Saturday, July 30, 2005

Is There a Nobel Dunce Prize?

Well look who crawled out from under their rock today. Jimmy Carter gave a speech critical of the Administration's handling of Guantanamo Bay detainees. He gave this speech at the Baptist World Alliance's centenary conference in Birmingham, England. I guess good old Jimmy didn't have the guts to say this on U.S. soil. He also said some pretty critical things about the Iraq War. Among some of the things he said were:

"I think what's going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the U.S.A."

"What has happened at Guantanamo Bay ... does not represent the will of the American people."

"I'm embarrassed about it, I think its wrong."

"I thought then, and I think now, that the invasion of Iraq was unnecessary and unjust. And I think the premises on which it was launched were false."

Jimmy Carter is the last person on Earth who should be giving advice on how to fight terrorism. Does he think everyone just forgot how he handled the Iran hostage crisis? Does he think nobody remembers how he tried a pathetic rescue attempt that got botched and went horribly wrong? Does he think nobody noticed how the hostages were held for over 400 days while he sat on his hands and did nothing? To my knowledge, Jimmy Carter has never even been to Gitmo. Yet he's calling for it to be closed even though a group of bi-partisan Senators visited there and not one of them came back with a single story of abuse.

The man left office in disgrace after losing in a landslide. He was a failed president. For the next 25 years the democratic party wouldn't let him within one hundred yards of a microphone. Every democrat since compares themselves to JFK (not John "effing" Kerry). Nobody says they are the next Jimmy Carter. All the sudden he wins a Nobel Peace prize and everyone thinks he's a foreign affairs genius. Let's remember they gave one to Yasser Arafat too.

Get a clue, Jimmy. When terrorists are locked up, they don't kill people. George W. Bush has thwarted numerous terrorist attacks and liberated 50 million people from oppressive regimes in less than 4 years. What did you do?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Two Thoughts

As I was driving in to work today I was listening to the Michael Smerconish show on The Big Talker like I usually do. On Fridays, Mike likes to invite Glenn Beck on the show. Today, Glenn was talking about a friend of his that worked at ABC as a reporter. This guy was fired for a comment he made about Islam. According to Beck, the reporter said (paraphrasing), "We have to start realizing that our enemy is Islam. Until the people of Islam refuse to stop supporting and/or ignoring this violently radical wing of their religion, they should be treated as the enemy."

I thought it was a brilliant point. Think about it, Afghanistan didn't attack us on 9/11, but they were protecting the people that did, so we had to attack them. The same is true about the so-called "peaceful religion" of Islam. Charles Krauthammer's column today points out some significant statistics. Six percent of British Muslims thought the July 7 attacks were justified. That is roughly 100,000 citizens. A quarter of British Muslims sympathize with the attackers. One fifth say they feel no loyalty to Britain. While these statistics are shocking, they also show that a majority of British Muslims do not support the attacks and are quite happy with their lives in the western world. Until this majority agrees to clean up their radical minority, we must put pressure on them to clean up their act. We cannot accept them turning their backs as others use their religion as an excuse to kill.

The other point I want to make regards Helen Thomas's vow to kill herself if Dick Cheney runs for president in 2008. First of all, looking at the old bag I'm not so sure she's even going to live to see 2008, but that's besides the point. I thought the White House press corp was supposed to be this bastion of impartiality. Remember the fit the White House press corp threw when a blogger was given White House press credentials? Or how about the response when the White House asked Newsweek to print an article favorable to the military to make up for the damage they did to our image when they ran the Quaran desicration story. In both those instances they demanded the White House press corp be independant from the White House and gave Scott McClellan a good tongue lashing for it. With her comments, Helen Thomas has clearly demonstrated she is not capable of being impartial toward any republican administration. The woman has been on the White House press corp for 57 years. Her political views are pretty clear. She has made numerous stupid comments in the past. The question is, will the White House press corp which was so outraged when a conservative influence is put on them be equally as outraged when one of their own blatantly aligns herself with the political left? Given that Thomas has a history of these senile rantings that have gone unnoticed, I suspect the silence will be deafening.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

George and the Termites

Once upon a time there lived a man with a very nice house. We'll call him Bill. Bill was working in his basement one day when he happened to notice some termites scurrying across the floor. Now Bill knew that termites ate wood and that his house was made of mostly wood, but the termites at the time were not doing any harm so he left them alone. A few days later Bill was working out in the yard and he noticed his neighbor's back porch had a lot of damage caused by termites. "I'm glad that's not my house," he thought, and went back inside.

Some time later Bill came out his front door and proceeded down the front porch steps. The middle step split when he stepped on it and Bill fell to the ground. It had obviously been destroyed by termites. "Damn these termites!" he said. He looked around for the termites that caused the damage. He could only catch five or six. He put them in a jar and kept feeding them wood so they wouldn't die. Then he fixed his step and went about his business.

A few weeks later Bill was in the basement again and he noticed more termites eating away at the support beams to the house. He ran to get a fly swatter. When he got back he let out a scream as the fly swatter came crashing down, but the termites managed to slip away unharmed.

Then one day Bill got notice he was being transferred to a new job. He put his house on the market for sale. Two guys bid on the house at the same time, Al and George. There was a legal dispute, but George eventually got the house. At closing while Bill was handing George the keys he warned him about the termites. George said he would keep an eye on it.

Shortly after moving in, George looked out his back window while eating his breakfast one morning and noticed the storage shed where he kept his lawn equipment had completely collapsed. He ran out the back door to investigate. When he got there he noticed termite damage everywhere. He saw his neighbor, who happened to be a firefighter, trimming his hedges with a pair of electric clippers. George yelled over to him, "Can you believe these termites?"

"WHAT?" yelled his neighbor. He couldn't hear George over the hedge trimmers.
"These termites destroyed my shed!" George yelled back.
The neighbor turned off his clippers and said, "I can't hear you."
George puffed out his chest and said, "Well I hear you. The neighborhood hears you. And the bugs that knocked this building down are going to hear from all of us."

George stormed back in the house and went right into action. He called the local exterminator who said he could come out that morning. The exterminator looked around and concurred that George had a termite problem that appeared to have been festering for years. He told George he could spray the house for termites, but advised George he should check with the homeowners association first since they tended to get skittish about seeing exterminators in the neighborhood spraying their toxic chemicals.

So the following week George informed his neighbors about his termite problem and told them he was going to the next meeting of the homeowners association which met every month. Word got out quickly and everyone planned to be there. George was surprised to find many of his neighbors had termites but hadn't acted on it.

At the meeting, all of George's neighbors were there. George stood up and said he had a termite problem and he intended to spray his house to eradicate them. He told his neighborhood everyone was going to have to spray their houses in order to assure the termites were exterminated. Everyone agreed it was worthwhile to eradicate the termites from their homes. So they called the Northern Alliance Extermination Company who came in and sprayed all the houses. Many neighbors thought this solved the problem. But after the exterminator sprayed his house, he pointed out to George that the large oak tree in his front yard was also infested with termites and that if he did not get rid of the tree the termites would just find their way back into his house again.

George walked up and down his street and noticed several trees also had termites. This problem was bigger than they thought. So George rounded up his neighbors and assembled them at another meeting.

George explained what the exterminator had told him and informed the neighborhood they would have to cut down all of their trees in order to completely rid themselves of the termites. George's next-door neighbor, Tony, with whom George had tightly bonded, immediately stood up and said, "I'm with you, George. You can count on me." His other neighbor, John, also stood up and exclaimed, "I'm with you too, mate." Then Jose raised his hand and said, "Me too, senior." In all 32 neighbors stood up in support.

But some neighbors weren't so sure. Vladimir, whose own house had considerable termite damage, ruled with an iron fist. "I will not support searching other yards for termites, but if I find them on my property I will destroy them."

Paul, who spoke with a Canadian accent, thought we should try to understand the termites first. "We were the ones who came in here and leveled the forest they used to call home. We brought this upon ourselves. They are only trying to survive, " he said. "Perhaps if we give them another food source they will leave our houses alone, eh."

Gerhard stood up and said, "I'm afraid cutting down all our trees may be bad for the environment. We should not take the chance."

Ted put in his two cents. "What if this becomes a quagmire? What is our exit strategy?"

Jacque stood up and said, "What proof do you have these termites are connected with the termites that destroyed your shed? Did you see any of these termites physically eating your shed? Maybe we should hire termite inspectors to periodically search our houses for termites damage from now on. Any damaged wood could be removed and repaired. We should give inspections a chance."

Dick said, "The way you want to treat these termites is reminiscent of Nazi concentration camps, Soviet Gulags and Pol Pot."

George had heard enough. He jumped to his feet and slammed his fist on the table. "I'm going to kick those termites off of my property dead or alive. Now either you are with us or you are with the termites."

George's other neighbor, John, who incidently had three Purple Hearts from Vietnam, said, "I cannot support this unilateral action. You cannot go it alone. You need the help of your neighbors. No action should be taken without the unanimous consent of the homeowners association." John secretly coveted George's house and wouldn't have been too angry if he moved out.

George said, "I asked for your help and you have refused. Now we will do it without you in order to save our own houses." And with that the coalition of the willing got up and left the meeting.

The coalition went right to work cutting down trees and evicting the termites from their property. Things seemed to be going well, until one day Jose noticed some termites had eaten away at a windowsill. The rain had leaked in and caused a lot of damage. Jose had had enough. He moved out of the neighborhood. Coincidently, another Jose moved in, but he insisted all hostilities toward the termites would stop.

Then one day Tony's garage roof collapsed. He hadn't noticed the termites had taken over his garage. So Tony vowed to get the termites who were responsible. While fixing his garage he noticed a bug that looked like a termite. He stepped on it, but then realized it was just an ant. He told a neighbor and soon everyone knew. He was heavily criticized for killing an innocent ant. Tony regretted killing the ant, but he felt at the time he was doing the right thing.

I wish I could wrap this up with a nice ending and say they all lived happily ever after. Unfortunately, George, Tony, and John still fight against the termites to this day. We will just have to wait and see who prevails.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Racial Profiling

With the death of the innocent man in London, who incidently had a dark complexion, a baggy coat, ran from police and jumped on a train, the opponents to racial profiling are outraged and demanding the practice not be used anymore. I suggest we all take this little quiz written by Steve Plaut before we continue this discussion:

1. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by:
A. Olga Corbitt
B. Sitting Bull
C. Arnold Schwarzeneger
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by:
A. Lost Norwegians
B. Elvis
C. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
A. John Dillinger
B. The King of Sweden
C. The Boy Scouts
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
A. A pizza delivery boy
B. Pee Wee Herman
C. Geraldo Rivera
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year-old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
A. The Smurfs
B. Davy Jones
C. The Little Mermaid
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a U.S. Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
A. Captain Kidd
B. Charles Lindberg
C. Mother Teresa
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
A. Scooby Doo
B. The Tooth Fairy
C. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
A. Richard Simmons
B. Grandma Moses
C. Michael Jordan
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
A. Mr. Rogers
B. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
C. The World Wrestling Federation
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
A. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
B. The Supreme Court of Florida
C. Mr. Bean
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
A. Enron
B. The Lutheran Church
C. The NFL
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
A. Bonnie and Clyde
B. Captain Kangaroo
C. Billy Graham
D. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

If you answered D to all of these, give yourself a gold star.

No "Classy Knoll"

All of the political buzz in Pennsylvania this week is the incredible political blunder by Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll. For those of you not aware by now, Ms. Knoll showed up uninvited to the funeral of Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich who died while serving in Iraq. Upon showing up late Ms. Knoll sat next to a family member and asked them mid-ceremony, "Who are you?" Then she handed the family member a business card. At one point Knoll told a family member, "I want you to know our government is against this war."

The family is rightfully outraged by this stunt. Ms. Knoll tried to use the funeral of a fallen hero to buy some votes. To suggest to them the war their son/father/husband died in is unjust is a slap in the face to them. You might as well just come out and tell them their loved one died for nothing.

Her antics show a complete lack of compassion and respect for the feelings of the family. Your arrogance, Ms. Knoll, to suggest "our government" is against this war angers and disgusts me. You are in no position to make a statement like that. If that is in fact the position of my state government, rest assured that in next year's election I plan to use my voting power to evict "my government" and put in place a new government that has more respect for people than you do. You have no class, Madam.

In Knoll's defense, she has issued a public apology. Even though I suspect the letter was written by a speech writer, my Christian faith says I have to accept this apology and forgive her. I do so, but she still will not get my vote. The damage has been done. The family cannot go back and redo the funeral. The fact that her letter was released to the public rather than given privately to the family suggests she only did so as a form of damage control to save her public image. For that reason I question the sincerity of the apology.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Hurrier I Go...

I have been extremely busy with work and my family the past few weeks and unable to post on a regular basis. I was going to ask for your forgiveness, but I have decided I'm not going to.

Once in college I did poorly on a freshman calculus exam. I ran into my professor outside his office. I swear the man was crazy. He always came to class in stained tee shirts and blue jeans. He was 6'4" and weighed probably 140 lbs. He was a cancer survivor who gave away all his possessions when he was diagnosed as terminal. He told us how he held hands with other terminal patients and cried. Then one day he decided he wasn't going to die like that. He got up and checked out of the hospital. Amazingly the cancer went into remission and he was eventually cured. Having given away everything he owned, he was penniless and had a "who cares" attitude about life.

He used to claim aliens would come down from space and steal minus signs and move decimal points in his equations. He would often go to the window in class, look up at the sky and start talking to the aliens. He often talked about his sexual escapades and fantasies in class. Once he told us his dream was to have a black haired woman in red leather put him on a leash and make him bark on all fours. Then he climbed on a table and demonstrated how he would get on all fours and howl for her. Pretty much every class was full of stuff like this. His antics were the talk of the dormatories and cafeteria.

But anyway, after I bombed my exam he took the time to stop me outside his office and ask me what happened since doing poorly on math exams was not a habit of mine. I told him I was really busy and only had an hour to study before the exam. He told me something I have never forgotten. He told me, "We all have 24 hours in a day. You had plenty of time to study. You just chose to do something else instead."

I realized immediately he was right. It was an important lesson in my life. We all have priorities. Some of us put our jobs before our families. Some people put their families first. Most people realize you have to pay the bills before you buy that shiny new car. Some people can't make that distinction. For me, my job and my family (not necessarily in that order) have to come before posting my random thoughts in this stupid collection of code we call "The Deep Freeze."

So that is Mike's Life Lesson of the Day. I'm not going to apologize for lagging in my posting. There are other things I choose to do before this. But I promise I will try to find some time for this soon. I have so much I want to talk about with the Supreme Court nomination and the War on Terror. So keep checking back.

On a final note, I always wondered what happened to that professor. I'm ashamed to say I don't even remember his name, but we all loved him dearly. I heard a rumor the cancer came back and took him from this world. Just another reminder that you only get one shot at life.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Dead in the Water

That hissing sound you hear is the air escaping the balloon of the Karl Rove scandal. It seems Rove found out Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA from Robert Novak. So if Novak was asking Rove about it, I guess he didn't get it from Rove. I particularly like the quote from the prosecutor in the link that says Rove "is not a target of the investigation."

Joe Wilson and Chuck Schumer can quit their grandstanding now. It is ridiculous to demand an innocent man resign before being found guilty. The wind has left the sails of this scandal, leaving their ship dead in the water.

UPDATE: Another sail comes down.

The Growing Threat

I have raised my concerns about China before. I was mocked by some so I tried to raise the flag again. I won't rehash everything, but I will just say we better address our policy toward China and we better do it quick. Just read this and try to get some sleep tonight.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

"Apathy Just Rains on Me"

-Green Day-

Quickly, you know what happened on 9/11. Perhaps you even know the Madrid trains were bombed on 3/11. But can you say off the top of your head which day London was bombed last week?

Yesterday, Tony Blankley opined in his weekly column about the coverage, or lack thereof, of the London bombings over the weekend. I hadn't thought about it at the time, but he was right. All of the news coverage over the weekend was dominated by Karl Rove, a couple hurricanes named Cindy and Dennis, a girl who has been missing in Aruba for 45 days now, and the Supreme Court vacancy. You would hardly know there was a savage attack on western society only 48 hours earlier.

Mr. Blankley says this "disturbing pattern" shows western civilization is losing it's resolve to continue the fight against militant radical Islam. I love Tony Blankley. He is a regular on The McLaughlin Group usually seated between John McLaughlin and Pat Buchanan, who incidently also wrote a fascinating article yesterday. Tony offers some of the most rational arguments on the show whenever he can get a word in over Pat, John, and the obnoxious Eleanor Clift. But as much as I love Tony, I have to disagree with him on this one.

Car bombs and suicide bombs are pathetic in a military sense. They capture no territory. They don't capture equipment, ammunition, supplies, or rations. They don't even hit military targets. They usually hit busses, trains, buildings, or marketplaces inhabited by civilians who pose no threat to the terrorists. The intend behind the suicide bomber is strictly political. Their goal is to strike fear in the population who will then turn that fear against their elected leaders and force them to listen to the demands of the terrorists.

But what is happening is we are becoming desensitized. The terrorists are overusing their only weapon. Like a virus that becomes immune to antibiotics over time, we are becoming immune to terrorist attacks. Sure they still happen, but their effect is minimal. I can imagine the terrorists anger as they read the papers and watched television over the weekend. Londoners went back to work the next day defiantly riding the tubes and busses. News coverage faded quickly only coming back to the story when major developments came forward, unlike the two solid week coverage they got after 9/11. In the U.S., the stock market actually went up on the day of the bombings and has been riding a nice little positive trend ever since.

Tony Blankley says this is a bad thing. I think not. I think it shows the terrorists their cause is hopeless. They can keep bombing markets and trains, but the coverage will be less and less. People are learning it is something they have to live with. A risk they have to take. Life goes on, but with each attack, except for those directly involved, it is becoming easier to pick up the pieces. You gave your best shot, terrorists, but you have lost because you underestimated good old American apathy.

Born Again

Disclaimer: This post may be offensive to Catholics. I plan to share my views on the Catholic Church as they relate to my life. I would ask all readers to please understand I do not hate the Catholic Church or wish any harm upon it. Many of my family members are still Catholic. These are just my own personal views for my own personal faith.

I grew up in the Catholic Church. I remember my dad worked the night shift a lot so my mom would take me and my brother every Sunday morning, except in the summer time when we went camping on the weekends. I guess God took a backseat to sleeping in a camper and fishing. But during the winter months we got dressed up in our Sunday clothes. We got there at 9 AM just as they were ringing the church bells. Our church had 2 priests. My brother and I always watched the door the priest came out of when the bells stopped ringing to see which one was going to do the Mass. If Father Breslin came out the door, we knew we were going to be there for one hour. If Father Tellamano came out, we knew there was a chance we were going to get out in 45 minutes. We always gave out a silent "Yes!" and a little fist pump when Father Tellamano came walking through the door. Once in a while they brought in this really old priest. He either came from another church or they brought him out of retirement for a reunion tour or something. This guy was from the old school. When he did Mass it usually took a good hour and a half. When we saw the geezer come out the door my brother and I would just look at each other and roll our eyes. On time I swear I heard a collective groan from the congregation.

For those of you who have never had the privilege of attending a Catholic Mass, let me explain something to you. Every Mass is exactly the same with some small variations. You sing the hymns at the same time each week, you pray the same prayers, chant the same chants, and take communion. Much of the Mass is spend either sitting or kneeling watching the priest prepare and bless the communion. After a few weeks of it you feel like you are just going through the motions.

The concept of Confession always bothered me too. It never made sense to me how I have to tell the priest my sins, and then he prays to God on my behalf. I always thought, God created all of us. I know this guy puts his pants on one leg at a time just like me. Why can't I pray to God? Why do I have to say all these prayers to Mary, the Saints, and the Apostles, but I can't talk to God? I always thought that was rather odd.

15 years I was a member of a Catholic Church. In 15 years I learned nothing. I felt nothing. To me religion was a waste of time. I failed to see how a few canned prayers were going to get me into Heaven, if there even was a Heaven. I viewed religion as a crutch. It was just something people did to make themselves feel better. When I turned 18 and went off to college, I was in control of my life. I knew where I wanted to go. I knew how I was going to get there. What did I need God for? I stopped going to church and no bolt of lightning came down from the sky. I didn't care anymore. I felt freed.

The next three years things were going pretty well. I got my first steady girlfriend (I was a late bloomer...shuddup!). I made new friends who introduced me to this magical elixir they called "beer." I was going to parties every weekend. Life was good. Except my grades started to suffer. The constant parties my roomates were throwing were getting annoying. And I started to realize the people who loved to drink with me on the weekends weren't the type of people I was going to be able to count on after college. I started to realize the life of drinking and sex wasn't the life for me. I started to withdraw and soon I started feeling lonely. On top of it all I took a philosophy class on Existentialism which really screwed me up.

Then one day I met this girl. I forget how it came up, but we started talking about philosophy. I remember telling her I thought the meaning of life was some crap about just trying to be happy. She told me she thought the meaning of life was to give glory to God. I remember that line caught my attention. There I was feeling like a lost squirrel trying to find a nut and this girl had a clear purpose to her life. I told her all about my life as a Catholic and I had given up on religion. She was very patient with me because I'm sure I was very arrogant. She was a Presbyterian, a religion I knew almost nothing about. But from what I had heard they were Bible-thumping Jesus freaks, according to my drinking buddies.

We continued talking over the next few weeks. Mostly I was interested in learning how two religions that claimed to worship the same God could be so different. I was on a fact finding mission. I knew about Noah's Ark, David slaying Goliath, and that Jesus died for our sins on the cross. I learned all that in Catechism class so I felt pretty confident discussing Biblical issues. I was most impressed with this girl's ability to retort my points by quoting specific Bible verses. After a time I stopped debating and just started listening.

She explained to me how in the Old Testament, lambs were sacrificed to God to forgive our sins. Because God is so pure, it had to be a perfect lamb. In order for us to get into Heaven, we had to live perfect lives. The Old Testament is full of rules we have to follow in order to keep ourselves pure. Because God is so pure, we cannot be in his presence. We would instantly perish if we were put in the front of God. But living a perfect life is impossible. As such, it was almost impossible to go to Heaven. So God came up with a plan. He sent Jesus to Earth. Jesus lived the perfect life never giving in to sin. When Jesus died, he became the sacrifice for us, like the lambs in the Old Testament. Now anytime all we have to do is pray to Christ and ask forgiveness for our sins, and the slate is wiped clean. No questions asked. It is through God's grace that we can live eternal life. Jesus sits alongside God, and when we die Jesus speaks to God on our behalf. If Jesus says, "I know this person," we're in. If Jesus says, "I don't know this person," we're out.

That line shook me as well. I had always felt confident I could stand in front of God and say I was a good person. Now I had learned I wasn't even going to be given the chance. I learned that someone else was going to speak on my behalf. That bothered me.

In time I felt like I had all the facts. The time came for me to decide if I was going to believe this stuff or not. Being an engineer I had to reconcile things in a scientific manner. I came to the conclusion the Bible is a collection of books by different authors. Although we tend to look at the Bible as a single book, in a sense each book in the Bible is a different resource making it a collection of references. Four authors, John, Luke, Mathew, and Mark all told the story of Christ's life with striking similarity. The later books of Acts, Romans, Corinthians, Ephisians, and all the rest mention Jesus. As a scientist I came to the conclusion that if so many different people make reference to the life of a Jesus, then Jesus must have existed. If I wanted to research a historical event, and I found four different books that all match in saying what day the event occurred and what happened on that day, then I have to believe, in the absence of any other information, that the event must be true. For me this validated the events mentioned in the Bible. As such I had to conclude there was a God, and everything this girl had been telling me was true.

The night I reached this realization in November of 1995, I had been reading the Book of John to learn more about the life of Jesus. When I finished I closed the book and prayed to Christ. I told Him I believed he existed. I believed he was born 2000 years ago, that he walked this earth, he performed miracles, and that he was the Son of God. I told him I believed that He died on the cross so that my sins could be forgiven and I could have eternal life in the presence of God. I thanked Him. I asked him to forgive me for the sinful life I had lived. I asked Him to guide me and give me wisdom to see His will and use me as His servant. Finally, I asked Him to protect me from temptation.

I told the girl I had been talking to I had prayed this prayer. She was so overjoyed she cried. She immediately helped me get plugged in with other Christians. We started attending church regularly on Sundays, but also attending fellowship meetings during the week. At first I thought I was going to dread it, but I didn't. It was such a change from the Catholic Mass I was accustomed to. People were happy to be there. They sang to God with joy in their hearts. As I started to meet these people I found they were all so eager to get to know me. They all had an inner peace to themselves I never saw in the Catholic Church. They all knew they were saved from death and promised eternal life with God. And the joy showed on their faces.

In time I quickly learned to share this joy. I don't fear death. I don't fear where my next meal will come from because I have learned that God answers my prayers. Every single time I have been in a tough spot and prayed to God, He has delivered. When I feared my ability to provide for my family was in jeopardy, I prayed to Him and He has proved for us. When I stress about things I pray to Him and things seem to resolve themselves. I thank Him every day now. I have a great wife, a beautiful son, and a good job that gives me the means to live a comfortable life. I owe it all to Him. Because of this, now I see my purpose in life is to serve Him and give Him glory.

One final note to this never ending post. The girl I mentioned in this post saved my life from self destruction and eternal damnation. In case you were wondering what ever happened to her, I was so thankful to her that I decided to marry her to show my appreciation. And as Paul Harvey would say, "That's the rest of the story."

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I am a Moral Values Voter

I am a "moral values" voter. When I tell people I am a moral values voter they instantly turn off to me. Some of them stick their nose in the air and walk away. Others try to tell me my morals infringe on their rights. Some go into a tirade as if I were the devil himself. I have been amazed how angry people can get at someone who simply admits to having moral values.

I suspect when I tell people I base my vote on my moral values, they automatically think I just vote against abortion and gay marriage. They think I automatically vote for the candidate who worships Christ. They are mistaken.

I vote for men and women I trust, because honesty is a moral value. Trust is something that is earned. It takes a long time to earn trust, and only a second to shatter it. Trust is earned through a clear pattern of making promises and delivering on them. People who always leave themselves an out are not to be trusted. People who tag their promises with disclaimers cannot be trusted. A man who sees his country attacked and promises the people who did so will be captured or killed and follows up on it earns my trust. A man who says we should attack after our allies give us permission does not.

I vote for men and women who are humble, for humility is a moral value. When a man admits he used to live a sinful life and he is sorry for driving under the influence, but he has now repented for his sins and has asked for forgiveness and his life demonstrates a complete change from his evil ways, that man has earned my respect. When a candidate says he is intellectually superior to others and never admits to making a mistake, I find it difficult to support such a man.

I vote for men and women who are kind, for kindness is a moral value. Anyone can give away tax dollars to those in need. The measure of a man's kindness is what he does with his own money. When I hear of a man giving 10% of his personal income to charity, I am impressed. When I hear of a man who makes $5 million a year only giving $100,000, I am not.

I vote for men and women who stand for something, for conviction is a moral value. When a man says he is going to do what he thinks is right regardless of what the polls say, I take comfort in the fact that whether I agree with him or not, at least I know where he stands and he has my country's best interest at heart. In contrast a man who bases his decisions on the latest polling data makes me wonder what he stands for other than wanting power.

I vote for men and women who know themselves, because having perspective is a moral value. When a man says he is perfectly content to go back to his ranch in Texas and live out his days if he doesn't get elected, I know he understands holding office is a privilege. When a man says he was born to lead, it tells me he thinks holding office is a right.

To the people who get upset when I say I'm a moral values voter I ask why is honesty, humility, kindness, conviction, and having perspective a bad thing? Why am I being told to go back the hole I came from? What has our society become when we are discouraged from looking for such virtues in our candidates?

My fellow moral values voters have put their foot down. We are tired of politicians only concerned about getting re-elected. We want men and women in office with clear visions of a great society based on the values of honesty, humility, kindness, and conviction. We are uniting. But we are not overtaking America. America is becoming morally aware. It is a tide of truth, and justice, and freedom. It cannot be stopped. The day is coming when all issues will be viewed through the lense of moral values. We have entered the Age of the Moral Renaissance.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Realization

When I started The Deep Freeze back in February, I had hoped to create an environment where liberals and conservatives could come together to debate current events and ideology. In the first few months I was disappointed that I wasn't getting much participation. So I decided if I wanted people to come visit my blog I was going to have to go out and recruit them. So I did. I started visiting other blogs, conservative and liberal, and commenting my opinions. It worked well. My participation improved, but not as I had hoped. But in doing so I learned alot about myself and other people I have met. Some of it good, some of it not so good.

I have found that some people aren't open to new ideas. It's human nature. I'm just as guilty sometimes. We all read a headline sometimes and draw our conclusion before we read the article. We all see the world through our own perspective. As such we tend to congregate with people who share our views. Most blogs I visit are like little cheering sections where a close knit group of bloggers comment on each other's posts offering praise and support of one another. It's like a little support group. When an outsider comes in and offers a different opinion they quickly pounce and show their numbers casting the intruder back into the cyberspace from which they came. When I started this blog I noticed most of the comments here came from fellow conservatives. I wanted to be different. I wanted to explore. I wanted to find debate. So I ventured outside of my comfortable nest and I tried to engage a few liberals in debate. I've been around the internet long enough to know when you join a community of millions of people, you're bound to run into a few assholes. I guess I wasn't prepared for the fact some people would think I was the asshole.

Some of the sharpest tongues I encountered were when I shared my religious faith with people, especially when I point out the lack of morals in our society. I tried to warn people our evil ways are going to destroy us. I tried to warn people that life without Christ is a life condemned to death. I've discovered that many people feel genuinely threatened by Christ. It's like they turn into rabid monsters when you mention the J-word. In the past months I have been called a self-righteous jerk, an asshole, a bigot, a homophobe, a fascist, a nazi, and part of the Religious Reich. I have been accused of trying to run people's lives, take away their freedom, and "imposing" my beliefs on them. I've been told that my faith is "a fetish for fictitional characters." I've been told my beliefs are "garbage." And the people who tell me these things dismiss my claims of a "War on Christianity" as make believe.

So I've come to the realization The Deep Freeze will not be the house of debate I had hoped it would be. Too many people demand I put Christ aside before they will debate with me. They don't understand it would be simpler to ask me to de-attach my left arm. It is a concession I am not willing to make. But nonetheless, I will continue posting on conservative topics in this space. I will continue sharing my faith and my views of our degenerate society. To my friends who comment here regularly, Simple American, Bookworm, Alisa, Blogawakening (wutup, Mike!), and anyone else I forgot, rest assured we will keep fighting the fight here on the Deep Freeze. But things will be tailored a little bit from now on. I plan to talk more about my personal life. I plan to talk more about my family. And I especially plan to talk more about God. I have come to the conclusion that is what I am called to do with this. No matter what I do, I am called to be a disciple of God first. This will be a blog of personal reflection for me. Hopefully I can stick to the plan. I will not be going out actively searching for debate anymore. It is too hard to find. All I find is hate. If God wants me to witness to someone, He will make it happen. I just have to be ready. I have given up the dream that this site may someday grow into the next Drudge Report, Captain's Quarters, or Little Green Footballs. From now on this is just my space where I come to vent. Everyone is welcome to comment and share their views as long as they are respectful to others.

Full of Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing

Well once again the mainstream media has dug up a scandal and they're running with it. Just like Rathergate, Kitty Kelly, Abu Graihb, the Guantanamo Gulag, and every other scandal they dream up, this one is going nowhere. It seems the media has come to the conclusion Karl Rove must have leaked Valerie Plame's name to the media as a CIA agent in Niger. I won't go into the whole story. If you want the background go check out Captain's Quarters. Captain Ed does a much better job of explaining it than I ever could.

A few things about this story just don't make sense to me. Am I supposed to believe that Karl Rove leaked the identity of a CIA agent to the mainstream media back in 2003, and the media has sat on it until now? Wouldn't that have made an excellent election eve surprise? And now a New York Times reporter is willing to go to jail to protect Karl Rove even though the Old Gray Lady wrote a scathing front page story today all but asking for Rove's resignation? It just doesn't make sense to me. I think the Times is putting the heat on Rove so their reporter's source looks irrelevant. Most Washington insiders are saying everyone knew Plume was an agent. Where did the first leak occur? Was it to Novak, Cooper, or Miller?

This is a scandal going nowhere. Democrats will jump up and down and kick and scream. Scott McClellan will get chewed out by reporters in the White House press room, when it's all said and done it will be sound and fury signifying nothing. They won't be able to prove a thing in court. Life will go on and the media will look for their next scandal.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Porker of the Month

Citizens Against Government Waste have named Rep. Darlene Hooley (D-Ore) this month's "Porker of the Month" for July 2005.

Rep. Hooley has managed to hijack $9 million dollars for her home state via the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program (HIDTA) to combat methamphetamine production and distribution by adding an amendment to the Transportation/Treasury/Housing & Urban Development appropriations bill (H.R. 3058).

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 and the ONDCP Reauthorization ACT of 1998 gave the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy the authority to designate areas of the country as High Intensity Drug Trafficking areas. These areas were meant to be points where drugs were entering the country posing a serious threat to other parts of the country. Mostly it was meant for major cities along the Mexican border. Over the years HIDTA has become a means for politicians to steal federal tax dollars for their home states. The result has been valuable tax dollars have been diverted from the areas where drugs enter the country to rural areas where drugs are sold on the streets. The Office of Management and Budget has declared HIDTA an "ineffective" tool in combating drugs. President Bush's 2006 fiscal budget calls for a 56% decrease in HIDTA funding in favor of consolidating the effort under the Justice Department. Rep. Hooley is milking this dying program for everything she can.

Methamphetamines are a problem which should be addressed. But it should not be done through HIDTA. Meths are mostly a local problem. Because they can be made through common household items, they are not a drug that is heavily trafficked. In that I mean it doesn't make sense to make the meth in Los Angeles and ship it to New York. It is usually confined to small regions of the country. As such it should be addressed as a local problem rather than a federal problem. I'm in favor of my tax dollars stopping heroin from crossing the border in Texas if it is going to make its way to my neighborhood in Pennsylvania. But I'm not in favor of federal tax dollars being used to stop a kid in Portland, Oregon from making meth in his basement and selling it on his playground. That is a job better left for local officials to handle.

I tried to go to Rep. Hooley's website (see link above) to read her latest press release on the Amendment. Men and women in Congress love to post press releases whenever they get a bill or amendment passed that they authored or sponsored. Much to my amazement, Rep. Hooley's website has not posted an update since October 28, 2004, about a week before the last election. I guess once she won re-election she didn't see the benefit in addressing her constituents anymore.

So for stealing federal tax dollars meant to benefit the entire nation in order to selfishly benefit your home state and buy some votes, Representative Darlene Hooley has earned the title "Porker of the Month." Shame on you Madam! OINK OINK!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Out of Town

I will be out of town until next week. I might have time to comment on other blogs so check the links, but I will not be posting until probably Monday. So check back then!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Liberal History

Sometimes I wonder if liberals read the same history books I read in school. Lately with the emergence of the "moral values" voters and the Supreme Court cases involving the Ten Commandments liberals have been throwing the First Amendment in everyone's faces demanding a "Separation between church and state." They use the First Amendment to argue religion has no place in government at all. This is a twisting of the First Amendment that does not agree with what the founders intended. I mean, do liberals really think the Constitutional Convention went like this?

Framer #1: Now that we have drafted this Constitution, we need to come up with a Bill of Rights to make sure the people's rights are protected.

Framer #2: Ok, how about the right to free speech?

Framer #1: Great, write that down. What's next?

Framer #3: Freedom of the Press?

Framer #1: Excellent, now we're getting somewhere. What else you got?

Framer #4: Well, we should come up with something to prevent the church from taking over the country.

Framer #1: How could we forget that? That one needs to go on top as the very first one. How should we word that?

Framer #3: How about, "All displays of religion shall be removed from public view. "

Framer #1: No, that's too open to interpretation.

Framer #4: How about, "Everyone is free to practice their religion of choice as long as they do it on Sunday morning and don't share their views with others."

Framer #1: Too vague.

Framer #2: How about, "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion."

Framer #1: Perfect! That is abundantly clear that we don't want religion meddling in government affairs.

Is this the liberal version of history? The original settlers came to this continent to escape a government that was hostile toward their religion. The Framers were deathly afraid of government imposing its will on the church. That was the intent behind the First Amendment. Everyone knows the Framers as well as the country as a whole were very religious people back then. Much more so than we are today.

What liberals really fear is being confronted by God. They know their agenda goes against the teachings of God, and thus the majority of our country. They know if they run on a platform of abortion and gay rights, they will lose. So they change the argument. They talk about human rights and the right to privacy. They know these issues are popular. But they are not the core issues at all. It's hypocritical to talk about the "mother's rights" without discussing the rights of the unborn child. It's insulting to African-Americans to call gay marriage a "civil rights" issue. Voting, owning property, living without fear of lynching: those are civil rights. Being accepted by society is not a civil right. Until Democrats figure these things out, they will never hold power in this country again.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Something to Think About

Why do we call it the Fourth of July? All of the other holidays have a name. December 25 is Christmas. Memorial Day, Labor Day, Easter, New Years Day. They all have a name. Why do we call it the 4th of July? Why don't we call it by it's proper name, Independence Day? I know it's an infamous day, like September 11th, but I think calling it July 4th makes it sounds like any other day. It cheapens it. So I ask you all to stop calling it "The 4th of July" and start calling it by it's true name, Independence Day. So this Independence Day weekend as you're barbequing your hot dogs, drinking your beer, and setting off your fireworks here are a few more things I want you to think about.
  • The American Revolution started on April 19, 1775 when 700 British troops marched from Boston to Concord, Massachusettes to seize munitions the Patriots had been stockpiling. What ensued was the battles of Lexington and Concord.
  • America's first major victory came on December 26, 1776 when General Washington marched his troops about 50 miles from Valley Forge to Trenton. His army crossed the Delaware river during the night and attacked the city in the morning. The Hessian mercenaries who had been up late celebrating Christmas were unprepared and defeated in only one hour. This marked the turn of the tide in the war.
  • The Revolution lasted six and a half years ending on October 19, 1781 when General Cornwallis surrendered in the Battle of Yorktown. Although minor fighting continued in the south, this was the last major battle. The treaty officially ending the war was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783.
  • America's population at the time of the Revolutions was 3.5 million. The army had 200,000 men. Roughly one out of ten men in America at the time served in the Revolutionary war.
  • 4,435 Americans died in the Revolutionary War. 6,188 were wounded.
  • The cost of the Revolutionary war was $100,000,000. In 1990 dollars that equates to $342,000,000,000. Most of it was funded through State debt since the Continental Congress had no power to tax or raise money.
  • Most of the soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War were paid with government I.O.U.'s. These I.O.U.'s were pretty much worthless since the Congress had no money and no way to raise money to pay them. These men typically sold off the I.O.U.'s to other people for a fraction of what they were worth.

Finally, when you wake up on Monday July 4th, read this little passage to yourself and your children:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

We must never forget that July 4th is more than hot dogs, fireworks, and a day off. Men suffered and died so that we can live in a free country. Because of these men and their vision, today we have the rights of free speech and religion. We have the right to freely assemble and petition our government. We have the right to bear arms to protect ourselves. We are free from unreasonable search and seizure. We have a right to due process and a trial by a jury of our peers. And we are free from cruel and unusual punishment. All men and women who served in our military defending our freedom are heroes. Please take a moment and remember them. Say a prayer of thanks as you celebrate Independence Day.