Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Resolution

Man! Is it just me or is it very difficult getting into any resemblance of routine these days? I realize that I am not nor desire to be the most structured person, but this "Holiday Season" has been hectic. I have enjoyed myself, spent time with family, eaten some good food, and delighted at my children's responses to the toys, games, and etc; so it hasn't been a bad stress, but none the less stress. But I guess that is part of the American Way, killing ourselves in our pursuit of leisure.

And speaking of structure, I thought of doing some "Ten Best" lists for the past year or some kind of prophetic and wise words to help usher in the upcoming year, but I will leave those for the better structured and more sagacious. I like to read lists that other people compile, but I am not structured that way in my own mind so my attempt to collate any lists would be sophomoric and dull. So here are some random muses that have much bearing on the upcoming year, but not very cleverly organized:

I don't do New Years Resolutions, but i did read an article the other day that said it could increase one's likability. I thought it may be a good thing to become more likable in the future. But I was instantly confused with the Bud Light "drinkability" commercials. And I thought it just meant to posses the ability to be liked. I had no idea that the concept of "likability" dealt with the asinine and the futile. The article had suggestions that dealt with puppies and rainbows and forced smiles and other things of that ilk. And while I am not an ogre, I do feel misunderstood sometimes and just wanted to enhance my likability; not increase the phony. So I decided that the article had little help to offer me and that I would just keep winging it, so to speak, and that it would just be a crap shoot as to who would like me. And so much for another attempt at any type of resolution.

One thing i do not look forward to this upcoming year is the Brett Favre saga. For the love of Pete, whoever Pete is! This man is more fickle than any teenage girl. He has talked of retirement more years than he has played at this point, and has actually retired more times than Rocky. Be a man already, Brett! Poop or get off of the pot! It is probably time for the all time interception passer to hang it up. But that's just my opinion...I do worry what ESPN will fill in the 23 hours a day of Favre coverage with; and with economy, I guess it does provide jobs for people to follow Brett around with their heads up his butt. And right now, a job is a job. And it is better than working for the New york times, as well as more respectable.

And on the issue of respectable and economic, I see that GMAC will receive $5billion in government aid and that this will severely limit General Motors' control over GMAC. In return for the aid, GMAC will begin lending to those with a credit score as low as 621 verses the 700 credit rating that was required to purchase a vehicle two months ago. Is this reminiscent of Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton in dealing with the housing market? This same principal that is being used by GMAC to finance cars is what has lead to much of our economic woe. But at least we have our good ole, reliable government here to help us out. And the government will receive preferred shares in GMAC that pays 8% dividends plus warrants to purchase additional shares in return for the money "loaned". Welcome to the nationalization of General Motors! This cannot be a good thing, again in my opinion. Government interference has lead to the problems with our economy and will not help us any in the future. Our current government does not represent the people any more and will not be the saviour of the current economic mess. Our economy should be 'survival of the fittest'. American ingenuity and creativity is what helped make us and our economy strong and the American will be restored to greatness when character is injected back into the mix; not government re- taped, bureaucratic nonsense. Look at what the excess of governmental social programs have reduced many individuals to. The same will happen economically. If we continue on our current pace, there will be no initiative, creativity, genius, et cetera in people's lives socially or economically. There will be no need for it, the state will provide all that we require but nothing of what we need. I could easily get on a soapbox and preach here, but I will spare you that spectacle.

I also read that while retail spending was down close to 60% this holiday season, that Amazon Online reported that they had the best holiday sales ever. Maybe this upcoming year, the retailers will have to rethink their old way of business and restructure to meet the consumer's desires. Kind of like Amazon Retail has. Or we could also bail out the retail sector. Just like the financial, auto, credit, commercial real estate, companies that employ 75% of the American-Samoan population, and the makers of wooden arrows. Tell the retailers to just get in line. No need in hiring bright minds to restructure or market the products. No need in relying on the strengths of our people. No need in improving products. No need in developing plans or utilizing strengths. Just fall back into the gray mass and mire of it all; get in line for a handout...but nothing comes without a price. Eventually, we will realize the freedoms we are surrendering by taking a government check. And enough of that issue for today also...

I also wonder if Caroline Kennedy will face the same scrutiny form most of the MSM that Sarah Palin did. I'm not sure if anyone has noticed, but Caroline isn't exactly in danger of discovering the Higgs Boson. She isn't exactly in danger of discovering much of anything, except that her family name is a two-edged sword.

I also wonder if it will be taboo to be a Cristian this year. You can read where anything that remotely deals with Islam is pulled from the shelves, production of is axed, and mouths are hushed; yet anyone can say anything derogatory about Jesus and is chic. I think what is good for the goose is certainly good for the gander. Free speech means just that, in either camp. I am not threatened by things anti-Christian and I see no need for anti-Christians to be threatened by me, or any other reasonable opinion. The same goes for the homosexual agenda, which I wonder if will succeed in swaying Obama to pull the plug on the Rick Warren invocation thing. It will be interesting to see how that plays out this upcoming year, how something so simple can create such a fuss.

I think the best thing we can do for the upcoming year is remember that God loves all of us, Jesus died for all of us, and the Holy Spirit will counsel all of us. We need to learn why we believe what we believe, and be strong enough in our beliefs that other opinions do not scare nor threaten us. We need to all learn to get along and work together regardless of politics and religion. We would all be the better if we treated the trivial things as trivial and not make the momentous too monumental.

We do do well to remember that we are not entitled. We are not victims. We should not be litigious minded; solve things person to person and leave the courts out of our everyday lives. We should remember that nothing is free or easy. We should focus more on our relationships than our materials. We should remember that there are people fighting for our freedoms while we sit home and surf the Internet. We should slow down to smell the roses. We shouldn't kill ourselves trying to relax.

And there are probably many other things and issues that weren't addressed here today. And I encourage you to do something about those issues this upcoming year. I urge you to find your passions and be true to them; and let's all make a difference to those around us this year, instead of just going through the motions of another year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Couple of Announcements and Some Filler...

I trust that everyone had a very, Merry Christmas and are all recovering nicely. I have very few thoughts on my mind today, so hold the usually low expectations for the blog, just a little lower today:

For starters, I want to make it official that I am putting my name in the hat for a head coaching job in the NFL. And I am not particular as to what team, although my first choice would be my beloved St. Louis Rams. As near as I can tell, you don't need much of a resume for the job so I am close to qualified. I have coached every over the last 20 years from my couch and have made personnel decisions every Monday morning from the same previously mentioned couch...maybe this could be a "work from home" type job. Of course I will need my co GM/coach of the last 20 years in my best buddy, Jeff. And we not only know all there is to know about sports, but we can solve most of the World's problems. So we may be running for government office in the near future. And I understand that you need not have any credentials for any of those jobs. Just ask any one of the Kennedy family.

I also would like to announce that I am in line for a government bail out. I am representing "The Self-Inflicted Blog",and am asking for $75 in government aid to help me endure this current economic crisis. That will last me until Monday.Then I will present my economic plan for the upcoming fiscal year; and ask for an additional $2.5 million. And I think that my contribution to the economy is just as important as the next business in the commercial sector. And now that the Commercial Real Estate Industry (no, I didn't consider them industry either) is in the mix for a few billion, I assume that anything goes. And I am entitled to my God given right to make money. So where's my check?

Did anyone purchase any stock in Energizer Batteries? Or Walgreens? I sure wish that I would have so I could get back some of the small fortune that has been spent in the last two days. Maybe I am at least entitled to a subsidy...

Does anyone else fail to see the big deal about Rick Warren doing the invocation for Obama's inauguration? I have a lot of opinion on this, but am too cerebrally challenged today to tackle them. here is an interesting article on the subject though:

I noticed that MTV played a music video a couple of nights ago. I guess that was a Christmas present or something...and does the M still stand for music?

And that is about it for today. Not exactly Pulitzer material, I know. But maybe it will suffice and get the already slow turning wheels of ideology on Fridays to churn a little more efficiently. Or at least help push those of us on the brink of sombulance already, over the edge and into full blown, nap mode; there is nothing noble in straddling the fence on anything!

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

For the Most Boring Blog on the Internet Today, Read Here

I am too outraged over the auto industry bailout to get into it. And really there is nothing new to rant about anyway. just more ineptness...No need in beating a dead horse...

I do trust that everyone had a good weekend and that everyone was able to rest well knowing that our congress gave themselves a $4700 a year raise on Friday. Phew! I know was relieved! Now Nancy Pelosi is making $217,000 a year, give or take a couple hundred. Maybe she can afford her own private jet now and give the overburdened taxpayes that she cars so deeply about a little bit of a break...Only in American government can someone so inept with such low approval rating manage a raise. If only it worked that way in the real world.

And our congress has the nerve to ask that the automakers show a sound fiscal plan and some responsibility before they are given taxpayer money. I guess they are worried about the risk of default by the automakers. Well we all know that I am against thses bailouts in the first place, but for our congress to ask for fiscal responsibility from anyone in the business sector when no one is holding them accountable is a little bit odd to me, personally. Seems like investing money in congress is a worse risk of our capital; and it's not like we will get any of that money back! Considering the current economic woes and the emotions of the people, I think I would have forgone the raise this year. But what do I know?

I will tell you one thing that I "think" though; and that is that the United States has a revolution coming. And I don't mean a violent, warlike revolution; and certainly not any type of Orwellian futuristic scenario will come into play. I do not desire, nor do I expect, any type of anarchy in the streets type thing either. But I do think that the economic woes will lead to struggles between the socio-economic classes; but not like Marx predicted or desired.

I guess I should try to explain myself more clearly on this issue; and I will do such if my kids will quit interupting my train of thought for a moment. And remember, usually my train of thought is more of a 1887 steam engine thing, not a slick, european magnetic railway express. It is easily derailed. But try to follow me and my insomnia induced theory for a moment: We are due to have another revolution, or at least a revolutionary. During the 1600's and 1700's America grew tired of politics forced upon us; and grew tired of forced politics that affected our well being and our socio-economic future. So one thing lead to another, and soon revoltionary thinkers began to rise up. The ideas of these revoltionaries inspired men and brought people with common interest together. The next thging you know, we have the American Revolution. And a lot of great men came from this period of time. Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and the likes. Even Hamilton, who I may not agree with politically or economically, can't be denied the influence he had upon the formation of our country. Anyway, the point being that many great men came from that period of time when our socio-economic future was very uncertain. And these men have inspired us for centuries now.

We have had othger great thginkers along the way. One could argue that Emerson helped or hurt The American Dream by his American Transcendentalism. Mark Twain and his sphere of influence cannot be looked over. Thomas Edison, though by questionable means, contributed many things to the "American Lifestyle". Whitney's Gin and McCormicks Plow helped shape an agrarian economy. And certainly there are many others, who time and spce won't allow us to examine at the moment, who have contributed to this great country. But no real men of philosophy or ideals have emerged since our revolution. We have made great industrial strides as well as corrected many civil injustices; but no real genius seems to have been heard since our American Revolution. At least no one on a world wide scale.

And maybe that is what I am getting at; not so much that there has been no real genius, but that there hasn't been any world recognized American thinker, other than a handful in the finer arts, in a couple of hundred years.

And I think that we are due. Of course it may be a good thing that we have not had a world wide recognized American thinker; look at some of the other "world wide" influences such as Marx, Rousseau, Freud, so on and so forth. But I do think it could be interesting to see if any such person arises from this period of time; such as men in Europe arose from their 'dark" periods of socio-economic duress. And it would be intersting to hear the philosophies of said American Revolutionary if one emerges. And interesting to see if another American Revolution will take place.

It will also be interesting to see if this period of time is as "dark" of a period as some of the main stream media has painted.

But what is probably not interesting is this blog today. Believe it or not, I didn't set out to make this boring; it just evolved from a simple sleep deprived thought and several interuptions on a crazy Monday morning. Thanks for bearing with me.

And let me know if you have any thoughts on this subject. Maybe you can help me tie this theory, for lack of a better word, together. Who knows, maybe we can win a Nobel Prize or something. If Al Gore and Jimmy Carter can, I think anyone with a third grade education must be eligible. Even if barely, like myself.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Self-Inflicted Blog:TGIF Edition


Where to start with the random musings? I guess with the asinine; "Scientist Use Computers to Record Music Composed by Fish"...huh? I have to admit that I didn't read the article. Maybe there is more to it than meets the eye. And most likely the piscean tunes will be better than a lot of the pop-culture crap that is out there now. But the title, 'scientist' carries the weight of 'birthday clown', when it deals with Internet articles. So I don't foresee many of the songs making many play lists out there...I also have to admit that, initially, I thought that they may have been talking about a new Marillion album; and maybe found the old lead singer.

Now the bailout section: The White House will bailout GM and Chrysler by providing low interest loans. Is it just me, or didn't high risk, charitable loans get us in some of this economic mess? And where do I get my bailout "loan"? I'm as impoverished and just as likely to pay back the debt...I voted for Bush and have tried to support him, but I have to admit that he has gone off of the deep-end. This must be the "presidential legacy disorder" that most all of the presidents suffer from during their lame duck status...If I had much faith in Obama, I would be ready for change about now... And it is too bad that Obama isn't bringing much at all, though he campaigned on and promised so...

And that brings us to the illogical section of today's blog: The members of the homosexual agenda are up in arms about Rick Warren swearing in Obama next month. They are afraid that Warren's influence on Obama may lead the president elect to break campaign promises(say it aint so) and re neg on his support of the gay agenda. Yet during the campaign the same people sadi that Obama was "his own man" when it came to his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Jesse Jackson, the Tony guy in prison, members of Acorn, and all of the political connections in Illinois. So suddenly Obama isn't a strong enough man to resist Rick Warren's convictions? I didn't think you could have it both ways, unless you are a politician or a member of the main stream media; both of which were supposed to be ushered out after the "Election of Change" had taken place...color me confused...But at least Obama is considering appointing the first openly gay military chief. Maybe that will keep the peace; never mind choosing the most qualified person.

And now to close out with the shameful: Crude oil hit the 5 year low mark, below $34 a barrel. But you will notice that, locally, gasoline has gone up at the pump. Why? Because it is Christmas time and people will be travelling. And travelling means more gas consumption. What a racket! And normally, it really wouldn't bother me so much personally; but this year things are so tight for so many people. Many people have lost jobs. Foreclosure rates are supposed to be at an all time high. People want to spend money on friends and family, forgetting some of the economic glum. But I guess it is more important to gouge for dollars during the marketing extravaganza we call Christmas, than to spread any cheer and celebration of Jesus birth...and we don't trust China because we are afraid that they will take advantage of us! They will have to take a number and wait in line behind our fellow Americans...Merry Christmas consumers!

And that is about all I have time and energy for today.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Message to the Masses...

I read an article the other day that listed some foods that were making a comeback due to the current economic situation. And lo and behold, I am finally "hip" or "current" or "in vogue" with something. I do not dress very fashionably, much to my wife's chagrin, and I do not know much about any of the popular t.v.shows or actors, with the exception of what I read on the Internet. The last time I went to the movie theater was to see The third XMen movie, as far as I can remember anyway. So needless to say, I am not very cool by pop culture standards.

But by golly, some of the things that I like to eat are coming into fashion! And those who know me very well probably guessed that if I were to be in style in any manner, it would be dietary. And they would be correct now.

For the article I read, said that Spam was becoming more popular on today's dinner plates due to the economy. Wow! Spam! Now I am an elitist. I have been eating Spam for years and can prepare this delicacy in a number of ways.

And I remember after my wife and I were first married and I bought some Spam at the grocery store. She had little concept of my culinary genius. She looked at me with the look of horror mixed with disbelief. But then I fried it in a skillet, along with some brown sugar, and she was a believer.

And now one of our favorite meals, in value as well as taste, is fried Spam with macaroni and cheese as a side dish. And I read that boxed mac and cheese is making a big comeback. Dang! I never knew it went out of style, so to speak.

The article didn't mention pork and beans, but give people time and they will catch on to my favorite stylish meals. And you have to eat them cold with a lot of black pepper or it will not leave the desired taste on your palette.

The article also mentioned Tang as making a comeback. And guess what?!!? We have purchased Tang recently also! Man! I am on a stylish fire! My old favorites are making a paragon of chic out of me! But I bet that the writers of the article didn't practice drinking it upside down while watching, "First Men in the Moon" like my four year old and I did. But I'm certain that they are not in astronaut training like we are...

The article mentioned Kool-Aid also. Now I am on a roll! But I have to admit, I really couldn't believe that Kool-Aid had gone out of fashion. But I guess it is difficult to relate to the general masses when you are a culinary genius...but the article didn't mention that "Red" is the best flavor. Just ask any kid and they will tell you that...

But I just couldn't believe that Vienna Sausages and saltines didn't make the list! Why, it isn't just a food to take on fishing trips anymore. Just ask my 18 month old daughter. She loves Vienna Sausage dipped in ketchup. And I'm sure she has her mother's good fashion sense...

So I guess that this poor economy is truly good for some people. Not only because we can get ideas to make a good, comfort-food meal for under $8 but because, as they say, "the cream always rises to the top", and baby, I am on top of delectable fashion today! And as soon as the rest of the country discovers the joys of poverty, I will be king!

Well I guess that is enough gloating for one day. But I have to admit; it has been nice to be in vogue for a change. But I am out of time and bravado momentarily, so I will leave you, being the mere culinary proletariat that you are, for I have some bourgeois matters of dietary propensity to deal with; I have to put on a pot of white beans for supper!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shoe Throwin' Muslim, Less Bailout News, and The Blagojevich Ordeal

I am trying not to get into the auto bailout issue today. I am sure that everyone is just as tired as I am of the issue that should be a non issue. i will say again, however, that we are going to have to get back to principals and philosophies if we want to right the course of things economical and moral.

We do seem to hear from a lot of "experts" on the issues these days. Has anyone else noticed that a lot of the expert opinion is built upon the expert opinion of a previous expert? And to take matters to the next level of thought, why do many people accept the ideology of the experts? Look at the philosophies and ideas of Marx, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Freud, Shelley, all supposed experts in their respective fields. Then look at their lives and their actions. They were beasts. Immoral, self-centered, narcissistic, ego maniacal, hard hearted individuals. Yet civilizations are supposedly built upon their philosophies. Of course that is probably a stretch, but to ignore their influence is naive. And while they are human with human faults like the rest of us, they are given a sentiment and respect of Promethean propensity. Maybe people forget that they are people. And while the topic is too deep and multi-faceted to be adequately covered in one blog, we none the less need to remember that any given intellectual theory is theory, not fact. And that we are all human and have intrinsic qualities that makes us all important with valid concerns, hopes, qualities and flaws...and God loves us all.

Was that random or what?

How about President Bush having to dodge a pair of Egyptian loafers over the weekend? Personally, it would have "been on" if a reporter chucked his shoes at me. Not to mention that someone would have walked back to Egypt barefoot, possibly with a loafer hanging out of his...well you get the picture. Actually, the entire thing invoked more of a chuckle than any type of anger for myself personally. It reminded me of the old Eddie Murphy skit about "shoe throwin' momma"; but this was more of a "show throwin' muslim" mental picture. Regardless of whatever it invoked in each individual, the President handled it all pretty well. And the story did break up the monotony of the economy in the news.

And what about this Blagojevich mess? You would think that man having to spell that last name since he was in kindergarten would be a little brighter than all of this. And to say that "spying" on him was a little Nixonish; and that's, well, insert your own comment here...One thing that is a little troubling is that some people are trying to tie this to President Elect Obama and Rahm Emmanuel. Of course, if there is evidence that incriminates them, then it should be investigated. But this is not a time to play partisan politics. Whether you voted for Obama or not, he is our President Elect and he has bigger fish to fry than all of this. I haven't heard any evidence that would place him at any fault in this scandal. And I think that he and Emmanuel are smarter than that, anyway. So if there is evidence against them, bring it out in the open and let's get on with it. If not, stop trying to manipulate and theorize and play a lot of partisan political crap that people are frankly tired of. And i would think that the Conservatives have more to be concerned with anyway. The party isn't exactly inducing a lot of pride, hope, or future at the moment...besides, we all know that Obama came from the corrupt Chicago/Illinois political scene. Most of us know how he attained his senate seat in the first place. All of this should have already been covered and digested by now. But he got a free pass on all of it during the presidential race and now it is over and done with; it's time to move forward if no new criminal evidence is found...We have made our bed, so to speak, with this election/issue.

And that is about it for now. I am gonna spend a few minutes with my children before tackling any more of the world's problems today. Have a glorious Monday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Technical Difficulties

There will be nothing posted today, due to computer issues...and never, never run Windows Vista or buy from Best Buy!!!

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How to Enjoy Christmas

I read an article recently where a man suggested that we behave as UN-Christians and not guilt ourselves into believing that celebrating Christmas is, well, UN-Christian. I understood what he was saying, and there were some truths to his essay, but I can't help but believe that there is no need to behave UN-Christlike in order to enjoy Christmas. And I do understand that the author, who's name escapes me at the moment, was only making a point, not intending to be sacrilegious.

The Christmas, or Holiday, season is in full force now. And I think there are some ways in which we can all enjoy this time of year, whether we are Christians or not. There are plenty of traditions, parties, good cheer, et cetera and so forth, to go around.

While I am a Christian and cannot speak for anyone other than myself, I will try to make a couple of suggestions to the atheists and agnostics in order to make this a more festive season:

For starters, quit whining over the displays of nativity scenes. You can't realistically be offended by a manger scene and a handful of live animals. And if you are, then you're more sensitive than the Christians you complain about, and that is saying something these days. Some of us know that there are errancies in the traditional nativity scene, such as wise men being present and such. There is no need to act as if the entire manger scene is a farce.

Secondly, quit with the Winter Solstice stuff already. Even though you are accurate in your accounts and reasons for the celebration. Over the years, Christmas has been altered and changed and has picked up some pagan traditions along the way. But so has your Winter Solstice. Neither are "pure" celebrations. They have evolved and adapted. So there is no need to flaunt human knowledge over tradition here. And if many Christians would take time to realize the truth of the matter, you're argument wouldn't hold water.

Thirdly, If you disagree with Christmas so much, then don't celebrate it. It never bothers an atheist to go against the grain in matters of God, the courtroom, politics, litigations over 'In God We Trust' being on our money, and so on. So don't neglect your freedom of intellect and your superiority in "cold, hard truth". If you won't "conform" in day to day life, then don't conform to matters dealing with Christmas. The Winter Solstice contains more mythology than Christmas. So just say "No" to the season...of course that means no gifts. And that usually breaks the will of the most hardened atheist.

And now for the advice to the Christians:

Lighten up! Do you think God wants us to celebrate Jesus birthday by being so uptight and overly sensitive? And besides, Jesus didn't ask for a party or a day of remembrance; that was a human idea. No where does the Bible mention Christmas. Actually, it kinda goes against Jesus personality and ministry of serving others and humility.

Secondly, accept what non Christians believe. I don't believe that they have cornered the market on truth and I fully believe in the Holy Bible, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; but there is no need to try to beat a person to death with the truth. we were all given freewill and God loves us all. Jesus came into the world to save sinners, so actually he is here for the atheist and agnostic more so than the Christian. We need to remember that.

Don't get so uptight about the tradition of Christmas and the meaning of Christmas. If you do your research you will discover that there are many pagan, heathen, and secular aspects to the items and issues that we celebrate as Christmas. Only in our ignorance and piety have we tried to make all of these things serve our purposes and traditions. The atheists and agnostics have done better homework than the Christian in this regard; and have not believed something that has been spoonfed to them.

And didn't Paul write about not making such a big deal out of things like this? Didn't he promote a give and take ideology in areas such as this? An evergreen tree and and elf have nothing to do with salvation and less to do with ministry. Lights and gifts have loose meaning to mankind and Christianity, but does nothing to aid in helping the widows and orphans; and any way we look at it we can remain un-spotted from the world because that is a heart issue, not a legalistic matter.

Fourthly, Celebrate all of the traditions that make you happy. Don't try to place religious meaning and significance to every little detail. And don't listen to people who tell you to do such. If Santa likes a plate of cookies and a thank you note from the kids, then give Santa cookies and words. Don't try to wrap your head around who is Santa and what does he stand for. If you enjoy Christmas lights and Christmas dinner at Mom's, then enjoy those things. If Rudolph and Charlie Brown Christmas give you a nice traditional feel and you enjoy them with your children, then just do it. Feel the warmth of your family. Watch you children become engrossed in some of your childhood favorites. Don't spoil things by wondering if you are sending the wrong message to your children.

Fifthly, do something for someone else. And encourage your family to do the same. That is the spirit of Christmas. Just as God gave us Jesus, we should give something of ourselves to others. And remind little ones that Christmas is about Jesus. Tell them that is the heart of Christmas, regardless of what others may say. Teach them that Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies at birth and that those prophecies show us that he is the Messiah. Teach them about the humility of being born in a manger and about ministry of serving others through out their lives. That way Christmas is year round and there is no conflict of what a specific, man made day means.

We should all remember that Christmas is a mix of tradition, religion, ceremony, and Jesus. Jesus crossed many cultural and social barriers to reach others and we should do the same. If we really wanted to honor His birthday, then we would follow His examples and alter our hearts. We wouldn't get so excited about wondering if XMas is Christian Greek or secular "non-existence" Enjoy the traditions and remember the Lord, no more no less.

Maybe this will help everyone to loosen up and enjoy the holidays. We have so many negative issues and bad news this year that we all need a break from reality. The economy, the war, politics, and everyday life can steal Christmas joy and magic from us if we let it. I suggest that we just relax, respect, and learn to get lost in our thoughts while watching Charlie Brown or looking at Christmas lights while drinking a cup of hot chocolate. There is no need for guilt and less need for the answer of who is right or wrong in their view of Christmas.

And pray for our troops. Just as Christmas should be everyday, so should our prayers for our troops. And if we let the debate of who is right or wrong about Christmas rob us of peace and joy; maybe we should change places with a soldier, or at least be thankful and remember that we are home with our friends and loved ones because the soldiers are away from their families, protecting us and our ideologies.

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Bailout Opinion and Other Insights

I trust everyone had a good weekend and is ready to get back to business...and speaking of back to business, I guess the Auto Industry Bailout is back to business as well. But what kind of business?

I see that the workers at Republic Windows and Doors are having a sit-in to protest the treatment that they received in being laid off. The report is that the Company had to close it's doors because Bank of America, their credit line for operational costs, did not extend any credit to the company; even though BOA received $25 Billion of our money from a massive bailout and was supposed to use that money to help extend credit and stimulate growth. So what did Bank of America do with their money? I do not know and would probably be sickened if I did know.

And it seems like the Republic Windows and Blinds didn't give legal warning to the employees nor did they pay all of the money that was due to their workers. But remember that this is from the perspective of the workers. I don't know anything about the company or it's workers and I don't care to speculate. It would most likely lead to a lot of 'he said,she said' stuff. But it should be noted that the workers are having a peaceful and dignified sit-in. They are not burning buildings or overturning cars. there have been no rocks thrown through windows or anything of that ilk. That is refreshing in this day and age and it is nice to see civilized demonstration.

And it should be noted that Republic Windows and Doors claims to have been on the business end, so to speak, of Bank of America and a massive bailout. And again, all I know is what is reported on the news. To research this event requires more time and resources than is available to me. But it does make me wonder what has and will happen to the bailout money and the large checkbook our government handed over to Hank Paulson. We all know that the bailout was the old bait and switch, promise one thing then actually do something other than what was promised. And maybe our government set the tone and the financial sector, or what part of the financial sector that received money, is just following suit. Maybe businesses are adopting the "good for the goose, good for the gander" philosophy. Whatever the reasons and reactions, it leaves a bad taste in this blogger's mouth. And it is further proof that bailouts cannot work. They only delay the inevitable. It's just another ideal that will be swallowed by bureaucracy and will help grease the wheels on the machine of corruption. Unless you make toy wooden arrows.

And so the government pushes forward with a plan to continue this economic and ethically depleted behaviour, with no regard for public outcries or consideration of the citizen's concerns. The government continues to know better how to do for us than we know how to do for ourselves. At least their track record is so good that we can trust them to care for us poor, ignorant, and smelly constituents.

I realize that I write a lot about this bailout and some may bet tired of it. I will try to find other topics, i promise. But we really do need to see the writing on the wall and realize that we are treading on a very slippery slope. Someone eventually will have to be accountable. And we really need to get back to philosophies and ethics, versus numbers and algorithms.


Other news and thoughts:

How about the Prop. 8 commercial with all of the starts and Jack Black portraying Jesus? It is pretty milquetoast. It is interesting that many of the people in Hollywood, and the media scream separation of church and state and claim to grow sick of Christians cramming Jesus down their throats, yet they don't shy away from trying to exploit Jesus when it suits their purpose. And before you point a finger at the actors in the commercial , examine yourself to see if you are guilty of the same thing. I have seen this tactic used in "church" more than I have seen it used in the Main Stream. And at least Jesus got some press! Even if Jack Black doesn't understand the law or grace. He's not much different than many people who merely filled a pew yesterday....and maybe cable t.v. will see that Jesus is good for ratings...

How about the reports that New York Hotels are just as vulnerable to terrorism as those hotels in Mubai, India? All i can say is, "Brilliant!" We showed the terrorists the correct way to bring down the Twin Towers after they failed at an attempt to blow them up with a van load of explosives in the garage, now we are helping to show them how to terrorize our hotels. Of course I don't assume that the terrorists are totally ignorant and need our help in devising means of destruction, but I do find it ridiculous to spread fear among some people and loose information to others, just to fill a couple of columns in a newspaper. It seems like we would be better served covering something with a little more purpose. But what do I know? I am against another bailout...

At least the economic departments of the government give us timely and helpful news. I read an article over the weekend that said ,"It is official. The U.S. has been in a recession since last December." ...Insert obvious comment of your choice here...

And i will end on that note. The natives are restless here and need my attention. Have a great Monday and read my article last Monday on being a slave to the grind if you need some sophomoric advice on how to start a revolution the workplace.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Something A Little Different

Why do we, do I , concern myself with social and political issues?

If I truly believe, and I do, that God is sovereign and in control regardless of what goes on in our world, why do i find myself so concerned with earthly things? And as a Christian, am I not supposed to be more focused on the kingdom of heaven, than worldly governments kingdoms?

Why should I be frustrated over bail outs and angered at $620 million visitor centers built so that Harry Reid wont have to smell the lowly tourists who wish to view and experience their government at work?

Why the concern over economic matters? Doesn't God promise to care for us and provide for all of our needs?

But am I worried about my needs being met or concerned that someone will cause an issue with my wants?

This blog is not my life. I enjoy it, it helps me to vent, and it is a decent outlet for my two-cent ideas and philosophies. But I want this blog to be something productive. My desire is for this to serve purpose. I hope that it is entertaining and informative as well, but my goal has always been for this blog to be bigger than myself.

Maybe that sounds arrogant. And maybe it is over ambitious. But it is honest.

So how do I bridge the two, ministry and creativity? How does the heavenly meet the earthly?

Well, I look to Jesus.

I'm not claiming to be Jesus. Nor do I fancy myself a perfect man. And I'm not, nor ever will be God.

But I do try to listen to the Holy Spirit. I can accomplish alot of the same things that Jesus did, minus sacrificial death and resurrection. I can tackle social issues and deal with the things that are of the world in hope of making things better; not better for the World's sake, but for Heaven's. I can strive to be in the world but not of the world.

And isn't that what Jesus did? And look at Old testament law. The majority of the laws dealt with social and cultural issues. Jesus came to fulfill the law. Jesus dealt with social and cultural issues in His ministries and His teachings were full of social and cultural content. That's how He met people where they live, by talking about things that they cared about. And that's still a good model for ministry today, although our Churches have lost sight of that truth.

And that is what I hope happens with this blog. That's what I hope happens with my life.

I appreciate the compliments and learn from the criticisms. I desire fame and fortune and my ego likes to be stroked at times. And while I seriously don't expect this blog to accomplish much professionally, I do hope for such deep inside.

But that is not nor will it be my primary goal, in life or the blogosphere.

Maybe this will shed some light on a facet of my personality, but more importantly shed some light on what my purpose for writing will be.

This was a difficult thing for me to blog about. I don't like to sound apologetic and hope this doesn't come across as such. I try not to be overly personal for the most point. I don't think that anyone really cars to learn about the philosophies of my personal life. But I felt like these were the words I was supposed to type today. And this is my attempt to be obedient to the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes God lets me be me and vent and fuss as long as I remain inside the parameters of what he has set for me in my life and activities. Generally, my ministries have always been misunderstood and difficult to explain, but that's me and that how God wants it, and honestly that's how I kinda like it.

But I surrender all of those concessions today and have written out of obedience. I hope these words find the one or ones they were meant to reach. I hope that God uses these words that he inspired for whatever purpose He desires.

I don't fully understand and have no way of tying all of this together in a neat package today. I do hope everyone has a great weekend and hope that God blesses us all!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Change: To put or take a thing in place of something else; to substitute for, replace with, or transfer to another of a similar kind. To cause to become different. to undergo alteration or replacement.

I had to go to an Internet dictionary to discover what change was. I have heard the word used alot. But the meaning had escaped me; or at least the definition didn't match the concept that I had in my own mind.

President elect, Barak Obama promised change. He ran a campaign on change. He spread his version of populism to the people citing that it was time to change government. He pointed fingers at not only John McCain, but all of Washington and said that government was the problem with our country and he then went on to promise change. Anyone with governmential ties in the past was considered poison. His campaign was ran brilliantly; and he made everyone believe the lie that John McCain and Sarah Palin were Bush/Cheney. Despite the fact that McCain only voted with the republican party 86% of the time. He had a lot of media help in many regards and instances, but Obama painted the picture that it is imperative that we get fresh blood in Washington D.C. Out with the old and in with the new. We need a revolution. The American people want something new.

And I agree with him in the sense that we need fresh blood and new ideas. I don't agree with the comparison of McCain to Bush, but that is another topic. But we do need change. Our government doesn't seem to represent most of us anymore. Mr. Obama was correct in his assertion and I have been hoping that I was wrong about him, and that he would bring change; real change in Washington.

But I was very skeptical. I think he received too many free passes from the media and he used the Jedi mind trick on most Americans. When asked about his past ties and those who were influential in his life, he flip-flopped, then looked into the camera and said that everyone was wrong about him and his judgement; and people were just like the storm trooper outside the bar in Star Wars, "Maybe he's right after all. He did say it on t.v. It must be true..."

And now my skepticism has grown. After all of the months of change and promise and hope and Jedi mind tricks, look at what change is laying in the winds here:

Lets begin with the obvious, Hillary Clinton. Is this change? Did he not say that we don't need to return to Clintonian politics during the election year? Did he not lump Hilary to "old government". Didn't he not so subtly suggest that she was not change? And now she's secretary of state? Is this change? I don't think so. Is it political, yes. Did Obama try to tell us that he wasn't a politician? Maybe the 3AM phone call campaign that Hilary ran affected him. While not quite a Jedi mind trick, it was still effective.

And not only did he break his word on old government and not returning to the Clinton years by hiring(this was no appointment) half of the Clinton brain trust, he continued to hire old Clinton staff. His transition chief, John Podesta was the former chief of staff to the Clinton's. Greg Craig, who is now on the White House counsel, was Bill Clinton's impeachment lawyer. And I'm sure no one wants to look back at that black eye on the presidency ordeal. We all know that Rahm Emanuel is the new chief of staff and was the former Senior Advisor to the Clinton's.

How about Eric Holder and all of his baggage. And ineptness. And lack of ethics. He was the former deputy Attorney General. And now he and his garbage are the new Attorney General. How some people get a promotion is beyond me.

Tom Daschle is the new health care reform person. And there is nothing new or healthy about good ole Tom.

Peter Orszag is the new budget director. He's not new or fresh. He's a rehash like many others. And let's remember that Obama's rhetoric made these people rehashes, not mine. You can use his words from 10 months ago to describe his new staff. You don't need me to find new words.

And how about the good ole boy from Wall Street, Timothy Geitner. He has served under 3 previous presidents. Is that new? And he has been in the Treasury Dept. for many years; a sector of government that Obama attacked as being lackluster and corrupt. He spared no one in his implications that all those in the governmental fiscal areas had to be changed and turned over. It was imperative that we get fresh blood, of the utmost importance to our battered economy.

And Larry Summers? He is the NEW Overseer of Economic Policy. The sad thing is that he is the OLD Overseer of Economic Policy from the Clinton administration. Hey wait! He didn't get a promotion.

Lastly for the blog but not for the appointments is Robert Gates as to remain on as Defense Secretary. Now even the most ardent, yellow-dog Obama supporter can not say that Obama didn't criticise the war effort and all of those involved. It was a major, but major, campaigning point. It was a hot button issue that Obama and his staff(or Hilary's staff) never passed on an opportunity to jab good old boy McCain and those who supported the war. And change in this area has came in the form of retaining the same old, worn out, out of touch, good old boy, war hawk previous Defense Secretary. And again, the label is not mine but President elect Obamas. That is what he implied when he wanted to win the election. That is what he accused when it suited his purpose.

So you can see why I had to look up the meaning of the word change. I wasn't fooled by the Jedi mind tricks, but I was confused by so many mismatched words and definitions. I may be a little simple, but i do remember reading that salt water and fresh water do not flow from the same fountain.

I do not think that Obama is the Anti-Christ or that he will be the end of the United States. I do not think that Barak Obama will be as bad as Jimmy Carter, even if I did think initially. The president elect has been very organized and very active. He has not hid his head in the sand like President Bush has, he has been seen and heard. that is very important to our country at the moment. But forgive me if I think that Barak Obama is insincere and under qualified. It may not be popular opinion, but Obama is appearing to be just another Chicago politician, another politico from the Windy City. And no Jedi mind trick or media bias will change the truth.

We know about lipstick on a pig and all of the other overblown "insults" or "descriptions" or "attacks" or whatever media-hyped, right-wing extreme nonsense you want to call it. But the truth is that even if you put a dress on a turd, it is still a turd. Actions speak louder than words and I personally have seen little action that resembles change. At least change as I understand the definition to be.

But what do I know?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Slave to the Grind?

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving Day and Weekend! How many took time to be thankful? And were you more thankful for people or for things? And how many are just glad for the good feed and bad football? Personally, I belong in all of the categories above.

But now it's Monday, and back to the grind.

And back to the chalkboard for the automakers. The news tells us that Congress sent the automakers packing until they came up with a more comprehensive business plan for their future. It appears that our government suddenly became concerned about spending our money...Seems odd to me.

This is the same group of people who pushed for and approved the trillion plus dollar bailout of the financial sector, or whatever sector they plan on "helping". Even though the majority, and I mean majority literally according to all polls that I read, of Americans were against it. I guess they were so overwrought with concern that they ignored their duties to represent the people, and instead decide to do for us what we didn't have enough intelligence or insight to do for ourselves. That and appropriate a couple of billion in pork...And look at how well it has worked out for the economy so far.

But rejoice and dance in the streets because Congress has now found new fiscal responsibility! Or ran out of pork this week.

Does anyone else think that something is rotten in the state of Denmark beside the cheese?

Color me jaded, but this smells of power games and masquerades by the inept and milquetoast. See Pelosi and Reid for pictorial effect.

Don't get me wrong, I'm against another bailout or a loan that can never be repaid. But I am not naive enough, nor do I trust our current government enough to think that we are stepping in the right direction by following their lead. I would love to be proved wrong; hoping to be proved incorrect in my assumptions. But I am afraid that we are probably just stepping in it.

To fix our current financial and economic problems, we are going to have to get back to philosophies and forget numbers and algorhithmns. Many companies need to restructure, not take money so that they can continue down the present road of failure that they are already traveling. The private sector will need to make sacrifices. If the government feels the need to play the role of nursemaid, then it needs to supply some tough love. Outdated Unions, like the UAW, need to go the way of the buffalo. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, needs to stop being so reliant on the stock market to tell us how and what we are, will, and should do with our money. The stock market is as frail as a one hundred and twenty year old woman in a train wreck. Our strength is in our individual decisions, work ethics, and our resilience. Not in a market that can bottom out because of news that it snowed in Africa or can skyrocket because of news that the Jackson Five is planning a reunion tour. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but not by much. Anyway, you get the picture.

And I'm not how reading this will help ease anyone back into the grind, so to speak. But maybe, just maybe, we can begin to think in manners of philosophies. Maybe we can start a revolution of thoughts and ideas; a revolution that begins in each of us and begins to permeate our workplaces and our frequent haunts. Maybe our revolution will help restore ethics and pride. Maybe determination, sacrifice, and tough decision making could be good for us and our nation. Maybe we can inspire our government, or at least hold them accountable.

Or maybe it's just another Monday, another day to get back to the grind.

The decision is solely and wholly yours to make.

But remember the chorus from a song by the deep, intellectual rock band, Skid Row: "Can't be king of the world, if your a slave to the grind."