Sunday, December 5, 2004

Bill's Financial Analysis

I keep reading about how the whole world is going to end on December 25th because Wallmart’s holiday sales are lackluster. Here’s the man-on-the-street financial analysis:

Yes, Wallmart’s sales are down, but it’s because people are shopping at other stores. All over the country, Wallmart has been on a campaign to turn normal sized Wallmarts into Super-Gigantum-Mega-Colossal-Titanic Wallmarts. This happened to my Wallmart about five months ago. I’ve shopped there exactly once since then. The parking lot is the size of your average national park. To get from one side of the store to the other requires a bus ride with two transfers, and the crowds are worse than a college pub on free beer night. A classic example of “too much of a good thing”.

All that money that Wallmart’s whining about?... It’s getting distributed to smaller stores such as K-Mart, Wallgreens, etc. It’s not going to be a bad holiday sales season overall… only for Wallmart. I’m buying some Sears/K-Mart stock for Christmas this year.


Fine Print Disclaimer: I suck at financial analysis. When I speak, everybody listens… so they’ll know what NOT to do. So… don’t blame your losses on me!

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Headline of the Day...

"Botox link under study in botulism cases"

You don't say!... Duh! WTF! LOL

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Single Greatest Threat?

The single greatest long-term threat to the United States of America is the rapid and continued dilution of its Christian heritage and values.

The Christian heritage of the U.S. was brought into focus last week by the celebration of perhaps the most Christian-like of American holidays. Of course, Thanksgiving is celebrated by Americans with a great diversity of backgrounds, but its early American-Christian roots are undeniable. Even a cursory glance at the original proclamation and Washington’s/Lincoln’s restatements leads to this inescapable conclusion. A further study of this country’s early documents points to more of the same heavy influence of Christianity in the formation of the U.S.

How far we’ve fallen in such a short period of time. It would be practically impossible in this day and age to imagine any government entity calling upon the public to “offer up our bodies and soulds (sic) as a living and acceptable Service unto God by Jesus Christ” as did the Council at Charlestown, MA. The mere mention of God is rare enough and getting scarcer still, and Jesus may as well be one of the few (if any) words still forbidden on network television.

What used to be the majority in the U.S. is rapidly becoming the “remnant” much like Isaiah refers to regarding Israel in the first chapter of his prophecy of Israel’s ultimate demise. And, like the remnant of Isaiah 1:9, the faithful, God-fearing citizen may be the only moral force holding this country together at the moment.

Well… on to the more complicated portion of the question… what to do about it?

While the threat is singular, the source of the threat is from myriad sources… the ACLU, Islam, rampant secularism/humanism, judicial overreach, political correctness, immigration, Hollywood values, and just plain crass immorality at levels unimaginable prior to the mid 1900s.

Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers, and even if I did, I’m sure there’s someone out there much wiser than I that could give better ones. But since I brought it up, I’ll devote a sentence or two to each (they deserve a book or two apiece):

The ACLU – At some point, the myth of “separation of Church and State” has to be debunked and we have to get back to the true meaning of the establishment clause of the first article of the Bill of Rights. I don’t have a problem with any organization that protects the freedoms of the U.S., but the ACLU has gone far beyond that in their campaign to wipe all vestiges of God and morality from American life. How to get back to a constitutional view of the first amendment? I don’t know… I’m no lawyer… but seems like a good start would be to get some constitutionalist judges (if any are left to be found) sitting on benches all over the country.

Islam – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. We have to stop treating radical Islam as a religion and treat it for what it is… a political entity bent on the destruction of the United State of America. In that respect, it should be treated just like any other political threat to U.S. sovereignty… wiped out. The peaceful practice of Islam as a religion should be tolerated under the first amendment, but we have to recognize and deal with the threat of politically motivated Islam’s attempts to build a world theocracy. At some point, the religion stops and the threat begins.

Rampant secularism/humanism – Keep your eye on Europe for the dangers involved. I’m not real sure what can be done about this problem other than for the country to provide a more favorable environment for God-fearing folk. That’s certainly not the case at present.

Judicial overreach – Impeach the judges. Enact legislation to limit the powers of the judiciary. Enact legislation to further empower the public to initiate impeachment proceedings against judges.

Political Correctness – Is nothing more than a values system that stresses there is no right or wrong… a paradoxical statement if I’ve ever heard one (not much ‘value’ in having no right or wrong). You can’t live as a Christian, or any God-fearing individual and believe there is no right or wrong. Neither God or Jesus were ambivalent about calling out good and evil… neither should we.

Immigration - Control it according to existing law. Thoroughly educate immigrants in our past.

Hollywood values – Stop going to the movies. I did a long time ago.

Immorality – Get out of this first amendment protection of smut and filth and stop placing it front and center in our children’s (and adult’s for that matter) faces. This poor interpretation of the first amendment is in direct conflict with Article 1, Section 8 in which Congress is to provide for the general welfare of the country. We also need to stop writing laws that treat immorality as a God given right…. such as adding sexual orientation to the list of equal opportunity protected classes. The entire country needs to take Honest Abe’s advice… “And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience…”

There you have it! A wholly inadequate response.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Washington's T-Day Proclamation (the ACLU Version)

Here's the officially approved ACLU version for the Cupertino Union School District. Hats off to you if you can correctly fill in the missing words. If not, I suggest taking a look at the real version.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of @#$%^&*( $%, to obey @#$ will, to be grateful for @#$ benefits, and humbly to implore @#$ protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and @#$%^, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty @#$, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious @#$%^ who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto @#$ our sincere and humble thanks for @#$ kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of @#$ providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted' for the civil and !@#$%^& liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which @# has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our @#$^$ and supplications to the great @#$% and @#$% of Nations and beseech @#$ to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true @#$%^& and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as @# alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d dy of October, A.D. 1789.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Origins of Smoking

There’s this new study out on a possible genetic link to smoking. Personally, I think all these genetic studies with links to this and links to that are great! They’re helpful in understanding the male psyche. For example, when the wife asks every Tuesday night, “Just once… why can’t you manage to get the garbage out to the street?!” My simple answer, “But honey… I’m lacking that taking-out-the-garbage gene… it’s not my fault!” There’s what?... about 296 gazillion genes? I figure that’ll be enough for all the excuses I’ll need to come up with in my life. Hey, if genetics can explain away smoking, drinking, gambling and homosexuality, taking out the trash ought to be a piece of cake!

Did you ever wonder how smoking got started? I mean… surely some guy didn’t just get the brainiac idea one day to roll some dead weeds up in some paper, light it on fire and inhale the smoke. For one thing… paper was too valuable! I think it must have gone something like this…

Back in the days before electricity and toilet paper… say the mid eighteenth century, our youth’s entertainment choices were severely limited… no X-Box or MTV or looking at naked women on the web and even wiping wasn’t as fun as now. So, always on the prowl for new and exiting ways to test the limits of his youthful immortality, one day Steve says to Chuck, “Hey Chuck, let’s go out to the field, set the grass on fire and see how much smoke we can inhale before passing out!” Chuck, clearly lacking the non-smoking gene, says, “Sure thing dude, far out… !” (or whatever the appropriate youthful expression of glee was in the mid eighteenth century). So Chuck and Steve start having this competition every week and low and behold it catches on with other teens of the day. After all, no one can account for the tastes of teens.

Pretty soon crowds of teens are gathering around burning patches of field inhaling the smoke. Of course, there are some serious problems with this form of entertainment. For one, the owners of the fields weren’t too wild about it, so the kids soon found it hard to find a field to smoke. Another problem… when you passed out, the chances of getting burned were pretty high. And… speaking of high… one day the teens hit the local hemp farmer’s field. That turned out to be a popular spot indeed!

So naturally, the older folks being more responsible and all, solved these problems (maybe except the last one) by localizing the game. This involved rolling parts of the field up into big leaves… tobacco turned out to be a nice big leaf and it burned nicely too. This moved the game out of the fields and into the village and pretty soon the whole village was hooked on the new game. In no time at all, the smoke-the-field game spread throughout the world! There you have it… the origins of smoking.

Of course, 50 years later, the world saw another interesting phenomenon… a huge spike in lung cancer cases. But mankind didn’t figure that one out until the relatively recent advent of the trial lawyer.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Smoked Turkey Recipe (for real)

I’ve been doing this for many years… I thought I’d pass it on.

Ingredients:

One Turkey (or more if you’re really hungry and you have a huge grill)
More butter than you’ve ever used at one time (four boxes, minimum)
Salt, Pepper and whatever other spices you like on poor deceased Tom
One package of Cheesecloth
Two bags of charcoal (or a full tank of gas for you short-cutters)
Couple or three pieces of oak or hickory
Two disposable turkey pans (if you use the fancy one you got for a wedding gift, you'll be sorry)
Two disposable 9” round pie pans
A big baster (you try looking it up… I couldn’t figure out how to spell it)
One live chicken

Directions:

1. Pull the guts out of the turkey and save for gravy/dressing.
2. Stick two full sticks of butter in cavity (take the wrapping off first)
3. Salt/Pepper/Spice turkey as desired
4. Put Turkey in double pan (one inside the other)
5. Cut 4 lengths of cheesecloth a little longer than turkey.
6. Place the cheesecloth over the turkey so that:
A) The entire turkey is covered (except bottom)
B) Avoid folds in the cheesecloth (should be smooth)
C) Avoid air cavities between cheesecloth and turkey (tuck into coutours)
D) You end up with about eight layers (four pieces folded over)
E) If you have a button turkey, make a cutout for the button after covering.
7. Start the fire. Use a full bag a charcoal (more than you usually use)
8. Melt a minimum of eight sticks of butter and pour over the cheeseclothed turkey. The object is to end up with a fully wetted turkey. Do Not leave any cheesecloth dry.
9. Arrange charcoal so there’s a 9” hole in the middle. Place the doubled up pie tin in the hole and fill with water. If, during cooking, the water evaporates, replenish.
10. Put some oak or hickory in the fire to supply smoke.
11. Let the chicken out of the coop (mine is called “Butterscotch”) for company while cooking.
12. Put turkey on grill. Baste every 10 minutes or so. You must keep cheesecloth from drying out. It will brown, but should never get hot enough to turn brittle and black.
13. Most charcoal doesn’t last long enough to fully cook a turkey. You’ll have to replenish at some point.
14. Replenish butter if necessary.
15. Cook until button pops out or check temp with a meat thermometer and follow poultry guidelines. Generally this method takes much longer than frying, but shorter than oven cooking… around three hours or so.
16. Thank the chicken for keeping you entertained.
17. Remove cheesecloth. Skin should be browned and turkey extremely moist.
18. Eat!
19. Watch Football, take nap.

Enjoy!

Oh... the reason for the double turkey pans? Twofold...
1. You ever dump a dozen sticks of butter on a hot fire? Not good for you or the turkey!
2. When you're done, take the turkey inside in the inside pan and leave the outside one on the grill. Your wife will love you more.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Voter Disenfranchised!

Foreign observers arrived in the U.S. today to observe our elections. Specifically, they’re looking for evidence of voter disenfranchisement. Well, that shouldn’t be too difficult to find! Allow me to point them in the right direction…

My vote is disenfranchised by every snowbird yankee who’s registered in both New Joisey and Florida under the Motor Voter Act (NVRA) who votes twice for the dynamic litigating duo. There goes my vote out the window.

My vote is disenfranchised by every illegal alien (emphasis on ILLEGAL) that is allowed to register and vote. You know for whom they’ll be voting. That’ll cancel my vote!

My vote is disenfranchised by every convicted felon allowed to vote courtesy of the efforts of the dynamic litigating duo’s band of brothers who have determined that to lose the right to vote is just too cruel and unusual a punishment. You know for whom the convicted felons will vote, once again nullifying my vote! Birds of feather…

My vote is disenfranchised by every con-artist registered to vote under their name, their dog’s name, their long-dead great grand daddy’s name, and whomever else they invent and register under the remote registration provisions of the NVRA. Again, no stretch of the imagination where those votes are going.

My vote is disenfranchised by the dead folks maintained on the voter rolls because of the difficulties in voter roll maintenance imposed by the NVRA. When Joe Deadguy Jr. votes for his long lost dear old dad, my vote’s been wasted by a dead guy!

My vote is disenfranchised every time I vote on an electronic machine that creates no paper trail. How do I know my vote was recorded? How would they get my vote back if the machine fails?

Republican, Democrat, Independent or Klingon... everyone should be dismayed with the sorry state of our voting controls. Just in the past decade, we've wandered far from being an example to the rest of the world.... another legacy that Bill Clinton leaves with our nation.

Want to do some research on your own… check out these sites:
NVRA
Cato Institute Study on NVRA Fraud

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Observations From the Football Game: Kerry v Bush

I went to a college game today… noticed a few a things that may interest you… I know they did me…

Rebellious Republicans?...
I was encouraged to see a goodly number of very young college students wearing Bush stickers. As a matter of fact, they seemed to outnumber the somewhat older crowd wearing Kerry stickers. Keep in mind, we’re talking major league college town here, so I’d consider it a Kerry stronghold. I have a couple of theories:

Theory #1: These were simply the incoming freshmen who’s minds haven’t been polluted by their ultra-liberal, underachieving, intellectually minded profs (those would be the older ones wearing the Kerry stickers).

Theory #2: Here’s a more interesting theory… this is simply a generation in rebellion. After all, what’s a young adult to do when the generation(s) before them have slid into such a low state of moral decay that their immorality is untoppable (or unbottomable)? How does one rebel against an older generation that’s already done the worst that you could do? You rebel in the other direction! If you have leadership figures like Bill Clinton, the anything goes moral relevance crowd, ultra-liberal, humanist intellectuals, you rebel by leaning the other direction (that would be to the right).

Perhaps this is society finding moral equilibrium? A few generations rebel by leaning left, until society has reached a point that leaning any further left is self-destructive… at which point it swings back right again. That society gravitates from one extreme to the other seems a given if you examine history. Perhaps generational rebellion is the mechanism by which this phenomenon happens. There’s one for you intellectuals to ponder.

The “nothing will change my mind” crowd….
Don’t you just love it when the ref makes a call against the home team and the crowd boos madly, despite the fact that the ref was standing three feet from the play and most of the crowd is somewhere from three hundred to three thousand feet from the play? And then, the play is replayed on the jumbotron which clearly demonstrates that the ref was right, and the crowd boos wildly again.

This is simply a graphic demonstration of a universal truth…. A great number of people could care less about truth… they simply want their guy to win no matter what. Evidence means nothing. Voting records mean nothing. The very words of their man mean nothing. They are blind to the truth and no matter how big the jumbotron, they won’t see it.

Hysterical weathermen
We’ve seen an awful lot of that lately here in Florida. Now the NCAA has this new rule that if there’s severe weather within ten miles of the stadium, the game will be suspended until it clears. So, we had our normal afternoon thundershower pass through… didn’t even come close to the stadium (five miles by the super-scientific, and generally reliable “one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand” method). But, we had to stop the game for an hour and have 80,000 people panic that they were going to be swept away by weather of Biblical proportions. I’m sick of the weather melodrama. Why can’t we just use a little common sense and get out of it when it gets bad? No… we have to analyze a hurricane from two thousand miles away and get all worked up in a lather two weeks before it actually gets here. I predict we’ll have very few football games in Florida that will be played in less than four hours.

Speaking of Rebellious…
The skirts have gotten so short that you can see their crotch as they walk up the stadium steps. That’s pretty disgusting. Do these girls not think of that before they dress for the game? And don't call me a leering old pervert.... they walk right in front of me while I'm trying to watch the game!

Speaking of Disgusting…
Sorry to be so politically incorrect, but come on flag girls (or flag persons nowadays) and majorettes… please lose some weight! When my wife was a flag girl in the seventies, they had weight restrictions. Of course, we can’t have that in this age of political enlightenment. There were several out there that looked as if they could be playing in the game instead of in the band!

OK… send me the hate mail. I can hear the apologetics now, "You can't discriminate against those poor girls because of their disease." Perhaps the currently rampant disease of low expectations is to blame for their total lack of motivation to maintain their bodies as a temple. Sorry… I just come from a different age.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I Agree With the ACLU???

Say it ain’t so! Sadly, however, it is. The topic is Florida’s moronic law that forbids recounts in counties where electronic voting machines are used. What ignorant buffoon came up with that idea?

Before launching into a tirade about electronic voting… a quick disclaimer: I’m not an old fart technophobe! (OK, maybe an old fart, but hopefully the gray imparts some aura of wisdom). I manage the development group of the largest software development company in a city of one million people. In our niche market, we’re the leading software provider in the world. If I’m labeled a technophobe, it’s only because I have a more keen understanding than most of what can go wrong with hardware and software.

Relying on electronic voting machines with no hard-copy backup or a law that says you can’t use it even if you have it, is pure unadulterated political suicideperiod! I’ll take it even a step further. Electronics should be used strictly for vote gathering, with the result individually and immediately recorded on a hard medium (paper), verified by the voter before leaving the polling machine, erased from the electronic medium after the voter confirms the ballot and counted mechanically en masse after polls have closed.

Here’s why for each step:

1.) Vote Gathering. This should be the only step in which electronics play any part. The human to machine interface (GUI to you developers out there) of a properly designed touch screen is infinitely more intelligible to the ignorant masses than the human to machine interface of mechanical voting devices, which was the main reason precipitating the push for electronic voting (remember the Palm Beach ballot design debacle?). In addition, it is far easier and quicker to modify an electronic interface than a mechanical interface for the ever-changing needs of elections.

2.) Record the vote on paper. Computers (or any electronic storage medium) are far too fragile to rely on for storing votes for any length of time. The ideal should be to minimize the time a vote spends on electronic media. In practice, the shortest amount of time is from the vote selection to the recording of that vote on a more permanent media (paper). In addition to fragility, the enormous complexity of computers invites fraud. Any dufus can tell if a paper vote has been altered. It takes an expert to track down electronic fraud and chances are excellent the fraud will never be noticed in the first place. Finally, any voting machine that doesn’t generate a means for recount is in my mind (and should be by law) criminally negligent. Only politicians and lawyers could have possibly come up with this scheme to defraud the American voter.

3.) Voter verifies ballot. When I leave the voting machine, I want assurances that my vote was, or will be tallied. When I hit the Submit button on an electronic touch screen and my vote disappears into the black hole of the bit bucket, I have no assurance whatsoever that my vote was recorded correctly, or even recorded at all. With a paper ballot in my hand, I can walk to the ballot box, drop my ballot in and be relatively confident that my vote will be counted.

4.) Erased from the voting machine. Voting is private. A voting machine should give me the same comfort level as the sleeve over my ballot that someone else won’t review my vote.

5.) Count ballots mechanically. Optical scanning technology is at a sufficient state of maturity to count ballots. As is currently the case, handling of ballots by other than the voter’s hands should be kept to a bare minimum. In the case of close races, ballots can be recounted by hand.


I may be accused of educating the enemy, but consider the ease with which any electronic machine (including voting machines) can be disabled:

Simply slip a fully charged power supply grade capacitor in your pocket. It’s about the size of a cell phone. I’d highly recommend putting your car keys in your other pocket. Discharge the capacitor on any metallic surface of the machine, preferably the ports in the back. Zap!... You might want to use an appropriately sized resistor to minimize the noise of the discharge… or just sneeze loudly at the same time. Result: a practically guaranteed loss of data held within the memory of that machine.

If data is stored on any type of magnetic media (hard disks), hold on to your capacitor from above and add a wire wound metallic bar (a big nail will do) in your other pocket. Now, rather than discharging the capacitor into the machine (the entire case may be plastic), discharge it into your homemade electro-magnet… and wallah!… you have a bargain basement EMP attack. You’ll most likely scramble the disk’s brains and if your pulse is strong enough (doubtful though), you might scramble some electronics too.

Forget the semi-sophisticated approach… pick the thing up and slam it to the ground. You can stomp it once or twice for good measure too. There!... that’s a good five hundred evil republican votes down the drain. Then you limp out and apologize to the 85 year old poll worker that you tripped and fell on the voting machine. Hey… you’re a criminal… what’s a little white lie? If you’re a lawyer (which would make sense in this case), you can also sue for tripping on the improperly designed voting machine legs.

Of course, you’ll want to perform these acts late in the voting day so as many votes as possible are permanently lost. These examples represent highly unsophisticated attacks. The resources of a more determined enemy could be brought to bear in more sophisticated attacks such as defeating the software, or the electronic transmission of votes from precincts to headquarters, or in direct manipulation of vote counts. Don’t think it can happen? Download a few things via Kazaa and see what you think after that.

Forget criminal activity… what about a thunderstorm taking out an entire precinct late in the afternoon? It happened in my house… destroyed every piece of electronics in the entire abode. Can you imagine losing 10,000 votes in the blink of an eye? I can. How about the 110 year old blue haired snowbird from New Joisey that puts her car in drive instead of reverse and plows through the heart of the precinct destroying everything in her path? Yeah... I could see that happening!

Stability and complexity always exist in an inverse relationship. The increased complexity of electronic vote storage, transmission and tabulation only invites instability, whether that be from purposeful maliciousness or simple unplanned natural events. To add to that inherent instability by not providing a backup means of vote tabulation, or worse, to specifically deny it’s use, is simply unacceptable. When it comes to something as important as voting for our leaders, we need to employ a KISS approach. Unfortunately, the KISS philosophy doesn’t seem to be one of our government’s strong suits.

If this law is allowed to stand, old Algore only thought that votes went uncounted in 2000... because in the infamous words of BTO, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"

Friday, July 23, 2004

First Analysis - 9/11 Commission Recommendations

The 9/11 Commission Report is out and at a minimum, the Executive Summary is a must read for every citizen of these United States. Despite controversy over partisanship with one of the members, I believe we have to take this as the best effort of our government to discern what happened on and leading up to 9/11, and most importantly, beginning on page 16, what to do about it.

I’m sure the recommendations will be fodder for a gazillion commentaries, debates, bickering on the hill and partisan wrangling. I myself plan to read them carefully and offer my own views to my legions of (OK, maybe five or so) faithful readers. My initial outlook is that the commission has made some very good recommendations.

I’ll start with by far the most important of the commission’s recommendations… which also happen to be the hardest to implement and which the failure on our part to implement will be most responsible for the future destruction of our country as we know it today. On page 18, we see the following recommendations:

Define the message and stand as an example of moral leadership in the world. To Muslim parents, terrorists like Bin Ladin have nothing to offer their children but visions of violence and death. America and its friends have the advantage—our vision can offer a better future.

Communicate and defend American ideals in the Islamic world, through much stronger public diplomacy to reach more people, including students and leaders outside of government. Our efforts here should be as strong as they were in combating closed societies during the Cold War.

In a nutshell, we should offer the world moral and idealistic leadership. We should export our American ideals to the Islamic world as we did to the communist world during the cold war. Excellent words… outstanding thoughts… wonderful intentions, but what morals and what ideals are we trying to export? Are they the same morals that we exported a mere 30 to 40 years ago to the communist Soviet Union?

Are we exporting our ideals and morality from a country…

Where the government and half of the population can’t decide if homosexuality is immoral or not?
Where the highest government judiciary not only allows, but demands that all manner of sexual perversion be explicitly available to our children in government run libraries?
Where our government run school system teaches sex education by offering flavored condoms to thirteen year olds to taste… even over the objections of parents?
Where the leader of the free world redefines sexual relations (and the word ‘is’) for an entire generation?
Where the very idea of God is systematically being purged from every aspect of the government?
Where gangsters and pimps and whores are celebrated as role models in the youth culture?
Where the entertainment industry glorifies extreme violence and all manner of sexual immorality?

These are exactly the values and ideals that any God-fearing people loathe, and which the radical ones want to destroy with the edge of a sword (or a nuclear bomb… whichever’s more convenient).

How can we “stand as an example of moral leadership in the world” when the very morality of our leader is attacked by our own citizens as religious fanaticism? How, when the immorality of our former leader is glossed over as unimportant? How, when the moral state of our country is in a slow spiral headed for the all-time lows of the latter half of the Roman empire and the ancient Biblical city of Sodom? Are we really so na├»ve as to believe that Muslim countries don’t read the headlines of our papers and make those very same comparisons? Even the Muslims are aware of Sodom and Gomorrah.

We have some serious back-pedaling to do if we’re to offer the world moral and idealistic leadership. I fear just since the 1950s we’ve lost so much moral ground as to have reached the point of no return. I hope for my children’s and their children’s sakes that I’m wrong.

Please don’t take me wrong in my observations. I’m far from Michael Moore and the blame America first crowd. What I’m saying is that to implement the 9/11 Commission’s suggestions on moral and idealistic leadership (which I think are excellent), we’ve got some hard work ahead of us. We’re going to need a serious moral awakening in this country before preaching morality to the Middle East, or we’ll be no better than the Pharisees seeking to pull the mote out their eye while not beholding the beam in our own.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Attacking Bush's Faith?

Have you noticed lately the increase in attacks on President Bush’s faith? The attacks have come from all quarters, but are typified by Ellen Ratner’s recent post on WorldNetDaily.

Ellen Ratner is one of the few liberal pundits for which I actually have respect. She seems to genuinely attempt to understand truths, and frequently has some pearls of wisdom in her commentaries. I feel sorry for her enduring the personal attacks she describes in this article… certainly, these types of attacks are very un-Christ like in nature. Paul’s advice to Timothy comes to mind:

2 Tim 2:24-25 - And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

With all that said, unfortunately, Ellen frequently misses the mark, as she does in this case:

But it's important to look more deeply into the issue of "choice." The position of George W. Bush is that life is sacred. The Sixth Commandment says, "Thou Shall Not Kill." This is a non-negotiable as far as God is concerned. It's not a mere mortal's right to determine who lives and dies. That should be left up to God. Fine. Can someone then explain to me how it is that the same man who uses the "life is sacred" argument to deny a woman's right to choose her destiny can put more than 140 people to death, including a woman who proclaims the same Jesus Christ George W. Bush does as her personal savior?

Ok Ellen, I’ll take a stab at it…

As a Jew, she better than most, should understand the concept of capital punishment. Yes, the sixth commandment commands, “Thou shalt not kill”… and then the rest of the Mosaic law (which so many Jews conveniently forget) goes on to specify capital punishment for a wide variety of offenses. Contradictory? No. God simply gives the general command and then lists the specific exceptions.

Of course, there are differences today. We don’t operate as a theocracy as did pre-Messiah Israel (when not under bondage to other nations). However, the New law anticipates this fact in Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-14, in which the government is considered the arm of God to carry out punishment on evil doers. Bush simply “beareth not the sword in vain”. Paul’s advice from Romans 13 in a nutshell … if you’re going to do evil, be prepared to accept the consequences from your government. And regarding the woman who proclaimed Jesus before being executed, don’t forget Ellen, Paul’s advice is specifically written to Christians.

Regarding, “…to deny a woman's right to choose her destiny…”, if a woman’s destiny is her very life, I have no argument with Ellen. However, if Ellen defines a woman’s destiny as mere convenience… “I’m too [fill in the blank] for a child right now”, then Ellen is way off base. See my previous post on this topic.

Keep trying Ellen. We’ll make a conservative Jew out of you yet.