Wednesday, November 28, 2012

To all the Mr. Tanners, Thank You



We have a radio station that plays nothing but Christmas music from Thanksgiving all the way through Christmas Day non-stop.  One of my favorites is O Holy Night (Oh Holy Night for folks who have to spell the “h”); but then again, that’s a favorite for many.

I recently learned the tune was originally not accepted, at least not in French churches, because it was written, in part, by a fellow who happened to be Jewish; go figure.  Eventually it was translated from French into English where it was well received.

Many artists have taken the challenge to perform O Holy Night; Celine Dion, Josh Groban and Nat King Cole just to name a few; but what about the folks who are not as well known, what about the “Mr. Tanners”?

You don’t know a Mr. Tanner?  I’d venture to say there’s a Mr. Tanner in just about every congregation across the globe; a person who, given an opportunity to sing, will rise to the occasion and let his/her heart fill in where his/her vocal chords fail. 

We had a Mr. Tanner in our Ward not too many years ago.  He went under the alias of Brother Oldham; but I knew right away he was a Mr. Tanner the moment I heard him sing O Holy Night. 

It’s time to say Thank You to all the Mr. Tanners for sharing of yourselves the gift you were given.  Thanks also to Harry Chapin for his thoughtful tune, Mr. Tanner, which reminds everyone; singing comes from the heart and from the soul.

Mister Tanner was a cleaner from a town in the Midwest.
And of all the cleaning shops around he’d made his the best.
But he also was a baritone who sang while hanging clothes.
He practiced scales while pressing tails and sang at local shows.
His friends and neighbors praised the voice that poured out from his throat.
They said that he should use his gift instead of cleaning coats.

But music was his life, it was not his livelihood,

And it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.
And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.
He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.

His friends kept working on him to try music out full time.

A big debut and rave reviews, a great career to climb.
Finally they got to him, he would take the fling.
A concert agent in New York agreed to have him sing.
And there were plane tickets, phone calls, money spent to rent the hall.
It took most of his savings but he gladly used them all.
But music was his life, it was not his livelihood,
And it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.
And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.
He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.

The evening came, he took the stage, his face set in a smile.

And in the half filled hall the critics sat watching on the aisle.
But the concert was a blur to him, spatters of applause.
He did not know how well he sang, he only heard the flaws.
But the critics were concise, it only took four lines.
But no one could accuse them of being over kind.

(spoken) Mr. Martin Tanner, Baritone, of
Dayton, Ohio made his
Town Hall debut last night. He came well prepared, but unfortunately
His presentation was not up to contemporary professional standards.
His voice lacks the range of tonal color necessary to make it
Consistently interesting.
(sung) Full time consideration of another endeavor might be in order.

He came home to
Dayton and was questioned by his friends.
Then he smiled and just said nothing and he never sang again,
Excepting very late at night when the shop was dark and closed.
He sang softly to himself as he sorted through the clothes.
Music was his life, it was not his livelihood,
And it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.
And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul.
He did not know how well he sang; It just made him whole.

(Lyrics courtesy of Lyrics Mode)

Since I tend to include a political jab in many of my articles, the “O” in O Holy Night is not, I repeat, is NOT a reference to Obama.  Please pass this along to Jaime Fox; don’t think he quite gets it.



In case you missed it, mixed in with the printed “refrain” is a secondary tune, O Holy Night, sung by a back-up singer in the band. 

For those who open their hearts and receive Him, the Christ Child will pour out his gift of salvation; a simple thought to send you on your way this day.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It’s Not Yours Until Government Says So


Our nation was founded on sound principles; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The pursuit of happiness was a flowery alternative for property, or so it was at one time. Today it might mean something else since life and liberty no longer mean much either.

There’s a fairly important property case taking shape which many would just as soon go away.  It involves the government’s “taking” of raisins of all things; that’s right, shriveled up grapes are at the center of a major court battle. 

An article by Jonathan Stempel quickly pointed out that “Farmers object to setting aside crops without payment”; imagine that, objecting to the government confiscating your crops and not getting paid.  These folks must think we live in America.

Lower court rulings, to include the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals have all ruled against the plaintiffs citing a Depression Era ruling which “requires raisin “handlers”, who include farmers and packers, to set aside part of their crops, in an effort to prevent supply gluts and price volatility”.  

There was a line in Stempel’s article which jumped off the page and struck me on the cheek.

“The U.S. government had urged the Supreme Court not to accept the appeal.”

The translation of that line, “If the Supreme Court hears this case it will open a whole can of worms and expose most legislation and government regulations regarding property rights as pertain to individuals as being unconstitutional”.  Any arguments which come before the court will challenge the validity of government’s interference in the free market system.  That having been said, wouldn’t We The People want to have a clearly defined court ruling on property rights; We The People being the government?  (Silly me, I forgot what year this was)

Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Some of you may remember the free market system which, over these many years has been corrupted and dismantled “one brick at a time”; to the point where it is nearly gone.  That system regarded private property as the basis for a civilized society.

If you look at the formative thoughts upon which American “doctrine” was founded, a variety of concepts were borrowed and then polished.

“Every man has a property in his own person.  This nobody has a right to, but himself.” ~John Locke

Followed closely by:

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws.  On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”  ~Frederic Bastiat

…and in our own day:

“Just as man can’t exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one’s rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property.”  ~Ayn Rand

So where does anyone in our government get away with appropriating the goods or services of an individual or group of individuals without just compensation?  This doesn’t even include the idea that an individual must first agree to relinquish his/her property to begin with.  The Kelo decision marked a turn toward the dark side if ever there was one.

I’ll throw in one more property rights quote; but this from an avid socialist:

“Property is organized robbery.”  ~George Bernard Shaw

The rate of speed with which America is being transformed from a free market system into a third world socialist backwater system has escalated incredibly over my life time; yet nothing compares with the Obama administration’s agenda.  Some of you might recall Robert McChesney, good buddy to Van Jones the ousted communist Green Jobs Czar under Obama.  McChesney declared that capitalism has to be dismantled “brick by brick”.

Well at least McChesney was honest about his feelings and purpose.  He expressed what many progressives want; not exactly an American concept; but what would you expect when we have a Marxist Communist living in the White House?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Ushers in the Christmas Season



 
My folks, bless their twisted taste buds, had a Thanksgiving Eve tradition, and still do; they’d serve oyster stew for dinner.  I’m not sure how anyone can look at that stuff much less eat it; but they let us off by serving tomato soup instead, not my favorite either, but at least I could look at it. 

After dinner on Thanksgiving Eve we were instructed to write out our Christmas wish lists so Santa could look at them on his way through town prior to being in the parade the next day.  You think that sounds hokey; wait ‘till you hear the rest of what we bought into, getting ahead of myself.

Imagine a young boy sitting at the table with the power to ask for the desires of his heart from Santa, any toy that had been advertized was at my finger tips and all that was required was my writing it down so the letters were legible; no small feat if you’ve seen my hand writing. 

With a little help and coaching my list was completed, a huge smile as visions of …wait a moment, that part was reserved for Christmas Eve.  We’d place our lists on a plate in the middle of the dining room table so Santa could read them and have a better idea how to pack his bag in a few weeks.  


Coca-Cola made a fortune showing Santa holding a bottle of Coke; but truth be known, we always used a glass of milk and some home made gingerbread cookies to bribe the jolly old man.   Off to bed we scurried knowing that the quicker we were off to sleep the more time Santa would have to read our wish lists.

In the morning we could hardly contain our excitement as we went to the dining room table to see if Santa had come.  The evidence was there, enough to prove in any court of law; the cookies and milk had been enjoyed.  More importantly, there on the plate where we’d left our wish lists; all that remained were ashes where Santa’s magic green mittens had incinerated them, a small scorch mark left in the center of the plate.

Thanksgiving was more than just a time to enjoy a great meal with my family; it marked the first day of the Christmas Season.  We’d watch the Macy’s parade on television and anxiously waited until the very end when Santa waved from his sleigh; that was the best part of the parade. 

We had to be on our best behavior for a whole month; there had to be a catch in there, a whole month of staying out of trouble. 

I talked with mom this morning and she told me they were going to have their traditional oyster stew; but they would have it on Thanksgiving night.  I reminder her in a respectful manner how she’d gotten it off by one day; oyster stew was for Thanksgiving Eve.  I guess with us kids all grown up and on our own they can save the tomato soup for some other evening. 

With everyone concerned about being politically correct, zero tolerance and all that nonsense; telling your children about the mysteries of Santa Claus might get you in trouble.  I can see Children’s Protective Service workers knocking on the door, collecting up the ashes as evidence proving the environment for raising children was dangerous. 

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

A Thanksgiving Memory on 3 Wheels




Being a retired police officer makes for some interesting memories; take for instance a thought which ran through my mind this morning, “I won’t have to get up early to work the Thanksgiving’s Day Parade tomorrow”.  Mind you, I’ve been retired from the Houston Police Department a little over twenty years, and beyond that; the last Thanksgiving’s Day Parade I actually worked was thirty years ago. 

In the early to late 70s I was assigned to Point Control Division, the folks who stood in the intersections during rush hour traffic to mess things up for drivers on their way to or from work.  At one time we rode Harley Davidson 3 wheeled motorcycles because they could maneuver through downtown traffic easier than a regular patrol car; on sidewalks if need be.


I won’t go into a lot of detail about the 3 wheeled motorcycle other than to explain it incorporated the worst aspects of a regular 2 wheeled motorcycle with the worst of 4 wheeled vehicle.  Our job was to figure out how to make it work and stay alive.

My old partner, R.C. Kersten, talked me into transferring from evening shift Patrol over to Point Control; a decision based on the idea it would be easier to learn how to operate a 3 wheeled monster than to find a good partner.

“Sign me up”; never ridden a motorcycle of any kind in my life; but “Sign me up”. 

I learned that leaning toward the desired direction did absolutely nothing on a 3 wheeler; you had to pull left or right on the handlebars, much as if it were a steering wheel.  A week or so of training on the back parking lot of the police station and one partially wrecked 3 wheeler later (gotta’ remember, leaning does no good at all) they turned me loose on the public. 

Other than directing traffic at rush hour, something I took to like a duck to water; Point Control was used for a variety of traffic related tasks, parades were on that list.  The Thanksgiving Parade was the jewel in the crown, a chance for the “city’s finest” to shine. 

On Thanksgiving Day there was an unwritten rule, if you called in sick you’d better be wearing a toe tag. 

Point Control officers would be stationed at every location which had anything remotely associated with the parade and we had to be in the roll call room promptly at 5am (it might have been 6am; but that was a long time ago) for a parade which would start at 10am.  Why so early; it made little sense other than it gave supervisors time to call and chew out any officers who might have slept in late.

My partner and I left roll call to go have breakfast at my folk’s house since they lived very close to town.  We enjoyed a meal prepared by my mom and killed a couple of hours visiting before heading back into town.

The streets on the edge of downtown were empty for the most part; the only activity being on or along the parade route.  Kersten and I drove our 3 wheelers north on Louisiana Street, passing under the Pierce Elevated with the morning sky brightened by the sun peaking in between buildings.  

Off on the left was the old YMCA building with a lone pedestrian casually walking on the sidewalk, a boom box planted on his shoulder next to his ear.  My partner and I had the same thought, “Let’s have some fun”. 

I should mention that 3 wheelers were not equipped with a siren; they had a cheesy little red light perched on a pole, but no siren.   It had a feeble sounding horn; yea, like folks are going to hear that…

My partner and I learned that if you locked up the front disc brake, keeping the throttle open full at the same time, then pull hard on the handlebars as if to turn; the leading edge of the front tire would grind along the pavement and make a horrendous sound, much like what you’d hear moments prior to a major traffic accident.  That became our “siren”. 

Back to the unsuspecting pedestrian strolling down the street oblivious to anything but James Brown blasting out of his boom box.  Without saying a word we both “turned on our sirens”. 

The fellow panicked, his knees buckling while he attempted to get out of harms way.  The YMCA had a shallow concrete retaining wall next to the sidewalk which made his first attempt fail.  He found his second wind half a moment later and was able to clear the sidewalk; not sure what became of the boom box to be honest.

Partner and I let loose of the brakes and continued toward our assignment.  Santa Claus was on his way so we’d be escorting his sleigh at the end of the parade with our 3 wheelers.  Naturally our names would be on the Good Little Boy’s List as we protected and served the public. 

A note in passing, the officer in that old photograph, the skinny guy standing next to the 3 wheeler; that’s me back in the day.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Auditors Afraid of Licensed Locksmiths



You want to hear something interesting, the Department of Public Safety/Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB) auditors are afraid of licensed locksmiths; not making this up folks.  My copy of Locked-In, a monthly publication of the Greater Houston Locksmith Association, had its monthly report regarding the last DPS/PSB meeting.

“Because of some licensees working from their homes, and not from a storefront, some of the inspectors are concerned for their safety when auditing.  It was recommended that a phone call be placed to schedule a meeting outside the home between the auditor and the licensee or for the auditor to take a state trooper with them to the home.”

Let’s set the background for these auditors going about the task of insuring the safety of the general public’s interaction with the locksmith industry. 

Anyone who desires to work as a locksmith in the State of Texas is required to apply for, receive and maintain a license issued by the DPS/PSB.  Requirements for the license include a thorough FBI investigation, fingerprints, substantial proof of the individual’s character which precludes anyone with a felony conviction and many misdemeanor offenses to include DWI.  In short, those individuals who eventually obtain a locksmith license have shown they are above reproach.

On top of that locksmiths are required to invest a considerable sum, up front and before they make a single dime, for the license and the included requirement to have a bare minimum insurance policy to cover $1 million in damages (or is it $2 million; my policy is for $2 million) in case of a simple mistake or criminal wrong doing.  Together this adds up to over a thousand dollars out of pocket expense for each locksmith every year and does not include the cost associated with mandatory continuing education in order to keep the license once it’s been issued. 

Why would a representative of the DPS/PSB feel uncomfortable visiting a licensed locksmith, be it at a storefront or his/her home?   Could it be the auditor understands his/her presence represents our transformation from a free market society where individuals at one time could depend on their God given rights as protected by the Constitution into a totalitarian repressive socialist state which grants permission for the basic right to work?   (I love a run on sentence almost as much as I do my liberty)

My wife thinks these folks are scared because they receive letters, letters which they apparently view as threats from locksmiths who resent the State’s imposition into affairs which are none of their business.  Isn’t that one of the beautiful parts of our constitutional republic, the ability to voice our disdain when government steps over the line and usurps authorities never intended?

Ezra Taft Benson explained in his talk, The Proper Role of Government:

“…let us first consider the origin of those freedoms we have come to know are human rights. There are only two possible sources. Rights are either God-given as part of the Divine Plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. Reason, necessity, tradition and religious convictions all lead me to accept the divine origin of these rights. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government. I, for one, shall never accept that premise. As the French political economist, Frederick Bastiat, phrased it so succinctly, "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." (The Law, p.6)”

It has become painfully clear the folks running the DPS/PSB believe in the latter, that human rights are granted by government and can be denied by government. With each passing year it isn’t hard to notice the usurpation of powers by government; powers which rightfully belong to individuals have been taken over by bureaucratic fiat under the direction of a well meaning legislature intent on safeguarding the public. 

 “Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither”.   Ben Franklin

“Those who sacrifice the liberties of others believing they know what’s best for society are called Socialists.”  (my own modification, hope you like it)

If America were a democracy then it would be understandable for the majority to establish laws which inflict injury to some individual’s personal rights; however, America is a constitutional republic where personal rights can never be impugned regardless of the wishes of the majority.  Individual rights are beyond legislation and the reach of well meaning bureaucratic policy makers and include the right to work in any otherwise lawful endeavor. 

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficient... The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.”   Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

Protestations by individuals in order to secure and maintain God given rights should not be taken as threats.  Individuals of integrity and character seek a higher plain of reasoned conversation and use confrontation only as a last resort.

It is unfortunate to hear unwarranted fears from DPS/PSB inspectors voicing concerns for their well being to such an extent they feel it necessary to have an armed guard present in order for them to continue to enforce arbitrarily conceived rules and regulations on individuals licensed to perform locksmith work. 

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Printed Words Preserve History




When I was growing up; mind you, I’ve never quite gotten there; but when I was packaged in a youthful frame I enjoyed turning pages in my folk’s Compton’s Encyclopedias.  These books are old;  more accurately, these books are beyond ancient.  I only mention the encyclopedia set because my mother said she’d looked up something in them the other day; yes, she still has this wonderful set of history books.  Since she doesn’t use the internet they’re the closest thing to a Boolean search available to her.

Books keep the history of the world neatly bundled between the covers in a bound set of printed pages.  Unlike the digital age we now live in where all you have to do is Google a key word and follow the links; investigating a subject took a little more effort.  The old Comptons marked a place in time; no moment to moment updates and certainly no interactive opportunities. 

Most of the photographs were in black and white; but then again so were most of the television sets in my youth.  (I apologize for having breathed out loudly enough to where you may have heard the years passing)

To give you an idea of how old my parent’s Compton’s are, the Pan American Clipper was listed as a modern marvel which opened the world to air travelers.  I recall seeing a picture of this magnificent machine landing in New York’s harbor.  


Since we’re trying to emulate Europe in every way now, perhaps I should add a “u” to harbor and ease the way for our transition toward that end, “harbour”; but I’ll get to how folks are re-writing history a little later.

Pat O’brian starred in the movie, China Clipper, “based on the true story of Pan American Airlines.   China Clipper was released (1936) only a year after the first transpacific flight in history”.  It’s the story of the American can-do spirit with real men pushing themselves to the limit in order to bring about fulfillment of their capitalistic dreams; but in today’s version of, “You didn’t build it”, this story could never have been made. 

The problem with relying on digital storage of information is how easily it can be corrupted.  Should we trust history to the digital age?

Take the Benghazi mess which many folks in the Obama administration would just as soon sweep under the rug.  The public was told the attack was in response to a YouTube video which spawned a protest, escalated into mob violence and the death of four Americans to include Ambassador Stevens.

United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice stood in front of the world and read the official message, supposedly a statement based upon information supplied by CIA Director David Petraeus and approved by the White House; basically saying, “We don’t really know what happened and are looking into it”, which as we have learned, isn’t exactly the truth. 

Since that statement we’ve found the White House had a live video feed of the attack, an attack which lasted several hours, and they knew all along it was a terrorist attack which had nothing to do with an Islamic protest over an obscure video.  The entire mess apparently was associated with some black bag gun running operation being carried out at a CIA safe house; never let the facts get in the way of a news story.

We’ve also learned how short the public’s memory is when it comes to major news items.  Give the major news outlets credit; they’ve covered for Obama very well. Disinformation is the name of the game rather than news reporting.  At each turn of the calendar a different spin has created the illusion that this administration is searching for the truth when in fact they are doing their level best to make sure the truth is never found.

If the truth is ever brought to light regarding what actually happened during the Benghazi massacre Obama could very likely be impeached and many in his administration could face prison time for their roll in the cover up; but I’m getting ahead of myself.

This week in a closed door appearance before Congress, David Petraeus, former CIA Director opened the door to further speculation according to an AP story.

Petraeus testified that the CIA draft written in response to the raid referred to militant groups Ansar al-Shariah and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) but those names were replaced with the word “extremist” in the final draft, according to a congressional staffer. The staffer said Petraeus testified that he allowed other agencies to alter the talking points as they saw fit without asking for final review, to get them out quickly.”

So who changed the information?  The authorization to change something this important would be limited to very few and most likely it would have come from a member of the White House staff, perhaps Obama himself.  

Speculating who changed key words on an official statement is about all we can do.  I’m waiting for a weak link to surface; someone who doesn’t want to go to prison without clearing his/her conscience.  History has shown it could take quite a long time for that weak link to offer up the real guilty parties and that might be forty years down the road as a death bed confession. 

Then again there’s always the convenient death by induced heart attack or automobile accident to get rid of dangerous political witnesses.  If you know the truth, watch your back.  When dealing with treacherous regimes nothing is off the table and the Obama administration was built with Chicago gangster methods since day one. 

How will history be kept for future generations?  Will it be recorded in black and white as printed words on paper, an encyclopedia with pages to turn or as flexible cyber documents reduced to Ones and Zeroes which can be easily altered to match the desires of those in power?

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Families Supporting Adoption




Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was all over the news this week telling the GOP it needed to “dump” its pro-life base.  There are unsubstantiated rumors Richards also called the Pope and told him the Catholic Church would have better success if they dumped the Ten Commandments.

“Richards seems representative of many liberal Democrats in her lack of logic across situations. She argues that being pro-life is contrary to “supporting people’s individual rights and keeping government out of personal health care decisions,” but she apparently assumes that Catholics and Christians who oppose funding for abortion have no individual rights to oppose government’s intervention in their personal decisions of conscience.”

Today I had a chance to attend the Southwest Regional Families Supporting Adoption Conference ( FSA) put on by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the Hafer Road building here in Houston.  I was serving in my capacity as an IT specialist (still trying to figure out what IT stands for), hooking up cables, microphones and internet connections so the conference could be viewed by those unable to attend in person.

I helped set up the broadcast equipment and monitored the production throughout the day just in case something needed fixing.  Twenty minutes into the broadcast the magic box, (that’s a technical term for the equipment which sends the broadcast up to Salt Lake City where angels turn it into a program which can be viewed on any computer using the proper URL); anyway, the magic box froze up and quit working.  We shut it off and started it up again and it worked just fine the rest of the day.

I monitored the broadcast from my laptop in a room not too distant from the actual broadcast room; just far enough away so my activity didn’t disturb anyone else.  There’s about a minute and a half lag time; the live transmission sent through a magic box, up to Salt Lake and back.   

It’s kind of neat if you think about it; I turned on the video camera, microphones and exited the room, walked over to where my computer was set up and a minute and a half later watched myself pass in front of that camera, turn on the microphone and test them.  I could use a device like that to pick the lottery numbers, wait for the winning combo to be announced and then buy my ticket; yea, I know it’s already been tried.

I listened to the deeply personal explanations regarding the choice to place a child up for adoption given by young women who had put themselves in between a rock and a hard place.  These young women had become pregnant out of wedlock and needed help. 

One of them thought about having an abortion; the fellow who’d broken her heart was pushing to get rid of the problem rather than offering to marry.  While she was at the clinic to have the “procedure” completed a variety of events prevented it being accomplished in a timely manner.  She was scheduled to be the first of many lined up in the waiting room; but somehow her paperwork was misplaced so she ended up having to wait while other young women were “taken care of”. 

The longer she waited the more the finality of her actions weighed upon her mind.  Finally she was ushered in to a room for an ultrasound prior to the actual abortion.  During the ultrasound she felt the baby jump within her, an activity which showed up on the ultrasound monitor.  She had asked the technician if she could watch; but was told it was against the clinic’s policy (this was before the laws were changed).  Not being one to easily give up she persuaded the technician to turn the monitor so she could see the monitor.

“What’s that moving, there?”

“That’s the heart beating”, the technician told her, “That means it’s a viable embryo”.  Everything said was cold and without human compassion as she was led to a stainless steel table where she waited for the procedure to commence.

During that time she considered her options, her need to stop and do the right thing.  She wanted to leave and yet she was already on the table.  She said a silent prayer in those few minutes.

In her mind she saw a little boy holding a flower in his hand looking up at her and smiling, as if to say, “My life is in your hands”.  She bolted from the table and thanked the Lord for awakening her, to get up and leave regardless of the embarrassment of being pregnant and unwed; her friends and family would not understand.

I sat there, watching my computer monitor with tears streaming down my cheeks and wondered how anyone could relate this event in front of an audience.  There was no box of Kleenex in the room so I used the back of my hands to wipe the tears away and sniffled the congestion in my nose several times just in case someone were to enter.

The second half of the day was similar; but from a different point of view, that of folks who had adopted children and how it had affected their lives.  I listened to each of them, again the tears fell without end. 


I listened to stories about the miracle of life, that miracle which some are unable to produce and so they must adopt from those who are, for a number of reasons, unable to properly raise or support a child.  Thinking back to the article I’d read earlier and what the president of Planned Parenthood was saying:

“It’s also important to note that, as is the case with most pro-abortion proponents, Richards continues to use terms such as “women’s personal health care decisions,” “women’s preventive health care,” “women’s reproductive health care,” etc., all phrases that have been usurped from the field of medicine and health care for the pro-abortion political agenda. Ironically enough, when discussions about “reproductive health care” come up in most gynecologists’ offices, they are in reference to fertility and how to become pregnant with a baby, rather than how to abort one.”

How we view the miracle of life, as individuals and then as a society in general, is a measure of our gratitude for all the blessings of life.  Some think nothing of the small child which they toss in a trash sack and into the garbage while there are so many waiting in line to qualify for a chance to adopt.  Isn’t that a remarkable situation worth contemplating; one that brakes my heart as I think of my friends, those who have been trying to start a family and their look of desperation as each year passes and they pray for a child to enter their lives.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Yea…Whatever




The counting is over and Barrack Obama will have four more years; so congratulations for having duped enough voters, again (as Forrest Gump would have added).

You may recall the first time Barry Soetoro, I mean Barrack Obama, took the Oath of Office it had to be done a second time because Chief Justice Roberts got the words jumbled up and Barry repeated the error.  


I’m wondering how Barrack Hussein Obama will act on inauguration day as he places his hand on the Holy Koran and pledges, to Allah, to uphold the Constitution as president.  Will he proudly use Hussein this go around, a name that links him more closely to Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood or will he continue being Barry Soetoro Obama

Obama can do what he wants since he won’t have to bother with the voice of the people in another election; but I forgot, Obama’s more into expressing the dreams of his father than listening to the voice of the people.  Imperial America must be transformed from its colonialism days and made to pay a measure of tribute, a redistribution of wealth to those around the world who had everything stolen by capitalist pigs.

Will Barrack Obama, Barrack Hussein Obama, or what ever he wants to be called have a teleprompter in front of him so he can repeat those important words or a device in his ear similar to what he did during the debate so he could repeat whatever was needed at the right moment?  Obama despises America to such a degree I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him roll his eyes and say, “Yea…”, breathing out his contempt for a document and the nation which he’s been ignoring all this time, “...whatever”.

Some years back my brother’s youngest son came over from Europe to live with us; a chance to attend high school here in America.  Nathan had been home schooled by private tutors and the level of his education was superior to anything he might obtain here; but that was only part of the reason for his extended visit.  Nathan wanted to learn more about America first hand and living with relatives would give him a chance to do just that.

Listening to Nathan’s British accent was like having the BBC or NPR (same difference) right there in our living room.  My grown children had their way of letting us know things were “Bor-ing” while Nathan had his distinctive, “What-Ev-er”; a three syllable word with exclamation marks along the way, a double exclamation mark in the middle which beat boring hands down for effect. 

I never quite mastered the art of saying What-Ev-er with the same level of sarcasm because British is a foreign language to Americans.  Over here whatever is subdued as it leaves the lips, intentionally directed away from the listener’s ear while the British version is a slap to the cheek to get your attention. 

I’m afraid Obama would use the subdued version since he doesn’t really care about his oath of office; just has to repeat it while holding his hand to the square as if he means it.  “Can’t we just get this over with so I can get on with America’s transformation from a liberty loving nation of individuals into the collective my father dreamed of, a few notches down from the capitalistic imperial land grabbing beast of years gone by?”   Yea…whatever is how Obama sees the Oath of Office, the oath he’ll take in January.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Unemployment Blues



Election Day is almost over with the sun going down and the polls closing; the opportunity to count and tally the votes to see which candidates will take the reigns of office.  There’s an air of trepidation and concern for our future.  Will the war on American industry continue as the EPA ties the hands of oil and coal tighter to the point of breaking or is there a change in the works, a change which might turn things around enough to open up jobs for those anxiously looking for work?
 
I was watching an old movie, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which reminded me of the desperate measures so many have taken to keep their heads above water (no pun intended for the misery caused by flooding in and around the New York area caused by the hurricane). 

Johnny Nolan, an immigrant with a beautiful Irish Tenor voice made less than a meager living singing at weddings and such; but for the most part was out of work, leaving his family to scrape to make ends meet.  His wife scrubbed floors and did all manner of odd jobs; even so they were paupers with little to be cheerful about.  One evening Nolan came home to find the family had moved to the cheapest apartment available, the previous owner was unable to take an old piano which he sat down and played an old Scottish tune, Annie Laurie; realizing his inability to work steady had taken a terrible toll on his family.

Maxwelton braes are bonnie, where early fa's the dew
Where me and Annie Laurie made up the promise true

Made up the promise true, and ne'er forget will I

And for bonnie Annie Laurie I'd lay doun my head and die...




How many folks across America have these dark thoughts, watching time flicker by and hoping beyond hope to find gainful employment in our faltering economy?  Being unemployed leaves a hole in your soul, an emptiness which gnaws at you and never goes away.

The current administration boasts we have an economy in recovery mode, only 7.9% unemployment as if telling folks who’ve been out of work for an extended period will find something to be happy about.  The facts show otherwise; the real unemployment numbers are closer to 25%; but expecting the Obama administration to be honest about anything; well, let’s hope today’s election brings about a change in administrations too.




When Obama took office he promised that if he didn’t turn the economy around in four years he expected to be a one term president.  I’m holding my breath waiting for the results of today’s election, a chance to sing something other than America’s dirge, the Unemployment Blues.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Fasting for Our Nation



As a rule, the first Sunday of each month is set aside for fasting and prayer by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  A variety of things are accomplished by missing two meals during the day; the most obvious is the money which isn’t spent on those meals is diverted to a special fund to improve the lives of the less fortunate.  As you give from the heart, picture missing breakfast at a fancy hotel with your second meal at a nice steak house rather than missing an Egg McMuffin and later that day some item off the dollar menu; generosity requires an attitude adjustment.

While donating a sum of money toward feeding the hungry is a worthy effort, the purpose of a Fast also serves to awaken the spiritual side of individuals. 

Several of my friends have decided to ask Father in Heaven to help our nation through these difficult times, a unified effort pleading for guidance as we choose men of good character to be our leaders in government.  The prayers of righteous individuals reach God’s ear; let us join together and request His help at this time.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”   James 5:16

For too long we have seen a decline in our nation’s character; an entitlement mentality which has sapped the energy of self reliance and placed future generations into a state of indebtedness along with an overall lack of respect for basic principles of individual self governance which spring from the original Ten Commandments; these are taking a heavy toll on our society.

John F. Kennedy summed it up in his inaugural address on January 20, 1961; pointing out the need to find the American Spirit of self reliance rather than dependence on handouts.

“Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.”

{…}

“…let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”

We have a choice; continue looking for handouts, to receive something for nothing from pandering politicians who promise hope and change, their secret combinations carried out in back rooms under a veil of secrecy and deceit; or, place our faith in God, looking upwards with a brightness of hope for His blessings.  

And so as we start this Sunday, let it be a day of fasting and prayer for our nation.  If we will acknowledge God’s hand in our daily lives and ask, believing that prayers are answered, our nation can and will be blessed as it has in the past. 

Tuesday is Election Day; consider prayerfully who has earned your vote.  Find the American can-do spirit, that spirit which has made us a nation to overcome incredible odds from our inception all the way until this time of uncertainty.  Choose carefully, as it was recorded in Proverbs:

“The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”

Haven’t we seen far too many individuals in positions of leadership who lack integrity, folks who lie and deceive in order to advance their agendas?  We’ve been brought to our knees, humbled if you will; but do we yet recognize the serious position we are now in?  Let’s do something right, let’s do it the Lord’s way.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.

Friday, November 02, 2012

A Cooling Down Period



Early last July I wrote an open letter to anyone involved in the locksmith industry and followed that up by sending a copy of the letter to the Department of Public Safety/Private Security Bureau (DPS/PSB).  It was sent certified mail so I’d have a signature proving they’d received it; which they signed for on July 13th, a full 10 days to read my letter and plenty of time before the quarterly meeting on the 23rd of July. 

I wanted the DPS/PSB board to address my concerns regarding journeymen locksmiths being required to take basic remedial courses to obtain the mandated State Continuing Education hours to secure their licensing requirements.   According to a letter I got back, a letter dated July 29th, the board didn’t get a chance to review that letter in time for the July 23rd meeting.  John E. Chism, Presiding Officer, Texas Private Security Board, claimed they couldn’t act; but let me quote directly from his letter:

“I will furnish copies of your letter to the two locksmith associations that attended this meeting for their information.  In order for the Private Security Board to consider changes to Board Rules concerning licensing fees, continuing education, or any other Board Rule, the proposed changes must appear on the Board Agenda.  Any proposed Board Rule changes must be discussed publically with input from the regulated industries and the citizens of the State of Texas.”  

I started to write my thoughts down immediately after receiving this artfully crafted line of crap; but remembered some advice from long ago, “Take a deep breath and cool off before you say something you’ll regret later”.  While that’s good advice, and certainly worth following; it doesn’t fit my personality most of the time, I like to jump right in with both feet securely in my mouth.  (I was once suspended from the Houston Police Department for 40 days, insubordination; but that’s a whole other story)

So here I am, several months later writing down my thoughts on why the DPS/PSB should stay out of the free market system.  I don’t think I’ve cooled off enough; but here goes…

Mr. Chisum mentioned he’d given a copy of my original letter/proposal to two locksmith associations; but I’d already sent them copies well in advance of the July 23rd Quarterly meeting.  My suggestions were ignored; gee I wonder why?

The two locksmith associations mentioned in Mr. Chisum’s letter are the Texas Locksmith Association (TLA) and the Greater Houston Locksmith Association (GHLA). 

The TLA established the original locksmith industry legislative package and sent it off to Austin, legislation which mandated locksmith licenses in order to protect the public from unscrupulous fly by night operators.  The package sent to Austin was not the same legislation which locksmiths had been shown and worked on; instead it was a package which the Alarm Industry had suggested in order to regulate locksmiths, a long standing economic feud which the Alarm Industry eventually won; not exactly water under the bridge.

I happen to be a member of GHLA and find it interesting they are listed as one of the few recognized official schools which locksmiths may attend to obtain State mandated Continuing Education hours in order to remain licensed.  Remarkable that GHLA wouldn’t propose a rules change that would affect a cash cow like mandated Continuing Education, even for journeyman locksmiths who could easily teach courses in basic locksmith work.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for this topic to come up in front of the DPS/PSB. 
 
I found a copy of Ronald Reagan’s speech, A Time for Choosing, given while he was supporting Barry Goldwater’s bid for the presidency.  Reagan expressed the principles of self governance clearly and succinctly; a reminder and a warning that is timeless.

“This idea -- that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power -- is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream--the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, “The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.”

The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.”

Those serving on the DPS/PSB board have little or no understanding of the American concept of a nation ruled by self governance.  God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are just words on a piece of paper waiting to be sorted out and issued to the people via some sort of mandated entitlement which must first be earned by jumping over fences, through hoops and landing on the indicated mark as set down in a manual created to provide a safety net for the uninformed, easily fooled public.   

The DPS/PSB board needs no permission to alter their own arbitrarily mandated rules; they write them with or without the consent of the governed. 

My dad used to tell a joke which ended with the line, “…and that goes for the horse you came in on”.  Some folks might think I wasn’t joking so I won’t include that line while addressing the DPS/PSB.  I wonder what the time frame is for a cooling off period.

This article has been cross posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government, & The American Constitution”.