Category Archives: Holidays

Tax lies and coal in Sheriff Joe’s stocking…

I know I said I would be back after the holiday, but there are a couple of issues which demand a response before I go. I understand the President will read a few letters today which he and his class warfare WH have solicited two days before Christmas, concerning what some Americans could do with the forty or so dollars they might lose if the (“temporary” “tax holiday”) payroll percentage reduction is not extended. Now maybe the President should be asking what some of those same Americans might have been able to do this Christmas had the shovel ready jobs he promised panned out, but I digress. The truth of the matter is the “temporary” tax break is something the President never intended to be permanent in the first place but is now championing like he somehow supports (tax cuts). FLASH: this President has spent more of your money than any in U.S. history and is on par to raise taxes (if elected again), to levels no American could possibly fathom. Many words come to mind as I ponder this whole debate and the President’s as well as the Liberal Democrats roles in it, but there is only one I can use to describe them in light of my stated “blog decorum”.

(Disingenuous)

Warning, Right Wing Rant – Please feel free to fill in the blanks “off post”.

Next:

To borrow the POTUS’s worn-out line, “let’s be clear” about something: Sheriff Joe Arpaio has done and continues to do his duty. He is enforcing the law of the land and keeping his jurisdiction safe. In doing so he has interfered with the Obama Justice Department’s policy of appeasement and amnesty with regard to illegals living on the U.S. side of the Southern Border. Now there will be those who trumpet the upward tick in deportations on Obama’s watch, but those numbers are quickly negated by the scores of illegals allowed to move freely about the Southern States in direct violation of Federal Law. Enter the high profile Arpaio and his like-minded Lawmen. In doing his job on behalf of the citizens and as he is sworn to do, Arpaio has brought the wrath of a Federal Government embarrassed and agitated by the fact most Americans side with Sheriff Joe. Not only has the border issue cost this country time, money and the blood of innocent Americans and their Border Agents, but it has become the pivot point concerning any comprehensive immigration reform on the table at this time. Now, Eric Holder will waste additional boatloads of taxpayer cash attempting to paint Arpaio as a racist in Federal Court, money which could certainly be used to enhance border security. Again we see this bunch of college upstarts flying in the face of common sense and justice with lies and Progressive propaganda, and using your money to do it!

Posted in America, Economy, Holidays, Immigration, International, Jobs, Politics, Right vs. Left, The Border | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Christmas 2011…

The sound of little voices singing Christmas music conjures up the spirit like nothing else for me. There is something magical and uplifting that comes from listening to children singing about the Christ Baby, a quiet innocence that speaks to the purity of God’s gift to his people. It’s times like those when I reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and my role to play in this life. I think about my own sins and faults and struggle with how to get hold of them. I wonder if we are not missing an opportunity to teach our own children something by way of history. And I consider the future in ways I don’t necessarily the rest of the year.

Now I don’t know about all of you out their reading this, but I am finding it hard this year to see a bright future. And no, not because Barack Obama is President, and not because we are still battling the Islamofascist murderers, and not even because you are more likely to be injured or killed trying to secure an “iPhone 4s” as a Christmas present than you would be if you were driving in the Daytona 500. No, it is because our value system and those things we cherished just a couple of generations ago seem to be fading from memory.

I’m not quite sure what an argument over the public display of a manger scene or what to call a Christmas tree would have looked like back in the days of my parents, or if it would have even taken place. I’m not sure if Americans would have entertained the notion of leaving behind the value set, decency and common sense which provided for the freedom that guarantees the right of the argument itself. And I question whether some Americans today have the same resolve as their forbearers to defend the principles which have guided us through generations of strife and success.

Usually I am able to put aside my pessimism and reach for the good in humanity this time of year. Christmas has always given me hope. Regrettably, and as I take stock of national and international events, it is proving difficult in 2011. I cannot help but tie my faith to this analogy because I feel if we continue to turn our backs on the ideals which have made us who we are, and continue to redefine our successes in terms of just what we have,  inevitably we will continue the backslide into complacency and blissful ignorance up to the point that the America we see is America in name only. At that point, both sides will agree for good or bad, the means we somehow justified led us to the end.

I suppose every generation has its “Great Depression” or “WWII”, and every generation endures the pain of growth in some form or another. America is no different and the road to “Super Power” has not been without bumps. But it occurs to me that our strength has always lied in our collective ability to recognize the good and true things about ourselves and our country. This has allowed us to persevere where other nations have collapsed and or descended into the darkness of indecision and anarchy.

I think what I’m trying to say here is that if I were allowed to give one present to the nation, it would be the gift of clarity, clarity without the filters of unmovable ideology so we might see and more clearly understand the basic tenets of this free Republic which has changed the world for the better, despite the “professors” revisionist “opinion”.

I know this sounds very “pie in the sky” and has a “miraculous” tone to it. But if I have come to understand anything about Christmas, it is that He makes all things possible. So with that in mind, and as I listen to the children singing about the “good news”, I pray that we have not completely closed our hearts and minds and that we would recognize and acknowledge the fundamental issues which have contributed so much more to our current“condition” than I think most would like to admit.

Anyway I’ve gotten off track and don’t want my message for the Christmas Holiday Season to be lost. So please take a moment to remember our Soldiers in harms way and all of their families back home this holiday. God please keep and protect them so they may return to their families when the mission is done. Please also remember those less fortunate and all the parents who will spend their holiday in the hospital by the bed of a sick child.

Please remember the reason for the season and I pray and wish all of you a very Merry, safe and healthy Christmas. I’ll be back before the New Year with my thoughts moving forward…

 

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Happy Hanukkah…

Let us take a moment and join hands with our Judeo-Christian brethren tonight as they begin the “Festival of Lights”. I am convinced this holiday season, that the fundamental bond which joins our two faiths must remain unbreakable if the principles this nation was founded on are to endure. Happy Hanukkah.

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Charity 101…

The joy of self-reliance…

The holidays are threatening to pass me by yet again. It seems our efforts to shape Christmas into what we believe will make us happy sometimes, actually end up diluting the true meaning of the holiday. Thankfully I am always able to extract something that I may relate to commemorating the momentous birth of my Lord and Savior.

I have always been one to frown upon the superficiality many often apply to this time of year with the “Black Friday” stuff and all. But it is truly heartwarming to see some folks step up and bring about the change I know is in line with the life and teachings of the Man whose birth we are about to celebrate. This includes those of different faiths whose hearts are appropriately positioned, large and squarely in the middle of their chests. Performer Dan Zanes is just such a person.

Zanes champions a cause which appears to be directly in line with the greatest charity we may bestow upon the less fortunate, that being the means by which they may be self-supporting. Sadly, the number of hungry in this world is once again on the rise and has been for the past few years. Political symptoms of this travesty aside, the fact that over 1 billion people, many of them children, will go to bed hungry this day is something Jesus would certainly have been addressing.

This brings me to (Heifer International), an organization which promotes the food source not just the food. They accept donations in order to purchase and provide life giving farm animals, which in turn provide sustainability and a transferable means of food provisions to the impoverished around the world. Now it remains admirable that we support charity(s) which give immediate and necessary food, medicine and clothing to those in need, but what could be better than giving the gift of a consistent food source that in turn would facilitate better health and a platform to produce those very same necessities of life. Moreover, one could then pass that gift on to others in need by way of the offspring of their betterment.

I do not have many “collective” thoughts about the world. This is a political distinction on my part and has to do with my ideological belief that much of the suffering in this world may be attributed to the Socialist, Communist and/or Theocratic application of government, which negates individual freedom and allows absolute and unchecked power. That discussion aside, and from a purely humanistic point of view, it is simply unconscionable that any person should go hungry in a 21st century world.

Please take a moment this Christmas and check out this web site. https://secure1.heifer.org/gift-catalog/joy-to-the-world-collection.html

It just makes sense…

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Tebow lesson…

Whether you like the game of football or not most of you have heard of Tim Tebow. The young quarterback whose life story has intrigued so many has made headlines lately because of some late game heroics. Now the heroics by themselves are not necessarily unique, but the circumstances surrounding how it all came to be have piqued folk’s interest around the world. The young Florida Gators phenom who became the first quarterback to both rush and pass for more than 20 TD’s in a season was almost aborted in the womb. His remarkable story has energized and inspired the Christian faithful (and many others), and would have been a non-fiction bestseller already if not for the most recent chapter yet to be completed.

Tebow arrived at the AFC West Denver Broncos Training Camp via the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. In 2011 he would replace Kyle Orton as the team’s starting quarterback after being called up in the second half of a game against the San Diego Chargers. Tebow nearly erased a 16 point deficit but ultimately the chargers would prevail. Nonetheless, the die had been cast and the Broncos have ridden a 6 game winning streak with Tebow at the helm to now be in contention for the play-offs. This brings me to the reason for this post.

Tebow has made no secret of his faith in Jesus Christ and how it has lifted him up personally. He has also taken great pains to not press his beliefs on those of a different stance. That said, his signature one knee prayer has both enlightened and enraged fans everywhere. Some have even called on the NFL to step in and set ground rules for “prayer” during games. To their credit, the League has opted to stay out of this fray for now. Sadly, Tebow’s simple and unassuming moment of reflection seems neither a bother nor a distraction to his team, but rather has become their rallying point. Moreover, it has become the rallying point for Bronco Nation. You see I believe that there is a deep-seated and appreciated faith in most American hearts which bubbles up when we see a successful person acknowledge that he/she is not the be all and end all of their own achievements. Consciously or unconsciously we cheer for the humble who go forward without hesitation and are then thankful if only for the chance. Tim Tebow’s prayer may not reflect your belief or lack of it, but his passion for his God tells us something about him and about ourselves in 2011.

As I navigate the holiday season and try my best to grab hold of the spirit, I am troubled by how much things have changed in just my lifetime. I catch myself staring at the folks as they push, shove and curse their way through these couple of months, and I’m floored to see and feel the angry way so many comport themselves. Regrettably, and much to my wife’s chagrin, I am often compelled to lash out at times in response. So when I returned home from the nightmare that has become Christmas Shopping in the 21st century the other night, and watched the rebroadcast of Tebow doing it again late in the fourth quarter, and then saw the thankfulness and genuine affection in his one knee prayer after the game, I thought to myself, now there’s a guy with his head squarely on his shoulders, a guy who understands the sun does not necessarily rise or set because of him, and a guy who is cognizant of this world and his place in it. Now regardless of how far Tebow goes as we get ready to close out the regular NFL season, I would ask all of you to take a good hard look at this young man’s life story and success thus far and then tell me that passionate and humble faith in a Godly power greater than our own is time wasted. Because if you can, then “We the People” and the nation which has its cultural roots firmly in the God-given strength of a free and faithful populous are most certainly in jeopardy.

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Rhode Island’s Governor Scrooge…

He kinda looks like Scrooge…

I am always a little hesitant to write about my home state of Rhode Island. There are just so many topics of “disgust”. I say this with some angst because I could never leave the most beautiful state in the lower 48. It is simply our politics which continue to stink up the place…

Most recently, this was reflected in our illustrious Governor’s decision to call a Christmas tree, trimmed in the rotunda of our beautiful and historically significant state house, a “Holiday tree” instead. Now there are the obvious and national implications of this story which are being framed by the Christian faithful as attacks on Christianity, and I would not disagree with those analogies. However, the problem is the press are already beating that to death culminating with an O’Reilly exclusive which I will be sure and catch tonight. On the other hand, I have a slightly different take on Lincoln Chafee’s “angle” regarding the State House “Christmas Tree”.

For starters the Governor’s attempt to explain away his hypocrisy by invoking the non-existent “separation of church and state” thing goes down the toilet as the entire circumference of every floor surrounding the rotunda proper is traditionally adorned with the holiday decorations of many faiths and cultures, so why not Christmas? I know this because I usually attend the lighting ceremony, and I’m always interested to view all the awesome displays. Additionally, the observing of “Advent” and the Christmas holiday season has been a cultural mainstay in Rhode Island for generations and is deeply rooted in its earliest beginnings. The lighting of the tree has come to symbolize the peace and love associated with the entire season.

Now let’s talk about Lincoln Chafee the man. In the simplest possible terms, he is not his dad nor will he ever be remembered in the same light as the iconic John Chafee, revered Senator and former Governor of Rhode Island. In fact the history books will show Lincoln Chafee’s indecision and political opportunism as significant reasons for him having lost his fathers beloved Senate seat to the current Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Chafee the son possesses neither the political gravitas nor the depth of thinking his dad did, and instead has elected to grab hold of and attach himself to any and all controversial headlines to cement any sort of legacy. Even his election as Governor was notable only for the votes he did not receive as opposed to those he did.

So in the end, Rhode Island receives yet another black eye at the hands of an opportunistic “wanna be” with something to prove. Another controversy finds a home in the smallest political cesspool in the country. And another four-year term will pass while Rhode Island sinks further and further into the abyss of economic and social decay. Man I still love this place…

WARNING: RIGHT WING RANT BELOW!

P.S. Is it possible to find a more opportunistic revisionist than John Stewart. What pains me most about this idiot is that folks actually look to him for journalistic insight. “God”, yes I said “God”, please help our country!

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I am thankful…

As I have grown older the holidays have begun to creep away from me. It seems harder and harder to grab hold of the feeling I remember when I was younger. The good news is that I know why, and maybe I can change before it’s all said and done.

As we gather and prepare to give thanks this Thursday, it is clear to me how it’s not the material things we should be grateful for but rather that which has nothing to do with us, those things separate and apart from our day-to-day success. I know this is a bit cliché, but our human tendencies often get the better of us and we find ourselves thanking the good Lord for our new iPhones and laptops. My point here is that as we grow old, we seem to lose that connection to the root of our success, the thing that drives us, our souls.

Outwardly, there is the feeble attempt at grace said at the table, with the usual appreciation that the family has managed to get to that table without a “WrestleMania” event breaking out in the living room. Then Uncle Bob will do his rendition of “rubba dub-dub, pass the grub, yey God”. And the ensuing free for all is usually pretty messy.

This year however, I for one am keenly aware of God’s grace and mercy as we navigate these truly troubling times. I am focused on my wife and son and how grateful I am to Him for bringing them to me and keeping them safe. I am even more aware of so many with needs far greater than any of mine, and who are still thankful for just one more day. I suppose this is the natural progression of age and what it brings to us as when we consider the holidays yet again.

This Thanksgiving, I intend to wrap my arms around the notion that with age God grants us the wisdom to see things more clearly. And in so doing allows us to recognize the gift. It seems He grants us the benefit of the doubt in youth but expects more as we grow older. For this reason I will take a step back this holiday season and remember the mother who is thankful to have received a phone call from her son in Afghanistan telling her he is safe. I will remember the husband who must carry on without his wife but is grateful that he remains to protect and raise his young daughter. And I will remember the surgeon through whose hands the grace of God has passed to a critically injured or ill child. I am thankful for all of them.

These days it may seem hard to grab hold of the holidays. Maybe a good way to start though, is to remember the trials of others and how many are still thankful. Then reach out to them, even if only through prayer.

As is customary for me this time of year, I do jump back on my political horse for a moment and borrow from the great MaHa Rushi, that’s (Rush Limbaugh) for you non-fans. The reason is simple, this piece is the most thoughtful and accurate I have been able to find on the real story on which our Thanksgiving holiday is based. So take a moment and digest this along with all that turkey… God bless…

“After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example.

“And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found — according to Bradford’s detailed journal — a cold, barren, desolate wilderness.” The New York Jets had just lost to the Patriots. “There were no friends to greet them, he wrote.” I just threw that in about the Jets and Patriots. “There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims — including Bradford’s own wife — died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats.

“Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of” the Bible, “both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well.” Everything belonged to everybody. “They were going to distribute it equally. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belonged to the community as well.

“Nobody owned anything.” It was a forerunner of Occupy Wall Street. Seriously. “They just had a share in it,” but nobody owned anything. “It was a commune, folks.” The original pilgrim settlement was a commune. “It was the forerunner to the communes we saw in the ’60s and ’70s out in California,” and Occupy Wall Street, “and it was complete with organic vegetables, by the way.” There’s no question they were organic vegetables. What else could they be? “Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage,” as they saw fit, and, “thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. That’s right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism.

“And what happened? It didn’t work!” They nearly starved! “It never has worked! What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years — trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it — the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every school child’s history lesson. If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.” If it were, there wouldn’t be any Occupy Wall Street. There wouldn’t be any romance for it.

“The experience that we had in this common course and condition,'” Bradford wrote. “‘The experience that we had in this common course and condition tried sundry years…that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing — as if they were wiser than God,’ Bradford wrote.” This was his way of saying, it didn’t work, we thought we were smarter than everybody, everybody was gonna share equally, nobody was gonna have anything more than anything else, it was gonna be hunky-dory, kumbaya. Except it doesn’t work. Because of half of them didn’t work, maybe more. They depended on the others to do all the work. There was no incentive.

“For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense,'” without being paid for it, “‘that was thought injustice.'” They figured it out real quick. Half the community is not working — living off the other half, that is. Resentment built. Why should you work for other people when you can’t work for yourself? that’s what he was saying. So the Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford’s community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property.

“Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result? ‘This had very good success,’ wrote Bradford, ‘for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.’ … Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes,” it did. “Now, this is where it gets really good, folks, if you’re laboring under the misconception that I was, as I was taught in school. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians.” This is what happened. After everybody had their own plot of land and were allowed to market it and develop it as they saw fit and got to keep what they produced, bounty, plenty resulted.

“And then they set up trading posts, stores. They exchanged goods with and sold the Indians things. Good old-fashioned commerce. They sold stuff. And there were profits because they were screwing the Indians with the price. I’m just throwing that in. No, there were profits, and, “The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London.” The Canarsie tribe showed up and they paid double, which is what made the Canarsie tribe screw us in the “Manna-hatin” deal years later. (I just threw that in.) They paid off the merchant sponsors back in London with their profits, they were selling goods and services to the Indians. “[T]he success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans,” what was barren was now productive, “and began what came to be known as the ‘Great Puritan Migration.’

But this story stops when the Indians taught the newly arrived suffering-in-socialism Pilgrims how to plant corn and fish for cod. That’s where the original Thanksgiving story stops, and the story basically doesn’t even begin there. The real story of Thanksgiving is William Bradford giving thanks to God,” the pilgrims giving thanks to God, “for the guidance and the inspiration to set up a thriving colony,” for surviving the trip, for surviving the experience and prospering in it. “The bounty was shared with the Indians.” That’s the story. “They did sit down” and they did have free-range turkey and organic vegetables. There were no trans fats, “but it was not the Indians who saved the day. It was capitalism and Scripture which saved the day,” as acknowledged by George Washington in his first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789, which I also have here.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I want to quickly tell you about one passenger on the Mayflower, a guy named Francis Eaton. He was a carpenter. He was not one of the Pilgrims. He was another passenger. He was a carpenter. He died in 1633, 13 years after they landed at Plymouth, and here’s what he left in his will: “One cow, one calf, two hogs, 50 bushels of corn, a black suit, a white hat, a black hat, boots, saws, hammers, square augers, a chisel, fishing lead, and some kitchen items” and his season tickets for the Redskins-Cowboys game. No, no, seriously. This is the estate of one of the men who probably built many of the houses for the first settlers. Very modest. But it shows what he saw as wealth back then. By the way, the life expectancy back then was not much. Not compared to today. And just remember, they were not eating trans fats, and they didn’t live as long as we do today.

END TRANSCRIPT

Thanks Rush…

 

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