Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Boil on the Back of Mankind and the Global Economy

I am old enough to remember when Americans viewed Iran as a valuable throwback to the immeasurable wealth and culture of the lore and stories of the wealth of Solomon. I remember when the Shah was a welcome guest on America visits as the audiences swooned with a beautiful, queenly wife. I remember than same Iran as it transitioned into chaos and the hostages and the sweet odor of greatness turned sour and rancid. Iran has, in my opinion, become the poster nation for a People to be hated and disdained and now this nuclear reality .... this is DANGEROUS times for the world. I have written many times over the last year that I am sure America is spending billions in keeping Israel quiet on this Iran's matter as Iraq drew to a close and the continuing Arab Spring uprisings and now the killings in Syria; an Iranian proxy.
The story below from, of course, the Economist, does a great job of capturing the journey to where the world now faces a reality of a nuclear Iran and the implications of a pre-emptive strike by Israel. I think there are more people in America and Europe that way down deep really wants to see Iran taken to her knees and humbled as the war machine she is. But the article, rightly I think, feels this a wrong approach, in the short term, for the hope and belief is that sanctions are working. Nobody can know for we are not there nor or most of us reading this Iranian but this is my belief as well. Take the time to assure there is no other course. The downside of this sense I pose is made worse by a weakened America and a POTUS that apparently likes to dither and eat humble pie instead of standing tall and casting a very long, fearful shadow. THAT is what concerns me is the weakness of this President and his pawns in Congress; especially the House.
Prediction: remember Mrs. Clinton ... she will be the Star of Tomorrow through all of this unless the galaxy is blown up in a nuclear cloud.

Nuclear proliferation

Bombing Iran

Nobody should welcome the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. But bombing the place is not the answer

FOR years Iran has practised denial and deception; it has blustered and played for time. All the while, it has kept an eye on the day when it might be able to build a nuclear weapon. The world has negotiated with Iran; it has balanced the pain of economic sanctions with the promise of reward if Iran unambiguously forsakes the bomb. All the while, outside powers have been able to count on the last resort of a military assault.

Today this stand-off looks as if it is about to fail. Iran has continued enriching uranium. It is acquiring the technology it needs for a weapon. Deep underground, at Fordow, near the holy city of Qom, it is fitting out a uranium-enrichment plant that many say is invulnerable to aerial attack. Iran does not yet seem to have chosen actually to procure a nuclear arsenal, but that moment could come soon. Some analysts, especially in Israel, judge that the scope for using force is running out. When it does, nothing will stand between Iran and a bomb.
The air is thick with the prophecy of war. Leon Panetta, America’s defence secretary, has spoken of Israel attacking as early as April. Others foresee an Israeli strike designed to drag in Barack Obama in the run-up to America’s presidential vote, when he will have most to lose from seeming weak.

A decision to go to war should be based not on one man’s electoral prospects, but on the argument that war is warranted and likely to succeed. Iran’s intentions are malign and the consequences of its having a weapon would be grave. Faced by such a regime you should never permanently forswear war. However, the case for war’s success is hard to make. If Iran is intent on getting a bomb, an attack would delay but not stop it. Indeed, using Western bombs as a tool to prevent nuclear proliferation risks making Iran only more determined to build a weapon—and more dangerous when it gets one.

A shadow over the Middle East
Make no mistake, an Iran armed with the bomb would pose a deep threat. The country is insecure, ideological and meddles in its neighbours’ affairs. Both Iran and its proxies—including Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza—might act even more brazenly than they do now. The danger is keenly felt by Israel, surrounded by threats and especially vulnerable to a nuclear bomb because it is such a small land. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently called the “Zionist regime” a “cancerous tumour that must be cut out”. Jews, of all people, cannot just dismiss that as so much rhetoric.

Even if Iran were to gain a weapon only for its own protection, others in the region might then feel they need weapons too. Saudi Arabia has said it will arm—and Pakistan is thought ready to supply a bomb in exchange for earlier Saudi backing of its own programme. Turkey and Egypt, the other regional powers, might conclude they have to join the nuclear club. Elsewhere, countries such as Brazil might see nuclear arms as vital to regional dominance, or fear that their neighbours will.

Some experts argue that nuclear-armed states tend to behave responsibly. But imagine a Middle East with five nuclear powers riven by rivalry and sectarian feuds. Each would have its fingers permanently twitching over the button, in the belief that the one that pressed first would be left standing. Iran’s regime gains legitimacy by demonising foreign powers. The cold war seems stable by comparison with a nuclear Middle East—and yet America and the Soviet Union were sometimes scarily close to Armageddon.

The dream of pre-emption
No wonder some people want a pre-emptive strike. But military action is not the solution to a nuclear Iran. It could retaliate, including with rocket attacks on Israel from its client groups in Lebanon and Gaza. Terror cells around the world might strike Jewish and American targets. It might threaten Arab oil infrastructure, in an attempt to use oil prices to wreck the world economy. Although some Arab leaders back a strike, most Muslims are unlikely to feel that way, further alienating the West from the Arab spring. Such costs of an attack are easy to overstate, but even supposing they were high they might be worth paying if a strike looked like working. It does not.

Striking Iran would be much harder than Israel’s successful solo missions against the weapons programmes of Iraq, in 1981, and Syria, in 2007. If an attack were easy, Israel would have gone in alone long ago, when the Iranian programme was more vulnerable. But Iran’s sites are spread out and some of them, hardened against strikes, demand repeated hits. America has more military options than Israel, so it would prefer to wait. That is one reason why it is seeking to hold Israel back. The other is that, for either air force, predictions of the damage from an attack span a huge range. At worst an Israeli mission might fail altogether, at best an American one could, it is said, set back the programme a decade (see article).

But uncertainty would reign. Iran is a vast, populous and sophisticated country with a nuclear programme that began under the shah. It may have secret sites that escape unscathed. Even if all its sites are hit, Iran’s nuclear know-how cannot be bombed out of existence. Nor can its network of suppliers at home and abroad. It has stocks of uranium in various stages of enrichment; an unknown amount would survive an attack, while the rest contaminated an unforeseeable area. Iran would probably withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, under which its uranium is watched by the International Atomic Energy Agency. At that point its entire programme would go underground—literally and figuratively. If Iran decided it needed a bomb, it would then be able to pursue one with utmost haste and in greater secrecy. Saudi Arabia and the others might conclude that they, too, needed to act pre-emptively to gain their own deterrents.

Perhaps America could bomb Iran every few years. But how would it know when and where to strike? And how would it justify a failing policy to the world? Perhaps, if limited bombing is not enough, America should be aiming for an all-out aerial war, or even regime change. Yet a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan has demonstrated where that leads. An aerial war could dramatically raise the threat of retaliation. Regime change might produce a government that the West could do business with. But the nuclear programme has broad support in Iran. The idea that a bomb is the only defence against an implacable American enemy might become stronger than ever.

Get real
That does not mean the world should just let Iran get the bomb. The government will soon be starved of revenues, because of an oil embargo. Sanctions are biting, the financial system is increasingly isolated and the currency has plunged in value. Proponents of an attack argue that military humiliation would finish the regime off. But it is as likely to rally Iranians around their leaders. Meanwhile, political change is sweeping across the Middle East. The regime in Tehran is divided and it has lost the faith of its people. Eventually, popular resistance will spring up as it did in 2009. A new regime brought about by the Iranians themselves is more likely to renounce the bomb than one that has just witnessed an American assault.

Is there a danger that Iran will get a nuclear weapon before that happens? Yes, but bombing might only increase the risk. Can you stop Iran from getting a bomb if it is determined to have one? Not indefinitely, and bombing it might make it all the more desperate. Short of occupation, the world cannot eliminate Iran’s capacity to gain the bomb. It can only change its will to possess one. Just now that is more likely to come about through sanctions and diplomacy than war.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finishing Well --- A Challenge to All Fathers and Grandfathers

My wife and I joined with nearly fifty of our friends at church last evening to eat, of course, and  to then settle back in our lawn chairs inside our church and watch the movie, Courageous.   I had not seen nor even heard of the movie but was taken completely aback by the power of the thesis of the movie.  I highly recommend anyone to watch the movie but not because it is a pretty good  movie for in this cinema piece, it will pierce your heart deeply or at least it has mine.  So this is not a movie review but a few words of the pierced heart I have awakened with this cold morning while it is still dark.

The movie is about five men that are joined by circumstance with all having families with the daily struggles of any family. There is tragedy, there is humor, their is angst and there is joy and yes, there are tears but superceding the emotions is this mirror that gets pulled into the viewer's life to assess his or her own life from the perspective of standing tall, taking positions for the Lord and even through adversity and loss of family and friends, that position is the battlerground of life for the individual.  The movie is about YOU, the person, the man, the husband, the father, the grandfather all rolled into a single ball of determining what it really means to connect with a Sovereign God at the heart and the brain and to being courageous enough to be strong in the time of trouble and humble in the times of strife but all the time remaining vigilant to God's Purpose and Will as a man in your home. 

Many thousands of my students have heard me as I do each semester talk about how society's greatest failing, I believe, resides in the loss of the male role model in families today. In the thousands upon thousands of prisoners I have spoken with over the last almost ten years, common to the great majority of them both male and female, is the broken homes and terrible or nonexistent childhood of no father in the home from which they come.  I have written many times and spoken far more times on the detrimental reality I get to witness up close and personally daily in my teaching and other venues of the indications that are blatant in students and others with no foundation of a mother and father core to the family.  The family begins with the marriage of one man and one woman and there is no negotiating nor rationalizing that Biblical fact for it is boilerplate.  So when I see states almost daily legislating same sex marriage as normal, that is a travesty to the very priniples of what God sanctions as a marriage.  You may not like my words but those words resonate from a Biblical foundation and are irrefutable in principle.

But there was a line in the movie use three times about "finishing well" and that line has awakened me me this morning.  Perhaps it is because I have a birthday coming up or we had two our grandkids Friday and Saturday or perhaps God has awakened deeply inside me a cavern not entered before in my heart and my soul but regardless, my words are the reflection of my heart and my life and my future to, like the movie, this is my Resolution for my remaining tomorrows and I am putting it to words and sharing for sharing is accountablity so I am asking for you to hold me accountable, please.

Coming from a two parent home, in today's standards, is something I should relish.  But being in a home that was a backdrop to decades of alcholism in my father, untold thousands of dollars wasted in the consumption of alcohol and the ensuing seemingly constant fear, worry and chaos of a family plagued with conflict between my parents due to alcohol has marked me deeply to this day in so many ways.  First, I detest alcohol and have next to zero toleration for people that choose to pour that poison into their body and their minds and especially the colateral damage to family and friedships that result.  Secondly, it is the scarring of one's value system that lasts a lifetime when reared in an environment of fear and embarrassment in doing everyting to hide the reality of your life from friends and other family.  Thirdly, when that time comes when you have to step up and assume the responsilbity for a wife and a family and a career, you realize then, in seeing others, that your values are different, your reactions are different and thus fourthly you begin to realize the contridiction that comes from seeing and feeling those differences in you and those around you for that provides the coloration of the scarring from your childhood of fear and constant worry about my mother's safety, the almost complete void of affection and displays of love. No, I am not whining but painting the picture of my life's beginnings.

For me, the amalgamation of the paragraph above produced a man that is an overachiever, drives too hard, expects too much, pushes too strongly and for too many years sought recognition as the driver of my emotions; all of those are clincal traits of the eldest son of an alcholic father and you can know, I have studied the finding many times.  Some that those triaits in me are really good but at the aggregate have caused me to take steps in my work, in friendships, in relationships and in decisons that have are simply wrong and misguided and thus hurtful to many in my pathway of life.  I have been disappointed but worse I have disappointed many people in my life.  I have been hurt but worse, I have hurt many people in my life.  I have been shunned by a father more bent on drinking and the band of other drinkers that congregate but I have shunned my core responsibilities as a husband, father and grandfather. So to all I plead Guilty as charged!

Many of you reading this that know me well would probably never think of me in the light of the above paragraph but I am the one that knows the real me and thus the consequence of bad choices in my life.  There are those that know me that would think I have lived a charmed life of accomplishments, experiences and nothing could possibly have been wrong in my walk.  But then I also realize that each of us are the product of our childhood in so many ways.  I see me in both my children. I see me in my grandchildren. I see me in me!  The great news is that me approaching sixty-four years old in a couple of weeks is a me that knows the joy of serving a God that loves me.  That me is a me that cherishes the challenge of a new set of minds each semester that provide rich opportunity to exhibit to them a man that cares about their lives and choices as much as their academic performance.  My teaching has evolved as the most fertile mission field I could never have imagined; what a blessing!  My singing is another component of my life that has gone from feeding my ego to seeking to touch a heart and thus a life in a song or a story about how that song has touched my heart and thus my life.  

In seeing my three grand daugthers as they grow and mature and in seeing how much they love their Poppy in fixing my hair, cleaning my finger nails, scratching my back with brushes, reading to me and letting me love them and kiss them and tell them how much I love them; I also realize they need more, so much more from me and that is part of my Resolution to be more for them. 

To my two phenomenal grandsons, Logan and Noah, so much alike but wondefully different, I am so blessed to know how much they love their Poppy and show it in so many ways.  But I realize I have not shown those young men that too soon will have relationships and families to lead how much I love them in deed and example as a God-driven grandfather.  Thus, part of Resolution is to be more of a Christian example to those boys for they are blessed to see that example in their dad's and need to see in more from their Poppy in being more available and approachable as the days go forward.

If you are going to have a clean house, you have to, well, clean the house.  My house is not as clean as it needs to be for I need to be more of a husband to my wife.  I need to rid myself of friendships and demands that redirect energies and efforts away from the bounty of a family that loves me and needs me in every way.  My heart must commit to more ways to show in not only word but in deed how much I love and wish to be an example of a Godly father and grandfather to my children and grandchildren. 

There was a wonderful piece in the movie when a father of a teenage daughter took her out for a "date" and committed his love to her and presented her a ring of that commitment. I want to have "dates" with my grand daughters so they can see what a grand father treating them with manners and showing them they are special is normal and they should expect that as they form their value template for a husband.  I want my grandsons to want to share with me the little things they love and enjoy and that they want me to be part, more a part of their lives and that I can find the time to have a guys night frequently with a meal and movie or a basketball game. I want them to remember me as their Poppy that loved them in ways they will strive to establish with their sons and grandsonds long after I have left this earth.

All of these aspiration are just strokes on a keyboard until energy is brought forward; kinetic energy that moves and changes things. This life really is about legacy and example I have learned as my hair has grown whiter and my heart has been more cleansed by a God that can cleanse a heart as nothing nor any one can cleanse.  Ego is a powerful, at times overwhelming, force.  Far too many people are driven to satisfy that ego which is defined as what I think you think about me.  Far too many years my entire being was aimed at constantly feeding that ego.  In that feeding were created relationships and friendships built on the sands of ego feeding and we all know what sand does when the waves come!

So in closing, I resolve to be a much better husband to my wife, a much stronger father to children and their spouses and to be an example-setting Poppy for my five grand-gifts through deed and not just words or gifts.  They need to see me be me in them and their lives; I commit to finding ways to fulfill that template that creates a value net that will last them a lifetime thus their legacy begins with my brushstroke on their lives.  I want to finish well! Think about that for a moment ... to finish this life well but not for what others may say about you, that is pure ego, but for the touch of your love in action and example on the lives God has entrusted me with biologically as well as the thousands of lives I get to touch in my teaching. That is my challenge and my desire is to be an example in deed for generations to come in something they saw me do or said or exampled in action that they will process its impact on each individual life specific to that life at the moment in time.

In proofreading this I realize I have penned my obituary for it is my desire and my hope that my written Resolution this day will be something somebody will have kept and can read at my funeral to those there be they many or few will know a side of my heart and hope not enough people know in me today.  Life is not about living. Life is about readying those you brought into this world are made better prepared for the challenges of their responsiblities as their time of service come barrelling toward them all to quickly from my example.  Life is about legacy! I want my legacy to be pure in the sight of my God and my family.  This is my Resolution .... I will be the best husband, father and grandfather, teacher, singer and friend I can possibly be everyday!  I want to FINISH WELL!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Power of Ministry --- a Force we ALL can embrace

I read a FB post recently by a great singer, Bryan Hutson, that stated that one thing he has learned in his years of singing professionally is that "95% of ministry takes place off the stage."  For a man that is as traveled and touched hundreds of thousands of lives with the great Kingsmen Quartet as Bryan is, that comment real bore into my heart for I realized in those few words just how true that fact really is.

Those of you that know me know I love music and love to sing; especially Southern Gospel music.  I have been blessed to sing to many different crowds both large and small in many places for many years.  It took me too many of those years to realize the real drive or motive for singing was to get to sing; a very ego-driven reason which, today looking back, is really sad.  In the last five years music has become a means or a medium to minister to people that are hurting, struggling with issues and worry.  For me, as Mr. Hutson so aptly stated, the great, great majority of the ministry of singing comes when the mic is turned off and you are meeting people, listening to hurting souls and empathizing with those that come into your path.  But the real joy comes when you disconnect from the throngs and seek out that person that looms back from the crowd, eyes cast downward and you just know they need a touch, a smile, a word; just a moment of your time! THAT is when I realize the power of ministry is triggered and fertilized and that is when my heart grows so soft.

Ministry is about serving.  Ministry, like leading, has at the common denominator the verb of serving.  Music from the heart and not for entertainment is a powerful service medium.  No longer do I sing a song for the joy of singing a song for to select a song to learn, that song has to touch my heart and my soul with its message. I have learned that if a song passes my selection hurdle then God will bless that song in ways unimagined when it is brought to the delivery point. 

As a man that sings a great deal, you can see and know very quickly those listening to the song are being touched at the heart from a hurt in their life or if they are just enjoying the song for the rhythm and entertainment.  There is a place for both please know but as I grow older and more mature in my faith, this work of singing God's Word no longer is driven to entertain but to minister, to serve, to help, to show caring, to give from my heart to a hurting heart something that can bring a respite in the winds of worry and fear.

So in realizing that the great, great majority of ministry does, in fact, happen after the lights are turned down and the mics are off, means that you the singer are surrendering yourself even if fatigued or your mind would prefer to be somewhere else at that moment, to the glory given in giving of yourself for someone else.  Nothing thrills me more, now, than to be engaged before or after a singing to have the chance to hold a hand, give a hug, share tears with a hurting person I did not know until that handshake or that hug. 

As I read the life of Jesus, one thing that stands out to me is when in the midst of hurting people, He was NEVER hurried.  When all around him people were rushing and nudging Him to move quicker, He was steady, purposed and invested in people He did not know most of the time. That is, He is a perfect model for ministry which is giving fully of yourself to someone you may not know but in realizing they are hurting in a million possible ways, you give of yourself in listening, a touch, a smile, a tear that soothes that hurt. THAT is ministry.  The singing is only the headline of the newspaper of ministry.  

Your talent may or may not be singing but each of you have a talent. That talent is your headline to ministry if you develop it from the heart and not the ego.  Go ahead, try it!  You will love the person you are better and deeper if you invest in others with your heart after the mics and lights are off!  I have made a commitment to myself and to God that never will I sing a song for my enjoyment but only for the touch a song has on my heart knowing that that same touch will be played forward to someone God will bring into my path as a result of that song!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

If I Only Knew then What I Know Now ....

I am moved to put my thoughts this morning together from a prompting in reading a piece from yesterday's local newspaper concerning a young man sentenced to thirty plus years for a multiple felony conviction. In the article, the writer, Charita Goshay, probes wonderfully into the workings of the mind at a young age about decisions or choices, I like to call them, that can and will have either very positive or very detrimental implications as life's journey unfolds.
At sixty-four years old but working in a world of 20-somethings in my teaching, it is a wonderful world and I find joy in an array of ways each time I am in class, have email interaction, phone conversations, FB dialog, etc for I get to not only sense the lives of today but get to be part of those lives as they prepare for a future. I see the baggage some of these youth bring to my classes due to a host of contributors such as heavy debt, issues with the legal system, broken homes, abuse, etc, etc. However even with all of those bags, I see the hope for a better, brighter tomorrow and it is that light that churns inside me to be the very best I can be at teaching, counseling, coaching, listening, pushing, driving or whatever mode I have to slide into to guide these young minds, our future, in a productive direction.
Those that know me know I also have worked with many thousands of jail and prison inmates in a prison ministry so I get to see the pale underside of society; a society where nobody wants to go or even think about but it is a harsh reality in today's world. I can look at specific seats in my class room where young men now residing in prison that sat in that seat under my tutelage and it both frustrates and angers me at the waste of opportunity for bad choices made.
Thus, you can see how Ms. Goshay's piece pierced my heart this morning in reading it for I read it as my wife and I finished our morning devotional and Bible reading and prayer. I read from the book of Esther chapter 4 where Mordecai, in moving Esther to approach the king to plead the case for saving the Jewish people from the decree he had issued, told Esther that it was possible she was brought to this royal place in her life "for such a time as this." So for such a time as this in 2012, perhaps God intended me to put these thoughts to print this morning.
Read the link below but not as villianizing a person irrespective of the crime, though it is deplorable, but read the link thinking twenty years ahead and ask the question, "if you only knew then what you know now?" There are myriad things at 20 years old knowing what I know now I would do differently and most of that would be a better father and husband and to the people God clustered around me through the meandering of my life. I find it simply astounding at this stage of my life to glean a quality of joy I have never experienced in all aspects of my life be it with friends, thousands of students, thousand of inmates, family, my church home and family, my singing ministry, linkages with long ago friends via FB and the opportunity to use FB as a platform to discuss and proclaim Christian principles on real world issues as well as to encourage people that are hurting, angry or dismayed. All of those intricate connections provide me with a joy I have never before savored in my life as I do each day now.
 For the young man and the other two others now poisoned for such a stupid crime Ms Goshay writes about, I only ache inside for I know first hand that the shadow of that crime will never leave them in looking for a job, wanting a better life, better friendships. I see it everyday and was reminded yet again yesterday by a young student, an excellent young man, that in a weak moment his "friends" allowed himself to get into a situation that will haunt him and cost him for years to come. Yes there are regrets and apologies but a bad choice has generational implication. I plead with my students in word and example to examine the "friends" they cluster with and seek to rid themselves of those friend that will pull them back into the mud by trading up for friends that will stretch them and push them higher toward the sunlight of their potential. There are no bad decisions I believe; only bad choices for at my age I have learned that life is about choosing a right direction.
 So to all that will read this this day, please, please, please think before you leap. Think about life with a twenty year focus when you have children and the example you want to provide for them and to be in a society where you are productive, contributive and welcomed as a positive part of that culture. I want to thank Ms. Goshay for her writing and how it drilled into my heart. The ground is fertile for my students that I am blessed to work with and stay in contact with for my greatest motivation for remaining linked with my students is to be a solid wall they can lean against when the winds of life blow hard to aim a student in a wrong direction. THINK TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW, please!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Some time you just want to throw up ---- this morning is one of those times!

As I have written about in other blog posts, the scent of money to elect a president in the United States continues to be amaze and confound me.  When I read about, see, listen, etc, to all the blah, blah, blah about poverty, entitlements, military budget cuts, etc, etc, and then realize that the billions as in BILLIONS of dollars fire hosed into campaigns to elect a person to a job paying less than a midsized company vice president is paid;  it just begins to turn in my stomach.  With so many places to place available monies to enhance society and to spur innovation via capital but then to see the unbelievable amounts of money that is now mandated to be elected to national office is simply unswallowable to me for I cannot understand how this culture has so evolved to this prostitutional level of electability.

When I see and hear of the candidates fund raising getting more camera lights and ink than on the principles and positions, I simply want to cringe.  It lets me know that there are too many people with too much money to blow away and like inflation, too many dollars chasing too few goods, it only dilutes the value of the process and the candidate. I hope you can see the parallel I am making to monetary inflation and electability of a presidential candidate; something is simply wrong about that and I cannot begin to imagine the Framers could have conceived of this when the Constitution was built; I certainly hope they couldn't. 

Please know that I am not a prude nor am I a cynic by nature! But as I watch the billions spent on TV ads burning up the air ways with misquotes, insinuation, outright frontal attacks on character and realize where those billions have been redirected from really needed funding to the presidential campaigns of the elites or those wanting to be in the elites and yes, it does come to that. I hope some politician reads this and rebuts my assertion that this is just wrong and wrong for our nation.  Give me a president of principle, no buses, no teleprompters, no national anthem singers, no SuperPac recipients; somebody that will tell me what this nation needs when it is broken, how they will build the plan to right the listing vessels and let's move on.  

I want a leader I can believe and trust and not a leader beholden to special interests, PACS, unions but a leader for WE THE PEOPLE!  I really hope I have managed to offend someone with this writing.  I am pasting in a short WSJ article of today that only sprinkled salt in this bleeding ulcer of a system  that, like the tax laws, need to be thrown in the Atlantic and built from the ground up with moral fiber, conviction and Godly principles.  


  • FEBRUARY 8, 2012

  • The Super PAC President

    Obama makes fools of the goo-goos one more time.

    Get out your checkbook, George Soros. You too, Peter Lewis and Steve Bing. An Obama for President fund-raiser will soon be calling to hit you up for some big campaign money. May we suggest $5 million?

    That's the meaning of the White House decision, announced late Monday night, to encourage donations to a struggling Super PAC trying to raise money to attack President Obama's Republican opponent this year. This would be the same kind of political action committee that Mr. Obama and other good liberals have been denouncing for months as an avenue for corruption and a blight on America's national honor.

    It's easy to denounce this switcheroo, and no doubt many liberals will do so—for all of 24 hours. This synthetic outrage will be highly entertaining. But then they will return to deploring Republicans and privately encouraging "millionaires and billionaires" like Mr. Soros and Jeffrey Katzenberg to save the Democratic Party in November. It may create a little "psychic dissonance" to denounce big money and then beg for it, as one Soros acolyte was quoted Tuesday as saying. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Related Video

    Best of the Web columnist James Taranto on President Obama's embrace of Super PACs and the primary races today.
    The better way to understand this decision is that it is Mr. Obama's second in-kind contribution to the demise of the campaign-finance reform movement. In 2008, Mr. Obama was so flush with cash he voluntarily dropped out of the presidential public-funding system that limits the amount a candidate can raise and spend. John McCain, trapped by his own history of favoring spending limits, played the sap, obeyed the rules, and was heavily outspent. You may have noticed he lost.

    The liberal goo-goos want to ban money from politics, but now their political hero has made them look like fools—twice.

    Mitt Romney and any other potential GOP nominee won't be fooled again. Mr. Romney's Super PAC has already raised in the neighborhood of $30 million and has shown it is willing to use it to carve up an opponent.
    Mr. Obama's Super PAC has had a harder time raising funds this cycle. So the President is now anointing certain Administration officials to be able to speak directly on its behalf—though apparently not actively to solicit checks.

    So let's see: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

    No wonder Americans are cynical about politics.

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Paterfamilas ---- a thing called leader which is a societal void

    Was watching the movie, O BROTHER WHERE ARE THOU last evening and having watched it several times since its release several times, I realized there are many very subtle things going on and being said that are easy to miss; sort of like reading your Bible!  The George Clooney character has seven young girls in his family but his wife has disowned him by telling the girls he was hit by a train rather than telling them he was in prison.  In his rebuttal upon finally seeing "his" girls, he kept uttering the term "paterfamilias" which I had not heard before nor had even picked up being said in previous viewings. The term so intrigued me that I researched it and here is what I found:

    definition of paterfamilias1 : the male head of a household 2 : the father of a family 3 : a man who originates or is a leading figure in something (as a movement, discipline, or enterprise)

    As I awoke early this morning and have done my reading, that term and its meaning keep circling my LZ (landing zone) for some reason.  The key terms are head, family, leads ... we live in a time when there are more fathers not in the homes than ever before in our history.  I see daily the results either in a class room or in a jail chapel, yes, polar opposites, of the havoc and wreckage and failure and disappointment in the void of a real, effective, involved and integrated family unit with a paterfamilias on-station. I am convinced the escalating statistics of divorce, of living together instead of marrying are all or are heavily linked to this void. 

    I have always heard that girls, I have a girl in my wonderful daughter and now three more girls in my three beautiful grand daughters, that will, can and do seek a male partner using their experience with their father as the template of what they want for a life partner.  If that portrait is not there or is there in a very negative role which I can understand very personally from my own childhood, then what can society expect but girls aimlessly seeking about for something they have not seen which is a loving, caring father figure in their lives and thus their value system, right?

    In my lifetime and to this day I believe the greatest failing in our decaying society is the absence of the nuclear family and made even worse by the void of no effective father figure as the portrait of life gets painted on a daily basis.  Men, generally, have and are failing the females in so many ways but not being there is at the top of the life and it has generational implication.  The Bible is quite clear on the role of the male in a family which far surpasses a physical experience with a female and then move on to the 20-50 plus more women partners in a now more "normal" lifespan of exploits instead of establishing a foundation of love and respect and contribution and steadfastness.  Is it any wonder our society is where it is and worse, we have not yet hit the bottom?  The perversive mindset of Man is unending as we saw in Sodom and Gomorrah and we saw how God dealt with those citadels of sin and decay.  So what is different today from those two failed, corrupt havens? Honestly, not very clear on that and that makes it scary to me.

    My challenge to men that will read this .... we have a role in a family that is lasting and of immeasurable value for generations to come but we have to be there through the good times and the not so good times and there will always be plenty of both. But running away, not caring for what we are responsible for and created is beyond criminal to me.  Men, be the PATERFAMILIAS for it takes guts, it takes commitment and more than anything, it takes real love. The role is a heavy contact sport that at times hurt and maybe even injure but like my mother used to say, "little eyes are watching" and those little eyes are the mothers and wives of tomorrow.  They need us and we are failing generation after generation of those little eyes!  That is, well, CRIMINAL! Not to mention gutless. Yes, it takes guts but it is an investment in a better world going forward.