Sunday, December 18, 2005

Peace on Earth

Merry Christmas to all. This is especially a difficult phrase for me to say this year when I have politics on my mind. This is why I chose to place the Peanuts comic strip of Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football. Charlie Brown represents We, The People, and Lucy represents Them, the politicians. The football represents the hopes and dreams of all the years. We the People think that our hopes and dreams will be achieved, Them the politicians then take that football away from us. I believe there are differences between liberals and conservatives. I believe there is not a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats. They are all suckling from the same BIG MONEY tit of lobbyists. There needs to be a change of rules in the legislative branch of the US government. I do not want term limits for Senators and Congressmen. I want the rules they are working under to change so much that people will only want to serve in Congress for a short time. How can this be done you might ask. Well, for one thing all of these Congress critters and their staff could be limited to receiving money only for the periods of time that they are in legislative session. Second, run a tight schedule, and keep a fixed time for legislative sessions. Third, appeal the 1989 ethics rule that prohibits these congress critters from working in an honest job earning an honest wage. Fourth, consider adding congress critters to the House of Representatives to reflect a fairer ratio of population the congress critter. I do not think it is a good news to know that there are more K Street Republicans in Washington DC. I would prefer to see more 'For Rent' and For Sale' signs on K Street. I am not a Scrooge. I love my country, and I support every man, woman, and child who are freely pursuing an honest life and happiness. I want a small government that protects the freedom of its people. I don't want a big government that operates a giant Corporate Welfare operation. My problem with Corporate Welfare operations is not based on the US taxes. My problems with the Corporate Welfare operation are based on the entitlement subsidies for everything under the sun. This is why I think if the Democrats get back in charge things will basically remain the same. Nobody will change the Corporate
Welfare subsides operations. Anyway, I want to close wishing a Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Friday, November 11, 2005

To Serve and Protect

It’s Veteran’s Day, and it is autumn in the circle city. This is a time to reflect on veterans and the turning of the leaves. I also can sense a ‘turning’ in the body politic in the USA. Next year is a mid-term election. There are many who are very excited, and I am not one of them. I do not get excited about whether the ‘donkeys’ or the ‘elephants’ win elections just for winnings sake. When I opine I believe in what I am writing, and to me the ideas are more important than anything else. Some people seem to think that winning and getting the power is more important than holding firm ideas and convictions. I disagree with them. I am a ‘small government’ kind of guy, and I expect only for the government to serve and protect me. I do not expect the government to support me from cradle to grave. I do not expect the government to provide me with food, clothes, a car, a house, art, entertainment, energy, medicine, and education. These are things that a parent is expected to provide their children. I am an adult, and I have the liberty and freedom to work and earn money that will provide me with my needs. There are other countries in the world like Cuba where the government is the provider for the people. I do not want to see my country become like Cuba. There is a big hatred for the conservatives right now in the USA. I am afraid that many of the conservative beliefs such as an ‘ownership society’ and ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ are going to be put down. The USA is going to become more like Cuba and Spain, and less like Australia and Japan. I hope I am wrong, and I fear that I am right.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The World is moving FAST

The world just keeps moving so fast. I have got some catching up to do since I last posted on September 21st. Since that time there have been all kinds of political firestorms brewing over Scooter Libby, Harriet Miers, Valerie Plame, a referendum over an Iraq constitution, Sam Alito, Latin America free trade, and blazing cities in France. Throughout the course of all of these events it is almost breathtaking for me to read how completely unhinged and over the top are some of the reactions to this news. Let’s just all take a collective deep breath and slowly exhale. Feel better now? OK, let’s first come to terms with war.
1) The United States is currently not at war with any other country in the world. We are not at war with Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, or North Korea.
2) We do have an ongoing war against criminals led by a group called Al Quaeda. This group once upon a time had a country that they could use as a base of operations, Afghanistan.
3) President Bush does not want to see this group of criminals acquire a country that they can rely on as a base of operations. This is why the commander-in-chief has deployed the troops into Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, and along the border between North and South Korea.
4) All of the unhinged pundits who are screaming for Bush to bring our troops home are in effect cheering for Al Quaeda and the criminals to win the war.

I have a great deal of respect for people who are critical for how the Bush administration has waged war against Al Quaeda criminals. I have absolutely no respect for anyone who thinks the war should not be waged at all, and that we simply should leave Al Quaeda alone. Al Quaeda and their minions are currently in Iraq, Spain, France, England, Holland, Somalia, the Sudan, the Phillipines, and Indonesia. They have this Hitler-like frame of mind that the Jew must be wiped off the face of the earth, and the Arabs are the Master Race that must have a Caliphate ruling over the entire planet.

Laying out my sentiments about the war is the most important to me. I have a few thoughts about Harriet Miers and Sam Alito and Latin American free trade agreements, and I am less strident in my opinions. On the supreme nominations I think that President Bush first tried to thread the needle between the liberals and the conservative sides. I think that elections matter, and I expect a liberal president will appoint a liberal judge, and a conservative president will appoint a conservative judge. The country has become very polarized between the liberals and the conservatives, and now that the genie is out of the bottle the fight can not be avoided. On the Latin America free trade I very much support President Bush’s approach to be polite instead of confrontational. It really is a choice of ideology versus business. If you are confrontational then the ideology is the matter that is paid close attention. If you are simply polite, then the common sense business is paid close attention.

I will try to post more often, and meanwhile I wish that the world could become a little more calm and move a little slower.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I have read and appreciated the book by Irving Stone, Men To Match My Mountains. I have never read the book by I. Peter, The Peter Principle, but I understand the feelings some people have that this principle is in effect. In these early days of this 21st century the USA has experienced disasters from terrorists and Mother Nature of epic proportions. What really troubles me about this is that too many people are merely reacting and commenting about who should be at fault and what should be done after a catastrophe has occurred. I wish that there would be more attention paid to electing mayors and Governors and a President who are wealthy with leadership preparedness before any kind of catastrophe occurs. I wish that we could be as knowledgeable when we vote as we are when we buy a vehicle. Before we buy the vehicle the vehicle had to be tested and reports are available on how well the vehicle performed in the tests. Why can’t men and women who are candidates for mayor, Governor, or President be tested? I understand there could be National Security issues with full disclosure of each man and woman’s performance, but why can’t we know if they participated in the tests or not? I don’t think that it is too much to ask people who want to be elected to positions of executive power to spend some time being tested in a simulation of a crisis. If we can elect people into these offices who have a wealth of leadership in communications, command and control many lives could be saved that may otherwise be lost immediately after the catastrphe hits.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The War in Iraq

The War in Iraq

It’s All About Oil?

It’s All About Religion?

My country, the United States of America, is fighting a war in Iraq. The Congress voted to go to war. Now approximately 2,000 men and women have died in this war. Some Americans are starting to protest against our continuing to wage war.

One argument that does not sound very convincing to me is that President Bush lied to the Congress about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction that would result in a clear and present danger to the USA. I am not convinced by this argument because almost everyone in the world thought that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Are they trying to tell me that President Bush is more intelligent than almost everyone else on the planet, and he knew that Saddam did not have any weapons, and he lied to Congress about this? I don’t think so.

The next argument is that this war is all about oil. The businessmen in multinational oil companies are roundly vilified as being personally responsible for getting the US in a war in Iraq so that they could make huge profits from Iraqi oil. I am also having some trouble connecting the dots on this explanation. How do these businessmen know how this is going to end? War is Hell. Bad things can happen in wars including destruction of oil fields. Remember Kuwait?

The next argument is that this war is all about religion. It seems like these days that it is extremely popular to take swipes at politicians and leaders who are openly religious. I can understand a resentment for some of the things that this guy and this guy say and do. However, I do not blame the religion. Remember that Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, or Bhudda are not saying or doing these things that are bad. People are saying and doing bad things in the Name of Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, or Bhudda. That is a BIG difference. The other important thing to remember is that there have been wars fought around the Mesopotamia region of the world before the religion of Christianity, ISLAM, and Bhuddism were practiced.

My argument for why we are fighting a war over there is that we need to keep the evil jihadist terrorists from ever again getting as powerful as they most recently were. I do not want the Taliban to return to power in Afghanistan or take over the power that is up for grabs in Iraq with the toppling of Saddam. The USA is the most powerful nation in the world, and no other country can do as much as we can to prevent the evil jihadist from grabbing power. Also a victory in the Mesopotamia for the USA will reverberate out of Iraq to the neighboring countries and even Africa. I do not like war, but this is a war that we have to win. The consequences of losing this war are just too unacceptable to consider.

You can get some pretty good historical information about the Mesopotamian region here. This is an exerpt from this web site:

It was therefore over a crippled and impoverished land that Osee ruled as a vassal-King. For relief from this galling pressure he turned to Egypt, the only nation that could then pretend to cope with Assyria. He ceased paying the annual tribute and allied himself with Sua (So), a ruler of Lower Egypt, and Hanan, a Philistine prince of Gaza. The expedient was a ruinous failure; Egypt, always a false friend of Israel, deserted Osee. Tiglath-pileser's successor, Shalmaneser (the fourth of the name), having learned of this conspiracy, came down upon the Kingdom of Israel and made Osee a prisoner. But the patriotic revolt was a national one and survived the king's capture. Samaria, the capital, held out desperately against a besieging Assyrian army for three years, and was not taken till 722 B.C., Sargon II having meanwhile succeeded Shalmaneser. It was the death-blow of the Kingdom of Israel. An Assyrian inscription found in the ruins of Sargon's palace at Nineveh informs us that he carried away 27,290 of the people. War, famine, and earlier deportations must have much reduced the population. To fill the place of the dead and exiled Israelites, Sargon brought in among the remnant Babylonians and other pagan peoples from conquered lands. The Northern Kingdom became the Assyrian province of Samaria, and from the intermarriage of its various races arose the Samaritans. Out the depopulation of the former kingdom of its natives was far from complete. The bulk of the populace, composed of the poorer and least influential inhabitants, was allowed to remain, so that we read in the Assyrian monuments of a later futile effort of Hamath, Arpad, Simnira, Damascus, and "Samarina", i.e. samaria, to shake off the lordship of Sargon. (Schrader, keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, II, 56, 57.) But the Israelitic stock left in the land was gradually merged into the composite race of Samaritans.

(2) The Ten Tribes in Exile

The exiles were settled by their conquerors "in Halah and Habor [a river] by the river of Gozan, in the cities of the Medes". Their colonies were therefore in the heart of Northern Mesopotamia and in Western Persia, then subject to Assyria. In Mesopotamia, or Assyria proper, the Israelites were assigned to the region centring about the city of Nisibis, which is mentioned by Josephus as their leading settlement. The exiled of the Ten Tribes remained and multiplied, never returning to Palestine. (See authorities cited by Schurer in art. "Diaspora" in sup. vol. of Hastings' Bib. Dict., 92.) Wellhausen and others who assume that the banished Israelites of the Northern Kingdom lost their identity and disappeared in the surrounding population regard the explicit testimony to the contrary of Josephus in his "Antiquities": "the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates until now, and are an immense multitude [myriades apeiroi), not to be estimated by members." We may well believe that the swarming Hebrew population of Southern Russia is composed in large part of descendants of the Israelites expatriated in Northern Assyria and the regions south of the Caspian. No particulars of the lot of these transplanted inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom have reached us. We may only surmise from the manner in which they multiplied that their situation was at least a tolerable one.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Whose Side Are You On?

Whose Side Are You On?
"Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord"

Well, since I began posting blogs again I have talked about life and religion. I guess it is about time for me to throw politics into the mix.
The one big political struggle over the last 30 years has been about a matter of life and death. I am talking about these questions...

a) When does life begin?
b) Who should decide when a life can terminate?
c) Who should pay the money the answers that the decision of the first 2 questions will require?

This is heady and weighty stuff to consider. I do not believe that I am qualified and knowledgeable enough to answer the first 2 questions. It really bothers me that so many people are answering these first 2 questions, and they want to know whose side I am on. I do think that I can answer the last question, and while my answer might make a reader of this blog think that I am on the pro-life side, they need to reread my words more reflectively. I think that the Federal tax dollars should not be spent to pay the money for abortions or any research that will destroy viable human fetuses. I also think that the Federal governments should not legislate, judge, or execute anything concerning the private acts of abortion or private research involving viable human fetuses. I know that it would probably be a real stretch if the Supreme Court ruled that because of the separation clauses of the US Constitution 1st amendment that all laws that pay money for or ban any of these private activities are heretofore unconstitutional. I would be very happy if they did this. Private investors would certainly breathe a lot easier if they knew that a venture they had a vested interest in would not become illegal. Taxpayers would breathe easier if they knew that the money collected from them is not going to be used to pay for activities that they find morally abhorrent. This still leaves a large number of unhappy people who have picked a side on these issues and they feel like their side did not win. The only thing that I can say to all of these folks is remember this verse from the Holy Bible: “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.” There are just too many things that we do not have the knowledge or the objectivity to judge another person. We need to keep steadfast in our faith in God, and believe that God will have the final word in all of this. Until that happens I am living in the world as a voter and a taxpayer. If a politician wants to legislate and enforce laws that allow taxpayers' money to fund abortions and viable human fetus research then I will not vote for them. If a politician wants to legislate and enforce laws that ban private abortions or private investments in medical research then I will not vote for them. Who I vote into office is my right to decide. What other people do in private medical procedures and research is not my right to decide. I will let God decide that outcome.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Raising Cain in the church?

Cain And Abel

Cain said to Abel his brother, "Let us go out to the field." And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" And the LORD said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground

I added a question mark to the title of this post to let you know that I am not absolutely certain. I only can write about my experience assimilating into a small fraction of the churches of the Circle City metropolitan area.

a) Like the song goes from 'Sly and the Family Stone' 'it's a family affair'. If you visit a church it is better to visit as a family. Most of the regular church goers come as a family. They are going to be more comfortable greeting you and your family than greeting you.

b) Sign the guest book including your address, telephone, and a request for a visit. You will receive a telephone call. The caller will be working from a script. Never will someone come to your home.

c) When you converse by telephone or even if they do come to your home to see you in person never expect them to care about your wellbeing. They are there to ascertain how much of your time, talents, and treasures are available to support their church.

By now you might be wondering what all this has to do with raising Cain, and I will tell you. I happened to come across a very interesting article on the internet about Cain before he killed Abel.

Just before Cain goes for that fateful stroll in the fields with his brother, the Almighty speaks to him. This is what He says:

Why are you angry and why has your face fallen? Is it not the case that if you do well — lift up! And if you do not do well — sin lies crouching at the door, its desire is unto you, and you can rule over it (4:6-7).

In this article Cain is compared to a person who is awakened at 2:30 am by a pet cat that is meowing strangely. This person wakes up the roommate and the following conversation ensues.

You: "She really doesn't sound right. I think we should call the vet."

Your Roommate: "What do you mean, call the vet? It's the middle of the night!

You: "I don't know. She really sounds pretty bad. I think we should call the vet…"

Your Roommate: "Look, just go back to sleep. She probably swallowed a hairball."

You: "Are you sure we just shouldn't call the vet?"

Your Roommate:"Goodnight!"

You both go back to sleep, and when you wake up in the morning, the cat is dead.

Now, take a deep breath and ask yourself: How are you going to feel towards your roommate, when morning comes and you discover the lifeless kitten lying next to your bed?

You are likely to be enraged.

"It's all your fault! Here I was, telling you that we should take the kitten to the vet, and all you could think about was getting a good night's sleep! And now, the kitten is dead…"

Whether you like it or not, though, the reality is otherwise. You were not the victim of circumstances beyond your control here. You were not betrayed by your sleep-seeking roommate. You had free will. There were choices open to you, choices you refused to grab hold of. No one forced you to get permission from your roommate before calling the vet; you could have made whatever calls you wanted to. If you feel angry or depressed here, it is because you choose to see yourself as helpless, as a victim of your lousy, insensitive roommate. But in fact, you weren't a victim at all.

Cain, in feeling angry, locates the source of his problem outside of himself, in God. No one can control God, and as long as that's the problem, you're nothing but a victim. But that wasn't the reality. The core of his problem lay entirely in the choices Cain was himself making, in the nature of the relationship he was trying to build with God, and this was a realm entirely within his control. The first step off the bridge, then, is letting go and of anger and depression, and reclaiming this element of control.

I submit that a very similar pattern occurs when church goers converse with each other about somebody that they have not seen at church lately. They can come to many conclusions, and nobody telephones the person or visits their home. It is so much easier to feel sad and angry than to feel empowered to talk directly with the person.

Maybe God is saying something like the following:

Why has your face fallen? If you are active; if you seek out the good — you can lift up your face. And if you are neutral — if you do not act positively — you can't tread water. While being neutral is not itself an evil — it leaves you vulnerable to evil. Sin lies crouching at the door, and even the most well intentioned neutral party can still become its prey.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Don't Be a Glutton for Punishment

>Well. It is thirsty Thursday. It is not quite the weekend, but it is close enough that I am not too concerned with Friday's work to avoid taking in the pleasure of a few drinks of rum and coke. I have been thinking about the words I wanted to put into this post for a week.. I want to organize my post into answering these 3 questions.

a) what is it that bothers me

b) what is my problem that stems from what bothers me

c) what can I do to address my problem

It bothers me that vows people make at a wedding or to one another as a promise of friendship are not as simple as they sound. A bride and a groom vow before God and everyone that they will love, honor, and cherish one another for a lifetime. Friends will promise each other they will be loyal and caring to each other. What is said is simple and straight forward. Later a spouse finds out that the mate really only promised that they would love, honor, and cherish until they were bored, unhappy, and desiring to go out and get some 'strange'. Later a friend finds out that the friend really only promised to be loyal and caring until they obtained some information about the person that would be some 'juicy gossip' to tell other people.

The lack of shame, morals, or class that people like this have bother me, but this is not my problem. Whether or not people like this will confess or not is not my problem. My problem is that I have a void in my life where I at one time had a lover or a friend.

I need to let myself take a chance on love or friendship from another person. I should not transfer any of the feelings of ill will that I have for the former spouse or friend to anyone I meet. If I do that then I really am not giving myself a chance for love or friendship.

To sum it all up I need to tell myself......

Don't be a glutton for punishment!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Let Me Introduce Myself

Let me introduce myself

Hello. My name is Richard, and I am
a) living age 53 years

b) large at 6'1" and 400 lb.

c) I'm in the Circle City, Indianapolis, Indiana motor racing car capital of the world.

There are a lot of blessings that I count for myself daily, and I am not going to write about them here and bore you to death. I want to try writing about things that bother me. Usually when I am bothered by something I go to the refrigerator and food pantry for food and drink. I need to change some of these habits in my life if I am going to keep living. I plan to have these folks help me lose about 100 lb. I realize I still have more weight to lose, and I need to make some changes in my life to be successful. I plan to read this book
to help me in this journey. I am bothered by people who do not understand me and and my medical condition. I will tell you how I feel, and I do not presume that everyone who is my size feels the same way.

a) I am not proud of being fat. Don't ask me to join up with any FAT PRIDE parade group or anything. No Way.

b) You are not helping me by asking me to talk with you about proper food nutrition and food selection and diet. It is not about the food choices that I am making. It is all about the fact that eating food is what I choose to do when I wage battles with my personal demons.