimed the bill was actually deficit-neutral. They said they simply didn't have to count $245 billion of it — the cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don't face big annual pay cuts.
Let’s see…Broken promises…Rising deficits…A not recovering economy…Sounds like Bush all over again…doesn’t it? Or at least that’s what the media and the Left used to accuse him of. Think they might accuse their Golden Boy Obama of the same thing?

Still, all of this legislation aimed at providing healthcare to all fails to address the real problem: rising healthcare costs. None of the legislation as far as I know does anything to reign in costs. It just throws more money into the healthcare system. As education has proven, more money does not solve the problem. The United States spends more per student on education than other countries, but we have a lower student success rate. More money is not a solution to cost control issues. Basic economics says that if more money chases the same amount of goods, the price goes up. So, why do we believe more money is the solution for healthcare when the problem is costs? As the debate and clamor for this legislation goes on, let’s remember that the real problem still remains unaddressed.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wednesday Hero: Year 3 (Part 2)

This would have been with last weeks post, but Kathi, who's done these for the past three years without even being asked to do so, was super busy and wasn't able to get to it. So after you view it, head over to her site and thank her.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Food For Thought...

Here's an odd thought...considering my sual bent here.

We live in a rather frightening environment these days. People make choices, and then blame God for not stopping or correcting their choices when they go bad or have a negative affect on others. Why is God responsible for your choices, or mine, for that matter? He chooses to respect us enough to let us make our own choices, and let's us live with the consequences of them.

As long as we blame God for the outcomes, rather than humble ourselves and take responsibility for what we have done, God will not get involved in redeeming these things in our lives. The good news is Jesus died so you could have the chance to humble yourself before Him, honor and respect God, and let His redemption flow into your mistakes.

So…which one would you rather have?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Big Brother Is About To Grow

Go ahead and post your comments on the White House’s publicly accessible sites. Just be prepared. The government is hiring vendors to market and store your information.

The National Legal and Policy Center, or NLPC, revealed the White House New Media team is seeking to hire a technology vendor to collect data such as comments, tag lines, e-mail, audio and video from any place where the White House "maintains a presence" – for a period of up to eight years.
How much would you like to bet it won’t be just the information posted to their pages that gets examined, harvested and stored? For example, all they need to do is turn their page into an application at Facebook and it automatically shares all of your information. I’ll bet this gets billed as a means to hunt down threats to the President, but I bet all it eventually does is stifle dissent.

But, then again, that shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Consider the President’s address to school children—just school children, by the way. Did you know the speech comes with accompanying lesson plans tailored to various grade levels? That’s the chief complaint from Republicans and other conservatives.
NBC spoke with Katie Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Florida Republican Party, who said the party's "beef" is with the accompanying lesson plans.
According to the article, people are calling those against the speech ignorant for keeping their children from being encouraged by the President. But, obviously that is not the goal. It is all about what the children are supposed to learn. That makes it an indoctrination event, using the basic definition from the dictionary (check this reference at Dictionary.com if you doubt what I say.) Maybe those accusing others of ignorance should better educate themselves on what is going in this case.

Speaking of ignorance, do you know what been going on with the money from the Stimulus package? Joe Biden gave of speech filled with praise on what the package has accomplished. But, the AP did a fact check that shows it isn’t as good as the administration would like it to appear.

(…and Obama wonders why his popularity is dropping…hmmm…)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Socialization of America...continues...

About 10 months ago, hyper liberal Maxine Waters, Democratic representative from California, announced that the agenda was to socialize big oil, and by extension business in general. The so-called ”Democratic Underground” promptly labeled it as a smear campaign by Fox News, in spite of the fact that Waters clearly stated what she believed should happen. Then back in May, at a regional Democratic conference, delegates specifically stated one agenda of the healthcare reform was to get rid of the insurance industry. (The video used to be on YouTube, but has been removed due to copyrights belonging to Boiling Water Media.) The Obama administration had several soundbites over the following couple of weeks denying this revelation. And, Americans, for the most part, accepted it.

We are sheep, as a nation. Unfortunately, sheep are dumb and do nothing about their condition. We are told, repeated, that national, government healthcare is a must to “save our country.” Wonderful waving of the American flag to stir our patriotism for this “crisis.” I won’t argue that healthcare costs are not out of control, they are. But, unless government can prove to me it can successfully run something without losing money…I don’t want government in charge of my healthcare.

You should also consider that Democratic Congressmen and Senators have openly stated healthcare may go to people based on the economic benefit. That is one method of cost containment being actively considered. You might want to consider an article at The Free Liberal.

As the healthcare debate rages on, there is one reality that even the proponents of this hostile takeover of healthcare by government cannot ignore – and that is money. The government simply does not have the money for a new, expansive, public healthcare plan.

It is still surreal that in a free country we are talking only about HOW government should fix healthcare, rather than WHY government should fix healthcare.
Indeed why do Americans believe that government is always the solution to a problem? The answer is, they have been conditioned by the media and school s to believe that.

As a final thought, here is an ACLU video of where nationalized healthcare could take us. Enjoy your pizza.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wednesday Hero 3rd Anniversary

Today marks the third anniversary of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. Not the actual Wednesday Hero posts. Those posts were started in 2005. This marks the third year of when these posts went public for anyone to post them. And it's taken off like gangbusters. People have signed up and wanted to take part in honoring those who do what they do in the name of freedom. At one point reaching over 100 participating sites. Thank you all who have signed up and those of you who read and comment on these posts. These people, whether they're actually in the military or are just doing something to aid those in the military, deserve to be remembered.

Christopher Lee
Right-Wing & Rightminded

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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