Rend Collective is an eclectic collective of multi-instrumentalists from Ireland who through songs and music want to lead people closer to Jesus. My 17 year old son introduced me. Allow me to introduce you:
" 'Rend Collective Experiment' was established in roughly 2002-2003 with the
concept of trying to figure out the purpose of their lives.So, about 15 people started a Collective to try to reinvent worship in our
contemporary culture, but the band comprises six members that tours and makes
The rest are there for support and to encourage the band 'spiritually,
musically, and missionally'...T hey saw in the environment some people have a sheer hostility to
church and/or Christians, so they sought to create music to draw them in
spiritually and get them to come to church just to hang out."
There. It’s done. I am no longer affiliated with the Republican party. It has become increasingly difficult to support or defend a Party who fails to represent my fiscal & social concerns. Over the past several years, this party has chosen to walk a line of 'moderation' rather than stand for fiscal responsibility & social decency. It has proven itself, over time, to be the party of luke-warm status quo instead of goal directed passion.
You see, friends, our nation has been in the jaws of a ravenous Socialist beast for some time, & my republican party has failed to rise courageous against it. While my nation is being eaten alive by the left, my republican friends have wrung their hands, gnashed their teeth & done essentially nothing. Our nation is desperate for someone with pluck & prowess to stand up to the leftist Kill Machine, a pervasive leftist media & tepid public opinion. Republicans have failed to summon such courage, to make use of available strategic machinery, & to truly engage in battle. It is a battle to the death, see? Yet they still don’t get it: appeasement will never placate that Aggressor's appetite. I’m tired of trying to hold them accountable, as ‘one of them.’ My heart is weary of hoping they'll get it right, then having hopes dashed, time and again. Therefore, I am detaching myself for my own good, & probably for theirs. And there’s freedom in my decision. At least now, I can cease gritting my teeth over egregious policy errors. I'm no longer vulnerable to being disappointed over the flaccid efforts of those I supported with my cash & my votes. It’s a relief, frankly. And now, I’m free to just be American -- for as long as it lasts.
2013. It's time to rearrange a few things. Time to pick ourselves up from the side of the road, shake the dust off and plot a new course - with courage, with tenacity, with vision. You know, like my friend Sandy says...
Big, Hairy, and Audacious
I’m sure that some of you have heard of a BHAG (pronounced bee-hag) – Big Hairy Audacious Goal. For those of you not familiar with the concept, it stems from a 1994 book by James Collins and Jerry Porras entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. A big hairy audacious goal is visionary, strategic, and emotionally compelling. To many, it may seem crazy or impossible. My new year’s wish for us as individuals, for FCRW, our party, and our nation is that we set some big hairy audacious goals. Building on that, I think we also need to dream big hairy audacious dreams and pray big hairy audacious prayers. I’ve had some out of the ordinary personal struggles over the last few months. Things that never happen, all happened within a few weeks. Audits, traffic tickets, unexpected serious medical issues for multiple family members. One issue that should never have been, just wouldn’t go away. I could not foresee any possible outcome that would not be just horrible. So I did what I should probably do more often, but that I’m not very good at – I prayed a big, hairy audacious prayer. You know, the one that says, “Help! Please just do the impossible and lift this burdensome issue completely and quickly from my shoulders.” Within days, I unexpectedly received a letter informing me that this issue that I had not been able to resolve for several months was over, done, resolved, in my favor. That’s not to say that we’ll meet all our goals, achieve all our dreams, or that God in His wisdom will answer all our prayers the way we think He should. But certainly, we’ll never achieve much of anything if we don’t start with some big, hairy, audacious goals, dreams, and prayers. Besides, in the words of Walt Disney “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible!”
Connecticut Horror (italics & bold, mine) "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping Rachel weeping for her children And refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
--Jeremiah 31:15 When the prophet Jeremiah wrote those words he was referring to the children of Israel who were being sent by their enemies out of their country into captivity. Centuries later in the Gospel of Matthew the verse is repeated again to refer to the plan by King Herod to kill all the male children, two years old or under, in the hope that the slaughter would include the infant Jesus, whom Herod believed was a threat to his throne. Herod failed. He is dead. Christ lives. In response to the Connecticut carnage there was no shortage of "solutions" suggested this weekend. Gun control. Regulating death-oriented video games that the shooter reportedly spent hours each day immersed in. Mental health reform. Armed guards in every school. Some of these solutions make sense and others don't. All of them miss the real point. What is happening in our society that spawns these young, twisted men who can kill the innocent so easily? First and foremost, as a nation, we are running from God. Our Founders put Him in the most important statement of the American founding in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Few of our children know those words. But they have been taught that our Constitution has enshrined in it a right to destroy inconvenient life. The Founders believed liberty came directly from God. With their knowledge of Scripture, they knew each child was made in the image of God. That is why everyone had dignity, value and worth. Today's children are taught by our culture that we are a cosmic accident. Something slithered out of the primal slime and over billions of years evolved into a human being. We are cousins, ten times removed, to the ape at the zoo eating his own excrement. God is pushed out of every public place. The number of Americans professing they are atheists, agnostics or faithless grows yearly and is reported breathlessly by happy social scientists and reporters as evidence that we are putting away the old superstitions.
In early America, most believed their evil acts would have to be accounted for in front of a God of Judgment. Today increasing numbers of the young believe there is no throne, no God, no cross. When a young man massacres innocents, we have been trained to believe that the act was due to improper levels of chemical enzymes and misfiring synapses. As we learn more about our cells, we forget more about our souls. Were Hitler and the countless Germans who cooperated in the killing of six million Jews, and who made lamp shades out of their skin, simply the products of an inadequate German mental health system? Or should we revisit the existence of evil? Having robbed children of any sense that their Father is in Heaven and that they are His creation, we then launched an experiment in raising them without earthly fathers too. Having neither a Father in heaven or a father in the home, young men define their manhood by spreading their seed in random couplings. Young women, searching for the love our hearts yearn for, make themselves available.[OUCH!] They try to fill the emptiness of their lives with a snort of cocaine or needle filled with heroin. Overstretched police departments can't keep up with the wreckage. Kabul is safer than a warm night in Chicago. Virtually every one of these markers of moral decline is off limits for the national conversation that we are being told we must have in the wake of the Newtown shootings. And being off limits, we are condemned to seeing more horror, more death, more broken families, more demonic acts of evil. The sphere of safety will shrink. The unthinkable will become reality. If, as our Founding believed, only a virtuous people can be free, our tombstone will remind us that the wages of sin is death. Connecticut's state motto is a Latin phrase, "Qui Transtulit Sustinet," meaning, "He who transplanted still sustains." The founders of the state meant God. He had transplanted them to the new land. He would sustain them in their time of troubles. He will sustain us still today, but only if we rededicate ourselves to becoming One Nation Under God.
Systematic desensitization toward the humanity & worth of other human beings (voyeuristic nature of crass 'reality' TV, social media, etc.)...
Pandemic erosion of empathy(violence in media, gaming, politics)...
Callous objectification of fellow countrymen/women/children(visual/print/political media, print/online pornography)...
INTENTIONAL diminishment and outright denial that life has value and purpose: b/c we are created by GOD in the image of God('no' to 10 Commandments, scouring all trace of God in public square, schools, political platforms, ABORTION 'rights', partial birth abortion)...
All are in play here.
Eliminating legal gun ownership will have NO EFFECT, except to soothe our collective sense of responsibility for the state of our culture -- no effect.
May God help us - our culture WILL. NOT. CHANGE.
UNLESS and UNTIL we address, not our 'gun' problem, but our SPIRITUAL problem.
"Bill, come in the dining room, it's time to eat," Linda yelled to her husband.
"In a minute, honey, it's a tie score," he answered. Actually, Bill wasn't very interested in the traditional holiday football game between Detroit and Washington.
Ever since the government passed the Civility in Sports Statute of 2017, outlawing tackle football for its "unseemly violence" and the "bad" example it sets for the rest of the world," Bill was far less of a football fan than he used to be. Two-hand touch wasn't very exciting. Yet it wasn't the game that had Bill uninterested. It was Tofu Turkey. Even though it was the best Veggie Meat available after the government revised the American Anti-Obesity Act of 2018, adding fowl to the list of federally-forbidden foods, (which already included potatoes, cranberry sauce, and mincemeat pie), it wasn't anything like real turkey. Since the government officially changed the name of "Thanksgiving Day" to "A National Day of Atonement" in 2020, to officially acknowledge the Pilgrims' historically brutal treatment of Native Americans, the holiday had lost a lot of its luster. The dining room was also a bit daunting. The unearthly gleam of government-mandated fluorescent light bulbs made Tofu Turkey look even weirder, and the room was always cold. The Power Conservation Act of 2016 forced all thermostats - which were monitored and controlled by the electric company - to be kept at 68 degrees. Every room on the north side of the house was barely tolerable throughout the entire winter. Still, it was good getting together with family. Or at least most of them. Bill missed his mother, who passed on in October, when she had used up her legal allotment of life-saving medical treatment. He had many heated conversations with the Regional Health Consortium, spawned when the private insurance market finally went bankrupt, and everyone was forced into the government health care program.
Though he demanded she be kept on her treatment, it was a futile effort. "The RHC's resources are limited," explained the government bureaucrat. "Your mother received all the benefits to which she was entitled. I'm sorry for your loss." Ed couldn't make it either. He had forgotten to plug in his electric car last night. The Anti-Fossil Fuel Bill of 2021 outlawed the use of the combustion engines - for everyone but government officials. The fifty mile round trip was too far, and Ed didn't want to spend a frosty night stranded on the road.
Thankfully, Bill's brother John, and his wife were flying in. Bill made sure that the dining room chairs had extra cushions. No one complained more than John about sitting down too soon after government-mandated cavity searches at airports, which severely aggravated his hemorrhoids. Since a terrorist successfully smuggled a cavity bomb onto a jetliner, the TSA told Americans the added "inconvenience" was an "absolute necessity" in order to stay "one step ahead of the terrorists." Bill had grown accustomed to such probing ever since the government expanded their scope to wherever a crowd gathered, via Anti-Profiling Act of 2022. That law made it a crime to single out any group or individual for "unequal scrutiny," even for probable cause. Thus, cavity searches at malls, train stations, bus depots, etc. had become almost routine. Almost. The Supreme Court is reviewing the statute, but most Americans expect a Court of six progressives and three conservatives would leave the law intact. "A living Constitution is extremely flexible," said the Court's eldest member, Elena Kagan. "Europe has had laws like this one for years. We should learn from their example," she added. Bill's thoughts turned to his children. He got along fairly well with his 12-year-old daughter, Brittany, mostly because she ignored him. He had long ago surrendered to the idea that she could text anyone at any time, even during Atonement Dinner. Their only real confrontation happened when he limited her to 50,000 texts a month; it was all he could afford. She whined for a week.
Jason, 16, was another matter altogether. Perhaps it was the constant bombarding in public school that global warming, bird flu, terrorism, or any of a number of other calamities were "just around the corner," but Jason had developed an attitude that ranged between simmering surliness and outright hostility. Jason had even reported his father to the police for smoking in the house, an act made criminal by the Smoking Control Statute of 2018, which outlawed smoking anywhere within 500 feet of another human being. Bill paid the $5,000 fine, which might have been considered excessive before the American dollar became virtually worthless as a result of QE13. The latest round of quantitative easing the federal government initiated was, once again, to "spur economic growth." This time, they promised to push unemployment below its years-long rate of 18%, but Bill was not particularly hopeful.
Even so, Bill thought his family had a lot for which to be thankful, before he remembered it was a Day of Atonement.: he wasn't supposed to be thankful. At least he had his memories... He felt a twinge of sadness when he realized his children would never know what life was like in the Good Old Days, before government promised to make life "fair for everyone."
Bill, & many other Americans, never realized how much things would change if changes didn't come about all at once, but little by little. He wondered what might have happened if the Public had stood up while there was still time, back in 2012, when America lost its way and all the real nonsense began. "Maybe we wouldn't be where we are today if we'd just said 'enough is enough' when we had the chance," he thought.
Maybe so, Bill. Maybe so.
“Its easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
17:7-8 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
*1980's, 90's secular progressives work through courts & p.c. campaigning to
remove God from public square: 'sectarian' (i.e., in Jesus' name)
prayer @ public forums, removal of references to Christmas, etc. And there was no push back
that mattered. "Let's not offend anyone. They're just being annoying."
*Next our electorate elevates their candidate (2008) to 'messiah'
status, calling him "the One," & yes, even "messiah"... No pushback that
mattered. And candidate-supporting Christians go along. "They're just celebrating.Let's not offend anyone."
*2012: one of our nation's major political parties removes all references to
God from their party platform... No pushback that mattered & Christian
party members go along. "It doesn't really matter, and let's not rock the boat."
*Oh, but wait! 9-11-12 our Libyan compound is visciously attacked, leading to 4 American deaths...And our population (including Christian supporters) buys the lie, & the horribly insulting assertion behind it: "They had a right to be mad. Somebody used the name of their prophet improperly."
Join me, friends in Dr. Graham's Fresh Vision for America:
November 8, 2012 - A day after turning 94, Billy Graham writes:
"I plan to spend the next 12 months, if God permits, doing all that I am able to
do in helping to carry out a fresh vision God has given us—a vision to bring the
Gospel of Jesus Christ to every possible place in America by the time of my 95th
At the climax of My Hope one year from now, if God enables me, I want to call
the entire nation to repentance and lasting hope in Jesus Christ.
From the Desk of Billy Graham:
All of us care a great deal about our country. The intensity of opinions and
feelings during the long political campaign showed the depth of that
Now with the votes counted, it is important to remember that
whether we are personally pleased with the outcome or not, God wants us to pray
for those chosen to be our leaders—at the national, state, and local levels. The
Bible urges us to do so with both respect and thanksgiving (see 1 Peter 2:17; 1
We must also remember that no election will ever solve
America’s most basic problems. That is because the trouble, at its root, is in
the human heart, and the only path to true restoration—for a person or for a
nation—is through repentance. The Bible says, “Repent therefore, and turn back,
that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the
presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19–20, ESV).
Only the Gospel, God’s Good
News, has the power to change lives, heal hearts, and restore a nation.
want that to happen in America, and I know you want that as well. I turned 94 on
the day after the election. Although my age and health have limited me
physically in recent years, I plan to spend the next 12 months, if God permits,
doing all that I am able to do in helping to carry out a fresh vision God has
given us—a vision to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every possible place in
America by the time of my 95th birthday. It’s called My Hope,
and I pray that you will partner with us.
In the days of the Prophet Jeremiah,
God commanded His people to “seek the peace and prosperity” of the land where He
had placed them and to “pray to the Lord for it” (Jeremiah 29:7, NIV). I ask you
to join me in committing the next 52 weeks to faithful, even fervent, prayer for
this land in which we live. You can start by making a list of people you know
personally who need Jesus Christ and then begin praying regularly for them,
individually by name.Pray also for your neighborhood and your city,
asking God to bring men, women, teens, and children—people from your own
community—to Himself during the next 12 months. And pray along with me for the
nation, asking God for mercy on America and for a great spiritual
My son Franklin is spearheading this vision and outreach,
working in partnership with thousands of churches across every state in the
country (ask your pastor if your church plans to take part). Franklin will be
sending you more details on how this will work through the coming months and how
you can participate.
At the climax of My Hope one year from
now, if God enables me, I want to call the entire nation to repentance and
lasting hope in Jesus Christ. The message I give will be presented in a fresh
format, different from preaching at a Crusade, but the same Gospel. I believe we
will see God work in a mighty way.
It is my passionate, heartfelt desire
to see God change hearts and lives in every community in America, and I pray He
will stir the same desire in you.
Will you join Franklin and me in this
As she fell asleep lying next to me
tonight, my five-year-old, got tears in her eyes (mostly just exhaustion)
and said she was sad Obama won. I laughed as she was mimicking her mother, who,
at the start of the day, hugged her good morning and began crying telling her
Romney lost and her mother was sad. In this moment, I realized I needed to write
down my thoughts for my children on this post-Election Day, why I am so sad
today and why I will keep fighting tomorrow. I voted for Mitt, but it wasn't
because he was Republican, I hate being labeled into a box. I wasn't even voting
for Mitt -per se- no doubt he would have been a great economic leader, which is
what this country so desperately needed. I was voting for more than a man. *I
voted for the idea that reward comes with hard work, not handouts. That
people are the solution, not the government. *I voted with the notion that
our President should be held accountable for his actions, and that on 9/11/12, a
US Ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack, and
that our current President blamed it on a video. *I voted because Obama apologized to
terrorists and to the world for our First Amendment and the right to free
speech. *I voted because I belong to a
religion that has seen much hatred, and cruel videos and musicals [Jill is Mormon], and yet I
believe it is a right for others to speak, so I peacefully ignore those cruel
words and videos and musicals. *I voted
because God leads this nation and the Democratic Party removed his name from
their political platform.[emphasis mine] *I voted because
I believe contraceptives are a choice and not a right; and even more that women
should pay for their own and not expect others to do so. *I voted for the unborn who are killed by
partial birth abortion.I voted not to
pay for abortions with my tax dollars. *I
voted for economic recovery and for that silly belief that if you can’t afford
it- you shouldn’t get it. *I voted for
Capitalism and the American Entrepreneur. *I voted against redistribution of wealth and
the thought that the government can decide who has too much and who deserves
more. *I voted against a President that seeks to divide (class warfare, war on
women, race divisions), and voted to Stand United with my fellow Americans, no
matter their race, gender, or financial worth. *I voted for the belief that this nation was
founded on principles that need to be embraced, not “fundamentally” changed. *I voted for you (her children's names). *I voted so that you would be able
to grow up in the America I have been privileged to know. I write this so that
you know that my vote was not in vain. I realized today that I stood with 48% of
American voters, united for a better tomorrow.I will continue to work and serve, and pray so
that each year that 48% grows. I learned today that being humble to the Lord and
working hard is difficult and tiring, but it’s the only way. I learned that I
must make sure, as your mother, that you learn about America, the good and the
bad.I learned that America is only as
strong as her people.I learned that I am
strong...I learned that even though the outcome is not what I had hoped,
fought and prayed for, that a victory was won because of the liberties that
allowed me to say I
Thank you, dear friend. You are not alone. May God, in His mercy, somehow see clear to bless America.
"A Perspective on Winning and Losing Elections" By John Stemberger - Florida Family Policy Council, 2008 (emphases mine) So your guy didn’t win the election? Maybe several of your candidates didn’t win. What about all of the time, money and effort you spent? What about the credibility of your personal support? Or what about the countless hours of volunteering, sending e-mails and talking to neighbors and friends? Are you discouraged? Disillusioned? Upset? Well, at the risk of sounding insensitive, welcome to politics in a fallen world. I was speaking at a conference in Jacksonville when a man raised his hand and told me he was greatly discouraged by all the insanity of where the country is going politically. He asked me what I could tell him to encourage him. While I can really sympathize with this man’s feelings, my response was straightforward. “Faithfulness is the goal.”
For the world, “winning” is not just the goal, it's everything. For the believer, faithfulness is the goal. Now don’t get me wrong. I want to win. And we will fight hard to win. In a sense, I have devoted my life to winning the battles we fight. But in God’s economy, the focus is not merely winning-- but on us being faithful to the end. Do we stop proclaiming the Gospel or speaking truth in love because the world rejects the truth? Do we give up on evangelism because we are not “winning” and seeing results with unbelievers? Do we give up as parents because we are not seeing “results” in our children? No, we develop a holy resilience to failure and setbacks and press on in faithful obedience to any task that we are called to accomplish. In politics, as with evangelism, God simply calls us to be faithful to the message and the task. The results are in His providential hands. When history is behind us, we rest in His sovereign plan. We do our best to promote the virtuous and expose evil and deception. We work hard to elect the most principled candidates. We steward our citizenship by educating ourselves and others and voting with the best possible information we can find. But once we have discharged our responsibility, we can be satisfied and feel God’s pleasure in the fact that we were simply faithful. As for me and my house, we are done with the emotional ups and downs of the roller coaster of election wins and losses—super elated with a win or totally depressed with a loss. We are learning the discipline of just being content with the knowledge that we were faithful to have done everything within our influence to elect principled men and women that will stand for life, marriage, and family. It is natural and normal to be disappointed with a defeat and overjoyed with a victory. I am not suggesting we deny the emotional responses that come with either winning or losing. What I am suggesting is that we not become emotional slaves to the circumstances one way or another but instead to sense God’s highest satisfaction in knowing that we were merely faithful to do our part-- irrespective of the outcome. This understanding aligns us with an eternal perspective. It protects us from burn out and it gives us greater endurance and resilience. Most importantly it postures us to humble ourselves before the Creator of history itself to recognize that we can only see in part and know in part and that ultimately His ways are higher, deeper and wiser than our ways.... ...Mother Teresa spent her lifetime serving the poor and unborn in physical conditions which just seemed insurmountable. Yet her timeless admonition still gives fresh motivation today. She said, “We do nothing. God does everything. All glory must be returned to Him. God has not called me to be successful. He called me to be faithful." Would that we could all have this same steady and eternal perspective when we face the wins and losses of life.
Would, that we all adopt the same steady, eternal perspective as Mother Teresa when we face the wins & losses in life.
It has been six weeks since our Ambassador and the other 3 Americans were murdered in Libya. It has been SIX WEEKS.
In 2001, within 4 weeks post-9-11 we were already bombing Afghanistan, bringing al-Qaeda to justice. Because we knew, and quickly.
This Administration watched the terrorist attack unfold in REAL TIME and did NOTHING. There is video-tape and audio-tape that is being suppressed by this Administration & worse, the Press is ignoring it. Let that sink in: the American Press corps is ignoring this story of National Security importance.
See this searing indictment of the Main Stream Media.
The American Consulate was literally burning, 4 Americans had been brutally murdered and Obama goes to VEGAS!
In the weeks since this brutal terrorist attack, our president has partied, campaigned, dodged, blamed Youtube, stonewalled, said 'we're still investigating' (see opening sentences 1-2 above). AND the Media has been right behind him, in front of him, underneath him, deflecting, suppressing, side-stepping this Administration's response. Fox News Channel is the ONLY major media outlet that is investigating & reporting the story. The only one. See Colonel Ken Allard's assessment below:
ALLARD: Obama knew about the attack, ignored three requests for help ~Washington Times
The Benghazi debacle may yet make Mitt Romney president. Barely 10 days before the election, the persistent whiff of scandal surrounding Barack Obama exploded into the banner headlines of a cover-up – at least among certain press outlets. Everything changed Friday afternoon with the stunning revelations by Fox News that CIA operatives defending the embattled consulate in Benghazi, Libya, called three times for emergency assistance while the attack was in progress. Each time, they were shamefully turned down. One of those defenders, Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, was apparently able to use a laser designator to pin-point the location of the mortar that eventually killed him. It would have been an easy shot for American pilots had any been ordered to respond. Another new and critical detail: An American drone was overhead transmitting live video of the battle scene below.
Only days before, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton airily dismissed new revelations of incriminating emails, also uncovered by Fox. Yet those messages provided startling proof of how Washington decision-makers – from the Pentagon to the White House Situation Room – must have known within minutes or hours that the incident in Benghazi was 9/11.2, the second successful al Qaeda attack on American soil. They also would have known that this well-coordinated assault killed the American ambassador to Libya, as well as three other Americans who fought valiantly to save him.
With all this information – from frantic messages sent by operators on the ground to highly detailed overhead battle-scene video – who invented the asinine idea that the attack was collateral damage from a flash-mob reacting to a provocative video? The record there is incriminating. For weeks afterward, the administration party-line was that the video, not al Qaeda, was responsible for the disaster, a major point of President Obama’s September speech to the United Nations. But when that story had morphed into an indefensible fiction, the party line shifted again, memorably summarized by Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. during his debate with Congressman Paul Ryan: “We didn’t know” because the intelligence establishment was still beavering away. With all due respect, Mr. Vice President and Madam Secretary: You did know, and so did the horse-holders you rode in on. You also knew that the night-time battle in far-off Benghazi made mincemeat out of the prevailing Obama campaign narrative, “Osama is dead and General Motors is alive!” You realized too late that inconvenient questions were certain to be raised about embassy security in Libya. After all, hadn’t the Library of Congress raised just those questions in an unclassified study only a month before? Worse yet, you also recognized that, wanting to keep a low profile on the anniversary of September 11, no American forces had been placed on alert, despite the Libyan power vacuum. So you concocted the next best and the most politically correct cover story: the flash-mob video. With unrest everywhere in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, the flash-mob story must have been seized upon with all the fervor of a drowning man grasping at oars – or straws. You could make all the right noises about deploring mob violence and anything critical of Islam. We’re the good guys, remember? To make sure everyone understood, you even sent out U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to spread the cover story on the usual TV talk shows. An ambassador is classically thought of as an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country. In her assigned role, Ms. Rice reached a new gender frontier right here at home. What could go wrong, especially since the mainstream media was munching like well-fed bovines on anything White House spokesman Jay Carney obligingly dished out? Well, nothing, except that Americans had died at the hands of terrorists and our intelligence establishment knew the truth the Obama administration was trying so hard to conceal. With too many people in too many headquarters, the truth has an inconvenient way of leaking, especially when you’re dumb enough to blame those self-same spooks. The president keeps trying to cover up his mistakes, and the press establishment is determined to look away, despite the cascading contradictions. Fortunately, Fox News, derided by the media establishment as Faux News, investigated what others ignored. And on a Friday afternoon, just when we were contemplating hurricanes, World Series and a deadlocked electoral race, they may have even changed American history. The president must now answer for the misdeeds his subordinates and his media allies tried so hard to cover up. Col. Ken Allard, retired from the Army, is a former NBC News military analyst and author on national security issues.
This president must answer, indeed. We the People must insist on getting those answers. Then we must gather the fortitude to kick this disgraceful Administration out of Washington DC, and send their Media sycophants out with them.
"Joe the Plummer" tried to engage us in 2008, but the MSM threw water (you know, the buckets they carried for BHO) on the flame. And now "Mother Jones" thinks they've scored BIG - ratting out Mr. Romney for the capitalist (you know: evil, selfish, grasping) that he is. I say it's about d#$% TIME that we have this conversation. Thus, I "reprise" my 10-27-08 post: "It Really Is All About Joe."
I ran into, by accident, another blogger who posted a piece about socialism. She waxes eloquent about the societal improvements that have evolved throughout the 19th & 20th centuries, which she attributes to socialist principles. About each advancement, she says, “If you like --- having your weekends off, not stepping over sick homeless people, etc. ---, you can thank a socialist.” Being fair, in some regard she may have a point. However, on balance, I think we’ve got it licked: If you like early detection & treatment of breast, uterine & cervical cancers, you can thank a capitalist. If you’ve needed an emergency C-section (as I have three times), & had medical equipment on hand for the job, you can thank a capitalist. If you’re relieved because of the advances in dental sciences, you can thank a capitalist. If you’re thankful that vaccinations are available to keep your children safe from horrible, tragic diseases, you can thank a capitalist… If you have the chance to save for your own rainy day? To provide for your family with enough to spare, you can thank a capitalist… If you even know there’s something called a ‘Gamma Knife’ for exquisitely delicate brain tumor surgery… If you like your computer for the blogging that’s so easily accessible to your fingertips… If you’re glad you have contact lenses… If you’re thankful for car seats that keep your children safe… If you’re thankful for the car you drive… If you’ve ever considered the advancement of home electricity, refrigeration, heating/cooling, indoor plumbing… …you can thank people like Joe – yes, the Plumber – a capitalist. Human nature doesn’t go out of its way to innovate, engineer, produce, improve, advance, compete - without incentive. Folks like Dr. Phil call it “secondary gain.” It’s the ‘what’s in it for me?’ factor that drives human nature forward. It compels productivity. Innovation & invention is the fruit of its toil. Face it. We are selfish creatures. We want ours; & we want it better. Voila the capitalist society: teeming with advancements, opportunity for personal wealth; a place where the rising tide really does – eventually – lift all boats. (There are holes in this analysis; I agree. That’s for another post. I’ve got so much to say – you’d run ‘screaming into the night’ if I tried to fold it all in now.) Is it perfect? No. It’s a human enterprise. There are bad apples in every barrel. On this point alone, some urge that the answer is socialism: an even-playing-field-utopia. I argue that socialism removes the playing field, changes the rules & kills the game.
You may say, “Look at the Swedes. They’re socialist & they’ve got Volvo.” Yeah, they’ve got Volvo. Just Volvo; & they bring it over here to make it really sing. I also argue that socialism would neuter American innovation. Punishing success by revoking ‘profit’ (by confiscatory taxation, or punitive regulation) from those who strive to compete freely. It would dis-incentivize innovation, suffocate ingenuity, squelch productivity, & strangle the American dream. Look at history. Do you see any society advance by leaps & bounds like ours, as a result of socialist principles? If you look for capitalist ills, you’ll find them in spades. (Heck, we’ve seen the whole deck in the past month.) Slow down, though… We’ve also seen the malignancy grown by forcing ‘socialist principles’ on the free market, too. Can anyone say Community Reinvestment Act of 1977? Can you say government-forcing-banks-to-supply-Sub-prime-loans-since-then to those who couldn’t shoulder them? If you think it’s time to throw the baby out with the bathwater because of AIG, Lehman Bros., etc. you must first confront this: why do people from all over the world risk their lives to come here? Why do people cross deserts, swim across oceans on the strength of their own arms & legs, to wash up on our shore? Ask them & I guarantee you’ll hear something like this, “Freedom from tyrannical government, a chance to make it…opportunity.” If you think it’s time to chuck it all & head for that utopian playing field, I ask you to ponder: what innovations will we miss? What advances will we thwart by tossing a system that “capitalizes” on some of the most ingenious qualities of the human mind & spirit? What greater good will we stunt: autism treatments? Cancer advances? Alzheimer’s therapies? Energy development? Scientific progress? We are that “shining city upon a hill,” whether we realize it/want to admit it or not; & it’s not because we’ve followed Karl Marx. We are a hero to the world (a fallen one, for the moment, but a hero nonetheless), and the world is drawn to heroes. That’s why they come. The world needs a hero. Be thankful. For the moment, the world still has one.
Today marks 2 years since the son of this friend was killed. I posted this piece 4 days later, on 2-10-2010. Reposting it today in memory of Christian, & in honor of his parents~
You just go. I went to a wake today. The teenage son of a High School classmate of mine died tragically this week. It was a sad day; the shocking loss, the burdens to be borne by the parents, siblings. What struck me more than anything else? The caring & tenderness between these bereaved parents - the high school friend & his precious wife. These two – deep & early into their bereavement – shared an almost palpable energy. It held them together as they huddled with visitors; nodding with some, clinging to others. It emanated from him as he helped her to a seat when the weight of their burden took her knees from her. It shone from her eyes as they slid to meet his in a lighter, easier moment.
It had been that way when we he first introduced her at our 20th reunion. The pride swelling in his chest, the adoring smiles & sweetness in each other’s glances told of a love that was rich & true; one that had spanned the stretch of some life together. Today, in the midst of a sadness that few parents know & fewer marriages survive, these two leaned into that love for dear life. You just can’t do that if there’s nothing to lean into. And for these two, there is. Thanks be to God, because they’re going to need it.
Life is not fair. This is not fair. There’s no way to explain that something like this should happen to anyone at all, much less to two bound by such a sweetness, with such an obvious love for their first born. There’s no way to decipher the meaning in the events of this week.
In these moments you simply go. You embrace the shattered mother, friend. You embrace the tearful, heartsick father. You go because it doesn’t matter what you say or don’t say. It matters that you’re there. You go, because they need to know someone will remember their son. You go, because you would want someone to remember yours.
Few things come free in this life, and I get one of them! My darling friend Sandy is the Editor for our local Republican Women's newletter. I'm not a member of said organization, but I get their newsletter (& membership applications) at each publication -- for FREE! Here's the latest "From the Editor" & man, is it good!
Once a geek, always a geek I guess. I admit it, I have been reading Ludwig von Mises. Doctor von Mises passed away in 1973, but for decades was the most prominent member of the Austrian school of economics.
An ardent capitalist, I think he does a very good job of explaining “the slippery slope” of government interference in the economy. [For example] Let’s just say that we all want the latest cell phone and none of us like paying $650 for it. The Occupy protestors decry that a smart phone is a necessity these days but most people can only afford to pay $100 for a device. They want the government to mandate that the phones be sold for $100. What’s wrong with that?
Well, if this arbitrary price does not cover the cost of production, then the merchants and manufacturers will not sell the phones. They will hold on to them, hoping that the legislation will be repealed and that the devices in inventory can then be sold at a profit rather than a loss.
So, socialist legislators with no understanding of economics, will then move on to not just fixing price, but mandating the sale of the devices. But… because the price is now artificially low, the demand will increase while the supply remains the same. This means that people who go to the electronics store prepared to pay $100 for their government-promised gizmo….go home empty-handed.
NOW, to avoid the anger of the Occupiers who STILL don’t have the latest phone, the legislators must implement rationing. One phone per household. (All the Occupiers are still on mom and dad’s cell plan anyway, right?)
But once all the inventory on hand is exhausted, what company is going to produce a product that they are forced to sell at a loss? No one will and you end up with a scenario where in its attempt to provide a coveted product to everyone, the government vaporizes the availability of the product for everyone.
Smart phones are a silly example, but the basic premise can be applied to any good or service. Think healthcare and be afraid. Be very, very afraid.
Some freebies, like smarts, are -actually- free. And this 'geek' has got plenty.
A cowboy named Bud was overseeing his herd in a remote pasture in Montana, when suddenly a brand-new BMW drove up out of a cloud of dust.
The driver, a young man in a Brioni® suit, Gucci® shoes, RayBan® sunglasses and YSL® tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy,
"If I can tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, will you give me a calf?"
Bud looks at the man, who is obviously out of place, looks at his peaceful herd, then calmly answers, "Sure, why not?"
The young man parks his car, whips out his Dell® notebook, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3® cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Web, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get his exact location which he feeds to another NASA satellite, which scans the area with ultra-high-resolution photography.
He then opens the high-res photo in Adobe Photoshop® and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany. . .
Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot® that the image has been processed and the data stored. He accesses an MS-SQL® database through an ODBC connected Excel® spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry® and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his miniaturized HP LaserJet® printer, turns to the cowboy and says, "You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves."
"That's right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves," says Bud. He looks on with amusement as the young man selects one of his animals & stuffs it into the trunk of his BMW.
Bud says to the young man, "Hey, if I tell you what your business is, will you give me back my calf?"
The young man thinks for a second, "Okay, why not?"
"You're a U.S. Congressman,"Bud says.
"Wow! You're right," says the young man, "but how did you guess?"
"Easy," answered the cowboy. "You showed up, though nobody called you; wantin' to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me you're smarter than me; and you don't know a thing about how average people make a living - or about cows, for that matter. . .
Nice overview of spinal anatomy & biomechanics in very readable language. Succinct descriptions of possible back ailments, w/ clear charts. Helpful info re: medications commonly used for back pain - & why they're used. Good info. for someone contemplating surgery, but not heavy on specific exercises for prevention.
Stupid, stupid Penn State ‘students.’ Blinding themselves to the potential destruction of innocent lives, in favor of Saturday football scores?
Riots on campus? Grow up & shut up, you ridiculous Occupy-Child-Abuse dolts!
According to reports, one time Penn State Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky enjoyed a 15 year window of opportunity (1994-2009) to molest young boys during which “two PSU administrators…stepped aside [after being] charged with failing to notify authorities of a 2002 incident reported by an eyewitness.”
If. Child. Abuse. Is. Even. Suspected.
One MUST REPORT it!!
Mandatory reporting includes the duty of “Teachers & other school personnel” to report. Statutes also allow for “permissive reporting” – wherein a citizen is not mandated to report, but does so out of moral & ethical conscience. “A report must be made when the reporter, in his or her official capacity, suspects or has reasons to believe that a child has been abused or neglected.”
This includes Pennsylvanians who are required to report “when a person, who in the course of employment, occupation, or practice of a profession, comes into contact with children, has reasonable cause to suspect, on the basis of medical, professional, or other training and experience, that a child is a victim of child abuse.”
Evidence of this ‘scandal’ suggests that Mr. Paterno knew of the abuse, or had heard of suspicions and did NOT fulfill his mandatory obligations to make an official report to authorities. He & his cohorts are therefore COMPLICIT is perpetuating the secrecy wherein the cancer of childhood sexual abuse seethes.
From at least 1994-2009 – 15 years -- children were being harmed. People in positions of authority knew, and did nothing to stand between evil and the innocent. Lose their careers? They should only be so lucky…
Why is it that recent 'Occupy' assemblies are being hailed with such respect & journalistic seriousness, lending them the legitimacy of the "Arab Spring." While...in a parallel galaxy, far, far away, 'Tea party' assemblies were & are lambasted, ridiculed, maligned, besmirched by all manner of media & high profile politicians alike.
"The cool and deliberate sense of the community ought, in all governments, and actually will, in all free governments, ultimately prevail over the views of its rulers." ~James Madison, The Federalist #63