I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

- de Tocqueville 1831































Friday, February 3, 2012

In The Land of Lillaputia It's Hard to Find Giants

The political "silly season" is in full swing.  Republicans, Independents and a few Democrats are in the process of choosing the candidate that:  a) they think would be the best choice for president, b) the candidate that has the best chance of defeating the current president (Barak Obama in this case) or c) as in the case of the few Dem's. that slip into the REPUBLICAN PRIMARIES, vote for the candidate that will,  in their mind,  lose to Obama. Why we let Independents and temporary Republicans - Dem's in sheep's clothing - choose our candidate is beyond me.  I believe the best answer to making the right choice for our nominee is to vote for the one we most want to place in office.  As my wife said this morning (yes she is still my wife and gratefully so) "we make the winner".  Choosing the candidate who is the most "electable" is granting to oneself a foresight that is not available to us mere humans.  Part of this thinking is brought about by listening to political pundits who espouse themselves as experts.  These "experts" (the republican establishment for one) who actively work to elect a nominee that is more moderate, are of the belief that we cannot draw in the votes of independents which are vital to winning the White House.  This has given us candidates such as Bob Dole and John McCain (yeah, real winners there).  These establishment types were dead set against Reagan getting the nomination, but now they want to jump on the Reagan band wagon and are often quoted as having been a supporter of Reagan all along.

Everyone with a hint of conservatism are now looking for the next Ronald Reagan.  The problem is, their will never be another Ronald Reagan.  Heck, even Ronald Reagan wasn't Ronald Reagan before the office made him the great leader that we so fondly remember.  Even in office, Reagan had made his fair share of mistakes; mistakes we now choose to forget or to deemphasize.  The hard truth is none of us are great until that time we need to be great.  The office of President of the United States of America is unlike any other job in the world.  It makes great men out of ordinary people.  This is why I put large emphasis on the moral fiber of whom I choose.  It is not easy to determine the moral fiber of a candidate and we all have baggage.  I dare say that few could undergo the scrutiny that our candidates are put through without looking bad.  That scrutiny gains more intensity with the advent of time and technology.

I have chosen to vote for Rick Santorum, in part for his stance on unpopular issues.  This indicates to me that he has the fortitude to do what he says he will do.  I also believe that he will have the strength of character to change course if he finds that he has led us in the wrong direction.  I am comfortable in voting for three of the four Republican candidates (with the notable exception of Ron Paul).  However, I could not support any of these men for king.  Thankfully, we do not need to choose an autocrat.  This is the genius of our founders,  knowing that  people are fallible and susceptible to corruption.  Balance among the three branches tempers the impact of choosing the wrong candidate. 

So here in the land of ordinary people (Lilliputians), we will have to give up looking for giants and do the best we can to raise our kids to be of giant character and to elevate our standards so that when the time comes we can find amongst ourselves tomorrow's leaders and today's banner bearers.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Contradiction......Really?



 

The proceeding clip is an interview of Eric Sapp  by Thomm Hartman.  Both are liberal and their goal is to persuade conservative Christians that,  one;  you can not espouse the philosophy of Ayn Rand and Christianity since Ayn Rand was an Atheist and,  two;   the selfishness of conservatism flies in the face of Christ's admonition to care for the poor and the hungry.

Make no mistake,  Ayn Rand was an avowed Atheist, she had nothing good to say about religion.  Does her stance on religion diminish her philosophy of individual freedom vs collective bondage?  Is her description of those who would assume power through government coercion "for the sake of humanity" (she called them moochers-an apt name) any less valid?  I can make distinctions between her view of religion and the points she makes in the political arena,  as I am sure that you who read this can.  Let me point out the hypocrisy of Eric Sapp.  Although I'm sure that he would disavow this point,  the philosophy  that he espouses is rooted in the teachings of Carl Marx,  also and avowed atheist. He reserves for himself the ability to selectively pick and choose what he believes  from whomever but we can only choose one belief or the other?

Another point made in this interview is the idea that we are selfish to try and  keep the government from taking our earnings because it is a contradiction of Christs admonition to feed the poor and care for the needy.  At no point in the interview did they make the distinction between private charity and government largess.  Private donations to worthy causes  far out pace donations made by the government. 

I would like to ask these two gentlemen,  How can giving to someone,  someone Else's money not be considered theft?  If monies are taken from an individual unwillingly and then given to someone,  deserving or not,  how can this be considered charity?  

Be on the lookout for this kind of thinking because it will soon be in a church near you.  I highly recommend that you,  dear reader pick up a copy of Atlas shrugged and /or,  if you get the chance,  see the movie "Atlas Shrugged" Part One.  You will be shocked at how close to today's reality this work of fiction is.                    

Friday, July 8, 2011

I'm Back, Will Anyone notice? Did anyone notice my leaving?

Uh...... Hi,

In case you hadn't noticed,  I had deleted my blog but I missed it so much that I had to un-delete it and once again muddle through with my bad typing and grammar skills.

I've missed you few who read my blog and I apologize  for my absence.

I do not have a good excuse for my leaving and I have no excuse for returning but such reasons I have,  I will share with you.

Fear is the biggest reason,  I fear for what this country, and worse what we citizens,  will have to endure in order to bring our nation back from,  what I believe is,  the brink of  disaster.  What  has stopped me from speaking out could best be described as "deer in the headlight syndrome". 

Low self esteem also has stopped me from writing what I have wanted to write.  Their are so many voices out there who so eloquently espouse the message of conservatism,  who am I to muddy the waters with my not so eloquent blog?

On a personal note,  My wife and I,  after seventeen years of marriage will soon end said marriage.  I'm still living in the same house with my wife and my fourteen year old daughter.  As you can imagine there is a lot of strain and things at home are not so comfortable.  I soon hope to go back to over the road trucking.  Of course the collapse of my marriage means that I will no longer have my editor which adds to my feelings of having inadequate writing skills.

I am hopeful that the few of you who read my blog will find their way back and we can start up again where we left off but even if no one reads it I am at a point where I feel the need to continue writing for my own mental health.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Of Teachers and Ayn Rand

I have a favorite radio talk show host,  his name is Mike Rosen.  His show is on locally  from 9 am to Noon.  Fortunately he is also on the web and archives his shows.  http://www.850koa.com/pages/mikerosen.html


Since I have finally figured out how to embed videos,  I thought that I would embed some of the relevant things in his archives.

First up is a doctor standing on a corner in Wisconsin,  signing sick notes for protesters.  Unethical maybe?


 Next up,  A little reality check for those "teachers" protesting in Wisconsin



                                          
Third : A better trailer for Atlas Shrugged

 and finally a movie clip from Atlas Shrugged

At first blush you might not think that the movie clips and the Wisconsin protesters have anything in common unless you are versed in Ayn Rands work.  Than you know that what she considered the enemies of freedom are connected in most fiendish ways.  Of course being a Mormon Ayn and I separate company on religious views but knowing something about her background, I understand why she was an atheist.  Still, her writings have as much relevance today as they did in her time,  maybe more.



Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Not So Simple

Of the myriad reasons why I would not want the job of President of the USA, among the top would be foreign policy.  There are very few times a president can point to a solid political win in the foreign policy arena.  President Reagan brought down the Soviet Union but Gorbachev was given the credit, even though the last thing Gorbachev would want to do is destroy his own government. 

The situation in Iraq seems to be stabilizing.  We know this because the major media outlets ignore it.  Afghanistan is still a mess, but let's not forget that we went in there because there was a real threat to us from the major controlling party (the Taliban).  Were mistakes made in these examples?  You bet.  There are always mistakes made in such major undertakings, which makes my point that whatever is done, there will always be room for criticism.

Most of the time,  unlike the examples above,  there is not a clear win or loss when dealing with other countries.  This is most certain when dealing with countries in the Middle East.  There is only one stable Democratic nation in the region,  Israel.  Any other nation we have dealings with in the Middle East, with the current exception of Iraq and maybe Turkey (although that is not too clear) will be monarchies or theocracies and all to often the ruler will be a despot.

The current uprisings in Egypt look all to familiar to us old enough to remember the "youth movement" that toppled the Shaw of Iran.  The similarities are very frightening and the criticisms directed at our involvement in both instances could be carbon copied.  The value of hindsight is infinite and it is easy to be critical when one excludes the value of what might have been gained from such foreign entanglements.  There are plenty of examples where our nation's foreign policy efforts have gone awry and we have been left with a less than desirable outcome.  Nonetheless,  doing nothing and becoming isolationist has it's pit falls, as well.  

In the case of Egypt, let us look back at how and why we became involved.  In 1979, Egypt's ruler Anwar Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel.  To help foster this peace between our ally, Israel, and Egypt we entered into normal relations with Egypt, including giving of aid.  In the years since, we have continued to give aid and we have helped to train their military.  Their military is now among the most respected in the world.  In 1981 Anwar Sadat was assassinated and Hosni Mubarek became president.  The troubles in Egypt today are as a result of a suspected rigged reelection of Mubarek as president.

In the tradition of Middle East monarchs and despot presidents, Sadat and Mubarek have been brutal to their people.  Dealing with them and others of the same ilk has not always been very palatable but has netted us a stable peace for Israel for the last thirty years.  This peace has allowed Israel to become a major power and stabilizing influence in a region that is not known for its stability.  Since the Egyptian military has been trained here in the U.S., we  have been able to impress upon them a way of life that they may not have known existed.  It is this influence that, hopefully, will lead to a peaceful outcome in their current struggles.

While an advocate of freedom, we cannot be blind to the fact that the demonstrations in Egypt have been organized by groups that are not friendly to Israel or the U.S. and will ultimately enslave the people of Egypt in the way that Hamas has in Palestine.  It would be tragic if the Democracy that the Egyptians are seeking turns out to be only one election, as it has occurred in both Palestine and Iran  (Iran does hold elections, the way the Soviet Union used to hold elections, that give you only one choice and plenty of pressure to vote the right way).  There is not much we can do to prevent this and I fear for the Coptic Christians that make up ten percent of the Egyptian population if the Muslim Brotherhood manages to gain power.


My hope for the Egyptians is that they will establish a just government and their military is the best chance for that hope.  If not, Israel will once more have to contend with another hostile Islamic state on their border and the peace that we have helped to foster for thirty years will come to an end. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Promise Kept............Finally

As you might note,  The following is a Christmas story.  A little late,  you might ask?   Yes,  I promised my wife that if she posted this story I would post it as well.  Okay,  I forgot.......So here it is,  enjoy.


The Christmas Cardinal


For quite a while now, Jay's been encouraging me to post my Christmas story that I wrote to go with a gift I gave. Though I love to write and am working on a teen novel, being unpublished to date makes me fickle about my talent. However, he gives me some great support. So, I'm following his advise (I'm sure he'll pass out when he reads that).



The Christmas Cardinal

My grandmother was always an avid bird watcher. The yard of her house and her entire porch was filled with bird feeders to attract them. She loved to tell about the beautiful cardinals that had been her favorite since she was a child in Illinois. However, after she and my grandfather married, he moved them to Wyoming and she hadn’t seen a cardinal in all the years she’d lived here. Still, she told my brothers and I about the male’s scarlet feathers and black masked faces. She explained their spectacular red color symbolized hope and was a reminder for us to focus on our faith, their plumage a representation of the blood of Christ shed for the redemption of mankind.



As a writer, she often told us stories she had created herself as if they were fact, so to this day I cannot say if this particular story was truth, legend or her own tale.



A young man chose to leave his home and set out to see the world. He traveled far and wide, learning about new cultures and environments, learning a number of languages and skills from different parts of the world. Wherever he went, he tried to find some common reminder of his homeland. After many years, he grew homesick and decided he would return to see his family. In those days, there were no cars or trains, no public transportation. One had to get from place to place on foot or, if he were lucky, a horse. But as he had amassed no great fortune, it was his fate to travel on foot. As he arrived within miles of his home, a great blizzard blew up and he could scarcely see his hand in front of his face. He thought he would never find the little cabin in the woods where he knew a warm fire and loved ones would be. He trudged on, growing more and more fatigued and hopeless with each passing moment. He thought he might try to build a shelter, but the force of the storm was so great, he was certain he would freeze to death should he stop for even a moment. As he felt the last bit of his strength wane, he caught a glimpse of red in the corner of his eye and looked to see a majestic cardinal flitting in the tree just before him.



“Lead me home, little bird,” he cried out and thought for certain the cardinal looked directly at him as it began to move forward, from branch to branch. “What have I got to lose?” he thought to himself and began to follow the bird. This went on for some time, his burden of exhaustion lifted by the familiar sight of a beloved creature from his homeland. But in time, his body simply began to give in to fatigue. Just as he once again began to give up all hope, the smell of a wood burning fire reached his nostrils. He tried in vain to see ahead, but the heavy snowfall was too thick. The bird continued forward and so did he, knowing now that if he were not close to his own home, he was surely close to someone’s and there he would find shelter. Soon, he was close enough to see a rough outline of a building, though too obscured by the snow to determine anything familiar about it. As he was about to step up on the small porch, the bird rested in a branch of a tree beside it and the door to the cabin swung open. Out stepped an old man and woman and he immediately recognized his own mother and father. The man fell into their arms and the family celebrated a long awaited reunion and a tearful Christmas Eve that night.



Last year, near this special holiday season, Grandmother passed away and although we still lived in a place where none of us had ever seen a cardinal, he came to her that very night and, my brother’s and I believe, led her home to her Heavenly Father.

The End



The ironic part of this story is that my sister-in-law mentioned that my own mother, as she lay in the hospital about to go to surgery, thought she saw a cardinal at her window (that no one else had seen). She was born and raised in Indiana where, indeed, there are cardinals and she is a bird lover. Now that she will be bedridden and both my parents journey toward the end of their lives, I guess a part of me hopes that when the time comes, her own cardinal will lead her home.

Posted by Kerri at 9:56 PM