Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's it all about, Alfie?

I can judge my level of angst by the amount of chocolate I bring into the house to eat.  Secondary to that is the actual amount I consume in one sitting.  And, thirdly is the actual measure of my ever increasing girth.  I am maxed out on all accounts.  Trying to make sense of the turmoil being generated by our president and the ruling Democrats is enough to make the Pope swear.  However, trying to unravel the backlash we've all created and place blame is nearly impossible.

It's like trying to figure out why you are homosexual.  It is a learned behavior, but the complexities of the etiology  (assignment of cause) could extend back many generations and is therefore not readily apparent.  Thus trite questions like, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" are appropriate.  We may never be able to unravel the cause of our troubles, but we can know that certain things that should have been done were not.  The line wound neatly around the reel was properly installed, and the reel functioned as it should when the weighted line was cast.  So, what caused the problem?  More than likely it was operator error.  The careless, or inexperienced fisherman failed to stop the reel from spinning when the bait hit the water, therefore  the "bird nest" with its convoluted pattern of loops and knots was formed.

When you get a backlash, the only thing to do, short of changing the reel, is to work on each little loop one at a time to free it up.  This takes time and can ruin a day of fishing.  How does this relate to our current problems?  Well, this current group of politicians has just junked the old reel and put on a new one.  This reel is entirely different than the old one and other fishermen who've tried it have attested to its unreliability.   It might be wiser to try and unravel the old reel and not get in such a big hurry the next time we try and use it.

The original makers of the old reel built it of high quality material and tested its function over many years.  They printed detailed instructions on how to use the reel, and also gave pointers on what not to do.  Over the years however fishermen put the original instructions in the bottom of the tackle box and ignored the printed warnings.  They got in a big hurry to catch the big one and failed to practice the techniques for making a clean cast.  Someone should see if they can find the old instruction book that went along with the old reel.  The point is we all share in the failures of our republic.

Men who are not guided by the restrictions placed on their behavior by a Holy God will not last long when they achieve great wealth and power.  They will so pervert the system God intended, that those less fortunate will come to hate them for their success.  God's plan puts God at the top, others second, and self last.  We can't go back for do-overs, but we can start living right today.  The cure for our problems today is for individuals to go back to the old instruction book.  Our priorities are so out of phase with the God's order for the universe that everything seems wrong.  We must change our perception by putting aside the wisdom of unrepentant men who tell us what life is supposed to be, and work on trying to make it what God in his word, the Bible, told us it can be.  Laying blame and changing the fishermen without going back and relearning the process will only result in a repeated series of backlashes.  The U. S. Constitution was written with the supposition that men would follow the principles of God.  The founders and writers acknowledged the republic would fail if these principles were not carefully adhered to.

It's a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.

Roberto Benigniin Newsweek
Italian actor, comedian, and director (1952 - )

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Draw Your Own Conclusions.

The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another.
J. Frank Dobie

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cold Hard Prophesy

I have featured my friend David on the blog before.  David is not as old as he is portrayed in this picture, but he has a lot of miles on his face.  He keeps up, and he studies history.  I think you'll profit from the synopsis he presents along with some supporting articles.

"Below are just a couple of articles indicating what's to come...and come shortly.  I predicted a year and a half ago that if this guy got elected and the Dems kept control of Congress that there would be economic disaster.  Thus far, each and everything these guys have done is precisely the wrong thing.

Now I am no economic genius, but if I can see it, why can't many others?  Actually, maybe they can.  A poll taken a couple of days ago said that 79% of the population feels that there is a great danger that the economy could collapse.  Nonetheless, this administration forges ahead, spending money that's not there and passing bill after bill which are job killers.

Let's look at the situation.  As of today the national debt is more than 12.5 trillion dollars.  By this administration's own estimates, it will be16 trillion by 2012, 20 trillion by 2015.  I would say that those are conservative estimates.  Have you ever known a single government program that didn't increase costs?  For example, LBJ assured us, actually promised us, that Medicare would cost no more than 9 billion dollars by 1990.  The actual cost was 67 billion, more than a 700 % increase.  By 2008, the cost was 396 billion.

During the Bush years, the national debt rose by 5 trillion dollars, half of that in the last two years thanks to a Democratic Congress.   In the year and two months Obama has been president, the debt has gone up 2.5 trillion dollars of which one can add another 2.3 trillion for the new health care initial cost.  The bill creates 159 new federal agencies.

The GDP for 2009 was 14.2 trillion.  That means in another year and a half, our debt will be 2 trillion more than the entire gross national product.

This is unsustainable.  Social Security is paying out more this year than it takes in.  Medicare is slated to run out of money in 3 or 4 years.  Medicare is also going broke but I am not sure how much longer it is projected that the program has.  In response to this, the administration creates hugely expensive new programs, refuses to allow things like expanded oil drilling which would create at least 100,000 new jobs as well as remove us from foreign oil dependency, and passes job killing bills through Congress.

This is insanity.

The only entity hiring anyone in this country at the moment is the federal government, but the federal government creates no wealth.  It gets its money from you.  16,000 new IRS agents are going to be hired to enforce the provision in the health care bill to require all citizens to own health insurance whether they want it or not.  If you are thinking such a provision is unconstitutional you are correct.  They are getting around it by saying that you will be taxed, not fined, for not buying insurance.  Hence the IRS agents.

So stand by for hard times, folks.  You better buy a bunch of gold while you can...and ammunition while you are at it.  When the government defaults on its debt, as it must if this keeps up, your cash will be worthless no matter how much you have."


Punishing Investment
The reconciliation bill’s capital-gains-tax hike is a prosperity killer.

Bond Rates and Obamacare
The coming crunch will make last Sunday look pretty.

Bond Rates Rise After Weak Auction
Government Close To Losing its AAA Rating

Gas up $1 a gallon on Obama's watch

Thanks David.

15. Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Not what you thought?

Did you ever volunteer for a job you thought just fit your talents and standing in life only to find out later you misunderstood the scope of your duties?

As the new School Superintendent
in this little Texas town,
he thought it couldn’t hurt a thing
to get his name around.

So when the town folk asked him
if he would work the gate,
he gladly told them that he would.
he didn’t make them wait.

He dressed up nice
and took his place beside the ticket stand,
the Rodeo was just the place
to talk and shake some hands.

“Now the ticket jobs are taken,”
said the man who ran the show.
“We need you to work the gates
for the rough stock, don’t you know?”

There he stood for all to see
at the bucking shoots below,
and, when the cowboys nodded
he’d pull and let them go.

The coffee shop was all a buzz,
he arrived a little late.
But the stories there were all about
how the “Super” worked the gate.

Dennis Price 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Let's Just Wait.

I've seen a lot of Op-Ed pieces this last week on the reaction of "Republicans" to the passage of the Obama administration's health care reform legislation.  It is like the President's early and uncalled for reaction to the arrest of his personal friend in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  I say let's just wait and see who is really responsible. The picture above is a "Tea Party" gathering in Pittsburgh, PA.  If you look closely at the orderly crowd, you will see the typical American mixture of concerned citizens.  I attended several meetings and Tea Party gatherings and have yet to see anyone who advocated anything but change through the political process.  And, for those of you on the "refuse to be informed" end of the Democrat spectrum, there were concerned Americans from the Democrat and Independent parties participating.  Most Americans who don't have a vested financial interest in the shameful unconstitutional politics of late, or who haven't been brainwashed in some liberal university, recognize the dreadful path we are on.  And, they are expressing themselves within the bounds of acceptable behavior.  The great majority of these patriots are gearing up for a real push to rid the United States of the stench in its Capitol by educating and enlisting others to vote out those who would sell us into slavery.

I have stated many times in my informative rants that the methods of "Radical Democrats" always include "lying, denying, and making counter allegations."  The Oligarchy now running rough shod over the established rules of order, and the U. S. Constitution are all revolutionaries, many left over from the 1960's.  Just look at the violent acts of civil disobedience over the last 50 years.  What party was behind them?  In case you are having trouble answering that, it was not the Republicans.  When you zoom in on the last few years, up to and including this last election, you see the same thing.  Our current president was trained and is currently being handled by the old violent guard of the 1960's.  His training is in violent civil disobedience.  The Democrat party uses labor union thugs to disrupt election sites, and employs all manner of questionable people to corrupt the legitimate political system.  They also ignore these violations.  This administration uses a system of czars to bypass the protections of having those serving us in the highest offices brought before Congress for vetting.  Why?  Because the majority, including the President of the United States wouldn't be able to pass the background for the lowest form of government job requiring a security clearance.

Many in the picture are pretenders and fawning sycophants who have lined their pockets with money from taxpayers, special interest groups, and insider knowledge.  Let me just give you one example from our area.  We are in an area that would not exist if it weren't for handouts from the American taxpayer.  We have lots of undereducated, welfare dependent, and illegal alien voters.  We send some of the worst representatives to Washington from the lower Texas Rio Grand Valley.  The two in my area are Solomon Ortiz, and Reuben Hinojosa.  The more pork attached to a bill, the more likely they are to vote for it.  These guys manage to make a lot more money than we pay them to not represent us, and they amass questionable sums of additional income in addition to that.  Is it any wonder that hard working members of our community from all political parties are joining together to throw the "bums" out?  The patriots who peacefully protest in the "Tea Party" movement aren't just targeting Democrats, they are going after Republicans who are failing to listen and act as their constituents wish.

I'm waiting to see the evidence before I make any comment on whether the events reported actually occurred or were set ups, and real proof of who was responsible.  Nothing of that nature was in the National or Local news coverage  I read this morning.

Cuban leader applauds US health-care reform bill. , On Thursday March 25, 2010, 12:39 pm EDT

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."   Thomas Jefferson       

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Now?

Blogging every few days is not easy.  Finding suitable material to address the happenings of the day, writing something clever about your hobby or passion, or being artistically creative all take time and effort.  I have shifted from very eclectic to mostly political out of necessity.  So little is written in what passes for the press these days, I feel compelled to add my years of experience to the mix.  I read this morning the Health Care Reform bill is headed back for another vote in the House.  I'm sure the "F" bomb is resounding in the portion of Washington, D.C. occupied mostly by the Democrats.  Character, is that part of your personal makeup that remains the same through time and circumstance.  It is a creation formed in the totality of your upbringing and life experience.  When the "mikes" are thought to be off, or at least far away enough not to be a problem, our true "character" can be heard in our verbiage.  I believe it can also be seen in our actions.  The rude and disingenuous acts following the narrow passage of the Health Care Reform act by major players in the Democrat Party trump any act of kindness and caring they portrayed as they acted as the only caring people in the United States.  This 2.5 trillion dollar monstrosity will sink us all if we are unsuccessful in finding some judging body, still in touch with reality, to declare its blatant unconstitutionality.  I think one of the most telling aspects of the legislation is that the writers and supporters of the bill exempted themselves from participating.  We must correct the process where legislators and politicians can not only set their own salary and benefits, but they can exempt themselves from the provisions of and compliance with their own flawed laws.

Ann Coulter wrote a nice little Op-Ed on the subject.  I think it speaks volumes about how to handle the reform.

"Liberals keep complaining that Republicans don't have a plan for reforming health care in America. I have a plan!

It's a one-page bill creating a free market in health insurance. Let's all pause here for a moment so liberals can Google the term "free market."

Nearly every problem with health care in this country -- apart from trial lawyers and out-of-date magazines in doctors' waiting rooms -- would be solved by my plan.

In the first sentence, Congress will amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act to allow interstate competition in health insurance.

We can't have a free market in health insurance until Congress eliminates the antitrust exemption protecting health insurance companies from competition. If Democrats really wanted to punish insurance companies, which they manifestly do not, they'd make insurers compete.

The very next sentence of my bill provides that the exclusive regulator of insurance companies will be the state where the company's home office is. Every insurance company in the country would incorporate in the state with the fewest government mandates, just as most corporations are based in Delaware today.

That's the only way to bypass idiotic state mandates, requiring all insurance plans offered in the state to cover, for example, the Zone Diet, sex-change operations, and whatever it is that poor Heidi Montag has done to herself this week.

President Obama says we need national health care because Natoma Canfield of Ohio had to drop her insurance when she couldn't afford the $6,700 premiums, and now she's got cancer.

Much as I admire Obama's use of terminally ill human beings as political props, let me point out here that perhaps Natoma could have afforded insurance had she not been required by Ohio's state insurance mandates to purchase a plan that covers infertility treatments and unlimited ob/gyn visits, among other things.

It sounds like Natoma could have used a plan that covered only the basics -- you know, things like cancer.

The third sentence of my bill would prohibit the federal government from regulating insurance companies, except for normal laws and regulations that apply to all companies.

Freed from onerous state and federal mandates turning insurance companies into public utilities, insurers would be allowed to offer a whole smorgasbord of insurance plans, finally giving consumers a choice.

Instead of Harry Reid deciding whether your insurance plan covers Viagra, this decision would be made by you, the consumer. (I apologize for using the terms "Harry Reid" and "Viagra" in the same sentence. I promise that won't happen again.)

Instead of insurance companies jumping to the tune of politicians bought by health-care lobbyists, they would jump to the tune of hundreds of millions of Americans buying health insurance on the free market.

Hypochondriac liberals could still buy the aromatherapy plan and normal people would be able to buy plans that only cover things like major illness, accidents and disease. (Again -- things like Natoma Canfield's cancer.)

This would, in effect, transform medical insurance into ... a form of insurance!

My bill will solve nearly every problem allegedly addressed by ObamaCare -- and mine entails zero cost to the taxpayer. Indeed, a free market in health insurance would produce major tax savings as layers of government bureaucrats, unnecessary to medical service in America, get fired.

For example, in a free market, the government wouldn't need to prohibit insurance companies from excluding "pre-existing conditions."

Of course, an insurance company has to be able to refuse new customers with "pre-existing conditions." Otherwise, everyone would just wait to get sick to buy insurance. It's the same reason you can't buy fire insurance on a house that's already on fire.

That isn't an "insurance company"; it's what's known as a "Christian charity."

What Democrats are insinuating when they denounce exclusions of "pre-existing conditions" is an insurance company using the "pre-existing condition" ruse to deny coverage to a current policy holder -- someone who's been paying into the plan, year after year.

Any insurance company operating in the free market that pulled that trick wouldn't stay in business long.

If hotels were as heavily regulated as health insurance is, right now I'd be explaining to you why the government doesn't need to mandate that hotels offer rooms with beds. If they didn't, they'd go out of business.

I'm sure people who lived in the old Soviet Union thought it was crazy to leave groceries to the free market. ("But what if they don't stock the food we want?")

The market is a more powerful enforcement mechanism than indolent government bureaucrats. If you don't believe me, ask Toyota about six months from now.

Right now, insurance companies are protected by government regulations from having to honor their contracts. Violating contracts isn't so easy when competitors are lurking, ready to steal your customers.

In addition to saving taxpayer money and providing better health insurance, my plan also saves trees by being 2,199 pages shorter than the Democrats' plan.

Feel free to steal it, Republicans!"

1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106

Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.
David T. Wolf

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ridin' the Texas Back Roads

I took off Monday about noon and headed north west from the Rio Grande Valley to the wildflower strewn Texas Hill Country.  I parked my bike by this beautiful stream just outside of Utopia, Texas yesterday at about 2:00 P.M. and enjoyed the quiet gurgle of clear water over limestone.  After refreshing my senses for a short time, I rode into Utopia and stopped at the Lost Maples Cafe for some friendly conversation and a piece of homemade coconut meringue pie.  I sipped hot coffee from a cafe mug between bites to freshen my palate.  Plentiful moisture this year has created a magnificent wildflower bloom.

 I rode the hills for a while before turning my bike south toward home.  I arrived last night at 9:00 P.M. tired, but refreshed.  My trip meter for the two days read 750 miles.  I hope to return soon.

Zephyrs stir miniature
soldiers of lavender
and salmon pink
standing at attention
on a carpet of pastel green.

Purple tendrils
surround a phone pole.

Splashes of white and pink
peak out from
Winter’s stark remnants.

An ice blue sky
domes the hillsides
carpeted in yellow and blue.

Songbird fugues
pierce the air
backed up by the
steady gurgle of a
crystal stream.

Subtle hints of perfume
carried on the breeze
refresh and revive
my wakening spirit.

Dennis Price

Monday, March 22, 2010

Rainbow Stew

Pappy is mounting up for a trip into the heart of Texas.  After the shameful political machinations of this past month, I feel the need to roam.  I am not giving up, I'm just reloading.  I would like to meet the Democrats who did not vote for the garbage legislation crammed down our throats last night, we need to thank them for holding the line.  Thanks to all the Republicans who voted against the bill also.  We will be at the polls in November.  I'm sorry for you if you think you got something with the passage of the Senate bill.  Let me rephrase that; ...if you think you got something good....  We all got something;  immediate tax increases, fees, loss of more freedom, and not one positive advance in the quality and availability of health care.  The government has never delivered the goods on any social welfare program it has ever undertaken.  It was never intended to.  Our founders knew government control wouldn't work.  That's why they bound the power of the federal government with the U. S. Constitution.  Many of you mistakenly believe I am unaware of the abuses of private health insurance companies.  In a free society men must self regulate.  They must consider their fellowman and his needs when arriving at a fair cost for services in a free market.  Not everyone does.  But, those who violate the code of human decency can be replaced by new companies who will.  We need personal revival as human beings.  Some of you forget that government is run by the same kind of flawed people who control industry.  Your money is still going to be taken, and you will wait in long lines for inferior service while the leaders of government line their own pockets with your tax dollars.  You should have been able to see that in the process that accompanied the passage of this latest pack of lies legislation.  I'm reminded of the words in an old Merle Haggard tune, Rainbow Stew, ..."We'll all be drinkin' that free Bubble Up and eatin' that Rainbow Stew."  You just sold your birthright for a bowl of porridge.

I've fought with the insurance industry over coverages just as most of you have.  Mine is tied to the federal government, so the private company I deal with passes the buck to the government overseer every time I have a question.  I know what you are going to be in for.  I'm sorry many of you thought you were really going to be making a difference with your support of this bill.  I understand you thought things would be made right and people would start getting fair treatment, but it is my educated opinion you bought a pig in a poke.  Even if the bill manages to survive all the legal challenges, the only thing that will start before 2013 will be the increased taxes.

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Caring Democrat.

I will concede the difficulty of defending totally any one political entity, however, I defend the right to call them like I see them.  I tire of being presented life stories of people who could not make it without the benevolent federal government.  Horror stories of health care denied and lives ruined by the callousness of private health care.  Only those elite Democrats, (the politicians who foist these soap opera segments) are caring individuals.  The rich Republicans are only concerned about tax breaks for the rich.  Get a life people. Stop calling those of us who are in touch with reality mean spirited and full of hate.  Look at the gaggle in the picture above - want to add up their net worth?  I'm middle America and I choose to be a Republican.  Why?  Because I believe in the theory of action and reaction.  If you are lazy and irresponsible then someone will be forced to take care of you or you will starve.  Call me crazy, but most of the horror stories presented have an element of irresponsible action leading up to the consequences presented.  These elements are conveniently left out of the heart wrenching productions designed to pull at your heart strings.  Looking at all the facts is a necessary component of critical thinking.  However, when Democrats run out of facts (which happens almost immediately in most debates) they resort to calling those on the other side mean spirited and hateful.  I say look in the mirror.  Your party is selling American into slavery.  The focus should not be on select carefully chosen cases that purport to prove your weak theories, but on the real reason for the need for governmental action.  The real reason for bankrupting America by the Democrat elite is to bring down our current representative republic and replace it with an Oligarchy run by rich socialist.  Social do-gooders ignore the reality of what they are asking the federal government to do.  They envision some Edenic world where all is made right by big government.  It never has worked, and it never will work.  When you live your life in the cloistered and rarefied air of the far Northeast, it may be easy to speak of such wonderful earthly enclaves.  However, when you see the daily realities of huge entitlement addicted populations and their growing numbers and unrealistic expectations, you shudder at the folly of believing it will get anything but worse.  It is unconstitutional and economically unsustainable.  The federal government is bloated and out of control.  Both parties share the blame for the monster we have created, but the American people are being awakened daily to the terrible consequences we face if we don't take drastic action to reign it in.  I say get your heads out of the sand and take a stand for America.  You don't have to be Republican to do that, you just have to care about the future of the nation and its continued freedom.  We can't afford any more costly government programs.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I really hate writing about this stuff anymore, but it just won't go away.  What is it about "Bankrupt" these Dumb-o-crats don't understand?  I just got back from a week long road trip listening to books on tape, road noise, and gentle reminders from my wife.  What a shocker to read the paper and turn on television to learn some people still don't get it.  Here in the lower Rio Grande Valley aka "La Frontera", we still live with the whining undereducated masses of entitlement fed slaves who continue to vote in Congressmen like Solomon Ortiz, and Ruben Hinojosa.  These two long time pork purveyors will vote for any and all give away bills as long as it is your money they are giving away.  They are also weak on dealing with illegal immigration because they don't want to lose any of their illegal voting base.

It would seem that some Democrat holdouts are caving like cheap aluminum cans under the pressure of our rogue leadership in both the House and the Senate.  A poke in the chest, a trip to the White House, or the threat of being locked in a room with Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid seems to be enough to sway these weaklings.  I will admit having to look at Nancy Pelosi should be on the list along with water boarding, but where are the Statesmen?

Here are some considerations:

1.  No one knows what is in the bill they are being asked to vote on.  (Even if they've read it they don't know.  I'm not really sure our representatives read at the level necessary to understand comic books.)

2.  The United States is bankrupt.

3.  There is no government program ever conceived and put into operation that is deficit neutral.

4.  Health care is not broken.  Illegal and unconstitutional government programs already operating in the area of health care and health care regulation are killing an otherwise excellent system.  The amount of money required to fulfill the paperwork requirement alone is driving up medical costs.

5.  Unscrupulous lawyers filing unnecessary lawsuits for clients with a "Lotto" mentality are driving up medical costs.

6.  Jurors who watch reality T.V. all day and whine about their lives are making judgments on complex cases involving testimony requiring a well honed level of critical thinking skills.

7.  We are already treating everyone regardless of their immigration status, or ability to pay.  You and I are paying for their care either through increased insurance premiums or increased taxes.  Adding a new "government giveaway program" is not going to change the status of care in the least.  It will simply add to the levels of government necessary to oversee the increased paper work.

8.  The government programs already geared to assisting with or actually paying totally for services are "bankrupt".

9.  The entire system of drug manufacture, sale, research, medical care, doctor education and retention, price setting, billing, and patient/doctor relationship is adversely affected by government programs already in effect.  How could anyone with an above 80 I.Q. believe more government will bring down the cost?

10.  The entirety of government involvement with health care is unconstitutional and illegal and should be challenged by opponents on that basis.

We are being lied to by Barack Hussein Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and all who are backing this major debacle known as "Health Care Reform".  This is tyranny in action.  This is the forced take over of a once free Republic by a rogue government.

 "It would reduce the whole instrument to a single phrase, that of
instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good
of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good
or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please.
Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them. It [the
Constitution] was intended to lace them up straightly within the
enumerated powers and those without which, as means, these powers could
not be carried into effect." --Thomas Jefferson, Opinion on a National
Bank, 1791

Friday, March 12, 2010

St. Patrick

We are approaching the day where celebrations include the wearing of the green.  My ancestry is rich with the feisty DNA of Irish immigrants.  My mother claims that our kin not only kissed the Blarney Stone, they took a bite out of it.  I wrote a poem to tell the history of St. Patrick.  I hope you enjoy it.  I'll be out doing a little wool gathering for a few days.  Happy St. Patrick's Day.  Don't forget to wear green.

           ST. PATRICK

Green beer and drunkenness,
clovers and Leprechauns,
singing and dancing to old
Celtic tunes.
Ireland the “Green Isle”,
the parish of Maewyn,
the bishop, converter, till 461.

March 17th, the day of his death
we celebrate now in secular mirth.
Captured at sixteen by Irish marauders,
sold into slavery,
a Welshman by birth.

He escaped after six years and
fled into Gaul,
where he studied with monks
Christianities’ tenets,
and fourteen years later he
answered the call.

Bishop to Ireland
he preached and converted.
Resisted by Druids,
arrested, escaping,
building schools,
and churches.
Metaphorically chasing,
the snakes from the land.

Maewyn the pagan,
St. Patrick, the Christian
served thirty years in
his mission to Ireland.
His vision,
to see his captors set free.

Dennis Price

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still Puzzled?

I guess our grand old symbol of freedom and great strength may be a little puzzled too.  I didn't intend to make any special statement about my libertarian friends yesterday.  However, they do have a stated platform and foist very strong arguments for their beliefs.  I find their arguments are a little too pat at times for my palate, but I do find a lot of common ground with them on some issues.  My point was, no matter how sound your argument may come across on first hearing, some very important realities may have been left out of the equation.  I could not use either the Democrats or Republicans as examples as their positions on issues are solely dependent on how much pork they are receiving at the time.

Let's look at how the parties operate.  Sarah Palin, the very popular former Governor of Alaska and VP running mate of John McCain in the last election, is receiving very harsh treatment from the Democrats and their biased companions in the liberal media.  Their argument seems to be centered around her lack of qualifications to hold the office of President.  I can't say I totally disagree with their assessment, but, should the party of Barack Hussein Obama be drawing attention to anyone's lack of qualifications?  I think I need to learn more about Sarah Palin before I can make an educated opinion, however, Barack Obama has proved to us all how much of an unqualified light weight he really is.

Now, just so you are not confused, I like the conservative wing of the Republican party, and I am more aligned politically with the platform of the Republicans than with any other political party.  Most of my voting life I voted Republican except in local elections where no Republican candidate was available.  Why?  Because as I have mentioned in the preceding two posts, I feel compelled to vote for people who I believe understand there is a spiritual component in our lives.  The Democrat party platform has more planks linked to special interest groups with a social agenda than does the Republican party.  Some of these special interests are behaving in direct opposition to my value system, so I choose to vote Republican.  I am not for any special recognition of neglected classes of people by the U. S. government.  I am not for granting rights to special interests who have aberrant behavior as their primary focus.  I am not for granting special favors to large voting blocs like labor unions, or minority groups who continue to demand recognition and supplemental financial help.  I am not for an open immigration policy.  So, Democrats are out as far as I'm concerned.

I do have problems with some members of the Republican party who are stuck on some single issue.  As a party, the Republicans must speak to a wide variety of issues affecting our national interests at home and abroad.  Our major concern right now should be a major reduction in federal spending, and budget reduction.  Social and environmental programs, along with our public welfare programs must get the immediate budget ax.  We must return to the well defined provisions of our United States Constitution.

Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
Honore de Balzac

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stinkin' Thinkin'

When I works, I works hard.  When I plays, I plays hard.  When I thinks, I goes to sleep.  However, I was outside the other day wondering just how far we will have to de-evolve before we realize we are moving in the wrong direction.  Why are libertarians so willing to decriminalize possession and sale of dangerous drugs?  Well, because it is so expensive to keep people locked up who choose to detach themselves from reality on a regular basis.  The argument is usually somewhere along the line that if we decriminalize to possession, use, and sale of these psycho-active substances then we free up law enforcement to do more important jobs.  We save billions in tax dollars for penitentiaries and jails.  Further, we free up the crowded court system.  The Libertarians would argue that prohibition of alcohol didn't work, so our prohibition of drugs isn't working either.  One other aspect of the argument is that the users hurt no one but themselves.  A parallel is drawn again to prohibition in pointing out that the illegal alcohol importation, manufacture, and sale during the prohibition era only made certain criminal types rich and powerful.  We could go on infinitum with these arguments, but I think we miss the point.

Without true debate and adequate facts, any argument can sound solid.  But remember, all movement to allow unrepentant men to handle their own affairs moves away from lofty expectations and achievement toward the base reality of the human condition.  Unintended consequences always follow.  I contend the arguments on both sides are very difficult to defend when examined in the light.  Why?  Because we are not attacking the problems of mankind at their root.  Why do we want to free ourselves from reality?  Because, the answers to our problems are difficult to find using either common sense, or collective knowledge.  Because we do not like what we see in the mirror every morning.  Because we are afraid of what others are thinking of us.  These go on and on, and the combinations are endless.  But, the real problem is, mankind was created to worship God and have communion with him.  We have a longing for something more in life than what we are experiencing.  That "something" is the reconciliation of our spirit to the spirit of God.  Because we have a will (our God given ability to choose for ourselves), we can choose to feed our basic, selfish, biological needs without regard to God or others.  If you remember the creation story, you will recall that Adam and Eve were in the perfect setting and in right relationship with the Creator God.  They bought the one sided argument provided by Satan and chose to satisfy their selfish human needs.  Many times when Christians are given the choice we choose the carnal urging and stray from God's higher expectations and purposes for our lives.  For those who remain unrepentant (non-Christians), it is the only choice short of repentance.  So, we are in need of the salvation God provided through Jesus Christ.  This is the only lasting solution to the difficult problems plaguing all men.  We can try all the governmental and psycho-social solutions man can conjure up and still find ourselves in the mire.  Our best human efforts in solving these problems are akin to putting band aids on major wounds.  Sickness is cured when the root of the medical problem is found and treated.  Then the process of restoring ones health begins.  We must be responsible as individuals in order to effect any lasting change.  We must obey the plan God has laid out for us to follow.  Anything less will end with an unsatisfactory outcome.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring is coming.


Could aught but God make spring?
Purples, greens, whites, reds.
Tuned songbirds’ voices sing.
Could aught but God make spring?
New life to winter’s dying bring,
as unto us though we were dead?
Could aught but God make spring?
Purples, greens, whites, reds.

Dennis Price

Friday, March 5, 2010

Just Thinking

Yesterday, Bebe and I were out in the pool getting ready for warmer weather.  I started thinking about all the current arguments and pontifications on what's wrong here in America.  I limit myself to our country because it's where I live.  I think the same is true about other locations in this old world, but I'll let their great thinkers comment on their plight.  Our collective problems stem from our inability to believe in and abide by what God revealed to us in his book, the Bible.  While our problems manifest themselves in the general population, they stem from the individual.  Now, if you happen to be reading this and are not a believer, I encourage you to continue to the end.  Remember, just because you don't believe it, doesn't mean it's not true.

According to the bible, God wants us to put Him in first place in our lives.  Then, the way I read it he wants us to consider others next, and ourselves last.  In Romans Chapter 13, the apostle Paul explains the role and purpose of government and what our response should be as Christians.  Governments (good and bad) are there for the purpose of keeping us from anarchy and in a state of relative peacefulness so that we can worship God.  God knew how difficult it was for men to grasp spiritual principles, so he sent Jesus Christ to be our human example.  What did we do?  We killed him.  I'll not try and explain all the rest of the plan here, but it was a necessity that Jesus die.  My bible says he rose from the grave and ascended to God to sit at his right hand.  God also sent the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirits when we accept the sacrifice Jesus made for us.  This Holy Spirit then provides us with the spiritual guidance to know the correct spiritual response in every situation.  You might ask, "How can you believe all this?"  Well, God provides the faith we need to believe when we approach him.  We don't have to qualify by doing anything but accepting what he has done for us through Jesus Christ - this is known as grace (unmerited favor).  We are to read his Word daily (The Bible) to get the objective answers to our questions.  Then the Holy Spirit enlightens our understanding and helps us to apply it.  Because we also have our human mental and biological processes still functioning we sometimes have leakage which colors our responses and makes our interpretations subjective to varying degrees.  As we learn more about God's word (The Bible) we become more mature as Christians and less likely to let our carnal responses color our actions.  The mature Christian should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit which is: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. (Galatians 5:22).

Because men have interpreted various segments of the Word differently, we have a variety of denominations within the belief system know as Christianity.  They all believe what I have written about in my second paragraph but differ in often minor points of application. But, because some political systems sought to make all Christians belong to a state mandated denomination, our great nation was formed.  Our forefathers were for the most part Christians.  They varied in their beliefs, but our nation was established on the principles derived from the Bible.  The only way a representative republic can exist and prosper is for the majority of its population to ascribe to the order set down by God in his word.  When people put God first and abide by his principles and consider their fellowman next, then a plethora of laws are not necessary and government interference in our daily existence is not necessary.  However, to the degree that individuals stray from this model, God's ordained institution of "government", will have to step in to maintain control.

When Jesus ministered here on this earth, there were many social practices that were not in line with what the Kingdom of God was all about.  Instead of trying to immediately undo eons of accepted social practice (slavery being one example) he sought to change the hearts of individuals and let them mature spiritually to the point they would realize their error and change the institutions.  He didn't condone slavery, but told Christian slaves how to respond to their masters, and Christian masters how to respond to their slaves.  We will be blessed as a nation to the degree that we respond as individuals to God's plan to bring our individual lives into right relationship with our Creator.  When enough people do what God says, then we will see progress in our nation.  My job is to tell you about the plan and to daily work on maturing in the Spirit.  My prayer is that you will approach God and accept his gift for you.  He will do the rest.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jousting at Windmills

I have exhausted the Dictionary of Expletives to try and explain the madness of progressives currently occupying the seats in the White House, House of Representatives, and Senate.  I can't come up with anything new to say about them.  They are haughty functionaries of the monied global interests who would wreck our representative republic.  They are dangerous and without conscience.  I can tell you from a very limited experience in trying to gain some political support for an appointed law enforcement position years ago, that these political movers and shakers always ask, "What can you do for us?"  Nothing about your ethics, your vision for service, or your ideas for best serving the tax payers, only "What can you do for us?"

I felt those chains of obligation wrapping around my body at the first meeting.  We are going to back you with our money, and we want some kind of payback.  I know it is much more blatant on the bigger stage.  I didn't vote for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for that very reason.  After all those years in Washington, she proved my point.  If you examine her voting record rather than listening to her political claims, you can see the real picture.  She is a progressive Republican.  She was not thinking of the State of Texas, she was thinking about remaining on the taxpayers' dole.  She ran against a strong Republican governor who has done a pretty fair job during his political tenure.  She exposed the Republican party to an unnecessary fight that could only serve to fracture the Republican voters and give aid to the enemy.  We would have been better served to use our conservative votes to insure that conservative Democrats were on the ballot in those districts where Republicans stand very little chance of winning.  Our party leadership must try and rid our ranks of the progressive elements already entrenched in the state legislature, and also in Washington, D.C.

Personal responsibility and ethical behavior are essential if we are to get our nation back on track. A democratic republic cannot survive if Judeo - Christian principles are not guiding the behavior of individuals in that republic.  Considering the rights of your fellow man is a central theme in making the process work.  Greed and selfishness need not be a part of Capitalism.  People can become very wealthy without cheating and stealing, and many others will benefit from their success.  Class envy gets us nowhere.  Attaching work to any money received as benevolence is much healthier for those who receive it.  We must kill the entitlement mind set we've allowed to permeate so much of our society.  The federal government and the state government should not be required to support anyone.  This function is best handled by family, friends, and concerned individuals.  They know best who really needs to be helped.  Those who refuse to participate would eventually starve and no longer be a problem.    Pappy

Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.
John F. Kennedy

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Sailing


It started out a lovely day
March breezes softly blew.
I pulled my sailboat to the lake
my wife the only crew.

But as we launched, clouds drifted in
cool wind began to gust.
It was my crewmate’s first assist
some training was a must.

My boat was small with open hull
no keel, just centerboard.
I turned her bow into the wind
set sail and ran from shore.

She heeled to starboard on a reach
my wife was seated there.
The gunnels touched the water line
her eyes were wide with fear.

The water finally breached the side
and roused her from the trance.
She crossed the hull and glared at me
with malice in her glance.

I took the hint and made for port
riding with the wind.
I’d have to find another crew
or sail alone again.

Dennis Price