Sunday, September 04, 2005

Well, it took a natural disaster to get me back. The reason is, I am sick and tired of the finger pointing. But before I let it go, I have a few things to say.

First, thank God for the good people in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado and other states who have opened their doors to the refugees from Katrina. We heard at church this morning here in Denver that the first plane load of refugees had arrived and were expected to be her for possibly a year. So it is off to Walmart, Big Lots and other places to buy some amenities for our guests. I also heard that a couple of school districts have opened their doors to the kids.

Secondly, thank God for the good people of our great nation. We have heard the cry and it has not fallen on deaf ears. We have opened our wallets, giving what we can in monies as well as goods and services to aid those who so desparately need it. And the help will keep coming in the weeks, months, and possibly years to come.

Finally, I cannot let some comments regarding assistance and planning go unheeded. The mayor of New Orleans made a comment on a radio talk show that disturbed me. He told the Feds to get off their collective asses and get down there to New Orleans. Paraphrased, of course, but I believe I got the original intent correct. Let me ask this, Mr. Mayor. Where was YOUR evacuation plan, sir? I saw an image of several yellow school buses, now flooded, parked somewhere in New Orleans. Could these buses have been used to evacuate those who, for whatever reason, could not get themselves out? And what of commercial bus lines that service the greater New Orleans metropolitan area? Could the city and state not have contracted these to be used? At the very least, the hundreds, if not thousands of sick and infermed at the various hospitals throughout the greater New Orleans area could have been loaded on them and taken to Louis Armstrong Airport to be loaded on military transport planes that the governor of Louisiana could have immobilized from the LA Air National Guard. Or, if no such aircraft were available, she could have called upon neighboring states to provide assistance. I heard later that some sort of memorandum of agreement exists between Louisiana and Mississippi for assistance. Or if that didn't work, the governor could have called upon the Federal Government to provide evacuation assistance. To my knowledge, so such call was made.

While I applaud President Bush for declaring the Gulf Coast region a disaster area prior to the hurricane making landfall, I think more could have been done at the Federal level to waylay the misery. After the declaration, could the Feds not have started stockpiling basic necessities like non-perishable food and water along with medical supplies in preparation for deployment? I understand that the Navy began sending 3 ships to the region shortly after the hurricane made landfall, but the travel time was long. Air and land would have been much more suitable means of delivery.

Why did the governor, after the mandatory evacuation order was given, not call up the National Guard troops under her authority? Yes, SOME were in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I believe that number is only about 10%. And if they did not feel the need to call up those troops, at least put them on stand-by. That way, if they are needed, they are ready to deploy.

There is blame to be placed at all levels of government, but for people to immediately shoot for the top level is wholly unacceptible. The mayor bears some responsibility as does the governor for their actions and inactions. There are lessons to be learned from this tragedy. Let us all pray that these lessons will be applied.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Michael Moore wrote a book entitled “Dude, Where’s My Country?” I haven’t read any of his trash, but I think the title is pretty interesting. Dude, where is my country? I remember when Howard Dean, prior to his meltdown scream, vowed to take our country back. And now I ask, Dude where is my country?

I was listening to the Savage Nation, a conservative talk radio program. The lead story came from the Left Coast Nation-state of Washington. I wonder if Washington will change its name since George Washington, for whom the state is named, often cited God as the Source for inspiration, guidance, power, etc. Anyway, I digress.

So in the Left Coast nation-state of Washington, the State Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a 16-year-old boy for robbery. It seems that the 16-year-old hood and his 14-yr-old girlfriend were talking on the phone. The girl’s mother picked up the phone and happened to listen to the phone conversation, particularly the part where the boy admitted to the robbery. So, the mother called the cops, the boy was arrested, tried and found guilty of robbery. But the Washington Nation-State Supreme Court overturned the decision on the grounds that kids have a perceived sense of privacy in their parents house and that the phone conversations were part of this privacy. So, the mother, by listening to the phone conversation had invaded her daughter’s privacy. And now, that nice young man is free to frollick and skip through the fields and rob someone else. And, you may be surprised to hear that the ACLU has applauded the decision.

I remember when I was a kid, if I did something wrong, and a neighbor saw me, one of 2 things would happen. Either I would get scolded by the neighbor or the neighbor would tell my folks, and then watch out! If my deed was particularly bad, both would happen. My point is that wrong was wrong and it never went unpunished. Wrong was never, ever sugar-coated or glossed over. The people who did wrong things were never looked at as victims. The word we used was…let’s see….. oh yeah CRIMINALS!!! Yes, and I remember when gay meant bright or colorful. Now, that definition is ranked 3rd on Dictionary.com

And then I read on Worldnetdaily.com that an elementary school in Oklahoma banned, yep BANNED, a nativity scene and singing “Silent Night” but allowed references to Kwanzaa and Hannukah. And a school in that Left Coast Nation-state of Washington BANNED a performance of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” because the principal was afraid the performance might raise questions about the place of religion in schools. So, I guess for the Left-Coast, it is better to remain ignorant than to ask questions. Heaven forbid anyone should actually learn something!

As an aside, I wonder if the ACLU will take us to court because of the word "holidays" as in Happy Holidays, since the word HOLIDAY comes from Middle English meaning HOLY-DAY.

Dude, what happened to my country?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I told the kids not to make any plans for Friday night. Why? they asked. Because we are going to do something together as a family. What? they asked, piqued by the intrigue of the unknown "something". You will have to wait and see. Awwww!!! Tell us, please. No you will have to wait.

I discovered some time ago why we don't tell our kiddos about any special plans. There are two reasons, really. First is that we can't stand the over-excitement they show in the days, hours and minutes leading up to the special "something". We are constantly reminded that we are going to do "something" whatever it is, and that they, the kids, can't wait. It is worse than being stoked on sugar! Our walls can't handle it. Second, the disappointment that looms if the special "something" has to be cancelled. Then their world comes crashing down on them and there is no reason to go on. Oh, woe is me!

So we tell them we are going to do a special something, face the onslaught of questions, and let it ride itself out. Now, they still know that we are doing something special on Friday, but they accept it on face value and no more is said. In fact, they are telling others that they are unavailable on Friday night because we are doing family stuff.

Mom and Dad know something that the kids don't and we smile at their excitement because we know they will be pleased. Jeremiah wrote that God told him that He is going to do "something" special for us. That He has plans for us, good plans. Plans to prosper us and give us a future.

Tell us what they are! we implore. No, not just yet. You will have to wait. Awww, please?!?!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

It's game 3 of the World Series with the Bosox leading the seemingly hapless St Louis Cardinals 2 games to none and 4-0 in the 8th inning. C'mon Cards. Keep the Curse alive!!

I think I said sometime ago that I would not get political in my blogs any more. However, the events of the past several weeks have caused me to rethink my statement.

First, enter Dan Rather with "documents" proving GW Bush did not fulfill his National Guard obligations. Well, as we all know those documents have been proved forgeries and have since fizzled out to all except the large group who just plain hate President Bush. Now we find that, omigosh, 380 tons of explosive material have up and vanished from the Al Qaqaa weapons facility outside Baghdad. I love the name of that facility, Al Qaqaa pronounced caca, which, if you know your Spanish, means shit, and coincidentally is about what this report leaked to the New Yawk Thymes is worth. I digress. I learned today that the weapons were reported missing 18 MONTHS AGO!!! There is no evidence that the material went missing after the fall of Hussein. Isn't it odd that all of a sudden this information is made available to the general public one week before our election. The Spanish had train bomb attacks, we have false reports. I did some searching regarding this information today. I found out that the IAEA had sealed the facility in January 2003, prior to the Iraq invasion. The 101st Airborne had an overnight stay at sunny Al Qaqaa (wonder if the smell bothered them?) in April 2003 on their way to Baghdad. During their time there, members did a cursory sweep of the destroyed bunkers but found no explosives! And guess why the Iraqi government still had the material in the first place. Sadam Hussein pulled the wool over the Untied Nations by begging them to let him keep the explosive material because they use it in the Iraqi mining operations. First time I have ever heard of making IEDs considered "mining operations". Less than 1 pound of the material was used to bring down Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie Scotland. And to top it all off, this is not the first time that the IAEA has lost explosive material. So we have a site sealed by the IAEA looted possibly before US troops gain access. No wonder there were no biological and/or nuclear material found. Looks like the best way for a terrorist to get ahold of this material is to find a site guarded by the IAEA.

A news report was aired on NBC Nightly News saying that there was no way to verify the explosives were present prior to April 9, 2003. Then P-MSNBC, sister cable network, refutes the story from NBC! There is dissention in the ranks! Now, even the liberal media can't agree on what to report. Then I went to the IAEA website and found out that the computers the IAEA uses to monitor a country's nuclear activity are badly in need of an overhaul! Turns out the computer system was built in the 1970's. Man I feel safer knowing the world body is up on technology. I also find it odd that the IAEA website mentions nothing about the missing weapons. Maybe the IAEA is the ostrich being used in the latest DNC ad.

So John F-ing Kerry is out on the campaign trail poo-pooing or Qaqaa-ing Pres Bush on the missing weapons. Wonder if he stopped to think what affect his statements would have on the men and women actually in Iraq. Kerry called this incident, unfounded as it is, as another example of Bush's incompetence. Actually, that may have come from Little Johnny Edwards. So, if Kerry/Edwards think that Bush is incompetent because the US Army could not find the missing material, does that mean that the 101st Airborne are worse?

Watch out Senator. These folks will be working for you, if you're elected.

Sox won. Now they lead 3-0. But there is hope. The Bosox beat the Yanks 4-3 after loosing the first 3 games. Anything is possible in baseball.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I am changing my vote for the upcoming presidential election. I decided today to vote for John Kerry. The reason for my change is quite simple. John Kerry is Jesus Christ!

There is no other way to explain it. John Kerry is the messiah incarnate. I can’t believe I didn’t see it earlier. And here is the really good news. We won’t need to rely on embryonic stem cell research because John Kerry is Jesus.

This comes from the Rush Limbaugh program today. Part of the program dealt with embryonic stem cell research and Christopher Reeves’ death. Rush took a call from a 23-year-old man who had suffered a broken neck during a high school football game. Since then, he has been through all sorts of treatment and rehabilitation. During this time this young man had never been told, nor had it been insinuated to him that he would walk again. Nor had any of his doctors indicated that embryonic stem cell research would lead to advances in spinal cord injuries.

I found out some interesting information on spinal cord injuries. The problem with spinal cord injuries is that as part of the healing process, the spinal cord scars, probably much like a cut on your finger will scar. The problem is that the nerve endings cannot breach the scar and therefore remain severed.

OK, now back to Rush Limbaugh. The dummiecrats, I mean democrats took Chris Reeves’ death to point out that President Bush is against embryonic stem cell research and that without that research people like Reeves had no hope of ever regaining the use of their legs, this in spite of President Bush being the only (I believe) president funding stem cell research.

Bear with me. I will fully explain why I think John Kerry is Jesus. So the dems took Christopher Reeves death as part of their platform, it appears to me, even after they lambasted the president for using images of September 11 as part of theirs. I would liken this to President Franklin Roosevelt using images of the Pearl Harbor attack for his presidential campaign.

OK, back to Kerry. Little Johnnie Edwards was in Colorado today stumbling, I mean stumping for his boss. Edwards mentioned Christopher Reeves’ death in either a speech or an interview. He said that if John Kerry is elected president, people in wheel chairs will get up and walk. Yep, that’s right. Folks will take up their wheelchairs and walk. The only other Person in history who had reliably healed the lame is Jesus Christ. The only logical conclusion I should be able to draw is that Kerry is Christ. How else would this be able to happen? There is no hard evidence that embryonic stem cell research will lead to spinal cord injuries becoming a thing of the past. Even if there were, it would probably take years before any advances could be used for quadriplegic sufferers. Yet John Edwards says that if Kerry is president, the lame will get up and walk.

Another thing on embryonic stem cell research: A doctor, in a press conference, took a piece of paper and put a small dot on it. He said that president put a cell the size of a dot ahead of Chris Reeves. Too bad he didn’t comment that the cell the size of a dot could have become another Chris Reeves if it weren’t “harvested” for its stem cells.
I wonder if John Kerry would be willing to donate his unborn child for research.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I have another hero. I don’t have a new hero, because my dad will always be my hero. But I have added another name to the list. It is Kathy, my beloved wife. Her promotion to “hero-hood”, not only comes from the fact that she is a marvelous mother to our two kids, the fact that she has put up with me for the last 16+ years (enough said on that account). Her “hero-ness” comes from something that happened last night.

I submitted my resume for consideration for employment with Covad Communications Group. I had my interview today at 1:30 pm. I was a bit stressed out, unsure of how I would come off in the interview. This was the first time I have interviewed for a job…ever. Twenty-three years in the service of your country tends to hamper that ability.

So, as I said, I was a bit stressed last night. Kinda fell apart. But I was in good company. Kathy didn’t do or say anything profound. She really didn’t have to. She said that God has a plan for me (and us). That part I knew already. But she did do something rather neat. As we sat on our front porch last night, me hiding my head in my hands because of the tears, she stood behind me and put her hands on my shoulders. I really felt like Jesus was standing behind me, with His hands on my shoulders, comforting me and telling me it would be alright. I really believe that God worked through Kathy to ease my troubled mind. I went to bed last night and slept better than I have in months. Kathy also slept in. Such was her reward for using her holy hands to comfort the afflicted.
So I have added Kathy to my hero list. But only because she deserves it.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

I returned from the AmiA’s annual Fall Retreat today. Just a bunch of guys, real guys, real Jesus lovin’ guys hanging around together burpin’ and fartin’ and no wives to tell us how gross we are!

As part of the weekend, we were instructed on Saturday to take some quiet time. We had about 4 hours to kill and part of that was to be spent in the presence of God. Just the Creator of the Universe and me, alone, together. Our instructions were simple: listen to what God had to say to us. That’s it. So I did. It didn’t take long for me to hear.

Incidentally, why is it when we say we talk to God folks call that praying. When we say that God talks to us, folks think we’re crazy. I digress.

I was walking along County Road 344 which borders the camp. I decided to take a walk up to a lake about 3 miles up the road. I had 4 hours to kill and I thought a 6 mile walk would do the trick. As I began my walk, I noticed a path leading off the road on one side. I could hear the rushing waters of a stream down below so I thought I would head that way. As I walked down the path, I noticed it took a sharp 90º turn to the left. I said, out loud, “I don’t want to go that way”. Those were the only words I spoke aloud the whole trek. I don’t want to go that way.

The theme of the weekend was “With Him”. Doing things with Jesus, instead of maybe for Jesus. Or letting Jesus go ahead of us and we go with Him. It was quite the weekend, to say the least. And my statement above, “I don’t want to go that way” played right into His hands. We ask God to help us. We say we love Him and want nothing more than to obey Him, but when He leads and we go with Him. We hesitate. He takes a turn we did not anticipate and we say to God, “I don’t want to go that way”. But God knows better. I am reminded of the trip we took to West Point in 1969. We were taking one of my older brothers to school. We drove the whole way there and back, taking the Gulf Coast Highway and then up the Atlantic Seaboard. One stop we made was in Virginia to see historic Williamsburg and Jamestown. I protested immensely. I can’t remember what I wanted to do instead, but I was sure it was vastly more important and fun than going to these old places. I don’t want to go that way. My brother convinced me that this would be fun, and he was right. We went and had fun.

In 1998, I was sent on a remote tour to South Korea. By myself, wife and children staying behind. I REALLY didn’t want to go that way. But it was there that I met and embraced Jesus Christ as Savior for the first time. I had known who Christ was but did not have that relationship that He wants to have. I now have that relationship and I took what I had experienced back to Denver and shared it with Kathy. I am glad I went that way. It even turned out to be fun, too.

I will probably continue to drag my feet when the Lord leads me down paths that are unfamiliar, scary, or even boring to me. I will probably say another several times, Lord I don’t want to go that way. And if I am lucky, I will hear His convincing voice persuade me to go that way. And I may even have fun!