Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Note to Commenters:
This post to a link is about two subjects: First, why women are attracted to jerks, and while we're at it, of the female as well as the male variety. And second, self-interest as it relates to altruisim?
That's it. You've gotten your licks in about Dick Cheney and Bill O'Neill. I got it. And my one or two readers got it too. I got it that you hate these men with a passion far beyond reason and you successfully have gotten this across in posts.
But I'm driving this here blog train and it's going to stay that way. We're not going off on a hundred different hateful tangents about whether Kos is a patriot or whether Dick Cheney has perjured himself in yet another ignominious way.
Stick to the topic if you want to get your comment published.
One more thing about commenters while I'm at it: No one will be banished from this blog, unless he assaults me, day in and day out with compulsive, hateful, multitudinous e-mails and comments-----that's only happened once.
So let me be clear once again, I don't believe any commenter is persona non grata, even if I don't like what you say, or worse yet, I don't care for you. While we all want to be universally loved and accepted, I won't hold it against you, if you don't like me or agree with everything I say and do. I hope my skin is a bit tougher.....but we shall see, won't we?
However, certain comments that I, the blog dame here, deem off topic, off color or off-the-wall won't always get published. Conversely, you are free to leave at any time, temporarily or for good, for good reason or no reason at all.
We all have First Amendment rights here. But it's still my blog....Na NA-NA NAHHHH NA!
Thanks for your interest and comments!
Monday, July 30, 2007
This is not necessarily new news, but simply a reality worth repeating.
We are in a war with radical Islam. It is the continuation of a war that goes back over a thousand years. It is a global war for the hearts and minds of people everywhere. And it is a war that threatens all aspects of our way of life, including all of our freedoms.
Thank you HR for sending this.
When, pray tell? When? I demand to know! When? 20? 30? Oh no maybe it was 40? Okay, maybe 50? Surely she can't have meant 60?
Mother wasn't wrong about many things, but today, I proved her wrong....again and for the second time this year, doing my training hike up a long steep grade, happy as a clam, seeing the branch up ahead and deciding to sprint over it, rather than to go around it. I could take that sucker!
I went up and over but failed to see a second limb, hiding behind the first, on my descent.
It was the Three Stoogies take a hike.
God must have a sense of humor because the next thing I knew, I was splat fully on the ground, writhing in pain and humiliation, but fully conscious. What a damn fool thing to do! So I rolled over, ultimately managing to sit up. Then I proceeded to have a good cry. I boo hoed for the first time in months.
The the skinned knee was one of my best.
I took out a tissue, blew my nose, wiped my eyes and proceeded to crawl back up, in fine Scarlett O'Hara style. Then, thank God, I was able to walk back to my car.
I realized coming back down the mountain, it's still happening because I never have quite mastered the southern belle thing, like Scarlett O'Hara.
Meanwhile, I'll being wearing either skirts or shorts to all upcoming social events. And working hard to bend my knees and stay upright!
Tomorrow is another day!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Before (above): A wild mule---and I do mean wild---kicks, snorts, and paws impatiently in a dark stall, as it awaits its encounter with the horse whisperer.
After: Almost two hours later, the cowboy presents the "tamed and better behaved" mule to the congregation. It's the first time the mule has been touched with a saddle or bridle and mounted by a rider. This mule is described as "very smart" and "determined," rather than "stubborn," by the cowboy wrangler.
This guy has no intention of making nice with the wrangler or being ridden or befriended. A huge and magnificent beast, as mules go, its mother was a wild horse running free on the great, open plains of Wyoming. This mule would rather be any place but here.
First steps of friendship.
The saddle's on, next the bridle. When the cowboy is through, this mule will become his lifelong, devoted friend and companion in every conceivable situation.
Last week, I attended church in a huge barn in Moran, Wyoming at a service called "Cowboy Church," where the principles of the Gospel are demonstrated by cowboys working to break and tame horses and mules that are wild and dangerous.
Above, Jessie, horse whisperer and chief wrangler of Heart Six Ranch in Moran, works to tame a wild mule named Samson, first by building trust through simple things. By the end of the service, Jessie has saddled, bridled, mounted and ridden Samson for the first time. It's truly fascinating to watch. Many parallels are made throughout the service to our own walk in faith and devotion to the transforming power of Jesus Christ. In case you don't get it, we're the mules in this analogy and the horse whisperer is the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit that whispers to us through the still small voice of grace.
Thanks to my good friend, Elaine Luton, for suggesting and encouraging me to attend this fascinating service in the Buffalo Valley.
Here's an archived sermon by Lon Solomon from McLean Bible Church outside Washington, D.C. on the subject how Christianity is the best friend women have ever had. In case you've forgotten to count your blessings as a woman in this great country, or are a man who loves and respects women's equality in our society, this is a sermon you won't want to miss.
Lon is currently recovering at home in Virginia from some corrective heart surgery and, God willing, will be back to McLean in early September. All his friends in Wyoming wish him and his family Godspeed and send our best wishes for his complete recovery.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Read it if you dare, and remember, this is the direction Hillary Clinton wants to take us in this country. I don't know about you, but having a doctor's appointment cancelled 48 times, or having to draw straws to see who gets the next available doctors appointment doesn't sound like a very good plan to me.
As in all things, free markets makes things more efficient for the medical consumer, and government intervention makes things more laborious.
Wednesday, I got stopped out of all but one of the stocks I personally manage online. When that happens, I get a little sad and mope around for a while. Last night I checked my portfolio, saw the stops had been activated and went into mild moping mode before going to bed.
I told myself before turning in I might have tightened these stops a little too much after Tuesday's decline and the market would probably shoot back up today, leaving me out of the party.
Today at just a little past noon MDT the Dow is down almost 400 points. UPDATE FINAL: Dow down 311 at the close.
All I can say is THANK HEAVENS for getting stopped out of these stocks yesterday thereby locking in the very nice gains I've made over the past six months! In other words, yesterday, stops enabled me to ring the register, and take some good profits off the table.
I'm happy I've learned a little about principled investing from reading Investors Business Daily over the past 7-8 years. Principled investing takes buying and selling out of the emotional realm of fear and greed and into a more rational mode of principles decided ahead of time and emotions.
A big Market drop is like a gully washing thunder storm, as it washes out all the excessive buying and exuberance, creating new opportunities to make money, often in new sectors.
In gratitude today, I am adding IBD to my sidebar links. In my opinion, it's the only financial newspaper in the world worth reading. You can have the Wall Street Journal in my opinion.
I'm an IBD woman all the way.
Larry Kudlow, a real pro, puts things in perspective on the market correction.
My least favorite animals in the entire world, they have a disposition only Arab dictators can appreciate. And oh, the spitting they can do with impunity when they're out of sorts. My adorable daughter talked me into riding one of these beasts with her when we were in Israel last year....she loved seeing me terrified and totally out of my element! What a relief to finally disembark.
Hat tip: It's Knuttz
And here is a good laugh, if you liked She Thinks my Tractor's Sexy. Country music, Baghdad-style. Maybe this is really Allahpundit?
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Thanks to Bill Hobbs, I learned about Stephen Mansfield who lives in Nashville, Tennessee and writes books as well as conservative/Christian commentary on current events.
Today, Hobbs features a post on Mansfield's new book Ten Tortured Words: How the Founding Fathers Tried to Protect Religion in America and What's Happened Since.
Bill also links to Mansfield's recent op/ed piece in USA TODAY and to Mansfield's webpage/blog.
I am reprinting Mansfield's op/ed here in full and I hope you will find it well worth reading:
The Founders got it right. Religion now rests in a tortured place in society today, thanks largely to unfortunate and misguided rulings of the Supreme Court.
By Stephen Mansfield
"Two days after he wrote the famous words "separation between church and state" in an 1802 letter to Baptists in Connecticut, Thomas Jefferson began attending church — on the floor of the House of Representatives. He would attend the makeshift church in the national Capitol nearly every Sunday morning for the rest of his presidency. Clearly, his understanding of the connection between religion and government is not the one we endure today.
"We should not be surprised. It was Jefferson, after all, who insisted upon the Bible as part of the curriculum at the University of Virginia, Jefferson who approved federal funding for a Catholic priest to serve the Kaskaski Indians, and Jefferson who once said, "I am a Christian in the only sense in which he (Jesus) wished anyone to be." True, he was far from theologically orthodox, he expected most of the young men in his day to end their lives as Unitarians and he angrily despised the clergy of his day. Yet, contrary to the secular dreams of an influential few today, Jefferson envisioned a government that would encourage religion while neither submitting to nor erecting a religious tyranny.
"Even if Jefferson had envisioned a secular state, it would have made little difference in the early history of our nation. It was not his words that carried the force of law — written as they were 14 years after the Constitution was ratified — but rather the 10 words that are undoubtedly the most tortured in our history: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." These words, the first 10 of our Bill of Rights, make the intentions of the Founding Fathers clear. Having just fought a war of independence against England and her state church, they had no intention of allowing the U.S. Congress the authority to erect a new religious tyranny to dominate their young nation. Instead, they denied Congress the power to create a national church. The states and the individual citizens, of course, were free to be as religious as they wanted to be.
The court oversteps
The result was a marvelous triumph of freedom, a miracle of history, prevailing for more than 150 years. Never had religion so graced a nation without controlling it. Then came the disastrous Everson case of 1947. Breaking with both legal precedent and the clear counsel of our history, the Supreme Court exchanged Jefferson's words for the first 10 words of the First Amendment. The phrase "separation between church and state" — which had appeared in neither the Constitution nor the debates that produced the Bill of Rights — was made the law of the land.
"The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state," wrote Justice Hugo Black for the majority. "That wall must be kept high and impregnable." Accordingly, the court ruled, no government policy or funds, at any level of government, may encourage religion to any degree.
It was, simply put, bad law: without precedent, unworkable and — given that Black feigned support for his reasoning from the intentions of the founding era — informed by the most astonishing revisionism. Now, the secularist storm troops of the American Civil Liberties Union and its like drive religion from the public square with the mandate of the Everson ruling in hand. Religious symbols are removed from cemeteries, student prayer groups are driven from public facilities, and religious leaders are threatened if they dare speak about political issues from their pulpits. All this comes at a time when America is experiencing a new birth of religious interest, one that could grant a needed infusion of nobility, ethics and wisdom to our national life.
There is hope: Measures are arising in Congress designed to hold Everson's ravages in check. There is also the possibility that the Supreme Court may have opportunity to revisit elements of the case in years to come.
A true freedom of religion
The most important point to remember in this, the 60th anniversary year of the Everson decision, is that our Founding Fathers did in fact make a covenant with us. That covenant guaranteed us that Congress would make no state church but that religion could be free to shape our national life with its ethical and ennobling content. We suffer for lack of that content today, and it is time for us to consider anew the wisdom of our Founders in guaranteeing us the blessings of faith while protecting us from the dark tyrannies of faith that bedeviled the centuries before us. The Founders' plan for religion in our national life was certainly more successful than the confused design the courts have saddled us with today.
It was John Quincy Adams who called to us from an earlier age when he wrote, "Posterity — you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it." We may well do so, but only if we return to the religious wisdom of our national fathers."
Stephen Mansfield is a best-selling author. His book Ten Tortured Words: How the Founding Fathers Tried to Protect Religion in America and What's Happened Since was released in June, 2007.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Rightwing Nuthouse has commentary here.
Volunteer Voters has more, and then at the Politico.
Will post more commentary here later in the day.
Our Enemies Must Be Thrilled at the Thought of "President Obama," Meanwhile Mitt's Looking Pretty Good
Mr. Nice Guy. Wants to negotiate with terrorists. It's not about punishing countries by not talking to them. It's that there's nothing to talk about. Would you really want to sit down and negotiate with a burglar who was breaking into your house or who intended killing you and your family? Our man Obama seems to be more than willing. And it's scares me to death.
And even Hillary says that Obama is clearly a naive young man who hasn't a clue of the real dangers we face. He comes across as soft, weak and way too nice. Wet behind the ears.
Meanwhile, Mitt is sounding very strong and presidential. Sorry to say he's gaining on Thompson. Where is Fred, anyway? Mitt's coming to Jackson Hole soon and passing the hat for some of the the big, big bucks that hang out here. And he's hanging tough about being victorious in the war in Iraq. Strong momentum.
Note Romney's subtle jab at Thompson about running for president with young children. Of course JFK did it, but in the final analysis, Thompson, with little kids and lymphoma, may have two strikes against him that Romney doesn't seem to have.
Today, I have some thoughts on mediation---what it can and can't achieve---and what a valuable resource it can be at the right time, in the right place, for people who have conflicts that must, sooner or later, be resolved. Make no mistake, mediation is not a panacea, however, in numerous instances, it can be used with great efficacy for solving real problems.
In Teton County and the court here, mediation is strictly voluntary. Approximately 40-50% of litigants choose to mediate with us (The Center for Resolution), and of those, almost 70% settle their cases outside of the courtroom. It helps to have judges who support and encourage this process. Many people who decide to mediate their case are completely befuddled when they enter the mediation room with us--we usually mediate in pairs and often allow observers in the room---but come out of the 2-3 hour process simply amazed at what they were able to accomplish.
While not all disputes can or should be mediated, many are well worth the effort, and can save litigants or potential litigants huge amounts of time, in the form of lawyers fees. Over the years, I have mediated many kinds of contracts, landlord/tenants, homeowners associations and medical disputes.
MEDIATION BEFORE LITIGATION
While there are many issues that need to go to court, I have to say many things should be mediated as a first response to trouble. Homeowner associations (where thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, are often spent on lawyers fees to resolve neighborhood squabbles) should require mediation before litigation.
Mediation requires neutrality and the ability to keep the process on track so that the participants can ideally work out their own solutions without the judge doing it for them.
If you're looking for a mediator, I suggest getting someone middle aged with plenty of life experience and a practical perspective. I find young mediators too idealistic and often bleeding hearts who can't be neutral or firm. And don't get a radical feminist to mediate anything. There are far too many out there with axes to grind.
Monday, July 23, 2007
The most creative and subversive of forces to tyranny. But it takes courage and the willingness to take a calculated risk, as my late dear father used to say.
Hat tip: Bill Hobbs who introduces The Call of the Entrepreneur and links to one dazzling review of the upcoming documentary.
One of those causes closest to my heart is Sudan, especially Southern Sudan, where native peoples and Christians are racing against the clock and against Arab Muslims who would destroy them all through genocide---both in the South (where Arabs have killed hundreds of thousands of Christians) and in the western region of Darfur (where Arabs have killed hundreds of thousands of native Muslims)--- in radical Islam's unrelenting, manic drive to take over the world though jihad.
Here, refugees are returning in the south of the country and beginning to resettle around grass community centers/Christian churches that are springing up on the border with Ethiopia. They are clinging to life and hope by a thread, but cling they can and must. Make no mistake, the radical muslims in the north and Khartoum want these people to submit, convert or to die.
Thank you Hearty for sending this photo. And God bless you, your people and their indomitable spirits.
This is so relevant and poignant, in my opinion.
Do you know professional and intractible victims, in their own minds? It is the greatest of curses: people who are spiritually, politically and econonically free in this great country of ours, and have had every advantage, and yet throw it all away on the altar of being wronged and short-changed at some point in the game of life. They feel they have a free pass to whine endlessly about their victimhood and are justified in any and all behaviors, as they cling to their sad badge of being wronged. They simply refuse to ever get over it, whatever that "it" is. Their victimhood obviously gets them something and they aren't about to willingly leave it behind.
Note to remember: We're all sinners. We've all been wronged and can find reasons to be victims. We've all wronged others. Not one person is exempt, no, not one. It's not what happens to us, it's what we do with what happens that makes us who and what we are and that defines our character and ultimately our lives.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Some fascinating images of the First Temple of God, built and completed almost 3,000 years ago by King Solomon, son of King David. Above, the inner sanctum, and below, the Sea filled with thousands of gallons of water for ritual cleansing, and finally a rendering of the Temple from the outside.
After hundreds of years of carrying the Ark of the Covenant around in a tent, his people have built God a splendid new Temple, and Jerusalem becomes the center of the world.
Hat tip: 2 Chronicles and One Year Bible blog.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
This is a country where per capita incomes are about $628/year.
Castro, of course, overlooks the greatest disparity of wealth of all: his own estimated net worth of $900,000,000--almost a billion dollars, according to Forbes Magazine.
But Cuba experts like Maria C. Werlau, author of a study entitled " Fidel Castrol, Inc.: A Global Conglomerate" say a billion is a gross underestimation.
" For every economic transaction in Cuba, Caastro take his 'Commandante's reserves' cut. He shakes down foreign investors, state corporations, overseas remittances, and drug traffickers to finance his bast empire.
"....which he and his cronies have used to buy land for descendants on the Chile-Argentine border, real estate projects in Shanghai, and conglomerates from Japan to Lichtenstein.
"Castro also controls banks, drug companies and shipping firms.
"He claims he doesn't own a penny (and he certainly looks that way!) but that's belied by how he lives. A string of mansions of tropical islands enable him to stay anywhere in Louis XIV comfort. He is ferried around in black limousines with manicured hands, and a traveling medical crew at his beck and call."
There are too few places in the MSM that you can get the real story on how lavishly these dictators live on the backs of those they subdue into political and economic bondage. Victor Chavez is in the process of doing it in Venezuela, as Ahmadinajad is attempting to do in Iran and, of course Yasser Arafat, did to the Palestinian people in Gaza.
The tragedy is they get away with it, even as they, their wives and other family members live like Roman emperors in other parts of the world, away from the little people they subdue and then criticize for desperately trying to make ends meet.
Without Healthy People, There Is No Insurance
By John Tamney
A recent newspaper headline bemoaned the fact that "Insurance rewards healthy workers." A similarly tautological headline might be that, "Employers reward productive workers." What's surprising isn't that healthy employees would be rewarded with cheaper insurance premiums, but that something so logical could be passed off as news.
USA Today's Julie Appleby began the above-mentioned article with a scenario suggesting that an overweight worker "with high cholesterol and blood pressure could pay $2,000 more a year in health insurance deductibles" than a more fit co-worker under a new insurance plan being offered by UnitedHealthcare (UHC). The latter firm is set to begin offering new policies that will reward its customers not just for living healthy lifestyles, but for actual health results.
Specifically, UHC will offer high deductible insurance of $2,500 per year for individuals, alongside $5,000 per family. The innovation within is that the plan offers its enrollees an opportunity to lower their annual deductibles by submitting to blood tests and other evaluations to see if they smoke, and generally measure up to other targets set in terms of blood pressure, cholesterol, and height/weight ratio.
Not surprisingly, UHC's evolved form of insurance has attracted its share of criticism, specifically from Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights. Court says, "If you want people to live healthier lives, you need to educate them and make it safe for them to seek medical treatment, without fear of financial penalties." Without addressing how the plan will save healthier-living consumers money, Court misunderstands the happy truth that insurance companies are in the business of making money. Wanting to avoid excessive costs, firms in the insurance space will have a very real incentive to make sure their customers are well educated about healthy living in a way that will save customers and providers money, all the while offering the former an incentive to improve how they live.
Court adds that the new plan "is turning health care into a police state." In truth, customers will have a choice as to whether they want to meet the requirements set by UHC. No one will force them to live in a way that could potentially save them money.
Furthermore, for someone who claims to defend consumer rights, Court has an interesting way of showing it. The reality is that the consumers who live more healthily will gain from UHC's product, and importantly, not have to pay as much for the excesses of others within traditional plans. Rather than an assault on the consumer, UHC's innovation means there will be less in the way of "moral hazard" that presently exists due to customers being treated equally irrespective of their lifestyles.
Most importantly, it should be remembered that without healthy people, there is no insurance. Insurance firms prosper and compete for customers given the certainty that some will need less in the way of health care, and because of that, their premiums will fund the doctor visits of those who aren't as healthy. UHC's logical innovation doesn't strip the sick in favor of the strong, but it does give both an incentive to save money through voluntary actions that will make them feel and look better.
Once again, the only surprise here is that such a logical step (sure to be followed by others) made by UHC is news, and more surprising, that it's being criticized.
Tamney is the editor of RealClearMarkets and can be reached at email@example.com
In our increasingly political correct world, it's getting to be scandalous that companies should be in business to make a profit and to reward its best and healthiest customers. What ever is this world coming to?!
Friday, July 20, 2007
But so far, no great fires have broken out here, though it wouldn't surprise anyone if an inferno started at any time. Afternoon Chinook winds lash this dry valley almost every day. If accompanied by dry lightning, then anything could happen.
When I'm not headed to the river, I get out and exercise in the early cool of the morning, after a strong cup of black coffee and 4-5 tall glasses of water. Staying hydrated and protected from the sun is not optional.
But (and I know it's a bore) is it global warming or just a normal trend?
No! says Cheyenne meteorologist Don Day today in the Casper Star Tribune.
"Wyoming traditionally sees its warmest weather between mid-July and mid-August and a spell like this is not unusual. Short periods of warm weather offer no more evidence of global warming than brief periods of extreme cold portend a new ice age. We had the second coldest January on record this year in Laramie."
Whatever the cause, we're all praying for rain and soon. It will be a blessed relief when it comes.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Few things can keep me away from the computer for long. But, if I don't post much over the next few days, it's because I'm hanging out with someone who, like me, loves, adores, to play cribbage. One of two of my favorite games in the world---the other is UPWORDS, a three dimensional Scrabble---finding a worthy opponent can make me turn off the computer, shut out the news and play, play play.
We even have a new deck of cards, along with a new crib board in the shape of a horse shoe! So here I go. Fun, fun, fun, if you've never tried it. Be back later, alligator!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
This is another great video that keeps us current on the first Muslim U.S. Representative, Keith Ellison and his ties to subversive groups that would like to see The Constitution replaced with Sharia Law.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
In any event, No! I won't trade you my Donald Rumsfield photo for this ridiculous cap. Never, no never! NEVAH!
Monday, July 16, 2007
A fascinating story about Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey is unfolding both online and off. It involves Mackey's secret, anonymous life online for the past six years posting under the pseudonym of "Rahodeb" in Yahoo! Finance chat rooms. In these he openly discussed the prospects of his company's stock WFMI.
The question is, can and should a CEO like Mackey go into stock discussion rooms anonymously, or at all, and discuss a stock which he has intimate knowledge of? And can and should Mackey have discussed, usually in negative terms, the stock of chief competitor Wild Oats Market (OATS), a company that Whole Foods today has contracted to acquire? Did any of his comments over the years influence WFMI's upward movement? Or the downward movement of competitor OATS?
Full disclosure: I have always admired Mackey as a businessman, and made some money in the stock market on WFMI stock.
As an investor and blogger, I will be following this story with great interest, and as yet haven't made up my mind as to what I think of the whole thing. The Securities and Exchange Commission, however, is not amused and is taking Mackey's anonymous comments on the Internet very seriously.
Probably way too seriously, in my opinion. But, be that as it may, fireworks may be in the offing as well as a potential deal breaker for his company's proposed acquisition of Wild Oats Market.
TUESDAY UPDATE: Mackey apologizes to the Whole Foods board for online comments.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Sunday: General Revelation by God Through Natural World Is Offered First to All Men, Before Specific Revelation
In our Bible readings this week, we're starting Paul's letter to the Romans, and in Romans 1, Paul writes about this very issue: how all men are given the chance to believe in God first through general revelation, the revelation of the Creator in nature and the outdoors. If our hearts are open to this general revelation and to starting to worship the Creator, rather than just the creation, then God continues reveling Himself even more through specific revelation.
Below, Bob Deffington gives a commentary on this very issue. One thing is for sure, I can't be in this great outdoors for long without being overcome by the magnificence of nature and the sure, amazing knowledge of the Creator. So now to Deffington's commentary on Romans 1:
God’s Revelation in Nature
There is available to every man a certain knowledge of God. This knowledge is attainable by observing the handiwork of God in creation. Just as we can learn much of a writer by studying his work, or of a painter by his paintings, so, also, we can learn of God from His handiwork, His creation. We may learn, Paul says in verse 20, of God’s eternal power and of His divine nature. Who can look at the raging power of the Niagara Falls and not be struck with the power of the One Who created them? Who can study the power of the atom and not be impressed with the infinite power of the Creator? And who can ponder creation without concluding that someone far greater than mortal man was the originator of it all?
As the Psalmist put it long ago: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge” (Psalm 19:1, 2). The witness of creation to its Creator has been acknowledged by many great minds.
Dr. Horstmann testified, “My scientific conscience forbids me not to believe in God.”6
Pasteur concurred, “Just because I reflected I remained a believer.”7
Dr. A. Nueberg agrees when he says, “God is the cause of all things, and whoever thinks in terms of cause and effect thinks in the direction of God.”8
Even an unbeliever like Voltaire confessed, “I do not know what I should think about the world. I cannot believe this clock exists without a clockmaker.”9
Granted, there are some who are students of creation, but who do not seem to be able to look beyond to the Creator. They look at creation in the way a glass-maker analyzes the glass in a display window. They note its thickness and freedom from distortion. They observe the size and quality of the glass and the way it is framed. But they fail to look through the glass to the display behind, the true purpose of the glass being overlooked.10
Man’s Response to God’s Natural Revelation
Man's proper response to the revelation of God should have been worship and grateful acknowledgment: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks …” (Romans 1:21a).
Man’s response to natural revelation is three-fold. First of all is the initial act of rejection: Men simply refuse to accept God as He has revealed Himself. Paul tells us in verse 18 that men “… suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” They refuse God as He is. How often we consider the problem of the heathen to be lack of revelation. We somehow view God as withholding revelation essential to the salvation of the pagan. But Paul describes the heathen as having confined God's revelation to a box of their own making, and piling on the lid of the box their own sins. The pagan’s problem is not the sparsity of revelation, but the suppression of it.
Whenever we reject one explanation of the facts we must necessarily counter with an alternative. This is precisely the situation with the heathen. They have rejected God’s revelation of Himself and they have replaced it with another. The key word here is ‘exchanged’ (vv. 23, 25, 26). Instead of worshipping the God Who made man in His own image, they made gods in their image. They worshipped the creature rather than the Creator. Bad enough to conceive of God in terms of humanity, but they went far beyond this to represent God in terms of the beasts of the earth. The Greeks had their Apollo, the Romans the eagle, the Egyptians the bull, and the Assyrians the serpent. Paul may have been alluding to these ‘gods.’
Not only did the heathen exchange the truth of God for a lie, but they also exchanged the blessings of God in His provision for sexual fulfillment for that which is unnatural and disgusting. “… for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire towards one another …” (Romans 1:26b-27a). There is here, I believe, a deadly sequence of events. Rejection of God’s revelation leads to idolatry, and idolatry leads to immorality and man at last plummets into the grossest perversions imaginable.
If you have thought of the heathen as an idolater because he didn’t know any better, Paul insists that he is an idolater because he has refused to know better, suppressing God’s self-revelation.Read Deffington's entire commentary here.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
What's a nice conservative woman like me doing with liberal friends who not only believe everything they read in the MSM, but who actually help create the myths I constantly attempt to debunk here? What kind of joke is God playing on me when he keeps bringing these kinds of people into my life?
Add to that they have a rare outrageous sense of humor f(or a liberal), that makes me laugh uproariously in spite of myself, and are about to arrive from the elite EAST for a five-day visit?
I pray and then get out the big guns!
Most of the time, I keep my most un-demure sense of humor in check. However, I will need it in spades starting today and bring out much mischief in order to keep the upper hand in my own living quarters. It won't be easy, believe me.
I am about to have a NON-STOP, LIVE LIBERAL COMMENTER in my creekside abode, with no comments moderation except maybe earplugs, a little jar of crushed garlic in my frig, my iPod, a fire extinguisher and a little cannister of red pepper spray for bears.
It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.
To wit: I've just pasted on the wall of the guest room---actually over one of the beds---this postcard photo I received in the mail yesterday of one of my all-time favorite conservative men. He, of course, is Darth Vader, Dracula, and Satan all rolled up in one to the libs (except of course the two other big Satans---Bush and Cheney!) more dreaded than the great grizzly bear.
But to me he's strong, attractive, masculine with a wicked sense of humor. Nearby on the bedside table: The Claremont Review of Books with articles such as "Is the Left Patriotic" awaits this imminent assault on reason.
I have other tricks up my sleeve. But for now, I'll let the postcard scotch taped on the wall do the welcoming.....should be fun. If I don't come back to my blog in due time, please send the Secret Service out to look for me!
Life is filled with irony.
Meanwhile, here's a very funny little clip on that all-time favorite conservative man:
- Aggressively fighting the war, expanding and rebuilding the military, and
trying to transform it into a 21st-century fighting force;
- Lowering taxes and making the cuts permanent;
- Security measures such as the Patriot Act, the NSA al-Qaeda intercept
program, the SWIFT surveillance program, National Security Letters, and so forth;
- Allowing faith-based organizations to fully participate in charitable
- Reform of Social Security, MediCare, and other
entitlement programs to introduce at least some element of privatization;
- The various border-security and employer-enforcement provisions of the
recently killed immigration bill, all of which Bush supports (and none of which the Democrats support);
- Appointing federal judges who believe in judicial restraint;
- Firm opposition to abortion and embryonic stem-cell research,
particularly federal funding;
- Unwavering support for traditional marriage and opposition to same-sex "marriage".
And let us not forget the Democrats have declared war on this amazing prosperity. John Edwards is going to be in our face soon as he begins his upcoming and farcical "poverty tour" soon. I can hardly wait to watch the Silky Pony re-invent recent history for his own personal gain, even as he flies in Hollywood hairdresses to cut and style his hair while on the road.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Today on the Snake was a golden day on the river. One of those days you remember in the deepest, darkest part of winter! Sure we caught fish, and plenty of them. But it's more than that. It's being out in this magnificent creation with wildlife, great company and lots of laughs. The fish are just the bonus.
Love you, Edie. And John, you are the best, very best, of guides and boatmen. Great to have you here showing us yankee neophytes how it's really done, during your New Zealand winter.
To be continued.
At least they're honest in their goals: They've come to the United States to be our new "role models" and want to become even more filthy, rich, famous and powerful in the process.
Who knew? Just two sad, lonely and lost looking people, willing and desperate to do anything to attract attention, to me.
Facilis descensus Averno.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Several days ago, there was a little dust up over here at a post I did on the disgraceful photo of some of the White House staff women, including Karen Hughes, attending the rededication of the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. wearing scarves and looking like Muslim converts. It was political correctness at its most shameful worst.
Whereupon, the comments starting flying advocating the respect we should show for all religious traditions, including Islam. I stuck to my guns on the disgracefulness of this photo in the face of liberal apologists for Islam.
Fortunately, Van at Blogodidact came over and took up the banner of righteous indignation with me. And today, he has done a larger post---go and read it all--- expanding his argument and defending our similar positions.
Van continues in a very insightful post saying:
"Numbers Don't Mean Squat
What Vienna VA and other members of the culturally clueless don't seem to grasp, is that a culture is not led by the opinions of its majority. A culture is led by those who effectively position themselves as its public face. It doesn't take a majority to impose the rules. It only takes an active, vocal minority to make demands and threaten those who disagree with them, to denigrate them - to put their face forward as THE Face, into your face, and with a majority who will not only let them do so, but will accept the denigration and embarrassment over their disagreements ("Gas guzzling, SUV Driving...", "Energy hogs.", "More concerned with comfort...", etc) in order to just get along, to not make waves, with just that and no more, the vocal minority will easily be able to rule - they will be perceived as the public Face of the Culture.
Webutante said "... to me political correctness and appeasement is generated by a deep and unacknowledged fear not to confront and make waves."
What leaders, good and bad, have always understood - and what the rest of us never seem to grasp, is that those who make up the culture, are only a very small slice of the population. Those who appear to be the guiding lights of the culture make up an even smaller slice of them. They are the ones who set the tone, or seem to, which the entire population will then seek to march in step with - even those who fancy themselves as the 'counter-culture' busily take note of the popular beat, in order to be out of step with it - making themselves if anything even more slavish than the simple follower.
For those who take comfort in the reassuring nods of their leaders and the accompanying phrases such as ‘it can never happen here’, just what is it that they think secures the 'culture' they live in? Numerical advantages? How many people are aware that the US Revolutionary war was supported by only a fraction of the populace - a third at best? That Hitler was voted into power by a small percentage of the population - which nevertheless was larger than the opposition groups? It wasn't because the majority of the people agreed and was with them, it was because a majority of the people weren't aware that they were the majority, and so went along with those few they took the majority to agree with."
This is not stuff you're going to read or hear in the MSM. We need to listen to what Van says and there's more good writing over there.
What can I say? it's fishing season. Presidential election? War on terror? what war on terror?
There are a few occupational hazards---like grizzly bears, mosquitoes, heavy currents, high winds, occasional quicksand and getting hooked---but they pale in comparison to the great fun and exercise of interacting with nature and wildlife up close and personal. And letting your mind be soothed by the sounds of wild water and chinook winds, with occasional hawks screeching overhead.
The fish I am releasing will go back into the water a smarter, more sophisticated fish and thus much harder to catch next time. It forces us to become better at fishing too. The fish and the fisherman all get smarter as the season progresses. This is as it should be.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Fly fishing with true sportsmen always keeps the playing field level between man and the wily trout. We fish only catch and release, barbless, single hooks. In other words, we don't kill fish. It requires much greater skill on the part of the fisherman, sometimes leaving him or her humbled. But not often. And certainly not yesterday.
Here, one of my favorite fishing partners, fisherman and conservationist extraordinaire, gently takes his barbless hook out of a native cutthroat, while keeping the trout in the water. Then he releases the strong, healthy fish back to its habitat so it can be caught another day, another year.
Busy day today, but more fishing tales to follow later. Yesterday, this man had to pull me out of quicksand. I'm staying on dry land today.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Saying no is saying no. "Defying" Congress is so not the issue here and shows the headline writer hasn't a clue what's really going on.
But it will ultimately go to the Supreme Court for yet another ruling.
I firmly believe that unless there are some conversations, some communications that are private then everything from the President's office should be piped directly into Congress.
That Congress thinks it is privy to each and everything is utterly ridiculous, and getting more ridiculous every day. And if it were so, it would be the undoing. of our country.
Please note the use of "executive privilege" in the weekly meetings between the head of state and the head of government. Without it the executive branch couldn't function nearly as well, if at all.
And a chilling prediction on the future of the British government and the Queen from those who would destroy our civilization and take us back to the Dark Ages. Anyone who doesn't take these thugs seriously needs to have their heads examined.
Okay, now let's have a little more of royal watching on this hot, Monday morning. How The Queen got so tight with Sophie, her royal daughter-in-law.
Involved in GOP politics in Wyoming and the Western Region as vice-chairman of RNC for over 30 years, conservative Republican party leader Jan Larimer has some opinions about how the presidential race is shaping up in her part of the country.
What are our most pressing issues and who does she think the West will go for in 2008?
These are a few of the subjects we talked about recently in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The following is an abbreviated Q&A of our recent visit:
Q: Jan, what are your current thoughts on the 2008 presidential election? Is there a candidate out there on your radar screen you particularly like?
A: My radar screen has been overwhelmed the past couple of weeks with getting a new U.S. Senator from Wyoming chosen and sworn in to replace Senator Craig Thomas who died June 15.
We Republicans had exactly 10 days after Thomas' death to get a shortlist of three candidates for the Wyoming governor to make the final selection. On Friday before last, Dr. John Barrasso, an orthopedic surgeon from Cheyenne, was appointed to fill Thomas's term. On Saturday he flew to D. C., and on Monday he was sworn by Vice-President Dick Cheney.
The next day, Tuesday, Senator Barrasso voted against the controversial immigration bill.
I was with Barrasso at his swearing in and after I got back to Jackson, I was a bit exhausted from all the whirlwind of activity. So to answer your question, I haven't had time to really look the Republican candidates over very well.
Q: Sounds hectic. So tell me , over what geographic area do you preside for the RNC?
A: There are fifteen states which include the Rocky Mountain states, the Pacific coast and the territories of Somoa and Guam.
Q: From this geographical standpoint, how do you see the West shaping up?
A: The Rocky Mountain states are more conservative than the West Coast, like California, Oregon and Washington. You could say that many Rocky Mountain conservatives have more affinity for Southern conservatives than West conservatives.
States like Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Arizona are traditionally much more conservative. How Colorado, New Mexico and Montana go next year will depend in large part on who the candidates are.
New Mexico may go to the Dems if Bill Richardson is on their ticket with, say, Hillary.
Q: What are the most important principles Rocky Mountain conservatives stand for?
A: In a nutshell, we're pro-life and for low taxes, less government, and more individual freedoms.
Q: What, in your opinion, are the most important issues facing us in the next election?
A: The war in Iraq, the war on terror and immigration. And we are most concerned with making sure Congress continues to support our troops in Iraq. The new democratic leadership in Congress, with Pelosi, Leahy and Reid are a disgrace. I call them "The Obstructionists."
Q: I agree, and yet, when Republicans controlled both Houses, including our own former Senator Bill Frist, we failed to get a lot done and this is the result.
Do you really think a Republican presidential candidate has a chance to win the presidency in 2008?
A. I do. I think it's tough but doable. And that's going to be my primary focus in the West: to get a conservative elected president
Q: OK, so let's get back to presidential politics.
What do you think of our Southern candidate Fred Thompson?
A: What little I know of him, I like him. He's certainly creating a lot of interest. I'll be learning a lot more about Fred over the next few months. I just hope he doesn't take the Rockies for granted and not make an effort to come here and get to know us a little.
I have the sense that the Republican party is really looking and hasn't yet found its candidate. Fred may be the one.
Q: What about Giuliani?
A: Think he's gotten a free pass because of 9/11. Look, he's not really a champion of the pro-lifers or the low tax/less government crowd. He's been for limited gun control in New York City, and that doesn't sit well with the constituency here.
Q: Sounds like Giuliani is not one of your favorites.
A: It speaks for itself.
Q: Any other candidate you have insight on?
A: It's still too soon to tell. I want to see how they sort themselves out.
Q: Final question. Let's say the Democrats run Hillary and Obama or Hillary and Richardson. Who would be a snazzy Republican to run as Vice-President?
A: Well, again I don't yet know. But if it were up to me, I'd nominate Lynne Cheney for VP. I can't say enough about how smart and tough and professional she would be.
However, I know that it's probably not going to happen this time around. But I can tell you, she'd be dynamite as a VP candidate.
Q: Well, I agree, it's probably not going to happen for Lynne this next go round. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me.
A: My pleasure. Please tell Fred to get out here to the Rockies and Wyoming and let us get to know him!
Got that Fred? If you're really in this race, then you need to get out here and meet and get to know these true blue, er, true red conservatives.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret, in the dark recesses of our heart, but it will come out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping, we are becoming.
----Ralph Waldo Emerson
From his basics of Christianity series, Dr. David Jeremiah talks about the importance of baptism in one's walk with Christ.
Using the wonderful story in Acts 8 of the conversion to Christ of the Ethiopian eunuch by the disciple Phillip in the desert, depicted in the above image, Dr. Jeremiah describes how God brings the seeker and the saved together in an amazing encounter, culminating in baptism for the converted eunuch, who then continues on his long journey rejoicing.
I'm linking to a new source of Christian learning and inspiration today in the sidebar to the right. It's called One Year Bible Blog and is a daily program of Bible study with commentary that can take you through the entire Bible in twelve months. It's the best study I've found, with readings each day from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.
Today the blog is at the halfway point for the year, and includes readings from 1 Chronicles 6, Acts 28, Psalm 6 and Proverbs 18. Take a look, if you're curious, or you have a deeper longing to study and know the Word of God in your life. The stories and commentary are truly life-changing and stunning!
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
She knows first hand what's happening in Venezuela. No doubt Rita will keep her readers well informed with news and commentary there, even as she makes the adjustment back to living in the United States for now.
In a chilling post ysterday, she tells of the expected and imminent conversion of Venzuelan dictator Victor Chavez from Roman Catholism to Islam.
She writes, "I can only say that America needs to be aware of what is going on in our back yard. Iran is using Venezuela as a staging ground, a forward thrust into the hemisphere if you will."
The Venezuelan-Iranian connection is a new axis of evil and one that we in this country should be most concerned about. Thanks for keeping us well informed, Rita.
Live Earth is being called a "vanityfest," and a "giant hypocritical fraud" because of the vast amounts of energy stars like Madonna are consuming to put on and perform in the event. They're viewed as stars with the largest carbon footprints on the planet who will be telling the rest of us little folks how to live our their lives, even as they--- Al Gore and company---show no signs of cutting back their own energy consumption and carbon footprint.
John Berlau writing at American Thinker wonders if warming hysteria has finally "jumped the shark?"
"But there's just one problem with invoking Dylan to hype the global warming scare. And that is that Dylan himself has expressed skepticism -- to the same magazine -- at the notion that global warming is a catastrophe. When he was asked by Rolling Stone founder and publisher Jann Wenner in the magazine's 40th anniversary issue if he worried about global warming, Dylan replied with an unexpected rejoinder. He asked Wenner, "Where's the global warming? It's freezing here." Wenner, who has blanketed Rolling Stone and his other magazine Men's Journal with doom-and gloom climate change stories (that often bash my organization, the Competitive Enterprise Institute), quickly moved on to other topics after he received his comeuppance.
"'Jump the shark' refers to the precise moment at which a TV program loses momentum or begins the process of losing the element that made the show popular. Thephrase comes specifically from an episode of Happy Days in which Fonzie jumps over a shark with water skis. Fans argue that the show became less realistic after that. The web site JumpTheShark.com is dedicated to fans debating the precise moment their favorite programs "jumped the shark."
Let's hope some good music comes out of all this mass swarming hysteria.