Monday, November 28, 2005

Democrats Think You're Stupid

A few weeks ago, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), a distinguished Vietnam veteran turned congressman in the twilight of his career, held a press conference criticizing President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. In his speech, Murtha suggested it was time for the United States to pull out of Iraq. And a star was instantly born.

Murtha became the hottest "get" on all the pundit talk shows. Here was a Vietnam veteran and a "long time defense hawk" suggesting the war was going badly and it was time to cut our losses and get out. The anti-war movement had found their new Cindy Sheehan, only this one had some credibility. The media portrayed Murtha as the wise old man lecturing the incompetent draft dodging fool on how to run a war.

Republicans countered the Murtha movement by putting up a non-binding vote recommending the President withdraw the troops from Iraq immediately. The vote was defeated 403-3. So much for that. Murtha is still making the rounds calling for an end to the war, but his support has greatly diminished.

This entire chain of events stinks of politics. Nobody cares about what is best for our troops or what is best for America. People in Washington are only worried about getting re-elected. Republicans put up a vote with the intent of it being defeated. I'm not pleased with them playing politics with the troops and war policy, but I understand they were reacting and did it to prove a point. The point they were trying to make is that the Democrats think you are stupid.

The Democrats have been playing this political game the past several years where they mask their positions and hope you can't see their real intent. They understand they cannot say they favor gay marriage, because they know that everywhere it goes up for a vote it gets overwhelmingly shot down. They know they cannot say they don't want you to own guns because they know you will not vote for them if they do. In this case, the democrats desperately want President Bush to fail in this War on Terror because they fear Bush will secure the legacy of being tough on terrorism that Clinton could not achieve at the bargaining table. Presidents that create legacies benefit their party for decades. If Republicans are perceived as being tough on terrorism, the American people will never trust the Democrats with the keys to the military.

But they cannot come out and say they want Bush to fail because you will equate his failure with America losing. So they call Bush an idiot. They call him imcompetent. They call him corrupt. They say they support the troops, but not the war. Convenient since their last Presidential candidate contradicted this stance by voting for the war, but then voted to not support the troops by giving them the funding the purchase the supplies they now claim the Administration is not giving them. They do anything they can to talk a good game against terrorism without giving any credit to Dubbya. They suggest they could run the war better, while conveniently never providing their own plan. Then when one of them grows the courage to stand up and take a position, they all stand behind him until it comes up for a vote at which time they turn and leave him out to dry and suffer a 403-3 defeat.

The Democratic Party is void of morals. They have no message. No plan for America. No plan for the War on Terrorism. Their constant attacks on President Bush are getting old. Recently I was reading a liberal blog where the writer was talking about the need for the democrats to fight the Alito nomination. A telling line in his post was when he said, "(we have to) make the American people believe that (we) believe in something." Inadvertently he spelled it out perfectly. He doesn't propose that the democrats tell the American people what they believe in, rather he implores the Democrats to make the American people think they believe in something. People are tired of debating how and why we got into the war. America realizes that we're in it now and we need a plan. The Republicans want to get the Iraqis through the elections, train a sufficient number of troops to take over, and then bring our boys home. The Democrats just wish America would hurry up and lose so they can win the next election by default, but they can't tell you that.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow most of us will get in our cars and drive a few hours to get to our parents or grandparents or aunt's house. We'll chat in an overcrowded kitchen where there are too many people and not enough chairs to sit. We will watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television. We'll see Garfield, and Mickey Mouse. We'll look at other characters and wonder "what is that thing?" We'll snack and talk for awhile until a giant turkey is put on the table. We'll stress over where we are going to sit. How can we work it so everyone sits with their spouses and kids? We'll feel bad about putting Aunt Ethel out in the living room to eat at a card table sitting at a folding chair with the kids. Then we'll eat a dried up bird with cold mashed potatoes trying to make conversation with relatives you never see. When you think you can't eat anymore, someone will put a piece of pumpkin pie in front of you, and you'll manage to shove that down too. After dinner the men will move to the couch to catch the second half of the Cowboys and Broncos. Uncle Charlie will fall asleep in the EZ Chair. The women will move to the kitchen to clean up and share the latest gossip. Then we'll all give hugs and kisses and go home until next year. Did I pretty accurately describe your Thanksgiving day?

America has forgotten the true meaning of Thanksgiving. We have allowed it to morph into a secular holiday where we pay homage to a turkey and football. I suspect someone in your office today will even tell you to have a "Happy Turkey Day." The reason for the holiday has shifted from that of giving thanks to God, to the secular mantra of turkey, football, and family. Now, somebody will probably read this and quip that one can be thankful and celebrate Thanksgiving without believing in God. No you can't.

The very notion of being thankful implies that you have received something from somebody else. Somebody gives you something, you thank them for it. When you get something all on your own, or you make something for yourself, you don't thank yourself. If you are not thanking God, who are you thanking? Are you thanking yourself for all of the stuff you have collected? You cannot separate God from Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Day was celebrated by the Pilgrims to show their thanks to God for protecting them and providing for them in the new world. It was a demonstration of faith on their part. Some would call it foolish to waste a large portion of your harvest and bounty right before winter was about to set in on modern day Massachusetts. Not knowing what to expect and with little to protect them from the cold, it would have been wise to ration their food and plan for a long cold winter. But the pilgrims had faith in God that He would provide for them just as the Bible says. They acknowledged that all they had came from God and that it was His to take away at His pleasure. To show their thanks and trust in God, they took their small bounty and made a feast to be shared with the local natives. They also devoted much time to give thanks to God in prayer.

It is important that tomorrow we thank God for his many blessings. It is important that we take time and pray to Him. Just as God has given us His many blessings, we must also pass that mercy and generosity on to others. Do a good deed. If you know somebody who has nobody to share a meal with, invite them to join you. Be kind and helpful to the weak and give them something to be thankful for.

May peace and happiness be with you and your family on this Thanksgiving Day through the grace, love and mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What are the odds?

We Report...You Decide

Was this an accident?

Monday, November 21, 2005

How Did I Get Here?

I love the little Site Meter link at the bottom of my blog. I gives me details about how many hits I get each day, but it also gives me other cool information about where people who read my blog live and how they found this blog. I just wanted to share some of the cool information I found and have a little fun. Here is some interesting things about the people who read The Deep Freeze.

Somebody from Hong Kong found this site by typing "Deep Freeze" into their search engine. I'm surprized how many people do a search on Deep Freeze. From what I can tell there is some software program out there called "Deep Freeze" that people are looking for.

Somebody in Egypt is looking for a "Hurricane A program for beating deepfreeze." It makes sense a hurricane would beat a deep freeze. Kind of like paper beats rock.

Somebody found this site by searching "michael smerconish is a jerk". I wonder when somebody is going to try to put two and two together and come to the conclusion that Michael Smerconish is in Philadephia, and Mike of The Deep Freeze is in Philadelphia....hmmmmm.

Somebody in Utica, Minnesota asked Jeeves "stink bombs ship now pay later". Really, when you have a stink bomb emergency, you don't have time to give your credit card number over the phone. Ship the damn things now. We'll figure out how we're going to pay for it later. I have often wondered why they didn't just have stink bomb drive-thru's at the convenience stores.

Somebody in Denmark wants to know how to stop deep freeze. We covered this earlier: a Hurricane apparently.

Somebody in Edmonton, Alberta Canada wants to know more about the concept of God. Stop thinking about God as a concept and think of him as your creator and savior and you'll be ok.

Somebody in Kentucky is looking for woperdaughters. I hear that's a big game sport in Kentucky. You get a burlap sack, go out in the woods and start going "Wop Wop Wop". When they come running at you you throw the sack over their heads and beat them with a club. Those suckers got some nasty fangs so you have to be careful.

Somebody from Bethesda, Maryland did a search for a philisophical view of mankind. In all seriousness, this pleases me when I see people searching for answers and they come across this site. Some people call that luck, but I call it Divine Intervention. It gives me even more determination that I am doing God's work here on The Deep Freeze and I have a responsibility to continue spreading God's word.

Somebody is looking for Rose Bowl tickets. If USC loses to UCLA or Texas loses to Colorado, I might be looking for some myself.

Somebody is looking for a deep freeze token gen. I don't know what a gen is, but I can assure you all gens you see are here because they earned it. There are no token gens.

Crack deep freeze - I don't know. Try a hammer?

Miami Hurricanes Football College - At least this person is honest in acknowledging that Miami is a football school. You know how you get a University of Miami graduate off your porch? Pay them for the pizza.

Finally, somebody in Morocco is looking for a free deep freeze professional. My services are always available for weekend parties, but I don't work that cheap.

More God vs. Science

Two fascinating articles to read today by Vox Day and Suzanne Fields as a followup to our discussion on God and evolution. Please read them and comment.

I am pleased to see more people advocating the thought that there is equal room and place in society for God and science.

The Fight Against Wal-Fare

In 1994 the Republicans swept into the national scene taking both houses of Congress on the tails of their new concept called "The Contract with America." It was a bold plan to spell out the conservative agenda to the American people and provide a vision for the future. One of the main points of The Contract was to significantly reduce welfare benefits to get people back to work and contributing to the economy and society. They were able to get welfare reform passed despite kicking and screaming from the democrats and two vetoes from President Clinton.

Since then millions of Americans have gotten off the welfare payroll and entered the workforce. While many of them could only land minimum wage jobs, this is still an improvement since they are doing something productive and are no longer being supported by tax dollars. This is a good thing for America, but it is bad for the democratic party who have always appealed to the poor and downtrodden promising them better government benefits. Don't get me wrong, welfare is a necessary program on a small scale. If you are a single mother who lost her job or is disabled and can't work, I'm all in favor of you getting assistance from the government. But when I saw a woman on Jerry Springer in the early nineties advising an expecting young mother to leave her husband because "you don't need him. You can go on welfare," I knew something was wrong with it. Too many people were using welfare as a government funded vacation program.

Now that welfare has been proven to be a failed program when instituted on a large scale, Democrats have to find something else to talk about. Since they can't attack welfare anymore, they are going after the next best thing, successful companies that employ minimum wage workers. This week there is a buzz in liberal circles about this new documentary called "Walmart-The High Cost of Low Prices." Over on The Huffington Post today there are no less than ten posts about this movie or Walmart.

Liberals are engaging America in a debate over Wal-fare. They have chosen Walmart to be their poster child in the fight to raise the minimum wage, spread unionized labor, institute a national healthcare plan, and promote affirmative action. I have not seen the movie, but from some of the discussion I have seen, I can gather some of the following criticisms being thrown at Walmart:
  1. Walmart underpays their employees
  2. Walmart uses foreign sweatshops to produce their goods
  3. Walmart doesn't provide adequate benefits, like health insurance, to it's employees
  4. Walmart discriminates against minorities by refusing them promotions
  5. Walmart uses illegal child labor to keep costs down
  6. Walmart doesn't pay overtime
  7. Walmart works to keep unions out of their workforce

Now, I have a problem with argument numbers 2, 5, and 6 if they are true. While Walmart probably cannot be prosecuted for using sweatshops in foreign countries, it isn't ethical. Numbers 5 and 6 deal with breaking the law, and I do not support that. Argument number 4 is hard to prove, but show me a big corporation in America that isn't top heavy with white males. Just about every corporation can improve in the area of putting minorities at high level positions. As far as unions, no corporation is required to accept a labor union. If the employees decide to form a union, the corporation has a right to fire all of those employees and replace them.

The other arguments are complete bogus. Bleeding heart liberals always try to approach an argument by getting you to agree with one of their crazy assumptions. In this case, the assumption is that Walmart employees do not have a choice in working for Walmart. Their argument is based on the predicate that Walmart employees are slave labor who don't have the option to go someplace else. This is false. America is a free country. If you don't like your job, quit. If your job doesn't pay you adequate benefits, get another one. Nobody is forced into slave labor to work for Walmart.

Now, some of you bleeding heart liberals will respond with how cruel I am. You'll tell me these people don't have the skills to go out and get a job like mine. Before you do I will remind you one more time that we live in America. Nobody tells you you can't go to college. If you can't afford it, financial aid is available. The only excuse you have for not improving your life is your own drive and determination. Anybody can make it in America. I believe that.

In the interest of being fair and balanced, I have my own issues with Walmart different from the ones liberals are crying over this week. My problem with Walmart is that they dominate the free market. In an area like where I live, where there are literally hundreds of options for me to shop, Walmart doesn't have a big impact. This is why you don't see Walmart in Manhattan or other big cities. But go out to these small towns in rural American and see the type of impact Walmart has had on the community. Walmart drives the small business owner out of business with their "lowest price guaranteed" policy. In this policy, they offer to reduce their price to be 10% lower than that of the competition. Before long, all the mom and pop stores in these small towns go out of business and the only option for the local people is Walmart. Anytime you have a monopoly, that is bad for the consumer, and that is my problem with Walmart. But on top of the consumer argument, when Walmart drives out small business, that hurts employment. So in some of these small towns, not only does everyone shop at Walmart, but everyone also works at Walmart. Ask yourself, how is a community supposed to survive when everyone collects wages from one employer who is committed to selling them products with the intent of making a profit? They answer is they can't.

But other than that, I can't deny that Walmart supplies their customers with good products at low prices which is what the free market is all about. Anybody who doesn't like working for them is free to leave, so these people calling for Walmart to change their ways need to change their tune.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

God vs. Evolution

Some people think you can't physically hold a Bible in one hand and a science book in another and believe in both of them equally. In my dealings with people who do not believe in Christ, I find my theories about life and science are immediately dismissed once they discover I'm a Christian. I was debating a non-believer once who knew I was a Christian about intelligent design and I told her she had not proven her argument that man evolved from animals. I think I said something like, "I live in a scientific world, so you will have to provide me with scientific proof." To that she replied, "Since when did science ever mean anything to you?" At that point I reminded her I am a chemical engineer.

Why is it so hard to believe I can read the Bible and say, "Yes, I believe that" and then read a science book and say the same thing? Many faithful Christians become doctors, pharmacists, scientists, and yes, engineers. These people feel a desire to explore and understand the world around them, but they also see the world as God's creation. But just because God created it does not mean we cannot study it and seek to understand it.

To answer a question from Bill a few posts back, I do not "believe" in evolution. To "believe" in evolution would be to elevate it to the level of a religion. It would be like believing in thermodynamics or mathmatics. They are what they are, you don't "believe" in them. I think evolution is a credible theory to explain how man was created on this earth. I think it is possible that animals go through genetic mutations. Deer look a lot like horses. Lions look a lot like tigers. If a Doberman and a poodle can mate to make a dog that looks nothing like any other dog, then I believe that species can change and evolve over generations. Even in the human species, you can see that Asians look different than Europeans who look different than Africans. So I find it credible that over time man can change. Now how do I reconcile this with the seven day creation theory put forth in the Bible? I will try to explain.

I believe we tend to limit ourselves sometimes when we try to comprehend the awesomeness of God. We tend to tell ourselves "God wouldn't do that" or "I hope God isn't watching". We think of time in the context of our puny lives. To us, a year is a long time. The Bible says, "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Peter 3:8) I mean, do we really think God keeps time by how often our puny rock spins around the sun? I look at the expansiveness of the universe and I find this hard to believe. So when I read Genesis 1, I read it keeping in mind that our concept of a day and God's concept of a day are two completely different things.

That being said, there are some things in Genesis that kind of agree with the scientific community's theories about how the earth was formed and man came to be. In Genesis, it says first God created light, the heavens, earth (a mass of water), land, plants, sea life, land animals, and then man in that order. While the scientific community believes this took more than six days, they pretty much agree with the order in these things came to be. So in my mind, I read what the science community has to say, and I read what the Bible has to say and I tell myself, "There must be something to this."

So when I hear people say God has no place in school or Christians have no place in the science community I get upset. We are part of this world and we want to understand how it works just as much as the next guy. All children eventually get around to experiencing death, and inevitably the question arises, "What will happen to me when I die?" People who shut God out of the answer to this question do their children a disservice.

But I get equally upset when I hear about Christians trying to keep Darwin out of the classroom. Many Christians, my wife included, believe the Bible to be infallible. In fact, the last time I questioned the accuracy of the Bible in this space, I got quite a lecture at the dinner table. They say if we do not believe the Bible to be 100% accurate we are saying God is not perfect. And to say God is not perfect is to say God has sin. And God cannot have sin, or else the entire Christian faith is turned on its ear.

It is hard for me to believe with absolute conviction that the Bible is 100% accurate. Although I believe the Bible is the Word of God, it was no doubt written by man. Through the centuries, the Bible has been translated from Hebrew to Latin to English. Now there are four or five versions of the Bible out there. Are they all 100% accurate? Impossible. While the men who authored and translated the Bible were guided by God in their service, they were still sinful men.

So I tend to focus on the underlying message in each passage rather than focus on timelines and symantics. I believe that God created the earth and man. I believe we are all sinful creatures doomed to a life of eternal damnation. I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He died on the cross so that my sins may be forgiven. I believe that those who believe in Him and repent their sins will have everlasting life. As far as I'm concerned, that's all I need to know. In the big picture of things, evolution doesn't matter to me. It would be nice to know the truth, but if I don't, c'est la vie. So when you ask me was man created in one day or did he evolve over eons from a soupy goo of proteins and amino acids don't be surprised if I tell you, "I don't care."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bowl Confusion Series

My beloved Nittany Lions find themselves sitting at 9-1 and ranked fourth in the latest BCS rankings behind the University of Southern California Trojans, the University of Texas Longhorns, and the University of Miami Hurricanes who are ranked numbers one, two, and three respectively. If they win against the Michigan State University Spartans this weekend, they will win the Big Ten Conference and most likely a bid to the Federal Express Orange Bowl where they are projected to play Miami if they also win out.

Many will say this is a great year for a team that had losing records the past two years. While I am pleased with the progress the team made, I have the bitter taste of "what if" in my mouth. What if Penn State had not lost to Michigan in the last second of the game. What if we hadn't kicked to the kid who had burnt us earlier in the game on a kick return. What if Lloyd Carr hadn't lobbied the officials to get those two seconds back on the clock. Penn State could easily be undefeated right now and we would be in the running to play for the National Championship in the Rose Bowl. But because of that one fateful second in Ann Arbor, Michigan on a warm October afternoon Penn States hopes of a National Championship are dashed.

Few sports in America rival the popularity of college football. It is a glorious concoction of rivalries and tradition that few other sports can match. But for all of it's good points, college football falls miserably short in one area. It is the only major sport in America without a clearly defined playoff system. Sure, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is designed to stage a match between the best two teams in the country, and it will probably work this year in creating a matchup between the only two undefeated teams, but the system is flawed.

For some reason it isn't right that right now there are ten teams in Division I-A with one loss, and most likely none of them will have a chance to play for the title this year because USC and Texas will go undefeated. Who is to say that if Texas played Miami, Miami wouldn't win? Or that Virginia Tech couldn't beat USC? Why do we allow sports writers and computers to decide who the better team is? Why do we even play the games? Why not just compare 40 times and bench press numbers and vote on who we think would win? Why should Virginia Tech be denied a chance at the championship just because they lost to the now number three team in the country? It's just dumb that the championship isn't decided on a playoff tournament like every other sport including Div. I-AA and I-AAA football.

How could one of the most popular sports in America not have a playoff system you ask? The answer, like everything else, is money. The BCS was cooked up by the biggest conferences which make up about half of all the teams in the country, namely the Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Pacific 10, and Southeast Conference. It is a way for these schools to ensure that one of their teams will always be playing for the national title. The smaller schools can still get one of the "at large bids", but it is highly unlikely. The "at large" bid was just created to prevent the smaller schools from suing the BCS for conspiracy and unfair competition. This year Texas Christian Univeristy is 10-1 and most likely going to win the Mountain West Conference. They will probably go to the Pioneer Purevision Bowl in Las Vegas to play the number five team in the PAC-10, which will probably be California, Arizona State, or Oregon State. One of these teams will probably have five losses by then. Meanwhile, Florida State can win their conference with 3 or 4 losses and still go to a BCS bowl game.

Who cares about going to a stupid bowl game you say? Teams that go to bowl games get money for themselves and their conference. A team that qualifies for a BCS bowl game gets about $14 million last time I checked. Smaller bowl games also payout a few million, but not BCS type money. With college bowl money, the university gets to keep about half of the take and then splits the other half with the other teams in their conference. So even the team that finishes last in their conference and doesn't qualify for a bowl game can get a check for a couple million. Call it college welfare. Now $2 million goes a long way in a college athletic program. Imagine what $7 million can do. It can be used to support numerous non-revenue generating sports, like swimming, track and field, wrestling, volleyball, field hockey, ice hockey, etc. Several of these sports are womens sports which probably would not survive without this vital revenue. So the BCS not only creates an unfair advantage for the big conferences on the football field, it creates an unfair advantage over the entire spectrum of college athletics.

That's not fair. Why don't they change it you say? Call it short sightedness. The athletic directors of the BCS conferences like things just the way they are. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. But I think a college football playoff system would do wonders to create a level playing field as well as generate even more revenue. The answer is so simple I can't believe nobody has thought of it or is willing to try it.

Let's generate a playoff system with 16 teams to be played over a four week span. Right now there are 11 conferences in Division I-A. Take the winners of each conference and give them a playoff spot. This gives the smaller conferences their ticket to the dance. Now in my opinion, if you can't win your conference, you shouldn't be playing for the national title, but college basketball allows it so we will too. So for the five remaining spots, take five at large teams to be selected by a committee similar to the college basketball tournament. To qualify, a team must have at least 9 wins. This will give the independents their ticket. There is your 16 teams. The same committee that selected the at large teams will then seed the teams based on their own evaluation. Any team that gets into the tournament gets an equal check just for qualifying. In addition, each conference gets an equal portion of revenue from the sponsors and television rights to split as they see fit. From that point on it should be all about the game. No more pay for winning. This will ensure all of the conferences get a nice paycheck and the playing field is somewhat level.

But Mike, what about the pageantry and tradition of the bowl games you say? First of all, spare me the "pageantry and tradition" crap. You can't lecture me about the pageantry and tradition behind the Meineke Car Care Bowl or the Houston Bowl. If you cared about tradition and preserving the purity of the game you wouldn't have renamed the Citrus Bowl the Outback Bowl. The bowl games just want to protect their sponsors and television contracts, i.e- their money. But fine, we're trying to work a win-win solution here, so we'll work them into the equation. Right now, college football supports 28 bowl games. It would take 15 games to have a 16 team tournament. Let's pick 15 bowls to include in our playoff and just rotate them with the traditional big payout bowls (Sugar, Rose, Fiesta, Orange) being the top tier bowls that would host the championship game as well as the semifinal games. The first and second round games would be given to other bowls. So you see we wouldn't have to give up the Autozone Liberty bowl afterall. And the other 13 bowls left out of the playoff picture could still host their games with the teams left over thus saving the "tradition and pageantry" of the MPC Computers Bowl.

A college football playoff system is needed in order to level the playing field for all college sports. It would benefit the student athletes, it would benefit the schools, and it would benefit the fans. It's debatable whether or not the sponsors would get hurt, but it's my gut feeling a playoff would generate more excitement which would translate into more money in the end. But most of all, my 9-1 Nittany Lions would have a better shot at make the championship game.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Global Warming Debate

Apparently, global warming isn't the new phenomenon we think it is. According to this article, it was around 55 million years ago. Those dinosaurs should have been more responsible in their management of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases. The interesting thing is rather than driving hundreds of species into extinction, it actually fostered several new species into existence. But I don't think you will hear about this on the six o'clock news or at the next U.N. summit on global warming.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Viva la Vagabond

I'm in Houston on business this week, but remarkably still finding time to post. Please be sure to check out my first post on Vagabondia entitled "Les Rues de Feu".

Weekly Prayer

Thank you, Father God, for your many blessings. Thank you for my job, which gives me the means to support my family. My tithe is just a small token of what I owe. Everything I own I owe to you.

Father, forgive me for my sins. I am greedy and proud. Humble me. I thank you that your Son died for my sins. It is a gift I do not deserve.

Father, I pray for President Bush. I thank you we have a leader who seeks your counsel. Watch over him, Father. Guide him and give him wisdom to lead us in a Godly manner.

I pray for our Congressmen, Governors, Mayors and all elected officials. Fill them with your spirit and help them rule with kindness in their heart and justice on their minds.

Father, I pray for our troops. Give them strength and courage. Let them know that a nation of people prays for them. Protect them. And please, Father, end this war. Stop the bloodshed. Teach us and our enemies to love one another and stop the violence. I pray for the day Your kindom reigns and there are no more wars. What a glorious day it will be.

Father, I pray for our enemies. Help them see your love and turn from their evil ways. Help them see us as human beings rather than infidels.

Father, I pray for our country. Help us live by your Godly principles. Grant us peace and prosperity. But ultimately, may Your will be done. Amen.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Knowing When to Quit

Does anyone else think this is sexy? Everyone is raving about her and how good she looked last night. Personally, I think she looks like a 47 year old hooker. Seriously, if you saw that walking down the street in any major US city, what would you think?

Goldwater Lives On

Every once in a while I turn out to be wrong. That may come as a shock to some of you. Some of you probably think it is only once in a while that I turn out to be right. One thing about me though, when I know I'm wrong, I admit it. I don't put spin on it or try to repair the damage. And a few weeks ago, I was wrong.

I said the conservative movement in America was dead. I was wrong. It is alive and well and it is gaining momentum.

Right now it appears things are in complete turmoil for the conservative movement. The President's poll numbers are down. The recent hurricanes have led to unprecedented promises of federal aid for the victims. By the media's portrayal, the Iraq War is going poorly (even though I think the recent draft constitution and elections aren't too shabby). The President's Supreme Court Nominee had to withdraw her name in embarrassment. Tom Delay was indicted And on top of it all the White House is wrapped up in a media manufactured scandal over the pre-war intelligence. All of this suggests the conservative movement has no direction and is on the verge of complete collapse.

But hidden behind the recent headlines is clear evidence that conservatives still have the power to influence politicians and force their will. When Tom Delay said there was no more pork to cut from the federal budget, conservative budget watchdog groups quickly condemned the statement. Now the new federal budget in the Senate is laced with spending and tax cuts.

When the President nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, he asked conservatives to "trust me". When asked for her qualifications, we were told "she's an evangelical" as if we should all be reassured that she will vote against abortion. For true conservatives, this was exactly what we didn't want. For years we have been railing against judges who legislate from the bench. Nominating a judge that would legislate in our favor was a gross misread of the conservative position. The argument for true conservatives is not that abortion is murder. That is the argument of the religious right. For true conservatives, the argument is that abortion should be left up to the state legislatures to decide. So when they smelled a nominee who would simply outlaw abortion, they worked to correct the situation. Many prominent conservatives either openly spoke out against the nomination or silently witheld their support. As a result, the President was forced to withdraw his nomination and replace Miers with Alito, a proven conservative with a long track record of upholding the strict constructionist view of the constitution.

Adding to the strength displayed by the conservative movement is the complete implosion by the democratic party. Conservatives understand that political movements are created and fueled by ideas. Liberals have forgotten this. They seem to think their only options are to obstruct and undermine. Their stunt in shutting down the Senate this week illustrates how futile their position is. They have no plan. They have no ideas. All they can do is promise their best to stop the republicans. This is good for conservatives, but bad for America because right now we are only getting one side of the argument out there.

The mistake I made in declaring the conservative movement dead was assuming that President Bush was the head conservative. He is not. There is no head of the conservative movement. Conservativism is an ideology, not a political party or a religion. It is a way of thinking and a way of life. Conservativism is about freedom, equal opportunity, limited government and personal responsibility. These are ideas that people can identify with. It is bigger than any one person or group of people. It has grown considerably in the past years and it will continue to grow. Of this I am now confident.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Smear Machine

I hate politics. I really do. But oddly enough I can't stop following it. It's like watching a train wreck or rubbernecking to see an accident on the highway. I just can't look away. But what I see sometimes shocks me and makes me angry.

When President Bush nominated Sam Alito to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, it took Chuck Shumer about 5 minutes to organize a press conference to say what a terrible pick he was. That was bad enough, but yesterday CNN ran a story calling Alito a draft dodger for joining the Reserves to avoid being drafted into Vietnam. There was absolutely no point to the story other than to make Alito look like a coward and get a few shots in at Bush and Cheney again.

Alito did nothing illegal. Nobody is saying he went AWOL like they claimed with Bush. It's not like he fled to Canada, or England. He realized he was about to be forced to join the military, so he did so on his own terms. He served his country admirably for 12 years in the military.

Nobody wanted to get drafted during Vietnam. It's not fair to judge people today based on what they did when they were 19 years old. Today if a soldier flees to Canada rather than participate in the Iraq War, they are called a "Conscientious Objector" in the media. But a man who served his country honorably during the Vietnam War is called a draft dodger. What's wrong with this picture? It's politics, and I hate it.