Sarah Palin Mistake?

(I wrote this prior to the 8/10/10 runoff election on my FaceBook Notes tab)

Sarah Palin made a serious mistake in endorsing Karen Handel. Karen is a liberal Republican, and the only Republican gubernatorial candidate not endorsed by Georgia Right to Life.

Handel has a record of big spending when she was in Fulton County government.
Handel has a record of looking for government to solve problems, not the private sector.
Handel lied about graduating from high school (she received a GED).
Handel supports the gay agenda. She was a member of the Log Cabin Republicans and lied about it until her lie was exposed.
Handel is weak on the right to life, having spent large amounts on Planned Parenthood, freeing up other money to fund their abortion clinics. Handel also believes it is OK to kill an unborn baby because the mother was a victim of rape or incest. Handel supports embryonic stem cell research, where conservatives support the only stem cell research that works – adult stem cells.
Handel’s campaign ads were blatantly sexist (i.e. elect me because I am a woman and they are not).

Sarah Palin is opening herself to being exposed as a Rockefeller Republican by endorsing this “John McCain in a skirt”. It makes Sarah Palin look like a sexist for endorsing Handel only because she is a woman – a markedly liberal thing to do.

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The Road from Serfdom

“The Road to Serfdom” was a great book written by Friedrich von Hayek in 1944. Many of his economic views are 100% on target even today. I write this to offer a way back from the serfdom road on which we tread.

In a sense, we are becoming serfs to the enemy nations to which we owe and pay money (China, to name one). Things need to change, and there are those who having the appearance of conservatives, but the substance of liberals (Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Mike Pence, Tim Pawlenty, just to name a few). Ever hear a Republican politician say something to the effect of “if you elect me, I am going to grow jobs”? That is one sure sign of a fake conservative. (Hint: Government cannot grow jobs. Not one.)

We need to be able to spot these fakes, not be sidetracked by them, and stay focused on what we need to do to turn our nation back to its traditional form.

The level of government spending should always depend on what it needs to efficiently and effectively carry out its Constitutional (Federal or State, local government charters, etc) duties. In reality, that is way more than it spends now, so spending cuts are a fiscally conservative thing to do on the basis of government spending money on things that are not its responsibility, and there is no reason to wait, nor tie it to tax cuts.

Tax cuts initially lower revenue, but within a year to two years, the revenue increases. So long term, tax cuts usually generate increased revenue. But short term, revenue does drop. That should be an incentive, but not a reason, to cut spending.

I agree that tax cuts, without cutting spending to match Constitutionally required duties, will cause a drop in revenue initially, and will greatly dampen the long term benefit of tax cuts. Look at what happened when Reagan got a Democrat Congress to lower taxes on the promise of cutting the growth in spending. The taxes were lowered, revenue was down the first year or so, and by the end of Reagan’s term, revenues had nearly doubled. But the Democrat Congress increased the rate of growth of government spending significantly, which only increased deficits, when had they kept their promise, we would likely have had balanced budgets by the end of Reagan’s term.

A fiscally conservative approach, as I see it, is to:
1) Cut spending to spend only what is Constitutionally required, and,
2) Cut taxes and level the percentage everyone pays – no free rides except for the most exceptional of cases, and even they need to pay something.  No one rides for free when the price of liberty is the blood of our best youth.

Those who advocate tax cuts alone raise the same red flag to me as those Obamacrats & Rockefeller Republicans who advocate deficit spending under some Keynesian delusion.

We need to cutback government spending, and in large numbers, to the point we can start to pay down the debt.

However, it is only Keynesian economists that see raising taxes as part of the answer. And Keynesian economics has been a failure.

At any given moment, there is a fixed amount of money (of course, that amount changes over time). There are two entities that can use that money – the private sector and the government. The private sector can increase GDP – the government cannot. The more you tax, the larger the government share of the money supply, and the smaller the share the private sector has. Simple math tells you that there is less money to pay down debt when you decrease the amount available for the only entity that can grow the GDP.

Here’s the math:
M = Money Supply ($ at any given point in time)
P = Private Sector Share of M (0-1)
G = Government Share of M (0-1)
T = Effective Avg Tax Rate (0-1)

(P + G) = 1
(P + G) * M = M
G = P * T
by substitution,
(P + (P * T)) * M = M

Thus, as T increases, M decreases. As T decreases, so long as it is not below a level necessary for G to do its Constitutionally mandated duties, M increases. Clearly, if G drops below those levels, there is not a safe and free environment for P, thus negating P’s ability to grow.

I did not include the national debt separately, since that is a government expenditure, and thus falls under G.

For those who want to argue that the private sector does not have a tremendous ability for growth in the US, or that government does indeed grow GDP directly, you will have to fight over 200 years of historical evidence to the contrary.

The traditional American form of free enterprise is the best known process to harness mortal man’s inherent and immutable tendency for greed to the greater good.

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What’s So Good About Good Friday?

Think about it. There is a reason we call this “Good Friday”. To understand that reason, there are some things of which we need to remind ourselves.

First, think of what happened on that Friday nearly 2,000 ago. A just and perfect man, who was God in the flesh dwelling among the very people He had chosen as His own, was not recognized by most of them, and was enthusiastically crucified to silence Him.

Second, think of what crucifixion was. It was the most horrible and painful way to kill a person, and meant to be used for the worst of criminals. The Father allowed Jesus to suffer illness (“sweating great drops of blood”, as Scripture says), and Jesus’ reaction was to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane that the Father would give Him the strength to make it to the cross, asking that the Father take away that cup of illness from Him. Jesus was arrested, betrayed, beaten, the skin on his back torn off piece by tiny piece with the whip. The whip used had small pieces of bone that dug in under the skin, and tore away not only chunks of skin but also underlying fat and tissue. By the time Jesus was nailed to the cross, he had suffered tremendous blood loss, and hours of excruciating pain. He was nailed to the cross so that He would slowly, and painfully, suffocate. And in the greatest pain of them all, He who knew no sin, voluntarily took upon Himself the sins of all people who ever lived, which separated Him from the Father (Lord, Lord, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”).

Third, think what the word “Gospel” means. It means “good news that follows bad news.” The bad news for us is that every single one of us, by virtue of making choices against God’s will sometime (many times?) during our lives, has chosen an eternity in Hell rather than Heaven. We are all, by our own rebellious actions and thoughts, condemned to Hell without hope. There is no appeal. OK, that was the bad news.

The Good News is that the One who created us – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Great I AM – knew before time began that we would choose that path. He loves us so much, that He was willing to pay the price for our sins so we would not have to. God chose to come into this created world in flesh and blood as 100% man, yet remain 100% God, so that He could be the perfect, once and for all, sacrifice for us so that when He calls us, we can come to Him in Christ’s righteousness (not our own) and be adopted into His family as adopted sons and daughters.

Paraphrasing a preacher of long ago, you and I are only separated from being in Hell right now by the thin thread of His grace. It is indeed Good News that we are spared from that danger, indeed from God’s wrath, by what Christ did on Good Friday, and His victory on Easter morning. That makes me happy.

The unimaginably horrible death of the one and only perfect human being is good – it was God’s will and His choice to do so, and our one and only hope to an eternal life apart from what we deserve. As my Sunday School teacher is fond of saying, the question is not “Why does God allow anyone to go to Hell?”, but “Why does God allow anyone to go to Heaven?” The answer to the latter question is why Good Friday is so good.

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Cowboy Code

Gene Autry came up with these a long time ago. Written for kids, they make a good code for us adults, too – espcially us men.

Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code
1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3. He must always tell the truth.
4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. He must help people in distress.
7. He must be a good worker.
8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.
10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

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The Truth Will Set You Free

“If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 (ESV)
Part of being a Christian is seeking facts, not feelings. When we know the truth, both heavenly and mortal, we are freed from much worry. Consider these things we don’t need to worry about when we know the truth:
– People are not causing global warming (or cooling)
– Global warming and cooling is, and always has been, within normal, natural weather cycles
– The polar bears are increasing, not dying out.
– The ice caps are not melting outside normal patterns of growth and shrinkage.
– The ozone layer will always be with us as long as there is a sun.
– Mt Kilimanjaro is not losing its snow because of man – it is part of a natural cycle.
– Man can neither save the world nor destroy it. We are far too small and too weak.
– Don’t waste your money buying a hybrid car – they don’t save the planet,
   and they cost more per mile to own than gas-only cars the same size.
– You are not going to die because you eat beef or have transfat in your
   food. If you eat a balanced diet, it is not what you eat, it is how much you eat.
– Butter is better for you than margarine, and it tastes better.
– Overpopulation is a myth. Every person on the face of the earth could
   be put in the sovereign state of Texas, and the population density would
   be less than in some areas of some big US cities.
– We are not running out of oil. We just have too much government
   in the way of safely getting it out of the ground.
– There is no shortage of health care in the US. There is an overabundance
   of goverment getting in the way and driving up costs.

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A Love Story for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day, 1973, was a lonely but happy day for me. I can’t remember what I was doing that day, but I can remember why it was both lonely and joyful.

In my last year in high school, a girl I had planned to marry after graduation and I broke up. In my despair, amplified by the state of being a 17 year old, I cried out to God:
“Lord, please find me a girl who will love me for who I am, whom I will love no matter what, and that we will remain together through good and bad.”

Meanwhile, far away from Cairo, in Ohio, a teenage girl is told by an aunt that one day, she will meet a tall man from the South who will win her heart and marry her. She has the faith to believe God can, but is unsure if He will.

As teenagers are wont to do, such things pass into the mind’s obscure regions, and neither of us thought much about it until later. A friend, Darrell, that I made while stationed with the Navy in North Chicago (Great Lakes), who was also 18, suggested that when our training was over in late January, and we headed to the same ship in San Diego, that during that 2 week period, we spend a few days at his house in Ohio, and then a few days at my house in Cairo. I agreed, and when we were shipped out, we drove to his house in Ross, Ohio.

Once there, Darrell said there was a girl he wanted to take out, a younger sister of a girl he went to high school with and graduated with, also 18. With all the insecurity and vanity of an 18 year old boy, he showed me her picture in his high school annual. He called and setup the blind double date for Saturday night, January 20, 1973.

When we walked into the girls’ house (something guys did back then to be respectful rather than sit out in the car and honk the horn), a beautiful girl came out with long, dark hair and brown eyes. It turned out to be the younger sister. Then, I saw the most beautiful sight I had ever seen when my date walked out. Long, beautiful brown hair, big brown eyes I could get lost in, a sweet, gentle face, and a smile that melted my heart. I was stunned and stayed that way the whole evening. Her name was Pam.

We went out to eat, went bowling (something the girls loved), and then I drove home as slowly as I could. I tried to get Pam to go out with me Sunday night, and my heat sank like a rock when she said she couldn’t because that was family bowling night, and no dates were allowed. Just about the time I thought she was giving me a polite brushoff, Pam suggested picking her up Sunday morning. I am pretty sure the joyful yell I had was kept contained so as not to embarrass myself.

I picked Pam up Sunday morning, and we went driving out in the country. We talked and got to know each other. Being the idiot I was at 18, I saw a path going through a field, and decided to take a shortcut.

I got us stuck in the mud.

We went to a farmhouse nearby to see if the farmer could pull us out with his tractor, but he had just bought the farm and did not have his equipment in place yet. He let us call a tow truck. While we were waiting, he said we must be newlyweds. We both laughed and said no, just dating.

Once I was back on the road, something came over me, and I pulled over and stopped. I turned to Pam, and asked her to marry me. To my surprise, she said “Yes!”.

We had not known each other for 24 hours yet, but we both had it in our minds from the night before, her at her house, and me at Darrell’s house, when we couldn’t sleep, that this was “the one”. Not having a close relationship after this night was an unbearable thought.

We set the date for March 10, then had to move it to March 3 when I found out my ship would be at sea on the 10th. That Valentine’s Day, 1973, was lonely for me because I missed her terribly, but joyful because I knew God had found my mate.

This next March 3rd (2011) will be our 38th anniversary. I love her more than ever, and she is more beautiful, more lovable, and more desirable to me now than when we met. Neither of us has been the perfect spouse, me certainly much less perfect than her, and we’ve had our trials and obstacles, but through it all, God has given us a love that will not die – for each other and for Him.

God knew all along who He wanted for my wife, and who He wanted for Pam’s husband. The love of a lifetime can be a divine appointment, if we just have the smallest bit of faith in the One who created us.

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More to Offer

Published in “The Christian Index”, October 13, 2005

I enjoyed and agreed with the articles on the need to bring the unchanging message to our communities in culturally relevant ways. The American culture (which was a result of free people applying Christian faith) that we have had for over 200 years – which depended on a majority of Americans being believers or God-fearers – is no longer the dominant culture. For good or bad, we have a variety of distinct cultures in the U.S. in which there are lost people desperately in need of Christ.

Yet, thus far to be culturally relevant with an undiluted message, we have but kept up with the world, and largely indistinguishable from it. I propose there is something more we have to offer, and it is offered far too little.

For a lost person in any culture to see Christ, he or she must see Christ in someone. We were left here after salvation for a reason. The cultures and people we try to reach must see humble, gentle, kind, strong, and Godly men and women of faith, character, and honor.

We must “walk the talk,” or else all we offer, to the ears of the mournful lost soul being sweetly serenaded by the Enemy, is noise. I further contend that we men need to be Godly men who lead and will not compromise – period.

We who are believers cannot lead Godly lives on our own. We can’t simply “buck up”, have a “stiff upper lip”, etc. We must be submissive to God, surrender our will to His, and allow Him to create Godly lives through us. Otherwise, the lost world will see our failure and hypocrisy as evidence of a false religion.

Fellow Christians, how we act in things great or small, public or private, at work, home, play, school, and anywhere we go, is either used by the Holy Spirit as evidence of Christ in us, or used by Satan to further confuse the unsaved. When we choose to put our will over God’s will, be assured Satan will find a way to use that – no matter how private you thought it was.

Which way will you choose?

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