Friday, July 31, 2009

The Rush to Pass National Health Care Legislation

For the last few weeks President Obama and Congress have been working on overhauling our nation's health care system for the supposed purpose to rein in costs and provide coverage to those Americans that can't afford health care. Obama has traveled to different sections of the country to promote his health care agenda. He even had a primetime news conference on television trying to make a pitch for national health care. He said it isn't about politics or about his agenda, per se. He said it was about the American people and they're trying to pass legislation to give health care coverage to those that can't afford it. It's really amazing how many of our politicians use the term "the people" to push through a socialist agenda. Many dictators throughout our world's history have stated their purposes for their agenda is "about the people." "The people" has nothing to do with their pushing this socialistic agenda down our throats. It's about power and control. It's about creating a totalitarian system where the government has control over every aspect of our lives.

Obama made the claim we need to pass health care legislation because the costs of health care are through the roof. The question is, how are we going to fund it? With so many Americans out of work, there's not enough of a tax base to generate enough revenue to fund nationalized health care. It will be more costly than what Medicare and Medicaid presently are. If Obama thinks that we can rein in costs by overhauling our nation's current health care system, then that means the quality care that patients already receive will be drastically reduced. The government will determine who deserves health care and who doesn't. That's what it would be like under a national health care system. The type of treatment patients receive for their illnesses will be marginalized. Otherwise, there's no way we can fund health care if our doctors continue giving the kind of medical treatment they currently do.

Thanks to the help of the "blue-dog Democrats", those that are more physically conservative than their liberal counterparts, Congress will not be able to pass a health care bill prior to Congress's August recess. That's good news. Reuters and other media outlets are saying that's a major setback concerning Obama's agenda.

Why the rush for national health care? Part of the reason is I believe Obama wanted it passed before the Congressional recess is so that our elected representative's constituents can't sway them to change their minds once it is passed. Since it has been stalled, our representatives will receive ire from the constituents and it could affect the outcome of the health care vote once Congress is back from recess. Also, I believe Obama wants it passed quickly in case the Republicans come to power in the Congressional election of 2010. The Democratic Party's popularity is slipping right now. I believe another reason is that the powers-that-be that control our politicians want health care passed to make us a full-blown socialist country. They want it accomplished as quick as possible. The powers-that-be have a deadline in which they want that accomplished.

This health care bill that Congress has been debating on is so "great" that our elected officials will be exempt from it. That shows you that it's junk. If it's not good for members of Congress to use for their own health care coverage, then it's not good for the American people. The purpose behind national health care is to get the government's claws into every aspect of the lives of Americans. Our government is revamping our private sector and putting it under the nose of the government. They've already done that with the banks, AIG, the auto industry, and now they're trying to accomplish the same feat with our nation's health care system. The governent is transforming us into an European style socialistic country.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them who are the called according to his purpose." This verse is easily quoted but can be difficult to live by whenever one is going through a trial. Many Christians use that verse to comfort those that have lost loved ones or are going through some type of trial in their life. However, we sometimes have difficulty in believing that when we're put to the test.

Suffering is a part of life. Suffering affects people both saved and lost. Suffering is a result of the Fall of man. Nobody is exempt from it. A few weeks ago one of my friend's (Becky Abner) first cousins died at fifteen days old. He's now in Heaven. The question is why did he die? Why did God take him? I had an uncle a number of decades ago who had contracted an illness and he lived with that illness for approximately twenty years and then he died having hemorrhaged to death. He was called to be a preacher (he was Nazarene), but never was able to fulfill that calling because he got that disease and died at 42 years of age. Why did God allow him to contract that disease? Why did he never get the opportunity to fulfilling his calling to preach. Why didn't the Lord heal him? God only knows. I heard about a young woman this past Spring from South Carolina who had her fifth child and she bled to death and died. She departed this world leaving a husband and five children. Why would God allow her to die like that? Why would God take her knowing that she had a husband and five children that needed her on this earth? Some questions there's no answer to. We have to trust God and remember what he said in Romans 8:28.

I Peter 1:7 says, "That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ". God will put us through trials and our faith is tested when we go through trials. It reveals to the world and to ourselves to show what we're made of. Years ago the Preacher at church preached a message entitled, "A Shaken Vessel". He was mentioning when a vessel is shaken and put under pressure then what's in you will come out. God will prove us. However it will work for our good if we're called according to his purpose. Saved people are called according to his purpose. Sometimes events will happen in our life that are bad, but God will turn it around and use it for our good.

I've heard Christians testify of being afflicted with illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and a host of illnesses and how they struggled while going through it. I've heard some say that they didn't believe they were going to survive it. However, I've heard them say God used it to draw them closer unto God. I've heard their relationship with the Lord was so much more precious as a result of being inflicted with infirmities. They've been able to use what they went through and they were able to minister to others that were hurting. God used those people that had been afflicted to be a blessing to others going through similar situations.

A classic example of a character in the Bible whom Romans 8:28 would apply to would be Joseph in Genesis. His brothers sold him into captivity in Egypt. However, the Lord had plans for Joseph in Egypt. He became governor there and the Lord used that situation for Joseph's own good. The Devil will put us through a terrible trial to destroy us, but God will turn it around for our good. The Lord did the same with Job. The Lord allowed the Devil to strike Job of all that he had but Satan had to spare Job. The Lord turned that situation around for Job's good and eventually everything Job had was eventually restored.

It may take some time, but if we're not weary in well doing and faint not, then we can expect God to work things out for our own good in due time if we love God. God works according to his own timetable. We must trust him and recognize God works things out for own good even when we don't recognize it. God is faithful. I've read the scripture where it says, "I've never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for bread."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

President Obama and Racism

Is President Barack Obama a racist? I can't say for certain but if he is he's very subtle about it. There's a couple of things I've seen in regard to Obama that makes you wonder if he is. Race was used to Obama's advantage when he ran for president last year. Many liberals made race part of Obama's campaign.

This morning I listened to Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" on radio and he was addressing the issue of race. O'Reilly used a couple of examples that I'm going to use. The first example is Jeremiah Wright. Jeremiah Wright was President Obama's pastor for 20 years at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Wright is racist. He blames America for many of the ills of this world. Wright even said the U.S. government invented AIDS to reduce the black population. Obama brushed it off last year saying he didn't know Wright preached the inflammatory rhetoric that he did. Obama claimed he wasn't in attendance all the time. It's difficult to believe with the close relationship Obama had with Wright he didn't know what his pastor believed. That's one troubling sign.

Another troubling sign is the statement that Obama made last week in reference to the Cambridge police arresting Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates for disorderly conduct. Gates made race an issue and said that the police arrested him because he's black and is trying to use racial profiling on him. Obama's response was the Cambridge police acted stupidly. Gates was the one that acted very stupidly. However, Gates has some sort of ties with Obama. The kind of company Obama has kept gives the impression he might think similarly as they do. Suppose if Senator John McCain had attended a white supremacist church and his pastor was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and he believed in lynching blacks and treating them as second class citizens. What if John McCain had a close relationship with a pastor like that? The media would have blackballed McCain and called him a racist. He would've already been disqualified in running for president last year.

The modern day civil rights movement of today does nothing but look for an opportunity to find frivolous examples of so-called racism so they can polarize America. People like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton thrive on racial controversy to prove white America is racist. They'll take an issue like the arrest of Henry Louis Gates and set out to prove that Sergeant James Crowley and the whole Cambridge police department are nothing but racists. These civil rights leaders of today claim they revere Martin Luther King, Jr., but they don't follow what King preached. King believe in being color-blind as well as judging a person by the contents of their character instead of their skin color. Today, we're experiencing reverse racism.

The confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was about race. The liberal pundits say Sotomayor is qualified because she's a Latina. It's ridiculous how the race card is used. All these pundits are polarizing America trying to make false "racism" charges. It's true that Obama is the first black president in U.S. history, but what good is that if their character is corrupt. What good is change if it's for the worse. The only changes we received from the Obama presidency thus far is skin color and the transformation of the United States into a full-blown socialistic society.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Is Racial Profiling Ever Justifiable?

On July 16, 2009, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates had returned home from a trip to China. As he was entering his house in Cambridge, Massasschusetts, he couldn't open the door to the house. It was jammed. He had his driver help him push the door open to his house. As they were doing so, a neighbor saw the incident around noon and she called the police because she was suspecting a possible burglarly. The police arrived and Sargeant James Crowley asks for Gates' identification. Gates becomes livid with the officer and was supposedly acting disorderly. Gates did eventually show his Harvard I.D. Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct and the charges were dropped soon after.

Gates stated that the police officer arrested him because he was a black man and was using racial profiling on him. Racial profiling is one of the debates America has had for the last several years. Is racial profiling necessary? Is it ever justifiable? If it is justifiable, what should be the limits to it? What is racial profiling? According to wikipedia, racial profiling is the inclusion of race or ethnic characteristics to determine whether a person is considered likely to commit a particular type of crime or an illegal act or to behave in a predictable manner. Some times the police will conduct traffic profiling and will pull many black people over because they may suspect they may have contraband or drugs in their vehicle. Some people may say they have a racist preference, but they may be looking at other evidence that correlates with race.

Let's suppose a certain neighborhood has many murders taking place and there's evidence that the perpetrators of those murders are Hispanic. It would then make sense in that instance to conduct racial profiling in order to maximize a successful search. Whenever there's a warrant for someone's arrest, it's necessary to identify as many features as you can about them, such as height, weight, gender, color of hair, and even race. The ACLU and other civil rights organizations have made racial profiling a dirty word. However, there are cases when racial profiling should be used. I agree that it can be abused and it shouldn't be used for frivolous reasons. The police shouldn't pull over a car to search a person of a particular ethnicity unless there's a legitimate reason for it. However, whenever there's a probable cause then it should be used for the purposes of finding those that are guilty of crimes and murders. It's for the safety of the public. How can you identify a murderer if there aren't enough details given about him? We can't use political correctness when it comes to profiling. The safety of the public is what's at stake.

After the 9/11 attacks, our government should've established a policy of racial profiling on the jet airplanes in order to identify Arabic, Muslim looking men. Our government wouldn't do that because they didn't want to be perceived as racist. This is not about racism, this is about survival. Muslim extremists are known for committing suicide missions. We should profile those kind of people. Here's some examples we need to consider. It was an Egyptian Muslim that shot Robert Kennedy in 1968. During the 1972 olympics in Munich, Germany, Muslim extremists murdered Jewish athletes. The Muslims stormed the embassy in Iran in 1979. Muslim extremists killed our Marines in Lebanon in 1983. On September 11, 2001, nineteen Muslim hijackers slammed planes into three buildings. It's foolish not to institute racial profiling in those kinds of situations.

I believe we should have a national policy of racial profiling on suspicious Muslims to fight this war on terror in our country. We don't need the civil rights community to tell us not to use it when there are terrorists that could set off bombs to blow up whole sections of our country. There are certain situations where racial profiling is justifiable. When there are a series of crimes, murders, and other incidents that take place, we must utilize racial profiling when it could be used to identify people that commit crimes. When there's a probable cause that a certain group in regards to ethnicity could be the people most likely to commit the crimes, then racial profiling should be used. The safety of the American public is the foremost responsibility of our law enforcement.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

President Obama Addresses the NAACP

On Thursday July 16, 2009, President Barack Obama addressed the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) at their 100th convention, which was founded in 1909 by W.E.B. DuBois. He credited the NAACP for helping him to get elected as president last year. He urged them to reclaim their strenght to fight educational and economic inequality. He said racial prejudice still persists. He did claim there's less racial discrimination today than ever in our country's history. He was contrasting the violence of the civil rights era with the structural inequalities that exist between the races today.

Obama stated that unemployment rates are higher today for blacks and the rates of health insurance coverage are lower for blacks. He said black students lag behind in math and reading and black children are more likely to be jailed than white children. He encouraged black parents to become involved with their children and to try to lead them to other careers besides "baller" and "rapper". He is right on that last point.

Why do black children lag behind white children when it comes to school achievement as well as other factors? Many civil rights opportunists will blame it on racism from the white community. There's a few white people that are racially prejudiced toward blacks, but not to the extent the media makes it out to be. The problem with the black community today is their home life. Most of them have a very rough home life.

Increasing numbers of black babies today are born out of wedlock. Many black children live in single-parent homes where their mother is collecting welfare checks. Many of them don't attend church nor do they have any spiritual influence in their life. They don't have much encouragement when it comes to learning and achievement. Many blacks tend to have a victim's mentality. Since the modern welfare system was created over forty years ago, the government has exploited the black race through our government welfare system which hasn't done anything to encourage blacks to work and aspire to a better life other than living on food stamps and a welfare check.

Black children need a mother and father that are married and living together. They need parents that will attend and be faithful to church and raise their children according to the Bible. Obama is right when he says that parents should be involved in their children's lives. The parents have a responsibility to cultivate a love of learning in their children's lives. Parents need to instill the desire to learn in their children prior to attending school. Education is the parents' first responsibility. Most of the problems of the African-American community stem from the home. The government nor the schools can solve that problem. Only the Lord can straighten out their problems. Using the race card as an excuse for the condition they're living in isn't going to remedy their problem. Because of the civil rights laws of the 1960's such as the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act, for example, blacks have more opportunity today to succeed than what they did fifty years ago. However the home life of African-Americans today is in shambles. They have no stable home nor any solid role models.

Affirmative action laws which give preferential treatment towards blacks in employment and education isn't going to solve the problem nor is it right towards other Americans that do qualify for specific types of jobs. I don't have a problem with special training to help black Americans to gain the skills necessary to land a job, but giving preferential treatment based on race is wrong. The NAACP and many civil rights leaders today are pushing for "equality of outcome" instead of "equality of opportunity". Everybody is given a free will to choose how they want to live their lives. They can choose to be productive citizens and obtain excellence or they can choose to be slothful and live a bum's life. Success isn't handed to someone on a silver platter. Success must be earned regardless of race, creed, religion, or gender.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reasons Why We Need to Learn a Foreign Language

Why learn a foreign language? What is the benefit in learning a foreign language? What are you going to do with it? I can remember when I first started taking Spanish 25 years ago some people didn't understand my purpose in taking it. Some people thought it was unnecessary to learn a foreign language unless you had plans to use it in a career field. Today with so many illegal aliens that have crossed our border from Mexico, it's evident we need to learn how to speak a foreign language. I believe those of us that live in America need to know how to speak Spanish. There are a number of reasons why people need to learn a foreign language.

Charlotte Mason, a British homeschool educator taught foreign language to her students at a very young age. She taught French because of Britain's proximity to France. She taught them approximately six vocabulary words a day. They also learned to read simple foreign language books as well. By the time many of her students were nine and ten years old they were speaking German, French, and Italian simultaneously. She understood the importance of teaching foreign language to young school children. Foreign language isn't just a modern day phenemona. Foreign language was also taught in colonial American colleges as well. The College of New Jersey (Princeton University) taught Latin, Hebrew, and Greek, for example. President James Madison studied those languages while he was a student at the College of New Jersey. Some of the most well-educated people of Colonial America knew foreign language.

What are some of the reasons why we need to learn a foreign language? One reason why we need to is because of the out-of-control migration of illegal immigrants to America. It is true that they need to learn how to speak English, however, somebody needs to know their language in order for them to receive some help. How can we help them if we can't speak their language? Another reason why it's important to know the language is because there's a need to send Christian missionaries overseas and the missionaries need to learn the native language of the land they're going to be staying. On that note, the churches in America need to learn a foreign language so they can preach the Gospel to those immigrants that aren't familiar with the English language. Another important reason to learn a foreign language is because there are some jobs in certain places that require knowledge and mastery of a foreign language. There are some government posts that require knowledge of a foreign language. There are some military positions overseas where it's necessary to learn another language. There's even some jobs that involve language interpretation that requires knowledge of a foreign language. There are positions in secondary schools and colleges that need foreign language teachers.

Learning a foreign knowledge can stimulate a mind's capacity to learn. Studies have shown that if foreign language and music are introduced to students as early as kindergarten, it will stimulate their brain's mental capacity and it will enable them to succeed academically. Learning a foreign language can greatly enhance a child's learning capacity. Foreign language can open up a child's mind to a whole new world. A child will also learn about the culture of a particular country by studying a foreign language. There's so many things a person can learn by studying a foreign language.

A child needs to learn at least two foreign languages in addition to their native language whether it be Spanish, French, German, etc. The second language I would strongly recommend that children learn is Latin. Even though Latin is a "dead" language, many of our words derive from Latin. Many words from the English language stem from Latin. Many medical terms have Latin roots. Those that decide to take pharmaceutical courses need to know Latin because many terms that are in relation to medicine derive from Latin. Learning Latin can enable a person to learn to appreciate Western civilization and things of the past. A person limits themselves without a foreign language education.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where Are Our Songwriters?

Psalms 33:3 says, "Sing unto him a new song played skillfully with a loud noise." Back last September I started studying about the late Gospel songwriter Dottie Rambo. My quest in desiring to learn about her began when I heard a local radio station in my hometown play the song Rambo sung entitled, "I Will Glory in the Cross." As a result, I went on YouTube and heard that song and really enjoyed it. That led to first one thing and then another. I was listening to different specials about her on the internet as well as listening to some of her songs. I also read a book about her. I learned in my studying about her that she wrote 2500+ songs. She had a great talent. She used it to the fullest extent until she died on May 11, 2008.

It takes a special talent to write a poem and set it to music. I recognized that last fall. It's a talent beyond just singing a particular song. I greatly admired Rambo's talent and her willingness to use it. I didn't agree with many of her associations. She hung around many Charismatics. Anyone that watched TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) has seen her as a guest on numerous occasions with Paul and Jan Crouch. How many people in our Independent fundamental churches possess a talent to write music like she did and are using that talent for the Lord?

In many of our fundamental Baptist churches much of the music we sing today comes from these modern Southern Gospel groups. The Southern Gospel music industry is in sad shape today. If you take a look at many of the CD covers many of them dress worldly and maintain a worldy appearance. Some of them live wicked lives. There was one prominent tenor singer that used to sing for a quartet that I enjoyed very much. It was revealed several years ago that he was homosexual. How tragic! Some of the stars of today's Southern Gospel groups are worldly and don't live a clean, holy life. We'll use many of the songs from some of these groups and sing them in our churches.

I remember one old country music singer named Hank Williams Sr. who wrote the song "I Saw the Light". That was a good song but most of the songs he sang were honky-tonk such as "There's a Tear in My Beer" and "You're Cheatin' Heart", for example. Why do we have to rely on those kinds of people to write our Gospel songs? It shouldn't be that way. Many of the Gospel songs we enjoy today come from the worldy crowd in the Southern Gospel industry. I will admit they're great songs, but why don't we have anybody in our fundamental churches writing songs that glorify God? Those of us that don't like Michael Jackson's music can easily criticize him and call him for what he is but what about those that sing Gospel that live wicked lives. That's even worse that Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson sang pop music. These other people are singing songs that are supposed to glorify God. We need people that sing Gospel to live what they sing.

I believe that there's some people in our fundamental Independent Baptist churches that God's given the gift to write songs. I can't believe there aren't some Baptists God hasn't given the gift to write songs. You would think that those that preach the Bible out of the King James and hold a fundamental view of scripture God would use people like that to write songs. We need people in our local churches that are given the gift to write songs to use that gift. We need people that love God to write songs that glorify Him. We shouldn't have to rely on Nashville to find songs to sing in our churches. It shouldn't be that way. God's gifted people in our churches to serve the body. I believe that God has given a gift to every saved person in a local church to use for his honor and glory. Everybody possess different gifts, but everyone has some sort of gift. It's a shame when the world is more dedicated to their talents than those of us in the church are. We should be just as much or more dedicated when it comes to using our gifts as the world is.

We need Gospel songwriters in our Baptist churches. I believe God has given some people the gift to write Gospel songs to the extent Dottie Rambo did. We can be critical of the crowd she hung around, but many of us aren't using our gifts the way that Rambo did. That's a shame. Sunday night Preacher was mentioning about those in the music industry writing Gospel songs and living wicked lives and was wondering what does God think of it? Another question I believe needs to be asked is what does God think of those in our fundamental churches that have the gift to write songs and they don't use that gift. It hinders the body of Christ. Everybody needs to use their gifts that God has bestowed upon them so the Body of Christ can function properly. The church cannot fulfill its purpose as a body if every member is not utilizing the gifts that God has given them.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Former CBS News Anchor Walter Cronkite Dies

Walter Cronkite, who was the face of the CBS evening news from 1962-81 died Friday July 17, 2009. He was 92 years old. Marlene Adler, Cronkite's chief of staff, said he died of cerebrovascular disease. Morley Safer, a longtime '60 Minutes" correspondent, referred to Cronkite as "the father of television news". He was known for news stories such as the John F. Kennedy Assassination, the Martin Luther King Jr, assassination, the launching of Apollo 11 onto the moon, etc. He was an avid supporter of the U.S. space program and he chronicled the events of man's first landing on the moon in 1969. He was hired in 1950 by Edward R. Murrow to report for CBS. He took over the anchor's chair on April 16, 1962, replacing Douglas Edwards. Due to CBS's policy of compulsory retirement at age 65, Cronkite retired from the anchor's chair on March 6, 1981.

According to Owensboro's Messenger-Inquirer, Walter Leland Cronkite Jr. was born on November 4, 1916, in St. Joseph Missouri, the son and grandson of dentists. He first put his teeth into journalism at The Houston Post, where he worked summers after high school and served as campus correspondent at the University of Texas. He quit college after his junior year for a full-time position at The Houston Press. He joined the United Press in 1937. In the early 1940's, he was dispatched to London to cover the battle of the North Atlantic. He flew on a bombing mission over Germany and glided into Holland with the 101st airborne division. He was a chief correspondent at the postwar Nuremberg trials. He returned to the U.S. in 1948 and covered Washington for a number of midwest radio stations. He was hired by Edward R. Murrow to join CBS in 1950.

In 1952, he was named anchor of the CBS coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, when they started being aired over television. He was also hosted such news-oriented programs such as "You are There" and "Twentieth Century." He replaced Douglas Edwards as anchor of CBS evening news on April 16, 1962. In 1963, CBS evening news went from a 15-minute to a 30-minute format. He was in competition with the duo Chet Huntley and David Brinkley. He eventually dominated the news ratings on all three networks. In a 1972 and a 1974 survey, he was viewed by Americans to be the "most trusted television newscaster". He won emmys and other awards for his news coverage. He won the 1974 George Polk journalism award and the 1969 William Allen White Award for journalistic merit, to name a few. He retired from the anchor's chair on March 6, 1981. Dan Rather replaced him.

Cronkite became well known for the news bulletin on CBS about the assassination of President Kennedy. He fought back tears and showed some emotion as he covered that story. He also covered the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, the Vietnam War, the U.S. space program, the Watergate scandal, and the Iranian hostage crisis, to name a few. After the Tet Offensive, Cronkite went to Vietnam and wrote a commentary giving his opinion about the situation. He stated that the Vietnam War was mired in a stalemate. That was said to have turned the tide of public opinion against the war. It supposedly played a major role in Lyndon Johnson deciding not to run for president in 1968. Johnson remarked, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America." There are some dissenters of the war that would probably agree with Cronkite's comments. However, I believe it had a demoralizing affect. It would've been better if he said, "The Pentagon needs to craft a new strategy for Vietnam. The way the war is currently prosecuted, there's no way we can win. We need a different strategy because we must win this war." That would have been the proper thing for Cronkite to say. He was a strong opponent of the Vietnam War.

Following his retirement from CBS, Cronkite was very candid about his left-leaning political views. He was an opponent of the Iraq War. He spoke out against the policies of George W. Bush. He defended John Kerry's liberal record in 2004. He was a believer in the concept of global governance, or a one-world government. He upheld the belief that the United States should give up some of its sovereignty to the United Nations. However, Cronkite was considered to be an iconic figure in the news media. When Cronkite signed off each evening his famous words were "And that's the way it is (He gave the date). This is Walter Cronkite saying goodnight."

Friday, July 17, 2009

The 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Landing on the Moon

Monday July 20, 2009 will mark the 40th anniversary of the first men ever to land on the moon. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon. Armstrong was quoted making the famous statement, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." They boarded the Saturn V rocket to the moon. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins took the famous voyage while Collins orbited above. It was the third human space mission. The famous launch took place on July 16, 1969 at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Many people had camped out to view this momentous event. President Nixon viewed the space landing on television. It's a day in history that changed the world forever. It was a feat that had never been accomplished before that time. The U.S. fufilled it's pledge by landing the first men on the moon before the end of the 60's.

The event that paved the way for man to make this voyage to the moon was the Sputnik I incident on October 4, 1957. The Soviets launched the Sputnik I satellite into outer space. At the time the United States was in a Cold War with the Soviet Union. The Soviet's satellite launch alarmed America about its fledgling space program as well as our national security interests. America was concerned about the threat the Soviets posed on us so it propelled then President Eisenhower to sign a bill establishing NASA (National Aeronautics Space Agency). NASA started finding ways to make it possible for man to land on the moon. President John F. Kennedy told a joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961 that he had a goal for the United States to send the first man to the moon before the end of the 60's.

One of the programs that NASA established to land man on the moon and to land them safely back was the Apollo program. Apollo 1 was the first mission tested and all astronauts inside that spacecraft perished as a result of fire in the command module due to an experimental simulation. Due to this incident, there were a few unmanned tests before the men boarded the spacecraft. Apollo 8 and 10 tested various components while orbiting the moon and returned photographs. The first successful mission to land man on the moon was Apollo 11.

On July 20, that goal was reached as both Armstrong and Aldrin set foot on the moon. Aldrin placed his bootprint on the moon. Also, the astronauts placed a U.S. flag, a plaque, and an Apollo 1 insignia patch. They also collected soil samples and used scientific instruments to measure moonquakes and meteorite impacts. The men then orbited back to earth on July 21. They made it to splashdown on July 24, 1969 in the Pacific Ocean. They were then taken to confinement and were quarantined for three weeks. That was done for precautionary reasons in case they picked up any unexpected pathogens on the moon. Then after three weeks on August 13 there were parades held in their honor in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and even Mexico City, Mexico. Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins were then later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In examining the events that took place during that great historical time it was noticeable that Americans as well as the national leaders of that time had a great sense of patriotic fervor. They viewed America as no. 1 in the world and they weren't going to allow themselves to be outdone by anybody. Kennedy set a goal for America to set the first man on the moon and the goal was finally achieved on July 20, 1969. Americans had a sense of pride and nationalism. That's something that's lacking in today's America; including our elected officials. Our leaders in the 60's didn't go globetrotting around the world apologizing for America. They were proud to be Americans. If America's elected officials during the 60's had the same mentality about America like our elected officials do today, then America wouldn't have been the first country to land man on the moon. On top of that, we would've lost the Cold War to the Soviet Union.

The Laodecian Church

Revelation 3:14-17 says "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodecians write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I love thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched , and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked." This is talking about the church of the Laodecians which is representative of the "last days" church. It is referred to as the "people's church" or a democratic church. It's a complacent church.

In Revelation 1:20 it mentions the seven golden candlesticks which are the seven churches. In Revelation 2 and 3 Christ gives a message to the seven different churches. The seven churches represent the different historical epochs in church history. For exampe, the church of Ephesus represents the Apostolic age or the early church. The church of Philadelphia represents the age of the Reformation. The church of Laodecia represents the contemporary church of today right before Christ comes back for his bride. That's where this generation is at today. We're right on the very threshhold for Jesus to rapture the church from this world.

The Laodecian church was the church that was materially rich and increased with goods. They were spiritually naked and miserable. They were very lukewarm. They were taking their ease in Zion. They were a church that was too comfortable with the world. It was a church where the people rule. The things of God weren't that important to them. God's presence wasn't pre-eminent in that church. Jesus' final message to the Laodecians was "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." He told them that he would come and sup with them if they would invite Him in. Jesus went so far as to say that if all they were going to be was lukewam, then He would spue them out of his mouth. Jesus didn't have any use for that kind of church.

You look at the shape our churches are in today and it's very disheartening. They major in programs, frills, puppet shows, Bozo the clown, contemporary Christian music, feasting, choreographical dancing, and the list continues. There are "evangelicals" such as Rick Warren and Bill Hybels that major on church growth techniques and methods to bring sinners in without doing it the Bible way. They try to accomodate the church to the world to bring in the "unchurched". They don't rely on the presence of God to move in their churches. There's no God in their churches. They have their own techniques to do God's work.

What's tragic is that a church doesn't have to be anything similar to Willow Creek or Saddleback to be a Laodecian church. A church doesn't have to be liberal in their methods or their doctrine to be a Laodecian church. I believe there's many fundamental churches that fall under that category. There's been many Baptist churches that once stood for truth and preached the Word that are nothing more than a Laodecian church. I believe a church could use the King James Version, have good preaching, and even practice outward separation and still be a Laodecian church. A Laodecian church doesn't have God in it. They're dead as a hammer. They don't have the presence of God manifested in that church. It doesn't make any difference how many standards that church has, if God's presence isn't in it, then it's Laodecian. Many of our Independent Baptist churches today are complacent about the things of God. Some think as long as they practice outward separation they're fine. But if God's not in the church and the church members aren't serving God, then it's Laodecian.

We need a moving of God in our churches. We need revival to take place in our churches as Psalms 85:6 says. We need to be that Philadelphian church that has kept His word, and has not denied him, and has a little strength. We need to wake up. Time is running out. Don't allow your church to beome a Laodecian church! "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Importance of the Church

Psalms 26:8 says "Lord I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy honor dwelleth." In this Psalm King David is expressing his desire for being in the House of God. There's nothing more important in this world than the House of God. The church is one of the most important organisms God has created. He has created three institutions. They are the home, the government, and the church. They all play an important role in God's economy. However, the church is where you receive your spiritual help. Without the church we'd all be in a mess spiritually today. Where would you be if it weren't for the local church that God's placed in your life?

Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching." God was telling us in Hebrews that it's vitally important to be in attendance at the House of God. When you miss church for whatever reason it may be, you don't know what you're missing. God may be showing up and you not be there to experience it. Psalms 69:9 says, "For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." We should come to the House of God with zeal expecting the Lord to show up and work in the hearts of his people. Just Consider the passage in Acts when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples in the Upper Room and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. 3000 were saved that day. You never know what the Lord may do. God dwells in the habitation of his people. Church is the place where God meets with his people.

What kind of place is the church? It's a church where lost people can come and become saved through the preaching of the Word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It's a refilling station where everytime we come we are refilled and freshed by the Spirit of God. The church is a place where Christians can receive some help. Psalms 12:1 says "Help, Lord". We all desperately need help. We're a needy people. A church is a place where God meets with his people. I like that song that says, "Holy Spirit, Thou art Welcome in this Place." The Spirit of God should feel welcome by his people so he can move during the service. The church is the place for the preaching of the Word of God by a Biblically qualified pastor. The church is a place of prayer. Jesus said "My house shall be called a house of prayer." It's a place where we can pray for the needs of people and we can simultaneously bear each other's burdens. Church is a place to lift our voices and sing praise unto the Lord. The church is a place of worship. It's a place where we can fellowship with the saints of God. The church is a place where we can go to an altar and make things right in our lives. The church is the place for teaching (Sunday school instruction). The church is a place where God's people meet together. The church is a building as well. The Puritans regarded the saints of God as the church but the building as a meetinghouse. However, the Bible also makes reference to the building as the church as well. God has a specific designated place where he meets with his people.

There's so many functions of the church. Jesus gave himself for the church. The Bible makes a comparison to Christ's love for the church to a husband-wife relationship. Jesus loved and gave himself for the church. We're to have a love for the church for no other reason than because Jesus loves the church. The church is sacred. We should have tremendous respect for the House of God and be sober about the things of God. Whenever services take place within the church, God's people should be there in attendance unless providentially hindered.

There's nothing more important than what takes place at church. You can't place a high enough premium on the church. When God saves a sinner, he places him/her in the body and has a certain task for that saved person. We should be zealous of the church and desire to be a blessing anyway we can. In closing, Ephesians 5:27 says, "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Should Race be a Qualifying Factor for a Supreme Court Nominee?

The U.S. Senate this past week has been holding confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Throughout the whole time since Obama first appointed her for the high court, we've been hearing many references made in regards to her being a Latina woman. We've been hearing that if she's confirmed, she'll be the first Latina woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court. The issue of her race has almost overshadowed all the other pertinent issues when it comes to a nominee's view of the law and how they'll handle the law while on the bench.

When Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) changed parties recently, he was interviewed on NBC's "Meet the Press" and he was speaking of the importance of having racial diversity on the court. He said there needs to be more women and minorities on the court. One of the statements that Sotomayor has made in years past that's been somewhat controversial for her was when she stated, "A wise Latina woman with rich life experiences has the ability to make better decisions than a white male that's never experienced them". Those aren't the exact words she said but they sum up the point she was making.

The United States has been confronted with racism since the dawn of time with slavery against the black race. There were abolitionist groups that protested against slavery and called for the end to such a cruel and barbaric practice. Since the end of slavery, there arose the civil rights movement which pushed for equality for blacks in the mainstream of society. Today blacks have largely achieved that goal. However many civil rights activists today wish to use "reverse discrimination" to "right" the wrongs of the past. It goes contrary to the legendary civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr, when he gave his "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. in 1963. He said he had a dream in which a person would be judged by the content of their character instead of their skin color.

Why do we place such heavy emphasis on race when it comes to qualification? How is it going to affect the judgment of a judge that sits on the Supreme Court? Many of the liberal activisits as well as Democrats that place such a huge emphasis on race are only one-sided about it. They favor racial diversity as long as their candidate upholds liberal, progressive views. If the nominee doesn't uphold liberal, progressive views, the liberals will turn against them.

Let's consider some examples. Back in 1991 Clarence Thomas was appointed by George H.W. Bush to be justice on the Supreme Court. He is black. However, scores of civil rights leaders came out in opposition against him. He faced a tough grilling by the Democrats. At the last moment they used Anita Hill to deter Thomas before he was finally confirmed by a slim margin. Janice Rogers Brown is a black woman appointed by former President George W. Bush for the appeals court. Liberals and Democrats came out against her and stalled her nomination in the Senate committee. It was through some sort of compromise with the "Gang of fourteen" in 2005 that finally landed her the seat. Miguel Estrada is a Hispanic that George W. Bush appointed but was stalled by the Democrats in the Senate committee. It's more about ideology than race.

I'm 100% in favor of appointing blacks, Hispanics, and Chinese Americans to the Supreme Court or other judicial courts if they're of the right judicial temperament and are wholly qualified. I'm elated to see people of other races achieve in unprecedented ways. That's what the American dream is all about. It's the ability to apply yourself and use your God-given talents to achieve great things. I greatly encourage blacks and people of other races to work hard so they can have the opportunity to be placed in positions of authority due to merit. However, we shouldn't use affirmative action as a qualifying factor.

All this talk about racial diversity is nothing but a smokescreen. The very liberal progressive civil rights activists such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton support the Democratic Party so as a result the Democrats tow the line for them. It's time that we rise past using race as a means to determine the qualification of a judicial nominee. It does nothing but cause racial polarization in America.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Need for Competition in the Marketplace

President Barack Obama and his cronies in Washington are doing everything possible to destroy our free enterprise system in America and overhaul it. They want to create a government-planned socialist economy where the government determines the factors of production. They're already doing that right now by taking over General Motors for example. The government owns 60% of GM. They're instructing GM what types of automobiles they must produce. Our Congress is trying to pass a carbon cap and trade legislation in which the government will tell various industries how much greenhouse gasses can be emitted into the atmosphere. It will eventually come full circle. However, the road to a planned economy wasn't started by Obama. Former President George W. Bush placed us on this road by signing an energy bill at the end of 2007 which would eventually phase out the current incandescent light bulb as well as the bailout of the mortgage industry last year.

Our country has been a free enterprise system since its inception. We've heard people right before the election of Barack Obama say America is a free market system. The truth of the matter is, we don't have a true free market. That was even before Obama's election as president. The last several years we've had a manipulated market. Why? It's due to the absence of competition. Competition comprises a free market. When competition is eliminated through unscrupulous business practices, you have nothing but monopolies and oligopolies. We heard arguments last September if the federal government didn't use taxpayer money to bailout the troubled banks, our economy would collapse. Why would the collapse of AIG or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac have such an impact on our market? For no other reason because they're a monopoly. If there were other banks in competition with these giant ones, then a bank failure wouldn't as likely have such a negative impact on our economy.

I'm very pro-business, but whenever government and huge corporations are aligned together, then it's dangerous for our country. Take a look at Goldman Sachs. Reuters has reported that they had a 33% increase in 2nd quarter profit due to a blowout. However, it's not due to competition or natural forces in the market. It was due to manipulation and government helping them out. Henry Paulson, Bush's former treasury secretary, was the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs played a part in eliminating Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros., some of their former rivals. Paulson used the government treasury to help Goldman Sachs be where they are today. There were some unscrupulous practices taking place on Wall Street which benefitted Goldman Sachs. They're not under control by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). The SEC chairman is to keep a watch of those kind of companies on Wall Street so unfair business practices don't take place.

You hear many people complain about the high cost of living. Why? That's due to very little competition. When there's no competitors, these huge firms don't have any reason to keep prices under control. When there's competition, it forces businesses to keep their costs under control so customers will patronize them. Take a look at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has been known in the past to having the cheapest retail prices in the country. Now since Wal-Mart has become a huge business, they're raising their prices. Why? Because they've outsold their competition and there's no incentive for them to keep their prices lower.

The government has the power to use anti-trust laws to break up these huge monopolies such as the oil companies and banks, for example. Anti-trust laws need to be used to break up these powerful monopolies. There's been some famous cases where monopolies have been broken up. One of the cases was Standard Oil in 1901. Another one was Alcoa Aluminum in 1945 and the other one was AT&T. It's not in the best interests of our country for there to be no competition. It hurts businesses and consumers. It will cause prices to be higher when there's no competition. The free market system works best when there's competition. Competition will give businesses incentives to be innovative and be the very best they can be. It gives the customer more choices to choose from.

Back in the early 20th century, presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft were known for breaking up trusts. Roosevelt was dubbed the name "Trustbuster". When you view the situation where our gasoline prices are shooting up the ceiling, it's due to the fact the petroleum industry is a monopoly. That's partially what's helped put this economy in the present recession. The oil companies and all these other huge corporations contribute heavily to the elected elite, that's why they don't do anything about the situation. We need to turn those kinds of politicians out of office. The government once again needs to revert back to the policy of breaking up trusts.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Problem with Mankind--Sin

In this world we live in today, many of our religious and political leaders are lamenting the social ills we face in this world such as greed, racism, poverty, hatred, war, etc. They try to come up with "solutions" that will solve all these social problems. However, all these problems just mentioned above are symptoms of a larger problem. The root problem is none other than SIN.

Romans 5:12 says, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Sin came into this world when Adam partook of the fruit of the tree of the Garden of Eden. As a result, the fall of man took place and man is still in that state since the time of the Garden of Eden. Jesus came upon this earth to die for the sins of mankind upon an old rugged cross. Thank God for the price he paid on Calvary so we could be saved and not have to spend eternity into the Lake of Fire.

What is the solution for mankind's sinful estate? It's a born again experience. Man needs to be regenerated and cleansed from sin. The Pharisee Nicodemus asked Jesus a question and this was what Jesus said. (John 3:3) Jesus answered and said unto him, verily, verily I say unto thee; except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus didn't understand the concept of salvation. When Jesus was speaking of being born again, Nicodemus didn't understand Jesus was referring to a spiritual birth from above, not a second time from a mother's womb.

During the past 2000 years of church history, Satan has thrown in a mix of doctrines which are totally contrary to Biblical salvation. Satan has done this as a way to confuse man on how to be saved. There's been false doctrines such as baptismal regeneration, salvation by works, adding law to the grace (legalism). Also, the doctrine of easy-believism which says that man doesn't have to repent--just believe has been taught in many Independent Baptist churches. Salvation's not complicated. It's easy.

In order to be saved a person must recognize that they're a sinner whose strayed from God. Along with that there must be Holy Ghost conviction (John 6:44). They must call upon the name of the Lord and repent of their sins. Then they must accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. He's already Lord but when a man gets saved, Lordship comes with the package. It's not a matter of the words that you use but that they come from your heart. After a person becomes saved they're to be baptized and they are to serve the Lord in a local Bible-believing church which I believe should be Baptist. Being saved doesn't mean they won't face battles nor have to deal with sin because they have a fleshly nature as well as a divine nature.

The world tries to use all kinds of humanist methods to try to cure man of what's ailing him such as Alcoholics Anonymous, psychiatry, counseling, etc. The world can't solve man's sin problem. It takes divine intervention from the God of Heaven to cure man's sin problem. It's found in Jesus. I'll close with John 3:16-18. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Obama's Visit to Moscow

This past week on Monday and Tuesday, President Barack Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow this past week. The two were discussing plans to reduce the nuclear arsenal of both the United States and Russia. Both Obama and Medvedev signed a "joint understanding" committing their countries to nuclear arms reductions that would leave them between 15 00 and 1675 deployed warheads each. The 1991 START Treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) of 1991 allowed for 6000 warheads at that time. There was a follow-up treaty signed in 2002 which allowed for 2200 each and this signing reduces it even further. When START expires December 5, 2009, I will guarantee you they will sign another agreement that will dwindle the warheads down even further. Soon we'll be left nearly defenseless.

Another huge issue between the two countries is over the U.S. missile-defense system, in which Medvedev is opposed. The U.S. missile-defense system calls for a radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles based in Poland. In addition to the above issues, Obama and Medvedev were also speaking about the situation with Afghanistan.

In the times we're facing today in this world in regards to the nuclear threats of Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and the threat of Islamic terrorism, how can we think about reducing our nuclear arsenal? Is Obama and the heads of state in Europe so naieve that they think reducing our nuclear aresenal is going to cause our enemies to like us? Quite the opposite. Making agreements with your enemies like reducing nuclear weapons isn't plausible. While America reduces its missiles, Russia and these other countries will keep on manufacturing them. What happens if a missile is launched at Hawaii or California and we don't have any missile defense system to protect us?

This all falls in line with the peaceniks of the 1960's who carried the slogan "Make love not war". They believed all war is wrong and we need to "love one another". They were very naieve about human nature. Man is born in sin and as a result we live in a very greedy, evil world. There are rogue countries that are agressors and they will bully other countries. There are some very brutal dictators that live in this world. Adolf Hiltler was one example during the 1930's in Nazi Germany. There are some dictators you can't negotiate with. There must be a means of deterrence to keep these brutal dictators in place. You don't make peace by destroying your weapons. America must uphold the policy of "peace through strength" as Ronald Reagan would say.

The very idea of turning your "swords into plowshares" is an impossibility in this sinful world. There will be a day when we will turn our swords into plowshares. That won't take place until the Millennial Reign of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Time to Win the War in Afghanistan

In October 2001 coalition forces began the war in Afghanistan after nineteen hijackers crashed planes in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the intial phase of the war the United States and NATO forces routed the Taliban from their seat of power. Since that time, they have been "resurrected" and now are trying to make another comeback. Al-Qaeda, the terrorist organization which was responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks, have their training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Unlike the arguments we've heard about Iraq that we shouldn't have went there, we definitely needed to attack Afghanistan because Al-Qaeda was responsible for the terrorist attacks in America.

In Afghanistan there's been several roadside bomb attacks on coalition forces. Many U.S. troops have been wounded as they're waging a major offensive to stop growing violence from Afghan insurgents. The roadside bombs are called (IED's) or improvised explosive devices. In June 2009, there was a record number of devices set (736). The last four months there's been an increasing number of IED's set off. Army General Stanley McChrystal said in an email to USA Today that the IED's are the number one threat to the troops.

It's time the Pentagon comes up with a game plan. We've been in this war for almost 8 years and it's time the generals devise a strategy to win this war. This war should've been won when Bush was president. However, President Obama doesn't have any agenda for ending this war either.

When you go to war, there must be an objective and a strategy to win. It's ridiculous to be sending troops to war when there's no strategy to win. It takes its toll on the troops, on their families, the American psyche, and the nation's treasury. Whatever happened to the day when we went to war and had a strategy to win and exit as quick as possible? The last war we won was World War II. We don't need to be stuck in the hornet's nest in Afghanistan forever.

I believe we need to gear up our forces to go on the offensive again. We need another bombing campaign. We need to send air forces to bomb all the Al-Qaeda hideouts as well as wipe out any of the areas where the insurgents are hiding. Our forces need to be bombing the Helmand province where the Taliban is hiding. We need to cut off all the supplies of the IED's to the insurgents. If Iran is behind sending the IED's to the insurgents, we need to be conducting air strikes against Iran as well. When you're fighting guerilla warfare, you can't just rely on ground troops to conduct the fighting. We need a massive air campaign to wipe out any laboratories that are building nuclear weapons. War is serious business. Yes, it's brutal, but war is not about making friends, it's about breaking down strongholds, conquering and winning. America also needs to be hunting for Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. He's the one responsible for all those deaths on 9/11. Why haven't we been agressive to see that Osama bin Laden is brought to justice? It's always important to find the perpetrator and bring them to justice.

A few months ago, President Obama had ordered 21,000 U.S. servicemembers there to provide better security. Given the fact the Taliban has made a major comeback and many roadside bombs are being used against the coalition forces, providing security forces won't solve the problem. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, you can give them medicine to treat the symptoms of the cancer, but it won't eradicate the cancer within the patient. Providing security forces to Afghanistan won't solve the problem when the Taliban is spread out in different places. They must be eradicated. Until Al-Qaeda and the Taliban are eradicated, the situation in Afghanistan will seriously continue to worsen.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Former Defense Chief Robert McNamara Dies

Former Defense Secretary Robert Strange McNamara died on Monday July 6, 2009 at the age of 93. He was born in San Francisco in 1916. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of California-Berkeley and an MBA from Harvard. He served with the army air forces during World War II. He was also a young Harvard professor as well. He was in the army from 1943-46. He was the former CEO of Ford Motor Co. in 1960 and then in 1961 President John F. Kennedy chose McNamara to be the head of the defense department. MacNamara was considered one of the "best" and "brightest" that Kennedy assembled in his cabinet. MacNamara served in that capacity under Presidents Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson before resigning under pressure in January 1968. He then obtained a position at the World Bank in 1968 and was there until 1981.

He was known as one of the corporate "whiz" kids at Ford. Kennedy tapped him for the job in 1961. He was second to Donald Rumsfeld as far as the length of tenure he served as Defense Secretary. He was considered the architect during one of America's greatest tragedies during the Vietnam War. He was known for using quantitative analysis and imposing business practices on the Pentagon. His trademark was rimless glasses and dark slick-backed hair.

The strategy that he helped develop in fighting the Vietnam War was a failure because Vietnam didn't have a winning strategy. They didn't allow for North Vietnam to be bombed as well as the war was fought on a limited, protracted scale. In his 1995 memoire, McNamara had misgivings about the Vietnam War as early as 1967. He still prosecuted the war as Vietnamese and U.S. casualties mounted. The troop levels in Vietnam swelled as the war escalated, and major U.S. protests were taking place as the war dragged on and became more unpopular. He was pressured in stepping down due to the progress of the war. Critics had then dubbed the war as "McNamara's war." It was said that one of his faults when it came to running the Pentagon was he tried to apply an analytical framework on the organization of people and money. He was applying management concepts to a conflict alien to his experience, said defense analyst Loren Thompson.

When McNamara was at the World Bank, he was involved in fighting world poverty. He also expanded the World Bank's influence as well. Fighting poverty was one of his crusades. After he retired, he maintained offices in Washington, D.C. He was on several corporate boards as well as the Washington Post. He also was a member of the Trilateral Commission as well.

McNamara is survived by his wife, Diana Masieri Byfield, (2004) and two daughters and a son. His first wife Margaret died in 1981.

Let's Be Clear--No Common Ground

Rick Warren, pastor at Saddleback Community Church in California appeared at the annual convention of the Islamic society of North America over the weekend. He adressed the convention in D.C. and stated that Muslims and Christians must work together to fight stereotypes, promote peace and freedom and solve global problems. The question that needs to be asked is how can these two groups work together unless there's common ground. Christians and Muslims are very different when it comes to religion. There's no way they can work together when both religions don't have hardly anything in common.

President Barack obama was the commencement speaker at Notre Dame university on May 17, 2009. He received his honorary doctor of laws degree. He was calling for common ground in regards to the abortion issue in our country. How can one seek common ground on abortion when you have two sides that are diametrically opposed to one another on this issue? It's impossible.

In order for there to be common ground, there must be agreement. Let's be clear about this: You can't have common ground without agreement. In political terms you hear the phrases "bipartisan approach" or "bipartisan agreement" a lot in Congress. The only reason why there can be bipartisan agreement is because there's a group of both Democrats and Republicans that agree on a particular issue or piece of legislation--hence there's common ground. Amos 3:3 says "Can two walk together; except they be agreed?"

Today in many of our religious circles, you have the promotion of ecumencalism, which is for greater cooperation or toleration of different faiths in Christianity. Back in 1994, Mark Noll, who was then professor of History at Wheaton College, co-signed a document called "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" calling for cooperation and unity between the two. Religious leaders are admonishing us to set aside our differences and come together and love one another. However the Bible says in II Corinthians 6:17 says, "Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; I will receive you". That's a pretty stern warning for the Lord that true Bible believing Christians aren't to be mixing and mingling with those that preach another Gospel except the Gospel of Christ. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 1 that if anybody preaches another Gospel than the one that they received; let him be accursed! That's serious business with God. We're to be separate from the world and those religions that preach anything but the cross of Christ.

Back in the late 70's and early 80's we had some "conservatives" in the Southern Baptist hierarchy that were trying to embrace those "moderates" that didn't hold to the same view in regards to inerrancy of scripture. You can't embrace those that don't believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. Believing the Bible contains the Word of God isn't the same as believing the Bible is totally inerrant and infallible.

In retrospect, there's no common ground unless there's agreement on an issue. You can't have true unity if there's no agreement. It's very serious that the church recognizes there's some issues such as abortion, same sex marriage, Darwinian evolution, and the list continues in which you can't compromise on. The church can't find common ground with politicians, churches, or any organization that embraces those philosophies that are in opposition to scripture. LET'S BE CLEAR--NO COMON GROUND!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Solutions To Energy Independence

On this past Sunday's edition of NBC's "Meet the Press", host David Gregory played several old clips of the former presidents' interviews on "Meet the Press". He had one clip of then presidential candidate John F. Kennedy on January 3, 1960, then he had another clip of president Gerald Ford who was gearing up for the 1976 presidential campaign, then he had Ronald Reagan giving an interview as well in regards to the 1976 presidential primary campaign. I heard then President Ford talking about the campaign and he made some statements in regards to energy independence. He stated we needed to be energy independent and not rely on importing foreign oil. HE SAID THAT BACK IN 1976! Why are we still dependent on foreign oil? Why do we as a country do business with Saudi Arabia? Nineteen of the 21 hijackers on the planes that attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were of Saudi descent.

It's a disgrace that we import oil from foreign countries when we have oil in our own country we can drill and put out in the market. Ever since the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973, we should've been drilling for our own oil as well as seeking alternate energy solutions so we wouldn't be dependent on foreign oil. Why are we still dependent on foreign oil? I don't think it's an accident. All the hype we've been hearing on the news the last few years about energy independence is an absolute farce! Our elected officials have no intention of making the United States energy independent. WE'VE HAD 36 YEARS WE COULD'VE DONE SOMETHING ABOUT IT! When you take a look at the situations we're facing with Iran and North Korea, we don't need to be importing oil from the Middle East. That's the way the powers-that-be desire it.

Our politicians are in bed with the Saudis as well as the seven sister oil companies. Our elected elite receive campaign contributions from the oil companies as well as from Saudi Arabia. Our politicians aren't going to break the monopoly of the oil companies. We need to make OPEC and the Middle East irrelevant to the United States. How do we do that? We devise solutions in America that would break our dependence upon OPEC and the Middle East. We don't have any business obligating ourselves to the Middle East considering the turmoil it's in.

What are some solutions we can consider? The quest to make America energy independent isn't going to happen overnight. I believe it will take two phases to put America in a situation it needs to be in. First of all, we need to be drilling for oil in any of the territories in America that has oil. Those places are the ANWAR in Alaska, offshore drilling from the Gulf coast in California and Florida. We also could be drilling for oil in Colorado, Nebraska, and Utah. There's probably other territories in America we can drill as well. I believe that alone would supply all the oil we need to not be dependent on foreign countries. We also need to build more refineries. We haven't built one in over 30 years. The environmentalists complain about the environmental hazards, but dont' tell me we don't have the technology to build refineries that will be environmentally safe. I believe we do. I also believe that since we fought a war in Iraq for a number of years, we should import some of their oil as payment for all the blood and treasure America's invested in that war. I also believe we should import oil from Mexico since we have to take care of their illegal aliens that will cross into America.

However, we shouldn't just stop with drilling for oil. That's one phase. The next phase should be inventing alternate energy solutions so we don't have to use oil for all our energy. We need to diversify when it comes to use of energy. Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens promotes windmills as one phase of alternate energy. I'm for using that in the few areas that will handle windmills, but it's not going to work in many areas of our country. We should use the nuclear energy we make in the nuclear plants to produce electricity. That way we wouldn't have to be as dependent on coal for electricity. I've heard there's some good uses for natural gas. T. Boone Pickens suggests natural gas should be used for our transportation system. He believes vehicles should use natural gas because it's a cleaner fuel. I don't know much about it, but if it can be more efficient and burn longer than unleaded gasoline, then it needs to be looked into. America's automakers need to be retooling vehicles so they can average higher fuel efficiency. I believe that's possible without making our cars too small. The media gives the impression that vehicles have to be small in order to average high fuel efficiency. I believe there's ways that vehicles can be designed without compromising safety.

Lastly, there's something I would like to throw out for people to consider. How about tobacco? Could tobacco be a good alternate energy use? I don't know but I believe it's worth considering. I believe there's uses for tobacco that could be to our benefit besides making cigarettes, for example. We need to conduct some studies on tobacco to see if they can be used for energy. Any type of enegy alternative that can be beneficial and affordable to solving our energy problems should be used. The time to end our dependence on foreign oil is now!

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Boston Tea Party

Approximately three months ago on April 15, 2009, many communities across America staged their own tea parties in protest to the taxation and other policies of the Barack Obama administration. On Saturday, July 4, 2009 there will be communities staging another tea party. The Republicans of Crossville, Tennessee will be having its own tea party at 5:00 p.m. We definitely need tea parties to send a message to our government that what they're doing is un-American. There was another period in time when a tea party took place. It took place on December 16, 1773 when a group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by dumping it into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party was a precursor to the American Revolution in 1775.

The Boston Tea Party arose from two issues which confronted the British empire in 1773. One was the financial problems of the British East India Company. The other had to do with the extent of Parliament's authority. Parliament gave the East India Tea Company in 1698 a monopoly on the importation of tea. Parliament tried to eliminate competition by passing an act in 1721 that required the colonists to only import their tea from Great Britain. The East India Company had paid an ad valorem tax of 25% on tea that it had imported into Great Britain. Great Britain levied a tax on tea but the Dutch government in Holland didn't tax the tea so the British and American colonists could smuggle the tea at much cheaper prices. Therefore the East India Tea Company lost revenue so the British Parliament passed the Townshend Revenue Act of 1767, which levied new taxes, which included tea. Instead of dealing with the smuggling problem, Parliament's answer was to levy a tea tax on the American colonists. The colonists weren't happy about that and they protested with boycotts. Parliament finally repealed the taxes on everything except tea. The colonists still had to pay the tea tax.

Another issue with the colonists was the issue of Parliament directly taxing the American colonists. The colonists believed since they didn't elect members to Parliament, they shouldn't be directly taxed by Parliament. They questioned the extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies. According to the Whigs, the colonists could only be taxed by their own colonial assemblies.

The standoff came when Whig leader Samuel Adams called for a mass meeting to be held at Faneuil Hall on Novembe 29. Thousands of people arrived, so the the meeting was moved to the larger Old South Meeting House. The meeting passed a resolution and with the urging of Adams, urged the captain of the Dartmouth to send the ship back without paying the import duty. There were three ships in Boston Harbor that day. They were the Dartmouth, the Eleanor, and the Beaver which all arrived in Boston Harbor that day. That evening, there was a group of 30 to 130 men, some thinly disguised as Mohawk Indians, boarded the three vessels over the course of three hours. They dumped all 342 chests of tea into the water. It amounted to 90,000 pounds of tea. They were serious in their protest against the acts of Parliament. Samuel Adams defended the Boston Tea Party and said it was a principled protest and it was the only recourse the colonists took to defend their constitutional rights.

The Boston Tea Party did make waves through the colonies. As a result, the king order Boston Harbor closed and the colonists in Massachusetts punished as a result. However, the tea party as well as a series of other events eventually led to the war for American Independence from Great Britain. We need a SECOND AMERICAN REVOLUTION against those ruling our government today who seek to pose a Communist dictatorship.

Lest We Forget

Has there ever been a time that you had forgotten something important? You were headed out of town for some type of business meeting and you couldn't find your wallet or some written forms you needed for the trip. That can be quite embarrassing. As humans we are very prone to forget things on a daily basis. Whether it be small or large, we do tend to forget what we need. That's nothing compared to things we as a nation forget. Consequently, it's tragic when we forget as a country where we came from and those that have sacrificed on our behalf in past generations so we can enjoy the freedoms that we do today.

I like the song "Statute of Liberty" that I've heard the Cathedrals sing before. They pay tribute to the statute of liberty and then later they pay tribute to Jesus dying on Golgatha's hill. The freedoms we have as a country have been paid for by the blood of those soldiers out on the battlefield from the Revolutionary War to the present wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's easy to become misty-eyed when you think about the Civil War and how our country was torn apart fighting each other. I've been greatly moved when I've seen a picture of General Robert E. Lee surrendering to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. It's aweing to see men of such stature like that fighting for our country's freedom.

I also become misty-eyed when I think of World War II and all those young soldiers fighting in Europe and in the Pacific Theater trying to fight the forces of tyranny around the world. I think of the bloody battle of Iwo Jima that was fought in February 1945 and the U.S. troops hoisting up the American flag in that momentous scene. What bravery and what sacrifice! When you see the graves of soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery it's a reminder of the cost to not only obtain freedom but to maintain it. We must be vigilant. We can always lose our freedoms and lose America as we know it.

One time a few years ago I saw a little poem in the U.S. post office in the town I live and it was giving tribute to the soldier. It said it was the soldier that gave us the right to free speech, the right to protest, and sadly, even the right to burn the U.S. flag. It was the shedding of blood that gave us our freedom. It was the blood that was spilled on the battleground by our soldiers that we have the right to worship God freely and to not be suppressed by tyranny. We have been truly blessed as a nation!

When thinking of America I have to go back in time 2000 years ago to Golgatha's hill where Jesus hung on the cross to shed his blood for the sins of mankind. That was what paid the ransom for sin and through that man could live and breathe in freedom. He wasn't bound by the chains of sin no more. The sacrifice Jesus paid on Calvary is why we can stand as a nation in freedom today. The blood of Jesus paved the way for there to be an America nearly 1800 years later. There's something about the shedding of blood that's pleasing in God's sight. Evidently it must be that since sin is so horrible, that's the only sacrifice that would be sufficient. When you read about blood sacrifices in the Old Testament, it started before the dispensation of the law. You read about Abel offering a lamb as a sacrifice before God and how God was pleased with it. There's something about the shedding of blood that's precious before God's eyes.

As we celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, let's remember the price that was paid at Calvary 2000 years ago as well as the sacrifices by our soldiers from the Revolutionary War until present--Lest we forget!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Statute of Liberty

Verse 1:
In New York Harbor stands a lady
With her torch raised to the sky
And all who see her know she stands for
Liberty for you and me
Chorus 1:
I'm so glad to be called an American
To be named with the brave and the free
I will honor our flag and our trust in God
And the statute of liberty
Verse 2:
On lonely Golgatha stood a cross
With our Lord raised to the sky
And all who kneel there live forever
As all the saints hath testified
Chorus 2:
I'm so glad to be called a Christian
To be named with the ransomed and whole
As the statute liberates the citizen
So the cross liberates the soul
Oh the cross is my statute of liberty
It was there that my soul was set free
Unashamed I'll proclaim that a rugged cross
Is my statute of liberty

The Policy of Nuclear Deterrence

We are facing a nuclear threat from both Iran and North Korea. Iran just had an election in June and "re-elected" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. Ahmadinejad is very dangerous. He wants to wipe Israel off the face of the map. There's been reports that Iran is developing nuclear weapons and they could have one developed very soon. It's been reported today by NBC that North Korea test-fired four short-range missiles today. There have been U.N. sanctions already imposed on North Korea.

With the nuclear threats we're facing from both countries, what is the Obama adminstration going to do? Is he going to try to be diplomatic or apologize for America's past sins. What is the solution?

Sean Hannity, who does a daily radio talk show as well as hosts "Hannity" on FOX news during the week, has an interesting slogan which says, "What would Reagan do?" I believe Ronald Reagan was the best of the last several presidents we had as well as the best president in my lifetime. I don't craft my political philosophy from "What would Reagan do?" Even though Reagan was the best president in my lifetime, he also made some mistakes as president. However, I've been thinking about this situation with North Korea and I was thinking on how Reagan would handle this situation.

I believe if Reagan were president and Kim Jong Il was test-firing short-range missiles, I believe Reagan would implement the policy of "deterrence". I believe the solution should be nuclear deterrence. I believe Reagan would say to Kim Jong Il, "If you fire a missile anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, you will have some nuclear missiles at your doorstep and we'll immediately fire them and you'll be toast". That's how I believe Reagan would handle that situation. And he would be right.

The policy of "nuclear deterrence" is what we should use against these rogue countries which include both Iran and North Korea. We need to keep a stockpile of nuclear weapons on hand and we should be ready to use them for retaliatory purposes if a country threatens to use one on the United States or in the Western Hemisphere. These rogue countries wouldn't be so brazen to launch missiles if they knew there country would be up in smoke. However, we have a weak administration that thinks you can engage in diplomacy with people such as Ahmadinejad and Jong Il. The truth is these dictators are ruthless. You have to inflict damage to stop potential nuclear threats. Diplomacy can work in some situations, but not with such madmen as Jong Il and Ahmadinejad.

The policy of deterrence was used to end the Cold War back during the 1980's. Reagan upheld that policy. He built our military arsenal and aided Afghanistan and Latin American countries in their fight against communism. If the United States once again would re-assert itself and show we mean business to the rest of the world by destroying these rogue countries' nuclear capability when they're out of line, we wouldn't be facing these nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea. They know we have a puppet for a president so they can say or do what they want without any fear of retaliation.

Let me ask a question. Why did our judicial system give the death penalty to murders and cold-blooded killers? Why did we at one time institute public hangings? The purpose was to deter crime. It was to deter future criminals from committing acts of murder. At one time the crime rate used to be much lower. We need to apply the same act of deterrence towards these rogue, agressor nations. I'll close with this adage, "You have to fight fire with fire."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Mushrooming National Deficit

The national debt of the United States is huge--$11.4 trillion and counting. I know some critics are totally opposed to the idea of conspiracy theories but I believe the federal government is on a mad dash to undermine our nation and destroy our currency. If not, then we have the most incompetent, the most stupid politicians that's ever existed in our country the past 233 years. I don't believe that's the case. They know what they're doing. They're throwing money away left and right. The common people aren't benefitting from that money. President Barack Obama's budget is supposed to be $3.6 trillion or something to that effect this year. President Obama wants to overhaul our nation's health care system and create nationalized health care, we're still bailing out troubled industries, and he desires to place a tax on the energy we use in the cap and trade bill. Where's all this money going to come from?

I can remember hearing the media scream about the runaway deficit during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. I believe the debt reached around $3 trillion at the end of his presidency. In 1982 he established the Grace Commission to examine all the waste and inefficiency in regards to how tax dollars were spent. The Congress didn't act upon the report. There was a lot of wasteful spending on the part of Congress during his presidency. He trimmed back a lot of domestic spending. There was some waste in the defense department in which they bought toilet seats for $600 and hammers for $400. There was a lot of wasteful pork barrel spending as well from Congress.

The national debt starting mushrooming the most recently under Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush. During most of his presidency both the House and Senate were controlled by Republicans. However, there were great increases in both domestic and defense spending. Bush was a huge spender in both of those areas. Entitlement spending grew as well. He even voted for a Medicare bill which allowed for prescription drug coverage. There were only a few times he vetoed any bills while president. He spent more than any president previous to him. President Obama is now George W. Bush on steroids and his spending is already surpassing Bush's spending.

A few years ago then Vice-President Dick Cheney cited a quote from Reagan and stated that deficits dont' matter much. However, you must take that into context. During Reagan's time, we had more manufacturing jobs as well as jobs that were better paying in general. Due to the signing of Free Trade Agreements such as NAFTA by Bill Clinton in 1994 and CAFTA by George W. Bush in 2005, we've lost quite a bit of our manufacturing base. We don't have the level of high-paying jobs that we once had. As a result, we don't have the tax base to collect the needed revenues to fund these programs. How can we fund Obama's socialist agenda when many Americans are out of work and we don't have as many high paying jobs like we once had? It's foolish.

With the growth of the deficit, the Federal Reserve is supplying cheap dollars to help pay for our goods and services. The result of that will be inflation. When we have more dollars chasing fewer goods, that leads to inflationary increases. The only reason America is not totally bankrupt yet is due to the willingness of the Federal Reserve to print cheap dollars as well as China still purchases our treasury bills to fund our debt. If China ever reneges on paying for our bad debt, it could cause our economy to go on a downward spiral.

What are some of the solutions? First of all, we need to abolish the Federal Reserve. The Constitution calls for Congress to coin our money. The Federal Reserve is an autonomous institution that's never been audited. Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) is pushing through a bill to audit the Federal Reserve. I guarantee you Congress will sit on that bill. We also need to vote out all our elected officials that spend our tax dollars unwisely. We need to severely trim our budget to eliminate unnecessary spending. We need to eliminate all these massive layers of bureaucracy that are inefficient. We need to eliminate all these "czar" posts that our presidents in the last 30 years have created. We would probably save billions of dollars if we remove most of our government bureaucrats in our government that's not contributing to the vitality of this nation. We need to renegotiate some of our free trade deals which would help America regain some of its manufacturing base. We need to lower taxes on those families that pay taxes. We need to lower the tax rates for small businesses. If we the people don't demand accountability when it comes to government spending, our way of life that we've know for years will be gone.