Friday, January 27, 2006

The Party of Cain

I was reading an article about a rally DNC Chairman Howard Dean held yesterday in Indiana. Sometimes watching Liberals struggle to form their message can be quite comical. Notice at the end of the article on Dean where it says the DNC is trying to convince evangelical Christians that the Republican party is a "selfish" party. He even throws in a quote from Genesis 4:9 saying the first question anyone ever asked in the Bible was, "Am I my brother's keeper?" and vows the Democratic party will not forget "that".

Let's look at how utterly ridiculous this is. The passage Dean refers to is from the story of Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel were the children of Adam and Eve. Cain worked the soil while Abel tended the flock. Abel brought a bounty from his flock's firstborn as an offering to God. Cain took his time and offered God some fruit. God was pleased with Abel's offering and disappointed with Cain's. Filled with jealousy, Cain killed Abel.

God said to Cain, "Where is your brother, Abel?"

Cain responded, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"

I'm not exactly sure what kind of analogy Dean was trying to make here. Is he saying this verse means we are commanded by God to be our brother's keeper? Is he trying to say the Democratic party thinks like Cain? I honestly don't get this analogy. All I see is Cain being dumb enough to think he can lie and mouth off to God. Perhaps in that sense this is a fitting verse coming from Howard Dean.

The Democratic party is befudded ever since losing the 2004 election to the "values voters." They think they can attract the evangelical vote just like they attract the union vote. Have your picture taken with some prominent leaders and drop a few Bible verses in a couple speeches and the mind-numb evangelicals will wonder why they ever voted for those evil Republicans.

They sell evangelicals short. They view us as mindless sheep simply following the shepard. It doesn't occur to them our faith defines us. Our walk with God guides us. But we are not stupid. We know the Bible and how to apply it. When democrats misuse Bible verses, they do themselves more harm than good.

Dean claims the verse he quoted was the first question in the bible. He is incorrect. It's not even the first question in Genesis 4 (God asking Cain where his brother was?). The first question in the Bible came much earlier. After Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, they realized they were naked and hid from God. God came into the garden and asked, "Adam, where art thou?" That was the first question. God seeking Adam. God wanting man to be with Him. I don't know where Howard Dean is in his walk with the Lord, but I know he says he is a follower of Jesus Christ. He has openly admitted he does not attend church, but claims he prays every day. I don't understand how anyone could claim to be a follower of Christ and not understand the need to worship and praise Him in His church. As an evangelical, it doesn't make sense to me. It also doesn't make sense to me how anyone who claims to follow Christ can favor abortion and gay marriage. This is why Dean does not have the support of the Christian vote. And until he realizes that it doesn't matter how many religious leaders he meets for photo ops. It doesn't matter how many Bible verses he recites. His attempts to sway us with smoke and mirrors will only serve to alienate us further.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Road to Peace Just Took a Wrong Turn

This week's Palestinian elections have played out into America's worst fears. Hamas, the terrorist organization devoted to the complete destruction of the nation of Israel, has taken power of the government.

This is a huge blow to the middle east peace process. It significantly weakens Mahmoud Abbas, the only voice for peace in the Palestinian Authority. Combine this with the loss of Ariel Sharon and the peace process that was looking promising a few months ago is now in shambles.

President Bush today put out a statement saying the U.S. will not deal with Hamas. With all due respect Mr. President, you have to. You were the one who said any deal for peace in the region must include a separate Palestinian state. You were the one who pushed for and praised democratic elections. Now that they haven't gone the way you would like, you can't pick up your ball and go home. Pat Buchanan warned you this was going to happen.

And don't look to the U.N. to sort this mess out. Your pal Kofi Annan put out a statement today congratulating the Palestinian people on their peaceful elections. You can bet he will recognize the new government.

No Mr. President, you don't have to invite Hamas to the White House to have tea in the Rose Garden, but you do have to recognize they are the newly elected leaders of the Palestinian government thanks to the elections you pushed for. You better recognize the fact that you helped set up this Palestinian state. And now the terrorists are running that state. They have funding, the ability to collect taxes and declare war which they no doubt intend to do. You would do best to engage this government right away and expose them as the ruthless killers they are. Make them go on record as being against the existance of Israel. Do not let them play their game of empty promises for peace while they secretly wage a war of terror against Jewish women and children on the streets of Tel Aviv. Do not give them time to organize a real army. No sir. Engage them and make them declare war so that Israel will be justified in destroying them. The next several months should prove to be interesting times.

See Also: GOP Bloggers, Blogs for Bush, and Fire and Hammer

Supporting the Troops

This week the blog-o-sphere is a buzz over Joel Stein's editorial in The LA Times where he emphatically declares he does not support the troops. He accuses our soldiers of ignoring their morality. He calls them a bunch of dupes for falling for the lies of their superiors. While he admits we should not spit on the soldiers when they return from overseas, he says these people do not deserve a parade. Bookworm and Anne say at least he's honest.

I partially agree in that Joel is honest. But he, like the entire "support the troops but not the war" crowd, is not being completely honest with us. I think these people genuinely do support the troops. They don't want to see any of them die or harmed in any way. But what they leave out of their argument is that they also don't want to see the enemy die either. These people just hate war period. They don't want to see anyone die. They live in liberal land where no war is justifiable and all conflict can be resolved through negotiation. They believe if you must use war, then use the A-Team approach. Remember the A-Team? Tons of guns and ammunition in every episode, but nobody ever got shot. And certainly nobody ever died. The good guys just shoot at the feet of the bad guys until the bad guys lay down their guns and surrender. Somehow they make that work in Hollywood, but out on the battlefield where it's kill or be killed it doesn't fly.

I believe people like Stein and the Cindy Sheehans of the world are really stuggling with their own morality. Despite what Stein says in his editorial about "sometimes you get lucky and get to fight ethnic genocide in Kosovo", in his heart I don't believe he really thinks any war is justifiable. Especially if that war is fought by a Republican president. Saddam buried hundreds of thousands of people in mass graves. We are fighting an enemy willing to give their lives in the name of the destruction of Israel first, and western culture second. Yet he does not offer the soldiers in Iraq the same praise he bestowes on the men and women who leveled Kosovo from 30,000 feet to protect the very people (Muslims) who seek our destruction today. Clearly he is stuggling to explain what he stands for.

Or perhaps he understands what he stands for and he just doesn't like to admit it. Perhaps he thinks the terrorists have a point. Perhaps he thinks America is not the only hope this planet has to spread democracy. Perhaps he does not like democracy. Perhaps the thinks we (America) brought this war on ourselves. I respect Mr. Stein for admitting he does not support the troops. I would respect him even more if he admitted he does not support those who wish to destroy America.

Monday, January 23, 2006

My New Hobby

Several months ago I read an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about a game that was a cross between hiking and scavenger hunting that was fast becoming a popular sport. In this game, people hide little treasure boxes all over the world. Other people seek out these treasure boxes by using global positioning satelite (GPS) coordinates they get off of a website. When people find these treasure boxes, they are welcome to take something from within, but the rule is you are supposed to leave something of your own in its place. The sport is called geocaching.

I thought it looked like an interesting hobby so I did some research which only got me more interested. I went to http://www.geocaching.com/ and I was blown away at how big this sport was. At the time of this post, Geocaching.com claims there are 229,133 active caches in 220 countries. Much to my surprise, by using their easy search engine I was able to find out there were four caches within a mile of my house. Although the caches don't really hold any significant treasure, the thought of visiting areas I would normally drive right past sounded fun. I like to get outside of my box once in a while. It also seemed like a good excuse to get out of the house and do some hiking while playing with a GPS.

Saturday I put new batteries in the GPS I got for Christmas. I printed out the data sheets from the geocaching website and loaded the coordinates into my GPS. Then I was off to do some caching. I told my GPS to find the first cache and it lead me to the park just over the hill along the Schuykill River. This park is a local historical site commemorating the lock system boats used to navigate the Schuyklill River.

I parked the car when it said I was 0.25 miles away and walked from there. It lead me over the Schuykill Canal and pointed toward a small hill. I walked near the hill and the arrow on my GPS pointed toward the top, so up the hill I went. My GPS was acting funny and the arrow wouldn't keep pointing in one direction. I think it had something to do with the fact I was on a winding trail walking up a steep embankment waving my arms around trying to keep my balance. I got to the top of the hill, probably a 60 foot climb, and started walking around the plateau. The arrow lead me to the edge of a cliff and said I had another thirty feet to go to get to the place I needed to be. I concluded the cache must have been at the bottom of the cliff. So down the hill I went. When I got the bottom of the cliff I easily found the cache tucked under a rock. There wasn't anything valuable inside. Just some McDonalds toys, stickers, and a few coins. Like most caches there was a pen and a logbook. I took some time to read some of the other entries then signed my own name. I TNLN. That's Took Nothing Left Nothing in geocache speak.

From the map on my GPS I knew the other cache was nearby. So I told my GPS to point the way...and it pointed back at the hill. "You got to be kidding me," I thought. So back up the hill I went. When I got to the top and caught my breath again, I found the cache stuffed under an old fallen tree. Like the first cache, there was nothing of any value in it. Just some tinker toys and a logbook. I signed the book and put the cache back where I found it.

Overall it was a fun experience. I got to see a local landmark I had never seen before, the canal locks. I got to do some hiking and climbing. And I got to play with my GPS. I wouldn't say I am completely hooked on this sport, but I do plan on seeking out some other local caches. Next week I am going to St. Marys, PA. I plugged in the St. Marys zip code into the search engine and found some caches up there in several places I recognize. If I get some time I will check them out. My job duties require me to travel a lot, which would put my in a unique position to help out with Travel Bugs. I'll be sure to keep you updated on my geocaching adventures.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Format Changes

Due to the fact some people have demonstrated difficulty in keeping their comments limited to the post at hand and would rather attack the integrity of the author, I have been forced to institute comment moderation. If you make a comment and it takes a few days to show up, I apologize in advance. Please don't take it personally.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Hybrid Buzz

Did anyone notice when the Bush Administration announced a new tax cut for the rich last week? Probably not, because the tax cut was in the form of a deduction for people who buy a hybrid vehicle in 2006 which makes the environmental crowd dance with glee.

The Weekly Standard points out that hybrid cars are not all they are cracked up to be. Many hybrid vehicles are not living up to their expectations when it comes to fuel mileage. In fact in some cases hybrid vehicles, like the Toyota Prius, get fewer miles to the gallon than some regular compact cars like the Volkswagon Jetta diesel.

The Weekly Standard points out that these hybrid cars are not paying for the extra costs in their gas mileage. Edmunds.com did a study and found out the average price of gas would have to be $5.60/gallon over five years for a Ford Escape Hybrid to break even with the costs of driving a non-hybrid model. The break even number was $9.60 a gallon for the Honda Civic hybrid.

Due to the "improved technology" and high demand for these vehicles, the prices are highly inflated over the non-hybrid models. The only people buying these vehicles are the hardcore environmentalists. People aren't buying them to save money, although those who do buy them think they are.

The Standard points out the the average household income of a Civic hybrid owner ranges between $65,000 to $85,000 a year; it's more than $100,000 for the owner of an Accord. The median income of a Toyota Prius owner is $92,000; for a Highlander SUV owner $121,000; and for a luxury Lexus SUV owner it's over $200,000. Tax credits for these purchases can add up to $3400 with the owner getting a dollar for dollar benefit.

Now I'm all in favor of lower taxes, but I can't stand social engineering like this. At least with the Bush tax cuts, everyone in America who paid taxes got a tax cut. Yet the liberals labeled it a tax cut for the rich. This is truly a blatant tax cut for the rich that has suspiciously gone unnoticed by our liberal friends.

Put on Your Tinfoil Hats

Well I was wrong. The appeasers didn't suggest we should listen to Osama Bin Laden's terms for a truce...yet. Instead, they jumped right on the conspiracy bandwagon suggesting Karl Rove made up the tape in order to boost Bush's poll numbers. They think this is all a rouse to deflect attention from the made up NSA scandal. They are dissecting the tape suggesting it was written in English and translated into Arabic.

These people just. Don't. Get it. They resent the fact that when the terrorists show strength, America supports the Republicans. Instead of looking at themselves and trying to figure out why America thinks they are weak on national security, they make themselves look like fools by suggesting the Republicans are planting this stuff.

It has been over a year since Osama put out a tape. Where was Osama during Plamegate? Where was Osama during Katrina? Where was Osama when people were questioning Gitmo? Where was Osama when the 2000th soldier died in Iraq? Where was Osama when Cindy Sheehan was camped in Crawford? If the Republicans were really using him in order to boost their poll numbers, don't you think he would have his own time slot on 60 Minutes right after Andy Rooney?

The Democratic party has nothing to offer when it comes to fighting terrorism. Their hope is to criticize and catch the President in a scandal that will lead to them gaining power in the next election. Then they will promptly bring all of the troops home and put everything back to the way it was on September 10, 2001 and tell us what a great job they have done in restoring the peace. For eight years we stuck our heads in the sand as Bill Clinton ignored one attack after another. We cannot allow that to happen again.

Hat Tip: Michelle Malkin

Also check out Radioactive Liberty

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Truce This!!!

Well, well, well. Look who crawled out of his hole today. Osama Bin Laden has released his first public statement since December of 2004. In his statement, Bin Laden offers us a truce. God forgive me, I'm about to say some not-so-Christian things.

It's days like this I wish I were president. Whatever I was doing when I heard this announcement, I would drop it. I would casually walk out to the Rose Garden on the White House lawn. I would step up to the podium and give the following speech.

I have a message for Osama Bin Laden. I am willing to listen and consider the terms of your offer for a truce to the hostilities between our nation and your organization you call "Al Queda." Before I do so, I wish to consult with a few Americans. Specifically, I wish to consult with the 3000 men, women, and children you killed on September 11, 2001.

Since they cannot be reached for consultation due to the fact you killed them, I guess you can take your offer for a truce and stick it up your ass. No wait. Stick it up your ass and then you can go to hell!

Your promise that we can trust you because God "forbids you to lie and cheat" is a joke. Can you name me one truce between Muslims and Israel that has not been broken by the Muslims? No, you can't. Your word means nothing to me. I don't negotiate with terrorists. And by the way, if your God forbids you to lie and cheat, why doesn't he forbid you from killing innocent people? Do you think I'm dumb enough to believe your God tells you it's ok to kill infidels, but not to lie to them? C'mon. Gimme a little credit.

You say there are preparations underway to attack us? I think you're bluffing. You're like the 150 pound guy in the bar who threatens the 300 pound guy that you know karate. Your organization is in shambles. You got in the first punch on 9/11, but face it. America has been kicking your ass ever since. But if you think you can bring us to our knees, bring it on. Every time you make the headlines my poll numbers go up anyway.

If you want to end the hostilities, here's what you do. Crawl out of your cave. Find the nearest platoon of American soldiers. Surrender. After you do that, we will arrange for you to come to Washington where you can give a press conference in shackles declaring the Jihad to be over. You will order all of your Islamo Fascists to lay down their arms and surrender. These are the terms under which you can bring about peace. Only your unconditional surrender will suffice.

You're a punk. May God bless America.

Whew. That felt really good to let that out. I might have to play President more often.

Sadly, there will be those in this country who will criticize George W. Bush for not even considering Bin Laden's offer for a truce. The Howard Deans, John Kerrys, and Cindy Sheehans will be out there crying "Give peace a chance." The appeasers will make total fools of themselves. You watch. I will keep you updated as they come out of their holes.

Update: Check out Star Jones saying we should at least listen to what Bin Laden has to say. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Double Standards

In April of 2005, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist appeared at a conference of Christian conservatives to discuss the ongoing filibuster of President Bush's judicial nominees. During his speech, Senator Frist said, "We must stop this unprecedented filibuster of people of faith."

In response, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said, "Participating in something designed to incite divisiveness and encourage contention is unacceptable. I would hope that Senator Frist will rise above something so beyond the pale."

Really Senator Reid? Then how would you feel about Hillary Clinton speaking at a black church, on Martin Luther King Day, accusing the Republicans of running the House of Representatives like a plantation? A google search on "'Harry Reid' 'Hillary Clinton' plantation" turns up nothing two days after the event. Apparently Senator Reid has nothing to say on this.

This clearly demonstrates the double standard in the Democratic party. On one hand, when Republicans meet with Christian leaders, they are accused of violating the sacred "wall of separation" between church and state. Yet people like Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry get open invitations to speak from the pulpits of black churches across America, and nobody sees a problem with that.

Personally, I think politicians have no business talking in churches. I don't care if they are liberal or conservative. Everything that comes out of a politicians mouth is carefully orchestrated to sway voters. That kind of speech has no place in the House of God in my book. But the difference between these two cases is that Frist was not speaking from the pulpit. He was talking over national telecast to a lobbyist organization, the Family Research Council. Hillary was speaking to a church congregation in Harlem from the pulpit.

But what makes Hillary's choice of words so outrageous is the word plantation. Since making the remark, Hillary has poo-pooed it saying she was referring to the refusal of the Republicans to allow dissenting voices in the House. She is crying because the Republicans dictate what legislation gets voted on. I know you're relatively new to Congress, Madam Senator, so I will explain this to you so you can understand it. This is how the system works. The majority party decides what legislation comes up for a vote. That's not dictatorship. That is majority rule. That is democracy. If you don't like it, win some House elections and quit your complaining.

But beyond that, what makes the word plantation inappropriate in all of this is the hidden meaning in it. She said it to a congregation of African Americans...on Martin Luther King day. It was a statement, in the previous words of Harry Reid, "designed to incite divisiveness and encourage contention." Mrs. Clinton's intent was to ally the Republican party with the plantation owners in the minds of the black congregation. It was meant to instill hatred and contempt. Shame on you, Madam Hillary. I pray that African Americans across this country see through you scheme.

Monday, January 16, 2006

What Would You Ask For?

I know, three posts in one day. I'm a blogging machine.

Yesterday we listened to a moving sermon in church that I have to share. The sermon was on Matthew Chapter 20 verses 29-34. In this passage, Jesus is walking down the street with a great crowd of people following him. They pass by two blind men who start yelling, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" The crowd told them to shut up, but they yelled even louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"

At that, Jesus approaced the men and asked them, "What do you want me to do for you?"

The men begged for their eyesight back, and Jesus granted it to them and healed them.

The guest pastor who gave the speech painted a seering image in my mind. Imagine what these blind men must have felt. Imagine the Son of God, standing in front of you. You're blind, but you can feel the sun being blocked by his body. Imagine how awesome that must have felt.

Imagine if the Son of God were to stand before you right now and asked, "What do you want me to do for you?" What would you ask for? As I pondered that question in church yesterday, I realized how truly blessed I am. I have my eyesight. I'm in good health. While other people in the world stress about where their next meal is going to come from, I stress over whether I want pizza or steak for dinner. I have a roof over my head. I have a wonderful wife and a handsome son. I live more comfortably than I probably deserve.

The pastor went on to talk about other people he knew. One man was confined to a wheelchair ever since an accident he had as a teenager. One day the pastor was speaking with this man when he noticed the man had a sniffle. He suggested to the man he might want to go to a doctor and get it looked at. He suggested it might be allergies and he could get some medicine to take care of it. The paralyzed man responded with a completely straight face, "Oh no. Thank God, I don't have any medical problems."

Here was a man would could never walk again. He had no use of his hands. He had to schedule time to go to the bathroom, and needed help in doing that. But thank God I don't have allergies.

I'm reminded of a friend of ours who worked as a personal financial advisor. One day one of her clients, who made $600,000 a year, lost his job. He found a new job making $300,000, but came to her seeking counsel. He was very anxious and didn't know how he was going to make ends meat on $300,000 a year. He never set up a household budget before. The thought of selling his 7000 square foot house and the BMW never occurred to him. The point is, we all live to the maximum of our comfort level until we no longer realize how good we have it.

We take blessings from God for granted every day. Our eyesight, our health, our ability to go to the bathroom. We crave things we think will make us happy, but all they do is fuel our selfish desires to get more stuff. In this country we have the highest standard of living in the world. We want for nothing, or at least for nothing important. We live in a selfish society where we desire things we do not need in order to impress the people we do not know.

If Jesus Christ, the Son of God, stood before you today and asked you, "What do you want me to do for you," what would you ask for?

Free at Last!

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. day. Today is the day we pay tribute to this great man. I admire what Dr. King did very much. I have read his "I Have a Dream" speech several times and each time it still moves me.

I wonder what King would think of our American society if he were alive today. Would he be in favor of affirmative action? Racial profiling? Would he look at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and call it "racial genocide"? Would he still be portraying blacks in America as the victims?

Or would he be critical of black fathers for failing to support the children they bring into the world? What would he say about the number of young black males who manage to find their way into a jail cell? Would he blame white America or black America for this?

Would Doctor King have reached a point in his life where he felt blacks were "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last" or would he be holding out for more? Would he be insisting not only that blacks should have equal opportunity, but they should have equal fortune? Would he be demanding that free healthcare and good paying jobs be birthrights for blacks? Somehow I doubt it.

But I don't want to take away anything from Doctor King. He was a brave and courageous man who did a wonderful thing in leading African Americans from the social oppression of the 20th century. We should all reflect on his contribution today. Here's to a great man. It's too bad his life was ended too short.

Reflections on Broncos-Patriots Game

For those of you who may not know, I'm a huge Denver Broncos fan. I have been ever since John Elway beat Cleveland in "The Drive." So this past weekend was a big one for me as my Denver Broncos faced off against the two time defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots.

I'll admit, I was scared going into the game. The Patriots stuggled most of the year including a 28-20 drubbing they took in Denver. But this was a different Pats team. This one was healthy and on a roll. But as I watched the pregame shows, my blood started to boil. None of the commentators were giving my Broncos any respect. Everyone picked the Patriots to win, except for Shannon Sharpe who didn't count because he was biased being an ex-Bronco. Some of them were even talking about a rematch between the Patriots and the Colts next week. There was no respect being given to a team that went 13-3 and was playing on their home field where they had not lost a game all year.

The Broncos came out and took care of business beating the Patriots by two touchdowns, 27-13. Yet after the game the Broncos still could not get any respect. Everyone talked about New England and what they did to "lose" the game. They talked about the five turnovers the Patriots gave away rather than the five turnovers the Broncos forced. They talked about bogus pass interference calls. They said the Pats played "uncharacteristically", as if they would win nine out of ten times if the two teams played again. The post game press conference just displayed a lot of poor sportsmanship and whining by the Patriots. There was Bill Bilichick saying they didn't make the plays they needed to make. There was Tom Brady crying about how tough this off season was going to be. Nobody gave Denver any credit.

You can tell even the sports writers are upset about this weekend's turn of events. They were all pumped up for the battle of the two Golden Boys, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Now they get Jake Plummer and Ben Roethlisberger. Any truth to the rumor the two of them made a bet that the loser would shave after the game?

But this is nothing new for Denver. They have been doubted all year. Everyone picked the Chiefs or the Chargers to win the AFC West. While everyone was falling all over themselves trying to land Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy for an interview to ask them if they were going to go undefeated, Jake and the Broncos were quietly going 13-3 and beating some pretty good teams. Now they find themselves in the AFC Championships game, and there are still those who doubt. That's fine. Keep doubting. Mike Shanahan and the Denver Broncos like it that way.

Friday, January 13, 2006

TGIF

It's Friday. I don't feel like blogging today so I'm going to be lazy. Please enjoy one of my favorite Bible passages, Psalm 23.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

This Psalm always gives me a sense of peace and joy when I feel like the world is getting me down. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Budget News

Just goes to show you liberals are always wrong. They said Bush's tax cuts were going to throw the economy into a depression. They said the government will go bankrupt and the national debt will go through the roof. Last month the government posted a budget surplus with record high corporate tax revenues.

Perhaps it's time for another round of tax cuts?

Personality

I am an ISTJ, although sometimes I lean toward being an INTJ. I'm pretty much split between the S and the N. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about? I'm talking about the Myers-Briggs personality types. I invite you to read my personality type I linked above. I dare say it is pretty accurate. You can take a sample test to figure out what you are here.

The "I" means I'm introverted rather than extroverted. I prefer to stay at home and enjoy a quiet evening with family rather than go out on the town. I feel more comfortable working by myself rather than in large groups.

I'm split pretty much 50/50 between the S (Senser) and N (iNtuitor) with a slight lean toward the S. I'm aware of my surroundings, but I'm not so locked in I can't see the big picture. I have a knack for seeing cause and effect. I can equally come up with new ideas as well as carry them out effectively.

The "T" means I'm a Thinker rather than a Feeler. I'm able to put emotions aside and focus on the facts. I don't sympathize well with others. My "I" combined with the "T" makes many people think I am cold hearted.

The "J" means I'm a Judger rather than a Perciever. I like order and structure. I'm the kind of guy who will plan his vacation down to the minute where a perciever would do whatever they feel like doing whenever they get there. I make quick decisions and stick with them. Percievers like to keep their options open in case something better comes along.

When you think about it, your personality type has a lot to do with which political party you affiliate yourself with. Now I'm not saying if you're a Senser you will be Repubican. Likewise, just because you are a feeler doesn't mean you are automatically a liberal. The fun comes in mixing together the different personalities.

Mix an Extrovert with an iNtuitive Feeler (my opposites) and you get a liberal political activist. This person is an idealist with a passion for helping people. Their extroverted nature would make them want to be a part of larger groups. If they are a Judger, they probably like to organize other people.

Take an Extrovert that happens to be a Sensing Thinking Judger and you have created a project manager. These people like to get things done. They aren't swayed by emotions. They focus on the task at hand. They can have a one track mind and be stubborn to change. Many people would say George W. Bush is an ESTJ.

So to review, if you are an ST, you're probably more likely to be Republican. If you're an NF, you're probably more likely to be liberal. An NT or SF probably falls in the middle somewhere. If you take the test, let me know where you fall. Maybe we can start our own little case study.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Paterno Responds

Yesterday Joe Paterno was named Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. While meeting with the press, he responded to critics calling for his resignation. Paterno says:

"I'm not going to say anything about it. Most people know me. I am what I am. I had no intention ... it was taken out of context. Having said that, they have every right to do what they want to do.

"If my kids calls for it [my resignation], if my squad calls for it ... but when people don't know what they're doing are looking for publicity or trying to give publicity to their cause or looking for some sort of scapegoat, no, it doesn't bother me."

So there you have it. The 78 year old Italian kid from Brooklyn isn't going to back down from this fight. And I'm sure NOW won't back down either. I imagine they will protest the home opener in State College next year like they protested The Masters in Augusta a few years ago. They will set up a little picket line outside the stadium and harass the tailgaters. But much like their protest at Augusta, their protest at Beaver Stadium will fall on deaf ears in the sea of the Blue and White Nittany Nation.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Too Proud to Quit

Prior to Penn State's victory over Florida State in the FedEx Orange Bowl, Florida State starting linebacker A.J. Nicholson was sent home from the game and not allowed to participate because a 19 year old female accused him of sexually assaulting her at the hotel the team was staying at.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno was asked to comment on the situation by the media in an Orange Bowl press conference. Paterno made some comments and now the National Organization for Women is asking him to resign over his comments. To review, in response to the reporters question about Nicholson, Paterno said:

"There's some tough -- there's so many people gravitating to these kids. He may not have even known what he was getting into, Nicholson. They knock on the door; somebody may knock on the door; a cute girl knocks on the door. What do you do?"

"Geez. I hope -- thank God they don't knock on my door because I'd refer them to a couple of other rooms. But that's too bad. You hate to see that. I really do. You like to see a kid end up his football career. He's a heck of a football player, by the way; he's a really good football player. And it's just too bad."

First of all, anyone who even remotely follows Penn State football knows this is going nowhere. The 78 year old Italian kid from Brooklyn doesn't care what people say about him. After only winning seven games in 2003 and 2004 combined half of the Penn State nation wanted him to resign. After the 2004 season the president of the university went to his house on a sunday morning and asked him to resign. And he is still there. After coaching there for 50 years, nobody is going to make this man quit on any terms other than his own. But enough of that, let's talk about NOW and Paterno's comments.

NOW is saying Paterno is making light of the situation. I don't see it. Sure, Paterno expressed sympathy for the kid who got himself into the situation, but he doesn't condone what the kid did. The fact is Paterno didn't know the whole story, and appropriately so, he didn't want to condemn a kid when he knows how much temptation these kids face when they aren't on the football field.

The problem with NOW's stance is they are willing to completely disregard a man's 50 plus year career in order to grab the headlines and bring down a prominent public figure. Over the course of his life, Joe Paterno has done a lot more good than this one comment could possibly cancel out. He has always viewed himself as a molder of men before he is a football coach. He insists his players attend class and get good grades. He insists they travel in business casual attire. He insists they be clean shaven and well behaved.

He takes inner city kids who would probably have little chance of succeeding in society and turns them into responsible men. It's impossible to tell how many men Paterno has saved from themselves. How many of his players would have turned into dead-beat dads, or drug dealers, or criminals if he hadn't offered them a scholarship and insist they get their degree? How many women would have been hurt by these men had Paterno not saved them? It's impossible to know, but I'm sure it's more than one.

Paterno has also been instrumental in building a college football program into a money making machine. The millions of dollars that Penn State football brings in to the university goes toward supporting non-revenue generating sports. Many of these are womens sports, like volleyball, swimming, tennis, field hockey, soccor, track and field, etc. Penn State football generates revenue that enables the university to offer scholarships to these women. In addition, Paterno headed up a philathropy campaign years ago to expand the university library. He raised over $14 million and kicked in one million of his own money. The university was so indebted to him, they named the new library the Paterno Library. And in that sense, Paterno has done more for Penn State, women and society in general than this one comment can ever take away from.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

2008 Presidential Politics

I hate talking about who is going to run for President in 2008 because I don't want to turn George W. Bush into a lame duck when he is only a quarter of the way through his second term. But it does make for interesting conversation so I will explore it a little bit.

On the democratic side, barring a major scandal I don't see anything denying Hillary Clinton from winning the nomination. John Kerry and John Edwards will give it a run. The two Joes, Biden and Leiberman will give it a go. But the Hillary train is already too big to stop.

The republican ticket at this point is a major question mark. Dick Cheney is not going to run. He's too old and his health is too poor, not to mention his poll numbers are horrible. This will be the first time in decades there will be no incumbent president or vice-president on the ticket.

If you listen to the media, John McCain already has the nomination. I think this is premature. McCain has pissed off the base too many times. He has been critical of the war. He is trying to tie the hands of the administration when it comes to interrogating terrorists. His "gang of 14" prevented a handful of judicial nominees from getting a vote in the Senate. While he might do well in a general election, the hard core conservatives who actually go out and vote in the primaries will not support him. He will do well in Iowa and New Hampshire, but come Super Tuesday he will get swept in the south.

Condoleeza Rice is another name being thrown around. She hasn't expressed interest in even running so far, but there seems to be enough support she may entertain it. While she brings an all star foreign policy resume, I think she has too many questions on the domestic side. What is her stance on Social Security? Tax policy? Abortion? Affirmative action? I think there are too many question marks and not enough of a track record to win the nomination, although I think she would make an excellent vice president.

Bill Frist has no chance. In fact I think he has damaged his chances so much he may even lose his leadership job back to Trent Lott in 2006. He has been ineffective in getting legislation passed. He has allowed spending to spin out of control. He allowed seven republican Senators to split from the party and join McCain's gang of 14. He can't even lead a Republican controlled Senate.

Mitt Romney, the Republican Governor from Massachusetts is also getting a lot of favorable press. This probably means his chances are slim. I don't know much about him, but being from such a heavy blue state I suspect he is socially liberal. I'm not sure how well he will do in the primaries, but I don't think he will do well in the south. It seems silly, but southerners just don't trust yankee politicians. Maybe Romney will surprise me, but I think he will have trouble relating to people in the south. Northerners always do. They end up looking silly waving ears of corn around in Iowa wearing an oxford blue dress shirt and wingtip shoes.

Chances are the Republican candidate is sitting in a governors chair out there somewhere right now. It's too hard for congressmen to get elected. They are easy targets for negative campaigning because you can always find some ammendment on a bill they supported that allows a strip club to be built next to school or something like that. So chances are a governor will get the nomination. If it's not Romney it will be someone else. I don't think Jeb Bush can win the nomination. It's too much Bush. The country is getting burned out on the Bush's and I think the Republicans are smart enough to know that. Maybe Jeb can run in 2012 or 2016 if he wants to.

Personally, my eye is on Newt Gingrich. Matt Towery has an article today explaining how this is a real possibility. Liberals will laugh at him, much like they laughed at George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. They will say he is unelectable. Too divisive. But Newt has become somewhat of a hero in conservative circles. He gets all of the credit for the Republican "Contract with America" that helped the party win back the House of Representatives in the 90's. He was a man with vision, even if you think it was misguided policy, and got that vision passed through legislation. If he decides to run, and all the time he has been spending in Iowa and New Hampshire suggest he will, he will be tough to beat in the primaries. I know he will have my vote. If he wins, watch out. You thought the liberals went crazy over George W. Bush?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What Have We Become?

Like just about everyone else in America, I have been following the story of the 13 miners who got trapped 260 feet below the surface since Monday. My heart went out to the families of the small town of Tallmansville, West Virginia. I can't even imagine what that must have felt like waiting and hoping to see your loved ones again. Their hearts must have sank into their stomachs when they heard last night that one of the miners was found dead around 8 PM West Virginia time.

Then as I was watching the second or third overtime of the Orange Bowl shortly after midnight, the local news station ran a bulletin across the bottom of the screen saying the other 12 miners had been found alive. There in my family room I let out a silent "Praise God". I watched the rest of the Orange Bowl and went to bed.

When the television came on in my bedroom at 7 AM this morning, the pundits on FoxNews were outraged and demanding to know how the media could have screwed this up. (Yes, I have the television in my room programed to turn on to the FoxNews channel at 7 AM every morning.) Still half asleep from only going to sleep 5 hours ago, I tried to listen to what they were talking about. Soon I discovered of the 12 miners I went to bed thinking were alive, 11 were dead and the other was in the hospital. I was shocked.

I don't understand how this could happen. Every news channel last night was reporting the miners were found alive for over two hours. Nobody had the judgement to wait until the story was confirmed by officials. One channel decided to run with second hand information to "get the scoop." Once one channel went with it they all jumped on the bandwagon.

What have we become? What kind of society are we where we cannot trust our media to get the story right? When did it become more important to be first than to be right? If there is a major terrorist attack in my area with a dirty bomb going off, should I believe the media if they tell me to stay in my house? Should I believe them if they tell me to evacuate? I don't know what to believe anymore. These people are becoming notorious for getting the story wrong. Remember how we were destroying the Koran in Gitmo then we weren't? Remember how there were going to be tens of thousands dead in New Orleans then there weren't? Then of course there are the famous Dan Rather memos.

It will be interesting to see what the fallout from this will be. The media will blame the mining company for giving them bad information. I suspect we will see bastions of the old media blaming the new media for their behaviour. I suppose we will see Walter Cronkite lecturing Tim Russert on Meet the Press about how the media doesn't have time to check facts anymore because the blogs just run with things too fast. They will accuse Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity of bending the truth all the time taking away from the credibility of the mainstream media. And of course it won't be long before people blame Bush. I suspect we will see Jesse Jackson saying if those were rich people down there, Bush would have got them out. If there was oil down there, Dick Cheney would have had Halliburton drill a shaft in four hours. Next week I'm sure John Kerry will be calling for impeachment.

The media will do their best to come out of this smelling like roses. I get this image in my head of all the major news network CEO's sitting in front of Congress telling them they just ran the story the other guy was running. We'll never find out who ran the story first. Life will go on and these corporate news conglomerates will pat themselves on the back saying they were the first one to report the story was false. The families of the miners in West Virginia will be left wondering if they were victims of a cruel joke or a capitalistic society more interested in hording dollars rather than sharing information. Indeed, what have we become?

One for the Ages

Congratulations to the Penn State Nittany Lions for their triple overtime victory last night against the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl.


It was around 1 AM last night when the game finally ended. I don't understand why they start east coast games between two east coast teams at 8:30 PM. I know it's about the money and the sponsors and ratings and all that, but it just doesn't seem right. I feel sorry for all the little Penn State fans out there whose parents put them to bed at 10 PM. I can remember being sent to bed as a nine-year-old not being allowed to watch them beat Georgia in the 1983 Sugar Bowl and having to find out the next morning. But all of that is another post for another day. I'm an adult now and just like I threatened my parents, I can stay up forever if I want to.

Congrats to the seniors who had to endure through the last few disappointing years. They never gave up. They kept working hard. They never stopped believing. And last night they put Penn State back where it belongs, near the top of the college football scene. Seniors can look back and enjoy what they have accomplished. Underclassmen and coaches can enjoy a great season, but be ready to get back to work next week on those winter and spring programs. In college football, there is no off season.

I'm a little sleepy-eyed this morning. Not sure if I will have the energy to stay up and watch the Rose Bowl tonight. I'll try. Maybe I can sneak in a nap in the first quarter. But for this guy who bleeds blue and white when you cut him open, all is right with the world today.